The War and Democracy eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 414 pages of information about The War and Democracy.
as long as British naval supremacy continues.  More than one half of Germany’s total imports are raw materials for manufactures, about two-thirds of her exports being manufactured goods.  Assuming that she continues o conduct foreign trade through Norway and Sweden, Denmark, Holland, Switzerland, and Austria-Hungary, the volume will be small, and even if her whole trade with neutral countries could be maintained she would still be without the trade of her enemies.  For example, in 1913 this country sold goods to the value of L40,000,000 to Germany and purchased from her goods to the value of L80,000,000.[1]

[Footnote 1:  The following list indicates some of the chief articles of trade between the two countries: 

German Imports into the United |  British Exports to Germany, 1912
Kingdom, 1912.                 |
L million. |                        L million. 
Sugar                    6.2   |   Cottons and yarn        8.3
Cottons and yarn         5.9   |   Woollens and yarn       6.6
Iron and steel and             |   Coal, coke, etc.        4.4
manufactures             5.7   |   Herrings                2.4
Woollens and yarn        2.6   |   Ironwork                2.1
Machinery                2.4   |   Machinery               2.1
Glass and Manufactures   1.1   |

It is not true, as Dr. R.G.  Usher says, that Germany is “literally self-sufficing” (Pan Germanism, p. 65).]

In Great Britain, economic activity has been developed on the assumption of continued peace.  In Germany, however, though there were those who would “base all economic policy on an imaginary permanent peace,"[1] the Government has had in view the possibility of war.  “Every conscientious Government,” writes von Buelow, “seeks to avoid [war] so long as the honour and vital interests of the nation permit of so doing.  But every State department should be organised as if war were going to break out tomorrow.  This applies to economic policy as well."[2] It is with this idea in mind that the German Government has striven to maintain the importance of agriculture.  “Economic policy must foster peaceful development; but it must keep in view the possibility of war, and, for this reason above all, must be agrarian in the best sense of the word."[3] It is held that in the event of war the home market in Germany would be an important factor in maintaining intact the fabric of industry.  “The home market,” we are told, “is ... of very great importance.  It would be called upon to replace the foreign market if in time of war our national frontiers should be wholly or partly closed.  But in the home market agriculture is by far the most important customer of industry; only if agriculture is able to buy, if it earns enough itself to enable others to earn too, will it be able, in critical times, to consume a part of the products which cannot be disposed of abroad.  The old proverb, “If the peasant has money then every one else has too,” is literally true, as soon as industry is forced, to a greater extent than is necessary in times of peace, to find its customers at home."[4] “As in time of war industry is dependent on the buying power of agriculture, the productive power of agriculture is a vital question for the nation."[5]

Project Gutenberg
The War and Democracy from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook