The War and Democracy eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 349 pages of information about The War and Democracy.

All this represents a considerable clearing up of the Central European problem.  Nevertheless, much still remains to be done.  Poland is as she was in 1814, a dismembered nation.  The Czechs of Bohemia, the Roumanians of Transylvania, and the Southern Slavs, not to mention other and smaller subject races, continue to demand their freedom from the joint tyranny of Vienna and Budapest.  Russia has not yet solved the problem of Finland, nor England the problem of Ireland.  The Turk still occupies Constantinople.  And finally, the Prussianised nationalism of Germany has created new questions of nationality in Alsace-Lorraine and Schleswig.  All these problems together were as so much tinder ready to take fire directly the spark fell.  They were the cause of the “armed peace” of the past forty-three years; they are the cause of the war to-day.  The conflagration of 1914 is a proof of a profound dissatisfaction among civilised nations with the existing political structure of the Continent.  Alsatians, Poles, Czechs, Finns, Serbo-Croats, Roumanians, and the rest “still struggle for country and liberty; for a word inscribed upon a banner, proclaiming to the world that they also live, think, love, and labour for the benefit of all.”  The framework of society does not fit the facts of nationality, and so the framework has gone to pieces.  “The map of Europe has to be re-made.  That is the key to the present movement.”

BOOKS

I. NATIONALITY

MAZZINI. Essays.  The Scott Library. 1s.

MAZZINI. Duties of Man, etc.  Everyman Library. 1s.

Anything written by Mazzini, the prophet of the national idea, can be recommended.

LORD ACTON. History of Freedom and other Essays. 1907. 10s. net.

Contains an acute historical analysis of nationality in the nineteenth century.  The conclusion reached is that “the theory of nationality is more absurd and more criminal than the theory of socialism,” but though the summing up is unfavourable, the whole essay is a masterly exposition of the national idea by one of the greatest of historical students.  It forms a very useful foil to Mazzini.

HENRY SIDGWICK. The Elements of Politics. 1897. 14s. net.

Chapter xiv., on “The Area of Government,” contains useful paragraphs on the distinction between Nation, State, and Nationality; see esp. pp. 222-225.

SIR JOHN SEELEY. The Expansion of England.  First published in 1883. 4s. net.

SIR JOHN SEELEY. Introduction to Political Science. 1896. 4s. net.

Both these books, the first in particular, are important in this connection.  There is no one chapter or section devoted exclusively to the consideration of nationality, but there are constant references to the subject.  The point of view is, moreover, instructive.  Seeley is, perhaps, the nearest English approach to Treitschke.

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The War and Democracy from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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