The Boys' Book of the World War

The Boys' Book of the World War - Francis Rolt-Wheeler , may 1920

Alinces Before the War, page 27

...vinces of Alsace and Lorraine with 5,605 square miles of territory and a population of approximately 1,500,000.

This seizure of territory, as President Wilson stated in 1918, " was a wrong which has unsettled the peace of the world for nearly fifty years." It may have been a moral wrong, but it was entirely justifiable from the point of view of international law. History is full of such instances.

There is no doubt, however, that the compulsory cession of Alsace-Lorraine was ill-advised and inexpedient It bred revenge. During the forty-seven years that the two provinces were in German hands, the statue symbolic of Strass-burg, the capital of Alsace, situated on the Place de la Concorde, in Paris, was veiled, in token that France still mourned her lost provinces and as a continual threat that they would be retaken. When Germany was finally defeated in 1918 and Alsace-Lorraine was restored to France, this statue was unveiled amid national rejoicings.

The Treaty of Versailles, therefore, formed one of the deep-rooted causes of the enmity between Germany and France. The frontiers of both countries became strongly fortified camps, and, in the soil of rancor, the noxious weed of belligerency flourished.

The two Balkan Wars may be regarded as parts of a fifty-year-long process of kicking the Turk out of Europe. The European nations had always felt that the Yellow Man had no place on the White Man's native territory. In 1871, when the Franco-Prussian War ended, the Turkish Empire in Europe was a vast state, as large as Germany, with a coast-line on the Adriatic Sea, on the Mediterranean and on the Black Sea. The government was non-European in type and massacres of Christian - such as the Armenians and the Macedonians - were the rule rather than exception.

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