XII . THE BIRTH OF NEW NATIONS
65 . THE 'NATION' AND THE 'MASSES'
After the downfall of Napoleon the controlling force in Europe was Prince Metternich, head of the government of Austria, who was very much against the new ideas. In his eyes Republics were a danger to the countries near them, and the only way of keeping the peace in Europe was by going back to the old order of tings which had been in existence before th French revolution. (It may be noted here that the only war in Europe for fifty years was the Crimean War, 1853-56.) But Napoleon had put an end to a number of governments, and had made changes in the political map which it was impossible to undo. In Germany, for example, there had been, in 1789, about three hundred and sixty small states, and by 1815 these had been grouped into thirty-nine.
I was not long before events in different parts of Europe made it clear that the new ideas would have to be taken into account. In the Balkans, the Greeks, uniting against their Turkish rulers, made themselves free (1821-29). Later, other Christian nations in those troubled Balkan lands took up arms against the Turks -- outsiders hated by the peoples they had overcome -- and, in time, became independent.
In France the Bourbons had come back to power (1815), and Louis XVIII, the brother of Louis XVI, had been made King. But in July 1830 there was another revolution in Paris and almost every other chief town of Europe. Louis XVII was put out, and Louis Philippe, a Bourbon, but on a younger branch of the family, was made King in his place. The feeling of those July days was equally against the rule of the old order and of the masses ; the desire was for a government of 'solid' business men, 'a rule of common sense.' Catholic Belgium took this chance to make itself free from Protestant Holland, and in 1839 an agreement was signed by which, with the approval of all the Great Powers, it became an independent nation.
Some years later there was again a revolution in Paris (1848) which was the sign for a general outburst all over Europe. In Austria one effect was the downfall of Metternich, who was in such danger that he had to get away from Vienna in a tradesman's cart. Louis Philippe was forced to give up his position, and came away from Paris in a public carriage to take a boat for England under the name of 'Mr. Smith'! The second French republic was now formed. In Paris the 'Right to Work' became the new cry, and the Government undertook to give work to all who were in need of it. In a short time more than one hundred thousand men were getting payment out of the nations's money for unnecessary work, or even for doing nothing.
Louis Napoleon, son of Napoleon's brother, was made President of the Second Republic. The new President took his position very seriously. "In making me President," he said, "France has made clear its desires, because the name of Napoleon is in itself a program. It is representative of order, authority, religion, well-being inside the country, respect for it outside. All these things it is my desire to see effected, with the support of the government and of the people.
But it was not long before the President had had himself made Emperor as Napoleon III (1852), and was feebly copying the first Napoleon in attempting to make France the chief European Power. However, his rule was ended by the war between France and Prussia in 1870-71, when a further revolution took place in Paris, and the Second Empire gave way to the Third, and present, French Republic.
The shock of these years of revolutions had not been without their effect on Britain. Two years after 1830 came the 'Great Reform Bill,' which put an end to the rule of the landowners, and gave power to the new heads of industry and the trading and business groups in society. Then, in 1838, the first move in the workers' fight for a part in the government was made by the Chartists, and though their attempts came to nothing at that time, the changes then desired did, in the end, come about.
Further changes of this sort were made in England at different times in the eighteen hundreds, and later in other European countries. the 'masses' everywhere slowly got for themselves some voice in the government, and, copying the new American and French Republics, took steps in the direction of democracy.
In the troubled Balkans the Great Powers went on with their complex designs for getting more control or keeping others from doing so. Britain and Russia, specially, had reason to keep a sharp watch on that part of Europe. Russia seemed to herself the natural head and helper of the Christian peoples ruled by the Turks, most of all of her sister nations, the Slavs of Serbia. Britain had hears that the Russians might take Constantinople, and so out the road to India in danger. British and Prussian expansion in Asia was still going on, and the two Empires were slowly getting nearer to one another on the Himalayas, 'the roof of the world.'
These and other causes were responsible for a number of different wars in connection with the complex question of the East, which had been so important in the world's history for more than five hundred years, and was at the root of most of the political moves of the eighteen hundreds. In the Crimean War (1853-56) fear of Prussia made the British and French (under the rule of Napoleon III) take the side of the Turks. the one good thing which came out of that war was the great work of looking after the wounded done by Florence Nightingale, which gave the first impulse to the organization of hospitals as we have them to-day.
place holder and work in process
66 . THE NEW ITALY : MAZZINI, CAVOUR, AND GARIBALDI
The most important wars for the rights of nations in the eighteen hundreds were those by which Italy and Germany made themselves united countries. Italy was at that time still very much broken up, and ruled chiefly by the hapted hite-coated Austrians. There was so far no Italian nation.
Mazzini, Garibaldi, and Cavour -- the prophet, the fighter, and the political brain -- these were the three great men who were responsible for freeing Italy from Austria and uniting the different Italian states under one king.
Napoleon, as King of Italy, had put an end to some of the political divisions, but most of his work was quickly undone, and after his downfall the country went back more or less, to the old conditions. There was a Bourbon ruler of the Spanish branch in the south, the King of the Two Sicilies. Across the middle were the 'Papal States,' among them Rome, which were ruled by the Pope. Then there were Parma, Modena, and Tuscany, all under Austrian dukes, and other smaller states. To the north of these, again, Austria was ruler of Lombardy and Venice, which had been a Republic headed by its 'Doges' for a thousand years till it was given to Austria by the powers at Vienna in 1815. And last, in the north-west there was Piedmont, which was ruled by the King of Sardinia.
The true head of Italy was Austria. The only Italian rulers were the Pope and the King of Sardinia. All the rulers undid, in 1815, the changes made by Napoleon, and went back to the old order, which made their countries very bitter. So there were two reasons for revolution--the desire for a freer society and for a united Italy.
From 1815 on there were a number of attacks on the governments in different parts of Italy, but these were chiefly for the purpose of forcing the rulers to give the masses their rights ; the idea of a united Italy did to become general till later. The red, white, and green flag of all Italy was first seen when there was a mass outburst in a part of the Papal States after 1830.
In that year a letter was sent to the King of Sardinia requesting him to put himself at the head of a united Italy and make an end of Austrian rule. The writer was Mazzini, then twenty-six years old, who, sent out of the country because of his political opinions, undertook the organization of a society named 'Young Italy,' with the purposes of his letter in view. His writings went all over Italy and had a great effect. He put heart into the supporters of Young Italy with these moving words :
"Be lovers of your country ; it is the land which God had given you. Give it your thoughts, our ideas, your blood. . . . Let it be one, as the thought of God is one. You are twenty-five millions of men, with good brains and strong bodies ; you have a great history, respected by all the nations of Europe ; a great future is before you. Over your heads are smiling the most beatiful skies, and round you the most beautiful land in Europe ; you are circled by the Alps and the sea, limits marked out by the finger of God for a nation of great men--you have to be such, or nothing."
After this came the outbursts of 'the year of revolutions,' 1848. The Italian churchmen, having no desire for an Austrian supporter as their Pope, had made Pius IX (Pio Nono') Pope before the representative of the Austrian Church was able to do anything about it. Pio Nono made some changes in the interests of the masses, at which Austria was very angry, because it was feared that if the Italians became freer they would make use of their power to put her out of Italy. The King of Sardinia sent the Pope a letter saying the he would give him his support in everything, and a letter came from an Italian in South America--Garibaldi--offering his help in military operations. About the same time there was another attack on the governement in Naples, but the Austrians were unable to send any help to the King, because the Pope would not let their armies go ghrough his country.
While all this was going on, there had been a strong outcry for representative government in Piedmont, voiced in a new and well-supported newspaper Il Risergimento ('the becoming awake'). This paper was produced by Count Cavour. The news from Naples was making the masses more violent, so the King at last (1848) gave way, and a Parliament, or representative body, was formed, based on that of Britain.
The news came of the revolution in Vienna, and Milan made an attack on the army of fifteen thousand men kept by the Austrians in the town. This was the great 'five days' revolution,' which only came to an end when the Austrians were forced out of Milan with a loss of five thousand dead and wounded. This was the sign for other outbursts in the north of Italy, till, chiefly as the effect of Cavour's writings, his King was at last moved to make war on Austria.
The King, however, was crushed, and force to make peace with Austria ; and the Pope, who had given him no support, was attacked by the Romans and had to take flight. A republic was formed in Rome. Mazzini was made one of the three heads of the government, and Garibaldi, who had come back to take part in the fight, put himself under their orders with a band of his red-shirted supporters, five hundred in number.
The year 1849 was, however, a black year for Italy. Austria got back Venetia and Lombardy and overcame Piedmont ; and the French made Rome take back the Pope, forcing Mazzini and Garibaldi to flight, and stationing French forces in the town to keep order.
For ten years more, 1949-59, Austria kept its grip on Italy, and everywhere but in Piedmont--which kept its representative government under the new King of Sardinia, Victor Emmanuel--conditions were as bad as before. But the hope of becoming independent was far from crushed, and all this time the Italians were doing everything in their power to make Austria's position in their country impossible. All Italians were now ready to be united, because all the different groups had taken part in the fighting side by side. Everywhere the Austrians were made to see that they were hated outsiders ; no self-respecting Italian would have anything to do with them. On the other hand, for the Austrians, even to say the word 'Italy' was looked on as a crime.
At the same time, Cavour, now the head of the King of Sardinia's government, was working hard to get the Austrians out of the country and to make at least the north of Italy united. His first move was to get European feeling on the side of his unhappy countrymen, which he did in a very expert way. Then he made a secret agreement with Napolan III, by which Nice and Savoy were to be handed over to France in exchange for Napolean's support if Piedmont went to war with Austria. The war came in 1859. Garibaldi again took his 'red-shirts' into the field, and with the help of the French, Austria was overcome and Lombardy was given to Piedmont.
This straight away had important effects. The states in the north of Italy, driving out their rulers, sent a united request to Victor Emmanuel to become their King, at which the Pope, fearing his increasing power made him an outlaw from the Church.
Then Garibaldi went by sea to Sicily (May 5th, 1860) to take part in a new attack. On August 8th his 'red-shirts,' after driving the forces of the King of Naples from the island, went from Sicily into Italy. "How great were your Thousand, O'Italy," said Garibaldi in a letter, "fighting aginst the representatives of the tyrants and driving them before them like sheep !" On September 7th the great man came into Naples to make himself Dictator of the country in the name of Victor Emmanuel, 'King of Italy.' Garibaldi was now ready to make an attack on the Pope in Rome, but Cavour saw that that would be a false step, because then other European countries would take a hand. So in place of that he got France's agreement to the King's taking over the Papal States in the north.
At last, on November 7th, Victor Emmanuel came south with his army. He and Garibaldi came into Naples side by side, and Garibaldi gave up his authority to the King. Before is death, on June 6th, 1861, Cavour had the reward of seeing Victor Emmanuel made King of Italy on February 18th of the same year.
Cavour more than any other man was responsible for uniting Italy. There were others who did great work for the cause ; but his was the guiding hand which kept it to the middle road between revolution and reaction, and gave it an organization, a flag, a government, and friends among the nations.
At his death Rome and Venice were still outside the new country. "Without Rome," said Cavour, "Italy will never be solidly united. The great thing, then, is to make the Pope see that the Church may still be independent without its material power. We are ready to put into operation in Italy the great idea of a free Church in a free country.
Three years after Cavour' death France made an agreement to take her forces out of Rome before the end of two years, Italy giving her word that Rome would not be attacked. Then Italy made a military agreement with Prussia (1866), as the outcome of which Venice was given up to her after a war between Prussia and Austria.
The French took their regular forces out of Rome, but there were still Frenchmen in the Pope's armies. Mazzini and Garibaldi were full of the hope that Rome would take up arms against the Pope, and when at last there was an outburst, in October 1867, the fighters were quickly joined by Garibaldi and his men. France, however, had sent another army to Rome, which with the help of its new guns, overcame the 'red shirts' with great destruction, and so the attempt came to nothing.
Then came war between France and Prussia (1870). the outcome was the downfall of the French Empires, and the Italian army was straight away sent to take Rome. the Pope, however, made little attempt to put up a fight, and the 'war' was quickly over. Victor Emmanuel came into Rome as King, and Italy was at last united.
In the Great War of 1914-18 Austria was at last forced to give up the rest of her lands in North Italy, and Italy then had her 'natural limits.' At the present day Italy is ruled, like early Rome in time of danger, by a Dictator -- Mussolini.
67 . BISMARCK AND THE NEW GERMANY
While Italy was driving out Austria, Germany had become a nation, with Prussia at its head. After Prussia had been crushed, as it seemed, by Napoleon (1806), her great men had gone to work to make conditions better, to put an end to the feudal system and give education to all, and to make everyone undergo a certain amount of military training. Then, after Napoleon's downfall, Austria and Prussia became the chief countries in a new, loosely united group of separate German states.
The Austrian Empire was formed of a great number of different groups, all desiring their rights as nations, and this made it very hard to keep together. In the revolution of 1848 Kossuth, the great Hungarian chief, came to the front, and made the position of Hungary in the Empire very much stronger.
But the greatest danger to Austria was not from Hungry but from Prussia. From the time of Frederick the Great there had been increasing competition between Austria and Prussia for the first place among the German groups of middle Europe.
At this time Prussia had three very able men; William I, its King, Moltke,the head of its army, and Bismarck, the Chancellor, or head of the government. Price Bismarck is noted in history as the 'Iron Chancellor,' who made the Germans into a nation with Prussia as the controlling power. His birth took place in the year of Waterloo (on April 1, 1815) on his father's property in Pomerania. At the university he at first took more interest in fighting than in books. He was, as he himself said, a true representative of the great landowners of Prussia in his early days. However, after living for some time with his family, he took up political work, strongly supporting the forces ranged against the move for democracy which was made in Prussia, as all over Europe, in 1848. His belief, like that of the Great Kings of the old order, was that in a Christian country it was right for the king to have the chief power.
When William I became King of Prussia (1861), he undertook a new organization of the army. The government would not give him the necessary money, so William put Bismarck at the head of it. Such was the force of Bismarck that he went on ruling the country for four years without letting Parliament have any control of public money, though no one but the King was on his side. Even the Crown Prince, the King's oldest son, was against him. No man has ever made himself more hated.
But all this time King William was building up his army till it became the strongest in all Europe. This was what Bismarck was waiting for. His idea was to put Prussia, not Austria, at the head of the German states, and it seemed to him that the only way of uniting them into an empire was by 'blood and iron,' as he said to the Prussian Parliament in 1862--that is, by war, not by talk or committees..
For a number of years there had been trouble between Germany and Denmark about the two German countries on the Elbe, Schleswig and Holstein, ruled by the King of Denmark. Bismarck saw in this the chance of effecting his designs. His first step was to get the help of Austria in making war on Denmark, the outcome of which was that Schleswig and Holstein were given up to Prussia and Austria.
The second step was to go to war with Austria, which was quickly overcome at Sadawa (1866). The two Elbe countries were then united with Prussia, as Prussia took the place of Austria as chief of the German states. And this was not all. Prussia took Hanover and a number of other places which had been on the side of Austria in the war, and then got the North German states united in a new organization, with herself as the head.
Bismarck saw, however, that France was ready to make trouble if the South German states came into this group. It has to be kept in mind that, from the time of the wars of religion, it had been the fixed purpose of France to keep Germany broken up and feeble. So deep are the roots of the wars of 1870 and 1914 !
France was in the way of a united Germany, and as expertly as
Bismarck had got the better of Austria, so he now got the better of France. He go France to make war on him in such a way that the South German countries came to the help of Prussia. The Prussian army went across the Rhine into France, and the French were crushed at Metz and Sedan (1870). Three months after the start of the war, the Prussians were before Paris ; and ten days before its fall (January 1871), King William I was made 'German Emperor' in the great 'Hall of Mirrors' at Versailles--the beautiful room ornamented with looking-glasses which is one of the best examples of the taste of Louis XIV. Alsace and Lorraine, which Louis XIV had taken from the Holy Roman Empire two hundred years before, were now given up to Germany. Less than fifty years later, in that same Hall of Mirrors, on June of 1919, the Germans were signing the agreement which gave back to Denmark the north part of Schleswig and to France Alsace and Lorraine.
And so Bismarck was the father of present-day Germany. His work was not limited to making war. He was responsible for the development of education, and he gave Germany a system of state help for the old and of government insurance, even before Britain was ready for these great changes. His political designs were effected by tricks, but it would be untrue to say that he was less straightforward than those of other nations working against him ; he was only more able than they, and so he got the better of them. The making of Germany into a nation is the true measure of how great Bismarck was. The war of 1870 was, in fact, a war for the rights of the German nation, and it was supported by the masses in a way which made it quite clear that Bismarck's desires were those of the country itself. All bitter feeling between the different groups, between North and South, Protestants and Catholics, land-owners and masses, was brushed away in the hour of danger, and every German was ready to do his best for the common cause of making Germany united, free, and great.
Bismarck kept his position as Chancellor in the new Empire, and was looked on by everybody as a very great man. All relations with other countries were completely in his hands. More than once he made the offer to give up his position, but William I would not let him do so.
But two years after the death of William I, Bismarck was turned out of the government (1890), and he took no more part in public events. The new Emperor, William II (1888-1918), desiring all the power for himself, had no use for a man like Bismarck. However, though he was possibly the ablest of all the Hohenzollerns but Frederick the Great, William II was not equal to what he had undertaken, and the rule of the Hohenzollerns, like that of the Hapsburgs, was ended by the World War.
68 . THE NEW SOUTH AMERICAN REPUBLICS
The same sort of changes, giving birth to new nations, took place in America. In fact, the ideas on which the French Revolution was based were not long in becoming current all over the earth.
From the time of the great discoveries, South American had been part of the overseas Empires of Spain and Portugal ; and there, to this day Spanish and Portuguese are the languages most commonly used. In the early eighteen hundreds, when Spain took up arms against Napoleon, her colonies saw their chance of making themselves free (1822).
Britain, whose point of view had been changed by the American Revolution, was ready with her help at the birth of the South American states. Metternich and his friends would have sent an army to put a stop to the fight against Spain, but the British control of the sea made this impossible. At about the same time (1823) President Monroe made a public statement that the United States would take up arms against any European power attempting to get control in America. and so one effect of Metternich's political designs was the starting of better relations between the two great English-talking countries-- Britain and the United States of America.
After much hand fighting the Spanish colonies made themselves independent, and became the Republics of Chile, Peru, Argentina, and Bolivia (named after the greatest man of the revolution, Bolivar). Brazil, which had long been under Portuguese rule, did the same thing. All the new Republics have great stores of natural materials which make them certain of an important place in international trade.
69 . ABRAHAM LINCOLN AND THE MAKING OF THE U.S.A.
Abraham Lincoln is noted in history as the man who made the black slaves free, and the United States truly united.
When peace was signed between Great Britain and the United States of America (1783), the new republic was made up of thirteen 'States' near the Atlantic. The chief business of the States of the North was fishing, farming, and industry, but the trade of the South was chiefly in cotton and tobacco. The cotton and tobacco farms, or 'plantations,' were controlled by great land-owners, and worked by black African slaves. In the North there had never been a great number of slaves, and trade in slaves had been stopped in the same year as the Declaration of Independence. George Washington had been a slave-owner, but he would never let force be used to get back a runaway ; he took pleasure in the fact that no force was needed to keep his slaves with him.
In 1787 the government made the decision not to let the slave system come into the country west of the Allegheny Mountains and east of the Mississippi. When States were formed in this country the use of slaves in those States was made against the law. Then, when colonies came into existence west of the Mississippi, and there were new States to be made part of he United States, it was ruled that they were to be taken in in two's, and a 'free State' and a 'slave State' together, to keep the balance of power between the slave States and the others.
By 1820 the thirteen States had become twenty-two. Then came the question of the addition of Missouri. Was she to be a free State or a slave State? If she was made a free State, then the balance of power would be with the free North, and the South was naturally very much against this. At last the decision was made that Missouri was to be a slave State, but at the same time Maine was to be taken in as a free one, and any new State coming in after this time was to be free if it was north of Missouri, and slave if it was south of Missouri. Later (1854) two other new States were ready to become part of the U.S.A. Being north of Missouri these would, by the agreement, have been free. The slave-owners, however, made use of all their political power to keep this from coming about, and in the end a law was made giving the State themselves the right to make the decision. The effect of this was that, from North and South equally, great numbers went openly to the two States for the purpose of giving their side the controlling voice. At this stage Abraham Lincoln came into the fight.
Lincoln's birth took place in 1809 in Kentucky, in a rough little house of wood put up by his father, who had been one of the first to come to that part of the country. When he was still very young, the family went to Indiana, where Abraham went on living till he was a man. He became a true backwoods boy, very expert with his gun, in a country full of animals of all sorts. Great days for a boy full of the love of danger and experience ! His dress was a shirt and trousers made of skin, with shoes like those used by the Indians on his feet, and a skin hat on his head, the tail of the animal from which it had been taken hanging down at the back. He never had any stockings till he was a young man. His time was chiefly taken up in cutting down trees and making rails ; there was only a poor education to be got at the backwoods school, and almost no books for reading. The family was very poor, and his early years were, in fact, very hard.
When he was twenty-one he went to New Orleans, where he saw a slave-market : families broken up, married men and women, sisters and brothers, taken violently away from one another to become workers on far plantations, with no hope of ever coming together again. This picture was for ever after stamped on his memory, and gave him a deep sense of the sad and cruel side of the slave system.
Lincoln then went into the law, at the same time taking an interest in political work. In his business he was noted for never undertaking the cause of anyone who seemed to him to be in the wrong. He never did anything low, and was respected even by those against him as a straightforward man. For a time he gave up his political interests, but the slave question at last took him back into the field, and he became one of the makers of the great Republican organization, then its head, and in the end the President of the United States (1860).
One of the fixed purposes of the Republicans was to put a stop to any
expansion of the slave system, but it seemed to the South that this would be a serious blow to its interests. Lincoln himself said that all the country would in time have to become one thing or the other, slave or free.
When Lincoln became President, the States of the South took the step of separating themselves from the U.S.A, forming an independent government. This was wrong, said Lincoln ; they had not right to make such a division of the great Republic which their fathers had made.
A year later the North and the South went to war on this question. This was the American Civil War, so named because it was a war, not between different countries, but between men of the same nation. Lincoln was still ready to make peace with the South and let them keep their slaves if they would give up their separate government, but the South would not give way. The war went on for four years. Slowly the forces of the North go the better of those of the South, and at last it became certain that the South would be forced to come back into the United States. But not long before peace was made, the great President was given his death-wound in his box at the theater by a man of unbalanced mind who seems to have had the belief that he had done a great wrong to the South. After the war the slaves were made free ; and so America took the example of the British Empire, which had put an end to the use of slaves in the countries under its control some years before (1833).
Lincoln was very tall -- six feet four inches -- with thick black hair, and grey, deep eyes. He was one of America's greatest men. Talking on the field of Gettysburg of those who had given themselves there for the nation, he said " "Seven and eighty years have gone by from the day when our father gave to this land a new nation -- a nation which came to birth in the thought that all men are free, a nation given up to the idea that all men are equal. Now we are fighting in a great war among ourselves, testing if that nation . . . is to go on. Let us here come to the high decision that these dead will not have given themselves to no purpose, that this nation, under God, will have a new birth in the hope of being free, and that government of all, by all, for all, will not come to an end on earth."
In the eighteen hundreds the number of those living in the United States was increased by newcomers from every part of the earth, and land was taken up farther and farther west, across the great stretches of flat country, till farms and towns were everywhere from the Atlantic to the Pacific. This great expansion was made possible by the new inventions of the steamboat, railway, and telegraph. Today the United State has become one of the greatest countries in the world, not only in size , but in power and industry.
70 . JAPAN AND THE NEW ASIA
The 'revolution' in industry which took place in the eighteen hundreds, with its great development of international trade and its effect on political conditions, had its reaction on the old Asiatic nations. Japan, China, India, and Persia were all changed because of the changes in industry, trade, and ideas of government which took place in the West.
The Japanese are different from the other nations of Asia. Though it is uncertain when they came from Asia to their present island Empire, they are a mixed group from Asia and the Pacific islands, and, like most mixed groups, they have at all times been open to new ideas.
There is little knowledge of Japan's early history. It is said that its first Emperor was ruling between 1100 and 1000 B.C. From the earliest times an important part of the religion of the Japanese was based on respect for the dead, and this gave them their most uncommon quality -- the feeling of a natural connection between the living and the dead, so strong even today that they have little fear of death, ready though they are to take pleasure in living.
By the early Middle Ages Chinese art and learning, which was at a much higher level than Japanese, had for some time been slowly taking root in Japan, and when the teachers of Buddha came across the water all the ideas on which Chinese society was based came with them, and were very quickly taken up by the Japanese. This was probably the most important event in Japanese history, because the new outlook and organization which were the outcome made the way ready for the great changes which have taken place in present-day Japan.
But the attempt at copying China was not kept up for very long, and for some hundreds of years the country went back to a loose feudal system with little order. The greatest landmark in its history after this was the chance discovery of Japan by some Portuguese traders (1542), who were given every help by the chiefs because of their firearms and the profits to be made from their trade. Then, for almost a hundred years, there were trading relations with Europe. Not long after the coming of the Portuguese traders a Jesuit missionary went out to Japan, and the Christian religion quickly took root.
But then came Dutch and English traders ; they were Protestants and very bitter against the Jesuits. Because of this the Japanese were turned against the Christian religion, and all Christian missionaries were put out of Japan. Orders were given that no Japanese was to go out of the country and no ships strong enough for long sea-journeys were to be made ; and for more than two hundred years Japan was shut off from other countries. So it came about that the fight between Catholic and Protestant which was one of the great causes of the expansion of Europe overseas was, at the same time, the reason for shutting the doors of Japan to the men of Europe.
While her doors were shut Japan had two hundred years of peace and order under one control. Then one day (1853), Commander Perry of the United States came sailing into Tokyo harbor in his flagship at the head of four well-armed vessels, with a letter to the Emperor from the President of the United States, strongly requestion him to let Japan again have trade with other nations. This was the start of long and delicate discussions, the outcome of which was that Japan at last was made open to European trade.
After this came one of the most surprising events in all history. The Japanese had seen with how little trouble, as it seemed, the British had taken control of India and they were angry, further, at the way in which China had been made use of by the powers of the West. They now took a step which, for the fist time in history, gave an Asiatic nation an organization copied from the West. A country which up to then had been without science or machines suddenly put itself in the front line of present-day developments. The feudal system was put an end to ; young men and women were sent for their education to all the most important countries of the world ; railway, telegraph, and post systems, industry, schools for everyone, and a House of Representatives all came into existence. This was Japan's surprising revolution (1868-90).
It was not long before the Japanese went to war with China (1894-95) and got the better of her. "The West had no respect for the Japanese till they were seen to be good at war !"1 After this there came an agreement with Britain ; so that in less than thirty years, Japan, from being an Asiatic island state looked down on by Europe, had become a valued friend of the greatest Empire on earth. Ten years later she overcame Russia (1904-5), whose great Empire in Asia was now touching China and the Pacific, in addition to the edges of India. This was the first time that the Far East had put a stop to the designs of a European nation. Japan was now looked on by a number of the Asiatic countries as the hope of the new Asia, and the fact that she had done so well put heart into all the nations of the East, specially India.
And so the nineteen hundreds have seen the start of new relations between Europe and Asia.2 The days of trading companies and trading princes are over. There is much teaching for the West in what Japan has done, because it has been effected by the desire of all for the general good, supported by the old belief in the debt of every man to society and the right of those in authority to his respect. It was only because the Japanese had for hundreds of years something more important than self, that the government of Japan was able, simply by law, to make them take up the new developments of the West at whatever price of pain and trouble.
1. Brinkley, Japan and China.
2. The author was overly optimistic.
71 . CHINA AND THE WORLD
It has been said, though it may be going a little far, that the Renaissance took almost as much from China as it did from Greece, and it is possibly not surprising that the nations of Europe were for long not looked on by China as her equals. to the Chinese, with their long unbroken history, as to the Greeks and Romans, all other nations seemed 'Barbarians.' In Europe the development of society had gone forward on military lines, but in China the tendency had been the other way, and the art of living had seemed more important than the art of war.
Wars against other nations made China conscious, for the first time in her history, that she was not the only country in the world at a high stage of development. Hong Kong was handed over to Britain (1839), and five harbor towns were made open to trade with other countries ; part of the trade was in opium, which had for hundreds of years been smoked by the Chinese, and was now to become such a danger to the rest of the world that steps had at last to be taken against its distribution for any but medical purposes. Later came the Chinese-Japanese War, which though it was between two Asiatic countries, was of world-wide interest ; it was after Japan had overcome China in this war that she became an important power. After that came what was named the Boxer War. The 'Boxers' were a Chinese secret society formed for the purpose of driving the hated Europeans, specially Christians, out of the country. Attacks were made on the property of those of other nations, and some of it was burned down. The effect of this was that the nations of the West uniting against the Chinese, got an army together and took Peking, where the behavior of some of the European forces was truly 'barbarian.'
The Chinese were now so completely overpowered that it became clear to their rulers that some great change was necessary. Laws were made giving China a new form of government, in which the Emperor's power was no longer unlimited (1906). But the feelings of the Chinese were by this time worked up, and there was a general desire for a complete overturning of the old order. A revolution took place, and three months later the rule of the old line of Emperors came to an end, and a Republic was formed.
China was very much troubled by the coming in of the Europeans ; the nation's belief in its rulers was undermined by seeing them so feeble against attack. After the Revolution the organization of schools was undertaken, new ideas took root, and there was much talk of 'democracy' by the small number of persons who had any education. But it was hard to get the country united. Trouble was all the time being caused by wars between different groups, and by bands of outlaws. The Republic was only a name, and China, in place of being under one Emperor as in days past, was broken up among warring army chiefs.
Today more than one-fifth of the persons of the world are living in China. The masses have almost no education, and self-government on any great scale is still impossible. China's hope is not so much in material development, as is commonly said, but in the education of her masses to a true sense of the public interest. So her great need now, as in the past, is the peace in which to overcome her troubles.
72 . INDIA AND THE BRITISH EMPIRE
At the start of British rule in India, the old Mogul Empire had for some time been getting more and more feeble, and the country was given up to wars between different groups. some of the Indian rajahs freely put themselves under the British to get their help, but the greater part of the country was at different times taken by Britain by force. With ruling families put on one side in this way, it was natural that for some time the good effects of British rule, and the peace it gave, did not go very deep.
However, a long line of British rulers, from Clive and Warren Hastings on, have done their best to give India a sense of being united, of good government, and of material development.
India is unlike any other part of the British Empire. Most of the lands in different parts of the world which have come under British rule had in them, at the time when they were made British, only men at a low stage of development, and frequently not a great number of those. Because of this, most of the Empire may be put into one or the other of two great groups.
First, there are the parts -- like most of Africa -- where there are millions still in an early stage of development, ruled and trained by a small number of Europeans who are responsible for the government of the country and for the development of its industries. Second, there are parts -- like Australia -- where almost everyone is British, and where British ways have been planted in what was, in fact, a new country. And, but for the important division of Quebec, which is still chiefly French, this is true of Canada.
India is in a different position. From early times it has had great numbers living in it, and today it has over one-sixth of the persons of the earth ; so that it did not give a field for the planting of European society, as did America, Australia, and New Zealand. And far from being in an early stage of development, India had a history, and an art and learning, older than those of Europe, and a system of society fixed in every detail, with high ideas of behavior in war and peace handed down from a long past. She had the memory of great Empires, the works of more than one great Age of letters, and beautiful examples of the art of building. These things together made the Indians in most ways equal to, and in some ways better than, the Europeans who first went there.
These facts about India give us the reason for the way in which it came into the British Empire -- a way quite different from that of any other country. British power was not taken to India by men desiring to make new colonies, as in Australia, or by men who had to go away from England because of their religion, like the Puritans in America. There was nothing shocking to public opinion, like the slave trade, crying out to be put right. And no one in the government would have been so foolish as to have hopes of taking by force a country of such great size and numbers.
India, like China, was a name which had been looked up to by the West for hundreds of years -- the name of a great, strange land, full of gold and jewels and all the secrets of the East. Men would no more have made the attempt to overcome India than to overcome Russia or China. The growth of British power in India came through trading interests, but this is not to say that the British had no higher purpose in what they undertook there. There is general agreement that their rule has done much for the different groups in India, and that they have done their best to keep the feeble from being crushed, and make education more general, and to give every man equal rights under the law.
India is the chief reason for British interest in events in Constantinople, South Africa, and Egypt.
The expansion of education and of the English language, and the material developments (water-systems for farms, railways, post offices, and so on) which have taken place under British rule have had a great effect on the masses in India. As in other places, they have come to have a strong desire to take part in their government. Under Mahatma Gandhi -- a man deeply moved by religion -- those desiring a free and united India have made a great outcry for self-government.
In the British Empire there are men of every sort, color, and religion, in every stage of development. Lord Durham's noted Report on Canada (1840) put forward the opinion that it would be wise to have self-government in the Colonies as in England, and it was in fact, later, at different times, given to all the great Colonies, taking as their example the United States of America, became united into groups of States, or Dominions -- Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.
Never in all the long history of man has thee been seen such a great number of different groups all given up to the idea of a completely free society, united under the rule of one King-Emperor. From the time of the Imperial Conference, or meeting of representatives of the empire, in 1927, Great Britain and the dominions have been looked on as forming self-ruling societies inside the British Empire, all equal in position and completely independent of one another in their political organization and relations to other countries, though united in having as their common head the King of England, and freely grouped together in the British family of nations.
DIVISIONS OF THE BOOK
I . -- THE FIRST STAGE
II . -- THE EARLY DEVELOPMENTS IN THE EAST
III. -- THE GREAT DAYS OF GREECE
IV . -- THE GREAT DAYS OF ROME
V . -- THE MIDDLE AGES
VI . -- THE 'NEW BIRTH' OF EUROPE
VII. -- NEW FORCES IN RELIGION AND THE GROWTH OF A NEW OUTLOOK
VIII -- THE EXPANSION OF EUROPE OVERSEAS
IX . -- THE 'GREAT KINGS' OF EUROPE
X . -- THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION
XI . -- THE FRENCH REVOLUTION AND NAPOLEON
XII. -- THE BIRTH OF NEW NATIONS top
XIII -- THE WORLD OF THE PRESENT DAY
XIV -- TO THE END OF THE 20th CENTURY