Page:Democratic Ideals and Reality (1919).djvu/13

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I

PERSPECTIVE

Our memories are still full of the vivid detail of an all-absorbing warfare; there is, as it were, a screen between us and the things which happened earlier even in our own lives. But the time has at last come to take larger views, and we must begin to think of our long War as of a single great event, a cataract in the stream of history. The last four years have been momentous, because they have been the outcome of one century and the prelude to another. Tension between the nations had slowly accumulated, and, in the language of diplomacy, there has now been a détente. The temptation of the moment is to believe that unceasing peace will ensue merely because tired men are determined that there shall be no more war. But international tension will accumulate again, though slowly at first; there was a generation of peace after Waterloo. Who among the diplomats round the Congress table at