Page:Democratic Ideals and Reality (1919).djvu/35

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23
SOCIAL MOMENTUM

Bismarck foresaw a time when Prussia might need the alliance of Austria. In 1871, after Sedan and the Siege of Paris, Bismarck yielded to the pressure of the military party, and took Lorraine as well as Alsace.

The great Chancellor had, in truth, what the Prussian, as a rule, lacks, an insight into the minds of other nations than his own. His methods were psychological by preference. Once he had achieved German unity under Prussia, he waged no more wars. Yet he accomplished great things—for a time he ruled Europe—and his method was no mere exploitation of military prestige. At the Berlin Congress of 1878 he secured the occupation of the provinces of Bosnia and Herzegovina for Austria, and thereby deepened the rivalry of Austria and Russia in the Balkan Peninsula. At the same Berlin Congress he privately incited France to occupy Tunis, and when France presently effected that occupation, Italy, as he foresaw, was sharply wounded. The Dual Alliance with Austria followed in 1879, and the Triple Alliance with Austria and Italy in 1881. It was as though he had sent his sheep-dog round his flock to drive his sheep to him. By subtleties of the same order he antagonised France and Britain, and also Britain and Russia. So, too, did he