Page:Diplomacy and the War (Andrassy 1921).djvu/25

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18

DIPLOMACY AND THE WAR

A few years later, Great Britain changed her policy considerably. She abandoned the policy of Pitt and Wellington, for which Palmerston started a war, and for which Beaconsfield was prepared to bring new sacrifices, and which was also approved of by Salisbury. The Empress of India, the protector of the Suez Canal, the greatest Mohammedan power, pursued a course which led her to the treaty by which Constantinople was to be left to the care of the Czar. British blood was spilt in order to destroy that powerful position which had been defended and built up by Englishmen.

How can such a change of policy be explained, especially in view of the general tenacity to tradition consistently displayed by England? The change is explained by the fact that Germany had altered, in the meantime, very considerably; internally she had developed enormous strength, and her aims had changed. Her economic forces, her exports and imports, grew rapidly, and emigration ceased. Germany's mercantile strength also became very much enlarged.

Bismarck had known more modest and more difficult times; he had served the King of Prussia, who did not cherish such far-reaching ambitions. In spite of his extraordinary political successes, his activity as a statesman, even after the foundation of the Empire, was marked by caution. As the leader of the new Empire, he never for a moment overlooked the danger of Germany's political and military position in the centre of Europe. He was continually afraid of foreign alliances. The Iron Chancellor did not dare to pursue