EUGENIE [Marie-Eugénie-Ignace-Augustine de Montijo] (1826-1920), ex-Empress of the French (see 9.885). During the World War she turned her home at Farnborough into a military hospital. She followed with intense sympathy the fluctuating fortunes of France, and lived to see the injustice of 1871 corrected by the Treaty of Versailles. She died on July n 1920 at Madrid, while on a visit to her nephew, the Duke of Alva. A few days previously she had undergone an operation for cataract, and succumbed to an attack of uraemia.
EUROPE (see 9.922). In deab'ng with the general European situation during the years which intervened between 1909 and the outbreak of the World War, the historian is faced with the fact that the importance of this period lies in the conclusion. Always there is before us the problem: was the war with which it terminated the inevitable outcome of deep-seated causes, or was it an avoidable result of demonstrable blunders and crimes? A consideration of this problem makes it necessary to revert briefly to previous events. Much which in 1910 was obscure has been elucidated by later publications; much which was then a conjecture or hypothesis has been verified; and much which could then only be tentatively suggested can now be frankly said.
The Triple Alliance. The chief characteristic of the first years of the 2oth century is the rivalry of the two political groups into which Europe was divided. As we can now see, the establish- ment of the Triple Entente (England, France, Russia) was a necessary and inevitable counterweight to the Triple Alliance (Germany, Austria and Italy) ; for this latter alliance, so long as it stood alone, gave to Germany a preponderance upon the con- tinent of Europe so great as to be a permanent check on the free diplomatic activities of other states, and possibly a danger to their independence. It is true that the original alliance between Germany and Austria in 1879 had been a method of maintaining peace and securing the status quo. At that time Germany under Bismarck was, as he said, a satiated state; all that it required was time and peace for the development of its internal resources. In order to secure this he had built up an extraordinarily com- plicated system of alliances and agreements. We have first the original Austro-German Alliance of 1879, which was repeatedly re- newed and remained in force until the outbreak of the World War. This treaty, which was published in 1881 in an incomplete form, bound the two empires to help each other in case it was attacked by Russia; if either was attacked by a third Power, the other was to observe at least a benevolent neutrality, and if the attacking Power was supported by Russia, then to come to the assistance of its ally. Side by side with this treaty of mutual defence against Russia, in 1881 Germany and Austria entered into an alliance with Russia, the chief point of which was a mutual engagement to act together in all Balkan matters. This treaty was renewed in 1884 for three years. It lapsed in 1887, and for it was substituted the " Reinsurance Treaty " between Germany and Russia alone, by which each party agreed to maintain benevolent neutrality towards the other in case of a war with a third Power. This was not to apply in the case of a war against Austria or France if this resulted from an attack against one of these latter Powers by one of the parties to the treaty. In addition, Germany recognized the rights historically acquired by Russia in the Balkan Peninsula, and particularly the legitimacy of her preponderant and decisive influence in Bulgaria and in Eastern Rumelia. There was to be no modification of the territorial status quo in the Balkans without previous agreement and the principle of the closing of the Straits was reaffirmed. This lapsed in 1891; Caprivi is reported to have said that it was too complicated for him. Meanwhile, in 1882, the Triple Alliance
was arranged between Austria, Germany and Italy, the essential point of which was that Germany and Austria were bound to come to the assistance of Italy if she was attacked by France, and similarly, Italy to come to the assistance of her allies if either of them was attacked or engaged in a war with two or more Great Powers; a special protocol stated that this treaty could not in any case be regarded as being directed against Eng- land. In 1883 Rumania, by a separate treaty with Austria, to which afterwards Germany and Italy adhered, became attached to the group, the allies binding themselves to defend Rumania if she was attacked. The text of this'treaty was kept strictly secret; it was a personal act of the King of Rumania, and was communi- cated to no one except the prime minister. In 1887 the Triple Alliance was renewed and extended, the two German Powers now undertaking to support Italian interests in North Africa, both in Tripoli and Morocco; these clauses included an undertaking to support Italy in any action that she might take to safeguard her position, even to war with France. In 1891 the third treaty of the Triple Alliance reasserted in a strengthened form the Mediterra- nean obligations to Italy; a very important clause (VII.) deter- mined that every advantage, territorial or other, obtained either by Austria or by Italy in the Balkans should be based on the principle of reciprocal compensations.
These four Powers formed a coherent group, but to it other states were more loosely attached. In 1887, when there were cordial relations between the British and the German Govern- ments, Lord Salisbury, by an exchange of notes, came to an agreement with Italy and Austria to maintain the status quo in all the eastern waters of the Mediterranean, while Italy under- took to support Great Britain in Egypt; Great Britain on her side expressing her intention to support the action of Italy in North Africa. There was also an agreement between Italy and Spain as to Morocco, and at this time Serbia also was attached by a separate treaty to Austria.
We see that this very elaborate structure of treaties and agreements was really approximating to a general European system into which in one form or another there were brought Austria, Italy, Rumania, Spain, Serbia, Great Britain, and even Russia; the whole object was the isolation of France, and it served its purpose of securing to -Germany full and peaceful enjoyment of all that she had gained by the war of 1870-1. The extension of this system to the Mediterranean was advantageous to Great Britain in so far as it tended to strengthen her positipn in Egypt. The pivot was Germany and the centre of gravity was the German army; this it was which held the whole together. It was a system in which Europe could acquiesce only so long as the policy of Germany was passive; a reaction must inevitably arise if Germany began a policy of active expansion. With the accession of a new emperor and the resignation of Bismarck, the Triple Alliance, while unchanged in form, acquired a new mean- ing. The period of rest and recuperation in Germany was over, and the new empire, conscious of its strength, began to stretch out with great ambitions towards the other quarters of the globe. The immense growth of German wealth, the skill with which the mineral and agricultural resources were developed, and the expansion of manufactures naturally led to an extension of foreign trade. German agents, supported by German bankers, were to be found in every part of the world; there was a great development of maritime shipping, and this naturally led to the acquisition of extra-European dependencies and the extension of political interests. The first years of the new Emperor's reign appear a tentative experiment; with the appointment of Herr (afterwards Count and then Prince) von Billow, first as Foreign Secretary and afterwards as Chancellor, the new tendencies became the deliberate and conscious policy of the German Government. It was inevitable, even with the best possible intentions, that numerous causes of friction should arise with other nations, and especially with Great Britain, for there was no part of the world (except perhaps South America) in which the expansion of German influence did not touch British interests.
Franco-Russian Alliance. Germany could embark with full confidence on this great policy of expansion just because her