Obviously this was unlikely; but for the purpose of stating the ease of Ireland more clearly the conflict was limited, in this outline, to the two great antagonists—England lighting, to retain the mastery of the seas and keep all Europe pent up in an armed camp, Germany fighting for freedom of the seas and to break through the forest of bayonets British policy has created as the surest guarantee against her own dominion of the ocean being successfully challenged .
Once the chief factor governing the conflict is perceived, namely, the British claim to own the seas and to dominate the commercial intercourse of the world, then the cause of Germany becomes the cause of European civilization at large. Germany is fighting the battle of Europe, the battle of free trade, the fight to open the seas of the world.
A German triumph will bring equality of opportunity to all who traverse the seas, and in order to safeguard that new- won freedom Ireland, the Keeper of the Seas for Great Britain must become the Keeper of the Seas for Europe. Such is the object of the German effort: such the possibility and hope to Ireland and the sea nations of a German triumph. A German victory must bring, as one of the surest guarantees of future peace and sea liberty for all an Ireland restored to Europe and erected into a sovereign European State under international guarantees.
England fights as the foe of Europe and the enemy of European civilization. In order to destroy German shipping, German commerce, German industry, she has deliberately plotted the conspiracy we now see at work. The war of 1914 is England's war.
For years she has been planning how she could, without danger to herself, destroy the peaceful menace of German prosperity.