Germany. Much the same disproportion of resources exists as lay between Rome and Carthage.
England relies on money, Germany on men. And just as Roman men beat Carthagian mercenaries, so must German manhood, in the end, triumph over British finance. Just as Carthage in the hours of final shock, placing her gold where Romans put their gods, and never with a soul above her ships, fell before the people of United Italy, so shall the mightier Carthage of the North Seas, in spite of trade, shipping, colonies, the power of the purse and the hired valor of the foreigner (Irish, Indian, African), go down before the men of United Germany.
But if the military triumph of Germany seems thus likely, the ultimate assurance, nay even the ultimate safety of German civilization can only be secured by a statesmanship which shall not repeat the mistake of Louis XIV and Napoleon. The military defeat of England by Germany is a wholly possible achievement of arms, if the conflict be between these two alone, but to realize the economic and political fruits of that victory, Ireland must be detached from the British Empire. To leave a defeated England still in the full possession of Ireland would be, not to settle the question of German equal rights at sea or in world affairs, but merely to postpone the settlement to a second and possibly far greater encounter. It would be somewhat as if Rome, after the first Punic War had left Sicily still to Carthage. But Ireland is far more vital to England than Sicily was to Carthage, and is of far more account to the future of Europe on the ocean than the possession of Sicily was to the future of the Mediterranean.
If Germany is to permanently profit from a victory over England, she must free the narrow seas, not only by the defeat of British fleets in being, but by ensuring that those seas shall not again be closed by British fleets