Page:The Bohemian Review, vol1, 1917.djvu/55

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The Bohemian Review

son there can be no conviction unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court. The same is true as to due process of law and ex post facto laws. These constitutional provisions are now so firmly imbedded in the scheme of Anglo-American jurisprudence that we do not think much about them and accept them and their results as a matter of course. It is true that as to due process of law under our constitution this provision has probably been rather unduly extended to apply to matters that originally were not within its purview; but it is equally true that this clause, as well as the others referred to, to a large degree mark the difference between the milepost on the highway to real democracy reached by English-speaking peoples and the progress made by some continental countries. In fact, the difference between English-speaking countries and Austria is one between democracy and an Oriental despotism.

Germany’s Partner in Crime.

On the very day when Germany proclaimed its intention of destroying every ship found by its submarines in certain areas of the open ocean, the new Austro-Hungarian ambassador, Count Adam Tarnowski, arrived in New York. Through the successive stages of the growing enmity between Germany and the United States—break of relations, blowing up of English ships with loss of American lives, destruction of American ships with warning and without warning, ships with contraband and legitimate merchandise and in ballast, while America announced armed neutrality and waited for another overt act—the nobleman from Austria was cooling his heels in Washington, an ambassador to the United States and yet not an ambassador, properly accredited to our government, but unable to obtain presentation to the President and formal recognition by the State Department. The newspapers and the public forgot him, just as they forgot Austria and ignored the fact that Austria-Hungary is a partner in Germany’s iniquity as well as in its military and naval campaigns.

America is divided from Europe by three thousand miles of water, and what happens in Europe is seen here as from a distance, the most prominent features only and not the details, however important. Not that America lacked the means to obtain a true and accurate view of the right and wrong of the struggle or how the blame should be apportioned and what the relations were between Germany and its partners. But the might of Germany, its military and economic efficiency, its unprecedented frightfulness and barbarism so dominated the American horizon that few people here appreciated the share of the Hapsburg Empire in all the schemes and plans and crimes of Germany.

The attitude of the American people toward Austria-Hungary was one of good-natured contempt. Contempt, because of the defeats of Austrian armies by both Russia and Serbia, because it was known that German receivership saved the bankrupt empire from complete defeat. But contemptible as Austria proved itself in more ways than one, it is still Germany’s chief support. For it must not be forgotten that the monarchy on the Danube covers an area considerably larger than that of Germany and that it has fifty-two million people as against Germany’s seventy. It possesses important industrial provinces which produce a large share of the immense stores of ammunition used by the Teuton armies, and the Skoda guns have earned a reputation superior even to that of the Krupps. Nor should one forget that Austria-Hungary is more of an agricultural state than Germany and that the produce of the weaker empire has been used to supplement the rations of Germany’s industrial population. Without Austria’s resources in men and supplies Kaiser William could not sustain a war on two fronts for three years.

The contempt for Austria was rather good-natured. Poor old Francis Joseph was dragged into the war unwillingly; Austria is merely a tool of Germany and should not be held to strict responsibility for the sins of its domineering partner. Such views do not agree with the facts of the case. After all the general war was brought on by Austria’s aggression against Serbia. The murder of Francis Ferdinand by Austrian subjects of the Serbian race, a murder welcome to the ruling clique of Vienna, was