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BOOK REVIEWS 1
The Rebuilding of Europe. A Survey of Forces and Conditions. By
David Jayne Hill. New York: Century Co. 1917. pp. x, 289.
Dr. Hill has placed before us in this modest volume an exceedingly complete account of the development of those tendencies which have brought about the present appalling condition of world affairs. In the preface the author frankly states his conviction that "there can be no new world until there is a new Europe, in which the dogma that the state is a licensed brigand is smitten dead — it is this dogma and not any particular form of mere state organization which is the real enemy that must be destroyed.” Later, in Chapter I, entitled “Europe's Heritage of Evil,” he traces the growth of state absolutism, an essentially tribal theory of government as reflected in Machiavelli's writings. Men were perforce led to look "for their safety to the nationstate rather than the solidarity of Christendom; and the state, as Machiavelli's gospel proclaimed it, consisted in absolute and irresponsible control, exercised by one man, who should embody its unity, strength, and authority. Thus began the modern world.” Here we have the suggestion of a system which necessarily posits military force as the basis of international relations. It would appear that it is precisely this theory which has taken so strong a hold upon a portion, at least, of Europe in our own time; nor has the growth and spread of modern democracy altered this fundamental conception. “Today,” our author tells us, "the identity of the sovereign is changed, but not the conception of sovereignty. The people, standing in the place of the sovereign, claim the right of succession to all the royal prerogatives. The national interests have become their interests,- the power, gain and glory of the state are represented to be theirs. Even where it has not entirely superseded the monarch, the nation believes itself to have entered into partnership with him, and the people consider themselves shareholders in the vast enterprise of expanding dominion. Whatever, from an internal and social point of view, the merits or defects of the extension of state functions may be, they are bristling with the
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possibilities of war, and when modern nations engage in it, it is no longer a dynastic adventure, but a people's war."
The author truly tells us that before we consider remedies we must correctly understand the world's situation. "If there is to be a new Europe, it must not look for new forms of organization so much as for a new spirit of action. It must renounce altogether its evil heritage."
Chapter II contains an admirable characterization of international ideals; international law need not fear destruction, however severely assailed or violated. “It will continue to reassert itself, and as public order and state authority appear more necessary after a period of domestic anarchy than they ever did before, international law, after an orgy of violence and atrocity, appeals with new strength to the reason of mankind as something that possesses an inherent claim upon our respect and obedience."
At page 62 Dr. Hill frankly declares that “even peace which leaves unsolved the problems of justice is not a desirable aspiration." Since (page 73) the whole future of civilization turns upon the decision whether the state is to be henceforth a creation of force or a creation of law, it is plain enough that a new conception of the moral obligations of the state as contrasted with individuals must first arise before an effective remedy is reached. Today one of the chief problems confronting the world concerns the attitude to be taken by strong states touching their relation to those that are weaker or, in a political sense, insignificant. In effect, thinks Dr. Hill, much could be accomplished through a combination strong enough on the one hand "to establish a system of legal relations and conciliatory policies, and on the other to render military exploitation an unprofitable and even a dangerous adventure.” (Page 106.)
Chapter V treats of the “Transfiguration of the German Empire” and offers an admirable if brief view of the underlying theory and present development of the German Imperial Government. It would seem to the present writer, however, that the spirit of the imperial system can scarcely be adequately grasped unless we revert to that RomanoGermanic system, whose state conceptions as illustrated in its Reichstag have been handed down in the Bundesrat (Federal Council) of the present Empire.
Indeed, the peculiar system of voting by which Prussia is assigned a fixed preponderance easily marks this unique governing body as an inheritance from older days when each ambitious member of the Reich
strove to augment the vote to which he was entitled by securing, through inheritance, marriage, or conquest, the votes of as many others possessing Reichstandschaft as possible. Here Kur-Brandenburg (Prussia) obtained a position of vantage, with Hanover, the Palatinate, Saxony, Bavaria, and Austria as rivals, Austria being in the lead. It is of interest to note that Prussia was destined to absorb much of Hanover (Brunswick-Lüneburg), Saxony, and the Palatinate (Pfalz), and is now preparing, to all appearance, the absorption of her chief rival of RomanoGermanic days. When the German Bund was formed in 1815 at Vienna, the leading states of the old Empire were given a voting preponderance based on their standing in the former Reichstag, and this scheme passed into the Constitution of the North-German Confederation of 1867, whence it was adopted in 1870 for the present Empire. It thus became an easy matter to claim for Prussia the former federal votes of Hanover, Hessen, Holstein, Nassau, and Frankfort, to which Waldeck has been silently added. Of the Bundesrat, Professor Arndt, the ablest German constitutional text-writer of our day, says: “In any case the rulers (Landesherren) of the individual states retain in undiminished measure their personal sovereignty and all state and international sovereign rights pertaining to it; they participate in the Imperium of the Empire since they are in their totality (also comprising the free cities) the sovereign of the German Empire. (Verfassung des Deutschen Reichs, page 53.)
Lastly, it is to be noted that no measure proposed by the presentday Reichstag can become law without first receiving not merely the Bundesrat's assent but its sanction, this latter term referring to the controlling power of the princely organization which the Federal Council essentially is. It is not to be imagined for a moment that a people which has found its happiness and prosperity for so long under such a system will readily entertain plans of any essentially democratic innovation. Even in the stormy days of 1848–49 the revolutionary constitution of March 28, 1849, proposed as head of the government a Kaiser clothed with power to declare war and conclude peace.
Chapter VI of our work is concerned with international organization, and Dr. Hill well reminds us that a world readjustment as the indispensable sequel to a great war is no new conception, citing (page 175) well-known elaborate but futile plans proposed with such an end in view. Assuredly something more than organization is required. A solution, our author thinks, would lie in the direction of first finding
an acceptable body of world-law supported by judicial decision and enforceable by truly constitutional governments. Still, we are reminded, “There remain, of course, many international questions that cannot be reduced to formulæ of international law or submitted to the decision of judicial tribunals. These are the questions of national policy which every nation must reserve for its own determination." (Page 198.)
The problems are many, and it would appear difficult at the moment to propose any final solution not open to serious criticism, or easily seen to be impracticable in its ultimate working efficiency.
Europe at the outbreak of the present war presented a truly extraordinary complex of governments great and small. What is to be the fate of the neutralized territories, once thought so secure under the ægis of international law? Perhaps the least known of such territories is that of neutral Moresnet lying between the Belgian and German frontiers not far from Aix-la-Chapelle and dowered with a fatal wealth of mines. It was the first district to be occupied by the advancing German arms in August, 1914, although its neutrality had been solemnly sanctioned by Prussia and the Netherlands, June 26, 1816.
Must we not, in truth, if seeking an effective world-arrangement when peace finally comes, and even long prior to that, fix our thoughts upon those deeper problems which concern the mainsprings of all human action? Not, indeed, until both individual men and governments of all political complexions determine, to align themselves with the principles of eternal justice and a recognition of the undeniable fellowship of mankind can any lasting basis of settlement be reached.
Dr. Hill's book is worthy the attention of all readers who would clearly grasp present-day world problems. It is an admirable introduction to a subject that must commend itself to every intelligent man.
GORDON E. SHERMAN.
The Monroe Doctrine: An Interpretation. By Albert Bushnell Hart.
Boston: Little, Brown and Company. 1916. pp. xiv, 445, including map, bibliography, and index.
A library of no small proportions and no mean quality could easily be assembled from the writings — books, monographs, pamphlets, not to mention articles in the periodical and daily press - by authors of various nationalities, countries and races, representing North and
South Americas, Europe, and Asia, about this most important fundamental doctrine of American foreign policy and diplomacy. The subject is perennial, and the flood of literature that flows around it is so constant that no especial apology is needed for only one more volume, particularly when its laudable purpose is to throw light into the darkness of alien interpretations and to bring order into the chaos and confusion of mind that unreasonably, but not inexplicably, seem to master especially the European and Asiatic whenever he speaks or writes about this subject. Many of these foreign, and some domestic, speakers whom it has been the reviewer's lot to hear, profess a childlike ignorance of what the doctrine really is, liberally asserting this both for themselves and for the rest of humanity, including the Americans. Their purpose is not far to seek; namely, disparagement, and even in some instances ridicule, of the Monroe Doctrine and in fact of our whole policy toward Latin-America and the Caribbean and towards such parts of North America as we compliment with any conscious policy.
We have here an unquestionably valuable book from a well-known teacher, editor, and author of historical and political works many and good. He is a welcome commentator on the “Doctrine," and he speaks from a wealth of experience in the study of American history and government that not only makes interesting and profitable reading, but such as commands respect by an apparent weight of authority that impresses the reader. It will be questioned by many of these, however, after they have read the work in its entirety, whether many of the observations and views expressed by the author himself are in any true sense authoritative as distinguished from mere personal opinion. The main thesis of the book, if not in fact both its major premise and conclusion, is that the Monroe Doctrine as such does not exist; that the doctrine called by that name was in reality chiefly the John Quincy Adams doctrine, and that even this was short-lived and merely temporary in effect on our real policies; that the various doctrines labeled with the name “Monroe,” including those which subsist up to the present time, have practically as little to do with “Jimmy” Monroe and his name as with “Chimmie Fadden.”
In Part I of the volume the author admits that a doctrine in our policy toward Latin-America existed and was officially stated, whether it is entitled to the name of one man or another, or more than one. In Parts II and III he discusses the growth of American relations and