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3403 THE TWENTIETH CENTURY-THE GREAT WAR.

toward Turkey, the plains of Mesopotamia, and other Oriental possibilities for

exploitation; and it was no small part of

Servia's offending, that, linked up as she

now was by land to Montenegro, she stood

right athwart the realization of this golden hued ambition.

There were military men in every European state who believed at this time that

the long-impending trial of strength for

domination in Europe, if not in the world,

would not be long delayed. In March,

1913, the new German army bill was announced, increasing the army by 4,000

officers, 15,000 non-commissioned officers,

and 117,000 corporals and privates, besides

27,000 horses, and many airships. The

French replied with their three year law;

while the British were feverishly strengthening their navy, and Russia was increasing

both her army and navy, and was planning

a system of strategic railways on her western front.

Nations, like individuals, are most susceptible to anything that threatens their

weak points; and the Pan-Servian propaganda threatened the Dual Monarchy at

its weakest point-the fact that it was

peopled by a great variety of diverse races.

With Italian subjects in the southwest

anxious to unite themselves to Italy, with

Roumanians in the region of Transylvania secretly eager to be united to Roumania, with Galicians and Austrian Poles

hearkening to the Pan-Slavic movement,

we need not wonder that Francis Joseph

and his Government felt anxious over the

Servian intrigues, which appealed to some

eight or ten millions of the Emperor's

subjects.

Beyond doubt the danger appeared the

more vivid to Francis Joseph and his advisers because of bitter experiences in the

past. Francis Joseph was a very old man.

He had begun to reign in 1848. At that

time his dominions included a large part

of Italy. But there were national aspirations among his Italian subjects, and he

had lived to see some of his richest provinces torn from his grasp and added to those

of an Italian Prince. And here once more

was developing a situation similar in many