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
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