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3682 UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE MODERN WORLD.

compelled many of the inhabitants to

labor on fortifications, sometimes even

under fire. These things were directly

contrary to the laws of war, and drew

protests not only from the Entente nations

but from many neutral countries, but without avail. As was well said, the Germans

cared nothing for the opinion of the world,

if they could only terrorize it.

In the hope of winning the support of

the Poles, the Central Powers, early in

November, 1916, published a manifesto

promising autonomy to the conquered

Polish provinces under the name of the

Kingdom of Poland. A few of the Poles

fell in with the scheme, but most viewed

the manifesto with suspicion. Critics of

the plan pointed out that the details

were vague and that the Polish provinces

of Austria and Prussia were not joined

with the new state.

Efforts to recruit a Polish army for service against the Entente yielded only a few

volunteers.

CHAPTER CLXXXIII- AMERICA ENTERS THE WAR.

THE Roumanian fiasco

caused much heart burning and dissatisfaction in Allied countries and produced important governmental

changes. It was felt

in both France and

England that the bodies in charge of the

conduct of the war were too big and

cumbersome, and agitation began for the

establishment of small war councils possessing extraordinary powers. In France

such a council was established composed

of five men. Some changes were made

in the Cabinet, and it was about this

time that General Nivelle was made

active commander in chief of the armies

in France. General Sarrail remained in

command of the army at Salonica. In the

following March, another political crisis

resulted in the resignation of the Briand

Cabinet and the formation of a new one

headed by Alexander Ribot.

In Great Britain critics of the Government, in particular the newspapers controlled by Lord Northcliffe, had long been

urging greater energy and quicker decision

in the management of the war. One of

these newspapers asserted that the Government consisted of "twenty-three men who

can never make up their minds." In

a history-making editorial headed "The

Limpets, a National Danger," the London

Daily Mail declared that the chief characteristic of the "twenty-three is indecision.

There are at this moment no fewer than

seven questions urgently waiting to be

decided. Most of them have been 'under

consideration by the twenty-three for

weeks or even months. Energy, promptitude, speed are indispensable for success

in war. Time has to-day a surpassing

value. But our 'Government,' though

it has more than 100 committees endeavoring to make up its mind for it, can never

decide. It just waits till the press and

the Germans have done something which

forces it to decide in a hurry-and too

late....

"Mr. Lloyd George alone shows foresight and courage. We, the nation, look

to him to end this tragedy, for it is a

tragedy that these appalling blunderers

should be in control of our affairs at this

time."

The manner in which men of all shades

of opinion turned in this hour of Britain's

trial to the son of the Welsh schoolmaster will ever remain one of the most interesting episodes in history. As the exponent

of democracy and forward causes, David

Lloyd George had been the most hated

man in all Britain, and probably few even

of his admirers, in the days when he was

striving to introduce fiscal reforms and

diminish the power of the House of Lords,

realized that he possessed abilities fitted

for such a crisis as this. Yet as Chancellor

of the Exchequer at the outbreak of the