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3805 THE TWENTIETH CENTURY-THE GREAT WAR.

under-water offensive. The Russian revolution and the ultimate collapse of that

power upset the Allied plan for a concerted

offensive and presently enabled the Central

Powers to transfer most of their military

resources from Eastern to Western theaters

of war. The adhesion of the United States,

Greece, Brazil, China, and other neutral

nations to the Allied cause "widened the war

itself from a battle for the liberty of small

nations and the defense of public right in

Europe into a world-wide struggle for the

triumph of a free civilization and democratic government."

From the beginning of the war, the Allies

had sought in every legitimate way to

distress the Central Powers. Some account

of the blockade has already been given.

Pressure was put upon the neutral states

around Germany to prevent them from

sending food and other articles to that

country. The Allies never succeeded to any

considerable extent in preventing Sweden

from exporting iron ore to Germany, but

exports of food from neighboring neutrals

were greatly curtailed. For example, the

export of herrings from Holland to Germany

was reduced from 100,659 tons in 1915 to

15,898 tons in 1916; the agricultural produce

exports were reduced from 287,820 tons for

the first six months of 1916 to 58,114 tons for

the first six months of 1917; while the

exports of cattle were reduced from 33,332

head in the first six months of 1916 to no

exports at all in the first six months of 1917.

However, the neutral states adjoining

Germany were in deadly terror of being

treated as Belgium had been, and were often

frightened into furnishing goods to the ogre.

Furthermore, Holland, for example, was

largely dependent upon Germany for coal,

and was forced to make concessions to

obtain it. Even when the neutrals entered

into agreements with the Allies regarding

withholding supplies from Germany, it was

difficult to live up to the agreements, for