A Popular History of The Great War/Volume 1/Page 28

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THE WORLD DRIFT TO WAR


concert was in tune for intervention, though, as a matter of course, he then accepted the paper schema of reforms submitted by the Powers, which as usual failed to materialise. Next came the revolt of Crete, bent on escaping from Moslem sovereignty and on joining herself to the Greek kingdom. Greece answered the call of Crete and sent a force to the island. The concert intervened. A joint squadron arrived at Canea, bringing peremptory orders that the fighting was to stop, that the Greeks were to withdraw and no more Turkish troops were to be landed, and the orders were perforce obeyed. But the Greeks lost their heads and invaded Thessaly, whence they were decisively ejected by the Turkish troops.

To deny the right of the Turks, in the circumstances, to demand rectifications of the Thessaly frontier was impossible; but the Powers — without Germany and Austria, who refused to cooperate — required from Turkey autonomy for Crete under their joint supervision, with a Greek prince as governor. In Crete, Greek patriotism centred in the future minister, Venizelos. But with Abdul Hamid German influence was supreme, though a Young Turk party, a Turkish nationalist party, was now coming into being with a programme of its own which was not favourable to the khalif, who in the last twenty years had lost for Islam effective sovereignty in Cyprus, Egypt, Rumelia, Bosnia and finally Crete. The party's existence, however, was as yet unsuspected. The accord of Germany and the Porte bore significant fruit in 1902, in the authorisation a German railway to Basra and Bagdad, which would give the Germans their first foothold in the Middle East.

In the Far East Japan had passed through a period of thorough reorganization on western models, and the scramble for penetration bases in China had begun after a quarrel over Korea had shown how powerless China was to stand up to the growing might of Japan.

The war between China and Japan took place in 1894-95, and when it was over Europe intervened, forbade Japan to reap the fruits of her victory, and the Powers were duly rewarded by China for their intervention; Russia in concessions for the railway she was carrying across Serbia to Vladivostok, France in the neighbourhood of Tonkin, Germany at Tientsin — arrangements which made an ultimate collision between Russia and Japan certain, unless Japan should give way to Russia. Germany,

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