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  The Angel Of The Revolution George Chetwynd Griffith

"And On Earth Peace!"

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The winter and summer of 1905 passed in unbroken tranquillity all over Europe and the English-speaking world. The nations, at last utterly sickened of bloodshed by the brief but awful experience of the last six months of 1904, earnestly and gladly accepted the new order of things. From first to last of the war the slaughter had averaged more than a million of fighting men a month and fully five millions of non-combatants, men, women, and children, had fallen victims to famine and disease, or had been killed during the wholesale destruction of fortified towns by the war-balloons of the League. At the lowest calculation the invasion of England had cost four million lives.

It was an awful butcher's bill, and when the peoples of Europe awoke from the delirium of war to look back upon the frightful carnival of death and destruction, and realise that all this desolation and ruin had come to pass in little more than seven months, so deep a horror of war and all its abominations possessed them that they hailed with delight the safeguards provided against it by the new European Constitution which was made public at the end of March.

It was a singularly short and simple document considering the immense changes which it introduced. It contained only five clauses. Of these the first proclaimed the supremacy of the Anglo-Saxon Federation in all matters of international policy, and set forth the penalties to be incurred by any State that made war upon another.

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The second constituted an International Board of Arbitration and Control, composed of all the Sovereigns of Europe and their Prime Ministers for the time being, with the new President of the United States, the Governor-General of Canada, and the President of the now federated Australasian Colonies. This Board was to meet in sections every year in the various capitals of Europe, and collectively every five years in London, Paris, Berlin, Vienna, Rome, and New York in rotation. There was no appeal from its decision save to the Supreme Council of the Federation, and this appeal could only be made with the consent of the President of that Council, given after the facts of the matter in dispute had been laid before him in writing

The third clause dealt with the rearrangement of the European frontiers. The Rhine from Karlsruhe to Basle was made the political as well as the natural boundary between France and Germany. The ancient kingdom of Poland was restored, with the frontiers it had possessed before the First Partition in 1773, and a descendant of Kosciusko elected by the votes of the adult citizens of the reconstituted kingdom, was placed upon the throne. Turkey in Europe ceased to exist as a political power. Constantinople was garrisoned by British and Federation troops, and the country was administered for the time being by a Provisional Government under the presidency of Lord Cromer, who was responsible only to the Supreme Council. The other States were left undisturbed.

The fourth and fifth clauses dealt with land, property, and law. All tenures of land existing before the war were cancelled at a stroke, and the soil of each country was declared to be the sole and inalienable property of the State. No occupiers were disturbed who were turning the land to profitable account, or who were making use of a reasonable area as a residential estate; but the great landowners in the country and the ground landlords in the towns ceased to exist as such, and all private incomes derived from the rent of land were declared illegal and so forfeited.

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The Angel Of The Revolution
George Chetwynd Griffith

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