Thursday, November 05, 2015

Today -100: November 5, 1915: She stands in friendly relation with all the world

The Greek government falls. Someone was rude to the war minister in parliament, and he stormed out. When he returned, the opposition leader said he needed to apologize, the prime minister said he didn’t and he’d would resign if parliament insisted on one, which is what happens. The real cause is the same one behind the collapse of the other 83 Greek governments (approx.) this year: the king’s insistence on keeping Greece out of the war against the wishes of the majority of the Greek people.

Woodrow Wilson explains his plans to increase, very modestly, the training of “civilian soldiers.” “We have it in mind to be prepared, but not for war, but only for defense... No thoughtful man feels any panic haste in this matter. The country is not threatened from any quarter. She stands in friendly relation with all the world.” The NYT transcript of the speech provides our Typo of the Day -100: “But we feel justified in preparing ourselves to vindicate our right to independent and unmolested action by making the farce that is in us ready for assertion.”

In their newspaper Britannia (renamed from The Suffragette last month), Christabel and Emmeline Pankhurst attack the government, and Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey in particular, for “betraying” Serbia. Christabel writes that Serbia is the keeper of the gate of the British Empire, whatever that means, and a “free Slav nation, untouched by German influence.” Britannia’s harsh – and I mean harsh – attacks on politicians and military leaders like Grey and Lord Haldane and Sir William Robertson for being insufficiently warlike or even traitorous resulted in the paper being raided and seized more often than The Suffragette was before the war.

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