great achievements in engineering
Great imaginings having to do with
the speed of light and the
true nature of mass were woven
into our sense of existence and
described to all using the strange
language of numbers.
The final folly of monarchical rule was acted out
following the murder of the Austro-Hungarian Archduke.
One after the other the reigning powers of the
nineteenth century found themselves at war
with one another for reasons no more compelling
than fulfilling contractual obligations
of one's alliance.
Empires collapsed as war brought an end
to an old order that had long ruled Europe.
Four years of carnage, starvation and other
war-related deprivations spread political
instability through much of the continent.
Compromise in the resulting peace settlement
was made impossible by the scale of sacrifice
suffered by the victorious western allies.
Blame need be set. The defeated should pay.
France could never feel safe sharing
their border with a strong Germany.
Security against future attacks would
require crushing the German state.
There must be a balance of power among
the nations of Europe if war is to be avoided.
Peace is maintained so long as there is
a near-equality in strength between two
opposing forces in a faceoff.
Morality is not the overriding concern.
The League of Nations is to act as
the World's court - rendering the verdict
as to which party has broken the peace.
All nations will rise united in opposition
to the nation guilty of aggression against
Following the First World War New York
became the world's financial capitol.
Wall Street's crash reverberated about
the globe, helping to bring down
struggling democracies in both
Germany and Japan.
© Tom Taylor