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DIPLOMACY AND THE WAR

England and the realization of the desire to reduce British predominance on the sea; but there was never any real question of attacking England. Germany proceeded to devote herself to this task with her usual thoroughness and power, so that she would have endangered England's security, which would have altered the position she had occupied in the world automatically.

Under William II Germany gradually acquired a position such as England had never permitted any State to acquire hitherto. And why should England make an exception in the case of Germany? Germany was not as dangerous for England as, for instance, the Catholic Philip II, King of Spain, or Louis XIV, Protector of the Stuarts, or Napoleon, all of whom had ruled the coastline opposite to England, or, if they did not control it, they had intended to subjugate it. At the same time, Germany's power and position was such that it is easily intelligible that England made every effort to defend herself against Germany. Great Britain did not succeed in coming to an agreement with Germany, and, I believe, chiefly on account of Germany's policy, which did not trust the possibility or the honesty of an English alliance, and which preferred to approach Russia. In view of this, it was only natural that England made every effort to be on friendly terms with her other rivals, in order to be unfettered in case England and Germany should meet in combat. England was spurred on to pursue a new policy on account of the fact that Germany's position