Page:Diplomacy and the War (Andrassy 1921).djvu/38

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OUR WAR MOTIVES

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The Entente began at this period to gain internal strength. In the beginning it was very difficult for the French to accept English friendship, for the agreement with England was preceded by severe humiliation on the part of France in Fashoda, and it was a condition of the Entente that France should give up for ever her policy of Colonial competition against England which she had pursued for several hundred years. The French are more passionate and more vain than the English, and therefore they are unable to forget as easily as their island neighbours. For this reason it was specially important that the Entente should support France on the Morocco question, because by this means French approbation was gained for the new system. England and France signed a military convention which was only to be put into execution if both Governments approved of the casus belli (1905–1906). This agreement was not formally binding, but on the one hand it made their relation more intimate, and on the other hand it implied the co-operation of both powers even in limes of peace. Another consequence of this agreement was also the creation of mutual dependence, and it rendered separation and independent action considerably more difficult.

Italy appears to have declared that she would not fight against France, although she was bound to do so in case of French aggression. France, on the other hand, agreed to allow Italy a free hand in Tripolis. This secret change found public support during the Moroccan crisis, and came to light lo the extent that Italy assumed a similar point of view to the French