The world of 1914, as we see it now, reminds us of Humpty Dumpty. Having climbed upon its wall with difficulty, to keep from being involved in every petty quarrel between nations and coalitions, the world had somehow managed to sit there for a hundred years. The status quo was revised here and there occasionally by violence. But the violence did not set back the hands of the clock, defy economic laws, or, with the exception of Alsace-Lorraine, make for international political instability. The developments of the nineteenth century were a logical growth, the result of the working out of economic laws, which means that thoughtful men and strong men led virile national groups successfully because they knew how to adapt their foreign policies to, and shape them by, changing political, economic, and social world conditions.None was satisfied with Humpty Dumpty, but, for fear of the consequences, all bolstered him up and steadied him whenever he showed signs of toppling. When he did fall, the first dismay gave way to rejoicing. Now was our chance to make him over again into what we wanted him to be.
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