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CHAPTER IX.

 

THE GREAT WAR.

A Century   It happened that in the early part of the

of Peace. year 1914 the minds of many Canadians and Americans were especially occupied with thoughts of peace. They pointed with pride to the fact that the long international boundary line between the two countries was undefended by a single fort; that no armed vessel might sail the Great bakes, and that, despite occasions when the United States and Canada had almost come to blows, the peace between them had never actually been broken for over ninety-nine years. The two nations were indeed looking forward to a speedy and joyous celebration of a " Century of Peace."

The Crash   Suddenly, before the Peace Centenary came

of War. round, one of these friendly neighbours was plunged—in common with all other countries belonging to the British Empire—into the turmoil and excitement of a war which, though being waged at a distance of thousands of miles from her shores, threatened her national existence and the liberties of every land beneath the sun. For long years Germany had been preparing her armies, her fleet, her people and everything she possessed for " the Day "—of expected conquest. She seized upon an excuse for war, arising out of a quarrel between Austria, one of her allies, and Serbia, accentuated by the assassination of the heir to the Austrian throne, the Archduke Frederick, and instigated Austria to make demands upon Serbia to which no self-respecting nation could accede.. In vain Russia, France and

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