Engels in Neue Rheinische Zeitung March 1849

European War Inevitable!

Source: MECW Volume 8, p. 456;
Written: by Engels on March 2, 1849;
First published: in the special supplement to Neue Rheinische Zeitung No. 235, March 2, 1849.

Cologne, March 2. The second sitting of the Second Chamber has produced two not uninteresting results: firstly, that the Right has so far been 21 votes stronger than the Left, not ten as we were informed yesterday; and secondly, the official announcement of the termination of the armistice of Malmö.[368] The latter event naturally leads to a thousand — and — one diplomatic speculations. Thus, the Russian Cabinet is said to have concluded conditionally a mutual defensive and offensive alliance with Denmark; a Russian courier is said to have brought to Berlin the order to resist all possible demands of the Chamber absolutely etc. We shall report tomorrow what is substantiated of these rumours.

We learn from Italy: in Turin Gioberti is definitely dismissed and Chiodo definitely Prime Minister. The Chamber has sanctioned the change of ministry and in agreement with the Ministers has decided on the immediate resumption of the war against Austria.[369] The Austrian expedition to Ferrara gives ample cause for this.

In Tuscany it seems that Laugier’s attempt at reaction is failing completely.[370] The Grand Duke, despairing of his luck, is said to have set sail to his Holy Father in Gaeta.

Apart from the alleged retreat of the Austrians from Ferrara (already reported yesterday by the Wiener Zeitung) there is nothing new from the Roman Republic.

According to the Moniteur du soir, Sicily has proclaimed a republic.[371]

Favourable news beyond all expectation has reached us from Hungary. According to imperial as well as Magyar reports the Magyars have reached Hatvan, three stages from Pest. This victorious advance is the first result of Görgey’s collaboration with the main Magyar army. The Austrians are sending all their troops post-haste towards Hatvan. In a few days a decisive battle will be fought there.[372]

This is the condensed content of the news which arrived this evening. War in Denmark, war in Italy, and more war than ever in Hungary-involvements every one of which would suffice in these times, calamitous for all the existing powers, to engender a European war. That war will come, it must come. It will divide Europe into two armed camps, not according to nations or national sympathies, but according to the level of civilisation. On the one side the revolution, on the other the coalition of all outmoded estate-classes and interests; on the one side civilisation, on the other barbarism. The victory may be tardy but it cannot be in doubt.