part of Europe is more truly interesting than Scandinavia, the home
of the three northern nations, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. The closer
we observe them the greater becomes their significance. This is not,
perhaps, apparent to the casual eye. These nations do not often appear
in the limelight. Their doings are seldom good newspaper copy. Foreign
press dispatches tend to deal with the sensational and the ominous-political
crises, falling currencies, threats of revolution, war rumors, and
is a troubled place these days, and, taken as a whole, the outlook
is far, from bright. Yet here and there we do find bright spots, and
the brightest of these is undoubtedly Scandinavia. On the northern
rim of a Europe rent by political and social dissensions, threatened
with economic collapse, and menaced by next wars, there stands a group
of peoples who are strikingly free from such troubles. Stable, moderately
but consistently prosperous, threatened neither by domestic convulsions
nor by foreign foes, here are countries worth investigating.
the closer we look the more interesting do they become. We find the
Scandinavian countries what they are to-day, not through sheer good
luck, but through wise policy and intelligent action. These countries
had to face many of the difficulties and temptations that have beset
their European fellows. The difference is that instead of making a
mess of things, as has happened elsewhere, the Scandinavian peoples
have dealt with their troubles coolly and constructively, and are
solving them in a peaceful, satisfactory fashion.
is, in fact, the key to Scandinavians present good fortune. The Scandinavian
peoples to-day stand admittedly on a high plane. They are well to
the forefront among the truly progressive, civilized nations of the
earth. In every field of human endeavor they are active, and they
are keenly alive to all the intellectual, social, and artistic movements
of our time.
how does all this come about? How do the Scandinavians get that way?
The answer is: not by luck, but by using their brains. Nature certainly
did not endow the Scandinavian countries with the resources that we
are apt to think of as necessary to highly flourishing peoples. Scandinavia
is naturally poor, with a cold climate and comparatively little fertile
soil. Without unusually intelligent, energetic inhabitants, Scandinavia
would have been backward, thinly populated, and generally insignificant.
just the opposite has happened. Small though these countries are compared
with the big nations of the world, they are universally respected
and their independence is secure. They are solidly prosperous. Placed
though they are in a semibankrupt, distracted Europe, they are stable
and peaceful. Faced though they are by serious problems, they are
learning by past errors and are in a fair way to solve them.
last fact is the most important point of the whole matter. The Scandinavian
peoples have in the past made bad blunders, for which they have paid
dearly. But they have profited by their mistakes and they are learning
to avoid such mistakes in the future. That is where they happily differ
from other peoples, who either continue to make the same old mistakes
without any serious effort to stop or, grown impatient at their consequent
misfortunes, try to cure these by quack remedies and short cuts to
some emotional millennium.
Scandinavian peoples, however, rarely let their emotions run away
with them. They usually keep their feet on the ground, stick to their
common sense, and think things through. The result is that they usually
evolve a method of dealing with the particular difficulty in question
which proves to be a real step forward. It may not , look especially
brilliant and it does not get. big newspaper headlines. But it stays
put and doesn't have to be undone.
one notable instance of the way in which the Scandinavian peoples
have dealt constructively with a great problem -- the problem of war.
War is undoubtedly one of the chief perils to modern civilization.
The last war almost ruined Europe, yet already the next war hangs
like a thundercloud on the political horizon. And Europe is not the
only continent thus threatened. Other parts of the world, are menaced
by strife between nations or are scourged with those internal wars
known as revolutions. It is one of our proudest boasts that we English-speaking
peoples of the United States and the British Empire are a unique exception
to the rule; that we stand
forth as a group of peoples between whom war has become lot merely
unlikely but impossible.
when we turn to Scandinavia we discover another group of peoples between
whom war has become practically unthinkable. And this is a noteworthy
triumph of conscious intelligence, because neither by temperament,
tradition, nor outward circumstances has such a state of affairs automatically
come about. The Scandinavians are certainly not pacifists by nature.
On the contrary, the old viking blood runs strongly in their veins.
Several times during their history the Scandinavians were the terror
of Europe. Furthermore, they have never fought
so fiercely as when fighting among themselves. Scandinavia's past
history has been largely a record of bloody internecine wars. In fact,
these wars have been Scandinavia's chief stumbling-block to political
power. Had the Scandinavians united instead of wasting their strength
in fratricidal conflicts, they would probably to-day form one of the
great nations of the earth. Instead of this, the Scandinavian peoples
by their disunion not only lost to more powerful neighbors many lands
once belonging to them but also raised between themselves barriers
of hatred that tended to drive them still further asunder and made
common action extremely difficult.
less intelligent peoples this state of things might have gone on indefinitely.
That is precisely what has happened among the Balkan peoples, for
example, who, having fought each other for centuries, hate each other
ferociously and are quite ready to fight again. Not so the Scandinavian
peoples. "Profiting by the lessons of the past, they have buried
old feuds and have learned
to settle their differences without war, and even without bitterness.
The task has not been easy, for during the past twenty years alone
they have been divided by differences so serious that among other
peoples war or at least lasting rancor, would have been inevitable.
It is a true triumph of Scandinavian intelligence that not only has
war been avoided but the way in which these disputes have been settled
has actually led to increased sympathy and closer cooperation. When
we come to view in detail events like the separation of Norway and
Sweden and the grant by Denmark of practical independence to Iceland,
we can better appreciate their deep significance.
this connection let us further note that these problems have been
solved spontaneously as they arose. No. elaborate machinery of conciliation
had been erected beforehand to deal with them. No arbitration tribunal,
no league, no loss of sovereignty was involved. When the dispute arose,
the disputants met one another frankly and decided to sit down and
talk matters over. They conducted the discussion like well-bred gentlemen,
kept their tempers, avoided rows, and ultimately agreed on a settlement
that was lasting and that formed the basis of increasing friendship
for the future. How many other nations in this troubled world of ours
can say the same?
such a .record of constructive achievement, it is clear that the Scandinavian
peoples well merit our close attention. Let us, then, see more in
detail what are these Scandinavian lands and what sort of people are
consists of two peninsulas that almost
touch, one reaching down from the far north, the other jutting up
from the mass of Central Europe to the south. The northern peninsula,
which is very much the larger in size, is the home of the Norwegians
and Swedes. The relatively small southern peninsula, together with
its adjacent islands, is peopled by the Danish nation.
has an area of about 16,000 square miles and a population of a trifle
under 3,300,000 souls. Its capital is Copenhagen, a city of nearly
600,000 inhabitants, with a fine port, which is a centre of Baltic
commerce. The climate of Denmark is damp and fairly mild, being not
unlike that of England. Much of its soil is fertile, and the Danes
have made the most of this by building up a remarkable system of dairying
and other specialized agricultural pursuits. Denmark has, however,
neither mineral wealth nor water-power, and thus lacks the essentials
of industrial development. This, together with. her small size, sets
close limits to her further growth in wealth and population.
and Sweden are each much larger than Denmark, though less fertile,
much of their territory being barren plateau or rugged mountains.
They are separated from each other by a high mountain range. This
is the reason why Norway and Sweden are separate nations. Even today,
with good roads and railways, there is little land communication between
them. Nature has in fact placed them like two men back to back and
looking in opposite directions, Norway gazing westward out into the
Atlantic Ocean, Sweden gazing eastward over the Baltic Sea. With their
cold climates and scarcity of fertile land, neither country has been
able to develop a
flourishing agriculture. However, Sweden has considerable mineral
wealth, especially iron, while both countries have an abundance of
water-power. With the development of hydroelectricity, this water
power has been a great source of prosperity and has formed the basis
for an important and rapidly growing industrial life. Furthermore,
since only a small part of these natural resources has as yet been
developed, both countries have great possibilities for future growth
in wealth and population. Norway has an area of 125,000 square miles
with a population of about 2,700,000. Sweden's area is 173,000 square
miles with just under 6,000,000 population.
are the three Scandinavian nations. Taken together, they are a group
of some importance, covering a considerable area and with a combined
population of 12,000,000. Furthermore, there is the adjacent country
of Finland, which is so intimately related to Sweden in both blood
and culture that, in the broader sense, it may be counted as belonging
to the Scandinavian family. If that be done, the population of the
Scandinavian group is raised to more than 15,000,000. Lastly, considering
the Scandinavian stock in its world aspect, we must remember the immense
emigration of Scandinavians to various parts of the world, especially
to the United States and Canada. It is probable that something like
3,000,000 of the inhabitants of the United States are of Scandinavian
birth or descent.
then, is a group of peoples numbering from 12,000,000 to 15,000,000
souls, solidly planted in the north-west corner of Europe. These peoples
are connected by close ties of language and culture. They are also
together by the even closer tie of blood, for they are near kin. The
Scandinavians are almost all pure-blooded members of the Nordic race
-- that tall, blond stock which forms the predominant element in the
British Isles, the United States, and the self-governing dominions
of the British Empire, together with many parts of Europe, like northern
Germany, northern France, the Netherlands, and northwestern Russia.
The Scandinavians are thus blood brothers of the Anglo-Saxons, and
both stocks show to the full those striking qualities of creative
energy, political ability, self-reliance, self-control and common
sense that have everywhere distinguished the Nordic race.
is in fact an old Nordic brood land, a reservoir and breeding-ground
of Nordic stock, sending forth for ages wave after wave of Nordic
migration. Many of the Nordic tribes that overran the Roman Empire
and settled the British Isles came from Scandinavia. Pure Scandinavians
were the vikings, who not only ranged Europe from Spain to Russia
but also fared forth in their tiny ships across the trackless northern
ocean, settling Iceland and Greenland, and actually discovering North
America, thus anticipating Columbus by 500 years. Strange accident
of history if Leif Ericson and his Norse rovers had voyaged a little
father southward and had planted a colony that could well have prospered,
North America might centuries ago have become a Greater Scandinavia
and the whole history of the world would have been changed.
was not to be. Scandinavia missed her great opportunity overseas:
She also lost her European opportunity.
Instead of uniting, the Scandinavian peoples wasted their abounding
energies in fratricidal wars that were their common undoing. When
we look back on the medieval might of Denmark and on the power of
Sweden from Gustavus Adolphus to Charles XII, it is not too much to
say that a united Scandinavia might have forged a Baltic empire that
would have endured to this day. Instead of this, the rising empires
of Russia and Germany broke Scandinavia's resistance piecemeal, cut
away its borderlands, and confined it to its ancient bounds. A century
ago the world had practically forgotten the Scandinavian peoples,
regarding them as little nations whose day was over and whose very
existence would henceforth depend upon .the mutual jealousies of powerful
neighbors, tempered perhaps by sentimental consideration for a heroic
attitude was not strange, because a century ago the Scandinavian nations
seemed to have no future worth speaking of. Their present prosperity
is in striking contrast to their past misfortunes. A century ago the
Scandinavian countries were profoundly poor, most of their present
sources of wealth being either unknown or undeveloped. This poverty
was reflected by the sparseness of population, Scandinavia at that
time being able to support less than a third of its present inhabitants.
And the prospects did not look bright. Sweden, with her cold, frostbound
soil, could never hope greatly to extend her cultivable area. Denmark,
though possessed of rich farmland, was very small. Norway was but
a strip of barren mountains.
despite all these handicaps, the Scandinavian peoples turned to and
showed the stuff that was
in them. Putting behind them the bitter memories of their defeats
and their lost provinces, they resolved to make the most of what was
left. Applying their inborn energy and intelligence to an intensive
development of their natural resources, they soon laid the foundations
of their present prosperity.
all three countries it is the same story of grit, thrift, hard work,
and intelligent insight making much of little and turning every new
development to full account. Take Denmark, for example. Lacking, as
she does, minerals, coal, and water-power, Denmark's one real asset
was some good farmland. But there was so little of it that, cultivated
in the ordinary way, it would never support a large population. The
Danes therefore determined to specialize on high-grade lines for export.
Accordingly, they went in for scientific dairying, pedigreed live
stock, and certain high-class agricultural specialties. Gradually
they built up a marvelous system of production, distribution, and
marketing on co-operative lines. It is not too much to say that the
Danes have industrialized agriculture. As time passed and western
Europe became covered with cities and factories the Danes found an
ever-increasing market for their products. The development of cold
storage and cheap long-distance ocean transportation threatened to
hit them for a while by bringing in competition from distant parts
of the world, like North America, Siberia, and China. But the Danes
triumphed over this also by concentrating on quality. More and more,
Danish butter, Danish eggs, and Danish agricultural specialties got
the reputation, for being the best on the European markets and thus
fetched fancy prices. Danish agricul-
ture is thus the solid foundation of Denmark's economic life, and
it is all a triumph of intelligent, skilful planning. Besides her
agriculture, Denmark, has. a large merchant marine and a prosperous
fishing fleet, while her industries, though relatively less important,
are profitable and high-grade.
point that should be noted is Denmark's social soundness and the wide
diffusion of prosperity. The Danish countryside is inhabited, not
by peasants in the ordinary European sense, but by intelligent, well-educated,
prosperous yeomen, owning and loving their land -- in other words,
farmers in the true American sense of the word. Even in the towns
there are not the contrasts between great wealth and grinding poverty
observable in many other lands. Furthermore, taxation statistics show
that the national wealth is becoming more generally distributed; and
this, be it noted, is due to economic processes -- the Danes are too
intelligent to tinker with crank legislation.
Denmark advances steadily despite all the troubles of her European
neighbors. It is estimated that the national wealth of Denmark has
doubled in the last twenty years. As might be imagined under such
circumstances, the health and vigor of the Danish people are excellent.
The average expectation of life is fifty-six years for men and fifty-nine
years for women. A century ago it was only forty years for men and
forty-three or women. This clearly shows the great advance of health
and vigor that has taken place during that period. As might be expected,
the population shows an increase healthily adjusted to the rate of
economic and social progress. At present the
net increase in population is a trifle more than one per cent a year.
economic development of Norway and Sweden, though different in direction
from that of Denmark, is equally, striking and equally due to energetic,
intelligent foresight. At first this development was largely maritime,
both countries building up flourishing merchant marines and fishing
fleets. The perfecting of the steamship, for instance, enabled Norway
to develop fully possibilities like the Arctic fisheries. Later, Norway
began to capitalize her scenery, becoming one of the chief tourist
resorts of the world. Every year great floating hotels bring multitudes
of travelers to enjoy the beauties of Norway's magnificent fiords
and to gaze at the midnight sun. Mean while Sweden was fast developing
her mineral wealth. Until the age of railroads, steam, and electricity
this had been but little exploited, because most of Sweden's minerals,
particularly her iron deposits, lie in the far north. Today Sweden
is all important iron-and-steel-producing country, specializing in
greatest single factor in the prosperity of Norway and Sweden is,
however, the development of water-power. Its importance is comparatively
recent. Both these mountainous lands have a multitude of waterfalls
and rushing streams; but formerly these, though things of beauty,
were of little practical use. The development of electricity, however,
entirely changed the situation. Hydroelectric power was now seen to
be available in almost limitless quantities, and this white coal,
as it has been aptly named, has been increasingly harnessed to a myriad
industrial activities, so that both Norway and Sweden
to-day possess a flourishing industrial life. And this may perhaps
be still in its infancy, because neither country is at present using
more than one-tenth of the total hydroelectric power that is available.
The perfecting of long-distance electric-power transmission promises
soon to open up a great new source of wealth, since Norway and Sweden
will be capable of supplying the power needs of all North-Central
and social conditions in Norway and Sweden bear a general resemblance
to those of Denmark. In both countries the standard of living, health,
and education is high. In both countries the national wealth is rapidly
increasing and is well distributed, while the rural population consists,
as in Denmark, of sturdy, free-spirited yeoman farmers. The population
shows a steady, healthy increase of about one per cent a year, and,
should the development of natural resources continue at its present
rate, large further increases of population can be supported in the
are the economic and social achievements of the Scandinavian peoples.
Let us now examine their political achievements, which have insured
their stability and have saved them both from tragic quarrels among
themselves and from dangerous feuds with their neighbors. As we have
already remarked, these political achievements have been of a high
order. During the past twenty years the Scandinavian peoples have
to their credit a whole series of successful political settlements
that rank among the finest examples of human intelligence, foresight,
first of these political tests was the crisis that arose
between Norway and Sweden, resulting in the separation
of the two countries in the year 1905. Though occupying the same peninsula,
the Swedes and Norwegians have never been one people. Sundered by
a barrier of lofty mountains, they had slight physical contact and
accordingly went their respective ways. Such contact as they did have
was usually of a hostile nature. For centuries Norway was politically
united to Denmark, and loyally supported it in the long series of
Dano-Swedish wars. When the Vienna Congress of 1814 remade the map
of Europe after the Napoleonic wars, it took Norway away from Denmark
and assigned it to Sweden as compensation for Finland, conquered by
Russia a few years before. But this diplomatic transfer did not result
in union of hearts. Though Sweden granted the Norwegians practically
full autonomy, they remained dissatisfied and chafed at political
union with their Swedish neighbors. Chronic disputes culminated in
the year 1905, when Norway seceded and proclaimed its independence.
was rebellion. Sweden was aflame with wrath, especially since most
Swedes believed that Norway was guilty of nothing short of treason
in face of a common foe -- Russia. For Czarist Russia was at that
very moment destroying the liberties of Finland, hitherto an autonomous
dependency of Russia, but now being brutally transformed into a Russian
intrenched camp that threatened all Scandinavia with the shadow of
the Russian bear.
a moment war between Norway and Sweden seemed inevitable. Swedish
voices demanded the punishment and subjection of the "traitorous
rebels" Norwegian voices
answered bold defiance. Both sides mobilized and made ready for a
war that would inevitably have been of a most stubborn and sanguinary
the war did not take place. Intelligent sober second thought -- the
inborn heritage of the race -- warned instinctively against fatal
disaster. Both sides began to figure out the consequences. Cool-headed
Swedes soon realized that to hold down Norway against the fixed determination
of .its people was in the long run impossible. Furthermore, both peoples
came to see that such a war whatever its outcome would leave them
alike at Russia's mercy. Accordingly the crisis was settled without
shedding a drop of blood. Sweden recognized Norway's independence
and Norway gladly accepted Sweden's demand for the total disarmament
of their common frontier.
results of this peaceful settlement were of the happiest nature. Within
a few years all traces of mutual bitterness had vanished. On the contrary
since causes of friction had been removed, the two peoples began looking
at their common interests. The Russian peril was a powerful promoter
of kindred feeling. When the Great War broke out in 1914 both countries
made haste to affirm their friendship, for, simultaneously with their
declarations of neutrality they formally agreed that under no circumstances
should one country take hostile action against the other.
even, more remarkable example of intelligent forbearance was shown
in the settlement of the Danish-Icelandic controversy Iceland that
strange land of snow-fields and volcanoes lying in the remote recesses
of the Arctic Ocean, was settled more than 1,000 years ago by
rebel vikings refusing obedience to the first Norwegian
kings. Eventually brought under Norwegian control, Iceland passed
with Norway under Danish rule; but then Norway was joined to Sweden
in 1814, Iceland remained under the Danish crown. It may seem strange
that the sparse population of this forbidding land -- only 90,000
souls -- should have cherished separatist feelings; yet such was the
case. The old Norse love of freedom was in the blood and as time passed
the Icelanders, despite wide autonomy, chafed under Danish overlordship,
precisely as their Norwegian brethren did at political union with
if ever, was a test of Scandinavian forbearance and self-control.
A handful of people scattered along the shores of a distant and barren
island were asserting their claim to independence against a wealthy
nation of 3,000,000. Denmark could have crushed Iceland at a stroke.
In fact, dependent as the island is on imported foodstuffs a mere
blockade of its ports would have starved it into submission.
the Danes never even considered such measures. The dispute was temperately
argued out, and a solution was finally arrived at satisfactory to
both sides. By the Act of Union of November 30, 1918, Iceland was
declared to be a free sovereign state, united with Denmark by a personal
bond of union under the same king. Certain matters especially foreign
affairs are conducted by Denmark; but the act may be revised in the
year 1940 at the option of the contracting parties.
settlement, like that between Norway and Sweden, is producing the
happiest results, both Danes and Ice-
landers experiencing an increase in mutual regard and common aspiration
toward larger Scandinavian interests.
two examples show how Scandinavia has solved her internal problems
of political readjustment. They certainly merit the attention of thinking
people everywhere. Yet no less worthy of the world's attention is
Scandinavia's attitude toward her neighbors, particularly regarding
lost or unredeemed territories. One of the most disquieting and discouraging
aspects of present-day Europe is the fierce clash of imperialistic
appetites displayed by most of the European nations. This is not a
matter of size; some of the small nations are more greedy and reckless
than the larger ones. In certain cases the claims advanced by nationalistic
propagandas are based on the most absurd perversions of history, or
even upon the brazen argument of strategic frontiers. Some of the
arguments would be laughable if they were not so tragic. Territories
lost centuries ago are to be redeemed, ancient defeats are to be avenged,
long-established borders must be rectified. The Versailles Peace Conference,
at the end of the Great War, was turned into a perfect bedlam by the
wild cries of greedy propagandists after all they could get regardless
of consequences, and too many of these unsound claims were, alas,
allowed; the upshot being that Europe is to-day cursed by a whole
crop of nationalistic troubles threatening new wars.
striking contrast to all this stands the attitude of Scandinavia.
Not that Scandinavia lacks such claims if she cared to raise them.
The Scandinavian nations have lost many territories to neighboring
states. In two cases the loss was comparatively recent and still keenly
were Sweden's loss of Finland to Russia in 1809 and Denmark's loss
of Schleswig-Holstein to Prussia in 1864. At the close of the late
war Denmark and Sweden both had opportunities to regain at least portions
of these lost territories. Let us see how they conducted themselves.
Their attitude is in such refreshing contrast to that of most other
European nations that it well merits our attention.
first the case of Schleswig-Holstein. This borderland between Denmark
and Germany was conquered by Prussia in the year 1864. The southern
province -- Holstein -- is thoroughly German in blood and speech.
The northern province Schleswig is predominatingly German in its southern
part; but the northern portion, adjoining Denmark, is mostly Danish
in blood and language, while there is a considerable Danish element
the central portion as well. By the peace of 1864 it was agreed that
a plebiscite should be held in north Schleswig in order that the inhabitants
might themselves decide their political allegiance. Prussia, however,
disregarded this proviso. The plebiscite was never held and the Danish
districts were ruthlessly Germanized.
thus had a first-class grievance, which was recognized by the Versailles
Conference. Indeed, a considerable body of public opinion in the Allied
countries, particularly in France, urged the Danes to assert their
historic rights to all Schleswig-Holstein. If Denmark had said the
word she could probably have had both provinces for the asking. Imagine
what would have happened if such an opportunity had been offered most
European nations! But not the sane, far-seeing Scandinavians! The
bulk of Danish public opinion rejected such suggestions without a
moment's hesitation. To poison their national life by annexing more
than 1,000,000 recalcitrant Germans and to hang about Denmark's neck
the millstone of a German war of revenge was clean against Danish
common sense. Danish feeling crystallized in a popular slogan: All
that is Danish. No More and No Less!
was the watchword, and thus was it settled. The destiny of Schleswig
was determined by the free vote of its inhabitants. The province was
divided into three zones, each zone to vote separately. In fact, before
the vote was held, the Danish Government voluntarily ruled the southern
zone out of consideration as being clearly German, thus avoiding the
unnecessary friction that the holding of a vote might have caused.
Ultimately the northern zone voted for union with Denmark by a vote
of three to one. The middle zone, on the contrary, voted to remain
German by more than two to one. This result was, of course, disappointing
to Denmark. There was even some talk of disregarding the vote and
annexing the territory. But the bulk of Danish public opinion refused
to be stampeded: All that is Danish. No More and No Less! That was
what the Danish people had promised, and they kept their word.
next notable instance of Scandinavian moderation was the attitude
of Sweden in the Aland Islands controversy. This rocky archipelago
lies in the Baltic Sea midway between Sweden and Finland. Sweden ceded
the Alands to Russia along with Finland in 1809, but always regretted
their loss, since they virtually dominate Sweden's capital, Stockholm.
When Finland declared its
independence after the Russian revolution of 1917, the inhabitants
of the Aland Islands, who are of pure Swedish blood, declared that
they wanted to go back to Sweden rather than to form part of the new
Finnish state. Naturally, Swedish public opinion warmly favored the
recovery of the Alands. But the Finns strongly objected, declaring
that the islands formed part of their country. The question was warmly
debated on both sides, considerable bitterness developed, and there
was even talk of war. Sweden was so much stronger than Finland that
she could have seized the islands at will. But Sweden resisted the
again Scandinavian common sense and far-sightedness prevailed. Sweden's
true policy was to make fast friends with Finland and bind Finland
to the Scandinavian family of nations, where she really belonged,
thus banishing the Russian peril. To seize the Alands would embitter
Finland and perhaps drive her back into Russia's arms. Accordingly,
Sweden offered to submit the matter to arbitration, and the case was
tried by the League of Nations. The League awarded the Alands to Finland
on condition that they be permanently neutralized and that their inhabitants
be granted full autonomy. Another victory for peace and sanity had
is the record of the Scandinavian peoples in their dealings both with
one another and with their neighbors. It is a brilliant record that
may well be pondered not merely by Europe but by the whole world.
It is also a striking display of those inborn qualities of intelligent
foresight, high political ability, self-control, and common sense
that are the birthright of the great Nordic race, to
which the Scandinavians belong. These things did not happen by chance;
they happened because they were thought out and carried out by well-bred
brains. Once again the fundamental importance of race in human affairs
is clearly shown.
is interesting to note that this basic fact is consciously appreciated
in Scandinavia, perhaps more generally than anywhere else. More and
more, Scandinavian public opinion is realizing the true significance
of race, as distinguished from other factors, like language and nationality,
which elsewhere are apt to confuse the issue.
growing appreciation of the racial idea is producing excellent results.
is drawing the Scandinavian blood brothers into a closer and more
intimate association. It is also inspiring them with a heightened
desire to do their utmost in saving the threatened fabric of European
surely the Scandinavian peoples are capable of playing a part in Europe's
reconstruction far greater than might appear from their mere size
and population. One of the things that the whole world needs to learn
is the fact that quality is much more important than quantity. In
Scandinavia we surely have quality. Here are fully 12,000,000 people,
racially homogeneous and of an unusually high grade; intelligent,
progressive, and prosperous; with no serious internal differences
and no external foes. Certainly, Scandinavia is today the brightest
spot on the Continent of Europe.