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CHAPTER XVII

LARGE STATES

If the ultimate aim, then, of a State is military power and size, it may be asked whether either of these two have contributed to the happiness of its inhabitants and whether they, in themselves, constitute considerable elements, or elements at all for that happiness? If we inquire into the personal comfort and contentment of the inhabitants of large States we find them, speaking generally, below those of the people of small countries. There is much less poverty in Denmark or in Holland, on an average, than in Russia or in the United States. If this were not true, if the difference were in favour of the large states, there would be no small States at all, their inhabitants would all have either migrated to the large ones or have contrived a union. So fai from wishing to do so, the small States have never asserted their desire for independance with more emphasis than in our day. The present war shows that the subjects of large States, like Russia and France, if they live anywhere away from the centre, are just as badly off as those of small ones like Belgium when war breaks out.

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