The campaign was conducted on the lines of the anti-militarist movement in France identified with the name of Herv.
For much of all this the prime minister's colleagues were primarily responsible; but he himself had given a lead to the anti-militarist section by prominently advocating international disarmament, and the marked rebuff to the British proposals at the Hague conference of 1907 exposed alike the futility of this Radical ideal and the general inadequacy of the prime minister's policy of pacificism.
He is said to have rejoiced privately over Swedish victories, and certainly it was unerring instinct which told him that the great European conflict was no longer religious but dynastic. Anti-Spanish to the core, he became the greatest papal militarist since Julius II.; but Tuscany, Modena and Venice checkmated him in his ambitious attempt to conquer the duchy of Parma.
The profoundest and most excellent dispositions and orders seem very bad, and every learned militarist criticizes them with looks of importance, when they relate to a battle that has been lost, and the very worst dispositions and orders seem very good, and serious people fill whole volumes to demonstrate their merits, when they relate to a battle that has been won.