In 1871 France was defeated in a six-months' war, by a rival seeking revenge for the humiliations of Jena and Auerstadt. In 1918 France emerged the victor from a fifty-one months' struggle with the same foe. But, unhappily, the spoils reaped from her victory offered slight compensation for the sacrifices she had recently been compelled to make or for the penalties she had paid forty-seven years before. The year 1918, indeed, saw the return of Alsace-Lorraine and the complete restoration of the territorial unity of the French nation; it witnessed no upheaval of government; it experienced no communist revolution. But it found France socially, politically and morally disorganized and exhausted; it found her finances upon the verge of bankruptcy; it found her manhood decimated by some fourteen hundred thousand, and one-tenth of her richest provinces scourged by the flame of war. The year 1918 found France with a form of government which in many respects was regalian and unrepresentative; it found profiteers not only preying upon the necessities of the people but systematically evading the payment of taxes; it found labor tremendously powerful and wielding its strength not so much to force the adoption of economic reforms, as to achieve distinct political privileges. The year 1918 found France confronted with a revengeful Germany, whose recuperative powers seemed far greater than her own, in a position likely to become more tragic with the developing antagonism of England and Italy and the probable withdrawal of the United States from European affairs. In fact, to many her situation appeared desperate: internal discord was undermining the social structure, while, across the Rhine, Berlin seemed preparing to fall upon a decadent state.