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every public official, but of every man and woman of the United States, there marches that great host which has brought us to the present day; the host that has never forgotten the vision which it saw at the birth of the nation; 5 the host which always responds to the dictates of humanity and of liberty; the host that will always constitute the strength and the great body of friends of every man who does his duty to the United States.
I am sorry that you do not wear a little flag of the 10 Union every day instead of some days. I can only ask
you, if you lose the physical emblem, to be sure that you wear it in your heart, and the heart of America shall interpret the heart of the world.
A LEAGUE TO ENFORCE PEACE ° By A. LAWRENCE LOWELL. (SEPTEMBER, 1915) In spite of its ominous sound, the suggestion of a league 15 of nations to enforce peace has no connection with
any effort to stop the present war.
It is aimed solely at preventing future conflicts after the terrific struggle now raging has come to an end; and yet this is not a bad time
for people in private life to bring forward proposals of 20 such a nature. Owing to the vast number of soldiers under
arms, to the proportion of men and women in the warring countries who suffer acutely, to the extent of the devastation and misery, it is probable that, whatever the result
may be, the people of all nations will be more anxious to 25 prevent the outbreak of another war than ever before
in the history of the world. The time is not yet ripe for governments to take action, but it is ripe for public discussion of practicable means to reduce the danger of future breaches of international peace.
The nations of the world to-day are in much the position of frontier settlements in America half a century ago,
before orderly government was set up. The men there were in the main well disposed, but in the absence of an authority that could enforce order each man, feeling no other security from attack, carried arms which he was prepared to use if danger threatened. The first step, s when affrays became unbearable, was the formation of a vigilance committee, supported by the enrollment of all good citizens, to prevent men from shooting one another and to punish offenders. People did not wait for a gradual improvement by the preaching of higher ethics and a 10 better civilization. They felt that violence must be met by force, and, when the show of force was strong enough, violence ceased. In time the vigilance committee was replaced by the policeman and by the sheriff with the posse comitatus. The policeman and the sheriff maintain order because they have the bulk of the community behind them, and no country has yet reached, or is likely for an indefinite period to reach, such a state of civilization that it can wholly dispense with the police.
Treaties for the arbitration of international disputes are 20 good. They have proved an effective method of settling questions that would otherwise have bred ill-feeling without directly causing war; but when passion runs high and deep-rooted interests or sentiments are at stake, there is need of the sheriff with his posse to enforce the obligation. 25 There are, no doubt, differences in the conception of justice and right, divergencies of civilization, so profound that people will fight over them, and face even the prospect of disaster in war rather than submit. Yet even in such cases it is worth while to postpone the conflict, to have a public discussion of the question at issue before an impartial tribunal, and thus give to the people of the countries involved a chance to consider, before hostilities begin, whether the risk and suffering of war is really worth while. No sensible man expects to abolish wars 35 altogether, but we ought to seek to reduce the probability
of war as much as possible. It is on these grounds that the suggestion has been put forth of a league of nations to enforce peace.
Without attempting to cover details of operation, which 5 are, indeed, of vital importance and will require careful study by experts in international law and diplomacy, the proposal contains four points stated as general objects. The first is that before resorting to arms the members of
the league shall submit disputes with one another, if 10 justiciable, to an international tribunal; second, that in
like manner they shall submit non-justiciable questions (that is, such as cannot be decided on the basis of strict international law) to an international council of concilia
tion, which shall recommend a fair and amicable solution; 15 third, that if any member of the league wages war against
another before submitting the question in dispute to the tribunal or council, all the other members shall jointly use forthwith both their economic and military forces against
the state that so breaks the peace; and, fourth, that the 20 signatory powers shall endeavor to codify and improve the rules of international law.
The kernel of the proposal, the feature in which it differs from other plans, lies in the third point, obliging all the
members of the league to declare war on any member 25 violating the pact of peace. This is the provision that
provokes both adherence and opposition; and at first it certainly gives one a shock that a people should be asked to pledge itself to go to war over a quarrel which is not of
its making, in which it has no interest, and in which it may 30 believe that substantial justice lies on the other side. If,
indeed, the nations of the earth could maintain complete isolation, could pursue each its own destiny without regard to the rest, if they were not affected by a war between
two others or liable to be drawn into it; if, in short, there 35 were no overwhelming.common interest in securing uni
versal peace, the provision would be intolerable. It would
be as bad as the liability of an individual to take part in the posse comitatus of a community with which he had nothing in common. But in every civilized country the public force is employed to prevent any man, however just his claim, from vindicating his own right with his 5 own hand instead of going to law; and every
citizen is bound, when needed, to assist in preventing him, because that is the only way to restrain private war,
and the maintenance of order is of paramount importance for every one. Surely the family of nations has a like interest in restrain- 10 ing war between states.
It will be observed that the members of the league are not to bind themselves to enforce the decision of the tribunal or the award of the council of conciliation. That may come in the remote future, but it is no part of this 15 proposal. It would be imposing obligations far greater than the nations can reasonably be expected to assume at the present day; for the conceptions of international morality and fair play are still so vague and divergent that a nation can hardly bind itself to wage war on an- 20 other, with which it has no quarrel, to enforce a decision or a recommendation of whose justice or wisdom it may not be itself heartily convinced. The proposal goes no farther than obliging all the members to prevent by threat of armed intervention a breach of the public peace before 25 the matter in dispute has been submitted to arbitration, and this is neither unreasonable nor impracticable. There are many questions, especially of a non-justiciable nature, on which we should not be willing to bind ourselves to accept the decision of an arbitration, and where we should regard compulsion by armed intervention of the rest of the world as outrageous. Take, for example, the question of Asiatic immigration, or a claim that the Panama Canal ought to be an unfortified neutral highway, or the desire by a European power to take possession of Colombia. 35 But we ought not, in the interest of universal peace, to
object to making a public statement of our position in an international court or council before resorting to arms; and in fact the treaty between the United States and
Great Britain, ratified on November 14, 1914, provides 5 that all disputes between the high contracting parties, of every nature whatsoever, shall, failing other methods of adjustment, be referred for investigation and report to a Permanent International Commission with a stipulation
that neither country shall declare war or begin hostilities 10 during such investigation and before the report is submitted.
What is true of this country is true of others. To agree to abide by the result of an arbitration, on every non
justiciable question of every nature whatsoever, on pain 15 of compulsion in any form by the whole world, would in
volve a greater cession of sovereignty than nations would now be willing to concede. This appears, indeed, perfectly clearly from the discussions at the Hague Con
ference of 1907. But to exclude differences that do not 20 turn on questions of international law from the cases
where a state must present the matter to a tribunal or council of conciliation before beginning hostilities, would leave very little check upon the outbreak of war. Almost
every conflict between European nations for more than 25 half a century has been based upon some dissension which
could not be decided by strict rules of law, and in which a violation of international law or of treaty rights has usually not even been used as an excuse. This was true
of the war of France and Sardinia against Austria in 1859, 30 and in substance of the war between Prussia and Austria
in 1866. It was true of the Franco-Prussian War in 1870, of the Russo-Turkish War in 1876, of the Balkan War against Turkey in 1912, and of the present war.
No one will claim that a league to enforce peace, such 35 as is proposed, would wholly prevent war, but it would
greatly reduce the probability of hostilities. It would