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against Germany and her allies. The world will not permit the commission of similar wrongs as a means of reparation and settlement. Statesmen must by this time have learned that the opinion of the world is everywhere wide 5 awake and fully comprehends the issues involved. No representative of any self-governed nation will dare disregard it by attempting any such covenants of selfishness and compromise as were entered into at the Congress of Vienna.
The thought of the plain people here and everywhere 10 throughout the world, the people who enjoy no privilege
and have very simple and unsophisticated standards of right and wrong, is the air all governments must henceforth breathe if they would live. It is in the full disclosing light
of that thought that all policies must be conceived and 15 executed in this midday hour of the world's life. German
rulers have been able to upset the peace of the world only because the German people were not suffered under their tutelage to share the comradeship of the other peoples of
the world either in thought or in purpose. They were 20 allowed to have no opinion of their own which might be set
up as a rule of conduct for those who exercised authority over them. But the Congress that concludes this war will feel the full strength of the tides that run now in the
hearts and consciences of free men everywhere. Its con25 clusions will run with those tides.
All these things have been true from the very beginning of this stupendous war; and I can not help thinking that if they had been made plain at the very outset the sympathy
and enthusiasm of the Russian people might have been 30 once for all enlisted on the side of the Allies, suspicion and
distrust swept away, and a real and lasting union of purpose effected. Had they believed these things at the very moment of their revolution and had they been confirmed in
that belief since, the sad reverses which have recently 35 marked the progress of their affairs towards an ordered and
stable government of free men might have been avoided.
The Russian people have been poisoned by the very same falsehoods that have kept the German people in the dark, and the poison has been administered by the very same hands. The only possible antidote is the truth. It can not be uttered too plainly or too often.
5 From every point of view, therefore, it has seemed to be my duty to speak these declarations of purpose, to add these specific interpretations to what I took the liberty of saying to the Senate in January. Our entrance into the war has not altered our attitude towards the settlement 10 that must come when it is over. When I said in January that the nations of the world were entitled not only to free pathways upon the sea but also to assured and unmolested access to those pathways I was thinking, and I am thinking now, not of the smaller and weaker nations alone, which 15 need our countenance and support, but also of the great and powerful nations, and of our present enemies as well as our present associates in the war. I was thinking, and am thinking now, of Austria herself, among the rest, as well as of Serbia and of Poland. Justice and equality of 20 rights can be had only at a great price. We are seeking permanent, not temporary, foundations for the peace of the world and must seek them candidly and fearlessly. As always, the right will prove to be the expedient.
What shall we do, then, to push this great war of freedom 25 and justice to its righteous conclusion? We must clear away with a thorough hand all impediments to success and we must make every adjustment of law that will facilitate the full and free use of our whole capacity and force as a fighting unit.
One very embarrassing obstacle that stands in our way is that we are at war with Germany but not with her allies. I therefore very earnestly recommend that the Congress immediately declare the United States in a state of war with Austria-Hungary. Does it seem strange to you that 35 this should be the conclusion of the argument I have just
addressed to you? It is not. It is in fact the inevitable logic of what I have said. Austria-Hungary is for the time being not her own mistress but simply the vassal of the German Government. We must face the facts as they 5 are and act upon them without sentiment in this stern business. The government of Austria-Hungary is not acting upon its own initiative or in response to the wishes and feelings of its own peoples but as the instrument of
another nation. We must meet its force with our own 10 and regard the Central Powers as but one. The war can
be successfully conducted in no other way. The same logic would lead also to a declaration of war against Turkey and Bulgaria. They also are the tools of Germany. But
they are mere tools and do not yet stand in the direct path 15 of our necessary action. We shall
wherever the necessities of this war carry us, but it seems to me that we should go only where immediate and practical considerations lead us and not heed any others.
We can do this with all the greater zeal and enthusiasm 20 because we know that for us this is a war of high principle,
debased by no selfish ambition of conquest or spoliation; because we know, and all the world knows, that we have been forced into it to save the very institutions we live
under from corruption and destruction. The purposes of 25 the Central Powers strike straight at the very heart of
everything we believe in; their methods of warfare outrage every principle of humanity and of knightly honor; their intrigue has corrupted the very thought and spirit of many
of our people; their sinister and secret diplomacy has 30 sought to take our very territory away from us and disrupt
the Union of the States. Our safety would be at an end, our honor forever sullied and brought into contempt were we to permit their triumph. They are striking at the very existence of democracy and liberty.
It is because it is for us a war of high, disinterested purpose, in which all the free peoples of the world are banded
together for the vindication of right, a war for the preservation of our nation and of all that it has held dear of principle and of purpose, that we feel ourselves doubly constrained to propose for its outcome only that which is righteous and of irreproachable intention, for our foes as well as for our 5 friends. The cause being just and holy, the settlement must be of like motive and quality. For this we can fight, but for nothing less noble or less worthy of our traditions. For this cause we entered the war and for this cause will we battle until the last gun is fired.
I have spoken plainly because this seems to me the time when it is most necessary to speak plainly, in order that all the world may know that even in the heat and ardor of the struggle and when our whole thought is of carrying the war through to its end we have not forgotten any ideal or 15 principle for which the name of America has been held in honor among the nations and for which it has been our glory to contend in the great generations that went before
A supreme moment of history has come. The eyes of the people have been opened and they see. The hand of 20 God is laid upon the nations. He will show them favor, I devoutly believe, only if they rise to the clear heights of His own justice and mercy.
By Nicholas MURRAY BUTLER. (1917) PEACE is not an ideal at all; it is a state attendant upon the achievement of an ideal. The ideal itself is human 25 liberty, justice, and the honorable conduct of an orderly and humane society. Given this, a durable peace
follows naturally as a matter of course. Without this, there is no peace, but only a rule of force until liberty and justice revolt against it in search of peace.
TO MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE TO
By The World's Work. (JANUARY, 1918) “LET there be no misunderstanding. Our present and immediate task is to win the war, and nothing shall turn us aside from it until it is accomplished. Every power and resource we possess, whether of men, of money, or of materials, is being devoted and will continue to be devoted to that purpose until it is achieved. Those who desire to bring peace about before that purpose is achieved, I counsel to carry their advice elsewhere. We will not entertain it."
This paragraph was the heart of the President's message. It is a simple fact and is told quickly, but its significance is not measured by its length. And the President's pledge of our determination to fight the war through
is given added weight by the declaration of war against 15 Austria-Hungary.
In a large part of the message the President restated our aims in the war, our insistence that Germany “repair," as the President phrases it, the damage she has done, and
on the other hand our denial of any intention of exacting 20 indemnities in a spirit of revenge. It is well to keep our
motives clear before our Allies and ourselves. But it cannot very much affect what Germany will pay. If she repairs even part of the damage she has done wantonly,
purposely, and contrary to the rules of war to Belgium, 25 to northern France, to Serbia, there will not be left the
power to pay any indemnity, except of course in territory and people. But none of the Allies in their bitterest moments have ever wanted to incorporate territory peopled
by Germans within their borders. The land and the 30 people of Germany must remain. Its ambitions and
kultur must go, and the German people must expiate the