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and duty to save them from barter, to realize that the organization of the party of his choice needs watching, and that at times it is not amiss critically to observe its direction and tendency. This certainly ought to result in our country's gain; and it is only partisan impudence that condemns a member of a political party who, on proper occasion, submits its conduct and the loyalty to principle of its leaders to a Court of Review, over which his conscience, his reason and his political understanding preside. I protest that I have not spoken in a spirit of pessimism. I have and enjoy my full share of the pride and exultation which our country's material advancement so fully justifies. Its limitless resources, its astonishing growth, its unapproachable industrial development, and its irrepressible inventive genius have made it the wonder of the centuries. Nevertheless, these things do not complete the story of a people truly great. Our country is infinitely more than a domain affording to those who dwell upon it immense material advantages and opportunities. In such a country we live. But I love to think of a glorious nation built upon the will of free men, set apart for the propagation and cultivation of humanity’s best ideal of a free government, and made ready for the growth and fruitage of the highest aspirations of patriotism. This is the country that lives in us. I indulge in no mere figure of speech when I say that our nation, the immortal spirit of our domain, lives in us—in our hearts and minds and consciences. There it must find its nutriment or die. This thought more than any other presents to our minds the impressiveness and responsibility of American citizenship. The land we live in seems to be strong and active. But how fares the land that lives in us? Are we sure that we are doing all we ought to keep it in vigor and health ? Are we keeping its roots well surrounded by the fertile soil of loving allegiance, and are we furnishing them the invigorating moisture of unselfish fidelity? Are we as diligent as we ought to be to protect this precious growth against the poison that must arise from the decay of harmony and honesty and industry and frugality; and are we sufficiently watchful against the deadly, burrowing pests of consuming greed and cankerous cupidity? Our answers to these questions make up the account of our stewardship as keepers of a sacred trust. The land we live in is safe as long as we are dutifully careful of the land that lives in us. But good intentions and fine sentiments will not meet the emergency. If we would bestow upon the land that lives in us the care it needs, it is indispensable that we should recognize the weakness of our human nature, and our susceptibility to temptations and influences that interfere with a full conception of our obligations; and thereupon we should see to it that cupidity and selfishness do not blind our consciences or dull our efforts. From different points of view I have invited you to consider with me what obligations and responsibilities rest upon those who in this country of ours are entitled to be called good citizens. The things I
pointed out may be trite. I know I have spoken in the way of exhortation rather than with an attempt to say something new and striking. Perhaps you have suspected, what I am quite willing to confess, that, behind all that I have said, there is in my mind a sober conviction that we all can and ought to do more for the country that lives in us than it has been our habit to do; and that no better means to this end are at hand than a revival of pure patriotic affection for our country for its own sake, and the acceptance, as permanent occupants in our hearts and minds, of the virtues which Washington regarded as all that was necessary to make us a great and happy people, and which he declared to be “the great and essential pillars of public felicity’’—harmony, honesty, industry, and frugality.
OUR RESPONSIBILITIES AS A NATION
[INAUGURAL ADDRESS DELIVERED AT WASHINGTON, MARCH 4, 1905]
No people on earth have more cause to be thankful than ours, and this is said reverently, in no spirit of boastfulness in our own strength, but with gratitude to the Giver of Good, who has blessed us with the conditions which have enabled us to achieve so large a measure of well-being and of happiness. To us as a people it has been granted to lay the foundations of our national life in a new continent. We are the heirs of the ages, and yet we have had to pay few of the penalties which in old countries are exacted by the dead hand of a bygone civilization. We have not been obliged to fight for our existence against any alien race; and yet our life has called for the vigor and effort without which the manlier and hardier virtues wither away. Under such conditions it would be our own fault if we failed; and the success which we have had in the past, the success which we confidently believe the future will bring, should cause in us no feeling of vainglory, but rather a deep and abiding realization of all which life has offered us; a full acknowledgment of the responsibility which is ours; and a fixed determination to show that under a free government a mighty people can thrive best. alike as regards the things of the body and the things of the soul. Much has been given to us, and much will rightfully be expected from us. We have duties to others and duties to ourselves; and we can shirk neither. We have become a great nation, forced by the fact of its greatness into relations with the other nations of the earth; and we must behave as beseems a people with such responsibilities. Toward all other nations, large and small, our attitude must be one of cordial and sincere friendship. We must show not only in our words but in our deeds that we are earnestly desirous of securing their good will by acting toward them in a spirit of just and generous recognition of all their rights. But justice and generosity in a nation, as in an individual, count most when shown not by the weak but by the strong. While ever careful to refrain from wronging others, we must be no less insistent that we are not wronged ourselves. We wish peace; but we wish the peace of justice, the peace of righteousness. We wish it because we think it is right and not because we are afraid. No weak nation that acts manfully and justly should ever have cause to fear us, and no strong power should ever be able to single us out as a subject for insolent aggression. Our relations with the other Powers of the world are important; but still more important are our relations among ourselves. Such growth in wealth, in population, and in power as this nation has seen during the century and a quarter of its national life