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The American people, trustful and friendly, were reluctant to believe that Imperialism again threatened the peace and liberty of the world. Conviction came to them at last and with it prompt action. The American nation arrayed itself with the other great democracies of the earth against the genius of evil which broods over the destinies of Central Europe.
No thought of material gain and no thought of material loss impelled this action. Inspired by the highest motives American manhood prepared to risk all for the right. I am proud of my country. I am proud of my countrymen. I am proud of our national character. With lofty purpose, with patriotic fervor, with intense earnestness the American democracy has drawn the sword, which it will not sheathe until the baneful forces of Absolutism go down defeated and broken.
Who can longer doubt and there have been many who have doubted in these critical days the power of that eternal spirit of freedom which lives in every true American heart?
My friends, I am firmly convinced that the independence of no nation is safe, that the liberty of no individual is sure, until the military despotism, which holds the German people in the hollow of its hand, has been made impotent and harmless forever. Appeals to justice, to
moral obligation, to honor, no longer avail with such a power. There is but one way to restore peace to the world and that is by overcoming the physical might of German Imperialism by force of arms.
For its own safety as well as for the cause of human liberty this great Republic is marshaling its armies and preparing with all its vigor to aid in ridding Germany, as well as the world, of the most ambitious and most unprincipled autocracy which has arisen to stay the wheels of progress and imperil Christian civilization.
It is to this great cause you, who are present here to-night, like thousands of other loyal Americans, have dedicated yourselves. Upon each one of you much depends. You are going forth into foreign lands, not only as guardians of the flag of your country and of the liberties of your countrymen, but as guardians of the national honor of the United States. American character will be judged by your conduct; American spirit, by your deeds. As you maintain yourselves courageously and honorably, so will you bring glory to the flag which we all love as the emblem of our national unity and independence.
I know that it is unnecessary to emphasize the responsibilities which will rest upon you as you lead the men under your command. To their
officers they will look for guidance and example, not only in the battle line, but in the camp and on the march. Your responsibilities are great. As you meet them so will your services be measured by your country.
It is in the toil and danger of so great an adventure as you are soon to experience that a man's true character will become manifest. He will be brought face to face with the realities. The little things which once engrossed his thought and called forth his energies will be forgotten in the stern events of his new life. The sternness of it all will not deprive him of the satisfaction which comes from doing his best. As he found gratification and joy in the peaceful pursuits of the old life, so will he find a deeper gratification and greater joy in serving his country loyally and doing his part in molding the future aright.
And, when your task is completed, when the grim days of battle are over, and you return once more to the quiet life of your profession or occupation, which you have so generously abandoned at your country's call, you will find in the gratitude of your countrymen an ample reward for the great sacrifice which you have made.
If enthusiasm and ardor can make success sure, then we, Americans, have no cause for
anxiety, no reason to doubt the outcome of the conflict. But enthusiasm and ardor are not all; they must be founded on a profound conviction of the righteousness of our cause and on an implicit faith that the God of Battles will strengthen the arm of him who fights for the right. In the time of stress and peril, when a man stands face to face with death in its most terrible forms, God will not desert him who puts his trust in Him. It is at such a time that the eternal verities will be disclosed. It is then, when you realize that existence is more than this life and that over our destinies watches an all-powerful and compassionate God, you will stand amidst the storm of battle unflinching and unafraid.
There is no higher praise that can be bestowed upon a soldier of the Republic than to say that he served his country faithfully and trusted in his God. Such I earnestly hope will be the praise to which each one of you will be entitled when peace returns to this suffering earth, and mankind rejoices that the world is made safe for democracy.
CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES
Which went into effect March 4, 1789. We, the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this CONSTITUTION for the United States of America.
ARTICLE I. SECTION 1. All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.
SECTION 2. The House of Representatives shall be composed of members chosen every second year by the people of the several States, and the electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State Legislature.
No person shall be a representative who shall not have attained to the age of twenty-five years, and been seven years a citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.
Representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole number of free persons, including those bound to service for a term of years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three-fifths of all other persons. The actual enumeration shall be made within three years after the first meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent term of ten years, in such manner as they shall by law direct. The number of representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty thousand, but each State shall have at least one representative: and until such enumeration shall be made, the State of New Hampshire shall be entitled to choose three; Massachusetts, eight; Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, one; Connecticut, five; New York, six; New Jersey, four; Pennsylvania, eight; Delaware, one; Maryland, six; Virginia, ten; North Carolina, five; South Carolina, five; and Georgia, three.
When vacancies happen in the representation from any State, the executive authority thereof shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies.
The House of Representatives shall choose their Speaker and other officers; and shall have the sole power of impeachment.
SECTION 3. The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof, for six years; and each senator shall have one vote.