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[I] (a) WAR AIMS


(Before America's entry into the War)

"No man, or group of men, chose these to be the issues of the struggle. They are the issues of it; and they must be settled-by no arrangement or compromise or adjustment of interests, but definitely and once for all and with a full and unequivocal acceptance of the principle that the interest of the weakest is as sacred as the interest of the strongest."-President Wilson-September 27, 1918.

April 20, 1915. (Address to Associated Press in New York.)

66* * * We are trustees for what I venture to say is the greatest heritage that any nation ever had, the love of justice and righteousness and human liberty. For, fundamentally, those are the things to which America is addicted and to which she is devoted. * * *.”

February 26, 1916. (Address to Gridiron Club, Washington.)

"** * The point in national affairs * * *never lies along the lines of expediency. It always rests in the field of principle. The United States was not founded upon any principle of expediency; it was founded upon a profound principle of human liberty and of humanity, and whenever it bases its policy upon any other foundations than those it builds on the sand and not upon solid rock * **"

"** * this single thing upon which her character and history are founded, her sense of humanity and justice. If she sacrifices that, she has ceased to be America; she has ceased to entertain and to love the traditions which have made us proud to be Americans; and when we go about seeking safety at the expense of humanity, then I, for one, will believe that I have always been mistaken in what I conceived to be the spirit of American history ***"

"* * * whenever an impulse to settle a thing some short way tempts us, we might close the door and take down some old stories of what American idealists and statesmen did in the past, and not let any counsel in that does not sound in the authentic voice of American

tradition * * *." May 27, 1916. (Address to the League to Enforce Peace, at Washington.)

"** * The principle of public right must henceforth take precedence over the individual interests of particular nations. ***"

6* * * there must be a common agreement for a common object and at the heart of that common object must lie the inviolable rights of peoples and of mankind *** We believe these fundamental things :

"First, that every people has a right to choose the sovereignty under which they shall live * * *.”

Second, that the small states of the world have a right to enjoy the same respect for their sovereignty and for their territorial integrity that great and powerful nations expect and insist upon,

And third, that the world has a right to be free from every disturbance of its peace that has its origin in aggression and disregard of

the rights of peoples and nations."* October 26, 1916. (Address at Cincinnati.)

66* * * America is going to take this position, that she will lend her moral influence, not only, but her physical force, if other nations will join her, to see to it that no nation and no group of nations tries to take advantage of another nation or group of nations, and that the only thing ever fought for is the common rights of humanity * * * America was established in order to indicate, at any rate in one Government, the fundamental rights of man. America must hereafter be ready as a member of the family of nations to exert her whole force, moral and physical, to the assertion of those rights throughout

the round globe.' December 18, 1916. (Dispatch in reply to German Proposition of Peace.)

66* * * Their (the people and the Government of the U. S.) interest, moreover, in the means to be adopted to relieve the smaller and weaker peoples of the world of the peril of wrong and violence is as quick and ardent as that of any other people or government. They stand ready and even eager to cooperate in the accomplishment of these ends, when the war is over, with every influence and resource

at their command.” January 22, 1917. (Address to Senate on Conditions of Peace.)

Speaking, “as the responsible head of a great Government,” of America's participation in the guarantees of the peace to end the war:

"* * * The treaties and agreements which bring it to an end must embody terms that will create a peace that is worth guaranteeing and preserving, a peace that will win the approval of mankind, not merely a peace that will serve the several interests and immediate aims of the nations engaged * * *.

"* * * There is only one sort of peace that the peoples of America could join in guaranteeing. The elements of that peace must be elements that engage the confidence and satisfy the principles of the American Government, elements consistent with the political faith and the practical convictions which the peoples of America have once for all embraced and undertaken to defend.

* * Only a tranquil Europe can be a stable Europe.

*NOTE: This declaration of President Wilson, on May 27, 1916, was made a plank in the Democratic Party platform at the National Convention assembled in St. Louis in 1916. At the ensuing Elections the Party ticket was triumphant; thus, the principles here stated received the sanction of the people of America. The platform declaration was as follows:

"We believe that every people has the right to choose the sovereignty under which it shall live; that the small states of the world have a right to enjoy from other nations the same respect for their sovereignty and for their territorial integrity that great and powerful nations expect and insist upon; and that the world has a right to be free from every disturbance of its peace that has its origin in aggression or disregard of the rights of peoples and nations. At the earliest practical opportunity our country should strive earnestly * * * that all men shall enjoy equality of right and freedom * * * in the lands wherein they dwell.”

"* * * The equality of nations upon which peace must be founded, if it is to last, must be an equality of rights; the guarantees exchanged must neither recognize nor imply a difference between big nations and small; between those that are powerful and those that are weak. Right must be based upon the common strength, not upon the individual strength, of the nations upon whose concert peace will depend * * *.

"* * * No peace can last, or ought to last, which does not recognize and accept the principle that Governments derive all their just powers from the consent of the governed, and that no right anywhere exists to hand peoples about from sovereignty to sovereignty as if they were property. *

6* * * and that henceforth inviolable security of life, of worship, and if industrial and social development should be guaranteed to all peoples who have lived hitherto under the power of governments devoted to a faith and purpose hostile to their own.

"* * * Any peace which does not recognize and accept this principle will inevitably be upset. It will not rest upon the affections or convictions of mankind. The ferment of spirit of whole populations will fight subtly and constantly against it, and all the world will sympathize. The world can be at peace only if its life is stable, and there can be no stability where the will is in rebellion, where there is not tranquility of spirit and a sense of justice, of freedom, and of right. * * *

66* * * No doubt a somewhat radical re-consideration of many of the rules of international practice hitherto thought to be established may be necessary in order to make the sea indeed free and common in practically all circumstances for the use of mankind, but the motive for such changes is convincing and compelling. * * *

"** * * I would fain believe that I am speaking for the silent mass of mankind everywhere who have as yet had no place or oppor. tunity to speak their real hearts out concerning the death and ruin they see to have come already upon the persons and the homes they hold most dear.

"* * * I am proposing as it were that the nations should with one accord adopt the doctrine of President Monroe as the doctrine of the world : that no nation should seek to extend its polity over any other nation or people, but that every people should be left free to determine its own polity, its own way of development, unhindered, unthreatened, unafraid, the little along with the great and powerful.


"* * * I am proposing government by the consent of the governed. * * *

"* * * These are American principles, American policies. We could stand for no others. And they are also the principles and policies of forward-looking men and women everywhere, of every modern nation, of every enlightened community. They are the principles of mankind and must prevail."'*

*NOTE: Two days after President Wilson's address to the Senate, Mr. Bonar Law said: “What President Wilson is longing for, we are fighting for."

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