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Because of Eussia—New Russia. She must not be overwhelmed now. Not now, surely, when she is just born into freedom. Her peasants must have their chance; they must go to school to Washington, to Jefferson, and to Lincoln until they know their way about in this new, strange world of government by the popular will.
Because of other peoples, with their rising hope that the world may be freed from government by the soldier.
We are fighting Germany because she sought to terrorize us and then to fool us. We could not believe that Germany would do what she said she would do upon the seas.
We still hear the piteous cries of children coming up. out of the sea where the Lusitania went down. And Germany has never asked forgiveness of the world.
We saw the Sussex sunk, crowded with the sons and daughters of neutral nations.
We saw ship after ship sent to the bottom—ships of mercy bound out of America for the Belgian starving; ships carrying the Red Cross and laden with che wounded of all nations; ships carrying food and clothing to friendly, harmless, terrorized peoples; ships flying the Stars and Stripes—sent to the bottom hundreds of miles from shore, manned by American seamen, murdered against all law, without warning.
We believed Germany's promise that she would respect the neutral flag and the rights of neutrals, and we held our anger and outrage in cheek. But now we see that she was holding us off with fair promises until she could build her huge fleet of submarines.3 For when spring came she blew her promise into the air, just as at the beginning- she had torn up that "scrap of paper."4 Then we saw clearly that there was but one law for Germany—her will to rule.
We are fighting Germany because she violated our confidence. Paid German spies filled our cities. Officials of her Government, received as the guests of this Nation, lived with us to bribe and terrorize, defying our law and the law of nations.
We are fighting Germany because while we were yet her friends—the only great power that still'held hands off—she sent the Zimmermann note,5 calling to her aid Mexico, our southern neighbor, and hoping to lure Japan, our western neighbor, into war against this Nation of peace.
The nation that would do these things proclaims the gospel that government has no conscience. And this .doctrine can not live, or else democracy must die. For the nations of the world must keep faith. There can be no living for us in a world where the state has no conscience, no reverence for the things of the spirit, no respect for international law, no mercy for those who fall before its force. What an unordered world! Anarchy! The anarchy of rival wolf packs!
We are fighting Germany because in this war feudalism6 is making its last stand against on-coming democracy. 'We see it now. This is a war against an old spirit, an ancient, outworn spirit. It is a war against feudalism—the right of the castle on the hill to rule the village below. It is a war for democracy—the right of all to be their own masters. Let Germany be feudal if she will, but she must not spread her system over the world that has outgrown it. Feudalism plus science, thirteenth century plus twentieth—this is the religion of the mistaken Germany that has linked itself with the Turk; that has, too, adopted the method of Mahomet. "The state has no conscience." "The state can do no wrong.' '7 With the spirit of the fanatic she believes this gospel and that it is her duty to spread it by force. With poison gas that makes living a hell, with submarines that sneak through the seas to slyly murder noncombatants, with dirigibles that bombard men and women while they sleep, with a perfected system of terrorization that the modern world first heard of when German troops entered China,8 German feudalism is making war upon mankind. Let this old spirit of evil have its way and no man will live in America without paying toll to it in manhood and in money. This spirit might demand Canada from a defeated, navyless England, and then our dream of peace on the north would be at an end. We would live, as France has lived for forty years, in haunting terror.
America speaks for the world in fighting Germany. Mark on a map those countries which are Germany's allies and you will mark but four, running from the Baltic through Austria and Bulgaria to Turkey. All the other nations the whole globe ari/Und are in arms against her or are unable to move. There is deep meaning in this. We fight with the world for an honest world in which nations keep their word, for a world in which nations do not live by swagger or by threat, for a world in which men think of the ways in which they can conquer the common cruelties of nature instead of inventing more horrible cruelties to inflict upon the spirit and body of man, for a world in which the ambition or the philosophy of a few shall not make miserable all mankind, for a world in which the man is held more precious than the machine, the system, or the state.
THE DUTIES OF THE CITIZEN
[address Delivered At Chicago, Illinois, September 14, 1917]
The declaration of war between the United States and Germany completely changed the relations of all the inhabitants of this country to the subject of peace and war.
Before the declaration everybody had a right to discuss in private and in public the question whether the United States should carry on war against Germany. Everybody had a right to argue that there was no sufficient cause for war, that the consequences of war would be worse than the consequences of continued peace, that it would be wiser to submit to the aggressions of Germany against American rights, that it would be better to have Germany succeed than to have the allies succeed in the great conflict.
Everybody holding these views had a right by expressing them to seek to influence public opinion and to affect the action of the President and the Congress, to whom the people of the country by their constitution have entrusted the power to determine whether the United States shall or shall not make war.
But the question of peace or war has now been decided by the President and Congress, the sole