« ПретходнаНастави »
will be the easier because from whatever lands Americans have come and with whatever antecedent customs and habits of mind, they have come in the expectation of finding a land of freedom. Difficult as it may seem, it should not therefore be impossible to polarize the hopes and aspirations of earnest men of many races and nations upon this central and unifying vision. In order to bring more clearly into our consciousness the meaning and bearing of these ideals, this volume was planned. It aims to present some of the most important pronouncements by recent American leaders and especially by President Wilson, which would help to make plain whence we come and whither we are tending.
These expressions of democracy's ideals may well claim a place in the English courses of our schools and colleges. For, in the words of the statesman already quoted: '' These ideals have been very nobly expressed by some of the greatest thinkers of the ''ace. The language in which they have been set for the thought of the world rings keen in the ear, as with a music of peace and good-will, and yet quick also with the energy of fine endeavor, lifting the thoughts to some of the highest conceptions of human progress.''
In this presentation of the democratic idea as expounded by our leaders, it has been thought best to begin with Lincoln's famous Gettysburg Address and to follow this with some of the most notable pronouncements on democracy from his day to Wilson's. Lowell's Democracy is the more interesting as it shows us still on the defensive; and with its annotations will help to make clearer the growth of the democratjcidea. Beside the pronouncements by representative Americans, the address by Lloyd George on America's entrance into the war is reprinted as particularly significant. It was no part of the writer's intention to make of this volume a war book, but the issues of democracy are so inevitably involved in the present conflict that the war and the developments which led to it could not be ignored. For this reason we have included the most important utterances of President Wilson since the beginning of the conflict; and the War Message and the Flag Day Address are printed with very full annotations which detail the various intrusions of Germany upon our rights. These notes are reproduced from the editions of these speeches published by the Committee on Public Information at Washington. Though in some cases they have been abbreviated, in no case have they been changed. The notes on the War Message were prepared for the Committee on Public Information by Professor William Stearns Davis of the University of Minnesota aided by Professor C. D. Allin and Dr. William Anderson, also of Minnesota; and those on the Flag Day Address, by Professors Wallace Notestein, Elmer Stoll, August C. Krey, and William Anderson of the University of Minnesota, and Professor Guernsey Jones of the University of Nebraska. The editor has received considerable assistance from his friends and colleagues. He is especially indebted for help and suggestions to Professor Lindsay Todd Damon of Brown University, General Editor of the Lake English Classics, and to Guy Stanton Ford, Director of the Division on Civic and Educational Co-operation of the Committee of Public Information at Washington.
t DEMOCRACY TODAY
[delivered November 19, 1863, At The Dedication Of The Gettysburg National Cemetery]
Fourscore and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth upon this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation—or any nation so conceived and so dedicated—can long endure.
We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We are met to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting-place of those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it far above our power to add or detract. The world will little note nor long remember, what we say here ;1 but it can never forget what they did here.
It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here, to the unfinished work that they have thus far so nobly carried on. It is rather for us to be here dedi cated to the great task remaining before us; that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion; that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation shall, under God, have a new birth of freedom; and that government of the people, by the people, for the people,2 shall not perish from the earth.