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side of France succeeded in overthrowing the republic. Perhaps the plan is not yet abandoned. Certainly King Albert has a stronger hold upon the affection of the French people than before for his courage and devotion in adversity, and if the French should again be seized with a desire for a king as they have twice before, he would make a much stronger candidate than the Bourbon or Napoleonic pretenders.
If this had been a war between Germany and France alone, in which one of the two was not notoriously the aggressor, there would have been no question where American sympathy inclined. America always tends to favor any republic against any monarchy regardless of the cause of the quarrel. But when the great European republic, to whom we owe undying gratitude for rescuing us from a king, unites with five monarchies and among them the most autocratic, our sympathies are divided and we can only hope that the outcome will not be the crushing out of all republicanism in Europe.
It has been said that the Monroe Doctrine is the only thing that Americans would fight for. However that may be, it certainly represents a principle dear to the hearts of the
American people, for we believe as firmly as in 1823 that any attempt on the part of European powers “to extend their system to any portion of this hemisphere is dangerous to our peace and safety.” The Monroe Doctrine has been amplified and interpreted to mean many things, the hegemony of the United States, America for the Americans, the cultivation of Pan-American trade, etc. But its primary and fundamental purpose was simply the maintenance of republicanism. “Their system” meant the monarchical system and the United States opposes that now as it always has. The Monroe Doctrine means that one continent out of the five shall be kept forever free from the curse of kings. As for the rest of the world, it is not so much our concern. We rejoice whenever a people like the Portuguese or Chinese rises and overthrows its tyrants. We will give them what encouragement we can and we hope so to conduct ourselves that this republic of ours may become an example of the benefits of republicanism instead of a reproach. For we know we are right and we look forward with perfect confidence to the day when it may be there shall be no more kings in all the earth.
March 22, 1915
By G. Bernard Shaw
We sent G. B. S. a copy of the editorial entitled, “And There Shall Be No More Kings," in
This war raises in an acute form the whole question of Republicanism versus German dynasticism. After the mischief done by Franz Josef's second childhood as displayed in his launching the forty-eight-hour ultimatum to Serbia before the Kaiser could return from Stockholm, the world has the right-indeed the duty—to demand that monarchies shall at least be subject to superannuation as well as to constitutional limitation.
All recent historical research has shown that the position of a King. even in a jealously limited monarchy like the British, makes him so strong that George III, who was childish when he was not under restraint as an admitted lunatic, was uncontrollable by the strongest body of statesmen the eighteenth century produced. It is undoubtedly inconvenient that the head of the State should be selected at short intervals; but it does not follow that he (or she) should be an unqualified person to hold office for life or be a member of a dynasty.
I may add that if the policy of dismembering the Central Empires by making separate national States of Bohemia, Poland and Hungary, and making Serbia include Bosnia and Herzegovina, is seriously put forward, it would involve making them Republics; for if they were Kingdoms their thrones would be occupied by cousins of the Hohenzollerns, Hapsburgs and Romanoffs, strengthening the German hegemony instead of restraining it.
THE DOOM OF THE DYNASTIES
HE Romanoff autocracy has fallen. The doom of the "Hapsburgs and of the Hohenzollerns is at hand. The kings must go; and go they will.
On August 10, 1914, in its first editorial reaction to the war, The Independent said: “Whom the gods would destroy they first make mad. Mad with the lust of power, drunk with their own egotism, the head devils have signed their own doom. Their days are numbered. The monarchs must go—and they will.” Our prediction is verified sooner than we dared then to expect. Complete fulfilment may take a longer time than we now are willing to contemplate, or it may be accomplished swiftly. Royalty may be abolished altogether; or, stripped of all real power, it may be permitted to survive, as in England, on condition that it shall function democratically, useful chiefly, like the flag, as a symbol of political unity. Whichever of these possibilities comes true, monarchy as absolutism is a fact of ancient history, and ancient history, as we said ten days after the event, closed at midnight of July 31, 1914.
The Head Devils began this war. This also we said in our first reaction to the Demon Dance. None of the other alleged causes by itself, we contended, “nor all of them in combination, would have made war if the consuming vanity, the monstrous egotism and the medieval-mindedness of the absolute monarchs had not been thrown into the scale." To day all the world knows that this assertion, like our prediction, was true. The war was begun because the dynasties saw their thrones endangered by the rising tide of democracy.
The Czar goes first, because he tried to play the traitor's game. He has been the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde of the war. Professedly organizing and leading the forces of his empire against the Hohenzollern, he and his minions have been paralyzing the arm of the fighting force, disorganizing communication, scattering and confounding munitions and supplies, starving the people, and preparing, if at any moment the attempt should seem safe, to make a separate peace.
The house of Romanoff, partly Teuton in blood, largely Teuton in sympathy, and wholly Teuton in interests, has met the inevitable fate of the traitor, and it is one that satisfies the world's profoundest sense of justice.
After Nicholas, the Kaiser and the Emperor of Austria: it matters little which goes first, they both must go, and go they will. What is more, they know that they must go. Since Bismarck saw and told them, they have perfectly understood that the three czars would stand or fall together. The impending doom was known in Berlin before the news of the Russian revolution reached this continent. Chancellor von Bethmann-Hollweg's speech to the Prussian Diet on Wednesday afternoon proclaimed it to the Empire. “Wo to the statesman who cannot read the signs of the times,” he said. Wo, indeed, for the Chancellor has spoken too late. Whether the flame of revolution shall sweep over the Carpathians and the Vistula to the Vosges and the Rhine, or the Chancellor shall be able to keep his promise to reward the loyalty of the German people by giving them the reality of popular government, will matter little in the end. Hapsburg and Hohenzollern, as absolutist powers, have had their day.
And whether the war goes on for months or for another year, the victory of democracy over absolutism is assured. Peace without victory there never has been, there never can be. The forces that clash in war are the forces of reaction and of progress. In the titanic struggle for civilization and liberty peace is but an armistice until civilization and liberty are safe. By exertions and sufferings that have paralyzed imagination they have been saved. A necessary part of the cost has been the temporary sacrifice of much indi. vidual liberty and a temporary subordination of civil procedure to military authority in the freer nations, but the back swing of the pendulum has begun. This war, when it ends, will not have militarized the world, as the pacifist has feared. The returning tide of democratic liberty will run swift and deep, from this day on. The doom of the dynasties has fallen.
March 26, 1917
They council together. They cannot endure the desolation. They will not suffer the privation. Men fight harder to keep from sinking than to rise.
They go to the nobles and the rich. They ask for bread. They are given a stone. When in the annals of history has Privilege chosen to sacrifice itself for the common weal?
They turn to the governments. The governments listen. But what can the governments do? They have spent the substance of the living. They have spent the substance of those to come even to the third and fourth generation.
The tumult and the shouting dies. The armies disband. The soldiers return to their loved ones. Every home is a house of mourning. They try to pick up again the broken threads of peaceful industry. All is ruin.
They contemplate. Five million men killed. Ten million men crippled. Wives and daughters ravished. Children mutilated. Babies starved. Hundreds of cities burned. Thousands of farms laid waste. Thirty billion dollars of accumulated wealth consumed in smoke.
Then a thing epochal happens. First a murmur, then a rumble, then a roar, then—the Revolution, peaceful or bloody; and all the emperors and kings, all the autocrats and aristocrats, go.
© Harris & Ewing “The right is more precious than peace”-President Wilson's address to the Congress advising war with Germany
AT WAR WITH GERMANY
PRESIDENT WILSON'S ADDRESS TO THE CONGRESS ON APRIL 2, 1917
T HAVE called the Congress into extraordinary session be. It is common prudence in such circumstances, grim necessity
cause there are serious-very serious-choices of policy to be indeed, to destroy them before they have shown their own inten
made, and made immediately, which it was neither right nor tion. They must be dealt with upon sight, if dealt with at all. constitutionally permissible that I should assume the responsi The German Government denies the right of neutrals to use bility of making.
arms at all within the areas of the sea which it has prohibited On the third of February last I officially laid before you the even in the defense of rights which no modern publicist has ever extraordinary announcement of the Imperial German Government before questioned their right to defend. that on and after the first day of February it was its purpose to The intimation is conveyed that the armed guards which we put aside all restraints of law or of humanity and use its sub- have placed on our merchant ships will be treated as beyond the marines to sink every vessel that sought to approach either the pale of law and subject to be dealt with as pirates would be. ports of Great Britain and Ireland or the western coasts of Armed neutrality is ineffectual enough at best. In such circumEurope, or any of the ports controlled by the enemies of Germany stances and in the face of such pretensions it is worse than Within the Mediterranean.
ineffectual. It is likely once to produce what it was meant to That had seemed to be the object of the German submarine war- prevent. It is practically certain to draw us into the war without fare earlier in the war, but since April of last year the Imperial either the rights or the effectiveness of belligerents. German Government had somewhat restrained the commanders of its under sea craft in conformity with its promise then given THERE is one choice we cannot make, we are incapable of to us that passenger boats should not be sunk and that due warn- I making: We will not choose the path of submission and suffer ing would be given to all other vessels which its submarines might the most sacred rights of our nation and our people to be ignored seek to destroy, when no resistance was offered or escape at- or violated. The wrongs against which we now array ourselves tempted, and care taken that their crews were given at least a are not common wrongs; they cut to the very roots of human life. fair chance to save their lives in their open boats.
With a profound sense of the solemn and even tragical characThe precautions taken were meagre and haphazard enough, as ter of the step I am taking and of the grave responsibilities which was proved in distressing instance after instance in the progress it involves, but in unhesitating obedience to what I deem my conof the cruel and unmanly business, but a certain degree of re- stitutional duty, I advise that the Congress declare the recent straint was observed.
course of the Imperial German Government to be in fact nothing The new policy has swept every restriction aside. Vessels of less than war against the Government and people of the United every kind, whatever their flag, their character, their cargo, their States; that it formally accept the status of belligerent which has ciestination, their errand have been ruthlessly sent to the bottom thus been thrust upon it and that it take immediate steps not without warning and without thought of help or mercy for those only to put the country in a more thoro state of defense, but also on board, the vessels of friendly neutrals along with those of to exert all its power and employ all its resources to bring the belligerents.
Government of the German Empire to terms and end the war. Even hospital ships and ships carrying relief to the sorely be- What this will involve is clear. It will involve the utmost pracreaved and stricken people of Belgium, tho the latter were ticable coöperation in counsel and action with the governments provided with safe conduct thru the proscribed areas by the now at war with Germany, and, as incident to that, the extension German Government itself and were distinguished by unmistak- to those governments of the most liberal financial credits, in order able marks of identity, have been sunk with the same reckless that our resources may, so far as possible, be added to theirs. It lack of compassion or of principle.
will involve the organization and mobilization of all the material International law had its origin in the attempt to set up some resources of the country to supply the materials of war and serve law, which would be respected and observed upon the seas, where the incidental needs of the nation in the most abundant, and yet no nation had right of dominion and where lay the free highways the most economical and efficient, way possible. of the world.
It will involve the immediate full equipment of the navy in all By painful stage after stage has that law been built up, with respects, but particularly in supplying it with the best means of meagre enough results, indeed, after all was accomplished that dealing with the enemy's submarines. It will involve the immediate could be accomplished, but always with a clear view, at least, of addition to the armed forces of the United States, already prowhat the heart and conscience of mankind demanded.
vided for by law in case of war, of at least 500,000 men, who This minimum of right the German Government has swept should, in my opinion, be chosen upon the principle of universal aside under the plea of retaliation and necessity, and because liability to service, and also the authorization of subsequent addiit had no weapons which it could use at sea except these, which tional increments of equal force so soon as they may be needed it is impossible to employ, as it is employing them, without and can be handled in training. throwing to the winds all scruples of humanity or of respect for It will involve also, of course, the granting of adequate credits the understandings that were supposed to underlie the inter- to the Government, sustained, I hope, so far as they can equitably course of the world.
be sustained by the present generation, by well conceived
taxation. I say sustained so far as may be equitable by I am not now thinking of the loss of property involved, immense taxation because it seems to me that it would be most unwise to I and serious as that is, but only of the wanton and whole- base the credits which will now be necessary entirely on money sale destruction of the lives of non-combatants-men, women and borrowed. It is our duty, I most respectfully urge, to protect our children-engaged in pursuits which have always, even in the people so far as we may against the very serious hardships and darkest periods of modern history, been deemed innocent and evils which would be likely to arise out of the inflation which legitimate. Property can be paid for; the lives of peaceful and would be produced by vast loans. innocent people cannot be.
In carrying out the measures by which these things are to be The present German warfare against commerce is a warfare accomplished we should keep constantly in mind the wisdom of against mankind. It is a war against all nations. American ships interfering as little as possible in our own preparation and in the have been sunk, American lives taken, in ways which it has equipment of our own military forces with the duty-for it will stirred us very deeply to learn of; but the ships and people of be a very practical duty--of supplying the nations already at other neutral and friendly nations have been sunk and over- war with Germany with the materials which they can obtain only whelmed in the waters in the same way.
from us or by our assistance. They are in the field and we should There has been no discrimination. The challenge is to all man- belp them in every way to be effective there. kind. Each nation must decide for itself how it will meet it. The I shall take the liberty of suggesting. thru the several executive choice we make for ourselves must be made with a moderation of departments of the Government for the consideration of your counsel and a temperateness of judgment befitting our character committees, measures for the accomplishment of the several and our motives as a nation. We must put excited feeling away. objects I have mentioned. I hope that it will be your pleasure to Our motive will not be revenge or the victorious assertion of the deal with them as having been framed after very careful thought physicat might of the nation, but only the vindication of right, by the branch of the Government upon which the responsibility of human right, of which we are only a single champion
of conducting the war and safeguarding the nation will most When I addrest the Congress on the twenty-sixth of February directly fall. last I thought that it would suffice to assert our neutral rights While we do these things, these deeply momentous things, let with arms, our right to use the seas against unlawful interfer- us be very clear, and make very clear to all the world what our ence, our right to keep our people safe against unlawful violence, motives and our cbjects are. My own thought has not been driven
But armed neutrality, it now appears, is impracticable. Be- from its habitual and normal course by the unhappy events of cause submarines have been used against merchant shipping it is the last two months, and I do not believe that the thought of the impossible to defend ships against their attacks, as the law of nation has been altered or clouded by them. nations has assumed that merchantmen would defend themselves I have exactly the same thing in mind now that I had in mind against privateers or cruisers, visible craft, giving chase upon the when I addrest the Senate on the 22d of January last; the same open sea.
that I had in mind when I addrest the Congress on the 3d of