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ington and Jefferson, the traditional policy of this nation, had been neglected and ignored. For several years there had been much discussion and agitation of the matter, but little had been done. The nation was bewitched by the siren song of pacifism into believing, first, that there was no danger of our ever getting into war with a great power, and second, that if we did we should show ourselves able to "lick all creation.'
Our army, unsurpassed in character, was a mere handful in size. Our organized militia, also pitifully small in numbers, was disorganized and demoralized by the fatuous manner in which it had been mismanaged in our campaign against Mexico. Our navy, superb as its units were, was lacking in submarines and battle cruisers, and was so undermanned that half the battleships were laid up for lack of crews. We had scarcely any aviation service, and our supplies of artillery, rifles and ammunition were wofully inadequate.
THE COST OF UNPREPAREDNESS In all this we were blind to the lessons of history. Washington in the Revolution dwelt frequently and bitterly upon the murderous folly of arraying raw recruits against trained soldiers, and urged thorough training and universal service. In the War of 1812 we had been unprepared and had trusted to green militia, with the result that our land forces were usually beaten and our national capital was abandoned to the foe. In the Civil War it took us two years to get ready to fight. In the Spanish War our unpreparedness and the mismanagement of our camps and commissary formed a national scandal. Yet we ignored these lessons of history, and for more than two years faced a world in flames of war, with a growing assurance that
Photo by Underwood and Underwood, N. Y.
UNITED STATES BATTLESHIP “OKLAHOMA" One of the latest types of super-dreadnaught is here shown, racing along at 204 knots an hour on a speed test. This great warship is a sister-ship of the “Nevada." Her displacement is 27,500 tons, her engines develop 28,000 horsepower and she is armed with ten 14-inch guns in her four turrets, twenty-one 5-inch and four 3-pounders, together with four 21-inch Torpedo Tubes. She cost over $6,000,000.
Copyright by Underwood and Underwood, N. Y.
AN AMERICAN FIGHTING MACHINE The U. S. Battleship "Wyoming,” making a "smoke curtain,” behind which
submarines or destroyers might launch an attack on the enemy.
we ourselves would be involved in it, without making any real preparations to meet the tremendous crisis.
EFFORTS AT PREPARATION The moment war was declared, however, Congress began with frantic haste to atone so far as possible for the delay. Vast sums were voted for expansion and equipment of the army and navy, and a large increase of forces was authorized. A small band of pacifists opposed these measures, but their opposition was speedily overridden. At first public sentiment on the subject was supposed to vary greatly in different parts of the country, the Middle West being least disposed toward war, and some states, in which German residents were numerous, being reputedly strongly opposed to it. Day by day, however, brought the nation into harmony, until all sections were rallying to the support of the government.
The authorized increase of the army and navy was at first sought through the familiar system of volunteer enlistment. But this dragged, and it became evident that more strenuous methods must be employed. The President finally declared himself in favor of compulsory service, through a system of selective conscription, and a bill to that effect was introduced into Congress. Opposition to it was noisy but otherwise feeble, and at the middle of May the necessary legislation was enacted. The nation was awake and rising to meet the crisis.
OUR RESOURCES: ACTUAL AND POTENTIAL
Our Population and Wealth, and Production of Bread and Iron, Compared with the Other Great Powers Our Financial Resources Size of the Army and Navy Before the War - The Organized Militia Submarines and Airships American Inventions — Agricultural Resources and How They Might be Quadrupled Our Commercial Marine — Deplorable Lack of Ocean-going Tonnage - Comparisons with Other Countries — Urgent Need of an Increase of the Mercantile Marine.
VAST ARE the resources of America. At the time of her entry into the war, thirteen other nations were already involved in it. They included the six so-called Great Powers of Europe. But save for the population of two of them, the United States decisively outranked them all in the chief elements of material greatness. Apart from population the three chief elements of greatness are wealth, wheat and iron. The first means the aggregate wealth of the real and personal property of all the people of the nation. In that particular, the United States surpasses any two other nations in the world, put together. The second, wheat, is the most important article of food in civilized lands, and the production of it is an essential factor in the nation's economic independence. The third, iron, is the most important of all the metals, and the production of it is a gauge of the nation's industrial potency.
The following tables show, in round numbers, the population and wealth, and the wheat and iron production, of the chief belligerents, according to the latest available statistics: