« ПретходнаНастави »
The next day the House took it up, and before morning of April 6th adopted it by a vote of 373 to 50.
At eleven minutes after one o'clock on the afternoon of April 6th Good Friday—the President affixed his signature to the resolution, and that moment marked the official entrance of the United States into the World War.
TEXT OF THE WAR ACT
The resolution declaring the war which Germany had forced upon us was as follows:
WHEREAS, The Imperial German Government has committed repeated acts of war against the government and the people of the United States of America; therefore, be it
RESOLVED, By the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, that the state of war between the United States and the Imperial German Government, which has thus been thrust upon the United States is hereby formally declared; and that the President be, and he is hereby authorized and directed to employ the entire naval and military forces of the United States and the resources of the government to carry on war against the Imperial German Government; and to bring the conflict to a successful termination all of the resources of the country are hereby pledged by the Congress of the United States.
Immediately after affixing his signature to the war resolution, the President issued a proclamation announcing the same, calling upon all American citizens to give their loyal support to the government and the laws, and prescribing and establishing various rules and regulations concerning the conduct and disposition of alien enemies found within the jurisdiction of the United States.
ANTECEDENTS OF THE WORLD WAR
Pretexts and Causes — Ancient Inter-Racial Rivalries and Conflicts Nations Seeking Places "In the Sun". - The Quest of Free Outlet to the High Seas - Russia's Age-Long Struggles Toward Open Water - Our Own Fight for the Sea - Austria and the Adriatic — Looking Toward Salonica - Serbia's Need of a Sea Coast The Annexation of Novi Bazar Austrian Designs Against Serbia Germany the Master Hand - Imperial Schemes in Mesopotamia and the Far East – Planning for World-Wide Empire - The German North Sea Frontage - The War Begun on the World's Most Famous Battlefield.
BOTH THE pretexts and the causes of the World War and pretexts and causes are often very different thingswere varied and complex. The former were in some measure contradictory. First of all, there was Austria-Hungary's wrath over the assassination of the heir to the thrones, and her demands upon Serbia for such amends as could be made. Next there was Russia's preparation to protect Serbia against oppression and spoliation. Then there was Germany's intervention to protect her ally from Russian attack, There was Germany's complaint, afterward admitted to have been quite false, that French aviators had committed hostile invasion of the empire, on which account war was declared against France. Later there was the pretence that Germany had discovered a plot of the other powers to attack and oppress her and to deprive her of her rightful “place in the sun.” But, as a matter of fact, there were involved certain racial rivalries and national ambitions dating much further back than any of these things; some of the principles being almust as old as human history.
From the earliest times nations have generally been divided into two rival camps, antagonistic if not openly belligerent; and at intervals during and since the classic age some nation sought and has been seeking a larger
place in the sun,” or more free access to the high seas. The strife of Iran against Turan was the burden of the Epic of Kings. The strife of classic Greece, from Miltiades to Alexander of Macedon, was a war of continents and civilizations, the soul of Europe against the mass of Asia. Rome in turn long stood on the one side and the rest of the world on the other. Later the Western Empire was arrayed against the Gauls and Goths, and the Eastern Empire against the Slavs and the Turks. In the days of the Crusades Europe was again arrayed against Asia. After that it was the Latin against the Teutonic race, a strife which was maintained down to within our own recollection, in the “Terrible Year” between France and Germany.
The present war at first assumed the aspect of a new alignment, that of Teuton against Slav. That appeared in Austria’s attack upon Serbia, Russia's championship of Sèrbia, and Germany's defiance to Russia. Later, however, such lines were largely swept aside in a mad welter of all races and nations. Teuton and Slav, Latin and Anglo-Saxon, Tartar and Turk, Hindoo and Mongolian, were all inextricably mingled.
THE QUEST OF THE SEA As often of old, too, it was a fight for access to the sea. The cry of Xenophon's Ten Thousand, “Thalatta! Thalatta!" has been repeated, in desire or in realization, by many a nation in many a campaign. It was the sea that the Phænicians sought in their colonizations, thirty-one
centuries ago; and that the Dorians sought thirty centuries back, when they supplanted the Pelasgi in the Peloponnesus. It was the sea that the Assyrians sought when they overran Syria, and that the Babylonians sought when they conquered Judea and Egypt. It was the sea that Darius and his Persians sought when they invaded Thrace and oppressed the Greek colonies of Asia Minor.
When at last the powers fronting on the Great Sea were supreme over all others, the strife to reach the sea was ended for a time, and was transformed into a struggle for the sea's control. But later, when again great inland powers arose, the old quest was renewed. The so-called “Will of Peter the Great” is notoriously a sheer invention, sprung upon the world by Napoleon Bonaparte for the furtherance of his own purposes. But it is quite true in its expression of the unresting efforts of the great Slav power to gain an outlet upon an unfrozen sea.
“A WINDOW LOOKING UPON EUROPE Peter secured at the capital to which he gave his name what he described as "a window looking upon Europe”; but it was a window too much barred with frost, and the same is to be said of all the Russian conquests along the Baltic. The great Catherine gained a frontage on the Euxine, but the "narrowing Symplegades” were still between her and the high seas of the world. A march was made across Siberia to the Pacific, to get only an ice-locked harbor and to find Japan blocking the way to warmer waters. Longing eyes have been cast toward the North Atlantic, but miles of Sweden and Norway intervene. An essay has been made toward the Persian Gulf, but there Great Britain is in the way. Russian
history for two hundred years has been a story of efforts to reach the open sea.
OUR OWN SEA-SEEKING Nor has Russia been singular in that. quest. Four times has our own country been party to it. Once was when we were ready to fight France and the world for an outlet down the Mississippi, and a second essay was at the same time, when pioneers were sent over the mountains to win a title to the Pacific Coast. The third time was in the days of “Fifty-four Forty or Fight!” with two nations contending for Oregon and its ocean frontage; and the fourth was when Canada vainly sought to break through our Alaskan Panhandle for a short cut from the Klondike to the sea.
AUSTRIA AND THE ADRIATIC Still more to the present purpose, Austria-Hungary has long been seeking the sea, or more of the sea. There have been many ill-advised jests directed at Shakespeare for speaking of the sea-coast of Bohemia, showing chiefly the ignorance of those who make them; for the fact is, of course, that prior to Shakespeare's time, as that poet doubtless knew, Bohemia was a maritime power, with an extensive and important frontage upon the sea-much of the very same coast which Austria possessed after she had acquired Bohemia, and some of which she still possesses. It was largely for the frontage on the sea that Austria 80 prized and clung to Venetia, and it is for the same cause that she now chiefly values Kustenland.
But that Istrian frontage is insufficient and unsatisfactory. It contains only the one port of Trieste and the one watering place of Abbazia, while Croatia, adjoin