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Copyright by Harris & Ewing
HERBERT C. HOOVER
of the nation and control their distribution.
Copyright by Harris & Ewing
MAJOR-GENERAL JOHN J. PERSHING
force to France.
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:
AMERICAN FINANCIAL RESOURCES The financial ability of the United States to pay the expenses of the war for itself, and to assist its allies, may be estimated from the following statistics:
Annual national income.................. $50,000,000,000
crrccr Cash held by the banks.........
2,500,000,000 Total gold stock in the country........ 3,000,000,000 Available additional commercial credits on
basis of present cash holdings........... 6,000,000,000
It is estimated that the borrowing power of the American Government is not less than $40,000,000,000, from domestic sources, without seriously disturbing the ordinary financial and economical affairs of the nation.