Слике страница
PDF
ePub

CHAPTER XXI

THE MEANING OF THE WAR

War Means War - The Initial Preparations - Increase of the Army and Navy - Appropriating a War Budget - Seizure of German and Austrian Vessels which Had Been Interned - Arrest of German Spies and Conspirators —Warnings and Orders to Alien Enemies - Government Confiscation of Wireless Telegraphy The Nation Placed upon a War Footing — The Coming of War Commissioners from the Allies — Our Practical Alliance with European Powers — A New Era in the Foreign Relationships of the United States.

WAR MEANS WAR. That fact was not instantly grasped by the American nation upon our declaration of war with Germany. The scene of the conflict was far away. Surely we should not actually be mingled in the fighting. We should lend money to the allies, of course, and use our ships for conveying to them the supplies which they needed. But that would be all. It did not take long, however, for a truer conception of the situation to dawn upon even the easiest-going American mind. More than half a century ago Lowell wrote

"It's war we're in, not politics;

It's systems wrastlin' now, not parties;" and in the fateful month of April, 1917, the American people began to realize the fact.

Immediately upon the declaration of war, bills were introduced in Congress for the prosecution of the conflict. A war loan of $7,000,000,000, the largest single appropriation ever made by any government in the world, was passed without a dissenting vote in either House. Later an Urgent Deficiency bill, appropriating $2,827,000,000 more for war expenses was passed, only a single vote being cast against it in the House of Representatives. Bills for the increase of the army and navy were enacted, one of them providing for “selective conscription" in place of the discredited volunteer system. This last supremely important measure, through scandalous "playing politics” in Congress, was not enacted until May 19th, and then the humiliating announcement was made by the War Department that, owing to the “depletion of supplies,” none of the 500,000 conscripts would actually be called to the colors before about the first of September!

GERMAN SHIPS SEIZED Meantime administrative acts were strenuous. A few hours after the enactment of the war resolution United States officers took possession of the vast and valuable array of German merchant vessels which had been interned for safety at various American ports. There were ninetyone of these vessels, including the largest steamship in the world and several others of the largest and swiftest class. Their total tonnage was in the neighborhood of 400,000, and their value was probably much more than $100,000,000. A catalogue of this gigantic argosy, the largest by far ever seized in the history of the world, is as follows:

At the port of New York, including Brooklyn and Hoboken:

Gross Approximate

Tons. Value. Vaterland, passenger............... 54,282 $7,500,000 George Washington, passenger ...... 27,000 5,000,000 Kaiser Wilhelm II, passenger ....... 19,361 4,000,000 President Lincoln, passenger....... . 18,168 3,600,000 President Grant, passenger .......

· 18,072

3,600,000

Gross

Tons.
Pennsylvania, passenger............ 13,333
Grosser Kurfürst, passenger ........ 13,243
Barbarossa, passenger........... . 10,915
Princess Irene, passenger........ . 10,881
Friedrich der Grosse, passenger... . 10,695
Hamburg, passenger.............. 10,531
König Wilhelm II, passenger........ 9,410
Prinz Eitel Friedrich, passenger ...... 8,797
Armenia, freighter........

5,471
Adamsturm, freighter........ 5,000
Pisa, freighter............

4,967 Prinz Joachim, passenger..

4,760 Allemannia, freighter....

4,630 Harburg, freighter........

4,472 Magdeburg, freighter.

4,497 Bohemia, freighter...

4,284 Nassovia, freighter......

3,092 Portonia, freighter....

2,778 Maia, freighter........

.. 2,555 Indra, ship........

1,746 Clara Mennig, freighter...

1,685 Matador, bark..

1,468

Approximate

Value.
2,600,000
2,600,000
2,000,000
2,000,000
2,000,000
2,000,000
2,000,000
1,500,000
1,000,000
1,000,000
1,000,000
1,000,000
1,000,000
1,000,000
800,000
800,000
800,000
600,000
600,000
400,000
500,000
300,000

At twenty-three other ports, in the United States and the insular possessions:

Tons.
Boston:

Amerika.............. 22,622
Kronprinzessin Cecilie . 19,503
Cincinnati.

16,339 Koln................. 7,409 Wittekind. ..... 5,640

Ockenfels....... 5,621 New London:

Willehad.............. 4,761

Tons.
Baltimore:
Bulgaria..

11,440 Rhein.......

10,058 Neckar........

9,835
Philadelphia:
Rhaetia.........

6,600
Prinz Oskar........... 6,026
Newport News:
Arcadia........... ... 5,454

Tons.

...........

[ocr errors]

3,130

Wilmington, N. C.:

Kiel.......

Nicaria............... 3,974 Savannah:

Hohenfelde............ 2,974 Charleston:

Liebenfels............. 4,525 Pensacola:

Rudolph Blumberg..... 1,769

Vogesen .............. 3,916 Jacksonville:

Frieda Leonhardt...... 2,822 New Orleans: Breslau....

7,524 Andromeda.

2,554 San Francisco:

Serapis. ....... 4,756
Neptun........
Ottawa........

3,659 Portland, Ore.:

Dalbeck............... 2,723 Seattle:

Saxonia............... 4,424 Winslow, Wash.:

Steinbeck............. 2,164 Astoria:

Arnoldus Vinnen....... 1,859
Kurt.

.............. 3,109 Honolulu: Pommern.............

6,557 Prinz Waldemar. 3,227 Setos..

4,730 Holsatia......... 5,649 Locksun........ 1,657 Loong Moon.........

197

Tons. Honolulu-Continued

Staatssekretär Kraetke. 2,009

Governeur Jaeschke.... 1,738 Hilo: .

C. J. D. Ahlers........ 7,490 San Juan, P. R.:

Odenwald......... 3,537 Pago Pago, Samoa:

Elsas................. 6,591
Manila:
Andalusia.............

5,433
Buchum.............. 6,161
Camilla Rickmers.. 5,130
Carl Diederichsen... 1,243
Clara Jebsen ........ 1,735
Coblenz...
Elmshorn

4,594 Esslingen....

4,902 Johanne.......

1,531 Lyeemoon.....

1,925 Mark..

6,579 Pong Tong.....

1,631 Rajah........

2,028 Sachsen.

8,007 Sambia......

4,765 Suevia.

3,789 Tubingen...... 5,586 zamboanga:

Borneo....... .... 2,168
Marudu ......

1,514 Darvel ........

1,308 Cebu:

Prinzess Alice......... 10,981
Tsintau....

......

.... 1,685 Wiegand......... ... 499

......

Many of these vessels had been maliciously damaged by their crews, by the breaking of parts of the engines,

etc., before surrender; but none so seriously but that they could soon be repaired and put into service.

AUSTRIAN SHIPS ALSO TAKEN A few days later, upon severance of diplomatic relations with Germany's ally, Austria-Hungary, the government similarly took possession of fourteen ships of that nationality, as follows:

Gross Approximate

Tonnage. Value.
New York Bay:

Martha Washington ........... 8,312 $4,000,000
Dora.

7,037 2,000,000
Ida..................

4,730 1,500,000
Newark Bay:
Himalaia..

4,958 1,500,000
Boston:
Erny.......

6,515 3,000,000
New Orleans:
Clara.

3,932 1,000,000
Teresa ......

3,769 1,000,000
Anna.

1,575 200,000
Pensacola:
Lucia........................ 6,744

6,744 3,000,000
Galveston:
Campania ......

1,500,000
Morawitz...

4,795 2,000,000
Newport News:
Budapest..................... 3,651

3,651 1,000,000
Philadelphia:
Franconia..

4,637 2,000,000
Tampa:
Borneo....

..... 3,621 1,000,000

5.551

pama....................

..............

The pier and water-front property at Hoboken, which had been occupied by the great German steamship lines

« ПретходнаНастави »