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Where Are You Going Great-heart?
Where are you going, Great-Heart, With your eager face...

Trees
I think that I shall never see A poem lovely as a tree. ...

United States Day
United States Day was celebrated in Paris on April 20, 1918. ...

The United States Marines
Our flag's unfurled to every breeze From dawn to setti...

Blocking The Channel
Bruges is an important city of Belgium made familiar to Ameri...

America Comes In
We are coming from the ranch, from the city and the mine, ...

A Carol From Flanders
1914 In Flanders on the Christmas morn The trench...

Pershing At The Tomb Of Lafayette
They knew they were fighting our war. As the months gr...

The Fleet That Lost Its Soul
Sailors and especially fighters on the sea have in all ages p...

The Capture Of Dun
After the Americans had cleared the Saint Mihiel salient, Mar...

November 11 1918
Sinners are said sometimes to repent and change their ways at...

Harry Lauder Sings
Harry Lauder, an extremely popular Scotch singer and entertai...

Alsace-lorraine
On slight pretext, Germany in 1864 and in 1866 had made wars ...

Vive La France 1
The determination of the people of Alsace and Lorraine not ...

In Memoriam
[THE FIGHTING YEARS, 1914-1918] Ring out, wild bells, ...

Nations Born And Reborn
In America, and in many other countries, people have listened...

America Enters The War
SPEECH BY LLOYD GEORGE, BRITISH PREMIER, APRIL 12, 1917 ...

Just Before The Tide Turned
On the 27th of last May the Germans broke through the French ...

Where The Tide Turned
It is the general impression that the tide of victory set in ...

A Congressional Message
FROM PRESIDENT WILSON'S ANNUAL ADDRESS TO CONGRESS DECEMBE...



America Enters The War






SPEECH BY LLOYD GEORGE, BRITISH PREMIER,

APRIL 12, 1917

I am in the happy position of being, I think, the first British
Minister of the Crown who, speaking on behalf of the people of this
country, can salute the American Nation as comrades in arms. I am
glad; I am proud. I am glad not merely because of the stupendous
resources which this great nation will bring to the succor of the
alliance, but I rejoice as a democrat that the advent of the United
States into this war gives the final stamp and seal to the character of
the conflict as a struggle against military autocracy throughout the
world.

That was the note that ran through the great deliverance of President
Wilson. The United States of America have the noble tradition, never
broken, of having never engaged in war except for liberty. And this is
the greatest struggle for liberty that they have ever embarked upon. I
am not at all surprised, when one recalls the wars of the past, that
America took its time to make up its mind about the character of this
struggle. In Europe most of the great wars of the past were waged for
dynastic aggrandizement and conquest. No wonder when this great war
started that there were some elements of suspicion still lurking in the
minds of the people of the United States of America. There were those
who thought perhaps that kings were at their old tricks--and although
they saw the gallant Republic of France fighting, they some of them
perhaps regarded it as the poor victim of a conspiracy of monarchical
swash-bucklers. The fact that the United States of America has made up
its mind finally makes it abundantly clear to the world that this is no
struggle of that character, but a great fight for human liberty.

They naturally did not know at first what we had endured in Europe for
years from this military caste in Prussia. It never has reached the
United States of America. Prussia was not a democracy. The Kaiser
promises that it will be a democracy after the war. I think he is
right. But Prussia not merely was not a democracy. Prussia was not a
state; Prussia was an army. It had great industries that had been
highly developed; a great educational system; it had its universities;
it had developed its science.

All these were subordinate to the one great predominant purpose of
all--a conquering army which was to intimidate the world. The army was
the spearpoint of Prussia; the rest was merely the haft. That was what
we had to deal with in these old countries. It got on the nerves of
Europe. They knew what it all meant. It was an army that in recent
times had waged three wars, all of conquest, and the unceasing tramp of
its legions through the streets of Prussia, on the parade grounds of
Prussia, had got into the Prussian head. The Kaiser, when he witnessed
on a grand scale his reviews, got drunk with the sound of it. He
delivered the law to the world as if Potsdam was another Sinai, and he
was uttering the law from the thunder clouds.

But make no mistake. Europe was uneasy. Europe was half intimidated.
Europe was anxious. Europe was apprehensive. We knew the whole time
what it meant. What we did not know was the moment it would come.

This is the menace, this is the apprehension from which Europe has
suffered for over fifty years. It paralyzed the beneficent activity of
all states, which ought to be devoted to concentrating on the
well-being of their peoples. They had to think about this menace,
which was there constantly as a cloud ready to burst over the land. No
one can tell except Frenchmen what they endured from this tyranny,
patiently, gallantly, with dignity, till the hour of deliverance came.
The best energies of military science had been devoted to defending
itself against the impending blow. France was like a nation which put
up its right arm to ward off a blow, and could not give the whole of
her strength to the great things which she was capable of. That great,
bold, imaginative, fertile mind, which would otherwise have been
clearing new paths for progress, was paralyzed.

That is the state of things we had to encounter. The most
characteristic of Prussian institutions is the Hindenburg line. What
is the Hindenburg line? The Hindenburg line is a line drawn in the
territories of other people, with a warning that the inhabitants of
those territories shall not cross it at the peril of their lives. That
line has been drawn in Europe for fifty years.

You recollect what happened some years ago in France, when the French
Foreign Minister was practically driven out of office by Prussian

interference. Why? What had he done? He had done nothing which a
minister of an independent state had not the most absolute right to do.
He had crossed the imaginary line drawn in French territory by Prussian
despotism, and he had to leave. Europe, after enduring this for
generations, made up its mind at last that the Hindenburg line must be
drawn along the legitimate frontiers of Germany herself. There could
be no other attitude than that for the emancipation of Europe and the
world.

It was hard at first for the people of America quite to appreciate that
Germany had not interfered to the same extent with their freedom, if at
all. But at last they endured the same experience as Europe had been
subjected to. Americans were told that they were not to be allowed to
cross and recross the Atlantic except at their peril. American ships
were sunk without warning. American citizens were drowned, hardly with
an apology--in fact, as a matter of German right. At first America
could hardly believe it. They could not think it possible that any
sane people should behave in that manner. And they tolerated it once,
and they tolerated it twice, until it became clear that the Germans
really meant it. Then America acted, and acted promptly.

The Hindenburg line was drawn along the shores of America, and the
Americans were told they must not cross it. America said, What is
this? Germany said, This is our line, beyond which you must not go,
and America said, The place for that line is not the Atlantic, but on
the Rhine--and we mean to help you roll it up.

There are two great facts which clinch the argument that this is a
great struggle for freedom. The first is the fact that America has
come in. She would not have come in otherwise. When France in the
eighteenth century sent her soldiers to America to fight for the
freedom and independence of that land, France also was an autocracy in
those days. But Frenchmen in America, once they were there, their aim
was freedom, their atmosphere was freedom, their inspiration was
freedom. They acquired a taste for freedom, and they took it home, and
France became free. That is the story of Russia. Russia engaged in
this great war for the freedom of Serbia, of Montenegro, of Bulgaria,
and has fought for the freedom of Europe. They wanted to make their
own country free, and they have done it. The Russian revolution is not
merely the outcome of the struggle for freedom. It is a proof of the
character of the struggle for liberty, and if the Russian people
realize, as there is every evidence they are doing, that national
discipline is not incompatible with national freedom--nay, that
national discipline is essential to the security of national
freedom--they will, indeed, become a free people.

I have been asking myself the question, Why did Germany, deliberately,
in the third year of the war, provoke America to this declaration and
to this action--deliberately, resolutely? It has been suggested that
the reason was that there were certain elements in American life, and
the Hohenzollerns were under the impression that they would make it
impossible for the United States to declare war. That I can hardly
believe. But the answer has been afforded by Marshal von Hindenburg
himself, in the very remarkable interview which appeared in the press,
I think, only this morning.

He depended clearly on one of two things. First, that the submarine
campaign would have destroyed international shipping to such an extent
that England would have been put out of business before America was
ready. According to his computation, America cannot be ready for
twelve months. He does not know America. Second, that when America is
ready, at the end of twelve months, with her army, she will have no
ships to transport that army to the field of battle. In von
Hindenburg's words, America carries no weight. I suppose he means
she has no ships to carry weight. On that, undoubtedly, they are
reckoning.

Well, it is not wise always to assume that even when the German General
Staff, which has miscalculated so often, makes a calculation it has no
ground for it. It therefore behooves the whole of the Allies, Great
Britain and America in particular, to see that that reckoning of von
Hindenburg is as false as the one he made about his famous line, which
we have broken already.

The road to victory, the guarantee of victory, the absolute assurance
of victory is to be found in one word--ships; and a second word--ships.
And with that quickness of apprehension which characterizes your
nation, I see that they fully realize that, and today I observe that
they have already made arrangements to build one thousand 3000-tonners
for the Atlantic. I think that the German military advisers must
already begin to realize that this is another of the tragic
miscalculations which are going to lead them to disaster and to ruin.
But you will pardon me for emphasizing that. We are a slow people in
these islands--slow and blundering--but we get there. You get there
sooner, and that is why I am glad to see you in.

But may I say that we have been in this business for three years? We
have, as we generally do, tried every blunder. In golfing phraseology,
we have got into every bunker. But we have got a good niblick. We are
right out on the course. But may I respectfully suggest that it is
worth America's while to study our blunders, so as to begin just where
we are now and not where we were three years ago? That is an
advantage. In war, time has as tragic a significance as it has in
sickness. A step which, taken today, may lead to assured victory,
taken tomorrow may barely avert disaster. All the Allies have
discovered that. It was a new country for us all. It was trackless,
mapless. We had to go by instinct. But we found the way, and I am so
glad that you are sending your great naval and military experts here
just to exchange experiences with men who have been through all the
dreary, anxious crises of the last three years.

America has helped us even to win the battle of Arras. The guns which
destroyed the German trenches, shattered the barbed wire--I remember,
with some friends of mine whom I see here, arranging to order the
machines to make those guns from America. Not all of them--you got
your share, but only a share, a glorious share. So that America has
also had her training. She has been making guns, making ammunition,
giving us machinery to prepare both; she has supplied us with steel,
and she has all that organization, and all that wonderful facility,
adaptability, and resourcefulness of the great people which inhabits
that great continent. Ah! It was a bad day for military autocracy in
Prussia when it challenged the great republic of the west. We know
what America can do, and we also know that now she is in it she will do
it. She will wage an effective and successful war.

There is something more important. She will insure a beneficent peace.
To this I attach great importance. I am the last man to say that the
succor which is given to us from America is not something in itself to
rejoice in, and to rejoice in greatly. But I do not mind saying that I
rejoice even more in the knowledge that America is going to win the
right to be at the conference table when the terms of peace are being
discussed. That conference will settle the destiny of nations--the
course of human life--for God knows how many ages. It would have been
tragic for mankind if America had not been there, and there with all
the influence, all the power, and the right which she has now won by
flinging herself into this great struggle.

I can see peace coming now--not a peace which will be the beginning of
war, not a peace which will be an endless preparation for strife and
bloodshed, but a real peace. The world is an old world. It has never
had peace. It has been rocking and swaying like an ocean, and
Europe--poor Europe!--has always lived under the menace of the sword.
When this war began two-thirds of Europe were under autocratic rule.
It is the other way about now, and democracy means peace. The
democracy of France did not want war; the democracy of Italy hesitated
long before they entered the war; the democracy of this country shrank
from it--shrank and shuddered--and never would have entered the caldron
had it not been for the invasion of Belgium. The democracies sought
peace; strove for peace. If Prussia had been a democracy there would
have been no war. Strange things have happened in this war. There are
stranger things to come, and they are coming rapidly.

There are times in history when this world spins so leisurely along its
destined course that it seems for centuries to be at a standstill; but
there are also times when it rushes along at a giddy pace, covering the
track of centuries in a year. Those are the times we are living in
now. Today we are waging the most devastating war that the world has
ever seen; tomorrow--perhaps not a distant tomorrow--war may be
abolished forever from the category of human crimes. This may be
something like the fierce outburst of winter, which we are now
witnessing, before the complete triumph of the sun. It is written of
those gallant men who won that victory on Monday--men from Canada, from
Australia, and from this old country, which has proved that in spite of
its age it is not decrepit--it is written of those gallant men that
they attacked with the dawn--fit work for the dawn!--to drive out of
forty miles of French soil those miscreants who had defiled it for
three years. They attacked with the dawn. Significant phrase!

The breaking up of the dark rule of the Turk, which for centuries has
clouded the sunniest land in the world, the freeing of Russia from an
oppression which has covered it like a shroud for so long, the great
declaration of President Wilson coming with the might of the great
nation which he represents into the struggle for liberty, are heralds
of the dawn. They attacked with the dawn, and these men are marching
forward in the full radiance of that dawn, and soon Frenchmen and
Americans, British, Italians, Russians, yea, and Serbians, Belgians,
Montenegrins, will march into the full light of a perfect day.





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