The Melting Pot
America has been called the "crucible" or the "melting pot" of nations,
because many peoples of many races and many countries come together
here, and in the heat of life and struggle are molded into Americans.
President Wilson said, in a speech at Cincinnati in 1916, "America is
not made out of a single stock. Here we have a great melting pot."
As soon as we entered the war against Germany, the question arose in
the minds of most people as to how the large number of Germans in the
United States would act. Germany had taught them that even though they
became naturalized and took the oath of allegiance as American
citizens, such action was not binding, but was like "a scrap of paper"
to be destroyed and forgotten whenever necessity demanded, and that
"once a German" meant "always a German." It seems now that Germany
actually expected the Germans, who had left their native land to seek
opportunity, freedom, and citizenship under the Stars and Stripes, to
fight against their new and adopted home; but events have proved that
most German-Americans have higher ideals of right. A leading
German-American has written a book entitled "Right before Peace"; its
title carries the thought that has guided most of his fellow-countrymen
and their children in the United States during the World War.
A few months after the United States had declared that a state of war
existed with Germany, many leading men of this country of foreign birth
and parentage, signed, with others, a declaration drawn up by Theodore
Roosevelt. This declaration, somewhat abbreviated but not altered in
thought, is as follows. It makes very clear what America should mean to
her adopted children.
We Americans are the children of the crucible. We have boasted
that out of the crucible, the melting pot of life, in this free
land, all the men and all the women who have come here from all
the nations come forth as Americans, and as nothing else, like
all other Americans, equal to them, and holding no allegiance to
any other land or nation. We hold it then to be our duty, as it
is of every American, always to stand together for the honor and
interest of America, even if such a stand brings us into
conflict with our fatherland. If an American does not so act, he
is false to the teachings and the lives of Washington and
Lincoln; he has no right in our country, and he should be sent
out of it; for he has shown that the crucible has failed to do
its work. The crucible must melt all who are cast into it, and
it must turn them out in one American mold, the mold shaped one
hundred and forty years ago by the men who, under Washington,
founded this as a free nation, separate from all others. Even at
that time, these true Americans were of different races; Paul
Revere and Charles Carroll, Marion, Herkimer, Sullivan,
Schuyler, and Muhlenberg were equals in service and respect
with Lighthorse Harry Lee and Israel Putnam. Most of them,
however, were of English blood, but they did not hesitate to
fight Great Britain when she was in the wrong. They stood for
liberty and for the eternal rule of right and justice, and they
stood as Americans and as nothing else.
So must all Americans of whatever race act to-day; otherwise
they are traitors to America. This applies, especially to-day,
to all Americans of German blood who, in any manner, support
Germany against the United States and her Allies.
Many pacifists have during the last three years proved
themselves the evil enemies of their country. They now seek an
inconclusive peace. In so doing they show themselves to be the
spiritual heirs of the Tories, who, in the name of peace,
opposed Washington, and of the Copperheads, who, in the name of
peace, opposed Lincoln. We look upon them as traitors to the
Republic and to the great cause of justice and humanity. This
war is a war for the vital interests of America. When we fight
for America abroad, we save our children from fighting for
America at home beside their own ruined hearthstones. To accept
any peace, except one based on the complete overthrow of Germany
as she is under the ideals of Prussia and the Hohenzollerns, we
believe would be an act of baseness and cowardice, and a
betrayal of this country and of mankind.
The test of an American to-day is service against Germany. We
should put forth as speedily as possible every particle of our
vast, lazy strength to win the triumph over Germany. The
government should at once deal with the greatest severity with
traitors at home.
We must have but one flag. We must also have but one language.
This must be the language of the Declaration of Independence, of
Washington's Farewell Address, and of Lincoln's Gettysburg
Of us who sign, some are Protestants, some are Catholics, some
are Jews. Most of us were born in this country of parents born
in various countries of the Old World--in Germany, France,
England, Ireland, Italy, the Slavonic and the Scandinavian
lands; some of us were born abroad; some of us are of
Revolutionary stock. All of us are Americans, and nothing but
THE AMERICAN'S CREED
I believe in the United States of America as a government of the
people, by the people, for the people, whose just powers are derived
from the consent of the governed; a democracy in a republic; a
sovereign Nation of many sovereign States; a perfect Union, one and
inseparable, established upon those principles of freedom, equality,
justice, and humanity for which American patriots sacrificed their
lives and fortunes.
I therefore believe it is my duty to my country to love it; to support
its Constitution; to obey its laws; to respect its flag; and to defend
it against all enemies.
 COPYRIGHT, 1918, BY E.J. WYATT, BALTIMORE.