Address (Classic Reprint).pdf
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Publisher: Forgotten Books (27 Sept. 2015)
By: William Foster Peirce (Author)
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Since the summer of 1914 an enormous responsibility has rested upon the government of the United States. The great nations of the world have divided into two hostile camps. Western Europe has broken in two and civilization itself seems threatened with destruction. The very foundations of international law and justice have been undermined and in the confusion of embattled nations nothing fixed and stable remains. Thus far our duty to maintain neutrality has seemed plain and in the face of enormous difficulties this policy has been maintained. But the battlefield is close at hand. Across the seas we can almost hear the thunder and see the lightning of the great guns. The eastern winds bring to our shore the sulphurous fumes that rise from the tremendous struggle. Our insulation from the shocks of war is by no means complete and in recent months the president of the United States has solemnly warned the nation that it may not always be possible to maintain neutrality. The sky of our international relations is overcast and our future course uncertain and obscure. Amid clouds and darkness the American people need and seek guidance.
The present war is not the only great European struggle since American history began. During the years that immediately followed the founding of the republic Europe was rent by a gigantic cataclysm which lasted for more than two decades. Our first presidents were obliged to face a situation which closely resembled the present crisis. France, first as republic and then as empire, stood at bay against a great coalition of allies. Then, as now, the allied coalition included England and thus possessed the dominion of the seas.
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