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‘Nothing less than war’

07 April 2017

April 5th, 1917.

AT LAST the hour has struck for America. The President has committed his country to the cause of the Allies. “I advise”, were his impressive words, “that Congress declare the recent course of the Imperial German Government to be, in fact, nothing less than war against the Government and people of the United States; that it formally accept the status of a belligerent which is thus thrust upon it; and that it take immediate steps not only to put the country in a more thorough state of defence, but also to exert all its power and employ its resources to bring the German Government to terms and end the war.” When we recall a former speech of the President, in which he spoke of “peace without victory”, we see the force of his present statement that America has no selfish end to serve, and no desire for conquest or domination, seeking no indemnity for herself, and no material compensation for the sacrifices she will make. She accepts battle with “this natural foe of liberty” with the sole object of checking and nullifying his pretensions and power. . . Dr Wilson’s speech revealed the extent to which his Government felt the indignities heaped on them by German intrigue and audacity, though all the time we credited them with apathy. The American spirit is now thoroughly aroused, and it is not to be supposed that our new Ally will lose any time in manifesting it. Indeed we are promised help in munitions and food and financial credit, and these objects are to be placed first in order of importance.


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