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Title: Woodrow Wilson's Administration and Achievements
Author: Lord, Frank B., Bryan, James William
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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    Patriotism consists in some very practical things--practical in
    that they belong to the life of every day, that they wear no
    extraordinary distinction about them, that they are connected with
    commonplace duty. The way to be patriotic in America is not only to
    love America, but to love the duty that lies nearest to our hand
    and know that in performing it we are serving our country.--_From
    President Wilson's Address at Independence Hall, Philadelphia, July
    14, 1914._


_Being a Compilation from the Newspaper
Press of Eight Years of the World's
Greatest History, particularly as
Concerns America, Its
People and their



James William Bryan Press
Washington, D.C.

Copyright, 1921
Frank B. Lord and James William Bryan

All Rights Reserved



AMERICANISM--From President Wilson's Independence Hall Address,
Philadelphia, July, 1914                                            2

HISTORY'S PROVING GROUND                                          7-8

PORTRAIT in typophotogravure of President Wilson at America's
Entry in the War--_Charcoal Sketch by Hattie E. Burdette_          10

Greatest History--_Courtesy of the New York Times_              11-69


FOREIGN POLICIES, 1913-1914                                        22

LANDMARKS IN MEXICAN POLICY                                        23

APPEALS FOR MEDIATION                                              30

THE EUROPEAN WAR, 1914-1916                                        30

FEDERAL RESERVE--From President Wilson's Address to
Congress, April, 1913                                              31

TYPOPHOTOGRAVURE of Governor Woodrow Wilson and Joseph P. Tumulty
with Newspaper Men, 1912                                           32

SENATOR GLASS ON WOODROW WILSON, 1921--_Courtesy of the New York
Times_                                                             36

PERSONAL MESSAGES TO CONGRESS from President Wilson's First
Address to Congress, April 8, 1913                                 39

TYPOPHOTOGRAVURE of President Wilson Reading First Message to
Congress, April 8, 1913                                            40

MEDIATION EFFORTS, 1916-1917                                       43

HAMILTON HOLT'S TRIBUTE                                            44

UNITED STATES IN THE WAR                                           46

RURAL CREDITS from President Wilson's Remarks on Signing
Bill, July, 1916                                                   48

TYPOPHOTOGRAVURE of the President in 1918                          50

THE FOURTEEN POINTS                                             58-59

PEACE CONFERENCE AND TREATY, 1919                                  61

THE CLOSING YEAR, 1920-1921                                        66

CARTOON--The Founders of the League of Nations, _by Baldbridge
in the Stars and Stripes_                                          70

VERSE--Beware of Visions, _by Alfred Noyes_                        70

POEM--In Flanders Fields, _by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrea_      71

POEM--America's Answer, _by R. W. Lillard._--_Courtesy of
New York Evening Post_                                             71

SONNETS--Recessional _by Richard Linthicum--Courtesy of the
New York World_                                                    72

WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION--From President Wilson's Speech of
Acceptance, 1916                                                   73

TYPOPHOTOGRAVURE of Portrait of President Wilson at Peace
Conference, _by George W. Harris_                                  74

The Right Honorable Jan Christian Smuts, 1921                   75-79

CARTOON--Without the Advice or Consent of the Senate, _by Kirby
in the New York World_                                             80

WE DIE WITHOUT DISTINCTION--From the President's Address at
Swarthmore College, 1913                                           80

WOODROW WILSON--An Interpretation--_Courtesy of the New York
World_                                                          81-93

TYPOPHOTOGRAVURE of the President on Board Ship Returning
from Peace Conference                                              87

THE PRESIDENT AND THE PEACE TREATY                                 87

TYPOPHOTOGRAVURE of the President at the Last Meeting with
his Cabinet, 1921                                                  88

TWO PICTURES--From Address by Joseph P. Tumulty                    88

THE COVENANT OF THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS                          93-100


The modern newspaper through its intensive, minute and zealous
activities in searching out, presenting and interpreting each day the
news of the entire world, is tracing with unerring accuracy the true
and permanent picture of the present. This picture will endure as
undisputed history for all time.

Let us concede that the newspaper writer sometimes, in the passion of
the hour, goes far afield. It is equally true that no statement of
importance can thus be made that is not immediately challenged,
answered and reanswered until, through the fierce fires of controversy
the dross is burned away and the gold of established fact remains. Not
alone the fact stands out, but also the world's immediate reaction to
that fact, the psychology of the event and the man dominating the cause
and the effect.

The modern newspaper is the proving ground of history. To illustrate
let us suppose that our newspaper press, as we know it today, had
existed in Shakespeare's time. Would there now be any controversy over
the authorship of the world's greatest dramas?

Could the staff photographer of a Sunday supplement as efficient as one
of our present day corps have snapped Mohammed in his tent and a keen
reporter of today's type questioned him as to his facts and data, would
not all of us now be Mohammedans or Mohammed be forgot? Had such
newspapers as ours followed Washington to Valley Forge and gone with
him to meet Cornwallis, would the father of his country be most
intimately remembered through the cherry tree episode? Consider the
enlightenment which would have been thrown upon the pages of history
had a corps of modern newspaper correspondents reported the meeting of
John and the Barons at Runnymede or accompanied Columbus on his voyages
of discovery.

Would not even Lincoln be more vivid in our minds and what we really
know of him not so shrouded in anecdote and story?

In Washington's time America became a Nation. In Lincoln's time our
country was united and made one. In Wilson's time our Nation received
recognition as the greatest of the world powers. It remained, however,
for Wilson alone to reach the highest pinnacle of international
prominence in the face of the pitiless cross fires of today's newspaper
press. Yet this inquisition, often more than cruel, was not without its
constructive value, for it has searched out every fact and established
every truth beyond the successful attack of any future denial.

This little volume--the first perhaps of its kind concerning any man or
event--presents with no further word of its compilers a summary of
Woodrow Wilson's Administration and Achievements--eight years of the
world's greatest history--taken entirely from the newspaper press.

It contains not one statement that has not been accurately weighed in
the critical scales of controversy. Its object is simply to present the
truth and have this truth early in the field so that the political
canard which was so shamelessly indulged in during the close of the
Wilson Administration may not be crystalized in the public mind and
cloud for a time the glorious luster of his name.

It shall be as Maximilian Harden, the keenest thinker of the defeated
Germans said: "Only one conqueror's work will endure--Wilson's


[Illustration: © _James Wm. Bryan_
               March 5, 1916: Portrait of Mr. Wilson drawn in charcoal
               by Miss Hattie E. Burdett, and considered by many as the
               President's best likeness at the entrance of America
               into the World War]

_Woodrow Wilson's Administration_

_Eight Years of the World's Greatest History_

Woodrow Wilson took the oath of office as President on March 4, 1913,
after one of the most sweeping triumphs ever known in Presidential
elections. Factional war in the Republican Party had given him 435
electoral votes in the preceding November, to Roosevelt's 88 and Taft's
8; and though he was a "minority President," he had had a popular
plurality of more than 2,000,000 over Roosevelt and nearly 3,000,000
over Taft.

Moreover, the party which was coming back into control of the
Government after sixteen years of wandering in the wilderness had a
majority of five in the Senate and held more than two-thirds of the
seats in the lower house. With the opposition divided into two wings,
which hated each other at the moment more than they hated the
Democrats, the party seemed to have a fairly clear field for the
enactment of those sweeping reforms which large elements of the public
had been demanding for more than a decade.

With this liberalism, which was not disturbed at being called
radicalism, Mr. Wilson in his public career had been consistently
identified. During his long service as a university professor and
President he had been brought to the attention of a steadily growing
public by his books and speeches on American political problems, in
which he had spoken the thoughts which in those years were in the minds
of millions of Americans on the need for reforms to lessen those
contacts between great business interests and the Government which had
existed, now weaker and now stronger, ever since the days of Mark

The ideas of Mr. Wilson as to governmental reform, to be sure, went
further than those of many of his followers, and took a different
direction from the equally radical notions of others. An avowed admirer
of the system of government which gives to the Cabinet the direction of
legislation and makes it responsible to the Legislature and the people
for its policies, he had been writing for years on the desirability of
introducing some of the elements of that system into the somewhat rigid
framework of the American Government, and in his brief experience in
politics had put into practice his theory that the Executive, even
under American constitutional forms, not only could but should be the
active director of the policy of the dominant party in legislation as
well. But a public addicted to hero worship, little concerned with
questions of governmental machinery, and inclined to believe that
certain parts of the work of the Constitutional Convention of 1787 had
been accomplished under divine inspiration, had comparatively little
interest in the Wilson concepts of reform in political methods. They
regarded him, in the language of those days, as a champion of the
"plain people" against "the interests." They had seen in his long
struggle with antagonistic influences in Princeton University--a
struggle from which he retired defeated, but made famous and prepared
for wider fields by the publicity which he had won by the conflict--a
sort of miniature representation of this antithesis between the people
and big business and they had learned to regard Mr. Wilson as a fighter
for democratic principles against aristocratic tendencies and the money

This reputation he had vastly expanded during his two years as Governor
of New Jersey. His term had been distinguished not only by the passage
of a number of reform measures consonant with the liberal ideas of the
period, but by a spectacular struggle between the Governor and an
old-time machine of his own party--the very machine which had nominated
him. In this fight, as in his conflict at Princeton, he had been for a
time defeated, but here again the fight itself had made him famous and
won him a hundred supporters outside of his own State for every one he
lost at home.

At the very outset of his term, he had entered, against all precedent,
into the fight in the Legislature over a Senatorial election. Demanding
that the Legislature keep faith with the people, who in a preferential
primary had designated a candidate for United States Senator who did
not command the support of the organization, he had won his fight on
this particular issue and set himself before the public as a sort of
tribune of the people who conceived it his duty to interpose his
influence wherever other officials showed a tendency to disregard the
popular will.

In the legislative fight for the enactment of reform legislation, too,
the Governor had continually intervened in the character of "lobbyist
for the people," and while the opposition of the old political
organization, which he had aroused in the fight for the Senatorship,
had partially halted the progress of this program, the great triumph in
November, 1912, had returned a Legislature so strong in support of the
Governor that before he left Trenton for Washington practically all of
the measures included in his scheme had become laws. Mr. Wilson, then,
was known to the country not only as a reformer but as a successful
reformer; and his victories over the professional politicians of the
old school had removed most of the latent fear of the ineffectuality of
a scholar in politics. In point of fact, the chief interest of this
particular scholar had always lain in politics, and it was partly
chance and partly economic determinism that had diverted him in early
life from the practice of politics to the teaching of its principles
and history.

Abroad, where his election was received with general satisfaction, he
was still regarded as the scholar in politics, for a Europe always
inclined to exaggerate the turpitude of professional politicians in
America liked to see in him the first fruits of them that slept, the
pioneer of the better classes of American society coming at last into
politics to clean up the wreckage made by ward bosses and financial
interests. Scarcely any American President ever took office amid so
much approbation from the leading organs of European opinion.

His radicalism caused no great concern abroad and was regarded with
apprehension only in limited circles at home--and even here the
apprehension was more over the return to power of the Democratic Party
than on account of specific fears based on the character of the
President-elect. The business depression of 1913 and 1914 would
probably have been inevitable upon the inauguration of any Democratic
President, particularly one pledged to the carrying out of extensive
alterations in the commercial system of the country. For in 1912 Wilson
had been in effect the middle-of-the-road candidate, the conservative
liberal. Most of the wild men had followed Roosevelt, and the most
conservative business circles felt at least some relief that there had
been no re-entry into the White House of the Rough Rider, with a gift
for stinging phrases and a cohort of followers in which the lunatic
fringe was disproportionately large and unusually ragged.

So Woodrow Wilson entered the Presidential office under conditions
which in some respects were exceptionally favorable. His situation was
in reality, however, considerably less satisfactory than it seemed. To
begin with, he was, in spite of everything, a minority President and
the representative of a minority party. He had even, during a good part
of the Baltimore Convention, been a minority candidate for the
nomination. If the two wings of the Republicans should during the
ensuing Administration succeed in burying their differences and coming
together once more, the odds were in favor of their success in 1916.
Moreover, the Democrats were definitely expected to do something.
Dissatisfaction with the general influence of financial interests in
public life, a dissatisfaction which had gradually concentrated on the
protective tariff as the chief weapon of those interests, had been
growing for years past. In 1908 a public aroused by Roosevelt but
afraid of Bryan had decided to trust the Republican Party to undo its
own work, and the answer of the party had been the Payne-Aldrich
tariff. That tariff broke the Republican Party in two and paved the way
for the return of Roosevelt; it had also, in 1910, given the Democrats
the control of the House of Representatives.

Now, at last the Democrats had full control of both Legislature and
Executive, and the country expected them to do something: unreasonably,
it was at the same time rather afraid that they would do something. To
do something but not too much, to meet the popular demands without
destroying the economic well-being which the Republican ascendency had
undoubtedly promoted, to insure a better distribution of wealth without
crippling the production of wealth--this was the problem of a President
who had had only two years in public life, and most of whose assistants
would have to be chosen from men almost without executive experience.

The chief peculiarity of President Wilson's political position lay in a
theory of American Government which had first come to him in his
undergraduate days at Princeton and which had been steadily developing
ever since. That theory, briefly, was that the American Constitution
permitted, and the practical development of American politics should
have compelled, the President to act not only as Chief of State but as
Premier--as the active head of the majority party, personally
responsible to the people for the execution of the program of
legislation laid down in that party's platform. Fanciful as it had
seemed when first put forward by him many years before, that concept of
the Presidency was now, perhaps for the first time, within the reach of
practical realization.

Dissatisfaction with the general secrecy and irresponsibility of
Congressional committees which had charge of the direction of
legislation, in so far as there was any direction, had been growing for
years; and an incident of the revolt against the Payne-Aldrich tariff
and the break in the Republican Party had been the internal revolution
in the House of Representatives, taking away from the Speaker the power
of controlling legislation which he had for some time enjoyed, and
which would have been a serious obstacle to Presidential leadership
such as Wilson had in mind. Moreover, the activity of Cleveland and
Roosevelt had shown the public that even in time of peace an energetic
President had a much wider field of action than most Presidents had
attempted to cover, and the more recent example of Taft had increased
the demand for a President who would act, would not leave action to
those men around him who "knew exactly what they wanted."

    _Early Accomplishments of Administration_

    _Underwood-Simmons tariff, establishing the lowest average of
    duties in seventy-five years, enacted October 3, 1913._

    _Federal Reserve act, organizing the banking system and stabilizing
    the currency, December 23, 1913._

    _Clayton Anti-Trust law._

    _Creation of Federal Trade Commission._

    _Repeal of Panama Canal tolls exemption._

    _End of dollar diplomacy._

    _Negotiation of a treaty (never ratified) with Colombia to satisfy
    the Colombian claim in Panama._

There were, however, two great obstacles to the operation of Mr.
Wilson's theory. The first was constitutional. In Europe the Premier
who directs the legislative policy of the Government is answerable not
only in Parliament but to the people whenever his policy has ceased, or
seems to have ceased, to command public confidence. The President of
the United States finishes out his term, no matter how bad his
relations with Congress or how general his unpopularity among the
people. The check upon his leadership, as Mr. Wilson presently
realized, could come only at the end of his term, when the President as
a candidate for re-election came before the public for approval or
rejection. So, even before his first inauguration, Mr. Wilson had
written to A. Mitchell Palmer, then a Congressman, expressing
disapproval, quite aside from any personal connection with the issue,
of the proposal to restrict the President to a single term. That had
been a plank in the Democratic platform of the year before; already it
was apparent that this phase of the party's program would have to be
sacrificed in order to make the party leader responsible in the true
sense for the program as a whole. But that plank had not been seriously
intended, and by 1916 the march of events had made it a dead letter.

A more serious difficulty, in March, 1913, lay in the fact that the
President was not the party leader. There was an enormous amount of
Wilson sentiment over the country, and there were many enthusiastic
Wilson men; but a good many of these were of the old mugwump type, or
men who had hitherto held aloof from politics. In 1912, as later in
1917 and 1918, there was seen the anomaly of a leader who was himself
an orthodox and often narrow partisan, yet drew most of his support
from independent elements or even from the less firmly organized
portions of the opposition. And not only were most of the Wilson men
independents or political amateurs; a still greater stumbling block lay
in the fact that very few of them had been elected to office. In the
great Democratic landslide of 1912 the Democrats who had got on the
payroll were mostly the old party wheel-horses who had been lingering
in the outer darkness of opposition for sixteen years past, or more or
less permanent representatives of the Solid South.

In so far as the party had a leader at that time, it was Bryan. Bryan
had played the leading part in the Baltimore Convention. If he had not
exactly nominated Wilson, he had at least done more than anybody else
to destroy Wilson's chief competitors. There were not enough Bryan men
in the country to elect Bryan, not even enough Bryan men in the party
to nominate Bryan a fourth time; but there were enough Bryan Democrats
to ruin the policy of the incoming President if he did not conciliate
Bryan with extreme care.

So the first efforts of the new Administration had to be a compromise
between what Wilson wanted and what Bryan would permit. This was seen
first of all in the composition of the Cabinet, which Bryan himself
headed as Secretary of State. Josephus Daniels, who as Secretary of the
Navy was to be one of the principal targets of criticism for the next
eight years, was also a Bryan man. Of the "Wilson men" of the campaign,
William G. McAdoo was chosen as Secretary of the Treasury, not without
some grave misgivings as to his ability, which were not subsequently
justified by his conduct of the office. The rest of the Cabinet was
notable chiefly for the presence of three men from Texas, a State whose
prominence reflected not only its growing importance and its fidelity
to the party but also the influence of Colonel Edward Mandell House, a
private citizen who had risen from making Governors at Austin to take a
prominent part in the making of a President in 1912. At the beginning
of the Administration and throughout almost all of President Wilson's
tenure of office he was the President's most influential adviser, a
sort of super-Minister and Ambassador in general; and his position from
the first caused a certain amount of heartburning among the politicians
who resented this prominence of an outsider who had never held office.

Perhaps because many of his official aids and assistants were more or
less imposed upon him, the President showed from the first a tendency
to rely on personal agents and unofficial advisers. And this was to
become more prominent as the years passed, as new issues arose of which
no one would have dreamed in the Spring of 1913, issues for which the
ordinary machinery and practice of American Government were but little

For the eight years which began on March 4, 1913, were to be wholly
unlike any previous period in American history. An Administration
chosen wholly in view of domestic problems was to find itself chiefly
engaged with foreign relations of unexampled complexity and importance.
The passionate issues of 1912 were soon to be forgotten. Generally
speaking, the dominant questions before the American people in 1912 and
1913 were about the same as in 1908, or 1904, or even earlier. But from
1914 on every year brought a changed situation in which the issues of
the previous year had already been crowded out of attention by new and
more pressing problems.

No American President except Lincoln had ever been concerned with
matters of such vital importance to the nation; and not even Lincoln
had had to deal with a world so complex and so closely interrelated
with the United States. Washington, Jefferson and Madison had to guide
the country through the complications caused by a great world war; but
the nation which they led was small and obscure, concerned only in
keeping out of trouble as long as it could. The nation which Wilson
ruled was a powerful State whose attitude from the very first was of
supreme importance to both sides. And the issues raised by the war
pushed into the background questions which had seemed important in
1913--and which, when the war was over, became important once more.

None of this, of course, could have been predicted on March 4, 1913. A
new man with a new method had been elected President and intrusted with
the meeting of certain pressing domestic problems. At the moment the
public was more interested in the man than in his method; and not till
the crisis had been successfully passed did popular attention
concentrate on the manner of accomplishment rather than on the things

_Problems at Home, 1913-1914_

One of the passages of President Wilson's inaugural address contained a
list of "the things that ought to be altered," which included:

    A tariff which cuts us off from our proper part in the commerce of
    the world, violates the just principles of taxation, and makes the
    Government a facile instrument in the hands of private interests; a
    banking and currency system based upon the necessity of the
    Government to sell its bonds fifty years ago and perfectly adapted
    to concentrating cash and restricting credits; an industrial system
    which, take it on all sides, financial as well as administrative,
    holds capital in leading strings, restricts the liberties and
    limits the opportunities of labor, and exploits without renewing or
    conserving the natural resources of the country; a body of
    agricultural activities never yet given the efficiency of great
    business undertakings or served as it should be through the
    instrumentality of science taken directly to the farm, or afforded
    the facilities of credit best suited to its practical needs.

The items had been set down in the order of their immediate importance.
First came the tariff, for the tariff had come to be in the minds of
many Americans a symbol of the struggle between the "plain people" and
"the interests." The Payne-Aldrich tariff, enacted by a party pledged
to tariff revision, had been not only an injury but an insult, and if
any American Presidential election could ever be interpreted as a
popular referendum on any specific policy the election of 1912 meant
that the Payne-Aldrich tariff must be revised. At the time of the
enactment of that bill Mr. Wilson had written a critical article in
_The North American Review_ which expressed a widespread popular
sentiment in its criticism of "the policy of silence and secrecy"
prevalent in the committee rooms when this and other tariffs had been
drawn up and a demand for procedure in the open where the public could
find out exactly who wanted what and why. Joined with this objection to
the methods of tariff making were some observations by Mr. Wilson on
the principles of tariff revision. He saw and said that a complete
return to a purely revenue tariff was not then possible even if
desirable, and that the immediate objective of tariff reform should be
the adjustment of rates so as to permit competition and thereby
necessitate efficiency of operation.

The ideas which in March, 1909, were merely the criticism of a college
professor had become in March, 1913, the program of the President of
the United States, the leader of the majority party, determined to get
his program enacted into law. Congress was convened in special session
on April 7, and the President delivered a message on the one topic of
the tariff. Going back to the precedent of Washington and Adams, broken
by Jefferson and never resumed again, he read his message in person to
the Congress as if to emphasize the intimate connection between the
Executive and legislation which was to be a feature of the new
Administration. The principle of tariff reform laid down in that bill
was a practical and not a theoretical consideration, the need of ending
an industrial situation fostered by high tariffs wherein "nothing is
obliged to stand the tests of efficiency and economy in our world of
big business, but everything thrives by concerted agreement.... The
object of the tariff duties henceforth laid must be effective
competition, the whetting of American wits by contest with the wits of
the world."

The measure which Democratic leaders had already prepared for that
purpose and which eventually became known as the Underwood-Simmons Act
was intended to accomplish its end only gradually. Notoriously
outrageous schedules of the Payne-Aldrich Act, such as that dealing
with wool, were heavily reduced, and the general purport of the bill is
perhaps expressed in the phrase of Professor Taussig, that it was "the
beginning of a policy of much moderated protection." It went through
the House without much difficulty, passing on May 8, and then it struck
the Senate committee rooms, from which no tariff bill had ever emerged
quite as innocent as it entered. The usual expeditionary forces of
lobbyists concentrated in Washington and the Senate talked it over,
while Summer came on and Washington grew hotter and hotter. In course
of time Senators began to come to the President and tell him that it
was hopeless to get the bill through at that session and that
Washington was getting pretty hot. The President replied that he knew
it was hot, but that Congress would have to stay there till that bill
was passed. Already he had given the lower house something to keep it
busy while the Senate wrestled with the tariff.

As for the lobby, the President had his own method of dealing with
that. On May 26 he issued a public statement calling attention to the
"extraordinary exertions" of lobbyists in connection with the tariff.
"The newspapers are being filled," he said, "with paid advertisements
calculated to mislead not only the judgment of the public men, but also
the public opinion of the country itself. There is every evidence that
money without limit is being spent to maintain this lobby.... It is of
serious interest to the country that the people at large should have no
lobby and be voiceless in these matters, while the great bodies of
astute men seek to create an artificial opinion and to overcome the
interests of the public for their private profit." The outraged dignity
of Senators and Representatives, not to mention lobbyists, rose to
protest against this declaration. A Republican Senator even declared
that the President, who had been actively urging his views on
legislators just as he had done in New Jersey, was himself the chief
lobbyist in connection with the Tariff Bill. A Senate Committee was
appointed to find out if there had been any lobbying, and discovered
that there had. Meanwhile the bill was being argued out in the Senate,
and the President stood firm against any substantial modification. It
was finally passed on Oct. 3.

It was a vindication of the platform promise and a fulfillment of the
duty with which the party had been charged in the last election, and it
was a notable triumph for the personal policy of the President-Premier,
who more than anybody else had literally forced the bill through
Congress. The tariff had taken such a prominent place in the fight
against business influence in the Government that the passage of a bill
which made a material reduction in rates was a moral victory for
progressivism at large, and for President Wilson in particular.

The actual effect of the tariff, or rather the actual effect that it
might have had, is something impossible to estimate at this time.
Before it had been in operation a year, before the country had had a
chance to study the new conditions brought in by the legislation of the
first year of the Wilson Administration, the war broke out in Europe.
The conditions which had prevailed through half a century of tariff
making had ceased to exist. They have not yet returned. A subsidiary
feature of the Underwood-Simmons Act, however, was to attain enormous
importance in the course of the Wilson Administrations. To supply the
deficiency in revenue which the lowered duties might be expected to
produce there was added an income tax law, which had recently been
permitted by constitutional amendment. Even the light duties of the
first year, with their $3,000 exemption, were denounced by
conservatives as a rich man's tax; but within four years more the
exemption was to be lowered to $1,000, and the peak of the tax raised
to tenfold its original height.

So long as the Wilson Administration was reducing the tariff, it was
carrying out the traditional policy of the Democratic Party; but the
next task which the President laid before Congress was much more
delicate and much more important. As the event showed, the result was
to be of infinitely greater benefit to the nation. Reform of the
currency had long been an evident necessity, and the panic of 1907 had
recently called attention to the dangers of the system based on
emergency measures of the Civil War period. Mr. Wilson himself had said
much of the necessity of freeing business from unnatural restrictions,
among which the makeshift currency system was included. During the
previous Administration Senator Aldrich's plan for a centralized
reserve bank had been widely discussed, and innumerable modifications
had been suggested. Democratic leaders were already working on plans
for currency reform when the new Administration came in, and on June 26
a bill was introduced in the House by Carter Glass and in the Senate by
Robert L. Owen.

It took six months of hard work to get this adopted, but it was a
marvelous achievement to get it adopted at all. For a large faction of
the Democratic Party, including its most influential leader, still
represented the old hostility to the "money power," which regarded the
overthrow of the United States Bank as the great triumph of the
American Democracy. The Glass-Owen bill differed from Senator Aldrich's
scheme largely in the direction of decentralization and giving more
control to the Government and less to the banks, but, even so, it was a
suspicious document to those numerous Democrats whose economic ideas
were obtained from the Greenback and Populist Parties of former years.
And it was not satisfactory to the majority of the articulate bankers
of the country, who wanted a central bank instead of the regional
division of the reserve functions, and who thought that the banks
should have a good deal to say about appointments to the Federal
Reserve Board.

As late as the beginning of December there were still three separate
bills before Congress, but the party organization under the
President-Premier held together, and on December 23 the Glass-Owen
Bill, with some modifications acquired en route, was signed by the
President. The pressure on the White House during that struggle was
perhaps the hardest which President Wilson encountered during his
entire eight years. Many an honest Democrat thought the fundamental
principles of the party were being betrayed, and many a Senator or
Representative who regarded the reserve banks with profound alarm felt,
nevertheless, that if the iniquitous things were going to be
established there ought to be one in his home town. When Paul M.
Warburg, a Wall Street banker, was appointed as one of the members of
the Federal Reserve Board, there were more protests from politicians
who professed to believe that the nation was being delivered over to
the money power, while the complaints of bankers who thought that the
banks were being given over to politicians had not yet died down. But
when the act once went into operation criticism almost disappeared; and
in the course of a few months the unprecedented financial strain
attendant on the outbreak of the European war made it plain to almost
anybody that without this timely reform of the banking system 1914
would have seen a disaster far worse than that of 1907.

The work of "striking the shackles off business" was continued in 1914
by the introduction of bills to carry out the President's
recommendations for prohibiting interlocking directorates, clarifying
the anti-trust laws, establishing an Interstate Trade Commission, and
supervising the issue of railroad securities. The chief results of this
discussion were the creation of the Trade Commission, a body of which
much more was expected at the time than it has accomplished, and the
passage of the Clayton Anti-Trust Act, which exempted farmers'
combinations and labor unions from the anti-trust laws, and wrote into
the statutes the declaration that labor is not a commodity. The La
Follette Seamen's Bill, drawn by Andrew Furuseth of the Seamen's Union,
was introduced in 1913 and not enacted until much later. Its friends
declared that it would at least establish decent living conditions for
sailors, and its opponents, including nearly all the shipping
interests, asserted that, so long as foreign ship owners were not under
similar restrictions, the bill would ruin the American Merchant Marine.
Of the actual workings of this law there has really been no fair test,
as conditions which arose during the war unsettled the entire shipping

The domestic program of the first year and a half of the Wilson
Administration comprised, then a long-needed and immeasurably valuable
reform of the banking and currency system, a revised tariff, which was
at least a technical victory for Democratic principles, and a number of
minor measures which seem less important in retrospect than they did at
the time. The program neither completely unshackled business nor opened
the door to a new era of coöperation and human brotherhood, but it was
a large and on the whole decidedly creditable accomplishment, and it
was above all the work of President Wilson, who had led the fight that
carried the Administration measures through Congress, quite as any
Prime Minister might have done. He had not done it without exposing
himself to severe criticism. Ex-Senator Winthrop Murray Crane, for
example, declared that he had "virtually obliterated Congress." But he
had got most of what he wanted, and by the end of his first year in
office Mr. Bryan was no longer the most powerful individual in the
Democratic Party.

_Foreign Policies, 1913-1914_

In _The North American Review_ for March, 1913, edited by Colonel
George Harvey, the original Wilson man, who had mentioned Wilson as a
Presidential possibility back in 1904, when such a suggestion was
regarded as only a playful eccentricity, who had begun to work hard for
him in 1911, and who had finally been asked by Wilson himself to give
up his activity because the connection of one of Harvey's magazines
with J. P. Morgan & Co. was hurting Wilson in the West--there appeared
an article entitled "Jefferson--Wilson: A Record and a Forecast." It
consisted of eight pages of quotations from Wilson's "History of the
American People," dealing with the beginning of Jefferson's
Administration. The reader's attention was arrested by the startling
parallel between the division in the Federalist Party and the quarrel
between Hamilton and Adams that facilitated Jefferson's election, and
the situation which led to Wilson's victory in November, 1912. Wilson,
writing a dozen years before the fight between Taft and Roosevelt, had
unconsciously drawn a parallel closer perhaps than the facts warranted;
and the reader who had been attracted by this similarity read on into
Wilson's characterization of Jefferson an introduction to the
achievements of his Administration with a growing hope--if he happened
to be a Wilson man--that after as before election Wilson's record would
duplicate Jefferson's.

Colonel Harvey was as good a prophet in 1913 as in 1904. Wilson's
achievement in domestic affairs in the first year of his Administration
was not likely to suffer much by comparison with Jefferson's. But it
could not have crossed anybody's mind in March, 1913, that
complications of international politics such as had almost ruined the
country under Jefferson would in the latter part of Wilson's first term
expose him to as much criticism as Jefferson, and for the same reasons.

America was still new as a world power, but was beginning to feel more
at home. In Taft's Administration, with Philander C. Knox as Secretary
of State, there had been for the first time the beginnings of what
might fairly be called a consistent foreign policy. True, it was not a
very lofty policy, nor was it by any means generally approved in
America. It was called by its friends "dollar diplomacy," meaning the
promotion of American commercial interests by diplomatic agencies. It
had been exemplified principally in Central America, where its
operations had not always commanded admiration, and in China, where
Knox had made a well-intentioned but not very skillful effort to
prevent the absorption of Manchuria by Russia and Japan.

    _Landmarks in Wilson's Mexican Policy_

    _Program for armistice and elections to end civil war, August,

    _"Watchful waiting," 1913-14._

    _Capture of Vera Cruz, April 21, 1914._

    _A B C mediation, April 25, 1914._

    _Flight of Huerta, July, 1914._

    _Recognition of Carranza, September, 1915._

    _Villa's raid on Columbus and Pershing's expedition into Mexico,
    March, 1916._

    _Flight and death of Carranza, May, 1920._

However primitive this organization of foreign policy, none the less
Taft and Knox had taken a great step forward in the improvement of
American diplomatic machinery. The diplomatic service and the State
Department were beginning to be regarded as two parts of the same
agency, and for the first time diplomacy had begun to be a career with
possibilities. The practice of promoting able young secretaries to
chiefs of legation, begun by Roosevelt, had been widely extended by
Taft; and though the highest posts were still filled by wealthy
amateurs it seemed that at last the American diplomatic service offered
some attraction to an ambitious man. It was the general expectation in
Europe and still more in America that President Wilson, who by training
and inclination might be expected to approve of the elevation of
standards in the diplomatic service, would continue and extend this
work. Instead of that, he undid it, or rather permitted it to be

Mr. Bryan had of necessity been made Secretary of State, and it may be
supposed that there was equal necessity for opening up the diplomatic
service as a happy hunting ground for the Bryan men--"deserving
Democrats," as Mr. Bryan called them in a famous letter. The chief
European posts, to which the Taft Administration had not begun to apply
the merit system, were filled chiefly by Mr. Wilson's own nominees.
These included several well-known men of letters, and with one or
two exceptions the amateur diplomats serving as the heads of the
missions in Europe did satisfactory and even brilliant service
under the unprecedented strain which the war brought on them. The
service in Latin America, however, which Knox had almost entirely
professionalized, was given over bodily to personal followers of Bryan.
In what was in 1913 perhaps the most important of our diplomatic posts,
the embassy to Mexico, Mr. Wilson was compelled to rely provisionally
on Henry Lane Wilson, a holdover appointee from the previous

It was soon made clear that there was to be no more dollar diplomacy.
The Knox policies in Central America were dropped--although American
troops continued to dominate Nicaragua--and in 1914 the Administration
successfully discouraged American participation in a six-power loan to
China. The Russo-Japanese absorption of Manchuria was to be treated as
the accomplished fact that it was; and in general the policy of the new
Administration was anything but aggressive. It would not use diplomacy
to advance American commercial interests, nor was it prepared to accept
the assistance of American financiers in promoting the policies of

But it was evident from the outset that the most quiescent foreign
policy could not prevent foreign complications. Growing anti-Japanese
sentiment in California led to the passage of a State law against
Japanese land holdings. There was much resentment in Japan, and protest
was made to the Federal Government. Mr. Bryan, as Secretary of State,
had to make a personal trip to Sacramento to intercede with the
Californians; and at one time (May, 1913) military men appeared to feel
that the situation was extremely delicate. But the crisis passed over,
the Californians modified the law, and though in its amended form it
suited neither the Californians nor the Japanese, the issue remained in
the background during the more urgent years of the war. Toward the very
end of the Wilson Administration it was to come back into prominence.

Another question which caused much disturbance to the new
Administration was the question of Panama Canal tolls. An act passed in
1912 had exempted American coastwise shipping passing through the canal
from the tolls assessed on other vessels, and the British Government
had protested against this on the ground that it violated the
Hay-Pauncefote treaty of 1901, which had stipulated that the canal
should be open to the vessels of all nations "on terms of entire
equality." Other nations than England had an interest in this question,
and there was a suspicion that some of them were even more keenly if
not more heavily interested; but England took the initiative and the
struggle to save the exemption was turned, in the United States, into a
demonstration by the Irish, Germans and other anti-British elements.
Innate hostility to England, the coastwise shipping interests, formed
the backbone of the opposition to any repeal of this exemption, but the
Taft Administration had held that the exemption did not conflict with
the treaty (on the ground that the words "all nations" meant all
nations except the United States), and British opposition to the
fortification of the canal, as well as the attitude of a section of the
British press during the Canadian elections of 1911, had created a
distrust of British motives which was heightened by the conviction of
many that the Hay-Pauncefote treaty had been a bad bargain.

It was understood early in President Wilson's Administration that he
believed the exemption was in violation of the treaty, but not until
October did he make formal announcement that he intended to ask
Congress to repeal it. The question did not come into the foreground,
however, until March 5, 1914, when the President addressed this request
to Congress in ominous language, which to this day remains unexplained.
"No communication I addressed to Congress," he said, "has carried with
it more grave and far-reaching implications to the interests of the
country." After expressing his belief that the law as it stood violated
the treaty and should be repealed as a point of honor, he continued: "I
ask this of you in support of the foreign policy of the Administration.
I shall not know how to deal with other matters of even greater
delicacy and nearer consequence if you do not grant it to me in
ungrudging measure."

It has been most plausibly suggested that this obscure language had
reference to the Mexican situation, which a few weeks later was to lead
to the occupation of Vera Cruz. The European powers were known to be
much displeased at the continuing disturbances in Mexico and the
American policy of "watchful waiting," and the belief has been
expressed that repeal of the exemption was a step to get British
support for continued forbearance with Mexico. Other critics have seen
a reference to the unsettled issues with Japan and a fear that England
might give more aggressive support to her ally if the tolls question
were left unsettled. The attempt of a writer of biography to maintain
that even in March, 1914, the President and Colonel House foresaw the
European war and wanted to arrange our own international relations by
way of precaution has been generally received with polite skepticism.

At any rate, the President's intervention in the question, against the
advice of his most trusted political counselors, brought down on him a
shower of personal abuse from Irish organs and from the group of
newspapers which presently were to appear as the chief supporters of
Germany. The arguments against the repeal were unusually bitter, and
even though Elihu Root took his stand beside the President and against
the recent Republican Administration, partisan criticism seized upon
the opening. Nevertheless the tolls exemption was repealed in June, and
events of July and August gave a certain satisfaction to those who had
stood for the sanctity of treaties.

As a part of what might be called the general deflation of overseas
entanglements, the new Administration brought about a material change
in the treatment of the Philippines. From the beginning great changes
were made in the personnel of the Philippines Commission and of the
Administration of the country. Many American officials were replaced by
Filipinos, but the separatist agitation in the islands was not much
allayed by the extension of self-government. In October, 1914, the
Jones Bill, which practically promised independence "as soon as a
stable government shall have been established," was passed by the House
of Representatives, but Republican opposition was strengthened by those
who remembered Bryan's anti-imperialism in 1900 and by the supporters
of a strong policy in the Pacific. This issue, like others of the early
period, came back into greater prominence in the last years of the
second Wilson Administration, when war issues were temporarily disposed

A specially conciliatory policy toward Latin America was one of the
chief characteristics of the early period of the Administration. At the
Southern Commercial Congress in Mobile, on October 27, 1913, the
President declared that "the United States will never seek one
additional foot of territory by conquest;" a statement which was
understood in direct relation to the demand for intervention in Mexico,
and which had a very considerable effect on public sentiment in Central
and South America. The passing of "dollar diplomacy," too, was
generally satisfactory to Latin America, and, though Mr. Bryan's
inexperienced diplomats made a good many blunders and could not help,
as a rule, being compared unfavorably with the professionals who had
held the Latin-American posts in the previous Administration, the
general policy of Wilson created much more confidence in the other two
Americas than did the spasmodic aggressiveness of Roosevelt or the
commercialized diplomacy of Taft.

One specific attempt was made to heal a sore spot left by Roosevelt in
relations with Latin America by the new Administration. Negotiations
with Colombia to clear up the strained situation left by the revolution
in Panama had been under way in the Taft Administration, but had come
to nothing. Under Wilson they were resumed, and on April 7, 1914, a
treaty was signed by which the United States was to pay to Colombia a
compensation of $25,000,000 for Colombian interests in the Isthmus. The
treaty further contained a declaration that the Government of the
United States expressed its "sincere regret for anything that may have
happened to disturb the relations" between the two countries, and this
suggestion of an apology for Roosevelt's action in 1903 roused the
violent hostility of Republicans and Progressives. The opposition was
so strong that in spite of repeated efforts the Administration could
never get the treaty ratified by the Senate; but the undoubtedly
sincere efforts of the Executive had of themselves a considerable
effect in mollifying the suspicions of Latin America.

But all problems south of the Isthmus were insignificant compared with
the difficulties in Mexico which had begun with the Madero Revolution
against Diaz in 1910. Just at the close of the Taft Administration
Madero had been overthrown and killed by Huerta, who then ruled in
Mexico City and was recognized by England and Germany in the Spring of
1913. Villa and Carranza were in arms against Huerta in the north,
calling themselves the champions of the Constitution; Orozoco and
Zapata were in arms against everybody in the south; foreign life and
property were unsafe everywhere except in the largest cities. The
demand for intervention, which had been strong ever since the troubles
began, was increasing in 1913. Huerta professed to be holding office
only until a peaceful election could determine the will of the nation,
but the date of that peaceful election had to be constantly put off.
The embargo on shipments of arms from the United States still existed,
preventing Huerta from supplying his troops; but there was a good deal
of smuggling to the revolutionary armies in the north. Of the
interventionists some wanted intervention against Huerta and some
wanted intervention for Huerta; and the pressure of economic interests
in Mexico was complicating all phases of the situation.

From the first President Wilson had expressed his disapproval of the
methods by which Huerta had attained office. Ambassador Wilson, on the
other hand, thought that Huerta ought to be supported, and when his
policy did not commend itself to the President he resigned in August,
1913. But already the President had been getting information about
Mexico from extra-official sources. His first envoy was William Bayard
Hale, author of one of his campaign biographies. Ambassador Wilson was
virtually replaced in August by another special representative, John
Lind, who carried to Huerta the proposals of President Wilson for
solution of the Mexican problem. They included a definite armistice, a
general election in which Huerta should not be a candidate, and the
agreement of all parties to obey the Government chosen by this
election, which would be recognized by the United States. Huerta
refused and presently dissolved Congress. When the elections were
finally held on October 2 Huerta won, and there was no doubt that he
would have won no matter how the voting had happened to go.

The President's program for Mexican reform, it may be said, was not as
evidently impracticable in 1913 as it seems in retrospect. It was
widely criticised at the time, and the phrase "watchful waiting" which
he invented as a description of his Mexican Policy was made the object
of much ridicule. Throughout the first winter of the new Administration
the American Government was apparently waiting for something to happen
to Huerta or for Huerta to reform, and President Wilson several times
sharply criticised the actions of the Mexican dictator. But Huerta did
not reform and nothing sufficient happened to him; it began to look as
if watchful waiting might continue indefinitely when a trivial incident
furnished the last straw.

A boatload of American sailors from the warships anchored off Tampico
to protect American citizens had been arrested by the Mexican military
authorities. They were released, with apologies, but Admiral Mayo
demanded a salute to the American flag by way of additional amends, and
when Huerta showed a disposition to argue the matter the Atlantic Fleet
was (April 14, 1914) ordered to Mexican waters. A week later, as
negotiations had failed to produce the salute, the President asked
Congress to give him authority to use the armed forces of the United
States "against Victoriano Huerta." There was much criticism of the
policy which had endured serious material injuries for more than a year
to threaten force at last because of a technical point of honor, and
besides those who did not want war at all the President found himself
opposed by many Congressmen who thought that the personal attack on
Huerta was rather undignified, and that the President should have asked
for a downright declaration of war.

While Congress was debating the resolution the American naval forces
(on April 21) seized the Vera Cruz Custom House to prevent the landing
of a munition cargo from a German ship. This led to sharp fighting and
the occupation of the entire city. General Funston with a division of
regulars was sent to relieve the naval landing parties; and war seemed
inevitable. Even the Mexican revolutionaries showed a tendency to
prefer Huerta to the intervention of the United States. But on April 25
the Governments of Argentina, Brazil and Chile proposed mediation,
which Wilson and Huerta promptly accepted. A conference met at Niagara
Falls, Ontario, and through May and June endeavored to reach a
settlement not only between the United States and Mexico, but between
the various Mexican factions. The President was still attempting to
carry out his policy of August, 1913, and the chief obstacle was not
Huerta, but Carranza, who had refused to consent to an armistice and
for a long time would not send delegates to Niagara Falls. Meanwhile
Huerta made one concession after another. Watchful waiting had indeed
ruined him; for President Wilson's opposition had made it impossible
for him to get any money in Europe--and in the early part of 1914 some
European nations would still have considered Mexico a good risk.
Moreover, from February to April the embargo on arms had been lifted,
and the Constitutionalists armies in the north, munitioned from the
United States, were steadily conquering the country. On July 15 Huerta
resigned, and soon afterward sailed for Spain; and on August 20
Carranza entered Mexico City.

Despite the criticism that had been heaped on the President's handling
of the Tampico-Vera Cruz affair, he had got rid of Huerta without
getting into war. A still more important consequence, the full effect
of which was not immediately apparent, was the enormous increase in the
confidence felt by Latin America in the good intentions of the Wilson
Administration. The acceptance of A-B-C mediation in 1914 made possible
the entry of most of the Latin-American powers into the European War in
1917 as allies of the United States. And for a time it was to appear as
if this had been about the only tangible profit of the episode; for
Carranza presently proved almost as troublesome as Huerta. The Fall of
1914 saw the outbreak of a new civil war between Villa and Carranza, in
which Zapata, Villa's ally, for a long time held Mexico City. Obregon's
victories in 1915 drove Villa back to his old hunting grounds.

By this time the European war was occupying most of the attention of
the American people, but Mexico was a constant irritant. Carranza
carried the Presidential art of biting the hand that fed him to an
undreamed-of height. Wilson, Villa and Obregon had enabled him to
displace Huerta, and Obregon had saved him from Villa. Yet he had
quarreled with Villa, he was eventually to quarrel with Obregon; and
though the United States and the chief Latin-American powers had given
him formal recognition in September, 1915, his policy toward Wilson
continued to be blended of insult and obstruction. Henry Prather
Fletcher, the ablest of the diplomats accredited to Latin-American
capitals, had been called back from Santiago de Chile to represent the
United States in Mexico; but despite his skill, despite the infinite
forbearance of the Administration, Mexico sank deeper and deeper into
misery, foreign lives and property were unsafe throughout most of the
country, and there was a continuing succession of incidents on the

These were the fault of bandits, chiefly of Villa, whose repeated
murders of American citizens led to futile attempts to get satisfaction
out of Carranza. The culmination of these outrages came on March 9,
1916, when Villa raided across the border, surprised the garrison of
Columbus, N.M., and killed some twenty Americans. A punitive expedition
of regulars under General Pershing was promptly organized. It pushed
about 200 miles into Mexico, destroyed several small parties of
Villistas, and wounded Villa himself. But it did not catch him nor any
of his principal leaders, and in April outlying parties of Americans
came into skirmishing with Carranza forces at Parral and Carrizal. It
was evident that further advance meant war with Carranza; and indeed
much American sentiment aroused by the capture of American soldiers by
Carranzistas, demanded war already. But relations with Germany were
very acute at the moment, so Pershing dug in and held his position
throughout the Summer and Fall. In May the National Guard was ordered
out to protect the border, and remained in position for months without
taking active steps.

    _President Wilson's Appeals for Mediation_

    _Formal offer of mediation to all belligerents, August 5, 1914._

    _German proposal of peace conference, December 12, 1916._

    _President's appeal to the belligerents to state their terms,
    December 18, 1916._

    _German refusal to state terms, December 26, 1916._

    _Allied statement of war aims, January 11, 1917._

    _President's "peace without victory" speech, January 22, 1917._

    _Notification of unrestricted submarine war, January 31, 1917._

    _Diplomatic relations with Germany broken, February 3, 1917._

    _Declaration of war, April 6, 1917._

The Mexican policy of the Administration was one of the chief points of
attack during the campaign of 1916, but the re-election of President
Wilson and the progress of events in Europe presently threw the issue
into the background. In February and March, 1917, when war with Germany
seemed inevitable, the expeditionary force under Pershing was recalled.

Carranza's pro-Germanism, or rather anti-Americanism, was hardly
disguised during the war, and the confiscatory policy of his
Administration in dealing with foreign oil and mineral properties
threatened to do much damage to American interests. When the war in
Europe had ended, the question of Mexico once more came back to the
foreground of attention. Carranza's Administration had not been stained
by so much guilt as Huerta's, and the opposition to it was on the scale
of banditry rather than revolution; but Mexico was far worse off after
years of the war than it had been in 1913, and disregard of American
rights was still the cardinal policy of the Government. Carranza's
security, however, was illusory. In the Spring of 1920 Presidential
elections were announced at last, and Carranza's attempt to force
Ygnacio Bonillas, his Ambassador in Washington, into the Presidential
chair led to a revolt which eventually attracted the leadership of
Obregon. Carranza fled from Mexico City and was murdered on May 22,
1920, and, after the interim Presidency of Adolfo de la Huerta, Obregon
came into office in the Fall.

_The European War, 1914-1916_

When in the last week of July, 1914, a war of unparalleled intensity
and magnitude suddenly fell upon a world which for forty years had been
enjoying unprecedented well-being and security, the practically
unanimous sentiment of Americans was gratitude that we were not
involved. The President's first steps, a formal proclamation of
neutrality and equally formal tender of mediation to the belligerents,
"either now or at any other time that might be thought more suitable,"
had general approval.

[Illustration: _Federal Reserve_
               We must have a currency, not rigid as now, but readily,
               elastically responsive to sound credit, the expanding
               and contracting credits of everyday transactions, the
               normal ebb and flow of personal and corporate dealings.
               Our banking laws must mobilize reserves; must not permit
               the concentration anywhere in a few hands of the
               monetary resources of the country or their use for
               speculative purposes in such volume as to hinder or
               impede or stand in the way of other more legitimate,
               more fruitful uses.--_From the President's Address to
               Congress, April 23, 1913._]

[Illustration: _Courtesy New York Times_
               July 3, 1912: Governor Wilson receiving congratulations
               from newspaper correspondents on his nomination for the

But a sharp division of sentiment showed itself when, on August 18, he
issued an address to the American people warning against partisan
sympathies and asking that Americans be "impartial in thought as well
as in action," in order that the country might be "neutral in fact as
well as in name." The great majority of the American people, or of such
part of it as held opinions on public questions, had already made up
their minds about the war, and most of the others were in process of
being convinced. Some of them had made up their minds from racial
sympathies, but others had thought things out. And among these last,
particularly, there was a revolt against the assumption that in the
presence of such issues any impartiality of thought was possible.

Moreover, the world-wide extent of the war, and the closer
inter-relations of nations which had grown up in recent years, made
almost from the first a series of conflicts between the interests of
the United States and those of one or the other set of belligerents.
Preservation of neutrality against continual petty infractions was
hard, and was rendered harder by the active sympathy felt for the
different belligerents by many Americans. A further complication came
from the growing feeling that America's military and naval forces were
far from adequate for protection in a world where war was after all
possible. The Autumn of 1914 saw the beginning for better national
preparedness, and counter to that the rise of organized
peace-at-any-price sentiment which from the first drew much support
from pro-German circles.

The President appeared to incline toward the pacifists. He called the
discussion of preparedness "good mental exercise," and referred to some
of its advocates as "nervous and excitable," and in the message to
Congress in December, 1914, he took the position that American
armaments were quite sufficient for American needs. In this it was
apparent that he was opposed by a large part of the American people;
how large no one could yet say. But the Congressional elections of 1914
had conveyed a warning to the Democrats. They were left with a majority
in both houses, but the huge preponderance obtained in 1912 had
disappeared. And the reason was even more alarming than the fact; the
Progressive Party almost faded off the map in the election of 1914.
Most of the voters who had been Republicans before the Chicago
Convention of 1912 were Republicans once again. Of the Progressive
Party, there was nothing much left but the leaders, and many of these
were obviously thinking of going back to the old home.

The Government had already had occasion to protest against British
interference with allied commerce when, on February 4, 1915, the
Germans proclaimed the waters about the British Isles a war zone open
to submarine activities. The President promptly warned the German
Government that it would be held to "strict accountability" if American
ships were sunk or American lives lost in the submarine campaign. Along
with this a message was sent to the British Government protesting
against British restriction of neutral commerce. There was good ground
for objection to the practices of both Governments, and the
simultaneous protests emphasized the neutral attitude of the United
States. Not until later was it evident that to the Germans this policy
seemed to indicate the possibility of putting pressure on England
through America.

"Strict accountability" seemed to be a popular watchword, except among
pacifists and German sympathizers, but Americans soon began to be
killed by the submarines without provoking the Government to action.
When the Lusitania was sunk on May 7, 1915, and more than a hundred of
the 1,200 victims were Americans a great part of the nation which had
been growing steadily more exasperated felt that now the issue must be
faced. The President was the personal conductor of the foreign policy
of the Administration; Mr. Bryan's sole interest in foreign affairs
seemed to be the conclusion of a large number of polite and valueless
treaties of arbitration, and it was certain that with Germany, as with
Mexico, the President would deal in person. In the few days after the
sinking of the Lusitania the nation waited confidently for the
President's leadership, and public sentiment was perhaps more nearly
unanimous than it had been for eight months past, or was to be again
for two years more.

The President's note on May 13 met with general approval. It denied any
justification for such acts as the sinking of the Lusitania, and warned
the Germans that the Government of the United States would not "omit
any word or act" to defend the rights of its citizens. But some of the
effect of that declaration had already been destroyed by a speech the
President had made two days before, in which he had said that "there is
such a thing as a man being too proud to fight," and the Germans, it
was learned presently, had been still further reassured by a
declaration of Mr. Bryan (entirely on his own authority) to the
Austrian Ambassador that the note was intended only for home

At any rate, the note was not followed by action. Throughout the whole
Summer the President maintained a correspondence with the Germans,
distinguished by patient reasoning on his part and continual shiftings
and equivocations on theirs. Meanwhile nothing was done; the public
sentiment of the first days after the Lusitania had been sunk had
slackened; division and dissension had returned and redoubled. Pacifism
was more active than ever and German agents were spreading propaganda
and setting fire and explosives to munition plants. Mr. Bryan, who
apparently alone in the country was fearful that the President might
needlessly involve the nation in war, resigned as Secretary of State on
June 8. Aside from a certain relief, the public almost ignored his
passing; the man who had been the strongest leader of the party in
March, 1913, had in the last two years sunk almost into obscurity.
Attention was now concentrated on the policy which the President, whose
new Secretary of State, Robert Lansing, was hardly more than a
figurehead, was pursuing toward Germany.

In August two more American passengers were drowned in the sinking of
the liner Arabic, and in other submarine exploits of the Summer a
number of American seamen lost their lives. The President's persistence
at last had the effect of getting from the Germans, on September 1, a
promise to sink no more passenger boats, and on October 5 they made a
formal expression of regret for the Arabic incident. Meanwhile some of
the acts of sabotage against American industries had been traced back
to the Austro-Hungarian Embassy, and the Ambassador, Dr. Dumba, was
sent home in September. A few months later Papen and Boy-Ed, the
Military and Naval Attachés of the German Embassy, followed him for a
similar reason.

But the German outrages continued, and so did the submarine sinkings,
though these were now transferred to the Mediterranean and Austria was
put forward as the guilty power. Also, nothing had been done about the
Lusitania. The country had apparently been divided by internal
discords. The condition which the President had hoped to prevent by his
appeal for "impartiality in thought as well as in action" had come
about. Also, the danger of war had revealed the inadequacy of America's
military establishment, and a private organization, whose moving spirit
was General Leonard Wood, had undertaken to supply the deficiencies of
the Government by establishing officers' training camps. Toward Wood
and his enterprise the Government seemed cold, and he was reprimanded
by the Secretary of War for permitting Colonel Roosevelt to make an
indiscreet speech at the training camp at Plattsburg. But when Congress
assembled in December the President deplored and denounced that new
appearance in American public life, the hyphenate, and urged upon
Congress that military preparation which he had derided a year before.

Congress, it was soon evident, was far less convinced than the
President that anything had happened during 1915. In December, 1915,
and in January, 1916, Mr. Wilson made a speaking tour through the East
and Middle West in support of his new policy. His demand for a navy
"incomparably the most adequate in the world," which Mr. Daniels
translated into the biggest navy in the world, aroused some doubts in
the minds of the public as to where the Administration thought the
chief danger lay, and German influences did their best during the
Winter to stir up anti-British sentiment in Congress--the more easily
since the controversy over British interference with American commerce
was still unsettled.

Eventually, and largely as a result of the President's speaking tour,
Congress adopted a huge naval program, which was destined to remain on
paper for some years. Military reform, however, had a different fate.
The President had supported the policy favored by the Secretary of War,
Lindley M. Garrison, of supplementing the regular line by a federalized
"Continental army" of 400,000 men. The House Committee on Military
Affairs, led by James Hay, would not hear of this and insisted on
Federal aid to the National Guard. The President, declaring that he
could not tell a Congressional committee that it must take his plan or
none, appeared to be ready to give in to Hay, and Garrison resigned in
protest. Hay had his way, and Garrison was succeeded by Newton D.
Baker, previously regarded as inclined to the pacifist side of the

    _Senator Glass on Woodrow Wilson_

    _It is my considered judgment that Woodrow Wilson will take a place
    in history among the very foremost of the great men who have given
    direction to the fortunes of the nation. No President of the United
    States, from the beginning of the Republic, ever excelled him in
    essential preparation for the tasks of the office. By a thorough
    acquisition of abstract knowledge, by clear and convincing precept
    and by a firm and diligent practical application of the outstanding
    principles of statecraft, no occupant of the Executive chair up to
    his advent was better furnished for a notable administration of
    public affairs. And Wilson's Administration has been notable. Its
    achievements, in enumeration and importance, have never been
    surpassed; and it may accurately be said that most of the things
    accomplished were of the President's own initiative._

    _Of the President's personal traits and characteristics I cannot as
    confidently speak as those persons whose constant and intimate
    association with him has given them observation of his moods and
    habits. To me he always has been the soul of courtesy and
    frankness. Dignified, but reasonably familiar; tenacious when sure
    of his position, but not hard to persuade or to convince in a cause
    having merit, I have good reason to be incredulous when I hear
    persons gabble about the unwillingness of President Wilson to seek
    counsel or accept advice. For a really great man who must be
    measurably conscious of his own intellectual power, he has
    repeatedly done both things in an astonishing degree during his
    Administration; and when certain of a man's downright honesty, I
    have never known anybody who could be readier to confide serious
    matters implicitly to a coadjutor in the public service._

                                    _CARTER GLASS_
    _Written for The New York Times,_
    _February 18, 1921._

Meanwhile the submarine issue was still an issue. Little satisfaction
had been obtained for events in the Mediterranean, and in March the
Sussex, a cross-Channel passenger boat, was torpedoed in plain
violation of the German promise of September 1. There followed another
interchange of notes, but the usual German efforts to deny and evade
were somewhat more clumsy than usual. On April 19 the President came
before Congress and announced that "unless the Imperial Government
should now immediately declare and effect an abandonment of its present
methods of submarine warfare against passenger and freight carrying
vessels" diplomatic relations would be broken off. The threat had its
effect; the Germans yielded, grudgingly and in language that aroused
much irritation, but on the main question they yielded none the less,
and promised to sink no more merchantmen without warning.

During this crisis the President had had to contend with a serious
revolt in Congress, which took the form of the Gore Resolution in the
Senate and the McLemore resolution in the House, warning American
citizens off armed merchantmen. The President took the position that
this was a surrender of American rights, and upon his insistence both
resolutions were brought to a vote and defeated. The Lusitania question
was still unsettled, but on the general issue of submarine war the
Germans had at last given way to the President's demand, and through
most of 1916 the submarine issue was in the background.

During the year there was a continuation of diplomatic action against
the British Government's interference with neutral commerce and with
neutral mails. But, aside from the comparative unimportance of these
issues beside the submarine assassinations, the Lusitania and similar
episodes had stirred up so much indignation that not many Americans
were seriously interested in action against England which could only
work to the advantage of Germany. The year saw the institution of the
Shipping Board, which was to look after the interests of the American
merchant marine brought into being by the war, and also some efforts to
extend American commerce in South America. Of more eventual importance
for Latin-American relations was the necessity for virtually
superseding the Government of the Dominican Republic, which had become
involved in civil war and financial difficulties, by an American Naval
Administration, as had been done in Haiti the year before.

The principal domestic event of the year was the threatened railroad
strike, which came at the end of the Summer. The President summoned the
heads of the four railroad brotherhoods and the executives of the
railroad lines to Washington for a conference in August, and attempted
without success to bring them to an agreement. A program to which he
eventually gave his approval provided for the concession by the
employers of the basic eight-hour day, with other issues left over
until the working of this proposal could be studied. The railroad
executives refused this, and while the negotiations were thus at a
deadlock it became known that the brotherhoods had secretly ordered a
strike beginning September 4. To avert this crisis the President asked
Congress to pass a series of laws accepting the basic eight-hour day,
providing for a commission of investigation, and forbidding further
strikes pending Government inquiry.

None of these proposals except the eight-hour day, the center of the
whole dispute, met the approval of the brotherhoods, and none of them
except the eight-hour day and the commission of investigation was
adopted. But, with A. B. Garreston, of the Brotherhood of Conductors,
holding a stopwatch in the gallery, Congress hastily passed these laws
and the strike was called off.

The eight-hour issue was the last item on the record on which President
Wilson came up for re-election in the Fall of 1916. Despite the
single-term plank in the Democratic platform of 1912, it had been
evident long before the end of Mr. Wilson's first term that he was the
only possible candidate. In March, 1913, he had seemed almost like an
outside expert called in for temporary service in readjusting some of
the problems of public life; he was by no means the leader of the
party. But long before Bryan resigned in alarm at the tendencies of a
foreign policy over which the Secretary of State had no control the
President had become the leader of the party, and by 1916 he was almost
the only leader of prominence.

In the record on which the electorate was to express its judgment only
a minor place was taken by the issues which had seemed of such
importance in 1913. The Federal Reserve Act had already proved its
value so well that it was being taken as a matter of course, and people
were forgetting that they had ever had to depend on a currency which
ran for cover in every crisis and on a banking system where each bank
was a source of weakness to its neighbors instead of strength. What
effect the Underwood-Simmons Tariff and other measures of the first
year might have had on American business no man could say, for
conditions created by the war had left America the only great producer
in a world of impatient consumers whose wants had to be met at any

Mexico, which had provided the most pressing problem in foreign affairs
during the Taft Administration, was still an unsolved problem in 1916,
and more disturbing than ever. The President had indeed avoided war
with Mexico, but had become involved in two invasions of the country
and in an expensive mobilization. During the 1916 election the nation
had in Mexico most of the drawbacks of war without any of the possible
benefits. In forcing out Huerta the President had indeed won a notable
diplomatic triumph, but he had not succeeded either in winning greater
security for American life and property or in getting a Mexican
Government more disposed to good relations with the United States; and
the Republicans maintained that war had been avoided only at the
sacrifice of both American prestige and American interests.

    _Personal Messages to Congress_

    I am very glad, indeed, to have this opportunity to address the two
    Houses directly and to verify for myself the impression that the
    President of the United States is a person, not a mere department
    of the Government hailing Congress from some isolated island of
    jealous power, sending messages, not speaking naturally and with
    his own voice--that he is a human being trying to cooperate with
    other human beings in a common service. After this pleasant
    experience I shall feel quite normal in all our dealings with one
    another.--_From the President's First Address to Congress, April
    8, 1913_

[Illustration: © _Harris & Ewing_
               April 8, 1913: Mr. Wilson reading his first message to

But Mexico, despite the emphasis placed upon it by the Republicans, was
a secondary issue in the campaign of 1916. The great issue was the
conduct of American relations with Germany, and the ultimate Republican
failure in the election may be laid primarily to the inability of the
Republican Party to decide just where it stood on the main issue.

The President had in this field also won a diplomatic victory. Like his
victory over Huerta, it was more apparent than real, for the submarines
were still active, and even during the campaign several incidents
occurred which looked very much like violations of the German promise
made in May. The most serious incident, that of the Lusitania, was
still unsettled and the opponents of the President charged him with
having bought peace with Germany, like peace with Mexico, at the cost
of national interest and honor. Still the technical victory in the
submarine negotiations had remained with the President, and he had
succeeded in winning at least a nominal recognition of American rights
without going into a war which, as every one realized, would be a much
more serious enterprise than an invasion of Mexico. German propaganda
and terrorist outrages, which had been so serious in 1915, fell off
materially in 1916 largely on account of the energetic work of the
Department of Justice, which had sent some of the most prominent
conspirators to jail and driven others out of the country. But a
considerable section of the population had made up its mind that
Germany was already an enemy and was dissatisfied with the President's
continual efforts to preserve impartiality of thought as well as of

The President was renominated at the Democratic Convention in St.
Louis, and the platform expressed a blanket endorsement of the
achievements of his Administration. But the chief incident of that
convention was the keynote speech of Martin H. Glynn, which was based
on the text, "He kept us out of war." His recital of the long list of
past occasions in American history when foreign violations of American
rights and injuries to American interests had not led to war was
received with uproarious enthusiasm by the convention and completely
overturned the plans which had been made by the Administration managers
to emphasize the firmness of the President in defense of American

But the Republicans presently gave that issue back to them. The party
passed over Colonel Roosevelt; the memory of 1912 was still too bitter
to permit the old-line leaders to accept him. On the other hand, the
Colonel and his following had to be conciliated, so the Republican
Convention nominated Charles E. Hughes, who had viewed the party
conflict of 1912 from the neutrality of the Supreme Court bench. The
Progressive Party duly had its convention and nominated Roosevelt; and
when Roosevelt announced that Hughes's views on the preservation of
American interests were satisfactory and that the main duty was to beat
Wilson, a good many Progressives followed the Colonel back into camp. A
rump convention, however, nominated a Vice Presidential candidate, and
virtually went over to Wilson.

Justice Hughes's views on public issues were not known before he was
nominated, and on the great issue of the campaign they were never very
clearly known until after the election, when it was too late. He had
strong opinions on Democratic misgovernment and maladministration and
outspoken opinions on Mexico, but whenever he tried to say anything
about the war in Europe he used up most of his energy clearing his
throat. A large element in the American people, which was influential
out of proportion to its numbers because it included most of the
intelligent classes and most of the organs of public opinion, felt that
the President had been too weak in the face of German provocation. To
this element, chiefly in the East, Colonel Roosevelt appealed with his
denunciation of German aggression and of the President's temporizing
with Germany; but Colonel Roosevelt was not running for President.
There was another minority, considerably smaller and far less
reputable, which consisted of bitter partisans of the German cause.
This minority was fiercely against the President because he had dared
to challenge Germany at all; and though Mr. Hughes gave it no
particular encouragement, it supported him because there was nobody
else to support.

So, in the Eastern States, where anti-German sentiment was strongest,
the Democrats advocated the re-election of Wilson as the defender of
American rights against foreign aggression, while in the West he was
praised as the man who had endured innumerable provocations and "kept
us out of war." When Hughes swept everything in the East, it was
confidently assumed on election night that Wilson had been repudiated
by the country; but later reports showed that the East was no longer
symptomatic of the country's sentiment. For three days the election was
in doubt. It was finally decided by California, where the Republican
Senator whom Hughes had snubbed was re-elected by 300,000 majority,
while the Democratic electoral ticket won by a narrow margin. Wilson
had carried almost everything in the West. Those parts of the country
which lay further away from Europe and European interests had
re-elected him because he had "kept us out of War."

_Mediation Efforts, 1916-1917_

It has been stated by Count von Bernstorff that, if Hughes had been
elected, President Wilson would immediately have resigned, along with
the Vice President, after appointing Hughes as Secretary of State, in
order to give the President-elect an opportunity to come into office at
once and meet the urgent problems already pressing on the Executive.
Whether the President actually entertained any such intention or not,
it would have been a logical development of his theory of the Chief
Executive as Premier. But the President-Premier had received a vote of
confidence, and was free to deal with the new situation created by the
various peace proposals of the Winter of 1916-1917. The negotiations
which followed during December and January were obscure at the time and
are by no means clear even yet. The fullest account of them is that of
Bernstorff, whose personal interest in vindicating himself would make
him a somewhat unreliable witness even if there were nothing else
against him. And at the time, when the President's motives were unknown
to a public which had not his advantage of information as to what was
going to happen in Europe, almost every step which he took was
misconstrued, and his occasional infelicities of language aroused
suspicions which later events have shown to be entirely unjustified.

Reports of American diplomats in the Fall of 1916 indicated that the
party in Germany which favored unrestricted submarine war without
consideration for neutrals was growing in strength. It was opposed by
most of the civilian officials of the Government, including the
Chancellor, Bethmann Hollweg; Jagow and Zimmermann, the successive
Foreign Secretaries, and Bernstorff, the Ambassador in Washington. But
the Admirals who supported it were gradually winning over the
all-powerful Generals Hindenburg and Ludendorff, and it appeared only a
question of time until the promise to America of May, 1916, should be
broken. And, as Bernstorff has expressed it, the President realized
after the Sussex note there could be no more notes; any future German
aggression would have to be met by action or endured with meekness.

In these circumstances the President was driven to seek opportunity for
the mediation which he had been ready to offer, if asked, from the very
beginning of the war. But to offer mediation, so long as the war was
undecided, was a matter of extreme delicacy. The majority of
intelligent Americans were strong partisans of the allied cause and
firmly believed that that cause was bound to win in the long run. There
was a minority which had equal sympathy for Germany and equal
confidence in her ultimate success. To offer mediation while the war
was still undecided would have been to offend both of these elements,
as well as the warring nations themselves, all of which were still
confident of victory. Specifically, to offer mediation during the
course of the Presidential election would have been to drive over to
Hughes all the pro-Ally elements in America, which in the state of mind
of 1916 would have seen in such a proposal only a helping hand extended
to a Germany whose cause was otherwise hopeless.

So, though during 1916 the President would have welcomed a request for
mediation, he did not dare suggest it on his own account. And neither
side dared to propose it, for such a request would have been taken as
an admission of defeat. Nineteen hundred and sixteen was an indecisive
year, but the fortune of war gave now one side and now the other the
conviction that a few months more would bring it to complete victory.
In such circumstances the losers dared not make a proposal which would
hearten their enemies and the victors would not suggest the stopping of
the war when they hoped that a few months more would see them in a much
more favorable position.

    _A Sympathetic Tribute_

    _Hamilton Holt, head of a delegation that visited the White House
    on October 27, 1920, in connection with the campaign advocating our
    entry into the League of Nations, said in the course of his address
    to President Wilson:_

    _"It was you who first focused the heterogeneous and often diverse
    aims of the war on the one ideal of pure Americanism, which is
    democracy. It was you who suggested the basis on which peace was
    negotiated. It was you, more than any man, who translated into
    practical statesmanship the age-old dream of the poets, the
    prophets and the philosophers by setting up a league of nations to
    the end that coöperation could be substituted for competition in
    international affairs._

    _"These acts of statesmanship were undoubtedly the chief factors
    which brought about that victorious peace which has shorn Germany
    of her power to subdue her neighbors, has compelled her to make
    restitution for her crimes, has freed oppressed peoples, has
    restored ravaged territories, has created new democracies in the
    likeness of the United States, and above all has set up the League
    of Nations."_

But by December Germany's situation was more fortunate than at any time
since the early Summer. Rumania, which had come into the war three
months before, had been defeated and overrun in a spectacular campaign
which had brought new prestige to the German armies. The triumph was of
more value in appearance than in reality, for no decision had been
reached on the main fronts and none of the chief belligerents was
willing to give up. Germany was under a terrible strain, and the
civilian Government concluded that the end of 1916 offered an
opportunity to make a peace proposal, without loss of prestige, which
might lead to a settlement of the war that would leave Germany
substantially the victor. For it was known that unless some such
decisive result were soon attained the military party would unloose the
submarines in the effort to win a complete victory, and thereby bring
about complications too serious for the civilian officials to
contemplate with any sense of security.

So on Dec. 12 Bethmann Hollweg proposed a peace conference. He
mentioned no terms which Germany would consider; he spoke in the
arrogant tones of a victor; and the total effect of his speech was to
convince the world that he was trying to influence the pacifist
elements in the allied countries rather than to bring about an end of
the war. But his step caused profound uneasiness in Washington, for he
had anticipated the action which the President had long been
considering. If Mr. Wilson could not have offered mediation before the
election, he might have tried it in November had not the German
deportation of Belgian workingmen just then aroused such a storm of
anti-German feeling in America that it would have been unsafe to take a
step which public opinion would have generally regarded as favorable to
Germany. Now that Bethmann Hollweg had anticipated him, it was evident
that any proposal which the President might make would be regarded as a
sort of second to the German motion.

Nevertheless, the situation was urgent, and the President seems to have
felt that his interposition could perhaps accomplish something which
the German initiative could not. Colonel House in the last two years
had made a number of trips to Europe as a sort of super-Ambassador to
all the powers in the endeavor to find out what their Governments
regarded as suitable terms of peace. Mr. Wilson's own interest lay
first of all in the establishment of conditions that would reduce--or,
as men would have said in 1916, prevent--the possibility of future
wars. On May 27, 1916, he had delivered a speech before the League to
Enforce Peace in which he favored the formation of an international
association for the delay or prevention of wars and the preservation of
the freedom of the seas. Later speeches contained doctrines most of
which were eventually written into the League covenant, and were based
on the central theory that all nations must act together to prevent the
next war, as otherwise they would all be drawn into it. On Oct. 26 he
had declared that "this is the last war the United States can ever keep
out of."

    _The United States in the War_

    _Declaration of war, April 6, 1917._

    _American warships in European waters, May 4, 1917._

    _First Liberty Loan offered, May 14, 1917._

    _Selective Service act operative, May 18, 1917._

    _First American troops in France, July 1, 1917._

    _Fourteen Points speech, January 8, 1918._

    _"Force to the utmost" speech, April 6, 1918._

    _Americans in action at Cantigny, May 28, 1918._

    _Chateau-Thierry, June 1-5, 1918._

    _Marne-Aisne offensive, July 15-August, 1918._

    _St. Mihiel offensive, September 12, 1918._

    _Mèuse-Argonne offensive, September 26-November 11, 1918._

    _Austrian peace proposal, September 15, 1918._

    _First German peace note, October 4, 1918._

    _Armistice ending the war, November 11, 1918._

Yet the President also had ideas on the nature of the peace terms by
which the war then going on should be concluded, though he felt that no
good could be obtained by the proposal of such terms from a neutral. On
Dec. 18, accordingly, he addressed the belligerent Governments with an
invitation to state the specific conditions which each of them regarded
as essential to a just peace, in the hope that they would find they
were nearer agreement than they knew. Unfortunately, the President made
the observation that the objects of the two alliances, "as stated in
general terms to their own people and the world," were "virtually the
same." That was true; each side had said that it was fighting in
self-defense in order to preserve international justice, the rights of
nationalities, and a number of other worthy interests. But the public,
both in America and in the allied countries, saw in this renewed effort
at "impartiality of thought as well as of action" an indication that
the President saw no moral difference between the two sides. From that
moment any good result of the President's suggestion, in America or in
the allied countries, was out of the question; and if any hope had
remained, the Germans presently destroyed it. They wanted a peace
conference with no terms stated beforehand, where they could play on
the divergent interests of the allied countries; nor did they want the
President to have anything to do with the making of peace, lest, as
Bethmann Hollweg expressed it to Bernstorff, the Germans should be
"robbed of their gains by neutral pressure." So the German reply on
Dec. 26 politely observed that a direct conference between the
belligerents would seem most appropriate, which conference the German
Government proposed. For the general idea of a League of Nations the
Germans expressed their approval, but they wanted peace of their own
kind first.

The allied reply was delayed until Jan. 11, but at least it met the
President's request for details. It laid down the specifications of
what the allied powers would regard as a just peace, and the bulk of
that program was eventually to be written into the Treaty of
Versailles. But at the time, of course, it was evident that the
belligerents were further from agreement than they thought, or at any
rate than the President thought. Of such terms Germany would hear
nothing; nor would her Government give to the President, even in
confidence, its own idea of the specifications of a just peace.

So the President, determined to carry out his program in spite of all
obstacles, finally went before the Senate on Jan. 22, 1917, and laid
down some general considerations of what he thought a just peace should
be like. It was the logical next step in his effort to stop the war
before America should become involved, but it was taken under
conditions which made success impossible. As a matter of fact, the
Germans had already decided to resume the unrestricted submarine war;
the decision had been taken on Jan. 9, but was not to be announced till
Jan. 31. Moreover, in America and the allied countries public sentiment
was unprepared for anything like the speech of Jan. 22. Few people in
the United States realized the danger. Mr. Lansing had followed upon
the December note with a statement to correspondents that if the war
were not soon stopped America might be drawn into it. That was the
fact, but it depended on information unknown to the public; and though
the most natural inference was that a new crisis with Germany was at
hand no one knew exactly how to take it--particularly as Lansing, on
orders from the White House, hastened to explain that he had been

Moreover, the President was still desperately striving to keep in good
understanding with the German Government, and in pursuance of this
policy James W. Gerard, the Ambassador to Germany, had declared at a
dinner in Berlin on Jan. 6 that the relations between America and
Germany had never been better than they were at that moment. This,
also, the public in the United States found it hard to understand. If
Lansing's reference to the danger of war had meant anything, what did
this mean?

So the President's address to the Senate on Jan. 22 did not and could
not have the reception that he hoped. He set forth his idea of the
necessity of a League of Nations, he declared that the peace must be
based on democratic principles and on the doctrine that was to become
famous before long under the name of self-determination. There must be
no more forcible conquests, no more bartering of unwilling populations.
The peace that ended this war, he said, must be guaranteed by a League
of Nations--of all nations; and if America was to enter that League she
must be assured that the peace was a peace worth guaranteeing.

So far every one might have followed him, in America at least; but the
President called such a peace a "peace without victory," and to the
supporters of the Allies in America, rendered suspicious by a course
whose motives they could not see, that meant a peace without allied
victory and consequently an unjust peace. Few of the President's public
addresses have been more unfavorably received.

Wilson had stated his peace terms--of course, only in general
principles; the Allies had stated theirs in detail. Except for an
article in a New York evening newspaper, inspired by Bernstorff but
bearing no mark of authority, the German terms had not even been
suggested. On the day following his Senate speech, according to
Bernstorff, the President volunteered to issue a call for an immediate
peace conference if only the Germans would state their terms. But they
did not state them until the 29th, when a note for the President's
private information detailed a program which was as obviously
unacceptable to the allied powers as the Allies' terms were to the
Germans. In any case this program had only an academic interest, for
along with it came a formal notice that unrestricted submarine war
would begin on Feb. 1.

The German Government had deliberately broken its promises of Sept. 1,
1915, and May 5, 1916. Moreover, that Government, which for months past
had been sending the President private assurances of its hearty
approval of his efforts toward peace, had by its intrusion and its
refusal to deal openly wrecked those efforts when at last he had
brought them to a head. There was only one thing to do, and the
President did it. On Feb. 3 he announced to Congress the rupture of
diplomatic relations with Germany.

But breaking of relations did not mean war. The President told Congress
that if the threat against American lives and property conveyed by the
resumption of submarine war were followed by overt acts of actual
injury to Americans he would come before Congress once more and ask for
authority to take the necessary steps to protect American interests.
But for the moment he seems to have felt that only a warning was
necessary; that the Germans, if convinced that America meant business,
would reconsider their decision. And he added, "I take it for granted
that all neutral Governments will take the same course." Logically they
should have done so, since the proclamation of submarine war was
virtually a declaration of war on all neutrals; but the European
neutrals did not dare to run the risk even if they had been so minded.

The submarines set to work and more ships were sunk, some of them ships
with American passengers. The nation began to demand war to end an
impossible situation. For the moment the President's aspirations were
more moderate, and he asked Congress in the closing days of his first
term for authority to arm American merchant ships for defense against
submarines. The bill readily passed the House and commanded the support
of seven-eighths of the Senate; but a dozen pacifists, pro-Germans and
professional obstructionists, whom the President denounced as "a little
group of willful men," filibustered it to death in the Senate in the
last hours of the session. Almost the first act of the President after
his inauguration, however, was the preparation to arm the ships by
Executive authority.

    _Rural Credits_

    The farmers, it seems to me, have occupied hitherto a singular
    position of disadvantage. They have not had the same freedom to get
    credit on their real assets that others have had who were in
    manufacturing and commercial enterprises, and while they sustained
    our life, they did not in the same degree with some others share in
    the benefits of that life.--_From President Wilson's remarks on
    signing the Rural Credits Bill, July 17, 1916._

[Illustration: © _Paul Thompson_
               1918: The President acknowledging greetings at a
               military review]

Meanwhile secret agents had discovered an attempt by the German Foreign
Office to enlist Mexican and Japanese support in the prospective war
against America by promising annexations in the Southwest and on the
Pacific Coast. Publication of this on March 1 converted a good many
Americans of the interior who had hitherto been slow to recognize the
seriousness of the German danger; and as the submarine campaign
continued and no European neutrals followed the American example, the
sentiment in favor of declaration of war grew every day.

But for the President this involved considerable logical difficulty.
From the first he had striven to maintain "impartiality of thought," or
at least of speech. He had said that the war was no concern of
America's; it would be the task of long historical research to assign
the responsibility for its outbreak; that "with its causes and objects
we are not concerned. The obscure foundations from which its tremendous
flood has burst forth we are not interested to search for and explore."
It was a war which should be ended by a peace without a victory.
Whatever meaning the President attached to these statements when he
made them, the meaning attached to them by the public was a serious
obstacle to the man who was going to have to lead the nation into war.
But he solved the dilemma by a change of base which affected the whole
political complexion of the war thereafter, which introduced a new and
overriding issue--an issue which, addressing Congress on April 2, he
introduced to the world in his most famous phrase and the most
effective of his speeches. America, he said, had no quarrel with the
German people; that people had not made the war. But the Germans were
ruled by an autocratic Government which had made neutrality impossible,
which had shown itself "the natural foe of liberty." That Government
had forced America to take up the sword for the freedom of peoples--of
all peoples, even of the German people. America must fight "to make the
world safe for democracy." On April 6, 1917, Congress declared war.

_America at War, 1917-1918_

Once committed to war, the President found behind him a nation more
thoroughly united than could ever have been hoped in the dark days of
1915. Again, as in the week after the sinking of the Lusitania, he was
the universally trusted leader of the people; and to a considerable
extent the unity of the nation at the entrance into war could be traced
back to the very policies of delay which had been so sharply
criticised. The people who had been on the side of the Allies from the
first and who had seen through German pretenses long before were now
solidly behind the President, for he had at last come over to their
views. But other and important elements which might have been hostile
two years before were now convinced of the necessity for fighting the

And the President's call to a crusade for democracy won the support,
permanent or temporary, of many of those liberals who otherwise, in
America and the allied countries, were inclined during the whole war to
see in the Kaiser and Ludendorff the natural allies of liberalism.
There was a feeling of great ideas stirring the world in the Spring of
1917. The Russian revolution had just overthrown the most reactionary
and apparently the most firmly established of autocratic Governments,
and no one in Western Europe or America doubted that Russia would jump
in six months as far as England, France and America had painfully
toiled in two centuries, and become and remain a free democracy. If
Russia had had a revolution, might not Germany have a revolution, too?
Would not the German people, whose injuries at the hands of their own
rulers the President had so well pointed out, rise up and overthrow
those rulers and bring about a just and lasting peace? Many people in
the Spring of 1917 expected exactly that; the millennium was just
around the corner.

Moreover, it seemed that perhaps the Allies would win the war in the
field before America could get into it. A British offensive in Artois
had important initial successes, and Nivelle's bloody failure on the
Aisne was for a long time represented to the world as a brilliant
victory. War, for America, might involve a little expenditure of money,
but hardly any serious effort, according to the view widely current
among the population in the Spring of 1917; it was more than anything
else an opportunity for the display of commendable moral sentiments,
and for enthusiastic acclamations to the famous allied leaders who
presently began to come to the United States on special missions. It is
hardly too much to say that most of the American people went into this
war in the triumphant mood usually reserved for the celebration of

It may some day be regarded as one of the chief merits of the Wilson
Administration that it was not affected by this popular delusion. While
a large part of the people seemed to expect a cheap and speedy victory
by some sort of white magic, the Administration was getting ready to
work for victory. And thanks largely to the unity which had been bought
by the President's caution in the two previous years, Congress and the
people assented to measures of exertion and self-denial such as no man
could have expected America to undertake until compelled by bitter

The first step was the dispatch of American naval forces to aid the
Allies in the fight against the submarines, which for a few months were
to come dangerously near justifying the confidence that had been placed
in them. The process of naval reinforcement was slow, and not till 1918
did the American Navy become a really important factor in the
anti-submarine campaign; but every destroyer added to the allied forces
was of immediate value. The American Treasury was opened for vast
credits to the Allies, who by their enormous purchases of war materials
in the United States had created the abounding prosperity of 1916, and
had pretty nearly exhausted their own finances in doing so. More than
that, the Administration began at once to prepare for the organization
of a vast army; and faced with this most important duty of the conduct
of the war, the President took the advice of the men who knew. The army
officers knew that if America were to take a serious part in the war
the regular army and the National Guard would not be enough, nor even
Garrison's Continental Army which had been rejected in 1916. A big army
would be needed, and the right way to raise it was by conscription.

So the Selective Service act was introduced in Congress and passed in
May, without very serious opposition. At the very start the American
people had accepted a principle which had been adopted in the crisis of
the Civil War only after two years of disaster and humiliation. It was
the estimate of experts that this army would need a year of training
before it would be fit for the front line, and a huge system of
cantonments was hastily constructed to house the troops, while the
nucleus of men trained in the Plattsburg camps was increased by the
extension of the Plattsburg system all over the country.

For the leadership of this army General Pershing was selected, not
without considerable criticism from those who thought General Wood
deserved the position. The reasons which led to the selection of
Pershing are not yet officially known to the public, but Pershing's
record was to be a sufficient justification of the appointment.

But military and naval measures were only a part of the work needed to
win this war. Allied shipping was being sunk by the submarines at an
alarming rate, and new ships had to be provided. An enormous American
program was laid out, and General Goethals, in whom there was universal
confidence, was made head of the Emergency Fleet Corporation charged
with its execution. But Goethals could not get along with William
Denman, head of the Shipping Board, and changes of personnel were
constant through the year until in 1918 Charles M. Schwab was finally
put in chief control of the shipbuilding program.

For this and the development of the industrial program necessary for
military efficiency the support of labor was essential. Mr. Wilson now
reaped once more the benefit of a policy which had previously brought
him much criticism. His retreat before the railroad brotherhoods in
August of 1916, as well as the general policy of his Administration,
had won him the invaluable support of the American Federation of Labor,
and this good understanding, together with the unprecedented wage
scales which came into operation in most industries with the war
emergency, gave to the United States Government much more firm support
from organized labor than most of the allied countries had been able to

But this war touched every department of human affairs. The Allies were
short of food, and one of the first achievements of the American
Government was the institution of a limited food control in the United
States, under the directorship of Herbert Hoover. Saving of food by
voluntary effort was popularized, and increased production and reduced
consumption prevented the appearance of any serious food crisis in the
allied countries. Later a fuel control was instituted under Dr. Harry
A. Garfield, and the principle of voluntary self-denial established by
the Food Administration was carried on into the field of news, where
the newspapers submitted to voluntary restriction of the publication of
news that might unfavorably affect military and naval movements. The
Committee on Public Information, headed by George Creel, was in general
supervision of this work, and, though it was, on the whole, unpopular
and accomplished no very useful purpose at home, it developed during
1918 a service of European propaganda which was of immense value in
heartening the Allies, informing the neutrals and discouraging the

For all this money was needed, and in May and June the first Liberty
Loan of $2,000,000,000 was put before the public in an intensive
campaign of publicity. Mr. McAdoo proved himself an extremely able
advertiser of the public finances, and with the vigorous coöperation of
banks and business men the loan was more than 50 per cent
oversubscribed. There were other and larger loans later, but after the
success of the first one there was no doubt that they would be taken;
the first great accomplishment in national financing was almost as much
of a surprise to the public as the ready acceptance of the draft.

Early in April the railroads were put in charge of a committee of five
railroad Presidents, who were given great powers in the combination of
facilities for better service. But the system did not work well, and on
Dec. 26, 1917, the President announced the assumption by the Government
of control of the railroads for the war emergency, with Mr. McAdoo as
Director General.

Nineteen hundred and seventeen, then, saw the Wilson Administration
undertaking far heavier burdens than any previous Administration had
attempted, and meeting with a measure of success which was beyond all
prediction. The most powerful nation in the world was getting ready for
war on an enormous scale, getting ready slowly, to be sure, but with a
surprising ease and a surprising harmony. The nation which had
re-elected the President in November because he had kept it out of war
was whole-heartedly behind him from April on as he led it into war.

But great as was the President's moral authority at home, it was still
greater abroad. The principles proclaimed in his address of April 2,
and repeated and elaborated later in the year, became the creed of
almost every political element in Europe except the German military
party. The Russian revolution was still a liberalizing influence, in
the early part of the year, and self-determination began to be
proclaimed over all Europe as the central principle of any satisfactory
peace settlement. In the allied countries, where Mr. Wilson's
forbearance toward Germany had been heaped with ridicule for the last
two years, he became over night the interpreter of the ideals for which
the democratic peoples were fighting. Hereafter in any negotiations
with Germany the President by general consent acted as the spokesman of
all the allied Governments, and the peoples of the allied countries
accepted his declarations as a sort of codification of the principles
of the war. It must be left for the historian of the future to decide
how much of this deference was due to appreciation of the President's
service in clarifying the allied ideals, and how much to his position
as head of the most powerful nation in the world, whose intervention
was expected to bring victory to the Allies.

But in other countries as well, Wilson's ideals had become a dogma to
which everybody professed allegiance no matter what his views. The
President's principles, as publicly expressed in his speeches, had been
in effect a declaration of worthy ends, such as all right thinking
persons desired. He had been less concerned with the means to those
ends, and consequently all who agreed with his principles were inclined
to assert that the President's ideals were exemplified by their own
practices. In 1917 the President enjoyed the unusual experience of
seeing American liberals, British Laborites, three or four kinds of
Russian Socialists, neutral Socialists, neutral clericals, neutral
pacifists and even certain groups in the enemy countries all
proclaiming their adherence to the ideals of President Wilson.

For a time, indeed, it seemed that the war might be decided by moral
force. Beginning to take alarm at the activity of America, and not yet
certain of the effect of the Russian revolution (which was having grave
consequences in Austria-Hungary) the Germans inclined during the Summer
of 1917 to a new peace offensive. Bethmann Hollweg was dropped on July
14, and five days later a majority of the Reichstag voted for a peace
virtually on the basis of the status quo ante. In August the Vatican
issued a peace proposal suggesting a settlement on that general
principle, with territorial and racial disputes to be left for later
adjustment; and the Socialists of Europe were preparing to meet at
Stockholm for a peace conference of their own influenced by the same

But the President had changed his opinion that America had no concern
with the causes and the objects of the war; he had had to search for
and explore the obscure foundations from which the tremendous flood had
burst forth. His Flag Day speech on June 14 showed that he was now
thinking of the political and economic aspects of the German drive for
world supremacy; and when the allied powers intrusted him with the task
of answering the Pope's peace suggestion in the name of all of them, he
declared that "we cannot take the word of the present rulers of Germany
as a guarantee for anything that is to endure." The German Government
could not be trusted with a peace without victory.

That peace offensive died out in early Fall. The Germans had lost
interest, for they seemed likely to reach their objective in other
ways. Things were going badly for the Allies. The offensives in the
west had broken down and France's striking power seemed exhausted.
Italy suffered a terrific defeat in October. America was preparing, but
had not yet arrived, and the chief result of the Russian revolution had
been the collapse of the eastern front. When in November the Bolsheviki
overthrew Kerensky and prepared to make peace at any price, it was
evident that the German armies in France would soon be enormously
reinforced. So the Winter of 1917-18 saw a new peace offensive, but
this time most of the work was done by the Allies, and the object was
to detach Austria-Hungary from Germany.

The item of principal interest in the long-range bombardment of
speeches on war aims by which the statesmen of the various powers
conducted this exchange of views was the proclamation of the famous
Fourteen Points, in which the President for the first time put his
ideas as to the conditions of a just peace into somewhat specific form.
The origin of this program, which was eventually to become the basis of
the peace treaty, is still a matter of conjecture. Lloyd George on Jan.
5, 1918, had stated war aims in some respects identical with those
which the President embodied in the Fourteen Points three days later. A
good deal of the program had been included in the allied statement of
Jan. 11, 1917, but the Fourteen Points were somewhat more moderate.
They seemed to be, indeed, a rather hasty recension of old programs in
the effort to modify allied aspirations so that Austria would accept
them; for while the Fourteen Points professed to contain the scheme of
a just peace, they were set forth as a step in the endeavor to persuade
Austria to desert her ally. As it happened, Austria could not have
deserted Germany even if she had desired; and, in any event, the effort
to compromise was quite impracticable. The section referring to
Austrian internal problems, for instance, proposed a solution which the
Austrian Government had rejected only a few weeks before, and which the
Austrian subject nationalities would no longer have been willing to

Whatever the origin of the Fourteen Points, their immediate effect was
slight. The Austrians, and to a lesser extent the Germans, professed
interest, but it was soon apparent that the Germans at least were not
ready to approach the allied point of view. And the Treaty of
Brest-Litovsk, forced upon Russia on March 3, was in such stark
contrast with the benevolent professions of German statesmen that the
President realized that nothing could be gained by debate and
compromise. On April 6, in a speech at Baltimore, he declared that only
one argument was now of use against the Germans--"force to the utmost,
force without stint or limit." The process of conversion from the
viewpoint of January, 1917, was complete.

As a matter of fact, however, the application of force had already
begun. On March 21 Ludendorff had opened his great offensive in France
which was to bring the war to a German victory, and for the next few
months Foch, and not Wilson, was the dominant personality among the
Allies. And for a time it seemed that however much America had
contributed to the moral struggle between the alliances, she would be
able to furnish comparatively little force. The winter of 1917-18 had
been full of humiliations. The railroad disorganization which had led
to the proclamation of Government control at the end of December was
being cleared up only slowly. The Fuel Administration was in an even
worse tangle, and in January business and industry had to shut down for
several days throughout the whole Eastern part of the country in order
to find coal to move food trains to the ports. Great sums of money and
enormous volumes of boasting had been expended on airplane construction
without getting any airplanes. Hundreds of millions had been poured
into shipyards and ships were only beginning to come from the ways. The
richest nation in the world allowed hundreds of its soldiers to die in
cantonment hospitals because of insufficient attention and inadequate
supplies. Artillery regiments were being trained with wooden guns and
only 150,000 Americans, many of them technical troops, were in France.

The Secretary of War, called before a Congressional committee to answer
questions on these shortcomings, had created the impression that he
either did not know that anything was wrong or did not care. On Jan. 19
Senator Chamberlain, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Military
Affairs, declared that "the military establishment of the United States
has broken down; it has almost stopped functioning," and that there was
"inefficiency in every bureau and department of the Government." The
next day he introduced bills for a War Cabinet and a Director of
Munitions, which would practically have taken the military and
industrial conduct of the war out of the President's hands.

The President met the challenge boldly with the declaration that
Senator Chamberlain's statement was "an astonishing and unjustifiable
distortion of the truth," and must have been due to disloyalty to the
Administration. Chamberlain's reply, while admitting that he might have
overstated his case, was a proclamation of loyalty to his
Commander-in-Chief and an appeal for getting down to the business of
winning the war.

    _The Fourteen Points_

    _President Wilson's program for the world's peace was outlined in
    the Fourteen Points, which constituted part of an address delivered
    before Congress January 8, 1918, as follows:_

    _No Private Understandings_

    1 OPEN COVENANTS of peace, openly arrived at, after which there
    shall be no private international understandings of any kind, but
    diplomacy shall proceed always frankly and in the public view.

    _Freedom of the Seas_

    2 ABSOLUTE FREEDOM of navigation upon the seas outside territorial
    waters, alike in peace and in war, except as the seas may be closed
    in whole or in part by international action for the enforcement of
    international covenants.

    _No Economic Barriers_

    3 THE REMOVAL, so far as possible, of all economic barriers and the
    establishment of an equality of trade conditions among all the
    nations consenting to the peace and associating themselves for its

    _Reduce National Armaments_

    4 ADEQUATE GUARANTEES given and taken that national armaments will
    be reduced to the lowest point consistent with domestic safety.

    _Colonial Claims_

    5 A FREE, open minded and absolutely impartial adjustment of all
    colonial claims, based upon a strict observance of the principle
    that in determining all such questions of sovereignty the interests
    of the populations concerned must have equal weight with the
    equitable claims of the government whose title is to be determined.

    _Russian Territory_

    6 THE EVACUATION of all Russian territory and such a settlement of
    all questions affecting Russia as will secure the best and freest
    cooperation of the other nations of the world in obtaining for her
    an unhampered and unembarrassed opportunity for the independent
    determination of her own political development and national policy
    and assure her of a sincere welcome into the society of free
    nations under institutions of her own choosing, and, more than a
    welcome, assistance also of every kind that she may need and may
    herself desire. The treatment accorded Russia by her sister nations
    in the months to come will be the acid test of their good-will, of
    their comprehension of her needs as distinguished from their own
    interests and of their intelligent and unselfish sympathy.

    _Restoration of Belgium_

    7 BELGIUM, the whole world will agree, must be evacuated and
    restored without any attempt to limit the sovereignty which she
    enjoys in common with all other free nations. No other single act
    will serve as this will serve to restore confidence among the
    nations in the laws which they have themselves set and determined
    for the government of their relations with one another. Without
    this healing act the whole structure and validity of international
    law is forever impaired.

    _Alsace-Lorraine to France_

    8 ALL FRENCH territory should be freed and the invaded portions
    restored and the wrong done to France by Prussia in 1871 in the
    matter of Alsace-Lorraine, which has unsettled the peace of the
    world for nearly fifty years, should be righted in order that peace
    may once more be made secure in the interest of all.

    _New Frontiers for Italy_

    9 A READJUSTMENT of the frontiers of Italy should be effected along
    clearly recognizable lines of nationality.

    _Autonomy in Austria-Hungary_

    10 THE PEOPLES of Austria-Hungary, whose place among the nations we
    wish to see safeguarded and assured, should be accorded the freest
    opportunity of autonomous development.

    _Rumania, Serbia and Montenegro_

    11 RUMANIA, SERBIA and MONTENEGRO should be evacuated; occupied
    territories restored; Serbia accorded free and secure access to the
    sea, and the relations of the several Balkan States to one another
    determined by friendly counsel along historically established lines
    of allegiance and nationality; and international guarantees of the
    political and economic independence and territorial integrity of
    the several Balkan States should be entered into.

    _Autonomy in Turkey_

    12 THE TURKISH portions of the present Ottoman Empire should be
    assured a secure sovereignty, but the other nationalities which are
    now under Turkish rule should be assured an undoubted security of
    life and an absolutely unmolested opportunity of autonomous
    development, and the Dardanelles should be permanently opened as a
    free passage to the ships and commerce of all nations under
    international guarantees.

    _For an Independent Poland_

    13 AN INDEPENDENT Polish State should be erected which should
    include the territory inhabited by indisputably Polish populations,
    which should be assured a free and secure access to the sea and
    whose political and economic independence and territorial integrity
    should be guaranteed by international covenant.

    _League of Nation_

    14 A GENERAL association of nations must be formed under specific
    covenants for the purpose of affording mutual guaranties of
    political independence and territorial integrity to great and small
    States alike.

But the war did not go on into 1919. If America could contribute no
aircraft and guns to the campaign of 1918, she could at least
contribute men. The emergency of March and April brought forth a
prodigious effort, and soldiers began to be shipped across the Atlantic
by hundreds of thousands. By July 4 there were a million, before the
end of the year over 2,000,000; and they could fight. At the end of the
Summer the Germans realized that the war was lost; and realizing it,
they turned back to President Wilson's mediation which they had
rejected eighteen months before, and to the Fourteen Points which had
been looked on so coldly in the previous Winter.

The first move was made by the Austrians, who on Sept. 15 proposed a
conference for a "preliminary and non-binding" discussion of war aims.
The President refused the next day, with the observation that America's
war aims had been stated so often that there could be no doubt what
they were. But it was evident that more peace proposals would follow,
and on Sept. 27 the President delivered an address in the Metropolitan
Opera House in New York in which his latest conception of the duties of
the Peace Conference was set forth. He had realized that peace without
victory was unsafe in view of the character of the German Government;
it must be a peace with guarantees, for nobody would trust the Germans.
But it must be a peace of impartial justice, "involving no
discrimination between those to whom we wish to be just and those to
whom we do not wish to be just," and the guarantee must be provided by
a League of Nations which the Peace Conference itself--and not a
subsequent general conference, as the President had held in the days of
his neutrality--must organize. The development was logical; nearly all
the American powers had entered the war, and neutrals were far less
numerous than in 1916. And he argued that the League of Nations must be
formed at the Peace Conference, to be "in a sense the most essential
part" of its work, because it was not likely that it could be formed
after the conference, and if formed during the war it would only be an
alliance of the powers associated against Germany.

The Germans apparently thought these pronouncements offered some hope.
Their Government was hastily being covered with a false front of
democratic institutions to suit his insistence, and on Oct. 4 the new
Chancellor, Prince Max of Baden, appealed to the President to call a
peace conference at once, the basis of peace to be the Fourteen Points
and conditions set forth in the President's later addresses,
specifically that of Sept. 27. There ensued an interchange of notes
lasting throughout an entire month, in which the President acted
nominally as intermediary between the Germans and the Allies, though
actually he was in constant touch with allied statesmen. What began as
a duel of diplomatic dexterity presently developed into a German
diplomatic rout as the German armies, retreating everywhere, drew
nearer and nearer German soil. Positions which the German Government
had hoped to defend were successively abandoned; the Germans agreed to
accept without argument the Fourteen Points, with discussion at the
conference limited only to details of their practical application, and
to recognize the alterations which had been made in some of them by
subsequent decisions of the American Government. They accepted the
President's insistence that a peace conference must be conditional on
an armistice which would imply complete evacuation of allied territory
and the assurance of "the present supremacy" of the allied armies, and
they strove desperately to convince him that the democratization of the
German Government was real. Delegates went to Marshal Foch to discuss
the armistice terms, and on Nov. 5 the Allies formally notified the
President that they accepted the Fourteen Points, with the reservation
of the freedom of the seas and subject to a definition of the
restitution which the Germans must make for damage done.

On the same day sailors of the German High Sea Fleet, ordered out to
die fighting in a last thrust at the British, mutinied and began a
revolution that spread all over the empire. From the balcony of the
Imperial Palace in Berlin Karl Liebknecht proclaimed the republic; the
Kaiser fled across the Dutch border between two days; and on Nov. 11
the fighting ended and the Germans submitted to the terms imposed by
Marshal Foch.

_Peace Conference and Treaty, 1919_

So the war had been ended by the military defeat of the Germans. In
arranging the preliminaries of peace Mr. Wilson's influence had been
dominant. But the personal aspect of his triumph was far more imposing
in 1918 than it could possibly have been in 1916. Had his mediation
ended the war before America entered it would have been bitterly
resented in the allied countries and by American sympathizers of the
Allies. But in the interval the President had appeared as the leader of
the nation which furnished the decisive addition to allied strength
that brought the final victory; he had at last condemned in strong
terms the German Government, toward which he had to maintain a neutral
attitude earlier in the war, and he had had the satisfaction of seeing
that Government overthrown at last when the German people realized that
it had cost them more than it was worth. So now the war was ended in
victory, but still ended by Wilson's mediation, and moreover on terms
which he himself had laid down--another triumph that would have been
unthinkable two years earlier. In November, 1918, Woodrow Wilson was
exalted in the estimation of the world more highly than any other human
being for a century past, and far more highly than any other American
had ever been raised in the opinion of the peoples of Europe.

But he had just suffered a surprising defeat at home. It became evident
to Democratic leaders in the early Fall of 1918 that they were likely
to lose the Congressional elections. Democratic leadership in the House
of Representatives had been so notoriously incompetent that most of the
war measures had had to be carried through under the leadership of
Republicans, and there was grave dissatisfaction with some of the
members of the Cabinet. The appeals of Democrats in danger were heard
sympathetically at the White House, and on Oct. 25 the President had
issued a statement asking the people to vote for Democratic
Congressional candidates "if you have approved of my leadership and
wish me to continue to be your unembarrassed spokesman in affairs at
home and abroad." He admitted that the Republicans in Congress had
supported the war, but declared that they had been against the
Administration and that the time was too critical for divided
leadership. It was the sort of appeal that any European Premier might
have made upon "going to the country," and the President ended with the
statement that "I am your servant and will accept your judgment without

If this statement had never been issued, the results of the ensuing
election might not have been accepted as a repudiation of the
President. But he had made it a "question of confidence," to borrow a
term from European politics, and the result was disastrous. The
elections gave the Republicans a majority of thirty-nine in the lower
house and a majority of two in the Senate, which by a two-thirds vote
would have to ratify the peace treaty which the Executive would
negotiate. In such a situation a European Premier would, of course,
have had to resign, but the President of the United States could hardly
resign just as the war was coming to an end. The attempt to fit the
parliamentary system into the framework of the American Constitution
had failed. The President made no comment on the outcome of the
election, but he continued to be the unembarrassed spokesman of America
in affairs at home and particularly abroad. It soon became known that
he intended to go to the Peace Conference in person--at the request, it
was intimated, of Clemenceau and Lloyd George. The criticism of this
plan was by no means confined to Republicans, but the President
persisted in it. There was a widespread demand for a non-partisan Peace
Commission, but the apparent concession which the President finally
made to this sentiment--the appointment of Henry White, long out of the
diplomatic service and never very active in politics, as the sole
Representative on a commission of five--satisfied the bulk of
Republican sentiment not at all. It should be observed however, that
behind the five official delegates there was a host of experts--military,
economic, legal and ethnological--some of whom did very important
service at the conference; and in the selection of this body no party
lines had been drawn.

On December 4 the President sailed from New York on an army transport,
accompanied by Mrs. Wilson and by a whole caravan of savants loaded
down with statistics and documents. He left a nation whose sentiment
was divided between sharp resentment and a rather apprehensive hope for
the best, but he landed on a continent which was prepared to offer to
Woodrow Wilson a triumphal reception such as European history had never
known. The six weeks between his landing at Brest and the opening of
the Peace Conference were devoted to a series of processions through
England, France and Italy, in which the Governments and the people
strove to outdo each other in expressing their enthusiasm for the
leader of the great and victorious crusade for justice and democracy.
Sovereigns spiritual and temporal and the heads of Governments heaped
him with all the honors in their power, and crowds of workingmen stood
for hours in the rain that they might see him for a moment at a
railroad station. Even from neutral Holland, divided Ireland and
hostile Germany came invitations to the President, and he would
probably have been received by those peoples as enthusiastically as by
British, French and Italians.

For the war had been ended on the basis of the ideals of President
Wilson. Those ideals had been expressed in vague and general terms, and
every Government thought that its own war aims coincided with them.
Every people, suddenly released from the long and terrible strain of
the war, thought that all its troubles were suddenly to be ended by the
principles of President Wilson. Jugo-Slavs and Italians claimed Istria
and Fiume, and each felt itself supported by the principles of
President Wilson. To Frenchmen those principles meant that Germany must
pay for the war forced on France, and to Germans they meant that a
ruined France and an uninvaded Germany could start again on the same

The Peace conference that began on January 18 was bound to disillusion
a great many people, including President Wilson himself. Principles had
to be translated into practice, and every effort to do so left one
party to the dispute, if not both, convinced that the principles had
been betrayed. The treaty which was eventually produced led American
liberals to complain that the President had surrendered to European
imperialism, and brought from such Republicans as still admired the
Allies the complaint that he had betrayed allied interests at the
promptings of pacifism. Equally diverse opinions might have been
obtained from all types of extremists in Europe. The Fourteen Points
were susceptible of varying interpretations, according to individual
interests; and at the very outset the American delegates found some of
the allied leaders contending that they need not be considered, since
the Germans had surrendered, not because they regarded the principles
of President Wilson as just, but because they had been beaten. There
was undoubtedly a great deal of truth in this contention, but the
American delegates succeeded in holding the conference to the position
that having accepted the German surrender on certain terms it would
have to abide by those terms. The terms had to be interpreted, however,
and every agreement on the details led to a protest from somebody that
the President had abandoned the Fourteen Points.

All this, together with the growing Republican opposition at home which
was making itself heard in Europe, led to a rapid decline in the
President's prestige. So long as it was a question of generalities he
was the moral leader of the peoples of the world, but after a few weeks
of getting down to particulars he was only the head of the peace
delegation of a single State--and a State in which there was already
serious opposition to his policy. This altered standing was made
evident toward the end of April, when a protracted disagreement with
the Italian delegation over the Adriatic question led the President to
issue a declaration of his position which was virtually an appeal to
the Italian people over the heads of their own representatives. Nowhere
had the President been received with more enthusiasm than in his trip
through Italy four months before; but now Dr. Orlando, the Italian
Premier, went home and promptly got a virtually unanimous vote of
confidence from his Parliament, which was supported by the overwhelming
majority of the people.

The treaty was finally signed on June 28, and the President left at
once for home to take up the fight to get it through the Senate--a
fight which, it was already apparent, would be about as hard as the
struggle to get any treaty evolved at all out of the conflicting
national interests in Paris. There was a demonstration for him at Brest
as he left French soil, but nothing like the enthusiasm that had
greeted his arrival. This was perhaps the measure of his inevitable
decline in the estimation of Europe; it remained to be seen how he
stood at home. As early as January 1, before the Peace Conference met,
Senator Lodge, Republican leader in the Senate, had declared that the
conference ought to confine itself to the Peace Treaty and leave the
League of Nations for later discussion.

On February 14, after the first reading of the League covenant, the
President had made a hurried trip home to talk it over with the Senate
Committee on Foreign Relations--a committee that had been loaded up
with enemies of the League of Nations. The members of the committee
dined with him at the White House on February 26, and the covenant was
discussed for several hours. But the President could not convert the
doubters; on March 3 Senator Lodge announced that thirty-seven
Republican Senators were opposed to the League in its present form, and
that they regarded a demand for its alteration as the exercise of the
Senate's constitutional right of advice on treaties. The President took
up the challenge, and on the following day, just before sailing back to
Paris, he declared in a public address that the League and treaty were
inextricably interwoven; that he did not intend to bring back "the
corpse of a treaty," and that those who opposed the League must be deaf
to the demands of common men the world over.

The fight was now begun. Some modifications were made in the covenant
in the direction of meeting criticisms by Elihu Root, but it was
adopted. On July 10 the treaty was laid before the Senate and referred
to the Committee on Foreign Relations, which at once began to hear
opinions on it. The President himself appeared before the committee on
August 19. Outside the Senate party lines were breaking up; the Irish
and German elements who had come into line during the war, but had felt
that their interpretation of President Wilson's ideals had been
violated by the treaty, were aligned in support of the Republican
opposition; and a certain element of the Democratic Party which
inclined to admire the theory of traditional isolation found itself in
harmony with the Republicans. On the other hand, many moderate
Republicans supported the President, chief among them Mr. Taft; and in
the churches and colleges support of the League commanded an
overwhelming majority.

Convinced that the people were behind him against the Senate, or would
be behind him if they understood the issue, the President left
Washington on September 3 for another appeal to the country. Declaring
that if America rejected the League it would "break the great heart of
the world," he went to the Pacific Coast on a long and arduous speaking
tour, another request, in effect, for a vote of confidence for his work
as Premier. The effort was too much; he broke down at Wichita, Kan., on
September 26, and was hurried back to the White House, where for weeks
he lay disabled by an illness whose nature and seriousness were
carefully concealed at the time, and even yet but imperfectly
understood. Meanwhile the treaty had been reported out of committee,
and the offering of a multitude of amendments, all of which were
defeated, led eventually to the drawing up of the "Lodge reservations,"
finally adopted on November 16.

Nobody knew how sick the President was, but Senator Hitchcock, who had
led the fight for the treaty in the Senate, saw him on November 18 and
was told that in the President's opinion the Lodge reservations
amounted to nullification of the treaty. So the Democrats voted against
the treaty. Lodge's refusal to accept Wilson's treaty was as unshakable
as Wilson's refusal to accept Lodge's treaty. When the special session
ended and the regular session began the President eventually yielded a
little and consented to interpretative reservations proposed by Senator
Hitchcock. But this would not satisfy the Republicans; and on March 20
the rejected treaty was finally sent back to the White House.

_The Closing Year, 1920-1921_

The President's recovery was slow, and the first incidents of his
return to the management of public affairs were rather startling, in
view of the abrupt manner with which he resumed the direction of
executive policy. During his illness the Cabinet had met from time to
time and in a fashion had carried on the routine work of the executive
department. Had it not done so, had the gravity of the President's
illness been generally known, the demand which was heard for an
explanation of the constitutional reference to the "disability of the
President" and an understanding of the circumstances under which the
Vice-President might assume the office would have been much stronger.
There was a good deal of apprehension, therefore, when Secretary of
State Lansing resigned, and the published correspondence showed that
the President had regarded his action in calling Cabinet meetings as a
usurpation of Presidential authority. It was evident from the
correspondence that another and perhaps stronger reason for the
President's disapproval had been the action of the Secretary in
conducting a Mexican Policy on his own initiative, during the
President's illness, which showed considerable divergence from the
President's own. Nevertheless, the manner of the action caused some
uneasiness and there was much surprise when Mr. Lansing was replaced by
Bainbridge Colby, a comparatively recent proselyte from the Progressive

There was still further uncertainty as to the condition of the
President when he re-entered with a series of rather sharp notes into
the Adriatic controversy, which England, France and Italy had been
trying to settle, without consulting the Jugoslavs, during his illness;
and a letter to Senator Hitchcock on March 8, asserting that the
militarist party was at that time in control of France, aroused grave
misgivings on both sides of the Atlantic. These, however, were
unjustified; the President's improvement, though gradual, continued.
But the work of the Executive during 1920 was far less important than
in previous years, for the interest of the country was concentrated on
the Presidential election.

On January 8 a letter from the President had been read at the Jackson
Day dinner in Washington, in which he refused to accept the Senate's
decision on the treaty as the decision of the nation. "If there is any
doubt as to what the people of the country think about the matter," he
added, "the clear and single way out is ... to give the next election
the form of a great and solemn referendum." Once more, as in 1918, the
President had asked for a verdict on his leadership. There was some
perturbation among the Democratic leaders, for into a Presidential
election so many issues enter that it would be difficult to regard it
as a referendum on any particular issue. It might have been so accepted
if the President himself had come forward as a candidate for a third
term, but there was no sign from the White House as to his attitude on
this issue, and there was no spontaneous demand for him outside. The
leading candidate during the pre-convention campaign was William G.
McAdoo, the President's son-in-law, who had resigned as Secretary of
the Treasury and Director General of Railroads after making a
successful record during the war, and before the criticism of the
Wilson Administration as a whole had become acute. McAdoo had the
powerful support of organized labor and most of the Federal
office-holders, but whether or not he had the support of the White
House no man knew. The Republicans assumed it for their own purposes,
and Senator Lodge's keynote speech at the Chicago Convention was full
of denunciations of the "Wilson dynasty"; but if McAdoo were Wilson's
candidate the President showed no sign of knowing it.

That McAdoo was not nominated, however, can be ascribed very largely to
his relationship to the President and the suspicion that he was the
President's candidate. The Democratic Convention at San Francisco
adopted a platform praising and indorsing the President's record in all
details. The convention had to do that; the President's record was the
party's record. Homer Cummings as Temporary Chairman kept the
convention cheered up by a keynote speech of eulogy of that record,
which moved the assembled Democrats to such enthusiasm that Secretary
of State Colby, who had not been a Democrat long enough to know much
about the behavior of the species, declared that at any movement that
day the rules could have been suspended and the President renominated
by acclamation. But when the convention came down to the work of
nomination the President was not considered, and the delegates devoted
themselves to finding the most available man who had not had any
connection with the Administration. James M. Cox was finally nominated
on Woodrow Wilson's record and sent out to the great and solemn

Aside from a formal proclamation of unity of ideals and intentions with
the candidate, the White House took practically no part in the
campaign. Not until October, when a delegation of pro-League
Republicans called at the White House, was it known that the
President's health had temporarily taken a turn for the worse and that
active participation would have been impossible. It could hardly have
affected the result very much in either direction.

Whether or not the President had intended to turn over the Government
to Hughes in November, 1916, he did nothing so unkind to Harding in
November, 1920. The President-elect was allowed plenty of time to try
to choose his Cabinet and his policies, but the Administration had
gradually withdrawn from all connection with European affairs, and it
was made known soon after Congress met in December that nothing would
be done which might embarrass the new Administration in its handling of
foreign relations and interrelated problems.

The history of Woodrow Wilson's Administration virtually ends with the
rejection of the treaty; but the business of government had to be
carried on through the final year. During 1920 old issues that had long
been hidden behind the war clouds came out into the open again. Obregon
overthrew Carranza and entered into power in Mexico, but the Wilson
Administration maintained neutrality during the brief struggle.
Ambassador Fletcher had resigned, but Henry Morgenthau, appointed to
succeed him, did not obtain the confirmation of the Senate, and the new
Administration had not been formally recognized at the end of President
Wilson's term. A controversy over the status of American oil rights was
one of the chief impediments to recognition, though Obregon's general
attitude was far more friendly to America than that of Carranza.

The President in November announced the boundaries of Armenia, which he
had drawn at the request of the European Allies. But these boundaries
were of no particular interest by that time, since the Turks and the
Bolsheviki were already partitioning Armenia; and the mediation between
the Turks and Armenians which the Allies requested the President to
undertake was forestalled by the Bolshevist conquest of the remnant of
the country. The Adriatic dispute, in which the President had taken
such a prominent part in 1919, was finally settled without him by
direct negotiation between Italy and Jugoslavia. In one other
international problem, however, that of Russia, the United States
Government still exerted some influence. The President during 1918 had
showed more willingness to believe in the possibility of some good
coming out of Bolshevist Russia than most of the European Governments,
and the American Expeditionary Forces in Siberia took no active part in
the fighting there. At the Peace Conference the President had been
willing to call the various Russian parties to the Prinkipo conference,
but nothing came of this; and America eventually took up a middle
ground toward Russia. While the British seemed ready to make friends
with the Bolsheviki and the French remained irreconcilably hostile, the
American Government--whose policy was fully set forth in a note of
August 10, 1920--refused to attack them, but also to have any dealings
with them. This policy was much criticised as being purely negative,
but toward the end of Mr. Wilson's Administration both England and
France were tending to follow it through the force of circumstances,
England's effort to find a basis of trade relations with Bolshevist
Russian being as futile as France's support of anti-Bolshevist
revolutionary movements.

The Republicans and their Irish supporters in the 1920 campaign revived
the old demand for the exemption of American shipping from the Panama
Canal tolls, but this and various other differences with England which
arose toward the end of Mr. Wilson's Administration were left over for
settlement by the new President. More urgent, however, was another
ancient issue now revived--the California land question. In 1917, when
America was just entering the war and could not afford any dangerous
entanglements on the Pacific, the Lansing-Ishii agreement was
negotiated with Japan. By this the United States recognized Japan's
"special interests" in China, particularly in "the parts to which her
territory is contiguous," while both powers professed agreement on the
principles of Chinese independence and territorial integrity, and the
open door. However necessary this concession in order to protect an
exposed flank in time of war, it was regarded with much alarm by
friends of China, whose wrath was later aroused by the action of the
President at the Peace Conference in agreeing to the cession of
Shantung to Japan. There was a renewed antagonism between American and
Japanese interests in certain quarters, and the American Army in
Siberia, if it did nothing else, at least kept the Japanese from
seizing Vladivostok until the Americans had left.

With this background, the situation created by the revival of
anti-Japanese agitation in California seemed more or less disquieting,
but when a more stringent land law was enacted by the Californians in
November negotiations between the two Governments began at once and are
still going on at the close of the Administration with good prospect of

The President's unpopularity had been so violently expressed by the
election of November 2 that it was bound to be mitigated soon after,
and this natural reaction was aided by the failure of the Republican
Congress to accomplish anything in the short session and by
President-elect Harding's slowness in deciding among candidates offered
for the Cabinet and policies put forward for his attention. As
President Wilson prepared to turn over the executive duties to his
successor there was already evidence that the American public was
returning to a greater appreciation of his services. As a token of the
estimation in which he was still held by the more intelligent circles
abroad, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to him in December, 1920; and
European statesmen who had opposed him at the Peace Conference were
already expressing surprise at learning that Mr. Harding believed that
the League of Nations was dead.

_Copyright_ New York _Times_.

_Published through the courtesy of the New York Times._

    In Flanders Fields

    By Lieut. Col. John McCrea

    In Flanders fields the poppies grow
    Between the crosses, row on row,
    That mark our place, and in the sky
    The larks still bravely singing, fly,
    Scarce heard amid the guns below.

    We are the dead. Short days ago
    We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
    Loved and were loved, and now we lie
        In Flanders fields.

    Take up our quarrel with the foe!
    To you from failing hands we throw
    The torch. Be yours to lift it high!
    If ye break faith with us who die
    We shall not sleep, tho poppies blow
        In Flanders fields.

    America's Answer

    By R. W. Lillard

    Rest ye in peace, ye Flanders dead!
      The fight that ye so bravely led
    We've taken up! And we will keep
      True faith with you who lie asleep,
    With each a cross to mark his bed,
      And poppies blowing overhead
    Where once his own life blood ran red!
      So let your rest be sweet and deep
        In Flanders fields!

    Fear not that ye have died for naught,
      The torch ye threw to us we caught!
    Ten million hands will hold it high,
      And Freedom's light shall never die!
    We've learned the lesson that ye taught
        In Flanders fields!


    By Richard Linthicum


    The tide is at the ebb, as if to mark
      Our turning backward from the guiding light;
    Grotesque, uncertain shapes infest the dark
      And wings of bats are heard in aimless flight;
    Discordant voices cry and serpents hiss,
      No friendly star, no beacon's beckoning ray;
    We follow, all forsworn, with steps amiss,
      Envy and Malice on an unknown way.
    But he who bore the light in night of war,
      Swiftly and surely and without surcease,
    Where other light was not, save one red star,
      Treads now, as then, the certain path to peace;
        Wounded, denied, but radiant of soul,
        Steadfast in honor, marches toward the goal.


    The spirit that was Peace seems but a wraith,
      The glory that was ours seems but a name,
    And like a rotten reed our broken faith,
      Our boasted virtue turned to scarlet shame
      By the low, envious lust of party power;
      While he upon the heights whence he had led,
    Deserted and betrayed in victory's hour,
      Still wears a victor's wreath on unbowed head.
    The Nation gropes--his rule is at an end,
      Immortal man of the transcendent mind,
    Light-bearer of the world, the loving friend
      Of little peoples, servant of mankind!
        O land of mine! how long till you atone?
        How long to stand dishonored and alone?

    _To Woodrow Wilson, March 4, 1921._

               BALDRIDGE IN _Stars and Stripes_

                Make firm, O God, the peace our dead have won,
                  For folly shakes the tinsel on her head
                And points us back to darkness and to hell,
                  Cackling, "Beware of Visions," while our dead
                Still cry, "It was for visions that we fell."

                --Alfred Noyes]

    _Workmen's Compensation_

    We must hearten and quicken the spirit and efficiency of labor
    throughout our whole industrial system by everywhere and in all
    occupations doing justice to the laborer, not only by paying a
    living wage but also by making all the conditions that surround
    labor what they ought to be. And we must do more than justice. We
    must safeguard life and promote health and safety in every
    occupation in which they are threatened or imperiled. That is more
    than justice, and better, because it is humanity and
    economy.--_From President Wilson's Speech of Acceptance at Shadow
    Lawn, September 2, 1916._

[Illustration: © _Harris & Ewing_
               President Wilson as he looked during the Peace
               Conference in Paris]

_Woodrow Wilson's Place in History_

    _By General the Right Honorable Jan Christian Smuts, Premier of
    the Union of South Africa_

    General the Right Honorable Jan Christian Smuts, premier of the
    Union of South Africa, served with President Wilson on the League
    of Nations commission of the peace conference.

    Gen. Smuts was an active leader of the Boer Army in the field in
    the Boer war. He is a graduate of Cambridge University in England,
    served as state attorney for the South African Republic, and was
    known as a member of the bar at Cape Town.

    Accepting the outcome of the Boer war, he entered the service of
    the British Government, becoming colonial secretary for the
    Transvaal in 1907 and exercising a leading influence as a delegate
    in the national convention in 1910, which drew up the constitution
    for the present Union of South Africa. He was minister of the
    defense of the South African Government and commanded the troops in
    the campaign against the Germans in East Africa in 1916-17.
    Promoted to be an honorary lieutenant-general, he was the South
    African representative in the imperial war cabinet in 1917-18. This
    led to his prominence in the peace conference and to his close
    contact with President Wilson. On February 8, of this year, Premier
    Smuts and the South African party won a decisive victory at the
    polls over Gen. Hertzog and those who advocated the secession of
    South Africa from the British Empire.


_Pretoria, South Africa, January 8, 1921._

It has been suggested that I should write a short estimate and
appraisal of the work of President Wilson on the termination of his
Presidency of the United States of America. I feel I must comply with
the suggestion. I feel I may not remain silent when there is an
opportunity to say a word of appreciation for the work of one with whom
I came into close contact at a great period and who rendered the most
signal service to the great human cause.

There is a great saying of Mommsen (I believe) in reference to the
close of Hannibal's career in failure and eclipse: "On those whom the
gods love they lavish infinite joys and infinite sorrows." It has come
back to my mind in reference to the close of Wilson's career. For a few
brief moments he was not only the leader of the greatest State in the
world; he was raised to far giddier heights and became the center of
the world's hopes. And then he fell, misunderstood and rejected by his
own people, and his great career closes apparently in signal and tragic

_Position of Terrible Greatness_

What is the explanation for this tremendous tragedy, which is not
solely American, which closely concerns the whole world? Of course,
there are purely American elements in the explanation which I am not
competent to speak on. But besides the American quarrel with President
Wilson there is something to be said on the great matters in issue. On
these I may be permitted to say a few words.

The position occupied by President Wilson in the world's imagination at
the close of the great war and at the beginning of the peace conference
was terrible in its greatness. It was a terrible position for any mere
man to occupy. Probably to no human being in all history did the hopes,
the prayers, the aspirations of many millions of his fellows turn with
such poignant intensity as to him at the close of the war. At a time of
the deepest darkness and despair, he had raised aloft a light to which
all eyes had turned. He had spoken divine words of healing and
consolation to a broken humanity. His lofty moral idealism seemed for a
moment to dominate the brutal passions which had torn the Old World
asunder. And he was supposed to possess the secret which would remake
the world on fairer lines. The peace which Wilson was bringing to the
world was expected to be God's peace. Prussianism lay crushed; brute
force had failed utterly. The moral character of the universe had been
signally vindicated. There was a universal vague hope in a great moral
peace, of a new world order arising visibly and immediately on the
ruins of the old. This hope was not a mere superficial sentiment. It
was the intense expression at the end of the war of the inner moral and
spiritual force which had upborne the peoples during the dark night of
the war and had nerved them in an effort almost beyond human strength.
Surely, God had been with them in that long night of agony. His was the
victory; His should be the peace. And President Wilson was looked upon
as the man to make this great peace. He had voiced the great ideals of
the new order; his great utterances had become the contractual basis
for the armistice and the peace. The idealism of Wilson would surely
become the reality of the new order of things in the peace treaty.

_Saved the "Little Child"_

In this atmosphere of extravagant, almost frenzied expectation he
arrived at the Paris Peace Conference. Without hesitation he plunged
into that inferno of human passions. He went down into the Pit like a
second Heracles to bring back the fair Alcestis of the world's desire.
There were six months of agonized waiting, during which the world
situation rapidly deteriorated. And then he emerged with the peace
treaty. It was not a Wilson peace, and he made a fatal mistake in
somehow giving the impression that the peace was in accord with his
Fourteen Points and his various declarations. Not so the world had
understood him. This was a punic peace, the same sort of peace as the
victor had dictated to the vanquished for thousands of years. It was
not Alcestis; it was a haggard, unlovely woman with features distorted
with hatred, greed and selfishness, and the little child that the woman
carried was scarcely noticed. Yet it was for the saving of the child
that Wilson had labored until he was a physical wreck. Let our other
great statesmen and leaders enjoy their well-earned honors for their
unquestioned success at Paris. To Woodrow Wilson, the apparent failure,
belongs the undying honor, which will grow with the growing centuries,
of having saved the "little child that shall lead them yet." No other
statesman but Wilson could have done it. And he did it.

_People Did Not Understand_

The people, the common people of all lands, did not understand the
significance of what had happened. They saw only that hard, unlovely
Prussian peace, and the great hope died in their hearts. The great
disillusionment took its place. The most receptive mood for a new start
the world had been in for centuries passed away. Faith in their
governors and leaders was largely destroyed and the foundations of the
human government were shaken in a way which will be felt for
generations. The Paris peace lost an opportunity as unique as the great
war itself. In destroying the moral idealism born of the sacrifices of
the war it did almost as much as the war itself in shattering the
structure of Western civilization.

And the odium for all this fell especially on President Wilson. Round
him the hopes had centered; round him the disillusion and despair now
gathered. Popular opinion largely held him responsible for the bitter
disappointment and grievous failure. The cynics scoffed; his friends
were silenced in the universal disappointment. Little or nothing had
been expected from the other leaders; the whole failure was put to the
account of Woodrow Wilson. And finally America for reasons of her own
joined the pack and at the end it was his own people who tore him to

_Must Wait for Judgment_

Will this judgment, born of momentary disillusion and disappointment,
stand in future, or will it be reversed? The time has not come to pass
final judgment on either Wilson or any of the other great actors in the
drama at Paris. The personal estimates will depend largely on the
interpretation of that drama in the course of time. As one who saw and
watched things from the inside, I feel convinced that the present
popular estimates are largely superficial and will not stand the
searching test of time. And I have no doubt whatever that Wilson has
been harshly, unfairly, unjustly dealt with, and that he has been made
a scapegoat for the sins of others. Wilson made mistakes, and there
were occasions when I ventured to sound a warning note. But it was not
his mistakes that caused the failure for which he has been held mainly

Let us admit the truth, however bitter it is to do so, for those who
believe in human nature. It was not Wilson who failed. The position is
far more serious. It was the human spirit itself that failed at Paris.
It is no use passing judgments and making scapegoats of this or that
individual statesman or group of statesmen. Idealists make a great
mistake in not facing the real facts sincerely and resolutely. They
believe in the power of the spirit, in the goodness which is at the
heart of things, in the triumph which is in store for the great moral
ideals of the race. But this faith only too often leads to an optimism
which is sadly and fatally at variance with actual results.

_Says Humanity Failed_

It is the realist and not the idealist who is generally justified by
events. We forget that the human spirit, the spirit of goodness and
truth in the world, is still only an infant crying in the night, and
that the struggle with darkness is as yet mostly an unequal struggle.

Paris proved this terrible truth once more. It was not Wilson who
failed there, but humanity itself. It was not the statesmen that failed
so much as the spirit of the peoples behind them. The hope, the
aspiration for a new world order of peace and right and
justice--however deeply and universally felt--was still only feeble and
ineffective in comparison with the dominant national passions which
found their expression in the peace treaty. Even if Wilson had been one
of the great demi-gods of the human race, he could not have saved the
peace. Knowing the Peace Conference as I knew it from within, I feel
convinced in my own mind that not the greatest man born of woman in the
history of the race would have saved that situation. The great hope was
not the heralding of the coming dawn, as the peoples thought, but only
a dim intimation of some far-off event toward which we shall yet have
to make many a long, weary march. Sincerely as we believed in the moral
ideals for which he had fought, the temptation at Paris of a large
booty to be divided proved too great. And in the end not only the
leaders but the peoples preferred a bit of booty here, a strategic
frontier there, a coal field or an oil well, an addition to their
population or their resources--to all the faint allurements of the
ideal. As I said at the time, the real peace was still to come, and it
could only come from a new spirit in the peoples themselves.

_Wilson Had to Be Conciliated_

What was really saved at Paris was the child--the covenant of the
League of Nations. The political realists who had their eye on the loot
were prepared--however reluctantly--to throw up that innocent little
sop to President Wilson and his fellow idealists. After all, there was
not much harm in it, it threatened no present national interest, and it
gave great pleasure to a number of good unpractical people in most
countries. Above all, President Wilson had to be conciliated, and this
was the last and the greatest of the fourteen points on which he had
set his heart and by which he was determined to stand or fall. And so
he got his way. But it is a fact that only a man of his great power and
influence and dogged determination could have carried the covenant
through that Peace Conference. Others had seen with him the great
vision; others had perhaps given more thought to the elaboration of the
great plan. But his was the power and the will that carried it through.
The covenant is Wilson's souvenir to the future of the world. No one
will ever deny that honor.

_Great Creative Document_

The honor is very great, indeed, for the covenant is one of the great
creative documents of human history. The peace treaty will fade into
merciful oblivion and its provisions will be gradually obliterated by
the great human tides sweeping over the world. But the covenant will
stand as sure as fate. Forty-two nations gathered round it at the first
meeting of the League at Geneva. And the day is not far off when all
the free peoples of the world will gather around it. It must succeed,
because there is no other way for the future of civilization. It does
not realize the great hopes born of the war, but it provides the only
method and instrument by which in the course of time those hopes can be
realized. Speaking as one who has some right to speak on the
fundamental conceptions, objects and methods of the covenant, I feel
sure that most of the present criticism is based on misunderstandings.
These misunderstandings will clear away, one by one the peoples still
outside the covenant will fall in behind this banner, under which the
human race is going to march forward to triumphs of peaceful
organization and achievements undreamt of by us children of an
unhappier era. And the leader who, in spite of apparent failure,
succeeded in inscribing his name on that banner has achieved the most
enviable and enduring immortality. Americans of the future will yet
proudly and gratefully rank him with Washington and Lincoln, and his
name will have a more universal significance than theirs.

[Illustration: THE NOBLE PEACE PRIZE 1920
               KIRBY IN THE NEW YORK _World_

    "We die without distinction if we are not willing to die the death
    of sacrifice. Do you covet honor? You will never get it by serving
    yourself. Do you covet distinction? You will get it only as a
    servant of mankind."

       --Woodrow Wilson's Address
         at Swarthmore College
         Oct. 5, 1913.]

_Woodrow Wilson_



No other American has made so much world history as Woodrow Wilson, who
retires at noon today from the office of President of the United
States. No other American has ever bulked so large in the affairs of
civilization or wielded so commanding an influence in shaping their

The great outstanding figure of the war, Mr. Wilson remains the great
outstanding figure of the peace. Broken in health and shattered in
body, Mr. Wilson is leaving the White House, but his spirit still
dominates the scene. It pervades every chancellery in Europe. It hovers
over every capital. Because Woodrow Wilson was President of the United
States during the most critical period of modern history international
relations have undergone their first far-reaching moral revolution.

Mr. Harding is assuming the duties of the Presidency, but the main
interest in Mr. Harding is still a reflected interest, which is
concerned chiefly with the efforts that his Administration may make to
adjust itself to the forces that Mr. Wilson has set in motion. Stripped
of all the paraphernalia of his office, Mr. Wilson, by virtue of his
achievements, remains the most potent single influence in the modern
world; yet after this eight years in the White House it may be doubted
if even the American people themselves know him better or understand
him better than they did the day he was first inaugurated.

Neither Mr. Wilson's friends nor his enemies have ever succeeded in
interpreting him or in explaining him, nor can any interpretation or
explanation be satisfactory which fails at the outset to recognize in
him the simplest and at the same time the most complex character in the
greatest drama ever played on the stage of human history. Even his
closest associates have never found it easy to reconcile a fervent
political democracy with an unbending intellectual aristocracy, or to
determine which of those characteristics was dominant in his day-to-day

No man ever sat in the President's chair who was more genuinely a
democrat or held more tenaciously to his faith in democracy than
Woodrow Wilson, but no other man ever sat in the President's chair who
was so contemptuous of all intellect that was inferior to his own or so
impatient with its laggard processes.

_A President Who Dealt in Ideas_

Mr. Wilson was a President who dealt almost exclusively in ideas. He
cared little or nothing about political organization and rarely
consulted the managing politicians of his party. When they conferred
with him it was usually at their request and not at his request.
Patronage hardly entered into his calculations as an agency of
government. He disliked to be troubled about appointments, and when he
had filled an office he was likely to be indifferent as to the manner
in which that office was subsequently administered, unless his own
measures were antagonized or his policies obstructed.

No man was ever more impersonal in his attitude toward government, and
that very impersonality was the characteristic which most baffled the
American people. Mr. Wilson had a genius for the advocacy of great
principles, but he had no talent whatever for advocating himself, and
to a country that is accustomed to think in headlines about political
questions his subtlety of mind and his careful, precise style of
expression were quite as likely to be an obstacle to the communication
of thought as a medium for the communication of thought. That is how
such phrases as "too proud to fight" and "peace without victory" were
successfully wrested from their context by his critics and twisted into
a fantastic distortion of their true meaning.

Mr. Wilson was likewise totally deficient in the art of advertising,
and advertising is the very breath of American politics. He held
himself aloof from all these points of public contact. _The World's_
relations with him have certainly been as close and intimate as those
of any other newspaper; yet during the eight years in which Mr. Wilson
has been in the White House he never sought a favor from _The World_,
he never asked for support either for himself or any of his policies,
he never complained when he was criticised, he never offered to explain
himself or his attitude on any issue of government. In the troublesome
days of his Administration he often expressed his gratitude for
services that _The World_ had rendered in the interpretation of his
policies, but he never solicited such interpretation or took measures
to facilitate it. He was an eloquent pleader for the principles in
which he believed, but he had no faculty whatever for projecting
himself into the picture.

_The Experience of History_

Mr. Wilson's enemies are fond of calling him a theorist, but there is
little of the theorist about him, otherwise he could never have made
more constructive history than any other man of his generation. What
are commonly called theories in his case were the practical application
of the experience of history to the immediate problems of government,
and in the experience of history Mr. Wilson is an expert. With the
exception of James Madison, who was called "the Father of the
Constitution," Mr. Wilson is the most profound student of government
among all the Presidents, and he had what Madison conspicuously lacked,
which was the faculty to translate his knowledge of government into the
administration of government.

When Mr. Wilson was elected President he had reached the conclusion
which most unprejudiced students of American government eventually
arrive at--that the system of checks and balances is unworkable in
practice and that the legislative and executive branches cannot be in
fact coördinate, independent departments. Other Presidents have acted
on that hypothesis without daring to admit it, and endeavored to
control Congress by patronage and by threats. Mr. Wilson without any
formality established himself as the leader of his party in Congress,
Premier as well as President, and the originator of the party's program
of legislation.

Senators and Representatives denounced him as an autocrat and a
dictator. Congress was described as the President's rubber stamp, but
Mr. Wilson established something that more nearly resembled responsible
government than anything that had gone before, and Congress under his
direct leadership made a record for constructive legislation for which
there is no parallel. It was due to this kind of leadership that such
measures as the Federal Reserve Banking Law were enacted, which later
proved to be the one bulwark between the American people and a
financial panic of tragic proportions.

But Mr. Wilson's domestic policies in spite of their magnitude have
been obscured by his foreign policies. Had there been no war, these
policies in themselves would have given to the Wilson Administration a
place in American history higher than that of any other since the Civil
War. What some of his predecessors talked about doing he did, and he
accomplished it by the process of making himself the responsible leader
of his party in Congress--a process that is simple enough but capable
of fulfillment only in the hands of a man with an extraordinary
capacity for imposing his will on his associates. Mr. Wilson's control
over Congress for six years was once described as the most impressive
triumph of mind over matter known to American politics.

_Mr. Wilson's Foreign Policies_

When we begin the consideration of Mr. Wilson's foreign policies we are
entering one of the most remarkable chapters in all history, and one
which will require the perspective of history for a true judgment.

The first step in the development of these foreign policies came in Mr.
Wilson's refusal to recognize Huerta, who had participated in the plot
to murder President Madero and made himself the dictator of Mexico by
reason of this assassination. The crime was committed during Mr. Taft's
Administration. When Mr. Wilson came into office he served notice that
there would be no recognition of Huerta and no recognition of any
Mexican Government which was not established by due process of law.

What was plainly in Mr. Wilson's mind was a determination to end
political assassination in Latin America as a profitable industry, and
compel recognition, to some extent at least, of democratic principles
and constitutional forms. On this issue he had to face the intense
opposition of all the financial interests in the United States which
had Mexican holdings, and a consolidated European opposition as well.
Every dollar of foreign money invested in Mexico was confident that
what Mexico needed most was such a dictatorship as that of Huerta or
American intervention. Mr. Wilson's problem was to get rid of Huerta
without involving the United States in war, and then by steady pressure
bring about the establishment of a responsible government that rested
on something at least resembling the consent of the governed. Only a
statesman of high ideals would ever have attempted it, and only a
statesman of almost infinite patience would have been able to adhere to
the task that Mr. Wilson set for himself.

Mexico is not yet a closed incident, but Mr. Wilson's policy has been
vindicated in principle. For the first time since Mr. Roosevelt shocked
the moral sense and aroused the political resentment of all the
Latin-American states by the rape of Panama, faith in the integrity and
friendship of the United States has been restored among the other
nations of the Western Hemisphere.

Of equal or even greater ethical importance was Mr. Wilson's insistence
on the repeal of the Panama Canal Tolls Act, which discriminated in
favor of American ships in spite of the plain provisions of the
Hay-Pauncefote treaty. This was the more creditable on Mr. Wilson's
part because he himself had been tricked during the campaign into
giving his support to this measure. When he began to perceive the
diplomatic consequences of this treaty violation Mr. Wilson reversed
himself and demanded that Congress reverse itself. Had he done
otherwise, the American people would have had scant opportunity to
protest against the German perfidy which turned a treaty into "a scrap
of paper."

When Germany, at the beginning of August, 1914, declared war
successively on Russia, France and Belgium, thereby bringing Great
Britain into the most stupendous conflict of all the centuries, Mr.
Wilson did what every President has done when other nations have gone
to war. He issued a proclamation of neutrality. He then went further,
however, than any of his predecessors had done and urged the American
people to be not only neutral in deed but "impartial in thought." Mr.
Wilson has been severely criticised for this appeal. The more violent
pro-Germans and the more violent pro-French and pro-British regarded it
as a personal insult and an attempt on the part of the President to
stifle what they were pleased to regard as their conscience.

Mr. Wilson asked the American people to be impartial in thought because
he knew as a historian the danger that threatened if the country were
to be divided into two hostile camps, the one blindly and unreasoningly
applauding every act of the Germans and the other blindly and
unreasoningly applauding every act of the Allies. In the early years of
his life the Republic was all but wrecked by the emotional and
political excesses of the pro-French Americans and the pro-British
Americans in the war that followed the French Revolution. The warning
against a passionate attachment to the interests of other nations which
is embodied in Washington's Farewell Address was the first President's
solemn admonition against the evils of a divided allegiance. Mr. Wilson
had no desire to see the country drift into a similar situation in
which American rights, American interests and American prestige would
all be sacrificed to gratify the American adherents of the various
European belligerents. Moreover, he understood far better than his
critics that issues would soon arise between the belligerents and the
United States which would require on the part of the American people
that impartiality of thought that is demanded of the just and upright
judge. He knew that the American people might ultimately become the
final arbiters of the issues of the conflict.

The United States was the only great nation outside the sphere of
conflict. It was the only great nation that had no secret diplomatic
understandings with either set of belligerents. It was the only great
nation that was in a position to uphold the processes of international
law and to use its good offices as a mediator when the opportunity

For two years Mr. Wilson genuinely believed that it would be possible
for the United States to fulfill this mission, and he never fully lost
hope until that day in January, 1917, when the German Government
wantonly wrecked all the informal peace negotiations that were then in
progress and decided to stake the fate of the empire on a single throw
of the U-boat dice.

_A United Country First_

Mr. Wilson perceived quite as quickly and quite as early as anybody the
possibility that the United States would be drawn into the war, but he
perceived also what most of his critics failed to perceive, that the
immediate danger of the country was not war but a divided people. While
he was engaging in framing the first Lusitania note he discussed the
situation with one of his callers at the White House in words that have
since proved prophetic:

    I do not know whether the German Government intends to keep faith
    with the United States or not. It is my personal opinion that
    Germany has no such intention, but I am less concerned about the
    ultimate intentions of Germany than about the attitude of the
    American people, who are already divided into three groups: those
    who are strongly pro-German, those who are strongly pro-Ally, and
    the vast majority who expect me to find a way to keep the United
    States out of war. I do not want war, yet I do not know that I can
    keep the country out of the war. That depends on Germany, and I
    have no control over Germany. _But I intend to handle this
    situation in such a manner that every American citizen will know
    that the United States Government has done everything it could to
    prevent war. Then if war comes we shall have a united country, and
    with a united country there need be no fear about the result._

Mr. Wilson's policy from that day to April 2, 1917, must be read in the
light of those words. He plunged forthwith into that extraordinary
debate with the German Government over the submarine issue--the most
momentous debate ever held--but he was only incidentally addressing
himself to the rulers of Germany. He was talking to the conscience of
the civilized world, but primarily to the conscience of the United
States, explaining, clarifying, elucidating the issue. His reluctance
to countenance any extensive measures of preparedness was the product
of a definite resolution not to give Germany and her American
supporters an opportunity to declare that the United States, while
these issues were pending, was arming for war against the Imperial

When Mr. Wilson began this debate he knew something which his critics
did not know and which for reasons of state he did not choose to tell
them. Weeks before the destruction of the Lusitania two-thirds of the
German General Staff were in favor of war with the United States as a
military measure in the interest of Germany. They were under the spell
of Tirpitz. They believed that the submarine could do all that the
Grand Admiral said it could do. They argued that inasmuch as the Allies
were borrowing money in the United States, obtaining food from the
United States and purchasing great quantities of munitions in the
United States Germany, by restricting submarine warfare in answer to
American protests, was paying an excessive price for what was in effect
a fictitious neutrality. In their opinion the United States as a
neutral was already doing more for the Allies than it could do as an
active belligerent if free scope were given to the U-boats. The
American Navy, they said, could be safely disregarded, because with
Germany already blockaded by the British Navy, and the German Grand
Fleet penned in, the addition of the American Navy, or a dozen navies
for that matter, would make little difference in respect to the actual
facts of sea power. On the other hand there was not enough shipping
available to feed the Allies and enable the United States to send an
army to Europe. If the United States tried to provide troops, the
British would starve. If the United States could not send troops,
Germany would be just as well off with the United States in the war as
out of the war, and would have the priceless additional advantage of
being able to employ her submarines as she saw fit, regardless of the
technicalities of international law.

In the fall of 1916 Mr. Wilson decided definitely that the relations
between the United States and Germany were approaching a climax. If the
war continued much longer the United States would inevitably be drawn
in. There was no prospect of a decision. The belligerent armies were
deadlocked. Unwilling to wait longer for events, Mr. Wilson made up his
mind that he would demand from each side a statement of its aims and
objects and compel each side to plead its own cause before the court of
the public opinion of the world. This was done on December 18, 1916, in
a joint note which was so cold and dispassionate in its terms that its
import was hardly understood.

_With Clean Hands_

The President said that the aims and objects of the war on both sides
"as stated in general terms to their own people and the world" seemed
to be "virtually the same," and he asked for a bill of particulars.
Instantly there was wild turmoil and recrimination on the part of the
Allies and their friends in the United States.

The President had declared, they said, that the Germans and the Allies
were fighting for the same thing. Mr. Wilson had expressed no opinion
of his own one way or the other and the obvious discovery was soon made
in London and Paris that the President had given to the Allies the
opportunity which they needed of officially differentiating their war
aims from those of the Germans. The German Government missed its
opportunity completely, and by their own answer to the President's note
the Allies succeeded in consolidating their moral positions, which was
something they had never previously been able to do in spite of all
their propaganda.

Informal peace negotiations were still in progress, although conducted
in secret and carefully screened from the knowledge of all peoples
involved in the conflict. On January 22, 1917, Mr. Wilson made his last
attempt at mediation in the "peace without victory" address to the
Senate in which he defined what he regarded as the fundamental
conditions of a permanent peace. Most of the basic principles of this
address were afterward incorporated into the Fourteen Points. Here
again Mr. Wilson was the victim of his own precision of language and of
the settled policy of his critics of reading into his public utterances
almost everything except what he actually said. He himself has insisted
on giving his own interpretation of "peace without victory," and this
interpretation was instantly rejected by the super-patriots who
regarded themselves as the sole custodians of all the issues of the war.

[Illustration: © _Underwood & Underwood_
               1919: On the bridge of the _George Washington_ on
               the return from the Peace Conference]

    _The President and the Treaty_

    _President Wilson sails for Europe, December 4, 1918._

    _Visits to England, France and Italy, December-January, 1918-19._

    _Peace Conference opened, January 18, 1919._

    _League Covenant adopted, February 14, 1919._

    _President Wilson's trip home, February 24-March 5, 1919._

    _The treaty signed, June 28, 1919._

    _Submission to the Senate, July 10, 1919._

    _The President's speaking tour, September 3-26, 1919._

    _Adoption of the Lodge reservations, November 16, 1919._

    _Final defeat of the treaty in the Senate, March 20, 1920._

[Illustration: © _Edmonston_
               February 15, 1921: Mr. Wilson's latest photograph--made
               at a meeting of the Cabinet]


    By Joseph P. Tumulty

    _Two pictures are in my mind. First, the Hall of Representatives
    crowded from floor to gallery with expectant throngs. Presently it
    is announced that the President of the United States will address
    Congress. There steps out to the Speaker's desk a straight,
    vigorous, slender man, active and alert. He is sixty years of age,
    but he looks not more than forty-five, so lithe of limb, so alert
    of bearing, so virile. It is Woodrow Wilson reading his great war
    message. The other picture is only three and a half years later.
    There is a parade of Veterans of the Great War. They are to be
    reviewed by the President on the east terrace of the White House.
    In a chair sits a man, your President, broken in health, but still
    alert in mind. His hair is white, his shoulders bowed, his figure
    bent. He is sixty-three years old, but he looks older. It is
    Woodrow Wilson. Presently, in the procession there appears an
    ambulance laden with wounded soldiers, the maimed, the halt and the
    blind. As they pass they salute, slowly reverently. The President's
    right hand goes up in answering salute. I glanced at him. There
    were tears in his eyes. The wounded is greeting the wounded; those
    in the ambulance, he in the chair, are alike, casualties of the
    Great War._

    _From address by Joseph P. Tumulty_
    _Thursday, Oct. 28, 1920_

When the armistice was signed one of the most eminent of living British
statesmen gave it as his opinion that the war had lasted two years too
long, and that the task of salvaging an enduring peace from the wreck
had become well-nigh insuperable. It will always be one of the
fascinating riddles of history to guess what the result would have been
if Mr. Wilson's final proposals for mediation had been accepted. The
United States would not have entered the war, and a less violent
readjustment of the internal affairs of Europe would probably have
resulted. There would have been no Bolshevist revolution in Russia and
no economic collapse of Europe. Nor is it certain that most of the
really enduring benefits of the Treaty of Versailles could not have
been as well obtained by negotiation as they were finally obtained
through a military victory which cost a price that still staggers

Be that as it may, the German Government, now fighting to maintain the
dynasty and the Junker domination, took the issue out of Mr. Wilson's
hands. Ten days after his "peace without victory" address the German
autocracy put into effect its cherished programme of ruthless submarine
warfare. The only possible answer on the part of the United States was
the dismissal of Count von Bernstorff the German Ambassador, and from
that time war between the United States and Germany was only a matter
of days. But Mr. Wilson had achieved the great purpose that he had
formulated two years before. He had been balked in his efforts at
mediation, but he had united the American people on the issues of the
conflict. He had demonstrated to them that their Government had exerted
every honorable means to avoid war and that its hands were clean. There
was no uncertainty in their own minds that the responsibility for the
war rested solely on Germany, and Mr. Wilson now purposed to write the
terms of peace with the sword.

_A Call to a Crusade_

Mr. Wilson's War Address on the night of April 2, 1917, was the most
dramatic event that the National Capitol had ever known. In the
presence of both branches of Congress, of the Supreme Court, of the
Cabinet and of the Diplomatic Corps, Mr. Wilson summoned the American
people not to a war but to a crusade in words that instantaneously
captivated the imagination of the Nation:

    But the right is more precious than peace, and we shall fight for
    the things which we have always carried nearest our hearts--for
    democracy, for the right of those who submit to authority to have a
    voice in their own government, for the rights and liberties of
    small nations, for a universal dominion of right by such a concert
    of free peoples as shall bring peace and safety to all nations and
    make the world at last free. To such a task we can dedicate our
    lives and our fortunes, everything that we are and everything that
    we have, with the pride of those who know that the day has come
    when America is privileged to spend her blood and her might for the
    principles that gave her birth and happiness and the peace which
    she has treasured. God helping her, she can do no other.

This was not Woodrow Wilson, the intellectual aristocrat, who was
speaking, but Woodrow Wilson, the fervent democrat, proclaiming a new
declaration of independence to the embattled peoples.

No sooner had Congress declared war than Mr. Wilson proceeded to
mobilize all the resources of the Nation and throw them into the
conflict. This war was different from any other war in which the United
States had ever engaged, not only by reason of its magnitude but by
reason of the necessity for coördinating American military plans with
the military plans of the Allies. The Allies were not quite agreed as
to what they desired of the United States, aside from unlimited
financial assistance, and the solution of the general problem depended
more or less on the trend of events.

The test of any war policy is its success, and it is a waste of time to
enter into a vindication of the manner in which the Wilson
Administration made war, or to trouble about the accusations of waste
and extravagance, as if war were an economic process which could be
carried on prudently and frugally. The historian is not likely to
devote serious attention to the partisan accusations relating to Mr.
Wilson's conduct of the war, but he will find it interesting to record
the manner in which the President brought his historical knowledge to
bear in shaping the war policies of the country.

The voluntary system and the draft system had both been discredited in
the Civil War, so Mr. Wilson demanded a Selective-Service Act under
which the country could raise 10,000,000 troops, if 10,000,000 troops
were needed, without deranging its essential industries. It had taken
Mr. Lincoln three years to find a General whom he could intrust with
the command of the Union armies. Mr. Wilson picked his Commander in
Chief before he went to war and then gave to Gen. Pershing the same
kind of ungrudging support that Mr. Lincoln gave to Gen. Grant. The
Civil War had been financed by greenbacks and bond issues peddled by
bankers. Mr. Wilson called on the American people to finance their own
war, and they unhesitatingly responded. In the war with Spain the
commissary system had broken down completely owing to the antiquated
methods that were employed. No other army in time of war was ever so
well fed or so well cared for as that of the United States in the
conflict with Germany.

_Wilson as a War President_

Mistakes there were in plenty, both in methods and in the choice of
men, and errors of judgment and the shortcomings that always result
from a lack of experience, but the impartial verdict of history must be
that when everything is set forth on the debit side of the balance
sheet which can be set forth Mr. Wilson remains the most vigorous of
all the war Presidents. Yet it is also true that history will concern
itself far less with Mr. Wilson as a war President than with Mr. Wilson
as a peace-making President. It is around him as a peace-making
President that all the passions and prejudices and disappointments of
the world still rage.

Mr. Wilson in his "peace without victory" address to the Senate
previous to the entrance of the United States into the war had sketched
a general plan of a coöperative peace. "I am proposing, as it were," he
said, "that the nations with one accord should adopt the doctrine of
President Monroe as the doctrine of the world." He returned to the
subject again in his War Address, in which he defined the principles
for which the United States was to fight and the principles on which an
enduring peace could be made. The time came when it was necessary to be
still more specific.

In the winter of 1918 the morale of the Allies was at its lowest ebb.
Russia had passed into the hands of the Bolsheviki and was preparing to
make a separate peace with Germany. There was widespread discontent in
Italy, and everywhere in Europe soldiers and civilians were asking one
another what they were really fighting for. On January 8 Mr. Wilson
went before Congress and delivered the address which contained the
Fourteen Points of peace, a message which was greeted both in the
United States and in Europe as a veritable Magna Charta of the nations.
Mr. Wilson had again become the spokesman of the aspirations of
mankind, and from the moment that this address was delivered the
thrones of the Hohenzollerns and the Hapsburgs ceased to be stable.

Ten months later they were to crumble and collapse. Before the
armistice was signed on Nov. 11, 1918, Mr. Wilson had overthrown the
doctrine of Divine right in Europe. The Hapsburgs ran away. The Kaiser
was compelled to abdicate and take refuge in exile, justifying his
flight by the explanation that Wilson would not make peace with Germany
while a Hohenzollern was on the throne. This was the climax of Mr.
Wilson's power and influence and, strangely enough, it was the dawn of
his own day of disaster.

For nearly six years Mr. Wilson had manipulated the Government of the
United States with a skill that was almost uncanny. He had turned
himself from a minority President into a majority President. He had so
deftly outmanoeuvred all his opponents in Congress and out of Congress
that they had nothing with which to console themselves except their
intensive hatred of the man and all that pertained to him. Then at the
very summit of his career he made his first fatal blunder.

Every President in the off-year election urges the election of a
Congress of his own party. That is part of the routine of politics, and
during the campaign of 1918 Mr. Wilson's advisers urged him to follow
the precedent. What they forgot and he forgot was that it was no time
for partisan precedents, and he allowed his distrust of the Republican
leaders in Congress to sweep him into an inexcusable error that he, of
all men, should have avoided. The Sixty-fifth Congress was anything but
popular. The Western farmers were aggrieved because the price of wheat
had been regulated and the price of cotton had not. The East was
greatly dissatisfied with the war taxes, which it regarded as an unfair
discrimination, and it remembered Mr. Kitchin's boast that the North
wanted the war and the North would have to pay for it. There was
general complaint from business interests against the Southern
Democratic control of the legislative department, and all this
sentiment instantly crystallized when the President asked for another
Democratic Congress. Republicans who were loyally supporting the
Administration in all its war activities were justly incensed that a
party issue had been raised. A Republican Congress was elected and by
inference the President sustained a personal defeat.

Misfortunes did not come singly in Mr. Wilson's case. Following the
mistake of appealing for the election of a Democratic Congress he made
an equally serious mistake in the selection of his Peace Commission.

To anybody who knows Mr. Wilson, who knows Mr. Lloyd George, who knows
Mr. Clemenceau, nothing could be sillier than the chapters of Keynes
and Dillon in which they undertake to picture the President's unfitness
to cope with the European masters of diplomacy. Mr. Wilson for years
had been playing with European masters of diplomacy as a cat plays with
a mouse. To assume that Mr. Wilson was ever deceived by the transparent
tactics of Mr. Lloyd George and Mr. Clemenceau is to assume the
impossible. It would be as easy to conceive of his being tricked and
bamboozled by the United States Senate.

_The Peace Commission_

Mr. Wilson needed strong Republican representation on the Peace
Commission not to reinforce him in his struggles with his adversaries
at Paris but to divide with him the responsibility for a treaty of
peace that was doomed in advance to be a disappointment. Although the
popular sentiment of Europe was almost passionate in its advocacy of
President Wilson's peace program, all the special interests that were
seeking to capitalize the peace for their own advantage or profit were
actively at work and were beginning to swing all the influence that
they could command on their various Governments. It was inevitable from
the outset that Mr. Wilson could never get the peace that he had
expected. The treaty was bound to be a series of compromises that would
satisfy nobody, and when Mr. Wilson assumed all the responsibility for
it in advance he assumed a responsibility that no stateman who had ever
lived could carry alone. Had he taken Mr. Root or Mr. Taft or both of
them with him the terms of the Treaty of Versailles might have been no
different, but the Senate would have been robbed of the partisan
grievance on which it organized the defeat of ratification.

Day after day during the conference Mr. Wilson fought the fight for a
peace that represented the liberal thought of the world. Day after day
the odds against him lengthened. The contest finally resolved itself
into a question of whether he should take what he could get or whether
he should withdraw from the conference and throw the doors open to
chaos. The President made the only decision that he had a moral right
to make. He took what he could get, nor are the statesmen with whom he
was associated altogether to blame because he did not get more. They
too had to contend against forces over which they had no control. They
were not free agents either, and Mr. Smuts has summed up the case in
two sentences:

    It was not the statesmen that failed so much as the spirit of the
    peoples behind them. The hope, the aspiration, for a new world
    order of peace and right and justice, however deeply and
    universally felt, was still only feeble and ineffective in
    comparison with the dominant national passions which found their
    expression in the peace treaty.

All the passions and hatreds bred of four years of merciless warfare,
all the insatiable fury for revenge, all the racial ambitions that had
been twisted and perverted by centuries of devious diplomacy--these
were all gathered around the council table, clamorous in their demand
to dictate the terms.

Mr. Wilson surrendered more than he dreamed he was surrendering, but it
is not difficult to follow his line of reasoning. The League of Nations
was to be a continuing court of equity, sitting in judgment on the
peace itself, revising its terms when revision became necessary and
possible, slowly readjusting the provisions of the treaty to a calmer
and saner state of public mind. Get peace first. Establish the League,
and the League would rectify the inevitable mistakes of the treaty.

It is a curious commentary on human nature that when the treaty was
completed and the storm of wrath broke, all the rage, all the
resentment, all the odium should have fallen on the one man who had
struggled week in and week out against the forces of reaction and
revenge and had written into the treaty all that it contains which
makes for the international advancement of the race.

_Why The Treaty Was Beaten_

Into that record must also go the impressive fact that the Treaty of
Versailles was rejected by the United States Senate, under the
leadership of Henry Cabot Lodge, not because of its acknowledged
defects and shortcomings, not because it breathed the spirit of a
Carthaginian peace in its punitive clauses, but because of its most
enlightened provision, the covenant of the League of Nations, which is
the one hope of a war-racked world.

When people speak of the tragedy of Mr. Wilson's career they have in
mind only the temporary aspects of it--the universal dissatisfaction
with the treaty of peace, his physical collapse, his defeat in the
Senate and the verdict at the polls in November. They forget that the
end of the chapter is not yet written. The League of Nations is a fact,
whatever the attitude of the United States may be toward it, and it
will live unless the peoples of the earth prove their political
incapacity to use it for the promotion of their own welfare. The
principle of self-determination will remain as long as men believe in
the right of self-government and are willing to die for it. It was
Woodrow Wilson who wrote that principle into the law of nations, even
though he failed to obtain a universal application of it. Tacitus said
of the Catti tribesmen, "Others go to battle; these go to war," and Mr.
Wilson went to war in behalf of the democratic theory of government
extended to all the affairs of the nations. That war is not yet won,
and the Commander in Chief is crippled by the wounds that he received
on the field of action. But the responsibility for the future does not
rest with him. It rests with the self-governing peoples for whom he has
blazed the trail. All the complicated issues of this titanic struggle
finally reduce themselves to these prophetic words of Maximilian
Harden: "Only one conqueror's work will endure--Wilson's thought."

Woodrow Wilson on this morning of the fourth of March can say, in the
words of Paul the Apostle to Timothy:

    "_For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is
    at hand._

    "_I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have
    kept the faith._"

    Copyright 1921, New York _World_.

_The Covenant of the League of Nations_


_Paris, April 28, 1919_


In order to promote international cooperation and to achieve
international peace and security, by the acceptance of obligations not
to resort to war, by the prescription of open, just and honorable
relations between nations, by the firm establishment of the
understandings of international law as to actual rule of conduct among
governments, and by the maintenance of justice and a scrupulous respect
for all treaty obligations in the dealings of organized peoples with
one another, the high contracting parties agree to this Covenant of the
League of Nations.

Article One


The original members of the League of Nations shall be those of the
signatories which are named in the annex to this Covenant and also such
of those other states named in the annex as shall accede without
reservation to this Covenant. Such accessions shall be effected by a
declaration deposited with the Secretariat within two months of the
coming into force of the Covenant. Notice thereof shall be sent to all
other members of the League.

Any fully self-governing state, dominion, or colony not named in the
annex, may become a member of the League if its admission is agreed by
two-thirds of the assembly, provided that it shall give effective
guarantees of its sincere intention to observe its international
obligations, and shall accept such regulations as may be prescribed by
the League in regard to its military and naval forces and armaments.

Any member of the League may, after two years' notice of its intention
so to do, withdraw from the League, provided that all its international
obligations and all its obligations under this Covenant shall have been
fulfilled at the time of its withdrawal.

Article Two

[Executive and Administration Machinery]

The action of the League under this Covenant shall be effected through
the instrumentality of an Assembly and of a Council, with a permanent

Article Three

[The Assembly]

The Assembly shall consist of representatives of the members of the

The Assembly shall meet at stated intervals and from time to time as
occasion may require, at the seat of the League, or at such other place
as may be decided upon.

The Assembly may deal at its meetings with any matter within the sphere
of action of the League or affecting the peace of the world.

At meetings of the Assembly, each member of the League shall have one
vote, and may have not more than three representatives.

Article Four

[The Council]

The Council shall consist of representatives of the United States of
America, of the British Empire, of France, of Italy, and of Japan,
together with representatives of four other members of the League.
These four members of the League shall be selected by the Assembly from
time to time in its discretion. Until the appointment of the
representatives of the four members of the League first selected by the
Assembly, representatives of Belgium, Brazil, Greece and Spain shall be
members of the Council.

With the approval of the majority of the Assembly, the Council may name
additional members of the League whose representatives shall always be
members of the Council; the Council with like approval may increase the
number of members of the League to be selected by the Assembly for
representation on the Council.

The Council shall meet from time to time as occasion may require, and
at least once a year, at the seat of the League, or at such other place
as may be decided upon.

The Council may deal at its meetings with any matter within the sphere
of action of the League or affecting the peace of the world.

Any member of the League not represented on the Council shall be
invited to send a representative to sit as a member at any meeting of
the Council during the consideration of matters specially affecting the
interests of that member of the League.

At meetings of the Council, each member of the League represented on
the Council shall have one vote, and may have not more than one

Article Five

[Decision by Unanimity or Majority; Initial Meetings]

Except where otherwise expressly provided in this Covenant, or by the
terms of this treaty, decisions at any meeting of the Assembly or of
the Council shall require the agreement of all the members of the
League represented at the meeting.

All matters of procedure at meetings of the Assembly or of the Council,
the appointment of committees to investigate particular matters, shall
be regulated by the Assembly or by the Council and may be decided by a
majority of the members of the League represented at the meeting.

The first meeting of the Assembly and the first meeting at the Council
shall be summoned by the President of the United States of America.

Article Six

[The Secretariat]

The permanent Secretariat shall be established at the seat of the
League. The Secretariat shall comprise a Secretary-General and such
secretaries and staff as may be required.

The first Secretary-General shall be the person named in the annex;
thereafter the Secretary-General shall be appointed by the Council with
the approval of the majority of the Assembly.

The Secretaries and the staff of the Secretariat shall be appointed by
the Secretary-General with the approval of the Council.

The Secretary-General shall act in that capacity at all meetings of the
Assembly and of the Council.

The expenses of the Secretariat shall be borne by the members of the
League in accordance with the apportionment of the expenses of the
International Bureau of the Universal Postal Union.

Article Seven

[League Capital; Status of Officials and Property; Sex Equality]

The seat of the League is established at Geneva.

The Council may at any time decide that the seat of the League shall be
established elsewhere.

All positions under or in connection with the League, including the
Secretariat, shall be open equally to men and women.

Representatives of the members of the League and officials of the
League when engaged on the business of the League shall enjoy
diplomatic privileges and immunities.

The buildings and other property occupied by the League or its
officials or by representatives attending its meetings shall be

Article Eight


The members of the League recognize that the maintenance of a peace
requires the reduction of national armaments to the lowest point
consistent with the national safety and the enforcement by common
action of international obligations.

The Council, taking account of the geographical situation and
circumstances of each state, shall formulate plans for such reduction
for the consideration and action of the several governments.

Such plans shall be subject to reconsideration and revision at least
every ten years.

After these plans shall have been adopted by the several governments,
limits of armaments therein fixed shall not be exceeded without the
concurrence of the Council.

The members of the League agree that the manufacture by private
enterprise of munitions and implements of war is open to grave
objections. The Council shall advise how the evil effects attendant
upon such manufacture can be prevented, due regard being had to the
necessities of those members of the League which are not able to
manufacture the munitions and implements of war necessary for their

The members of the League undertake to interchange full and frank
information as to the scale of their armaments, their military and
naval programmes and the condition of such of their industries as are
adaptable to warlike purposes.

Article Nine

[Disarmament Commission]

A permanent commission shall be constituted to advise the Council on
the execution of the provisions of Articles One and Eight and on
military and naval questions generally.

Article Ten

[Territorial and Political Guarantees]

The members of the League undertake to respect and preserve as against
external aggression the territorial integrity and existing political
independence of all members of the League. In case of any such
aggression or in case of any threat or danger of such aggression, the
Council shall advise upon the means by which this obligation shall be

Article Eleven

[Joint Action to Prevent War]

Any war or threat of war, whether immediately affecting any of the
members of the League or not, is hereby declared a matter of concern to
the whole League, and the League shall take any action that may be
deemed wise and effectual to safeguard the peace of nations. In case
any such emergency should arise, the Secretary-General shall, on the
request of any member of the League, forthwith summon a meeting of the

It is also declared to be the fundamental right of each member of the
League to bring to the attention of the Assembly or of the Council any
circumstance whatever affecting international relations which threatens
to disturb either the peace or the good understanding between nations
upon which peace depends.

Article Twelve

[Postponement of War]

The members of the League agree that if there should arise between them
any dispute likely to lead to a rupture, they will submit the matter
either to arbitration or to inquiry by the Council, and they agree in
no case to resort to war until three months after the award by the
arbitrators or the report by the Council.

In any case, under this Article the award of the arbitrators shall be
made within a reasonable time, and the report of the Council shall be
made within six months after the submission of the dispute.

Article Thirteen

[Arbitration of Justiciable Matters]

The members of the League agree that when ever any dispute shall arise
between them which they recognize to be suitable for submission to
arbitration and which cannot be satisfactorily settled by diplomacy,
they will submit the whole subject matter to arbitration. Disputes as
to the interpretation of a treaty, as to any question of international
law, as to the existence of any fact which if established would
constitute a breach of any international obligation, or as to the
extent and nature of the reparation to be made for any such breach, are
declared to be among those which are generally suitable for submission
to arbitration. For the consideration of any such dispute the court of
arbitration to which the case is referred shall be the court agreed on
by the parties to the dispute or stipulated in any convention existing
between them.

The members of the League agree that they will carry out in full good
faith any award that may be rendered and that they will not resort to
war against a member of the League which complies therewith. In the
event of any failure to carry out such an award, the Council shall
propose what steps should be taken to give effect thereto.

Article Fourteen

[Permanent Court of International Justice]

The Council shall formulate and submit to the members of the League for
adoption plans for the establishment of a permanent court of
international justice. The court shall be competent to hear and
determine any dispute of an international character which the parties
thereto submit to it. The court may also give an advisory opinion upon
any dispute or question referred to it by the Council or by the

Article Fifteen

[Settlement of Disputes by Council or Assembly; Exclusion of Domestic

If there should arise between members of the League any dispute likely
to lead to a rupture, which is not submitted to arbitration as above,
the members of the League agree that they will submit the matter to the
Council. Any party to the dispute may effect such submission by giving
notice of the existence of the dispute to the Secretary-General, who
will make all necessary arrangements for a full investigation and
consideration thereof. For this purpose the parties to the dispute will
communicate to the Secretary-General, as promptly as possible,
statements of their case, all the relevant facts and papers; the
Council may forthwith direct the publication thereof.

The Council shall endeavor to effect a settlement of any dispute, and
if such efforts are successful, a statement shall be made public giving
such facts and explanations regarding the dispute and terms of
settlement thereof as the Council may deem appropriate.

If the dispute is not thus settled, the Council either unanimously or
by a majority vote shall make and publish a report containing a
statement of the facts of the dispute and the recommendations which are
deemed just and proper in regard thereto.

Any member of the League represented on the Council may make public a
statement of the facts of the dispute and of the conclusions regarding
the same.

If a report by the Council is unanimously agreed to by the members
thereof other than the representatives of one or more of the parties to
the dispute, the members of the League agree that they will not go to
war with any party to the dispute which complies with the
recommendations of the report.

If the Council fails to reach a report which is unanimously agreed to
by the members thereof, other than the representatives of one or more
of the parties to the dispute, the members of the League reserve to
themselves the right to take such action as they shall consider
necessary for the maintenance of right and justice.

If the dispute between the parties is claimed by one of them, and is
found by the Council to arise out of a matter which by international
law is solely within the domestic jurisdiction of that party, the
Council shall so report, and shall make no recommendation as to its

The Council may in any case under this Article refer the dispute to the
Assembly. The dispute shall be so referred at the request of either
party to the dispute, provided that such request be made within
fourteen days after the submission of the dispute to the Council.

In any case referred to the Assembly all the provisions of this Article
and of Article Twelve relating to the action and powers of the Council
shall apply to the action and powers of the Assembly, provided that a
report made by the Assembly, if concurred in by the representatives of
those members of the League represented on the Council and of a
majority of the other members of the League, exclusive in each case of
the representatives of the parties to the dispute, shall have the same
force as a report by the Council concurred in by all the members
thereof other than the representatives of one or more of the parties to
the dispute.

Article Sixteen


Should any member of the League resort to war in disregard of its
covenants under Articles Twelve, Thirteen or Fifteen, it shall ipso
facto be deemed to have committed an act of war against all other
members of the League, which hereby undertake immediately to subject it
to the severance of all trade or financial relations, the prohibition
of all intercourse between their nations and the nationals of the
covenant-breaking state and the prevention of all financial,
commercial, or personal intercourse between the nationals of the
covenant-breaking state and the nationals of any other state, whether a
member of the League or not.

It shall be the duty of the Council in such case to recommend to the
several governments concerned what effective military or naval forces
the members of the League shall severally contribute to the armaments
of forces to be used to protect the covenants of the League.

The members of the League agree, further, that they will mutually
support one another in the financial and economic measures which are
taken under this Article, in order to minimize the loss and
inconvenience resulting from the above measures, and that they will
mutually support one another in resisting any special measures aimed at
one of their number by the covenant-breaking state, and that they will
take the necessary steps to afford passage through their territory to
the forces of any of the members of the League which are cooperating to
protect the covenants of the League.

Any member of the League which has violated any covenant of the League
may be declared to be no longer a member of the League by a vote of the
Council concurred in by the representatives of all the other members of
the League represented thereon.

Article Seventeen

[Disputes of Non-Members]

In the event of a dispute between a member of the League and a state
which is not a member of the League, or between states not members of
the League, the state or states not members of the League shall be
invited to accept the obligations of membership in the League for the
purposes of such dispute, upon such conditions as the Council may deem
just. If such invitation is accepted, the provisions of Articles Twelve
to Sixteen inclusive shall be applied with such modifications as may be
deemed necessary by the Council.

Upon such invitation being given, the Council shall immediately
institute an inquiry into the circumstances of the dispute and
recommend such action as may seem best and most effectual in the

If a state so invited shall refuse to accept the obligations of
membership in the League for the purposes of such dispute, and shall
resort to war against a member of the League, the provisions of Article
Sixteen shall be applicable as against the state taking such action.

If both parties to the dispute, when so invited, refuse to accept the
obligations of membership in the League for the purposes of such
dispute, the Council may take such measures and make such
recommendations as will prevent hostilities and will result in the
settlement of the dispute.

Article Eighteen

[Registration of International Engagements]

Every convention or international engagement entered into henceforward
by any member of the League shall be forthwith registered with the
Secretariat and shall as soon as possible be published by it. No such
treaty or international engagement shall be binding until so

Article Nineteen

[Revision of Former Treaties]

The Assembly may from time to time advise the reconsideration by
members of the League of treaties which have become inapplicable, and
the consideration of international conditions of which the continuance
might endanger the peace of the world.

Article Twenty

[Abrogation of Understandings not Consistent with the Covenant]

The members of the League severally agree that this Covenant is
accepted as abrogating all obligations or understandings inter se which
are inconsistent with the terms thereof, and solemnly undertake that
they will not hereafter enter into any engagements inconsistent with
the terms thereof.

In case members of the League shall, before becoming a member of the
League, have undertaken any obligation inconsistent with the terms of
this covenant, it shall be the duty of such member to take immediate
steps to procure its release from such obligations.

Article Twenty-One

[The Monroe Doctrine]

Nothing in this covenant shall be deemed to affect the validity of
international engagements such as treaties of arbitration or regional
understandings like the Monroe Doctrine for securing the maintenance of

Article Twenty-Two

[Mandatory Tutelage of Colonies and Backward Races]

To those colonies and territories which as a consequence of the late
war have ceased to be under the sovereignty of the states which
formerly governed them and which are inhabited by peoples not yet able
to stand by themselves under the strenuous conditions of the modern
world, there should be applied the principle that the well being and
development of such peoples form a sacred trust of civilization and
that securities for the performance of this trust should be embodied in
this covenant.

The best method of giving practical effect to this principle is that
the tutelage of such peoples be entrusted to advanced nations who, by
reasons of their resources, their experience or their geographical
position, can best undertake this responsibility, and who are willing
to accept it, and that this tutelage should be exercised by them as
mandatories on behalf of the League.

The character of the mandate must differ according to the stage of the
development of the people, the geographical situation of the territory,
its economic condition and other similar circumstances.

Certain communities formerly belonging to the Turkish Empire have
reached a stage of development where their existence as independent
nations can be provisionally recognized subject to the rendering of
administrative advice and assistance by a mandatory until such time as
they are able to stand alone. The wishes of these communities must be a
principal consideration in the selection of the mandatory.

Other peoples, especially those of Central Africa, are at such a stage
that the mandatory must be responsible for the administration of the
territory under conditions which will guarantee freedom of conscience
or religion subject only to the maintenance of public order and morals,
the prohibition of abuses such as the slave trade, the arms traffic and
the liquor traffic and the prevention of the establishment of
fortifications or military and naval bases and of military training of
the natives for other than police purposes and the defense of territory
and will also secure equal opportunities for the trade and commerce of
other members of the League.

There are territories, such as Southwest Africa and certain of the
South Pacific islands, which, owing to the sparseness of their
population or their small size or their remoteness from the centers of
civilization or their geographical contiguity to the territory of the
mandatory and other circumstances, can be best administered under the
laws of the mandatory as integral portions of its territory subject to
the safeguards above mentioned in the interests of the indigenous
population. In every case of mandate, the mandatory shall render to the
Council an annual report in reference to the territory committed to its

The degree of authority, control or administration to be exercised by
the mandatory shall, if not previously agreed upon by the members of
the League, be explicitly defined in each case by the Council.

A permanent commission shall be constituted to receive and examine the
annual reports of the mandatories and to advise the Council on all
matters relating to the observance of the mandates.

Article Twenty-Three

[Humanitarian Provisions; Freedom of Transit]

Subject to and in accordance with the provisions of international
conventions existing or hereafter to be agreed upon, the members of the
League (a) will endeavor to secure and maintain fair and humane
conditions of labor for men, women and children both in their own
countries and in all countries to which their commercial and industrial
relations extend, and for that purpose will establish and maintain the
necessary international organizations; (b) undertake to secure just
treatment of the native inhabitants of territories under their control;
(c) will entrust the League with the general supervision over the
execution of agreements with regard to the traffic in women and
children, and the traffic in opium and other dangerous drugs; (d) will
entrust the League with the general supervision of the trade in arms
and ammunition with the countries in which the control to this traffic
is necessary in the common interest; (e) will make provision to secure
and maintain freedom of communication and of transit and equitable
treatment for the commerce of all members of the League. In this
connection the special necessities of the regions devastated during the
war of 1914-1918 shall be in mind; (f) will endeavor to take steps in
matters of international concern for the prevention and control of

Article Twenty-Four

[Control of International Bureaus and Commissions]

There shall be placed under the direction of the League all
international bureaus already established by general treaties if the
parties to such treaties consent. All such international bureaus and
all commissions for the regulation of matters of international interest
hereafter constituted shall be placed under the direction of the

In all matters of international interest which are regulated by general
conventions but which are not placed under the control of international
bureaus or commissions, the Secretariat of the League shall, subject to
the consent of the Council and if desired by the parties, collect and
distribute all relevant information and shall render any other
assistance which may be necessary or desirable.

The Council may include as part of the expenses of the Secretariat the
expenses of any bureau or commission which is placed under the
direction of the League.

Article Twenty-Five

[The Red Cross and International Sanitation]

The members of the League agree to encourage and promote the
establishment and coöperation of duly authorized voluntary national Red
Cross organizations having as purposes improvement of health, the
prevention of disease and the mitigation of suffering throughout the

Article Twenty-Six

[Amendments of the Covenant; Right of Dissent]

Amendments to this Covenant will take effect when ratified by the
members of the League whose representatives compose the Council and by
a majority of the members of the League whose representatives compose
the Assembly.

No such amendment shall bind any member of the League which signifies
its dissent therefrom, but in that case it shall cease to be a member
of the League.

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