Page 3697

3697 THE TWENTIETH CENTURY-THE GREAT WAR.

of patriotism swept over the country.

The real Americans asserted themselves

and silenced the pusillanimous outcries

of traitors and sickly sentimentalists.

The Stars and Stripes were everywhere;

even pro-Germans were forced to fly the

emblem of freedom. Great bands of

militant "Patriot Pilgrims" journeyed to

the Capitol to demand that the nation live

up to the traditions of a glorious past and

enter the war on the side of civilization.

When Congress assembled on April 2,

the thought of war was in every mind.

"Diplomacy has failed," said the chaplain

of the House in his opening prayer. "Moral

suasion has failed. Appeals to reason

and justice have been swept aside. We

abhor war and love peace, but if war has

been or shall be forced upon us, we pray

that the heart of every American citizen

may throb with patriotic feeling and that

a united people may rally around our

President to hold up his hands in every

measure deemed necessary to protect the

lives of American citizens and safeguard

our inheritance."

In the new House the two great parties

were so evenly matched that doubt existed

as to which would be able to organize

that body and elect the speaker. But a

feeling developed that it would be better

for the legislative and executive branches

to be in accord politically in such a crisis.

Furthermore, Mann of Illinois, the Republican candidate for speaker, was suspected of having had pro-German leanings,

and his course in the preceding Congress

had not been notable for stalwart Americanism. Some Independents and a few

Republicans threw their votes to Champ

Clark, and he was re-elected speaker over

Mann by 217 to 205.

By evening of the day of meeting,

Congress was ready to listen to the