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
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