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President, and he appeared before a joint session

and delivered a solemn and momentous

message. He said that submarine warfare had proved so destructive and unrestrained that it had become "a warfare

against mankind." Armed neutrality, he

confessed, was "impractical" and "ineffectual." A new choice must be made.

"There is one choice we cannot make,

we are incapable of making; we will not

choose the path of submission and suffer

the most sacred rights of our nation and

our people to be ignored or violated."

He therefore asked Congress to declare

that the recent course of the German

Government constituted war against the

United States and to take the necessary

steps to employ all of America's resources

to force the German Government to terms

and end the conflict. This would involve,

he said, the closest possible cooperation

with the other nations at war with Germany and the extension of liberal financial

assistance to those countries. The material

resources of the country must be mobilized, and the navy must be strengthened,

especially with the best means for dealing

with submarines. He recommended that

to the armed forces already authorized

an immediate addition should be made

of at least 500,000 men, "chosen upon the

principle of universal liability to. service."

He asserted that we had "no quarrel with

the German people," but only with their

despotic Government. This Government,

the Prussian autocracy, "was not and

never could be our friend," From the

very outset of the war it had "filled our

unsuspecting communities and even our

offices of government with spies and

set criminal intrigues everywhere afoot

against our national unity of counsel, our

peace within and without, our industries

and our commerce. Indeed it is now

evident that its spies were here even

before the war began." "This natural

foe to liberty" must be beaten, and "the

world must be made safe for democracy."

"There are, it may be," he said in conclusion, "many months of fiery trial and

sacrifice ahead of us. It is a fearful

thing to lead this great peaceful people

into war, into the most terrible and disastrous of all wars, civilization itself seeming

to be in the balance. 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

governments, 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 itself 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."

Even while President Wilson was on

his way to address Congress, word was

being passed about the Capitol that the

American armed merchantman Aztec had

been sunk without warning with probable

loss of life. This new example of German

"frightfulness" helped to emphasize the

need for war. A resolution recognizing

a state of war, authorizing the President

to employ the entire naval and military

forces against the Imperial German Government, and pledging all the resources of the

country "to bring the conflict to a successful

termination" was introduced in both houses.

Hoping to secure delay, pacifists and pro-Germans urged that the issue should be

submitted to a nation-wide referendum,

but patriots saw no good reason why

the decision should not be made by Congress, the body to which the power

is entrusted by the Constitution. In the

Senate the resolutions were opposed by

such men as Stone and La Follette, and

La Follette made a three-hour speech

which brought down upon him bitter

charges of disloyalty. In the House,

Kitchin of North Carolina, Democratic

floor leader, took a prominent part in

opposing the resolutions. But all opposition was vain. On the night of April 4 and 5,