Page 3704

3704 UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE MODERN WORLD.

which is to the American people what

the French flag is to the people of France,

a symbol of liberty. I hold in my other

hand the flag of France, who has given

of her best, her stanchest, and her bravest,

and which also stands for liberty. I

had the honor to carry the French flag on

the field of battle, and I am glad to join

the flag of many battles to the flag that has

never known defeat. With this flag I

bring to you the salute of the French

army to the American people, our stanch

Ally in the common cause."

As he ended he joined the two flags, having the common colors of red, white, and

blue, while the whole assembly mounted on

the seats and wildly cheered. And his

reference to "the flag that has never known

defeat" was prophetic of the future.

Italian, Japanese, Russian, Belgian, and

other missions subsequently visited the

United States and were well received.

The Teutonic hope that the United

States would not take an active part

in the war was speedily dispelled. Congress quickly appropriated (April 24)

the immense sum of seven billion dollars

for war purposes and authorized the

Secretary of the Treasury to advance

loans to nations at war with our enemies.

This policy of aiding our associates financially was continued throughout the war,

and, by the end of 1918, about eight

billions had been so advanced. This

aid took the form almost wholly of extending credits to our Allies for goods

purchased in this country. Some such

arrangement was vitally necessary if we

were to supply such goods in large quantities, for the balance of trade was so

much in favor of the United States that

the country already had a plethora of

gold, whereas our European Allies were

being rapidly drained of coin.

During the early months of the war,

volunteering for the army and navy

proceeded slowly. It was clear that sufficient men could not be obtained in this

way and that it would be necessary to

resort to some method of conscription.

A bill to that effect was introduced in

Congress. It met considerable opposition.

Speaker Clark declared against it, asserting

that in Missouri the word "conscript"

was considered in much the same light

as the word "convict." In the House

the bill was opposed by Claude Kitchin,

the majority leader, and by Congressman

Dent, chairman of the Military Committee.

Strangely enough, the task of piloting

it through fell to the lot of Julius Kahn

of California, ranking Republican member

of the committee and a German by birth.

Ultimately, the measure passed both houses

by a large majority and became a law by

the President's signature on May 18, 1917.

This Selective Draft Act authorized

the President to raise the regular army

to the maximum number named in the act

of June, 1916, and to draft into the military

service of the United States all members

of the National Guard and of the National

Guard Reserves. It also authorized him

to organize and equip an additional

force of 500,000 men, and, thereafter, at

his discretion, to add yet another force

of 500,000 men. To provide the necessary

men, a selective draft system was established. All male citizens or male persons,

not alien enemies, who had declared their

intention to become citizens, between

the ages of 21 and 30 years inclusive,

were made subject to call and were required to register upon proclamation by

the President. The act exempted from

service, however, certain classes, including

ministers of the gospel, students of theology and members of well recognized

religious sects whose creed forbade participation in war, but no such person excused

for religious reasons was to be exempted

from non-combatant service. The President was also authorized to exempt from

the draft certain state and federal officials,

pilots, mariners, and persons engaged in

other essential industries.

One section of the law was inserted

against the wishes of the administration.

Even before our break with Germany

Colonel Roosevelt had appealed to the

Secretary of War for permission to raise

a division of troops in case of hostilities,

and he later offered to raise two or possibly

four divisions. He did not ask for chief