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4157 HOW THE WAR CAME TO AMERICA

to make. The conference therefore came to naught. And the London

Declaration having been rejected by the strongest maritime power, its

endorsement was postponed by all the other countries involved. Our motives,

however, remained unchanged; and our Government persisted in its purpose

to secure a general ratification either of this declaration or of some similar

maritime code.

There has been in our diplomacy one more outstanding aspiration. We

have constantly sought to substitute judicial for military settlement of disputes between nations.

The genesis of this idea dates from the discussions over the Federal organization of our thirteen original States, which were almost as jealous of their

sovereignties as are the nations of Europe today. The first great step toward

the League of Honor, which we hope will at last bring peace to the world,

was taken when our thirteen States agreed to disarm and submit all their

disputes to the high tribunal of the new federation.

And this idea of an interstate court, which except at the time of our Civil

War has given this Nation internal peace, has profoundly influenced our

foreign policy. Of our efforts to bring others to our way of thinking, a

historical resume was presented by our delegates at the First Hague Conference. A project was submitted there for the formation of a world court.

And a few years later Mr. Root, our Secretary of State, in instructing our

delegates to the Second Conference at The Hague, laid especial emphasis

on this same international ideal.

We have taken a particular pride in being in the vanguard of this movement for the peaceable settlement by process of law of all disputes between

nations. And these efforts have not been without success. For although

the last few decades have seen this principle time and again put under a

terrific strain, no nation has dared to go to war against the award of a court

of arbitration. The stupendous possibilities that lie in arbitration for solving

international problems, promoting liberal principles, and safeguarding human

life had been amply demonstrated before the present war began.

But in the discussions at The Hague, largely through the resistance of the

German Empire and its satellites, the efforts of our delegates and those of

other Governments to bring about a general treaty of compulsory arbitration had failed. And therefore this nation, having been thwarted in its

attempt to secure a general agreement, began negotiations with all those

nations which like our own preferred the methods of law and peace, with

the purpose of effecting dual arbitration treaties. And before the end of

1914 we had signed far-reaching treaties with thirty nations, twenty of which