Page 4167

4167 HOW THE WAR CAME TO AMERICA

their real hearts out concerning the death and ruin they see to have come

already upon the persons and the homes they hold most dear."

The address was a rebuke to those who still cherished dreams of a world

dominated by one nation. For the peace he outlined was not that of a

victorious emperor, it was not the peace of Caesar. It was in behalf of

all the world, and it was a peace of the people.

"No peace can last, or ought to last, which does not recognize and accept

the principle that governments derive all their just powers from the consent of the governed, and that no right anywhere exists to hand people

about from sovereignty to sovereignty as if they were property.

"I am proposing, as it were, that the nations should with one accord adopt

the doctrine of President Monroe as the doctrine of the world; that no nation

should seek to extend its policy over any other nation or people, but that

every people should be left free to determine its own policy, its own way

of development, unhindered, unthreatened, unafraid, the little along with

the great and powerful.

"I am proposing that all nations henceforth avoid entangling alliances

which would draw them into competitions of power, catch them in a net

of intrigue and selfish rivalry, and disturb their own affairs with influences

intruded from without. There is no entangling alliance in a concert of

power. When all unite to act in the same sense and with the same purpose,

all act in the common interest and are free to live their own lives under

a common protection.

"I am proposing government by the consent of the governed; that freedom of the seas which in international conference after conference representatives of the United States have urged with the eloquence of those who

are the convinced disciples of liberty; and that moderation of armaments

which makes of armies and navies a power for order merely, not an instrument of aggression or of selfish violence.

"And the paths of the sea must alike in law and in fact, be free. The

freedom of the seas is the sine qua non of peace, equality, and co-operation.

"It is a problem closely connected with the limitation of naval armament

and the co-operation of the navies of the world in keeping the seas at once

free and safe. And the question of limiting naval armaments opens the

wider and perhaps more difficult question of the limitation of armies and

of all programs of military preparation. * * * There can be no sense of

safety and equality among the nations if great preponderating armaments

are henceforth to continue here and there to be built up and maintained.

"Mere agreements may not make peace secure. It will be absolutely