Page 4168

4168 HOW THE WAR CAME TO AMERICA

necessary that a force be created as a guarantor of the permanency of the

settlement so much greater than the force of any nation now engaged or

any alliance hitherto formed or projected that no nation, no probable combination of nations, could face or withstand it. If the peace presently to

be made is to endure, it must be a peace made secure by the organized major

force of mankind."

If there were any doubts in our minds as to which of the great alliances

was the more in sympathy with these ideals, it was removed by the popular

response abroad to this address of the President. For while exception was

taken to some parts of it in Britain and France, it was plain that so far as

the peoples of the Entente were concerned the President had been amply

justified in stating that he spoke for all forward-looking, liberal-minded

men and women. It was not so in Germany. The people there who could

be reached, and whose hearts were stirred by this enunciation of the principles of a people's peace, were too few or too oppressed to make their voices

heard in the councils of their nation. Already, on January 16, 1917, unknown

to the people of Germany, Herr Zimmerman, their Secretary of Foreign

Affairs, had secretly dispatched a note to their minister in Mexico, informing

him of the German intention to repudiate the Sussex pledge and instructing

him to offer to the Mexican Government New Mexico and Arizona, if Mexico

would join with Japan in attacking the United States.

In the new year of 1917, as through our acceptance of world responsibilities so plainly indicated in the President's utterances in regard to a league

of nations, we felt ourselves now drawing nearer to a full accord with the

powers of the Entente; and as on the other hand we found ourselves more

and more outraged at the German Government's methods of conducting

warfare, and their brutal treatment of people in their conquered lands;

as we more and more uncovered their hostile intrigues against the peace of

the New World; and above all, as the sinister and anti-democratic ideals of

their ruling class became manifest in their maneuvers for a peace of conquest the Imperial German Government abruptly threw aside the mask.

On the last day of January, 1917, Count Bernstorff handed to Mr. Lansing

a note in which his Government announced its purpose to intensify and

render more ruthless the operations of their submarines at sea, in a manner

against which our Government had protested from the beginning. The

German Chancellor also stated before the Imperial Diet that the reason this

ruthless policy had not been earlier employed was simply because the Imperial

Government had not then been ready to act. In brief, under the guise of

friendship and the cloak of false promises, it had been preparing this attack.