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PRESIDENT WILSON'S

GREAT SPEECHES

INTRODUCTION

The public addresses and state papers of Woodrow Wilson will undoubtedly occupy a place of pre-eminence among the histórical records of the American nation. Posterity will fix their final value, but we of the present know and appreciate their importance in this most critical period of the world's history. No messages to the American people, no diplomatic documents, were ever more fraught with interest to the average citizen, or touched more closely the lives and liberties of our myriad population.

Humanity itself is deeply concerned with the subjectmatter and the text of President Wilson's utterances since the Great War began. That is the keynote of many of these historic addresses to the Congress of the United States, public speeches on various occasions, and diplomatic notes to belligerent powers, which have been carefully culled from a great mass of available material for the purposes of this volume. Regard for the best interests of humanity being their noble theme, they will ever be read by American citizens with patriotic pride.

On the declaration by Congress of the existence of a state of war between the United States and Germanythis nation of a hundred and ten million peace-loving and democratic people aligned itself with practical soli

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darity behind its great leader in the White House. The strife of parties for political supremacy was laid aside as of minor consequence in a time of grave national danger. Patriotism became the sole standard of public action. Americans realized that there was in the White House not only a great man and a great President, but also a great patriot, whose leadership it was a solemn duty to follow.

Marvelously patient as the President was during the earlier period of the European struggle and the first stages of German ruthlessness; greatly as he desired to maintain an honorable peace and to keep his country out of war, he did not hesitate when the issue was finally forced upon him. The man of peace became a man of war, confident in the right, and in language that no patriot can misunderstand or fail to echo in his heart of hearts, Mr. Wilson gave to the world his most perfect reasons for drawing the sword in the cause of humanity.

As he himself declared in the address to Congress that prefaced the declaration of war, “The world must be made safe for democracy. This memorable address, that carried hope and encouragement to the nations across the sea fighting for a lasting peace, is fittingly reproduced at the beginning of this book, where it stands as an undying exposition of the unanswerable reasons for our conflict with Germany.

Seldom if ever has a President of the United States been called on to face responsibilities as great as those which have confronted Mr. Wilson. It is sufficient to say here that Woodrow Wilson has risen superior to every emergency and has at his back a united nation, imbued to the core with confidence in his leadership.

Regarded from whatever standpoint they may be, President Wilson's state papers were models of interna

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