A FEW DEADLY PARALLELS OF WOODROW WILSON
Explaining The Victory And Its Results
WHAT BECOMES OF THE GERMAN PERIL ?
The object of the war is attained. ... Armed imperialism ... is at an end. ... The arbitrary power of the military caste of Germany ... is discredited and destroyed.Message to Congress announcing armistice terms, Nov. 11, 1918.
It [the world] knows that not only France must organize against this peril [the German peril] but that the world must organize against it.Speech to French Senate, Jan. 20, 1919.
THE FUTURE OF ARMAMENTS
I take it for granted that Congress will carry out the naval programme. ... These plans have been prepared ... with the intention of adhering to a definite method of development for the navy. I earnestly recommend the uninterrupted pursuit of that policy.Message to Congress, Dec. 2, 1918.
The nations of the world are about to consummate a brotherhood which will make it unnecessary in the future to maintain those crushing armaments which make the people suffer almost as much in peace as they suffered in war.Speech to French Chamber of Deputies, Feb. 3, 1919.
WHAT HAS BECOME OF MILITARISM ?
To-day the world stands freed from the threat of militarism.Victory Loan message to American people, Apr. 19, 1919.
Again and again, my fellow-citizens, in the conference at Paris, we were face to face with this situation : that in dealing with a particular civil government we found that they would not dare to promise what their general staff was not willing that they should promise; and that they were dominated by the military machine that they had created, nominally, for their own defense, but reallywhether they willed it or notfor the provocation of war. And so, as long as you have a military class, it does not make any difference what your form of government is. If you are determined to be armed to the teeth, you must obey the orders and directions of the only men who can control the great machinery of war.Kansas City, Sept. 6, 1919.
THE PRIVATE COUNSELS OF STATESMEN
Private counsels of statesmen cannot now and cannot hereafter determine the destinies of nations.Memorial Day address at Paris, 1919.
No stenographic reports were taken of the debates on the League of Nations, and such memoranda as were taken it was agreed should be confidential. ... The various data bearing upon or used in connection with the treaty of peace with Germany ... would include many memoranda which it was agreed, on grounds of public policy, it would be unwise to make use of outside the conference.Letter to Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Aug. 8, 1919, refusing data upon which Treaty of Versailles was formulated.
ON THE RESPONSIBILITY AND FOREKNOWLEDGE OF THE GERMAN PEOPLE
The German nation had no choice whatever as to whether it was to go into that war or not, did not know that it was going into it until its men were summoned to the colors.Speech at Billings, Mont., Sept. 11, 1919.
In the last analysis, my fellow-countrymen, as we in America would be the first to claim, a people are responsible for the acts of their government. ... Germany was self-governed. Her rulers had not concealed the purposes they had in mind.Columbus, Sept. 4, 1919.
THE QUESTION OF INDEMNITIES
In the first place, my fellow-countrymen, it [the treaty], seeks to punish one of the greatest wrongs ever done in history, the wrong which Germany sought to do to the world and to civilization, and there ought to be no weak purpose with regard to the application of the punishment. She attempted an intolerable thing, and she must be made to pay for the attempt.Columbus, Sept. 4, 1919.
There was no indemnityno indemnity of any sort was claimedmerely reparation, merely paying for the destruction done, merely making good the losses. ... There is no indemnity in this treaty.Columbus, Sept. 4, 1919.
My fellow-citizens, Germany tried to commit a crime against civilization and this treaty is justified as a memorandum to make Germany pay for the crime up to her full capacity for payment.Billings, Sept. 11, 1919.
Punitive damages, ... we deem inexpedient and in the end worse than futile, no proper basis for a peace of any kind, least of all for an enduring peace.Reply to Pope, Aug. 27, 1917.
DID GERMAN COMMERCIAL CLASSES WANT WAR ?
The real reason that the war we have just finished took place was that Germany was afraid her commercial rivals were going to get the better of her, and the reason why some nations went into the war against Germany was that they thought Germany would get the commercial advantage of them. The seed of the jealousy, the seed of the deep-seated hatred, was hot successful commercial and industrial rivalry.St. Louis, Sept. 5, 1919.
The German bankers and the German merchants and the German manufacturers did not want this war. They were making conquest of the world without it, and they knew it would spoil their plans.Speech at St. Paul, Sept. 9, 1919.
NATURE OR THE UNION WITH OUR ALLIES
There is no way, which we ought to be willing to adopt, which separates us in dealing with Germany from those with whom we were associated during the war. ... because I think it is a moral union which we are not at liberty to break.Conference with Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Aug. 19, 1919.
Under the League plan, the financial leadership will be ours, the industrial supremacy will be ours, the commercial advantage will be ours.Speech at St. Louis, Sept. 5, 1919.
WHY DO WE WISH TO PARTICIPATE UPON REPARATIONS COMMISSION ?
Why, we were disinclined to join in that [the Reparations Commission], but yielded to the urgent request of the other nations that we should, because they wanted our advice and counsel.White House conference with Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Aug. 19, 1919.
Some of you gentlemen know we used to have trade with Germany. All of that trade is going to be in the hands and under the control of the Reparations Commission. I humbly asked leave to appoint a member to look after our interests, and I was rebuked for it. I am looking after the industrial interests of the United States. I would like to see the other men who are. They are forgetting the industrial interests of the United States, and they are doing things that will cut us off, and our trade off, from the normal channels, because the Reparations Commission can determine where Germany buys, what Germany buys, how much Germany buys. ... It is going to stand at the centre of the financial operations of the world.Speech at St. Louis, Sept. 5, 1919.
AS TO THE CHARACTER OF OUR ALLIES
I challenge anybody to show where, in recent years, ... there has been the repudiation of an international obligation by France or Italy or Great Britain or Japan. Japan has kept her engagements. ... There can be cited no instance where these governments have been dishonorable.Billings, Sept. 11, 1919.
Let me remind you of some of the history of this business. It was in 1898 that China ceded these rights and concessions to Germany. The pretext was that some German missionaries had been killed. ... Two Christian missionaries are killed, and therefore one great nation robs another nation and does a thing which is fundamentally unChristian and heathen ! ... Then, what happened, my fellow-citizens ? Then Russia came in and obliged China to cede to her Port Arthur and Talien Wan, not for quite so long a period, but upon substantially the same terms. Then England must needs have Wei-Hai-Wei as an equivalent concession to that which had been made to Germany; and presently certain ports, with the territory back of them, were ceded upon similar principles to France. Everybody got in, except the United States, and said : `If Germany is going to get something, we will get something. Why, none of them had any business in there on such terms. Then When the Japanese-Russian war came, Japan did what she has done in this war. She attacked Port Arthur and captured Port Arthur, and Port Arthur was ceded to her as a consequence of the war. ... Just so we could trade with these stolen territories, we were willing to let them be stolen. ... She [Japan] has it [Shantung] as spoils of war.San Francisco, Sept. 17, 1919.
EUROPEAN SPHERES OF INFLUENCE IN CHINA
Sitting around our council board in Paris I put this question : May I expect that this will be the beginning of the retrocession to China of the exceptional rights which other governments have enjoyed here? The responsible representatives of the other great governments said, `Yes, you may expect it´.San Francisco, Sept. 17, 1919.
Back of this provision, with regard to Shantung, lies, as everybody knows or ought to know, a very honorable promise which was made by the government of Japan in my presence in Paris, namely, that, just as soon as possible after ratification of this treaty, they will return to China all sovereign rights in the province of Shantung. Great Britain has not promised to return Wei-Hai-Wei; France has not promised to return her part.Los Angeles, Sept. 20, 1919.
OBLIGATION TO HOLD STRICTLY TO PEACE PROMISES
They [the issues of the struggle] must be settled-by no arrangement or compromise or adjustment of interest, but definitely and once for all, and with a full and unequivocal acceptance of the principle that the interest of the weakest is as sacred as the interest of the strongest. That is what we mean when we speak of a permanent peace, if we speak sincerely, intelligently. ... No peace shall be obtained by any kind of compromise or abatement of the principles we have avowed as the principles for which we are fighting.Sept. 27, 1918.
Old entanglements of every kind stood in the way-promises which governments had made to one another in the days when might and right were confused, and the power of the victor was without restraint. Engagements which contemplated any dispositions of territory, any extensions of sovereignty that might seem to be to the interest of those who had the power to insist upon them, had been entered into without thought of what the peoples concerned might wish or profit by; and these could not always honorably be brushed aside.Address to Senate, in presenting Treaty of Versailles, July 10, 1919.
The German Peril
WHO STARTED THE EUROPEAN WAR ?
The war was begun bc the military masters of Germany.Flag Day address, 1917.
Have you ever heard what started the present war ? If you have, I wish you would publish it, because nobody else has. So far as I can gather, nothing in particular started it, but everything in general.Speech at Cincinnati, Oct. 26, 1916.
MOTIVE DOMINATING GERMAN WARFARE
The power against which we are arrayed has sought to impose its will upon the world by force.Proclamation to American people, May 18, 1917.
Every nation now engaged in the titanic struggle on the other side of the water believes, with an intensity of conviction that cannot be exaggerated, that it is fighting for its rights, and in most instances that it is fighting for its life, and we must not be too critical of the men who lead those nations.Speech at Des Moines, Feb. 1, 1916.
REAL NATURE OF THE STRUGGLE
The object of the war was to destroy autocratic power; that is to say, to make it impossible that there should be anywhere, as there was in Wilhelmstrasse, in Berlin, a little group of military men, who could brush aside the manufacturers, brush aside the Emperor himself, and say : `We have perfected a machine with which we can conquer the world; now stand out of the way, we are going to conquer the world´.Minneapolis, Sept. 9, 1919.
Why, my fellow-citizens, is there any man here, or any womanlet me say, is there any child herewho does not know that the seed of war in the modern world is industrial and commercial rivalry ? ... This war, in its inception, was a commercial and industrial war. It was not a political war.St. Louis, Sept. 5, 1919.
WHAT SORT OF PEACE WAS GERMANY FIGHTING FOR ?
They [the Central Powers] are striking at the very existence of democracy and liberty.Message to Congress, Dec. 4, 1917.
Each side desires to make the rights and privileges of weak peoples and small states as secure against aggression or denial, in the future, as the rights and privileges of the great and powerful states now at war.Note to belligerent governments, Dec. 18, 1916.
Wilson Principles, General
ON THE WISDOM OF CRUSHING ONES ENEMIES
The German power ... must be crushed.Dec. 4, 1917.
Fortunately ... the statesmen of both of the groups of nations, now arrayed against one another, have said, in terms that could not be misinterpreted, that it was no part of the purpose they had in mind to crush their opponents.Jan. 22, 1917.
FORCE AS A MEANS FOR ESTABLISHING INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE
Force, force to the utmost, force without stint or limit, the righteous and triumphant force that shall make right the law of the world.Apr. 6, 1918.
I have not read history without observing that the greatest forces in the world, and the only permanent forces, are the moral forces. We have the evidence of a very competent witness, namely, the first Napoleon, who said that, as he looked back in the last days of his life upon so much as he knew of human history, he had to record the judgment that force had never accomplished anything that was permanent. Force will not accomplish anything that is permanent.Speech before New York Press Club, June 30, 1916.
ON THE EFFICACY OF GOING TO WAR TO GET PEACE
First of all it [the peace to be concluded] must be peace without victory. ... Victory would mean peace forced upon the loser, a victors terms imposed upon the vanquished. It would be accepted in humiliation, under duress, at an intolerable sacrifice, and would leave a sting, a bitter memory, upon which terms of peace would rest, not permanently, but only as upon quicksand. Only a peace between equals can last; only a peace the very principle of which is equality and a common participation in a common benefit.—Peace-without-victory speech, Jan. 22, 1917.
What I am opposed to is not the feeling of the pacifists, but their stupidity. My heart is with them, but my mind has a contempt for them. I want peace, but I know how to get it and they do not. You will notice that I sent a friend of mine, Colonel House, to Europe, who is as great a lover of peace as any man in the world; but I did not send him on a peace mission; I sent him to take part in a conference as to how the war is to be won, and he knows, as I know, that is the way to get peace if you want it for more than a few minutes.Speech at Buffalo, Nov. 12, 1917.
ON HANDING DOWN LIBERTY FROM ABOVE
We are to be an instrument in the hands of God to see that liberty is made secure for mankind.Speech at Confederate veterans reunion, June 5, 1917.
I challenge you to cite me an instance in all the history of the world where liberty was handed down from above. Liberty always is attained by the forces working below, underneath.Blythe interview, Saturday Evening Post, May 23, 1914.
SHOULD THE PEOPLE OR THE GOVERNMENTS DECIDE WHEN PEACE MAY BE CONCLUDED ?
No statesman who has the least conception of his responsibility ought for a moment to permit himself to continue this tragical and appalling outpouring of blood and treasure unless he is sure beyond a peradventure that the objects of the vital sacrifice are part and parcel of the very life of society, and that the people for whom he speaks think them right and imperative as he does.Message to Congress on war aims, Jan. 8, 1918.
I earnestly request every patriotic American to leave to the governments of the United States and of the Allies the momentous discussions initiated by Germany, and to remember that for each man his duty is to strengthen the hands of these governments.Statement to American people, Oct. 14, 1918.
ON DICTATORSHIPS IN WAR
It is inconsistent with the traditions of the country that their [the peoples] knowledge of arms should be used by a governmental organization which would make and organize a great army subject to orders to do what a particular group of men might at the time think it was best for them to do. That is the militarism of Europe, where a few persons can determine what an armed nation is to do.Statement to committee from American Union against Militarism, White House, May 9, 1916.
I should regard the passage of this resolution as a direct vote of want of confidence in the Administration. ... Such activities [a Senate Committee investigation of the conduct of the war] would constitute nothing less than an attempt to take over the conduct of the war, or at least so superintend and direct and participate in the executive conduct of it as to interfere in the most serious way with the action of the constituted Executive.Letter to Senator Martin, May 14, 1918.
THE TRUE BASIS OF FOREIGN POLICY
It is a very perilous thing to determine the foreign policy of a nation in terms of material interest. It is not only unfair to those with whom you are dealing, but it is degrading as regards your own actions.Speech at Mobile, Oct. 27, 1913.
There is a moral obligation laid upon us to keep free the courses of our commerce and our finance, and I believe that America stands ready to vindicate those rights.Topeka speech, Feb. 2, 1916.
WHAT AMERICAN INTERESTS NEED PROTECTION ?
Therefore, what America is bound to fight for when the time comes is nothing more nor less than her self-respect. There is no immediate prospect that her material interests may be seriously affected, but there is constant danger every day of the week that her spiritual interests may suffer serious affront.Speech at Chicago, Jan. 31, 1916.
It would depend upon the patriotic spirit of the employers of the country whether they made it possible for the younger men in their employ to respond under favorable conditions or not. I, for one, do not doubt the patriotic devotion either of our young men or of those who give them employmentthose for whose benefit and protection they would in fact enlist.Message to Congress, Dec. 7, 1915.
THE EMPLOYMENT OF ARMED FORCES TO FURTHER PRIVATE ENTERPRISE ABROAD
Americans have gone to all quarters of the world. Americans are serving the business of the world ... and every one of these men ... is our ward and we must see to his rights and that they are respected.Jan. 29, 1916.
A great many men ... are complaining that the government of the United States has not the spirit of other governments, which is to put the force, the army and navy, of that government, behind investments in foreign countries. Just so certainly as you do that, you join this chaos of hostile and competing ambitions [the European war].Speech at Cincinnati, Oct. 26, 1916.
THE COMPATIBILITY OF PATRIOTISM AND PROFITS
Patriotism leaves profits out of the question. In these days ... when we are sending hundreds of thousands of our young men across the seas. ... no true patriot will permit himself to take toll of their heroism in money, or seek to grow rich by the shedding of their blood.Appeal to business interests, July 11, 1917.
Of course somebody is going to make money out of the things privately manufactured, manufactured by private capital. There are men in the great belligerent countries making, I dare say, vast sums of money out of the war, and I, for one, do not stand here to challenge or doubt their patriotism in the matter.Speech at Des Moines, Feb. 1, 1916.
International Law And Policies Leading To Belligerency
THE EFFICACY OF ARMED NEUTRALITY FOR AVOIDING WAR
There may be no recourse but to armed neutrality, which we shall know how to maintain. ... I am not now proposing or contemplating war, or any steps that lead to it.Address to Congress, Feb. 26, 1917.
Armed neutrality ... is worse than ineffectual. ... It is practically certain to draw us into the war.Address to Congress, Apr. 2, 1917.
INTERNATIONAL LAW AND FREEDOM OF THE SEAS.
The government of the United States notes with satisfaction that the Imperial German Government recognizes without reservation ... the principle that the high seas are free. ... The rights of neutrals in time of war are based upon principle, not upon expediency, and the principles are immutable. ... The government of the United States will continue to contend for that freedom [of the seas] from whatever quarter violated, without compromise, and at any cost.Note to Germany, July 21, 1915.
No doubt a somewhat radical reconsideration of many of the rules of international practice ... may be necessary in order to make the seas indeed free and common in practically all circumstances for the use of mankind. ... It need not be difficult to define or to secure the freedom of the seas if the governments of the world sincerely desire to come to an agreement concerning it.Peace-without-victory speech, Jan. 22, 1917.
INTERNATIONAL LAW OF THE SUBMARINE
The events of the past two months have clearly indicated that it is possible and practicable to conduct such submarine operations as have characterized the activity of the Imperial German Navy within the so-called zone, in substantial accord with the accepted practices of regulated warfare.Note of July 21, 1915, to Germany.
I do not feel that a belligerent should be deprived of the proper use of submarines in the interruption of enemy commerce.Letter of Secretary Lansing to British ambassador, Jan. 18, 1916.
Manifestly, submarines cannot be used against merchantmen. ... without an inevitable violation of many sacred principles of justice and humanity.Note of May 13, 1915, to Germany.
The use of submarines for the destruction of an enemys commerce is ... utterly incompatible with the principles of humanity, the long-established and incontrovertible rights of neutrals, and the sacred immunities of non-combatants. Note of Apr. 18, 1916, to Germany.
INTERNATIONAL LAW OF ARMED MERCHANTMAN
The presence of an armament and ammunition on board a merchant vessel creates a presumption that the armament is for offensive purposes, but the owners or agents may overcome this presumption by evidence showing that the vessel carries armament solely for defense. Evidence necessary to establish the fact that the armament is solely for defense ... must be presented in each case independently at an official investigation. The result of the investigation must show conclusively that the armament is not intended for, and will not be used in, offensive operations.American memorandum of Sept. 19, 1914.
The determination of warlike character must rest in no case upon presumption but upon conclusive evidence. ... The belligerent [submarine] should, in the absence of conclusive evidence, act on the presumption that an armed merchantman is of peaceful character. ... Conclusive evidence of a purpose to use the armament for aggression is essential ... in the absence of which it is to be presumed that the vessel has a private and peaceful character, and it should be so treated by an enemy warship.American memorandum of Mar. 25, 1916.
ON THE RIGHT OF A SOVEREIGN GOVERNMENT TO CONTROL FOREIGN PROPERTY WITHIN ITS BORDERS
By exercising in this crisis our admitted right to control all property within our territory, we do no wrong to Holland.Public statement, explaining confiscation of Dutch ships, Mar. 20, 1918.
The United States cannot acquiesce in any procedure ostensibly or nominally in the form of taxation or the exercise of eminent domain, but really resulting in confiscation of private property and arbitrary deprivation of vested rights.Note of Apr. 2, 1918, threatening Mexico on account of oil tax decree.
ON THE POWER OF THE EXECUTIVE TO ARM MERCHANT SHIPS AGAINST WAR VESSELS OF A COUNTRY WITH WHICH AMERICA IS TECHNICALLY AT PEACE
At the same time the President authorized the further statement that what rendered the situation even more grave than it had been supposed that it was, was the discovery that, while the President under his general constitutional powers could do much of what he had asked Congress to empower him to do, it had been found that there were certain old statutes, as yet unrepealed, which raised insuperable practical obstacle; and virtually nullified his power.Supplementary statement from White House, Mar. 4, 1917.
The President is convinced that he has the power to arm American merchant ships and is free to exercise it at once.Statement from White House, Mar. 9, 1917.
WAS AMERICA IN DANGER ?
We find ourselves fighting again for our national existence.Independence Day, 1918.
America was not immediately in danger. ... America was not directly attacked.Speech at Billings, Sept. 11, 1919.
DISINTERESTED OR INTERESTED ?
It [our war] is absolutely a case of disinterested action.Address to Mexican editors, June 7, 1918.
Every man in every business in the United States must know by this time that his whole future fortune lies in the balance.Address at Urbana, Jan. 31, 1918.
THE RULE OF THE KAISER OVER GERMANY
It is no business of ours how that great people [the Germans] came under its [the German governments] control or submitted with temporary zest to the domination of its purpose.Reply to Pope, Aug. 27, 1917.
Neither do we presume to suggest to her [Germany] any alteration or modification of her institutions.Message to Congress, Jan. 8, 1918.
Significant and important as the constitutional changes seem to be, which are spoken of by the German Foreign Secretary in his note of the 20th of October, it does not appear that the principle of a government responsible to the German people has yet been fully worked out. ... It is evident ... that the power of the King of Prussia to control the policy of the empire is unimpaired ... The President deems it his duty to ... point out that in concluding peace ... the government of the United States cannot deal with any but veritable representatives of the German people who have been assured of a genuine constitutional standing as the real rulers of Germany.Note of Oct. 23, 1918, replying to further concessions by Germany.
WAS BORGLUM OFFICIAL AIRCRAFT INVESTIGATOR ?
My Dear Mr. Borglum : ... I have conferred with the Secretary of War, and at his request and with my hearty concurrence, I urge you to come at once to Washington ... and by your own investigation discover the facts in this business. The Secretary of War assures me that he will be delighted to clothe you with full authority to get at the bottom of every situation, and that he will ... direct that every facility of inquiry be placed at your disposal. When you have thus investigated ... I would be most happy to have a report from you personally. ...
My Dear Mr. Borglum : I am afraid that you have for some time past been under a serious misapprehension. ... I never at any time constituted you an official investigator. ... We have at no time considered you as the official representative of the Administration in the investigation. If I had so regarded you I would, of course, have supplied you with such assistance as you feel that you have lacked.
Cordially and sincerely yours,
WHAT IS PRO GERMANISM ?
They [certain Americans] declare this is a foreign war which can touch America with no danger either to her lands or her institutions ... appeal to our ancient tradition of isolation in the policies of nations. ... It is only friends and partisans of the German government whom we have already identified who utter these thinly disguised disloyalties.Flag Day address, 1917.
A war [the European war] ... whose causes cannot touch us.Message to Congress, Dec. 8, 1914.
Nobody seriously supposes, gentlemen, that the United States needs to fear an invasion of its own territory.New York speech, Jan. 27, 1916.
We need not and we should not form alliances with any nation in the world.Address at unveiling of statue of Barry, May 16, 1914.
THEORY OF A PEOPLES WAR
The great fact that stands out above all the rest is that this is a peoples war.Flag Day address, 1917.
No people ever went to war with another people. Governments have gone to war with one another. Peoples, so far as I can remember, have not, and this is a government of the people, and this people is not going to choose war.Speech at Milwaukee, Jan. 31, 1916.
MOTIVE FOR MEXICAN MEDDLING
We act in the interest of Mexico alone, and not in the interest of any person or body of persons who may have personal or property claims in Mexico which they feel that they have a right to press.Message to Huerta, conveyed through John Lind, Aug. 1913.
We should let every one who seems to exercise authority in any part of Mexico know, in the most unequivocal terms, that we shall watch the fortunes of those Americans who cannot get away, and shall hold those responsible for their sufferings and losses to a definite reckoning. That can and will be made plain, beyond the possibility of a misunderstanding.Message to Congress, Aug. 27, 1913.
SOVEREIGNTY VERSUS INTERVENTION
It is our purpose, in whatever we do ... to pay the most scrupulous regard to the sovereignty and independence of Mexico. That we take as a matter of course, to which we are bound by every obligation of right and honor.Message to Congress, Aug. 27, 1913.
You will convey to the authorities the indication that any maltreatment of Americans would be likely to raise the question of intervention.Instructions dictated by the President, and wired to all consuls in Mexico, Aug. 27, 1913.
TO COERCE OR NOT TO COERCE
We will aid and befriend Mexico, but we will not coerce her; and our course with regard to her ought to be sufficient proof to all America that we seek no political suzerainty or selfish control.Annual message, Dec. 8, 1914.
You will understand that if our messages are occasionally couched in terms of strong emphasis, it is only because they contain some matters which touch the very safety of Mexico itself and the whole process of its future history. ... It is our duty to speak very plainly about the grave danger which threatens them [the Mexicans] from without. ... To speak less plainly, or with less earnestness, would be to conceal from you a terrible risk, which no lover of Mexico should care to run.President Wilson, in note to Carranza, Mar. 14, 1915.
WHO IS ENTITLED TO CHOOSE POLITICS OF MEXICO ?
America stands, first of all, for the right of men to determine whom they will obey and whom they will serve; for the right of political freedom and of peoples sovereignty. ... She made up her mind long ago that she was going to stand up, so far as this western hemisphere is concerned, for the right of peoples to choose their own politics, without foreign interference of any kind.Pittsburgh speech, Jan. 29, 1916.
I feel it my duty to tell them [the leaders of Mexico] that if they cannot accommodate their differences and unite ... within a very short time, this government will be constrained to decide what means should be employed by the United States in order to help Mexico save herself and serve her people.June 2, 1915.
HOW LONG MAY MEXICO TAKE TO RECONSTRUCT HER GOVERNMENT ?
Until this recent revolution in Mexico, eighty per cent. of the people never had a 'look in in determining what their government should be. ... It is none of my business and it is none of yours how long they take in determining it. It is none of my business and it is none of yours how they go about the business. The country is theirs. The government is theirs. Have not European nations taken as long as they wanted, and spilt as much blood as they pleased, in settling their affairs ? And shall we deny that to Mexico because she is weak ? No, I say !Indianapolis speech, Jan. 8, 1915.
It is time, therefore, that the government of the United States should frankly state the policy which ... it becomes its duty to adopt. It must presently ... lend its active moral support to some man or group of men, if such may be found, who can ... set up a government at Mexico City which the great powers of the world can recognize and deal with.June 2, 1915.
THE RIGHT WAY TO HELP MEXICO
I have heard some gentlemen say they want to help Mexico, and the way they propose to help her is to overwhelm her with force. ... What makes Mexico suspicious of us is that she does not believe as yet that we want to serve her. She believes we want to possess her. And she has justification for the belief in the way in which some of our fellow-citizens have tried to exploit her privileges and possessions. For my part, I will not serve the ambitions of those gentlemen.Address at Detroit, July 10, 1916.
The government of the United States ... desires General Obregon and General Carranza to know that it has, after mature consideration, determined that if ... Americans should suffer ... because they fail to provide means of protection to life and property, it will hold General Obrcgon and General Carranza personally responsible [and] ... will take such measures as are expedient to bring to account those who are personally responsible.Note to Carranza, Mar. 9, 1915.
WHY DID WE ATTACK VERA CRUZ ?
I, therefore, come to ask Your approval that I should use the armed forces of the United States ... to obtain ... the fullest recognition of the rights and dignity of the United States. ... We seek to maintain the dignity and authority of the United States.Message to Congress, Apr. 20, 1914.
The feelings and intentions of the government in this matter ... are based upon ... a profound ... interest in the reestablishment of their [the Mexicans] constitutional system.Reply to Carranzas protest against Vera Cruz attack.
THE PUNITIVE EXPEDITION
It is my duty to warn the people of the United States that there are persons along the border who are actively engaged in originating and giving as wide currency as they can to rumors of the most sensational and disturbing sort. ... The object of this traffic in falsehood is obvious. It is to create intolerable friction between the government of the United States and the de facto government of Mexico, for the purpose of bringing about intervention in the interest of certain American owners of Mexican properties. This object cannot be attained so long as sane and honorable men are in control of the government.Statement explaining object of expedition, Mar. 25, 1916.
The border troubles are only symptoms. Mexico needs system treatment, not symptom treatment. ... The world has great respect for rights that are vested, and we shall go along with the world in protecting such rights. ... Mexico will either do right without our helpor with it. This is her choice. ... We do not wish to be forced into intervention until this opportunity is exhausted. To this end we must pass from the border matters to the conditions of Mexico which affect the lives and property of our nationals. These must be made secure.Franklin K. Lane, speaking for Wilson, explaining non-agreement with Mexico in negotiations for withdrawal of American forces, Nov. 1916.
AS TO THE CONSENT OF CARRANZA TO THE PUNITIVE EXPEDITION
The expedition into Mexico was ordered under an agreement with the de facto government of Mexico.President Wilson, in statement to the public, Mar. 25, 1916.
It is admitted that American troops have crossed the international boundary in hot pursuit of the Columbus raiders, and without notice to or the consent of your government.American note to Carranza, June 20, 1916.
NEUTRALITY AND THE MUNITIONS TRADE
I shall follow the best practice of nations in the matter of neutrality, by forbidding the exportation of arms or munitions of war of any kind from the United States to any part of the republic of Mexico.Message to Congress, Aug. 27, 1913.
The Executive order, under which the exportation of arms and ammunition into Mexico is forbidden, is a departure from the accepted practices of neutrality. ... The order is therefore rescinded.Statement issued from White House, Feb. 3, 1914.
EVENTUAL ATTITUDE TOWARD CONCESSIONAIRES
Eventually, I shall fight every one of these men who are now seeking to exploit Mexico for their own selfish ends. I shall do what I can to keep Mexico from their plundering. There shall be no individual exploitation of Mexico, if I can stop it.Blythe interview, Saturday Evening Post, May 23, 1914.
It becomes the function of the government of the United States ... to call the attention of the Mexican government to the necessity which may arise to impel it to protect the property of its citizens in Mexico.Note of Apr. 2, 1918, threatening Mexico on account of oil taxes.