Wilson addresses Senate; proposes Monroe Doctrine 'for the world'

Published by carolyn on Sun, 2019-05-19 23:39

President Woodrow Wilson addressed “the people of the countries now at war,” in a highly-publicized speech to the US Senate on January 22, 1917. He called for 'peace without victory' and a Monroe Doctrine for the world.

AFTER WILSON IS INAUGURATED INTO HIS 2ND TERM, he seems to sincerely turn his mind toward peace efforts. His idealism doesn't go over well with the Allies, for whom peace at this time would not give them what they want. Instead they are ramping up their propaganda efforts to bring the United States into the war.  At the same time, Germany has decided it must ramp up its submarine warfare with the aim of blockading British shipping in order to force England to the peace table. The editor of The Fatherland does not see what's coming; the poet in him waxes optimistic about Wilson's speech in the January 31 Fatherland issue. But first, the more down-to-earth Frederick Schrader tells us the mood and pro-war activity in America just before the President's important speech. -cy

vol 5 no 25    Jan. 24, 1917   Page 8

Behind the Scenes at the Capital

WASHINGTON, D. C. January 16—The hysterical outcry over the Belgian situation all over the country is reliably said to be traceable to a large corruption fund, which has found its way into the most unexpected places.

Some four months ago the censor indiscreetly allowed the Paris cable to report that the French Government had succeeded in getting the Legislature to allow 5,000,000 francs for propaganda purposes. Bonds de publicite, was the term used. It is pretty reliably known that a part of this fund was used to buy the influence of a number of papers in neutral countries. It is also known that Lord Northcliffe's visit to Spain was for the purpose of influencing the press of that country.

Soon after Northcliffe's visit several papers previously neutral suddenly reversed themselves. They began to stir up trouble over the sinking of some Spanish vessels by submarines and to burst into hysterical excitement over the deportation of the Belgians. At the same time there was noticed a sudden recrudescence of the anti-German propaganda from Geneva, which earlier in the war was the chief source of alarmist news intended to injure the Central Powers. Since then, too, the Amsterdam Telegraaf has been more demonstrative than usual, although known to be an out and out Northcliffe organ.

Simultaneously the yellow Allied press of New York has been harping more vociferously on the Belgian business than on any other phase of the war, and Root, Roosevelt and their following in New York, and George Wharton Pepper in Philadelphia have organized public meetings or hurled their thunders in the form of “protests.”

* * * *

Back of all these public outbursts is said to be one of the biggest boodle campaigns in the history of the country, partly subscribed in London and Paris and partly in this country. Whenever there is a tendency in the United States for the people to drift away from the side of the Allies, the Belgian skeleton is dragged from its closet and dangled up and down before the eyes of the timid.

The Belgian atrocities worked well for a long time. Little children who fell foul of a German soldier promptly had their little feet and hands cut off. The London and other hospitals were reported full of these deplorable little victims. Women invariably suffered amputation of their breasts, and nuns were not even spared in their convents.

While people believed these tales of terror, they created a lot of sympathy for the poor Belgians; but when by degrees their utter falsity was established and even the British Government, invited by the American Government, declared them to be without foundation, the hysteria subsided.

The invasion of Belgium had been such an asset for the Allies that it was not permitted to perish with all its potentialities of arousing American sympathy. As soon as the beneficial effect of exploiting Belgium was observed, a commission, as is well remembered, visited this country and called on the President with its tale of woe. This commission, it is said, came over with millions of dollars to engage the best talent available to expound its cause. The Allies back of the commission had control of most of the important American papers, but they were lacking leaders to plead their cause beyond those sentimental volunteers who were ready to sacrifice to “the mother country” their reputations for probity and sincerity. How the money was distributed must be left to conjecture. At all events, the Belgian invasion and the atrocities were expounded until they became threadbare, and one news agency in New York cabled its London correspondent: “Stop sending Belgian atrocity stories. Nobody believes them now.”

* * * *

There was an interval of silence, with here and there the lone voice of Roosevelt still gibbering something about our neglected duty toward Belgium. Then the Belgian deportations were seized upon for a new onslaught. The Belgian relief commission, saturated with Francophile sentiment, was blacklisting those Belgians who worked for the Germans, though they were glad of the chance to work. The Germans tried to break the force of this boycott by putting the Belgians to work, paying them the same wages as German workmen.

This was the desired opportunity to release another flood of abuse, another rich opportunity for some minor weekly papers, corporation lawyers and preachers not above earning an honest penny to fatten on the substance of the Belgian slush fund, and the country once more was made to ring from ocean to ocean with pious denunciations of the Germans.

Until it was explained that this holy exhibition of outraged feeling was all carefully staged and paid for, it puzzled a lot of people. But the mystery is pretty well at an end, and ere long some facts are promised for publication which will put a number of well-known individuals in a ridiculous attitude.

Probably before this appears in print the German Government will have addressed a note to the American Government in which the matter of Belgian deportations is set forth from the German side. Heretofore the American public has heard only the side of the Allies. They failed in making out a convincing case against Germany for invading Belgium; they broke down miserably in the attempt to convict the Germans of maiming little children and women and of outraging nuns; and, if given time, they will as effectually fail in their efforts to fasten the charge of undue cruelty upon the Germans for preserving order in Belgium, as they are required to do under international law.

The Belgian boodle campaign in this country is only benefitting those who are in the pay of the Belgian propagandists. - F.F.S.


Vol 5 no.26   Jan. 31, 1917   Page 3



PRESIDENT WILSON'S address to the Senate is easily the most important speech made by any American President since Washington's Farewell Address. [...] Mr. Wilson's vision of a Monroe Doctrine applied to the entire world is an ideal. That is to say, it is not immediately attainable. […]

Left: Cartoon from British Punch captioned: “President Pygmalion Wilson. ‘The durned thing won’t come to life!’” 

Wilson's speech is a challenge to every vested interest, every cobwebbed tradition of secret diplomacy, to every sham of international law.

“In holding out the expectation that the people and the Government of the United States will join the other civilized nations of the world in guaranteeing the permanence of peace upon such terms as I have named, I speak with the greater boldness and confidence because it is clear to every man who can think that there is in this promise no breach in either our traditions or our policy as a nation, but a fulfillment rather of all that we have professed or striven for.

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 competition of Power, catch them in a net of intrigue and selfish rivalry, and disturb their own affairs with influence 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.

“These are American principles, American policies. We can stand for no others. And they are also the principles and policies of forward-looking men and women everywhere, of every modern nation, of every enlightened community. They are the principles of mankind and must prevail.”

These principles are the principles for which the German nation has gone to war. The President upholds them, not because they are German, but because they are just. He eloquently pleads for a peace without victory. Germany, victorious on every battlefield, was willing to accept the verdict of a drawn game. The Entente Governments in their note of January 10th to the United States declared “that the Allies are determined individually and collectively to act with all their power and to consent to all sacrifices to bring to a victorious close a conflict upon which they are convinced not only their own safety and prosperity depend, but also the future of civilization itself.” […]

We are encouraged in this attitude by the President's demand for the freedom of the seas in fact as well as in theory.

“So far as practicable, moreover, every great people now struggling toward a full development of its resources and of its powers should be assured a direct outlet to the great highways of the sea. Where this cannot be done by the cession of territory it can no doubt be done by the neutralization of direct rights of way under the general guarantee which will assure the peace itself. With a right comity of arrangement no nation need be shut away from free access to the open paths of the world's commerce.

“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. No doubt a somewhat radical reconsideration of many of the rules of international practice hitherto sought to be established may be necessary in order to make the seas indeed free and common in practically all circumstances for the use of mankind, but the motive for such changes is convincing and compelling. There can be no trust or intimacy between the peoples of the world without them.

“The free, constant, unthreatened intercourse of nations is an essential part of the process of peace and of development. 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.

“It is a problem closely connected with the limitation of naval armaments and the co-operation of the navies of the world in keeping the seas at once free and safe.”

The President speaks on behalf of the freedom of Poland. May we not also believe that he speaks, by implication, for the freedom of Ireland? For without the freedom of Ireland there can be no freedom of the seas. We hope, for the sake of this consummation, that the Central Powers will demand both the freedom of the seas and the freedom of Ireland in their peace terms. […]

Mr. Wilson outlines the conditions under which America is prepared to participate in a world league to enforce peace. He does not attempt to prescribe peace terms:

“I do not mean to say that any American Government would throw any obstacle in the way of any terms of peace the governments now at war might agree upon, or seek to upset them when made, whatever they might be. I only take it for granted that mere terms of peace between the belligerents will not satisfy even the belligerents themselves. Mere agreements may not make peace secure. It will be absolutely 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 probably 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.

“The terms of the immediate peace agreed upon will determine whether it is a peace for which such a guarantee can be secured. The question upon which the whole future peace and policy of the world defends is this:

“Is the present war a struggle for a just and secure peace or only for a new balance of power? If it be only a struggle for a new balance of power, who will guarantee, who can guarantee, the stable equilibrium of the new arrangement? Only a tranquil Europe can be a stable Europe. There must be not only a balance of power, but a community of power; not organised rivalries, but an organized common peace.”

This solution may not satisfy the jingoes of any country, but to the nations at war, it will bring larger inspiration and greater comfort than any message since Bethlehem. For the first time in the history of the world a temporal ruler applies the tenets of Christianity to international politics. The Sermon on the Mount is the source of Mr. Wilson's political wisdom. Let publicans and pharisees scoff, mankind will not disregard it. English politicians may dissemble their rage and may politely accept Mr. Wilson's evangel in principle without intention of applying it in fact. But over such politicians will run the chariot of evolution. They will be crushed under the wheels of progress. The Wilson Doctrine will be the World Doctrine. —GEORGE SYLVESTER VIERRECK

Note: Next post will cover the reaction to Wilson's speech.


I had known FDR and Ike Eisenhower to be part of the Jews and Britains WWII against Germany and I had know that the Democrats had been poisoned by the jews as early as 1885, but I wasn't too suprised to read about Wilson. It was a great article and a good read, very well put together, Carolyn as all your articles have been.
I had alomost forgotten that the Belgiums and the French had invaded the Congo and exploited that country. Then they left and armed the Negros who in turn masacred the porteguese people in Angola on March 15, 1962.