The cover image was created by the transcriber and is placed in the public domain.
If it were possible to place this volume in the hands of every American citizen I feel profoundly convinced there would follow an uplift toward right-living and right-thinking which would affect the destiny of our race more than anything which has yet occurred in our history.
There is here presented a fearless expression of views upon the paramount problems of the age, social, economic and political, by a citizen who has been exalted to the highest office in the world—expressions of opinion made upon many occasions during his term of Presidency. But it is an unparalleled spectacle to see a man who has risen to such greatness dare to discuss some of the questions which are here treated, and still more rare to find them handled with such great wisdom.
I ask the reader to go a little deeper than a mere reading of these varied subjects of such vital moment to him; that he permit his mind to be receptive of the powerful and subtle influences which run like a holy pattern through the woof and warp of the whole design.
Here are the eternal truths limned in a new light by one of the most forceful personalities of the day. It is true that the views expressed here are held by a large proportion of our citizens who will rejoice to find what they have long felt so cogently expressed by an exemplar of what he preaches, who adds to the simple truths he has been inspired to expound, the dignity of the high office he holds—the highest that has been attained by man since the dawn of the world—that of the Presidency of the new and dominant race of the Western Hemisphere.
I bespeak of every reader the kindness of doing whatever lies in his power to make known to his fellow citizens this volume; speak of it whenever you can; or, still better, present a volume to any friend who has your sincerest good wishes.
“We must treat each man on his worth and merits as a man. We must see that each is given a square deal, because he is entitled to no more and should receive no less.”
Mankind goes ahead but slowly, and it goes ahead mainly through each of us trying to do the best that is in him and to do it in the sanest way. We have founded our Republic upon the theory that the average man will, as a rule, do the right thing, that in the long run the majority will decide for what is sane and wholesome. If our fathers were mistaken in that theory, if ever the times become such—not occasionally but persistently—that the mass of the people do what is unwholesome, what is wrong, then the Republic cannot stand, I care not how good its laws, I care not what marvelous mechanism its Constitution may embody. Back of the laws, back of the administration, back of the system of government lies the man, lies the average manhood of our people, and in the long run we are going to go up or go down accordingly as the average standard of citizenship does or does not wax in growth and grace.
¶¶The first requisite of good citizenship is that the man shall do the homely, every-day, hum-drum duties well. A man is not a good 10citizen, I do not care how lofty his thoughts are about citizenship in the abstract, if in the concrete his actions do not bear them out; and it does not make much difference how high his aspirations for mankind at large may be, if he does not behave well in his own family those aspirations do not bear visible fruit. He must be a good breadwinner, he must take care of his wife and his children, he must be a neighbor whom his neighbors can trust, he must act squarely in his business relations,—he must do all these every-day, ordinary duties first, or he is not a good citizen. But he must do more.
¶In this country of ours the average citizen must devote a good deal of thought and time to the affairs of the State as a whole or those affairs will go backward; and he must devote that thought and time steadily and intelligently. If there is any one quality that is not desirable, whether in a nation or in an individual, it is hysterics, either in religion or anything else. The man or woman who makes up for ten days’ indifference to duty by an eleventh-day morbid repentance about that duty is of scant use in the world. Now in the same way it is of no possible use to decline to go through all ordinary duties of citizenship 11for a long space of time and then suddenly to get up and feel very angry about something or somebody, not clearly defined, and demand reform, as if it was a concrete substance to be handed out forthwith.
¶We cannot keep too clearly before our minds the facts that for the success of our civilization what is needed is not so much brilliant ability, not so much unusual genius, as the possession by the average man of the plain, homely, work-a-day virtues that make that man a good father, a good husband, and a good friend and neighbor—a decent man with whom to deal in all relations of life.
¶We need good laws, we need honest administration of the laws, and we cannot afford to be contented with less, but more than aught else we need that the average man shall have in him the root of righteous living; that the average man shall have in him the feeling that will make him ashamed to do wrong or to submit to wrong, and that will make him feel his bounden duty to help those that are weaker, to help those especially that are in a way dependent upon him, and while not in any way losing his power of individual initiative, to cultivate without ceasing the further power of acting in combination with his fellows for a common 12end of social uplifting and of good government.
¶One word upon success in life, upon the success that each of us should strive for. It is a great mistake—oh, such a great mistake—to measure success merely by that which glitters from without, or to speak of it in terms which will mislead those about us, and especially the younger people about us, as to what success really is.
¶There must of course be for success, a certain material basis, I should think ill of any man who did not wish to leave his children a little better and not a little worse off materially than he was, and I should not feel that he was doing his duty by them; and if he cannot do his duty by his own children he is not going to do his duty by any one else.
¶But after that certain amount of material prosperity has been gained then the things that really count most are the things of the soul rather than the things of money, and I am sure that each of you if he will really think of what it is that made him most happy, of what it is that made him most respect his neighbors will agree with me.
13¶¶Look back in your own lives, see what the things are that you are proudest of as you look back, and you will in almost every case and on every occasion find that those memories of pride are associated, not with days of ease, but with days of effort, the day when you had to do all that was in you for some worthy end, and the worthiest of all worthy ends is to make those that are closest and nearest to you—your wife and your children, and those near you—happy and not sorry that you are alive.
¶And after that has been done, to be able so to handle yourself that you can feel when the end comes that on the whole your community, your fellow men, are a little better off and not a little worse off because you have lived.
¶This kind of success is open to every one of us. The great prizes come more or less by accident, and no human being knows that better than any man who has won one of them. The great prizes come more or less by accident, but to each man there comes normally the chance so to lead his life that at the end of his days his children, his wife, those that are dear to him shall rise up and call him blessed, and so that his neighbors and those who have been brought into intimate association with him, may feel that he has done his 14part as a man in a world which sadly needs that each man should play his part well.
¶¶Treat each man according to his worth as a man. Don’t hold for or against him that he is either rich or poor. But if he is rich and crooked, hold it against him; if not rich but crooked, then hold it against him. But if he is a square man, stand by him. Distrust all who would have any one class placed before any other. Other republics have fallen because of the unscrupulous rich or the unscrupulous poor who gained ascendancy, who substituted loyalty to class for loyalty to the people as a whole.
¶Abolish the insolence and arrogance of the rich who look down upon the poor; if they lost their wealth they would be ready to plunder the rich. The unscrupulous man who becomes rich would oppress the poor. The man who is true to you is ultimately righteous, and the man who will steal for you will steal from you. The man who will seek to persuade you that he will benefit you by wronging any one else will wrong you when it will benefit him.
¶What we must do as a Nation is to stand for the immutable principles of decency and virtue, regarding vice with abhorrence. If we 15make any artificial divisions we have done irreparable injury to the people.
¶Let us be steadfast for the right; but let us err on the side of generosity rather than on the side of vindictiveness toward those who differ from us as to the method of attaining the right. Let us never forget our duty to help in uplifting the lowly, to shield from wrong the humble; and let us likewise act in a spirit of the broadest and frankest generosity toward all our brothers, all our fellow-countrymen; in a spirit proceeding not from weakness but from strength, a spirit which takes no more account of locality than it does of class or creed; a spirit which is resolutely bent on seeing that the Union which Washington founded and which Lincoln saved from destruction shall grow nobler and greater throughout the ages.
¶I believe in this country with all my heart and soul. I believe that our people will in the end rise level to every need, will in the end triumph over every difficulty that rises before them. I could not have such confident faith in the destiny of this mighty people if I had it merely as regards one portion of that people. Throughout our land things on the whole have grown better and not worse, and 16this is as true of one part of the country as it is of another.
¶For weal or woe we are knit together and we shall go up or go down together; and I believe that we shall go up and not down, that we shall go forward instead of halting and falling back, because I have an abiding faith in the generosity, the courage, the resolution, and the common-sense of all my countrymen.
¶Fundamentally our people are the same throughout this land; the same in qualities of heart and brain and hand which have made this Republic what it is in the great to-day; which will make it what it is to be in the infinitely greater to-morrow. All of us alike, Northerners and Southerners, Easterners and Westerners, can best prove our fealty to the Nation’s past by the way in which we do the Nation’s work in the present; for only thus can we be sure that our children’s children shall inherit Abe Lincoln’s single-hearted devotion to the great unchanging creed that “righteousness exalteth a nation.”
The law of worthy work well done is the law of successful American life. I believe in play too—play, and play hard while you play; but don’t make the mistake of thinking that that is the main thing. The work is what counts, and if a man does his work well and it is worth doing, then it matters but little in which line that work is done; the man is a good American citizen. If he does his work in slipshod fashion, then no matter what kind of work it is, he is a poor American citizen.
¶Among ourselves we differ in many qualities, of body, head, and heart; we are unequally developed, mentally as well as physically. But each of us has the right to ask that he shall be protected from wrong-doing as he does his work and carries his burden through life. No man needs sympathy because he has to work, because he has a burden to carry. Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing; and this is a prize open to every man, for there 20can be no work better worth doing than that done to keep in health and comfort and with reasonable advantages those immediately dependent upon the husband, the father, or the son.
¶There is no room in our healthy American life for the mere idler, for the man or the woman whose object it is throughout life to shirk the duties which life ought to bring. Life can mean nothing worth meaning, unless its prime aim is the doing of duty, the achievement of results worth achieving. A recent writer has finely said: “After all the saddest thing that can happen to a man is to carry no burdens. To be bent under too great a load is bad; to be crushed by it is lamentable; but even in that there are possibilities that are glorious. But to carry no load at all—there is nothing in that. No one seems to arrive at any goal really worth reaching in this world who does not come to it heavy-laden.”
¶Surely from our own experience each one of us knows that this is true. From the greatest to the smallest, happiness and usefulness are largely found in the same soul, and the joy of life is won in its deepest and truest sense only by those who have not shirked life’s burdens. The men whom we most delight to 21honor in all this land are those who, in the iron years from ’61 to ’65, bore on their shoulders the burden of saving the Union. They did not choose the easy task. They did not shirk the difficult duty. Deliberately and of their own free will they strove for an ideal, upward and onward across the stony slopes of greatness. They did the hardest work that was then to be done; they bore the heaviest burden that any generation of Americans ever had to bear; and because they did this they have won such proud joy as it has fallen to the lot of no other men to win, and have written their names forever more on the golden honor roll of the Nation.
¶As it is with the soldier, so it is with the civilian. To win success in the business world, to become a first class mechanic, a successful farmer, an able lawyer or doctor, means that the man has devoted his best energy and power through long years to the achievement of his ends. So it is in the life of the family, upon which in the last analysis the whole welfare of the Nation rests. The man or woman who as breadwinner and home-maker, or as wife and mother, has done all that he or she can do, patiently and uncomplainingly, is to be honored; and is to be envied by all those who have never had the good fortune 22to feel the need and duty of doing such work.
¶The woman who has borne, and who has reared as they should be reared, a family of children, has in the most emphatic manner deserved well of the Republic. Her burden has been heavy, and she has been able to bear it worthily only by the possession of resolution, of good sense, of conscience, and of unselfishness.
¶¶But if she has borne it well, then to her shall come the supreme blessing, for in the words of the oldest and greatest of books, “Her children shall rise up and call her blessed,” and among the benefactors of the land her place must be with those who have done the best and the hardest work whether as lawgivers or as soldiers, whether in public or in private life.
¶This is not a soft and easy creed to preach. It is a creed willingly learned only by men and women who, together with their softer virtues, possess also the stronger; who can do, and dare, and die at need, but who while life lasts will never flinch from their allotted task.... It is not enough to be well-meaning and kindly, but weak; neither is it enough to be 23strong, unless morality and decency go hand in hand with strength. We must possess the qualities which make us do our duty in our homes and among our neighbors, and in addition we must possess the qualities which are indispensable to the makeup of every great and masterful nation—the qualities of courage and hardihood, of individual initiative and yet of power to combine for a common end, and, above all, the resolute determination to permit no man and no set of men to sunder us one from the other by lines of caste or creed or section.
¶We must act upon the motto of all for each and each for all.
¶There must be ever present in our minds the fundamental truth that in a Republic such as ours the only safety is to stand neither for nor against any man because he is rich or because he is poor, because he is engaged in one occupation or another, because he works with his brains or because he works with his hands. We must treat each man on his worth and merits as a man. We must see that each is given a square deal, because he is entitled to no more and should receive no less. Finally we must ever keep in mind that a Republic such as ours can exist only by virtue 24of the orderly liberty which comes through the equal domination of the law over all men alike, and through its administration in such resolute and fearless fashion as shall teach all that no man is above it and no man below it.
¶In our present advanced civilization we have to pay certain penalties for what we have obtained. Among the penalties is the fact that in very many occupations there is so little demand upon nerve, hardihood, and endurance, that there is a tendency to unhealthy softening of fibre and relaxation of fibre; and such being the case I think it is a fortunate thing for our people as a whole that there should be certain occupations, prominent among them railroading, in which the man has to show the very qualities of courage, of hardihood, of willingness to face danger, the cultivation of the power of instantaneous decision under difficulties, and the other qualities which go to make up the virile side of a man’s character.... These qualities are all-important, but they are not all-sufficient. It is necessary absolutely to have them. No nation can rise to greatness without them, but by them alone no nation will ever become great.
¶Reading through the pages of history you 25come upon nation after nation in which there has been a high average of individual strength, bravery, and hardihood, and yet in which there has been nothing approaching to national greatness because those qualities were not supplemented by others just as necessary. With the courage, with the hardihood, with the strength, must come the power of self-restraint, the power of self-mastery, the capacity to work for and with others as well as for one’s self, the power of giving to others the love which each of us must bear for his neighbor, if we are to make our civilization great.... We need then, the two qualities—work and love, using each in its broadest sense—work, the quality which makes a man ashamed not to be able to pull his own weight, not to be able to do for himself as well as for others without being beholden to any one for what he is doing.
¶¶No man is happy if he does not work. Of all miserable creatures the idler, in whatever rank of society, is in the long run the most miserable. If a man does not work, if he has not in him not merely the capacity for work but the desire for work, then nothing can be done with him. He is out of place in our community. We have in our scheme of government 26no room for the man who does not wish to pay his way through life by what he does for himself and for the community. If he has leisure which makes it unnecessary for him to devote his time to earning his daily bread, then all the more he is bound to work just as hard in some way that will make the community the better off for his existence. If he fails in that, he fails to justify his existence.
¶¶¶Work, the capacity for work, is absolutely necessary; and no man’s life is full, no man can be said to live in the true sense of the word, if he does not work. This is necessary; and yet it is not enough. If a man is utterly selfish, if utterly disregardful of the rights of others, if he has no ideals, if he works simply for the sake of ministering to his own base passions, if he works simply to gratify himself, small is his good in the community. I think even then he is probably better off than if he is an idler, but he is of no real use unless together with the quality which enables him to work he has the quality which enables him to love his fellows, to work with them and for them for the common good of all.
With the sole exception of the farming interest, no one matter is of such vital moment to our whole people as the welfare of the wage-workers. If the farmer and the wage-worker are well off, it is absolutely certain that all others will be well off too. It is therefore a matter for hearty congratulation that on the whole wages are higher to-day in the United States than ever before. The standard of living is also higher than ever before in our history, and far higher than in any other country. Every effort of legislator and administrator should be bent to secure the permanency of this condition of things and its improvement wherever possible. Not only must our labor be protected by the tariff, but it should also be protected so far as it is possible from the presence in this country of any laborers brought over by contract, or of those who, coming freely, yet represent a standard of living so depressed that 30they can undersell our men in the labor market and drag them to a lower level. I regard it as necessary, with this end in view, to reenact immediately the law excluding Chinese laborers and to strengthen it wherever necessary in order to make its enforcement entirely effective.
¶American wage-workers work with their heads as well as their hands. Moreover, they take a keen pride in what they are doing; so that, independent of the reward, they wish to turn out a perfect job. This is the great secret of success in competition with the labor of foreign countries.
¶¶When all is said and done, the rule of brotherhood remains as the indispensable prerequisite to success in the kind of national life for which we strive. Each man must work for himself, and unless he so works no outside help can avail him; but each man must remember also that he is indeed his brother’s keeper, and that while no man who refuses to walk can be carried with advantage to himself or any one else, yet that each at times stumbles or halts, that each at times needs to have the helping hand outstretched to him. To be permanently effective, aid must always take the form of helping a man to help himself; 31and we can all best help ourselves by joining together in the work that is of common interest to all.
¶How to secure fair treatment alike for labor and for capital, how to hold in check the unscrupulous man, whether employer or employee, without weakening individual initiative, without hampering and cramping the industrial development of the country, is a problem fraught with great difficulties and one which it is of the highest importance to solve on lines of sanity and far-sighted common-sense as well as of devotion to the right. Exactly as business men find they must often work through corporations, and as it is a constant tendency of these corporations to grow larger, so it is often necessary for laboring men to work in federations, and these have become important factors of modern industrial life. Both kinds of federation, capitalistic and labor, can do much good, and as a necessary corollary they can both do evil.
¶Opposition to each kind of organization should take the form of opposition to whatever is bad in the conduct of any given corporation or union—not of attacks upon corporations as such nor upon unions as such; for some of the most far-reaching beneficent work 32for our people has been accomplished through both corporations and unions. Each must refrain from arbitrary or tyrannous interference with the rights of others. Organized capital and organized labor alike should remember that in the long run the interest of each must be brought into harmony with the interest of the general public; and the conduct of each must conform to the fundamental rules of obedience to the law, of individual freedom, and of justice and fair-dealing toward all. Each should remember that in addition to power it must strive after the realization of healthy, lofty, and generous ideals.
¶Every employer, every wage-worker, must be guaranteed his liberty and his right to do as he likes with his property or his labor so long as he does not infringe upon the rights of others. It is of the highest importance that employer and employee alike should endeavor to appreciate each the view-point of the other and the sure disaster that will come upon both in the long run if either grows to take as habitual an attitude of sour hostility and distrust toward the other.
¶Few people deserve better of the country than those representatives of both capital and labor—and there are many such—who work 33continually to bring about a good understanding of this kind, based upon wisdom and upon broad and kindly sympathy between employers and employed. Above all, we need to remember that any kind of class animosity in the political world is, if possible, even more destructive to national welfare, than sectional, race, or religious animosity. We can get good government only upon condition that we keep true to the principles upon which this Nation was founded, and judge each man not as a part of a class, but upon his individual merits.
¶All that we have a right to ask of any man, rich or poor, whatever his creed, his occupation, his birthplace, or his residence, is that he shall act well and honorably by his neighbor and by his country. We are neither for the rich man as such nor for the poor man as such; we are for the upright man, rich and poor. So far as the constitutional powers of the National Government touch these matters of general and vital moment to the Nation, they should be exercised in conformity with the principles above set forth.
¶The consistent policy of the National Government, so far as it has the power, is to hold in check the unscrupulous man, whether employer 34or employee; but to refuse to weaken individual initiative or to hamper or cramp the industrial development of the country. We recognize that this is an era of federation and combination, in which great capitalistic corporations and labor unions have become factors of tremendous importance in all industrial centers. Hearty recognition is given the far-reaching, beneficent work which has been accomplished through both corporations and unions, and the line as between different corporations, as between different unions, is drawn on conduct, the effort being to treat both organized capital and organized labor alike; asking nothing save that the interest of each shall be brought into harmony with the interest of the general public, and that the conduct of each shall conform to the fundamental rules of obedience to law, of individual freedom, and of justice and fair-dealing towards all.
¶Whenever either corporation, labor union, or individual disregards the law or acts in a spirit of arbitrary and tyrannous interference with the rights of others, whether corporations or individuals, then, where the Federal Government has jurisdiction, it will see to it that the misconduct is stopped, paying not the 35slightest heed to the position or power of the corporation, the union, or the individual, but only to one vital fact—that is, the question whether or not the conduct of the individual or aggregate of individuals is in accordance with the law of the land. Every man must be guaranteed his liberty and his right to do as he likes with his property or his labor, so long as he does not infringe the rights of others. No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man’s permission when we require him to obey it. Obedience to the law is demanded as a right; not asked as a favor.
I believe emphatically in organized labor. I believe in organizations of wage-workers. Organization is one of the laws of our social and economic development at this time. But I feel that we must always keep before our minds the fact that there is nothing sacred in the name itself. To call an organization an organization does not make it a good one. The worth of an organization depends upon its being handled with the courage, the skill, the wisdom, the spirit of fair-dealing as between man and man.
¶It is no easy matter to work out a system or rule of conduct, whether with or without the help of the lawgiver, which shall minimize that jarring and clashing of interests in the industrial world which causes so much individual irritation and suffering at the present day, and which at times threatens baleful consequences to large portions of the body politic. But the importance of the problem can not be overestimated, and it deserves to receive the careful thought of all men. There should be 38no yielding to wrong; but there should most certainly be not only desire to do right, but a willingness each to try to understand the view-point of his fellow, with whom, for weal or for woe, his own fortunes are indissolubly bound.
¶No patent remedy can be devised for the solution of these grave problems in the industrial world; but we may rest assured that they can be solved at all only if we bring to the solution certain old-time virtues, and if we strive to keep out of the solution some of the most familiar and most undesirable of the traits to which mankind has owed untold degradation and suffering throughout the ages. Arrogance, suspicion, brutal envy of the well-to-do, brutal indifference toward those who are not well-to-do, the hard refusal to consider the rights of others, the foolish refusal to consider the limits of beneficent action, the base appeal to the spirit of selfish greed, whether it take the form of plunder of the fortunate or of oppression of the unfortunate—from these and from all kindred vices this Nation must be kept free if it is to remain in its present position in the forefront of the peoples of mankind.
¶On the other hand, good will come, even out of the present evils, if we face them armed 39with the old homely virtues; if we show that we are fearless of soul, cool of head, and kindly of heart; if, without betraying the weakness that cringes before wrong-doing, we yet show by deeds and words our knowledge that in such a government as ours each of us must be in very truth his brother’s keeper.
¶In any great labor disturbance not only are employer and employee interested, but also a third party—the general public. Every considerable labor difficulty in which interstate commerce is involved should be investigated by the Government and the facts officially reported to the public.
¶Very much of our effort in reference to labor matters should be by every device and expedient to try to secure a constant better understanding between employer and employee. Everything possible should be done to increase the sympathy and fellow-feeling between them, and every chance taken to allow each to look at all questions, especially at questions in dispute, somewhat through the other’s eyes. If met with a sincere desire to act fairly by one another, and if there is, furthermore, power by each to appreciate the other’s standpoint, the chance for trouble is minimized. I suppose every thinking man rejoices when by mediation or arbitration it proves possible to 40settle troubles in time to avert the suffering and bitterness caused by strikes. Moreover, a conciliation committee can do best work when the trouble is in its beginning, or at least has not come to a head. When the break has actually occurred, damage has been done, and each side feels sore and angry; and it is difficult to get them together—difficult to make either forget its own wrongs and remember the rights of the other. If possible the effort at conciliation or mediation or arbitration should be made in the earlier stages, and should be marked by the wish on the part of both sides to try and come to a common agreement which each shall think in the interests of the other as well as of itself.
¶The question of securing a healthy, self-respecting, and mutually sympathetic attitude as between employer and employee, capitalist and wage-worker, is a difficult one. All phases of the labor problem prove difficult when approached. But the underlying principles, the root principles, in accordance with which the problem must be solved are entirely simple. We can get justice and right dealing only if we put as of paramount importance the principle of treating a man on his worth as a man rather than with a reference to his social position, his occupation, or the class to which he 41belongs. There are selfish and brutal men in all ranks of life. If they are capitalists their selfishness and brutality may take the form of hard indifference to suffering, greedy disregard of every moral restraint which interferes with the accumulation of wealth, and coldblooded exploitation of the weak; or, if they are laborers, the form of laziness, of sullen envy of the more fortunate, and of willingness to perform deeds of murderous violence. Such conduct is just as reprehensible in one case as in the other, and all honest and farseeing men should join in warring against it wherever it becomes manifest.
¶Individual capitalist and individual wage-worker, corporation and union, are alike entitled to the protection of the law, and must alike obey the law. Moreover, in addition to mere obedience to the law, each man, if he be really a good citizen, must show broad sympathy for his neighbor and genuine desire to look at any question arising between them from the standpoint of that neighbor no less than from his own; and to this end it is essential that capitalist and wage-worker should consult freely one with the other, should each strive to bring closer the day when both shall realize that they are properly partners and not enemies. To approach the questions which inevitably 42arise between them solely from the standpoint which treats each side in the mass as the enemy of the other side in the mass is both wicked and foolish.
¶In the past the most direful among the influences which have brought about the downfall of republics has ever been the growth of the class spirit, the growth of the spirit which tends to make a man subordinate the welfare of the public as a whole to the welfare of the particular class to which he belongs, the substitution of loyalty to a class for loyalty to the Nation. This inevitably brings about a tendency to treat each man not on his merits as an individual, but on his position as belonging to a certain class in the community. If such a spirit grows up in this Republic it will ultimately prove fatal to us, as in the past it has proved fatal to every community in which it has become dominant. Unless we continue to keep a quick and lively sense of the great fundamental truth that our concern is with the individual worth of the individual man, this Government can not permanently hold the place which it has achieved among the nations. The vital lines of cleavage among our people do not correspond, and indeed run at right angles to, the lines of cleavage which divide occupation from occupation, which divide wage-workers 43from capitalists, farmers from bankers, men of small means from men of large means, men who live in the towns from men who live in the country; for the vital line of cleavage is the line which divides the honest man who tries to do well by his neighbor from the dishonest man who does ill by his neighbor. In other words, the standard we should establish is the standard of conduct, not the standard of occupation, of means, or of social position.
¶¶It is the man’s moral quality, his attitude toward the great questions which concern all humanity, his cleanliness of life, his power to do his duty toward himself and toward others, which really count; and if we substitute for the standard of personal judgment which treats each man according to his merits, another standard in accordance with which all men of one class are favored and all men of another class discriminated against, we shall do irreparable damage to the body politic. I believe that our people are too sane, too self-respecting, too fit for self-government, ever to adopt such an attitude. This government is not and never shall be government by a plutocracy. This government is not and never shall be government by a mob. It shall continue to be in the future what it has been in the past, a government based on the theory that each man, rich 44or poor, is to be treated simply and solely on his worth as a man, that all his personal and property rights are to be safeguarded, and that he is neither to wrong others nor to suffer wrong from others.
¶¶¶The noblest of all forms of government is self-government; but it is also the most difficult. We who possess this priceless boon, and who desire to hand it on to our children and our children’s children, should ever bear in mind the thought so finely expressed by Burke: “Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their own appetites; in proportion as they are disposed to listen to the counsels of the wise and good in preference to the flattery of knaves. Society can not exist unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere, and the less of it there be within the more there must be without. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things that men of intemperate minds can not be free. Their passions forge their fetters.”
The American business man is of a peculiar type; and probably the qualities of energy, daring, and resourcefulness which have given him his prominence in the international industrial world find their highest development in the West. It is the merest truism to say that in the modern world industrialism is the great factor in the growth of nations. Material prosperity is the foundation upon which every mighty national structure must be built. Of course there must be more than this. There must be a high moral purpose, a life of the spirit which finds its expression in many different ways; but unless material prosperity exists also there is scant room in which to develop the higher life.
¶The productive activity of our vast army of workers, of those who work with head or hands, is the prime cause of the giant growth of this nation. We have great natural resources but such resources are never more than 48opportunities, and they count for nothing if the men in possession have not the power to take advantage of them.... In such development laws play a certain part, but individual characteristics a still greater part. A great and successful commonwealth like ours in the long run works under good laws, because a people endowed with honest and practical common-sense ultimately demands good laws. But no law can create industrial well-being, although it may foster and safeguard it.
¶The prime factor in securing industrial well-being is the high average of citizenship found in the community. The best laws that the wit of man can devise would not make a community of thriftless and idle men prosperous. No scheme of legislation or of social reform will ever work good to the community unless it recognizes as fundamental the fact that each man’s own individual qualities must be the prime factors in his success. Work in combination may help and the State can do a good deal in its own sphere, but in the long run each man must owe his success in life to whatever of hardihood, of resolution, of common-sense, and of capacity for lofty endeavor he has within his own soul. It is a good thing to act in combination for the common good, but it is a very unhealthy thing to let ourselves 49think for one moment that anything can ever supply the want of our own individual watchfulness and exertion.
¶Yet given this high average of individual ability and invention, we must ever keep in mind that it may be nullified by bad legislation, and that it can be given a chance to develop under the most favorable conditions by good legislation. Probably the most important aid which can be contributed by the National Government to the material well-being of the country is to insure its financial stability. An honest currency is the strongest symbol and expression of honest business life.
¶The business world must exist largely on credit, and to credit confidence is essential. Any tampering with the currency, no matter with what purpose, if fraught with the suspicion of dishonesty in result, is fatal in its effects on business prosperity. Very ignorant and primitive communities are continually obliged to learn the elementary truth that the repudiation of debts is in the end ruinous to the debtors as a class; and when communities have moved somewhat higher in the scale of civilization they also learn that anything in the nature of a debased currency works similar damage. A financial system of assured honesty is the first essential.
50¶Another essential for any community is perseverance in the economic policy which for a course of years is found best fitted to its peculiar needs. The question of combining such fixedness of economic policy as regards the tariff, while at the same time allowing for a necessary and proper readjustment of duties in particular schedules, as such readjustment becomes a matter of pressing importance, is not an easy one. It is, perhaps too much to expect that from the discussion of such a question it would be possible wholly to eliminate political partisanship. Yet those who believe, as we all must when we think seriously of the subject, that the proper aim of the party system is, after all, simply to subserve the public good, cannot but hope that where such partisanship on a matter of this kind conflicts with the public good it shall at least be minimized. It is all right and inevitable that we should divide on party lines, but woe to us if we are not Americans first and party men second!
From the very beginning our people have markedly combined practical capacity for affairs with power of devotion to an ideal. The lack of either quality would have rendered the possession of the other of small value. Mere ability to achieve success in things concerning the body would not have atoned for the failure to live the life of high endeavor; and, on the other hand, without a foundation of those qualities which bring material prosperity there would be nothing on which the higher life could be built. The men of the Revolution would have failed if they had not possessed alike devotion to liberty, and ability (once liberty had been achieved) to show common-sense and self-restraint in its use. The men of the great Civil War would have failed had they not possessed the business capacity which developed and organized these resources in addition to the 54stern resolution to expend these resources as freely as they expended their blood in furtherance of the great cause for which their hearts leaped.
¶It is this combination of qualities that has made our people succeed. Other peoples have been as devoted to liberty, and yet, because of lack of hard-headed common-sense and of ability to show restraint and subordinate individual passions for the general good, have failed so signally in the struggle of life as to become a byword among the nations. Yet other peoples, again, have possessed all possible thrift and business capacity, but have been trampled under foot, or have played a sordid and ignoble part in the world, because their business capacity was unaccompanied by any of the lift toward nobler things which marks a great and generous nation. The stern but just rule of judgment for humanity is that each nation shall be known by its fruits; and if there are no fruits, if the nation has failed, it matters but little whether it has failed through meanness of soul or through lack of robustness of character. We must judge a nation by the net result of its life and activity. And so we must judge the policies of those who at any time control the destinies of a nation.
55¶There was no patent device for securing victory by force of arms forty years ago; and there is no patent device for securing victory for the forces of righteousness in civil life now. In each case the all-important factor was and is the character of the individual man. Good laws in the State, like a good organization in an army, are the expressions of national character. Leaders will be developed in military and in civil life alike; and weapons and tactics change from generation to generation, as methods of achieving good government change in civic affairs; but the fundamental qualities which make for good citizenship do not change any more than the fundamental qualities which make good soldiers. In the long run, in the Civil War, the thing that counted for more than aught else was the fact that the average American had the fighting edge; had within him the spirit which spurred him on through toil and danger, fatigue and hardship, to the goal of the splendid ultimate triumph. So in achieving good government the fundamental factor must be the character of the average citizen; that average citizen’s power of hatred for what is mean and base and unlovely; his fearless scorn of cowardice, and his determination to war unyieldingly against the dark and sordid forces of evil.
56¶¶There are very different kinds of success. There is the success that brings with it the seared soul—the success which is achieved by wolfish greed and vulpine cunning—the success which makes honest men uneasy or indignant in its presence. Then there is the other kind of success—the success which comes as the reward of keen insight, of sagacity, of resolution, of address, combined with unflinching rectitude of behavior, public and private. The first kind of success may, in a sense,—and a poor sense at that—benefit the individual, but it is always and necessarily a curse to the community; whereas the man who wins the second kind, as an incident of its winning, becomes a beneficiary to the whole commonwealth.
When it comes to rendering service, that which counts chiefly with a college graduate, as with any other American citizen, is not intellect so much as what stands above mere power of body, or mere power of mind, but must in a sense include them, and that is, character. It is a good thing to have a sound body and a better thing to have a sound mind; and better still to have that aggregate of virile and decent qualities which we group together under the name of character. I said both decent and virile qualities—it is not enough to have one or the other alone. If a man is strong in mind and body and misuses his strength then he becomes simply a foe to the body politic, to be hunted down by all decent men; and if on the other hand he has thoroughly decent impulses but lacks strength he is a nice man but does not count. You can do but little with him.
¶In the unending strife for civic betterment, small is the use of those people who mean well, but who mean well feebly. The man who counts is the man who is decent and who makes himself felt as a force for decency, for 60cleanliness, for civic righteousness. He must have several qualities; first and foremost, of course, he must be honest, he must have the root of right thinking in him. That is not enough. In the next place he must have courage; the timid good man counts but little in the rough business of trying to do well the world’s work. And finally, in addition to being honest and brave he must have common-sense. If he does not have it, no matter what other qualities he may have, he will find himself at the mercy of those who, without possessing his desire to do right, know only too well how to make the wrong effective.
¶We can pardon the man who has had no chance in life if he does but little for the state, and we can count it greatly to his credit if he does much for the state. But upon you who have had so much rests a heavy burden to show that you are worthy of what you have received. A double responsibility is upon you to use aright, not merely the talents that have been given to you, but the chances you have to make much of these talents. We have a right to expect service to the state from you in many different lines: In the line of what, for lack of a better word, we will call philanthropy; in all lines of effort for public decency.
61¶Remember always that the man who does a thing so that it is worth doing is always a man who does his work for the work’s sake. Somewhere in Ruskin there is a sentence to the effect that the man who does a piece of work for the fee, normally does it in a second-rate way, and that the only first-rate work is the work done by the man who does it for the sake of doing it well, who counts the deed as itself his reward. In no kind of work done for the public do you ever find the really best, except where you find the man who takes hold of it because he is irresistibly impelled to do it; because he wishes to do it for the sake of doing it well, not for the sake of any reward that comes afterward or in connection with it.
¶Of course, that is true of almost every other walk of life; just exactly as true as it is in politics. A clergyman is not worth his salt if he finds himself bound to be a clergyman for the material reward of that profession. Every doctor who has ever succeeded has been a man incapable of thinking of his fee when he did a noteworthy surgical operation. A scientific man, a writer, a historian, an artist, can only be a good man of science, a first class artist, a first class writer, if he does his work for the sake of doing it well; and this is exactly as true in political life, exactly as true in every 62form of social effort, in every kind of work done for the public at large. The man who does work worth doing is the man who does it because he cannot refrain from doing it, the man who feels it borne in on him to try that particular job and see if he cannot do it well. And so it is with a general in the field. The man in the civil war who thought of any material reward for what he did was not among the men whose names you read now on the honor roll of American history.
¶So the work that our colleges can do is to fit their graduates, to do service; to fit the bulk of them, the men who cannot go in for the highest type of scholarship, to do the ordinary citizen’s service for the country; and they can fit them to do this service only by training them in character. To train them in character means to train them not only to possess, as they must possess, the softer and gentler virtues, but also the virile powers of a race of vigorous men, the virtues of courage, of honesty—not merely the honesty that refrains from doing wrong, but the honesty that wars aggressively for the right—the virtues of courage, honesty, and finally, hard common-sense.
Facts tend to become commonplace, and we tend to lose sight of their importance when once they are ingrained into the life of the nation. Although we talk a good deal about what the widespread education of this country means, I question if many of us deeply consider its meaning. From the lowest grade of the public school to the highest form of university training, education in this country is at the disposal of every man, every woman, who chooses to work for and obtain it. The State has done very much. Private benefaction has done much, very much. And each one of us who has obtained an education has obtained something for which he or she has not personally paid. No matter what the school, what the university, every American who has a school training, a university training, has obtained something given to him outright by the State, or given to him by those dead or those living who were able to make provision for that training because of the protection 66of the State, because of existence within its borders.
¶Each one of us then who has an education, school or college, has obtained something from the community at large for which he or she has not paid, and no self-respecting man or woman is content to rest permanently under such an obligation. Where the State has bestowed education the man who accepts it must be content to accept it merely as a charity unless he returns it to the State in full, in the shape of good citizenship. I do not ask of you, good citizenship as a favor to the State. I demand it of you as a right, and hold you recreant to your duty if you fail to give it.
¶From all our citizens we have a right to expect good citizenship; but most of all from those who have received most; most of all from those who have had the training of body, of mind, of soul, which comes from association in and with a great university. From those to whom much has been given we have Biblical authority to expect and demand much in return; and the most that can be given to any man is education. I expect and demand in the name of the nation much more from you who have had training of the mind than from those of mere wealth. To the man of means much 67has been given, too, and much will be expected from him, and ought to be, but not as much as from you, because your possession is more valuable than his. If you envy him I think poorly of you. Envy is merely the meanest form of admiration, and a man who envies another admits thereby his own inferiority.
¶We have a right to expect from the college-bred man, the college-bred woman, a proper sense of proportion, a proper sense of perspective, which will enable him or her to see things in their right relation one to another, and when thus seen while wealth will have a proper place, a just place, as an instrument for achieving happiness and power, for conferring happiness and power, it will not stand as high as much else in our national life. I ask you to take that not as a conventional statement from the university platform, but to test it by thinking of the men whom you admire in our past history and seeing what are the qualities which have made you admire them, what are the services they have rendered. For, as President Wheeler said to-day, it is true now as it ever has been true that the greatest good fortune, the greatest honor, that can befall any man is that he shall serve, that he shall serve the nation, serve his people, serve mankind; and looking 68back in history the names that come up before us, the names to which we turn, the names of the men of our own people which stand as shining honor marks in our annals, the names of those men typifying qualities which rightly we should hold in reverence, are the names of the statesmen, of the soldiers, of the poets, and after them, not abreast of them, the names of the architects of our material prosperity also.
¶You, men and women, you who have had the advantages of a college training are not to be excused if you fail to do, not as well as, but more than the average man outside who has not had your advantages. Every now and then I meet (at least I meet him in the East and I dare say he is to be found here) the man who having gone through college feels that somehow that confers upon him a special distinction which relieves him from the necessity of showing himself as good as his fellows. I see you recognize the type. That man is not only a curse to the community, and incidentally to himself, but he is a curse to the cause of academic education, the college and university training, because by his insistence he serves as an excuse for those who like to denounce such education.
¶Your education, your training, will not confer 69on you one privilege in the way of excusing you from effort or from work. All it can do, and what it should do, is to make you a little better fitted for such effort, for such work; and I do not care whether that is in business, politics, in no matter what branch of endeavor, all it can do is by the training you have received, by the advantages you have received, to fit you to do a little better than the average man that you meet.
¶It is incumbent upon you to show that the training has had that effect. It ought to enable you to do a little better for yourselves, and if you have in you souls capable of a thrill of generous emotion, souls capable of understanding what you owe to your training, to your alma mater, to the past and the present that have given you all that you have—if you have such souls it ought to make you doubly bent upon disinterested work for the State and the Nation.
¶Education may not make a man a good citizen, but most certainly ignorance tends to prevent his being a good citizen. Washington was far too much of a patriot, had far too much love for his fellow citizen to try to teach them that they could govern themselves unless they could develop a sound and enlightened public 70opinion. No nation can permanently retain free government unless it can retain a high average of citizenship, and there can be no such high average of citizenship without a high average of education, using the word in its broadest and truest sense to include the things of the soul as well as the things of the mind.
¶School education can never supplant or take the place of self-education, still less can it in any way take the place of those rugged and manly qualities which we group under the name of character; but it can be of enormous use in supplementing both. It is a source of just pride to every American that our people have so consistently acted in accordance with Washington’s principles of promoting institutions for the diffusion of knowledge. There is nothing dearer to our hearts than our public school system, by which free primary education is provided for every one within our borders.
¶The higher education such as is provided by the University of Pennsylvania and kindred bodies, not only confers great benefits to those able to take advantage of it, but entails upon them corresponding duties.
¶The men who founded this nation had to deal with theories of government and the fundamental 71principles of free institutions. We are now concerned with a different set of questions for the Republic has been firmly established, its principles fully tested and approved. To merely political issues have succeeded those of grave social and economic importance, the solution of which demands the best efforts of the best men. We have a right to expect that a wise and leading part in the effort to attain this solution will be taken by those who have been exceptionally blessed in the matter of obtaining an education.
¶That college graduate is but a poor creature who does not feel when he has left college that he has received something for which he owes a return. What he thus owes he can as a rule only pay by the way he bears himself throughout life. It is but occasionally that a college graduate can do much outright for his alma mater; he can best repay her by living a life that will reflect credit upon her, by so carrying himself as a citizen that men shall see that the years spent in training him have not been wasted.
¶The educated man is entitled to no special privilege, save the inestimable privilege of trying to show that his education enables him to 72take the lead in striving to guide his fellows aright in the difficult task which is set to us of the twentieth century. The problems before us to-day are very complex, and are widely different from those which the men of Washington’s generation had to face; but we can overcome them surely if we approach them in the spirit which Washington and Washington’s great supporters brought to bear upon the problems of their day—the spirit of sanity and of courage, the spirit which combines hard common-sense with the loftiest idealism.
The development of the high school, especially during the last half century, has been literally phenomenal. Nothing like our present system of education was known in earlier times. No such system of popular education for the people by the representatives of the people existed.
¶It is, of course, a mere truism to say that the stability and future welfare of our institutions of government depend upon the grade of citizenship turned out from our public schools. And no body of public servants, no body of individuals associated in private life, are better worth the admiration and respect of all who value citizenship at its true worth, than the body composed of the teachers in the public schools throughout the length and breadth of this Union. They have to deal with citizenship in the raw and turn it out something like a finished product. I think that all of us who also endeavor to deal with 76that citizenship in the raw in our own homes appreciate the burden of the responsibility.
¶The training given in the public schools must, of course, be not merely a training in intellect, but a training in what counts for infinitely more than intellect—a training in character. And the chief factors in that training must be the personal equation of the teachers; the influence exerted, sometimes consciously and sometimes unconsciously, by the man or woman who stands in so peculiar a relation to the boys and girls under his or her care—a relation closer, more intimate, and more vital in its after-effects than any other relation save that of parent and child. Wherever a burden of that kind is laid, those who carry it necessarily carry a great responsibility. There can be no greater. Scant should be our patience with any man or woman doing a bit of work vitally worth doing, who does not approach it in the spirit of sincere love for the work, and of desire to do it well for the sake of the work’s sake.
¶Doubtless most of you remember the old distinction drawn between the two kinds of work, the work done for the sake of the fee and the work done for the sake of the work itself. 77The man or woman in public or private life who ever works only for the sake of the reward that comes outside of the work, will in the long run do poor work. The man or woman who does work worth doing is the man or woman who lives, who breathes that work; with whom it is ever present in his or her soul; whose ambition it is to do it well and to feel rewarded by the thought of having done it well. That man, that woman, puts the whole country under an obligation. As a body all those connected with the education of our people are entitled to the heartiest praise from all lovers of their country, because as a body they are devoting heart and soul to the welfare of those under them.
¶It is a poor type of school nowadays that has not a good playground attached. It is not so long since, in my own city at least, this was held as revolutionary doctrine, especially in the crowded quarters where playgrounds were most needed. People said they didn’t need playgrounds. It was a newfangled idea. They expected to make good citizens of the boys and girls who, when they were not in school, were put upon the streets in the crowded quarters of New York to play at the kind of games alone that they could play at in the streets. We have passed that 78stage. I think we realize what a good healthy playground means to children. I think we understand not only the effects for good upon their bodies, but for good upon their minds. We need healthy bodies. We need to have schools physically developed.
¶Sometimes you can develop character by the direct inculcation of moral precept; a good deal more often you cannot. You develop it less by precept than by your practice. Let it come as an incident of the association with you; as an incident to the general tone of the whole body, the tone which in the aggregate we all create. Is not that the experience of all of you, in dealing with these children in the schools, in dealing with them in the family, in dealing with them in bodies anywhere? They are quick to take the tone of those to whom they look up, and if they do not look up to you, then you can preach virtue all you wish, but the effect will be small.
¶I should hold myself a poor citizen if I did not welcome the chance to wish you Godspeed in your work for yourselves and to wish you Godspeed in your work as representatives of that great public body of public school teachers, upon the success of whose efforts to train aright the children of to-day depends the safety of our institutions of to-morrow.
79¶It is not too much to say that the most characteristic work of the Republic is that done by the educators, by the teachers, for whatever our shortcomings as a Nation may be—and we have certain shortcomings—we have at least firmly grasped the fact that we cannot do our part in the difficult and all-important work of self-government, that we cannot rule and govern ourselves unless we approach the task with developed minds, and with what counts for more even—with trained characters. You teachers make the whole world your debtors.
¶Of your profession this can be said with more truth than of any other profession barring only that of the minister of the Gospel himself. If you—you teachers—did not do your work well this Republic would not endure beyond the span of the generation.
¶Moreover as an incident to your avowed work, you render some well-nigh unbelievable services to the country. For instance, you render to the Republic the prime, the vital service of amalgamating into one homogeneous body the children alike of those who are born here and of those who come here from so many different lands abroad. You furnish a common training and common ideals for the children of the mixed peoples who are here being fused into one nationality.
80¶It is in no small degree due to you and to your efforts that we of this great American Republic form one people instead of a group of jarring peoples. The pupils, no matter where they or their parents were born, who are being educated in our public schools will be sure to become imbued with that mutual sympathy, that mutual respect and understanding, which is absolutely indispensable for the working out of the problems we as a people have before us.
¶And one service you render which I regard as wholly indispensable. In our country, where altogether too much prominence is given to the mere possession of wealth, we are under heavy obligations to such a body as this[A] which substitutes for the ideal of accumulating money the infinitely loftier, non-materialistic ideal of devotion to work worth doing simply for that work’s sake.
¶I do not in the least underestimate the need of having material prosperity as the basis of our civilization, but I most earnestly insist that if our civilization does not build a lofty super structure on this basis, we can never rank among the really great peoples.
In our modern industrial civilization there are many and grave dangers to counterbalance the splendors and the triumphs. It is not a good thing to see cities grow at disproportionate speed relatively to the country; for the small land owners, the men who own their little home, and, therefore, to a very large extent, the men who till farms, the men of the soil, have hitherto made the foundation of lasting National life in every State; and, if the foundation becomes either too weak or too narrow, the superstructure, no matter how attractive, is in imminent danger of falling.
¶¶But far more important than the question of the occupation of our citizens is the question of how their family life is conducted. No matter what that occupation may be, so long as there is a real home and so long as those who make up that home do their duty to one another, to their neighbors, and to the State, it is of minor consequence whether the man’s trade is plied in the country or the city, 84whether it calls for the work of the hands or for the work of the head.
¶But the Nation is in a bad way if there is no real home, if the family is not of the right kind, if the man is not a good husband and father, if he is brutal or cowardly or selfish; if the woman has lost her sense of duty, if she is sunk in vapid self-indulgence or has let her nature be twisted so that she prefers a sterile pseudo-intellectuality to that great and beautiful development of character which comes only to those whose lives know the fulness of duty done, of effort made, and self-sacrifice undergone.
¶In the last analysis the welfare of the State depends absolutely on whether or not the average family, the average man and woman, and their children, represent the kind of citizenship for the foundation of a great Nation, and if we fail to appreciate this we fail to appreciate the root morality upon which all healthy civilization is based.
¶No piled-up wealth, no splendor of material growth, no brilliance of artistic development, will permanently avail any people unless its home life is healthy, unless the average man possesses honesty, courage, common-sense, 85and decency; unless he works hard and is willing at need to fight hard, and unless the average woman is a good wife, a good mother, able and willing to perform the first and greatest duty of womanhood, able and willing to bear and to bring up as they should be brought up, healthy children, sound in body, mind and character, and numerous enough so that the race shall increase and not decrease.
¶¶There are certain old truths which will be true as long as this world endures, and which no amount of progress can alter. One of these is the truth that the primary duty of the husband is to be the home-maker, the breadwinner for his wife and children, and that the primary duty of the woman is to be the helpmeet, the housewife, the mother.
¶The woman should have ample educational advantages; but save in exceptional cases the man must be, and the woman need not be, and generally ought not to be, trained for a life long career as the family breadwinner; and, therefore, after a certain point the training of the two must normally be different because the duties of the two are normally different.
¶This does not mean inequality of function, 86but it does mean that normally there must be dissimilarity of function. On the whole, I think the duty of the woman the more important, the more difficult, and the more honorable of the two; on the whole I respect the woman who does her duty even more than I respect the man who does his.
¶¶No ordinary work done by a man is either as hard or as responsible as the work of a woman who is bringing up a family of small children; for upon her time and strength demands are made not only every hour of the day but often every hour of the night. She may have to get up night after night to take care of a sick child, and yet must by day continue to do all her household duties as well; and if the family means are scant she must usually enjoy even her rare holidays taking her whole brood of children with her. The birth-pangs make all men the debtors of all women.
¶Above all our sympathy and regard are due to the struggling wives among those whom Abraham Lincoln called the plain people, and whom he so loved and trusted; for the lives of these women are often led on the lonely heights of quiet, self-sacrificing heroism.
¶Just as the happiest and most honorable and 87most useful task that can be set any man is to earn enough for the support of his wife and family, for the bringing up and starting in life of his children, so the most important, the most honorable and desirable task which can be set any woman is to be a good and wise mother in a home marked by self-respect and mutual forbearance, by willingness to perform duty, and by refusal to sink into self-indulgence or avoid that which entails effort and self-sacrifice.
¶Of course there are exceptional men and exceptional women who can do and ought to do more than this, who can lead and ought to lead great careers of outside usefulness in addition to—not as a substitute for—their home work; but I am not speaking of exceptions; I am speaking of the primary duties. I am speaking of the average citizens, the average men and women who make up the Nation.
¶No mother has an easy time, and most mothers have very hard times; and yet what true mother would barter her experience of joy and sorrow in exchange for a life of cold selfishness, which insists upon perpetual amusement and the avoidance of care, and which often finds its fit dwelling place in some flat designed to furnish with the least possible expenditure of effort the maximum of comfort 88and of luxury, but in which there is literally no place for children?
¶¶The woman who is a good wife, a good mother, is entitled to our respect as is no one else, but she is entitled to it only because, and so long as, she is worthy of it. Effort and self-sacrifice are the law of worthy life for the man as for the woman, though neither the effort nor the self-sacrifice may be the same for the one as for the other.
¶I do not in the least believe in the patient Griselda type of woman, in the woman who submits to gross and long-continued ill-treatment, any more than I believe in a man who tamely submits to wrongful aggression. No wrong-doing is so abhorrent as wrong-doing by a man toward the wife and the children who should arouse every tender feeling in his nature.
¶Selfishness toward them, lack of tenderness toward them, lack of consideration for them, above all, brutality in any form toward them, should arouse the heartiest scorn and indignation in every upright soul.
¶I believe in the woman’s keeping her self-respect just as I believe in the man’s doing so. I believe in her rights just as much as I believe 89in the man’s and, indeed, a little more, and I regard marriage as a partnership in which each partner is in honor bound to think of the rights of the other as well as of his or her own.
¶But I think the duties are even more important than the rights, and in the long run, I think, that the reward is ampler and greater for duty well done than for the insistence upon individual rights necessary though this, too, must often be.
¶¶¶Into the woman’s keeping is committed the destiny of the generation to come after us. In bringing up children mothers must remember that while it is essential to be loving and tender, it is no less essential to be wise and firm. Foolishness and affection must not be treated as interchangeable terms, and besides training sons and daughters in the softer and milder virtues mothers must seek to give them those stern and hardy qualities which in after life they will surely need.
¶Some children will go wrong in spite of the best training, and some will go right even where their surroundings are most unfortunate; nevertheless, an immense amount depends upon the family training.
¶If mothers, through weakness, bring up sons 90to be selfish and to think only of themselves, they will be responsible for much sadness among the women who are to be their wives in the future. If they let their daughters grow up idle, perhaps under the mistaken impression that as they have had to work hard, their daughters shall know only enjoyment, they are preparing them to be useless to others and burdens to themselves.
¶¶¶Teach boys and girls alike that they are not to look forward to lives spent in avoiding difficulties, but to lives spent in overcoming difficulties. Teach them that work, for themselves and also for others, is not a curse, but a blessing. Seek to make them happy, to make them enjoy life, but seek also to make them face life with the steadfast resolution to wrest success from labor and adversity, and to do their whole duty before God and to man. Surely she who can thus train her sons and her daughters is thrice fortunate among women.
¶There are a good many people who are denied the supreme blessing of children, and for these we have the respect and sympathy always due to those who, from no fault of their own, are denied any of the other great blessings of life.
91¶But the man or woman who deliberately foregoes these blessings, whether from viciousness, coldness, shallow-heartedness, self-indulgence, or mere failure to appreciate aright the difference between the all-important and the unimportant—why, such a creature merits contempt as hearty as any visited upon the soldier who runs away in battle, or upon the man who refuses to work for the support of those dependent upon him, and who, though able-bodied, is yet content to eat in idleness the bread which others provide.
¶The existence of women of this type forms one of the most unpleasant and unwholesome features of modern life. If any one is so dim of vision as to fail to see what a thoroughly unlovely creature such a woman is I wish they would read Judge Robert Grant’s novel “Unleavened Bread,” ponder seriously the character of Selma, and think of the fate that would surely overcome any nation which developed its average and typical women along such lines.
¶Unfortunately it would be untrue to say that this type exists only in American novels. That it also exists in American life is made unpleasantly evident by statistics as to the dwindling families in some localities. It is 92made evident in equally sinister fashion by the census statistics as to divorce, which are fairly appalling; for easy divorce is now as it ever has been, a bane to any nation, a curse to society, a menace to the home, an incitement to married unhappiness and to immorality, an evil thing for men, and a still more hideous evil for women.
¶These unpleasant tendencies in our American life are made evident by articles such as those which I actually read not long ago in a certain paper, where a clergyman was quoted seemingly with approval, as expressing the general American attitude when he said that the ambition of any save a very rich man should be to rear two children only, so as to give his children an opportunity “to taste a few of the good things of life.”
¶This man whose profession and calling should have made him a moral teacher, actually set before others the ideal, not of training children to do their duty, not of sending them forth with stout hearts and ready minds to win triumphs for themselves and their country, not of allowing them the opportunity and giving them the privilege of making their own place in the world, but forsooth, of keeping 93the number of children so limited that they might “taste a few good things!”
¶¶The way to give a child a fair chance in life is not to bring it up in luxury, but to see that it has the kind of training that will give strength of character. Even apart from the question of National life, and regarding only the individual interest of the children themselves, happiness in the true sense is a hundredfold more apt to come to any given member of a healthy family of healthy-minded children, well brought up, well educated, but taught that they must shift for themselves, must win their own way, and by their own exertions make their own positions of usefulness, than it is apt to come to those whose parents themselves have acted on and have trained their children to act on, the selfish and sordid theory that the whole end of life is “to taste a few of the good things!”
¶The intelligence of the remark is on a par with its morality, for the most rudimentary mental process would have shown the speaker that if the average family in which there are children contained but two children the nation as a whole would decrease in population so rapidly that in two or three generations it would very deservedly be on the point of 94extinction, so that the people who had acted on this base and selfish doctrine would be giving place to others with braver and more robust ideals.
¶Nor would such a result be in any way regrettable; for a race that practiced such doctrine,—that is a race that practiced race-suicide—would thereby conclusively show that it was unfit to exist, and that it had better give place to people who had not forgotten the primary laws of their being.
¶To sum up, then, the whole matter is simple enough. If either a race or an individual prefers the pleasures of mere effortless ease, of self-indulgence, to the infinitely deeper, the infinitely higher pleasures that come to those who know the toil and the weariness, but also the joy, of hard duty well done, why, that race or that individual must inevitably in the end pay the penalty of leading a life both vapid and ignoble.
¶No man and no woman really worthy of the name can care for the life spent solely or chiefly in the avoidance of risk and trouble and labor. Save in exceptional cases the prizes worth having in life must be paid for, and the life worth living must be a life of work 95for a worthy end, and ordinarily of work more for others than for one’s self.
¶The man is but a poor creature whose effort is not rather for the betterment of his wife and children than for himself; and as for the mother, her very name stands for loving unselfishness and self-abnegation, and, in any society fit to exist, is fraught with associations which render it holy.
¶The woman’s task is not easy—no task worth doing is easy—but in doing it, and when she has done it, there shall come to her the highest and holiest joy known to mankind; and, having done it, she shall have the reward prophesied in Scripture; for her husband and her children, yes, and all people who realize that her work lies at the foundation of all National happiness and greatness, shall rise up and call her blessed.
In this world of ours it is practically impossible to get success of any kind on a large scale without paying something for it. The exceptions to the rule are too few to warrant our paying heed to them, and as a rule it may be said that something must be paid as an offset for everything we get and for everything we accomplish. This is notably true of our industrial life.
¶The problems which we of America have to face to-day are very serious, but we will do well to remember that after all they are only part of the price which we have to pay for the triumphs we have won, for the high position to which we have attained. If we were a backward and stationary country we would not have to face these problems at all, but I think that most of us are agreed that to be backward and stationary would be altogether too heavy a price to pay for the avoidance of the problems in question.
¶There are no labor troubles where there is no work to be done by labor. There are no troubles about corporations where the poverty of the community is such that it is not worth 98while to form corporations. There is no difficulty in regulating railroads where the resources of a region are so few that it does not pay to build railroads. There are many excellent people who shake their heads over the difficulties that as a Nation we now have to face; but their melancholy is not warranted save in a very partial degree, for most of the things of which they complain are the inevitable accompaniments of the growth and greatness of which we are proud.
¶There is every reason why we should be vigilant in searching out what is wrong and unflinchingly resolute in striving to remedy it. But at the same time we must not blind ourselves to what has been accomplished for good, and above all we must not lose our heads and become either hysterical or rancorous in grappling with what is bad.
¶Take such a question, for instance, as the question, or rather the group of questions, connected with the growth of corporations in this country. This growth has meant, of course, the growth of individual fortunes. Undoubtedly the growth of wealth in this country has had some very unfortunate accompaniments, but it seems to me that much the worse damage that people of wealth can do the rest of us 99is not any actual physical harm, but the awakening in our breasts of either the mean vice of worshipping mere wealth, and the man of mere wealth, for the wealth’s sake, or the equally mean vice of viewing with rancorous envy and hatred the men of wealth merely because they are men of wealth.
¶Envy is, of course, merely a kind of crooked admiration, and we often see the very man who in public is most intemperate in his denunciation of wealth in his private life most eager to obtain wealth, in no matter what fashion, and at no matter what moral cost.
¶It is impossible too strongly to insist upon what ought to be the patent fact that it is not only in the interest of the people of wealth themselves, but in our interest, in the interest of the public as a whole, that they should be treated fairly and justly; that if they show exceptional business ability they should be given exceptional reward for that ability.
¶The tissues of our industrial fabric are interwoven in such complex fashion that what strengthens or weakens part also strengthens or weakens the whole.
¶If we penalize industry we will ourselves in the end have to pay a considerable part of the 100penalty. If we make conditions such that the men of exceptional ability are able to secure marked benefits by the exercise of that ability, then we shall ourselves benefit somewhat. It is our interest no less than our duty to treat them fairly.
¶On the other hand, it is no less their interest to treat us fairly—by “us” I mean the great body of the people, the men of moderate or small fortunes, the farmers, the wage-workers, the smaller business men and professional men.
¶The man of great means who achieves fortune by crooked methods does wrong to the whole body politic. But he not merely does wrong to, he becomes a source of imminent danger to other men of great means; for his ill-won success tends to arouse a feeling of resentment, which if it becomes inflamed, fails to differentiate between the men of wealth who have done decently and the men of wealth who have not done decently.
¶The conscience of our people has been deeply shocked by the revelations made of recent years as to the way in which some of the great fortunes have been obtained and used, and there is, I think, in the minds of the people at large a strong feeling that a serious effort must be made to put a stop to the cynical 101dishonesty and contempt for right which have thus been revealed.
¶I believe that something, and I hope that a good deal, can be done by law to remedy the state of things complained of. But when all that can be has thus been done, there will yet remain much which the law cannot touch, and which must be reached by the force of public opinion.
¶There are men who do not divide actions merely into those that are honest and those that are not, but create a third subdivision—that of law honesty; of that kind of honesty which consists in keeping clear of the penitentiary. It is hard to reach astute men of this type save by making them feel the weight of an honest public indignation.
¶We can not afford in this country to draw the distinction as between rich man and poor man. The distinction upon which we must insist is the vital, deep-lying, unchangeable distinction between the honest man and the dishonest man, between the man who acts decently and fairly by his neighbor and with a quick sense of his obligations, and the man who acknowledges no internal law save that of his own will and appetite. Above all we should treat with a peculiarly contemptuous 102abhorrence the man who in a spirit of sheer cynicism debauches either our business life or our political life.
¶There are men who use the word “practical politics” as merely a euphemism for dirty politics, and it is such men who have brought the word “politician” into discredit. There are other men who use the noxious phrase “business is business” as an excuse and justification for every kind of mean and crooked work, and these men make honest Americans hang their heads because of some of the things they do.
¶It is the duty of every honest patriot to rebuke in emphatic fashion alike the politician who does not understand that the only kind of “practical politics” which a nation can with safety tolerate is that kind which we know as clean politics, and that we are as severe in our condemnation of the business trickery which succeeds as of the business trickery which fails. The scoundrel who fails can never by any possibility be as dangerous to the community as the scoundrel who succeeds, and of all the men in the country the worst citizens, those who should excite in our minds the most contemptuous abhorrence, are the men who have achieved great wealth, or any other form of success, in any save a clean and straightforward manner.
Conditions have changed in the country far less than they have changed in the cities, and in consequence there has been little breaking away from the methods of life which have produced the great majority of the leaders of the Republic in the past. Almost all our great Presidents have been brought up in the country, and most of them worked hard on the farms in their youth and got their early mental training in the healthy democracy of farm life.
¶The forces which made these farm bred boys leaders of men when they had come to their full manhood are still at work in our country districts. Self-help and individual initiative remain to a peculiar degree typical of life in the country, life on a farm, in a lumbering camp, on a ranch. Neither the farmers nor their hired hands can work through combinations as readily as the capitalists or wage-workers of cities can work.
¶It must not be understood from this that 106there has been no change in farming and farm life. The contrary is the case. There has been much change, much progress. The granges and similar organizations, the farmers’ institutes, and all the agencies which promote intelligent co-operation and give opportunity for social and intellectual intercourse among the farmers, have played a large part in raising the level of life and work in the country districts.
¶In the domain of government, the Department of Agriculture since its foundation has accomplished results as striking as those obtained under any other branch of the national administration. By scientific study of all matters connected with the advancement of farm life; by experimental stations: by the use of trained agents, sent to the uttermost countries of the globe; by the practical application of anything which in theory has been demonstrated to be efficient; in these ways, and in many others, great good has been accomplished in raising the standard of productiveness in farm work throughout the country.
¶We live in an age when the best results can only be achieved, if to individual self-help, we add the mutual self-help which comes by combination, both of citizens in their individual 107capacity and of citizens working through the State as an instrument. The farmers of the country have grown more and more to realize this, and farming has tended more and more to take its place as an applied science—though as with everything else the theory must be tested in practical work and can avail only when applied in practical fashion.
¶But after all this has been said it remains true that the countryman—the man on the farm, more than any other of our citizens to-day, is called upon continually to exercise the qualities which we like to think of as typical of the United States throughout its history—the qualities of rugged independence, masterful resolution, and individual energy and resourcefulness. He works hard (for which no man is to be pitied), and often he lives hard (which may not be pleasant): but his life is passed in healthy surroundings, surroundings which tend to develop a fine type of citizenship. In the country moreover, the conditions are fortunately such as to allow a closer touch between man and man, than, too often, we find to be the case in the city. Men feel more vividly the underlying sense of brotherhood of community of interest. I do not mean by this that there are not plenty of problems connected with life in our rural districts. 108There are many problems; and great wisdom and earnest disinterestedness in effort are needed for their solution.
¶¶After all, we are one people, with the same fundamental characteristics, whether we live in the city or in the country, in the East or in the West, in the North or in the South. Each of us, unless he is contented to be a cumberer of the earth’s surface, must strive to do his life work with his whole heart. Each must remember that while he will be noxious to every one unless he first do his duty by himself, he must also strive ever to do his duty by his fellow. The problem of how to do these duties is acute everywhere. It is most acute in great cities, but it exists in the country too. A man to be a good citizen, must first be a good breadwinner, a good husband, a good father—I hope the father of many children; just as a woman’s first duty is to be a good housewife and mother. The business duties, the home duties, the duties to one’s family come first. The couple who bring up plenty of healthy children, who leave behind them many sons and daughters fitted in their turn to be good citizens, emphatically deserve well of the State.
¶But duty to one’s self and one’s family does 109not exclude duty to one’s neighbor. Each of us, rich or poor, can help his neighbor at times; and to do this he must be brought up in touch with him, into sympathy with him. Any effort is to be welcomed that brings people closer together, so as to secure a better understanding among those whose walks of life are in ordinary circumstances far apart.
¶Probably the good done is almost equally great on both sides, no matter which one may seem to be helping the other. But it must be kept in mind that no good will be accomplished at all by any philanthropic or charitable work, unless it is done along certain definite lines. In the first place, if the work is done in a spirit of condescension it would be better never to attempt it. It is almost as irritating to be patronized as to be wronged. The only safe way of working is to try to find out some scheme by which it is possible to make a common effort for the common good. Each of us needs at times to have a helping hand stretched out to him or her.
Every one of us slips on some occasion, shame to his fellow who then refuses to stretch out the hand that should always be ready to help the man who stumbles. It is our duty to lift him up; but it is also our duty to remember 110that there is no earthly use in trying to carry him. If a man will submit to being carried, that is sufficient to show that he is not worth carrying. In the long run, the only kind of help that really avails is the help which teaches a man to help himself. Such help every man who has been blessed in life should try to give to those who are less fortunate, and such help can be accepted with entire self-respect.
¶The aim to set before ourselves in trying to aid one another is to give that aid under conditions which will harm no man’s self-respect and which will teach the less fortunate how to help themselves as their stronger brothers do. To give such aid it is necessary not only to possess the right kind of heart, but also the right kind of head. Hardness of heart is a dreadful quality, but it is doubtful whether, in the long run, it works more damage than softness of head. At any rate both are undesirable. The prerequisite to doing good work in the field of philanthropy—in the field of social effort, undertaken with one’s fellows for the common good—is that it shall be undertaken in a spirit of broad sanity no less than of broad and loving charity.
¶¶The sinews of virtue lie in a man’s capacity to care for what is outside himself. The man 111who gives himself up to the service of his appetites, the man who the more goods he has the more he wants, has surrendered himself to destruction. It makes little difference whether he achieves his purpose or not. If his point of view is all wrong, he is a bad citizen whether he be rich or poor. It is a small matter to the community whether in arrogance and insolence he has misused great wealth or whether though poor, he is possessed by the mean and fierce desire to seize a morsel, the biggest possible, of that prey which the fortunate of earth consume. The man who lives simply, and justly, and honorably, whether rich or poor, is a good citizen. Those who dream only of idleness and pleasure, who hate others, and fail to recognize the duty of each man to his brother, these, be they rich or poor, are the enemies of the State. The misuse of property is one manifestation of the same evil spirit which under changed circumstances denies the right of property because this right is in the hands of others. In a purely material civilization the bitterness of attack on another’s possession is only additional proof of the extraordinary importance attached to possession itself. When outward well-being instead of being regarded as a valuable foundation on which happiness may with wisdom be built, is mistaken for happiness 112itself, so that material prosperity becomes the one standard, then, alike by those who enjoy such prosperity in slothful or criminal ease, and by those who in no less evil manner rail at, envy, and long for it, poverty is held to be shameful, and money, whether well or ill gotten, to stand for merit.
¶All this does not mean condemnation of progress. It is mere folly to try to dig up the dead past, and scant is the good that comes from asceticism and retirement from the world. But let us make sure that our progress is in the essentials as well as in the incidentals. Material prosperity without the moral lift toward righteousness means a diminishing capacity for happiness and a debased character. The worth of a civilization is the worth of the man at its centre. When this man lacks moral rectitude, material progress only makes bad worse, and social problems still darker and more complex.
The tremendous and highly complex industrial development which went on with ever accelerated rapidity during the latter half of the nineteenth century brings us face to face, at the beginning of the twentieth, with very serious social problems. The old laws, and the old customs which had almost the binding force of law, were once quite sufficient to regulate the accumulation and distribution of wealth. Since the industrial changes which have so enormously increased the productive power of mankind, they are no longer sufficient.
¶The growth of the cities has gone on beyond comparison faster than the growth of the country, and the upbuilding of the great industrial centres has meant a startling increase, not merely in the aggregate of wealth, but in the number of very large individual, and especially of very large corporate fortunes. The creation of these great corporate fortunes has not been due to the tariff nor to any other governmental 116action, but to natural causes in the business world, operating in other countries as they operate in our own.
¶The process has aroused much antagonism, a great part of which is wholly without warrant. It is not true that as the rich have grown richer the poor have grown poorer. On the contrary, never before has the average man, the wage-worker, the farmer, the small trader, been so well off as in this country and at the present time. There have been abuses connected with the accumulation of wealth; yet it remains true that a fortune accumulated in legitimate business can be accumulated by the person specially benefited only on condition of conferring immense incidental benefits upon others. Successful enterprise, of the type which benefits all mankind, can only exist if the conditions are such as to offer great prizes as the rewards of success.
¶The captains of industry who have driven the railway systems across this continent, who have built up our commerce, who have developed our manufactures, have on the whole done great good for our people. Without them the material development of which we are so justly proud could never have taken place. Moreover, we should recognize 117the immense importance to this material development of leaving as unhampered as is compatible with the public good the strong and forceful men upon whom the success of business operations inevitably rests. The slightest study of business conditions will satisfy any one capable of forming a judgment that the personal equation is the most important factor in a business operation; that the business ability of the man at the head of any business concern, big or little, is usually the factor which fixes the gulf between striking success and hopeless failure.
¶An additional reason for caution in dealing with corporations is to be found in the international commercial conditions of to-day. The same business conditions which have produced the great aggregations of corporate and individual wealth have made them very potent factors in international commercial competition. Business concerns which have the largest means at their disposal and are managed by the ablest men are naturally those which take the lead in the strife for commercial supremacy among the nations of the world.
¶America has only just begun to assume that commanding position in the international business 118world which we believe will more and more be hers. It is of the utmost importance that this position be not jeoparded, especially at a time when the overflowing abundance of our own natural resources and the skill, business energy, and mechanical aptitude of our people make foreign markets essential. Under such conditions it would be most unwise to cramp or to fetter the youthful strength of our Nation.
¶Moreover, it cannot too often be pointed out that to strike with ignorant violence at the interests of one set of men almost inevitably endangers the interests of all. The fundamental rule in our national life—the rule which underlies all others—is that, on the whole, and in the long run, we shall go up or down together. There are exceptions; and in times of prosperity some will prosper far more, and in times of adversity some will suffer far more, than others; but speaking generally, a period of good times means that all share more or less in them, and in a period of hard times all feel the stress to a greater or less degree.
¶It surely ought not to be necessary to enter into any proof of this statement; the memory of the lean years which began in 1893 is still vivid, and we can contrast them with the 119conditions in this very year which is now closing. Disaster to great business enterprises can never have its effects limited to the men at the top. It spreads throughout, and while it is bad for everybody, it is worst for those farthest down. The capitalist may be shorn of his luxuries; but the wage-worker may be deprived of even bare necessities.
¶The mechanism of modern business is so delicate that extreme care must be taken not to interfere with it in a spirit of rashness or ignorance. Many of those who have made it their vocation to denounce the great industrial combinations which are popularly, although with technical inaccuracy, known as “trusts,” appeal especially to hatred and fear.
¶These are precisely the two emotions, particularly when combined with ignorance, which unfit men for the exercise of cool and steady judgment. In facing new industrial conditions, the whole history of the world shows that legislation will generally be both unwise and ineffective unless undertaken after calm inquiry and with sober self-restraint. Much of the legislation directed at the trusts would have been exceedingly mischievous had it not also been entirely ineffective. In accordance with a well-known sociological law, the ignorant 120or reckless agitator has been the really effective friend of the evils which he has been nominally opposing.
¶In dealing with business interests, for the Government to undertake by crude and ill-considered legislation to do what may turn out to be bad, would be to incur the risk of such far-reaching national disaster that it would be preferable to undertake nothing at all. The men who demand the impossible or the undesirable serve as the allies of the forces with which they are nominally at war, for they hamper those who would endeavor to find out in rational fashion what the wrongs really are and to what extent and in what manner it is practicable to apply remedies.
¶All this is true; and yet it is also true that there are real and grave evils, one of the chief being over-capitalization because of its many baleful consequences; and a resolute and practical effort must be made to correct these evils.
¶There is a widespread conviction in the minds of the American people that the great corporations known as the trusts are in certain of their features and tendencies hurtful to the general welfare. This springs from no spirit of envy or uncharitableness, nor lack of pride in the great industrial achievements 121that have placed this country at the head of the nations struggling for commercial supremacy. It does not rest upon a lack of intelligent appreciation of the necessity of meeting changing and changed conditions of trade with new methods, nor upon ignorance of the fact that combination of capital in the effort to accomplish great things is necessary when the world’s progress demands that great things be done. It is based upon sincere conviction that combination and concentration should be, not prohibited, but supervised and within reasonable limits controlled; and in my judgment this conviction is right.
¶It is no limitation upon property rights or freedom of contract to require that when men receive from Government the privilege of doing business under corporate form, which frees them from individual responsibility, and enables them to call into their enterprise the capital of the public, they shall do so upon absolutely truthful representations as to the value of the property in which the capital is to be invested. Corporations engaged in interstate commerce should be regulated if they are found to exercise a license working to the public injury. It should be as much the aim of those who seek for social betterment to rid the business world of crimes of cunning 122as to rid the entire body politic of crimes of violence. Great corporations exist only because they are created and safeguarded by our institutions; and it is therefore our right and our duty to see that they work in harmony with these institutions.
¶The first essential in determining how to deal with the great industrial combinations is knowledge of the facts—publicity. In the interest of the public, the Government should have the right to inspect and examine the workings of the great corporations engaged in interstate business. Publicity is the only sure remedy which we can now invoke. What further remedies are needed in the way of governmental regulation, or taxation, can only be determined after publicity has been obtained, by process of law, and in the course of administration. The first requisite is knowledge, full and complete—knowledge which may be made public to the world.
¶Artificial bodies, such as corporations and joint-stock or other associations, depending upon any statutory law for their existence or privileges, should be subject to proper governmental supervision, and full and accurate information as to their operations should be made public regularly at reasonable intervals.
123¶The large corporations, commonly called trusts, though organized in one State, always do business in many States, often doing very little business in the State where they are incorporated. There is utter lack of uniformity in the State laws about them; and as no State has any exclusive interest in or power over their acts, it has in practice proved impossible to get adequate regulation through State action. Therefore, in the interest of the whole people, the Nation should, without interfering with the power of the States in the matter itself, also assume power of supervision and regulation over all corporations doing an interstate business. This is especially true where the corporation derives a portion of its wealth from the existence of some monopolistic element or tendency in its business. There would be no hardship in such supervision; banks are subject to it, and in their case it is now accepted as a simple matter of course. Indeed, it is probable that supervision of corporations by the National Government need not go so far as is now the case with the supervision exercised over them by so conservative a State as Massachusetts, in order to produce excellent results.
¶When the constitution was adopted, at the 124end of the eighteenth century, no human wisdom could foretell the sweeping changes, alike in industrial and political conditions, which were to take place by the beginning of the twentieth century. At that time it was accepted as a matter of course that the several States were the proper authorities to regulate, so far as was then necessary, the comparatively insignificant and strictly localized corporate bodies of the day. The conditions are now wholly different and wholly different action is called for. I believe that a law can be framed which will enable the National Government to exercise control along the lines above indicated; profiting by the experience gained through the passage and administration of the Interstate-Commerce Act. If, however the judgment of the Congress is that it lacks the constitutional power to pass such an act, then a constitutional amendment should be submitted to confer the power.
¶There should be created a Cabinet officer, to be known as Secretary of Commerce and Industries, as provided in the bill introduced at the last session of the Congress. It should be his province to deal with commerce in its broadest sense; including among many other things whatever concerns labor and all matters 125affecting the great business corporations and our merchant marine.
¶The course proposed is one phase of what should be a comprehensive and far-reaching scheme of constructive statesmanship for the purpose of broadening our markets, securing our business interests on a safe basis, and making firm our new position in the international industrial world; while scrupulously safeguarding the rights of wage-worker and capitalist, of investor and private citizen, so as to secure equity as between man and man in this Republic.
All good Americans who dwell in the North must, because they are good Americans, feel the most earnest friendship for their fellow-countrymen who dwell in the South, a friendship all the greater because it is in the South that we find in its most acute phase one of the gravest problems before our people: the problem of so dealing with the man of one color as to secure him the right that no one would grudge him if he were of another color. To solve this problem it is of course necessary to educate him to perform the duties, a failure to perform which will render him a curse to himself and to all around him.
¶Most certainly all clear-sighted and generous men in the North appreciate the difficulty and perplexity of this problem, sympathize with the South in the embarrassment 128of conditions for which she is not alone responsible, feel an honest wish to help her where help is practicable, and have the heartiest respect for those brave and earnest men of the South who, in the face of fearful difficulties, are doing all that men can do for the betterment both of white and of black. The attitude of the North toward the negro is far from what it should be, and there is need that the North also should act in good faith upon the principle of giving to each man what is justly due him, of treating him on his worth as a man, granting him no special favor, but denying him no proper opportunity for labor and the reward of labor.
¶But the peculiar circumstances of the South render the problem there far greater and far more acute. Neither I nor any other man can say that any given way of approaching that problem will present in our time even an approximately perfect solution, but we can safely say that there can never be such solution at all unless we approach it with the effort to do fair and equal justice among all men; and to demand from them in return just and fair treatment for others.
¶Our efforts should be to secure to each man, whatever his color, equality of opportunity, 129equality of treatment before the law. As a people striving to shape our actions in accordance with the great law of righteousness we cannot afford to take part in or be indifferent to the oppression or maltreatment of any man who, against overwhelming disadvantages, has by his own industry, energy, self-respect and perseverance struggled upward to a position which would entitle him to the respect of his fellows, if only his skin were of a different hue.
¶Every generous impulse in us revolts at the thought of thrusting down instead of helping up such a man. To deny any man the fair treatment granted to others no better than he is to commit a wrong upon him—a wrong sure to react in the long run upon those guilty of such denial. The only safe principle upon which Americans can act is that of “all men up,” not that of “some men down.” If in any community the level of intelligence, morality, and thrift among the colored men can be raised, it is, humanely speaking, sure that the same level among the whites will be raised to an even higher degree; and it is no less sure that the debasement of the blacks will in the end carry with it an attendant debasement of the whites.
¶The problem is so to adjust the relations 130between two races of different ethical type that the rights of neither be abridged nor jeopardized; that the backward race be trained so that it may enter into the possession of true freedom while the forward race is enabled to preserve unharmed the high civilization wrought out by its forefathers. The working out of this problem must necessarily be slow; it is not possible in offhand fashion to obtain or to confer the priceless boon of freedom, industrial efficiency, political capacity, and domestic morality. Nor is it only necessary to train the colored man; it is quite as necessary to train the white man, for on his shoulders rest a well nigh unparalleled sociological responsibility. It is a problem demanding the best thought; the utmost patience, the most earnest effort, the broadest charity, of the statesman, the student, the philanthropist; of the leaders of thought in every department of our national life. The Church can be a most important factor in solving it aright. But above all else we need for its successful solution the sober, kindly, steadfast, unselfish performance of duty by the average plain citizen in his every-day dealings with his fellows.
¶The ideal of elemental justice meted out to 131every man is the ideal we should keep ever before us. It will be many a long day before we attain to it and unless we show not only devotion to it, but also wisdom and self-restraint in the exhibition of that devotion, we shall defer the time for its realization still further. In striving to attain to so much of it as concerns dealing with men of different colors, we must remember two things.
¶In the first place it is true of the colored man, as it is true of the white man, that in the long run his fate must depend far more upon his own effort than upon the efforts of any outside friend. Every vicious, venal, or ignorant colored man is an even greater foe to his own race than to the community as a whole. The colored man’s self-respect entitles him to do that share in the political work of the country which is warranted by his individual ability and integrity and the position he has won for himself. But the prime requisite of the race is moral and industrial uplifting.
¶Laziness and shiftlessness, then, and above all, vice and criminality of every kind, are evils more potent for harm to the black race than all acts of oppression of white men put together. 132The colored man who fails to condemn crime in another colored man, who fails to co-operate in all lawful ways in bringing colored criminals to justice, is the worst enemy of his own people, as well as an enemy to all the people. Law-abiding black men should, for the sake of their race, be foremost in relentless and unceasing warfare against lawbreaking black men. If the standards of private morality and industrial efficiency can be raised high enough among the black race, then its future on this continent is secure. The stability and purity of the home is vital to the welfare of the black race, as it is to the welfare of every race.
¶The white man who can be of most use to the colored man is that colored man’s neighbor. It is the southern people themselves who must and can solve the difficulties that exist in the South. What help the people of the rest of the Union can give them must and will be gladly and cheerfully given. The hope of advancement for the colored man in the South lies in his steady common-sense effort to improve his moral and material conditions and to work in harmony with the white man in upbuilding the commonwealth. The future of the South now depends upon the people of both 133races living up to the spirit and letter of the laws of their several states and working out the destinies of both races not as races, but as law-abiding citizens.
¶It is a good thing that the guard around the tomb of Lincoln should be composed of colored soldiers. It was my own good fortune at Santiago to serve beside colored troops. A man who is good enough to shed his blood for the country is good enough to be given a square deal afterwards. More than that no man is entitled to, and less than that no man shall have.
All thoughtful men must feel the gravest alarm over the growth of lynching in this country, and especially over the peculiarly hideous form so often taken by mob violence when colored men are the victims, on which occasions the mob seems to lay most weight, not on the crime but on the color of the criminal. In a certain proportion of these cases the man lynched has been guilty of a crime horrible beyond description a crime so horrible that as far as he himself is concerned he has forfeited the right to any kind of sympathy whatsoever.
¶The feeling of all good citizens that such a hideous crime shall not be hideously punished by mob violence is due not in the least to sympathy for the criminal, but to a very lively sense of the dreadful consequences which follow the course taken by the mob in exacting inhuman vengeance from an inhuman wrong.
In such cases, moreover, it is well to remember 136that the criminal not merely sins against humanity in inexpiable and unpardonable fashion, but sins particularly against his own race and does them a wrong far greater than any white man can possibly do them.
¶Therefore, in such cases the colored people throughout the land should in every possible way show their belief that they, more than all others in the community are horrified at the commission of such a crime, and are peculiarly concerned in taking every possible measure to prevent its recurrence and to bring the criminal to immediate justice.
¶The slightest lack of vigor either in denunciation of the crime or in bringing the criminal to justice is itself unpardonable. Moreover, every effort should be made under the law to expedite the proceedings of justice in the case of such an awful crime. But it cannot be necessary, in order to accomplish this, to deprive any citizen, of those fundamental rights to be heard in his own defence which are so dear to us all and which lie at the root of our liberty.
¶It certainly ought to be possible by the proper administration of the laws to secure swift vengeance upon the criminal; and the best and immediate efforts of all legislators, judges 137and citizens should be addressed to securing such reforms in our legal procedure as to leave no vestige of excuse for those misguided men who undertake to wreak vengeance through violent methods.
¶Men who have been guilty of a crime like rape or murder should be visited with swift and certain punishment, and the just efforts made by the courts to protect them in their rights should under no circumstances be perverted into permitting any mere technicality to avert or delay their punishment. The substantial rights of the prisoner to a fair trial must, of course, be guaranteed; but subject to this guarantee, the law must work swiftly and surely, and all the agents of the law should realize the wrong they do when they permit justice to be delayed or thwarted for technical or insufficient reasons.
¶We must show that the law is adequate to deal with crime by freeing it from every vestige of technicality and delay.
¶But the fullest recognition of the horror of the crime and the most complete lack of sympathy with the criminal can not in the least diminish our horror at the way in which it has become customary to avenge these crimes, and 138at the consequences that are already proceeding therefrom.
¶It is, of course, inevitable that where vengeance is taken by a mob it should frequently light on innocent people; and the wrong done in such a case to the individual is one for which there is no remedy. But even where the real criminal is reached, the wrong done by the mob to the community itself is well nigh as great. Especially is this true where the lynching is accompanied by torture. There are certain hideous sights which when once seen, can never be wholly erased from the mental retina.
The mere fact of having seen them implies degradation. This is a thousandfold stronger when, instead of merely seeing the dead, the man has participated in it. Whoever in any part of our country has ever taken part in lawlessly putting to death a criminal by the dreadful torture of fire must forever after have the awful spectacle of his own handiwork seared into his brain and soul. He can never again be the same man.
¶This matter of lynching would be a terrible thing even if it stopped with the lynching of men guilty of the inhuman and hideous crime of rape; but as a matter of fact, lawlessness of 139this type never does stop and never can stop in such fashion. Every violent man in the community is encouraged by every case of lynching in which the lynchers go unpunished to himself take the law into his own hands whenever it suits his own convenience. In the same way the use of torture by the mob in certain cases is sure to spread until it is applied more or less indiscriminately in other cases.
¶The spirit of lawlessness grows with what it feeds on, and when mobs with impunity lynch criminals for one crime they are certain to begin to lynch real or alleged criminals for other causes. Mob violence is simply one form of anarchy, and anarchy is now, as it always has been, the handmaiden and forerunner of tyranny.
¶Surely no patriot can fail to see the fearful brutalization and debasement which the indulgence of such a spirit and such practices inevitably portend. Surely all public men, all writers for the daily press, all clergymen, all teachers, all who in any way have a right to address the public, should with every energy unite to denounce such crimes and to support those engaged in putting them down. As a people we claim the right to speak with peculiar emphasis for freedom and for fair 140treatment of all men without regard to differences of race, fortune, creed or color. We forfeit the right so to speak when we commit or condone such crimes as those of which I speak.
¶The nation, like the individual, can not commit a crime with impunity. If we are guilty of lawlessness and brutal violence, whether our guilt consists in active participation therein or in mere connivance and encouragement, we shall assuredly suffer later on because of what we have done.
¶The cornerstone of this Republic, as of all free governments, is respect for and obedience to the law. Where we permit the law to be defied or evaded, whether by rich man or poor man, by black man or white, we are by just so much weakening the bonds of our civilization and increasing the chances of its overthrow, and of the substitution therefor of a system in which there shall be violent alternations of anarchy and tyranny.
In dealing with the Indians our aim should be their ultimate absorption into the body of our people. But in many cases this absorption must and should be very slow. In portions of the Indian territory the mixture of blood has gone on at the same time with progress in wealth and education, so that there are plenty of men with varying degrees of purity of Indian blood who are absolutely indistinguishable in point of social, political, and economic ability from their white associates. There are other tribes which have as yet made no perceptible advance toward such equality. To try to force such tribes too fast is to prevent their going forward at all. Moreover, the tribes live under widely different conditions.
¶Where a tribe has made considerable advance 144and lives on fertile farming soil it is possible to allot the members lands in severalty much as is the case with white settlers. There are other tribes where such a course is not desirable. On the arid prairie lands the effort should be to induce the Indians to lead pastoral rather than agricultural lives, and permit them to settle in villages rather than to force them into isolation.
¶The large Indian schools situated remote from any Indian reservation do a special and peculiar work of great importance. But, excellent though these are, an immense amount of additional work must be done on the reservations themselves among the old, and above all among the young Indians.
¶The first and most important step toward the absorption of the Indian is to teach him to earn his living; yet it is not necessarily to be assumed that in each community all Indians must become either tillers of the soil or stock-raisers. Their industries may properly be diversified, and those who show special desire or adaptability for industrial or even commercial pursuits should be encouraged so far as practicable to follow out each his own bent.
¶Every effort should be made to develop the 145Indian along the lines of natural aptitude, and to encourage the existing native industries peculiar to certain tribes, such as the various kinds of basket-weaving, canoe-building, smithwork, and blanket-work. Above all, the Indian boys and girls should be given confident command of colloquial English, and should ordinarily be prepared for a vigorous struggle with the conditions under which their people live, rather than for immediate absorption into some more highly developed community.
¶The officials who represent the Government in dealing with the Indians work under hard conditions and also under conditions which render it easy to do wrong and very difficult to detect wrong. Consequently they should be amply paid on the one hand, and on the other hand a particularly high standard of conduct should be demanded from them, and where misconduct can be proved the punishment should be exemplary.
¶In my judgment the time has arrived when we should definitely make up our minds to recognize the Indian as an individual and not as a member of a tribe. The General Allotment Act is a mighty pulverizing engine to break up the tribal mass. It acts directly upon 146the family and the individual. Under its provisions some sixty thousand Indians have already become citizens of the United States. We should now break up the tribal funds, doing for them what allotment does for the tribal lands; that is, they should be divided into individual holdings. There will be a transition period during which the funds will in many cases have to be held in trust. This is the case also with the lands. A stop should be put upon the indiscriminate permission to Indians to lease their allotments. The effort should be steadily to make the Indian work like any other man on his own ground. The marriage laws of the Indians should be made the same as those of the whites.
¶In the schools the education should be elementary and largely industrial. The need of higher education among the Indians is very, very limited. On the reservation care should be taken to try to suit the teaching to the needs of the particular Indian. There is no use in attempting to induce agriculture in a country suited only for cattle raising, where the Indian should be made a stock grower. The ration system, which is merely the corral and the reservation system, is highly detrimental to the Indians. It promotes beggary, perpetuates pauperism, and stifles industry. 147It is an effectual barrier to progress. It must continue to a greater or less degree as long as tribes are herded on reservations and have everything in common. The Indian should be treated as an individual—like the white man. During the change of treatment inevitable hardships will occur; every effort should be made to minimize these hardships; but we should not because of them hesitate to make the change. There should be a continuous reduction in the number of agencies.
¶In dealing with the aboriginal races few things are more important than to preserve them from the terrible physical and moral degradation resulting from the liquor traffic. We are doing all we can to save our own Indian tribes from this evil. Wherever by international agreement this same end can be attained as regards races where we do not possess exclusive control, every effort should be made to bring it about.
The question of immigration is of vital interest to this country. In the year ending June 30, 1905, there came to the United States 1,026,000 alien immigrants. In other words, in the single year that has just elapsed there came to this country a greater number of people than came here during the one hundred and sixty-nine years of our Colonial life which intervened between the first landing at Jamestown and the Declaration of Independence. It is clearly shown in the report of the Commissioner-General of Immigration that while much of this enormous immigration is undoubtedly healthy and natural, a considerable proportion is undesirable for one reason or another; moreover, a considerable proportion of it, probably a very large proportion, including most of the undesirable class, does not come here of its own initiative but because of the activity of the agents of the great transportation companies. These agents are distributed throughout Europe, and by the offer of all kinds of inducements they wheedle and cajole many immigrants, often against their best interest, to come here. The most serious obstacle we have to encounter in the effort to secure a proper regulation of the immigration 150to these shores arises from the determined opposition of the foreign steamship lines who have no interest whatever in the matter save to increase the returns on their capital by carrying masses of immigrants hither in the steerage quarters of their ships.
¶We can not have too much immigration of the right sort, and we should have none whatever of the wrong sort. Of course it is desirable that even the right kind of immigration should be properly distributed in this country. We need more of such immigration for the South; and special effort should be made to secure it. Perhaps it would be possible to limit the number of immigrants allowed to come in any one year to New York and other northern cities, while leaving unlimited the number allowed to come to the South; always provided, however, that a stricter effort is made to see that only immigrants of the right kind come to our country anywhere.
¶In actual practice it has proved so difficult to enforce the immigration laws where long stretches of frontier marked by an imaginary line alone intervene between us and our neighbors that I recommend that no immigrants be allowed to come in from Canada and Mexico, save natives of the two countries themselves. As much as possible should be done to distribute the immigrants upon the land and keep 151them away from the congested tenement-house districts of the great cities. But the distribution is a palliative, not a cure. The prime need is to keep out all immigrants who will not make good American citizens. The laws now existing for the exclusion of undesirable immigrants should be strengthened.
¶Adequate means should be adopted, enforced by sufficient penalties, to compel steamship companies engaged in the passenger business to observe in good faith the law which forbids them to encourage or solicit immigration to the United States. Moreover, there should be a sharp limitation imposed upon vessels coming to our ports as to the number of immigrants in ratio to the tonnage which each vessel can carry. This ratio should be high enough to insure the coming hither of as good a class of aliens as possible. Provision should be made for the surer punishment of those who induce aliens to come to this country under promise or assurance of employment. It should be made possible to inflict a sufficiently heavy penalty on any employer violating this law to deter him from taking the risk. It seems to me wise that there should be an international conference held to deal with this question of immigration, which has more than a merely national significance; such a conference could among other things enter at length into the methods for securing a thorough inspection of 152would-be immigrants at the ports from which they desire to embark before permitting them to embark.
¶In dealing with this question it is unwise to depart from the old American tradition and to discriminate for or against any man who desires to come here and become a citizen, save on the ground of that man’s fitness for citizenship. It is our right and duty to consider his moral and social quality. His standard of living should be such that he will not, by pressure of competition, lower the standard of living of our own wage-workers; for it must ever be a prime object of our legislation to keep high their standard of living. If the man who seeks to come here is from the moral and social standpoint of such a character as to bid fair to add value to the community he should be heartily welcomed. We can not afford to pay heed to whether he is of one creed or another, of one nation or another. We cannot afford to consider whether he is Catholic or Protestant, Jew or Gentile; whether he is Englishman or Irishman, Frenchman or German, Japanese, Italian, Scandinavian, Slav, or Magyar. What we should endeavor to find out is the individual quality of the individual man. In my judgment, with this end in view, we shall have to prepare through our own agents a far more rigid inspection in the countries from which the immigrants come.
153¶It will be a great deal better to have fewer immigrants, but all of the right kind, than a great number of immigrants, many of whom are necessarily of the wrong kind. As far as possible we wish to limit the immigration to this country to persons who propose to become citizens of this country, and we can well afford to insist upon adequate scrutiny of the character of those who are thus proposed for future citizenship. There should be an increase in the stringency of the laws to keep out the insane, the idiotic, the epileptic, and pauper immigrants. But this is by no means enough. Not merely the anarchist, but every man of anarchistic tendencies, all violent and disorderly people, all people of bad character, the incompetent, the lazy, the vicious, the physically unfit, defective, or degenerate should be kept out. The stocks out of which American citizenship is to be built should be strong and healthy, sound in body, mind and character. If it be objected that the Government agents would not always select well, the answer is that they would certainly select better than do the agents and brokers of foreign steamship companies, the people who now do what ever selection is done.
¶Our present immigration laws are unsatisfactory. We need every honest and efficient immigrant fitted to become an American citizen, 154every immigrant who comes here to stay, who brings here a strong body, a stout heart, a good head, and a resolute purpose to do his duty well in every way and to bring up his children as law-abiding and God-fearing members of the community. But there should be a comprehensive law enacted with the object of working a threefold improvement over our present system. First, we should aim to exclude absolutely not only all persons who are known to be believers in anarchistic principles or members of anarchistic societies, but also all persons who are of a low moral tendency or of unsavory reputation. This means that we should require a more thorough system of inspection abroad and a more rigid system of examination at our immigration ports, the former being especially necessary.
¶The second object of a proper immigration law ought to be to secure by a careful and not merely perfunctory educational test some intelligent capacity to appreciate American institutions and act sanely as American citizens. This would not keep out all anarchists, for many of them belong to the intelligent criminal class. But it would do what is also in point, that is, tend to decrease the sum of ignorance, so potent in producing the envy, suspicion, malignant passion, and hatred of order, out of 155which anarchistic sentiment inevitably springs. Finally, all persons should be excluded who are below a certain standard of economic fitness to enter our industrial field as competitors with American labor. There should be proper proof of personal capacity to earn an American living and enough money to ensure a decent start under American conditions. This would stop the influx of cheap labor, and the resulting competition which gives rise to so much of bitterness in American industrial life; and it would dry up the springs of the pestilential social conditions in our great cities, where anarchistic organizations have their greatest possibility of growth.
¶Both educational and economic tests in a wise immigration law should be designed to protect and elevate the general body politic and social. A very close supervision should be exercised over the steamship companies which mainly bring over the immigrants, and they should be held to a strict accountability for any infraction of the law.
¶The United States Government endeavors to do its duty by the immigrants who come to these shores, but unless people have had some experience with the dangers and difficulties surrounding the newly arrived immigrant they can hardly realize how great they are.
156¶The immigrant comes here almost unprotected; he does not as a rule know our language, he is wholly unfamiliar with our institutions, our customs, our habits of life and ways of thought, and there are, I am sorry to say, great numbers of evil and wicked people who hope to make their livelihood by preying on him. He is exposed to innumerable temptations, innumerable petty oppressions, on almost every hand, and unless some one is there to help him he literally has no idea where to turn.
¶No greater work can be done by a philanthropic or religious society than to stretch out the helping hand to the man and the woman who come here to this country to become citizens, and the parent of citizens, and therefore, to do their part in making up for weal or woe the future of our land. If we do not take care of them, if we do not try to uplift them, then as sure as fate our own children will pay the penalty. If we do not see that the immigrant and the children of the immigrant are raised up most assuredly the result will be that our own children and children’s children are pulled down. Either they will rise or we shall sink.
¶The level of well-being in this country will be a level for all of us. We cannot keep that level down for a part and not have it sink more 157or less for the whole. Therefore it means much, not merely to the immigrants but to every good American that there should be at Ellis Island, the colporteurs and the representatives of religious and philanthropic societies to try to care for the immigrant’s body, and above all to try to care for the immigrant’s soul.
¶It is of course unnecessary to say that the things of the body must be cared for; that the first duty of any man, especially of the man who has others dependent upon him, is to take care of them and to take care of himself. Nobody can help others if he begins by being a burden upon others. Each man must be able to pull his own weight; and therefore each man must show his capacity to earn for himself and his family enough to secure a certain amount of material well-being. That must be the foundation. But on that foundation he must build as a superstructure the spiritual life.
¶This government is based upon the fundamental idea that each man, no matter what his occupation, his race, or his religious belief, is entitled to be treated on his worth as a man, and neither favored nor discriminated against because of any accident in his position. Even here at home there is painful difficulty in the effort to realize this ideal; and the attempt to 158secure from other nations acknowledgment of it sometimes encounters obstacles that are well-nigh insuperable; for there are many nations which in the slow procession of the ages have not yet reached that point where the principles which Americans regard as axiomatic obtain any recognition whatever. One of the chief difficulties arises in connection with certain American citizens of foreign birth or of particular creed, who desire to travel abroad. Russia for instance, refuses to admit and protect Jews. Turkey refuses to admit and protect certain sects of Christians.
¶This Government has consistently demanded equal protection abroad for all American citizens, whether native or naturalized. On March 27, 1899, Secretary Hay sent a letter of instructions to all the diplomatic and consular officers of the United States in which he said: “This Department does not discriminate between native-born and naturalized citizens in according them protection while they are abroad, equality of treatment being required by the laws of the United States.”
¶These orders to our agents abroad have been repeated again and again, and are treated as the fundamental rule of conduct laid down for them, proceeding upon the theory “that all naturalized citizens of the United States while 159in foreign countries are entitled to and shall receive from this Government the same protection of persons and property which is accorded to native-born citizens.”
¶In issuing passports the State Department never discriminates, or alludes to any man’s religion; and in granting to every American citizen, native or naturalized, Christian or Jew, the same passport, so far as it has power it insists that all foreign governments shall accept the passport as prima facie proof that the person therein described is a citizen of the United States and entitled to protection as such. It is a standing order to every American diplomatic and consular officer to protect every American citizen of whatever faith, from unjust molestation, and officers abroad have been stringently required to comply with this order.... The steady pressure which the Department has been keeping up in the past will be continued in the future. This Administration has on all proper occasions given clear expression to the belief of the American people that discrimination and oppression because of religion, wherever practiced, are acts of injustice before God and man, and in making evident to the world the depth of American conviction in this regard we have gone to the very limit of diplomatic usage.
The questions arising in connection with Chinese immigration stand by themselves. The conditions in China are such that the entire Chinese coolie class, that is, the class of Chinese laborers, skilled and unskilled, legitimately come under the head of undesirable immigrants to this country, because of their numbers, the low wages for which they work and their low standard of living. Not only is it to the interest of this country to keep them out, but the Chinese authorities do not desire that they should be admitted. At present their entrance is prohibited by laws amply adequate to accomplish this purpose. These laws have been, are being, and will be, thoroughly enforced. The violations of them are so few in number as to be infinitesimal and can be entirely disregarded. There is no serious proposal to alter the immigration law as regards the Chinese laborer, skilled or unskilled, and there is no excuse for any man feeling or affecting to feel the slightest alarm on the subject.
¶But in the effort to carry out the policy of excluding Chinese laborers, Chinese coolies, grave injustice and wrong have been done by this nation to the people of China, and therefore ultimately to this Nation itself. Chinese students, business and professional men of all 162kinds—not only merchants, but bankers, doctors, manufacturers, professors, travelers, and the like—should be encouraged to come here and treated on precisely the same footing that we treat students, business men, travelers, and the like of other nations.
¶Our laws and treaties should be framed, not so as to put these people in the excepted classes, but to state that we will admit all Chinese, except Chinese of the coolie class, Chinese skilled or unskilled laborers. There would not be the least danger that any such provision would result in any relaxation of the law about laborers. These will, under all conditions, be kept out absolutely. But it will be more easy to see that both justice and courtesy are shown, as they ought to be shown, to other Chinese, if the law or treaty is framed as above suggested. Examinations should be completed at the port of departure from China. For this purpose there should be provided a more adequate consular service in China than we now have. The appropriations, both for the offices of the consuls and for the office forces in the consulates, should be increased.
¶As a people we have talked much of the open door in China, and we expect, and quite rightly intend to insist upon, justice being shown us 163by the Chinese. But we cannot expect to receive equity unless we do equity. We can not ask the Chinese to do to us what we are unwilling to do to them. They would have a perfect right to exclude our laboring men if our laboring men threatened to come into their country in such numbers as to jeopardize the well-being of the Chinese population; and as, mutatis mutandis, these were the conditions with which Chinese immigration actually brought this people face to face, we had and have a perfect right, which the Chinese Government in no way contests, to act as we have acted in the matter of restricting coolie immigration. That this right exists for each country was explicitly acknowledged in the last treaty between the two countries. But we must treat the Chinese student, traveler, and business man in a spirit of the broadest justice and courtesy if we expect similar treatment to be accorded to our own people of similar rank who go to China. Much trouble has come during the past year from the organized boycott against American goods which has been started in China. The main factor in producing this boycott has been the resentment felt by the students and business people of China, by all the Chinese leaders, against the harshness of our law toward educated Chinamen of the professional and business classes.
We need civic righteousness. The best constitution that the wit of man has ever devised, the best institutions that the ablest statesmen in the world ever have reduced to practice by law or by custom, will be of no avail if they are not vivified by the spirit which makes a State great by making its citizens honest, just, and brave. I do not ask you as practical believers in applied Christianity to take part one way or the other in matters that are merely partisan. There are plenty of questions about which honest men can and do differ very greatly and very intensely, but as to which the triumph of either side may be compatible with the welfare of the State—a lesser degree of welfare or a greater degree of welfare—but compatible with the welfare of the State.
¶But there are certain great principles, such as those which Cromwell would have called “fundamentals,” concerning which no man has a right to have more than one opinion. Such a 166principle is honesty. If you have not honesty in the average private citizen, or public servant, then all else goes for nothing. The abler a man is, the more dexterous, the shrewder, the bolder, why, the more dangerous he is if he has not the root of right living and right thinking in him—and that in private life, and even more in public life.
¶Exactly as in time of war, although you need in each fighting man far more than courage, yet all else counts for nothing if there is not that courage upon which to base it; so in our civil life, although we need that the average man in private life, that the average public servant, shall have far more than honesty, yet all other qualities go for nothing or for worse than nothing unless honesty underlie them—not only the honesty that keeps its skirts technically clear, but the honesty that is such according to the spirit as well as the letter of the law; the honesty that is aggressive, the honesty that not merely deplores corruption,—it is easy enough to deplore corruption,—but that wars against it and tramples it under foot.
¶¶I ask for that type of honesty, I ask for militant honesty, for the honesty of the kind that makes those who have it discontented 167with themselves as long as they have failed to do everything that in them lies to stamp out dishonesty wherever it can be found, in high place or in low. And let us not flatter ourselves, we who live in countries where the people rule, that it is ultimately possible for the people to cast upon any but themselves the responsibilities for the shape the government and the social and political life of the community assume. I ask, then, that our people feel quickened within them indignation against wrong in every shape, and condemnation of that wrong, whether found in private or in public life.
¶We have a right to demand courage of every man who wears the uniform; it is not so much a credit to him to have it as it is shame unutterable to him if he lacks it. So when we demand honesty we demand it not as entitling the possessor to praise, but as warranting the heartiest condemnation possible if he lacks it. Surely in every movement for the betterment of our life, our life social in the truest and deepest sense, our life political, we have a special right to ask not merely support, but leadership from those of the Church. We ask that you to whom much has been given will remember that from you rightly much will be expected in return. For all of us here the 168lines have been cast in pleasant places. Each of us has been given one talent, or five, or ten talents, and each of us is in honor bound to use that talent or those talents aright, and to show at the end that he is entitled to the praise of having done well as a faithful servant.
¶Steps have been taken by the State Department looking to the making of bribery an extraditable offence with foreign powers. The need of more effective treaties covering this crime is manifest. The exposures and prosecutions of official corruption in St. Louis, Mo., and other cities and States have resulted in a number of givers and takers of bribes becoming fugitives in foreign lands. Bribery has not been included in extradition treaties heretofore, as the necessity has not arisen. While there may have been as much official corruption in former years, there has been more developed and brought to light in the immediate past than in the preceding century of our country’s history.
¶It should be the policy of the United States to leave no place on earth where a corrupt man fleeing from this country can rest in peace. There is no reason why bribery should not be included in all treaties as extraditable. The recent amended treaty with Mexico, 169whereby this crime was put in the list of extraditable offences, has established a salutary precedent in this regard. Under this treaty the State Department has asked, and Mexico has granted, the extradition of one of the St. Louis bribe-givers.
¶There can be no crime more serious than bribery. Other offenses violate one law, while corruption strikes at the foundation of all law. Under our form of government all authority is vested in the people and by them delegated to those who represent them in official capacity. There can be no offence heavier than that of him in whom such a sacred trust has been reposed, who sells it for his own gain and enrichment; and no less heavy is the offence of the bribe-giver.
¶He is worse than the thief, for the thief robs the individual, while the corrupt official plunders an entire city or State. He is as wicked as the murderer, for the murderer may only take one life against the law, while the corrupt official and the man who corrupts the official alike aim at the assassination of the commonwealth itself. Government of the people, by the people, for the people will perish from the face of the earth if bribery is tolerated. 170The givers and takers of bribes stand on an evil pre-eminence of infamy. The exposure and punishment of public corruption is an honor to a nation, not a disgrace. The shame lies in toleration, not in correction.
¶No city or State, still less the Nation, can be injured by the enforcement of law. As long as public plunderers when detected can find a haven of refuge in any foreign land and avoid punishment, just so long encouragement is given them to continue their practices. If we fail to do all that in us lies to stamp out corruption we cannot escape our share of responsibility for the guilt. The first requisite of successful self-government is unflinching enforcement of the law and the cutting out of corruption.
The Monroe Doctrine is not a part of international law. But it is the fundamental feature of our entire foreign policy so far as the Western Hemisphere is concerned, and it has more and more been meeting with recognition abroad. The reason why it is meeting with this recognition is because we have not allowed it to become fossilized, but have adapted our construction of it to meet the growing, changing needs of this hemisphere. Fossilization, of course, means death, whether to an individual, a government, or a doctrine.
It is out of the question to claim a right and yet shirk the responsibility for exercising that right, when we announce a policy such as the Monroe Doctrine we thereby commit ourselves to accepting the consequences of the policy and these consequences from time to time alter.
¶Let us look for a moment at what the Monroe Doctrine really is. It forbids the territorial encroachment of non-American powers on 174American soil. Its purpose is partly to secure this Nation against seeing great military powers obtain new footholds in the Western Hemisphere, and partly to secure to our fellow republics south of us the chance to develop along their own lines without being oppressed or conquered by non-American powers. As we have grown more and more powerful our advocacy of this doctrine has been received with more and more respect; but what has tended most to give the Doctrine standing among the nations is our growing willingness to show that we not only mean what we say and are prepared to back it up, but that we mean to recognize our obligations to foreign peoples no less than to insist upon our own rights.
¶We cannot permanently adhere to the Monroe Doctrine unless we succeed in making it evident in the first place that we do not intend to treat it in any shape or way as an excuse for aggrandisement on our part at the expense of the republics to the south of us; second that we do not intend to permit it to be used by any of those republics as a shield to protect that republic from the consequences of its own misdeeds against foreign nations; third, that inasmuch as by this doctrine we prevent other nations from interfering on this side of the water, we shall ourselves in good faith try to 175help those of our sister republics, which need such help, upward toward peace and order.
¶As regards the first point we must recognize the fact that in some South American countries there has been much suspicion lest we should interpret the Monroe Doctrine in some way inimical to their interests. Now let it be understood once for all that no just and orderly government on this continent has anything to fear from us. There are certain of the republics south of us which have already reached such a point of stability, order and prosperity that they are themselves, although as yet hardly consciously, among the guarantors of this doctrine.
¶No stable and growing American republic wishes to see some great non-American military power acquire territory in its neighborhood. It is the interest of all of us on this continent that no such event should occur, and in addition to our own Republic there are now already republics in the regions south of us which have reached a point of prosperity and power that enables them to be considerable factors in maintaining this doctrine which is so much to the advantage of all of us.
¶It must be understood that under no circumstances 176will the United States use the Monroe Doctrine as a cloak for territorial aggression. Should any of our neighbors, no matter how turbulent, how disregardful of our rights, finally get into such a position that the utmost limits of our forbearance are reached, all the people south of us may rest assured that no action will ever be taken save what is absolutely demanded by our self-respect; that this action will not take the form of territorial aggrandisement on our part, and that it will only be taken at all with the most extreme reluctance and not without having exhausted every effort to avert it.
¶As to the second point, if a republic to the south of us commits a tort against a foreign nation, such for instance, as wrongful action against the persons or citizens of that nation, then the Monroe Doctrine does not force us to interfere to prevent punishment of the tort, save to see that the punishment does not directly or indirectly assume the form of territorial occupation of the offending country. The case is more difficult when the trouble comes from the failure to meet contractual obligations. Our own government has always refused to enforce such contractual obligations on behalf of its citizens by the appeal to arms. It is much to be wished that all foreign Governments 177would take the same view, but at present this country would certainly not be willing to go to war to prevent a foreign Government from collecting a just debt, or to back up some one of our sister republics in a refusal to pay just debts, and the alternative may in any case prove to be that we shall ourselves undertake to bring about some arrangement by which so much as is possible of the just obligations shall be paid. Personally, I should always prefer to see this country step in and put through such an arrangement rather than let any foreign country undertake it.
¶I do not want to see any foreign power take possession permanently or temporarily of the Custom Houses of an American republic in order to enforce its obligations, and the alternative may at any time be that we shall be forced to do so ourselves.
¶Finally, and what is in my view really the most important thing of all, it is our duty, so far as we are able, to try to help upward our weaker brothers. Just as there has been a gradual growth of the ethical element in the relations of one individual to another, so that with all the faults of our Christian civilization it yet remains true that we are, no matter how slowly, more and more coming to recognize 178the duty of bearing one another’s burdens, similarly I believe that the ethical element is by degrees entering into the dealings of one nation with another. Under strain of emotion caused by sudden disaster this feeling is very evident. A famine or a plague in our country brings much sympathy and some assistance from other countries. Moreover, we are now beginning to recognize that weaker peoples have a claim upon us, even when the appeal is made, not to our emotions by some sudden calamity, but to our consciences by a long-continuing condition of affairs.
¶I do not mean to say that nations have more than begun to approach the proper relationship one to another, and I fully recognize the folly of proceeding upon the assumption that this ideal condition can now be realized in full for, in order to proceed upon such an assumption, we would first require some method of forcing recalcitrant nations to do their duty, as well as of seeing that they are protected in their rights.
¶In the interest of justice it is as necessary to exercise the police power as to show charity and helpful generosity. But something can even now be done toward the end in view. That something, for instance, this nation has 179already done as regards Cuba, and is now trying to do as regards Santa Domingo. There are few things in our history in which we should take more genuine pride than the way in which we liberated Cuba, and then, instead of instantly abandoning it to chaos, stayed in direction of the affairs of the island until we had put it on the right path, and finally gave it freedom and helped it as it started on the life of an independent republic.
Boasting and blustering are as objectionable among nations as among individuals, and the public men of a great nation owe it to their sense of national self-respect to speak courteously of foreign powers just as a brave and self-respecting man treats all around him courteously. But though to boast is bad and causelessly to insult another, worse; yet worse than all is it to be guilty of boasting, even without insult, and when called to the proof to be unable to make such boasting good. There is a homely old adage which runs: “Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far.” If the American nation will speak softly and yet build, and keep at a pitch of the highest training, a thoroughly efficient navy, the Monroe Doctrine will go far. I ask you to think over this. If you do, you will come to the conclusion that it is mere plain common-sense, so obviously 180sound that only the blind can fail to see its truth and only the weakest and most irresolute can fail to desire to put it into force.
¶One of the most effective instruments for peace is the Monroe Doctrine as it has been and is being gradually developed by this Nation and accepted by other nations. No other policy could have been as efficient in promoting peace in the Western Hemisphere and in giving to each nation thereon the chance to develop along its own lines. If we had refused to apply the Doctrine to changing conditions it would now be completely outworn, would not meet any of the needs of the present day, and indeed would probably by this time have sunk into complete oblivion. It is useful at home, and is meeting with recognition abroad because we have adapted our application of it to meet the growing and changing needs of the Hemisphere. When we announce a policy, such as the Monroe Doctrine, we thereby commit ourselves to the consequences of the policy, and those consequences from time to time alter. It is out of the question to claim a right and yet shirk the responsibility for its exercise. Not only we, but all American Republics who are benefited by the existence of the Doctrine, must recognize the obligations each nation is 181under as regards foreign peoples no less than its duty to insist upon its own rights.
That our rights and interests are deeply concerned in the maintenance of the Doctrine is so clear as hardly to need argument. This is especially true in view of the construction of the Panama Canal. As a mere matter of self-defense we must exercise a close watch over the approaches to this canal; and this means that we must be thoroughly alive to our interests in the Caribbean Sea.
¶The Monroe Doctrine should be the cardinal feature of the foreign policy of all the nations of the two Americas, as it is of the United States. Just seventy-eight years have passed since President Monroe in his Annual Message announced that “The American continents are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European power.”
¶In other words, the Monroe Doctrine is a declaration that there must be no territorial aggrandizement by any non-American power at the expense of any American power on American soil. It is in no wise intended as hostile to any nation in the Old World. Still less is it intended to give cover to any aggression by 182one New World power at the expense of any other. It is simply a step, and a long step, toward assuring the universal peace of the world by securing the possibility of permanent peace on this hemisphere.
¶During the past century other influences have established the permanence and independence of the smaller states of Europe. Through the Monroe Doctrine we hope to be able to safeguard like independence and secure like permanence for the lesser among the New World nations.
¶This doctrine has nothing to do with the commercial relations of any American power, save that it in truth allows each of them to form such as it desires. In other words, it is really a guaranty of the commercial independence of the Americans. We do not ask under this doctrine for any exclusive commercial dealings with any other American state. We do not guarantee any state against punishment if it misconducts itself, provided that punishment does not take the form of the acquisition of territory by any non-American power.
¶Our attitude in Cuba is a sufficient guaranty of our own good faith. We have not the slightest 183desire to secure any territory at the expense of any of our neighbors. We wish to work with them hand in hand, so that all of us may be uplifted together, and we rejoice over the good fortune of any of them, we gladly hail their material prosperity and political stability, and are concerned and alarmed if any of them fall into industrial or political chaos. We do not wish to see any Old World military power grow up on this continent, or to be compelled to become a military power ourselves. The peoples of the Americas can prosper best if left to work out their own salvation in their own way.
More and more war is coming to be looked upon as in itself a lamentable and evil thing. A wanton or useless war, or a war of mere aggression—in short, any war begun or carried on in a conscienceless spirit, is to be condemned as a peculiarly atrocious crime against all humanity. We can, however, do nothing of permanent value for peace unless we keep ever clearly in mind the ethical element which lies at the root of the problem. Our aim is righteousness. Peace is normally the handmaiden of righteousness; but when peace and righteousness conflict then a great and upright people can never for a moment hesitate to follow the path which leads towards righteousness, even though that path also leads to war. There are persons who advocate peace at any price; there are others who, following a false analogy, 186think that because it is no longer necessary in civilized countries for individuals to protect their rights with a strong hand, it is therefore unnecessary for nations to be ready to defend their rights. These persons would do irreparable harm to any nation that adopted their principles, and even as it is they seriously hamper the cause which they advocate by tending to render it absurd in the eyes of sensible and patriotic men.
¶There can be no worse foe of mankind in general, and of his own country in particular, than the demagogue of war, the man who in mere folly or to serve his own selfish ends continually rails at and abuses other nations, who seeks to excite his countrymen against foreigners on insufficient pretexts, who excites and inflames a perverse and aggressive national vanity, and who may on occasions wantonly bring on conflict between his nation and some other nation. But there are demagogues of peace just as there are demagogues of war, and in any such movements as that for The Hague conference it is essential not to be misled by one set of extremists any more than by the other.
¶Whenever it is possible for a nation or an individual to work for real peace, assuredly 187it is failure of duty not so to strive; but if war is necessary and righteous then either the man or the nation shrinking from it forfeits all title to self-respect. We have scant sympathy with the sentimentalist who dreads oppression less than physical suffering, who would prefer a shameful peace to the pain and toil sometimes lamentably necessary in order to secure a righteous peace. As yet there is only a partial and imperfect analogy between international law and internal or municipal law, because there is no sanction of force for executing the former while there is in the case of the latter.
¶The private citizen is protected in his rights by the law, because the law rests in the last resort upon force exercised through the forms of law. A man does not have to defend his rights with his own hand, because he can call upon the police, upon the sheriff’s posse, upon the militia, or in extreme cases upon the Army, to defend him. But there is no such sanction of force for international law. At present there could be no greater calamity than for the free peoples, the enlightened, independent, and peace-loving peoples, to disarm while yet leaving it open to any barbarism or despotism to remain armed.
188¶So long as the world is as unorganized as now, the armies and navies of those peoples who on the whole stand for justice, offer not only the best, but the only possible, security for a just peace. For instance, if the United States alone, or in company only with the other nations that on the whole tend to act justly, disarmed, we might sometimes avoid bloodshed, but we would cease to be of weight in securing the peace of justice—the real peace for which the most law-abiding and high-minded men must at times be willing to fight. As the world is now, only that nation is equipped for peace that knows how to fight and that will not shrink from fighting if ever the conditions become such that war is demanded in the name of the highest morality.
¶So much it is emphatically necessary to say in order both that the position of the United States may not be misunderstood, and that a genuine effort to bring nearer the day of the peace of justice among the nations may not be hampered by a folly which, in striving to achieve the impossible, would render it hopeless to attempt the achievement of the practical. But while recognizing most clearly all above set forth, it remains our clear duty to strive in every practicable way to bring nearer 189the time when the sword shall not be the arbiter among nations.
¶At present the practical thing to do is to try to minimize the number of cases in which it must be the arbiter, and to offer, at least to all civilized powers, some substitute for war which will be available in at least a considerable number of instances. Very much can be done through another Hague conference in this direction, and I most earnestly urge that this Nation do all in its power to try to further the movement and to make the result of the decisions of The Hague conference effective. I earnestly hope that the conference may be able to devise some way to make arbitration between nations the customary way of settling international disputes in all save a few classes of cases, which should themselves be as sharply defined and rigidly limited as the present governmental and social development of the world will permit. If possible, there should be a general arbitration treaty negotiated among all the nations represented at the conference. Neutral rights and property should be protected at sea as they are protected on land. There should be an international agreement to this purpose and a similar agreement defining contraband of war.
190¶During the last century there has been a distinct diminution in the number of wars between the most civilized nations. International relations have become closer, and the development of The Hague tribunal is not only a symptom of this growing closeness of relationship, but is a means by which the growth can be furthered. Our aim should be from time to time to take such steps as may be possible toward creating something like an organization of the civilized nations, because as the world becomes more highly organized the need for navies and armies will diminish.
¶It is not possible to secure anything like an immediate disarmament, because it would first be necessary to settle what peoples are on the whole a menace to the rest of mankind, and to provide against the disarmament of the rest being turned into a movement which would really chiefly benefit these obnoxious peoples; but it may be possible to exercise some check upon the tendency to swell indefinitely the budgets for military expenditure.
Of course such an effort could succeed only if it did not attempt to do too much; and if it were undertaken in a spirit of sanity as far removed as possible from a merely hysterical pseudo-philanthropy. It is worth while pointing out 191that since the end of the insurrection in the Philippines this Nation has shown its practical faith in the policy of disarmament by reducing its little army one-third. But disarmament can never be of prime importance; there is more need to get rid of the causes of war than of the implements of war.
¶I have dwelt much on the dangers to be avoided by steering clear of any mere foolish sentimentality because my wish for peace is so genuine and earnest; because I have a real and great desire that this second Hague conference may mark a long stride forward in the direction of securing the peace of justice throughout the world. No object is better worthy the attention of enlightened statesmanship than the establishment of a surer method than now exists of securing justice as between nations, both for the protection of the little nations and for the prevention of war between the big nations. To this aim we should endeavor not only to avert bloodshed, but, above all, effectively to strengthen the forces of right. The Golden Rule should be, and as the world grows in morality it will be, the guiding rule of conduct among nations as among individuals; though the Golden Rule must not be construed, in fantastic manner, as forbidding 192the exercise of the police power. This mighty and free Republic should ever deal with all other states, great or small, on a basis of high honor, respecting their rights as jealously as it safeguards its own.
¶Among Washington’s maxims which he bequeathed to his countrymen were the following: “Observe good faith and justice toward all nations” and “To be prepared for war is the most effective means to promote peace.” These two principles taken together should form the basis of our whole foreign policy. Neither is sufficient taken by itself. It is not merely an idle dream but a most mischievous dream to believe that mere refraining from wrong-doing will insure us against being wronged. Yet, on the other hand, a nation prepared for war is a menace to mankind unless the national purpose is to treat other nations with good faith and justice. In any community it is neither the conscientious man who is a craven at heart nor yet the bold and strong without the moral sense, who is of real use to the community, it is the man who to strength and courage adds a realizing sense of the moral obligations resting upon him, the man who has not only the desire but the power to do his full duty by his neighbor and by the State.
193¶So in the world at large the nation which is of use in the progress of mankind is that nation which combines strength of character, force of character and insistence upon its own rights, with a full acknowledgment of its own duties toward them.
¶Just at present the best way in which we can show that our loyalty to the teachings of Washington is a loyalty of the heart and not of the lips only is to see to it that the work of building up our Navy goes steadily on, and that at the same time our stand for international righteousness is clear and emphatic.
¶Never since the beginning of our country’s history has the Navy been used in an unjust war. Never has it failed to render great and sometimes vital service to the Republic. It has not been too strong for our good, though often not strong enough to do all the good it should have done.... Our possession of the Philippines, our interest in the trade of the Orient, our building the Isthmian Canal, our insistence upon the Monroe Doctrine all demand that our navy shall be of adequate size and, for its size, of unsurpassed efficiency. If it is strong enough I believe it would minimize the chance of our being drawn into foreign war. If we let it run down it is as certain 194as the day that sooner or later we shall have to choose between a probably disastrous foreign war or a peace kept on terms that imply national humiliation.
¶¶Our navy is the surest guaranty of peace and the cheapest insurance against war, and those who, in whatever capacity, have helped to build it up during the past twenty years have been in good faith observing and living up to one of the most important of the principles which Washington laid down for the guidance of his countrymen. Nor was Washington the only one of our presidents who showed far-sighted patriotism by support of the Navy. When Andrew Jackson was in Congress he voted for the first warships we ever built as part of our regular navy, and he voted against the grant of money to pay an humiliating tribute to the pirates of the Barbary States. Old Hickory was a patriot through and through, and there was not an ounce of timidity in his nature, and of course he felt only indignant contempt for a policy which purchased an ignoble peace by cowardice instead of exacting a just peace by showing we were as little willing to submit to as to inflict oppression. Had a majority of Jackson’s colleagues and successors felt as he did about the navy, had it been built up 195instead of being brought to a standstill, it would probably never have been necessary to fight the War of 1812.
¶With the great powers of the world we desire no rivalry that is not honorable to both parties. We wish them well. We believe that the trend of the modern spirit is ever stronger toward peace, not war; toward friendship, not hostility, as the normal international attitude. We are glad indeed that we are on good terms with all the other peoples of mankind, and no effort on our part shall be spared to secure a continuance of these relations. And remember that we shall be a potent factor for peace largely in proportion to the way in which we make it evident that our attitude is due, not to weakness, not to inability to defend ourselves, but to a genuine repugnance to wrong-doing, a genuine desire for self-respecting friendship with our neighbors.
¶The voice of the weakling or the craven counts for nothing when he clamors for peace; but the voice of the just man armed is potent. We need to keep in a condition of preparedness, especially as regards our navy, not because we want war, but because we desire to stand with those whose plea for peace is listened to with respectful attention.
196¶The true end of every great and free people should be self-respecting peace; and this Nation most earnestly desires sincere and cordial friendship with all others. Over the entire world, of recent years, wars between the great civilized powers have become less and less frequent. Wars with barbarous or semi-barbarous peoples come in an entirely different category, being merely a most regrettable but necessary international police duty which must be performed for the sake of the welfare of mankind.
¶Peace can only be kept with certainty where both sides wish to keep it; but more and more the civilized peoples are realizing the wicked folly of war and are attaining that condition of just and intelligent regard for the rights of others which will in the end, as we hope and believe, make world-wide peace possible. The peace conference at The Hague gave definite expression to this hope and belief and marked a stride toward their attainment.
¶Probably no other great nation in the world is so anxious for peace as we are. There is not a single civilized power which has anything whatever to fear from aggressiveness on our part. All we want is peace; and toward this end we wish to be able to secure the same respect 197for our rights from others which we are eager and anxious to extend to their rights in return, to insure fair treatment to us commercially, and to guarantee the safety of the American people.
¶Our people intend to abide by the Monroe Doctrine and to insist upon it as the one sure means of securing the peace of the Western Hemisphere. The Navy offers us the only means of making our insistence upon the Monroe Doctrine anything but a subject of derision to whatever nation chooses to disregard it. We desire the peace which comes as of right to the just man armed; not the peace granted on terms of ignominy to the craven and the weakling.
I think that each one of us who has a large experience grows to realize more and more that the essentials of experience are alike for all of us. The things that move us most are the things of the home, of the Church; the intimate relations that knit a man to his family, to his close friends; that make him try to do his duty by his neighbor, by his God, are in their essentials just the same for one man as for another, provided the man is in good faith trying to do his duty.
¶I feel that the progress of our country really depends upon the sum of the efforts of the individuals acting by themselves, but especially upon the sum of the efforts of the individuals acting in associations for the betterment of themselves, for the betterment of the communities in which they dwell. There is never any difficulty about the forces of evil being organized. Every time that we get an organization of the forces that are plainly striving 200for good, we are doing our part to offset, and a little more than offset the forces of evil.
¶I want to read several different texts which it seems to me have especial bearing upon the work of brotherhoods like this, upon the spirit in which not only all of us who are members of this brotherhood, but all of us who strive to be decent Christians are to apply our Christianity on week days as well as on Sundays. The first verse I want to read can be found in the seventh chapter of Matthew, the first and sixteenth verses.
¶First: “Judge not, that ye be not judged,” sixteenth, “Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit, but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.”
¶“Judge not that ye be not judged.” That means, treat each of us his brethren with charity. Be not quick to find fault. Above all be not quick to judge another man who according to his light is striving to do his duty as each of us hopes he is striving to do his. Let us ever remember that we have not 201only divine authority for the statement that by our fruits we shall be known, but also that it is true that mankind will tend to judge us by our fruits.
¶It is an especially lamentable thing to see ill done by any man who from his associations with the Church, who from the fact that he has had the priceless benefits of the teachings of Christian religion, should be expected to take a position of leadership in the work for good.
¶The next quotation I wish to read is found in the twenty-fifth chapter of Matthew, thirty-seventh to fortieth verses inclusive: “Then shall the righteous answer them, saying, ‘Lord, when saw we thee a hungered, and fed thee, or thirsty, and gave thee drink?’
¶“‘When saw we thee a stranger and took thee in, or naked, and clothed thee?’
¶“‘Or, when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?’
¶“And the King shall answer and say unto them, ‘Verily, I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren ye have done it unto me.’”
202¶That is what this brotherhood means; by trying to worship our Creator by acting toward his creatures as He would have us act; to try to make our religion a living force in our lives; to do unto others as we would have them do unto us.
¶The next text I wish to read is found in I Corinthians, thirteenth chapter, beginning, with the first verse. “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity I am become as sounding brass, as a tinkling cymbal.”
¶“And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith so that I would remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
¶“And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long and is kind, charity envieth not, charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up.
¶“And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three, but the greatest of these is charity.”
203¶Let each of us exercise the largest tolerance for his brother who is trying, though in a different way to lead a decent life; who is trying to do good in his own fashion; let each try to show practical sympathy with that brother; not be too quick to criticise.
¶In closing I want to read a few verses from the Epistle of James, from the first chapter twenty-seventh verse:
¶“Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this: To visit the fatherless and the widows in their affliction and to keep himself unspotted before the world.”
¶If a man will try to serve God the Father by being kindly to the many around him who need such kindness and by being upright and honest himself, then we have the authority of the Good Book for saying that we are in honor bound to treat him as a good Christian and extend the hand of brotherhood to him.
¶Every thinking man, when he thinks, realizes what a very large number of people tend to forget that the teachings of the Bible are so interwoven and entwined with our whole civic and social life that it would be literally—I do not mean figuratively, I mean literally—impossible 204for us to figure to ourselves what this life would be if these teachings were removed. We would lose almost all the standards by which we now judge both public and private morals; all the standards toward which we, with more or less resolution, strive to raise ourselves. Almost every man who has, by his life work, added to the sum of human achievement of which the race is proud, of which our people are proud, almost every such man has based his life work largely upon the teachings of the Bible. Sometimes it has been done unconsciously, more often consciously, and among the very greatest men a disproportionately large number have been diligent and close students of the Bible at first hand.
¶Lincoln,—sad, patient, kindly Lincoln, who after bearing upon his weary shoulders for four years a greater burden than that borne by any other man of the Nineteenth Century, laid down his life for the people whom, living, he had served so well,—built up his entire reading upon his early study of the Bible. He had mastered it absolutely; mastered it as, later he mastered only one or two other books, notably Shakespeare; mastered it so that he became almost a man of one book, who knew that book and who instinctively put into practice what he had been taught therein; and he 205left his life as a part of the crowning work of the Nineteenth Century.
¶You may look through the Bible from cover to cover, and nowhere will you find a line that can be construed into an apology for the man of brains who sins against the light. On the contrary, in the Bible, taking that as a guide, you will find that because much has been given to you much will be expected of you, and a heavier condemnation is to be visited upon the able man who goes wrong than upon his weaker brother who cannot do the harm that the other does, because it is not in him to do it. I plead, not merely for training of the mind, but for the moral and spiritual training of the home and the church; the moral and spiritual training that have always been found in, and that have ever accompanied the study of this book; this book, which, in almost every civilized tongue, can be described as ‘The Book,’ with the certainty of all understanding you when you so describe it.
¶The immense moral influence of the Bible, though of course, infinitely the most important, is not the only power it has for good. In addition there is the increasing influence it exerts on the side of good taste, of good literature, of proper sense of proportion, of simple 206and straightforward writing and thinking.
¶The Bible does not teach us to shirk difficulties, but to overcome them. That is a lesson that each one of us who has children is bound in honor to teach these children if he or she expects to see them become fitted to play the part of men and women in our world.
¶If we read the Bible aright we read a book which teaches us to go forth and do the work of the Lord; to do the work of the Lord in the world as we find it; to try to make things better in this world, even if only a little better, because we have lived in it. That kind of work can be done only by the man who is neither a weakling nor a coward, by the man who, in the fullest sense of the word is a true Christian—like Great Heart, Bunyan’s hero. We plead for a closer and wider and deeper study of the Bible, so that our people may be in fact as well as in theory, ‘doers of the word, and not hearers only.’
The figures which appear in the text have reference to the source from which that particular extract was made, and the reader can refer here if need be to the occasion and time when such words were uttered. Of course everything of a purely local or ephemeral nature has been omitted, and only the more vital truths which concern our daily lives and the commonweal have been gathered here, and these the average reader will find a help and guide in which he will be inclined to put an abiding faith.
A. National Teachers Association.
1. From an address before the Hungarian Club, N. Y. Feb. 14, 1905.
2. Extract from an address at Little Rock, Oct. 25, 1905.
3. From an address before the Republican Club, N. Y. Feb. 14, 1905.
4. Address at Symphony Hall, Boston, Aug. 25, 1902.
5. Address before N. Y. Chamber of Commerce, Nov. 11, 1902.
6. Address at Antietam, Sept. 17, 1903.
7. Extract from Message to 57th Cong. 1st Session.
8. Address to Brotherhood of Local Engineers, Chatt. Sept. 8, 1903.
9. Extract from Message to 57th Cong. 2nd Session.
10. Extract from Message to 58th Cong. 2nd Session.
11. Extract from Message to 59th Cong. 1st Session.
12. Address at Topeka, May 1, 1903.
13. Address at Bangor, Aug. 27, 1902.
14. Extract from Message to 59th Cong. 1st Session.
15. Address at Sioux Falls, Apr. 6, 1903.
16. From address at Logansport, Sep. 23, 1902.
17. Address at Grace Dutch Reformed Church, Washington, Nov. 12, 1905.
18. From Letter of Acceptance of Nomination, Sep. 12, 1904.
19. Address before Union League, Phila., Nov. 22, 1902.
20. Address at dedicatory exercises New High School, Phila. in honor of Dr. Nicholas Butler, N. Y. Apr. 19, 1902.
21. Nov. 22, 1902.
22. Address at Leland Stanford Jr. Univ. Palo Alto, May 12, 1903.
23. Address at Univ. of California, Berkeley, May 14, 1903.
24. Spoken at Lincoln’s Monument, Springfield, Ill., June 4, 1903.
25. Address at Univ. of Pa. Feb. 22, 1905.
26. Extract from letter to Governor Durbin of Ind. Aug. 6, 1903.
27. Address at Atlanta, Oct. 20, 1905.
28. Address before Nat. Educ. Asso. Asbury Park, July 7, 1905.
29. Address in Alabama, Oct. 24. 1905.
30. Address at Chautauqua, Aug. 11, 1904.
31. Address at Pan Amer. Miss. Service, Cath. S. S. P. & P., Washington, Oct. 25, 1903.
32. Address at Chicago, Apr. 2, 1903.
33. Address before National Mothers’ Congress, Washington, May 13, 1905.