Declaration For War In 1917 Essay, Research Paper
Declaration for War in 1917
Welcome fellow Senators. We are here today to discuss what the United States should do following Germany s announcement of unrestricted submarine warfare and the sinking of the three American merchant ships. A resolution is put forth in front of the senators. The first section of the resolution says that: The U.S. Government authorizes President Wilson to use the Armed Forces of the Unit6ed States to wage war against the Nation of Germany. The second section says that: The U.S. Congress supports the president s request for a declaration of war against the Nation of Germany. I fully agree with this resolution 100%. I agree with war against Germany, as I have said ever since the sinking of the Lusitania.
All this had started back in February of 1915 when Germany had stated its War Zone Policy. They said that neutral ships may enter the war zone at their own risk. President Wilson s reaction to this was that the United States will take action if American lives or property are destroyed. In May of 1915, the Germans had torpedoed and sunk a British ship, The Lusitania. On that ship were 128 Americans, that had been killed. Instead of declaring war, which I had wanted, President Wilson sends out demands to the Germans. He demands a formal apology from Germany, money damages to the families of American victims that boarded the Lusitania, and he had made a remark that said, The U.S. Government shall demand that the German Government pledge to follow international law with regard to the use of their submarines. Any future violation of international law shall be regarded as a deliberately unfriendly action against the United States. After this, President Wilson asks for an increase in military spending, but the Congress had refused. The Germans abide by this for 10 months. After these 10 months, in March 1916, the Germans had sunk another ship, the French fairy boat, The Sussex. 5 Americans were killed in this sinking. Instead of declaring war, like I had wanted again, or even breaking diplomatic ties, President Wilson threatened to break diplomatic ties with Germany. The Germans issue the Sussex Pledge. In this, they promise not to sink passenger ships and merchant ships without warning and without saving human lives. They abide by this pledge for 10 months. After that, Germany announced that they would practice unrestricted submarine warfare. Not only did they do this, but they had sunk 3 American merchant ships, killing 15 more Americans and injuring 1.
Now, I ask you fellow Senators, when is enough? I have many good reasons for wanting to go to war against Germany, which are somewhat different than the reasons of the President. It s hard to put these reasons in order of significance since they are all significant in the same, but one of my main reasons for wanting to go to war is national pride. Germany had violated the rights of United States citizens. They had restricted us from traveling across the high seas without being in danger. They had slapped us in the face by killing innocent citizens of a neutral nation. I had used this example in my other speech but I think it is appropriate in this one as well. When the Germans had attacked us as a neutral nation, it was like being slapped in the face. If you get slapped in the face, you are not going to just let it slide. You are going to do something about it. I think the United States should do something about the killing of innocent citizens of a neutral nation by Germans.
The Germans had violated international law plenty of times. When they did it the first time, we gave them another chance by sending them demands. When they did it a second time, we gave them yet another chance by threatening to break diplomatic ties with them and they then did it a third time. The third time, we gave them another chance by breaking diplomatic ties. Now they had violated international law a fourth time. I strongly believe that it is finally time for the United States to take string action against it and declare war. Senators, I want you to take a look at what I had just said. We gave them 4 chances. Looking at this proves to be a pattern. We kept giving them chances and they kept taking advantage of them and the United States. What we have done as a nation, is delayed the inevitable. I had said ever since the sinking of the Lusitania that they were going to do it again and that war would be eventual. And I see no alternative, as from the beginning, other than war.
A plot of war had been put against the United States in a letter we call the Zimmerman Note. This note was sent to the nation of Mexico from Germany, and was intercepted by the British. It had said that the Germans had still planned to keep America a neutral nation. If they are not successful in this, they had offered Mexico an alliance. They would wage war against the United States, get ample financial support, and retain the territories in Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona, which had been won by us from Mexico in the Mexican War. I, along with many of you I hope, do not appreciate the ideas of the plot of war against the United States by Mexico. Fortunately, Mexico did not approve of this. This s also a major reason why we should declare war against Germany.
Public opinion is my final, and possibly most important, reason for going to war. Earlier on, after the sinking of the Lusitania, and even after the sinking of the Sussex, the majority of the public, for many obvious reasons, was against declaring war. They were very strong in their policies. Now, after the recent announcement of unrestricted submarine warfare and the sinking the 3 American merchant ships, the public opinion is evenly split between going to war and not going to war. Now, this doesn t mean that most of the public wants war, but after the recent incidents, they have made significant changes and are leaning more towards war. Public opinion, I remind you, is very important in decision making of the United States.
I agree with Wilson s reasons for wanting to go to war, but I don t necessarily think that they are the most important. Wilson, In his heart, still does not want to go to war. However, he sees no other alternative, just as I don t. I have reviewed the President s reasons very carefully, and I have found one that I strongly agree with. Wilson states that, American participation (in the war) would hasten the end of the ghastly carnage, if not end it quickly. I do think that bringing us, a highly strong and military able nation into the war, would end it a lot quicker with less casualties.
Now, as I get into Representative Lindberg s speech, who clearly does not want to go to war, I want to remind the Senate that he believes that the United States would be going to war for Wall Street. He says that American corporations want this war. They have sold over 300 million dollars worth of munitions to nations of war, and if the United States would enter the war, they would be in financial heaven. I do not believe, as an American citizen, that we would be going to war for Wall Street. We would be going to war for national pride, because the Germans had killed innocent civilian lives of neutral nations, and because the Germans had violated international law numerous times. I do not agree, at all, with Representative Lindberg.
My fellow Senators, I remind you again my reasons for going to war. For national pride, for the killing of innocent American lives, for the violation of international law, for the plot of war against the United States, and because of the increasing public opinion for war. We have given Germany 4 too many chances, which they had totally violated and taken advantage of. It is finally time to do something about these unfriendly actions taken against us. Again Senators, I urge you to vote YES to this resolution and declare war against Germany.