The American Road to World Peace

By Alfred Zimmern | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 4: Is there Such a Free World?

IS there such a free world? Or is it a mere creation of fancy, the product of the kind of wishful thinking which has brought so much bitter disillusionment to the American and other peoples in recent years?

Yes, there is such a free world. Americans, with instinctive reticence, may be inclined to shrink from admitting it, but it is plain enough to those who, having begun life elsewhere, have come to live in the spacious land of responsibility and opportunity that opens out behind the Statue of Liberty. And it is openly proclaimed to all on shipboard when the first official representative of the United States, no arrogant jack-in-office but a man of friendly countenance and easy approach, calls upon citizens to stand on one side and all the other passengers to assemble separately.

There is a fundamental difference between the relation of men to one another in the larger World Island and in North America. In the Old World men are usually described as subjects. In the New World they are citizens. This is the right designation for free men--free in law and free within themselves in their inner life.


CHAPTER 5: Where Are the Boundaries of Freedom?

WHEN the Fathers of the Constitution wrote into the Preamble that their purpose was to "secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity," they did not fully realize that they could only achieve this object by fortifying liberty all the world over. It was enough for them to secure free institutions in thirteen small settlements lying aloof from the storm centers of world politics.

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