Ordeal by Fire: Canada, 1910-1945

By Ralph Allen | Go to book overview

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Pacifism and isolationism--The battles of Loos and the Mound

WHILE these enterprises were being carried out in distant places, Canada was adjusting its bearings closer to home. It was already apparent that the task of preserving friendship with the United States of America might become more difficult than anyone would have thought. More than one resident of the United States out of every ten was of German extraction. Their total number was nearly as great as the number of Americans of British ancestry.

And, leaving these loyalties aside, there was always the point about war itself. William Jennings Bryan, the U. S. Secretary of State, spoke with maddening logic for millions of isolationists: "If the dogs of war have got to fight it out in Europe, let us avoid hydrophobia at home."

From Los Angeles to Cape Cod good and earnest American women were singing a good and earnest song:

I didn't raise my boy to be a soldier,
I brought him up to be my pride and joy,
Who dares to put a musket on his shoulder
To kill some other mother's darling boy?

The nations ought to arbitrate their quarrels,
It's time to put the sword and gun away,
There'd be no war today, if mothers all would say
"I didn't raise my son to be a soldier
."

Woodrow Wilson and Henry Ford were against the war. So was William Howard Taft, who accepted the presidency of a League to Enforce Peace and came to Toronto to deliver a lecture on the

5

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