Official Statements of War Aims and Peace Proposals, December 1916 to November 1918

By James Brown Scott | Go to book overview

century, the great fight for the rights of men as men, and Europe again was drenched with blood, but at the end of it the peasantry were free and democracy became a reality.

Now we are faced with the greatest and grimmest struggle of all. Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, not amongst men but amongst nations-- great and small, powerful and weak, exalted and humble, Germany and Belgium, Austria and Serbia--equality and fraternity amongst peoples as well as amongst men--that is the challenge which has been thrown to us. Europe is again drenched with the blood of its bravest and best, but do not forget, these are the great successions of hallowed causes; they are the Stations of the Cross on the road to the emancipation of mankind. Let us endure as our fathers did. Every birth is an agony, and a new world is born out of the agony of the old world. My appeal to the people of this country and, if my appeal can reach beyond it, is this, that we should continue to fight for the great goal of international right and international justice, so that never again shall brute force sit on the throne of justice nor barbaric strength wield the sceptre of right.


RESOLUTION ON PEACE TERMS PASSED BY THE REICHSTAG1
July 19, 1917

As on Aug. 4, 1914, so on the threshold of the fourth year of the war, the German people stand upon the assurance of the speech from the throne--"we are driven by no lust of conquest." Germany took up arms in defense of its liberty and independence and for the integrity of its territories. The Reichstag labors for peace and a mutual understanding and lasting reconciliation among the nations. Forced acquisitions of territory and political, economic, and financial violations are incompatible with such a peace.

The Reichstag rejects all plans aiming at an economic blockade and the stirring up of enmity among the peoples after the war. The freedom of the seas must be assured. Only an economic peace can prepare the ground for the friendly association of the peoples.

The Reichstag will energetically promote the creation of international political organizations. So long, however, as the enemy

____________________
1
Text in The New York Times, July 21, 1917, p. 2.

-114-

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