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even before she sent Columbus over here to discover a continent peopled by a few million savages, all of whom were half-naked except those who were wholly naked. It would not have been hard for any arbitrators of four-fifths of a century ago to prove to their own satisfaction that any one of the members of the Holy Alliance-Alexander of Russia, Louis XVIII of France, Frederick William of Prussia, or Francis of Austria-knew better what was good for Mexico, Bolivia, Chili and their neighbors than did those countries' Presidents or people.
Yet, the Monroe policy must be applauded by the assemblage of Peace Promoters which I am addressing. It was one of the longest steps in the direction of Universal Peace which the world has ever seen. It removed one-half of the globe from the clashing ambitions and jealousies of the Old World's sovereigns and politicians. By preventing the partitioning of the American continent among the nations of Europe it has headed off such conflicts as that of 1904-05 between a European and an Asiatic nation for supremacy in one great region of Asia. It has also averted such wars as that of a few years ago between England and the two little Boer republics in Africa, a war which subverted those republics.
Translated into concrete phrase the Monroe doctrine means that Americans must be allowed to rule America. The rule that some of those countries is putting up is crude, but it is home rule, and it is improving. This rule carries the trademark, "Made in America." Zelaya of Nicaragua in 1907 may be more tyrannical than was the Yankee pirate, William Walker, who ruled Nicaragua in 1857, but he is a home-made product, and so long as his own people can stand his rule, the rest of the world, including the United States, must let them have it.
Under the Monroe policy the world sees a Mexico, a Brazil, a Chili, an Argentina and a Peru which compare favorably with the progressive and enlightened people of the rest of the globe. As a result of this policy there are twenty republics in the Western Hemisphere now as compared with one a century ago. And if this continent had been left open to spoliation by Europe's sovereigns, it is not at all certain that this one republic would be here now. If here, it would have immeasurably less influence in the world's affairs than it exerts to-day.
I sincerely hope that this assemblage of Peacemakers from all
the continents will be able to wield an influence in their respective countries which will make wars as few in the Old World as they have been in the New, and that it will create a sentiment that will eventually abolish wars in the New World and the Old.
There is an especial propriety in holding this Peace Conference in a city which has more races and languages in its make-up than are found even in London or Constantinople. To us Americans, who are composed of a blend of all the peoples of the earth, every Peace Movement makes a particularly powerful appeal. War by us against any nation would be a war between brothers united by the tie of a common humanity.
Floating this afternoon in this harbor and around this hall are the flags of nearly every country under the sun. I hail all these flags as flags of Peace, messengers from peoples with whom I hope my own country will remain on the warmest terms of friendship forever.
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: There was quite a little war philosophy in the last peace talk (laughter), but Peace Congresses must learn to listen and to argue, patiently and quietly. You cannot force Peace. You have got to get at it by discussion. (Applause.) Last night a gentleman made a remark which I would like to quote as a complete answer to one of the statements Mr. Van Cleave made: "The world is better to-day than it was yesterday, and we all feel that it is going to be better to-morrow than it is to-day." (Applause.)
The next speaker, ladies and gentlemen, is a Vice-President of the National Civic Federation. He is ex-Governor of the State of New Hampshire, and Master of a great farmers' organization called the National Grange. It gives me pleasure to introduce to you Hon. N. J. Bachelder. (Applause.)
Agriculture and the Peace Movement
I am from a section of the country typical of Peace. The first white settlers to land at Plymouth Rock, upon the rough New England coast, had left their mother country to avoid conflict, and braved the dangers of the broad ocean upon a peaceful errand. They encountered the hardships imposed by climate and
the danger of the crafty redman, to maintain the right to worship God according to the dictates of conscience, manifesting perhaps greater bravery than would be required upon the battlefield. Those early settlers established no armies and constructed no battleships, but quietly followed the peaceful avocations of tilling the soil and establishing a race of peace-loving people. When the oppression of the mother country reached them, even there they simply pitched the old lady's tea into Boston harbor and quietly returned to their flocks and herds. From then till now New England has been exceptionally free from bloody war, as well as from industrial strife, although her people are always ready to respond in defense of the country and the old flag.
In 1905 the great nations of Russia and Japan, having destroyed thousands of human lives and billions of dollars' worth of property in cruel war, cast their eyes over the entire world for a place in which to come to an amicable agreement. Finally, their representatives met upon the peaceful shores of New England, close by where the Pilgrims landed a few centuries before, and there entered into a Treaty of Peace that will go down in history as one of the greatest peace movements the world ever knew. It is a matter of profound regret that they did not meet upon this mission of peace before, rather than after, the bloody conflict. For these and other reasons I am justified in saying that I am from a section of our country typical of Peace.
I am here, however, not to represent this, or any other section of the country, but to represent the great industry of agriculture and those engaged in it. I believe the interests of agriculture are the most important of any represented in this movement for Universal Peace, for the husbandman is the most important factor among the industrial classes. When the products of his labor are reduced, the fires in our great furnaces burn lower, the spindles in our great factories turn with less rapidity, the trains upon our railroads run with less frequency, and the goods upon the shelves of our great mercantile houses begin to gather dust. When the farms of the country yield abundant crops, as they have in recent years, abandoned forges are kindled anew, manufacturers are unable to fill orders and transportation facilities become clogged. Agriculture furnishes the mainspring of industrial activity.
The ways of agriculture are ways of pleasantness and all her paths are Peace. Besides being a peace lover by nature, the hus
bandman from Adam down has found his pleasure and profit in sitting by his own vine and fig tree. While he can fight to save his country, whether it be in South Africa or in England, or under the Stars and Stripes, he has no taste for blood and thunder, and beats his sword into a pruning hook as soon as the battle is over. With shattered nerves, impaired fortune and devastated home he sets himself resolutely to work to provide the material which will restore prosperity to his own and other industries.
The heaviest public burdens the farmer has to bear are the taxes laid to support military establishments the world over, and Universal Peace would usher in utopian conditions. Great standing armies, magnificent battleships and impregnable fortifications cost vast sums of money and can be sustained only by wealthy nations. If these constitute the most effectual means of preserving peace, no expenditure of money is too great compared with the sacrifice of human life and the devastation of home by cruel wars. The lurking suspicion that the peaceful influence from this source may have been over-estimated, and that there is a safer and surer road to Universal Peace than through preparation for war, is found in the call for this Peace Congress by leading patriotic statesmen. Arbitration has done much in the industrial world in averting expensive conflicts between capital and labor and to the advantage of all the people. An extension of this policy to the adjustment of differences of a character and magnitude that otherwise would plunge nations into war, would be of still greater advantage to all the people, and to no class more than the farmers. They may not feel the disastrous effects of war so quickly as other people, but it finally rests upon them as the great producing class.
Great victories consist in something more than the ability of one nation to conquer another by force of arms. Many so-called victories have spelled defeat when all the results were taken into account, for spectacular effect may obscure the tangible results. Real victory is measured by the result, compared with the sacrifices made to secure it. In most cases this can be secured through arbitration. There may be occasional instances when there is no common ground upon which nations can meet, but such instances are no rarer in the dealings between nations than, in dealings between individuals.
I will not presume to suggest how this can be brought about,
for those who have been prominent in arranging this Congress are skilled in national and international affairs. It is reasonably certain that such wide publicity as will be given to these proceedings will have effect in promoting a sentiment for Universal Peace throughout the civilized world. It is also probable that the magnificent contributions to the cause of education made by the distinguished President of this Congress will have marked effect for all future time in promoting the Peace sentiment. The establishment of libraries and the endowment of institutions of learning through his great liberality is resulting in raising the standard of intelligence among the people, and as intelligence develops, warlike tendencies decline among people and among nations.
I thank you, Mr. President, for recognizing the great agricultural industry of the country by extending an invitation to representatives of it to attend this Congress. It may be a far cry from our humble homes upon the farms to the magnificence of this metropolis, but without the products of the farm and the toil of millions of farmers there would be no palatial surroundings anywhere. My only object upon this occasion, so graciously accorded me, is to express the sentiment of the farmers in regard to the disastrous effects of war, their deep interest in the objects of this Peace Congress, and to pledge their support to any policies that may be inaugurated by it for the promotion of Universal Peace. We believe that if wars can be averted, all industrial and commercial interests will be promoted without detracting one iota from our dignity as citizens, or from our standing as a nation among the nations of the world. An aroused public sentiment is the true basis for securing Universal Peace.
My friends, I thank you for listening to me so patiently. I bring you the greetings of the farmers of the country in this grand work, and I say to you that they have not much sympathy with the military spirit that seems to be dominating at present every country of the world, but rather they believe in the good old doctrine bequeathed to us by our fathers: "Peace on earth, good-will to men." (Great applause.)
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: I think I express the sentiment of everyone here when I say to the representative of a million farmers who has brought this lovely message to us: "Thank you, Mr. Bachelder." (Applause.)