Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Speech Against Declaration of War

George W. Norris was born in Sandusky, Ohio on July 11, 1861. George W. Norris was a law graduate from of Valparaiso University in 1883. George Norris started out his career as the county attorney of Furnas County for three terms, then became district judge of the fourteenth district from 1895-1902. Norris was a Representative and a Senator for Nebraska. Norris spent most of his political career in the Senate. Norris spent his years in the Senate as a Republican from 1912-1936 and when re elected in 1936, he was a member of the Independent Party.

In George Norris' "Speech Against Declaration of War," he thought it was in America's best interest to stay neutral in World War I. His speech acted as the voice of Americans who opposed the United States from entering the war. He felt that the reason why America entering the war would be for its own profit, not for principles. In his point of view, America had the 'technical right' to declare itself as a neutral nation and stayed out of the English warzone and "disregarded the German war zone."

Norris has no quarrel against citizens for the war, but he feels they have been some what hypnotized by the ads by newspapers and ads. He felt the only person who would prosper from America's entry to the war would be from Wall street, but not the soldiers who have to fight on the battlefield against the Germans.

".....War brings no prosperity to the great mass of common and patriotic citizens. It increases the cost of living of those who toil and those who already must strain every effort to keep soul and body together. War brings prosperity to the stock gambler on Wall Street- to those who are already in possesion of more wealth than can be realized or enjoyed....."

Woodrow Wilson, Speech on the Fourteen Points, 1918

Woodrow Wilson’s speech to congress during WWI made him the moral leader of the Western world. Wilson and his intimate adviser, Colonel Edward M .House prepare the Fourteen Points after the House was convinced that something had to be gone to encourage and boast the morals of allies and remind them of the reason for the war. The two men created the program carefully making the phrases flexible enough to be able to with stand whatever the out come of the war would have been.

The purpose of this program was to stop the use of secret covenants entered into by governments for their own interest, help establish peaceful relationship among nations after the war and most important, help avoid another world war from happening again in the future.

“What we demand in this war, therefore, is nothing peculiar to ourselves. It is that the world be made fit and safe to live in; and particularly that it be made safe for every peace-loving nation which, like our own, wishes to live it’s own life, determine its own institutions, be assured of justice and fair dealings by other peoples of the world ,as against force and selfish aggression”.

I found four of the fourteen points very important especially from the stand point of the Western world. The first one was the elimination of secret convents and a greater emphasis on diplomacy. The second was the absolute freedom to navigate in the ocean outside territorial waters in both war and peace times. The third was the removal of economic barriers as much as possible and the creation of equality of trade among peace loving nations. The fourteenth point was the creation of a general association of nations which would help guarantee political independence and territorial integrity among great and small states alike.

Wilson said that they (US and Allies) will continue to fight until these arrangements were achieved. He further said that they had nothing against Germany and her greatness, there was nothing in the program to impair it and they wish her no harm. But in order for Germany to associate with peaceful loving nations, she has to accept her place of equality in the new world and not that of mastery of the past.

One of the benefits of this program was that it leads to the creation of International institutions that would help foster peace in the world. The League of nations and the international courts of justice are good examples of institutions created from this program.