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to promote a propaganda on both sides of the sea which will preserve for them their influence at home and their power abroad, to the undoing of the very men they are using.
The position of America in this war is so clearly avowed that no man can be excused for mistaking it. She seeks no material profit or aggrandizement of any kind. She is fighting for no advantage or selfish object of her own, but for the liberation of peoples everywhere from the aggressions of autocratic force.
The ruling classes in Germany have begun of late to profess a like liberality and justice of purpose, but only to preserve the power they have set up in Germany and the selfish advantages which they have wrongly gained for themselves and their private projects of power all the way from Berlin to Bagdad and beyond. Government after Government has by their influence, without open conquest of its territory, been linked together in a net of intrigue directed against nothing less than the peace and liberty of the world. The meshes of that intrigue must be broken, but cannot be broken unless wrongs already done are undone, and adequate measures must be taken to prevent it from ever again being rewoven or repaired.
Of course, the Imperial German Government and those whom it is using for their own undoing are seeking to obtain pledges that the war will end in the restoration of the status quo ante. It was the status quo ante out of which this iniquitous war issued forth, the power of the Imperial German Government within the Empire and its widespread domination and influence outside of that Empire. That status must be altered in such fashion as to prevent any such hideous thing from ever happening again.
We are fighting for the liberty, the self-government, and the undictated development of all peoples, and every feature of the settlement that concludes this war must be conceived and executed for that purpose. Wrongs must first be righted and then adequate safeguards must be created to prevent their being committed again. We ought not to consider remedies merely because they have a pleasing and sonorous sound. Practical questions can be settled only by practical means. Phrases will not accomplish the result. Effective readjustments will, and whatever readjustments are necessary must be made.
But they must follow a principle and that principle is plain. No people must be forced under sovereignty under which it does not wish to live. No territory must change hands except for the purpose of securing those who inhabit it a fair chance of life and liberty. No indemities must be insisted on except those that constitute payment for manifest wrongs done. No readjustments of power must be made except such as will tend to secure the future peace of the world and the future welfare and happiness of its peoples.
And then the free peoples of the world must draw together in some common covenant, some genuine and practical coöperation that will in effect combine their force to secure peace and justice in the dealings of nations with one another.
The brotherhood of mankind must no longer be a fair but empty phrase; it must be given a structure of force and reality. The nations must realize their common life and effect a workable partnership to secure that life against the aggressions of autocratic and self-pleasing power.
For these things we can afford to pour out blood and treasure. For these are the things we have always professed to desire, and unless we pour out blood and treasure now and succeed we may never be able to unite or show conquering force again in the great cause of human liberty. The day has come to conquer or submit. If the forces of autocracy can divide us they will overcome us; if we stand together victory is certain and the liberty which victory will secure. We can afford then to be generous, but we cannot afford then or now to be weak or omit any single guarantee of justice and security.
EXCHANGE OF NOTES BETWEEN BRAZIL AND THE UNITED STATES,
CONCERNING THE REVOCATION OF BRAZIL'S NEUTRALITY."
The Brazilian Ambassador at Washington to the Secretary
June 4, 1917 MR. SECRETARY OF STATE:
The President of the Republic has just instructed me to inform Your Excellency's Government that he has approved the law which revokes Brazil's neutrality in the war between the United States of America and the German Empire. The Republic thus recognized the fact that one of the belligerents is a constituent portion of the American Continent and that we are bound to that belligerent by traditional friendship and the same sentiment in the defense of the vital interests of America and the accepted principles of law.
Brazil ever was and is now free from warlike ambitions, and while it always refrained from showing any partiality in the European conflict, it could no longer stand unconcerned when the struggle involved the United States, actuated by no interest whatever but solely for the sake of international judicial order, and when Germany included us and the other neutral Powers in the most violent acts of war.
While the comparative lack of reciprocity on the part of the American Republics divested until now the Monroe Doctrine of its true character, by permitting of an interpretation based on the prerogatives of their sovereignty, the present events which brought Brazil even now to the side of the United States at a critical moment in the history of the world, are still imparting to our foreign policy a practical shape of continental solidarity, a policy, however, that was also that of the former régime whenever any of the other sister friendly nations of the American Continent was concerned. The Republic strictly observed our political and diplomatic traditions and remained true to the liberal principles in which the nation was nurtured. 1 Official Bulletin, Washington, June 22, 1917.
Thus understanding our duty and Brazil taking the position to which its antecedents and the conscience of a free people pointed, whatever fate the morrow may have in store for us, we shall conserve the constitution which governs us and which has not yet been surpassed in the guaranties due to the rights, lives, and property of foreigners.
In bringing the above-stated resolution to Your Excellency's knowledge, I beg you to be pleased to convey to your Government the sentiments of unalterable friendship of the Brazilian people and Government.
I avail myself of the opportunity to reiterate to Your Excellency the assurances of my highest consideration.
DOMICIO DA GAMA.
The Acting Secretary of State of the United States to the
Brazilian Ambassador EXCELLENCY:
I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of June 4 by which, in pursuance of instructions from the President of Brazil, you inform me of the enactment of a law revoking Brazil's declaration of neutrality in the war between the United States and Germany and request me to convey to this Government the sentiments of unalterable friendship of the Brazilian people and Government.
I have received with profound gratification this notification of the friendly coöperation of Brazil in the efforts of the United States to assist in the perpetuation of the principles of free government and the preservation of the agencies for the amelioration of the sufferings and losses of war so slowly and toilfully built up during the emergence of mankind from barbarism.
Your Government's invaluable contribution to the cause of American solidarity, now rendered more important than ever as a protection to civilization and a means of enforcing the laws of humanity, is highly appreciated by the United States.
I shall be glad if you will be good enough to convey to the President, the Government, and the people of Brazil the thanks of this Government and people for their course, so consistent with the antecedents of your great and free nation and so important in its bearing on issues which are vital to the welfare of all the American Republics.
Requesting that you will also assure your Government and people of most cordial reciprocation by the Government and people of the United States of their assurances of friendship, always so greatly valued, and now happily rendered still warmer and closer by the action of Brazil, I avail myself of the occasion to renew to Your Excellency the assurances of my highest consideration.
FRANK L. POLK,
Acting Secretary of State.
DECLARATION OF WAR BY CHINA ON GERMANY AND AUSTRIA
The Chinese Minister at Washington to the Secretary of State
August 14, 1917 SIR,
In pursuance of instructions from my Government, I have the honor to inform you that China having previously broken off diplomatic relations with Germany, after protesting in vain against the policy of submarine warfare adopted by the central powers of Europe, in the hope that Germany might change that policy out of consideration for the adverse opinion of the world, now the Government of the Republic, having been disappointed in this hope, in order to manifest proper respect for the law of nations and to protect the lives and property and its citizens, declares that a state of war exists with Germany and AustriaHungary from 10 o'clock in the forenoon of the 14th instant, and that it will observe all the stipulations of the conventions signed at the International Peace Conferences at The Hague and other international agreements relating to civilized warfare. Accept, sir, the renewed assurances of my highest consideration.
VI KYUIN WELLINGTON Koo. 1 Official Bulletin, Washington, August 17, 1917.