Julian Street.

The most interesting American (Volume 2) online

. (page 3 of 3)
Online LibraryJulian StreetThe most interesting American (Volume 2) → online text (page 3 of 3)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

ground that they prefer to have this country
too feeble to resent any insult, in order that
it may owe its safety to the contemptuous
forbearance which it is hoped this feeble-
ness will inspire in foreign powers. No
Tammany alderman, no venal legislator, no
demagogue or corrupt politician ever strove
more effectively than these men are striv-
ing to degrade the nation and to make one
ashamed of the name of America.

From "Washington's Forgotten Maxim/' first

delivered as an address in June, 1897
In this country there is not the slightest
danger of an over-development of the war-
like spirit, and there never has been any
such danger. In all our history there has
never been a time when preparedness for
war was any menace to peace. ^



From the same address
A century has passed since Washington
wrote : 'To be prepared for war is the most
effectual means to promote peace.' We pay
this maxim the lip loyalty we so often pay to
Washington's words ; but it has never sunk
deep into our hearts. Indeed, of late years
many persons have refused it even the poor
tribute of lip loyalty.

American Ideals. Address at Naval War
College, 1897

If we forget that we can only secure peace
by being ready and wilHng to fight for it we
may some day have bitter cause to realize
that a rich nation which is slothful, timid or
unwieldly, is an easy prey for any people
which still retains those most valuable of all
qualities, the soldierly virtues. We must
strive to build up those fighting qualities for
the lack of which in a nation no refinement,
no culture, no wealth, no material prosperity
can atone. To see this country at peace
with foreign nations we will be wise to place
reliance upon a first class fleet or first class
battleships rather than on any arbitration


treaty which the wit of man can devise.
Peace is a goddess only when she comes with
sword girt on thigh. Cowardice in a race
is the unpardonable sin, and a wilful failure
to prepare for danger may be as bad as
cowardice. The timid man who can not fight,
and the selfish, shortsighted or foolish man
who will not take the steps that will enable
him to fight stand on almost the same plane.
The men who have preached universal peace
in terms that have prepared for the peace
which permitted the continuance of the Ar-
menian butcheries have inflicted a wrong on
humanity greater than would be inflicted by
the most reckless and war loving despot.
Better a thousand times err on the side of
over-readiness to fight than to err on the side
of tame submission to injury, or cold blooded
indifference to the misery of the oppressed.


From "Military Preparedness and Unpreparedness"
"The Century Magazine" November, 1899

The mistakes, the blunders, and the short-
comings in the army management during the
summer of 1898 should be credited mainly


not to any one in office in 1898, but to
the public servants of the people, and there-
fore to the people themselves, who per-
mitted the army to rust since the Civil War
with a wholly faulty administration, and
with no chance whatever to perfect itself by
practice, as the navy was perfected. In like
manner, any trouble that may come upon the
army, and therefore upon the nation, in the
next few years, will be due to the failure to
provide for a thoroughly reorganized regu-
lar army of adequate size last year ; and for
this failure the members in the Senate and
the House who took the lead against increas-
ing the regular army, and reorganizing it,
will be primarily responsible. ... In the
Santiago campaign the army was more than
once uncomfortably near grave disaster,
from which it wa^ saved by the remarkable
fighting qualities of its individual fractions,
and, above all, by the incompetency of its
foes. To go against a well-organized, well-
handled, well-led foreign foe under such con-
ditions would inevitably have meant failure
and humiliation. . . . The whole staff sys-
tem, and much else, should be remodeled.


Above all, the army should be practised in
mass in the actual work of marching and
camping. Only thus will it be possible to
train the commanders, the quartermasters,
the commissaries, the doctors, so that they
may by actual experience learn to do their
duties, as naval officers by actual experience
have learned to do theirs.

From *'The Strenuous Life," first delivered
as a speech in Chicago, 1899

Our army needs complete reorganization
— not merely enlarging — and the reorganiza-
tion can only come as the result of legisla-
tion. A proper general staff should be es-
tablished. Above all, the army must be
given the chance to exercise in large bodies.
Never again should we see, as we saw in the
Spanish War, major generals in command of
divisions who had never before commanded
three companies together in the field.

From the same speech
The army and the navy are the sword
and the shield which the nation must carry if
she is to do her duty among the nations of
the earth — if she is not to stand merely as
the China of the Western Hemisphere.


From Message to Congress, December, 1901

The American people must either build and
maintain an adequate navy or else make up
their minds definitely to accept a secondary
position in international affairs. There is
no surer way of courting disaster than to be
opulent, aggressive and unarmed. It is nec-
essary to keep our army at the highest point
of efficiency.

From Roosevelt's Message to the -first session of the
Fifty-seventh Congress, December, 1901

So far from being -in any way a provoca-
tion to war, an adequate and highly trained
navy is the best guarantee against war, the
cheapest and most effective peace insurance.
The cost of building and maintaining such a
navy represents the very lightest premium
for insuring peace.

From the same message
All we want is peace ; and toward this
end we wish to be able to secure the same re-
spect for our rights from others which we
are eager and anxious to extend to their
rights in return, to insure fair treatment to


us commercially, and to guarantee the safety
of the American people.

From "National Duties," a speech at the Minnesota
State Fair, September 2, 1901

A good many of you are probably ac-
quainted with the proverb : " 'Speak softly
and carry a big stick — you will go far.' "...
Whenever on any point we come in contact
with a foreign power, I hope we shall al-
ways strive to speak courteously and re-
spectfully of that foreign power. Let us
make it evident that we intend to do justice.
Then let us make it equally evident that we
will not tolerate injustice being done to us
in return. Let us further make it evident
that we use no words which we are not pre-
pared to back up with deeds. Such an at-
titude will be the surest possible guarantee
of that self-respecting peace, the attainment
of which is and must ever be the prime aim
of a self-governing people.

From Message to Congress, December, 1902

Keep the army at the highest point of ef-
ficiency. Without manoeuvering our army in


bodies of some little size it is folly to expect
that it can be handled to advantage in the
event of hostilities with any serious foe. Our
officers and enlisted men must be thoroughly
trained, especially in marksmanship. There
is urgent need for a general staff. There
should be no halt in the work of building up
the navy, providing every year additional
fighting craft. In battle the only shots that
count are the shots that hit.

From a speech made in San Francisco, May I4, 190S
Remember that after the war has begun
it is too late to improvise a navy. A naval
war is two-thirds settled in advance.

From a speech at Williams College, June 22nd, 1905

Keep on building and maintaining at the
highest point of efficiency the United States
navy, or quit trying to be a big nation. Do
one or the other.

From a speech at Cairo, III., October, 1907

Our little army should be trained to the
highest point.



Let us build up and maintain at the high-
est point of efficiency the United States navy.
The best way to parry is to hit — no fight
can ever be won without hitting — and we can
hit only by means of the navy. The navy
must be built and all its training given in
time of peace. When once war has broken
out it is too late to do anything.



1 3

Online LibraryJulian StreetThe most interesting American (Volume 2) → online text (page 3 of 3)