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by those instructors who prefer to have pupils engage in the detailed study of one or two great speeches rather than undertake a course in comparative reading, for the volume contains material sufficiently diverse to satisfy every taste.
The editors wish to acknowledge with thanks the permission of President Wilson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Otto H. Kahn to print speeches included in this book. The Call to Arms, by H. H. Asquith, was included through permission obtained from The Current History Magazine, published by the New York Times Company. The editors are also indebted to the New York Times Company for permission to print Premier Lloyd George's speech on America's Entrance into the War.
October 1, 1919.
William Pitt, EARL OF CHATHAM..American Taxation
The war with Germany has brought to the minds of the people a new interest in the problems of our national life and a deeper understanding of the meaning and aims of democracy. A widespread desire to stimulate intelligent patriotism through exposition of our national ideals and study of the world's progress toward popular government is everywhere manifesting itself. As the time is opportune for this movement all good citizens should do their utmost to encourage it. In the past soap-box orators, dreamy-eyed pacifists, and unpatriotic teachers of the type of the Russian internationalists, have insidiously attacked and undermined the patriotism of our citizens both young and old. The time has come to end such propaganda. Our new citizens must learn that it was not unoccupied land nor the Indians that made America a free country. How painfully the human race has won the liberty under which we live; what it cost in money, endeavor, and blood, it is the manifest duty of live men now to teach everywhere.
In schools and colleges instruction in patriotism can well be based on a study of the great speeches which step by step mark the world's progress toward democracy. Here we find literature and history combined. Here the many facts and truths of history are not only still lighted with the spirit of the past but they are also clothed with the language of art. Just as battles record for the student of military science the crises and conclusions of physical struggles for the world's freedom, so great speeches mark for the statesman and thinker the triumphs of mind and spirit in their struggles with the foes of progress.
For the use of young and imaginative students the best record of history is found in the speeches that helped make it. Unfortunately the record is incomplete. But where speeches exist marking the crises through which the world has passed in its progress towards popular government, they should be carefully preserved and studied because of their power to recreate the past. Speeches give more than conclusions. They state the problem and suggest a solution which for the time being is wavering in the balance. As the student reads the words of the orator, he is able to enter personally into the struggle. He weighs the interests that are at stake and trembles for the result. As he reads speech after speech he discovers that liberty is not a matter of course, but has been wrung from enemies bit by bit through blood and sweat. Through the words of the orator he learns to value the inheritance handed down to him from the past and gains a personal appreciation of the services of those master minds whose heroic struggles have helped to make the world safe for him.
Speeches are real and intense dramas of life and history. The orator often faces opposition as relentless as a play hero is supposed to meet in his makebelieve world. When a great orator prepares to speak, he takes into consideration all the elements of his audience and the occasion. He plans by making use of every resource in his power to meet the forces of evil as they assail him, step by step. He may fail; but if his cause is essential to the progress of liberty and democracy, the contest is not lost. Another hero takes up the struggle and sooner or later wins; for