The Conquest of America - A Romance of Disaster and Victory
by Cleveland Moffett
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On the evening following my arrival in Chicago, I had arranged to take Miss Ryerson to a great recruiting rally in the huge lake-front auditorium building, but when I called at her boarding-house on Wabash Avenue, I found her much disturbed over a strange warning that she had just received.

"Something terrible is going to happen tonight," she said. "There will be riots all over Chicago."

I asked how she knew this and she explained that a deaf and dumb man named Stephen, who took care of the furnace, a man in whose rather pathetic case she had interested herself, had told her. It seems he also took care of the furnace in a neighbouring house which was occupied by a queer German club, really a gathering place of German spies.

"He overheard things there and told me," she said seriously, whereupon I burst out laughing.

"What? A deaf and dumb man?"

"You know what I mean. He reads the lips and I know the sign language."

The main point was that this furnace man had begged Miss Ryerson not to leave her boardinghouse until he returned. He had gone back to the German club, where he hoped to get definite information of an impending catastrophe.

"It's some big coup they are planning for tonight," she said. "We must wait here."

So we waited and presently, along Wabash Avenue, with crashing bands and a roar of angry voices, came an anti-militarist socialist parade with floats and banners presenting fire-brand sentiments that called forth jeers and hisses from crowds along the sidewalks or again enthusiastic cheers from other crowds of contrary mind.

"You see, there's going to be trouble," trembled the girl, clutching my arm. "Read that!"

A huge float was rolling past bearing this pledge in great red letters:

"I refuse to kill your father. I refuse to slay your mother's son. I refuse to plunge a bayonet into the breast of your sweetheart's brother. I refuse to assassinate you and then hide my stained fists in the folds of any flag. I refuse to be flattered into hell's nightmare by a class of well-fed snobs, crooks and cowards who despise our class socially, rob our class economically and betray our class politically."

At this the hostile crowds roared their approval and disapproval. Also at another float that paraded these words:

"What is war? For working-class wives—heartache. For working-class mothers—loneliness. For working-class children—orphanage. For peace—defeat. For death—a harvest. For nations—debts. For bankers—bonds, interest. For preachers on both sides—ferocious prayers for victory. For big manufacturers—business profits. For 'Thou Shalt Not Kill'—boisterous laughter. For Christ—contempt."

I saw that my companion was deeply moved.

"It's all true, what they say, isn't it?" she murmured.

"Yes, it's true, but—we can't change the world, we can't give up our country, our independence. Hello!"

A white-faced man had rushed into the parlour, gesticulating violently and making distressing guttural sounds. It was Stephen.

Uncomprehending, I watched his swift signs.

"What is it? What is he trying to say?"


Her hands flew in eager questions and the man answered her.

"Oh!" she cried. "The riots are a blind to draw away the police and the troops. They're marching against the Blackstone Hotel now—a thousand German spies—with rifles."

The Blackstone Hotel! I realised in a moment what that meant. The German Crown Prince was still a prisoner at the Blackstone, in charge of General Langhorne. It was a serious handicap to the enemy that we held in our power the heir to the German throne. They dared not resort to reprisals against America lest Frederick William suffer.

"They mean to rescue the Crown Prince?"


I rushed to the telephone to call up police headquarters, but the wires were dead—German spies had seen to that.

"Come!" I said, seizing her arm. "We must hustle over to the auditorium."

Fortunately the great recruiting hall was only a few blocks distant and as we hurried there Miss Ryerson explained that the furnace man, Stephen, before coming to us, had run to McCormick College, the Chicago home for deaf students, and given the alarm.

"What good will that do?"

"What good! These McCormick boys have military drill. They are splendid shots. Stephen says fifty of them will hold the Germans until our troops get there."

"I hope so."

I need not detail our experiences in the enormous and rather disorderly crowd that packed the auditorium building except to say that ten minutes later we left there followed by eighty members of the Camp Fire Club (they had organised this appeal for recruits), formidable hunters of big game who came on the run carrying the high power rifles that they had used against elephants and tigers in India and against moose and grizzlies in this country. Among them were Ernest Thompson Seton, Dan Beard, Edward Seymour, Belmore Brown, Edward H. Litchfield and his son, Herbert.

Under the command of their president, George D. Pratt, these splendid shots proceeded with all speed to the Blackstone Hotel, where they found a company of deaf riflemen, under the command of J. Frederick Meagher, about seventy in all, guarding the doors and windows. Not a moment too soon did they arrive for, as they entered the hotel, hoarse cries were heard outside and presently a bomb exploded at the main entrance, shattering the heavy doors and killing nine of the defenders, including Melvin Davidson, Jack Seipp and John Clarke, the Blackfoot Indian, famous for his wood carvings and his unerring marksmanship.

Meantime messengers had been sent in all directions, through the rioting city, calling for troops and police and in twenty minutes, with the arrival of strong reinforcements, the danger passed.

But those twenty minutes! Again and again the Germans came forward in furious assaults with rifles and machine guns. The Crown Prince must be rescued. At any cost he must be rescued.

No! The Crown Prince was not rescued. The defenders of the Hotel Blackstone had their way, a hundred and fifty against a thousand, but they paid the price. Before help came forty members of the Camp Fire Club and fifty of those brave deaf American students gave up their lives, as is recorded on a bronze tablet in the hotel corridor that bears witness to their heroism.

I must now make my last contribution to this chapter of our history, which has to do with motives that presently influenced the Crown Prince towards a startling decision. I came into possession of this knowledge as a consequence of the part I played in rescuing Thomas A. Edison after his abduction by the Germans.

One of the first questions Mr. Edison asked me as we escaped in a swift automobile from the burning and shell-wrecked Virginia capital, had a direct bearing on the ending of the war.

"Mr. Langston," he asked, "did the Committee of Twenty-one receive my wireless about the airship expedition?"

"Yes, sir, they got it," I replied, and then explained the line of reasoning that had led the Committee to, disregard Mr. Edison's warning.

He listened, frowning.

"Huh! That sounds like Elihu Root."

"It was," I admitted.

For hours as we rushed along, my distinguished companion sat silent and I did not venture to break in upon his meditations, although there were questions that I longed to ask him. I wondered if it was Widding's sudden death in the Richmond prison that had saddened him.

It was not until late that afternoon, when we were far back in the Blue Ridge Mountains, that Mr. Edison's face cleared and he spoke with some freedom of his plans for helping the military situation.

"There's one thing that troubles me," he reflected as we finished an excellent meal at the Allegheny Hotel in Staunton, Virginia. "I wonder if—let's see! You have met the Crown Prince, you interviewed him, didn't you?"

"Twice," said I.

"Is he intelligent—really intelligent? A big open-minded man or—is he only a prince?"

"He's more than a prince," I said, "he's brilliant, but—I don't know how open-minded he is."

Edison drummed nervously on the table.

"If we were only dealing with a Bismarck or a von Moltke! Anyhow, unless he's absolutely narrow and obstinate—"

"Oh, no."

"Good! Where are the Committee of Twenty-one? In Chicago?"


"And the Crown Prince too?"


"We'll be there to-morrow and—listen! We can destroy the German fleet. Widding's invention will do it. Poor Widding! It broke his heart to see America conquered when he knew that he could save the nation if somebody would only listen to him. But nobody would." Edison's deep eyes burned with anger. "Thank God, I listened."

It seemed like presumption to question Mr. Edison's statement, yet I ventured to remind him that several distinguished scientists had declared that the airship America could not fail to destroy the German fleet.

"Pooh!" he answered. "I said the America expedition would fail. The radio-control of torpedoes is uncertain at the best because of difficulties in following the guide lights. They may be miles away, shut off by fog or waves; but this thing of Widding's is sure."

"Has it been tried?"

"Heavens! No! If it had been tried the whole world would be using it. After we destroy the German fleet the whole world will use it."

"Is it some new principle? Some unknown agency?"

He shook his head. "There's nothing new about it. It's just a sure way to make an ordinary Whitehead torpedo hit a battleship."

Although I was consumed with curiosity I did not press for details at this time and my companion presently relapsed into one of his long silences.

We reached Chicago the next afternoon and, as the great inventor left me to lay his plans before the Committee of Twenty-one, he thanked me earnestly for what I had done and asked if he could serve me in any way.

"I suppose you know what I would like?" I laughed.

He smiled encouragingly.

"Still game? Well, Mr. Langston, if the Committee approves my plan, and I think they will, you can get ready for another big experience. Take a comfortable room at the University Club and wait."



I did as he bade me and was rewarded a week later for my faith and patience. I subsequently learned that this week (the time of my wonderful experience with Mary Ryerson) was spent by the Committee of Twenty-one in explaining to the Crown Prince exactly what the Widding-Edison invention was. Models and blue prints were shown and American and German experts were called in to explain and discuss all debatable points. And the conclusion, established beyond reasonable doubt, was that German warships could not hope to defend themselves against the Widding-Edison method of torpedo attack. This was admitted by Field Marshal von Hindenburg and by Professor Hugo Muensterberg, who were allowed to bring scientists of their own choosing for an absolutely impartial opinion. Unless terms were made the German fleet faced almost certain destruction.

The Crown Prince was torn by the hazards of this emergency. He could not disregard such a weight of evidence. He knew that, without the support of her fleet, Germany must abandon her whole campaign in the United States and withdraw her forces from the soil of America. This meant failure and humiliation, perhaps revolution at home. The fate of the Hohenzollern dynasty might hang upon his decision.

"Gentlemen," he concluded haughtily, "I refuse to yield. If I cable the Imperial Government in Berlin it will be a strong expression of my wish that our new army of invasion, under convoy of the German fleet, sail from Kiel, as arranged, and join in the invasion of America at the earliest possible moment."

And so it befell. On January 24th a first section of the new German expedition, numbering 150,000 men, sailed for America. On January 29th our advance fleet of swift scouting aeroplanes, equipped with wireless and provisioned for a three days' cruise, flew forth from Grand Island in the Niagara River, and, following the St. Lawrence, swept out over the Atlantic in search of the advancing Teutons.

Two days later wireless messages received in Buffalo informed us that German transports, with accompanying battleships, had been located off the banks of Newfoundland and on February 1st our main fleet of aeroboats, a hundred huge seaplanes, equipped with Widding-Edison torpedoes, sailed away over Lake Erie in line of battle, flying towards the northeast at the height of half a mile, ready for the struggle that was to settle the fate of the United States. The prayers of a hundred million Americans went with them.

And now Mr. Edison kept his promise generously by securing for me the privilege of accompanying him in a great 900-horse-power seaplane from which, with General Wood, he proposed to witness our attack upon the enemy.

"We may have another passenger," said the General mysteriously as we stamped about in our heavy coats on the departure field, for it was a cold morning.

"All aboard," called out the pilot presently from his glass-sheltered seat and I had just taken my place in the right hand cabin when the sound of several swiftly arriving motors drew my attention and, looking out, I was surprised to see the Crown Prince alighting from a yellow car about which stood a formal military escort. General Wood stepped forward quickly to receive His Imperial Highness, who was clad in aviator costume.

"Our fourth passenger!" whispered Edison.

"You don't mean that the Crown Prince is going with us?"

The inventor nodded.

I learned afterwards that only at the eleventh hour did the imperial prisoner decide to accept General Wood's invitation to join this memorable expedition.

"I have come, General," said the Prince, saluting gravely, "because I feel that my presence here with you may enable me to serve my country."

"I am convinced Your Imperial Highness has decided wisely," answered the commander-in-chief, returning the salute.

An hour later, at the head of one of the aerial squadrons that stretched behind us in a great V, we were flying over snow-covered fields at eighty miles an hour, headed for the Atlantic and the German fleet. Our seaplanes, the most powerful yet built of the Curtiss-Wright 1922 model, carried eight men, including three that I have not mentioned, a wireless operator, an assistant pilot and a general utility man who also served as cook. Two cabins offered surprisingly comfortable accommodations, considering the limited space, and we ate our first meal with keen relish.

"We have provisions for how many days?" asked the Crown Prince.

"For six days," said General Wood.

"But, surely not oil for six days!"

"We have oil for only forty-eight hours of continuous flying, but Your Imperial Highness must understand that our seaplanes float perfectly on the ocean, so we can wait for the German fleet as long as is necessary and then rise again."

The Prince frowned at this and twisted his sandy moustache into sharper upright points.

"When do you expect to sight the German fleet?"

"About noon the day after to-morrow. We shall go out to sea sometime in the night and most of to-morrow we will spend in ocean manoeuvres. Your Imperial Highness will be interested."

In spite of roaring propellers and my cramped bunk I slept excellently that night and did not waken until a sudden stopping of the two engines and a new motion of the seaplane brought me to consciousness. The day was breaking over a waste of white-capped ocean and we learned that Commodore Tower, who was in command of our main air squadron, fearing a storm, had ordered manoeuvres to begin at once so as to anticipate the gale. We were planing down in great circles, preparing to rest on the water, and, as I looked to right and left, I saw the sea strangely covered with the great winged creatures of our fleet, mottle-coloured, that rose and fell as the green waves tossed them.

I should explain that these seaplanes were constructed like catamarans with twin bodies, enabling them to ride on any sea, and between these bodies the torpedoes were swung, one for each seaplane, with a simple lowering and releasing device that could be made to function by the touch of a lever. The torpedo could be fired from the seaplane either as it rested on the water or as it skimmed over the water, say at a height of ten feet, and the released projectile darted straight ahead in the line of the seaplane's flight.

With great interest we watched the manoeuvres which consisted chiefly in the practice of signals, in rising from the ocean and alighting again and in flying in various formations.

"From how great a distance do you propose to fire your torpedoes?" the Crown Prince asked Mr. Edison, speaking through a head-piece to overcome the noise.

"We'll run our seaplanes pretty close up," answered the inventor, "so as to take no chance of missing. I guess we'll begin discharging torpedoes at about 1,200 yards."

"But your seaplanes will be shot to pieces by the fire of our battleships."

"Some will be, but not many. Our attack will be too swift and sudden. It's hard to hit an aeroplane going a mile in a minute and, before your gunners can get the ranges, the thing will be over."

"Besides," put in General Wood, "every man in our fleet is an American who has volunteered for duty involving extreme risk. Every man will give his life gladly."

About ten o'clock in the morning on February 3rd our front line flyers, miles ahead of us, wirelessed back word that they had sighted the German fleet, and, a few minutes later, we saw smoke columns rising on the far eastern horizon. I shall never forget the air of quiet authority with which General Wood addressed his prisoner at this critical moment.

"I must inform Your Imperial Highness that I have sent a wireless message to the admiral of the German fleet informing him of your presence here as a voluntary passenger. This seaplane is identified by its signal flags and by the fact that it carries no torpedo. We shall do everything to protect Your Imperial Highness from danger."

"I thank you, sir," the prince answered stiffly.

General Wood withdrew to his place in the observation chamber beside Mr. Edison.

Swiftly we flew nearer to the enemy's battleships, which were advancing in two columns, led by two super-dreadnoughts, the Kaiser Friedrich and the Moltke, with the admiral's flag at her forepeak and flanked by lines of destroyers that belched black smoke from their squat funnels. With our binoculars we saw that there was much confusion on the German decks as they hastily cleared for action. Our attack had evidently taken them completely by surprise and they had no flyers ready to dispute our mastery of the air.

Presently General Wood re-entered the cabin.

"I have a wireless from Commodore Tower saying that everything is ready. Before it is too late I appeal to Your Imperial Highness to prevent the destruction of these splendid ships and a horrible loss of life. Will Your Highness say the word?"

"No!" answered the Crown Prince harshly.

General Wood turned to the cabin window and nodded to the assistant pilot, who dropped overboard a signal smoke ball that left behind, as it fell, a greenish spiral trail. Straightway, the Commodore's seaplane, a mile distant, broke out a line of flags whereupon six flyers from six different points leaped ahead like sky hounds on the scent, shooting forward and downward towards their mighty prey. The remainder of the sky fleet circled away at safe distances of three, four or five miles, waiting the result of this first blow, confident that the Moltke was doomed.

Doomed she was. In vain the great battleship turned her guns, big and little, against these snarling, swooping creatures of the air that came at her like darting vultures all at once from many sides, but swerved at the twelve hundred yard line and took her broadside on with their torpedoes, fired them and were gone.

Six white paths streaked the ocean beneath us marking the course of six torpedoes and three of them found their target. Three of them missed, but that was because the gunners were excited. There is no more excuse for a torpedo missing a dreadnought at a thousand yards than there is for a pistol missing a barn door at twenty feet!

The Moltke began to sink almost immediately. Through our glasses we watched her putting off life boats and we saw that scarcely half of them had been launched when she lurched violently to starboard and went down by the head. Her boats, led by one flying the admiral's flag, made for the sister dreadnought, but had not covered a hundred yards when Commodore Tower signalled again and six other seaplanes darted into action and, by the same swift manosuvres, sank the Kaiser Friedrich.

In this action we lost two seaplanes.

Now General Wood, white-faced, re-entered the cabin.

"Has Your Imperial Highness anything to say?" asked the American commander.

Silent and rigid sat the heir to the German throne, his hands clenched, his nostrils dilating, his lips hard shut.

"If not," continued General Wood, "I shall, with great regret, signal Commodore Tower to sink that transport, which means, I fear, the loss of many thousands of German lives." He pointed to an immense dark grey vessel of about the tonnage of the Vaterland.

The Crown Prince neither answered nor stirred and again the American Commander nodded to the assistant pilot. Once more the smoke ball fell, the signal of attack was given and a third group of seaplanes sped forward on their deadly mission. The men aboard this enormous transport equalled in numbers the entire male population of fighting age in a city like New Haven and of these not twenty were saved. And we lost two more seaplanes.

We had now used eighteen of our hundred available torpedoes and had sunk three ships of the enemy.

At this moment the sun's glory burst through a rift in the dull sky, whereupon our fleet, welcoming the omen, threw forth the stars and stripes from every flyer and sailed nearer the stricken fleet hungry for further victories. I counted twenty transports and half a dozen battleships. Proudly we circled over them, knowing that our power of destruction meant safety and honour for America.

In the observation chamber General Wood watched, frowning while the wireless crackled out another message from Commodore Tower. Where should we strike next?

In the cabin sat the Crown Prince, his face like marble and the anguish of death in his heart.

Suddenly, a little thing happened that turned Frederick William towards a decision which practically ended the war. The little thing was a burst of music from the Koenig Albert, steaming at the head of the nearer battleship column two miles distant. On she came, shouldering great waves from her bows while hundreds of blue-jackets lined her rails as if to salute or defy the tragic fate hanging over them.

As General Wood appeared once more before his tortured prisoner, there floated over the sea the strains of "Die Wacht Am Rhein," whereupon up on his feet came the Crown Prince and, head bared, stood listening to this great hymn of the Fatherland, while tears streamed down his face.

"I yield," he said in broken tones. "I cannot stand out any longer. I will do as you wish, sir."

"My terms are unconditional surrender," said the American commander, "to be followed by a truce for peace negotiations. Does Your Imperial Highness agree to unconditional surrender?"

"Those are harsh terms. In our talk at Chicago Your Excellency only asked that I prevent this expedition from sailing. I am ready to order the expedition back to Germany."

General Wood shook his head.

"Conditions are different now. Your Imperial Highness refused my Chicago suggestion and chose the issue of battle which has turned in our favour. To the victors belong the spoils. These battleships are our prizes of war. These German soldiers in the troopships are our prisoners."

"Impossible!" protested the Prince. "Do you think five hundred men in aeroplanes can make prisoners of a hundred and fifty thousand in battleships?"

"I do, sir," declared General Wood with grim finality. "There's a perfectly safe prison—down below." He glanced into the green abyss above which we were soaring. "I must ask Your Imperial Highness to decide quickly. The Commodore is waiting."

Every schoolboy knows what happened then, how the Prince, in this crisis, turned from grief to defiance, how he dared General Wood to do his worst, how the American commander sank the Koenig Albert and two more transports in the next half hour with a loss of five seaplanes, and how, finally, Frederick William, seeing that the entire German expedition would be annihilated, surrendered absolutely and ran up the stars and stripes above German dreadnoughts, transports and destroyers. For the first time in history an insignificant air force had conquered a great fleet. The Widding-Edison invention had made good.

* * * * *

I need not dwell upon details of the German-American Peace Conference which occupied the month of February, 1922. These are matters of familiar record. The country went from one surprise to another as Germany yielded point after point of her original demands. Under no circumstances would she withdraw her armies from the soil of America unless she received a huge indemnity, but at the end of a week she agreed to withdraw without any indemnity. Firmly she insisted that the United States must abrogate the Monroe Doctrine, but she presently waived this demand and agreed that the Monroe Doctrine might stand. Above all she stood out for the neutralisation of the Panama Canal. Here she would not yield, but at the close of the conference she did yield and on February 22nd, 1922, Germany signed the treaty of Pittsburg which gave her only one advantage, namely, the repossession of her captured fleet.

It was not until a fortnight later, after the invading transports had sailed for home and the last German soldier had left America, that we understood why the enemy had dealt with us so graciously. On March 4th, 1922, the news burst upon the world that France and Russia, smarting under the inconclusive results of the Great War, had struck again at the Central Empires, and we saw that Germany had abandoned her invasion of America not because of our air victory, but because she found herself involved in another European war. She was glad to leave the United States on any terms.

A few weeks later in Washington (now happily restored as the national capital) I was privileged to hear General Wood's great speech before a joint committee of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The discussion was on national preparedness and I thrilled as the general rose to answer various Western statesmen who opposed a defence plan calling for large appropriations on the ground that, in the present war with Germany and in her previous wars, America had always managed to get through creditably without a great military establishment and always would.

"Gentlemen," replied General Wood, "let us be honest with ourselves in regard to these American wars that we speak of so complacently, these wars that are presented in our school books as great and glorious. How great were they? How glorious were they? Let us have the truth.

"Take our War of the Revolution. Does any one seriously maintain that this was a great war? It was not a war at all. It was a series of skirmishes. It was the blunder of a stupid English king, who never had the support of the English people. Our revolutionary armies decreased each year and, but for the interposition of the French, our cause, in all probability, would have been lost.

"And the war of 1812? Was that great and glorious? Why did we win? Because we were isolated by the Atlantic Ocean (which in these days of steam no longer isolates us) and because England was occupied in a death struggle with Napoleon.

"In our Civil War both North and South were totally unprepared. If either side at the start had had an efficient army of 100,000 men that side would have won overwhelmingly in the first six months.

"Our war with Spain in 1898 was a joke, a pitiful exhibition of incompetency and unreadiness in every department. We only won because Spain was more unprepared than we were. And as to our great naval victory, the truth is that the Spanish fleet destroyed itself.

"Gentlemen, we have never had a real war in America. This invasion by Germany was the beginning of a real war, but that has now been marvellously averted. Through extraordinary good fortune we have been delivered from this peril, just as, by extraordinary good fortune, we gained some successes over the Germans, like the battle of the Susquehanna and our recent seaplane victory, successes that were largely accidental and could never be repeated.

"I assure you, gentlemen, it is madness for us to count upon continued deliverance from the war peril because in the past we have been lucky, because in the past wide seas have guarded us, because in the past our enemies have quarrelled among themselves, or because American resourcefulness and ingenuity have been equal to sudden emergencies. To permanently base our hopes of national safety and integrity upon such grounds is to choose the course adopted by China and to invite for our descendants the humiliating fate that finally overwhelmed China, which nation has now had a practical suzerainty forced upon her by a much smaller power.

"There is only one way for America to be safe from invasion and that is for America to be ready for it. We are not ready today, we never have been ready, yet war may smite us at any time with all its hideous slaughter and devastation. Our vast possessions constitute the richest, the most tempting prize on earth, and no words can measure the envy and hatred that less rich and less favoured nations feel against us."

"Gentlemen, our duty is plain and urgent. We must be prepared against aggression. We must save from danger this land that we love, this great nation built by our fathers. We must have, what we now notoriously lack, a sufficient army, a satisfactory system of military training, battleships, aeroplanes, submarines, munition plants, all that is necessary to uphold the national honour so that when an unscrupulous enemy strikes at us and our children he will find us ready. If we are strong we shall, in all probability, avoid war, since the choice between war and arbitration will then be ours."

Scenes of wild enthusiasm followed this appeal of the veteran commander, not only at the Capitol, but all over the land when his words were made public. At last America had learned her bitter lesson touching the folly of unpreparedness, the iron had entered her soul and now, in 1922, the people's representatives were quick to perform a sacred duty that had been vainly urged upon them in 1916. Almost unanimously (even Senators William Jennings Bryan and Henry Ford refused to vote against preparedness) both houses of Congress declared for the fullest measure of national defence. It was voted that we have a strong and fully manned navy with 48 dreadnoughts and battle cruisers in proportion. It was voted that we have scout destroyers and sea-going submarines in numbers sufficient to balance the capital fleet. It was voted that we have an aerial fleet second to none in the world. It was voted that we have a standing army of 200,000 men with 45,000 officers, backed by a national force of citizens trained in arms under a universal and obligatory one-year military system. It was voted, finally, that we have adequate munition plants in various parts of the country, all under government control and partly subsidised under conditions assuring ample munitions at any time, but absolutely preventing private monopolies or excessive profits in the munition manufacturing business.

This was declared to be—and God grant it prove to be—America's insurance against future wars of invasion, against alien arrogance and injustice, against a foreign flag over this land.


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