Fellow citizens, it is a noble land that God has given us; a land
that can feed and clothe the world; a land whose coast lines would
enclose half the countries of Europe; a land set like a sentinel between
the two imperial oceans of the globe, a greater England with a nobler
destiny. It is a mighty people that he has planted on this soil; a
people sprung from the most masterful blood of history; a people
perpetually revitalized by the virile, man-producing workingfolk of all
the earth; a people imperial by virtue of their power, by right of their
institutions, by authority of their heaven-directed purposes - the
propagandists and not the misers of liberty. It is a glorious history
our God has bestowed upon his chosen people; a history whose keynote was
struck by Liberty Bell; a history heroic with faith in our mission and
our future; a history of statesmen who flung the boundaries of the
Republic out into unexplored lands and savage wildernesses; a history of
soldiers who carried the flag across the blazing deserts and through the
ranks of hostile mountains, even to the gates of sunset; a history of a
multiplying people who overran a continent in half a century; a history
of prophets who saw the consequences of evils inherited from the past
and of martyrs who died to save us from them; a history divinely
logical, in the process of whose tremendous reasoning we find ourselves
Therefore, in this campaign, the question is larger than a party
question. It is an American question. It is a world question. Shall the
American people continue their resistless march toward the commercial
supremacy of the world? Shall free institutions broaden their blessed
reign as the children of liberty wax in strength, until the empire of
our principles is established over the hearts of all mankind?
Have we no mission to perform, no duty to discharge to our
fellow-man? Has the Almighty Father endowed us with gifts beyond our
deserts and marked us as the people of his peculiar favor, merely to rot
in our own selfishness, as men and nations must, who take cowardice for
their companion and self for their Deity - as China has, as India has,
as Egypt has?
Shall we be as the man who had one talent and hid it, or as he who
had ten talents and used them until they grew to riches? And shall we
reap the reward that waits on our discharge of our high duty as the
sovereign power of earth; shall we occupy new markets for what our
farmers raise, new markets for what our factories make, new markets for
what our merchants sell - aye, and, please God, new markets for what our
ships shall carry?
Shall we avail ourselves of new sources of supply of what we do
not raise or make, so that what are luxuries to-day will be necessities
to-morrow? Shall our commerce be encouraged until, with Oceanica, the
Orient, and the world, American trade shall be the imperial trade of the
Shall we conduct the mightiest commerce of history with the best
money known to man, or shall we use the pauper money of Mexico, of
China, and of the Chicago platform?...
What are the great facts of this administration? Not a failure of
revenue; not a perpetual battle between the executive and legislative
departments of government; not a rescue from dishonor by European
syndicates at the price of tens of millions in cash and national
humiliation unspeakable. These have not marked the past two years - the
past two years, which have blossomed into four splendid months of glory!
But a war has marked it, the most holy ever waged by one nation
against another - a war for civilization, a war for a permanent peace, a
war which, under God, although we knew it not, swung open to the
Republic the portals of the commerce of the world. And the first
question you must answer with your vote is, whether you indorse that
war? We are told that all citizens and every platform indorses the war,
and I admit, with the joy of patriotism that this is true. But that is
only among ourselves - and we are of and to ourselves no longer. This
election takes place on the stage of the world, with all earth's nations
for our auditors. If the administration is defeated at the polls, will
England believe that we accept the results of the war?
Will Germany, that sleepless searcher for new markets for her
factories and fields, and therefore the effective meddler in all
international complications - will Germany be discouraged from
interfering with our settlement of the war, if the administration is
defeated at the polls?
Will Russia, that weaver of the webs of commerce into which
province after province and people after people falls, regard us as a
steadfast people if the administration is defeated at the polls?
The world is observing us to-day. Not a Foreign Office in Europe
that is not studying the American republic and watching the American
elections of 1898 as it never watched an American election before. Are
the American people the chameleon of the nations? "If so, we can easily
handle them," say the diplomats of the world.
Which result, say you, will have the best effect for us upon the
great Powers who watch us with the jealousy strength always inspires - a
defeat, at the hand of the American people, of the administration which
has conducted our foreign war to a world-embracing success, and which
has in hand the most important foreign problems since the Revolution;
or, such an endorsement of the administration by the American people as
will swell to a national acclaim?
No matter what your views on the Dingley or the Wilson laws; no
matter whether you favor Mexican money or the standard of this republic,
we must deal from this day on with nations greedy of every market we are
to invade; nations with statesmen trained in craft, nations with ships
and guns and money and men. Will they sift out the motive for your vote,
or will they consider the large result of the endorsement or rebuke of
the administration? The world still rubs its eyes from its awakening to
the resistless power and sure destiny of this republic. Which outcome of
this election will be best for America's future which will most
healthfully impress every people of the globe with the steadfastness of
character and tenacity of purpose of the American people the triumph of
the government at the polls, or the success of the Opposition?
I repeat, it is more than a party question. It is an American
question. It is an issue in which history sleeps. It is a situation
which will influence the destiny of the republic...
And yet have we peace? Does not the cloud of war linger on the
horizon? If it does not - if only the tremendous problems of peace now
under solution remain, ought not the administration be supported in its
fateful work by the endorsement of the American people? Think of England
abandoning its ministry at the moment it was securing the fruits of a
successful war! Think of Germany rebuking Bismarck at the moment he was
dictating peace to France! What would America say of them if they should
do such a deed of mingled insanity, perfidy, and folly? What would the
world say of America, if, in the very midst of peace negotiations upon
which the nations are looking with jealousy, fear, and hatred, the
American people should rebuke the administration in charge of those
peace negotiations and place a hostile House and Senate in Washington?
God forbid! When a people show such inconstancy, such childish
fickleness as that, their career as a power among nations is a memory.
But, if possible war lurks in the future, what then? Shall we
forsake our leaders at the close of a campaign of glory and on the eve
of new campaigns for which it has prepared? Yet, that is what the
success of the Opposition to the government means. What is that old
saying about the idiocy of him who changed horses while crossing a
stream? It would be like discharging a workman because he was efficient
and true. It would be like court-martialing Grant and discharging his
heroes in dishonor because they took Vicksburg.
Ah! the heroes of Vicksburg and Peach Tree Creek, Atlanta,
Mission Ridge, the Wilderness, and all those fields of glory, of
suffering, and of death!
Soldiers of 1861! A generation has passed and you have reared a
race of heroes worthy of your blood - heroes of El Caney, San Juan, and
Cavite, of Santiago and Manila - ay! and 200,000 more as brave as they,
who waited in camp with the agony of impatience the call of battle,
ready to count the hellish hardship of the trenches the very sweets of
fate, if they could only fight for the flag.
For every tented field was full of Hobsons, of Roosevelts, of
Wheelers, and their men; full of the kind of soldiers that in regiments
of rags, starving, with bare feet in the snows of winters made Valley
Forge immortal; full of the same kind of boys that endured the hideous
hardships of the Civil War, drank from filthy roadside pools as they
marched through swamps of death, ate food alive with weevils, and even
corn picked from the horses' camp, slept in the blankets of the blast
with sheets of sleet for covering, breakfasted with danger and dined
with death, and came back - those who did come back - with a laugh and a
shout and a song of joy, true American soldiers, pride of their county,
and envy of the world.
For that is the kind of boys the soldiers of 1898 are,
notwithstanding the slanders of politicians and the infamy of a leprous
press that try to make the world believe our soldiers are suckling babes
and womanish weaklings, and our government, in war, a corrupt machine,
fattening off the suffering of our armies. In the name of the sturdy
soldiery of America I denounce the hissing lies of politicians out of an
issue, who are trying to disgrace American manhood in the eyes of the
In the name of patriotism, I arraign these maligners of the
soldierhood of our nation before the bar of the present and the past. I
call to the witness stand that Bayard of our armies, General Joe
Wheeler. I call that Hotspur of the South, Fitzhugh Lee. I call the
200,000 men, themselves, who went to war for the business of war.
And I put all these against the vandals of politics who are
blackening their fame as soldiers and as men. I call history to the
witness stand. In the Mexican war the lass from every cause was
twenty-five per cent, and this is on incomplete returns; in the present
war the loss from every cause is only three per cent. In the Mexican war
the sick lay naked on the ground with only blankets over them and were
buried with only a blanket around them. Of the volunteer force 5,423
were discharged for disability, and 3,229 died from disease. When Scott
marched to Mexico, only 96 men were left out of one regiment of 1,000.
The average of a Mississippi company was reduced from 90 to 30 men. From
Vera Cruz to Mexico a line of sick and dying marked his line of march.
General Taylor publicly declared that, in his army, five men died
from sickness for every man killed in battle. Scott demanded surgeons.
The government refused to give them. The three-months men lost nearly
nine per cent; the six months men lost fourteen per cent; the
twelve-months men twenty-nine per cent; the men enlisted for the war
lost thirty-seven per cent; 31,914 soldiers enlisted for the war, and
11,914 of these were lost, of whom 7,369 are unaccounted for.
In the war for the Union - no, there is no need of figures there.
Go to the field of Gettysburg and ask. Go ask that old veteran how
fever's fetid breath breathed on them and disease rotted their blood.
And in the present war, thank God, the loss and suffering is less than
in any war in all the history of the world!
And if any needless suffering there has been, if any deaths from
criminal neglect, if any hard condition not a usual incident of sudden
war by a peaceful people has been permitted, William McKinley will see
that the responsible ones are punished. Although our loss was less than
the world ever knew before; although the condition of our troops was
better than in any conflict of our history, McKinley the Just, has
appointed, from both parties, a commission of the most eminent men in
the nation to lay the facts before him.
Let the investigation go on, and when the report is made the
people of America will know how black as midnight is the sin of those
who, for the purpose of politics, have shamed the hardihood of the
American soldiers before the world, attempted to demoralize our army in
the face of the enemy, and libeled the government at Washington to
delighted and envious nations.
And think of what was done! Two hundred and fifty thousand men
suddenly called to arms; men unused to the life of camps; men fresh from
the soft comforts of the best homes of the richest people on earth.
Those men, equipped, transported to camps convenient for instant call to
battle; waiting there the command which any moment might have brought;
supplies purchased in every quarter of the land and carried hundreds,
even thousands of miles; uniforms procured, arms purchased, ammunition
bought, citizens drilled into the finest soldiers on the globe; a war
fought in the deadliest climate in the world, beneath a sun whose rays
mean madness, and in Spanish surroundings - festering with fever - and
yet the least suffering and the lowest loss ever known in all the
chronicles of war.
What would have been the result if those who would have plunged us
into war before we could have prepared at all, could have had their way?
What would have happened if these warriors of peace, who denounced the
President as a traitor when he would not send the flower of our youth
against Havana, with its steaming swamps of fever, its splendid outworks
and its 150,000 desperate defenders - what would have happened if they
could have had their way?
The mind shrinks and sickens at the thought. Those regiments,
which we greeted the other day with our cheers of pride, would not have
marched back again. All over this weeping land the tender song, "We
shall meet but we shall miss him; there will be one vacant chair," would
have risen once again from desolated homes. And the men who would have
done this are the men who are assailing the government at Washington
to-day and blaspheming the reputation of the American soldier.
But the wrath of the people will pursue them. The scorpion whips
of the furies will be as a caress to the deep damnation of those who
seek a political issue in defaming the manhood of the republic. God
bless the soldiers of 1898, children of the heroes of 1861, descendants
of the heroes of 1776! In the halls of history they will stand side by
side with those elder sons of glory, and the Opposition to the
government at Washington shall not deny them.
No! they shall not be robbed of the honor due them, nor shall the
republic be robbed of what they won for their country. For William
McKinley is continuing the policy that Jefferson began, Monroe
continued, Seward advanced, Grant promoted, Harrison championed, and the
growth of the republic has demanded. Hawaii is ours; Porto Rico is to be
ours; at the prayer of the people Cuba will finally be ours; in the
islands of the East, even to the gates-of Asia, coaling stations are to
be ours; at the very least the flag of a liberal government is to float
over the Philippines, and I pray God it may be the banner that Taylor
unfurled in Texas and Fremont carried to the coast - the Stars and
Stripes of glory.
And the burning question of this campaign is, whether the American
people will accept the gifts of events; whether they will rise as lifts
their soaring destiny; whether they will proceed upon the lines of
national development surveyed by the statesmen of our past; or whether
for the first American people doubt their mission, question fate, prove
apostate to the spirit of their race, and halt the ceaseless march of
The Opposition tells us that we ought not to govern a people
without their consent. I answer, The rule of liberty that all just
government derives its authority from the consent of the governed,
applies only to those who are capable of self- government. I answer, We
govern the Indians without their consent, we govern our territories
without their consent, we govern our children without their consent. I
answer, How do you assume that our government would be without their
consent? Would not the people of the Philippines prefer the just,
humane, civilizing government of this republic to the savage, bloody
rule of pillage and extortion from which we have rescued them?
Do not the blazing fires of joy and the ringing bells of gladness
in Porto Rico prove the welcome of our flag?
And, regardless of this formula of words made only for
enlightened, self-governing peoples, do we owe no duty to the world?
Shall we turn these peoples back to the reeking hands from which we have
taken them? Shall we abandon them to their fate, with the wolves of
conquest all about them - with Germany, Russia, France, even Japan,
hungering for them? Shall we save them from those nations, to give them
a self-rule of tragedy? It would be like giving a razor to a babe and
telling it to shave itself. It would be like giving a typewriter to an
Eskimo and telling him to publish one of the great dailies of the world.
This proposition of the Opposition makes the Declaration of Independence
preposterous, like the reading of Job's lamentations would be at a
wedding or an Altgeld speech on the Fourth of July.
They ask us how we will govern these new possessions. I answer:
Out of local conditions and the necessities of the case methods of
government will grow. If England can govern foreign lands, so can
America. If Germany can govern foreign lands, so can America. If they
can supervise protectorates, so can America. Why is it more difficult to
administer Hawaii than New Mexico or California? Both had a savage and
an alien population; both were more remote from the seat of government
when they came under our dominion than Hawaii is to-day.
Will you say by your vote that American ability to govern has
decayed; that a century's experience in self-rule has failed of a
result? Will you affirm by your vote that you are an infidel to American
vigor and power and practical sense? Or, that we are of the ruling race
of the world; that ours is the blood of government; ours the heart of
dominion; ours the brain and genius of administration? Will you remember
that we do but what our fathers did - we but pitch the tents of liberty
further westward, further southward - we only continue the march of the
The march of the flag!
In 1789 the flag of the republic waved over 4,000,000 souls in
thirteen states, and their savage territory which stretched to the
Mississippi, to Canada, to the Floridas. The timid minds of that day
said that no new territory was needed, and, for the hour, they were
right. But Jefferson, through whose intellect the centuries marched;
Jefferson, whose blood was Saxon but whose schooling was French, and
therefore whose deeds negatived his words; Jefferson, who dreamed of
Cuba as a state of the Union; Jefferson, the first imperialist of the
republic - Jefferson acquired that imperial territory which swept from
the Mississippi to the mountains, from Texas to the British possessions,
and the march of the flag began!
The infidels to the gospel of liberty raved, but the flag swept
on! The title to that noble land out of which Oregon, Washington, Idaho,
and Montana have been carved was uncertain; Jefferson, strict
constructionist of constitutional power though he was, obeyed the
Anglo-Saxon impulse within him, whose watchword then and whose watchword
throughout the world to-day is, "Forward," another empire was added to
the republic, and the march of the flag went on!
Those who deny the power of free institutions to expand urged
every argument, and more, that we hear, to-day; but the people's
judgment approved the command of their blood, and the march of the flag
A screen of land from New Orleans to Florida shut us from the
gulf, and over this and the Everglade Peninsula waved the saffron flag
of Spain; Andrew Jackson seized both, the American people stood at his
back, and, under Monroe, the Floridas came under the dominion of the
republic, and the march of the flag went on!
The Cassandras prophesied every prophecy of despair we hear,
to-day, but the march of the flag went on! Then Texas responded to the
bugle calls of liberty, and the march of the flag went on! And, at last,
we waged war with Mexico, and the flag swept over the Southwest, over
peerless California, past the Gate of Gold, to Oregon on the north, and
from ocean to ocean its folds of glory blazed.
And, now, obeying the same voice that Jefferson heard and obeyed,
that Jackson heard and obeyed, that Monroe heard and obeyed, that Seward
heard and obeyed, that Ulysses S. Grant heard and obeyed, that Benjamin
Harrison heard and obeyed, William McKinley plants the flag over the
islands of the seas, outposts of commerce, citadels of national
security, and the march of the flag goes on! Bryan, Bailey, Bland, and
Blackburn command it to stand still, but the march of the flag goes on!
And the question you will answer at the polls is, whether you stand with
this quartet of disbelief in the American people, or whether you are
marching onward with the flag.
Distance and oceans are no arguments. The fact that all the
territory our fathers bought and seized is contiguous, is no argument.
In 1819 Florida was further from New York than Porto Rico is from
Chicago to-day; Texas, further from Washington in 1845 than Hawaii is
from Boston in 1898; California, more inaccessible in 1847 than the
Philippines are now. Gibraltar is further from London than Havana is
from Washington; Melbourne is further from Liverpool than Manila is from
San Francisco. The ocean does not separate us from lands of our duty and
desire - the oceans join us, a river never to be dredged, a canal never
to be repaired.
Steam joins us; electricity joins us - the very elements are in
league with our destiny. Cuba not contiguous! Porto Rico not contiguous!
Hawaii and the Philippines not contiguous! Our navy will make them
contiguous. Dewey and Sampson and Schley have made them contiguous, and
American speed, American guns, American heart and brain and nerve will
keep them contiguous forever.
But the Opposition is right - there is a difference. We did not
need the western Mississippi Valley when we acquired it, nor Florida,
nor Texas, nor California, nor the royal provinces of the far Northwest.
We had no emigrants to people this imperial wilderness, no money to
develop it, even no highways to cover it. No trade awaited us in its
savage fastnesses. Our productions were not greater than our trade.
There was not one reason for the land-lust of our statesmen from
Jefferson to Grant, other than the prophet and the Saxon within them.
But, to-day, we are raising more than we can consume. To-day, we
are making more than we can use. To-day, our industrial society is
congested; there are more workers than there is work; there is more
capital than there is investment. We do not need more money - we need
more circulation, more employment. Therefore we must find new markets
for our produce, new occupation for our capital, new work for our labor.
And so, while we did not need the territory taken during the past
century at the time it was acquired, we do need what we have taken in
1898, and we need it now.
Think of the thousands of Americans who will pour into Hawaii and
Porto Rico when the republic's laws cover those islands with justice and
safety! Think of the tens of thousands of Americans who will invade mine
and field and forest in the Philippines when a liberal government,
protected and controlled by this republic, if not the government of the
republic itself, shall establish order and equity there! Think of the
hundreds of thousands of Americans who will build a soap-and-water,
common-school civilization of energy and industry in Cuba, when a
government of law replaces the double reign of anarchy and tyranny! -
think of the prosperous millions that Empress of Islands will support
when, obedient to the law of political gravitation, her people ask for
the highest honor liberty can bestow, the sacred Order of the Stars and
Stripes, the citizenship of the Great Republic!
What does all this mean for every one of us? It means opportunity
for all the glorious young manhood of the republic - the most virile,
ambitious, impatient, militant manhood the world has ever seen. It means
that the resources and the commerce of these immensely rich dominions
will be increased as much as American energy is greater than Spanish
sloth; for Americans henceforth will monopolize those resources and that
In Cuba, alone, there are 15,000,000 acres of forest unacquainted
with the axe. There are exhaustless mines of iron. There are priceless
deposits of manganese, millions of dollars of which we must buy to-day
from the Black Sea districts. There are millions of acres yet
The resources of Porto Rico have only been trifled with. The
riches of the Philippines have hardly been touched by the finger-tips of
modern methods. And they produce what we cannot, and they consume what
we produce - the very predestination of reciprocity - a reciprocity "not
made with hands, eternal in the heavens." They sell hemp, silk, sugar,
coconuts, coffee, fruits of the tropics, timber of price like mahogany;
they buy flour, clothing, tools, implements, machinery, and all that we
can raise and make. And William McKinley intends that their trade shall
Do you indorse that policy with your vote? It means creative
investment for every dollar of idle capital in the land - an opportunity
for the rich man to do something with his money besides hoarding it or
lending it. It means occupation for every workingman in the country at
wages which the development of new resources, the launching of new
enterprises, the monopoly of new markets always brings.
Thus Cuba is as large as Pennsylvania, and is the richest spot on
all the globe. Hawaii is as large as New Jersey; Porto Rico half as
large as Hawaii; the Philippines larger than all New England, New York,
New Jersey, and Delaware. All these are larger than the British Isles,
larger than France, larger than Germany, larger than Japan. The trade of
these islands, developed as we will develop it by developing their
resources, monopolized as we will monopolize it, will set every reaper
in this republic singing, every spindle whirling, every furnace spouting
the flames of industry.
I ask each one of you this personal question: Do you believe that
these resources will be better developed and that commerce best secured;
do you believe that all these priceless advantages will be better
availed of for the benefit of this republic by Bryan, Bailey, Bland, and
Blackburn and the Opposition; or, by William McKinley and a House and
Senate that will help and not hinder him?
Which do you think will get the most good for you and the American
people out of the opportunities which Providence has given us - the
Government at Washington or the Opposition in Nebraska, Texas, Kentucky,
and Missouri? Which side will you belong to - those who pull forward in
the traces of national prosperity and destiny, or those who pull back in
those traces, balk at every step of advancement, and bray at every
milepost of progress?
If any man tells you that trade depends on cheapness and not on
government influence, ask him why England does not abandon South Africa,
Egypt, India. Why does France seize South China, Germany the vast region
whose port is Kiouchou? Consider the commerce of the Spanish islands. In
1897 we bought of the Philippines $4,383,740, and we sold them only
$94,597. Great Britain, that national expert in trade, did little
better, for, in 1896, she bought $6,223,426 and sold only $2,063,598.
But Spain - Spain, the paralytic of commerce - Spain bought only
$4,818,344 and sold $4,973,589! Fellow citizens, from this day on that
proportion of trade, increased and multiplied, must belong to the
American republic. I repeat, increased and multiplied, for with American
brains and energy, with American methods and American government, does
anyone here, tonight, doubt that American exports will exceed Spain's
imports twenty times over? Does any one of you doubt that $100,000,000
of food and clothing and tools and implements and machinery will
ultimately be shipped every year from the United States to that
archipelago of tremendous possibilities? And will anyone of you refuse
to welcome that golden trade with your vote?
What lesson does Cuba teach? Cuba can raise no cereals - no wheat,
no corn, no oats, no barley, and no rye. What we make and raise Cuba
consumes, and what she makes and raises we consume; and this order of
commerce, is fixed forever by the unalterable decrees of nature. And she
is at our doors, too - only an ocean river between us.
Yet, in 1896, we bought $40,017,703 of her products, and we sold
her only $7,193,173 of our products; while Spain bought only $4,257,360
and sold her $26,145,800 - and that proportion existed before the
insurrection. Fellow citizens, from this day on, that order must be
reversed and increased. Cuba's present population is only about
1,000,000; her proper population is about 10,000,000. Tens of millions
of acres of her soil are yet untouched by enterprise. If Spain sells
Cuba $21,000,000 in 1891, and $26,000,000 in 1896, America will sell
Cuba $200,000,000 in 1906. In 1896 we bought of Porto Rico $2,296,653,
and sold her only $1,985,888, and yet Spain bought only $5,423,760 and
sold her $7,328,880. William McKinley proposes that those figures shall
be increased and reversed, and the question is, whether you will indorse
him in that resolution of prosperity. The practical question, for each
one of us, is, whether we had better leave the development of all this
tremendous commerce to the administration which liberated these island
continents and now has the settlement of their government under way; or,
risk the future in the hands of those who oppose the government at
Washington and the commercial supremacy of the republic.
How will all this help each one of us. Our trade with Porto Rico
and Hawaii will be as free as between the States of the Union, while
every other nation on earth must pay our tariff before they can compete
with us. Until Cuba and the Philippines shall ask for annexation, our
trade with them will, at the very least, be like the preferential trade
of Canada with England - a trade which gives the republic the preference
over the rest of the world - a trade which applies the principle of
protection to colonial commerce, the principle which all the world
employs, to-day; the principle which England uses whenever she fears for
a market and which she has put into practice against us in Canada. That,
and the excellence of our goods and products; that, and the convenience
of traffic; that, and the kinship of interests and destiny, will give
the monopoly of these markets to the American people.
And then - then, the factories and mills and shops will call again
to their hearts of fire the workingmen of the republic, to receive once
more the wages and eat once more the bread of prosperous times; then the
farmer will find at his door, once more, the golden home market of those
who work in factory and mill, and who want flour and meat and butter and
eggs and garments of wool, and who have once more the money to pay for
It means new employment and better wages for every laboring man in
the Union. It means higher prices for every bushel of wheat and corn,
for every pound of butter and meat, for every item that the farmers of
this republic produce. It means active, vigorous, constructive
investment of every dollar of moldy and miserly capital in the land.
It means all this, to-morrow, and all this forever, because it
means not only the trade of the prize provinces, but the beginning of
the commercial empire of the republic. And, amid these great events,
will you march forward with the endless column of prosperity, or, sit
with Bryan, Bailey, Bland, and Blackburn on the rotten and crumbling
rail-fence of dead issues and hoot at the procession as it passes by?
I said the commercial empire of the republic. That is the greatest
fact of the future. And that is why these islands involve considerations
larger than their own commerce. The commercial supremacy of the republic
means that this nation is to be the sovereign factor in the peace of the
For the conflicts of the future are to be conflicts of trade
struggles for markets - commercial wars for existence. And the golden
rule of peace is impregnability of position and invincibility of
preparation. So, we see England, the greatest strategist of history,
plant her flag and her cannon on Gibraltar, at Quebec, the Bermudas,
Vancouver, everywhere, until, from every point of vantage, her royal
banner flashes in the sun. So Hawaii furnishes us a naval base in the
heart of the Pacific; the Ladrones another, a voyage farther into the
region of sunset and commerce; Manila, another, at the gates of Asia -
Asia, to the trade of whose hundreds of millions American merchants,
American manufacturers, American farmers, have as good a right as those
of Germany or France or Russia or England; Asia, whose commerce with
England alone, amounts to billions of dollars every year; Asia, to whom
Germany looks to take the surplus of her factories and foundries and
mills; Asia, whose doors shall not be shut against American trade.
Within two decades the bulk of Oriental commerce will be ours, - the
richest commerce in the world. In the light of that golden future, our
chain of new-won stations rise like ocean sentinels from the night of
waters, - Porto Rico, a nobler Gibraltar; the Isthmian canal, a greater
Suez; Hawaii, the Ladrones, the Philippines, commanding the Pacific!
Ah! as our commerce spreads, the flag of liberty will circle the
globe, and the highways of the ocean - carrying trade of all mankind, be
guarded by the guns of the republic. And, as their thunders salute the
flag, benighted peoples will know that the voice of Liberty is speaking,
at last, for them; that civilization is dawning, at last, for them -
Liberty and Civilization, those children of Christ's gospel, who follow
and never precede, the preparing march of commerce!
It is the tide of God's great purposes made manifest in the
instincts of our race, whose present phase is our personal profit, but
whose far-off end is the redemption of the world and the
Christianization of mankind. And he who throws himself before that
current is like him who, with puny arm, tries to turn the gulf stream
from its course, or stay, by idle incantations, the blessed processes of
Shall this future of the race be left with those who, under God,
began this career of sacred duty and immortal glory; or, shall we risk
it to those who would scuttle the ship of progress and build a dam in
the current of destiny's large designs...
And now, on the threshold of our career as the first Power of
earth, is the time to permanently adjust our system of finance. The
American people have the most tremendous tasks of history to perform.
They have the mightiest commerce of the world to conduct. They cannot
halt their imperial progress of wealth and power and glory and Christian
civilization to unsettle their money system every time some ardent
imagination sees a vision and dreams a dream. Think of Great Britain
becoming the commercial monarch of the world with her financial system
periodically assailed! Think of Holland or Germany or France bearing
their burdens, and, yet, sending their flag to every sea, with their
money at the mercy of politicians out of an issue.
Let us settle the whole financial question on principles so sound
that a revolution cannot shake their firm foundations. And then, like
men and not like children, let us on to our tasks - on to our mission
and on to our destiny. We are speeding up the shining rails of an
immortal history; yonder, in the rear, is the nightmare swamp of free
silver. Why go back to it; like the victim of opium to his deadly pipe?
Why not accept the gifts of nature and events - events, which have
made the oceans our servants, the trade winds our allies, and the stars
in their courses our champions?
Nature, which has thrown the wealth of Klondike, the new found
gold of the Philippines, the unsuspected and exhaustless mines of
Colorado and the Cape into the crucible of financial agitation, and thus
dissolved the last excuse for war upon the golden standard of
civilization, - the excuse that the gold supply is insufficient and is
Now, when new rivers of gold are pouring through the fields of
business, the foundations of all silver-standard arguments are swept
away. Why mumble the meaningless phrases of a tale that is told, when
the golden future is before us, the world calls us, its wealth awaits
us, and God's command is upon us?
Why stand in the fatal stupor of financial fallacies muttering old
sophistries that time has exploded, when opportunity beckons you all
over the world - in Cuba, Hawaii, the Philippines, on the waters of
commerce, in every market of Occident and Orient, and in your factories
and stores and fields, here in our own beloved country, holy America,
land of God's promise and home of God's providence?
There are so many real things to be done - canals to be dug,
railways to be laid, forests to be felled, cities to be builded,
unviolated fields to be tilled, priceless markets to be won, ships to be
launched, peoples to be saved, civilization to be proclaimed and the
flag of liberty flung to the eager air of every sea. Is this an hour to
waste upon triflers with nature's laws? Is this a season to give our
destiny over to word-mongers and prosperity-wreckers? Is this a day to
think of office-seekers, to be cajoled by the politician's smile, or
seduced by the handshake of hypocrisy? No! No! my fellow citizens!
It is an hour to remember your duty to the home. It is a moment
to realize the opportunities fate has opened to this favored people and
to you. It is a time to bethink you of the conquering march of the flag.
It is a time to bethink you of your nation and its sovereignty of the
seas. It is a time to remember that the God of our fathers is our God
and that the gifts and the duties he gave to them, enriched and
multiplied, he renews to us, their children.
And so it is an hour for us to stand by the government at
Washington, now confronting the enemy in diplomacy, as our loyal hearts
on land and sea stood to their guns and stood by the Jag when they faced
the enemy in war. It is a time to strengthen and sustain that devoted
man, servant of the people and of the Most High God, who, patiently,
silently, safely is guiding the republic out into the ocean of world
interests and possibilities infinite. It is a time to cheer the beloved
President of God's chosen people, till the whole world is vocal with
American loyalty to the American government.
Fellow Americans, we are God's chosen people. Yonder at Bunker
Hill and Yorktown his providence was above us. At New Orleans and on
ensanguined seas his hand sustained us. Abraham Lincoln was his minister
and his was the Altar of Freedom, the boys in blue set on a hundred
battlefields. His power directed Dewey in the East and delivered the
Spanish fleet into our hands on the eve of Liberty's natal day, as he
delivered the elder Armada into the hands of our English sires two
centuries ago. His great purposes are revealed in the progress of the
flag, which surpasses the intentions of Congresses and Cabinets, and
leads us like a holier pillar of cloud by day and pillar of fire by
night into situations unforeseen by finite wisdom, and duties unexpected
by the unprophetic heart of selfishness. The American people cannot use
a dishonest medium of exchange; it is ours to set the world its example
of right and honor. We cannot fly from our world duties; it is ours to
execute the purpose of a fate that has driven us to be greater than our
small intentions. We cannot retreat from any soil where Providence has
unfurled our banner; it is ours to save that soil for Liberty and
Civilization. For Liberty and Civilization and God's promise fulfilled,
the flag must henceforth be the symbol and the sign to all mankind - the
"Flag of the free heart's hope and home
By angel hands to valor given,
Thy stars have lit the welkin dome,
And all their hues were born in heaven!
Forever wave that standard sheet,
Where breathes the toe but falls before us
With freedom's soil beneath our feet
And freedom's banner streaming o'er us!"
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