Tag Archives: United States

Alfred Thayer Mahan: Conditions Determining the Naval Expansion of the United States

At this time, while naval manoeuvres are attracting attention among the people of the United States, it is pertinent to point out that it is commonly, but mistakenly, supposed that the present necessity for naval enlargement rests upon the acquisition of oversea territories, as a consequence of the war with Spain. The error is natural, for undoubtedly the war convinced the American people of the advantage-nay, the necessity-of a great navy, and so led to the increase we are witnessing; but the necessity was approaching unobserved, and would have come upon the nation unawares and unprepared, but for the fortunate intervention of the war, and its demonstration of the usefulness of navies.

We have the highest military authority for saying that the best and only sure form of defence is to take the offensive, or at least to be evidently ready so to do at brief notice. The navy is essentially and pre-eminently a force that thus acts, in virtue of the mobility which is its prime quality; and it is scarcely necessary to argue that the more wide-spread the interests open to attack, the more valuable in this sense the navy is, and the more numerous and powerful must it be. So long as the United States had no external possessions, it was comparatively easy to blind people to the usefulness of a navy, or to the necessity for it. A navy for coast defence only was then a plausible, though deceitful, cry; and it was a very easy further step to say that fortifications, stationary land defences, were cheaper and more effective. On the narrow ground of passive defence, that is true; therefore, ignorance of military principles being characteristic of mankind generally, and of Americans perhaps particularly, the need of a mobile force to act offensively could not obtain recognition.

It is not the least of the advantages derived from the new possessions that this condition of the public mind can exist no longer. It was very soundly argued, by the American opponents of the expansion which has been realized in the last decade of the nineteenth century, that transmarine acquisitions would be so many new exposed points, to be supported by sea only, not by land, as the continental territory can. They were very right, and this is very true; the flaw in their argument, as well as the beam in the eye of the American public, which prevented it from seeing clearly, was the failure to note that, even when not possessing a square foot of territory without its borders, there were manifold interests abroad, assailable by a superior navy, and only to be protected by such display of force as should make it not worth while to arouse the nation to action.

The argument of the opponents of territorial expansion, even within moderate limits, and with due regard to locality and consequent utility in the positions acquired, was thus plausible, and was deplorably successful; but it was fallacious. It adduced a sound military reason,-the increased exposure,-but wholly ignored qualifying considerations of the most serious character, reversive of conclusions. It may with much more certainty be now alleged, and the assertion can be supported to the point of demonstration, that the acquisitions of recent years, despite the additional requirement of their defence imposed upon the United States, have not necessitated any increase of naval force beyond that which would have been imperatively demanded at the present time, had they never passed into American hands. More still, they have lessened the burden of purely naval increase, which but for them would have been necessary; for by the tenure of them, and due development of their resources, the navy itself receives an accession of strength, an augmented facility of movement, by resting upon strong positions for equipment and repair,-upon bases, to use the military term,-in several parts of the world where national interests demand naval protection of the kind already mentioned; namely, readiness to take the offensive instantly.

Facilities of this character add a percentage of value to a given mobile force, military or naval, for they by so much increase its power and its mobility. This percentage may be difficult of precise definition as to amount, but it none the less exists. That coal can be obtained near at hand, plentifully, and with certainty; that ships can remain in readiness, and in security, near the possible scene of operations; that they can be repaired there, instead of returning to the United States; all these conditions, which the new possessions will afford, enable the work on the spot to be done by fewer ships. Furthermore, by their storage facilities, by their accumulated and natural resources, they diminish the immediate dependence upon home by a long chain of communications, which is the great drain on all military operations.

Thus, according to the particular conditions, one ship may do the work of two, or three ships of five, or perhaps nine of ten; but, be the proportion more or less, the gain in efficiency means, as such gain always does, smaller numbers and therefore less expense. When a battleship in war time runs upon an uncharted rock, as the Oregon did a year ago in the China Seas, it makes an immense difference to an admiral, and to the operations in hand, whether she can be repaired at a distance of five hundred miles, or of five thou
sand. The case is the same with minor repairs, and with the renewal of coal, one of the greatest of naval anxieties. For instance, it would be difficult to exaggerate the value of Guantanamo, only fifty miles from Santiago de Cuba, to the American fleet off the latter port, which otherwise had to coal in the open, or depend upon a base many hundred miles away.

It may be advisable here to notice passingly an argument at times maintained, and often advanced during recent discussions concerning the annexation of the Philippines, that, while such bases of naval action are intrinsically advantageous, there attaches to them no expediency of holding adjacent territory in political tenure. The United States therefore, so it was urged, for the security of her naval situation in eastern waters would require in the Philippines no more than a navy yard. From the military point of view this is wholly inaccurate. Any military permanent station, land fortress or naval arsenal, gains immeasurably in strength from the support of a friendly region in which it is situated, because of the contribution to its resources and the distance at which attack is held. The impressiveness of the word “isolation,” which we all instinctively feel, testifies to this condition. Nor is it conclusive against the military argument that the friendliness be of a passive or reluctant character, as of a population subjected to military control. This consideration is indeed material to the general conduct of a war, for the force thus engaged in insuring submission is withdrawn from that available for other operations; but so long as it is effective in compelling or inducing the co-operation of the inhabitants, either as peaceful workmen and agriculturists, or more positively in the field, the particular fortress, land or sea, is far stronger than it could be if surrounded by territory under alien government, even though neutral.

Extent of territory is a real factor in military strength, and for this reason a small island is decisively less valuable than a large one. It is a distinct weakness to Gibraltar that it is backed by a country wholly foreign, though probably not belligerent; and Malta, if severed from a predominant navy, would find its intrinsic power inadequate to prolonged endurance. On the other hand, places on the coast of the United States, or of Australia, or New Zealand, though individually weak from a purely military standpoint, derive great increase of resistant force, and still more of productive energy,-a large element in military offensive efficiency,-because in the midst of a friendly and industrious community. The questions of resources and of support, both very important factors in military vigor, turn largely upon this one consideration.

This is not, in itself, an argument for large annexations, or indefinite territorial expansion. These, if desirable, rest upon reasons other than military. We are dealing here with a purely military consideration, and supporting it by military argument, which, however, cannot be pressed to the extent of supporting an action political in origin. The military argument amounts simply to this: that a moderate number of such bases, suitably chosen in view of their position and resources, strengthen a military or naval situation, and thereby enable fewer men or fewer ships to do the necessary work; but it must be at once qualified by the other perfectly familiar military maxim, that the multiplication of such bases, as soon as you pass the limits of reasonable necessity, becomes a source of weakness, multiplying exposed points, and entailing division of force. It is not even a matter of indifference that you have too many; it is a positive injury. Consequently, the necessity of naval bases to efficient naval action cannot by itself be made into an argument for indefinite expansion.

Such oversea expansion as the United States has so far made has not been primarily for military purposes. Incidentally, it has contributed to naval power, and it has not as yet transcended the limit of utility to that end. What has been already gained is useful, either directly or indirectly; the increase of exposure, as yet, does not equal the increase in strength. It is, of course, very possible that considerations of political or commercial expediency, or even necessity, might lead to acquisitions, the exposure and burden of which would find no compensation in increase of naval strength, or of general national military security. The justification of such measures, if taken, must rest on other than military or naval reasons, and would not concern this argument; but in fact no such undue expansion has yet occurred.

The march of events, not in the United States only, but over the world at large, not of military or naval events chiefly, but of political events, events economical and commercial, has brought about a necessity for large navies; for navies much increased over the standard of twenty years ago. This is now universally recognized. Of this course of events in those two decades, and their result to-day, the war with Spain, which led directly or indirectly to the acquisition of every foot of insular territory possessed by the United States, is simply one incident; and that an incident rather disconnected, something of a side issue, though one most timely for the welfare of the nation.

Had that war not occurred, there is no reason to believe that the mighty events which have transpired in Africa, Egypt, the Levant, and China, would not have happened; still less that there would not have been the immense commercial developments, which, if less striking, are even more momentous, and more influential at this moment upon the policy of nations. Issues and conditions which are moving the world would have been as they are had the distress of Cuba never compelled intervention. The difference now would have been that the United States would be without Porto Rico, Hawaii, and the Philippines; without reserved rights in Cuba, the key of the West Indies and Gulf of Mexico; and that she would not have received the impulse, which the war and its consequent acquisitions most timely gave, to the building of the navy towards a point necessary to meet the demands of a political and commercial future, which in any case would have arrived, and, but for that war, have found the nation unprepared.

The general strenuous impulse of the great civilized states of the world, to find and to establish markets and commercial relations outside their own borders and their own people, has led to multifold annexations, and to commercial and naval aggressions. In these the United States has had no part, but they have constituted a political situation that immensely increases her political and commercial anxieties, and consequently her naval responsibilities; for, as interests of this kind are outside the North American continent, it is upon the navy that their support rests. This external impulse of the commercial nations is of two-fold character. First, there is the perfectly legitimate and unobjectionable form of commercial competition, in open field and without favor; but there is, besides, the effort to extend and sustain commercial advantage by the extension of political power, either by controlling influence or by actual annexation, under cover of either of which the commercial system of the particular country obtains favored conditions, injurious to others, from special privilege all the way up to a practically exclusive market. The history of the past twenty or thirty years abounds in such instances, reversive of the course of trade, even to the destruction at times of a well-established commerce.

Much of this politico-commercial movement has occurred in regions where the United States has been compelled, by her recognized traditional policy, to abstain from intervention, or even remonstrance. The politics are none of our business, and the resultant commercial inconvenience, if it touch us, has to be accepted. -This applies to Europe generally; to Africa, which, both by position and now by annexation, is an appendage of Europe; and probably also to those parts of Asia commonly known as the Levant, which by juxtaposition are European in interest. The case is very different in South America, in Eastern Asia, and in the Pacific. From interest in none of these is the United States excluded by the Monroe Doctrine and its corollaries, by which she simply defines her policy to be hands-off in matters of purely European concern; while by express declaration political interference in South America, of a character to intrude European political control, will be resented as directly injurious to American security.

As regards the Pacific and China, the movement there, and especially in the latter, has been lately so much before the public that it is unnecessary to recall details. It is obvious, however, that where the commercial interests at stake are so great, and political conditions so uncertain, the desire to secure commercial opportunity will lead countries that possess force into a dangerous temptation to use it for the extension of their influence. Therefore, unless prepared to maintain the national rights, either singly or in combination with others, backed by force at hand, the United States may find her people excluded, more or less, by the encroachment of rivals.

The case in South America is even more serious; for political interference there not only may injure the nation commercially, but would certainly dishonor it, in face of its clearly avowed policy. It must be remembered that this extension of commerce by political pressure is a leading element in the spirit of the times; and, when such a spirit is looking watchfully for a field in which to act, one so fruitful and so promising as South America can secure exemption only by a display of power to resist, which South America itself does not possess, and which the United States alone can supply.

These are among the leading conditions which necessitate the creation of a powerful navy by the United States, and they are quite independent of her relatively small external possessions, most valuable though these are from the naval point of view. She is confronted, in short, by a general movement of the nations resting upon a spirit spread among their peoples, which seeks to secure commercial advantages in all quarters of the world; peaceably, if may be, but, if not, by pressure. In this collision of interests, force will have a determining part, as it has in all periods of the world’s history; and force, in such remote localities, means necessarily naval force. It is upon the spread of this spirit and the action ensuing from it, that the necessity for a great navy rests, and not upon the fact of having assumed oversea charges. Porto Rico, Hawaii, the Philippines, and if there be any other acquisition at present, have not created the necessity; on the contrary, they have reduced the weight of the burden, by contributing to support it.

Garret Watts’s Recollection of the Battle of Camden

I well remember everything that occurred the next morning. I remember that I was among the nearest to the enemy, that a man named John Summers was my file leader, that we had orders to wait for the word to commence firing, that the militia were in front and in a feeble condition at that time. They were fatigued. The weather was warm excessively. They had been fed a short time previously on molasses entirely. I can state on oath that I believe my gun was the first gun fired, notwithstanding the orders, for we were close to the enemy, who appeared to maneuver in contempt of us, and I fired without thinking except that I might prevent the man opposite from killing me. The discharge and loud roar soon became general from one end of the lines to the other. Amongst other things, I confess I was amongst the first that fled. The cause of that I cannot tell, except that everyone I saw was about to do the same. It was instantaneous. There was no effort to rally, no encouragement to fight. Officers and men joined in the flight. I threw away my gun, and, reflecting I might be punished for being found without arms, I picked up a drum, which gave forth such sounds when touched by the twigs I cast it away. When we had gone, we heard the roar of guns still, but we knew not why. Had we known, we might have returned. It was that portion of the army commanded by de Kalb fighting still. De Kalb was killed. General Dickson was wounded in the neck and a great many killed and wounded even on the first firing. After this defeat, many of the dispersed troops proceeded to Hillsboro in North Carolina. I obtained a furlough from General Dickson and had permission to return home a short time. This last tour was for the space of three months and truly laborious.

Excerpts from President Roosevelt’s Radio Address of December 29, 1940

Referred to as the “Arsenal of Democracy” speech, in this radio broadcast, President Franklin D. Roosevelt outlined the threat to the United States from the growing wars in Europe and Asia and to lay out his vision for America’s role in supporting the Allied war efforts.

This is not a fireside chat on war. It is a talk on national security; because the nub of the whole purpose of your President is to keep you now; and your children later, and your grandchildren much later, out of a last?ditch war for the preservation of American independence and all of the things that American independence means to you and to me and to ours.

Tonight, in the presence of a world crisis, my mind goes back eight years ago to a night in the midst of a domestic crisis. It was a time when the wheels of American industry were grinding to a full stop, when the whole banking system of our country had ceased to function.

I well remember that while I sat in my study in the White House, preparing to talk with the people of the United States, I had before my eyes the picture of all those Americans with whom I was talking. I saw the workmen in the mills, the mines, the factories; the girl behind the counter; the small shopkeeper; the farmer doing his spring plowing; the widows and the old men wondering about their life’s savings.

I tried to convey to the great mass of American people what the banking crisis meant to them in their daily lives.

Tonight, I want to do the same thing, with the same people, in this new crisis which faces America.

We met the issue of 1933 with courage and realism.

We face this new crisis-this new threat to the security of our Nation-with the same courage and realism.

Never before since Jamestown and Plymouth Rock has our American civilization been in such danger as now.

For, on September 27, 1940, by an agreement signed in Berlin, three powerful nations, two in Europe and one in Asia, joined themselves together in the threat that if the United States interfered with or blocked the expansion program of these three nations-a program aimed at world control-they would unite in ultimate action against the United States.

The Nazi masters of Germany have made it clear that they intend not only to dominate all life and thought in their own country, but also to enslave the whole of Europe, and then to use the resources of Europe to dominate the rest of the world.

Three weeks ago their leader stated, “There are two worlds that stand opposed to each other.” Then in defiant reply to his opponents, he said this: “Others are correct when they say: `With this world we cannot ever reconcile ourselves.’ . . . I can beat any other power in the world.” So said the leader of the Nazis.

In other words, the Axis not merely admits but proclaims that there can be no ultimate peace between their philosophy of government and our philosophy of government.

In view of the nature of this undeniable threat, it can be asserted, properly and categorically, that the United States has no right or reason to encourage talk of peace until the day shall come when there is a clear intention on the part of the aggressor nations to abandon all thought of dominating or conquering the world.

At this moment, the forces of the states that are leagued against all peoples who live in freedom are being held away from our shores. The Germans and Italians are being blocked on the other side of the Atlantic by the British, and by the Greeks, and by thousands of soldiers and sailors who were able to escape from subjugated countries. The Japanese are being engaged in Asia by the Chinese in another great defense.

In the Pacific is our fleet.

Some of our people like to believe that wars in Europe and in Asia are of no concern to us. But it is a matter of most vital concern to us that European and Asiatic war-makers should not gain control of the oceans which lead to this hemisphere.

One hundred and seventeen years ago the Monroe Doctrine was conceived by our Government as a measure of defense in the face of a threat against this hemisphere by an alliance in continental Europe. Thereafter, we stood on guard in the Atlantic, with the British as neighbors. There was no treaty. There was no “unwritten agreement”.

Yet, there was the feeling, proven correct by history, that we as neighbors could settle any disputes in peaceful fashion. The fact is that during the whole of this time the Western Hemisphere has remained free from aggression from Europe or from Asia.

Does anyone seriously believe that we need to fear attack while a free Britain remains our most powerful naval neighbor in the Atlantic? Does any one seriously believe, on the other hand, that we could rest easy if the Axis powers were our neighbor there?

If Great Britain goes down, the Axis powers will control the continents of Europe, Asia, Africa, Australasia, and the high seas–and they will be in a position to bring enormous military and naval resources against this hemisphere. It is no exaggeration to say that all of us in the Americas would be living at the point of a gun-a gun loaded with explosive bullets, economic as well as military.

We should enter upon a new and terrible era in which the whole world, our hemisphere included, would be run by threats of brute force. To survive in such a world, we would have to convert ourselves permanently into a militaristic power on the basis of war economy.

Some of us like to believe that. even if Great Britain falls, we are still safe, because of the broad expanse of the Atlantic and of the Pacific.

But the width of these oceans is not what it was in the days of clipper ships. At one point between Africa and Brazil the distance is less than from Washington to Denver-five hours for the latest type of bomber. And at the, north of the Pacific Ocean, America and Asia almost touch each other.
Even today we have planes which could fly from the British Isles to New England and back without refueling. And the range of the modern bomber is ever being increased.

During the past week many people in all parts of the Nation have told me what they wanted me to say tonight. Almost all of them expressed a courageous desire to hear the plain truth about the gravity of the situation. One telegram, however, expressed the attitude of the ,small minority who want to see no evil and hear no evil, even though they know in their hearts that evil exists. That telegram begged me not to tell again of the ease with which our American cities could be bombed by any hostile power which had gained bases in this Western Hemisphere. The gist of that telegram was: “Please, Mr. President, don’t frighten us by telling us the facts.”

Frankly and definitely there is danger ahead-danger against which we must prepare. But we well know that we cannot escape danger, or the fear of it, by crawling into bed and pulling the covers over our heads.

Some nations of Europe were bound by solemn non?intervention pacts with Germany. Other nations were assured by Germany that they need never fear invasion. Non?intervention pact or not, the fact remains that they were attacked, overrun, and thrown into the modern form of slavery at an hour’s notice or even without any notice at all. As an exiled leader of one of these nations said to me the other day: “The notice was a minus quantity. It was given to my government two hours after German troops had poured into my country in a hundred places.”

The fate of these nations tells us what it means to live at the point of a Nazi gun.

The Nazis have justified such actions by various pious frauds. One of these frauds is the claim that they are occupying a nation for the purpose of “restoring order”. Another is that they are occupying or controlling a nation on the excuse that they are “protecting it” against the aggression of somebody else.

For example, Germany has said that she was occupying Belgium to save the Belgians from the British. Would she hesitate to say to any South American country, “We are occupying you to protect you from aggression by the United States”?

Belgium today is being used as an invasion base against Britain, now fighting for its life. Any South American country, in Nazi hands, would always constitute a jumping-off place for German attack on any one of the other republics of this hemisphere.

Analyze for yourselves the future of two other places even nearer to Germany if the Nazis won. Could Ireland hold out? Would Irish freedom be permitted as an amazing exception in an unfree world? Or the islands of the Azores which still fly the flag of Portugal after five centuries? We think of Hawaii as an outpost of defense in the Pacific. Yet, the Azores are closer to our shores in the Atlantic than Hawaii is on the other side.

There are those who say that the Axis powers would never have any desire to attack the Western Hemisphere. This is the same dangerous form of wishful thinking which has destroyed the powers of resistance of so many conquered peoples. The plain facts are that the Nazis have proclaimed, time and again, that all other races are their inferiors and therefore subject to their orders. And most important of all, the vast resources and wealth of this hemisphere constitute the most tempting loot in all the world.

Let us no longer blind ourselves to the undeniable fact that the evil forces which have crushed and undermined and corrupted so many others are already within our own gates. Your Government knows much about them and every day is ferreting them out.

Their secret emissaries are active in our own and neighboring countries. They seek to stir up suspicion and dissension to cause internal strife. They try to turn capital against labor and vice versa. They try to reawaken long slumbering racial and religious enmities which should have no place in this country. They are active in every group that promotes intolerance. They exploit for their own ends our natural abhorrence of war. These trouble?breeders have but one purpose. It is to divide our people into hostile groups and to destroy our unity and shatter our will to defend ourselves.

There are also American citizens, many of them in high places, who, unwittingly in most cases, are aiding and abetting the work of these agents. I do not charge these American citizens with being foreign agents. But I do charge them with doing exactly the kind of work that the dictators want done in the United States.

These people not only believe that we can save our own skins by shutting our eyes to the fate of other nations. Some of them go much further than that. They say that we can and should become the friends and even the partners of the Axis powers. Some of them even suggest that we should imitate the methods of the dictatorships. Americans never can and never will do that.

The experience of the past two years has proven beyond doubt that no nation can appease the Nazis. No man can tame a tiger into a kitten by stroking it. There can be no appeasement with ruthlessness. There can be no reasoning with an incendiary bomb. We know now that a nation can have peace with the Nazis only at the price of total surrender.

Even the people of Italy have been forced to become accomplices of he Nazis; but at this moment they do not know how soon they will e embraced to death by their allies.

The American appeasers ignore the warning to be found in the ate of Austria, Czechoslovakia., Poland, Norway, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, and France. They tell you that the Axis powers re going to win anyway; that all this bloodshed in the world could be saved; and that the United States might just as well throw its influence into the scale of a dictated peace, and get the best out of it that we can.

They call it a “negotiated peace”. Nonsense! Is it a negotiated peace if a gang of outlaws surrounds your community and on threat of extermination makes you pay tribute to save your own skins?

Such a dictated peace would be no peace at all. It would be only another armistice, leading to the most gigantic armament race and the most devastating trade wars in history. And in these contests the Americas would offer the only real resistance to the Axis powers.

With all their vaunted efficiency and parade of pious purpose in his war, there are still in their background the concentration camp and the servants of God in chains.

The history of recent years proves that shootings and chains and concentration camps are not simply the transient tools but the very altars of modern dictatorships. They may talk of a “new order” in he world, but what they have in mind is but a revival of the oldest end the worst tyranny. In that there is no liberty, no religion, no hope.

The proposed “new order” is the very opposite of a United States if Europe or a United States of Asia. It is not a government based upon the consent of the governed. It is not a union of ordinary, self?respecting men and women to protect themselves and their freedom and their dignity from oppression. It is an unholy alliance of power and pelf to dominate and enslave the human race.

The British people are conducting an active war against this unholy alliance. Our own future security is greatly dependent on the outcome of that fight. Our ability to “keep out of war” is going to be affected by that outcome.

Thinking in terms of today and tomorrow, I make the direct statement to the American people that there is far less chance of the United States getting into war if we do all we can now to support the nations defending themselves against attack by the Axis than if we acquiesce in their defeat, submit tamely to an Axis victory, and wait our turn to be the object of attack in another war later on.

If we are to be completely honest with ourselves, we must admit there is risk in any course we may take. But I deeply believe that the great majority of our people agree that the course that I advocate involves the least risk now and the greatest hope for world peace in the future.

The people of Europe who are defending themselves do not ask us to do their fighting. They ask us for the implements of war, the planes, the tanks, the guns, the freighters, which will enable them to fight for their liberty and our security. Emphatically we must get these weapons to them in sufficient volume and quickly enough, so that we and our children will be saved the agony and suffering of war which others have had to endure.

Let not defeatists tell us that it is too late. It will never be earlier. Tomorrow will be later than today.

Certain facts are self-evident.

In a military sense Great Britain and the British Empire are today the spearhead of resistance to world conquest. They are putting up a fight which will live forever in the story of human gallantry.

There is no demand for sending an American Expeditionary Force outside our own borders. There is no intention by any member of your Government to send such a force. You can, therefore, nail any talk about sending armies to Europe as deliberate untruth.

Our national policy is not directed toward war. Its sole purpose is to keep war away from our country and our people.

Democracy’s fight against world conquest is being greatly aided, and must be more greatly aided, by the rearmament of the United States and by sending every ounce and every ton of munitions and supplies that we can possibly spare to help the defenders who are in the front lines. It is no more unneutral for us to do that than it is for Sweden, Russia, and other nations near Germany to send steel and ore and oil and other war materials into Germany every day.
We are planning our own defense with the utmost urgency; and in its vast scale we must integrate the war needs of Britain and the other free nations resisting aggression.

This is not a matter of sentiment or of controversial personal opinion. It is a matter of realistic military policy, based on the advice of our military experts who are in close touch with existing warfare. These military and naval experts and the members of the Congress and the administration have a single?minded purpose-the defense of the United States.

This Nation is making a great effort to produce everything that is necessary in this emergency-and with all possible speed. This great effort requires great sacrifice.

I would ask no one to defend a democracy which in turn would not defend everyone in the Nation against want and privation. The strength of this Nation shall not be diluted by the failure of the Government to protect the economic well-being of all citizens.

If our capacity to produce is limited by machines, it must ever be remembered that these machines are operated by the skill and the stamina of the workers. As the Government is determined to protect the rights of workers, so the Nation has a right to expect that the men who man the machines will discharge their full responsibilities to the urgent needs of defense.

The worker possesses the same human dignity and is entitled to the same security of position as the engineer or manager or owner. For the workers provide the human power that turns out the destroyers, the airplanes, and the tanks.

The Nation expects our defense industries to continue operation without interruption by strikes or lock-outs. It expects and insists that management and workers will reconcile their differences by voluntary or legal means, to continue to produce the supplies that are so sorely needed.

And on the economic side of our great defense program, we are, as you know, bending every effort to maintain stability of prices and with that the stability of the cost of living.

Nine days ago I announced the setting up of a more effective organization to direct our gigantic efforts to increase the production of munitions. The appropriation of vast sums of money and a well-coordinated executive direction of our defense efforts are not in themselves enough. Guns, planes, and ships have to be built in the factories and arsenals of America. They have to be produced by workers and managers and engineers with the aid of machines, which in turn have to be built by hundreds of thousands of workers throughout the land.

In this great work there has been splendid cooperation between the Government and industry and labor.

American industrial genius, unmatched throughout the world in the solution of production problems, has been called upon to bring its resources and talents into action. Manufacturers of watches, of farm implements, linotypes, cash registers, automobiles, sewing machines, lawn mowers, and locomotives are now making fuses, bomb-packing crates, telescope mounts, shells, pistols, and tanks.

But all our present efforts are not enough. We must have more ships, more guns, more planes-more of everything. This can only be accomplished if we discard the notion of “business as usual”. This job cannot be done merely by superimposing on the existing productive facilities the added requirements for defense.

Our defense efforts must not be blocked by those who fear the future consequences of surplus plant capacity. The possible consequence of failure of our defense efforts now are much more to be feared.

After the present needs of our defense are past, a proper handling of the country’s peacetime needs will require all of the new productive capacity-if not more.

No pessimistic policy about the future of America shall delay the immediate expansion of those industries essential to defense.

I want to make it clear that it is the purpose of the Nation to build now with all possible speed every machine and arsenal and factory that we need to manufacture our defense material. We have the men the skill, the wealth, and above all, the will.

I am confident that if and when production of consumer or luxury goods in certain industries requires the use of machines and raw materials essential for defense purposes, then such production must yield to our primary and compelling purpose.

I appeal to the owners of plants, to the managers, to the workers, to our own Government employees, to put every ounce of effort into producing these munitions swiftly and without stint. And with this appeal I give you the pledge that all of us who are officers of you Government will devote ourselves to the same whole?hearted extent to the great task which lies ahead.

As planes and ships and guns and shells are produced, your Government, with its defense experts, can then determine how best to us them to defend this hemisphere. The decision as to how much shall be sent abroad and how much shall remain at home must be made on the basis of our over?all military necessities.

We must be the great arsenal of democracy. For us this is an emergency as serious as war itself. We must apply ourselves to our task with the same resolution, the same sense of urgency, the same spirit of patriotism and sacrifice, as we would show were we at war.

We have furnished the British great material support and we will furnish far more in the future.

There will be no “bottlenecks” in our determination to aid Great Britain. No dictator, no combination of dictators, will weaken that determination by threats of how they will construe that determination.

The British have received invaluable military support from the heroic Greek Army and from the forces of all the governments in exile. Their strength is growing. It is the strength of men an women who value their freedom more highly than they value the: lives.

I believe that the Axis powers are not going to win this war. I base that belief on the latest and best information.

We have no excuse for defeatism. We have every good reason for hope-hope for peace, hope for the defense of our civilization and for the building of a better civilization in the future.

I have the profound conviction that the American people are now determined to put forth a mightier effort than they have ever yet made to increase our production of all the implements of defense, to meet the threat to our democratic faith.

As President of the United States I call for that national effort. I call for it in the name of this Nation which we love and honor and which we are privileged and proud to serve. I call upon our people with absolute confidence that our common cause will greatly succeed.


An Age of War and Revolution

The western world of the 18th century saw the philosophies and theories of Enlightenment philosophers (like John Locke) put to the test of being made the concrete foundations of political systems. In North America, the Caribbean, and Europe violent revolutions emerged, producing new states (the United States of America, Republican France, and Haiti for example.
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