To the greatest task man ever undertook our Commonwealth has applied itself, will continue to apply itself with no laggard hand. One hundred and ninety thousand of her sons already in the field, hundreds of millions of her treasure contributed to the cause, her entire citizenship moved with a single purpose, all these show a determination unalterable, to prosecute the war to a victory so conclusive, to a destruction of all enemy forces so decisive, that those impious pretentions which have threatened the earth for many years will never be renewed. There can be no discussion about it, there can be no negotiation about it. The country is united in the conviction that the only terms are unconditional surrender.
This determination has arisen from no sudden impulse or selfish motive. It was forced upon us by the plan and policy of Germany and her methods of waging war upon others. The main features of it all have long been revealed while each day brings to light more of the details. We have seen the studied effort to make perverts of sixty millions of German people. We know of the corrupting of the business interests of the Empire to secure their support. We know that war had been decreed before the pretext on which it was declared had happened. We know Austria was and is the creature of Germany. We have beheld the violation of innocent Belgium, the hideous outrages on soldier and civilian, the piracy, the murder of our own neutral citizens, and finally there came the notice, which as an insult to America has been exceeded only by the recent suggestion that we negotiate a peace with its authors,—the notice claiming dominion over our citizens and authority to exclude our ships from the sea. The great pretender to the throne of the earth thought the time had come to assert that we were his subjects. Two millions of our men already in France, and each day ten thousand more are hastening to pay their respects to him at his court in Berlin in person. He has our answer.
It would be a mistake to suppose we have already won the war. It is not won yet, but we have reached the place where we know how to win it, and if we continue our exertions we shall win it fully, completely, grandly, as becomes a great people contending for the cause of righteousness.
We entered the war late and without previous military preparation. The more clearly we discern the beginning and the progress of the struggle, the more we must admire the great spirit of those nations by whose side we fight. The more we know of the terrible price they paid, the matchless sacrifices they magnificently endured—the French, the Italians, the British, the Belgians, the Serbians, the Poles, and the misgoverned, misguided people of Russia—the bravery of their soldiers in the field, the unflinching devotion of their people at home, and remember that in no small sense they