African and European Addresses eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 184 pages of information about African and European Addresses.

Finally, it would be a master stroke if those great Powers honestly bent on peace would form a League of Peace, not only to keep the peace among themselves, but to prevent, by force if necessary, its being broken by others.  The supreme difficulty in connection with developing the peace work of The Hague arises from the lack of any executive power, of any police power, to enforce the decrees of the court.  In any community of any size the authority of the courts rests upon actual or potential force; on the existence of a police, or on the knowledge that the able-bodied men of the country are both ready and willing to see that the decrees of judicial and legislative bodies are put into effect.  In new and wild communities where there is violence, an honest man must protect himself; and until other means of securing his safety are devised, it is both foolish and wicked to persuade him to surrender his arms while the men who are dangerous to the community retain theirs.  He should not renounce the right to protect himself by his own efforts until the community is so organized that it can effectively relieve the individual of the duty of putting down violence.  So it is with nations.  Each nation must keep well prepared to defend itself until the establishment of some form of international police power, competent and willing to prevent violence as between nations.  As things are now, such power to command peace throughout the world could best be assured by some combination between those great nations which sincerely desire peace and have no thought themselves of committing aggressions.  The combination might at first be only to secure peace within certain definite limits and certain definite conditions; but the ruler or statesman who should bring about such a combination would have earned his place in history for all time and his title to the gratitude of all mankind.

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An Address Delivered at Christiania, Norway, on the Evening of May 5, 1910

When I first heard that I was to speak again this evening, my heart failed me.  But directly after hearing Mr. Bratlie[8] I feel that it is a pleasure to say one or two things; and before saying them, let me express my profound acknowledgment for your words.  You have been not only more than just but more than generous.  Because I have been so kindly treated, I am going to trespass on your kindness still further, and say a word or two about my own actions while I was President.  I do not speak of them, my friends, save to illustrate the thesis that I especially uphold, that the man who has the power to act is to be judged not by his words but by his acts—­by his words in so far as they agree with his acts.  All that I say about peace I wish to have judged and measured by what I actually did as President.

  [8] See the Introduction.—­L.F.A.

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African and European Addresses from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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