German commerce has doubtless been temporarily injured by the war, but the esprit de corps and organization which animate the German Nation are not only a firm foundation for German commerce, but also a strong support for the further development of the commerce and trade of the entire civilized world, if, as we hope, peace soon be re-established.
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An appeal to American friends
The American citizen who is now leaving Europe, which has been turned into an enormous military camp, may consider himself fortunate that he will soon be able to set foot in the New World, where he will be enabled again to take up his business pursuits. In the meantime old Europe is being torn asunder by a terrible war among its various peoples. It will make him happy again to greet mountain and valley, field and garden which are not threatened nor trampled down by armies or covered with blood; again to see cities in which business and traffic are not brought to a standstill by calling in all men capable of military service; and he may thank fortune that his people have been given room enough in which to expand and to permit them freely to unfold their power; that they are spared the great necessity of resisting the tightening ring of enemies in the east and west, on land and water, in a struggle for national existence.
But the American will feel the effects of the fate of the Old World. Even though he knows his own country is not directly involved, he will certainly realize that the great net of international traffic and the progress of his country are connected by many strong ties to the life and prosperity of European peoples. He will be affected by every victory and defeat, just as by the sun and rain in his own country. He will doubtless remember that of all European countries Germany is the best customer of the United States, from which she purchases yearly over 1,000,000,000 marks in cotton, food, metal, and technical products. If Germany is economically ruined, which is the wish of Russia, France, and England and all allied friends of wretched Servia, it would mean the loss of a heavy buyer to America, and thereby cause a serious loss to America which could not easily be made good. It would be a great blow to American export trade, of which Germany handles not less than 14 per cent. yearly.