"The World Must Be Made Safe For Democracy"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: President Woodrow Wilson's message to Congress on April 2, 1917, is a request for a declaration of war against Germany. The President traces the aggressive acts of German submarines against United States vessels and says that if this country continues on its path of neutrality it will still be drawn into war without the rights of belligerents. The object in going to war, he says, is to vindicate the principles of peace. He points out that the United States is not against the German people, for those people, too, have been oppressed by their tyrannical government. The President names specific acts of the German government prejudicial to the harmony of the relations of this country with its allies and neighbors. Wilson says:

. . . We are glad, now that we see the facts with no veil of false pretense about them, to fight thus for the ultimate peace of the world and for the liberation of its peoples, the German people included; for the rights of nations great and small and the privilege of men everywhere to choose their way of life and of obedience. The world must be made safe for democracy. Its peace must be planted upon the trusted foundations of political liberty. . . .