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and disputes between nations should be settled, not by wager of battle, but like private controversies by civil proceeding or by arbitration. Some very prominent members of the peace societies favored the repeal bill. Without the aid of these able men it is doubtful if the bill would have been enacted. More than 700,000 copies of Senator Root's speech delivered in the Senate in 1913 were circulated.
Such work could not be consummated without the expenditure of money. This was liberally donated and was the cause of violent censure by those opposing. If the cause were just, the money was morally spent in this crusade of education for the world's uplift. Having faith in their propaganda, why should these associates not go forward with force and energy? It would be difficult for an advocate of peace to be over-zealous in the work. So far as is known, these associations are doing a noble work and should not be subjected to condemnation. What more noble and altruistic than the promulgation of the doctrine of peace and harmony?
These societies are largely voluntary associations. The great financial institution is the Carnegie Endowment. The work of these heroes is not so much political as educational. They operate through the schools, colleges and churches. They teach the young idea how not to shoot at their brothers of the human family.
Peace is a matter of education, of culture, of morality, of religion, of civilization, and is the foundation of Christianity. Then why should not money be expended copiously and the best of man's ability be given in aid of this most righteous cause?
War is diabolical and in no way justifiable except in case of attack and in self defense. So long as the evil of war infests the world nations must protect themselves against violence and destruction. There is yet no means of protection against a ravaging nation only by being armed for the emergency. Every one has the right to protect himself against an armed highwayman or bandit.
Civilization has placed the ban on bull-fights, prizefights and the duel; but these are minims of evil compared with the flood of crime perpetrated on the field of carnage. How inconsistent to prevent, by law, cruelty to animals and to children and punish simple assault without battery, and at the same time go to war, with most deadly appliances, and destroy life by thousands and whole cities, schools, hospitals and churches. Nations properly use heroic measures to drive out plague and pestilence, yet will engage in combat for the express purpose of a much greater destruction of human life.
It is far easier to be drawn into war than to get free from its entanglements. Peace is the normal state, war is abnormal; peace is conservation war is destruction. The end and result of war is to attain peace; that is, nations carry on war and excruciating carnage to complete exhaustion, to gain peace. Why not secure this end by some rational process and forever abolish war? Nations should restrain themselves by some educational process or peace propaganda from committing the grossest wrongs by wholesale. It will be impossible to obtain disarmament among nations by the action of one nation alone; there must be a concert of action brought about through harmonious agreement.
The United States is pre-eminently a peaceable, industrial and non-aggressive nation, and in no way cultivates or fosters the spirit of war; still if the conservative, thoughtful portion of our citizens believe, at any time, that we are on the edge of a hostile military volcano, which at an unforseen moment is liable to envelop us, it is our right and duty to prepare for the dire calamity and do ALL that is necessary for our security and safety. Life, family, home and property must be held sacred above all else, even above peace itself! But we should not be led into mortal conflict without justification, nor through the furor of the “hue and cry.” We should stand firm for peace and yield to war when it becomes the only practical alternative. Peace or war, however, is not always a matter of a nation's choice.
Rulers are sometimes so inflamed with militarism that they seek to justify, on high moral grounds, their illegal and vicious attacks; it has even been customary from the birth of history for nations to loudly proclaim that God is with them in war and supports their side in the struggle. They may delude themselves, for it is beyond the power of man to clearly perceive and interpret the designs of Providence. There is a wide expanse, often, between a fostered belief, and positive, assured knowledge. It is impossible for the Supreme Power to favor both sides in battle. In most cases, perhaps, it is on the side of neither.
The champions of peace in their effort to limit world armament and to abolish war, and in their work for the observance of our treaty obligations have been guided by conservatism, logic, intelligence and wisdom.
“Oh, peace! thou source and soul of social life;
INTERNATIONAL EMINENT DOMAIN.
In the course of events it frequently happens that necessity demands that the great body of outside nations shall have a way of transit through and over the lands and territorial waters of an obstructing nation. The right is founded on the principle that a nation holds sovereignty over a particular portion of the earth only so long as it uses the same in the interest of the world's progress and betterment. When it acts in hostility to the plain dictates of civilization and humanity the family of nations will interfere and compel proper civility and neighborly intercourse.
The family of nations is the forum of the world and its decree must be obeyed by the offending nation. The red man of America, the barbarian of Africa and the cannibal of the Oceanic Isles were brought under subjection through this civilizing principle. Perhaps not by a formal decision by the world powers, but by and with their implicit consent and approval.
Even nations now claiming to be civilized have to be brought under subjection and tutelage by combined international powers. International law compels nations to observe their proper duties to other members of the national family; and International Eminent Domain is a high power that must at times be exerted to enforce international duties and obligations.
Eleven years ago we prepared an article on this subject which was printed in the Wilmington, Del., Morning News on January 30, 1904, and reprinted in the Chicago Legal News February 6th, of the same year, which article was in substance as follows:
All intelligent nations now know that the earth's surface comprises two extensive continents, separated by two vast oceans, thousands of miles in width. Retrospect teaches us how short a period of time this fact has been known; and, also, how rapidly we are advancing in knowledge and civilization.
The land surface of the earth is now largely occupied, in severalty, by many governmental nations and tribes, while the great seas remain the common domain of all. This occupancy of the lands and these joint rights in the seas originated from natural impulse and instinct rather than from express written compact. It is perhaps an economy of nature that the world's territorial government should for most purposes be by units, rather than by one centralized comprehensive entirety.
In the remote past such a concentrated government would have been an impossibility; for even at the dawn of the Christian era the ruling nations or tribes had little knowledge of, or commerce with those living in different and remote parts of the world. In those times of limited travel and trade very little was known of what is now termed international law. It was not then needed. Neither can we expect to find international law in the age of hieroglyphics. Christianity, civilization and the printing press are the progenitors of the jus inter gentes.
This law, like all other human law, is not stable, but is ever changing from age to age with the circumstances that wield the destiny of nations. That which