Vintage Audio - Call of America

James Hamilton Lewis Click to download as MP3

Reproduced below is the speech recorded by the U.S. Democratic Party politician James Hamilton Lewis, who served as a whip in the U.S. Senate.

Addressing his fellow Senators Hamilton Lewis urged full support for the external war against Germany (or 'Prussia' as he termed it) in much the same manner as the internal struggles of the 1860s were similarly resolved successfully.

Use the player above to listen to a recording of Lewis's speech from 1917.

Call of America

Senators, it is the fate of every self-governing people to be tried by two assaults.  The first is from within, through jealousy of faction or ambition of leaders.  The second is the assault from without, springing from envy or hatred by foreign rivals.

If a nation cannot survive these assaults, she is overcome by internal revolution, or subjugated by foreign foe.  Only when a people by trial proves itself able to withstand both assaults will civilization admit it a place as a permanent nation of earth.

Among modern nations, France survived revolution from within, but was overcome in assault from without under Wellington.  England triumphed in the revolution under Cromwell, and was victorious over foreign foe at Waterloo.  Our America endured the internal conflict of '60 and '64, and moulded a brotherhood of the south and north into one invincible union.

Now sirs, true to the course of history, these United States must meet the assault from without.  It comes from Prussia.  Prussia - whose people were ever received in friendship by our people, and whose children were made our children.

Yet in return for our generosity, Prussian military masses, defiant to the peace loving people of Germany, and unmindful of the friendship of America, cruelly assails the United States, drowning her commerce and murdering her citizens.  All this because our country presumed to enjoy liberty of life and property, and to live as a republic.

Then arose her sons to the call of the flag.  Her daughters to the call of the sons.  All in one voice meet the foe with the cry: 'liberty or death.'

Today, America, forced to war, still loving peace, pledges every son and the woman of his house to the cause of liberty and the honour of our flag.  Here, this day, we lay down every difference of the past, of section or politics, and now proclaim one creed: our country, our whole country, and nothing but our country, thank God.

Bulgaria mobilised a quarter of its male population during WW1, 650,000 troops in total.

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