Cover of book Americanism
Categories: Nonfiction

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S OF PEACE The Constitution of the United States does not vest the chief executive with the exclusive function of determining terms of peace in any war declared by Congress, and which can only be terminated by Congress in the ratification of a treaty of peace. This matter, therefore, is one upon which every citizen of the republic has a right to think and to speak. That responsibility for the determination of declarations of war and treaties of peace does not rest in any one quarter is indicated by President Wilson himself when he lays down as one of the conditions of peace, the destruction of every arbitrary power that can separately, secretly or of its own choice disturb the peace of the world, or if it cannot be destroyed that such power be at least greatly contracted. Undoubtedly the power of the Kaiser to declare war without consulting the German people or other branches of the German government had much to do with precipitating the present war. The lesson is that everywhere throughout the world power exercised in the name of government should be subjected to checks and limitations. No branch of the government should be permitted to fall into contempt. It should be understood that those who seek to degrade Congress, for instance, to a state of impotence, are not true friends of genuine democracy. It should be understood that those who, like Senator Owen, would take from the Supreme Court the power to place its decree between Congress or the executive and the violation of any of the fundamental guarantees or principles of the Constitution, are trying to save the world for an autocracy quite as dangerous as that which flourishes in Germany, Austria and Turkey. With President Wilson's declaration that hereafter nations should be governed in their relati...

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