"The sands are running out, and unless some strong hand can even now clutch Europe and rescue her from the slope down which she is slipping, the catastrophe of the peace may yet become far greater than that of the Great War."--GENERAL SMUTS.
IT IS difficult for an American of today to realize that less than twenty-five years ago the United States was not taken seriously as a world power. The change came when Dewey won his easy but spectacular triumph at Manila Bay. A victorious war with a European power, the acquisition of the Philippines, our new and commanding position in the Caribbean, forced Europe to recognize that the days of our isolation were past. Roosevelt pushed us still further from our isolated corner when he became mediator between Russia and Japan; again when he took action in the Algeciras Conference and when he decided to send our fleet around the world. Roosevelt lacked nothing in audacity or courage, and what he did to mark our growing power in the world arena met with the approval of his countrymen. But our real baptism came with the advent of the Great War. It was not until then that we emerged a full fledged international giant.
Let us remember that circumstances have had much to do with the commanding position we hold today--even though we have chosen, for the moment, not to use it. Previous to 1914 there were seven powers of the first class, but before the war closed it became reasonably clear that there would be but two outstanding nations left. By reason of her position, her population, her natural resources and her wealth, the United States was certain to be one of these, and Germany or Great Britain was certain to be the other. If Russia had not been broken by revolution she would have more than held her pre-war eminence, and, holding it, would also have held France in the front rank. If a strong Imperial Russia had
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