Mid-West Quarterly, The (1913-1918)


Date of this Version



Published in THE MID-WEST QUARTERLY 2:3 (April 1915), pp. 289-295. Published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons & the University of Nebraska.


The present temper of peace-loving America is very close to that of a nation on the brink of war. There is something in it almost baffling to one who has thought of his countrymen as a people to be saved from excess by a cool humour. No doubt their moral sympathies have been deeply stirred by the present conflict. Many of their prepossessions have been shocked, and one at least has been quite shattered. It had been hoped in many quarters that the age of war had passed, that international understanding and economic interdependence had made an open breach between the Christian nations of Europe an improbability if not an impossibility. There is small doubt that it is the violation of this recently cherished ideal of peace that has stirred America. Nothing else could account for the eagerness with which she has overlooked the remoter and more real causes of the war, ignored its justice or injustice, and sought for the immediate aggressor. Whether her findings even in this matter have been based on unprejudiced information is beside the present point. She has looked for the aggressor with honest intentions; and believing with a fair degree of unanimity that Germany was guilty of breaking the peace, she has, as a people, centred her surprising animosity upon that nation.