The Evils of Peace

0 Conversations

The Evils of Peace

A 1917 anti-peace cartoon. It shows US president Woodrow Wilson being attacked by a flock of doves. Some of these doves have human heads that resemble people the cartoonist doesn't like, such as William Jennings Bryan and Kaiser Wilhelm.

The above is what Your Editor calls an 'anti-peace cartoon'. It first appeared in a paper called the Brooklyn Eagle in 1917. We found it in Cartoons magazine, a commercial publication that was used to sell art lessons. Apparently, in addition to being 'boring', peace, love, and understanding are also unpatriotic.

This obnoxious cartoon and the accompanying rant-y article by the publisher, called 'Our Loyal and Disloyal Citizens', appeared at a time when the US was debating whether to enter the Great War on the Allied side due to problems with German submarines. The Editor will refrain from ranting back on the subject of whether it would not have been better for all concerned if the US had explored other options. Avoiding taking sides would definitely have been better for the state of US democracy, and some possible options might have helped prevent the Second World War. Instead of trying to 'prove' a bunch of counterfactuals, we will content ourselves with reprinting some of this other editor's drivel and making mock.

Our Loyal and Disloyal Citizens

The principal danger to America in the present crisis is from within. More dangerous even than the German agents, the paid spies, and the professional hyphenates1, are those misguided rabbits2, the pacifists. Living in a Utopia of their own creation, they, like the Nikko monkeys3, can see no evil, hear no evil, talk no evil. They are self-centered. They constitute their own little solar systerns around which they revolve4. They demand peace at any price. They care nothing for the rights of the United States or its citizens5. They would as readily take a slap on one cheek as on the other, preferably on both. Trying, as they suppose, to steer the country out of the war shoals, they merely interfere with the pilot. Their course, if pursued, will lead more directly into war than the course charted by President Wilson. Instead of standing behind the president, they drape themselves around his feet. Like Lilliputians, they try to bind the hands of their Gulliver. In congress they oppose universal military training. They block the plans for an increase in the general staff of the army6. This "war with Germany," they say, is a plot hatched by the newspapers and the ammunition interests7.

We have the spectacle of William J. Bryan8, the ardent Chautauquan, wigwagging the kaiser, and trying to tip off President Wilson’s hand. In conspiracy with Dr George Barthelme, the Washington correspondent of the Cologne Gazette9, and Dr. George Kirchwey, the former dean of the law school of Columbia University, the Great Commoner interprets for German ears the chief executive's message to congress. According to Bryan, Mr. Wilson is all bark and no bite10. He doesn't mean what he says. He, too, is a pacifist.

We have the spectacle of Jane Addams, the head of Hull House, a woman whose influence among the foreign population of Chicago is considerable11, going down to Washington to try to get the president to call off his dogs12. Had she been in the pay of the German government she couldn't better have served the kaiser's ends.

We have Stone and La Follette13 in the senate: Kitchin, Mann, Cooper, London, and others in the
house, playing Germany’s game for all they're worth, hampering the president at every opportunity, and deliberately closing their eyes to the danger the country faces today.

Of all the group of so-called pacifists, Henry Ford alone has proved himself a man. He, too,
had dreams of world peace, but he is no longer a visionary. In placing his entire resources at the
disposal of the government without profit, he has proved himself a patriot of the first water14.

The average American citizen who was brought up on "My Country, 'Tis of Thee," and "The Star Spangled Banner," and George Washington, and to whom the Stars and Stripes appear as red, white and blue, instead of red, yellow, and blue15, must have blushed for shame at the sight of these anti-war (and anti-American) demonstrations of German-inspired peace leagues that have been held recently.

Opposed to these cowards and shirkers, these ostriches and bunny rabbits16, are the Americans of German parentage or descent, who, regardless of their love for Germany, will stand by the United States first and last. The rush of aliens for naturalization papers – one of the first results of the break with Germany – doesn't necessarily indicate loyalty on the part of this element of our population17. Loyalty lies deeper. With many of these aliens it was a 'safety first' measure, a measure taken to insure jobs or to avert suspicion18. This class is not included among the real German-.Americans, for whom strong words of encouragement and praise are due.

Editor's Note: This goes on for a bit more. You can read it, if you've a mind to, at this internet locus. You can look at more awful cartoons, too. We really hate this guy. He's a…a bunny rabbit, is what he is. It all goes to show that nothing changes at all. When will we ever learn?

The Literary Corner Archive

Dmitri Gheorgheni

26.02.18 Front Page

Back Issue Page

1Everybody at that time, including Theodore Roosevelt, was ranting about 'hyphenated Americans'. They meant people who came from somewhere else. (Yes, we know.) They put pressure on anybody with a recognisable ethnic heritage to prove they were '100% American', whatever that meant.2This guy hates rabbits, apparently. He must have a garden somewhere.3The 'hear-no-evil' monkeys were first carved over a shrine in Nikko, Japan. It seems people knew this back then.4This metaphor makes no more sense than this argument.5Projecting much?6Because they know where this is heading? Has anyone in human history ever increased their military arsenal without eventually using it? We're serious: if they did, we need to know about it.7What? You mean newspapers and arms dealers start wars? Oh, say it isn't so! (See Spanish American War._8Bryan was an unsuccessful presidential candidate – his opponent, William McKinley, outspent him by piles of money in the most expensive election America had ever seen, back in the 1890s. Bryan was mostly known for representing the interests of farmers and workers against banks and corporations. Okay, after the war, the elderly Bryan got roped into trying to prosecute a Tennessee schoolteacher for teaching evolution, and got trounced in public opinion by his opponent, Clarence Darrow. Bryan meant well: the book Scopes was teaching had eugenics in it. Bryan didn't like eugenics any better than you or I. He probably didn't care one way or another about Noah's Ark.9We think he means the Kölnische Zeitung10At least he isn't a rabbit.11Don't you badmouth Jane Addams, you miserable warmongering scribbler. We'll send the Devil Baby with demonic rabbits.12What is it with this guy and the animal references?13More Progressives. We've got your number.14Of course this guy likes Henry Ford. Are we to believe that war wasn't profitable for the Ford Motor Company? It is true that Ford disapproved of the war. In 1918, he bought his own newspaper in order to rail against the people he thought were responsible for the war: the Jews. So, basically, (facepalm).15Oh. Witty.16Rabbits! Again! What are you, an American jingoist, or an Australian rancher?17Why can't we ever get immigrants from really nice countries? Like, er…18This was not a bad idea. The next year, at least one German American was lynched.

Bookmark on your Personal Space

Conversations About This Entry

There are no Conversations for this Entry



Infinite Improbability Drive

Infinite Improbability Drive

Read a random Edited Entry


h2g2 Entries

External Links

Not Panicking Ltd is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


h2g2 is created by h2g2's users, who are members of the public. The views expressed are theirs and unless specifically stated are not those of the Not Panicking Ltd. Unlike Edited Entries, Entries have not been checked by an Editor. If you consider any Entry to be in breach of the site's House Rules, please register a complaint. For any other comments, please visit the Feedback page.

Write an Entry

"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a wholly remarkable book. It has been compiled and recompiled many times and under many different editorships. It contains contributions from countless numbers of travellers and researchers."

Write an entry
Read more