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Is Warmongering Useful?

Before the U.S. joined WWI, some prominent Americans spoke in favor of aiding the Allies while others strongly opposed U.S. involvement.

Franklin K. Lane, Secretary of the Interior, said:

“We are fighting Germany because she sought to terrorize us and then to fool us. We could not believe that Germany would do what she said she would do upon the seas. Yet, we still hear the piteous cries of children coming out, out of the sea where the Lusitania went down, and Germany has never asked forgiveness of the world.”

James Gerard, who had been America’s ambassador to Germany immediately before the war, also spoke strongly in favor of U.S. involvement, as shown by these words:

And if there are any German-Americans here who are so ungrateful for all the benefits they have received that they are still for the Kaiser, there is only one thing to do with them. And that is to hog-tie them, give them back the wooden shoes and the rags they landed in, and ship them back to the Fatherland.

Would you consider the words of Franklin Lane and James Gerard to be “warmongering” words? Explain your answer.

Have you ever heard politicians speak “warmongering” words? Explain your answer.

Is warmongering ever useful? Explain your answer.


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