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Foreign Relations of the United States

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United States Department of State / Papers relating to the foreign relations of the United States, 1918

Wilson, Woodrow
Address of the President, December 2, 1918,   pp. IX-XVIII PDF (3.4 MB)

Page XI

was needed to sustain the battle lines, men have vied with each other to
do their part and do it well. They can look any man-at-arms in the face,
and say, We also strove to win and gave the best that was in us to make our
fleets and armies sure of their triumph! 
 And what shall we say of the women—of their instant intelligence,
quickening every task that they touched; their capacity for organization
and cooperation, which gave their action discipline and enhanced the effectiveness
of everything they attempted; their apti~ tude at tasks to which they had
never before set their hands; their utter self-sacrifice alike in what they
did and in what they gave? Their contribution to the great result is beyond
appraisal. They have added a new luster to the annals of American womanhood.
 The least tribute we can pay them is to make them the equals of men in political
rights as they have proved themselves their equals in every field of practical
work they have entered, whether for themselves or for their country. These
great days of completed achievement would be sadly marred were we to omit
that act of justice. Besides the immense practical services they have rendered,
the women of the country have been the moving spirits in the systematic economies
by which our people have voluntarily assisted to supply the suffering peoples
of the world and the armies upon every front with food and everything else
that we had that might serve the common cause. The details of such a story
can never be fully written, but we carry them at our hearts and thank God
that we can say that we are the kinsmen qf such. 
 And now we are sure of the great triumph for which every sacrifice was made.
It has come, come in its completeness, and with the pride and inspiration
of these days of achievement quick within us we turn to the tasks of peace
again—a peace secure against the violence of irresponsible monarchs
and ambitious military coteries and made ready for a new order, for new foundations
of justice and fair dealing. 
 We are about to give order and organization to this peace not only for ourselves
but for the other peoples of the world as well, so far as they will suffer
us to serve them. It is international justice that we seek, not domestic
safety merely. Our thoughts have dwelt of late upon Europe, upon Asia, upon
the Near and the Far East, very little upon the acts of peace and accommodation
that wait to be performed at our own doors. While we are adjusting our relations
with the rest of the world is it not of capital importance that we should
clear away all grounds of misunderstanding with our immediate neighbors and
give proof of the friendship we really feel? I hope that the members of the
Senate will permit me to speak once more of the unratified treaty of friendship
and adjustment with the Republic of Colombia. I very earnestly urge upon
them an early and favorable action upon that vital matter. I believe that
they will feel, with me, that the stage of affairs is now set for such action
as will be not only just but generous and in the spirit of the new age upon
which we have so happily entered. 
 So far as our domestic affairs are concerned the problem of our return to
peace is a problem of economic and industrial readjustment. That problem
is less serious for us than it may turn out to be for the nations which have
suffered the disarrangements and the 

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