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Clarke, Graydon (ed.) / The crimson
(1918)

Forensic


Qhe Crimson
Z    e )\su  ian Situation
Stenographic report of the speech with which Stanley Slagg won the final extemporaneous contest
First National Bank Medal
N THE present war as in other wars the situation of Russia has been regarded with surprise
73   by her Allies. Russia entered the war in 1914 with France and England, and in the begin-
ning of the year of 1918 Russia withdrew from the war for unknown reasons. Russia in the
year of 1914 was an Autocracy, in the year 1918 a Democracy under the guidance of Lenine and
Trotsky.
Before discussing Russia's present situation let us trace the situation from the beginning. In
the 17th century Peter the Great conceived of a great idea of conquering the many provinces
Ukrainia, Lithuania, and Finland, and welding them into one great nation under the Autocratic
rule of Russia.
He immediately began to put his plan into operation until, in the year 1914, we saw the results
in the great Russian Empire, the greatest on earth and under the Autocratic rule of the Czar. It
was the largest of all nations with enough resources to conquer the world. Now, in the year of 1917
as a Democratic Government, they have done away with in one year that which it has taken
Russia three hundred years to build up. For three hundred years that nation was the most power-
ful in the world, the nation with the greatest resources in the world, the nation with the most
people in the world, a nation that could have been the most powerful in the world; and now
Russia is divided. Lithuania, Finland and Ukrainia no longer belong to Russia. They have
declared peace with Germany, and their independence is recognized by nearly every nation of
the world, except England, France and America.
Do you realize what the withdrawal of Russia from this war has meant? It means eight
million men less for the Allies. Do you realize that half of Germany's army can be transferred to
the great Western Front for a great drive, and if successful Germany will dominate the world.
Russia is the land of wheat fields, now Germany can make use of all of them. Ukrainia acknowl-
edged peace with Germany and Germany immediately said, "You must give us half of your
wheat" and all that Ukrainia could do was to give up its wheat. Germany has taken over nearly
all of Ukrainia's resources.
Finland has been under the aurocratic rule of the Czar. She was known as the nation under
the lash. Now she is an acknowledged, independent republic. They have said that they are
an independent state not under the control of Russia. They asked the Kaiser to send his fifth
son, Prince Oscar, to rule their country. They also sent word to Germany to send troops to fight
the red guards of the Bolsheviki, in order that they might not conquer Finland for their own.
Germany sent soldiers over to Finland and now Finland can't get them out.
You can see that Finland is now under the autocratic rule of Germany, which is worse than
being under the rule of Russia. They did the only natural thing to fight for independence. We
can see that Russia is an ignorant people. They deserve the sympathy of every person in the
United States.
The capital of Russia has been moved to Moscow because Petrograd is under fire. Robberies
are being committed and it is not safe to live there. Moscow, the original capital of Russia, is
now capital again.
You can see the situation of Russia at the present time. Russia with a new government does
not know what to do so she is sending troops to fight Germany. Germany immediately made a
big drive into Russia. This action aroused Japan. She sent troops into Siberia for the one pur-
pose of preserving her interests. Germany's plan unquestionably was one that tended to overrun
Siberia, capture Japan and then come over to America and capture the U. S. This would be
world dominion. But Japan put a spoke in her wheel by landing at Vladivostock on April 5, 1918.
This action was one of self defense and Germany is not likely to invade Siberia with Japan waiting
for her. The Russians seem to regard Japan as a natural enemy and can not believe she came to
Siberia with any good purpose, but sooner or later she will see that Japan invaded Siberia for
Russia's good.
The only action that should be advanced and advanced immediately by America is one that
will tend to recognize Russia as a democratic nation when she rids herself of Lenine and Trotsky
and a man such as Kerensky is placed in charge of the government until a more stable one is
secured. This action would be in line with our purpose in entering the war and would aid in
bringing this conflict to a successful conclusion.


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