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AMERICA'S AWAKENING, Issue 15708, 23 January 1915
AMAZJXfI GBOWTH OF MORAL MOVEMENTS. ' CLEAXSIXG PUBLIC LIFE. , [By Haiioi.l) Ih-x-BiK. in the London j ' Chronicle.'] One of the most thoughtful and far- | seeing men 1 have met in America said to me the other dav : '' The greatest force, in I the world is the coalescence of ethical I energy with commercial necessity. It is this fusion which is making America at the present moment a force for progress which cannot be exaggerated. I never j remember a time in which ethics and economics were, so entirely of one opinion." We had been speaking of the futfire—the future of Great- Britain and America. We hurl agreed that far more important than diplomatic or commercial contrivances is a good understanding between the two democracies. My friend said to me : "We have got t-o understand each other better, got to know each other j more, intimately, and by that, i mean, not j individual*)., but, lite two democracies." 1 inquired whether he thought it more ■ necessary for England to have a better understanding of A.merie:i, or America of England. He replied : "To be frank with you. 1 think the greater prejudice is in on your side. Our working people are readers, and serious readers. They know a very great deal about England. and they ha-ve a genuine admiration for j English institutions. The <,! d enmity has j almost entirely passed away. It's not a bit serious. 1 know scores of Irishmen who are now perfectly friendly toward, 1 * you. But on your side. I seem to detect either a lack o! interest in America or suspicion of American ideas. —Sweeping Away Graft Scandals.— " For instance, many of your people still believe, that this is ;i country of graft. A single scandal in one part of the continent appears to be enough to keep this bad reputation alive. No' one I ever tells your people that, we are ear- i ncstly cleansing our political., civil, and j commercial life. I can remember when I to be an American .Senator was to incur i an evil name. Now it's an honor. You j can count the dishonest Senators on the fingers of one hand. In my own part of the country we are fiyhting just now with all our energy to expose and defeat the worst of these few senatorial grafters. But who knows this in England, and who cares?" He then spoke "to me of Die moral enthusiasm which has been slowly taking hold of the American mind, venturing to prophesy thai, by 1925 there will not be one drinking saloon on the whole continent of America. Inquiries which 1 have, since made lead ma to believe thateven if total Prohibition should not come in this generation, temperance at least is winning a tremendous victory, an un-dreamed-of victory, over the whole field of American life. --■ The Realities of Life.--And I have gradually come io realise that there is at the present moment in America a, most, significant movement of a moral, nature. One is not- strikingly aware of this movement in a city liko Xew York, although, as, 1 have said, it strikes me as being a more moral, certainly a more decent, city than London. L'ut in cities more truly American, and ill conversation with Americans from distant States, I have come to feel that there is a spirit on this continent which is in dead earnest about the conduct of life. Here and there it takes the. form of a religious revival, and the ex-baseball player, Billy Sunday, is just now making converts in the great cities by thousands and tens of thousands. Here and there it is a physical culture enthusiasm. Here and there an increasing sense of political honesty. Here and there a new devo- i tion to the rigor of commerce. But the | rail thing underlying all its various mani- ! festat ions is seriousness. The American I people are in earnest. Life, is seen by j them to be ;i, moral .struggle. Thev are ! seriously sotting themselves to throw off the works of darkness and to put upon them tire whole armor of light. Xo nation that ! ever visited is freer from that exaggerated sense of sex which has undermined European conduct for the past 30 years. Respect, for women is the foundation of American character. And the American woman is highly Intelligent and seriously interested ' in' life. She enters into the' business affairs of her husband, shares his ambitions, give.'* him her advice, helps bim t-o succeed! ]n the greater cities there is not, the same home life as we enjoy in England, but the unity between husband and'wife, even if they live in apartment houses and take their meals at restaurants, is greater than that which exists with us. And the children of these united and earnest parents are, conscious of the seriousness of life long before our children have forgotten their games-. —Earnestness of Amerh-an Youths.— _ T have had a quite interesting conversation with a sehooiiiriv of 12. who pertce;]-,- j understood what Lincoln -won for Arneyb i, and who has followed th" war in Knrope i with intelligent interest in its political im- ! plications. 'lf was a jollv b„v. ton. nolhijig j whatever of a pug. And (]-.,.;, „„,,, j u .. t i over 20. men in bn-iness and men in 'tic professions--! have met. of course, a number of fools am< ng the golden youth—are | student..-: of liieinttne, are inters-.;. <} !;! l science, and .■•.re sen'ously shaping their lives, eons.-ions of direction. lam imi d:.-. j pu:-ed In say that the young men I hav- j encountered are more charming and at(raciive than Ihr best, of the young men i ne luce'-; now.-viays hi London'; hut, tbey do certainly strike me as being more ] n .
.•ind more in <■;!rnt'st. Thr-v mid. they think. ami t hey ke,-p ilinn-tlvcs lit. I'. is worth I'f-markiiiL; 1 ],al this ninr.il (-•.".rnostiif'ss is to he found anions you ne; ni-rn who nr- no ahlc to heliov'-' th•• dogmas -if reli-iou. Or f -he most hi!<--<"-tin- conversations 1 have had ill this country was ivilh a ia.iw,.]-. lvhom T hnnd'to he :i student ■■!' psv't holo-v ;,n<\ :\ lllodcs< ui-eiple ..1' pi-1n5,.!.!:.-. H'' W.Vpsrfeetly < h'ar thai ihe (li'racier i,f < hrisi. is tli,' iT'iliv of human I:if ami aithoiwh in persona! iirunorlalit v. he- was pi <>fen:i;<T 1 v ;:fi-u:ed that Mi'.', hanisi!! iim>s not, explain the universe This viiai-- yoiui-. ha udsninc and with v.'iy i-oorl inamici-—was mie of those people. ' v hcaa in, .-ai wholesomcm'*? makes an etmosphor" ahoui. ;h,-m. Wd he loved life anil had faith in Ihe eoodnvsr- o! human 11.'.till :-.
—What Hi's 1 [,•]„•.■<! Uriiph (',,!„,,„,■■ p.— My fi-h-nd. \>-!i,,Vf remaik ~, em. this presi lit, article, iuld iij.. that li,. thought few things v.i.u'.i! be mi •! ■; h.-Ipftil at, tin- ).rend; IVmini'll! than Ik ;i en 1 J.i ! . ] I •,!;■• Kl)-1 is !t I'iini! \i ilh the moral' t.-inii'-tn.v-s of An <•; ic;i. "• Vim will kno-.v " ]i,- said. •• thru trade alv.avs ,',,(■< wiill '.oniM.-lire. I think you I ,'.■■! 11 !e nVI" llioie ihall t .-lit 111.' ext r*- t :s,vl ill trim- of tio!;p.<al ironrjinv 1 u ik.v. !i!d phrase, -n u' ( -:i known ;il! ov"tin- world', that an \\oi<| is V.is \,..:iA. Sati.ms irad.- v.-sv',, you >->.;<,.-■-..-« tilt v trust ymi. Your huiur-.tv has hc-vn ynlir lies! (Oliine-rnal (i ••*•: /Ice. .'..'.ni i;,;..n putal.-io:i l)-i:. : ir-r'ii inn:, ;;<■;.'! inundations. Th.- ua L 'uili.:"ii; wuvk you h;i \ ■; done in p'niiai.l hmpv, jini-i icii!;;:-lv .liiiii:.' the last hundred years, has ln-lpi-.i your eni-onerce. Nations jee] trial yon". in: H...J i.liv sound. Sum,- oi vmtr mod-ru stiiUc-.- as us dca-d-h;. nnlu-ililiv, bad. But. w<- hope thai will pa-s. Wo ihink it if only a phaee. Our i'e, Kn,- 'nv arils you is one nf nalura! ;'i ie"id\,hip and sincere admiration, and this ;'••,-■ linij is largely arocunU'd for hy the s;n,:larirv of our insti'ut tons. Von a pi a p-al democracy. Von believe in liberty. Yeui hcliev.in disrus'-'on. And you ha to mii'Mi-hm. Further, yntir morality ;k our morality. You am not rontent with forms and ceremonies ; you iro :o tii" li,-«irt of a man. And yo.tr public liff> Is splendid, perfectly splendid. V.V admire you vrry sine'-rely. Your courts of lav. you>- Judpes. your Civil Service, your parlia.mpnt.ary .system, and vour journalism —those, things impr.-.-s Ut> and stimulate us. And ve want you to know thai we in Anierieo, with institutions like vours. with ideals ox the san.» character, are more determined than we have ever been in our history to make ht'tnan life greater and belter. A N'i-iv "Mmal F.ra.— "I eannot exprrs- to you the depth <>'. my conviction that Ame"ic.i w now standin:: at the dawn of a new moral parncsti:e,ss. I mvself am isurprLsed hy the maiii-
testations of this- spirit which greet irm r>ow wherever I turn. We see that, quits apart) from the intrinsic excellence of morality, commerafei. advancement canned be divorced irom. goodness. Wts are. fixing out attention on eh a rafter. think that wa have never had the- enmmercialJe-m over here which has created most, of your political problems: hut our commercialism now is very certain that morality is essential to its' progress. We are. out to destroy the drink traffic We are out to destroy si.i and iniquity. We are determined that, no man shall exploit humanity. And we know verv weii. let me tell you. that if we do not. fight this great fight to a. victory we shall be faced over here with the sani» terrible problems of poverty and crime 1 which make it so difficult for your politicians io forge ahead." It will sin-prise English people. T think. to know that American opinion has been rather shocked by our •'commercialism."' But. in verv truth T find that American employers, however greatly they may worship the almighty dollar, do. on the> whole, treat, their workpeople, far better, infinitely better, than the majority of English em- ] ployeis. In tome cases are I most lavishly cared for, and the spirit of I comradeship' «oms to me to he morft i powerfullv at work in America, everywhere I go, than it is with us. Tiiv* poverty hero is" not the disgraceful poverty of the sweater's greed, but- the poverty can&r-dby drink and seilishuess. There is nothing bore, absolutely nothing, to compare with the most .shocking and übiquitous poyertv iof Europe. America- has organised itself j -so (hat only vice shall breed poverty. It. i is now organising itself so that vice ajiall be extirpated.
AMERICA'S AWAKENING, Issue 15708, 23 January 1915
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