A Moral Substitute for War, May 3, 1903 (excerpt)



Jane Addams Terms Heavy Armaments Sign of National Cowardice.

"War is no longer a test of courage, but of cowardice," said Miss Jane Addams in the course of her address before the Ethical Culture society on "A Moral Substitute for War," at Steinway hall yesterday morning:

"By maintaining immense armaments the nations of the world show their physical fear of each other. It would take more courage to abandon war at present than to keep it up," continued the speaker, "and the nation that first [advocates] giving it up altogether will be entitled to be termed the most courageous country in the world.

"War has done much, in the history of the human race, to develop courage, inculcate patriotism, and inspire chivalrous deeds and noble actions. For these purposes, however, it is becoming obsolete, and its barbarous side is uppermost to the best thought everywhere. The arts of peace and the toil of the masses inspire higher sentiments than war."

Miss Addams mentioned as a significant fact that the hard workers -- the poorer classes -- who are most relied upon to furnish the sinews of war, are the ones who are beginning to oppose it, a circumstance which she considered as likely to compel an ultimate abandonment of such methods of settling national disputes.

She told that a story is quite current in Russia, especially among the peasants, that the reason the Czar called the peace conference at The Hague to discuss disarmament was his fear, inspired by discontent among the poor at being forced to do military service, and the open refusal of some of them to perform it.

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