Presidential Speeches

April 4, 1917: The Republic Must Awaken

About this speech

Warren G. Harding

April 04, 1917

Source Miller Center

Then-Senator Harding (R-Ohio) set forth his support for President Wilson's request for a declaration of war against the Imperial German Government. The speech was originally delivered to the U.S. Senate on April 4, 1917. He emphasized that he was not voting for war in the name of democracy, but to maintain American rights and guarantee neutrality, the very preservation of the nation. The unified effort of the American people and government allowed the largely unprepared United States of America to centralize and harness its powerful economy. Within months, ammunition, weapons, and newly-trained recruits were pouring from America's towns and cities onto transport ships and cargo vessels bound for the European war theater. This unprecedented war effort made victory for the Entente Powers almost inevitable.

(Transcript by Warren G. Harding III)

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April 4, 1917: The Republic Must Awaken

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