Index U

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The problem set to the governing caste in Uganda is totally different from that which offers itself in British East Africa. The highlands of East Africa form a white man's country, and the prime need is to build up a large, healthy population of true white settlers, white home-makers, who shall take the land as an inheritance for their children's children. Uganda can never be this kind of white man's country; and although planters and merchants of the right type can undoubtedly do well there—to the advantage of the country as well as of themselves—it must remain essentially a black man's country, and the chief task of the officials of the intrusive and masterful race must be to bring forward the natives, to train them, and above all to help them train themselves, so that they may advance in industry, in learning, in morality, in capacity for self-government—for it is idle to talk of “giving” a people self-government; the gift of the forms when the inward spirit is lacking, is mere folly; all that can be done is patiently to help a people acquire the necessary qualities — social, moral, intellectual, industrial, and lastly political—and meanwhile to exercise for their benefit, with justice, sympathy, and firmness, the governing ability which as yet they themselves lack. (1910.) Mem. Ed. V, 362; Nat. Ed. IV, 311-312.


We should consider practicable ways and try to develop long-time projects for the purpose of tackling the permanent industrial problem of unemployment in this country. . . .

Let me urge that we keep clear of the two besetting sins, hardness of the heart and softness of head. Just at the moment hardness of the heart, or at least callous and careless indifference to the dreadful misery around us, is the prime difficulty to be overcome; but when we come to long-time projects and permanent plans we must remember all the innumerable evils that flow from softness of head.

The municipality must of course take the lead in securing immediate relief measures. But the city government cannot do more than a certain amount. In addition, the decent citizens who have jobs, the decent citizens who have money, are bound to try in practical fashion to show their belief in the doctrine that each man and each woman must be in some sort the keeper of his or her less fortunate brothers and sisters. What we really need just at this moment is to be good neighbors to our neighbors who are badly off. . . .

I hope that the big industrial industries will look out for their working men, remembering that the chief need now is not for charity, but for work, and incidentally
I hope that instead of cutting the rate of wages they will cut hours and employ as many men as possible on half time, rather than half that number on full time. (At New York City, January 26, 1915.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 629-630; Nat. Ed. XVI, 457-458.


See also Employment Bureaus.

Unemployment Insurance

See Social Insurance.


See Labor Unions. Unity. See National Unity; Racial Unity.

Universal Military Service

See Military Service.

Universal Suffrage

See Suffrage.

University — Functions of A

A great university like this has two especial functions. The first is to produce a small number of scholars of the highest rank, a small number of men who, in science and literature, or in art, will do productive work of the first class. The second is to send out into the world a very large number of men who never could achieve, and who ought not to try to achieve, such a position in the field of scholarship, but whose energies are to be felt in every other form of activity; and who should go out from our doors with the balanced development of body, of mind, and above all of character, which shall fit them to do work both honorable and efficient. (At Harvard University, Cambridge, June 28, 1905.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 431; Nat. Ed. XVI, 320.

____________. The work that our colleges can do is to fit their graduates to do service—to fit the bulk of them, the men who can not go in for the highest type of scholarship, to do the ordinary citizen's service for the country; and they can fit them to do this service only by training them in character. To train them in character means to train them not only to possess, as they must possess, the softer and gentler virtues, but also the virile powers of a race of vigorous men, the virtues of courage, of honesty—not merely the honesty that refrains from doing wrong, but the honesty that wars aggressively for the right—the virtues of courage, honesty, and, finally, hard common-sense. (At banquet in honor of Nicholas Murray Butler, April 19, 1902.) Presidential Addresses and State Papers I, 32-33.

____________. There is a twofold side to the work done in any institution of this kind. In the first place the institution is to turn out scholars and men proficient in the different technical branches for which it trains them. It should be the aim of every university which seeks to develop the liberal side of education to turn out men and women who will add to the sum of productive achievement in scholarship; who will not merely be content to work in the fields that have already been harrowed a thousand times by other workers, but who will strike out for themselves and try to do new work that counts; so in each technical school if the institution is worthy of standing in the front rank, it will turn out those who in that particular specialty stand at the head. But in addition to this merely technical work, to the turning out of the scholar, the professional man, the man or woman trained on some special line, each university worthy of the name must endeavor to turn out men and women in the fullest sense of the word, good citizens, men and women who will add by what they do to the sum of noble work in the whole community. (At University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, April 4, 1903.) Presidential Addresses and State Papers I, 293.

____________. My plea is that our great universities, while paying heed, as they ought, chiefly to vocational training, while paying heed, as they ought, chiefly to turning out men and women who will be of practical service in the life of the state, should also remember that our national life will be hopelessly one-sided and will come very far short of what the life of the Nation must be if it is to be a great Nation, unless we also steadfastly turn our attention to developing the kind of men who shall be masters in exceptional lines of work; unless in addition to the vocational training we have a cultural training which shall fit men to do the highest and best work in the fields of literary and artistic endeavor, and in the field of pure science—of abstract science, of science not pursued with any expectation of making it immediately remunerative. (Charter Day Address, Berkeley, Cal., March 23, 1911.) University of California Chronicle, April 1911, pp. 143-144.


See also College; Education, Liberal.


No nation can afford to rely upon utterly unprepared strength. Even the strongest man can with safety rejoice to run a race only on condition that he is in some kind of training to make the effort. If he lets his muscles become mere fat, he can rest assured that he will be beaten by any one who takes the trouble. The unwieldy possibility of strength would not save the United States any more than it saved China. Of course Americans are very different people from the Chinese; and I have altogether too firm a faith in my countrymen not to believe that ultimately they would make any antagonist regret having assailed them; but this might well be only after terrible disaster and bitter humiliation; only after repeated defeat in battles and campaigns, or, indeed, defeat in the first war itself. If our lack of preparation caused us such defeats, though we might subsequently redeem them, we could never wipe out their memory or undo the damage they did. Gunton's Magazine, January 1898, p. 2.

____________. If the attitude of this nation toward foreign affairs and military preparedness at the present day seems disheartening, a study of the first fifteen years of the nineteenth century will at any rate give us whatever comfort we can extract from the fact that our great-grandfathers were no less foolish than we are. (1916.) Mem. Ed. IV, 196; Nat. Ed. III, 351.

____________..The United States has never once in the course of its history suffered harm because of preparation for war, or because of entering into war. But we have suffered incalculable harm, again and again, from a foolish failure to prepare for war or from reluctance to fight when to fight was proper. (Address as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Naval War College, June 1897.) Mem. Ed. XV, 246; Nat. Ed. XIII, 187.

____________. For eighteen months, with this world- cyclone before our eyes, we as a nation have sat supine without preparing in any shape or way. It is an actual fact that there has not been one soldier, one rifle, one gun, one boat, added to the American army or navy so far, because of anything that has occurred in this war, and not the slightest step has yet been taken looking toward the necessary preparedness. Such national short- sightedness, such national folly, is almost inconceivable. We have had ample warning to organize a scheme of defense.

We have absolutely disregarded the warning, and the measures so far officially advocated are at best measures of half-preparedness, and as regards the large aspect of the question, are not even that. (Metropolitan, February 1916.) Mem. Ed. XX, 282; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 242.

Unpreparedness — Dangers of

The fatal weakness [in seventeenth century Holland] was that so common in rich, peace-loving societies, where men hate to think of war as possible, and try to justify their own reluctance to face it either by high-sounding moral platitudes, or else by a philosophy of short-sighted materialism. The Dutch were very wealthy. They grew to believe that they could hire others to do their fighting for them on land; and on sea, where they did their own fighting, and fought very well, they refused in time of peace to make ready fleets so efficient as either to insure them against the peace being broken or else to give them the victory when war came. To be opulent and unarmed is to secure ease in the present at the almost certain cost of disaster in the future. (At Oxford University, June 7, 1910.) Mem. Ed. XIV, 88; Nat. Ed. XII, 44.

____________. The nation that waits until the crisis is upon it before taking measures for its own safety pays heavy toll in the blood of its best and its bravest and in bitter shame and humiliation. Small is the comfort it can then take from the memory of the times when the noisy and feeble folk in its own ranks cried “Peace, peace,” without taking one practical step to secure peace. We can never follow out a worthy national policy, we can never be of benefit to others or to ourselves, unless we keep steadily in view as our ideal that of the just man armed, the man who is fearless, self-reliant, ready, because he has prepared himself for possible contingencies; the man who is scornful alike of those who would advise him to do wrong and of those who would advise him tamely to suffer wrong. (New York Times, November 15, 1914.) Mem. Ed. XX, 114; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 98.

Unpreparedness — Lessons of

Compared with the neighboring Indians, they [the cliff-dwellers] had already made a long stride in cultural advance when the Spaniards arrived; but they were shrinking back before the advance of the more savage tribes. Their history should teach the lesson—taught by all history in thousands of cases, and now being taught before our eyes by the experience of China, but being taught to no purpose so far as concerns those ultra- peace advocates whose heads are even softer than their hearts—that the industrious race of advanced culture and peaceful ideals is lost unless it retains the power not merely for defensive but for offensive action, when itself menaced by vigorous and aggressive foes. (1916.) Mem. Ed. IV, 33; Nat. Ed. III, 212.

____________. [The operations on land during the war of 1812] teach nothing new; it is the old, old lesson, that a miserly economy in preparation may in the end involve a lavish outlay of men and money, which, after all, comes too late to offset more than partially the evils produced by the original short-sighted parsimony. . . . It was criminal folly for Jefferson and his follower, Madison, to neglect to give us a force either of regulars or of well-trained volunteers during the twelve years they had in which to prepare for the struggle that any one might see was inevitable. (1883.) Mem. Ed. VII, xxxi; Nat. Ed. VI, xxvii.

____________. In 1814 this nation was paying for its folly in having for fourteen years conducted its foreign policy, and refused to prepare for defense against possible foreign foes, in accordance with the views of the ultra-pacifists of that day. It behooves us now, in the presence of a world war even vaster and more terrible than the world war of the early nineteenth century, to beware of taking the advice of the equally foolish pacifists of our own day. To follow their advice at the present time might expose our democracy to far greater disaster than was brought upon it by its disregard of Washington’s maxim, and its failure to secure peace by preparing against war, a hundred years ago. (1915.) Mem. Ed. XX, xx; Nat. Ed. XVIII, xx.

____________. Switzerland, at the time of the Napoleonic wars, was wholly unprepared for war. In spite of her mountains, her neighbors overran her at will. Great battles were fought on her soil, including one great battle between the French and the Russians; but the Swiss took no part in these battles. Their territory was practically annexed to the French Republic, and they were domineered over first by the Emperor Napoleon and then by his enemies. It was a bitter lesson, but the Swiss learned it. Since then they have gradually prepared for war as no other small state of Europe has done, and it is in consequence of this preparedness that none of the combatants has violated Swiss territory in the present struggle.

The briefest examination of the facts shows that unpreparedness for war tends to lead to immeasurable disaster, and that preparedness, while it does not certainly avert war any more than the fire department of a city certainly averts fire, yet tends very strongly to guarantee the nation against war and to secure success in war if it should unhappily arise. (Everybody’s, January 1915.) Mem. Ed. XX, 138; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 119.

Unpreparedness — Responsibility for

Now the prime reason why we are at present unprepared, is that you, my dear Mr. President, and the men like you, from the highest motives, persist in making general statements in favor of preparedness in the abstract, and then utterly undoing everything you say by repudiation of these principles when applied in the concrete; and even, as now appears, by repudiation of abstract statements if, as in the present instance, the Administration shows sensitiveness when they are made. (To Henry S. Drinker, president of Lehigh University, September 1, 1915.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 464; Bishop II, 395.

____________. Nine-tenths of wisdom is being wise in time. In this crisis we have been saved by the valor of others from paying a ruinous price for our folly. Let us now put ourselves in such shape that next time we shall be able to save ourselves, instead of helplessly asking some one who is stronger and braver to do the job for us. The first step toward the achievement of this end is clearly to understand the present situation. Seven months after Germany virtually declared war on us, five months after we reluctantly admitted that we were at war, we have a few tens of thousands of gallant infantry near the front, forming an almost inappreciable proportion of the large armies engaged; we have some hundreds of thousands of men who have just begun, or expect soon to begin, training. We have refused to standardize our ammunition by the ammunition of our allies. We are beginning to manufacture good artillery; . . . we have shaped an excellent plan for aircraft development; but as yet we have not a single big field gun or a single war aeroplane fit to match against the field-artillery and flying-machines of either our allies or our enemies. We are short of rifles, of tents, of clothing, of everything. We are actually building rifles of a new type which nevertheless will not take the standardized ammunition of either of our allies. And in the Official Journal of the Administration we are officially told on behalf of the Administration that this is a “happy confusion” and that we should feel “delight” because of our shameful unpreparedness. (Metropolitan, September 1917.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 23; Nat. Ed. XIX, 19 20.

Unpreparedness — Results of

A policy of unpreparedness and of tame submission to insult and aggression invites the kind of repeated insolence by foreign nations which in the end will drive our people into war. I advocate preparedness, and action (not merely words) on behalf of our honor and interest, because such preparedness and the readiness for such action are the surest guarantees of self-respecting peace. (Metropolitan, February 1916.) Mem. Ed. XX, 301; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 258.

____________. Our refusal to prepare in advance and our fatuous acceptance of rhetorical platitudes as a substitute for preparations have resulted in our present military impotence and profound and far-reaching economic derangement. The profound business distrust, the unrest of labor, the coal famine, the congestion of traffic, and the shutting down of industries at the time when it is most important that production should be speeded to the highest point, all are due primarily to the refusal to face facts during the first two years and a half of the World War and the seething welter of inefficiency and confusion in which the policy of watchful waiting finally plunged us. Nine-tenths of wisdom is being wise in time. All far-sighted patriots most earnestly hope that this Nation will learn the bitter lesson and that never again will we be caught so shamefully unprepared, spiritually, economically, and from the military standpoint as has been the case in the year that is now passing. (January 18, 1918.) Roosevelt in the Kansas City Star, 91.

____________. The policy of unpreparedness, of watchful waiting, has borne most evil fruit. For two and a half years before we drifted stern foremost into the war we were given such warning as never before in history was given a great nation. Yet we failed in the smallest degree to profit by the warning, and we drifted into war unarmed and helpless, without having taken the smallest step to harden our huge but soft and lazy strength. In consequence, although over a year has passed, we are still in a military sense impotent to render real aid to the allies or be a real menace to Germany. (Before Republican State Convention, Portland, Me., March 28, 1918.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 517; Bishop II, 441.

Unpreparedness And War

China has shown herself utterly impotent to defend her neutrality. Again and again she made this evident in the past. Order was not well kept at home and above all she was powerless to defend herself from outside attack. She has not prepared for war. She has kept utterly unprepared for war. Yet she has suffered more from war, in our own time, than any military power in the world during the same period. She has fulfilled exactly the conditions advocated by these well-meaning persons who for the last five months have been saying in speeches, editorials, articles for syndicates, and the like that the United States ought not to keep up battleships and ought not to trust to fortifications nor in any way to be ready or prepared to defend herself against hostile attack, but should endeavor to secure peace by being so inoffensive and helpless as not to arouse fear in others. (New York Times, October 4, 1914.) Mem. Ed. XX, 37; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 32.

____________. Affairs in the international world are at this time in analogous condition. There is no central police power, and not the least likelihood of its being created. Well-meaning enthusiasts have tried their hands to an almost unlimited extent in the way of devising all-inclusive arbitration treaties, neutrality treaties, disarmament proposals, and the like, with no force back of them, and the result has been stupendous and discreditable failure. Preparedness for war on the part of individual nations has sometimes but not always averted war. Unpreparedness for war, as in the case of China, Korea, and Luxembourg, has invariably invited smashing disaster, and sometimes complete conquest. Surely these conditions should teach a lesson that any man who runs may read unless his eyes have been blinded by folly or his heart weakened by cowardice. (New York Times, November 8, 1914.) Mem. Ed. XX, 83; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 72.

____________. The prime and all-important lesson to learn is that while preparedness will not guarantee a nation against war, unpreparedness eventually insures not merely war, but utter disaster. (Metropolitan, August 1915.) Mem. Ed. XX, 370; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 317.

____________. Unpreparedness has not the slightest effect in averting war. Its only effect is immensely to increase the likelihood of disgrace and disaster in war. The United States should immediately strengthen its navy and provide for its steady training in purely military functions; it should similarly strengthen the Regular Army and provide a reserve; and, furthermore, it should provide for all the young men of the nation military training of the kind practised by the free democracy of Switzerland. Switzerland is the least “militaristic” and most democratic of republics, and the best prepared against war. If we follow her example we will be carrying out the precepts of Washington. (1915.) Mem. Ed. XX, xxiv; Nat. Ed. XVIII, xxiii.

____________. Our unpreparedness did not “keep us out” of the war. Unpreparedness never does keep a nation out of war; it merely makes a nation incompetent to carry it on effectively. And preparedness does not “invite” war; on the contrary it usually averts war, and always renders the prepared nation able to act efficiently if war should, unhappily, come. (Metropolitan, September 1917.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 19; Nat. Ed. XIX, 17.


See also Defense; Military Service; Military Training; National Defense; Pacifism; Peace; Preparedness; Righteousness; Spanish-American War; War Of 1812; Weakness; World War.


See National Unselfishness.


Excessive urban development undoubtedly does constitute a real and great danger. All that can be said about it is that it is quite impossible to prophesy how long this growth will continue. Moreover, some of the evils, as far as they really exist, will cure themselves. If townspeople do, generation by generation, tend to become stunted and weak, then they will die out, and the problem they cause will not be permanent; while on the other hand, if the cities can be made healthy, both physically and morally, the objections to them must largely disappear. (Sewanee Review, August 1894.) Mem. Ed. XIV, 250; Nat. Ed. XIII, 217.


See also City. Uruguay. See Monroe Doctrine.


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