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the action, the President asked authority to use the military and naval forces of the United States, to secure peace and establish a stable government in Cuba, at the same time announcing that he was prepared to execute every obligation imposed upon him by the Constitution and the law.
It was a solemn moment in the history of the United States and the message was received with intense interest, and listened to in sober silence, broken only by an outburst of applause, when the President, after a careful review of the whole situation, reached a climax in the words: "In the name of humanity, in the name of civilization, in behalf of endangered American interests which give us the right and the duty to speak and to act, the war in Cuba must stop."
When the President said, “The issue is now with the Congress," his words could have but one meaning. The diplomatic powers of the Government, which lie exclusively in the Executive, were exhausted. Congress alone held the power of declaring war and that weapon was now the only one avail. able. The responsibility was promptly accepted.
THE SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR
N the 13th of April the Committee on Foreign
Affairs of the House of Representatives reported the following resolution:
“Resolved, That the President is hereby authorized and directed to intervene at once to stop the war in Cuba, to the end and with the purpose of securing permanent peace and order there, and establishing by the free action of the people thereof a stable and independent government of their own in the Island of Cuba; and the President is hereby authorized and empowered to use the land and naval forces of the United States to execute the purpose of this resolution."
On the same day the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations offered a resolution upon which it had been at work for a week before the receipt of the President's message. With the preamble it read:
“Whereas, the abhorrent conditions which have existed for more than three years in the Island of Cuba, so near our own borders, have shocked the moral sense of the people of the United States, have been a disgrace to Christian civilization, culminating,
as they have, in the destruction of a United States battleship, with two hundred and sixty of its officers and crew, while on a friendly visit in the harbor of Havana, and cannot longer be endured, as has been set forth by the President of the United States in his message to Congress of April eleventh, eighteen hundred and ninety-eight, upon which the action of Congress was invited: Therefore,
"Resolved, by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled:
“First. That the people of the Island of Cuba, are, and of right ought to be, free and independent.
“Second. That it is the duty of the United States to demand, and the Government of the United States does hereby demand, that the Government of Spain at once relinquish its authority and government in the Island of Cuba and withdraw its land and naval forces from Cuba and Cuban waters.
“Third.. That the President of the United States be, and he hereby is, directed and empowered to use the entire land and naval forces of the United States, and to call into the actual service of the United States the militia of the several States, to such extent as may be necessary to carry these resolutions into effect."
A minority of the committee urged the addition to the first clause of the words, "and that the Government of the United States hereby recognizes the Republic of Cuba as the true and lawful government of that island.”
This was the very step which the President had so earnestly opposed, but in spite of the vigorous opposition of some of the ablest men in the Senate, the amendment was adopted on the 16th by a vote of 67 to 21, 24 Republicans voting with the Democrats and Populists in the majority.
The following amendment, proposed by Senator Teller, was adopted on the same day without division:
“Fourth. That the United States hereby disclaims any disposition or intention to exercise sovereignty, jurisdiction, or control over said island except for the pacification thereof, and asserts its determination when that is accomplished to leave the government and control of the island to its people.”
The difference between the Senate resolution as amended and that of the House was twofold: First, the Senate proposed to recognize the independence of “the Cuban Republic," although it was well known that the insurgents possessed no organized government worthy of the name, and in spite of the fact that such recognition would have embarrassed the
United States in its handling of the situation, as the President and several senators had clearly shown; and second, the House failed to make plain the demand of the United States that the authority of Spain in the island must cease forthwith. In the next few days there were almost continual conferences, in which for a time a deadlock was threatened. The Republicans of the House loyally supported the view of the President and succeeded in defeating the recognition of the insurgents, meanwhile yielding to the Senate on the demand for the immediate withdrawal of the Spaniards. The resolution, as finally passed in the early morning hours of April 19 by both houses, was exactly the same as it originally came from the Senate Committee, with the addition of Senator Teller's amendment.
It was a wise and clear-headed solution of a muchbefogged problem, and a fortunate one as well, for it enabled the President to enter upon the prosecution of the war unfettered by the necessity of subordinating his movements to the wishes of the Cubans and with the American Congress squarely at his back. The resolution was signed on the 20th. The Spanish Minister immediately demanded his passports and left the same evening. The resolutions of Congress were cabled to Mr. Woodford with instructions to make formal demand upon the Spanish