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Page 284 of Italy and the world war / by Thomas Nelson Page ; with maps.

ITALY AND THE WORLD WAR the situation. The call was first set for the 16th of April, but was soon changed to the 2d, and on the assembling of the Congress on that day the President delivered before it his famous message, demanding that the World be made safe for Democracy. It was addressed rather to the Democ- racies of the world than to any one People, and it has been termed "The Magna Charta of the nations of the world." The effect was instantaneous. It was a trumpet-call to Humanity. It aroused an enthusiasm throughout all coun- tries save those which were fighting to destroy Democracy, and even there it was recognized as the death-knell of Au- tocraev and the reveille of a new era of Freedom. On April 1 the American armed merchant vessel the Aztec was sunk by a German submarine off Brest. On the 6th of April the United States declared that a state of War existed with Germany. Cuba declared war on Germany the following day. The day following this Austria-Hungaiy severed diplomatic relations with the United States. On the 14th of April the Congress of the United States authorized a bond and note issue of 7,000,000,000, of which 3,000,000,000 was to be loaned to the Entente Allies. Inspired by a sort of divine fury, America suddenly flung herself into the war with all her weight. Almost immedi- ately on the Declaration of War some forty American war- vessels were despatched to European waters. Before a great while the number was increased to a hundred and one. A selective-draft law was passed May 18. On May 19 was passed a war appropriation bill of 3,342,300,000, and on June 5 some 10,000,000 men of military age registered under the selective-draft law. The Commander of the American Expeditionary Forces was with his staff already nearing the shores of Europe, and, passing through England, arrived in France a few days later. South America and Central Amer- ica also were aroused. Brazil, Guatemala, Honduras, Nica- ragua all broke off relations with Germany. In order to make clear what Italy's relation to the war and part in it were at this time, it is necessary to set forth in outline what the situation was in France, and also on 284

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