Speech on Patriotism (Document 3)

Title in English
E.C. Warriner

E.C. Warriner gave this speech on October 2, 1915 at a teacher’s meeting in Saginaw, Michigan. The document is important for several reasons. First, on page 11, Warriner describes the moment when he first learns about World War I from the papers - a moment which also involves a conversation with a stranger on the street of Mt. Pleasant, Michigan - thus the document serves as an honest account of an ‘ordinary conversation’ about the war from the “heartland’ of the United States. Second, Warriner explains his disappointment and heartbreak, especially after the successes of the 1899 and 1907 Hague Peace Conferences and Carnegie’s acts of peace philanthropy. Nevertheless, Warriner refuses to relinquish his faith and persists in his belief that the goals of the peace movement will eventually be realized. Thus, Document 3 is useful because it demonstrates a U.S. citizen’s faith in the peace through international arbitration movement, despite the unfortunate occurrence of World War I. Third, the essay complements Documents 1 (The notes for the speech 'Universal Peace and the School) and Document 4(Letter from Hyman Herman), because it is focused on the topic of patriotism and its relationship to public education and the duties of the teacher. As Document 4 (Letter from Hyman Herman) illustrates, after the U.S. entered the war in 1917, the relationship amongst patriotism, public education and the duty of the teacher became rather contentious. Document 1 (The notes for the speech 'Universal Peace and the School') which was written between 1910 and 1914 - provides a view of these things prior to the war. Document 3 (Speech on Patriotism) which was written in 1915 and therefore prior to U.S. entry into the war, offers a glimpse into Warriner’s view of patriotism and education at this crucial time that differs from the views expressed in Document 1 (The notes for the speech 'Universal Peace and the School). In Document 3 (Speech on Patriotism), although identifying himself as an “advocate of peace and arbitration”, Warriner concludes that the war has demonstrated that since the world is only “partly hospitable”, “patriotism” therefore requires service to one’s country, and perhaps even the sacrifice of one’s life - until an effective world court is established. The patriotic duty of the teacher is to “teach that our pupils will unselfishly live for the country and if necessary die for it” and that “only a coward will shirk this duty.” Of course, Warriner’s view of courage and patriotism was not universally held among peace advocates. For instance, opposing Warriner’s views are those which regard conscientious objection as both a display of ‘true patriotism’ and real courage. The Women’s International League of Peace and Freedom was one of several organizations which held and continue to hold this opposing view. This brings us to the fourth and final factor illustrating the importance of Document 3, namely that it can be used to stimulate an interesting debate on the nature of patriotism and courage - a question that poses as much relevance today as it did in 1915.

Summary description of items
Speech written by hand on paper by E.C. Warriner

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Eugene Clarence Warriner
Born: December 7, 1866 in Earlville, Illinois , USA
Died: July 20, 1945 in Petoskey, Michigan, USA
Origin date
October 2, 1915
Saginaw, Michigan, USA
Hope Elizabeth May
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    Speech on Patriotism (Document 3)

    Saginaw, Michigan, USA

    Speech on Patriotism (Document 3)

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