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By Carl Schurz (1881)
NEW YORK, N.Y., Nov. 5, 1881 - Carl Schurz, German-born newspaper publisher, author and former Senator from Missouri, counseled his adopted country to understand that harmonious relationships with the Old World depend on the keeping of a middle course between interference and a "too sentimental fondness," one for the other. Mr. Schurz has created an individual back-round for himself with experiences ranging from work as a Washington political correspondent to editorship or proprietorship of news- papers, in both the English and German languages, located in such diverse places as New York City, St. Louis and Denver, Colorado. Missouri long ago became his adopted state. He spoke here at a dinner given by the Chamber of Commerce of the State of New York.
Mr. Chairman: If you had been called upon to respond to the toast: "The Old World and the New," as frequently as I have, you would certainly find as much difficulty as I find in saying anything of the Old World that is new or of the New World that is not old.
American independence was declared at Philadelphia on July 4, 1776, by those who were born upon this soil, but American independence was virtually accomplished by that very warlike event I speak of on the field of Yorktown, where the Old World lent a helping hand to the New. To be sure, there was a part of the Old World consisting of the British, and I am sorry to say, some German soldiers, who strove to keep down the aspirations of the New, but they were there in obedience to the command of a power which they were not able to resist, while that part of the Old World which fought upon the American side was here of its own free will as volunteers.
The New and the Old World must and will, in the commercial point of view, be of infinite use one to another as mutual customers, and our commercial relations will grow more fruitful to both sides from year to year, and from day to day, as we remain true to the good old maxim, "Live and let live." Nor is there the least speck of danger in the horizon threatening to disturb the friendliness of an international understanding between the Old World and the New World.
That cordial international understanding rests upon a very simple, natural and solid basis. We rejoice with the nations of the Old World in all their successes, all their prosperity, and all their happiness, and we profoundly and earnestly sympathize with them whenever a misfortune over-takes them. But one thing we shall never think of doing, and that is, interfering in their affairs.
On the other hand they will give us always their sympathy in good and evil as they have done heretofore, and we expect that they will never think of interfering with our affairs on this side of the ocean. Our limits are very distinctly drawn, and certainly no just or prudent power will ever think of upsetting them. The Old World and the New will ever live in harmonious accord as long as we do not try to jump over their fences and they do not try to jump over ours.
This being our understanding, nothing will be more natural than friend- ship and good will between the nations of the two sides of the Atlantic. The only danger ahead of us might be that arising from altogether too sentimental a fondness for one another which may lead us into lovers' jealousies and quarrels.