STANFORD HISTORY EDUCATION GROUP sheg.stanford.edu
Document B: March of the Flag
The following is an excerpt from Albert J. Beveridge’s speech, delivered September
16, 1898. Beveridge gave this speech while he was campaigning to become a
senator for Indiana. The speech helped him win the election and made him one of
the leading advocates of American expansion.
Fellow citizens, it is a noble land that God has given us; a land that can feed and clothe
the world;. . . . It is a mighty people that he has planted on this soil . . . It is a glorious
history our God has bestowed upon his chosen people; . . .a history of soldiers who
carried the flag across the blazing deserts and through the ranks of hostile mountains,
even to the gates of sunset. . . .
The Opposition tells us that we ought not to govern a people without their consent. I
answer: The rule of liberty that all just government derives its authority from the consent
of the governed, applies only to those who are capable of self-government. I answer,
We govern the Indians without their consent, we govern our territories without their
consent, we govern our children without their consent.
They ask us how we will govern these new possessions. I answer: If England can
govern foreign lands, so can America. If Germany can govern foreign lands, so can
America. . . .
What does all this mean for every one of us? It means opportunity for all the glorious
young manhood of the republic, the most virile, ambitious, impatient, militant manhood
the world has ever seen. It means that the resources and the commerce of these
immensely rich dominions will be increased. . . .
In Cuba, alone, there are 15,000,000 acres of forest unacquainted with the axe. There
are exhaustless mines of iron. . . . There are millions of acres yet unexplored. . . . It
means new employment and better wages for every laboring man in the Union. . . .
Ah! as our commerce spreads, the flag of liberty will circle the globe. . . . Benighted
peoples will know that the voice of Liberty is speaking, at last, for them; that civilization
is dawning, at last, for them. . . .
Fellow Americans, we are God’s chosen people. . . .
Source: Albert J. Beveridge’s Senate campaign speech, September 16, 1898.