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Page 15 text:
of peoples from every corner of the earth. Some came to escape per-
secution, some to improve their economic condition, and some to avoid
military service. Many of them came first to New York, and as they
entered the harbor, they perceived the great Statue of Liberty with her
torch upraised, signifying freedom.
These immigrants were of many races and spoke many languages
They were not used to free government, but their children went to the
public schools, learned to speak English, and even attended high school
and college. ln Europe they would not have had the opportunity to
become educated, but would have been compelled to remain laborers
for small wages all their lives. We may pride ourselves on the fact that
this country encourages every boy and girl to rise as high as his or her
ability will permit.
So you see that democracy is not just a whim or the policy of one
individual or of a group of men, but the natural evolution of a series of
economic changes in the history of the world.
Then why is it that democracy seems to have fallen from the high
prestige that it had at the time of the armistice? Why is it that nation
after nation has turned with evident satisfaction to dictatorship?
There is an answer to all these questions, the one word-"Depres-
sion." But any government or form of government under whose regime
disaster falls, is likely to be looked upon as falsified power, until another
disaster comes in different guise.
We must realize that at present our country is in an abnormal
state. Therefore, to judge democracy in the light of these irregularities
would be unfair. On the other hand, if we disregard present conditions
and judge democracy on the basis of its stable growth throughout the
ages, there is no reason why it can not be perpetuated.
Democracy is not on the decline but rather is suffering from a tem-
porary relapse because of depressing conditions prevalent throughout
the world today. l firmly believe that under the able leadership of
our President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, democracy will safely weather
the storm of criticism which is threatening it. This, coupled with the
cooperation of the various representatives of the people, and the strong
nationalistic spirit of the people themselves, goes far towards assuring
Page 14 text:
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There is a word in common use today that is shrouded with con-
fusion. This word is "democracy" The birth of democracy took place
in the early middle ages when the Church first proclaimed the rights
of the people as opposed to the tyranny of kings. This was closely fol-
lowed by the Humanist movement. These theorists originated that
famous by-word that has been echoed throughout history-"Liberty,
From this point on, a series of inventions and discoveries furthered
the cause of democracy. The first among these was gun-powder, which
enabled the lowly plebeian infantry to unseat the proud knight from his
The coinage of money was another step toward democracy, for
with it cme the beginnings of a great credit system in Europe. This
openedl the highways of trade and paved the way for the rise of a new
merchant class, that as time went on grew more powerful, wealthy, and
The printing press was still another invention that helped the ideals
of democracy. lt opened the temples of knowledge to all who cared to
enter, and instilled progressive ideas in the minds of many.
Free soil in America was another influence in the progress of
democracy. Men who owned their own land and cultivated their own
soil were independent and learned to think for themselves. Very early
in the history of the American colonies, these independent farmers
chose the ballot as the means of expressing their governmental beliefs.
By these men the hardybackbone of America was formed.
But by far the most decided influence was the lndustrial Revolu-
tion. The discovery of steam, and later on, of electric power, and the
harnessing of these miracle-workers to drive machines, gave rise to a
new class, the machine-owners. ln a short time, the government be-
came more and more dependent upon them, and it was inevitable that
the machine-owners should demand political power proportionate with
their economic power.
Because of her democratic ideals, America has become the home
Page 16 text:
us that our government will always be "of the people, by the people,
and for the people."
We have learned in Walton the purpose and functions of democ-
racy, because our school has student government. We have seen how
successfully democracy can work out and, therefore, our generation will
be fully equipped to maintain and promote democracy.
We Americans have a firm belief in public education. No other
country invests so much money in its schools as does the United States.
ln every state of the Union we find public schools, and high schools,
open free for every child. Some states support free or low cost edu-
cation in colleges and in universities for their young men and young
women. New York City offers free education to its children from kin-
dergarten through college. Can it be doubted that these thousands of
young people, who owe their training for earning a living, their intro-
duction to the cultural treasures of the world, and their capacity for
analysis and judgment to an educational system rooted in the principles
of democracy, will carry on those traditions? Education gives us a
broader and deeper view of life and prepares us to meet it intelligenty
and overcome its crushing problems.
Arthur' Christopher Benson in his poem "Land of l-lope and Glory,"
gives us a picture of what the United States stands for:
Dear Land of Hope, thy hope is crownedg
Cod made thee mightier yet!
On Sov'ran brows, beloved, renowned, once more thy crown is set.
Thine equal laws, by freedom gained,
Have ruled thee well and long.
By freedom gained, by truth maintained,
Thine Empire shall be strong.
With all my heart l wish to thank Miss Conlon, our parents, and
our teachers for instilling in us the courage and confidence that we must
possess in order to solve the problems that face our generationm We
pledge our loyalty to Walton by carrying out faithfully and sincerely
our life work, by translating into action in the adult world ,the high
ideals we have learned in Walton and by living the kind of lives that
Walton girls cherish.
JEANETTE l-IAUSNER 'fi
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