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David Liao & Abhiram Gogate

Mr. Wasek
IB History 11
1/10/13

David Franklin Houston – David Liao


Good afternoon, my name is David Franklin Houston and I am the Secretary of
Agriculture. The strength of our nation depends on how robust our agricultural production is. I
believe that the passing of the proposed acts on top of the recent incidents with the Germans will
pull us into war - a war that will swing us into an unpredictable economy, and possibly harming
our agricultural production. In fact, as I have stated in the past, “the importance to the nation of a
generously adequate food supply ... cannot be overemphasized, in view of the economic
problems which may arise as a result of the entrance of the United States into the war.”
The only way to comply with the National Defense Act would be to get more manpower
from the working force - this would cut into our adequate food supply. America does not need to
expand their army - this is evident through the various conquests of the Caribbean, Latin
America, and the Pacific just 20 years earlier. This also negates the need for the Naval Expansion
Act, which would expand a navy that has already proven to be at world conquering strength.
As a representative of the farmers in our nation, I foresee issues that we will encounter if
the US were to go into war. A war against European nation will damage our diplomatic relations,
and thus affect our trading of our agricultural products. While many will argue that entering the
war would increase the demand of agricultural goods and thus bring farmers prosperity, I do not
see this as the case. After seeing the trade blockades, even despite the high demands, we will
have no way to provide our goods to every nation in demand; even our British ally, may even
hinder us in their war interests should we supply agricultural products to Germany, for example.
Furthermore, there are credit limits at this point in time for farmers. While there is no
question as to the ability for farmers to maximize their output in order to sustain a war (given the
land and resources), the real question lies in whether the farmers can secure credit for those
resources. And if they can obtain the loans to run the land, is it secure and low enough risk for
the providers? The war will definitely increase food demands and the impending credit crisis that
is to come will make it impossible to kick-start the war. Running head-first into a war without
having the supplies to follow is akin to going to battle without guns.
Thus, claims that increased demand would bring prosperity to farmers are merely a
figment of our optimism - a misguided and hasty conclusion lacking long term planning.

Sources:
Eight Years with Wilson’s Cabinet
History of the Americas
http://millercenter.org/president/wilson/essays/cabinet/470
http://www.treasury.gov/about/history/pages/dfhouston.aspx

Williams Jennings Bryan – Abhiram Gogate

I am going to be expanding on the points made by Mr. Houston. My name is William Jennings
Bryan, and I ran for president four times in a row in 1896, 1900, 1904, and 1908. I believe that
the protection of the farmers is extremely important for the stability of the US economy. Farmers
supply food for the American citizens - a war would severely cut into the current surplus of food
- with farmers being taken as soldiers, and farmers having to grow more crops for the fight,
supply will decrease and demand will increase, which would be detrimental towards the US
economy.
In my Cross of Gold speech, I said that “The farmer who goes forth in the morning and toils all
day, begins in the spring and toils all summer .. is as much a businessman as the man who goes
upon the Board of Trade and bets upon the price of grain.” The farmer is just as important as the
wealthy businessman, or the military genius, as the farmers produce the food to feed an entire
nation. The acts proposed above only benefit the military and their conquests - further, the
National Defense Act cuts into effective labor force - something that an up-and-down economy
should not go through.

Going through with the war will have severe repercussions for the US foreign policy. It will belie
the concept of moral diplomacy that I advocated during my time as a Cabinet member. This
contradiction of ideas will work against us in future negotiations with other nations - other
countries will not trust us and this in turn will reduce our negotiating power.

War will have a detrimental effect on the people of United States. It is too much of an economic
risk; we have just, in the span of twenty years, established ourselves as a world power - a war
could undo twenty years of diplomacy and hard work. To protect the interests of approximately 6
million farmers (and ultimately, the 100 million United States citizens), the Senate should vote
against the motion of war.