PROPERTY OF A DIFFERENT OWNER
“I once used the phrase, to sum up our proper foreign policy:— ‘Speak softly and carry a big stick.’ There was a good deal of laughter over that phrase. But it expresses a pretty sound policy all the same. Remember, that I was President seven years and a half and that I never spoke with wanton harshness of any nation. I always spoke softly, I was always just as nice and polite as any man could be. But I carried a big stick!”
In relation to the crisis unfolding in Europe, Roosevelt called for national preparedness. In the present address, drafted nearly a year prior to the United States' entry into World War I, Roosevelt makes his opinion about the cost of isolationism undeniably clear: “The result of our inaction, of our sloth and timidity, has been that every nation in the world now realizes our weakness and that no nation in the world really believes either in our disinterestedness or our manliness.”
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