Certain English Press agencies and their Irish imitators have during the past fortnight been hard at work assuring the reading public that in the United States public opinion is practically unanimous on the side of Great Britain and her allies.  It would be as well for the readers of the Irish Worker to take that statement with the proverbial grain of salt and bucket of sea-water. It is as true probably as the currently accepted English yarn that the United States is a great Anglo-Saxon nation - a yarn that is blatantly asserted by all English politicians and journalists and greedily swallowed by most working people in England despite the fact that ten minutes' calm reflection upon the history of immigration into America would show that the Anglo-Saxon in that country represents but a very small drop in a very big ocean of races. Somewhat similar reflection upon facts will serve to dispel the idea of the solid American sentiment for England. The present writer does not know from personal knowledge the present state of public opinion in the States, but he does know from personal knowledge the various elements of which the population of the States is composed, and he knows their usual affiliation and political leanings. And from such knowledge it is not hard to guess at the state of public sentiment upon this war.
Next to the native-born Americans, who although derived from all races are in all things loyal first to American interests and American ideas, the two greatest elements in America are the Irish and the Germans. Of the German-American population, then, it may be quite safe to say that their sentiments are most likely with the Fatherland, even although they may be entirely opposed to the German Government. The German Press is the most powerful Press in America not printed in the English language. It is read not only by all German immigrants and their children, but as the German language is a sort of lingua franca or free common language to Hungarians, Poles, Lithuanians, Czechs, Slays and Jews, it is read by all those races and nationalities likewise. One may be sure that the German journalists have kept well to the front the fact that the German Government offered to concede all that the British Government had asked for in the matter of Belgium, and had even asked the British Government to name its own terms of neutrality, and that the British Foreign Minister concealed this fact from the Parliament when speaking before the declaration of war. One may be sure that such a typical act of British double-dealing has not been allowed to escape the attention of the readers of the German-American Press. Nor yet is it likely that the non-German elements of the foreign-speaking population in America are any more in favour of the Allies than the Germans. Belgians and French are numerically insignificant in that country in proportion to the North and South Europeans.
The Hungarians are not likely either from present national, reasons, from Socialistic sympathies, or from their past traditions to favour any policy likely to increase the favour of their Russian neighbours in Europe - the Russians whose armies in 1848 laid Hungary in ruins in order to drive the Hungarian revolutionists back under the heel of Austria; the Russians whose brutal despotism is the perpetual menace of every freedom-aspiring community from the Black Sea to the Baltic. The Finns, most enlightened and most progressive of all the races within or bordering upon that vast stretch of territory, may well be trusted to work and pray for the humiliation of the Russian tyrant whose hand is even now upon their throat, whose Cossacks were but yesterday trampling into the dust their laws, their language, their liberties, their very existence as a separate people, and so trampling despite all treaties to the contrary. The people of the Baltic provinces were but the other day harried with fire and sword by the Russian allies of the British Lion. They have swarmed into America to escape the fury; can they be wishing for the success of the allies of Russia? Not the most numerically important, but surely one of the most influential of the races represented in America are the Jews. Particularly is this true of the eastern states, and in the commercial and journalistic world. I observe that in one of the recent proclamations the Russian Czar speaks of his "beloved Jews" in calling them to the army. English newspapers speak with tender admiration of such Imperial manifestos; honest workers can only feel sickened by the thought of this imperial bully whose passion it is to torture, imprison and slaughter in times of peace those to whom he appeals with snivelling panic in times of war.
Conscientious and impartial authorities have proven from official documents that the pogroms or race riots for which Russia has been notorious, and of which the Jews are the victims, have almost always been the work of Government agents, and have always been carried out with Government connivance. In these pogroms the Jewish districts were given up to pillage and outrage by mobs of armed men, whilst the police looked calmly on. Shops and houses were burned after being looted, women and children were ravished, babies and old men and women were thrown from windows to their death in the streets, and hell was let loose generally upon the defenceless people. After long months some few nobodies were occasionally arrested and sentenced for these crimes, only to be set free again by pardon signed by the Czar's own hand. And now this same Czar addressing the unfortunate survivors calls them his "beloved Jews".
Verily there must be laughter in hell these days.
Surely the Jews are not unanimously wishing for the success of the British armies which are fighting to increase the power of this monster over Europe.
And the Poles; is it possible that they, like the fool Irish, will rush out to fight for their tyrant, for the tyrant whose prisons are full of their compatriots? Or that the Poles in America are praying for the success of the Russian Czar?
Certainly the Press tells us with tears ofjoy dropping from their printing machines that the manifesto to the Poles promises complete autonomy to Poland, and that in view of that promise the Poles will be radiantly joyous with enthusiasm for the Czar. Ah, promises! How easily promises fall from the lips of tyrants! Remember the words of Whitman, the "good grey poet" of America, when writing on the promises of European Royalty to the revolutionists of 1848.
"For many a promise made by Royal lips, and broken,The Poles know, the Revolutionists of the world know, if others have forgotten, that in his manifesto of October, 1905, this same Czar guaranteed in his own words that the population of all Russia and Poland was to be
"given the inviolable foundation of civil rights, based on the actual inviolability of the person, and freedom of belief, of speech, of organisation, and meeting," and that as soon as his Government had crushed the revolution "those who tried to realise these principles were treated as rebels guilty of high treason," as Prince Kropotkin truly remarks.