July 23, 1917 – Prime Minister David Lloyd George: We Will Make Peace Only “With a Free Germany”
Pictured – Lloyd George addresses troops. He was an exceptional, fiery orator.
Days after the Kaiser made a rare public appearance promising a “Second Punic War against England,” British Prime Minister David Lloyd George spoke about his own resolve to win the war. A radical Liberal, Lloyd George had framed the war since the fall of the Tsar as a struggle between democracy and the autocracies of the Central Powers. “We can make a peace with a free Germany,” he spoke, “It is with a Germany dominated by autocracy that we cannot make any terms of peace.”
In the United States this rhetoric also dominated. Most Americans celebrated the fall of the Romanov standbys and hoped that their entry into the war would make Europe a continent of democracies. Talk about democracy also helped sway the nation’s large German and Irish-American populations to support the war. For German-Americans, the war became one against Prussianism which would see the rest of Germany be able to break free of aristocratic bonds and become democratic like their immigrant relatives.