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widely varying ways in different localities, and to a very different degree. Thus, in the States bordering on the Atlantic coast, which are more closely in touch with the Old World, there is, as a rule, a very definite public opinion on European questions, while the West remains more or less indifferent. On the other hand, in the Gulf States a very lively interest is taken by the public in the Mexican problem, and the Pacific States are closely concerned with the Japanese question, matters which arouse hardly more than academic interest in other localities. This is also reflected in the American Daily Press, which does not produce papers exerting equal influence over the whole nation, but rather, in accordance with the customary geographical division of the Union into seven economic spheres of interest-namely, New York, New England, Middle Atlantic States, Southern States, Middle West, Western and Pacific States, comprises seven different daily presses, each of which gives first place to quite a different problem from the rest. It is true that the New York Press is certainly the most important mirror of American public opinion on European questions. Nevertheless, this importance should not lead to the erroneous assumption that the American Press and the New York Press are synonymous terms. The perusal of the latter does not suffice for the formation of a reliable judgment of American public opinion, with regard to certain questions which concern the whole nation; rather it is necessary also to study the leading papers of New England, the Middle Atlantic States, and particularly the West. The reports of German and English correspondents on feeling in America, which, as so often happens, are based purely on the New York Press, frequently play one false, if one relies on them for an estimate of the public opinion of the whole nation. The “Associated Press," therefore, makes it a rule with all questions of national importance, not only to reproduce extracts from the New York Press, but also to publish précis of the opinions of at least fifty leading journals from all parts of the Union.
The American daily papers are more important as a medium for influencing public opinion than as a mirror for reflecting it. The United States is the land of propaganda par excellence! Every important enterprise, of no matter what nature, has its Press agent; the greatest of all is the propaganda lasting for months, which is carried on before the biennial elections, and of the magnitude of which it is difficult for the average European to gain any conception. It is therefore not surprising that the political leaders of the country make very wide use of the Press in important questions of foreign politics, to influence public opinion in favor of the Government policy. Not only the great news agencies, but also all leading newspapers of the Union maintain their permanent special correspondents in Washington, and these are received almost daily by the Secretary of State, and as a rule once a week by the President. The information that they receive at these interviews they communicate to their papers in the greatest detail, without naming the high officials from whom it has emanated, and in this way they naturally act as megaphones through which the views of the Government are spread throughout the whole country. In foreign questions it was often striking how newspapers would hold back their comments until they had received in this way a mot d'ordre from Washington.
Of course this possibility for the Government to create opinion on concrete questions only applies so long as a firm public opinion has not already set in. As soon as the process of "crystallization," as it is called, is complete, there is nothing left for the Government but to
follow the preponderating public opinion. Even a man like Mr. Wilson, who possesses an unusually high degree of self-will, has always followed public opinion, for the correct interpretation of which-apart from his own proverbial instinct-he commands the services of his secretary, Mr. Tumulty, and a large staff, as well as the organization of the Democratic party, which spreads through the length and breadth of the country. If, in a few exceptional cases, the President has set himself in opposition to public opinion, we might be sure that it would not be long before he again set his course on theirs.
THE GERMAN PROPAGANDA IN THE UNITED STATES
WHEN I received the news of the murder of Archduke Francis Ferdinand, I was dining with the Spanish Ambassador at the Metropolitan Club in Washington. Signor Riano and I were not for a moment in doubt as to the very serious, peace-menacing character of the incident, but we found little interest in the matter among the Americans in the club, who, as always, regarded European affairs with indifference. As to the results of the murder, I received in Washington no information, either officially or through the Press.
I therefore, on the 7th July, began my usual summer leave, which had been granted a few weeks before. For the last time I crossed the ocean on one of the proud German liners, and, indeed, on the finest of our whole merchant fleet, the Daterland. For the last time I saw, on my arrival, the port of Hamburg and the lower Elbe in all their glory. Germans who live at home can hardly imagine with what love and what pride we foreign ambassadors and exiled Germans regarded the German shipping-lines.
A few days after I had arrived in my home at Starnberg there began strong public excitement and uneasiness over the political situation. However, of late years so many crises had been successfully averted at the eleventh hour, that this time, too, I hoped up to the last minute that a change for the better would set in. It seemed as though the responsibility for a war was too great to be borne by any one man-whoever he might be who would have to make the final decision.
On the wonderful, still summer evening of the 1st August, we heard across the Starnberger Lake, in all the surrounding villages, the muffled beat of drums announcing mobilization. The dark forebodings with which the sound of the drums filled me have fixed that hour indelibly in my memory.
The following day was devoted to preparations for the journey to Berlin, where I had to receive instructions before returning with all possible speed to Washington. The journey from Munich to Berlin, which could only be made in military trains, occupied forty-eight hours.
In the Wilhelmstrasse I had interviews with the authorities, the substance of which was instructions to enlighten the Government and people of the United States on the German standpoint. In doing so I was to avoid any appearance of aggression towards England, because an understanding with Great Britain had to be concluded as soon as possible. The Berlin view on the question of guilt was even then very much the same as has been set down in the memorandum of the commission of four of the 27th May, 1919, at Versailles, namely, that Russia was the originator of the war.
Further, I was informed at the Foreign Office, that in addition to some other additions to the staff of the Washington Embassy, the former Secretary of State of the Colonial Office, Dr. Dernburg, and Privy Councillor Albert, of the Ministry of the Interior, were to accompany me; the former as representative of the German Red Cross, the latter as agent of the “Central Purchasing Company.” Dr. Dernburg's chief task, however, was to raise a loan in the United States, the proceeds of which were to pay for Herr Albert's purchases for the aforesaid company. For this purpose the Imperial Treasury