“War is the health of the State.” This refrain appears several times in Bourne’s essay. What does he mean by this statement?
Identify another quote that you think is especially provocative. What is he trying to convey? To what extent do accept or reject the argument he makes in the sentence you have selected?
According to Bourne, how do conditions of war alter the behavior of citizens within a democratic society?
Does Bourne place blame on citizens for conforming to and accepting the state as a king or savior in times of war? Why, or why not? What evidence from the document lends support to your argument?
What is the distinction that Bourne is trying to draw between “nations” and “States”?
Which segment of society does he believe is less inclined to accept the legitimacy of the state? Why?
Would Bourne characterize the U.S. government “democratic”? How might you evaluate his answer to that question based on your reading of the Constitution and our study of U.S. history through to the beginning of the twentieth century?
How might President Wilson — an idealist and proponent of democracy — reply to this essay?