THE CONSTITUTION OF THE CROATIAN REPUBLICAN LEAGUE OF THE UNITED STATES
Edited by KARLO MIRTH
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Journal of Croatian Studies, XX, 1979, – Annual Review of the Croatian Academy of America, Inc. New York, N.Y., Electronic edition by Studia Croatica, by permission. All rights reserved by the Croatian Academy of America.
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In April 1921, the Americans of Croatian origin established the Croatian Republican League of the United States of America at the Second National Croatian Convention after World Word I held at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Reverend Martin Davorin Krmpotić, a Croatian Catholic priest in Kansas City, Kansas, was elected as its president. The Constitution and By-laws of the organization were published in English and Croatian during the same year. Both versions of the Constitution and By-laws are reprinted hereafter as a contribution to the history of Americans of Croatian origin. The Croatian Republican League of the United States of America has not been a topic of historical research and very little is known about it.
THE CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS OF THE CROATIAN REPUBLICAN LEAGUE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
To Congress, April 2, 1917, on declaration of War:
"But the right is more precious than peace, and we shall fight for the things which we have always carried nearest our hearts—for democracy, for the right of those who submit to authority to have a voice in their own governments, for the rights and liberties of small nations, for a universal dominion of right by such a concert of free peoples as shall bring peace and safety to all nations and make the world itself at last free."
At New York, September 27, 1918:
"Shall the military power of any nation or group of nations be suffered to determine the fortunes of peoples over whom they have no right to rule except the right of force?
Shall strong nations be free to wrong weak nations and make them subject to their purpose and interest?
Shall peoples be ruled and dominated, even in their own internal affairs, by arbitrary and irresponsible force or by their own will and choice?
Shall there be a common standard of right and privilege for all peoples and nations or shall the strong do as they will and the weak suffer without redress?
Shall the assertion of right be haphazard and by casual alliance, or shall there be a common concert to oblige the observance of common rights?
No man, no group of men, chose these to be the issues of the struggle. They are the issues of it; and they must be settled—by no arrangement or compromise or adjustment of interests, but definitely and once for all and with a full and unequivocal acceptance of the principle that the interest of the weakest is as sacred at the interest of the strongest."
On the 29th of October 1918 the Croatian people broke away from former Austro-Hungarian rule, proclaimed Liberty, Freedom and Independence. The Croatian people by right is a free nation. For eight hundred years the Croatian people has never ceased to defend its right as a nation, has upheld its State. Never conquered by anybody by force of arms. The history has entitled it with honorable epithet "bulwark of Christianity" against the fierce enemy of human race—Turks. The Croats feel just pride on their history, and thousands years old literature and art.
On the 28th of November 1920 more than two-thirds of the vote at the general election in Croatia voted for the Croatian neutral Republic, and by this overwhelming vote repudiated any connection with disloyal, oppressive, Asiatic Serbian rule, forcing to Serbianize everybody on the Balkans, denying the primary, common right of men. The foreign Government in Croatia is an invasion of Croatian National Right. The Croatian representatives at Constitutional Assembly in Belgrade left the Council Chamber as to protest most solemnly against injustice, and mercenary dealings of the Serbian government. They signed a manifesto to their constituents, that the Constitution enacted per force, founded on injustice, voted upon by representatives bought up ;publicly, like oxen on the market, by presiding minister, cannot and should not bind the Croatian Nation. Here we are! Is this exemplary government, morally clean? In the political history of all nations you cannot find an example to it. With such immoral government an honest nation cannot be in any relations.
The Croatian people is resolved to secure and maintain its Complete Independence in order to promote the common weal, to reestablish justice, to provide for future defense, to insure a peace at home and good will with all nations and to constitute a National Policy based upon the People's will, with equal right and equal opportunity for every citizen.
The Croats most solemnly declare the foreign government in Croatia is against the will of the nation, and they cannot tolerate it, but request the Serbian Army to leave the Croatian State, because it is sovereign. Let Serbia respect the sovereignty of Croatia as the United States Government respects it of every State in Union. The Croats claim for their National Independence the recognition and support of every free nation of the World.
See complete article at: http://www.studiacroatica.org/jcs/20/2008.htm