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ALBERT BUSHNELL HART, Ph.D., Litt.D., LL.D.
All rights reserved
Published, January, 1916
Presswork by S. J. Parkhill & Co., Boston, Mass., U.S.A.
public intequiringited State Panama
No public policy of the United States has ever taken such hold upon the imagination of the American people as the socalled Monroe Doctrine. It has been quoted, discussed, stated, re-stated, revised, and re-issued for nearly a hundred years. During the last fifteen years the Doctrine has been applied to a much wider range of objects than in its earlier history. The expansion of Pacific relations, the Panama Canal and the Caribbean policy of the United States, have brought it into new complications, requiring new definitions and widening the circle of public interest. Its meaning and its immediate cogency are still uncertain and disputed.
To treat this complex topic in a single volume has been a difficult task, and the author cannot claim to have escaped misapprehensions and contradictions; for the Monroe Doctrine itself is tinged with misapprehensions and abounds in contradictions. To the author's mind the Monroe Doctrine is not a question of theory but of fact. It is founded on the state of things in the Western Hemisphere. It includes much that is not agreeable to the people of the United States, but which must be faced because it exists. Meanwhile, the conditions of the problem change from decade to decade; and any Doctrine which is to endure in the midst of these changing conditions must undergo corresponding alterations.
The volume is divided into seven Parts, of which the first is devoted to the underlying conditions of the new LatinAmerican states who became parties to American Diplomacy; and to the text and the motives for the first official statements. Here and throughout the work quotations have been freely made and they appear in smaller type. Wherever the quotation contains a statement of the theory or
practice of the relations of the United States with other American countries, an inset heading in black faced type summarizes the Doctrine there stated.
Parts II and III are occupied with the growth of American relations and the efforts of Presidents, Secretaries of State, and other statesmen to frame new forms of doctrine to correspond. The first three Parts -- something more than half the volume - contain therefore a condensed history of the Monroe Doctrine, with illustrative texts and comments.
Parts IV and V are interpretative, being built upon the previous historical part of the work; they restate and discuss the same facts in new combinations, illustrated by the views of modern writers of many nations. The Latin-Americans, Europeans, and Asiatics help to determine the meaning of the Monroe Doctrine.
It is no function of this work to predict the future history of America: but in Part VI the attempt is made to point out how far the Doctrine in its present meaning is likely to be applied in the future; and what steps are possible and likely for the United States to take in order to maintain it. Part VII is a brief survey of the most important books dealing with the subject.
In the preparation of the volume the author has arrived at his conclusions without the criticism of other scholars upon the copy or proof. This method has doubtless led to some errors of fact and deduction ; but it seems more positive and vital than to submit it to the preliminary comment of friends. The one person who has had a share in the preparation of the work is Mr. David M. Matteson, who has diligently verified the quotations, assisted in making the map, read the proofs, and called attention to pitfalls into which otherwise the writer would have fallen. Others will doubtless point out omissions and errors. No attempt has been made to include every episode and discussion which might be mentioned, and the author can claim only a purpose to be as exact as frailties of authorship allow. He has set forth the policies and motives of his country honestly and with a strong sense of what we owe to those who have maintained the Monroe Doctrine.
ALBERT BUSHNELL HART. CAMBRIDGE,
NOVEMBER 4, 1915.