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for the Electoral Colleges. On the one forces that hold the peoples of this hand, by temperament and tradition, planet together or apart. the people of the United States are This truth is being brought slowly eminently conservative in foreign af- home to the American intelligence; but fairs. They are easily moved by it is received doubtfully, and with more bluster and patriotic jingoism, espe- anxiety than enthusiasm. The Anglocially at elections; and at a time, not Saxon, utriusque juris, is essentially an distant, though happily now past, they isolation-loving, individualistic, person, rather enjoyed the sport of twisting whose aim is to “keep himself to him. the lion's tail. But the great steady- self," and to meddle with nobody who going mass of middle-class people, does not meddle with him. He likes mostly of Anglo-Saxon descent, who to get behind a ring-fence, when he are the real rulers of the comglomerate can. In that umbrageous heart of Susnationality, have been brought up to sex, where so much of immemorial ana rooted belief in American political tiquity still lingers, you may someisolation. They would fight at any times find an ancient farm, spaced off time to keep European aggression out from the whispering woodlands by a of tbe two Americas; but, apart from broad belt of untilled pasture. It is this, they have a deep distrust of mix- the mark of the primitive hamlet coming themselves up with the tangled munity founded some thirteen centuries politics of the older nations. They ago by a family of Teutonic or Scan. have always endeavored to persuade dinavian Colonists. Here they settled, themselves that America was a sepa. these pioneers from beyond the Northrate enclave, and that it could survey ern Sea; they built their dwellingthe wars and diplomacies of Europe houses, their granaries, their cattleand Asia with serene indifference, lis. byres; and round the whole they drew tening uumoved to the far-off echoes of their tun or zareeba-like hedge of strife that rolled faintly across the At- thorn and box, girt by the wide zone lantic and the Pacific. But times have of rough grass and weed, that islanded changed. For political purposes the them from an intrusive world. Ocean has narrowed to a stream. The T he characteristic has survived United States is itself a country with through the ages. In national, as well foreign dependencies, and in the Philip- as domestic, affairs, non-intervention, pines it has its finger close to the laissez-faire, the policy of letting alone, throbbing pulse of Asia. It has ceased and individual effort, are the aims of to be self-contained and self-dependent. the race. They are aims which have With a gigantic export trade, still been frustrated from generation to growing, which may presently be as generation, constantly abandoned in large as that of all Europe, it cannot practice, yet perpetually asserted in be indifferent to the political condi. theory. There is some truth in the tions of those vast reservoirs of hu- reproach of foreign critics that we have manity in which it must find its mar. gone about the earth, interfering with kets. Its citizens begin to discern the everybody, and protesting all the while close relation between international that we only wanted to be allowed politics and international trade; and to get on with our own business and they are learning the lesson, mastered had no concern with other people's so reluctantly by ourselves through the quarrels. But the fact is that almost troubled centuries, that no community, every great English statesman and however great and however powerful, ruler, while genuinely anxious to limit ean release itself from the play of the the sphere of British activity abroad, has found himself compelled to enlarge much the same moral title as ourit. A great nation is irresistibly selves in Egypt. They blundered in, drawn into the cosmic states-system under a sudden pressure of events, not and must play its part there, if it very clearly seeing what they were would maintain its dignity and safety. doing, not at all anxious to make a China lies at the mercy of foreign conquest; and, having pushed them. aggression, as the penalty for living too selves into the country, and rendered long in a world of its own.
themselves responsible for its future, Mr. Roosevelt was among the first just as we have done in Egypt, they of distinguished American public men have to remain; not only that, but they to understand the application of these must remain under conditions which facts to the United States. Several will ensure that the Filipinos do not years ago he put the case boldly: relapse into anarchy or barbarism or We cannot be huddled within our
mediæval, priest-ridden, stagnation. own borders and avow ourselves mere.
The group must become an integral ly an assemblage of well-to-do huck- part of the modern civilized world. It sters, who care nothing for what hap- was one of the weaknesses of the pens beyond. Such a policy would de- Democrats at the recent election that feat even its own end; for as the na
they would not frankly accept the sittions grow to have ever wider and
uation. They fenced with it, in their wider interests, and are brought into closer and closer contact, if we are
Convention programme, in a fashion to hold our own in the struggle for at once maladroit and disingenuous: naval and commercial supremacy, we must build up our power without our We oppose, as fervently as did own borders. We must build the George Washington himself, an indefiIsthmian canal, and we must grasp the nite, irresponsible, discretionary and points of vantage, which will enable us vague absolutism and a policy of coloto have our say in deciding the destiny nial exploitation, no matter where or of the oceans of the East and West. by whom invoked or exercised. . . .
Wherever there may exist a people inHe has gone even further. He has capable of being governed under thrust aside the plea of non-inter- American laws, in consonance with the
American Constitution, that people ference, of cosmopolitan quietism, and
ought not to be a part of the Ameripreached openly the doctrine which
can domain. We insist that we ought Rudyard Kipling has thrown into to do for the Filipinos what we have verse. Mr. Roosevelt is quite willing already done for the Cubans, and it is to "take up the White Man's burden." our duty to make that promise now; He has disclaimed all sympathy with and, upon suitable guarantees of pra that "mock humanitarianism which
tection to citizens of our own and would prevent the great free, liberty
other countries, resident there at the
time of our withdrawal, set the and order-loving races of the earth
Filipino people upon their feet, free from doing their duty in the world's
and independent, to work out their waste places, because there must own destiny. needs be some rough surgery at first." His general view is that "it is for the This passage bears a rather curious interests of mankind to have the resemblance to the woolly declarations higher, supplant the lower, life.” of some prominent English Liberals
In the first instance, the founders of during the first three or four years the new American Imperialism were of our occupation of Egypt. The content with the Spanish islands. The Policy of Scuttle, as it was sometimes Americans are in the Philippines on called, was greatly disliked in England,
and it is no more popular in the United the "rights" of a belligerent do not in. States. Sensible Americans know that clude the right to steal and the right the assertion of it is both undignified to commit assault with violence. and meaningless. It would be coward We have done something ourselves, ly to run away from the Philippines, as in the case of the Peterburg and the and it would also be impossible. If the Smolensk, to enforce the lesson; but we Democrats came in, they would not be have moved tentatively and timidly, able to “set the Filipino people upon and with an evident desire not to raise their feet, free and independent,” and fundamental questions. For, to speak they could not attempt to do it. The plainly, the bullying code which the electors wisely preferred a statesman, Russians are trying to apply is largely who does not make these ridiculous of our creation; the "Right of Search," pretences, and who regards the pos- with its confiscatory provisions, is very session of the over-sea territories, not dear to our statesmen. They are still as a disagreeable burden, to be dropped convinced that, if ever we come to a as soon as circumstances allow, but as maritime war, we shall continue to be, an honorable obligation, to be dis in the strategic sense, the aggressors; charged with zeal and fidelity.
that we shall be able to take the ofBut the Imperialist appetite vient en fensive, with the old swaggering sumangeant; the scope of Imperialist ac- periority; that with our commanding tivity widens with each fresh acces force we shall seal up and blockade all sion. There is no help for it, and so the the coasts of our enemy; and that one Americans are beginning to unders of our main duties will be to chastise stand, with mingled elation and appre. the neutrals who seek to bring him aid hension. They are now a Colonial and comfort. We suppose ourselves Power, with special interests in the to represent the overwhelming navy freedom of the seas, in addition to that that can sweep the seas clear for our of having more cargoes afloat upon it own commerce, with little interest in than any other people except our neutrals beyond that of seeing that selves. Therefore anything that inter- they do not annoy us or interfere with feres with the even flow of maritime our operations. Our traditional policy commerce touches them closely. The is to vindicate the claims of the mari. United States is the natural chief and time belligerent to do very much as he champion of neutral nations in time pleases, or as he can. So we have felt of war; for its gigantic export and im- a little awkwardness in explaining to port trade is still to a great extent car- Russia that these examinations, and ried in neutral bottoms. It is not pos- overhaulings, and visitations, and con. sible for the Americans to survey a demnations, though we practised them conflict on the seas, between two or ourselves industriously in the days of more of the Naval Powers, with indif. sailing frigates and corvettes, are no ference. The Russians entered upon longer tolerable. their war against Japan with the tran. The opportunity of performing this quil confidence that they would be per service to civilized humanity lies with mitted to practise the kind of nautical the United States; and it seems that highway robbery, more or less recog. President Roosevelt and his able nized in the chaotic muddle of prece. Secretary of State do not propose to dents and principles, which is digni- miss it. Mr. Hay's Note, protesting fied by the name of International Law. against the Russian seizures of neutral They have had to be reminded that vessels, is in some sense the beginning this was an error, and to discover that of an epoch. It is the most vigorous and direct assertion of the rights of place, it is not Mr. Roosevelt's way; neutrals 'which has been formulated in the second, it would seem that, havfor many years. The State Secretary ing committed himself to this Conemphatically refuses to admit the ference, he would not care to incur the extravagant pretension that Russia, or discredit of a fiasco. To the final any other Power, can add fresh arti- "Act" of the Hague Convention, various cles to the Law of Nations by issuing pious opinions were added as a posta proclamation or obtaining a “deci- script. One of these was that a Con. sion” in one of its own prize courts; ference "in the near future” should he repudiates the extensions which it consider the rights and duties of has been sought to give to the doctrine neutrals, and another, that it should of conditional contraband, and the discuss the inviolability of private claim which Russia has set up to property at sea. On this last point, establish a kind of paper blockade of official American opinion may be said the trade routes of the world. The to be committed. The President, in his protest has had its effect. Russia, after Message to Congress a year ago, regissome demur, was forced to abandon tered his adhesion to "this humane and her extreme claims, and to place the beneficent principle," and he has been question of conditional contraband on supported by Resolutions in both the a footing which will at least relieve House of Representatives and the neutral shipping from a repetition of Senate. It will not be the fault of the series of threatening incidents that the American State Department if the occurred during the opening months of Conference separates without coming the war.
to an agreement on such a revision and But Mr. Roosevelt does not intend to definition of the rules of International stop at this point. He aspires to pro- Law as will safe-guard neutral seatect trading nations from similar borne commerce in time of war. dangers in future. Hence his invita- Whether this result is reached detion to the Powers to combine in an- pends, to a large extent, upon the other Hague Conference. When we government and people of this coun. consider the traditions of American try. In the last number of this Rediplomacy, the standing dislike of the view, Sir John Macdonell’ shows that people of the Republic to go out of it is high time for us to reconsider our their way to court foreign complica- established policy in this respect. The tions, and their anxiety to avoid being statements of Lord Lansdowne and involved in the mesh of European Mr. Balfour at the close of last Sespolitics, this bold initiative must be sion, and the whole course of our deemed extremely remarkable. It recent diplomacy, demonstrate that might well be regarded as a new stage tenderness towards belligerents and in the history of the United States, per harshness towards neutrals still dehaps even the history of the world; termine our attitude. But, as Sir John provided, of course, that it is followed explains, this sentiment is a little out up. Some shrewd observers tell us of date. It takes no account of the that it was mere playing to the Ameri- changed conditions of the past few can peace gallery, that it was "good years. It assumes, not only that we politics" for the President to counter are the first of Naval Powers, but that the accusation of being a fire-eater and our former predominance can be maina militarist by coming forward as the tained. When we were searching carpromoter of international concord.
1 "The Rights and Duties of Neutrals,” in One cannot think so. In the first The Living Age for Dec. 3, 1904.
goes in the Baltic in defiance of the now on the side of the neutrals, not Armed Neutrality, or when we seized against them. Are we to repeat our the whole Danish Fleet and brought it non possumus of Brussels in 1874 and captive into the Channel, we had The Hague of 1899, and declare that enemies but no real rival. And from we cannot discuss the subject, for fear the peace of 1815 until the later that the liberty of our captains and seventies there was only one foreign admirals might be unduly hampered fleet, or at the most two, worth talking in war time? Or shall we join with about in relation to our own.
the United States in securing the All this is now changed. There are rights of private traders and putting seven great Naval Powers in Europe, an end to the oppressive practices that Asia, and America. One of these, the have come down from a period when United States, will, in a few years, there was no law of the sea but that possess a maritime force not very far of the bigger crew and the heavier behind ours; it has a much larger taxa gun? If we accept the latter alterna, ble population, a greater iron and steel tive, most of the Continental Powers production, a longer coast-line on two would probably do the same; it would oceans, more available wealth, and less not greatly matter if they did not. The occasion to expend its resources on Anglo-Saxon navies could enforce the military establishments. Some of the law of the sea against all the world, same considerations apply to Germany; if they chose. with a great mercantile shipping, a The mere suggestion that the arma! numerous coastal population, a vast force of the two English-speal: 18 Das metal industry, and unbounded enter- tions could be employed for p prise and ambition, it may provide it- poses would be indignan y repe self with a navy nearer to ours than by many Americans. Its none of our any that has been known since Trafal- business, they would dy, to ponce the gar. And not far below these will universe or to act as guardians of the follow France, Japan, Russia, all first- rights of hur unity. The task may class Naval Powers; not to mention be a noble ne, but it is not cast upon Italy, and quite possibly, at no very us. W, prefer to look after our distant date. China. We may, and own ifairs, and to defend our own must, keep the first place. But we int--ests when they are directly atshall not sweep the seas as if no other 'acked. It remains to be seen whether flag existed. And if we endeavored to President Roosevelt will be able, or enforce the system which Lord Jwell willing, to convince his countrymen crystallized in his prize courts, and that mere immobility and passivity which Russis has been endeavoring may sometimes be as bad a defence in to apply, we might find ourselves faced peace as in war. A strong initiative is by a much more formidable combina often necessary. Mr. Roosevelt and his tion than any we could possibly have Cabinet have themselves taken it very encountered a hundred years, or even boldly, and perhaps rather unscru. thirty years, ago. Meanwhile we do pulously, in Panama, energetically the chief carrying trade of the world; enough against Turkey and Morocco, and any belligerent, as this Eastern somewhat more cautiously, but with war has shown, who begins to exercise firmness, in regard to Manchuria. So the Right of Search, is likely to harass far they have received the undoubted and injure a dozen British merchants support of their fellow-citizens. The for every one belonging to a foreign na. Democrats made nothing out of their tion. In other words, our interests are impeachment of the President on these