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no stress upon such matters, but it would appear the part of wisdom to apply to the future the lessons of the past. Jefferson, more than a hundred years ago, failed to do this and thus subjected his country to inexpressible humiliation in the seizure of our ships and seamen, to the loss of millions of American property and to the war of 1812, which would never have occurred had we had the dozen or so of battleships which even Gallatin, Jefferson's secretary of the treasury, urged upon him. We speak of modern dictatorship on the part of our presidents; no modern president has exercised a tithe of that exercised by Jefferson in these matters and not always to his country's good. There is in such matters but one safe course. All the world will not always shape itself to one's own special views, and for the time at least, it is better to be prepared to resist if struck. If not, it is possible that we might find ourselves the victim in considerable degree, of that which the Monroe Doctrine was established to prevent for others. A first consideration must ever be national security and safety. Some here no doubt are opposed to a strong navy. To such I would recall that it was to the French navy by its occupancy of the Cheaspeake in 1781 and the consequent surrender of Cornwallis, that we gained our independence. For had Washington's venture south failed, the Revolution would have failed. It was a last attempt. Had we had no navy in 1812 (and it was but a very little one), we should then have undergone greater humiliation ashore than we did and perhaps dismemberment. Without the navy of the Civil War, the South beyond any reasonable doubt would have succeeded. It was the blockade which starved it to inanition. The world has not so changed in fifty years as to make a war of conquest impossible. It is but a little over forty years when France was in the grip of Germany. We cannot apply our own altruism to others, and as I see it, it appears beyond discussion that our own safety depends upon our ability to take care of our own. Remember that in June, 1860, the only increase of the navy even suggested, was for a few light draft steamers for use in suppression of the slave trade on the coast of Africa, and
every increase was voted down. Less than a year later we began the greatest war of the century.
To assume an attitude; to have a world policy and not be able to hold it, would be to make ourselves absurd and open to humiliation and loss of territory. So much at least is axiomatic. I say these truths "Lest we forget."
The Monroe Doctrine is not in any of its meanings or forms a part of international law. It is but a pronouncement of a policy and as such it may be ignored by any power which chooses to ignore it. It has life and being only as long as the United States is ready to back such policy by force. That there is any danger of action by any European power in defiance of the policy does not now at least, appear. Certainly England has no interest in so doing; there is no sign that Germany wishes to set up a German state under Germany's hegemony. That she desires as many Germans in South America who through natural affiliation would trade largely with Germany is natural and proper, but she would certainly not risk a war with united Brazil, Argentina, and Chile, not to speak of the United States, to bring under her dominion the region occupied by her emigrants. I have ever deemed any such question of war with Germany as impossible. So long as the great Slav question is so imminent; so long as France nurses her feeling for her loss of territory and England, however unreasoningly, her fear of Germany instigated by commercial jealousy, there will be no reaching out by the latter for South American dominion. France has not the remotest desire to set up a French dominion there, nor has Italy, and England declared some eighteen months since through her foreign minister speaking in parliament, that as she had no wish or intention to extend her possessions either in the West Indies or on the continent, she took no exception to the Monroe Doctrine which was purely a question of American policy to do with as we thought best. The danger in the sense of Monroe's pronouncement could thus only exist after a complete effacement of American power, north and south.
Thus to sum up: our most reasonable attitude as to any
question of conquest or occupancy of any part of South America would be as a friendly fourth party to the three greater powers of the southern part of our hemisphere, Brazil, Argentina and Chile, assuring them that our policy would be one of support in the questions involved in the Monroe Doctrine and of looking after our special interests in the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico and near Pacific as just defined.
Our action in regard to certain of the Central American states and Santo Domingo has been, in some cases, sharply criticised. But such procedure, as I see it, has nothing in itself to do with the Monroe Doctrine. There are many precedents for such action, and if it be that of a truly friendly and well-wishing neighbor it is correct diplomatically and morally. Of course the most extreme precedent is that of the Holy Alliance itself, as overtly shown in Naples, Piedmont, and Spain. But there are other and more worthy instances, as the intervention of France, Great Britain and Russia in 1827 for the pacification of Greece; the late action of the European powers in Crete; of Great Britain in Egypt; of Russia and Great Britain in Persia (to which the word "worthy" can however not be assigned); the action of the powers in forcing a treaty upon the parties to the Balkan war, and many others, which place such action as ours in Nicaragua and Santo Domingo upon a perfectly correct diplomatic footing. Such precedents would justify intervention in Mexico if the worst came to the worst. In saying this I would not be understood as declaring such action advisable except in the last extremity. It would strain our political system to the utmost; would involve an army of half a million men, an indefinite administration of a vast region and the government for years of some 17,000,000 or more of races alien in temperament, habits, customs, language and religion. Far better, from only a financial point of view, would it be for us to buy up every foreign interest in Mexico. We have through our pension laws bound ourselves hand and foot against the active use of a great army. We should end any effort
at occupation and pacification (should it ever end) with a pension list swollen to such gigantic proportions that our finances would go to wreck under the burden. And above all how under our system could we govern it? And this last question is above all others. I can see in such an effort nothing but disaster. I thus say as to such procedure, God forbid!
With this I close, except to say that I think our relations to our brother republics to the south should be governed by every possible consideration for their temperament and care for their prejudices; that our diplomatic and consular representatives should be of a character to command wholly their liking and respect, and that we should appear in all matters concerning Pan-American questions as an equal only among equals, determined to do the just, the equitable and the kindly. On such a basis there would be no difficulty regarding the Monroe Doctrine.
THE MONROE DOCTRINE FROM A SOUTH
By Honorable Charles H. Sherrill, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Argentina, 1909-1911
In this hemisphere the twentieth century will sooner or later come to be known as the century of the Southerner. Already clear evidence is being shown of the steady strong tendency which must, unless diverted or dissipated by some historical cataclysm, write this title across the century upon which we have entered. And any man concerned in public affairs who does not take into account the viewpoint of the Southerner has no claim to statesmanship, and does not deserve the confidence of his fellows. Nor is this true in our hemisphere alone, but also across the Atlantic as well. for who can fail to have observed the awakening of the Latin races of Europe. Is not the splendid new national spirit of France a significant proof of this movement? And what of the stream of money being constantly transmitted to Italy by her industrious and economical toilers in the harvests and on the railways of both North and South America -toilers who return to their native land and add not only to its public wealth, but also to its worthy citizenship! More marvelous still are the amazing annual increases to be noted in the already impressive foreign trade of Argentina and of Brazil. In our own southern states, are we not witnessing the working out along practical lines of one of commerce's strangest fairy tales? Go to Birmingham or Atlanta or Chattanooga or any of the long list of great modernized cities in the South, and the truth of this proposition will receive ocular demonstration of a surprising completeness. When two years ago upon my return from Argentina I spoke before nearly two hundred commercial organizations, the most instructing experience of all (and there were many) was the realization that municipal col