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The Monroe Doctrine does not necessarily involve opposing any warlike action between a European power and an American nationality, for an offense which necessarily calls for such action. This part of the subject is covered by Mr. Seward's despatch, 2 June, 1866, to our minister in Chile regarding the hostilities then active between Spain and Chile. The gist of this despatch is that "the republican system" in any South American State,

shall not be wantonly assailed and that it shall not be subverted as an end of a lawful war by European powers.

We concede to every nation the right to make peace or war, for such causes other than political or ambitious, as it thinks right and wise. In such wars as are waged between nations which are in friendship with ourselves, if they are not pushed, like the French war in Mexico, to the political point before mentioned, we do not intervene, but remain neutral conceding nothing to one belligerent that we do not concede to the other and allowing to one belligerent what we allow to the other.1

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This in nowise contravenes the Monroe Declaration which declares that "We should consider any attempt on their part [meaning the European powers] to extend their system to any portion of this hemisphere as dangerous to our peace and safety," that "we could not view any interposition for the purpose of oppressing them [the South American states], or controlling in any other manner their destiny by any European power in any other light than as a manifestation of an unfriendly disposition to the United States." It must be admitted that the word "republican" in Mr. Seward's dispatch, and, which is only implied in the Monroe dcelaration, is made to cover much which we should be sorry to so term; but in any case the constitutions of all have established such a form as their ideal and they should have full chance to work toward it.

The whole question is thus one of denying the right of a foreign power to dominion in any American state or part of a state nor already in possession of a foreign power. In other words we are very properly opposed to conquest.

While holding that as to the more southern governments of South America our relations should be as a fourth equal

1 1 Diplom. Cor. 1866, part 2, p. 413.

with a like understanding as to attempted foreign domination, and not in the nature of a protector which carries with it an idea of patronage, the matter stands on a very different footing as to the regions bordering on the Caribbean sea and the Gulf of Mexico, and on that part of the Pacific in the neighborhood of the Panama Canal. That we must have and exercise a commanding influence in these regions should go without saying. We can brook no increase of foreign control in this region. Our newly established gateway between the two great oceans and the protection of this vital link in our defensive system demand this independent of any question of the Monroe Doctrine. Thus in addition to our policy of aiding in the preservation of any South American state from foreign control, we would oppose anything like new occupancy of any of the West India Islands or Caribbean or Gulf of Mexico litoral, or any part of the Pacific litoral of Mexico or the Central American states, or neighboring islands, such, for example, as the Galápagos.

There are of course already in the hands of foreign nations commanding points in the Caribbean region, as Jamaica, (the most commanding as a single point of all), in possession of the English, St. Thomas which is Danish, Martinique and Guadeloupe which are French. All the important West India Islands are in fact in European possession except Cuba, Santo Domingo and Puerto Rico. It is not unreasonable, as a mere matter of safeguarding our own shores, to demand that there should be no extension of foreign occupancy in this region. In this we are looking after not the safety of any Central or South American state, but our own safety from a naval or military standpoint. The Panama Canal is the very navel of our system, strategic and commericial. Our battle fleet for instance could reach San Francisco from the Caribbean in a fourth of the time taken by the Oregon in her famous passage from San Francisco to the Caribbean. Any foreign action which could look to weakening our control of the canal and its approaches thus could not be tolerated.

I am well aware that there are probably some who lay

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

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