Billeder på siden

America, formed by the mighty range of mountains which is but a continuation through Mexico, Central and western South America of the Rocky Mountains, and the scarcity of population which creates demands and makes traffic profitable, you will undertand why the railways of Latin America have not advanced faster. But even under these circumstances, not a day passes but some work is done towards the extension of that railway mileage.

Another phase of civilization and progress is the foreign commerce of a country. Latin America in this respect has a good record, and the figures representing its foreign trade in 1912 are, in round numbers, as follows: total LatinAmerican commerce, $2,811,000,000, the exports being represented by $1,571,000,000 and the imports by $1,240,000,000. The total trade with the United States amounted to about $825,832,000, of which $519,025,000 was exports and $306,807,000 imports. The progress made by Latin America in its commercial relations with the world at large and the United States especially shows that there is a great consumption of all such articles as are considered necessary to civilization. Latin America is not a manufacturing continent; it mainly produces for export agricultural products such as sugar, coffee, rubber, tobacco, cacao or cocoa, cotton, etc., hides and other raw materials, mining products such as silver, gold, tin, copper, iron, bismuth, saltpeter, etc., and a few gems. Its main imports are machinery of all kinds, hardware, cotton and other fabrics, foodstuffs, carriages and automobiles, railway material, electrical appliances, and other similar products of industry necessary to the cultivation of the land, the improvement of roads and cities, and the comfort of the inhabitants. There is not a city of any importance in LatinAmerica where either artificial illuminating gas or electric light is unknown. Telegraph and telephone wires stretch all over Latin America, uniting cities and towns, over the wilds and across the mountains, bridging powerful rivers, conconnecting neighboring countries and linking our shores with the rest of the civilized world. Not an event of any importance takes place in Europe, Asia, or Africa, or the

United States which the submarine cable does not bring to the Latin-American press, to be made public either in the form of bulletins or in "extras," according to the importance of the event, while nearly every Latin-American country has its wireless telegraph system. Electric cars are fast replacing the older and slower methods of transportation within the cities and extending their usefulness to carrying passengers to suburban villas, small towns or country places of amusement, and Buenos Aires, the largest Latin-American capital, has a subway in operation.

In conclusion, I may say that a charge frequently made against us Latin-Americans, and in a sense true, is that we are a race of dreamers. Perhaps it is so. We inherited from our forefathers the love of the beautiful and the grand; the facility for expression and the vivid imagination of our race; from them we inherited the sonorous, majestic Spanish, the flexible, musical Portuguese, and the French, language of art, and a responsive chord to all that thrills, be it color, harmony, or mental imagery; we inherited their varying moods, their noble traits and their shortcomings, both of which we have preserved, and in certain cases improved, under the influence of our environment, our majestic mountains, our primeval forests, the ever blooming tropical flowers, the birds of sweetest wild songs and wonderful plumage; under magnificent skies and the inspiration taken from other poets and writers, be they foreign or native, who have gone through life like the minstrels of old with a song on their lips and an unsatisfied yearning in their hearts.

Much more might be said to show the constant endeavor of Latin America to coöperate with its best efforts to the civilization of the world. It has contributed readily according to its Latin standards, and from the day of its independence and the establishment of republican institutions, Latin America has recognized the rights of man, abolished slavery, fostered education, developed its commerce and increased traveling facilities and means of communication with the outer world. It has contributed to the best of its ability to the sum total of human betterment, and the day cannot be far off when full justice will be done to the

efforts of the countries south of the United States, where live a people intelligent, progressive, proud of their history and their own efforts, and ready to extend a friendly hand and a sincere welcome to those who are willing to understand them, and aid them on their road to progress.

The interest shown by the leading universities and educational institutions of the United States in fostering better acquaintance with intellectual Latin America, in giving special courses in the history of those nations, in endeavoring to establish with them an exchange of professors and students, deserves the sincere appreciation of every Latin American, and as a Latin-American myself, I desire to express here my deep gratitude. To Clark University, in particular, and its executive officers, I wish to extend my most cordial congratulations for the friendly-I may say fraternal-thought of dedicating this conference to the discussion of Latin-American topics. It is indeed a noble thought. I also wish to thank the executive officers of Clark University for their courtesy in allowing me to present before you the views of a Latin-American as to what we are and what we have done towards the general progress of the world.




By Jacob H. Hollander, Ph.D., Professor of Political Economy, Johns Hopkins University, Formerly Special Commissioner Plenipotentiary to Santo Domingo, and Financial Adviser of the Dominican Republic.1

The occasion for American intervention in Dominican affairs in 1905 was the imminence of serious complications between the United States and foreign powers, growing out of the active measures taken by such governments to enforce the rights of their creditor-citizens as secured by formal contracts or by international protocols with the Dominican Republic.

For thirty-five years before (1869-1904), Dominican history had been a miserable succession of revolution and anarchy, interrupted by ruthless and blood-stained dictatorships. Of this mis-government the financial counterpart was the accumulation of some $40,000,000 of public indebtedness, much of it semi-fraudulent in character but possessing sinister importance by reason of commitments which the Dominican Republic had been driven into making with creditor governments.

If the United States had been willing to contemplate the full operation of these instruments, much of the reason for intervention as an international necessity would have disappeared. On the other hand, if the seizure of Dominican

1 Much of the historical and descriptive matter contained in the following paragraphs has already been published by the author in one form or another: "A Report on the Debt of San Domingo," 1905; "The Readjustment of San Domingo's Finances" in Quarterly Journal of Economics, May, 1907; "The Financial Difficulties of San Domingo," in Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, July, 1907; "The Reorganization of Dominican Finances," in Proceedings of Lake Mohonk Conference, October, 1912; "The Regeneration of San Domingo," in The Independent, August 28, 1913.

custom ports by foreign powers for the prolonged period necessary to discharge heavy debts, and the appreciable voice in the internal affairs of the country that such occupation was certain to carry with it-if these things were deemed inconsistent with the traditional policy of the United States in the West Indies, then it appeared that some positive action on the part of the United States was imperative.

The expressed preference of such foreign governments had been to take independent action in compelling San Domingo to respect her contract and treaty obligations. In deference to the United States, this attitude had been waived, and the American government besought to take the initiative in the matter. There was every reason to suppose that, failing intervention on the part of the United States, independent and immediate action would have been seriously considered by such foreign governments.

On April 1, 1905, an interim arrangement was effected by the United States providing for administration of the Dominican customs. Thereafter San Domingo enjoyed a civil calm and an economic wellbeing such as it had not known for two generations. Insurrections ceased, agriculture revived and trade developed. The government was enabled to meet its current expenses, to accumulate a surplus for larger requirements, and to segregate a fund towards the adjustment of its debt.

The American-Dominican convention of July 25, 1907, was designed to preserve such conditions, with less considerable involvement on the part of the United States. Instead of the United States both adjusting the debt and collecting the customs for the payment thereof as was proposed in the original protocol arranged between the two countries-the Dominican Republic itself arrived at a voluntary agreement with its creditors, and the United States undertook to administer the customs for the service of the debt so adjusted.

The details of the readjustment were (1) a drastic scaling down of recognized debts and claims; (2) the extinction of burdensome monopoly-concessions recklessly granted by the Dominican government; (3) the provision of a considerable

« ForrigeFortsæt »