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the obligation of the United States to mediate and intervene in their affairs was assented to by to all of the five republics with the exception of the government of President Zelaya, who desired a free hand for the carrying out of his ambitious schemes to dominate Central America.

The friendly mediation of the United States was insufficient to deter Zelaya from making war in February, 1907, against the government of President Bonilla in Honduras though it was able to prevent the conflict's spreading to Salvador and Guatemala. American warships actively intervened on both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of Honduras to protect foreign interests and prevent the needless destruction of life and property. In August of the same year, the American government was able by strenuous diplomatic representations to avert war between Nicaragua and Salvador. But it was evident that more definite and effective measures would have to be adopted to preserve peace in Central America.

On the initiative of President Roosevelt, a peace conference of the five republics was held in Washington from November 13 to December 20, 1907. The work of this conference, consisting of several conventions on various subjects, was received with considerable optimism. It was believed by many that the basis had been laid for permanent peace. The key to the whole structure was the Central American Court of Justice to which all controversies of whatever nature were to be brought for final adjudication. It was heralded as a triumph for the cause of compulsory arbitration between nations; and Mr. Carnegie was induced to provide the court with a beautiful building at Cartago, Costa Rica. Those familiar with conditions in Central America, however, were not misled by the palliative measures adopted by the Washington conference. They realized that remedies on paper, without provisions for practical application and enforcement, were nothing but mockeries. The first decision of the Court of Justice, in a controversy between Honduras and Guatemala, was greeted with general derision. It was evident that the composition of the court was largely political; and that no means existed for enforcing

respect for its decisions. Conditions in these countries continued as disturbed as ever and Zelaya showed his cynical contempt for the Washington conventions by launching a filibustering expedition against Salvador in February, 1909.

By this time the American government was thoroughly convinced that the Washington conventions were of no value unless literally enforced and it reluctantly came to the conclusion that it must be prepared to forcibly prevent any further depredations by the Zelaya government. This decision was a momentous departure from the policy of nonintervention hitherto scrupulously observed, though it was the logical step in the fulfillment of the obligations of the United States, not only in behalf of all foreign interests, but also towards the people of Central America.

The revolution on the Atlantic coast of Nicaragua in October, 1909, and the unjustifiable execution of the two Americans, Cannon and Groce, by order of Zelaya, compelled the United States to again intervene directly in Central American affairs. Zelaya was obliged to flee and the revolutionists were able ultimately to triumph. Another development in American policy was the agreement of our government to assist the new government in Nicaragua in the rehabilitation of the finances of that country.

A treaty was negotiated with the Nicaraguan government by Secretary Knox, giving the United States the right, as in Santo Domingo, to act virtually as the receiver and guardian of the customs revenues. Although this treaty was not ratified by the Senate, the arrangement itself was carried through and American officials designated by the United States now control in large part the finances of Nicaragua. Furthermore during a formidable revolution in August and September of 1912, the United States landed troops in Nicaragua at the request of the Nicaraguan Government for the announced purpose of protecting American lives and property, maintaining a legation guard, and preserving free communication with the legation. The national railroad which had been hypothecated as guarantee of an American loan to the government, was operated under the protection of American soldiers. A considerable force was

dispatched to Managua, the capital, and actually aided the government to repell and frustrate the revolution, which otherwise would have in all probability succeeded. Several American soldiers were killed during these operations.

The government at Managua, which owed its continued existence to American support, subsequently signed another treaty with Secretary Knox, whereby Nicaragua agreed to allow the United States the sole rights to the construction of any canal across Nicaragua, as well as a coaling station in the Gulf of Fonseca in return for assistance for the rehabilitation of its finances. This treaty has been approved by President Wilson's administration, and is still awaiting action by the Senate.

The formidable revolution headed by Ex-President Bonilla, which threatened to sweep the whole of Honduras in February of the present year, was again the occasion for the direct intervention of the United States. British and American marines were landed at Puerto Cortes which was declared neutral ground where hostilities would not be permitted. The inland town of San Pedro Sula, at the end of the railroad leading from Puerto Cortes, was also occupied and administered by the joint forces. The two rival factions, that of the government and that of General Bonilla, were notified that further disturbance and bloodshed would not be allowed and that some peaceful solution of their differences should be found. The apparently happy result of this intervention was the choice of a provisional president agreeable to both factions and a peaceful change of government with the prospect of an orderly, free election in the near future. The department of state at the same time announced the readiness of the United States to lend its good offices in support of certain measures for the refunding of the national debt of Honduras.

A treaty similar to the earlier treaty originally negotiated with Nicarauga, was also negotiated by Secretary Knox with Honduras, but likewise failed of ratification. The government of Honduras has since been endeavoring to find a way to meet its foreign indebtedness without being compelled to resort to an American receivership.

From the preceding rapid survey of recent events in Central America, two important facts are to be emphasized: first, that from a policy of scrupulous non-intervention in the affairs of these republics, the United States has been unwillingly lead into a policy of direct intervention; and second, that these interventions have become as startlingly frequent as they have become increasingly embarrassing in their nature. The question which naturally arises at this point is whether it is fitting and necessary that the attention of our government should be so constantly occupied with the domestic concerns of these countries: whether this "constabulary duty" of keeping the peace between, and even within, these states, can long be maintained without great embarrassment and disagreeable complications: whether, in sum, intervention in their internal affairs is the only possible solution of the problem.

Certain of the delegates at the Washington conference of 1907 signed the conventions with frank misgivings. They felt that such measures were only of a temporizing character and that the conference had failed in its opportunity to adopt a definite, radical remedy for the political ailments of Central America. In a special statement submitted to the Conference, the delegates from Honduras and Nicaragua expressed their doubts as follows:

We hope that the establishment of the Central American Court of Justice, agreed upon in the most important of our conventions, shall for the time being be the key to our political structure and shall remedy to a great extent our evils and shall prevent war in the future. We believe, however, that it does not suffice to satisfy the sentiment and aspirations of the Central American people, and that within a short time it will be felt, through the free trend of opinion and through the obvious relation of our public needs, how essential is a more intimate and complete amalgamation (Foreign Relations, 1907, p. 727).

In a separate statement the Honduran minister for foreign affairs also declared:

proceeding with loyal frankness, we must agree that if it is indeed true that by the creation of that court we have taken an advanced step toward the wellbeing and the good name of the countries we represent, by this step alone we have not assured the


positive and fruitful peace of Central America. In this sense and obeying impulses of the most sincere patriotism, I make known here the profound conviction which continual political deceptions have rooted in my mind, that the union of the five republics in one single nation becomes necessary as the only saving means that is to lead our peoples without new obstacles or anxieties along the same path of progress that has led the United States and Mexico to the height of prosperity they now enjoy (Foreign Relations, 1907, p. 722).

With earnestness and ability the representatives from Honduras and Nicaragua labored to convince the other delegates of the supreme necessity of bringing about the union of the five republics. They pointed out that the reestablishment of the federation of Central America was the fundamental feature of their political existence, so acknowledged and declared in several of their constitutions. They insisted that no great sociological or other differences existed between the states of Central America: that "Central American wars have never been armed conflicts between peoples, but between governments: that no territorial conquests have ever taken place: no war indemnities or humiliating reparations have ever been imposed by one people upon the other as an abuse of victory." They drew attention to "the opposition of interests, of political tendencies and reciprocal jealousies in matters of predominance" in the Philadelphia Convention of 1787: how "some states had their social status organized according to democratic principles: in other states a powerful aristocracy reigned supreme: some were agriculturists: others were devoted to industrial pursuits: some favored slavery and others had marked aversion for it:" how the Philadelphia Convention, "believing that all those differences were not incompatible with the political union, devoted its efforts to find a rule of law to harmonize all opposing tendencies, systems, and interests, and to attain the prevalence of the Union over all opposition."

These arguments were of no avail and the majority of the delegates at the Washington conference summarized their views as follows:

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