Слике страница
PDF
ePub

guarantee England's monopoly of rights and opportunities by agreeing not to seek any political or commercial concessions for herself or any of her citizens or for the citizens of other countries. She assured, further, that she would not oppose the British Government or its subjects in the acquisition of such concessions. The concessions are of very wide scope embracing railway, banking, telegraph, roads, transport and insurance. Southern Persia was thus to be a preserve for Great Britain unmolested by anybody and positively supported by Russia. Similarly Northern Persia was to be Russia's unchallenged preserve insured and guaranteed by the British Empire.

In Central Persia or the so-called neutral Zone neither Power was to have exclusive rights or privileges. It was, technically speaking, a buffer whereon the back-door influences and intrigues, that are as a rule manipulated secretly in such areas, could have a free play. But to all intents and purposes it was in reality a British sphere, because all important interests within the area were in British hands. British concessionaires had been navigating the Karun River since 1888. Mohammerah at the northeastern head of the Gulf, though nominally a province of Persia, was as noticed above a de facto dependency of England like Hyderabad, Egypt and Tibet. The whole Gulf coast was dominated by the British navy from Bushire and Bunder Abbas. Besides, the Maidan i-Naphthun Oilfields which lie within 140 miles N. N. E. of Mohammerah in the neutral sphere were exclusively British according to the terms of the oil concession wrung from the Shah in 1901.

Along with these facts is to be taken into consideration the treaty between Russia and Persia negotiated in 1901 by which the "most favored nation” treatment in commercial matters was to be reserved for the countries already enjoying it. In view of all these conditions the preamble to the document of 1907 in which the solicitude of England and Russia is expressed as to repecting the “integrity and independence of Persia” would at once appear to be a camouflage that deceives nobody. And only the third-rate nations would tolerate the chimerical sham in the loudly proclaimed

open door" alleged to be obtaining in Persia. No self-respecting Power could be lured by this ignis fatuus.

The truth about the Persian situation was certainly not hidden from Germany, just as the United States can not be hoodwinked by mere scraps of paper into believing that there is an "open" door in China in spite of the "special" interests of England, Russia, France and Japan, or that the integrity and sovereignty of the Chinese republic are consistent with the extra-territorial, judicial, customs and other concessions enjoyed by the Powers. It was Germany's interest, therefore, to restore the independence and annul the partition of Persia. As a new-comer she naturally questioned the status quo of the Middle Eastern politics established by the first interlopers. But the miserable failure of German navy, army and diplomacy, and the utter pulverization of the Ottoman Empire, together with the unlooked-for dismemberment of the Russian Colossus, have brought about a most marvelous reconstruction in the map of Asia. The British empire has thus been left not only with the monopoly control over the destiny of entire Persia but also with undisputed suzerainty over every inch of the seafront from the Suez to Singapore and over the entire land mass south of the great series of Asian water-partings, the Caucasus, the Karakum Desert, the Hindu Kush and the Tian Shan, as well as with opportunities for steady advance from this solid base into the Volga basin and the basins of the Obi and the Yenisei. The complete subjugation of Asia (with the solitary exception of Japan which happens to maintain her independence at home and dispute British advance in China and on the Pacific) by Great Britain appears thus to be the final solution of the Eastern question, that was opened with the Crimean War of 1856–57 and was almost closed by the Anglo-Russian Agreement of 1907 in regard to Tibet, Afghanistan and Persia.

PRESENT CONDITIONS AND THE OUTLOOK IN

MEXICO

By Elisha Hollingsworth Talbot, Honorary Member National

Geographical and Statistical Society of Mexico

If we were to shape our estimate of the Mexican people of today by the law of biology which reads: “The most widely diversified types produce the finest offspring,” we would not lack concrete evidence to verify this statement. There is ample proof of the cosmopolitan character of the Mexican people, who are as truly agglomerate nationally as are the Austro-Hungarians or Italians. While the development of these races, their blending and consequent attainment of cohesive national well-being, their strength in maintaining the latter (in spite of internal wars), and the preservation of their status among nations through all manner of vicissitudes attest the truth of this natural law.

It has been said that

The Mexican of today has the blood of more races in his veins than has any other American. Iberian, Semite, Hamite, Goth and Vandal, Roman and Celt, mingled their blood in that stream of brave and adventurous men who first set eyes on Yucatan in 1517, and who conquered Mexico in 1522. Like Spain from the remotest time, Mexico soon became the meeting ground of races, of peoples, of languages and of religions. Within the area of its original territory there were more families of native languages than in all the western hemisphere besides; and, to complete the chain, there were more kinds and grades of culture there. The Seri Indians of Sonora are as abject as the Fuegians, while the Nahuatl and Maya-speaking tribes of the Valley of Mexico and of Yucatan occupied the most elevated position for culture in the New World.

The origin of the Mexican aborigines is involved in that of the American Indians, since within the present boundaries of the Republic are gathered representatives of every zone from the Apache,-an Athapascan, whose principal home is in Alaska,-to the tribes of Oaxaca and Chiapas, who are the children of a torrid clime. There are now in Mexico perhaps ten times more Indians than were ever at any time within the United States domain.

T. Philip Terry, author of a hand book for travelers in Mexico, gives the linguistic families in the republic and their numerical standing, as follows:

[blocks in formation]

Prof. John Hubert Cornyn, long a resident of Mexico, founder of the American College of that city and an authority of high repute, says of the native rulers of the Indian races

Their whole tendency was exercised for the exaltation of the classes, and for the maintenance of the masses in political and social subjugation; (and that] these conditions having obtained, with

Mexico, they may safely be considered as normal. And here is

They have treated conditions existing there as abnormal, and have proposed to remedy them off-hand, as a tinker mends a leaky pan, forgetting that what is the growth of centuries can be eradicated only by patient endeavor intelligently directed over a long space of time.

When we realize fully the lack of education and its long line of benefits as applied to the great mass of Mexico's population, we may well marvel at the proven possibilities in that direction, for we naturally assume that centuries of ignorance must dwarf the capacity and desire to learn. Many exceptions to this rule have come under my observation in Mexico.

Thirty years ago I was present at commencement exercises at a young ladies' seminary in Morelia, the capital city of the fine state of Michoacan when there occurred one of the most inspiring incidents I have ever witnessed. Med

als for superiority in various studies were awarded by the governor, in behalf of the state. Many students were in attendance, the great majority of whom were of white blood and belonged to the elite of the nation. But a young Indian girl, dressed in the simple garb of her race and station was, in the course of the evening, awarded three medals. Not a student belonging to the “superior" race received more than one medal. Yet this poor Indian who had never known the advantages of wealth or elevating surroundings dared not hope for other treatment through life than that of an inferior.

The principal of a high school in the city of Puebla once stated in reply to my question regarding the comparative scholarship efficiency of the Spanish or aristocratic student and the Indian, that, although the average proficiency of the former was considerably greater than of the latter, in all cases of which he had personal knowledge where a student far outstripped all his fellows and won first honors in his studies, the successful competitor was an Indian.

These and innumerable other instances of like nature certainly justify all that has been claimed for the Indian or peon of Mexico regarding his native intelligence and capacity for acquiring at least a practical education, and for the ordinary requirements and responsibilities of citizenship, including also the creditable performance of any official duties that he may, under the new “order of things" in his country be called upon to perform.

First and foremost among the purposes of the present or constitutional government of Mexico is the upbuilding of this great moral force and its direction into the right channels. This fact was evidenced in a most practical manner by President Carranza when, very shortly after entering upon the duties of his high office he sent a delegation of teachers to the educational centers of this country to study our school system with a view to the adoption of such of our methods as might be suited to Mexican conditions and needs.

A further proof of the intellectual possibilities of the Mexican Indian in the great problem of race development is

« ПретходнаНастави »