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promptly urged his government to recognize Huerta, but President Taft, whose term was rapidly drawing to a close, took no action and left the question to his successor.
Insurrections against Huerta's rule broke out almost immediately in several parts of the country and he was unable to extend his authority over the disaffected areas. President Wilson and Secretary Bryan were fully justified in refusing to recognize him, though they probably made a mistake in announcing that they would never do so, and in demanding his elimination from the presidential contest. This action made him deaf to advice from Washington and utterly indifferent to the destruction of American life and property.
One of the serious features of the Mexican situation was that the revolutions were financed by American capitalists who had large investments in mines, rubber plan- The occupatations, and other enterprises. The American tion of Vera
Cruz Ambassador, Henry Lane Wilson, was a partisan of Huerta, so that the State Department could not rely upon information derived from him and had to recall him at a critical moment. Meanwhile the financial interests which had backed the Huerta revolution were clamoring for his recognition, but the president paid no heed to their demands or criticisms and continued to pursue his "policy of watchful waiting."
On April 20, 1914, the president asked Congress for authority to employ the armed forces of the United States in demanding redress for the arbitrary arrest of American marines at Vera Cruz, and the next day Admiral Fletcher was ordered to seize the customhouse at Vera Cruz. This he did after a sharp fight with Huerta's troops in which 19 Americans were killed and 70 wounded. The American chargé d'affaires, Nelson O'Shaughnessy, was at once handed his passports, and all diplomatic relations between the United States and Mexico were severed.
A few days later the representatives of Argentina, Brazil and Chile tendered their good offices for a peaceful settlement of the conflict, and President Wilson promptly accepted Recognition their mediation. The resulting conference, which of Carranza convened at Niagara, May 20, was not successful in its immediate object, but it resulted in the elimination of Huerta, who resigned July 15, 1914. On August 20 General Venustiano Carranza, head of one of the revolutionary factions, assumed control of affairs at the capital, but his authority was disputed by General Francisco Villa, another insurrectionary chief. On Carranza's promise to respect the lives and property of American citizens the United States forces were withdrawn from Vera Cruz in November, 1914.
In August, 1915, at the request of President Wilson, the six ranking representatives of Latin America at Washington made an unsuccessful effort to reconcile the contending factions in Mexico. On their advice, however, President Wilson decided in October to recognize the government of Carranza, who now controlled three fourths of the territory of Mexico, as the de facto government of the republic. As a result of this action Villa began a series of attacks on American citizens and raids across the border, which in March, 1916, compelled the president to send a punitive expedition into Mexico and later to dispatch most of the regular army and large bodies of militia to the border.
President Wilson's Mexican policy was avowedly based on his larger Pan-American policy. The fact should not
be' overlooked that the rapid advance of the The new Pan-Amer- United States in the Caribbean Sea during the icanism
past two decades had created violent opposition and alarm in certain parts of Latin America. As a result of the Spanish War the United States acquired Porto Rico and a protectorate over Cuba; a little later President Roosevelt seized the Canal Zone from Colombia and established financial supervision over Santo Domingo; and
at the time of the Mexican crisis American marines occupied Hayti and Nicaragua. It was widely believed in Latin America that the United States had converted the Monroe Doctrine from a protective policy into a policy of imperialistic aggression. Another step in Caribbean expansion was taken in 1917 when the Danish West Indies were purchased.
Under these circumstances every move in the Mexican situation was viewed with suspicion. The understanding which had existed for some years between the three leading Latin-American States, Argentina, Brazil, and Chile, generally referred to as the A B C alliance, was believed to have been formed for the purpose of checking the encroachments of the United States.
In accepting the mediation of the A B C powers in Mexico and later asking their advice, President Wilson took a long step toward overcoming the resentment and alarm created by Roosevelt's aggressive action in seizing Panama and waving the big stick over our Southern neighbors. As a result of President Wilson's policy relations with Latin America were placed on a better footing than they had been for a generation.
C. A. Beard, Contemporary American History, Chaps. XII, XIII; F. L. Paxson, The New Nation, Chap. XX; F. W. Taussig, Tariff History of the United States, Chap. VIII; E. Stanwood, History of the Presidency (Edit. of 1916), Vol. II, Chap. IV; F. A. Ogg, National Progress, Chaps. II-XVII; J. B. Moore, Principles of American Diplomacy, pp. 215–238, 365–419.
At the outbreak of the great European War in August, 1914, President Wilson issued the usual proclamation of
neutrality, and no one foresaw the issues that The European would shortly arise and the extent to which the
vital interests of the United States would be involved. The first task was to bring home the thousands of American tourists who were stranded in all parts of Europe by the sudden mobilization of armies. The sudden interruption of international trade, particularly the export of cotton, caused a general business depression and the country was saved from a serious financial panic only by the operations of the Treasury Department under the new Federal Reserve Act.
Business revived when American firms began taking orders from England, France, and Russia for large supplies of arms and munitions of war. The sale of contraband was perfectly permissible under international law, but as the British navy controlled the seas, the Germans and Austrians were unable to get munitions from America, and denounced the trade in war supplies as one-sided and unneutral. Meanwhile the German invasion of Belgium with its ruthless atrocities had shocked the moral sense of the world and enlisted the sympathies of the great majority of Americans on the side of Germany's enemies. When the horrors of the Belgian invasion became fully known many Americans began to criticize the president for not having protested against, or tried to prevent, what nobody at the time anticipated or believed possible.
The British navy found little difficulty in stopping all direct trade with the enemy in contraband articles, but this was of little avail so long as the trade con
Interference tinued through the ports of Italy, Holland, and with neutral the Scandinavian countries. In order to stop this trade indirect carriage of contraband the British government inaugurated, in the early stages of the war, a policy of search and detention which imposed great hardships on neutral vessels and neutral commerce. The list of contraband articles was greatly enlarged and, on the plea that great freight ships could not be properly searched at sea, they were taken into port, sometimes far out of their course, and detained for indefinite periods.
Great Britain further assumed that contraband articles shipped to neutral countries adjacent to Germany and Austria were intended for them unless proof to the contrary was forthcoming. The United States protested vigorously against this policy, but the force of its protest was weakened by the fact that during the Civil War the American government had pursued substantially the same policy in regard to goods shipped by neutrals to Nassau, Havana, Matamoros, and other ports adjacent to the Confederacy. In fact the doctrine of continuous voyage or transshipment which England was applying was an American doctrine enunciated by the Supreme Court to justify the seizure of British goods during the Civil War.
Soon after the outbreak of hostilities Germany began scattering floating mines in the path of British commerce, and on November 3, 1914, the British govern- Submarine ment, as an act of retaliation, declared the North warfare
war area" and warned neutral vessels not to enter without receiving sailing directions from the British squadron. Under pressure of what amounted to a stringent blockade, the German naval authorities decided to employ their large submarine flotilla, which had been unable to