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pays its obligations, then it need fear no interference from the United States. Brutal wrong-doing or impotence which results in the general loosening of the ties of civilized society may finally require intervention by some civilized nation, and in the western hemisphere the United States cannot ignore its duty."
It is easy to see that this might come to mean that the United States would be a sort of policeman for the whole American continent, and this might easily involve us in trouble; hence some have urged that we ought to drop the Monroe Doctrine. Others suggest that instead of attempting to carry alone the responsibility of American liberty we coöperate with other American peoples in an effort to maintain peace and independence for all. Such coöperation was illustrated in the recent mediation between the United States and Mexico whe the Argentine Confederation, Brazil, and Chile coöperated to make a peaceful adjustment.
President Wilson, in an address to the Pan-American Conference, restated our conception of the Monroe Doctrine:
“There is no claim of guardianship or thought of wards but, instead a full and honorable association as of partners between ourselves and our neighbors, in the interest of all America, north and south. . . . All the governments of America stand, so far as we are concerned, upon a feeling of genuine equality and unquestioned independence.
“The moral is, that the states of America are not hostile rivals but co-operating friends, and that their growing sense of community of interest, alike in matters political and in matters economic, is likely to give them a new significance as factors in international affairs and in the political history of the world. It presents them as in a very deep and true sense a unit in world affairs, spiritual partners, standing together because thinking together, quick with common sympathies and common ideals.
Separated they are subject to all the cross currents of the confused politics of a world of hostile rivalries; united in spirit and purpose they cannot be disappointed of their peaceful destiny."
The third policy was marked out in the great words of Washington's Farewell Address: “ Observe good faith and justice toward all nations. Cultivate peace and harmony with all.”
As regards “good faith and justice,” it would be (3) Good pleasanter for American citizens if we could forget our faith and dealings with the Indians. “Good faith," as applied
to all to the dealings of one nation with another, means particularly keeping treaties, for a treaty is a contract or agreement made with great care and in a solemn manner so as to bind both sides as strongly as possible. Justice means respecting the rights of others as if they were your own. It forbids taking away property by force or by tricks when one has no right to it. Any strong people, when dealing with a weaker people, needs to consider justice. At the same time it is easy to see that it is much easier to observe good faith and justice toward people who are at about the same stage of civilization as we are. For both sides then understand each other better; they can put themselves more easily in the other's place; they sympathize more strongly with what the others claim as their rights.
In the case of the Indians the United States always Failure recognized that they had a “right of occupancy.” in good
faith That is, although the Indians did not have a system
toward of owning land so that they fenced off farms or lots
Indians and kept written records of every change of ownership, they yet had regions in which they and their fathers had fished and hunted. They "occupied” these forests
and rivers, and the villages where they stayed. The early settlers made bargains with them for tracts of land, and later the states and the United States made treaties with various tribes to exchange their hunting grounds for other lands or for money. If a few Indians occupied a great tract of land it is clear that it would benefit more people if the land should be cultivated and made to feed a million people instead of a hundred. It was right to compel the Indians to give up some of the land they were occupying, provided they were taught how to live on less land. But, unfortunately, for a long time little was done for the education of the Indians. When treaties were made with them it was of the highest importance that these should be kept. Some white men did not think so. They did not hesitate to seize land which the government had granted to the Indians. If the Indians objected there would soon be a quarrel, and if the Indians attacked the white settlers this would be made the excuse for a removal of the Indians.
A commission appointed by President Grant in 1869 to examine Indian affairs reported:
“ The history of the Government connections with the Indians is a shameful record of broken treaties and unfulfilled promises. The history of the border white man's connection with the Indians is a sickening record of murder, outrage, robbery, and wrongs committed by the former, as the rule, and occasional savage outbreaks and unspeakably barbarous deeds of retaliation by the latter, as the exception.
“Taught by the Government that they had rights entitled to respect, when those rights have been assailed by the rapacity of the white man, the arm which should have been raised to protect them has ever been ready to sustain the aggressor.”
It is no wonder that a writer who had studied the records of our dealings with the Indians called her book A Century of Dishonor. For although the old military idea of honor is that the only very dishonorable thing is to be weak or afraid, there is another idea which makes it dishonorable to break your word, or to treat a weaker person unjustly. President Grant began a better way of dealing with Indians. Schools were encouraged. A particularly outrageous violation of a treaty with the Ponca Indians in 1879 aroused public feeling and associations were formed to aid the Indians. Unscrupulous individuals are still constantly aiming to defraud them. They frequently seek to do this by laws cleverly designed, so that they may outwit the Indians in a legal way. But those who believe in justice and good faith are stronger and more awake than formerly. Many of the Indians who have been educated are now helping the rest to understand and defend their rights. What is perhaps more important, many of the Indians have learned to farm, to raise cattle, to live in the white man's way, and so to gain more respect from those who did not have any scruple against cheating or robbing them when they lived so differently. It is the highest test of a strong man or a strong nation to be just to the weak.
In dealing with other nations it may be fairly said that we have for the most part observed good faith and justice. In deciding whether we have always done this it is not entirely safe to trust our own judgment. In a business transaction it often occurs that one man thinks he has observed good faith, whereas the other man in the transaction thinks differently. Such a case can be brought before an impartial court and decided. In the past there has been no way to compel a nation
to come before a court; so many cases are left undecided. After a long time, when the heat of strong feeling on each side is over, historians can usually reach a conclusion. But in any given case it is hardly safe to judge ourselves without first hearing whether other peoples have anything to say. Perhaps the four cases in which the action of the United States has been criticised most severely are (1) the Mexican War; (2) the war with Spain, and soon after with the Filipinos; (3) the controversy with Colombia over the Panama Canal Zone; (4) the question of Panama Canal tolls.
In the case of the Mexican War many Americans protested at the time. They believed its motive was to secure territory for the extension of slavery. In his memoirs President Grant, who had himself been a soldier in that war, said of it:
“I was bitterly opposed to the measure (annexation of Texas) and to this day regard the war which resulted as one of the most unjust ever waged by a stronger against a weaker nation. It was an instance of a republic following the bad example of European monarchies in not considering justice in their desire to acquire additional territory'
It has been defended on the ground that states secured from Mexico as the result of the war,–California, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada-have had a far happier history since than they would have had under Mexican rule. This is no doubt true, but it does not make the war just. It is quite possible that a man who breaks into the house of a gambler, or a miser, or a rich idler, may make a much better use of the money than would the owner, but this is not enough to justify