« ПретходнаНастави »
Why international relations
cause we believe that our country stands for liberty, union, and democracy that we love and revere it.
But the full benefits of union and coöperation cannot be obtained if these are limited by national boundaries. Just as a clan or small group of people shut away from other people would not progress far, so a modern nation cannot get on well by itself. Some nations could not live at all without exchanging goods with other people. England is a rich nation, but it cannot raise enough grain and meat to supply all its people. It would starve, with all its money, if it could not get grain from other countries. The United States is so large a nation, and has so many kinds of soil and minerals, and such different climates in different regions, that it would not starve. But it would suffer in other ways. It needs the beautiful things made in France and Belgium, the chemicals of Germany, the fine cloth of Great Britain, the coffee and cocoa, and flowers from Holland and South America. It needs the music, the books, the ideas that other people produce. In many ways we are living as neighbors to the whole world. We can send letters to nearly all parts of the earth where men live for less than it used to cost to send a letter a few miles, or than it would! even now cost to hire a boy to carry a message half a mile. We can send money safely; we can exchange with any who have what we want and want what we have. It is clear then that the real business of living will include living in a world with other nations and not merely living in America.
The great question is, Can the people of the world have the liberty and self-government which our nation and some other nations enjoy, and still have the advantages of union on a larger scale? Can nations combine
in certain ways and yet keep liberty, self-government, and their own individual life? We think it would be a great loss if all peoples were alike. If Europe were all French, or all German, or all Russian; if the Chinese and Japanese were to imitate our clothes and manners we should lose much variety. Much as we love America we should not wish all the world to be Americans. What policy has the United States toward other nations? Does the United States stand for anything in international affairs ?
Three policies have been followed—not always, but America's for the most part. First, not to meddle in European three politics. This seemed at first the safe way to preserve
policies our own liberty. Second, not to permit European nations to interfere with republics in either North or South America, or to plant new colonies here. This policy has been followed partly to protect our own liberty, partly to protect other nations in their liberties. It is called the Monroe Doctrine. Third, to cultivate peace with other nations, especially by the method of arbitrating disputes instead of going to
The first policy was laid down in Washington's Farewell Address; the second in President Monroe's Message to Congress in 1823; the third was urged in Washington's address and carried out by a number of treaties providing arbitration, and by many other acts, notably the provision after the War of 1812 that neither Canada nor the United States should have warships upon the Great Lakes.
Washington issued his Farewell Address at the close (1) Washof his presidency. In it he first laid down the great ington's
principles principles which the nation should observe, and then
of nonthe particular rule of not interfering. The general interprinciples—“ Observe good faith and justice toward ference
all nations. Cultivate peace and harmony with all ” — we shall consider a little later under the third head. The rule of non-interference was stated in these words: “ The great rule of conduct for us in regard to foreign nations is, in extending our commercial relations, to have as little political connection as possible.” Washington points out that European nations have many interests and occasions for differences with which America has nothing to do. He urges, further, that we should not meddle with what does not concern us. This was of course more clearly the case a hundred years ago, when it took much longer to cross the ocean, when there were no cables connecting all parts of the world, and when the United States had very little trade as compared with what it has at present. But even so recently as in 1907 the representatives of the United States made the following reservation in signing the first convention of the Hague Peace Conference:
“ Nothing contained in this Convention shall be so construed as to require the United States of America to depart from its traditional policy of not intruding upon, or interfering with, or entangling itself in the political questions of policy or internal administration of any foreign State; nor shall anything contained in the said Convention be construed to imply a relinquishment by the United States of its traditional attitude toward purely American questions.”
This policy of non-interference has been wise. At first our country was so weak that even if it had tried to interfere in affairs of European nations it could have done little good; it was so far removed by the ocean that it could not keep informed; and finally when there were so many disputes about who should be king, about the method of preserving the
balance of power, it would have injured the cause of liberty and real union if we had mixed in European quarrels. But even before our entrance into the great war, the question was raised by many whether we could continue the policy of isolation. On the one hand, it was evident that our trade and other activities were connecting us closely with Europe and Asia. On the other, it was urged that we had a duty in promoting liberty and justice which required us to have political relations with other nations. In the past it may have been our first duty to guard our own liberty; the time had come, it was felt, when it was our duty to help guard the liberty of others. The war brought a decisive answer to this question and has changed us from spectators to participators.
The second policy, the Monroe Doctrine, was a step (2) The in the direction of guarding the liberty of others. It Monroe opposed interference by European powers with any
Doctrine governments in either North or South America, and further declared against any new colonization in this half of the world. The occasion for the announcement of the Monroe Doctrine was this: A number of the colonies in South America had declared their independence of Spain. Several of the European powers were considering some plan of aiding Spain in reconquering these colonies. President Monroe, in a message to Congress in 1823, made the following statement: “ We owe it, therefore, to candor and to amicable relations existing between the United States and these powers to declare that we should consider any attempt on their part to extend their system to any portion of this hemisphere as dangerous to our peace and safety. With the existing colonies or dependencies of any European we have not interfered and shall not interfere.
But with the governments who have declared their independence and maintained it, and whose independence we have on great consideration and on just principles acknowledged, we could not view any interposition for the purpose of oppressing them or controlling in any other manner their destiny by any European power in any other light than a manifestation of an unfriendly disposition toward the United States."
This was the first part of the Monroe Doctrine. The second part also is stated in the same message " that the American continents, by the free and independent condition which they have assumed and maintain, are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European powers." There are certain reasons why this second part may come to be of greater importance than it has ever been. The past few years have seen a great expansion of several of the European countries. Africa has been practically all divided up between Great Britain, France, Portugal, Germany, and Belgium. Important settlements have been made in China by several of the powers. There has seemed to be no limit to the amount of territory which some of these countries have desired to colonize or control, and since Asia and Africa have now been occupied, it is quite probable that if it were not for the attitude of the United States some of the European powers would make new colonies in South America.
There have been two occasions on which the United States has brought forward this Monroe Doctrine. The first was immediately after our Civil War when France was notified that we considered it contrary to our policy that the government of Maximilian should be supported in Mexico by a French army. France