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Volume VII. Number 2.


$2.00 a year. 20 cents a copy.

American Diplomatic History in High School


The writer deeply sympathizes with the secondry teacher who reads one month that the all-imortant element in American history is the economic, he next, that it is the constitutional, the next, that olonial history must give due stress to British adminstration; and finds in each case a suggested program hat would amply fill the time devoted to the whole ubject. He would be alarmed by the thought that he whole scope of the high school course must be onstantly fluctuating, were he not confident that the ommon sense of the teacher-as also the human imitations of the teacher's knowledge-suffice to give he student some grounding in that comparatively unhanging fact basis which the gradual evolution of istoric thought has worked out.

These suggestions, therefore, are not offered with ny idea that diplomatic history is the most important element in American development, and the Affort is made to limit them to what is practical in a bourse which is to furnish the whole background of he student's idea of his country's past.

The first consideration is that diplomacy is not inernational law. In the United States alone it is ecessary to make this distinction, because, with their egalistic bent, Americans, even experts, exaggerate he sanction of international law. Most Americans ven go so far as to regard certain long-continued American policies, notably the Monroe Doctrine, as aving a legal character. This habit of thinking has lifferentiated the United States from other counries, sometimes to its advantage. It is always, howver, liable to provoke international misunderstandngs.

One point, therefore, to be left clear in the mind of the student is that states in their relations, are not regulated by any such system of law as are individaals, but by certain habits and customs and agreements, which may, even in their own day, turn into an enforceable law, but which have not yet done so. As to what stress should be put upon international law, thus differentiated and explained, the author is doubtful. Certain well-sustained American convictions on the subject will inevitably form part of any course, for they were part of the web and woof of American history from 1793 to 1815, and during the Civil War. It is undoubtedly more important that these questions be really understood, than that an attempt be made to give a survey of the principles of international law as a whole; for any such effort is sure to fail. Certainly it is to the diplomatic side that the major attention should be given. Diplomacy includes the legalistic relations of nations, and it in

cludes much more, it would exist if international law vanished. But questions as to the manner and extent of treatment do not always admit of definite answer, and the author can only present his opinion. On all questions of international law which arise, J. B. Moore's "Digest" is by far the most useful work of reference.1

Is it necessary to present diplomatic history as a continuous development, as, for instance, the tariff and the currency must be presented? It seems to the author that there is no similar necessity, for, whereas the tariff and the currency were continually pivots of politics and signals of economic conditions, there are long stretches when diplomacy was the toy of politicians rather than their master, and when it was even neglected. The course of national development, therefore, can be satisfactorily explained in many periods without considering the diplomatic element. This detachment of diplomatic history from the main current of American development for long periods makes it possible to employ the topical treatment to a greater extent than is possible in the case of many other subjects. One may seize upon some critical moment and introduce a diplomatic question, running its history backward and forward, without giving serious misconceptions as to its relation to other problems. Such a topical method being possible, seems also desirable, for by devoting a considerable unit of time to diplomatic affairs, it is possible to create an impression on the student, whereas the continued incidental reference to diplomatic matters as of secondary importance may leave no impression at all.

In considering whether such topical treatments must be so arranged as to cover the field or may be selected as illustrative, one must have in mind the purpose to be attained. To the author it seems that the main object is to make the student realize that the United States is one of a community of nations, that it has interests which inevitably throw it into relation with other countries. At the same time, it is equally necessary to give an idea of the conditions that govern these relationships: That no nation can be a law unto itself; that compromise is oftentimes necessary; that it is not enough to be right, but that it is also essential, in the absence of a final court of adjudication, to be forcible; that force may consist of military and naval organization, of economic resources, of the moral support of world opinion, and that these

1" Digest of International Law." 8 vols. Government Printing Office, 1906.



various forces have their special functions and their limitations. Again, diplomacy is actually managed by fewer individuals than other public matters, and it consequently gives a better opportunity to study the working of the personal element. On the other hand, the influence of national prejudices, passions and convictions, must be duly appreciated. To bring out these factors, detailed treatment is necessary, and detailed treatment can be given only at some expense of comprehensiveness. It is believed that more will be gained by the selection of episodes for illustrative purposes than will be lost.

The material for diplomatic history is in some respects extremely good, but it is not particularly well suited to the secondary school. The best works are highly specialized, and emphasis is too often given to a new detail, rather than to basic considerations. They belong rather to the monographic than the expository order. On the other hand, the source material is unusually available and interesting, and lends itself especially well to topic work.

Of general works, J. B. Moore's "American Diplomacy" is valuable for the teacher, as showing the general direction of American policy. J. W. Foster's "A Century of American Diplomacy," 3 while running only to 1876, and not up to date in the handling of many questions, has a lightness and familiarity of touch, particularly in handling the personal element, that will make it interesting and valuable to the student. The author's "American Diplomacy is what he could do in five hundred pages. There are at present no other comprehensive works, but W. A. Dunning's "British Empire and the United States (1814-1914) is a charming and authoritative handling of a very considerable part of our diplomacy.


To take up particular topics, the importance and the interest of our Revolutionary relationships command and invite attention. To secure sufficient mass to create a proper impression it is desirable to unite for treatment the whole diplomacy from the beginning to the end, treating it after Yorktown. No better opportunity is afforded for showing the complexity of international connections, and this complexity should be insisted upon even at the expense of leaving the student a little vague as to exactly where everybody stood. No better opportunity is afforded of showing the dependence of the United States on world conditions, and the fact that French aid was essential should be made absolutely plain. Whether one be a Jayite or a Franklinite, Franklin should undoubtedly be starred, for no figure in American history so oozes diplomatic quality. If possible, topics should be assigned which will make some students familiar with his letters. The questions of international morality involved in the separate negotiations of the American Commissioners with England, are sure to excite

2 Harper & Bros., 1905.

3 Houghton, Mifflin & Co., 1901.

4 C. R. Fish, "American Diplomacy." Henry Holt & Co.,

5 Charles Scribner's Sons, 1914.

interest, though the problem of evidence with regard to Vergennes' intentions is too intricate for any but the most exceptional high school student. The various questions at issue will inevitably emerge, if these points be insisted upon.

Good accounts are given in Trevelyan and Van Tyne's histories of the Revolution, and volume three of Channing's "History of the United States." Foster is particularly useful for this period. Tower's "Life of Lafayette gives material on the attitude of France, and Perkins' France in the American "10 and Corwin's Revolution," French Policy" and the "American Alliance,' "' 11 both furnish effective backgrounds of European conditions. Franklin's Works" give life and color that cannot be matched elsewhere.12

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The diplomatic failure of the Confederation is an essential part of the general history of that period. It would be well, however, if the discussion of the problems at issue could be brought into close contact with their solution by the new government, notably in the Jay treaty with England and the Spanish treaty of 1795. Probably the most practical method is to thoroughly present the problems in connection with the Confederation, so that their solution may be simply and briefly enumerated among the successes of the new government.

Of course, the points to emphasize are that the treaty of 1783 did not create the conditions it attempted to describe, that the weak government of the Confederation was unable to secure its execution, and that the strong government that followed, by taking advantage of time and circumstance, was able to secure it. The essential nature of these problems, particularly the possession of the eastern bank of the Mississippi, should be brought out, the importance of the Indians, and the practical as well as the sentimental weakness of a government unable to secure the interests of its citizens. It is here the nature of the problems which is significant, rather than the actual course of the negotiations.

On the commercial problems of this period the material is abundant and easy to find. All the standard histories give it a proportional share of attention. On the western problems it is more difficult to get

6 G. C. Trevelyan, "The American Revolution." 3 vols. Longmans, Green & Co., 1899-1907.

7 C. H. Van Tyne, "The American Revolution." American Nation Series. Harper & Bros., 1905.

8 Edward Channing, "History of the United States." Vol 3. The Macmillan Co., 1912.

9 Charlemagne Tower, Jr., "The Marquis of La Fayette in the American Revolution." 2 vols. Philadelphia, 1895. 10 J. B. Perkins, Boston, 1911.

11 E. S. Corwin, to be printed by Princeton University Press.

12" Works," etc. Edited by W. T. Franklin. 6 vols. Philadelphia, 1808-1818; "Works," etc. Edited by Jared Sparks. 10 vols. Boston, 1836-1840; "Complete Works." Edited by John Bigelow. 10 vols. New York, 1887-1888; "Writings." Edited by A. H. Smyth. 10 vols. New York, 1905-1907.



what one wishes. Special articles by McLaughlin,13 Cox,14 Leavitt 15 and Turner,10 discuss various phases of it. Roosevelt's "Winning of the West ,, 17 is perhaps the most available of all.

From 1793 to 1815 politics and diplomacy were so closely connected that no separate treatment can be given; yet to a certain extent the various diplomatic phases can be isolated sufficiently to make them stand out distinctly. Probably not much will be lost by settling up the Confederation problems, even to that portion of the Jay treaty dealing with the treaty of 1783, before Genet lands in America. From 1793 to 1801 the relations with France can be made the pivot. The main object will be to show the tendency of the European war to involve the United States, by reason of popular interest and the French treaties of 1778 and 1788. The evolution of the idea of American neutrality, its success under the leadership of Washington, the final abolition of the treaties, and the reason for Washington's warning against similar entangling agreements in the future, form a continuous argument. The subordinate thread is that of French ambition in the West.

McMaster 18 gives the classic picture of the popular attitude during this period, and all standard histories give the formal facts. On the western side usable material is more scant. A number of articles by Turner in the "American Historical Review" 19 furnish almost all that can easily be found. On the other hand, beginning at this point, the annual messages of the Presidents, found in Richardson's collection,20 furnish good material for simple topic work.

The Louisiana Purchase follows naturally this emphasis on French relations. It will obviously be treated by itself after the domestic policy of the Jefferson administration has been dealt with. Diplomatically its interest is far less than its importance, and the major attention should undoubtedly be given to its domestic aspects. Material is abundant. The author does not believe that Henry Adams' great work on the administrations of Jefferson and Madiis useful for secondary schools, but it is an



13 A. C. McLaughlin, "Western Ports and British Debts.” American Historical Association Report, 1894, 413 ff. 14 I. J. Cox, "Indian as a Diplomatic Factor." Arch. and Hist. Quar.," Vol. 18, 542.

15 Orpha Leavitt, "British Policy, 1783 to 1793." Hist. Soc., Proceedings, 1915.



16F. J. Turner, "English Policy toward America in 17901791." "Am. Hist. Review," Vol. 8, 78 ff.

17 Theodore Roosevelt, "Winning of the West." Appleton & Co. Various editions.

19 J. B. McMaster, "History of the People of the United States," Vol. 1.

19 Genet's "Projected Attack on Louisiana," ""Am. Hist. Review," Vol. 3, 650 ff; "Policy of France towards the Mississippi Valley," Ibid., Vol. 10, 249 ff; also "Diplomatic Contest for the Mississippi Valley," "Atlantic Monthly," Vol. XCIII, 676 ff; 807 ff.

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20 J. D. Richardson, Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents," 10 vols. Washington, 18961899, and supplements.

21 Henry Adams, "History of the United States," etc. 9 vols. Charles Scribner's Sons. Various editions.

unfailing resource for the teacher. Ogg's "Opening of the Mississippi,"22 on the other hand, is useful to teacher and student alike.

The deferring of a specific treatment of our problems with England from 1793 to 1803 is justified by the fact that practically the same problems run through the two periods, 1793 to 1801, and 1803 to 1812, that the commercial clauses of the Jay treaty, the political importance of which is not here in question, were ephemeral, and that a valuable unity may thereby be secured. The essential thing is to make plain the fact that neutrality is not a matter of decision alone, but that it presents problems, particularly through a nation's trade. The similarity of these problems to those of 1914-1916, make it interesting as well as important to clarify the points of view. The various expedients adopted by the United States to make good its position, as well as its neglect of the obvious expedient of arming, demand all the consideration that can be given them. Of course, the chief figure in American diplomacy from 1803 to the spring of 1812 was Napoleon, but while this fact may be brought out, the intricacies of his policy are among the things to be avoided. On the other hand, the fact that in 1812 a new generation of statesmen seized the throttle, and the effect of their control in bringing on the war cannot be too much emphasized, and in determining the direction of their hostility, the clash of American and British over the Indians and the fur trade must not be neglected as it is by so many American historians.

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A clear and concise account of commerce and international law for this period is given in Mahan's Sea Power in Its Relation to the War of 1812." 23 Clear and still more concise is Walker's "Making of the Nation." For the younger generation of statesmen, use McMaster and lives of Clay.


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The negotiations at Ghent repay the most careful study, for nowhere else is the operation of diplomacy more clearly to be observed. It is the best chance to make the student live through a diplomatic negotiation. With the Memoirs of J. Q. Adams,25 and his Writings,' "26 the "Writings" of Gallatin,27 and the "Diary of James Gallatin," 28 the letters and diary of Bayard,20 and letters of Clay and Crawford,30 as well as the "American State Papers, Foreign Relations, and the British papers which have recently been published by the Massachusetts Historical Society, 31 there should be in many schools a good opportunity for topic work. The story and the

22 F. A. Ogg. New York, 1904.

23 A. T. Mahan. 2 vols. Boston, 1905.

24 F. A. Walker. Charles Scribner's Sons. Various editions.

25 J. Q. Adams, "Memoirs," etc. 12 vols. Philadelphia, 1874-1877.

26" Writings of J. Q. Adams." Edited by W. C. Ford. Macmillan Co. 5 volumes so far issued.

27 Edited by Henry Adams. 3 vols. Philadelphia, 1879. 28 "A Great Peace Maker." Charles Scribner's Sons, 1914. 29 Am. Hist. Assoc., "Report," 1913. Vol. 2.

30 "Am. Hist. Review," Vol. 20, 108-129.

31 Vol. XLVIII.


method is what is important here; precision and detail. Mahan's account is again good. There is a new work by Updyke on the "Diplomacy of 1812," 32 and nearly all the standard histories are useful. A comparison of the several secondary accounts would afford good topic work, where sources are not available.

This careful study should be supplemented by emphatic attention to the points, that, while the treaty left international law, and in fact all subjects with which it dealt, as they were at the beginning of the war, the defeat of the Indians by the Americans eliminated them forever as a factor in American diplomacy, and that the defeat of Napoleon put an actual end to neutral grievances by ending neutrality. That the war, though an American defeat or at least a draw, was followed by many of the effects of a victory.

The most striking effect of the Treaty of Ghent, or, perhaps, more accurately, of the Battle of Waterloo, was that the United States was able to turn its attention to its domestic affairs. The attention devoted to diplomacy may be diminished and still more concentrated on certain episodes. The first of these is the enunciation of the Monroe Doctrine. This belongs in large measure to the general codification of the results of thirty years of national experience, of which Marshall's decisions are another example. Its place is best immediately after the treatment of those decisions. It should be clearly explained as a policy and not as a law, and should be connected with Washington's policy of neutrality. Of the circumstances that produced it, the independence of Latin America is most important. It is unnecessary to go into the niceties of European politics, or for the high school student to know whether Monroe or Adams was the author of the Doctrine, but no student should carry away the idea that Canning was its author. He should appreciate that it inaugurates a struggle between the United States and England for the dominant influence in Latin America. It doubtless carries unrealities too far to add here the corollaries of the Doctrine which have been added to it from time to time.


Paxson's "Independence of the South American Republics," 33 Coolidge's "United States as a World Power,' " 34 Kasson's 35 and Edington's 36 books on the Monroe Doctrine and Temperley's "Canning " 37 are among the most usable works. The text of the document is available in many places, as in Richardson's "Presidents' Messages," "38 and it should be used.

In the meantime, the country has been expanding, and it continues to expand. Somewhere the student

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must be made familiar with the processes and the problems of that expansion, but it is not necessary to take up every case. Probably the best is that of Texas. Although the treatment of Texan annexation should carry the movement back to 1820, the subject need not be introduced until after the break between Tyler and Clay produces the deadlock which allowed new issues to arise. In addition to making

the student understand the manner in which Americans entered foreign territory and the problems that they brought home to their government, the relation of expansion and slavery should be made clear. This struggle for the control of foreign territory should be connected with that for the control of territory already within the United States. It should be understood that expansion was halted because of the anti-slavery sentiment, and the discussions should include the political exploitation of expansion during the fifties, and should end by pointing out that the compromise attempts of 1861 failed on the point of the status of territory which it was believed would soon be annexed.

Dr. J. F. Jameson's "Natural History of Expansion," in the HISTORY TEACHER'S MAGAZINE, should certainly be used. G. P. Garrion's "Texas "40 gives the best account of the expansion movement. G. L. Rives' United States and Mexico "41 and J. S. Reeves' "American Diplomacy Under Tyler and Polk give almost all that is essential. For topic work, E. D. Adams' "British Interests and Activities in Texas," 43 J. H. Smith's "Annexation of Texas," and the Texan diplomatic correspondence published by the American Historical Association," are very useful.

In addition, before the Civil War, it is only neces sary to note the importance of the trans-continental transportation problem, and the fact that the easiest routes lay across foreign territory, and gave rise to new problems. It is unnecessary to go into the de tails of canal diplomacy at this point.

The diplomacy of the Civil War can best be treated in connection with the blockade. No treatment of the war should fail to show the supreme importance of that factor, the effort of the South to break it by means of diplomatic action, and the thwarting of that effort by the Union. The effect of the division of the Union in inciting France and Spain to disregard the Monroe Doctrine should also be observed. For all these points the standard histories, particularly Rhodes, provide material."

The Treaty of Washington, however, deserves special treatment. Here the chief consideration is the question of arbitration. Previous arbitrations


44" Annexation of Texas," New York, 1911.

15" Reports," 1907, Vol. 2; 1908, Vol. 2.

46 For a brief summary, see C. F. Adams, "Life of C. F. Adams." American Statesman Series, 1900.

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may here be referred to, as well as the subsequent movement. As to the merits of the questions inEvolved, it is at least desirable that the students do not fall under the spell of the Sumner delusion, but not much stress should be given to the personal side. It is important, however, that they should be made to see the responsibilities of neutrality. Chamberlain's "Charles Sumner and the Treaty of Washington," 47 C. F. Adams' Life of C. F. Adams," and Moore's "Arbitrations give the best accounts, though Rhodes is reasonably good. At this point the question of the international position of the naturalized American citizen should receive attention, for which Moore's "American Diplomacy" is the safest guide. From 1878 to the Spanish War, diplomacy should be neglected in the secondary school. The only exception is Blaine's policy of reciprocity, and that not because of its intrinsic importance, but because it is the easiest to handle of the various attempts of diplomacy to foster commerce in times of peace. It should be possible to emphasize the activity of the government in this direction by securing a number of consular reports. This treatment should be connected with that of the industrial expansion of the eighties.

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The only necessary introduction to the Spanish War is a review of our relation with Cuba. This could be obtained in Hart's Foundations of American Foreign Policy," "49 Chadwick's "Relations of the United States and Spain,' 50 or J. H. Latane's "America as a world power, 51 or A. E. McKinley's Island Possessions of the United States," 52 and the latter three will serve to carry the student through the war to peace.



With the revival in the character and interest in diplomacy after the Spanish War, more comprehensive treatment is again desirable. This may called for convenience a readjustment after the war, for an appreciation of the problems involved is more important than the variations, minor in fact, of treatment.

First among these is the position of the United States in the Pacific, which calls for a review mentioning the whaling industry, the Oregon and California questions, the Alaska purchase, the annexation of Hawaii, the first Japanese treaty and the immigration of Chinese. The acquisition of the Philippines, the "Open Door" and the controversy over the dismemberment of China must be brought out. By all odds the best material is Foster's "American Diplomacy in the Orient," "58 Mahan's Interest of America in International Conditions," ,"54 Coolidge's "United States

47 Cambridge, 1902.

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48 J. B. Moore," History and Digest of International Arbitration," etc. 6 vols. Government Printing Office, 1898. 49 A. B. Hunt. Macmillan Co., 1901.

50 Vol. 2. Charles Scribner's Sons, 1909.

$1 "American Nation," Vol. 25.

52 Lee and Thorpe's "History of North America," Vol. 20. Philadelphia, 1907.

J. W. Foster, "American Diplomacy in the Orient." Boston, 1903.

$4 Boston, 1910.

as a World Power." Latane's "America as a World Power," and McKinley's "Island Possessions" are all useful.

The relations with Spanish America form another unit. The additions to the Monroe Doctrine by Polk, Grant and Olney, deserve mention, and the attempt of Blaine to produce closer relations. In dealing with Roosevelt's policy of the Big Stick, the student should be made to see that if the United States is to keep out European interference in America, it must in some way perform, or provide for the performance of, the duties which European nations owe to their subjects in those countries. The relation of immigration to international relationship, the underpopulation of Latin America, and the entrance of Japan into the problem, should be emphasized. The triumph of the canal policy, and its cost in the distrust of Latin America, cannot be overlooked, but the conflict of policies as to whether it be a United States or an international canal need not be raised. The Wilson policy in Mexico, with the A B C intervention, and the renewed attempt at Pan-American co-operation link history with politics. On these difficult subjects the difficulty is to avoid silly books. Latane to 1907 and the American Year Book after 1910 are safe guides, but good material is scant. An energetic teacher could secure Reports" from the Pan-American Union at Washington, and make them the basis of good topic work.

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With a reference to the present war, for which material can be obtained-aside from the newspapers-from the "American Year Book," the subject may well close, though the canal treaty with England and the toll question give a valuable example of the observance of international good faith, and the superabundant publications of the peace societies would make good topic material on arbitration and The Hague Court.

Of the matters which have been omitted, some like the Webster-Ashburton treaty and the Florida treaty, will naturally be mentioned as important facts in their proper connection. They are omitted because it is felt that they can be dismissed without special The relegation of the fisheries diplomatic treatment. to this class may be unduly radical. The continuous attention of the government to an American industry peculiarly placed has an illustrative value, as of course for the more mature student it has a high technical value, but the author has in mind the high school student wading through the intricacies of this century-long controversy, and advises throwing it out.

Finally the treatment should not be vague where it is brief. A historical generalization should be as exact as a scientific one; it has no place if it does not classify knowledge. Facts and factors may be omitted, but don't fill in the blanks with sloppy brush work-leave it blank. The work in diplomatic history will be worthless unless somewhere, and several possible places are indicated, it is detailed. The student should also learn accuracy by an attention to phrase and nomenclature. For instance, an Order


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