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or of ourselves in the past. It is not a means — it is an end. You do not get peace by peace; you get peace as the result of effort. If you strive to get it by peace you will lose it, that is all. If we ever grow to regard peace as a permanent condition; if we ever grow to feel that we can afford to let the keen, fearless, virile qualities of heart and mind and body be lost, then we will prepare the way for inevitable and shameful disaster in the future.
Peace is of true value only if we use it in part to make ready to face with untroubled heart, with fearless front, whatever the future may have in store for us. The peace which breeds timidity and sloth is a curse and not a blessing. The law of worthy national life, like the law of worthy individual life, is, after all, fundamentally, the law of strife. It may be strife military, it may be strife civic; but certain it is that only through strife, through labor and painful effort, by grim energy and by resolute courage, we move on to better things.
We now have certain duties in the West and East Indies. We cannot with honor shirk these duties. On the one hand we must undertake them, and on the other we must not fail to perform them in a way that will redound to the advantage of the people of the islands, no less than to our own national renown.
It is, I am sure, the desire of every American that the people of each island, as rapidly as they show themselves fit for self-government, shall be endowed with a constantly larger measure of self-government. But it would bo criminal folly to sacrifice the real welfare of the islands, and to fail to do our own manifest duty, under the plea of carrying out some doctrinaire idea which, if it had been lived up to, would have made the entire North American continent, as now found, the happy hunting ground of savages. It is the idlest of chatter to speak of savages as being fit for self-government, and though it is occasionally heard from excellent and well-meaning people, people who believe what they say,it usually covers another motive behind —it means that people are afraid to undertake a great task, and cover up their fear by using some term which will give it the guise of philanthropy. If we refrain from doing our part of the world's work, it will not alter the fact that that work has got to be done, only it will have to be done by some stronger race, because we will have shown ourselves weaklings. I do not speak merely from the standpoint of American interests, but from the standpoint of civilization and humanity.
It is indefinitely better for the whole world that Russia should have taken Turkestan, that France should have taken Algiers and that England should have taken India. The success of an Algerian or of a Sepoy revolt would be a hideous calamity to all mankind, and those who abetted it, directly or indirectly, would be traitors to civilization. And so exactly the same reasoning applies to our own dealings with the Philippines. We must treat them with absolute justice, but we must treat them also with firmness and courage. They must be made to realize that justice does not proceed from a sense of weakness on our part, that we are the masters. Weakness in any form or shape, as you gentlemen, who all your lives have upheld the honor of the flag ashore and afloat, know is the unpardonable sin in dealing with such a problem as that with which we are confronted in the Philippines. The insurrection must be stamped out as mercifully as possible; but it must be stamped out.
We have put an end to a corrupt mediaeval tyranny, and by that very fact we have bound ourselves to see that no savage anarchy takes its place. What the Spaniard has been taught the Malay must learn — that the American flag is to float unchallenged where it floats now. But remember this, that when this has been accomplished our task has only just begun. Where we have won entrance by the prowess of our soldiers we must deserve to continue by the righteousness, the wisdom and the evenhanded justice of our rule. The American administrators in the Philippines, as in Cuba and Porto Rico, must be men chosen for signal capacity and integrity; men who will administer the provinces on behalf of the entire Nation from which they come, and for the sake of the entire people to which they go. If we permit our public service in the Philippines to become the prey of the spoils politicians, if we fail to keep it up to the highest standard, we shall be guilty of an act, not only of wickedness, but of weak and short-sighted folly, and we shall have begun to tread the path which was trod by Spain to her own bitter humiliation. Let us not deceive ourselves. We have a great duty to perform and we shall show ourselves a weak and a poor spirited people if we fail to set about doing it, or if we fail to do it aright. We are bound to face the situations that arise with courage, .and we are no less bound to see that where the sword wins the land, the land shall be kept by the rule of righteous law. We have taken upon ourselves, as in honor bound, a great task, befitting a great nation, and we have a right to ask of every citizen, of every true American, that he shall with heart and hand uphold the leaders of the nation as from a brief and glorious war they strive to a lasting peace that shall redound not only to the interests of the conquered people, not only to the honor of the American public, but to the permanent advancement of civilization and of all mankind.
Address On The Occasion Of The Banquet Tendered To Hon. Joseph H. Choate, United States AmBassador To England, At The Union League Club, New York City, February i7, i899
Mr. President And Gentlemen: When our host spoke with such just eulogy of the Anglo-Saxon race, I could not help turning to Mr. Cockran and asking him, in our joint behalf, where the Dutch and Irish come in. I think that our presence here to-night emphasizes just what we meant, that those who belong to the Englishspeaking race by adoption, by spirit, by the inheritance of common ideas and common aspirations, have the right to hail the renewed friendship between the English-speaking people of the British Isles and the English-speaking people of this great continent exactly as have any of those whose forefathers came over in the Mayflower or first settled on the banks of the James; and when our Ambassador goes to England I know he will remember, not only the facts that have been put before you in the magnificent oratory of Mr. Cockran to-night, but one other fact that Mr. Cockran forgot. Mr. Cockran did well to dwell upon the place that has been won by the great qualities of the English-speaking peoples; he did well to dwell upon how much we have owed to the feats of the great captains of industry, to the feats of the men of letters, of the men of law. But the Ambassador will also remember how much has been owing to the men who carried the sword. I see here in the audience before me many men who either wear, or could if they chose wear, the button that shows that they fought in the most righteous war of modern times; and yet the statesmanship of Abraham Lincoln would have come to naught had it not been for the soldiership of Grant, Sherman and Sheridan, of Thomas and of Farragut.
There have been other races as great in war as the English-speaking people, but they have not been as great in peace. There have been other races as great in peace but they have not shown themselves as great in war. The great point in the upbuilding of the so-called AngloSaxon people (I am unable to go into the nice ethnic distinction that would make of Clive, of Wellington, and Nelson, Normans — I much doubt whether Washington, and Andrew Jackson, Grant, and Phil Sheridan, were Normans) the great point in the upbuilding of our own nation, has been that together with the love for peace has gone the ability to carry on war; that with the love for letters, with the love of orderly obedience to law, has gone the capacity to stand up stoutly for the right when menaced by any foreign foes. And the Ambassador will go to England holding his head the higher, not only because he goes from a land that has won such triumphs of peace; not only because he goes from a land that has added to the reputation of the jurist of the world because it has produced men like himself; that has added to the oratory of the world by the presence in it of men like yourself, Mr. Cockran; but he will go holding his head the higher because Dewey's guns thundered at Manila and the Spanish ships were sunk off Santiago Bay. (Applause.) All honor to the men of peace; and also all honor to the race that has shown that besides the men of peace it can in time of need bring forth men who are mighty in battle.