Page images

The fact is, we are still wofully ignorant of the actual conditions in the leading American republics. Is it not time that we began to realize why it is that to the inhabitants of those countries the very idea of the existence of the Monroe Doctrine is not only distasteful, but positively insulting?

It seems to many of them as gratuitous as it would to us if Chile were to enunciate a similar doctrine as a result of the Japanese troubles in California, and should declare that she could not view any interposition for the purpose of oppressing the Californians, or contemplate their destruction by any Asi


any other light than as the manifestation of an unfriendly disposition' toward Chile, and “dangerous to her peace and safety.” The day may come when we shall be glad enough to have her hold those opinions, but for her to declare them at the present time would, to say the least, seem uncalled for and strange. But it is no more uncalled for nor any stranger than that as a people we should regard the Monroe Doctrine as applying to Chile or Argentina or Brazil.

atic power,

Surely enough has been said to make it perfectly evident that the leading powers of South America are abundantly able to take care of themselves and are in a position to laugh at the old Monroe Doctrine.

If these powers dislike and despise our maintenance of the old Monroe Doctrine, it is not difficult to conceive how much more they must resent the new one. The very thought that we proud in the consciousness of our own self-righteousness, sit here with a smile on our faces and a big stick in our hands, ready to chastise any of the American republics that do not behave, fairly makes their blood boil. It may be denied that this is our attitude. Grant that it is not; still our neighbors believe that it is, and if we desire to convince them of the contrary, we must definitely and publicly abandon the Monroe Doctrine and enunciate a new kind of foreign policy.

The present Monroe Doctrine is simply a "petulant and insatiable imperialism," and its development is “a superb, audacious, and mortifying notification to the Latin peoples of the continent” of our stren

uous desire either to absorb the small republics or to become the supreme arbiters of their destinies.

These are the sentiments of a learned Argentine judge, writing in one of the most important periodicals of the southern hemisphere. In an article filled with paragraphs of vigorous protest, which breathes the essence of the Southern feeling toward the Monroe Doctrine, he enlarges on this theme: “It is both convenient and necessary that we should declare in virile and dignified language to the United States that we are not disposed to admit her right of tutelage. It is too imperialistic, - too degrading to ourselves and our neighbors, who are worthy of being respected by the United States as well as by the cultivated powers of Europe. To be sure in our territories there still exist, in distant provinces, tribes of savages, just as in the United States. Nevertheless, we respect the right of the individual and his property, and our generous laws contain ample guarantees and offer full privileges to aliens who desire to establish themselves on our rich lands. The fruit of their labors is

guaranteed to them by the justice of our courts. They themselves will be better for coming in contact with our culture, and their children are welcome in the numerous free public schools which may be found throughout South America."

He goes on to urge the states of Latin America to unite in declaring that they not only need no foreign tutelage, but will consider any attempt on our part to extend our system to any portion of Latin America as dangerous to their peace and safety. Any act of any foreign power which savors of intervention is to be regarded in no other light than as the manifestation of an unfriendly disposition toward the whole of Latin America, and he urges the states of Latin America to unite in declaring that they will refuse to recognize or grant belligerent rights to any foreign nation engaging in such intervention.

Nearly every one has heard of that violent Argentine patriot, Manuel Ugarte, who is devoting his life to a missionary campaign urging the Latin-American republics to confederate themselves and avoid being

absorbed by the United States. His book, “The Future of Latin-America,” which has had a considerable vogue, consists largely of quotations from the bombastic utterances of imperialistic politicians in the United States. Our jingoistic editors give him abundant material with which to work on the sensitive feelings of the Latin Americans. Unfortunately, he is able to quote sentences from the speeches of our leading statesmen which lend color to his thesis. In 1906, when Mr. Taft was in President Roosevelt's Cabinet, he said, in the course of a speech: “The frontiers of the United States virtually extend to Tierra del Fuego." It may be easily imagined how this could be twisted into a declaration of ultimate imperialism.

The more thoughtful Argentines politely but firmly decline to admit that the Monroe Doctrine is applicable to their country. Consider these words of Professor Gil, of the University of La Plata : “It would not be possible to apply the Monroe Doctrine to any case connected with Argentina, without committing an offence very prejudicial to the

« PreviousContinue »