« PreviousContinue »
be deemed subject to colonization. Let us pledge ourselves to aid each other in the full performance of the duty to humanity which that accepted declaration implies, so that in time the weakest and most unfortunate of our Republics may come to march with equal step by the side of the stronger and more fortunate. Let us help each other to show that for all the races of men the liberty for which we have fought and labored is the twin sister of justice and peace. Let us unite in creating and maintaining and making effective an all-American public opinion, whose power shall influence international conduct and prevent international wrong, and narrow the of
and forever preserve our free lands from the burden of such armaments as are massed behind the frontiers of Europe, and bring us ever nearer to the perfection of ordered liberty. So shall come security and prosperity, production and trade, wealth, learning, the arts, and happiness for us all.”
These words appear to have been received with acclaim in every part of South America. They have my hearty approval, as I am sure they will have yours, and I cannot be wrong in the conviction that they correctly represent the sentiments of the whole American people. I cannot better characterize the true attitude of the United States in its assertion of the Monroe Doctrine than in the words of the distinguished former minister of foreign affairs of Argentina, Doctor Drago, in his speech welcoming Mr. Root to Buenos Ayres. He spoke of
"The traditional policy of the United States (which) without accentuating superiority or seeking preponderance, condemned the oppression of the na
tions of this part of the world and the control of their destinies by the great Powers of Europe.”
It is gratifying to know that in the great city of Buenos Ayres, upon the arches which spanned the streets, entwined with Argentine and American flags for the reception of our representative, there were emblazoned not only the names of Washington and Jefferson and Marshall, but also, in appreciative recognition of their services to the cause of South American independence, the names of James Monroe, John Quincy Adams, Henry Clay, and Richard Rush. We take especial pleasure in the graceful courtesy of the Government of Brazil, which has given to the beautiful and stately building first used for the meeting of the conference the name of “ Palacio Monroe.” Our grateful acknowledgments are due to the Governments and the people of all the countries visited by the Secretary of State for the courtesy, the friendship, and the honor shown to our country in their generous
hospitality to him. (59th Congress, 2d session, 1906, House Documents, vol. 1, pt. 1, No. 1, Foreign Relations, No. 5104.)
THE MONROE DOCTRINE AT ITS BEST
BEING THE SPEECH OF SECRETARY ROOT
AT RIO DE JANEIRO, JULY 31, 1906 MR. PRESIDENT, and Gentlemen of the Third Conference of American Republics : I beg you to believe that I highly appreciate and thank you for the honor you
I bring from my country a special greeting to her elder sisters in the civilization of America.
Unlike as we are in many respects, we are alike in this, that we are all engaged under new conditions and free from the traditional forms and limitations of the Old World in working out the same problem of popular self-government.
It is a difficult and laborious task for each of us. Not in one generation nor in one century can the effective control of a superior sovereign, so long deemed necessary to government, be rejected and effective selfcontrol by the governed be perfected in its place. The first fruits of democracy are many of them crude and unlovely; its mistakes are many, its partial failures many, its sins not few. Capacity for self-government does not come to man by nature. It is an art to be learned, and it is also an expression of character to be developed among all the thousands of men who exercise popular sovereignty.
To reach the goal towards which we are pressing forward, the governing multitude must first acquire knowledge that comes from universal education, wisdom that follows practical experience, personal independence and self-respect befitting men who acknowledge no superior, self-control to replace that external control which a democracy rejects, respect for law, obedience to the lawful expressions of the public will, consideration for the opinions and interests of others equally entitled to a voice in the state, loyalty to that abstract conception-one's country—as inspiring as that loyalty to personal sovereigns which has so illumined the pages of history, subordination of personal interests to the public good, love of justice and mercy,
of liberty and order. All these we must seek by slow and patient effort; and of how many shortcomings in his own land and among his own people each one of us is conscious.
Yet no student of our times can fail to see that not America alone, but the whole civilized world is swinging away from its old governmental moorings and intrusting the fate of its civilization to the capacity of the popular mass to govern. By this pathway mankind is to travel, whithersoever it leads. Upon the success of this our great undertaking the hope of humanity depends.
Nor can we fail to see that the world makes substantial progress towards more perfect popular self-government.
I believe it to be true that, viewed against the background of conditions a century, a generation, a decade ago, government in my own country has advanced, in the intelligent participation of the great mass of the people, in the fidelity and honesty with which they are represented, in respect for law, in obedience to the dictates of a sound morality, and in effectiveness and purity of administration.
Nowhere in the world has this progress been more marked than in Latin America. Out of the wrack of Indian fighting and race conflicts and civil wars, strong and stable governments have arisen. Peaceful succession in accord with the people's will has replaced the forcible seizure of power permitted by the people's indifference. Loyalty to country, its peace, its dignity, its honor, has risen above partisanship for individual leaders. The rule of law supersedes the rule of man. Property is protected and the fruits of enterprise are secure. Individual liberty is respected. Continuous public policies are
followed; national faith is held sacred. Progress has not been equal everywhere, but there has been progress everywhere. The movement in the right direction is general. The right tendency is not exceptional; it is continental. The present affords just cause for satisfaction; the future is bright with hope.
It is not by national isolation that these results have been accomplished, or that this progress can be continued. No nation can live unto itself alone and continue to live. Each nation's growth is a part of the development of the race. There may be leaders and there may be laggards, but no nation can long continue very far in advance of the general progress of mankind, and no nation that is not doomed to extinction can remain very far behind. It is with nations as it is with individual men: intercourse, association, correction of egotism by the influence of other's judgment, broadening of views by the experience and thought of equals, acceptance of the moral standards of a community the desire for whose good opinion lends a sanction to the rules of right conduct— these are theconditions of growth in civilization. A people whose minds are not open to the lessons of the world's progress, whose spirits are not stirred by the aspirations and the achievements of humanity struggling the world over for liberty and justice, must be left behind by civilization in its steady and beneficent advance.
To promote this mutual interchange and assistance between the American Republics, engaged in the same great task, inspired by the same purpose, and professing the same principles, I understand to be the function of the American Conference now in session. There is not one of all our countries that cannot benefit the others; there is not one that cannot receive benefit from