Aspects of American Society and Policy


AMERICAN society, whether of English, Portuguese, or Spanish stock, is, in many of its features, unlike that of the European nation from which it is derived. The basis of this difference is found in the peculiar conditions of colonial life. One of the notable effects of colonization like that which laid the foundation of civilization in America, is a state of temporary social stagnation. A branch is cut from the parent tree, but the tree itself continues its growth unimpeded. The branch is planted in new soil, but it requires time to take root. The progress of the parent stock, and the arrested development of the branch during this period, make the beginning of a difference between the mother nation and the colony. The branch will at length begin its independent life, and subsequently the new society may have even a more rapid growth than the society of its origin. But the growth of the colony under the forces of its new environment will tend to increase its distinctive peculiarities. These peculiarities will be emphasized, moreover, by the new mental character acquired by the colonists.

The colonists of the New World became mentally unlike their kindred who remained in Europe, partly because their minds were dominated by expectations peculiar to the emigrant, and partly because in their new environment their minds embraced hopes and expectations which had no influence on the members of the communities they had left. The new physical scenes upon which the immigrant entered were not more striking than the new visions of life presented by his stirred imagination. This psychological difference has become more marked through the retention of forms of thought and speech that have been dropped by the parent nation in the course of its progress; and also by the acquisition of new phrases, of new names for new things, and of new conceptions imposed by the objects and circumstances of the new environment.

The linguistic and thought survivals, and the new linguistic and thought acquisitions, distinguish Americans from their European kindred. Psychological differences are promoted by the use of different languages. The Chinaman, who acquires a thorough knowledge of English, and uses it for many years, presents an extreme case. He becomes possessed of ideas, conceptions, and a point of view greatly unlike those of his kinsmen, through whose minds have passed only the ideas and conceptions conveyed by his oriental speech. In a less degree the European colonists in America, and their descendants, have become mentally transformed by the circumstances of their migration and the conditions of their residence in the New World.

By referring to facts like these, the enlightened critic may discover that the features of American life which show a certain unlikeness to the characteristic features of European nations are not signs of degeneracy, but the result of influences inherent in the conditions of colonization and the subsequent social growth. Within the limits of the United States a branch of the English stock has taken root, and acquired an independent life. Rapid national growth promoted by increase in the number of the inhabitants, and by freedom from external domination, has succeeded the period of colonial stagnation; and while the society of the United States has retained certain characteristics derived from the colonial period, there have been added new features incident to the development of an independent nation.

But not all colonial establishments in America have been equally fortunate. The French in Canada, prevented from attaining a free national life by their lack of numbers and by their relation to the English, have remained in a state of more or less completely arrested development. Some of the communities of Latin America have more features characteristic of colonial conditions than of an independent national existence. The communities that have not emerged from their colonial stagnation have been prevented from doing so by their long continuance under Spain’s rigid and uncompromising domination, by the isolation and lack of interests common to themselves and other settlements, and by the presence of a large element composed of members of an alien and uncivilized race.

The refusal of the inhabitants of the territory of the United States to incorporate the Indians in their social body, permitted them to begin their independent course of progress at the point which had been reached when the colonies were founded. The Spanish communities, however, which undertook to assimilate the alien race, making the Indians a part of the new nations, created a lower class of a semi-barbarous character. There was, however, in each nation a numerically limited aristocracy of uncorrupted European blood, and the presence of these two classes determined the nature of the society; and the kind of government that has been maintained wherever in Latin America this form of society has continued to exist, has necessarily had the qualities of an aristocratic or an oligarchic rule. In so far as the Spaniards in America mingled their blood with the blood of the aliens, they threw away the advantages of the progress that had been achieved in Europe, and fixed within their colonies or commonwealths a class from which it was difficult to rise to the superior class, presenting, in this respect, a contrast to the society of the United States, where practically the whole population is of European origin.

The most democratic product of colonial conditions in America is the democracy of the United States. It was not born of a general desire for equality; for no such desire resides in the human mind. What men desire is not equality, but superiority. The desire for superiority is the motive of all social manœuvring and expenditure, of the ambitions and struggles of political life, of the pursuit of wealth and the daring and sacrifice of battle. American democracy has proceeded from the essential equality in material possessions enjoyed by the early inhabitants of New England.

The ambition of the Spanish settlers in America was to be feudal lords, with the Indians as their vassals. The exclusion of the Indians from the new society of the United States made this relation impossible. It was not involved in the designs of the English colonists of the North, They looked forward to occupying and owning land, and, by virtue of the cultivation of this land, to the maintenance of a status of personal independence.

In view of the desire and the opportunity to become independent, it was difficult, if not impossible, to continue for long the European relation of superior and inferior. Although persons arrived in America who held this relation to one another, the dependent persons in the course of time became independent. The most important of the forces that made for equality proceeded from the common occupation of the inhabitants and the essential equality of their material possessions. Among persons owning and cultivating farms that did not vary greatly in value, there existed inevitably a large measure of social equality. This social equality was necessarily attended by political equality, under which the only possible government was a democratic government.

But equality like that which produced the democracy of the United States, is not a permanent condition of progressive society. Progress is attended by increasing inequality, by the multiplication of occupations, by a widening breach between the rich and the poor, and by a growing social difference between the cultivated and the uncultivated. The society of the United States presents all of these phases of social progress; and in its growth it has encountered a minimum of interference by governmental influence. On the other hand, the inequality that has existed in certain European nations has not been produced by the normal operation of forces naturally inherent in a developing society, but by the intervention of authority, conferring titles of distinction and material rewards, and providing for the descent of these advantages by inheritance from generation to generation.

If these artificial distinctions imposed by authority appear to be losing some of their former importance, this does not mean that the nations where such a phenomenon is observed are moving toward a state of democratic equality like that of the Forest Cantons of Switzerland, or that of New England in the early decades. It means that this ancient artificial inequality is becoming overshadowed by new distinctions, which have their origin in the economic and other forces manifest in the normal growth of society. New industrial occupations have appeared, through which some men have become rich; new professions have arisen, in which some men have attained an eminence not reached by their fellows; and, in the corporate organization of industry, new positions have been created, which confer great influence and power upon the persons who hold them. It thus appears that European nations, in so far as they have adopted modern industrialism and the other features of recent progress, are under the influence of a movement like that observable in the United States, which is leading American society along a way of increasing inequality.

This increasing inequality is manifest in the United States chiefly at such centres of population as represent the more advanced phases of civilization. The agricultural frontiers, the districts between the cities, where practically all of the inhabitants are engaged in a common occupation, still preserve the equality of the earlier days. Here is maintained the present basis of American democracy. The vast region between the Alleghanies and the Rocky Mountains retains generally this democratic character; for the population of the small cities is recruited from the rural inhabitants, and, by reason of the intimate relation which these towns hold to the country, they retain much of the spirit of the country.

If the population of the country and the small towns were increasing so as to maintain for the future the former or the present ratio of the dwellers in the large cities to the country dwellers, the permanence of democracy in the United States would seem to be assured. But, unfortunately, the larger cities, the centres of social inequality, are increasing in population more rapidly than the country; and the country population, owing to the difficulty of giving it an effective organization, exercises, even in proportion to its numbers, less influence in the political management of the nation than does the population of the cities. Moreover, the remarkable increase in cheap and rapid communication between the large cities and the country is destroying the distinctive character of the rural population, and subjecting it more and more to the influences that prevail in the cities.


Inasmuch, therefore, as the character of a government is determined by the character of the society where it is established, the movement of American society away from the equality of the colonial days compels the nation to look forward to a government adjusted to a society characterized by great inequality. In other words, the coexistence of a large democratic element and an increasing part of the population that is assuming an aristocratic character, makes inevitable the recognition of both of these elements in the government, or else the introduction of aristocratic forms to balance the democratic assemblies. But it may be expected that the division of political influence between the democratic and the aristocratic, or oligarchic, forces will not be brought, about without more or less of social commotion; in point of fact, the present internal unrest in the United States is a phase of this process of adjustment.

It is a half-conscious anticipation of the rivalry of these two forces in pursuit of power, that has given an impulse to certain movements designed by the champions of democracy to preserve the democratic character of American society, and of the American government. One of these movements is that which aims to establish the referendum. It is supported by the desire to bring the work of legislation into the hands of the voters, and to realize in a great nation, in spite of opposing tendencies, the essential features of primitive democracy.

There is, however, no reasonable ground for supposing that the referendum will be applied to legislation in the United States, except at considerable intervals, and with reference to projects to adopt constitutional provisions, or certain general laws in simple form. The general mass of legislation, all of that involving technical knowledge, will not be dealt with by the whole body of voters. To legislate wisely on the multitude of subjects demanding attention would require more time than the voters in a great and active nation would be willing or able, in the long run, to devote to this part of the public business. In the beginning, moved by the enthusiasm attending the carrying out of a popular reform, the voters would surmount the difficulties involved in this process of legislation. But, ultimately, a line of less resistance would commend itself to them. The expenses, public and private, direct and indirect, and the incidental personal losses incurred through the many separate occasions of voting that would be required, would prohibit the general application of the system. In a word, the social friction of the machine would prevent it from being often used with profit.

Political engineers, as well as makers of physical machines, sometimes neglect to take account of the friction involved in their proposed constructions. To this class belong not only the advocates of the referendum, but also those persons who would insure the permanence of democratic government by drawing more and more persons into the business of voting. To extend political rights in the United States so as to double the number of voters, would magnify the friction involved in governing. By thus increasing the number of participants in governmental action, without raising the hitherto prevailing standard of political insight or character, the maintenance and operation of democratic government would become not less but more difficult.

In the past, when a government became so complex as to render it unwieldy, either by reason of the multitude of its elements, or through the multiplicity and variety of its offices, a remedy was surely not sought by adding new elements or by increasing its complexity. On the contrary, in cases of this kind, a simpler form of government was sometimes substituted for the form that had become too unwieldy to perform its proper functions. When a government which has undergone this change has substituted a more or less centralized and absolute rule for a broad and complex popular administration, the new government has often been found to be satisfactory at first, on account of the simplicity of its organization, its direct and prompt action, and the absence of the interminable delays that have marked the preceding regime.

It is evident that the people of the United States are dissatisfied with the needless difficulty of obtaining proper legislation, with the frequent failures of justice in the courts, and with the inefficiency of the local administration. Until recently they appear to have been under the impression that relief might be had by the introduction of the referendum, by extending the suffrage, and by other measures that would bring the actual government more completely into the hands of the whole body of the voters; and this view is still entertained by those who fancy that doubling the number of voters will bring political salvation. A little reflection on the processes of government ought to make it evident that these measures carried to the proposed extreme will fail to reach the end desired, by reason of the social friction which they involve.


But whatever changes the changing form of society may cause in the institutions and governmental procedure of the United States, the bulk of the citizens of the republic hold a common opinion with respect to the general form of the government . No considerable number of persons would reconstruct its fundamental framework, in spite of the fact that unsatisfactory results of its action appear from time to time.

Some other nations are not quite so fortunate in this regard. France has her royalists, Spain her republicans, Germany her socialists, and Russia her various groups opposed to the existing rule of the Czar. It is probable that in some of these instances the political principles of the opposition are superior to those of the dominant government. But whether the opposition is wise or unwise, the division of the national opinion respecting the form of the government is a serious obstacle in the way of the nation’s progress. It causes much of the political thought of the nation to be absorbed in discussing the question of form; whereas, with the form of the government universally accepted, the undivided attention of the citizens might be directed to the needed action of the government, to legislative and administrative measures designed to ameliorate the condition of the people.

The change in the form of American society, the growth and differentiation of the population, are facts which suggest a problem of governmental modification. But the people are not likely to undertake consciously the solution of this problem. In their action they will be conscious of immediate ends, but from all of their actions combined there will proceed a general result which no one has consciously contemplated or foreseen. By a process of unconscious modification, the national government will gradually adapt itself to the state of society, and if there are present both democratic and aristocratic elements, these will express themselves in the institutions. The tendency in the United States will evidently be to satisfy both the democratic and the aristocratic forces, and in time to provide a governmental procedure in accordance with which the political work of the nation may be performed without undue friction.

The practice of the House of Representatives offers a suggestion. There is a large assembly with many things to do. Acting as a single body, it would be impossible for it to do all of them well. A way of less resistance has been found. Subordinate bodies have been formed, and the complex task distributed among them. The large assembly preserves its supreme authority, and sends forth with its sanction the conclusions of the subordinate bodies.

The organization of this legislative assembly suggests a general plan of governmental action, toward the execution of which the republic may possibly be drifting. This plan may be found consistent with extreme democratic participation in the government, and at the same time provide organizations, which, in their limited and exclusive character, have somewhat of an aristocratic or oligarchic quality. Under this order, stress would be laid on broad popular assemblies, which would furnish the necessary democratic vent, and give the whole body of citizens the consciousness of having an active part, and the final authority, in the government.

Stress would also be laid on committees, or commissions, destined to be the effective working institutions, and the conclusions formulated by these subordinate bodies, particularly in so far as they involve legislation, would ultimately be approved and given authority by the assemblies. Under an arrangement like this, the democratic element in the nation might continue to be represented, and continue to hold the final authority, no matter how great the population might become. At the same time the commission, or the small subordinate bodies, might undertake their several tasks with the maximum of freedom and efficiency and the minimum of friction.

The practices and tendencies observed in the United States, which suggest this order of things, show that, by a process of slow and inconspicuous change, the nation is apparently finding a way to preserve its republican character, and give play to both democratic and aristocratic sentiments and opinions, although approaching social conditions that have induced other nations to seek relief by substituting absolutism for the less simple processes of popular government.

The effort to make the government more democratic by introducing the referendum, or by doubling the number of voters, would thus seem to accelerate the movement to transfer the reality of power to small bodies, sometimes oligarchical in character, leaving only the forms of final authority to the assemblies, or to the democratic element. As examples of such bodies, commissions, or committees, one may cite the Interstate Commerce Commission, and the United States Philippine Commission. The former, in the course of its activity, has established rules that have the force of law with reference to the administrative work devolving on the government. The United States Philippine Commission constructed an extensive body of laws for the government of the seven millions of inhabitants of the Philippine Islands. These laws become operative at times determined by the Commission; but the Congress of the United States legally possesses the power to modify or annul any one or all of them. Yet when they came before Congress to be scrutinized, sanctioned, or annulled, it was found that that body had neither the time nor the knowledge of the conditions in which these laws were to be applied, sufficient to enable it to criticize their details, and to pronounce concerning their fitness or unfitness. When, therefore, the control of the Philippine Islands passed into the hands of Congress, the laws framed and applied by the Commission received Congressional sanction without modification. What happened in this case may be expected to happen whenever a difficult governmental task is intrusted to a small commission whose members have a knowledge of the problems assigned to them, which cannot possibly be had by a large assembly.

The attempt, therefore, to crowd the democratic body of a great nation nearer the business of government, will necessarily result in causing important affairs to be turned over to commissions with expert knowledge. Such commissions, if properly constituted, are in the best sense of the term aristocratic. Membership in them presumes a degree of knowledge, training, and experience not possessed by the bulk of the nation. By this procedure there will be left to large assemblies the formal act of sanctioning the conclusions of the smaller bodies; and this will often be done, as it has been done in the past, without ability, on the part of the assembly, to bring to the examination of these conclusions anything more than the most superficial criticism.


The internal growth of the United States derives much of its interest from the fact that it is an instance of social development on a large scale with a minimum of interference from without. The social growth of Peru was modified by the intervention of the King of Spain, who, by creating a nobility and establishing feudalism, reproduced characteristic features of European society in the sixteenth century. The English settlements had the good fortune to be neglected by the King. Their growth in isolation was to a very large extent normal, determined by inherent forces and a peculiar environment; and the various circumstances which have shaped their internal growth, have in a very large measure determined their external relations, or the place and policy of the nation with reference to other nations. The peace and security of the nation have not been threatened by neighbors.

The knowledge possessed by European nations that they had not to fear intervention by the United States, has caused this nation to be ignored in the diplomatic game of Europe. Moreover, the fact of the colonial origin of the United States induced Europeans to look upon the inhabitants and the government of this country with a peculiar condescension. All Americans, whether of English or Latin stock, were the objects of this disparagement. In the case of the Spaniards, this attitude toward the colonists became one of contempt. Throughout the three hundred years of Spain’s control of her American colonies, the Spaniards born in America were regarded as unworthy to hold high office in the colonial administration. The neglect and the contempt under which this class lived, threw them into sympathetic relations with the mestizos and the Indians. The union of these three despised classes constituted the basis of a democratic public opinion in Spanish America; and it was this opinion which at length rejected the pretensions of Spain, and overthrew her empire in the New World.

The English, less conceited than the Spaniards, and less disposed to intervene with authority in their colonial affairs, manifested toward the inhabitants of their dependencies a contempt somewhat more restrained than that which the Spaniards entertained for their colonists. But even to the enlightened Englishman the colonist was not in quite the same class as the European; and to him the American has always appeared as a colonist. In view of this attitude, it is not strange that the occupation of South American lands, like the lands of the less developed races, should sometimes have been considered as justified on the ground that such occupation would promote the interests of civilization.

The inhabitants of the United States, conscious of this opinion of Europeans, at first felt a certain degree of humiliation at being assigned an inferior place in the civilized world. But with the growth of the sentiment of nationality, and a sense of the importance of their own problems, they very naturally became more or less indifferent to European affairs and European political opinion. They became conscious of interests apart, and magnified the importance of those interests in order to convince themselves of the error of European opinion. They became conscious, moreover, of the need of an American policy in which the principles and practices of European states should not be conspicuous.


For a thousand years Europe has had no basis of assured peace; and during recent years the leading nations have thought less of means of preserving peace and international harmony than of means of making war, or of gaining an advantage over a neighboring nation by some other process. The international controversies, always attended by threats of war, have kept the common people under the domination of evil forebodings, or so far brutalized that they have accepted, without emotions of any kind, whatever fate was prepared for them. And in recent decades European diplomacy has passed from the finesse of earlier days, which was marked by a certain magnanimity, to a system of bullying, which appears to be marked by neither magnanimity nor morality. Removed from the domination of the social ideals of Europe, Americans have been able to take an objective view of the social and political system of the European nations, and this view has given rise to the wish that ‘the European states’ system’ might not be established in America. This wish found expression in the message of President Monroe in 1823.

The motive which prompted the promulgation of the Monroe Doctrine was not altruistic; it was the notion that it would be well for the United States if the American continent could avoid having fixed upon it international relations like those which have constituted the most unfortunate feature of European civilization. The republics of Latin America have evidently sometimes misconstrued the Doctrine, particularly when they have thought of it as a measure primarily designed for their protection. Taking this view of it, they have very naturally felt their pride wounded. Considering their ancestry, and that they regarded themselves as sovereign states, it is easy to see that they might feel humiliated, knowing themselves thought of as protected by another republic, which had no legitimate ground for assuming the superiority implied in this view of President Monroe’s utterance.

The growth of these states during the last ninety years has strengthened, not weakened, this sentiment. They have fostered a bugbear of their own creation, and are now terrified as they gaze upon it. But no false interpretation of the Monroe Doctrine, or false statement of the position of this government with reference to its friendly neighbors, is likely to weaken the determination of the United States to maintain this doctrine as an element of American policy. It is maintained because this nation has very mature objections to falling under the influence of traditions which have been created by the relations that have existed among European states. If the action of the United States in establishing this policy has afforded in the past incidental protection to the weaker republics, there may after all have been an advantage in this, sufficient to compensate them for their sense of wounded pride.

The Monroe Doctrine has sometimes been interpreted as drawing a line between the Eastern and Western hemispheres; but a little reflection will enable us to see that the line was really drawn between Europe and America. No other society or states’ system lay within the view of President Monroe or of any of the statesmen of his time, than the society and states’ system of Europe. The lands and the peoples of the Far East were as completely out of their horizon as were the inhabitants of Mars. There was no thought of proclaiming rules to determine relations between America and the Far East, for in the first quarter of the last century no one had any anticipation of relations between these two parts of the world. The Far East is a realm as distinct from Europe as from America, and whatever relations have existed between it and Europe or America, were entirely unpremeditated when the Monroe Doctrine was announced. The Monroe Doctrine did not foresee these relations, and could not have been designed to establish or confirm them. They are the result of the subsequent growth and expansion of both Europe and America. When, therefore, the United States extended its power into the Far East, and assumed control of the Philippine Islands, this act in no way affected the Monroe Doctrine, or the attitude of the United States toward that Doctrine.

The Far East, having made its appearance in Western politics after the proclamation of the Monroe Doctrine, became, and has remained, a free field for the operations of both Europeans and Americans. Asia is not Europe, and there seems to be no reasonable process by which relations established between America and Europe can be interpreted as existing between America and Asia. If the United States gains an advantage in the Far East, the other nations may take notice of the fact as they might take notice of an advantage gained in that region by France, Germany, or any other nation. In that part of the world the hands of the United States are quite as free as they would have been if the Monroe Doctrine had never been announced.

The possession of the Philippine Islands by the United States left the government of this country free to undertake to form a policy with respect to the organization and control of the Islands. The first opinion relating to such a policy concerned the profit to be derived by the United States. More mature considerations emphasized the advantage which the Islands might derive from the connection. After much talk and more hesitation, the government of the dominant country finally assumed toward the Filipinos the attitude which an enlightened government is supposed always to hold toward the people over whom it exercises its authority, an attitude involving a duty to take such action as will promote their well-being and progress in civilization.

The policy adopted had certain features that indicated a departure from the traditional colonial policy of Western nations. Among other provisions, it was required that the financial affairs should be managed for the advantage of the inhabitants of the Islands, and not for the purpose of creating a revenue for the United States; that the inhabitants should be brought as early as possible into a state where they could participate in the thought and other civilizing influences of the Western world; and that they should be gradually made familiar with the ideas and procedure of government as it exists in civilized nations, this to be accomplished not wholly by precept, but by actual participation in the business of governing.


The policy carried out by the United States for the Filipinos might be compared with that carried out by the Japanese for themselves. The purpose in each case was to bring to an Oriental people the ideas of western civilization, and these ideas appear destined, in turn, to extend their awakening force from Japan and the Philippines to the other peoples of the Orient. Their influence is already manifest in Java, and the present state of China is the result of the explosion of Western ideas in a stagnant Oriental empire. The awakening of the Orient has revived in certain quarters the fear that Western civilization may be swamped by an Oriental inundation.

During the last half-century this fear has arisen and subsided like the terror of an approaching end of the world. It has served many purposes, and now it appears to furnish a reason why the United States should abandon the Monroe Doctrine. Before this ‘yellow peril,’ a recent writer informs us, ‘the white races must stand together or go to the wall.’ But the first practical measure advocated by this writer, who holds that the white races must stand together, is to urge the organization of Pan-Germanism, or the formation of a combination of the German Empire, the British Empire, and the United States. The millions of the Latin nations appear to be excluded from the proposed combination, which is ‘to force the peace of the world’; and yet these nations constitute at present a very lively part of the white race. This project to secure the peace of the world involves as its fundamental recommendation that the white race should be divided into two hostile camps. This combination having been formed under the banner of Pan-Germanism, it should seize the southern half of Brazil and cede it to Germany. The purpose of this gigantic project of robbery, to which the United States is asked to give its assent, is to provide a power in South America competent to prevent the occupation and domination of that region by the Japanese.

And yet this writer, before he presented the alternatives of a Japanese or a Germanic South America, had discovered that ‘Japan has found a field for expansion on the continent of Asia.’ This is a somewhat important discovery, and throws considerable light on the imminence of the ‘yellow peril.’ He might also have discovered that for the purpose of assisting in occupying the continental field, thousands of Japanese, who found it personally more advantageous for them to remain in America, have in the last few years obeyed the call of authority and returned to Asia.

Thus with all of the available Japanese needed for the development of their continental possessions, and with China plunged into political chaos or dominated piecemeal by Western nations, the danger of Oriental rule in South America does not seem to be too great to be faced by the powers of the American continent. At least this phase of the ‘yellow peril’ does not appear to be sufficiently grave to induce the South Americans to hire Germany to ‘protect’ them at the expense of half of an empire. Nor is the United States likely to see in this announced peril an adequate reason for renouncing the Monroe Doctrine, and becoming a participant in the colossal crime of despoiling a nation that is making remarkable strides in its course of progress.

The other alternative — the establishment of a German kingdom, or dependency, in the southern portion of South America — does not appear to be one of the governmental changes recommending itself for the future. If we look forward a hundred years, as we are exhorted to do by the advocate of Pan-Germanism, we may perceive more grounds of hope in the southern half of (he continent without German domination than there would be with it.

The principles on which the South Americans, in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, and Peru, arc building their states are principles which they have received from the United States, either directly or through France; and in view of the drift toward representative government during the last hundred and fifty years, they seem to be the principles that are to determine the organization of governments during the next hundred years, at least. Starting without political education, and hampered by the unfortunate traditions of Spanish rule, the early decades of Latin-American independence were necessarily characterized by more or less of political confusion. But the later decades in these leading states show remarkable progress toward the realization of the ideas on which the governments are founded.

To set up German domination in the place of any one of the principal governments of the southern half of South America would be to revert to a form of rule not greatly unlike the governments of the seventeenth century; and for such a government the future promises revolution, either peaceful or warlike.

If Germany’s increasing population must have place outside of the limits of the present empire, this may be found in the United States, in Brazil, in Argentina, in Chile, in Australia, in Canada, and in Africa. This movement outward may be prompted by necessity. The proposed movement to carry German rule beyond the borders of the empire is prompted by sentiment and the pride of extended dominion. But the Germans find themselves individually contented and prosperous in the countries to which they have emigrated; and wherever they go they encounter no difficulty in adapting themselves to established conditions; in fact, it is not to their liking to go to the frontier or to unoccupied lands, or to seek in an uncultivated region to establish conditions of civilization for themselves. On the other hand, the isolation and the inconvenience of the frontier have had no terrors for men of English stock. This quality has made them colonists.

If the Monroe Doctrine, announced when the United States had only a small population and little wealth, was a bluff, as a recent critic suggests, the nation in its weakness was fortunate that no European was disposed to call the bluff. Now, after the doctrine has stood for nearly a century, it is hardly to be expected that any nation will wish to subject itself to the inconvenience, the expense, and the possible risk of attempting to force it aside. There is no object that can be gained of sufficient importance to furnish a sure and adequate compensation. For many years before the proclamation of the Monroe Doctrine England entertained a plan to take the whole or a part of South America. In 1806, with twelve thousand soldiers and a large number of vessels, she had possession of Buenos Aires, then a town of only forty-five thousand inhabitants; but the extemporized troops of the city compelled the invaders to relinquish their conquest. There is no reason to suppose that the South Americans are less disposed now than they were then to make sacrifices for the defense of their independence. In fact, if there ever was a favorable time for the stranger to set up an alien government in the southern half of South America, that time has long since vanished.

The people of the United States are not disposed to look with favor on any project to introduce into America the European policy of international antagonism; nor to seek peace by creating hostility between the two great divisions of the white race; but to further such a union of American independent states as will promote the formation of uniform laws relating to subjects of common interest, and the creation of an international moral force which will assist in maintaining friendly relations among these states, and will guarantee peace, order, and progress throughout the continent.