Shipping and World-Politics


ONE of the most far-reaching results of the Great War on American political thought has been the weakening of our traditional belief in the isolation of the United States from world-politics. This doctrine arose in the early period of our national history, when the United States was a weak nation, attempting to maintain its neutrality in the wars of the French Revolution period. Washington’s warning against permanent alliances and Jefferson’s fear of entangling alliances grew out of the unhappy experiences of the new American nation with the dynastic diplomacy of that day. The Monroe Doctrine, asserting the right, of American states to follow their careers without fear of intervention or domination on the part of other states, has also been traditionally associated with the idea of American isolation from European controversies. Hitherto this point, of view has been almost universal, dominating our national habit of thought and our political policies.

In the minds of most persons worldpolitics means questions of war, peace, alliance, and diplomacy. In normal times, however, the greater part of world-politics is concerned with matters of business. The official relations of states, while spectacular and conspicuous, rest upon a far more fundamental relationship among the citizens and corporations of different states engaged in trade and commerce. The consular service is ordinarily more active and important than the diplomatic corps; the diplomacy of states deals largely with business questions; more modern treaties deal with commercial than with political topics; and all recent wars have had a commercial background.

International trade is dependent upon transportation between states. On the continent of Europe this is mainly a question of railway or inland-water communication; but for states such as Great Britain, Japan, and the United States foreign trade is dependent upon an ocean-going merchant marine. For such states the connection between shipping and world-politics is obvious; our own tradition of isolation is to some extent a myth. Before the Revolution the American colonies carried on a more important trade with England and with the West Indies than with one another; and in the very words in which Washington framed our policy of political isolation, he suggested the desirability of increasing our international trade. The great fallacy lay in believing that this could be clone. The inevitable connection between business and politics is now so obvious, that no one would expect a nation to develop its foreign trade and at the same time be able to keep out of international politics.

The development of the past century, during which the United States has expanded its boundaries, multiplied its population, developed its resources, created an industrial and urban civilization, accumulated capital for investment, and expanded its foreign trade, has so changed its situation in worldaffairs that its political isolation is no longer a fact and its neutrality in a world-war is no longer possible. Since the war with Spain, when we found ourselves a colonial and naval power, and especially during the past four years, the mind of the American people has been awakened to the fact that, whether we wish it or not, we are a world-power; that our national life is affected by conditions in remote parts of the earth; and that we are directly connected with the wide currents of international politics.

At the time when we were withdrawing into our shell of political isolation, the United States possessed a large merchant marine. The Yankee-built, wooden clipper ships, were able to compete advantageously in cost, both of construction and of operation, with the carriers of their day; and during the early period of the Napoleonic wars the United States was the most important commerce-carrier in the world. The high-water mark of this development was reached just before the Civil War.

During the latter half of the last century our merchant marine declined. Many causes contributed to this result. The substitution of iron and steel for wood, and of steam for sails, transferred to Great Britain, with her more developed manufactures and her cheaper coal, the advantages of building and operation formerly possessed by the United States. The withdrawal in 1858 of the federal subsidy came just at the time when our merchant marine needed aid in competing with foreign lines. The Civil War, shortly following, led to high taxes on shipping, to lack of traffic to carry, to blockade of the Southern ports, and to capture of Union shipping by Confederate cruisers, the most destructive of which were fitted out in the shipyards of England, our most serious maritime rival.

The neglect of the American navy for twenty years after the Civil War delayed the reorganization of our shipyard s and the use of steel construction on a large scale. During this period Congress took little interest in shipping; did not allow vessels transferred from the American flag in the Civil War to be readmitted to American registry; did not repeal the heavy taxes on shipping until 1868; did not allow the free importation of material for constructing wooden vessels until 1872, and of steel vessels until 1890, and did not provide liberal payments to American vessels for carrying mail until 1891. After the Civil War the energy of the American people and their available capital found most profitable employment in settling the Western lands, in developing our abundant natural resources, and in opening up transportation facilities within our own boundaries. This led to a westward movement of young men away from the sea. Besides, our rapidly growing manufactures, sheltered by high tariff barriers, offered steady employment and high wages to our surplus labor and to incoming immigrants. The output of these factories found sufficient market at home. Capital invested in shipping had to earn returns in competition in the world’s markets, and wages paid to seamen were affected by international standards, while the products of our capital and labor were sold in our domestic market, within which the rate of returns was considerably higher than in the European countries. It was cheaper for American merchants to pay the freight rates charged by foreign carriers than to invest their capital in an American merchant marine.

For these reasons the American ocean-going merchant marine declined. At the beginning of the war, in 1914, the value of our import and export trade amounted to three and one-half billion dollars, but only ten per cent of this trade was carried in American vessels. Out of a world’s tonnage of 73,000,000 dead-weight tons, the United States possessed only 2,500,000 tons of sea-going shipping, and eighty per cent of this tonnage was engaged in our coastwise and Great Lakes traffic.

The outbreak of the war was soon followed by a serious shortage of shipping. British naval superiority drove the large German merchant marine from the seas. Submarine losses to allied and neutral shipping during the war amounted to over 21,000,000 dead-weight tons. Much neutral shipping was driven from the seas by fear of submarines. Despite rapidly accelerated production of vessels, and the seizure of all available enemy shipping, the allied and neutral nations had 3,300,000 less tons in operation at the end of the war than in August, 1914. To this deficiency should be added the increase in the world’s tonnage that would normally have taken place during the past four years.

This decline in the tonnage available for world-commerce came at a time when the war demands of Europe for food and munitions tremendously stimulated the export trade of the United States. The value of ships and the freight rates charged for over-seas service increased enormously. Time cargo rates in the spring of 1914 averaged about one dollar per dead-weight ton per month. For steamers on voyages to the war zone during the summer of 1917, charters were made at rates as high as twenty-one dollars per ton per month. Freight rates on cotton from Savannah to Liverpool in 1914 were about thirty-five cents per hundred pounds; in 1917 they had increased to six dollars. Ships which before the war sold at sixty to eighty dollars per ton found eager buyers at three hundred dollars per ton; and fabulous tales are told of vessels which earned their total cost in a single voyage. American ship pers, lacking a merchant marine under the American flag, met discriminations against them in favor of the merchants of states controlling the ocean carriers, and the few vessels under the American flag were being transferred to foreign registry because of the inflated prices foreign buyers were willing to pay. Besides, our seaports were congested with goods purchased for shipment abroad, which could not secure cargo space at any price. In December, 1915, 45,000 loaded cars were tied up near New York City, grain-elevators were filled to capacity, and five times as much freight as the available vessels could take had accumulated on the piers and docks of this port alone. Similar conditions obtained in other Atlantic seaports.

Protests from American merchants flooded Congress, and the United States began to realize the precarious position in time of crisis of a great commercial nation that does not possess a merchant marine. Several bills were introduced in Congress for the purpose of alleviating the situation, and after extensive hearings before the House Committee on the Merchant Marine and Fisheries, the act creating the United States Shipping Board was passed, and approved on September 7, 1916. While one purpose of this act was to ' encourage, develop and create a naval auxiliary and naval reserve, and a merchant marine to meet the requirements of the commerce of the United States,’ it was mainly a regulatory measure. The Shipping Board was expected to have power over shipping similar to that of the Interstate Commerce Commission over railways, and much of the act dealt with questions of transfer of registry, excessive or discriminatory freight rates, procedure for hearings on complaints, and similar topics.


A few months after the passage of this act the United States entered the war. Unrestricted submarine warfare was destroying the world’s shipping faster than it could be replaced, and the United States was faced, not merely with the difficulty of securing shipping space for the accumulation of goods awaiting shipment abroad, but also with the problem of finding facilities lor transporting to Europe a large army with all its equipment and supplies. Under these conditions the construction and acquisition of vessels and their efficient operation became paramount, and the question of regulation of private shipping relatively unimportant. Both the needs of our allies and the necessities of our own war-programme compelled the Shipping Board to secure a large ocean-going fleet under governmental control as speedily as possible.

Acting under the authority of the Shipping Act, the Shipping Board, on April 16, 1917, organized, under the laws of the District of Columbia, the United States Shipping Board Emergency Fleet Corporation, and delegated to it the execution of its construction programme. After some delay and considerable controversy over the relative advantages of wooden and steel vessels, the corporation began to give contracts for what is probably the largest construction undertaking ever attempted by a single institution.

When the United States entered the war, there were 37 shipyards building steel vessels in the United States, and 24 yards building wooden vessels. In these yards were a total of 235 shipways. Seventy per cent of the ways in the steel yards were being used in construction for the navy, and many of the wooden yards were unfit for modem shipbuilding purposes. In order to procure ships, it was, therefore, necessary to expand the existing yards and build new ones. One third of the early contracts for the construction of vessels contained provisions by which the Fleet Corporation advanced funds for the expansion of existing plants. The chief increase resulted from the creation of new yards. The number of steel yards has been approximately doubled and of wooden yards trebled since the United States entered the war.

In addition, four large agency yards, with 196 ship-ways for the construction of fabricated steel vessels, were built with government funds. These yards alone, when in full operation, can produce more tonnage per year than all the yards in any country have produced in any year up to this time. Government yards for the construction of concrete vessels were also established. There are now over 200 shipyards, with more than 1000 ship-ways, in the United States. Contracts providing for more than 2000 vessels, aggregating 15,000,000 deadweight tons, have been given to these yards, and completed vessels are being turned out in record time. The delivery of a 3500-ton vessel ready for service thirty-seven days after work was started on it is a sample of the amazing achievements of our new shipbuilding industry. Prior to the war the United States was a poor third among shipbuilding nations. It now ranks first in shipyards, ship-ways, shipyard workers, ships under construction, and ships completed during the past year.

Meanwhile the Shipping Board was given authority to take over the title or the use of American vessels or of vessels building in American shipyards. The Board was convinced by British experience that the maximum efficiency of our shipping under war-conditions could be secured only through government control. Bringing our ocean-going merchant marine under the jurisdiction of the Shipping Board would not only enable it to regulate the inflated freight rates and the excess profits accruing to the fortunate owners of vessels, but would also enable our government to utilize our merchant fleet at its maximum efficiency for war-purposes.

The first general step was taken on August 3,1917, when all steel vessels of 2500 dead-weight tons, or over, under construction or under order in American shipyards for private and foreign owners, were requisitioned. The second step involved the requisition of American vessels in actual service; and on October 12, 1917, a general requisition order was issued, by which all American steel power-driven cargo vessels of 2500 dead-weight tons, or over, and all American passenger vessels of 2500 tons gross register, suitable for foreign service, were taken over. Some of these vessels have since been released from requisition, and additional vessels have been taken by special order. At present there are about 450 ships aggregating 3,000,000 dead-weight tons under requisition to the Shipping Board. These vessels are in general intrusted for operation to companies by which they were formerly controlled, but under strict government regulation as to rates, cargoes, and trade-routes. All receipts have been for government account, the operators receiving the requisition rates fixed by the Shipping Board.

When the United States entered the war, there were interned in the United States and its island territories, 99 German vessels of about 650,000 deadweight tons. A joint resolution of Congress authorized the President to take possession of all vessels within the jurisdiction of the United States, which were under enemy ownership or register. This power was conferred on the Shipping Board by executive order of June 30, 1917, and the necessary steps were taken by formal seizure to confirm possession of these vessels. A number of German and Austrian vessels, seized by other countries, were later purchased or chartered by the Shipping Board and by American citizens.

As early as September, 1917, the Shipping Board, with the aid of the State Department, was making efforts to secure the use of Dutch vessels in American ports; and in the early part of 1918, an agreement was entered into between the United States and the Netherlands by which the United States was to charter these vessels. Under threats from Germany this agreement was violated by the Netherlands, which refused to allow Dutch ships to come to the United States in return for those which went from the United States to Europe on Belgian relief-work. Accordingly, a joint ultimatum was sent by Great Britain and the United States, threatening to requisition the Dutch boats in British and American ports unless the terms of the agreement were observed. The ultimatum stipulated that, the boats would be returned at the end of the war, or paid for if lost. As the Netherlands felt unable to fulfill the terms of the agreement, the President, on March 30, 1918, issued a proclamation which brought under the control of the Shipping Board 89 Dutch vessels of over 500,000 dead-weight tons.

In addition, the Shipping Board has chartered about 300 vessels of over 1,200,000 dead-weight tons from other countries, chiefly neutrals; and American citizens have chartered about an equal tonnage of foreign ships. The embargo powers of the War Trade Board were utilized in chartering vessels from the neutral countries of northern Europe, the use of their shipping being secured in return for the licensing of the export of needed supplies of food and petroleum to them. Arrangements have also been made with Japan for the purchase of 15 completed vessels of 127,000 tons and for the construction in Japanese yards of about 50 vessels of 380,000 tons. Contracts have also been let for the construction of four vessels in a Chinese shipyard.

By these various steps the Shipping Board now has under its control more than 2000 vessels, of about 10,000,000 dead-weight tonnage. If the construction programme is continued as planned, the United States will possess in 1920 a merchant marine of 25,000,000 tons. This is equivalent to one third of the world’s tonnage at the outbreak of the war, and will place the United States abreast of Great Britain as an ocean carrier.


The problems raised by this sudden enormous increase in our merchant marine fall under two general heads. The first are internal, and include the questions involved in the relation of our own government to our shipping. The second are external, and include the problems of our position in world-commerce, and our relations with other states as customers or rivals. The connection between these two sets of problems is, of course, quite close, as the degree to which our government assumes control over, and responsibility for, our merchant marine will determine largely our official attitude to the foreign complications that may result from our competition in the world’s carrying trade.

One of the most complicated questions confronting the Shipping Board has been the determination of just compensation for vessels whose possession or use has been taken over by that board. These include the American and foreign ships, requisitioned while under construction in American shipyards, the Dutch ships commandeered in American ports, and numerous ships chartered by the Shipping Board. It involves financial dealings with owners, builders, and operators, and calls for decisions ranging all the way from petty adjustments with the crews of the Dutch ships, through the realm of charter-rates and fees to operators, to the replacement of or reparation for vessels lost through marine or submarine risk. The sums involved have been tremendous, the legal entanglements many and difficult, and in some cases, as in the arrangements over the seized Dutch ships and the Norwegian vessels requisitioned while under construction, international complications have been involved. The astonishing fact is that most of these adjustments have been completed thus far without litigation. The policy of the Shipping Board has been liberal, and a spirit of coöperation on the part of private interests facilitated satisfactory settlements. The end of the war and the process of liquidation, as the government makes its final adjustments, wall be the critical period, and the proper method of fixing standards of just compensation has occupied the minds of the legal staff of the Shipping Board for some months.

Closely related to this question is the more fundamental problem of the relation of the government to the merchant marine after the war. The Shipping Act limits the life of the Emergency Fleet Corporation to five years after the declaration of peace, though the Shipping Board itself is not limited to a specified duration. Before the Emergency Fleet Corporation is dissolved, some decision as to the permanent policy of the government toward shipping must be reached. The government may retain the ownership of vessels it has built, purchased, or seized, or it may dispose of these vessels to private owners. If the government retains ownership, it may operate the vessels, or lease or charter them to private operators. If it disposes of the vessels, it must determine the prices and the terms of lease or sale. It may write off part of the high cost which the government has been compelled to pay for these vessels as a part of the expenses of the war, and sell at a low figure, so that the new owners may be able to compete at an advantage with foreign shipowners. In case the vessels are released to private ownership or operation, the degree of regulation which the government shall exert, or of aid which it shall give, must be decided upon. As long as the demand for shipping space remains keen, some form of government control must be maintained, and it will probably be more profitable for the government to charter the ships at prevailing high rates than to dispose of them outright. Other considerations than financial are, of course, involved.

Powerful interests will make every effort to influence these decisions to their advantage, and intelligent men will differ widely in their opinions as to the wise course to pursue. The Shipping Act of 1916 plainly favors the encouragement of private operators, expecting the government to withdraw when private enterprise becomes able to meet the situation. The Shipping Board has consistently followed the policy of assigning the great majority of its vessels to private operators, paying them a fixed fee for their services. Thus it has not only turned the profits from the present high freight rates to government account, but has maintained and developed the private organizations against the time when the war emergency is ended. The broad question of government management versus private control will be bitterly contested, and, as applied to our merchant marine, will be conditioned somewhat by the nature of the peace-terms and the degree of world-organization accomplished. The basic fact is that we now have a large merchant marine, and that its effect on our politics and policies must be recognized and understood.

As a problem secondary to the disposal of the merchant marine stands the relation of the government to the shipyards. Established yards have been expanded and mammoth new yards built by means of government appropriations. Large sums have also been expended by the Shipping Board in increasing housing facilities for shipyard workers and in improving passenger transportation between the shipyards and the workers’ homes. Either the government must continue in the shipbuilding business, or extensive financial adjustments must be made with private builders. Previous to the war, American shipyards, paying high wages and building on a small scale vessels of many types, could not compete successfully with foreign shipyards. At present the large government yards, equipped with the most modern appliances, and building standardized fabricated vessels on a large scale, can pay high wages and still build vessels more cheaply, if necessary, than their foreign rivals. The United States will henceforth be a formidable competitor in shipbuilding as well as in ship-operating.

Important legal questions have arisen concerning the public or private status of vessels owned by the United States government, but operated by the Emergency Fleet Corporation, which is not technically a part of the governmental system. The liability of the United States, as employer, for death or injury to seamen, and its responsibility in case of damage to other vessels through collision are typical cases involved. The question of state and local taxation of shipyards or other utilities built by the Fleet Corporation from government funds is a similar problem.

In carrying on the rapidly expanding functions made necessary by the war, the Shipping Board has naturally been compelled to make adjustments with other government agencies engaged in affiliated duties. Relations with the Railroad Administration over control of coastwise shipping owned by railway systems, and with the Navy Department over the question of supplying officers and crews for the merchant marine, are examples of the difficulties encountered. In some of the conferences held to determine the restrictions to be imposed on imports to the United States, in order to save shipping space for war-needs, the State Department, the Food Administration, the Treasury Department, the War Trade Board, the War Industries Board, and the Shipping Board were deeply concerned.


While these problems of the relation of our government to our merchant marine and to our shipyards present many difficulties, the effect of the sudden rise of the United States to first rank in the world’s ocean-carrying trade opens up post-war international questions of tremendous possibilities, especially in our relations with Japan and with England.

Japan has, perhaps more than any of the other Allies, taken advantage of the war to further her own political and economic interests. She has resisted attempts of the War Trade Board to place restrictions on her imports to the United States, and has driven shrewd bargains with the Shipping Board for vessels purchased from Japanese yards. In particular, Japanese lines have almost monopolized the carrying trade of the Pacific. American vessels were transferred to the Atlantic because of the larger profits to be earned in the war-zone, and British vessels were withdrawn from the Canadian and Oriental routes because of the war-needs of Europe. In this situation the Japanese have extended their carrying trade at the expense of both Great Britain and the United States. Without any corresponding increase in the cost of operation, they have benefited by the enormous increase in freight rates. Their lines have prospered and expanded, and a powerful group of new shipping millionaires has arisen in Japan.

With the return of normal conditions, the United States will unquestionably wish to utilize part of her merchant marine in trade with the Orient. The shipyards on the Pacific Coast are turning out a large tonnage, and vigorous efforts will be made in that section of the country to employ a considerable number of these vessels in trade that will develop the Western seaports. The Japanese will, no doubt, try to retain the favorable position they now occupy in the carrying trade of our Pacific Coast.

Attempts to favor our own shipping by legislation will no doubt meet diplomatic resistance and commercial retaliation, and bad feeling may result.

With Great Britain, however, the greatest after-the-war mercantile rivalry will come, unless the terms of peace provide for some form of international organization or friendly pooling of interests. Before the United States entered the war, our commerce suffered considerably because of restrictions placed upon it by Great Britain. This was the natural outcome of our position as the most important neutral maritime power, in our relation to the power that controlled the sea. The origin of the Shipping Board was, indeed, closely connected with the desire of American merchants to secure redress for discriminations and interference at the hands of Great Britain. These acts in most cases were, no doubt, necessary from her point of view, if she were to wage war successfully against German military power; although in some cases there was a suspicion that the opportunity was being taken to destroy American trade-competition as well.

During the war the coöperation between Great Britain and the United States in shipping affairs was noteworthy. The submarine menace to the former’s supply of food and raw materials, and the desire to see a large American army in France were so urgent that Great Britain welcomed the rapidly growing American merchant marine as essential to the winning of the war. British experience, knowledge, and skill were placed freely at the disposal of the United States. Joint action was taken with regard to the seizure of Dutch shipping, and agreements were made to share equally shipping that either Great Britain or the United States secured from neutrals. The Shipping Control Committee, which allocated all tonnage under the control of the Shipping Board to trade-routes and cargoes, and which handled all the cargo transport for the American armies in Europe, was a joint committee, composed of two American shipping experts and a representative of the British shipping mission. Complete harmony obtained between the American and British representatives on this board. The Allied MaritimeTransport Council, in London, composed of representatives of Great Britain, France, Italy, and the United States, outlined the general program me of commodity requirements, priorities, and shipping allotment for the four Allies; and here again remarkable harmony in dealing with difficult adjustments prevailed during the war.

With the return of peace, the question of shipping rivalry with Great Britain again becomes conspicuous. The United States Shipping Board is encouraging a policy of trade-expansion, is coöperating with boards of trade, and is carrying on a campaign of education intended to awaken America’s interest and pride in our new position on the ocean. Efforts are being made now to establish selling agencies abroad, and to see that cargoes will be available for American ships when the war-demands come to an end. Arrangements are being made to secure bunkering accommodations in various parts of the world, and our port and harbor facilities are being increased to provide for an enormous expansion of foreign commerce. American business is looking eagerly to foreign markets as an outlet for our war-stimulated manufactures.

For some time there will be a great demand for shipping space. It may therefore be necessary to continue international control and allocation of shipping; but the question of maritime adjustment with Great Britain can be postponed only at great peril. The good feeling resulting from war coöperation should be utilized before trade-rivalry creates an attitude less favorable to amicable settlement.

The question of the freedom of the seas is perhaps the most difficult topic with which the Peace Conference will have to deal, and freedom of the seas is not merely a question of naval policy. In times of peace it depends largely upon the possession of a merchant marine and the equipment for ocean trade. The control of bunkering facilities and of the price of bunker coal, the determination of port charges, and the power to fix freight and insurance rates, are far more important in normal times than naval predominance. The recent attempt of a British syndicate to purchase part of the fleet of the International Mercantile Marine Company, and the prevention of this sale by the United States Shipping Board, which agreed to take over the vessels at the price offered, is an indication of the national rivalries preparing for the day when trade competition will replace the artificial unity of common war-needs. To further private interests and to aid partisan politics, efforts are being made in both to arouse mutual suspicion and to emphasize the selfish national point of view. In this direction lie great dangers.

In all discussions of our shipping competition, it should be remembered that most of the vessels added to the American merchant marine are of comparatively small tonnage. Few of those contracted for during the war exceeded 7500 dead-weight tons, and the greater number were of 5000 tons or less. These vessels were planned when the submarine menace made it desirable to avoid putting too many eggs into one basket. Aside from the seized German vessels and the ships purchased from the International Mercantile Marine Company, our merchant fleet is better adapted to coastwise service or trade with South America than to transoceanic competition with the larger and faster ships of our rivals. On the other hand, the construction policy of the Shipping Board has already been changed to provide for larger vessels, more able to compete successfully in world-trade.

In this competition the cost of operating American vessels will be important. Because of our prevailing high wages and high standards of living, and because of our navigation laws, the cost of operating American vessels with American crews is high. To offset this handicap, efforts will no doubt be made, on the one hand, to modify existing laws so as to reduce the cost of operation; on the other, to secure government aid to offset the higher costs. American labor, a considerable part of which will henceforth be employed on the high seas, is interested in this aspect of the situation.

The end of the war leaves the power that controls the sea politically and economically supreme. But in the process of winning the war, that control, formerly the monopoly of Great Britain, had to be shared with the United States, whose undeveloped, but potential, maritime strength was called into existence. The future of the world depends upon the way in which Great Britain and the United States use the world-dominion which sea-power gives them. If they compete as jealous rivals, they will begin an era of international controversy as full of danger to the peace of the world as the period of territorial and dynastic rivalries now closing. If they use their combined power to secure for their selfish advantage the domination of the world, and wage economic warfare against the weaker states, their league of exploitation will go to pieces through internal disagreements and the bitter resentment of the remainder of the world. If, through loyal coöperation they use their combined power in the interests of justice and maritime freedom, they will have made the greatest possible contribution toward worldorganization and lasting peace. The authority of any league of nations that may be formed will find its chief power of enforcement in time of peace in the commercial supremacy of Great Britain and the United States, and in case of war, in the naval supremacy of the same two states. Unless these states coöperate in full harmony, no real world-organization is possible.

The United States has, perforce, ceased to be an isolated neutral, and has now assumed partial responsibility for international order. In return, she has a right to demand assurance against the abuse of the power of maritime imperialism, and must see to it that she herself escapes the temptation to enter upon the career of selfish national exploitation and commercial rivalry which her new sea-power offers. Far more important for us than the redrawing of boundaries in Europe is the adjustment of our maritime relations with Great Britain. And in our internal policy, one of the chief dangers which must be guarded against is the spirit of aggressive imperialism, which our awakened national strength makes possible, and which the successful utilization of our new merchant marine will cause many to think desirable and inevitable.