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almost disappeared. In international af- It has been said, and truly, that militarfairs especially we growl when we are told ism is a state of mind. It can be said with to growl, approve at the appointed time equal truth that the advocacy of peace at and place, and reserve our real applause any price is also a state of mind, for like for ourselves.
all moods it can be changed on the inThe founders of our country prayed in stant, and this is especially true of our humility of spirit, asking divine guidance own nation. for the right path, meanwhile acknow- "This horrid war must be stopped; it 's ledging their own sin and error. In their just awful," exclaimed a fair delegate to left hand they held the Great Book that one of the society congresses recently held they might not forget its precepts, and in in the West; and she really meant it-at their right a loaded rifle with which to the moment. Should war come to our emphasize their freedom and resist aggres- own country, this same young woman sion. These men were hard of body and would as likely as not be found urging stern of mind, but they laid down a code her men friends to enlist, and giving her of national morality which has stood for own life to the work of relief for the sick the protection of the weak and justice to and wounded. This is satisfactory as far all to this day.
as it goes, but it does not go far toward It is not so much the causes that may lending stability to our national character, concern us at the moment, - and they are and no vessel that ever sailed the deep and many, - but the fact itself that this nation troubled seas stood more in need of ballast is faced on all sides with questions of policy than our own good ship of state in these and action the answers to which will affect perplexing days. As the ballast of a ship us for all time. We need at the moment is largely the measure of its seaworthiness, the wisest and strongest government pos- so the mentality and thoughtfulness of a sible, resting secure upon an intelligent nation as a whole measure its greatness public opinion. We may get the govern
and its real progress. ment we need, - let us hope we may, - but To be a rich and prosperous people is a its action will be sustained or hampered, most desirable state for a nation, but it as the case may be, by waves of emotion has its grave dangers. We are told that rather than by opinion. We are not now through this war the gold of the world may capable of turning out a concrete, unmis- find lodgment in America and thus in time takably intelligent public belief to serve transform us from a debtor to a creditor as a sure foundation for such statesman- nation. From the banker's and the invesship as our leaders must exercise. It is tor's point of view this is a most desirable small consolation to feel that some big condition, but unless such a nation keeps event, some unexpected and gross
violation jealous watch upon its ideals and the pracof American rights, some sudden demand tice thereof it soon becomes moribund upon the people for action, would sweep with wealth and poverty-stricken of soul. everything aside and unite the nation America has worked hard to pay off the upon a single issue. It is no credit to us
mortgage held by Europe.
There is a that the blowing up of the Maine possibly national danger that when this is paid we brought about the war with Spain. shall become more slothful of spirit, more
Sentimentality is the mainspring of intent merely upon interest-getting than such interest as is taken in foreign affairs upon the use of money to keep our own in this the most important epoch as yet in people employed at living wages and our the affairs of humanity. It is time we national life at high spiritual tension. took stock of ourselves, noted the points The interior ills from which England at which we fail to measure up to our is suffering to-day result largely from a original standards, and with earnestness rich people growing richer without effort, and humility retrace our footsteps to the and the constantly increasing sanctity of cross-roads where we first went astray. the rights of property as compared with
the rights of humanity. The integrity of which has been refined from the dross in the English race and the individuality of the fires of recent adversity, have gained the English character are all that are sav- for the French to-day the admiration of ing the day for that old country of long the world, including those who are enand tremendous history. The American gaging them in deadly combat. Likewise nation of the present time has no such in- with the British; but for their individualtegrity of race, and individualism is not ism, the grave tenacity of purpose inherent generally apparent in our people. We are in their character, the fiery belief of each led by our mental noses in whichever di- and every Englishman, Scotchman, loyal rection is desired by those who furnish our Irishman, and men of such breeds that he reading-matter and make speeches to us. is fighting for his own hard-thought-out A political meeting means a gathering of creed and the rights he believes to be his, those who are going to agree with the the British Empire would have gone to speaker. Resolutions are adopted at pub- pieces before this in the face of increasing lic gatherings with little or no debate. adversity. Petitions to Congress for this, that, or the Those qualities which stamp a nation as other thing are signed because some one great are not created by war; they merely asks us to sign. Thousands of petitions become apparent at such a time. They have been received in Washington for and are bred in the nation in times of peace. against a proposed measure with many of There is no magic wand, not even a grave the signatures appearing on both sides of national peril, which can call forth from the question. That is the reason why a people what is not in them. They must they are a rule so ineffective as have had the power to think, sufficient referendum: no one in Washington takes strength of character to stamp them as them seriously; the politicians know all individualistic, and a deeply implanted too well how they have been secured. suspicion of those who would lead them
The whole trouble with us Americans through tricks of oratory or appeals to is that we do not think. We think that prejudice. In America we have the best we think, but some one else does it for us, material ever given a country from which and we unconsciously, perhaps, imagine to create a thinking people, and we are our conclusions to be our own. The know- wasting it-wasting our mental powers ledge of all the ages is at our disposal. in acrobatics under the leadership of men The facts of contemporaneous history are and women who seek personal advantage given us every day. No people in the either consciously or unconsciously or in world have freer access to the news of all the furtherance of some idea with which that is happening on this globe. The they have become obsessed. We are easily
. average American is of greater intelli- worked by every charlatan who has the gence and possesses a livelier curiosity as public ear. Insincerity, sentimentality, to the doings of humanity the world over and hysteria pass with us for convictions than the average citizen of any other and even inspirations. Credulous, lacking country, and yet with all these advantages in sound conviction, we are blown here and natural talents we are unable to and there by every passing breeze, be it think for ourselves and to reach individual wafted from heaven or from the mouth conclusions that we are able to support of some self-appointed guide to our naeffectively when attacked by those who tional salvation. reason to the contrary.
Civilization has come to mean the use Sentimentality is our curse. The Rus- of electricity, street-cars, cheap newspasian people, lacking in education, far re- pers, and the thousand and one moved from the stimulus of modern life, niences or nuisances of modern life. A possess a spirituality which puts them far gathering in an American forum for the above us in the things that really count. discussion of a national or a local policy The purity of race, the fineness of spirit would be an impossibility; it would be broken up through organized hooliganism. republic had these qualities highly develOur nearest approach to a national coun- oped. When we get rid of the rubbish cil is held at Washington, and its purpose and strip our souls to view, we shall find is largely destroyed through the fact that the old and admirable foundations still our chosen representatives lack the sup- there, and upon them we can build anew. port of thinking constituencies.
The clearing away will be a cataclysm, Perhaps we shall yet find ourselves. for the task grows more enormous with The evil is great, however, and our nation every day that we fail to think each one will perforce pass through ordeals of for himself, and that God-given faculty which this generation has little or no con- inherent in every American mind is fast ception before we acquire that supreme becoming atrophied. strength which comes of a proud humility All this has nothing to do with mateof spirit and an individual singleness of rial wealth or so-called modern progress; purpose. Those who founded this great those things will take care of themselves.
Portrait of a Poet
By LOUIS UNTERMEYER
IRE he sings of, fierce and poignant Aame;
Passion that bids a timid world be bold,
Scorning all customs with a greater claim.
Calm, even calculating, shrewd, and cold.
And packed in small, neat lyrics for the trade.
Romantic toys and tinsel of desire;
Marionettes that plead as he commands;
And he is pleased and proud, and warms his hands
Are We a World Power?
By ARTHUR BULLARD
Author of “ America and the World's Peace,” etc
UR oldest political tradition is in Of course we have no accepted legal
direct opposition to participation in precedent on which to base this doctrine, world politics. The advice of our first and in international law a proposition like President about keeping out of “entangling this must be based either on precedent or alliances” has been the corner-stone of our force. We have been able to maintain foreign policy. And in the early days of the Monroe Doctrine for nearly a century our national life Monroe developed in a because we have had, or have been thought message to Congress the idea of Washing- to have, more than sufficient force to ton that has become famous as his “Doc- counterbalance any temptation to violate trine.”
it. The French effort to conquer Mexico Very rarely have we departed from at the favorable moment when we were these formulæ. In the fifties one of our occupied by the Civil War was so disassenators introduced a resolution inviting trous to them that it did not encourage the nations of the world to establish an others to try. And whenever the temptainternational court to do away with the tion has grown strong in one or another crudities of war. He was promptly voted of the European countries to launch an down. Half a century ago we were un- adventurous American policy, it has alwilling to to negotiate
arbitration ways happened that other European powtreaties with Europe.
ers were so jealous that the threat was The Monroe Doctrine is rather like the not translated into action. Our ability to British Constitution: it has never been maintain the Monroe Doctrine has never reduced to a formal written document. been put to the test. Its interpretation has often changed. The The justice of our contention is not monarchs of the Holy Alliance, having formally accepted by Europe. Various crushed the French Revolution, were governments have assured us that they had planning to reëstablish the authority of no territorial ambitions on our side of the the Spanish king over his revolted prov- world, but the general attitude of Euinces in America. This was the cause of ropean statesmen, and of writers on such Monroe's action. But although the orig- subjects, is that the Monroe Doctrine is inal danger passed, the doctrine, changing a bumptious bluff. They deny its legality with circumstances, has shown remarkable and smile at our pretense of power. They vitality.
do not believe that we would or could The people of the United States believe defend our claim. But few, if any, of that their interests and security would be them seriously think it worth their while seriously threatened if any European to challenge us. If a man announces that power, especially a monarchial power, he will fight in defense of something you extended its political organization on this do not want very much, there is no gain side of the world. We are on record as in arguing-or proving-that you could determined to go to war to preserve the take it if you really wanted to. American status quo from foreign aggres- But there are two sides to the Monroe sion.
Doctrine: 'the Americas for the Ameri
pute. The governments of Europe expect us to live up to the Monroe Doctrine except when they think it will help their game to have us depart from it.
Frequently our diplomatic representatives, acting on instructions from Washington, have admitted this obligation not to meddle in European disputes. The most formal recognition of this principle was given by our delegates at the first Hague Conference. They abstained from voting on the disarmament resolution on the ground that it was a "purely European issue,” and when they voted for the arbitration arrangement, they read into the records this ponderous qualification:
cans, and the inevitable corollary, Europe for the Europeans. And while the Europeans are only scornfully tolerant of the first proposition, they are inclined to be scrupulously insistent on the second. It has been a maxim of modern diplomacy that the United States has no interest in Europe. Any intervention on our part is an impertinence. The exceptionswhen our intervention has been solicited
are amusing. The people who from time to time have invited us to the council-table of Europe have done so because they thought we would vote on their side, and they have at once become vehement advocates of the Monroe Doctrine if we opposed them.
There has never been a time, for instance, when the British press has had so many kind words to say for the Monroe Doctrine as when at the Hague Conference our delegates showed signs of siding with Germany in regard to the “freedom of the seas." At that time the English would have been willing to recognize our protectorate, even annexation, of all South America if we would only go home and not vote on this “purely European” issue.
But more amusing, and more typical, was our part in the Algeciras Conference of 1906. Our interests in the fate of Morocco were almost invisibly small. Germany wanted to prevent France from annexing the country, and above all to obtain some guaranty that the rest of the world would be given equal commercial chances in Morocco. As we had said so much about “the open door" in the far East, they naturally expected us to vote for them, and so welcomed us to the conference. England and France, having received assurances of our support, were also cordial in their invitations.
But a few years later, when France decided to proclaim a protectorate over Morocco, despite her solemn promises at Algeciras, and Germany was trying to get the other signatories to the treaty to join her in a protest, England and France both took the stand that we were a "purely American” power and had no business mixing in a European and African dis
Nothing contained in this convention shall be so construed as to require the United States of America to depart from its traditional policy of not intruding upon, interfering with, or entangling itself in the political questions or policy or internal administration of any foreign state; nor shall anything contained in the said convention be construed to imply a relinquishment by the United States of America of its traditional attitude towards purely American questions.
Again, when Mr. White, our delegate to the Conference of Algeciras, signed that treaty, he made a similar statement. The United States accepted the changes in the status of Morocco agreed upon by the conference, but expressly refused to assume any responsibility for the enforcement of the treaty.
From these and similar official statements it results that our Government has been extremely careful to make it clear that we did not consider the policing of Europe as part of our job. In signing the various Hague conventions in regard to the method of warfare, we virtually said: “If the misfortune of war falls on us, we will live up to these rules.” We also solemnly pledged ourselves not to violate the territory of neutral nations.
But I do not find any warrant in the records of the Hague conferences for Mr. Roosevelt's contention that we honor bound to make other people live up