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Title: Problems of Expansion - As Considered In Papers and Addresses
Author: Reid, Whitelaw, 1837-1912
Language: English
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Copyright, 1898, 1900, by



So general have been the expressions as to the value of these scattered
papers and addresses that I have thought it a useful service to gather
them together from the authorized publications at the time, or, in some
cases, from newspaper reports, and (with the consent of the Century Co.
and of Mr. John Lane for the copyrighted articles) to embody them
consecutively, in the order of their several dates, in this volume.

The article entitled "The Territory with which We are Threatened" was
prepared before the appointment of its author as a member of the
Commission to negotiate terms of peace with Spain, and published only a
few days afterward. This circumstance attracted unusual attention to
its views about retaining the territory the country had taken.

As to the attitude of every one else connected officially with the
determination of that question there has been, naturally, more or less
diplomatic reserve; but the position of Mr. Reid before he was
appointed was thus clearly revealed. When the storm of opposition was
apparently reaching its height, in June, 1899, he took occasion to avow
explicitly the course it was obvious he must have recommended. In his
address at the Seventy-fifth Anniversary of Miami University, referring
to some apparently authorized despatches on the subject from
Washington, he said: "I readily take the time which hostile critics
consider unfavorable, for accepting my own share of responsibility, and
for avowing for myself that I declared my belief in the duty and policy
of holding the whole Philippine Archipelago in the very first
conference of the Commissioners in the President's room at the White
House, in advance of any instructions of any sort. If vindication for
it be needed, I confidently await the future."

This measure of responsibility for the expansion policy upon which the
country is launched has necessarily given special interest to Mr.
Reid's subsequent discussions of the various problems it has raised.
They have been called for on important occasions both abroad and in all
parts of our own country. They have covered many phases of the subject,
but have preserved a singular uniformity of purpose and consistency of
ideas throughout. They appeared at times when public men often seemed
to be groping in the dark on an unknown road, but it is now evident
that the road which has been taken is substantially the road they
marked out. As a foreign critic said in comment on one of the
addresses: "The author is one man who knows what he thinks about the
new policy required by the new situation in which his country is
placed, and has the courage and candor to say it."

It has seemed desirable with each paper and address to prefix a brief
record of the circumstances under which it was made. A few memoranda
which Mr. Reid had prepared to elucidate the text are added, in
foot-notes and in the Appendices which include the Resolutions of
Congress as to Cuba, the Protocol of Washington, and the text of the
Peace of Paris.


May 25, 1900.



      In "The Century," September, 1898.

  II. WAS IT TOO GOOD A TREATY?                                    25
      At the Lotos Club, New York, February 11, 1899.

 III. PURPORT OF THE TREATY                                        35
      At the Marquette Club, Chicago, February 13, 1899.

  IV. THE DUTIES OF PEACE                                          53
      At the Ohio Society dinner, New York, February 25, 1899.

   V. THE OPEN DOOR                                                65
      At the dinner of the American-Asiatic Association,
      New York, February 23, 1899.

      From "The Anglo-Saxon Review," June, 1899.

 VII. OUR NEW DUTIES                                              109
      Address at the Seventy-fifth Anniversary of Miami
      University, June 15, 1899.

VIII. LATER ASPECTS OF OUR NEW DUTIES                             161
      At Princeton University, on Commemoration Day,
      October 21, 1899.

  IX. A CONTINENTAL UNION                                         199
      At the Massachusetts Club, Boston, March 3, 1900.

   X. OUR NEW INTERESTS                                           221
      At the University of California, on Charter Day,
      March 23, 1900.

  XI. "UNOFFICIAL INSTRUCTIONS"                                   259
      At the Farewell Banquet to the Philippine Commission,
      San Francisco, April 12, 1900.


1. POWER TO ACQUIRE AND GOVERN TERRITORY                          271

2. THE TARIFF IN UNITED STATES TERRITORY                          277

3. THE RESOLUTIONS OF CONGRESS AS TO CUBA                         280

4. THE PROTOCOL OF WASHINGTON                                     282

5. THE PEACE OF PARIS                                             285



This paper first appeared in "The Century Magazine" for September,
1898, for which it was written some time before the author's
appointment as a member of the Paris Commission to negotiate the terms
of peace with Spain, and, in fact, before hostilities had been
suspended or the peace protocol agreed upon in Washington.


Men are everywhere asking what should be our course about the territory
conquered in this war. Some inquire merely if it is good policy for the
United States to abandon its continental limitations, and extend its
rule over semi-tropical countries with mixed populations. Others ask if
it would not be the wisest policy to give them away after conquering
them, or abandon them. They say it would be ruinous to admit them as
States to equal rights with ourselves, and contrary to the Constitution
to hold them permanently as Territories. It would be bad policy, they
argue, to lower the standard of our population by taking in hordes of
West Indians and Asiatics; bad policy to run any chance of allowing
these people to become some day joint arbiters with ourselves of the
national destinies; bad policy to abandon the principles of
Washington's Farewell Address, to which we have adhered for a century,
and involve ourselves in the Eastern question, or in the entanglements
of European politics.

The men who raise these questions are sincere and patriotic. They are
now all loyally supporting the Government in the prosecution of the war
which some of them were active in bringing on, and others to the last
deprecated and resisted. Their doubts and difficulties deserve the
fairest consideration, and are of pressing importance.

[Sidenote: Duty First, not Policy.]

But is there not another question, more important, which first demands
consideration? Have we the right to decide whether we shall hold or
abandon the conquered territory, solely, or even mainly as a matter of
national policy? Are we not bound by our own acts, and by the
responsibility we have voluntarily assumed before Spain, before Europe,
and before the civilized world, to consider it first in the light of
national duty?

For that consideration it is not needful now to raise the question
whether we were in every particular justifiable for our share in the
transactions leading to the war. However men's opinions on that point
may differ, the Nation is now at war for a good cause, and has in a
vigorous prosecution of it the loyal and zealous support of all good

The President intervened, with our Army and Navy, under the direct
command of Congress, to put down Spanish rule in Cuba, on the distinct
ground that it was a rule too bad to be longer endured. Are we not,
then, bound in honor and morals to see to it that the government which
replaces Spanish rule is better? Are we not morally culpable and
disgraced before the civilized world if we leave it as bad or worse?
Can any consideration of mere policy, of our own interests, or our own
ease and comfort, free us from that solemn responsibility which we have
voluntarily assumed, and for which we have lavishly spilled American
and Spanish blood?

Most people now realize from what a mistake Congress was kept by the
firm attitude of the President in opposing a recognition of the
so-called Cuban Republic of Cubitas. It is now generally understood
that virtually there was no Cuban Republic, or any Cuban government
save that of wandering bands of guerrilla insurgents, probably less
numerous and influential than had been represented. There seems reason
to believe that however bad Spanish government may have been, the rule
of these people, where they had the power, was as bad; and still
greater reason to apprehend that if they had full power, their sense of
past wrongs and their unrestrained tropical thirst for vengeance might
lead to something worse. Is it for that pitiful result that a civilized
and Christian people is giving up its sons and pouring out blood and
treasure in Cuba?

In commanding the war, Congress pledged us to continue our action until
the pacification of the island should be secured. When that happy time
has arrived, if it shall then be found that the Cuban insurgents and
their late enemies are able to unite in maintaining a settled and
peaceable government in Cuba, distinctly free from the faults which now
lead the United States to destroy the old one, we shall have discharged
our responsibility, and will be at liberty to end our interference. But
if not, the responsibility of the United States continues. It is
morally bound to secure to Cuba such a government, even if forced by
circumstances to furnish it itself.

[Sidenote: The Pledge of Congress.]

At this point, however, we are checked by a reminder of the further
action of Congress, "asserting its determination, when the pacification
of Cuba has been accomplished, to leave the government and control of
the island to its people."

Now, the secondary provisions of any great measure must be construed in
the light of its main purpose; and where they conflict, we are led to
presume that they would not have been adopted but for ignorance of the
actual conditions. Is it not evident that such was the case here? We
now know how far Congress was misled as to the organization and power
of the alleged Cuban government, the strength of the revolt, and the
character of the war the insurgents were waging. We have seen how
little dependence could be placed upon the lavish promises of support
from great armies of insurgents in the war we have undertaken; and we
are beginning to realize the difference between our idea of a humane
and civilized "pacification" and that apparently entertained up to this
time by the insurgents. It is certainly true that when the war began
neither Congress nor the people of the United States cherished an
intention to hold Cuba permanently, or had any further thought than to
pacify it and turn it over to its own people. But they must pacify it
before they turn it over; and, from present indications, to do that
thoroughly may be the work of years. Even then they are still
responsible to the world for the establishment of a better government
than the one they destroy. If the last state of that island should be
worse than the first, the fault and the crime must be solely that of
the United States. We were not actually forced to involve ourselves; we
might have passed by on the other side. When, instead, we insisted on
interfering, we made ourselves responsible for improving the situation;
and, no matter what Congress "disclaimed," or what intention it
"asserted," we cannot leave Cuba till that is done without national
dishonor and blood-guiltiness.

[Sidenote: Egypt and Cuba.]

The situation is curiously like that of England in Egypt. She
intervened too, under far less provocation, it must be admitted, and
for a cause rather more commercial than humanitarian. But when some
thought that her work was ended and that it was time for her to go,
Lord Granville, on behalf of Mr. Gladstone's government, addressed the
other great European Powers in a note on the outcome of which Congress
might have reflected with profit before framing its resolutions.
"Although for the present," he said, "a British force remains in Egypt
for the preservation of public tranquillity, Her Majesty's government
are desirous of withdrawing it as soon as the state of the country and
the organization of proper means for the maintenance of the Khedive's
authority will admit of it. In the meantime the position in which Her
Majesty's government are placed towards His Highness imposes upon them
the duty of giving advice, with the object of securing that the order
of things to be established shall be of a satisfactory character and
possess the elements of stability and progress." As time went on this
declaration did not seem quite explicit enough; and accordingly, just a
year later, Lord Granville instructed the present Lord Cromer, then Sir
Evelyn Baring, that it should be made clear to the Egyptian ministers
and governors of provinces that "the responsibility which for the time
rests on England obliges Her Majesty's government to insist on the
adoption of the policy which they recommend, and that it will be
necessary that those ministers and governors who do not follow this
course should cease to hold their offices."

That was in 1884--a year after the defeat of Arabi, and the
"pacification." It is now fourteen years later. The English are still
there, and the Egyptian ministers and governors now understand quite
well that they must cease to hold their offices if they do not adopt
the policy recommended by the British diplomatic agent. If it should be
found that we cannot with honor and self-respect begin to abandon our
self-imposed task of Cuban "pacification" with any greater speed, the
impetuous congressmen, as they read over their own inconsiderate
resolutions fourteen years hence, can hide their blushes behind a copy
of Lord Granville's letter. They may explain, if they like, with the
classical excuse of Benedick, "When I said I would die a bachelor, I
did not think I should live till I were married." Or if this seems too
frivolous for their serious plight, let them recall the position of Mr.
Jefferson, who originally declared that the purchase of foreign
territory would make waste paper of the Constitution, and subsequently
appealed to Congress for the money to pay for his purchase of
Louisiana. When he held such an acquisition unconstitutional, he had
not thought he would live to want Louisiana.

As to Cuba, it may be fairly concluded that only these points are
actually clear: (1) We had made ourselves in a sense responsible for
Spain's rule in that island by our consistent declaration, through
three quarters of a century, that no other European nation should
replace her--Daniel Webster, as Secretary of State, even seeking to
guard her hold as against Great Britain. (2) We are now at war because
we say Spanish rule is intolerable; and we cannot withdraw our hand
till it is replaced by a rule for which we are willing to be
responsible. (3) We are also pledged to remain till the pacification is

[Sidenote: The Conquered Territories.]

In the other territories in question the conditions are different. We
are not taking possession of them, as we are of Cuba, with the avowed
purpose of giving them a better government. We are conquering them
because we are at war with Spain, which has been holding and governing
them very much as she has Cuba; and we must strike Spain wherever and
as hard as we can. But it must at once be recognized that as to Porto
Rico at least, to hold it would be the natural course and what all the
world would expect. Both Cuba and Porto Rico, like Hawaii, are within
the acknowledged sphere of our influence, and ours must necessarily be
the first voice in deciding their destiny. Our national position with
regard to them is historic. It has been officially declared and known
to every civilized nation for three quarters of a century. To abandon
it now, that we may refuse greatness through a sudden craven fear of
being great, would be so astonishing a reversal of a policy steadfastly
maintained by the whole line of our responsible statesmen since 1823 as
to be grotesque.

John Quincy Adams, writing in April of that year, as Secretary of
State, to our Minister to Spain, pointed out that the dominion of Spain
upon the American continents, North and South, was irrevocably gone,
but warned him that Cuba and Porto Rico still remained nominally
dependent upon her, and that she might attempt to transfer them. That
could not be permitted, as they were "natural appendages to the North
American continent." Subsequent statements turned more upon what Mr.
Adams called "the transcendent importance of Cuba to the United
States"; but from that day to this I do not recall a line in our state
papers to show that the claim of the United States to control the
future of Porto Rico as well as of Cuba was ever waived. As to Cuba,
Mr. Adams predicted that within half a century its annexation would be
indispensable. "There are laws of political as well as of physical
gravitation," he said; and "Cuba, forcibly disjoined from its own
unnatural connection with Spain, and incapable of self-support, can
gravitate only towards the North American Union, which, by the same law
of nature, cannot cast her off from its bosom." If Cuba is incapable of
self-support, and could not therefore be left, in the cheerful language
of Congress, to her own people, how much less could little Porto Rico
stand alone?

There remains the alternative of giving Porto Rico back to Spain at the
end of the war. But if we are warranted now in making war because the
character of Spanish rule in Cuba was intolerable, how could we justify
ourselves in handing back Porto Rico to the same rule, after having
once emancipated her from it? The subject need not be pursued. To
return Porto Rico to Spain, after she is once in our possession, is as
much beyond the power of the President and of Congress as it was to
preserve the peace with Spain after the destruction of the _Maine_ in
the harbor of Havana. From that moment the American people resolved
that the flag under which this calamity was possible should disappear
forever from the Western hemisphere, and they will sanction no peace
that permits it to remain.

The question of the Philippines is different and more difficult. They
are not within what the diplomatists of the world would recognize as
the legitimate sphere of American influence. Our relation to them is
purely the accident of recent war. We are not in honor bound to hold
them, if we can honorably dispose of them. But we know that their
grievances differ only in kind, not in degree, from those of Cuba; and
having once freed them from the Spanish yoke, we cannot honorably
require them to go back under it again. That would be to put us in an
attitude of nauseating national hypocrisy; to give the lie to all our
professions of humanity in our interference in Cuba, if not also to
prove that our real motive was conquest. What humanity forbade us to
tolerate in the West Indies, it would not justify us in reëstablishing
in the Philippines.

What, then, can we do with them? Shall we trade them for something
nearer home? Doubtless that would be permissible, if we were sure of
thus securing them a better government than that of Spain, and if it
could be done without precipitating fresh international difficulties.
But we cannot give them to our friend and their neighbor Japan without
instantly provoking the hostility of Russia, which recently interfered
to prevent a far smaller Japanese aggrandizement. We cannot give them
to Russia without a greater injustice to Japan; or to Germany or to
France or to England without raising far more trouble than we allay.
England would like us to keep them; the Continental nations would like
that better than any other control excepting Spain's or their own; and
the Philippines would prefer it to anything save the absolute
independence which they are incapable of maintaining. Having been led
into their possession by the course of a war undertaken for the sake of
humanity, shall we draw a geographical limit to our humanity, and say
we cannot continue to be governed by it in Asiatic waters because it is
too much trouble and is too disagreeable--and, besides, there may be no
profit in it?

Both war and diplomacy have many surprises; and it is quite possible
that some way out of our embarrassing possession may yet be found. The
fact is clear that many of our people do not much want it; but if a way
of relinquishing it is proposed, the one thing we are bound to insist
on is that it shall be consistent with our attitude in the war, and
with our honorable obligations to the islands we have conquered and to

[Sidenote: Fear of them as States.]

The chief aversion to the vast accessions of territory with which we
are threatened springs from the fear that ultimately they must be
admitted into the Union as States. No public duty is more urgent at
this moment than to resist from the very outset the concession of such
a possibility. In no circumstances likely to exist within a century
should they be admitted as States of the Union. The loose, disunited,
and unrelated federation of independent States to which this would
inevitably lead, stretching from the Indian Archipelago to the
Caribbean Sea, embracing all climes, all religions, all races,--black,
yellow, white, and their mixtures,--all conditions, from pagan
ignorance and the verge of cannibalism to the best product of centuries
of civilization, education, and self-government, all with equal rights
in our Senate and representation according to population in our House,
with an equal voice in shaping our national destinies--that would, at
least in this stage of the world, be humanitarianism run mad, a
degeneration and degradation of the homogeneous, continental Republic
of our pride too preposterous for the contemplation of serious and
intelligent men. Quite as well might Great Britain now invite the
swarming millions of India to send rajas and members of the lower
House, in proportion to population, to swamp the Lords and Commons and
rule the English people. If it had been supposed that even Hawaii, with
its overwhelming preponderance of Kanakas and Asiatics, would become a
State, she could not have been annexed. If the territories we are
conquering must become States, we might better renounce them at once
and place them under the protectorate of some humane and friendly
European Power with less nonsense in its blood.

This is not to deny them the freest and most liberal institutions they
are capable of sustaining. The people of Sitka and the Aleutian Islands
enjoy the blessings of ordered liberty and free institutions, but
nobody dreams of admitting them to Statehood. New Mexico has belonged
to us for half a century, not only without oppression, but with all the
local self-government for which she was prepared; yet, though an
integral part of our continent, surrounded by States, and with an
adequate population, she is still not admitted to Statehood. Why should
not the people on the island of Porto Rico, or even of Cuba, prosper
and be happy for the next century under a rule similar in the main to
that under which their kinsmen of New Mexico have prospered for the
last half-century?

With some necessary modifications, the territorial form of government
which we have tried so successfully from the beginning of the Union is
well adapted to the best of such communities. It secures local
self-government, equality before the law, upright courts, ample power
for order and defense, and such control by Congress as gives security
against the mistakes or excesses of people new to the exercise of these

[Sidenote: Will the Constitution Permit Withholding Statehood?]

But such a system, we are told, is contrary to our Constitution and to
the spirit of our institutions. Why? We have had just that system ever
since the Constitution was framed. It is true that a large part of the
territory thus governed has now been admitted into the Union in the
form of new States. But it is not true that this was recognized at the
beginning as a right, or even generally contemplated as a probability;
nor is it true that it has been the purpose or expectation of those who
annexed foreign territory to the United States, like the Louisiana or
the Gadsden Purchase, that it would all be carved into States. That
feature of the marvelous development of the continent has come as a
surprise to this generation and the last, and would have been
absolutely incredible to the men of Thomas Jefferson's time. Obviously,
then, it could not have been the purpose for which, before that date,
our territorial system was devised. It is not clear that the founders
of the Government expected even all the territory we possessed at the
outset to be made into States. Much of it was supposed to be worthless
and uninhabitable. But it is certain that they planned for outside
accessions. Even in the Articles of Confederation they provided for the
admission of Canada and of British colonies which included Jamaica as
well as Nova Scotia. Madison, in referring to this, construes it as
meaning that they contemplated only the admission of these colonies as
colonies, not the eventual establishment of new States ("Federalist,"
No. 43). About the same time Hamilton was dwelling on the alarms of
those who thought the country already too large, and arguing that great
size was a safeguard against ambitious rulers.

Nevertheless, the objectors still argue, the Constitution gives no
positive warrant for a permanent territorial policy. But it does!
Ordinarily it may be assumed that what the framers of the Constitution
immediately proceeded to do under it was intended by them to be
warranted by it; and we have seen that they immediately devised and
maintained a territorial system for the government of territory which
they had no expectation of ever converting into States. The case,
however, is even plainer than that. The sole reference in the
Constitution to the territories of the United States is in Article IV,
Section 3: "The Congress shall have power to dispose of and make all
needful rules and regulations respecting the territory or other
property belonging to the United States." Jefferson revised his first
views far enough to find warrant for acquiring territory; but here is
explicit, unmistakable authority conferred for dealing with it, and
with other "property," precisely as Congress chooses. The territory was
not a present or prospective party in interest in the Union created
under this organic act. It was "property," to be disposed of or ruled
and regulated as Congress might determine. The inhabitants of the
territory were not consulted; there was no provision that they should
even be guaranteed a republican form of government like the States;
they were secured no right of representation and given no vote. So,
too, when it came to acquiring new territory, there was no thought of
consulting the inhabitants. Mr. Jefferson did not ask the citizens of
Louisiana to consent to their annexation, nor did Mr. Monroe submit
such a question to the Spaniards of Florida, nor Mr. Polk to the
Mexicans of California, nor Mr. Pierce to the New Mexicans, nor Mr.
Johnson to the Russians and Aleuts of Alaska. The power of the
Government to deal with territory, foreign or domestic, precisely as it
chooses was understood from the beginning to be absolute; and at no
stage in our whole history have we hesitated to exercise it. The
question of permanently holding the Philippines or any other conquered
territory as territory is not, and cannot be made, one of
constitutional right; it is one solely of national duty and of national

[Sidenote: Does the Monroe Doctrine Interfere?]

As a last resort, it is maintained that even if the Constitution does
not forbid, the Monroe Doctrine does. But the famous declaration of Mr.
Monroe on which reliance is placed does not warrant this conclusion.
After holding that "the American continents, by the free and
independent condition which they have assumed and maintained, are
henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by
any European Power," Mr. Monroe continued: "We should consider any
attempt on their part to extend their system to any part of this
hemisphere as dangerous to our peace and safety. With the existing
colonies or dependencies of any European Power we have not interfered,
and shall not interfere." The context makes it clear that this
assurance applies solely to the existing colonies and dependencies they
still had in this hemisphere; and that even this was qualified by the
previous warning that while we took no part "in the wars of European
Powers, in matters relating to themselves," we resented injuries and
defended our rights. It will thus be seen that Mr. Monroe gave no
pledge that we would never interfere with any dependency or colony of
European Powers anywhere. He simply declared our general policy not to
interfere with existing colonies still remaining to them on our coast,
so long as they left the countries alone which had already gained their
independence, and so long as they did not injure us or invade our
rights. And even this statement of the scope of Mr. Monroe's
declaration must be construed in the light of the fact that the same
Administration which promulgated the Monroe Doctrine had already issued
from the State Department Mr. Adams's prediction, above referred to,
that "the annexation of Cuba will yet be found indispensable." Perhaps
Mr. Monroe's language might have been properly understood as a general
assurance that we would not meddle in Europe so long as they gave us no
further trouble in America; but certainly it did not also abandon to
their exclusive jurisdiction Asia and Africa and the islands of the

[Sidenote: The Necessary Outcome.]

The candid conclusions seem inevitable that, not as a matter of policy,
but as a necessity of the position in which we find ourselves and as a
matter of national duty, we must hold Cuba, at least for a time and
till a permanent government is well established for which we can afford
to be responsible; we must hold Porto Rico; and we may have to hold the

The war is a great sorrow, and to many these results of it will seem
still more mournful. They cannot be contemplated with unmixed
confidence by any; and to all who think, they must be a source of some
grave apprehensions. Plainly, this unwelcome war is leading us by ways
we have not trod to an end we cannot surely forecast. On the other
hand, there are some good things coming from it that we can already
see. It will make an end forever of Spain in this hemisphere. It will
certainly secure to Cuba and Porto Rico better government. It will
furnish an enormous outlet for the energy of our citizens, and give
another example of the rapid development to which our system leads. It
has already brought North and South together as nothing could but a
foreign war in which both offered their blood for the cause of their
reunited country--a result of incalculable advantage both at home and
abroad. It has brought England and the United States together--another
result of momentous importance in the progress of civilization and
Christianity. Europe will know us better henceforth; even Spain will
know us better; and this knowledge should tend powerfully hereafter to
keep the peace of the world. The war should abate the swaggering,
swash-buckler tendency of many of our public men, since it has shown
our incredible unreadiness at the outset for meeting even a third-rate
Power; and it must secure us henceforth an army and navy less
ridiculously inadequate to our exposure. It insures us a mercantile
marine. It insures the Nicaragua Canal, a Pacific cable, great
development on our Pacific coast, and the mercantile control of the
Pacific Ocean. It imposes new and very serious business on our public
men, which ought to dignify and elevate the public service. Finally, it
has shown such splendid courage and skill in the Army and Navy, such
sympathy at home for our men at the front, and such devoted eagerness,
especially among women, to alleviate suffering and humanize the
struggle, as to thrill every patriotic heart and make us all prouder
than ever of our country and its matchless people.



This speech was made at a dinner given in New York by the Lotos Club in
honor of Mr. Reid, who had been its president for fourteen years prior
to his first diplomatic service abroad in 1889. It was the first public
utterance by any one of the Peace Commissioners after the ratification
of the Treaty of Paris.

Among the many letters of regret at the dinner, the following, from the
Secretary of State and from his predecessor, were given to the public:

    WASHINGTON, D.C., February 9, 1899.

    _To John Elderkin, Lotos Club, New York:_

    I received your note in due time, and had hoped until now to be
    able to come and join you in doing honor to my life-long friend,
    the Hon. Whitelaw Reid; but the pressure of official engagements
    here has made it impossible for me to do so. I shall be with you in
    spirit, and shall applaud to the best that can be said in praise of
    one who, in a life of remarkable variety of achievement, has
    honored every position he has held.

    Faithfully yours,


    CANTON, OHIO, February 8, 1899.

    _To Chester S. Lord, Lotos Club, New York:_

    I beg to acknowledge the receipt of your invitation to attend the
    dinner to be given to the Hon. Whitelaw Reid on the evening of the
    11th inst. Nothing would afford me more pleasure than to join the
    members of the Lotos Club in doing honor to Mr. Reid. It is a
    source of much regret that circumstances compel me to forego the
    privilege. His high character and worth, leadership in the best
    journalism of the day, eminent services, and wide experience long
    since gave him an honorable place among his contemporaries. The
    Commission to negotiate the treaty concluded at Paris on December
    10 had no more valued member. His fellow-Commissioners were
    fortunate in being able to avail themselves of Mr. Reid's wide
    acquaintance with the leading statesmen and diplomats residing in
    Paris. His presence as a member of the Commission rendered
    unnecessary any further introduction to those who had known him as
    our Minister to France. He gave to the work of the Commission in
    unstinted measure the benefit of his wisdom in council, judgment,
    and skill in the preparation and presentation of the American case
    at Paris. Permit me to join you in congratulations and best wishes
    to Mr. Reid, and to express the hope that there are in store for
    him many more years of usefulness and honor.

    Very truly yours,



Obviously the present occasion has no narrow or merely personal
meaning. It comes to me only because I had the good fortune, through
the friendly partiality of the President of the United States, to be
associated with a great work in which you took a patriotic interest,
and over the ratification of which you use this means of expressing
your satisfaction. It was a happy thing for us to be able to bring back
peace to our own land, and happier still to find that our treaty is
accepted by the Senate and the people as one that guards the honor and
protects the interests of the country. Only so should a nation like
ours make peace at all.

    Come, Peace, not like a mourner bowed
      For honor lost and dear ones wasted,
    But proud, to meet a people proud,
      With eyes that tell of triumph tasted.

I shall make no apology--now that the Senate has unsealed our lips--for
speaking briefly of this work just happily completed.

The only complaint one hears about it is that we did our duty too
well--that, in fact, we made peace on terms too favorable to our own
country. In all the pending discussion there seems to be no other fault
found. On no other point is the treaty said by any one to be seriously

It loyally carried out the attitude of Congress as to Cuba. It enforced
the renunciation of Spanish sovereignty there, but, in spite of the
most earnest Spanish efforts, it refused to accept American
sovereignty. It loaded neither ourselves nor the Cubans with the
so-called Cuban debts, incurred by Spain in the efforts to subdue them.
It involved us in no complications, either in the West Indies or in the
East, as to contracts or claims or religious establishments. It dealt
liberally with a fallen foe--giving him a generous lump sum that more
than covered any legitimate debts or expenditures for pacific
improvements; assuming the burden of just claims against him by our own
people; carrying back the armies surrendered on the other side of the
world at our own cost; returning their arms; even restoring them their
artillery, including heavy ordnance in field fortifications, munitions
of war, and the very cattle that dragged their caissons. It secured
alike for Cubans and Filipinos the release of political prisoners. It
scrupulously reserved for Congress the power of determining the
political status of the inhabitants of our new possessions. It declared
on behalf of the most Protectionist country in the world for the policy
of the Open Door within its Asiatic sphere of influence.

With all this the Senate and the country seemed content. But the treaty
refused to return to Spanish rule one foot of territory over which that
rule had been broken by the triumphs of our arms.

Were we to be reproached for that? Should the Senate have told us: "You
overdid this business; you looked after the interests of your own
country too thoroughly. You ought to have abandoned the great
archipelago which the fortunes of war had placed at your country's
disposal. You are not exactly unfaithful servants; you are too blindly,
unswervingly faithful. You haven't seized an opportunity to run away
from some distant results of the war into which Congress plunged the
country before dreaming how far it might spread. You haven't dodged for
us the responsibilities we incurred."

That is true. When Admiral Dewey sank the Spanish fleet, and General
Merritt captured the Spanish army that alone maintained the Spanish
hold on the Philippines, the Spanish power there was gone; and the
civilization and the common sense and the Christianity of the world
looked to the power that succeeded it to accept its responsibilities.
So we took the Philippines. How could men representing this country,
jealous of its honor, or with an adequate comprehension either of its
duty or its rights, do otherwise?

A nation at war over a disputed boundary or some other material
interest might properly stop when that interest was secured, and give
back to the enemy all else that had been taken from him. But this was
not a war for any material interest. It was a war to put down a rule
over an alien people, which we declared so barbarous that we could no
longer tolerate it. How could we consent to secure peace, after we had
broken down this barbarous rule in two archipelagos, by agreeing that
one of them should be forced back under it?

There was certainly another alternative. After destroying the only
organized government in the archipelago, the only security for life and
property, native and foreign, in great commercial centers like Manila,
Iloilo, and Cebu, against hordes of uncivilized pagans and Mohammedan
Malays, should we then scuttle out and leave them to their fate? A band
of old-time Norse pirates, used to swooping down on a capital,
capturing its rulers, seizing its treasure, burning the town,
abandoning the people to domestic disorder and foreign spoliation, and
promptly sailing off for another piratical foray--such a band of
pirates might, no doubt, have left Manila to be sacked by the
insurgents, while it fled from the Philippines. We did not think a
self-respecting, civilized, responsible Christian Power could.

[Sidenote: Indemnity.]

There was another side to it. In a conflict to which fifty years of
steadily increasing provocation had driven us we had lost 266 sailors
on the _Maine_; had lost at Santiago and elsewhere uncounted victims of
Spanish guns and tropical climates; and had spent in this war over
$240,000,000, without counting the pensions that must still accrue
under laws existing when it began. Where was the indemnity that, under
such circumstances, it is the duty of the victorious nation to exact,
not only in its own interest, but in the interest of a Christian
civilization and the tendencies of modern International Law, which
require that a nation provoking unjust war shall smart for it, not
merely while it lasts, but by paying the cost when it is ended? Spain
had no money even to pay her own soldiers. No indemnity was possible,
save in territory. Well, we once wanted to buy Cuba, before it had
been desolated by twelve years of war and decimated by Weyler; yet
our uttermost offer for it, our highest valuation even then, was
$125,000,000--less than half the cost of our war. But now we were
precluded from taking Cuba. Porto Rico, immeasurably less important to
us, and eight hundred miles farther away from our coast, is only one
twelfth the size of Cuba. Were the representatives of the United
States, charged with the duty of protecting not only its honor, but its
interests, in arranging terms of peace, to content themselves with
little Porto Rico, away off a third of the way to Spain, plus the petty
reef of Guam, in the middle of the Pacific, as indemnity for an
unprovoked war that had cost and was to cost their country

[Sidenote: The Trouble they Give--are they Worth it?]

But, some one exclaims, the Philippines are already giving us more
trouble than they are worth! It is natural to say so just now, and it
is partly true. What they are worth and likely to be worth to this
country in the race for commercial supremacy on the Pacific--that is to
say, for supremacy in the great development of trade in the Twentieth
Century--is a question too large to be so summarily decided, or to be
entered on at the close of a dinner, and under the irritation of a
Malay half-breed's folly. But nobody ever doubted that they would give
us trouble. That is the price nations must pay for going to war, even
in a just cause. I was not one of those who were eager to begin this
war with Spain; but I protest against any attempt to evade our just
responsibility in the position in which it has left us. We shall have
trouble in the Philippines. So we shall have trouble in Cuba and in
Porto Rico. If we dawdle, and hesitate, and lead them to think we fear
them and fear trouble, our trouble will be great. If, on the other
hand, we grasp this nettle danger, if we act promptly, with inexorable
vigor and with justice, it may be slight. At any rate, the more serious
the crisis the plainer our path. God give us the courage to purify our
politics and strengthen our Government to meet these new and grave



This speech was made, two days after the preceding one, on the
invitation of the Marquette Club of Chicago, at the dinner of six
hundred which it gave in the Auditorium Hotel, February 13, 1899, in
honor of Lincoln's birthday.


Beyond the Alleghanies the American voice rings clear and true. It does
not sound, here in Chicago, as if you favored the pursuit of partizan
aims in great questions of foreign policy, or division among our own
people in the face of insurgent guns turned upon our soldiers on the
distant fields to which we sent them. We are all here, it would seem,
to stand by the peace that has been secured, even if we have to fight
for it.

Neither has any reproach come from Chicago to the Peace Commissioners
because, when intrusted with your interests in a great negotiation in a
foreign capital, they made a settlement on terms too favorable to their
own country--because in bringing home peace with honor they also
brought home more property than some of our people wanted! When that
reproach has been urged elsewhere, it has recalled the familiar defense
against a similar complaint in an old political contest. There might,
it was said, be some serious disadvantages about a surplus in the
national Treasury; but, at any rate, it was easier to deal with a
surplus than with a deficit! If we have brought back too much, that is
only a question for Congress and our voters. If we had brought back too
little, it might have been again a question for the Army and the Navy.

No one of you has ever been heard to find fault with an agent because
in making a difficult settlement he got all you wanted, and a free
option on something further that everybody else wanted! Do you know of
any other civilized nation of the first or even of the second class
that wouldn't jump at that option on the Philippines? Ask Russia. Ask
Germany. Ask Japan. Ask England or France. Ask little Belgium![1] And
yet, what one of them, unless it be Japan, has any conceivable interest
in the Philippines to be compared with that of the mighty Republic
which now commands the one side of the Pacific, and, unless this
American generation is blinder to opportunity than any of its
predecessors, will soon command the other?

      [1] At this time it was still a secret that among the many
      intrigues afoot during the negotiations at Paris was one for the
      transfer of the Philippines to Belgium. But for the perfectly
      correct attitude of King Leopold, it might have had a chance to
      succeed, or at least to make trouble.

Put yourselves for a moment in our place on the Quai d'Orsay. Would you
really have had your representatives in Paris, the guardians of your
honor in negotiating peace with your enemy, declare that while Spanish
rule in the West Indies was so barbarous that it was our duty to
destroy it, we were now so eager for peace that for its sake we were
willing in the East to reëstablish that same barbarous rule? Or would
you have had your agents in Paris, the guardians also of your material
interests, throw away all chance for indemnity for a war that began
with the loss of 266 American sailors on the _Maine_, and had cost
your Treasury during the year over $240,000,000? Would you have had
them throw away a magnificent foothold for the trade of the farther
East, which the fortune of war had placed in your hand, throw away a
whole archipelago of boundless possibilities, economic and strategic,
throw away the opportunity of centuries for your country? Would you
have had them, on their own responsibility, then and there decide this
question for all time, and absolutely refuse to reserve it for the
decision of Congress and of the American people, to whom that decision
belongs, and who have the right to an opportunity first for its
deliberate consideration?

[Sidenote: Some Features in the Treaty.]

Your toast is to the "Achievements of American Diplomacy." Not such
were its achievements under your earlier statesmen; not such has been
its work under the instructions of your State Department, from John
Quincy Adams on down the honored line; and not such the work your
representatives brought back to you from Paris.

They were dealing with a nation with whom it has never been easy to
make peace, even when war was no longer possible; but they secured a
peace treaty without a word that compromises the honor or endangers the
interests of the country.

They scrupulously reserved for your own decision, through your Congress
or at the polls, the question of political status and civil rights for
the inhabitants of your new possessions.

They resisted adroit Spanish efforts for special privileges and
guaranties for their established church, and pledged the United States
to absolute freedom in the exercise of their religion for all these
recent Spanish subjects--pagan, Mohammedan, Confucian, or Christian.

They maintained, in the face of the most vehement opposition, not
merely of Spain, but of well-nigh all Europe, a principle vital to
oppressed people struggling for freedom--a principle without which our
own freedom could not have been established, and without which any
successful revolt against any unjust rule could be made practically
impossible. That principle is that, contrary to the prevailing rule and
practice in large transfers of sovereignty, debts do not necessarily
follow the territory if incurred by the mother country distinctly in
efforts to enslave it. Where so incurred, your representatives
persistently and successfully maintained that no attempt by the mother
country to mortgage to bondholders the revenues of custom-houses or in
any way to pledge the future income of the territory could be
recognized as a valid or binding security--that the moment the hand of
the oppressor relaxed its grasp, his claim on the future revenues of
the oppressed territory was gone. It is a doctrine that raised an
outcry in every Continental bourse, and struck terror to every gambling
European investor in national loans, floated at usurious profits, to
raise funds for unjust wars. But it is right, and one may be proud that
the United States stood like a rock, barring any road to peace which
led to loading either on the liberated territory or on the people that
had freed it the debts incurred in the wars against it. If this is not
International Law now, it will be; and the United States will have made

But your representatives in Paris placed your country in no tricky
attitude of endeavoring either to evade or repudiate just obligations.
They recognized the duty of reimbursement for debts legitimately
incurred for pacific improvements or otherwise, for the real benefit of
the transferred territory. Not till it began to appear that, of the
Philippine debt of forty millions Mexican, or a little under twenty
millions of our money, a fourth had been transferred direct to aid the
war in Cuba, and the rest had probably been spent mainly in the war in
Luzon, did your representatives hesitate at its payment; and even then
they decided to give a lump sum equal to it, which could serve as a
recognition of whatever debts Spain might have incurred in the past for
expenditures in that archipelago for the benefit of the people.

They protected what was gained in the war from adroit efforts to put it
all at risk again, through an untimely appeal to the noble principle of
Arbitration. They held--and I am sure the best friends of the principle
will thank them for holding--that an honest resort to Arbitration must
come before war, to avert its horrors, not after war, to escape its

They were enabled to pledge the most Protectionist country in the world
to the liberal and wise policy of the Open Door in the East.

And finally they secured that diplomatic novelty, a treaty in which the
acutest senatorial critics have not found a peg on which inadmissible
claims against the country may be hung.

[Sidenote: The Material Side of the Business.]

At the same time they neither neglected nor feared the duty of caring
for the material interests of their own country;--the duty of grasping
the enormous possibilities upon which we had stumbled, for sharing in
the awakening and development of the farther East. That way lies now
the best hope of American commerce. There you may command a natural
rather than an artificial trade--a trade which pushes itself instead of
needing to be pushed; a trade with people who can send you things you
want and cannot produce, and take from you in return things they want
and cannot produce; in other words, a trade largely between different
zones, and largely with less advanced peoples, comprising nearly one
fourth the population of the globe, whose wants promise to be speedily
and enormously developed.

The Atlantic Ocean carries mainly a different trade, with people as
advanced as ourselves, who could produce or procure elsewhere much of
what they buy from us, while we could produce, if driven to it, most of
what we need to buy from them. It is more or less, therefore, an
artificial trade, as well as a trade in which we have lost the first
place and will find it difficult to regain. The ocean carriage for the
Atlantic is in the hands of our rivals.

The Pacific Ocean, on the contrary, is in our hands now. Practically we
own more than half the coast on this side, dominate the rest, and have
midway stations in the Sandwich and Aleutian Islands. To extend now the
authority of the United States over the great Philippine Archipelago is
to fence in the China Sea and secure an almost equally commanding
position on the other side of the Pacific--doubling our control of it
and of the fabulous trade the Twentieth Century will see it bear.
Rightly used, it enables the United States to convert the Pacific Ocean
almost into an American lake.

Are we to lose all this through a mushy sentimentality, characteristic
neither of practical nor of responsible people--alike un-American and
un-Christian, since it would humiliate us by showing lack of nerve to
hold what we are entitled to, and incriminate us by entailing endless
bloodshed and anarchy on a people whom we have already stripped of the
only government they have known for three hundred years, and whom we
should thus abandon to civil war and foreign spoliation?

[Sidenote: Bugbears.]

Let us free our minds of some bugbears. One of them is this notion that
with the retention of the Philippines our manufacturers will be crushed
by the products of cheap Eastern labor. But it does not abolish our
custom-houses, and we can still enforce whatever protection we desire.

Another is that our American workmen will be swamped under the
immigration of cheap Eastern labor. But tropical laborers rarely
emigrate to colder climates. Few have ever come. If we need a law to
keep them out, we can make it.

It is a bugbear that the Filipinos would be citizens of the United
States, and would therefore have the same rights of free travel and
free entry of their own manufactures with other citizens. The treaty
did not make them citizens of the United States at all; and they never
will be, unless you neglect your Congress.

It is a bugbear that anybody living on territory or other property
belonging to the United States must be a citizen. The Constitution says
that "persons born or naturalized in the United States are citizens of
the United States"; while it adds in the same sentence, "and of the
State wherein they reside," showing plainly that the provision was not
then meant to include territories.

It is equally a bugbear that the tariff must necessarily be the same
over any of the territory or other property of the United States as it
is in the Nation itself. The Constitution requires that "all duties,
imposts, and excises shall be the same throughout the United States,"
and while there was an incidental expression from the Supreme Bench in
1820 to the effect that the name United States as here used should
include the District of Columbia and other territory, it was no part
even then of the decision actually rendered, and it would be absurd to
stretch this mere dictum of three quarters of a century ago, relating
then, at any rate, to this continent alone, to carry the Dingley tariff
now across to the antipodes.

[Sidenote: Duties of the Hour.]

Brushing aside, then, these bugbears, gentlemen, what are the obvious
duties of the hour?

First, hold what you are entitled to. If you are ever to part with it,
wait at least till you have examined it and found out that you have no
use for it. Before yielding to temporary difficulties at the outset,
take time to be quite sure you are ready now to abandon your chance for
a commanding position in the trade of China, in the commercial control
of the Pacific Ocean, and in the richest commercial development of the
approaching century.

Next, resist admission of any of our new possessions as States, or
their organization on a plan designed to prepare them for admission.
Stand firm for the present American Union of sister States, undiluted
by anybody's archipelagos.

Make this fight easiest by making it at the beginning. Resist the first
insidious effort to change the character of this Union by leaving the
continent. The danger commences with the first extra-continental State.
We want no Porto Ricans or Cubans to be sending Senators and
Representatives to Washington to help govern the American Continent,
any more than we want Kanakas or Tagals or Visayans or Mohammedan
Malays. We will do them good and not harm, if we may, all the days of
our life; but, please God, we will not divide this Republic, the
heritage of our fathers, among them.

Resist the crazy extension of the doctrine that government derives its
just powers from the consent of the governed to an extreme never
imagined by the men who framed it, and never for one moment acted upon
in their own practice. Why should we force Jefferson's language to a
meaning Jefferson himself never gave it in dealing with the people of
Louisiana, or Andrew Jackson in dealing with those of South Carolina,
or Abraham Lincoln with the seceding States, or any responsible
statesman of the country at any period in its history in dealing with
Indians or New Mexicans or Californians or Russians? What have the
Tagals done for us that we should treat them better and put them on a
plane higher than any of these?

And next, resist alike either schemes for purely military governments,
or schemes for territorial civil governments, with offices to be filled
up, according to the old custom, by "carpet-baggers" from the United
States, on an allotment of increased patronage, fairly divided among
the "bosses" of the different States. Egypt under Lord Cromer is an
object-lesson of what may be done in a more excellent way by men of our
race in dealing with such a problem. Better still, and right under our
eyes, is the successful solution of the identical problem that
confronts us, in the English organization and administration of the
federated Malay States on the Malacca Peninsula.

[Sidenote: The Opposition as Old as Webster.]

I wish to speak with respect of the sincere and conscientious
opposition to all these conclusions, manifest chiefly in the East and
in the Senate; and with especial respect of the eminent statesman who
has headed that opposition. No man will question his ability, his moral
elevation, or the courage with which he follows his intellectual and
moral convictions. But I may be permitted to remind you that the noble
State he worthily represents is not now counted for the first time
against the interest and the development of the country. In February,
1848, Daniel Webster, speaking for the same great State and in the same
high forum, conjured up precisely the same visions of the destruction
of the Constitution, and proclaimed the same hostility to new
territory. Pardon me while I read you half a dozen sentences, and note
how curiously they sound like an echo--or a prophecy--of what we have
lately been hearing from the Senate:

    Will you take peace without territory and preserve the integrity of
    the Constitution of the country?... I think I see a course adopted
    which is likely to turn the Constitution of this land into a
    deformed monster--into a curse rather than a blessing.... There
    would not be two hundred families of persons who would emigrate
    from the United States to New Mexico for agricultural purposes in
    fifty years.... I have never heard of anything, and I cannot
    conceive of anything, more absurd and more affrontive of all sober
    judgment than the cry that we are getting indemnity by the
    acquisition of New Mexico and California. I hold that they are not
    worth a dollar!

It was merely that splendid empire in itself, stretching from Los
Angeles and San Francisco eastward to Denver, that was thus despised
and rejected of Massachusetts. And it was only fifty years ago! With
all due respect, a great spokesman of Massachusetts is as liable to
mistake in this generation as in the last.

[Sidenote: Lack of Faith in the People.]

It is fair, I think, to say that this whole hesitation over the treaty
of peace is absolutely due to lack of faith in our own people, distrust
of the methods of administration they may employ in the government of
distant possessions, and distrust of their ability to resist the
schemes of demagogues for promoting the ultimate admission of Kanaka
and Malay and half-breed commonwealths to help govern the continental
Republic of our pride, this homogeneous American Union of sovereign
States. If there is real reason to fear that the American people cannot
restrain themselves from throwing open the doors of their Senate and
House of Representatives to such sister States as Luzon, or the
Visayas, or the Sandwich Islands, or Porto Rico, or even Cuba, then the
sooner we beg some civilized nation, with more common sense and less
sentimentality and gush, to take them off our hands the better. If we
are unequal to a manly and intelligent discharge of the
responsibilities the war has entailed, then let us confess our
unworthiness, and beg Japan to assume the duties of a civilized
Christian state toward the Philippines, while England can extend the
same relief to us in Cuba and Porto Rico. But having thus ignominiously
shirked the position demanded by our belligerency and our success, let
us never again presume to take a place among the self-respecting and
responsible nations of the earth that can ever lay us liable to another
such task. If called to it, let us at the outset admit our unfitness,
withdraw within our own borders, and leave these larger duties of the
world to less incapable races or less craven rulers.

Far other and brighter are the hopes I have ventured to cherish
concerning the course of the American people in this emergency. I have
thought there was encouragement for nations as well as for individuals
in remembering the sobering and steadying influence of great
responsibilities suddenly devolved. When Prince Hal comes to the crown
he is apt to abjure Falstaff. When we come to the critical and
dangerous work of controlling turbulent semi-tropical dependencies, the
agents we choose cannot be the ward heelers of the local bosses. Now,
if ever, is the time to rally the brain and conscience of the American
people to a real elevation and purification of their Civil Service, to
the most exalted standards of public duty, to the most strenuous and
united effort of all men of good will to make our Government worthy of
the new and great responsibilities which the Providence of God rather
than any purpose of man has imposed upon it.



A speech made at the dinner given by the Ohio Society in honor of the
Peace Commissioners, in the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, New York, February
25, 1899.


You call and I obey. Any call from Ohio, wherever it finds me, is at
once a distinction and a duty. But it would be easier to-night and more
natural for me to remain silent. I am one of yourselves, the givers of
the feast, and the occasion belongs peculiarly to my colleagues on the
Peace Commission. I regret that more of them are not here to tell you
in person how profoundly we all appreciate the compliment you pay us.
Judge Day, after an experience and strain the like of which few
Americans of this generation have so suddenly and so successfully met,
is seeking to regain his strength at the South; Senator Frye, at the
close of an anxious session, finds his responsible duties in Washington
too exacting to permit even a day's absence; and Senator Davis, who
could not leave the care of the treaty to visit his State even when his
own reëlection was pending, has at last snatched the first moment of
relief since he was sent to Paris last summer, to go out to St. Paul
and meet the constituents who have in his absence renewed to him the
crown of a good and faithful servant.

It is all the more fortunate, therefore, that you are honored by the
presence of the patriotic member of the opposition who formed the
regulator and balance-wheel of the Commission. When Senator Gray
objected, we all reëxamined the processes of our reasoning. When he
assented, we knew at once we must be on solid ground and went ahead. It
was an expected gratification to have with you also the accomplished
secretary and counsel to the Commission, a man as modest and
unobtrusive as its president, and, like him, equal to any summons. In
his regretted absence, we rejoice to find here the most distinguished
military aid ordered to report to the Commission, and the most
important witness before it--the Conqueror of Manila.

So much you will permit me to say in my capacity as one of the hosts,
rather than as a member of the body to which you pay this gracious

It is not for me to speak of another figure necessarily missing
to-night, though often with you heretofore at these meetings--the
member of the Ohio Society who sent us to Paris! A great and shining
record already speaks for him. He will be known in our history as the
President who freed America from the last trace of Spanish blight; who
realized the aspiration of our earlier statesmen, cherished by the
leaders of either party through three quarters of a century, for
planting the flag both on Cuba and on the Sandwich Islands; more than
this, as the President who has carried that flag half-way round the
world and opened the road for the trade of the Nation to follow it.

All this came from simply doing his duty from day to day, as that duty
was forced upon him. No other man in the United States held back from
war as he did, risking loss of popularity, risking the hostility of
Congress, risking the harsh judgment of friends in agonizing for peace.
It was no doubt in the spirit of the Prince of Peace, but it was also
with the wisdom of Polonius: "Beware of entrance to a quarrel; but,
being in, bear it, that the opposer may beware of thee!" Never again
will any nation imagine that it can trespass indefinitely against the
United States with impunity. Never again will an American war-ship run
greater risks in a peaceful harbor than in battle. The world will never
again be in doubt whether, when driven to war, we will end it in a gush
of sentimentality or a shiver of unmanly apprehension over untried
responsibilities, by fleeing from our plain duty, and hastening to give
up what we are entitled to, before we have even taken an opportunity to
look at it.

[Sidenote: Does Peace Pacify?]

But it must be confessed that "looking at it" during the past week has
not been an altogether cheerful occupation. While the aspect of some of
these new possessions remains so frowning there are faint hearts ready
enough to say that the Peace Commission is in no position to be
receiving compliments. Does protection protect? is an old question that
used to be thrown in our faces--though I believe even the questioners
finally made up their minds that it did. Does peace pacify? is the
question of the hour. Well, as to our original antagonist, historic,
courageous Spain, there seems ground to hope and believe and be glad
that it does--not merely toward us, but within her own borders. When
she jettisoned cargo that had already shifted ruinously, there is
reason to think that she averted disaster and saved the ship. Then, as
to Porto Rico there is no doubt of peace; and as to Cuba very
little--although it would be too much to hope that her twelve years of
civil war could be followed by an absolute calm, without disorders.

As to other possessions in the farther East, we may as well recognize
at once that we are dealing now with the same sort of clever barbarians
as in the earlier days of the Republic, when, on another ocean not then
less distant, we were compelled to encounter the Algerine pirates. But
there is this difference. Then we merely chastised the Algerines into
letting us and our commerce alone. The permanent policing of that coast
of the Mediterranean was not imposed upon us by surrounding
circumstances, or by any act of ours; it belonged to nearer nations.
Now a war we made has broken down the only authority that existed to
protect the commerce of the world in one of its greatest Eastern
thoroughfares, and to preserve the lives and property of people of all
nations resorting to those marts. We broke it down, and we cannot, dare
not, display the cowardice and selfishness of failing to replace it.
However men may differ as to our future policy in those regions, there
can be no difference as to our present duty. It is as plain as that of
putting down a riot in Chicago or New York--all the plainer because,
until recently, we have ourselves been taking the very course and doing
the very things to encourage the rioters.

[Sidenote: Why Take Sovereignty?]

A distinguished and patriotic citizen said to me the other day, in a
Western city: "You might have avoided this trouble in the Senate by
refusing title in the Philippines exactly as in Cuba, and simply
enforcing renunciation of Spanish sovereignty. Why didn't you do it?"
The question is important, and the reason ought to be understood. But
at the outset it should be clearly realized that the circumstances
which made it possible to take that course as to Cuba were altogether
exceptional. For three quarters of a century we had asserted a special
interest and right of interference there as against any other nation.
The island is directly on our coast, and no one doubted that at least
as much order as in the past would be preserved there, even if we had
to do it ourselves. There was also the positive action of Congress,
which, on the one hand, gave us excuse for refusing a sovereignty our
highest legislative authority had disclaimed, and, on the other,
formally cast the shield of our responsibility over Cuba when left
without a government or a sovereignty. Besides, there was a people
there, advanced enough, sufficiently compact and homogeneous in
religion, race, and language, sufficiently used already to the methods
of government, to warrant our republican claim that the sovereignty was
not being left in the air--that it was only left where, in the last
analysis, in a civilized community, it must always reside, in the
people themselves.

And yet, under all these conditions, the most difficult task your Peace
Commissioners had at Paris was to maintain and defend the demand for a
renunciation of sovereignty without anybody's acceptance of the
sovereignty thus renounced. International Law has not been so
understood abroad; and it may be frankly confessed that the Spanish
arguments were learned, acute, sustained by the general judgment of
Europe, and not easy to refute.

A similar demand concerning the Philippines neither could nor ought to
have been acquiesced in by the civilized world. Here were ten millions
of people on a great highway of commerce, of numerous different races,
different languages, different religions, some semi-civilized, some
barbarous, others mere pagan savages, but without a majority or even a
respectable minority of them accustomed to self-government or believed
to be capable of it. Sovereignty over such a conglomeration and in such
a place could not be left in the air. The civilized world would not
recognize its transfer, unless transferred to somebody. Renunciation
under such circumstances would have been equivalent in International
Law to abandonment, and that would have been equivalent to anarchy and
a race for seizure among the nations that could get there quickest.

We could, of course, have refused to accept the obligations of a
civilized, responsible nation. After breaking down government in those
commercial centers, we could have refused to set up anything in its
stead, and simply washed our hands of the whole business; but to do
that would have been to show ourselves more insensible to moral
obligations than if we had restored them outright to Spain.

[Sidenote: How to Deal with the Philippines.]

Well, if the elephant must be on our hands, what are we going to do
with it? I venture to answer that first we must put down the riot. The
lives and property of German and British merchants must be at least as
safe in Manila as they were under Spanish rule before we are ready for
any other step whatever.

Next, ought we not to try to diagnose our case before we turn every
quack doctor among us loose on it--understand what the problem is
before beginning heated partizan discussions as to the easiest way of
solving it? And next, shall we not probably fare best in the end if we
try to profit somewhat by the experience others have had in like cases?

The widest experience has been had by the great nation whose people and
institutions are nearest like our own. Illustrations of her successful
methods may be found in Egypt and in many British dependencies, but,
for our purposes, probably best of all either on the Malay Peninsula or
on the north coast of Borneo, where she has had the happiest results in
dealing with intractable types of the worst of these same races. Some
rules drawn from this experience might be distasteful to people who
look upon new possessions as merely so much more government patronage,
and quite repugnant to the noble army of office-seekers; but they
surely mark the path of safety.

The first is to meddle at the outset as little as possible with every
native custom and institution and even prejudice; the next is to use
every existing native agency you can; and the next to employ in the
government service just as few Americans as you can, and only of the
best. Convince the natives of your irresistible power and your
inexorable purpose, then of your desire to be absolutely just, and
after that--not before--be as kind as you can. At the outset you will
doubtless find your best agents among the trained officers of the Navy
and the Army, particularly the former. On the retired list of both, but
again particularly of the Navy, ought to be found just the experience
in contact with foreign races, the moderation, wide views, justice,
rigid method, and inflexible integrity, you need. Later on should come
a real civil service, with such pure and efficient administration
abroad as might help us ultimately to conclude that we ourselves
deserve as well as the heathen, and induce us to set up similar
standards for our own service at home. Meantime, if we have taught the
heathen largely to govern themselves without being a hindrance and
menace to the civilization and the commerce of the world, so much the
better. Heaven speed the day! If not, we must even continue to be
responsible for them ourselves--a duty we did not seek, but should be
ashamed to shirk.



A speech made at the dinner given by the American-Asiatic Association
in honor of Rear-Admiral Lord Charles Beresford, at Delmonico's, New
York, February 23, 1899.


The hour is late, you have already enjoyed your intellectual feast, you
have heard the man you came to hear, and I shall detain you for but a
moment. The guest whom we are all here to honor and applaud is
returning from a journey designed to promote the safety and extension
of his country's trade in the Chinese Orient. He has probably been
accustomed to think of us as the most extreme Protectionist nation in
the world; and he may have heard at first of our recent acquisition on
the China Sea with some apprehension on that very account.

[Sidenote: United States a Free-Trade Country.]

Now, there are two facts that might be somewhat suggestive to any who
take that view. One is that, though we may be "enraged Protectionists,"
as our French friends occasionally call us, we have rarely sought to
extend the protective system where we had nothing and could develop
nothing to protect. The other is that we are also the greatest
free-trade country in the world. Nowhere else on the globe does
absolute free trade prevail over so wide, rich, and continuous an
expanse of territory, with such variety and volume of production and
manufacture; and nowhere have its beneficent results been more
conspicuous. From the Golden Gate your guest has crossed a continent
teeming with population and manufactures without encountering a
custom-house. If he had come back from China the other way, from Suez
to London, he would have passed a dozen!

When your Peace Commissioners were brought face to face with the
retention of the Philippines, they were at liberty to consider the
question it raised for immediate action in the light of both sides of
the national practice. Here was an archipelago practically without
manufactures to protect, or need for protection to develop
manufactures; and here were swarming populations with whom trade was
sure to increase and ramify, in proportion to its freedom from
obstructions. Thus it came about that your Commissioners were led to a
view which to many has seemed a new departure, and were finally enabled
to preface an offer to Spain with the remark that it was the policy of
the United States to maintain in the Philippines an open door to the
world's commerce. Great Protectionist leader as the President is and
long has been, he sanctioned the declaration; and Protectionist as is
the Senate, it ratified the pledge.

[Sidenote: The Open Door.]

Under treaty guaranty Spain is now entitled to the Open Door in the
Philippines for ten years. Under the most favored nation clause, what
is thus secured to Spain would not be easily refused, even if any one
desired it, to any other nation; and the door that stands open there
for the next ten years will by that time have such a rising tide of
trade pouring through it from the awakening East that no man
thenceforward can ever close it.

There are two ways of dealing with the trade of a distant dependency.
You may give such advantage to your own people as practically to
exclude everybody else. That was the Spanish way. That is the French
way. Neither nation has grown rich of late on its colonial extensions.
Again, you may impose such import or export duties as will raise the
revenue needed for the government of the territory, to be paid by all
comers at its ports on a basis of absolute equality. In some places
that is the British way. Henceforth, in the Philippines, that is the
United States way. The Dingley tariff is not to be transferred to the

Protectionists or Free-traders, I believe we may all rejoice in this as
best for the Philippines and best for ourselves. I venture to think
that we may rejoice over it, too, with your distinguished guest. It
enables Great Britain and the United States to preserve a common
interest and present a common front in the enormous commercial
development in the East that must attend the awakening of the Chinese
Colossus; and whenever and wherever Great Britain and the United States
stand together, the peace and the civilization of the world will be the
better for it.



This discussion of the advances in International Law and changes in
national policy traceable to the negotiations that ended in the Peace
of Paris, was written in March, for the first number of "The
Anglo-Saxon Review" (then announced for May), which appeared in June,


In 1823 Thomas Jefferson, writing from the retirement of Monticello to
James Monroe, then President of the United States, said:

    Great Britain is the nation which can do us the most harm of any
    one on all the earth, and with her on our side we need not fear the
    world. With her, then, we should most sedulously cherish a cordial
    friendship, and nothing would tend more to knit our affections than
    to be fighting once more, side by side, in the same cause.

As these lines are written,[2] the thing which Jefferson looked forward
to has, in a small way, come to pass. For the first time under
government orders since British regulars and the militia of the
American colonies fought Indians on Lake Champlain and the French in
Canada, the Briton and the American have been fighting side by side,
and again against savages. In a larger sense, too, they are at last
embarked side by side in the Eastern duty, devolved on each, of
"bearing the white man's burden." It seems natural, now, to count on
such a friendly British interest in present American problems as may
make welcome a brief statement of some things that were settled by the
late Peace of Paris, and some that were unsettled.

      [2] The request of the editor for the preparation of this article
      was received just after the British and American forces had their
      conflict with the natives in Samoa.

Whether treaties really settle International Law is itself an unsettled
point. English and American writers incline to give them less weight in
that regard than is the habit of the great Continental authorities. But
it is reasonable to think that some of the points insisted upon by the
United States in the Treaty of Paris will be precedents as weighty,
henceforth, in international policy as they are now novel to
international practice. If not International Law yet, they probably
will be; and it is confidently assumed that they will command the
concurrence of the British government and people, as well as of the
most intelligent and dispassionate judgment on the Continent.

[Sidenote: When Arbitration is Inadmissible.]

The distinct and prompt refusal by the American Commissioners to submit
questions at issue between them and their Spanish colleagues to
arbitration marks a limit to the application of that principle in
international controversy which even its friends will be apt hereafter
to welcome. No civilized nation is more thoroughly committed to the
policy of international arbitration than the United States. The Spanish
Commissioners were able to reinforce their appeal for it by striking
citations from the American record: the declaration of the Senate of
Massachusetts, as early as 1835, in favor of an international court for
the peaceful settlement of all disputes between nations; the action of
the Senate of the United States in 1853, favoring a clause in all
future treaties with foreign countries whereby difficulties that could
not be settled by diplomacy should be referred to arbitrators; the
concurrence of the two Houses, twenty years later, in reaffirming this
principle; and at last their joint resolution, in 1888, requesting the
President to secure agreements to that end with all nations with whom
he maintained diplomatic intercourse.

But the American Commissioners at once made it clear that the rational
place for arbitration is as a substitute for war, not as a second
remedy, to which the contestant may still have a right to resort after
having exhausted the first. In the absence of the desired obligation to
arbitrate, the dissatisfied nation, according to the American theory,
may have, after diplomacy has completely failed, a choice of remedies,
but not a double remedy. It may choose arbitration, or it may choose
war; but the American Commissioners flatly refused to let it choose
war, and then, after defeat, claim still the right to call in
arbitrators and put again at risk before them the verdict of war.
Arbitration comes before war, they insisted, to avert its horrors; not
after war, to afford the defeated party a chance yet to escape its

The principle thus stated is thought self-evidently sound and just.
Americans were surprised to find how completely it was overlooked in
the contemporaneous European discussion--how general was the sympathy
with the Spanish request for arbitration, and how naïf the apparently
genuine surprise at the instant and unqualified refusal to consider it.
Even English voices joined in the chorus of encouraging approval that,
from every quarter in Europe, greeted the formal Spanish appeal for an
opportunity to try over in another forum the questions they had already
submitted to the arbitrament of arms. The more clearly the American
view is now recognized and accepted, the greater must be the tendency
in the future to seek arbitration at the outset. To refuse arbitration
when only sought at the end of war, and as a means of escaping its
consequences, is certainly to stimulate efforts for averting war at the
beginning of difficulties by means of arbitration. The refusal prevents
such degradation of a noble reform to an ignoble end as would make
arbitration the refuge, not of those who wish to avoid war, but only of
those who have preferred war and been beaten at it. The American
precedent should thus become a powerful influence for promoting the
cause of genuine international arbitration, and so for the preservation
of peace between nations.

[Sidenote: Does Debt Follow Sovereignty?]

Equally unexpected and important to the development of ordered liberty
and good government in the world was the American refusal to accept any
responsibility, for themselves or for the Cubans, on account of the
so-called Cuban debt. The principle asserted from the outset by the
American Commissioners, and finally maintained, in negotiating the
Peace of Paris, was that a national debt incurred in efforts to subdue
a colony, even if called a colonial debt, or secured by a pledge of
colonial revenues, cannot be attached in the nature of a mortgage to
the territory of that colony, so that when the colony gains its
independence it may still be held for the cost of the unsuccessful
efforts to keep it in subjection.

The first intimations that no part of the so-called Cuban debt would
either be assumed by the United States or transferred with the
territory to the Cubans, were met with an outcry from every bourse in
Europe. Bankers, investors, and the financial world in general had
taken it for granted that bonds which had been regularly issued by the
Power exercising sovereignty over the territory, and which specifically
pledged the revenues of custom-houses in that territory for the payment
of the interest and ultimately of the principal, must be recognized.
Not to do it, they said, would be bald, unblushing repudiation--a thing
least to be looked for or tolerated in a nation of spotless credit and
great wealth, which in past times of trial had made many sacrifices to
preserve its financial honor untarnished.

It must be admitted that modern precedents were not altogether in favor
of the American position. Treaties ceding territory not infrequently
provide for the assumption by the new sovereign of a proportional part
of the general obligations of the ceding state. This is usually true
when the territory ceded is so considerable as to form an important
portion of the dismembered country. Even "the great conqueror of this
century," as the Spanish Commissioners exclaimed in one of their
arguments, "never dared to violate this rule of eternal justice in any
of the treaties he concluded with those sovereigns whose territories he
appropriated, in whole or in part, as a reward for his victories." They
cited his first treaty of August 24, 1801, with Bavaria providing that
the debts of the duchy of Deux-Ponts, and of that part of the
Palatinate acquired by France, should follow the countries, and
challenged the production of any treaty of Napoleon's or of any modern
treaty where the principle of such transfer was violated.

They were able to base a stronger claim on the precedents of the New
World. They were, indeed, betrayed into some curious errors. One was
that the thirteen original States, at the close of the Revolutionary
War, paid over to Great Britain fifteen million pounds as their share
of the public debt. Another was that the payment of the Texas debt by
the United States must be a precedent now for its payment of the Cuban
debt--whereas the Texas debt was incurred by the Texas insurgents in
their successful war for independence, while the Cuban debt was
incurred by the mother country in her unsuccessful effort to put down
the Cuban insurgents. But as to the Spanish-American republics, they
were more nearly on solid ground. It was true, and was more to the
point than most of their other citations, that every one of these
Spanish-American republics assumed its debt, that most of them did it
before their independence was recognized, and that they gave these
debts contracted by Spain the preference over later debts contracted by
themselves. The language in the treaty with Bolivia was particularly
sweeping. It assumed as its own these debts of every kind whatsoever,
"including all incurred for pensions, salaries, supplies, advances,
transportation, forced loans, deposits, contracts, and any other debts
incurred during war-times or prior thereto, chargeable to said
treasuries; provided they were contracted by direct orders of the
Spanish government or its constituted authorities in said territories."
The Argentine Republic and Uruguay, in negotiating their treaties,
expressed the same idea more tersely: "Just as it acquires the rights
and privileges belonging to the crown of Spain, so it also assumes all
the duties and obligations of the crown."

The argument was certainly obvious, and at first sight seemed fair,
that what every other revolted American colony of Spain had done, on
gaining its independence, the last of the long line should also do. But
an examination shows that in no case were the circumstances such as to
make it a fair precedent for Cuba. In the other colonies the debts were
largely due to their own people. To a considerable extent they had been
incurred for the prosecution of improvements of a pacific character,
generally for the public good and often at the public desire. Another
part had been spent in the legitimate work of preserving public order
and extending the advantages of government over wild regions and native
tribes.[3] The rich, compact, populous island of Cuba had called for no
such loans up to the time when Spain had already lost all of her
American colonies on the continent, and had consequently no other
dependency on which to fasten her exacting governor-generals and hosts
of other official leeches. There was no Cuban debt. Any honest
administration had ample revenues for all legitimate expenses, and a
surplus; and this surplus seems not to have been used for the benefit
of the island, but sent home. Between 1856 and 1861 over $20,000,000 of
Cuban surplus were thus remitted to Madrid. Next began a plan for using
Cuban credit as a means of raising money to re-conquer the lost
dominions; and so "Cuban bonds" (with the guaranty of the Spanish
nation) were issued, first for the effort to regain Santo Domingo, and
then for the expedition to Mexico. By 1864 $3,000,000 had been so
issued; by 1868 $18,000,000--not at the request or with the consent of
the Cubans, and not for their benefit. Then commenced the Cuban
insurrection; and from that time on, all Spain could wring from Cuba or
borrow in European markets on the pledge of Cuban revenues and her own
guaranty went in the effort to subdue a colony in revolt against her
injustice and bad government. The lenders knew the facts and took the
risk. Two years after this first insurrection was temporarily put down,
these so-called Cuban debts had amounted to over $170,000,000. They
were subsequently consolidated into other and later issues; but
whatever change of form or date they underwent, they continued to
represent practically just three things: the effort to conquer Santo
Domingo, the expedition to Mexico, and the efforts to subdue Cuba. A
movement to refund at a lower rate of interest was begun in 1890, and
for this purpose an issue of $175,000,000 of Spanish bonds was
authorized, to be paid out of the revenues of Cuba, but with the
guaranty of the Spanish nation. Before many had been placed the
insurrection had again broken out. Thenceforward they were used not to
refund old bonds, but to raise money for the prosecution of the new
war. Before its close this indebtedness had been swollen to over double
the figure named above, and a part of the money must have been used
directly in the war against the United States.

      [3] One of the author's colleagues at Paris, the Hon. Cushman K.
      Davis, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee of the United
      States Senate, and among the most scholarly students of
      International Law now in American public life, says in a private

          "I was at first very much struck by the unanimity of action
          by the South American republics in the assumption of debts
          created by Spain. But some reflection upon the subject has
          caused that action to lose, to me, much of its apparent
          relevancy. There was in none of those cases any funded debt,
          in the sense of bond obligations, held in the markets of the
          world. There were two parties in the various Spanish
          provinces of North and South America, one of which supported
          Spanish ascendancy, and the other of which was revolutionary.
          The debts created by the exactions of Spain and of the
          revolutionary party alike were, mainly if not entirely,
          obligations due to the people of the colonies themselves. As
          to the continuance of pensions, endowments, etc., it must be
          remembered that these were Catholic countries, and that these
          obligations ran to a state church, which continued to be a
          state church after the colonies had achieved their
          independence. As to the Napoleonic treaties cited by the
          Spanish Commissioners, they were mere matters of covenant in
          a special case, and were not, in my judgment, the result of
          any anterior national obligation."

In the negotiations Spain took high moral ground with reference to
these debts. She utterly denied any right to inquire how the proceeds
had been expended. She did not insist for her own benefit on their
recognition and transfer with the territory. She was concerned, not for
herself, but for international morality and for the innocent holders.
Some, no doubt, were Spanish citizens, but many others were French, or
Austrian, or of other foreign nationalities. The bonds were freely
dealt in on the Continental bourses. A failure to provide for them
would be a public scandal throughout civilization; it would cause a
wide-spread and profound shock to the sense of security in national
obligations the world over, besides incalculable injustice and
individual distress.

But the fact was that these were the bonds of the Spanish nation,
issued by the Spanish nation for its own purposes, guaranteed in terms
"by the faith of the Spanish nation," and with another guaranty
pledging Spanish sovereignty and control over certain colonial
revenues. Spain failed to maintain her title to the security she had
pledged, but the lenders knew the instability of that security when
they risked their money on it. All the later lenders and many of the
early ones knew, also, that it was pledged for money to continue
Spain's efforts to subdue a people struggling to free themselves from
Spanish rule. They may have said the morality or justice of the use
made of the money was no concern of theirs. They may have thought the
security doubtful, and still relied on the broad guaranty of the
Spanish nation. At any rate, caveat emptor! The one thing they ought
not to have relied upon was that the island they were furnishing money
to subdue, if it gained its freedom, would turn around and insist on
reimbursing them!

The Spanish contention that it was in their power, as absolute
sovereign of the struggling island, to fasten ineradicably upon it, for
their own hostile purposes, unlimited claims to its future revenues,
would lead to extraordinary results. Under that doctrine, any
hard-pushed oppressor would have a certain means of subduing the most
righteous revolt and condemning a colony to perpetual subjugation. He
would only have to load it with bonds, issued for his own purposes,
beyond any possible capacity it could ever have for payment. Under that
load it could neither sustain itself independently, even if successful
in war, nor persuade any other Power to accept responsibility for and
control over it. It would be rendered impotent either for freedom or
for any change of sovereignty. To ask the Nation sprung from the
successful revolt of the thirteen colonies to acknowledge and act on an
immoral doctrine like that, was, indeed, ingenuous--or audacious. The
American Commissioners pronounced it alike repugnant to common sense
and menacing to liberty and civilization. The Spanish Commissioners
resented the characterization, but it is believed that the considerate
judgment of the world will yet approve it. International practice will
certainly hesitate hereafter, in transfers of sovereignty over
territory after its successful revolt, at any recognition of loans
negotiated by the ceding Power in its unsuccessful effort to subdue the
revolt--no matter what pledges it had assumed to give about the future
territorial revenues. Loans for the prosecution of unjust wars will be
more sharply scrutinized in the money markets of the world, and will
find less ready takers, however extravagant the rates. It may even
happen that oppressing nations, in the increasing difficulty of
floating such loans, will find it easier to relax the rigors of their
rule and promote the orderly development of more liberal institutions
among their subjects.

Far from being an encouragement, therefore, to repudiation, the
American rejection of the so-called Cuban debt was a distinct
contribution to international morality, and will probably furnish an
important addition to International Law.

[Sidenote: Ready to Pay Legitimate Colonial Debts.]

At the same time the American Commissioners made clear in another case
their sense of the duty to recognize any debt legitimately attaching to
ceded territory. There was not the remotest thought of buying the
Philippines, when a money payment was proposed, in that branch of the
negotiations. When the Spanish fleet was sunk and the Spanish army
captured at Manila, Spanish control over the Philippines was gone, and
the Power that had destroyed it was compelled to assume its
responsibilities to the civilized world at that commercial center and
on that oceanic highway.[4] If that was not enough reason for the
retention of the Philippines, then, at any rate, the right of the
United States to them as indemnity for the war could not be contested
by the generation which had witnessed the exaction of Alsace and
Lorraine plus $1,000,000,000 indemnity for the Franco-Prussian War. The
war with Spain had already cost the United States far above
$300,000,000. When trying to buy Cuba from Spain, in the days of that
island's greatest prosperity, the highest valuation the United States
was ever willing to attach to it was $125,000,000. As an original
proposition, nobody dreams that the American people would have
consented to buy the remote Philippines at that figure or at the half
of it. Who could think the Government exacting if it accepted them in
lieu of a cash indemnity (which Spain was wholly incapable of paying)
for a great deal more than double the value it had put upon Cuba, at
its very doors?

      [4] It might, of course, have run away and left them to disorder.
      That is what a pirate could have done, and would have compelled
      the intervention of European governments for the protection of
      their own citizens. Or it might have restored them to Spain.
      Besides the desertion of natives whose aid against Manila had
      been encouraged, that would have been to say that while the
      United States went to war because the injustice and barbarity of
      Spanish rule in the West Indies were such that they could no
      longer be tolerated, it was now so eager to quit and get peace
      that it was willing to reëstablish that same rule in the East

It was certain, then, that the Philippines would be retained, unless
the President and his Commissioners so construed their duty to protect
their country's interests as to throw away, in advance of popular
instruction, all possible chance of indemnity for the war. But there
was an issue of Spanish bonds, called a Philippine loan, amounting to
forty million dollars Mexican, or say a little less than twenty
millions of American money. Warned by the results of inquiry as to the
origin of the Cuban debt, the American Commissioners avoided
undertaking to assume this en bloc. But in their first statement of the
claim for cession of sovereignty in the Philippines, while intimating
their belief in their absolute right to enforce the demand on the
single ground of indemnity, they were careful to say that they were
ready to stipulate "for the assumption of any existing indebtedness of
Spain incurred for public works and improvements of a pacific character
in the Philippines." When they learned that this entire "Philippine
debt" had only been issued in 1897, that apparently a fourth had been
transferred to Cuba to carry on the war against the Cuban insurgents,
and finally against the United States, and that much of what was left
of the remainder, after satisfying the demands of officials for "costs
of negotiation," must have gone to the support of the government while
engaged in prosecuting the war against the natives in Luzon, the
American Commissioners abandoned the idea of assuming it. But even then
they resolved, in the final transfer, to fix an amount at least equal
to the face value of that debt, which could be given to Spain. She
could use it to pay the Philippine bonds if she chose. Nothing further
was said to Spain about the Philippine debt, and no specific reason for
the payment was given in the ultimatum. The Commissioners merely
observed that they "now present a new proposition, embodying the
concessions which, for the sake of immediate peace, their Government
is, under the circumstances, willing to tender." What had gone before
showed plainly enough the American view as to the sanctity of public
debt legitimately incurred in behalf of ceded territory, and explained
the money payment in the case of the Philippines, as well as the
precise amount at which it was finally fixed.

[Sidenote: Privateering.]

Neither the Peace of Paris nor the conflict which it closed can be said
to have quite settled the status of private war at sea. "Privateering
is and remains abolished," not in International Law, but merely between
the Powers that signed that clause in the Declaration of Paris in 1856.
But the greatest commercial nation, as well as the most powerful, that
withheld its signature was the United States. Obviously its adhesion to
the principle would bring more weight to the general acceptance among
civilized nations, which is the essential for admission in
International Law, than that of all the other dissenting nations.

Under these circumstances, the United States took the occasion of an
outbreak of war between itself and another of the dissenting nations to
announce that, for its part, it did not intend, under any
circumstances, to resort to privateering. The other gave no such
assurance, and was, in fact, expected (in accordance with frequent
semi-official outgivings from Madrid) to commission privateers at an
early day; but the disasters to its navy and the collapse of its
finances left it without a safe opportunity. The moral effect of this
volunteer action of the United States, with no offset of any active
dissent by its opponent, becomes almost equivalent to completing that
custom and assent of the civilized world which create International
Law. Practically all governments may henceforth regard privateering as
under international ban, and no one of the states yet refraining from
assent--Spain, Mexico, Venezuela, or China--is likely to defy the ban.
The announcement of the United States can probably be accepted as
marking the end of private war at sea, and a genuine advance in the
world's civilization.

[Sidenote: Exempt all Private Property.]

The refusal of the United States, in 1856, to join in the clause of the
Declaration of Paris abolishing privateering was avowedly based upon
the ground that it did not go far enough. The American claim was that
not only private seizure of enemy's goods at sea should be prohibited,
but that all private property of the enemy at sea should be entitled to
the same protection as on land--prizes and prize courts being thus
almost abolished, and no private property of the enemy anywhere being
liable to confiscation, unless contraband of war. It was frankly stated
at the time that without this addition the abolition of privateering
was not in the interest of Powers like the United States, with a small
navy, but a large and active merchant fleet. This peculiar adaptability
of privateering at that time to the situation of the United States
might have warranted the suspicion that its professions of a desire to
make the Declaration of Paris broader than the other nations wished
only masked a desire to have things remain as they were.

But the subsequent action of its Government in time of profound peace
compelled a worthier view of its attitude. A treaty with Italy,
negotiated by George P. Marsh, and ratified by the United States in
1871, embodied the very extension of the Declaration of Paris for which
the United States contended. This treaty provides that "in the event of
a war between them (Italy and the United States) the private property
of their respective citizens and subjects, with the exception of
contraband of war, shall be exempt from capture or seizure, on the high
seas or elsewhere, by the armed vessels or by the military forces of
either party." Is it too much to hope that this early committal of the
United States with Italy, and its subsequent action in the war with
Spain, may at last bring the world to the advanced ground it
recommended for the Declaration of Paris, and throw the safeguards of
civilization henceforth around all private property in time of war,
whether on land or sea?

[Sidenote: The Monroe Doctrine Stands.]

Here, then, are three great principles, important to the advancement of
civilization, which, if not established in International Law by the
Peace of Paris and the war it closed, have at least been so powerfuly
reinforced that no nation is likely hereafter lightly or safely to
violate them.

But it has often been asked, and sometimes by eminent English writers,
whether the Americans have not, at the same time, fatally unsettled the
Monroe Doctrine, which never, indeed, had the sanction of International
Law, but to which they were known to attach the greatest importance. A
large and influential body of American opinion at first insisted that
the acquisition of the West Indian, Philippine, and Sandwich Islands
constituted an utter abandonment of that Doctrine; and apparently most
European publicists have accepted this view. Only slight inquiry is
needed to show that the facts give it little support.

The Monroe Doctrine sprang from the union of certain absolute monarchs
(not claiming to rule by the will of the people, but by "divine right")
in a "Holy Alliance" against that dangerous spread of democratic ideas
which, starting in the revolt of the American colonies, had kindled the
French Revolution and more or less unsettled government in Europe. It
was believed that these monarchs meant not only to repress republican
tendencies in Europe, but to assist Spain in reducing again to
subjection American republics which had been established in former
Spanish colonies, and had been recognized as independent by the United
States. Under these circumstances, James Monroe, then President, in his
Annual Message in 1823, formally announced the famous "Doctrine" in
these words:

    The occasion has been deemed proper for asserting as a principle in
    which the rights and interests of the United States are involved,
    that the American continents, by the free and independent condition
    which they have assumed and maintained, are henceforth not to be
    considered as subjects for future colonization by any European
    Powers.... Our policy in regard to Europe ... is not to interfere
    in the internal concerns of any of its Powers.

That is the whole substance of it. There was no pledge of abstention
throughout the future and under all circumstances from the internal
concerns of European Powers--only a statement of present practice. Far
less was there a pledge, as seems to have been widely supposed, that if
the Holy Alliance would only refrain from aiding Spain to force back
the Mexican and South American republics into Spanish colonies, the
United States would refrain from extending its institutions or its
control over any region in Asia or Africa or the islands of the sea.
Less yet was there any such talk as has been sometimes quoted, about
keeping Europe out of the Western hemisphere and ourselves staying out
of the Eastern hemisphere. What Mr. Monroe really said, in essence, was
this: "The late Spanish colonies are now American republics, which we
have recognized. They shall not be reduced to colonies again; and the
two American continents have thus attained such an independent
condition that they are no longer fields for European colonization."
That fact remains. It does not seem probable that anybody will try or
wish to change it. Furthermore, the United States has not interfered in
the internal concerns of any European Powers. But it is under no direct
pledge for the future to that effect; and as to Asia, Africa, and the
islands of the sea, it is and always has been as free as anybody else.
It encouraged and protected a colony on the west coast of Africa. It
acquired the Aleutian Islands, largely in the Asiatic system. It long
maintained a species of protectorate over the Sandwich Islands. It
acquired an interest in Samoa and joined there in a protectorate. It
has now taken the Sandwich Islands and the Philippines. Meanwhile the
Monroe Doctrine remains just where it always was. Nothing has been done
in contravention of it, and it stands as firmly as ever, though with
the tragic end of the Franco-Austrian experiment in Mexico, and now
with the final disappearance from the Western world of the unfortunate
Power whose colonial experiences led to its original promulgation, the
circumstances have so changed that nobody is very likely to have either
interest or wish to interfere with it.

[Sidenote: Leaving the Continent.]

What has really been unsettled, if anything, by the Peace of Paris and
the preceding war, has been the current American idea as to the sphere
of national activities, and the power under the Constitution for their
extension. It is perfectly true that the people did not wish for more
territory, and never dreamed of distant colonies. There had always been
a party that first opposed and then belittled the acquisition of
Alaska. There was no considerable popular support since the Civil War
for filibustering expeditions of the old sort against Cuba. There was
genuine reluctance to take the steps which recent circumstances and the
national committals for half a century made almost unavoidable in the
Sandwich Islands. Now suddenly the United States found itself in
possession of Cuba, Porto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines. The first
impression was one of great popular perplexity. What was to be done
with them? Must they be developed through the territorial stage into
independent States in the Union? or, if not, how govern or get rid of
them? What place was there in the American system for territories that
were never to be States, for colonies, or for the rule of distant
subject races?

Up to this time, from the outbreak of the war, the Administration had
found the American people united in its support as they had hardly been
united for a century. The South vied with the North, the West forgot
the growing jealousy of the East, the poor the new antagonism to the
rich, and the wildest cow-boys from Arizona and New Mexico marched
fraternally beside scions of the oldest and richest families from New
York, under the orders of a great Secessionist cavalry general.

But now two parties presently arose. One held that there was no
creditable escape from the consequences of the war; that the
Government, having broken down the existing authority in the capital of
the Philippines, and practically throughout the archipelago, could
neither set up that authority again nor shirk the duty of replacing it;
that it was as easy and as constitutional to apply some modification of
the existing territorial system to the Philippines as it had been to
Alaska and the Aleutians; and that, while the task was no doubt
disagreeable, difficult, and dangerous, it could not be avoided with
honor, and would ultimately be attended with great profit. On the other
hand, some prominent members of the Administration party led off in
protests against the retention of the Philippines on constitutional,
humanitarian, and economic grounds, pronouncing it a policy absolutely
antagonistic to the principles of the Republic and the precursor of its
downfall. In proportion as the Administration itself inclined to the
former view, the opposition leaders fell away from the support they had
given during the war, and began to align themselves with those members
of the Administration party who had opposed the ratification of the
treaty. They were reinforced by a considerable body of educated and
conservative public opinion, chiefly at the East, and by a number of
trades-union and labor leaders, who had been brought to believe that
the new policy meant cheap labor and cheap manufactures in competition
with their own, together with a large standing army, to which they have
manifested great repugnance ever since the Chicago riots.

[Sidenote: Anti-Administration View of the Constitution.]

In the universal ferment of opinion and discussion that ensued, the
opponents of what is assumed to be the Administration policy on the new
possessions have seemed to rely chiefly on two provisions in the
Constitution of the United States and a phrase in the Declaration of
Independence. The constitutional provisions are:

    The Congress shall have power to levy and collect taxes ... and
    provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United
    States; _but all duties, imposts, and excises shall be uniform
    throughout the United States_.--Art. I, Sec. 8.

    All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to
    the jurisdiction thereof are citizens of the United States and of
    the State wherein they reside.--Art. XIV, Sec. 1.

To serve the purpose for which these clauses of the Constitution are
invoked, it is necessary to hold that any territory to which the United
States has a title is an integral part of the United States; and
perhaps the greatest name in the history of American constitutional
interpretation, that of Mr. Chief Justice Marshall of the Supreme Court
of the United States, is cited in favor of that contention. If
accepted, it follows that when the treaty ceding Spanish sovereignty in
the Philippines was ratified, that archipelago became an integral part
of the United States. Then, under the first clause above cited, the
Dingley tariff must be immediately extended over the Philippines (as
well as Porto Rico, the Sandwich Islands, and Guam) precisely as over
New York; and, under the second clause, every native of the Philippines
and the other new possessions is a citizen of the United States, with
all the rights and privileges thereby accruing. The first result would
be the disorganization of the present American revenue system by the
free admission into all American ports of sugar and other tropical
products from the greatest sources of supply, and the consequent loss
of nearly sixty millions of annual revenue. Another would be the
destruction of the existing cane- and beet-sugar industries in the
United States. Another, apprehended by the laboring classes, who are
already suspicious from their experience with the Chinese, would be an
enormous influx, either of cheap labor or of its products, to beat down
their wages.

Next, it is argued, there is no place in the theory or practice of the
American Government for territories except for development into
Statehood; and, consequently, the required population being already
present, new States must be created out of Luzon, Mindanao, the
Visayas, Porto Rico, and the Sandwich Islands. The right to hold them
permanently in the territorial form, or even under a protectorate, is
indignantly denied as conflicting with Mr. Jefferson's phrase in the
Declaration of Independence, to the effect that governments derive
their just powers from the consent of the governed. Some great names
can certainly be marshaled in support of such views--Chancellor Kent,
Mr. John C. Calhoun, Mr. Chief Justice Taney, and others. Denial of
this duty to admit the new possessions as States is denounced as a
violation by the Republic of the very law of its being, and its
transformation into an empire; as a revival of slavery in another form,
both because of government without representation, and because of the
belief that no tropical colony can be successful without contract
labor; as a consequent and inevitable degradation of American
character; as a defiance of the warnings in Washington's Farewell
Address against foreign entanglements; as a repudiation of the
congressional declaration at the outbreak of the war, that it was not
waged for territorial aggrandizement; and finally as placing Aguinaldo
in the position of fighting for freedom, independence, and the
principles of the fathers of the Republic, while the Republic itself is
in the position of fighting to control and govern him and his people in
spite of their will.

On the other hand, the supporters of the treaty and of the policy of
the Administration, so far as it has been disclosed, begin their
argument with another provision of the Constitution, the second part of
Section 3 in Article IV:

    The Congress shall have power to dispose of and make all needful
    rules and regulations respecting the territory or other property
    belonging to the United States.

They claim that, under this, Congress has absolute power to do what it
will with the Philippines, as with any other territory or other
property which the United States may acquire. It is admitted that
Congress is, of course, under an implied obligation to exercise this
power in the general spirit of the Constitution which creates it, and
of the Government of which it is a part. But it is denied that Congress
is under any obligation to confer a republican form of government upon
a territory whose inhabitants are unfit for it, or to adopt any form of
government devised with reference to preparing it for ultimate
admission to the Union as a State.

It is further denied that Congress is under any obligation, arising
either from the Constitution itself or from the precedents of the
Nation's action under it, to ask the consent of the inhabitants in
acquired territory to the form of government which may be given them.
And still further, it is not only denied that Congress is under any
obligations to prepare these territories for Statehood or admit them to
it, but it is pointed out that, at least as to the Philippines, that
body is prevented from doing so by the very terms, of the preamble to
the Constitution itself--concluding with the words, "do ordain and
establish this Constitution for the United States _of America_." There
is no place here for States of Asia.

[Sidenote: Replies to Constitutional Objections.]

In dealing with the arguments against retention of the Philippines,
based on the sections previously quoted from Articles I and XIV of the
Constitution, the friends of the policy say that the apparent conflict
in these articles with the wide grant of powers over territory to
Congress which they find in Article IV arises wholly from a failure to
recognize the different senses in which the term "the United States" is
used. As the name of the Nation it is often employed to include all
territory over which United States sovereignty extends, whether
originally the property of the individual States and ceded to the
United States, or whether acquired in treaties by the Nation itself.
But such a meaning is clearly inconsistent with its use in certain
clauses of the Constitution in question. Thus Article XIII says:
"Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude ... shall exist within the
United States _or any place subject to their jurisdiction_."

The latter clause was obviously the constitutional way of conveying the
idea about the Territories which the opponents of the Philippine policy
are now trying to read into the name "United States." The constitutional
provision previously cited about citizenship illustrates the same
point. It says "all persons born," etc., "are citizens of the United
States _and of the State wherein they reside_." There is no possibility
left here that Territories are to be held as an integral part of the
United States, in the sense in which the Constitution, in this clause,
uses the name. If they had been, the clause would have read, "and of
the State _or Territory_ in which they reside." For these opinions
high authorities are also cited, including debates in the Senate, acts
of Congress, the constant practice of the Executive, and most of the
judicial rulings of the last half-century that seem to bear upon the
present situation.

[Sidenote: The Outcome not Doubtful.]

It has been thought best, in an explanation to readers in another
country of the perplexity arising in the American mind, in a sudden
emergency, from these disputed points in constitutional powers, to set
forth with impartial fairness and some precision the views on either
side. It is essential to a fair judgment as to the apparent hesitation
since this problem began to develop, that the real basis for the
conflicting opinions should be understood, and that full justice should
be done to the earnest repugnance with which many conscientious
citizens draw back from sending American youth to distant tropical
regions to enforce with an armed hand the submission of an unwilling
people to the absolute rule of the Republic. It should be realized,
too, how far the new departure does unsettle the practice and policy of
a century. The old view that each new Territory is merely another
outlet for surplus population, soon to be taken in as another State in
the Union, must be abandoned. The old assumption that all inhabitants
of territory belonging to the United States are to be regarded as
citizens is gone. The idea that government anywhere must derive its
just powers only from the consent of the governed is unsettled, and
thus, to some, the very foundations of the Republic seem to be shaken.
Three generations, trained in Washington's warnings against foreign
entanglements, find it difficult all at once to realize that advice
adapted to a people of three millions, scattered along the border of a
continent, may need some modifications when applied to a people of
seventy-five millions, occupying the continent, and reaching out for
the commerce of both the oceans that wash its shores.

But whatever may be thought of the weight of the argument, either as to
constitutional power or as to policy, there is little doubt as to the
result. The people who found authority in their fundamental law for
treating paper currency as a legal tender in time of war, in spite of
the constitutional requirement that no State should "make anything but
gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts," will find there
also all the power they need for dealing with the difficult problem
that now confronts them. And when the constitutional objections are
surmounted, those as to policy are not likely to lead the American
people to recall their soldiers from the fields on which the Filipinos
attacked them, or abandon the sovereignty which Spain ceded. The
American Government has the new territories, and will hold and govern

A republic like the United States has not been well adapted hitherto to
that sort of work. Congress is apt to be slow, if not also changeable,
and under the Constitution the method of government for territories
must be prescribed by Congress. It has not yet found time to deal with
the Sandwich Islands. Its harsher critics declare it has never yet
found time to deal fairly with Alaska. No doubt, Executive action in
advance of Congress might be satisfactory; but a President is apt to
wait for Congress unless driven by irresistible necessities. He can
only take the initiative through some form of military government. For
this the War Department is not yet well organized. Possibly the easiest
solution for the moment would be in the organization of another
department for war and government beyond the seas, or the development
of a measurably independent bureau for such work in the present
department. Whatever is done, it would be unreasonable to expect
unbroken success or exemption from a learner's mistakes and
discouragements. But whoever supposes that these will result either in
the abandonment of the task or in a final failure with it does not know
the American people.



This commencement address was delivered on the campus at Miami
University, Oxford, Ohio, at the celebration of its seventy-fifth
anniversary, June 15, 1899.


Sons and Friends of Miami: I join you in saluting this venerable mother
at a notable waymark in her great life. One hundred and seven years ago
the Congress voted, and George Washington approved, a foundation for
this University. Seventy-five years ago it opened its doors. Now, si
monumentum quæris, circumspice. There is the catalogue. There are the
long lists of men who so served the State or the Church that their
lives are your glory, their names your inspiration.[5] There are the
longer lists of others to whom kinder fortune did not set duties in the
eye of the world; but Miami made of them citizens who leavened the lump
of that growing West which was then a sprawling, irregular line of
pioneer settlements, and is now an empire. Search through it, above and
below the Ohio, and beyond the Mississippi. So often, where there are
centers of good work or right thinking and right living--so often and
so widely spread will you find traces of Miami, left by her own sons or
coming from those secondary sources which sprang from her example and
influence, that you are led in grateful surprise to exclaim: "If this
be the work of a little college, God bless and prolong the little
college! If, half starved and generally neglected, she has thus
nourished good learning and its proper result in good lives through the
three quarters of a century ended to-day, may the days of her years be
as the sands of the sea; may the Twentieth Century only introduce the
glorious prime of a career of which the Nineteenth saw but modest
beginnings, and may good old Miami still flourish in sæcula sæculorum!"

      [5] Much attention had been attracted, as the date for this
      celebration approached, to the numerous sons of this small
      college who had in one way or another become prominent; and the
      newspapers printed long lists of them. Among the names thus
      singled out in the press were Benjamin Harrison, of the class of
      1852, President of the United States, 1889-93; William Dennison,
      class of 1835, Governor of Ohio, 1859-63, and Postmaster-General
      under Abraham Lincoln; Caleb B. Smith, 1826, Secretary of the
      Interior in the same Administration; General Robert C. Schenck,
      1827, Chairman Ways and Means Committee in House of
      Representatives, Major-General in the Civil War, and United
      States Minister to Brazil and to Great Britain; William S.
      Groesbeck, 1834, Congressman, counsel for Andrew Johnson in the
      impeachment proceedings, and United States delegate to the
      International Monetary Congress, 1878; Samuel Shellabarger, 1841,
      Congressman, member of the Crédit Mobilier Investigation, and of
      the United States Civil Service Commission; Oliver P. Morton,
      1845, War Governor of Indiana, and United States Senator; Charles
      Anderson, 1833, Governor of Ohio; James Birney, 1836, Governor of
      Michigan; Richard Yates, 1830, War Governor of Illinois, and
      United States Senator; Milton Sayler, 1852, Speaker House of
      Representatives; John S. Williams, 1838, the "Cerro Gordo
      Williams" of the Mexican War, United States Senator from
      Kentucky; George E. Pugh, 1840, United States Senator from Ohio;
      James W. McDill, 1853, United States Senator from Iowa; General
      Samuel F. Carey, 1835, Congressman from Ohio, and temperance
      orator; Albert S. Berry, 1856, Congressman from Kentucky; Dr.
      John S. Billings, U.S.A., 1857, head of New York Library; David
      Swing, 1852, the Chicago clergyman; General A. C. McClurg, 1853,
      the Chicago publisher; Henry M. MacCracken, 1857, Chancellor of
      New York University; William M. Thomson, 1828, author of "The
      Land and the Book"; Calvin S. Brice, 1863, railway-builder, and
      United States Senator; etc.

But the celebration of her past and the aspirations for her future
belong to worthier sons--here among these gentlemen of the Board who
have cared for her in her need. I make them my profound acknowledgments
for the honor they have done me in assigning me a share in the work of
this day of days, and shall best deserve their trust by going with
absolute candor straight to my theme.

[Sidenote: New Duties; a New World.]

I shall speak of the new duties that are upon us and the new world that
is opening to us with the new century--of the spirit in which we should
advance and the results we have the right to ask. I shall speak of
public matters which it is the duty of educated men to consider; and of
matters which may hereafter divide parties, but on which we must refuse
now to recognize party distinctions. Partizanship stops at the
guard-line. "In the face of an enemy we are all Frenchmen," said an
eloquent Imperialist once in my hearing, in rallying his followers to
support a foreign measure of the French Republic. At this moment our
soldiers are facing a barbarous or semi-civilized foe, who
treacherously attacked them in a distant land, where our flag had been
sent, in friendship with them, for the defense of our own shores. Was
it creditable or seemly that it was lately left to a Bonaparte on our
own soil to teach some American leaders that, at such a time, patriotic
men at home do not discourage those soldiers or weaken the Government
that directs them?[6]

      [6] "MY DEAR SIR: I have received your letter of the 23d inst.,
      notifying me of my election as a vice-president of the
      Anti-Imperialist League. I recognize the compliment implied in
      this election, and appreciate it the more by reason of my respect
      for the gentlemen identified with the league, but I do not think
      I can appropriately or consistently accept the position,
      especially since I learn through the press that the league
      adopted at its recent meeting certain resolutions to which I
      cannot assent.... I may add that, while I fully recognize the
      injustice and even absurdity of those charges of 'disloyalty'
      which have been of late freely made against some members of the
      league, and also that many honorable and patriotic men do not
      feel as I do on this subject, I am personally unwilling to take
      part in an agitation which may have some tendency to cause a
      public enemy to persist in armed resistance, or may be, at least,
      plausibly represented as having this tendency. There can be no
      doubt that, as a matter of fact, the country is at war with
      Aguinaldo and his followers. I profoundly regret this fact;...
      but it is a fact, nevertheless, and, as such, must weigh in
      determining my conduct as a citizen....


      "May 25, 1899."

Neither shall I discuss, here and now, the wisdom of all the steps that
have led to the present situation. For good or ill, the war was fought.
Its results are upon us. With the ratification of the Peace of Paris,
our Continental Republic has stretched its wings over the West Indies
and the East. It is a fact and not a theory that confronts us. We are
actually and now responsible, not merely to the inhabitants and to our
own people, but, in International Law, to the commerce, the travel, the
civilization of the world, for the preservation of order and the
protection of life and property in Cuba, in Porto Rico, in Guam, and in
the Philippine Archipelago, including that recent haunt of piracy, the
Sulus. Shall we quit ourselves like men in the discharge of this
immediate duty; or shall we fall to quarreling with each other like
boys as to whether such a duty is a good or a bad thing for the
country, and as to who got it fastened upon us? There may have been a
time for disputes about the wisdom of resisting the stamp tax, but it
was not just after Bunker Hill. There may have been a time for hot
debate about some mistakes in the antislavery agitation, but not just
after Sumter and Bull Run. Furthermore, it is as well to remember that
you can never grind with the water that has passed the mill. Nothing in
human power can ever restore the United States to the position it
occupied the day before Congress plunged us into the war with Spain, or
enable us to escape what that war entailed. No matter what we wish, the
old continental isolation is gone forever. Whithersoever we turn now,
we must do it with the burden of our late acts to carry, the
responsibility of our new position to assume.

When the sovereignty which Spain had exercised with the assent of all
nations over vast and distant regions for three hundred years was
solemnly transferred under the eye of the civilized world to the United
States, our first responsibility became the restoration of order. Till
that is secured, any hindrance to the effort is bad citizenship--as bad
as resistance to the police; as much worse, in fact, as its
consequences may be more bloody and disastrous. "You have a wolf by the
ears," said an accomplished ex-Minister of the United States to a
departing Peace Commissioner last autumn. "You cannot let go of him
with either dignity or safety, and he will not be easy to tame."

[Sidenote: Policy for the New Possessions.]

But when the task is accomplished,--when the Stars and Stripes at last
bring the order and peaceful security they typify, instead of wanton
disorder, with all the concomitants of savage warfare over which they
now wave,--we shall then be confronted with the necessity of a policy
for the future of these distant regions. It is a problem that calls for
our soberest, most dispassionate, and most patriotic thought. The
colleges, and the educated classes generally, should make it a matter
of conscience--painstakingly considered on all its sides, with
reference to International Law, the burdens of sovereignty, the rights
and the interests of native tribes, and the legitimate demands of
civilization--to find first our national duty and then our national
interest, which it is also a duty for our statesmen to protect. On such
a subject we have a right to look to our colleges for the help they
should be so well equipped to give. From these still regions of
cloistered thought may well come the white light of pure reason, not
the wild, whirling words of the special pleader or of the partizan,
giving loose rein to his hasty first impressions. It would be an ill
day for some colleges if crude and hot-tempered incursions into current
public affairs, like a few unhappily witnessed of late, should lead
even their friends to fear lest they have been so long accustomed to
dogmatize to boys that they have lost the faculty of reasoning with

When the first duty is done, when order is restored in those commercial
centers and on that commercial highway, somebody must then be
responsible for maintaining it--either ourselves or some Power whom we
persuade to take them off our hands. Does anybody doubt what the
American people in their present temper would say to the latter
alternative?--the same people who, a fortnight ago, were ready to break
off their Joint Commission with Great Britain and take the chances,
rather than give up a few square miles of worthless land and a harbor
of which a year ago they scarcely knew the name, on the remote coast of
Alaska. Plainly it is idle now, in a government so purely dependent on
the popular will, to scheme or hope for giving the Philippine task over
to other hands as soon as order is restored. We must, then, be prepared
with a policy for maintaining it ourselves.

Of late years men have unthinkingly assumed that new territory is, in
the very nature of our Government, merely and necessarily the raw
material for future States in the Union. Colonies and dependencies, it
is now said, are essentially inconsistent with our system. But if any
ever entertained the wild dream that the instrument whose preamble says
it is ordained for the United States of _America_ could be stretched to
the China Sea, the first Tagal guns fired at friendly soldiers of the
Union, and the first mutilation of American dead that ensued, ended the
nightmare of States from Asia admitted to the American Union. For that
relief, at least, we must thank the uprising of the Tagals. It was a
Continental Union of independent sovereign States our fathers planned.
Whoever proposes to debase it with admixtures of States made up from
the islands of the sea, in any archipelago, East or West, is a bad
friend to the Republic. We may guide, protect, elevate them, and even
teach them some day to stand alone; but if we ever invite them into our
Senate and House, to help to rule us, we are the most imbecile of all
the offspring of time.

[Sidenote: The Constitutional Objection.]

Yet we must face the fact that able and conscientious men believe the
United States has no constitutional power to hold territory that is not
to be erected into States in the Union, or to govern people that are
not to be made citizens. They are able to cite great names in support
of their contention; and it would be an ill omen for the freest and
most successful constitutional government in the world if a
constitutional objection thus fortified should be carelessly considered
or hastily overridden. This objection rests mainly on the assumption
that the name "United States," as used in the Constitution, necessarily
includes all territory the Nation owns, and on the historic fact that
large parts of this territory, on acquiring sufficient population, have
already been admitted as States, and have generally considered such
admission to be a right. Now, Mr. Chief Justice Marshall--than whom no
constitutional authority carries greater weight--certainly did declare
that the question what was designated by the term "United States" in
the clause of the Constitution giving power to levy duties on imposts
"admitted of but one answer." It "designated the whole of the American
empire, composed of States and Territories." If that be accepted as
final, then the tariff must be applied in Manila precisely as in New
York, and goods from Manila must enter the New York custom-house as
freely as goods from New Orleans. Sixty millions would disappear
instantly and annually from the Treasury, and our revenue system would
be revolutionized by the free admission of sugar and other tropical
products from the United States of Asia and the Caribbean Sea; while,
on the other hand, the Philippines themselves would be fatally
handicapped by a tariff wholly unnatural to their locality and
circumstances. More. If that be final, the term "United States" should
have the same comprehensive meaning in the clause as to citizenship.
Then Aguinaldo is to-day a citizen of the United States, and may yet
run for the Presidency. Still more. The Asiatics south of the China Sea
are given that free admission to the country which we so strenuously
deny to Asiatics from the north side of the same sea. Their goods,
produced on wages of a few cents a day, come into free competition in
all our home markets with the products of American labor, and the cheap
laborers themselves are free to follow if ever our higher wages attract
them. More yet. If that be final, the Tagals and other tribes of Luzon,
the Visayans of Negros and Cebu, and the Mohammedan Malays of Mindanao
and the Sulus, having each far more than the requisite population, may
demand admission next winter into the Union as free and independent
States, with representatives in Senate and House, and may plausibly
claim that they can show a better title to admission than Nevada ever
did, or Utah or Idaho.

Nor does the great name of Marshall stand alone in support of such
conclusions. The converse theory that these territories are not
necessarily included in the constitutional term "the United States"
makes them our subject dependencies, and at once the figure of
Jefferson himself is evoked, with all the signers of the immortal
Declaration grouped about him, renewing the old war-cry that government
derives its just powers from the consent of the governed. At different
periods in our history eminent statesmen have made protests on grounds
of that sort. Even the first bill for Mr. Jefferson's own purchase of
Louisiana was denounced by Mr. Macon as "establishing a species of
government unknown to the United States"; by Mr. Lucas as "establishing
elementary principles never previously introduced in the government of
any Territory of the United States"; and by Mr. Campbell as "really
establishing a complete despotism." In 1823 Chancellor Kent said, with
reference to Columbia River settlements, that "a government by Congress
as absolute sovereign, over colonies, absolute dependents, was not
congenial to the free and independent spirit of American institutions."
In 1848 John C. Calhoun declared that "the conquest and retention of
Mexico as a province would be a departure from the settled policy of
the Government, in conflict with its character and genius, and in the
end subversive of our free institutions." In 1857 Mr. Chief Justice
Taney said that "a power to rule territory without restriction as a
colony or dependent province would be inconsistent with the nature of
our Government." And now, following warily in this line, the eminent
and trusted advocate of similar opinions to-day, Mr. Senator Hoar of
Massachusetts, says: "The making of new States and providing national
defense are constitutional ends, so that we may acquire and hold
territory for those purposes. The governing of subject peoples is not a
constitutional end, and there is therefore no constitutional warrant
for acquiring and holding territory for that purpose."

[Sidenote: An Alleged Constitutional Inability.]

We have now, as is believed, presented with entire fairness a summary
of the more important aspects in which the constitutional objections
mentioned have been urged. I would not underrate by a hair's breadth
the authority of these great names, the weight of these continuous
reassertions of principle, the sanction even of the precedent and
general practice through a century. And yet I venture to think that no
candid and competent man can thoroughly investigate the subject, in the
light of the actual provisions of the Constitution, the avowed purpose
of its framers, their own practice and the practice of their
successors, without being absolutely convinced that this whole fabric
of opposition on constitutional grounds is as flimsy as a cobweb. This
country of our love and pride is no malformed, congenital cripple of a
nation, incapable of undertaking duties that have been found within the
powers of every other nation that ever existed since governments among
civilized men began. Neither by chains forged in the Constitution nor
by chains of precedent, neither by the dead hand we all revere, that of
the Father of his Country, nor under the most authoritative exponents
of our organic act and of our history, are we so bound that we cannot
undertake any duty that devolves or exercise any power which the
emergency demands. Our Constitution has entrapped us in no impasse,
where retreat is disgrace and advance is impossible. The duty which the
hand of Providence, rather than any purpose of man, has laid upon us,
is within our constitutional powers. Let me invoke your patience for a
rather minute and perhaps wearisome detail of the proof.

The notion that the United States is an inferior sort of nation,
constitutionally without power for such public duties as other nations
habitually assume, may perhaps be dismissed with a single citation from
the Supreme Court. Said Mr. Justice Bradley, in the Legal Tender Cases:
"As a government it [the United States] was invested with all the
attributes of sovereignty.... It seems to be a self-evident proposition
that it is invested with all those inherent and implied powers which,
at the time of adopting the Constitution, were generally considered to
belong to every government as such, and as being essential to the
exercise of its functions" (12 Wall. 554).

Every one recalls this constitutional provision: "The Congress shall
have power to dispose of and make all needful rules and regulations
respecting the territory or other property of the United States." That
grant is absolute, and the only qualification is the one to be drawn
from the general spirit of the Government the Constitution was framed
to organize. Is it consistent with that spirit to hold territory
permanently, or for long periods of time, without admitting it to the
Union? Let the man who wrote the very clause in question answer. That
man was Gouverneur Morris of New York, and you will find his answer on
page 192 of the third volume of his writings, given only fifteen years
after, in reply to a direct question as to the exact meaning of the
clause: "I always thought, when we should acquire Canada and Louisiana,
it would be proper to govern them as provinces, and allow them no voice
in our councils. In wording the third section of the fourth article, I
went as far as circumstances would permit to establish the exclusion."
This framer of the Constitution desired then, and intended definitely
and permanently, to keep _Louisiana_ out! And yet there are men who
tell us the provision he drew would not even permit us to keep the
Philippines out! To be more papist than the Pope will cease to be a
thing exciting wonder if every day modern men, in the consideration of
practical and pressing problems, are to be more narrowly constitutional
than the men that wrote the Constitution!

Is it said that, at any rate, our practice under this clause of the
Constitution has been against the view of the man that wrote it, and in
favor of that quoted from Mr. Chief Justice Marshall? Does anybody
seriously think, then, that though we have held New Mexico, Arizona,
and Oklahoma as territory organized or unorganized, part of it nearly a
century and all of it half a century, our representatives believed all
the while they had no constitutional right to do so? Who imagines that
when the third of a century during which we have already held Alaska is
rounded out to a full century, that unorganized Territory will even
then have any greater prospect than at present of admission as a State?
or who believes our grandchildren will be violating the Constitution in
keeping it out? Who imagines that under the Constitution ordained on
this continent specifically "for the United States of _America_," we
will ever permit the Kanakas, Chinese, and Japanese, who make up a
majority of the population in the Sandwich Islands, to set up a
government of their own and claim admission as an independent and
sovereign State of our American Union? Finally, let me add that
conclusive proof relating not only to practice under the Constitution,
but to the precise construction of the constitutional language as to
the Territories by the highest authority, in the light of long previous
practice, is to be found in another part of the instrument itself,
deliberately added three quarters of a century later. Article XIII
provides that "neither slavery nor involuntary servitude shall exist
within the United States, _or any place subject to their jurisdiction_."
If the term "the United States," as used in the Constitution, really
includes the Territories as an integral part, as Mr. Chief Justice
Marshall said, what, then, does the Constitution mean by the additional
words, "or any place subject to their jurisdiction"? Is it not too
plain for argument that the Constitution here refers to territory not a
part of the United States, but subject to its jurisdiction--territory,
for example, like the Sandwich Islands or the Philippines?

What, then, shall we say to the opinion of the great Chief
Justice?--for, after all, his is not a name to be dealt with lightly.
Well, first, it was a dictum, not a decision of the court. Next, in
another and later case, before the same eminent jurist, came a
constitutional expounder as eminent and as generally accepted,--none
other than Daniel Webster,--who took precisely the opposite view. He
was discussing the condition of certain territory on this continent
which we had recently acquired. Said Mr. Webster: "What is Florida? It
is no part of the United States. How can it be? Florida is to be
governed by Congress as it thinks proper. Congress might have done
anything--might have refused a trial by jury, and refused a
legislature." After this flat contradiction of the court's former
dictum, what happened? Mr. Webster won his case, and the Chief Justice
made not the slightest reference to his own previous and directly
conflicting opinion! Need we give it more attention now than Marshall
did then?

Mr. Webster maintained the same position long afterward, in the Senate
of the United States, in opposition to Mr. John C. Calhoun, and his
view has been continuously sustained since by the courts and by
congressional action. In the debate with Mr. Calhoun in February, 1849,
Mr. Webster said: "What is the Constitution of the United States? Is
not its very first principle that all within its influence and
comprehension shall be represented in the Legislature which it
establishes, with not only a right of debate and a right to vote in
both houses of Congress, but a right to partake in the choice of
President and Vice-President?... The President of the United States
shall govern this territory as he sees fit till Congress makes further
provision.... We have never had a territory governed as the United
States is governed.... I do not say that while we sit here to make laws
for these territories, we are not bound by every one of those great
principles which are intended as general securities for public liberty.
But they do not exist in territories till introduced by the authority
of Congress.... Our history is uniform in its course. It began with the
acquisition of Louisiana. It went on after Florida became a part of the
Union. In all cases, under all circumstances, by every proceeding of
Congress on the subject and by all judicature on the subject, it has
been held that territories belonging to the United States were to be
governed by a constitution of their own,... and in approving that
constitution the legislation of Congress was not necessarily confined
to those principles that bind it when it is exercised in passing laws
for the United States itself." Mr. Calhoun, in the course of this
debate, asked Mr. Webster for judicial opinion sustaining these views,
and Mr. Webster said that "the same thing has been decided by the
United States courts over and over again for the last thirty years."

I may add that it has been so held over and over again during the
subsequent fifty. Mr. Chief Justice Waite, giving the opinion of the
Supreme Court of the United States (in National Bank _v._ County of
Yankton, 101 U.S. 129-132), said: "It is certainly now too late to
doubt the power of Congress to govern the Territories. Congress is
supreme, and, for all the purposes of this department, has all the
powers of the people of the United States, except such as have been
expressly or by implication reserved in the prohibitions of the

Mr. Justice Stanley Matthews of the United States Supreme Court stated
the same view with even greater clearness in one of the Utah polygamy
cases (Murphy _v._ Ramsey, 114 U.S. 44, 45): "It rests with Congress to
say whether in a given case any of the people resident in the Territory
shall participate in the election of its officers or the making of its
laws. It may take from them any right of suffrage it may previously
have conferred, or at any time modify or abridge it, as it may deem
expedient.... Their political rights are franchises which they hold as
privileges, in the legislative discretion of the United States."

The very latest judicial utterance on the subject is in harmony with
all the rest. Mr. Justice Morrow of the United States Court of Appeals
for the Ninth Circuit, in February, 1898, held (57 U.S. Appeals 6):
"The now well-established doctrine [is] that the Territories of the
United States are entirely subject to the legislative authority of
Congress. They are not organized under the Constitution nor subject to
its complex distribution of the powers of government. The United
States, having rightfully acquired the Territories, and being the only
Government which can impose laws upon them, has the entire dominion and
sovereignty, national and municipal, Federal and State."

[Sidenote: More Recent Constitutional Objections.]

In the light of such expositions of our constitutional power and our
uniform national practice, it is difficult to deal patiently with the
remaining objections to the acquisition of territory, purporting to be
based on constitutional grounds. One is that to govern the Philippines
without their consent or against the opposition of Aguinaldo is to
violate the principle--only formulated, to be sure, in the Declaration
of Independence, but, as they say, underlying the whole
Constitution--that government derives its just powers from the consent
of the governed. In the Sulu group piracy prevailed for centuries. How
could a government that put it down rest on the consent of Sulu? Would
it be without just powers because the pirates did not vote in its
favor? In other parts of the archipelago what has been stigmatized as a
species of slavery prevails. Would a government that stopped that be
without just powers till the slaveholders had conferred them at a
popular election? In another part head-hunting is, at certain seasons
of the year, a recognized tribal custom. Would a government that
interfered with that practice be open to denunciation as an usurpation,
without just powers, and flagrantly violating the Constitution of the
United States, unless it waited at the polls for the consent of the
head-hunters? The truth is, all intelligent men know--and few even in
America, except obvious demagogues, hesitate to admit--that there are
cases where a good government does not and ought not to rest on the
consent of the governed. If men will not govern themselves with respect
for civilization and its agencies, then when they get in the way they
must be governed--always have been, whenever the world was not
retrograding, and always will be. The notion that such government is a
revival of slavery, and that the United States by doing its share of
such work in behalf of civilization would therefore become infamous,
though put forward with apparent gravity in some eminently respectable
quarters, is too fantastic for serious consideration.

Mr. Jefferson may be supposed to have known the meaning of the words he
wrote. Instead of vindicating a righteous rebellion in the Declaration,
he was called, after a time, to exercise a righteous government under
the Constitution. Did he himself, then, carry his own words to such
extremes as these professed disciples now demand? Was he guilty of
subverting the principles of the Government in buying some hundreds of
thousands of Spaniards, Frenchmen, Creoles, and Indians, "like sheep in
the shambles," as the critics untruthfully say we did in the
Philippines? We bought nobody there. We held the Philippines first by
the same right by which we held our own original thirteen States,--the
oldest and firmest of all rights, the right by which nearly every great
nation holds the bulk of its territory,--the right of conquest. We held
them again as a rightful indemnity, and a low one, for a war in which
the vanquished could give no other. We bought nothing; and the twenty
millions that accompanied the transfer just balanced the Philippine

But Jefferson did, if you choose to accept the hypercritical
interpretation of these latter-day Jeffersonians--Jefferson did buy the
Louisianians, even "like sheep in the shambles," if you care so to
describe it; and did proceed to govern them without the consent of the
governed. Monroe bought the Floridians without their consent. Polk
conquered the Californians, and Pierce bought the New Mexicans. Seward
bought the Russians and Alaskans, and we have governed them ever since,
without their consent. Is it easy, in the face of such facts, to
preserve your respect for an objection so obviously captious as that
based on the phrase from the Declaration of Independence?

Nor is the turn Senator Hoar gives the constitutional objection much
more weighty. He wishes to take account of motives, and pry into the
purpose of those concerned in any acquisition of territory, before the
tribunals can decide whether it is constitutional or not. If acquired
either for the national defense or to be made a State, the act is
constitutional; otherwise not. If, then, Jefferson intended to make a
State out of Idaho, his act in acquiring that part of the Louisiana
Purchase was all right. Otherwise he violated the Constitution he had
helped to make and sworn to uphold. And yet, poor man, he hardly knew
of the existence of that part of the territory, and certainly never
dreamed that it would ever become a State, any more than Daniel Webster
dreamed, to quote his own language in the Senate, that "California
would ever be worth a dollar." Is Gouverneur Morris to be arraigned as
false to the Constitution he helped to frame because he wanted to
acquire Louisiana and Canada, and keep them both out of the Union? Did
Mr. Seward betray the Constitution and violate his oath in buying
Alaska without the purpose of making it a State? It seems--let it be
said with all respect--that we have reached the reductio ad absurdum,
and that the constitutional argument in any of its phases need not be
further pursued.

[Sidenote: The Little Americans.]

If I have wearied you with these detailed proofs of a doctrine which
Mr. Justice Morrow rightly says is now well established, and these
replies to its assailants, the apology must be found in the persistence
with which the utter lack of constitutional power to deal with our new
possessions has been vociferously urged from the outset by the large
class of our people whom I venture to designate as the Little
Americans, using that term not in the least in disparagement, but
solely as distinctive and convenient. From the beginning of the
century, at every epoch in our history we have had these Little
Americans. They opposed Jefferson as to getting Louisiana. They opposed
Monroe as to Florida. They were vehement against Texas, against
California, against organizing Oregon and Washington, against the
Gadsden Purchase, against Alaska, and against the Sandwich Islands. At
nearly every stage in that long story of expansion the Little Americans
have either denied the constitutional authority to acquire and govern,
or denounced the acquisitions as worthless and dangerous. At one stage,
indeed, they went further. When State after State was passing
ordinances of secession, they raised the cry,--erroneously attributed
to my distinguished predecessor and friend, Horace Greeley, but really
uttered by Winfield Scott,--"Wayward Sisters, depart in peace!"
Happily, this form, too, of Little Americanism failed. We are all glad
now,--my distinguished classmate here,[7] who wore the gray and invaded
Ohio with Morgan, as glad as myself,--we all rejoice that these
doctrines were then opposed and overborne. It was seen then, and I
venture to think it may be seen now, that it is a fundamental principle
with the American people, and a duty imposed upon all who represent
them, to maintain the Continental Union of American Independent States
in all the purity of the fathers' conception; to hold what belongs to
it, and get what it is entitled to; and, finally, that wherever its
flag has been rightfully advanced, there it is to be kept. If that be
Imperialism, make the most of it!

      [7] The Hon. Albert S. Berry, M.C., from the Covington,
      Kentucky, District.

[Sidenote: The Plain Path of Duty.]

It was no vulgar lust of power that inspired the statesmen and soldiers
of the Republic when they resisted the halting counsel of the Little
Americans in the past. Nor is it now. Far other is the spirit we invoke:

    Stern daughter of the Voice of God,
    O Duty! If that name thou love--

in that name we beg for a study of what the new situation that is upon
us, the new world opening around us, now demand at our hands.

The people of the United States will not refuse an appeal in that name.
They never have. They had been so occupied, since the Civil War, first
in repairing its ravages, and then in occupying and possessing their
own continent, they had been so little accustomed, in this generation
or the last, to even the thought of foreign war, that one readily
understands why at the outset they hardly realized how absolute is the
duty of an honorable conqueror to accept and discharge the
responsibilities of his conquest. But this is no longer a child-nation,
irresponsible in its nonage and incapable of comprehending or assuming
the responsibilities of its acts. A child that breaks a pane of glass
or sets fire to a house may indeed escape. Are we to plead the baby
act, and claim that we can flounce around the world, breaking
international china and burning property, and yet repudiate the bill
because we have not come of age? Who dare say that a self-respecting
Power could have sailed away from Manila and repudiated the
responsibilities of its victorious belligerency? After going into a war
for humanity, were we so craven that we should seek freedom from
further trouble at the expense of civilization?

If we did not want those responsibilities we ought not to have gone to
war, and I, for one, would have been content. But having chosen to go
to war, and having been speedily and overwhelmingly successful, we
should be ashamed even to think of running away from what inexorably
followed. Mark what the successive steps were, and how link by link the
chain that binds us now was forged.

The moment war was foreseen the fleet we usually have in Chinese waters
became indispensable, not merely, as before, to protect our trade and
our missionaries in China, but to checkmate the Spanish fleet, which
otherwise held San Francisco and the whole Pacific coast at its mercy.
When war was declared our fleet was necessarily ordered out of neutral
ports. Then it had to go to Manila or go home. If it went home, it left
the whole Pacific coast unguarded, save at the particular point it
touched, and we should have been at once in a fever of apprehension,
chartering hastily another fleet of the fastest ocean-going steamers we
could find in the world, to patrol the Pacific from San Diego to Sitka,
as we did have to patrol the Atlantic from Key West to Bar Harbor.
Palpably this was to go the longest way around to do a task that had to
be done in any event, as well as to demoralize our forces at the
opening of the war with a manoeuver in which our Navy has never been
expert--that of avoiding a contest and sailing away from the enemy! The
alternative was properly taken. Dewey went to Manila and sank the
Spanish fleet. We thus broke down Spanish means for controlling the
Philippines, and were left with the Spanish responsibility for
maintaining order there--responsibility to all the world, German,
English, Japanese, Russian, and the rest--in one of the great centers
and highways of the world's commerce.

But why not turn over that commercial center and the island on which it
is situated to the Tagals? To be sure! Under three hundred years of
Spanish rule barbarism on Luzon had so far disappeared that this
commercial metropolis, as large as San Francisco or Cincinnati, had
sprung up and come to be thronged by traders and travelers of all
nations. Now it is calmly suggested that we might have turned it over
to one semi-civilized tribe, absolutely without experience in governing
even itself, much less a great community of foreigners, probably in a
minority on the island, and at war with its other inhabitants--a tribe
which has given the measure of its fitness for being charged with the
rights of foreigners and the care of a commercial metropolis by the
violation of flags of truce, treachery to the living, and mutilation of
the dead which have marked its recent wanton rising against the Power
that was trying to help it!

If running away from troublesome responsibility and duty is our rôle,
why did we not long ago take the opportunity, in our early feebleness,
to turn over Tallahassee and St. Augustine to the Seminoles, instead of
sending Andrew Jackson to protect the settlements and subdue the
savages? Why, at the first Apache outbreak after the Gadsden Purchase,
did we not hasten to turn over New Mexico and Arizona to _their_
inhabitants? Or why, in years within the memory of most of you, when
the Sioux and Chippewas rose on our Northwestern frontier, did we not
invite them to retain possession of St. Cloud, and even come down, if
they liked, to St. Paul and Minneapolis?

Unless I am mistaken in regarding all these suggestions as too unworthy
to be entertained by self-respecting citizens of a powerful and
self-respecting nation, we have now reached two conclusions that ought
to clear the air and simplify the problem that remains: First, we have
ample constitutional power to acquire and govern new territory
absolutely at will, according to our sense of right and duty, whether
as dependencies, as colonies, or as a protectorate. Secondly, as the
legitimate and necessary consequence of our own previous acts, it has
become our national and international duty to do it.

[Sidenote: The Policy for our Dependencies]

How shall we set about it? What shall be the policy with which, when
order has been inexorably restored, we begin our dealings with the new
wards of the Nation? Certainly we must mark our disapproval of the
treachery and barbarities of the present contest. As certainly the
oppression of other tribes by the Tagals must be ended, or the
oppression of any tribe by any other within the sphere of our active
control. Wars between the tribes must be discouraged and prevented. We
must seek to suppress crimes of violence and private vengeance, secure
individual liberty, protect individual property, and promote the study
of the arts of peace. Above all, we must give and enforce justice; and
for the rest, as far as possible, leave them alone. By all means let us
avoid a fussy meddling with their customs, manners, prejudices, and
beliefs. Give them order and justice, and trust to these to win them in
other regards to our ways. All this points directly to utilizing
existing agencies as much as possible, developing native initiative and
control in local matters as fast and as far as we can, and ultimately
giving them the greatest degree of self-government for which they prove
themselves fitted.

Under any conditions that exist now, or have existed for three hundred
years, a homogeneous native government over the whole archipelago is
obviously impossible. Its relations to the outside world must
necessarily be assumed by us. We must preserve order in Philippine
waters, regulate the harbors, fix and collect the duties, apportion the
revenue, and supervise the expenditure. We must enforce sanitary
measures. We must retain such a control of the superior courts as shall
make justice certainly attainable, and such control of the police as
shall insure its enforcement. But in all this, after the absolute
authority has been established, the further the natives can themselves
be used to carry out the details, the better.

Such a system might not be unwise even for a colony to which we had
reason to expect a considerable emigration of our own people. If
experience of a kindred nation in dealing with similar problems counts
for anything, it is certainly wise for a distant dependency, always to
be populated mainly, save in the great cities, by native races, and
little likely ever to be quite able to stand alone, while,
nevertheless, we wish to help it just as much as possible to that end.

[Sidenote: The Duty of Public Servants.]

Certainly this is no bed of flowery ease in the dreamy Orient to which
we are led. No doubt these first glimpses of the task that lies before
us, as well as the warfare with distant tribes into which we have been
unexpectedly plunged, will provoke for the time a certain discontent
with our new possessions. But on a far-reaching question of national
policy the wise public man is not so greatly disturbed by what people
say in momentary discouragement under the first temporary check. That
which really concerns him is what people at a later day, or even in a
later generation, might say of men trusted with great duties for their
country, who proved unequal to their opportunities, and through some
short-sighted timidity of the moment lost the chance of centuries.

It is quite true, as was recently reported in what seemed an
authoritative way from Washington, that the Peace Commissioners were
not entirely of one mind at the outset, and equally true that the final
conclusion at Washington was apparently reached on the Commission's
recommendation from Paris. As the cold fit, in the language of one of
our censors, has followed the hot fit in the popular temper, I readily
take the time which hostile critics consider unfavorable, for accepting
my own share of responsibility, and for avowing for myself that I
declared my belief in the duty and policy of holding the whole
Philippine Archipelago in the very first conference of the
Commissioners in the President's room at the White House, in advance of
any instructions of any sort. If vindication for it be needed, I
confidently await the future.

What _is_ the duty of a public servant as to profiting by opportunities
to secure for his country what all the rest of the world considers
material advantages? Even if he could persuade himself that rejecting
them is morally and internationally admissible, is he at liberty to
commit his country irrevocably to their rejection, because they do not
wholly please his individual fancy? At a former negotiation of our own
in Paris, the great desire of the United States representative, as well
as of his Government, had been mainly to secure the settled or partly
settled country adjoining us on the south, stretching from the Floridas
to the city of New Orleans. The possession of the vast unsettled and
unknown Louisiana Territory, west of the Mississippi, was neither
sought nor thought of. Suddenly, on an eventful morning in April, 1803,
Talleyrand astonished Livingston by offering, on behalf of Napoleon, to
sell to the United States, not the Floridas at all, but merely
Louisiana, "a raw little semi-tropical frontier town and an unexplored

Suppose Livingston had rejected the offer? Or suppose Gadsden had not
exceeded his instructions in Mexico and boldly grasped the opportunity
that offered to rectify and make secure our Southwestern frontier?
Would this generation judge that they had been equal to their
opportunities or their duties?

The difficulties which at present discourage us are largely of our own
creation. It is not for any of us to think of attempting to apportion
the blame. The only thing we are sure of is that it was for no lack of
authority that we hesitated and drifted till the Tagals were convinced
we were afraid of them, and could be driven out before reinforcements
arrived. That was the very thing our officers had warned us
against,--the least sign of hesitation or uncertainty,--the very danger
every European with knowledge of the situation had dinned in our ears.
Everybody declared that difficulties were sure to grow on our hands in
geometrical proportion to our delays; and it was perfectly known to the
respective branches of our Government primarily concerned that while
the delay went on it was in neglect of a duty we had voluntarily

For the American Commissioners, with due authority, distinctly offered
to assume responsibility, pending the ratification of the treaty, for
the protection of life and property and the preservation of order
throughout the whole archipelago. The Spanish Commissioners, after
consultation with their Government, refused this, but agreed that each
Power should be charged, pending the ratification, with the maintenance
of order in the places where it was established. The American assent to
that left absolutely no question as to the diminished but still grave
responsibility thus devolved.[8] That responsibility was avoided from
the hour the treaty was signed till the hour when the Tagal chieftain,
at the head of an army he had been deliberately gathering and
organizing, took things in his own hand and made the attack he had so
long threatened. Disorder, forced loans, impressment, confiscation,
seizure of waterworks, contemptuous violations of our guard-lines, and
even the practical siege of the city of Manila, had meantime been going
on within gunshot of troops held there inactive by the Nation which had
volunteered responsibility for order throughout the archipelago, and
had been distinctly left with responsibility for order in the island on
which it was established. If the bitterest enemy of the United States
had sought to bring upon it in that quarter the greatest trouble in the
shortest time, he could have devised for that end no policy more
successful than the one we actually pursued. There may have been
controlling reasons for it. An opposite course might perhaps have cost
more elsewhere than it saved in Luzon. On that point the public cannot
now form even an opinion. But as to the effect in Luzon there is no
doubt; and because of it we have the right to ask a delay in judgment
about results there until the present evil can be undone.

      [8] Protocol No. 19 of the Paris Commission, Conference of
      December 5, 1898: "The President of the Spanish Commission having
      agreed, at the last session, to consult his Government regarding
      the proposal of the American Commissioners that the United States
      should maintain public order over the whole Philippine
      Archipelago pending the exchange of ratifications of the treaty
      of peace, stated that the answer of his Government was that the
      authorities of each of the two nations shall be charged with the
      maintenance of order in the places where they may be established,
      those authorities agreeing among themselves to this end whenever
      they may deem it necessary."

[Sidenote: The Carnival of Captious Objection.]

Meantime, in accordance with a well-known and probably unchangeable law
of human nature, this is the carnival and very heyday of the objectors.
The air is filled with their discouragement.

Some exclaim that Americans are incapable of colonizing or of managing
colonies; that there is something in our national character or
institutions that wholly disqualifies us for the work. Yet the most
successful colonies in the whole world were the thirteen original
colonies on our Atlantic coast; and the most successful colonists were
our own grandfathers! Have the grandsons so degenerated that they are
incapable of colonizing at all, or of managing colonies? Who says so?
Is it any one with the glorious history of this continental
colonization bred in his bone and leaping in his blood? Or is it some
refugee from a foreign country he was discontented with, who now finds
pleasure in disparaging the capacity of the new country he came to,
while he has neither caught its spirit nor grasped the meaning of its

Some bewail the alleged fact that, at any rate, our system has little
adaptability to the control of colonies or dependencies. Has our system
been found weaker, then, than other forms of government, less adaptable
to emergencies, and with people less fit to cope with them? Is the
difficulty inherent, or is it possible that the emergency may show, as
emergencies have shown before, that whatever task intelligence, energy,
and courage can surmount the American people and their Government can
rise to?

It is said the conditions in our new possessions are wholly different
from any we have previously encountered. This is true; and there is
little doubt the new circumstances will bring great modifications in
methods. That is an excellent reason, among others, for some doubt at
the outset as to whether we know all about it, but not for despairing
of our capacity to learn. It might be remembered that we have
encountered some varieties of conditions already. The work in Florida
was different from that at Plymouth Rock; Louisiana and Texas showed
again new sets of conditions; California others; Puget Sound and Alaska
still others; and we did not always have unbroken success and plain
sailing from the outset in any of them.

It is said we cannot colonize the tropics, because our people cannot
labor there. Perhaps not, especially if they refuse to obey the prudent
precautions which centuries of experience have enjoined upon others.
But what, then, are we going to do with Porto Rico? How soon are our
people going to flee from Arizona? And why is life impossible to
Americans in Manila and Cebu and Iloilo, but attractive to the throngs
of Europeans who have built up those cities? Can we mine all over the
world, from South Africa to the Klondike, but not in Palawan? Can we
grow tobacco in Cuba, but not in Cebu; or rice in Louisiana, but not in

An alarm is raised that our laboring classes are endangered by
competition with cheap tropical labor or its products. How? The
interpretation of the Constitution which would permit that is the
interpretation which has been repudiated in an unbroken line of
decisions for over half a century. Only one possibility of danger to
American labor exists in our new possessions--the lunacy, or worse, of
the dreamers who want to prepare for the admission of some of them as
States in the American Union. Till then we can make any law we like to
prevent the immigration of their laborers, and any tariff we like to
regulate the admission of their products.

It is said we are pursuing a fine method for restoring order, by
prolonging the war we began for humanity in order to force liberty and
justice on an unwilling people at the point of the bayonet. The sneer
is cheap. How else have these blessings been generally diffused? How
often in the history of the world has barbarism been replaced by
civilization without bloodshed? How were our own liberty and justice
established and diffused on this continent? Would the process have been
less bloody if a part of our own people had noisily taken the side of
the English, the Mexican, or the savage, and protested against "extreme

Some say a war to extend freedom in Cuba or elsewhere is right, and
therefore a duty; but the war in the Philippines now is purely selfish,
and therefore a crime. The premise is inaccurate; it is a war we are in
duty bound to wage at any rate till order is restored--but let that
pass. Suppose it to be merely a war in defense of our own just rights
and interests. Since when did such a war become wrong? Is our national
motto to be, "Quixotic on the one hand, Chinese on the other"?

How much better it would have been, say others, to mind our own
business! No doubt; but if we were to begin crying over spilt milk in
that way, the place to begin was where the milk was spilled--in the
Congress that resolved upon war with Spain. Since that congressional
action we have been minding what it made our own business quite
diligently, and an essential part of our business now is the
responsibility for our own past acts, whether in Havana or Manila.

Some say that since we began the war for humanity, we are disgraced by
coming out of it with increased territory. Then a penalty must always
be imposed upon a victorious nation for presuming to do a good act. The
only nation to be exempt from such a penalty upon success is to be the
nation that was in the wrong! It is to have a premium, whether
successful or not; for it is thus relieved, even in defeat, from the
penalty which modern practice in the interest of civilization
requires--the payment of an indemnity for the cost of an unjust war.
Furthermore, the representatives of the nation that does a good act are
thus bound to reject any opportunity for lightening the national load
it entails. They must leave the full burden upon their country, to be
dealt with in due time by the individual taxpayer!

Again, we have superfine discussions of what the United States "stands
for." It does not stand, we are told, for foreign conquest, or for
colonies or dependencies, or other extensions of its power and
influence. It stands solely for the development of the individual man.
There is a germ of a great truth in this, but the development of the
truth is lost sight of. Individual initiative is a good thing, and our
institutions do develop it--and its consequences! There is a species of
individualism, too, about a bulldog. When he takes hold he holds on. It
may as well be noticed by the objectors that that is a characteristic
much appreciated by American people. They, too, hold on. They remember,
besides, a pregnant phrase of their fathers, who "ordained this
Constitution," among other things, "to promote the general welfare."
That is a thing for which "this Government stands" also; and woe to the
public servant who rejects brilliant opportunities to promote it--on
the Pacific Ocean no less than the Atlantic, by commerce no less than
by agriculture or manufactures.

It is said the Philippines are worthless--have, in fact, already cost
us more than the value of their entire trade for many years to come. So
much the more, then, are we bound to do our duty by them. But we have
also heard in turn, and from the same quarters, that every one of our
previous acquisitions was worthless.

Again, it is said our continent is more than enough for all our needs,
and our extensions should stop at the Pacific. What is this but
proposing such a policy of self-sufficient isolation as we are
accustomed to reprobate in China--planning now to develop only on the
soil on which we stand, and expecting the rest of the world to protect
our trade if we have any? Can a nation with safety set such limits to
its development? When a tree stops growing, our foresters tell us, it
is ripe for the ax. When a man stops in his physical and intellectual
growth he begins to decay. When a business stops growing it is in
danger of decline. When a nation stops growing it has passed the
meridian of its course, and its shadows fall eastward.

Is China to be our model, or Great Britain? Or, better still, are we to
follow the instincts of our own people? The policy of isolating
ourselves is a policy for the refusal of both duties and
opportunities--duties to foreign nations and to civilization, which
cannot be respectably evaded; opportunities for the development of our
power on the Pacific in the Twentieth Century, which it would be craven
to abandon. There has been a curious "about face," an absolute reversal
of attitude toward England, on the part of our Little Americans,
especially at the East and among the more educated classes. But
yesterday nearly all of them were pointing to England as a model. There
young men of education and position felt it a duty to go into politics.
There they had built up a model civil service. There their cities were
better governed, their streets cleaner, their mails more promptly
delivered. There the responsibilities of their colonial system had
enforced the purification of domestic politics, the relentless
punishment of corrupt practices, and the abolition of bribery in
elections, either by money or by office. There they had foreign trade,
and a commercial marine, and a trained and efficient foreign service,
and to be an English citizen was to have a safeguard the whole world
round. Our young men were commended to their example; our legislators
were exhorted to study their practice and its results. Suddenly these
same teachers turn around. They warn us against the infection of
England's example. They tell us her colonial system is a failure; that
she would be stronger without her colonies than with them; that she is
eaten up with "militarism"; that to keep Cuba or the Philippines is
what a selfish, conquering, land-grabbing, aristocratic government like
England would do, and that her policy and methods are utterly
incompatible with our institutions. When a court thus reverses itself
without obvious reason (except a temporary partizan purpose), our
people are apt to put their trust in other tribunals.

[Sidenote: The Future.]

"I had thought," said Wendell Phillips, in his noted apology for
standing for the first time in his antislavery life under the flag of
his country, and welcoming the tread of Massachusetts men marshaled for
war--"I had thought Massachusetts wholly choked with cotton-dust and
cankered with gold." If Little Americans have thought so of their
country in these stirring days, and have fancied that initial reverses
would induce it to abandon its duty, its rights, and its great
permanent interests, they will live to see their mistake. They will
find it giving a deaf ear to these unworthy complaints of temporary
trouble or present loss, and turning gladly from all this incoherent
and resultless clamor to the new world opening around us. Already it
draws us out of ourselves. The provincial isolation is gone; and
provincial habits of thought will go. There is a larger interest in
what other lands have to show and teach; a larger confidence in our
own; a higher resolve that it shall do its whole duty to mankind, moral
as well as material, international as well as national, in such fashion
as becomes time's latest offspring and its greatest. We are grown more
nearly citizens of the world.

This new knowledge, these new duties and interests, must have two
effects--they must extend our power, influence, and trade, and they
must elevate the public service. Every returning soldier or traveler
tells the same story--that the very name "American" has taken a new
significance throughout the Orient. The shrewd Oriental no longer
regards us as a second- or third-class Power. He has just seen the only
signs he recognizes of a nation that knows its rights and dare maintain
them--a nation that has come to stay, with an empire of its own in the
China Sea, and a Navy which, from what he has seen, he believes will be
able to defend it against the world. He straightway concludes, after
the Oriental fashion, that it is a nation whose citizens must
henceforth be secure in all their rights, whose missionaries must be
endured with patience and even protected, and whose friendship must be
sedulously cultivated. The national prestige is enormously increased,
and trade follows prestige--especially in the farther East. Not within
a century, not during our whole history, has such a field opened for
our reaping. Planted directly in front of the Chinese colossus, on a
great territory of our own, we have the first and best chance to profit
by his awakening. Commanding both sides of the Pacific, and the
available coal-supplies on each, we command the ocean that, according
to the old prediction, is to bear the bulk of the world's commerce in
the Twentieth Century. Our remote but glorious land between the Sierras
and the sea may then become as busy a hive as New England itself, and
the whole continent must take fresh life from the generous blood of
this natural and necessary commerce between people of different
climates and zones.

But these developments of power and trade are the least of the
advantages we may hopefully expect. The faults in American character
and life which the Little Americans tell us prove the people unfit for
these duties are the very faults that will be cured by them. The
recklessness and heedless self-sufficiency of youth must disappear.
Great responsibilities, suddenly devolved, must sober and elevate now,
as they have always done in natures not originally bad, throughout the
whole history of the world.

The new interests abroad must compel an improved foreign service. It
has heretofore been worse than we ever knew, and also better. On great
occasions and in great fields our diplomatic record ranks with the best
in the world. No nation stands higher in those new contributions to
International Law which form the high-water mark of civilization from
one generation to another. At the same time, in fields less under the
public eye, our foreign service has been haphazard at the best, and
often bad beyond belief--ludicrous and humiliating. The harm thus
wrought to our national good name and the positive injury to our trade
have been more than we realized. We cannot escape realizing them now,
and when the American people wake up to a wrong they are apt to right

More important still should be the improvement in the general public
service at home and in our new possessions. New duties must bring new
methods. Ward politics were banished from India and Egypt as the price
of successful administration, and they must be excluded from Porto Rico
and Luzon. The practical common sense of the American people will soon
see that any other course is disastrous. Gigantic business interests
must come to reinforce the theorists in favor of a reform that shall
really elevate and purify the Civil Service.

Hand in hand with these benefits to ourselves, which it is the duty of
public servants to secure, go benefits to our new wards and benefits to
mankind. There, then, is what the United States is to "stand for" in
all the resplendent future: the rights and interests of its own
Government; the general welfare of its own people; the extension of
ordered liberty in the dark places of the earth; the spread of
civilization and religion, and a consequent increase in the sum of
human happiness in the world.



This address was delivered on the invitation of the Board of Trustees,
at Princeton University, in Alexander Hall, on October 21, 1899.


The invitation for to-day with which Princeton honored me was
accompanied with the hint that a discussion of some phase of current
public affairs would not be unwelcome. That phase which has for the
past year or two most absorbed public attention is now more absorbing
than ever. Elsewhere I have already spoken upon it, more, perhaps, than
enough. But I cannot better obey the summons of this honored and
historic University, or better deserve the attention of this company of
scholars, gentlemen, and patriots, than by saying with absolute candor
what its present aspects prompt.

[Sidenote: Questions that have been Disposed of.]

And first, the chaos of opinion into which the country was thrown by
the outbreak of the Spanish-American War ceases to be wholly without
form and void. The discussions of a year have clarified ideas; and on
some points we may consider that the American people have substantially
reached definite conclusions.

There is no need, therefore, to debate laboriously before you whether
Dewey was right in going to Manila. Everybody now realizes that, once
war was begun, absolutely the most efficient means of making it
speedily and overwhelmingly victorious, as well as of defending the
most exposed half of our own coast, was to go to Manila. "Find the
Spanish fleet and destroy it" was as wise an order as the President
ever issued, and he was equally wise in choosing the man to carry it

So, also, there is no need to debate whether Dewey was right in staying
there. From that come his most enduring laurels. The American people
admire him for the battle which sank the Spanish navy; but they trust
and love him for the months of trial and triumph that followed. The
Administration that should have ordered him to abandon the Eastern
foothold he had conquered for his country--to sail away like a sated
pirate from the port where his victory broke down all civilized
authority but our own, and his presence alone prevented domestic
anarchy and foreign spoliation--would have deserved to be hooted out of
the capital.

So, again, there is no need to debate whether the Peace Commissioners
should have thrown away in Paris what Dewey had won in Manila. The
public servant who, without instructions, should in a gush of
irresponsible sentimentality abandon great possessions to which his
country is justly entitled, whether by conquest or as indemnity for
unjust war, would be not only an unprofitable but a faithless servant.
It was their obvious duty to hold what Dewey had won, at least till the
American people had time to consider and decide otherwise.

Is there any need to debate whether the American people will abandon it
now? Those who have a fancy for that species of dialectics may weigh
the chances, and evolve from circumstances of their own imagination,
and canons of national and international obligation of their own
manufacture, conclusions to their own liking. I need not consume much
of your time in that unprofitable pursuit. We may as well, here and
now, keep our feet on solid ground, and deal with facts as they are.
The American people are in lawful possession of the Philippines, with
the assent of all Christendom, with a title as indisputable as the
title to California; and, though the debate will linger for a while,
and perhaps drift unhappily into partizan contention, the generation is
yet unborn that will see them abandoned to the possession of any other
Power. The Nation that scatters principalities as a prodigal does his
inheritance is too sentimental and moon-shiny for the Nineteenth
Century or the Twentieth, and too unpractical for Americans of any
period. It may flourish in Arcadia or Altruria, but it does not among
the sons of the Pilgrims, or on the continent they subdued by stern
struggle to the uses of civilization.

Nevertheless, our people did stop to consider very carefully their
constitutional powers. I believe we have reached a point also where the
result of that consideration may be safely assumed. The constitutional
arguments have been fully presented and the expositions and decisions
marshaled. It is enough now to say that the preponderance of
constitutional authorities, with Gouverneur Morris, Daniel Webster, and
Thomas H. Benton at their head, and the unbroken tendency of decisions
by the courts of the United States for at least the last fifty years,
from Mr. Chief Justice Waite and Mr. Justice Miller and Mr. Justice
Stanley Matthews, of the Supreme Court, down to the very latest
utterance on the subject, that of Mr. Justice Morrow of the Circuit
Court of Appeals, sustain the power to acquire "territory or other
property" anywhere, and govern it as we please.[9] Inhabitants of such
territory (not obviously incapable) are secure in the civil rights
guaranteed by the Constitution; but they have no political rights under
it, save as Congress confers them. The evidence in support of this view
has been fully set forth, examined, and weighed, and, unless I greatly
mistake, a popular decision on the subject has been reached. The
constitutional power is no longer seriously disputed, and even those
who raised the doubt do not seem now to rely upon it.

      [9] Some of these authorities have already been briefly presented
      in the address at Miami University, pp. 107-158. It may be
      desirable to consult a few additional ones, covering the main
      points that have been disputed. They are grouped for convenience
      in the Appendix.

[Sidenote: Contributions to International Law and Morality.]

In thus summarizing what has been already settled or disposed of in our
dealings with the questions of the war, I may be permitted to pause for
a moment on the American contributions it brought about to
international morality and law. On the day on which the American Peace
Commissioners to Paris sailed for home after the ceremonial courtesy
with which their labors were concluded, the most authoritative journal
in the world published an interview with the eminent President of the
corresponding Spanish Commission, then and for some time afterward
President also of the Spanish Senate, in which he was reported as
saying: "We knew in advance that we should have to deal with an
implacable conqueror, who would in no way concern himself with any
pre-existing International Law, but whose sole object was to reap from
victory the largest possible advantage. This conception of
International Law is absolutely new; it is no longer a case of might
against right, but of might without right.... The Americans have acted
as vainqueurs parvenus."[10]

      [10] London "Times," December 17, 1898.

Much may be pardoned to the anguish of an old and trusted public
servant over the misfortunes of his native land. We may even, in our
sympathy, endeavor to forget what country it was that proposed to defy
the agreements of the Conference of Paris and the general judgment of
nations by resorting to privateering, or what country it was that
preferred to risk becoming an asylum for the criminals of a continent
rather than revive, even temporarily, that basic and elementary
implement of modern international justice, an extradition treaty, which
had been in force with acceptable results for over twenty years. But
when Americans are stigmatized as "vainqueurs parvenus," who by virtue
of mere strength violate International Law against a prostrate foe, and
when one of the ablest of their American critics encourages the Spanish
contention by talking of our "bulldog diplomacy at Paris," it gives us
occasion to challenge the approval of the world--as the facts amply
warrant--for the scrupulous conformity to existing International Law,
and the important contributions to its beneficent advancement that have
distinguished the action of the United States throughout these whole
transactions. Having already set these forth in some detail before a
foreign audience,[11] I must not now do more than offer the briefest

      [11] See (pp. 70-105) article from "The Anglo-Saxon Review."

The United States ended the toleration of Privateering. It was
perfectly free to commission privateers on the day war was declared.
Spain was equally free, and it was proclaimed from Madrid that the
Atlantic would soon swarm with them, sweeping American commerce from
the ocean. Under these circumstances one of the very first and noblest
acts of the President was to announce that the United States would not
avail itself of the right to send out privateers, reserved under the
Declaration of Paris. The fast-thickening disasters of Spain prevented
her from doing it, and thus substantially completed the practice or
acquiescence of the civilized world, essential to the acceptance of a
principle in International Law. It is safe to assume that Christendom
will henceforth treat Privateering as under international ban.

The United States promoted the cause of genuine International
Arbitration by promptly and emphatically rejecting an insidious
proposal for a spurious one. It taught those who deliberately prefer
War to Arbitration, and, when beaten at it, seek then to get the
benefit of a second remedy, that honest Arbitration must come before
War, to avert its horrors, not after War, to evade its penalties.

The United States promoted peace among nations, and so served humanity,
by sternly enforcing the rule that they who bring on an unjust war must
pay for it. For years the overwhelming tendency of its people had been
against any territorial aggrandizement, even a peaceful one; but it
unflinchingly exacted the easiest, if not the only, payment Spain could
make for a war that cost us, at the lowest, from four to five hundred
million dollars, by taking Porto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines. It
requires some courage to describe this as either a violation of
International Law, or a display of unprecedented severity by an
implacable conqueror, in the very city and before the very generation
that saw the Franco-Prussian War concluded, not merely by a partition
of territory, but also by a cash payment of a thousand millions

The United States promoted the peaceful liberalizing of oppressive rule
over all subject peoples by making it more difficult to negotiate loans
in the markets of the world to subdue their outbreaks. For it firmly
rejected in the Cuban adjustments the immoral doctrine that an
ill-treated and revolting colony, after gaining its freedom, must still
submit to the extortion from it of the cost of the parent country's
unsuccessful efforts to subdue it. We therefore left the so-called
Cuban bonds on the hands of the Power that issued them, or of the
reckless lenders who advanced the money. At the same time the United
States strained a point elsewhere in the direction of protecting any
legitimate debt, and of dealing generously with a fallen foe, by a
payment which the most carping critic will some day be ashamed to
describe as "buying the inhabitants of the Philippines at two dollars a

      [12] There has been so much misconception and misrepresentation
      about this payment of twenty millions that the following exact
      summary of the facts may be convenient.

      When Spain sued for peace in the summer of 1898, she had lost
      control of the Philippines, and any means for regaining control.
      Her fleet was sunk; her army was cooped up in the capital, under
      the guns of the American fleet, and its capture or surrender had
      only been delayed till the arrival of reinforcements for the
      American Army, because of the fears expressed by foreigners and
      the principal residents of Manila that the city might be looted
      by natives unless American land forces were at hand in strength
      ample to control them. The Spanish army did so surrender, in
      fact, shortly after the arrival of these reinforcements, before
      the news of the armistice could reach them.

      In the protocol granting an armistice, the United States exacted
      at once the cession of Porto Rico and an island in the Ladrones,
      but reserved the decision as to the control, disposition, and
      government of the Philippines for the treaty of peace, apparently
      with a view to the possibility of accepting them as further
      indemnity for the war.

      When the treaty came to be negotiated, the United States required
      the cession of the Philippines. Its Peace Commissioners stated
      that their Government "felt amply supported in its right to
      demand this cession, with or without concessions," added that
      "this demand might be limited to the single ground of indemnity,"
      and pointed out that it was "not now putting forward any claim
      for _pecuniary_ indemnity, to cover the enormous cost of the
      war." It accompanied this demand for a transfer of sovereignty
      with a stipulation for assuming any existing indebtedness of
      Spain incurred for public works and improvements of a pacific
      character in the Philippines. The United States thus asserted its
      right to the archipelago for indemnity, and at the same time
      committed itself to the principle of payment on account of the
      Philippine debt.

      When it became necessary to put the Philippine case into an
      ultimatum, the Peace Commissioners did not further refer to the
      debt or give any specific reason either for a cession or for a
      payment. They simply said they now presented "a new proposition,
      embodying the concessions which, for the sake of immediate peace,
      their Government is, under the circumstances, willing to tender."

      But it was really the old proposition (with the "Open Door" and
      "Mutual Relinquishment of Claims" clauses added), with the
      mention for the first time of a specific sum for the payment, and
      without any question of "pacific improvements." That sum just
      balanced the Philippine debt--40,000,000 Mexican, or, say,
      20,000,000 American dollars.

All these are acts distinctly in accord with International Law so far
as it exists and applies, and distinctly tending to promote its humane
and Christian extension. Let me add, in a word, that the peace
negotiations in no way compromised or affected the Monroe Doctrine,
which stands as firm as ever, though much less important with the
disappearance of any probable opposition to it; and that the prestige
they brought smoothed the way for the one hopeful result of the Czar's
Conference at The Hague, a response to the American proposal for a
permanent International Court of Arbitration.

A trifling but characteristic inaccuracy concerning the Peace
Commission may as well be corrected before the subject is left. This is
the statement, apparently originating from Malay sources, but promptly
indorsed in this country by unfriendly critics, to the effect that the
representative of Aguinaldo was uncivilly refused a hearing in Paris.
It was repeated, inadvertently, no doubt, with many other curious
distortions of historic facts, only the other day, by a distinguished
statesman in Chicago.[13] As he put it, the doors were slammed in their
faces in Washington as well as in Paris. Now, whatever might have
happened, the door was certainly never slammed in their faces in Paris,
for they never came to it. On the contrary, every time Mr. Agoncillo
approached any member of the Commission on the subject, he was
courteously invited to send the Commissioners a written request for a
hearing, which would, at any rate, receive immediate consideration. No
such request ever came, and any Filipino who wrote for a hearing in
Paris was heard.

      [13] General Carl Schurz, at the Chicago Anti-Expansion
      Convention, October, 1899.

[Sidenote: The Present Duty.]

Meanwhile we are now in the midst of hostilities with a part of the
native population, originating in an unprovoked attack upon our troops
in the city they had wrested from the Spaniards, before final action on
the treaty. It is easy to say that we ought not to have got into this
conflict, and to that I might agree. "I tell you, they can't put you in
jail on that charge," said the learned and disputatious counsel to the
client who had appealed from his cell for help. "But I _am_ in," was
the sufficient answer. The question just then was not what might have
been done, but what can be done. I wish to urge that we can only end
this conflict by manfully fighting through it. The talk one hears that
the present situation calls for "diplomacy" seems to be mistimed. That
species of diplomacy which consists in the tact of prompt action in the
right line at the right time might, quite possibly, have prevented the
present hostilities. Any diplomacy now would seem to our Tagal
antagonists the raising of the white flag--the final proof that the
American people do not sustain their Army in the face of unprovoked
attack. Every witness who came before the American Peace Commission in
Paris, or sent it a written statement, English, German, Belgian, Malay,
or American, said the same thing. Absolutely the one essential for
dealing with the Filipinos was to convince them at the very outset that
what you began you stood to; that you did not begin without
consideration of right and duty, or quail then before opposition; that
your purpose was inexorable and your power irresistible, while
submission to it would always insure justice. On the contrary, once let
them suspect that protests would dissuade and turbulence deter you, and
all the Oriental instinct for delay and bargaining for better terms is
aroused, along with the special Malay genius for intrigue and
double-dealing, their profound belief that every man has his price, and
their childish ignorance as to the extent to which stump speeches here
against any Administration can cause American armies beyond the seas to

No; the toast which Henry Clay once gave in honor of an early naval
hero fits the present situation like a glove. He proposed "the policy
which looks to peace as the end of war, and war as the means of peace."
In that light I maintain that the conflict we are prosecuting is in the
line of national necessity and duty; that we cannot turn back; that the
truest humanity condemns needless delay or half-hearted action, and
demands overwhelming forces and irresistible onset.

[Sidenote: Eliminate Temporary Discouragements.]

But in considering this duty, just as in estimating the Treaty of
Paris, we have the right to eliminate all account of the trifling
success, so far, in the Philippines, or of the great trouble and cost.
What it was right to do there, and what we are bound to do now, must
not be obscured by faults of hesitation or insufficient preparation,
for which neither the Peace Commissioners nor the people are
responsible. I had occasion to say before a college audience last June
what I now repeat with the additional emphasis subsequent events have
warranted--that the difficulties which at present discourage us are
largely of our own making; and I repeat that it is still not for us,
here and now, to apportion the blame. We have not the knowledge to say
just who, or whether any man or body, is wholly at fault. What we do
know is that the course of hesitation and inaction which the Nation
pursued in face of an openly maturing attack was precisely the policy
sure to give us the greatest trouble, and that we are now paying the
penalty. If the opposite course had been taken at the outset--unless
all the testimony from foreign observers and from our own officers is
at fault--there would have been either no outbreak at all, or only one
easily controlled and settled to the general satisfaction of most of
the civilized and semi-civilized inhabitants of the island.

On the personal and partizan disputes already lamentably begun, as to
senatorial responsibility, congressional responsibility, or the
responsibility of this or that executive officer, we have no occasion
here to enter. What we have a right to insist on is that our general
policy in the Philippines shall not be shaped now merely by the just
discontent with the bad start. The reports of continual victories, that
roll back on us every week, like the stone of Sisyphus, and need to be
won over again next week, the mistakes of a censorship that was
absolutely right as a military measure, but may have been
unintelligently, not to say childishly, conducted--all these are beside
the real question. They must not obscure the duty of restoring order in
the regions where our troops have been assailed, or prejudice our
subsequent course.

I venture to say of that course that neither our duty nor our interest
will permit us to stop short of a pacification which can only end in
the establishment of such local self-government as the people are found
capable of conducting, and its extension just as far and as fast as the
people prove fit for it.

[Sidenote: Pacification and Natural Course of Organization.]

The natural development thus to be expected would probably proceed
safely, along the lines of least resistance, about in this order:
First, and till entirely clear that it is no longer needed, Military
Government. Next, the rule of either Military or Civil Governors (for a
considerable time probably the former), relying gradually more and more
on native agencies. Thirdly, the development of Dependencies, with an
American Civil Governor, with their foreign relations and their highest
courts controlled by us, and their financial system largely managed by
members of a rigidly organized and jealously protected American Civil
Service, but in most other respects steadily becoming more
self-governing. And, finally, autonomous governments, looking to us for
little save control of their foreign relations, profiting by the
stability and order the backing of a powerful nation guarantees,
cultivating more and more intimate trade and personal relations with
that nation, and coming to feel themselves participants of its fortunes
and renown.

Such a course Congress, after full investigation and deliberation,
might perhaps wisely formulate. Such a course, with slight
modifications to meet existing limitations as to his powers, has
already been entered upon by the President, and can doubtless be
carried on indefinitely by him until Congress acts. This action should
certainly not be precipitate. The system demands most careful study,
not only in the light of what the English and Dutch, the most
successful holders of tropical countries, have done, but also in the
light of the peculiar and varied circumstances that confront us on
these different and distant islands, and among these widely differing
races--circumstances to which no previous experience exactly applies,
and for which no uniform system could be applicable. If Congress should
take as long a time before action to study the problem as it has taken
in the Sandwich Islands, or even in Alaska, the President's power would
still be equal to the emergency, and the policy, while flexible, could
still be made as continuous, coherent, and practical as his best
information and ability would permit.

[Sidenote: Evasions of Duty.]

Against such a conscientious and painstaking course in dealing with the
grave responsibilities that are upon us in the East, two lines of
evasion are sure to threaten. The one is the policy of the upright but
short-sighted and strictly continental patriot--the same which an
illustrious statesman of another country followed in the Sudan:
"Scuttle as quick as you can."

The other is the policy of the exuberant patriot who believes in the
universal adaptability and immediate extension of American
institutions. He thinks all men everywhere as fit to vote as himself,
and wants them for partners. He is eager to have them prepare at once,
in our new possessions, first in the West Indies, then in the East, to
send Senators and Representatives to Congress, and his policy is: "Make
Territories of them now, and States in the American Union as soon as
possible." I wish to speak with the utmost respect of the sincere
advocates of both theories, but must say that the one seems to me to
fall short of a proper regard for either our duty or our interest, and
the other to be national suicide.

Gentlemen in whose ability and patriotism we all have confidence have
lately put the first of these policies for evading our duty in the form
of a protest "against the expansion and establishment of the dominion
of the United States, by conquest or otherwise, over unwilling peoples
in any part of the globe." Of this it may be said, first, that any
application of it to the Philippines probably assumes a factional and
temporary outbreak to represent a settled unwillingness. New Orleans
was as "unwilling," when Mr. Jefferson annexed it, as Aguinaldo has
made Manila; and Aaron Burr came near making the whole Louisiana
Territory far worse. Mr. Lincoln, you remember, always believed the
people of North Carolina not unwilling to remain in the Union, yet we
know what they did. But next, this protest contemplates evading the
present responsibility by a reversal of our settled policy any way. Mr.
Lincoln probably never doubted the unwillingness of South Carolina to
remain in the Union, but that did not change his course. Mr. Seward
never inquired whether the Alaskans were unwilling or not. The historic
position of the United States, from the day when Jefferson braved the
envenomed anti-expansion sentiment of his time and bought the territory
west of the Mississippi, on down, has been to consider, not the
willingness or unwillingness of any inhabitants, whether aboriginal or
colonists, but solely our national opportunity, our own duty, and our
own interests.

Is it said that this is Imperialism? That implies usurpation of power,
and there is absolutely no ground for such a charge against this
Administration at any one stage in these whole transactions. If any
complaint here is to lie, it must relate to the critical period when we
were accepting responsibility for order at Manila, and must be for the
exercise of too little power, not too much. It is not Imperialism to
take up honestly the responsibility for order we incurred before the
world, and continue under it, even if that should lead us to extend the
civil rights of the American Constitution over new regions and strange
peoples. It is not Imperialism when duty keeps us among these chaotic,
warring, distracted tribes, civilized, semi-civilized, and barbarous,
to help them, as far as their several capacities will permit, toward
self-government, on the basis of those civil rights.

A terser and more taking statement of opposition has been recently
attributed to a gentleman highly honored by this University and by his
townsmen here. I gladly seize this opportunity, as a consistent
opponent during his whole political life, to add that his words carry
great weight throughout the country by reason of the unquestioned
ability, courage, and patriotic devotion he has brought to the public
service. He is reported as protesting simply against "the use of power
in the extension of American institutions." But does not this, if
applied to the present situation, seem also to miss an important
distinction? What planted us in the Philippines was the use of our
power in the most efficient naval and military defense then available
for our own institutions where they already exist, against the attack
of Spain. If the responsibility entailed by the result of these acts in
our own defense does involve some extension of our institutions, shall
we therefore run away from it? If a guaranty to chaotic tribes of the
civil rights secured by the American Constitution does prove to be an
incident springing from the discharge of the duty that has rested upon
us from the moment we drove Spain out, is that a result so
objectionable as to warrant us in abandoning our duty?

There is, it is true, one other alternative--the one which Aguinaldo
himself is said to have suggested, and which has certainly been put
forth in his behalf with the utmost simplicity and sincerity by a
conspicuous statesman at Chicago. We might at once solicit peace from
Aguinaldo. We might then encourage him to extend his rule over the
whole country,--Catholic, pagan, and Mohammedan, willing and unwilling
alike,--and promise him whatever aid might be necessary for that task.
Meantime, we should undertake to protect him against outside
interference from any European or Asiatic nation whose interests on
that oceanic highway and in those commercial capitals might be
imperiled![14] I do not desire to discuss that proposition. And I submit
to candid men that there are just those three courses, and no more, now
open to us--to run away, to protect Aguinaldo, or to back up our own
army and firmly hold on!

      [14] The exact proposition made by General Carl Schurz in
      addressing the Chicago Anti-Expansion Convention, October 17,

[Sidenote: Objections to Duty.]

If this fact be clearly perceived, if the choice between these three
courses be once recognized as the only choice the present situation
permits, our minds will be less disturbed by the confused cries of
perplexity and discontent that still fill the air. Thus men often say,
"If you believe in liberty for yourself, why refuse it to the Tagals?"
That is right; they should have, in the degree of their capacity, the
only kind of liberty worth having in the world, the only kind that is
not a curse to its possessors and to all in contact with them--ordered
liberty, under law, for which the wisdom of man has not yet found a
better safeguard than the guaranties of civil rights in the
Constitution of the United States. Who supposes that to be the liberty
for which Aguinaldo is fighting? What his people want, and what the
statesman at Chicago wishes us to use the Army and Navy of the United
States to help him get, is the liberty to rule others--the liberty
first to turn our own troops out of the city and harbor we had in our
own self-defense captured from their enemies; the liberty next to rule
that great commercial city, and the tribes of the interior, instead of
leaving us to exercise the rule over them that events have forced upon
us, till it is fairly shown that they can rule themselves.

Again it is said, "You are depriving them of freedom." But they never
had freedom, and could not have it now. Even if they could subdue the
other tribes in Luzon, they could not establish such order on the other
islands and in the waters of the archipelago as to deprive foreign
Powers of an immediate excuse for interference. What we are doing is in
the double line of preventing otherwise inevitable foreign seizure and
putting a stop to domestic war.

"But you cannot fit people for freedom. They must fit themselves, just
as we must do our own crawling and stumbling in order to learn to
walk." The illustration is unfortunate. Must the crawling baby, then,
be abandoned by its natural or accidental guardian, and left to itself
to grow strong by struggling, or to perish, as may happen? Must we turn
the Tagals loose on the foreigners in Manila, and on their enemies in
the other tribes, that by following their instincts they may fit
themselves for freedom?

Again, "It will injure us to exert power over an unwilling people, just
as slavery injured the slaveholders themselves." Then a community is
injured by maintaining a police. Then a court is injured by rendering a
just decree, and an officer by executing it. Then it is a greater
injury, for instance, to stop piracy than to suffer from it. Then the
manly exercise of a just responsibility enfeebles instead of developing
and strengthening a nation.

"Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the
governed." "No man is good enough to govern another against his will."
Great truths, from men whose greatness and moral elevation the world
admires. But there is a higher authority than Jefferson or Lincoln, Who
said: "If a man smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other
also." Yet he who acted literally on even that divine injunction toward
the Malays that attacked our Army in Manila would be a congenital idiot
to begin with, and his corpse, while it lasted, would remain an
object-lesson of how not to deal with the present stage of Malay
civilization and Christianity.

Why mourn over our present course as a departure from the policy of the
fathers? For a hundred years the uniform policy which they began and
their sons continued has been acquisition, expansion, annexation,
reaching out to remote wildernesses far more distant and inaccessible
then than the Philippines are now--to disconnected regions like Alaska,
to island regions like Midway, the Guano Islands, the Aleutians, the
Sandwich Islands, and even to quasi-protectorates like Liberia and
Samoa. Why mourn because of the precedent we are establishing? The
precedent was established before we were born. Why distress ourselves
with the thought that this is only the beginning, that it opens the
door to unlimited expansion? The door is wide open now, and has been
ever since Livingston in Paris jumped at Talleyrand's offer to sell him
the wilderness west of the Mississippi instead of the settlements
eastward to Florida, which we had been trying to get; and Jefferson
eagerly sustained him. For the rest, the task that is laid upon us now
is not proving so easy as to warrant this fear that we shall soon be
seeking unlimited repetitions of it.

[Sidenote: Evasion by Embrace.]

That danger, in fact, can come only if we shirk our present duty by the
second of the two alternative methods of evasion I have mentioned--the
one favored by the exuberant patriot who wants to clasp Cuban, Kanaka,
and Tagal alike to his bosom as equal partners with ourselves in our
inheritance from the fathers, and take them all into the Union as

We will be wise to open our eyes at once to the gravity and the
insidious character of this danger--the very worst that could threaten
the American Union. Once begun, the rivalry of parties and the fears of
politicians would insure its continuance. With Idaho and Wyoming
admitted, they did not dare prolong the exclusion even of Utah, and so
we have the shame of seeing an avowed polygamist with a prima facie
right to sit in our Congress as a legislator not merely for Utah, but
for the whole Union. At this moment scarcely a politician dares frankly
avow unalterable opposition to the admission of Cuba, if she should
seek it. Yet, bad as that would be, it would necessarily lead to worse.
Others in the West Indies might not linger long behind. In any event,
with Cuba a State, Porto Rico could not be kept a Territory. No more
could the Sandwich Islands. And then, looming direct in our path, like
a volcano rising out of the mist on the affrighted vision of mariners
tempest-tossed in tropic seas, is the specter of such States as Luzon
and the Visayas and Haiti.

They would have precedents, too, to quote, and dangerous ones. When we
bought Louisiana we stipulated in the treaty that "the inhabitants of
the ceded territory shall be incorporated in the Union of the United
States and admitted as soon as possible, according to the principles of
the Federal Constitution, to the enjoyment of all the rights,
advantages, and immunities of citizens of the United States." We made
almost identically the same stipulation when we bought Florida. When
one of the most respected in the long line of our able Secretaries of
State, Mr. William L. Marcy, negotiated a treaty in 1854 for the
annexation of the Sandwich Islands, he provided that they should be
incorporated as a State, with the same degree of sovereignty as other
States, and on perfect equality with them. The schemes prior to 1861
for the purchase or annexation of Cuba practically all looked to the
same result. Not till the annexation of San Domingo was proposed did
this feature disappear from our treaties. It is only candid to add that
the habit of regarding this as the necessary destiny of any United
States Territory as soon as it has sufficient population has been
universal. It is no modern vagary, but the practice, if not the theory,
of our whole national life, that would open the doors of our Senate and
House, and give a share in the Government to these wild-eyed newcomers
from the islands of the sea.

The calamity of admitting them cannot be overrated. Even in the case of
the best of these islands, it would demoralize and degrade the national
suffrage almost incalculably below the point already reached. To the
Senate, unwieldy now, and greatly changed in character from the body
contemplated by the Constitution, it would be disastrous. For the
present States of the Union it would be an act of folly like that of a
business firm which blindly steered for bankruptcy by freely admitting
to full partnership new members, strangers, and non-residents, not only
otherwise ill qualified, but with absolutely conflicting interests. And
it would be a distinct violation of the clause in the preamble that
"we, the people,... do ordain and establish this Constitution for the
United States of _America_."

There is the only safe ground--on the letter and the spirit of the
Constitution. It contemplated a Continental Union of sovereign States.
It limited that Union to the American Continent. The man that takes it
farther sounds its death-knell.

[Sidenote: The General Welfare.]

I have designedly left to the last any estimate of the material
interests we serve by holding on in our present course. Whatever these
may be, they are only a subordinate consideration. We are in the
Philippines, as we are in the West Indies, because duty sent us; and we
shall remain because we have no right to run away from our duty, even
if it does involve far more trouble than we foresaw when we plunged
into the war that entailed it. The call to duty, when once plainly
understood, is a call Americans never fail to answer, while to calls of
interest they have often shown themselves incredulous or contemptuous.

But the Constitution we revere was also ordained "to promote the
general welfare," and he is untrue to its purpose who squanders
opportunities. Never before have they been showered upon us in such
bewildering profusion. Are the American people to rise to the occasion?
Are they to be as great as their country? Or shall the historian record
that at this unexampled crisis they were controlled by timid ideas and
short-sighted views, and so proved unequal to the duty and the
opportunity which unforeseen circumstances brought to their doors? The
two richest archipelagos in the world are practically at our disposal.
The greatest ocean on the globe has been put in our hands, the ocean
that is to bear the commerce of the Twentieth Century. In the face of
this prospect, shall we prefer, with the teeming population that
century is to bring us, to remain a "hibernating nation, living off its
own fat--a hermit nation," as Mr. Senator Davis has asked? For our
first Assistant Secretary of State, Mr. Hill, was right when he said
that not to enter the Open Door in Asia means the perpetual isolation
of this continent.

[Sidenote: Have they any Value?]

Are we to be discouraged by the cry that the new possessions are
worthless? Not while we remember how often and under what circumstances
we have heard that cry before. Half the public men of the period
denounced Louisiana as worthless. Eminent statesmen made merry in
Congress over the idea that Oregon or Washington could be of any use.
Daniel Webster, in the most solemn and authoritative tones
Massachusetts has ever employed, assured his fellow-Senators that, in
his judgment, California was not worth a dollar.

Is it said that the commercial opportunities in the Orient, or at least
in the Philippines, are overrated? So it used to be said of the
Sandwich Islands. But what does our experience show? Before their
annexation even, but after we had taken this little archipelago under
our protection and into our commercial system, our ocean tonnage in
that trade became nearly double as heavy as with Great Britain. Why?
Because, while we have lost the trade of the Atlantic, superior
advantages make the Pacific ours. Is it said that elsewhere on the
Pacific we can do as well without a controlling political influence as
with it? Look again! Mexico buys our products at the rate of $1.95 for
each inhabitant; South America at the rate of 90 cents; Great Britain
at the rate of $13.42; Canada at the rate of $14; and the Hawaiian
Islands at the rate of $53.35 for each inhabitant. Look at the trade of
the chief city on the Pacific coast. All Mexico and Central America,
all the western parts of South America and of Canada, are as near to it
as is Honolulu; and comparison of the little Sandwich Islands in
population with any of them would be ridiculous. Yet none of them
bought as much salmon in San Francisco as Hawaii, and no countries
bought more save England and Australia. No countries bought as much
barley, excepting Central America; and even in the staff of life, the
California flour, which all the world buys, only five countries
outranked Hawaii in purchases in San Francisco.

No doubt a part of this result is due to the nearness of Hawaii to our
markets, and her distance from any others capable of competing with us,
and another part to a favorable system of reciprocity. Nevertheless,
nobody doubts the advantage our dealers have derived in the promotion
of trade from controlling political relations and frequent intercourse.
There are those who deny that "trade follows the flag," but even they
admit that it leaves if the flag does. And, independent of these
advantages, and reckoning by mere distance, we still have the better of
any European rivals in the Philippines. Now, assume that the Filipino
would have far fewer wants than the Kanaka or his coolie laborer, and
would do far less work for the means to gratify them. Admit, too, that,
with the Open Door, our political relations and frequent intercourse
could have barely a fifth or a sixth of the effect there they have had
in the Sandwich Islands. Roughly cast up even that result, and say
whether it is a value which the United States should throw away as not
worth considering!

And the greatest remains behind. For the trade in the Philippines will
be but a drop in the bucket compared to that of China, for which they
give us an unapproachable foothold. But let it never be forgotten that
the confidence of Orientals goes only to those whom they recognize as
strong enough and determined enough always to hold their own and
protect their rights! The worst possible introduction for the Asiatic
trade would be an irresolute abandonment of our foothold because it was
too much trouble to keep, or because some Malay and half-breed
insurgents said they wanted us away.

[Sidenote: The Future.]

Have you considered for whom we hold these advantages in trust? They
belong not merely to the seventy-five millions now within our borders,
but to all who are to extend the fortunes and preserve the virtues of
the Republic in the coming century. Their numbers cannot increase in
the startling ratio this century has shown. If they did the population
of the United States a hundred years hence would be over twelve hundred
millions. That ratio is impossible, but nobody gives reasons why we
should not increase half as fast. Suppose we do actually increase only
one fourth as fast in the Twentieth Century as in the Nineteenth. To
what height would not the three hundred millions of Americans whom even
that ratio foretells bear up the seething industrial activities of the
continent! To what corner of the world would they not need to carry
their commerce? What demands on tropical productions would they not
make? What outlets for their adventurous youth would they not require?
With such a prospect before us, who thinks that we should shrink from
an enlargement of our national sphere because of the limitations that
bound, or the dangers that threatened, before railroads, before ocean
steamers, before telegraphs and ocean cables, before the enormous
development of our manufactures, and the training of executive and
organizing faculties in our people on a constantly increasing scale for

Does the prospect alarm? Is it said that our Nation is already too
great, that all its magnificent growth only adds to the conflicting
interests that must eventually tear it asunder? What cement, then, like
that of a great common interest beyond our borders, that touches not
merely the conscience but the pocket and the pride of all alike, and
marshals us in the face of the world, standing for our own?

What, then, is the conclusion of the whole matter? Hold fast! Stand
firm in the place where Providence has put you, and do the duty a just
responsibility for your own past acts imposes. Support the army you
sent there. Stop wasting valuable strength by showing how things might
be different if something different had been done a year and a half
ago. Use the educated thought of the country for shaping best its
course now, instead of chiefly finding fault with its history. Bring
the best hope of the future, the colleges and the generation they are
training, to exert the greatest influence and accomplish the most good
by working intelligently in line with the patriotic aspirations and the
inevitable tendencies of the American people, rather than against them.
Unite the efforts of all men of good will to make the appointment of
any person to these new and strange duties beyond seas impossible save
for proved fitness, and his removal impossible save for cause. Rally
the colleges and the churches, and all they influence, the brain and
the conscience of the country, in a combined and irresistible demand
for a genuine, trained, and pure Civil Service in our new possessions,
that shall put to shame our detractors, and show to the world the
Americans of this generation, equal still to the work of civilization
and colonization, and leading the development of the coming century as
bravely as their fathers led it in the last.



This speech was delivered on the invitation of the Massachusetts Club,
at their regular dinner in Boston, March 3, 1900.


A third of a century ago I had the honor to be a guest at this club,
which met then, as now, in Young's Hotel. It has ever since been a
pleasure to recall the men of Boston who gathered about the board,
interested, as now, in the affairs of the Republic to which they were
at once ornament and defense. Frank Bird sat at the head. Near him was
Henry Wilson. John M. Forbes was here, and John A. Andrew, and George
S. Boutwell, and George L. Stearns, and many another, eager in those
times of trial to seek and know the best thing to be done to serve this
country of our pride and love. They were practical business men, true
Yankees in the best sense; and they spent no time then in quarreling
over how we got into our trouble. Their one concern was how to get out
to the greatest advantage of the country.

Honored now by another opportunity to meet with the club, I can do no
better than profit by this example of your earlier days. You have asked
me to speak on some phase of the Philippine question. I would like to
concentrate your attention upon the present and practical phase, and to
withdraw it for the time from things that are past and cannot be

[Sidenote: Things that Cannot be Undone.]

Stare decisis. There are some things settled. Have we not a better and
more urgent use for our time now than in showing why some of us would
have liked them settled differently? In my State there is a dictum by
an eminent judge of the Court of Appeals, so familiar now as to be a
commonplace, to the effect that when that court has rendered its
decision, there are only two things left to the disappointed advocate.
One is to accept the result attained, and go to work on it as best he
can; the other, to go down to the tavern and "cuss" the court. I want
to suggest to those who dislike the past of the Philippine question
that there is more important work pressing upon you at this moment than
to cuss the court. You cannot change the past, but you may prevent some
threatened sequences which even in your eyes would be far greater

There is no use bewailing the war with Spain. Nothing can undo it, and
its results are upon us. There is no use arguing that Dewey should have
abandoned his conquest. He didn't. There is no use regretting the Peace
of Paris. For good or for ill, it is a part of the supreme law of the
land. There is no use begrudging the twenty millions. They are paid.
There is no use depreciating the islands, East or West. They are the
property of the United States by an immutable title which, whatever
some of our own people say, the whole civilized world recognizes and
respects. There is no use talking about getting rid of them--giving
them back to Spain, or turning them over to Aguinaldo, or simply
running away from them. Whoever thinks that any one of these things
could be done, or is still open to profitable debate, takes his
observations--will you pardon me the liberty of saying it?--takes his
observations too closely within the horizon of Boston Bay to know the
American people.

They have not been persuaded and they cannot be persuaded that this is
an inferior Government, incapable of any duty Providence (through the
acts of a wicked Administration, if you choose) may send its
way--duties which other nations could discharge, but we cannot. They do
not and will not believe that it was any such maimed, imperfect,
misshapen cripple from birth for which our forefathers made a place in
the family of nations. Nor are they misled by the cry that, in a
populous region, thronged by the ships and traders of all countries,
where their own prosecution of a just war broke down whatever
guaranties for order had previously existed, they are violating the
natural rights of man by enforcing order. Just as little are they
misled by the other cry that they are violating the right of
self-government, and the Declaration of Independence, and the
Constitution of the United States by preparing for the distracted,
warring tribes of that region such local government as they may be
found capable of conducting, in their various stages of development
from pure barbarism toward civilization. The American people know they
are thus proceeding to do just what Jefferson did in the vast region he
bought from France--without the consent, by the way, either of its
sovereign or its inhabitants. They know they are following in the exact
path of all the constructive statesmen of the Republic, from the days
of the man who wrote the Declaration, and of those who made the
Constitution, down to the days of the men who conquered California,
bought Alaska, and denied the right of self-government to Jefferson
Davis. They simply do not believe that a new light has been given to
Mr. Bryan, or to the better men who are aiding him, greater and purer
than was given to Washington, or to Jefferson, or to Lincoln.

And so I venture to repeat, without qualification or reserve, that what
is past cannot be changed. Candid and dispassionate minds, knowing the
American people of all political shades and in all sections of the
country, can see no possibility that any party in power, whether the
present one or its opponent, would or could, now or soon, if ever,
abandon or give back one foot of the territory gained in the late war,
and ours now by the supreme law of the land and with the assent of the
civilized world. As well may you look to see California, which your own
Daniel Webster, quite in a certain modern Massachusetts style, once
declared in the Senate to be not worth a dollar, now abandoned to

[Sidenote: No Abstractions or Apologies or Attacks.]

It seems to me, then, idle to thresh over old straw when the grain is
not only winnowed, but gone to the mill. And so I am not here to
discuss abstract questions: as, for example, whether in the year 1898
the United States was wise in going to war with Spain, though on that I
might not greatly disagree with the malcontents; or as to the wisdom of
expansion; or as to the possibility of a republic's maintaining its
authority over a people without their consent. Nor am I here to
apologize for my part in making the nation that was in the wrong and
beaten in the late war pay for it in territory. I have never thought of
denying or evading my own full share of responsibility in that matter.
Conscious of a duty done, I am happily independent enough to be
measurably indifferent as to a mere present and temporary effect.
Whatever the verdict of the men of Massachusetts to-day, I contentedly
await the verdict of their sons.

But, on the other hand, I am not here either to launch charges of
treason against any opponent of these policies, who nevertheless loves
the institutions founded on these shores by your ancestors, and wishes
to perpetuate what they created. Least of all would it occur to me to
utter a word in disparagement of your senior Senator, of whom it may be
said with respectful and almost affectionate regard that he bears a
warrant as authentic as that of the most distinguished of his
predecessors to speak for the conscience and the culture of
Massachusetts. Nor shall any reproach be uttered by me against another
eminent son of the commonwealth and servant of the Republic, who was
expected, as one of the officers of your club told me, to make this
occasion distinguished by his presence. He has been represented as
resenting the unchangeable past so sternly that he now hopes to aid in
defeating the party he has helped to lead through former trials to
present glory. If so, and if from the young and unremembering reproach
should come, be it ours, silent and walking backward, merely to cast
over him the mantle of his own honored service.

[Sidenote: Common Duty and a Common Danger.]

No, no! Let us have a truce to profitless disputes about what cannot be
reversed. Censure us if you must. Even strike at your old associates
and your own party if you will and when you can, without harming causes
you hold dear. But for the duty of this hour, consider if there is not
a common meeting-ground and instant necessity for union in a rational
effort to avert present perils. This, then, is my appeal. Disagree as
we may about the past, let us to-day at least see straight--see things
as they are. Let us suspend disputes about what is done and cannot be
undone, long enough to rally all the forces of good will, all the
undoubted courage and zeal and patriotism that are now at odds, in a
devoted effort to meet the greater dangers that are upon us.

For the enemy is at the gates. More than that, there is some reason to
fear that, through dissensions from within, he may gain the citadel. In
their eagerness to embarrass the advocates of what has been done, and
with the vain hope of in some way undoing it, and so lifting this
Nation of seventy-five millions bodily backward two years on its path,
there are many who are still putting forth all their energies in
straining our Constitution and defying our history, to show that we
have no possessions whose people are not entitled to citizenship and
ultimately to Statehood. Grant that, and instead of reversing engines
safely in mid-career, as they vainly hope, they must simply plunge us
over the precipice. The movement began in the demand that our Dingley
tariff--as a matter of right, not of policy, for most of these people
denounce the tariff itself as barbarous--that our Dingley tariff should
of necessity be extended over Porto Rico as an integral part of the
United States. Following an assent to this must have come inevitably
all the other rights and privileges belonging to citizenship, and then
no power could prevent the admission of the State of Porto Rico.

Some may think that in itself would be no great thing, though it is for
you to say how Massachusetts would relish having this mixed population,
a little more than half colonial Spanish, the rest negro and
half-breed, illiterate, alien in language, alien in ideas of right,
interests, and government, send in from the mid-Atlantic, nearly a
third of the way over to Africa, two Senators to balance the votes of
Mr. Hoar and Mr. Lodge; for you to say how Massachusetts would regard
the spectacle of her senatorial vote nullified, and one third of her
representation in the House offset on questions, for instance, of
sectional and purely Northern interest, in the government of this
continent, and in the administration of this precious heritage of our

Or, suppose Massachusetts to be so little Yankee (in the best sense
still) that she could bear all this without murmur or objection--is it
to be imagined that she can lift other States in this generation to her
altruistic level? How would Kansas, for example, enjoy being balanced
in the Senate, and nearly balanced in the House, on questions relating
to the irrigation of her arid plains, or the protection of her
beet-root industry, or on any others affecting the great central
regions of this continent, by these voices from the watery waste of the
ocean? Or how would West Virginia or Oregon or Connecticut, or half a
dozen others of similar population, regard it to be actually outvoted
in their own home, on their own continent, by this Spanish and negro
waif from the mid-Atlantic?

All this, in itself, may seem to some unimportant, negligible, even
trivial. At any rate, it would be inevitable; since no one is wild
enough to believe that Porto Rico can be turned back to Spain, or
bartered away, or abandoned by the generation that took it. But make
its people citizens now, and you have already made it, potentially, a
State. Then behind Porto Rico stands Cuba, and behind Cuba, in time,
stand the whole of the West Indies, on whom that law of political
gravitation which John Quincy Adams described will be perpetually
acting with redoubled force. And behind them--no, far ahead of them,
abreast of Porto Rico itself--stand the Philippines! The Constitution
which our fathers reverently ordained for the United States of
_America_ is thus tortured by its professed friends into a crazy-quilt,
under whose dirty folds must huddle the United States of America, of
the West Indies, of the East Indies, and of Polynesia; and Pandemonium
is upon us.

[Sidenote: The Degradation of the Republic.]

I implore you, as thinking men, pause long enough to realize the
degradation of the Republic thus calmly contemplated by those who
proclaim this to be our constitutional duty toward our possessions. The
republican institutions I have been trained to believe in were
institutions founded, like those of New England, on the Church and the
school-house. They constitute a system only likely to endure among a
people of high virtue and high intelligence. The republican government
built up on this continent, while the most successful in the history of
the world, is also the most complicated, the most expensive, and often
the slowest. Such are its complications and checks and balances and
interdependencies, which tax the intelligence, the patience, and the
virtue of the highest Caucasian development, that it is a system
absolutely unworkable by a group of Oriental and tropical races, more
or less hostile to each other, whose highest type is a Chinese and
Malay half-breed, and among whom millions, a majority possibly, are far
below the level of the pure Malay.

What holds a nation together, unless it be community of interests,
character, and language, and contiguous territory? What would more
thoroughly insure its speedily flying to pieces than the lack of every
one of these requisites? Over and over, the clearest-eyed students of
history have predicted our own downfall even as a continental republic,
in spite of our measurable enjoyment of all of them. How near we all
believed we came to it once or twice! How manifestly, under the
incongruous hodge-podge of additions to the Union thus proposed, we
should be organizing with Satanic skill the exact conditions which have
invariably led to such downfalls elsewhere!

Before the advent of the United States, the history of the world's
efforts at republicanism was a monotonous record of failure. Your very
school-boys are taught the reason. It was because the average of
intelligence and morality was too low; because they lacked the
self-restrained, self-governing quality developed in the Anglo-Saxon
bone and fiber through all the centuries since Runnymede; because they
grew unwieldy and lost cohesion by reason of unrelated territory, alien
races and languages, and inevitable territorial and climatic conflicts
of interest.

On questions vitally affecting the welfare of this continent it is
inconceivable, unthinkable, that even altruistic Massachusetts should
tolerate having her two Senators and thirteen Representatives
neutralized by as many from Mindanao. Yet Mindanao has a greater
population than Massachusetts, and its Mohammedan Malays are as keen
for the conduct of public affairs, can talk as much, and look as
shrewdly for the profit of it.

There are cheerful, happy-go-lucky public men who assure us that the
national digestion has been proved equal to anything. Has it? Are we
content, for example, with the way we have dealt with the negro problem
in the Southern States? Do we think the suffrage question there is now
on a permanent basis which either we or our Southern friends can be
proud of, while we lack the courage either honestly to enforce the rule
of the majority, or honestly to sanction a limitation of suffrage
within lines of intelligence and thrift? How well would our famous
national digestion probably advance if we filled up our Senate with
twelve or fourteen more Senators, representing conditions incomparably

Is it said this danger is imaginary? At this moment some of the purest
and most patriotic men in Massachusetts, along with a great many of the
very worst in the whole country, are vehemently declaring that our new
possessions are already a part of the United States; that in spite of
the treaty which reserved the question of citizenship and political
status for Congress, their people are already citizens of the United
States; and that no part of the United States can be arbitrarily and
permanently excluded from Statehood.

The immediate contention, to be sure, is only about Porto Rico, and it
is only a very little island. But who believes he can stop the
avalanche? What wise man, at least, will take the risk of starting it?
Who imagines that we can take in Porto Rico and keep out nearer islands
when they come? Powerful elements are already pushing Cuba. Practically
everybody recognizes now that we must retain control of Cuba's foreign
relations. But beyond that, the same influences that came so near
hurrying us into a recognition of the Cuban Republic and the Cuban debt
are now sure that Cuba will very shortly be so "Americanized" (that is,
overrun with American speculators) that it cannot be denied
admission--that, in fact, it will be as American as Florida! And, after
Cuba, the deluge! Who fancies that we could then keep San Domingo and
Haiti out, or any West India island that applied, or our friends the
Kanakas? Or who fancies that after the baser sort have once tasted
blood, in the form of such rotten-borough States, and have learned to
form their larger combinations with them, we shall still be able to
admit as a matter of right a part of the territory exacted from Spain,
and yet deny admission as a matter of right to the rest?

The Nation has lately been renewing its affectionate memories of a man
who died in his effort to hold on, with or without their consent, to
the States we already have on this continent, but who never dreamed of
casting a drag-net over the world's archipelagos for more. Do we
remember his birthday and forget his words? "This Government"--meaning
that under the Constitution ordained for the United States of
_America_--"this Government cannot permanently endure, half slave, half
free." Who disputes it now? Well, then, can it endure half civilized
and enlightened, half barbarous and pagan; half white, half black,
brown, yellow, and mixed; half Northern and Western, half tropical and
Oriental; one half a homogeneous continent, the rest in myriads of
islands scattered half-way around the globe, but all eager to
participate in ruling this continent which our fathers with fire and
sword redeemed from barbarism and subdued to the uses of the highest

[Sidenote: Clamor that Need not Disturb.]

I will not insult your intelligence or your patriotism by imagining it
possible that in view of such considerations you could consent to the
madman's policy of taking these islands we control into full
partnership with the States of this Union. Nor need you be much
disturbed by the interested outcries as to the injustice you do by
refusing to admit them.

When it is said you are denying the natural rights Mr. Jefferson
proclaimed, you can answer that you are giving these people, in their
distant islands, the identical form of government Mr. Jefferson himself
gave to the territories on this continent which he bought. When it is
said you are denying our own cardinal doctrine of self-government, you
can point to the arrangements for establishing every particle of
self-government with which these widely different tribes can be safely
trusted, consistently with your responsibility for the preservation of
order and the protection of life and property in that archipelago, and
the pledge of more the moment they are found capable of it. When you
are asked, as a leading champion[15] asked the other night at
Philadelphia, "Does your liberation of one people give you the right to
subjugate another?" you can answer him, "No; nor to allow and aid
Aguinaldo to subjugate them, either, as you proposed." When the idle
quibble that after Dewey's victory Spain had no sovereignty to cede is
repeated, it may be asked, "Why acknowledge, then, that she did cede it
in Porto Rico and relinquish it in Cuba, yet deny that she could cede
it in the Philippines?" Finally, when they tell you in mock heroics,
appropriated from the great days of the anti-slavery struggle for the
cause now of a pinchbeck Washington, that no results of the irrevocable
past two years are settled, that not even the title to our new
possessions is settled, and never will be until it is settled according
to their notions, you can answer that then the title to Massachusetts
is not settled, nor the title to a square mile of land in most of the
States from ocean to ocean. Over practically none of it did we assume
sovereignty by the consent of the inhabitants.

      [15] General Carl Schurz, at the Philadelphia Anti-Imperialist
      Convention, February 22, 1900.

[Sidenote: Where is your Real Interest?]

Quite possibly these controversies may embarrass the Government and
threaten the security of the party in power. New and perplexing
responsibilities often do that. But is it to the interest of the
sincere and patriotic among the discontented to produce either result?
The one thing sure is that no party in power in this country will dare
abandon these new possessions. That being so, do those of you who
regret it prefer to lose all influence over the outcome? While you are
repining over what is beyond recall, events are moving on. If you do
not help shape them, others, without your high principle and purity of
motive, may. Can you wonder if, while you are harassing the
Administration with impracticable demands for an abandonment of
territory which the American people will not let go, less unselfish
influences are busy presenting candidates for all the offices in its
organization? If the friends of a proper civil service persist in
chasing the ignis fatuus of persuading Americans to throw away
territory, while the politicians are busy crowding their favorites into
the territorial offices, who will feel free from self-reproach at the
results? Grant that the situation is bad. Can there be a doubt of the
duty to make the best of it? Do you ask how? By being an active
patriot, not a passive one. By exerting, and exerting now when it is
needed, every form of influence, personal, social, political,
moral,--the influence of the clubs, the Chambers of Commerce, the
manufactories, the colleges, and the churches,--in favor of the purest,
the ablest, the most scientific, the most disinterested--in a word, the
best possible civil service for the new possessions that the conscience
and the capacity of America can produce, with the most liberal use of
all the material available from native sources.

I have done. I have no wish to argue, to defend, or to attack. I have
sought only to point out what I conceive to be the present danger and
the present duty. It is not to be doubted that all such considerations
will summon you to the high resolve that you will neither shame the
Republic by shirking the task its own victory entails, nor despoil the
Republic by abandoning its rightful possessions, nor degrade the
Republic by admissions of unfit elements to its Union; but that you
will honor it, enrich it, ennoble it, by doing your utmost to make the
administration of these possessions worthy of the Nation that
Washington founded and Lincoln preserved. My last word is an appeal to
stand firm and stand all together for the Continental Union and for a
pure civil service for the Islands.



This address was delivered on Charter Day at the University of
California, on March 23, 1900.


My subject has been variously stated in your different newspapers as
"Current National Questions," or "The Present National Question," or
"General Expositions; Not on Anything in Particular." When your
President honored me with his invitation to a duty so high and so
sudden that it might almost be dignified by the name of a draft, he
gave me nearly equal license. I was to speak "on anything growing out
of the late war with Spain."

How that war resembles the grippe! You remember the medical definition
by an authority no less high than our present distinguished Secretary
of State. "The grippe," said Colonel Hay, "is that disease in which,
after you have been cured, you get steadily worse every day of your
convalescence"! There are people of so little faith as to say that this
exactly describes the late war with Spain.

If one is to speak at all of its present aspects, on this high-day of
your University year, he should do so only as a patriot, not as a
partizan. But he cannot avoid treading on ground where the ashes are
yet warm, and discussing questions which, in spite of the present
intermingling of party lines and confusion of party ideas, will
presently be found the very battle-ground of campaign oratory and
hostile hosts. You will credit me, I hope, with sufficient respect for
the proprieties of this platform to avoid partizan arguments, under the
warrant of your distinguished President to discuss national questions
from any point of view that a patriot can take. It is profoundly to be
regretted that on these questions, which pure patriotism alone should
weigh and decide, mere partizanship is already grasping the scales. One
thing at least I may venture to promise before this audience of
scholars and gentlemen on this Charter Day of your great University: I
shall ask the Democrat of the present day to agree with me no farther
than Thomas Jefferson went, and the Republican of the day no farther
than Abraham Lincoln went. To adapt from a kindred situation a phrase
by the greatest popular orator of my native State, and, I still like to
think, one of the greatest of the country in this century,--a phrase
applied by him to the compromise measures of 1848, but equally fitting
to-day,--"If we are forced to part company with some here whom it has
been our pleasure and pride to follow in the past, let us console
ourselves by the reflection that we are following in the footsteps of
the fathers and saviors of the Republic, their garments dyed with the
blood of the Red Sea, through which they led us out of the land of
bondage, their locks still moist with the mists of the Jordan, across
which they brought us to this land of liberty."[16]

      [16] Thomas Corwin of Ohio, in United States Senate, 1848.

[Sidenote: To be Taken for Granted now.]

Yet, even with those from whom we must thus part company there are
elemental truths of the situation on which we must still agree. Some
things reasonable men may take for granted--some that surely have been
settled in the conflict of arms, of diplomacy, and of debate since the
spring of 1898. Regret them if you choose, but do not, like children,
seek to make them as though they were not, by shutting your eyes to

The new territories in the West Indies and the East are ours, to have
and to hold, by the supreme law of the land, and by a title which the
whole civilized world recognizes and respects. We shall not speedily
get rid of them--whoever may desire it. The American people are in no
mood to give them back to Spain, or to sell them, or to abandon them.
We have all the power we need to acquire and to govern them. Whatever
theories men may quote from Mr. Calhoun or from Mr. Chief Justice
Taney, the uniform conduct of the National Administration throughout a
century, under whatever party, justifies the triumphant declaration of
Daniel Webster to Mr. Calhoun, over half a century ago, and the
consenting opinions of the courts for a long term since, down to the
very latest in the line, by your own Judge Morrow, to the effect, in a
word, that this Government, like every other one in the world, has
power to acquire "territory and other property" anywhere, and govern it
as it pleases.[17]

      [17] Over a month after the above was delivered came the first
      recent judicial expression of a contrary view. It was by Judge
      William Lochren of the United States Circuit Court at St. Paul,
      in the case of habeas corpus proceedings against Reeve, warden of
      the Minnesota State Prison at Stillwater, for the release of a
      Porto Rican named Ortiz. He was held for the murder of a private
      soldier of the United States, sentenced to death by a Military
      Commission at San Juan, and, on commutation of the sentence by
      the President of the United States, sent to this State Prison for
      life. Judge Lochren denied the writ on the ground that the
      conviction took place before the Treaty of Paris, by which Spain
      ceded sovereignty in Porto Rico to the United States, had been
      ratified by the Senate. The Judge went on, however, to argue that
      Ortiz could not have been lawfully tried before the Military
      Commission after the ratification of the treaty, because the
      island of Porto Rico thereby became an integral part of the
      United States, subject to the Constitution and privileged and
      bound by its provisions. As this point was not involved in the
      case he was deciding, this is, of course, merely a dictum--the
      expression of opinion on an outside matter by a Democratic judge
      who was recently transferred by Mr. Cleveland from a Washington
      bureau to the bench. It clearly shows, however, what would be his
      decision whenever the case might come before him. His argument
      followed closely the lines taken by Mr. Calhoun in the Senate and
      Mr. Chief Justice Taney in the Dred Scott decision.

On these points I make bold to repeat what I felt warranted in saying a
fortnight ago within sight of Bunker Hill--that there is every evidence
that the American people have distinctly and definitely made up their
minds. They have not been persuaded and they cannot be persuaded that
this is an inferior government, incapable of any duty Providence may
send its way--duties which other nations could discharge, but we
cannot. So I venture to affirm the impossibility that any party in
power, whether the present one or its opponent, could soon, if ever,
abandon one foot of the territory gained in the late war.

We are gathered on another old Spanish territory taken by our country
in war. It shows what Americans do with such acquisitions. Before you
expect to see Porto Rico given back to Spain or the Philippines
abandoned to Aguinaldo, wait till we are ready to declare, as Daniel
Webster did in the Senate, that this California of your pride and glory
is "not worth a dollar," and throw back the worthless thing on the
hands of unoffending Mexico. Till then, let us as practical and
sensible men recognize that what is past is settled.

[Sidenote: Duty First; but then Interest also.]

Thus far have we come in these strange courses and to these unexpected
and unwelcome tasks by following, at each succeeding emergency, the
path of clear, absolute, and unavoidable duty. The only point in the
whole national line of conduct, from the spring of 1898 on to this
March morning of 1900, at which our Government could have stopped with
honor, was at the outset. I, for one, would gladly have stopped there.
How was it then with some at the West who are discontented now? Shake
not your gory locks at me or at my fellow-citizens in the East. You
cannot say we did it. In 1898, just as a few years earlier in the
debate about Venezuela, the loudest calls for a belligerent policy came
not from the East, "the cowardly, commercial East," as we were
sometimes described, but from the patriotic and warlike West. The
farther West you came, the louder the cry for war, till it reached its
very climax on what we used to call the frontier, and was sent
thundering Eastward upon the National Capital in rolling reverberations
from the Sierras and the Rockies which few public men cared to defy. At
that moment, perhaps, if this popular and congressional demand had not
pushed us forward, we might have stopped with honor--certainly not
later. From the day war was flagrant down to this hour there has been
no forward step which a peremptory national or international obligation
did not require. To the mandate alone of Duty, stern daughter of the
voice of God, the American people have bowed, as, let us hope, they
always will. It is not true that, in the final decision as to any one
step in the great movement hitherto, our interests have been first or
chiefly considered.

But in all these constitutional discussions to which we have referred,
one clause in the Constitution has been curiously thrust aside. The
framers placed it on the very forefront of the edifice they were
rearing, and there declared for our instruction and guidance that "the
people do ordain and establish this Constitution ... to promote the
general welfare." By what right do statesmen now venture to think that
they can leave our national interests out of the account? Who and where
is the sentimentalist who arraigns us for descending to too sordid a
level when we recognize our interest to hold what the discharge of duty
has placed in our hand? Since when has it been statesmanship to shut
our eyes to the interests of our own country, and patriotism to
consider only the interests or the wishes of others? For my own part, I
confess to a belief in standing up first for my own, and find it
difficult to cherish much respect for the man who won't: first for my
own family rather than some other man's; first for my own city and
State rather than for somebody else's; first for my own country--first,
please God! for the United States of America. And so, having in the
past, too fully, perhaps, and more than once, considered the question
of our new possessions in the light of our duty, I propose now to look
at them further, and unblushingly, in the light of our interests.

[Sidenote: The Old Faith of Californians.]

Which way do your interests lie? Which way do the interests of
California and the city of San Francisco lie?

Three or four days ago, when your President honored me with the summons
I am now obeying, there came back to me a vague memory of the visions
cherished by the men you rate the highest in California, your
"Pioneers" and "Forty-Niners," as to the future of the empire they were
founding on this coast. There lingered in my mind the flavor at least
of an old response by a California public man to the compliment a
"tenderfoot" New-Yorker, in the innocence of his heart, had intended to
pay, when he said that with this splendid State, this glorious harbor,
and the Pacific Ocean, you have all the elements to build up here the
New York of the West. The substance of the Californian's reply was
that, through mere lack of knowledge of the country to which he
belonged, the well-meaning New-Yorker had greatly underrated the future
that awaited San Francisco--that long before Macaulay's New-Zealander
had transferred himself from the broken arches of London Bridge to
those of Brooklyn, it would be the pride and boast of the denizens of
those parts that New York had held its own so finely as still to be
fairly called the San Francisco of the East!

While the human memory is the most tenacious and nearest immortal of
all things known to us, it is also at times the most elusive. Even with
the suggestions of Mr. Hittell and the friendly files of the Mechanics'
Library, I did not succeed in finding that splendid example of San
Francisco faith which my memory had treasured. Yet I found some things
not very unlike it to show what manner of men they were that laid the
foundations of this commonwealth on the Pacific, what high hopes
sustained them, and what radiant future they confidently anticipated.

Here, for example, was Mr. William A. Howard, whom I found declaring,
not quite a third of a century ago, that San Francisco would yet be the
largest American city on the largest ocean in the world. At least, so
he is reported in "The Bulletin" and "The Call," though "The Alta" puts
it with an "if," its report reading: "If the development of commerce
require that the largest ocean shall have the largest city, then it
would follow that as the Atlantic is smaller than the Pacific, so in
the course of years New York will be smaller than San Francisco."

And here, again, was Mr. Delos Lake, maintaining that the "United
States is now on a level with the most favored nations; that its
geographical position, its line of palatial steamers established on the
Pacific Ocean by American enterprise, and soon to be followed by ocean
telegraphs, must before long render this continent the proper avenue of
commerce between Europe and Asia, and raise this metropolis of the
Pacific to the loftiest height of monetary power."

There was a reason, too, widely held by the great men of the day, whose
names have passed into history, for some such faith. Thus an old
Californian of high and happy fame, Major-General Henry W. Halleck,
speaking of San Francisco, said: "Standing here on the extreme Western
verge of the Republic, overlooking the coast of Asia and occupying the
future center of trade and commerce of the two worlds,... if that
civilization which so long has moved westward with the Star of Empire
is now, purified by the principles of true Christianity, to go on
around the world until it reaches the place of its origin and makes the
Orient blossom again with its benign influences, San Francisco must be
made the abutment, and International Law the bridge, by which it will
cross the Pacific Ocean. The enterprise of the merchants of California
has already laid the foundation of the abutments; diplomacy and steam
and telegraph companies are rapidly accumulating material for the
construction of the bridge." Thus far Halleck. But have the
Californians of this generation abandoned the bridge? Are we to believe
those men of to-day who tell us it is not worth crossing?

Here, again, was Eugene Casserly, speaking of right for the California
Democracy of that date. Writing with deliberation more than a quarter
of a century ago, he said: "We expect to stand on equal grounds with
the most favored of nations. We ask no more in the contest for that
Eastern trade which has always heretofore been thought to carry with it
the commercial supremacy of the globe. America asks only a fair field,
even as against her oldest and most formidable rivals. Nature, and our
position as the nearest neighbors to eastern Asia, separated from her
only by the great highways of the ocean, have placed in our hands all
the advantages that we need.... Favored by vicinity, by soil and
climate on our own territory, with a people inferior to none in
enterprise and vigor, without any serious rivals anywhere, all this
Pacific coast is ours or is our tributary.... We hold as ours the great
ocean that so lately rolled in solitary grandeur from the equator to
the pole. In the changes certain to be effected in the currents of
finance, of exchange, and of trade, by the telegraph and the railroads,
bringing the financial centers of Europe and of the United States by
way of San Francisco within a few weeks of the ports of China and of
the East, San Francisco must become at no distant day the banker, the
factor, and the carrier of the trade of eastern Asia and the Pacific,
to an extent to which it is difficult to assign limits." Are the people
now lacking in the enterprise and vigor which Mr. Casserly claimed for
them? Have the limits he scorned been since assigned, and do the
Californians of to-day assent to the restriction?

Take yet another name, treasured, I know, on the roll of California's
most worthy servants, another Democrat. Governor Haight, only a third
of a century ago, said: "I see in the near future a vast commerce
springing up between the Chinese Empire and the nations of the West; an
interchange of products and manufactures mutually beneficial; the
watchword of progress and the precepts of a pure religion uttered to
the ears of a third of the human race." And addressing some
representatives of that vast region, he added, with a burst of fine
confidence in the supremacy of San Francisco's position: "As Chief
Magistrate of this Western State of the Nation, I welcome you to the
territory of the Republic,... in no selfish or narrow spirit, either of
personal advantage or seeking exclusive privileges for our own over the
other nations; and so, in the name of commerce, of civilization, of
progress, of humanity, and of religion, on behalf not merely of
California or America, but of Europe and of mankind, I bid you and your
associates welcome and God-speed."

Perhaps this may be thought merely an exuberant hospitality. Let me
quote, then, from the same man, speaking again as the Governor of the
State, at the Capitol of the State, in the most careful oration of his
life: "What shall be said of the future of California? Lift your eyes
and expand your conceptions to take in the magnitude of her destiny. An
empire in area, presenting advantages and attractions to the people of
the Eastern States and Europe far beyond those presented by any other
State or Territory--who shall set limits to her progress, or paint in
fitting colors the splendor of her future?... Mismanagement may at
times retard her progress, but if the people of California are true to
themselves, this State is destined to a high position, not only among
her sister States, but among the commonwealths of the world,... when
her ships visit every shore, and her merchant princes control the
commerce of the great ocean and the populous countries upon its

Was Governor Haight alone, or was he in advance of his time? Go yet
farther back, to the day when Judge Nathaniel Bennett was assigned by
the people of San Francisco to the task of delivering the oration when
they celebrated the admission of California into the Union, on October
29, 1850: "Judging from the past, what have we not a right to expect in
the future? The world has never witnessed anything equal or similar to
our career hitherto.... Our State is a marvel to ourselves, and a
miracle to the rest of the world. Nor is the influence of California
confined within her own borders.... The islands nestled in the embrace
of the Pacific have felt the quickening breath of her enterprise....
She has caused the hum of busy life to be heard in the wilderness where
rolls the Oregon, and where until recently was heard no sound save his
own dashings. Even the wall of Chinese exclusiveness has been broken
down, and the children of the Sun have come forth to view the splendors
of her achievements.... It is all but a foretaste of the future.... The
world's trade is destined soon to be changed.... The commerce of Asia
and the islands of the Pacific, instead of pursuing the ocean track by
the way of Cape Horn or the Cape of Good Hope, or even taking the
shorter route of the Isthmus of Darien or the Isthmus of Tehuantepec,
will enter the Golden Gate of California and deposit its riches in the
lap of our city.... New York will then become what London now is--the
great central point of exchange, the heart of trade, the force of whose
contraction and expansion will be felt throughout every artery of the
commercial world; and San Francisco will then stand the second city of
America.... The responsibility rests upon us whether this first
American State of the Pacific shall in youth and ripe manhood realize
the promise of infancy. We may cramp her energies and distort her form,
or we may make her a rival even of the Empire State of the Atlantic.
The best wishes of Americans are with us. They expect that the
Herculean youth will grow to a Titan in his manhood."

Nor was even Judge Bennett the pioneer of such ideas. Long before he
spoke, or before the Stars and Stripes had been raised over Yerbabuena,
as far back as in 1835, the English people and the British Government
had been advised by Alexander Forbes that "The situation of California
for intercourse with other countries and its capacity for
commerce--should it ever be possessed by a numerous and industrious
population--are most favorable. The port of San Francisco for size and
safety is hardly surpassed by any in the world; it is so situated as to
be made the center of the commercial relations which may take place
between Asia and the western coast of America.... The vessels of the
Spanish Philippines Company on their passage from Manila to San Blas
and Acapulco generally called at Monterey for refreshments and
orders.... Thus it appears as if California was designed by nature to
be the medium of connecting commercially Asia with America, and as the
depot of the trade between these two vast continents, which possess the
elements of unbounded commercial interchange; the one overflowing with
all the rich and luxurious commodities always characteristic of the
East, the other possessing a superabundance of the precious metals and
other valuable products to give in exchange.... If ever a route across
the Isthmus shall be opened, California will then be one of the most
interesting commercial situations in the world; it would in that case
be the rendezvous for all vessels engaged in the trade between Europe
and Asia by that route. It is nearly mid-voyage between these two
countries, and would furnish provisions and all naval supplies in the
most ample abundance, and most probably would become a mart for the
interchange of the commodities of the three continents."

[Sidenote: Has the State Lost Heart and Shriveled?]

Let no man fancy that these sometimes exuberant expressions of a noble
and far-seeing faith by your own predecessors and by a prescient
foreigner have been revived in derision or even in doubt. Those were
the days when, if some were for a party, at any rate all were for the
State. These were great men, far-seeing, courageous, patriotic, the men
of Forty-nine, who in such lofty spirit and with such high hope laid
the foundation of this empire on the Pacific. Distance did not disturb
them, nor difficulties discourage. There sits on your platform to-day a
man who started from New York to California by what he thought the
quickest route in December, 1848; went south from the Isthmus as the
only means of catching a ship for the north, and finally entered this
harbor, by the way of Chile, in June, 1849. He could go now to Manila
thrice over and back in less time. And yet there are Californians of
this day who profess to shrink in alarm from the remoteness and
inaccessibility of our new possessions! Has the race shriveled under
these summer skies? Has it grown old before its time; is its natural
strength abated? Are the old energy and the old courage gone? Has the
soul of this people shrunk within them? Or is it only that there are
strident voices from California, sounding across the Sierras and the
Rockies, that misrepresent and shame a State whose sons are not
unworthy of their fathers?

The arm of the Californian has not been shortened, that he cannot reach
out. The salt has not left him, that he cannot occupy and possess the
great ocean that the Lord has given him. Nor has he forgotten the
lesson taught by the history of his own race (and of the greatest
nations of the world), that oceans no longer separate--they unite.
There are no protracted and painful struggles to build a Pacific
railroad for your next great step. The right of way is assured, the
grading is done, the rails are laid. You have but to buy your
rolling-stock at the Union Iron Works, draw up your time-table, and
begin business. Or do you think it better that your Pacific railroad
should end in the air? Is a six-thousand-mile extension to a through
line worthless? Can your Scott shipyards only turn out men-of-war? Can
your Senator Perkins only run ships that creep along the coast? Is the
broad ocean too deep for him or too wide?

[Sidenote: New Fields and the Need for them.]

Contiguous land gives a nation cohesion; but it is the water that
brings other nations near. The continent divides you from customers
beyond the mountains; but the ocean unites you with the whole
boundless, mysterious Orient. There you find a population of over six
hundred millions of souls, between one fourth and one third of the
inhabitants of the globe. You are not at a disadvantage in trading with
them because they have the start of you in manufactures or skill or
capital, as you would be in the countries to which the Atlantic leads.
They offer you the best of all commerce--that with people less
advanced, exchanging the products of different zones, a people
awakening to the complex wants of a civilization that is just stirring
them to a new life.

Have you considered what urgent need there will be for those new
fields? It is no paltry question of an outlet for the surplus products
of a mere nation of seventy-five millions that confronts you. Your
mathematical professors will tell you that, at the ratio of increase
established in this Nation by the census returns for the century just
closing, its population would amount during the next century to the
bewildering and incomprehensible figure of twelve hundred millions. The
ratio, of course, will not be maintained, since the exceptional
circumstances that caused it cannot continue. But no one gives reasons
why it should not be half as great. Suppose it to turn out only one
fourth as great. Is it the part of statesmanship--is it even the part
of every-day, matter-of-fact common sense--to reject or despise these
Oriental openings for the products of this people of three hundred
million souls the Twentieth Century would need to nourish within our
borders? Our total annual trade with China now--with this customer whom
the friendly ocean is ready to bring to your very doors--is barely
twenty millions. That would be a commerce of the gross amount of six
and two third cents for each inhabitant of our country in the next
century, with that whole vast region adjoining you, wherein dwell one
fourth of the human race!

Even the Spanish trade with the Philippines was thirty millions. They
are merely our stepping-stone. But would a wise man kick the
stepping-stone away?

[Sidenote: The New Blood Felt.]

San Francisco is exceptionally prosperous now. So is the State of
California. Why? Partly, no doubt, because you are sharing the
prosperity which blesses the whole country. But is that all? What is
this increase in the shipping at your wharves? What was the meaning of
those crowded columns of business statistics your newspapers proudly
printed last New Year's?--what the significance of the increase in
exports and imports, far beyond mere army requirements? Why is every
room taken in your big buildings? What has crowded your docks, filled
your streets, quickened your markets, rented your stores and dwellings,
sent all this new blood pulsing through your veins--made you like the
worn Richelieu when, in that moment, there entered his spent veins the
might of France?

Was it the rage you have witnessed among some of your own leaders
against everything that has been done during the past two years--the
warning against everything that is about to be done? Was it the proof
of our unworthiness and misdeeds, to which we all penitentially
listened, as so eloquently set forth from the high places of light and
leading--the long lamentation over how on almost every field we had
shown our incapacity; how unfit we were to govern cities, unfit to
govern territories, unfit to govern Indians, unfit to govern
ourselves--how, in good old theological phrase, we were from head to
foot a mass of national wounds and bruises and putrefying sores, and
there was no health in us? Was it the demonstration that what we needed
was to sit under the live-oaks and "develop the individual man," nor
dare to look beyond? Was it the forgetfulness that muscles grow strong
only with exercise; that it is the duties of manhood that take the
acrid humors out of a youth's blood; that it is great responsibility,
manfully met, not cowardly evaded, that sobers and steadies and

Some one has lately been quoting Lincoln's phrase, "We cannot escape
history." It is a noble and inspiring thought. Most of us dare not look
for a separate appearance at that greatest of human bars--may hope only
to be reckoned in bulk with the multitude. But even so, however it may
be with others on this coast, I, for one, want to be counted with those
who had faith in my countrymen; who did not think them incapable of
tasks which duty imposed and to which other nations had been equal; who
did not disparage their powers or distrust their honest intentions or
urge them to refuse their opportunities; to be counted with those who
at least had open eyes when they stood in the Golden Gate!

[Sidenote: Wards or Full Partners.]

I do not doubt--you do not doubt--they are the majority. They will
prevail. What Duty requires us to take, an enlightened regard for our
own interests will require us to hold. The islands will not be thrown
away. The American people have made up their minds on that point, if on
nothing else.

Well, then, how shall the islands be treated? Are they to be our wards,
objects of our duty and our care; or are they to be our full partners?
We may as well look that question straight in the face. There is no way
around it, or over or under or out of it; and no way of aimlessly and
helplessly shuffling it off on the future, for it presses in the
legislation of Congress to-day. Wards, flung on our hands by the
shipwreck of Spain, helpless, needy, to be cared for and brought up and
taught to stand alone as far as they can; or full partners with us in
the government and administration of the priceless heritage of our
fathers, the peerless Republic of the world and of all the
centuries--that is the question!

Men often say--I have even heard it within a week on this coast--that
all this is purely imaginary; that nobody favors their admission as
States. Let us see. An ounce of fact in a matter of such moment is
worth tons of random denial. Within the month a distinguished and
experienced United States Senator from the North has announced that he
sees no reason why Porto Rico should not be a State. Within the same
period one of the leading religious journals of the continent has
declared that it would be a selfish and brutal tyranny that would
exclude Porto Rico from Statehood. Only a few weeks earlier one of our
ablest generals, now commanding a department in one of our
dependencies, a laureled hero of two wars, has officially reported to
the Government in favor of steps for the admission of Cuba as a State.
On every hand rise cries that in any event they cannot and must not be
dependencies. Some of these are apparently for mere partizan effect,
but others are the obvious promptings of a sincere and high-minded,
however mistaken, conviction.

I shall venture, then, to consider it as a real and not an abstract
question,--"academic," I think it is the fad of these later days to
say,--and I propose again (and again unblushingly) to consider it from
what has been called a low and sordid point of view--so low, in fact,
so unworthy the respect of latter-day altruistic philosophers, that it
merely concerns the interests of our country!

For I take it that if there is one subject on which this Union has a
right to consult its own interests and inclinations, it is on the
question of admitting new States, or of putting territory in a position
where it can ever claim or expect admission; just as the one subject on
which nobody disputes the right of a mercantile firm to follow its own
inclinations is on that of taking in some unfortunate business man as a
partner; or the right of an individual to follow his own inclinations
about marrying some needy spinster he may have felt it a duty to
befriend. Because they are helpless and needy and on our hands, must we
take them into partnership? Because we are going to help them, are we
bound to marry them?

[Sidenote: The Porto Rican Question.]

Partly through mere inadvertence, but partly also through crafty
design, the wave of generous sympathy for the suffering little island
of Porto Rico which has been sweeping over the country has come very
near being perverted into the means of turning awry the policy and
permanent course of a great Nation. To relieve the temporary distress
by recognizing the Porto Ricans as citizens, and by an extension of the
Dingley tariff to Porto Rico as a matter of constitutional right,
foreclosed the whole question.

I know it is said, plausibly enough, in some quarters, that Congress
cannot foreclose the question,--has nothing to do with it, in
fact,--but that it is a matter to be settled only by the Supreme Law of
the land, of which Congress is merely the servant. The point need not
be disputed. But it is an unquestioned part of the Supreme Law of the
land, as authoritative within its sphere and as binding as any clause
in the Constitution itself, which declares, in the duly ratified Treaty
of Paris, that the whole question of the civil rights and political
status of the inhabitants in this newly acquired property of ours shall
be reserved for the decision of Congress! Let those who invoke the
Supreme Law of the land learn and bow to it.

As to the mere duty of prompt and ample relief for the distress in
Porto Rico, there is happily not a shade of difference of opinion among
the seventy-five millions of our inhabitants. Nor was the free-trade
remedy, so vehemently recommended, important enough in itself to
provoke serious objection or delay. Cynical observers might find,
indeed, a gentle amusement in noting how in the name of humanity the
blessings of free trade were invoked by means of the demand for an
immediate application of the highest protective tariff known to the
history of economics! The very men who denounce this tariff as a
Chinese wall are the men who demand its application. They say, "Give
Porto Rico free trade," but what their proposal means is, "Deprive
Porto Rico of free trade, and put her within the barbarous Chinese
wall." Their words sound like offering her the liberty of trade with
all the world, but mean forbidding her to trade with anybody except the
United States.

[Sidenote: Importance of the Question.]

The importance of the question from an economic point of view has been
ludicrously exaggerated on both sides. The original proposal would have
in itself done far less harm than its opponents imagined and far less
good than its supporters hoped. Yet to the extent of its influence it
would have been a step backward. It would have been the rejection of
the modern and scientific colonial method, and the adoption instead of
the method which has resulted in the most backward, the least
productive, and the least prosperous colonies in the world--the method,
in a word, of Spain herself. For the Spanish tariff, in fact, made with
some little reference to colonial interests, we should merely have
substituted our own tariff, made with sole reference to our own
interests. A more distinct piece of blacksmith work in economic
legislation for a helpless, lonely little island in the mid-Atlantic
could not well be imagined. What had poor Porto Rico done, that she
should be fenced in from all the Old World by an elaborate and highly
complicated system of duties upon imports, calculated to protect the
myriad varying manufactures and maintain the high wages of this vast
new continent, and as little adapted to Porto Rico's simple needs as is
a Jorgensen repeater for the uses of a kitchen clock? Why at the same
stroke must she be crushed, as she would have been if the Constitution
were extended to her, by a system of internal taxation, which we
ourselves prefer to regard as highly exceptional, on tobacco, on
tobacco-dealers, on bank-checks, on telegraph and telephone messages,
on bills of lading, bills of exchange, leases, mortgages,
life-insurance, passenger tickets, medicines, legacies, inheritances,
mixed flour, and so on and so on, ad infinitum, ad nauseam? Did she
deserve so badly of us that, even in a hurry, we should do this thing
to her in the name of humanity?

All the English-speaking world, outside some members of the United
States Congress perhaps, long since found a more excellent way. It is
simplicity itself. It legislates for a community like Porto Rico with
reference to the situation and wants of that community--not with
reference to somebody else. It applies to Porto Rico a system devised
for Porto Rico--not one devised for a distant and vastly larger
country, with totally different situation and wants. It makes no effort
to exploit Porto Rico for the benefit of another country. It does make
a studied and scientific effort from the Porto Rico point of view (not
from that of temporary Spanish holders of the present stocks of Porto
Rican products) to see what system will impose the lightest burdens and
bring the greatest benefits on Porto Rico herself. The result of that
conscientious inquiry may be the discovery that the very best thing to
provide for the wants and promote the prosperity of that little
community out in the Atlantic Ocean is to bestow upon them the unmixed
boon of the high protective Dingley tariff devised for the United
States of America. If so, give them the Dingley tariff, and give it
straight. If, on the other hand, it should be found that a lower and
simpler revenue system, better adapted to a community which has
practically no manufactures to protect, with freedom to trade on equal
terms with all the world, would impose upon them lighter burdens and
bring them greater benefits, then give them that. If it should be
further found that, following this, such a system of reciprocal rebates
as both Cuba and the United States thought mutually advantageous in the
late years of Spanish rule, would be useful to Porto Rico, then give
them that. But, in any case, the starting-point should be the needs of
Porto Rico herself, intelligently studied and conscientiously met--not
the blacksmith's offhand attempt to fit on her head, like a rusty iron
pot, an old system made for other needs, other industries, a distant
land, and another people.

And beyond and above all, give her the best system for her situation
and wants, whether it be our Dingley tariff or some other, because it
is the best for her and is therefore our duty--not because it is ours,
and therefore, under the Constitution of the United States, her right
and her fate. The admission of that ill-omened and unfounded claim
would be, at the bar of politics, a colossal blunder; at the bar of
patriotism, a colossal crime.

[Sidenote: Political Aspect of the Constitutional Claim.]

The politics of it need not greatly concern this audience or long
detain you.

But the facts are interesting. If Porto Rico, instead of belonging to
us, is a part of us, so are the Philippines. Our title to each is
exactly the same. So are Guam and the Sandwich Islands, if not also
Samoa; and so will be Cuba if she comes, or any other West India

First, then, you are proposing to open the ports of the United States
directly to the tropical products of the two greatest archipelagos of
the world, and indirectly, through the Open Door we have pledged in the
Philippines, to all the products of all the world! You guarantee
directly to the cheap labor of these tropical regions, and indirectly,
but none the less bindingly, to the cheap labor of the world, free
admission of their products to this continent, in unrestricted
competition with our own higher-paid labor. And as your whole tariff
system is thus plucked up by the roots, you must resort to direct
taxation for the expenses of the General Government.

Secondly, as if this were not enough, you have made these tropical
laborers citizens,--Chinese, half-breeds, pagans, and all,--and have
given them the unquestionable and inalienable right to follow their
products across the ocean if they like, flood our labor market, and
compete in person on our own soil with our own workmen.

Is that the feast to be set before the laboring men of this country? Is
that the real inwardness of the Trojan horse pushed forward against our
tariff wall, in the name of humanity, to suffering Porto Rico? What a
programme for the wise humanitarians who have been bewitching the world
with noble statesmanship at Washington to propose laying before the
organized labor of this country as their chosen platform for the
approaching Presidential campaign! They need have no fear the
intelligent workingmen of America will fail to appreciate the sweet
boon they offer.

[Sidenote: The Patriotic Aspect of it.]

But if the question thus raised at the bar of politics may seem to some
only food for laughter, that at the bar of patriotism is matter for
tears. If the islanders are already citizens, then they are entitled to
the future of citizens. If the territory is already an integral part of
the United States, then by all our practice and traditions it has the
right to admission in States of suitable size and population. Is it
said we could keep them out as we have kept out sparsely settled New
Mexico? How long do you expect to keep New Mexico out, or Oklahoma, or
Arizona? What luck did you have in keeping out others--even Utah, with
its bar sinister of the twin relic of barbarism? How long would it take
your politicians of the baser sort to combine for the admission of the
islands whose electoral votes they had reason to think they could

But it is said that Porto Rico deserves admission anyway, because we
are bound by the volunteered assurance of General Miles that they
should have the rights of American citizens. Perhaps; though there is
no evidence that he meant more, or that they thought he meant more,
than such rights as American citizens everywhere enjoy, even in the
District of Columbia--equal laws, security of life and property,
freedom from arbitrary arrests, local self-government, in a word, the
civil rights which the genius of our Government secures to all under
our control who are capable of exercising them. If he did mean more, or
if they thought he meant more, did that entitle him to anticipate his
chief and override in casual military proclamation the Supreme Law of
the land whose commission he bore? Or did it entitle them to suppose
that he could?

But Porto Rico received the irresistible army of General Miles so
handsomely, and is so unfortunate and so little! Reasons all for
consideration, certainly, for care, for generosity--but not for
starting the avalanche, on the theory that after it has got under only
a little headway we can still stop it if we want to. Who thinks he can
lay his hand on the rugged edge of the Muir Glacier and compel it to
advance no farther? Who believes that we can admit this little island
from the mid-Atlantic, a third of the way over to Africa, and then
reject nearer and more valuable islands when they come? The famous law
of political gravitation which John Quincy Adams prophetically
announced three quarters of a century ago will then be acting with
ever-increasing force. And, at any rate, beside Porto Rico, and with
the same title, stand the Philippines!

Regard, I beg of you, in the calm white light that befits these
cloistered retreats of sober thought, the degradation of the Republic
thus coolly anticipated by the men that assure us we have no
possessions whose people are not entitled under our Constitution to
citizenship and ultimately to Statehood! Surely to an audience of
scholars and patriots like this not one word need be added. Emboldened
by the approval you have so generously expressed, I venture to close by
assuming without hesitation that you will not dishonor your Government
by evading its duty, nor betray it by forcing unfit partners upon it,
nor rob it by blind and perverse neglect of its interests.

May I not go further, and vouch for you, as Californians, that the
faith of the fathers has not forsaken the sons--that you still believe
in the possibilities of the good land the Lord has given you, and mean
to work them out; that you know what hour the national clock has
struck, and are not mistaking this for the Eighteenth Century; that you
will bid the men who have made that mistake, the men of little faith,
the shirkers, the doubters, the carpers, the grumblers, begone, like
Diogenes, to their tubs--aye, better his instruction and require these
his followers to get out of your light? For, lo! yet another century is
upon you, before which even the marvels of the Nineteenth are to grow
pale. As of old, light breaks from the east, but now also, for you,
from the farther East. It circles the world in both directions, like
the flag it is newly gilding now with its tropic beams. The dawn of the
Twentieth Century bursts upon you without needing to cross the Sierras,
and bathes at once in its golden splendors, with simultaneous
effulgence, the Narrows of Sandy Hook and the peerless portals of the
Golden Gate.



This speech was delivered at the Farewell Banquet given by over four
hundred citizens of San Francisco to the second Philippine Commission,
on the eve of their sailing for Manila, at the Palace Hotel, April 12,
1900. The title is adopted from the phrase used by the President of the
Commission in his response; to which a leading journal of the Pacific
coast, "The Seattle Post-Intelligencer," promptly added that the
address "spoke for the whole people of the United States," and was "the
concrete expression of a desire that animates nine tenths of all our
citizens." Judge Taft frankly stated his concurrence in the views
expressed (though he held some legal doubts as to whether the
Constitution of the United States did not extend, ex proprio vigore, to
the new possessions), and he pledged the Commission against the
influence of political considerations.


The kindness of your call shall not be misinterpreted or taken
advantage of. Quite enough of my voice has been heard in the land, and
that very recently, as some of you can testify to your cost. There are
others here with far greater claims upon your attention, and I promise
to be as brief as heretofore I have been prolix.

The occasion is understood to be primarily one of congratulation and
personal good will. It is evident that San Francisco thinks well of the
Pacific coast member of this Commission, and none the worse because he
seems to have been chosen for the post merely on account of his being
peculiarly fit for it. The city gladly takes the rest of you on faith,
believing that the same rule of selection must have been applied in the
cases with which it has not the happiness to be quite so familiar.

But it is an occasion, I am authoritatively assured, of no political
significance whatever. It embraces in its comprehensive impulse of
greeting and good wishes Republicans and Democrats and Dewey men; men
who hold the offices, men who want the offices, and men who say, "A
plague on both your houses!"--men who indorse the course of the
Administration, and men who believe the acquisition of the Philippines
a mistake. I shall not attempt to disguise from you the fact that this
last is not an opinion that I individually hold. Still, I can respect
the convictions of those who do.

But evidently we can have no concurrence to-night on our
extra-continental policy, since the differences are so wide on vital
points. Yet the organizers of this testimonial made no mistake. There
is a common ground for our meeting. We are all citizens of the
Republic, grateful for our high privilege and solicitous that the
Republic shall take no harm--all Americans, proud of the name and eager
that it shall never be stained by base or unworthy acts. There is no
one here, of whatever political faith or lack of faith, who is not a
patriot, anxious for our country on these new and untried paths it must
walk--most desirous that all its ways may prove ways of pleasantness
and all its paths lead to honorable peace.

Well, then, gentlemen, what is it that a company thus divided in
opinion, and united only in patriotic aspirations, can agree in looking
to this Commission for? What do the American people in general, and
without distinction of party, look to them for?

Did I hear a public opponent but personal friend over there murmur as
his reply, "Not much of anything"? Alas! we may as well recognize that
there are political augurs who are ready to give just that as their
horoscope, and even point to their useful predecessor, the last
Commission, for presumptive proof! In fact, there are occasional
grumblers who would look for more from them if they were fewer. These
skeptical critics recognize that sometimes in a multitude of counselors
there may be safety, but also recall the maxim that councils of war
never fight. If the truth must be whispered in the ear of the
Commissioners, there are here and there very sincere, capable people
who are growing a bit weary of a multiplicity of commissions. They
say--so cynical are they--that, in all ages and countries, the easiest
method of evading or postponing a difficult problem has been to appoint
a commission on it and thus prolong the circumlocution.

For a first thing, then, on which we are all united, we look hopefully
to our guests to redeem the character of this mode of government by
commission. For we assume that they are sent out to the archipelago to
govern; and just at present we don't know of any part of the country's
possessions that seems more in need of government.

We all unite in regarding them as setting sail, not only charged with
the national interests, but dignified and ennobled by a guardianship of
the national honor. Thus we are trying to put ourselves in Emerson's
state of mind about a certain notable young poet, and unite in hoping
that, to use his well-known phrase, we greet them at the beginning of a
great career.

We certainly unite in earnestly wishing that they may make the best of
a situation which none of us wholly like, and many dislike with all
their hearts: the best of it for the country which, by good management
or bad, rightfully or wrongfully, is at any rate clearly and in the
eyes of the whole world now responsible for the outcome; and the best
of it, no less, for the distracted people thrown upon our hands.

We cannot well help uniting in the further hope that their first
success will be the re-establishment of order throughout regions lately
filled with violence and bloodshed; and that they can then bring about
a system of just and swift punishment for future crimes of disorder,
since all experience in those regions and among those people shows that
the neglect to enforce such punishment is itself the gravest and
cruelest of crimes.

Nor can any one here help uniting in the hope that their next and
crowning success will some way be attained in the preservation and
extension of those great civil rights whose growth is the distinction,
the world over, of Anglo-Saxon civilization; whose consummate flower
and fruitage are the glory of our own Government.

I am even bold enough to believe that, however it might have been
twelve months ago, or but six months ago, there is no one here
to-night, recognizing the changed circumstances now, who would think
they could best secure those rights to all the people by calling back
the leader who is in hiding, and his forces, which are scattered and
disorganized, and by now abandoning to such revengeful rule the great
majority of the islanders who have remained peaceful and orderly during
our occupation. For the present, at least, we unite in recognizing that
they are forced to retain that care themselves; forced to act in the
common interest of all the people there, not in the sole interest of a
warring faction in a single tribe--in the interest of all the islands
for which we have accepted responsibility, not simply of the one, or of
a part of the population on the one, that has made the most trouble.

There can be little disagreement in this company on the further
proposition that, in like manner, they must act in the interest of all
the people here. In the interest of the islanders, they will soon seek
to raise the needed revenue in the way least burdensome and most
beneficial to the islands; but in the interest of their country, we
cannot expect them to begin by assuming that the only way to help the
islanders is to throw products of tropic cheap labor into unrestricted
competition with similar products of our highly paid labor. In the
interest of the islanders, they will secure and guarantee the civil
rights which belong to the very genius of American institutions; but in
the interest of their country, they will not make haste to extend the
privilege of American citizenship, and so, on the one hand, enable
those peoples of the China Sea, Chinese or half-breed or what not, to
flood our labor market in advance of any readiness at home to change
our present laws of exclusion, while, on the other hand, opening the
door to them as States in the Union to take part in the government of
this continent. If, in the Providence of God, and in contempt of past
judicial rulings, the Supreme Court should finally command it, this
Commission, like every other branch of the Government, will obey. Till
then we may be sure it will not, in sheer eagerness and joyfulness of
heart, anticipate, or, as Wall Street speculators say, "discount," such
a decree for national degradation. But in their own land, and, as far
as may be, in accordance with their old customs and laws, the
Commission will secure to them, if it is to win the success we all wish
it, first every civil right we enjoy, and next the fullest measure of
political rights and local self-government they are found capable of
sustaining, with ordered liberty for all the people.

There, then, is the doom we have reason to expect this Commission to
inflict on these temporarily turbulent wards of the Nation! First
order; then justice; then American civil rights, not for a class, or a
tribe, or a race, but for all the people; then local self-government.

But if your guests begin this task with the notion that they are the
first officials of a free people ever given such work, and must
therefore, American fashion, discover from the foundation for
themselves,--if they fancy nobody ever dealt with semi-civilized
Orientals till we stumbled on them in the Philippines,--they will waste
precious time in costly experiments, if not fail outright. It isn't
worth while thus to invent over again everything down to the very
alphabet of work among such people. We can afford to abate the
self-sufficiency of the almighty Yankee Nation enough to profit a
little by the lessons other people have learned in going over the road
before us.

From such lessons they will be sure to gather at once that if they now
show a trace of timidity or hesitation in their firm and just course,
because somebody has said something in Washington or on the stump, or
because there is an election coming on, they will fail.

In fact, if they do not know now, as well as they know what soil they
still stand on and what countrymen are about them, and if they do not
act as if they knew, that, no matter what the politicians or the
platforms say, and no matter what party comes into power, the American
people have at present no notion of throwing these islands away, or
abandoning them, or neglecting the care of them, they have not mastered
the plainest part of their problem, and must fail.

Above all, if there is a trace of politics in their work, or of seeking
for political effect at home, they will fail, and deserve to fail. In
this most delicate and difficult task before them there is no salvation
but in the scrupulous choice of the very best fitted agency available,
in each particular case, for the particular work in hand. If they
appoint one man, or encourage or silently submit to the appointment of
one man, to responsible place in their service among these islanders,
merely because he has been useful in politics at home, they will be
organizing failure and discredit in advance.

But they will do no such things. Not so has this body of men been
selected. Not such is the high appreciation of the opportunity offered
that has led you, Mr. President of the Commission, to abandon your
well-earned and distinguished place at home to begin a new career at
the antipodes. Yet more--I, at least, can certify to this company that
not such is the sense of public duty you inherited from your honored
father, and have consistently illustrated throughout your own career.
You will not fail, because you know the peril and the prize. You will
not fail, because you have civilization and law and ordered freedom,
the honor of your land and the happiness of a new one, in your
care--because you know that, for uncounted peoples, the hopes of future
years hang breathless on your fate. And so, gentlemen of the
Commission, good-by, and God-speed!

    In spite of rock and tempest's roar,
    In spite of false lights on the shore,
    Sail on, nor fear to breast the sea!









_The United States has as much power as any other Government._

"The Constitution of the United States established a Government, and
not a league, compact, or partnership.... As a Government it was
invested with all the attributes of sovereignty.... It is not only a
Government, but it is a National Government, and the only Government in
this country that has the character of nationality.... Such being the
character of the General Government, it seems to be a self-evident
proposition that it is invested with all those inherent and implied
powers which, at the time of adopting the Constitution, were generally
considered to belong to every Government as such, and as being
essential to the exercise of its functions." (Mr. Justice Bradley,
United States Supreme Court, Legal Tender Cases, 12 Wall. 554.)

_The United States can acquire territory by conquest or by treaty, as
a condition of peace or as indemnity._

"The United States ... may extend its boundaries by conquest or treaty,
and may demand the cession of territory as the condition of peace, in
order to indemnify its citizens for the injuries they have suffered, or
to reimburse the Government for the expenses of the war. But this can
only be done by the treaty-making power or the legislative authority."
(United States Supreme Court, Fleming _et al. v._ Page, 9 How. 614.)

_The United States can have a valid title by conquest to territory
not a part of the Union._

"By the laws and usages of nations, conquest is a valid title.... As
regarded by all other nations it [Tampico] was a part of the United
States, and belonged to them as exclusively as a Territory included in
our established boundaries, but yet it was not a part of the Union."
(United States Supreme Court, Fleming _et al. v._ Page, 9 How.

_A title so acquired by the United States cannot be questioned in its

"If those departments which are intrusted with the foreign intercourse
of the Nation ... have unequivocally asserted its rights of dominion
over a country of which it is in possession and which it claims under a
treaty, if the legislature has acted on the construction thus asserted,
it is not in its own courts that this construction is to be denied. A
question like this, respecting the boundaries of a nation, is ... more
a political than a legal question, and in its discussion the courts of
every country must respect the pronounced will of the legislature."
(Mr. Chief Justice Marshall, Foster _et al. v._ Neilson, 2 Peters 253,

_Yet such territory may be still outside the United States_ (meaning
thereby the American Union organized by the Constitution--the Nation),
_and cannot get in without action by the political authorities_.

"The boundaries of the United States, as they existed when war was
declared against Mexico, were not extended by the conquest.... They
remained unchanged. And every place which was out of the limits of the
United States, as previously established by the political authorities
of the Government, was still foreign." (Fleming _et al. v._ Page, 9
How. 616.)

_The United States can govern such territory as it pleases. Thus it
can withhold any power of local legislation._

"Possessing the power to erect a Territorial government for Alaska,
they could confer upon it such powers, judicial and executive, as they
deemed most suitable to the necessities of the inhabitants. It was
unquestionably within the constitutional power of Congress to withhold
from the inhabitants of Alaska the power to legislate and make laws. In
the absence, then, of any law-making power in the Territory, to what
source must the people look for the laws by which they are to be
governed? This question can admit of but one answer. Congress is the
only law-making power for Alaska." (United States _v._ Nelson, 29 Fed.
Rep. 202, 205, 206.)

_Mr. Jefferson even held that the United States could sell territory,
hold it as a colony, or regulate its commerce as it pleased._

"The Territory [Louisiana] was purchased by the United States in their
confederate capacity, and may be disposed of by them at their pleasure.
It is in the nature of a colony whose commerce may be regulated without
any reference to the Constitution." (And Louisiana was so governed for
years after the purchase, with different tariff requirements from those
of the United States, and without trial by jury in civil cases.)

_Again, the United States may even_ (as in the case of Consular Courts)
_withhold the right of trial by jury_.

"By the Constitution a government is ordained and established 'for the
United States of America,' and not for countries outside of their
limits. The guaranties it affords against accusation of capital or
infamous crimes, except by indictment or presentment by a grand jury,
and for an impartial trial by a jury when thus accused, apply only to
citizens and others within the United States, or who are brought there
for trial for alleged offenses committed elsewhere, and not to
residents or temporary sojourners abroad. The Constitution can have no
operation in another country." (_In re_ Ross, 140 U.S. 463, 465.) (In
this case the prisoner insisted that the refusal to allow him a trial
by jury was a fatal defect in the jurisdiction exercised by the court,
and rendered its judgment absolutely void.)

_The United States can govern such territory through Congress._

"At the time the Constitution was formed the limits of the territory
over which it was to operate were generally defined and recognized.
These States, this territory, and future States to be admitted into the
Union, are _the sole objects of the Constitution_. There is no express
provision whatever made in the Constitution for the acquisition or
government of territories beyond those limits. The right, therefore, of
acquiring territory is altogether incidental to the treaty-making
power, and perhaps to the power of admitting new States into the Union;
and the government of such acquisitions is, of course, left to the
legislative power of the Union, as far as that power is controlled by
treaty." (Mr. Justice Johnson of the Supreme Court, sitting in the
Circuit, in Am. Ins. Co. _v._ Canter, 1 Pet. 517.)

Mr. Chief Justice Marshall, affirming the above decision, says:

"Perhaps the power of governing a Territory belonging to the United
States which has not, by becoming a State, acquired the means of
self-government, may result necessarily from the facts that it is not
within the jurisdiction of any particular State, and is within the
power and jurisdiction of the United States. The right to govern may be
the inevitable consequence of the right to acquire territory. Whichever
may be the source whence the power is derived, the possession of it is
unquestioned." (1 Pet. 541, 542.)

_The General Government exercises a sovereignty independent of the

"Their people [in organized Territories] do not constitute a sovereign
power. All political authority exercised therein is derived [not from
the Constitution, but] from the General Government." (Snow _v._ United
States, 18 Wall. 317, 320.)

_The General Government is expected, however, to be controlled as to
personal and civil rights by the general principles of the Constitution._

"The personal and civil rights of the inhabitants of the Territories
are secured to them, as to other citizens, by the principles of
constitutional liberty which restrain all the agencies of government."
(Murphy _v._ Ramsay, 114 U.S. 15, 44, 45.)

"Doubtless Congress, in legislating for the Territories, would be
subject to those fundamental limitations in favor of personal rights
which are formulated in the Constitution and its amendments; but these
limitations would exist rather by inference and the general spirit of
the Constitution, from which Congress derives all its powers, than by
any express and direct application of its provisions." (Mormon Church
_v._ United States, 136 U.S. 1, 44; Thompson _v._ Utah, 170 U.S. 343,



The one point at which the opponents of the doctrine that Congress can
govern the Territories as it pleases are able to make a prima facie
case by quoting a decision of the Supreme Court, is as to the
application of the United States tariff to the Territories. When
California was acquired, but before Congress had acted or a Collection
District had been established, the Supreme Court sustained the demand
for duties under the United States tariff on goods landed at California
ports (Cross _v._ Harrison, 16 How. 164). Mr. Justice Wayne said:

"By the ratifications of the treaty California became a part of the
United States. And as there is nothing differently stipulated in the
treaty with respect to commerce, it became instantly bound and
privileged by the laws which Congress had passed to raise a revenue
from duties on imports and tonnage.... The right claimed to land
foreign goods within the United States at any place out of a Collection
District, if allowed, would be a violation of that provision in the
Constitution which enjoins that all duties, imposts, and excises shall
be uniform throughout the United States."

The court here bases its reasoning distinctly on the treaty by which
California was acquired. But that treaty gave the pledge that
California (an adjacent Territory) should be incorporated into the
American Union. The Treaty of Paris gave no such pledge as to the
Philippines (not adjacent territory, but nine thousand miles away),
could not in the nature of the case have given such a pledge, and did
provide, instead, that the whole question of the civil rights and
political status of the native inhabitants should be determined by the
Congress. Recalling Mr. Justice Story's remark that in a Constitution
"there ought to be a capacity to provide for future contingencies as
they may happen, and as these are ... illimitable in their nature, so
it is impossible safely to limit that capacity," it would seem that
there would certainly be elasticity enough in the Constitution, or
common sense enough in its interpretation, to permit the Supreme Court
to perceive some difference between a requirement of uniform tariff on
this continent over a territory specifically acquired in order to be
made a State, and such a requirement on the other side of the globe
over territory not so acquired. The case becomes stronger when the
treaty (also constitutionally a part of the Supreme Law of the land)
turns over the political status of the latter territory entirely to

The Constitution makes the same or similar requirements of uniformity
throughout the United States as to the tariff, internal taxes, courts,
and the right of trial by jury. But in every case the early practice
did not construe this to include the Territories.

_As to uniformity in tariff._ It was not enforced rigidly in Louisiana
for years. So little, in fact, was it then held that Louisiana, as
soon as acquired, became an integral part of the United States
(notwithstanding the treaty provision that in time it should), that
though the directors of the United States Bank were empowered to
establish offices of discount and deposit "wheresoever they shall
think fit _within the United States_," they did not consider this a
warrant for establishing one in New Orleans, and actually secured from
the Congress for that purpose a bill, signed by Thomas Jefferson on
March 23, 1804, extending their authority, under the terms of their
original charter, to "any part of the Territories or dependencies of
the United States."

_As to uniformity in internal taxes._ The very first levied in the
United States, that of March 3, 1791, omitted the Territories
altogether, dividing the United States into fourteen Collection
Districts, "each consisting of one State." It is not until 1798 that
any trace can be found of a collection of internal revenue in the
territory northwest of the Ohio.

_As to the courts._ The Constitution requires that the judicial
officers of the United States shall hold office during good behavior.
For a century the judicial officers of Territories have been restricted
to fixed terms of office.

_As to trial by jury._ The Constitution gives the right to it to every
criminal case in the United States, and to every civil case involving
over twenty dollars. Under Mr. Jefferson's government of Louisiana,
trial by jury was limited to capital cases in criminal prosecutions. It
has likewise been denied in Consular Courts.



Adopted by Congress, April 19, 1898: by the Senate at 1:38 A.M.,
42 to 35; by the House at 2:40 A.M., 311 to 6.

WHEREAS, The abhorrent conditions which have existed for more than
three years in the island of Cuba, so near our own borders, have
shocked the moral sense of the people of the United States, have been a
disgrace to Christian civilization,--culminating, as they have, in the
destruction of a United States battle-ship, with two hundred and sixty
of its officers and crew, while on a friendly visit in the harbor of
Havana,--and cannot longer be endured, as has been set forth by the
President of the United States in his message to Congress of April 11,
1898, upon which the action of Congress was invited; therefore be it

_First_, That the people of the island of Cuba are, and of right ought
to be, free and independent.

_Second_, That it is the duty of the United States to demand, and the
Government of the United States does hereby demand, that the Government
of Spain at once relinquish its authority and government in the island
of Cuba and withdraw its land and naval forces from Cuba and Cuban

_Third_, That the President of the United States be, and he hereby is,
directed and empowered to use the entire land and naval forces of the
United States, and to call into the actual service of the United States
the militia of the several States to such an extent as may be necessary
to carry these resolutions into effect.

_Fourth_, That the United States hereby disclaims any disposition or
intention to exercise sovereignty, jurisdiction, or control over said
island, except for the pacification thereof, and asserts its
determination when that is accomplished to leave the government and
control of the island to its people.



William R. Day, Secretary of State of the United States, and His
Excellency Jules Cambon, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
of the Republic of France at Washington, respectively possessing for
this purpose full authority from the Government of the United States
and the Government of Spain, have concluded and signed the following
articles, embodying the terms on which the two Governments have agreed
in respect to the matters hereinafter set forth, having in view the
establishment of peace between the two countries, that is to say:


Spain will relinquish all claim of sovereignty over and title to Cuba.


Spain will cede to the United States the island of Porto Rico and other
islands now under Spanish sovereignty in the West Indies, and also an
island in the Ladrones to be selected by the United States.


The United States will occupy and hold the city, bay, and harbor of
Manila, pending the conclusion of a treaty of peace which shall
determine the control, disposition, and government of the Philippines.


Spain will immediately evacuate Cuba, Porto Rico, and other islands now
under Spanish sovereignty in the West Indies; and to this end each
Government will, within ten days after the signing of this protocol,
appoint Commissioners, and the Commissioners so appointed shall, within
thirty days after the signing of this protocol, meet at Havana for the
purpose of arranging and carrying out the details of the aforesaid
evacuation of Cuba and the adjacent Spanish islands; and each
Government will, within ten days after the signing of this protocol,
also appoint other Commissioners, who shall, within thirty days after
the signing of this protocol, meet at San Juan, in Porto Rico, for the
purpose of arranging and carrying out the details of the aforesaid
evacuation of Porto Rico and other islands now under Spanish
sovereignty in the West Indies.


The United States and Spain will each appoint not more than five
Commissioners to treat of peace, and the Commissioners so appointed
shall meet at Paris not later than October 1, 1898, and proceed to the
negotiation and conclusion of a treaty of peace, which treaty shall be
subject to ratification according to the respective constitutional
forms of the two countries.


Upon the conclusion and signing of this protocol, hostilities between
the two countries shall be suspended, and notice to that effect shall
be given as soon as possible by each Government to the commanders of
its military and naval forces.

Done at Washington in duplicate, in English and in French, by the
undersigned, who have hereunto set their hands and seals the twelfth
day of August, 1898.

    (Seal) WILLIAM R. DAY.
    (Seal) JULES CAMBON.



    Negotiations begun in Paris, October 1, 1898. Treaty signed in
    Paris, 8:45 P.M., December 10. Delivered by United States
    Commissioners to the President, December 24; transmitted to the
    Senate with the official report of the negotiations, January 4,
    1899; ratified by Senate in executive session, February 6, by a
    vote of 57 against 27. Formal exchange of ratifications at
    Washington, April 11. Twenty millions paid through Jules Cambon,
    May 1. Treaty ratified by Spanish Senate, July 3, 1899.

The United States of America and Her Majesty the Queen Regent of Spain,
in the name of her august son, Don Alfonso XIII, desiring to end the
state of war now existing between the two countries, have for that
purpose appointed as plenipotentiaries:

_The President of the United States,_

William R. Day, Cushman K. Davis, William P. Frye, George Gray, and
Whitelaw Reid, citizens of the United States;

_And Her Majesty the Queen Regent of Spain,_

Don Eugenio Montero Rios, President of the Senate; Don Buenaventura de
Abarzuza, Senator of the Kingdom and ex-Minister of the Crown; Don Jose
de Garnica, Deputy to the Cortes and Associate Justice of the Supreme
Court; Don Wenceslao Ramirez de Villa Urrutia, Envoy Extraordinary and
Minister Plenipotentiary at Brussels; and Don Rafael Cerero, General of

                     *      *      *      *      *

Who, having assembled in Paris and having exchanged their full powers,
which were found to be in due and proper form, have, after discussion
of the matters before them, agreed upon the following articles:

                     *      *      *      *      *

Article I. Spain relinquishes all claim of sovereignty over and title
to Cuba.

And as the island is, upon its evacuation by Spain, to be occupied by
the United States, the United States will, so long as such occupation
shall last, assume and discharge the obligations that may under
international law result from the fact of its occupation for the
protection of life and property.

Article II. Spain cedes to the United States the island of Porto Rico
and other islands now under Spanish sovereignty in the West Indies, and
the island of Guam, in the Marianas or Ladrones.

Article III. Spain cedes to the United States the archipelago known as
the Philippine Islands, and comprehending the islands lying within the
following lines:

A line running from west to east along or near the twentieth parallel
of north latitude, and through the middle of the navigable channel of
Bachti, from the one hundred and eighteenth (118th) to the one hundred
and twenty-seventh (127th) degree meridian of longitude east of
Greenwich, thence along the one hundred and twenty-seventh (127th)
degree meridian of longitude east of Greenwich to the parallel of four
degrees and forty-five minutes (4° 45') north latitude, thence along
the parallel of four degrees and forty-five minutes (4° 45') north
latitude to its intersection with the meridian of longitude one hundred
and nineteen degrees and thirty-five minutes (119° 35') east of
Greenwich, thence along the meridian of longitude one hundred and
nineteen degrees and thirty-five minutes (119° 35') east of Greenwich
to the parallel of latitude seven degrees and forty minutes (7° 40')
north, thence along the parallel of latitude seven degrees and forty
minutes (7° 40') north to its intersection with the one hundred and
sixteenth (116th) degree meridian of longitude east of Greenwich,
thence by a direct line to the intersection of the tenth (10th) degree
parallel of north latitude with the one hundred and eighteenth (118th)
degree meridian of longitude east of Greenwich, and thence along the
one hundred and eighteenth (118th) degree meridian of longitude east of
Greenwich to the point of beginning.

The United States will pay to Spain the sum of twenty million dollars
($20,000,000) within three months after the exchange of the
ratifications of the present treaty.

Article IV. The United States will for ten years from the date of
exchange of ratifications of the present treaty admit Spanish ships and
merchandise to the ports of the Philippine Islands on the same terms as
ships and merchandise of the United States.

Article V. The United States will, upon the signature of the present
treaty, send back to Spain, at its own cost, the Spanish soldiers taken
as prisoners of war on the capture of Manila by the American forces.
The arms of the soldiers in question shall be restored to them.

Spain will, upon the exchange of the ratifications of the present
treaty, proceed to evacuate the Philippines, as well as the island of
Guam, on terms similar to those agreed upon by the Commissioners
appointed to arrange for the evacuation of Porto Rico and other islands
in the West Indies under the protocol of August 12, 1898, which is to
continue in force till its provisions are completely executed.

The time within which the evacuation of the Philippine Islands and Guam
shall be completed shall be fixed by the two Governments. Stands of
colors, uncaptured war-vessels, small arms, guns of all calibers, with
their carriages and accessories, powder, ammunition, live stock, and
materials and supplies of all kinds belonging to the land and naval
forces of Spain in the Philippines and Guam remain the property of
Spain. Pieces of heavy ordnance, exclusive of field artillery, in the
fortifications and coast defenses, shall remain in their emplacements
for the term of six months, to be reckoned from the exchange of
ratifications of the treaty; and the United States may in the meantime
purchase such material from Spain, if a satisfactory agreement between
the two Governments on the subject shall be reached.

Article VI. Spain will, upon the signature of the present treaty,
release all prisoners of war and all persons detained or imprisoned for
political offenses in connection with the insurrections in Cuba and the
Philippines and the war with the United States.

Reciprocally the United States will release all persons made prisoners
of war by the American forces, and will undertake to obtain the release
of all Spanish prisoners in the hands of the insurgents in Cuba and the

The Government of the United States will at its own cost return to
Spain, and the Government of Spain will at its own cost return to the
United States, Cuba, Porto Rico, and the Philippines, according to the
situation of their respective homes, prisoners released or caused to be
released by them, respectively, under this article.

Article VII. The United States and Spain mutually relinquish all claims
for indemnity, national and individual, of every kind, of either
Government, or of its citizens or subjects, against the other
Government, which may have arisen since the beginning of the late
insurrection in Cuba, and prior to the exchange of ratifications of the
present treaty, including all claims for indemnity for the cost of the
war. The United States will adjudicate and settle the claims of its
citizens against Spain relinquished in this article.

Article VIII. In conformity with the provisions of Articles I, II, and
III of this treaty, Spain relinquishes in Cuba and cedes in Porto Rico
and other islands in the West Indies, in the island of Guam, and in the
Philippine Archipelago all the buildings, wharves, barracks, forts,
structures, public highways, and other immovable property which in
conformity with law belong to the public domain and as such belong to
the Crown of Spain.

And it is hereby declared that the relinquishment or cession, as the
case may be, to which the preceding paragraph refers, cannot in any
respect impair the property or rights which by law belong to the
peaceful possession of property of all kinds of provinces,
municipalities, public or private establishments, ecclesiastical or
civic bodies or any other associations having legal capacity to acquire
and possess property in the aforesaid territories renounced or ceded,
or of private individuals, of whatsoever nationality such individuals
may be.

The aforesaid relinquishment or cession, as the case may be, includes
all documents exclusively referring to the sovereignty relinquished or
ceded that may exist in the archives of the Peninsula. Where any
document in such archives only in part relates to said sovereignty a
copy of such part will be furnished whenever it shall be requested.
Like rules shall be reciprocally observed in favor of Spain in respect
of documents in the archives of the islands above referred to.

In the aforesaid relinquishment or cession, as the case may be, are
also included such rights as the Crown of Spain and its authorities
possess in respect of the official archives and records, executive as
well as judicial, in the islands above referred to, which relate to
said islands or the rights and property of their inhabitants. Such
archives and records shall be carefully preserved, and private persons
shall, without distinction, have the right to require, in accordance
with the law, authenticated copies of the contracts, wills, and other
instruments forming pact of notarial protocols or files, or which may
be contained in the executive or judicial archives, be the latter in
Spain or in the islands aforesaid.

Article IX. Spanish subjects, natives of the Peninsula, residing in the
territory over which Spain by the present treaty relinquishes or cedes
her sovereignty, may remain in such territory or may remove therefrom,
retaining in either event all their rights of property, including the
right to sell or dispose of such property or of its proceeds; and they
shall also have the right to carry on their industry, commerce, and
professions, being subject in respect thereof to such laws as are
applicable to other foreigners. In case they remain in the territory
they may preserve their allegiance to the Crown of Spain by making,
before a court of record, within a year from the date of the exchange
of ratifications of this treaty, a declaration of their decision to
preserve such allegiance; in default of which declaration they shall be
held to have renounced it and to have adopted the nationality of the
territory in which they may reside.

The civil rights and political status of the native inhabitants of the
territories hereby ceded to the United States shall be determined by
the Congress.

Article X. The inhabitants of the territories over which Spain
relinquishes or cedes her sovereignty shall be secured in the free
exercise of their religion.

Article XI. The Spaniards residing in the territories over which Spain
by this treaty cedes or relinquishes her sovereignty shall be subject
in matters civil as well as criminal to the jurisdiction of the courts
of the country wherein they reside, pursuant to the ordinary laws
governing the same; and they shall have the right to appear before such
courts and to pursue the same course as citizens of the country to
which the courts belong.

Article XII. Judicial proceedings pending at the time of the exchange
of ratifications of this treaty in the territories over which Spain
relinquishes or cedes her sovereignty shall be determined according to
the following rules:

First. Judgments rendered either in civil suits between private
individuals or in criminal matters, before the date mentioned, and with
respect to which there is no recourse or right of review under the
Spanish law, shall be deemed to be final, and shall be executed in due
form by competent authority in the territory within which such
judgments should be carried out.

Second. Civil suits between private individuals which may on the date
mentioned be undetermined shall be prosecuted to judgment before the
court in which they may then be pending, or in the court that may be
substituted therefor.

Third. Criminal actions pending on the date mentioned before the
Supreme Court of Spain against citizens of the territory which by this
treaty ceases to be Spanish shall continue under its jurisdiction until
final judgment; but, such judgment having been rendered, the execution
thereof shall be committed to the competent authority of the place in
which the case arose.

Article XIII. The rights of property secured by copyrights and patents
acquired by Spaniards in the island of Cuba, and in Porto Rico, the
Philippines, and other ceded territories, at the time of the exchange
of the ratifications of this treaty, shall continue to be respected.
Spanish scientific, literary, and artistic works not subversive of
public order in the territories in question shall continue to be
admitted free of duty into such territories for the period of ten
years, to be reckoned from the date of the exchange of the
ratifications of this treaty.

Article XIV. Spain shall have the power to establish consular officers
in the ports and places of the territories the sovereignty over which
has either been relinquished or ceded by the present treaty.

Article XV. The Government of each country will, for the term of ten
years, accord to the merchant-vessels of the other country the same
treatment in respect to all port charges, including entrance and
clearance dues, light dues and tonnage duties, as it accords to its own
merchant-vessels not engaged in the coastwise trade.

This article may at any time be terminated on six months' notice given
by either Government to the other.

Article XVI. It is understood that any obligations assumed in this
treaty by the United States with respect to Cuba are limited to the
time of its occupancy thereof; but it will, upon the termination of
such occupancy, advise any Government established in the island to
assume the same obligations.

Article XVII. The present treaty shall be ratified by the President of
the United States, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate
thereof, and by Her Majesty the Queen Regent of Spain; and the
ratifications shall be exchanged at Washington within six months from
the date hereof, or earlier if possible.

In faith whereof we, the respective plenipotentiaries, have signed this
treaty and have hereunto affixed our seals.

Done in duplicate at Paris, the tenth day of December, in the year of
our Lord one thousand eight hundred and ninety-eight.

    (Seal) WILLIAM R. DAY.
    (Seal) CUSHMAN K. DAVIS.
    (Seal) WILLIAM P. FRYE.
    (Seal) GEORGE GRAY.
    (Seal) B. DE ABARZUZA.
    (Seal) J. DE GARNICA.
    (Seal) W. R. DE VILLA URRUTIA.

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