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Title: American World Policies
Author: Weyl, Walter E.
Language: English
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*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "American World Policies" ***





New York





Set up and electrotyped.  Published February, 1917.










CHAPTER                                                PAGE

     I  AMERICA AMONG THE NATIONS  . . . . . . . . . .    1
    II  THE SKELETON OF WAR  . . . . . . . . . . . . .   16
   III  PEACE WITHOUT EFFORT . . . . . . . . . . . . .   32
    IV  AN UNRIPE IMPERIALISM  . . . . . . . . . . . .   45
     V  FACING OUTWARD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   55



    VI  THE INTEGRATION OF THE WORLD . . . . . . . . .   75
   VII  THE ROOT OF IMPERIALISM  . . . . . . . . . . .   85
  VIII  IMPERIALISM AND WAR  . . . . . . . . . . . . .   99
    IX  INDUSTRIAL INVASION  . . . . . . . . . . . . .  116
     X  THE REVOLT AGAINST IMPERIALISM . . . . . . . .  126
    XI  THE APPEAL OF IMPERIALISM  . . . . . . . . . .  140
   XII  THE AMERICAN DECISION  . . . . . . . . . . . .  151



  XIII  NATURAL RESOURCES AND PEACE  . . . . . . . . .  169
   XIV  AN ANTIDOTE TO IMPERIALISM . . . . . . . . . .  186
    XV  AMERICAN INTERESTS ABROAD  . . . . . . . . . .  201
   XVI  PACIFISM STATIC AND DYNAMIC  . . . . . . . . .  217
 XVIII  THE FREEDOM OF THE SEAS  . . . . . . . . . . .  246
   XIX  THE HIGHER IMPERIALISM . . . . . . . . . . . .  258
    XX  THE FORCES OF INTERNATIONALISM . . . . . . . .  270
   XXI  AN IMMEDIATE PROGRAMME . . . . . . . . . . . .  288

        INDEX  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  297







The Great War has thrown America back upon itself.  It has come as a
test and challenge to all our theories.  Suddenly, yet subtly, it has
shaken our optimism and undermined our faith in the peaceful progress
of humanity.  Our isolation is gone, and with it our sense of security
and self-direction.  Americans, who a few days ago would have dared to
abolish army and navy as a supreme earnest of good faith, reluctantly
agree to arm.  "Self-defence," they now say, "comes before progress.
We must lay aside our hopes of a world at peace and must guard our

Doubtless there is some exaggeration in our change of mood.  Men speak
as though a miracle had swept away the Atlantic Ocean, leaving us
stranded on Europe's western shore.  Fortunately the Ocean, always
America's ally, still lies there, narrowed and curbed, yet three
thousand miles of storm-swept water.  Physically and morally, however,
our isolation has dwindled.  Dreadnaughts, submarines and airships can
now reach us and our commerce, industry and national ambitions are
interwoven with those of Europe.  We shall never again stand aloof from
the world.


To Americans this change has come so suddenly, though it has been long
preparing, that we fail to visualise the new situation.  We glibly
repeat that our isolation is gone, but do not ask ourselves what is the
nature of the bond that has ended our isolation.  Is it amity or
enmity?  Are we to become one of a dozen clutching, struggling,
fighting nations, seeking to destroy each other, or are we to
contribute to a solution of the problems that now divide nations into
warring groups?  Though our isolation is gone, we still preserve a
latitude of action.  We may choose between two foreign policies,
between Nationalistic Imperialism and Internationalism.  We may elect
to fight for our share of the world's spoils or to labour, and, if
necessary, to fight for a world peace and for just international
relations, upon which alone a permanent peace can be based.

Such a choice involves for Americans the main trend of our
civilisation; for Europe it is hardly less vital.  Our influence upon
Europe, like hers upon us, has grown with the shrinking of the earth's
surface.  Our bulk, our resources and our remnant of inaccessibility
give us a weight in world affairs far in excess of our military power.
We are advancing in population, wealth and general education, and our
future progress in these directions is likely to be more rapid than
that of Western Europe.  Moreover we are the only strong nation not
tied up in existing international enmities.  Our hands are unbound.
How we shall act, therefore, whether we shall add to the complications
of Europe or aid in disentangling them, is a world as well as a
national problem.

In the main such national determinations are dependent upon great
economic forces, acting upon the nation from within and without.  These
economic forces, however, do not work upon stones but upon those loose
bundles of {3} instincts, reactions, ideals and prejudices that we call
men.  We need not dig deep into American history to uncover the human
elements that will influence our decision.  On the surface of our life
appear two strong tendencies pulling in opposite directions.

It is easier to describe than to define these tendencies.  The first we
might perhaps call pacifism, liberalism, humanitarianism, democracy,
though none of these words exactly defines the generous, somewhat
ineffectual, peace ideal, which has grown up in a democratic people
with no hostile neighbours.  At this moment by the light of the
European camp-fires we are likely to belittle this easy do-nothing
idealism.  We find our idealists prosaic.  They are not gaunt fanatics
consumed by their own passion, but hard-working, self-respecting,
religiously inclined men, asking good prices and high wages, eating
good food, wearing good clothes and perhaps running a Ford automobile.
To some of these meliorists, Europe seems almost as distant as China,
but towards the peoples of both places they preserve a vague and
benevolent missionary attitude.  They want peace with Europe and peace
for Europe, and would even be willing to pay for it, as they pay for
relief for Belgium and Martinique.  There is little passion in this
good-will but there is even less hypocrisy.  One may ridicule this
cornfed, tepid idealism, but it is none the less the raw material out
of which great national purposes are formed.  The present desire of
Americans for a world peace is no vaguer or more ineffectual than was
the seemingly faint sense of the wickedness of slavery, as it existed
in our Northern States in the days of the Missouri Compromise.  Yet out
of that undirected, crude and luke-warm emotion, there burst forth
within a generation the white-hot flame, which consumed the detested
institution and freed the millions of Negro slaves.


But not all Americans are idealists even of this commonplace sort.  In
our ultra-keen capitalistic competition we have evolved an American of
different type.  Self-centred, speculative, narrow, measuring success
by the dollars gained and spent, this individualist has a short way
with idealisms and larger ends.  To him our involuntary _rapprochement_
with Europe is an opportunity not for service but for gain.  War is
good or bad as it is profitable or the reverse.  He is a realist, as is
the mole, attached to the earth and not worrying about the skies.  His
ideal is that of a selfish nation dominated by selfish, social classes.

Here then we have the two Americanisms, both of them native and
redolent of the soil, both vital and growing.  Both have appeared in
many of our national controversies, in the Philippine question, in
Porto Rico, in our relations with Mexico.  The one is liberal,
democratic, often visionary, though confident because many of its
visions have come true; the other is concrete, short-sighted, intense
but with a low moral sensibility.  Each appeals to a patriotism formed
in the image of the patriot.

It is upon this divided America that there comes the sense of the
impinging of Europe.  These men of two opposed types (with innumerable
intermediate variations) suddenly perceive that the great war is being
fought not only near our shores but even within our borders.  They
dimly perceive that the war is but an incident in a greater, though
less spectacular contest, that it is in reality a phase of a long
drawn-out economic struggle in which we too have blindly played our
part.  To both groups, to all Americans, the war comes close.  It is
being fought with motives like our motives and ideals like our ideals.
It is a conflict which proves to us that international peace is still
very far from attainment.  War on a scale never before known:
war--deliberate, organised, scientific--fought {5} by combatants and
noncombatants alike, reveals itself as one of the central facts of our
modern life, a fact not to be ignored or preached or argued away, a
fact which for us on this side of the ocean, whatever our instincts and
our philosophies, has its deep and permanent significance.  Our changed
relation to this central fact of war constitutes one of the gravest
problems that we face to-day.  Growing up in a peaceful environment we
had imbibed the idea that war was a thing alien to us, monarchial,
European.  We had come to hold that a nation could avoid war by not
desiring it, by not preparing for it, by minding its own business.  We
believed that what share in the world we had and wanted was what every
reasonable nation would willingly concede us, and if certain powers
proved refractory and unreasonable--a most improbable contingency--we
could always send forth our millions of minute men, armed with
patriotism and fowling-pieces.  With European conflicts we had no
concern; we might deplore the senseless brutality of such wars, but
need not take part in their conduct or in their prevention.  In due
course Europe would learn from America the lessons of republicanism,
federalism and international justice and the happiness and wisdom of an
unarmed peace.  Ourselves unarmed, we could peacefully wrest the
weapons from Europe's hand.

The sheer, unthinking optimism of this earlier American attitude ended
abruptly on the outbreak of the present war.  It is not surprising that
our first reaction towards this war, after its full sweep and
destructiveness were visible, was one of fear.  If a peaceful nation
like Belgium could suddenly be overrun and destroyed, it behooved us
also to place ourselves on guard, to be ready with men and ships to
repel a similarly wanton attack.  The result was a demand for
preparedness, an instinctive demand, {6} not based on any definite
conception of a national policy, but intended merely to meet a
possible, not clearly foreseen, contingency.  The whole preparedness
controversy revealed this rootlessness.  It was in part at least an
acrid discussion between careless optimists and unreasonable
scare-mongers, between men who held positions no longer tenable and
others who were moving to positions which they could not locate.  Our
ideas were in flux.  Whether we should arm, against whom we should arm,
how we should arm, was decided by the impact of prejudices and shadowy
fears against an obstinate and optimistic credulity.

Nothing was more significant of the externality of these debates than
the fact that they seemed to ignore everything that we had cared about
before.  The case for armament was presented not as a continuation of
earlier national policies but as a sort of historical interlude.  Past
interests were forgotten in the insistence upon the immediate.  Until
the war broke in upon us we had been groping, both in foreign and
domestic policies, towards certain forms of national expression;
arbitration, international justice, democracy, social reform.
Throughout a century, we had believed that we had blundered towards
these goals, and that our history revealed an aspiration approaching
fulfilment.  We had settled a continent, built an ordered society, and
amid a mass of self-created entanglements, were striving to erect a new
civilisation upon the basis of a changed economic life.  Now it was
assumed that all this stubbornly contested progress was forever ended
by the conflict engulfing the world.

This whole idealistic phase of American life was disparaged by our
sudden ultra-patriots.  These men, with a perhaps unconscious bias,
opposed their brand new martial idealism to what they falsely believed
was a purely {7} materialistic pacifism.  Actually both advocates and
opponents of increased armaments were contending under the stress of a
new and bewildering emotion.  For decades we had concerned ourselves
with our own affairs, undisturbed by events which convulsed Europe.
But the present war, because of its magnitude and nearness, had set our
nerves jangling, excited us morbidly, dulled us to horror and made us
oversensitive to dread.  We read of slaughter, maiming, rape and
translated the facts of Belgium and Servia into imaginary atrocities
committed against ourselves.  We wanted to be "doing something."  Not
that we wished war, but rather the chance to rank high according to the
standards in vogue at the hour.  While hating the war, we had
insensibly imbibed the mental quality of the men who were fighting.  We
were tending to think as though all future history were to be one
continuing cataclysm.

For the moment, like the rest of the world, we were hypnotised.  Upon
our minds a crude picture had been stamped.  We were more conscious of
peril than before the war, though the peril was now less.  Our
immediate danger from invasion was smaller than it had been in June,
1914; yet while we were perhaps foolishly unafraid in 1914, in 1916 we
trembled hypnotically.

It was to this state of the American mind that all sorts of appeals
were made.  Those who wanted universal conscription and the greatest
navy in the world argued not only from dread of invaders but from the
necessity of a united nation.  They wanted "Americanism," pure, simple,
undiluted, straight.  There was to be no hyphen, no cleavage between
racial stocks, no line between sections or social classes.  America was
to be racially, linguistically, sectionally one.

It was an ideal, good or bad, according to its {8} interpretation.  A
more definitely integrated America, with a concrete forward-looking
internal and foreign policy, could aid disinterestedly in untying the
European tangle.  In the main, however, the demand for Americanism took
on an aggressive, jingoistic, red-white-and-blue tinge.  Out of it
arose an exaggerated change of mood toward the "hyphenate," the
American of foreign, and especially German, lineage.  Newspapers teemed
with attacks upon this man of divided allegiance.

In other ways our agitation for a United America took a reactionary
shape.  Though a pacific nation, we experienced a sudden revulsion
against pacifism and Hague tribunals, as though it were the pacifists
who had brought on the war.  Contempt was expressed for our
industrialism, our many-tongued democracy, our policy of diplomatic
independence.  Those most opposed to Prussianism, as it has been
defined, were most stubbornly Prussian in their proposals.  We heard
praises of the supreme education of the German barracks, and a clamour
arose for universal service, not primarily industrial or educational
but military in character.  A decaying patriotism of Americans was
deplored quite in the manner of Bernhardi.  More than ever there was
talk of national honour, prestige, the rights of America.  Our former
attitude of abstention from European disputes was called "provincial,"
and we were urged to fight for all manner of reasons and causes.  Even
though we cravenly desired peace, we were to have no choice.  An
impoverished Germany, beaten to her knees, was to pay her indemnity by
landing an army in New York and holding that city for ransom.  Around
such futilities did many American minds play.

All this appeal would have been more convincing had it not been most
insistently urged by influential financial groups.  The extent of
certain financial interests in large {9} armaments, in a spirited
foreign policy and in other widely advertised new doctrines, was
obvious.  The war had built up a vast armament industry, war stocks had
been widely distributed, and upon the advent of peace these properties
would shrink in value unless America made purchases.  More important
was the complex of financial interests, likely to be created in Latin
America and elsewhere.  Speculators were dreaming of great foreign
investments for American capital.  We were to become a creditor nation,
an imperialistic power, exploiting the backward countries of the globe.
We were to participate in international loans, more or less forced, and
to make money wherever the flag flew.  For such a policy there was
needed the backing of a patriotic, united, disciplined and armed
nation, and to secure such arms, any excuse would suffice.

At the most, of course, these financial adventurers were merely leaders
in a movement that arose out of the peculiar conditions of the moment.
The roots of our sudden desire for armament and for an aggressive
foreign policy ran far deeper than the interests of any particular
financial group.  A sense that American ideals were in peril of being
destroyed by a new barbarism impelled us to new efforts.  We dimly
perceived that we must solve new problems, accept new responsibilities,
and acquit ourselves worthily in new crises.

The most obvious result of this campaign for preparedness was a largely
increased expenditure for armies and navies.  Its deeper significance,
however, lay in the fact that it marked the end of our former theory
that war can be ended by precept and example and that no nation need
fear war or prepare for war so long as its intentions are good.
Hereafter the size and character of our national armament was to be
determined in relation to the possibility of war with Europe and of war
in Europe.  The {10} campaign for military preparation is not ended.
It will not end until some relation is established between our new
armament and the national policy which that armament is to serve.

So long as these preparedness debates lasted we believed that the
fundamental cleavage in American sentiment was between those who wished
to arm and those who did not.  Yet the proposal to increase the army
and navy was defended by men of varying temperaments and opinions, by
liberals and conservatives, by workmen and capitalists, by members of
peace societies and representatives of the Navy League.  As the first
stage of mere instinctive arming passes, however, it suddenly appears
as though the true cleavage in American thought and feeling runs
perpendicular to the division between those who favour and those who
oppose armament.  The real issue is the purpose to which the arms are
to be put.  We may use our armed strength to secure concessions in
China or Mexico, to "punish" small nations, to enter the balance of
power of Europe or to aid in the promotion of international peace.  We
may use our strength wisely or unwisely, for good or for ill.  We began
to arm before we knew for what we were arming, before we had a national
policy, before we knew what we wanted or how to get it.  Our problem
to-day is to determine upon that policy, to create out of the
constituent elements forming American public opinion a national policy,
determined by our situation and needs, limited by our power, and in
conformity with our ideals.  It is the problem of adjusting American
policy to the central fact of international conflict and war.

As we approach this problem we discover that the two great elements in
our population tend to pull in contrary directions.  In the question of
defence the one instinctively follows the lead of European nations,
piling up {11} armies and navies and attempting to make us the most
formidable power in the world; the second seeks by understandings with
other nations to prevent disagreements and to avert wars.  The first
group emphasises American rights on "land and sea," the property rights
of Americans, our financial interests in backward countries, and the
military force necessary to secure our share; the second thinks of
establishing international relations in which such rights may be
secured to all nations without the constant threat of force.  Both of
these elements are national in the sense that they desire to preserve
the country's interest, but while the first group envisages such
interest as separate and distinct from others, to be defended for
itself alone as a lawyer defends his client, the other sees the
national interest in relation to the interests of other nations and
seeks to secure international arrangements by which conflicting claims
can be adjusted.  The first element lays stress upon the legalistic
attitude, upon our honour, our rights, our property; the second is less
jingoistic, less aggressive, less jealous in honour.

Which of these two elements in our population will secure the
ascendency and dictate our foreign policy, or which will contribute
more largely to the decision, will be determined chiefly by the course
of our internal evolution and especially by our economic development.
Whether we are to go into international affairs to get all we
can--concessions, monopolies, profits--will depend upon how great is
the internal economic strain pressing us outward, upon whether our
conditions are such that the gains from a selfish national
aggrandisement will outweigh the large, slow gains of international
co-operation.  Ideals will also count, as will tradition and precedent.
Even chance enters into the decision.  If, for example, by some change
in the internal affairs of Germany we are thrown into an alliance {12}
with England, France and Russia, a direction will be given to our
international policy which it may take years to change.  The accident
which found Admiral Dewey in Asiatic waters on a certain day in April,
1898, has not been without its influence upon the ensuing foreign
policy of the United States.

For those who wish to use our armed forces to secure special advantages
(trade, monopolies, fields for investment), the road is broad and
clearly marked.  They have only to do what other aggressive and
imperialistic nations have done--prepare the means of fighting and
threaten to fight either alone or with allies whenever a favouring
opportunity offers.  But for those of us who desire to make America an
agency in the creation of international peace the problem is infinitely
more difficult.  Peace and internationalism cannot be secured by
fervent wishes or piety but only by persistent effort and measureless
patience.  That for which men have sought in vain during so many
centuries will not fall like ripe fruit into our laps.

Towards this goal of internationalism all that is best in America
aspires.  The American tradition points towards internationalism.  Our
early settlers, as also many of our later immigrants, came to these
shores to escape political and religious warfare, and brought with them
a broad humanitarian ideal, an ideal of peace, internationalism,
freedom and equality.  They also brought an antipathy towards those
monarchical and aristocratic institutions, with which in America we
still associate conceptions of imperialism and war.  The simplicity and
inherent equality of our frontier life, its self-government and its
local independence, tended to reinforce our leaning towards a peaceful
internationalism.  Our large spaces, our ease of movement, our freedom
from the militaristic and excessively nationalistic traditions of the
European Continent {13} influenced us in a like direction, as did also
the merging of many peoples into one nation.  We were not disillusioned
by any conflict with harder-pressed nations, desiring what we had or
having what we desired.  We believed vaguely in an inevitable
beneficent internationalism, which would bring all nations into harmony
and banish war from the world.

Actually our pacifists and internationalists have accomplished little,
if anything, towards a realisation of this ideal.  What has hampered
them, apart from the overwhelming difficulty of the problem, has been
the fact that they did not realise how distant was the goal towards
which they were marching.  Their approach to the problem was not
realistic.  They conceived of the World as a group of nations in all
fundamentals like America and of peace as a process by which these
other nations would approximate to the United States.  The great
solvents of war were democracy, education and industrialism.  Democracy
would take from the ruling classes the right to declare wars; education
would destroy in the people the last vestiges of bellicosity and
international prejudice, while industrialism would in the end overcome
militarism, and turn battleships and howitzers into steam-ploughs and
electric cranes.  The triumphant progress throughout the world of
democracy, education and industrialism would speedily bring about peace
and a firm internationalism.

Unfortunately the problem of imperialism and war is far more intricate
than this popular theory assumes.  All these forces tend perhaps in the
general direction of peace but they do not bring about peace
automatically and in many cases actually intensify and augment the
impulse towards war.  Our present age of advancing democracy, education
and industrialism has been, above all other periods, the age of
imperialism, of exaggerated nationalism {14} and of colonial wars.
Democratic peoples have not been cured of nationalistic ambition, and
education, in many countries at least, has aided in the creation of an
imperialistic and militaristic spirit.  Even our unguided industrialism
has not ended wars or brought their end perceptibly nearer.  There is
no easy road to internationalism and peace, and those who strive for
these ends without understanding the genesis and deep lying causes of
war are striving in vain.

If in America therefore, we are to contribute to the promotion of
internationalism and peace, we must recognise that war is not a mere
accident or vagary but a living thing growing out of the deepest roots
of our economic life.  It is not caused alone by human unreason, by the
pride of individuals, the greed of social classes, the prejudices of
races and nationalities, but is closely intertwined with those economic
ideals upon which the best as well as the worst in our civilisation is
reared.  We had believed that industrialism and militarism were
mutually opposed and that the factory would automatically destroy the
army.  To-day we see how each of these has entered into the spirit of
the other and how each helps the other.  The army is industrialised and
the national industry is put upon a military, fighting basis.  The same
forces that impel a nation to develop its trade, increase its output,
improve its industrial technique, also impel it to raise large armies
and to fight for the things for which men work.  To divorce economic
ambition from the national aggression that leads to war will not be
easy.  It is a sobering task which faces those who wish to use
America's influence in the cause of peace.

Whatever our course of action, however, whether we strive for an
American imperialism or for internationalism, one thing is certain: it
cannot be instinctive, fluctuating, {15} undirected.  We cannot
revolutionise our international relations with each new administration
or with each change of the moon.  Nor can we stay at home and, ignorant
of the causes of war, content ourselves with a long-distance preaching
of peace to the menaced nations of Europe.  Each of the two courses
open to us involves self-direction, valour and strength.  If we are to
enter upon a struggle for place, power and profits, we must prepare for
a dangerous contest: if we are to labour for a new international
harmony, for peace and good-will and the delicate adjustments without
which these are but words, we shall also need courage--and infinite
patience.  Without knowledge we shall accomplish nothing.  To enter
upon an international career without a sense of the conditions
underlying peace and war, is to walk in darkness along a dangerous path.




To ascribe world events to the action of a single individual is a naïve
yet persistent manner of thought.  All over Europe men blamed the war
upon a wicked Kaiser, a swaggering, immature Crown Prince, a
weak-fisted Von Berchtold, a sinister Tisza, a childish Poincaré, an
unscrupulous Sir Edward Grey, an abysmally astute Sasonof.  We in
America blamed everything on Von Tirpitz and the irrepressible
Reventlow.  In all countries, millions of men drifted helplessly toward
a war, which they believed was due to the evil machinations of a man.

So long as the belief holds that one man can set the world on fire,
there can be no reasonable theory of war or peace.  It is a conception
which makes world destiny a plaything, unmotived in any large sense,
accidental and incalculable.  On the other hand, those who regard war
as merely irrational, a general human idiocy, are equally far from any
true approach to the problem.  We are being deluged to-day with books
and newspaper articles describing war as a reversion of mankind to a
lower type, a betrayal of reason, a futile, revolting struggle,
creating no rights, settling no problems and serving no useful purpose
except, in Lord Salisbury's phrase, "to teach people geography."  Let
us be rational and adult, cry these authors, adjuring an insane world
to return to its sanity.

No wonder that there is prejudice against this particular variety of
abstract pacifism.  It is a negative {17} doctrine, anæmic and
thin-haired, with a touch of gentle intolerance and a patient disregard
of facts.  It does not recognise the real motives to war, upon which
alone a theory of peace may be based.  It defeats itself because
ultra-rationalistic.  For if war, though irrational, has always been,
would it not follow that man himself is irrational, that the fighting
instinct is deeper than reason, and that to-morrow, as to-day, men will
fight for the joy of killing?  If this were true, pacifism might as
well resign.  In truth, this interpretation of war as a mere expression
of man's fighting instincts is no more adequate than is the personal
devil theory.  War has outgrown the fighting instinct.  It has become
deliberate, businesslike, scientific.  It demands sacrifices from those
to whom fighting is an abomination.  How many red-blooded warriors
could the German Emperor or the French President have enrolled, had
there been no appeal to national interest, duty, justice, indignation?
War is won to-day by peace-loving men, who abhor the arms in their

The closer we study its motives, incentives and origins, the more
deeply do we find the elements of this problem imbedded in the very
foundations of national or group life.  War depends upon growth in
population, emigration, the use of natural resources, agricultural
progress, trade development, distribution of wealth, taxation.  It is
never unrelated to the economic web in which the people live their
lives; it is seldom unaffected by the necessity of expanding and the
opposition of neighbours, the desire for bread and the longing for
luxuries.  War and peace are functions of the national life, steps in
national progress or retrogression.  Peace and war are two paths
leading often in the same general direction, and whether we may take
one path or must take the other is often determined for us long before
we reach this parting of the ways.


At first glance this economic or business side of war is obscured.  We
find tribes and nations fighting for women and heads and scalps, to
please the gods, to destroy sorcerers, to slay heretics, to show
prowess, and for other reasons which seem equally remote from an
economic motive.  A nation will go to war "to save its face," or to
annihilate the "hereditary enemy," as well as to improve its position
in the world.  Yet these diverse human motives are related to, though
not fully absorbed in, the omnipresent economic motive.  The
"hereditary enemy" usually is no other than the tribe or nation that
blocks our way; the "gods" enjoin war against neighbours who occupy the
lands we need or can furnish us tribute; the women, whom we capture,
are tame and pleasant beasts of burden, who help to swell our numbers.
As for pride and tribal vanity, which so often precipitate war, these
are a powerful social bond, which by holding the tribe together permits
it to conquer the things it needs.  A war for prestige is often a war
for economic gain once removed.  There remains a residue of martial
emotion, not so closely united with the desire for economic gain, but
all these derivative motives do not prevent the economic factor from
remaining preponderant.  Remove the economic factors leading to war,
give men more than enough, and the chief incentive to war disappears.

The modern historical trend has been towards a fuller recognition of
the influence of this potent, though often disguised, motive to war.
Historians are recognising that the mainspring of social action is not
an emperor's dream or soldier's ambition, but the demand of vast
populations for food, clothing and shelter, then for better food,
clothing and shelter, and finally for the rights, privileges and
institutions which will make such economic progress assured.  Ancient
war, which seemed so empty and causeless, is now {19} revealed as a
half-conscious effort of human societies to adjust themselves to
changing economic conditions.  It is a struggle for bread.  Indeed, so
complete has been this change in our theories that we often exaggerate
this economic influence, and speak as though no emotion save hunger
impelled humanity.  But such exclusion of other motives is not
necessary to an economic interpretation.  We can emphasise the
influence of economic desires, which modern Americans and Germans share
with ancient Greeks and Babylonians, while still admitting the
influence of other factors.  Race, creed, language, geographical
position, increase national friendship or animosity.  While these
factors influence wars, however, they are less universal, if not less
potent than is the economic motive.

The significance of this economic motive to war can hardly be
overstated.  If wars are in the main due to fundamental, economic
conflicts, then we cannot end or limit war unless we discover some
alternate way to compose such economic differences.  We cannot hope
that the human race will stop wanting things.  Men have never lived
like the lilies of the field, nor wished to live so.  According to our
every-day morality, wanting and getting are ethical and wise, and
not-wanting is unethical and decivilising.  Our whole intricate,
complex civilisation depends upon the physical well-being and the
economic ambition of our populations, and morally, as well as
physically, a beggared nation tends to decline.  We may trace this
degeneration of impoverished groups in some of our mountainous
districts, where communities, shut off from the main productive
energies of the nation, brutalise and decay.  All the conditions of our
life impel nations, like individuals, to advance economically, to
fructify labour, to gain.  If, however, the nation in its struggle for
new wealth clashes with other nations, intent also upon gain, if {20}
these mobilised, economic ambitions necessarily lead to destructive
wars, then we must cease declaiming against war's immorality, and seek
instead to discover whether economic readjustments cannot circumscribe
or even prevent wars.

To a modern business man or to a city workman this theory of the
economic cause of wars is not unsatisfactory.  He may quite properly
introduce more idealistic elements, a desire for independence, a love
of conquest, the influence of personal prejudices, dynastic
affiliations, racial antagonism and religious hatreds, but in the end
he will apply to this business of war the same canons of judgment that
he applies to his own business.  "Whom does it pay?  What is 'in it'
for the nations or for classes or individuals within the nations?"  And
if you tell him that in the present war Servian hatred was intensified
because Austria discriminated against Servian pigs, or that Germany was
embittered because of Russian tariffs and French colonial policies, if
you speak to him in these economic terms, you are immediately
intelligible.  Economic motive is one of the obvious facts of life.

It is the transcendentalists who interpret war in more idealistic
terms.  In every country, but especially in Germany, there is a whole
school of historical and pseudo-historical romanticists, who defend war
by elevating it high above the reach of reason.  You cannot shake the
convictions of such writers by an account of war atrocities, of
slaughter, pillage, rape, mutilations and the spitting of infants upon
lances, just as you cannot deter murderers by the sight of public
executions.  All these horrors are but a part of war's terrible
fascination.  "In war," writes the late Professor J. A. Cramb, one of
the most eloquent of these war mystics, "man values the power which it
affords to life of rising above life, the power which the spirit of man
possesses to pursue the ideal."  There is, and can be, {21} in his
view, no reason for war; war transcends reason.  In spite of its
unreason, war, which has always governed the world, always ruled the
lives of men, always uplifted the strong and deposed the weak, will
remain beautifully terrible, immortally young.  As in ancient days, in
India, Babylon, Persia, China, Hellas and Rome, so to-day, men will
choose "to die greatly and with a glory that will surpass the glories
of the past."  Men are always greater than the earthly considerations
that seem to guide their lives.  As patriotism ruled the hosts of Rome
and Carthage, as the ideal of empire drove forth the valorous
Englishmen who conquered India, so to-day, to-morrow and until the end
of time high and noble ideas, far above the comprehension of mere
rationalists, will impel men to war, "to die greatly."

It may seem importunate to reason with men upon a subject which they
include among the mysteries, beyond reason.  Yet if we analyse the
instances, which Professor Cramb and others cite of wars waged for
great ideal purposes, we stumble incontinently upon stark economic
motives.  Carthage and Rome did not fight for glory but for food.  The
prize was the fertile wheat fields of Sicily.  There was nothing
transcendental in the wars between Athens and Sparta, but a naked
conflict for commerce and exploitative dominion.  As for the British
conquest of India, the "ideal of empire" was perfectly translatable
into a very acute desire for trade.

We shall make little progress unless we understand this business or
economic side of war, for to see war truly we must see it naked.  All
its romanticism is but the gold lace upon the dress uniform.  The
idealism of the individual is a mere derivative of those crude
appetites of the mass that drive nations into the conflict.  Wherever
we open the book of history, and read of marching and counter-marching,
of {22} slaughter and rapine, we discover that the tribes, clans,
cities or nations engaged in these bloody conflicts were not fighting
for nothing, whatever they themselves may have believed, but were
impelled in the main by the hope of securing economic goods--food,
lands, slaves, trade, money.

It is a wide digression from the immediate problems of our closely knit
world of to-day to the blind, animal instincts that ruled the destinies
of endless successions of hunting tribes, exterminating each other in
the savage forest.  Yet among hunting tribes, at all times, the raw
conflict of economic motive, which we find more decently garbed in
modern days, appears crude and stark.  To kill or starve is the eternal
choice.  Since population increases faster than food, war becomes
inevitable, for the tribe that hunts on _our_ land, and eats _our_
food, is our hereditary enemy.  To pastoral nations, war is equally
necessary, unless babies and old people are to be ruthlessly
sacrificed.  To fill new mouths larger flocks are necessary, to feed
larger flocks new pastures are required; and there is only one way to
obtain fresh pastures.  There comes a period of drought, and the
hunger-maddened nation, accompanied by its flocks, hurls itself
suddenly upon feebler agricultural peoples, destroying empires and
founding them.  These are the great _Völkerwanderungen_, the restless
migrations of mobile pastoral nations in search of food.  It is the
eternal bloody quest.

Nor are agricultural populations immune.  Not only must they defend
their patches of cultivated land, but, as numbers increase, must strike
out for new lands.  When the growing population makes conditions
intolerable, youths are chosen, perhaps by religious rites, to
adventure, sword in hand, and carve out new territory or die fighting.
There are always more than there is place for, and it is always
possible for a young Fortinbras to shark up "a list of {23} lawless
resolutes for food and diet, to some enterprise that hath a stomach in
't."  All the interminable battling of the early Middle Ages reveals
this effort of fecund agricultural populations to solve the problem of
over-breeding by slaughter.

Even the Crusades partake of this economic character.  Among the
Crusaders were exalted souls, who wished to rescue their Lord's
sepulchre, but there were many more who dreamed of free lands, gold and
silver, and the beautiful women of the Orient.  The religious motive
was present; it was strong and intolerant, though it did not in the
later Crusades prevent Christians from attacking Christians.  At
bottom, however, certain strong economic factors forced on the
struggle.  There had been famine in Lorraine and pestilence from
Flanders to Bohemia, and all the discontent, hunger and ambition of
western Europe answered to Urbano's call.  "A stream of emigration set
towards the East, such as would in modern times flow towards a newly
discovered gold-field--a stream carrying in its turbid waters much
refuse, tramps and bankrupts, camp-followers and hucksters, fugitive
monks and escaped villains, and marked by the same motley grouping, the
same fever of life, the same alternations of affluence and beggary,
which mark the rush for a gold-field to-day."[1]  Not until it was seen
that they no longer paid did the Crusades end; not heavenly but earthly
motives inspired most of these soldiers of Christ.  It was business,
the business of a crudely organised, over-populated, agricultural

Even with the development of commerce, the motive does not change in
character, though its form becomes different.  All through history we
find maritime cities and states fighting for the control of trade
routes, the exploitation of {24} markets and peoples, the right to sell
goods and keep competitors from selling.  Athens, Venice, Genoa, Pisa,
Florence, Holland, England--it is all the same story.  Undoubtedly,
with the development of commerce, wealth takes a new form.  Land is no
longer the sole wealth, and successful warriors need no longer be paid
in land and live off the land, as they are forced to do in every feudal
society.  A money economy, a conversion of values into money, changes
the technique of war by creating professional mercenary armies.  But
the business goes on as before.  Rival groups fight for a monopoly of
trade as they once fought for land.  There is still not enough to go
around, and no way of deciding between rival claimants except by the
arbitrament of war.

Perhaps it will be objected that an analysis of war such as this leaves
us merely with the dead body of facts while killing the soul of truth.
Surely, it may be urged, war is more than a sordid calculation; a
Roland or Bayard does not weigh his danger against booty.  Of course
that is so.  Economic motive is only the skeleton of war; the flesh and
skin are of a totally different texture.  Idealism, nobility, heroism
exist in war, and are no less sincere because based upon the gross
facts of economic necessity and desire.  Without such idealism,
manufactured or evolved, you can no more win wars, especially in these
latter days, than without ammunition.  Idealism is a weapon with which
we kill our enemies.  Yet if we read our history rightly, we shall find
less of this luminous nobility among warriors than our annalists
pretend.  The Greeks of the Trojan War were not patriots but
free-booters.  Those great English sailors, Drake, Morgan and the rest,
who ravaged the Caribbean and smashed the Spanish sea-power, were
pirates, unashamed of their piracy.  As for the heroic warriors of the
Scotch border, would they not to-day be {25} jailed as cattle-thieves?
Look where you will, at the great wars and at the blood-tracked
colonising movements of history, and always you will find two kinds of
men: the stone-blind idealist, and the crass, open-eyed, fleshly man.
One fights for ideals, the other for something else worth fighting for.
Both, however, are in reality impelled by economic motive, working upon
them either directly and consciously, or transmuted into ideals through
the medium of a people's thought.

Nor does this fighting for things, to be obtained only by fighting,
involve moral turpitude.  Nothing could be more grotesque than the
moralistic tone in which we industrious moderns lecture the ancient
fighting peoples.  They did what we do, gained the things they wanted
in the only way they could.  Men will fight or work rather than starve,
and whether they fight or work depends upon which, in the given
circumstances, is the feasible mode of accumulation.  Perhaps these
peoples loved fighting and praised fighting more than we do.  But as
fighting was their _métier_ and the measure of their success, their
minds, like their muscles, became habituated, and their morality
discovered virtue to be the thing at which the moralists were adept.
Nothing can be wrong that is necessary to survival.  Warfare is not
immoral until there is an alternative.

Such an alternative might easily have arisen with the vast impetus
given to accumulation by the discovery of America and of the new route
to the East.  But these events not only did not end but actually
intensified war, while bringing out more sharply its preponderatingly
economic character.  For three generations Europe was enmeshed in the
Italian wars, in which great rival nations sought to control Italian
wealth and the dominion of the Mediterranean.  There followed the
so-called religious {26} wars, in which Sweden played for control of
the Baltic, Holland for the East Indian colonies, and England for trade
supremacy, while Catholic France, to strengthen her position at the
expense of Austria, came to the aid of Protestant Germany.  For another
century, from the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 to the Peace of Paris in
1763, there was a succession of commercial wars, in which England
wrested from Holland and then from France the mastery of the sea as
well as the control of Asia and America.  During all this period the
rising commercial classes of England were brutally "upon the make."
Markets were gained in America and valuable commercial rights obtained
from Portugal, while in the famous contract, known as the "_Assiento_,"
English merchants secured from Spain the lucrative privilege of
shipping one hundred and forty-four thousand negro slaves to the
Spanish colonies of America.  Of such was the texture of the complex
European diplomacy that held the world in war.

In all these conflicts there was precious little idealism.  The astute
councillors of Elizabeth, of James, of Louis XIV, did not waste their
august sovereign's time upon discourses concerning Britain's honour and
the grandeur of France, but talked trade, privileges, monopolies,
colonies to be exploited, money to be made.  So too the Napoleonic
Wars, those great conflicts between democracy and absolutism, reveal
themselves as a continuation of the commercial wars of the eighteenth
century.  It was all the same process, the ranging of the nations, as
formerly of tribes and of cities, for the conquest, first, of the means
to live, and, second, of a preferred economic position in the world.

Such is the business of war, and it is the oldest business in the
world.  It is aided by patriotism, prejudice, uncharitableness and a
whole calendar of ugly tribal virtues, {27} which enjoin us to love the
means by which we get and hate the men from whom we take.  It is aided
by racial scorn, a thing as deep as life, yet subject on the whole to
that more impelling factor, economic motive.  The history of war and
peace is a history of the overriding of sentimental considerations by
imperious economic needs.  During the Revolutionary War, no love was
lost between the rigid, race-conscious Englishman and the despised
red-skin, yet both joined hands to scalp Americans in the lonely
settlements along our frontier.  To-day German and Turk, Italian and
Russian, Frenchman and Senegambian, Briton and Japanese, love each
other at least temporarily because pursuing like interests.  Not that
the influence of race and nationality upon those mutual repulsions
which lead to war can be brushed aside in a paragraph.  They are
potent, modifying factors, with a certain independence of action, and
serving, with regard to economic motives, as accelerators, intensifiers
or, to change the illustrations, as containers.  Yet it is no great
exaggeration to say that no racial antagonism can wholly sunder allies
joined by a vital economic bond, and no racial sympathy firmly unite
nations who want one indivisible thing.  The "Anglo-Saxon cousins" now
live in concord, but not solely because they are Anglo-Saxons.  As for
religious differences, which have in the past so often exacerbated the
war spirit, this influence is less than appears.  Even the godly live
on bread and butter.  The Protestant princes of the Reformation hated
the Scarlet Woman because of the Real Presence, but they also hated her
because of the golden stream that flowed from Germany to Rome.  The
English Reformation had less to do with Mistress Anne Boleyn than with
the wealth of the monasteries.  Especially among modern industrial
nations, with their increasing theological {28} apathy, are religious
differences of relatively small importance in determining wars.  It is
the economic motive which tells.[2]

Considering all these facts of history, so hastily reviewed,
considering that in practically all countries and at all times economic
impulses have tended to push men into war, is the conclusion forced
upon us that we shall have war so long as we have economic desires, and
that in the future mankind will continue to drag itself along a
blood-stained path?  Can we change in human nature that desire for
material things, which has always been the great survival virtue of the

To many men the answer points to perpetual war.  They believe that
nations will fight so long as they are hungry, and they will always be
hungry.  War and birth are the twin immortals; there will always be
more babies than can be fed and there will always be war.  As well
preach against death as against war, since the peaceful, abstaining
nations are doomed to extinction and the war-like nations survive and
determine the character of humanity.  The meek nations do not inherit
the earth.  They go down in the ceaseless struggle between the living
and the dying peoples.

During the last one hundred and fifty years, however, a more optimistic
conviction has struggled for expression.  The Industrial Revolution has
enormously increased the wealth of the world, and has enabled
over-populated industrial countries to secure their food from
agricultural {29} lands thousands of miles away.  There has grown up a
vast complementary trade between old and new countries, and even
competing manufacturing nations find it profitable to trade with one
other.  The hope has therefore arisen that perhaps this war-breeding,
economic motive may hereafter lead to peace and away from war.
Admitted that peoples once had to fight, may it not in this New World
of industry be "good business" to live and let live, to agree with your
competitor, to trade amicably?  May not the industrial transformations,
undreamed of in past centuries, permit a world-population to live off
its labour, immune from the necessity of killing?  Have we not here an
alternative to war?

The doctrine is that of _laissez-faire_, untrammelled competition, free
trade.  From Adam Smith down to the present day, it has been preached
to us that each man's enlightened selfishness, unguided and unimpeded,
will work out to the welfare of each society and to peace between all
societies.  The interests of nations in trade is held to be reciprocal.
Buyer and seller both gain, so that England cannot prosper unless
Germany prospers, and England cannot suffer without Germany suffering.
You need not fight for commerce.  Trade does not follow the flag but
the line of greatest mutual advantage, as was shown, it is claimed,
when Britain after losing political control of America doubled her
commerce with America.  It does not pay to fight for colonies, since
colonials if left alone will buy in the cheapest and sell in the
dearest market.  With nothing to fight for, peace and prosperity will
come with free trade, which the nations will adopt as soon as they
perceive their own interests.  There is no economic reason for warfare,
which like other superstitions will vanish as men emerge from the
darkness of ignorance.

It is a pacifying theory, and yet something seems wrong {30} with it.
The optimistic forecasts have been belied; the nations have not
acclaimed free trade, but rear tariff walls higher than ever.  Nor do
the nations abjure colonial expansion, but fight for colonies and
"spheres of influence" and lands for "peaceful penetration," as tribes
once fought for pastures, and cities for trade-routes.  The national
spirit, instead of succumbing to an era of peaceful individualism and
cosmopolitanism, is stronger and more embittered than ever.  Armaments
pile up.  Colonial disputes become more acrid, international jealousies
more acute, until in the end we are cast into the pit of the
long-dreaded World War.  We do not know that this is the last World
War.  We are not sure that the same inveterate, millennium-old struggle
for food, the same bitter "business" which has always meant war, is yet
finished and done for.

Even if war does not cease, however, may we not at least be exempt from
the scourge on this safe side of the broad Atlantic?  Though it rains
outside, may we not keep dry beneath our big umbrella?  We Americans
are accustomed to think of ourselves as a peace-loving, unaggressive
people, envying no nation its dominion or wealth, and incurring the
enmity of no nation.  Let the peoples of Europe destroy themselves in
ceaseless, insane conflicts, but let us, by keeping to our side of the
ocean, save ourselves from slaughter as Lot was saved from the fate of

It is not a noble caution that thus disregards the fate of the world
and seeks only the national safety.  Nor is it in truth a wise caution.
Those who are too circumspect incur the greatest danger, and those who
trust to their own unoffending reckon on a doubtful factor.  Why should
we alone, among the nations be exempt from economic forces, which drive
peace-loving nations into war?  Have we by our rapid expansion, to say
nothing of our Monroe declaration and other pretensions, failed to give
offence in a world, {31} in which mere having is aggression and mere
growing a menace?  Has our peace in the past been due to our own
meekness and unaggressiveness, or has it been the gift of a fortunate
economic condition, which may pass?  Before we rely upon the
continuance of a peace of mere isolation, we shall do well to inquire
into the economic conditions which so long gave us peace.

[1] Ernest Barker.  Crusades.  Encyclopedia Britannica, Eleventh
Edition, Vol. VII, p. 526.

[2] For a sketch of the economic influences bearing upon war, see the
brilliant essay of Prof. Edward Van Dyke Robinson, "War and Economics
in History and Theory," _Political Science Quarterly_, Vol. XV, pp.
581-622.  Reproduced in "Sociology and Social Progress," compiled by
Prof. Thomas Nixon Carver (1905), pp. 133-173.  In the present chapter
I have borrowed extensively from Professor Robinson's essay.




To the average American of a few years ago the maintenance of peace
seemed as natural and easy as breathing.  Except for our brief and
episodical conflict with Spain we had had no war with a European Power
for a hundred years and we saw no reason why we should go to war in any
of the coming centuries.  Peace was merely an abstention from war, a
not doing something, which we had no desire to do.  We had no reason to
provoke war, no foreign nation had a legitimate grievance against us.
In any case we were inherently different from Europe.  We were peaceful
while Europe was war-like.  So long as we tended to our own
affairs---and that was our intention--peace was assured.

Believing thus in our intrinsic peacefulness, it was in no spirit of
humility that we met the outbreak of the Great War.  We did not put
ourselves in the place of the fighting nations, and acknowledge that in
their circumstances we too might have been struggling in the dust.
Rather we boasted of our restraining democracy, and of our perfect
co-operative union, which protected us from the European anarchy.  We,
a people unassailed, talked loudly of our superior merit, and, as we
looked over the broad oceans and saw no enemy, thanked God that He had
not made us as other nations.  Our compassion for the peoples of Europe
was tinged with a bland, self-righteous arrogance.

It is not pleasant to-day to read the homilies which {33} America,
during those early months of the war, preached to unheeding Europe.
Throughout runs a note of subdued self-exaltation.  We, the Americans,
so ran the boast, are not ruled by Kaiser or Czar, and cannot be
stampeded into war against our will.  We do not extend our national
territory by force.  Of all nations we are the one that has best
compounded economic differences and best dissolved racial hatreds.  We
live in amity with all the world, and with piety preach our lessons to
the war-mad races.  How fundamentally insolent, though
well-intentioned, was this message of one of our leading citizens to
Germany.  "The American people cry with one voice to the German people,
like Ezekiel to the house of Israel: 'Turn ye, turn ye, from your evil
ways; for why will ye die?'"

Even in our churches we made the same unconscious boast.  On Sunday,
October 4, 1914, at the request of the President of the United States,
millions of Americans went down on their knees, and prayed God no
longer to scourge the peoples of Europe.  It was a sincere prayer,
evoked by real compassion.  Yet nothing could more clearly have
revealed our moral detachment, our obliviousness to the fact that the
passions which brought forth this war were human, not European
passions.  We, the virtuous, interceded for the vicious; our prayer was
"deliver them from evil."  With malice toward none, with charity
towards all, envying no nation its treasures, content to enjoy in peace
what God had given us, America folded its hands in prayer.

To a sceptical European, accustomed to the cant of international
protestations, this boasted peacefulness of ours seems suspicious.
"Have you," he might ask, "always been peaceful?  Did you not fight
England, Mexico and Spain?  Have you not taken advantage of your
neighbours' necessities?"  Such a European might not regard {34}
Americans as a nation, divinely appointed to bring peace to a world
rent by war.  He might not acknowledge that we are more law-abiding
than other peoples, freer from race hatreds, gentler towards the
unfortunates of our own race.  He might point to our lynchings and
riots; to our unpunished murders of Chinese, Italians and Mexicans; to
the system of repression, by which the Southern whites terrorized the
freedmen after the Civil War.  If Europe did not solve the Balkan
problem in peace, did Americans end slavery without resort to arms?

We may not like these imputations, but it would be hard to deny that in
certain national crises we have not been impossibly virtuous.  We have
not always subordinated our national interests to the ideal of setting
a righteous example.  What we wanted and could get we got, whether it
was Florida, Texas, California or Panama.  We were not above the
twisting or even the breaking of a treaty, we did not discourage
filibustering expeditions too rigorously, and we were never, never
meek.  Thus in 1818, to take a single example, we addressed to Spain a
polite communication in which we asserted that "the United States can
as little compound with impotence as with perfidy, and that Spain must
immediately make her election, either to place (an adequate) force in
Florida or cede to the United States a province, of which she retains
nothing but the nominal possession."  Many of our communications to
Mexico, Chile, Spain, and even England were equally arrogant.

The truth is that our peace has been a peace of circumstances, due to a
favouring geographical and economic situation.  Our peacefulness came
down to us like our rivers, farms and cities, a heritage of exceptional
conditions.  We were inaccessible to European armies.  We were supreme
on a fertile, sparsely settled continent.  We could afford peace.  Our
resources were immensely great and if {35} we did not reach out for
more, it was because we already had as much as we could handle.  What
we did need we could take from weak peoples, and a nation which fights
weak peoples need not be martial, just as a man who robs orphans need
not be a thug.

It might have been different.  Had our Westward progress been opposed
by millions of Indians, had France been able to resist our march beyond
the Appalachians, or Mexico stood like a disciplined Germany between us
and the Westward Ocean, we should have developed a military
civilisation.  As our growing population pressed upon our narrow
frontiers, we should have had our war scares, our border conflicts, our
national hatreds, our huge standing army, and the whole paraphernalia
of militarism.

Still another element, besides our geographical isolation and our
economic self-sufficiency, contributed to our intactness and security
and permitted us to indulge in the luxury of pacifism.  Europe
protected us from Europe.  We were one and the European Powers many.
So delicate was the balance that the European nations could not hazard
a really serious trans-Atlantic venture.  They had little to gain and
much to lose by fighting us, as we had nothing to gain by fighting
them.  Our interest in such European affairs as the independence of
Greece, Hungary and Poland was purely sentimental.  Towards Europe we
were peaceful as we were peaceful towards Mars.  True, our safe orators
delighted in twisting the lion's tail and upbraiding the Czar of all
the Russias.  During the eighty-three years between 1815 and 1898,
however, we were never at war with a European nation.

It was not that we loved Europe too well.  England we detested and
hardly a decade passed without some acrid boundary dispute.  We thought
her arrogant, greedy, supercilious, and she thought us arrogant, greedy
and {36} coarse.  Millions of Irish immigrants intensified this
animosity and our national vanity did the rest.  But though we hated
England she was too formidable to be attacked.  Therefore we bluffed
and she bluffed, and in the end we compromised.

With other countries it was still easier to keep at peace.  Prussia,
Austria and the smaller German states were too distant to affect our
interests.  For Russia we had a vague attachment, and except on one
occasion, she never threatened our ambitions.  With France we were on
good terms except during our Civil War.  We disliked Spain and despised
her, but events prevented our going to war with her.

It was because it paid that we kept at peace; any other policy would
have been wasteful, even suicidal.  Our future depended upon our
ability to keep out of war.  A sparse population on the edge of a vast
continent, our hope of national success lay in an isolation, which
would give us strength for future struggles.  Our mission was to settle
the empty lands to the West before other nations could pre-empt them.
To embroil ourselves with strong powers was to court disaster, while
even to interest ourselves in European politics would divert our mind
from our own imperative task.

Our first American foreign policy, therefore was disentanglement.  We
often speak as though America passively abstained from entering
European politics.  We were, however, already a part of the unsteady
balance of power, and warring France and England sought our aid, much
as the two coalitions might seek the aid of a Bulgaria, not loving her
but needing her help.  It was a bold and above all a positive policy
that Washington established when he broke the French treaty and
declared our neutrality.  Though denounced as dishonourable, this
policy was {37} essential to our welfare and peace, for the country was
more dangerously divided in 1793 than in 1916.

How intimately our peace has depended upon our economic development is
revealed by the early failure of this policy of disentanglement.  Prior
to 1812 our immediate economic interests overhung our territory and
transcended our sovereignty.  All Europe being at war, we were the
neutral carriers of the world.  Our ships brought merchandise to France
from her colonies and allies, and goods from the West Indies and South
America to all parts of Europe.  In the decade ending 1801 our foreign
trade, which was dependent upon the indulgence of Europe, more than
quadrupled.  The profits on our carrying trade were immense.  Our
shipbuilding industry increased, and not only were orders filled for
our own foreign trade but many ships were manufactured for export.  The
prices of agricultural products almost doubled and our meat, flour,
cotton and wool found a ready market in Europe.  Our prosperity
depended upon this newly created foreign trade.  Sail-makers,
ship-builders, draymen, farmers, merchants were dependent upon a trade
which menaced the commercial supremacy of Great Britain and upon which
even France looked with jealous apprehension.

It was this conflict of our interests with those of a stronger nation
that brought on the bitter controversies with Great Britain, and
resulted in the tedious war of 1812.  We were more dependent upon
Europe than Europe upon us, as was shown by the fiasco of our Embargo
policy.  England, determined to kill our commerce, would have fought
many years to accomplish this purpose.  But it did not prove necessary.
Our commercial progress, that had been merely an incident in a European
war, lessened after the peace.  For us this was fortunate.  Our future
lay in our own continent, and not on the high sea where as {38} a
relatively weak nation, we should have been forced to compete with the
world and war continually with England.

To-day, one hundred years later we are still pacific, because of the
direction taken by our economic development since 1815.  While we
developed agriculture, constructed turnpikes, canals and railroads,
manufactured for the home market, and filled up the country from the
Appalachians to the Pacific, our American-borne commerce and our
shipbuilding declined; by 1846, our American tonnage in foreign trade
was less than in 1810.  But the profits of this carrying trade were no
longer necessary, since in exchange for our imports from Europe we
could now export cotton.  We were no longer competitors with Europe,
but had become contributors to European prosperity.  Prior to 1815
England looked upon us as a commercial rival; after 1815 we became the
unconscious economic allies of all the industrial nations.

The extent to which our economic system had become complementary to the
European economic system is illustrated by a study of the statistics of
our foreign commerce.  Of our exports one-half was raw cotton, and upon
a steady supply of this fibre a great European industry depended.
Later we shipped huge quantities of food which was also needed by the
manufacturers across the sea.  As our cotton area extended, as our
wheat and meat exports increased, European, and especially British,
industry profited.  At the same time, despite our high tariffs we
furnished an increasing market for wares manufactured in Europe, while
our own manufactures did not largely compete in the world markets.
Moreover the rapid development of our internal resources furnished
lucrative investment opportunities to European capital.  A source of
raw material, a market for manufactured products, a field for
profitable investment, {39} America was Europe's back-yard, an economic
colony, though politically independent.

In the midst of this almost colonial development, there occurred one
startling interlude.  About 1840 we developed a new type of sailing
vessel, the American clipper ship.  Soon we had control of the China
trade and by 1861 our shipping (including domestic trade and the
fisheries) about equalled that of Great Britain.  After the Civil War,
however, our chance of competing with Great Britain either in
ship-building or carrying disappeared.  The iron steamship had arrived,
and, in the manufacture of such vessels, we were no match for the
English.  Even without the Civil War we should have been beaten; the
Southern privateers, outfitted in English ports, merely hastened an
inevitable decay.  We were not yet to enter upon a competition with
England for commercial supremacy.

There being thus no economic basis for war our outstanding questions
with European nations, and with England especially, were peacefully
settled.  The Canadian fisheries and the Maine boundary dispute gave
rise to much bitter feeling but were not worth a war.  Even the Monroe
Doctrine did not bring on a clash.  Though Great Britain hated its
assumptions she was content with its practical workings.  What the
United States gained was immunity from the settlement of Latin America
by powerful military nations; what England gained was a profitable
trade (denied her by Spain) together with opportunities for investing
capital.  The immediate force behind the Monroe Doctrine was the
self-interest and naval power of a nation, which did not recognise the

Our westward expansion, which obliterated boundaries and overran the
possessions of other powers, also failed to bring war with Europe.
Doubtless this expansion was not {40} entirely welcome to France,
England and Spain.  But just as Napoleon, though dreaming of a French
Empire on our western border, had been compelled to sell us Louisiana
to prevent its falling into British hands, so later England resigned
herself to our almost instinctive growth.  It was believed in the
forties that England not only wished to prevent our acquiring
California but desired the territory for herself, and it was known that
her interests in Oregon were in the sharpest conflict with American
claims.  England would also have preferred that Texas remain
politically independent of the United States and commercially dependent
upon herself.  Fortunately for us, however, an aggressive colonial
policy, such as that which during the last forty years has partitioned
Africa, was not yet popular in Europe.  England was thinking in terms
of free trade and commercial expansion, of a world rather than a
colonial market.  At bottom, moreover, this American expansion was to
the relative advantage of Europe.  When Spain was cajoled and worried
into selling Florida; when Texas, and later California, Arizona and New
Mexico were taken from a nation too weak almost to feel resentment, the
result was a better use of the territory and a greater production of
the things which Europe needed.  If Europe was not to control these
regions, it was at least better for her to have them pass to us rather
than remain with Mexico.  So long as we held politically aloof, sold
Europe cotton and wheat, bought from her manufactured products and gave
her the chance to invest in our railroads, so long as we did not
compete on the sea or in the world markets, Europe, though she envied
us our easy expansion, had no interest in opposing it by war.  England
would possibly have fought us had we taken Nicaragua and almost
certainly had we taken Canada, but she was less concerned about the
fate of Mexico, the chief victim of our expansion.


This complementary relation of ours with European nations was as useful
to us as to them.  Besides furnishing us with necessary capital Europe
sent us immigrants, who made our march across the Continent rapid and
irresistible.  In the end this immigrant population contributed to our
peaceful attitude.  As the number of our alien stocks increased, the
desirability of going to war with any European nation diminished.  To
get the immigrant's vote, we spoke highly, and in the end almost
thought highly, of the nations from which they had come.  By admitting
the children of Europe we had given hostages to peace.

In the main, however, we paid no attention to Europe.  We forgot about
her.  Lost in contemplation of our own limitless future, we turned our
eyes westward towards our ever receding frontier.  In foreign, as in
home relations, we developed a frontier mind, and even to-day, long
after our last frontier has been reached, we are still thinking of
Europe, as of so many of our internal problems, in terms of this great
colonising adventure.  The individualist, who pushed his way across the
continent, left on America the impress of a simple philosophy, a belief
that there was a chance for all, that it was better to work than to
fight, that arbitration and the splitting of the difference were the
best policy.  To the average American, with his frontier mind, wars
seemed unnecessary, and all the class distinctions, inseparable from
militarism, a mere frippery.  Wars, he held, are for the crowded old
peoples of Europe, with their dynastic superstitions, their cheating
diplomacy, their ancient rancours, their millions of paupered subjects,
condemned to a life of subordination.  Wars are not for the free and
equal Americans who live in the wide spaces of a continent and, having
no neighbours, hate no man and fear no man.

It is out of this frontier mind that we have evolved our {42} present
American notion of war and foreign policy.  Peace is common sense; war,
foolishness, a superstition like the belief in Kings, Emperors and
Potentates, a calamity caused by the refusal of the petty European
nations to join into one great United States.  For it must be
remembered that Americans, whatever their sentimental attachments, are
really more contemptuous than are Germans of little nations that insist
upon surviving.  We ridicule the European customs barriers, which the
express train strikes every few hours, and associate national greatness
with territorial size.  Even Great Britain, France, Germany and Austria
are ignorantly regarded as "little nations," which would be all the
better for a wholesome amalgamation.  The frontier mind believes
stubbornly that short of such a union, these "little" peoples should
develop their own resources in peace.  In other words, our attitude
towards Europe, which is a result of our elbow room and our economic
self-sufficiency, is vaguely missionary, with not the slightest tinge
of hypocrisy.  We have no concern with Europe and no duty to interfere,
beyond expressing our belief in our own superior institutions and the
hope that Europe will learn by our example.

The development of our manufacturing industries, until recently at
least, did not alter these views concerning our proper attitude to
Europe.  The new industries, chiefly designed for a home market, made
on the whole for peace.  Nor did we need a foreign outlet for capital.
No one wished to go to war for the dubious privilege of investing in
Peru or China when our own iron mills, cotton factories and railroads
were clamouring for capital, to say nothing of our farmers in Oklahoma
and the Dakotas.

Psychologically, also, this self-poised industrialism, this domestic
stay-at-home business of ours, which prevailed until a few decades ago,
worked powerfully for peace.  {43} We became a highly individualistic
manufacturing nation, composed of millions of self-seeking,
money-making men.  As "business men" we hated wars as we hated strikes
and whatever else "interfered with business."  Our ideal was a
strenuous life of acquisition, in which dollars were added to dollars,
and the prosperity of all depended upon the bank account of each.  Wars
were like earthquakes and other interruptions of the ordained process
of accumulation; you could no more win a war than you could win an
earthquake.  America's manifest destiny was to multiply and increase.
We were to mind our own business and live in peace with neighbours,
whom we did not know and rather despised.  Since everything worth
exploiting was in our own country, since Europe left us alone and had
nothing that we were willing to fight for, we were free to ignore all
foreign relations.

The diplomacy which accompanied and aided this development, though not
heroic, was at least successful.  It enabled us to grow strong and hold
strong enemies away.  Not always consistent, not always able, not
always honest, our diplomacy maintained a certain unity, kept us aloof
from European quarrels, guarded us from threatened intervention during
the Civil War crisis, warned Europe against the conquest of Latin
America, and above all--permitted us to grow.  From 1815 to 1898 our
population increased from eight to seventy-two millions, while that of
the United Kingdom increased only from some twenty to forty-one
millions and that of France from twenty-nine to thirty-nine millions.
Our wealth increased at a more rapid rate than that of any other nation.

Small wonder that in the last decades of this period our diplomacy sank
to the lowest level of incapacity.  Having grown strong without
Europe's aid or hindrance, having reached that pleasant degree of
independence in which {44} diplomacy seemed a mere international
formality, we came to believe that the best diplomacy was none at all.
We did not require in our ambassadors knowledge or astuteness; any fool
would do.  Our diplomats were often despised, but since we were not
dependent upon Europe's favour, it did not matter.  Economic forces,
stronger than the diplomats of all the world, were making for peace
between America and Europe.

But even while we were sending political adventurers to some of the
great capitals of Europe, a change was impending.  All at once the
United States found itself at war with a European power, and, a few
months later, in surprised, not to say embarrassed, possession of
tropical Asiatic Islands.  Suddenly we discovered that we were feared
and disliked; that there were points of controversy between us and
various European countries; that Europe somehow did not regard the
Monroe Doctrine as a divine dispensation, which it would be impious to
oppose.  We heard talk of international competition, World Power, "the
American Menace."  Beneath the surface there appeared indications that
our long mutuality of economic interest with Europe was no longer
complete.  The easy instinctive peace which had enabled us to attain
our ends without considering Europe seemed about to end.




It was in the year 1898 that the United States made its earliest plunge
into imperialism.  Then for the first time we secured "dominions beyond
the sea"; dominions too thickly populated to be adapted for purposes of
colonisation.  By our earlier conquests and purchases (Louisiana,
Florida, Texas, California, New Mexico), we had secured relatively
empty territories which a flow of emigrants from our Eastern States
could rapidly Americanise.  But in Porto Rico, the Philippines and
Hawaii, there was neither prospect nor intention of colonising.  The
impulse that led to their taking was the desire to possess their
wealth, to rule and "civilise" them, and above all not "to haul down
the flag."  It was an impulse not very different from that which led to
the European partition of Africa.[1]

The change in our policy was startling.  We had seemed, after the Civil
War, to have reached a stage of satiety, to be through with expansion.
Henceforth the ocean was to be our boundary; we were not, like the
slave-owners before the war, to scheme for new lands in Central {46}
America and the Caribbean.  When in 1867 Russia offered us a territory
almost three times as large as Germany for a sum about equal to the
value of the Equitable Building, we accepted only to oblige Russia and
because we believed that we were in honour bound to buy.  We refused to
purchase St. Thomas and St. Johns, although Denmark offered to sell
cheap, and we declined to annex San Domingo or to entertain Sweden's
proposal to purchase her West Indian possessions.  Again in 1893,
instead of annexing Hawaii, we vainly sought to bolster up the
sovereignty of a native Queen.  Then suddenly Porto Rico, the
Philippines and Guam were annexed; Hawaii was incorporated and Samoa
was divided up with Germany.

In part this change in foreign policy was due to military
considerations.  The possession of Hawaii, Panama and Guantanamo in
Cuba was obviously necessary for the defence of our coasts.  Just as
the Monroe Doctrine was intended to protect us from the approach of
great military powers, so these new acquisitions were desired to
pre-empt near-lying bases, from which, in enemy possession fleets might
assail our trade or cut off our communications.[2]

Such strategic considerations, however, do not explain the whole of our
new imperialistic policy.  Economic motives played their part.  We
changed our foreign policy because at the same time we were undergoing
a commercial and industrial revolution.

As a result of this industrial change our merchants had begun to think
in terms of foreign markets and our financiers in terms of foreign
investments.  We had passed {47} through the stage in which our
industrial life was completely self-sufficing.  We were becoming a
manufacturing nation, requiring markets for the disposal of surplus
products.  We were, it appeared, being drawn into a great international
competition, in which markets in China, South America and backward
countries were the prizes.  Simultaneously our foreign commerce had
changed.  Our growing population had made increasing demands upon our
food products, leaving less to be exported, and at the same time our
exports of manufactures had increased.  In 1880 we exported
manufactures (ready for consumption) to the value of ninety-three
millions of dollars; in 1898 to the value of two hundred and
twenty-three millions.

Other industrial factors tended also to bring about a change in our
national ideals.  We were beginning to believe in the economic
efficiency of trust organisation, and our industry, conducted on a
larger scale, was being increasingly concentrated.  A new class was in
financial control of our great industries.  The trust magnate, the new
conductor of vast industrial enterprises, was looking forward toward a
strong unified banking control over industries and a definite expansion
of American trade in foreign countries.  American capitalists were
beginning to believe that their economic needs were the same as those
of the European capitalists, who were enticing their nations into

Psychologically, also, we were ripe for any imperialistic venture, for
we enormously exaggerated the progress we had made towards
industrialisation, and were thinking in terms of Europe.  We suddenly
believed that we too were over-filled with capital and compelled to
find an outlet for investments and trade.  Innumerable editorials
appeared, presenting the arguments for imperialism that had been {48}
urged ad nauseam in Europe.  We could not resist, it was argued, the
ubiquitous economic tendency toward expansion.  In all countries,
including America, capital was to become congested.  An over-saving of
capital, invested in manufacturing plants, produced far in excess of
the possible consumption of the people.  We had reached a stage of
chronic over-production, in which increased saving and increased
investment of capital would permanently outstrip consumption.
Everywhere wealth was being heaped up; the savings-banks overflowed;
the rate of interest fell and capital sought desperately for new
investments.  The capitalist system must either expand or burst.

Certain superficial developments in the United States formed the
groundwork of these gloomy prophecies.  We had just passed through a
commercial depression, during which prices and interest rates fell and
great numbers of workers were left unemployed.  These facts were
exploited by political leaders and industrial magnates, who thought in
terms of the subordination of American foreign policy to the needs of
big business.  It is not surprising therefore that they became infected
with the new imperialism, which in Europe had been growing steadily for
over fifteen years, and that they came to the conclusion that America
could not hold hands off while the markets and investment fields of the
world were divided up among her rivals.

"The United States," wrote Charles A. Conant, one of the intellectual
leaders of this movement (in 1898), "cannot afford to adhere to a
policy of isolation while other nations are reaching out for the
command of new markets.  The United States are still large users of
foreign capital, but American investors are not willing to see the
return upon their investments reduced to the European level.  Interest
rates have greatly declined here within the last {49} five years.  New
markets and new opportunities for investment must be found if surplus
capital is to be profitably employed."

Like so many of the pamphleteers of 1898, Mr. Conant was convinced that
imperialism offered the only cure "for the enormous congestion of
capital."  No civilised state, he contended, would accept the doctrine
that saving should be abandoned.  And while human desires were
expansible, he doubted whether the demand for goods could possibly
increase with sufficient rapidity to absorb the new productive
capacities of the nation.  "There has never been a time," he writes,
"when the proportion of capital to be absorbed has been so great in
proportion to possible new demands.  Means for building more bicycle
factories than are needed, and for laying more electric railways than
are able to pay dividends, have been taken out of current savings
within the last few years, without producing any marked effect upon
their amount and without doing more, at the most, than to stay the
downward course of the rate of interest."

It therefore follows conclusively that the American conquest of markets
and fields for investment must go on.  The method of such a conquest is
of little importance.  "In pointing out," he says, "the necessity that
the United States shall enter upon a broad national policy, it need not
be determined in just what manner that policy shall be worked out.
Whether the United States shall actually acquire territorial
possessions, shall set up captain generalships and garrisons, whether
they shall adopt the middle ground of protecting sovereignties
nominally independent, or whether they shall content themselves with
naval stations and diplomatic representations as the basis for
asserting their rights to the free commerce of the East, is a matter of


I have quoted Mr. Conant at length because he is so largely typical of
the state of mind of the American plutocracy in the year 1898.  It
would have been easily possible, however, to have presented any amount
of confirmatory material of exactly the same nature.  An article by W.
Dodsworth in the October, 1898 number of the _Nineteenth Century_ is
along the same lines.  Here again we read of an unprecedented
industrial revolution during the preceding half century and a vast
increase in foreign trade and accumulated wealth.  Again we read of the
falling rate of interest and of the failure of trusts and combines to
resist the outside pressure of necessitous capital, seeking to force
its way into industries.  It was held quite impossible for consumption
to absorb the products of an over-fertile industry.  "I am no
pessimist," writes Mr. Dodsworth, "but I cannot conceal my deep
conviction that, if this relief is not forthcoming, a stage of grave
industrial collapse, attended with the agitation of equally grave
political issues, becomes only too probable, and the energies of our
seventy-five millions of producers may have to be restrained until we
learn to appreciate the penalty of our neglect of foreign enterprise."

Such were the arguments with which in 1898 the United States plunged
into imperialism.  We were to break out of the narrow circle which
confined our economic life to become the work-shop of the world as
England had once been, to export and export and ever increasingly
export until all the nations should be our debtors.  Our capital, like
our wares, was to go to all countries.  It flattered our pride when, a
few years later, Europe trembled at the spectre of an American
commercial invasion and even England wondered whether she could
withstand the flood of cheap manufactured American goods, dumped on her
{51} shores.  We pictured a vastly increasing trade with our new
colonial possessions and with China; we envisaged opportunities, not
only of an immense American investment, but of an even greater American

What we believed of ourselves, Europe only too credulously believed of
us.  Leading European economists and publicists were completely
convinced that the United States was irrevocably embarked on "the sea
of imperialism."  "The recent entrance of the powerful and progressive
nation of the United States of America upon imperialism," wrote Prof.
John A. Hobson in 1902, "... not only adds a new formidable competitor
for trade and territory, but changes and complicates the issue.  As the
focus of political attention and activity shifts more to the Pacific
States, and the commercial aspirations of America are more and more set
upon trade with the Pacific Islands and the Asiatic coast, the same
forces which are driving European States along the path of territorial
expansion seem likely to act upon the United States."[3]  Professor
Hobson and other foreign observers believed that our great trusts,
which were being formed with reckless suddenness, would enormously
increase the capital seeking an outlet, and that new imperialistic
ventures would result.  "Cuba, the Philippines, Hawaii," he insisted,
"are but the _hors d'oeuvre_ to whet an appetite for an ampler

This development toward a congestion of capital, though confidently
anticipated both in the United States and in Europe, did not take
place.  About the end of the century an enormous extension of the
general field for foreign investment raised interest rates all over the
world.  The demand for capital grew with astonishing rapidity.  In {52}
part this was due to British, French and German foreign investments,
but it was also the result of a quickened economic tempo in all
countries.  New industries were created, wages rose (though in most
countries not so rapidly as prices) and the outlets for the supposed
superfluous capital were greater than ever.

Especially in the United States was the development contrary to that
which had been anticipated.  Capital was not rendered idle because of
any slackening in the nation's consuming capacity, for the men of
average and small income were able to purchase more than ever before.
The farmers alone, whose property increased in value from twenty and a
half billions of dollars in 1900 to forty-one billions in 1910 (an
increase of over 100 per cent. as compared with less than 28 per cent.
in the previous decade) added stupendously to a new demand for goods of
all sorts.  Of automobiles, unknown in 1898, there are in 1916 almost
three millions.  Innumerable other industries arose and expanded; the
anticipated arrest of accumulation did not occur.

The result of this economic development soon made itself apparent.  We
discovered, fortunately for us, that we were not at this time to become
the work-shop of the world.  We could not continue to produce articles
cheaper than England or Germany, and undersell these countries in their
home markets.  We discovered that our own country still furnished an
admirable field for investment.  While our foreign commerce increased,
it continued to form only a small part of our whole trade.  So long as
vast new opportunities for the investment of capital in the United
States presented themselves, we ceased to worry about foreign or
colonial outlets, and for every dollar of American money invested in
Porto Rico and the Philippines, hundreds of dollars were invested in
the states.  Our capital {53} though accumulating at an ever-increasing
rate, did not equal the demand.[5]

In other words, the conditions in America did not yet warrant an
imperialistic policy.  We were economically younger than we had
thought; more elastic, with greater capacity for internal growth.  As a
result of this discovery, our sudden enthusiasm for dominions beyond
the seas died down.  We were disgusted and bored by the Philippine war;
we hated the rôle of oppressors, in which we unwillingly found
ourselves.  We hated the water cure, punitive expeditions, and the
endless controversies over the status of Filipinos under American law.
The anti-imperialistic elements in America, men whose interests did not
lie in foreign trade and speculation, stolidly opposed the retention of
the islands.  Had the election of 1900 been fought upon this single
issue it would probably have been won by the anti-imperialists.  Even
though we kept the islands, we set definite limitations to our
imperialistic ventures.  We secured for the Philippines an
administration which prevented the exploitation of the natives and the
importation of Chinese labour.  We set our faces against any policy of
sacrificing the interests of the indigenous population to the interests
of American financiers.  And to-day, could we do it with due regard to
the interests of the Filipinos, we would retire from the archipelago.

As we look over this experiment, we cannot help recognising that it was
a precocious, an unripe imperialism.  For us it was too early to secure
Asiatic islands; too early {54} to worry about American investments in
foreign lands.  It was an imperialism carried out somnambulistically.
Our taking the Philippines was an accident, unforeseen and
undesired.[6]  Our hope of being the work-shop and banking centre of
the world, of being the heart of a great empire like that of Britain,
and of doing all this within a short period, was a dream, which
vanished with the new demands made upon American capital by an
increasing economic expansion.

The truth is that this unripe imperialism did not represent the
interests of the majority nor even of any considerable group of our
capital owners.  It was doomed to disappearance once the revival of
American industry offered opportunities, not only for the ordinary
capitalist, but for that more speculative investor, who in other
countries clamours for imperialism.  The experiment revealed, however,
that the same forces which act upon capital in Europe act also upon
capital in America, and that the United States, given the right
conditions, is liable to the same ambitions as are imperialistic
countries and is as likely to engage in war to satisfy these ambitions.
The imperialistic trend acts upon all nations at a given stage in their
economic development.  It cannot be stopped by traditions of
peacefulness or by mere protestations, however sincere.  It is a part
of the great economic strife, out of which devastating wars arise.

[1] "Early in the year 1901, a foreign ambassador at Washington
remarked in the course of a conversation that, although he had been in
America only a short time, he had seen two different countries, the
United States before the war with Spain, and the United States since
the war with Spain.  This was a picturesque way of expressing the
truth, now generally accepted, that the war of 1898 was a turning point
in the history of the American republic."--"The United States as a
World Power," by Archibald Gary Coolidge.  New York, 1912.

[2] For a study of these strategic considerations see "The Interest of
America in Sea Power, Present and Future," by Captain (later
Rear-Admiral) A. T. Mahan, a series of articles written between 1890
and 1897.  Boston, 1911.

[3] John A. Hobson, "Imperialism," p. 23.  London, 1902.

[4] _Op. cit._, p. 83.

[5] In 1914, twenty-six years after the cession of the islands our
combined import to and export from the Philippines amounted to only
$51,246,128, or less than 1/75 of our entire foreign commerce.  Our
commerce with China, which was to have been opened by our possession of
the Philippines was less than one-half of that with Brazil and less
than one-twelfth of that with Great Britain.

[6] "At the beginning of the war (with Spain) there was perhaps not a
soul in the whole Republic who so much as thought of the possibility of
this nation becoming a sovereign power in the Orient."--"World
Politics," by Prof. Paul I. Reinsch, New York, 1913, p. 64.




While the imperialistic venture of 1898 was premature and did not lead,
as had been expected, to a conscious participation of America in the
international scramble for colonies, it affected our national thinking
and forced us to re-consider the position of America in relation to the
ambitions and plans of other great nations.  Our acquisition of new
dependencies led us to recognise that we were at last a world power,
with the responsibilities of a world power.  We were obliged to learn
from England and other imperialistic nations the lessons of colonial
administration.  Year by year we were drawn into closer relations with
the West Indies and the Caribbean countries, and were compelled to
assume financial control of Hayti and San Domingo in the interest both
of foreign capital and of the countries themselves.  The completion of
the Panama Canal increased our sense of international danger and
international responsibility.  Finally the revolution in Mexico proved
to us that whatever our positive action we could not remain passive.

Our Monroe Doctrine also, which had always seemed our charter of
independence of Europe, forces us in the end to come to an
understanding with Europe.  We had set our faces against European
conquest in the Americas, and therefore against any punitive
expedition, likely to lead to permanent occupation.  But if we
protected Hayti and San Domingo from Europe, we assumed a certain {56}
responsibility for the actions of these countries.  In the existing
state of international law, a nation assumes the right to protect its
citizens from spoliation and to compel debtor countries to meet their
obligations.  In this right to collect debts by force of arms, which
has been the excuse for innumerable imperialistic extensions, all the
great creditor nations are interested.  Had the United States refused
to intervene in San Domingo, while forbidding the great powers to
secure redress by threats, we might possibly have been forced to fight
against overwhelming odds in defence of a people and cause, for which
we had little sympathy.  By its very prohibitions the Monroe Doctrine
compels us increasingly to intervene between the weaker Latin-American
countries and the warlike creditor nations of Europe.

The gradual extension of the Doctrine, moreover, vastly increases our
possible area of friction with Europe.  Originally planned to prevent
European nations from conquering parts of the Americas, the Doctrine
has now been extended to forbid foreign corporations subsidised or
controlled by an Old World government to acquire any land in the
Americas which might menace the safety or communications of the United
States.  Our action in Mexico indicates that we are determined not only
to prevent Europe from introducing monarchical institutions into
American countries, but to insist that those countries themselves
adhere to the outward forms of popular government.  Secretary Olney was
speaking no doubt largely for home consumption when he declared that
"the United States is practical sovereign on this continent
(hemisphere), and its fiat is law upon the subject to which it confines
its interpretation."  Nevertheless the extension of control either by
the United States or some group of powers is almost inevitable, and
with the widening of the Monroe {57} Doctrine, as a result of closer
relations between Latin America and the Old World, the necessity for
some arrangement between the United States and the great European
powers becomes increasingly obvious.

Our possession of Hawaii and the Philippines acts in the same manner.
In a military sense the Philippines are indefensible; we cannot secure
them against a near-lying military power.  Nor can we in the present
stage of national feeling permit them to be conquered.  Consequently we
watch the actions of Japan with quite different feelings than if we had
not given her provocation and a bait.  The building of the Panama Canal
equally increases our international liabilities.  It contributes a vast
new importance to the Caribbean Sea and adds a new weak point to
American territory.  Having built and fortified the canal, we are
compelled to think of ways and means of defending it, of armies,
navies, _ententes_ and alliances.

While all these factors, however, have contributed to our changed point
of view, it was the World War which most completely revealed to
Americans the necessity of accommodating our national development to
that of other countries.  The war proved that we were in a military
sense vulnerable; that undisciplined citizen soldiery was no match for
trained armies; that mere distance is no complete safety, and that the
initial advantage, which accrues to the prepared nation is out of all
proportion more valuable than later victories.  The war showed that
unarmed neutrality and a mere lack of hostile intention does not always
save a nation from invasion.  Moreover, we discovered that our
interests were affected favourably or adversely by a conflict, in which
we had no direct part.  We, who had always conceived ourselves as a
supremely disinterested nation, a remote island in the blue sea, began
{58} to ask whether it was to our advantage to have France defeated,
Belgium destroyed, Germany crushed, the British Empire disintegrated.
We began to ask how our national interest was affected by the
international competition for colonies, by the freedom or unfreedom of
the seas, by the extension of the right of blockade, by the abrogation
of established laws of warfare; and what the effect upon us would be of
an economic alliance against Germany by the Allied Western Powers.  In
other words, we discovered a real national interest in international
arrangements created by the war or to be established after the war.

Our first preoccupation was naturally one of defence.  We looked
outward, but only saw armed nations ready to seize upon our wealth and
territory.  Responsible authors predicted that the victor in this war
would at his leisure move across the ocean and despoil the United
States.  From ponderous puerilities of this sort to the lurid
descriptions of massacre and pillage, vouchsafed us by magazine and
moving picture writers, was a short step.  More serious arguments
prevailed, and in the end a large addition was made to our military and
naval forces.  But the whole campaign was based solely upon the theory
of defence, and the theory so formulated, was merely a continuation of
the policy of isolation.  It involved the idea that we were to act
alone and protect ourselves alone against all nations.  It did not
concern itself with our national aims.  It was not based upon a
definition of our relations to Europe and to the several nations of

As our preparations increase, however, and as we realise how
insufficient our force must be against a European coalition, we shall
be faced with the alternative of entering into agreements or alliances
(to make our defence real) or into some other policy, which might make
defence unnecessary.  In either case we must face outward, must {59}
look at the world as it is and is to be, and define our relation to
Europe.  We must substitute a positive for a negative policy.

This we are forced to do even though we may have no immediate friction
points with Europe.  The economic interpenetration of all nations
involves us in conflicts of interest and adjustments, which require a
positive national policy.

It is our economic development that most strongly pushes us in this
direction.  We are gradually destroying the complementary industrial
system which formerly held us to Europe; we are competing with European
countries for world markets and have even begun to compete for
investment opportunities in backward countries.  We are exporting
manufactures, and this exportation is likely to increase.  Of the six
chief requisites of a great manufacturing nation--coal, iron, copper,
wood, cotton and wool--we are the greatest single producer of all
except the last, and to this advantage of cheap raw materials, there is
added an efficient manufacturing organisation and a large manufacturing
capital.  From 1880 to 1910 that capital increased six and a half fold
(from 2.8 to 18.4 billions of dollars).  It is therefore no wonder that
we are exporting tools, sewing-machines, locomotives, typewriters,
automobiles and electrical apparatus.  These products compete
increasingly with similar products from England and Germany and invade
the markets which Europe desires for herself.  Our total exports to
Latin America, for example, have almost quadrupled in twenty-two years,
increasing from 77 millions of dollars in 1890 to 296 millions in 1912.

The significance of this competition, as it exists to-day and will
exist to-morrow, is greater for Europe than for us.  Our fundamental
welfare does not absolutely depend {60} upon this exportation; we could
lose a part of this trade, as we lost our shipping, without fatal
results, for we should still have our cotton and many half-finished
products to exchange for our imports.  Were Great Britain, however, to
lose her markets for manufactured goods, she would shrink into
insignificance, if she did not literally starve.  In 1913 the United
Kingdom spent $1,400,000,000 on imported foods, drink and tobacco, and
for this, as for her importation of raw materials, she must pay.  While
our export of manufactures still forms but a trifling part (perhaps one
thirtieth) of our total product, the British and the German export
constitutes an immensely larger proportion.  Our export of finished
wares, despite its rapid increase, was in 1914 only some seven dollars
per capita, while that of the United Kingdom was about forty-five
dollars per capita.[1]  It will therefore not be wondered at if our
increasing export of manufactures both to Europe and to the countries
to which Europe exports, causes us to be involved, as we have not been
for over a century, in the ambitions, conflicts and life-interests of
the great European nations.

For at bottom a commercial war is an industrial war, a struggle for
national prosperity.  If, for example, Germany fails to hold her
foreign markets, she must shut down factories.  Her industrial problem
is to buy raw materials from abroad cheap, ship to Germany, manufacture
into finished products, transport to a country {61} willing to buy, and
from this enterprise secure profits enough to purchase food for her
people.  If she is beaten out, let us say, in the export cotton
industry she must turn to something else.  She may try to save the
industry by increasing efficiency or reducing wages, but if she fails,
she must close up some of her mills.  If she cannot employ the growing
masses who depend upon export industries, she must let her surplus
people--and with them a part of her capital--emigrate.  Like other
European countries she has learned this lesson by experience.  Thus it
often happened when America increased her tariff rates that European
factories, unable to compete, migrated, men and capital, to this
country.  It is true that the world market constantly expands, but the
producing capacity of the manufacturing nations also increases, and
competition becomes ever more severe.  The more rapidly America invades
the markets which Europe has hitherto held, the more she squeezes them,
the more bitter the feeling against her will become.

That bitterness of feeling (in the conditions preceding the present
war) was more likely to arise in Germany than in England and more
likely in England than in France.  We have spoken of these as rival
nations, but there are intensities of rivalry varying in proportion to
the similarity of products and of methods of production.  Germany, like
the United States, is a new-comer in international industry, pushing
and aggressive.  More scientific and better organised than we, she
possesses far more meagre resources.  We both have trusts or cartels,
and both manufacture huge quantities of cheap, standardised products.
Our competition therefore is of the keenest, and is likely to grow more
intense, if, as seems likely, Germany recovers from the effects of this
war.  Less keen is our competition with Great Britain.  Like an old
firm, grown {62} rich and conservative, Great Britain is not pushing,
not scientific, not well organised.  We are gaining on her in those
branches of manufacture which permit standardisation and production in
huge quantities, and have no hope, and but little wish, of competing in
articles of high finish and therefore high labour cost.  With France we
compete still less, since much of her export trade is in articles of
taste and luxury, in which we are hopelessly inferior.[2]

In this battle for the world market, the United States has the
disadvantage of coming late and of being intellectually unprepared.  On
the other hand, not only have we superior natural resources, but also
the advantage that to us success is not vital.  Whatever trade we gain
is a mere improvement of a situation already good.  We are playing "on
velvet."  Finally, like Germany, we have the advantage of large scale
production by strong corporations working with what is practically a
bounty upon exports.  Because of their control of a protected home
market, our great corporations can make their sales at home cover all
initial and constant costs, and as these costs need not be applied to
exports, are able to sell goods cheaper in Rio Janeiro or Lima than in
Chicago or New York.  They are able to "dump" their surplus goods.[3]

The opening of the Panama Canal cannot but increase the competition of
the United States especially with the nations bordering on the Pacific
Ocean.  From 1897-1901 to 1907-11 the average annual exports from the
United States to these Pacific countries (Mexico, Central America and
Columbia, the remaining West Coast of {63} South America, China, Japan,
the Philippines and British Australasia) increased from 104.2 millions
to 200.2 millions, a growth of 92.1 per cent., while the export from
Germany increased 81.0 per cent. and from the United Kingdom only 51.7
per cent.  In the same period our average annual imports from these
countries increased 112.9 per cent. (as compared with 113.9 per cent.
for Germany and 62.5 per cent. for the United Kingdom).[4]  The trade
with these Pacific countries lies largely with the United Kingdom, the
United States and Germany (in the order named) and the United States
seems to be slowly moving forward to first place.[5]  What progress the
United States has made, moreover, has been achieved under certain great
disabilities which the Panama Canal removes.  "By present all-sea
routes New York is, in general, at a disadvantage compared with
Liverpool."[6]  New York by the Suez route is 3 days further away from
Australasia (for ten knot vessels) than is Liverpool; by the Panama
route New York is from 9 to 12 days nearer.  For points on the west
coast of North and South America, New York is one and a half days
nearer than is Liverpool by the all-sea route and about eleven days
nearer by the Panama route.  When all the conditions of distance,
speed, cost of coal, tolls, etc., are considered, it is found that the
Panama Canal gives in many parts of the world an advantage to New York
over Liverpool, Antwerp and Hamburg.  The result is an impulse towards
a keener American competition in the Pacific trade.

If our foreign commerce was gaining before the war, it has made even
greater progress since the outbreak of {64} hostilities.  While
Germany's foreign commerce has been temporarily destroyed and that of
Great Britain has been hampered by the war, our total commerce has
immensely increased.  In the year 1915 we exported over a billion
dollars in excess of our exports of 1913, our exports in the latter
year exceeding those of the United Kingdom or of any other country in
any year of its history.[7]  This development, it is true, was abnormal
and consisted partly in increases in prices and temporary deflections
in trade.  Nevertheless, while many American industries, especially
those engaged in the manufacture of war munitions, will suffer severely
at the end of the war, and while our export of such commodities will
dwindle, the war cannot but result in a relative advantage to American
manufacturers of export commodities.

Moreover, the war by destroying established connections between neutral
countries and their natural purveyors of manufactured goods in Europe
has opened the way to a future extension of American export.  Like a
protective tariff, it gives an initial advantage to Americans, and
helps them to overcome the early handicaps.  It induces American
manufacturers to think in terms of foreign markets instead of
concentrating their attention upon a protected home market.  In the
beginning, it is true, the buying capacity of certain countries, such
as those of South America, was diminished by the shattering of
financial arrangements with Europe.  But such a condition is purely
temporary.  There will always be a demand for {65} the wheat, corn,
meats, hides and wool of Argentine, for the copper and nitrates of
Chile, for the coffee and rubber of Brazil, for the wool of Uruguay,
for the sugar and cotton of Peru, for the tin of Bolivia, for the beef
and tagua nuts of Venezuela and Colombia.  So long as they sell raw
materials, these countries will furnish a demand for finished products.

American manufacturers are to-day determined to secure an increased
share of this expanding market.[8]  They are slowly learning that you
cannot push your goods, in South America let us say, unless you learn
to pack your goods, have studied local requirements, are willing to
print catalogues in Spanish and Portuguese, and have your salesmen know
these languages.  In the past Americans have been hampered by their
unwillingness or inability to extend long credits, but this drawback is
being removed by the improvement of banking facilities.  The
government, moreover, now seeks actively to promote American trade with
foreign countries, and especially with Latin America.  A new merchant
marine is expected to give additional facilities to American exporters
and enable them to meet their British and German competitors on more
nearly equal terms.  Moreover, the United States is learning that in
the export trade co-operation is desirable, and the {66} Federal Trade
Commission seems about to grant permission to manufacturers to combine
for the conduct of business in foreign countries.[9]

All this does not mean that American manufacturers are completely to
displace their European competitors in South America and other markets.
Competition after the war will be severe, and whatever the course of
wages and employment in Europe, a measure of success for industrial
countries like Great Britain, Germany and Belgium is absolutely
essential to the maintenance of their populations.  Desperate efforts
will be made by these nations to re-establish their foreign business.
A great part of South America is as near to London and Rotterdam as to
New York, and much of the trade and of its future increase will revert
to Europe.  In the years to come, however, more than in the present or
past, the United States will be a formidable competitor for the
world-markets, and will incur enmity and jealousy in the attempt to
maintain and improve its position.


A similar development is taking place in the field of investment.  In
former years, British, French, Dutch, Belgian and German financiers
were requested, indeed begged, to invest their surplus capital in
American enterprises.  To these financiers we went cap in hand, and
they did not lend their money cheaply.  The complementary relation
between lending Europe and borrowing America was productive of the
friendship of mutual benefit.  To-day we are still a debtor nation, but
only in the sense that the great financier is a debtor.  We ourselves
have a large capital, and in the main go to Europe merely for the sale
of safer and less remunerative bonds, while the common stock of new
enterprises is likely to remain in America.  Or we graciously "let
Europe in on a good thing," conferring, not asking, a favour.  In the
meantime, we are paying off our indebtedness as is indicated by the
balance of trade, which since 1876 has almost invariably been strongly
in our favour.[10]

The war has still further reduced our foreign obligations.  During the
two years ending June 30, 1916 our excess of exports over imports was
over three and one-quarter billions of dollars.  Moreover, in 1915 we
did not incur, as ordinarily, a large debt as a result of the
expenditures of Americans in Europe.  The result of this development
has been twofold; a considerable transfer of European holdings of
American securities to Americans, and the direct loan of American
capital to Europe.  While it is impossible to quote exact figures, the
American debt to Europe can hardly have been reduced during the two
years ending August 1, 1916, by less than two to {68} two and a half
billions, or perhaps a third, or even a half, of our former debt to

In the meantime the United States though still a debtor nation has also
become a creditor nation.  Just as Germany, before the war, borrowed
from France and loaned to Bulgaria and Turkey, so the United States,
while still owing Europe, invested in Mexico, Canada and South America.
It is probable that by 1914 considerably over one and a quarter billion
dollars of American capital was invested in Canada, Mexico, Cuba and
the Republics of {69} Central and South America, not including the
capital represented by the Panama Canal.[12]

Even to-day (Nov. 1, 1916) there is still a probable excess of our
debts over our credits with foreign nations of at least two billions of
dollars.  In comparison with our total wealth, however (estimated by
the census of 1910 at 207 billions and since then largely increased),
this indebtedness seems comparatively small.  The national income is
rapidly expanding and as the chance to secure exceptionally large
profits in railroad and industrial enterprises diminishes there is an
increased temptation for surplus capital to flow abroad.  Whether or
not we shall again have recourse to the fund of European capital in
developing our immense resources, it is hardly to be doubted that we
shall increasingly invest in foreign countries, and especially in
Mexico, and elsewhere in the Americas.[13]

Such a development is entirely legitimate and within bounds desirable
both for the United States and to the countries to which our capital
(and trade) will go.  The possible field of investment in Latin America
and the Orient, to say nothing of other regions, is still immensely
great, and as capital develops these areas their {70} international
trade will also grow.  There is no reason why the United States should
not take its part both in the investment of capital and the development
of trade with these non-industrial countries.

As we so invest and trade, however, we must recognise the direction in
which our policy is leading us and the dangers, both from within and
without, that we are liable to incur.  The more we invest the more we
shall come into competition with the investing nations of Europe.  We
are already urged to put capital into South America on the just plea
that trade follows investment, and the same forces that are pushing our
trade outward will seek opportunities for investment in the mines and
railroads of the politically backward countries.  Like European
nations, we too shall seek for valuable concessions, and may be tempted
(and herein lies the danger) to use political pressure to secure
investment opportunities.  What happened in Morocco, Persia, Egypt,
where the financial interests of rival nations brought them to the
verge of war, may occur in Mexico, Venezuela or Colombia, and the
United States may be one of the parties involved.

We seem thus to be entering upon an economic competition not entirely
unlike that which existed between Germany and England.  We too have
gone over to a policy of extending our foreign markets and of
protecting our foreign investments.  More and more we shall be
interested in politically and industrially backward countries, to which
we shall sell and in which we shall invest.  Inevitably we shall face
outwards.  We shall not be permitted by our own financiers,
manufacturers and merchants, to say nothing of those of Europe, to hold
completely aloof.  We have seen, even in the present Mexican crisis,
how American investment tended to precipitate a conflict.  We have
learned the same lesson from England, {71} France and Germany.  As we
expand both industrially and financially beyond our political borders
we are placed in new, difficult and complicated international
relations, and are forced to determine for ourselves the rôle that
America must play in this great development.  We can no longer stand
aside and do nothing, for that is the worst and most dangerous of
policies.  We must either plunge into national competitive imperialism,
with all its profits and dangers, following our financiers wherever
they lead, or must seek out some method by which the economic needs and
desires of rival industrial nations may be compromised and appeased, so
that foreign trade may go on and capital develop backward lands without
the interested nations flying at each other's throat.  Isolation,
aloofness, a hermit life among the nations is no longer safe or
possible.  Whatever our decision the United States must face the new
problem that presents itself, the problem of the economic expansion of
the industrial nations throughout the world.

[1] This comparison is not exact, since the British statistics include
articles under manufactures which we do not include, and exclude
articles which we include.  I cite these figures merely to show that
there is a vast difference in the relative importance to the United
Kingdom and the United States of their export of manufactures, but not
to show exactly what that difference is.  Similarly the comparison
above between the total product of American manufacturing and our
export of manufactures is approximate.

[2] See an analysis--let us say of Argentine trade.

[3] On the other hand the very extension of our home market tends to
make us negligent of foreign exports of manufactures and to consider
the profits from this business as a mere by-product.  A large and
successful foreign market can be maintained only by careful study and
continuous work.

[4] Hutchinson (Lincoln), "The Panama Canal and International Trade
Competition," p. 105 _et seq._  New York, 1915.

[5] Despite the fact that as yet the _absolute_ increase is greater in
the British than in the American trade with these countries.

[6] Hutchinson (Lincoln), _op. cit._

[7] From 1914 to 1916 our exports of merchandise increased from 2365 to
4334 millions of dollars (an increase of 83 per cent.) and our balance
of exports over imports rose from 471 to 2136 millions (an increase of
354 per cent.).  Monthly Summary of Foreign Commerce of the United
States, June, 1916.  (Corrected to Aug. 9, 1916, subject to revision.)

[8] "In spite of inexperience, crude methods, lack of banks and of
ships we have made notable gains in South American trade.  There seems
to be no reason to question the probability of a continued rapid
increase during the next few years....  The process of building and
making more efficient our own manufacturing plants has been carried
far, so that we are prepared, in the opinion of competent judges, to
proceed more rapidly than ever with the production of goods for foreign
markets."--William H. Lough, "Banking Opportunities in South America,"
Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce (Dept. of Commerce), Special
Agents Series No. 106, Washington, 1915, p. 7.

[9] In a recent address (see date) to the American Iron and Steel
Industry, Mr. Edwin W. Hurley, vice-chairman of the Federal Trade
Commission, points out how during the last quarter of a century the
Germans have co-ordinated their foreign trade, with the result that of
the steel business 90 per cent. has been brought under a single
control.  The effect has been a victory for the German over the British
export business.  Mr. Hurley states that while a constructive programme
has been worked out by the Interstate Commerce Commission for the
railroads, and co-operation among the farmers has been stimulated by
the Department of Agriculture, the manufacturing industries concerned
in the export trade are hampered by provisions of the Anti-Trust Law.
"Is it reasonable to suppose," he asks, "that Congress meant to
obstruct the development of our foreign commerce by forbidding the use
in export trade of methods of organisation which do not operate to the
prejudice of the American public, are lawful in the countries where the
trade is to be carried on, and are necessary if Americans are to meet
competitors there on equal terms?"--New York _Evening Sun_, June 21,

[10] In the last forty years the balance has been against us in only
three years, 1888, 1889 and 1893.  The real balance is not nearly so
great as the apparent balance, but there can be little doubt that it
represents a considerable repayment of the principal of our great debt
to Europe.

[11] According to W. Z. Ripley the American debt to Europe amounted in
1899 to $3,100,000,000 of which $2,500,000,000 was owed to England,
$240,000,000 to Holland, $200,000,000 to Germany, $75,000,000 to
Switzerland, $50,000,000 to France, and $35,000,000 to the rest of
Europe.  After 1899 there was a reduction in the amount of European
holdings of American securities (mostly railroad bonds and stocks), but
since 1907 there was again an increased purchase, so that by 1914 the
American debt to Europe was considerably greater than it had been in
1899.  See New York _Journal of Commerce_, Dec. 6, 1911.  Also, Hobson,
C. K., "The Export of Capital."  New York, 1914, p. 153-5.  According
to a compilation made by President L. F. Loree of the Delaware and
Hudson Railroad, the American railroad securities formerly held in
foreign hands but which were absorbed by the American market during the
eighteen months ending July 31, 1916, amounted to $1,288,773,801 par
value and to $898,390,910 market value.  The railroad securities
remaining abroad (July 31, 1916), amounted to $1,415,628,563 par value
with a market value of $1,110,099,090.  In other words according to
these statistics of returned securities (which Mr. Loree believes are
largely underestimated) about 45 per cent. (market value) of the
railroad securities held abroad on January 31, 1915, had been returned
eighteen months later.  (New York _Times_, Sept. 25, 1916.)  The New
York _Times_ states that "it is high banking opinion that at the
outbreak of the war, the total of industrial securities held abroad
amounted to about 25 per cent.  of the railroad securities, and that
the liquidation of industrials since has been in about the same
proportion to the total as the liquidation of rails."  On this basis
the foreign holdings of American railroad and industrial securities on
July 31, 1916, would have amounted to only $1,375,000,000 (market

[12] For data used as the basis of this estimate, see Hobson, C. K.,
"Export of Capital" (p. 153 and following), together with sources there

[13] "The adoption of the Federal reserve system has ... released and
made available for other forms of financing great sums which were
formerly tied up in scattered reserves.  We have only to look at the
monetary history of the German Empire during the last forty years to
see how powerful an influence on industry, trade, and investment is
exerted by the centralisation and control of bank reserves.  The London
_Statist_ has calculated the ultimate increased lending power of
American banks, under the Federal reserve system, at
$3,000,000,000."--Lough, _op. cit._, p. 8.






For decades, the foreign and domestic policies of the United States
were determined by our ambition to subdue and people a wilderness.  Our
immediate profit, our ultimate destiny, our ideals of liberty,
democracy and world influence, were all involved in this one effort.
To us the problem was one of national growth.  To-day we are beginning
to realise that this Western movement of ours affected all industrial
nations, and was only a part of a vaster world movement--an economic
revolution, which has been developing for more than a century.  That
revolution is the opening up of distant agricultural lands and the
binding of agricultural and industrial nations into one great economic
union.  It is a world integration.

To this world development the crude physical hunger of the Western
populations has contributed.  The urbane Chinese official, who voices
the sentiments of Mr. Lowes Dickinson, attributes Europe's solicitous
interference in China to the fact that the Western World cannot live
alone.  "Economically," he says, "your (Western) society is so
constituted that it is constantly on the verge of starvation.  You
cannot produce what you need to consume, nor consume what you need to
produce.  It is matter of life and death to you to find markets in
which you may dispose of your manufactures, and from which you may
derive your food and raw material.  Such a {76} market China is, or
might be; and the opening of this market is in fact the motive, thinly
disguised, of all your dealings with us in recent years.  The justice
and morality of such a policy I do not propose to discuss.  It is, in
fact, the product of sheer material necessity, and upon such a ground
it is idle to dispute."[1]

Necessity is a large and a vague word; it may mean any degree of
compulsion or freedom.  Yet the Chinese official is right when he
emphasises the immensity of the economic forces driving the Western
nations outward.  Not adventure, ambition or religious propagandism
will account for the full momentum of this movement.  Back of the
missionaries, traders, soldiers, financiers, diplomats, who are opening
up "backward" countries stand hundreds of millions of people, whose
primary daily needs make them unconscious imperialists.

At the bottom this outward driving force is the breeding impulse, the
growth of population.  In 1800, one hundred and twenty-two millions of
people lived in western Europe, whereas in 1900 the population was two
hundred and forty millions,[2] and the rate of increase is still rapid.
The population has doubled; the area has remained the same.  The new
millions cannot be fed or clothed according to their present standard
of living unless food and raw materials come from abroad.  They depend
for their existence on outside agricultural countries.

This increase of European population, moreover, has been a net
increase, after emigration has been deducted.  {77} Although during the
last century tens of millions of immigrants have gone from western
Europe to the United States, Canada, Brazil and the Argentine; the home
population has increased by over one hundred and seventeen millions and
is to-day increasing by twenty millions a decade.[3]  For all of these
twenty millions no sufficient outlet can be found either in old or in
new lands.  The problem, therefore, is not to find homes for them
abroad but to secure their existence at home.  And this existence can
only be secured by raising the necessary food in distant agricultural
countries and by turning over a large part of western Europe to
manufacturing and commercial enterprises.  Colonisation, imperialism,
the opening up of new agricultural countries, is therefore the other
side of industrialism.

The present revolution in the world to-day is thus in a real sense a
sequel to the industrial revolution, which gave birth to our modern
industry.  That imposing industry depends upon non-industrial
populations, who produce food, cotton, wood and copper, and exchange
them for manufactured goods.  Since the people who fashion and
transport products must be fed by those who raise them, agricultural
production must be stimulated at home and abroad.  The nation must
expand economically.  This expansion, which is broader than what is
usually called imperialism, is not a merely political process.  It
takes small account of national boundaries, but develops farming
wherever possible.

The movement is vast and intricate: Commerce {78} between industry and
agriculture is carried to the outermost parts of the earth; Africa is
divided up, colonies, dependencies and protectorates are acquired;
agriculture is promoted in politically independent countries, and an
internal colonisation, a colonisation within one's own country, occurs
simultaneously.  In Australia, the Canadian West, in Argentine, in
Siberia settlers lay virgin fields under the plough, and the new lands
are bound commercially to the great complex of Western industrial

They are also bound psychologically.  As the machine which conquered
the nation now conquers the world, so the spirit of Manchester and
London and of Pittsburgh and New York rules ancient peoples, breaking
up their rigid civilisations, as it rules naked savages in the Congo
forests.  It is a materialistic, rationalistic, machine-worshipping
spirit.  The unconscious Christian missionaries to China, who teach the
natives not to smoke opium and not to bind the feet of their women, are
unwittingly introducing conceptions of life, as hostile to traditional
Christianity as to Confucianism or Buddhism.  They are teaching the
gospel of steam, the eternal verities of mechanics, and the true
doctrine of pounds, shillings and pence.  Feudalism, conservatism,
family piety, are dissolved; and, as the conquering mobile
civilisations impinge upon quiescent peoples, new ambitions and desires
are created among populations hitherto content to live as their
forefathers lived.  These desires are the inlet of the restless
discontent which we call European civilisation.  When the ancient
peoples, civilised or not, desire guns, whiskey, cotton goods, watches
and lamps, their dependence upon Western civilisation is assured.
Bound to the industrial nations, they toil in mines or on tropical
plantations that they may buy the goods they have learned to want, and
that Europe may live.


In this cosmopolitan division of labour, which destroys the old
economic self-sufficiency of nations, England took the lead.  A hundred
years ago, when the British agriculturist sold his produce to the
British manufacturer in return for finished wares, and foreign commerce
was insignificant, the population was limited by the food it could
produce.  Every increase in the number of Englishmen meant recourse to
less fertile fields, an increase in rents, a lowering of wages and a
resultant pauperism.  The hideous distress during the Napoleonic Wars
and after was largely due to an excessive population striving to live
upon narrow agricultural resources.

The alternative presented was to stop bearing children or find food
abroad; stagnation or industrialism.  If England (with Wales) could in
1821 barely support twelve millions, how could she maintain thirty-six
millions in 1911?  Only by going over to free trade, by raising her
food and raw materials in countries where land was cheap, and employing
her people in converting these into finished products.  To-day three
live in England better than one lived before; on the other hand, a
large part of the food supply is raised abroad.

Had Great Britain literally become "the workshop of the world,"
manufacturing for sixteen hundred million inhabitants, there would have
been no limit to her possible increase in population.  No such national
monopoly, however, was possible, or from a world point of view
desirable.  Belgium, France, Germany and later other thickly populated
countries were also faced with the choice between stagnation and
industrialism, and as English machines, English industrial methods and
English factory organisation could be imported, these nations, one
after another, went over to manufacturing, ceased to export food and
{80} began to import both food and raw materials, competing with Great
Britain for industrial supremacy.

These competing industrial nations had a great common interest, to
increase the total food and raw materials to be bought and therefore
the manufactured products to be sold.  The greater the development of
foreign agriculture the better for industry in all these nations.  To
secure this agricultural base abroad, the nation was not compelled to
establish its own colonies, for Belgium and Holland could buy food and
raw materials even if the Congo and Java were nonexistent.  As a
consumer it made little difference to England whether she got her wheat
from Russia or India, or her sugar from Germany or Mauritius, so long
as the supply was plentiful, cheap and constant.  Actually a large part
of the food supply came from politically independent countries, the
United States alone increasing its food exports from fifty-one millions
of dollars in 1860 to five hundred and forty-five millions in 1900, and
its cotton in equal ratio.

But as American economic development proves, it is difficult to
maintain this common agricultural base.  The agricultural nation, in
the temperate zone, grows in population, converts itself into an
industrial community, and not only consumes its own food and raw
materials but draws upon the common agricultural fund of the older
industrial nations.  To-day the United States is rapidly lessening its
food exports, is increasing its imports of sugar, coffee, tea, fish,
and other foods, and is thus forcing industrial Europe to find a new
agricultural base.

This conversion of agricultural into semi-industrial nations proceeds
rapidly.  Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Japan, even Russia, increase
their manufacturing, and intensify the demand for the world's supply of
raw materials.  It is a normal and in present circumstances an
inevitable {81} process.  When, however, the exportable supply of food
and raw material of an agricultural country dwindles, a new equilibrium
must be established.  New states, territories, colonies, hitherto
exporting but little agricultural produce, are opened and their
production stimulated.  From Russia, the Danube Valley, Canada,
Australia, Brazil, Argentine and many parts of Africa, new supplies of
raw material are secured.  Fresh sources are also discovered for the
production of fodder, flax, cotton, wool and ores.  It is an
equilibrium, forever destroyed and forever re-established, between an
increasing number of industrial nations with increasing populations and
new agricultural bases, upon which the superstructure of the world's
export industry is reared.

It is not, however, by the sale of present manufactured goods alone
that the industrial nations can secure their foreign food.  One may own
abroad as well as earn abroad.  An Englishman with a thousand acres in
North Dakota or Alberta may export the wheat that he raises exactly as
though the farm were in Devon.  If he owns shares in the Pennsylvania
Railroad, he may with his dividends purchase wheat, which he may ship
to his own country without exporting commodities in return.  The true
economic dominion of England extends wherever Englishmen hold property.
Subject to the laws of the land where the property is held, this
ownership gives the same claim to the product of industry as does an
investment at home.

As we read the imperialistic literature of to-day, we discover that the
chief emphasis is laid on the great value of new countries as a field
for this sort of profitable investment.  Investment, not commerce, is
the decisive factor, and money is to be made out of opportunities to
build railroads, open mines, construct harbours and irrigate arid
districts.  The diamond mines of the Transvaal were more {82}
attractive to the English than the chance to trade, and what was of
immediate value in Morocco were the iron mines and future railways and
not the right to sell tallow candles to the Berbers.

In large part this foreign investment of capital has the effect of
broadening the agricultural base.  While to the individual investor,
capital export means getting eight per cent. instead of four, and to
the promoter, a chance to make a few hundred thousand dollars or
pounds, to the industrial nation it means that a fund is created which
will help pay for a steady flow of agricultural products and raw
materials.  To the whole complex of industrial nations and to the world
at large it means even more.  The export of capital increases the
capacity of the agricultural nation to serve as a feeder to all
industrial peoples.  It provides cheap transportation and improved
agricultural machinery.  Had Great Britain not invested in American
railways during the fifties the United States would have exported less
food to Europe in the seventies.  Freight rates dropped and the
industrial nations were flooded with cheap wheat.  British capital in
American railways aided British manufacturing more than if the same
capital had been placed at home.  To-day for the same reason the
process continues elsewhere.  In Russia, South East Europe, Canada,
Australia, South America, Asia and Africa, capital, furnished by the
industrial countries, is increasing the production and exportation of
food and of raw materials, and is thus indirectly promoting the
industry of western Europe.[4]


Such investment abroad is not new.  In the Middle Ages the bankers of
Northern Italy, and later of Spain and Portugal advanced small sums to
impecunious foreign sovereigns.  But the thousand marks borrowed by
Henry V from Genoese merchants, or the loans made by Holland in the
18th Century, did not compare with the vast sums invested by England
since the Napoleonic Wars, nor by other countries since 1850.  For, as
in manufacturing, so also in the export of capital, France, Belgium,
Holland, Germany and even the United States entered the field.  The
source from which capital could be obtained widened with the increase
in the number of wealthy industrial nations, and the volume of
investment expanded rapidly.  The foreign investments of the United
Kingdom, according to an estimate made by Dr. Bowley, amounted in 1854
to two and three-quarter billions of dollars.  For 1914, sixty years
later, these holdings were estimated at seventeen and one-half
billions.  It is believed that the French have invested some eight
billions of dollars and the Germans four billions.[5]  The entire
foreign investment of capital by the industrial nations of Europe
cannot have amounted (in 1914) to less than thirty-two or thirty-five
billions of dollars.[6]

If this great investment were made solely in countries with a highly
developed capitalism, with stable political conditions and strong
economic ambitions, no imperialistic policy would be necessary.
England need not "own" the United States in order to invest here safely
or for purposes of trade.  Nor is she under an economic compulsion to
rule Canada or Australasia.  Were these British colonies quite
independent politically, Canadians and Australians would {84} still
endeavour to sell wheat and mutton to Europe and to attract and protect
European capital.  Their own self-interest, not any outside compulsion,
makes them serve European, in serving their own interests.  In Morocco,
on the other hand, and in Tunis, Persia, Jamaica, Senegal and the
Congo, the situation is different.  The natives of these lands lack
most of the elements which make for the ordered economic development
demanded by Europe.  Under native rule there is governmental
incompetence and venality, disorder, revolt, apathy and economic
conservatism.  Foreign investment is impossible and trade precarious.
It is here where the industrial system of Western Europe impinges upon
the backward countries that economic expansion merges into modern

[1] "Letters from a Chinese Official.  Being an Eastern View of Western
Civilisation."  New York (McClure, Phillips & Co.), 1903, p. 13.

[2] See "Handwörterbuch der Staatswissenschaften," II, pp. 992, 993,
Third edition, Jena, 1909-1911.  Western Europe here includes all of
Europe except Russia, Hungary, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Balkan
States and Turkey.

[3] The absolute increase in the population of western Europe is itself
increasing.  In the decade 1800-1810, the increase was 6.3 millions; in
the nine succeeding decades it was 7.8; 13.5; 11.3; 9.6; 9.7; 11.5;
14.1; 14.5 and 19.0 millions.  In the fifty years ending 1850 the
population increased 48.6 millions; in the fifty years ending 1900,
68.7 millions.

[4] Not all foreign investment of capital results or is intended to
result in stimulating agriculture and other extractive industries.
Much of it is spent unproductively on guns, ships and royal and
presidential luxuries, and much in stimulating manufacturing in
agricultural nations, thus narrowing instead of widening the
agricultural base of the capital-exporting countries.

[5] See Hobson, "Export of Capital."

[6] Moreover this investment, until the outbreak of the war, was
rapidly increasing, amounting to no less than $1,500,000,000 a year.




"The free West Indian negro," writes Sir Sidney Olivier, "is not only
averse as a matter of dignity to conducting himself as if he were a
plantation slave, and bound to work every day, but also enjoys the fun
of feeling himself a master.  And so, on a big sugar estate, when
expensive machinery is running, and the crop has to be worked without
stoppage, or on a banana plantation, when the steamer has been
telephoned at daybreak, and two or three thousand bunches have to be at
the wharf by noon, the negro hands will very likely find it impossible
to cut canes or fruit that morning.  It isn't a strike for better
conditions of labour; they may have no grievance; another day they will
turn up all right: but a big concern cannot be run on that basis.  That
is the root of the demand for indentured labour in the West Indies."[1]

It is also the root of imperialism.  For imperialism from an economic
point of view is in the main a foreign political control to make the
"niggers" work.  The industrial nations, desiring food, raw materials,
markets and a field for investment, being thwarted by conditions in
certain backward agricultural countries, seek to remedy these
conditions by means of political sovereignty.  It is not necessary to
control well-governed countries which are peopled by economically
ambitious men who will work six {86} days a week, fifty-two weeks in a
year.  In politically independent countries, however, and especially in
the tropics, production is rendered ineffective by the disturbed
political conditions, the lack of capital and capitalistic
intelligence, the absence of fixed industrial habits, as well as by a
general inertia and distaste for continuous labour under the hot sun.
As a result, industrial nations are deprived of the markets and food
supplies, which they consider necessary to their development.[2]

No necessity of feeding Europeans appeals to the West Indian negro when
he emerges from his thatched hut after a comfortable night's sleep.
Though unskilled, he is a strong and capable man, willing, when incited
by friendship or gratitude, to incur trouble and endure fatigue.  But,
as Olivier points out, "the capitalist system of industry has never
disciplined him into a wage-slave," and perhaps never will.  The
tropical negro "has no idea of {87} any obligation to be industrious
for industry's sake, no conception of any essential dignity in labour
itself, no delight in gratuitous toil.  Moreover, he has never been
imbued with the vulgar and fallacious illusion which is so ingrained in
competitive industrial societies, that service can be valued in
money....  Work and money are not yet rigidly commensurable in the
consciousness of the African.  Half a dollar may be worth one day's
work for him, a second half-dollar may be worth a second day's work,
but a third half-dollar will not be worth a third day's work....
Moreover he lives in climates where toil is exacting, and rest both
easy and sweet.  There are few days in the year in England when it is
really pleasant to loaf, and the streets of civilised cities are not
tempting to recumbent meditation."[3]

It is not always necessary for a foreign power to intervene in order to
disturb this "recumbent meditation."  In certain tropical and
sub-tropical countries there develops within the nation a group of
exploiters, who control the government, such as it is, and force the
natives to work.  The atrocities of the Putumayo district in Brazil
illustrate the capitalistic spirit in its very worst form, as did also
the forced labour on the Yucatan plantations during the Diaz régime in
Mexico.  To meet the economic needs of the industrial world, it makes
little difference whether peons are enslaved by Mexican, American or
English capitalists, so long as the output is the same.  But native
capitalists are often unable to secure the desired economic result
because they are too ruthless and, through lack of adequate financial
and military resources, cannot maintain order.  Despotism tempered by
revolution, oppression interrupted by savage reprisals, is not {88} an
approved economic stimulus.  The difficulty in Mexico to-day, as also
in Venezuela and in Colombia, is the laming of industry by frequent
revolutions.  It is the same difficulty that was encountered in India,
Persia and Morocco.  The East Indian is as unflagging as the French or
Italian peasant, but not until the British occupation could he secure
the legal protection necessary to a higher economic development.
Peace, sanitation, industrial promotion and an economic or legal
compulsion to work constitute the tools of imperialism, as they are
applied to agricultural countries in the tropical and sub-tropical

There is one outstanding difference between temperate and tropical
countries, which gives to modern imperialism its essential character.
Given a low stage of civilisation, temperate lands are likely to be
thinly populated, while tropical countries, however rudimentary their
economic processes, may maintain large, low-grade populations.  In the
temperate climes, therefore, the intruder, who is more highly developed
economically, soon outnumbers the natives, while in tropical countries,
the white immigrant, even when he withstands the climate, is scarcely
able to hold his own, and the very improvements which he introduces
lead to an increase in the indigenous population.  The white man either
remains above and in a sense outside the population, or loses his
identity by mixing his blood with that of the natives.  The result is
the maintenance of a people ethnically distinct from that of the nation
exercising political control.

To just what extent such control is necessary and effective constitutes
a difficult question.  It cannot be denied that the export from many
colonies is far greater than would be the case if these had remained
independent.  The naturally rich country of Haiti is far less valuable
to the industrial nations than the poorer island of Porto {89} Rico.[4]
In many parts of the world large agricultural resources are unavailable
because owned by uncivilised nations or tribes maintaining their
political independence.  Indeed, if an immediate increase in production
and export were the only factor to be considered, a government of all
tropical America by a capable industrial nation, like England or
Germany, would be of distinct advantage.  Other considerations,
however, do enter.  Even a semi-efficient nation, like Chili or Brazil,
gradually establishes order, secures foreign capital, intelligence and
labour, and develops its resources.  As opposed to Europe, the United
States stands in its Monroe Doctrine for the principle that
Latin-American countries, if left independent, will in time develop,
and that a slow evolution may be more advantageous to the world than a
more rapid exploitation under foreign dominion.[5]  Ultimately,
however, the capacity of the nation to utilise its resources does
constitute the test which decides whether it shall retain independence
or become subject to foreign domination.  It is this test which is
being applied to-day to Mexico and certain other Latin-American

As yet this imperialistic régime is in its beginning.  Food and raw
materials are still mainly derived from {90} independent nations and
from temperate, settlement colonies, in which production is not
affected by political control.  The major part of the food-stuffs
imported by Europe come from Russia, the United States, Canada,
Australia, the Argentine, the Balkans; cotton comes chiefly from the
United States; wool from Australia; hides from the Argentine; copper,
coal, wood, oil from countries of temperate climate.  More sugar is
actually produced in temperate than in tropical countries, though the
export from tropical countries largely preponderates.  Thus the
external commerce of the specifically tropical countries subject to
imperialistic rule is small compared to that of temperate countries
exporting raw materials.  India with its developed agricultural system
exports only some $500,000,000 of food and raw materials[7] (in excess
of its imports of like commodities) or about $1.55 per capita, while
the per capita exportation of Roumania is over ten times as great, of
the Argentine about twenty times, and of Australia forty times.[8]

If the present commerce with tropical countries were not to increase,
the new tropical imperialism would have but a slender economic base,
and it might well be questioned whether it was worth Europe's while to
govern hundreds of millions of yellow, brown and black men in all parts
of the globe.  But the English colonies in America, two hundred years
ago, also exported little, and a similar immensity of growth may be
expected from the commerce of tropical countries.  "As civilisation
advances and population becomes more dense," writes Mr. Edward E.
Slosson,[9] "the inhabitants of temperate zones {91} become necessarily
more dependent on the tropics.  Where the sunshine falls straightest
and the rain falls heaviest there the food of the future will be
produced."  Cacao, coffee, copra, cotton, rubber, sugar cane, bananas
and other fruits are all becoming increasingly important in our
consumption, and these and other raw materials are the product of a
scientific exploitation of tropical regions.[10]

More and more the West-European nations, as also the United States and
Japan, are realising these immense potentialities.  Into many tropical
countries, new crops are introduced, experiment stations established,
railroads built, agricultural machines imported and efforts made not
only to bring new lands into cultivation but also to increase the
output of older lands.  The experimental spread of cotton culture is a
case in point.  In 1902 the British Cotton Growing Association was
created to promote the growth of cotton in British dependencies.  The
fibre is now being raised in Egypt, Northern Nigeria and Central
Africa, while the possible output of West Africa, it is claimed, could
supply all the mills of Lancashire.  An ample supply of cotton for many
decades to come seems reasonably assured.

The gradual filling up of the temperate zones emphasises the immense
future possibilities of the tropical regions.  According to Mr. Earley
Vernon Wilcox, the total land area of the world is about 52,500,000
square miles (of which about 29,000,000 are considered fertile) and of
this total area about 15,000,000 square miles are to be found in
tropical and sub-tropical regions.  "In 1914, the United States
imported tropical agricultural products to the value of $600,000,000,"
and the exports from Ceylon, Brazil, {92} the Dutch East Indies, Cuba,
Hawaii and Egypt were enormous.  "The control and proper development of
the Tropics" writes Mr. Wilcox, "is a problem of tremendous
consequences.  Year by year more tropical products become necessities
in cold climates.  This is apparent from the mere casual consideration
of a list of the commonly imported tropical products, such as cane
sugar, cocoanuts, tea, coffee, cocoa, bananas, pineapples, citrus
fruits, olives, dates, figs, sisal, Manila hemp, jute, Kapok, raffia,
rubber, balata, gutta-percha, chicle and other gums, cinchona, tans and
dyes, rice, sago, cassava, cinnamon, pepper, cloves, nutmeg, vanilla
and other spices, oils, such as palm, China wood, candlenut, caster,
olive, cotton, lemon oil, etc."[11]

In estimating the value of the economic gains to an imperialistic
nation, a moralist might be inclined to introduce other factors.  The
problem whether a political subjection, which is of the essence of
imperialism, is or is not justified raises an uncomfortable question in
ethics.  However carefully native rights are safe-guarded, these
subject races are forced to obey a foreign will not primarily for their
own good but for that of the sovereign power.  Several industrial
nations, above all the United States and in second instance, England,
have undoubtedly embarked upon imperialism with a truly missionary zeal
for the welfare of the natives.  On the other hand, the twentieth
century outrages in the Congo were almost as bad as the cruelties of
the Conquistadores in Hispaniola and Peru.  Even in well-governed
countries, like Egypt, the introduction of European legal systems has
resulted in the expropriation of innumerable small property-holders,
while the increase in population, due to better economic and {93}
sanitary arrangements, has led to an intensification of misery.  To
what extent the average _fellah_ of Egypt is better off than under the
reign of Mehemet Ali or of Ismail, how much the Jamaican poor are more
prosperous than the poor of Haiti is at best an unpromising inquiry.
On the whole, there has doubtless been improvement.  In Africa
slave-catching has been abolished, and famine and pestilence
circumscribed.  But the gain such as it is, has been in the main
incidental, the by-product of an exploitation primarily for the benefit
of others.[12]

Yet however we discuss the moral question, the problem is determined by
quite other considerations.  So long as hundreds of millions in the
industrial countries require and demand that these backward countries
be utilised, humanitarian laws will not be allowed to interfere with
the main economic purpose of the colonies.  The imperialistic argument
is always the same: the resources of the world must be unlocked.  Three
hundred thousand Indians must not be permitted to occupy a land capable
of maintaining three hundred millions of civilised people.[13] {94} The
earth and the fulness thereof belong to the inhabitants of the earth,
and if the product is somewhat unevenly divided, that, the imperialists
assert, is hardly to be avoided.  Back of the ethical argument lie
necessity and power.  Let the backward countries be exploited with the
utmost speed; in the centuries to come, we will go into these moral
questions at our leisure.

This submission of ethical ideals to economic needs is illustrated in
the prevailing colonial labour policy, which reveals with clarity the
quality and power of the economic impulse to imperialism.  The great
industrial nations, having reached the economic stage in which an ample
labour supply can be secured without other compulsion than that of
hunger, accept at home the ideal of a free labour contract, with a
certain protection to the wage-earner.  In their colonies, however,
though they may wish to be fair to the natives, one form or another of
forced labour is generally adopted.  An African native, who wants
little here below and can get that little easily, is compelled to
neglect or surrender his diminutive banana patch or farm and come to
the European's plantation or mine, or work for nothing or next to
nothing on the public roads.  Either this compulsion is exerted by
means of a heavy hut tax, the money to pay which can be obtained only
by wage-labour, or by stringent vagrancy laws, or by a refusal to allow
the natives to become independent proprietors, or by outright
expropriation.  In some colonies penal labour contracts are enforced,
and the miserable native who breaks his agreement is imprisoned or
flogged.  Credit bondage is also in favour, and no sooner does the
native work off his original indebtedness than he finds that he is more
in {95} debt than ever.  Finally if the natives cannot be compelled to
give enough labour, coolies are imported, chiefly from China and India,
and after their period of service are expatriated.

Even a more direct pressure is not always wanting.  While the
imperialistic nations theoretically oppose slavery, and have rather
effectively checked the horrible slave trade of the Arabs, they
themselves have not always escaped the temptation to introduce slavery
under new forms.  At various times and in various colonies, the
_corvée_ has been adopted both for public and private works, and in the
Belgian Congo a thinly disguised slavery in its most atrocious form has
been adopted.  To justify this European slavery, which is infinitely
more brutal than was the mild and customary native slavery, the same
ethical and religious arguments are advanced as were utilised by the
sixteenth century Spaniards in establishing their _encomiendas_.  The
natives, especially in Africa, are lumped together as worthless idlers,
and their benevolent rulers are urged to teach these benighted
creatures the Christianity of hard and continuous labour.[14]  But the
real motive is to secure the greatest amount of profits for the
investors and of tropical produce for the European {96} populations.
Whether even from this point of view a less exacting and ruthless
labour policy might not be desirable need not here be discussed.  What
is immediately significant is the immense power of the forces driving
European nations into colonial policies, intended to increase the
export of tropical products.

Because of this demand for tropical produce, tropical markets, tropical
fields for investment, the vast machinery of imperialism is set in
motion.  Because of this demand, present and future, European armies
march over deserts and jungles, and slay thousands of natives in
spectacular _battues_.  To satisfy the needs of European populations
and adventurers, millions of brown men toil in the crowded, dirty
cities of India, on sun-lit plantations in Java and Egypt, in the
cotton fields of Nigeria and Togo.  To grasp this imperialism, to
realise the big, pulsing, dramatic movement of it, one must view the
peons on hennequin plantations, the barefoot Mexican labourers in
silver mines, the rack-rented fellaheen in the Nile Valley, the patient
Chinese and Japanese toilers on the Hawaiian sugar plantations.  One
must gain a sense of the dull ambitions and compulsions working on
these men, the desire for the cheap products of Manchester and
Chemnitz, the craving for liquor, the fear of starvation and of the
lash.  And as these coloured peoples toil, not knowing for what they
toil, other men in London and Paris, in Berlin, Brussels and New York
are speculating in the securities which represent their toil.  They are
buying "Kaffirs" as they once bought "Yankee rails."  Seated in their
offices, these white-faced men are irrigating deserts, building
railroads through jungles and wildernesses, and secure in the faith
that all men, black, yellow and brown, can be made to want things and
work for things, are revolutionising countries they have never seen.
Even these organisers, these {97} seemingly omnipotent shapers of the
world, are themselves only half-conscious agents of a vast economic
process not solely desired by a class or nation but dictated by a far
wider necessity.  It is a process varied in its many-sided appeal; a
process which reveals itself in the transfusion of capitalistic ideals
by means of little school-houses in the Philippines, by means of the
strict and rather harsh justice in British colonies, by means of the
unconscious teachings of Christian missionaries, by means of the swift
decay of ancient, tenacious faiths.  It is a process linking the ends
of the world, uniting the statesmen and financiers of the imperialistic
nation with wretches in the swarming cities of the East, with
half-drunken men seeking for rubber in tangled forests, with negroes
searching over great expanses of country for the ivory tusks of
elephants, with the Kaffirs in the diamond mines who enter naked and
depart naked, and whose bodies are examined each day to discover the
diamonds which might be buried in the flesh.  At one end of the line
are the urbane diplomats seated about a table at some Algeciras, at the
other, in the very depths of distant colonies, there is slavery,
flagellation, political and intellectual corruption, missionary
propaganda, and the day to day business and planning of white settlers,
who are anxious to make their fortune quick and get back to "God's own
country."  It is a process so vast, so compelling, so interwoven with
the deepest facts of our modern life that our ordinary moral judgments
seem pale and unreal in contact with it.  And so too with religion.
Christianity which changed in its passage from Judea to Rome and from
Rome to the Northern Barbarians takes on again a new aspect when
imperialistic nations encounter the peoples they are to utilise.  This
imperialistic Christianity defends forced labour and slavery as an
advance over a mere doing nothing.  The parable of the ten {98} talents
is the one Christian doctrine in which the imperialist fervently

This modern imperialism, which compels subject peoples to work at
extractive industries at the behest of the swarming millions of the
industrial nations, which excites, stimulates, urges, pushes, forces
coloured peoples to raise bananas and cotton and buy shirts, gew-gaws,
and whiskey, is at bottom a movement compelled by the economic
expansion and necessity of the older countries.  It is an outlet for
the pressure, strain and expansiveness of the growing industrial
nations, an outlet for industrialism itself.  It ranges the industrial
nations as a whole against the backward agricultural countries, and
binds them together into a forced union, in which the industrial
nations guide and rule and the backward peoples are ruled.

But while the industrial nations have a common interest in imperialism,
they have also separating and antagonistic interests.  Though the
nations would prefer to have any one of their number, England, Germany
or France, rule all tropical countries rather than go without tropical
colonies at all, each nation, for economic, as well as political and
military reasons, desires that it, and not its neighbour and
competitor, should be the supreme Colonial Power.  It is because of
this fact that modern imperialism takes on the form of a bitter
nationalistic competition for colonies, and leads to diplomatic
struggles and eventually to war.

[1] "White Capital and Coloured Labour," pp. 80, 81.  London, 1910.

[2] The case for tropical imperialism is argued by Dr. J. C. Willis
(Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Ceylon) as follows: "In the
present condition of the world the temperate zones cannot get on
without the products of the tropics.  The latter provide many things,
such as rubber, tea, coffee, cinchona, jute, cane-sugar, spices, etc.,
which are among the necessaries of modern civilised life.  The need for
these has led to the settlement of Europeans at trading stations in the
tropics, at Calcutta, Malacca, Calabar and many other places.  Once
settled there, the insecurity of the traders and the inefficiency of
the natives have led to the conquest of adjacent territories, until now
most of the valuable areas in the tropics are in European or American
hands."  The conquering nations "work on the principle of governing the
country for the benefit of the governed; but they must also so arrange
matters that the tropical countries shall take their share in the
progress of the world at large, and produce and export certain
commodities for the benefit of that world which cannot get along
properly without them.  If the countries of the tropics can be made to
progress so far that they shall themselves, with their own population,
produce these things, so much the better; _but the things must be
produced_."--"Agricultural Progress in the Tropics,"--_Science_,
London, Vol. V, pp. 48, 49.  (My italics.)

[3] "White Capital and Black Labour," pp. 82-83.

[4] In 1911 the exports for Haiti amounted to a little over $3 and in
1912 to a little under $7 per capita; the exports of Porto Rico (to the
United States and foreign countries) amounted to almost $40 per capita.

[5] Historically, of course, this theory was not the real motive behind
the Doctrine.  That motive was the unwillingness of the United States
to have strong, military nations in its immediate vicinity.

[6] A failure to meet the requirements of the industrial nations does
not necessarily involve a complete extinction of political
independence.  Any measure of control, any merely reserved right, such
as the United States retains in Cuba, may suffice for the purpose.

[7] "Food, drink, tobacco, raw materials and produce and articles
mainly unmanufactured."

[8] Owing to differences in method of classification, these comparisons
are only approximate.

[9] The _Independent_, Oct. 11, 1915.

[10] For a brilliant statement of the growing significance of tropical
products, see Benjamin Kidd, "The Control of the Tropics," New York,
1898, especially Part I.

[11] "Tropical Agriculture," New York and London, 1916, p. 33.

[12] The case is analogous to that of the operation of cotton mills in
the South.  Despite low wages and brutal exploitation of children, the
introduction of these mills has automatically raised the standard of
living, but the goal desired was not this but the quickest possible
making of profits.

[13] "No false philanthropy or race-theory," writes Prof. Paul
Rohrbach, one of the more humane of the German imperialists, "can prove
to reasonable people that the preservation of any tribe of nomadic
South African Kaffirs or their primitive cousins on the shores of Lakes
Kiwu or Victoria is more important for the future of mankind than the
expansion of the great European nations, or the white races as a whole.
Should the German people renounce the chance of growing stronger and
more serviceable, and of securing elbow room for their sons and
daughters, because fifty or three hundred years ago some tribe of
negroes exterminated its predecessors or expelled them or sold them
into slavery, and has since lived its useless existence on a strip of
land where ten thousand German families may have a flourishing
existence, and thus strengthen the very sap and force of our
people?"--Rohrbach, "German World Policies" ("Der deutsche Gedanke in
der Welt.")  Translated by Edmund von Mach.  New York (Macmillan), 1915
(pp. 141-2.)

[14] Prof. Paul S. Reinsch, from whose admirable books I have drawn
extensively in this description of colonial labour, rescues from
undeserved oblivion an article by the Rev. C. Usher Wilson on "The
Native Question and Irrigation in South Africa," published in the
_Fortnightly_ for August, 1903.  "A careful study of educated natives,"
writes this pious gentleman, "has almost persuaded me that secular
education is not a progressive factor in social evolution.  The
salvation of a primitive people depends upon the force of Christianity
alone, special attention being paid to its all-important rule 'six days
shalt thou labour.' ... In the education of the world it has ever been
true that slavery has been a necessary step in the social progress of
primitive peoples."--Reinsch, "Colonial Administration," New York,
1912, p. 383.




If the entire imperialistic process could be directed by one omniscient
individual, representing the interest of all industrial and
agricultural countries, the progress of imperialism would be regular,
rapid and easy.  Or if one nation, say England, could take over all
colonies and run them in the common interest of the industrial nations
alone, imperialism would be robbed of its greatest peril, that of
embroiling the nations in war.  Unfortunately we have hit upon no such
device for preserving the common interest of imperialist nations, while
safe-guarding their separate interests.  Each nation desires the
biggest share for itself.  Imperialism is directed by the conflicting
ambitions, crude pretensions and confident vanities of selfish nations,
and in the conflicts of interest that break out, the soup is spilled
before it is served.

From an economic point of view, this special interest of the nations in
imperialism, like their common interest, is three-fold: markets for
manufactured products, opportunities to invest capital and access to
raw materials.  If trade never followed the flag, if India imported as
much from Germany as from Great Britain, and Madagascar as much from
Austria as from France, if there were an absolutely open door in each
colony and a real as well as legal equality for all merchants, there
would be a weaker competition for the dominion of backward countries.
{100} Germans, Englishmen and Frenchmen might then compete on equal
terms in Morocco, Egypt and Southwest Africa as they compete to-day in
Chile or Argentina.  But no such equality exists in countries
controlled by European powers, and many of these colonies are
consciously utilised in a bitter economic competition between the

To what such competition may lead is suggested in a sensational article
in the _Saturday Review_ of almost twenty years ago.  Says the
anonymous author of this article: "In Europe there are two great,
irreconcilable, opposing forces, two great nations who would make the
whole world their province, and who would levy from it the tribute of
commerce.  England, with her long history of successful aggression,
with her marvellous conviction that in pursuing her own interests she
is spreading light among nations dwelling in darkness, and Germany,
bone of the same bone, blood of the same blood, with a lesser
will-force, but, perhaps, with a keener intelligence, compete in every
corner of the globe.  In the Transvaal, at the Cape, in Central Africa,
in India, and the East, in the islands of the Southern sea, and in the
far Northwest, wherever--and where has it not?--the flag has followed
the Bible and trade has followed the flag, the German bagman is
struggling with the English pedlar.  Is there a mine to exploit, a
railway to build, a native to convert from breadfruit to tinned meat,
from temperance to trade-gin, the German and the Englishman are
struggling to be first.  A million petty disputes build up the greatest
cause of war the world has ever seen.  If Germany were extinguished
to-morrow, the day after to-morrow there is not an Englishman in the
world who would not be richer.  Nations have fought for years over a
city or a right of succession, must {101} they not fight for two
hundred and fifty million pounds of yearly commerce?"[1]

No doubt this assertion of a complete opposition between British and
German commerce and investment contains an element of exaggeration.  In
1913 England was the greatest consumer of German goods and Germany an
excellent customer of Great Britain and the British colonies.  If
Germany were to be extinguished, Englishmen would be poorer, not
richer.  Yet the competition between German bagman and English pedlar
is real, and this commercial competition is merely an expression of a
far more significant industrial competition.  As German organisation,
science, and technical ability build up iron, steel, machinery,
chemical and other industries, British industry, though still growing,
finds itself circumscribed.  If national colonies can be utilised for
special national advantage, financial, industrial or commercial, the
attempt will be made.  If trade and investment can be made to follow
the flag, the nation has an interest in securing colonies.

There is always a certain presumption that colonials, partly from
tradition, and partly from commercial patriotism, will deal with their
home country.  The merchant in British colonies is familiar with
British firms and trademarks and rather resents the necessity of
becoming acquainted with foreign wares and the standing of foreign
merchants.  Prices being equal, we patronise the people we know and
like.  Investment also leads to trade.  The Englishmen who control the
vast resources of India, tend, without compulsion, to buy of British
merchants.  The possession of even a free-trade colony often insures
the retention of its most profitable commerce.

It is true that this presumption in favour of the home {102} nation may
be overborne.  Lower prices, better service, a more active and
intelligent business propaganda may divert trade to foreign merchants.
Before the war, German manufacturers found an increasing market in
British colonies, overcoming colonial prejudice as they overcame the
prejudice in Great Britain itself.  Geographical nearness is even more
decisive.  Thus Canada is economically far more closely bound to the
United States than to England.  In 1913-14 we sold Canada $3.11 worth
of goods for every dollar sold by the United Kingdom.[2]  To Jamaica
our exports exceeded those of the United Kingdom, while our imports
from the island were over three times as great as the British
imports.[3]  The United States profits far more immediately from the
economic development of Canada and Jamaica than does the United

In the main, however, even under free trade, subtle influences are
constantly at work to bring the colony into closer commercial relations
with the home country.  Thus in 1913-14, 64 per cent. of the imports of
British India came from the United Kingdom, and other British
dependencies showed a similar preponderance of trade with Great
Britain.[5]  The volume of the entire traffic between the home country
and its colonies is overwhelming.  In 1914, the United Kingdom imported
from British {103} possessions no less than £205,173,000, or over 29
per cent. of its total imports, and exported to these British
possessions £179,350,000 or almost 42 per cent. of its total exports
(of British produce).[6]  This trade, which is increasing faster than
the total trade of the United Kingdom, is peculiarly valuable.  From
her overseas dominions Great Britain secures a far larger proportion of
food products and raw materials than from foreign countries, and to
these overseas dominions she sends a large proportion of manufactured
goods, containing a high percentage of labour.  Thus, says Prof.
Reinsch,[7] "From the point of view of the development and prosperity
of national industry it is important that the exports of the nation
should be composed largely of manufactured goods, the value of which
includes as high as possible an amount of labour cost.  The export of
raw material, of coal, of food materials, and of machinery used in
factories, cannot be considered of the highest advantage to the
industrial life of a manufacturing country, nor is it most profitable
from a national point of view to furnish foreign countries with ships,
which help to build up their merchant marines."  But according to the
figures of 1903 "only 10 per cent. of the exports of British goods to
the colonies consist of those commodities which the national industry
derives relatively the least profit from, while for foreign countries
the figure is 27 per cent."[8]


The general colonial trend has been in the direction of deliberately
securing by legislative means a preferential advantage for the home
country.  "France," writes Dr. Wilhelm Solf, former German Secretary of
State for the Colonies, "has assimilated Algeria and a portion of her
colonies from the point of view of customs.  She regards them almost
completely as within her tariff boundaries, which fact gives French
commerce the advantage over that of other nations trading with these
colonies.  In regard to her other colonies France has introduced
preferential tariffs favouring the motherland, and reciprocally the
colonies, which amount to as much as 85 per cent. of the normal duties.
In Tunis, likewise, France has favoured her own trade in important
lines, such as grain, by admitting them free of duty when carried in
French bottoms.  Portugal has introduced discriminating customs rates
up to 90 per cent. of the regular tariff in favour of her own colonial
shipping.  Spain has acted similarly.  England also enjoys tariff
advantages as high as 33 per cent. of the normal rate in her
self-governing colonies.  She has in this manner secured for British
industry a market which, without this preference, she would not have
been able to maintain to the same degree.  Likewise, the United States
has to a large extent assimilated its colonies in customs matters.
Belgium has, it is true, no preferential tariff, but by means of her
extensive system of concessions she has practically precluded the
competition of other states and secured a monopoly in the trade with
her own colonies."[9]


No such colonial preference amounts to a complete exclusion of the
trade of competitors.  The Germans, not the English, are the chief
purchasers of India cotton, and from the German colonies, diamonds go
chiefly to Antwerp, West African copper to the United States and
Belgium, and East African skins and hemp to North America.  In many
colonies and dependencies a complete legal equality of trade is
maintained.  On the whole, however, whether as a result of tariffs or
of quiet discrimination by local authorities, the foreign merchant
finds obstacles placed in his way and the trade goes to the home
country.  Thus in 1914, of Algerian imports 84 per cent. came from
France, while of her exports 79 per cent. went to France.[10]  The
trade of all the other French colonies and dependencies tends also to
go to France.  Thus of the import of all French colonies and
dependencies (exclusive of Algeria and Tunis) 45 per cent. in 1913 came
from France and French colonies, while of the exports 42 per cent. went
to France and French colonies.[11]  Similarly in 1909 of the entire
import and export trade of German colonies (exclusive of Kiau-Chau),
65.3 per cent. were with Germany.[12]

To the citizens of the home country go also the investment
opportunities, the chances to secure concessions for mines, railroads
and tramways.  The legal right to these lucrative monopolies inheres in
the nation that develops the backward country.  This preferred
position, this assured possession of a sole and undivided privilege is
of the essence of imperialism.  All the economic arguments for peace
based upon the theory that trade heals enmities, {106} shatter upon
this fact.  Free traders never tire of insisting that trade is
reciprocally advantageous, blessing him who sells and him who buys;
that the more trade there is, the more there is to get.  They argue
that England, Germany, America and Japan might continue until the end
of time amicably exporting pianos and gingham aprons to the backward
peoples, and receive in return unimaginable quantities of sugar, rubber
and tobacco.  But modern imperialism, extending its dominion ever
further, is dreaming not alone of this field for competitive selling,
but of concessions, monopolies, exclusive privileges, immensely
lucrative pre-emptions.  There are whole worlds to exploit, and whoever
rules garners.  When France extends her sway over North Africa and
develops these lands, the valuable concessions go to French
corporations.  The actual capital used comes in last analysis from the
great capital fund of Western Europe, from French, English, Belgian,
Dutch and German capitalists, and whoever wishes to make four or five
per cent. may lend his money to the banks that lend to the development
companies that invest in the new country.  But the big profit--the
cream--does not go to these petty ultimate investors but to the
political and high finance promoters, and these are French if the
enterprise is French.  Moreover, trade accompanies and follows
investment, and if France secures control, the imported locomotives,
rails, cars and mining machinery come from France.  In Morocco, France
keeps the inside track, as does England in Egypt and India, and Germany
in Togo and East Africa.  Let who will pick up the scraps.[13]


This prevailing monopolistic character of colonial exploitation led
prior to the War of 1914 to great dissatisfaction among those powers,
which were least favoured colonially.  In Germany liberal imperialists
like Paul Arndt and Friedrich Naumann bewailed the fact that Germany
was industrially handicapped because of the meagreness of her colonial
possessions.  "Germans," complained Prof. Arndt, "receive no railway,
harbour, shipping, telegraph or similar concessions in English,
Russian, French, American and Portuguese colonies.  Everywhere citizens
are preferred to foreigners, which is easily explicable and in fact
natural...."[14]  As colony after colony is formed, the field for the
free competition of Germany with the world is narrowed, so that at last
only countries like Abyssinia, Siam, China and above all the southern
half of America remain independent and open.  The French success in
gaining and closing colonies arouses German envy.  Why is France's
colonial empire more than two and a half times as large as that of
Germany? asks Dr. Naumann.  How is France ahead of us?  "We have beaten
her in the field of battle, but she has recovered diplomatically.  She
is weaker in a military sense but in a political sense stronger."[15]
Between envying France her colonial empire and determining at some
favourable opportunity to redress the inequality is but a short step.

To discontent with the present is added fear for the {108} future.
Those nations, which are least blessed with colonies and which lack at
home a broad agricultural base for the support of their industries,
look anxiously towards a possible development, which will rob them not
only of their markets and investment opportunities but also of their
necessary raw materials.  To the country ruling the colony belongs in
last instance the right to decide what shall be done with its food and
raw materials.  Suppose that Australia, by a special arrangement with
the mother country, lays a heavy duty upon all wool exported to other
countries than Great Britain, and thus makes German competition in the
woollen industry impossible.  Suppose the cotton supply of the United
States is rendered dearer by some scheme of valorisation, like that
which Brazil applied to coffee exports, or by action of financial
groups in America, or, given a change in the Federal Constitution, by
an export duty on raw cotton.  How then will Germany compete?  What
could Germany do if foreign nations shut her off from access to ores,
foods and textiles?  How could she solve the problem of a dwindling
supply of iron ore?  As population outstrips home production of raw
materials, the dependence of industrial nations upon the countries
producing such materials increases, and the fear arises that such
foreign resources will be monopolised, and the excluded industrial
nations forced to stop their advance and to descend in the scale of
power.  As this fear grows, the backward countries cease to be regarded
as a common agricultural base and become merely separate national
preserves.  Each nation strives by means of an exclusive possession of
colonies to become self-sufficing.  The competition for colonies
becomes a struggle for national existence.

In such a struggle for national existence, all vested rights go by the
board.  A nation needing outlets will pay {109} small heed to maxims
concerning peace, internationalism and the status quo; it will ask for
the title deeds of the nations that own what it wants.  So long as
Germany, for example, felt that colonies were absolutely essential to
her future prosperity, it mattered little to her that England and
France had been first in the field, that they had planted and sowed in
foreign fields while she was still struggling to secure national unity.
"Where were you when the world was divided?" the Germans asked
themselves, and they came to the belief that their own economic needs
justified their colonial ambitions, wherever those ambitions might lead
them.  Rather than have the world shut to them they were willing to
make sacrifices and incur dangers.  War, they held, was better than
stagnation, poverty and famine.

But for a country like Germany colonial ambitions conflicting with
those of other European powers are especially dangerous, because a
struggle for Africa or Asia means battles in Champagne, Westphalia or
Posen.  "The future of Germany's world policy," said an author who
wrote under the pseudonym "Ruedorffer," "will be decided on the
continent.  German public opinion has not yet fully comprehended the
interdependence of Germany's military peace in Europe and her freedom
of action in her foreign enterprises."[16]

Though Bismarck understood this interrelation, he was primarily
interested in the European and not in the colonial situation.
"Bismarck," wrote Ruedorffer, "looked upon the consolidation of
Germany's newly acquired unity as the first and principal task after
the fortunate war with France.  To divert the attention of France from
the Rhine {110} border, he favoured, as much as he could, French
expansion in Africa and Asia.  When, toward the end of his career, he
attempted to secure, for a future colonial activity of Germany, a few
African tracts which had not yet been claimed by any other power, he
was extremely careful not to encroach upon England's interests.  He
avoided pushing Germany's claims beyond Southwest Africa and annexing
the _hinterland_ of the Cape Colony, a territory to-day known as
Rhodesia....  Bismarck kept Germany's world policies within the limits
which, according to his opinion, were prescribed by her continental

As German colonial ambition grew, however, partly as a result of her
fear of exclusion from colonial markets and sources of supply, she
began to fear that she might raise up enemies in Europe itself.  "In
every enterprise," wrote Ruedorffer, "whether on African, Turkish,
Persian, or Chinese soil, Germany's policy will necessarily have to
take account of the presumable reaction on the European political
constellation.  If Germany encounters Russian interests in Turkey, in
Persia, or in China, she will thereby bind Russia still more closely to
immutable France; if she infringes upon England's interests in
Mesopotamia, she will see England on the side of her opponents."  "This
reciprocal dependence of world policies and continental policies
constitutes, if you please, a _circulus vitiosus_, the vicious circle
of Germany's foreign policy.  German enterprises abroad react on the
continental policy, and it is under pressure from the continental
policy that Germany's world policies find their limitations."

As a result Germany, with potential enemies on all sides, was
constantly oppressed by the _cauchemar des coalitions_, the nightmare
of jealous hostile alliances.

It is this dependence of colonial upon continental politics that
intensifies the dangers of imperialism, increases {111} its
ruthlessness and recklessness, and causes it to become a deadly
conflict, with diplomacy _à la manière forte_ in the foreground, and in
the background, war.

The danger of war as a result of imperialism is immensely increased by
the disunion and disequilibrium of Europe.  The continental nations are
always embattled and ready to strike.  It is not an accidental or
transient condition but is rooted deep in geographical, historical and
economic causes.  Europe, since history began, has been overfilled with
clashing peoples and races with variant beliefs, traditions and
languages, and with opposed economic interests.  To grow, to prevent
others from growing, these crowded groups went to war.

It was no fault or vice of the Europeans, but merely the tragic fact
that there was no firm basis for European union.  After the downfall of
the Western Roman Empire, no power was strong enough to dominate
Europe.  The dreams of universal dominion of a Charlemagne and of a
Rudolf of Hapsburg remained dreams; the great, loose federations like
the Holy Roman Empire were no match for the smaller but more compact
nations, which grew up after the Middle Ages.  These new nations,
moreover, inevitably meant increased antagonism, a perpetual struggle
for more territory, more trade, more gold; a despotic, militaristic,
fighting society.  The age of the rise of nations was also that of
professional armies under the direction of a despot, and of wars for
the spoliation of still unorganised peoples, like the Germans and the

If European union was difficult to achieve in past centuries, it has
become even more difficult to-day.  The last century has been the
century of nationalities, a period during which nations and
nationalistic groups developed consciousness.  Group consciousness is,
of course, no new thing, for all groups, possessing survival quality,
have {112} conceit, self-esteem and veneration for the bond that unites
them and for all qualities, characteristics, experiences and
institutions which distinguish them.  To-day this group consciousness
has become national consciousness, and the impulse towards
nationalistic expression spreads and makes itself felt not only in
organised nations but also among submerged, conquered and dispersed
peoples like the Czechs, Poles, Finns and Irish.  The clash of Europe's
hundreds of millions for a satisfactory existence upon an insufficient
area is intensified by the marshalling of these millions into
nationalistic groups, speaking different languages and ruled by hostile

The antagonism is the worse because in many parts of Europe history and
geography have conspired to jumble ethnic and linguistic groups without
mixing them.  In Bohemia, East Prussia, Dalmatia, Macedonia and
Lorraine, hostile groups intermingle without fusing.  Though the last
century has brought about a certain approximation of state boundaries
to the boundaries of nationalities, the process is far from complete.
About many nations there is a fringe of people of like nationality
subject to other states.  Roumania, Servia, Italy, each has its
_Irredenta_; Austria-Hungary, Russia and Turkey are loose bundles of
nationalities, hating each other, while the Balkan States cannot
discover any nationalistic principle upon which to divide up Macedonia.
Each nationality seeks independence and strength to maintain itself
against the encroachment of rivals, and this desire for
self-preservation through size, causes a nationality, which has
attained to nationhood, to oppress smaller nationalistic groups within
its borders.  The condition is artificial and anomalous.  Absurd
nationalistic claims are advanced in defence of aggression, and while
learned Pan-Slavs convert Balkan {113} dwellers into Russians, the
Dutch, Flemings and Danes are proved by Pan-Germans to be only Germans
once removed.

The progress of democracy has intensified this nationalistic strife and
made it a matter of _amour propre_.  So long as no citizen had rights,
it mattered little whether the King were German or Hungarian.  With the
participation of the people in government, however, the subject
nationalities feel themselves disgraced.  The Pole longs for a free
democratic Poland; he is not content to become German, Austrian or
Russian.  Rather than surrender his nationality he is willing to tear
up the map of Europe and thrust the world into war.

In this condition we have the seeds of perpetual conflict in Europe.
Partly for the sake of increasing the national strength and partly for
the benefit of certain financial groups, the lesser nationalities are
ruthlessly exploited by the dominating nationality within a given
country.  The oppression of Roumanians and Slavs by the Magyar ruling
classes of Hungary causes a deep revulsion of feeling in Roumania,
Servia and other countries across the border, just as the ambitions of
Pan-Germans to make Germany a nationalistic state arouse the
indignation of the French and the fears of the Dutch and Danes.
Moreover the nationalistic groups often discover that they have
antagonistic economic interests.

The danger of this situation is immensely increased by the fact that
all these hostile nations impinge territorially on one another, and
modern warfare gives an enormous advantage to the nation gaining the
initial success.  Austria, Belgium, France may be overrun and
permanently defeated by a campaign of six or seven weeks, and it is
difficult thereafter to retrieve these early defeats.  {114} European
nations therefore live in the fear of immediate attack and conduct a
hair-trigger diplomacy.

This is the true interpretation of _Realpolitik_, of a nationally
selfish policy, devoid of sentiment and laying an excessive emphasis
upon immediate and material ends.  A nation in danger of annihilation
cannot indulge in the luxury of sentiment, cannot consider long time
views, cannot be over-generous or trust to the generosity of rivals.
Each nation is compelled to enter into offensive and defensive
alliances, and these alliances, perpetually suspecting each other, are
compelled to prepare for instant war.

But preparation for war under such conditions makes war inevitable.  If
a nation believes that it is to be assailed, five, ten or fifteen years
from now, it is tempted to precipitate the "inevitable" war at the
moment when its chances are the best.  The doctrine of "the war of
prevention," however perilous, is, in the prevailing circumstances,
natural.  It is meeting a supposedly inevitable danger half way.

Still another element adds to the menace of imperialism.  Just as a
successful imperialistic policy depends upon the ability of the
European nation to defend itself at home, so also it depends upon
access to the colonies, upon a control of the seas.  Had Spain been a
hundred times as powerful on land as the United States, she still could
not have defended Cuba.  Were Germany to secure valuable colonies, she
could not be sure of their retention against England (which lies on
Germany's lines of communication), so long as the British possessed an
overwhelming naval supremacy.  It was therefore natural, and indeed
inevitable, that, sooner or later, German colonial ambitions should
find expression in a naval expansion, which, whatever the intentions of
its promoters, was potentially a menace to the British Empire and even
to the very {115} existence of England.  The desire for imperialistic
expansion thus led, in the absence of any formula of reconciliation
upon a higher plane, to an irrepressible conflict between England and
Germany, in short, to a world war.

Herein lay and still lies the peril of imperialism, the danger that for
fifty years to come Europe, and perhaps America also, will be again and
again embroiled in wars immeasurably more destructive than were the
long colonial wars of the eighteenth century.  The present world war
does not automatically end the imperialistic struggle.  There is China
to consider, there is the independence of Latin America, to say nothing
of colonies securely held for the time being by one or another of the
European powers.  The allies, if successful in this war, will not
necessarily remain allies.  The ambitions of England, of Russia, of
Japan, not to speak of France, Germany, Italy and perhaps the United
States, may come into conflict.  Nor upon the signing of a treaty of
peace will the forces making for imperialism become extinct.  In the
future, as in the past, a nationalistic competition for colonies will
carry with it the seeds of war.

[1] The _Saturday Review_, Volume LXXXIV, Sept. 11, 1897.

[2] Our exports to Canada in that year amounted to $410,786,000; those
of the United Kingdom, $132,071,000.  Our imports from Canada were
$176,948,000; the imports of the United Kingdom, $222,322,000 (Canadian
figures).  Statesman's Year Book, 1915, p. 285.

[3] Jamaican imports (1913-14).  From the U. S., £1,326,723; from the
U. K., 1,088,309.  Exports: to the U. S., £1,396,086; to the U. K.,
£424,491 (Jamaican figures).  Statesman's Year Book, 1915, p. 327.

[4] Naturally our proportion of the trade would be still greater if
Canada and Jamaica were within the American customs union.

[5] Statesman's Year Book, 1915, p. 149.

[6] In 1913 the trade of the United Kingdom with British possessions
was still greater, though it formed in that year a smaller percentage
of the entire trade of the country.  Statesman's Year Book, 1915, p.
77.  The trade of the United Kingdom with foreign countries was
considerably less (in 1913) than was that of Germany.

[7] "Colonial Administration," pp. 210-11.

[8] _Op. cit._  "It has further been shown that in the foreign trade of
Great Britain the export of manufactured goods is declining while that
of raw material and machinery is increasing."

[9] "Germany's Colonial Policy," in "Modern Germany in Relation to the
Great War."  New York, Mitchell Kennerley, 1916, p. 152.  See also
"British White Book," a report on Colonial Preferences given in various
countries.  Oct. 21, 1909, No. 296.  For an able analysis of the
results of the open and the closed door in colonies see Jöhlinger
(Otto), "Die Koloniale Handelspolitik der Weltmachte,"
(_Volkswirtschaftliche Zeitfragen_) Vol. XXXV, Berlin, 1914.

[10] Statesman's Year Book, 1915, pp. 893-94.

[11] Statesman's Year Book, 1915, p. 882.

[12] But the whole trade was small, amounting to less than 1 per cent.
of the entire foreign trade (in 1909) of Germany.

[13] In his defence of German Colonial policy, Dr. Solf makes much of
the fact that of the total sum of 500,000,000 marks invested in German
colonies, no less than 89,000,000 marks belongs to foreigners.  But
this means that Germany which has little capital to export has invested
over 82 per cent. and all the other countries of the world less than 18
per cent.  Moreover the character of the investment, not the absolute
amount, is significant.  Competitive investment, as in a brewery or
cotton factory, does not bring the same profit as does a concession for
a railroad, tramway or bank.

[14] Paul Arndt.  "Grundzüge der auswärtigen Politik Deutschlands,"
quoted by Ludwig Quessel, _Sozialistische Monatshefte_, Vol. 19, II,
June 12, 1913.

[15] Fr. Naumann.  Die Hilfe, Nov. 16, 1911.  Quoted by Ludwig Quessel.
"Auf dem Weg zum Weltreich."  _Sozialistische Monatshefte_, Vol. 19,

[16] Ruedorffer, J. J., "Grundzüge der Weltpolitik in der Gegenwart,"
Stuttgart und Berlin, 1914, quoted by Paul Rohrbach, "Germany's
Isolation" ("Der Krieg und die deutsche Politik").  Chicago, 1915.




The direct competition between great industrial nations for the
products and profits of the backward countries would suffice to create
an international antagonism even if no other economic forces
contributed to this result.  Closely though not obviously bound to this
struggle for colonies, however, is an equally intense struggle among
the industrial nations to force their way economically into each
other's home territory.  Germany, it is alleged, forces her way
industrially into France, Switzerland, Italy, Belgium and Holland.  She
penetrates these countries economically, crushes their industries,
forces upon them her own industrial products, extracts from them the
profits which should go to their own manufacturers.  Industrially,
commercially, financially she seeks to rule Italy and Belgium as Great
Britain rules the Argentine or Canada.  She holds these countries, so
it is claimed, in industrial non-age.  It is all a quiet economic
infiltration, a matter of buying and selling and of lawful contracts,
but it is none the less war.  "War is war," admits Prof. Maurice
Milloud, a student of this phenomenon of German industrial expansion,
"but make no mistake that it is war."[1]

Within the last few years there have appeared numerous books by French,
Swiss, Belgian and Italian[2] {117} publicists attacking the policy by
which Germany prior to the war secured a partial control of her
neighbouring markets.  With the merits of this controversy and with the
morality or immorality of the procedure, we need not concern ourselves.
To us the only point of interest is the nature of the economic forces
leading to such a conflict and the effect of this conflict in creating
national animosity and in inciting to war.

All the industrial nations export to one another as well as to the
agricultural countries.  Why, then, is Germany's course so bitterly

At first glance one might suppose that the chief objection to this
German enterprise lay in its ruthlessness and economic terrorism.  A
French manufacturer of formic acid is crushed outright by a sudden
price reduction; a Swiss or Italian manufacturer is ruined by being
spied upon by his own employés in the pay of a German competitor.  But
the main objection to the German competition seems to be its
formidableness.  Germany exports not only wares but men, and in all the
neighbouring countries are to be found German chemists, engineers,
business men and clerks.  It is claimed that these pioneers hold
together, advance together, maintain the cult of _Deutschtum_ in an
alien country, and act as agents for the home industry.  It is also
claimed that Germany "dumps" her goods on foreign markets, thus causing
losses or even total destruction to rival industries.  Yet all these
things have been done before, and even the nations which object are not
always innocent of like practices.  What is deeply resented, however,
is that the German competition is a disciplined state-aided
competition, that it is collective rather than individual.  The
Belgian, Italian or Dutch {118} manufacturer feels that behind his
German competitor stand the gigantic power and resources of the whole
German nation.  It is not individual Germans who compete, but Germany;
a patient, resourceful, long-sighted Germany, willing to make temporary
sacrifices for permanent gains, a Germany forced to expand industrially
and bending its immense wealth and power to this one purpose.  Against
such an organised body what can a single manufacturer avail?

The means at Germany's disposal in this invasion of near-lying markets
are varied and great.  Industry is organised; the German has a genius
for organisation.  In all the near-lying countries, concerns with
German connections open up a wide channel for the incoming wares.  In
Antwerp, in Rotterdam, in Zurich, a large part of the big business is
in German hands.  German banks are established and these aid directly
or indirectly in the importation of German commodities.  Moreover, the
Germans are better informed than any of their rivals concerning all the
minute knowledge necessary to the conquest of a local market.  Their
business plans are not only far flung but meticulous; they have a
card-index method of study and their training is admirably adapted to
just these methods of commercial penetration.

No such penetration would be possible, however, but for the
intelligence with which German industry is conducted at home.  In
Germany the scientifically trained man is more highly regarded than in
any other country.  The chemist, the engineer, the specialist of every
sort is called into consultation and the laboratory is united to the
factory.  The vast expense of maintaining a corps of inventors forever
working at new problems is more than compensated for by the frequent
technical improvements which result from their studies.  The scientific
men employed by {119} the German chemical factories have revolutionised
methods and given Germany almost a monopoly in this rapidly growing
industry.  In Germany also, as in America, there is a willingness to
discard old methods and machinery, whatever the initial expense.  In a
few years the losses due to the change are retrieved and the German
business is creating values more efficiently than ever.

Such an industry must in its nature be immensely productive.  The
Germans, like the Americans, are successful in mass production, the
fashioning of vast quantities of cheap, standardised articles.
Factories tend to grow larger.  Formerly competing concerns are united
into associations or cartels, which buy or sell in common, save a vast
amount of unnecessary friction within the trade and act as a clearing
house for information and ideas.  A high protective tariff enables
these cartels to maintain a remunerative price in the home market while
dumping their surplus products upon foreign markets.

What this "dumping" may mean for manufacturers in the countries upon
which the wares are dumped may be made clear by an example.  "The
German ironmasters," writes Prof. Milloud, "sell their girders and
channel iron for 130 marks per ton in Germany, for 120 to 125 in
Switzerland; in England, South America and the East for 103 to 110
marks; in Italy they throw it away at 75 marks and _make a loss of from
10 to 20 marks per ton_, for the cost price may be reckoned at 85 to 95
marks per ton."[3]  Other iron products have been sold by Germans in
Italy far cheaper than they could be sold or even produced in Germany,
with the result that the struggling Italian iron industry is hardly
able to exist.  Nor is this dumping a mere temporary expedient to
relieve the German manufacturer of an unexpected surplus.  It is {120}
systematic, organised and intentional, designed to destroy competitors
and establish a monopoly.  It is a procedure with which we in America
are unpleasantly familiar, since it has been long the practice of our
trusts to destroy competition in a circumscribed local market by
temporarily reducing prices and then to raise prices after the
competitor is _hors de combat_.

The most striking difference between the flooding of adjacent markets
by German cartels and the destruction of competitors by American trusts
is that in the former case the operation is international, and the
manufacturers who suffer live in one country and those who profit in
another.  Moreover, the German Government is itself directly concerned
in the process.  Not only is the Government one of the associated
concerns in certain cartels, but by its railroad policy it gives an
immense impetus to dumping.  Railroad rates are cheaper if the
commodity carried is to be exported.  To take one out of a thousand
instances "the freight of a double wagon of German coal from Duisbourg
to Hamburg, a distance of 367 kilometers, costs 57 marks, whilst, in
the reverse direction, from the sea-board to the industrial centres in
the interior, the freight charge is 86 marks in the case of German
coal, and as high as 93 in the case of foreign coal."[4]  The
Government grants an export bounty upon coal (and other commodities) in
the shape of reduced transportation rates.

We need not study in detail the vastness and complexity of that
integration of German industry, which permits it to act as a unit in
its invasion of near-lying territories.  We need not recount the almost
vertiginous growth of the German banking system, with its tendency
towards a narrow concentration, its bold conduct and control of German
industry and its establishment of {121} branch organisations in the
countries to be invaded.  Nor need we consider the practice of long
credits by which German manufacturers secure a foothold in new markets
or the system by which German capital, labour and intelligence migrate
to the foreign country, and as branches of a German concern, continue
the process of dumping from within.  The significant fact is that the
entire process is organised and thought out.  It is a concrete national
policy for securing German economic control in neighbouring industrial

Nothing could better illustrate the collective nature of this economic
invasion than the history of the German cartels.  "It is evidently to
the cartels," writes Fritz-Diepenhorst, "that Germany owes in great
measure the conquest of foreign markets."[5]

The German cartel differs from the trust in that it does not represent
the absorption of weaker rivals by one powerful concern but is a
federation of business units which retain their legal independence but
surrender a part of their industrial and commercial autonomy.  In the
beginning the German cartels represented an effort to regulate prices
in the home market, but after the adoption of a protective tariff and
during the period when Germany launched out upon a policy of
large-scale exportation, the cartels grew in numbers and power.  Their
policy was to maintain prices at home and sell at a lower rate abroad.
But this policy, owing to a near-sighted individualism, injured the
German export industry itself.  The coal cartel determined its policy
irrespective of the interests of the coke cartel, which in turn fixed
its prices irrespective of the interests of the iron industry.  As a
result vast {122} quantities of raw materials and semi-manufactured
products were shipped abroad at prices which permitted the foreign
manufacturer of finished wares to undersell the German manufacturer.
It was a boomerang dumping, which worked to the advantage of the dumped
and to the disadvantage of the dumper.

Within the last fifteen years, however, and especially since the report
in 1903 of the German Parliamentary Commission on Cartels, this early
anarchy has been gradually abolished, and arrangements have been made
by which a cartel grants lower prices not only for its own exports but
also for such part of its home-sold product as is to be used in the
manufacture of more highly finished wares, which are in turn to be
exported.  The coal used in iron manufactures that are to be shipped to
foreign countries is sold cheaper than the coal used in iron
manufactures which are not to be exported.  A community of interest
among the cartels is thus created.  The result is an amazing industrial
solidarity.  "The individual exporter disappeared in the cartel, and
the cartel itself is absorbed in this sort of cartel of cartels, which
ends by becoming the German industry....  For an economic guerilla
warfare there is substituted a mass action, a veritable strategy."[6]
The excesses of dumping are cured and dumping becomes a national
economic policy.

But how can this organised conquest of adjacent industrial countries be
averted without some alternative method for the economic expansion of a
highly organised industry?  The same forces that push Germany and
England into an imperialistic policy and into a conquest of the markets
of agricultural countries also force them into a competition to secure
the markets of industrial countries.  The two processes are not quite
alike, since the trade between, {123} let us say, Brazil and Germany is
a complementary and mutually beneficial commerce, while the dumping of
German rails and girders on Italy is a competition or war between two
industrial nations.  The impulse and motive in both cases is, however,
the same.  It is the desire to increase buying power.  Germany can
secure more of the wool of Australia and of the wheat of the Argentine
if she can establish even a limited economic dominion over adjoining
countries.  It is the lack of a sufficient home market that forces
Germany to dump her goods on Switzerland and Belgium just as it forces
England to sell largely to her colonies and to invest in backward

How far this policy of industrial invasion can safely go is one of the
interesting international problems of the future.  It is of course not
the desire of any country to sell permanently below cost to the
foreigner, since such a policy means, if not actual loss, at least a
diminution of profits.[7]  Germany would prefer to get the same price
for her girders in England and Italy as she does at home.  But she must
take what she can get.  Her industry is based upon a productiveness in
excess of the demands of the home market, and she is under the
necessity of paying for large importations of food and raw material and
of profitably employing increasing numbers of workmen.  Her industrial
invasion of neighbouring countries is alternative and supplementary to
an attempt to secure a {124} needed colonial market.  It is,
parenthetically, a necessity imposed upon an industrial nation menaced
by a constantly growing population.

Be this policy of invasion ever so well organised, however, it cannot
escape inherent limitations and obstacles.  The German export policy
maintained itself only by holding up prices at home, which meant an
increased cost of living and a rise in money wages.  The imposition of
tariffs by neighbouring countries meant an increase in the difficulties
to be overcome in exportation and a reduction in the net profits of the
foreign trade.  To a considerable extent this export of cheapened goods
was at the mercy of the importing nations, which, at any moment, might
levy prohibitory duties.  At the best the whole development led to
strong opposition and prejudice, to counter-attacks, to the violation
of favouring commercial treaties and to the imposition of punitive
duties (as in the Canadian tariff) especially aimed at dumpings.  In
the opinion of many observers, the policy provided an insecure base for
a top-heavy industry, with the result that in Germany industrial crises
were frequent and destructive and the economic development showed the
weaknesses of a forced growth.

It is too early to pass judgment upon the relative success or failure
of this industrial invasion.  Prof. Milloud believes that the policy by
1914 had demonstrated its failure, and that the fear of an industrial
_débacle_ forced Germany to escape from an impossible economic position
by throwing Europe into war.  How far this is true it is difficult to
determine.[8]  It is evident, however, that the {125} difficulty of
this German penetration of adjacent countries must have intensified a
desire for an easier market in the colonies.  The Italian trade for
which Germany fought so hard must have seemed unremunerative and
unpromising as compared with the practically monopolised market which
France possessed in North Africa or with that which Germany could
obtain through the Bagdad Railway and the penetration of Asia Minor.
The sharpness of the conflict for nearer lying markets illustrated anew
the necessity of securing colonial outlets.

If, however, the competition among industrial countries to secure each
other's markets results in national antagonism, the competition of the
same nations for the exclusive possession of colonies and dependencies
leads, as we have seen, to an equally bitter struggle.  The choice
seems to lie between the devil and the deep sea.  It is no wonder
therefore that as the rapid expansion of industry brings the great
nations into ever keener antagonism, voices are raised against the
whole imperialistic policy.  Just as the German consumer objects to
paying high prices for German commodities which the Belgian or Italian
can buy cheap, so also opposition is encountered to a policy of
extending colonial development at the expense and imminent risk of the
nation and to the obvious benefit of certain preferred classes in the

[1] "The Ruling Caste and Frenzied Finance in Germany."  Boston, 1916,
p. 104.

[2] See in the first instance Milloud, _op. cit._, and Prof. Henri
Hauser, "Les Méthodes Allemandes d'expansion Economique," Paris, 1916.
also G. Preziosi, "La Germania alia conquista dell' Italia," Florence,

[3] _Op. cit._, pp. 104-5.  His italics.

[4] Milloud, _op. cit._, p. 110.

[5] _Revue économique Internationale_, 1914, II, p. 259, quoted from
Hauser (H.) "Les méthodes allemandes d'expansion économique," p. 106.

[6] Hauser, H., _op. cit._, p. 128.

[7] The goods exported to foreign countries may show a profit if they
are sold at a price less than the average cost of production but
greater than the marginal cost.  If it costs $100 a unit to produce a
million units of a given product for the home market and only $70 a
unit to produce an additional 100,000 units then there is a profit in
permanently selling this extra amount at any price above $70.  To break
down a foreign competition it may pay _temporarily_ to sell at 60 or
even 30 dollars, in order to raise prices again after competition is

[8] Prof. Milloud's argument based upon the relative growth of British
and German exports is far from conclusive.  He shows that in the period
from 1890-1903 to 1904-08 the German export trade increased only 75 per
cent while the British export trade increased 79 per cent.  If we
consider the statistics for the subsequent period, 1909 to 1913 (which
figures were quite accessible to Prof. Milloud), we find that the
German export industry increased much more rapidly than did that of




What determines whether a backward country is to be exploited by its
own people or by some beneficent imperialistic power is not any
consideration of its own welfare, but the chance of profits held out to
certain adventurous financiers in the capitals of Europe.  These modern
pioneers are a ruthless, dangerous group, with the bold, speculative
imagination that has marked adventurers since the world began.  They
have a domestic and a foreign morality, an ethics for home consumption
and a fine contempt for "greasers" and "niggers."  They know the
difference between five per cent. and twenty per cent., and their
business consists in investing their money at high rates of profit
(because the enterprise is hazardous) and then in taking out the hazard
by making their home government compel the fulfilment of their
impossible contracts.

The methods of these men are monotonously similar.  They lend, they
invest, they support revolutions, they invoke "the protection of the
flag."  They need not pay attention to the public opinion of the
backward countries; they do not believe such countries have a public
opinion.  All that these speculators need is the support of their home
government, and that they may secure through bribery, newspaper
influence and patriotism.  The first two cost money and are worth all
they cost; the third can be had for {127} nothing.  As for the excuse
for intervention, it is that used by the wolf when he took a fancy to
the lamb.  Money is loaned at usurious rates to some rogue who poses in
history as the President of the lamb republic or to some spendthrift
imbecile of a Khedive.  Concessions are secured.  By a concession in
this instance is meant a solemn contract, by which, for and in
consideration of nothing, duly paid in hand, the whole nation, its
territory and population, are turned over in perpetuity.  The
negotiations are ratified by a battle cruiser; a few marines are
landed, a few barelegged natives are buried in a tropical back-yard, a
treaty of peace and amity is concluded between the Imperial Power and
its latest morsel, and the real business of imperialism begins.  It is
good business and pays big dividends.

But to whom do the dividends go?  What profit has the French artisan or
peasant in all these grand concessions from the illustrious Sultan of
Morocco?  How does the English workman prosper when English capital
employs cheap Indian labour to undersell British factories?  Obviously
the immediate profits accrue to large capitalists rather than to the
mass of the people.  If a French peasant can invest his savings in
Morocco, he may earn a few extra dollars per year on his holdings of a
thousand francs, but his whole interest payment forms a small
proportion of his annual income.  To the financier, on the other hand,
who directs the investment of hundreds of millions, a concession in
Morocco is of value.

The case of French foreign investments is pertinent.  As a result of
the activity of great bankers, who rule both finance and politics, some
forty billion francs have been invested in foreign countries.  The
individual investor has little choice and no intelligent direction in
these large affairs.  It is even possible that the whole course of
French {128} investments has been disadvantageous; that too much French
capital has been sent abroad to cultivate foreign fields (or pay for
war preparations) and too little has been absorbed at home.  The profit
to bankers does not prove that the loans are equally profitable to the
nation.  In any definite imperialistic policy, as that in Morocco, this
difference in interest between the directors and small owners of
capital becomes even clearer.  The promoters can afford even to risk
war, while for the small investor, who, after all, can invest
elsewhere, the net gain is less apparent, especially as the war, if it
comes, must be fought by him and be paid for by him.

From the beginning, therefore, a revolt or opposition has been
manifested (in certain sections of the industrial nations) to the whole
principle and policy of imperialism.  This revolt relies for support
upon those elements in the population who believe either that they are
not benefited by imperialism or only slightly benefited.  Liberal and
socialistic sentiment forms the core and centre of this opposition.
For the most part the socialists are theoretically opposed to
imperialism on the ground that it is immoral, brutal, anti-democratic
and uneconomic.  It does not, they believe, pay the people who in the
end pay for it.

This anti-imperialistic philosophy of the Socialists is chiefly derived
from the anti-colonial attitude of the liberals of the early nineteenth
century.  That attitude was founded on opposition to special trade
privileges, which was the basis of the old colonial policy, and also on
the belief that colonies did not benefit the mother country.  In the
middle of the eighteenth century Turgot had declared that "colonies are
like fruits which cling to the tree only till they ripen," and he
predicted that "as soon as America can take care of herself, she will
do what Carthage did."  When the American colonies later fulfilled this
prediction {129} by securing their independence, and when it was
perceived that this separation did not lessen England's commerce with
America, the opponents of colonialism, who were also advocates of free
trade, were reinforced in their convictions.  The only true extension
was trade, and to secure trade political domination was unnecessary.

It was by no means contended even by the most doctrinaire free trader
that an increase in the population and wealth of new countries, such as
the United States and Canada, was undesirable.  All they opposed was
political dominion by the home country and the adoption of a
restrictive trade policy.  Similarly the orthodox Socialists of to-day
make a sharp distinction between colonisation and imperialism, between
the acquisition, by conquest or otherwise, of lands suitable for
settlement and the seizure of populous countries to which emigration is
impossible.  In this distinction it is not the intention but the fact
that counts; whatever the motives of the explorers, the new country
becomes a colony if it furnishes homes.  Such colonising is a direct
national gain, benefiting all classes.  The redemptioner, who was
carried off to the British settlements in America, did in the end
improve his economic condition, and his descendants, like those of the
free immigrants, now form the population of the country.  On the other
hand tropical dominions, like Porto Rico or Egypt, can provide profits
for investors but no homes for settlers.

This distinction negates by definition the claim that imperialism is an
outlet for a redundant population.  Of the emigrants from the United
Kingdom during the last thirty years only a microscopic percentage went
to Britain's tropical colonies.  In British India in 1911 only one in
every two thousand was British born.  Similarly, most French, German,
Belgian and Dutch colonies furnish no {130} outlet to the surplus
populations of these nations.  Even in Algeria the Europeans constitute
only one-seventh of the population, and in Tunis only about one-tenth.
The entire European population in all German, French and British
possessions (exclusive of the five self-governing colonies), is less
than the net immigration to the United States every two or three

The opponents of imperialism moreover claim that all the regions fit
for colonisation are already pre-empted.  There is room for many
millions in the five self-governing colonies of Great Britain, as there
is in Siberia and South America, but where can place be found in
regions newly acquired by imperialism?  Where can homes be had to-day
for some twenty million Germans (the excess of German population in a
single generation), to say nothing of tens of millions of Italians,
British, Austrians and Poles?  It is frequently claimed that the new
medical science, which conquers tropical diseases, will make these
regions habitable by the whites.  But though the sanitary improvement
in the Canal Zone permitted thousands of Americans to help build the
canal, it did not result in the actual physical work of construction
being performed by white men.  Despite sanitary improvements, the
Jamaica negro could endure a hard day's work under the tropical sun far
better than a man from Illinois.  The economic advantage of the
lower-priced coloured labour is still more decisive.  While in the
highly organised industries of England, Germany or the United States,
high wages frequently mean small labour cost, in the lower-geared
industries of the tropics the coloured man, black or yellow, easily
holds his {131} own.  Since the European excess of births over deaths
is about forty millions per decade, the impossibility of finding a
place for this excess population in tropical and subtropical countries
is manifest.

If the countries still to be overrun are not adapted for colonisation,
the benefits accruing from imperialism, according to these
anti-imperialists, will go to merchants, manufacturers and investors
and not to wage-earners.  It is often claimed that this trade which
arises from an imperialistic policy is not great enough to exercise a
beneficent influence upon the fortunes of the masses.  Prof. Hobson,
writing in 1902, states that during the period since 1870, when Great
Britain launched into its latest imperialistic policy, British foreign
commerce did not grow as rapidly as population, and actually declined
in proportion to wealth.  The British colonies increased their trade
with other nations more rapidly than with the home country.  The newly
acquired colonies, the last fruits of imperialism, were the least
profitable.  Their commerce was small, fluctuating and of low quality.
Mr. Hobson therefore comes to the conclusion "that our modern
imperialistic policy has had no appreciable influence whatever upon the
determination of our external trade."[2]

When we consider individual countries which have been the cause of much
rivalry and dissension, we discover that their commerce is often
extremely small.  France has almost monopolised the trade of
Martinique, but in 1913 her total trade with that country was less than
a sixtieth of her trade with the United Kingdom and less than a
fiftieth {132} of her trade with Germany.  The specifically tropical
countries, for which the nations are fighting, do not have a commerce
worth a fraction of the cost of their acquisition.[3]  Nor are the
investments in the imperialistic domain nearly so large as those in
countries over which the European nations exercise no political
control.  France has invested largely in Russia and the Balkans;
Germany has put capital into the United States, South America and Asia
Minor; England has gigantic sums in countries over which she exercises
no dominion.  The profits from imperialistic investments are merely a
bonus.  Though they loom large in the popular imagination, they are
only a small part of the national income, and even at the best these
profits go to capitalists and not to the people.

Moreover, what advantage is it to the wage-earner to have his country's
wealth exported beyond his reach?  Concerning this movement towards
absentee ownership of capital, the widest divergence of opinion
prevails.  The optimists among the investing classes find it all good
and sanctified by its results.  The exportation of capital, they hold,
not only fructifies the waste places of the world but does not decrease
the capital in the exporting country, since it raises the rate of
interest and thus stimulates saving.  But such a rise in the interest
rate means an increase in the cost of living and a reduction in the
real wages of labour.  In so far as it goes into competitive industrial
enterprises abroad, it lessens the opportunity of labour at home.  Thus
if British capital, exported to India, is used to erect cotton mills in
Calcutta, India will import fewer cotton goods from England, and
British capital will be employing {133} Indian labour and throwing
British labour out of employment.  This situation is analogous to that
which was created when Northern textile manufacturers, instead of
increasing their New England plants, built mills in Georgia, thus
transferring the demand for employment from the North to the South.

It is further contended by these opponents of imperialism that the
export of capital is profoundly demoralising to the exporting nation,
which ceases, in a real sense, to be industrial, and becomes financial.
Gradually the nation, with a large fixed income derived from foreign
labour, ceases to care for its export industry, loses its intensity and
keen application to business, becomes conservative in the technique of
production, and, being no longer interested in the development of home
industries (since its gains come from abroad), converts hundreds of
thousands of industrial wage-earners into liveried house-servants, who
minister to the cultivated wants of a sport-loving and decoratively
idle upper class.

The effect of this development upon England, the classic land of
capital export, is portrayed in an acute study by Dr.
Schulze-Gaevernitz.[4]  The author shows how the steadily mounting
income derived by Great Britain from foreign investments has led to a
relative restriction of the field of employment in home manufacturing
industries.  In 1851 23 per cent. of the population of England and
Wales were workers in the chief industries as compared with only 15 per
cent. a half century later.[5]  Imports increase; exports do not
increase proportionately.  An ever larger proportion of the population
becomes rentiérs, {134} "living on the sweat of coloured labour, whom
it is their first interest to hold in political subjection."  Some of
these rentiérs, large and small, are wholly unoccupied or only half
occupied.  They are sleeping partners, briefless barristers, professors
of professions which do not exist.  To these income-receivers or
rentiérs, whom Schulze-Gaevernitz estimates at a million, must be added
enormous numbers of servants and lackeys, who are paid, though
indirectly, from the Kimberley mines and investments in the Argentine.
Upon the industry of the backward countries these idle and semi-idle
people make increasing demands, and industry becomes a production of
luxuries.  In the meantime the nation falls behind in its competition
with more purely industrial countries like Germany and the United
States.  In the machine industry, in ship-building, in applied
chemistry England does not hold her own.[6]  Her technique of
production, her methods in commerce and banking become old-fashioned
and ineffective; her invention (as measured by the issuance of patents)
does not keep pace with that of her chief competitors.  And all this
conservatism does not inhere in the British character (for formerly the
Briton revolutionised the world) but is attributable to the fact that
Great Britain is pre-eminently a _Rentnerstaat_, a country of
pensioners and creditors, increasingly independent and careless of its
foreign export, and of the industries which formerly kept that export


There is some exaggeration but also much truth in this description of a
_Rentnerstaat_.  Psychologically the account fits the Englishman less
exactly than the Frenchman, who is industrially less venturesome.
Moreover from the individual's view-point it makes little difference
whether his fixed income is derived from abroad or at home.
Economically, however, the influence of a large class of individuals
living by foreign industry is difficult to exaggerate.  Their interests
are abroad; at home they are concerned chiefly with the maintenance of
low prices.  The nation becomes in a sense parasitic, living without
effort upon the "lesser breeds" in all parts of the world.

Whatever its evil results, however, there is little reason to believe
that any nation will willingly surrender the income on its foreign
investments or cease to export new capital if conditions are
favourable.  The interest-receiving nations are the world's
aristocrats, happy in their favoured position, and if they can thus
live partly on their past labour they see no reason for receiving less
or working more.  The social evils resulting at home from such a
condition can be cured by changes in taxation and the distribution of
wealth, by legislation which gives a greater part of the income from
foreign investments to the nation as a whole, and thus forces the
rentiérs back into industrial life.  So long, however, as foreign
investment is essential to the widening of the agricultural base of
industrial nations, it will not be stopped by its beneficiaries.[8]

Those who advocate a complete cessation of the export {136} of
capital,[9] therefore, might as well argue against its accumulation.
You could not stop it if you wished, and would be none the wiser for
wishing it.  The export of capital is merely an export of goods, paid
for in credit instead of in goods, and the only way to prevent credit
from coming into the country is the suicidal method of expelling the
creditor.  It is unlikely, therefore, that this movement will cease
until the demand for capital is fairly equalised throughout the world,
until the backward nations of to-day are sated with capital or have
themselves become industrial countries.

The danger lies in exactly the opposite direction, not in an abstention
by wealthy nations from investing abroad, but in so keen, unscrupulous
and rough-handed a competition for the right to invest as to result in

This danger of war is the final argument of anti-imperialists.  They
argue that the sacrifices which result in increased profits to
investors and merchants are made by the masses who profit least from
such investment.  Not only do the people pay for the armaments to
secure political domination, but also for the wars, which in these days
of clashing imperialistic ambitions are an ever-present possibility.
So long as the imperialistic scramble continues war will be inevitable.
For no new dominion can be secured without threatening the interests or
pretensions of rival imperial nations.  The vastly extended empires are
cheek by jowl.  An extension of one power anywhere menaces the colonies
of another nation; rival colonial ambitions merge with strategical
questions.  Just as the United States will not endure Japan on the West
Coast of Mexico, nor England Germany on the West Coast of Morocco or on
the Persian Gulf, so each nation fears the approach of other nations to
its most distant {137} possessions.  Immediately even visions arise of
coaling stations, from which great fleets may later issue, to be
followed by transports of disciplined troops.  In the seventeenth
century England, France, Spain and Holland could hold colonies in North
America and be reasonably out of each other's way.  In the twentieth
century, this is no longer possible.

The increased cost of war adds to the opposition of these democratic
groups.  No longer is war a mere isolated venture of a single nation,
but a conflict between alliances on a scale utterly unthought-of in
former generations.  No conceivable gain derived from any colonial
venture of the last fifty years could compensate for the mere economic
losses involved in the present war, to say nothing of the loss of life,
the maiming and crippling of young men and the disruption of
international bonds.  And if war costs much so also does the
preparation for war.  Until some mutual accommodation can be secured,
even the most pacific nation must bear the burden of increasing

There is a still deeper antagonism to these imperialistic ventures.
From the beginning, the dominant classes in societies which are
developing towards democracy have used foreign adventure to allay
domestic discontent and to oppose democratic progress.  When war is
begun or even threatened it is too late to speak of uninteresting and
seemingly petty internal reforms.  Between industrial and political
democracy on the one hand and a policy of foreign adventures on the
other, there is an inevitable opposition.

It is not that the political and industrial interests of the dominant
classes favour war, but rather a policy involving the constant fear of
war.  This fear itself is worth millions.  It means a huge vested
interest in the creation {138} of munitions and armaments.  It means
political quiescence and domination by a financial-military group.  But
for the fear of war and the imperialistic policies which kept this fear
alive, the militaristic _Junker_ class of Germany could not have
maintained its domination.[10]  To disband the German army would cost
these landed proprietors more than would a Russian invasion.  And a
similar if lesser conflict in class interest is found in France,
England, Austria and to a certain extent in the United States.  In all
countries, the imperialistic policy, even when it redounds ultimately
to the nation's advantage, is a class policy used to further class

In Europe, however, it is difficult for democratic leaders to make
headway against imperialism.  For the tragedy of the situation lies in
the fact that where nations are constantly on the watch against each
other, the imperialistic motive is interwoven with other motives of
self-defence and nearer territorial aggression.  If Germany is intent
upon war, and if her road leads over France, then France must arm.  To
be effective in defence, she must have {139} universal service,
professional officers, a true military spirit, a certain degree of
autocracy in military arrangements, as well as offensive and defensive
alliances, not based on a true community of interest or similarity of
ideals, but upon the need of beating back the foe.  If England fears
German aggression she cannot afford to maintain an isolation however
magnificent, but is obliged to enter into alliances, _ententes_ and
secret engagements.  For if you play the game you must play it
according to the rules.  Moreover, if you have the armament and
alliances necessary for defence, you are tempted to use them for an
aggressive and imperialistic policy.  Indeed, such an imperialistic
policy may actually form the cement of your alliances.

All these considerations lame and thwart the movement against
imperialism.  Moreover, the problem of governing the backward countries
remains.  For their own sake you cannot leave them alone, and the
abstention of one nation merely makes the imperialistic ventures of
other nations easier.  If governments refrain from organising backward
countries, the private capitalistic exploitation of these regions will
be more ruthless than ever.  The anti-imperialists are thus faced with
a difficult situation which they cannot meet with _a priori_ argument
and pious formula.  With them or without them, some form of
co-operation must be effected between industrial and agricultural
nations as well as some form of control over countries incapable of
self-government.  There is need for a definite, concrete democratic
policy for the government of such backward countries.

[1] In the Philippines in 1914, out of a total population of almost
nine millions (8,937,597), less than 20,000 were Europeans and
Americans, including troops.  The density of the native population is
greater than that of Indiana and over three times that of the United
States as a whole.

[2] "Imperialism," p. 35.  A survey of more recent figures somewhat
modifies these conclusions of Mr. Hobson.  The statistics of 1913 prove
that British commerce with British colonies has not only greatly
increased but has increased faster than British commerce with foreign
countries.  Trade with Canada, Australia, India, Egypt, New Zealand and
the Straits has grown steadily and rapidly.

[3] This argument, however, is not entirely conclusive, since it
concerns itself with the _present_ trade exclusively.  The profits in
1755 on the trade with Canada would not have justified Great Britain in
seeking to acquire it.

[4] "Britischer Imperialisms und Freihandel."

[5] In the chief industries there were 4,074,000 out of a population of
17,928,000 in 1851 and 4,966,000 out of a population of 32,526,000 in

[6] No such criticism can apply to the relative British decline of such
crude industries as the production of coal and raw iron, since it is
natural and desirable for more highly developed industrial nations to
go over increasingly from the cruder to the more refined and
differentiated forms of production.

[7] "As we look back, we survey the long road which England has
traversed in a century.  Towards the end of the eighteenth century the
leading man was the landlord and behind him the _breitspurig_
comfortable farmer; towards the middle of the nineteenth century it was
the manufacturer and behind him the industrial workers, ripening into
trade unionists and members of co-operative societies; to-day it is the
financier and behind him the broad masses of the _rentiérs_."  _Op.
cit._, p. 322.

[8] There may, however, be regulation, although this is, for any one
nation, a difficult operation.

[9] See Burgess' "Homeland."

[10] In his celebrated book, "The Nation in Arms," the late
Field-Marshall von der Goltz shows how necessary is the sense of the
imminence of war to the maintenance of the prestige of the officer
class, which, as he states, is "chosen from the German aristocracy."
He quotes approvingly the words of Decken: "Now, when in consequence of
a long peace the memories of past services have become completely
obliterated, and there is no immediate prospect of a war, the citizens
take more and more note of the burden of the upkeep of an army, and
attempt to convince themselves of the uselessness of this institution."
To which Von der Goltz adds: "The present day (1883), especially in
Germany is favourable in this respect to the officer class.  Great and
successful wars have enhanced its renown, and have moderated the envy
of others.  But should peace endure for several decades to come, it may
again become necessary to remind the people that external favours may,
without harm, be extended to the military profession, and especially to
the officers."--Popular edition, London, 1914, p. 25.




It is a significant fact that despite a democratic opposition to
imperialism it is precisely the democratic nations, England and France,
which are most imperialistic.  The British public seems always willing
to make sacrifices to extend the Empire, and an almost equal enthusiasm
is found among great sections of the French democracy.  Also in
Germany, when an election was fought in 1907 upon a colonial issue,
thousands who usually voted the Socialist ticket gave their adhesion to
the imperialists.

Such a popular adhesion is essential to the success of an imperialistic
policy.  The masses need not be consulted upon the first steps but they
are urgently called into conference when trouble begins and
"pacification" or war is necessary.  Your financier, with all his
money, is helpless against the rival ambitions of a great nation, and,
he must have the support of his own country, its navy, army, credit,
and millions of patriotic citizens.  How is he to secure this support?

To understand the implications of this question we must consider the
changes in modern warfare and the rise of democracy in the Western
World.  The mercenary soldiers once employed by absolutist princes
would go anywhere at any time and no questions asked.  War was a game
played by small teams of professionals.  To-day it is a national
conflict in which entire populations, old and young, male and female,
are pitted against each other.  This fact gives {141} to the peoples a
passive quasi-veto upon war, for success in a crucial conflict depends
upon enthusiasm and supreme unity.  To-day Germany would crumple if her
people were actively hostile or even merely listless towards the war.
It would be difficult to raise loans, to sequester goods, to ensure the
continuance of the industries upon which the nation and army live.
Victory depends upon the morale of the entire population.  During the
war itself, it is true, a nation tends to lose its power of
self-criticism and to fight blindly.  It defends proposals that in
peace would be indefencible; it works itself up to a pitch of righteous
self-justification.  But war to-day is won before the first shot is
fired; it is won by preparation.  An army must be raised, a reserve of
officers created, munitions stocked, strategic railways built, and
plans elaborated for rapid military mobilisation and for a war
organisation of industry.  All this costs money--hundreds of millions.
If then the nation is to be taxed for military budgets, and if the
people as a whole secure an increasing veto over such expenditures,
would it not seem likely that the nations would look askance at
dangerous imperialistic ventures which contributed so obviously to the
danger of war and to the size of military expenditures.  Would not the
people say to the financiers, "Keep your capital at home.  Make your
profits at home"?

To avert an attitude so fatal to any national policy of imperialism
likely to lead to war, enthusiasm must be aroused and support secured.
This support may be sought by a two-fold appeal; to direct economic
interest, and to the sentiment of patriotism.  The two appeals are not
sharply separated, but merge.

The economic argument for imperialism is that its advantages are in the
end widely distributed.  Better access to raw material and a wider
market for manufactures {142} means a flourishing national industry,
steadier employment, better wages, and a prosperity of the whole
population.  A similar argument is made for investment in colonies.
The whole nation is benefited if its capital brings the largest
returns, and these are to be obtained only abroad and by an imperialist

This diversion of profits, works itself out in various ways.  By
swelling the income of the wealthy classes, foreign investment
increases the expenditure at home for the labour of nationals, thus
leading to steadier employment and higher wages.  The servants of
England are supported by India, Egypt and the Rand Mines, as also by
the profits on New York real estate and American rails.[1]  The
distribution of such income, moreover, is a matter over which the
British nation has the final say.  The entire national dividend,
whencesoever derived, is a fund out of which all social improvements
may be paid.  Social insurance, popular education, and other government
projects for the national welfare are supported, and may be
increasingly supported, by a taxation which in the form of income and
inheritance taxes falls heavily on the rich.  Such a policy, by
creating a certain community of interest between classes, gives to the
entire population an economic interest in the wealth of the few.  The
profits from foreign, as from domestic investments, may be drawn upon
at will for national purposes.

The importance of this development in its effect upon nationalism and
imperialism has been largely overlooked.  {143} We have heard much of
the German doctrine of the State as Power, but have failed to realise
how Germany, like certain other European nations, has used its powers
of taxation and governmental expenditure to create for the masses an
ever larger stake in the national income.  A policy, which increasingly
taxes the rich for the benefit of the poor, establishes a certain unity
in the commonwealth.  Even the Socialist parties alter their
allegiance.  The early Socialists were aggressively anti-patriotic,
opposing to all conceptions of nationalism the solidarity of the
working classes of the world.  Karl Marx for example, declared that the
workingman had no fatherland, "for in none is he a son."  He was a
nomad of society, doomed to a life hardly more secure, though far more
burdensome, than that of the tramp or gipsy.  Long before the war,
however, many Socialists had accepted a more nationalistic view.  Not
only did wage-earners realise that they already participated to some
extent in the social surplus, but they also saw that their increasing
political power would enable them to influence the future distribution
of the national income, however that income were obtained.[2]  Once
this interest in the national dividend was assured, it became
desirable, even to Socialists, to make that dividend as large as
possible.  The belief spread that all groups within a nation have
common interests opposed to the interest of other nations.  Thus the
Austrian Socialist Dr. Otto Bauer in his "Imperialisms und die
Nationalitaetsfrage" denies that the immediate interests of the
wage-earners are the same in all countries and asserts that the workers
may {144} find good reason to side with the employers of their own
nation against wage-earners and employers in another country.  "We do
not say that there are no conflicts of interests between the nations,
but we say, on the contrary, that as long as exploitation and
oppression continue, there will be conflicts of interests between
nations."[3]  From which follows the conclusion that until capitalism
is destroyed, and that may take many decades, it is essential for the
workman to develop the welfare of the wage-earners of his own country,
rather than of the world in general.[4]

This argument is to immediate interest, which, as a rule, overrides
considerations of ultimate interest.  To the German workman, for
example, it seems plain that English proletarians will not gain _his_
salvation; he must gain it himself.  The German wage-earner must be
better fed, clothed, housed, educated, organised, and all these needs
translate themselves into more regular work, better paid.  But if
German industry is defeated by English industry, the German workman
will suffer unemployment, reduction of wages, lockouts, unsuccessful
strikes, and a decline in trade union membership.  Such a retrogression
means a {145} delaying of the ultimate working class victory as well as
a worse situation in the present.  And, parenthetically, workingmen and
Socialists, being ordinary men with the ambitions and appetites of
ordinary men, do not spend seven evenings in the week in contemplation
of a Co-operative Commonwealth any more than the average church-goer
devotes his entire mind to the Day of Judgment.  The German Socialist
has his bowling club and his _Stammtisch_; he must buy shoes for the
children and a new pipe for himself, and his weekly wages count more
than his share in a new society, which will not come until he is dead.
Besides his wages, he is interested in his government insurance
premiums, in the education of his children, in the things that he and
his family and the families of his class wish to enjoy.  If imperialism
appears to raise wages as well as profits, he is not likely to oppose
it on sentimental grounds, especially as there are theorists who stand
ready to prove that Imperialism is merely the last phase of Capitalism
and will bring Socialism all the sooner.

And the argument for the beneficial reaction of imperialism upon wages
seems at first glance convincing.  The German workman sees that wages
are high in England.  He is told that the cause is the early British
conquest of foreign markets.[5]  His own rapid progress during recent
{146} years he associates with a simultaneous increase in German
industry and foreign trade.  If therefore the foreign field is to be
extended, why is the German eternally to be left out in the division?
Such a workman does not like the methods used, but so long as markets
are to be seized, whether Germany takes part or not, he is, with mental
reservations, in favour of a "firm" policy.[6]  He wants not war, but
foreign markets.  Let Germany become rich by means of imperialism and
the wage-earner in due time will be able to get his share.

If such an appeal can be made to the socialist, it can be made with
even greater success to the middle classes, who have no
anti-nationalistic prejudice and whose attitude is easily influenced by
that of the great capitalists.  The influence of the imperialistic
propaganda was shown in a searching analysis of German public opinion
made in 1912 or 1913 by a Frenchman and reproduced in the French Yellow
Book.  The colonial expansion of France was regarded with intense
irritation.  "Germans" it was held, "still require outlets for their
commerce, and they still desire economic and colonial expansion.  This
they consider as their right as they are growing every day, and the
future belongs to them."  The treaty of 1911 with France (concerning
Morocco) is considered to be a defeat for Germany, and France is
represented as bellicose.  On these two points, all groups are
unanimous, "deputies of all parties in the Reichstag, from
Conservatives to Socialists, University men of Berlin, Halle, Jena and
Marburg, students, teachers, employés, bank clerks, bankers, artisans,
traders, manufacturers, doctors, lawyers, the editors of democratic and
socialist newspapers, Jewish publicists, {147} members of the trade
unions, pastors and shop-keepers of Brandenburg, _Junkers_ from
Pomerania and shoe-makers of Stettin, the owners of castles, government
officials, curés and the large farmers of Westphalia."[7]  "The
resentment felt in every part of the country is the same.  All Germans,
even the Socialists, resent our having taken their share in Morocco."
The German diplomatic defeat is a "national humiliation."[8]

The words "national humiliation" used by this French observer
illuminates both the force and limits of the economic motive in
throwing nations into imperialism.  The desire for greater profits and
higher wages present themselves not nakedly, but garbed with idealistic
motives.  "A decent respect for the opinion of mankind," as well as a
desire to gain one's own self-respect, compels men to represent their
more crassly egoistic desires as part of an ethical plan.  It is not
hypocrisy, but a transformation of material into ideal values.

Thus nationalism enters into the problem, and the appeal to the
supposed interests of the masses becomes an appeal to their
"patriotism."  The nation is outraged, humiliated, despised.  Its
honour, which is in reality its prestige and inflated self-esteem, is
affected.  Though not quite identical with the economic interests of
the citizens, national honour has much to do with the conservation and
furtherance of those interests.  It is a mirror cracked and smudged
with ancient dirt, which reflects imperfectly the economic motives of
the classes dominant in the nation.

The more primitive and instinctive a man, the more he is actuated by
these idealistic elements.  The crowds on {148} the London streets on
Mafeking Day did not know what they wanted with the Rand mines, but
they were true-blue Britishers, a trifle drunk but all the more
patriotic.  It is to this feeling of patriotism, sober or half-sober,
to which the men who have something to gain from imperialism appeal.
The home nation has its sacred duty to perform to the backward country,
which does not pay its debts and is rent by revolutions, fomented
perhaps abroad.  The home nation must not relinquish its arduous
privilege.  It must not haul down the flag.  It must not defer to other
nations.  Beyond the seas there is to be created a New England, a New
France, a New Germany, to which all the national virtues are to be
transplanted.  The emigrants now lost to alien lands will carry their
flag with them, and the nation will no longer strew its seed upon the
sand.  This nation (whichever one it happens to be) has a divine
mission, which it can never perform unless it has a suitable army and
navy, and unless this day week it sends a battleship to a certain port
in China or Africa.

This quasi-idealistic element in imperialism strongly reinforces the
economic argument.  The German, Englishman or Frenchman dreams of
extending _his_ culture, _his_ language, _his_ influence, _his_
sovereignty.  He takes pride in the thought that _his_ people rule in
distant lands, in deserts and jungles, in islands lying in tropical
seas, and on frozen tundras, where civilised man cannot live.  It is
this dim mystic conception, this sense of an identification of a man's
small personality with a vast Imperium, that inspires the democracies,
which year by year vote supplies for imperialistic ventures,
far-sighted or absurd.  Though this idealism is partly the expression
of an unrecognised economic need, yet for the most part, though perhaps
decreasingly, the average citizen looks at imperialism as a sort of
_aura_ to his beloved nation, and the conceptions {149} of national
prestige and of imperialistic dominion fuse.

Moreover, even the calmer minds are reached by the fundamental argument
of the necessity for extension.  They recognise that despite the
brutality and bloodiness of colonialism, it at least represents a
certain phase or form of an inevitable development, the creation of an
economic unity of the World.  Without colonial development, without an
exploitation of unlocked resources, the industrial growth of the
manufacturing countries cannot be maintained, and they will be thrown
back upon their own meagre resources.  So long as agriculture remains
what it is to-day, the increasing millions of Western Europe, of Japan,
of the Eastern United States, must rely more and more upon their
commerce with the backward states, and must take a hand in stimulating
their production.  The present nationalistic imperialism may not be the
best, it is perhaps the very worst form, that this world integration
might assume, but in any case the problem remains to be solved either
by this or some other means.

As a consequence the opposition to our present nationalistic
imperialism is tending to change from a merely negative attitude to a
positive programme for an imperialism at once humane, democratic and
international.  It is an imperialism, the ideal of which is to
safe-guard the interests of the natives, to prepare them for
self-government and to carry on this process not by competition and war
between the interested nations but by mutual agreements for a common
benefit.  The present cruelties and dangers are to be avoided.  The
nations are to unite in a joint, higher imperialism.

It is this ideal which is to-day informing some of the leading minds of
Europe, an ideal which will convert the competitive imperialistic
strivings of rival nations into a joint and beneficent rule of
countries demonstrably {150} incapable of ruling themselves by a group
of nations acting in the interest of the world.  Such a pooling of
claims is admittedly difficult and is likely to be opposed by immense
vested interests of classes and nations.  It is this problem of a joint
imperialism, the solution of which alone stands between Europe and the
continuance of bitter strife and war.

[1] The profits from imperialism are only a part of the profits from
foreign investment.  In an economic sense, England, France, Germany,
Holland and Belgium own parts of the United States, and the profits of
the Pennsylvania Railroad go largely to Europe as do the profits of
Egyptian railways.  There is this difference: the United States retains
control of the physical property, and can, if it wishes, tax these
incomes out of existence, while Egypt can not.

[2] "'If social democracy is not yet in power, it has already a
position of influence which carries certain obligations.  Its word
weighs very heavily in the scale.'"--Edward Bernstein, "Die
Voraussetzungen des Sozialismus," p. 145, quoted by Jane T. Stoddart.
"The New Socialism," New York and London, p. 156.

[3] Quoted by William English Walling, "The Socialists and the War,"
New York, 1915, p. 19.

[4] "The improvement of the lot of the workers has as a necessary
condition the prosperity of the industrial development; the ruin of
commerce and industry would encompass their own ruin.  In a speech
delivered at Stuttgart, Mr. Wolfgang Heine, a socialist member of the
Reichstag, declared that 'the economic solidarity of the nation exists
despite all antagonism of interest between the classes, and that if the
German fatherland were conquered, the workers would suffer like the
employers and even more than these.'"  "The alliance between trade
union socialism and military imperialism was manifested for the first
time at the Stuttgart (International Socialist) Congress in 1907.  The
majority of German delegates, composed above all of trade union
representatives, were opposed to the Marxist resolution condemning
colonial wars."--"L'imperialisme des socialistes allemands," _La
Révue_, vol. cxii.  Paris, 1915.

[5] In their admirable "History of Trade Unionism" Sidney and Beatrice
Webb ascribe the rapid increase in the growth and power of British
trade unions after 1850 in large part to the development of British
commerce and industry.  "This success we attribute mainly to the spread
of education among the rank and file, and the more practical counsels
which began, after 1842, to influence the Trade Union world.  But we
must not overlook the effect of economic changes.  The period between
1825 and 1848 (in which "magnificent hopes ended in bitter
disillusionment") was remarkable for the frequency and acuteness of its
commercial depressions.  From 1850 industrial expansion was for many
years both greater and steadier than in any previous period."

[6] This is the real but not the avowed policy of a large section of
the workers, especially of trade unionists, in the Social Democratic
Party of Germany.

[7] French Yellow Book, No. 5.  The document, according to the German
commentators is falsely dated.

[8] French Yellow Book, No. 1.  Annexe I.




We have seen how in Europe the outward expansion, which leads to
international friction and war, has been due to deep-lying economic
motives acting on ordinarily peace-loving populations.  We have seen
how national interest, blended with class interest, has distorted this
expansion and has turned a wholesome process of world-development into
a reckless scramble for territory and a perpetually latent warfare.
Lastly we have seen how in all countries broad sections of the
population have been sickened by the stupid brutality and imminent
peril of this unenlightened nationalic competition and have groped for
some plan by which commerce might expand and industry grow without the
nations going to war.

Such a plan must involve a basis of agreement, if not a community of
interest, among nations requiring economic security and industrial
growth.  The choice does not lie between national expansion and
contraction but between an expansion which ranges the nations in
hostile camps and one which affords more equal opportunities of
development to all competing powers.  For each nation it is a choice
between a headlong national aggrandisement, which takes no account of
the needs and ambitions of other powers and the development of an
economic world system, in which the industrial growth of one nation
does not mean the stagnation or destruction of its neighbours.

Like the nations of Europe, the United States is faced {152} with the
necessity of making this decision.  The problem presents itself less
clearly to us, since in the past we have largely expanded within; we
have been able to grow by a more intensive utilisation of what was
already conceded to us instead of spreading out into regions where
international competition was intense.  Those classes which in other
countries are strongly driven by economic interest towards imperialism
were in America otherwise occupied.  But to-day we are beginning to
overflow our boundaries, and we tend already to do instinctively what
in the future we may do of set purpose.  The men who wish to use army
and navy to obtain American concessions in Mexico, South America and
China are not distantly related to the imperialists of Germany, who
believed that Kiau-chau was a fair exchange for two dead missionaries,
or to those of Great Britain and France who drove their nations into
the Boer War and the Morocco imbroglio.  Our anti-imperialists also are
animated by ideals similar to those of European anti-imperialists.

The issue between these two groups and these two policies and ideals
does not result in a single act of the national will.  We do not go to
the polls and vote once for all to be imperialistic or
non-imperialistic, to grab what we can or seek a concert of the world.
The issue resolves itself into many immediate and seemingly unrelated
decisions.  What we shall do in Mexico to-day, what action we shall
take in regard to a railroad concession in China, opposed by Japan,
what part we shall take in the coming peace negotiations are a few of
the many decisions, which slowly crystallise into a national state of
mind and finally into a national policy.  The policy need not be
absolutely rigid or consistent.  While in the early days America
decided upon a policy of isolation, we did occasionally interfere in
Europe, and despite our emphatic Monroe {153} Doctrine, we made at
least one agreement--the Clayton Bulwer Treaty--in flat contradiction
to its principles.

The decision, which we are now making between Nationalistic Imperialism
and Internationalism[1] is of vast moment.  It is a decision which
determines not only our foreign but our domestic policy.  For Europe it
is equally important, since it influences the balance of power between
those groups that are fighting for and those fighting against
imperialism and militarism.  By our comparative freedom of action, we
can exert an immense influence either in accentuating the struggle
between the industrial nations or in promoting a concert of action,
based upon a discovered community of interest.

How we shall in the end decide is not yet certain.  Though we are still
upon the whole anti-imperialistic, voices already are raised in favour
of a vigorous imperialistic policy.  "The imperialism of the American,"
writes one defender of a policy of indefinite expansion, "is a duty and
credit to humanity.  He is the highest type of imperial master.  He
makes beautiful the land he touches; beautiful with moral and physical
cleanliness....  There should be no doubt that even with all possible
moral refinement, it is the absolute right of a nation to live to its
full intensity, to expand, to found colonies, to get richer and richer
by any proper means such as armed {154} conquest, commerce, diplomacy.
Such expansion as an aim is an inalienable right and in the case of the
United States it is a particular duty, because we are idealists and are
therefore bound by establishing protectorates over the weak to protect
them from unmoral Kultur."[2]

It is not given to all imperialists to present their case with so naïve
a self-deception.  Not all would argue that it is our duty "to get
richer and richer by ... armed conquest" to avert the "unmoral Kultur"
of some other nation which also desires to get richer and richer.  Yet
in many other forms our imperialistic drift appears.  Voices call upon
us to perform deeds of blood and valour, which bring national renown.
Ardent prophecies reveal that we shall become the first maritime power
of the world and that we "are born to rule seas, as the Romans were to
conquer the world."  But in the main American imperialistic sentiment
is not vocal.  It manifests itself in a vague determination to push
American "interests" everywhere; to control Mexico and the Caribbean
countries, to exert an increasing influence in South America, to be a
decisive factor in China's exploitation.  Just how all these ambitions
are to conflict with those of other imperialistic nations, our
imperialists have not yet determined.  Let us be strong enough in our
own might and in our alliances and we can take what we want and find
excellent reasons for the taking.

Such a policy is not less dangerous because inchoate and undirected.
It is all the more dangerous on that account.  Without thoroughly
understanding the World into which they inject their undefined
ambitions, our imperialists have not advanced far beyond a mental
attitude.  They are {155} anxious to conquer and rule, to exert
economic, financial and military dominion, but their future domains are
not yet surveyed.

This new spirit has been strengthened by the passing of our isolation.
Since we cannot hold aloof, our imperialists believe that we must do as
other nations do, seize our fortune at any risk.  We must repudiate
"our idealistic past," cease to be a dilettante in international
relationships, take our share of the burden and get our share of the
profits in the scrimmage which we call nationalistic imperialism.  If
we cannot live by ourselves, let us live as do other aggressive nations.

In the future this new imperialism may drift in one of two directions.
We may build up an American Empire, a (probably plutocratic) Republic
with outlying dominions, or we may enter into a close association with
the British Empire, converting it gradually into an Anglo-American

The first method is the more obvious but also the more dangerous.  To
secure a semi-economic, semi-political control over all North America,
south of the 49th parallel, to rule the Antilles and islands in the
Pacific, to control in part the policy of China, might be possible
without a British alliance.  But any further imperialistic development
would meet with opposition.  Almost all the valuable countries have
been pre-empted.  To absorb Canada, to conquer Australia or New
Zealand, would mean relentless war against us by England and perhaps
other powers.  Such a conflict, though undesired, is not impossible.
Even if it is not true, as one Latin-American writer confidently
prophesies, that "the disintegration of the Anglo-Saxon Empire will be
the work of the United States,"[3] there may {156} come many industrial
or commercial conflicts which in an imperialistic atmosphere may lead
to war.  A policy of encroachment cannot but be dangerous.[4]

A more secure road to American imperialism lies in a closer union with
the British Empire.  At present such a union would be opposed by an
overwhelming majority of Americans.  In certain circles, however, there
is a perceptible movement towards an agreement with England which might
become an alliance and eventually a union.

For such a union there are strong arguments.  The kinship in blood, the
similarity in language, traditions and points of view as well as a
certain range of common interests tend to bring these two nations into
closer relations.  It would be a step towards a world-peace if the
United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, South
Africa, Canada and Newfoundland were to be guaranteed against war among
themselves.  The chance of peace is probably increased when the number
of possible conflicts between nations is lessened.

Unfortunately many who desire an Anglo-American alliance or union think
of it only as a means of protecting rights, the defence of which would
mean a circumscription of the rights of other nations and in the end a
world war.  Writing over twenty years ago, Captain Mahan extolled the
idea of such an alliance (although he held it to be premature) on the
ground that with a strong navy the United States could help England to
control the seas.  He deprecated the proposal that the coalition should
surrender the right to prey upon hostile commerce.  It was only from
the relative weakness of Great Britain, "or possibly {157} from a
mistaken humanitarianism" that any concessions from the early rigours
of naval warfare were wrung by neutrals.  The alliance between Great
Britain and the United States "looks ultimately and chiefly to the
contingency of war," and such an alliance "would find the two (nations)
united upon the ocean, consequently all-powerful there, and so
possessors of that mastership of the general situation which the sea
always has conferred upon its unquestioned rulers....  But why, then,
if supreme, concede to an enemy immunity for his commerce."[5]

Such an alliance would mean nothing less than an imperialistic
predominance in the world.  The trans-oceanic colonies of all nations
would be held subject to Anglo-American consent.  The power thus
possessed might be used with wisdom and moderation or unwisely and
immoderately.  In either case the United States would enter upon the
patrimony of the British Empire.  The interests controlling and
exploiting the vast resources of the Empire would come to be American
as well as British.  Wall Street would make money throughout the
Empire, and we might some day find a Harvard graduate installed in the
governor's chair of Jamaica even if he did not actually become Viceroy
of India.

The pressure towards such an imperialistic merger grows with the
increasing sense in Great Britain of her precarious international
position.  The British Empire is over-extended; it has too narrow a
base for the length of its frontier.  In arguing for an Imperial
Federation, the _Round Table_ of London declared (in 1911) that "the
safety of the Imperial system cannot be maintained much longer by the
arrangements which exist at present....  Great Britain alone cannot
indefinitely guarantee the {158} Empire from disruption by external
attack.  The farther one looks ahead the more obvious does this become.
A nation of 45,000,000 souls, occupying a small territory and losing
much of the natural increase in its population by emigration, cannot
hope to compete in the long run even against single powers of the first
magnitude--even Russia, for instance, with its 150,000,000 inhabitants,
with America with its 90,000,000, with Germany with its 65,000,000
increasing by nearly a million a year, to say nothing of China with its
430,000,000 souls.  Far less can it hope to maintain the dominant
position it has hitherto occupied in the world, with a dozen new powers
entering upon the scene....  What will be the position of the Empire
then, if it has to depend upon the navy of England alone?"[6]

Even with the addition of the self-governing colonies, the population
of the United Kingdom is increased by less than a third,[7] and the
sixty millions of the six British nations are little more capable of
defending the British Empire than are the forty-five millions of the
United Kingdom.  The advantage of far more than doubling the population
back of the British Empire is therefore apparent.  As compared with the
United States, Great Britain is growing slowly.  Moreover she is in a
permanently perilous situation, lying near the strongest military
powers and unable to recover, once her navy is destroyed.  Great
Britain preserves her empire only by alliances which {159} prevent the
forming of a hostile European coalition, and in the future an American
alliance may seem indispensable to the maintenance of the Empire and
even to the safety of Britain.  At such time it may appear better to
divide and rule than risk the chance of ruin by carrying the burden

This problem of defence is not one of valour but of economic resources
and geographical position.  The men of Britain are as courageous to-day
as were their forefathers, but just as the brave Hollanders could not
maintain supremacy on the sea because with their small numbers they
were forced to make front against the French, so the English are now
compelled to face an increasingly difficult international situation.
In war, bulk, territory and weight of numbers count, and how these
factors will affect the relation between Great Britain (even with her
colonies) and other strong powers a half-century hence is a serious
question.  There is always the unpleasant possibility that a failure of
the clever diplomacy by which Great Britain has hitherto divided her
enemies will some day incite an attack from an overwhelming coalition
of land-hungry powers.

To American imperialists an invitation to share in the profits,
prestige and cost of maintenance of the British Empire might prove an
overwhelming temptation.  America would become an imperialistic people
by adoption.  Without having laboured and fought we should overnight
enter upon a joint control of the greatest imperium the world has seen.
Together with Britain it would be ours to enjoy, and in the common
possession of these vast domains the divisive forces between the
British and American peoples would vanish.  Our American historians
would forget that there had ever been a Revolutionary War or would
interpret that incident as a purely internal {160} conflict, which
temporarily lost us a few excellent islands, since regained.

But if the British Empire, to say nothing of new rights, privileges and
possessions would be ours to enjoy, it would also be ours to defend.
An Anglo-American Empire would arouse the envy and the fear of other
nations.  We should have to defend not only our new joint dependencies
but the most distant approaches to them.  We could not rest quietly
unarmed with these possessions in our house.

An Anglo-American imperialism, indeed any Anglo-American alliance which
does not include France, Germany, Russia and other powers, thus brings
us no nearer to peace or to a solution of the international problem.
It is but the prelude to a new balance of power, a new alignment of
hostile national ambitions.  If Great Britain and the United States
grow and prevent other nations from growing, exploit and prevent other
nations from exploiting, we shall be merely reproducing the present
fatal scission of Europe upon a large scale.

As against this ideal of American Imperialism, on its own account or in
alliance with the greatest imperialistic power, stands the ideal of
internationalism.  It is an ideal which looks forward towards the
creation of a concert of interest among the nations, the growth of
international law and the more equal utilisation of the world by the
nations.  It is an ideal which can be realised only as nations perceive
that their ultimate advantage lies in compromising their extreme
demands and merging national interests in a larger international

To-day an overwhelming majority of Americans desire a foreign policy
looking towards internationalism.  They prefer to strive for peace in
America and Europe rather than to attempt any imperialistic expansion
likely to perpetuate the war-breeding competition between nations.


To realise this ideal, indeed to make any progress whatsoever towards
its realisation, we must seek to alter the economic web in which the
nations of the world now live.  There is at present a conflict between
two principles, economic nationalism and economic internationalism.
Each nation seeks to obtain for itself security, progress and a
favoured position; each has its separate national ambitions.  At the
same time all the industrial nations have a common interest in
maintaining themselves upon the resources of the agricultural
countries, and in building up a vast system, in which the world's
resources will be utilised most efficiently for the benefit of the
world inhabitants.

The problem, therefore, is to promote this economic internationalism
and to limit as far as possible the disturbing influence of the
divisive national interests.  We cannot destroy and we cannot ignore
nationalism.  We cannot resolve humanity into a mass of denationalised
atoms, citizens of the world with no economic or political allegiance
to any state.  All we can do is so to compromise and adjust strong and
vital national claims, as to permit the growth of the international
interest.  The progress of economic internationalism, without which a
permanent peace cannot be maintained, is to be furthered only as each
nation attains to a political and economic security, both in the
present and for the future.  If a reasonable degree of industrial,
commercial and colonial progress can be guaranteed, so that the great
industrial nations do not live in constant peril, the vast forces which
make for an international exploitation of the world's resources will be
unchained.  A common right to the use of the highway of the sea, a
joint imperialism, an international development of commerce and of
industry, a mutual insurance of the nations against war, and against
national aggression likely to lead to war, will be factors in the
establishment of an economic {162} internationalism, which is the next
stage in the economic development of the world.

The United States cannot by itself create a new economic world system;
all that it can do is to contribute with other nations to the removal
of obstacles that retard the coming development.  The opportunity to
advance this movement, however, is greater in the case of the United
States than in that of the nations of Europe.  A nation tends to prefer
its immediate national interest to its larger but more distant
international interest directly in proportion to the economic or
political danger in which it lives.  Because of our wealth, our sparse
population and our relative immunity from attack, it devolves upon us
to be the leader in the promotion of an economic internationalism.

This potential leadership of ours, however, may be lost as a result of
an unfavourable economic and social development in the future.  What
our attitude towards internationalism, nationalism, imperialism and war
is to be ten, thirty or fifty years from now will depend upon our
internal development.  We cannot decide for a policy of
internationalism if we grow to be an over-populated country of
impoverished men, with great capitalists pushing us out towards foreign
adventures, economic and military.  An imperialistic war-like spirit
will arise if the internal pressure upon the population becomes

In measuring this pressure, we are dealing with relatives, not
absolutes.  During many centuries the Chinese coolies have become so
accommodated to a meagre life that they do not seek to conquer other
nations but choose rather to starve quietly within their walls.  There
is a higher standard of living in Germany to-day than in the more
pacific Germany of seventy years ago, but desires have increased more
rapidly than wages.  As a result the nation is forced outwards.


Though in many respects conditions of life in America are improving,
discontent and frustrated ambition increase.  As our numbers grow,
farms become relatively scarce, and a class of tenant farmers and an
agricultural proletariat develop.  The chances of success for both
these classes are slighter than a generation ago.  Manufacturing is
conducted on an ever larger scale and the opportunity to rise is
becoming less.  The openings in retail trade, though many, are small,
and there are vast numbers of failures.  Wages are less in relation to
the standards of living surrounding the workman, and fear of
unemployment is chronic.  The country is full of poor men with no firm
purchase on life.  Income, it is true, is more evenly distributed than
property, but even here a crass inequality reigns.  Upon the
wage-earners falls the heavy incidence of industrial injuries, disease,
and unemployment.

It is of such conditions that imperialism and wars are made.  To
develop millions of landless men without wealth and with precarious
jobs is to create a material superlatively inflammable.  You can appeal
to such men for a "strong" policy that will conquer foreign markets and
therefore "jobs."  There is a group much lower in economic status--the
men submerged below the poverty line.  These men, with no money in
their pockets and no steady employment, but with voices, votes and
newspaper organs, are susceptible to jingoism.  They have a high narrow
sensibility created by precariousness and hunger.  Here we are creating
a culture for war bacteria.  The concentration of wealth at the top of
our society acts similarly.  We are developing in America, the type of
big business adventurer, who desires an aggressive foreign policy, not
only for his direct business interests, but also to allay unrest at
home by pointing a minatory finger at the foreigner beyond our borders.


Already we have many of the elements that go to make up the war spirit.
In the present conflict we have been pacific owing to the division of
our sympathies, the deadening realisation of the immense forces engaged
and losses incurred, and the realisation that our interests were not
involved.  To these factors there was added a sudden prosperity
contingent upon our remaining at peace.  But even as early as 1898,
when the proletarisation of America was less developed, we had millions
of inflamed patriots, who would willingly have fought all Europe rather
than "haul down our flag" in the Philippines.  What will happen twenty
years from now, when our export trade is greater and more necessary and
when (unless we change conditions) there will be more poverty and
insecurity than to-day?  If at such a time Germany, Japan or Russia, or
all three, determine upon an action, which will injure our pretensions
and throw many of our citizens out of work, we shall surely feel
resentment.  We cannot safely predict that we will adopt a gentle
attitude.  Like France in 1870, like Russia in 1905, we may stumble
into a war over our rights and pretensions, may be rushed into it not
only because of a conflict of interests which we did not foresee but
because of a vicious internal development which we did not avert.

All our customary self-assurances that we shall never fight nations now
friendly are mere deception.  So we thought just before the war of
1812.  We were never more pacific than in 1895 when we ventured on a
desperate challenge to England, or in 1898 when we attacked Spain.
Though we averted war with Germany over the _Lusitania_ matter, our
public mind was so uninformed that we might easily have been pushed
into the conflict by a more bellicose President.  We should have a
better chance of keeping the peace if we were not so blindly confident
of our {165} peacefulness.  It takes only one to make a quarrel, and
the aggressor might not impossibly be ourselves.  Nor can peace be
predicted on the ground that we have given no offence and do not intend
to give offence.  The other nation will be the judge of that.  And if
we become imperialistic we shall have given offence enough.

Neither will our religion, our almost universal Christianity, strike
the weapons from our hands.  It is doubtful whether religion ever kept
a nation out of war.  The Germans and the English are both Christian
peoples and therefore quite willing to fight God's battle, which is
their battle.  If a crisis arose in America out of our economic
conflicts with Europe and our own psychological instability, we should
find the ministers of the Gospel on the same side as the editors,
politicians, and the people generally, as they have been at most times
when peace has been threatened.  A war rooted perhaps in the rival
interests of American and foreign oil companies in Venezuela would be
hailed on both sides as a battle for civilisation and the Lord.  Not
even our diversity of racial stocks would prevent such a war, though it
would no doubt make us hesitant.  We should be loath to fight against
Germany, Austria, Italy or England, because of the presence in our
midst of natives of these lands.  Once the fighting had begun, however,
all opposition would be overcome, and the war would go on despite its
spiritual costs.

If we are to decide therefore not for imperialism and imperialistic
wars but for a policy which will mean peace for ourselves and peace and
international reorganisation for Europe and the World, we must begin
our labours at home.  Unless we are able to build a democratic
civilisation upon the basis of a thoroughly scientific utilisation of
our own resources, unless we so direct our American development that we
shall not be forced to fight for a {166} larger share of the remaining
exploitable regions, we shall make little progress towards a settlement
of the grave problems which now divide the nations.  To promote an
economic internationalism we must make our own internal economic
development sound; to help cure the World we must maintain our own
health.  Internationalism begins at home.

[1] It is difficult to find terms in which to express clearly the two
policies between which we are choosing.  In a sense the issue is
between imperialism and internationalism, but since any international
attempt to solve the problem of the backward countries must lead to
some joint occupation, exploitation or dominion, which may be called
imperialistic, the opposition of the two terms is not complete.  Nor do
the terms Nationalism and Internationalism describe the two policies.
The internationalism for which we are striving does not negate
nationalism.  It is not a cosmopolitanism, a world-union of
undifferentiated and denationalized individuals, but a policy of
compounding and accommodating permanent and distinct national interests.

[2] _Seven Seas Magazine_ (Organ of the Navy League of the United
States), Nov., 1915, pp. 27-28.

[3] F. Garcia Calderon, "Latin-America.  Its Rise and Progress." New
York, 1915, p. 390.

[4] A second prophecy of Señor Calderon is to the effect that "unless
some extraordinary event occurs to disturb the evolution of the modern
peoples, the great nations of industrial Europe and Japan, the champion
of Asiatic integrity, will oppose the formidable progress of the United
States."--_Op. cit._, 389.

[5] Mahan (A. T.), "Possibilities of an Anglo-American Reunion."
_North American Review_, July, 1894.

[6] _Round Table_, London, May, 1911, pp. 251-2 (?).

[7] The combined white population of New Zealand, Australia, South
Africa, Newfoundland and Canada (in 1911) was only 14.2 millions, or
almost exactly the increase in the (total) population of Continental
United States in the one decade ending 1910.  The white population of
the United States already constitutes 4/7 of the total white
English-speaking population of the world.  Moreover, population is
increasing far more rapidly in the United States than in the six
British nations.






For the United States to attempt to secure an economic
internationalism, which shall form the basis of an enduring peace, is
to enter upon a task which bristles with difficulties.  These
difficulties fall into two classes, those which tend to deprive America
of her freedom of action and disqualify her for leadership, and those
which are found in deep antagonisms among the nations to be reconciled.
America cannot succeed in her efforts to bring about an economic
internationalism if she herself is economically or psychologically
unstable or if her own foreign policy is grasping, aggressive and
imperialistic.  Nor can she succeed unless her efforts are wisely
directed towards the solution of the real problems which now divide the

In all such discussions we are likely to take America's pacific
intentions in the future for granted.  Such an assumption, however, is
unwarranted.  To-day the peace-maker is the organiser of the world and
no nation can lead in the peace movement, nor even be assured of its
own peace, unless it has reached a certain stage of economic stability
and is organised on a reasonably satisfactory economic basis.  Our
danger of war lies partly within.  If we launch out upon an
imperialistic policy, placing our vital national interests within the
area of keen international rivalry, we shall be in peril of a war,
evoked by ourselves.

The time to prevent such a conflict is not immediately {170} before its
threatened outbreak but during the period in which the forces making
for war are slowly maturing.  These forces, in our case at least, take
their rise in home conditions.  Our chance of peace with England,
Germany, Japan or Russia twenty or thirty years from now depends upon
what we do with our own territory and our own resources to-day.

This may at first glance seem a paradox.  Why should we fight Germany
or Japan because our agriculture is inefficient or our fiscal policy
inadequate or because our wealthy are too wealthy and our poor too
poor?  Yet the connection is close.  Bellicosity is not spontaneous, a
thing evolved out of nothing.  Peoples do not fight when they have what
they want, but only when they are frustrated and cramped and need air
and elbow room.  War is like emigration.  The individual migrant leaves
home for personal reasons, but the great movement of emigration is
nothing but an escape from worse to better economic conditions.  If the
natural resources of a nation are too small or are badly utilised the
resulting insecurity and poverty may lead to international conflicts.
Or if the national economy though otherwise efficient and
self-contained is so ordered that huge masses of the population are
impoverished and destitute, there will always be a centrifugal force
inciting to foreign adventures and wars.  Where there is no place at
home for "younger sons" they will seek a place outside.

Nowhere can one study this tremendous internal outward-driving pressure
better than in Japan.  That nation, though extremely poor, spends huge
sums upon armies, navies and fortifications, and engages in a dangerous
and perhaps eventually fatal conflict with other powers.  But it is not
pride of race or dynastic ambition which compels Japan to enter upon
these imperialistic courses, but a {171} sheer lack of economic
reserves.  Her area, not including Korea, Formosa, Sakhalin, etc., is
149,000 square miles, or less than that of California, while her
population (1914) is 56,000,000.  Moreover, Japan is so extraordinarily
mountainous that the greater part of her area is unfitted for
agriculture.  Despite a very low standard of living, therefore, and a
highly intensive culture, the land cannot feed the population, and
foodstuffs must be imported.  The population is growing with great
rapidity, the excess of births over deaths amounting to over six
hundred thousand a year.

Nor has Japan a sufficient outlet through emigration.  The immigration
of Japanese into Australia, British Columbia, the United States and
South Africa is practically prohibited.  Most parts of Eastern Asia are
too crowded with men living still lower in the scale to permit any
large infiltration of Japanese.  To Japan, therefore, there are but two
alternatives to an ultimate famine: the settlement of Korea and
Manchuria, and industrialism.  For industrialism, however, Japan is
rather ill-fitted by tradition and lack of raw materials.  Her best
chance is to sell to China and to develop Manchuria and Korea, in both
of which directions she runs counter to European ambitions.  As a
result, Japan becomes imperialistic and militaristic.

The American temptation to imperialism is far weaker than is that of
Japan.  There is for us no overwhelming necessity to enter upon a
scramble for new territories or to fight wars to secure such
territories.  Our aggressiveness is latent, though with a capacity for
growth.  There are two ways to lessen this potential aggressiveness.
The first is to weaken economic interests favouring imperialism and war
and strengthen opposed interests; the second is to build up in the
people a tough intellectual and emotional resistance to martial
incitement.  The remedy resolves itself into two {172} factors,
economic completeness and internal stability and equality.

Economic completeness depends in the first place upon a certain
relation between natural resources and population.  If the fields and
mines of a country are too unproductive or its population excessive,
there will be an inevitable leaning upon the resources of foreign
countries and an intense competition for new territory, trade or
investment facilities.  A nation, however, may possess most of the
elements of economic completeness and yet suffer through a bad
geographical position.  Its commerce, even its coast-wise commerce, may
be at the mercy of a foreign country, or it may not control the mouths
of its own rivers, or may be shut off completely from the sea.
Switzerland, Hungary, Bohemia cannot secure their economic independence
of Spain or France, but must depend upon the good will of other
nations.  Because of such geographical conditions an otherwise pacific
nation may fail completely to build up a resistance to war.

An event in our own history will illustrate this point.  From 1783 to
1803, our settlers in the Ohio Valley were entirely dependent for the
sale of their products upon an outlet through the Mississippi River.
Unless Spain and later France would permit the rude arks, laden with
tobacco, flour and bacon, to unload at New Orleans, the West would be
shut off from markets.  Railroads had not yet been invented and there
were no good roads over the mountains.  Animosity towards the owner of
New Orleans was therefore inevitable,[1] since unless we could {173}
control the mouth of the Mississippi, we could not secure the
allegiance of our own settlers west of the Alleghenies.  The interests
of our citizens lay beyond our borders; the key to our door was in the
hands of a foreign power.  But for the lucky accident that peacefully
gave us Louisiana, we should sooner or later have been forced into war.
The cession of this territory tended to establish for us an economic

An economic completeness for the United States does not of course mean
that we should become a hermit nation, absolutely shut up within our
tariff walls.  It would be manifestly undesirable to prohibit foreign
commerce or the foreign investment of American capital and no such
sacrifice, even if possible, would be necessary to prevent a too
violent friction with Europe.  There is a more direct way in which to
increase America's economic reliance upon herself and diminish her
dependence upon the accidents and hostilities of the world competition.
It can be done by a better utilisation of our own resources.  As yet we
have merely skimmed the cream of one of the richest parts of the earth,
and have exploited, rather than developed, our great continental
territory.  We have been superficial not thorough, hasty not
scientific, in our utilisation of our resources.  We have still a
margin in which further to develop agriculture and other great
extractive industries in order to lay at home the basis for a
population which is bound to increase during the coming decades.

How great our friction with Europe is to be will depend on whether our
economic development in the main is to {174} consist of activities
which impinge upon those of the great industrial countries or of
activities which do not so impinge, whether for example, five per cent.
or thirty per cent. of our people are to be engaged in industries which
actively compete in foreign markets with the industries of Europe.
Certain of our economic activities are for us pacific in tendency,
inasmuch as they do not affect industrial Europe or actually benefit
her.  Of such a nature is agriculture.  Every added bushel of wheat or
bale of cotton raised in the United States improves the chances of
European industry, lessens our competition with Europe and increases
our market for European wares.  The same is largely true of our
production of copper, gold, silver, petroleum and other natural
products.  Upon these extractive enterprises, including coal and iron
ore, is based a vast manufacturing industry which supplies our home
population, and an immense transportation and commercial system which
has its roots in our home resources.  Our railroads do not appreciably
compete with those of England and Germany; on the contrary the
industrial progress of those countries is hastened by the development
of our transportation system, which cheapens their food and raw
materials.  On the other hand a development of the American carrying
trade, a growth of ship-building, shipping and export trade, however
necessary or desirable, trenches immediately upon British and German
shipbuilding, carrying and export trade, and leads directly and
inevitably to economic conflict.[2]


The dependence of our economic mutuality with Europe upon our
agriculture may be illustrated by an hypothesis.  Assume that our
agricultural products were permanently cut in half while our population
remained constant.  We should have no food to export and would be
obliged to import food.  Millions of men would be forced out of
agriculture into manufacturing industries, and as the home demand for
these industries would be lessened a foreign market would be essential.
Our railroad traffic would diminish, and railroad workers, thrown out
of employment, would enter the export trade.  We should be forced to
secure foreign markets, and if political pressure were necessary, it
would be forthcoming.  Similarly, our chances for investment in
agriculture and in railroad and industrial companies being lessened,
capital would be forced to find an outlet in other countries,
especially in semi-developed lands to which European capital flows.
The rate of interest would fall, big risks would be taken, and if
American investments were endangered by unrest or disorder in the
backward country, our government would intervene.  We should have no
choice and could afford no scruples.  Given such a fall in our
agricultural product, the country would become imperialistic and
bellicose, and there would be not the remotest possibility of our
taking the lead in a policy to promote international peace.

The hypothesis is far-fetched, but exactly the same result would follow
if instead of our agricultural product dwindling, it remained constant
while our population grew.  If our population increased 100 per cent.
and our agricultural product remained stationary or increased only
twenty or forty per cent., it would be impossible to maintain our
present relation to the world.  We must uphold a certain, not quite
constant relation between our agricultural (and other extractive)
industries and our {176} population if we are to keep out of the
thickest of the European complications.

A secure basis for a policy of non-aggression lies therefore in the
development of home agriculture.[3]  It is not, however, to be expected
that the proportion of farm workers will remain constant.  In the
United States this proportion has steadily fallen.  Of every thousand
males in all occupations 483 were engaged in agricultural pursuits in
1880 as compared with only 358 in 1910.[4]  But despite this relative
decline agriculture did not become less productive.  More horses and
more agricultural machinery were used, and fewer persons were able to
perform the same amount of work.

What is more significant than the number of persons employed is the
amount of land available for agriculture.  Until 1900 we were in the
extensive period of American farming, during which an increase in the
population was met by an increased farm acreage.  From 1850 to 1900 our
population increased from 23 to 76 millions, but our farm area
increased almost as fast and the improved farm area even faster.[5]
During the decade ending 1910, however, a strong pressure of population
upon American agriculture became obvious.  In these ten years the
country's population increased 21 per cent. while the total farm area
increased only 4.8 per cent.[6]  While 16,000,000 {177} people were
added to the population the increase in farm area was equal only to
what would accommodate an additional three and a half million people.
It is no longer easy to stretch the farm area and to a large extent our
farms must grow by the increase of the improved at the expense of the
unimproved acres.[7]

Actually the per capita agricultural production in 1909 (the year
covered by the census of 1910) was less than that of a decade before.
Though the crops in the latter year were far higher in value, the
increase in the quantity of product was only 10 per cent., as compared
with an increase in population of 21 per cent.[8]  Had the American
people consumed all the American product in both years, they would have
been obliged to cut down their ration by about one-tenth;[9] instead
there was a vast diminution of exports.  The growing population began
to consume the agricultural products formerly exported.  The question
is therefore pertinent whether it will be possible for us indefinitely
to feed from our own fields our increasing millions or whether we shall
be forced to depend increasingly for food on outside sources and to
secure this food by a development of our export trade in manufactured
products.  To many this question will seem to answer itself.  It is
commonly assumed that there are almost no limits to {178} our possible
agricultural production and therefore to our desirable increase of
population.  France is almost self-sufficing with a population of 189.5
to the square mile; when the United States (continental area) has an
equally dense population we may maintain a population of five or six
hundred millions.  We need merely take up new lands and cultivate more

The opportunities for the further development of American agriculture,
however, while undoubtedly great, are not immeasurable.  At present we
have some 879,000,000 acres in farms, of which 478,000,000 (or 25.1 per
cent. of our total land area) are improved.[10]  But of the rest of our
area much is not useful.  Some 465,000,000 acres in the western part of
the country have an annual precipitation of fifteen inches or less, and
of these acres, not over 30,000,000 could be profitably irrigated at
present prices of farm products, labour, land and capital.  This
addition of 30,000,000 acres would increase our present improved area
by less than seven per cent.  Besides the permanently arid acres,
moreover, there is other unusable land in national forests, roads,
cities and in swamps and over-flow lands difficult to reclaim.  With
these deductions made, we have only 1,252,000,000 acres as the maximum
farm area of the future.  This is 31.1 per cent. greater than the
present farm area.[11]

It is true that a larger part of the farm area can be cultivated.  From
1900 to 1910 the area of improved lands increased 15.4 per cent.  If
this rate of increase could continue there would be about one billion
acres improved by 1960, and this seems to be the absolutely {179}
outside upper limit.  But this does not mean that a billion acres could
be improved and cultivated at the same cost per acre as at present.
The improved lands would require a constantly increasing amount of
capital and labour to secure returns equal to those which the farmer
now obtains.

Similarly there are limits to the extent to which we can afford to
divide up our land into smaller farms in order to secure a larger
production per acre.  Intensive cultivation is an alluring phrase but
in the production of many staple crops intensive cultivation is dear
cultivation.  The movement in progressive agricultural communities is
towards a moderately large farm.  It is the smaller farms (of from 20
to 99 acres) that the boys and girls leave most rapidly.  "The farm
management studies," writes Mr. Eugene Merritt of the U. S. Department
of Agriculture[12] "indicate that on these small-sized farms, man
labour, horse labour, and agricultural machinery cannot be used
efficiently.  In other words, economic competition is eliminating the
unprofitable sized farms."[13]


The pressure of agricultural population upon a given farm area results
either in the growth of an inefficient small scale production or of a
large rural proletariat.  Both are undesirable and neither will permit
farming on as cheap a scale as at present.  The actual trend to-day in
districts where cereals are raised is towards larger farms (of 150 to
300 acres), and this tendency is likely to be increased by the
introduction of cheap tractor engines, which now seems to impend.
There is doubtless a considerable opportunity in the United States for
an improvement in the average product per acre even though the increase
in the area of cultivation constantly brings in land of decreasing
fertility.  If in the course of forty or fifty years we can increase
the area under cultivation by fifty per cent. and the product per acre
by 20 per cent. we shall have an increase in product of 80 per cent.,
which would provide for an increase in the population of 80,000,000
without any greater leaning upon foreign resources than to-day.[14]

We are likely, however, to lean upon certain foreign resources, and
more especially upon Canada and the Caribbean countries.  Whatever its
political allegiance Canada is and will probably remain economically a
part of the United States.  The Iowa farmers, who sold out their home
farms to buy cheaper land in Canada, unconsciously illustrated the
closeness of this economic bond.  We may draw upon Canadian wheat,
fish, lumber and iron ore almost exactly as though the territory were
our own.  It is Canada's interest to sell to us and buy from us, and
even preferential duties cannot entirely overcome our immense
geographical advantage over Europe.  Similarly {181} we shall draw upon
the Caribbean countries, whether or not we have a political union, for
vast quantities of tropical food stuffs.

Whatever our importation of food an increase in agricultural efficiency
is also probable.  We have already improved and cheapened our farm
machinery and have disseminated agricultural education and information.
But much progress remains to be made.  We can use better seeds, raise
better crops and cattle, and work more co-operatively instead of
individualistically.  Our transportation system can be better
co-ordinated with our agriculture, so that food, now wasted because it
will not pay the freight, can be brought to market.[15]  A better
knowledge of the science of farming would greatly increase our
agricultural production.  If our country roads were improved, if we
varied our crops more intelligently, if we refrained from impoverishing
our soils, if we drained some tracts and irrigated others, we should
speedily discover a vast increase in our agricultural productiveness, a
larger return to the farmers, a greater home demand for manufactured
products, and a better opportunity for capital at home.  {182} If by
putting more capital and intelligence upon our farms, we were to add
several billions to the value of their output, we should broaden the
base of our whole economic life, enlarge the volume of our
non-competitive exports, and in the end approximate conditions that
would make for a peaceful foreign policy and for the promotion of an
economic internationalism.

But though we widen our agricultural base, our population unless its
rate of progress is checked, will eventually, and perhaps soon,
overtake any extension.[16]  Though we increase agricultural knowledge
and substitute mechanical for animal power and gasoline for hay, the
law of diminishing returns will remain.  Ten men cannot secure as large
a per capita product from a given area as five, or twenty as large as
ten.  But if our population were to maintain its present geometrical
increase we should have 200,000,000 inhabitants in 1953 and, to assume
the almost impossible, 400,000,000 in 1990.  Long before the latter
figure could be reached there would be positive and preventive checks
to further growth, but if these checks were late in being applied,
there would come increased inequality, misery and economic uncertainty,
and an enhanced liability to war.

For us as for other nations a too rapid increase in population spells
this constant danger of war.  Our farms cannot absorb more than a
certain proportion of our population without causing lowered wages and
increasing poverty, and we cannot expand our export trade without
entering into the range of international conflict.  While therefore an
improved agriculture with high food prices will permit of an increase
in our population, it is {183} advantageous that that increase does not
proceed too rapidly.  If we grow to two hundred millions in
seventy-five or one hundred years instead of in thirty-seven, we shall
still be strong enough to protect our present territories and shall
have less occasion to fight for new.

Fortunately our rate of population increase, despite immigration, is
steadily decreasing.  In the decade ending 1860 our population
increased 35.6 per cent., in the period 1860 to 1879 at an average
decennial rate of 26.3 per cent., and in the three following decades
25.5 per cent., 20.7 per cent. and 21.1 per cent respectively.  The
fall in our natural increase was even greater.  While the death rate
has declined[17] the birth rate has fallen off even more rapidly.  Our
birth statistics are inadequate, but we can gain some idea of this
decline by comparing the number of children under 5 years of age living
at each census year with the number of women between the ages of 16 to
44 inclusive.  In 1800 there were 976 children per 1,000 women in these
ages; in 1830, 877; in 1860, 714; in 1890, 554; in 1910, 508.[18]

For a number of decades a continuation in this falling off in the birth
rate is probable.  It is rendered necessary by the fall in the death
rate and possible by the fact that birth has ceased to be a mere
physiological accident {184} and is coming under human control.  "The
most important factor in the change," says Dr. John Shaw Billings, "is
the deliberate and voluntary avoidance or prevention of child-bearing
on the part of a steadily increasing number of married people who
prefer to have but few children."[19]  The spreading of the knowledge
of birth control and the increasing financial burden of children in an
urbanised society composed of economically ambitious people will
probably prevent our population from ever again increasing as rapidly
as it did half a century ago.[20]

In the meanwhile our immigration (until the outbreak of the present
war) continued to increase.  In the ten years ending June 30, 1914,
over ten million immigrant aliens arrived in the United States, of whom
approximately seven millions remained.  Nor has the high point in
immigration been surely attained.  The European population increases so
rapidly that the excess of births over deaths is between three and four
times the entire emigration.  Immigration tends to flow from countries
where the pressure of population is greater to countries like the
United States, where the pressure is less.  Unless there is restriction
we may witness within the next decades a new vast increase in
immigration, which will result in a rapid growth of our population and
a resulting pressure upon our agricultural (and other natural)
resources, that will vastly increase the intensity and bitterness of
our {185} competition for the world's markets and the world's
investment opportunities.

By thus increasing our agricultural product, and developing our home
market and our less directly competitive industries and by slackening
an increase in our population, which would otherwise force us into
foreign adventures, we tend to approach a balanced economic system and
a parallel growth of extractive and manufacturing industries.  Such a
dependence in the main on home resources for the nation's primal needs
is in the circumstances the best preventive of an imperialistic policy
that might lead to war.  But there is an even closer-lying incentive to
imperialism and war.  A nation may have a sufficiently wide base and an
efficient industrial development but because of internal economic
mal-adjustments may be driven into imperialistic courses.  A policy not
dictated by national needs may be forced upon the nation by the
necessities and ambitions of its dominating class.

[1] "There was," he (President Jefferson) said, "one spot on the face
of the earth so important to the United States that whoever held it
was, for that very reason, naturally and forever our enemy; and that
spot was New Orleans.  He could not, therefore, see it transferred to
France but with deep regret.  The day she took possession of the city
the ancient friendship between her and the United States ended;
alliance with Great Britain became necessary, and the sentence that was
to keep France below low-water mark became fixed."--John Bach McMaster,
"History of the People of the United States," Vol. II, p. 620.

[2] Agriculture is not essentially pacific; in various stages of
historical development agricultural nations war upon each other in
order to secure more land or to levy tribute of grain.  The pacific
tendency of our present agricultural development arises out of the
needs of industrial Europe.  Our agricultural progress, however, is
peaceful only in so far as it increases the product of our fields; it
would not be peaceful, and might be the exact reverse, if we sought to
increase our acreage by, let us say, a conquest of Canada.

[3] By this is not meant that the nation should be preponderatingly
agricultural, but only that where agriculture is sufficiently developed
to maintain a large industrial population working for the home market
the competition for foreign markets and foreign investment fields
becomes less intense.

[4] "Agricultural pursuits" includes agriculture, forestry and animal
husbandry.  These figures from the United States Census, 1910, Vol. IV,
p. 41, are only approximately exact, owing to almost insuperable
difficulties in classifying occupations.  See Vol. IV, p. 19.

[5] Thirteenth Census of the United States, Vol. V, Agriculture, p. 51.

[6] The improved farm acreage increased 15.4 per cent., and the acreage
devoted to the principal crops 9.9 per cent.

[7] The new lands, moreover, are not so good as the old.  From 1850 to
1885 the lands brought into cultivation (Illinois, Iowa, etc.) were
better than the earlier area, but since 1885 the farmers have driven
forward into more arid lands further removed from transportation.
"Across the Great Plains, the farmer has pushed closer and closer to
the base of the Rockies and, as he has done so, the difficulty of
producing a bushel of corn or wheat has continually increased."--King.
(Willford Isbell.)  "The Wealth and Income of the People of the United
States," New York (Macmillan), 1915: pp. 23, 24.

[8] For the comparability of the years 1909 and 1899, see Census Volume
on Agriculture, p. 537.

[9] Actually 9.9 per cent.

[10] Total land area equals 1,903,289,600 acres.

[11] Thompson, Warren S.  "Population: A Study in Malthusianism."
Studies in History, Economics and Public Law, Columbia University Vol.
LXIII, No. 3.  New York, 1915.

[12] "The Agricultural Element in the Population:" _American
Statistical Association Quarterly_, March, 1916, p. 52.

[13] The dwarf farms found in many parts of Europe are even less
economical.  The Bavarian, French, or Belgian peasant secures more per
acre than the American farmer but much less per hour or year of work.
"Small scale farming, as we have defined it," says Prof. Thomas Nixon
Carver, "invariably means small incomes for the farmers, though the
land is usually well cultivated and yields large crops per acre."  "The
French or the Belgian peasant (because of the smallness of his farm)
frequently finds it more profitable to dispense altogether with horses,
or even oxen, as draft animals, using rather a pair of milch cows, or
only a single cow, for such work as he cannot do with his own muscles."
"He would likewise find a reaping or a mowing machine a poor
investment.  The general result of such small scale staple farming is
necessarily the use of laborious and inefficient methods."--"Principles
of Rural Economics," pp. 253-54.  New York, 1911.

[14] If, however, the average product per acre remains constant or
decreases, the pressure of the population will make itself felt far

[15] The loss in perishable farm products, to cite only one instance,
is tremendous.  A very large proportion of the perishable fruits and
vegetables, and a smaller proportion of the dairy and poultry products,
decay on the farmer's hands.  According to a study made by Mr. Arthur
B. Adams, "at least 25 per cent. of the perishables which arrive at the
wholesale markets is hauled to the dump-pile because it is unfit for
human consumption....  In warm weather Florida oranges lose 30 per
cent. in transportation alone, and if we add the decay after the fruit
reaches the consuming centre the total loss would be astounding.  There
is a loss of 17 per cent. in eggs from producer to consumer, due to
breakage, decay, etc., but butter has an equally great loss....  It is
not an over-estimate, therefore, to say that between 30 and 40 per
cent. of the perishables which are raised on the farms are never
consumed at all, but are a complete social loss."--"Marketing
Perishable Farm Products."  Studies in History, Economics and Public
Law.  Columbia University.  Vol. LXXII, No. 3, p. 25.  New York, 1916.

[16] It is of course assumed that no means will soon be found by which
cheap food can be produced synthetically; if that happens, all our
conclusions go by the board.

[17] In the decade 1850-59 the death rate in New York City was 35.6 per
cent., in the period 1900-13 only 15.3 per cent.; in Massachusetts, in
the same periods, the death rate was 18.0 and 15.5 per cent.
respectively.  The diminution was due, partly to a change in the
age-constitution of the population and partly to a progressive control
of diseases.--Walter F. Willcox, "The Nature and Significance of the
Changes in the Birth and Death Rates in Recent Years."  _American
Statistical Association Quarterly_, March, 1916, p. 2.

[18] Prof. Willcox, who presents the table from which these figures are
drawn, illustrates the decline by showing that its continuation would
wipe out all births in 160 years, so that by 2070 we should live in a
baby-less world.--_Op cit._, pp. 11, 12.

[19] Quoted by Prof. Willcox, _op. cit._, pp. 13, 14.

[20] That there lies a danger in exactly the opposite direction cannot
be denied.  There are limits to the fall in the death rate, but
practically no limits to the possible decline in child-bearing.  The
limitation of births is almost entirely determined by individual (or
family) considerations, and may proceed to a point where population
will decline rapidly and perhaps deteriorate in quality.  A linking up
of the individual interest in small families to the social interest in
having the population maintained or slowly increased, as well as
improved in quality, is essential.




A nation, though economically complete, in the sense that it could, if
it desired, maintain its population upon its own resources may yet be
lured into an imperialistic and warlike policy.  Just as political
disintegration leads to internal conflicts, disorders and finally
foreign intervention, so an economic disequilibrium, by placing the
interests of certain classes within the arena of international friction
may evoke a struggle, which can have no other issue than war.

This is exactly the effect, for example, of a gross inequality of
wealth and income.  Such an inequality means that multi-millionaires,
gaining far more than they can spend, are impelled to invest their
surplus funds in outside ventures.  The capital that can be profitably
absorbed by industries manufacturing for home consumption depends upon
the ability of the population to purchase food, clothes, houses,
furniture, watches, and automobiles.  If the population cannot or will
not increase purchases at a rate commensurate with the increase of
national savings, a vast capital must either be diverted to
manufacturing for the export trade or must itself be exported.  Neither
of these deflections is in itself bad; in moderation, both are good.
There is, however, a certain degree of intensity of competition for
foreign trade and investment which means industrial war and the danger
of military war.  The wider the interval between {187} national savings
and national consumption, the more powerful and dangerous is this
expulsive tendency of capital.

Such a tendency may arise in a country in which, despite an equality in
wealth, the national savings are excessive, but the greatest danger is
in countries in which the returns to capital, rent and business
enterprise are large and the returns to labour small.  The big profits
come from the manufacture of articles of common use, and the home
demand for such articles is limited by the consuming capacity of poor
men.  The surplus capital must therefore find a vent, and the larger
this surplus capital, the more venturesome it grows and the more
insistently it demands that the state back up its enterprises.

We may trace this development in the recent history of Great Britain.
Though British wages rose during the half century ending in 1900, the
consuming capacity of the masses was not sufficient to employ the
rapidly expanding capital.  British capital went everywhere; among
other places to the Transvaal.  There was more money in "Kaffirs" than
in making socks for the British artisan, and if international friction
resulted from this capital export, it was all the better, or at least
none the worse, for the financiers.  The men who controlled the Rand
mines knew when shares were to rise and when they were to fall, and
profited by their knowledge.  Nor were war preparations
disadvantageous.  An extra Dreadnought helped British capital more than
would the expenditure of the cost of such a vessel in increasing the
wages of school teachers.  Yet it was because school teachers and other
wage-earners in Britain, as in many other countries, were poorly paid,
that the accumulating capital of the nations was forced increasingly
into foreign lands and into imperialistic ventures.  Morocco, Egypt,
Korea and Manchuria offered larger rewards than did the highly {188}
competitive businesses which depended on the custom of French, English
and Russian peasants or wage-earners.  The inequality in the
distribution of wealth proved to be a stimulus to imperialistic

Those who are satisfied with things as they are never tire of speaking
of this distribution of wealth as an immutable thing, protected by
economic laws more potent than legislative enactments.  They insist
that law cannot control the expansion of capital or the distribution of
wealth.  But our whole system of distribution is based on law.  If
England had not preserved entail and primogeniture, if France had not
decreed the equal inheritance by all children, if the United States had
not adopted a liberal land policy, the distribution of wealth in each
of these countries would have been far different.  Within wide limits
the economic course of the nation can be controlled.

Such a peaceful programme for creating a better distribution of wealth,
a wider consumption and therefore a larger employment of capital in
industries for home consumption has the added advantage that it is a
policy in complete harmony with the interests of great sections of the
population.  The average man desires peace feebly; he does not think of
it day and night and is not willing to fight for it.  But he is willing
to fight for things which actually contribute more towards peace than
do arbitration treaties.  The demand of the workman for higher wages,
shorter hours and better conditions is, whether the wage-earner knows
it or not, a demand for international peace.  Progressive income and
inheritance taxes, the regulation of railroads and industrial
corporations, the conservation of natural resources are all opposed to
an imperialistic policy leading to war.  In short the entire {189}
democratic struggle against the narrow concentration of wealth, by
increasing the demand for capital within the country, tends to preserve
us from a meddlesome, domineering, dangerous imperialism.

To increase the consumption of the masses of our people is easier for
us than for Germany or England because of our wider economic base, our
bulk, territory and immense potential wealth.  To increase wages, we
need not, like the crowded countries of western Europe, acquire new
resources beyond our borders.  We already have a place in the sun, and
out of our waste can extract more than can Germany or France out of
colonies for which they must fight.  It is easier for us to increase
industrial rewards because we now waste more in our unregulated
scramble for wealth than Germany gains in her scientific, economical
use of her smaller resources.  Compared to industrial Germany we are a
spendthrift nation.  Had Germany our resources and numbers, she would
be peaceful and rich; were we obliged to live on her narrow territory,
we should be bellicose and impoverished.

Not that Germany has solved the whole problem; all she has learned is
to be efficient.  Her early poverty taught her to make a little go a
great way, to combine the peasant's industry and parsimony with the
far-flung plans of the business organiser.  So capably has she done
this that living conditions have improved as her population has
increased.  Where all nations have as yet failed, however, is in the
distribution of the industrial product.  In the end a gross inequality
of wealth and income, as we find it in all developed countries, is
another form of waste.  It means fewer economic satisfactions, less
true value.  A few billion dollars added to the income of twenty
thousand families is of less utility than when distributed among {190}
twenty millions.  Inequality of wealth, moreover, involves low wages,
over-work, child labour, insecurity, unemployment, preventable disease,
premature death, in short, a bad economy.  It also involves an
inability on the part of the masses to consume the product of
industries in which the wealthy invest.

The economic inequality in the United States does not as yet present
the same imminent dangers as in certain European countries.  Wealth, it
is true, is most unevenly distributed,[1] but while incomes are also
very unequal,[2] the rate of wages[3] and the returns to farmers and to
small business men are far greater than in the industrial countries of
Europe.  Our statistics of consumption reveal an immense and constantly
increasing demand for all kinds of articles and services.  As compared
with England or Germany the distribution of income in the United States
permits a high standard of living and creates a vast demand for the use
of capital in industries for home consumption.

There is, however, a danger that these conditions may grow worse.  An
unrestricted growth of the population {191} either through natural
increase or immigration would tend to increase monopoly profits and
reduce real wages, thus accentuating the inequality of distribution and
forcing an enormous surplus capital to be devoted to foreign trade and
foreign investments.  On the other hand there is an opportunity to
improve our conditions.  There is still a wide margin for a real
increase in wages, for shorter hours, better labour conditions,
improved education, improved recreational facilities, and in general a
deflection of a large part of the national dividend to the improvement
of the conditions of life of the whole population.

For a long time Americans ignored the necessity of any such social
policy.  We were almost as wasteful of our human as of our physical
resources.  From birth to burial we regarded our men and women as human
accidents, who died or lived, languished or grew great, as
circumstances decreed.  Though in recent decades we have approached to
a keener sense of collective national responsibility, we still suffer
not only from a high infantile death-rate but also from a disastrous
neglect of children who survive.  Our educational system is still
rudimentary, conventional, and ill adapted to our economic needs.
There is little industrial education, less vocational guidance, and
almost no care at all for the adjustment of the educational system to
the later needs of the children.  Millions of children, who in the next
generation are to decide questions of war or peace, are growing up,
anemic, underfed, intellectually sterile, and without morale, firmness
or strength.  Our slums, our low wages, our evil conditions in mines
and sweat-shops unite to give us the tramp, the corner loafer, the
exploiter of vice, the criminal.  Such conditions are in every sense
dangerous to our peace as also to our well-being.  They mean a low
economic efficiency, a restricted consumption, a barrier to the proper
capitalisation of our country.  {192} Apart from this, the corruption
arising out of such conditions menaces our national character.  We hear
praise to-day of the iron discipline of the German army, but we hear
less of the discipline of the German school, factory system, social
legislation, trade-union.  If millions of Americans are shiftless,
shuffling, undisciplined and only vaguely and crudely patriotic, the
cause is to be found in our neglect of the lessons of modern social

To state these conditions of human waste and exploitation is to suggest
the remedies.  All such remedies cost money, hundreds of millions.
There is no progress without higher taxes, better spent, and we shall
not advance except by the path of a vast increase in collective
expenditure for common purposes.  In the end, of course, such
improvements will pay for themselves.  If we spent fifty millions a
year upon agricultural education, we could easily reimburse ourselves
out of our increased production.  We spend over five hundred million
dollars annually upon public elementary and secondary education, a sum
much greater than that spent in any other country.  If, however, we
could efficiently organise our school system, we could more profitably
spend three times as much.  There are many other chances for the
ultimately profitable investment of our capital upon agencies which
make for a more intelligent, active, industrious and self-disciplined

There is an added use to which such higher taxation may be put.  By
means of a larger collective expenditure, a more equal distribution of
income and a wider consumption by the masses may be secured.  What can
be attained by industrial action, such as strikes, can be effected in
even greater measure through fiscal action.  Taxes, to redress
inequality, should be sharply graduated.  By taxes on unearned
increment and monopoly profits, by the {193} regulation of the wages,
prices, dividends and profits of great corporations, we could
increasingly divert large sums to wage-earners, consumers, stockholders
and to the nation as a whole.  By increasing the consumption both of
individuals and of the national unit, such taxation would give an
impetus to home industrial development.  If this deflection of wealth
from the rich caused a temporary lack of capital, the resulting rise in
interest rates would stimulate saving and repair the evil.

Such a progress would mean not only an advance towards a fuller, freer
and more active life for the population but also a diminution of the
impulse to imperialistic adventure and war.  An increased income for
the men at the bottom creates a broader economic base, a less top-heavy
structure, with smaller necessity for support from without.  It
increases our home market, widens the home investment field and reduces
the intense sharpness of competition for the profits of the backward
countries.  It affords the opportunity to be disinterested in foreign
policy and to work for the promotion of international peace.  Equally
important is its effect upon the national psychology.  It gives the
people a stake at home.  A device, familiar to certain statesmen, is to
divert the people's minds from domestic affairs by arousing animosity
against the foreigner.  Is it impossible to allay hatred of the
foreigner by concentrating interest on home concerns?

Psychologically this process is nothing but immunisation.  A disease
may be resisted by the absence in the blood and tissues of substances
needed by the bacteria for their growth and increase.  As we may
immunise the body, so we may immunise the mind of individual or nation.
We protect our children from error, not by forbidding the publication
of false doctrine but by creating in the child's mind a true knowledge
and a faculty of {194} criticism.  Similarly to guard against the
infection of the war spirit a public opinion can be created in which
war bacteria will find no nutriment.

To immunise society is not, however, a mere juggler's trick; we cannot
ask Washington to legislate us into immunity.  What is needed is a
potent social change, arousing enthusiasms and antagonisms, and
involving a new attitude towards business and politics, freedom and
discipline; a new efficiency; a new balance of power within society; a
new attitude towards the state; a new value placed upon the life of
each individual.  Such a change involves a patriotism so exigent that
the nation will resent poverty in Fall River or Bethlehem as it resents
murder in Mexico.  Many Americans would find such a revolution in our
conditions and attitudes uninteresting or worse; some, with vast
material interests at stake, would prefer a dozen wars.  Against this
indifference and opposition, the change, if it comes, must make its way.

Such a progress would not, of course, create perpetual peace within the
community.  We read much to-day of satiated nations, unwilling to fight
for more, but considered from within, there is no satiated society.
Everywhere groups fight for economic, political or social advancement.
In a democratic community the mass of the people, and especially the
manual workers, though in a more favourable economic situation, would
still be unsatisfied.  Conflict would endure.  It is well that it
should be so, for a society in which all were contented in a
buttressed, routine life would go to war through sheer boredom.

The economic antidote to imperialism thus resolves itself into a very
necessary intellectual and emotional antidote.  The lure of war
persists even to-day, when soldiers dig themselves into burrows and
individual courage is lost in the vast magnitude of the contest.  Nor
can you {195} counteract the temptation to fight (or have others fight)
by preaching sermons against war, for the sermon and the bugle-call
seem to appeal to different cells in the brain.  All you can do is to
polarise a man's thoughts and inspire him with other interests,
ambitions and ideals.  A full, varied, intense life is a better
antidote than a mere vacuity of existence, without toil, pleasure, pain
or excitement.  In his search for an antidote to war, William James
points out how utterly the ordinary pacifist ignores the stubborn
instincts that impel men to battle.  "We inherit," he says, "the
war-like type....  Our ancestors have bred pugnacity into our bone and
marrow, and thousands of years won't breed it out of us.  The popular
imagination fairly fattens on the thoughts of war."  The men at the
bottom of society, James assures us, "are as tough as nails and
physically and morally almost as insensitive," and if not to these then
to all "who still keep a sense for life's more bitter flavours ... the
whole atmosphere of present-day Utopian literature tastes mawkish and
dishwatery."  For the discipline of war, William James wishes to
substitute another and more strenuous discipline, "a conscription of
the whole youthful population to form for a certain number of years a
part of the army enlisted against _Nature_."  "The military ideals of
hardihood and discipline would be wrought into the growing fibre of the
people; no one would remain blind as the luxurious classes now are
blind, to man's relations to the globe he lives on, and to the
permanently sour and hard foundations of his higher life.  To coal and
iron mines, to freight trains, to fishing fleets in December, to
dish-washing, clothes-washing and window-washing, to road-building and
tunnel-making, to foundries and stokeholes, and to the frames of
sky-scrapers, would our gilded youths be drafted off, according to
their choice, to get the {196} childishness knocked out of them, and to
come back into society with healthier sympathies and soberer ideals."[4]

Even in a society which would permit an industrial conscription both of
rich and poor, a certain latent bellicosity, making for war, would
undoubtedly persist.  There seems to be an irreducible minimum of
jingoism, just as whatever your precautions, you cannot quite do away
with rats or noxious germs.  No nation is free from this cheapest
intoxicant.  You may find it with the expensive American on his travels
or on the cracker-barrels in the country store and you cannot help
stumbling over it in the yellow journals and in many dull and
respectable newspapers which do not know that they are yellow.  Even
the self-depreciating type of American may turn out to be a jingo if
you will trouble to take off his peel.

Such jingoism, however, though unpleasant may be quite innocuous.  We
all have a trace of it as we all are supposed to have a trace of
tuberculosis.  So long as our jingoes confine themselves to merely
trumpeting national virtues, actual and imputed, we may rest content.
Such men will scarcely be capable of stirring a whole population to
war, if men are living under decent conditions, struggling for still
better conditions, and competing on a high plane.  If we can secure
prosperity, efficiency and equality and can make life fuller, more
intense, varied and romantic, the ravages of jingoism will be

It will be argued, however, that though we make our conditions what we
will we shall still be anxious to fight at the first opportunity.  "It
is evident," says Prof. Sumner,[5] {197} "that men love war; when two
hundred thousand men in the United States volunteer in a month for a
war with Spain which appeals to no sense of wrong against their country
and to no other strong sentiment of human nature, when their lives are
by no means monotonous or destitute of interest, and where life offers
chances of wealth and prosperity, the pure love of adventure and war
must be strong in our population."  If two hundred thousand volunteer
for a war when we are not obviously attacked, will not the whole
country go to war for the sake of "honour"?

It would be foolish to answer this question categorically; no one can
predict what a nation will do when wounded in its self-esteem.  The
heir of thousands of centuries of fighting, man is to-day, as always, a
fragile container of dynamite, not guaranteed against explosion, and
there are experts in the touching off of dynamite.  When Bismarck
falsified the Ems despatch he knew exactly what its effect would be
upon the French sense of honour.  But "honour" is an ambiguous word,
meaning everything, from a scrupulous regard to national obligations
freely entered upon to a mere truculent bellicosity.  The honour of
nations, in the sense that nations usually fight for honour, is mere
prestige, and prestige is not much more than an acknowledgment of
formidableness.  The Danes and the Dutch are honourable, but, in the
sense in which the word is ordinarily used, neither Denmark nor Holland
can afford honour.  The claims of national honour, moreover, are
strangely shadowy and transitory.  What seems imperatively demanded by
honour at the moment becomes insignificant later.  For a number of
years the United States paid tribute to the Barbary pirates; our
citizens were sold into slavery and his Serene Majesty, the Dey of
Algiers, treated our representative in a manner which a great power
to-day would hardly adopt in an ultimatum to {198} Paraguay or San
Marino.[6]  But it was not then convenient to fight and so we pocketed
our honour until a more convenient occasion.  The Dey of Algiers has
long since gone to the scrap-pile of history, while the United States
remains, a respected and honourable nation.

Nations which are sure of themselves, like men who respect themselves,
are somewhat slower to resent affronts than nations which are insecure
and fearsome.  In 1914 Austria was solicitous of her honour, which, she
believed, was assailed by Servia, and Russia was solicitous of hers,
for these two powers were engaged in a contest over the fears and
prepossessions of the Balkan States, and "honour" meant adherents.  But
when in the same year, a Mexican government offered what was believed
to be an affront to the United States, our people were in no mood to
feel insulted.  We did not need prestige.  After all, questions of
honour are usually questions of interest.  In the _Lusitania_
controversy, we did not receive the apologies which we believed were
due to us.  But as we had no interest in fighting Germany, and as
Germany gained less from her submarine campaign than she would have
lost in a war with us, the matter was amicably, though not logically,
settled or at least postponed.  Had we, however, been in a different
economic position, had a few million unemployed men been striking,
rioting and threatening to revolt, or, on the other hand had we had
plans for our aggrandisement at the expense of Germany, acts of war
would have followed within twenty-four hours of the massacre.  We
should have been far more "jealous in honour."  But we were otherwise
engaged.  The headlines were full of the events {199} in Europe and the
horror of that tragedy in the Atlantic, but the gaze of America was
inward.  We were interested day by day in the ambitions of peace.

Thus our hope of remaining at peace ourselves and of contributing to
the peace and economic reorganisation of the world depends not only
upon the conservation and development of our natural resources but also
upon a distribution of wealth and income which will widen the
consumption by the masses and will give to the whole population the
opportunity of a full, varied and purposeful life.  All these things,
as well as the moral discipline which is so urgently needed, can be
secured only as we learn to apply a national policy to our own nation.
It is our own slackness, our own "state-blindness," our lack of a
complete democracy, which increases our chances of imperialism and war.
It is, on the other hand, our increasing willingness to take a national
view of internal affairs, our increasing desire to base American
prosperity upon American resources and to make life fuller and more
valuable, that acts as a deterrent to war and fits us for the difficult
task of contributing to a world peace.

Finally such a contribution to the peace of the world implies the
condition that our own foreign policy shall not be in conflict with the
international ideals which we are seeking to promote.  If we ourselves
are interested in the parcelling out of backward countries, we shall
not be able to exert a restraining influence upon nations whose
necessities are greater than ours.  By this is not meant that we are to
stay at home completely and enjoy no rights beyond our borders.  Such
an effacement would mean a monastic seclusion for the United States.
But while in the world beyond there is a fair field for peaceful
competition, in which we also may take our part, our hope of promoting
economic internationalism depends upon our not playing {200} a lone
hand, upon our abstention from a selfish and short-sighted policy of
national aggression and upon our free co-operation with other nations
seeking the goal of international peace.

[1] According to estimates based on studies of estates probated in
Massachusetts and Wisconsin, it appears that 2 per cent. of the
population owned almost 60 per cent. of the wealth while the poorest 65
per cent. of the population died in possession of only about 5 per
cent. of the wealth.  See King (W. I.), "The Wealth and Income of the
People of the United States," New York, 1915; also cited sources.

[2] Twenty per cent. of the population receive 47.2 per cent. of
national income and the remaining eighty per cent. of the population
52.8 per cent. of the national income.--King, _op. cit._, p. 235.

[3] From 1880 to 1910 the total wages (and salaries) paid in the United
States increased from 3.8 to 14.3 thousands of millions of dollars; the
average wage increased from $323 to $507; the increase in the annual
wages, taking into account differences in the cost of living, was 64
per cent.  For basis of these calculations see King.

[4] William James.  The Moral Equivalent of War.  In "Memories and
Studies."  New York.  Longmans, Green & Co.  1912.

[5] Sumner (William Graham).  "War and Other Essays," New Haven (Yale
University Press), 1913, p. 29.

[6] "In 1800 Captain Bainbridge, arriving at Algiers with the usual
tribute, was ordered to carry dispatches to Constantinople.  'You pay
me tribute,' explained the Dey, 'by which you become my slaves, and
therefore I have a right to order you as I think proper.'"--Fish.
(Carl Russell.)  "American Diplomacy," New York (1915), p. 141.




No nation in its foreign policy is completely disinterested, in the
sense that it willingly abandons or sacrifices its larger interests.
What generosity it displays is usually in smaller matters, like a rich
man's gift to a beggar.  England may sacrifice interests in Jamaica to
uphold the principle of human freedom, while at the same time fighting
China to force the admission of opium.  Similarly the United States may
generously return money to Japan (as in the Shimonoseki case) or to
China, or relieve the sufferers of Messina or of Belgium.  In really
vital matters, however, nations are not self-sacrificing, but
tenaciously pursue their own interests.

There are two senses, however, in which a nation may be disinterested
in its foreign policy.  Either it may possess no interest or its
separate interest may be so small in relation to its larger interests
elsewhere that it is willing to make a sacrifice.  If, for example, the
present war ended in a deadlock and the two groups of powers, unwilling
to trust each other, were to confide Constantinople and the straits to
the keeping of the United States, it would be almost unthinkable that
we should be false to the trust.  We should have no interest in
favouring one group of nations as against the other; we should have no
political axe to grind and no economic or territorial gains to make.
We should be fair and disinterested because we had no interest.


Our recent attitude toward Cuba, the Philippines and Mexico has been
relatively disinterested in the second sense.  We might have made money
by exploiting these countries.  We could have held Cuba; we might have
imported a million Chinese into the Philippine Islands and grown rich
on their toil, while in Mexico, where we already had invested a large
capital which was menaced and in part destroyed by the revolution, we
could have taken what we wanted and held what we took.  Certain motives
of decency prevented us from following this ruthless course; our
self-satisfaction was worth more to us than a few hundred million
dollars.  The important fact, however, was that we were not pressed for
this wealth.  We were not compelled by poverty or pressure of
population to grab what we could.  We were able to seek a larger
interest, to lay the basis of a slower but surer prosperity and to gain
the good will, if not of Cubans, Filipinos and Mexicans, at least of
the nations generally.  In the long run it was a policy that will pay,
and our conditions are such that we can still afford to consider the
long run.

But although we have been occasionally disinterested or have shown at
least a chemical trace of disinterestedness, our foreign policy has
usually pursued concrete national aims.  It has been a conservative,
relatively uneventful policy, consisting for the most part in a quiet,
unhurried advancement of our interests, with a not excessive
consideration for the opinions of other nations.  We have been cautious
though persistent.  We have avoided forcing quarrels upon powerful
nations until we had grown irresistible.  Usually we obtained the large
thing, but where we could obtain it only by fighting formidable
opponents, we compromised.  When as in 1861 we found ourselves in a
dangerous position, we endured aggression by France and Spain until we
were again free {203} to compel redress.  Time worked for us, the
passing years were our allies and we could afford to move slow.  But we
moved always in one direction--toward our perceived national interest.

The issue, therefore, is not whether we shall sacrifice our national
interests, but whether in our foreign policy we shall pursue ultimate,
or at least relatively permanent, interests in a large way or seek
immediate, smaller gains.  It is a choice similar to that which a great
store makes when it sells standard goods at a fixed price instead of
seeking immediate advantage by petty cheatings and interminable and
multitudinous hagglings.  As nations advance towards power, stability
and security, they are enabled to base their programmes increasingly on
long time views and, ceasing to be interested in small advantages, to
seek their larger interests in a policy of tolerance and seeming
magnanimity.  It was to England's real interest to be scrupulously fair
in peace time toward weaker naval nations; it was equally to her larger
interest to open her dependencies to the trade of the world and to
accord political rights to her lately conquered Dutch subjects in South
Africa.  A tighter and harder policy would have been short-sighted.
Even had it gained immediate advantages, it might have left England in
a day of adversity with the great powers ranged against her.

The choice between immediate and ultimate interest in foreign policy
presents itself daily.  We could, for example, simply take the Danish
West Indies, instead of paying for them, and doubtless might secure
ourselves against a future retaliation by the great powers.  Such an
adventure, however, to say nothing of its ethics, would be monstrously
stupid.  Or, while the European nations are looking elsewhere, we might
"go" into Mexico and keep {204} what we wanted.  We have a better
excuse than in 1846 and an equally safe opportunity.  We should be
richer to-morrow if we took Mexico, but would it pay in the end?  Would
such a conquest accord with our larger policies and our true ambitions
in the world?

It is in this light that we should view the problem of our foreign
policy as it shapes itself to-day.  We must preserve certain national
interests, material and spiritual.  We must ward off certain dangers,
securing ourselves as other nations secure themselves.  But for better
or worse, we have become a world power and a world influence, and what
we do outside, as well as within, our borders, must affect the
decisions and actions of other nations.  If our ideal is not
aggrandisement or empire but an equal fellowship with other great
nations, if we desire to contribute to the progress of international
development and not merely get all we can in the scramble, how shall we
shape our foreign policy?  On what broad general principle shall we
decide the urgent questions which arise day by day in most unexpected

The answer to these questions is not easy; there is not even an
agreement as to what our interests are.  What, after all, do the
hundred million Americans want beyond their borders?  What are we
willing to fight for rather than forego?  What do we already have or
claim, the retention of which would justify us in fighting?

How we shall answer this depends upon our temperament and our special
interests.  Certain Americans would advise us to fight all Europe,
rather than recede from an action already determined upon or
acknowledge that American policy is conditioned by the will of
foreigners.  One need not argue against such convictions.  It is the
current, instinctive philosophy of "My country right or wrong, wise or
foolish; my country against the world."  To fight {205} all Europe,
however, is not to fight at all, but merely to be assassinated.  To act
as though Europe had no rights which America needs respect is to adopt
a principle profoundly hostile to our own welfare.

To a financier, whose interests in Mexico, Guatemala or Indo-China are
attacked, war seems preferable to a neglect of those interests.  He
would not put the matter so crudely; he would say that he preferred
defeat or even disaster to a peace dictated by fear.  What would lead
him to this patriotic conclusion, however, would be the conviction that
to do nothing would lose him his property, whereas even a disastrous
war would cost him only his share in the national loss.  And the war
might be gained or even avoided, if only the United States were bold
enough.  He would, therefore, define our national interests as
including all those things to which we in our good judgment believed
that we had some claim.

Those with no special interest in foreign investments are less
solicitous.  A default on the bonds of Mexican railways is less costly
to the Iowa farmer or Boston stonemason than the contraction of debts
for the purpose of pacifying Mexico.  To fight England or Germany seems
more costly to the average American than to forego extra opportunities
for making money in China or the Argentine.  Even the farmer or
stonemason, however, feels that the United States has certain interests
and rights abroad.  Our citizens should have the right to travel freely
upon the high seas and in foreign countries and to enjoy privileges and
immunities granted to citizens of other nations.  We should have equal
access with other nations to the sources of raw materials and to world
markets, subject to the reserved right of each nation, including the
United States, to levy customs duties for the protection of its own
industries.  Finally we should enjoy the right of {206} investing our
capital and conducting our businesses abroad under the equal protection
of the laws of the particular country.

All this is of course vague.  It does not determine what protection we
should assure ourselves in a country whose government is corrupt or
unstable, nor does it consider the contingency of a weak nation,
granting under duress more favourable conditions to some other foreign
nation than to us.

While however we cannot arrive at any final decision as to the details
of our foreign policy, we can at least formulate in general terms
certain principles which we may seek to apply.  The most vital of these
principles is equal opportunity for all nations, and no special
advantage for ourselves or others.

In accepting such a principle the United States would be merely
applying to a territory, over which it held a dominant influence, a
policy which, if universally applied by all the Great Powers, would
immensely reduce the area of international friction.  To apply such a
principle in good faith is the first and most obvious contribution that
we can make to economic internationalism.  We cannot in reason demand
the open door in Asia or in Europe's colonies if in our own colonies
and in other lands where we are paramount, we adopt a contrary policy.
We can afford to concede this principle of equal opportunity because of
our resources at home and the large share of trade and investment
opportunities which will come to us without special favours.  What we
might get above that is not worth the risk.  A policy of taking all we
can get, whether other nations suffer or not, is, apart from all other
considerations, injudicious.

Such a policy of aggression might be cloaked for instance under the
Monroe Doctrine, a vague tenet, capable {207} of contraction or
infinite expansion.  If we allow our speculators to determine its
meaning, we shall in due course interpret the doctrine as the right of
the United States to control South America politically and exploit it
industrially.  The downward path to such an interpretation is easy.  To
secure an inside track in Latin America we need only look askance upon
concessions to Europeans and with benevolence upon concessions to
Americans.  We can place obstacles in the way of foreign corporations
recovering damages for injuries suffered, while we aid American
companies to secure redress.  We can make our ministers to Latin
America "business agents" of exporters and big banking concerns.  Such
a policy would mean economic and eventually political control, the much
feared _conquista pacifica_.

If we embark upon such a policy we shall earn the hatred both of Europe
and of Latin America.  Hitherto the Monroe Doctrine has been safe from
serious attack by Europe because England with her preponderant
sea-power has been commercially the chief benefactor, and the other
nations believed that, for the time being at least, South America was
held open for joint exploitation.  Moreover, Europe had nearer problems
in the disposition of Balkan territory and in the partition of Africa
and sections of Asia.  So long as European nations were not ready to
divide up Latin America, or so long as they believed that it would
remain independent and thus open to the commerce of all, the temptation
to fight for a slice of the great continent, though alluring, was not
sufficiently powerful to overcome the sense of the peril of such an
undertaking.  For Germany to seek to conquer a part of Brazil would
have been to add all the American nations to her already long list of
enemies.  But this tolerance of the Monroe Doctrine is conditioned upon
our playing {208} the part of a guardian and not of a conqueror.  We
can neither monopolise Latin America industrially nor rule it
politically (which might involve the same result) without trenching
upon the common patrimony of Europe.  To secure the inside track means
therefore either to fight all Europe, which is impossible, or to share
the booty with one or two allied powers, like England and France, and
thus to enter into all the complications and dangers of European
politics.  A Pan-Americanism of this sort would involve us in the next
Balkan imbroglio or the next quarrel over the Persian Gulf, and our
peace would be at the mercy of any little monarch who struck the first
blow at one of our allies.

In Latin America itself such a policy of aggression by the United
States is already feared and resented.[1]  The people to the south of
us do not take our professions of disinterestedness with the simple
faith of little children, but see in us a virile, formidable,
unconsciously imperialistic nation, which has already benefited by its
guardianship and hopes to benefit still more.  They fear the colour
prejudice in the United States and a certain unreasoning contempt for
Latin-American civilisation might lead us impatiently to set aside
their rights if they conflicted with our own interests.  The Latin
Americans already speak of a "North American Peril."  They remember
Texas, {209} Panama, Porto Rico.  Indeed, they recognise that the
United States, in despite of itself, may be forced to expand
southwards.  "It is more than probable," writes the Mexican
sociologist, F. Bulnes, "that by 1980 the United States will hold a
population of 250,000,000 inhabitants.  They will then scarcely be
sufficient for the needs of this population, and will no longer be able
to supply the world with the vast quantity of cereals which they supply
to-day.  They will therefore have to choose between a recourse to the
methods of intensive culture and the conquest of the extra-tropical
lands of Latin America, which are fitted, by their conditions, to the
easy and inexpensive production of cereals."[2]

There is a nearer danger.  "Sometimes," writes Garcia Calderon, "this
North American influence becomes a monopoly, and the United States
takes possession of the markets of the South.  They aim at making a
trust of the South American republics, the supreme dream of their
multi-millionaire _conquistadors_."[3]  Thus to shut off Latin America,
as Spain once did, would, however, injure the Southern republics and
create an antagonism that would find its expression in armed
resistance.  Nor would this resistance be entirely negligible.  A
century ago, Latin America had a population of fifteen millions; to-day
its population is eighty millions and is rapidly increasing.  As an
ally to European nations, opposed to aggression by the United States, a
Latin-American country or group of countries might well exert a
decisive influence.

Ill defined and vague, capable of being indefinitely expanded by all
sorts of sudden interpretations, the Monroe {210} Doctrine is to-day a
peril to Latin America and to ourselves.  It is likely to become even
more dangerous if turned over to an American plutocracy for its
elucidation.  If on the other hand, we restrict our policy to the
protection of the interests of Latin Americans, Europeans and
ourselves, we shall not only be safe-guarding our own peace, but shall
be removing a future coveted area from the field of international
strife.  To adopt such a policy, however, means that we must be better
informed and more concrete.  It is absurd to lump together all
Latin-American countries, as though all were equally advanced in
civilisation.  To compare the Argentine with San Domingo is to discover
differences almost as great as between Holland and Abyssinia.  Mexico
is far more significant to us politically, economically and in a
military sense than Brazil or Chile.  Into the question of Panama,
Haiti and the West Indian Islands generally, elements enter that are
absent from our relations with Venezuela or Ecuador.  Our policy
towards these countries need not be identical.  We should have a
Mexican policy, a separate policy for the West Indian Islands, another
policy for the Caribbean States, and an individual policy for each
South American state.  Our interests and obligations differ in these
states.  We cannot pretend to the same vital interest in the internal
peace of Argentina as in that of our next door neighbour.  We cannot
cover these diverse conditions with the blanket of one vague doctrine.

In our relations to Latin America, moreover, we should not grasp at
political sovereignty, if the reasonable economic interests of the
world can in any way be secured without political incorporation.  We
are gradually being forced into a policy of acquiring dominion over
certain Caribbean countries.  We have a financial guardianship in Haiti
and San Domingo; we have "taken" Panama, {211} and it probably needs
only a little disorder to give us a quasi-protectorate over other small
countries in the same neighbourhood.  The United States, however, is on
the whole still averse from such interference, wherever avoidable.  We
have kept faith with Cuba and there is strong opposition to acquiring
Mexico, despite the agitation of financiers and instinctive border-line
patriots.  The problem is not easy, for a measure of peace in these
neighbouring states is not only essential to us but is demanded by
Europe (who will interfere if we do not) and peace may eventually
require intervention.  In countries like Haiti, which show at present
an invincible distaste for orderly government, abstention is almost

The chief danger in our relations with certain Latin-American countries
lies in this political instability and unripeness that makes property
and life unsafe and the administration of justice notoriously corrupt.
The result is extortion, bribery and violence clothed in legal form.
Investors and creditors plead for intervention to enforce contracts,
sometimes of doubtful validity, sometimes obviously dishonest.  To meet
the problems arising from such claims, we should have more information.
Our Bureau of Foreign Commerce should ask for data concerning American
investments abroad and especially in Latin America.  Such information,
supplied in the first instance by the corporations, should be verified
by official investigations.  There should be full publicity.  Our
consular representatives should not seek to secure special privileges
or business orders, and our governmental influence should guarantee
equal economic opportunities to all nations.  No claim by Americans
should be enforced until it has been reported upon favourably by a
court of arbitration composed of representatives of nations with no
interest in the controversy.


Whether the United States should seek the aid of England or of some
other European power in the maintenance of the Monroe Doctrine or
should endeavour to internationalise the doctrine by gaining the
adhesion of all nations, or should support the doctrine with the aid of
the Latin-American countries alone is a question the answer to which
will depend upon the future attitude of European nations, and
especially upon the relation of the United States to those nations.
The difficulty of securing an international guarantee lies in the
necessary vagueness of the doctrine.  In the present state of mind
concerning international guarantees, there is perhaps more immediate
advantage in a special guardianship by the United States, the
Argentine, Brazil and Chile, especially as in the case of an assault
upon the doctrine by one or more European powers, the assistance of
other European nations could probably be obtained.  The important
consideration at present is that the strength of the doctrine will be
in direct proportion to the disinterestedness of the United States.
The more clearly the doctrine can be made to serve the common interests
of the world instead of the special interests of a single country, the
more likely is it to secure the support in any crisis of a group of
nations possessing a preponderance of world power.

Our relations with Canada present fewer temptations.  Our policy should
look towards the creation of friendly relations and a nearer economic
union, but neither immediately nor ultimately towards a forced
annexation.  A willing political incorporation of Canada into the
United States might be excellent, but an annexation against the
opposition of the Canadian people would be a crime and blunder.  It
would mean an American Alsace-Lorraine upon an immense scale.
Economically Canada and the United States are rapidly becoming one.
With exports to {213} Canada already more than twice as great as those
of all other nations (including Great Britain) we can at will draw upon
her immense agricultural and mineral resources by the simple expedient
of letting down our tariff wall.  We can invest there as safely as
Britisher or Canadian, and can benefit by Canada (as Canada benefits by
us) as though she were a part of the United States.  A growth of the
eight million Canadians to twenty or more millions will mean for us an
enhanced prosperity.  Despite absurd prejudices on both sides of the
border the economic union grows stronger.[4]

If we do not strive for an inside track in Latin America nor for the
conquest of Canada, should we be willing to fight for the "open door"
in China, for equal privileges in all parts of that Empire?

The phrase the "open door" has a pleasing sound.  There can be no doubt
that the opening up of China's ports to commerce with all nations on
equal terms would be of immediate advantage to us, and probably to
China herself.  Our interest in the matter, however, is frankly
selfish.  Though we have a kindly feeling for the Chinese, so long as
they stay in China, our "open door" policy is intended in the first
instance to benefit our own merchants and investors.  The alternative
to the open door is to {214} permit other nations to divide up China, a
proceeding in which we do not care to take part, and to exclude us from
certain trade and investment opportunities.

It is doubtful whether these chances which we should lose by an
unaggressive policy, are sufficiently important to justify us in
entering upon a conflict with Japan or with Japan and Russia.[5]  Our
losses would be less than is imagined, for whoever opens up China will
be compelled to admit other industrial nations upon reasonable terms.
Japan cannot finance herself, to say nothing of financing China, and
the nations, called upon to supply capital, would necessarily be
consulted in essential political and economic arrangements.  Even if
Japan secured a relatively excessive share of the commerce, it would
mean a diversion of other trade, which she formerly possessed, since
her own factories would be busy.  In the end, we could afford to permit
other nations to take upon themselves the burden of policing China, in
view of the fact that while our {215} own profits might be less our
expenses also would be less.

A deeper problem, however, is involved in this question of China.  Just
as by the Monroe Doctrine we seek to prevent European powers from
conquering, colonising and dividing up America, so in China, our
interest, apart from a share of the trade and investment chances, lies
in contributing to the world's peace by removing that vast territory
from the field of international political competition.  What we should
mean by "the open door" in China is the integrity of that country and
its immunity from conquest, partition and forced exploitation.  The
plea of an "open door," as a mere tariff policy, comes with ill grace
from us, who have closed the door both in Porto Rico and at home, but
China's integrity is an issue of a different character.[6]  It is
important to us not so much for immediate economic reasons as because
it is likely to promote peace.  It is a world, rather than a national,

Because it is a world-interest, it should be secured by the efforts of
many nations and not by the United States alone.  {216} In principle,
therefore, the Six-Power Loan, which in a sense was a joint guarantee,
was a step in the right direction.  That its specific terms were
unreasonable and that the loan was in a degree forced were perhaps
sufficient reasons for our withdrawal from the arrangement.  Along
somewhat similar lines, however, the early development of China should
proceed, and it is to our interest to promote any plan that will
prevent China from being the bone of contention among the belligerent
nations of Europe.[7]

Our relations to Latin America, Canada and China are perhaps the most
immediate of our foreign concerns.  These are the lands in which we
have the greatest stake and the greatest temptation to pursue an
imperialistic policy.  The real power in this world, however, lies in
Europe.  It is Europe that decides the fate of Asia, Africa, Australia,
and may in the end decide that of South America.  It is from Europe
that the fear of war arises, and it is in our dealings with Europe, and
in the dealings of European nations with one another, that the hope of
peace and of progress in international development must centre.

[1] For a view of Latin America's fear of aggression by the United
States, see such books as "El Imperialismo Norte-Americano," by F.
Caraballo Sotolongo, Havana, 1914, and América Latina ante el peliogro,
by Salvador K. Merlos, San José (Costa Rica), 1914.  Both of these
books are shrill and somewhat uncritical but they fairly represent a
large body of Latin-American thought.  There is usually a division of
opinion as to whether the United States is to attain its ends by
military or by financial means.  "It is not _manu militari_," writes a
French author, "that Brother Jonathan intends to carve out his place in
the sun, but by the force of dollars."--"L'imperialisme allemand," by
Maurice Lair, Paris, 1914.

[2] F. Bulnes, "L'Avenir des nations Hispano-Americaines," quoted by F.
Garcia Calderon, "Latin America," p. 312.

[3] F. Garcia Calderon, "Latin America.  Its Rise and Progress," p. 299.

[4] The problem of Canada's relation to European controversies and wars
may in the future present difficult problems for the United States.  If
in the present war Germany had been able to land armies on Canadian
soil, or if in the future Russia or Japan were to do so, the position
of the United States might be rendered dangerous by the permanent
establishment of a strong military power, let us say in British
Columbia.  Yet we could not demand that Canada be allowed to send
troops against Russia or Japan and those nations be forbidden to attack
in return.  The problem of the immobilisation, and even of the
neutrality, of Canada in certain future wars, in which Great Britain is
engaged but we ourselves are neutrals, may become an urgent question.

[5] A guess at our possible losses through a non-aggressive policy in
China is made by Mr. Thomas F. Millard in his "Our Eastern Question."
"It is roughly estimated," he says, "that China's administrative,
commercial, and economic development in the next twenty years will need
$2,000,000,000 of foreign capital.  Under a genuine application of the
Hay Doctrine, America would have approximately one-fourth of this
financing....  The returns from this investment would be partly
interest and partly trade.  Five per cent. interest on $500,000,000 is
$25,000,000 income annually."  In other words for the privilege of
gaining twenty years from now $25,000,000 a year from an investment
which if made at home or in the Argentine or in Russia would bring us
in little less, Mr. Millard would have us put Japan in her place and if
necessary join with England and perhaps France to fight both Japan and
Russia.  Even if we add the trade profits to this interest on
investment, the total result is pitiably small.  At our present rate of
increase in wealth we may add about one hundred and fifty billions of
dollars in the next twenty years.  Whether or not one-half billion is
invested in China is, nationally speaking, superlatively unimportant.
If we intervene in China let us not do it for a few million dollars
annually.  (See Millard, _op. cit._, p. 383.)

[6] The significant question has been raised whether Manchuria should
be included in the China, whose integrity is to be secured.  While
China is very densely populated, Manchuria prior to 1904 had only
8,500,000 people on an area of 376,800 square miles, a density of
population considerably less than that of Minnesota.  With immense
natural resources, its development has, says Dr. James Francis Abbott
in "Japanese Expansion and American Policies," p. 222, been prevented
by "the existence of wandering brigands 'Hunghuntzies,' who terrorised
the country."  Dr. Abbott distinguishes between the Japanese occupation
of Shantung, which is filled with Chinese, and of South Manchuria which
"was a sparsely settled province of which China was merely the nominal
owner.  The Russians, and after them the Japanese, occupied it as
Americans occupied California and annexed it for the same reason."
Korea and Manchuria are absolutely necessary to Japan.  "Japan's needs
for expansion are real and obvious.  Manchuria and Korea could hold the
double of the Japanese population" (p. 233).  In other words Dr. Abbott
advises a policy of maintaining the integrity of a China, excluding
however both Korea and Manchuria.

[7] If China does develop an industrial civilisation it may be quite
capable before many generations of maintaining its own integrity and
independence.  The weaknesses under which China now suffers would tend
to disappear once it became industrially organised.  That this
impending industrial progress of China would mean ultimate economic
danger to Western Europe is probable, but this remote danger would not
prevent those nations pursuing their immediate economic interests in
developing China.




If at home we have a firm basis for national development, if we grow up
as a Great Power beyond the range of fierce conflicts between the
nations, the opportunity will be offered us to contribute in some
degree to the ultimate establishment of peace, or at least to the
limitation of war, in the world outside.  Our influence can be cast
upon the side of peace and augment the forces making for peace.  Our
hope lies in a national development, which will permit us while
pursuing our larger national interests to work towards a great
community of interest among other nations.

In such an international peace the United States has a direct and an
indirect interest.  It has been recently asserted that we in America
might regard the present war with equanimity since it brought us huge
profits.  Undoubtedly there is money to be made out of the selling of
provisions and munitions as well as from trade in countries from which
competitors are temporarily excluded.  On the other hand, the war means
the impoverishment of European nations, who are our main purveyors and
customers, and eventually the losses suffered by combatants must be
shared to some extent by us who are non-combatants.  The war brings
about a dislocation of the world industry, a shrinking of capital, and
in the end higher prices and a possible reduction in real wages.  {218}
In the years to come we shall be forced to pay our share of the cost.

Nor is this economic motive our sole reason for desiring international
peace.  We are linked to the nations of Europe, and however we declaim
against "hyphenates," cannot prevent our immigrants from sympathising
with the land of their birth.  The present straining of loyalties in
this country is a sufficient reason for our desiring peace in Europe.
Nor do we like bloodshed or the political reaction and the backwash of
barbarism that wars entail.  Finally, however neutral we remain, there
is always the possibility that we may be plunged into a great European
conflict, in which in the beginning at least we shall have no direct

Diplomatically also, war in Europe is of no overwhelming advantage to
us.  In the early days of the Republic, a constant balancing of hostile
forces prevented England and France from taking advantage of our
weakness.  The quarrels of Europe enabled us to preserve our
independence by opposing a unitary strength to the enfeebling European
dualism; otherwise we might not have dared to use so shrill a tone in
admonishing the great powers.  But even had the eagle not screeched, we
might still have led a satisfactory national existence.  Whatever was
true in the past, however, we need no longer be so completely
defenceless that we must fear that peace in Europe would mean a
conquest of America.  We should rather have Europe fight itself than
us, but--in dollars and cents as in other values--we should prefer to
see the world at peace.

We shall not secure peace, however, by merely wishing for it or by
merely preaching it.  In the midst of war there has always been the
longing for peace, and throughout the centuries voices have been raised
calling upon mankind to give up its war upon itself.  The ideal of
peace {219} pervades much of all folklore; it inspires the Old
Testament prophets and is everywhere expressed in the New Testament.
The religious ideals of the Chinese, Hindus and Persians are suffused
with the hope of peace, and Greek and Roman philosophers and poets
dreamed of a peaceful commonwealth of peoples and planned the
Federation of the World.  The Early Church Fathers, Irenæus, Clement of
Alexandria, Tertullian, Cyprian, Augustine, preached the gospel of
peace, and while the Church doctrines later changed in this respect,
there reappeared again and again during the Mediæval Period the
conception of a World State, presided over by Emperor or Pope, and
ending once for all the ceaseless strife among princes.  After the
Reformation religious sects grew up, like the Mennonites and the
Quakers, who preached not only peace but non-resistance.  Out of all
this longing for peace, out of all these proposals, however, came
nothing.  Similarly the pacifist writings of the Abbé de St. Pierre, of
Rousseau, of Leibnitz, of Montesquieu, of Voltaire, of Kant, of Jeremy
Bentham and of hundreds of others did not bring the world a single step
nearer to an elimination of war.[1]

Throughout this long history, pacifism failed because it was in no
sense based upon the actual conditions of the world.  It was a
religious, sentimental, hortatory pacifism.  Finding peace desirable,
it pleaded with the men who ruled nations to compose their quarrels.
It was an appeal not to the interest but to the sentiments of men.  It
discovered that war was evil and exhorted nations and rulers to refrain
from evil.

With the period of enlightenment that began shortly before the French
Revolution, the movement for peace was {220} accelerated.  The ideas
that were once current only among philosophers began to spread among
considerable sections of the population.  Gradually also pacifism
became rationalistic rather than religious or moral.  War was attacked
not because it was evil in the eyes of God but because, like high
taxes, monopolies and tariffs, it was adverse to the economic interests
of nations and peoples.  The growth of the doctrine of _laissez-faire_
and of free trade gave a new impetus to the pacifist movement.  The
people of the world were looked upon as a myriad of human atoms, whose
welfare did not depend upon the power of the particular State of which
they chanced to form a part, but upon the free enterprise of each and
the unobstructed exchange of products among all these individuals.  It
was held that the world would be better if there were no customs
barriers, and free trade on equal terms for all the people of the world
was predicted as a proximate consummation.  There would then be no need
for wars or fleets or armies, which cost money and prevented the
progress of humanity.  Wars were economically inadvisable.  They did
not benefit the sovereign individual, and therefore could not benefit
the nation, which was merely a huge assemblage of individuals.

Like the religious and emotional pacifism which preceded it, this
rationalistic pacifism broke down through its sheer inapplicability to
the facts of life.  While the philosophers of the French Revolution
were still proclaiming the advent of peace, the greatest wars until
then in all history were already preparing, and again when in 1851 at
the first World's Exposition in London men began to hope that the era
of peace had at last come, a long period of war was again imminent.
Never was there more talk of peace or hope of peace than in the years
preceding the great conflict of 1914.  No wonder many advocates and
{221} prophets of war believe that peace is forever impossible.
"There," wrote the late Prof. J. A. Cramb, "in its specious and
glittering beauty the ideal of Pacificism remains; yet in the long
march of humanity across thousands of years or thousands of centuries
it remains still an ideal, lost in inaccessible distances, as when
first it gleamed across the imagination."[2]  "Despite this hubbub of
talk down all the centuries war has continued--absolutely as if not a
word had been said on one side or the other.  Man's dreadful toll in
blood has not yet all been paid.  The human race bears still this
burden.  Declaimed against in the name of religion, in the name of
humanity, in the name of profit-and-loss, war still goes on."[3]

But the fact that war still exists does not at all prove that it is
inevitable, but merely that it has not yet been avoided.  Militarists
argue that war is biologically necessary, an ingrained ineradicable
instinct, a necessary evil or an inescapable good, a gift of a stern
god.  There is a curious sentimental fatalism about our war prophets,
but in the end their arguments come down to two, that we have always
had wars and that we still have them.  It was said many years ago that
"the poor ye have always with you" and to-day poverty on an immense
scale still exists in every part of the planet.  Yet we do not despair
of limiting or even of eradicating poverty.  Tuberculosis has existed
for centuries and still exists, but to-day we understand the disease
and it is doomed.  If war is inevitable it is so for reasons which have
not yet been established.  Until it is proved that war accompanies life
and progress as the shadow accompanies the body, men will strive to
eliminate war, however frequent and discouraging their failures.

The cause of these failures of pacifism has been its {222} unreality,
its too confident approach to a difficult problem.  Many pacifists have
tended to exhort about war instead of studying it; they have looked
upon it as a thing accursed and irrational, beyond the pale of serious
consideration.  They have likened the belief that war has accomplished
good in the past to a faith in witchcraft and other superstitions.
They have tilted at war, as the Mediæval Church tilted at usury,
without stopping to consider what relation this war-process bore to the
basic facts of social evolution.  It was an error to consider war as a
thing in itself instead of an effect of precedent causes.  Fortunately
the newer pacifists, who have been rendered cautious by many bitter
disappointments, are changing their approach and seeking to cure war
not directly but by removing its causes.  They are striving to outflank

Along this line alone can progress be made.  You cannot end war without
changing the international polity which leads to war.  The bloody
conflicts between nations, being a symptom of a world maladjustment and
frequently an attempt to cure that maladjustment, can be averted only
by policies which provide some other cure.  To destroy war one must
find some alternative regulator or governor of societies.

In their failure to provide such a regulator, or even to recognise that
such a regulator is necessary, lies the vital defect of many of the
peace plans to-day.  Pacifism may be either static or dynamic; it may
seek to keep things as they are, to crystallise international society
in its present forms, or on the other hand may base itself on the
assumption that these forms will change.  It may address itself to the
problem of stopping the world as one stops a clock, of forbidding
unequal growth of nations, of discountenancing change, or it may seek
to find an outlet and expression for the discontent and unrest which
all growth {223} brings.  Pacifism that is static is doomed.  Our only
hope lies in a dynamic, evolutionary pacifism, based on a principle of
the ever-changing adjustment of nations to an ever-changing environment.

At the bottom of static pacifism lies a conception somewhat as follows.
The nations of the earth have an interest in maintaining peace, but are
forced, tricked or lured into war by the tyranny or craft of princes
and capitalists or by their own prejudices and sudden passions.  Some
nations are peaceful and some, by reason of an evil education, hostile;
wherefore the hostile nations must be restrained by the peaceful, as
the anti-social classes are restrained by the community.  Honest
differences of opinion among nations must be arbitrated; angry passions
must be allowed to cool, and the nations must go about unarmed that
there may be no indiscriminate shooting.  Given these precautions we
shall have peace.

But it is a peace without change, and such a peace, apart from its
being impossible, is not even desirable.  What the static pacifist does
not perceive is that he is hopelessly conservative and stationary in a
swiftly moving world.  He would like to build a wall against Time and
Change, to put down his stakes and bid evolution cease.  It is this
pathetic clinging to fixity, to a something immutable, that vitiates
his proposals.  Nations that hate war prefer it nevertheless to the
preservation of unendurable conditions, and the best conditions, if
they remain unaltered, speedily become unendurable.  We should not be
satisfied to-day with the best constitution of the world agreed upon a
hundred years ago, before there were railroads and telegraphs, and when
democracy and nationalism were weaker than to-day.  If to-morrow
morning our wisest and most forward-looking men were to re-constitute
Society and petrify it in peace, our descendants would be far from
content.  {224} The best heritage that the world can have is not a
perfect constitution but a feasible principle of change.

A dynamic pacifism, on the other hand, must assume that the world is in
change, and that no peace is possible or desirable which does not
permit great international transformations.  These transformations
arise from various causes.  Thus a candid consideration of the facts of
international life must convince us that in the present era nationality
is a potent, vital and probably a growing force, and that many of the
ambitions and desires of men are mobilised nationally.  The nations,
however, grow unequally and are subjected to unequal pressure by their
various environments.  As a consequence certain nations become
increasingly dissatisfied with their place in the world, and naturally,
and in the present circumstances wisely, prefer the risks and costs of
war to their present position.  Such nations have an interest in war,
if change cannot be otherwise effected.  Moreover, it is clear to the
dynamic pacifist that certain classes by the fact of their position in
society are more bellicose than others, that classes grow at unequal
rates and exert a varying influence, and that certain classes may have
a direct and obvious interest in throwing their nation into war.

The neglect of any such dynamic conception of world society is revealed
in all the proposals of the static pacifists.  For example, the
proposal to create a United States of Europe is based on a palpably
false analogy with the United States of America, and ignores grossly
the living principle of nationality.  The states of Europe are either
nations or are approaching nationhood.  They lack the racial,
linguistic and traditional bonds, which made the union of the American
colonies not indeed easy but at least possible.  These trans-Atlantic
nations suffer from being jostled one against the other and their keen
sense of {225} national difference is accentuated by economic pressure
and by a perpetual fear of foreign military aggression.  To unite all
these nations into one federal state, with a Senate, a House of
Representatives and an impartial Supreme Court, is not only a static
but a mechanical proposal.  Nations grow; they are not manufactured.

Equally static is the proposal for immediate and universal disarmament.
Nations will arm so long as they are afraid and so long as they want
something vital that can be obtained only by warfare.  Moreover, there
is no principle to determine the permitted armament of each nation or
to designate the country which shall control the international police
that is to enforce disarmament.  An unequal disarmament would be unwise
because it would take from the more pacific and civilised nations the
weapons necessary to restrain unorganised and retrograde peoples.  The
fundamental defect of the proposal, however, is that it provides no way
by which one nation, injured by another, can secure redress.  If there
is to be neither war nor an effective international regulation, what
limits can a nation set to non-military aggression by its neighbour?[4]

The belief that all wars may be averted by arbitration is equally a
static conception.  During the last few decades international
arbitration has settled many controversies, which could not be adjusted
by ordinary diplomatic means.  Increasingly cases have been submitted
to arbitral decision.  {226} The real questions over which nations
clash, however, are not arbitrable.  One cannot arbitrate whether
Russia or Germany should control the Balkans, whether the United States
should admit Japanese immigrants, or whether Alsace should go to France
or Germany, or Trieste to Italy or Austria.  Arbitration has the
limitations of judicial processes.  It is possible to arbitrate
questions concerning the interpretation of treaties and formal
agreements or the application of recognised principles of international
law, but no nation will arbitrate its right to exist.  Moreover, the
very fact that arbitration is a judicial process, based upon precedents
and the assumption of the _status quo_ renders it unacceptable to the
nations which are dissatisfied with present arrangements.  The
necessity which knows no law respects no arbitration, and no board of
arbitration, however impartial, could decide that one nation should
have more colonies because she needed them or because she was growing,
while another nation must stand aside because feeble and unprogressive.
It is probably not in the interest of the world that Portugal and
Belgium should retain their colonies in Africa, but on what precedent
could these nations be forced to sell?  Questions of vital interest
therefore are in truth non-justiciable.  No powerful nation will accept
a subordinate position in the world because some arbitral body decides
it may not adopt a certain policy.  Arbitration is not a process of
adjustment of growing nations to a changing environment.

But if nations will not gladly accept arbitration where supposedly
vital interests are concerned, can they not be coerced?  Out of the
obvious need of such coercion arises a whole series of plans to force
recalcitrant nations to accept mediation, to delay hostilities and even
to abide by the arbitral award.  A League to Enforce Peace is a
proposed union of pacific nations to prevent immediate or even {227}
ultimate recourse to war, to force combatants to arbitrate justiciable
disputes and to place the sanction of force behind the decisions of the

This proposal contains within it an element valuable and indeed
essential to international peace.  It frankly assumes the right of a
group of nations to compel a refractory nation by the use of force.  It
is far more realistic than the conception of a world peace based upon a
sudden conversion of the nations to the iniquity of war, which is at
bottom an anarchistic conception.  For however we deplore a use of
force we cannot rely exclusively upon anything less.  Force is not
intrinsically immoral, and without force no morality can prevail.  The
compulsion which the parent exercises over a child, and organised
communities over the individual citizen, must equally form the basis of
an international system.  One cannot base such a system upon mere moral
suasion, which, though of value as a precedent and complement to force,
is frequently thwarted by the public opinion of each nation, formed
within its borders and protected from outside influence by pride and a
blinding national interest.  Outside nations could not have persuaded
Germany that it was unethical to invade Belgium.  She would have
appealed to her own moral sense and trusted to the future to make good
her right to attack.  Had Germany realised, however, that an invasion
of Belgium would be actively resisted by otherwise neutral nations,
overwhelming in force, she might have been willing to debate the

The immorality of force lies merely in improper use.  All through
history compulsion has been exerted for evil as well as for good
purposes.  The future of international concord lies, therefore, not in
refraining from force or potential force, not in a purely
_laissez-faire_ policy, but in applying force to uphold a growing body
of international {228} ethics, increasingly recognised by the public
opinion of the world.

But a League of Peace, unless it is _more_ than a league of peace,
suffers from the same defect of not providing an alternative to war.
If Italy is not to attack Austria, some way must be found to protect
Italian interests in the Trentino and Trieste, and if Germany is not to
attack England, some security must be given that German commerce will
be safe and German colonial aspirations not entirely disregarded.  If
the nations believe, rightly or wrongly, that their vital interests are
being disregarded in the peace which the League enforces, there will be
defections and revolts.  Such a league would then become useless or
worse, since it can only exert an influence so long as it possesses an
immense preponderance of power.

The same defect inheres in a League of Satisfied Powers.  Such powers,
preferring the _status quo_ to any probable revision of the affairs of
the world, are in the beginning united by a common conservative
instinct.  But no nation is completely satisfied; each wants a
"rectification" here and a "compensation" there.  The same
disagreements over the spoils of the world that would be found outside
such a league would also make their appearance within, and in the end
one or more of the satiated nations would join the group of the
unsatisfied, and the league would cease to be a guarantee of peace.  It
would die of the endless flux in human affairs.

Similarly static is the proposal that all nations wait, or be compelled
to wait, a set term before beginning hostilities.  In many cases such a
compulsory postponement would be advantageous in that it would favour
the mobilisation of the pacific elements in the community and thus tend
to prevent wars being suddenly forced upon the nation against the
national interest by a small, bellicose social class.  The {229}
underlying theory, however, is that nations always go to war because
they are hot-headed, whereas in very many cases the decision to wage
war at the proper time is perfectly deliberate and cold-blooded.
Moreover, a compulsory wait before declaring war would alter the
balance of power between the groups of powers, and would adversely
affect certain ready nations, which could therefore only be coerced
into accepting the arrangement.  Unless some adequate provision were
made (and it would be difficult, perhaps impossible, to make it) to
prevent a nation from preparing for war during the year's wait, the
countries with the largest resources, such as Great Britain, the United
States and Russia, would secure an enormous advantage, while nations
like Germany and Japan would lose.  An event in the very recent past
illustrates this point.  On August 1, 1914 the German Secretary of
State intimated to the British Ambassador that a failure on the part of
Russia to demobilise would cause Germany to declare instant war.
"Russia had said that her mobilisation did not necessarily imply war,
and that she could perfectly well remain mobilised for months without
making war.  This was not the case with Germany.  She had the speed and
Russia had the numbers, and the safety of the German Empire forbade
that Germany should allow Russia time to bring up masses of troops from
all parts of her wide dominions."[5]  In other words, for Germany to
give up her greater speed of mobilisation would be to destroy her
advantage while assuring that of Russia.  Actually, under present
circumstances, such a proposal would tend to preserve the _status quo_
and to aid the satisfied nations.  In practice it would take from the
dissatisfied nations the power to alter arrangements, which they feel
are unjust.


Most of these plans, a federation of nations, a progressive
disarmament, a wider application of the principle of arbitration, and a
League to Enforce Peace, have elements of value, once they are divorced
from purely static conceptions and are united with proposals to effect
some form of progressive adjustment of nations to each other and to the
world.  In this effort at adjustment lies the real problem of securing
international peace.  So long as the nations have conflicting economic
interests so wide and deep as to make their surrender perilous to the
national future, so long will they find some way to escape from the
restraints of peace.  They will drive their armies through any compact
or agreement, adverse to their economic interests, and in the process
will smash whatever machinery has been created for establishing peace.
A dynamic pacifism, therefore, must take into account this factor of
the constantly changing, balancing, opposing economic needs of rival
nations.  It must devise not only some rudimentary form of
international government but also arrangements by which the things for
which the nations go to war may peacefully be distributed or utilized
in a manner equitable to all.

[1] For a brief digest of the history of pacifism, see Dr. Edward
Krehbiel, "Nationalism, War and Society," New York, 1916.  See also
books cited by him.

[2] "England and Germany," p. 56.

[3] P. 58.

[4] The proposal for disarmament also raises the question of the inner
stability of each nation.  In each country there must be some police
force to keep down the anti-social classes and prevent revolution.
Such a force might be small in England or the United States; it would
have to be large and powerful in Russia and Austria, if the subject
nations were to be held down.  But a large police force is an army
under a different name.  If each disarmed nation were permitted to
decide its own police needs, the whole principle of disarmament would
be whittled away.

[5] British White Paper, No. 138.




These are three ways in which the United States might conceivably
attempt to promote the international adjustments without which peace
cannot be secured.  We might seek to "go it alone," righting one wrong
after another, intervening whenever and wherever our national
conscience directed.  Or we might enter into an alliance with one or a
few selected democratic and enlightened nations to force international
justice and comity upon other nations.  Finally we might refrain from
ubiquitous interventions and peace-propagating alliances and devote
ourselves, in conjunction with all other willing nations, to the
formulation of principles of international policy, and unite with those
nations in the legalisation and enforcement of such principles.  In
other words we might become the standard about which the peaceful
parties and groups of all nations might rally.

The first of these courses is quite impossible.  It is grotesque to
think of us, or of any country, as a knight-errant, rescuing nations
forlorn from evil forsworn powers.  There are two things, besides a
saving sense of humour, which preclude us from essaying this rôle; we
have not the knowledge and we have not the power.

For the making of peace more than good will is required.  Nothing is
more harmful in international intercourse than a certain sentimentalism
and contempt for realities on the part of many of our pacifists.

The difficulty with most plans for intervention by one {232} moral and
infallible power is that they attribute a pikestaff simplicity to
international--as, in fact, to all questions.  According to certain
superlatively well-intentioned people, some nations are wicked and
others virtuous; some nations love the clash of arms, some the ways of
peace; some nations are greedy, brutal and dishonourable, others are
generous, gentle and honourable.  It is the absolute bad and the
impossible good of the melodrama, in which the human sheep and goats
are sundered by an obvious moral boundary line.

In point of fact, no nation is good or bad in this simple sense, but
all have a certain justice in their claims, however difficult it is to
square these claims with the moral philosophy of the neutral country.
The British had a certain justice in their conflict with the Transvaal
as had also the Dutch burghers who resisted them.  Even in our brutal
attack upon Mexico in 1846 we had the justification arising from our
greater ability to use the conquered territory.  It is easy to find
phrases to be used whenever we wish to interfere, but these phrases
sometimes conceal an ambiguous meaning and sometimes have no meaning at
all.  Are we, for instance, to become the defenders of small
nationalities, ready to go to war whenever one is invaded?  Has a small
nation a right to hold its present territory when that right conflicts
with the economic advance, let us say, of a whole continent?  Should we
respect Canada's right to keep New York, had that city originally been
settled by Canadians?  Should we compel Russia to treat her Poles and
Jews fairly and concede to Russia the right to compel us to treat our
Negroes fairly?  Some extension of the right of interference in what
are now called the internal affairs of other nations must be admitted,
but it is a precipitous road to travel.  The united powers may compel
Roumania or Greece to {233} behave, but the United States, acting
alone, would find it irksome to have to constrain or discipline Russia.

By this it is not meant that we should never intervene.  It would be
futile to fix such a rule for conduct which, in the end, will be
determined by circumstances.  In any question of interference, however,
the burden of proof should rest heavily upon the side which urges a
nation to slay in order to secure what it believes to be the eternal
principles of justice.  The general development will be toward greater
interference, but this intervention will be increasingly international,
not national.

In actual practice the problem when to interfere is immensely
difficult.  It is easy to say "let America assume her responsibility
for policing the world," but the question arises, "What in particular
should we do and what leave undone?"  Should we war against Germany
because of Belgium, and against France and England because of Greece?
Should we fight Japan to aid China?  Are we to mete out justice
even-handed to the Poles, Finns and Jews of Russia, the Czechs and
Southern Slavs of Austria, the Armenians and Alsatians?  Should we have
interposed to save Persia from benevolent absorption by Russia and
England?  Clearly we could not do these things alone, and to attempt
them would be to strike an impossibly virtuous attitude.  Even if we
had the wisdom or the sure instinct to save us from error, we should
not have a fraction of the power necessary to make our benevolent
intervention effective.

To right the wrongs of the world, to build up a firm international
policy and thus to create and establish peace seems easier if it be
attempted in alliance with two or three other virtuous powers.  But if
we unite with England, France and Russia, to maintain virtue in the
world, may we not, at least hypothetically, be playing a fool's {234}
part in a knave's game of diplomacy?  May we not be simply undermining
Germany and Austria?  To use our army and navy for such purposes would
constitute us a part of one great European combination against the
other, and our disinterested assistance might be exploited for purposes
with which we had no sympathy.

A proposal, at least potentially more popular, is the formation of an
Anglo-American Union for the maintenance of peace.  It is assumed that
the two nations, and the five self-governing British colonies are
kindred in blood, inspired by the same ideals and united by a common
language.  Their white population exceeds one hundred and fifty
millions.  They are capable, energetic, individualistic peoples,
favourably situated on an immense area, and holding dominion over
hundreds of millions in various parts of the world.  These Britons,
Colonials and Americans, by reason of geographical position, are naval
rather than military, and if they could hold the sea, would be able to
preserve peace in lands not accessible to military powers and to
dictate peace even to the military nations.  Such an integration of the
English-speaking peoples would thus constitute a step towards
international peace.

It is not here proposed to discuss the value of this proposal as a
means of defending the United States.  In general, its defensive value
for us would probably be less in the coming decades than for Britain
and her colonies.  The British Empire has the greater number of enemies
and is the more easily assailed.  Great Britain cannot protect her
colonies without maintaining her naval supremacy not alone in the North
Sea, but in the Pacific as well.  As for England, she occupies the same
position towards us in any attack from the European continent that
Belgium occupies towards England.  She is an outpost.  Our own
continental territory could probably be protected in {235} most cases
by a smaller military and naval effort than would be required of us as
part-defenders of a British-American Union.  It is true that these
conditions might change, with the result that we should need Great
Britain's help most urgently.  For the time being, however, we are
discussing a British-American alliance or federation not as a possible
protection to us but as an instrument for eliminating war.

In all probability such an instrument would work badly, and to the
non-Anglo-Saxon world would look much like a sword.  For the
fundamental defect of such a proposal lies in the fact that it is a
plan for the coercion of other powers by a group of nations, not at all
disinterested.  If the British and Americans possessed eighty per cent.
of the military and naval power of the world, they might establish a
peace like that which the Roman Empire was able to establish.  It would
be a peace dictated by the strong.  In fact, however, there would be no
such superiority of power.  Russia, Germany, Austria, Japan united,
would be quite capable of exerting a far superior force.  Even if the
force opposed were only equal, the result would be a confrontation of
peoples in all essential respects like the Balance of Power in Europe,
but on a vaster scale.  We should not have advanced an inch towards the
goal of a world peace or a world economy.

For the United States to enter into such a federation would be to take
our part in the world wars to come and the intrigues that precede and
accompany such wars.  We might be called upon to halt Russia's progress
towards Suez, the Persian Gulf, or the Indian border.  We might be
obliged to defend Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Norway and Sweden.  We
could not permit any nation to reach a point where British commerce
might be assailed.  We should cease to be interested in {236} the
freedom of the seas because sharing the dominion of the seas.  We
should have no leisure and no inclination to seek a more equal
utilisation of the backward countries.  We should need armies and
navies to protect the approaches to England and to hold back the land
nations.  Against us would work immense potential forces.  Strong,
growing, ambitious populations, envying our arrogant sea-power and
forced by their insecurity to remain militaristic and become navalistic
would prepare unceasingly for the day when they could try conclusions
with us.  The Anglo-Saxon Federation may be an exhilarating conception,
but it is not peace.

Parenthetically an agreement or understanding with Great Britain, less
ambitious and pretentious than the proposed federation, is in the
interest of the two nations.  In the more than one hundred years of
acrid peace between the two countries, there has been revealed a
certain community of interest, which might properly be utilised to
prevent future conflicts.  While we are not ready to involve ourselves
in Britain's European and imperialistic policies, and do not want a
whole world in arms against us, we do wish to avoid misunderstandings
with England.  We should be better off were we to give Great Britain
assurances that we would not contest her naval supremacy (however much
we may strive to alter its nature), and if we were to obtain from
England her unconditional support of the doctrine that the
Latin-American countries are not to be colonised or conquered.

In our efforts to secure a basis of international peace, however, we
must rely not upon England or any other single nation or group of
nations but upon a league, into which all nations may enter upon
identical terms.  We must depend upon all-inclusive, not upon exclusive


At this point it may be well to recapitulate the difficulties and
inevitable limitations of any such plan.  In the first place
nationality exists and cannot be exorcised.  The several nations,
though they have common interests, are also sundered in interest, and
in present circumstances may gain more from a given war than they lose.
No nation, because of a moral appeal, will surrender its vital
interests, and each believes that its own ambitions are morally
justified.  To pursue these interests the nations arm, and this
competitive armament breeds fear, which in turn provokes war.  In
various parts of the world broken nationalities seek to attain to
national independence or autonomy and these nationalistic differences
are exacerbated by economic quarrels.  Moreover, within the nations
certain sections or groups find their true economic interest in
policies leading to war, and these groups are able by means of
ceaseless propaganda to drive their nation into war-provoking policies.
Finally we are faced with the grim fact that in Europe at least no
great nation can pursue a consistent policy of peace unless other
nations move simultaneously in the same direction.  Furthermore the
instinctive efforts of each nation to secure its own peace by force
constitute a menace to other nations and a danger to the world's peace.

The outlook for peace is thus not cheering; "the war against war," to
use William James's expression, "is going to be no holiday excursion or
camping party."

Fortunately, however, there are certain factors making for peace, and
upon these factors we are able to build.  All over the world there is a
peace sentiment, a vast, undisciplined, inchoate desire to discover
ways and means by which this scourge of war may be lifted.  It is not
inherently impossible to organise this sentiment, crystallise it,
direct it and make it effective.  The task is essentially {238} similar
to that of organising democracy, for wars increasingly are becoming
national wars, in which success depends not upon princes but upon the
willingness and enthusiasm of the great slow peoples.  The millions who
bear the chief burdens of war and derive only its lesser gains are in
all countries moving towards self-expression and domination.  It is in
the end upon these masses, with their inherent prejudices and passions,
and not upon diplomats and rulers that any project for peace must be

The appeal to these millions though it be couched in terms of morality
and sentiment, must be an appeal to interest.  What is necessary is to
recognise the economic motives that drive such populations to war and
to reverse those motives.  It does not suffice to preach that wars are
never in the interest of the people; the nations know otherwise.  It is
necessary rather to change conditions so that wars will in actual fact
lose their economic value to nations.  Peace must be made not only to
appear but actually to be in the interest of the peoples of the world.

The popular horror of war, the growing sense of its immense costs, the
slowly maturing sympathy between individual members of hostile nations
form the substantial groundwork upon which an opposition to war _in
general_ is based.  Added to these are the waning of the romanticism of
war and the growth of a sense of its mechanical (rather than human)
quality.  The present war has immensely increased this opposition.  It
has disenchanted the world.  In all countries millions of men now
realise that wars must be fought not alone by adventurous youths, who
do not put a high value upon life, but by husbands and fathers and
middle-aged men, who are somewhat less susceptible to the glamorous
appeal of battle.  They are beginning to recognise that wars are not
won by courage alone {239} but by numbers, by money, by intimidation,
by intrigue, by mendacity and all manner of baseness.  The lies spread
broadcast throughout the world and the money spent by Germans and
Allies to bribe Bulgarian patriots are quite as great factors in
deciding the issue of the war as the valour of the _poilus_ at Verdun.
In a moral sense war has committed suicide.

This increasing comprehension of war's real nature and of war's new
manifestations is leading the peoples to demand the right to decide for
themselves when and how war is to be declared and to take part in
negotiations which may lead up to war.  The power to provoke wars is
the last bulwark of autocracy; when the nation is in danger (and in
present circumstances it is always in danger), democracy goes by the
board.  Let the Socialists and Liberals in all countries declaim as
they will against armies, navies, imperialism, colonialism, and
international friction, let Members of Parliament ask awkward questions
in the House, the answer is always the same, "It is a matter of
national safety.  To reply to the question of the honourable gentleman
is not in the public interest."  Against this stone wall the efforts of
organisations like the British "Union of Democratic Control" break

The Socialists have also failed, at least externally.  Identifying the
war-makers and imperialists with those classes to which they were
already opposed in internal politics, the Socialists sought to make
good their democratic antagonism to war.  They opposed armies and
proposed disarmament; they threatened national strikes in case
aggressive wars were declared; they fought with a sure democratic
instinct against every manifestation of militarism.  In the crisis,
however, they failed.  They failed because their conception of war was
too narrow, {240} arbitrary and doctrinaire.  They perceived the upper
class interest in war but failed to recognise, or rather obstinately
ignored, the national interest.  When at last the nation was
threatened, the Socialists and peace-makers not only closed ranks with
those who desired war, but even lent a willing ear to proposals of
annexation (for purposes of national security) and agreed to other
international arrangements likely to be the cause or at least the
occasion of future wars.

The general will for peace we have with us already; what is to-day most
necessary is the knowledge and insight which will direct this will to
the attempted solution of the causes of war.  Towards this knowledge
the present war has contributed.  Never before have so many men
recognised the strength of the economic impulses driving nations into
the conflict.  The war, it is true, has intensified national hatreds by
its wholesale breach of plighted agreements; it has increased terror
and distrust; it has sown broadcast the seeds of future wars by a
series of secret, but known, agreements, creating a new Europe even
more unstable than was the Europe of 1914.  On the other hand, it has
forced men to open their eyes to the real facts of war, and to
recognise that wars will continue until the motives for war are
reversed, until conditions are created in which nations may realise
their more moderate hopes of development without recourse to fighting.

It is upon this recognition, upon this guide to the blind passion for
peace, that any league for peace must be based.  Such a league can
probably not be immediately constructed and permanently maintained.  It
depends upon the slow growth of an international mind, upon a
willingness, not indeed to sacrifice national interests but to
recognise that national interests may be made to conform with the
larger interests of humanity.  It means the {241} fulfilment not the
destruction of nationality.  It requires for its realisation the
breaking of two chains, an inner chain which binds the nation to the
will of a selfish minority class, an outer chain which binds its
national interest to war.

How such a league will come about it is perhaps premature to discuss.
In the immediate future we are likely to have not a true league of
peace but rather a league of temporarily satisfied powers, seeking
their group interest in the _status quo_ and pursuing their common aims
at the expense of excluded nations in much the same spirit in which a
single nation now pursues its separate interest.  Such a grouping of
interested nations is likely to be only temporary, as dissensions will
arise and new alignments be made comprising the nations formerly
excluded.  It is bound to break up when the _status quo_ becomes
intolerable to several of its members.  On the other hand the spirit of
such an organisation might not impossibly change.  The league of
satisfied nations might discover that it was to its real interest, or
might be compelled by outer pressure, to make concessions to the
excluded nations, and finally to admit them on certain terms.  Such a
development would be comparable to that by which autocracies have
gradually become constitutional monarchies and republics.

But, however the League is formed, two things are essential to its
continued existence.  One is the acceptance of principles of
international regulation, tending to reduce the incentive and increase
the repugnance to war, in other words a measure of international
agreement, secured either by an international body having legislative
power, or in the beginning by a series of diplomatic arrangements as at
present.  The second essential is a machinery for enforcing agreements.
Such machinery cannot be {242} dispensed with.  Peace cannot come by
international machinery alone; neither can it come without machinery.

Peace between nations, like peace within a nation, does not depend upon
force alone.  Unless the effective majority of the nations (or of the
citizens) are reconciled to the system to be enforced, unless they
desire peace, whether international or internal, the application of
force will be impossible.  On the other hand, peace is equally
impossible without force.  If no compulsion can be applied the smallest
minority can throw the world into war.

Such a compulsion of one nation by others does not necessarily mean a
bombardment of cities or the shedding of blood.  The force to be
applied may be economic instead of military.  No nation to-day, above
all, no great industrial nation, is socially and economically
self-sufficient, but all depend upon constant intercourse with other
nations.  It is therefore true, as one writer says,[1] that "if all or
most of these avenues of intercourse were stopped, it (the offending
nation) would soon be reduced to worse straits than those which Germany
is now experiencing.  If all diplomatic intercourse were withdrawn; if
the international postal and telegraphic systems were closed to a
public law-breaker; if all inter-State railway trains stopped at his
frontiers; if no foreign ships entered his ports, and ships carrying
his flags were excluded from every foreign port; if all coaling
stations were closed to him; if no acts of sale or purchase were
permitted to him in the outside world--if such a political and
commercial boycott were seriously threatened, what country could long
stand out against it?  Nay, the far less rigorous measure of a
financial boycott, the closure of all foreign exchanges to members of
the outlaw State, the prohibition of all {243} quotations on foreign
Stock Exchanges, and of all dealings in stocks and shares, all
discounting and acceptances of trade bills, all loans for public or
private purposes, and all payments of moneys due--such a withdrawal of
financial intercourse, if thoroughly applied and persisted in, would be
likely, to bring to its senses the least scrupulous of States.
Assuming that the members of the League included all or most of the
important commercial and financial nations, and that they could be
relied upon to press energetically all or even a few of these forms of
boycott, could any country long resist such pressure?  Would not the
threat of it and the knowledge that it could be used form a potent
restraint upon the law-breaker?  Even the single weapon of a complete
postal and telegraphic boycott would have enormous efficiency were it
rigorously applied.  Every section of the industrial and commercial
community would bring organised pressure upon its government to
withdraw from so intolerable a position and to return to its
international allegiance."

It cannot be assumed that the attempt to organise such a boycott would
be invariably successful.  Not all nations would be equally injured,
for while a boycott of Italy or Greece would be fatal, the United
States or Russia might survive such economic pressure.  A boycott would
not be easy to enforce.  It would be necessary to secure a concert of
opinion and action in states, which, however they may agree upon any
particular question, have widely divergent interests in other matters.
Different boycotting nations would be variously affected.  A boycott of
Germany, while it might injure the United States or Japan would almost
certainly ruin Holland and Belgium.  Even were these small countries to
be partially reimbursed for their special losses, they might still
hesitate.  There would also remain the fear that some of the boycotting
nations would {244} be detached through economic bribery, with the
result that the boycott broken, the nations faithful to their
agreements would suffer.  Finally, if Holland joined in a boycott of
Germany, she might within a few days be compelled to resist a German
invasion.  An economic boycott might easily lead to war.

This obvious connection between economic and military compulsion is
often disregarded by men who dislike war but are willing to commit
their nation to participation in economic compulsion.  The two,
however, are inseparable, though they may not be inseparable for each
nation.  The boycotting nations must be prepared to prevent reprisals,
must be willing if necessary to fight.  It is not, however, necessary
for each nation upholding international law to contribute equally to
this military compulsion.  Certain nations might use their armies and
fleets while others, more remote from the struggle, might merely
continue to boycott.

It would not be possible, to enforce a decision against nations having
a preponderance of military power, nor even against a group with a
large, though not the preponderant share of military and economic
resources.  Germany, Austria and Russia combined could not be
compelled.  The essence of the problem, however, is not the creation of
a state of war between coalitions almost equal in size, but the gradual
adoption of a policy of peace by securing a unity of interest among so
large a group of nations that this group would hold a clearly
preponderant power over any other group.  Just as peace within a state
cannot be secured where the law-breakers are a majority, so
international peace cannot be secured unless the preponderance of power
is clearly on the side of peace.

Even with a majority of nations agreeing "in principle," the
difficulties of actually creating a League of {245} Peace and
International Polity would be great.  To carry out such a plan, to work
out modes of action which will conform to the world's evolving sense of
the necessity for more stable international relations, requires an
international machinery, concerning which nations and classes will
disagree.  Some channel, however, is necessary for the flow of the
peace forces resident in the world.  A machinery must be created which
will approximate in some degree to that by which a nation, composed of
conflicting classes and economic groups, manages to secure a degree of
common interest and action among such groups.  There must be an
international executive, an international legislative body and some
approach to an international court.  That there are immense
difficulties in the creation of such a machinery is obvious and
admitted.  That the machinery cannot work perfectly, that it may
repeatedly break down; that it can be perfected only through trial and
error, are facts, which though in themselves discouraging, need not
lead to the abandonment of the effort.  There is nothing inherently
impossible in the gradual creation and elaboration of such machinery.
The development of the future lies in that direction.[2]

Let the machinery be ever so perfect, however, it is useless unless
principles are formulated which meet the requirements of the nations
which are to be bound over to keep the peace.  A league to enforce
peace is a futility unless it is also a league to determine
international polity.  Peace cannot be negative, a mere abstention from
war.  It must be a dynamic process, an adjustment of the nations of the
world to their international environment.

[1] Hobson (John A.), "Towards International Government," New York (The
Macmillan Co.), 1915, pp. 90, 91.

[2] It is not pertinent to this book to discuss in detail the plans
which are being formed for the gradual evolution of such international
machinery.  For readers who desire to secure a _prècis_ of such
arrangements, the book of John A. Hobson, "Towards International
Government," is recommended.




We have seen that the problem of peace cannot be solved without at the
same time avoiding the economic conflicts now sundering the nations.
We have seen that these divisive interests which are real and vital,
can be accommodated neither by the force of good will alone (although
good will is essential), nor by an appeal to national unselfishness nor
by proposals which merely mean the perpetuation of the _status quo_.
We have also seen that in the last instance force, or at least the
threat of force is necessary, that this force cannot be applied by the
United States alone or by a group of two or three beneficent powers,
but only by an all-inclusive league of nations, acting according to
established rules and with a machinery previously elaborated.  Only so
can a programme of peace be made effective.

Such a programme will consist of three elements.  The first is the
freedom of the seas; the second is a joint imperialism; the third is
the promotion of an economic internationalism.

The freedom of the seas is necessary because without it the other
elements cannot be supplied.  No division or joint use of colonies will
promote peace unless each nation is assured of continuous access to
such colonies.  A promise of the products and the profits of the
backward countries will not satisfy a nation if it believes that at the
first outbreak of war it will be deprived not only of colonial but also
of all commercial rights.


In recent decades the problem of the freedom of the seas has grown in
significance as access to the oceans has become more important and the
nations increasingly interdependent.  To-day trans-oceanic colonies are
worthless, commerce is insecure and a satisfactory economic life at
home difficult without such access.  In peace the vessels of all
nations may travel anywhere, but in war a belligerent's merchant
vessels may be seized and confiscated and her shores blockaded.  She
may even be deprived of the right to import goods through neighbouring
neutral countries.

In the advocacy of the freedom of the seas the United States has taken
a leading part, while England has pursued a policy of obstruction.  In
this respect England has been a menace to the world's peace.  She has
stood fairly consistently against a modernisation of naval law; has
insisted on the right of capture of merchant vessels and the right to
blockade, and in the present war has reverted, under grave provocation
it is true, to the most rigorous maritime repression.  It is by means
of our influence on England that we can take the first step towards
creating a better international system.

If we are to become friends with England, the price must be the freedom
of the seas.  It may seem incongruous to suggest as a condition of
friendship that our friend weaken herself, but as will later be
indicated such a surrender of rights by Great Britain might in the end
redound to her security and greater strength.  The reason is obvious.
The insecurity of each nation is the weakness of all.  So long as a
nation is insecure it will arm.  So long as one nation arms all must
arm.  Moreover, England is peculiarly vulnerable.  The British Empire
is threatened whenever any nation seeks an outlet to the sea.  Nations
will build navies against Great Britain so long as {248} without navies
their commerce and colonies are threatened.

The case of the German-British conflict is in point.  England lies on
Germany's naval base.  It is an unfortunate thing for Germany, and
indeed for England, but it is a geographical fact and unalterable.  For
Germany this situation is tolerable so long as peace endures, but when
war breaks out, all her commerce is stopped.  The future of Germany
depends upon her developing industrially to a point where she can no
longer feed her population from her own farms.  She needs, if not
colonies, at least markets.  She requires a foreign base for her
industry and uninterrupted access to that foreign base both in war and
peace.  She can be throttled, strangled, starved under the present
usages of sea war.  The war may not be of her own making.  In other
words twenty or fifty years of commercial development may be swept away
at a moment's notice in a war, declared, it may be, by England for
purely commercial purposes.

To these apprehensions of the Germans, England may answer that in peace
times German commerce is secure.  But immunity in war as well as in
peace is necessary.  Therefore, the Germans do what other nations would
do in like circumstances, take the matter into their own hands.  They
build a navy strong enough to make England hesitate to attack their
merchant marine.  It is an understandable attempt to protect what is an
absolutely vital interest.  But for Germany to build a navy capable of
measuring arms with the British Navy is intolerable to Great Britain.
It is useless for Germany to protest that she will not use her fleet
aggressively.  So long as she can use it aggressively, she is a menace
to England's life.  England must prevent Germany from building {249} a
navy equal in power, for if she is defeated at sea, her fate is sealed.
Germany must be threatened on land by France and Russia or she will be
able to devote her energies exclusively to her navy and thus out-build
England.  Given this situation, an Anglo-German war is inevitable.

Nor is the situation in the North Sea unique.  Once this conflict of
interest begins, it spreads everywhere.  Germany may not have Morocco
or Tripoli because with a foothold and a naval base on the
Mediterranean, she could exert pressure there in order to change
conditions elsewhere.  Similarly the Pacific commerce of Russia is at
the mercy of Japan; her Black Sea traffic at the mercy of Turkey, or
whoever controls Turkey, her Baltic Sea traffic at the mercy of
Germany, Denmark and England.  No wonder Russia demands Constantinople,
which will at least open the inner doors of the Black Sea.  But if she
gets Constantinople, she controls the whole Danube traffic of Austria,
Hungary and Roumania, and she herself is menaced by British and French
fleets at Malta, Gibraltar and Aden.

What is the probable, or at least possible, policy of Russia in such
circumstances?  Not immediately, not inopportunely, but in the right
season?  Clearly it is to build a navy which will secure her control of
the Mediterranean and thus protect her outgoing trade from Odessa and
Batum as well as her incoming trade.  Although not pre-eminently a
naval power, Russia must ultimately seek to accomplish what Germany
tried to do--make it dangerous for England to menace her Mediterranean
and Red Sea trade even in war times.  But to secure naval supremacy in
the Mediterranean means to threaten Egypt and India, thus breaking the
neck of the {250} British Empire.  Given the present unfreedom of the
sea, therefore, Great Britain's vital interests oppose those of Russia
as they now oppose those of Germany.

This is the meaning of the historic British policy of the right of
capture at sea, the right of blockade, the right to use naval power to
work injury to the trade of hostile countries and to prevent colonial
expansion.  The policy is a menace to the British Empire and to the
independence of Great Britain herself.  It stimulates other nations to
outbuild Great Britain.  And in the end that is at least a possible
contingency.  If a generation or two from now Russia and Germany should
unite, Russia attacking in the Mediterranean and aiding Germany in the
North Sea, the British Empire would be put to a severe test.  There
might be no way of saving Egypt and India or Holland and Denmark and
these outposts gone, Great Britain might be menaced and attacked at
leisure.  If her navies were defeated she would starve.  The rules of
naval warfare, which Britain has so long upheld, would be turned
against her.

It is thus to Great Britain's real interest to surrender this doctrine.
In the present war it has been of value, but only because Germany and
Austria were surrounded by powerful enemies, and all adjacent neutral
powers with sea bases were small enough to be intimidated.  The
blockade of a nation is to-day of little value unless adjacent nations
can also be blockaded.  The railroad unites all land nations.  If
France had been neutral in this war, Germany could not have been
blockaded, for a British threat to blockade France would have thrown
her into the arms of Germany.  Even if Italy had remained neutral, an
effective blockade might have forced Italy into the war on the side of
the Teutonic powers.  England is using a weapon {251} which at the most
means a serious loss to her enemies but which effectively turned
against her would mean instant death.

There are certain powerful groups in England who are obstinately
opposed to any revision of the sea law in favour of neutral and
belligerent nations.  They feel to-day, as Pitt felt in 1801, when the
doctrine was advanced that a neutral flag might protect enemy's
property.  "Shall we," asked Pitt, "give up our maritime consequence
and expose ourselves to scorn, to derision, and contempt?  No man can
deplore more than I do the loss of human blood--the calamities and
distresses of war; but will you silently stand by and, acknowledging
these monstrous and unheard-of principles of neutrality, insure your
enemy against the effects of your hostility!...  Whatever shape it
assumes, it (this doctrine) is a violation of the rights of England,
and imperiously calls upon Englishmen to resist it, even to the last
shilling and the last drop of blood, rather than tamely submit to
degrading consequences or weakly yield the rights of this country to
shameful usurpation."[1]  This doctrine, rather than accept which Pitt
was willing that England should fight to the death, was quietly
accepted by Great Britain in the Declaration of Paris (1856) and, half
a century later (1909), the Declaration of London protected neutral
rights even more strongly.  But the spirit of Pitt is by no means dead.
The Declaration of London failed of ratification in Parliament partly
because of mere factional opposition and partly because of ancient
pride in England's naval supremacy.  It was held that Britain being the
strongest naval power should uphold all naval rights {252} and all
necessary naval aggressions both against belligerents and neutrals.

The argument advanced in support of this position is that so long as
the enemy disregards international law in land warfare Britain has the
right to disregard the laws of sea war.  If Germany violates Belgium's
neutrality, why should England surrender her power to put the maximum
pressure upon her unscrupulous enemy?

This argument, however, begs the whole question, whether it is to
Britain's real advantage that the naval law go back to what it was in
the days of Pitt and Napoleon instead of being progressively
liberalised.  Britain is not only the greatest naval but overwhelmingly
the greatest maritime nation in the world.  She has something to gain
and everything to lose from a reaction towards the unregulated
sea-warfare of 1801 (and 1916); she has much to gain and little to lose
from the establishment of a true freedom of the sea.

So long as England persists in a reactionary naval policy she will be
menaced by every nation which feels itself menaced by her, and by every
future development of naval warfare.  The harshness of the British
attitude in this matter of naval warfare leads to such brutal reprisals
as that of the German submarine campaign against merchantmen.  That
campaign was not without its influence in laming the commercial
activity of Great Britain; had the war broken out ten years later, with
Germany better equipped with submarines, the result might have been far
more serious.  A future submarine war carried on by France against
England might be disastrous to the island kingdom.  Even the German
campaign, hampered as it was by the fewness and remoteness of the
German naval bases, might easily have had a crippling effect upon
British industrial life but for the pressure brought to bear {253} upon
Germany by the United States.  In the long run England cannot have it
both ways.  She must either defend her commerce from submarines alone
or else accept a revision of the naval law.

Fortunately there are men in Great Britain who accept this broader
view.  "One of the promises of victory," writes the Englishman, H.
Sidebotham, "is that Great Britain will be able to review her whole
naval policy in the light of the experience gained in the war.  Sir
Edward Grey has himself indicated that such a review may be appropriate
in the negotiations for peace after victory has been won."[2]

Towards such a change in attitude the public opinion of the United
States can largely contribute.  While the majority of Americans side
strongly with Britain and her allies, they make little distinction in
their thought between a detested German militarism and a detested
British navalism.  Our traditional attitude is one of hostility to the
pretensions of the mistress of the sea.  "How many more instances do we
need," writes Prof. J. W. Burgess, "to demonstrate to us that the
system of Colonial Empire with the dominance of the seas, and the
unlimited territorial expansion which it claims, is not compatible with
the freedom and prosperity of the world?  Can any American with half an
eye fail to see that our greatest interest in the outcome of this war
is that the seas shall become free and neutral, and that, shall they
need policing, this shall become international; that the open door for
trade and commerce shall take the place of colonial restrictions or
preferences, or influences and shall, in times of peace, be the
universal principle; that private property upon the high seas shall be
inviolable; that trade between neutrals in time of war shall be
entirely {254} unrestricted, and that contraband of war shall have an
international definition?"[3]

Even if England did not recognise her true national interest in a
revision of the sea-law, we could not co-operate with her in any broad
attempt to establish the conditions of peace in Europe without such a
surrender on her part of rights which have become indefensible.  It is
not, of course, to be anticipated that a complete freedom of the sea
will be immediately established, but unless the nations, not
controlling the ocean, are given reasonable assurances of safety for
their commerce and colonial development, each new war will merely lay
the seeds of new wars.

To establish the freedom of the sea, five things are desirable:

(1) The abolition of the right of capture.

(2) The abolition of the commercial blockade.  This would permit the
blockading of a naval port or base, the exclusion or destruction of
naval vessels, the searching of merchant vessels for absolute and
conditional contraband, and the blockade of a city or port where the
naval blockade was merely the completion of a land blockade, but it
would give to all ordinary merchant vessels, either enemy or neutral,
the same access to enemy ports that they enjoy in peace, without any
further delay than is necessary for the prevention of non-neutral acts
by merchantmen.

(3) The establishment of international prize courts and the submission
of controversies to such courts.

(4) The internationalization of such straits as the Dardanelles, the
Suez Canal, the Panama Canal, the Kiel Canal, the Straits of Gibraltar,
as far as that can be achieved by international agreement.


(5) Establishment of an international naval convention and of an
international body to enforce its decisions, to which international
body all powers, naval and non-naval, should be admitted.

An Anglo-American agreement to enforce such a convention could be made
the corner-stone of an international organisation, open to all nations.
A naval force of neutral powers would enforce the freedom of the sea in
the interest of England's enemies and in her own interest.  With such
an agreement in force much of the present naval rivalry would lose its
meaning.  If German commerce were safe in time of war, if she could not
be blockaded and her ships captured, she would have a weaker interest
in building against England.  She might still desire a fleet to bombard
enemy coasts or to invade England, but even without such a navy she
would have a large measure of security.  She might well prefer to
forego some of her naval ambitions in order to secure British
friendship.  In any case even a naval disaster would not be so utterly
crushing to England nor so great a hardship to Germany as under present

Naturally the value of such an arrangement would depend upon the belief
of the nations in its faithful enforcement by all the signatory powers.
International promises fall in value as wars come to be fought by
powerful coalitions instead of by individual nations, each immensely
weaker than the whole group of neutral powers.  When all nations of the
first rank become engaged actively or by sympathy, the truly neutral
powers are too weak to exercise much influence.  They cannot compel the
belligerents even to live up to their acknowledged agreements.  What in
such cases is the value of a naval convention between England and
Germany, which neither of the {256} nations believes that the other
will observe in the day of trial?

The difficulty is a real one as the uncontrolled savagery and the
unnumbered violations of international law during the present war amply
prove.  It is this doubt as to whether opposed groups will live up to
their agreements, or whether neutral groups will enforce such
agreements, that strikes at the root of international, as also of
national cohesion.  If we believe that our neighbors will not pay their
personal property taxes, it is highly improbable that we will pay ours;
a nation, which believes that its enemy will violate an agreement
anticipates such action by violating the agreement first.[4]  Yet
without such international agreements no international concert is
possible.  Moreover the very condition, which made agreements so
perishable during the present war (the number and strength of the
belligerents and the weakness of the neutrals) is one which itself is
likely to be remedied by agreements made in advance.  If Germany,
England, France, Italy and Russia have even a qualified sense of
security concerning their over-sea possessions and their commerce, they
will be less likely to enter into these hostile, world-embracing
coalitions, which rob such agreements of so much of their value.
Especially would this be true if certain terms of the agreement--such
as the {257} neutralisation of strategic water-ways--could be effected
in peace times.  In any case this evolving and increasing half-trust in
agreements is one of the fragile instruments with which we must work.
If, therefore, an international arrangement were made, or a series of
compacts were formed between individual nations, by which, for example,
a group of powers promised to attack any nation violating these naval
agreements (even if it pleaded counter violations by the enemy) a basis
of faith in the new arrangements would be laid.

There would remain, however, the question of colonies.  So long as
there is no principle by which the colonial opportunities of the world
can be distributed, we shall have competitive nationalistic imperialism
and the constant threat of war.

[1] Quoted by H. Sidebotham.  "The Freedom of the Seas."  "Towards a
Lasting Settlement," by various authors; edited by Charles Roden
Buxton, London, 1915, p. 66.

[2] H. Sidebotham, _op. cit._, p. 63.

[3] "The European War of 1914.  Its Causes, Purposes and Probable
Results," Chicago, 1915, p. 142.

[4] Some of the German defenders of the Belgian invasion claim that the
Germans were convinced that had they not used Belgium as a base for
military operations, England or France would have done so at the first
convenient moment, though possibly with Belgium's consent (which,
however, Belgium had no legal right to give).  Whether or not this fear
was justified, it is evident that violations and proposed violations of
international law by one group of belligerents led to violations by the
other, reprisals were answered by counter-reprisals, and grave breaches
of international law by all belligerents were defended on the ground
that the opponent would do, or had done, the same.




One of the greatest difficulties in the problem of working out an
international colonial policy is our neglect of the immediate and
overwhelming influence of colonies, as of other economic outlets, in
the provocation of destructive wars.  Until the nations recognize that
wars are in the main wars of interest, fought for concrete things, and
unless such things can be utilised with some regard to the desires of
all nations involved, war cannot be avoided.

If these questions of interest were merely a matter of short division,
of so much trade to be distributed, the problem, though difficult,
would be easier of solution.  But in many cases a single, indivisible
prize must be awarded.  There is only one Antwerp, one Trieste, one
Constantinople, and there are many claimants.  Is Russia to control the
Yellow Sea or is Japan?  Is the Persian Gulf to be British, Russian or
German?  Is the present division of colonial possessions to be
maintained or is there to be a new distribution, from which some
nations will gain and others lose?  What is to decide what colonies
shall belong to what nation or what share each nation shall have in the
profits of exploitations?  These and a hundred other questions indicate
the wide range of complicated economic interests which to-day divide
nations and illustrate the difficulty of establishing a basis of

Clearly we cannot solve the problem by permanently {259} maintaining
the _status quo_.  For the _status quo_, being based upon the relative
power of nations in the past, does not conform to the power of the same
nations to-day or to-morrow.  Moreover, the maintenance of the _status
quo_ means the perpetuation of absurd anachronisms.  It is undesirable
as well as impossible.  Nations are not static.  You can no more assure
exclusive economic advantages to a weak and unprogressive nation than
you could have preserved the American continent to the aborigines.

Even if there were no single economic principle to apply, it would not
follow that some approach to an economic equilibrium would be
impossible.  As law develops out of an endless chaos of human relations
by means of decisions (based on temporary exigencies) until a rule of
law is established, as the market-price grows out of the innumerable
hagglings of the market, so even without the aid of a fundamental
principle, some _modus vivendi_, some approach to an economic concert,
could be attained.  Economically considered, war is an attempt to solve
the problem of the utilisation of the world's resources.  If the
world's wealth and income can be so distributed among the world's
inhabitants, grouped into nations, as to render those nations, not
indeed satisfied, but sufficiently satisfied not to go to war, a basis
for peace results, even though the arrangement is not ideal.  If,
however, the distribution is obviously at variance with the relative
power and needs of the nations, then one nation or group seeks to
overturn the arrangement by force.

To secure such a distribution requires the establishment of certain
canons of international policy and modes of international procedure.
The decision must in some degree conform to the median expectations of
the powers.  Back of any particular economic arrangement also, there
{260} must be the force of tradition, a sense of security, a sense of
justice.  The redistribution must be such that the resulting motive to
war will be weaker than the motive to peace.

But before we can even approach such a plan to prevent war by reducing
the economic incentive, we must frankly recognise that in certain
circumstances a nation may have a direct economic interest in war.  To
deny such an interest is not only fallacious but even dangerous.  For
if we believe that nations have no economic motive to war, when in
truth they have, we are likely to neglect to do things necessary to
reverse such motives.  Our international task is to make arrangements
which will cause nations to lose their interest in war.  It is not that
of trying to persuade nations that they have no such interest.

There is much ambiguity and incoherence in most discussions concerning
the economic advantages of war.  On the whole, while the world does not
usually gain by war, but loses through the destruction of capital and
through industrial deterioration, an individual nation may clearly
gain.  England gained from the Seven Years' War, the United States from
the war with Mexico, Germany from the war of 1870, Japan from its war
with China.  By war nations may secure markets, access to raw
materials, better opportunities for investment and a firm basis for
industrial progress; they may cripple troublesome competitors; they may
exact indemnities.  Much that is accounted gain on this score may in
the end prove to be loss, but it is false to state that there can be no
profit at all.

The discussion whether or not a war is profitable often takes the
superficial form of a comparison between the indemnity received and the
money expended on the war.  It is pointed out, for example, that in
1895 Japan received a larger sum from China than {261} had been spent
on the war, while on the other hand it is emphasised that thereafter
the military expenditures of Japan increased so rapidly that much more
than this profit was spent.  But the indemnity was the smallest part of
Japan's gain and the military expenditures were made necessary, not by
the Chinese War nor by the payment of the indemnity but by a concrete
military policy, which was largely based on concrete economic needs.
Either an expansion into Asia was necessary and in the end possible for
Japan or it was not; if it was, the expenditure of a few hundred
million dollars on the wars against China, Russia and Germany were a
paying investment, irrespective of indemnities; if it was not the wars
would have been a bad investment even had they shown a clear balance on
the books.

The problem is not whether every war is advantageous to the victor but
whether any war is of benefit.  It is highly improbable that the war of
1914 will in the end pay most if any of the combatants, but if Germany
by a victory as easy as that of 1870 could have secured from France an
indemnity of four or five billion dollars and the cession of Northern
Africa, it would surely have paid.  A war between Germany and Holland,
if the other powers held off, would be equally profitable to the
stronger power.  If a coalition of nations could defeat and blockade
Great Britain, they could easily recoup themselves for any expenditures
involved.  It is true that they could not physically remove British
railways and mines, but they could confiscate the navy, the merchant
marine, a part of the foreign and colonial investments and a certain
part of the profits of business within the kingdom.  To assert that a
nation can never gain at war is merely to state that nations never have
conflicting interests, whereas in truth some nations are cramped
economically by other nations, {262} and a large part of the wealth and
income of most nations can be diverted by means of physical compulsion.

The problem of internationalism is therefore not solely to teach the
nation its own interest but so to change the conditions that the
nation's interest in war will disappear.  The temptation to war can be
overcome only by reversing the motives of the nation, either by making
war no longer profitable, or by making the nation harmless.  Within the
nation the same problem exists with regard to classes.  Either the
bellicose class must be satisfied in some other way, must have its
energies directed to some other task, or it must be made impotent.

The first problem, that of destroying the economic root of war, can be
solved only by securing a community of interest among great nations, an
economic internationalism.  Not, of course, a complete community; there
is perhaps no such thing in the world.  The inter-class relations
within a nation illustrate this point.  These social classes,
wage-earners and capitalists, industrialists and agriculturalists, are
separated by many differences and have no complete community of
interest, yet are sufficiently united to prevent a complete dissolution
of the state.  So, internationally, a community of interest may be
partial and tentative if it suffices to give the countries enough, or
the promise of enough, to discourage them from easily resorting to the
costly and dangerous expedient of war.

In securing this concert, we must work upon the general principle that
wherever possible, a joint use of a given resource by various nations
is better than an exclusive use by any one nation.  The progress of
society within the last few centuries has been toward an extension of
this principle of joint use.  More and more things are held by society
for the benefit of the nation.  {263} Similarly an increasing number of
the things for which nations compete might be held by the nations of
the world for the joint use of humanity.  While such a joint use is not
always possible, especially when it runs counter to long usage, an
immense opportunity for such joint use remains.

This principle of joint use might advantageously be applied to the
development of backward countries.  Nothing has been more difficult
than the distribution among industrial nations of the advantages
accruing from colonial exploitation.  There are three methods by which
nations, if they can agree at all, may seek to adjust their rival
claims.  The first is to do nothing nationally; to permit the backward
countries to be exploited at will by individual competitors.  The
second is to divide the new territories among the rival powers.  The
third is to secure a joint development by all the great powers.

The first method usually means both a ruthless exploitation of natives
and a constant conflict among the interested nations.  The nationals of
one country conspire against those of another for a control of the
native government.  If, for example, we were to leave the Philippines
entirely alone, various enterprising capitalists would immediately
organise and support corrupt native governments, lend money at usurious
rates and secure exclusive concessions.  To upset these arrangements,
financiers of a rival nation would foment revolutions, and the country
would be split up into political factions, supported by money from
various European capitals.  The political leaders though talking
grandiloquently of independence and native sovereignty, would be, and
perhaps would know that they were, merely pawns in a financial chess

The second method, now more or less usual, of {264} establishing
national spheres of influence, also leads to friction and the threat of
force.  The crucial difficulty of this plan lies in the fact that great
nations which have come late into the colonial competition are left
without a sufficient agricultural base for their industry and live in
fear of having the colonies of rival powers shut against them.  The
whole plan is based upon the assumed right of each nation to monopolise
the resources of colonies, in other words, to use exclusively what
might be used jointly.  As a result of this method the temptation to go
to war over colonies is immensely great.  If by a single war, Germany
could secure enough colonial territory from France to maintain her
industry for three or four generations, it might well be worth her
while to fight.  It is the lives of one or of two million men to-day
against tens of millions of lives a generation hence.  A nation which
would not fight for a somewhat larger share in the exploitation of a
given colony would be tempted to fight for a sole and monopolistic

The third plan of distribution is what may be called the
internationalisation of colonies.  It is a step in the direction of an
international imperialism, as opposed to the nationalistic imperialism
of to-day.  There have been numerous proposals to secure a machinery
for such internationalism in colonies.  Especially during the last
decade or two many men in Europe and America have come to the
conclusion that the danger of the present international scramble for
colonies is so great that any change, even though not in itself
unassailable, is better than the present anarchy.  Even among
Socialists the belief is now expressed that the colonial problem is to
be solved, not by leaving it alone, but by a concerted action of the
Great Powers, which will give each nation the assurance of a {265}
certain stake in colonial development, and will lessen the temptation
to wage imperialistic wars.

Of the various recent plans two concrete proposals are worth citing.
Thus Mr. Walter Lippmann[1] suggests a permanent international
conference of the great powers which would act as a senate to the
native legislative body of the backward country, let us say Morocco,
and would in time supervise the budget, fix salaries and make
appointments.  It is hoped by Mr. Lippmann, though not confidently
predicted, that such a body would guarantee the open door and give
equal opportunities to the investors of all nations in the particular
colony.  A broader plan, proposed by Mr. H. W. Brailsford[2] involves
the union into a permanent international syndicate of all companies and
individuals seeking railroad, mining and other concessions in a
backward country.

Fundamentally the plan of Mr. Brailsford is based on the open door for
colonial trade and the equal (and automatic) participation of the great
nations in colonial investment.  "The remedy," he says, "is so simple
that only a very clever man could sophisticate himself into missing it,
and it is as old as Cobden.  It is not necessary to establish universal
free trade to stop the rivalry to monopolise colonial markets; it would
suffice to declare free trade in the colonies, or even in those which
are not self-governing."  "It ought not to be utterly beyond the
statesmanship of Europe to decree some limited form of colonial free
trade by general agreement--to apply it, for example, to Africa."  "For
the plague of concession-hunting the best expedient would probably be
to impose on all the competing national groups in each area the duty of
{266} amalgamating in a permanently international syndicate.  If one
such syndicate controlled all the railways and another all the mines of
China and Turkey, a vast cause of national rivalry would be removed.
The interests of China and Turkey might be secured by interposing a
disinterested council or arbitrator between them and the syndicate to
adjust their respective interests.  Short of creating a world State or
a European federation, the chief constructive work for peace is to
establish colonial free trade and internationalise the export of

Both the plans mentioned are limited in scope and difficult of
application, but each contains the germ of a possible development.
That of Mr. Brailsford seems on the whole the more promising.  It is
likely that a senate such as is proposed by Mr. Lippmann would go to
pieces over the question whether a certain valuable and exclusive
concession should go to a French or to a German syndicate or whether a
punitive expedition should or should not be sent against the tribes in
the interior.  On the other hand the plan of Mr. Brailsford, which by
no means excludes the other, has the advantage of making once and for
all a fixed and certain distribution of all eventual profits and thus
effecting a real community of interest among the promoters and
investors of all nations.  It is an economic rather than a political
solution, and it is along the line of a present trend, the evolution of
international investment and of economic internationalism generally.
It would seem easier for the capitalists of six great nations to form a
great international trust for specific purposes than for an
international senate to make a multitude of decisions each affecting
strong national interests.

A difficulty, inhering in all plans, is that there is no rule of law or
morals that will decide how much each {267} nation should secure from
the profits of exploitation.  To what extent shall American, Dutch,
Belgian, Austrian or Japanese capitalists contribute to the
international syndicate which is to exploit the backward countries?
But this problem, though difficult, is less hopeless than that of
equitably distributing colonies _en bloc_.  For there is no principle
on which to divide such colonies.  Neither national wealth nor
population nor the strength of the national army and navy will serve as
a criterion, though all perhaps would be factors in determining the
shares of the different countries.  A still greater difficulty however
arises from the fact that the most valuable colonies are already
distributed.  Even if Germany were to receive a share in Moroccan
opportunities, might she not still seek by war to obtain the exclusive
possession of the immense French colonial empire.  Perhaps no
arrangement for a joint exploitation of new and presumably less
valuable colonies would wholly satisfy the imperialists of great
European powers, so long as the old colonies are so unevenly divided.
To satisfy the nations without colonies, some arrangements must also be
made for a redistribution of rights in colonies already belonging to
the great powers.

But against such redistribution immense forces are opposed.  Algeria is
now safely French; India has been British for more than a century and a
half.  Whatever rights are conceded in these countries to foreign
investors, whatever division of profits is granted, will be effected
only under the political control of the French and British governments.
The best concessions have long since been given out, and the nation
which has had political control has in the main favoured its own

The essential problem here, however, is the open door.  If the nations
without colonies or sufficient agricultural resources at home can sell
their products and buy their {268} raw materials on the same terms as
do the nations owning colonies, a large part of the present bitterness
and discontent would disappear.  There are of course two difficulties
in the way of the establishment of such an open door.  The first is
that commerce may be legally free and yet be hampered by a mass of
local, illegal discriminations, and the second is that the trend at the
present time is opposed to such equality in colonial commerce.  The
first difficulty is not unsolvable; the second constitutes an obstacle,
which will only be removed when the forces making for an
internationalisation of colonies become stronger than they are to-day.

Even a settlement of the colonial problem would not solve all the
economic questions dividing the nations; equally perplexing
difficulties are found nearer home.  A generation or two from now
Germany might be completely ruined by a refusal on France's part to
grant her access to the iron mines of Lorraine.  At any moment Russia
may prohibit the temporary emigration of agricultural laborers upon
whom the prosperity of the East Prussian agriculture largely depends.
Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, Holland and other countries can be ruined
by adverse tariff legislation.  In very few countries is there such a
balanced economic structure, such a complete control over the
essentials of industry as to render an economic assault by other
nations innocuous.

It is not essential, however, in working out an economic concert that
all the problems that separate the nations be completely and finally
settled.  Given a satisfactory solution of the chief difficulties, some
way will be sought to prevent secondary problems from leading nations
to war.  A single instance of a joint successful enterprise of the
powers in a single economic field would act as a powerful inducement to
attempt joint action in other {269} cases.  It is not to be assumed
that all the questions dividing Europe are to be solved in a day or by
a single decision.  What is required is not one plan which will
safeguard all the nations all the time but an inclination or desire to
afford a measure of economic security to all and a gradual working out
of a machinery, which will effect a settlement here and a settlement
there and will in the end develop certain general lines of policy.  It
is not for a single economic setback that nations go to war, nor even
because of a slower development than that of rivals; the chief animus
is an ever present fear of industrial _débacle_.  Economic insecurity,
even more than present economic distress, forces nations to resort to
arms.  The way out is towards some form of internationalisation of the
great external opportunities upon which the home industry of the nation

Is such a development probable?  Will the nations in this generation or
in five generations agree to make sacrifices to permit their rivals to
live?  It is a question not lightly to be answered.  We cannot be
dogmatic concerning the future development of industry and of
international relations when we cannot see clearly a dozen years ahead.
Yet the very intensity, the almost pathological intensity, of the
nationalistic economic struggle to-day is an indication that it may be
approaching a change.  In the midst of this struggle, there appears
below the surface the signs of a growing economic internationalism.

[1] "The Stakes of Diplomacy," New York, 1916, pp. 132-135.

[2] The _New Republic_, May 8, 1915.

[3] The _New Republic_, May 8th, 1915.




An internationalism, which will bind the nations together into one
economic unit, can be secured only as a result of a further political
and economic development, limiting the power and autonomy of the
several nations.  Without pressure, external or internal, no union or
agreement among the nations can be expected.  The thirteen American
colonies would not have been willing to live together had they been
able to live separately, and, similarly, to-day the great powers would
make no concessions to internationalism were it safe and profitable to
retain a complete liberty of action.  But no such plenary independence
is longer possible.  Forces are at work which circumscribe national
autonomy and compel each nation to act with reference to the will of

In the case of small nations this tendency is manifest.  Belgium before
1914 was a neutralised state, a ward of Europe.  It had surrendered its
right to declare war or form alliances.  Switzerland, Denmark, Norway
and Sweden, while preserving their technical liberty, were by their
weakness precluded from entering upon policies disapproved by stronger
nations.  Even the six Great Powers were forced to pool issues.
Austria dared not carry out a programme which Germany opposed, nor
could Russia or France act without the other's acquiescence.  Group
policies were substituted for purely nationalistic aims.


Economically a similar interdependence is being created.  No nation is
wholly self-sufficing.  Italy must import coal and iron, Germany
cotton, wool, leather and fodder.  France requires Germany's coal and
Germany the iron of France.  A safe access to these markets and sources
of raw material can only be assured by alliance with other powers.

The economic dependence of one nation, moreover, influences the
policies of its neighbours.  The stress of a country suffering from
industrial disequilibrium is transmitted to other nations.  If, when
Germany has exhausted her iron ore, she is prevented from obtaining a
supply, let us say from French Lorraine, she will be faced with the
alternative of dismantling her works in Westphalia and Silesia or of
forcing France to sell ore to her.  Germany's stringency will thus
vitally affect France's international policy.  Equally, if Russia or
Austria cannot obtain what it needs from abroad, the nations which
close the gates are endangered.  Caution alone must prevent a nation
from allowing its neighbour to risk starvation.  However ill-founded in
precedent, the right to secure what it imperatively needs is a right
that every people will fight for.

From this political and economic interdependence among nations
potentially hostile, there results a vague community of interest in
peace.  This common interest is strongly reinforced by the staggering
costs of modern war.  The present conflict is teaching us that Europe
cannot continue to live and fight, since more than what it fights for
is lost in the fighting.  On the other hand it cannot stop fighting
until it evolves principles of settlement based on the economic
security of the vanquished.  What the industrial powers will gain from
this conflict is but an insignificant part of its cost.  Compared with
the billions {272} of dollars which France has spent upon this war, how
insignificant are the few tens of millions that she may have gained
from a monopolistic administration of her colonies!  How little would
the open door have cost the successful colonial nations as compared
with the losses of this war!  Not that colonial administration was the
only or the main cause of the conflict; other factors contributed, such
as the megalomania of the Pan-Germans.  It seems probable, however,
that Pan-German fanaticism was rendered infectious only by the fear
that Germany was to be economically encircled and undermined.  This
fear may well outlast the war.  A German defeat, however crushing, will
not solve the peace problem, for defeat without security means
militarism and reaction in Germany, which in turn means militarism and
reaction in Europe.  The special advantages which the nations,
possessing colonies, may in the future secure will be dearly bought at
the expense of new wars, as costly and decivilising as that under which
we now live.

This is the chief sanction of internationalism, the price which is
exacted from both beneficiaries and victims of a narrow nationalistic
policy.  Whether a liberal internationalism would not pay better, even
on the plane of dollars and cents, is a question that admits of but one
rational answer.

At this moment[1] there is small likelihood that that rational answer
will be given.  Fighting inhibits thinking, and in the allied countries
the belief is held that Germany provoked the war through mere
wantonness and not because of economic pressure, and that security can
come only by ending Prussian militarism.  In Germany there is an
analogous conception of her opponents.

The theory that the war was merely wanton has the {273} merit of
simplicity, but like other simple interpretations, it does not cover
the facts.  There were in Germany certain current ideas concerning
racial dominion, the natural mission of the German and the absolute
supremacy and moral self-sufficiency of the State, which intensified
the war spirit.  The Pan-Germans harangued in press and on platform to
a people intoxicated by former military and economic triumphs and
rendered susceptible by army discipline to martial intoxication.  Had
it not been for a real sense of insecurity, however, peaceable Germans
would have been less receptive to such martial ideas.  For a generation
after 1870 Germany, though armed, had been pacific because secure; her
economic centre of gravity lay within.  It was not until her national
interests extended beyond her boundaries that this sense of insecurity
arose.  Pan-Germanism was the intellectual and emotional expression of
an economic malaise.

To boycott Germany after the war will neither decrease her anxiety nor
improve the prospects of peace in Europe.  Such a "war after the war,"
as it is now proposed, is a flat denial of the economic interdependence
of nations.  Its obvious result would be to intensify, rather than
moderate, the industrial competition.  Driven from the markets of the
allies, Germany would be forced to dump her goods into all neutral
countries (at the expense of the trade of the boycotting nations), as
well as to form a counter economic alliance and if possible a military
coalition.  A permanent economic injury to the Central Powers would at
the first convenient moment provoke military retaliation.  And,
parenthetically, a nation like Germany, with its growing population and
resources, cannot remain crushed.  Even if too weak to make headway
against a powerful group of nations, it will always be strong enough to
act as a make-weight between two opposed coalitions.  {274} Thus if
England and Russia, no longer united by a common peril, were to clash
in the Mediterranean or in Persia, the presence of an economically
threatened and therefore bellicose Germany would tend to precipitate
hostilities.  If a boycotted Germany by an economic or military
alliance could detach one or more of her present enemies, the
international situation created would be as dangerous as that of

The argument that economic insecurity does not tend toward war is thus
seen to halt on all fours.  There is, however, a stronger or at least a
more obvious argument against the promotion of economic
internationalism.  It is the claim that wars are caused by
nationalistic strife.  If the incessant struggle between nationalities
cannot be appeased but must lead again and again to world-wide wars,
then it is futile to seek to avert war by the creation of an economic
internationalism.  No agreement among the great nations about trade or
colonies will avail so long as Poles, Bulgars and Southern Slavs can
throw the world into war to fulfil their nationalistic aspirations.
Until this nationalistic problem is solved no sure advance towards a
permanent peace is possible.

Undoubtedly the struggle of subject nationalities to be {275} free, and
of independent nations to annex their kin, has been a fruitful source
of strife during the last century.  The sense of nationality has been
intensified by the nation's mobilisation of the economic interests of
its citizens; it has become almost pathological as a result of petty
nationalistic fragments competing for separate existence.  Bulgarians,
Greeks and Serbians want the same tract in Macedonia; Roumanians,
Italians and Serbs wish to redeem their subject brethren in the
Austro-Hungarian Empire; France seeks to rescue the Francophile though
German-speaking Alsatians and Lothringians, and Germany would gladly
welcome the Dutch and Flemings back to their putative German
allegiance.  There is no limit to these nationalistic claims; no room
for arbitration; no fixed principle to determine to which nation each
group shall be awarded.  The result, quite apart from any action among
the Great Powers, seems war--inevitable and endless.[3]


It is impossible to withhold one's admiration for the inspiring fight
which oppressed peoples all over the world are making for their
independence.  We thrill over the old story of the Grecian revolt
against Turkey, of the great risorgimento of Italy, of the long slow
struggle of Germany to achieve statehood.  The century since the Vienna
Congress has marked an almost uninterrupted victory for the principle
of nationality.  Yet though we sympathise with the aspirations of
Poles, Finns, Armenians and Bohemians, an unlimited independence cannot
always be desired.  Nationalities are not sundered geographically, but
men of diverse stocks and traditions are interspersed, as though a
malign power had wished to make concord forever impossible.  Ireland
cannot secure autonomy, to say nothing of independence of Great
Britain, without encountering Ulster's demand to be independent of
Ireland.  Similarly a Great Roumania, a Greater Serbia, a Poland, an
independent Bohemia can be secured only by denying the equal rights of
lesser racial groups.  To-day Hungarians misrule the Roumanians of
Transylvania; to-morrow a Greater Roumania may misrule the Transylvania
Hungarians.  The principle of the independence of nationalities
collides with itself.

It also collides with overwhelming economic facts.  Racially Trieste is
semi-Italian, but if Italy acquires the city (and includes it in her
customs union), a vast Austrian and German _hinterland_ is deprived of
a necessary commercial outlet.  Italy can hold the East Adriatic only
by smothering Serbia.  Moreover many of these foetal nationalities are
too weak and geographically too insecure for independent political
existence.  What reality would attach to an independent Bohemia held in
a vice between two hostile German neighbours, and with a German
population in its own territory?  Even in peace the {277} Teutonic
powers could gently strangle the new nation by means of discriminating

Finally many of the claims for nationalistic expansion are inspired by
a motive quite different from what appears on the surface.  What the
nation usually wants is not merely its own unredeemed brethren, but
more territory and people.  Its unredeemed brethren are the easiest to
take.  But while Roumania demands sovereignty over the Roumanians of
Transylvania, she will not let the Bulgarians of the Dobrudja go.  In
the one case she upholds the sacred principle of nationality; in the
other she discards that principle for the sake of a strategic frontier.
Serbians and Greeks ask not only for the right to recover their ancient
territory but also for the right to rule over Bulgarians and Turks.
What they really desire is access to the sea, ample resources for an
adequate population, and the national power, without which an
independent existence is an illusion.

It is too late to dream of a really independent existence for each
pigmy nationality, strewn about in Eastern Europe.  In the absence of a
Balkan Confederation, Servia, Roumania, Bulgaria, Montenegro and Greece
may preserve their separate sovereignties, though only if they submit
to the "advice" of greater nations, as Portugal submits to Britain.
But for such nations to have conflicting nationalistic aspirations, to
wage bloody wars for larger territory and more subjects, is a
ridiculous and a tragic situation.  Servia, dreaming of the restoration
of the empire of Tsar Stephen Dushan, whose armies marched to the walls
of Constantinople, Greece aspiring to the Empire of the East, are a
menace to the peace of the world.  It is doubtful whether all of these
ambitious nationalities can even preserve their separate national
existence.  If the welfare of Europe conflicts with the {278}
independence of a Montenegro or a Bohemia, some lesser form of
self-government must be discovered.

That lesser form of self-government might be sought in a local autonomy
under a federal government.  It is not improbable that the political
development, of south-eastern Europe for example, will tend towards
group organisations based on the co-operation of diverse nationalities
and stocks somewhat on the Swiss model.  If the political question
could be divorced from the question of the economic exploitation of
these small nations, and if each nationalistic group were permitted to
retain its language, traditions and _Kultur_, the result might be
better than a mere _morcellement_ of south-eastern Europe, with petty
nationalities fighting the battles of their big backers.  In such a
larger Switzerland, each group might be represented in proportion to
its numbers, and the worst evils of the present racial contests be

The important question in the present connection, however, is not what
the particular solution is to be, but whether any solution is possible.
It need not be a perfect but only a permanent settlement.  Such a
settlement presupposes a concert among the Great Powers, an agreement
concerning their own problems.  Given such an agreement, however, the
Powers could in time work out a Balkan arrangement, which neither
Servia nor Bulgaria, Roumania nor Greece would dare resist.  In the
end, if the arrangement were definite, practicable, in reasonable
conformity with nationalistic lines, and with a strong and certain
sanction, the small nations would become resigned.  To-day they have
boundless ambitions because the division among the Great Powers gives
them a chance of realising ambitions, and what ambitions they have not
to start with, Austria or Russia will lend to them on short notice.  In
this sense and to this extent, the {279} nationalistic problem in its
worst form is an appendage to the vast struggle between the powers, and
it may cease to be provocative of great wars once a basis of agreement
is established among these larger nations.

With the best will such a basis of international agreement among the
Great Powers cannot be established in a few years.  It requires a
gradual development, a progressive give and take, a continuous widening
of the principle of joint use.  An international convention, altering
the rules of maritime warfare, would be a long step in this direction;
a congress of the nations for opening up the trade of colonies (like
our international postal conventions) would be another step.  The
internationalisation of Panama, Kiel, Gibraltar, Constantinople, would
immensely enhance security, and advance the progress of
internationalisation.  So also an economic convention between France
and Germany, or between Germany and Russia, in which reciprocal
industrial advantages were accorded.  Such specific arrangements, which
permit of international interpretation and enforcement, would help to
bring about a larger economic internationalism.

But for the real foundations of peace we must look far below the level
of all these diplomatic and political arrangements, in the world
industry itself.  To-day we are still in the full momentum of an
economic development that makes for war, but we are also at the
beginning of an economic trend towards peace.  In the present
world-economy the nation is the unit and international friction the
rule, but the movement, at what rate we do not know, tends towards a
world business in which the unit will be international and there will
be peace between partners.  We are already in the first beginnings of
the internationalism of capital.

This development is in part the cause of a general {280} phenomenon,
the growth of an internationalism of class.  Each social group seeks to
establish relations with similar groups across the border, for the
protection of interests that traverse national boundaries.  Thus we
have a certain internationalism of the wage-earning class, of finance,
of various scientific groups.  The possibility of this internationalism
grows with the integration of the world through commerce, industry,
communication and the spread of knowledge.

The most obviously international of social groups is the proletariat.
Though sundered on the question of immigration, though (in some
countries) nationalistic and even militaristic in spirit, the
wage-earners on the whole have less to gain from imperialism and
national aggression than have wealthier classes, while they share
disproportionately in the burdens that war entails.  On the other hand
workers have less influence in the making of diplomatic decisions than
do their employers.  In the end, moreover, their decision, like that of
the capitalist class, is chiefly determined by economic forces largely
beyond their control.  It is the nascent internationalism of capital,
not of capitalists or of wage-earners, that is the supreme element
making for peace.

We must beware, however, of welcoming all foreign investment as a
portent of a growing internationalism of capital.  Much that is
accounted economic internationalism is in truth merely an extended
nationalism, an extra-nationalism.  For investments to allay
international discord they should create a community of interest
between nations potentially hostile.  If Britain invested freely in
Germany and Germany in Britain there would be created a mutuality of
interest which would render peace probable.  Each nation would have a
stake in the prosperity of the other; each would have given hostages to
peace.  {281} But when the London financier puts his money in India,
Canada or the Argentine, he is not co-operating but competing with
potentially hostile nations.  The process is an extension of the
national economy to outlying districts, a transition to a larger
national unit, like that created in the Middle Ages when the free
cities ruled adjoining farm territory.  Such an economic extension
exacerbates national antagonisms and leads to war.

While foreign investment is preponderatingly of this sort, however,
there also exist the beginnings of a movement more truly international.
The securities of one nation are dealt with upon the stock exchanges of
another, capital flows across national borders and great international
business concerns are created.  The movement in favourable
circumstances is likely to accelerate, either by the mutual economic
interpenetration of nations, as when the French build factories in
Germany or the Germans in France, or by the amalgamation of the
capitals of two countries and their use in joint enterprises.  The
formation of large international syndicates for the exploitation of
backward countries, whatever its other consequences, tends towards the
creation of a community of interest.  If the powers unite, for example,
and can agree upon a Chinese loan, a step forward will have been taken
towards an internationalism of capital.

The process of trust formation tends in the same direction.  As
competing industries within a nation frequently end by combining, so in
many great industries the competing national units may develop a
gentleman's agreement to regulate output and finally may establish an
international cartel.  Considerable progress has already been made in
the division of the international field.  A further development along
these lines, though not easy, is by no means impossible or even


We may seek to understand this eventual international evolution of
business by visualising a world organisation of the steel industry.
Either one corporation might be formed or a common control might be
established among national steel companies through an interchange of
stock.  The result might be somewhat as follows: In the United States
we should have an organisation comprising all American steel concerns,
its directors representing constituent companies as well as the
government, labour and consumers.  In its domestic affairs, it would be
under governmental jurisdiction.  Its capital might amount to a few
billion dollars, of which a part would represent holdings of European
companies in return for American stock, transferred to European

Such a world corporation would be a financial aggregation immensely
greater than any in the past.  Its principles of organisation, however,
would not materially differ from those with which we are familiar.  In
each country a board of directors would hold control over constituent
companies, and at London, Paris or New York a high Federal Council
would settle controversies and make arrangements for the business of
the world.  Each company would have two elements of protection against
unfair treatment; a community of interest secured through an
interchange of stock and a representative on the Federal Council.

A development, such as is here outlined, is in advance of the
psychological preparation of the world.  We have not yet succeeded in
regulating corporations, and there would remain innumerable
difficulties and inequalities as between nations, which could not
easily be settled.  The price which such concerns might be allowed to
pay for ores or charge for finished products and the pressure which
they might put upon workmen might cause financial {283} quarrels,
leading to international controversies.  If the governments held hands
off, even greater evils might result.  The various peoples would
hesitate to turn over their basic industries to a private corporation
beyond the regulation either of competitors or of their own government.

But we are here concerned not with the end but with the direction of
international capitalism, and this direction tends to be the same as
that of national capitalism.  Division of the field, interchange of
stock, community of interest, co-operation and combination in one form
or another are as much a temptation in the relation of firms separated
by a frontier as between those within one customs union.  Capital is
fluid.  It is quantitative.  It is potentially international.  A
hundred dollars is indistinguishable from a certain number of pounds,
marks or francs.  The machinery for an international combination of
capital is already present, the beginnings of international investment
have already been made.  Further progress waits only upon the removal
of barriers, in part traditional.  The larger economic interests of the
nations, and of most of the classes within the nations, lead towards
the removal of these barriers and towards the gaining of that security
without which international investment is dangerous and conventions and
agreements almost worthless.

Given such an economic co-operation and such an economic
interpenetration of rival European nations, and the political and
diplomatic conflicts would grow less acrid and dangerous.  As the
process continued the interest of each nation in the welfare of its
neighbours would become so great as to make international war as
unthinkable as a war of Pennsylvania against New York.  A vital and
powerful international spirit, which already exists but is held in
check by the fear and insecurity of each {284} independent nation,
would be given full sway.  There would be a new Europe and a new world,
in which war would be but a vague and hateful memory.

Such developments, however, are slow and generations live their
uncertain lives during a period of transition.  While waiting for an
economic internationalism to develop to maturity the nations remain on
guard, armed, threatened and threatening.  The change from our present
anarchy to a future concord will not be swift.

For the time even an increase of the economic unit to include several
nations instead of one is not likely to put an end to all international
economic strife.  It is not improbable that the proximate economic
development will be not internationalism but _supra-nationalism_.  Just
as the customs union grew from a district to a nation, so it may grow
to include a group of nations but not the whole world.  The world may
come to be divided into a group of five or six vast economic units,
each of which would be composed of one or several or indeed many
political units.  The British Empire, the Russian Empire, the United
States, China and Japan, South America, one or two economic coalitions
of west and central Europe (with their colonial possessions) would
furnish a far more stable economic equilibrium for the world than is
the present division of the powers.  Each of these groups would have
both agricultural and manufacturing resources; none of them would be
imperatively obliged to fight for new territories.  While there would
be friction, while one group would have a population in proportion to
its resources in excess of a neighbouring group, the sheer brutal
necessity of expansion which now forces nations to fight would be
largely moderated.

Such a division of the world into seven or six or perhaps fewer
economic aggregates though not easy is quite within {285} the bounds of
possibility.  Three of these aggregates, Britain, Russia and the United
States, are already political units; the chief difficulty would consist
of western and central Europe.  No thoroughgoing political amalgamation
of such countries as France, Germany and Italy is at all proximate, but
some form of economic unity is not impossible.  The bond which would
join these countries might be less tight and therefore stronger than
the _Ausgleich_, which holds together the kingdoms of Austria and
Hungary.  In the beginning it might be merely a series of trade
conventions terminable on notice; from this it might grow to more
permanent trade agreements and finally to a customs union.  While the
opposition to such an economic union would be strong the forces driving
in this direction would also be powerful.  As the really great nations
emerge, as Russia, the United States and the British Empire increase
their population into the hundreds of millions and their wealth into
the hundreds of billions, the individual nations of Europe will become
economically insignificant and economically unsafe.  Only by a pooling
of their resources will they be able to escape from the crushing
superiority of the nations with large bulk and from an insecurity which
makes for war.

Even with such an economic rearrangement of the world the west European
coalitions would be unsafe unless they lessened the rate of increase of
their population.  Never before has this population grown so rapidly.
In the decade ending 1810 western Europe (including the nations lying
to the west of Russia), added 6.3 millions to its numbers; in the
decade ending 1900 it added almost 19 millions.  Despite a decline in
the birth-rate, the mortality has fallen so far that the population is
reaching a point where it will be difficult to secure adequate food
supplies from abroad.  Rather than starve or live under the {286}
constraint of scarce food and high food prices, the West European
powers will fight for new territory from which to feed their people.

With the industrial development of Asia, and especially of China, this
danger will be enhanced.  Of the three great nuclei of population in
the world, Eastern Asia, Southern Asia and Western (and Central)
Europe, only one has been able to draw upon the surplus food of the
world.  Eight hundred million Asiatics have been forced to live on
their own meagre home resources.  As China begins to export coal, iron,
textiles and other manufactured products, however, she will be able,
whether politically independent or not, to compete with Europe for the
purchase of this food supply.  Not only will China's population
probably increase with the advent of industrialism but the standard of
living of her population will rise, and her competition with Europe for
the sale of manufactured products and the purchase of food will become
intense.  The cheap, patient, disciplined labour of China's hundreds of
millions will be fighting with the Belgian, the German and the Italian
wage-earners to secure the food which it will be necessary to import.

It is not a yellow, but a human peril; a mere addition to the hungry
mouths that are to be fed.  The supply of exportable food that can be
raised in the world has of course not reached its maximum, but beyond a
certain point every increase in agricultural production means a more
than proportional increase in the cost of the product.  To feed eight
hundred millions costs much more than twice as much as to feed four
hundred millions.  Even though China secure only a minor part of the
exportable food, it will by just so much increase the strain upon the
industrial populations of Europe.

It is a crisis for European industrialism, a slowly {287} preparing
crisis with infinitely tragic possibilities.  What it involves is not a
mere re-distribution of wealth and income but an adjustment of
population to the available home and foreign resources in food.
Collectivism will not permanently save the European wage-earner from
hunger if he continues to multiply his numbers faster than the visible
food supply increases.  A decline in the rate of population growth is

Fortunately this decline is already in progress.  All the nations of
Western and Central Europe are moving towards a lower birth-rate and in
France this diminution has reached a point where there is no longer a
natural increase.  In a few decades the birth rate will probably begin
to fall everywhere faster than the death rate declines.  An adjustment
of the population to its probable resources will be in progress.

In this progressive decline in the birth rate is to be found the
greatest of all the factors making for internationalism and peace.  It
is a development which takes away the edge from the present frantic
effort of industrial nations to secure a monopolistic control of
foreign resources.  It permits the gradual creation of an equilibrium
between the nation's population and its physical resources at home and

Powerful forces in the world are at present slowly making for an
economic internationalism to supplant the economic nationalism which
to-day makes for war.  The problem that faces the United States is what
shall be its policy and action in view of the present nationalistic
strife and of the slowly maturing economic internationalism.

[1] November, 1916.

[2] The proposal to boycott Germany after the war is sometimes based
upon weirdly moral rather than economic considerations.  "Is it
possible," writes one C. R. Enoch, "that trade relations with the
nation that has outraged every tenet of international and moral
decency, every consideration of humanity, and has committed unspeakable
atrocities, as has Germany in her conduct of the war, can be taken up
again at the point where they were broken off? ...  There is only one
procedure compatible with honour and justice--namely, that no ordinary
commercial dealings should be carried out with Germany until the
_generation of Teutons that did these things has passed away_, unless
absolute penitence and reparation--if reparation be possible--is done
therefor."  "Can We Set the World in Order."  London, 1916, p. 197.
(My italics.)

[3] The granting of permission to the people of the disputed district
to decide their own allegiance is a good general principle, but,
unfortunately, does not carry us far.  The main difficulty lies in
determining what shall be the unit of territory and population which is
to decide.  If Ireland votes as a unit, all Ireland will have home
rule; if each county is to have the right of self direction, Ulster
will be detached from the rest of the island.  If Alsace-Lorraine votes
to become French, whole districts, which will have voted to remain
German, will be dissatisfied.  Moreover, in the latter case, should all
the residents of the two provinces be permitted to vote or only those
people and their descendants who were living there in 1870?  If the
first plan is adopted a premium is placed upon the policy of legally
dispossessing the inhabitants of a conquered land and filling their
places with loyal _immigrés_; if the latter is chosen, the principle of
the right of a population to determine its allegiance is abandoned.
Finally, if the decision of the population of the disputed district
were adverse to the interests of Europe as a whole, it would be
irrational to validate such a result.  The interests of Europe are
superior to those of any nation, however powerful, and vastly superior
to those of a Luxemburg, Ulster or Alsace-Lorraine.




To the practical man who wants to know what to do and when and how to
do it, general principles seem unreal and valueless.  He is interested
in the decisions of the next few months, not in a vague general
direction of events for the coming century.  And so in international
politics he would like to decide what the nation shall do _now_ about
the British blacklist, the German submarines, the Mexican revolution,
the California-Japanese situation, and he is not keenly interested in
the formulation of a policy which seems to hang high above the
difficult concrete problems that must be solved immediately.  He may
languidly agree with proposals to create a community of interest among
colonising nations and to establish the freedom of the sea, but he
wishes to know whether in the meanwhile we are to back up Carranza in
Mexico and what we are to do if the revolutionists "shoot up" an
American town.  While we work for these ideals, are we to allow Germany
to sink our liners and Japan to swallow up China, or are we to fight?

This attitude is not unreasonable.  A general policy is of little value
unless we can make successive decisions conform to it.  But it is not
easy or always possible to predict these decisions.  We can tell
approximately how many people in the United States will die next year,
but not how many will die in any particular family.  We can {289}
advise a man who is walking from New York to San Francisco to take a
generally westward course, but for any given mile of the road the
direction may be north or south or east.  A trend of policy is made up
of innumerable deflections, small or large; it is an irregular chain of
successive actions, which do not all tend in one direction.  Even if we
narrow our field of vision and seek to elaborate a more immediate
policy, we do not escape from the vagueness which inheres in all such
general conclusions.

In the main our problem consists in using the influence of the United
States to create such an economic harmony among the nations, and to
give each nation such a measure of security as to permit them to agree
upon an international policy, which will be in the interest of all.
The chief elements of this programme are two in number: to create
conditions within the United States which will permit us to exert a
real influence; and to use this influence in the creation of an
international organisation, which will give each nation a measure of
economic and military security, and prevent any nation from wantonly
breaking the peace.

How far we can progress towards such an organisation will depend upon
the course and uncertain issue of the present war.  The war may end
with the Central Allies crushed, with Germany reduced in size and
Austria and Turkey dismembered.  It may end with a lesser defeat for
the Central Powers and with lesser penalties.  There may be an
inconclusive peace, which may either be a mere truce or a new basis of
agreement between nations disillusioned by the conflict.  Finally the
war may end with the partial or even complete victory of the Central
Powers, either through their overcoming the united opposition of their
enemies or by detaching one or more from their alliances.


What the United States can effect at the conclusion of the war will
inevitably depend upon which of these developments takes place.
Assuming that we ourselves are not drawn into the conflict, it is
probable that our influence will be larger if neither of the great
coalitions wins an overwhelming victory.  If the Western and Eastern
Allies completely crush the resistance of the Central Powers, it is
hardly likely that they will concede to us, who have not borne a share
of the danger and toil, a large discretion in proposing the terms of
peace.  Such an unconditional victory by either side would probably
lead to an onerous and vindictive settlement, for each coalition is
bound together by promises to its constituent nations, and these
promises cannot be fulfilled without wholesale spoliation.  Moreover,
each coalition will wish to weaken the future power of its opponents.
A request by the United States that the victorious alliance deal
generously with the defeated nations in order to create the conditions
of a permanent peace would therefore probably meet with a more or less
courteous denial.  On the other hand, a drawn battle, or one in which
the defeated party asking for peace still retained a considerable power
of resistance, might lead to conditions in which the influence of the
neutral nations, led by the United States, would be all-decisive.  A
situation might be created out of which no further fighting could bring
a tolerable peace, and the nations might agree to some form of
incipient international organisation, to which the United States could

The problem of Constantinople illustrates this possibility.  That city,
with the command of the straits, is likely to go to Russia if the
Allies win, and to fall under a disguised German-Austrian domination if
the Central Powers are victorious.  Either situation would be vicious;
{291} either would leave the commerce of the defeated nations at the
mercy of the great power that held the Bosphorus.  If on the other
hand, the two opposed alliances were almost equally formidable at the
end of the war, or if England and France became unwilling to fight
longer in order to give Russia a strategic position at Constantinople,
a true solution of the problem might be obtained by neutralising the
straits.  A union of all the powers might guarantee the free passage of
these waters at all times, and an American commissioner in command of a
small American army might carry out the wishes of an international
council.  It would not be a pleasant or in any sense a profitable
adventure for the United States, and we should accept the task most
unwillingly.  Our sole motive would be the belief that our acceptance
of this responsibility would remove one of the greatest causes of
future war.

Such an assumption of obligations at Constantinople would constitute
for us a new and dangerous international policy.  While Constantinople
is easily defended and while ample assistance would be forthcoming if
defence were necessary, it can hardly be doubted that a rupture of such
an international agreement guaranteeing the neutrality of the straits
would bring on a war in which we should be obliged to take our part.
Yet the danger which we thus incur by entering upon an agreement
looking to international peace is perhaps less than the danger of not
entering since if Constantinople causes another world war, as it may if
not neutralised, it is by no means unlikely that sooner or later we may
be forced into the struggle.  It is better to risk our peace in seeking
to avert a world disaster than to permit the great war to come.

There are other international policies which in favouring circumstances
might be urged by the United States at {292} the close of the war.  We
might append our signature to international conventions defining and
guaranteeing a freedom of the seas, to agreements looking towards a
co-operative exploitation of backward countries, to laws regulating the
settlement of arbitrable international disputes, and to such special
conventions as might be made for the re-neutralisation of Belgium.
Upon the basis of such agreements, even though they were but tentative
and partial, we might enter with the other nations upon some form of a
League of Peace and International Polity, which would secure these new
conventions from being rudely disturbed by the aggression of one or two

Whether we help to carry out these policies at the close of this war,
will depend upon the balance of power then existing in Europe and upon
the mood of the nations.  If Russia wants Constantinople, if Britain
insists upon the right of capture at sea, if France, Italy, Servia,
Roumania and the British colonies demand territorial gains without
compensation, and these powers are able to enforce their will, our
delegates to the Peace Conference may make representations and
suggestions, but will not be able to carry them through.  Nor if the
Central Powers are victorious and unyielding, shall we be able to make
our advice count.  No one power or group of powers could carry out such
a policy against the will of a majority or even of a strong minority of
powers.  Unless the conditions at the end of the war are such as to
convince the victors (if there are victors) that it is wiser to
readjust the world than to get all they can, unless great nations like
Britain, France and Germany can agree that a groundwork for future
peace is more valuable than territorial gains and punitive damages, the
opportunity for a peaceful reconstruction will pass.  New coalitions
will be formed; new wars will be fought.

It is of course possible that such an international {293}
reconstruction will be entered upon only with hesitation by several of
the nations, including some of the victors.  It is even conceivable
that the movement might be furthered by certain of the belligerents on
both sides, as for example Germany, Great Britain, France and Italy
(aided by the United States and other neutrals) and be opposed to some
extent by, let us say, Russia and Turkey.  It is not assumed that this
particular division among the nations will actually occur, but merely
that upon the conclusion of the war the moral integrity of the
alliances may be shattered and with the prospect of new cleavages and
disagreements, an effort be made, aided by the neutrals, to create
conditions doing away with the present balance of power.  A war
disintegrates the elements making for success in war; enemies become
allies and allies enemies.  At the final council board each nation
tends to return to its allegiance to itself, and with the passing of
the old alliances a new league based upon totally different principles
becomes possible.

It is, however, with a tempered optimism that we should approach the
international conference that is to end this war.  Even if America is
represented and wisely represented, even if the powers are willing to
listen to proposals looking toward international reconstruction, the
probability that there will be an inclination to make concessions is
not overwhelming.  Hatred, distrust, the injection of petty interests,
the tenacity of diplomatic conservatism will all work against a wise
forbearance and a far-seeing policy, and the errors of the Vienna
Conference of 1815 and of the Berlin Conference of 1878 may be
duplicated or worse.  There is at least an even chance that the
international situation will be quite as unsatisfactory and perilous in
1920 as it was in 1900.  Progress towards international reconstruction
is a possible but by no means {294} certain part of the agenda of the
diplomatic conference, which will meet when enough millions of the
youth of Europe have been slaughtered and maimed.

But those who desire peace and the international relations which will
alone make peace possible have learned to be patient, and if the
problem advances only slowly to a solution it will be sufficient
satisfaction to know that it advances at all.  After this war there
will be many long years during which the nations may study at their
leisure the clumsiness of the arrangements which make for international
conflict.  There will be years in which America, if she is worthy and
strong, will be able to make her influence for peace felt.

The problem, however, is not how rapidly we shall move but whether we
shall move at all and in what direction.  That direction seems to be
clearly indicated by the recent trend of world events.  With the
passing of our isolation we are given the opportunity to use our
immense influence directly, continuously and intelligently for the
strengthening of the economic bonds which make for a world peace.  Time
and the economic trend work on our side.  We can hasten, though we
cannot and need not create, the vast unifying movement which comes with
the further integration of industry.  What we can contribute to this
consummation is an ability to see the world as it is and a willingness
to work and if necessary to fight for the changes without which
international peace is impossible.  We must avoid a cautious yet
dangerous clinging to a philosophy of national irresponsibility, as we
must likewise avoid the excesses of a nationalistic imperialism.  We
must take our part manfully, side by side with the other nations, in
the great reorganisation of the world, which even to-day is
foreshadowed by an economic internationalism, now in its beginnings.


In the last century and a half the United States has made three great
contributions to the political advancement of the world.  The first was
the adoption of the constitution, an experiment in federalism on a
scale larger than ever before known in history.  The second was the
adoption of a policy, by which the vast territories of all the states
were held in common, and these new territories admitted to statehood
upon exactly the same terms as the original commonwealths, which formed
the Union.  Our third contribution was the Monroe Doctrine, which
removed two continents from the field of foreign conquest and
guaranteed to each American nation the freedom to determine its own
form of government and its own sovereignty.

To-day the nation is again in a position to contribute to the political
progress of the world.  It stands before a fourth decision.  Either it
can cling hopelessly to the last vestiges of its policy of isolation or
can launch out into imperialistic ventures, or finally it can promote,
as can no other nation, a policy of internationalism, which will bind
together the nations in a union of mutual interest, and will hasten the
peaceful progress of the economic and political integration of the




Abbott, J. F., "Japanese Expansion and American Policies," quoted, 215

Africa, slavery under imperialistic system in, 95.

Agricultural nations, how war was a necessity to early, 22-23; effect
of conversion of, into industrial nations, 79-81.

Agricultural progress, as one of the causes of war, 17.

Agriculture, an economic activity that is pacific in tendency, 174; how
America's economic mutuality with Europe may depend upon, 175; a secure
base for a policy of non-aggression in development of, 176; amount of
land available for, in America, 176-177; growth in products of,
compared with growth in population, 177-178; opportunities for further
development of American, 178-179; probable increase in efficiency in,

Alaska, attitude of America in purchase of, 46.

Algeria, preferential treatment of, as to tariffs, by France, 104;
volume of trade of, with France compared with that with other
countries, 105.

America, effect of Great War upon, 1; choice of foreign policies open
to, 2; influences which will determine national trend, 2-3; attitude of
pacifist idealists, 3; attitude of self-seeking individualists, 4;
origin and character of demand in, for preparedness, 5-6; the ideal of
a united, 7-8; interest of financial groups in preparedness and "united
America" ideal, 8-9; question as to what purpose armament in, is to be
used, 10; the group for defence and the group for establishment of
proper international relations, 10-11; factors which will determine
foreign policy of, 11-12; goal of internationalism to be aspired for
by, 12; causes of failure of, to realise ideal of internationalism, 13;
imperialistic ideas in, 13-14; steadfastness necessary in whatever
course decided on, 14-15; not exempt from economic forces which cause
war, 30-31; attitude of, toward peace and war, 32-43; period of clipper
ships in, 39; character of diplomacy of, 43-44; plunge taken by, in
1898; into imperialism, 45; strategic and industrial motives behind
change in foreign policy of, 46-50; "congestion of capital" argument
proved futile, 51-53; effect upon thought in, of imperialistic venture,
55; relations of, with Europe, as affected by Monroe Doctrine, and
international responsibilities thrust upon, 55-57; lessons derived by,
from European War, 57-58; a positive policy to be substituted for a
negative, 58-59; comparative intensity of competition with Great
Britain, Germany and France for foreign trade, 61-62; development in
field of investment, 67-70; obvious entrance of, upon economic
competition, 70-71; isolation evidently no longer possible to, 71;
decision to be made by, as to nature of expansion policy to be adopted,
151-153; choice lies between Nationalistic Imperialism and
Internationalism, 153; arguments of imperialists as to course to be
taken by, 153-154; dangers of imperialistic policy to, 154-156; secure
road to imperialism for, in Anglo-American union, 156-160; arguments
for ideal of internationalism, 160-166; capability of, for leading in
promotion of international peace, dependent on economic development,
169 ff.; tendency to imperialistic policy from unequal distribution of
wealth, 186 ff.; danger of present favourable conditions as to incomes
and wages not continuing, 190-191; foreign policy must accord with
international ideals, 199-200; course to be followed by, in foreign
policy, in choosing between immediate and ultimate interest, 203-212;
question of future relations with Canada, 212-213; policy toward China,
213-216; three ways open to, of promoting international adjustments
aimed to secure peace, 231; absurdity of method of "going it alone,"
231-234; the method of forming an alliance with one or more selected
nations, 234-236; third and most promising method, to constitute our
nation a rallying-point for the formulation and enforcement of
principles of international policy, 236-241; leading part taken by, in
advocacy of freedom of the seas, 247; hostility of, to British
domination of the seas, 253; an immediate programme for, 288-295.

Americanism, as an ideal, 7-8.

Anglo-American union, arguments favouring, 156-160; drawbacks to plan
of, 160; further discussion of possible value of, and disadvantages of,

Anti-imperialists, arguments of, 126-138; considerations which work
against, 138-139.

Arbitration, defects of, as a plan for preserving peace, 225-226.

Aristocracy, benefits of imperialism confined to the, 132-135; evil
effects of imperialistic system upon, 135.

Arndt, Paul, on handicapping of Germany because of meagreness of
colonial possessions, 107.


Backward countries, root of imperialism in exploitation of, by
imperialistic powers, 85-98; problem of governing, an argument for
imperialism, 139; proposed joint development of, by all the great
powers, 263-269.

Banks, German, in foreign countries, 118, 120-121.

Barker, Ernest, article "Crusades," quoted, 23.

Bauer, Otto, quoted on diversified interests of wage-earners in
different countries, 143-144.

Belgium, monopoly of trade with her colonies secured by, 104;
industrial invasion of, by Germany, 116 ff.; truths illustrated by
German invasion of, 256; position of, before 1914, as a neutralised
state, 270.

Birth rate, decline in, the greatest of factors making for
internationalism and peace, 287.

Bismarck, policy of, in encouraging France's colonial ambitions,

Boycott, proposed for states violating principles of international
league for peace, 242-244; discussion of, of Germany after the war,

Brailsford, H. W., quoted on solution of colonial problem, 265-266.

Brazil, tropical imperialism and the atrocities in, 87.

Bulnes, F., quoted on future relations of United States and Latin
America, 209.

Burgess, "Homeland," cited, 136.

Burgess, J. W., "The European War of 1914," quoted, 253-254.

Business, international evolution of, 279-283.


Canada, trade of, with United States compared with that with Great
Britain, 102; present and future relations of United States with,

Capital, internationalism of, 279-283.

Caraballo Sotolongo, F., work by, cited, 208 n.

Cartels, description of German, 121-122.

Carver, T. N., quoted on small-scale farming, 179 n.

Children, dangers of neglect of, in United States, 191-192.

China, views of official of, quoted, 75-76; question of America's
policy regarding, 213-216; possibilities of the impending industrial
progress of, 216 n.

Class, increasing internationalism of, 280.

Class policy, imperialism viewed as a, 138.

Coercion, preserving peace by, 226-228.

Colonies, how germs of war are carried in nationalistic competition
for, 99 ff.; tendency of, to trade with home country, 101-103;
preference given to, by tariff legislation, 104; the open and the
closed door policy in treatment of, by home countries, 104; future
advantages resulting from possession of, 107-108; problem of, in plans
for a higher imperialism, 246, 258 ff.; internationalisation of, under
proposed higher imperialism, 263-269.

Colonisation, failure of argument for imperialism based on, 129-131.

Coloured labour and the root of imperialism, 85-98.

Commerce, development of, and the economic motive for war, 23-24.

Conant, C. A., arguments of, for American imperialism, 48-49.

Constantinople, problem of, after the war, and part America might play,

Coolidge, A. C., "United States as a World Power," quoted, 45 n.

Cramb, J. A., war mystic, quoted, 20, 21; book, "England and Germany,"
quoted, 221.

Crusades, economic motives behind, 23.


Dardanelles, internationalisation of, 254, 279.

Democracy, the American tradition of, 12-13; failure to achieve ideal
purpose of, 13.

Diepenhorst, Fritz, quoted on German cartels, 121.

Diplomacy, character of American, 43-44.

Disarmament, defects in proposal for universal, 225.

Distribution of wealth, incentive to war found in unequal, 17.

Dodsworth, W., arguments of, in favour of imperialism, 50.

"Dumping" of surplus goods by Germany, 62; as one of Germany's methods
of industrial invasion, 117, 119-120.


Economic forces, determination of national policies by, 2-3; one of
chief causes of wars, 14, 17-19, 21-28; hope of directing toward peace
rather than war, 28-29.

Economic gains to imperialistic nation from tropical agriculture, 92.

Economic invasion, of other countries by Germany, 116-125; relative
success or failure of system of, 124-125.

Educational system in America, imperfections of, 191-192.

Emigration, as one of the causes of war, 17.

England, relations between America and, 35-36, 40; economic competition
between Germany and, 99-101; strength of imperialism in, 140.  _See_
Great Britain.

Enoch, C. R., on boycotting Germany after the war, 274 n.

Europe, importance to, of American foreign policy, 2; attitude of
pacifist idealists and of individualistic realists concerning America's
relations with, 4-5; attitude of America toward, 35-42; economic
competition of United States with, 55 ff.; significance to, of American
competition for Latin-American trade, 59-60; renewed competition of,
for foreign trade after the war, 66; financial relations of America
and, 67-70; foreign investment by, in new countries, 81-84; lack of
firm basis for union of peoples of, 111-114; problems presented by
Canada's relation to controversies in, 213 n.

Extractive industries, pacific tendency of, 174.


Farms, possibilities for future development of, in America, 178-179.
_See_ Agriculture.

Fear of war, value to certain interests of, 137-138.

Federation of nations, defect of plan for, to preserve peace, 224-225.

Finance, internationalism of, 279-283.

Financial relations of America and Europe, 67-70.

Financiers, interest of, in preparedness and spirited foreign policy,

Foreign investment and the internationalism of capital, 280-281.  _See_

Foreign policy of America, effect of European war upon, 1 ff., 58-59;
special factors which will figure in future, 11-12; change in, after
the Spanish War, 45; in part due to military considerations, 46; part
played by economic motives in, 46-50; must accord with international
ideals which we aim to promote, 199-200; the choice between immediate
and ultimate interest, 203-204; concerning Latin America, 207-212;
concerning Canada, 212-213; concerning China, 213-216.

Foreign trade, effect on America's, of opening of Panama Canal, 62-63;
America's gain in, since outbreak of European war, 63-64; European
competition for, after the war, 66; question of value of, resulting
from imperialism, 131-136.

France, relations between America and, 36; American competition with,
for foreign trade, less keen than with Germany, 62; preferential
tariffs given to colonies of, 104; industrial invasion of, by Germany,
116 ff.; appeal of imperialism in, 140.

Freedom of the seas, one of the elements in a programme of peace, 246;
growth in significance of problem of, 247; opposite sides taken by
America and England concerning, 247; benefits and drawbacks of
England's policy, 249-254; five things desirable in order to establish,
254-255; international organisation to enforce convention regarding,
with Anglo-American agreement as a corner-stone, 255; value of proposed
international arrangement, dependent upon belief of nations in its
enforcement, 255-257.

Free trade, as an antidote to war, 29; error lurking in the doctrine,


Garcia Calderon, F., quoted on course of United States in the future,
155-156; on North American influence in Latin America, 209.

Geographical location, effect of, on a nation's policy, 172-173.

Germany, defence of war offered by romanticists in, 20-21; possibility
of future competition with, by America, in battle for world market,
61-62; economic competition between England and, 99-101; volume of
trade of colonies with, compared with that with other countries, 105;
handicapping of, through lack of colonial possessions, 107; dangers of
colonial ambition of, 109; Bismarck's policy regarding colonies,
109-110; industrial invasion of competing countries by, 116; tactics
of, in trade invasions, 117 ff.; limitations and obstacles to policy of
invasion of, 124; appeal of imperialism in, 140; why imperialism
appeals to wage-earners in, 145-146; frugality and efficiency
characteristic of, 189; the proposal to boycott after the war, 273-274.

Gibraltar, Straits of, internationalisation of, 254, 279.

Great Britain, what loss of markets for manufactured goods would mean
to, 60; American competition with, for foreign trade, less keen than
that with Germany, 61-62; comparative volume of trade between colonies
and, 102-103; arguments for alliance between America and, 156-160; how
surplus capital seeking a vent may lead to an imperialistic policy
shown by, 187; policy of obstruction followed by, regarding freedom of
the seas, 247; necessity to, of navy and command of seas, illustrated
by case of Germany, 248-249; discussion of advantages and disadvantages
of attitude of, on naval supremacy, 249-254.


Hauser, Henri, work by, cited and quoted, 116, 121, 122.

Hawaii, acquisition of, by United States, 46; America's international
liabilities increased by, 57.

Hobson, C. K., "The Export of Capital," cited, 68 n., 83.

Hobson, John A., "Imperialism," quoted, 51, 131; "Towards International
Government," quoted and cited, 242, 245.

Holland, industrial invasion of, by Germany, 116 ff.

Honour, the demands of national, 197-199.

Hunting tribes, war inevitable among, 22.

Hurley, Edwin W., address by, cited and quoted, 66 n.

Hutchinson, Lincoln, "Panama Canal and International Trade
Competition," cited, 63.


Idealists, position of pacifists as, 3; mystic interpretation of war
by, 20-21.

Immigration, effect of growth of America's population due to, on
nation's economic development and foreign policy, 184.

Imperialism, American ideal of internationalism opposed to, 12-13;
intricacy of problem of, 13; the present an age of, 13-14; America's
plunge into, in 1898, 45; strategic and industrial arguments for
American, 46-50; not warranted by real conditions in America, 51-53;
significance of America's premature venture into, 54; root of, found in
necessity of compelling subject peoples to labour for industrial
nations, 85-98; arguments against, 126 ff.; results of, for investment
purposes beneficial only to a few, 127; regarded by Socialists as
immoral, brutal, anti-democratic, and uneconomic, 128; revolt against,
led by people of imperialistic powers not benefited by policy, 128 ff.;
outlet for redundant population not secured by, 129-131; questionable
value of foreign trade resulting from, 131-132; danger of war resulting
from, 136-137; a class policy, 137-138; difficulty in Europe of
democratic leaders making headway against, 138-139; popular appeal of,
140; economic argument for, 141-147; patriotic appeal of, 147-150;
decision to be made by America between internationalism and, 151-153;
road open to America, through Anglo-American union, 156-160; lack of
economic reserves as an impelling force toward, 170-171; relation
between geographical location and, 172-173; relation of inequalities of
wealth and income to, 186 ff.; a more equal distribution of wealth an
antidote to, 186-188; in what the economic antidote to, really
consists, 194-195; measures necessary to achievement of higher form of,

Income, equable distribution of, an antidote to imperialism, 191.

India, British conquest of, due to desire for trade, 21; tendency of,
to give bulk of trade to home country, 101, 102; small percentage of
British born in, 129.

Industrial invasions of each other's territory by competing countries,
116-124; question of success or failure of policy of, 124-125.

Inequality of wealth and income, risk of imperialistic policy resulting
from, 186-188.

Intensive cultivation, limitations of, 179.

Internationalisation of colonies, 263-269; of capital, 279-283.

Internationalism, ideal of, to be aspired for by America, 12; causes of
failure of America to realise ideal of, 13; what is necessary if
America decides on the course of, 14-15; decision to be made by America
between nationalistic imperialism and, 151-153; meaning of ideal of, as
opposed to ideal of imperialism, 160; steps necessary to achievement
of, 161-166; to be secured only by further political and economic
development, 270; forces making for, 270 ff.; actual profit of, 272;
impossibility of independence for small subject nations, 277-279.

Intervention, objections to a policy of, for preserving peace, 231-234.

Investment, America's development in field of foreign, 67-70; value of
new countries as a field for, 81-82; extent of foreign, by European
countries, 83; internationalism of capital shown by foreign, 280-281.

Iron, "dumping" of, by Germany in foreign countries, 119-120.

Italy, industrial invasion of, by Germany, 116 ff.; "dumping" of German
products in, 119.


Jamaica, trade of, with United States compared with that with United
Kingdom, 102.

James, William, "The Moral Equivalent of War," quoted, 195-196.

Japan, relations between America and, as influenced by Philippine
Islands, 57; an example of a nation driven to imperialistic policy
through lack of economic reserves, 170-171.

Jingoism, the irreducible minimum of, 196-197.

Jöhlinger, Otto, on the open and the closed door in colonies, 104 n.


Kidd, Benjamin, "Control of the Tropics," cited, 91.

Kiel Canal, internationalisation of, 254, 279.

King, W. I., "Wealth and Income of People of United States," cited, 190

Krehbiel, Edward, digest of history of pacifism by, 219 n.


Latin America, competition of America for trade of, 59-60;
possibilities of, as a field for investment, 69-70; course to be
followed by America toward, 207-208; fear of policy of aggression on
part of United States by, 208-209; danger in our relations with, from
its political instability and unripeness, 211.

League for peace, foundations of a true, 240-241; question of how to
form, premature, 241; things essential to continued existence of,
241-242; methods of enforcing system, 242-244; creation of
international machinery for working out modes of action, 245.

League to enforce peace, arguments for and against a, 226-228, 230.

Lippmann, Walter, quoted on solution of colonial problem, 265.

Loree, L. F., compilation by, cited, 68 n.

Lough, W. H., quoted on trade of United States with South America, 65 n.


McMaster, J. B., quotation from, 172 n.

Mahan, A. T., "Interest of America in Sea Power," etc., cited, 46; on
the possibilities of an Anglo-American alliance, 156-157.

Marx, Karl, on the workingman's lack of a fatherland, 143.

Merles, Salvador R., work by, cited, 208 n.

Merritt, Eugene, on disadvantages of small-sized farms, 179.

Mexico, significance of revolution in, to United States, 55; inferences
to be drawn from action of United States concerning, 56-57; laming of
industry by frequent revolutions in, 88.  _See_ Latin America.

Millard, T. F., "Our Eastern Question," quoted, 214 n.

Milloud, Maurice, "The Ruling Caste and Frenzied Finance in Germany,"
quoted, 116, 119, 120, 124.

Mining, an economic activity that is pacific in tendency, 174.

Monroe Doctrine, the, 39; effect of, on America's relations with
Europe, 55-57; stands for principle that Latin-American countries will
develop naturally, 89; possibility of cloaking a policy of aggression
under, 206-207; tolerance of, by Europe, conditioned upon America's
acting as guardian and not conqueror, 207-208; peril in, both to United
States and to Latin America, 209-210; question of future treatment of,

Munition makers, value to, of constant fear of war, 137-138.

Mystic interpretation of war, 20-21.


Napoleonic Wars, economic factors in, 26.

National consciousness, development of, in Europe, 111-112.

Nationalism and Internationalism, discussion of use of terms, 153 n.

Nationalities, the struggle of subject, for independence, 274-276;
impossibility of independence for all, 276-278.

Natural resources, lack of, a cause of militaristic and imperialistic
policy, 170-171.

Naumann, Friedrich, on handicapping of Germany through meagreness of
colonial possessions, 107.

Navies, arguments for reduction of, to secure freedom of the seas,


Olivier, Sir Sidney, "White Capital and Coloured Labour," quoted, 85,

Olney, Richard, on sovereignty of United States in Western hemisphere,

Open door, America's policy of the, relative to China, 213; what
America should mean by, 215; problem of, the essential one in solution
of question of colonies, 267-268.

Orient, possibilities of, as a field for investment, 69-70.


Pacifism, history of, 218-221; must be either static or dynamic, 222;
our hope in dynamic type of, 223; character of dynamic as opposed to
static, 223-226.  _See also_ Peace.

Pacifists in America, attitude of, toward national policies, 3; effect
upon, of great war and the demand for preparedness, 6-7; mistaken ideas
concerning war and its causes held by many, 16-17.

Panama Canal, international liabilities of United States increased by,
57; competition of United States for foreign trade increased by, 62-63;
internationalisation of, 254, 279.

Pastoral nations, war a necessity to, 22.

Peace, direct and indirect interest of America in, 217-218; the classic
ideal of, 218-219; change in character of movement for, before French
Revolution, 219-220; proven inapplicability of rationalistic theories
of, 220-221; cause of failures of pacifist efforts, 221-224; criticism
of plans of static type for preserving, 224-230; the all-pervasive
sentiment for, 237; decline in population rate a help toward, 287;
proposed league for, _see_ League for peace.

Philippine Islands, acquisition of, by America, 46; change in feeling
of Americans regarding ownership of, 53-54; increase of America's
international responsibilities by, 57; small percentage of Europeans
and Americans in, 130.

Popular appeal of imperialistic policy, 140; reason for, found in
economic argument, 141-147; patriotic ideals and, 147-150.

Population, growth in, one incentive to war, 17; increase in, one of
the chief forces driving Western nations outward, 76-77; imperialism
not an outlet for superfluity of, 129-131; overtaking of extension of
agriculture by, 182; statistics of, 183; diminishing rate of increase
in, 183; increase of America's, by immigration, 184; distribution of
wealth among, in United States, 190 n.; increase in, means increased
inequality in distribution of wealth, 190-191; decline in rate of, the
greatest of factors making for internationalism and peace, 287.

Preparedness, origin and character of demand for, 5-6; effect of, on
pacifist ideals, 6-7; interest of financial groups in policy of, 8-9.

Preziosi, G., work by, cited, 117.

Punic Wars, economic motives behind, 21.


Railroad policy of Germany, impetus given to "dumping" by, 120.

Rationalistic pacifism, inapplicability of, to the facts of life,

Reinsch, Paul, "World Politics," quoted, 54 n.; "Colonial
Administration" by, cited and quoted, 95, 103.

Religion, a lesser cause of war than economic interests, 27-28; not a
preventive of war, 165.

Ripley, W. Z., cited concerning American debt to Europe, 68 n.

Robinson, E. V. D., essay by, cited, 28 n.

Rohrbach, Paul, "German World Policies," quoted, 93 n.

Ruedorffer, J. J., quoted on future of Germany's world policy, 109.

Russia, relations between America and, 36.


_Saturday Review_ article on competition between England and Germany,

Schulze-Gaevernitz, Dr., work by, cited and quoted, 133-134.

Scottish Border wars, viewed as cattle-stealing raids, 24-25.

Shipping, an economic activity that is not pacific in tendency, 174.

Sidebotham, H., "The Freedom of the Seas," quoted, 251, 253.

Six-Power Loan, in principle a right step, 216.

Slavery, modern forms of, under system of tropical imperialism, 95.

Slosson, E. E., article by, quoted, 90-91.

Social Democratic party in Germany, attitude of, toward imperialism,

Socialists, anti-imperialistic philosophy of, 128-129; allegiance of,
to their own countries, 143-144; reason for failure of, to prevent war,
239-240; agreement of, with theory that colonial problem can be solved
only by concerted action of Great Powers, 264-266.

Solf, Wilhelm, quoted on Germany's colonial policy, 104, 106 n.

South American trade, competition of United States for, 63-65.  _See_
Latin America.

Suez Canal, internationalisation of, 254.

Sumner, W. G., quoted on war, 196-197.

Supra-nationalism, the proximate economic development, 284.

Switzerland, industrial invasion of, by Germany, 116 ff., 119.


Taxation, an underlying cause of war, 17.

Thompson, Warren S., "Population: A Study in Malthusianism," cited, 178.

Trade development, as one of the causes of war, 17.

Trojan War, a free-booting expedition, 24.

Tropical imperialism, conditions causing, 85; arguments for and
against, 85-98.

Tropical products, growing significance of, 90-92.

Trusts, tendency to internationalism in process of formation of,

Tunis, trade of, favoured by France, 104.


United States.  _See_ America.

United States of Europe, fallacy in proposal to create a, 224-225.


Von der Goltz, Field-Marshal, quoted on necessity of imminence of war
to maintenance of prestige of officer class, 138 n.


Wage-earners, imperialistic arguments that appeal to, 141-147;
internationalism of, 280.

Wages, supposed beneficial reaction of imperialism upon, 144-146.

War, popular theories regarding, 16; the real motives, incentives and
origins of, 17; reason for both ancient and modern, traced to economic
forces, 17-19, 260-262; interpretation of, by school of romanticists,
20-21; question of permanence of, as an institution, 28; attitude of
Americans toward, 32 ff.; cause of attitude of average American toward,
32-42; how system of imperialism tends to lead to, 99-115, 136-137;
value of fear of, to certain political and industrial interests,
137-138; elements in America that foster spirit of, 164; antidotes to
imperialistic policy and, 186-200.  _See also_ Peace.

War after the war, the, 273.

War of 1914, effect of, upon America, 1-15; lessons derived by America
from, 57-58; the part that America might play at close of, 290-294.

Wealth, equal distribution of, an antidote to imperialism, 186-188.

Webb, Sidney and Beatrice, "History of Trade Unionism," quoted, 145 n.

West Indies, working of modern imperialistic methods in, 85-87.

Wilcox, E. V., "Tropical Agriculture," quoted, 91-92.

Willcox, W. F., birth and death rate statistics by, 183 n.

Willford, Isbell, "Wealth and Income of People of United States,"
quoted, 177 n.

Willis, J. C., arguments by, for tropical imperialism, 86 n.

Wilson, C. Usher, article on "The Native Question and Irrigation in
South Africa," quoted, 95 n.

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