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LATIN AMERICA 




LATIN AMERICA 


CLARK UNIVERSITY ADDRESSES 

NOVEMBER, 1913 


EDITED^ BY 

GEORGE hZbLAKESLEE 


Professor of History, Clark University 


NEW YORK 

G. E. STECHERT AND COMPANY 


Copyright 

Clark University 


COMPOSED AND PRINTED AT THE 

WAVERLY PRESS 
the Williams & Wilkins Compant 
Baltimore, U. S. A. 


CONTENTS 


Introduction. Dr. George H. Blakeslee vii 

I. Contrasts in the Development of Nationality in the 
Anglo- and Latin-American. Senor Don Federico A. 
Pezet, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipoten- 
tiary from Peru 1 

II. Pan-American Possibilities. John Barrett, Director- 
General of the Pan-American Union, formerly United 
States Minister to Siam, Argentina, Panama and 
Colombia 20 

III. A Glance at Latin-American Civilization. Francisco 

J. Yanes, Asst. Director, and Secretary of the Govern- 
ing Board, of the Pan-American Union 30 

IV. The Mexican Situation from A Mexican Point of 

View. Lie. Luis Cabrera, recently Speaker of the 
House of Representatives in the Mexican Congress. . . 47 

V. The Fundamental Causes of the Present Situation 
in Mexico. Nevin 0. Winter, Author of “Mexico and 

Her People Today” 64 

VI. The Mexican Situation. S. W. Reynolds, formerly 
President of the Mexican Central Railway Company, 

Limited 82 

VII. Democracy on Trial. John Howland, D.D., President of 

Colegio Intemacional, Guadalajara, Mexico 95 

VIII. The Present Situation in Mexico as Shaped by Past 
Events. Leslie C. Wells, Professor of French and 

Spanish at Clark College 104 

IX. The Present Day Phase of the Monroe Doctrine. 

F. E. Chadwick, Rear Admiral, United States Navy, 
Formerly President of the Naval War College; Chief 

of Staff to Admiral Sampson in the Spanish War 108 

X. The Monroe Doctrine From A South American View- 
point. Honorable Charles H. Sherrill, Envoy Extra- 
ordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Argentina, 

1909-1911 121 

XI. Should We Abandon the Monroe Doctrine? Hiram 
Bingham, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Latin-American 

History, Yale University 126 

XII. The Monroe Doctrine. Honorable George F. Tucker. . . 151 

XIII. The Modern Meaning of the Monroe Doctrine. J. M. 

Callahan, Ph.D., Professor of History and Political 
Science, West Virginia University 161 

XIV. The Monroe Doctrine. Albert Bushnell Hart, LL.D., 

Professor of Government, Harvard University 172 

XV. The Development of Our Latin-American Trade. Hon. 

John Hays Hammond, LL.D 176 


v 


VI 


CONTENTS 


XVI. Advantages of Making the Canal Zone A Free City 
and Free Port. W. D. Boyce, Publisher, The Sat- 
urday Blade and Chicago Ledger 181 

XVII. Some Economic Facts and Conclusions About South 
America. Selden O. Martin, Ph.D., Graduate School 

of Business Administration, Harvard University 197 

XVIII. The Probable Effect of the Opening of the Panama 
Canal on Our Economic Relations with the People 
of the West Coast of South America. Hiram Bing- 
ham, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Latin-American 

History, Yale University 216 

XIX. Some of the Obstacles to North American Trade in 
Brazil. John C. Branner, LL.D., President of Stan- 
ford University 235 

XX. American Intervention in Central America. Philip 
Marshall Brown, Assistant-Professor of International 
Law and Diplomacy, Princeton University; formerly 

American Minister to Honduras 245 

XXL The Dominican Convention and Its Lessons. Jacob 
H. Hollander, Ph.D., Professor of Political Economy, 
Johns Hopkins University, Formerly Special Commis- 
sioner Plenipotentiary to Santo Domingo, and Finan- 
cial Adviser of the Dominican Republic 263 

XXII. In Justice to the United States — A Settlement with 

Colombia. Earl Harding 274 

XXIII. The Relations of the United States with the Latin- 
American Republics. Leopold Grahame, formerly 
editor of “The Buenos Aires Herald” and of “The 

Argentine Year Book” 290 

XXIV. The Mind of the Latin-American Nations. David 
Montt, General Correspondent of “El Diario Ilus- 

trado,” Santiago, Chile 299 

XXV. Higher Education in Latin America. Edgar Ewing 

Brandon, Ph.D., Vice-President of Miami University. . 307 

XXVI. The Universities and American International Rela- 
tions. George W. Nasmyth, Ph.D., President of the 
Eighth International Congress of Students; Director 

of the International Bureau of Students 321 

XXVII. Patagonia and Tierra Del Fuego. Jos6 Moneta, Cap- 
tain, Argentine Navy, Commanding Battleship “Riva- 
davia,” formerly member of the Argentine Boundary 

Commissions with Chile and Brazil 328 

XXVIII. The Physical Basis of the Argentine Nation. Bailey 
Willis, Ph.D., Consulting Geologist to the Minister of 
Public Works, Argentina, 1911-1913; Member of the 

United States Geological Survey 342 

XXIX. The Adaptability of the White Man to Tropical 
America. Ellsworth Huntington, Ph.D., Assistant 
Professor of Geography, Yale University 360 


INTRODUCTION 


Increasingly intimate relations between the United States 
and the countries of Latin America will be one of the striking 
features of the next few decades. Since the days when these 
sister republics began their independent existence a century 
ago, their people and our own have been neighbors to Europe, 
but strangers to each other. Happily this period of mutual 
isolation has now come to an end. 

The reasons for this separation of a hundred years are not 
hard to find. The United States was absorbed in its own 
internal development and gave little thought to other coun- 
tries, least of all to those with whom it had no necessary 
association. As an agricultural land it exported surplus raw 
materials — wheat, corn, meat and cotton — to England, 
France and Germany, and received in return the best grades 
of manufactured goods. A rapidly swelling stream of immi- 
gration maintained some connection with these older nations 
across the Atlantic. The diplomacy of the United States 
was largely limited to problems concerning either Europe 
or the lands immediately beyond our borders. The large 
tourist class of today did not exist during most of this period; 
even the relatively few who went abroad for sightseeing had 
no desire to visit countries which they regarded as primi- 
tive, sparsely settled and racked by constant revolutions. 
In fact there was nothing which tended to bring the United 
States and South America into close contact. 

Latin America, also, found no common ties during the past 
century to bind it to this country. Although it was strongly 
influenced by North American precedents in its revolt 
against Spain and in the form of its national constitutions the 
connection between the two sections went no further. Like 
the United States the rapidly developing republics of the 
South sent their raw materials to Europe and bought manu- 
factured goods in return. They received hundreds of thou- 
sands of immigrants from the Latin countries of the old 
world and borrowed from European bankers the vast sums 

vii 


Vlll 


INTRODUCTION 


which built their railroads, harbors, and attractive capitals. 
The intellectual life, the school and university systems, 
social customs, fashions and styles all came from France, 
Spain or Portugal. 

The cords which stretched from this country and from 
Latin America to the outside wmrld all led to Europe; there 
were none which bound the two sections together. 

This situation is rapidly passing away, for the underlying 
conditions which caused it are changing. The United States 
now needs foreign markets in which to sell its surplus manu- 
factures and is entering upon a systematic campaign to take 
the commercial leadership in Latin America. At the same 
time it is ceasing to export and coming to import agricultural 
produce; the past few months shiploads of Argentine beef 
and corn have been sold in the cities of our Atlantic states. 
Thus the basis of a new trade relationship is coming into 
existence — the exchange of North American manufactured 
goods for the raw products of the lands to the South. A 
similar change has taken place in international finance; the 
United States has recently become a creditor nation, ready 
to loan large sums in foreign countries; the billion of dollars 
invested by our citizens in Mexico during the past two or 
three decades is an evidence that similar help may be given 
in the near future to other American republics. The diplo- 
matic policy of the United States, also, is changing as notice- 
ably as its foreign trade and finance. The Monroe Doctrine, 
which sums up our traditional attitude towards the out- 
side world, has in the past concerned itself chiefly with 
the behavior of Europe towards the Republics of Latin 
America; we are now attempting, practically for the first 
time, to define our own relations with these republics. This 
Doctrine in its present form, so far as it relates to the Latin 
American states, is very generally regarded as unsatisfac- 
tory; and a redefinition is widely demanded which shall bring 
about a greater cooperation with the strong, stable states to 
the south of us. The most immediate single cause, however, 
which is bringing Latin and Anglo America closer together is 
the building of the Panama Canal. The seizure of the Canal 


INTRODUCTION 


IX 


Zone advanced the coast line of the United States hundreds 
of miles towards the center of the Latin American world ; 
while the Canal itself is giving to North and South an object 
of common and general interest. It is the Canal probably, 
and the discussion regarding it, which have aroused the people 
of this country to a dawning consciousness that there exist 
in South America strong nations with cultured people, stable 
governments and attractive cities. 

There are many signs of this awakening interest. The 
magazines are writing of the resources and the charm of 
South America as if it were a newly discovered land. A 
rapidly increasing number of books dealing with one or more 
of these Latin countries are issuing from the press; while 
one of them, in many ways the best, that by the recent 
British Ambassador to the United States, James Bryce, has 
been read by a large proportion of the thoughtful people of 
this country. The professional stereopticon lecturers have 
found that the Panama Canal and South America are the 
most popular subjects to present to the average well-informed 
audience. The teaching of Spanish, the tongue of every 
country to the South of us except Brazil, is being rapidly 
introduced in our high schools and colleges, while a knowl- 
edge of this language is being accepted by some of our higher 
institutions as an equivalent for French or German. Courses 
also are now being given in the foremost universities upon 
the history, the civilization and the economic conditions 
of South America. The diplomatic policy of the United 
States towards Latin America is being widely discussed. 
The problem whether the Monroe Doctrine should be con- 
tinued unchanged, or be modified, or be abandoned, has 
been a live issue in our newspapers and periodicals; it has 
been debated in schools, colleges and universities in every 
part of the country; it has frequently been the topic of city 
economic clubs; and has been studied from nearly every aspect 
at three recent conferences of experts. Still another evidence 
of the increasing interest in Latin America is shown by the 
large number of tourists who have visited the Panama Canal 
and South America. So popular is the trip through the cities 


X 


INTRODUCTION 


of Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile and Peru, that the 
travel agencies are making reduced rates and arranging spe- 
cial parties for this route. A succession of Chamber of 
Commerce delegations also has passed south through Pan- 
ama the last couple of years — so many of them that they 
have brought consternation to their hospitable hosts in 
the thriving South American cities. Finally a number of 
our foremost public men have recently visited our sister 
republics, among them being Ex-President Roosevelt and 
three Secretaries of State, Root, Knox, and Bryan. 

Latin America also is coming into closer touch with the 
United States, as is shown most strikingly by the fact that 
436 students from its various republics have spent the past 
year in our higher institutions of learning. 

In matters of commerce and business the United States and 
Latin America are even now more closely bound together 
than we generally realize. It is hardly too much to say that 
the typical well-to-do South American business man, when 
he rises in the morning, puts on a pair of North American 
shoes, at the breakfast table reads his daily paper fresh from 
a North American printing press, in his office sits at a North 
American desk, dictates to a stenographer who uses a North 
American typewriter, signs his letters with a North American 
fountain pen, files his correspondence in North American 
filing-cases, weighs his goods upon North American scales, 
keeps his cash account by North American cash registers, 
and if all this should give him the toothache rushes to a North 
American dentist. 

On the other hand, the coffee which makes our delectable 
breakfast cup comes from Santos, Brazil. We have just 
begun to eat Argentine beef, so much of it that by the end 
of the present year arrangements will have been perfected 
by w ich steamers will leave Buenos Aires each week for 
New York loaded with chilled and frozen beef and mutton. 
The tires of our automobiles came originally, for the most 
part, from the forests of the Amazon ; while much of the cop- 
per used in the electric light wires in our homes and our 
streets was dug from the exhaustless mines of the Peruvian 
and Chilean Andes. 


INTRODUCTION 


XI 


But we of North and South America are nearer to one 
another commercially than we are intellectually or sympa- 
thetically; we have greater mutual trade than mutual under- 
standing of each other. The mass of our people have little 
comprehension of conditions in the most advanced of the 
Latin American countries; and are incredulous when told 
that the most beautiful city of the American hemisphere is 
not in the United States, but in South America; that two 
South American cities have opera houses which in elegance 
and luxury surpass any in our own country; and that the 
most imposing public avenues of the new w r orld are in Rio de 
Janeiro and Buenos Aires. From a business view it may be 
stated that the capital of Argentina has a more extended and 
magnificent system of stone docks than any North American 
port: it has a larger number of public taxicabs than New 
York and Chicago combined, and, no wonder, a higher cost 
of living. As for other matters, the leading South American 
countries take far better care of their immigrants than do we, 
while Argentina has a more liberal system of pensions for 
public school teachers than any in force in this country. 
It might be added that the largest and most powerful 
Dreadnaught in the world flies neither the Stars and Stripes, 
nor the Union Jack, but the flag of a South .American 
Republic. 

Many stories which illustrate the mutual lack of under- 
standing are grotesque and amusing. Only a short time ago 
a New York millionaire remarked to a business man from 
Brazil that the Panama Canal would greatly shorten the 
distance between New York and Rio. This is exactly the 
same kind of a mistake, and just as bad, as placing San Fran- 
cisco on the Atlantic Coast. On the other hand, not long 
ago the members of the reception committee of a South 
American capital, while preparing a most elaborate enter- 
tainment for a Chamber of Commerce delegation, were yet 
tortured by the fear that after all these business men from 
a leading North American city would not be acquainted with 
the usages of polite society. 

We need to become acquainted with each other, we of the 
North and of the South. It is notable that the Latin Ameri- 


Xll 


INTRODUCTION 


cans who have lived or studied in this country, have, for the 
most part, a warm-hearted admiration for our people and 
our institutions; while those who have been permitted to 
travel or reside in such progressive South American republics 
as Argentina, Brazil and Chile are never tired of telling of 
their culture, their charm and their open-handed hospitality. 

To discuss conditions in Latin America and the mutual 
interests of its countries and our own, there met together at 
Clark LTniversity last November, for a four days Conference, 
some forty men, from both North and South America, each 
of whom could speak with authority upon some aspect of 
Latin American affairs. The carefully prepared papers 
which they read during these sessions are published in the 
present volume. The University presents this to the public 
in the hope that it may help to create a more sympathetic 
appreciation of the history, the civilization and the problems 
of our sister American Republics, and may aid in determin- 
ing the ideal diplomatic relations which should exist be- 
tween them and our own land, a problem whose solution is 
our nation’s most pressing diplomatic task. 

G. H. Blakeslee. 

Clark University 
June 10. 1914 


CONTRASTS IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF NATION- 
ALITY IN THE ANGLO- AND LATIN- 
AMERICAN 

By Senor Don Federico A. Pezet, Envoy Extraordinary and 
Minister Plenipotentiary from Peru 

I have chosen as my subject, a question that is most 
important at this time, when there is a growing tendency 
to know better and understand the peoples of the Latin- 
American nations; to get closer to them by establishing 
bonds of friendship through commercial relations based on 
mutual respect and confidence, as is evidenced by this con- 
ference, and by the recent utterances of the President of the 
United States in his memorable declarations at Mobile. 

In order to determine properly the relative positions and 
conditions of the two great groups of individuals that people 
this American world, north and south of the Rio Grande and 
Gulf of Mexico, we must first study the contrasts in the 
development of nationality in these two groups that, for 
expediency, I shall denominate or class as “ Anglo- American ” 
and “Latin- American.” 

No man can truly appreciate another, if he does not know 
him. No nation can feel friendship towards another if it 
does not know it. But to know, should imply understand- 
ing, without which there can be nothing in common, and 
understanding is an essential to draw individuals together, 
and so it is with nations. 

International relations are necessary, they are cultivated 
for many reasons, but they do not necessarily mean friend- 
ship. Nations, like individuals, live on good terms with 
their neighbors because it behooves them to do so, but this 
does not imply that they are friends, that there is any 
closer relation between them, other than one of courteous 
deference towards each other. 


1 


2 


FEDERICO A. PEZET 


Such neighbors, whether they be individuals or nations, 
do not know each other, much less do they understand 
each other. There is consequently, no true friendship be- 
tween them; no bond of union. Therefore, if such people 
wish to become friendly they must begin by knowing each 
other, becoming acquainted through intercourse and thus, 
discover their respective traits and characteristics, so that, 
in course of time, a sentiment of understanding is born, 
which, being reciprocal, eventually gives way to friendship, 
and in like manner to amity between nations. 

Therefore, as a first essential to the study of the subject 
matter of these remarks, we must place ourselves in a posi- 
tion to perfectly understand the very peculiar conditions of 
settlement and growth of Latin America, before we can 
hope to obtain any fair estimate of present day Latin 
America. 

These conditions were very different to those that have 
been found in Anglo America. This is a most important 
point and one that should be made clear to all who in this 
nation and elsewhere are trying to know and understand 
Latin Aunerica and its people. 

When this point becomes apparent to all, then I shall 
expect to see another attitude towards our people. I con- 
tend, that the average Anglo-American does not appreciate 
us because he invariably wants to measure us by his own 
standards, regardless of the fact that those standards do 
not happen to fit our special type of humanity. 

Physically, we are more or less similar, but in a moral 
sense, each has special traits of character that mark the 
peculiar idiosyncrasies in each. Therefore, if we reverse 
the process and we Latin-Americans measure you Anglo- 
Americans by our standards, we likewise would find you 
as below par, according to our estimate, which proves my 
premises, that, firstly, secondly and lastly, we have to thor- 
oughly understand each other, if there is to be any reciprocal 
appreciation, and it behooves us to be forebearing, generous 
and accepting the other's idiosyncrasies as absolutely exact 
traits of character, born with the individual or developed in 


THE DEVELOPMENT OF NATIONALITY 


3 


him through environment. In order to make this point 
clear I must ask you to consider two things: firstly, the 
relative conditions at the time of the discovery of America 
by Christopher Columbus : both of the territories that con- 
stitute what is known today as the United States of North 
America, and of those that constitute what is considered as 
Latin America; secondly, the class and type of white men 
who became the first settlers in either section of Aanerica, 
(for expediency and clearness, I shall refer to each section, 
as yours and ours). Well, then, your territory, at the time 
of the advent of the white man from Europe, was more or 
less of a virgin territory, inhabited by savage and semi- 
savage nomadic tribes, thinly scattered all over a very vast 
area. While our territory was to a very great extent or- 
ganized into states in a measure barbaric but nevertheless 
semi-civilized, densely populated, and concentrated in a 
manner to make for cohesion. Mayas, Aztecs and Toltecs, 
Caras, Chimus, Incas, Aymaras, and Quichuas, and other 
tribes, less known, over-ran our territory and presented 
marked contrast with conditions in yours. 

According as the news of the discovery of the New World 
invaded the European countries, two types, that were to 
mold the destinies of the wonderlands beyond the seas, 
were brought into play; the one formed of the oppressed 
and persecuted by religious intolerance, the other of the 
adventurous, soldiers of fortune, in quest of gold and 
adventures. 

Both of these started out with set purposes, the oppressed 
and persecuted came to the New World to build up new 
homes, free from all the troubles left behind. While the 
adventurous came, bent on destroying and carrying away 
everything they could lay their hands on. So here we have 
the true genesis of the formation of nationality in Anglo- 
and Latin-America. In the two great classes, the perma- 
nent and the temporary, the one to build up, the other to 
tear down and destroy. The one came with reverence, the 
other with defiance. Both with an equally set purpose, but 
the one with humility in his heart, the other proud and 


4 


FEDERICO A. PEZET 


overbearing; the one full of tenderness born of his religious 
zeal, the other cruel and despotic. 

Thus we find that whereas Anglo America was settled by 
austere men, seeking religious freedom, men who were flee- 
ing from states with laws prejudicial to their beliefs and 
practices, men dissatisfied with the political conditions in 
their own countries, who did not wish to go so far as to 
sever their connection entirely with the fatherland, but who 
sought in the new colonies ameliorated conditions under 
their own flag; men who came to build homes in a new 
land, eager to remain because full of energy, they saw in 
the very newness of the land the great opportunities it 
offered them to build a greater commercial and political 
future for themselves. Besides these good elements, there 
came, as a matter of course, a few adventurous outlaws, 
and others attracted to the new land by the prevalent 
“Wanderlust” of the times. The latter, a decided minority. 

Let us now turn to Latin America. To her went the 
soldiers of fortune, valiant but ignorant, adventurous and 
daring yet unscrupulous, they came principally from a 
country where religious bigotry was rampant. They were 
an admixture of virtues and vices. They came to conquer, 
to fight if necessary; their one aim was to better themselves 
financially regardless of by what means and as to conse- 
quences. The companions of Pizarro, Hernando Cortez, de 
Soto, Almagro, Pedrarias, Vasco Nunez de Balboa, were in 
marked contrast to the men who came to the shores of New 
England with the Pilgrim Fathers. 

To us came the militarists seeking a field for new exploits, 
in their wake came adventurous outlaws seeking gold and 
riches. Of course, there also came some good men, some 
who would have been willing to preserve what they found, 
but these were a minority, and besides, the existing condi- 
tions throughout our territories prevented this. Because 
while in your territory there were nothing but nomadic, 
savage and semi-savage tribes, without fixed settlements, 
in our territory the Spaniards came upon organized states, 
having a certain civilization of their own. 


THE DEVELOPMENT OF NATIONALITY 


5 


So we have, that, whereas in Anglo America the whites 
arrived and settled peacefully, acquiring the ownership of 
the land from the native Indians, either by right of pur- 
chase, by peaceful treaty negotiations, and in some instances 
by forceful occupation, after actual warfare with the abo- 
rigines, which ended with the conquest of the land but not 
of its inhabitants, who in each case, were driven westward. 
In Latin America, the whites came as a military organized 
force, overran the countries that they discovered, fighting 
their way from the very outset, right into the heart of the 
unknown territories that they seized upon, destroying every- 
thing, plundering wholesale and making a display of force 
and rare indomitable courage so as to cower the astonished 
natives. In Latin America, the white man overthrew the 
native governments and established themselves as the gov- 
erning class reducing the Indian to a state bordering on 
actual slavery, that, in many instances, was slavery. Every 
cruelty was resorted to by the conquerors. No pity nor 
mercy was ever shown unto the defenseless tribes. From 
the very first, it was a question of asserting his superiority 
as a master, and making the Indian feel that he was but a 
mere tool in his master’s hands. 

From the foregoing, it can readily be seen that while your 
territory was being colonized, in the strictest sense of the 
word, by your forefathers, ours was being conquered by 
the white man in such a manner as to be most detrimental 
to posterity. 

Now, let us glance at the types of men who came to your 
and to our sections of the Continent. The colonists of 
Anglo America came from those countries of northwestern 
Europe, where there was the greatest freedom, the nearest 
approach to republican institutions and government of the 
people, and by the people, existent at the time. England, 
Scotland and Wales, The Netherlands, French Huguenots, 
Scandinavians, and Germans, were the stock from which 
were evolved the American colonies. 

The conquerors of Latin America were militarists from 
the most absolute monarchy in western Europe, and with 
these soldiers came the adventurers. And after the first 


6 


FEDERICO A. PEZET 


news of their wonderful exploits reached the mother coun- 
try, and the first fruits of the conquest were shown in Spain, 
Their Most Catholic Majesties, Ferdinand and Isabella, felt 
it their duty to send to the new kingdoms beyond the seas, 
learned and holy monks and friars. With these, came many 
scions of noble families, men of means and of great power 
at home, who brought a verj^ large clerical force, composed 
mainly of younger sons of the upper classes. Each one 
eager to obtain a sinecure, trusting to his relations and power- 
ful sponsors to better his condition, and in time, get his 
promotion to more important and more lucrative positions. 

It was a veritable army of bureaucrats, of office-seekers 
of penniless and spendthrift young men that over-ran our 
territory, men who had never done any work at home, 
men, who by reason of birth, or by reason of the conditions 
existing in the mother country at the time, had never had 
to do any work, men whose one and only ambition was a 
high salary, because they had never had any occasion to 
learn a profession nor to earn a livelihood through industry 
and toil. 

From sources so widely different in their components 
sprang the Anglo-American and the Latin-American. Your 
men formed an unmixed mass, because, although being of 
diverse nationalities and coming from diverse social classes, 
they were of pure race and maintained this condition with 
very rare exception. Besides, as they came with intent of 
bettering themselves, by becoming independent in a meas- 
ure, if not of the governments, at least of the laws that 
had oppressed them at home. They came determined to 
settle down and so they brought their families with them 
and a great many of their belongings, and thus, from the 
very beginning, they established homes and organized prop- 
erly constituted communities of workers. 

Our men did not bring their women and families until 
many years after the Conquest, and, in consequence, the 
Spaniards from the very commencement took to themselves 
Indian women and the offspring became the “Mestizos,” 
a mixed race that the haughty pure Castilians in Spain 
never countenanced, although they were of their own flesh 


THE DEVELOPMENT OF NATIONALITY 


7 


and blood. Later on, when conditions became more settled, 
the Spaniards brought their families, and after a time the 
“Creoles,” came into existence, these were the offspring of 
European parents born in the New World. ) It is a well-known 
fact that many of the Conquistadores took unto themselves 
women of the Indian race, of the governing class, especially 
did this occur in Mexico and in Peru (which included at the 
time, what is today Ecuador and Bolivia), there being in 
Mexico and Peru a semi-civilized native race organized into 
castes. One of the best known of the early chroniclers of 
Peru, and who has been considered as an authority on the 
history of the Inca Empire was Inca Garcilaso, the son of a 
Spanish nobleman, Garcilaso de la Vega, who came to Peru 
in 1535, and who married dona Isabel Palla Huailas Nusta, 
daughter of Palla Mama Ocllo and of Huallpa Tupac Inca 
Yupanqui, fourth son of the Inca Tupac Yupanqui, brother 
of Huaina Capac, one of the reigning Incas. 

This mixing of the races — white and Indian — after a time, 
was not frowned upon by the haughty Spanish monarchy, 
but on the contrary, it was encouraged, it being considered 
the best possible means of establishing a uniform race. The 
idea being to create a great middle class, that would in 
time make useful and loyal subjects of the Crown. 

Many of the Conquistadores thus married or entangled 
themselves with princesses of the existing dynasties, and 
with the daughters and relatives of the curacas or chieftains. 
And following this example, the soldiery and the retinues 
of these leaders, were allowed a very large amount of liberty, 
so promiscuous, that by the end of the eighteenth century, 
the mestizo population of Peru had exceeded a quarter of 
a million. 

Some of these mestizos, by the right of their parentage, 
were given the best education and, in many instances, they 
were brought up with the creole children; but, by far the 
vast majority were kept in ignorance, and made to do me- 
nial work or, at most, allowed to apprentice themselves to 
some trade. 

The Anglo-American colonist, when he established him- 
self on the shores of America, was already somewhat schooled 


8 


FEDERICO A. PEZET 


in self-government. He was a man of discipline, of order and 
above all else, he was a worker. He emigrated because 
he sought to improve his condition, because he saw in the 
new land beyond the seas a new life, and at the very first 
opportunity he proved himself able to take care of himself. 
With such men, it is not to be wondered at, that the new 
colonies should have been more or less successful from the 
start, and that the science of self-government should have 
been so readily acquired. 

Your forefathers came over, bringing in their hearts the 
desire to accomplish great things. As they found every- 
thing in an undeveloped state, they were obliged to take the 
initiative and try to help themselves. From the first, it 
was a great cooperative effort, everyone working for him- 
self, but at the same time, lending a helping hand to his 
neighbor. 

With us it was otherwise. The sight of such great wealth 
as the Conquistadores found in some of our countries, the 
existence of organized states, where the ceremonies were 
carried on with pomp and splendor, dazzled the more or 
less ignorant adventurers who were the first comers and 
completely demoralized them. 

I firmly believe, that had those brave men, for brave they 
certainly were, found in our countries the conditions that 
the Anglo-Saxon found in this, they would surely have de- 
veloped qualities that might have been on a par with some 
of the ones exhibited by your pioneers. There is no telling 
what would have resulted from altered conditions in our 
respective territories. 

The news of the riches to be found in the New World 
attracted to it meD from all over Europe. To our countries 
came a very large number of the riff-raff-soldiers, who had 
been warring all over Europe, men, courageous, but unscru- 
pulous. From the beginning, these men quarreled among 
themselves, over the spoils; their leaders distrusted each 
other, they organized themselves into separate camps and 
from the moment the Conquest was consummated, an actual 
state of anarchy prevailed throughout the new dominions 
of the Spanish monarch. A seed that unquestionably bore 


THE DEVELOPMENT OF NATIONALITY 


9 


fruit to judge from the history of our countries with their 
perennial upheavals and continued discontent and unrest. 

During the first fifty years after the Conquest by the 
Spaniards, many attempts were made by the Crown to es- 
tablish good government in the newly-acquired possessions, 
but it was to no avail. The fact is that the men who came 
to us were untutored in the science of government. They 
knew how to rule, but they did not know how to govern. 
So for two centuries and more, the European and the creole 
exploited and ruled the land, and the mestizos and the 
Indians for the benefit of the mother country. 

The Indian was kept in a state of abject servitude, he 
was turned into a beast of burden. The mestizo, physio- 
logically, is nearer to the Caucasian than to the Indian. 
Physically and morally he is superior to the Indian, and 
although of less active intelligence than the European or 
the creole, he is more strong-willed and more persevering 
and painstaking in all of his undertakings. 

In the early days after the Conquest, the mestizo who 
happened to have one parent of lineage or rank, was given 
every facility to improve and was placed on an equal foot- 
ing with the creoles, but as the years advanced, and the 
mestizos became more and more numerous, the Spaniards 
began to look on them with distrust and fearing that too 
much education would give them certain power in the ad- 
ministration, they forbade them to occupy certain positions 
and prevented them from acquiring too much knowledge. 
But many of them, notwithstanding these drawbacks, opened 
a w'ay for themselves, through well regulated homes and 
families, and placed themselves on a level with their ac- 
knowledged masters. 

During these years, the Indians were continually oppressed 
by the European, the creole and even by the mestizo. But, 
at times, some of the latter would join in the rebellions 
against their cruel masters, only to be crushed the more, 
and made to feel the distance that separated each race. 
And so it was, for more than two hundred years, these two 
people, the conquerors and the conquered subsisted side by 
side, living in hatred and distrust of each other, until even- 


10 


FEDERICO A. PEZET 


tually out of sheer exhaustion they became apparently recon- 
ciled to their respective conditions, when gradually a sort 
of colonial nationality was evolved. 

This nationality formed of creoles and mestizos mi ght have 
been beneficial to our countries, if it had had time to de- 
velop. But unfortunately, just about the time when the 
Spanish-American was beginning to find himself and to make 
himself understood, a wave of freedom swept over the north- 
ern portion of the American continent, and Spain, fearing 
that the example would be followed in her dominions, tight- 
ened her hold on her unfortunate subjects. 

The splendid results of the independence of Anglo Amer- 
ica; the advent of new ideas through the French Revolution; 
the invasion of Spain by Napoleon, all tended to engender 
in the Latin -American countries the desire of independence. 

No longer was it the rebellion of the Indians. These un- 
fortunates had been thoroughly crushed into submission. 
It was the creoles and the mestizos, who conspired against 
the authority of the mother country. The people demanded 
freedom. They sought to have liberties, to be allowed to 
have a direct voice in the government and the administra- 
tion of the affairs of their countries. 

Spain, notwithstanding her gradual loss of power in Eu- 
rope, stubbornly refused to listen to the cry of her subjects. 
The men, who in her own parliament voiced an opinion in 
favor of the Americans were denounced as traitors to their 
country and as friends of the French invader. 

From 1804, the unrest in Latin America was most evi- 
dent, it broke out into revolution, first in one section, then 
in another until in 1810, several of the countries established 
their independence, organizing a republican form of govern- 
ment. But there was no preparation for self-government, 
such as the Anglo-American commonwealths had had. They 
decided on this form of government, because a wave of 
republicanism had swept over them. The ideas and prin- 
ciples that they adopted were taken from you, from the 
French, a little from each, and they simply adopted them 
without studying their own condition, without having any 


THE DEVELOPMENT OF NATIONALITY 


11 


real instinct for self-government, without having any fitness 
or being ready for such a state. 

The Anglo-American passed from the condition of a good 
colonial subject to that of a citizen of an independent com- 
monwealth. It was a gradual development. He took with 
him from one state into the other the experience of years, 
and a thorough study of the needs of his country and of its 
people. 

On the contrary, our people were totally unprepared for 
self-government. The number of our people who had risen 
to positions of distinction while not unappreciable, was 
scattered over a very large area from Mexico to the confines 
of South America. 

In each of our countries there were racial divisions. Their 
populations were made up of creoles, who together with the 
born Spaniard formed the governing class, the mestizos, 
striving to be on an equal footing with these, and a long 
way down in the scale, the Indians, considered inferior, 
even to the imported African slave. 

The three centuries of Spanish domination had been, with 
but few intervals, years of exploitation, of misrule, of neg- 
lect. I do not blame Spain, absolutely. I think that this 
condition was the natural outcome of the manner in which 
the Conquest was effected. Many unfortunate circum- 
stances militated to bring about in Latin America condi- 
tions that did not occur in Anglo America. Summing these 
up as shown in the foregoing I can but say that you were 
more fortunate than we in the beginning, at the very foun- 
dation, and that, consequently, when each of us set out in 
life for himself, all the advantages were with you. 

Geographically and climatically you have been in better 
condition to prosper than we, and, to develop your natu- 
ral resources. Situated, the original thirteen states, on the 
east coast of the northern hemisphere of the continent, 
nearer to Europe, they were in a position to receive an ever 
increasing influx of the most desirable immigrants from 
western Europe. In this way, you could offer them climatic 
conditions more or less similar to theirs; institutions in ad- 


12 


FEDERICO A. PEZET 


vance of theirs, but with which they were fa mi liar, if only 
in principle; a language that was the surest vehicle for the 
development of trade relations; religious and political free- 
dom, and a virgin country rich in natural resources, a land 
of opportunities, holding out every possible kind of incen- 
tive to those who came to its shores, and inviting them to 
remain to better then’ condition and satisfy their ambitions. 

Latin America, situated in great part in the southern 
hemisphere, with many of its centers of population within 
the tropics, on the Pacific slope, or on the high table lands 
of the Andes Mountains, has been more or less inaccessible 
to European immigration. 

So while you have had a constant flow of immigrants to 
your shores, immigrants who have helped to develop your 
country^ and its resources, we have been dragging out our 
existence, trying to free ourselves from the effects of inher- 
ent conditions that were drawbacks to our development. 
Whereas republican institutions and a knowledge of true 
self-government were the direct inheritance of the Anglo- 
American colonies at their birth, as a nation; Latin America, 
at the time of its inception into the famify of nations, was 
a group of disassociated military nations, utterly unschooled 
in self-government, and inhabited in greater part by un- 
fused races. 

With these conditions, at the time of our political eman- 
cipation; it is not to be wondered at that our first steps in 
the path of freedom and our first attempts at self-govern- 
ment should have been disastrous in every respect. Our 
educated men, and we had throughout Latin America, many 
men of mark and distinction — were mostly scholars, theor- 
ists and thinkers, but unpracticed in the science of govern- 
ment, and moreover they were idealists and unpractical. 

Fine orators, with great versatility, our parliaments, con- 
gresses and assemblies vied with each other in scholarly and 
cultured debate. 

All of the great principles that had taken centuries to 
ripen, in the nations of the Old World, were adopted by 
us, at a stroke of the pen, and by acclamation. Without 
having inborn in us any of the principles of true democracy, 


THE DEVELOPMENT OF NATIONALITY 


13 


we became over night, as it were, democratic and represen- 
tative republics. From despotism and servitude we jumped 
into the most advanced form of government. 

Of course, there were many men who would have been 
great men in this or in any other country. There were men 
who under other conditions and with different environments 
would have risen to great heights, but I am dealing with 
facts, and not with suppositions, consequently, the lack of 
proper training, owing to the conditions under which our 
countries had lived since the Conquest, and the class of 
men who had been responsible for the government and ad- 
ministration of them, as also the nature of their inhabi- 
tants, w r ere all conducive to the state that followed immedi- 
ately the political emancipation of Latin America. 

Your thirteen original States had already a growing trade 
with Europe, and even with the Orient, at the time of your 
independence. 

Latin America, for three centuries, had been supplying to 
ever needy Spain the precious metals obtained from its 
mines, by the enforced hard labor of the poor natives. The 
mother country did not permit her American possessions 
to trade with other countries. The products of our soil 
were sent to Spain, or were consumed at home, or exported 
to the other dominions of our master. The trade was in 
the hands of Spaniards, and Spanish ships carried it. 

England always far seeing, always alert to improving her 
commercial supremacy, saw a great future for her commerce 
and trade in Spanish America, and while she was the ally 
of Spain, assisting her to overthrow the Napoleonic inva- 
sion of the Peninsula, she was, at the same time, urging upon 
Spain to grant to her restless and discontented possessions 
certain freedom and autonomy. England knew that Spain 
had no longer the financial power to develop those countries ; 
she foresaw the day when they would become independent 
and she decided to get for herself a trade that would be of 
very great consequence at some future date. 

During the time that our countries were fighting the 
mother country, we received great moral and material as- 
sistance from Great Britain. It is often said that nations 


14 


FEDERICO A. PEZET 


are wont to be ungrateful, and that they seldom remember 
the services rendered by other nations or by foreigners who 
embrace their cause. I trust that this will never be said 
of Spanish America, because we do remember the assistance 
that Great Britain gave us, in quite the same manner as 
you remember what France did for you during your own 
great war, and moreover, we have not forgotten that in the 
days of our struggle, we had the sympathy and the aid of 
many noble soldiers and sailors from the cradle of American 
liberty — your own country. 

So you see, that while you, in Anglo America, had every- 
thing conducive to national welfare, we were laboring under 
the stress of great difficulties. 

We had no money. We had no foreign trade, to speak 
of. We had no internal developments. Slavery had been 
introduced into many of our countries and the same laxity 
that had allowed a promiscuous intercourse between creole, 
white man and Indian, permitted the mixing of the African 
with the other races. 

Certainly no worse conditions for the formation of a na- 
tionality could exist. From the very outset, we followed in 
the footsteps of our late masters, in fact, many of these 
became our first and foremost citizens. They applied the 
democratic republican theories and practices to a people 
who were unprepared for them, and, as was natural, the 
result was license, misrule, and finally chaos. 

As things went wrong under one man, another was tried, 
and as he could not improve the condition, the reason for 
which did not depend on the man, but was the natural 
sequence to all that had gone before, the consequence was 
continual unrest, dissatisfaction and perpetual changes of 
political leaders, with the result, that the nations became 
impoverished, the inhabitants instead of improving, degen- 
erated, and became, in many instances, next to worthless as 
a national asset. 

The general state of national bankruptcy, that was prev- 
alent in Latin America, a few years after the final over- 
throw of Spanish rule in 1821, served as an incentive to 
European money lenders and financiers of a more or less 


THE DEVELOPMENT OF NATIONALITY 


15 


obscure class, who came forward to offer their services for 
all and every conceivable object, from a mere money loan 
to the building of public works and the development of the 
mineral and agricultural resources of the land. Many men 
of shady reputations, with pasts that would not bear a very 
close scrutiny and investigation, flocked to the newly con- 
stituted states, offering their services, and ready to take up 
anything in the shape of a concession, which they immedi- 
ately took to Europe to finance there. In this manner Latin 
America was duped and swindled. Loans were raised, the 
proceeds of which were used up in paying commissions and 
expenses, but the unfortunate state had to meet the obliga- 
tion or default. It is a very long story, this history of the 
financial struggles of many of the young Latin-American 
republics, and it is a very pitiful story. 

In like manner and as we had started out with the wrong 
foot at the time of the Conquest, the same misfortune befell 
us when we launched out into independent statehood. In 
other words, we ran before we walked, we talked before we 
learned our A, B, C; we assumed a developed state with 
out first having had the preliminaries. How different this 
was in your case! Yet how very few people are there, who 
think of this when discussing and criticising us. How many 
are there among you, who think of this and stop to con- 
sider to what extent the Latin-American countries and their 
people have been handicapped. 

We have been misjudged. We have been misrepresented 
at all times. And all because our critics have failed to look 
into our early histories and ascertain the why and wherefore 
of the present state of affairs. They have sought in our 
countries for practically the same conditions as exist in 
other more fortunate lands, where the evolution of nation- 
ality was gradual and logical, because there had been a 
foundation for it. 

It is impossible to build where the foundation is not solid. 
Where the ground has not first been well broken and pre- 
pared. As I stand here before you and think that I come 
from the country that is proud to possess the oldest trace 
of prehistoric civilization on the continent, the nation that 


16 


FEDERICO A. PEZET 


boasts the most ancient seat of learning in the Americas, 
it grieves me to consider that, notwithstanding the age of 
my country and the venerableness of that seat of learning, 
the University of San Marcos, we still are, as a nation, in 
our infancy. And it is so, because only now are we devel- 
oping our true nationality. And we know now that the 
formative period may be considered as well as over and we 
feel ready to face the future with full confidence in ourselves, 
and in our county. 

Some of the countries of Latin America have already made 
wonderful strides along the path of progress, material and 
intellectual. Some have already crossed their Rubicon and 
are forging ahead at a rapid pace. Argentina, in which 
conditions are more analogous to those of the United States, 
has already attained a greater material growth than any 
other Latin-American nation. The tide of immigration from 
the European countries has been for some years steadily 
flowing towards the southern part of our Continent. Brazil 
and more specially Argentina have been receiving in in- 
creased numbers European settlers. In Argentina, the blend- 
ing of the races is taking place, and a condition similar to 
that which occurred in the United States is developing there. 
Southern Brazil and Uruguay, on the Atlantic, and Chile, 
on the Pacific, are developing strong nationalities. In the 
latter country climatic conditions and a more or less homo- 
geneity of race have been favorable. 

The Panama Canal will open the west coast of Latin 
America to European immigration. It will help to open to 
trade the countries on the Pacific slope. Through the new 
water-way, Peru will be in a direct line of communication 
with Europe and the Gulf and Atlantic ports of the United 
States. The Canal will be the great gate-way through which 
will flow to our shores a stream of progress, carrying along 
with it men with capital, men with energy and activity, 
men who will come to us in the spirit that the pioneers 
from these New England States, went into the TV est of this 
great country and founded there a greater empire of wealth 
than even the Pilgrim Fathers founded in this section of 
your country. 


THE DEVELOPMENT OF NATIONALITY 


17 


There is a happy faculty that is common to the whole of 
America of being able to readily assimilate diverse foreign 
immigrants and turn them into good citizens. The “melt- 
ing pot” does not exist only in your country. In each of the 
Latin- American nations it is doing the work of fusing into 
one great nationality the stray elements from all over Europe. 

Any one who takes up a directory of any of the Latin- 
American countries, will be astonished to read the numbers 
of names of English, Scotch, French, Irish, German, Dutch, 
Scandinavian, Italian and Slav origin that are to be found, 
and he will be even more astonished when he learns that 
the Edwards, the McKennas, the Gallaghers, the Wash- 
bournes, the Evans, the Muller, the Cawthorns, the O’Don- 
nells, the Elmores, the Lynch, the Lefevre, the Dubois, the 
Mulanvioitz, the Godinskis, the Canevaro, the Figari, the 
Hemmerde, the Schaffers, the Von der Heyde, the Jacobys, 
the Solomons, the Dreyfous, the Bergman, the Bryce, Smith, 
the Black, the White, the Greene, the Brown, the Jones, 
the Walkers, the Schreit-Muller, the Scriebens, the Hahns, 
etc., are Latin-Americans of two or more generations. 

At present in Peru, our president is Senor Billinghurst; 
two members of the Supreme Court are Justice Elmore and 
Justice Washbourne, the president of the Lima Chamber of 
Commerce is Senor Gallagher, the assistant secretary of 
state is Senor Althous, the consul general in New York, 
is Senor Higginson, the charge d’affaires in Great Britain is 
Senor Lembcke, one of our most distinguished generals is 
Senor Canevaro; one of the leaders in congress, is Senor 
Solomon — all of these are Peruvian citizens by right of birth. 
South America by reason of its great territorial vastness, is 
a world in itself — furthermore, it is self-supporting; without 
dispute it is the richest section of the entire world, having 
more natural resources and greater potential power for de- 
velopment than any portion of the world, that is still unde- 
veloped. From our colleges men of intellect and of learning 
are taking their place in the world of knowledge alongside 
with the scholars and thinkers in other countries. I believe 
that we have reached in Latin America a stage of develop- 
ment that is molding a true and distinct nationality, and 


18 


FEDERICO A. PEZET 


that from now on we will occupy a position in the world’s 
councils. 

The native Indian population, so long neglected, is now 
a matter of deep concern to many of our countries, and in 
Peru, where we have a very large percentage of pure Indian 
and of mestizos, we are doing everything that is possible 
in order to undo the evil and the many injustices that have 
been done unto them since their country was rested from 
them at the Conquest. 

This is a problem of the greatest importance and one that 
is receiving the greatest attention in my country from the 
men who have at heart the welfare, prosperity and the future 
of the nation. 

In the foregoing, I have attempted to present the many 
drawbacks that the Latin-American nations have had in 
the development of nationality. 

I would beg you to consider this question when you are 
judging the Latin-American. Bear in mind what I have 
tried to make clear to you, and if you do this, you will 
better be able to understand his idiosyncrasy and, in time, 
you will perhaps look upon him as a companion and a fellow- 
worker in the great cause of human uplift. We are all striv- 
ing for a common goal, our methods may differ, but our 
aspirations are the same, and the earnest endeavor of each 
is worthy of the respect of the other. 


PAN-AMERICAN POSSIBILITIES 


By John Barrett, Director-General of the Pan-American 
Union, formerly United States Minister to Siam, 
Argentina, Panama and Colombia 

We are at the beginning of a great Pan-American era. 
The next ten years are going to be Pan-American years. 
As during the past fifteen years Asia has been very much 
to the front, causing our eyes to be constantly on Japan, 
China, and the Philippines, so now during the next decade 
we shall be looking largely at the countries of Central and 
South America. 

You will pardon me for speaking with both earnestness 
and enthusiasm. For fourteen years I have beeh studying 
Latin-American potentialities and progress. During the 
first seven of these years it was my privilege, as United 
States minister in Argentina, Panama and Colombia, to 
study that part of the world intimately from the standpoint 
of a United States minister. During the last sPven years, 
as the executive officer of the Pan-American Union, it has 
been my duty to study every republic of the western hemi- 
sphere from its own standpoint as well as from the standpoint 
of other countries and peoples. At first I found it extremely 
difficult to awaken the interest and draw the attention of 
universities like this one, of public schools, of newspapers, 
of magazines, of lecturers, of writers, of travelers, and of bus- 
iness men. They did not seem to care for Latin America. 
They did not appreciate what these twenty countries south 
of us meant to the United States. 

But a great change has now come. The Pan-American 
Union is almost reaping the whirlwind of its pioneer efforts 
and all the world seems anxious to know more of the Latin- 
American countries and peoples. The demand for informa- 
tion about all of them, their commerce and trade, their 
institutions, their agricultural, mineral and timber resources, 

19 


20 


JOHN BARRETT 


their material and economic possibilities, their industrial 
development, and their educational advancement is almost 
beyond the capacity of the Pan-American Union to meet. 
Where there was one article in a newspaper a few years ago 
about Latin-American countries, their politics and possi- 
bilities, there are now a score of articles. Where then on 
magazine had a stray paper on Latin America, nearly every 
magazine is now describing that field. In contrast to only 
a few universities, colleges, academies and high schools 
taking up the study of Spanish six or seven years ago, there 
is a multitude of them all over the country teaching this 
language. Where one traveler seeking entertainment and 
amusement went to Central and South America ten years 
ago, a dozen are now going. Where one exporter or importer 
went personally to investigate the Latin-American field a 
decade ago, a score are now going. It is remarkable, more- 
over, that during the last ten or twelve years the value of the 
exchange of products between the United States and Latin 
America has increased nearly 100 per cent, until it has reached 
a surprising total of approximately $850,000,000. 

Remembering that commerce is often called the life blood 
of nations, it is well to note that the twenty countries of 
Latin America last year bought and sold in the markets of 
the world products valued in excess of $2,500,000,000. This 
in turn represents an increase of nearly $1,000,000,000 in the 
last decade. These figures are all the more remarkable 
when we remember that all of these countries lie south of 
the great eastern and western routes of trade and travel — 
that it is only within the last five years that there has really 
been a world appreciation of Latin America — and that the 
Panama Canal with its great future effect on trade is not 
yet opened. Surely the most skeptical person must give 
Latin America credit for these facts and figures. 

While considering some data concerning commerc 
us remember that these twenty countries which reach 
northern Mexico and Cuba south to Argentina and Chile 
cover a combined area of nearly 9,000,000 of square miles 
which is equal to an area nearly three times that of the 
United States proper. They support a population of 70,000.- 



SUMMARIZED EXTRACTS FROM ADDRESS 


21 


000 which is growing faster by reproduction than is the 
100,000,000 population of the United States. 

If, on the other hand, we are influenced by sentiment — 
and we should be — it is well to bear in mind that the majority 
of these countries secured their independence under the 
leadership of generals and patriots who, in their own biog- 
raphies, state that they were inspired to make their fight 
by the example of the immortal George Washington of 
the United States. It should also be borne in mind that the 
majority of these countries have written their constitutions 
upon the constitution of the United States. While these 
sentimental facts may make the people of the United States 
proud, they should also cause them to look appreciating^ 
and without a patronizing attitude towards the Latin- 
American countries, their peoples and their institutions. 
The latter should be given credit for the astonishing progress 
they have made despite many adverse conditions of location, 
climate and population. They must be given credit for the 
high class civilization that is developed in many of them. 
It must not be forgotten that Lima, Peru, had a university, 
that of San Carlos, which w'as nearly a hundred years old 
before John Harvard or Eli Yale founded the universities 
which carry their illustrious names. While our average 
professors and students may not be familiar with the litera- 
ture of Latin .America, that part of the world has in reality 
a list of historians, essayists, poets, novelists, writers on 
international law and scientific subjects which would surprise 
the average North American if he were to investigate the roll 
of honor and achievement of Latin America. 

There are some bogies about the countries, the peoples 
and the commerce of Central and South America which 
should be destroyed. One is that there is an overwhelming 
sentiment in Latin America against the United States. 
While it is true that certain newspaper writers and public 
speakers never lose an opportunity to arouse sentiment 
against the United States, they correspond exactly to a 
certain class of newspaper writers and public speakers in 
the United States who are always attacking foreign countries 
and pursuing jingo tactics but who do not necessarily repre- 


22 


JOHN BARRETT 


sent the sober public sentiment of the land. The big, 
strong, able and influential statesmen in the Latin-American 
republics have no bitter feeling against similar men in the 
United States, and are only too glad to cooperate with the 
corresponding men in the United States for the good of the 
western hemisphere. There is, it is true, a great deal of 
misinformation and prejudice throughout Latin America as 
far as the United States is concerned, but it can be removed 
by the pursuance of the right policy on the part of the govern- 
ment and people of the United States towards the peoples 
and governments of Latin America. 

Another bogie is that the countries of Latin America 
are lands of revolution. There is a tendency to hold the 
six-pence of prejudice too near the eye in looking at the 
troubles in a few countries and thus not to see the prevailing 
peace in other lands. Two-thirds of the territory and area 
of Latin America have known no serious revolution in the 
last twenty-five years. Revolutions, moreover, are often 
grossly exaggerated in the reports which reach the United 
States. 

Still another bogie is that there are no good mail and 
passenger steamship connections between the United States 
and the Latin-American countries. The answer to this is 
that the mail, passenger and freight facilities between the 
principal ports of the United States and all of the ten or 
eleven countries bordering on the Gulf of Mexico and the 
Caribbean Sea are excellent and far better than the average 
person even dreams that they can be. While the service 
down the west coast of South America can be considerably 
improved, it is far better now than it was formerly and will 
probably be excellent soon after the canal is opened. As 
for the vessels plying, for example, between New York and 
the east coast ports of Rio de Janeiro, Montevideo and 
Buenos Aires, it can be said that there has been a hundred 
per cent improvement in the last few years, until almost 
every week vessels of first-class passenger accommodations 
are sailing with ample accommodations for passengers as well 
as freight. The steamships are not as large or as numerous 
as those which ply between Europe and the east coast of 


SUMMARIZED EXTRACTS FROM ADDRESS 


23 


South America because the conditions do not require it, but 
they are far better than is generally supposed. 

There is also a bogie, prevailing in the minds of a majority 
of the people who have not studied carefully the geography 
of Latin America, that they are all hot or tropical countries. 
It is overlooked that the great southern end of South Amer- 
ica, including southern Brazil, all of Uruguay, practically all 
of Argentina, and nearly all of Paraguay and Chile, are in 
the south temperate zone. It is also overlooked that in the 
countries right under the equator, or near it, there are 
remarkable plateaus in the Andes and other mountain 
ranges where the temperature remains the year around at 
about the temperature which prevails in Massachusetts in 
June and September. It is an interesting fact that if a 
man is on the seashore of Ecuador where the equator 
crosses South America, he can experience a greater change of 
climate by traveling inland and upland for five hours on the 
back of a mule than he can in traveling north or south for 
six days on the deck of a steamer! When I made a journey 
of nearly 2000 miles through the Amdes of Colombia and 
Ecuador in the summer of 1906, during my incumbency of 
the post of minister of the United States at Bogota, the 
capital of Colombia, I had the unique experience of sleeping 
on the equator under three heavy blankets and being obliged 
to build a good fire in order to get warm in the morning! 
That was at an elevation of nearly 12,000 feet. In Bogota 
and Quito, which, are within a short distance of the equator 
as one looks at the map, I never say the thermometer in the 
offices of the United States legations in those capitals go 
above 78°, while frequently at night it would go down to 
60°, and yet both of these cities are located on plateaus, 
either of which could support a million or more population. 

Now let me drive home one or two remarkable facts about 
each one of the Latin-American countries, so that the new 
student of Latin America who may hear or read what I am 
saying tonight will understand to some extent my interest in 
these republics. 

Glancing at South America and first noting Brazil, we 
are impressed by the fact that it covers an area greater than 


24 


JOHN BARRETT 


the connected area of the United States; that in the Amazon 
it has a river whch empties into the ocean daily four times 
the volume of water which the Mississippi pours into the 
Gulf of Mexico, and that Rio de Janeiro, its capital, has 
already reached a population of 1,000,000 and is regarded 
as one of the show cities of the world. 

Uruguay, lying between Brazil and Argentina, occupies 
a position in South America similar to that of Holland and 
Belgium in Europe. It is a land of remarkable progress, 
and its capital city, Montevideo, has a population of nearly 
500,000. 

Argentina covers an area larger than the entire section of 
the United States east of the Mississippi River. Its capital 
city, Buenos Aires, often called the “Paris of America,” 
has a population of nearly 1,600,000. It is the largest city 
in the world south of the equator, the second Latin city, 
ranking after Paris, and the fourth city of the western 
hemisphere, following after New York, Chicago and Phila- 
delphia. Argentina last year, with a population of approxi- 
mately 9,000,000, conducted a foreign trade of $900,000,000, 
which is greater than the foreign trade of Japan or China. 

Chile extends for 2600 miles along the southern Pacific 
temperate coast of South America. Its capital, Santiago, 
is often called the “ Paris of the Andes,” and has a population 
of 500,000. The principal port of Chile, Valparaiso, is 
spending $15,000,000 in preparing for the opening of the 
Panama Canal. 

Paraguay, lying also between Brazil and Argentina, is a 
land of remarkable potentialities just starting upon a new 
era of agricultural development. Asuncion, its capital, is 
one of the interesting cities of South America. 

North of Argentina and northeast of Chile is Bolivia, 
covering an area twice that of the state of Texas and enjoying 
a period of remarkable mining and railroad development. 
La Paz, its capital, is the highest capital city in the world, 
but is connected by railroads with the ports of Chile and 
Peru on the Pacific Ocean. 

Peru, lying northwest of Chile, has a reach on the Pacific 
Ocean equal to that of the whole Atlantic Coast of the 


SUMMARIZED EXTRACTS FROM ADDRESS 


25 


United States from Maine to Georgia, with a corresponding 
variety of products. Lima, its capital city, is famous for its 
culture and possesses the ancient University of San Carlos, 
to which I have already referred. 

North of Peru is Ecuador, into which Massachusetts 
could be placed nearly ten times over. Its port, Guayaquil, 
will be one of the principal harbors on the Pacific south of 
the Panama Canal when it is made sanitary. Quito, its 
capital, is one of the old but attractive mountain cities of 
South America, and is connected with Guayaquil by a 
railroad which is a remarkable engineering achievement. 

North of Ecuador, and the only country which has an 
extensive coast line on both the Atlantic and Pacific, is 
Colombia, with an area nearly equal to that of France and 
Spain combined. Bogota, its capital, located about 600 
miles in the interior, is situated on a plateau nearly as large 
as the state of Connecticut. This city is noted for the culture 
of its people and the high quality of its civilization. 

Venezuela, the most northern of the countries of the South 
American continent, is nearly as large as Colombia in area, 
and possesses within its limits the mighty valley of the 
Orinoco. Caracas, its capital, is one of the attractive cities 
of the so-called “Spanish Main” visited by the American 
traveler. 

Turning now to the countries of Latin America which 
are in North America, we find that Panama has much to 
her credit aside from the Panama Canal, and is now entering 
upon a period of material and economic development which 
will be an influence other than the Panama Canal to advance 
its prosperity. 

Costa Rica, northwest of Panama, is famous for its 
stability of government, having known no serious revolution 
since it was established as a republic. San Jose, its capital, 
is readily accessible by rail from the port of Limon on the 
Caribbean and is becoming more and more a point of visit 
by American travelers. 

Nicaragua, north of Costa Rica, is a country of extraor- 
dinary natural possibilities, and, when once permanent peace 
is established, it will surely go ahead with rapid strides. 


26 


JOHN BARRETT 


Managua, its capital, on the lake of similar name, is only 
awaiting the touch of a new material era to become a pro- 
gressive city. 

Honduras, lying north of Nicaragua, is another land of 
vast potentialities which only requires the construction of 
railways and investment of capital for opening up its interior 
to enter upon an era of prosperity. Tegucigalpa, its capital, 
when connected by railway with the Caribbean on the one 
side and the Pacific on the other is sure to evolve into a city 
of modern progress. 

Salvador, the only Central American country bordering 
solely upon the Pacific Ocean, has the largest per capita 
population of any American country, and has enjoyed 
comparative peace and prosperity for a number of years. 
Its capital, San Salvador, is a prosperous city. 

Guatemala, the most northern and western of the Central 
American Republics, has enjoyed a long period of peace 
which has been characterized by the construction of railways 
and the development of the interior, and has brought a 
large amount of capital into that country. Its capital, 
Guatemala City, is the largest of the Central American 
capitals and easily reached by railway from the Caribbean or 
Pacific sides. 

Of Cuba, let it be said that it is justifying the confidence 
that has been placed in it as an independent republic and it 
is now going ahead with strides which are surprising to those 
who have not kept track of its onward movement. Havana, 
its capital, can not be classed as one of the great capitals of 
the western hemisphere, having passed the mark of two 
hundred and fifty thousand in population. 

Of the Dominican Republic and Haiti, it can be said that 
they form one of the richest islands in the world, and, when 
once permanent peace and stability are established, they 
are sure to progress in a way that will astonish their critics. 
Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti, and Santo Domingo, 
the capital of the Dominican Republic, are now in a process 
of evolution from the old to the new style of city and both 
are ports of importance upon the Caribbean. To Mexico 
I refer later on. 

In making this survey I have only touched upon, as it 


SUMMARIZED EXTRACTS FROM ADDRESS 


27 


were, a few of the high points. The student will be expected 
to study each country carefully, and, if he does, he will 
discover facts and figures which will not only awaken his 
interest but cause him to become an advocate of more general 
appreciation in the United States of these countries, their 
peoples and their possibilities. 

In discussing this great subject, it is in order to make a 
few observations in regard to the meaning of the Panama 
Canal. In studying the effect of that mighty waterway, it 
is a mistake to think only of the countries and the commerce 
which will be reached through and beyond the canal. We 
must also think of the countries and the commerce on the 
road to the canal from the Gulf and Atlantic seaboard of the 
United States. It is not generally appreciated in the hasty 
judgment of the passing observer that eleven Latin-American 
countries are tributary to either the Gulf of Mexico or the 
Caribbean Sea which form the great basin approaches to the 
canal. The ports of these countries have heretofore been, 
to a considerable degree, in a commercial pocket or cul-de- 
sac, but they are all beginning to feel a new life as a result 
of being taken from this pocket or cul-de-sac and placed 
upon a great avenue of international trade and travel. The 
student who has watched the history of the Gulf and Carib- 
bean coast hne is profoundly impressed with the changes 
which have come in the last few years as a result of the build- 
ing of the canal and of the expectations of what will follow 
its opening. 

Looking beyond the canal, with reference to Latin Amer- 
ica and without considering the commerce of the entire 
Pacific Ocean, valued at $4,000,000,000, and having tribu- 
tary to it nearly 1,000,000,000 of the world’s population, we 
note that twelve of the countries of Central and South 
America either have a coast hne upon the Pacific Ocean or 
are tributary to it. There is a reach of 8000 miles from 
northwest to southeast or from the California-Mexico line 
to the Straits of Magellan. While many differ with me as 
to the future growth and possibilities of this western coast, 
I am convinced that the opening of the Panama Canal will 
have the same influence on it that the building of the trans- 
continental railways had upon California, Oregon and 


28 


JOHN BARRETT 


Washington. It was not long ago that these three states of 
the United States were regarded as almost barren and 
impossible of supporting large populations. There is a 
corresponding opinion among some critics of the western 
shore countries of Central and South America, but I can not 
understand how a man, who has intimately studied them as 
I have, can come to any other conclusion than that they have 
extraordinary possibilities of material, economic, industrial 
and agricultural development. The change will not come 
at once, and may not come for some years, but eventually 
it will come to such an extent as to confound the skeptical 
persons of the present. 

You ask me before I close to say a w r ord in regard to 
Mexico. While I can not discuss the political situation or 
the pros and cons of the attitude of the present administra- 
tion, I can, as an international officer having in mind the 
peace and welfare of the whole western continent, raise my 
voice against war with Mexico. “Lest we forget” should be 
constantly our motto in considering this problem. We must 
bear in mind that this struggle of Mexico is not a war against 
the United States but is a civil struggle. We must not 
forget that the United States, from 1861 to 1865 carried on 
the greatest civil war in the history of the western hemisphere 
and that was followed by ten years of awful reconstruction. 
In our civil war more lives were lost and more property 
destroyed than in all the revolutions of Latin America put 
together for the last twenty-five years. We must remember 
that where one American has lost his life in Mexico hundreds 
of Mexicans have lost their lives; that where one American 
family has suffered, hundreds of Mexican families have 
suffered, and where one dollar of American money has been 
lost, hundreds of dollars of Mexican money and property have 
been lost or destroyed. We must not overlook the fact, 
moreover, that a war with Mexico might mean a bloody 
struggle in which thousands of our best men would be killed 
and as a result of which an enormous pension list would be 
established that would go on for the next fifty years. It 
might also develop a feeling of hostility not only in Mexico 
but throughout all Latin America against us which would 
counteract all the work of the past ten years for Pan-Ameri- 


SUMMARIZED EXTRACTS FROM ADDRESS 


29 


can accord and defeat corresponding efforts in the future. 
Let us go slow and with sincere piety pray that peace may 
come in Mexico without war between it and the United 
States. If the Mexican question can be settled as a result 
of a kindly and sympathetic attitude on the part of the 
United States, there is no limit to the degree of Pan-American 
commerce and comity which will be developed not only 
between the United States and Mexico but between the 
United States and all the other republics of the western 
hemisphere. 

In conclusion, permit me to observe that, if what I have 
said here, arouses greater and further interest, among my 
hearers or readers, in the countries of Latin America, I 
hope they will not hesitate to get in touch with the Pan- 
American Union, of which I have the honor to be the execu- 
tive officer. As many of you have been so busy with your 
various activities that you have not followed with detail 
the work and scope of this organization, I will define it to 
you in a single sentence. The Pan-American Union is the 
international organization, with its central office in Washing- 
ton, of all the twenty-one American republics, devoted to 
the development and advancement of friendship, good 
understanding, mutual acquaintance and commerce among 
them all, supported by their joint contributions based upon 
population, controlled by a governing board consisting of 
the diplomatic representatives in Washington of the Latin- 
American countries and the secretary of state of the United 
States, administered by a director-general chosen by this 
board and therefore performing the functions of an interna- 
tional officer rather than those of an officer of any particular 
country, and who, in turn, is assisted by a large staff of 
international experts, statisticians, commercial specialists, 
editors, translators, compilers, librarians, et al. Having its 
home in a building erected through the generosity of Mr. 
Carnegie and described by the greatest living French archi- 
tect as “possessing beauty of architecture and nobility of 
purpose more than any other public building of its cost in 
the world,” it invites every man of this wide world who may 
be interested in Pan-American development or Pan-American 
history to come within its doors and make use of its facilities. 


A GLANCE AT LATIN-AMERICAN 
CIVILIZATION 


By Francisco J. Yanes, Asst. Director, and Secretary of the 
Governing Board, of the Pan-American Union 

The civilization of peoples cannot always be gauged by 
set standards. There are varying factors to be taken into 
consideration and discrepancies to be accounted for in meas- 
uring the degree of cultural and industrial progress of a 
nation. Conditions growing out of racial characteristics, 
historical necessities, geographical position, custom and 
habit, on the one hand, and on the other the basic principles 
upon which different societies have been built, must not be 
lost sight of in dealing with, or rather, in endeavoring to 
understand the factors that have led to the progress of a 
given nation, or aggregate of nations of the same or similar 
origin. 

Latin-American civilization from an Anglo-Saxon point 
of view may be found wanting in many respects, but the life 
and happiness of nations, the ideals and hopes of their peoples, 
their legislation and institutions, are not to be found ready 
made, but have to be worked out to meet peculiar wants, 
and in accordance with the racial, mental, moral and mate- 
rial resources and necessities of each. 

We must deal with Latin America as a whole if we wish to 
cast a rapid glance at its civilization. Some of the twenty 
free and independent states which in their aggregate make 
up Latin America have developed more than others, and a 
few marvelously so, but whether north or south of the Pan- 
ama Canal, east or west, on the Atlantic or the Pacific, on 
the Caribbean or the Gulf of Mexico, the countries of Latin 
America sprang from the same race — the brave, hardy, ad- 
venturous, romantic and warlike Spanish and Portuguese 
conquerors, who fought their way through unknown terri- 
tories, whether in quest of “El Dorado” or in warfare against 

30 


A GLANCE AT LATIN AMERICAN CIVILIZATION 31 


whole nations of Indians, as in the case of Mexico and Peru, 
where the nati/e Indians had a marvelous civilization of 
their own. 

On the other hand, the men who founded these United 
States, the Pilgrims who first set foot on this new land of 
promise, and those who followed in the wake of the first 
settlers, came to this country already prepared, through 
years of training, to govern themselves. They came to the 
friendly shores of the New World in quest of freedom. They 
wanted a home in a new land not yet contaminated with the 
spirit of the Old World. They brought with them their 
creed, their habits of order and discipline, their love of free- 
dom, their respect for the established principles of law. 
Hence from its inception Anglo-American civilization was 
built upon solid ground. Its subsequent development — 
the marvel of the last half of the nineteenth and this our 
twentieth century — is due to the solidity of their institu- 
tions, their steadfastness of purpose, their practical sense of 
life, and a territorial expanse where all the soils, all the wealth, 
all the climatic conditions of the cold, the temperate and the 
tropical zone can be found. 

The discussion of Latin-American civilization is of vast 
importance, since it deals with the history and development 
of twenty republics lying beyond the Mexican border, and 
covering an aggregate area of about 9,000,000 square miles, 
with a total population of over 70,000,000, of which 48,000,000 
speak the Spanish language, 20,000,000 Portuguese in Brazil, 
and 2,000,000 French in Haiti. This general division brings 
us at once to deal, under the same classification, with peoples 
and civilization springing from different sources — Spanish, 
Portuguese and French. Even among the Spanish-speaking 
countries there are conditions, depending on the province 
of origin of the first Spanish colonizers and settlers, who 
came mainly from Biscay, Andalusia, Castile, Aragon, and 
Extremadura, which further tend to establish other slight 
differences, just as the various states of this country show 
differences due to the sources of their population. 

For our purpose, a general survey of the twenty countries 


32 


FRANCISCO J. YANES 


called Latin America is not amiss. Geographically, Latin 
America begins beyond the Rio Grande, with Mexico, at the 
southern boundary of which extends what is called Central 
America, consisting of Guatemala, Honduras, Salvador, 
Nicaragua, and Costa Rica, the historic five Central Amer- 
ican states; Panama, the gateway to the Pacific on the west 
and to the Caribbean and the Atlantic on the east; South 
America proper, embracing Venezuela on the Caribbean, 
Colombia on that sea and partly on the Pacific; Ecuador, 
Peru and Chile, bordering on the Pacific; Bolivia and Para- 
guay, inland states in the heart of South America ; Argentina, 
Uruguay and Brazil on the Atlantic; and, lastly, Cuba, 
Haiti and the Dominican Republic, islands in the Caribbean 
Sea. So we see that Latin America extends from the north 
temperate zone to Cape Horn, near the Antarctic Ocean, 
which means that all climatic conditions are found in that 
enormous area over which the pole star, the Southern Cross, 
and the constellations brightening the South Pole keep 
nightly watch, from the cool regions of northern Mexico to 
the tropical heat of the torrid zone and again to the cold 
lands of Patagonia. This is indeed a world of wealth where 
all the products of the entire globe can be successfully cul- 
tivated, where all races of mankind can live and thrive, be- 
cause the Mexican and Central American cordilleras, and 
further south the mighty Andean range, offer an unbroken 
chain of lofty peaks, wide valleys, and extensive tablelands, 
affording all climates and zones, all kinds of soils and miner- 
als, the only limitations to the development of these lands 
being human endurance. The water supply is plentiful in 
most parts of Mexico and the Central American republics, 
and there is nothing in the world which can be compared to 
the hjfflrographic areas of northern and central South Amer- 
ica, consisting of the Orinoco basin with its 400 affluents, 
offering a total navigable length of about 4000 miles; the 
mighty Amazon having three times the volume of the Mis- 
sissippi and navigable for over 2000 miles, and the network 
of great rivers emptying into it; the Parana and the River 
Plata, with twice the volume of the Mississippi, and a thou- 


A GLANCE AT LATIN-AMERICAN CIVILIZATION 


33 


sand other streams too numerous to mention in detail, but 
which can be found on any fairly good map, showing a feasible 
water route from the mouth of the Orinoco in Venezuela to 
the Amazon and the very heart of South America, and thence 
to the Parand, and finally to the River Plata. 

We all know how Columbus discovered this New World 
which today bears the name of America (although the appli- 
cation of that name is quite restricted in this country to the 
United States) — we have all heard of the hardships Colum- 
bus and his followers had to endure, their sufferings, their 
hopes, and their faith in some supernatural fate, a trait be- 
gotten by the influence of Moorish ancestors in Spain through 
the mingling of both races during the occupation wars which 
lasted over eight centuries. The discovery of America has 
a tinge of romance, such as inspires the soul of the adven- 
turer and the buccaneer. It was a romance that began at 
the Rdbida, grew in the presence and with the help of good 
Queen Isabella, developed into a mad desire for adventure 
at Palos, and ended with the planting of the Spanish stand- 
ard on the shores of Guanahani, now called Watling’s Island. 
From here Columbus went to what is today called Cuba, 
thence to Hispaniola — now divided into Haiti and the Domin- 
ican Republic, where his remains now rest in the Cathedral 
at Santo Domingo — and in this latter island founded the 
first white settlement in the New World. We cannot follow 
Columbus’ voyages or his adventures step by step, but we 
must feel that the discovery of America is an epic poem 
worthy of the mettle of the great discoverer and his men. 

And so the civilization of what is called Latin America 
began with the first Spanish settlement, the first Indian blood 
shed by the greed of the white conqueror, and the first at- 
tempt to Christianize the inhabitants of the new-found land. 
The inevitable features of conquest — war, treachery, de- 
struction, fire, sword, deeds of valor but little known, and 
endurance almost superhuman — marked along the trail of 
the discoverers the birth and first steps of the New World. 
And in the midst of this turmoil, bravely battling against 
unknown odds, the Spanish missionary fathers worked un- 


34 


FRANCISCO J. YANES 


ceasingly, founding hamlets and towns, thus planting in the 
wilderness the seeds of many a large city today, building 
their temples of worship, going from place to place strug- 
gling with disease and hunger, teaching the Indians the Span- 
ish language and with it their religious faith, and laying the 
foundation of what is known today as Latin America. 

The second stage of Latin- American civilization began when 
the crown of Spain finally took an active interest in its new 
possessions and men of a better class than the soldiery which 
landed with the discoverers and conquerors began to come 
to the New World, bringing their wives and daughters, and 
surrounding themselves with whatever comforts could be 
had in their new home. They were in many cases scions of 
noble families, who came either as viceroys, governors, or 
in some other administrative capacity, or as “oidores, ” 
judges and men of letters in general. There also came 
learned monks, and among these, philosophers, poets, musi- 
cians, painters, etc. Hence some of the oldest descriptions 
and chronicles of Latin America are in verse or in choice 
prose, either in Spanish or in Latin, and we find in some of 
the oldest cities in Spanish America wonderful examples of 
wood carving, either in churches or in old houses, beautiful 
specimens of the gold and silversmiths’ art in ware of the 
precious metals, some fine paintings, and unexcelled samples 
of the art of illuminating books, particularly missals. 

The scholars, either members of the religious orders or 
laymen, began to gather books imported from Europe, and 
so our libraries were started, mainly in the convents. With 
this feature of civilization the necessity of educating the 
children of the Spaniards and the Indians became more press- 
ing, and private schools and seminaries were established, as 
a first step to the foundation of universities. I think it is 
due to the Spaniards to state right here that both in Mexico 
and in Peru schools were founded for the education of the 
Indians, to teach them not only reading and writing, but the 
manual arts as well. 

We Latin Americans record with natural pride the fact 
that the first university founded in the New World was that 


A GLANCE AT LATIN-AMERICAN CIVILIZATION 


35 


of Santo Tomas de Aquino at Santo Domingo, in 1538. 
This University is no longer in existence, but we still have 
that of San Marcos at Lima, Peru, founded in 1551; the 
University of Mexico, established in 1553 and refounded in 
1910; the University of Cordoba, in Argentina, dating from 
1613; that of Sucre in Bolivia, founded in 1623, or thirteen 
years before Harvard, which dates from 1636, and that of 
Cuzco, in Peru, established in 1692, or eight years earlier 
than Yale, which was founded in 1701. The University of 
Caracas, in Venezuela, dates from 1721, and that of Habana, 
Cuba, from 1728, the other universities founded before the 
nineteenth century being that of Santiago, Chile, in 1743, 
and the University of Quito, Ecuador, in 1787. 

The great agent of civilization and progress, the printing 
press, has been known in Latin America since 1536, when the 
first printing outfit was introduced into Mexico and the first 
book printed in the New World, a plea of Father Las Casas 
for a better life. Cartagena, Colombia, is said to have been 
the second city of America to have a printing press, in 1560 or 
1562, but Peru seems to hold the record for the first book 
printed in South America, about 1584, and La Paz, Bolivia, 
had a printing establishment about 1610. There were also a 
press and other printing paraphernalia at the Jesuit missions 
of Paraguay about the first decade of the seventeenth century. 
The first work in Bogota was printed about 1739; Ecuador 
printed its first book in 1760, and Venezuela in 1764, while 
the earliest production of the Chilean press bears the date of 
1776, and there was a printing outfit in Cordoba, Argentina, 
in 1767. With the foundation of universities and schools 
and more frequent communication with Spain and other 
European countries of Latin origin, and the printing of books 
and newspapers in the New World, the desire for learning 
was developed and a new field was open to intellectual culture. 

Dissatisfaction of the colonies with the exactions and 
abuses of the viceroys, captains-general and other officials 
representing the crown of Spain, jealousies between the 
creoles, or children of Spanish parents born in America, and 
the “peninsulars,” or native Spaniards, commercial prefer- 


36 


FRANCISCO J. YANES 


ence and social distinctions, and other petty annoyances 
born of the arrogance of the Spaniards, on the one hand, and 
the proud nature of the creoles on the other, were the smoul- 
dering embers that, fanned by the success of the American 
Revolution and the storm of the French Revolution, set on 
fire the Spanish colonies at the end of the eighteenth and the 
beginning of the nineteenth century. The majority of the 
Spanish-American countries attained their independence 
between 1804 and 1825, and their struggles for freedom, 
while encouraged by the example of the United States, were 
inspired in French ideals. The heroes of the bloody but 
romantic French Revolution, their fiery speeches and un- 
daunted bravery, their proclamation of the republic and the 
rights of man ; the echoes of the Boston Tea-party, the ex- 
ploits of the spirit of ’76, the commanding and serene figure 
of Washington, the birth of the American Constitution, the 
utterances of the grave thinkers and inspired orators of the 
revolutionary period — all these dazzling examples of patriot- 
ism appealed to the Spanish-American colonists, and one by 
one the colonies began their fight for independence. The 
executions and ignominy heaped upon the first patriots who 
forfeited their lives for the cause of independence, instead of 
discouraging the leaders, made them more aggressive, and 
they resolved to gain the day at all hazards. 

We come now to the most brilliant pages of the history of 
Latin America, and upon these pages are written the names 
of Miranda of Venezuela, the precursor of South American 
independence; Bolivar, who has been called the Washington 
of South America, a brilliant soldier and born leader, the 
liberator and father of Venezuela, his native country, and of 
Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia; Sucre, also a Vene- 
zuelan, more like Washington than Bolivar, the very soul of 
honor, a gallant knight and an accomplished diplomat; San 
Martin, the brave and heroic liberator of the southern half of 
South America; Artigas, a man of sterling qualities; O’Hig- 
gins, the great Chilean hero; Tiradentes, the forerunner of 
Brazilian independence; Morelos and Hidalgo in Mexico, 
both Catholic priests, and both martyrs to the cause of mde- 


A GLANCE AT LATIN-AMERICAN CIVILIZATION 


37 


pendence; and hundreds of others from each country whose 
names would be meaningless except to those well acquainted 
with the history of South America. 

But, once free from colonial bondage, the new republics, 
whose political constitutions in the main are based on that 
of the United States, had to deal with fresh problems arising 
from changed conditions. The new political entities com- 
menced their independent life heavily handicapped, on the 
one hand by their economic condition after a period of pro- 
tracted wars, and on the other hand by a scarcity of popula- 
tion, and — though paradoxical, nevertheless true — the fer- 
tility of the soil and extremely favorable climatic conditions. 
The unbounded productiveness of Latin America, coupled 
with the modest wants of the masses, has been the main cause 
of the slow development of most of these countries as manu- 
facturing centers, their chief means of support being agri- 
cultural and allied industries, and mining. The evolution 
out of all this chaos has been more rapid in some countries 
than in others, due to special conditions, among which the 
the principal ones are in general terms geographic and top- 
ographic position, and predominance of the white man. 

The leading classes, owners of black slaves and landlords 
to the Indian tenantry, lived for the most part in relative 
ease after the war of independence. Those who did not seek 
in the army a field for their activities or inclinations, devoted 
themselves to intellectual and scientific pursuits, either in 
civil life or in the service of the church. Some went abroad, 
to France or Spain preferably, to acquire a general education 
or to perfect that received at home and to see the world, on 
their return bringing new ideas which were eventually adopt- 
ed and more or less modified as necessity demanded. With 
the progress of the nineteenth century Latin America also 
advanced. 

Intellectually, the Latin-Americans are anything but the 
inferiors of the Anglo-Americans. The literature of Latin 
America is as rich and valuable as that of any country, yet 
it is hardly known — not to say entirely unknown — in the 
United States except by a handful of men who have devoted 
their time to the study of the Spanish language. It is only 


38 


FRANCISCO J. YANES 


now, during the last few years, that a desire to know Span- 
ish has made itself felt in the United States, and it is as- 
tonishing to note the number of persons now able to read 
and understand the language. On the other hand, the study 
of modern languages is compulsory in all of the universities 
and colleges of Latin America, and absolutely necessary to 
obtain certain academic degrees. French was for a long time 
the language chosen by the majority of the students, hence 
the influence of French literature and French thought in 
Latin America. German was taken up by many, more as 
a commercial tongue than otherwise, but even so German 
literature, particularly the works of Goethe, Schiller and 
Heine, and most of the writers of today, are well known in 
Latin America. English was preferred by others, rather as 
an accomplishment than as a language of immediate practi- 
cal use, until now it has taken, in many cases, the place of 
German. These two languages have followed the trend of 
trade, but English is becoming more useful every day in 
view of the increased relations of Latin America with the 
United States, in all spheres of human activity. 

The problem of education has always commanded the 
earnest attention of all the Latin-American governments, 
to the extent of having made primary education, in most 
of these countries, not only free but compulsory. So far 
as higher education is concerned — that is, all grades above 
primary — there are institutions, either public or private, 
or both, for secondary and superior education, normal 
schools, schools of mines, agricultural and manual training, 
technological institutes, colleges, universities, conserva- 
tories of music, academies of painting and sculpture, national 
or public libraries, museums, etc. — in short, all kinds of 
institutions devoted to the moral and intellectual uplift 
of the people. 

In all the Latin-American countries there is a system of 
scholarships which serves as a practical means of promoting 
interest in education. This system provides for supporting 
abroad for a certain length of time such of the students and 
graduates as have won honors, who are sent to Europe 
and in some cases to the United States, to perfect their edu- 


A GLANCE AT LA TIN- AMERICAN CIVILIZATION 


39 


cation and bring home new methods and the latest and most 
approved systems. We frequently hear at the Pan-Ameri- 
can Union of Latin Americans who have come to the United 
States or are coming here to take a post-graduate course 
in some science or profession, and others who are in this 
country studying and investigating school methods and 
appliances. At present there are over 1350 such students 
in the United States. 

I think this is the proper occasion to urge upon Ameri- 
can scholars and professors the necessity of encouraging 
the preparation in the English language of popular mono- 
graphs for school use, written by responsible and unprej- 
udiced men, on the history and geography of the Latin- 
American countries. So far as I know, there is not a single 
well-known school book in English giving in a concise, im- 
partial manner the history of any one of the countries of Latin 
America. The history of the United States, on the other 
hand, is studied in Latin-American colleges and universi- 
ties along with the modern history of France and England, 
Spain, Italy and Germany. Another point that deserves 
passing mention is the scarcity of good American books 
in Latin America, in the Spanish language, due to their 
enormous cost. France, Italy, Germany, and Spain es- 
pecially, publish in Spanish hundreds of useful books on 
history, science, geography, literature, etc., at prices so low 
that no one can give excessive cost as an excuse for not 
having what is termed in Spanish “an economical library/' 
that is, small volumes of several pages, well edited, bound 
in paper, which are worth from 20 cents up to 50 or 75 cents. 
An American work cannot be obtained at such prices. I 
can remember in my childhood days having learned to read 
from a series of books, edited in Spanish by a New York 
publishing firm, called “Libros de Lectura de Mandeville” 
(Mandeville’s Readers). The school geography was also 
edited in Spanish by the same publishing house, if I am 
not mistaken, and was called “Primer Libro de Geografia 
de Smith” (Smith’s (Asa) First book of Geography) . If the 
sale of American printed books fails of success in Latin 
America, it is due mainly to the almost prohibitive prices. 


40 


FRANCISCO J. YANES 


With better means of communication and a desire to ex- 
pand their trade with Latin America, United States mer- 
chants and travelers are visiting intelligently the Latin- 
American countries, and men of science and learning have, 
during the last few years, turned their eyes toward that con- 
tinent, bringing to light the wonders of past ages buried 
by the sands of Time, end doing justice to a civilization until 
then little known, and only by a few. No better proof 
of the fact that Latin-American civilization is worthy of 
note could be had than the desire to exchange professors 
and students between certain universities of the United 
States and those of the leading South Aunerican countries. 

Latin Americans have done much towards the progress 
of the world both intellectually and materially. Civili- 
zation may be divided into two great branches from which 
others spring: development of the intellectual forces of 
mankind, and development of the material resources for 
the benefit of all. Under the first head — as I have endeav- 
ored to show in the brief review of Latin-American history 
just made — we have educational institutions to train and 
perfect the mind, which have existed in Latin America for 
centuries, and the result of this training has been great 
jurists, historians, orators, physicians, painters, sculptors, 
poets, musicians, playwrights, and others too numerous to 
mention, as we are dealing with twenty countries, but whose 
works might fill a good sized library. We have painters 
and sculptors of renown whose works have been admired, 
rewarded and commended in the leading art centers of the 
world, and in all the countries there are art schools from 
which the students go preferably to Italy or France, most 
frequently pensioned by the government, to perfect them- 
selves and do honor to their motherland. We have musi- 
cians wedded to their art and a credit to the country and 
themselves; and composers, singers and players educated 
in our own conservatories or schools. We have theatres 
and opera houses not surpassed by any others in America 
or Europe, and the governments of many, if not all of the 
Latin-American countries, contribute to the musical educa- 
tion of the people by subsidizing opera troupes every season 


A GLANCE AT LATIN-AMERICAN CIVILIZATION 


41 


or so, paying heavy sums to obtain the best singers. Many 
a celebrity who has come to New York has commenced his 
career in Latin America. 

There is another phase of Latin-American civilization 
showing in an unquestionable manner a natural tendency 
towards the establishment of higher ideals — those ideals that 
are today being proclaimed by men of good will of all nations. 
I refer to arbitration, the recourse to which is the highest 
form of culture among peoples. Arbitration is not new 
with us. It is one of the basic principles of the foundation 
of our social structure, since it rests on the civil law of Rome, 
which provides for arbitration as one of the ordinary and 
usual means of settling differences between man and man. 
The principle of arbitration was first proclaimed on our 
continent by General Bolivar, the Liberator of South 
America — as far-sighted and keen a statesman as he was a 
military genius. Bolivar was the originator of the idea 
of holding the first Congress of Nations of America in 
Panama in 1826, for the purpose, anong others, of adopting 
arbitration as a principle of American — that is to say, Pan- 
American — policy. 

In recent years we have had recource to arbitration and 
direct negotiations partaking often of the nature of arbi- 
tration, more frequently than in all the rest of the world. 
Our Latin-American wars have been civil wars for a political 
principle, and these mainly in countries where the military 
element predominates. We have never engaged in wars 
of conquest. In our international difficulties, arbitration 
has always been the keynote of our negotiations. It is a 
remarkable fact that in the history of our Latin-American 
republics, since they became independent from the mother 
country over one hundred years ago, we have had among our- 
selves only two wars which, if international in a sense, could 
be classed as national, since they were fought among mem- 
bers of our own family of republics. But these wars were not 
fought for territorial expansion nor in the spirit of conquest, 
although territory may have been gained as an indemnity. 
I refer to the Paraguayan war against Brazil, Uruguay and 
Argentina, and the war of Chile and Bolivia against Peru. 


42 


FRANCISCO J. TAKES 


On the other hand, who, looking at the map of Europe to- 
day, would recognize it as the same Europe of half a cen- 
tury ago? With one or two exceptions, — the Iberian and 
the Scandinavian peninsulas and the British Isles — there 
is not a single country that has not been remade at the cost 
of numberless lives and enormous bloodshed. 

All our boundary disputes — and they have been many — 
have been or are being settled by arbitration. Now, could 
any better proof be offered of the advancement of peoples 
who, while springing directly from a race of warriors, do not 
fear to work towards the ends of peace? 

Another proof of this spirit of progress is the maintenance 
in the city of Washington, by all the countries of our Ameri- 
can hemisphere, of a unique organization called the Pan- 
American Union, the living embodiment of the idea which 
created the International Union of American Republics as 
a result of the first Pan-American Conference held in Wash- 
ington over twenty years ago at the invitation of that great 
American statesman, James G. Blaine. The Pan-American 
Union represents the spirit of progress, the desire for a better 
understanding, the necessity for stronger ties of friendship, 
felt among the republics of the three Americas, by making 
them known to one another, by bringing to the attention 
of the American people the opportunities offered by the 
Latin-American countries, their civilization, their onward 
march towards prosperity, united in a single purpose of 
material and moral advancement. 

There is another aspect of Latin-American civilization 
which deserves more than passing attention. It is then- 
political life as members of the Pan-American fraternity 
of independent nations. Their first step towards higher 
ideals was their declaration of independence and then- 
assuming the duties and exercising the rights of sovereign 
states. The transition from colonial dependencies to self- 
governing nations was fraught with difficulties unknown 
to the citizens of the original thirteen states of the North 
American Union, resulting from different conditions, due in 
the main to the spirit that inspired their complete emancipa- 
tion. The original thirteen states separated from England 


A GLANCE AT LATIN-AMERICAN CIVILIZATION 


43 


principally for practical reasons, while the Spanish Ameri- 
can countries had to contend with an economic as well as a 
political problem. 

After a period of evolution — or, if you prefer it, revolu- 
tions — during which the several antagonistic interests were 
undergoing a process of amalgamation, or better still, clarifi- 
cation, there now exists, in the majority of Latin- American 
countries, stable governments whose sole aim is to main- 
tain above reproach the moral as well as the economic credit 
of their respective nations, so as to attract foreign capital 
and energy, which will stimulate the development of home 
industries, and insure peace, prosperity and happiness to 
its citizens. Some Latin-American countries have been 
less fortunate, but every disturbance, every civil strife, has 
been a misdirected effort towards the attainment of a goal 
dreamed of by all and by all desired. Public education, 
foreign commerce, improved means of communication, 
greater development of the natural wealth of those countries 
are factors which have contributed and are constantly con- 
tributing to the establishment of a peaceful era which will 
eventually become normal and stable. 

As to the material phase of Latin-American civilization, 
all I have to say is that communication with the other 
countries of the world is represented by over fifty steamship 
lines plying between European ports and those of Latin Amer- 
ica, and about twenty-five lines running from the United 
States to the Atlantic, Caribbean and west coast ports of 
Latin America. The combined railway mileage from Mex- 
ico down to Chile and Argentina, including the island coun- 
tries of Cuba, Haiti and the Dominican Republic, is esti- 
mated at 65,330 miles, Argentina leading with over 20,300 
miles; next comes Mexico with over 16,000 miles; Brazil 
follows with about 14,000 miles; Chile, over 5,000; Cuba, 
nearly 2,200, and the other republics in lesser proportion. 
There is not one single country, however, that is not included 
in this total mileage. It may seem strange that in an area 
of about 9,000,000 square miles there should be only 65,000 
miles of railway, but if you stop a moment to consider the 
enormous barrier extending along the west coast of South 


44 


FRANCISCO J. YANES 


America, formed by the mighty range of mountains which 
is but a continuation through Mexico, Central and western 
South America of the Rocky Mountains, and the scarcity 
of population which creates demands and makes traffic 
profitable, you will undertand why the railways of Latin 
America have not advanced faster. But even under these 
circumstances, not a day passes but some work is done 
towards the extension of that railway mileage. 

Another phase of civilization and progress is the foreign 
commerce of a country. Latin America in this respect has 
a good record, and the figures representing its foreign trade 
in 1912 are, in round numbers, as follows: total Latin- 
American commerce, $2,811,000,000, the exports being 
represented by $1,571,000,000 and the imports by $1,240,- 
000,000. The total trade with the United States amounted 
to about $825,832,000, of which $519,025,000 was exports 
and $306,807,000 imports. The progress made by Latin 
America in its commercial relations with the world at 
large and the United States especially shows that there is a 
great consumption of all such articles as are considered 
necessary to civilization. Latin America is not a manu- 
facturing continent; it mainly produces for export agri- 
cultural products such as sugar, coffee, rubber, tobacco, 
cacao or cocoa, cotton, etc., hides and other raw materials, 
mining products such as silver, gold, tin, copper, iron, bis- 
muth, saltpeter, etc., and a few gems. Its main imports 
are machinery of all kinds, hardware, cotton and other 
fabrics, foodstuffs, carriages and automobiles, railway ma- 
terial, electrical appliances, and other similar products of 
industry necessary to the cultivation of the land, the im- 
provement of roads and cities, and the comfort of the in- 
habitants. There is not a city of any importance in Latin- 
America where either artificial illuminating gas or electric 
light is unknown. Telegraph and telephone wires stretch all 
over Latin America, uniting cities and towns, over the wilds 
and across the mountains, bridging powerful rivers, con- 
connecting neighboring countries and linking our shores 
with the rest of the civilized world. Not an event of any 
importance takes place in Europe, Asia, or Africa, or the 


A GLANCE AT LATIN-AMERICAN CIVILIZATION 


45 


United States which the submarine cable does not bring 
to the Latin- American press, to be made public either in the 
form of bulletins or in “extras,” according to the importance 
of the event, while nearly every Latin-American country 
has its wireless telegraph system. Electric cars are fast 
replacing the older and slower methods of transportation 
within the cities and extending their usefulness to carrying 
passengers to suburban villas, small towns or country places 
of amusement, and Buenos Aires, the largest Latin-Ameri- 
can capital, has a subway in operation. 

In conclusion, I may say that a charge frequently made 
against us Latin-Americans, and in a sense true, is that we 
are a race of dreamers. Perhaps it is so. We inherited 
from our forefathers the love of the beautiful and the grand; 
the facility for expression and the vivid imagination of our 
race; from them we inherited the sonorous, majestic Spanish, 
the flexible, musical Portuguese, and the French, language 
of art, and a responsive chord to all that thrills, be it color, 
harmony, or mental imagery; we inherited their varying 
moods, their noble traits and their shortcomings, both of 
which we have preserved, and in certain cases improved, 
under the influence of our environment, our majestic moun- 
tains, our primeval forests, the ever blooming tropical 
flowers, the birds of sweetest wild songs and wonderful 
plumage; under magnificent skies and the inspiration taken 
from other poets and writers, be they foreign or native, 
who have gone through life like the minstrels of old with a 
song on their lips and an unsatisfied yearning in their hearts. 

Much more might be said to show the constant endeavor 
of Latin America to cooperate with its best efforts to the 
civilization of the world. It has contributed readily ac- 
cording to its Latin standards, and from the day of its inde- 
pendence and the establishment of republican institutions, 
Latin America has recognized the rights of man, abolished 
slavery, fostered education, developed its commerce and 
increased traveling facilities and means of communication 
with the outer world. It has contributed to the best of its 
ability to the sum total of human betterment, and the 
day cannot be far off when full justice will be done to the 


46 


FRANCISCO J. YANES 


efforts of the countries south of the United States, where 
live a people intelligent, progressive, proud of their history 
and their own efforts, and ready to extend a friendly hand 
and a sincere welcome to those who are willing to under- 
stand them, and aid them on their road to progress. 

The interest shown by the leading universities and edu- 
cational institutions of the United States in fostering bet- 
ter acquaintance with intellectual Latin America, in giving 
special courses in the history of those nations, in endeavoring 
to establish with them an exchange of professors and stu- 
dents, deserves the sincere appreciation of every Latin 
American, and as a Latin-American myself, I desire to 
express here my deep gratitude. To Clark University, 
in particular, and its executive officers, I wish to extend my 
most cordial congratulations for the friendly — I may say 
fraternal — thought of dedicating this conference to the dis- 
cussion of Latin-American topics. It is indeed a noble 
thought. I also wish to thank the executive officers of 
Clark University for their courtesy in allowing me to pre- 
sent before you the views of a Latin-American as to what 
we are and what we have done towards the general prog- 
ress of the world. 


THE MEXICAN SITUATION FROM A MEXICAN 
POINT OF VIEW 


By Lie. Luis Cabrera, recently Speaker of the House of Rep- 
resentatives in the Mexican Congress 

Much has been said in the United States about the Mexi- 
can situation, but actual conditions in Mexico have never 
been fully understood, because they have always been 
studied from an American point of view. 

The sources from which Americans draw their information 
about Mexico are chiefly foreign residents and investors, 
who are very apt to consider the Mexican situation only 
from the standpoint of their own interests. All that for- 
eigners seek in Mexico is the reestablishment of a state of 
things favoring the continuation and promotion of business. 
They generally believe that the conditions of Mexicans 
themselves, and of those issues which are of a purely na- 
tional character, do not concern them, and consequently 
they do not regard them as necessary factors in the problem, 
such as they understand it. Hence, the proposing of solu- 
tions which, although beneficial perhaps to foreign interests, 
do not tend to solve the Mexican problem itself. 

To fully understand the Mexican situation and to find 
satisfactory solutions both to Mexican and foreign interests, 
it is necessary to study the question from a Mexican point 
of view. 

Such is the purpose of this paper. 

Foreigners in Mexico believe that the only political prob- 
lem which interests them is peace. But misled by 
superficial judgment or pushed by impatience, they have 
believed that the establishment of peace in Mexico depends 
only on the energy with which the country is governed. 


47 


48 


LIC. LUIS CABRERA 


All foreigners in Mexico look for a strong government, an 
iron hand or iron fist, and the only thing they discuss is 
whether a certain man is sufficiently strong or energetic 
to govern the country. And when they find a man with 
such qualities, foreigners always have believed that it was 
their duty to help that man to come into power and to sup- 
port him. 

These were the reasons for the foreign sympathy in favor 
of General Reyes first, General Felix Diaz afterwards, and 
General Huerta, and these are the reasons why President 
Madero did not get the full support of foreigners. He was 
considered a weak man, and consequently unable to establish 
peace. 

It is necessary to rectify foreign opinion about strong 
governments in Mexico. 

A strong government is not the one able to maintain peace 
by the mere force of arms, but the one which can obtain the 
support of the majority of the country. Any peace obtained 
by the system of the iron fist is only a temporary peace. 
Permanent peace in Mexico must be based on certain eco- 
nomic, political and social conditions which would produce 
a stable equilibrium between the higher and the lower 
classes of the nation. 

Foreigners ought to be persuaded that to have real 
guarantees for their interests it is necessary that such in- 
terests be based on the welfare of the people of Mexico. 

It is then to the interest of foreign capitalists to help 
Mexicans to obtain such conditions as will produce perma- 
nent peace in Mexico. 

The troubles in Mexico during the last three years are 
attributable to mal-administration covering a period of 
thirty years. The internal upheaval in Mexico could not 
have grown to the importance that it has reached, had 
it only had the object of satisfying personal ambitions. 
The revolution in Mexico could not be so strong as it is, 
were robbery the only purpose of the soldiers or was personal 
ambition the only motive of the leaders. 

The truth is that the Mexican disturbances are a real 
revolution of apparently political aspect, but at the very 


A MEXICAN POINT OF VIEW 


49 


bottom of economic and social tendencies. The present 
revolution in Mexico is only the continuation of a revolution 
begun in 1910. 

The present revolution’s main purposes are to free the 
lower classes from the condition of slavery in which they 
have been for a long time and to seek for an improvement 
in their economic and social conditions. 

In Mexico there is no real middle class. The purpose 
of the present revolution is the creation of such a class which 
may help the country to have a social equilibrium. There 
is no real social equilibrium and there is no peace, and there 
is no democratic form of government without a middle 
class. 

The causes of the Mexican revolution and its aims, are 
of a social, economic and political character. Consequently 
the Mexican question presents three different aspects, inti- 
mately related to each other, that can be called the social, 
economic and political aspects of the Mexican question. 

Social Aspect 

Mexico has a population of about 15,000,000 inhabitants, 
15 per cent of which are Indians, 75 per cent mixed or “ mes- 
tizos” and 10 per cent of European descent. Each one of 
these groups presents different characteristics and even the 
“mestizos” cannot be said to be homogeneous, since there 
are various racial types among them. 

Mexico, however, has no real race problem . Properly 
speaking, there are no insoluble conflicts between the vari- 
ous elements of the nation, because the Indians are easily 
assimilated by the “mestizos,” and as a matter of fact, 
when the Indians receive education or mix with the “mes- 
tizos,” they immediately become identified with them. 
A full blooded Indian who has received a certain amount 
of education, is always sure to keep it, and he never shows 
any retrogressive tendencies, so that we can say that the 
effects of education upon the native Indians of Mexico are of 
a permanent character. 

On the other hand, the mestizo element of the population 
of Mexico intermarry very easily with the Europeans, 


50 


LIC. LUIS CABRERA 


particularly with the Spaniards and French, and as soon 
as they have received a proper education or have acquired 
some economic welfare, they can be considered on prac- 
tically the same level as any of the European residents. 

But true as it is that this variety of races cannot be re- 
garded as a social problem for Mexico, the large diversity 
of types of civilization found among those races, on the 
other hand, do give rise to grave difficulties, from the point 
of view of the government of the country. 

The problem that every administration has to face in 
Mexico, that is to say, the social problem in its broadest 
sense, is to find a rule or a formula of government which 
shall be suitable to all the dissimilar elements of the 
population, or to find the various co-existing formulae of gov- 
ernment suitable to each one of the various groups of popula- 
tion. It is very difficult indeed to find a formula of govern- 
ment suitable at the same time to a fifteenth century type 
of civilization (Indians); to an eighteenth century type 
(largest part of the mixed races); to a nineteenth century 
type of civilization (educated mestizos) and to a twentieth 
century type (foreigners and Mexicans of high culture). 

The systems used up to the present to govern these dis- 
similar groups have failed, that of General Diaz pretending 
to rule the county with sixteenth century proceedings, as 
well as that of Madero pretending to rule on a nineteenth 
century system. This social problem is intimately related 
to the political problem of the unfitness of the laws of Mexico. 

The political problem of ruling over the different races 
in Mexico could have more or less adequate solutions, but 
the social problem has but one solution, namely: education. 

Fortunately, the characteristics of the Indian and mixed 
races, and their facility to assimilate into the white race, 
give sufficient grounds to believe that the problem can easily 
be solved simply by means of an educational policy wisely 
matured and persistently applied. 

It can be safely said that in fifty years from now, if the 
education of the Indians is kept up, all local dialects will die 
away and the whole Indian population will be assimilated 
by the mixed race. 


A MEXICAN POINT OF VIEW 


51 


Economic Aspect 

The principal causes of the revolution in Mexico are 
undoubtedly of an economic, and chiefly of an agrarian 
character. 

The colonial policies followed by Spaniards, when they 
conquered Mexico, consisted in taking possession of the 
greatest part of the lands of New Spain to grant them to 
the Spanish conquerors. Extensive land concessions were 
granted now in favor of the church, now in favor of the Span- 
ish soldiers, leaders, chieftains, or mere settlers. 

Together with each one of those large concessions granted 
in favor of Spaniards, a large number of Indians were also 
assigned to them with the apparent object of educating 
and Christianizing them, but with the real purpose of ob- 
taining slaves, or land serfs, to cultivate and develop the 
lands granted. 

With regard to the Indian towns already existing at the 
tune of the conquest, they were theoretically respected 
together with their lands. New towns were also laid out 
as Indian reservations, providing them with sufficient lands 
which were called “egidos” and “propios,” for the common 
use of all the inhabitants. 

The colonial policies of Spain resulted therefore in the 
formation of a wealthy class of landholders as against the 
Indian population, which found itself either assigned to 
the estates as land serfs or concentrated in Indian towns. 

In 1810 the freedom of slaves and Indians was officially 
decreed by Hidalgo, but the independence of Mexico hav- 
ing been accomplished by the wealthy landholders, the 
situation of the Indians was not materially changed, and 
the lower classes still remained in a state of actual serv- 
itude, although, theoretically, slavery had been already 
abolished. 

We can safely say that up to 1856 the only real-estate 
property of any importance, which was not in the hands of 
the Spanish great landholders, was the property of the church 
and the “commons” of the Indian towns. 

The church had been acquiring large territorial property 


52 


LIC. LUIS CABRERA 


obtained either by direct concessions from the Govern- 
ment or by donations and foundations from private sources. 

The towns still were owning their communal lands 
granted to them, as stated above, for the purpose of graz- 
ing, timbering, farming and watering, and which were called 
“egidos.” The characteristic aspect of the agrarian ques- 
tions in Mexico was for nearly two centuries, the obstinate 
defense made by the towns against the great landholders 
who always tried to invade the communal lands. 

From 1856 to 1859 certain laws were enacted in order to 
do away with the mainmort. About the middle of 1859, 
the liberal administration of Juarez, for political reasons, 
was compelled to deprive the church of its properties and 
to begin to appropriate them to private individuals, who 
wished to acquire them at low prices. 

Towards 1859 also, and as a consequence of the laws 
enacted to do away with the mainmort, the “egidos” of 
the towns began to be divided up and apportioned in small 
parcels among the inhabitants, for the purpose of creating 
small agricultural properties, but through ignorance and 
lack of means, those lands were almost immediately resold 
to the great landholders whose properties were adjacent 
to the “egidos.” 

About 1876, at the beginning of the “porfirista” regime, 
(the administration of General Porfirio Diaz) the real prop- 
erty of the church had already passed into the hands of 
private individuals, and the communal property of the 
towns was beginning to be divided among the masses. 

There still remain, however, large estates owned by old 
wealthy families of Spanish origin, which could be considered 
as real mainmort, and which are now responsible for the pres- 
ent agrarian conflict. 

The “porfirista” regime can be defined by saying that it 
consisted in putting the power in the hands of the large land- 
holders, thus creating a feudal system. 

The local governments of the different states in Mexico 
and nearly all the important public offices, were almost 
always in the hands of, or controlled by, wealthy families 
owning large tracts of land, which of course were inclined to 


A MEXICAN POINT OF VIEW 


53 


extend protection to all properties such as theirs. Torres 
and Izdhal in Sonora, Terrazas in Chihuahua, Garza Galan 
in Coahuila, Redo in Sinaloa, Obregons in Guanajuato, the 
Escandons in Morelos, etc., are instances of great landhold- 
ers who always had an absolute control over the government 
of their respective states. 

The political, social and economic influence exerted by 
landholders during General Diaz’s administration, was so 
considerable and so advantageous to them, that it hampered 
the development of the small agricultural property, which 
could have otherwise been formed from the division of 
ecclesiastical and communal lands. 

The large estates called haciendas, pay only about 10 
per cent of the taxes levied by law as result of misrepre- 
senting the value of the property, while the small landholder 
is obliged to pay the whole tax imposed as he is unable to 
successfully misrepresent the value of his small holdings 
and as he lacks the political influence to obtain reductions. 

The result of this system of inequitable taxation has been 
the gradual disappearance of small holdings which were 
absorbed by the large estates. This system was continued 
all through General Diaz’s administration, thus increasing 
the power of the great landholders, and accentuating the 
contrast between the higher and the lower classes. 

The commual lands or “egidos,” used to be a means to 
ease to a certain extent the conditions in which the small 
agriculturalists found themselves, by affording them the 
opportunity of increasing their income out of what they 
could get from the use of the “ commons.” 

But the condition of actual servitude in which the peon 
had always been, was accentuated and aggravated when 
the “egidos” disappeared, because, on the one hand, he was 
no more in a position to resort to the products of those com- 
munal lands, and on the other hand the great influence of the 
landholders was used as a political means to make peons 
work on the haciendas and keep them in an actual state of 
slavery. 

The largest part of the inhabitants of towns where “egidos” 
have disappeared, being necessarily compelled to live on 


54 


LIC. LUIS CABRERA 


the wages they get from working on the farms, and these 
wages being not enough to cover their expenses, it has be- 
come a common practice to advance money to the peons as 
a loan on account of future wages. 

This system of lending the peons small amounts of money 
has resulted in accumulating huge debts on their shoulders. 
These debts were used as a pretext to keep the peons al- 
ways at the service of the landowners, and the peon him- 
self has been under the impression that he was legally bound 
to remain on the farm as long as he had not paid up his 
debts. These debts, as a rule, were transferred from father 
to son, thus creating in the rural population of the farm not 
only an actual condition of slavery, but the moral convic- 
tion among the peons themselves, that peonage was a neces- 
sary evil which the laws authorized. 

This belief persisted through the ignorance of the peons 
themselves, and through the fact that the clergy has mor- 
ally contributed to keep up the system. 

During the first fifteen years of the administration of 
General Diaz, and when he was still strong enough to main- 
tain his dictatorial rule, there was no apparent dissatisfaction 
among the rural classes, but later it became necessary to 
use drastic measures to keep the peons on the farms. 

The large number of men who were deported from the 
more thickly populated regions, such as Mexico, Puebla, 
Toluca, etc., to the southern states, as well as the transpor- 
tation by force of a large number of Yaqui Indian families 
from the state of Sonora to work as peons in Yucatan, are 
good examples of the use of public force to provide laborers 
for the “hacienda” and to maintain the condition of servi- 
tude of the rural classes in Mexico. 

Since 1880 conditions in Mexico began to be complicated 
by reason of the policies of General Porfirio Diaz for the 
development of the country. General Diaz thought that 
the best way to develop the resources of Mexico was to 
favor the establishment of large business enterprises and the 
formation of large corporations to which special advantages 
were offered. 

General Porfirio Diaz granted large concessions in lands, 


A MEXICAN POINT OF VIEW 


55 


mines, railroads, industrial and banking institutions to 
foreign investors, thus creating enormous monopolies and 
making more accentuated the contrast between the rich 
and the laboring classes of the nation. The cost of living 
was raised by the increasing of capital. The wages of 
miners, railroad men and those of the industrial classes 
were somewhat increased, although not in proportion to 
the increased high cost of living. The wages of the rural 
laborer did not enjoy this increase, the salary of the peon 
still remaining at a ridiculously low average. Notwith- 
standing the low rate of agricultural wages, the great land 
owners were still able to obtain labor thanks to their political 
influence which allowed them to keep the peons anyhow. 

During General Diaz’s administration, therefore, efforts 
were never made for the formation of a middle class. On 
the contrary, the power of the wealthy classes increased 
considerably, and a new privileged class arose from the 
great railroad, mining, banking and industrial concession- 
aires. The condition of the lower classes, on the other 
hand, was excessively precarious, and lately it became so 
grave, that during the last days of General Diaz’s regime 
it is safe to say that the slavery of the peons was the prin- 
cipal cause of the unrest spreading throughout the country, 
and General Diaz had to resort very frequently to the use 
of force to maintain peace. 

Political Aspect 

The economic unrest felt in Mexico during the last years 
of General Diaz’s administration, had for its principal 
causes those which have already been enumerated, but this 
economic unrest was aggravated by political conditions. 

The political problem is very complex, but it can be out- 
lined or summed up as follows. 

No constitutional system, properly speaking, can be said 
to have existed in Mexico prior to 1857. Towards 1857 the 
Constitution was adopted, but it was patterned largely on 
the French and American Constitutions, without taking 
into consideration the special conditions of Mexico. 

The Constitution adopted in 1857 has been theoretically 


56 


LIC. LUIS CABRERA 


in force ever since, but as a matter of fact it has never been 
applied on account of the Reform War, the French inter- 
vention, and the very abnormal conditions in which the 
country found itself during the administration of Juarez 
and Lerdo. 

General Diaz entirely abandoned the Constitution of 
1857 to follow a dictatorial regime. 

In its political provisions the Constitution was never 
applied during General Diaz’s administration. Elections 
of governors, local legislatures, congress, supreme court, 
etc., never took place, General Diaz himself making all the 
appointments. 

Mexicans never had, therefore, the opportunity to test 
their Constitution, nor to see how it worked, and to find 
out whether it was suitable for the conditions of the country 
or not. 

As regards justice, liberties and constitutional guarantees, 
the Constitution was never enforced for Mexicans, except 
in the cases where General Diaz thought it convenient. 
Only the wealthier classes could enjoy those liberties, they 
having sufficient influence to exact them from the President 
or from the supreme court. 

Foreigners, also, by reason of their influence or through 
diplomatic pressure, have always been granted those liber- 
ties and guarantees recognized by the Constitution. These 
discretional and unequal applications of the Constitution as 
regards individual guarantees, largely contributed to ac- 
centuate the difference already existing between the privi- 
leged classes and the masses. 

The Constitution of 1857 undoubtedly presents a great 
number of points which make it absolutely unfit for the 
country. 

The lack of municipal government, the unreasonable and 
arbitrary division of the country into so many states, the 
system of election of judges, the universal suffrage and 
even the system adopted for the substitution of the chief 
executive, and many other inadequate provisions, lead to 
the necessity of a general and fundamental revision of the 
Mexican Constitution. 


A MEXICAN POINT OF VIEW 


57 


The administration of General Diaz can then be summed 
up by saying that it was a dictatorial regime with exceptions 
in favor of the wealthy classes and foreigners. As a matter 
of fact, these exceptions were practically privileges, since 
90 per cent of the population of the country did not enjoy 
either justice, or liberties, or guarantees. 

From the political point of view, the administration of 
General Diaz, produced the same results as was produced 
from an economic point of view. It deepened the division 
already existing between the higher and the lower classes. 

Any party wishing to establish peace in Mexico must 
take in consideration these three aspects of the Mexican 
situation. The Constitutionalist party wishes to solve the 
social problem of Mexico by fostering education so as to 
level the barriers between the upper and lower classes, as 
soon as possible. The Constitutionalist party wishes to 
improve the condition of the lower classes, so as to begin 
the creation of a middle class. In political matters the 
Constitutionalist party wishes the government of Mexico 
to abide by the Constitution, but at the same time wishes 
it to be so reformed as to meet the needs of the country. 

Since 1895 there has been a feeling of unrest in Mexico 
which made itself more apparent during the last years of 
General Diaz’s government. This feeling of restlessness 
was not well defined, and even when it led to several armed 
movements after 1905, it was generally thought that they 
were only insurrections of a local character or mere riots. 
When in 1908 General Diaz announced in the famous Creel- 
man interview that he was ready to retire, public opinion 
in Mexico was profoundly stirred. Opposite tendencies 
appeared; one instigated by the friends of General Diaz, 
which demanded his reelection or the election of a man 
who would continue his policies, and the other which wished 
a change in the government and in the system. 

It was at that time that don Francisco I. Madero organized 
the anti-reelection party, and that he began his electoral 
campaign under the motto “effective voting and no-re- 
election.” It was supposed that the best remedy for the 
Mexican situation would be a free election of a president, 


58 


LIC. LUIS CABRERA 


and the establishment in the political laws of the principle 
of one term. The political problem seemed to be the most 
important of all questions, and it absorbed entirely the 
public’s attention so that the economic and social problems 
were lost sight of. 

General Diaz accepted very easily his last reelection, and 
permitted to be named with him, as vice-president, Ram6n 
Corral, who represented the perpetuation of the Diaz re- 
gime. No other candidates than Diaz and Corral were ad- 
mitted. Madero was arrested before the elections, and the 
triumph of the Diaz-Corral ticket made it apparent that it 
was impossible to obtain a political change by ballot. 

On his escape from prison, Francisco I. Madero started 
the revolution. The plan of San Luis Potosi, which was 
the basis of the movement, made it clear that the leaders 
still considered as the chief problem of Mexico a political 
change, and the purpose of that plan was chiefly a change 
of government. 

The rural classes, however, followed Madero, and supported 
him in the revolution initiated by him, under the tacit belief 
that his revolution would bring some agrarian reforms which 
were needed to improve the condition of the masses, but 
which were not yet enunciated in any concrete form. 

General Diaz believed that he would stop the revolution 
by his retiring from power. The negotiations at Juarez, 
by which General Diaz agreed to retire and to deliver the 
government to a provisional president, checked the revolu- 
tion precisely when it began to acquire its actual strength 
and real form. 

De la Barra, a vacillating and Jesuitic character, had no 
formative policy during his administration. As a creature 
of General Diaz, intimately connected with the conserva- 
tive element of the old regime, he merely limited himself to 
muster out the revolutionary army, as the way in which he 
understood peace ought to be reestablished. 

By this negative action he minimized the effect of the 
revolution and he prepared a reaction in favor of the old 
regime. The same men who surrounded General Diaz and 
who had urged the continuation of his policies, returned to 


A MEXICAN POINT OF VIEW 


59 


the country when they saw that they were not persecuted, 
and started a political campaign against Madero and against 
the revolution. It was during this period that efforts were 
made to concentrate the public opinion in favor of General 
Reyes and De la Barra himself as presidential candidates 
against Madero. 

It was at this same time that the clerical party which since 
1867 had shown no signs of life, was revived under the name 
of the Catholic party, and clearly showed that it favored 
the reactionary principles of the Diaz regime. 

De la Barra’s ad-interim administration can be summed 
up by saying that while he received the government in trusc 
to be turned over to the revolution, he did everything in his 
power to keep it for himself and to avoid the advent of the 
new regime, thus showing disloyalty both to Madero person- 
ally, and to the revolution itself. 

When Madero came into power in November, 1911, he 
found the government in such condition that he was unable 
to change its direction, and was forced to accept existing 
conditions and even the same cabinet appointed by De la 
Barra, in which the most influential part was played by 
Ministers Calero, Hernandez and Ernesto Madero. 

Surrounded by nearly all Diaz followers, Madero could 
not establish a reform policy. During all the time of his 
government, he was constantly called by two opposite ten- 
dencies: on one side the reactionary in favor of the Diaz 
regime, and on the other side the revolutionary. 

Madero tried to make friends of the Diaz partisans but 
unsuccessfully. At the same time he lost the support of 
the greater part of the men who had helped him during the 
revolution. 

At the very beginning of Madero’s administration a 
protesting movement started, which was backed by some 
of the old regime. The insurrections of Pascual Orozco and 
of General Bernardo Reyes were no more than attempts of 
reaction against the 1910 revolution. The insurrection of 
Felix Diaz in the month of September, 1912, demonstrated 
that the reactionary sentiment had acquired a great impor- 
tance, and that the army, which was the same army left by 


60 


LIC. LUIS CABRERA 


General Porfirio Diaz, was not in sympathy with the revo- 
lution nor with Madero personally. 

The uprising of the arsenal at Mexico City in the month 
of February, 1913, was the most vigorous reactionary move- 
ment of any started against Madero, and it gave General 
Huerta a chance to place himself at the head of the re- 
action. 

General Huerta, who had been in the army since the time 
of General Diaz’s administration, remained in it during the 
ad-interim administration of De la Barra, and later was 
under the orders of President Madero. 

In the spring of 1912, Huerta had rendered President 
Madero very important services hi overcoming the revolu- 
tionary movement started by Pascual Orozco in Chihuahua. 

The prestige acquired by General Huerta after his cam- 
paign against Orozco, made him appear as one of the rising 
political figures in Mexico, in spite of his deficient culture, 
and his not very commendable personal habits. The enemies 
of Madero soon began to drop words of personal ambition 
in his ear, and finally succeeded in convincing him that he 
was the most prominent of the military officers and Madero’s 
chief support in maintaining power. 

When in the month of February General Felix Diaz cap- 
tured the arsenal, Huerta, who was then the commander- 
in-chief of President Madero’s troops, did not make, as a 
matter of fact, any serious effort to recapture the arsenal 
and overcome Felix Diaz. He had already realized that 
the fate of the government was in his hands, and during the 
tragic ten days of the bombardment of the city he kept a 
dubious attitude. 

The fight, or rather the firing sustained by either side, 
was used by Felix Diaz’s supporters as a moral pressure to 
bear on Madero to obtain his resignation. Various in- 
fluences were resorted to for that purpose. Finally, the 
pressure brought to bear by the foreign residents and the 
diplomatic representatives, gave Huerta an excuse to attempt 
his coup, seemingly with the purpose of reestablishing peace 
through the arrest and deposition of Madero and Pino Suarez. 

The principal role in this coup d’etat, as regards the help 


A MEXICAN POINT OF VIEW 


61 


given by foreign residents and diplomats to the uprising of 
Felix Diaz and the subsequent overthrow of Madero by 
Huerta, was played by Mr. Henry Lane Wilson, American 
ambassador. He can be considered as the chief adviser of 
Huerta and Diaz, during the bombardment and, indeed, as 
the one really responsible for that coup d’etat. 

After Madero and Pino Suarez had been arrested, they 
were compelled to hand in their resignations. As provided 
by the Mexican Constitution, the secretary of foreign rela- 
tions, Mr. Pedro Lascur&in, took charge of the executive 
power, but only for a few minutes, just long enough to ap- 
point Huerta as secretary of the interior and to hand in 
his own resignation himself. By virtue of this resignation, 
Huerta was to assume the presidency at once. 

The Mexican congress, acting under duress, and believing 
that the lives of the president and the vice-president would 
thus be spared, accepted their resignations, and endorsed 
the appointment of Huerta as president of the Republic. 

The assassination of Madero and Pino Suarez was an act 
of a purely political character; it was discussed and ap- 
proved by General Huerta and his cabinet 1 as the most 
expeditious way of removing all possible obstacles to the 
political success of the new administration. Huerta thought 
that by putting Madero and Pino Suarez out of the way he 
would remain practically without enemies. He was mistaken 
in thinking that Madero and Pino Suarez were the only ob- 
stacles that the new administration would have to over- 
come. 

General Huerta’s administration, both on account of its 
acts and of its men, was a thorough restoration of the dicta- 
torial regime of General Diaz, with the only difference that 
the dictator was now Huerta, and that dictatorial measures 
and rigorous methods were carried to an extreme they had 
never reached before, not even in the most hazardous times 
of General Diaz’s administration. 

1 The cabinet of General Huerta, which was appointed in accord with 
F6Iix Diaz, was: Francisco L. de la Barra, Alberto Garcia Granados, 
Toribio Esquivel Obreg6n, Rodolfo Reyes, Manuel Mondragdn, Alberto 
Robles Gil y Jorge Vera Estanol. 


62 


LIC. LUIS CABRERA 


During Madero’s government, the position of the revolu- 
tionary element was uncertain and awkward, because while 
they were supposed to be exercising a great political influence 
through Madero, practically they had no influence whatever 
since the Madero government was almost controlled by the 
conservative cabinet. 

After the death of President Madero, the position of the 
revolutionary elements became clear. During his life, for 
reasons of loyalty and hope of a change, they had never taken 
an aggressive attitude, but once the president was dead and 
nothing to be hoped for from Huerta, there was no difficulty 
in renewing the struggle. 

Huerta represented the reaction and his government was 
no more than the restoration of the government of General 
Diaz, with its same proceedings and the same men, under 
the orders of another chief. 

The revolution against Huerta is nothing more than the 
revolution started in 1910 by Madero, and which having 
been checked in 1911 by virtue of the negotiations of Juarez 
and the election of Madero, now continued and entered into 
full activity, augmented because of the revolting circum- 
stances under which the fall of Madero had taken place. 
The death of Madero has been one of the most powerful sen- 
timental factors to increase the revolutionary movement 
against Huerta. 

It has been very widely stated that the Carranza movement 
has only the purpose of avenging the death of Madero and 
reinstating the office-holders appointed by him. This is not 
the case. The purposes of the Constitutionalists are higher 
and better defined than were the motives of the 1910 move- 
ment. The Constitutionalists propose the reestablishment 
of a Constitutional government in Mexico, but as they real- 
ize the unfitness of the Mexican Constitution and other laws, 
they intend to reform them in order to have a system fitted 
to the country. 

There is no doubt that peace in Mexico cannot be estab- 
lished unless a complete change takes place in the govern- 
ment’s personnel and in the systems and laws. This is the 


A MEXICAN POINT OF VIEW 


63 


reason that the Constitutionalists appear too radical to those 
who would like to find a way of pacifying Mexico at once. 

The Constitutionalists mean to begin immediately such 
economic reforms and specially such agrarian reforms as are 
necessary to offer to the lower classes an opportunity of 
improving their conditions: division of large estates, equal- 
ization of taxation, and in places where it would be neces- 
sary, the reestablishment of the “egidos” or communal land 
system. 


THE FUNDAMENTAL CAUSES OF THE 
PRESENT SITUATION IN MEXICO 


By Nevin 0. Winter, Author of “Mexico and Her People of 

To-day ” 

The life insurance company, before passing upon an appli- 
cation for insurance, requires the applicant to give not 
only the facts concerning himself, but also certain infor- 
mation regarding his progenitors. If it is necessary to 
look to the ancestors of the individual, in order to be able 
to judge him and his possible ills correctly, how much 
more important it is when attempting to treat of the con- 
ditions existing in a nation to go back and see from whom 
the nation have descended, what traditions may have been 
inherited, and what environment has surrounded it. 

In an attempt to analyze the troubles of Mexico, it is not 
enough to say that the land question, or labor for debt, or 
even social evolution is at the bottom of it all. Some 
great injustice or inequality might explain the spontaneous 
uprising of a people in revolution, but it does not satisfactorily 
account for a series of detached revolutions under leaders 
who would be just as ready to fight each other as the cen- 
tral government against which the efforts of each and all 
are aimed. There are other underlying causes which must 
not be overlooked, for they help to elucidate a situation 
that is almost inexplicable to the average North American. 

The apparently dormant condition of some of the coun- 
tries to the south of us in the New World for so long a pe- 
riod, was undoubtedly due to the different conditions under 
which they were colonized. Unlike the Cavaliers who set- 
tled in Virginia and sought political freedom, the Puritans 
who took possession of the New England coast for both polit- 
ical and religious freedom, and the broad-minded, toler- 
ant Roman Catholics who settled in Maryland under the 
concession granted to Lord Baltimore, the early colonists 

64 


THE PRESENT SITUATION IN MEXICO 


65 


of South and Central America sought those shores to se- 
cure wealth and the means of an easy existence. They 
brought with them the spirit of the Middle Ages; instead 
of seeking religious freedom, they transferred the narrowness 
of creed that characterized Spain in the time of Ferdi- 
nand and Isabella to the New World. The natives were 
enslaved, as the Conquistadores did not look upon labor 
with favor. Looking upon the natives as an inferior race, 
it soon became unpopular among the Spaniards to per- 
form any labor which might be considered menial. The 
Inquisition was established with all its bigotry and disre- 
gard of the God-given human rights. 

With the union of the crowns of Castile and Aragon, 
by the marriage of Ferdinand and Isabella, and by the 
overwhelming defeat of the dark-complexioned Moors, 
Spain had become a nation filled with soldiers and adven- 
turers. The long wars with the alien invaders had bred 
a race inured to and in love with the profession of arms. 
With the discovery of the New World Spain had suddenly 
leaped to the front and had become for a time, at least, the 
greatest nation of the day. Ships were constructed in great 
numbers and sent out filled with voyagers “toward that 
part of the horizon where the sun set.” In the sixteenth 
century Spain had practically become the mistress of the 
seas and the most powerful nation in the world. Her sol- 
diers were brave and the acknowledged leaders of chivalry. 
One is lost in admiration of the undaunted courage of such 
men as Cortez and Pizarro, and of the lesser-known heroes 
Pedro de Alvarado, who made a successful expedition against 
the powerful Quiche tribes in Guatemala, and Pedro de 
Valdivia, who resolutely marched across the great nitrate 
deserts of Tarapacd and Atacama, and added Chile to the 
Spanish crown. 

When Cortez and his band of adventurers came to the 
court of Montezuma, and saw the lavish display of vessels 
and ornaments made of the precious metal, they thought 
that they had discovered the land of gold for which they 
were searching. Attracted by the glowing reports of un- 
told wealth, thousands of Spaniards soon followed the first 


66 


NEVIN O. WINTER 


band of Conquistadores, and they rapidly spread over the 
entire country occupied by the Aztecs, ever searching 
for the mines from whence this golden harvest came. A 
little later Pizarro made his wonderful find of the Inca civ- 
ilization in Peru, and his reports were confirmatory of 
the almost unbelievable wealth told by Cortez and his fol- 
lowers of the wonders of the New World. Then the lead- 
ers began their policy of imprisoning and torturing the 
Aztec and Inca chieftains to force them to give up the 
hiding places of their treasures. New bands of adventur- 
ers were attracted to the New World, and ship after ship 
set sail toward the setting sun loaded with adventurers 
and their followers, and ever ringing in the ears of all was 
the refrain: 

Gold! Gold! Gold! Gold! 

Bright and yellow, hard and cold. 

Shortly after the Conquest all the desirable lands were 
parcelled out among the invaders, and the few Indian caci- 
ques who had helped, with their powerful influence, in 
their subjugation. The Spaniards rapidly pacified the 
country, for the Aztec masses, however warlike they may 
have been before the coming of the Spaniards, were sub- 
dued by one blow. There were soon convinced that oppo- 
sition to the power of Spain was useless. The priests, also, 
through their quickly acquired influence, taught submis- 
sion to those whom God, in His infinite wisdom, had placed 
over them. Chiefs who would not yield otherwise were 
bribed to use their power over their vassals in favor of the 
Spaniards. Thus by force, bribery, intrigue, diplomacy, 
treachery and even religion, the Indians were reconciled 
and the spirit of opposition to the Spaniards broken. The 
result was a new and upstart nobility who ruled the country 
with an iron hand in the course of a few decades; and the 
natives, with the exception of the chiefs, were made vas- 
sals of these newly-made nobles. 

The Church is a delicate subject upon which to touch, 
but the ecclesiastical authorities worked hand in hand with 
the civil authorities. Pope Alexander VI issued the fol- 
lowing bull: 


THE PRESENT SITUATION IN MEXICO 


67 


We give, concede, and assign them (lands in the New World) in 
perpetuity to you and the Kings of Castile and of Leon, your heirs 
and successors; and we make, constitute and depute you and your 
heirs and successors, the aforesaid, lords of these lands, with free, 
full and absolute power, authority and jurisdiction. 

This absolute power and union of the church with civil 
authorities worked great harm in the colonies, and Mexico 
had more than her full share. It is simply another illus- 
tration of the fact that special privileges are difficult to 
eradicate when established by long usage, and those enjoy- 
ing them yield only to force. The Church, which had im- 
posed on the people such a vast number of priests, friars 
and nuns, and had acquired most of the wealth of the 
country, clung with the grip of death to its privileges and 
property. Brazil is the only country of South America 
where the two forces have been separated, and Mexico is 
the most conspicuous of the North American Latin repub- 
lics. 

If we, as citizens of the United States, in reading our 
early colonial history, think that our forefathers had reason 
to feel aggrieved against the mother country, and if we be- 
lieve that the events of the Boston Tea Party and other 
disturbances which antedated the Revolutionary War were 
justified, how much more reason the colonists of the Spanish 
American colonies had to be indignant toward their mother 
country. Our forefathers had not one-tenth of the griev- 
ances to complain of that could be found in the treatment 
of Mexico, Peru, Chile and the other Spanish provinces 
because of their misrule by Spain. The entire colonial 
system of Spain in South and Central America was one of 
selfishness, cruelty and tyranny. 

The policy actuating Spain and dictating her treatment 
of her New World provinces was well expressed by one of 
the Mexican viceroys as follows: 

Let the people of these dominions learn once for all that they 
were born to be silent and to obey, and not to discuss or to have 
opinions in political affairs. 

As a consequence of its narrow and almost inhuman 
policy, local human rights were not recognized by the 


68 


NEVIN O. WINTER 


government of Spain. It was treason for a man to assert 
his freedom, or to seek a free field for his labor. He could 
not enter into business without the consent of an official. 
The natives were compelled to labor for the conquerors 
without profit. Imposing buildings were constructed, cities 
were encircled with massive walls, great monasteries, 
churches and convents rose on the hills, all by the unre- 
quited toil of generations of these impressed natives. Edu- 
cation was denied, and the local governors, including in 
many instances the ecclesiastical officials, united in this 
system of repression and disregard of human rights. 

Trade with foreign countries was wholly prohibited, and 
all mineral wealth was heavily taxed. The sole purpose 
of the colonial policy of Spain in the matter of trade seemed 
to be to protect the trading monopoly, which had been 
farmed out to the merchants of Cadiz, and to keep a record 
of the production of silver and gold in order to insure the 
collection of the royal one-fifth. This policy is shown in 
its greatest absurdity in the treatment of Argentina. Every 
Atlantic port of South America was closed to traffic except 
Nombre de Dios on the coast of Panama. Everything 
destined for that continent, even for the mouth of the Rio 
de la Plata, had to be landed there, transported across the 
Isthmus, reloaded to vessels on the Pacific bound for Cal- 
lao, and from there again transported overland across the 
mighty heights of the Andes. The governors of Buenos 
Aires were instructed to forbid all importation and expor- 
tation from that port under penalty of death and forfeit- 
ure of property to those engaged in it. 

Spain continued to send all of her viceroys, captains- 
general, archbishops, etc., from the mother country. Of 
the one hundred and seventy viceroys who ruled in the 
Americas, only four were of American birth, and those 
were reared, as well as educated, in Spain. The same 
would hold true of the archbishops, captains-general, and 
other chief officials. Some of these officials were good, but 
most of them were either bad or indifferent. Of the gov- 
ernors of Argentina, all were Spaniards with one exception — 
Saavedra — and this man is one of the brightest names dur- 


THE PRESENT SITUATION IN MEXICO 


69 


ing the seventeenth century. He retained the confidence 
of both natives and Spaniards by his reputation for giving 
a square deal to all sides. 

It is not to be wondered at, and in fact no other result 
could be expected by the intelligent and unprejudiced stu- 
dent of history, than that three centuries of such rule 
should have an important effect upon the character of the 
colonies over which it was exercised. It has long been a 
disputed question, and a favorite subject for debate in lit- 
erary societies, as to which force, whether that of heredity 
or environment, exercises the greatest influence in the de- 
velopment of character; but the partisans of each side 
recognize and will readily admit that both heredity and 
environment are dominant forces in the development of 
the character of the individual and the nation as well. 
Therefore we can not do otherwise in trying to decide the 
underlying causes of the unrest existing in Mexico, and 
which at times breaks forth in some of the other republics 
to the south of us, than consider this element and placing 
upon it considerable stress. Someone may say that a hun- 
dred years has passed since the Spanish rule was practically 
broken in the New World, but a hundred years is too short a 
time in the life of a nation to overcome fully the evil effects 
of such an environment superimposed upon the hereditary 
feature that has already been mentioned. 

Hence it is that in studying the history of Mexico and 
the other Latin- American republics, that although we find 
Mexico’s Hidalgo, Venezula’s Bolivar, Argentina’s San 
Martin, and other patriots whom we may well place by 
the side of our beloved Washington, at the same time we 
find Santa Ana of Mexico, Carrera of Guatemala, Rosas of 
Argentina, Lopez of Paraguay, and many others who might 
be mentioned, for whom we can find no counterpart in the 
history of the United States, unless someone might suggest 
the name of Aaron Burr. Burr was undoubtedly willing 
to plunge his native land into war to further his selfish am- 
bitions, but he could not find enough followers. These 
men had inherited to the full the mediaeval idea of feudal- 
ism that might always makes right, that and one is j ustified 


70 


NEVIN O. WINTER 


in pushing his power to the uttermost by the force of arms 
in gaining his own selfish ends. These men had no more 
regard for the rights of the individual, or for the inherent 
claims of human liberty, than had Spain or the viceroys 
whom she sent to govern the colonies in the New World. 
We can appreciate the sentiment that led to the self abne- 
gation of San Martin, who sacrificed home, friends and 
honors after assisting in the establishment of three repub- 
lics, and even submitted to cruel charges of ingratitude 
and cowardice rather than take part in the divisions of the 
factions fighting among themselves for place in his beloved 
fatherland. Few finer examples of unselfishness are re- 
corded in the world’s history. We can realize the truth 
contained in the political document left by General Boli- 
var, which concludes with these words: “I have ploughed 

in the seas.” 

In only a few of the republics of the New World to the 
south of us has there been any great amount of new blood 
introduced by way of immigration. Spain forbade immi- 
grants to come into her colonies, and the natural resources 
of most of the others have not attracted those seeking new 
homes in any great numbers since the ban was removed. 
The exceptions to this general statement are Argentina and 
Brazil. To both of those republics thousands upon thou- 
sands of immigrants have come each year for a considerable 
period, and the good results of this influx are shown in the 
increased steadiness of the republican form of government. 

These immigrants have been mostly Italians and Span- 
iards, although in Brazil a very large colony of Germans 
have made their home. But the Spaniards who have come 
in this recent immigration are different from those early 
adventurers who first sought these shores. They are men 
who do not seek gold or any easy road to wealth; they are 
not men who toil not, neither do they spin, but they come 
to their new homes with the purpose and expectation of 
earning their bread by the actual sweat of their brow, and 
asking only that a fair remuneration be given them in re- 
turn for this expenditure of energy. They are the same 
type of people as the Germans and the English and the 


THE PRESENT SITUATION IN MEXICO 


71 


Irish who sought new homes within the borders of the 
United States, and who have formed the real backbone of 
the Republic, as it exists today. 

Since the establishment of the republic in Brazil in 1889 
by a bloodless revolution, there has been a continuous suc- 
cession of constitutional occupants of the presidential chair 
down to the present time. The same statement might be 
made for Argentina, covering a period since the election 
of that noble man, President Bartolom6 Mitre, in 1862. 
Among his successors have been some most excellent states- 
men, such as Sarmiento, and to offset the good report there 
has only been the one unfortunate case of the grasping Cel- 
man. In my opinion these countries have one advantage 
over our own in that a president is forbidden by the consti- 
tution to succeed himself, and therefore is not under the 
temptation to use his first term of office to build up a machine 
or organization in order to secure for himself a second term. 
In both Argentina and Brazil this requirement is faith- 
fully respected, and President Roca of Argentina is the only 
man who was called for the second time to the high office 
of president, and in this instance two terms of six years 
each intervened between the first and second terms of 
President Roca. 

Let us take a look for a moment at the early history of 
the Republic of Mexico, and see how the principles herein 
enunciated have worked out. The beginning of the nine- 
teenth century opened with a feeling of unrest in all Eu- 
ropean nations and their colonies. When Napoleon began 
to overturn monarchies with a ruthless hand, the idea of 
the divine right of kings received a shock. Among the coun- 
tries thus affected was Spain, which had fallen from the high 
pedestal it had formerly occupied. The success of the 
English colonists in overthrowing the foreign yoke no doubt 
acted as a leaven in spreading dissatisfaction throughout 
the Spanish colonies, but an influence of even greater mo- 
ment was the placing upon the throne of Spain of Joseph 
Napoleon by his brother, the Emperor. Hitherto a sort 
of religious reverence had been felt toward the Spanish 
ruler, but no such sentiment was held toward the Napoleons. 


72 


NEVIN O. WINTER 


The spirit of revolution and liberty was in the air, and re- 
straint became more and more galling upon the colonists 
in Mexico. 

It was on the morning of the 16th of September, 1810, 
that a struggle for independence was inaugurated by Mi- 
guel Hidalgo in the little village of Dolores, which lasted 
for eleven years, and during which much of the soil of Mex- 
ico was crimsoned with the blood of those slain in battle or 
executed by the authorities as traitors. At the outset the 
people were much less prepared for a contest at arms than 
were the American revolutionists, most of whom had been 
accustomed to firearms in their effort to conquer the 
wilderness. The Mexicans knew nothing of weapons or 
military tactics, and their early leaders were even without 
military training. Hidalgo and Morelas were priests of 
the established church. The followers of Hidalgo were 
made up of a motley crowd armed with stones, lances, 
machetes, arrows, clubs and swords. But enthusiasm made 
up for the lack of weapons and military training, so that 
terror struck the hearts of the Spaniards, and every town 
for a time yielded to this new leader. 

Spanish rule formally ended in Mexico in 1821, but peace 
did not follow at once as it did in the United States, for in 
the fifty years succeeding the securing of independence, 
the form of government changed ten times, and there were 
fifty-four different rulers, including two emperors and a 
number of dictators. There were five different presidents 
in each of the years 1846 and 1847, and there were four in 
the year 1855. These facts are not an evidence of tran- 
quillity, to say the least. The “ progresistas ” and “retro- 
grados,” or, as we would say in English, the conservatives 
and the liberals, were constantly at war with each other. 
Frequently it was the contest between the clericals and 
anti-clericals, a struggle over the sequestration of church 
property. The anti-clericals were probably just as good 
Christians as the others, but they thought that the church 
had too much wealth. I would not be surprised if some of 
the same influences were at work in the present situation. 
From the end of the administration of the first president, 


THE PRESENT SITUATION IN MEXICO 


73 


Guadalupe Victoria, which ended in 1828, until after the 
death of Maximilian, in 1867, there was not a year of peace 
in Mexico. Revolutions, promunciamentos, “plans” and re- 
storations followed each other in quick succession. “Plans” 
of one faction were bombarded by “pronunciamentos” by 
its opponents. Generals, presidents and dictators sprang 
up like mushrooms and their career was as evanescent. 
Revolutions were an every day affair. A man in position 
of authority did not know when his time to be shot might 
come. A sudden turn of fortune might send him either 
to the National Palace or before a squad of men with guns 
aimed at his heart. An illustration of the latter statement 
is shown in the treatment of that grim old patriot, Guerrero. 
By a turn of fortune he became the third president in 1829; 
only a few months later he was compelled to flee and, after 
a farcical trial, was condemned to death as “morally in- 
capable” and was shot on the 15th of February, 1831. 

Elections eventually became a farce. The unfortunate 
habit was required of appealing to arms instead of submitting 
to the result of the ballot. The trouble was that the people 
had copied the letter and not the spirit of the American 
Constitution. It is an exemplification of the fact that self- 
government can not be thrust upon nations from without. 
It must be developed from within. A constitution with 
high sounding words means little to a people unless to the 
distinguishing characteristics of self-reliance and self-confi- 
dence are also added that important quality of self-control. 

Had it not been for the elements of heredity and environ- 
ment, of which I have already made mention, such condi- 
tions as these just related would not have been possible; 
a Santa Ana could never have been evolved. Many of the 
so-called revolutionary leaders were little more than free- 
booters. They may have secured their followers through 
high-sounding speeches, which were punctuated with choice 
rhetoric and seductive promises, but the fact remains that 
they deserve no more respect than the highway robber who 
would rob you of your all. They would violate a church 
with as little compunction of conscience as an avowed enemy. 
Had conditions been different, it would not have been possi- 


74 


NEVIN O. WINTER 


ble for a foreign government to send a Maximilian and set 
him up on the throne. Had there been self-abnegation and 
self-control, which are so necessary in a republican form 
of government, the leaders would have swallowed their 
petty jealousies and united against the invasion of their 
soil by foreign troups, who came to support an alien em- 
peror upon a throne in a country which for almost half a 
century had held itself out to the world as a republic. 

The United States has something to be ashamed of during 
this period, for the Mexican War is not a subject upon which 
we can pride ourselves. Mr. Bancroft, the historian, does 
not mince words in his treatment of the subject, for he says: 

It [the Mexican War] was a premeditated and predetermined 
affair; it was the result of a deliberately calculated scheme of 
robbery on the part of the superior force. 

The result was a foregone conclusion, for Mexico, torn 
by internal dissensions, impoverished by the expense of 
revolutions, and official robberies, and with a government 
changing with every change of the seasons, had neither 
arms, money nor supplies for such a conflict. And yet this 
war might have been avoided by Mexico, had there been a 
government in power long enough to negotiate a treaty. 
A special envoy sent from Washington at the request of one 
president was refused an audience by a new one who had 
usurped the office before the envoy arrived. The brightest 
light that shines throughout this period is that of the grim 
old warrior, Juarez, who was the Lincoln of Mexico. This 
man had even greater trials than our martyred president, at 
least, they continued much longer, but he kept a true heart 
and retained his courage throughout all the trials and tribu- 
lations of many years of public life. He prepared the way 
for the man who did bring about both external and internal 
peace and material prosperity for almost a generation. 

Opinions differ very much as to the merits of the long rule 
of Porfirio Diaz, and I say rule advisedly. It is not to be 
wondered at that the man who governs with a strong arm 
will make bitter enemies as well as warm partisans. Like- 
wise such a policy will always have its defamers, as well as 


THE PRESENT SITUATION IN MEXICO 


75 


its supporters. The judgment of the world is still divided 
about Napoleon, and whether his high-handed methods 
wrought more of good than of evil. Hence it is that some 
can see nothing in Diaz but a tyrant, an enslaver of his people, 
and a man unfit for even life himself. They forget that 
neither peonage nor the land monopoly was originated by 
Diaz, but that both were inherited from the Spaniards and 
supported by the voters of the country. They do not look 
into the conditions faced by Diaz when he first became presi- 
dent, nor the bloody history of the republic before that time. 

Those were indeed troublous times in Mexico while we 
were celebrating the centennial of our independence in 1876. 
The strong spirit of Juarez had been broken by the long 
strain from 1857 to 1872, during which time he was nomin- 
ally president. His successor, Lerda, was a weak, ambi- 
tious man who accomplished little. There was disorder, 
everywhere; the country was overrun with bandits, and a 
worse than empty treasury were the conditions when Diaz 
grasped the reins. A huge foreign debt that had on several 
occasions brought about foreign intervention was also one 
of the conditions. There were only three hundred and fifty 
miles of railroad in the entire country. This was the con- 
dition of affairs in Mexico when Porfirio Diaz made his 
memorable march into the City of Mexico at the head of 
an army of several thousand armed men on the 24th of 
November, 1876. 

Judging this man at a distance, we, who live in a country 
where even a third term is a “bogie,” are inclined to dismiss 
the subject of Diaz with the charge of “dictator” and “re- 
publican despot” with all the odium that these terms im- 
ply. President Diaz was undoubtedly both a dictator and 
a despot. He had gone into office with the slogan of one 
term, and he respected this principle of his platform by 
retiring at the end of his first term of four years and grace- 
fully yielding the office to his successor, Gonzales. This 
was the first time in Mexican history where the spectacle 
was seen of one president voluntarily relinquishing the scep- 
ter to his successor and returning to private life without an 
effort to retain himself in power. Gonzales entered the office 


76 


NEVIN O. WINTER 


one of the most popular men of Mexico, having been elected 
by an almost unanimous vote. Four years later he left it 
under a cloud of almost universal execration and contempt. 
Then it was that Diaz was reelected. Then it was that 
he undoubtedly changed his views, and had the law of 
succession changed so that he could succeed himself in a 
constitutional manner. He occupied that high office thirty- 
one years, lacking a few months, or almost a generation. 

My personal opinion is that the motives actuating Presi- 
dent Diaz were of the highest type of patriotism; he, more 
than ourselves, knew the needs of this people and what was 
best for them. In suppressing brigandage and restoring 
internal peace, even though he retained his position by 
arbitrary methods, he gave the people a needed opportu- 
nity to develop the resources of the country, to increase 
the education among the masses, and to devote themselves 
to those peaceful pursuits which are so necessary to develop 
the national character essential in a republican form of gov- 
ernment. It is quite likely that in his later years, through 
the natural weakening of bodily and mental powers, although 
he was a remarkably preserved man for his age, that he may 
have come under the influence of unfortunate advisers, 
who were farming out the resources of the country for their 
own individual benefit. If this is so, it is an unfortunate 
fact and bitterly has he paid for it. Whether his reten- 
tion of the office for so long a period was a really good or 
bad thing for the country the historian of the future will 
be a better judge, for we are too close to the events of his 
time to weigh them correctly and impassionately. 

When I first visited Mexico, Diaz was at the height of 
his power. Railroad development was going ahead rapidly; 
the telegraph and the telephone were spreading over the 
country; new mines were being opened up, and the old ones 
were being worked industriously; plantations were being de- 
veloped by outside capital in the tropical regions, and every 
indication seemed to augur well. Although I was familiar 
with the turmoil that had preceded this administration, 
it seemed to me that so many years had passed by in com- 
parative peace and quiet, a new generation had grown up 


THE PRESENT SITUATION IN MEXICO 


77 


into manhood who were not familiar with the revolutionary- 
disturbances of the previous years, and who could not do 
otherwise than see the good effects of peace, that all possi- 
bility of a recurrence of such conditions had passed away. 
It did not seem possible that the country could again be 
tom by internal dissensions, with revolutionary leaders 
inciting the people to arms all over the republic. 

The culmination of Mexico’s greatness seemed to have 
been reached on the 15th of September, 1910, during the 
centennial celebration to which most foreign countries had 
sent special representatives. On the night of that date, 
President Diaz appeared on the balcony in front of the Na- 
tional Palace where the old bell with which Hidalgo first 
sounded the call to liberty is preserved . The President waved 
a flag, rang the bell, and shouted “Viva Mexico!” The 
cry of “Viva Mexico” was taken up by the crowd nearest 
to the President, and then by those farther away, until the 
great shout might have been heard all over the capital. 
The bells of the grand old cathedral pealed forth their 
loudest tones, the factory whistles shrieked, skyrockets 
were sent up in the air, and every noise-making device 
was turned loose. In the light of later events, this won- 
derful celebration seems to have been a sham, or at least 
only on the surface. At that time a political volcano was 
simmering all over the republic, and was just ready to 
break forth into violent eruption. Less than two months 
from that time the first outbreak against the civil author- 
ities occurred. A new leader came to the front with “no 
reelection” and “effective suffrage” as the two catch words. 
It was practically the same battle cry as that of Diaz in his 
original campaign. 

No sooner was Madero installed in the high office to which 
he was elevated, than the very forces which he had himself 
brought into existence were arrayed against him. Extrava- 
gant promises, such as free land, lower taxes, higher wages 
and a decreased cost of living, had been made. It was the 
old story of revolutions in Mexico, and some of the other 
Latin American countries, for the revolution had bred a 
race of caudillos for whom the victorious party had to pro- 


78 


NEVIN O. WINTER 


vide, and who rated their own deserts high. The atavic 
appetite for a life of adventure had again been whetted. It 
was an absolute impossibility for Madero, however well 
meaning and conscientious he may have been, to immediately 
carry into effect the reforms promised by him, and to pro- 
vide offices for these followers which would be satisfactory 
to themselves. It would have required years to work out 
such a program. But the caudillos could not wait. The 
spirit of impatience overcame all self-restraint, all patriotic 
impulse. It would be a misuse of and slander upon the term 
patriot to call all of these revolutionary leaders, who have 
sprung up in nearly every section of Mexico, by the name of 
patriot. Some of them are little better than freebooters, 
who prefer a life of adventure and notoriety to peaceful 
avocations. Some of them may be honest in their views, 
but sadly mistaken. I would not attempt to classify the 
revolutionary leaders and say which of them belong to the 
first class, which to the second class, or which of them may 
be real patriots, but I feel safe in saying that more of them 
belong to the first class than either of the others. They are 
not willing to curb their personal ambitions and lust for 
power for the general good of the country. 

From this paper, it will appear that, in my opinion, the 
troubles in Mexico are of long standing. Nearly everything 
complained of by the Mexicans themselves, and that are 
criticised by people of other nations, can be traced either 
to the effect of heredity or environment. The land ques- 
tion, of which complaint is made so frequently, was inherited. 
The greater part of Mexico was parceled out by Cortez to 
his followers, and that which was not given by him was 
donated by the Spanish Crown to favorites. Many of the 
descendants of those original settlers still occupy these 
lands. The estate of General Terrazas in Chihuahua 
would make a commonwealth as large as the states of Mas- 
sachusetts and Rhode Island combined, with a small farm 
of a million acres besides. The Zuloaga family own a haci- 
enda which is thirty-five miles wide, nearly a hundred miles 
long, and includes about two million acres. On these great 
haciendas the proprietors still live a patriarchal existence 


THE PRESENT SITUATION IN MEXICO 


79 


with thousands of peons attached to the estates. One haci- 
enda controls twenty thousand peons, an army in themselves. 

The owners of these great estates, like all owners of special 
privileges, cling to their inheritance with the grip of death, 
and they will do anything rather than yield one jot or one 
tittle of the prerogatives which have been in their families 
for generations. Some seven thousand families, out of a 
population of fifteen million, own the entire landed surface 
of Mexico, according to the best reports that I am able to 
find. This shows that it has never been a land of home- 
steaders, such as we have in the United States, for had the 
land been parceled out as it has been with us, with tens of 
thousands of families who have an actual interest in the 
soil, the political conditions in Mexico would never have 
reached or remained in the state that they have. 

Mexico has never had the advantage of foreign immi- 
gration, and there are very few non-Spanish speaking whites 
in Mexico, with the exception of English, Americans, and 
Germans, who have gone there not for the purpose of making 
homes for themselves and their families, but for the purpose 
of exploiting some one or another of the natural resources 
of the country, and doing it frequently at the expense of 
the Mexicans themselves. This condition can be blamed 
upon Spain, for she forbade people of other nations to come 
to the country. The official corruption which has been 
criticised a great deal, and for which there is undoubtedly 
considerable reason, was the result of Spanish misrule, for 
it was the Spanish overlords who introduced and developed 
this system of government. When you know that there 
are districts in Spain today where scarcely 10 per cent of 
the inhabitants have mastered the art of reading and writing, 
it is not surprising to learn that after three centuries of the 
rule of Spanish governors and viceroys, 95 per cent of the 
people in Mexico still remained in profound ignorance. 
Learning for the masses was regarded as prejudicial by those 
representatives and misrepresentatives of the home govern- 
ment. Although conditions are not ideal yet, the percentage 
of ignorance has been greatly reduced. 

Mexico likewise had the good fortune, as well as misfor- 


80 


NEVIN O. WINTER 


tune, to have a large indigenous population. This native 
population furnished the labor necessary to develop the 
country which the Conquistadores were unwilling to do them- 
selves. They were reduced to a condition of practical slav- 
ery. When slavery was abolished, peonage was established. 
The nature of these peons, who constitute almost 80 per 
cent of the entire population of Mexico, is such that they 
have formed a compact and inert mass. They have been 
non-resisting as a rule, and are content when their simple 
bodily wants are supplied. It has been an easier matter 
for the hacendados to get up a body of followers who would 
fight for them from the ranks of their peons. The peon 
is one of the greatest problems of Mexico, and it will take 
a long time to develop the best that is in him. 

For the future of Mexico, I have great hopes. Condi- 
tions are better today than they were a half century ago. 
Just when the turn of the balance will come, I would not 
venture to predict, but I do feel safe in saying that it will 
come eventually. The inherited misfortunes of the Mexico 
of today will sooner or later pass away. Europe at one time 
went through similar conditions. Out of the troublous times 
of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, nations emerged 
which had been strengthened by the lessons of adversity 
learned in the internecine struggles of that period. This 
is probably the final transition — the dawn of a new era. 
The paroxysms now shaking the country in rebellions and 
treacheries, which have so shocked the world, mean the 
recovery of Mexico ultimately to peace and prosperity. 
Unrest and change are conditions in every country today, 
and with both sexes. These conditions have but added to 
those elements of unrest peculiar to our neighbor across the 
Rio Grande. A strong man must arise-, perhaps another 
Diaz, at least a leader of enough force of character to draw 
the people to him and awe any opposing chieftains who may 
wish to create trouble for his own personal aggrandisement. 
Intervention should not even be thought of by the United 
States. From a standpoint of dollars and cents it would 
be cheaper for Uncle Sam to reimburse all losses sustained 


THE PRESENT SITUATION IN MEXICO 


81 


by Americans and American interests than to incur the 
expense that intervention would involve. 

I like the Mexican people, and I am a great admirer 
of the Spanish-American and Portuguese-American races. 
They are not inferior to the Anglo-American. They have 
many inherent good qualities; they possess some splendid 
traits of character, which are difficult to find in the North 
Americans. Instead of brusqueness they have courtesy; 
in financial honor they are the equal of our own people. 
They are perhaps bound more to the influence of tradition 
than we are, and this has been, I believe, one of their mis- 
fortunes. Were they less influenced by tradition, these 
inherited traits which I have mentioned in this paper, which 
are not found in nearly all, or not even in a majority of 
the Mexicans, but which are found in enough to cause the 
troubles that we find in making a historical study of the 
country, would have disappeared ere this. 

I have great faith even in the peon who constitutes such 
an important element in Mexico. Some people think of 
the peon of Mexico, the coolie of China, and the peasant 
of Russia as inferior beings, but I do not believe that there 
is such a thing as inferior humanity, There is, however, 
a great deal of undeveloped humanity, and it is in this class 
that we must place the Mexican peon. He is almost wholly 
an undeveloped creature. There are a few isolated examples 
which show that he is on a par with others of a fairer skin. 
Juarez was a full blooded Mexican Indio, and he is one of 
the greatest men that Mexico has produced. Diaz him- 
self had one-eighth of the peon blood in his veins. Many 
other examples might be given. I only hope that the time 
will come, and come soon, when turmoil and revolution will 
cease, and Mexico will take her place by the side of the great 
nations not only of the New World, but the Old World as 
well. 


THE MEXICAN SITUATION 


By S. W. Reynolds, formerly President of the Mexican 
Central Railway Company, Limited 

It is with a great deal of diffidence that I appear before 
you today to address you on a subject which, at the present 
time, is of such world-wide importance, and which seems 
likely at any moment to involve our country in a contest 
with our neighboring republic of Mexico ; a contest which, 
if ever entered into, would no doubt in the end prove suc- 
cessful, but which would cost a great number of lives and 
a vast amount of treasure. This success will come in 
part from the fact that Mexico has not the men or the 
money to spend in such a conflict that we have, and, 
consequently, will not have the endurance to carry through 
a defensive contest. 

In considering the present situation, it is well to look at 
the past and see what Mexico has been in the more recent 
years of her history, and what has been accomplished in 
the development of the country. You are all too familiar 
with the early history of Mexico to make it necessary for 
me to go into that part of her national life. You will be 
more interested in taking up her course since what might be 
termed the beginning of a peaceful and progressive term of 
government in that country. 

Her greatest and most material advance began when Gen. 
Porfirio Diaz became her President. General Diaz was 
born September 15, 1830, in Oaxaca. He was the son of 
an inn-keeper, and of mixed Indian and Spanish decent, 
his mother having belonged to the Mixteca tribe. He was 
one of six children. His father died when he was three years 
old. He was originally intended for the church, but his 
temperament not tending in that direction, he afterward 
studied law in the office of Benito Juarez, who afterward 
became President of the Republic. Later on, he entered 

82 


THE MEXICAN SITUATION 


83 


the army and took a very active and important part in 
military life. 

General Diaz’s first wife died in 1880, leaving a son and 
two daughters. Three years later he married Carmen 
Romero Rubio, the daughter of Romero Rubio, who was a 
member of the cabinet for many years, and until his death. 
She was a woman of great beauty and refinement, and was 
affectionately called “Carmelita” by the people and was 
much loved by them. She was of great assistance to Gen- 
eral Diaz in his work. 

I will not go into the detail of his life up to the time he 
became President. He assumed the executive power on 
November 24, 1876. At that time the constitution of the 
Republic provided that a man could not succeed himself as 
President, therefore, at the end of his term he was succeeded 
by Gen. Manuel Gonzalez, who served his term, and in turn 
was succeeded by General Diaz. In 1884, the provision 
in the Constitution was altered so that a man might succeed 
himself, and thereafter General Diaz continued as consti- 
tutional President. 

With the advent of General Diaz began the important 
development of the country. In 1876, the Republic was 
bankrupt, a prey to civil war, brigandage, etc. In 1886, 
the credit of Mexico abroad was firmly established through 
a proper and satisfactory adjustment of the foreign debt, 
and this condition continued until the latter part of the 
Madero government. When General Diaz became President 
the treasury was bankrupt, when he left it he left 862,000,000 
in it. 

One of General Diaz’s early methods of restoring peace 
was to organize the bandits, who had previously preyed 
upon the country and made travel through it dangerous, 
into what is known as the “Corps of Rurales,” which after- 
wards became one of the most reliable and efficient arms 
of the government’s service. He also made it much more 
to the advantage of his enemies to become his friends, and 
in that way pacified the contending elements. 

General Diaz’s greatest move toward development came 
through the promotion of railroad construction in the 


84 


S. W. REYNOLDS 


country. Then took place what might be termed the peace- 
ful American invasion of Mexico. It was his policy to in- 
vite anyone to come there with their money and enter into 
the country’s development, and the first to accept this 
invitation were the Americans. 

The first enterprise of any importance was taken up by 
Boston capitalists, and what was known as the Sonora Rail- 
road was begun. This line of road ran from Guaymas on 
the Gulf of California, to Nogales on the American fron- 
tier. It was begun in 1879. In later years it became a 
part of the Atchison, Topeka and Sante Fe Railroad system, 
and is now a part of the Southern Pacific system, and has 
been extended nearly to Guadalajara in the central part 
of the Republic. 

The next railroad taken up was also by Boston capital- 
ists, who began in 1880 the building of the Mexican Cen- 
tral Railway between El Paso and the City of Mexico, and 
completed its whole length of 1224 miles to the City of 
Mexico in 1884, and it was opened for through traffic March 
22 of that year. Since then additional lines have been built, 
until the system covered something over 3200 miles of road. 

The corporations which built both these roads were or- 
ganized under the laws of the State of Massachusetts, which 
had been changed so as to permit the organization of cor- 
porations here to build railroads in foreign countries. Other 
railroads were undertaken by Massachusetts capital, but 
they were not generally successful. One, however, formed 
the nucleus of what has since become an important system; 
that is the line across the Isthmus of Tehauntapec, which 
has now become a national highway of traffic between the 
Atlantic and Pacific. Other important railway lines were 
built with American capital, in fact, by far the larger part 
of the railway construction in Mexico has been done by 
Americans. 

As showing the methods of the government in handling 
this great development and the wisdom of the course pur- 
sued in aiding and subsidizing the roads, the experience of 
the Mexican Central Road will serve as an illustration. To 
aid in the construction of this road the government granted 


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85 


a subsidy of $9,500 for each kilometer built. In order to 
make it easy to pay this subsidy, certificates of indebtedness 
were issued by the government on completion of defined 
sections of the road, and these certificates were redeemable 
with a certain percentage, which varied from time to time, 
of the gross customs receipts of the country. These certif- 
icates were placed on sale at every place where duties were 
collected, and importers were obliged to buy the percent- 
age of their duties of these certificates, and pay them in 
to the government as a part of the duties which they had to 
pay. By this method the road was assured of its proper 
proportion of the country’s revenues, and the government 
not having received it did not have to pay it out. 

Subsidies were given to other roads on this and other 
bases, until quite an important part of the revenues of the 
country had been pledged for this purpose. The govern- 
ment wished to make a loan abroad, but found itself handi- 
capped on account of these obligations. They finally, how- 
ever, arranged a loan for an amount sufficient in addition 
to their other wants to take care of the obligations to the 
railroads. 

Under the original conditions, the collections by the rail- 
roads would have extended over a number of years, so in 
order to meet the equitable result of anticipating payment, 
negotiations were entered into with the various roads for 
an equitable adjustment of this anticipation; a discount of 
25 per cent was finally agreed upon in the case of the Mexi- 
can Central. The amount due the Company at that time 
was $19,820,793.01. After deducting the 25 per cent and 
some other items entering into the settlement, the sum of 
$14,335,732.06 was paid to them in cash. 

In 1876, Mexico had but 578 kilometers of railroad. She 
has now upwards of 10,000 kilometers. Up to June 30, 
1896, she had paid in subsidies on 9196 kilometers of road 
the sum of $107,743,660.25. 

I tell you this as an illustration of the credit that the 
country had attained, and the justice with which they 
treated their obligations to the railroads. 

General Diaz had as an ally and assistant in working out 


86 


S. W. REYNOLDS 


his financial policies and the results attained, Jose Yves 
Limantour, who was his secretary of the treasury. Liman- 
tour was of mixed Mexican and French descent, and was one 
of the ablest financiers of the age and commanded the re- 
spect and admiration of the people of his own country and 
of all other nations with whom he dealt. 

General Diaz’s policy in opening his country in the way 
he did for development was not shared by many of his 
advisers, but his theory was that the country could afford 
to offer the opportunity to anyone freely to go there and 
invest their money on the promise of liberal aid from the 
government for whatever they might do, as, if the railroads 
were not built, the government would incur no obligation, 
and if they were built, the benefit to the country would 
amply compensate for any aid that might be given them. 
The value of this policy is shown by the immense results 
which came, for probably nowhere in any country has there 
been so great a development is so short a time. 

Practically, the whole of this wonderful development 
has come as a result of the opening up of the country by the 
railroads, so that natural and latent resources might be made 
productive. 

Another important advantage obtained was the power 
it gave the government in establishing and maintaining 
peace throughout the country. Formerly when disturb- 
ances arose, it took so long for troops to reach the scene, 
there was time for a powerful organization to form, and it 
took a longer time for it to be subdued. Later when trouble 
occurred, the government was able to reach the scene and 
subdue it before it assumed formidable proportions. In 
other words, the railroads opened up the country to prac- 
tically immediate control from the capital. 

The methods of government followed by General Diaz 
were in every respect those of a dictator. He had absolute 
control of all the details of government, appointed his own 
cabinet and officials, even directing who should be governors 
of the various states of the Republic. He also had complete 
control of congress, whose duties for a long time were merely 
no min al. He and his cabinet arranged the various matters 


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87 


which came up for consideration, and when they required 
the approval of congress, they were sent to it and approval 
was given in due course. As an illustration of this, my 
associates and myself wished a concession for building a rail- 
road near the capital; through our attorneys we arranged 
all the details with the President and cabinet and then left 
the matter in their hands. The concession required the 
approval of congress which was then in session; there was 
only just time to have it take its regular course before con- 
gress adjourned. We paid no further attention to it, but it 
was put before congress and approved at the last effective 
moment. 

Had he been other than the man he was, of course, one 
can readily see what this condition would have led the 
country into, but, being as he was, a patriotic man, devot- 
ing his life to his country, and working in every way for its 
development, he handled this great power with so much 
wisdom and discretion as to bring about the results which 
were achieved. 

Of course, many things were done by him and under his 
administration that did not meet with the approval of some 
of his people. The church influence in the government, 
which formerly had been paramount, was entirely sub- 
dued by him and was in no way recognized, and for many 
years no one dare to oppose him with any hope of success. 
In fact, the people believed in him so strongly and his power 
and influence were so great that no effort at opposition was 
made. However, there was always an element, which 
though latent and quiet was powerful, and which was con- 
stantly on the lookout for a chance to assert itself. There 
was also an undercurrent of feeling of discontent and unrest 
on the part of other factions, which will always prevail in 
a country like Mexico, and under conditions existing there, 
and in fact in any country, which wished to get control of 
the government for purposes for their own good or bad as 
the case might be. These various elements worked quietly 
over their object and waited a time when they could assert 
themselves. 

General Diaz was probably fully aware of what was going 


88 


S. W. REYNOLDS 


on, but having exercised his power and control so long, he 
probably felt himself amply able to control and subdue what- 
ever opposition might arise, but he was getting on in years, 
he was more anxious to maintain peace and give the country 
a chance to develop into a position where the full condi- 
tions and development of a republican form of government 
could be maintained and so let up on that tense hold which 
he had had, with the consequence that the various oppos- 
ing factions had a chance to gain strength and prepare to 
assert their opposition to him. 

For a long time he was anxious to resign from the Presi- 
dency and take a rest which he felt he so richly had earned, 
but he was always afraid that conditions were not ripe for 
his retirement, and he was doubtful of what might follow. 

The constitution of the country made no provision for a 
vice-President, but in 1904 the constitution was altered, 
providing for one. Some time before he had brought from 
the State of Sonora, Ramon Coral, formerly governor of that 
state, and made him governor of the Federal District (corre- 
sponding to our District of Columbia), later a member 
of his cabinet, and finally vice-President. This was with the 
ultimate object of having him become President, but as 
conditions developed Coral did not seem to be the man for 
the place, and General Diaz did not dare to have him suc- 
ceed him. Other men in the cabinet and outside were also 
considered, but none seemed to come up to the full require- 
ments. Consequently, General Diaz held on, but as often 
happens in such cases, he held on too long. Had he given 
up several years before, and before the elements opposing 
him had become so strong, and been succeeded by someone 
whom there is no doubt he could have placed in power, who 
while probably not fully satisfactory to all elements, would 
have continued the Diaz policies, backed up by the aid 
General Diaz could have given him, the overturn which 
took place would not have occurred. 

In the meantime the different opposing elements had been 
gaining strength and later became united under Madero. 
Had General Diaz recognized Madero’s strength and treated 
with him, probably on a show of strength between the two, 


THE MEXICAN SITUATION 


89 


Diaz would have prevailed, but instead Diaz attempted to 
suppress Madero in a way that finally became persecution, 
which resulted in increasing Madero’s strength so that he 
was able finally to force Diaz to resign, which he did on May 
25, 1911. 

Madero’s claim to leadership came from his opposition 
to the previous policies and administration of the govern- 
ment, and his promises if in power to reform the evils which 
he claimed existed and to give his country a government filling 
all the requirements and advantages of a republic. His 
promises were liberal and naturally the people felt that the 
change meant what they might term reformation. Madero 
claimed that he did not wish to become President, unless 
by a regular constitutional election. Consequently Fran- 
cisco Leon de la Barra was appointed provisional President 
May 25, 1911, and held the office until the constitutional 
election took place which made Madero President. 

It was my good fortune to know General Diaz personally, 
as well as every member of his earlier cabinets. After he 
had weeded out from time to time from the members of his 
cabinet, the last being Romero Rubio, his father-in-law, the 
men who had not entirely broken away from the old condi- 
tions of graft, etc., which formerly prevailed there, I believe 
its members to have been men of honesty, integrity, of high 
character, and devoted to their country, men who had the 
best interests of their country at heart and who worked to 
attain the greatest good. Of course, some will disagree with 
me in this, but I am looking at the whole subject in its 
broadest sense and based on my personal knowledge of the 
men, and while many mistakes were made as there always 
will by whoever may be in power, still considering every- 
thing it is doubtful if any set of men could have been in 
power in such a country who would have brought about 
such satisfactory results. 

The administration of government as carried on by and 
under General Diaz was that which I believe was best 
adapted to secure the development which he was carrying 
on, in the most simple and effective way. If one had deal- 
ings with the government, he could go directly to the proper 


90 


S. W. REYNOLDS 


official and secure immediate and direct consideration for 
what he had to offer. This meant that the way was easy 
and simple to do business with the government and did 
away with the great amount of red tape which is usually so 
prominent in connection with government affairs. And in 
this connection one must consider that the people in Mexico 
are no more like ourselves, naturally, that the people of 
France, Germany, Spain, China, Japan, or any other for- 
eign nation, and we must consider their temperament, 
methods of life, and of business, their past history, and 
their personal characteristics in thinking of and in dealing 
with them. We would not think of going to Japan or Ger- 
many or Spain and finding conditions or people as we do in 
the United States, nor would we expect to reform or change 
their life and habits to conform to our own. 

In our early experience in Mexico, we found many things 
different and we thought much inferior to our own, and we 
set about trying to reform them, but we soon found that 
their life, customs and ways were based upon a longer ex- 
perience of their peculiar natural conditions than our own, 
and we soon concluded that it was much better to graft 
the best of ours with the best of theirs with the result that 
we both secured a lasting good. 

It was my pleasure and privilege to know Mr. de la Barra 
personally, and no one can be found of higher character, 
more gentlemanly characteristics, and I think more honest 
and faithful than he. He is not, however, a forceful man, 
and probably could not handle a government passing 
through a condition of conflict such as at present exists, but 
as an administrator and executive he was highly efficient and 
successful. 

I was also personally acquainted with some of the members 
of President de la Barra’s cabinet, and have a very high 
opinion of them. 

President Madero, I did not know personally, but from 
what I have heard about him, he appears to have been a 
man of high ideals and a certain amount of patriotism, but 
without the other qualities necessary to make a successful 
ruler. 


THE MEXICAN SITUATION 


91 


He made many promises before he came into power, he 
proclaimed all the deficiencies of the previous administra- 
tion and promised reforms in them all, but he was weak in 
many ways, and was unable to command the support 
necessary to carry through his reforms. In fact, he showed 
many of the common defects of men of his calibre, nepotism 
being one of the most prominent. He soon learned what 
the temperament and disposition of his people were and what 
General Diaz had to contend with in holding them in sub- 
jection, for elements which were disturbing, when he was 
fomenting rebellion, continued to be disturbing and he had 
them to contend with as Diaz previously had with him, and 
they finally compassed his overthrow. 

He took the government under generally peaceful con- 
ditions and with a full treasury, he left it in unrest and in 
poverty. He diposed Diaz, and was in turn deposed by 
Huerta and Felix Diaz. 

Some time in the future Mexico may attain a position 
where such methods as Madero followed may be successful 
but the time for that is not now. His career is a forceful 
illustration of the result of promises made when power is 
sought for, which are not carried out when one has the 
power to perform. 

The success of General Diaz and his methods indicate 
strongly that the kind of a government which he gave is 
what Mexico must have for some time to come. It has been 
my own personal opinion since General Diaz was deposed 
that the country must be returned to his kind of a govern- 
ment before peace and progress will be resumed. The fact 
is not only is there a rebellion against the central govern- 
ment, but the rebels are divided into many bands under 
separate leaders, bandits in reality, none of which have any 
standing as a separate government; one only having a cen- 
ter or head of sufficient importance to be recognized as a 
power, and if ever an attempt was made to recognize a 
belligerant power, the recognition of one or more would not 
include all, nor would it bring them all under one control, 
it would simply mean a faction with other factions still 
to deal with. 


92 


S. W. REYNOLDS 


Realizing all this, does it not seem as if the Diaz policy 
must be revived and an element control the government 
which shall be in a great manner dictatorial and coercive 
until the different elements can all be brought under con- 
trol? 

General Diaz went a long way in bringing his people up 
to a proper standard, they ought to see that they have not 
yet attained the position where popular government can be 
maintained, but with another such period of progress under 
control they may reach the point where full constitutional 
republican self-government can be maintained. 

The great question today is whether Huerta is the man to 
reestablish that method of government. He has had no 
chance to show what he can do, for he has been handicapped 
for the most of the time since he came into power by the 
attitude of our own government toward him, which, while 
seeking to have him attain certain results, seems to throw 
every impediment it can in the way of his attaining them. 

The difficulty in considering the present question of the 
relations between our government and that of Mexico, is 
that we know practically nothing of what is going on. Our 
daily press contain voluminous articles which today make 
assertions of almost positive definiteness, which are to- 
morrow contradicted, leaving us with no distinct, actual 
knowledge, but sifting what we hear as best we may, the con- 
clusion seems to be that our administration has taken a 
positive position of suppression of the Huerta administra- 
tion and that nothing that Huerta can do, or anything that 
can be done there short of his annihilation, will have Presi- 
dent Wilson’s support or approval. Of the wisdom of this 
position there are varied opinions, and it may be fair to 
withhold open condemnation or approval or even open dis- 
cussion, until we know just what his policy and position is 
to be. 

The situation is very grave, for we will be held responsi- 
ble for the protection of the lives and property of foreign 
subjects, as well as our own, and the considerations involved 
are too important to be trifled with. Our own people have 
a right to the protection of their interests in that country, 


THE MEXICAN SITUATION 


93 


and they are entitled to know if they will have such pro- 
tection. 

General Huerta seems to have some of the qualifications 
which I believe necessary to bring peace to Mexico, but he 
cannot accomplish much with the decided opposition of the 
United States. There are many objections to be made to 
the methods which Huerta has followed, but the people of 
this country should recognize what Mexico and its people 
are. They are not like ourselves, their temperament and con- 
ditions, their previous government, the revolutions through 
which they have passed, and many of their ideals are en- 
tirely different from our own. 

In an attempt to rehabilitate that country, I do not 
think we can safely assert what we would like to have them 
be, but we must start with a condition and not with a theory. 
If instead of trying to force them into a condition such as we 
would like, we take them as they are and endeavor to have 
them follow along lines which we believe to be in accordance 
with our ideas of the relationship of the United States to 
the Latin-American republics, we can hope for a very 
marked success and probably an adjustment of the whole 
existing condition, but if we try to assume that they must 
be as we want at the start, and then expect them to follow 
along lines which we may lay down, I think we will have great 
difficulty in bringing this about. 

It seems rather a strong position for our government to 
take that they shall dictate to the head of another govern- 
ment who is in power and is the present provisional Presi- 
dent of that country, what he shall do and what he shall 
not do, without giving better reasons than have yet been 
given. We are not taken into the confidence of our govern- 
ment, and, consequently, are unable to judge of its policy, 
if it has one, and what it is aiming to do. 

We are quite aware that the government must of neces- 
sity keep much of its negotiations to itself, but it does seem 
as if more might be said to our people, who have vast sums of 
money invested in Mexico, and who are anxiously waiting 
to see what policy our government is to pursue, if it has a 
policy, in order to adjust their own affairs. 


94 


S. W. REYNOLDS 


The people of our country have, I think, an entirely er- 
roneous and unjust opinion of the people of Mexico. While 
they are unlike us in many ways, my own experience has 
found them to be in the main, that is, among the business 
people, of high character and integrity, fair and just in 
their dealings, and without those barbarous and inhuman 
proclivities that so many are apt to attribute to them. 

The situation can be settled, and settled with reasonable 
promptness, but it must be done with full consideration for 
Mexico, and with a full understanding of its people. 


DEMOCRACY ON TRIAL 

By John Howland, D.D., President of Colegio Inter- 
national, Guadalajara, Mexico 

In the opinion of some students of history, democracy is 
but one stage in the invariable and inescapable cycle of po- 
litical growth: autocracy, constitutional monarchy, oli- 
garchy, democracy, and anarchy leading back to absolutism; 
the only possible variation being the length of the different 
periods, which will be dependent on special local conditions. 
Others, while not attempting to elude or minimize the his- 
torical testimony, would affirm that the lapse from democ- 
racy to an anarchy which finds its remedy only by a return 
to absolutism is by no means a necessity, but simply an acci- 
dent, owing to defective conditions in previous stages; and 
that, at the worst, the movement is not a cycle but an as- 
cending spiral in which the former stage is simply approached 
but at a much higher level, having eliminated much that 
held it down and back, carrying with it much of the good it 
has won out of the past and ever approaching more and more 
the straight tangent which will be the perfect and permanent 
democracy. Under every system since men first congre- 
gated, the strong have ruled the weak ; but side by side with 
the rude fact of power have grown the ideals of fellowship 
and justice, and these have helped to correct the inequality 
and injustice which condition human life. 

The struggle has been two-fold: to limit more and more 
the power of the ruler, and to introduce a larger and more 
effective participation of the people in public affairs. Hence 
we find two conceptions of democracy, not mutually exclusive 
but still fundamentally distinct: the one based on social 
equality, and the other the simple vesting of power in the 
people. The former is undoubtedly the most frequently 
entertained: and the cry of “Liberty, Fraternity, Equality, ” 
is the one which finds the quickest and most ardent response 

95 


96 


JOHN HOWLAND 


in the sympathies of the people. Not only is it the more 
popular, but doubtless it must be conceded to occupy a 
higher moral plane, for the latter tends to lead to the former; 
that is, the vesting of power in all should result in the mini- 
mizing, if not in the obliteration, of all degrading or oppres- 
sive inequalities. No country can attain real and permanent 
progress as long as any class, be it high or low, fails through 
ignorance or indifference to respond to the call of patriotism, 
whether that call be to the field of battle or to the quieter but 
more strenuous struggle for the attainment of individual 
perfection and the fulfilment of personal obligations. 

In the republics of ancient times and in most of those of 
the present, the adoption of democracy was a transition from 
a previous condition, so that the republican form had to be 
superimposed on elements that were more or less refractory. 
The United States has the unique position of being a repub- 
lic in which the general character of its government was pre- 
pared before the nation came into being. The determina- 
tive element in the formation of the new race was a group of 
the descendants of those who had already fought valiantly 
for liberty and wrested successive concessions from the re- 
luctant crown. When independence was secured for the 
English colonies, they had only to formulate and publish the 
principles that had already actuated them from the first. 
So, naturally, the new republic moved forward with scarcely 
a jar or tremor in its course. 

This difference of origin is often overlooked in judging the 
progress and attainment of other republics. Because they 
do not correspond in every detail to the form that the United 
States has elaborated, they are considered defective or abnor- 
mal. It is easy to forget that a republican form of govern- 
ment furnishes no guarantee against tyranny and that a 
monarchy is not inconsistent with a high degree of political 
freedom. The writer of the article on democracy in the 
Encyclopedia Britannica does not hesitate to claim that Great 
Britain is the best type extant of a true democracy and that 
from her have come the ideals that have led to the estab- 
lishment of republics, though none of them have attained 
to the height of the parent country. He calls the French 


DEMOCRACY ON TRIAL 


97 


Republic “bureaucratic,” and those in Latin America “des- 
potic. ” Cavour in Piedmont, working for the freedom and 
unity of Italy, deliberately rejected the republican form and 
labored for a constitutional monarchy, established by the 
cooperation of France. He did this at the cost of losing 
the cooperation and even of encountering the fanatical op- 
position of Mazzini and other Italian patriots, but the result 
would seem to have fully justified his views. 

With nations as with individuals there must be a reckoning 
with inherited tendencies and characteristics. Latin Ameri- 
can republics were originally colonial dependencies. They 
were not colonies founded, as was the great republic of the 
north, by men who fled from oppression to seek greater free- 
dom in a wilderness: but by those who were sent out to 
exploit new lands for the benefit of the crown. The only 
examples they had of government were, in most cases, mark- 
ed by greed, graft, favoritism, and an utter disregard for the 
welfare of the colonies themselves. The democratic idea of 
rulers chosen by the people, responsible to the people, and 
administering the government with disinterested devotion to 
the welfare of the people, was practically unknown among 
them. What wonder, then, that office should have been 
sought not for the opportunity for service, for the honor, 
nor even for the salary, but mainly for the openings it 
offered for personal enrichment. It is always hard to break 
with hoary traditions; and even when they have been cast 
off, their influence often persists for an indefinite time. 

It would not be easy to find a greater contrast than that 
which exists between a feudal system and a true democracy ; 
and the existence of greatly concentrated wealth or extreme 
poverty, of privileges of birth or of ecclesiastical position, 
must always be a menance to republican institutions. But 
these conditions had been brought from Europe and firmly 
implanted on American soil and had to be taken into account 
by the new-born republic which sprang up under the influence 
of that wave of sentiment which, during the first half of the 
last century, threatened all thrones, even the most firmly 
established ones of Europe. Where these things exist, even 
as a memory or as a wish, they are sure sooner or later to 


98 


JOHN HOWLAND 


come into conflict with a democratic form of government 
and some way of adjustment must be found or the govern- 
ment will be overthrown. 

Racial prejudice wields a mighty influence in the opinion 
peoples form of each other. It has been well said that “The 
portrait that one nation paints of another is likely to appear 
a libel or a caricature to the sitter.” It is not, however, 
mere prejudice; for each race has its own peculiarities. The 
Saxon is phlegmatic, reflective, patient of delay, willing to 
wait for the slow processes of human experience. The 
Latin blood is fervid, and quickly boils at meeting opposition. 
The Saxon patriot wages his warfare and bides his time, con- 
fident that he is aligned on the side of truth and justice, and 
that these are destined to triumph at the last, however much 
they may be sidetracked, misrepresented or perverted for 
a time. If the party of opposition wins an election, he 
watches those thus chosen to arrest every false or devious step 
with the machinery of the law, and even when this fails, he 
sets himself to use the legal remedy — the election of cleaner 
executives and a more upright judiciary. He realizes that a 
people has only the government that it chooses, or at least 
consents to have; so that, to reform abuses or correct errors, 
it is necessary to educate public opinion or awaken public 
sentiment. He knows that victory obtained otherwise will 
be specious, momentary, and finally delusive. The Latin- 
American, with his more vivid imagination, sees only final 
ruin in everything that delays, diverts or defeats that for 
which he is laboring. He expects all to see things from his 
point of view and with the same enthusiasm. He is impa- 
tient of the process of slowly, methodically and persistently 
shaping the opinions of his compatriots. As in his personal 
difficulties he is quick to have recourse to the poniard, so in 
his political disappointments he trusts more naturally to an 
appeal to arms than to a prolonged campaign for subsequent 
elections. Instead of the joy that his impassive Saxon neigh- 
bor feels in carrying on a prolonged struggle for some princi- 
ple, he enters the contest with boundless enthusiasm, but if 
not immediately successful, easily relapses into complete dis- 
couragement or lets his disappointment degenerate into a 


DEMOCRACY ON TRIAL 


99 


personal feud against his political opponent. The Saxon, 
from his boyhood, is trained even in his play, in “ team work,” 
the spirit of cooperation which seeks union on common prin- 
ciples and purposes and with ease passes over personal pref- 
erences and slights in pursuance of the greater good. The 
Latin is more personal; everyone for himself. If he can not 
carry his point, he may yield with more or less of grace to 
another; but finds it difficult to combine or cooperate with 
that other. The difference is seen very markedly in com- 
mercial enterprises. Among Saxons combination has reached 
such limits and attained such colossal success as to seriously 
menace the stability of governments and the well-being of 
the common people. Commercial combinations among the 
Latins are apt to be of short duration. Their traditions 
and tastes point rather to the building up of a “house,” 
where there shall be one dominant name and interest, and all 
the rest subservient to that. 

History shows that political greatness and permanence 
must ever depend on well distributed economic and indus- 
trial development. The granting of great concessions and 
subsidies to powerful companies is beneficial in a way, be- 
cause it develops resources hitherto unproductive: but it 
easily becomes a menace to the real prosperity of a nation in 
more ways than one. Frequently, if not usually, such con- 
cessions are given to foreigners, so that most of the gain is 
taken out of the country in which it is produced and then, too, 
international complications are liable to come up at any 
time. Such concessions also discourage competition and the 
wider development of national resources. Life comes from 
the ground, and only as agriculture is extended, improved 
and put into the hands of the greatest possible number can 
a nation hope for lasting prosperity. Ways must be found 
for the avoidance of or the breaking up of excessively large 
estates, but this is worse than useless unless the small owner 
is educated and protected, so that he will not lose through 
lack of thrift, wisdom, or legal security what he may have 
acquired. Every citizen who owns no taxable property is a 
menance to the state. Usually, his impecunious situation 
reveals a lack of intelligence, sobriety, or willingness to work, 


100 


JOHN HOWLAND 


which in themselves make him a source of danger; and his 
poverty makes him an easy prey to the demagogue, the 
politician or the revolutionist. In the colonization of the 
northern republic the character of the country and the tradi- 
tions of the greater part of the colonists favored small hold^ 
ings of land and the development of rural communities. To 
the south, conditions were different: large grants of land 
were made to individuals, and wealthy investors bought ex- 
tensive tracts, thus making competition by a small proprietor 
difficult if not impossible. Climatic and territorial condi- 
tions make it necessary to undertake expensive projects of 
irrigation, far beyond the possibilities of the man of moderate 
means. Lack of transportation also puts the small producer 
at the mercy of the wholesale dealer who can afford to wait 
for months or years to realize his profits. The traditional 
method of holding land by Latin peoples of limited resources 
was the community system. This trained the indigenous 
population in an easy-going lack of anxiety for the future, 
and checked all their ambition. The family could not lose 
its right to tillage, pasture, and wood; nor could anyone ac- 
quire a largely greater wealth than others because all had 
equal rights. Experience has shown that the result of the 
breaking up of these ancient communities is that land sharks 
secure the titles to the larger part of them, as the former 
holders have had no training in that jealous protection of 
their real estate from all encumbrance or danger of loss, which 
is the secret of the existence of an extensive and intelligent 
rural population. 

The security of a democracy will always be proportional 
to the extent of the intelligent participation of all of its citi- 
zens. There may be a stage of transition, more or less pro- 
longed, in which the intelligent few may govern the acquies- 
cing but ignorant masses, or as it has been expressed “a 
majority of brains ruling a majority as counted by noses,” 
but such a condition is always fraught with danger and must 
be finally disastrous unless steady progress is made towards 
the education of all the people. Extreme poverty that 
results in practical serfdom and lack of aspiration that leaves 
the masses of the people illiterate, furnish a serious problem 


DEMOCRACY ON TRIAL 


101 


for any progressive government, but especially for those 
that aim toward the democratic form. There is always the 
danger that the high ideal of democracy become a simple 
fetich, that the ideal degenerate into the idol. Academic 
education is not sufficient. In a race that is gifted with a 
vivid imagination and which never lacks for words in which 
to voice its thoughts, there is always the danger that the 
appeal will be to the passions and that the thrill it produces 
will be a kind of intoxication that is irrevocably followed by a 
depressing and degrading reaction, instead of leading to more 
intelligent and resolute action. Popular education, to be 
sane, must “speak directly to the reason, enlighten, kindle, 
free and teach how strength of soul may show itself in sane 
acts.” It has been said that the individual that ceases to 
react to the facts of life is to be judged insane. Measured 
by such a standard, many republics have to reckon with 
a large insane element which constitutes a grave danger. 
Centuries ago, Plato affirmed that rational discussion was the 
only protection against errors and untested ideas; but the 
ability to calmly define terms, analyze and clearly state one’s 
own opinions and those that differ from ours, see and show 
the logical coherence of the one and the real defects of the 
other, comes only by study and experience. Till it is ac- 
quired, there will always be dissension and turmoil instead 
of union and progress. 

Having noted some of the more important points of dif- 
ference in the conditions under which the Anglo-Saxon and 
the Latin-American races have attempted to carry out demo- 
cratic principles, it remains only to be affirmed that, variant 
as the results may seem, they all point in the same direction. 
Divergencies and discrepancies are not necessarily failures 
nor defects, they may be simple stages in a conflict with 
diverse conditions. 

In South America, the three largest republics have attained 
a good degree of stability, combined with a steady increase 
of true democracy. They seem to be at least approaching 
the final solution of their most serious problems. 

In Mexico, a country that holds the attention of the world 
today, even during the first half century of her independence 


102 


JOHN HOWLAND 


which was marked with strife and confusion, many problems 
were worked out and an excellent constitution and code of 
reform laws adopted. The thirty-four years of absolutism 
under Diaz was not, by any means, a complete relapse. By 
covering the country with a network of railroads and tele- 
graph the land was unified and preparation was made for a 
greater development of its many natural resources; the 
national credit was restored and carried forward to an envia- 
ble position; considerable advance was made in the line of 
economic and industrial enlargement; illiteracy was sensibly 
diminished ; and the people were made familiar with at least 
the forms of law. It is to be deplored that, during that time, 
office was made a matter of official favoritism rather than of 
popular choice; graft was unchecked; the poor were taught 
little of either letters or morals ; confidence in legal processes 
for the righting of wrongs was well nigh destroyed, and loy- 
alty to the existing government as an essential element of 
true patriotism was almost unknown. When to all this is 
added the fact that by the revolution the worst instincts of 
the most vicious elements of society were awakened and 
battened by the looting of cities and farms, the only cause for 
wonder is that the confusion was not greater when the iron 
hand was suddenly relaxed and withdrawn. Unfortunately, 
the man who had the faith and the courage to initiate the 
revolution and who came into power on the crest of an im- 
mense wave of popular enthusiasm was pitiably lacking in 
the qualities that were necessary for meeting the situation, 
and was carried down in the vortex whose destructiveness his 
efforts only seemed to increase. The tragedy of his removal 
increased the disturbance. To the already numerous groups 
of bandits were added new bands, some of whom are doubt- 
less moved by the instinct of patriotism to resist the govern- 
ment. To an empty treasury; to the depredation of lawless 
bands that avail themselves of mountain fastnesses and great 
stretches of nearly impassable desert and not merely take for 
themselves money, food, arms and horses, but who kill, rob 
and ruthlessly destroy the property of individuals, of the 
nation, and sometimes of foreigners; to private and political 
plots; to the difficulty of placing confidence in anyone in the 


DEMOCRACY ON TRIAL 


103 


general slump of fidelity; to all this have been added the in- 
sidious influence of great combinations of capital, mostly of 
foreigners, interested in valuable concessions; and the shame- 
less intrigue of individuals who have so far lost all that made 
man the image of his Creator that, just for private gain, 
they would deliberately embroil two friendly nations in a 
war that would be disastrous and unfruitful for both. 

In spite of all this, democracy still lives in Mexico, not 
merely enshrined in the hearts of its people, but as a vital 
force. When present conditions have been worked out, the 
great body of sane, thoughtful Mexican patriots will bring 
their idolized country back to her rightful position of respect 
and confidence. If others will give Mexico intelligent and 
sympathetic cooperation instead of misunderstanding, mis- 
interpretation and suspicion, or if they will even let her alone, 
she will successfully work out her own salvation. In doing 
so she will give to the world a new proof of the tremendous 
power of democratic principles, not merely to survive under 
the most untoward conditions, but ultimately to triumph 
over every obstacle. 


THE PRESENT SITUATION IN MEXICO AS 
SHAPED BY PAST EVENTS 


By Leslie C. Wells, Professor of French and Spanish 
at Clark College 

Porfirio Diaz, great and wonderful as certain of his ac- 
complishments were, gave Mexico a very lop-sided admin- 
istration. Her development under him was almost en- 
tirely economic in character. He paid little attention to 
the social uplift of his people, his widely advertised solici- 
tude for education having been strangely exaggerated; he 
made almost no attempt to reform the structure of society, 
which for a large part of the people is that of feudalism; he 
denied them even the slightest opportunity for political 
training; and promoted injustice rather than justice. 

His methods may have proceeded from good motives, 
but the statement well made by someone that he “ mistook 
the wealth of the country for its well-being’ ’ is at best a 
charitable judgment of his rule. To his all-consuming 
desire of setting the wheels of industry in motion and giving 
his treasury a favorable standing in foreign money markets, 
he subordinated everything else. He sought to get the nat- 
ural resources of the country used, but cared little who used 
them. The quickest way to accomplish this was, or ap- 
peared to be, to give all encouragement to capitalists, native 
and foreign, and to promote the concentration of wealth. 
The national blessings to be derived from a fair distribution 
of the rewards of labor, he seems hardly to have dreamed of. 
In some cases, even, willing employers were officially dis- 
couraged from raising the wages of their help. The land 
was more monopolized at the end of his rule than at its 
beginning. His administration made for the exploitation 
of the Mexican nation rather than for its development. 

No country can enjoy true progress under such one-sided 
government, and injustice patiently endured never made a 

104 


THE PRESENT SITUATION IN MEXICO 


105 


nation great. Sufficient proof that the methods of Diaz 
were not those which Mexico needed, at least in the last 
decade of his rule, is furnished by the deplorable condition 
to which they have brought her. 

When the reaction came in 1910 it was natural that the 
pendulum should swing too far. Madero was extravagant 
in his promises, and the people were too impatient in their 
demand for immediate reforms. But Madero had prepared 
his downfall in the very moment of his victory over Diaz. 
He then, to stop bloodshed and perhaps for other reasons, 
made a compromise with the old regime that delayed and 
made difficult the consummation of his reforms. If, as 
may be true, he himself, when President, became some- 
what shaken also in his plans, the purpose of the Mexican 
people remained steady. The earlier revolts against Ma- 
dero, as well as those of F61ix Diaz, were perhaps led by sel- 
fish men; but they were largely supported by peons who, 
however vague their understanding of their own desires, 
were insistent that the revolution should not be abortive in 
its results. 

It was this division of the great progressive element that 
gave the reactionary party under F61ix Diaz and General 
Huerta its chance to overthrow the government. Their vic- 
tory was at bottom more significant of the intense desire 
of the nation for a new era of justice than it was of dissatis- 
faction with the experiment in democracy, which was far 
too short to afford any real test whatsoever. 

At this point mention may well be made of an erroneous 
statement which of late has appeared in American news- 
papers, and which should be corrected; the statement that 
when Madero was elected President he polled only 20,000 
votes. Presidential elections in Mexico are indirect, and the 
mistake has arisen through a confusion of the popular vote 
with the electoral vote. For the purpose of national elec- 
tions, under the electoral law in force until December, 1911, 
the country was divided into “sections” of 500 inhabitants 
each, one member of the electoral college being chosen from 
each section. 1 As there is a Mexican population of 

’In this particular the new law is virtually the same. 


106 


LESLIE C. WELLS 


15,000,000 people, there existed theoretically about 30,000 
electoral sections. Actually there were only about 20,000 
in which polls were held at the time of Madero’s election. 
Approximately 95 per cent of the presidential electors from 
these 20,000 sections cast their votes for Madero. 

Of the 500 inhabitants of a section, the normal number of 
voters is from 80 to 100. On the average, probably from 
20 to 25 per cent of these went to the polls. It might be im- 
possible to obtain authentic figures, but it seems safe to say 
that the 19,000 electors who cast their votes for Madero 
were chosen by the ballots of 350,000 Mexicans. Even 
this number is a small portion of those entitled to the suf- 
frage; but, under the circumstances, it is reasonable to con- 
sider their choice as fairly representative of the will of the 
Mexican people. 

The purpose of bringing Mexico into a new era, which 
they failed to accomplish through that election, they will 
seek new agencies to fulfill. Its chief exponents at present 
are the Constitutionalists. The leaders may be expected 
to profit from Madero’s mistakes, and to accept no com- 
promises that are likely to defeat their ends. The results 
of past compromises will explain General Carranza’s un- 
willingness for mediation. If he treats with Huerta, it will 
probably be when Huerta’s control is so far gone that Car- 
ranza will be able practically to dictate the terms. He must 
feel sure that the man who may be selected for provisional 
President is one in whose democracy the people will have 
entire confidence. They have been so accustomed to elec- 
tions determined by official power that otherwise they would 
not vote freely in the polling for a permanent president. 
The result might be a choice not at all representative of the 
will of the nation, and the revolution would remain to be 
fought over again. 

Foreign governments, therefore, desiring to end the dis- 
order, should beware of forcing a compromise. They 
should give little heed to capitalists who are more inter- 
ested in securing present returns from their Mexican invest- 
ments, even through an iron-handed and cruelly oppressive 


THE PRESENT SITUATION IN MEXICO 


107 


peace for a number of years, than they are in bringing 
permanent happiness to Mexico. If the people do not 
get justice now, they will surely demand it later, for 
“The smallest worm will turn, being trodden on.” 


THE PRESENT DAY PHASE OF THE MONROE 
DOCTRINE 


By F. E. Chadwick, Rear Admiral, United States Navy, 
Formerly President of the Naval War College; Chief 
of Staff to Admiral Sampson in the Spanish War 

I think it well that there should from time to time be 
discussions of our public policies so that their true meaning 
be kept before the country. Any policy which cannot 
stand discussion is of course a bad policy, for in a free dis- 
cussion of any question of policy or politics is our safety. 
It is the basis of the freedom of which we boast. I thus 
hope, whatever the views of those concerned, that we shall 
have a full and frank discussion of the subject in hand. 

Before entering on the question itself, I would like to say 
that we are using an erroneous nomenclature in applying 
the term “ Latin” to those parts of the Americas settled 
by the Spanish and Portuguese. There is no Latin Amer- 
ica in a true sense: but there is an Iberic America settled 
by the people of the Iberic peninsula, the races in which 
are still mainly of the old Iberic blood and in no large sense 
“Latin.” I shall have something to say of this later. 

I have heard no mention of the actual Doctrine under 
discussion as it originally stood. I thus venture to say 
a few words on this. 

It was in reality due mainly to John Quincy Adams, 
Monroe’s secretary of state. He first gave it concrete form 
and was thus its true author. It was by his insistence 
despite tremblings of the President and the rest of the Cabi- 
net that it appeared in a note read on November 21, 1823, 
to Baron Tuyll, the Russian Minister, in form as follows: 

That the United States of America, and their government 
could not see with indifference, the forcible interposition of any 
European power, other than Spain, either to restore the dominion 
of Spain over her emancipated colonies in America, or to estab- 

108 


PRESENT DAY PHASE OF MONROE DOCTRINE 


109 


lish monarchial governments in those countries, or to transfer 
any of the possessions heretofore or yet subject to Spain in the 
American hemisphere to any other European power. 

As the responsibility of the acceptance of the principle 
and of its appearance later in fuller form was the President’s 
it very properly took his name. 

So early as July 17 of that year Adams had announced 
this policy to Byron Tuyll in an official conversation, saying 
that “we should assume distinctly the principle that the 
American continents are no longer subjects for any new 
colonial establishments.” These expressions, those of 
Adams as well as that fathered by Monroe, were the out- 
come of the alliance known as Holy, consisting first of Rus- 
sia, Austria and Prussia. England shortly became a sig- 
natory and France became a party in 1818. The alliance 
in this year stated the “respose of the world” as “constantly 
their motive and end.” To assist Spain in reducing to 
obedience her revolted American provinces was one of the 
means proposed. England under the guidance of George 
Canning, one of the greatest of her statesmen at any period, 
withdrew from the alliance. Canning’s attitude and the 
pronouncement in Monroe’s message on the meeting of 
congress December 21, 1823, gave a quietus to any 
proposed interference with the Spanish provinces, which 
one by one became independent except Cuba and Puerto 
Rico. Brazil declared independence of Portugal with a 
scion of Portuguese royalty as emperor. 

We thus very materially assisted Mexico and the South 
American republics in establishing their nationality. That 
we had none but the vaguest ideas regarding the conditions 
of these various countries, the character and temperament 
of the populations, goes without saying. We know all too 
little of them now, and, particularly, we know, or at least take 
to heart, but little of the race characteristics of the governing 
class small in numbers and which, in all but Brazil where it is 
Portuguese, is of Spanish blood. The Anglo-Saxon is prover- 
bially slow and weak in the acquirement or at least in the ap- 
plication of such race knowledge. The great mass of our people 
are apt to assign to all races their own qualities ; to believe 


110 


F. E. CHADWICK 


that what we wish to do is a sign of what they must wish. 
That the South American states had the wish to follow our 
experiment in government is undoubtedly true. But to 
wish and to do are different things. They all, except Bra- 
zil, sat at our feet so to speak; formed their constitutions 
upon ours and started upon the road to freedom which only 
led them, in their case, into the slough of almost incessant 
revolution and political convulsion. Back of their wish 
was the great dominant power of race temperament which 
governs and ever will govern in great degree all effort. The 
fateful inheritance was the oriental temperament of the 
Spaniards, for the Spaniard in the main is not a European, 
but a child of the orient. Basicly he is a Berber, for such 
was the ancient Iberian, which probably has its root in the 
word Berber, and his near relatives are the Berbers to- 
day of the Atlas, and the Moors of Morocco; and farther 
back the Arab and the latter’s kindred races. These races 
have never got rid of their tribal tendencies and it is this 
tendency which accounts for the subjugation of Spain by 
the Atlas Berbers and Moors in 700, for the downfall of their 
power 800 years later ; for the constant regionalism of Spain 
which exists even today and prevents a real solidarity of 
the various kingdoms of Spain, and for the frequent revo- 
lutions and upheavals of the Mexican and South American 
republics. It is in the nature of the Spanish (and govern- 
ing) part of their population. This tendency will be modi- 
fied as the native races and their mixture with the whites 
increase in comparison with the pure white. It is esti- 
mated that already in Mexico the population in nineteen- 
twentieths Indian. It is only the phlegmatic character 
of the race and their want of assertiveness which prevents 
their having a greater influence. Thus the Mexican revolu- 
tions are the outcome of the exploitation of the weaker and 
milder race by but about a million of people of the restless 
Spanish or nearly Spanish blood, the character of the 
dominancy of which is shown by the casting some- 
times of less than 18,000 votes in a presidential election 
in a population of about 18,000,000. Notwithstanding, 
and though very few can be said to be republics in any but 


PRESENT DAY PHASE OF MONROE DOCTRINE 


111 


name, certain of these countries by reason of race mixture 
and pressure of commercial interests, have already grown 
out of their chaotic conditions. Argentina is today a well 
ordered prosperous country, rich beyond even North Amer- 
ican ideas and with a capital city, Buenos Aires, of a popu- 
lation of over a million, a rival in construction, well-being, 
appearance and wealth of any city in the world. The coun- 
try, mainly temperate in climate and well nigh half the size 
of the United States, has a great destiny. It is undoubtedly 
one of the seats of empire. It is beyond the stage when it can 
be patronized. The same may be said of Chile and Bra- 
zil though the last (never revolutionary in an extreme sense) 
is immensely handicapped by its non-homogeneous popula- 
tion, so largely negro and Indian and of a mixture of both 
these with the white. In all the other states, except Uruguay 
which is still perhaps the most truly Spanish in blood, the 
mixture is chiefly Indian, as in Mexico. We have thus 
in our dealings with the regions to the south of us, to con- 
sider powers racially so different from ourselves that our 
understanding of one another is extremely difficult. The 
polite and ceremonious South .American of Spanish descent 
cannot understand our rudeness of manner, our overbear- 
ingness, our want of that courtesy in general on which the 
Spaniard lays a stress which the North American mind 
fails wholly to comprehend. And, too, for generations, 
we sent to South America many diplomatic and consular 
representatives who misrepresented sadly their country. 
I could tell some very queer stories of such. Our govern- 
ment in later years has come to understand the necessity 
of sending a higher class of representatives, but it will take 
long to dispel the old impressions. 

Naturally with such impressions immensely accentuated 
by racial and lingual differences, the southern republics 
have turned to Europe rather than to us for trade, travel 
and amusements. Brazil and the countries south are also 
much nearer Europe than to us, so that everything has 
worked against an actual drawing together of these regions 
and ourselves. 

It has seemed necessary to say so much of conditions, 


112 


F. E. CHADWICK 


as they are closely related to any discussion of the meaning 
of the Monroe Doctrine today. 

That there is any danger to Brazil, Argentina or Chile, 
such as was existent in 1823, it is impossible to believe. 
Undoubtedly these now comparatively powerful countries 
would stand together were either attacked with a view to 
subjugation, by a European power. Such an alliance is in 
itself an all sufficient Monroe Doctrine in so far as the estab- 
lishment of a European hegemony in the southern and 
south-eastern part of South America is concerned. I thus 
am of the opinion that we need not concern ourselves about 
such a danger more than to declare a readiness to join with 
these three principal powers in case such emergency should 
arise. But I am convinced that no such emergency will 
arise through any European power, though there is a vol- 
ume of immigration which is sure to change the predomi- 
nance in importance of the Portuguese blood in southern 
Brazil and that of the Spanish in Uruguay, Argentina and 
more slowly in Chile. For more than ninety years there 
has been emigration from Germany to South Brazil, and the 
110,000 who have come to southern Brazil between 1820 
and 1911 amount today to more than 300,000 by far the 
greater number of whom know of course no other father- 
land. There are also today hundreds of thousands of Ital- 
ians chiefly of the better north Italian stock and who, in Bra- 
zil are chiefly a little to the north of the Germanic region. 
But these people whatever may come (and it must be kept 
in mind that migration to South America is Latin in enor- 
mous proportion, the German, to Brazil being not more 
than 4000 a year), will never put themselves under the 
government of a European power. Should Brazil, which 
be it remembered is considerably larger than the United 
States, leaving aside Alaska, ever separate into a north and 
a south through racial differences, the south would either 
set up its own government or attach itself to Argentina 
which in time may control the whole of the river Plate 
region. I would say however that I regard any danger 
of separation, by reason of race, extremely unlikely in that 


PRESENT DAY PHASE OF MONROE DOCTRINE 


113 


the northern states are destined to be peopled by those of 
a blood whose special characteristic is subordination. In 
any case even were there a fear of European difficulty it 
would seem the part of wisdom to encourage the filling up 
of these vast spaces where possible by a better sort of man 
than the negro or Indian. It would be better far, for Brazil 
and the world, if the Germans in Brazil numbered millions 
where they are now only a few hundreds of thousands. 
If in time Germanic blood became the chief element, the 
state would still be Brazil, but a Brazil of a higher type 
intellectually and economically. We must not lose sight 
of race values, and this question is thus to Brazil of the most 
momentous character. Of its population of about 19,000,- 
000, much the largest population is negro, mixed negro and 
white and Indian. The whites predominate in numbers 
in the further south only. 

While this south is largely a high table land, the northern 
interior is chiefly a vast low-lying region all well within 
the tropics and with the tepid climate in which the white can 
never thrive. Escaping disease, as at Panama, is one thing, 
thriving in such a climate is another, and however strenuous 
may be the endeavor to people the whole of Brazil with 
white men it must be to a very great extent a failure. At 
least two-thirds of her territory must in time be the abode 
of colored races, and in time there will be in most parts 
but very few pure whites. 

We thus need not concern ourselves about European 
emigration to Brazil north of Rio Janeiro; nature will take 
care of that part of the problem. 

While there are great regions to which the white man will 
not go to establish himself permanently, the colored races 
are able to thrive even in fairly cold climates. Thus the 
facts just stated open up a problem more vast and mo- 
mentous to us than our slavery question; that is shall we 
approach the Brazilian conditions? 

However kindly our feeling, we can not but recognize 
that some races make a more valuable return to the spe- 
cies than others. We preach greatly what we now term 
eugenics which translated broadly means the production of 


114 


F. E. CHADWICK 


the best man. We are faced in our own country by this 
question in a more serious form than is any other great 
nation. A tenth of our population is now negro which is 
rapidty in the north mixing with the white; the incoming 
population is largely itself negroid, particularly that from 
the Portuguese islands, less markedly from Portugal itself 
and markedly from Sicily and Naples. Many thousands 
of jet black negroes calling themselves Portuguese, as they 
are under the flag, have entered Massachusetts from the 
Cape Verde Islands in the last few years and every Cape 
Verde Islander will finally come and help his fellows pick 
cranberries on Cape Cod, or work in the New Bedford mills. 
The census gives nearly 50,000 negroes as part of our popu- 
lation not born in the United States, and there are un- 
doubtedly many more than the census notes. The time is 
rapidly approaching when we may expect a great immi- 
gration from the Congo basin of Africa. It becomes a 
mighty question which it behooves us to consider, and that 
soon. Says Pearson, in his National Life and Character, 
and he saw farther into the future than most of his time: 

The distant future of a country is so unimportant by the side 
of its immediate needs to the men in possession that even if they 
were reasonably certain that a particular evil ought to be guarded 
against at an immediate sacrifice, they would rarely be possessed 
of the moral force required for the effort. 

Shall we have this moral force in the matter of Africa 
whose millions will undoubtedly before long be at our doors? 
If not, the present differentiation in character between our- 
selves and Mexico and much of South America will in no 
very distant time disappear and we shall have approxi- 
mated a general likeness in both parts of our hemisphere. 
It is a matter for our most serious thought, to which at the 
moment I can give but bare mention, but I would that you 
would hold it in earnest thought. Shall we have and dis- 
play that patriotism of race, to use a phrase of Arthur Bal- 
four’s, which alone can save us from being a negroid nation? 
If it is a vital question; one before which the questions 
involved in the Monroe Doctrine shrink to insignificance. 


PRESENT DAY PHASE OF MONROE DOCTRINE 


115 


The Monroe Doctrine does not necessarily involve oppos- 
ing any warlike action between a European power and an 
American nationality, for an offense which necessarily calls 
for such action. This part of the subject is covered by Mr. 
Seward’s despatch, 2 June, 1866, to our minister in Chile 
regarding the hostilities then active between Spain and 
Chile. The gist of this despatch is that “the republican 
system” in any South American State, 

shall not be wantonly assailed and that it shall not be subverted 

as an end of a lawful war by European powers 

We concede to every nation the right to make peace or war, for 
such causes other than political or ambitious, as it thinks right 
and wise. In such wars as are waged between nations which 
are in friendship with ourselves, if they are not pushed, like the 
French war in Mexico, to the political point before mentioned, 
we do not intervene, but remain neutral conceding nothing to one 
belligerent that we do not concede to the other and allowing to 
one belligerent what we allow to the other. 1 

This in nowise contravenes the Monroe Declaration which 
declares that “We should consider any attempt on then- 
part (meaning the European powers] to extend their sys- 
tem to any portion of this hemisphere as dangerous to our 
peace and safety,” that “we could not view any inter- 
position for the purpose of oppressing them [the South 
American states], or controlling in any other manner then- 
destiny by any European power in any other light than 
as a manifestation of an unfriendly disposition to the 
United States.” It must be admitted that the word “re- 
publican” in Mr. Seward’s dispatch, and, which is only 
implied in the Monroe declaration, is made to cover much 
which we should be sorry to so term; but in any case the 
constitutions of all have established such a form as then- 
ideal and they should have full chance to work toward it. 

The whole question is thus one of denying the right of a 
foreign power to dominion in any American state or part 
of a state nor already in possession of a foreign power. In 
other words we are very properly opposed to conquest. 

While holding that as to the more southern governments 
of South America our relations should be as a fourth equal 

'Diplom. Cor. 1866, part 2, p. 413. 


116 


F. E. CHADWICK 


with a like understanding as to attempted foreign dom- 
ination, and not in the nature of a protector which carries 
with it an idea of patronage, the matter stands on a very 
different footing as to the regions bordering on the Car- 
ibbean sea and the Gulf of Mexico, and on that part of the 
Pacific in the neighborhood of the Panama Canal. That 
we must have and exercise a commanding influence in these 
regions should go without saying. We can brook no in- 
crease of foreign control in this region. Our newly es- 
tablished gateway between the two great oceans and the 
protection of this vital link in our defensive system demand 
this independent of any question of the Monroe Doctrine. 
Thus in addition to our policy of aiding in the preservation 
of any South American state from foreign control, we would 
oppose anything like new occupancy of any of the West 
India Islands or Caribbean or Gulf of Mexico litoral, or any 
part of the Pacific litoral of Mexico or the Central American 
states, or neighboring islands, such, for example, as the 
Galapagos. 

There are of course already in the hands of foreign na- 
tions commanding points in the Caribbean region, as Ja- 
maica, (the most commanding as a single point of all), in 
possession of the English, St. Thomas which is Danish, 
Martinique and Guadeloupe which are French. All the 
important West India Islands are in fact in European 
possession except Cuba, Santo Domingo and Puerto Rico. 
It is not unreasonable, as a mere matter of safeguarding 
our own shores, to demand that there should be no exten- 
sion of foreign occupancy in this region. In this we are 
looking after not the safety of any Central or South American 
state, but our own safety from a naval or military stand- 
point. The Panama Canal is the very navel of our system, 
strategic and commericial. Our battle fleet for instance 
could reach San Francisco from the Caribbean in a fourth 
of the time taken by the Oregon in her famous passage 
from San Francisco to the Caribbean. Any foreign ac- 
tion which could look to weakening our control of the 
canal and its approaches thus could not be tolerated. 

I am well aware that there are probably some who lay 


PRESENT DAY PHASE OF MONROE DOCTRINE 


117 


no stress upon such matters, but it would appear the part 
of wisdom to apply to the future the lessons of the past. 
Jefferson, more than a hundred years ago, failed to do this 
and thus subjected his country to inexpressible humiliation 
in the seizure of our ships and seamen, to the loss of millions 
of American property and to the war of 1812, which would 
never have occurred had we had the dozen or so of battle- 
ships which even Gallatin, Jefferson’s secretary of the 
treasury, urged upon him. We speak of modern dictator- 
ship on the part of our presidents; no modern president 
has exercised a tithe of that exercised by Jefferson in these 
matters and not always to his country’s good. There is 
in such matters but one safe course. All the world will not 
always shape itself to one’s own special views, and for the 
time at least, it is better to be prepared to resist if struck. 
If not, it is possible that we might find ourselves the 
victim in considerable degree, of that which the Monroe 
Doctrine was established to prevent for others. A first 
consideration must ever be national security and safety. 
Some here no doubt are opposed to a strong navy. To 
such I would recall that it was to the French navy by its 
occupancy of the Cheaspeake in 1781 and the consequent 
surrender of Cornwallis, that we gained our independence. 
For had Washington’s venture south failed, the Revolu- 
tion would have failed. It was a last attempt. Had we 
had no navy in 1812 (and it was but a very little one), we 
should then have undergone greater humiliation ashore 
than we did and perhaps dismemberment. Without the 
navy of the Civil War, the South beyond any reasonable 
doubt would have succeeded. It was the blockade which 
starved it to inanition. The world has not so changed in 
fifty years as to make a war of conquest impossible. It is 
but a little over forty years when France was in the grip 
of Germany. We cannot apply our own altruism to others, 
and as I see it, it appears beyond discussion that our own 
safety depends upon our ability to take care of our own. 
Remember that in June, 1860, the only increase of the navy 
even suggested, was for a few light draft steamers for use in 
suppression of the slave trade on the coast of Africa, and 


118 


F. E. CHADWICK 


every increase was voted down. Less than a year later we 
began the greatest war of the century. 

To assume an attitude; to have a world policy and not 
be able to hold it, would be to make ourselves absurd and 
open to humiliation and loss of territory. So much at least 
is axiomatic. I say these truths “Lest we forget.” 

The Monroe Doctrine is not in any of its meanings or 
forms a part of international law. It is but a pronounce- 
ment of a policy and as such it may be ignored by any 
power which chooses to ignore it. It has life and being 
only as long as the United States is ready to back such 
policy by force. That there is any danger of action by 
any European power in defiance of the policy does not now 
at least, appear. Certainly England has no interest in so 
doing; there is no sign that Germany wishes to set up a 
German state under Germany’s hegemony. That she de- 
sires as many Germans in South America who through 
natural affiliation would trade largely with Germany is 
natural and proper, but she would certainly not risk a war 
with united Brazil, Argentina, and Chile, not to speak of 
the United States, to bring under her dominion the region 
occupied by her emigrants. I have ever deemed any such 
question of war with Germany as impossible. So long as 
the great Slav question is so imminent; so long as France 
nurses her feeling for her loss of territory and England, 
however unreasoningly, her fear of Germany instigated 
by commercial jealousy, there will be no reaching out by 
the latter for South American dominion. France has not 
the remotest desire to set up a French dominion there, 
nor has Italy, and England declared some eighteen months 
since through her foreign minister speaking in parliament, 
that as she had no wish or intention to extend her posses- 
sions either in the West Indies or on the continent, she 
took no exception to the Monroe Doctrine which was 
purely a question of American policy to do with as we thought 
best. The danger in the sense of Monroe’s pronouncement 
could thus only exist after a complete effacement of American 
power, north and south. 

Thus to sum up: our most reasonable attitude as to any 


PRESENT DAY PHASE OF MONROE DOCTRINE 


119 


question of conquest or occupancy of any part of South 
America would be as a friendly fourth party to the three 
greater powers of the southern part of our hemisphere, 
Brazil, Argentina and Chile, assuring them that our policy 
would be one of support in the questions involved in the 
Monroe Doctrine and of looking after our special interests 
in the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico and near Pacific as 
just defined. 

Our action in regard to certain of the Central American 
states and Santo Domingo has been, in some cases, sharply 
criticised. But such procedure, as I see it, has nothing in 
itself to do with the Monroe Doctrine. There are many 
precedents for such action, and if it be that of a truly 
friendly and well-wishing neighbor it is correct diplomat- 
ically and morally. Of course the most extreme prece- 
dent is that of the Holy Alliance itself, as overtly shown 
in Naples, Piedmont, and Spain. But there are other and 
more worthy instances, as the intervention of France, Great 
Britain and Russia in 1827 for the pacification of Greece; 
the late action of the European powers in Crete; of Great 
Britain in Egypt; of Russia and Great Britain in Persia (to 
which the word "worthy” can however not be assigned); 
the action of the powers in forcing a treaty upon the parties 
to the Balkan war, and many others, which place such ac- 
tion as ours in Nicaragua and Santo Domingo upon a per- 
fectly correct diplomatic footing. Such precedents would 
justify intervention in Mexico if the worst came to the 
worst. In saying this I would not be understood as de- 
claring such action advisable except in the last extremity. 
It would strain our political system to the utmost; would 
involve an army of half a million men, an indefinite ad- 
ministration of a vast region and the government for years 
of some 17,000,000 or more of races alien in temperament, 
habits, customs, language and religion. Far better, from 
only a financial point of view, would it be for us to buy 
up every foreign interest in Mexico. We have through 
our pension laws bound ourselves hand and foot against 
the active use of a great army. We should end any effort 


120 


F. E. CHADWICK 


at occupation and pacification (should it ever end) with a 
pension list swollen to such gigantic proportions that our 
finances would go to wreck under the burden. And above 
all how under our system could we govern it? And this 
last question is above all others. I can see in such an ef- 
fort nothing but disaster. I thus say as to such procedure, 
God forbid! 

With this I close, except to say that I think our relations 
to our brother republics to the south should be governed 
by every possible consideration for their temperament and 
care for their prejudices; that our diplomatic and consular 
representatives should be of a character to command wholly 
their liking and respect, and that we should appear in all 
matters concerning Pan-American questions as an equal 
only among equals, determined to do the just, the equitable 
and the kindly. On such a basis there would be no diffi- 
culty regarding the Monroe Doctrine. 


THE MONROE DOCTRINE FROM A SOUTH 
AMERICAN VIEWPOINT 


By Honorable Charles H. Sherrill, Envoy Extraordinary 
and Minister Plenipotentiary to Argentina, 1909-1911 

In this hemisphere the twentieth century will sooner or 
later come to be known as the century of the Southerner. 
Already clear evidence is being shown of the steady strong 
tendency which must, unless diverted or dissipated by some 
historical cataclysm, write this title across the century upon 
which we have entered. And any man concerned in pub- 
lic affairs who does not take into account the viewpoint 
of the Southerner has no claim to statesmanship, and does 
not deserve the confidence of his fellows. Nor is this true 
in our hemisphere alone, but also across the Atlantic as well, 
for who can fail to have observed the awakening of the 
Latin races of Europe. Is not the splendid new national 
spirit of France a significant proof of this movement? And 
what of the stream of money being constantly transmitted 
to Italy by her industrious and economical toilers in the har- 
vests and on the railways of both North and South America 
— toilers who return to their native land and add not only 
to its public wealth, but also to its worthy citizenship! 
More marvelous still are the amazing annual increases to 
be noted in the already impressive foreign trade of Argentina 
and of Brazil. In our own southern states, are we not 
witnessing the working out along practical lines of one of 
commerce’s strangest fairy tales? Go to Birmingham or 
Atlanta or Chattanooga or any of the long list of great 
modernized cities in the South, and the truth of this prop- 
osition will receive ocular demonstration of a surprising 
completeness. When two years ago upon my return from 
Argentina I spoke before nearly two hundred commercial 
organizations, the most instructing experience of all (and 
there were many) was the realization that municipal col- 

121 


122 


CHARLES H. SHERILL 


lective effort was on the whole better conceived and con- 
ducted, and yielding better results, in the south than in any 
other section. All parts of the United States have come 
to recognize and to be proud of the New South, and of all 
it means to the strength of our nation: why are we so reluc- 
tant to give the same recognition to the great republics of 
South America! 

I am an enthusiastic Pan-American, and an earnest be- 
liever in the high ideals of Pan-Americanism, and one of 
those ideals is respect for the viewpoint of our fellow Ameri- 
cans. The peoples of our hemisphere have been allowed to 
develop naturally in an atmosphere of liberty and of ample 
opportunity, amid surroundings that in Europe the trammels 
of an older civilization would have rendered either difficult 
or impossible. This very freedom of the Americas has 
worked strange and radical changes in the European races 
that came to it and have become Americanized by its in- 
fluence. It has accelerated the mentality of the Anglo-Sax- 
on of North America, and it has steadied and broadened the 
vitality and energy of the Latin of South America, and it 
is insensibly bringing them nearer together. An interesting 
ethnological parallel could be drawn between the change 
effected in an Irishman by moving him from Ireland to New 
York, and that in a Spanish emigrant before he leaves his 
home and after he arrives in the subtly Americanizing sur- 
roundings of Buenos Aires. If it isn’t the new environ- 
ment that works the transformation, what is it? — and if 
the same effect is produced at points six thousand miles 
apart, isn’t it fair to call that effect Pan-American! And 
isn’t it fair to consider the viewpoint of the Americanized 
Latin just as much as that of the Americanized Anglo-Sax- 
on? He is just as much a child of liberty and opportunity 
as we, and just as worthy of consideration. We hear much 
of the steadiness and self-control of the Anglo-Saxon, and 
of the importance that lends to his opinions — when I was 
in Buenos Aires an anarchist exploded a bomb in the great 
opera house in the midst of an audience of Pan-American 
Latins. What happened? First, ask yourself what would 
have happened if a bomb had exploded in the Metropoli- 


MONROE DOCTRINE: SOUTH AMERICAN VIEWPOINT 123 


tan Opera House among us Anglo-Saxons; — I fear that all 
of us who are honest minded will reluctantly agree as to 
the probable results. What happened in Buenos Aires? 
A remarkable scene, which is a glory to Argentine citizen- 
ship. No tumult, no undue excitement. The injured were 
removed while the orchestra played the national anthem. 
Announcement was made from the stage that the perform- 
ance was discontinued, and the audience filed quietly out. 
If you had been there you would have been as proud 
of those people as I was — as proud of their poise, and of 
their reserve strength of character, and furthermore as re- 
spectful of their viewpoint, as the most enthusiastic be- 
liever in the future of our hemisphere could wish. When 
I reflect upon that surprising scene, I ask myself why have 
we throughout all our history constantly disregarded the 
opinion of our Latin sister republics, and have failed to 
take them into our councils. 

I believe and I affirm that we have almost always sought 
to be not only just in our dealings with those republics, but 
also have tried to do what we thought was best for them. 
But why have we so persistently, so ignorantly, so blunder- 
ingly disregarded their viewpoint, even carelessly neglected 
to study it! And what of the Monroe Doctrine in this 
connection. If a fellow-countryman expresses the opinion 
that it should be abolished, I say to him “Will you go to the 
logical conclusion to which that suggestion inevitably leads, 
and say you are willing that any part of America shall be turned 
into an Egypt, a Tripoli, an Algeria, or a Morocco?” If he 
tells me the Monroe Doctrine is good enough as it is, I say 
to him “Go and live in one of the great countries of South 
America for a couple of years, learn their point of view, and 
then tell us if you are contented that our great country, our 
dear fatherland should go on being misunderstood as a 
Monroe Doctrine policeman, a clumsy busybody, when you 
and I know so differently, and when this misunderstanding 
can be so easily rectified!” Why should we not meet this 
misunderstanding now existing in South America with the 
same splendid directness that President Cleveland used in 
the Venezuela difficulty, or President McKinley in the 


124 


CHARLES H. SHERILL 


Cuban affair! There are friends of mine, dear friends of 
mine, sleeping beneath the waving grasses on a certain Cuban 
hillside, and there can be no misunderstanding as to whether 
or not they laid down their lives for anything else than the 
highest ideals of Pan-Americanism. And what is the view- 
point of the Latin-American upon the Monroe Doctrine, 
and how by frankly meeting it can we stop it from seeming 
to him unilateral and constabulary, and make it Pan-Ameri- 
can in scope? Last January, on a day when my heart was 
deeply touched by receiving through the Argentine Minis- 
ter a gold medal sent me by the Argentine people, I ven- 
tured a brief suggestion upon our to-day’s subject, prompted 
by my knowledge of and love for our Pan-Americanized 
Latin brothers. This suggestion was, thanks to three 
powerful institutions (one Argentine, and the other two in 
New York), cabled to nearly three hundred Latin-Ameri- 
can newspapers. That they unanimously approved the 
suggestion emboldens me to quote from it today, since that 
wide approval indicates that my heart must have helped 
my head to grasp their viewpoint. 

After first strongly opposing intervention in Mexico, I 
said: “Let us see if this present discussion of interven- 
tion may not perhaps afford an opportunity to set us 
right upon the subject of the Monroe Doctrine in the 
eyes of all Latin America, and at the same time provide a 
possible solution of the very question of intervention itself. 
Now, for my new suggestion: Suppose affairs should take 
so serious a turn in Mexico that, either to forestall an 
armed intervention there by some European power seeking 
to defend its citizens or else to perform like service for 
some citizens of our own hemisphere, it finally becomes 
necessary under the terms of the Monroe Doctrine that 
the United States intervene, I would suggest that we in- 
vite Argentina or Brazil or some other American country 
to join with us. What would be the result of such an invi- 
tation? It would have two marked tendencies, both of which 
would be highly desirable: First, it would entirely remove 
any idea among our South American neighbors that our 
purpose was land grabbing, because a man does not invite 


MONROE DOCTRINE: SOUTH AMERICAN VIEWPOINT 125 


his neighbors to accompany him on an errand intended to 
benefit him alone. Secondly, and in my opinion, of equal 
importance, it would free our government from the persis- 
tent importunities of individuals and corporations urging 
our sole intervention to benefit their own pockets, but who 
would not favor a joint intervention by us along with other 
powers. Furthermore it would be the best and most con- 
vincing form cf invitation to Latin America to participate 
equally with us in the responsibilities and development of the 
Monroe Doctrine. The great Doctrine would at once be- 
come continental, and cease to be unilateral, which is to-day 
its one great defect. It is not the duty of the United States 
to police Latin America, and the sooner we get that idea 
spread broadcast, not only in South America but also in 
North America, the better will it be for our international 
repute. Whenever under the terms of the Monroe Doc- 
trine, an occasion for armed intervention in this hemi- 
sphere arises, let us, in each and every instance, invite 
participation in that responsibility from other American 
countries, all of which are equally concerned in the benefits 
and responsibilities of that Doctrine.” 

That was what I said last January, and I feel it even 
more strongly today. 

I hope and believe that there will be no armed interven- 
tion in Mexico, and in his resolute effort to obviate the 
necessity therefor, President Wilson deserves the support 
of every patriotic citizen of our country. Whatever may be 
the personal opinion of individuals as to details or methods, 
this is no time to discuss them, lest the discussion be mis- 
understood abroad. 

I don’t claim to know the South Americans better than 
many others do, but I do claim that no foreigner has ever 
liked them better than I do, and therefore am I earnestly 
eager to have their opinion seriously studied, and courte- 
ously accorded the consideration which it richly deserves. 


SHOULD WE ABANDON THE MONROE DOCTRINE? 




By Hiram Bingham, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Latin- 
American History, Yale University 

“The Monroe Doctrine, or the doctrine of the dual polit- 
ical organization of the nations of the earth, is a barbaric 
stumbling-block in the way of enlightened international 
policy.” So wrote the late William Graham Summer, in 
an essay on “Earth Hunger,” in 1897. 

At that time, very little attention was paid to his remarks. 
Professor Sumner had a way of being many years ahead of 
public opinion in his attitude toward political and economic 
policies. 

During the past few months the number of people who 
have come to take an unfriendly attitude toward the Mon- 
roe Doctrine has very greatly increased. True, this national 
shibboleth is still a plank in the platforms of our great national 
parties. In many quarters it is still a rallying cry. A great 
chain of newspapers, extending from San Francisco to Bos- 
ton, edited by the most highly paid editorial writer of the 
day, constantly refers to the Monroe Doctrine as something 
sacred and precious, like the Declaration of Independence. 
Other powerful newspapers, less popular in their appeal, 
but no less powerful in their influence, still resent any attack 
on what is considered by them the most essential feature 
of our foreign policy. And they continue to uphold the 
Monroe Doctrine, while at the same time they trj' to ex- 
plain away its disagreeable features. 

A recent editorial in a journal devoted to the interests 
of the army and navy, in vigorously denouncing the present 
attacks being made on the Monroe Doctrine, and calling 
loudly on patriotic Americans to see to it that no academic 
sentimentalists were allowed to weaken our national de- 
fenses, declared that without the Monroe Doctrine, we 
could not hold the Panama Canal! 


126 


SHOULD WE ABANDON THE MONROE DOCTRINE 


127 


It would have been just as logical to say that without 
the Monroe Doctrine we could not hold Hawaii, or Key 
West, or Boston harbor. The Panama Canal is one of the 
possessions of the United States. Its defense is a national 
right and a national duty. In defending the Panama Canal 
as in defending Key West or Boston harbor, we have back 
of us the most universally accepted principles of interna- 
tional law. In upholding the Monroe Doctrine, on the 
other hand, we are merely upholding what has been believed 
for many years to be a useful foreign policy, but one that 
has no standing in international law, and is, in fact, neither 
law nor doctrine but merely a declaration of policy having 
to do with our relations with foreign nations. 

Consequently, in considering the question as the whether 
we should abandon the Monroe Doctrine or not, we must 
first clear our minds of any idea that the maintenance or 
abandonment of this policy is in any way synonymous 
with the maintenance or abandonment of our national de- 
fenses, be they in Hawaii, Boston harbor, or the Panama 
Canal. Of course, it is perfectly true that to maintain a 
vigorous foreign policy and one that is at all unpopular, 
means the maintenance of an efficient army and navy. 
But without any vigorous foreign policy, we should, at the 
same time, need an army and a navy, and both ought to be 
efficient for the same reason that every city needs an efficient 
police force. 

In considering the advisability of abandoning the Mon- 
roe Doctrine, let us attempt to get clearly in mind exactly 
what is meant by the Monroe Doctrine. We shall find that 
at different periods of our history, it has meant very dif- 
ferent things. When it was promulgated by President 
Monroe in 1823, it meant that we were afraid that the rising 
wave of monarchy and despotism in Europe might over- 
whelm the struggling republics in the New World. We 
were, in a sense, in the position of the big brother on the 
edge of the swimming pool, who sees his little brothers swim- 
ming under water and about to come to the surface; and who 
also sees a couple of bullies getting ready to duck them before 
they can get their breath. As a matter of fact, this was 


128 


HIRAM BINGHAM 


the only republic, at that time, that had come to the sur- 
face, scrambled on to the bank, and shown itself able to 
stand on its own legs. The little fellows in Spanish- America 
were swimming hard, but they had not got their heads 
above water. We believed it to be for our interests to see 
that they had a square deal and were not interfered with 
as they came to the surface. We promulgated a high- 
minded, unselfish policy, without a thought of gaining 
prestige or power in Latin- America. We bravely warned 
the nations of the continent of Europe not to attempt to 
inflict their system of government on any land in the 
western hemisphere, where a democratic or republican 
form of government had established itself. 

From such a high-minded and altruistic position at this, 
it is a far cry to the connotation which goes with the Mon- 
roe Doctrine in the minds of many American citizens of 
today. Our people have been taught by jingoistic poli- 
ticians, like the heelers of Tammany Hall, to believe that 
the Monroe Doctrine means that it is our duty to keep 
America in order; that it is our policy to allow Europe to 
have nothing to say about the American republics, and that 
it would be a national disgrace, almost unthinkable, for us 
to abandon this sacred shibboleth. It was a Tammany 
Hall orator, according to Professor Hart, who said, “Tam- 
many Hall is a benevolent institution; Tammany Hall is a 
patriotic institution; Tammany Hall has the honor of being 
the first to propose that immortal Monroe Doctrine which 
blesses and revivifies the world.” 

And it was a former Tammany politician, who, on being 
questioned in regard to our present policy with Mexico, 
stated, a few days ago, that under the Monroe Doctrine 
it was our duty to go in and annex Mexico, and the sooner 
we did it, the better. 

It is a far cry from the Monroe Doctrine of 1823 to the 
Monroeism of our politicians and newspapers at the present 
day. In 1823, this declaration of foreign policy made a 
profound impression on Europe, and won us the gratitude 
and the eulogies of the Latin- American republics. At the 
present time, there is no question that the Monroe Doc- 


SHOULD WE ABANDON THE MONROE DOCTRINE 


129 


trine is a cause of world-wide irritation and is almost uni- 
versally hated throughout Latin-America. In the words 
of a careful student of Pan-American affairs, who has lived 
many years in various parts of Spanish America, “the two 
principal results of the Monroe Doctrine are: intense ha- 
tred of the United States on the part of powerful and self- 
respecting South American nations, able and willing to meet 
their responsibilities to the countries to whom they are under 
obligations ; and an attempt at evasion of these responsibil- 
ities by other Latin- American countries, who, while using 
the Doctrine where they think they can for such a purpose, 
equally hate the originators of it.” 

Contrast this with that memorable sentence in Mr. Cleve- 
land’s message to Congress regarding the Venezuela bound- 
ary dispute, in which he said that the Monroe Doctrine 
“was intended to apply to every stage of our national life, 
and cannot become obsolete while our republic endures.” 

This was quoted by the editor of the New AT>rk Times 
in a recent article in the Century, in which the part played 
by the Monroe Doctrine in the Venezuela dispute was care- 
fully brought out. In a recent number of the Times, in an 
editorial discussion of the present writer’s proposal to re- 
gard the Monroe Doctrine as obsolete, it was admitted that 
the Monroe Doctrine was, as a matter of fact, a purely self- 
ish policy. These were the words used : 

The Monroe Doctrine was declared by us with reference to our 
own interests, and is maintained for no other reason. It was not 
declared with direct regard or thought of the interests of the 
weaker republics of the continent, and it will be maintained — or 
abandoned — with more thought of our interests than of theirs. 

If that is the ablest defence which can be made for the 
doctrine in its present form, it is not surprising that we find 
so much opposition to it on the part of our southern neigh- 
bors. General Reyes, former president of the Republic of 
Colombia, said recently: 

Having for many years closely followed, step by step, the de- 
velopment of the American republics and the convulsions of their 
ardent and vexed democracies, I am more than ever convinced 
that unity of action with the United States is necessary to ini- 


130 


HIRAM BINGHAM 


tiate the advent of that glorious future to which they are so mani- 
festly entitled. But that unity of action can only be accomplished 
by the removal of the causes which have led to the prevailing 
doubts, jealousies, and suspicions. 

In my opinion, the Panama Canal will solve many of the diffi- 
culties which owe their existence to the present lack of intercourse 
between the people of the north and those of the south, but even 
that beneficial change of conditions will not serve by itself to erad- 
icate the evils of the past. There must be a wider recognition 
of the fact that the relations of the United States with the Latin 
republics are those of a friendly, powerful neighbor, with no other 
objects than the advantages to be gained from the ties of sister- 
hood and the extension of commerce. There must be a saner 
propaganda as to the inalienable sovereign rights and complete inde- 
pendence of even the smallest of the Latin States. There must 
be no “big stick,” and no such use of the Monroe Doctrine as to 
make it an instrument of terror to the smaller republics, and a 
subject for ridicule in the greater countries of the South. 

The more advanced Latin nations appreciate and sympa- 
thize with the benevolent designs and objects of that doctrine, 
as is shown by the formulation of their own doctrine, intended 
to protect the smaller states against the employment of armed 
force by foreign nations for the collection of contractual debts. 
But they resent the spirit of domination and tutelage which implies 
that they need the protection of the United States against foreign ag- 
gression. (The italics are mine.) 

It is easy to understand the cause of such remarks when 
one calls to mind the thoughtless jingoism of some of our 
newspapers and the more intelligent selfishness of some of 
our leading editorial writers. 

It would be easy to multiply quotations from North Amer- 
ican writers and newspapers which justify the fears and 
hatred of Latin America. And it would be equally easy 
to gather many paragraphs from Spanish and French au- 
thors to illustrate what forms this distrust and hatred take. 
I have already called attention to a number of these in the 
little book just referred to . 1 

Why is it that it is so difficult for us to formulate an an- 
swer to the question as to what the Monroe Doctrine really 
means? Because there are probably no two words in Ameri- 
can history which have been more variously interpreted, 
which have meant more things to more people, and which 
have been more highly praised by some and more bitterly 

‘The Monroe Doctrine an Obsolete Shibboleth, Yale Univ. Press. 


SHOULD WE ABANDON THE MONROE DOCTRINE 


131 


condemned by others. What is the reason of this confu- 
sion? 

I believe that the reason is that these two words “ Monroe 
Doctrine” have come to be used by us in place of two other 
words that are less interesting and less significant, namely, 
“foreign policy.” Our foreign policy is the Monroe Doc- 
trine. Whatever our foreign policy happens to be for the 
moment, it is called the “Monroe Doctrine.” Do we decide 
to intervene in Cuba, we do not say that we believe it to 
be for our best interests as a nation to overstep the bounds 
of international law and to carry our intervention into a 
neighboring territory. We wave a banner and call it the 
Monroe Doctrine. Are we too busy at home to intervene 
between Spain and Chile when they go to war and when 
Spain bombards the port of Valparaiso? We declare that 
the Monroe Doctrine does not mean that we shall interfere 
in any righteous war. Do we wish to take any part of 
Spanish-American territory which we need or which is 
being badly governed? We refer our actions to the Mon- 
roe Doctrine. It is no wonder that Monroeism, as it is 
called in South America, has come to mean to the Latin- 
American mind interference, intervention, tutelage and 
patronizing insolence. This connotation does us infinite 
harm. 

The truth is, instead of facing squarely the question of 
what is the best foreign policy for us to follow, we cloud 
our minds with this national shibboleth; we remember 
that it is nearly one hundred years old; we believe that it 
has done a great deal of good in keeping Europe from crush- 
ing the life out of incipient South American republics; we 
feel that it is a benevolent institution, and, therefore, we 
brand whatever selfish or unselfish policy we adopt for the 
moment with the words “Monroe Doctrine.” 

It would seem as though for the very sake of clarifying 
our own ideas and placing our foreign policy on a logical 
foundation, it would be well for us to abandon a combina- 
tion of words which stands for so many different things to 
so many different people. 

It can be fairly said that the United States has had as 


132 


HIRAM BINGHAM 


many ideals and has fought for as high ideals as any nation 
in history. The calm judgment of our foreign critics some- 
times is willing to admit that we have been more idealistic 
than any modern nation. We once shed a vast amount 
of blood and treasure in order to suppresss an economic 
institution called slavery, largely because it was not our 
ideal of the right way to progress toward higher things. 
We went to war with Spain largely for the sake of giving 
Cuba her freedom, and then, contrary to the belief of most 
of the world who were looking on, we did not keep Cuba, 
but gave her independence. Knowing this and other 
things of a similar nature, we sometimes flatter ourselves 
that our motives are always correct, and chiefly idealistic. 
And the worst of it is, we sometimes so blind ourselves with 
the dazzling spectacle of our unselfishness that we cannot 
see our selfishness. In the case of Cuba, for instance, we 
were so pleased with our unselfish sacrifices, that we shut 
our eyes to the fact that while we were giving Cuba free- 
dom, we were taking Porto Rico and the Philippines and 
Guam, and a very useful naval base at the east end of 
Cuba, and putting them in our pockets. The world did 
not say that the Spanish- American war gave us no reward 
for our pains. 

Before deciding whether we ought to abandon the Mon- 
roe Doctrine and considering what ought to be our policy 
for the future, let us review a few of the more striking fea- 
tures of our foreign policy since 1823. 

For twenty years after the promulgation of the Monroe 
Doctrine, we were regarded with extraordinary friendliness 
throughout Spanish-America. Our willingness to recog- 
nize the independence of the newly-fledged republics; our 
willingness to protect them from European aggression, and 
our generous non-interference with them in the time of their 
greatest weakness, earned us their gratitude. But in 1846 
came the war with Mexico, one of those independent repub- 
lics that we were going to protect. We had stated in the 
original Monroe Doctrine that it was the true policy of the 
United States to leave the new governments of Spanish- 
America to themselves, in the hope that other powers would 


SHOULD WE ABANDON THE MONROE DOCTRINE 133 


pursue the same course. And yet, we did not hesitate, at 
the conclusion of the war with Mexico, to take away from her 
nearly one half her area. It did not help matters that a 
year or two later, gold was discovered in California. It 
did not increase our popularity in Spanish-America when 
it appeared that we were getting enormously wealthy out 
of the gold and silver mines in California and Nevada, 
which we had so recently taken by force from Mexico, even 
though we had paid $15,000,000 for what we took. It may 
be replied that it was far better for California and Nevada 
that we should have taken them, and that we could afford 
to stand the unpopularity that this engendered in South 
America. Granting for the sake of argument that this is 
true, why not admit frankly that when we took California 
and Nevada, we went contrary to the principles laid down 
by President Monroe in his famous message of 1823. 

In 1898, we went to war with Spain, and eventually took 
away all her American possessions. We believed ourselves 
justified in so doing. I hold no brief against the justifica- 
tion of that war. It was undoubtedly a good thing for 
Spain. Many Spaniards will admit this today. Their 
country has been stronger and their economic condition has 
improved since they lost their foreign possessions. But 
President Monroe had said that “With the existing colo- 
nies or dependencies of any European power, we have not 
interfered and shall not interfere.” Is it not perfectly 
evident that in 1898 we regarded the Monroe Doctrine 
as outgrown, and said to ourselves that we could afford 
to disregard one of the most positive sentences in the origi- 
nal declaration of President Monroe? Why should we still 
feel that there is something so sacred in this national shib- 
boleth of ours that, although we have repeatedly gone con- 
trary to it when it suited us to do so, we must still cling to 
it as a precious thing, without which our own independence 
would be in danger of being lost? 

In 1906, Secretary Root made his well-known tour of 
South America. It has been said that this tour was made 
necessary owing to the fear of the United States aroused 
throughout South America, by some of President Roose- 


134 


HIRAM BINGHAM 


velt’s messages to Congress, in which he took pains to re- 
assert the Monroe Doctrine, and in which he accepted, quite 
logically, the very great responsibilities which the main- 
tenance of a policy of “America for the Americans” en- 
tailed upon us. He had said in 1905: 

When we announce a policy, such as the Monroe Doctrine, 
we thereby commit ourselves to the consequences of the policy, 
and those consequences from time to time alter. It is out of the 
question to claim a right and then to shirk the responsibility for 
its exercise. Not only we, but all American republics who are 
benefited by the existence of the Doctrine, must recognize the 
obligations each nation is under as regards foreign peoples no less 
than its duty to insist upon its own rights. 

After the opening of the third session of the Fifty-Eighth 
Congress, Mr. Roosevelt had said : 

Any country whose people conduct themselves well can count 
upon our hearty friendship. If a nation shows that it knows how 
to act with reasonable efficiency and decency in social and polit- 
ical matters, if it keeps order and pays its obligations, it need 
fear no interference from the United States. Chronic wrong- 
doing, or an impotence which results in a general loosening of 
the ties of civilized society, may in America, as elsewhere, ulti- 
mately require intervention by some civilized nation, and in the 
western hemisphere, the adherence of the United States to the 
Monroe Doctrine may force the United States, however reluctantly, 
in flagrant cases of such wrongdoing or impotence, to the exer- 
cise of an international police power. 

These official utterances had greatly alarmed and annoyed 
the South American republics, and it was no small part of 
Secretary Root’s visit to quiet their fears and assure them 
of the pacific quality of our intentions. So well did Mr. 
Root do this, so ably had he prepared himself by the study 
of South American history, so favorable an impression did 
he make by his dignified and courteous bearing, and so 
profound a conviction did his words convey, coming as they 
did from the actual head of our department of foreign affairs, 
that great good was accomplished, and an era of friendship 
and good-will was ushered in. 

The most striking effect of this was to be seen in Chile. 
Owing to a series of misunderstandings, including the blun- 
ders of an over-zealous diplomat, the wrong-headed ideas 


SHOULD WE ABANDON THE MONROE DOCTRINE 135 


of many American newspapers, and the seeming interfer- 
ence of American warships during the great Chilean civil 
war of 1891, we had become extremely unpopular in that 
vigorous republic of the South Pacific. Then had followed 
the deplorable Baltimore incident, when a number of our 
sailors on shore-leave in the port of Valparaiso, got into 
trouble with some of the rougher elements of the port, and 
a few were killed and several more wounded. We had lost 
our patience with what we termed Chilean dilatory conduct; 
we took the law into our own hands, and eventually we 
issued an ultimatum to Chile demanding financial redress. 
There was nothing for her to do but to grant our request. 
But the scar was long in healing, and it may fairly be said 
that we had less cordial friends in Chile than in any other 
American republic, with the possible exception of Colombia. 
Mr. Root’s visit to South America and his able exposition 
of our foreign policy, changed the attitude of the Chileans 
to a very marked degree. They took the first opportunity 
of showing their change of heart. 

The Fourth Latin- American Scientific Congress was due 
to be held in Santiago in December, 1908. Former con- 
gresses of this nature had been held in Argentina, Brazil, 
and Uruguay. The organization committee for the fourth 
congress was composed entirely of Chileans. They decided 
that in consequence of the new and friendly attitude of the 
United States, it would be an appropriate thing to make 
the Congress not Latin-American, but Pan-American, and 
to invite the participation of the American government, 
and of universities and other scientific bodies in the United 
States. Secretary Root saw the advantages that would 
accrue to the United States in properly accepting such an 
invitation. In accordance with his ideas, the United States 
congress passed a suitable appropriation to send ten dele- 
gates from this country to Chile. These delegates were 
received with the utmost courtesy and given the best of 
everything. It was with difficulty that they avoided of- 
fence in declining a few of the many honors showered upon 
them. At the end of the month which they spent in Chile, 
it is safe to say that the relations between Chile and the 


136 


HIRAM BINGHAM 


United States were more cordial than they had ever been 
before. Washington was selected as the place of meeting 
for the second Pan-American Scientific Congress, and Octo- 
ber, 1912, was designated as the proper time for it to meet. 

It has not met yet. (November, 1913.) 

The United States congress was asked by Secretary Knox 
for a small appropriation of $50,000, about one-half of 
what Chile had appropriated for the Scientific Congress, 
when it had met in Santiago, to provide for the expenses 
of the Congress that should meet in Washington in October, 
1912. Unfortunately, our Congress felt too poor to grant 
this request, and although the appropriations which were 
passed footed up somewhere in the neighborhood of one 
billion dollars, the item of $50,000 for the Scientific Con- 
gress was struck out, and our national obligations to provide 
for returning the hospitality which we had received, were 
denied. As the result of a vigorous protest and of public 
sessions of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, in the 
next session of Congress the same amount was again re- 
quested and the appropriation of this amount was unani- 
mously recommended by that committee. The passage 
of the appropriation, however, was lost on some flimsy tech- 
nicality, and our national honor in regard to the obligations 
of hospitality still remains under a cloud. Apparently, it 
is part of our foreign policy to accept invitations to Pan- 
American congresses, but not to provide suitably for such 
congresses when they have to meet in this country. As the 
best-known term for our foreign policy throughout Latin- 
America is Monroeism, this appears to our neighbors to be 
one of the attributes of the Monroe Doctrine. 

There was another sequel to our relations with Chile 
even more serious than not providing suitably for the sec- 
ond Pan-American Scientific Congress. By sending an 
ultimatum demanding the immediate settlement of the 
Alsop claim, Secretary Knox destroyed in three minutes 
what Secretary Root had taken three years to build up. The 
delicate edifice of good-will and friendship with Chile, which 
had arisen from the ashes of the Baltimore episode, was 
destroyed because a Secretary of State felt that the claim 


SHOULD WE ABANDON THE MONROE DOCTRINE 137 


of a private citizen for $1,000,000 had been left too long 
unsettled. This is not the place to go into the details of 
the AIsop claim. Everyone knows that Chile inherited 
this debt from Bolivia. The claim was recognized, but 
there was postponement in its settlement. Chile avoided 
the dire effects of Secretary Knox’s ultimatum by deposit- 
ing $1,000,000 in the Bank of England, and requesting that 
the ownership of this sum be decided by the Hague Trib- 
unal. At least, so it was reported in the newspapers. 
Such matters are too recent to make it wise for the State 
Department to allow its records to be used as the basis of a 
thorough history of that episode. But there is no question 
about the results. The claimant eventually got his money, 
and we lost the cordial friendship of Chile. In the discus- 
sion which followed in the Chilean congress, a speech was 
made by the aged Senator Vicente Reyes on July 26, 1911. 
Said Senator Reyes : 

It seems to me that no Chilean is to blame for what has taken 
place; every one has endeavored, in the role that corresponded 
to him, to further the public interests in the most convenient man- 
ner. The fault, the real fault — and it is necessary to declare it 
publicly, and I can say it better than another because I have no 
intervention, either in the acts of the government, or in the active 
political life, from which I am removed by reason of my age, so 
that in pronouncing my opinion, my own exclusive opinion, I com- 
promise nobody, — I shall say, then, that the fault of all this is 
owing to the intemperance of the United States government that 
has made an excessive use of its power, treating us as barbarous 
tribes were treated in past times, imposing on us an ultimatum and 
giving us ten days in which to perform what that government 
believed we ought to do. 

In the following year on August 2 of 1912, a resolution was 
introduced in the senate of the United States by Senator 
Lodge of Massachusetts, which has been regarded through- 
out Latin-America as a still further extension and interpre- 
tation of the Monroe Doctrine. It was known as the Mag- 
dalena Bay resolution. The subject was so ably treated 
in an editorial in the American Journal of International 
Law (vol. 6, p. 937) that I take the liberty of quoting it in 
part: 


138 


HIRAM BINGHAM 


Midway in the southerly third of the west coast of Lower 
California, and perhaps 3,000 miles from Panama, is a large bay. 
The back country is barren and thirsty, but on the shore and off 
it is moss which contains a dye and fish. Lumber and cattle 
are said to be possibilities also. An American company secured 
here from Mexico a large tract of land, several million acres, which 
border on the bay and run back from it. This country was un- 
profitable. Its chief creditor, a New Hampshire lumberman, 
had taken it over and tried to secure himself by making a sale to 
certain Japanese subjects. Before concluding any bargain, how- 
ever, his agent very properly consulted the United States Depart- 
ment of State to learn its attitude. This was adverse, it being 
aware of the outcry sure to be made if a Japanese coaling, fishery, 
or other station or colony were to be established on our side of the 
Pacific. Nor did Mr. Knox look with more favor upon a sale limit- 
ing the ownership of the Japanese to a minority. The owner and 
creditor of the concession seem to have sought Japanese aid in 
colonization because no other labor there was available. The 
Japanese government had nothing whatever to do with the scheme. 
Moreover, by Mexican law no concession holds good under heavy 
penalty, if transfer is sought by the concessionaires to a foreign govern- 
ment. 

This was the situation then, when the susceptibilities of the 
Senate were aroused last July, and Mr. Lodge introduced the fol- 
lowing resolution: 

Resolved: That when any harbor or other place in the American 
continent is so situated that the occupation thereof for naval or mili- 
tary purposes might threaten the communications or the safety of the 
United States, the government of the United States could not see with- 
out grave concern the possession of such harbor or other place by any 
corporation or association which has such a relation to another govern- 
ment not American as to give that government practical power of con- 
trol for national purposes. 

It is understood that in secret session for the last word but one 
"national” was substituted "naval or military.” 

A Senate resolution is an expression of its opinion. This reso- 
lution was intended to be an announcement of national policy to 
foreign powers. It was introduced after information had been 
sought from the President on the subject. This went to show that 
the conduct of other powers in regard to those lands had been en- 
tirely correct. In the discussion which led up to and which fol- 
lowed the introduction of this resolution it appeared that its mover 
chose not to regard it as an extension of the Monroe Doctrine, but 
as based upon the law of right of self-defense which is fundamen- 
tal, the Agadir incident being a precedent. But in Africa, the 
German action was official, governmental; whereas at Magdalena 
Bay, as Senator Rayner had well brought out in May, it was a 
question of private commercial use only. Has the United States 
a right to assume that private commercial use of such a harbor 
as this, could be so easily converted into government use as to 


SHOULD WE ABANDON THE MONROE DOCTRINE 


139 


warrant its prohibition before any sign whatever of abuse or of 
danger was visible? That the Senate so believes is clear, for it 
passed the Lodge resolution. That the legal mind shares this 
view is not so clear. Let us state it in general terms. On the 
ground of self-defense a state may forbid its neighbor to sell lands 
of strategic value to the private subjects of a third power, there 
being no act, but mere suspicion to warrant the fear that the third 
power will make sinister use of its subjects’ property. What 
becomes of the sovereign right of the neighbor to dispose of its 
lands, for commercial development? If the principle of self-de- 
fense is unduly stretched, will it not break down and become 
ridiculous? Is an attitude of constant suspicion consistent with 
international good-nvill? 

This new phase of our foreign policy, which aroused 
such remarks as the foregoing in the United States, was, 
as might be suspected, treated even more vehemently, not 
only in Latin-America, but also in Europe. In La Re- 
vista de America for September, 1912, Sr. Jose de Astorga, 
commented as follows ( I give a free translation) : 

The Monroe Doctrine has just suffered a transformation for 
the benefit of Yankee imperialism, and for the detriment and 
diminution of the sovereignty of the Latin-American republics, 
in the adoption by the Senate at Washington of the Lodge Reso- 
lution. . . . This resolution, reduced to its simplest terms, 

says that in the future the governments of the Ibero-American 
republics are prohibited from negotiating with any foreign com- 
panies for the cession of any lands for the purpose of merely com- 
mercial or industrial ends, without the previous consent of the 

White House Without entering into any discussion 

of the motives which, from the Yankee point of view, secured the 
adoption of the Lodge proposal by a nearly unanimous vote [54 
to 4] of the North American Senate, it is perfectly evident that 
this proposal cannot lean upon the so-called Monroe Doctrine 
as originally declared, and that, furthermore, it involves a most 
odious and unwarranted offense against the sovereignty and the 
independence of the Latin republics of the continent. ... If 
the republics which occupy the territory of America to the south 
of the United States are independent nations, in full enjoyment of 
their political sovereignty, and have the same title and the same 
capacity in the family of nations as North America has, then neither 
the Senate nor the government at Washington has the power to 
proclaim before the world, as a rule of international conduct appli- 
cable to the territories of foreign sovereigns, the Lodge proposal. 

Anyhow, the importance of securing concerted movement and 
unanimity of action among the chancellaries of Latin-America 
in order to offset the imperialistic action of the United States, 
is urgent, and is of supreme importance. The protests of con- 


140 


HIRAM BINGHAM 


fraternity, of disinterestedness, and of respect for the political 
sovereignty and the commercial independence of Latin-America, 
which the government of the United States sets forth so freely 
on every occasion, are not able to counteract nor to lessen the 
eloquence of deeds, and these are the deeds: tutelage over Cuba; 
the abduction of Panama; the embargo on the custom houses 
of Santo Domingo; economic and military intervention in Central 
America; the “big stick;” dollar diplomacy, and the Lodge dec- 
laration. 

Here we have the Latin- American judgment on the Mon- 
roe Doctrine in a nutshell. We can on occasion make 
charming speeches. We can claim that our foreign policy 
is idealistic, and we can point to the Monroe Doctrine as 
evidence of our willingness to protect the weaker against 
the stronger. Actions speak louder than words. The 
fruits of our foreign policy have been the acquisition of 
more territory and direct interference in the affairs of our 
neighbors. 

One of the questions for us to decide is, whether it is 
worth while to pretend adherence to a shibboleth which 
has so often spelt intervention, and which means to our 
neighbors in the western hemisphere that we consider it 
our duty to intervene whenever sufficient occasion arises. 

How much do we believe in intervention? 

One of our most distinguished diplomats and statesmen, 
the late E. J. Phelps, delivered an address in the city of 
Brookfyn on March 30, 1896, which dealt with the Mon- 
roe Doctrine at a time when we had been drawn danger- 
ously near to a war with Great Britain over the Venezuela 
boundary. That distinguished publicist treated our right 
to interfere in the affairs of other nations in no uncertain 
terms. The fact that he was selected by President Cleve- 
land as our minister at the Court of St. James, and that he 
filled that post with marked success, is sufficient excuse for 
quoting him at the present time, when once again we have 
a distinguished Democrat at the head of the nation. Said 
Mr. Phelps: 

International law is international morality and justice, for- 
mulated by the general consent of civilized men. That is its 
basis and its sanction. The claim that Americans are in any 


SHOULD WE ABANDON THE MONROE DOCTRINE 


141 


respect above or beyond this law of the civilized world, or that we 
are invested with authority to interfere in the affairs of other na- 
tions in which we are in no way concerned, merely because the 
location of the dispute is in South America, are propositions that 
will find no favor among just or thoughtful men. We have no 
protectorate over South American nations, and do not assume any 
responsibility in their behalf. Our own rights there, as elsewhere, 
it is to be hoped, we shall never fail to maintain. But those 
rights have their foundation and their limit in the settled law 
to which we are subject as all other nations are, and which is as 
necessary to us as to them. 

And when we undertake to assert that we are not bound by that 
law, and care nothing for the opinion of the world; that we are 
Americans and monarchs all of we survey; and that we are going 
to control the part of this hemisphere that does not belong to us, 
regardless of the rights of those to whom it does belong, merely 
for the sake of doing it, and because we think we are strong enough, 
we adopt the language of the bully, and shall certainly encounter, 
if that is persisted in, the bully’s retribution. 

Surely, with these words ringing in our ears, we do not 
wish to stand by a policy which can be so construed as to 
spell interference and intervention. 

It is difficult to exaggerate the present attitude of South 
America towards the Monroe Doctrine. As late as Sep- 
tember 13, 1913, La Prensa, one of the leading papers of 
Peru and the principal supporter of the present government, 
prints in the most conspicuous place in the paper a letter 
from a Chilean newspaper correspondent in New York. 
The headlines are as follows: “ Studying the Situation in 
Mexico.” The Chilean journalist, Montcalm, speaks from 
New York. He calls on Latin-America to “unite itself 
against Yankee imperialism.” One of the paragraphs 
reads: “The United States today controls Cuba, Porto 
Rico, and Panama. Tomorrow it is going to control Cen- 
tral America. It has commenced to control Mexico. Who 
says that it will not continue still further?” The article 
ends with a spirited plea to the Latin-American republics 
to help Mexico out of the hole into which she has got herself 
by her revolutionary civil war. 

In its issue of September 15, 1913, in the same conspicu- 
ous position under the heading, “The Voice of a Mexican,” 
La Prensa reprints an article from La Revista, of Yucatan, 


142 


HIRAM BINGHAM 


signed by R. De Zayas Enriques, in which he criticises severe- 
ly our attitude of mentor of the Latin-American republics, 
and our pretention of being the only arbiter of their fate. 
He refers to the increasing application of the Monroe Doc- 
trine, which, he says, is already too ample, and refers to 
the fact that European powers have always paid better re- 
spect to the Doctrine than the American peoples themselves. 
The whole trend of this two-column article is to arouse 
feeling against the United States. 

Recent travelers in South America, and several of our 
recently returned diplomats, tell the same story. But per- 
haps no one has put the situation more clearly than the 
recent Ambassador from England to the United States. It 
can hardly be denied that the United States has no better 
friend than Mr. Bryce. In his American Commonwealth , 
he has shown a depth of sympathy and a keenness of appre- 
ciation for our institutions which have never been sur- 
passed. His residence in Washington as the British Am- 
bassador increased his already great popularity in this 
country. His advice is worth heeding, if we heed the ad- 
vice of our friends at all. In his recent book on South 
.America, he says: 

As regards the United States there is a balance between at- 
traction and suspicion. The South Americans desire to be on 
good terms with her, and their wisest statesmen feel the value of 
her diplomatic action in trying to preserve peace between those 
of their republics whose smouldering enmities often threaten 
to burst into flame. More than once in recent years this value 
has been tested. On the other hand, as has already been observed, 
they are jealous of their own dignity, not at all disposed to be 
patronized, and quick to resent anything bordering on a threat, 
even when addressed not to themselves, but to some other repub- 
lic. It is as the disinterested, the absolutely disinterested and 
unselfish, advocate of peace and good-will, that the United States 
will have most influence in the western hemisphere, and that 
influence, gently and tactfully used, may be of incalculable service 
to mankind. 

Surely, this must be our ultimate aim. We do desire to 
influence for good the western hemisphere. We are begin- 
ning to realize that there are several states in South Amer- 
ica that are no longer infant republics. They have grown 


SHOULD WE ABANDON THE MONROE DOCTRINE 


143 


up. To return to our former metaphor — the little swimmers 
have got their heads well out of water, and have climbed 
out and are safely standing on their own legs. They nat- 
urally resent any implied assertion on our part that we 
will protect them from Europe. 

If the Monroe Doctrine implies this we-will-protect-you- 
from-Europe attitude, if it is disagreeable and irritating 
to those whose friendship is most worth having in the 
western hemisphere, if, as a matter of fact, we have delib- 
erately broken the Monroe Doctrine whenever it suited 
us to do so, why should we cling to it so tenderly and so te- 
naciously any longer? What possible good can it do us? 
We apparently have a great deal to lose by maintaining it. 
What have we to gain by pretending to stick to it? 

The chief arguments in favor of retaining the Monroe 
Doctrine appear to be three: 

The first is, that the good old Doctrine is ninety years 
of age; it has survived and flourished nearly a century, and 
there must be something in it to have given it such a long 
life! To such an argument as this, it is only necessary to 
reply that the same notion was used with even more telling 
effect against Copernicus, when he declared that the world 
revolved on its axis. Furthermore, it sounds suspiciously 
like the defence that we made of slavery in the middle of 
the nineteenth century. It is an argument that need not 
be treated seriously. 

In the second place, it is claimed that the Monroe Doc- 
trine should be maintained because we have more interests 
in America than has Europe. “We are remote from Eu- 
rope; we are close to South America.” Therefore, it is 
natural that we should have more interest than England 
or Germany in maintaining a benevolent protection over 
the fortunes of the Latin- American republics. This may 
be true of the countries in the vicinity of the Caribbean 
Sea, but it is far from true of the larger republics of South 
America. Their great cities are geographically nearer 
Europe than they are to the United States. Their popu- 
lation contains at least a million Italian immigrants, and 
many hundreds of thousands of Spanish, Portuguese, French, 


144 


HIRAM BINGHAM 


Germans, and English. While there are probably fewer 
French than those of any other nationality, the French 
actually outnumber the citizens of the United States who 
are living in the larger republics. Consequently, if there 
is any weight whatever in the fact that a nation has interests 
in a country where its citizens are employed, our interests 
are less than those of almost any one of the larger European 
countries. So far as investments are concerned, there is 
also no question whatever but that Europe has far more 
of a claim to be directly interested in the present state and 
future of the South American republics than has the United 
States. Compared to the hundreds of millions which Eng- 
land has invested in Argentina and Brazil, for instance, 
our own investments in those countries are ridiculously 
small. Consequently, this argument falls of its own weight, 
for to it we can reply that the larger and more important 
part of South America is nearer in miles, nearer in days of 
traveling, closer in ties of relationship, and more directly 
interested in commercial intercourse with Europe than with 
the United States. 

The third argument is that the Monroe Doctrine has 
done South America a great deal of good in preventing 
her from being partitioned, as was Africa. Therefore, let 
us preserve it in all its pristine strength! It is quite true 
that the Monroe Doctrine undoubtedly protected South 
America against European aggression during a large part 
of the nineteenth century, when such aggression might have 
been fatal to the independence of several South American 
republics. But such a condition of affairs no longer exists, 
and if it should arise, that is to say if Germany should at- 
tempt to seize part of Brazil, for instance, or if Japan or 
China should attempt to coerce Peru into receiving unde- 
sirable immigrants, the best course for us to pursue would 
be, not to step forth single-handed as we did in 1823, but 
to join hands with the leading nations of South America in 
protecting the new world from the aggression of the old. 
It is replied by some that this is merely a modification of 
the Monroe Doctrine. In so far as it aims to accomplish 


SHOULD WE ABANDON THE MONROE DOCTRINE 145 


certain results, that is true; in so far as it is promulgated in 
a different spirit and with a direct recognition of the actual 
state of our southern neighbors, it is different. Taking 
into account the extremely unpleasant connotation, in the 
ears of our southern neighbors, of the word Monroeism, 
we should be in a much stronger position if we would put 
that word aside, and adopt a new one, such as Pan-American 
Defense, which shall have for its connotation America for 
Humanity, and not .America for the North Americans. 

Having considered the chief arguments for retaining the 
Monroe Doctrine, let us now briefly sum up the reasons 
why we should abandon it. First, the original Monroe 
Doctrine has been disregarded in several historical instances, 
notably after our war with Mexico in 1847, after our war 
with Spain in 1898, and in our dealings with Colombia, 
Santo Domingo, and Nicaragua. Second, owing to the 
constitutional changes that have taken place in the leading 
European nations since 1823, there is no danger that, in 
the words of President Monroe, the allied powers will “ex- 
tend their political system to any portion of either conti- 
nent.” The world has advanced since then and the Eu- 
ropean nations themselves would be the first to object to 
any one of their number seizing a Latin-American republic, 
or setting up a monarchy there. Third, several of the South 
American states, notably Argentina, Brazil, and Chile, 
having attained their majority are no longer infants, do not 
need our protection and will make better friends and strong- 
er allies if we cease to hold the Monroe Doctrine as one of 
the tenets of our political faith. Fourth, their friendship 
is worth having. They are already building super-dread- 
noughts, and, with our more extended frontier, and our out- 
lying ports, such as Panama and Honolulu, we need cordial 
friends in the western hemisphere, and cannot afford to 
treat them in such a way as to estrange their sentiments. 
Fifth, the later form of the Monroe Doctrine, sometimes 
known as the “Big stick policy,” or the “.American police- 
man idea,” by which we say to Europe that we cannot allow 
her to take any active interest in the political affairs of the 


146 


HIRAM BINGHAM 


western hemisphere, and accept the corresponding responsi- 
bility to look after her people and her property in the less 
well established republics, is a policy likely to involve us 
in tremendous difficulties and possibly in costly wars. It 
is a policy from which we have nothing to . gain, and in 
which we have everything to lose. It is a policy which is 
likely to cost us the friendship not only of our American 
neighbors but, what is really of more importance to us, our 
European neighbors. Sixth, we should give up the Monroe 
Doctrine because the premises on which it was founded, and 
on which it was justified, no longer exist. 

Today Europe has more citizens in South America than 
we have. She has invested a far larger share of her capital 
in South America than we have. She is bound to South 
.America, not only by these ties of brotherhood and of prop- 
erty, but also by the racial ties which bind together the 
Latin race. 

Geographically, Europe is nearer the chief cities of South 
America than is the United States; racially, she is closer; 
practically, she has more business interests there, and more 
of her sons are living there; and, finally, Europe has no in- 
tention to enforcing arbitrary monarchy and despotism on 
American states any more than we have. 

As the premises on which the Monroe Doctrine was based 
no longer exist, and as the maintenance of our adherence 
to those words is of harm rather than good to us, it must be 
evident that the time has arrived for us to abandon this 
national shibboleth, and to clear the way for a new and logi- 
cal foreign policy. 

If we abandon the Monroe Doctrine, what shall we adopt 
to take its place? The answer to this question is fairly 
simple if one is willing to admit that the words “Monroe 
Doctrine” simply stand for our foreign policy. Under 
President Monroe, we announced it as our foreign policy 
to have nothing to do with Europe, and to see to it that 
Europe had nothing to do with America. We had a kind 
of splendid isolation. We were separated from Europe 
by a stormy ocean, which could be crossed only by a painful 


SHOULD WE ABANDON THE MONROE DOCTRINE 147 


journey on board small sailing vessels. We promulgated a 
doctrine intended to keep foreign complications out of our 
national life, and to enable us to avoid entangling alliances. 
Today, as was recently said in an editorial in the World’s 
Work, this very Monroe Doctrine is the chief breeder of 
diplomatic negotiations. In other words, it is a trouble- 
maker. To take its place, let us adopt a more rational 
foreign policy. We have already begun to do so. Presi- 
dent Wilson, in his Mobile declaration, stated clearly that 
the United States did not intend to take another foot of 
territory by conquest. He has declined to send an army 
into Mexico, although there have been loud clamors for 
intervention, and many of these clamors, particularly in 
the yellow journals, have been based upon the so-called 
“logic of the Monroe Doctrine.” But we must go a few 
steps further if we would make our friends in South America 
believe that we have really adopted a new foreign policy, 
and that we have outgrown Monroeism. 

One of these steps was recommended b 3 r Prof. Theodore 
Woolsey in an able article in Scribner’s Magazine in 1909, 
in which it was proposed that we invite the leading powers 
of Latin-America to unite with us whenever intervention 
became necessary. This principle of joint intervention at- 
tracted little attention at that time, but its practicability 
ha3 been rapidly gaining force recently. In 1911, the pres- 
ent writer, in a book entitled Across South America, sugges- 
ted that the time had come to “amend our outgrown Mon- 
roe Doctrine, as has already been suggested by one of our 
writers on international law, so as to include in the police 
force of the western hemisphere, those who have shown 
themselves able to practice self-control.” This suggestion 
was given favorable notice by Mr. Bryce in his book on South 
America just referred to. It was again called to public 
attention by the Hon. Charles Sherrill, recently our Minis- 
ter to Argentina, and has since been referred to many 
times both in print and on the platform. 

Some of those who have sanctioned it, feeling that it was 
necessary to stick to the words of our ancient shibboleth, 


148 


HIRAM BINGHAM 


have felt that the invitation to Argentina or Brazil to inter- 
vene with us in Mexico, should come under the cloak of the 
Monroe Doctrine; but it seems to me that this is a most 
unfortunate suggestion. It is to our interests, — it is in the 
interests of the peace and happiness of the western hemi- 
sphere, that we get as far away from these words “Monroe 
Doctrine” as possible, and that we build up a new foreign 
policy that is abreast of the times, that recognizes the great- 
ness of several of the Latin-American states, that recognizes 
that some of them are weak, and need the protection of an 
international police, and that gives evidence to the world 
that our foreign policy is really unselfish and is based on 
high ideals. As a matter of fact, we are a peaceful na- 
tion. Our desire to be helpful to our neighbors is sincere. 
The present administration has given evidence of its inten- 
tion to discount revolution and to give the aid of its formal 
recognition only to such governments as are constitutionally 
elected. We are not going to put a premium on revolution 
by promptly recognizing any government that comes to the 
top in the seething cauldron of unstable conditions in any 
Latin-American country. This is a doctrine of high ideals. 
It has nothing whatever to do with the Monroe Doctrine. 

Furthermore, there are several minor things of practical 
importance which we can do to show not only that we have 
abandoned the Monroe Doctrine, but that we have adopted 
a legitimate new foreign policy. In the first place, by of- 
fering to exchange ambassadors with Argentina and Chile, 
we can give them evidence that we realize their present posi- 
tion in the world today. There is no reason why we should 
have ambassadors in Brazil, Mexico, and Turkey, and none 
in Argentina and Chile. 

In the second place, we can make a generous appropria- 
tion for the second Pan-American Scientific Congress. 
We can at least offer to treat our international guests as 
hospitably as Chile did. In fact, in order to make up for 
lost time and for the seeming insolence due to our negli- 
gence, we can afford to do better than they did. And we 
ought to do it promptly. 

In the third place, we can show our personal interest in 


SHOULD WE ABANDON THE MONROE DOCTRINE 149 


our neighbors by visiting them more frequently. There 
are no longer any serious handicaps in the way of visiting a 
number of the states of South America. By becoming in- 
timately acquainted with the problems of Peru, Chile, 
Argentina, and Brazil, we can do more toward aiding in the 
formation of an intelligent foreign policy than might appear 
at first sight. It is ignorance that breeds insults. 

Finally, let us stop using the words “Monroe Doctrine.” 
It would be well if a formal resolution of Congress could be 
passed, but since Congress has never formally approved 
of the Monroe Doctrine in so many words, it is probable 
that it would be sufficient if our great parties in their next 
platforms should avoid the repetition of those phrases sup- 
porting the doctrine which have been customary for so 
many years. 

For the immediate future, let us adopt a policy of Pan- 
American Defense. Let us invite to the round table of 
discussion all the American republics who can show clean 
records and economic stability. If we believe that any 
American republic, by reason of civil war or internal dis- 
cord, is endangering the peace of its neighbors, if we believe 
that cause for interference in its affairs is arising, let the 
matter be considered at the round table. Let it meet in 
some one of the American capitals, not merely to discuss, 
as Pan-American conferences have done, innocuous poli- 
cies regarding Pan-American railway projects and inter- 
national postal regulations, but the actual business in hand. 
In other words, let these Pan-American conferences not rep- 
resent a formal exchange of pleasantry every so often, but let 
them be called for the definite object of settling definite and 
difficult problems. If there is to be any intervention, let it 
come as the result of a family gathering, and not as the de- 
cision of the American Department of State. Let us re- 
member that it is “as the disinterested advocate of peace 
and good-will that we shall have most influence in the 
Western Hemisphere.” 

If Argentina, Brazil and Chile decline to meet us on these 
terms, then let us go to The Hague and call a council of 
all civilized nations, and ask for an expression of interna- 


150 


HIRAM BINGHAM 


tional opinion, and the appointment of international police. 
Here is an opportunity for a truly enlightened international 
policy. 

Meanwhile let us not forget that the maintenance of the 
Monroe Doctrine involves an attitude of constant suspicion 
both at home and abroad, which raises barriers against the 
progress of international good-will and diminishes our influ- 
ence both in Europe and America. 


THE MONROE DOCTRINE 
By Honorable George F. Tucker 

Many views have been entertained as to the meaning of 
the Monroe doctrine, and as to its claim to a place in the 
code of international law. The conservatives regard it as a 
declaration of little value and efficacy; to the devotees of bold 
and forceful politics it has become a kind of fetish; even a 
President of the United States asserted nearly twenty years 
ago that it “has its place in the code of international law 
as certainly and as securely as if it were specifically men- 
tioned;” and yet, as to its genesis, aim, and validity there 
can be no room for cavil or controversy. Enunciated over 
ninety years ago, when Spain was bent on resubjugating 
her Spanish-American dependencies, which had long before 
asserted their independence, and when it was apprehended 
that she was assured of the support of other European pow- 
ers, the Doctrine has never been sanctioned or adopted by 
the Congress of the United States, and its place in the code 
of international law has been strenuously and even bitterly 
questioned by most of the leading nations of Europe. 

And what is this Doctrine? It may briefly be defined as 
a warning to the governments of the Old World not to estab- 
lish colonies on, or to extend their political systems to these 
continents, and to refrain from interference in the affairs of 
the Spanish-American republics. Conceding that the Doc- 
trine has no place in the realm of international jurisprudence 
and that it is hardly more than a fiat, we are confronted by 
the fact that its assertion by this government has more than 
once received the attention of European powers, and it has 
been, in a certain sense, recognized by them in the happy ad- 
justment of the contentions which have occasioned its avowal. 
There are four conspicuous illustrations. 

International misunderstandings over a projected water- 
way at the Isthmus of Panama long preceded the ratification 

151 


152 


GEORGE F. TUCKER 


of the Clayton-Bulwer treaty in 1850. This compact, 
which was intended to settle a perplexing question only 
augmented the difficulty, and the discussions and writings 
to which it gave rise would fill volumes. In the course of 
time differences were harmonized or contentions withdrawn, 
and the Hay-Pauncefote treaty has lodged ample power in 
the American government to construct the Canal; and the 
bickerings and quarrels of many years are forgotten. During 
the long period of unrest and disturbance in Cuba, Ameri- 
cans apprehended that Great Britain or some other European 
power contemplated the acquisition of that island, and Great 
Britain and France entertained a somewhat similar view as 
to the intentions of the United States. The two nations 
urged this country to enter into a tripartite stipulation to 
the effect that no one of them should obtain possession of 
the island or exercise any dominion over it. After the rejec- 
tion of the proposal by this country in 1852, there seemed to 
be little hope of a settlement of the question, yet now we find 
Cuba enjoying independence under our own guardianship, 
and her present condition and her future welfare are matters 
of indifference to the powers of Europe. On the interven- 
tion of the French in Mexico about fifty years ago, the Mon- 
roe Doctrine was again invoked. The situation was for a 
time serious, but at last the invaders withdrew; and ever since 
no power has assumed to interfere in the affairs of this so- 
called republic, except the United States itself, now endeav- 
oring through an able, upright and conscientious President 
to aid the Mexicans in the establishment of a stable govern- 
ment. And, lastly, there is the case of Venezuela, in 1895. 
The question related to the determination of a boundary line 
between that country and British Guiana. The feeling 
engendered between the two nations, parties to the contro- 
versy, was intense, if not bitter. However, the question at 
last reached a definite adjustment, and the incident is now 
history. These occasions of the so-called application or 
assertion of the Monroe Doctrine are cited to show that in 
every instance reason and sense have triumphed, and war 
has been happily averted. 

We are now at the threshold of the future and are asked to 


THE MONROE DOCTRINE 


153 


exercise prevision — to suggest how far the Monroe Doctrine 
ought to apply to prospective incursions of European nations 
into the territory of Central and South American republics, 
or to possible interference in their affairs. These questions 
are difficult to answer, and every case must be treated and 
settled according to the circumstances creating it, and the 
disposition and temper of the disputants. It is believed by 
many that there is little ground for apprehension that for- 
eign powers will endeavor to establish on these shores settle- 
ments hostile to democratic institutions or disturb the auton- 
omy of the Spanish-American republics, but if problems 
relating to land or government or even trade, or the enforce- 
ment of pecuniary obligations do come up for solution, there 
are the most cogent reasons for the exercise of the spirit of 
accomodation, for the application of liberal construction and 
interpretation, and for the abnegation not only of the appre- 
hensions similar to those so prevalent at the time of the in- 
ception of the Doctrine, but also of jingo sentiments and 
policies. 

The speaker is not inclined to present ideas and formulate 
rules of his own. It is his purpose rather to ask questions 
based on governmental conditions, international relations, 
commercial methods and practices, and the utilization of 
physical forces for the carriage of merchandise, so radically 
different from those which obtained or were employed 
ninety, seventy, or even fifty years ago. We should not 
forget that at the time of President Monroe’s declaration 
this country had a population of only a few millions, and 
that her interests were inconsiderable in comparison with 
those of today, that the Spanish-American countries were 
emerging from colonial conditions that made the transition 
to independence and democracy difficult and problematical ; 
that trade between civilized countries was not extensive and 
was largely limited to merchandise peculiar to an age when 
wants were few and luxuries little known; that transporta- 
tion was not yet effected by the agencies which man has since 
called from latency; that knowledge the world over was the 
possession of the few, and that such a thing as the education 
of the masses was hardly contemplated; that racial affinities 


154 


GEORGE F. TUCKER 


and prejudices were marked and prevalent — a fact due to 
the aloofness of nations, caused in a large measure by slow 
and imperfect means of communication; that there were few, 
perhaps no, societies and associations organized to promote 
the cause of peace and to agitate for settlement of wars and 
disputes by compromise or arbitration, and that no one 
dreamed — not even the visionary and enthusiast — of the 
discoveries and inventions that were to modify the methods 
of trade and business, augment the wealth of the world, 
raise the standards of living, bring long separated peoples 
into closer relations and make possible cooperative efforts 
to promote amity and good-will among nations. 

Is it not a fact that the Monroe Doctrine might possibly 
be applied today to the detriment of the southern republics 
in whose interest it may be invoked, and possibly to the dis- 
credit of the United States? It is fair to assume that there 
are only two nations that are likely in any event to oppose or 
violate this Doctrine or inhibition — Great Britain and Ger- 
many. In the past ninty years Great Britain has advanced 
from the rule of the few to that of the many, so that the sub- 
jects of the king enjoy about all the privileges of citizens of 
our country ; she has covered the seas with her shipping, and 
has developed a colonial system the most remarkable and 
efficient in the history of the world; she has guarded and 
guards her subjects in every comer of the globe, and, wher- 
ever her flag flies, the lives and property of aliens are accorded 
the same protection as those of her own. Now is it not prob- 
able that, if Great Britain should interfere in the affairs of a 
Latin- American country, she would establish a system calcu- 
lated to promote the interests of that country, and not at all 
inimical to those of the United States? And what system? 
Not that of the old Great Britain governed by gentlemen, 
but that of the Great Britain of today governed by the people. 

Ninety years ago Germany was a collection of states with- 
out cohesion and with a not redundant population. Now- 
regard the aspect of governmental unification, and consider 
her great advance not only in education and all the activities 
that go with learning, but in manufacturing and trade and 
commerce. The growth in population has been marvelous, 


THE MONROE DOCTRINE 


155 


and the label “Made in Germany,” testifies everywhere to 
commercial expansion and prosperity, but her territory is 
hardly sufficient to maintain her constantly increasing 
numbers, and she naturally seeks other localities for those 
who are handicapped at home by the struggle for existence. 
Now if Germany should take over a Latin- American coun- 
try, would its people be subjugated and deprived of their 
liberties, or would they affiliate with the conquerors and 
profit by the appropriation? And how would our own insti- 
tutions be affected? Would there be ground for apprehen- 
sion that such an appropriation would be a menace to our 
democratic government? The speaker does not answer these 
questions, but he adverts to the fact that there are several 
million German-Americans; that they have been famed for 
their indifference to political intrigue, and have been and are 
equally famed for their diligence, their frugality, their thrift, 
and their loyalty to their adopted land. So far as is known, 
they have never attempted to destroy the American republic, 
but on the other hand have been among the foremost to con- 
tribute to its prosperity. 

But how about coaling stations and the transference to 
American shores of the European military system? This 
suggests other questions. Have not the great powers of 
Europe all they can attend to in colonial enterprise and ex- 
pansion, especially since their taking over of the available 
portions of Africa, under spheres of influence? Would not 
the maintenance of military strong-holds and coaling stations 
in Central and South America be an element of weakness 
rather than of strength? Commanding a large portion of 
the trade of these southern republics are not Great Britain 
and Germany, for example, better off than they would be if 
they were compelled by expensive military and naval meas- 
ures to guard a commerce which prospers and increases under 
the protection of the countries with whom it is carried on? 

The chief solicitude, perhaps, of the alarmists relates to 
the Panama Canal. The Clayton-Bulwer treaty has been 
supplanted by the Hay-Pauncefote convention. Under the 
direction, and at the expense of this country, the Canal is 
nearly completed. It is to be neutralized. The United 


156 


GEORGE F. TUCKER 


States may maintain such military police as may be necessary 
to protect it against lawlessness and disorder; belligerent 
vessels are restricted in method and activity, and the provi- 
sions of the treaty are to apply to waters adjacent to the 
Canal, within three marine miles of either end. And what 
is this solicitude? Is it not that the littoral is in peril, that 
is the shores adjacent to the Canal, particularly on the Atlan- 
tic side; that some strong European power may appropriate 
a part of this littoral, and that the position of the United 
States may be thus rendered insecure and the Monroe Doc- 
trine made ineffective? Great Britain may be eliminated 
from consideration, for there is no reason to believe that, 
after settling the protracted controversy over Isthmian 
transit, she is going to pursue a course which may weaken 
the alliance she has entered into to further her own trade. 
With the English speaking peoples in accord, is there ground 
for apprehending interference with the littoral, or the es- 
tablishment of coaling-stations in any parts thereof, or in 
any of the islands of the Carribean Sea? Is not the logical 
conclusion that the successful operation of this great water- 
way will prove such a benefit to the commercial nations of 
the globe, that no one of them will be disposed to pursue a 
policy calculated to give umbrage to the others? 

A matter which merits attention is the enforcement of 
money claims. The Latin-American republics have been 
frequent borrowers of European money-changers, and fre- 
quently also the disinclination or refusal to settle has led 
to threats of coercion. In one notable instance — a little 
over a decade ago — war was actually resorted to and the 
American people, misled by the yellow newspapers, were 
distracted by the bugaboo of an invaded Monroe Doctrine. 
The case was that of V enezuela. It is not contended that the 
government of Venezula repudiated its obligations; in fact, 
that government only objected to the amount of the claims, 
and proposed that they be passed upon by a board of Vene- 
zuelans, while the creditor nations urged their reference to a 
mixed commission. The method adopted — the sinking of 
Venezuelan war vessels and the bombardment of Venezuelan 
ports — is believed to be one of the first attempts in history to 


THE MONROE DOCTRINE 


157 


enforce commercial demands by virtual acts of war. It is 
to be noted, however, that both Great Britain and Germany 
disavowed to the American government in advance any in- 
tention to acquire territory, the German ambassador assuring 
the State Department, “We declare especially that under no 
circumstances do we consider in our proceedings the acquisi- 
tion or the permanent occupation of Venezuelan territory.” 
The intention to acquire territory was disavowed, but were not 
the attitude and measures of Great Britain and Germany in 
a sense an interference in the affairs of Venezuela, and were 
the interests of South and Central America, and those of the 
United States in any way jeopardized? 

Before dismissing the subject, we feel that the attitude, the 
views, the preferences and purposes of the Latin-American 
governments deserve attention, for it may be that today they 
regard the assumed protectorate of the United States as 
different from the very acceptable service rendered ninety 
years ago. Suppose that one of the Latin-American repub- 
lics desires to hand over its autonomy to a European power 
or for a consideration to cede to that power a bit of territory 
for the location of a coaling-station, has the United States a 
right to set up the Monroe Doctrine, and, if set up, would it 
prove a deterrent? Without answering this question can we 
not say that the United States has shown too little general 
interest in the affairs of her Spanish- American neighbors? 
The matter of interrelation is one which this country should 
not ignore, and which means far more to the Latin-Americans 
than the North American people at present comprehend. 
During the last twenty years several of our southern neigh- 
bors have made such progress, and have so increased their 
resources, that they are amply able to look out for their own 
affairs in the event of threatened aggresion of European na- 
tions. A brief consideration of the respective attitudes of 
the government of the United States on the one hand and of 
the Latin-American countries on the other may be profitable. 
Let us fancy that the United States government opens the 
colloquy as follows: 

“Greetings to our sister republics in Central and South 
America: We trust that you are well. We are well and are 


158 


GEORGE F. TUCKER 


hopeful of the future. We are at present enjoying great 
happiness in our remembrances. We recall that ninety years 
have elapsed since we espoused your cause at a time when you 
were weak and your European enemies were powerful, as 
well as hostile to the rights of the people. Your threatened 
resubjugation to Spain was thwarted by our endeavors, and 
in a brief, period your independence was recognized the 
world over. For nearly a century we have maintained our 
tutelage, on four different occasions at least successfully 
averting the machinations and encroachments of monar- 
chical Europe. We shall continue to regard you as our wards 
and whenever your liberties are endangered by the threat, or 
your territory is liable to seizure by the act, of any European 
government, we shall champion your cause and accord you 
our support. May peace and prosperity be within your 
borders, and happiness in your homes. Adieu!” 

We will assume that the republics addressed respond in the 
following phrases: 

“Thanks, oh, great and generous nation for the enumera- 
tion of your kindly offices, and for the offices themselves. 
Do not reproach us with discourtesy, if we observe that 
guardians are supposed to take a continuous interest in their 
wards. Hence we wonder whjr your people have not come 
down to see us during the period of your friendly protector- 
ate. We should qualify the statement, however, for we have 
been favored with the society of occasional Americans, who 
masquerade under the cognomen of contractors, and who 
exact from our governments concessions, which often prove 
more remunerative to the visitors than to us. Our children 
wonder why it is that they only see the flag of your country 
on an occasional embassy or consulate, and why it is almost 
never seen on vessels in our harbors or at moorings. If the 
Americans whose preference is for Europe will only honor us 
with their presence, we will demonstrate the assertion that 
we can show them the evidences of advanced civilization. 
We have cities like Valparaiso, Buenos Ayres and Rio de 
Janeiro, that compare favorably with those of the United 
States. We have educational institutions of the highest 
order; we have produced men of great learning and of no 


THE MONROE DOCTRINE 


159 


mean repute; we enjoy the advantages, conveniences, and 
comforts that contribute to the happiness of Europeans and 
North Americans. We welcome to companionship those of 
every clime and, with the exception of your own people, 
they come in generous numbers, and in our cities and settle- 
ments are a necessary and component element of our popula- 
tion. For example, Buenos Ayres has over 1,300,000 in- 
habitants, half of whom are of European birth or descent. 
Our trade is largely with European countries— particularly 
with Great Britain and Germany. The foreign merchant 
does not tell us what to buy, but he studies our wants, and 
makes his goods and products in the shapes and forms that 
suit us, and he favors us in matters of payments — not in- 
frequently with long credits. Is it not a fact that you your- 
selves have been so intent on your home market that you 
have neglected Latin-American fields, that might have 
afforded opportunities for profitable enterprise, and that by 
cultivating these fields you might have brought all the 
American republics into a union of interest and sympathy 
and effort? Pardon us, if we remind you that the United 
States took no part in any Congress with the Latin-American 
States until nearly two-thirds of a century had elapsed since 
the declaration of President Monroe. The recent efforts 
of some of your Chambers of Commerce, and of your ad- 
vanced men of affairs, to work up markets with us, is highly 
gratifying. Not the least beneficient result, if their efforts 
are successful, will be the coming to our shores of many of 
your people, who, we are sure, will deal with us as fairly as the 
Europeans have done and are donig. We thank you for 
expressions of friendship and esteem, and await the approach- 
ing day, we trust, when we may extend to your own citizens 
the felicitations, which we are now endeavoring to pour into 
your national ear. ” 

It is not easy to advance definite views on an indefinite 
subject, but it is natural to foresee possible contingencies 
and occurrences, and to suggest dispassionate treatment of 
them. Nearly thirty years ago the speaker published a 
monograph on the Monroe Doctrine, which was intended to 
be an impartial and colorless presentation of the subject, and 


160 


GEORGE F. TUCKER 


his reason therefor was that the declaration of President 
Monroe — a proper promulgation for a time when apprehen- 
sion of interference of European powers in the affairs of the 
Spanish- American countries was justified — had never been 
indorsed by congressional action, and had never been accor- 
ded a place in the code of international law by the nations on 
the other side of the Atlantic. The questions asked to-day 
by the speaker are prompted by the fact that circumstances 
in the last ninety years have greatly modified the relations of 
nations, and absolutism — if indeed it exists — no longer 
alarms the friends of democracy. That the Monroe Doc- 
trine may be again set up as a warning or inhibition, is not 
improbable, but it is to be hoped that there may be brought, 
and it is believed that there will be brought to the considera- 
tion and adjustment of differences and misunderstandings 
not the inflamed temper of the jingoist, but the catholic 
spirit of the patriot. 


THE MODERN MEANING OF THE MONROE DOC- 
TRINE 


By J. M. Callahan, Ph.D., Professor of History and 
Political Science, West Virginia University 

It is unfair to say that the Monroe Doctrine was a mere 
-pronunciamento based on provincialism and selfishness, 
and that it has never served any useful purpose. 

True, one of its earlier basic ideas was the natural sepa- 
ration between the old and the new world — an idea of two 
separate spheres which was unwarranted however much it 
may have seemed desirable to Jefferson in the Napoleonic 
period of “eternal war” in Europe. This idea of isolation 
was never a vital principle of the doctrine. The United 
States was a world power from the beginning and early 
felt the need of naval bases in the Mediterranean. As a 
world power it has rights in Europe, Africa and Asia. 

True, the Doctrine was largely due to self interest, to- 
gether with the feeling that the United States was logically 
the political leader among the American powers. Secre- 
tary Adams in his instructions to Rush, on November 
29, 1823, said: “American affairs, whether of the northern 
or southern continent, can henceforth not be excluded from 
the interference of the United States. All questions of 
policy relating to them have a bearing so direct upon the 
rights and interests of the United States that they can not 
be left to the disposal of European powers animated and 
directed exclusively by European principles and interests.” 

The United States, beginning with the transfer of Loui- 
siana from Spain to France in 1801 and the apprehended 
transfer of Florida from Spain to some other European 
power in 1811, has steadily opposed any European acqui- 
sition of American territory which as a European colony 
might prove dangerous to American peace and security. 

161 


162 


J. M. CALLAHAN 


The Monroe Doctrine, based upon this principle, has been 
preeminently a doctrine of peace — especially secured by 
freeing the Americans from the contests of European diplo- 
macy and politics. In 1905, President Roosevelt said the 
doctrine as gradually developed and applied to meet chang- 
ing needs and conditions, and as accepted by other nations, 
was one of the most effective instruments for peace in the 
western hemisphere. 

Although its policy was based on self interest, the American 
government under Monroe gave proper consideration to 
the interests of Latin America. Although in recognizing 
the independence of Spanish American countries, it had 
issued a declaration of neutrality, Secretary Adams later 
(October, 1823) informed the Russian minister that this 
declaration “had been made under the observance of like 
neutrality by all the European powers’’ and might be 
changed by change of circumstances. The Monroe Doc- 
trine which followed was directly caused by the belief in 
the right of free peoples to determine their destinies — and 
by it the United States, with unusual courage, became a 
protector of liberty and self government in the western 
hemisphere. Its high purpose and convenient usefulness 
was properly recognized at the time by the weak Latin- 
American republics. It was the outgrowth of the sympathy 
felt for Latin American peoples who were struggling to free 
themselves from conditions imposed by European poli- 
tics and who had been recognized as independent nations 
by the United States. Monroe, who previously as secre- 
tary of state was familiar with Latin American conditions, 
at first contemplated a bold stand to prevent European 
interference in Spain itself. After the decision to limit 
the scope of active opposition to the threatened European 
intervention in American affairs, he appointed a special 
secret representative to visit Europe, to watch the opera- 
tions of European congresses and to furnish reports as a 
basis of determination of American policy. Luckily he 
was successful in blocking intervention without resort to 
more active measures. 

The Doctrine has prevented the partition of Latin America, 


MODERN MEANING OF MONROE DOCTRINE 


163 


and without any request of remuneration for the service 
rendered. Its unselfish purpose and unusual daring, in 
face of what seemed a serious peril, gave it a well deserved 
popularity both in the United States and in Latin America 
countries — many of which have in many instances since 
endeavored to secure treaty stipulations based upon its 
principles, or have invited the United States actively to 
intervene to protect them from the apprehended interven- 
tion of European powers or from despots who might pre- 
pare the way for European intervention. 

In spite of apparent lapses of consistency, illustrated in 
the case of the Clayton-Bulwer treaty (which was sup- 
ported as a measure which was expected to free an impor- 
tant part of the continent from European intervention), the 
basic principles of the Doctrine, interpreted with proper 
elasticity to meet changing conditions, were asserted with 
success in other later cases. The most notable cases were 
the termination of French intervention in Mexico in 1867, 
and the settlement of the Venezuelan boundary dispute 
with England in 1895-96 — after the famous Cleveland- 
Olney interpretation which resulted in a triumph of the 
American demand for arbitration, awakened the entire 
world to the modern meaning of the “menaces of Monroe,” 
and caused someone to regard the Doctrine as an interna- 
tional impertinence. Although originally a mere declara- 
tion of Monroe, nobody since the action of the United States 
in the Venezuelan affair can surely say it has never had the 
sanction of Congress. 

The Doctrine, although based primarily upon the right 
of Latin American states to govern themselves, has been 
sometimes erroneously regarded as a doctrine of American 
expansion. It is not based on territorial conquest — al- 
though over half a century ago it was sometimes associated 
with that idea. It expresses a duty and a sympathy to- 
ward Latin America and not a desire for territory. Ameri- 
cans, who logically in their early history established their 
boundaries on the gulf, for a half century have not been 
inclined to encroach upon the territories of their neighbors. 

It is true that much Latin American suspicion of Ameri- 


164 


J. M. CALLAHAN 


can territorial designs was justified in the decade before 
the American civil war, when under the influence of Amer- 
ican leaders of the southern states, the shibboleth of “Mani- 
fest Destiny” was added to the doctrine of national security. 
In January, 1855, Marcoleta of the Nicaragua legation pro- 
tested against the projects of the self-styled “Central Amer- 
ican Land and Alining company” to encourage immigration 
to Central America, and especially against the nature of 
the “schemes devised against Central America by these 
modern Phoenicians who assume military titles .... 
and grasp the sword and musket instead of the plough- 
share and ax and shepherd’s crook, thinking to make 
conquest of the golden fleece which they believe to be 
hung and secreted amidst the briars, forests, thickets 
and swamps .... under the by no means attrac- 
tive and seductive influence of a pestiferous and fever- 
giving atmosphere.” Suspicion was doubtless increased 
in 1856 by plans for an American protectorate over the 
Isthmus of Panama, formulated in a treaty (between the 
United States and New Granada) whose ratification was 
prevented by a change of administration in the United 
States and a revolution in New Granada. These sus- 
picions were prominent in producing the project of a Latin- 
American Confederacy of 1856 — a proposed alliance which 
was regarded as antagonistic to the United States, and 
which caused Dana, the American minister to Bolivia, to 
propose to the Buchanan administration early in 1857 a 
clear statement of American foreign policy based upon 
the Alonroe Doctrine, non-expansion in Latin America, 
and treaties of alliance with the Latin American states, in 
order to sustain self government in both Americas. In 1858, 
in connection with the policy of the American government 
to secure a neutral transit route across Central America, 
Nicaragua issued a manifesto against apprehended fili- 
bustering expeditions from the United States, and by de- 
manding a European protectorate indicated a line of policy 
which Secretary Cass promptly warned her that the United 
States had long opposed and would resist by all means 
in her power, for reasons “founded on the political circum- 


MODERN MEANING OF MONROE DOCTRINE 


165 


stances of the American continent which has interests of 
its own.” 

It is true that, after the Gadsden purchase, persistent 
efforts were made under the administrations of Pierce and 
Buchanan, not only to extend American influence and do- 
main in the West Indies, but also to solve the Mexican 
problem by additional reduction of Mexican territory — or 
by the establishment of an American protectorate which 
was expected to result in new acquisitions to the stronger 
country. These efforts, largely based on the danger of 
European influence and apprehended European interven- 
tion in Mexico, closed with the beginning of the American 
civil war and with the arrival of the long-predicted European 
intervention in Mexico. 

Under Seward, the American government sought only to 
preserve Mexico from the Confederates and from perma- 
nent European occupation, and the American senate re- 
fused to enter into any arrangement by which a proposed 
mortgage on lands of Mexico might have resulted in new 
annexations. Later, although Mexico feared American 
expansion toward the southwest and hesitated to cooperate 
in the construction of railroads across the international 
boundary, the United States government remained true 
to the assurances of Seward in Mexico after the expulsion 
of Maximilian. It sought no acquisition of territory in 
Mexico; and much less did it desire territory in Latin Ameri- 
ca farther south, except in connection with the later projects 
for the construction of the interoceanic canal whose bene- 
fits would be shared by Latin America and the entire world. 

The part taken by the United States in Cuba and in the 
Venezuelan controversy with the European allies has re- 
vealed to Latin America the true feeling of the govern- 
ment of the United States. It has shown them that the 
mother republic is sincerely and earnestly interested in the 
success of republican government throughout this hemi- 
sphere. It has shown that the purpose of the older republic 
in relations with Latin America is not one of conquest, but 
one of sympathy, cooperation, and assistance. The true 
policy of the American government since the civil war was 


166 


J. M. CALLAHAN 


recentty expressed by Secretary Root, and more recently 
by President Wilson in his Mobile speech. 

The idea of an American interoceanic-isthmian canal, 
which possibly was considered as a minor factor in producing 
the original declaration of Monroe, was later a prominent 
factor in causing the United States government to assert 
a status of “paramount interest,” which is now empha- 
sized as a cardinal point of American foreign policy growing 
from the basic principle of the policy of Monroe and Adams. 
Seward steadily acting under the doctrine of the larger in- 
fluence and interests of the United States in American affairs, 
in 1864 began to assert it in a series of negotiations and 
treaties with Central America and Columbia in regard to the 
proposed isthmian canal. His successor, under Grant’s ad- 
ministration, hopefully expecting the future “voluntary 
departure of European government from this continent and 
the adjacent islands,” in 1870-77 favored the acquisition of 
San Domingo, as a measure of national protection to pre- 
vent the apprehended danger of its control as a possession 
or a protectorate of a European power, and to secure a 
“just claim to a controlling influence” over the future com- 
mercial traffic across the isthmus. Later, he endeavored 
to negotiate with Columbia a treaty by which he sought 
for the United States a greater privileged status and more 
extensive rights of intervention on the isthmus — a treaty 
which Columbia refused to ratify. In 1880, Secretary 
Evarts aserted the doctrine of American “paramount in- 
terest” in projects of interoceanic canal communication 
across the isthmus, and the right to be a principal party 
to any political arrangements affecting this American ques- 
tion. This doctrine received new meaning in 1881 after 
the occupation of Egypt by Great Britain which already 
owned a controlling majority of the stock of the Suez Canal, 
and again after the events of the American intervention 
in Cuba which brought new opportunities, new duties and 
new responsibilities to the United States. The construc- 
tion of the canal under American control was the logical 
conclusion of a long series of events; and the wisdom of the 
diplomacy and policy which seized opportunity by the 


MODERN MEANING OF MONROE DOCTRINE 


167 


forelock, and terminated the long period of discussion and 
delay, can safely be submitted to the test of time. 

Although changed conditions in both hemispheres, and of 
motive power on the ocean, have modified the earlier mean- 
ing of the Monroe Doctrine, and may still further modify 
it, its main basic principle for America has not been aban- 
doned. This principle is not obsolete. It has been re- 
tained on the broad ground of national welfare, in spite of 
the defects in Latin American governments so frequently 
resulting in troubles due to unpaid claims; and European 
powers have recently shown a readiness to accept it ac the 
Hague Conference and in connection with the Venezuelan 
debt question of 1902. The latter incident, according to 
leaders in England, gave the Monroe Doctrine an immensely 
increased authority. Mr. Balfour, approving the American 
policy, suggested that the United States should more ac- 
tively enter into an arrangement by which constantly- 
occurring difficulties between European powers and cer- 
tain states in Latin America could be avoided. 

Unless we have reached the conclusion that all Latin 
America might be better under European control, and that 
this control would not seriously threaten the peace and 
permanent interests of the United States, at least one im- 
portant principle of the Doctrine should still be retained 
as a fundamental part of American foreign policy. Under 
whatever name, and however modified to suit the conditions 
and needs of American foreign policy, it is still a useful 
principle. It may fitly be called the doctrine of national 
defense, which in its results may be regarded also as a doc- 
trine of Pan-American defense. In America the United 
States government has duties and responsibilities which can 
not be abandoned to the mercy of trans-oceanic powers, nor 
submitted to the decision of international conferences or 
tribunals. It must attend to the larger interests of the 
United States — without any unnecessary interference with 
the larger interests of other powers. Certainly, in Mex- 
ico at present, the United States has a larger interest than 
that of any European power. She has a far greater interest 
than any other power in the restoration of peace and the 


168 


J. M. CALLAHAN 


establishment of a government that has proper basis or 
permanency in its method of selection and in its policies 
for adjustment of problems that press for solution. Peace 
in America, on the basis of good govermnent, is more im- 
portant to the United States than it is to Europe, and more 
important to the United States than peace in Europe. 

The present basis of policy is the paramount interest of 
the United States in American affairs — a special interest 
which, especially in the Caribbean, can be shared with no 
other power, and perhaps would be questioned by no Eu- 
ropean power. After the war for the relief of the Cuban 
situation in 1898 — a war which made the United States 
an Asiatic power and brought it in contact with European 
politics in the far East — American paramount interests in 
the West Indies, and in the Caribbean, were greatly in- 
creased and especially found expression in the messages 
of President Roosevelt and in various acts of the American 
government — including the construction of the Panama 
Canal which has clearly increased the importance of main- 
taining around the Caribbean the American policy against 
the interference of European powers. In this region the 
United States has duties and responsibilities which it may 
not willingly share with any European power. 

Farther south, the assertion and maintenance of the doc- 
trine of non-intervention has been rendered less necessary 
by the growth of several more perfect, orderly and stable 
governments, which themselves are the best guarantors of 
the Doctrine. The larger Latin American republics, in which 
governments have reached sure bases of permanence, may 
properly be invited by the United States to cooperate 
or participate in the consideration of mutual larger interests 
in America, and to share the responsibilities incident to the 
.American principle of defense of American nationalities. 
Doubtless by such a continental extension of the means 
of safeguarding the Monroe Doctrine, Latin .American neigh- 
bors through the sobering effect of actual responsibility 
would cease to misinterpret the motives of the mother re- 
public in the Caribbean and on the Isthmus. 

Whether we admit Olney’s declaration that “the United 


MODERN MEANING OF MONROE DOCTRINE 


169 


States is practically sovereign on this continent,” it seems 
clear that as a result of its geographic situation it has a 
“paramount interest” in the western hemisphere which 
imposes certain rules of policy toward Latin American neigh- 
bors— especially toward those in the Caribbean and around 
its shores. This doctrine was at the basis of the Cuban 
intervention, of the construction of the Panama canal under 
American control, of the declaration of policy to Germany 
in connection with the blockade of Venezuelan ports, of the 
policy in Santo Domingo, of the recent policy in Nicara- 
gua, and of the present Mexican policy. The essential 
idea is to prevent the danger of European intervention 
which might result in the acquisition of territory. 

A possible result of this policy is the intervention of 
the United States to set in order the conditions which invite 
foreign intervention. Such a policy, however undesirable, 
may be necessary unless the United States is ready to aban- 
don its past policy in regard to European intervention. 
Actual intervention of force of arms is a possible necessity 
which the American government, judging for itself the ac- 
tion which the situation may require, would undertake 
only after much forbearance and as a last resort to secure 
peace between warring factions, and to prevent dangers 
more serious. Such intervention was contemplated in 
Mexico in 1867, but was fortunately avoided by the French 
withdrawal which precipitated the fall of Maximilian. 

In case a European power seeks redress for an injury 
which can be fairly settled only by occupation of soil, 
the American government might logically be forced to ac- 
cept the role of international policemen and assume re- 
sponsibility of satisfying the injured party. Against Vene- 
zuela in 1902, the United States permitted a military debt 
collecting demonstration with the assurance that no terri- 
tory would be occupied. She determined the reasonable- 
ness of the demand upon the delinquent government, and 
also the method of collection. In the case of Santo Do- 
mingo, she prevented the necessity of European inter- 
vention by assuming administrative control of the Do- 
minican finances for the purpose of paying foreign credi- 


170 


J. M. CALLAHAN 


tors, and with no view to territorial aggression. These 
two cases indicate the purpose of the American government 
at Washington to prevent the use of the non-intervention 
principle of the traditional American policy as a shield 
to protect delinquent Latin American republics from the 
payment of debts, as it was used in the case of the proposed 
joint European expedition against Mexico in 1859. 

The United States has never had a wish to interfere in 
the internal policies of Latin American neighbors. She 
has had no desire to interfere with those which are orderly, 
and no inclination to interfere with those which are dis- 
orderly. But in the case of Mexico she has refused recog- 
nition to de-facto governments irregularly or unfairly elected. 
The election of Maximilian by a reported “immense major- 
ity” was regarded as a farce. 

The maintenance of the Monroe Doctrine places upon the 
United States a responsibility to prevent its foreign policy 
from becoming a shield to protect the existence of revolu- 
tion, anarchy and military despotism which increases the 
debts of neighboring Latin American countries and re- 
sults in vast foreign claims for property destroyed. The 
proteges of American foreign polic 3 r should more carefully 
seek to maintain orderly and well administered governments 
which will not invite foreign wrath. In Central America, 
the disorder might be reduced by federation; but the prob- 
lem is beset by many difficulties. 

The supreme need of these republics is to establish a 
basis by which changes of policies and parties can be made 
peacefully through the ballot box. The continued dis- 
orderly condition of affairs must either result in the abro- 
gation of the Monroe Doctrine so far as it protects them, 
or in the alternative of a more active American policy to 
secure more peaceful internal conditions. It is possible 
that arbitration in some form may be applied to civil com- 
motions in such a way as to afford a general remedy if elections 
are free and fairly conducted. Possibly, some plan for the 
establishment of a receivership for delinquent states could 
be devised by a conference of American states. Such a 
plan might prove of great value in securing peace — and 


MODERN MEANING OF MONROE DOCTRINE 


171 


might in some instances provide for taking charge of the 
government pending a presidential election. In some in- 
stances the plan might result or terminate in confederations 
which would reduce the dangers of future disorder and pre- 
pare the way for peace and prosperity. Under the receiver- 
ships, ballot reforms and regulation of election systems could 
be inaugurated. The United States as a near neighbor 
stands in a favorable position to take the initiative in the 
consummation of such reforms. 

With the development of orderly governments around 
the Caribbean — governments which can maintain for them- 
selves the same principle of the Monroe Doctrine which has 
. served as their protection — the United States will gladly be 
relieved from the often embarrassing responsibility by which 
she has sought to preserve constitutional government and 
peace on this hemisphere — especially in the part of it where 
she has the largest share of responsibility for the mainte- 
nance of order. 


THE MONROE DOCTRINE 1 


By Albert Bushnell Hart, LL.D., Professor of Government, 
Harvard University 

Shock at seeing the foundations of a life-time swept away 
by the preceding speakers, but willing to accept a change of 
attitude caused by change of conditions. 

I. Feeling of Confidence in the Statesmen Who 

Have Guided the United States 

Among these who have laid down a distinct doctrine 
with regard to our relations with other American states 
are: Jefferson, Monroe, John Quincy Adams, Polk, Sew- 
ard, Grant, Cleveland, Roosevelt and Wilson. 

Tendency in the speaker’s mind to believe in his country- 
men, and in the uprightness and the sagacity of those whom 
they have put at their head. 

Certain that they did not all mean the same thing by 
what most of them call the Monroe Doctrine, but they ail 
recognized the need of a policy which did not coincide with 
the general policy of the country toward foreign nations. 

All of them impelled to the declaration (of whatever 
nature) by the desire to secure peace. 

Not one of them (except Polk) intended his form of the 
Monroe Doctrine to cover territorial aggressions upon his 
neighbors. 

II. A Special Kind of Policy is Absolutely Neces- 
sary Because the Conditions of American For- 
eign Relations are Different from Those of 

Relations with European Powers 

Satisfaction of the speaker on seeing his former stu- 
dents disagree with him. 

1 Outline of Address at the Conference at Clark University. 


THE MONROE DOCTRINE 


173 


Suppose an administration formed of the gentlemen pres- 
ent who have taken ground, either for or against what is 
commonly called the Monroe Doctrine: 

President, Hollander; Secretary of State, Callahan; Sec- 
retary of the Navy, Admiral Chadwick; Attorney-General, 
Mr. Tucker; Ambassadors at large of Latin America, Pro- 
fessor Blakeslee, and Professor Bingham; Expert in Latin 
American Affairs, Minister Pezet — What policy would that 
administration adopt? 

III. Limited Interest of the United States in Euro- 

pean Nations 

Clearly the United States is not in the assembly of Euro- 
pean powers, though they cannot escape several intimate 
connections with those policies. 

1. Through the existence of European colonies (espe- 
cially British) in America. 

2. Through the immigration of Europeans and conse- 
quent questions of nationality and citizenship. 

3. Through our footing in Asia, in close contact with 
settlements of European powers. 

IV. Especial Interest of the United States in Ameri- 

can Questions 

1. Physical nearness and contiguity of Mexico and Cuba. 

2. Infiltration of Americans into other American coun- 
tries. 

3. Immigration of other Americans (particularly Mexi- 
cans) into the United States. 

4. Investment of American capital in American coun- 
tries. 

5. The Panama Canal as a great inter- American highway. 

V. Great Interest of the United States in all Ameri- 

can Territorial Questions 

1. Advance into Louisiana, West Florida, Texas, New 
Mexico and California. 


174 


ALBERT BUSHNELL HART 


2. Possession of Alaska. 

3. Canal as a territorial possession. 

4. The Canal as an “extension of our coast line.” 

VI. Special Interest in Home Government of Ameri- 

can Neighbors 

1. Transfer of the foci of insurrection across the border. 

2. Loss of life and property of Americans from bad gov- 
ernments. 

3. Difficulty of maintaining polite relations with irreg- 
ular and despotic governments. 

4. Excitement and irritation caused in the United 
States. 

VII. Special Military Interest in American Condi- 

tions 

1. West India Islands as bases of military and naval 
operations. 

2. Northeastern and northwestern British possessions as 
bases. 

3. Panama Canal as a military objective. 

VIII. Desirability of Maintaining Peace in 
America 

1. By preventing wars between foreign nations and 
American powers. 

2. By preventing internal wars between American na- 
tions. 

3. By preventing internal insurrections within an Amer- 
ican neighbor country. 

4. By avoiding causes of war between the United States 
and our neighbors. 

IX. Doctrine of Inferior Nations 

1. Such nations exist in various parts of the earth, i.e. 
Persia, the Balkan States, Turkey, Portugal. 


THE MONROE DOCTRINE 


175 


2. Such states are members of the family of nations, 
but are in the position of minority stock-holders. 

3. The policy of European nations is to supervise such 
powers. 

X. Upon the Basis of These Underlying Condi- 
tions What is the Natural Policy of the United 
States — Whether You Call It the Monroe 
Doctrine or Some Other Doctrine? 

1. No conferences or congresses with foreign nations 
upon American affairs. 

2. Recognition of special interest and special friend- 
ship for the American neighbors. 

3. Acceptance of the Drago Doctrine, so that no power 
shall use military force for the collection of contract debts. 

4. Recognition of the presumption of the international 
equality with the United States of those Latin American 
powers who shall have demonstrated their capacity to take 
care of themselves. 

5. Recognition of Latin American governments which 
clearly are supported by the people of the country — but 
not of political adventurers as heads of the state. 

6. Moral aid to all peoples who are tying to raise their 
civilization. 

“If this be the Monroe Doctrine, make the most of it.” 


THE DEVELOPMENT OF OUR LATIN-AMERICAN 

TRADE 

By Hon. John Hays Hammond, LL.D. 

It is unfortunate that the solution of great problems 
purely economic in character is not entirely dissociated from 
party politics, but such is, nevertheless, the fact. Legisla- 
tion affecting the tariff, the currency and other problems 
essentially economic and vital to the welfare of the entire 
nation is determined too often on strictly political lines — 
settled, indeed, in a large measure by politicians upon the 
stump, not by business men in boards of trade. 

What I shall say with respect to foreign trade is from the 
point of view of a business man and I assure you that any 
criticisms I make which may seem suggestive of partisan- 
ship are made entirely free from political bias. 

I have been requested to speak of our government’s Mex- 
ican policy, but, in view of the critical condition of negotia- 
tions now pending with Mexico, I would prefer to speak of 
foreign trade in general. I would say this, however, that, 
irrespective of what we may think individually of President 
Wilson’s Mexican policy in the present serious situation, we 
must back him up collectively. 

“As a great industrial nation, especially in manufactured 
products, the United States leads the world. Of the value 
of these products in the year 1910, amounting to $20,000,- 
000,000, our home market absorbed $19,000,000,000, or 95 
per cent, and our exports amounted to $1,000,000,000, or 
only 5 per cent.” Authorities regard this as nearing the 
limit — that is to say, the point of saturation — of our domes- 
tic markets, so far as present demands during normal 
periods are concerned. It is because of the extraordinary 
capacity of our home markets that our nation hitherto has 
made no strenuous efforts to exploit foreign markets. Great 
Britain and Germany, on the other hand, with comparatively 

176 


OUR LATIN-AMERICAN TRADE 


177 


restricted domestic markets, have paid more attention to 
the development of foreign trade, and for that reason the 
value of the annual exports “of each of these nations has 
exceeded that of the United States by 30 per cent.” 

A new tariff has been recently enacted. It will result, 
as was designed, in an increased importation of manufac- 
tured products, aggregating, probably, a very large amount. 
The inevitable effect of such imports will be to restrict the 
capacity of our home markets for domestic products. (I 
am not discussing the merits of the new tariff, but referring 
only to its inevitable effect in this one particular.) 

Therefore, having regard to these facts, it is obvious that 
we must either curtail the capacity of our factories, which 
would result in throwing out of employment hundreds of 
thousands of wage earners, or we must depend upon the 
exploitation of foreign markets for the relief of our congested 
industries. 

In her foreign trade Great Britain has followed the lines 
of least resistance. In the year 1911 she exported to British 
colonies and possessions (where she enjoyed preferential 
tariff rates), 35 per cent of her entire exports; while only 
30 per cent was sent to other manufacturing countries 
having a protective tariff, and of the remainder, a large part 
of her exports was to countries where there was no compe- 
tition on the part of home industries, i.e, to neutral markets. 

America and Germany, on the other hand, have succeeded 
in developing trade with countries which have highly organ- 
ized competitive industries in the same lines of merchandise ; 
that is, America and Germany have “bucked the center,” 
while England has “played the ends.” Conformably with 
this policy Great Britain has given special attention to the 
development of markets in South America. Until recently 
her supremacy there was acknowledged, but the extraor- 
dinary development of German trade during the past few 
years has threatened the predominance of English interests 
in that quarter. 

I agree with the optimism which has been expressed as 
to the great opportunity offered the United States for the 
development of important markets in South America, and 


178 


JOHN HAYS HAMMOND 


especially on the West Coast, after the opening of the Panama 
Canal. But we shall undoubtedly have to meet the keen 
competition of England and Germany and we must be pre- 
pared to meet other formidable competitors as well — Japan, 
for example, which is already gaining a firm commercial 
foothold even on the eastern coast of South America. 

In the extension of her South American trade, Great 
Britain has given us an object lesson. Within a decade 
she has trebled her exports to Brazil and to Argentina. 
While this increase is in a large measure due to special 
efforts in the exploitation of those markets, it is, neverthe- 
less, the fact — and this is a point I wish to emphasize — 
that the increase is chiefly due to the investment of enor- 
mous sums of British capital in the development of the 
industries of those countries. Likewise, the experience of 
Great Britain in many other countries where British capi- 
tal has been invested demonstrates the proposition that 
trade follows the investment of a nation’s capital as well 
as a nation’s flag. In short, the investment of a nation’s 
capital in foreign countries for the development of their 
industries is the sesame that opens the door of trade. How 
wide the door of trade will be opened depends upon the 
success attending that nation’s efforts in securing rapid and 
cheap communication and transportation; in providing the 
character of commodities needed by the countries in ques- 
tion; in the establishment of banking facilities to meet the 
requirements both of the exporter and the importer, and, 
finally, in the fostering of friendly relations by intimate 
intercourse between the citizens of the respective nations. 

Now, in order to stimulate the investment of capital in 
foreign lands it is prerequisite that the investor be assured 
of protection by his government against any unfair inter- 
ference or discrimination on the part of foreign governments 
where these investments are made. 

If our nation is to pursue a policy of laissez-faire and de- 
cline to assume its obligation to afford legitimate protection 
to its nationals, then its nationals will not be so foolhardy 
as to risk capital in the development of foreign industries. 
Or if, in spite of the lack of protection from their govern- 


OUR LATIN-AMERICAN TRADE 


179 


ment they nevertheless decide to make such investments, 
they will do so under the auspices of the flags of other na- 
tions which guarantee to their subjects proper protection 
of life and property. 

This may be deprecated as “dollar diplomacy,” and I 
would not have such an imputation, because of the insidious 
interpretation that has been given by sentimentalists to 
commercial activities in foreign countries where the avowed 
subject is to develop remunerative business. If we are to 
enjoy our share of the commerce of the world our diplo- 
matic relations must be conducted upon lines which we may 
perhaps designate by a more euphemistic title, but which 
essentially must be for the object of legitimate gain; for the 
investment of capital in the development of the industries 
of foreign countries is not actuated solely by altruistic con- 
siderations, nor is business at home, for that matter, con- 
ducted under any such Utopian theory. 

It will not be necessary for our government to assume a 
truculent attitude towards the smaller nations where invest- 
ments may be less securely established than in other coun- 
tries more highly developed politically and industrially. Nor 
is it expected that our government should in any way guar- 
antee the success of commercial enterprises; for business 
men are willing to assume legitimate risks in their invest- 
ments. But it is, as I have said, nevertheless imperative 
that our government guarantee the fair treatment of its 
nationals who have invested their capital in legitimate in- 
dustry under laws obtaining in the country when the invest- 
ments in question were made. Certain it is that laws result- 
ing in the confiscation of property legally acquired do not 
justify a great nation in repudiating its obligations to obtain 
the redress of legitimate grievances of its citizens. And 
certain it is, also, that our nation, if it hopes to compete 
with other great nations in the development of foreign mar- 
kets, must accord to its citizens at least the same guarantee 
of the protection of life and property as is accorded the 
nationals of our competitors in commerce. 

With all deference, I beg to differ with the President of 
the United States as to the opinions he expressed a few 


180 


JOHN HAYS HAMMOND 


weeks ago in what is known as the “Mobile Declaration,” 
when he states that “interests do not tie nations together — 
sometimes separate them — but sympathy and understand- 
ing do bind them together.” Ipsissima verba. 

Sympathy and understanding are admittedly essential to 
binding nations together, but I cannot apprehend how sym- 
pathy and understanding can be developed without that 
intimate intercourse which best results from commercial 
relations. 

The suggestion is certainly idealistic, but I believe that 
sentimental ties that do not result from community of inter- 
ests are far too tenuous to withstand the strain of inherent 
racial and religious antipathies. 

What is more idealistic — sublime — than the conception 
that “marriages are made in heaven;” and yet even the 
closest philosopher, married or unmarried, knows that that 
sympathy and understanding which is essential to happy 
marriages, despite their divine origin, can be developed only 
by intimate intercourse and by community of interests. 

It is community of interests upon which we must depend 
to maintain the world’s peace. 


ADVANTAGES OF MAKING THE CANAL ZONE A 
FREE CITY AND FREE PORT 


By W. D. Boyce, Publisher, The Saturday Blade and Chicago 

Ledger 

A wise Providence evidently intrusted the building of 
the world’s industries to the human race. The story of the 
bringing of the world into form and the creation of the first 
man took only 600 words to tell. Then the trouble began 
at an early period by the advent of woman, and the world 
is filled with volumes of records of what has since happened. 

In considering South America commercially, we must first 
analyze the original stock from which these people sprang. 
The first land on the earth’s surface appeared in Asia, and 
there we still find the highest mountains. Undoubtedly 
the first man came into fife in Asia, and the human race, 
spreading northeastward came to the Bering Strait between 
Asia and North America. It was only a short walk on ice 
for eight winter months in the year, or a journey of forty 
miles in skin boats in summer, to cross over to Alaska. No 
doubt the first human being on American soil was an Esqui- 
mau, who came from cold Siberia, lived in an igloo under 
the ground, was small of body, flat of chest and nostril. 
He lived on fish and the products of the sea, easily taken in 
the summer and dried or frozen for winter use. He worked 
his way farther south and east, and presently lived on top 
of the ground winter and summer, and, with more sunlight 
and air the year around, developed a larger and healthier 
body, bigger chest and a larger nose as his lungs required 
more air. He killed wild game, and the animal fat agreed 
with him better than fish, whale, seal or walrus oils. I want 
to say here, that the Esquimaux and Indians never had or 
knew what consumption, the “ white plague,” was, until 
they caught it from the white man, proving that tuber- 
culosis is contagious. 

The Indian improved until he reached the warm country 
near the Rio Grande, and there in the hot climate, where 

181 


182 


W. D. BOYCE 


life was easy he began to deteriorate. This condition con- 
tinued through the low parts of Central America and the 
equatorial parts of South America. We find, however, that 
when he got as far south as the high elevations of Columbia, 
Ecuador and Venezuela, he improved and became stronger 
physically and mentally. 

Here I want to call your attention to something few 
people think about when considering latitude: 250 feet in 
elevation is equal to 1 degree north or south of the Equator. 
When you are 5000 feet above sea level on the Equator, 
you have nearly the same climate every month in the year 
that you have 20 degrees north or south of the Equator in 
the summer months. 

Another thing I want to remind you of in considering the 
west coast of South America, south of the Panama Canal, 
is the fact that from the Equator south it is much colder 
than from the Equator north, on account of the Humboldt 
Current, which is a cold-water stream flowing north from 
the Antarctic Ocean, like our Gulf Stream, which tempers 
the otherwise icy shores of England, or the Japan Current, 
on our northwest coast as far north as Alaska. At Sitka, 
Alaska, 57 degrees north, it seldom goes below zero. This 
cold-water stream from the Antarctic Ocean cools off the 
whole west coast of South America, up to the Equator, 
where it turns west into the Pacific Ocean. While crossing 
the Equator on the west coast of South America, I slept 
in my cabin covered by a light blanket. 

A year ago I was motoring through England and Scotland 
with my daughter and a young English schoolgirl friend of 
hers. We were talking about how far north we were and 
that our Gulf Current kept the little British Island from 
being frozen up eight months of the year. I jokingly re- 
marked that if we ever had trouble with England we were 
going to change the course of the Gulf Stream and leave 
the blooming country nothing but an iceberg. The young 
lady solemnly replied, “You wouldn’t be permitted to do 
it, would you?” This was no English joke, at least, for 
an English joke is not t.o be laughed at. 

But to return to the Indian, the basic stock of South 


MAKING THE CANAL ZONE A FREE CITY 


183 


America. He grew stronger with the higher, colder climate 
of the great Andean plateau and the necessity of hustling 
for a living, until that great race of Indians — the Incas — 
who lived on the table-lands of the mountains, with their 
capital at Cuzco, Peru, had developed a civilization equal 
to, in many ways, that of the Far East or the Asiatic coun- 
tries they sprang from. 

One of the contradictions I find in the development of the 
South American Indian races, is that they were not meat 
eaters to any great extent, for there is no evidence that 
South America was ever a big game country like North 
America or Africa. While shooting big game in the interior 
of tropical Africa, I observed that the negroes who lived on 
meat were less intelligent and had less physical endurance 
than the Coast black man who lived on fruits, vegetables 
and fish. 

As the North American Indian started weak and helpless 
in the Arctic country, so I found the native South American 
deteriorates as we approach the Antarctic Ocean. The low- 
est order of the human race I ever observed are the Indians 
on the Island of Tierra del Fuego, south of the Straits of 
Magellan. The conclusions heretofore given are from obser- 
vation and personal experience with the American Indians 
from the Arctic to the Antarctic Oceans. 

Columbus spent three years on a small island three miles 
from the Island of Madeira in the Atlantic Ocean, gathering 
evidence from whatever floated onto the shores of his island 
that there was land a distance away not so great as to 
destroy or break up that which floated across the waters 
when the trade winds were from the west. 

With this evidence, he returned to Spain and we all know 
how Queen Isabella pawned her jewelry to back his expedi- 
tion, and the results. Both Columbus and the Queen be- 
lieved there was land to the west a few hundred miles, or 
she would not have “ backed” him and he would never have 
been able to get a crew to sail with him. 

The usual impression we have is that Columbus sailed 
from 3000 to 4000 miles from land to land, but from the 
Island of Madeira, where he last embarked to the West India 


184 


W. D. BOYCE 


island he landed on, near the coast of South America, he 
covered only a course of about 1600 miles. We all know 
how the soldiers that followed the discoverer conquered, 
killed and robbed the poor, defenseless and peaceful Indians 
of South America. 

President Saenz Pena of Argentine said to me one day: 

You must not measure South American honesty and morals 
from a North American standard; remember our origin. We are 
a mixed race of people coming from the Indian and the Spanish 
and Portuguese soldiers, who only came to this country to rob 
the Indian of his gold, not to make a home. You people of the 
United States sprang from a pure white North European stock 
who came to your country to get away from some political or 
religious persecution, and to make a home for themselves. We 
are improving rapidly. 

I certainly agree with him, but I would go still one 
step further. The South and Central American people, as 
a race, are a cross between Latin Europe and the people 
from northeastern Asia — now developed into the American 
Indian. With this combination of white and yellow blood 
to start with, you are dealing commercially with a race 
different from any other on the face of the earth. 

I consider it of greater importance that you fully under- 
tand the origin of the people of South and Central America 
correctly at this time, than how many pairs of shoes or 
yards of “Americano” they wear a year. 

Do not forget, however, that there are about 5 per cent 
pure blood white people in South America. They are most 
courteous and kind, and the greatest diplomats on earth, 
and are the descendants of the first families of Spain and 
Portugal. When an office holder or public man in the United 
States fails in the confidence of the public he loses his job — 
down there he loses his job and frequently his head at the 
same time. In the United States a man may “come back,” 
but in South America — never. 

Heretofore, the greatest efforts in human progress have 
followed the sun’s course; hence the phrase, “Westward the 
star of Empire takes its course.” Our own Southern States’ 
progress, has been retarded through chasing this “star of 
Empire” westward around the world. It is high time we 


MAKING THE CANAL ZONE A FREE CITY 


185 


were saying, “Southward the star of Empire takes it course.” 
The best unoccupied land in the world is now south of the 
Equator. 

Climate, soil and transportation have their everlasting 
influence on the people, products and commerce of any 
country. The climate and soil of South America east of 
the Andes range of mountains is quite as good as that of 
the United States of North America east of the Rocky 
Mountains. Even when you are near the Equator the ele- 
vation of the table-lands gives a great variety of products 
and healthy climate. And when far south near the Straits 
of Magellan, 54 degrees south, it never gets very cold, 
because you have open salt water near you in all directions, 
in the Atlantic, Pacific and Antarctic Oceans. 

The prevailing winds of South America are from the east 
to the west, and the moisture picked up on the Atlantic 
Ocean is gradually precipitated until the last drop is squeezed 
out — or frozen out — on top of the high range of mountains 
near the West Coast. The result is that for 2700 miles on 
the Pacific Coast it practically never rains and the only 
vegetation is from irrigation, the water being secured from 
the melting snows at the top of the mountains. This 2700 
miles of rainless desert, the longest in the world, includes 
all of the coast of Peru and Chile, except the southern end 
of Chile where the mountain range is low and but a short 
distance from the Atlantic Ocean. 

North America has an area of 8,300,000 square miles; 
South America 7,700,000 square miles, or 7 per cent less, 
although the area possible to cultivate is much greater than 
that of North America. Brazil alone is as large as the United 
States and will support four times as many of the human 
family. 

When you consider the immense and numerous rivers in 
South America navigable all the year around, and the great 
ocean shore-line, also the population and its location, South 
America is about as well provided with transportation as 
North America. Of course, everywhere in North and South 
America you hear, “We want a railroad, or more boats,” 
but the 40,000,000 people south of the Panama Canal are 


186 


W. D. BOYCE 


as well supplied as the 120,000,000 north of the big ditch. 
The railroads are either government owned and operated, 
or built and operated by private capital — mostly English. 
You find the narrow gauge, 3 feet, the standard, 4 feet 8^ 
inches, or the wide gauge, 5 feet 6 inches, the Russian 
standard. The first road in Argentina was started by a 
speculator who bought from the English government some 
cars and engines used in the Crimean War near Sebastopol, 
in Russia. As more engines and cars were needed the 5 
feet 6 inches equipment was added to. “As the twig is 
bent so the tree is inclined.” There are over 15,000 miles 
of railroad in Argentina and the population is less than 
7,000,000. The government owned roads in South American 
republics are poorly operated at a great loss, but considered 
necessary to move troops or open up new sections of the 
republic to which they may belong. 

We export to the whole world annually over $1,750,000,000 
worth of products from our field, mine and factory; but to 
the ten South American republics only about $200,000,000, 
or about 11 per cent of our total exports, while our imports 
from South America as compared with our exports to the 
whole world amount to 25 per cent. Our chief imports 
from the ten South American Republics are coffee, rubber, 
cacao, hardwoods, some copper and hides. The balance 
of trade against us with these ten Republics is over 100 
per cent and to even this up, or to export to them more 
than we import from those countries is a very serious com- 
mercial question. 

It is the proud boast of the United States that we export 
more than we import, and the figures show that the balance 
of trade with the whole world is in our favor. While figures 
will not lie, we may sometimes be misled by them. If we 
will add to our imports the amount we pay foreign ships 
for carrying our products, wares and passengers, also the 
amount paid foreign marine insurance companies, we might 
find the actual balance of commerce against us, despite the 
favorable results that trade statistics show. Who knows? 
Think it over. 

I am not going to attempt to give you a lot of figures; 


MAKING THE CANAL ZONE A FREE CITY 


187 


you can get complete and accurate statistics on any partic- 
ular line for any Republic in South or Central America by 
applying to the Honorable John Barrett, Director General 
Pan-American Union, Washington, D. C. 

How are we going to overcome the balance of trade with 
South America, which is against us? In some ways we are 
at a great disadvantage, in others we have the upper hand. 
First, we are a food stuff and meat producing country, so 
are they. They can grow everything to eat cheaper than 
we can. It is very evident we cannot export our agricul- 
tural products to South America. To offset this, she has 
little or no iron ore or coal. We have an abundance. Every- 
thing in which these two items go to produce we are the 
natural source of supply — in fact we are such a natural 
source of supply that I found steel from the United States 
selling all over South America at $10 per ton less than in 
the United States. In the interior of Bolivia our sewing 
machines were selling for $5 each less than at home. We 
can export pine or soft woods. There is hardly a tree or 
stick of timber in South America that will float or make 
paper. Print paper from the United States was selling in 
the interior of South America at the same price I pay for 
it in Chicago. 

South America is divided into ten republics, each having 
the extremes of climate, hot or cold, through latitude or 
altitude, and just as great a diversity in the needs of the 
people. There is no great demand in any one republic, 
owing to the small population, for a large quantity of 
manufactured articles in any one line, hence, little or no 
manufacturing. 

To plainly show why we should endeavor to establish a 
permanent market for our fabricated wares, let me use Chile 
as an illustration: Chile is 2700 miles long, with an average 
of less than 100 miles in width, extending from 16 degrees 
south to 56 degrees south, all on the Pacific Ocean, with a 
population of 4,000,000. The Chileans are called the “Yan- 
kees of South America.” The great variety of goods consumed 
in small quantities in this country, from the tropical zone 
to the Atlantic Ocean, leaves manufacturing unprofitable. 


188 


W. D. BOYCE 


Chile is very rich from the export of nitrate (saltpeter) 
used all over the world in the manufacturing of gunpowder 
and as a fertilizer. The government alone receives annually 
$50,000,000 export tax on this one article. Chile acquired 
the nitrate fields from Peru in war. 

Forty per cent of Brazil’s exports come to the United 
States, 99J per cent of this 40 per cent (mostly rubber and 
coffee) comes in free of duty, while only 12 per cent of 
Brazil’s imports are received from us. I discussed this 
question with President Fonseca and asked him why they 
could not make a lower tariff on our products. His answer 
was, “We would like to, but we need the money.” 

I visited a colony from the United States in Brazil, at 
Villa Americano, state of Sao Paulo, were 50 per cent of 
the coffee of the world is grown in this state alone. These 
settlers were originally from Alabama and Georgia, Eighty 
families — or 360 souls all told — left the United States in 
1867 in order to get away from the reconstruction period 
and go to a country where they could raise the same prod- 
ucts they did at home. Although in a rich coffee district, 
they were sticking to sugar cane, cotton, rice and water- 
melons. Only a few who sailed from the United States 
forty-four years before were left. Some had returned to 
the United States, descendants of others were married to 
Brazilians, and the general opinion was they had gained 
nothing by moving. They were mighty glad to see a man 
from home. 

The South American governments derive great incomes 
from export taxes. They say they need the money — no 
doubt about it. They do not let the other countries of the 
world enjoy the advantages of their cheap products or raw 
stock without paying for it. The tax is levied on the con- 
sumer in foreign countries. Peru has an export tax on cop- 
per and gold, Brazil on coffee and rubber, Paraguay and 
nearly all the republics on raw hides. 

The United States should be best fitted to supply the real 
wants of South and Central America, because we manufac- 
ture for home consumption for people who are engaged in 
agricultural pursuits and we can easily adapt the products 


MAKING THE CANAL ZONE A FREE CITY 


189 


of our factories to their wants and customs. We cannot 
sell to them articles exactly like we use here. We must 
make for them what they are accustomed to consume, not 
what we think they ought to have. The English manufac- 
turers lost most of the South American trade to the Ger- 
mans, French, Italians and Spanish, because the last named 
countries furnished what the trade required irrespective of 
their own ideas of quality or utility. 

The Panama Canal Zone 

When in 1840 a question was before the United States 
Senate affecting the interests of the Pacific Coast, the great 
and wise Daniel Webster stated that he “didn’t know what 
was west of the Rocky Mountains,” and furthermore, he 
“didn’t give a d — n.” That is the way most of the people 
of the United States of North America felt about the coun- 
tries to the south of us until we began spending money by 
the hundreds of millions in building the Panama Canal, 
which has now become our southern boundary line. 

Up to date the Panama Canal has cost France and the 
United States combined, over $1,500,000,000, principal and 
interest, on the original investment, and the end is not 
yet, although we will finally complete and operate what 
Spain, England, Portugal and France attempted, but failed 
to finish — a navigable canal between the Pacific and Atlantic 
waters. 

If we make a financial failure of the Panama Canal we 
will be discredited all over the world, and especially in South 
America. If the United States can make a success out of 
an undertaking primarily intended only to connect two 
oceans so as to, in effect, double the size of our navy, we 
will demonstrate to South America and the world that we 
are mighty good people to do business with. 

Years ago the wise professors told us that if we connected 
the Atlantic and Pacific waters at Panama we would change 
the course of the Gulf Stream. Spain referred the digging 
of the Panama Canal to the Church, but the bishops decided 
against it on the ground that “what God has joined together 
let no man put asunder.” 


190 


W. D. BOYCE 


There is no reason why the Canal Zone cannot be made 
into a city of 500,000 people in twenty years and produce 
sufficient income from dockage, tolls, taxes, rents, leases, 
etc., to pay the interest on at least the original capital 
invested by the United States. We have 286,720 acres 
inside the Canal Zone. Already many millions of dollars 
have been spent to make the Canal Zone sanitary and a 
desirable place to live in the year round. Nearly all of this 
will be a complete loss unless we build a great city there. 
The Panama Railroad, for which we paid millions and spent 
millions more to move and rebuild, will be a “white ele- 
phant” on our hands, on the basis of investment, unless we 
build a big city there. 

In one way, a great commercial city can be built along 
the whole canal from one end to the other with docks every- 
where. This city would become a great commercial clearing 
house not only for the merchants and manufacturers of 
North, Central and South America, but for the whole world. 
Trade in every Republic on the American continent is neces- 
sarily more or less restricted by a protective tariff, there- 
fore, we need one spot at least for free exchange. It is 
just as necessary as a clearing house for the great banks in 
our big cities. 

Remember, the entire canal is a land-locked, freshwater 
harbor, berthing the largest vessels in the world, where bar- 
nacles can be scraped off the bottoms of ships — an advan- 
tage possessed by only one other great inland port city in 
the world. The way to build a big metropolis on the Canal 
Zone is no experiment, no wild theory. It has been success- 
fully worked out and proved by Germany and England and 
a number of smaller countries. 

The way to build a big city at the central point between 
North and South America, the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, 
the Far East and the Far West, is to make the Canal Zone 
a free city and free port. By this I mean free from import 
or export duties into and out from the Canal Zone. This 
will not affect the primary question of tolls for passing 
through the Canal. If created a free port and protected 
through international treaty, so it could not be affected by 


MAKING THE CANAL ZONE A FREE CITY 


191 


changes in our administration or home policies, merchants 
and manufacturers from all over the world would build 
factories and warehouses and establish branches and agen- 
cies at this world center for quick distribution, delivery and 
sale. Many South Americans would establish agencies and 
branches there to reach the world’s commerce. In fact, it 
would become an immense world’s department store where 
everything for the use of the people of all nations could be 
found. It would become the greatest trans-shipping port 
in the world, especially as many boats suitable for the Pacific 
Ocean are not seaworthy or insurable on the Atlantic Ocean. 

As the lawyers would put it, what you have been saying 
is testimony — give us some evidence of what a free port or 
city will do toward creating a metropolis of half a million 
in a few years. Here is the evidence: Hamburg, Germany; 
Copenhagen, Denmark; Gibraltar; Hong Kong (formerly 
Chinese, now British); Singapore; Punta Arenas, Chile; 
Aden-on-the-Red-Sea, and the Island of St. Thomas near 
Porto Rico. 

The definition of a free port is: “A harbor where the ships 
of all nations may enter on paying a moderate toll and load 
and unload. The free ports constitute great depots where 
goods are stored without paying duty; these goods may be 
reshipped free of duty. The intention of having free ports 
is to stimulate and facilitate exchange and trade.” 

A free city is a city or zone where there is no import or 
export duty of any kind on goods bought, sold or consumed. 

After Great Britain had taken Gibraltar from Spain, and 
that country would not deal with Gibraltar, the Sultan of 
Morocco forced the British government in 1705, to make a 
free port of Gibraltar by refusing to supply the food neces- 
sary to maintain the fortress, unless all import and export 
duty was taken off. The law of necessity caused the most 
powerful government in the world, more than two hundred 
years ago, to establish the first free zone on a little rock 
pile three miles long by one-half mile wide, controlling the 
entrance to the Mediterranean Sea. Here is lesson number 
1, that should not be overlooked. Today there is a popu- 
lation of 27,000 at Gibraltar and over 4,000,000 ship tonnage 


192 


W. D. BOYCE 


cleared yearly. As there is no duty, only a tax on tobacco 
and liquors, there are no statistics on the annual business. 

Hamburg, Germany, is a notable example of the benefits 
of free exchange. Hamburg, through this wise policy, has 
become the greatest port in Europe. In 1888, 2500 acres 
of the harbor of this inland city were set apart as a free 
harbor, where ships could unload and load without custom 
duties. A gigantic system of docks, basins and quays was 
constructed at an initial cost of 835,000,000, which at pres- 
ent day cost would be double. A portion of the old town 
containing 24,000 people was cleared to make room for this 
great project. Since that time Hamburg has grown enor- 
mously, reaching the third position as a port in the world, 
and today has over 1,000,000 population, being the second 
largest city in Germany. Without question the free zone 
of the harbor has had a great influence on the expansion of 
Hamburg as a port. 

Copenhagen is the most important commercial town of 
Denmark. The trading facilities were greatly augmented 
in 1894 by making a portion of the harbor a free port. It 
has had a marked effect on the trade of Copenhagen and 
Denmark. 

Hong Kong Island and City is a British possession ac- 
quired from China in 1841. Hong Kong is a free port and 
has no custom house, and its commercial activities are chiefly 
distributive for a large portion of the Far East, much as the 
Panama Canal Zone would become if made a free port. 
The only commodity that pays a duty at Hong Kong is 
opium. Owing to the fact that it is a free port official fig- 
ures on its trade cannot be had, as in the case of ports that 
collect custom duties. I find a table showing the clearing 
of ships from Hong Kong: In 1880 the total tonnage was 
8,359,994, which by 1911 had grown to a tonnage of 23,063,- 
108 — or nearly 200 per cent increase in thirty years. 

Since Hong Kong was made a free port the population 
has increased from a few thousand to 456,739. From this 
port there is an immense exchange of commodities between 
Great Britain and her colonies, the ports of China, Japan 
and the United States. This fact, investigation shows, is 


MAKING THE CANAL ZONE A FREE CITY 


193 


largely due to the advantages arising from the fact that the 
port of Hong Kong is free from custom duties to all nations. 
The island of Hong Kong is off the southeast coast of China, 
from which it is separated only by a narrow channel. It 
is 75 miles from Canton. 

Admiral Chadwick, after my address before the Southern 
Commercial Congress, wrote me he heartily approved of 
the plan, and that we could build another Hong Kong on 
the Panama Canal Zone. 

Singapore is another good example. It is the capital of the 
British Straits Settlements, and lies about midway between 
Hong Kong and Calcutta, India, and close to the Malay 
Archipelago. It is less than 100 miles north of the Equator, 
or 500 miles farther south than the Panama Canal Zone. 
It has good advantages of position, but above all, the policy 
of absolute free trade has made Singapore the center of a 
trans-shipping trade that is surpassed in the Orient only by 
Hong Kong and one or two of the great Chinese ports. 
The continuously rapid growth of Singapore and the Straits 
Settlements, of which it is the capital, has fully demon- 
strated the wisdom of this policy. In 1819 when the region 
was ceded to Great Britain that portion of the country had 
almost no business or population. At present Singapore’s 
free exports and imports exceed $500,000,000 annually, or 
about one-seventh of the total imports and exports of the 
whole United States. There are no custom duties except 
on opium. The population is about 275,000. 

The number of vessels clearing in 1911 was 11,533, with 
a tonnage of 15,455,476. The commodities were distributed 
between India, China, Japan, England, the United States 
and other countries. Neither Hong Kong nor Singapore is 
as well situated for international trade or enjoys as good 
and healthful climate as the Panama Canal Zone. We have 
had 5000 white men, women and children on the Panama 
Canal Zone for the past seven years, and the death rate is 
less than that of any big American city. 

Port Said is a case in point. The building of the Suez 
Canal created the city of Port Said on a sandpile at the 
entrance to the Canal from the Mediterranean Sea, with 


194 


W. D. BOYCE 


fresh water 125 miles away. It is about the “livest wire” 
of any city in the world — at least that I have ever visited. 
It has over 100,000 population, and except for an Egyptian 
duty on many articles would be a great trading center for 
others than tourists. 

Aden, situated on a strip of British territory in Arabia, 
on the Red Sea, where nothing grows and fresh water must 
be brought a long distance, has 50,000 population on ac- 
count of its being a free port and city. 

Punta Arenas, Chile, on the Straits of Magellan, the far- 
thest south of any city in the world, is a free port and city, 
and has a population of 15,000. I was surprised at its im- 
portance and its fine stone buildings and good streets. The 
only local support of Punta Arenas is wool and sheep, mostly 
from the old Patagonia country of Argentina and the Island 
of Tierra del Fuego. Evidently its importance arises chiefly 
from its being a free city and free port. 

The free exchange of commodities, on account of there 
being no duty, import or export, put the Island of St. 
Thomas, near Porto Rico, belonging to Denmark, on the 
map. It is a good example of what no export or import 
duty will do for a poor, out-of-the-way island. Nearly every 
excursion to the West Indies docks there to trade. Its one 
port carries the largest stock and does the greatest Panama 
hat trade in the world. Many vessels coal there. It has 
a great trade with all the West India Islands. 

England has tried out the free port and free city idea 
thoroughly and this is what the Encyclopedia Britannica 
says: 

In countries where custom duties are levied, if an extension of 
foregin trade is desired, special facilities must be granted for this 
purpose. In view of this a free zone sufficiently large for com- 
mercial purposes must be set aside. English colonial free ports, 
such as Hong Kong and Singapore, do not interfere with the regu- 
lar home customs of India and China. These two free harbors 
have become great shipping ports and distributing centers. The 
policy which led to their establishment as free ports has greatly 
promoted British commercial interests. 

The reason I have brought this question up is because I 
believe it the paramount one in the development of our 


MAKING THE CANAL ZONE A FREE CITY 


195 


commercial relationship with South America, and that it 
will make the Panama Canal pay. If we do not act soon 
some other country owning one of the West India Islands, 
well located to trade with ships passing through the Canal, 
will take advantage of the situation. The Panama Republic 
intends now to benefit from our investment in the Canal by 
creating a free city bordering on the Zone. 

How to Secure and Retain South American Trade 

1. Make the goods the market requires; manufacture, 
pack, measure and invoice everything the way the South 
American people want it. 

2. Build a large commercial city on the Panama Canal 
Zone and get as many merchants as possible from all over 
South America to visit, locate branch houses and buy goods 
there. They will not come to the United States; they do 
not speak English — they do not feel at home, but will be 
at ease in a city in a Latin country where Spanish will pre- 
vail and every language in the world is spoken. 

3. Establish agencies at the capital of each republic and 
its chief seaport towns. Put in charge young unmarried 
men from the United States who can speak, or would soon 
learn, Spanish, and who would marry into the good families 
of the country. Their future will be secure and your trade 
also. This plan is followed by all other countries. 

4. Work at home in every honorable way to secure a 
merchant marine that flies the Stars and Stripes. How can 
you expect South America to think of trading with us when 
they never see a ship from this country? I covered 40,000 
miles in visiting South America and never saw our flag on 
a North American merchant ship. 

5. Price your goods in the money of the country in which 
you offer them so they will understand your price and what 
they are paying. Be prepared to give as good terms, credit 
and prices as your competitor from Europe. Take your 
pay in drafts on London, Paris or Berlin, and stand the loss 
in exchange into Uncle Sam’s dollars, or better still, keep 
agitating the question of a chain of United States banks 


196 


W. D. BOYCE 


through South America — for there are none — 6ven if our 
Government finds it necessary to go into the banking busi- 
ness in foreign countries to extend and protect our trade, as 
well as visitors from the United States of North America. 
This is too large a question for me, but it is more necessary 
for us to have banks in South America than in China, as 
all our bills of exchange in the Far East naturally come 
through Europe, anyhow. 

6. Establish confidence in our honesty and friendliness. 
The people of South America have been lied to about the 
United States by every European salesman for a century. 
They all know the story of the wooden nutmeg. They 
nearly all believe that the Monroe Doctrine simply means 
that we are keeping their country for ourselves until we are 
ready to take it over, etc. We tell them we do not want 
their country, and they say how about Porto Rico, Panama 
Canal Zone, and the Philippines? 

7. Do business everlastingly on the square. They are not 
used to it, but will like it once they find it genuine. 

8. Teach Spanish in all our schools. We must do busi- 
ness with South America, Central America, the West India 
Islands, and the Philippines, in Spanish. 

With the highest appreciation of the honor you have 
conferred upon me, and hoping and believing in a greater 
nation and closer relationship with South and Central Amer- 
ica through making a free port and city out of the Panama 
Canal Zone, I thank you. 


SOME ECONOMIC FACTS AND CONCLUSIONS 
ABOUT SOUTH AMERICA 


By Selden 0. Martin, Ph.D., Graduate School of Business 
Administration, Harvard University 

In preparation for the course now being given by the 
Graduate School of Business Administration of Harvard 
University upon the Economic Resources and Commercial 
Organization of Latin America I was sent to South America 
in October, 1910, to travel, to observe, and to interview. 
The object was to see the people; to see natural economic 
conditions such as climate, resources, products; and human 
economic conditions such as transportation facilities, in- 
dustrial development, currency, banking; to see the goods 
that were being handled — for example, through how many 
middlemen between the countries, how many within the 
country; and to see changes that might be evident as taking 
place in the organization of the foreign and domestic trade. 

Evidently this was a considerable subject or group of 
subjects. Of necessity in the time allowed it could be cov- 
ered only superficially. Avowedly it was so planned. Only 
the main points could be touched upon. An economic per- 
spective of South America that was approximately correct 
was sought for. With the frame work of the course con- 
structed on general lines that were according to fact, it was 
felt that many additional details could be supplied from the 
material continually increasing at home, from current re- 
ports and from correspondence. 

The trip lasted a trifle over a year, and amounted to some 
26,000 miles of travel in every country in South America, 
except Venezuela and the Guianas. The Andes were crossed 
six times in the countries of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, 
Bolivia, and Chile. The River Plate was ascended as far 
as Asuncion, Paraguay. In Brazil, the coffee country, 
the coast cities and the mouth of the Amazon were covered. 


197 


198 


SELDEN O. MARTIN 


The course on Latin America in the Graduate School of 
Business Administration of Harvard University, of which 
much the largest part is devoted to South America, has 
now been given for five years. Each year has witnessed 
changes and additions with the increase of reliable informa- 
tion about South America. This sixth year will witness 
further changes in the course, but no reason has been seen 
yet for changing certain fundamental economic concepts 
about South America. 

In the time allotted for this paper I should like to give 
you what seem to me to be important economic facts about 
South America and to present some economic conclusions 
which can be fairly arrived at in the light of present knowl- 
• edge. These facts may be classified as physical facts, facts 
about the population, facts about trade. 

Physical Facts 

First I should like to call your attention to certain physi- 
cal features of South America which I believe are funda- 
mental to a correct estimate of its possibilities. 

South America is a century older historically than North 
America. The Spanish and Portuguese had permanent 
settlements in South America before Captain John Smith 
was bom, yet South America today, with an area equal to 
that of the United States and Canada combined, has a popu- 
lation scarcely one-half that of the United States alone. 
Why? There are, of course, weighty reasons, political and 
racial, and the important economic reason of geographic 
remoteness. But these are not all the reasons. 

One of the most eminent authorities upon the geography 
of South America has said that Nature must have been in 
her kindliest mood when she created North America, but 
not when she created South America. It was not until 
after my return from South America that I read this sentence 
and was struck by its pregnancy. 


ECONOMIC FACTS ABOUT SOUTH AMERICA 


199 


Climate 

The map of the western hemisphere shows at once an im- 
portant physical fact about South America. Both conti- 
nents have a broad bulge in the north, tapering to a point 
in the south, but North America bulges in the temperate 
zone while South America bulges in the tropics. In other 
words, four-fifths of South America is in the tropics. Now 
the tropics do not necessarily connote snakes and jungles 
and disease. After seven months’ residence in the tropical 
regions of the north, west, and east coasts of South America 
I can testify to the altitude and trade winds providing many 
habitable and even delightful spots within those tropics in 
Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Northern Chile, Paraguay, and 
Brazil. Modern medical science and skill is removing the 
obstacle of tropical disease, but the fact still remains that 
there are tremendous areas in South America east of the 
Andes and north of the Pilcomayo where there is an average 
temperature of more than 70° F. and an average rainfall of 
more than 100 inches (40 is considerable) — regions where 
the tropical forest and undergrowth have to be combated 
continually with steel and acid spray. 

Such conditions of climate and conditions that accompany 
such climate have not so far been hospitable for the Cauca- 
sian stock which up to this time has shown itself, in material 
affairs at least, the most progressive racial element of the 
globe. And it is significant to note in this connection that 
the country in South America which is most progressive and 
whose trade is over one third of that of the entire continent, 
although having scarcely a seventh of the population or 
area, is that country occupying the most of that narrow, 
tapering end of South America extending into the temper- 
ate zone — namely Argentina, where conditions are most 
like those of North America. Nature has not been kindly 
to South America on the whole, from our point of view, in 
the climate she has given her. 


200 


SELDEN O. MARTIN 


Transportation Conditions 

In her gift of transportation conditions Nature has been 
much more kindly to North America than to South America. 
In North America the mountains on the whole have been 
low lying, and comparatively easy of passage, or, where 
high, have been reduced by long gently sloping plateaus, as 
from western Nebraska to the Rockies. South America, 
on the other hand, has a mountain system which hardly 
with design could have been made more of an obstacle to 
cheap transportation from coast to coast, or from any dis- 
tance in the interior of the west coast to its ports. There 
is one stretch of the Andes that for over thirty degrees of 
latitude, or 2000 miles, has not a pass under 12,000 feet 
altitude, except that of the trans-Andean between Argen- 
tine and Chile, w'here a long tunnel has reduced the pass to 
under 11,000 feet altitude; but this railroad has fifteen 
miles of cog-rail, and is not a freight road but a mail, express 
and passenger road. 

These western ranges rise abruptly from the coast or near 
the coast, with practically no alleviating slopes to lengthen 
out and lessen the steep climbs to the divide. Cog-roads, 
switch-backs, 3 and 4 per cent grades, are the rule on the 
west coast, with the exception of southern Chile. One 
range such as the Andes makes an ample transportation 
problem, but throughout most of their length they are a 
double range, and in Colombia they are triple, almost a 
quadruple range. These parallel ranges are such as fre- 
quently to double and triple the through transportation 
problem, almost as much as if one range were piled upon 
the other. 

The Andes are the greatest single fact in South America. 
Not only do they form the transportation barrier that they 
do, but they have much to do with the climatic conditions. 
They are responsible for the west coast throughout Peru, 
and the northern third of Chile, some 1500 miles in extent, 
being gray and barren and dependent upon irrigation for 
the vegetation it has. The Andes, again, as they turn back 
the humid winds from their cold sides, are responsible for 


ECONOMIC FACTS ABOUT SOUTH AMERICA 


201 


much of the country on their eastern slopes and beyond, 
being drenched with excessive and torrential rains. 

Even the much lesser ranges of the east coast have been 
placed with irritating perversity from an economic stand- 
point. In Brazil, for example, the mountains, although not 
averaging over 3000 feet in altitude, are peculiarly abrupt 
at the very edge of the coast. No railroad, English or Bra- 
zilian, has succeeded in getting an economical freight grade 
over them. As far north as Bahia they form a veritable 
screen, shutting off the interior and rendering much more 
difficult the opening up, for example, of the tremendous 
iron deposits of Minas Geraes. In Argentina again alone, 
do we find ideal conditions for land transportation corre- 
sponding to those of our own prairie states. 

It is true that South America is gifted with a wonderful 
river system. Two of her rivers, the Amazon and the Plate, 
are greater than our own Mississippi, and navigable for a far 
greater length because of their slight gradient and the heavy 
rainfall at their headwaters. There is also a physical possi- 
bility of effective canalization to connect the Orinoco, 
Amazon, and Plate Systems, should such canalization be 
sufficiently desired. These rivers give access, however, 
to the tropical basin already noted. That same slight 
gradient indicates a basin still unsufficiently developed geo- 
logically so that a large portion of it is submerged or subject 
to submergence at times. 

Lack of Coal 

Perhaps where Nature has been least kindly of all to 
South America is in denying her adequate deposits of coal. 
Although coal is mined at various points it is of inferior 
quality, and South America today is essentially a coal im- 
porting country. Chile, the greatest coal producing coun- 
try of South America, imports half of its supply from the 
British Isles and Australia. Cardiff coal, for the Bolivian 
railroads, is taken up over the Andes, reaching a cost of some 
$40 per ton at its final destination. English coal at La 
Guaira, Venezuela, one of the nearest ports of South Amer- 
ica, costs $12 per ton on the dock. Coal has to be brought 


202 


SELDEN O. MARTIN 


over the seas for the iron deposits of Brazil. This, together 
with the coastal grades already referred to, have neutralized 
to a large degree the exceeding richness of that iron ore. 
Norfolk coal, from the United States, is beginning to enter 
Brazil and the Plate. South American railroads have spent 
thousands of dollars prospecting for coal of good quality and 
commercially accessible. Up to the present time their 
efforts have not been successful. 

Water power there is on the west coast and especially in 
Brazil. The cities of Lima, Peru, and La Paz, Bolivia, Rio 
Janeiro, and Sao Paulo, Brazil, have their public service cor- 
porations supplied with hydro-electric power, and the end 
of the railroad descending into La Paz has been electrified. 
Just how much water power there is on the west coast, how 
constant it is, just how harmoniously it can be operated in 
competition with the use of water for irrigation, which is 
always a superior use, is decidedly conjectural. 

In Brazil, in the drainage basin of the Parana, there are 
undoubtedly hundreds of thousands of horsepower of water 
power. But the fundamental difficulty in the development 
and employment of water power is the necessity of a large 
fixed capital investment at the very beginning. It cannot 
have the gradual increase in capacity, horsepower by horse- 
power from ton by ton, as in the case of energy derived from 
coal. Consequently, a large market for the power from 
water power is needed at the outset. With few exceptions 
there are not markets in South .America yet for large blocks 
of power. Petroleum produced in northern Peru and more 
recently in northern Argentina is increasing, but the posi- 
tion of importance of coal and petroleum in the import 
statistics of South American countries still remains most 
significant. 

My strokes have been few and broad. Many exceptions 
in detail could be cited — Argentina has already been men- 
tioned. In general, the strokes have been accurate, in por- 
traying South America as not nearly the country naturally 
for economic development that North America is. In 
climate, in topography, in power supply, Nature has dealt 
m uch more kindly by us than by our southern sister. 


ECONOMIC FACTS ABOUT SOUTH AMERICA 


203 


Facts About the Population 

Let us now turn, and even more briefly, to a feature which 
happily is much more dynamic, much more subject to change 
than those physical features which we have just considered. 
I refer to the population. As you know, the population of 
South America is much mixed, being of three distinct ra- 
cial stocks — the native stock, which here it will suffice to 
call Indians, although of many different strains and quali- 
ties; the European, originally from Spain and Portugal, 
and more recently from those same countries again, and 
from Italy and Germany as well; the negro, brought in by 
the Spanish and Portuguese as slaves, but now long since 
freed and mixing with the other racial stocks. 

The proportions in which these stocks make up the popu- 
lation of the various countries vary greatly. In general, 
it will be found that in tropical, hot and humid lowlands 
(tierras calientes), the negro strain is prominent, and as the 
higher lands are reached the Indian and European strains 
increase, and in the temperate regions, to the south, the Euro- 
pean decidedly predominates. In the northern part of the 
continent, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, and northern 
Brazil, the mulatto (black and white), mestizo (red and 
white), and zambo (red and black), are much in evidence. 
In Peru and Bolivia probably 50 per cent of the population 
is pure Indian, and a large portion of the balance mestizo. 
In Argentina it is probable that over four-fifths, and very 
likely nine-tenths, are of pure European stock. 

Much of the Indian population of South America is of a 
type far different from our own. Of a considerable degree 
of civilization, when the Spanish came, and of an indus- 
trious and faithful nature capable of development, the In- 
dians of Peru, for example, have been called Peru’s greatest 
single asset. The railroads, mines, and other industries could 
not be at present operated without them. In Bolivia and 
Chile, Indians of a sterner fibre were encountered by the 
Spanish, which has resulted in a virile mestizo population. 

With this as a preliminary statement regarding the popu- 
lation in general it is possible to make some generalizations. 


204 


SELDEX O. MARTIN 


First, in regard to the social stratification. The observant 
traveler is struck the lack of a middle class. There is an 
upper stratum of population amounting to approximately 
some 2 or 3 per cent of cultured people most delightful to 
meet, who have traveled much abroad and have usually 
been educated abroad, and then there is an abrupt descent 
to a class that is, on the whole, and according to our stand- 
ards, backward and illiterate. This upper stratum of popu- 
lation is usually concentrated in the cities, and especially 
in the capitals, so that the cities and capitals of South Amer- 
ica are by no means fair criteria of the countries of South 
America. For example, on the west coast the cities of Lima, 
La Paz, and Santiago would give one who had sojourned 
only in them an incorrect idea of the stage of development 
of those countries. There are shop windows and streets in 
Lima that will compare with those of any city in Europe or 
in the United States. The electric traction service between 
Lima and its port, Callao, is most modern and adequate. 
It is not until one has been into the back country of Peru 
and seen the high proportion of Indian population and the 
conditions in which that population is living that one can 
judge the development of Peru more fairly. 

This state of the population has been reflected in political 
conditions. Governments have not been representative as 
we understand that word. This does not necessarily mean 
that the rules of these unrepresentative rulers have always 
been beneficial. In Chile it has long been said that a hun- 
dred families were the government, but, on the whole, Chile 
has progressed under this oligarchical sway. Though it may 
be true that through the government ownership of the rail- 
roads they have made themselves low freight rates, it is also 
true that for the rest of the population they have established 
low passenger rates, for example, of about 1 cent a mile. 
Another country could be cited by name, the government 
of which, it is pretty well known, is under the domination of 
one man, yet he is an able man, and under him the country 
is forging ahead. But, happily, these conditions are steadily 
changing for the better, as the character of the popula- 


ECONOMIC FACTS ABOUT SOUTH AMERICA 


205 


tion changes. In Argentina the rise of a middle class has 
been reflected in improvements in the laws and execution 
of the laws within the last two years. A large proportion 
of the population there has laid its economic foundation and 
is now demanding and exercising its proper share in the gov- 
ernment. This same holds true, in some degree, in the coun- 
tries of Chile, Uruguay, southern Brazil, and Peru — once 
more it will be noticed in that section of South America that, 
lies in the temperate zone, or in a temperate climate. 

Another singular characteristic of the population of South 
America is that despite its being a continent that is agricul- 
tural and extractive, and not industrial, the population is 
yet remarkably concentrated. For example, 20 per cent of 
the population of Argentina is in the city of Buenos Aires 
alone, and four other cities of Argentina contain 5 per cent 
more of the entire population, and yet Argentina is essen- 
tially a grazing and agricultural country. One-third of the 
population of Uruguay is in the city of Montivideo, and Uru- 
guay is essentially a grazing and agricultural country. In 
Paraguay, 12 per cent of the population is in the city of 
Asuncion. In Chile, primarily a mining and agricultural 
country, five cities have over 20 per cent of the population. 
In the other countries of South America the concentration 
of population is less marked, but still considerably more 
than would be normally expected of an extractive and agri- 
cultural country. In the United States, much more of an 
industrial nation, but 26 per cent of the population is in 
cities of 50,000 and over. Furthermore, if a map of South 
America were constructed to show the location of the pop- 
ulation, it would be found to be concentrated all around the 
border of the continent. If you can imagine a triangular 
shaped bowl, the location of the population would be rep- 
resented by dots all around the rim. The great central 
basin is practically uninhabited. The cities of Iquitos and 
Manaos, upon the Amazon, might seem an exception, but 
they are really outposts for the collection of rubber. 

It is no disrespect to any South American country, whom 
in some of their ways we could copy with profit, to say that 


206 


SELDEN O. MARTIN 


South America, as at present inhabited, is but a shell. There 
is no back country. One is struck by this in riding out from 
any large center of population. The inhabited area drops 
off suddenly unto the uninhabited. 

Facts About Trade 

In the light of the preceding physical facts and facts about 
the population of South America we now approach some 
surprising facts about its trade. South America, with 
about forty-eight or fifty millions of inhabitants, or about 
one-fifteenth that of Asia, has a much greater foreign trade 
than Asia. This is due to two reasons. In the first place, 
South America has certain products which the world wants 
very much, and in the supplying of which it has a monopoly 
to a greater or less degree. The most important products 
are coffee, rubber, nitrate, cocoa. And in the Plate region 
it has great natural advantages for producing cereals and 
meat, which the growing population of the world demands 
more and more. And in the second place, South America, 
in its present stage of development, does not provide for it- 
self many of the products that it consumes, but exchanges 
its own products for them, which extends to the degree even 
of importing many food stuffs. 

The total trade of South America amounts to about 
$1,800,000,000, of which roughly $950,000,000, or 53 per 
cent are exports, and $850,000,000, or 47 per cent imports. 
In this foreign trade the following countries are interested: 
Great Britain leads with 27 per cent to 28 per cent; Germany 
is second with 18 per cent to 17 per cent; United States is 
third, and very close to second, with 17 per cent to 18 per 
cent (depending on its imports of coffee as to whether it 
will exceed Germany or not by one per cent or so); and 
France is fourth with 8 per cent to 9 per cent. These trade 
figures are for the continent as a whole. If we divide the 
continent into its natural geographic groups of the north 
coast, west coast, River Plate, and Brazil, we find the United 
States leading in the north coast trade, apparently be- 
cause, of its geographic proximity, for as we descend to Ecua- 


ECONOMIC FACTS ABOUT SOUTH AMERICA 


207 


dor we find the United Kingdom rivaling it for first place, 
and in Peru the United States falls to second place, and in 
Chile and Argentina to third. Its leading position in Brazil 
is due to its large imports of rubber and coffee, rather than 
to its exports to Brazil. In Argentina, just the reverse is 
encountered, she buying much more from us than we from 
her, which constitutes something of a return cargo problem 
for our ships from her ports. Despite the idea that seems 
to be somewhat current, that the United States is not getting 
its fair share of South American trade, when one considers 
the heavy capital investment of other countries, and es- 
pecially of the United Kingdom, and also considers the large 
foreign colonies and immigration, especially from Germany 
and Italy, and compares these facts with the United States 
capital invested and United States population resident in 
South America, one is inclined to wonder that our trade is 
as extensive as it is. In the last ten years our trade has in- 
creased greatly, but our percentage of the total trade has 
changed but little, although it has increased somewhat. 
That is to say, the proportional importance of our trade to 
South America, as compared with that of the United King- 
dom or Germany or France, has changed but little. But, 
on the other hand, the importance of South America’s trade 
to us has increased some fifty per cent. For example, taking 
three year averages, the importance of South America in 
our total foreign trade has risen from 6 per cent plus, in the 
last decade, to 9 per cent plus, and this in the face of our 
rapidly expanding foreign trade to all parts of the world. 
The importance, similarly, of South American trade to the 
United Kingdom is about 9 per cent, to Germany 8 per cent, 
and to France 6 per cent. And we are now seeking South 
American trade in earnest as part of our general producing 
pressure for a foreign outlet. Old traditional complaints 
of our poor packing and inferior salesmen are now nearly 
obsolete. Our credits are less arbitrary and the further ex- 
tension of credit beyond the present general American policy 
of ninety days sight draft would be of extremely doubtful 
advisability. On the contrary, our example seems to be 
reacting somewhat in shortening credits in general. Our 


208 


SELDEN O. MARTIN 


advertising propaganda, in the language of the country, is 
found in most remote sections, illustrated in a way particu- 
larly pleasing to the people. German salesmen say that 
our advertising is far superior to theirs in South America. 
Our diplomatic and consular force in South America is, on 
the whole, without much doubt the best and is so regarded 
by many of the foreign colonies there. Cuba and Mexico 
have served as training schools for our salesmen both in the 
language and customs of the country. South American 
duties have been distinctly favorable to our products, since 
on machinery of all sorts, agricultural, mining, railroad, and 
auxiliary supplies, the tariff has either been free, or nominal. 
In such commodities as these lies one of our chief advantages 
in trade. 

To increase our trade with South America it has been 
urged that there be established an American line of freight 
steamers. It has been said that thus only could proper 
service be supplied, and that the flag in itself would increase 
our commercial prestige. This is not the place for a lengthy 
argument upon shipping; all that can be said is that constant 
shippers to South America do not complain of inadequate 
service or of unreasonable rates. Again, the sentiment of 
the flag does not seem to enter into trade vitally since France, 
which is perhaps the country most highly regarded in sen- 
timent by the South Americans, is distinctly fourth in trade 
and scarcely holding its own, although it has a subsidized 
French shipping line. Ocean freight service is one of the 
most flexible services in the world. Tramp steamers come 
from the other side of the world if there be sufficient demand 
for them. Under present conditions, both economic and 
legal, there is but little doubt that the United States cannot 
construct or operate shipping lines so cheaply as Great 
Britain or Germany. If they perform transportation ser- 
vice adequately for us, and more cheapty, it would seem 
that we may well continue that arrangement. It is begin- 
ning to look, however, as if very shortly we should be able to 
compete with them in both the construction and naviga- 
tion of ocean-going boats, without the aid of any sub- 
vention. 


ECONOMIC PACTS ABOUT SOUTH AMERICA 


209 


As to the establishment of an American bank, it does 
look as if our trade had reached the point where an institu- 
tion, owned and directed by Americans, to furnish exchange 
and credit information and to give other financial assistance 
to Americans, is warranted. Great Britain and Germany 
each have several banks in South America, and France, 
Italy, and Spain have each a bank there. So far as can be 
learned all these banks have paid well. It also appears as 
if the argument for greater prestige applied more forcibly 
to the establishment of a bank than to the subsidizing of a 
shipping line. Those trading with South America, however, 
say that the foreign banks, through their New York agen- 
cies, give adequate and reasonable banking service. One 
of our greatest banks has been looking into the subject care- 
fully but what action it is to take toward establishing an 
American bank in South America is not yet publicly known. 

It has seemed to me as if a much more influential step 
toward building up our trade in South America would be 
the establishment of an American department store in the 
city of Buenos Aires, at least, and probably better in the 
cities also of Rio Janeiro, Santiago, and Lima. In my own 
experience with retail stores in South America I was im- 
pressed by the lack of display given to American goods, 
even in articles in which our ascendency was acknowledged, 
such as firearms and some kinds of hardware. This, I am 
inclined to think, is chiefly due to the stores being affiliated 
with other nationalities. The leading department store in 
South America is in Buenos Aires, and is owned and operated 
by French capital. The people of Buenos Aires are highly 
delighted with it, and it is an excellent store, but it does not 
compare with department stores in the United States of the 
same grade. It seems to me that an association of American 
exporters, actual and prospective, might well consider or- 
ganizing a department store company for the purpose of 
displaying American goods in South America, and even- 
tually for profit. Such a department store would display 
the goods in which we have an advantage and import other 
goods just the same as our department stores in this country 
i mport goods from Europe and elsewhere for their trade. 


210 


SELDEN O. MARTIN 


Some Conclusions 

Now, finally, if I may be permitted, I should like to draw 
some conclusions as to the economic and consequent trade 
possibilities of South America. The role of prophet has 
never been a safe one, nevertheless I am going to venture a 
few statements about the continent with the main basis of 
fact for my deductions. 

As has been stated before, South America divides nat- 
urally into the geographic groups of the north coast, the 
Guianas, Venezuela, and Colombia; the west coast, Ecua- 
dor, Peru, Bolivia, and Chile; and the east coast, which 
subdivides into the River Plate (comprehending Uruguay, 
Paraguay, Argentina), and Brazil. 

Taking first the north coast — in Colombia we have per- 
haps the most difficult transportation problem in any por- 
tion of South America because not only do we have the 
greatest number of parallel ranges of mountains therein, 
already refered to, but also the main arteries of water trans- 
portation, namely the Magdalena and the Cauca, are both 
obstructed, the Magdelena by a bar at its mouth, and the 
Cauca by unnavigable falls near its point of discharge into 
the Magdalena. This necessitates at least tw T o rail trans- 
shipments of goods in the progress of their transportation 
up the Magdalena River to the most important cities of 
Colombia — Bogota and Medellin. 

On the w-est coast, in Peru, we have a country which, al- 
though its total area is over 600,000 square miles, one-fifth 
of that of the United States, yet it is not a country so eco- 
nomically attractive as these figures would indicate. There 
again the parallel ranges of the Andes have shut off the in- 
terior from the coast and affected the climate radically. 
The coastal strip of Peru averages from 25 to 30 miles only 
in width, and is absolutely arid and barren, irrigation being 
required for any vegetable production. An American com- 
pany, already with large investments in Peru, has studied 
the irrigation possibilities of this strip. It estimates that 
with 1,500,000 acres already under irrigation it is possible 
to increase that amount of irrigable area 1,000,000 acres, or 
to a total of 2,500,000 acres. 


ECONOMIC FACTS ABOUT SOUTH AMERICA 


211 


The intermountain region of Peru is between these two 
ranges of the Andes. Much of it is so high as to limit its 
agricultural productivity. Furthermore, its valleys are 
long and narrow, one of which, for example, is 300 miles 
long, by about one mile in width, presenting a most difficult 
transportation problem. From present knowledge it can- 
not be seen how this intermountain region can ever support 
more than local needs. Finally, there is a third and much 
greater portion of Peru, to the west of the Andes, the Mon- 
tana. Little is known about it except that it is a tropical 
forest with decidedly excessive rainfall, giving high humid- 
ity. By far its chief commercial product today is rubber. 
The position of wild rubber in the world’s market is being 
more and more seriously threatened by the plantation rubber 
from the East — Ceylon and the Malayan Straits. Present 
figures seem to indicate clearly that the ordinary grades of 
rubber can be put on the market by the plantation growers 
of the East more cheaply than the wild rubber can be secur- 
ed in Peru and Brazil. 

Peru, at present, has a population of 4,000,000 (no one 
knows exactly, but this is probably the best estimate). Its 
present irrigated area is 1,500,000 acres, which can possibly 
be increased two-thirds. Peru has mineral possibilities 
(it already has one of the greatest copper mines of the world) , 
but mineral production alone has never been the basis of 
great population. Take, for example, our western states. 
It was not until they became agricultural, through the em- 
ployment of irrigation, that the population increased. 

Peru has a favorable position, geographically, for trade 
with the other countries of the west coast, and its commerce 
with Chile and Ecuador is steadily increasing. This geo- 
graphic advantage might aid its industrial development, 
but from the character of the population I should much 
sooner expect this development in Chile than in Peru. 
Furthermore, when one remembers how the products of our 
own country and Europe are being carried around the world, 
and over tariff barriers, one need not expect a decided in- 
dustrial development, to the extent of competing in foreign 
trade, in either of these countries in the immediate future. 


212 


SELDEN O. MARTIN 


Without attaching any special significance to the figure it- 
self, but merely to give you some approximate idea, I think 
now that I am an optimistic prophet for Peru to hazard the 
estimate of its present population of 4,000,000 sometime in- 
creasing to 10,000,000. 

In Chile, which has almost twice the trade of all the other 
countries of the west coast put together, we have a country 
of some 3000 miles in length, averaging only 90 miles in 
width, and half of which width, nearly, is occupied by moun- 
tains. The upper third of Chile is as barren and arid as the 
west coast of Peru. The real heart of Chile is in the central 
valley, south of Santiago, which has a total area of only 
about 18,000 square miles. In this upper third of Chile, as 
barren as it is, has lain the greatest source of its revenue and 
prosperity — namely, the deposits of nitrate, which have 
been the basis of the saltpeter supply for the use of that 
article in a score of manufactured products the world over. 
This nitrate is now in danger of competition from artificial 
nitrate to a commercial degree. It is already being pro- 
duced in experimental quantities. 

Chile has today barely 3,000,000 population. Its total 
population has increased but little, although its cities have 
increased somewhat. The copper possibilities of Chile have 
been increased by the construction of the Longitudinal Rail 
Road to the north, lessening the cost of transportation. 
The 18,000 square miles of cultivated land, the nitrate beds 
— threatened with possible competition — the copper mines, 
a greater initiative on the part of the population than that 
of the other countries of the west coast neutralized somewhat 
by greater geographic remoteness, constitute the funda- 
mental basis of Chile’s future, as at present seen. If Chile’s 
3,000,000 of population increase to 6,000,000 Chile is to be 
congratulated. 

Bolivia, the greatest mineral country in South America, 
has a transportation problem on every side. The haul 
from the Pacific coast, though short, is over passes of 12,000 
feet altitude. A third of the area of Bolivia is from 10,000 
to 12,000 feet altitude. In the east, it has much the same 
tropical problem as Peru, and a long haul, although much 


ECONOMIC FACTS ABOUT SOUTH AMERICA 


213 


easier, by water, to the Atlantic. Bolivia’s present popu- 
lation is 2,000,000. 

The economic disadvantages of these aforementioned 
groups are reflected, of course, in the trade figures. For 
example, the total trade of the north coast is only a trifle 
over 4 per cent of that of the total trade of the continent, 
and the total trade of the west coast is 20 per cent of the 
total trade of the continent, of which Chile, with its nitrate, 
has 13.5 per cent. 

Now it is the west coast of South America that will be 
affected by the Panama Canal. But for reasons of its geo- 
graphic relations to Europe and to the United States, and 
the routes of trade, and expense of tolls, it is extremely 
doubtful if the west coast, south of Valparaiso, will be affected 
in any considerable direct way by the Panama Canal. Pos- 
sibly a present population of 10,000,000 on the west coast, 
all located north of the agricultural section of Chile, will be 
affected by the Canal. 

Coming to the east coast a vastly different situation pre- 
sents itself. In Argentina we have easily the country of 
greatest possibilities in South America. It already supplies 
over 36 per cent of the foreign trade of South America, 
although having but about 15 per cent of the area and 14.5 
per cent of the population. Argentina has the products 
which the world needs, and must have increasingly as popu- 
lation increases — namely food stuffs. We are practically 
ceasing already to export them. Argentina has just begun 
making meat shipments to us. Land values are steadily 
rising in the Plate region. But even in Argentina there are 
facts to be considered. 

In Patagonia, south of the Rio Negro, the productive 
quality of the land as evidenced in the support of sheep, is 
one to six, when compared with the land of the province 
of Buenos Aires, which is certainly one of the richest, if not 
the richest area of land of the same extent in the world. In 
the central part of Argentina the question of insufficient 
rainfall is serious. At the western boundary of Argentina 
the rainfall diminishes to 4 inches, but there irrigation is 
possible, and is in effect. In the north of Argentina there 


214 


SELDEN O. MARTIN 


is much saline and alkaline land and swamp land. The 
amount of fertile land in Argentina is not limitless, and is 
probably overestimated. The possibilities of dry farming 
are not exhausted, by any means, but it can be said that the 
Argentine government regards as a serious problem the great 
areas of semi-arid land between San Luis and Mendoza. A 
survey of the physical resources of Argentina recently com- 
pleted estimates that two-fifths of its area is arable land. 
Once more, still mindful of the precarious footing of a proph- 
et, it can be ventured that an estimate of 30,000,000 as a 
possibility for the present 7,000,000 of population of Argen- 
tina need not be regarded as pessimistic. 

In Brazil, a country whose area is nearly equal to our own 
excluding Alaska, we have much more of an unknown quan- 
tity. Transportation conditions and labor conditions in 
Brazil are indeed serious. The labor situation it is being 
sought to remedy by immigration, and by industrial educa- 
tion, and general bettering of conditions. No one really 
knows much about Brazil. It has a population at present 
of about 21,000,000 probably, three times as great as Argen- 
tina, but with 5 per cent less trade. Ninety per cent of 
Brazil and over is in the tropics. Its position in trade is 
due chiefly to its products — rubber, coffee, and cocoa. In 
coffee its position seems secure, its proportion to the world’s 
supply is steadily increasing and it now furnishes nearly 
three-fourths of it. In rubber exactly the reverse has taken 
place — its proportion to the world’s supply falling to about 
one-half at present, and still decreasing, and it is perfectly 
true to say that Brazilian rubber interests are seriously 
alarmed over the future of their rubber. Experimentation 
in plantation rubber is being conducted, and labor and 
transportation conditions are being bettered in an attempt 
to hold its position in the world’s rubber market. 

I should dislike to be considered too conservative about 
South America. What I have sought is to leave with you 
two ideas, one general, the other specific. One an economic 
perspective of South America that I believe to be correct, 
and the other a concrete suggestion for our South American 
trade to establish an American department store in at least 


ECONOMIC FACTS ABOUT SOUTH AMERICA 


215 


one city in South America, and preferably in four cities — 
as a potent stimulator of trade. 

I firmly believe that despite the general natural infe- 
riority of South America to North America, it will progress 
more in the next fifty years than it has in the last four hun- 
dred. Its time has come. Political stability is on the in- 
crease all over South America, and public financial respon- 
sibility of the southern countries is practically assured. 
Isolated, small, private capital investment is not yet rec- 
ommended, however. Large scale, corporate investment 
is much more advisable. To Americans seeking their for- 
tune it may be said that the men chiefly desired at present 
are those technically trained in the various branches of 
engineering — civil, electrical, and mechanical. And in 
Argentina at least our agriculturists are looked upon most 
favorably. To the American in general seeking his fortune 
I am confident that the opportunities are better now, and 
for some time to come, in the United States and Canada, 
and that in the long run the comforts of life — what the econ- 
omist would call “consumer’s surplus” — will be found 
greater in the United States and Canada. 

The English and especially the Germans, it is true, are 
going to South America, but remember that Germany, in 
an area no larger than New England, New York, and Penn- 
sylvania, is supporting a population of over 65,000,000, or 
three times the population that those states are supporting 
and we consider them crowded. Conditions due to dense 
population similar to those of Germany prevail in England. 

The young American, with a love for travel and adven- 
ture, the American with technical training, the American 
engaged in foreign trade, or seeking to engage in foreign 
trade, may be advised to go, if he is assured of a definite 
opening. Other Americans before going may well consider. 


THE PROBABLE EFFECT OF THE OPENING OF 
THE PANAMA CANAL ON OUR ECONOMIC 
RELATIONS WITH THE PEOPLE OF THE 
WEST COAST OF SOUTH AMERICA 

By Hiram Bingham, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Latin- 
American History, Yale University 

With the actual opening of the Panama Canal so near at 
hand, it may seem to some that the consideration of this sub- 
ject had better be postponed for a decade or so until the ac- 
tual effect rather than the probable effect can be the topic 
for discussion. To such minds the proper time for consider- 
ing this subject has long since passed. It might have been 
worth discussing when the question as to the advisability 
of our digging the canal was in the air, but at present, they 
say, it is simply a waste of time. 

To this it may be replied that the American people dug 
the Panama Canal for military expediency and because it 
suited them to do so, chiefly to knit our own country closer 
together, and without regard to its good or bad effects on the 
west coast of South America. Consequently there was no par- 
ticular object in discussing this subject in connection with 
the advisability of digging the canal. Furthermore, while 
there is no question that a study of the actual effect of the 
canal on the west coast will prove to be both interesting and 
instructive if undertaken during the course of the next dec- 
ade, there are also good reasons why it is expedient to con- 
sider this subject now, even while we are on the threshold 
of the new era. 

The chief of these reasons is the keen optimism which pre- 
vails in some circles in the United States and to a greater ex- 
tent on the West Coast, that the opening of the canal is going to 
usher in an era of great prosperity; is in fact, going to effect a 
veritable economic revolution. If this is true, we must prepare 
for it; if not, we must be on our guard against it. In either 
case the very existence of this optimism is a sufficient cause 

216 


EFFECT OF THE OPENING OF THE PANAMA CANAL 217 


for the most careful consideration of the possibilities. Fore- 
warned is forearmed. No man starteth to build a house 
without counting the cost thereof, lest when his work is but 
half completed he find that he cannot continue, and his half- 
built edifice remaineth as evidence of his folly. In other 
words, it is the policy of wisdom both for us and for South 
America to look ahead as far and as carefully as possible. 

Now that we have mentioned this optimism, it may as 
well be admitted in the beginning that the probable effects 
due to this very optimism are among the most difficult things 
which we have to estimate. Psychology is, I suppose, a 
science, although some people still classify it under philoso- 
phy, and regard it as extremely empirical, The day may 
come when the masters of psychology will be able to give 
us as accurate a prediction regarding the probable force of 
any given set of beliefs or opinions as the economic geologists 
give today in regard to the probable value of any given min- 
eral deposit. No one denies that geology is a science, even 
though we all know that the reports of economic geologists 
with regard to the probable success of a mine are not always 
infallible! 

But at present, psychologists have not got to that point 
where they can even approximate the positive effects of 
widely disseminated beliefs. Consequently, it is extremely 
difficult, if not absolutely impossible, to say to how great an 
extent the psychological side of the opening of the Panama 
Canal is going to affect our trade with the west coast and our 
relations with the people of Ecuador, Peru and Chile. Yet 
this part of the problem cannot be lightly dismissed, for it 
appears to be one of considerable magnitude. 

Nearly every intelligent Peruvian and Ecuadorian with 
whom one talks believes firmly and enthusiastically that, 
with the opening of the Panama Canal, his country is going to 
start out on an era of great commercial prosperity. To his 
sensitive and imaginative mind, the defenses to a rich and 
great city are about to be pierced. The opening of the water- 
way is to him the unlocking of the gates permitting him to 
enter and enjoy the results of a long and arduous siege. With 
the inrush of the waters into the canal will come an inrush of 


218 


HIRAM BINGHAM 


capital, immigration and trade, which will raise his country 
out of its present despondent condition and place it in the 
forefront of the world’s progress. Veritably it is a miracle 
wdiich is about to happen. 

The Chilian is somewhat less optimistic. He is sure the 
the canal will benefit Chile, but just how much is another 
question. He is keenly conscious of the fact that heretofore 
Chile has been nearer Europe on the ocean waterway than 
any other west coast country, while the opening of the canal 
will reverse this position and make Chile the farthest away. 
At the same time, the Chilian is doing what he can to take 
advantage of any new opportunities by actively building 
new docks and new railroads. A large section of the longi- 
tudinal railway which parallels the coast has recently been 
completed, and plans are already being considered for large 
extensions. By reasion of its wealth of nitrates Chile is pros- 
perous. Export duties on this valuable product give her 
an abundant revenue. Her climate is more temperate; what 
agricultural land she has is more available. The Indian 
stock in the south of Chile is more vigorous than that of her 
northern neighbors. 

Owing to adverse economic conditions the ardent optim- 
ism of the Peruvians and Ecuadorians has not enabled them 
to do as much as they would like in preparation for the 
opening of the canal. Furthermore, there is the well-known 
tendency which prevails in so many tropical countries of 
believing that things are going to happen without actually 
doing very much to make them happen. Consequently, 
much as I feel that the west coast people are going to be dis- 
appointed in the extent of the prosperity which is about to 
come to their shores, I have not found any evidence to show 
that this disappointment, if it comes, will mean great finan- 
cial loss, accompanied by the hardships incident to the col- 
lapse of a boom, unless this boom is engineered by outside 
capital. Even in that case, the hardest blow will fall on the 
investor, and there are relatively few capitalists on the west 
coast. 

The psychologic effect on the minds and actions of the busi- 
ness men of the United States is far more difficult to estimate, 


EFFECT OF THE OPENING OF THE PANAMA CANAL 219 


and is likely to be followed by graver consequences. If a con- 
siderable number of American manufacturers and capitalists 
get carried away with the idea that the opening of the Pan- 
ama Canal means a great boom on the west coast of South 
America, if they believe that the completion of that water- 
way is of equal significance with the completion of the first 
transcontinental railway across the United States, or with 
one of the great industrial discoveries such as the practical 
application of steam to navigation or the replacement of 
iron for wood in the construction of ocean vessels, if they 
catch any part of the tremendous optimism and enthusiasm 
of the average Peruvian, for instance, something very serious 
is going to happen. American energy and initiative, backed 
by American capital, will be directed to new projects, and 
enterprises involving great risks will be undertaken. 

It is possible to conceive of a great increase in our trade 
with the west coast of South America, due solely to the fact 
that American manufacturers believe that the opening of the 
canal has opened to them a new market, and made it possible 
for them to secure trade in regions where they have supposed 
this was heretofor impossible. It is entirely within the 
bounds of possibility that American capitalists, looking for 
larger returns on their investments, and believing that the 
opening of the Panama Canal is equivalent to opening the 
doors of tremendous opportunity on the west coast, will 
place large sums of money in enterprises which they would 
not otherwise have thought of considering. 

We have no means of estimating precisely the extent of 
this optmism in this country. It varies in different sections 
and varies largely with the temperament of the people with 
whom one talks. If we could only tell exactly the force of it, 
we should be able to predict with reasonable accuracy the 
size of the approaching boom. 

Before any such boom gets started it behooves us to ob- 
serve as accurately as possible the foundation on which it 
will have to rest. If the economic and geographical founda- 
tions exist for such an extension of trade and capital as would 
follow any such optimism on our part as exists on the west 
coast, then the future has indeed in store for us many won- 


220 


HIRAM BINGHAM 


derfully attractive features. If on the other hand, sufficiently 
broad bases do not exist for the building up of such an edifice 
as we have just contemplated, a crash is bound to follow, and 
a crash that will cause suffering both here and abroad in 
direct proportion to the superlative or unwarranted enthusi- 
asm which has been aroused by the psychology of the open- 
ing of the canal. 

Jn other words, if our examination shows this foundation 
to be broad, solid and stationary, the sooner the average 
American business man makes up his mind to join in the 
movement the greater will be his gain. If, on the other hand, 
we come to the conviction that the foundations are narrow 
and uncertain, the more cautious the American manufacturer 
and capitalist are, the less they will lose in time and money, 
and the less the west coast will lose in reputation and good 
prospects. 

The probable effects of the opening of the Canal on our 
relations to the west coast depend, therefore, not only on the 
amount of enthusiasm that is aroused in the United States, 
and on the west coast; but also, in the long run, on the actual 
economic and geographical conditions on that coast. Having 
considered the psychological side, let us now turn to the geo- 
graphical and ethnological. 

In the first place let me ask you to look at a physiographic 
map of South America. The first thing that will strike your 
attention is that the great highlands of South America run 
continuously up and down the west coast within a few miles 
of the seaboard. On the east coast are a number of high 
mountains, but on the west coast there is a long section which 
you will see is over 16,000 feet above sea level, and a still 
longer section which continues for thousands of miles with- 
out a break at an elevation of over 10,000 feet. 

It looks as though nature had built a bulwark, an enor- 
mous Chinese wall, to protect South America from approach 
on the west. This enormous mountain barrier makes the 
little Gateway at Panama seem very futile so far as the great 
bulk of the South American continent is concerned. Here is a 
barrier several thousand miles long, and varying in height 
from 8000 to 20,000 feet. Scarcely ever is it less than 10,000 


EFFECT OF THE OPENING OF THE PANAMA CANAL 221 


feet above sea level. It is not fair to say that the opening 
of the Canal will not affect the height of this mountain wall, 
for anything which cheapens transportation makes it easier 
to bring in the steel rails and locomotives which can climb 
the Andes and reach the central and eastern parts of South 
America. At the same time, it must not be forgotten that, 
owing to the lack of any such barrier on the east coast, and 
owing to the existence there of navigable rivers like the Ama- 
zon, the Madeira, and the Rio de la Plata, the valuable 
central and eastern plains of South America are much more 
accessible from the Atlantic than they will ever be from 
the Pacific coast. 

Speaking of rivers you will observe that there are no navi- 
gable rivers on the west coast. Speaking of plains, it is per- 
fectly evident that the great plains where agriculture and 
animal industries can be carried on to any great extent, are 
not on the west coast, but on the east, and are tapped by 
navigable rivers in a country where railroads can be built 
easily and cheaply, instead of with the maximum both of 
difficulty and expense as on the west coast. 

If the day ever comes when aeroplanes are relatively as 
safe and as cheap as bicycles, then life in the Andes will see 
a great revolution. But the opening of the Panama Canal 
has relatively little to do with the maintenance cost of Andean 
transportation. Even those railroads which are already in 
existence and are in the best locations for securing trade and 
building up local industries, find it excessively difficult to pay 
expenses. Eliminate all the differences in cost of building 
these railroads between what they actually cost and what it 
would cost to construct them after the opening of the Panama 
Canal, and even on that basis of capitalization, they could 
only with the greatest difficulty pay a very moderate inter- 
est on the investment. 

When one looks at the physical character of South America, 
it is easy to understand why this is so. Before a railroad can 
get more than 100 miles into the interior, it must climb up 
into the sky, two or three miles. Take for instance the Oroya 
Railroad which runs from Lima, the capital of Peru, into 
its richest mining district. In the first 75 miles it has to 


222 


HIRAM BINGHAM 


climb up over 15,000 feet. This means enormous expense 
of maintenance. Even if the railroad ran through a rich and 
rapidly developing country, it would have serious financial 
problems to face. As it is, its difficulties are almost insuper- 
able. And when one gets up on top of the plateau, what 
then? Life at great altitudes is anything but pleasant. The 
possibilities are extremely limited. There are mines and 
there are great mineral deposits. Some parts of them have 
been exploited by wealthy and enthusiastic capitalists; 
very few have paid dividends. It is a grave question whether 
the opening of the Panama Canal will aid much to alter the 
conditions of transportation, the difficulties of securing labor, 
and the unpleasantness of conducting mines at an elevation 
of over 13,000 feet above sea level. 

There is no place in the world where transportation prob- 
lems are more difficult than on the west coast of South Amer- 
ica. The rails in southern Peru have to cross a pass at an 
elevation of 14,666 feet above sea level. The new railroad 
in northern Chile has a pass nearly 14,000 feet high, and the 
next railroad that crosses the Andes to the great silver mines 
and tin deposits of southern Bolivia crosses at an elevation of 
14,500 feet. The transcontinental line goes through a tun- 
nel at an elevation of over 10,000 feet. This great mountain 
chain of the Andes, translated into terms of economic effi- 
ciency, means enormous costs of transportation, terrific dif- 
ficulties in building railroads, canyons from 4000 to 10,000 
feet deep separating sparsely populated mountain uplands, 
where it is not easy to believe that there is enough economic 
basis for the construction of the extremely costly railroads 
which would have to be built to connect them. 

We have heard from some of our friends in Washington 
that the opening of the Panama Canal is going to open a 
tremendous opportunity to commerce and trade in this coun- 
try on the west coast of South America. I am quite willing 
to admit that if the geographical conditions were turned 
about, the opening of the Panama Canal would indeed be 
the means of a vast opportunity in South America for the 
commerce and trade of this country. 

Just imagine for a moment what the opening of the Pan- 


EFFECT OF THE OPENING OF THE PANAMA CANAL 223 


ama Canal would mean if the east coast of South America 
were fringed by a mountain barrier 10,000 feet high and 
the west coast had navigible rivers and enormous plains. It 
almost paralyzes the imagination to attempt to estimate the 
enormous development which would speedily follow the 
shortening of distances. Instead of this being the case, the 
reverse is true, and the great bulk of South America will 
not be one day nearer than it ever has been, and the worst 
of it is that this bulk is not only larger in area, but far more 
important economically. The possibilities for the future 
development of Brazil and Argentina are so great that it 
is impossible to estimate them, but such remarks, unfortu- 
nately, cannot apply to the west coast where the hand of 
Nature has not been any too kind. 

Not only did nature build a stone wall to shut off the west 
coast from participating in the normal development of the 
South American continent, but she proceeded to build a 
desert wall as well. There are more than 2000 miles of the 
west coast that do not get more than 10 inches of rain a year. 
Here, again, it would seem as though nature had given an 
extraordinarily heavy handicap to the Pacific side of South 
.America. 

Not content with raising a huge mountain barrier, she 
has put in a barrier of desert for nearly 2000 miles, and as 
though adding insult to injury, at the two extremities of the 
west coast, where the desert does not exist, Nature goes to 
the other extreme and gives too much rain. As a result, the 
western edge of the Republic of Colombia is a dense tropical 
jungle, fever stricken and extremely unhealthy. The south- 
ern coast of Chile, where there is abundant rain, is in a cold 
region, very much like Norway. The temperate latitudes are 
largely desert. Incidentally, one observes by looking at a 
rainfall map of South America that those regions which are 
properly watered, having between 40 and 80 inches a year, 
are almost entirely in Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Brazil, 
and Venezuela. In other words, the east coast, besides hav- 
ing the advantage in navigable streams and plains, has a 
great advantage in rainfall. There seems to be very little 
comfort for those who are looking for a geographically solid 


224 


HIRAM BINGHAM 


basis for the economic development of the west coast, even 
after the Panama Canal is opened. In the North we have 
tropical jungles and in the south cold araucaria. The central 
portion is desert and a great deal of it is Alpine. 

It may be interesting to note in passing that the causes 
of this curious distribution of rainfall are threefold: the 
height of the Andes, the direction of the Humboldt current, 
and the direction of the prevailing winds across the con- 
tinent of South America. These winds coming from the 
Atlantic, laden with moisture, cause great rainfall in the Am- 
azon Valley and on the eastern side of the mountains, and 
leave no moisture to be precipitated on the west coast. The 
Humboldt current, cooling the entire coast as far north as 
Ecuador, causes some mist and rain to be deposited at sea 
and along the fringing foothills during some part of the year, 
but prevents the sunburned coastal strip from securing even 
that little rain that it might expect in occasional westerlies. 
One of the surprising things some people find when they go 
down the west coast is that the water is too cold to permit 
them the luxury of tropical sea baths, as in Hawaii. 

In view of all this, conditions are most undesirable for 
anything like ranching or agriculture on the west coast, 
whereas on the east coast, Nature, in addition to giving them 
extremely fertile plains and a fine agricultural country, has 
given them the best rainfall that one could wish for, for the 
purposes of agriculture and animal industries. 

Now, keeping clearly in mind the actual geographical 
handicaps of the west coast, the long desert on the seaboard, 
the high dry plateau back of it, and the lofty chain of moun- 
tains rendering transportation extremely difficult and ex- 
cessively expensive, let us attempt to estimate just what 
economic basis the future development of the west coast has 
to depend upon. 

First and foremost comes mineral wealth. If there is 
enough mineral wealth it can overcome untold difficulties of 
transportation. It does not need rainfall or vegetation; it 
merely requires a market. Mineral wealth is the strong point 
of the west coast. The very aridity of the northern Chilian 
desert is the cause of Chile’s great wealth of nitrates. The 


EFFECT OF THE OPENING OF THE PANAMA CANAL 225 


exploitation of the nitrate fields by English and other foreign 
capitalists, and by the Chilian capitalists themselves, has 
gone on apace during the past twenty-five years. The neces- 
sary railroads and port works have been constructed, labor 
has been introduced, and refining plants have been built. The 
only clouds on the horizon, are, first, the fact that there must 
be a definite limit to the amount of nitrate which can be 
profitably extracted, and, second, the recent successful 
extraction, in Norway, of nitrates from the nitrogen in the 
atmosphere. 

The length of the ocean voyage from the nitrate fields to 
the agricultural fields of Germany, one of the best customers 
for Chilian nitrates, will be shortened about 3000 miles by 
the opening of the Canal. This will cheapen the cost of ni- 
trate in Germany and thereby benefit the European farmer, 
if, as seems likely, the canal tolls do not offset this to a great 
extent. Similarly, it ought to cheapen the cost of fertilizers 
to our western farmers, who will undoubtedly import nitrate 
through the port of New Orleans. Eventually, it seems as 
though this might be of great benefit to agriculture in the 
United States, and, by increasing the demand, of consider- 
able benefit to the Chilians. The outlook here is decidedly 
promising. The question as to the limits of production of the 
somewhat restricted Chilian nitrate field need not concern us 
here at this time, for there seems to be plenty of nitrate for 
at least fifty or one hundred years to come. 

Unquestionably, the agriculturists of the Mississippi Val- 
ley ought to be prepared to take advantage of the cheapen- 
ing of the cost of nitrates which must follow the opening of 
the Canal. It is common knowledge that we in this country 
lag far behind Europe in our knowledge of intensive cultiva- 
tion and scientific agriculture. With our broad and fertile 
prairies, we have not had to practice such careful husbandry 
as the European farmers. This is one of the causes of the 
high cost of living. There is no doubt that the time is coming 
when we shall learn the advantage of making our soil produce 
as much as it possibly can. 

The sugar planters of Louisiana, who believe that they 
face ruin in the prospect of free sugar, have yet to test the 


226 


HIRAM BINGHAM 


result of using Chilian nitrates. It may be that with the 
cheapening of this product in the port of New Orleans, it 
will be possible for the Louisiana planter so to increase the 
yield of his fields that he will be better off than in the old days 
of protected sugar. It is well known that the most profitable 
sugar plantations on the Hawaiian Islands have long used 
scientifically made fertilizers in keeping the production of 
their sugar-cane fields up to the maximum. Even in my 
boyhood I remember sailing- vessels coming to Honolulu 
laden with Chilian nitrates. 

Cargoes, like nitrates, which bulk large and have relatively 
small value, cannot pay heavy transportation charges. It 
certainly would not have paid to have carried them across 
the Isthmus of Panama by rail for the sake of getting them 
quickly to New Orleans. A tramp steamer, with a load of 
Chilian nitrate, bound for Iquique to New Orleans, will find 
its journey shortened by 6000 miles, saving 50 cents to $1 per 
ton. Here in this nitrate business is something definite and 
tangible, a solid basis for future growth, and a cause of in- 
creased prosperity both to Chile and to the Mississippi Val- 
ley, if not also to the states of the Atlantic seaboard. 

The guano of the Permian islands comes under the same 
head. The chief difficulty here is that, owing to the very 
limited quantity of this product and the need for it in Peru- 
vian agriculture, it does not seem likely to prove a large fac- 
tor in the future development. Only recently an executive 
order has stopped the collection of guano on those islands 
from which the Peruvian Corporation secured their most val- 
uable product and one of the chief sources of their none-too- 
large profits. 

Next to nitrates, probably comes copper. The world- 
wide increase in the use of electricity seems to be creating 
a steadily increasing market for this metal. There are enor- 
mous copper deposits in Peru and Chile. Probably the best 
known in this country are the mines of Cerro de Pasco and of 
the Braden Copper Company. Stories of extraordinary new 
finds are continually coming in; contradictory reports con- 
cerning the future development of very extensive projects, 
one of them necessitating the building of a $5,000,000 rail- 


EFFECT OF THE OPENING OF THE PANAMA CANAL 227 


way in order to connect one of these copper deposits with 
the seacoast, are current in the South American journals. 
With the shortened water transportation, undoubtedly an in- 
creased amount of copper will be brought from the west 
coast to the United States. As long as copper is as valuable 
as it is at present, about $330 a ton, it is worth while to pay 
the high charges of the Panama Railroad. Whether the in- 
creased output of copper, which will be encouraged by the 
greater ease of transport, will seriously affect the price in 
this country is a matter of dispute. On the other hand, there 
is no doubt that the money spent in west coast mines for 
wages will increase the purchasing power of the people of the 
west coast. 

Next to coppper in importance from the mineral standpoint 
comes the tin of Bolivia, which must find its outlet either 
through the ports of the west coast or by the railways of 
Argentina. It was the original intention of both the Argen- 
tine and Bolivian governments to build a railway south from 
Potosf, so that this most important tin-producing region 
would find its outlet on the Rio de Plata rather than on the 
Pacific Ocean. But the actual railroad which has been con- 
structed from Oruro to Potosf makes it more probable that 
this tin will come out by way of Antofagasta. Here again is 
the basis for increased prosperity in Bolivia and for cheaper 
tin for American manufacturers. Whether it will work 
out that way or not remains to be seen. 

With regard to the more precious metals, such as gold, 
silver, and vanadium, they are of such great value in propor- 
tion to their bulk that it is doubtful whether the opening of 
the Panama Canal will seriously affect their production, 
even though it will make it a little cheaper for mines to secure 
heavy machinery. The chief cost of transporting this ma- 
chinery in the past, however, has not been the long ocean 
voyage, but the difficulty of getting it ashore on a coast 
where good ports are extremely scarce, and the enormous cost 
of transporting it over the mountains to the mines where it is 
needed. 

I remember visiting a well-known gold mine in southern 
Peru in 1911, where a quartz-crushing plant was being in- 


228 


HIRAM BINGHAM 


stalled. We were informed by the manager that the cost of 
bringing some of the pieces of the machinery over the two 
days of pack-mule trail w r as almost equal to the value of the 
mules. In other words, the mule contractor found that after 
a mule had made one journey with such a heavy piece of 
machinery it was good for nothing thereafter. It seems to 
me highly problematical whether the cheapening of ocean 
freights will cause any great increase in the amount of rail- 
way building, and after all tne greatest barrier in the way 
of developing a mountainous mineral region is the cost of 
transportation and the maintenance of roads. 

Finally, there is the question of petroleum. Within the 
past few years profitable oil w T ells have been developed on the 
coast of northern Peru. Recently word has come of the inten- 
tion of British capitalists to invest a large amount of money 
in exploiting oil fields in Ecuador and Colombia. The open- 
ing of the Canal will enable the west coast oil to find a nearer 
market. 

The minute one leaves the question of mineral resources 
and begins to take up the question of agriculture, it can read- 
ily be imagined that this is a subject which has very decided 
limitations. To be sure, there are considerable areas in 
Peru, at present desert, which might be irrigated. Last 
winter when I w r as in Lima I was told that there were two 
representatives of foreign capitalists then in Lima, attempting 
to secure concessions which would make it worth while to 
invest from $5,000,000 to $10,000,000 in irrigation enter- 
prises. Considered with their relative bearing on the great 
question of any extraordinary era of commercial prosperity, 
such enterprises would only be interesting as straws to show 
which way the wind was blowing. The fact remains that the 
capital was walling to come if it could get reasonably favor- 
able consideration. I do not speak from personal knowledge, 
but I have been told on w’hat I believe to be good authority, 
that both enterprises fell through because of local conditions 
which w r ould not be affected by the opening of the Panama 
Canal. 

It is easy for the enthusiastic La tin- American to let his 
imagination get the best of him and to overestimate the 


EFFECT OF THE OPENING OF THE PANAMA CANAL 229 


value of the great natural resources of his country. It is 
difficult for him to realize the enormous human handicaps 
that exist between the consummation of his wishes and actual 
conditions. He is not to be blamed for this ; it is, on the con- 
trary, a praiseworthy quality. People inhabitating a region 
where Nature has placed great obstacles in the way of human 
progress must necessarily be optimistic or they will be 
crushed by pessimism. At the same time, it behooves the 
investigator to take careful account of this optimism, which, 
by raising too many artificial obstacles, frequently gets in the 
way of the investment of capital. Not only optimism, but 
pride of race, and justifiable self-respect, frequently obstruct 
the course of those who would secure profitable concessions. 

It is true that a certain amount of sugar and cotton can 
be raised on the Peruvian coast. The land available for such 
purposes is not unlimited and there are, furthermore, serious 
handicaps in the way of great progress along these lines. 
Both water and labor are scarce. At the same time, and 
within certain definite restrictions, the amount of machinery 
which could profitably be sold to sugar and cotton planters 
in Peru is undoubtedly capable of increase. Cheaper freights, 
more speedy delivery, and lack of the necessity of trans- 
shipment at Panama ought to benefit both the Peruvian 
planters and American manufacturers of machinery. To 
how great an extent this benefit is capable of enlargement, 
time alone can tell. Those who are interested will have to 
make a special study of this subject. 

From this review of economic resources it is readily seen 
that while the future of the west coast has nothing in store 
at all comparable in extent to the future of the east coast, 
there are great possibilities from the tremendous deposits 
of copper, nitrates, and tin, and the possible extent of oil 
fields. The development of these mineral industries means 
the necessity of building railroads. The influx of capital 
which must follow this will slowly increase the purchasing 
power of the people, and thereby increase the demand for 
American manufactured products. 

This now brings us to the second aspect of our problem, 
namely, the ethnographic or racial side. Who are the people 


230 


HIRAM BINGHAM 


that form the great bulk of the market of the west coast? 
The majority of them are non-Spanish-speaking Indians. 
The people whom you meet in the cities, as you travel up 
and down the coast, are, most of them, Spanish-speaking de- 
scendents of the early Spanish conquerors and former Span- 
ish colonists. But when you get in to the back country you 
find hundreds of thousands of civilized Indians who do not use 
the Spanish language. These people are extremely conserva- 
tive. They have very few wants, and they do not form an 
active purchasing class. Their wants have got to be care- 
fully studied by the American exporter, and in particular 
the wants which they are going to develop during the next 
generation. Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia are governed by 
Spanish-speaking people, and if you visit the cities of Guaya- 
quil, Lima, Valparaiso, and Iquique, or even interior cities 
like Arequipa and Santiago, the people whom you meet, 
and most of the people whom you see, speak Spanish. But 
the great mass of the population of the Andes, both north 
and south, is still primitive Indian, speaking Quichua and 
Aymard. 

The Indian problem is a very serious thing; it is in fact 
the most serious thing that confronts the governments of 
Peru and Bolivia today. In eastern Peru the rich man, the 
well-to-do man, the man of culture and refinement, almost 
without exception gets his money from land on which he 
has planted either coca, the source of cocaine, or sugar cane, 
from which he gets sugar to a certain extent, but to a far 
larger extent aguardiente or “fire-water. ” 

The cost of transporting coca leaves or “fire-water” bears 
some fair proportion to the value of the product in a land of 
mule transportation. Consequently it pays to raise and de- 
velop these crops, but unfortunately it results in an entire 
economic system based on the production and consumption 
of two deleterious things, cocaine and fire-water, and the 
chief consumers are the Indian laborers, the majority of the 
people of the Andes, whose efficiency is thereby steadily di- 
minished. It is a vicious circle and one of the greatest prob- 
lems that confronts those countries. Personally, it seems 
to me possible to establish in these interior valleys planta- 


EFFECT OF THE OPENING OF THE PANAMA CANAL 231 


tions of cotton, and to utilize the tremendous resources of 
power from the streams, and so to build up a circle which 
will provide to the Indians something besides two things 
that damage them and take away all ambition and progress. 

Furthermore, as I have previously said, the Indians are 
extremely conservative; their habits are very difficult to 
change. You may show them the best form of the most 
efficient spade to work with — they prefer the old kind. You 
may provide them with steel plows, but unless you make 
them use them, they will continue to use the pointed stick. 
Consequently, there is a difficult problem to meet there, an 
ethnological problem that demands earnest attention and 
first-hand study. The Indians are not ready for a boom. 

Finally, let me recapitulate: 

Keen optimism prevails in some circles in the United States 
and, to a greater extent, on the west coast, as to the probable 
results of the opening of the Panama Canal. Many people 
believe that a veritable economic revolution is going to set 
in and that the west coast is on the verge of an era of great 
prosperity. 

It is difficult to estimate exactly the psychological results 
of the opening of the Panama Canal. At the same time, there 
is no question that the great optimism which prevails will 
cause many business ventures to be undertaken. Some of 
these might well be done now, but actually they will not be 
begun until after the opening of the Panama Canal, because 
many business men firmly believe that the opening of the 
Canal means the opening of very great opportunities. The 
inhabitants of the west coast are likely to be disappointed in 
the extent of the prosperity which is about to come to their 
shores. At the same time, their ardent optimism is likely to 
arouse them to greater economic efforts. The psychologic 
effect on the business men of the United States is likely to 
lead them to believe that the opening of the Canal will open 
to them a new market and will make it possible for them to 
secure trade in regions heretofore inaccessible. If the econ- 
omic and geographic foundations exist for such an extension 
of trade as will follow great optimism on our part, then the 
future has in store for us many wonderfully attractive fea- 


232 


HIRAM BINGHAM 


tures. If, on the other hand, sufficient broad bases do not 
exist, a crash is bound to follow unless we have foreseen the 
danger and avoided going further than we are warranted in 
doing. 

The geographic bases of the future expansion of the west 
coast may best be seen by a careful examination of the physio- 
graphic, rainfall, and vegetation maps of South America. 
These show that the west coast is a narrow strip bounded by 
lofty mountains and the ocean; that the larger part is not 
provided with adequate rainfall, but is really a desert; and 
that there are no navigable rivers on the west coast. The 
great well-watered plains, the navigable rivers, the enor- 
mous stretches of agricultural and ranch land, are east of 
the wall of the Andes. It almost paralyzes the imagination 
to attempt to estimate the enormous development which 
would speedily follow the opening of the Panama Canal if the 
geographical conditions of South America were reversed. The 
tremendous shortening of distances which is going to take 
place so far as ocean transportation is concerned, will not 
bring the great bulk of South America one day nearer than 
it ever has been. The great future for American commerce 
and investment lies in Argentina and Brazil. This is not 
saying that there are no opportunities on the west coast, 
but those opportunities are chiefly connected with the de- 
velopment of oil fields and of mines of copper, tin, and ni- 
trate, and the building of railroads in connection with the 
development of mineral industries. 

The opening of the Panama Canal will enable the west 
coast of South America to secure necessary machinery and 
railroad equipment somewhat more cheaply, but probably 
the saving will not amount to more than SI per ton. The 
greatest benefit so far as the United States is concerned, 
will be in the ability of the Mississippi Valley states to secure 
cheaper fertilizer from the nitrate fields of Chile and to se- 
cure a nearer market for their own manufactured products. 
The greatest benefit which the west coast will receive will 
be in lessening the time it takes her copper, tin, and nitrates 
to reach Europe and America, and her machinery and manu- 
factured articles to arrive. The saving on shipments which 


EFFECT OF THE OPENING OF THE PANAMA CANAL 233 


have heretofore gone by the Panama Railroad will be consid- 
erable, but the actual saving in cost on each shipment which 
has heretofore gone in tramp steamers from New York 
through the Straights of Magellan will not be very great after 
the Panama Canal tolls have been paid. It is possible that 
this saving may not amount in many cases to as little as 
50 cents per ton. 

The more cautious the American manufacturer and cap- 
italist is, the less will he lose in time and money, and the 
less the west coast will lose in reputation and good prospects. 
At the same time, it is undoubtedly true that, Panama Canal 
or no Panama Canal, the west coast of South America offers 
many opportunities to American manufacturers and capi- 
talists which are not being taken advantage of today, but 
which are likely to be taken advantage of in the future 
after we get people acquainted with the west coast. The 
running of through first-class passenger steamers from New 
York to Peru and Chile by the Panama Canal will un- 
doubtedly enormously increase travel to those countries. The 
intimate knowledge thus gained will lead to an extension of 
trade and investment. With the lack of delays caused 
by congestion of shipping at the Isthmus of the west coast, 
merchants will be encouraged to increase their purchases, 
since they will be able to count on the date of delivery with 
far greater exactitude than at present. 

In conclusion, I cannot urge too strongly the necessity for 
first-hand investigation of the field. The economic condition 
of each west coast country should be studied from the point 
of view of the different manufacturers who are interested 
in promoting their foreign commerce. Millions of pounds 
sterling have been invested in South America by British 
capitalists, without their having secured adequate return, be- 
cause they formerly rushed in without securing first hand 
knowledge of the particular fields in question. It is not to 
our interest nor to the interest of the west coast countries, 
to have an inflated boom followed by disastrous conclusions. 
At the same time there is no question that the American 
manufacturer is not taking full advantage of the oppor- 
tunities offered him by the actual and steady economic de- 


234 


HIRAM BINGHAM 


velopment of the west coast. He has not, as a rule, made a 
careful study of things, and of the problematical purchasing 
power of the millions of Indians, inhabiting the highlands of 
Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia. German manufac- 
turers are far ahead of him in this particular thing, owing 
to the far greater number of German wholesale merchants in 
the mountain cities and towns. 

While it is true that the opportunity for enormous devel- 
opment is far greater in the highlands of Brazil and on the 
plains of Argentina than in the rocky fastnesses of Chile and 
Peru, the fact remains that there are great mineral deposits 
awaiting development, and awaiting such a careful study of 
the conditions incident to their development as will overcome 
the obstacles placed there by Nature, and make possible 
the extraction of these minerals economically and profit- 
ably. The opening of the Panama Canal will allow cargoes of 
ore to be brought to the United States more cheaply than 
before. This will stimulate activity at the mines and im- 
prove the economic status of the laborer, and consequently 
increase the demand for manufactured products which could 
be exported from this country. 

Finally, if the American manufacturer and exporter will 
secure first-hand information in regard to the peculiar con- 
ditions of the various countries, and will not expect more 
than Nature gives him a right to expect, he can take a part 
in the development and up-building of the economic future 
of the west coast, which will bring profit to himself, credit 
to his country, and prosperity to the west coast. Such a re- 
sult would be a most desirable effect of the opening of the 
Panama Canal on our relations with the people of South 
America. 


SOME OF THE OBSTACLES TO NORTH 
AMERICAN TRADE IN BRAZIL 


By John C. Branner, LL.D., President of 
Stanford University 

I am not and never have been directly interested in trade. 
During the ten years of my travels in Brazil I have been in 
the employ of the Brazilian government as a geologist, or I 
have been otherwise engaged in the study of the geology 
and natural history of the country. My travels, however, 
have taken me into all parts of the country, into nearly 
every one of the Brazilian states, and among all classes of 
people. What I have to say therefore is based entirely on 
my own observations and on what I could learn from the 
people rather than upon hearsay or upon such information 
as one can pick up in the seaports and in the large cities. 

I cannot undertake to discuss or even to mention all 
of the obstacles to North American trade in Brazil for 
the reason that I do not pretend to know what all of those 
obstacles are. In the brief time I can give to the subject 
I shall only ask your attention to such obstacles as have 
come to my attention and for which we North Americans 
are ourselves responsible. 

I assume at the outset that it is generally known that Brazil 
exports the bulk of her products to the United States, and 
that she imports the bulk of foreign supplies from Europe. 

These facts may be readily gathered from statistics, and 
they may be seen in process in the large Brazilian cities 
which are the ports of entry and distributing centers, such 
as Pard, Pernambuco, Bahia, Rio de Janeiro, and Santos. 
But the impression that one gets in the large cities where 
the commission merchants are well supplied with samples, 
and stand ready to receive orders for American as well as 
for European goods, are not nearly as convincing as that 

235 


236 


JOHN C. BRANNER 


which one gets on the frontier of trade, that is in the shops 
of the small dealers, in the homes of the planters and cattle 
growers, and in the humble cabins of the poor fishermen, 
or of the rubber cutters of the interior. 

The shelves of the little retail shops through the distant 
interior of Brazil furnish the self-satisfied North American 
enlightening visions that cannot be seen or appreciated in 
the up-to-date shops of the Rua d’Ouvidor or on the fashion- 
able avenues of Rio de Janeiro. For these little up-country- 
shops are the distributing posts for everything of foreign 
manufacture that reaches the common people and the labor- 
ing classes all through the enormous interior of that country. 

The commission merchants of the coast cities keep all 
sorts of things, many of which may seldom or never be sold. 
But the up-country dealer cannot afford to pay the trans- 
portation on mule-back over a thousand miles of almost 
impassable bridle-paths upon things that there is any doubt 
about his selling. One may therefore be very sure that the 
goods in the retail shops of the interior are there because 
the dealer knows they will be sold — that there is a sure 
market for them, however small the demand. 

In such a place one usually finds the following articles of 
North American manufacture: kerosene oil, Singer sewing 
machines, cheap clocks, Ayres’ proprietary medicines, and 
Lanman and Kemp’s Florida water. Everything else is 
of British, German, French, Italian, or Portuguese manu- 
facture. I have myself seen hundreds and hundreds of such 
stores. 

It is my purpose to ask your attention to the reasons for 
this state of affairs as they appear to an uncommercial trav- 
eler, and in so far as we are responsible for it. 

It is in the retail shops I have mentioned that one fully 
realizes what some of the obstacles are to our trade with 
Brazil, for it is chiefly in them that some of these obstacles 
are operative. 

The obstacles to North American trade with Brazil that 
have attracted my attention on the ground are these: 

1. Our ignorance and indifference to the language of the 
country. 


NORTH AMERICAN TRADE IN BRAZIL 


237 


2. Our ignorance of and indifference to the customs of the 
people, and consequently to the demands of the trade. 

3. Bad packing or indifference to the methods of trans- 
portation in the interior. 

4. Indifference to the credit system of the country. 

5. Our lack of serious intention to build up and maintain 
permanent business. 

6. Fatal and unscrupulous business methods, including 
the sale to the Brazilians of things the people cannot use 
and should not buy. 

7. Our high tariff laws which render competition with 
other countries difficult. 

8. Finally I shall refer briefly to what are often spoken 
of as obstacles to trade, namely the absence of .American 
ships and American banks. 

The language. The language of Brazil is Portuguese, but 
there is a wide-spread impression in this country that the 
language is Spanish. A great many people have the delu- 
sion that, even if the language is not Spanish, the Spanish 
will do just as well. I assure you that this is a serious and 
a fatal error. It is true that Spanish is generally under- 
stood along the frontier with Uruguay, Bolivia, and Peru, 
just as it is in this country along the Mexican frontier, but 
through the interior and over the great body of the country 
the Spanish language is as little known as it is in the United 
States. Over and over again I have seen efforts made to 
sell in Brazil articles that have to be accompanied by printed 
directions, as in case, for example, of medicines, and the 
directions were sent out in Spanish. 

I venture the guess that if an American manufacturer 
wanted to send a traveling salesman to work up trade in Bra- 
zil for the first time, he would, in nine cases out of ten, sup- 
ply him with catalogues printed in the Spanish language. 
I venture a second guess that the aforesaid manufacturer 
would instinctively look for a salesman who understood 
Spanish. And I venture a third guess that the Spanish 
speaking salesman with the Spanish catalogues would make 
a first class mess of any business he might attempt in Brazil. 

Persons who contemplate business with Brazil cannot 


238 


JOHN C. BRANNER 


attach too much importance to the Portuguese language. 
And by Portuguese I do not mean bad Spanish, nor do I 
mean a sailor’s vocabulary of unconjugated verbs and un- 
declined adjectives and articles. I mean the Portuguese 
language grammatically spoken. The merchants of Brazil 
are generally men of good breeding, and they resent doing 
business with persons whose language suggests that they 
belong to the ignorant classes. 

It may be worth noticing in this connection that men fam- 
iliar with both Portuguese and English can be readily found 
at New Bedford, Massachusetts, and about Oakland and 
Sacramento in California. 

Customs of the country. It goes without saying that, like 
other people, the Brazilians have some customs peculiarly 
their own, and they have certain others that are peculiarly 
not ours. These customs lead to the use of articles that are 
but little or not at all used in our own country. In study- 
ing the market conditions in Brazil it seems clear that such 
matters should be given proper consideration. I have 
found, however, among some of the hopeful beginners in 
the Brazilian field the impression that the people only needed 
to be told what to buy and they would buy it; that they only 
needed to be reminded that this is all the fashion in the 
states. But Brazilians are conservative, and they are also 
human, and they are very like some of us in this, that when 
they are buying a thing they like to buy what suits them 
and to buy it of the size, color and in the quantity that suits. 

I once found that in a certain region an unsuccessful 
effort had been made to introduce American calicoes. The 
case interested me, and I made some inquiries about it. I 
found that the American calico was regarded as superior to 
the British article being sold in competition with it, but the 
American calico was put up in large bolts, while the British 
goods were done up and sold in dress pattern bolts of a defi- 
nite number of meters, and each one had a pretty label pasted 
on it. At that time the American manufacturers urged 
that one could cut off from the American bolt as many or as 
few meters as were wanted. But though the Americans had 


NORTH AMERICAN TRADE IN BRAZIL 


239 


the reasons and the better goods on their side, the British 
merchants got the trade. 

In this connection perhaps I should note that the metric 
system is legal and the one in common use in Brazil. 

Packing. The effect of indifference to proper packing 
may not be at all apparent to one acquainted only with the 
trade in the sea-ports and along the railway lines, but to a 
person familiar with the roads of the interior packing at once 
seems a matter of prime importance. 

It should not be forgotten that Brazil is an enormously big 
country — quite as big as the United States — that the rail- 
ways are comparatively few, and that the greater part of 
the country is remote from them. Wagon roads as we know 
them in the United States cannot be said to exist over most 
of the interior, though they are extending rapidly in the 
southern states. The result is that goods going into the 
interior have to travel for weeks or even months on the backs 
of pack-mules. There is absolutely no other way for them 
to be moved. 

Goods, in order to reach their destination in the interior, 
must evidently either be packed for shipment at the factory, 
or they must be repacked before they can start on these long 
overland journeys. 

How many of our merchants know or concern themselves 
with the fact that goods shipped into the interior of Brazil 
should be so done up that two packages will make an aver- 
age load for the pack animals; that these loads must be put 
on and taken off the animals at least twice a day, that the 
packages must withstand tropical sunshine and be exposed 
to tropical rains ; that they must be strong enough to be un- 
hurt by a thousand bumps against trees and rocks along the 
roads, and must be rolled in the mud and dust over and over 
again before they reach their final destination? 

The European merchants know these things, keep them 
in mind, and pack the goods so that they are of convenient 
sizes and weights and otherwise properly conditioned. The 
American manufacturer says we do our goods up in boxes 
of such and such sizes, shapes, and weights; there they are; 


240 


JOHN C. BRANNER 


take ’em or leave ’em. And what wonder is it that the Bra- 
zilians leave them? 

Credit system. The methods of paying for merchandise 
are not the same in Brazil as they are in this country. I do 
not undertake to say whether the credit system in vogue in 
that country is good or bad, nor can I say whether it is pos- 
sible for our merchants to adjust themselves to it. But I 
am confident that if our merchants want to do business with 
that country they will have to offer the Brazilians the same 
credits that European merchants offer. It may help us un- 
derstand the situation to say that part of the European sys- 
tem consists in charging a very consoling rate of interest on 
bills. 

Lack of serious intentions. The more I have seen of our 
spasmodic efforts to get hold of trade in Brazil the less hope 
I have had of such trade coming to this country. A wave 
of enthusiasm about Brazilian trade occasionally passes 
over our business men. They come to the conclusion that 
a virgin field there awaits our energy and our aggresssive 
up-to-date methods. This enthusiasm is helped consider- 
ably if our home market is a bit dull. A traveling salesman 
who knows a little Spanish and who has had some experience 
in Mexico perhaps, is hustled off with a good fine of samples 
and lots of catalogues — in the Spanish language. Perhaps 
the salesman spends six months or more in Brazil and by hook 
and by crook rounds up some orders and sends them along. 
By the time the orders reach the house in New York, the en- 
thusiasm of the firm has cooled down considerably, or per- 
haps the home market has improved. In either case the 
orders are trifling and hardly worth bothering about, and 
they are filled with an indifference that bodes ill for future 
orders for American goods in Brazil. Right here is one of the 
most serious obstacles to North American trade in Brazil. 

Such conduct may not make any great difference to that 
one firm, for it may never interest itself further in Brazil, 
but every American firm that follows in the footsteps of its 
fellow countryman will pay dearly for his indifference, or 
his sharp practice. 

It is worth while to contrast such methods with those of 


NORTH AMERICAN TRADE IN BRAZIL 


241 


the best British and German houses doing business in Brazil. 
These houses are in the trade, not for the purpose of getting 
out of it as soon as possible and with a big rake-off, but for 
the purpose of staying in it for life, and of building up an 
honored firm and passing it down to future generations with 
an unsullied reputation for integrity and fair dealing. Such 
houses usually have several branches; perhaps the parent 
house is in London with branches in Manchester, Birming- 
ham, Para, Pernambuco, Bahia, Rio de Janiero, Santos, 
and S. Paulo. It is the custom of the Pernambuco branch, 
let us say, to have a young man sent out from England from 
time to time. This young man starts in at the bottom, he 
learns the Portuguese language, and gradually works his 
way up from the lowest rank to a good place in the Pernam- 
buco house. Perhaps he is then transferred to the Rio 
branch, and remains there until he comes to be the manager 
of that branch. In due time he is promoted to the Man- 
chester or London branch, and he may come to be the head 
of the firm. Behind this man is a procession of young Eng- 
lishmen traveling almost identically the same road. Every- 
one of them speaks the Portuguese language, every one of 
them is perfectly acquainted with the business customs of 
Brazil, and knows what is wanted in the market and why it 
is wanted. They have relations established with the whole- 
sale and retail dealers within their respective territories, and 
they keep in living touch with the business of the entire 
country. 

I recommend our merchants and manufacturers to seri- 
ously ask themselves whether they think they can compete 
successfully in the Brazilian market with houses built up 
by such methods. Of course there is no reason why they 
should not compete; but such competition must be taken 
seriously, and the British merchants must be met on then- 
own high ground. When our merchants enter the Brazilian 
market with the intention of staying in it for generations, 
and with the intention of winning their way by studying 
the market, by dealing honorably, and by giving the people 
all they can afford to give them for their money, they’ll gain 
a foothold, and they will not gain it before. 


242 


JOHN C. BRANNER 


Unscrupulous business methods. An honest merchant 
may well protest that he is not concerned with unscrupulous 
methods in trade because he does not practice them and does 
not allow them to be practised in his business. But such a 
man and every honest man is made to suffer and to pay dearly 
for the wrong methods of those who precede them in the 
field. Of course unscrupulous methods may embrace any 
kind of wrong done the people with whom we have to deal. I 
recall a choice lot of examples that have come to my atten- 
tion early and late. The less said of them the better. But 
there is one variety to which I refer that is quite too often 
regarded as perfectly legitimate. I refer to the selling to the 
Brazilians of things they cannot use without some sort of 
instruction and direction, and the failure to supply that 
instruction. 

One case out of the several that came to my attention will 
show my meaning. 

The representative of a firm of American manufacturers 
of agricultural implements got the ear of a Brazilian planter, 
and by means of attractive pictures and glowing accounts 
of what plows can do, persuaded the planter to buy a gang 
plow. I should add that the pictures were not misleading, 
nor were the stories about the plows exaggerated, nor was 
the price unreasonable. Apparently all dealings were per- 
fectly correct. When the plow reached Brazil there was 
no one on the plantation or in the vicinity, or probably in 
the wdiole state, who knew anything about a gang plow. 
They managed to get it put together after a fashion and then 
the question was how to draw it. There was not an animal 
on the place that had ever worked in harness, and there were 
no harnesses, and even if there had been, the horses and mules 
were all too light for such service. The result was that the 
plow was necessarily abandoned, and the planter does not 
know to this day whether he or the salesman is responsible 
for the money he lost in the transaction. 

I imagine that there may be a difference of opinion in re- 
gard to cases of this kind, but I can make my own views 
clearer perhaps by citing another instance that was dealt 
with differently and with different results. 


NORTH AMERICAN TRADE IN BRAZIL 


243 


Many years ago the Baldwin Locomotive Works of Phila- 
delphia got an order for a locomotive to go to Brazil. The 
manufacturers took special pains to see that the locomotive 
sent was capable of doing the work requred of it, and that it 
was as sound and trustworthy in every respect as they could 
make it. And do you suppose they then shipped it out and 
left the Brazilians to set it up and run it? Not a bit of it. 
They sent out with the locomotive a skilled mechanic from 
their own shops whose business it was to take charge of the 
landing of the locomotive, to set it up properly, to start it, 
and to teach the Brazilain engine driver how to run it, and 
to stay with him until the lesson was thoroughly and properly 
learned. 

As might be expected, the locomotive gave perfect satis- 
faction, and lead to a large and profitable business for the 
Baldwin Locomotive Works that has gone on now for nearly 
seventy years. 

But that company has never let up for a single day in its 
vigilant attention to its locomotives and to the interests of 
its Brazilian patrons. The result was that for a long period 
of years you could hardly give away in Brazil any locomotive 
that was not a Baldwin. 

High tariff in the United States. I have no idea of dis- 
cussing tariff laws. I merely call attention to the fact that 
inasmuch as our tariff laws have raised the cost of many of our 
manufactured articles, it follows that those articles cannot 
be sold in the open competition of the Brazilian markets. 
All such goods are shut out of Brazil, and must remain shut 
out until our manufacturers can compete with those of other 
countries. 

There are some anomolous cases, however, in which the 
American manufacturers’ profits are so large that they are 
quite able to compete with European manufacturers in the 
Brazilian markets. I have noted that certain American 
made sewing machines for example, are sold at much lower 
prices in Brazil than they are in the United States. 

The question of American banks. Over and over again I 
have heard it urged that the lack of American banks in Bra- 
zil was a constant obstacle to American trade in that country. 


244 


JOHN C. BRANNER 


I can only offer an opinion on this subject, based on much 
observation, and some experience. 

That opinion is that if there were American banks in Bra- 
zil the great bulk of their business would be just what the 
existing British banks are doing. The bulk of Brazil’s ex- 
ports goes to New York, but the exporters do not want 
their money either in Brazil or in New York; they want it 
in London where they can buy merchandise with it. 

If there were American banks in Brazil the situation would 
not be changed. If an American bank were called on to 
handle the finances of a coffee crop that bank would have 
to pay for the crop in London and nowhere else. 

Lack of American ships and steamers. Very similar are 
the opinions in regard to the lack of American ships and 
American lines of steamers. Some people seem to think 
that we might gather in a lot of trade with Brazil if only 
there were American ships to carry things back and forth. 
But I have noticed that, in pratice, the merchants both in 
Rio de Janiero and in New York, other things being equal, 
ship by vessels that can carry their merchandise most cheap- 
ly. They are not influenced to any appreciable extent by 
matters of sentiment. 

If we had so many ships that their competition for trade 
reduced the freight rates below those asked by British or 
other ships, then, and then only, would our ships get the 
carrying trade. 


AMERICAN INTERVENTION IN CENTRAL 
AMERICA 


By Philip Marshall Brown, Assistant-Professor of Interna- 
tional Law and Diplomacy, Princeton University; 
formerly American Minister to Honduras 

Since 1906 Central America has had two wars, three suc- 
cessful revolutions and five abortive uprisings, not including 
several conspiracies to assassinate the President of Guate- 
mala or recent plots in Nicaragua for the overthrow of the 
revolutionary government which supplanted the Zelaya 
regime. 

During this turbulent period the policy of the United 
States has developed by progressive steps from simple media- 
tion, to direct intervention in the internal affairs of these 
republics. Our government has been almost incessantly 
occupied with the difficult task of trying to reconcile their 
differences, head off revolutions, avert war and facilitate the 
return of peace. We have come to realize that in order to 
prevent intervention on plausible grounds by European 
powers, the obligation of securing more stable conditions in 
Central America for the protection of all interests, logically 
devolves on the United States. This has become a most 
embarrassing problem and we are constantly reminded that : 

When constabulary duty ’s to be done, 

The policeman’s life is not a happy one. 

In June 1906, President Roosevelt with the cooperation of 
President Diaz acted as mediator between Guatemala on the 
one side, and Salvador and Honduras on the other, to termi- 
nate the brief war then in progress. The treaty of peace 
signed on board the American gunboat Marblehead submitted 
all differences to the arbitration of the two mediators and, 
moreover, invoked their moral guarantee for the fulfillment 
of the provisions of the treaty. This direct recognition of 

245 


246 


PHILIP MARSHALL BROWN 


the obligation of the United States to mediate and intervene 
in their affairs was assented to by to all of the five republics 
with the exception of the government of President Zelaya, 
who desired a free hand for the carrying out of his ambi- 
tious schemes to dominate Central America. 

The friendly mediation of the United States was insuffi- 
cient to deter Zelaya from making war in February, 1907, 
against the government of President Bonilla in Honduras 
though it was able to prevent the conflict’s spreading to 
Salvador and Guatemala. American warships actively in- 
tervened on both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of Hon- 
duras to protect foreign interests and prevent the needless 
destruction of life and property. In August of the same 
year, the American government was able by strenuous diplo- 
matic representations to avert war between Nicaragua and 
Salvador. But it was evident that more definite and effec- 
tive measures would have to be adopted to preserve peace in 
Central America. 

On the initiative of President Roosevelt, a peace confer- 
ence of the five republics was held in Washington from 
November 13 to December 20, 1907. The work of this con- 
ference, consisting of several conventions on various sub- 
jects, was received with considerable optimism. It was 
believed by many that the basis had been laid for permanent 
peace. The key to the whole structure was the Central 
American Court of Justice to which all controversies of 
whatever nature were to be brought for final adjudication. 
It was heralded as a triumph for the cause of compulsory 
arbitration between nations; and Mr. Carnegie was induced 
to provide the court with a beautiful building at Cartago, 
Costa Rica. Those familiar with conditions in Central 
America, however, were not misled by the palliative meas- 
ures adopted by the Washington conference. They realized 
that remedies on paper, without provisions for practical 
application and enforcement, were nothing but mockeries. 
The first decision of the Court of Justice, in a controversy 
between Honduras and Guatemala, was greeted with general 
derision. It was evident that the composition of the court 
was largely political; and that no means existed for enforcing 


AMERICAN INTERVENTION IN CENTRAL AMERICA 247 


respect for its decisions. Conditions in these countries con- 
tinued as disturbed as ever and Zelaya showed his cynical 
contempt for the Washington conventions by launching a 
filibustering expedition against Salvador in February, 1909. 

By this time the American government was thoroughly 
convinced that the Washington conventions were of no value 
unless literally enforced and it reluctantly came to the con- 
clusion that it must be prepared to forcibly prevent any 
further depredations by the Zelaya government. This de- 
cision was a momentous departure from the policy of non- 
intervention hitherto scrupulously observed, though it was 
the logical step in the fulfillment of the obligations of the 
United States, not only in behalf of all foreign interests, but 
also towards the people of Central America. 

The revolution on the Atlantic coast of Nicaragua in Oc- 
tober, 1909, and the unjustifiable execution of the two Ameri- 
cans, Cannon and Groce, by order of Zelaya, compelled the 
United States to again intervene directly in Central Ameri- 
can affairs. Zelaya was obliged to flee and the revolution- 
ists were able ultimately to triumph. Another development 
in American policy was the agreement of our government to 
assist the new government in Nicaragua in the rehabilitation 
of the finances of that country. 

A treaty was negotiated with the Nicaraguan government 
by Secretary Knox, giving the United States the right, as 
in Santo Domingo, to act virtually as the receiver and 
guardian of the customs revenues. Although this treaty 
was not ratified by the Senate, the arrangement itself was 
carried through and American officials designated by the 
United States now control in large part the finances of 
Nicaragua. Furthermore during a formidable revolution in 
August and September of 1912, the United States landed 
troops in Nicaragua at the request of the Nicaraguan Gov- 
ernment for the announced purpose of protecting American 
lives and property, maintaining a legation guard, and pre- 
serving free communication with the legation. The national 
railroad which had been hypothecated as guarantee of an 
American loan to the government, was operated under the 
protection of American soldiers. A considerable force was 


248 


PHILIP MARSHALL BROWN 


dispatched to Managua, the capital, and actually aided the 
government to repell and frustrate the revolution, which 
otherwise would have in all probability succeeded. Several 
American soldiers were killed during these operations. 

The government at Managua, which owed its continued 
existence to American support, subsequently signed another 
treaty with Secretary Knox, whereby Nicaragua agreed to 
allow the United States the sole rights to the construction 
of any canal across Nicaragua, as well as a coaling station 
in the Gulf of Fonseca in return for assistance for the 
rehabilitation of its finances. This treaty has been approved 
by President Wilson’s administration, and is still awaiting 
action by the Senate. 

The formidable revolution headed by Ex-President Bon- 
illa, which threatened to sweep the whole of Honduras in 
February of the present year, was again the occasion for the 
direct intervention of the United States. British and Ameri- 
can marines were landed at Puerto Cortes which was de- 
clared neutral ground where hostilities would not be per- 
mitted. The inland town of San Pedro Sula, at the end of 
the railroad leading from Puerto Cortes, was also occupied 
and administered by the joint forces. The two rival fac- 
tions, that of the government and that of General Bonilla, 
were notified that further disturbance and bloodshed would 
not be allowed and that some peaceful solution of their 
differences should be found. The apparently happy result 
of this intervention was the choice of a provisional president 
agreeable to both factions and a peaceful change of govern- 
ment with the prospect of an orderly, free election in the 
near future. The department of state at the same time 
announced the readiness of the United States to lend its 
good offices in support of certain measures for the refunding 
of the national debt of Honduras. 

A treaty similar to the earlier treaty originally negotiated 
with Nicarauga, was also negotiated by Secretary Knox with 
Honduras, but likewise failed of ratification. The govern- 
ment of Honduras has since been endeavoring to find a way 
to meet its foreign indebtedness without being compelled 
to resort to an American receivership. 


AMERICAN INTERVENTION IN CENTRAL AMERICA 249 


From the preceding rapid survey of recent events in Cen- 
tral America, two important facts are to be emphasized : 
first, that from a policy of scrupulous non-intervention in 
the affairs of these republics, the United States has been 
unwillingly lead into a policy of direct intervention; and 
second, that these interventions have become as startlingly 
frequent as they have become increasingly embarrassing in 
their nature. The question which naturally arises at this 
point is whether it is fitting and necessary that the attention 
of our government should be so constantly occupied with the 
domestic concerns of these countries: whether this “ con- 
stabulary duty” of keeping the peace between, and even 
within, these states, can long be maintained without great 
embarrassment and disagreeable complications: whether, 
in sum, intervention in their internal affairs is the only possi- 
ble solution of the problem. 

Certain of the delegates at the Washington conference of 
1907 signed the conventions with frank misgivings. They 
felt that such measures were only of a temporizing character 
and that the conference had failed in its opportunity to adopt 
a definite, radical remedy for the political ailments of Cen- 
tral America. In a special statement submitted to the 
Conference, the delegates from Honduras and Nicaragua 
expressed their doubts as follows: 

We hope that the establishment of the Central American Court 
of Justice, agreed upon in the most important of our conventions, 
shall for the time being be the key to our political structure and 
shall remedy to a great extent our evils and shall prevent war in 
the future. We believe, however, that it does not suffice to satisfy 
the sentiment and aspirations of the Central American people, and 
that within a short time it will be felt, through the free trend of 
opinion and through the obvious relation of our public needs, how 
essential is a more intimate and complete amalgamation (Foreign 
Relations, 1907, p. 727). 

In a separate statement the Honduran minister for for- 
eign affairs also declared: 

. . . . proceeding with loyal frankness, we must agree that if 

it is indeed true that by the creation of that court we have taken an 
advanced step toward the wellbeing and the good name of the 
countries we represent, by this step alone we have not assured the 


250 


PHILIP MARSHALL BROWN 


positive and fruitful peace of Central America In 

this sense and obeying impulses of the most sincere patriotism, I 
make known here the profound conviction which continual poli- 
tical deceptions have rooted in my mind, that the union of the five 
republics in one single nation becomes necessary as the only saving 
means that is to lead our peoples without new obstacles or anxieties 
along the same path of progress that has led the United States and 
Mexico to the height of prosperity they now enjoy (Foreign Rela- 
tions, 1907, p. 722). 

With earnestness and ability the representatives from 
Honduras and Nicaragua labored to convince the other 
delegates of the supreme necessity of bringing about the 
union of the five republics. They pointed out that the re- 
establishment of the federation of Central America was the 
fundamental feature of their political existence, so acknowl- 
edged and declared in several of their constitutions. They 
insisted that no great sociological or other differences ex- 
isted between the states of Central America: that “Cen- 
tral American wars have never been armed conflicts between 
peoples, but between governments: that no territorial con- 
quests have ever taken place: no war indemnities or humil- 
iating reparations have ever been imposed by one people 
upon the other as an abuse of victory. ” They drew atten- 
tion to “the opposition of interests, of political tendencies 
and reciprocal jealousies in matters of predominance” in 
the Philadelphia Convention of 1787 : how “some states had 
their social status organized according to democratic princi- 
ples : in other states a powerful aristocracy reigned supreme : 
some were agriculturists : others were devoted to industrial 
pursuits: some favored slavery and others had marked 
aversion for it:” how the Philadelphia Convention, “be- 
lieving that all those differences were not incompatible with 
the political union, devoted its efforts to find a rule of law 
to harmonize all opposing tendencies, systems, and inter- 
ests, and to attain the prevalence of the Union over all 
opposition.” 

These arguments were of no avail and the majority of the 
delegates at the Washington conference summarized their 
views as follows : 


AMERICAN INTERVENTION IN CENTRAL AMERICA 251 


. . . while they consider the political union of Central 

America as the greatest and noblest aspiration of patriotism, they 
likewise think that the circumstances and conditions in which the 
Central American people find themselves at the moment are not 
propitious to decree national reconstruction, which, in order that 
it may be durable and solid, requires that their economic, moral, 
political and material elements shall have been harmonized. 

They do not think therefore that it is opportune to discuss in 
the present conference a project for the immediate establishment 
of a union, but solely those measures which will tend toward pre- 
paring in a stable manner for this union, strengthening their 
means of communications, establishing a coasting ship commerce, 
linking together the economic and social interests of the people of 
the Republics, unifying their customs and tax laws, and encourag- 
ing the frequent meeting of Central American conferences. . . . 

The steps here taken toward making peace certain in Central 
America, toward guaranteeing security for capital and labor, to- 
ward improving their elements of production, their social interests, 
and their initiative in self-government, will contribute in no small 
part towards this end (Foreign Relations, 1907, p. 672). 

Before testing the soundness of this point of view it is 
desirable to recapitulate briefly the main facts regarding the 
old Central American federation as well as the various fruit- 
less attempts for its restoration. When the Spanish prov- 
inces of Central America seceeded peacefully in 1824, they 
naturally gravitated together in a loose federal union, follow- 
ing the traditions of the “Audiencia Real” of Guatemala 
under which they had previously been grouped. During the 
latter years of Spanish rule, especially after the Constitution 
of 1812 which was signed by deputies from the five provinces, 
they had enjoyed a large measure of self-government. Each 
province and town was at liberty to elect its own “ayunta- 
miento ’ ’ or council . In fact, it may fairly be asserted that at 
no subsequent time has Central America had as great privi- 
leges of self-government as during the latter years of Spanish 
domination. Owing, however, to this strongly developed 
provincial sentiment, to the extremely loose federal form of 
union and to the intense rivalries of political leaders for pre- 
dominance both in the federation and in the separate states, 
this union proved to be a fiction and was dissolved after a 
nominal existence of fifteen years. The wonder is that it 
lasted as long. There was no external pressure in the form of 
a common enemy, nor was there a deep sense of community 


252 


PHILIP MARSHALL BROWN 


of interests to hold the states together. Their separate 
existence for the past seventy years, with almost incessant 
wars and revolutions, has only served to retard their devel- 
opment and foster prejudices which have no solid grounds 
on which to rest. In their division has been their weakness. 

Since 1839 efforts to restore the union have been made 
from time to time; and whenever the project is suggested it 
is natural that sceptics should object that, while the idea is 
laudable, it is impossible of realization. This pessimistic 
point of view, however, is open to the charge of super- 
ficiality for the reason that, while it is true there have been 
various attempts to re-establish the union, in actual fact, 
there never has been any serious, well calculated under- 
taking, properly supported in such a way as to guarantee 
success. It is worth while, therefore, to consider briefly 
certain of these movements for union, which represent the 
three methods usually employed : namely, that of diplomacy 
under the initiative of the United States, in 1874, 1881 and 
1883, that by force of arms, resorted to by President Barrios 
in 1885, and that through alliance, attempted by the presi- 
dents of Honduras, Nicaragua and Salvador in 1896. 

In 1874 the American minister to Central America was 
instructed to use his good offices to bring together the presi- 
dents of the five republics in order to settle existing differ- 
ences and lay the foundations of a permanent union. Minis- 
ter Williams’ efforts in this direction, were, however, without 
definite result. The diplomatic discussions produced little 
more than a platonic recognition of the desirability of the 
union. The matter was taken up again in 1881 and 1883. 
General Grant in his reception of the diplomatic representa- 
tive from Guatemala and Salvador in August, 1880, ex- 
pressed his sincere hope for the federal union of Central 
America. Secretary Blaine in a comprehensive dispatch to 
the xAmerican minister at Guatemala, under date of May 7, 
1881, manifested the keen interest with which the United 
States viewed all attempts to establish a union. He also 
indicated that the government at Washington would be 
gratified to learn of “some directly practicable method by 
which the United States could aid in the establishment of a 


AMERICAN INTERVENTION IN CENTRAL AMERICA 253 


strong and settled union between the independent repub- 
lics of Central America.” The subject was again recurred 
to in 1883 but the diplomatic negotiations were of a purely 
tentative character. 

In 1885, General Rufino Barrios, president of Guatemala, 
a man of commanding personality, who clearly understood 
the needs of Central America, attempted to bring about the 
union bjr coercive measures. After vain efforts of a pacific 
character to persuade the other states to join together, he 
proclaimed the union; placed himself at the head of his 
troops and summoned the remaining republics to give their 
immediate adherence. In the first battle with the Salva- 
dorian army, Barrios was killed, and with him ended all 
hope of accomplishing the union through the force of arms. 

The last attempt to restore the union was in 1896 when the 
presidents of Honduras, Nicaragua and Salvador united to 
form the Greater Republic of Central America. Neither 
Guatemala nor Costa Rica would join: the former appar- 
ently from motives of distrust, and the latter because of its 
traditional policy of isolation. Though recognized by the 
United States, this greater republic was hardly more than a 
fiction. It was essentially a personal alliance of the rulers of 
the respective republics; and was dissolved by mutual con- 
sent after a nominal existence of three years. As was sen- 
sibly remarked by General Regalado of Salvador, whose 
opposition wrecked the scheme, “This union is the work of a 
few men, not the desire of the people. ” 

Of the three methods employed to establish the union; 
namely, force, alliance and diplomacy, the latter alone has 
not been thoroughly tested. The United States, though 
committed in principle to the ideal of the union, has taken 
no positive steps in this direction. It has contented itself, 
as already indicated, with expressions of sympathy with the 
project and tentative negotiations designed merely to sound 
the sentiments of the different Central American govern- 
ments. In fact, since the pourparlers of Secretary Blaine 
begun in 1881 and abandoned in 1883, the idea of restoring 
the union through diplomatic means has almost entirely re- 
mained in abeyance. In the meantime, the United States 


254 


PHILIP MARSHALL BROWN 


has felt compelled to seek the maintenance of peace and 
the remedy for the ills of Central America through friendly 
mediation and constabulary measures, and has now arrived 
at the point of positive intervention in the internal affairs 
of these republics. In spite of the inevitable failure of 
such a temporizing policy, it may be admitted that it was 
doubtless necessary to exhaust all possible expedients, in 
dealing patiently and cautiously with so abnormal a situa- 
tion, in order to demonstrate conclusively their entire inade- 
quacy and the necessity of a thorough, statesmanlike solu- 
tion of the problem. 

It can hardly be denied that intervention in the domestic 
concerns of these countries is as repugnant to our American 
ideals as it is ineffective in results. It is objectionable first, 
because it is not the business of the United States to be 
occupied with the internal affairs of other states; second, 
because it would prove extremely embarrassing through 
financial arrangements, however desirable in themselves, or 
through any other assumed obligations, to become responsi- 
ble in any way for the administration of any of these coun- 
tries; and third, because any intervention in derogation of 
their sovereign rights under international law, arouses the 
suspicions and apprehensions of these republics as well as of 
other Spanish-American states. 

This policy has been ineffective because it ignores the root 
of the whole trouble; namely, the separate existence of states 
too small to thrive alone, embroiled constantly in petty dis- 
sensions originating, usually, in the personal rivalries of their 
respective rulers. The time would now seem to have arrived 
for our government to consider seriously whether the union 
of these five republics into one solid, self-sufficient state 
would not prove to be the most effective and satisfactory 
remedy for a condition of affairs which loudly calls for dras- 
tic treatment. 

The conventional argument against the union is that pre- 
viously quoted from the report of the majority of the dele- 
gates of the Washington conference; namety, that the people 
of Central America are not yet prepared for union, that it 
is first necessary to bring them into intimate contact through 


AMERICAN INTERVENTION IN CENTRAL AMERICA 255 


the construction of railroads, etc., etc. This is undoubt- 
edly the ideal process from the academic point of view but 
it is so painfully slow and the results so disheartening, that 
one is led seriously to question whether such a process will 
ever really prepare these countries for union. The efforts of 
the Washington conference in that direction seem to have 
been barren of results. In regard to the building of rail- 
roads, certain of these republics are quite unable to assume 
the financial burden of constructing the important links 
required to bring them together, nor does such construction 
offer sufficient inducements for the employment of private 
capital. The finances of several of these countries are in a 
deplorable condition; and their national resources have 
been recklessly exploited as well as mortgaged for many 
years to come. No long period of normal peace has pre- 
vailed uninterruptedly in any of them, with the sole excep- 
tion of Costa Rica, whose peculiar conditions differentiate 
her in some ways from the rest of Central America. Hon- 
duras, equal in size to Pennsylvania, with a population of 
500,000, a total revenue of $1,000,000, and a national debt 
of $6,000,000, has had two wars, three revolutions and sev- 
eral uprisings within the past seven years. It seems pre- 
posterous that Central America, possessing a total area 
slightly larger than California and one-fourth that of Mexico, 
with a population of less than 4,000,000, presenting no 
greater differentiations than Maine and Arizona — a people, in 
fact, essentially one in customs, sentiments and common 
interests — should be cursed with the burden of five dis- 
tinct, sovereign republics. 

Had Virginia and Massachusetts refused to unite in 1789 
because of the lack of easy means of communication and 
differences in customs and interests, what mutual prejudices, 
dissensions and conflicts would undoubtedly have arisen! 
How increasingly difficult it would have become for them to 
surrender their sovereign rights to one strong central govern- 
ment! And yet, this is almost precisely what has occurred 
in Central America. No people ever stood in greater need of 
each other’s support. Their combined resources would have 
supplied the elements necessary for a strong state able to 


256 


PHILIP MARSHALL BROWN 


exact and maintain the same respect as Mexico and other 
Spanish-American states. Divided, they have staggered 
painfully along and been the victims of many needless 
misfortunes. 

The large majority of the people of Central America are 
not turbulent in disposition or difficult to govern. On the 
contrary, they are as a rule submissive and peaceful to a 
fault. It is this very quality which has made it possible for 
misguided and ambitious politicians to exploit these coun- 
tries. The people are not to be blamed for the unstable con- 
ditions which have so long existed. To them may be applied 
the observation of the French orator in reference to France 
in 1793: “I do not accuse the king; I do not accuse the 
people; I accuse the situation.” 

It is time that the United States, as the disinterested friend 
and the moral sponsor of these smaller republics, should face 
squarely the question whether it will any longer be an active 
or passive party to the perpetuation of such intolerable 
political conditions. Whether rightly or wrongly, other 
nations are inclined to hold the United States responsible for 
the continuation of this unsettled state of affairs. They 
maintain that, were it not for the Monroe Doctrine, other 
nations, such as England or Germany, whose financial and 
other interests in Central America are very great, would 
long ago have taken the necessary measures to ensure peace 
and order. 

Such an intervention, with its menace of foreign protec- 
torates and annexations, would naturally have been most 
offensive to the United States. Do we, on the other hand, 
wish to assume the obligation of supervising the domestic 
affairs of these Republics? Do we desire — as portended by 
recent interventions — to establish four or five quasi-protec- 
torates? Surely, such a policy could only be justified when 
all other expedients had failed. There remains, fortunately, 
as a most satisfactory means of escape from an embarrassing 
situation, the untried solution of the union of the states of 
Central .America. 

We may consider this proposition for the establishment of 
the union from two aspects; first as to the probable effects of 
the union; and second as to how it may be brought about. 


AMERICAN INTERVENTION IN CENTRAL AMERICA 257 


It is confidently to be expected: (1) That the disappear- 
ance of the five separate governments, with all their alluring 
fields for exploitation, will remove the main cause of the 
constant factional struggles and the wars which inevitably 
follow in their train. (2) The heavy financial burden of 
supporting five distinct governments with their elaborate 
administrative machinery and respective budgets, will be 
greatly lightened. (3) The economic and financial re- 
sources of these countries will be united for their mutual 
benefit in such necessary improvements as the construction 
of railroads to develop rich territories and bring all parts of 
Central America into close contact. (4) Instead of being 
exposed to ruinous arrangements with exacting and non- 
too-scrupulous syndicates, they could undertake, at a great 
saving, a single refunding operation for the settlement of 
their foreign debts and the rehabilitation of their finances. 
(5) With their common financial credit immensely strengtn- 
ened by the cessation of wars and revolutions, they would 
no longer be menaced with the hypothecation of their cus- 
toms revenues for the sake of foreign claimants. (6) The 
territorial integrity and independence of Central America 
will be effectively guaranteed. (7) The United States, by 
committing itself irrevocably to the maintenance of this 
independence against all aggression, would be acquitted of 
any suspected ambitions for territorial aggrandizement ; and 
would win the warm approval and the confidence of all 
Spanish- American states. 

The limits of this article, unfortunately, will not allow an 
elaboration of the preceding arguments. It is necessary, 
however, to indicate briefly how these fortunate results, 
which may confidently be expected from the establishment 
of the union, are to be safeguarded against hostile influences 
and disintegrating forces. The only safe insurance against 
such undoubted perils, particularly at the outset, would 
have to be found in the support of the United States. 
Such a protection would, in all probability, be mainly of a 
moral kind for the simple reason that, if it were formally de- 
clared by the United States that it would not tolerate any 
attempts, of whatever nature, to overthrow the newly con- 


258 


PHILIP MARSHALL BROWN 


sti tuted government of the union, few would be so foolhardy 
as to undertake any aggression doomed to certain failure. 
If it be objected that such a responsibility would be too great, 
the only answer is, that, one impressive intervention by the 
United States, in sjunpathy with the aspirations of the peo- 
ple of Central America, is infinitely to be preferred to many, 
constantly recurring, interventions in the internal affairs of 
the separate republics. 

There remains to be considered the important question 
as to how the union may be brought about. It obviously 
cannot be accomplished either by force or through the 
initiative of the rulers of these states. Each government 
is suspicious and attributes to the other ambitions for leader- 
ship and predominance. Public opinion, owing to the ab- 
sence of an entirely independent and fearless, free press in 
these countries, cannot take the initiative in this movement. 
Even with public opinion fully aroused, such a movement 
would require disinterested leaders commanding general con- 
fidence. It is doubtful whether many such men could be 
found under present conditions. Such being the case, there 
can hardly be any room to doubt that the altruistic initi- 
ative of the United States would be welcomed with enthu- 
siasm. Certain ambitious politicians would naturally be 
opposed to the project and would probably be ready to 
thwart it with the usual argument that these countries are 
not yet prepared for union. Once they realized, however, 
that the United States was determined to bring to bear its 
powerful influence in support of the union, these same poli- 
ticians would unquestionably be compelled to fall into line. 
Though cloaking no selfish and ignoble ends, American pol- 
icy — it must be admitted in all candour — has not always been 
entirely comprehensible to the people of Central America. 
They have viewed with increasing distrust and apprehen- 
sion our interventions in their affairs. But in such a lofty 
undertaking as helping them to realize their most cherished 
ideal, the United States could count on their implicit con- 
fidence and gratitude. 

It is not the writer’s purpose to develop a complete pro- 
gram, indicating in detail the necessary steps which should 


AMERICAN INTERVENTION IN CENTRAL AMERICA 259 


be taken by the United States in assuming the initiative in 
this movement. A few broad outlines should suffice. First, 
it is essential that we commit ourselves unreservedly to the 
principle of the imperative need of the union of the states 
of Central America. Second, our government should inform 
the governments of these Republics that it considers the 
union as the only adequate remedy for the ills they have 
so long endured, and that it is prepared to assist in 
every way it properly can to attain this object. Third, 
it should invite and induce each of the five governments 
to send commissioners possessing plenary powers, to a 
conference to be held on neutral ground, to discuss the for- 
mation of the union and to draw up the bases for the ulti- 
mate accomplishment of that end, whether at once or b} r 
progressive steps requiring, possibly, several years of prep- 
aration and re-adjustment. Such a discussion would most 
probably open the door to many delicate and trying ques- 
tions, whose solution would require the utmost patience 
and the most skillful diplomacy. A consistent adherence, 
however, to the central principle of the need of the union, 
should produce tangible and effective results. There is 
ample room for discussion as to the precise measures 
required to bring about the union. But there should 
be no room for discussion as to its complete desirability. 
In the project presented to the Washington Conference in 
1907 by the delegation from Honduras, is to be found a 
tentative program for the formation of the union, which 
might serve as a 'point de depart for another conference 
called for this purpose (Foreign Relations, 1907, p. 670). 

It would be unwise to attempt to minimize the difficulties 
in the way of this project, nor is it possible in the limits 
of this article to point out the numerous and weighty fac- 
tors which must be taken into consideration in this con- 
nection: for example, the relations of Mexico to Central 
America. Allusion should be made, however, to the attitude 
of Costa Rica. For more than thirty years, while the other 
states of Central America have been racked by internal dis- 
sensions and petty wars, Costa Rica has been entirely free from 
revolutions and has been able to avoid becoming embroiled 


260 


PHILIP MARSHALL BROWN 


in the factional troubles and intrigues of its neighbours. 
This may be due to conditions peculiar to itself. It is, 
nevertheless, a fact which is of no little encouragement for 
the rest of Central America. The economic development 
of Costa Rica has naturally been very great, and its people 
have been able to enjoy marked prosperity. It is not diffi- 
cult, therefore, to understand why they have been unwilling, 
heretofore, to be drawn prematurely into any close politi- 
cal connection with the other states of Central America. 
It is possible that Costa Rica may still be indisposed to 
amalgamate her interests with those of her neighbours, even 
though the union should be brought about through the 
initiative and the protection of the United States. Such 
an attitude would be particularly lamentable inasmuch as 
Costa Rica would be in a position to lend the most sub- 
stantial elements to the union. This should not deter the 
other States, however, from going ahead with the project, 
because the reluctant sister would be at liberty to come in 
whenever she might so desire, remembering that in the 
constitution of 1847 it was affirmed "that Costa Rica forms 
a part of the Central American nation and will cooperate 
toward its reorganization in conjunction with the other 
states.” 

Secretary Blaine fully appreciated the vital importance 
of the union of the Central American States as the surest 
remedy for their persistent maladies. His instructions of 
November 28, 1881, to the American minister in Mexico, 
in reference to aggressive attitude of that country towards 
Guatemala, are of especial interest as a clear enunciation 
of American policy. 

But in reference to the union of the Central American republics, 
under one federal government, the United States is ready to avow 
that no subject appeals more strongly to its sympathy, nor more 
decidedly to its judgment. Nor is this a new policy. For many 
years this Government has urged upon the Central American States 
the importance of such a union to the creation of a well ordered 
and constitutionally governed republic and our ministers have been 
instructed to impress this upon the individual governments to 
which they have been accredited and the Central American states- 
men with whom they have been associated. And we have always 
cherished the belief that in this effort we had the sincere sympathy 


AMERICAN INTERVENTION IN CENTRAL AMERICA 261 


and cordial cooperation of the Mexican government. Under the 
conviction that the future of the people of Central America was 
absolutely dependent upon the establishment of a federal govern- 
ment which would give strength abroad and maintain peace at 
home, our chief motive in the recent commotion in Mexico was to 
prevent the diminution, either political or territorial of any of these 
states, in order that, trusting to the joint aid and friendship of 
Mexico and the United States, they might be encouraged to per- 
sist in their effort to establish a government which would, both for 
their advantage and ours, represent their combined wealth, intelli- 
gence and character (Foreign Relations, 1881, p. 816). 

In his general instructions to the American diplomatic 
representatives in Central America, dated May 7, 1881, Mr. 
Blaine also said: 

You cannot impress too strongly upon the government to which 
you are accredited or upon the public men with whom you asso- 
ciate the importance which the government of the United States 
attaches to such a confederation of the states of Central America 
as will respond to the wants and wishes of their people. Our 
popular maxim, that “in union there is strength,” finds its coun- 
terpart in the equally manifest truth that, “in division there is 
weakness.” So long as the Central American States remain di- 
vided they will fail to acquire the strength and prestige to which 
they are entitled The statesmen of Central Amer- 

ica may feel certain that, with a common representative govern- 
ment, wielding the power and consulting the interests of the 
several States, their connection with the railway system of the con- 
tinent will be eagerly sought and they will both give and receive 
advantages which always follow the establishment of commercial 
relations and political sympathy. All internal improvements, in- 
cluding the great project of the interoceanic canal would receive 
great stimulus and aid from a firm union of the Central American 
states and the strong government that should grow from that 
union (Foreign Relations, 1881, p. 102). 

It is fruitless to speculate as to what Blaine might have 
done to forward the union, had he remained longer in power 
at that time. His statesmanlike vision in grasping a great 
idea and his boldness in carrying it into effect were demon- 
strated in the realization of the Pan American Union. Since 
his day the United States has waited patiently in the hope 
that the republics of Central America would be able to work 
out their own salvation. It would now seem certain that 
they cannot do so unaided. The futility of peace confer- 
ences and sentimental agreements has been proved beyond 


262 


PHILIP MARSHALL BROWN 


question. The obligation of the United States towards 
these countries is generally recognized. Acting the igno- 
minious part of a policeman, we are intermeddling in their 
domestic affairs and cannot foresee whither such a pol- 
icy may lead. A courageous, radical remedy is urgently 
demanded. The administration at Washington, which by 
a measure of the highest, constructive statesmanship, is 
prepared to aid the people of Central America achieve their 
noblest ideal, will build for itself a lasting monument in 
the hearts of all Spanish-Americans. The United States 
will be freed from all aspersions of pursuing unworthy aims 
as well as from the perils of irksome interventions. It will 
be able to demonstrate irrefutably that the Monroe Doc- 
trine does not serve to perpetuate bad government, but 
that its benificent effect is to enable the people of this 
western hemisphere to emerge from chaotic political con- 
ditions, and unhindered to achieve their highest aspirations 
and destinies. 


THE DOMINICAN CONVENTION AND ITS 
LESSONS 


By Jacob H. Hollander, Ph.D., Professor of Political Economy, 

Johns Hopkins University, Formerly Special Commis- 
sioner Plenipotentiary to Santo Domingo, and 
Financial Adviser of the Dominican Republic . 1 

The occasion for American intervention in Dominican 
affairs in 1905 was the imminence of serious complications 
between the United States and foreign powers, growing out 
of the active measures taken by such governments to en- 
force the rights of their creditor-citizens as secured by form- 
al contracts or by international protocols with the Domin- 
ican Republic. 

For thirty-five years before (1860-1904), Dominican his- 
tory had been a miserable succession of revolution and 
anarchy, interrupted by ruthless and blood-stained dicta- 
torships. Of this mis-government the financial counter- 
part was the accumulation of some $40,000,000 of public 
indebtedness, much of it semi-fraudulent in character but 
possessing sinister importance by reason of commitments 
which the Dominican Republic had been driven into making 
with creditor governments. 

If the United States had been willing to contemplate the 
full operation of these instruments, much of the reason for 
intervention as an international necessity would have dis- 
appeared. On the other hand, if the seizure of Dominican 

1 Much of the historical and descriptive matter contained in the fol- 
lowing paragraphs has already been published by the author in one form 
or another: “A Report on the Debt of San Domingo,” 1905; ‘‘The Read- 
justment of San Domingo’s Finances” in Quarterly Journal of Economics, 
May, 1907; “The Financial Difficulties of San Domingo,” in Annals of the 
American Academy of Political and Social Science, July, 1907; “The Reor- 
ganization of Dominican Finances,” in Proceedings of Lake Mohonk Con- 
ference, October, 1912; “The Regeneration of San Domingo,” in The 
Independent, August 28, 1913. 


263 


264 


JACOB H. HOLLANDER 


custom ports by foreign powers for the prolonged period 
necessary to discharge heavy debts, and the appreciable 
voice in the internal affairs of the country that such occupa- 
tion was certain to carry with it — if these things were deemed 
inconsistent with the traditional policy of the United States 
in the West Indies, then it appeared that some positive 
action on the part of the United States was imperative. 

The expressed preference of such foreign governments 
had been to take independent action in compelling San 
Domingo to respect her contract and treaty obligations. 
In deference to the United States, this attitude had been 
waived, and the American government besought to take 
the initiative in the matter. There was every reason to 
suppose that, failing intervention on the part of the United 
States, independent and immediate action would have been 
seriously considered by such foreign governments. 

On April 1, 1905, an interim arrangement was effected 
by the United States providing for administration of the 
Dominican customs. Thereafter San Domingo enjoyed a 
civil calm and an economic wellbeing such as it had not 
known for two generations. Insurrections ceased, agri- 
culture revived and trade developed. The government 
was enabled to meet its current expenses, to accumulate a 
surplus for larger requirements, and to segregate a fund 
towards the adjustment of its debt. 

The American- Dominic an convention of July 25, 1907, 
was designed to preserve such conditions, with less con- 
siderable involvement on the part of the United States. 
Instead of the United States both adjusting the debt and 
collecting the customs for the payment thereof — as was 
proposed in the original protocol arranged between the two 
countries — the Dominican Republic itself arrived at a vol- 
untary agreement with its creditors, and the United States 
undertook to administer the customs for the service of the 
debt so adjusted. 

The details of the readjustment were (1) a drastic scaling 
down of recognized debts and claims; (2) the extinction of 
burdensome monopoly-concessions recklessly granted by the 
Dominican government; (3) the provision of a considerable 


THE DOMINICAN CONVENTION 


265 


residual amount for the construction, under proper restric- 
tions, of permanent public improvements. All of the fore- 
going was effected by the creation of a refunding loan of 
$20,000,000, of fifty-year, 5 per cent bonds, accepted by 
creditors upon the basis of the debts as readjusted, and se- 
cured as to interest and amortization service by a customs 
receivership on the part of the United States. 

In detail the service of the debt was assured by the 
appointment, by the President of the United States, of a 
general receiver of Dominican customs, who, with the neces- 
sary assistants, likewise appointed, should collect all the 
customs duties of the Republic until the payment or re- 
demption of the bonds so issued. From the sum so col- 
lected the general receiver, after discharging the expenses 
of the receivership, paid over to the fiscal agent of the loan 
on the first day of each calendar month the sum of $100,000, 
to be applied to the payment of the interest and the amorti- 
zation of all the bonds issued. The remainder of the sums 
collected by the general receiver were paid monthly to the 
Dominican government. 

The Dominican government might also apply any fur- 
ther sums to the amortization of the bonds, over and above 
the 1 per cent sinking fund provision stipulated; but, in 
any event, should the customs revenues collected by the 
general receiver in any year exceed the sum of $3,000,000, 
one-half of the surplus above such sum of $3,000,000 must 
be applied to the sinking fund for the further redemption 
of bonds. 

The Dominican government agreed to provide by law 
for the payment of all customs dues to the general receiver 
and his assistants, and to give them all useful aid and assist- 
ance and full protection to the extent of its powers. The 
government of the United States in turn undertook to give 
to the general receiver and his assistants such protection 
as it should find to be requisite for the performance of their 
duties. 

Provision was also made that, until the Dominican Re- 
public paid the whole amount of the bonds so created, there 
was to be no increase of its public debt, except by previous 


266 


JACOB H. HOLLANDER 


agreement between the Dominican government and the 
United States, and that the like agreement should be neces- 
sary for any modification of the Dominican import duties. 
The accounts of the general receiver were to be rendered 
monthly to the contaduria general of the Dominican Repub- 
lic and to the state department of the United States for 
examination and approval by the appropriate officials of 
the two governments. 

The Dominican convention has now been in operation 
for six years — a period long enough to estimate its work 
and consequence with some reasonableness. In that time 
little short of a revolution, social, political and economic, 
has been wrought in the country. Not a revolution of the 
old type, involving waste and ruin, but a revolution in the 
arts of peace, industry and civilization. The people of the 
island, protected from rapine and bloodshed, free to devote 
themselves to earning a livelihood, are fairly on the way to 
becoming a decent peasantry, as industrious and stable as 
sub-tropical conditions are likely to evolve. Agriculture, 
the great economic mainstay of the Republic, has gone for- 
ward by leaps and bounds. The cultivation of cacao, to- 
bacco, sugar and cotton are no longer the speculative possi- 
bilities of brief interludes of peace, but normal, lucrative 
occupations. All of this has been reflected in an incredible 
expansion of the commerce of the country, both exports and 
imports. The foreign trade of San Domingo for (1911-12) 
the latest fiscal year for which figures are available, aggre- 
gated nearly $20,600,000, as compared with some $5,000,000 
for the year preceding the convention. The terms of the 
debt service have been maintained with perfect fidelity, 
not only in the matter of the interest charge, but in the 
amortization of the loan much beyond the anticipated pro- 
vision. 

The total customs collections for the ten months of the 
sixth convention year (1912-13) have aggregated $3,312,- 
019.12, compared with $2,983,181.90 for the corresponding 
period of 1911-12. If the present rate has been maintained 
for the remainder of the fiscal year — and it is certain that 
such has been the case — the total customs collections for 


THE DOMINICAN CONVENTION 


267 


1912-13 will exceed $4,000,000, being practically double 
the collections realized at the time the receivership was 
inaugurated and insuring a supplementary payment of $500,- 
000 toward the amortization of the loan, in addition to the 
$200,000 for which statutory provision is made. With the 
further rapid improvement in the fairly limitless economic 
development of the country, and with continued progress 
in the direction of reducing the high import duties and en- 
tirely abolishing all export duties — along which a wise 
initial step has already been taken— there is certain to be 
even more notable improvement in public revenues, thus 
not only making possible ampler expenditure, but ensuring 
earlier discharge of the national debt. 

In political affairs there has from time to time been a 
reappearance of unwholesome tendencies, and the past year 
witnessed something of this kind— some part of which, at 
least, is to be charged to the policies of our own government. 
The immediate interest of the Dominican convention con- 
sists in its efficacy in rescuing an international derelict. 
But its collateral significance to the United States is even 
greater — applicability of the essential provisions of the 
arrangement to other financially bankrupt, revolution-torn 
and internationally menaced republics of Central and 
South America. It accordingly becomes worth while to 
scrutinize minutely our experience with San Domingo in 
order to determine— and hereafter avoid — any possible 
errors in connection with our activities in that direction. 
There have been at least three such lapses: (1) the con- 
tinuity of administrative oversight has been disturbed; (2) 
a political upheaval based upon violence has been counte- 
nanced, and (3) the incurring of so-called revolutionary 
debts has been validated. 

1. The change in administration in Washington in 
March, 1909, effected serious disturbance in the conduct 
of Dominican affairs. At the very outset we severed all 
connection with those advisers whom circumstances had 
made intimately acquainted with the Dominican problem 
and whose counsel had up to that determined every step 
in connection therewith. Thereafter Dominican affairs 


268 


JACOB H. HOLLANDER 


were directed in formal departmental routine by officials 
who were without any prior knowledge of the subject, who 
were unfamiliar with San Domingo and its people and who 
were compelled to rely for their equipment upon imperfect 
departmental records. The change was not merely from 
one group of advisers to another; but from persons who 
knew every detail of the Dominican problem to others who 
were unacquainted with any part of it. 

The consequences of this abrupt transition were soon felt 
in San Domingo in the form of administrative difficulty and 
political agitation. The intimate personal note which had 
from the outset figured in the influence exerted by the 
United States and which was of such peculiar value in the 
formative period could not be replaced by departmental 
routine, handicapped as it was by insufficient knowledge. 
Certain things which it was desirable for San Domingo to 
do and which it had before been possible to accomplish by 
mere suggestion, were left undone because they could not 
be made the subject of formal instructions. On the other 
hand such communications as were sent tended to excite 
by their new formality and rigor a feeling of hurt and 
resentment. 

Out of this new relation there developed in San Domingo 
a feeling that the convention administration enjoyed less 
cordial regard in Washington. Industriously circulated 
by the elements hostile to order and honesty, this rumor 
served as a pretext for political unrest. Premonitory symp- 
toms, easy of recognition and simple of correction, were 
neglected in Washington and the train laid for revolutionary 
outbreak. 

It is true that the orderly government and the honest ad- 
ministration of the convention government in San Domingo 
had excited some hostility and resentment in the circles 
that had profited by the old regime. The suppression of 
graft, the elimination of sinecures, the refusal of conces- 
sions, the drastic scaling down of semi-fradulent claims, 
the rigid administration of customs regulations and the im- 
partial collection of taxes and dues — were innovations so 
radical as to inevitably arouse the hatred of those to whom 


THE DOMINICAN CONVENTION 


269 


such perquisites had come to be regarded as proprietary 
rights. It is likely that a certain personal brusqueness and oc- 
casional tactless conduct on the part of the Dominican execu- 
tives may have occasioned some animus in more respectable 
quarters. But on the other hand, it is certain that there 
were few persons in San Domingo whose opinions were en- 
titled to respect who did not believe that the government 
was being honestly and efficiently administered and that 
the country itself was entering upon a new political and 
economic era. 

These were conditions as to policy and personnel which 
it was desirable for the United States to seek to maintain. 
The principal Dominican executives were unusually fine 
examples of the Latin-American publicist, men of high 
moral character, unblemished personal integrity and of real 
and tested patriotism. The President was probably the 
best loved man in San Domingo and the minister of finance, 
the brainiest. Both men understood the motives which 
had actuated the United States in entering into the con- 
vention, and believed in us and in our intentions. Upon 
the minister of finance had devolved the detailed conduct 
of the debt adjustment and in this he had displayed financial 
ability and political statesmanship of a high order. 

2. The convention President was assassinated on Novem- 
ber 20, 1911, and the minister of finance escaped the same 
fate only by flight to Jamaica. The assassination itself 
was the act of a political malcontent, unrelated save in the 
general way suggested above, to popular feeling and to 
political condition. Nothing that the United States could 
have done would have removed the possibility of such an 
act of individual violence. But for the consequences of 
the assassination — far-reaching and portentous — the United 
States was more responsible. Immediately after the assassi- 
nation, the reigns of government were seized by a military 
leader; a kinsman figure-head of the same name was in- 
stalled as provisional president and two months later elected 
president for a six-year term. 

This procedure the United States should never have 
tolerated. Exercising the ample power vested in it by sec- 


270 


JACOB H. HOLLANDER 


tion II of the convention, the United States should have 
seen to it that the office of president and other vacated 
positions were filled in accordance with the spirit of con- 
stitutional government, instead of countenancing a coup 
d’etat made possible by assassination. By keeping our 
hands off at this time, we revived the most vicious feature 
of the old order of things — disregard of orderly government 
in favor of political violence. A premium was put upon 
revolution and disturbance, and much of what we had pro- 
fessed was apparently negatived. There was no choice 
as between intervention or non-intervention, but only as 
between inaction then and gun boats later. All Domin- 
ican history made it certain that failure to preserve political 
stability at this stage would exitail more serious involvement 
thereafter. 

The revolutionary government endured exactly one year. 
Through its whole course ran political disturbance of such 
increasing force as eventually to compel American inter- 
vention. This entailed the recognition of the revolutionists, 
the resignation of the dictator-made president and the in- 
stallation of a compromise successor as provisional presi- 
dent. Of the doubtful wisdom of the actual selection, it 
is unnecessary to speak. More general considerations arise 
in connection with the recognition of the revolutionists, 
as an unfortunate precedent in the future relations of the 
United States to San Domingo. It is very possible that 
with matters gone as far as they had no other course re- 
mained open to the United States, and that this necessity 
must be accounted the inevitable sequel of the original 
error of acquiescing in the coup d’etat. But the conse- 
quence was none the less grave. The Dominican mind 
once again revived the cherished principle of native politics — 
a doctrine become temporarily passe in the enforced calm 
of the preceding six years — that if a patriot be dissatisfied 
with the constituted government, he may take to the bush 
and eventually secure honor and emolument for his “rev- 
olution.” A political settlement on such lines carried the 
assurance of its own destruction. On March 31, the 
resignation of the provisional president was presented to 


THE DOMINICAN CONVENTION 


271 


the Dominican Congress and accepted, involving further 
disturbance and adjustments until the present adminis- 
tration was established — the stability of which still remains 
to be determined. 

3. A no less serious feature of the intervention of Sep- 
tember, 1912, was the validation on the part of the United 
States of a large amount of public indebtedness incurred 
during the dictator administration, by authorizing a new 
bond issue to provide for its discharge. Whether the mode 
of sale and the price realized for this loan offer any ground 
for criticism can not be determined without full knowledge 
of circumstances and records. Immediate judgment is 
however possible with respect to the validation itself. 

The validation in question consisted in the affirmative 
exercise, on the part of the United States, of the authority 
conferred by section III of the convention: “III. Until 
the Dominican Republic has paid the whole amount of the 
bonds of the debt, its public debt shall not be increased except 
by previous agreement between the Dominican government 
and the United States.” 

The purpose of this clause was to prevent San Domingo, 
for a long term of years, from sinking back into the morass 
of semi-fraudulent debt from which the financial readjust- 
ment of 1907 had extricated the country. In drafting the 
convention an absolute prohibition of further debt con- 
traction was at first contemplated and this was only modi- 
fied in the thought that the economic regeneration of San 
Domingo might go on so rapidly as to make desirable some 
large public improvement for which current revenues would 
be inadequate. It was never anticipated that recourse 
would be had to this provision for the recognition of floating 
administrative debts and claims within the early years of 
the convention and while its working was still experimental. 

Of the character of the floating indebtedness so validated 
by the United States, it is impossible to speak as details 
have not yet been made accessible. Inasmuch as it appears 
to have originated in the main during the twelve months of 
the dictator government, the presumption is that it differs 


272 


JACOB H. HOLLANDER 


in no material respects from much of the pre-convention 
indebtedness. But even to the extent to which it may have 
been free from the unsavory quality of the old Dominican 
indebtedness, it should never have received the sanction 
of the United States as justifying a new loan secured by a 
hen upon customs receipts and a service administered by the 
customs receiver. 

The spirit of the debt adjustment of 1907 and the letter 
of the convention had been to serve notice upon all pros- 
pective lenders that future advances to the Dominican 
Republic were at the lenders’ risk and must, unless sanc- 
tioned by the United States, be in the nature of temporary 
loans repayable as to interest and principal from out of 
current revenues. If, during a twelve months of wasteful 
and inefficient administration in which graft and prodigality 
held carnival, any particularly daring lenders were willing 
to make advances, upon terms satisfactory to themselves, 
to a depleted treasury — it was certainly not the duty of the 
United States to secure such advances. It would have been 
wisdom on the part of the United States to have discouraged 
the contracting of such indebtedness ; but fading to do this, 
it was in the last degree unwise to have approved its ex- 
istence. If such indebtedness existed it should have been 
discharged by San Domingo in succeeding years from out 
of current revenues, made possible by less wasteful ad- 
ministration. The experience of the convention govern- 
ment had shown that such retrenchment was possible and 
the increased flow of customs revenue made it easier now 
than then. Such a mode of discharge would not, of course, 
have offered the comfort to the lenders that the debt vali- 
dation did, but far from this involving any injustice, it would 
have been a salutary treatment of daring financial enter- 
prise and a deterrent to further ventures of this kind. 

It thus appears that with respect to administrative over- 
sight, political stability and financial policy there has been 
appreciable departure from the course defined by the Con- 
vention and pursued during the first years of the customs 
receivership — with the consequences of occasional friction 


THE DOMINICAN CONVENTION 


273 


in San Domingo and unnecessary concern in the United 
States. But there will never by a reversion to old condi- 
tions. The convention clearly defines the duties and the 
obligations of the two contracting countries, and its wise and 
statesmanlike provisions are ample to meet every contin- 
gency likely to arise — if we will but avail ourselves intelli- 
gently of them. It would be an incredible thing if the 
traditions and practices of two generations should not 
struggle to reassert themselves. Yet on every hand there 
is evidence that a new degree of national consciousness is 
crystallizing, that a new type of national leadership is being 
evolved and that new ideals of national well-being are 
taking form. 

To sum up, the extension of the good offices of the United 
States to the Dominican Republic has meant that debts 
and claims aggregating nearly $40,000,000 have been and 
will be honorably discharged for about $17,000,000; that the 
Republic’s credit has been established on a very high plane; 
that onerous concessions and monopolies have been redeemed 
and important works and improvements undertaken; that 
adequate revenues for the maintenence of orderly govern- 
ment have been assured; that social progress and economic 
betterment have been made possible and that imminent 
danger of foreign intervention has been removed, and all 
this without loss of territorial integrity or menace of inde- 
pendent sovereignty on the part of San Domingo and with- 
out embarrassing involvement or troublesome burden on 
the part of the United States. 


IN JUSTICE TO THE UNITED STATES— A SET- 
TLEMENT WITH COLOMBIA 


By Earl Harding 

As a people we have been so engrossed with interest in the 
building of the Panama Canal that we have given but little 
thought either to the means employed in securing the right 
to build it, or the uses to which it shall be put. The Canal 
has been our one great national enthusiasm — aside from base- 
ball. We have been fascinated by its bigness and its mili- 
tary glamor. We have accepted indifferently the official 
diplomatic version of the accomplished fact of the secession 
of the Department of Panama from the mother country, 
Colombia, and since the apparent collapse of the senatorial 
investigation of 1906, most of us have forgotten the pre- 
liminaries and have turned our attention to watching “the 
dirt fly.” 

One result of our national enthusiasm was to create an 
atmosphere jealous of investigation and impatient of criti- 
cism. Editors learned, or thought they learned, that the 
very word “Panama” was loaded with danger because the 
public seemed not to be able to differentiate between exposure 
and condemnation of the lawless acquisition of the Canal 
Zone and an attack upon the Canal enterprise itself. Where- 
fore there was a long period during which intelligent discus- 
sion and honest criticism of the Panama affair were so un- 
popular as to be almost entirely suppressed. 

Many a time I have been advised to “forget Panama.” 
Many a time I have been told by men who should know bet- 
ter, that the people of the United States would never look 
back of their glorified Canal far enough to see its inglorious 
history. They were unwise prophets. The Canal itself 
has made the people of the United States think. They are 
beginning to realize that to “take” the Isthmus and “make 
the dirt fly” were phases of a national problem quite apart 

274 


A SETTLEMENT "WITH COLOMBIA 


275 


from the operation of the Canal under conditions of inter- 
national friendliness. Such conferences as this have been 
made possible by a new popular interest in the countries to 
the south of us, and this interest has been created by the 
Canal. Through such activities as this the vital importance 
of the Panama question is being brought home to the thought- 
ful people of the United States. 

“In Justice to Colombia,” the title given by the editor 
to an article in October World’s Work in which I suggested 
a readjustment of boundaries at Panama as a step toward 
a settlement with Colombia, failed to reflect the spirit in 
which I wrote. I am not pleading for justice to Colombia; 
I hold no brief to present her claims; my major concern and 
sympathy are for my own country, and I bespeak a settle- 
ment of the “Panama question” in justice to the United 
States. 

Most, if not all, of us believe in international justice in 
the abstract; but when it comes to the accomplishment of 
this ideal, whenever it is proposed in such a case as the 
affair of Panama to undo, so far as may be possible, an in- 
ternational wrong, we are confronted by the protest of that 
brand of jingoism that is too narrow ever to acknowledge 
a national fault. We are told that a consistent and unbro- 
ken front must be presented to the exterior world; that a 
nation’s foreign policy, no matter how unrighteous or ill- 
advised, must be given undivided support, and that to 
gainsay it is sedition. We are solemnly told that if we really 
did steal Panama we must not confess it by making repa- 
ration; that it is nobler for us and our children and our 
children’s children brazenly to endure the stigma thrust 
upon us by one overt act than to permit the nation to 
acknowledge and make amends for the commission of a 
flagrant international wrong. 

He who sets out to tell the truth about the affairs of 
Panama must, therefore, answer first for himself this eth- 
ical question: 

Does citizenship impose the moral obligation to uphold 
your government in an immoral foreign policy, when the 
life of the nation is not at stake? 


276 


EARL HARDING 


For myself, I refuse to subscribe to this dual standard 
of political morality — one code of ethics for our domestic 
affairs and another for our foreign relations. I have no 
patience with the patrotism that holds our public servants 
to account, by criticism, investigation or impeachment, 
for what they may or may not do at home, yet absolves them 
from moral and legal restraint and holds their acts above 
review or repudiation the moment they cross our inter- 
national boundary and commit some lawlessness in the 
name of the people of the United States. 

Nor do I believe that the thoughtful men and women of 
this country imagine that as a nation we would suffer loss 
of character or caste or self-respect by frank acknowledg- 
ment that in a moment of ill-advised haste, in the false 
light of distorted truth, we committed an act of international 
injustice for which we desire to make honorable amends. 

As to the entire righteousness of Columbia’s claims and 
the method for adjusting them, public opinion in the United 
States has crystallized only in part, but there is a consensus 
approaching unanimity in the view that we cannot afford 
longer to ignore a weaker nation’s demand that its case be 
given a fair hearing. The average citizen has gathered the 
impression that there was something questionable, at least, 
in our seizure of the Isthmus, and he wants the mess cleaned 
up. I am inclined to credit this aroused public opinion 
more to our awakening commercial consciousness than to 
a stimulated sense of abstract justice, though both forces 
have been conspicuously active in the few years that have 
passed since it was virtually impossible to obtain a hearing 
on the merit of Colombia’s claims. We have waked up to 
a realization that it isn’t good business to have Latin Amer- 
ica forever pointing to our treatment of Colombia as justi- 
fying its aversion to “the Great Pig of the North.” We 
have been experiencing a changed attitude toward all of 
Latin America with the approaching opening of new ave- 
nues of trade expansion; our commercial interests recognize 
as they never have before, that they have misunderstood 
and neglected a great, undeveloped world of opportunity 
southward, and that self-interest if not national self-respect 


A SETTLEMENT WITH COLOMBIA 


277 


demands that the Panama controversy, as an obstacle to 
cordial relations, should be settled at any reasonable cost — 
and settled before the opening of the Canal. 

Our question is, then, no longer shall we settle with Co- 
lombia but how can we settle? — and by settlement I mean 
not merely the award and collection of damages, not the 
enforced payment of a ledger account ten years past due, 
but such an adjustment as shall satisfy the injured pride of 
a despoiled and affronted nation, and rehabilitate the 
United States in the confidence and esteem of our southern 
neighbors. 

How generous, how far-reaching that adjustment should 
be in order that it may meet the requirements of inter- 
national justice and at the same time serve effectively to 
accomplish the essential material results, is a problem that 
calls for sober thought and helpful, sympathetic counsel 
both within and without governmental circles. We need 
a more intelligent and general comprehension, in the United 
States and in Colombia, of the rights and wrongs of the 
Panama question, if we are to have a public opinion that will 
recognize and support a just and effective settlement. And 
in endeavoring to create an enlightened public opinion we 
shall be discouraged at times, I fear, by the obstinacy of 
certain prejudices — particularly the prejudices of those 
persons who have been content to accept without proof 
the diplomatic version of the Panama affair. 

The situation we must meet is set forth very concisely 
in a recent editorial in the Chicago Tribune, which I will 
read: 

Colombia’s grievances against the United States have always 
found a closed door because of the prevailing American opinion 
that there could be no equity in the claims of a nation caught so 
openly in sharp and dishonest practices. The Roosevelt retort, 
fostering and protecting the Republic of Panama, was accepted 
generally as a piece of larger justice, and Colombia, raging in its 
discomfiture, was observed with amusement. 

Colombians have never ceased to press their demand for arbi- 
tration, and it has been an unusual procedure for the United States 
to be deaf to such an appeal. The prevailing opinion that a small 
rascal hurt by his own tricks was the plaintiff explains the indif- 
ference and obduracy here. 


278 


EARL HARDING 


It is reported now that Secretary Bryan is willing to accept 
the demand for arbitration. It is altogether better so; better 
policy and fair justice. The United States should give Colombia 
a chance to put its loss in figures and present a statement of its 
damages to an impartial court. If it have in equity a claim for 
damages the claim should be met. A nice regard for our national 
honor requires at least a hearing. 

This editorial is literally true. Ten years’ denial of even 
a hearing can be attributed to a popular impression that 
this charge of attempted blackmail against Colombia was 
just. The accusation was false — so devoid of a basis of 
real fact that to its denial might be coupled all the quali- 
fying adjectives that we have heard so often with the short 
and ugly word. The charge was foisted first upon the pub- 
lic through the sinister activities of the Panama Canal 
Company’s lawyer and lobbyist, whose amazing confession 
that he bent to his employers’ selfish ends the Congress, 
the President and the Secretary of State of the United States, 
is a document of public record. 

I have searched the record of diplomatic correspondence 
transmitted to the United States senate, the Spanish version 
of the same records and Colombia’s instructions to her dip- 
lomatic representatives in the archives of the foreign office 
at Bogota, the annals of the Colombian congress and the 
files of the Colombian papers of the period, and I find no 
vestige of justification, official, semi-official or unofficial, 
for this accusation of attempted blackmail against the 
United States. Yet it is upon this charge, iterated by a 
selfish and corrupt lobby and reiterated as cumulative 
slander by a man who should be aware of the truth — upon 
this accusation supported by no more than the assertion 
of interested persons, has public opinion hostile even to a 
hearing of the case been maintained in the United States. 

A still more humiliating aspect of the truth is that the 
only suggestion that would warrant the assumption of a 
contemplated “hold-up” was not directed against the 
United States, but against the French Panama Canal Com- 
pany, or the holders of its securities, who in certain proved 
instances were speculative bankers in Wall Street. Colom- 
bia never demanded, nor so much as officially or unofficially 


A SETTLEMENT WITH COLOMBIA 


279 


suggested after the ratification in Washington of the Hay- 
Herran treaty that the $10,000,000 payment by the United 
States should be increased. The Panama Canal Company’s 
lobbyist, boasting that he drafted the diplomatic corres- 
pondence of our state department relating to this subject, 
and claiming pay from his employers for this alleged service, 
pointed out in writing that he foresaw that Colombia con- 
templated exacting a fee of probably $10,000,000 for the 
privilege of transferring the company’s non-transferable 
and nearly lapsed concession. The Canal lobby in Wash- 
ington then set up the cry that Colombia was attempting 
to blackmail the United States. 

Proof of these assertions has been a public record for 
nearly two years, and still a few editorial pages that are 
supposed to represent the enlightened public opinion of the 
United States occasionally reiterate this charge that Colom- 
bia was caught red-handed trying to blackmail the United 
States, and that therefore this great nation can afford to 
ignore the little nation’s demand for justice. 

To case-hardened materialists who can see nothing in 
international righteousness there is another way to appeal — 
through the wiles of that comely handmaiden of Justice — 
Expediency. We can “ match them one better,” I believe, 
on their argument that it isn’t good business to pay for a 
thing twice. We may win them to an interest in the truth 
if we can show them that, having paid Panama $10,000,000 
for the canal rights, we can also pay Colombia, make a new 
arrangement that will do justice all around, and benefit 
ourselves in the bargain. 

Taking stock first of our own necessities: We need a 
wider Canal Zone. Our ten-mile strip across the Isthmus, 
with the cities of Panama and Colon excluded from our 
jurisdiction, was planned when we were negotiating with 
Colombia and knew that it was futile to ask for more. After 
creating the Panama Republic we might have asked for 
and received as much additional territory as expediency 
seemed to require, since it was the original purpose of the 
handful of American and Panamanian conspirators to de- 
clare the independence of only the Canal Zone itself, which 


280 


EARL HARDING 


they were to “bring under the protection of the United 
States. ” 

Our territorial arrangement, with the dual government 
at the termini of the Canal, has proved to be so unsatis- 
factory that the advisability of annexing the whole Repub- 
lic has been contemplated seriously by those burdened 
with the responsibility of providing for the Canal’s pro- 
tection. For obvious diplomatic reasons this could not be 
admitted officially; nevertheless, the inconvenience and 
the inadequacy of our arrangements at Panama must be 
apparent to anyone giving serious consideration to the mil- 
itary and commercial problems and possibilities of the 
Canal. If our ultimate necessities are not obvious now, 
project yourselves twenty-five or fifty years into the future, 
and visualize the municipal hodge-podge that must result 
from the up-coming— I will not say growth or development — 
of the commercial centers at the termini of the Canal with 
the separate governments and cross-purposes that must 
obtain so long as Panama and Colon are excluded from 
Canal Zone jurisdiction. Contrast this 'with the metropoli 
that should be developed in time at this American-made 
Bosporus, this new cross-roads to the commerce of the world, 
if we but apply wmrld-sense and foresight to bringing these 
cities under single-purposed administration, and planning 
and developing them as the great free port of the Western 
hemisphere. 

For working out our military problem we need to bring 
under our control the entire watershed of the Canal, going 
back to the headwaters of the Chagres River to the South, 
and north to the limits of the basin of Gatun Lake — in all 
a Canal Zone 50 to 60 miles wide, instead of 10. With 
the possible addition of the Pearl Islands, this enlarged 
zone should provide all of our ultimate necessities for con- 
trolling the military approaches to the Canal and develop- 
ing its greatest possibilities as a commercial center. Mr. 
Lindon W. Bates, on whose world-wdde experience I have 
been privileged to draw, and whose engineering studies 
of the Panama problem are familiar probably to most of 
us, believes that ultimately the crossing at the Isthmus 


A SETTLEMENT WITH COLUMBIA 


281 


should sustain a population of 1,000,000, and that ade- 
quate preparations in the way of city planning should not 
be deferred. 

It seems too patent for argument that a shifting of arrange- 
ments at the Isthmus is inevitable; the only question is 
when should it be accomplished. 

To acquire at any convenient time the territory that we 
ultimately shall need for Canal purposes could not reason- 
ably be regarded as aggression, but if it could be obtained 
now in conjunction with a readjustment of boundaries 
that would work a measure of justice and satisfaction to 
Colombia, would it not appeal to the Panamanians as a 
less ruthless procedure than the taking of this needed terri- 
tory twenty-five or fifty years later, when the next genera- 
tion of Panamanians might have come actually to believe 
in the fiction that they established their own independence? 

Until within the last three or four years Colombia has 
cherished the vision of a decree of international justice that 
should restore to her all of her plundered territory; but 
nearly every Colombian concedes by now that such a dream 
cannot come true. 

“Then let Colombia set down her claim for damages in 
dollars and cents, and let us pay it,” is the next suggestion. 

Will you please remind our friends who believe that this 
is the way to clear our Canal title and save our self-respect, 
that gold is not a universal ointment. We might pay ten 
million dollars, twenty, fifty, yes, a hundred millions as 
indemnity; we might say in effect, “We don’t think we owe 
you this money, but take it and stop making all this fuss;” 
and if we waited long enough Colombia, despairing, might 
take the money — but this would not stop the fuss. We 
might think we had removed the weapon and healed the 
wound, but the infected barb would still lie buried deep 
and we would hear from it year after year. 

We might, as another alternative, after ten years of deny- 
ing the facts and attempting to placate our accuser, let our- 
selves be dragged as a culprit before the bar of international 
justice, and if an arbitral court gave judgment against us, 
pay it with the protest that such procedure implies. 


282 


EARL HARDING 


Suppose your brother — let us be idealists, concede a 
brotherhood of nations, and apply the measure of brother- 
hood here — suppose your blood-brother should inflict an 
irreparable injury, shoot off your leg or arm, say, and then 
deny his responsibility and say never a word of regret or 
sympathy; then at the end of ten or fifteen years you should 
drag him into court and make him pay — and he should send 
you a check, nothing more, no regrets, no apology, no “I 
am sorry, Brother, it was unfortunate and was wrong, you 
were at fault as well as I, but let us be freinds. ” Suppose! 

Now this, it seems to me, is the essence of our Panama 
problem : Unless we can resolve this quarrel so as to remove 
the causes of bitterness and leave no rancor of justice denied, 
we would better save our money and keep the question an 
open one until history shall give us a fairer perspective. 
Paying an indemnity unaccompanied by an acknowledg- 
ment that would satisfy the pride of the Colombian people, 
could serve no more practical purpose than throwing away 
our money. He who imagines that a sop of money alone 
would accomplish a real settlement of this grievance shows 
only his ignorance of the people with whom we have to 
reckon. That money will buy anything in Latin America, 
may find credence among those who form their judgments 
from such language as the following, applied to Colombia by 
a former President of the United States: “Government by 
a succession of banditti,” an “archaic despotism, inefficient, 
bloody and corrupt;” or this defense of the “taking” of 
Panama: “We did our duty by the world, we did our duty 
by the people of Panama, we did our duty by ourselves. 
We did harm to no one save as harm is done to a bandit by 
a policeman who deprives him of his chance for blackmail. 
The United States has many honorable chapters in its his- 
tory but no more honorable chapter than that which tells 
of the way in which our right to dig the Panama Canal was 
secured and of the manner in which the work itself has 
been carried out.” 

We have been given the impression that the Colombians 
are a lot of lazy, blackmailing savages; few of us have had 
the opportunity to see with our own eyes the culture of their 


A SETTLEMENT WITH COLOMBIA 


283 


unique civilization, to know them face to face as an indus- 
trious, resourceful, and law-abiding people. I wonder how 
many of us who have judged Colombia by the measure of 
ex-official denunciation have heard that Simon Bolivar 
modeled his constitution after ours, and that until November, 
1903, our Declaration of Independence and the portraits 
of our Presidents had honored places on the walls of the 
House of Representatives at Bogota, and that after the 
affair of Panama they were torn down and thrown into the 
street? 

Money will not bridge such a gap in international rela- 
tions. Colombia made this clear by rejecting in 1909 the 
hated tripartite treaty proposing that Panama receive re- 
cognition of its independence and contribute $2,500,000 
as its share of the Colombian foreign debt. Colombia ex- 
iled General Rafael Reyes, president, and Enrique Cortes, 
his minister to Washington who negotiated this treaty. 
She rejected President Taft’s tentative offer of $10,000,000, 
ostensibly for coaling station privileges and an option on 
the interoceanic canal route via the Atrato River. She 
has pressed for arbitration as the only self-respecting course 
she could follow, until recent developments transferred the 
negotiations to Bogota, where a committee of various polit- 
ical parties representing the foreign office is now dealing 
directly with the American minister. 

For ten years the Panama question has taken precedence 
over every other issue in the Colombian press. The trend 
of discussion within the last month is indicated in an illu- 
minating though possibly premature item in one of the 
latest Bogota papers, from which I read, in translation : 

Insistent rumor points to the very strong probability that there 
have been signed in Washington, approved and signed here by the 
ministry and ratified by the commission of foreign relations, an 
understanding with the United States consummated on the fol- 
lowing bases: 

1. The government of the United States shall declare before 
the diplomatic corps in Washington that it owes reparation to 
Colombia, for having trampled upon her rights during a former 
administration. 

2. At the opening of the Canal, the first American ships to pass 
through shall display the Colombian flag. 


284 


EARL HARDING 


3. Colombian ships shall be guaranteed in perpetuity free pas- 
sage through the Canal. 

4. The boundary of Colombia shall be extended to the Canal 
Zone. 

5. The United States shall pay to Colombia as indemnity 

$ 20 , 000 , 000 . 

6. Matters in dispute relating to the Panama Railroad shall be 
submitted to arbitration. 

I have a strong conviction that the Panama question 
should be kept out of a court of arbitration, excepting as it 
may be agreed possibly to submit collateral subjects: for a 
general arbitration, bringing solely a judgment for pecuniary 
damages, could not result happily. It would cause inevi- 
table delay and tremendous expense, and would profit 
mainly the lawyers and press-agents who have attempted 
with scandalous effrontery to sell political influence, or pre- 
tended influence, to Colombia’s representatives. It is to 
avoid such attempts at bartering international justice, and 
not for what might be unearthed at The Hague, that I have 
urged that the campaign to force the question to general 
arbitration should not be approved. 

Colombia feels the injury to her pride more than the loss 
to her purse. She has held, and will continue to hold, the 
question of indemnity secondary to recognition that her 
national honor was violated. 

I have been reminded that not many persons in the Uni- 
ted States are inclined to take seriously the idea of national 
honor in one of the southern republics, and particularly 
not in Colombia. All the more then should we regret our 
ignorance! A people who fight three years, losing 80,000 
men out of their total population of 4,000,000, piling on one 
battlefield, where 15,000 perished a huge monument of sun- 
bleached skulls that stands to this day a grim reminder of 
their last civil war — a people who can fight like this over 
the issue of a usurper, a free press and religious liberty — do 
you think it becomes us to sneer at their ideals and, speaking 
with no knowledge of the facts jump to the conclusion that 
they have no national honor? 

To make amends that will meet Colombia’s requirements 
and not meet the antagonism of the prejudiced and ill- 
informed of our own country — how can we accomplish that? 


A SETTLEMENT WITH COLOMBIA 


285 


The most acceptable reparation for theft is return of the 
stolen property; if not intact, then so much as can be re- 
covered, with some equivalent for the remainder. 

Panama entire we cannot restore; Colombia does not 
expect it; but what is there to prevent handing back to her 
in frank recognition of her violated sovereignty, that part 
of Panama south of the Zone? The Canal would then 
become the geographical as well as actual dividing line 
between the continents. Colombia would be restored to 
the prestige of contiguity to the waterway. If the Zone 
were widened to the headwater of the Chagres the possi- 
bility of administrative friction would be very remote. 

There is a very practical advantage both to Panama and 
to the United States in restoring the southern end of the 
Isthmus to the mother country. Its inhabitants, the San 
Bias Indians, defy the authority of the Republic of Panama 
and still maintain their loyalty to Colombia. Would our 
jingoes rather have the San Bias Indians friendly Colom- 
bians or hostile Panamanians, neighbors to the Gatun locks 
by one night’s journey? 

The most likely objector to the restoration of southern 
Panama to Colombia is an American who was given a few 
hundred thousand acres of this land as a reward for his gen- 
eralship in that revolution of bloody memories — total 
killed and wounded, one jackass, one Chinaman! I know 
something of this territory whereof I speak. Cruising down 
the coast thirty or forty miles, thence up the broad miasmic 
Bayano River, I found the alligator preserves of this Pan- 
American patriot. I had to go to see him there because 
on the day we arrived in Panama with an order of court to 
take testimony as to the real history of the secession, J. 
Domingo Obaldia, then president of the Republic, had 
written his faithful servitor this note: 

My dear General; You will please make it convenient to visit 
your hacienda in Chepo and remain until further orders. 

The General was not expecting “further orders” until 
the bothersome inquisitors should be well on their way back 
to New York; much less did he expect me. 


286 


EARL HARDING 


Admitting that this territory is inconsequential to Panama 
and of no great intrinsic value to Colombia, it would become 
in its restoration to the mother country an instrument of 
tremendous importance. Its restoration would appeal to 
every son of Colombia who resents the epithets “black- 
mailer” and “bandit,” and to whom the humiliation of 
national dismemberment means a personal affront; it would 
be to the Colombian tangible proof that the justice of his 
country’s claims had been at last recognized before the 
world. Restitution of so much territory would open the 
way for a frank and friendly discussion of the ledger account 
of damages for property that cannot be returned; it would 
be a step toward a genuine settlement. 

“But what about the Panamanians and their rights?” 
we are asked. “Are you going to rob the Panamanian 
Peter to pay the Colombian Paul?” 

As to the moral rights of the Panamanians how extensive 
are they, in view of the deceit by which the congress and 
people of the United States were led to recognize their make- 
believe Republic on the assurance that they “rose literally 
as one man?” In truth, a handful of conspirators, nearly 
everyone an employee of the Canal Company, and the real 
leaders being American citizens, were all w r ho knew r about a 
revolutionary movement until the “blow” was struck. 
The Panamanians, through their self-appointed leaders, 
knowingly surrendered themselves hostages to exigency, 
to serve the purposes of the United States. Have they 
then moral grounds for expecting more than scrupulous 
fairness and sure protection from the vengence of the mother 
country? 

And if we seek to shroud the infant Republic in an aura 
of sentiment, can we find any inspiration in the sordid story 
of purchased treason — so much per general, so much per 
colonel, so much per soldier, with later a riotous distribution 
of easily-acquired American gold among the patriots of this 
soul-stirring w r ar for liberty? If we hesitate to suggest 
infringing the area of Panama’s sovereignty out of respect 
for sentiments of nationalism, should we not recall that 
Panama’s span of pseudo-independence is but a decade, 


A SETTLEMENT WITH COLOMBIA 


287 


while Colombia recently celebrated her centennial of consti- 
tutional self-government? 

The Panamanian Peter would be divested of the form but 
not the substance of the material benefits for which he con- 
sented to make a perfectly safe revolution, under the pre- 
arranged protection of the United States. American ad- 
ministration and development of the terminal cities would 
be to his advantage. He would still have to the north of 
the Canal Zone the richest part — more than half — of his 
present domain, where he could exercise his genius for self- 
government with much more freedom than Uncle Sam can 
ever allow him in the midst of the Canal Zone. 

So far as it affects the terminal cities and watershed, or 
any other portion of the Panama Republic which the United 
States may require, such a programme of readjustment is 
easy to arrange under the following clause of the Hay- 
Bunau-Varilla Treaty: 

The Republic of Panama further grants to the United States 
in perpetuity the use, occupation, and control of any other lands 
and waters outside of the zone above described which may be 
necessary and convenient for the construction, maintenance, opera- 
tion, sanitation, and protection of the said canal. 

In substance we agreed to maintain Panama’s indepen- 
dence, but not necessarily the integrity of her then, and still, 
undefined territory, the boundary at each end of the Re- 
public being in question. 

Ten years of administrative experience, fraught with 
friction and petty annoyances, show not only the conven- 
ience but the ultimate necessity for a single administration 
to insure the most advantageous development of the canal 
as a commercial enterprise; the military reasons for con- 
trolling the watershed are also obvious. 

Whether legally we could impose upon Panama the al- 
ternative of restoring the San Bias region to Colombia or 
incurring the displeasure of the United States, I leave to the 
Internationalists as a question not likely to call for their 
answer, since a suggestion from Washington would doubt- 
less be sufficient to secure Panama’s cheerful acquiescence. 

The editorials that followed the publication of this sug- 


288 


EARL HARDING 


gested plan of settlement must have been a revelation to 
those who have no faith in the ultimate awakening of public 
opinion in this country. Only two papers out of some thirty 
or more whose editorial comment has been called to my 
attention, presumed to deny contemptuously that Colombia 
has a just claim. 

One of them is the Kansas City Star, the organ of the 
Progressive party in that part of the country. The Star 
repeats the charge of blackmail as the final answer to Co- 
lombia, and declares that the taking of Panama under the 
circumstances “is held by the American people as one of 
the most noteworthy achievements of a noteworthy career. ” 

The other publication that does not concede that we have 
anything to settle with Colombia is the Outlook which in 
its issue of October 11 says in part: 

The people of Panama were unanimous in their revolt against 
Colombia, and the authority of Colombia collapsed in a night 
because she had neither moral nor physical power to enforce her 
authority. The people of this country will never concede that 
Colombia has a shadow of a claim against the United States for 
its prompt recognition of an oppressed people struggling for their 
rights. A queer idea of justice to Colombia is this proposal to 
attempt to satisfy her national pride and reconcile her warring 
factions with one another and with the United States by a Poland- 
like division of the territory of a people who have shown their 
right to liberty by daring to fight for it. 

I wonder how the editor of The Outlook could write such a 
statement, with the picture before him of that bloody revo- 
lution in which the total casualties — and those accidental — 
were one jackass and one Chinaman! 

The speaker preceding me has urged us to remember that 
the Canal cannot be a blessing to us while its title is clouded 
by an unrighteous act. I believe we must go farther, and 
realize that its material advantages cannot be ours until we 
shall have made a just settlement with the nation from 
whom we took the right to build it. Recent editorial ex- 
pressions indicate that a considerable number of people are 
more impressed with the idea of providing for our own ul- 
timate necessities at Panama than with the doing of abstract 
justice to Colombia for Justice’s sake. If we can get their 


A SETTLEMENT WITH COLOMBIA 


289 


support in no other way, then let us reconcile Justice with 
Expediency, and while doing no injustice to Panama, re- 
adjust our relations in a way to do full justice to Colombia, 
and to secure to the people of the United States the full 
benefits of the Canal. 


THE RELATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES WITH 
THE LATIN-AMERICAN REPUBLICS 


By Leopold Grahame, formerly editor of “ The Buenos 
Aires Herald” and of “ The Argentine 
Year Book ” 

To discuss the “Relations of the United States with the 
Latin- American Republics” without dealing with the con- 
ditions and policies which govern them, would be merely 
to re-affirm the noble and elevated sentiments expressed 
by the acts and declarations of the illustrious Presidents 
of the United States, from James Monroe down to the pres- 
ent eminently distinguished incumbent of that exalted office. 

The relations of the United States with the Latin repub- 
lics of the American continent, are based upon a mutual 
sympathy for those liberty-loving principles, essential to 
the greatness of any modem nation. It is a fundamental 
error to suppose that friendship with one nation implies 
the estrangement of another. The specific character of 
international relations differs according to the traditions 
and antecedents of the people and to the more material 
factors in their intercourse. The Latin republics, whilst 
indebted to a heroic generation of their own race for their 
emancipation from the yoke of colonial serfdom, owe the 
firm establishment and maintenance of their justly-claimed 
independence to the sympathies and active support of the 
people and early governments of the United States who ini- 
tiated the policy which has made this country the champion 
of sovereign rights throughout the American continent and 
the guide of the younger nations in the evolution of their 
political conceptions and aspirations. 

Those nations recognize with gratitude the help thus 
extended to them in their struggles for freedom and organic 
constitution; and they also recognize that in safeguarding 

290 


RELATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES WITH LATIN AMERICA 291 


American independence from possible foreign foes, the 
United States has never encroached upon their individual 
liberty. Therefore, all the antecendents and all the tradi- 
tions impel a sincere desire on their part for the development 
of American union, by harmony of thought and of action 
with the great representative of continental integrity. These 
are the links of gratitude which form the relations of the 
south with their elder sister of the north. 

The reciprocal relations are to be found in the similarity 
of conditions which gave birth to all the nations of America 
and led to the attainment of the proud position they occupy 
today in the world’s affairs. So, as the United States had 
to conquer savage Indians, to suffer war, and to endure 
misery and great sacrifices in the effort to develop the re- 
sources of vast uninhabited territories and to establish the 
principles of liberty and justice, many of the Latin nations 
of America have successfully overcome the same difficulties 
and today are inviting the rest of the world to add to their 
developments and to share their wealth. These are the 
sources whence have sprung the friendship and sympathy of 
the United States for those ardent democracies. It is that 
touch of human nature which makes us all kin. It is that 
inborn sentiment of admiration for high and just ideals 
which arouses in the minds of educated Englishmen of the 
present time, a reverential respect for the memory of the 
great men who framed and signed the Declaration of Amer- 
ican Independence. It is the same spirit which inspires 
Spain to delight in the triumph of her truant children across 
the seas and in the magic awakening of Ibero-America. 
It is the conquest of the arts of peace and of true civiliza- 
tion over the feudalism and barbarism of the past. It is 
the worship of the Statue of Liberty gazing out from every 
harbour of the American continent; and it is upon the foun- 
dation of sympathy and friendship arising out of that lofty 
conception of true democracy, that American unity is being 
built up and the relations of all the American countries 
defined and maintained. 

It has been urged that the phenomenal progress of the 
greater countries of South America has merged this senti- 


292 


LEOPOLD GRAHAME 


mental view into more practical considerations; but those 
who are acquainted with enlightened public opinion in 
Latin America, regard the suggestion as devoid of all real 
foundation. The nations of the new continent should not 
and will not forget that from Great Britain they have re- 
ceived the bulk of the capital which has given vitality to 
their currents of commerce and industry; and that from other 
European countries they have secured the laborers to sow 
and reap their abundant harvests; but these conditions in 
no way impede an extension of friendly relations with the 
United States, looking towards further progress, increased 
trade, and a policy whereby to consolidate the destinies of 
all the American nations. 

The causes which have chiefly operated to restrict the 
social and commercial intercourse of the southern countries 
with the United States, are the difficulties of distance and 
the lack of direct means of communication, but, above all, 
a mutual want of knowledge of the conditions, of the 
desires, and of the widely divergent racial characteristics 
of the people respectively inhabiting the two divisions of 
the continent. It is this ignorance of essential conditions, 
prevailing throughout America, that has led to international 
misunderstandings, to misconceptions and to doubts and 
suspicions, which have militated against an extension of 
commercial and friendly relations, so necessary to the wel- 
fare of the entire continent. If that not inconsiderable 
number of people in the United States who associate the 
term “South America” with all the elements of disorder 
and dishonesty; and those people of Latin America who re- 
gard the policjr of the United States as being dictated by 
the ultimate purpose of territorial conquest and other sel- 
fish objects, were to examine the records of history and the 
actually existing circumstances, there would be a change 
of conditions that would give to the word “America” an 
interpretation signifying the highest ideals of justice, of 
peace, and of progress. 

Warm-hearted, impulsive, and eager for political emanci- 
pation, the Latin-American people have invariably sub- 
ordinated material advantage to social and intellectual 


RELATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES WITH LATIN AMERICA 293 


development; and if, through the initial error, in some cases, 
of implanting laws and institutions in advance of their times, 
turbulent political conditions were produced during anx- 
ious periods of their national formation, their latter-day 
progress in every field of human activity demonstrates then- 
capacity for self-government and the possession of those rare 
qualities which make for national greatness in the fullest 
sense of those words. The basic conditions of all the 
Latin republics are identical; and the solid advance which 
has been made by Argentina, Brazil and Chile, will assuredly 
be repeated in the republics of lesser importance, in a de- 
gree corresponding to then opportunities, their geographical 
situation and the extent of their resources. All of those 
countries have suffered and have had their national forces 
weakened by the many uprisings which followed their libera- 
tion; but most of them have realized the necessity for dis- 
carding their factional colors; and, under a common flag, 
to unite in diverting their energies from revolutionary ac- 
tivity, to the more beneficial course of developing their 
national industries, of advancing their intellectual move- 
ments, and of directing their legislation towards securing 
freedom and the highest form of protection for the interests 
of those who inhabit their territories. The people of those 
lands are now dedicating their efforts to objects which exalt 
the human mind and give high rank to nations. They 
cherish the principles of liberty, within the limits of order, 
and they are striving for continued progress under consti- 
tutional and honest governments. 

Practically, all their constitutions are modelled upon the 
lines of the magnificent instrument which has made this 
country great and free; and, I need only point to the first 
provision of the national Constitution of the Argentine 
Republic, to show the breadth of the principles upon which 
the sovereignty of that country was founded. Its primary 
objects are declared to be: 

to create national unity, to consolidate justice and internal peace, 
to provide for the common defence, to promote the general wel- 
fare; and to assure the benefits of liberty to us, to our descendants 
and to all the people of the world who may reside in Argentine 
territory. 


294 


LEOPOLD GRAHAME 


Nor is this charter of the people’s rights and liberty 
a mere matter of theory. The principles it embodies have 
been carried into practice in every form of legislation. In 
that republic, as in others of Latin America, there is ab- 
solute civil and religious freedom; there are no restrictions 
upon healthy immigration, or upon the nationality of land- 
owners. The naturalization laws are liberal enough to en- 
able foreigners of merit to hold official positions without 
regard to the customary residential qualifications; the pa- 
triotic and other national celebrations of the inhabitants 
of foreign birth, are respected, and even participated in, 
by the sons of the soil; and, side by side with this remarkable 
development of free institutions, there is an earnest and deep- 
ly-rooted desire that whilst internal peace is being thus con- 
solidated, there should be no causes for suspicion, or inter- 
national conflicts amongst the American nations. 

All the people of Latin America regard as paramount to 
every other consideration, the integrity of their national 
territory and their complete independence; and, influenced 
by those sentiments, it is hardly surprising that they should 
have misunderstood the motives underlying the occasional 
exercise of vigorous diplomatic action on the part of the 
United States in her past relations with some of the less- 
advanced countries of Latin America. Recent events have 
shown, beyond question, that the true policy of the United 
States in regard to the Latin nations of America, is to assist 
in their peaceful and progressive development, without 
encroachment upon their sovereignty or upon their inde- 
pendence; but it must be remembered that the most valued 
interests of this country would be imperilled by a condition 
of chronic disturbance within the borders of some of its 
neighbors. 

American action in Cuba, demonstrates that the acqui- 
sition, by conquest, of the territory of any of the Latin 
republics, is repellent to the principles of the clearly defined 
attitude of the United States towards the southern countries. 
The policies of Rush, of Hemy Clay, of Monroe, of Lincoln, 
of Blaine, and of other great apostles of American liberty, 
are being continued today by all the recognized leaders 


RELATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES WITH LATIN AMERICA 295 


of American thought. For the first time in the history of 
the United States, that great man, Elihu Root, laid aside 
his important duties as secretary of state, to preach the 
gospel of Pan-Americanism throughout Latin America. 
His distinguished successor, Williams Jennings Bryan, 
inspired by similar motives, traveled through thousands 
of miles of the continent to assure the Ibero-Americans of 
the friendly sympathy of the great republic of the north 
with their ligitimate aspirations. That eminent citizen, 
ex-President Roosevelt, is, at the present moment, devoting 
his labors and his energy to the self-imposed task of assisting 
the international union which is the hope of all good Ameri- 
cans ; and to this brilliant roll there must now be added the 
honored name of the present illustrious chief executive of 
the United States, President Wilson. Only a few days ago, 
that faithful servant of the people, speaking with all the 
responsibility of his position and with all the sincerity which 
marks his every utterance, declared the policy of his admin- 
istration, in relation to the republics of the western hemi- 
sphere, to be one of morality and justice, against political 
or financial expediency. That declaration of the Presi- 
dent whose disregard of material advantage for the en- 
forcement of high-minded principles, will add lustre and 
prestige to the name of the United States in the council 
of nations, should be printed in letters of gold throughout 
the American continent. 

In the definition of the policy so expressed, President 
Wilson wisely added to his references to the sister-republics 
the statement, that 

We must prove ourselves their friends and champions upon 
terms of equality and honor. You cannot be friends upon any 
other terms than upon the terms of equality. 

That is the key-note of the whole situation. The 
cultured and sensitive Latin mind resents condescension, 
domination, or, the suggestion of inequality. Prior to Sena- 
tor Root’s visit to South America, in 1906, there existed a 
very wide distrust of American policy which was intensi- 
fied by international rivalries and by the belief, in the 


296 


LEOPOLD GRAHAME 


Argentine Republic, arising out of press misrepresentations, 
that the United States had designs, as the result of a supposed 
diplomatic alliance with Brazil, to establish a hegemony 
in that part of the continent. Fortunately, the eloquent 
and frank declarations of the state secretary to the effect 
that the United States was actuated by the sole purpose of 
promoting the friendly intercourse of all the American re- 
publics; and that anything in the nature of an alliance was 
opposed to the policy and traditions of his country, pro- 
duced an entire revulsion of feeling and cemented the bonds 
of that friendship, which has been so beautifully manifested 
during Colonel Roosevelt’s recent visit to that favored land. 
Such incidents point clearly to the conclusion that every 
serious rupture that has disturbed the friendly relations of 
the United States with the other republics, has been due to 
ignorance of actual conditions, or, to a distortion of the 
real facts of the case. 

The United States has two spheres of action in Latin 
America, diplomatic and commercial; and, in this connec- 
tion, I would refer to a matter which I regard as of the 
highest importance to a satisfactory fulfilment of those 
missions. With a natural desire to enjoy fitting and dig- 
nified representation in the capitals of Europe, the United 
States has entrusted its principal embassies to the care of a 
long succession of brilliant men who have worthily repre- 
sented the interests and maintained the traditions of this 
great country; but, without detracting from the high char- 
acter and qualifications of the many distinguished citi- 
zens to whom have been confined the diplomatic missions 
to the smaller countries of Latin America, it may be said 
to have become a custom to regard such appointments as 
altogether of minor importance. May I be permitted to 
suggest that the services of the great diplomats of the 
United States are more needed in the capitals of some of 
the republics of Central and South America, than in Lon- 
don, Paris, Berlin, Rome, Madrid, or St. Petersburg? 
It is not complimentary to the countries which have 
sent to Washington such distinguished diplomats and inter- 
national jurists, as Nabuco, Quesada, Garcia Merou, Da 


RELATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES WITH LATIN AMERICA 297 


Gama, Naon, and others, that the mere suggestion that 
men of the type of Joseph H. Choate, John Hay, James 
Russell Lowell, Whitelaw Reid, or David Jayne Hill, should 
be sent to represent their country in the South American 
republics, would be popularly regarded as ridiculous. 

There are many other factors to be considered in the 
relations of the United States with the sister republics; 
and one of the most important of these is the approaching 
opening of the Panama Canal. The operation of that 
colossal monument to American enterprise, will bridge the 
distance and remove the necessity for the circuitous routes 
of travel which now separate the north from the south; 
and will produce an active interchange of visits that will 
bring the people of the two races into closer touch, with the 
result that their better mutual knowledge and understand- 
ing of character and conditions will lend to increased asso- 
ciation and friendship. For that reason alone, it is impera- 
tively demanded that peace and order should be established 
in all the countries adjacent to the Canal Zone. That con- 
dition of affairs is indispensable to the welfare of every part 
of the contiment. Today, all countries must conform to 
the higher order of civilization imposed upon them by the 
exigencies of universal peace and good will. The minor 
republics of the American continent have many beautiful 
examples to follow; and for these they have only to look to 
Argentina, Brazil, and Chile, whose great achievements 
in every phase of national effort and duty have evoked the 
admiration of the world at large. In a corresponding 
degree it is the duty of those less fortunately situated, to 
enter upon the same forward march, in order that they may 
attain the position to which their traditions and their re- 
sources entitle them. 

It is a happy augury for the future that the sentiment 
of American union is gradually deposing the spirit of im- 
perialism which, in latter years, has found favor with a 
small section of the American people. It is a still happier 
augury that increasing interest in the establishment of good 
relations with Latin America, is being promoted by such dis- 
tinguished men as those present here today and by such 


298 


LEOPOLD GRAHAME 


institutions as this great university. This illuminating 
conference constitutes a combination of enlightenment and 
justice; and it has afforded me deep gratification to partic- 
ipate in the furtherance of its noble aims and objects which 
cannot fail to be productive of beneficial results to the cause 
of Pan-Americanism. The influential representation of 
the Pan-American Union, at this gathering, affords proof 
of the importance and worthiness of the occasion; and I 
feel sure that in offering a tribute of admiration to the 
magnificent services of its Director-General, John Barrett — 
the friend and ambassador of Latin America — and of its 
Assistant Director, Senor Y&nes, in the propagation of the 
true doctrine, I am but re-echoing the sentiments of all 
my distinguished fellow-guests from different parts of the 
continent. Through the Archipelago of the Antilles, through 
the States of Central America, from the Rio Grande to the 
Straits of Magellan, and from Punta Arenas to the most 
eastern extension of South America, there will be a profound 
appreciation of the efforts of Clark University to strengthen 
and bind in friendly union all the nations of America. 


THE MIND OF THE LATIN-AMERICAN 
NATIONS 


By David Montt, General Correspondent of “El Diario 
Ilustrado,” Santiago, Chile 

Before starting the reading of this paper I wish to make 
it known that I come here to express my personal views 
on matters referring to the South American nations and not 
as a representative of any institution and having no authority 
to speak in behalf of my government. 

This paper, which has been prepared at short notice, will 
deal especially with the influence of the United States and 
the European powers upon the development of this group 
of republics which I call the Latin-American nation. I have 
entitled this paper "The Mind of the Latin-American Nation” 
because my purpose is to deal especially with the foreign 
influence on the making up of the Latin-American soul and 
not with the development of our industries or the exploitation 
of our natural resources by foreign enterprise and capital. 

Whenever I make my statements of a general character, I 
wish it to be understood that I am doing so by inductive logic 
because I think that many of the problems that affect my own 
nation are common problems affecting the life of all the 
Latin-American countries. I am considering the nations 
as having a mind, a mind of a complex constitution if you 
wish, but to which more or less the same laws that govern 
the human mind can be applied. We often hear of persons 
acting under the influence of suggestions, or auto-suggestions, 
and I think that nations often act under such influences, 
disobeying many times the dictates of justice. A prominent 
writer on psychology has said: “The subjective mind is 
constantly controllable and controlled by suggestions coming 
either from without or from within.” This statement 
applies equally as well to nations. It is the influence upon 

299 


300 


DAVID MONTT 


the mind of the Latin- American nation coming from without 
that I wish to review. 

In the first place let me recite a few historical facts and 
make known, in justice to the United States, what this 
country did at the birth of Our republics and the influence 
of those facts upon our succeeding life. When Napoleon 
fell, who was, as somebody said “The crowned people,” 
and when Russia, Austria and Prussia organized the Holy 
Alliance, Spain asked for its support in order to subject the 
insurgent colonies of South America. The United States, 
with the backing of Minister Channing of England, exposed 
to the world the plans of that backward and oppressing 
alliance and recognized the independence of the new repub- 
lics, soon after the proclamation of our own independence 
in 1818. Once reestablished the despotic government of 
Ferdinand VII, Spain renewed her attempts to regain control 
of the Latin-American republics. The United States pro- 
claimed the Monroe Doctrine, which was then our protecting 
shield and moral support against the ambitions of the Euro- 
pean monarchies. Since that time the Union has been 
sending us elements of defense, elements of intellectuality 
and of material development. As years go by, we find, how- 
ever, that the beneficial influence that the United States had 
at the beginning of our independent life, is overshadowed by 
the moral influence of the continental powers. However, we 
had enough impulse given to us, by the example of this great 
Union, to enable us to keep alive our democratic institutions, 
which today are endangered by the influence of the European 
monarchies, which has created and maintain an undesir- 
able aristocracy in the heart of our apparent democratic 
institutions. 

It would be hard to make laws dealing with the moral 
influence of a nation upon another and the development of 
trade between them. Today, we could not say, for instance, 
whether moral influence brings trade, or whether trade 
brings moral influence. The fact is, however, that during 
this period of moral influence of the United States upon Chile 
the trade relations between the two countries were most 
encouraging and satisfactory. It was during that period 


MIND OF LATIN-AMERICAN NATIONS 


301 


that American enterprise had the most flourishing start in 
South America. During that period Wheelwright, an Amer- 
ican, established the first steamship line in the Pacific connect- 
ing Chile directly with this country. The same man started 
the exploitation of our coal mines and nailed the first nails of the 
first South American railroad, between Copiap6 and Caldera. 
Meiggs, an American civil engineer, soon after connected 
by railroad our capital city and our main port, Valparaiso. 
Even during our fight for freedom, we saw American spirit 
and American enterprise coming to our assistance. As 
early as 1811 Arnold Heber brought to Chile the first printing 
press, which we keep, today, as a sacred relic in our national 
museum in Santiago. I can rightly say, therefore, that 
Americans were the founders of the national press in Chile. 
A few years later we find another American who, associated 
with a Chilean, founded one of the oldest and most important 
papers published in Latin America, El Mercurio. 

I have mentioned the fact of the press being founded 
by American citizens and the fact that this press was there- 
fore highly saturated with American ideas and ideals, 
because I think that this “Fourth Power of the State” was 
then largely responsible for the friendly attitude of Chile 
towards the United States in the early period of its life. 
The press is certainly a power and whether directed for good 
or evil its influence upon the minds of the people cannot be 
denied. It is a common belief that yellow journalism in 
this country precipitated the Spanisu American war. It is 
also a common statement that it was a selfish and prejudicial 
idea which animated the yellow press. Recent disclosures 
made in connection with the proceedings against the Krupp 
interests in Germany have revealed to the world that this 
same selfish motive animated the larger part of the press of 
both Germany and France, m order to keep alive the ill- 
feeling and differences between the two nations. In this 
case, this most shameful campaign conducted through the 
columns of the press had no other purpose than to promote 
and increase the purchase of armaments by the two countries 
mentioned. This very same scheme was tried and carried 
nearly to successful completion between two South Amer- 


302 


DAVID MONTT 


ican republics. It is not long ago that two sister nations, 
which always had the same ideals, the same abundance of 
resources, the same pursuits, were brought to the verge of a 
war. Again, it was the influence of European armament 
manufacturers which impressed the minds of these two 
nations to make them think that their trivial differences 
could not be settled without resorting to arms. It took the 
patriotism and courage of highly spirited citizens of both 
countries to bring out the truth and wake us up from this 
dreadful nightmare. That we were only acting under 
foreign influence is proven by the fact that we settled the 
affair in a most peaceful manner and the friendliness of the 
two nations was strengthened by closer ties. As a final 
chapter to the incident, we erected on the peak of the 
Andes a monument to the Great Master, as an expression 
of thanks to providence for having liberated us from the 
very undesirable influence of these European gun manu- 
facturers. The differences between the two nations were 
then settled forever and I am proud to say today that no 
other two nations in the world are cooperating, and will 
cooperate in the future, more efficiently towards the welfare 
of mankind than Argentine and Chile. 

The satisfactory solution of the problem of Argentine 
and Chile has left to my knowledge five international ques- 
tions to be settled in South America. 

Let me briefly review these differences, because I think 
that their statement and their acknowledgment will be a 
factor in their solution. Furthermore, I have too high an 
estimation of the good sense of the Latin- American republics 
to think that any of these problems will ever produce an 
armed conflict. But instead the promotion of commercial 
intercourse between these nations will entirely do away with 
these differences and bring permanent and satisfactory 
conditions. Ex-President Taft very well expressed it: 
"Trade is peace.” I also think that the absolute elimination 
of the Monroe doctrine will very much tend towards the 
promotion of a strong union among the South American 
republics. 

As I have stated before, this doctrine has been of great 


MIND OF LATIN-AMERICAN NATIONS 


303 


value to the Latin- American nations, because at a time they 
were unable to defend themselves against the attacks of 
foreign powers. This inability of ours to resist the attacks 
of foreign nations was then largely due to our lack of the 
spirit of cooperation, a fact well known and characteristic 
to the Latin races. A fact that is now preventing, in South 
America, the organization of large political parties. I am 
pleased to say, however, that we are getting over these 
drawbacks and that our admiration for the wonderful 
progress of this country is making us realize that to attain 
similar progress we need to develop the spirit of cooperation. 

But this is a little digression. 

In saying that the absolute elimination of the Monroe 
Doctrine will help very much towards the promotion of a 
strong union in the South American republics I meant to 
say that by leaving Latin America absolutely free from this 
now only apparent protecting shield of the doctrine already 
mentioned, it will further bring out the need of a Pan-Ameri- 
can Union. Let me now briefly state what I consider the 
most interesting international problems in South America 
today. As I have said, my idea is that their impartial 
exposition will be a factor in their solution. As I am a 
Chilean, and realizing that as such the impartiality of my 
utterances would be doubted, I . will leave out the statement 
of the differences between Peru, Bolivia and Chile, which, 
fortunately, are today practically settled in a most satisfac- 
tory and dignified manner. 

I have before me the exposition of three problems with 
which to occupy part of the time I have been assigned in 
this morning’s session. These problems are: (1) The rela- 
tions between Argentine and Brazil; (2) the problem of 
Paraguay; (3) the problem of Uruguay. 

The Relations Between Argentine and Brazil 

The origin of the differences between these two countries 
lies in the ancient rivalry between Portugal and Spain, 
during the time of South American conquest, which was 
then evidenced by the frequent conflicts between the 


304 


DAVID MONTT 


Spaniards and the Portuguese. For the sake of information, 
it would be well to state that although Spain, at that time, 
was always successful in her wars with Portugal, very often 
the latter nation obtained better results after the differences 
were settled. So the Portuguese diplomacy was pronounced 
and it is claimed that the Jesuits were expelled from the 
Spanish possessions by the workings of this diplomacy. It 
is obvious that this religious order was in fact the advanced 
army of the Spanish civilization. Therefore, when Brazil 
saw the light of its independent life it found itself the 
possessor of an immense amount of land. Argentine received 
from Spain smaller territorial rights but with them also 
obtained from the mother country the hereditary hatred of 
the Spaniards for the Portuguese. 

Although, in fact, the actual cause of the trouble lies in 
the desire of both nations to control the outlet of the River 
Plate, which is to Argentine, and would be to Brazil, what 
the Mississippi River is to this country. Many South 
American statesmen declare that this issue alone is endan- 
gering the independence of Uruguay. But the foreign 
immigration to Argentine, Uruguay and Brazil and the 
common sense of the peoples of these countries are extin- 
guishing the prejudices of the past and creating, as I said 
before, a strong current of international trade, all of which, 
together with equality of military and naval power, both of 
Argentine and Brazil, are furnishing a most stable guarantee 
of peace, and a most solid foundation for the development 
of a permanent friendship between the two nations. 

The Problem of Paraguay 

This problem deals rather with the constant internal 
unrest of the country, due to foreign influence. This 
situation had its origin in the war of the Triple Alliance. 
Paraguay was then not divided among the victorious nations, 
simply because Argentine thought it to be a good policy to 
keep it as an independent nation, proclaiming to that effect 
the then famous and well known doctrine “that victory does 
not entitle to territorial rights.” The present result of this 


MIND OF LATIN-AMERICAN NATIONS 


305 


settlement of the war is, as I said, the internal political 
unrest in Paraguay, as well as in Uruguay. No other exam- 
ple could be given in the history of the world of a more 
active influence of foreign nations in the internal policies of 
any country. It has been a known fact for years, that 
whenever the government of Paraguay is in the hands of a 
political party agreeable to Argentine, Brazil would help the 
opposing party morally and financially, allow it to organize 
its forces in Brazilian territory, and encourage it to over- 
throw the existing administration. Reverse the circum- 
stances and you will find that a similar process goes on in 
Argentine with respect to Brazil. But to my knowledge 
these things have ceased to happen. The South American 
countries are growing wiser and their present energies are 
mainly directed to the wonderful development of their 
inexhaustible natural resources. This is, I think, our 
greatest blessing, for nations that are busy and intensely 
preoccupied in the development of their natural resources 
will never think of diverting their energies and misusing 
their strength in the ungrateful task of an international 
war. 

The attitude of the United States towards these questions 
has been, in the past, far from being definite. To my 
knowledge it has changed with the changes in the adminis- 
tration. Up to recent years, however, the general policy of 
the government in Washington has been to treat the South 
American nations in a fashion similar to that employed in 
dealing with the countries of Central America. A striking 
example of this occurred only a few years ago in a proposition 
between Chile and the United States, better known as the 
Alsop claim. In that instance, the department of state 
sent out an ultimatum to the ministry of foreign affairs of 
my country stating that the American representative in 
Santiago would be called back to Washington should the 
question not be settled within ten days. At the time no 
intelligent person in Chile denied the justice of the claim, but 
the method of procedure was the thing we objected to. Such 
an instance as this is liable to develop an ill-feeling between 
North and South America, but fortunately for us this parti- 


306 


DAVID MONTT 


cular case was satisfactorily settled by arbitration. When 
these questions of international interest come up in South 
America, the eyes of the world will always turn to this 
country to see what it will do, under the circumstances. 

As previously stated, I esteem too highly the intelligence 
and common sense of the Latin-American nations to think 
that they could not settle their differences without the unwel- 
come interference of foreign nations. The policy of the 
present administration, in keeping its hands off Mexico, is 
commanding the admiration and respect of all the South 
American continent. Had the United States always pro- 
ceeded in the same tactful manner, that it is now using with 
regard to the Mexican situation, there would have been no 
foundation for the ill-feeling, which to a degree, is still 
felt in South America towards the United States. 

The elimination of misunderstanding between nations is 
always a most desirable thing. The visits to South America 
of prominent statesmen, like Hon. Elihu Root, and later of 
Hon. Wm. J. Bryan, have done much towards the elimination 
of misunderstandings in the Pan-American continent. 
Tours of inspection and study of the Latin-American condi- 
tions, like the recent tour of the Boston Chamber of Com- 
merce, are also most important factors in eliminating preju- 
dice and modifying the opinions of both American and South 
American people. The gathering of Pan-American con- 
gresses are also doing much towards bringing the nations 
of the western world into closer touch and last, but not 
least, the organization of conferences, like the one in which 
I have the honor of being present, prepare the ground for 
the thorough understanding by the Latin-American nations 
of the ideals and purposes of the people of the United States 
and will hasten the beginning of a second era of genuine 
American influence in South America. 


HIGHER EDUCATION IN LATIN AMERICA 


By Edgar Ewing Brandon, Ph.D., Vice-President of Miami 

University 

Striking contrasts and unexpected similarities between 
home and foreign practices form the basis of observation 
when one begins to investigate foreign institutions. Con- 
sidering that this address must cover a wide area in a short 
time, I have constructed it in its main lines upon the prin- 
ciple of comparison, feeling that whether I did so or not, 
my hearers would consciously or unconsciously apply this 
principle. The first comparison involves the definition of 
“Higher Education.” In the United States, as the term 
is applied, it is commonly considered as embracing the inde- 
pendent college or the department of arts, science and phi- 
losophy in the university, the graduate school, which is a 
continuation of the college, and the professional schools of 
law, theology, medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, engineering, 
education, agriculture, and in later years, commerce. All 
studies in these professional schools have been designated 
as higher education although formerly a secondary school 
diploma was not uniformly a prerequisite to admission, and 
unfortunately, it is not yet everywhere demanded. 

In Latin America, higher education is confined almost 
exclusively to the professional schools of law, medicine, 
pharmacy, dentistry, engineering, agriculture, education and 
commerce. In many states, however, the schools of agri- 
culture, education and commerce are not there classed as 
parts of higher education. Only two or three countries re- 
tain in their universities the department of letters and phi- 
losophy. Strictly speaking, there is no graduate school. 
Schools of art and music are not an integral part of the uni- 
versity organization, but are everywhere subsidized by the 
government and enjoy a prestige not usually accorded to 
such institutions in the United States. Higher education 

307 


308 


EDGAR EWING BRANDON 


in Latin America is, therefore, almost wholly professional 
education, and to these professional colleges, admission is 
gained directly from the secondary school as in Continental 
Europe. Full secondary education is, however, absolutely 
required for admission to the traditional liberal professions, 
and also to those of more recent creation, such as agricul- 
ture, commerce, etc., when these form part of the university. 

Facilities 

A Latin-American university is, therefore, only a group 
of professional schools. Naturally there is little cohesion 
or unity. In some countries, such as Brazil, Bolivia and 
Guatemala, there is no university organization; the schools 
of law, medicine, etc., are separate institutions, dependent 
directly upon the government and answerable directly to 
the minister of public instruction. Moreover in the coun- 
tries that have the university organization, many provincial 
universities have but two faculties— as law and pharmacy. 
In speaking of the facilities for higher education in Latin 
America, it will be more practical, therefore, to group to- 
gether the schools of a single profession than to cite the 
number and names of the universities. At the time of my 
investigations in 1911-12, there were approximately sixty- 
eight law schools in Latin America, distributed as follows: 
one each in Cuba, Haiti, Santo Domingo, Guatemala, Sal- 
vador, Costa Rica and Uruguay; nineteen in Mexico; four 
in Columbia; three in Venezuela; four in Ecuador; three in 
Nicaragua; four in Peru; four in Bolivia; four in Chile; 
four in Argentina; ten in Brazil. Of medicine there were 
thirty-two, distributed as follows: one each in Cuba, Haiti, 
Santo Domingo, Guatemala, Salvador, Honduras, Peru, 
Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay; two each in Ecuador, Bolivia, 
Argentine and Venezuela; three each in Columbia and Brazil; 
seven in Mexico. Nearly every medical college contains 
also the departments of pharmacy and dentistry. Of en- 
gineering there were fifteen colleges, distributed as follows: 
one each in Cuba, Mexico, Columbia, Venezuela, Ecuador, 
Peru and Uruguay; two in Chile; three in Argentine; four 


HIGHER EDUCATION IN LATIN AMERICA 


309 


in Brazil. Of agriculture there were fourteen: one each in 
Cuba, Mexico, Honduras, Venezuela, Peru, Bolivia and Uru- 
guay; two each in Chile, Argentine and Brazil. 

Only Cuba, Chile and Argentine have colleges of educa- 
tion, and only Argentine, Bolivia and Mexico have colleges 
of commerce. I distinguish between a school and a college 
as applied to the departments of education, commerce and 
agriculture, etc., on the basis of entrance requirements, a 
“college” demanding the full secondary education for admis- 
sion, a “school” having lower requirements. Practically all 
countries have schools of commerce and agriculture as well 
as normal schools and some are admirable of their type 
but few countries offer higher education in commerce and 
education. 

Theological education for the Roman Catholic church is 
given in the diocesan seminaries and is relatively elementary. 
The archbishop may maintain a gran seminario in which 
the studies reach higher levels. A few of the old universities 
continue the traditional faculty of theology, but the num- 
ber of students is negligible. 

The college of liberal arts as a separate institution does 
not exist anywhere in Latin America (except possibly at 
Bogota and MacKenzie College at Sao Paulo in Brazil) and 
only the universities of Peru, Cuba and Argentine retain 
the departments of philosophy and letters. 

Equipment 

The matter of equipment in the institutions of Latin 
America is very unequal and there is even a large disparity 
in the equipment of the different colleges of the same univer- 
sity. In the mere matter of buildings, no South American 
University has suitable and adequate buildings through- 
out. As most of the institutions are of comparatively an- 
cient foundation, they have inherited the colonial quarters, 
which were copies of the monastic universities of mediaeval 
Europe, while the institutions of more recent establishment 
have been compelled often through poverty to content them- 
selves with hired buildings. Of the larger and more cele- 


310 


EDGAR EWING BRANDON 


brated universities, only those of La Plata and Uruguay 
have all their departments housed in edifices that post-date 
the colonial era. Buenos Aires has distinctly modern build- 
ings for the colleges of medicine and agriculture. The col- 
lege of law is established in an ancient property to which 
have been added in time newer lecture halls and a library. 
The college of letters and philosophy occupies a building 
which was formerly a residence, while the college of engi- 
neering occupies a block of buildings erected at different 
epochs and for different purposes, one of the chemical labo- 
ratories being installed in the chapel of a colonial convent. 
As regards buildings, the University of Chile may be taken 
as typical of the varied material equipment of a good Latin- 
American university. The medical college has a building 
erected especially for it some forty years ago. It is dig- 
nified in appearance and relatively adequate. The dental 
college (which however in Chile is not a part of the univer- 
sity organization), has a thoroughly modern structure. The 
engineering college occupies a good building some fifty years 
old. It was constructed to accommodate the whole uni- 
versity of that day. It is consequently not well adapted 
to its present uses. The law college has to content itself 
with a hired building which was once a residence. The 
same is true of the college of architecture. 

In nearly all countries the medical schools are the most 
favored in the matter of buildings. Even in the smaller 
countries, this department has been given relatively modem 
buildings and good facilities for the prosecution of its work. 
Next in order of commodious quarters comes the engineering 
college. Its work, so largely laboratory in character, has 
incited the erection of suitable buildings. The agricultural 
colleges, being very recent and demanding larger grounds 
for experimental work, have drifted to the suburbs away 
from the crowded conditions of the older departments. The 
colleges of law and of letters have been and are still the 
least favored. 

The libraries are not as extensive or as rich as the great 
age of many universities would lead one to expect. This 
is explained in part by the fact that in the colonial period 


HIGHER EDUCATION IN LATIN AMERICA 


311 


the institutions were strictly ecclesiastical and their work 
was almost exclusively theological, or preparatory to theo- 
logical studies. The university library of that time com- 
prised, therefore, only classical and theological works. An- 
other explanation is the fact that the chief universities are 
located at the national capitals and every country has its 
national library, which has often been developed at the 
expense of the university library. 

The striking feature of the university libraries is the large 
number of works in languages other than the national lan- 
guage. It is true that Spain has not nearly kept pace with 
her European neighbors in scientific studies and scientific 
production. The Spanish-American countries have not yet 
produced many original scientific works themselves, and 
have, therefore, been forced to have recourse to foreign 
literatures for the materials of advanced study. This is 
unfortunate, as it unconsciously gives a tinge of deprecia- 
tion to the national idiom as a vehicle of learning. French 
scientific books form the great majority of the library col- 
lections and are also much used as regular texts. This 
arises from the historic prestige of the French language and 
the ease with it is acquired by other Latin peoples. Of 
the works consulted by students and professors in the library 
of the medical college of Montevideo in a recent year, 154 
were in German, 231 in Portuguese, 239 in English, 1243 in 
Italian, 2793 in Spanish and 5816 in French. 

Laboratory equipment is fairly adequate to the demands 
made upon it. Unfortunately, from a North American view- 
point, the Latin-American practice fails to make the fullest 
use of the laboratory. As a rule, it is used simply for 
demonstrations by the instructor in the presence of the class 
and not for frequent individual experiment by each and 
every student. Hence one of the greatest advantages of 
laboratory studies is lessened. Particularly is this true in 
engineering and agricultural schools. In medical schools, 
more individual use is made of the equipment. Many Latin- 
American educators admit the inadequacy of the mere dem- 
onstration method in laboratory, and the best universities 


312 


EDGAR EWING BRANDON 


are changing their practice in this respect; but the advance 
in engineering schools is greatly hampered by tradition. 

The lack of better buildings must not be attributed to 
indifference to higher education. The Latin- American takes 
an exceptional pride in handsome public buildings and in 
the material aspect of the universities. In some countries, 
the rapid growth of the population has so increased the uni- 
versity enrollment that the public revenues have been in- 
adequate to the demands made upon them. Buenos Aires 
has as many thousands in her university today as she had 
hundreds thirty years ago. 

In states where immigration has not been marked, the 
reorganization of higher education in the past two decades 
in order to adapt it to the new scientific era has exhausted 
the available resources. 

There is scarcely a country, large or small, rich or poor, 
that has not built and equipped its institutions of higher 
learning as well and as fast as it could well afford. Some 
have been even too lavish here in proportion to the expen- 
ditures for elementary and secondary education. 

Organization 

Latin-Ainerican universities are more closely related to 
and more dependent upon the political powers of the coun- 
try than is the case with North American state universities. 
They are, however, in name almost universally autonomous, 
i.e., the professors constitute a corporation that is self-per- 
petuating. Vacant professorships are filled by the faculty 
itself. The control of the state resides in the fact that the 
chief executive, through the minister of public instruction, 
has the veto power over every election, and the further fact 
that the institution is directly dependent upon the state for 
its revenues. Few have endowments of any considerable 
value, and no fixed percentage of the state revenues are 
allotted by statute or constitutional provision to the uni- 
versity as is the case in many of our states. The veto power 
is, however, seldom exercised in a way to infringe upon the 
liberty of teaching, or in the sense of political spoils. In a 


HIGHER EDUCATION IN LATIN AMERICA 


313 


few states, where autocratic methods have been in vogue 
in politics, the same principle extends to the universities, 
but these states are exceptions. The institutions of higher 
learning in Latin America, whether universities or detached 
departments of professional schools, are all state institutions. 
They may have had their beginnings far back in colonial 
times and been originally chartered by the church, but they 
have been completely secularized and now owe allegiance to 
the state only. Further, they are more than mere academic 
bodies. They not only train for the professions, but their 
degrees virtually confer the sanction to exercise the pro- 
fessions. They are the state’s agents for the administration 
of the so-called learned professions. 

It is true that the Roman Catholic Church in Chile and 
also in Argentine maintains a Catholic university compris- 
ing certain faculties, but these universities have no power 
to grant professional licenses. In this sense, the state in 
Latin America maintains a monopoly of higher, or at least 
of professional education. 

There is still another bond that links the Latin-American 
university with the state that is foreign to North American 
customs. Notwithstanding the fact that a teacher by pro- 
fession and but recently a college president sits in the White 
House at Washington, it is nevertheless true that academic 
life in the United States has run in quite different channels 
from the political life. Not so in Latin America. There 
statecraft and the professorate have been closely allied. A 
man of talent easily passes from the professor’s chair to politi- 
cal administration and as easily returns. The Latin-Amer- 
ican professor is seldom devoted to research as a vocation. 
It may be an avocation. (I have already noted that there 
are no graduate schools strictly speaking.) His teaching is 
practical in that it aims simply to prepare for a profession. 
Moreover, the professor does not limit his activities to the 
university. He practices a profession at the same time. In 
fact his teaching is secondary. He is first of all lawyer, 
physician, engineer, journalist or agriculturist. His lectures 
of three or six hours per week are a by-product of his activ- 
ities. As an educated, cultivated citizen, he is therefore 


314 


EDGAR EWING BRANDON 


easily available for a political position. It would not appear 
incongruous to us that professors in the law school should 
easily gain political preferment ; but that professors of medi- 
cine, engineering, pharmacy and other technical subjects 
should be directly in line for political positions is to the 
North American an anomaly. To understand the situation 
it must be remembered that in Latin American the profes- 
sions are filled almost exclusively by the aristocracy, and 
it is by virtue of this fact that physicians, engineers, and 
others, who are at the same time professors are called to 
political life. It is not so much that the university con- 
tributes to the political life of the country as that the per- 
sonnel of the university is recruited from the same class that 
directs the state. The interchange of functions is therefore 
most natural and facile. With us, it has often been a cause 
for regret that our higher education has few points in com- 
mon with our political activities. Our tradition is not 
wholly an evil; our policies suffer somewhat probably, but 
there are compensations. 

The internal organization resembles that of a European 
university. There is a dean of each college chosen annually 
by the professors. He is seldom reelected, as it is the cus- 
tom to rotate the office. He is assisted by a small council 
also chosen by the professors. The head of the entire uni- 
versity, the rector, is elected by the professorship. He, like 
the deans, seldom serves for a long time. There is also a 
university council composed of representatives from all the 
faculties. The council has legislative powers for the entire 
institution, and it arranges the budget for the university, 
distributing the funds among the various colleges. 

Notwithstanding the existence of the university council 
and the rector, who represent the entire institution, a Latin- 
American university is a far less unified body than a North 
American state university. Each department is inclined to 
lead its own life apart. The council is not as unifying an 
agency as a board of trustees, and the rector who holds 
office for but a year perhaps and then returns to his pro- 
fessional chair is not the important centralizing figure that 
the North American university president is. He has neither 


HIGHER EDUCATION IN LATIN AMERICA 


315 


the prominence nor the authority. The different colleges 
may be located in widely separated districts of the city. 
The university organization is, therefore, often only nomi- 
nal. Hence, the practice of omitting it entirely and con- 
ducting the departments as separate institutions under the 
minister of public institutions, as in Brazil, Bolivia and 
Guatemala. 

Teachers and Teaching 

The fact that the Latin-American professor is rarely a 
teacher by profession has far-reaching effects on the char- 
acter of the teaching body and still greater on the character 
and scope of the teaching. In the first place, it fills the 
professional chairs with men of the highest class of society. 
They may not be erudite, but they are the most cultured of 
the nation. They give the university a dignity that could 
not, in countries where rank in society counts for so much, 
be imparted by mere erudition. Since the great majority 
of the students are of the same social class and since the 
teaching lacks the technical and burdensome detail that a 
scholar might introduce, there exists a community of spirit 
between students and professors not so common with us, 
and this tends to create a corporate sentiment, such as 
existed in the mediaeval universities. 

As the professor has active vocations, which he considers 
more vital than his lectures, he cannot be held to regular 
attendance. A professor who gives four-fifths of his lec- 
tures is considered a model of regularity. Not infrequently 
he is absent one-half the time, and the annual report of the 
institutions will include a table of professors’ attendance. 
To remedy the matter, each chair is provided with a sub- 
stitute professor, who may be called by the administration 
to fill the place of the absentee, in the event his absence is 
foreseen and reported. 

The curriculum is divided into a great number of courses 
and each course has its professor. He usually gives three 
lectures a week. If the course includes laboratory work, 
this exercise is conducted by a laboratory assistant, who has 
neither the rank nor dignity of a professor. This sharp 


316 


EDGAR EWING BRANDON 


distinction between lecture and laboratory reacts unfavor- 
ably on the latter. Since the professor does not give it his 
personal supervision, the student is tempted to regard the 
laboratory as of lesser importance. Especially is this true 
in engineering, where the laboratory exercises approach the 
conditions of common manual labor. The class distinctions 
which are so sharp in most South American countries almost 
debar an engineering student from certain laboratory exer- 
cises that form the veritable basis of his profession. 

The teaching consists almost uniformly of formal lectures; 
class discussions are rare, and questions and answers on an 
assigned topic still more so. However, the Latin- American 
student is not averse to these latter methods. The livest 
class I witnessed was conducted by the class discussion 
method on an assigned topic. 

The common lecture method of teaching necessarily throws 
great emphasis upon the final examination. Attendance on 
the part of the students upon lectures and even upon labo- 
ratory exercises is nowhere strictly enforced. There are sel- 
dom written or oral examinations during the year. 

The great emphasis is laid upon the year-end examina- 
tions. During the last month, lectures are relaxed, if not 
discontinued altogether. Sometimes this is by tradition and 
is at the option of the professor; sometimes it is by formal 
university statute. This month is allotted to the student 
in order that he may prepare for his final year-end examina- 
tion. Each student is examined individually and orally in 
each subject. There may be also a written examination, 
but it is the oral test that is the great event. It takes place 
before a jury of three professors. The student draws by 
lot a certain number of topics which he develops, and in 
addition he may be asked questions by any member of the 
jury. The jury ballots secretly on the grade to be assigned. 
If the candidate passes, he is promoted to the next class. 
If he is conditioned, he may apply for another examination 
before the opening of the next session. If he fails, he must 
remain in the same class another year and the period of 
his graduation is thus deferred a year. 

The organization of a Latin-American university as out- 


HIGHER EDUCATION IN LATIN AMERICA 


317 


lined above necessarily produces certain conditions, which 
are striking to a North American. 

The assignment of but a single course to a professor re- 
quires a relatively large faculty. An institution of less than 
three hundred students may have as many as forty pro- 
fessors, not including the substitutes and the laboratory 
assistants. The pay roll, therefore, will be a long one, but 
the total expenditures will not be greater than in the United 
States. In proportion to the time he devotes to teaching, 
the Latin-American professor is paid about the average 
salary of the North American professor. The stipend varies 
greatly however in different countries. 

Since the student enters the professional school directly 
from the secondary school, the length of the professional 
course is long as compared with our practice. In medicine, 
six and seven years; in law five or six years; in engineering, 
four, five and six years. The last years in the medical 
college are devoted almost wholly to clinical study and prac- 
tice and, therefore, take the place of the post-graduation 
interneship. The law course is much broader and more com- 
prehensive than the average course in the United States, 
including as it does, political science, history and philosophy 
of law and international law. 

On account of the close relation existing between the pro- 
fessorate and the political administration, and also on ac- 
count of the students coming from families that compose 
the governing class, the university is a strong center of 
political influence. In the olden time when commercial in- 
fluence counted for little and even today in these countries 
least affected by economic ideas, the university is the most 
potent force in politics. 


Product 

The almost total disappearance from the university of the 
college of letters and philosophy should not lead to the 
conclusion that all Latin-American graduates are devoting 
themselves only to the professions. In Latin America a 
professional course, especially in law, is a traditional liberal 


318 


EDGAR EWING BRANDON 


education. Not more than one-half of the graduates, even 
of the medical schools, enter upon the practice of the pro- 
fession. The sons of landed proprietors return to the ad- 
ministration of their estates; others turn their attention to 
journalism, governmental administration, etc. 

Neither should it be concluded that because higher edu- 
cation is compressed into professional schools, that the lib- 
eral culture is lacking. The secondary school curriculum 
embraces the elements of subjects not usually attempted in 
the United States in schools of this grade — economics and 
philosophy are almost everywhere taught in the last year 
of the Latin-American high school. It is true that the clas- 
sics rarely have a place, but on the other hand, modern for- 
eign languages, always two and sometimes three, are taught 
throughout the entire course. In the professional schools, 
too, many subjects are included that with us are found only 
in the pre-professional college course. In law, psychology, 
history, economics, finance and sociology; in medicine, gen- 
eral courses in botany, zoology, physics, etc.; in engineering, 
general courses in the physical sciences. Besides, the whole 
trend of the professional courses is toward a broader educa- 
tion than would be a professional course with us, were it 
not preceded by the college. Especially is this so in law. 
The stress universally laid upon Roman law and the customs 
that were the base of it compensates for the omission of 
classical studies, while the importance ascribed to the his- 
tory and philosophy of law and to international law gives 
a breadth of view not usually obtained in our relatively 
narrow law curriculum. The fact that Latin America has 
produced more than her share of eminent international law- 
yers is a direct effect of the type of legal training in vogue. 
Indeed the law school is the college of liberal arts in Latin 
America. Its curriculum has supplanted in large part the 
department of philosophy aDd its students are there quite 
as much for liberal culture as for professional training. 

Latin-American universities look abroad for post-graduate 
study; to Europe principally for law, medicine and general 
culture ; to the United States principally for engineering and 
dentistry. In agriculture the honors are more equally di- 


HIGHER EDUCATION IN LATIN AMERICA 


319 


vided. Almost every country maintains a considerable num- 
ber of fellowships for foreign study, to say nothing of the 
large number of young men who go abroad for study on 
their own account. 

This dependence upon foreign countries for advanced stu- 
dies and also for ideals in art, science, literature and social 
progress has its disadvantages for Latin America. Native 
ideas are often mistrusted and as a consequence initiative 
in the higher things of life is discouraged. Strong charac- 
ters, who would work reforms social and economic, are 
looked upon as dreamers; the weaker men become pessi- 
mistic in the face of the greater local difficulties. A recent 
work of South American fiction portrays such a returned 
scholar who finds conditions at home so difficult as com- 
pared with what he has seen abroad, that he loses his patriot- 
ism and declines to help the fatherland whose pensioner he 
has been for years. I am certain that such a person is not 
an empty imagination of the author. The situation is a 
perplexing one. Latin America needs graduate study for 
its leaders in science, but the traveling fellow often loses on 
one side as much as he gains on the other. Sympathy with 
his own people and with home conditions is as necessary for 
the public man as knowledge of the sciences themselves. 

Real graduate study cannot progress in Latin America 
until university teaching becomes a distinct profession. The 
teacher who gives three hours per week of his time to the 
class and the rest to non-academic pursuits may be a good 
teacher for a professional school, but he can never become 
the scholar that the graduate school demands. The best 
prospect for the development of this grade of instruction (at 
least in some lines) is at the University of La Plata. This 
institution is of very recent foundation and takes pride in 
being different from its neighbors. It has tried to break 
away from the professional tradition and to stimulate re- 
search and an academic atmosphere. 

Aside from this institution, however, the tendency in 
Latin-American universities today is to accentuate the pro- 
fessional and the practical. In the University of Buenos 
Aires, the largest in Latin America, the department of phi- 


320 


EDGAR EWING BRANDON 


losophy and letters is the only department that is not grow- 
ing. Elsewhere it either does not exist or is stagnant. The 
emphasis is all laid on professional schools, particularly on 
the colleges of engineering and agriculture. However the 
enrollment is not the largest here. Young men still enroll 
in excessive numbers for the professions of law and medi- 
cine, although the authorities, both university and political, 
are urging students toward the more commercial vocations 
of engineering and agriculture. These schools receive large 
appropriations and are fostered in every conceivable way. 
It is not easy, however, to thwart a tradition. The so-called 
learned professions still receive the larger quota of the uni- 
versity population. It is only where commercial life has 
become intense that the predilection for the time-honored 
law course has begun to lessen. 


THE UNIVERSITIES AND AMERICAN INTERNA- 
TIONAL RELATIONS 


By George W. Nasmyth, Ph.D., President of the Eighth Inter- 
' national Congress of Students. Director of the 
International Bureau of Students 

In the permanent work for the real object of the Clark 
University Conference on Latin America, to promote closer 
relations, mutual understanding and friendship between the 
United States and Latin America, the Universities of Pan- 
America have a position of great importance. We have 
seen the importance of the universities as a part of American 
foreign policy in the awakening of China — the beginnings 
of the Chinese Republic can be traced in large part to the 
influence of Chinese students returning from their study in 
American tmiversities. We are just commencing to realize 
the influence which the German universities have had in 
the shaping of American education, and to make conscious 
use of the exchange of professors and students to establish 
closer German-American relations. But the opportunities 
for the universities in improving American international rela- 
tions is greater still on account of the dominant position of 
the Universities of Latin America in shaping public opinion. 
If the students of the United States and Latin America can 
be brought into closer contact, we shall not have the next 
generation of Latin America interpreting the utterances of 
our Jingoistic press as the true expression of our public 
opinion, and we shall not have the widespread ignorance 
in the United States of Latin-American civilization and of 
the achievements of many of the Latin-American countries 
in all departments of human life. 

Definite steps have been taken to enlist the universities 
more completely in the continuance of the work of the 
conference. It is encouraging to review the beginnings 

321 


322 


GEORGE W. NASMYTH 


which have already been made. The increasing importance 
attached to the study of the Spanish language in the uni- 
versities of the United States and its almost universal recog- 
nition in the entrance requirements in recent years has been 
a factor of far-reaching influence. This has been followed 
by the establishment of professorships in Latin-American 
history and civilization in a constantly increasing number of 
universities. The courses offered last year in the follow- 
ing universities may be cited as examples of this important 
tendency: 

Columbia University, Prof. William R. Shepherd, course on 
“Latin America.” 

Clark University, Prof. George K. Blakeslee, “Latin America.” 

Dickenson College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, Prof. Leon C. Prince, 
“Spanish America.” 

University of Illinois, Prof. William S. Robertson, “History of 
Latin America.” 

University of Nebraska, Prof. Clark E. Persinger, “Spanish 
America.” 

University of Nebraska, Prof. Guernsey Jones, “Asiatic and 
South American History.” 

University of Pennsylvania, Prof. Leo S. Rowe, “Latin America.” 

University of Southern California, Prof. David P. Barrows, 
“South America.” 

University of Wisconsin, the work of Prof. Paul S. Reinsch 
in “Latin-American Political Institutions” is being given by Prof. 
B. S. Moore and Prof. Stanley K. Hornbeck. 

Yale University, Prof. Hiram Bingham, “Latin-American 
History.” 

Another factor of increasing importance has been the com- 
ing of students from the Latin-American countries to the 
Universities of the United States. The tide has been turn- 
ing from Europe to North America in recent years so that 
at the present time the United States has more than four 
times as many as France. The total number of students 
from Latin America in the year 1912-13 studying in Ameri- 
can colleges was 436. 

The geographical distribution of the Latin-American stu- 
dents in thirt} r -four universities, colleges and technical insti- 
tutions was as follows: 


UNIVERSITIES AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS 323 



CUBA 

MEXICO 

O 

O 

5 

o 

f- 

x 

o 

a. 

CENTRAL AMERICA 

ARGENTINE 

N 

< 

« 

a 

3 

5 

O 

COLUMBIA 

« 

O 

o 

< 

0 

o 

a 

PARAGUAY 

g 

1 

< 

0 

O 

0 

0 

X 

a 

o 

z 

< 

s 

a 

x 

TOTAL, 

SOUTH AMERICA 

TOTAL, 

LATIN AMERICA 

California 


4 


2 

3 


3 






i 

7 

20 

Chicago 


1 


3 











4 

Columbia 

5 

3 

6 

5 


2 





1 



3 

22 

Cornell 

16 

8 

2 

4 

10 

11 


1 

2 

4 


1 


29 

88 

Harvard 

2 

4 





i 

1 






2 

8 

Illinois 

2 

2 

10 


3 

2 





2 



7 

21 

Indiana 















0 

Iowa 



1 












1 

Johns Hopkins 



1 












1 

Kansas 

1 














1 

Michigan 

4 

4 

18 


3 



3 



3 



9 

35 

Minnesota 

3 














3 

Missouri 

2 

5 









2 



2 

9 

Nebraska 















0 

Northwestern 

2 

6 

2 








2 


i 

3 

13 

Oberlin 

5 

1 

1 












7 

Ohio State 



3 

1 

3 

4 








7 

12 

Pennsylvania 

10 

14 

16 

11 

8 

18 

i 

4 

5 


3 


i 

40 

81 

Pennsylvania State 

1 


17 


2 






1 



3 

20 

Princeton 



1 












1 

Stanford 


1 













1 

Syracuse 

10 

1 

7 



8 

i 







9 

27 

Texas 

10 














10 

Virginia 


1 




1 








1 

2 

W ashington 















0 

Yale 

2 


1 

1 



i 







1 

5 

Lehigh 

5 

2 

1 

3 


1 


1 






2 

13 

M. I. T 

6 

4 

3 

2 

1 

5 


1 

1 

1 




9 

24 

Purdue 

1 

2 




1 


1 






2 

5 

Wesleyan 




1 

1 









'1 

2 

Total 

88 

63 

90 

33 

34 

53 

7 

12 

8 

5 

14 

1 

3 

137436 


The largest number of Latin-American students is claimed 
by Cornell University, with 88, then comes Pennsylvania, 
with 81, and then at a long distance, Michigan with 35, 
Syracuse 27, Massachusetts Institute of Technology 24, 
Columbia 22, Illinois 21, California and Pennsylvania State 
20 each, etc., making a total of 436 Latin-American students 
in these 30 institutions. The total number of Latin-Amer- 
ican students in all the French universities was 100 in 1910, 
120 in 1911, 128 in 1912 and 123 in 1913. 


324 


GEORGE W. NASMYTH 


In the order of countries, Porto Rico sends the largest 
number of students 90 (as compared with 107 in 1910-11); 
Cuba is second with 88 (62 in 1910-11). Mexico comes 
third with 81 (94). Brazil has shown the largest increase 
in recent years and has now 54 (as compared with 16 in 
1910-11). Argentine sends 32 (an increase of 2 over 1910- 
11). The Central American Contingent of 31 (34) is about 
equally divided between Guatemala, Panama, San Salvador, 
Nicaragua and Costa Rica. Peru sends 13 (12); Columbia 
11 (4); Ecuador 9 (5); Chili 7 (10); Paraguay 6 (9) and 
Uruguay 5 (1). The total for South America last year was 
137, an increase of 1 over 1910-11. The increases in the 
individual countries were due in some cases to prosperity, 
as in Brazil, and in some cases to the direct action of the 
governments in awarding scholarships and encouraging for- 
eign study in other ways. 

In many of the institutions where the numbers are large 
the students have Spanish-American or Latin-American 
Clubs. These are helpful to their members and form a 
needed center for social intercourse, but, it is unfortunate 
that one influence is often to cut the Latin-American stu- 
dents off from contact with the other students, preventing 
them from learning the language and entering into the col- 
lege life of their fellow students. It is possible that a policy 
of electing a larger number of associate members from among 
the sympathetic North American students who appreciate 
and are interested in the Latin-American culture, would 
serve to lessen the disadvantages while retaining the advan- 
tages which they undoubtedly offer. 

The Cosmopolitan Clubs have had a large share in the 
movement for closer international contact between all Amer- 
ican students in recent years. In institutions in which 
strong Cosmopolitan Clubs exist the Latin-American stu- 
dents often take an important part in their activities and 
reach the larger university communities by means of Argen- 
tine evenings, Brazilian evenings, Spanish-American even- 
ings, Latin-American evenings, etc. The Cosmopolitan 
Clubs have been largely instrumental in establishing con- 
tact between the student bodies of North and South America 


UNIVERSITIES AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS 325 


also. Through their efforts a large delegation of students 
from the United States took part in the Third International 
Congress of American Students at Lima, Peru, in 1912. 
These congresses, which seek to emphasize the unity of 
ideals and the community of interest of America’s new gen- 
eration, illustrate the mine of undeveloped resources for 
international friendship which are present in the student 
bodies of American universities. At no other time is it so 
easy for the Latin and Anglo-Saxon to learn to understand 
and value the other as in youth, and this understanding 
once gained is treasured for life. 

Since the Seventh International Congress of Students at 
The Hague in 1909 another bond has been established be- 
tween the students of Pan- America by means of the “Corda 
Fratres” or International Federation of Students. The As- 
sociation of Cosmopolitan Clubs and the Federacion Uni- 
versitaria of Buenos Aires Joined the International Feder- 
ation at this Hague Congress, and at the Pan-American 
Student Congress in Lima in 1912 the entire Liga de los 
Estudiantes Americanos entered the “Corda Fratres” move- 
ment. At the Ninth International Congress of Students 
held at Ithaca, N. Y., last September, the Latin-American 
delegation reached a total of 35 students, many of whom 
were sent by their governments. The interest of the Latin- 
American students in the International Federation and the 
Congress was so great that it was decided to hold the Tenth 
International Congress, August 15-30, 1915, in Montevideo, 
Uruguay, and the representative from Porto Rico, Mr. 
Miguel A. Munoz, was elected the secretary of the Central 
Committee of the Federation. 

In considering the definite measures by which the work 
of the conference for better relations with Latin America 
may be continued by the Universities, we may build on the 
foundations already laid, and the following may be sug- 
gested as a beginning: 

1 . Courses on Latin America, like those already introduced 
with such success into a dozen universities, should be intro- 
duced into every important institution in the United States 
during the next few years. 


326 


GEORGE W. NASMYTH 


2. A System of Exchange Professors should be established 
with the Latin-American countries, similar to those between 
the United States, and Germany, France and Japan. Besides 
a deeper insight into Latin-American political institutions, 
literature and art, we have much to gain from the Latin- 
American point of view in such subjects as law, where the 
Roman law, the Napoleonic code and the philosophy of law 
have been developed and studied in republican govern- 
ments and under conditions similar to our own. 

8. Scholarships and Interchange of Students. A system of 
scholarships analogous to the Rhodes scholarships, available 
for study in the United States by students from each of the 
Latin-American countries would be the ideal plan. Such 
a system of Pan-American scholarships regarded as prizes, 
and, with conditions for securing students of high ability 
and character, would be a powerful influence extending far 
beyond the students directly concerned. Failing an endow- 
ment for this purpose, however, the existing traveling schol- 
arships and exchange fellowships now offered by many of 
the Latin-American governments should be developed, with 
provisions for insuring a knowledge of the language and 
ability to benefit by the opportunity to the fullest extent. 
(The Argentine government is now considering the establish- 
ment of 100 such scholarships.) 

4- International Hospitality. With better organization, 
the Spanish and Latin-American Clubs and Fraternities in 
the universities could become centers of hospitality and 
intimate intercourse for Pan-American students. The 
universities can assist directly, also, by the appointment 
of advisers for foreign students, and by strengthening 
the Cosmopolitan Clubs, which are devoting an increasing 
amount of attention to the students from Latin America. 

5. Information. The value of study in the United 
States would be greatly increased by the publication of a 
handbook in Spanish and Portuguese (preferably by the Bu- 
reau of Education) giving advice in regard to preparation, 
and information concerning the requirements for admission, 
the special advantages offered by the various institutions, 
tuition, fees, cost of living, etc. 


UNIVERSITIES AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS 327 


6. Pan-American Two-Cent Postage. This is a measure 
of far reaching educational importance, as a means for facil- 
itating the communication of ideas, and thus creating closer 
intellectual relations between the Americas. 

7. Pan-American Scientific Congress. The Conference 
might well pass a resolution in favor of the United States 
government making adequate provision for the Second Pan- 
American Scientific Congress, and thus take a step toward 
the removal of this national discourtesy. 

8. International Student Congresses. Wide publicity should 
be given in student publications to the Fourth International 
Congress of American Students, at Santiago de Chile in 
July, 1914, and to the Ninth International Congress of 
Students at Montevideo, Uruguay, August 15-30, 1915, in 
the effort to secure large and representative delegations of 
students from the universities of the United States. 

9. International Study Tours. In connection with these 
congresses study tours through the principal countries of 
South America should be well organized. 

10. Formation of Cosmopolitan and International Polity 
Clubs. The fundamental trouble with the public opinion 
in the United States which has led to the misunderstandings 
which now exist with Latin America is not wrong motive, 
but indifference, and ignorance (1) of the importance of in- 
ternational friendship and cooperation, (2) of the principles 
underlying these, and (3) of the practical means for attain- 
ing them. We should establish in every important college 
and university a club for the scientific study and the propa- 
ganda of the true principles of international relations, and 
thus create an educated and powerful public opinion which 
will insure more cordial relations with Latin America, as 
well as with Europe and Asia, in the future. 


PATAGONIA AND TIERRA DEL FUEGO 


By Jose Moneta, Captain, Argentine Navy, Commanding 

Battleship “ Rivadavia,” formerly member of the Argentine 
Boundary Commissions with Chile and Brazil 

Until very recently, maps of South America have been 
published in which Patagonia appears with a color differ- 
ent from that of Argentine, as if it were an independent 
country. This is in accordance with the general idea of the 
world, that that region of South America is populated only 
by Indians and that it is the theatre merely of great des- 
olation and misery. 

From the famous voyages of Magellan, and of Bongain- 
ville, Drake, Sarmiento and many others, all of them sur- 
rounded by the most extraordinary and romantic adventures, 
to those of Captains King and Fitz-Roy on board the Ad- 
venture and Beagle from 1826 to 1830, very little informa- 
tion could be had regarding that region. The navigators 
referred to its desolate shores and to the enormous disap- 
pointments, troubles and penuries they had suffered. The 
Indians found were considered giants and undoubtedly this 
fantasy exaggerated their characteristics. 

In fact, the name of Patagonia cannot be referred, as it 
is believed, to the great size of the legs or feet of the men 
found. These on the contrary had comparatively small feet; 
they were corpulent, but had very short legs; they were there- 
fore giants wKen on horse back or sitting in a boat, but their 
height rarely exceeded 6 feet. 

Perhaps the atmospheric refraction that gives extraor- 
dinary effects in all the Patagonian coast, raising a great deal 
the height of the objects, made the natives look big when the 
travelers could not approach them nearer than 200 or 300 
yards. Possibly this was the origin of the legend. 

I am saying that they had these measurements, because the 
traveler of today will hardly find camps of Tehuelches or 

328 


PATAGONIA AND TIERRA DEL FUEGO 


329 


Genaken Indians as the pure blood natives are now very- 
scarce. I think that my friend Charles W. Furlong of Boston, 
a studious explorer who a few years ago went to visit them, 
has not found more than fifty real Teheulches together. 

Those Indians were never numerous nor were they fighters 
and at present they are disappearing very rapidly. Other 
types of human races, now totally extinguished, have been 
evidenced in the investigations of the geologists, for whose 
studies like those of the zoologists and botanists, Patagonia 
offers a great field of action. 

In the description of Fitz-Roy’s journey, whose principal 
object was to make the hydrographical chart of the South 
Atlantic, there are found interesting observations about 
the different opinions and controversies regarding the natives 
of that region. As in that description he refers to other ear- 
lier navigators of those shores, the interest of its reading 
increases with the relation of many adventures and extra- 
ordinary enterprises often full of terror, that showed the 
strength and spirit of those brave explorers. 

The imposing solitude of the region, the enormous dis- 
tance and long absence from home, predisposed them un- 
favourably, and the same Fitz-Roy, and the eminent natur- 
alist, Darwin, who accompanied him, returned from their 
voyage with a very poor impression of those lands. Two 
things that the sailors of those times ardently wanted to 
find in their anchoring grounds were missing, fresh water 
and wood. 

Darwin went up the Santa Cruz River, but he did not 
reach the lakes. At his return he said Patagonia was a 
sterile and good-for-nothing land. 

Somebody has said that this mistake of the immortal 
author of the Origin of Species saved for Argentinians that 
part of the continent, not awakening England in the desire 
of possessing it. The Monroe Doctrine was then in its in- 
fancy; and Argentina was fighting with the natural difficul- 
ties of the organization of the country. 

In the year 1880, Argentina began to make effective its 
rights upon the Patagonian shores and lands, installing 
authorities in some places; and from then on exploratio ns 


330 


J0S£ MONETA 


through the interior were initiated by officers of our navy and 
army, and by geographers from several institutes. 

To determine the boundary between Chile and Argentina 
a treaty was signed in 1881, agreeing that down to parallel 
52 degrees south the Andean Cordillera should separate the 
two Republics. A great difficulty came in the determination 
of that line. Argentina maintained that it was the line of 
the summit in the same Cordillera, while the Chileans 
contended that it should be the continental water shed, 
separating the streams flowing from the Cordillera toward 
the Atlantic at the east, and toward the pacific at the west. 
The lakes on the region increased the difficulty; some of them 
empty into the monotonous rivers of the Atlantic, others 
reach the Pacific in impetuous torrents that cut through the 
total mass of the Cordillera. 

This phenomenon of a dividing line separating waters 
which flow into opposite oceans, and which partly rise in 
plains and glens hardly higher that the level of the sea, 
and which overcome such formidable obstacles as the An- 
dean Cordillera, piercing its crystalline axis and the enor- 
mous mass of rocks which have accumulated upon this axis, 
constitutes, as one of the most eminent Argentine geogra- 
phers, Mr. Francis Moreno says, “a fact which is unique in 
the world.” 

The dispute was submitted to the arbitral decision of the 
King of England. A commission of geographical officers was 
assigned, and in accordance with its report the arbiter gave 
to each nation what in his judgement rightly belonged to it. 
The decision was accepted with due respect, initiating be- 
tween both countries an epoch of true friendship that will 
always last. In the same way Argentina had respected pre- 
viously the arbitral decision that was against her in the 
Misiones dispute with Brazil, awarded by President Grover 
Cleveland of the United States. 

The southernmost nations of the American continent have 
taken into practice this pacific method of arranging their 
disputes, that is yet only an idea dreamt by prominent men 
of the greatest nations of the world. 


PATAGONIA AND TIERRA DEL FUEGO 


331 


All danger of international complications having disap- 
peared the first step of the government was to exchange 
contracts for war material amounting to some millions of 
dollars, into contracts for railway material for immediate 
use in the construction of lines between the Atlantic and the 
Andes. 

Let me say, before examining the actual condition of that 
land, that the name “Patagonia” is not a political denomi- 
nation of a certain section of Argentine soil. Its northern 
limit has always been considered to extend from Rio Negro 
to the Strait of Magellans, not including the pampa terri- 
tory more immediate to Buenos Aires, which is much more 
populated and richer, and in such an actual prosperous con- 
dition that as soon as the census lately ordered by congres- 
sional law is finished, it will be incorporated without any 
doubt in the number of the Argentine provinces. 

Patagonia, properly speaking, is divided into four national 
territories, Rio Negro, Neuquen, Chubut and Santa Cruz, 
each one with a governor and other authorities appointed 
by the national executive power. Its total area is 323,000 
square miles, which is about the same in size as all the States 
of New England together with the states of New York, 
Pennsylvania, Ohio, both Virginias and North Carolina. 

A slight description of the territory will give you an idea 
of its nature and climate. 

The valleys irrigated by the capacious rivers Negro and 
Colorado, navigable in their larger part, are made fertile by 
the periodic flows of these fluvial arteries; but as the flows 
sometimes become so great that they constitute a danger, 
the national government has made a contract for the con- 
struction of enormous works of canalization and irrigation, 
with the object of fertilizing great extensions of land that 
are now deprived of that benefit. It will not be surprising 
when the work now begun is finished, to see the district or 
valley embraced by both rivers transformed into one of the 
most productive agricultural sections of the country. 

The climate is generally dry and healthy. The mean 
temperature is 57° F. All the region is adaptable for agri- 
culture. Wheat, flax, barley and vegetables grow perfectly, 


332 


JOSE MONETA 


as well as alfalfa and other forage fit for live stock. All 
kinds of fruit are cultivated and vines of esteemed value are 
harvested. 

There are fifty schools in that district where 3000 students 
receive instruction. 

The oriental part of the territory of Neuquen is flat and 
very rich in pastures, while the occidental is crossed by the 
branches from the Cordillera, which leave between them 
beautiful and picturesque valleys irrigated by many rivers 
and brooks. Generally all the territory is fertile. 

The climate is very healthful and adaptable for the de- 
velopment of animal and vegetable life. Nevertheless, it 
varies according to the districts: in the east and southwest 
it is cold and at the summit of the mountains there are per- 
petual snows. 

The Nahuel-Huapf Lake, one of the largest of the Pata- 
gonian region is at a height of 2952 feet above the level of the 
Pacific Ocean. Its contour is very irregular, and in its steep 
borders there are deep gulfs similar to the Norwegian 
“fiords.” The beautiful panorama that nature offers in the 
rugged regions that surround the lake, can only be compared 
with the picturesque Central Alps, the summit of Mount 
Tronador being 6600 feet in height, with deep valleys and 
forrests of pines, cypresses, araucarias and other trees which 
thrive similarly. 

The bluish waters of the lake which are fresh and drinkable, 
agitate as those of a sea on account of the strong winds of 
the Cordillera. Its depth exceeds 200 fathoms, and is navi- 
gated by steamers that connect with the ports on its borders. 

It contains thirty-five small islands; receives water from 
several tributaries from which the capacious Limay River, 
a branch of the River Negro, navigable in all its extension, 
has its origin. 

Important hydraulic works will be made on this territory; 
among them the most remarkable one, which is almost 
finished, will be the dam in the Vidal basin, a natural de- 
pression of the land that makes an enormous receptacle of 
which the hydraulic capacity is enough to provide with 
artificial fertilization the territories of Neuquen and Rio 


PATAGONIA AND TIERRA DEL FUEGO 


333 


Negro; both will then be able to give their soils a permanent 
and sure agricultural exploitation without being exposed to 
the chances of good and bad harvest. 

Actually in those Andean valleys, irrigated by capacious 
rivers whose currents will some day be used as an economic 
motive power, there are more than a quarter of a million 
acres of land, unsurpassable for the production of cereals, 
vines, and fruit trees; and there are already several agricul- 
tural colonies that obtain valuable crops of grain and grapes. 

The live stock wealth is also plentiful in proportion to 
the inhabitants. The agricultural and mining products are 
exported through Bahia Blanca and a large quantity of 
the meat products are exported to Chile. The native flocks 
are being refined with thoroughbreds from the septentrional 
countries of Europe which are those best adapted to the 
climate and to the topography of the country. 

The mining industry promises a great future and there are 
now three companies working its rich mines of gold. Copper, 
quartz and coal also exist. Oil beds have been discovered, 
which are easily accessible, but at this time no work has 
begun. 

The soil of Chubut is fertile and adapted to the tillage 
of the temperate zone, as is proven by the prosperous Welsh 
colonies, established on the lower basin of the Chubut River 
which is formed by wash-out lands unsurpassable for the 
cultivation of cereals. It is true that there are besides these 
valleys, arid, rocky and dry districts, but there are also prai- 
ries with good pastures, and in the basins of the lakes and 
rivers there are great stretches of woodlands, with trees that 
supply excellent white wood, such as araucaria, oak and pine. 

The expansion of agriculture to any great extent in the 
valleys of the Cordillera is not at present possible, notwith- 
standing the fertility of the soil, as the enormous distances to 
the ports of shipment together with the lack of means of 
transportation, make impossible their development. Future 
railroads that will connect these valleys with the Atlantic 
coast will establish an epoch of agricultural production of an 
incalculable value. 

Santa Cruz is made up of a series of extensive sloping 


334 


JOSE MONETA 


plateaus that descend in succession, from the Cordillera 
towards the sea, whose sinuous shores are bordered by hills 
or sand banks of small height. 

The Deseado River is dry toward the interior and is now 
only a deep entrance of the sea. The Santa Cruz River is 
navigable in its larger part, carrying to the Atlantic the 
waters of the great lakes Misterioso, Viedma, Argentino and 
others; all of these are joined by narrow but deep channels. 

The general aspect of the region of the lake is similar to 
the one previously referred to when speaking of the Nahuel- 
Huapf Lake. 

The climate is cold and healthy. The minimum tempera- 
ture registered at Gallegos, which is the coldest point of the 
coast, is 10° F. below zero. Generally 4° below zero is reached 
during winter. 

Santa Cruz has rich gold mines, rich placer mines, coal 
and salt mines; on its shores there are a large number of seals. 
The Andean region has an enormous forest wealth. 

Even though the population is small, the commerce of the 
territory is enormous; there are at the capital (the town of 
Gallegos), very important exporting concerns and branches 
of three banks. There is a refrigerating plant that turns out 
about 200,000 muttons yearly. 

In all this enormous extension of land, there are at present 
only 100,000 inhabitants, something like 30,000 in each of 
the northern territories and 10,000 in Santa Cruz; as a total 
there is one inhabitant every three square miles. In the 
states of Arizona, Wyoming and Nevada there were more 
than double this per square mile in 1890. 

Those 100,000 inhabitants of Patagonia are of the white 
European race, with the exception of a very few Indians and 
half-breeds whose number does not reach 5000. 

In 1866 a small Welsh colony was founded in the terri- 
tory of Chubut, who emigrated from their country under con- 
ditions similar to those of the Pilgrims of Massachusetts. 
Before twenty years elapsed, the first Patagonian railway 
connected their prosperous colony at the valleys of the river 
with Port Madryn which offered a natural port for their 
products. Noth withstanding certain difficulties in assimila- 


PATAGONIA AND TIERRA DEL FUEGO 


335 


ting them to the life of the country, we can give assurance 
that the present generation of Argentines, sons of these 
Welshmen, love the land where they were born and the flag 
that protects them, and offer themselves with enthusiasm to 
the military service which is compulsory in our country. 

This has been brought about in part by the frequent visits 
of ships of our navy which practice now and then on that 
coast, as well as by certain Italian immigration with which 
they have begun to mix. 

Further south, near Lake Munster and Colhuap6, there 
are some Boer colonies to which the national government 
gave land and facilities. The rest of the population, in the 
ranches to the Straits, is of English and German origin; there 
are also Austrians, Swedes, Norwegians and Dutch, but in 
the commerce of the towns the Italians and especially the 
Argentines predominate. 

In this region there are now 295,000 acres of land that 
have been cultivated, half of this being in the territory of Rio 
Negro. There is a total of 841,000 cows, 10,000,000 sheep, 
500,000 horses and 300,000 goats. How many acres of culti- 
vated land and how many of these animals could Patagonia 
have, whose climate is well superior to that of many coun- 
tries, when it will be populated in the proportion of the poor- 
est State of the United States, is hard to guess. 

Of the quadrupeds of the Patagonian fauna the common 
ones are the guanaco, the hare and the fox. The number of 
guanacos increases towards the south and that of the hares 
diminishes until they almost disappear at the Strait. 

It is impossible to calculate the number of guanacos scat- 
tered in that enormous territory; I have seen twenty years 
ago in valleys near Gallegos River multitudes of those ani- 
mals which densely cover all the hills giving to them the red 
tint of their backs as far as the eye-glasses could reach. The 
impression was that there were right there, thousands of 
thousands. Since the establishment of ranches the owners 
do not pursue them any more in order to avoid the destruc- 
tion of their wire fences; therefore, they have gone towards 
the Cordillera losing the advantage of spending the severe 
winters in the temperate valleys near the Ocean; owing to 


335 


JOSE MONETA 


this an important decrease has occurred. A very few In- 
dians hunt them for their skins; of these they join together 
about twenty generally by the inferior part of the skin of the 
young ones, making thus a handsome rug that is very much 
appreciated. 

At the south there is always found the “puma” or Ameri- 
can lion, which causes great damage to live stock and is 
therefore pursued. 

There are all kinds of birds belonging to the temperate 
and cold zones; there is an abundance of ducks, “abutardas” 
and swans; the Patagonian swan has a white body with a 
black neck and is smaller than the European and North 
American. 

All over the coast there are sea gulls and a great variety 
and number of aquatic birds. The penguins build their 
nests in bushes near the sea shore; enormous flocks of these 
ridiculous birds may be seen standing on the beach showing 
the feathers of their white breasts which contrast strikingly 
with their dark bodies much as if they were a crowd in a stad- 
ium. Other times further than 300 miles from shore their 
dissonant screams from the water, when they appear be- 
tween two plunges, are an omen of the next storm to the 
superstitious sailor. 

Nature has not given Patagonia many natural ports. The 
first important port starting from the north is San Antonio, in 
the Gulf San Matfas. Work has begun on this port and is 
being dredged to a depth of 35 feet; a wharf is also under 
construction. 

Port Madryn at the furthest end of Gulf Nuevo is another 
port of importance. There are two wharfs for landing and 
an excellent anchoring-ground. Further south, the only port 
of importance are Deseado, Santa Cruz and Gallegos. There 
are many other small ports but none of them are very desir- 
able. Luckily, as the prevailing winds all over the coast are 
from the northwest, west and southwest, the navigators can 
count upon calm sea in most of them for general operations; 
it is not strange to see steamers anchored near the shore in 
places where there are no bays nor indentations, shipping 
wool, hides and other products. 


PATAGONIA AND TIERRA DEL FTJEGO 


337 


At the furthest end of Gulf San Jorge, where the landing 
of Comodoro Rivadavia is located, opened to the winds from 
the sea and where a small town has been built since this is 
the point of export for the products from the colonies of Lakes 
Munster and Colhuap6, there was discovered in 1907, while 
drilling for water, an important fountain of oil at a depth of 
535 meters. Since then thirteen perforations have been made 
with satisfactory results; from the geological studies made 
along a large part of the coast it is believed that the petrolific 
beds extend to great distances north and south of Comodoro 
Rivadavia. The chemical analysis of this oil shows that it 
is an excellent combustible. The Public Works Department 
uses it already in the engines of the Patagonian railways, 
with unsurpassable results. 

From this oil valuable derivates can be obtained; some 
wells supply oil that contains 65 per cent of lubricating oil 
which indicates its excellent quality. Last year the produc- 
tion of this combustible reached 1000 tons a week. The 
government has retained all this section and another large 
area in which the rights of working the oil deposits will be 
offered in public auction. 

The discovery of this fountain of incalculable wealth 
located at the sea side only two days b}'- water from the port 
of Bahia Blanca and four from Buenos Aires, which is the 
second most important port of the whole American conti- 
nent, adds an element very valuable for the future progress 
of the Argentine nation, already blessed by nature with the 
most precious gifts of a very fertile soil and unsurpassable 
climate. 

The national government is actually constructing rail- 
road lines following a very well studied plan already outlined 
and projected. At the present moment the following are 
being built : One that starts at port San Antonio towards the 
west to Lake Nahuel-Huapi. From there it turns towards 
the south through the valleys to Colony 16 de Octubre which 
is at the origin of the Chubut River; at points it connects with 
the one coming from Rio Deseado. Another line starts from 
Comodoro Rivadavia and goes to Lake Buenos Aires, and 
cuts the former more or less at the meeting of the Rivers 


338 


JOSE MONETA 


Senguel and Mayo. The total extension of these railroads 
now under construction, will be aproximately 1000 miles. 

The Andean Cordillera which from Chiloe towards the 
south seems to sink in the sea, yet keeping the same aspect, 
its imposing peaks covered with perpetual snow, and deep 
channels betw r een the numerous islands, turns towards the 
east until it disappears at the last point of its tail at the Isla 
de los Estados or Staten Island at the east of Tierra del 
Fuego. This last name designates the archipelago at the 
south of the Strait of Magellan ; it is composed of one large 
island divided by a meridian between Chile and Argentina 
and by numerous smaller islands at the west and south of it. 

The name of Tierra del Fuego or Land of Fire did not origi- 
nate from the existence of volcanos in activity. Perhaps the 
first Spanish navigators, w r ho were very religious and did not 
forget any saint without a geographical accident, saw some 
fires that the Indians always make on the island; as the 
forest starts right there, there is no opportunity to see that 
signal before on the Patagonian coast. 

The western and southern part of all those islands, bat- 
tered by the cold wands from the Antarctic, is of pure rock 
but wdiere it is protected by the mountains there are very 
dense forests of beech-trees, found in the lower lands and 
near the channels, some of them of a meter and one half in 
diameter. Higher up the trees decrease in height until they 
become a mass of tangled bushes at a level of two-thirds 
the height of the mountains, as if the permanent snows and 
the violent wands w r ould not allow' them to grow. 

This forest vegetation wdiich extends from the Patagonian 
lakes to Cape Frow'ard, the southern extremity of the con- 
tinental land, continues throughout all the southern half of 
Tierra del Fuego and the contiguous islands to the islands 
of the Estados. 

The various panoramas that these channels offer, especially 
in summer, the numerous islands and small barren islets 
with their shores covered with woods w r hich show in contrast 
all the shades of green, the rocks and peaks, some spotted 
here and there by the snows and others under the eternal ice 
of the high mountains that sometimes falls in glaciers to the 


PATAGONIA AND TIERRA DEL FEE GO 


339 


water side, are of an indescribable beauty, only comparable 
to that of the lakes of Switzerland. 

Unhappily good weather does not prevail; continuous 
gales of sleet, hail and snow follow one another in rapid suc- 
cession, specially in the western part of the archipelago. At 
the Beagle Channel, there are, nevertheless, some weeks of 
good weather with fair and sunny days. 

At the eastern and northern part of Tierra del Fuego prop- 
erly speaking, there are prairies and very fertile valleys, and 
its interior reminds us, owing to its permanent greenness, 
of the center of England. 

Three kind of Indian races with different languages and 
characteristics lived in Tierra del Fuego: the Alacalufs and 
Yahgans who used to live principally on fish and navigated 
in canoes made from a single tree, and the Onas who lived 
in the northern part of the mountains and resemble the 
Patagonian Indian. 

Of the canoe Indians it can be said that they have almost 
totally disappeared; alcohol, small-pox and other diseases 
obtained from their contact with the white race have almost 
extinguished them; they were short and of very small extrem- 
ities. The Onas who lived in the woods and prairies of the 
north and east were of a higher type, tall, strong and of bet- 
ter proportions than the Patagonians; they always traveled 
on foot and with extraordinary speed; they did not know 
horses; when the first horses were taken for the demarcation 
of the boundary line between Chile and Argentina in 1891, 
it was the first time they had seen one, and thought that the 
man on horse-back and the horse constituted only one animal 
with two heads. 

All those Indians were very poor; they used to hunt with 
their arrows guanacos and birds that are found in great num- 
bers. When a whale went aground on the shores it was a 
cause for great joy and festivity; they devoured crazily whale 
meat and rubbed their bodies with the grease. 

Another great festivity for them was a shipwreck, from 
which they not only provided themselves with provisions but 
with utensils that were needful. With steam navigation 
through the Strait and the greater knowledge of the coast. 


340 


JOSE MONETA 


shipwrecks decreased; in regard to this I recall an old Indian 
who told me: “Life is becoming too hard, there are no more 
wrecks.” 

It has never been proved that these Indians were cannibals; 
in the cases of the murder of white persons that we know, 
what they did was to burn their bodies in a bonfire. 

There are no more than 600 Indians in all; the whole land 
is covered by ranches in prosperous condition, some of 
them connected with great plantations of the Chilean re- 
gion which overlooks the Strait, having ports with facilities 
for shipping their products. 

The Argentine part inhabited by only 3000 people has 
12,000 cows, 1,700,000 sheep, and 11,000 horses. 

The navigation of the Strait has been affected by the Trans- 
andean railroad from Buenos Aires to Valparaiso and will be 
affected much more by the Panama Canal. The Chilean 
population of Punta Arenas will remain a center of activity 
for all that region so important for its live stock, gold and 
coal mines. 

The capital of the Argentine territory of Tierra del Fuego 
is at Ushuaia on the Beagle Channel, Here there is an im- 
portant reformatory prison; the working of lumber, gold 
mines and other products keeps it in a state of prosperity. 
There are also branches of the national bank and of important 
commerce concerns. There is frequent communication with 
Punta Arenas and steamship lines connect it with Buenos 
Aires. 

Staten Island is an ensemble of abrupt peaks of the most 
irregular and imposing forms. It is not populated; in a small 
island north of the former called Ano Nuevo, where there is 
a lighthouse, the government keeps a magnetic observatory 
directed by officers of our navy, as well as a powerful wire- 
less station. 

Many of the sailing-ships that turn Cape Horn pass 
through the Strait of Lemaire when they have good wind 
with which they save many miles. 

Calms combined with strong currents in the neighborhood 
of these coasts as well as dense fogs and errors in the ship’s 
position, after long days at sea, are the cause of frequent 


PATAGONIA AND TIERRA DEL FUEGO 


341 


wrecks on the shores of both the island and the continental 
land. 

The national telegraph goes through the coast to Cape 
Virgenes and towards the interior to the Colony 16 de Oc- 
tubre. Besides this there are wireless stations in Punta Del- 
gada, Virgenes, Ano Nuevo and Ushuaia. 

The ports of the Patagonian coasts are frequently visited 
by good steamers of a subsidery line of the Hamburg-Amer- 
ican Line, that maintains a service every fifteen days; there 
are two other fines of Argentine ships besides cargo-boats and 
sail boats specially freighted by the exporting companies. 

With this showing of civilization and progress, Patagonia 
and Tierra del Fuego are no longer ignored and mysterious 
lands. The navigator nears the coast and sees light-houses 
and beacons. Houses in the lively towns show their white- 
ness and the smoke of the railroad engines and factories can 
also be perceived. 

Patagonia of the legends, used to localize fantastic nar- 
rations or to give funny titles for nobles of operettas, is now a 
country in full progress; to give it a peculiar tone, it will 
only remain the penguin at the coast and the guanaco at the 
interior; and Argentines of the future generation will be able 
to increase with four or five the number of their provinces 
or states in a similar way as the United States has increased 
the number of stars on its beautiful flag. 


THE PHYSICAL BASIS OF THE ARGENTINE 
NATION 


By Bailey Willis, Ph.D., Consulting Geologist to the Minister 
of Public Works, Argentina, 1911-1913: Member of 
the United States Geological Survey 

The point of view which is accepted in this paper is that 
of a study in evolution, involving the well established prin- 
ciple that any organism on migrating into a new region 
becomes modified by adjustment to its environment, and 
develops activities suited to the conditions of life by which 
it is surrounded. As applied to all the lower ranks of ani- 
mals, the bearing of this principle of adaptation is not ques- 
tioned, nor does its validity need to be argued in applying 
it to races of men, or even to nations. Let me illustrate 
the point by referring to the migrations of Asiatic tribes 
into Europe, where several thousand years ago new nations 
were born and civilization began that evolution from which 
we are developing. It was in the new environment that 
the human race made progress. Once more, and for the 
last time, when Columbus led the Europeans to the Ameri- 
can continent a similar great opportunity offered itself to 
humanity. Under the tremendous stimulus of modern 
forces we already see progress toward the evolution of a 
higher type of man, the Pan-American. 

In all parts of the Americas the American type is be- 
coming distinct in physical and mental characteristics 
from the European stocks from which it originated. Every- 
where evolutions are going on, in each region according to 
the racial factors of the colonizing peoples and the physical 
factors of the environment into which they have migrated. 
From the snowy north lands of Canada, through the fer- 
tile savannahs of the United States, in the tropics of the 
Isthmus and the Amazon, on southward across the vast 

342 


THE PHYSICAL BASIS OF THE ARGENTINE NATION 343 


river flats of the Paraguay, over the breezy Pampas to the 
misty channels of Magellan, under all the varied condi- 
tions of plain and mountain, of sunny grass lands and shady 
forests, the European races have spread and are evolving 
new types of men, developing new nations. Their evo- 
lution reflects the influence of local environment. Recip- 
rocally, their environment is being changed by them, as 
they cultivate the soil, introduce great herds of domestic 
animals, establish lines of communication, and exploit 
the natural resources for their own use and benefit. 

In the temperate zone of South America is a people sprung 
from the same stocks as the North Americans, occupying 
a land in many respects similar to that of the United States. 
A hundred years ago that people freed itself from Europe. 
During the succeeding decades it fought its way to national 
unity. In the last thirty years it has made great progress 
toward developing the resources of the land for the service 
of mankind. It has gained independence, has defined its 
domain, has developed individuality. Having secured high 
rank among the progressive powers of the world, the Argen- 
tine nation stands on the threshold of a great future. Con- 
scious of its strength it looks confidently forward. Scarcely 
conscious of any limitations it pays little heed to those con- 
ditions of environment which will inevitably determine its 
character and prosperity, yet it can not escape them. As 
Channing said of individuals, so of nations: “Life is in- 
exorably conditioned and conditions us.” And that na- 
tion will go forward most securely on the path of progress 
which early takes account of the resources and limitations 
that constitute the physical basis of its civilization. 

In the Old World the exploitation of the natural resources 
went on for centuries wastefully until scarcity resulted, 
and compelled care-taking, renewal, and conservation. In 
the New World waste also has been excessive and still goes 
on, but recently we have been roused to the possibility of 
national poverty in forests, waters, and soils, and having 
taken an inventory, we in the United States are striving 
to establish the principle of conservation of the natural 


344 


BAILEY WILLIS 


resources for the use of future generations as well as for the 
benefit of this one, in order that our nation may be pros- 
perous in the future as it is now. 

Argentina may be said to stand in national development 
in relation to the resources of the country somewhat in the 
stage which had been reached by the United States in 1860, 
and in the extension of railways, the disposition of her pub- 
lic lands, the exploitation of forests, and the activity of her 
people, there are many features which remind one of the 
period of material progress on which the United States 
entered after the Civil War. The tide of immigration 
rises and sinks in her ports, great wealth is accumulating in 
private hands, corporations of immense resources are ex- 
tending their power over railways and lands, her statesmen 
are carrying out public works of great cost and proportionate 
promise of utility. Yet of Argentina as the home of a na- 
tion, as the seat of a great world power, men know accurately 
scarcely as much as they knew of the United States forty 
years ago. Explorers’ sketches direct railway extensions. 
There surveys are needed. Guesses are the starting points of 
reclamation projects that involve millions of dollars. There 
surveys and long continued measurements of streams are 
essential. Public lands of vast extent are to be settled for 
agriculture or to be leased for grazing. There surveys, 
investigations of water and soils, comparative studies by 
trained specialists are wanted. The list of national enter- 
prises and necessities might be extended; but enough. If 
in sketching the country, I seem to speak knowingly, re- 
member that I speak with but partial knowledge. 

To outline the physical basis of the Argentine nation we 
may take a glance at the country itself. The total area 
is 1,500,000 square miles or one-half that of the continental 
United States. It is a country long from north to south, 
wider in its northern and warmer section, and tapering to 
the point of Cape Horn. If we place the map of South 
America over that of North America, so that the latitudes 
of the southern hemisphere coincide with the same latitudes 
of the northern, Argentina is seen to reach from Hudson’s 


THE PHYSICAL BASIS OF THE ARGENTINE NATION 345 


Bay to Yucatan, and the greater part of the country falls 
in the zone of the Gulf of Mexico and the lower Mississippi 
Valley between New Orleans and St. Louis. 

By this comparison we suggest that there is an extreme 
range of temperatures comparable with that between the 
tropics and southern Mexico and the semi-arid conditions 
of northern Canada, but this is not wholly true, because 
the oceans moderate the temperatures of the narrower con- 
tinent, making the heat less torrid and the cold less severe. 
Buenos Aires lies in the latitude of Memphis, Tennessee, 
and has a mean annual temperature equivalent to that of 
South Carolina or Alabama. The curve of the same mean 
temperature — about 60 degrees Fah. — swings south through 
the Province of Buenos Aires and westward across the Ter- 
ritory of Rio Negro to the Province of Mendoza, through 
districts which resemble Texas, Arizona, and the Valley of 
California. Thus we may say that the central region of 
Argentina corresponds closely with the southern gulf states 
and the southwest. Northward the temperatures are some- 
what higher, and in the extreme northeast of Argentina we 
find conditions resembling those of southern Florida and 
the coast of Mexico. There the winter temperature rarely 
touches frost, and the maximum in the western arid region 
is as high as that of the Yuma desert. 

Turning to the far southern portions of the country, we 
are apt to think of severe conditions around Cape Horn, 
but on the east coast they are not so extreme as is generally 
supposed. The mean annual temperature on that coast is 
equivalent to that of the southern coast of Maine, but 
the minimum is not lower than that of Puget Sound, 
while the maximum is that of Nova Scotia. In the fiords 
west among the glacier covered mountains the local condi- 
tions are often far more rigorous and snow squalls are com- 
mon even in summer. Farther inland in the high plateaus 
of southern Patagonia, the cold winds from the Andes give 
the winter conditions of northern Texas or Kansas, while 
the summer temperatures are those of southern Canada 
and Alberta. 

Thus Argentina, which reaches from within the tropics 


346 


BAILEY WILLIS 


almost to the Antarctic Circle, experiences a range of tem- 
peratures less than those found in the United States, and 
must be characterized as a region of mild, temperate or sub- 
tropical climate throughout the greater part of its extent. 

Next to temperature, rainfall claims our attention, be- 
cause absence or scarcity of water determines the use of 
the lands for crops or herds, and the activities of the people. 
Argentina lies between two regions of excessive rainfall, 
and includes a margin of each one. From across Urugua}' 
and tropical Brazil blow the humid trade winds, bringing rain 
to all the northeastern provinces. In the southwest of the 
country the Argentine Andes catch some of the heavy rains 
with which the constant west winds soak the misty forests of 
southern Chile and cover with snow fields the western ranges 
of the Cordillera. Between the two humid districts lies a 
drier zone which stretches diagonally across the continent 
from the south Atlantic coast of Patagonia northwesterly 
past Mendoza to the Pacific coast of northern Chile. 

Where the amount of annual precipitation is as much as 
500 millimeters (20 inches or more) agriculture may gen- 
erally be carried on without special methods for preventing 
evaporation or supplying water to the crops, but where the 
rainfall is less than 20 inches, dry farming or irrigation be- 
comes necessary. In Argentina about two-fifths of the land 
has a rainfall exceeding 20 inches, whereas the other three- 
fifths have less than that amount of annual precipitation. 
Here is a factor which at once distinguishes the northeastern 
district of greater rain and warmer climate from the western 
and southern districts of lower rainfall and in general cool- 
er climate. The northeastern comprises all that portion 
of the country which borders the Rio de la Plata and its con- 
fluent streams, the Uruguay, the Paraguay, and the Parana, 
and which extends back from these rivers beyond the lim- 
its of Argentina and westward nearly across the provinces 
of Buenos Aires and Sante Fe to San Luis, Cordova, and 
Tucuman. The drier southwestern more extensive region 
includes the southern 'and western parts of the province of 
Buenos Aires, all the provinces of the north stretching along 
the foot of the Andes, and into the Cordillera, and also the 


THE PHYSICAL BASIS OF THE ARGENTINE NATION 347 


plateaus of Patagonia east of the Andes. The southwestern 
humid zone is confined to the Andean belt and its foothills. 

The agricultural products of the country vary with the 
conditions of temperature and rainfall so briefly sketched. 
Were farmers of the United States transplanted to Argen- 
tina they would find congenial climates and products to ac- 
cord with their experience at home in different sections of 
the country. The orange grower of Florida and the cotton 
grower of the Gulf States would be at home in the north- 
eastern part, in Corrientes, Entre Rios, Sante Fe, El Chaco, 
and Formosa. The corn planter might till his fields in the 
northern part of Buenos Aires province and the wheat 
farmer in the central and southern parts. The sugar grower 
from Louisiana would find cane and the sugar monop- 
oly at Tucuman, the orchardist of California could grow 
grapes and fruits under irrigation in the valleys at the foot 
of the Andes about Mendoza. The cattlemen of northern 
Texas and the sheep-herder from Arizona and Wyoming 
might duplicate their ranges from Cordova south to Santa 
Cruz, and in the far south, in Tierra del Fuego, the web- 
footed Oregonian would find congenial gray skies, mists, 
and rain. 

After this general survey it is desirable to distinguish more 
clearly the nucleal region of Argentina. The river prov- 
inces that range along both sides of the navigable Parana 
and Paraguay on the north and east are Entre Rios, Cor- 
rientes, and Missiones; on the south and west Buenos Aires, 
Sante Fe, and the territories of El Chaco and Formosa. 
These form the nucleus of the Argentine domain about which 
the other provinces and territories are grouped. Here are 
the rich delta lands and the pampas favored by climate, 
soil, and facile communication with the world. Here will 
gather a dense population and will always be the seat of 
Argentine wealth and commerce — the heart of the Argen- 
tine nation. 

The tourist landing in Buenos Aires and proceeding west 
or south over the Pampas, fails to see this river region which 
we may learn to know best by a trip up the Parana and 
Paraguay. From the broad muddy estuary of the Rio de 


348 


BAILEY WILLIS 


la Plata we pass into the channels of the islands of the 
delta of the Uruguay and Parana. Proceeding up either 
river we find the banks rising in bluffs of brown earth to 
100 feet on one hand or the other, opposite wide groups of 
low verdant islands. According to the geographers the 
banks should continue rising as we penetrate into the con- 
tinent, till the plains should pass into hills and the hills 
into mountain ranges, but we would need to travel far to- 
ward the Andes and toward the Amazon before we should 
reach the normal aspects of river valleys. Five hundred 
miles above the delta of the Paraguay the banks are lower, 
the islands and swamps more extensive. One thousand 
miles from the river’s mouth we still see on either hand th e 
vast lowlands of the interior of the continent. Delta-like in 
all its aspects, the immense basin in which the great rivers 
gather from the uplands of Brazil and Bolivia is in fact a 
delta — a delta in the heart of the continent. The basin is 
a sinking land, the rivers are filling it with sediment; it has 
sunk deeply and the alluvium has accumulated to a corre- 
sponding depth. Here are immense plains now widely 
flooded by the tropical rains, but a slight change of level 
would convert them from swamps into rich extensive agri- 
cultural lands. 

If from this excursion up the Paraguay we return to the 
Pampas of Buenos Aires with a knowledge of the inland 
delta lands now forming on the upper river, we may recog- 
nize the delta formed long ago but now raised above the 
reach of the rivers by which it was accumulated. Beneath 
the plains of the Pampas lies the immense mass of alluvium 
of ancient rivers that flowed from the Andes in earlier epochs. 
At Buenos Aires it is 3000 feet deep. It forms the lobe of 
the continent south of the Rio de la Plata and extends to 
distant hills in the south in Buenos Aires, and in the west 
to those of San Luis and Cordova. 

Although this soil is alluvium and therefore of the same 
origin as the great class of alluvial soils throughout the 
world, it differs from those with which the farmers of Europe 
and the United States are most familiar. Soils like it are 
found in small districts on the Rhine and the Danube, and 


THE PHYSICAL BASIS OF THE ARGENTINE NATION 349 


are more extensive in the valley of the Missouri. In the 
great plain of China, the Yellow River has spread a forma- 
tion very like that of the Pampas. The common condition 
which brings all these soils in distant regions into relation 
with one another is in their origin as wind-blown mate- 
rial. They belong to the type which has received the name 
of loess, and are derived either from the wind-drifted dust 
of deserts or from the fine silt ground beneath glaciers. 
Their common characteristic is extreme fineness of grain 
and a large amount of undecomposed mineral substances. 
The soils of the Pampas differ from those of the other re- 
gions named in that they contain a very large proportion 
of volcanic dust, rich in the essential elements of plant 
food. A peculiarity of the loess soils is their capacity to 
store up water and to retain their fertility under cultivation. 
The Chinese fields have been tilled for more than 4000 
years without exhaustion, and there is every reason to be- 
lieve that the fields of the Pampas, under intelligent cul- 
ture, will also remain practically inexhaustible. 

On the west and south of this nucleal region is the mar- 
ginal zone of the districts less favored with rainfall and 
therefore more limited in agricultural possibilities. It is 
here that water plays a more important part than soil and 
that the great irrigation projects of Argentina will be de- 
veloped as the nation grows. Mendoza set the example 
more than thirty years ago and has become rich through 
her vineyards and orchards. All along the foothills of the 
Andes similar conditions exist in many rich valleys as far 
south as the Province of Chubut, the conditions changing, 
however, with the latitude, the amount of sunshine, and the 
date of early and late frosts. The lands which may be irri- 
gated are so extensive that they might use far more water 
than flows even from the snow-capped Cordillera and in 
time every possibility for the storage and regulation of the 
streams will be developed. 

Eastward beyond the reach of the Andean streams, in 
the territories of central and southern Argentina is the 
great area of land which must always be devoted to grazing, 
and in large part to sheep raising. In the northern and 


350 


BAILEY WILLIS 


drier regions of Patagonia the fine wooled Merino finds a con- 
genial home, and there may be grown the wool suited to the 
manufacture of fine clothing and knitted goods. As we go 
south into the colder and moister districts toward the 
straits, the Merino gives place to the heavier and coarser 
English breeds, which are bred rather for mutton than for 
wool, and there already are located the freezing establish- 
ments which prepare mutton for the European markets. 
At the present time cattle and sheep herding are still carried 
on on a large scale in the provinces of Buenos Aires and 
Sante Fe as well as in Entre Rios and Corrientes. By far 
the larger proportion of the 20,000,000 head of cattle and 
the 80,000,000 sheep of the republic are to be found in these 
territories; but that condition is not one which will persist 
when the ranges shall be turned into farms. Where it is 
practicable it is more profitable to grow wheat and corn 
than to grow beef and mutton, and the economic advantage 
will in time displace the less profitable industry. Then 
the farm lands, which are now held in large tracts, will be di- 
vided into small farms worked by the owners themselves. 
The conditions of sheep and cattle raising will change as 
they have changed in Iowa and Illinois, and become sub- 
ordinate to agriculture, while the lands which lying beyond 
the great agricultural regions must alwaj^s be devoted to 
grazing, will be enhanced in value through the greater de- 
mand for their products. 

Agriculture, grazing and commerce are the activities 
clearly indicated as those which the Argentine nation must 
develop on the basis of the physical resources of the coun- 
try. May we add to them manufacturing industries? 
Argentina has no coal and throughout nine-tenths of her 
territory no large amount of water-power which can be 
utilized for manufacturing. Here she is definite^ and 
narrowly limited, and must always be dependent for manu- 
factured products upon countries more fortunately condi- 
tioned. But she is not entirely without resources which may 
be developed as a competing factor to relieve her of absolute 
dependence upon other nations. There are two districts 
in which water-power may be applied to manufacturing 


THE PHYSICAL BASIS OF THE ARGENTINE NATION 351 


on a scale sufficient to affect the welfare of the nation. 
One of them is in the far northeast where the falls of Igu- 
azu may yield twice the power of Niagara, and the other in 
the southwest where many streams in the valleys of the 
Cordillera will afford power to attract a manufacturing 
population that will there find a congenial climate in a re- 
gion of great beauty and healthfulness. The power of Igu- 
azu is near the great centers of commerce, being situated 
on the Parana and capable of transmission down the valley 
of the river to within reach of navigable waters. The falls 
are fortunately included within a national reservation, and 
the government will be able to control their exploitation. 
The Cordilleran district is as far from Buenos Aires as St. 
Louis from New York, or Rome from London, and at pres- 
ent is still isolated for lack of communication; but rail- 
ways are in process of extension toward it, and it will soon 
be brought within reach of freight and also of tourist traf- 
fic. Three raw materials of prime importance — wool, 
hides and wood — are immediately available in the district 
itself and the surrounding areas, and there will eventually 
be established important manufacturing industries to supply 
the great agricultural provinces. 

The review of the physical conditions which form the basis 
of development of the Argentine nation confirms the gen- 
erally accepted opinion that it has a great future as an agri- 
cultural and pastoral people, which shall continue to supply 
the less fortunate countries of the world with grain and meat. 
It is also clear that the material resources offer no other 
prospect, and therefore the prosperity and leisure which 
are essential to high intellectual development depend upon 
the exploitation and conservation of the soils and waters 
of the Argentine domain. 

Exploitation and conservation are by many considered 
to be contradictory terms, exploitation being taken to mean 
exhaustive utilization for immediate profit, and conser- 
vation representing the idea of preservation for future use. 
But this view has often been shown to be incorrect. Ex- 
ploitation of natural resources with due regard for preven- 
tion of waste and reproduction of crops is conservation. 


352 


BAILEY WILLIS 


Conservation means that that which is ripe shall be used, 
whereas that which is not ripe shall be neither used nor 
destroyed, but shall await the time of maturity. This 
applies to all things that grow, to grass and to trees. The 
things that do not grow, such as soil and waters, are con- 
served in preventing their waste and promoting their highest 
utilization. 

From this point of view the Argentine conditions pre- 
sent certain definite problems in conservation. To de- 
fine them we may take specific instances. The forests of 
Argentina are limited. They fall into two very distinct 
classes, those of the tropics and those of the temperate 
Cordillera, which differ not only in the kinds of trees but 
also in their utility. In the tropics are various useful spe- 
cies, of which two, the quebracho and the mat6 yerba, are 
the most conspicuous. The quebracho forests have almost 
entirely passed from government control and in private 
hands are rapidly being cut to make quebracho extract for 
tanning. The mate, or Paraguayan tea, which takes a 
more important place in Argentine life than coffee does 
with us, is a small bush from which the leaves may be picked 
as tea leaves are in China and Japan, without injury to the 
plant if due care is taken, but the Yer bales are being se- 
riously injured by wasteful methods of gathering the leaves 
to reduce the cost and increase the profit. The government 
is awake to these conditions and high officials are striving 
to correct them, but it remains to be seen whether the 
Argentine congress can pass and the Argentine executive 
enforce laws that shall protect young quebracho trees or 
insure their planting, and prevent the destruction of the 
mate yerba. 

In the Andean forests there is a different problem. Most 
of them are still in the hands of the government and by the 
organization of an efficient forest service may be brought 
absolutely under government control. A reorganization 
of the forest service is in progress and if the program which 
is now proposed be adequately supported the question will 
be solved. At the present time protection against fire is 
the most urgent necessity, since these forests lie on the 


THE PHYSICAL BASIS OF THE ARGENTINE NATION 353 


borders of Chile within reach of the wandering cattle herders 
whose long established habit is to set fire to the forests 
in order to clear away the undergrowth and utilize the grass, 
which springs up among the burnt tree trunks. Thorough 
police control, constant watchfulness, easy communication, 
and an awakened public spirit are needed in the Cordillera. 
The important service for which these forests should be 
conserved is that of regulating the streams which flow from 
the Cordillera across the eastern semi-arid region of central 
Argentina. They cover the mountain ranges where the 
annual precipitation is very heavy and a large part of it 
falls as snow. The dense growth of the Andean beeches, 
cedar, and bamboo protects the ground and prevents the 
rapid run-off in the streams. Even as it is there are great 
floods and in summer proportional scarcity of water. But 
if these forests be stripped from the steep slopes of the 
Andes the floods will be greatly aggravated and the waters 
available for irrigation will be so diminished that the valleys 
which should become the seat of a dense and prosperous 
population will be left to the solitary sheep herder and his 
flocks. This being the condition it is fortunate that the 
forests, as they now stand, have not in themselves great 
intrinsic commercial value. The cipres, or cedar, a good 
lumber when well grown, is not very abundant nor often 
free from knots or defects. The coihue, or Andean beech, 
the most common tree, is in general over ripe, as is apt to 
be the case in virgin forests, and a large proportion of the 
trees are unsound. The wood is exceedingly heavy, will 
not float in the streams or lakes, and is expensive to trans- 
port to market. It therefore offers little temptation to ex- 
ploit it commercially. Yet means must be found gradually 
to replace these old over-ripe forests with cultivated stands 
of useful lumber varieties. Thus the conservation prob- 
lem of the Andean forest comprises three questions: how 
to prevent fires, how to remove the natural growth to the 
best advantage without destroying its effectiveness in con- 
trolling the waters, and how to replace it with more valu- 
able species. These problems will not be solved in one 
generation, but the Argentine administration is taking 


354 


BAILEY WILLIS 


steps toward fire protection and recognizes the necessity of 
forest reserves. In this direction it is making an excellent 
beginning. 

The conservation of the waters and their utilization to 
the greatest possible extent of economic service is the most 
important factor among the natural resources. Lands 
suitable for irrigation are very extensive throughout the 
three-fifths of Argentina which must be described as semi- 
arid, and the waters available for irrigation are quite in- 
adequate to cover more than a small fraction of the appro- 
priate areas. The irrigation problem centers in the streams 
that flow from the Andes and the valleys along their courses. 
The greatest of all, the Rio Negro, is already being devel- 
oped by the construction of a dam on its northern branch, 
the Neuquen, to irrigate lands in the valley, and irrigation 
is practiced in the vicinity of Choelechoel on the river. 
Studies are in progress of the lake basins in which the 
waters gather before they leave the Andes, and the general 
question of the complete utilization of the waters will be 
developed along the lines ably outlined several years ago 
by the Italian engineer, Cipoletti. Irrigation works of 
more or less local importance are in progress in various 
other parts of Argentina, partly under government au- 
spices and partly under contracts between the government 
and the great railroad systems. Yet it must be said that no 
adequate study of the great problem of conservation and 
utilization of the waters of the country is being made. There 
is no other resource of equal importance to Argentina, yet 
there is no organized service engaged in mapping the water- 
sheds and measuring the rivers. The engineers who plan 
costly public works are obliged to proceed upon very inade- 
quate guesses of the volumes of water which they may have 
to handle, and without maps of the watersheds from which 
the streams gather. L T nder these circumstances any irrigation 
project is likely to be a costly experiment and there can be 
no wise selection of the lands and waters which may be most 
economically and most advantageously developed at the 
present time. To emphasize this point I need but cite the 
experience of the reclamation service of the United States, 


THE PHYSICAL BASIS OF THE ARGENTINE NATION 355 


which was that only one in ten of the projects for storage 
and utilization of waters for irrigation in the United States 
gave such promise of a reasonable return upon the cost of 
construction under government supervision that it could be 
undertaken on the condition that it should eventually pay 
for itself. The works carried out by that service are more 
important to the people of the United States and they in- 
volve engineering questions as difficult as those of the Pana- 
ma canal. They have been based upon thorough topographic 
and hydrographic studies and so upon definite information 
of the nature of the territory and the conditions of supply 
of the water in each case. In Argentina further progress 
in the development of her water resources should be based 
upon like studies covering the Andean Cordillera and the 
streams which flow from it. 

One of the results of a survey of the water resources of 
the country will be the determination of the available 
water powers. Here in the United States, where we reckon 
that we shall not exhaust our coal supplies for a century 
and a half, we, nevertheless are anxious that the nation shall 
retain controll of the inexhaustible power which the falling 
streams can be made to yield. How much more urgentis that 
control of waterpowers in Argentina, where there are no 
other sources. The laws already reserve to the government 
rights over the streams and their banks, but it is none too 
early to direct attention to the fact that whatever manu- 
facturing may develop will be entirely dependent on the 
water powers and subject to the control of whoever owns 
that power. 

In a country where lands are still held by individuals 
in enormous tracts and where cultivation of the soil has not 
yet displaced the pasturing of great herds of cattle and flocks 
of sheep, the question of soil conservation has not pre- 
sented itself, nor is it a question which will in the great 
agricultural regions of Argentina soon be an urgent one. 
Erosion on the plains of the Pampas is confined to scouring 
by the winds, and where the soil is deep does not inflict much 
injury. Some districts there are, especially in the south- 
western part of the Province of Buenos /Vires and adjacent 


356 


BAILEY WILLIS 


regions of the Pampa Central and Rio Negro, where there is 
a hard layer of limestone at moderate depth below the sur- 
face. In some districts the depth of soil is less than a foot, 
and elsewhere there are bare surfaces of limestone forming 
stony plateaus. These were once covered with soil which 
has been swept from them by the wind, and where the lime- 
stone is not deeply covered the same result must follow if 
the surface is not protected by vegetation. In these dis- 
tricts in both grazing and cultivation every precaution 
should be taken to keep the soil from blowing away. The 
greatest injury now being done to such areas is due to over- 
grazing and the destruction of the grass that holds the soil 
in place. 

Grazing being an industry which in Argentina takes 
rank in importance with agriculture the entire nation is 
interested in the grasses on which the herds and flocks pas- 
ture. Where private lands are stocked for absentee owners 
there is danger that they may be overgrazed, and where 
squatters pasture their flocks on public lands there is prac- 
tical certainty that the grasses will be severely injured. A 
difficult situation is apt to arise through fluctuations of the 
rainfall from year to year. With the greater moisture of 
wetter years the number of sheep carried is increased to 
the limit of richer pasture and when leaner years follow the 
range is grazed to the grass roots before the flocks are re- 
duced by forced sale or starvation. For these conditions on 
private lands there is no remedy save that of resident owner- 
ship and intelligent management. On public lands there 
is a reform as practical as it would be profitable; that of 
bringing the public ranges under a leasing law, by which 
the irresponsible squatters would be replaced by responsible 
lessees. This is not the place to consider the terms of such 
a law, further than to suggest that Australia has set a suc- 
cessful precedent, which proves that long term pastoral 
leases may be satisfactory alike to the government and the 
sheep owners; but it may be said that in Argentina a first 
step has been taken this year in imposing a tax on all sheep 
and cattle grazing on public lands. The owner who is taxed 
will acquire certain rights. The rights will be recognized 


THE PHYSICAL BASIS OF THE ARGENTINE NATION 357 


by permits, and under a plan like that now being worked 
out in the United States or under a law of pastoral leases 
on the Australian plan, the grazing on public lands will 
come under government regulation. 

Control and regulation of grazing will not, however, be 
effective without better knowledge of the grazing plants 
than is now available. They have been collected, classified, 
and named. The number of species of grasses known from 
Patagonia is very large, but their nutritive value, condi- 
tions of growth and reproduction, relative abundance, and 
other characters bearing on their value as fodder plants 
remain unknown. Here is work for the botanist who is 
willing to follow the sheep and from its habits learn the les- 
son of conservation in the arid plateaus. In the United 
States it has been shown that such studies have practical 
value, inasmuch as by abstaining from grazing certain lands 
during the flowering and seeding season of the pasture plants, 
the pasture may be made richer instead of poorer, even 
though heavily stocked during the rest of the year. 

From whatever side we approach the problem of conser- 
vation in Argentina, we are met by the lack of knowledge 
of the natural resources and conditions of development. 
While it is true that South America has been known longer 
than North America it has been a shorter time and less 
effectively studied scientifically. The world is still ignorant 
of facts that vitally affect its availability as the environment 
of new races. 

The Argentine is predominantly a Latin race. Of four 
million immigrants in the last half century, three million 
were Spaniards and Italians, and although many of these 
were laborers who return home each year, they still consti- 
tute the dominant strains. The peoples of northern Europe, 
especially the English and German, exert a great influence 
in commerce, but they can not be said to determine the trend 
of racial development. The native Argentine of Latin 
descent of three generations or more in the country is 
stamped with the qualities of independence and self respect 
which mark the American who has outgrown the servile 
conditions of the poorer classes in Europe. Poor he may be, 


358 


BAILEY WILLIS 


but a man he is, and conscious of a man’s rights. He is 
enduring, hardworking, temperate in his language, and ex- 
cept for occasional excesses, in his habits. In him is the 
promise of a strong people. Mingling of the Spanish and In- 
dian bloods in the north has produced a laborer who is 
sought for his strength and endurance in the tropics, though 
he is quick to resent arbitrary control. In the southwest 
the Indian blood is of that indomitable race, the Auraca- 
nians, who resisted the Spanish soldier for centuries, and in 
Chile have won recognition as an important and valued 
element of the Chilean people. 

Between the Argentines of the poorer class and the class 
that by virtue of intelligence, ability, education, and wealth 
rule the country, is a great gulf, to be filled in the future 
by the agricultural population that will occupy the immense 
estates now held by a relatively small number of great fami- 
lies. In the evolution of the people, the selection of that 
farming class is of the highest importance to the quality 
of the future race. The conditions are not now favorable 
for immigration is unrestricted, selection is not thought of. 
Neither is the number of smaller farms growing rapidly, for 
lands are expensive and their subdivision proceeds slowly. 
But there are forces working inevitably toward changes 
which in another generation will strengthen Argentina by 
establishing the prosperous middle class of citizens she now 
lacks. 

Among the leaders of the nation stand the heads of those 
families who won their right to leadership in the long war- 
fare for independence and national unity. That struggle 
ended when Mitre and Roca mutually relinquished their 
opposing aspirations to the presidency and placed the wel- 
fare of their country above party service and ambition. 
The generation which was then in its boyhood now governs 
and grapples with the problems of national development 
that have assumed stupendous proportions. I do not refer 
to the political questions that divide conservatives and radi- 
cals of various degrees, but rather to those which relate to the 
development of the national domain by national or by pri- 
vate enterprise. Here we touch the conditions that will affect 


THE PHYSICAL BASIS OF THE ARGENTINE NATION 359 


the destinies of Argentina long after the factional strife 
of the hour is forgotten. There are in the counsels of the 
government far-sighted statesmen who are striving with 
intense devotion to meet the issues of the hour in the way 
that shall guard and promote the future greatness of the 
nation. Their difficult task is rendered more difficult still 
by conditions incident to the development of the young 
nation. The lack of knowledge of the country and its re- 
sources is one. Another is the lack of trained investigators 
of Argentine nationality, which is due not to want of ability 
but to disinclination of the able young men to enter on scien- 
tific careers, other than that of medicine. In the latter as 
in law they have demonstrated brilliant ability. It is to 
be hoped that they will soon prove themselves equally com- 
petent in engineering and the natural sciences. Argentina 
needs them. 


THE ADAPTABILITY OF THE WHITE MAN TO 
TROPICAL AMERICA 

By Ellsworth Huntington, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of 
Geography, Yale University 

The tropical portions of America and Africa, as every one 
knows, are the richest unexploited regions in the world. If 
ever they are to be developed the work must apparently be 
done by people of European origin, for the native races 
seem incapable of doing it alone, and Europe and America 
are scarcely willing to leave the task to Asiatics. Yet in 
spite of innumerable attempts during the past four hundred 
years the problem of the adaptation of the white races to 
a tropical environment still remains one of the most serious 
that has ever confronted mankind. Shall the white man 
forever be an outsider, a mere exploiter, or shall he become 
a permanent denizen of the regions which he develops? This 
question has been debated so often and so vainly that the 
present discussion would scarcely be warranted, were it not 
for two reasons. In the first place, certain phases of the 
subject do not seem to have received due attention; and, 
in the second place, recent investigations suggest a new 
way whereby at least a part of the truth may be discovered. 
The question to be solved is briefly this: Modern medical 
science is rapidly enabling the white man to combat the 
diseases which have been so deadly in tropical regions. In 
other ways, also, we are learning to overcome the disad- 
vantages of a tropical environment. Does this give us 
ground for believing that races of European origin can dwell 
permanently within the tropics and retain not only their 
health, but the physical energy and mental and moral vigor 
which have enabled them to dominate the world? The 
success which has thus far been attained in this attempt can 
scarcely be considered encouraging, but is that any reason 
for discouragement in the future? 

360 


THE WHITE MAN AND TROPICAL AMERICA 


361 


In order to make our discussion concrete, let us limit it 
to South and Central America, and to that portion which 
lies within twenty degrees of the equator. By taking this 
latitude as a boundary we exclude Rio de Janeiro and the 
southern part of Brazil, where most of the strength of that 
country lies, although far the greater portion of the actual 
area lies within our boundaries. We may also exclude the 
City of Mexico, although it lies slightly less than 20° from 
the equator. This leaves southern Mexico, Central America, 
Columbia, Venezuela, Guiana, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and 
all except the most progressive part of Brazil. These coun- 
tries have an area of nearly 5,000,000 square miles, or fully 
one and one-half times as much as the United States. The 
population is estimated at only 35,000,000 or 40,000,000. 
In this vast area the number of genuine white men, that is, 
people of pure European race, is only a few million, and 
most of these are confined to the seacoast, or to relatively 
small areas among the mountains. An area of 4,000,000 
square miles is today practically untouched by the white 
man, except when he comes temporarily in the character 
of an exploiter, or as an official of one of the South American 
republics. Nowhere else in the world does there appear to 
be so vast an area which at the same time contains so few 
people, and has such enormous latent wealth. It is no 
wonder that travelers grow enthusiastic over it, and that 
those who believe that through the elimination of disease 
the white man will be enabled to live here, are convinced 
that a wonderful future is in store for it. This is probably 
true, but before these countries can rival those of tem- 
perate regions we must know vastly more than is now the 
case as to how man is influenced by his environment. Today 
the most advanced regions within the limits here defined 
are typified by southern Mexico, with its happy-go-lucky 
peasants and banditti ; Guatemala, with its unchanging, stolid 
Indians, who literally will not work so long as they have 
anything to eat; Nicaragua and Honduras, with their con- 
stant revolutions; Ecuador, with its callous indifference to 
the direst plagues in its own ports, and Peru, where in spite 
of the culture of the small number of Spanish inhabitants, 


362 


ELLSWORTH HUNTINGTON 


the vast majority are utterly illiterate. We are apt to 
blame the people of these tropical countries for their back- 
ward condition, but in that we sadly wrong them. They 
are not backward because they want to be so, and they 
would gladly make progress if they could. Something holds 
them back against their will, and we who have the good 
fortune not to be thus held back can do no greater service 
either to ourselves or to them than to discover exactly what 
that something is. In order to do this, the first requisite 
is a clear understanding of our problem. Therefore it will 
be well to review some of the conditions which for ages 
have acted as handicaps to every race whose lot has been 
cast in tropical America. Let us first consider the effect of 
these conditions upon primitive people, and then see how 
far there is a reasonable prospect that the white man can 
overcome them. Some of the conditions which we shall 
consider are familiar, and have been much discussed, but 
others have received relatively little attention. 

To begin with one of the most familiar topics, the ease 
with which a living can be made is constantly cited as one 
of the reasons for the backwardness of tropical people. The 
importance of this among lower races can scarcely be ques- 
tioned. If the traditional palm-tree will support a family, 
the members of that family are not likely to work, except 
under some unusual impulse. The necessity to provide for 
a cold winter, or for a long dry season, does not trouble 
them. Clothing may be desirable because it is the fashion, 
and because it serves as a means of adornment, but it is 
not a real necessity. A warm house is equally unnecessary, 
and a shelter from the rain can quickly be made with a 
few poles and palm leaves. Where such conditions prevail, 
progress is almost out of the question, since there is no 
stimulus — nothing to promote ambition or energy. In Cen- 
tral and South America, however, this most exploited hin- 
drance of equatorial countries seems to be of relatively small 
importance. In certain regions, to be sure, the means of 
supporting life can be obtained with great ease, but this is 
limited to restricted areas, chiefly near the coast, or on the 
slopes of the mountains. Elsewhere, which means in by 


THE WHITE MAN AND TROPICAL AMERICA 


363 


far the larger part of tropical America, the case is quite 
different. Although a small number of people can support 
a precarious existence in primitive fashion, their lot is by 
no means easy, and the population cannot become dense, 
nor can it greatly advance in civilization, because as yet no 
means have been devised whereby a large number of people 
can procure a living. 

This is due to the conditions of agriculture. The ease, 
or rather the difficulty, with which agriculture can be carried 
on in tropical countries is greatly misunderstood. The ordi- 
nary traveler sees the luxuriant vegetation and infers that 
crops can be raised with great ease. Noting, however, that 
in the few places where fields are cultivated they are usually 
full of stumps, bushes and large weeds, he promptly accuses 
the natives of shiftlessness. He sees too that a field is cul- 
tivated this year and abandoned next, and proceeds to berate 
the natives for lack of persistence. He fails to realize that 
throughout large portions of tropical America agriculture 
is so difficult that even the white man has not yet learned 
to carry it on. He may raise bananas and coffee in a few 
limited areas, but he does not do this in the worst places. 
Moreover these crops are much easier to raise than are the 
staple crops which have to be planted every year. I do 
not mean by this that he could not raise the staple crops, 
provided fevers did not exclude him from large areas, but 
merely that he has not yet done it. In the regions to which 
I refer, that is, such places as large portions of the Amazon 
Basin, rain falls at almost all times of the year, and the 
dry season is so short, or at least so interrupted by showers 
that the forests always remain damp, and vegetation grows 
with extraordinary luxuriance. Any one who has tried to 
keep a garden free from weeds during a rainy summer will 
appreciate the difficulty, but his task is incomparably easier 
than that of the denizens of the tropics, for he has the 
winter to help him. Moreover he can cultivate his land 
every year instead of intermittently. 

As an example of the difficulties of agriculture, let us take 
the Pacific slope of Guatemala, which is by no means the 
wettest part of the country. I traversed the region in 


364 


ELLSWORTH HUNTINGTON 


March, 1913, in the middle of the dry season. The people 
had recently finished the work of making the season’s clear- 
ings. The traveler in such a region wonders at first why 
everyone seems to be clearing new fields. The reasonable 
thing would seem to be to burn the corn stalks and weeds, 
and cultivate the old fields again, but this is not done. After 
a field has once been cultivated it is allowed to lie fallow for 
four years. The first crop is abundant and requires a rela- 
tively small amount of labor, but if the same field is planted 
a second time, the crop is very scanty. Apparently the 
soil is quickly exhausted, perhaps because of rapid weathering 
under the influence of constant heat, and rapid leaching 
because of constant moisture, or perhaps because of certain 
bacteria which flourish in tropical climates and break up 
the nitrogenous elements of the soil thus destroying their 
value as plant-food. Plowing might perhaps help matters, 
but it is very difficult — far more so than in temperate 
regions. In the first place, when a field is newly cleared 
the roots and stumps prevent plowing. If the field is left 
until the stumps have rotted, new plants grow up to such 
an extent that a fresh clearing is necessary, and the process 
of plowing is still very difficult. At the end of the first 
year after an ordinary field has been sown, plowing is out 
of the question except where the most advanced methods 
are available, and it is of no use to burn the fields over and 
plant a new crop, for the return will not justify the labor. 
Hence, after one cultivation, fields must be allowed to lie 
fallow for about four years. During this period the bushes 
grow to a height of ten to twenty feet, according to the 
amount of rainfall, and the ground recovers its vitality. 
Then the bushes are again cut and allowed to dry, and when 
the land has been burned off a good crop may be raised. 
Evidently the clearing and burning of the bushes are essen- 
tial parts of agriculture. If the dry season is long, this 
process is easy, for three weeks of steady sun suffice to dry 
all but the larger trunks sufficiently so that they can be 
burned. If showers fall every day or two, however, the 
trees and bushes have little chance to dry. This happened 
in 1913 in Guatemala, and I saw many fields where the 


THE WHITE MAN AND TROPICAL AMERICA 


365 


vegetation had been cut but could not be burned. After 
the drj'- season was over, it was useless to attempt to burn 
the brush, for even if it had been dry enough the new vege- 
tation, which had instantly sprung up, was sufficient to pre- 
vent burning. Without burning, it would have been use- 
less to plant corn, for the native vegetation would have 
strangled it. Hence in many cases the people raised no 
corn crop that year. 

Conditions of this sort prevail not only in large parts of 
Central America, especially on the east side, but through- 
out much of the Amazon Basin. Just how large the area 
is, it is impossible to say, but probably 2,000,000 or more 
square miles is no exaggeration. In all this region, then, 
it has hitherto been practically out of the question to clear 
the forest and get it dry enough to burn. Hence agricul- 
ture has been impossible, and will remain so until the white 
man introduces wholly new methods. This he will doubt- 
less do, but the task will not be easy. I would emphasize 
once more that although the white man has shown himself 
able to raise bananas and coffee on the borders of the moist 
tropical areas he has not done so in the worst portions. 
Moreover, he has devoted himself to special crops which 
yield a large return in proportion to the labor, and which 
do not have to be planted every year. They will always 
be important as luxuries, or even necessities, in northern 
countries, but they cannot be the primary food crops of a 
dense population. The primary crops, for the most part, 
must be planted each year, and this involves the plowing of 
the land, or else the cutting and burning of the bushes in 
order to give the seeds a chance. This can of course be 
done if sufficient effort is expended, but the fact remains 
that throughout a large part of tropical South America the 
task is so difficult that neither the white man during the 
past four hundred years, nor the native races during thou- 
sands of years, ever seem to have accomplished it in such 
places as the great Amazon Basin. 

Before passing on to more important matters mention 
should be made of another factor which prevents people 
from living permanently in certain portions of the tropics 


366 


ELLSWORTH HUNTINGTON 


and from developing a high civilization. The difficulty in this 
case arises from the unequal distribution of the rainfall dur- 
ing the various seasons of the year. For instance, portions 
of the vast grassy plains, or Llanos, of the Orinoco V alley 
are almost impassable at certain seasons, because they are 
flooded by the heavy equatorial rains. Yet, during the long 
dry season, which here prevails during our winter months, 
those same plains become so dry that in many places it is 
impossible to get water except by digging deep wells. The 
difficulties which here confront agriculture are so great that 
the native races have never succeeded in surmounting them. 
In fact before the introduction of cattle, agriculture was 
quite impossible for another and wholly different reason. 
There was no means of breaking up the sod, which is an 
essential prerequisite, if crops are to be raised. Even the 
white man has found agriculture so difficult that he has 
rarely attempted it, and has utilized the plains only for 
cattle raising. This also is beset with many difficulties, 
because of the superfluous supply of water and mud at some 
seasons, and the drought at others. In still other regions, 
although a fairly dense growth of jungle covers the ground, 
the water supply presents a serious difficulty, for during the 
long dry season most of the springs disappear; hence deep 
wells are necessary and these are a difficult matter for prim- 
itive people, not well equipped with iron tools. This, it is 
true, has little direct influence upon the white man, but 
indirectly, as we shall soon see, it adds its quota to his 
difficulties. 

The fact that in large portions of tropical America it has 
thus far been impossible for any large number of people to 
obtain a living has most important consequences in more 
favored regions. Among the factors which most promote 
progress, the intercourse of race with race holds a highly 
important place. Even the most active and energetic com- 
munity is likely to stagnate if left to itself. In tropical 
regions the conditions which have just been described render 
intercourse peculiarly difficult. Where vast areas are unin- 
habited because of dense forests and the consequent diffi- 
culty of agriculture, and others because of floods and excess 


THE WHITE MAN AND TROPICAL AMERICA 


3G7 


of water on the one hand, or the long dry period on the 
other hand, it is clear that the places where people can live 
are likely to be very much scattered. The dense forest is 
almost impassable. It is usually the haunt of dangerous 
wild beasts, and it presents a barrier quite as effective as 
lofty mountains or sandy deserts. The swamps and mud 
due to excessive floods are not quite such serious barriers, 
since they disappear during the dry season. Even then, 
however, difficulties arise, for the distance from water to 
water is often great, and there are no villages where food 
and shelter can be obtained. Thus intercourse is hindered 
not only by mountains, seas and the ordinary obstacles 
which play a part in the temperate zones, but by other and 
even more efficient obstacles. Hence the primitive inhab- 
itants of tropical America have bad little intercourse with 
one another, and have not had the advantage of the con- 
stant stimulus derived from contact with new ideas and 
habits. This would seem to be one of the important rea- 
sons why the people of the tropics have remained backward. 
Even today it is producing important results. Wherever 
white men have settled in tropical America they are iso- 
lated. Peru, for instance, has little communication with 
the rest of the world; the same is true of Ecuador and Co- 
lumbia, and, to a less extent, of Venezuela. This is partly 
due to their mountains, but far more to the fact that the 
great plains to the east of them are even now practically 
impassable. If the plains of the Amazon Basin were as 
easily crossed, and as densely inhabited as the plains of 
Illinois and Iowa, Peru would be almost as much in touch 
with the rest of the world as is California. 

Thus far we have spoken of some of the handicaps which 
apply to primitive people, but which can ultimately be over- 
come by energetic races of northern origin. There is one 
way, however, in which for a long time to come these con- 
ditions will act as a handicap even to the Northerners. 
Partly because of them, and partly for other reasons, the 
native inhabitants of Central and South America, that is, 
the Indians, are very backward. They are dull of mind 
and slow to adopt new ideas. Perhaps in the future they 


368 


ELLSWORTH HUNTINGTON 


will change, but the fact that they have been influenced 
so little by four hundred years of contact with the white 
man does not afford much ground for hope. Judging from 
the past, there is no reason to think that their character is 
likely to change for many generations. Until that time 
comes they will be one of the white man’s greatest obstacles. 
Experience in all parts of the world shows that the presence 
of an inferior race in large numbers tends constantly to 
lower the standards of the dominant race. This can scarcely 
be emphasized too strongly. Here in America we know to 
our cost that the presence of the negro, even though he forms 
only a ninth part of the population, is one of our gravest 
problems. If he could be eliminated from the southern 
states, their future would be much brighter than is now the 
case. Yet they are not so great a handicap, apparently, as 
the native races of Central and South America. Whatever 
the negro may have been when he was first brought to 
America, he is certainly now far less stolid and indifferent, 
far more subject to stimulating influences than the Indians 
of tropical America. It is literally true in Guatemala, for 
instance, that the more an Indian is paid the less he will 
work. If one day’s pay will buy two day’s food, he will 
work half the time, if the pay is increased so that one day’s 
pay will buy food for three days, he will work one-third of 
the time. The experiment has been tried again and again, 
and there is practically universal agreement as to its result. 
The most considerate employers of tropical labor agree with 
the most inconsiderate in saying that in general it is useless 
to attempt to spur the Indians by any motive beyond the 
actual demands of food and shelter. Kindness and consid- 
eration on the part of the employer undoubtedly promote 
faithfulness, but they seem rarely to arouse ambition or 
energy. With the negro, as everyone knows, somewhat the 
same condition prevails, but by no means to so great an 
extent. In Central America, for example, it is generally 
thought that a negro from Jamaica is somewhat more effi- 
cient than an Indian, while a negro from the United States 
is much more efficient. The negro in the United States is 
generally considered to be more efficient than he was in 


THE WHITE MAN AND TROPICAL AMERICA 


360 


Africa, whereas the Indian of tropical America, staying in 
his old environment, does not seem to have changed. Doubt- 
less the change in the negro is due to a new social environ- 
ment quite as much as to a new physical environment, and 
many authorities believe that the change in social environ- 
ment is vastly the more important of the two. This, how- 
ever, does not materially alter the case. As conditions are 
now, it is manifestly impossible to change the physical 
environment of the Indians so long as they remain in their 
present habitat, and it seems to be extremely difficult, also, 
to change their social environment. Those who dwell per- 
manently in the white man’s cities are influenced somewhat, 
but here as in other cases, the general tendency seems to 
be to revert to the original condition as soon as the special 
impetus of immediate contact with the white man is re- 
moved. I think we may fairly say that this has been the 
case almost everywhere within twenty degrees of the equa- 
tor. Here again I would not be understood as saying that 
it will necessarily continue thus, but merely that the process 
of change is bound to be very slow. The aborigines show 
no sign of disappearing, or of being swallowed up by a multi- 
tude of immigrants, as has been the case in temperate lati- 
tudes. On the contrary there appears to be a general im- 
pression that in the equatorial countries of Latin America 
the proportion of Indian blood is increasing at the expense 
of the pure white. This is because the white man, except 
perhaps in a few favored places, suffers from tropical diseases 
far more than does the native, and unless he is wise enough 
to adopt the latest discoveries of medical science his chil- 
dren die or grow up weak. It is notoriously true that in 
India there is almost no such thing as a fourth generation 
of Indian-born British. The original stock is so weakened 
by tropical conditions that the children must either be sent 
back to Europe to recover their health, or else they become 
enfeebled and their descendants soon die out. Even with 
the help of modern medical science, it is far from certain 
that the number of permanent white inhabitants of the 
tropics can increase greatly, and there is reason to think 
that that same medical science may do much to prevent 


370 


ELLSWORTH HUNTINGTON 


the death of children among the natives, and may thus 
gradually increase their numbers. Such an increase of the 
natives has already occurred in India, not so much because 
of the conquering of diseases, as because of the prevention 
of famine. 

If the conclusion just reached is correct, we seem to be 
justified in the further conclusion that for a long time to 
come tropical America 'wall contain a dull, unprogressive 
Indian population. The presence of such a population will 
constantly expose the white man to a most deteriorating 
influence. For example, the inferior mental ability of the 
lower race, and its incapacity for effective organization is 
almost sure to lead to the abuse of its labor and to its 
exploitation in some form of peonage, even though the fact 
may be disguised by legal phraseology. Again, the presence 
of a despised race, which cannot easily retaliate when im- 
posed upon, is almost certain to lead to low sexual morality. 
In the same way, political equality is almost certain to become 
a mere form of speech, for the dominant race will not per- 
mit the other to gain rights at its expense. Manual labor, 
too, wall be despised, for it will be associated with the idea 
of an inferior race. All these things may be looked upon as 
disadvantages of the lower race rather than of the higher, 
but I believe that the higher race reaps by far the greater 
injury. The conditions w r hich have just been mentioned 
appear to be among the most potent factors in rendering it 
difficult for the white man to attain as much success in 
tropical regions as in those farther to the north or south. 
Their evil effect is roughly proportional to the difference 
between the two races. That difference is at a maximum 
where a low r tropical race remains in its original, unstimu- 
lating environment, and is brought in contact with immi- 
grants of a highly developed race who completely change 
their environment. The newcomers are released from old 
restraints at the time wdien they come into contact with 
conditions which make a peculiar demand for exactly those 
restraints. Hence, instead of being stimulated to greater 
political freedom and equality, sterner morality, and more 
intense industry, as was the case among the settlers in New 


THE WHITE MAN AND TROPICAL AMERICA 


371 


England, the immigrants who come from the North to tropi- 
cal America are in danger of being weakened in all of these 
respects. The effect on the original immigrants is bad 
enough, but on their children it is far worse. The settler, 
or European colonist, possessed of wealth and power, can 
to a slight degree shield his children from the deteriorating 
influence of the natives, but even in such cases children are 
in constant contact with servants. They grow up with a 
supreme contempt for the natives, and at the same time with 
the feeling that they can treat them as they choose. If 
poorer people, that is, colonists in the ordinary sense of the 
word, attempt to live in the tropics in large numbers, espe- 
cially if they are people who work with their hands, their 
children are exposed still more to all the contaminating 
influences of contact with the natives. Hence the second 
and third generations, and the fourth and fifth, if there are 
any, suffer more than their ancestors. 

Thus far we have been dealing with external handicaps; 
that is, with those which may have an important effect 
upon the white man, but which are outside him. Let 
us turn now to others which touch him more vitally. The 
first of these is tropical diseases. This subject has been so 
much discussed that I shall here refer to it only briefly. 
There can be little doubt that malaria, and the many other 
diseases which are characteristic of tropical countries, have 
much to do with the low state of civilization in those regions. 
The old idea that the people who live in tropical regions 
are immune to local diseases is no longer accepted by stu- 
dents of tropical medicine. Adults, to be sure, are often 
immune, but apparently this not true of the race as a whole. 
Vast numbers of children die in infancy and early child- 
hood from the same diseases which prevent the white man 
from permanently living in the tropics. Others suffer from 
the diseases, but recover. They bear the results with them 
to the grave, however, in the form of enlarged spleens, or 
other grave injuries to the internal organs of the body. 
The world has of late years been astonished at ravages of 
pellagra and other diseases due to such organisms as the 
hookworm. We have found that people who are subject 


372 


ELLSWORTH HUNTINGTON 


to them cannot be highly competent. Their mental 
processes, as well as their physical activity, are dulled. So 
long as a community is constantly afflicted with such dis- 
orders, there is little hope that it can rise high in the scale 
of civilization. All this is now universally recognized, and 
need not here be further amplified. Nothing is more hope- 
ful for the tropics than the rapid progress which has been 
and is being made in the control of these diseases. If they 
could be eliminated, not only would the white man be able 
to live permanently where now he can be only a sojourner, 
but the native races would probably be greatly benefited. 
How great this benefit would be we cannot yet tell, but it 
is highly probable that the elimination of the diseases which 
especially affect children in the tropics would do much to 
increase the vitality, energy and initiative of the native 
races. This in itself would be an immeasurable boon not 
only to the natives themselves, but to the white man, who 
would thereby be freed in part from some of his worst social 
dangers. 

This highly desirable result cannot be obtained quickly. 
We hear it said sometimes that the achievements of 
the United States in Panama prove that diseases can be 
eliminated anywhere in tropical countries. This is true, 
but it must be remembered that Panama is a highly special- 
ized case. During the building of the Canal a great number 
of people were collected into a small area, and enormous 
sums of money were freely expended. Everyone, too, was 
subject to strict, semi-military rule, and similar conditions 
will presumably continue under civil rule. Such methods 
cannot be applied to millions of square miles. The expense 
would be absolutely prohibitive. The ordinary farmer in 
tropical regions cannot expect to be protected by his gov- 
ernment. He must protect himself. In the long run even 
tropical races may learn to do this, but it will be a difficult 
and expensive matter, and will require a radical change in 
the people themselves. That change will doubtless come, 
but not for generations, and not until a long selective proc- 
ess has gone on whereby those who do not adopt modern 


THE WHITE MAN AND TROPICAL AMERICA 


373 


medical methods for preserving health will be gradually 
eliminated, while those who adopt them will persist. 

We now come to what seems to be the most important 
portion of our subject. It is likewise the portion as to which 
we must speak with the most hesitation. We may hope 
that the white man will ultimately cultivate the forests, 
traverse the waste places, elevate the native races, and con- 
quer the diseases of the tropics, but will he do this as a 
genuine colonist, or as an outsider whose mind is always 
full of the idea of getting back “Home?” The answer de- 
pends largely upon the extent to which he can permanently 
retain his physical, mental, and moral vigor — not merely 
for a few years, but for generations. Hence we are led to 
inquire whether aside from the specific diseases which can 
be eliminated, there is anything in a tropical climate which 
prevents a vigorous development of civilization. I realize 
that in entertaining this possibility I am going counter to 
the opinion of practically all anthropologists, and I am not 
at all confident that I have reached a final solution. All 
that I can do is to present certain facts which have lately 
been discovered, and show what seem to be their logical 
consequences. These facts seem, at first sight, most dis- 
couraging. They apparently indicate that even though the 
diseases of tropical regions be overcome, northern races can- 
not there be as efficient as they are in their own habitat. 
In hot climates man appears to be handicapped by a defi- 
nite lowering not only of his physical energy, but of his 
mental activity and moral vigor. I would hasten to add, 
however, that this does not mean that this inhibition of 
activity cannot be counteracted. It may perhaps be no 
more formidable a handicap than are tropical diseases, 
although its elimination will probably not take place so 
quickly. 

Before coming to the causes of such a climatic inhibition, 
let me call attention to one of the most notable and regret- 
table effects of a tropical environment. This is the lack of 
will power which is almost everywhere displayed by a large 
proportion of the northerners who come to equatorial regions. 


374 


ELLSWORTH HUNTINGTON 


It manifests itself in four special ways, namely, in relative 
lack of industry, in an irascible temper, in drunkenness, 
and in sexual indulgence. For the present we are not con- 
cerned with whether these things are due to physical or 
social environment. Doubtless the two work together. The 
point upon which to fix attention is that for some reason 
self-control, which is merely another name for will power, 
seems to diminish among practically all people who go to 
tropical countries. 

In the amount of work accomplished, that is, in the qual- 
ity known as industry, the difference between people in 
tropical and other climates is very noticeable. Practically 
every northerner who goes to the torrid regions of America 
says at first that he works as well as at home, and that he 
finds the climate delightful. Little by little, however, even 
though he retains perfect health, he slows down. He does 
not work so hard as before, nor does the spirit of ambition 
prick him so keenly. If he is on the low, damp seacoast, 
the letting down process is relatively rapid, although its 
duration may vary enormously in different individuals. In 
the dry interior the process is slower, and on the high pla- 
teaus it may take many years. Both in books and in con- 
versation with inhabitants of tropical regions one finds prac- 
tical unanimity as to this tropical inertia, and it applies 
both to body and mind. After long sojourn in the tropics 
it is hard to spur one’s self to the physical effort of a difficult 
mountain climb, and it is equally hard to force one’s self 
to think out the various steps in a long chain of reasoning. 
The mind, like the body, wants rest. Both of them can 
be spurred to activity but the activity exhausts one’s vital- 
ity. When we come to the explanation of this well recog- 
nized inertia, however, there is much divergence of opinion. 
One man will say that within the tropics the northerner 
does not need to work so hard as farther north, because 
salaries are higher; another says it is because servants are 
cheap; still another claims that hard work is dangerous to 
the health, and almost all agree that “anyhow one doesn’t 
feel like working down here.” Probably all four of these 
factors cooperate and each, doubtless, produces pronounced 


THE WHITE MAN AND TROPICAL AMERICA 


375 


results, but the last two, that is, health and "feeling,” seem 
to be the most important when many generations are taken 
into account. In spite of individual exceptions, it seems to 
be generally true that white men who spur themselves up 
to work as hard within the tropics as they do at home are 
in great danger of breaking down in health. They become 
nervous and enfeebled, and are likely to succumb to some 
of the many tropical diseases. This is one of the most 
powerful deterents to the development of an efficient white 
population in tropical regions. If the more energetic mem- 
bers of the community ruin their health, they are pretty 
sure to die before their time unless they go back to the 
north. Thus if white colonization takes place on a large 
scale in tropical America there is grave danger that the less 
energetic elements will be the ones to persist and to become 
the ancestors of the future population. The other factor, 
the feeling of inertia, may perhaps be interpreted by tele- 
ologists as a merciful provision of Providence to warn the 
white man that he must not work too hard in the torrid 
zone, but that will scarcely help to advance civilization. 
Few people will question the reality of the tropical inertia. 
It is the same lassitude which every one feels on a hot sum- 
mer day — the inclination to sit down and dream, the tend- 
ency to hesitate before beginning a piece of work, and to 
refrain from plunging into the midst of it in the energetic 
way which seems to be natural under more stimulating 
conditions. 

Lack of will power is shown by northerners in tropical 
regions not only in loss of energy and ambition, but in fits 
of anger. The English official who returns from India is 
commonly described as “choleric.” Every traveler in tropi- 
cal countries knows that he sometimes bursts into anger in 
a way that makes him utterly ashamed, and which he would 
scarcely believe possible at home. Almost any American 
or European who has traveled or resided in tropical America 
will confess that he has occasionally flown into a passion, 
and perhaps used physical violence, under circumstances 
which at home would merely have made him vexed. This 
is due apparently to four chief causes. One of these is the 


376 


ELLSWORTH HUNTINGTON 


ordinary tropical diseases, for when a man has a touch of 
fever, or of some other illness, and is afraid that he is in 
for a long siege, his temper is apt to get the better of him. 
In the second place, the slowness of tropical people is terri- 
bly exasperating. The impatient northerner uses every pos- 
sible means to make the natives hurry, or to compel them 
to keep their word and do things according to their prom- 
ises. His energy is usually wasted — the natives do not seem 
to be influenced at all, and the only visible result is an 
angry and ridiculous foreigner. Yet there are often circum- 
stances where a show of anger and violence seem to be the 
only ways of getting things done, and this is frequently 
used as an excuse for lack of self-control. A third reason 
for choleric temper is found in the fact that the consequences 
of becoming angry are less dangerous than elsewhere, be- 
cause the inert people of tropical America often submit to 
indignities which an ordinary white man would bitterly 
resent . Of course they resent ill treatment, and will retali- 
ate if possible, but they generally do not have sufficient 
energy or cunning to make their vengeance effective against 
the powerful white man. Finally, those who have lived in 
the tropics generally find that, even when things go quite 
smoothly, and when they are in contact with people of 
their own kind and are in comparatively good health, they 
are on the whole more irritable than at home. In other 
words, their power of self-control is enfeebled. Of course 
there are many exceptions, but that does not affect the 
general principle. 

Drunkenness, our third evidence of lack of self-control, 
need scarcely be discussed. The white man’s alcohol in the 
form of rum is scarcely more injurious to the natives of 
Africa than is his alcohol in other forms in tropical America. 
In most portions of Central America the highly intoxicating 
drink known as “Agua ardiente” (“white-eye”), can be 
procured very cheaply. In some places, such as Guatemala 
and parts of Mexico, where I speak from personal experi- 
ence, drunken men and women may be seen upon the streets 
at almost any time of day. Nowhere else, during extensive 
travels in America, Europe and Asia, have I ever seen so 


THE WHITE MAN AND TROPICAL AMERICA 


377 


much drunkenness as in Guatemala. Among the white men 
who go to tropical America a large number drink as badly 
as do the natives. Various causes for this can readily be 
seen. The drunkenness of the natives is partly due to the 
cheapness with which strong intoxicants can be prepared 
from the lees of sugar, or other sources. That of the white 
men arises partly from the constant heat which makes peo- 
ple want something to drink at all times, partly from the 
monotony of life, and still more from the absence of the 
social restraints which exercise so powerful an inhibitory 
influence at home. Back of all these things, however, among 
both the white men and natives, there seems to lie a cer- 
tain enfeeblement of the will which may be closely con- 
nected with the physical inertia which prevents people from 
working hard, and with the lack of self-control which mani- 
fests itself in bursts of anger. 

The last of the ways in which weakness of will is evident 
in tropical America is in the relation of the sexes. Upon 
this rock a large number of northerners are wrecked. It is 
due partly to the low standards of the natives themselves, 
partly to the mode of dress among the women, which con- 
stantly calls attention to their sex, and partly to the free 
open life which naturally prevails in warm countries. In 
addition to this there seems to be another reason. Either 
the actual temptation to sexual excess is greater than else- 
where, or else the inhibitory forces are weakened by the 
same effects which cause people to drink, to become angry, 
and to work slowly. Perhaps the matter can best be illus- 
trated by a remark of a missionary of a small and extremely 
devout sect, a most austere man, whose whole soul was 
devoted to preaching the gospel. Speaking of Central Amer- 
ica in general he said: “When I am in this country evil 
spirits seem to attack me. I suppose you would call it 
something else, but that is what I think they are. When 
I am at home in the United States I feel pure and true, 
but when I come here it seems as if lust was written in the 
very faces of the people.” His experience is that of prac- 
tically all northerners. The evil effects of undue sexual 
indulgence need not be discussed. I shall merely refer to 


378 


ELLSWORTH HUNTINGTON 


a remark of Gouldsbury and Sheane, in their authoritative 
book on the Great Plateau of Rhodesia. They hold that 
one of the chief reasons for the backwardness of the people 
of Rhodesia is that so large a part of their thought and 
energy, especially in youth, is swallowed up in purely sexual 
matters. 

The serious evils mentioned in the preceding para- 
graphs, that is, a diminution of energy, outbursts of tem- 
per, drunkenness, and immorality, are ascribed by many 
people to social causes. I recognize the importance of this 
view and largely concur in it. Nevertheless, consideration 
of some statistics which I have recently compiled suggests 
that physical causes may play an equally important role. 
Two years ago, at a conference on Japan, corresponding to 
our present conference on South and Central America, I 
briefly mentioned certain investigations on the effect of dif- 
ferent climatic conditions upon human activity. The prob- 
lem which then presented itself was to make actual meas- 
urements of the effect produced by different climates. Ob- 
viously it is impossible to do this directly. It might, of 
course, be possible to measure the efficiency of two similar 
groups of people of the same race, age and general status, 
under different types of climatic conditions. The results, 
however, would be absolutely inconclusive. It would be 
impossible to determine whether any differences which were 
discovered were due to original differences in the people, to 
differences in their food, or to a hundred other variable 
factors. Another possible test would be to take a given 
group of students, for example, whose homes were, let us 
say, in southern Texas, but who were studying in the north. 
They could be tested while living in the north and again in 
the south, but here again the results would have little value, 
because the change from one place to the other would in 
itself create a difference in the minds of the subjects. It 
would also be practically impossible to make sure that their 
diet, occupations and general environment, aside from the 
matter of climate, were the same in both cases. After due 
consideration of these matters, the only practicable test, 
for the present at least, seems to be to take a group of 


THE WHITE MAN AND TROPICAL AMERICA 


379 


people — factory hands, for instance — and compare their effi- 
ciency from day to day. Their social environment, food 
and mode of life remain unchanged. Aside from changes 
in factory management, and other similar matters for which 
proper allowance can be made, the only changes which influ- 
ence all the members of such a group are those connected 
with the weather, or with the coming of Christmas, or simi- 
lar seasonal occurrences. By choosing people who are do- 
ing piece work which is recorded day by day, it is possible 
to determine the relative efficiency on days of any given 
temperature, or on damp days, windy days, and so forth. 
When such data are properly compiled they show how peo- 
ple would behave under all sorts of climatic conditions. 

In pursuance of this object I have obtained the statistics 
of about 500 people for each day during the year. They were 
piece workers in factories in southern Connecticut, partly 
men and partly girls. In order to combine mental and 
physical work, I have also, through the courtesy of Pro- 
fessor Cattell of Columbia University, obtained figures 
for tests of three children upon the typewriter. The tests 
extended over a period of two years. They were made 
daily during the first year, and weekly during the second. 
A third line of evidence, purely mental consists of the 
daily marks of fifteen hundred students at the Military 
Academies at Annapolis and West Point. Thus we have 
tests of both physical and mental activity. Both types 
show the same phenomena. I do not here propose to dis- 
cuss the results in detail, for they are embodied in a series 
of articles in Harper’s Magazine and in a volume, entitled 
The Distribution of Civilization, shortly to be published. 
I shall merely give one or two conclusions. 

The first and most important conclusion is that in spite of 
man’s boasted independence of climate by reason of fire, cloth- 
ing, and houses, he is influenced by the outside temperature in 
much the same way as are plants and animals. Biologists have 
long known that every species of plant grows best at what 
is termed its “optimum” temperature. Growth begins at 
a temperature a few degrees above freezing, but is then 
very slow. As the temperature rises the rate of growth 


380 


ELLSWORTH HUNTINGTON 


increases, slowly at first, then rapidly, and finally slowly 
once more until the optimum is reached. Then, if the tem- 
perature rises still higher the rate of growth begins to decline 
and soon falls off very rapidly. 

Recent studies seem to show conclusively that a nim als are 
influenced by temperature in the same way as plants. In 
the case of the crayfish, for example, the matter has been 
investigated with great care. The curve of activity of such 
an animal closely resembles that of plants, although of 
course the optimum temperature varies according to the 
species. The method of investigation consists in measuring 
the amount of oxygen consumed in a given time at a given 
temperature, or the amount of carbonic acid given off. 
Other chemical reactions of the body have also been exam- 
ined with similar results. The whole subject is in its infancy, 
but certain facts are already clear. The activity of an 
organism is closely related to the speed with which oxi- 
dation takes place, and the completeness and rapidity 
with which waste products are removed from the body. At 
low temperatures plants and cold-blooded animals cannot 
grow rapidly or be very active, simply because the various 
chemical processes of life cannot take place fast enough. 
As the temperature rises these processes all become more 
rapid, and the organism exhibits greater energy which mani- 
fests itself either in movement or in the laying on of new 
tissue. This continues until a point is reached where the 
chemical processes take place so fast and break down the 
tissues so rapidly that it is physically impossible for the 
organism to get from the air enough oxygen fully to oxidize 
the broken down materials. Unless these are oxidized they 
are not easily eliminated. Hence they accumulate in the 
body, and apparent^ act almost like poisons. As soon as this 
occurs the activity of the organism declines, and there is a 
correspondingly smaller necessity for oxygen. Thus a certain 
amount of oxygen is left unused by the fundamental life 
processes, and is available to oxidize and remove the inju- 
rious waste materials which have begun to accumulate. If 
an organism, because of strength of will, fear of enemies, 
desire for food, or some other stimulus, is unduly active at 


THE WHITE MAN AND TROPICAL AMERICA 


381 


high temperatures, it lays up within its own body a store 
of unoxidized and unexcreted waste materials which either 
lead to death, if the unfavorable conditions continue, or 
else necessitate periods of the least possible activity in order 
that nature may restore the disturbed balance. The whole 
matter is too complicated to be explained in detail, and it 
needs far more extensive study on the part of biologists. 
We do not yet know how the effects of temperature upon 
warm-blooded animals compare with those observed in 
cold-blooded animals and plants. Nevertheless the strik- 
ing resemblance of the curves of physical activity of fac- 
tor}’ - operatives and of mental activity of students, on the 
one hand, to the curves of plant growth and of physiolog- 
ical activity among lower animals, on the other hand, sug- 
gest that a close relationship between temperature and 
activity is a universal biological law. 

For the people thus far tested, practically all of whom 
were descendants of the more progressive nations of north- 
western Europe, the temperature of greatest physical ef- 
ficiency is 59° or 60° F, while for mental activity it may be 
somewhat lower. This conclusion is especially important 
because of the large number of people involved. It agrees 
with some results obtained by Lehmann and Pedersen in 
Denmark on the basis of three individuals. The fact 
that even when only a few individuals are tested, the 
relationship is apparent shows how universally the same 
law applies. The optimum temperature may vary ac- 
cording to the individual and according to the race, but 
the amount of variation is probably only a few degrees, 
and it makes no difference as to our present conclusions. 
The common idea that we are most active in cold weather 
is deceptive. To be sure, we are active when we are out 
in the cold, because we must keep warm, but the actual 
amount of work accomplished in winter is much less than 
in the spring and fall. Low temperature, however, does not 
seem to produce such lasting effects as does warm. It may 
cause the body to burn up its materials too fast, but it does 
not load it with harmful unoxidized waste, or in some other 
way inhibit activity. This apparently is why tropical 


382 


ELLSWORTH HUNTINGTON 


peoples have rarely been characterized by great achieve- 
ments, and why the white man today is less efficient in the 
tropics than elsewhere. 

In the lowlands of tropical America the temperature is 
everywhere above the optimum. This means that there 
is no escape from unfavorable conditions, and that the 
inhabitants of that region, no matter what their race, can- 
not be expected to be active in body and especially in 
mind, or strong in will so long as present conditions continue. 
This, however, is by no means the whole story. The work 
done by factory hands and others in Connecticut shows that 
another climatic element is of vital importance. In all the 
cases examined it was found that while the mean tempera- 
ture is the most important of the climatic factors, the 
change of temperature from one day to the next has an 
influence which cannot be ignored, and which may be almost 
equally great. If the temperature today is the same as 
yesterday, people work comparatively slowly. If the tem- 
perature today is higher or, more especially, lower than 
yesterday, people are stimulated, and the stimulus is 
almost proportional to the amount of change. The only 
exception is that an extreme change appears to be too much, 
and does not produce proportionate results. The way in 
which the stimulus acts may be illustrated by a simple 
comparison. Consider the difference between the amount 
of ground covered by a horse that is allowed to go his own 
gait and by one that is gently urged at proper intervals. 
If the animal is constantly but slightly urged — as man would 
be by a temperature which is highly favorable, but which 
never changes — he will go fairly fast, but will at length be- 
come exhausted. If he is somewhat urged, however, and 
then allowed to go more slowly, and then urged again, he 
will cover the ground faster than if allowed to go his own 
jogging gait, and he will require less time for rest because 
he will be less exhausted. Apparently this is what happens 
to mankind in temperate regions. Change from season to 
season stimulates him, and then lets him fall back to a 
slower pace; change from day to day has the same effect, 
but on a smaller scale. Hence he is kept up to his work, 


THE WHITE MAN AND TROPICAL AMERICA 


383 


and therefore accomplishes much. In tropical America just 
the opposite happens. The mean temperature throughout 
most of the lowlands is above 80° F. Therefore the amount 
of accomplishment must be relatively small. This, however, 
is by no means the worst feature. Far more injurious is 
the fact that even in the mountains where the mean tem- 
perature often falls to a favorable level there is no appre- 
ciable seasonal stimulus, and no daily changes such as ac- 
company our storms. Therefore the human horse gradually 
drops to a low state of efficiency. This is not mere theory 
— it is simply a logical application of what actually happens 
every year among the people of Connecticut and other 
parts of the eastern United States. If those people were 
put into a tropical environment, and all other conditions 
of their environment remained exactly the same as at pres- 
ent, their efficiency would drop greatly. By special effort 
they might remain for a time not far below their present 
level, but special efforts cannot last year after year without 
exhausting people’s vitality. Whether the decrease in effi- 
ciency would be 10 or 50 per cent we cannot yet determine, 
but it is safe to say that it would be large. Nor is the mere 
decrease in physical activity the most important feature of 
the case. Since common experience shows that as a rule 
our minds work best when our bodies are in good health, 
and since our investigations show that physical and mental 
work are influenced in essentially the same way, it follows 
that the high temperature and lack of change in tropical 
America presumably weaken the power of man’s mind. 
This, perhaps, accounts for the fact that almost no great 
ideas have ever been born and perfected within the tropics. 
The same sluggishness of mind which prevents the faculty 
of invention from being highly developed may account for 
the lack of will power which seems to be the greatest of all 
tropical handicaps. 

Taken as a whole the results which have just been set 
forth seem at first sight most discouraging. They seem to 
imply that although the white man, coming temporarily as 
a sojourner, may overcome the physical obstacles of tropical 
America, and may learn to protect himself from tropical 


384 


ELLSWORTH HUNTINGTON 


diseases so that he can dwell there permanently, he must 
apparently face the fact that his vitality and, still more, 
that of his children, will inevitably be depressed. He will 
not be able to work as he did in more northern climates, 
and he cannot have the self-control and mental activity 
which he there possessed. He goes to the tropics with an 
inheritance vastly better than that of the aborigines, and 
this will stand him in good stead for many generations, but 
yet in the end his lot seems no better than theirs, for if he 
stays there permanently, he is in serious danger of slipping 
slowly backward, simply because he cannot make the stren- 
uous exertions by which people in more favored regions 
are continually going on to some new achievement. 

This discouraging view is by no means justified. It is 
like that of the poor laborers who went about in mobs to 
break up machinery when the steam engine was first intro- 
duced. They thought that machinery was taking the bread 
from their mouths. They little realized that it would 
put into the hands of their children hundreds of things 
which in their own day were possible only for the rich. 
The view of South America here presented is in reality ex- 
tremely hopeful. Everyone recognizes that tropical regions 
are backward, and that, in spite of all our optimistic talk, 
we have made almost no progress toward any permanent 
occupation or development of millions of square miles of 
what are probably the most productive regions in the world. 
We must frankly face the fact that even the little progress 
which has been made in recent decades is almost entirely 
the work of men from the north, and that generally the 
important things are done by the first generation, or else 
by people of later generations whose fives have in good 
measure been spent in more favored regions away from their 
tropical homes. Four centuries ago the world stood face to 
face with the wonderful opportunity of a new world. For 
a hundred years almost nothing was done in the way of 
permanent colonization. Except for a few Spanish colonies 
Europe was content merely to explore and exploit. Then 
the temperate regions of North America began to be settled, 
and to grow great, and later their example was followed 


THE WHITE MAN AND TROPICAL AMERICA 


385 


by the temperate lands of South America. Today our atti- 
tude toward the less favored tropical portions of South and 
Central America is almost like that of Europe toward Amer- 
ica as a whole three hundred years ago. In 1600 A. D. not 
a single successful colony had been established in what are 
now the most successful parts of the New World. That 
fact might then have seemed as discouraging as does our 
present lack of success within the tropics. 

The comparison that has just been made does not quite 
cover the real conditions. We might better compare our- 
selves with a primeval group of naked, fireless, houseless 
savages who want to inhabit a land where the winters are 
long and cold. Such men would say that while an occa- 
sional man, hardier than his fellows, might stay in such a 
land through the winter, and while it might be possible for 
many people to go there in summer, permanent occupation 
of the country was absolutely out of the question. This 
view would not be at all unreasonable. Yet if some happy 
accident led one of the savages to discover how warm a 
man might be when he stripped the hide from a bear and 
threw it around himself, how quickly there would be a 
change of opinion. When fire became known opinion would 
change still more. And when some lucky genius discovered 
that a man could pile up stones or sticks and cover them 
with mud or skins or grass and thereby form a house which 
would keep out rain, snow and wind, and within which a 
fire could be made, would not the whole tribe laugh at their 
former lack of faith? Or rather would not each one say 
that he had always expected some such thing, and that he 
was on the very point of making a bearskin coat, inventing 
a house and discovering fire when someone. else got ahead 
of him? 

Today we are like these savages. We have long recog- 
nized that there is some fatal influence w T hich has kept trop- 
ical regions from developing on a par with temperate regions. 
The vast majority of us believe that this is due to climate. 
Our trouble has been that we have not understood exactly 
how climatic influences work. We have not known whether 
they actually cause the human mind to deteriorate, or 


386 


ELLSWORTH HUNTINGTON 


whether they merely hinder its development. We have not 
known whether the white man can live and thrive in the 
tropics, or whether he must inevitably deteriorate. Only 
one thing has been clear, namely, that the most obvious 
tropical hindrance is the terrible prevalence of disease. This 
we have attacked, and our final success can scarcely be 
doubted, although there is a vast amount still to be done. 
We have reached the position of the savages after they 
discovered the use of clothing, but before they had learned 
to use fire and houses. Our next task is to find out more 
precisely how temperature and changes of temperature, to- 
gether with humidity and other climatic factors, affect the 
human system. We must measure all sorts of physiologi- 
cal and psychological functions in terms of these factors, 
and we must be able to work out the exact measure of the 
influence of any given type of climate. Then we shall be 
ready to search for remedies. Perhaps we shall devise some 
means of varying our supply of oxygen. Possibly we shall 
give the people of tropical regions the necessar}'- variety of 
climate by moving them in wholesale fashion from the 
mountains to the plains and back again at short inter- 
vals. Possibly we shall devise a plan whereby some 
means of creating the stimulus which now comes from the 
optimum temperature and from frequent changes shall be 
as much a part of a tropical house as a stove or furnace is 
a part of a house in regions with cold winters. All these 
are vague suggestions, but they indicate the sort of things 
that may perhaps be done. The future of South America 
depends largely on our success along these lines. We have 
conquered low temperature in large measure. Our next 
great task is to conquer the uniform heat of the lands within 
the tropics. 


INDEX OF AUTHORS 


Barrett, John C 19 

Bingham, Hiram 126 

Bingham, Hiram 216 

Boyce, W. D 181 

Brandon, Edgar Ewing 307 

Branner, John G 235 

Brown, Philip Marshall 245 

Cabrera, Luis 47 

Callahan, J. M 161 

Chadwick, F. E 108 

Grahame, Leopold 290 

Hammond, John Hays 176 

Harding, Earl 274 

Hart, Albert Bushnell 172 

Hollander, Jacob H 263 


SUBJECT 

Anglo and Latin America: compari- 
son of inhabitants, 4-10; conquest 
of Spaniards, 9-11; discovery of 
3-^1; geographic conditions, 11-12; 
immigration, 12-13, 16-18; interna- 
tional relations of, 1-18; political 
life, 14-18. 

Argentina: agriculture, grazing and 
commerce, 213, 340, 349-351, 355- 
357; area and location, 24; Argen- 
tine, nation, physical basis of, 342- 
359; forests, 340, 352-354; immigra- 
tion, 359; national development, 
137 ; neucleal region, 347-349; Para- 
guay, 299-300; Patagonia, 213- 
214; physical conditions 351-357; 
population, 24, 214; temperature, 
213, 345-347; trade, 24, 213, 340- 
341; waters, 354-355. 

Bolivia: area, 24, 212; minerals, 
212; physical conditions, 212; pop- 
ulation, 213; transportation, 212. 

Brazil: area and location, 23-24; 
customs, 238-239; lack of Ameri- 
can ships and steamers, 244; lan- 
guage, 237-238; North American 


Howland, John 95 

Huntington, Ellsworth 360 

Martin, Selden O 197 

Moneta, Jose 328 

Montt, David 299 

Nasmyth, George W 321 

Pezet, Federico A 1 

Reynolds, S. W 82 

Sherrill, Charles H 121 

Tucker, George F 151 

Wells, Leslie C 104 

Willis, Bailey 342 

Winter, Nevin O 64 

Yanes, Francisco J 30 


INDEX 

trade in Brazil, some of the obsta- 
cles, 235-244; packing goods, 239- 
240; progress, 215; relation to Ar- 
gentine, 299-300; tariff, 243-244; 
trade, 214, 235; transportation 
and labor conditions, 214. 

Central America: American inter- 
vention in, 245-262; arbitration 
between Guatemala and Salva- 
dor and Honduras, 245-246; Hon- 
duras, mediation in, 246; Hondu- 
ras revolution and treaty, 248; 
Nicaragua revolution and treaty, 
247-248; peace conference at 
Washington, 246-247; union, es- 
tablishment of, 251-262; Wash- 
ington conference of 1907, 249-251. 

Chile: area, 24, 212; minerals, 212; 
physical conditions, 212; popula- 
tion, 24, 212; trade, 212. 

Colombia: arbitration, its restora- 
tion, 284-289; area and location, 
25; righteousness of Colombia’s 
claims, 276-280; settlement with — 
in justice to the United States, 
274-289; transportation, 210. 


387 


388 


SUBJECT INDEX 


Latin America: arbitration, 41-42; 
area, 31; civilization, a glance at, 
21, 30-46; commerce, 20-21, 43-45; 
conquests, 9-11; ‘ Corda Fratres” 
325-326; cosmopolitan clubs, 324- 
325; discovery of America, 33-34, 
183-184; education, 37-41, 307-320; 
geographic conditions, 11-12, 23, 
32-33; inhabitants, 4-10; interna- 
tional relations, 321-327; nations, 
mind of Latin American, 299-306; 
political life, 14—18, 42-43; popu- 
lation, 23, 31; relations of United 
States with, 290-298; students in 
United States, 322-324; survey of, 
24-26; tariff, 177; trade, 176-180, 
300-302; transportation, 22; uni- 
versities, 21, 34-35; 307-320. 

Mexico : causes of present situation, 
64-81; democracy on trial, 95-103; 
Diaz, Porfirio, 74-77, 82-92, 105, 
245; economic aspect, 51-55; Huer- 
ta, 92-106; Madero, 77-78, 88-91, 
105-106; Mexican situation from 
Mexican point of view, 47-63, 82- 
94; political aspect, 55-63; popu- 
lation, 105-106; railroads, 49-51; 
situation asshaped by past events, 
104-107 ; social aspect, 49-50. 

Monroe Doctrine: abandonment of, 
126-150, 302-303; defense of, 143- 
145, 148-171; future of, 153—160; 
Germany and, 118; interpretation 
of, 154-160, 163-167; Latin Ameri- 
can opinion of, 132-143; meaning 
of, 115-116, 127-132, 151-152; 

modern meaning of, 161-171 ; Mon- 
roe Doctrine from a South Ameri- 
can view point, 121-125; necessity 
of, in the Carribean region, 116— 
119; origin of, 108-111, 151, 161- 
163; present day phase of, 108-120; 
present need of, in South Ameri- 
ca, 112-114; 172-175; San Domingo 
and, 119. 


Pan America, 19-21, 122-125. 

Panama Canal: 19-21, 27, 116, 126- 
127, 155-156, 274-289; commerce, 
27-28; cost, 189-190; effect, 216- 
234; effect of, upon west coast of 
South America, 213; exportation, 
195-196, 226-231; “Free Port” and 
“Free City” 191-195; geographic 
condition, 220-224, 232; meaning, 
27; optimism, 216-220; transpor- 
tation, 222-234; 

Patagonia and Tierra Del Fuego, 
328-341 ; agriculture 333, 335, 338, 
340 ; area, 331, 335 ; climate , 331-334, 
339; description of natives, 328- 
329, 339; dispute over boundary 
line, 330-331; education, 332; im- 
migration, 335; irrigation, 331, 334; 
mining, 333-334, 337; population, 
334-335, 340; transportation, 336, 
337-338, 340-341. 

Peru: area, 24, 210; commerce, 211; 
intermountain region, 211; irriga- 
tion possibilities, 210-211; miner- 
als, 211; population, 211-212; tem- 
perature, 211. 

San Domingo: administration of 
customs, 264-267; administrative 
difficulty and political agitation, 
268-270; American intervention, 
270-273;. Dominican convention, 
and its lessons, 37, 273; readjust- 
ment, details of, 264. 

South America: climate, 183-184, 
199; coal, lack of, 201-202; commer- 
cial condition, 181; economic facts 
and conclusons, 197-215; Geo- 
graphic groups, 210-211, origin of 
people, 183-184; physical facts, 

182, 198; population, 203-206, 214- 
215; tariff, 75; trade, 183-184; 206- 
209, 214 : transportation conditions 

183, 200-201.