« AnteriorContinuar »
territory of 208,770 square miles and a population of 64,925,993. The single State of Texas is considerably larger, for it contains 265,896 square miles. Yet Texas has a population of only 3,896,542. Per square mile there are 148 people in Texas and 331.0 in Germany. As Texas has a rich soil, an excellent climate, and givat natural resources, it could probably support a population of 40,000,000.
It has often been asserted by men anxious to make mischief that the Japanese are casting covetous eyes upon California. They have certainly every reason to envy the Americans the possession of that paradisaical country, but they are scarcely likely to contemplate seriously its acquisition. Still the temptation is there. The Empire of Japan contains 147,657 square miles, while California contains 158,297 square miles. Japan has 49,582,505 inhabitants, but California, though it is slightly larger than Japan, has only 2,377,549 inhabitants. Per square mile there are 335-8 people in Japan but only 15-3 in California. The two other American States on the Pacific Coast, Oregon and Washington, extend to 165,826 square miles, and their population is only 1,814,755. How vast the territories of the United States are may be seen from the fact that the United States without Alaska are exactly twice as large as is the enormous Empire of China, that they are fifteen times as large as Germany, and twenty-five times as large as the United Kingdom.
The nations of the world envy the British Empire and the United States, not so much for their industries, their trade, and their wealth, as for their boundless latent resources, which promise to give them the dominion of the world, or at least world-wide predominance, if they are united. The United States receive perhaps a greater shave of ill-will than does the British Empire. They are disliked owing to their enormous wealth, their ruthless energy, their aggressive methods, and especially owing to the Monroe Doctrine. On the Continent of Europe it is generally considered, and not without reason, that by that doctrine the United States have virtually declared a protectorate over the whole of Central and South America, and that they will annex these countries when time and opportunity are favourable.
The Monroe Doctrine is an American doctrine, not an international one. It is, as Bismarck truly remarked, an international impertinence. It can become generally accepted and respected only if the United States are strong enough to defend it against all comers. Hitherto they have been able to leave the defence of the Monroe Doctrine largely to Great Britain, as has been shown in the foregoing pages. Many thoughtful Americans believe that, in view of the insufficiency of their military and naval armaments, the Monroe Doctrine is a provocation to the world at large and a danger. A distinguished American military author, Mr. Homer Lea, wrote in “The Valor of Ignorance,' a book which received the highest praise from President Roosevelt :
In the history of mankind never before has one nation attempted to support so comprehensive a doctrine as to extend its political suzerainty over two continents, comprising one-fourth of the habitable earth and one-half of its unexploited wealth, in direct defiance of the whole world and without the slightest semblance of military power.
The Monroe Doctrine is Promethean in conception but not so in execution. It was proclaimed in order to avoid wars ; now it invites them.
The Monroe Doctrine, if not supported by naval and military power sufficient to enforce its observance by all nations, singly and in coalition, becomes a factor more provocative of war than any other national policy ever attempted in modern or ancient times.
The maintenance of the Monroe Doctrine requires undoubtedly a fleet strong enough to defend America against any Power or any conceivable combination of Powers. It can be defended only by irresistible force. In Admiral Mahan's words, There is no inalienable right in any community to control the use of a region when it does so to the detriment of the world at large.' The maintenance of the Monroe Doctrine is not founded on right but on might.
The Panama Canal will greatly increase the vulnerability of the United States. A distinguished United States Government Commission, presided over by Admiral Walker, reported :
The Canal is but one link in a chain of communications of which adjacent links are the Caribbean Sea on the east and the waters of the Pacific, near the Canal's entrance, on the west. Unless the integrity of all the links can be maintained, the chain will be broken. The Power holding any one of the links can prevent the enemy from using the communication, but can itself use it only when it holds them all. The Canal would be a prize of extraordinary value; it would be beyond the reach of reinforcement if the enemy controlled the sea.
The enormous importance of the Canal becomes clear by giving the matter a little thought. If, for instance, in a war with the United States, Japan should seize the Panama Canal, she could attack the Atlantic coast of the Republic, and if Germany should seizo it she could attack the United States simultaneously on her Atlantic and Pacific coasts.
Of late all the great military Powers have increased their navies with feverish haste. Between 1900 and 1913 the naval expenditure of the eight Great Powers has exactly doubled, increasing from £87,000,000 to £174,000,000, while their military expenditure has increased by only 40 per cent. Germany trebled her naval expenditure from £7,900,000 in 1900 to £23,400,000 in 1913, and so did Austria and Italy by increasing theirs from £6,400,000 to £18,100,000 during the same time. The Japanese also have greatly increased their fleet. The Great War has been largely a maritime war, à war for maritime objects, for sea power and colonies.
Germany and Japan and many other countries urgently require colonies. The fact that Germany requires them is of course known, but it is generally believed that Japan has acquired adequate outlets for her surplus population in her wars with China and Russia. That is not the case. Her new possessions are very densely populated, and therefore give very little scope to the Japanese. The population of Korea is 115.9 per square mile, that of Formosa is 215.6 per square mile, and that of Kwantung is 341:6 per square mile; while that of California is only 15.3, and that of Mexico 17.7 per square mile.
Twenty years ago the German Emperor proclaimed 'Germany's future lies upon the water.' Not only Germany but the other great and over-populated military States of Europe and Japan as well have become convinced that their future also lies upon the water, that they can secure sufficient elbow-room only by wresting adequate territories situated in a temperate zone from those nations which, fortunately for them, lack large armies. Herein lies the reason that the great military States have been creating large navies with the utmost speed, and the danger is great that some of them should at some time or other combine for the purpose of destroying the land monopoly of the Anglo-Saxons and of securing for themselves a place in the sun,' as the German Emperor picturesquely called it. Besides, the Anglo-Saxon nations are not loved abroad. Democracy dislikes militarism and militarism fears, hates, and despises democracy.
For many years American military and naval men have been watching Germany and Japan with concern, and have been wondering what attitude Great Britain would adopt in case the United States should be involved in a war either with one of these nations or with both, and what attitude the United States should adopt should Great Britain be seriously menaced by Germany. Admiral Mahan wrote in his book ‘Naval Strategy, published in 1911 :
If Germany should wish to embark her fleet in a trans-Atlantic venture, how far will her relations with other European States allow her to do so ?
Should our Pacific coast citizens precipitate us into a war, or even into seriously strained relations, with Japan, that pressure upon us would add to the force of Germany's fleet.
Where ought Great Britain to stand in case we have troubles with Germany? And where ought we to stand in the reverse case ?
Great Britain does for the moment hold Germany so far in check that the German Empire can do no more than look after its European interests; but should a naval disaster befall Great Britain, leaving Germany master of the naval situation, the world would see again a predominant fleet backed by a predominant army, and that in the hands not of a State satiated with colonial possessions as Great Britain is, but of one whose late entry into world conditions leaves her without any such possessions at all of any great value. Although the colonial ambitions in Germany are held in abeyance for the moment, the wish cannot but exist to expand her territory by foreign acquisitions.
It is this line of reasoning which shows the power of the German navy to be a matter of prime importance to the United States. The power to control Germany does not exist in Europe except in the British navy.
Admiral Mahan, the most eminent naval writer of modern times, recommended the co-operation of Great Britain and the United States, not for ideal reasons, but because he believed that Anglo-American co-operation on the seas is a necessity.
Great possessions are to their owners a responsibility and a danger unless they are adequately guarded. Neither the United States nor Great Britain are likely ever to possess standing armies that can be pitted against the vast military hosts of the Continental Great Powers and of Japan, because the spirit of the people is impatient of compulsion, restraint, and discipline, in time of peace. As it takes a long time to improvise armies, they must put their trust in their fleets.
Before the Great War the American fleet was weaker