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experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican Government.
The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations, is, in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little Political connection as possible. So far as we have already formed engagements, let them be fulfilled with perfect good faith Here let us stop. Europe has a set of primary interests, which to us have none, or a very remote, relation. Hence she must be engaged in frequent controversies, the causes of which are essentially foreign to our concerns. Hence, therefore, it must be unwise in us to implicate ourselves, by artificial ties, in the ordinary vicissitudes of her politics, or the ordinary combinations and collisions of her friendships or enmities.
Our detached and distant situation invites and enables us to pursue a different course. .. Why forego the advantages of so peculiar a situation? Why quit our own to stand upon foreign ground? Why, by interweaving our destiny with that of any part of Europe, entangle our peace and prosperity in the toils of European ambition, rivalship, interest, humour, or caprice? 'Tis our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world.
The policy of isolation and non-interference recommended by Washington and his contemporaries has had to be abandoned. America has become a true WorldPower. Commenting upon Washington's Farewell Address and the necessity of abandoning the traditional policy of the United States, I wrote in The Nineteenth Century Review in May, 1914, in commenting upon the Mexican imbroglio :
Washington wrote in his Farewell Address, ‘Europe has a set of primary interests which to us have none, or a very remote, relation.' That assertion was formerly correct, but is so no longer. Nowadays Great Britain is vitally interested in American, and the United States are equally vitally interested in European, policy. Neither can safely allow that the position of the other should become jeopardised.
Both are vitally interested in the maintenance of the balance of power in Europe. Both are vitally interested in seeing the military Great Powers of the world divided against themselves. If these should combine, or if one of them should obtain the supremacy in Europe, it might mean the end not only of Great Britain but also of the United States.
When Washington wrote, “ 'Tis our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world,' the United States could stand alone. At that time a combination of military Powers possessed of powerful navies was inconceivable. Besides, formerly the United States could be attacked by no European nation except Great Britain, because all the other nations lacked ships. As the United States cannot safely meet single-handed a joint attack by the Great Powers, they must endeavour to meet a hostile combination by a counter-combination. If serious complications should arise out of the Mexican War, we must stand shoulder to shoulder with the United States, with or without a treaty of alliance. In defending the United States against a joint attack of the military Great Powers we defend ourselves. Policy should be not merely national but should be racial. Accidents have divided the two great branches of the Anglo-Saxon race, but necessity may again bring them together. Herein lies the hope of the future. We may not approve of Mr. Wilson's policy, but we must bear in mind that he has acted with the best intentions. America's troubles are our troubles. We cannot afford to see the United States defeated or humiliated. The present moment seems eminently favourable not only for offering to the United States our unconditional support in case of need, but for approaching them with a view to the conclusion of a carefully limited defensive alliance. Such an alliance would be the strongest guarantee for the maintenance of the world's peace. The Mexican War may have the happiest consequences upon Anglo-American relations, and it may eventually bring about an Anglo-American reunion.
At the time these lines were written the political horizon
of Europe seemed free from clouds. On the other hand, it appeared possible that the Mexican trouble might involve the United States in difficulties with some European military Power or Powers. It seemed more likely that Great Britain might have to come to the aid of the United States than the United States to the aid of Great Britain. Providence has willed it otherwise, and perhaps it is better so. If, as is devoutly to be hoped, the Anglo-American brotherhood in arms should lead to the establishment of a great brotherhood in peace of all the English-speaking peoples—to an Anglo-American reunion—a great step would have been taken in strengthening the cause of freedom and the peace of the world. The British Empire and the United States combined would not dominate the world. Anglo-Saxondom has no desire for such domination. Possessing only small standing armies, merely a police force, other States need not fear their aggression. On the other hand, the numbers of their citizens, the power of their industries which can be mobilised for war, and their great wealth, would make the combined Anglo-Saxon nations the most powerful factor in preserving the peace of the world, while their own peace would in all probability be secured by their reunion for an indefinite period. Nowhere in the world does the white population increase more rapidly than in the United States and in the British Dominions. To all who have the welfare of the Anglo-Saxon race at heart it must be clear that not the least benefit of the Great War would consist in the reunion of the two branches of the Anglo-Saxon race, in the recreation of the British Empire in its greatest glory. The hope to secure the peace of the world by arbitration treaties or by some great international organisation such as a federation or a great league of nations, may prove an illusion. All attempts to eliminate war by mutual agreement among States have failed since the time when the Greek States created their Amphyctionic Council. All endeavours to link together the satisfied and the landhungry nations and to combine them for the defence of the territorial status quo may prove futile. The peace of the world can most easily be maintained not by creating an artificial and unnatural partnership between nations of different and, perhaps, irreconcilable aims and interests, a partnership which will break down at the first opportunity, but by creating a permanent partnership between the freedom-loving and peace-loving Anglo-Saxon nations which in addition have the advantage of belonging to the same race, of speaking the same language, of having the same ideals, the same laws, and the same traditions. A British-American union devised for the protection of their possessions against foreign attack should be the most powerful instrument imaginable not only for protecting the future peace of the Anglo-Saxons but also for protecting the peace of the world.
NOTE.—The letter 'f' following a page number signifies and following
and following pages.'
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