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of the war. The sources quoted and the annotations are wonderfully complete, while special praise must be awarded to the concluding section, “Documents and Evidence," which contains treaties, state papers, and parliamentary debates relating to Belgium, Luxemburg, Austria, and Serbia, England, France, Germany, and Russia, and even, for parallel illustration, the United States and Spain, comments of journalists, observations of pamphleteers, old and new, law cases, and finally that mournful narrative of Thucydides about the Athenians and the Melians, which in olden times described the destruction of the weak by those strong enough to accomplish it.
I have dwelt at length upon the author's tendency to make of his volume a source-book, both because it seems to me that this is the predominating character of his work, and because he has collected such an admirable body of source materials; but it would be most unjust to indicate that this is entirely its character. Not only are the quotations in most instances accompanied by criticism and interpretation, though oftentimes briefer than one would wish, but there are excellent chapters at the beginning and at the end of the volume in which the author shows himself master of the subject, and presents his own opinions with clearness, decision, and force. The discussions and the criticisms which have to do with international law are especially good. Nowhere have I seen a better exposition of the history of Europe preceding and leading up to the catastrophe; while the conclusions and the supplementary questions with the appended categorical answers are useful and admirable at the same time.
Among the more striking contributions of the author are the following: That it was Austria's deliberate intention to have her will with Serbia, or else war; that Austria is directly responsible for the conflict; that the principal blame must be affixed to Germany, a more highly civilized state, which supported Austria and dealt brusquely with Russia; that this was because Germany had unsatisfied territorial ambitions, and also a different ethical and mental outlook; that as regards international law and internationalism in general Germany was less highly developed than England, France, and others; that Russia is to blame for pre
cipitate mobilization, which was undertaken, nevertheless, under great provocation; that France gave loyal support to her ally, but worked for peace which she earnestly desired; that Italy, having much to lose either way in a great war, strove hard for peace; that England was zealous and sincere in striving to avoid a war; and that Sir Edward Grey did everything that an able and honorable statesman could do to achieve this end.
Throughout, the author is cautious in reasoning, moderate in statement, considerate of the opinions of others, and skilful in holding to documentary evidence and avoiding prejudice and opinion. The style is clear and readable, though without distinction; but there is always the absorbing interest of the story itself, and the dramatic quality of much of the material which he uses.
If I have animadverted upon what seems to me relatively a defect in the construction, I wish on the other hand to conclude by saying that in my opinion this work is probably the most useful on the subject; that it will be used with profit by all readers, and with pleasure by most; and that it is indispensable in any collection of writings about the war.
EDWARD RAYMOND TURNER.
AMERICAN DIPLOMACY. By Carl Russell Fish. New York: Henry Holt
& Company. $2.75.
In an effort to formulate a foreign policy we are beset by interpretations of our present programme and by propaganda for our future course. It is comparatively of recent date that there has appeared some discussion of the content as well as of the meaning of our past action, and this consideration of content has usually shaded into opinion the moment an attempt has been made to give it more than episodic existence.
We lack any considerable knowledge of our past action as a member of a group of international states. By this I do not mean that among publicists there is not some familiarity with the outstanding diplomatic incidents, but when an effort is made to fill in a diplomatic background to some such end as provides a political background for a discussion of domestic politics, one is suddenly lost in a maze of significant features and patriotic outbursts. A careful consideration of “just what happened" from the dis
covery of America to the sinking of the Lusitania and a synthesis of all the happenings in a diplomatic history of the United States has been imperatively needed. This Carl Russell Fish has given us, painstakingly prepared and charmingly presented.
For the last dozen years one of the most thought-provoking courses given at the University of Wisconsin has been Dr. Fish's course in American Diplomacy. It was his usual custom to arouse immediate interest by the statement that the United States was a world power prior to 1898, and then, carrying the discussion back to 1492, to commence his portrayal of our diplomatic development by giving this continent its proper place as an element in European diplomacy. With such perspective it is not difficult to see that the listener carried away from these lectures a conception of the Americas and then of the United States as historical factors in world politics. Although staging with consummate skill many a dramatic episode the lecturer rarely relaxed his hold upon the onward-moving narrative. Underlying causes were usually left for discussion elsewhere. History was conceived of as a subject worthy of a constant and unswerving attention. These qualities give the peculiar value to this “American Diplomacy" now presented to a larger audience.
Omitting reference to pre-Revolutionary diplomacy, to which several preliminary chapters are given, these periods are outstanding: From 1776 to 1815 the theme is our struggle to extricate ourselves from the maelstrom of European politics. At times we attempted to escape by finesse, occasionally we played our luck, twice we ventured upon war.
Of the earlier years of this struggle Fish tells us that “diplomats were as carefully chosen as generals; the news of the negotiations of Franklin, Adams and Jay was as anxiously awaited as that of the army, and their successes brought almost as great a reward of popular acclaim as did those of commanders in the field." From the downfall of Napoleon to the outbreak of our Civil War the theme is the development and expansion of the nation. Our "reversionary interests” led not only to the message of Monroe in 1823 but to the occupation of Texas, California, and Oregon and to a constant interest in the countries to the south
The Civil War placed our diplomacy in a new rôle, but the finesse of Seward enabled us to emerge with our increasing body of precedents fairly intact. The years that immediately followed the close of the war were chiefly characterized by a series of controversies with Great Britain, partly an outgrowth of the attitude of that nation in the course of the armed conflict, increasingly a result of our clashing interests on this continent. Since 1877 we have attempted more and more to play the part of a world power in the European sense, and we have used jingoism and bluff, war and waiting.
The sweep of one hundred years of our diplomacy may be realized when we find that notwithstanding the popularly known warning of Washington we have in the past half century been a party to three entangling alliances, not, it is true, the alliances that have divided the Great Powers, but working agreements that have brought us perilously far from our isolation. Two of these lost effect before any significant results followed; the third brought us into the conference at Algeciras. It is perhaps natural that the diplomatic course of more than a century, determined at different times by men of differing views, should reveal glaring contradictions. Nevertheless other people, as we ourselves do, judge us by our diplomatic past, and the great contradiction cannot be attributed so much to differing views as to the changed position of the nation. We have brought down into the period of our action as a colonial possessor our traditions as a young nation. These two conceptions clashed emphatically in the settlement of the dispute in Samoa and perhaps explain in part the apparent ambiguity of Mr. Wilson's Mexican policy. Unquestionably at no distant day an attempt will be made to subordinate tradition to practice. “Our westward moving foreign policy" will then have been a little more clarified.
Only an historical treatment could make clear how the doctrine of Monroe has been brought to the dignity of our outstanding foreign policy. Accepting the statements of 1823, Polk in 1848, referring to an unstable government in Yucatan, added "our duty to occupy territory if necessary to prevent the introduction of the European political system.” In 1870 Grant added
“Hereafter no territory on this continent shall be regarded as subject to transfer to a European power.” In 1904 Roosevelt added “our assumption of responsibility for the good behavior of Latin America," the exercise of an international police power. In this was revealed emphatically the rôle we essayed in the new century. Senator Lodge in 1912 proposed the next corollary, “When any harbor or other place in the American continents is so situated that the occupation thereof for naval or military porposes might threaten the continuation of safety of the United States, the government of the United States could not see, without grave concern, the possession of such harbor or other place by any corporation or association which has such relations to another government not American as to give that government practical power of control for naval or military purposes.” President Wilson, with an enlargement to include special “concessions,” accepted this new corollary and his action was effective. He also added a corollary to the effect that we will recognize only governments founded on justice and law. Of this Dr. Fish concludes, “President Wilson's attitude of non-recognition is by all odds the most aggressive turn that has ever been given to our Spanish-American policy, as it involves practical intervention in the domestic affairs of these republics.”
Dr. Fish writes in his concluding chapter: "The one deliberate purpose which our diplomacy has completely failed to bring about has been that of winning the sympathy and acquiring the leadership of Spanish America. The reason is obvious; not the sentiment of Pan-Americanism, but the deep-seated nationalistic conception of the United States' dominance, has primarily moved us. From the day in 1794 when Wayne rode around the British fort at the rapids of the Maumee and dared its commander to fire, we have, with the exception of brief periods after the first abdication of Napoleon and during the Civil War, been the dominant American power. In 1823 we announced the fact to the world, and at the same time first became generally conscious of ourselves. Every corollary added to the Monroe Doctrine has been a renewed assertion of the fact, and has presented an added means of maintaining it.
“Dominance is not a policy, but a talent: the responsibility