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trine never received anything approaching legislative sanction until 1895, when, in response to President Cleveland's message on the Venezuelan boundary dispute, Congress appropriated $100,000 to pay the expenses of the commission which he proposed to appoint.
For nearly a hundred years we have successfully upheld the Monroe Doctrine without resort to force. The policy has never been favorably regarded by the powers of continental Europe. Bismarck described it as "an international impertinence." In recent years it has stirred up rather intense opposition in certain parts of Latin America. Until recently no American writers appear to have considered the real nature of the sanction on which the doctrine rested. How is it that without an army and until recent years without a navy of any size we have been able to uphold a policy which has been described as an impertinence to Latin America and a standing defiance to Europe? Americans generally seem to think that the Monroe Doctrine has in it an inherent sanctity which prevents other nations from violating it. In view of the general disregard of sanctities, inherent or acquired, during the past few years, this explanation will not hold good and some other must be sought. Americans have been so little concerned with international affairs that they have failed to see any connection between the Monroe Doctrine and the balance of power in Europe. The existence of a European balance of power is the only explanation of our having been able to uphold the Monroe Doctrine for so long a time without a resort to force. Some one or more of the European powers would long ago have stepped in and called our
bluff, that is, forced us to repudiate the Monroe Doctrine or fight for it, had it not been for the wellgrounded fear that as soon as they became engaged with us some other European power would attack them in the rear. What other satisfactory explanation is there for Louis Napoleon's withdrawal from Mexico, for Great Britain's backdown in the Venezuelan boundary dispute, and for the withdrawal of the German fleet from Venezuela in 1902?
While England has from time to time objected to some of the corollaries deduced from the Monroe Doctrine, she has on the whole been not unfavorably disposed toward the essential features of that policy. The reason for this is that the Monroe Doctrine has been an open-door policy, and has thus been in general accord with the British policy of free trade. The United States has not used the Monroe Doctrine for the establishment of exclusive trade relations with our Southern neighbors. In fact, we have largely neglected the South American countries as a field for the development of American commerce. The failure to cultivate this field has not been due wholly to neglect, however, but to the fact that we have had employment for all our capital at home and consequently have not been in a position to aid in the industrial development of the Latin-American states, and to the further fact that our exports have been so largely the same and hence the trade of North and South America has been mainly with Europe. There has, therefore, been little rivalry between the United States and the powers of Europe in the field of South American commerce. Our interest has been political rather than commercial. We have prevented the es
tablishment of spheres of influence and preserved the open door. This situation has been in full accord with British policy. Had Great Britain adopted a high tariff policy and been compelled to demand commercial concessions from Latin America by force, the Monroe Doctrine would long since have gone by the board and been forgotten. Americans should not forget the fact, moreover, that at any time during the past twenty years Great Britain could have settled all her outstanding difficulties with Germany by agreeing to sacrifice the Monroe Doctrine and give her rival a free hand in South America. In the face of such a combination our navy would have been of little avail.
Contrary to a widely prevailing opinion the Monroe Doctrine has undergone very little change since the original declaration, and the official statements of the doctrine have on the whole been very consistent. The only important extension was made less than two years after the original declaration, when, in October, 1825, Secretary Clay, acting under the direction of President John Quincy Adams, who assisted in formulating the doctrine, notified the French government that we could not consent to the occupation of Cuba and Porto Rico "by any other European power than Spain under any contingency whatever." Similar declarations were made to the other European powers, the occasion being the fear that Spain would transfer her sovereignty over these islands to some other government. President Monroe had declared that the American continents were closed to colonization from Europe, meaning by colonization very probably, as Professor John Bassett
Moore says, "the acquisition of title to territory by original occupation and settlement." He had made no declaration against the transfer of sovereignty in America from one European power to another. In fact he positively renounced any such idea, when he said: "With the existing colonies or dependencies of any European power we have not interfered, and shall not interfere." Here, then, within two years we have a distinct advance upon the position taken by President Monroe. Yet this advanced ground was held by succeeding administrations, until President Grant could say in the case of the same islands in his first annual message:
These dependencies are no longer regarded as subject to transfer from one European power to another. When the present relation of colonies ceases, they are to become independent powers, exercising the right of choice and of selfcontrol in the determination of their future condition and relations with other powers."
And Secretary Hamilton Fish said a few months later that the President had but followed "the teachings of all our history" when he made this statement."
The failure of Blaine and Frelinghuysen to oust Great Britain from her interests in the canal under the Clayton-Bulwer treaty by an appeal to the Monroe Doctrine and the successful enforcement of the doctrine by President Cleveland and Secretary Olney in 1895 have been discussed at sufficient length in previous chapters. While the policy of Cleveland and
Political Science Quarterly, Vol. XI. p. 3.
"Messages and Papers of the Presidents," Vol. VII, p. 32.
Foreign Relations, 1870, pp. 254-260; Moore, "Digest of International Law," Vol. VI, p. 431.
Olney was vehemently denounced at the time, it is now generally approved by American writers of authority on international law and diplomacy.
When President McKinley decided to demand from Spain the cession of the Philippine Islands, the opposition that the step encountered was based to some extent on the fear that it would amount to a repudiation of the Monroe Doctrine, that if we invaded the Eastern Hemisphere we could not expect to keep Europe out of the Western. The use of the term hemispheres in connection with the Monroe Doctrine has, of course, been merely a figure of speech. The Monroe Doctrine dealt with the relations between Europe and America, and Eastern Asia never came within its purview. As a matter of fact, the Monroe Doctrine has been more fully and more frequently asserted since the acquisition of the Philippines than ever before. The participation of the United States in the First Peace Conference at The Hague was taken by many Americans to mark the end of the old order and the introduction of a new era in American diplomacy, but, contrary to their expectations, this meeting was made the occasion for an emphatic and effective declaration before the assembled body of European nations of our adherence to the Monroe Doctrine. Before the Convention for the Pacific Settlements of International Disputes was adopted, the following declaration was read before the conference and the treaty was signed by the American delegates under this reservation:
Nothing contained in this convention shall be so construed as to require the United States of America to depart from its traditional policy of not intruding upon, interfering