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The relation of the Monroe Doctrine to the Declaration of Rights and Duties of Nations, drafted by the American Institute of International Law, was discussed by Mr. Root in his address before the American Society of International Law in 1916. He said in part:
Whether the United States will soon have occasion or will long have the ability or the will to maintain the Monroe Doctrine lies in the uncertain future. Whether it will be necessary for her to act in defense of the doctrine or abandon it, may well be determined by the issue of the present war. Whether when the occasion comes she will prove to have the ability and the will to maintain the doctrine, depends upon the spirit of her people, their capacity for patriotic sacrifice, the foresight and character of those to whose initiative in foreign affairs the interests of the people are entrusted. Whether the broader doctrine affirmed by the American Institute of International Law is to be made effective for the protection of justice and liberty throughout the world depends upon whether the vision of the nations shall have been so clarified by the terrible lessons of these years that they can rise above small struggles for advantage in international affairs, and realize that correlative to each nation's individual right is that nation's duty to insist upon the observance of the principles of public right throughout the community of nations."
It is not probable that our participation in the Great War will result in any weakening of the Monroe Doctrine. That principle has been fully justified by a century of experience. It has saved South America from the kind of exploitation to which the continents of Africa and Asia have, during the past generation, fallen a prey. It would be strange indeed if the
"Addresses on International Subjects," by Elihu Root, p. 425.
United States, having insisted on the non-interference of European powers in America when it was itself a weak power from the military point of view, should now in the plenitude of its power relax what has been for so many years the cardinal principle of its foreign policy. The abandonment of our policy of neutrality and isolation does not by any means mean the abandonment of the Monroe Doctrine. President Wilson made this quite clear in his address to the Senate on January 22, 1917, when he said:
I am proposing, as it were, that the nations should with one accord adopt the doctrine of President Monroe as the doctrine of the world; that no nation should seek to extend its polity over any other nation or people, but that every people should be left free to determine its own polity, its own way of development, unhindered, unthreatened, unafraid, the little along with the great and powerful. I am proposing that all nations henceforth avoid entangling alliances which would draw them into competitions of power, catch them in a net of intrigue and selfish rivalry, and disturb their own affairs with influences intruded from without. There is no entangling alliance in a concert of power.
The policy of isolation or the avoidance of entangling alliances, which so many Americans confuse with the Monroe Doctrine, is in principle quite distinct from it and is in fact utterly inconsistent with the position and importance of the United States as a world power. The difference in principle between the two policies can perhaps be best illustrated by the following supposition. If the United States were to sign a permanent treaty with England placing our navy at her disposal in the event of attack from some European power, on condition that England would unite with us in oppos
ing the intervention of any European power in Latin America, such a treaty would not be a violation of the Monroe Doctrine, but a distinct recognition of that principle. Such a treaty would, however, be a departure from our traditional policy of isolation, originally announced by Washington and Jefferson.
The participation of the United States in the League of Nations would, if that League be considered an entangling alliance, be a departure from the policy of isolation but not a violation of the Monroe Doctrine. In order to allay the fears of Americans on this point, President Wilson caused to be inserted in the constitution of the League of Nations the following clause:
Nothing in this Covenant shall be deemed to affect the validity of international engagements, such as treaties of arbitration or regional understandings like the Monroe Doctrine, for securing the maintenance of peace.
This clause did not serve the purpose for which it was intended, and a heated controversy at once arose as to the meaning of the language employed. When the treaty came before the Senate this clause was the object of attack, and Senator Lodge included among the fourteen reservations which he proposed the following one on the Monroe Doctrine:
The United States will not submit to arbitration or to inquiry by the assembly or by the council of the League of Nations, provided for in said treaty of peace, any questions which in the judgment of the United States depend upon or relate to its long-established policy, commonly known as the Monroe Doctrine; said doctrine is to be interpreted by the United States alone and is hereby declared to be wholly outside the jurisdiction of said League of Nations and en
tirely unaffected by any provision contained in the said treaty of peace with Germany.
The recognition of the Monroe Doctrine by the League of Nations, taken in connection with the Senate's assertion of the exclusive right to interpret its meaning, has caused some of the Latin-American countries to delay joining the League until the Monroe Doctrine is clearly defined. In February, 1920, Salvador brought this subject to the attention of the United States in a formal note in which she argued that, as the Monroe Doctrine was so variously interpreted by prominent thinkers and public men even in the United States, it should be officially defined.10 In reply Salvador was referred to what President Wilson had said on the subject of the Monroe Doctrine in his address of January 6, 1916, before the Pan American Scientific Congress at Washington." These remarks have already been quoted in Chapter VIII.12 Salvador was informed that no further definition was deemed necessary. The speech referred to may, therefore, be considered the latest official interpretation of the Monroe Doctrine.
10 The New York Times, February 8, 1920.
A B C Alliance, offers to medi-
ate in Mexican crisis, 309;
Aberdeen, Lord, tries to pre-
Adams, C. F., minister to Eng-
Adams, John Quincy, opposes
joint action with England,
Alexander I, Czar of Russia,
tional Law, 304; adopts Dec-
Arbitration, international, of
Audiencia, in Spanish colonies,
Austria, suppresses revolution
Balfour, A. J, on forcible col-
Baltimore, U. S. Cruiser, mem-
Barbosa, Ruy, Brazilian states-
Bay Islands, British claims to,
Beaupré, A. M., minister to
Belize, British claims to, 157,
Bell, J. Franklin, in Cuba, 142.