Carl Russell Fish

As the acquisition of the Philippines made all Far Eastern questions of importance to the United States, so the investment of American millions in a canal across the Isthmus of Panama increased popular interest in the problems of the Caribbean. That fascinating sheet of water, about six hundred miles from north to south by about fifteen hundred from east to west, is ringed around by the possessions of many powers.

It became increasingly evident that the foreign policy of the United States could not consist solely of a Caribbean policy, a Pan-American policy, and a Far Eastern policy, but that it must necessarily involve a world policy. During the years after the Spanish War the world was actively discussing peace; but all the while war was in the air. The peace devices of 1815, the Holy and the Quadruple Alliances, had vanished.

In 1815 the world found peace after twenty-two years of continual war. In the forests of Canada and the pampas of South America, throughout all the countries of Europe, over the plains of Russia and the hills of Palestine, men and women had known what war was and had prayed that its horrors might never return. In even the most autocratic states subjects and rulers were for once of one mind: in the future war must be prevented.

No two nations have ever had more intimate relationships than the United States and Great Britain. Speaking the same language and owning a common racial origin in large part, they have traded with each other and in the same regions, and geographically their territories touch for three thousand miles. During the nineteenth century the coastwise shipping of the United States was often forced to seek the shelter of the British West Indies.

The impulse for expansion upon which Buchanan floated his political raft into the presidency was not a party affair. It was felt by men of all party creeds, and it seemed for a moment to be the dominant national ideal. Slaveholders and other men who had special interests sought to make use of it, but the fundamental feeling did not rest on their support.

During the half century that intervened between John Quincy Adams and James G. Blaine, the Monroe Doctrine, it was commonly believed, had prevented the expansion of the territories of European powers in the Americas. It had also relieved the United States both of the necessity of continual preparation for war and of that constant tension in which the perpetual shifting of the European balance of power held the nations of that continent. But the Monroe Doctrine was not solely responsible for these results.

Long before the westward march of Americans had brought their flag to the Pacific, that ocean was familiar to their mariners. >From Cape Horn to Canton and the ports of India, there ploughed the stately merchantmen of Salem, Providence, and Newburyport, exchanging furs and ginseng for teas, silks, the "Canton blue" which is today so cherished a link with the past, and for the lacquer cabinets and carved ivory which give distinction to many a New England home.

Probably no President ever received so much personal abuse in his own day as did Grover Cleveland. In time, however, his sterling integrity and fundamental courage, his firm grasp of the higher administrative duties of his office, won the approval of his countrymen, and a repentant public sentiment has possibly gone too far in the other direction of acclaiming his statesmanship.

Before the nineteenth century ended, the Samoan, Hawaiian, and Venezuelan episodes had done much to quicken a national consciousness in the people of the United States and at the same time to break down their sense of isolation from the rest of the world. Commerce and trade were also important factors in overcoming this traditional isolation. Not only was American trade growing, but it was changing in character.

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