At the close of the war with Spain it was commonly remarked that the United States had become a world power; books and periodicals written on the history of the period were based upon the assumption that America had swung out into the current of international affairs and that the traditional isolation of this country had become a thing of the past. Time must be appealed to, however, for answers to fundamental questions concerning the character of this change. Did the United States become a world power in the sense that the majority of its people threw off that policy of steering clear of permanent alliances which had been expressed by Washington in his farewell address, in favor of the policy of participation in world affairs on a footing with the larger European states? Did the people of the United States after 1898 take a constant and informed interest in world politics and international relations? Or did the people, after a slight excursion into the West Indies and the Philippines, return to the traditional attitude of "splendid isolation"? Was the extent to which the United States became a world power sufficient to make probable its entry into a European war?

A cardinal principle of the foreign policy of the United States has always been its attachment to international peace, particularly through the practice of arbitration. The great hopes raised by the two Hague Conferences were striking proofs of this fact. In 1899, at the suggestion of Czar Nicholas II of Russia, twenty-six leading powers conferred at The Hague, in order to discover means of limiting armaments and ensuring lasting peace. A second conference was held in 1907 at the suggestion, in part, of President Roosevelt. At this gathering forty-four states were represented, including most of the Latin-American republics. During the two conferences many questions relating to international law were discussed, and the conclusions reached were expressed in the form of "Conventions," which the several powers signed. In the main these agreements related to the rights and duties of nations and individuals in time of war. Most important among the agreements was one for the pacific settlement of international disputes, according to which, in certain less important controversies, the states concerned would appoint a "commission of inquiry" which would study the case and give its opinion of the facts involved. It was also agreed to organize a Permanent Court of Arbitration to be available at all times for the peaceful settlement of differences. Strictly speaking this body was not a Court, but a list of judges to which each nation was to contribute four, and when any countries became involved in a controversy they could draw arbitrators from the list. Moreover the powers agreed "if a serious dispute threatens to break out between two or more of them, to remind these latter that the Permanent Court is open to them."

The United States was a party to four of the fifteen cases presented to the Court between 1902 and 1913. The first controversy was between the United States and Mexico and involved "The Pious Fund," a large sum of money which was in dispute between Mexico and the Roman Catholic Church of California, and the second concerned claims of the United States, Mexico and eight European countries against Venezuela. As the Court was successfully appealed to in case after case, high hopes began to be entertained that the "Parliament of Man" had at last been established. Elihu Root, the Secretary of State, asserted in a communication to the Senate in 1907 that the Second Conference had presented the greatest advance ever made at a single time toward the reasonable and peaceful regulation of international conduct, unless the advance made at The Hague Conference of 1899 was excepted.

In the meantime, in 1904, under President Roosevelt's leadership, treaties were arranged with France, Germany, Great Britain and other nations, under which the contracting parties agreed in advance to submit their disputes to The Hague Court, although excepting questions involving vital interests, independence or national honor. While the Senate was discussing the treaties, it fell into a dispute with the President in regard to its constitutional rights as part of the treaty-making power, and although there was general agreement on the value of the principle of arbitration, yet the Senate insisted upon amending the treaties, whereupon the President refused to refer them back to the other nations. Secretary Root revived the project, however, in 1908 and 1909 and secured amended treaties with a long list of nations, including Austria-Hungary, France and Great Britain. President Taft signed treaties with France and England in 1911 which expanded the earlier agreements so as to include "justiciable" controversies even if they involved questions of vital interest and honor, but again the Senate added such amendments that the project was abandoned. Bryan, Secretary of State from 1913 to 1915, undertook still further to expand the principles of arbitration, and during his term of office many treaties were submitted to the Senate, under which the United States and the other contracting parties agreed to postpone warfare arising from any cause, for a year, in order that the facts of the controversy might be looked into. Many of these treaties were ratified by the Senate.

The attitude of the American people toward the pacific settlement of international disputes found expression in many ways in addition to the arrangement of treaties. At Lake Mohonk, yearly conferences were held at which leading citizens discussed phases of international peace. Andrew Carnegie and Edwin Ginn, the publisher, devoted large sums of money to countrywide education and propaganda on the subject. The leaders of the movement and the membership of the organizations included so many of the most prominent persons of their time - public officials, university presidents and men of influence as to prove that the traditional American reliance upon international arbitration was more firmly rooted in 1914 than ever before in our history.

The attitude of the United States toward purely European controversies was illustrated in our action on the Moroccan question. In 1905-1906 a controversy broke out between Germany and France in relation to Morocco, and in January of the latter year a conference was held at Algeciras in southern Spain in which ten European nations and the United States took part. The result of the meeting was an "Act" which defined the policy of the signatory powers toward Morocco. The Senate, in ratifying the Act, asserted that its action was not to be considered a departure from our traditional policy of aloofness from European questions.

The outstanding incident in our relations with that part of America south of the republic of Mexico was the controversy with Colombia over the Panama Canal strip. The project for a canal across the Isthmus of Panama was as old as colonization in America. For present purposes, however, it is not necessary to go farther into the past than the Clayton-Bulwer treaty of 1850, by the terms of which the United States and Great Britain agreed that neither would obtain any control over an isthmian canal without the other. As time went on, however, American sentiment in favor of a canal built, owned and operated by the United States alone grew so powerful that the Hay-Pauncefote treaty of 1901 was arranged with Great Britain. This agreement permitted a canal constructed under the auspices of the United States. Sentiment in Congress was divided between a route through Nicaragua and one through that part of the Republic of Colombia known as Panama, but in 1902 an act was passed authorizing the President to acquire the rights of the New Panama Canal Company, of France, on the isthmus for not more than $40,000,000, and also to acquire a strip of land from Colombia not less than six miles wide.[2] In case the President was unable to obtain these rights "within a reasonable time and upon reasonable terms," he was to turn to the Nicaragua route. President Roosevelt was himself in favor of the Panama project.

The Hay-Herran convention with Colombia was accordingly drawn up and signed in January, 1903, giving the United States the desired rights on the isthmus, but the Senate of Colombia rejected the treaty. Thereupon the New Panama Canal Company became alarmed because it would lose $40,000,000 in case the United States turned from Panama to Nicaragua, and its agents busied themselves on the isthmus in the attempt to foment a break between Colombia and its province of Panama; the people of Panama became aroused because their chief source of future profit lay in their strategic position between the two oceans; and the President was concerned because Congress would soon meet and might insist on the Nicaragua route or at least greatly delay progress. He hoped for a successful revolt in Panama which would enable him to treat with the province rather than with Colombia, and he even determined to advise Congress to take possession forcibly if the revolt did not take place.

The administration meanwhile kept closely in touch with affairs in Panama, and having reason to suspect the possibility of a revolution sent war vessels to the isthmus on November 2, 1903, to prevent troops, either Colombian or revolutionary, from landing at any point within fifty miles of Panama. Since the only way by which revolution in Panama could be repressed was through the presence of Colombian troops, the action of the American government made success highly probable in case a revolt was attempted. On the next day the plans of the Canal Company agents or of some of the residents of Panama came to a head; early in the evening a small and bloodless uprising occurred; and while the United States kept both sides from disturbing the peace, the insurgents set up a government which was recognized within two days, and Philippe Bunau-Varilla, a former chief engineer of the Company, was accredited to the United States as minister. A treaty was immediately arranged by which the United States received the control of a zone ten miles wide for the construction of a canal, and in return was to pay $10,000,000 and an annuity of $250,000 beginning nine years later, and to guarantee the independence of Panama. The Secretary of State, John Hay, described the process of drawing up the treaty in a private letter of November 19, 1903:

    Yesterday morning the negotiations with Panama were far from 
    complete. But by putting on all steam, getting Root and Knox and 
    Shaw together at lunch, I went over my project line by line, and 
    fought out every section of it; adopted a few good suggestions: 
    hurried back to the Department, set everybody at work drawing up 
    final drafts - sent for Varilla, went over the whole treaty with him, 
    explained all the changes, got his consent, and at seven o'clock 
    signed the momentous document.

Although the Senate ratified the treaty, the action of the President was the cause of a storm both in that body and throughout the nation. In self-defence Roosevelt condemned Colombia's refusal to ratify the Hay-Herran treaty and asserted that no hope remained of getting a satisfactory agreement with that country; that a treaty of 1846 with Colombia justified his intervention; and that our national interests and the interests of the world at large demanded that Colombia no longer prevent the construction of a canal. On the other hand the President's critics called attention to the unusual haste that surrounded every step in the "seizure" of Panama; condemned the disposition of war vessels which prevented Colombia from even attempting to put down the uprising; and insinuated that the administration was in collusion with the insurgents. Roosevelt's successors in the presidency felt there was some degree of justice in the claim of Colombia that she had been unfairly treated by her big neighbor and several different attempts were made to negotiate treaties which would carry with them a money payment to Colombia. On July 29, 1919, the Foreign Relations Committee of the Senate unanimously reported to that body the favorable consideration of a treaty providing for a money payment of $25,000,000, but other matters intervened and no further progress resulted.[3]

The work of constructing the waterway was delayed by changes of plan until 1906, when a lock canal was decided upon, and shortly afterward a start was made. So huge an undertaking - the isthmus is forty-nine miles wide at this point - was an engineering task of unprecedented size, and involved stamping out the yellow fever, obtaining a water supply, building hospitals and dwellings and finding a sufficient labor force, as well as the more difficult problems of excavating soil and building locks in regions where land-slides constantly threatened to destroy important parts of the work. At length, however, all obstacles were overcome and on August 15, 1914, the canal was opened to the passage of vessels.

The final diplomatic question relating to the canal concerned the rates to be charged on traffic passing through. By the terms of the Hay-Pauncefote treaty with Great Britain, the United States agreed that the canal should be free and open to all nations "on terms of entire equality." In 1912 Congress enacted legislation exempting American coast-wise vessels from the payment of tolls, despite the protest of Great Britain. As President Wilson was of the opinion that our action had been contrary to our treaty agreement, he urged the repeal of the act upon his accession in 1913, and succeeded in accomplishing his purpose.

The construction of the Canal under American auspices committed the United States to new responsibilities in the Caribbean. Her coaling station in Cuba, the possession of Porto Rico and the protection of the isthmus made it a matter of national safety to preserve stable governments in Central America and the West Indies. The infiltration of American capital into the region served to ally economic with political interest, for like European investors, our capitalists have taken a part in the exploitation of South American sugar, fruit, coffee, oil and asphalt. With the islands and shores of the Caribbean Sea alone, American trade doubled in the decade after 1903. Orderly government south of the United States became accordingly essential to the welfare of our outlying possessions, and to the commercial interests of a group of investors. The most important international questions that have arisen in Spanish America related to Venezuela in 1902 and Santo Domingo in 1905.

Venezuela had long granted concessions to foreign investors - Germans, English, Italians and others - in order to develop her mines, timber and railroads, but unsettled conditions in the country frequently resulted in the non-fulfillment of the obligations which had been entered into. Germany, for example, claimed that the government of Venezuela had guaranteed dividends on the stock of a railroad built by German subjects and had failed to live up to the contract. Having in mind the possible use of force to compel Venezuela to carry out her alleged obligations, Germany consulted our state department to discover whether our adherence to the Monroe Doctrine would lead us to oppose the contemplated action. The attitude of President Roosevelt in 1901 was that there was no connection between the Monroe Doctrine and the commercial relations of the South American republics, except that punishment of those nations must not take the form of the acquisition of territory. In 1902 Germany, Great Britain and Italy proceeded to blockade some of the ports of Venezuela, and the latter thereupon agreed to submit her case to arbitration. Apparently, however, Germany was unwilling to relinquish the advantage which the blockade seemed to promise, and in the meantime Roosevelt became fearful that the result of the blockade might be the more or less permanent occupation of part of Venezuela. He therefore told the German ambassador that unless the Emperor agreed to arbitration within ten days, the United States would send a fleet to Venezuela and end the danger which Roosevelt feared. The pressure quickly produced the desired results, and during the summer of 1903 many of the claims were referred to commissions. The three blockading powers believed themselves entitled to preferential treatment in the settlement of their claims, over the non-blockading nations, while the latter held that all of Venezuela's creditors should be treated on an equality. This portion of the controversy was referred to the Hague tribunal, which subsequently decided in favor of the contention raised by Germany, Great Britain and Italy, and eventually all the claims were greatly scaled down and ordered paid.[4]

The Venezuela case made evident the possibility that European creditors of backward South American nations might use their claims as a reason for getting temporary control over harbors or other parts of these countries. There was also ground for the fear that temporary control might become permanent possession. Hence in the Santo Domingo case, the United States adopted a new policy. The debts of Santo Domingo were far beyond its power to pay; its foreign creditors were insistent. An arrangement was accordingly made by which the United States took over the administration of the custom houses, turned over forty-five per cent. of the income to the Dominican government for current expenses, and used the remainder to pay foreign claims. The plan worked so well that its main features were continued and imitated in the protectorates over Haiti (1915) and Nicaragua (1916).

The progress which has been made in composing the jarring relations among the American states is due in part to the Pan American Union and to the Pan American Conferences. The Union is an organization of twenty-one American republics which devotes itself to the improvement of the commercial and political relations of its member states. The first Pan American Conference, held at Washington in 1889, has already been mentioned.[5] At the second, at Mexico City in 1901, the American republics which had not already done so agreed to the conventions signed at The Hague in 1899. At the third conference at Rio de Janeiro in 1906 and the fourth in Buenos Aires in 1910, its field of effort was further broadened, and in the latter year a recommendation was passed that the Pan American states bind themselves to submit to arbitration all claims for pecuniary damages.

President Wilson continued unbroken the policy of protectorates which President Roosevelt had initiated in the case of San Domingo. His statements of general policy were conciliatory and evidently designed to allay suspicion, and he constantly expressed the view that the American states were cooperating equals. And having asserted that the United States had no designs upon territory, and nothing to seek except the lasting interests of the peoples of the two continents, he gave practical evidence of his purposes by urging that all unite to guarantee one another their independence and territorial integrity, that disputes be settled by investigation and arbitration, and that no state allow revolutionary expeditions against its neighbors to be fitted out on its territory.[6]

American relations with Great Britain between 1896 and 1914 were such as to lend themselves to amicable settlement. The question of the boundary between Alaska and Canada, to be sure, contained some of the elements of trouble. The treaty of 1825, between Russia and Great Britain, had established the boundary between Alaska and Canada in terms that were somewhat ambiguous, the most important provision being that the line from the 56th degree of north latitude to the 141st degree of west longitude should follow the windings of the coast, but should be drawn not more than ten marine leagues inland. The coast at this point is extremely irregular, and the few important towns of the region are at the heads of the bays. With the discovery of gold in the Klondike region in 1897 and the consequent rush of population to the coast settlements, the question of jurisdiction became important.

The claim of Great Britain was that the word "coast" should be interpreted to include adjacent islands. Hence the ten league line would follow the general direction of the shore but would cut across the inlets and headlands and thus leave the towns in the possession of Canada. The American contention was that the line should follow closely the windings of the shore of the mainland, thus giving the United States a continuous strip of coast. The controversy was referred in 1903 to a board composed of three Americans, two Canadians and the Lord Chief Justice of England. On all the important points the English representative concurred with the Americans and a line was subsequently drawn in general conformity with our contention.[7]

The most complicated negotiation of the period, as well as one of the most complicated in our history, concerned the North Atlantic Coast fisheries. Under the treaty of 1818 relating to matters remaining over from the War of 1812, the United States possessed certain rights on the fishing grounds off Newfoundland and Labrador. From then on there was intermittent negotiation concerning the meaning of the terms of the treaty and the justice of fishing regulations made by Canada. In 1908 the United States and Great Britain made a general arbitration treaty, under the terms of which the fisheries question was referred to members of the Court of Arbitration at The Hague.[8] The award, made in 1910, upheld the rights of American fishermen on the coasts of Newfoundland, and recommended the establishment of a permanent fishery commission to settle all future controversies. This was accomplished in 1912 and an irritating and long-standing dispute was put to rest.

"Dollar diplomacy" was the chief novelty in our relations with China. The expression was used in President Taft's administration, when his Secretary of State, P.C. Knox, devoted much attention to promoting loans, contracts and concessions in Central and South America, and more particularly in China. The argument for dollar diplomacy was that it opened new fields for the use of American capital, and thus indirectly benefited the whole people. The President also believed that investments in China would further American influence there and react favorably in continuing the open-door policy which had been initiated by Secretary Hay. The objection most commonly made was that the government became bound up in the interests of investors and might be compelled to interpose with armed force when difficulties arose between the investor and the state where the investment was made.

An opportunity for large investments in China was presented during 1912-1913. In the former year a revolution in that distracted country had come to an end and a republic had been set up with Yuan Shih-kai as President. Since the new government was in need of funds, it undertook to borrow through an associated group of bankers from six foreign nations, the United States among them. The financial interests agreed to the loan, but insisted on having a hand in the administration of Chinese finance, so as to ensure repayment. At this point President Wilson's administration began. The bankers at once asked him whether he would request them to participate in the "six-power" loan, as President Taft had done. Wilson declined to make the request, fearing that at some future time the United States might be compelled to interfere in Chinese financial and political affairs, whereupon the American bankers withdrew and the six-power group subsequently disintegrated.

Relations with Japan have been a cause for negotiation on several occasions. During the Russo-Japanese War, which came to a close in 1905, American sympathies were mainly with the Japanese. The correspondence which brought about a cessation of hostilities was initiated by President Roosevelt, and the peace conference was held in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. During the course of the sessions American sympathies shifted somewhat to the Russian side, and when the Japanese did not receive all that they demanded of Russia they felt somewhat dissatisfied.

A subject which seemed at times to contain unpleasant possibilities was the restriction of Japanese immigration into the United States. The western part of the country, especially California, has objected vigorously to the presence of the Japanese on the coast, and as Japan refused to agree to such a treaty as that which restricts Chinese immigration, recourse was had to the Root-Takahira agreement of 1908, by which the Japanese government itself undertook to prevent the emigration of laborers to the United States. It was more difficult to reach an agreement concerning Japanese who were already living in the United States. In 1913 the legislature of California had before it a law forbidding certain aliens from holding land in the state. As the act would apply almost solely to the Japanese, the federal government was placed in an embarrassing position. Under existing treaties the Japanese were granted equal rights with other aliens, but the states were able to modify the practical operation of treaty provisions, as California planned to do, by declaring certain aliens ineligible to citizenship and then placing particular restrictions upon them. The Secretary of State, William J. Bryan, went to California and attempted to persuade the state authorities to alter their land laws. Although the law was eventually passed, it was modified to the extent of allowing Japanese to lease agricultural lands for terms not greater than three years.

In 1917, Robert Lansing, the American Secretary of State, and Viscount Ishii, special ambassador of Japan, reached an important agreement concerning American relations in the Orient. By it the United States admitted the interest of Japan in China, but the two placed themselves on record as mutually opposed to the acquisition by any government of special rights in China that would affect the independence or the territorial integrity of that country. Nevertheless Japan had already forced China in 1915 to grant her territorial and economic concessions that constituted a grave menace to Chinese independence, and final settlement between the two awaited later events.

It is impossible at the present time to give an accurate account of American relations with Mexico during the decade preceding 1920. Mexico and Mexican affairs are but ill understood in the United States; and the purposes and acts of the chief figure in the most important events, President Wilson, will not be fully known until papers are made public and explanations presented that only he can give. His conduct of Mexican affairs, moreover, had to face constant change on account of the outbreak and progress of a European war in 1914, and many critical decisions had to be arrived at during 1915-1916 when political partisanship in the United States was at fever heat and when the most bitter opponents of the administration were ready to pounce upon every act and hold it up to public scorn. Nor is the exact character of some of the pressure brought to bear upon the President fully known. American capital in vast amounts had gone into Mexico as into other parts of Latin America. Mining companies, railroad, ranching and plantation companies, and private individuals had invested in a land that has been called "the storehouse of the world," because of its fabulous resources in mineral wealth and fertile soil. In 1912 President Taft said that American investments had been estimated at one billion dollars. President Wilson in 1916 warned the public that agents of American property owners in Mexico were scattered along the border originating rumors which were unjustified by facts, in order to bring about intervention for the benefit of investors. For these reasons most accounts of Mexican relations, whether they uphold or condemn the steps taken by the administration, are rendered defective by prejudice or lack of information. It is possible, therefore, to give only a bare narrative of a few of the most important events following 1910.

The strong hand of Porfirio Diaz ruled Mexico from 1877 to 1880 and from 1884 to 1911. The government was autocratic; the resources of the country were in the hands of foreigners; and while a few magnates were wealthy, the mass of the people were poor and ignorant. The country was infested with bands of robbers, but Diaz managed to control them and even made some of the leaders governors of states. Such was the country that is separated from Arizona and New Mexico by an imaginary line and from Texas by a narrow river that shrinks in summer almost to a bed of sand.

In 1910 Francisco Madero organized a revolt, compelled Diaz to flee to Europe in 1911, and was himself chosen President. Taft meanwhile had sent troops to the border, stray bullets from across the line killed a few American citizens and the demand for intervention began. Madero was soon overthrown by General Victoriano Huerta, who became provisional president. Shortly afterward Madero was shot under circumstances that pointed to Huerta as the instigator of the assassination, but his friends kept the fires of revolt alive, and Governor Carranza of Coahuila, the state across the border from northwest Texas, refused to recognize the new ruler. It was at this juncture that Wilson succeeded Taft. General Huerta was promptly recognized by the leading European nations but President Wilson refused to do so, on the ground that the new government was founded on violence, in defiance of the constitution of Mexico and contrary to the dictates of morality. He then sent John Lind to Mexico to convey terms to Huerta - peace, amnesty and a free election at which Huerta himself would not be a candidate. When the latter refused the proposal, President Wilson warned Americans to leave Mexico and adopted the policy of "watchful waiting," hoping that Huerta would be eliminated through inability to get funds to administer his government. In the meanwhile the destruction of lives and property continued.

War was barely avoided in the spring of 1914 when a boat's crew of American marines was imprisoned in Tampico. An apology was made, but General Huerta refused to order a salute to the United States flag, and troops were accordingly landed at Vera Cruz, where slight encounters ensued. At this juncture Argentina, Brazil and Chile, "the ABC powers" made a proposal of mediation which was accepted. The conference averted war between the United States and Mexico, although failing to solve the questions at issue. Shortly afterward, however, Huerta retired from the field unable to continue his dictatorship, and the American troops were withdrawn.

The end was not yet however. Carranza and his associate, Villa, fell to quarreling. Bands of ruffians made raids across the border, and Mexico became more than before a desolate waste peopled with fighting factions. At President Wilson's suggestion six Latin-American powers met in Washington in 1915 for conference, and decided to recognize Carranza as the head of a de facto government. Diplomatic relations were then renewed after a lapse of two and a half years. In a message to Congress the President reviewed the imbroglio, but expressed doubts whether Mexico had been benefited.

His fears soon proved to be well founded. In 1916 Villa crossed into New Mexico and raided the town of Columbus. With the consent of Carranza the United States sent troops under General Pershing across the line to run down the bandits, but the only result was to drive the Villistas from the region near the border. Renewed raids, this time into Texas, indicated the need of larger forces and the state militia were called upon, but after nearly a year of service they were withdrawn early in 1917. Not long afterward Carranza was elected president for a term of four years, but in 1920 another revolt ended in his assassination. The country is in a condition of wretchedness, and neither life nor property is safe from bands of marauders, President Wilson has patiently attempted to give Mexico a chance to work out her own salvation without hindrance from other countries and without exploitation by investors, - but the problem remains unsettled.[9]

In view of some aspects of the foreign relations of the United States since 1914, it is apparent that such diplomatic incidents as those concerned with boundaries, fisheries and Latin-American protectorates were not the most important forces in determining the outlook of America upon Europe. In spite of the huge immigration of Europeans into America since the Civil War, the United States has seldom drawn upon European experience and has never sought to model itself on European lines. American legislators have not commonly studied either English or continental practices; our institutions and our constitutional limitations have been so peculiarly our own that slight attention has been paid to the outside world. Even the ancient resentment against England had dwindled by 1914, leaving the United States without any traditional "enemy." Tradition, as well as geographical isolation, tended to keep us apart from the currents of European action.

Nevertheless America was being inter-related with the rest of the world through means with which the diplomats had little to do. In 1867 the Atlantic cable had finally been placed in successful operation, and forty years afterward the globe was enmeshed in 270,000 miles of submarine telegraph wires. In 1901 wireless telegraphic messages were sent across the ocean, and within a few years private and press notices were being sent across the Atlantic, vessels were commonly equipped with instruments, and international regulations concerning radio-telegraphy were adopted by the chief powers of the world. Most important of all was the constant passage of merchant vessels shuttling back and forth between America and Europe, and weaving the two into one commercial fabric. With Great Britain, with Germany, with France, Italy and the Netherlands, during 1913, the United States exchanged products valued at nearly two and a half billion dollars. This was an amount more than twice as great as the entire trade with Europe twenty years before. Over half a billion dollars' worth was with Germany, to which country we sent cotton, copper, food-stuffs, lard and furs in return for fertilizers, drugs, dyes, cotton manufactures and toys. American corporations had branches in Germany, while German manufacturers invested hundreds of millions of dollars in factories here. So huge a volume of commerce concerned the welfare not only of the ordinary commercial classes - ship owners, exporters and investors - but the much larger number of producers, manufacturers, miners, meat-packers, and farmers who directly and indirectly supplied the materials for export.

In the meantime a change was taking place in the attitude of America toward world affairs. Inaccurate as it was to describe the United States as a world power at the time of the Spanish War, nevertheless the war itself and the colonial responsibilities which it entailed helped to a small degree to break down the isolation of America; frequent communication with Europe, and the expansion of American commerce tended in the same direction.

The international relations of the United States for the twenty years immediately preceding 1914 may then be briefly summarized. The one international problem which interested the greatest numbers of people was the best method of arriving at international peace. Other problems, except the Mexican question, were simple and inconspicuous, and the majority of Americans knew little of European politics or international relations. Only in the fields of communication and commerce was the United States becoming increasingly and intimately related to the remainder of the world, and the extent to which this change supplemented the effect of the war with Spain in broadening the American international outlook was a matter of conjecture.


The general texts mentioned at the close of Chapter XIII continue to be useful.

On the Hague Conferences reliance should be placed upon G.F.W. Holls, The Peace Conference at the Hague (1900), by the secretary of the American delegation; A.D. White, Autobiography of Andrew D. White (2 vols., 1905), by a member of the delegation; J.W. Foster, Arbitration and the Hague Court (1904); P.S. Beinsch, in American Political Science Review, II, 204 (Second Conference).

The best brief account of the acquisition of the canal strip is in Latane; Theodore Roosevelt's story is in his Autobiography and his Addresses and Presidential Messages. On the Caribbean, C.L. Jones,Caribbean Interests of the United States (1916). The Venezuela arbitrations are in Senate Documents, 58th Congress, 3rd session, No. 119 (Serial Number 4769). The Alaskan boundary question is clearly discussed in Latane, with a good map, and J.W. Foster, Diplomatic Memoirs (2 vols., 1909). The Proceedings in the North Atlantic Coast Fisheries Arbitration are in Senate Document No. 870, 61st Congress, 3rd session (12 vols, 1912-1913): more briefly in G.G. Wilson, Hague Arbitration Cases (1915). S.K. Hornbeck, Contemporary Politics in the Far East (1916), is useful for Asiatic relations. Ogg, Fish, and the American Year Book provide material on Mexican affairs.

       * * * * *

[1] The Presidents and Secretaries of State during this period were as follows:

    McKinley, 1897-1901; John Sherman, William R. Day, John Hay. 
    Roosevelt, 1901-1909; John Hay, Elihu Root, Robert Bacon. 
    Taft, 1909-1913; P.C. Knox. 
    Wilson, 1913-1921; W.J. Bryan, Robert Lansing, B. Colby.

[2] The French company had a concession on the isthmus and had already done considerable work.

[3] Roosevelt, after his retirement from office was widely reported as having said in an address at the University of California: "If I had followed traditional, conservative methods, I would have submitted a dignified state paper of probably two hundred pages to Congress, and the debate on it would have been going on yet; but I took the Canal Zone and let Congress debate." Cf. Jones, Caribbean Interests, 238-239.

[4] For the Roosevelt "threat," together with another version of the story, cf. Thayer, Hay, II, 284-289 and North American Review, Sept., 1919, 414-417, 418-420.

[5] Above, p. 289.

[6] The latest acquisition of the U.S. in the Caribbean Sea was the Virgin Islands which were purchased from Denmark in 1916.

[7] The American members of the Commission were Elihu Root, who was then Secretary of War, Senator H.C. Lodge, and ex-Senator George Turner. The English member was the Lord Chief Justice, Baron Alverstone; the Canadians were Sir Louis Amable Jette, Lieutenant Governor of Quebec, and Allen B. Aylesworth of Toronto.

[8] The American member of the tribunal was Judge George Gray. The closing argument for the United States was made by Elihu Root. Robert Lansing was one of the associate counsel.

[9] The number of Americans killed in Mexico as given by the ambassador in 1919 was as follows: 1911, 10; 1912, 6; 1913, 24; 1914, 30; 1915, 26; 1916, 46; 1917, 39; 1918, 31. N.Y. Times, July 20, 1919. For the revolution of 1920 consult N.Y. Times, May 16 ff.