« AnteriorContinuar »
Orient. The opening of the American Isthmian Canal will accentuate the present tendency of traffic to follow round-the-world lines, and not less than one-fourth of the present traffic of Europe with Eastern countries may be expected to use this route. One-fourth of the vessel tonnage employed in the European-Oriental commerce during the calendar year 1898 amounted to 1,154,328 tons net, and this added to 4,582,128 gives a total of 5,736,456, the number of tons of shipping that would have used a canal had it been in existence in 1898-99. ...
The increase during the decade preceding 1899 in the tonnage of the vessels that would have used the canal was 22.55 per cent. Upon the safe assumption that this rate of increase per decade will continue ... the basis of estimate . . . would make the figures for 1909, 7,030,027 tons, and for 1914, 7,782,240 tons net register.
. . The unmistakable tendency of commerce is to employ steam instead of sails, not only in the transportation of general or mixed freight, but also for carrying full cargoes of bulky commodities. Moreover, the canal will so increase the competitive advantages of the steamer as to render practically certain its general substitution in place of the sailing vessel for all lines of trade through an isthmian waterway.
As compared with Europe, the United States will derive from the canal far greater benefits, both commercially and industrially. The commerce of Europe with the Pacific coast of North, Central, and South America, under existing conditions, is somewhat larger than the total volume of the present traffic of the United States that may
be considered tributary to the canal; but this fact does not indicate the relative advantages which the canal will possess for the trade of Europe and that of the United States. As soon as it has been opened, our trade with the west coast of South America will rapidly increase, as will also the volume of our trade with the Orient. The amount of the American commerce through the canal will quickly surpass the total amount of Europe's traffic.
An isthmian canal will strengthen the unity of the national and political interests of the United States, develop its Pacific territory, and promote the commerce and industries of the entire country. The benefits which Europe will derive from the canal will be commercial. In addition to this ours will be political and industrial. By bringing the eastern and western sections of our country into closer relations, by reducing the time and cost of transporting our western products to Europe, and by enabling the Eastern, Southern, and Central States to
reach the raw materials and markets of Pacific countries cheaply and expeditiously, the canal will more fully identify political and social interests and quicken the industrial activity of every section of the United States. The iron and steel, the textiles, and the other manufactures of the Eastern and Southern States, the coal from the mining regions, the cotton from the South, and the grain and forest products from many sections will flow out to foreign countries in an increasing volume, and this larger trade will be shared generally by the ports of all our seaboards - the Atlantic, the Gulf, and the Pacific. The canal will cause the competition of the United States with Europe in the countries of Western South America and the Orient to be much keener, with the result that the trade of our country will increase more rapidly than will that of our rivals. The canal will aid the United States in securing and mintaining a position of primacy in the international trade of the world.
These are the considerations which justify the expenditure by the United States of the sum required to build the canal. They may involve a low tariff of charges and be at variance with the production of a large revenue from the canal. ...
I. The estimated cost of building the Nicaragua Canal is about $58,000,000 more than that of completing the Panama Canal, leaving out the cost of acquiring the latter property. This measures the difference in the magnitude of the obstacles to be overcome in the actual construction of the two canals, and covers all physical considerations such as the greater or less height of dams, the greater or less depth of cuts, the presence or absence of natural harbors, the presence or absence of a railroad, the exemption from or liability to disease, and the amount of work remaining to be done.
The New Panama Canal Company has shown no disposition to sell its property to the United States. Should that company be able and willing to sell, there is reason to believe that the price would not be such as would make the total cost to the United States less than that of the Nicaragua Canai,
II. The Panama Canal, after completion, would be shorter, have fewer locks and less curvature than the Nicaragua Canal. The measure of these advantages is the time required for a vessel to pass through, which is estimated for an average ship at twelve hours for Panama and thirty-hours for Nicaragua.
On the other hand, the distance from San Francisco to New York is 377 miles, to New Orleans 579 miles, and to Liverpool 386 miles greater
via Panama than via Nicaragua. The time required to pass over these distances being greater than the difference in the time of transit through the canals, the Nicaragua line, after completion, would be somewhat the more advantageous of the two to the United States, notwithstanding the greater cost of maintaining the longer canal.
III. The Government of Columbia, in which lies the Panama Canal, has granted an exclusive concession, which still has many years to run. It is not free to grant the necessary rights to the United States, except upon condition that an agreement be reached with the New Panama Canal Company. The Commission believes that such agreement is impracticable. So far as can be ascertained, the company is not willing to sell its franchise, but it will allow the United States to become the owner of part of its stock. The Commission considers such an arrangement inadmissible.
The Governments of Nicaragua and Costa Rica, on the other hand, are untrammeled by concessions and are free to grant to the United States such privileges as may be mutually agreed upon.
In view of all the facts, and particularly in view of all the difficulties of obtaining the necessary rights, privileges, and franchises on the Panama route, and assuming that Nicaragua and Costa Rica recognize the value of the canal to themselves and are prepared to grant concessions on terms which are reasonable and acceptable to the United States, the Commission is of the opinion that “the most practicable and feasible route for an isthmian canal to be “under the control, management, and ownership of the United States” is that known as the Nicaragua route. Senate Document, 56 Cong., 2 sess. (Washington, 1900), No. 5, pp. 34-44
196. The Future Monroe Doctrine (1901)
BY PROFESSOR ALBERT BUSHNELL HART
This writer, by some occult influence on the editor of the series, has got into the collection among real contributors to a knowledge of our country's history and skilled forecasters of its future.
S it not possible to rise above temporary and feeting issues to
some understanding as to what the permanent interest” of the United States demands ? To formulate a state paper expressing such a
principle is the work of a statesman and not of an essayist; but some clear and definite bases may be laid down for any permanent policy in pan-American affairs.
The first is that the territory of the United States is not to be hemmed in and cut off from its natural outlets : the annexation of Louisiana, of the Floridas, of Oregon, and of California, all resulted from this principle ; at present it is not necessary to appeal to it, because our territory is everywhere accessible. The only exception is the highway of the Great Lakes, which has no natural route to the sea; but it is easier to make a safe commercial connection through the Mohawk Valley than through the lower St. Lawrence, and we do not need Quebec while we have New York. The only two strategic points which seemed threatening a few years ago have now come into our possession by the control of Cuba and the annexation of Hawaii. We are well protected.
The next principle is that the commerce of the United States with its American neighbors must not be shackled by any restrictions emanating from Eurcpe. We reserve the right to cut off our own trade, and the failure of several successive series of reciprocity treaties in the last twenty-five years seems to show that Congress does not wish to extend our commerce in America at present; but we do insist that no obstacle shall grow up to at least an equal opportunity in the commerce of the Latin-American states.
In the third place, we must accept the existence of a large territorial part of the British Empire in America, and so far forth must admit that Great Britain is an American power in the same sense that we are an Asiatic power. The annexation of Canada, which has been predicted by many keen-sighted men for a century and a quarter, now seems more distant than ever, because the Canadians are satisfied, and Great Britain desires that they should be satisfied. Next-door intimacy with Canada has always caused, and probably will continue to cause, friction and sone heart-burning; the Oregon question, the San Juan question, the Alaskan boundary question, navigation of the St. Lawrence, the northeastern fisheries, the Maine boundary, transit in bond, rivalries of transcontinental railroads, tariff warfare — all these disagreeable disputes might have been avoided if Montgomery and Arnold had taken Quebec in 1775 : but they might also have been avoided if Burgoyne had taken Albany three years later. In the balance of national forces it came out that both the United States and Great Britain retained great areas of North American territory. To deny the right of Great Britain to hold Canada
and Jamaica is to deny the original Monroe Doctrine, which distinctly disclaims any hostility to those existing colonies.
In the fourth place, we are facing the problem of a canal from ocean to ocean, in which the country most advantaged will be the United States; whatever the likelihood that the transcontinental railroads would still compete against a water transportation through a locked canal, the necessity of piercing the isthmus is too plain to be disregarded. One cannot quarrel with the people of the United States for the intention of constructing such a canal, although it is a fair question for engineers, statesmen, and financiers whether the cheapest and best route is not the completion of the Panama route. But the canal is not simply a road from the Atlantic coast of the United States to the Pacific; it is an international benefit which the United States has no right to take upon itself, except as the representative of civilized commerce. The oceans are the property of mankind, and if we try to shut up an artificial strait between them, we may some day find the Bosphorus closed to us.
The next principle must be that in American affairs, as in all affairs, the United States shall stand by its obligations. The ClaytonBulwer treaty was ratified because it was a fair settlement of a very dangerous question ; and we do not realize how many critical questions have been kept in abeyance by that treaty. The British government unnecessarily aroused the hostility of America by the insistence on territorial right through cortrol of a puppet king of the Mosquito Indians ; but all other interference in the construction of the canal has been warded off; and now that Great Britain gracefully consents to give up joint guaranty, it leaves a clear field for American ownership.
The next principle is that if the United States is to retain its infuence, it must refrain from further annexation of Latin-American territory. The first movement toward the annexation of any part of Nicaragua or of Central America will arouse the hostility of all the other American nations, and undo all the work of commercial conciliation. Neither the Monroe Doctrine nor any other common-sense doctrine delivers our neighbors over to us for spoliation.
These are general principles upon which the “doctrine of permanent interest" must proceed, because they are right, just, and reasonable principles, but also because they lie in the nature of our international conditions. There is no longer the slightest danger of any European intervention in America; the last suggestion of such a thing was Grant's proposed joint intervention in Cuba in 1875. There is no longer any