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Similarly, in regard to the future trans-isthmian canal, Captain Mahan altogether fails to appreciate the present attitude of Great Britain. The canal, when made, will, like any other trade route, confer benefit upon our commerce; but the advantages to the United States will be equal or greater. Nothing would less suit our interests and those of the rest of the world than that the control of an important waterway should be in the hands of such States as Columbia or Nicaragua, vaguely supported by Monroe doctrine left to the interpretation of the moment. Let the United States make the canal, and assume full control over it; we shall then know where we stand. I believe that this is the view of every thoughtful Englishman, and at the present time it is beside the question to go back to the ClaytonBulwer treaty and charge us with a breach of its provisions because our ancient ‘settlement’of Honduras has grown into a'colony.' We cannot arrest the internal progress of our dependencies in regions where the United States have no possessions and accept no responsibilities. The policy of seeking to keep others out, while refusing ourselves to go in,' is, as the author elsewhere intimates, unworthy of a great nation.

Again, in view of a recent arbitration, it is surely too late to speak of our perfectly just claim to the seal fisheries,' and, having regard to the considerable number of American citizens who have been engaged in pelagic sealing, the international difficulty cannot be rightly ascribed to 'the purely local and selfish wishes of Canadian fishermen.' If it is the case that a useful and peculiarly interesting animal is in danger of extermination from pelagic sealing, the strong feeling which has been aroused in America is explained and justified. I do not think that the handling of this question on our side has been uniformly judicious; but I cannot admit that the novel and strange doctrine of the mare clausum constitutes a perfectly just claim,' and at least such a doctrine violently conflicts with the lofty teaching of the author of The Influence of Sea Power on History.

• It should be an inviolable resolution of our national policy,' writes Captain Mahan, that no foreign State should henceforth acquire a coaling position within three thousand miles 4 of San Francisco. From every point of view, I venture to think that it is unwise to press an abstract policy of this description upon the United States without any explanation of what is implied. A nation whose vital interests are imperilled because a foreign Power owns territory at a distance from one of its ports considerably exceeding that of Brest from New York, must indeed be in a parlous state. To the peoples of the Old World, this 'inviolable resolution' seems necessarily preposterous. The earth's surface is not large enough for the general adoption of this amazing programme, and the United States cannot expect immunity from the common lot of all other Powers, except on

• Reduced to 2,500 miles in a subsequent article. • We are at the present moment witnessing the establishment by a foreign Power, terms which Captain Mahan refrains from pointing out. According to the accepted usage of nations, a policy of this description demands that the United States should either annex all territory falling within this comprehensive zone, or should assume control of the foreign relations of all States owning such territory. This is the only logical course, and if the United States are prepared to adopt it, other Powers will have no cause for complaint. Elsewhere Captain Maban seems to deplore the actual remoteness of this continent from the life of the rest of the world. No more striking illustration of that remoteness' can be imagined than the fact that an American so thoughtful and so gifted should have borrowed a policy from the Popes of the Middle Ages. It is refreshing to turn to a passage where Captain Mahan, the historian, derides the claim of Spain 'to exclude all others' from the Caribbean and the Spanish Main, and praises the stout Elizabethan seamen, who brilliantly' and successfully resisted that claim.

Having carefully studied these important articles, I fail to trace what are the precise steps which it behoves the United States to take. Their readers will gather that expansion of some kind is necessary; that Great Britain is, in some unexplained way, seeking to oppose the annexation of Hawaii and to create difficulties in relation to the trans-isthmian canal ; that the Atlantic seaboard is in grave peril, and that the existence of coal within 3,000 miles of San Francisco would be a national danger. This is not guidance; a forward policy needs to be defined. I cannot help fearing that the result must be to deepen misconceptions already sadly too prevalent. We know that Senator Lodge regards our old possessions of Bermuda and of Halifax, whose docks are freely and frequently placed at the disposal of United States warships, in the light of a standing menace.

He will here find some confirmation of his peculiar views. It is true that he will read that ‘a cordial understanding' with Great Britain 'is one of the first of our external interests ;' but this vitally important proposition remains undeveloped. It is a pious opinion, and nothing more.

In the article on the Possibilities of an Anglo-American Reunion,' as throughout the volume, Captain Mahan speaks in kindly terms of the old country, whose wonderful history has fired his imagination;

but he holds out few hopes of a better mutual understanding. *Formal alliance' between the two nations is, we are told, 'out of the question, but a cordial recognition of the similarity of character and ideas will give birth to sympathy, which in turn will facilitate a co-operation beneficial to both. This does not lead us far, and it is to be feared that Captain Mahan's latest volume will not tend to give birth to sympathy' in the United States towards their 'ancient mother.'

in defiance of a treaty, of a naval station within twenty miles of one of our greatest trade routes.

The remaining articles contain much that is interesting, and there are glimpses of the clear insight which we instinctively associate with the author's writings.

Reduced to its barest statement, and stripped of all deductions, natural or forced, the Monroe doctrine, if it were not a mere political abstraction, formulated an idea to which in the last resort effect could be given only through the instrumentality of a navy; for the gist of it, the kernel of the truth, was that the country had at that time distant interests on the land, political interests of a high order in the destiny of foreign territory, of which a distinguishing characteristic was that they could be assured only by sea.

Here we have intelligible principles set forth with precision; but more is needed. Monroe doctrine was recommended to a President of the United States by a British statesman to meet the conditions of a day long gone by. There was reason to suppose that Spain might seek to crush the nascent Republics of South America, and the wording of President Monroe's message clearly defines its political import. If in the opinion of the United States the time has arrived for a re-definition, let the new policy be avowed and let the corresponding responsibilities be frankly accepted. This would be a departure worthy of a great nation. Artificial interpretations—mere political abstractions '--framed to suit the passions or the party exigencies of the moment, are unworthy and exasperating. In the Venezuela dispute the United States lost, as Captain Mahan admits, and rightly lost the sympathy of the civilised world. Why did he not fearlessly expound to his countrymen the cause of this general revulsion of sentiment ? * It is probably safe to say,' he writes, 'that an undertaking like that of Great Britain in Egypt, if attempted in this hemisphere by a non-American State, would not be tolerated by us if able to prevent it. This we may well believe. War is too frequently begun without a righteous cause; but the right to intervene in such a case can be purchased by the United States only by the previous acceptance of certain evident moral obligations. What is a non-American State' to do, if it is insulted and if its subjects are outraged by some temporary dictator masquerading as the President of a free Republic? The United States have shown no desire to prevent South American Republics from cutting each others' throats. How can they claim to interfere if a European Power is driven to enforce its inalienable rights ? Legitimate grounds for such interference can be established only by assuming general control over the foreign relations of the Southern and Central American States. Authority cannot be divorced from responsibility. Monroe doctrine logically applied might prove a benefit to humanity; it is now a danger to the peace of the world.

The later essays, as a whole, show a greater breadth of view than those to which reference has been raade. A nation,' writes Captain Mahan in March 1897, situated as Great Britain is in

Vol. XLIII–No. 252


India and Egypt scarcely can fail to appreciate our own sensitiveness regarding the Central American isthmus and the Pacific.' There has been no failure on our part to appreciate this natural sensitiveness, and we have the right to expect that our sympathy with American sentiment should be recognised. It is the good fortune of the United States that their differences have been mainly with Great Britain, the great and beneficent coloniser, a State between which and ourselves a sympathy, deeper than both parties have been always ready to admit, has continued to exist, because founded upon common fundamental ideas of law and justice' Here speaks the philosophic student of history.

With many of the views on questions of national defence expressed in this volume I find it impossible to agree. 'It is not the most probable of dangers,' we learn, “but the most formidable that must be selected in measuring the degree of military precautions' which a nation should adopt. It is, however, usually impracticable to make provision against the most formidable of risks. Great Britain cannot, and need not, prepare to withstand the united armaments of Europe. Captain Mahan even considers, with some apparent inconsistency, that our navy cannot be made equal to that of the three most formidable of its possible opponents,' because the assumed conditions ‘lie too far without the limits of probability to affect practical action,

The proposition that 'a fleet that can bombard can still more easily blockade’ is opposed to all modern experience. Blockades in days of steam are excessively difficult, unless the blockading force possesses a base within a moderate distance. The difficulties were abundantly illustrated during the Civil War, notwithstanding that the Southern States possessed no sea-going navy able to impede the free action of the Northern squadrons. The fleet already possessed by the United States would amply suffice to prevent even the pretence of a blockade of their long Atlantic sea-board by any European Power. Sea-ports, in the present day, with a great nation at their back, cannot be seriously injured by naval means, and bombardments are senseless operations capable of producing no military results justifying their barbarity. Serious injury to the

exposed great cities' can be effected only by landing large numbers of men.

What Power could do this in face of the enormous force at the disposal of the United States ? For these and other reasons, I consider that the immense array of passive defences which Captain Mahan appears to recommend to his countrymen is largely superfluous. Their true defence, like our own, lies upon the sea, and, they have the advantage-denied to us-of not being hampered by


6 In Studies on Coast Defence Captain C. F. Goodrich, United States Navy, a successor of Captain Mahan in the presidentship of the War College, effectively supports this view on historical grounds.

evil traditions created by theorists in years of peace. Whatever may be the scope of action of a 'flotilla' of torpedo-boats, no service seems less suited to become a 'sphere for naval volunteers.' The effective handling of torpedo boats in war demands, in a special sense, a thorough professional training. “Naval volunteers, if fair gunners, might be turned to account on board a modern battle ship. In a torpedo flotilla they would be useless, if not dangerous.

The article entitled · A Twentieth-Century Outlook'is thoughtful and suggestive; but Captain Mahan's fears of the yellow peril' seem capable of alleviation. Comparative slowness of evolution may be predicated,' he writes, but that which for so long has kept China one, amid many diversities, may be counted upon in the future to ensure a substantial unity of impulse which, combined with its mass, will give tremendous import to any movement common to the whole.' Except as a geographical expression, China has never been really 'one,' and, even if a national movement were conceivable, the material means necessary to give it practical effect are wholly wanting. The only danger that can be said to threaten Western civilisation is from within ; but in the United States there is a colour question, which may involve serious difficulty in the future. In the masterly analysis of the 'Strategic Features of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, Captain Jahan rises to the level of his classic works.

To every one who has at heart the best interests of the American people, and who has earnestly striven to understand their sentiments and their aspirations, there have in recent years been many causes of anxiety. Our press, in its usual superior manner, is wont to lecture the United States in common with all other Powers; but of animosity or of positive dislike there were no traces during the period of tension produced by President Cleveland's message. The person who, on this side of the water, publicly expressed his hope of war between the two English-speaking peoples would be put down as a lunatic. We have unfortunately abundant evidence that in America other views too widely prevail. It is unwise to dwell upon the fact that all that was best and noblest in American sentiment shared our horror at the thought of a war whose only result would be to

arrest the progress of civilisation and liberty. We have to take : into account all that is not noble and --more dangerous—all that is

uninstructed in transatlantic opinion. The average Englishman

knows nothing of history, but feels a sense of paternal pride in the great achievements of the United States, where he probably has prosperous relations. The average American, it is now clear, carries with him into manhood the remembrance of the travesties of history on which he was brought up. To him a democracy more advanced and more free than his own appears in the light of an oppressive monarchy—that of George the Third caricatured. Absurd as it may

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