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of the rest. To others our action has meant only the assumption of that control taken by any great power situated among a group of lesser ones.
To prove that in population and material wealth the United States is not only the first, but the dominant power in America, is not difficult. The radical argument in favor of extension of our authority on these grounds may be thus summarized:
1. The United States alone represents a majority of the people of America. To allow a minority to control policy, even if that minority included all the other peoples of the New World, would not be to take the consensus of American opinion as to what should be American policy. This would, of course, be true in a much greater degree if the policy opposed to that advocated by this country were supported only by a small state or small group of states. The populations of the chief units in America are reported as follows:
POPULATION OF PRINCIPAL AMERICAN COUNTRIES 1
(Population in 1913 or latest available date)
Costa Rica ..
(including Hawaii, Por
to Rico and Alaska)
2,474,000 1,500,000 2,500,000 15,000,000
1 Compiled from Statistical Abstract of the United States, 1914, Washington, 1915. This table does not include the European colonies of the Caribbean region.
Our Government thus represents America in that its population comprises the majority of the people of America. Of course, if a classification were possible which could show the relative position of the different units, taking into consideration the average education, standard of life, industrial development and similar elements, the preponderance of the United States would appear in a manner much more decided.
2. The United States should speak for America, it is further asserted, because its population represents the majority of people of the white race in the New World. The white race everywhere, it is argued, has shown the greatest aptitude for political development. South America is still predominantly of aboriginal and mixed stock. Reliable statistics are unobtainable. Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia are variously estimated as from fifty to seventy per cent. Indian. The first two are cited as having six per cent. white population by F. Garcia Calderon in his work on Latin America: Its Rise and Progress. Mestizos form the bulk of the population in Colombia, Chile, Uruguay and Paraguay. They forin about ninety per cent. of the population of Venezuela and about fifty per cent of the population of the entire continent. The total population of Latin America is estimated by different authorities at from 60,000,000 to 79,863,336, with a white population of from 10,000,000 to "over 12,000,000.” 1
About four out of every five white persons in the New World, therefore, live in the United States. To give to Latin Americans, who, with the exception of the inhabitants of the southernmost group of states, are of unstable political habits, equal voice with the United States with a population in 1910 of 91,972,266 white persons or 88.9 per cent. of the total population of the country, would be to place the destinies of the continent in the hands of the irresponsible and inexperienced. Under such circumstances the United States must exercise a dominant interest in American politics.
1 For these estimates, see Bigelow, John, American Policy, New York, 1914, p. 6, et seq., with authorities there cited.
3. In a commercial way also the preponderance of
Compiled from the Statistical Abstract of the United States, 1914, Washington, 1915, p. 688.
* Compiled from Statistical Tables Relating to British Self-Governing Dominions, Crown Colonies, Possessions and Protectorates, Part XXXVI., 1911 [Cd. 7094], 1916.
the United States is striking. No comparison can be made of the amount of internal commerce in the various countries. The export and import trade can be compared. Though the countries other than the United States have the advantage in this comparison in that they represent non-manufacturing areas and, therefore, are dependent to a greater degree than we are upon foreign products, still the total foreign trade of the United States far outranks that of the other units.
In other words, the total foreign commerce of Latin America and the British and Dutch West Indies was $2,955,581,000, that of the United States $4,223,610,000. Even if the commerce of Canada be grouped with that of the Latin American countries it is evident that the interest of the United States in New-World foreign commerce is one of commanding importance.
Other bases of comparison would yield similar results. None of such figures, all but extremists would agree, proves the existence of an abstract right for the dominant group to speak for the whole, but they do show the contrast of human interests represented, the contrasts in political experience and ability, the contrast in the size of the stakes which the different regions have in international commerce. These are influences which, though not recognized in the rules of international law, always have, de facto, an important effect in the conduct of international affairs. It is not to be expected that the United States, as the chief party involved, will not see to it that the policies adopted are such as meet her approval.
Among those opposed to the assertion of independent
leadership by the United States in the international affairs of the New World are those who, in recent years, have advocated a modification of the Monroe Doctrine which would bring to its active support other states of America. So long as it is a national doctrine, it is argued, the other states must look upon it as a policy which denies them a voice in settling American affairs. The "colossus of the north” may interpret the doctrine as it pleases and violate the rights of other states at will. The arguments of superiority of population and commercial strength carried to their logical end would result in absurdity, for they would mean that the country thus endowed had at least a moral, if not a legal, right to take any measures it desires against "weaker” or less advanced states. Such a dominance of American affairs by any one country would be intolerable. Coöperation between the units involved, on the other hand, brings no such disadvantages. Should at least all the stable states of America unite to settle the disputes which arise, their decision would have greater prestige, and the ill feeling which might still exist when the stronger group acted as the de facto representative of all America would not, as at present, run parallel to race lines.
A plan for general coöperation of the stronger independent states of America for the settlement of Ameri
1 A criticism of this point of view is contained in Taft, W. H., The United States and Peace, New York, 1914, pp. 1-40.
2 See for an elaboration of some phases of this argument, Shuster, W. M., Acquisitive Statesmanship, Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 55, pp. 245-252 (1915),