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The domestic political problems of the United States and the development of natural resources have so occupied the attention of its people that the importance of foreign relations has not been appreciated. Even at the present time, though the Republic is no longer in a position of "splendid isolation" either politically or economically, the average American citizen does not realize the importance of his country's relations with other nations, especially with its American neighbors.
One of the most striking illustrations of this failure is the slight attention given in normal times to the political and economic bonds with the republics and colonies of the Caribbean region. The twentieth century is bringing there a steady increase of American influence, both political and economic, a development more keenly realized in the Caribbean than in the United States. The European colonies, with but few exceptions, feel that their own position in relation to other countries must be largely influenced by the effect which any measures proposed will have upon their relations with the United States. The independent republics, not without misgivings it is true, are finding that their interests are becoming identified with those of their powerful northern neighbor.
But the citizens of the United States, on the other hand, do not recognize the importance of the Caribbean for their country. They are unaware that counting its colonies and protectorates together their country has under its supervision in the Caribbean a population greater than that of the thirteen colonies at the time of the Declaration of Independence. Just as little is it realized that during the last five years the United States has been in active negotiation for the creation of pro