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The Law of the Sea. By G. W. T. Omond. New York: The Mac
millan Company. 1916. pp. 80. $1.00.
This small volume is a historical sketch of the progress by rule and practice in some of the usages and laws of war upon the seas from 1756 and the times of the first Armed Neutrality until the earlier years of the present war. The language of the book is nontechnical, and in the main the work can be considered as being historically correct. It is not, however, colorless in its findings, as the writer evidently belongs to the school of Bowles and considers the adoption by England of the Declaration of Paris a blunder and a surrender of the right exercised with great effect by the British Navy in the Napoleonic Wars as well as during the period preceding that era.
The author, in his interesting narrative, shows himself, as an Englishman, to be in opposition to an extension of the rights and privileges of neutrals, especially as to exemptions granted by the Declaration of Paris to enemy goods under neutral flags.
The great extension of the doctrine of contrabrand and in the enumeration of articles of that nature made in recent years lessens, of course, the value of such exemption when under a neutral flag, and when to this is added the drastic restrictions of trade with an enemy, the consequent value of the Declaration of Paris to neutrals is materially lessened, as well as to the trade of the weaker naval belligerent.
The Declaration of Paris was the result of the Crimean War, the outbreak of which found the principal western allies, Great Britain and France, with different principles and practice as to laws of capture at sea. Great Britain practiced the traditional rule found in the Consolato del Mare, which made enemy ships or cargoes subject to capture, while neutral ships and cargoes were free. France, on the other hand, followed a different doctrine by which neutral cargoes on board of enemy ships, in addition to enemy cargoes on board of neutral ships, were subject to capture.
The allied Powers, however, in their war against Russia, agreed to carry on the war by making enemy cargo free in neutral ships, as well as neutral goods on the ships of the enemy. This agreement naturally resulted at the end of the war in the Declaration of Paris.
The great sea power of the Powers allied against Russia, in view of the great possibilities shown in our own Civil War and in the present great war, was almost literally squandered in the Baltic. As the author of the book under review says,
So much consideration was shown to the neutrals that on all hands they engaged in trade for the benefit of Russia. ... Prussian and Greek merchants did a roaring trade by exporting raw materials from Russia in exchange for supplies which they needed; and the Government (of England) was accused with good reason of prolonging the war by the immunity granted to the neutral merchant
Military preponderance on land naturally chafes at sea restriction and sea power, and hence there is raised a false cry of “freedom of the seas” without an offer of a diminution of military power on land in return.
This check (sea power) to military domination has upon the whole tended toward a freer world and a saner democracy. It would be a sad day for us all if unchecked military power on land could have a similar license on the high seas.
C. H. STOCKTON.
The Philippines. By Charles Burke Elliott. 2 vols. Indianapolis: :
Bobbs, Merrill Company. 1917. pp. 541, 541. $9 net.
After the smoke from the guns of the American fleet at Manila had vanished, revealing the deadly blow dealt to the Spanish flotilla, the last page of the closing chapter of the history of the Spanish rule in the Philippine Islands was written, and with the dawn of the new day a new era began in the history of the United States and of the Islands of the Far East. And so the world assumed it. Columbia, to quote the words of the author, "was then full grown, and Dewey's battle in Manila Bay was regarded as a sort of a national coming-out party. Henceforth she was to be considered in society.” In coming out, however, Columbia did not adopt the usual attitude of the blushing and timid debutante, but rather that of the fully developed matron, ready to bear a self-imposed burden and to take up the responsibility of a national policy from which a majority of the thoughtful men of
the country instinctively shrank because it seemed so remote from anything in her past history: the policy of expansion. But those who thought so failed to observe that “virile nations are and have always been colonizing nations.” As said by the writer of an interesting article in the Spectator (Jan. 14, 1899), “The great races, when the hour of opportunity arrives, expand greatly that is all we really know; and what, when the momentum is on them, they have to care about is to see that their actions, for which they are only half responsible, benefit the world.” President McKinley, than whom no American statesman had a keener sense for detecting the currents and drifts of public opinion, after availing himself of every means of information, reached the conclusion that a large majority of the people favored retaining the Philippines, and so, to the suggestion that, after reserving suitable naval stations, the Islands should be left in possession of Spain, he replied that the American people who had gone to war for the emancipation of Cuba would not, after Dewey's victory in Manila, consent to leave the Filipinos any longer under the dominion of Spain, and that if Spain were driven out and American sovereignty not set up, the peace of the world would be endangered.
For a comparatively short time the question whether it was wise or unwise for the United States to take title to the Philippine Islands and assume the burden of government there was made the subject of serious debates in the press, in Congress, and between private individuals and organizations, and even went so far as being made a party issue in the presidential elections of 1900. But this question, as suggested by the Hon. Elihu Root in the prefatory note, no longer calls for consideration. The United States took the Philippines, acquired the rights, and took the duties of sovereignty. “Self-respect requires that we should discharge the obligations we have assumed.” And these obligations are the resultant of the policy this country has adopted in the management of the Philippines. From the time the United States took possession of the Islands of the Far East, she accepted as an axiomatic principle that the good of the native people is the primary object of the metropolitan state. “Her policy is distinctive in that it places stress upon the political as well as the economic development of the natives and on education as the primary means by which such development is to be effected.” And, going farther than the heretofore most liberal colonizing nations, clearly announced that complete self-government and ultimately an independent state
was to be not only the incidental and possible result of her policy, but the direct object of its activities, and that the Philippines would be managed solely in the interest of the natives with the deliberate purpose of preparing them for the management of their own affairs. This was a departure in the history and methods of colonization, to the great astonishment of even Great Britain, whose principles and practices may be said to have been the pattern upon which America devised her policy in the Philippines.
Time has shown the wisdom of her policy. No British, Dutch, German, or French colony has made more progress materially than have the Philippines during the last fifteen years, or enjoyed a higher degree of order and justice during the past decade. “It has been said that the Englishman's sense of justice and the Frenchman's sense of humor are their chief assets as successful colonizers and rulers of alien people, and that the German, possessing neither of these invaluable attributes, is heavily handicapped. Americans possess the sense of justice and of humor and possibly something more." And this something more is what has made America accomplish what neither country has:
America has controlled the Philippines for seventeen years, nearly a third of which were years of war and organization. In that short time she has demonstrated not only that her people possess the Englishman's capacity for governing dependencies, but that they have a certain quality of enthusiasm for high ideals which British colonial history has not always disclosed and to the lack of which friendly foreign critics attribute her present difficulties in India and Egypt. Law, order, and justice prevail in the Philippines as in all the British colonies. The Filipinos have their national aspirations, their agitators, sedition mongers, irresponsible politicos and objectionable newspapers. They are as eager for selfgovernment as the Indians and the Egyptians, but it is a noticeable fact that these conquered, irritable, and excitable people have not thrown a bomb or attempted to murder an American official. America's policy has not been repressive; it has not presented a stone wall of opposition to native aspirations, and it gives every indication of being successful.
In fact, it has been successful; and before the year 1916 was very much advanced the Filipinos found that America had fulfilled the promises which from the beginning had been made to them. With the passage of the Jones Bill in the summer of 1916 an autonomous government has been established in the Philippines. America, who by the lips of ex-President Taft, the first Civil Governor sent there, fostered a national feeling and awakened in the Filipinos the true
sense of patriotism by the maxim of “Filipinas para los Filipinos” (The Philippines for the Filipinos), sees with pride today that her efforts have been rewarded with the most crowning success, and the people she undertook to educate and prepare to take a direct part in the concert of nations have responded so well that her work from now on will be only that of a guide, more than that of an instructor. After the passage of the Jones Bill, all feelings of distrust which might have existed have disappeared from the heart of the Filipinos, and today the ties are closer between this country and the Islands.
It is because of this fact that the publication by Mr. Charles B. Elliott of his work on the Philippines is peculiarly valuable. It is to be regretted that such a work should not have come out sooner, or that Judge Elliott should not have started earlier, at least the first volume, in which the author, in the comparatively brief space of 527 pages, covers the history of the Philippines from the time of their discovery in 1520 until the end of the military régime and the turning over of the government of the Islands to the Philippine Commission appointed by President McKinley. Its early publication would have better acquainted the people of this country with conditions in the Philippine Islands and awakened more general interest in them than has been taken heretofore. This does not mean, however, that Judge Elliott's work is not immensely valuable at present, when the fulfillment of America's promises to the Filipinos have brought closer ties between the two countries.
The first volume of Mr. Elliott's work on The Philippines contains eighteen chapters, of which the first, on “The Theory and Practice of Colonization," is introductory; but the comparative study he makes of all the systems of colonization and their respective results from the time of the Phænicians, Greeks and Romans, up to the present, constitutes an important monograph, the separate publication of which would have made of itself an interesting addition to any library. The next three chapters, “The Philippine Archipelago," "The Native Peoples,” and “The Moros” are expository of the land and of the character of its inhabitants. As regards the latter, the author does well to say that few of the works which have been written have been carefully and conscientiously prepared, but the greater number "are apparently the work of the impressionist or cubic schools"; and "some of the books are not entirely honest. The Filipinos painted by these writers are not recognized by Americans or Europeans who have dealt