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problem justly, whether the solution be advantageous or not to the United States, to consider the controversy not as an advocate or partisan but as a judge doing equity rather than administering law, and by removing the controversy between nations, to dissipate ill feeling and jealousy, to minimize friction, and to establish confidence and friendship, based upon a correct understanding and appreciation of the motives and purposes of the contending parties. “The rule of law is to supersede the rule of man.” 1
The spirit which has guided him in the administration of his great office, was set forth and illustrated by Mr. Root on three great occasions: first, in his various addresses delivered in his South American trip in 1906; second, in his address on laying the cornerstone of the new building for the International Bureau of the American Republics in Washington, May 11, 1908; and finally, on February 26, 1909, in an address of great power, beauty and feeling, at the dinner given to him by the American Peace Society of New York.
As honorary president of the Third Conference of American Republics held at Rio de Janeiro on July 31, 1906, Mr. Root said:
No nation can live unto itself alone and continue to live. Each nation's growth is a part of the development of the race. There may be leaders and there
be laggards, but no nation can long continue very far in advance of the general progress of mankind, and no nation that is not doomed to extinction can remain very far behind. It is with nations as it is with individual men; intercourse, association, correction of egotism by the influence of other's judgment, broadening of views by the experience and thought of equals, acceptance of the moral standards of a community the desire for whose good opinion lends a sanction to the rules of right conduct these are the conditions of growth in civilization. A people whose minds are not open to the lessons of the world's progress, whose spirits are not stirred by the aspirations and the achievements of humanity struggling the world over for liberty and justice, must be left behind by civilization in its steady and beneficent advance.2
And in speaking of the just ambition of his country, he said in the same remarkable address :
We wish for no victories but those of peace; for no territory except our own; for no sovereignty except the sovereignty over ourselves. We deem the independence and equal rights of the smallest and weakest member of the family of nations entitled to as much respect as those of the greatest en ire, and we deem the observance of that respect the chief guaranty of the weak against the oppressioo
1 Secretary Root's “Speeches in South America,” 1906, p. 9. 2 Id., p. 12.
of the strong. We neither claim nor desire any rights, or privileges, or powers that we do not freely concede to every American Republic. We wish to increase our prosperity, to expand our trade, to grow in wealth, in wisdom, and in spirit, but our conception of the true way to accomplish this is not to pull down others and profit by their ruin, but to help all friends to a common prosperity and a common growth, that we may all become greater and stronger together.1
In the address at the laying of the cornerstone of the new building for the International Bureau of the American Republics, Mr. Root said:
Many noble and beautiful public buildings record the achievements and illustrate the impulses of modern civilization. Temples of religion, of patriotism, of learning, of art, of justice, abound; but this structure will stand alone, the first of its kind a temple dedicated to international friendship. It will be devoted to the diffusion of that international knowledge which dispels national prejudice and liberalizes national judgment. Here will be fostered the growth of that sympathy born of similarity in good impulses and noble purposes, which draws men of different races and countries together into a community of nations, and counteracts the tendency of selfish instincts to array nations against each other as enemies. From this source shall spring mutual helpfulness between all the American republics, so that the best knowledge and experience and courage and isope of every republic shall lend moral power to sustain and strengthen every other in its struggle to work out its problems and to advance the standard of liberty and peace with justice within itself, so that no people in all of these continents, however oppressed and discouraged, however impoverished and torn hy disorder, shall fail to feel that they are not alone in the world, or shall fail to see that for them a better day may dawn, as for others the sun has already risen.
It is too much to expect that there will not be controversies between American nations, to whose desire for harmony we now bear witness; but to every contro. versy will apply the truth that there are no international controversies so serious that they cannot he settled peaceably if both parties really desire peaceable settlement, while there are few causes of dispute so trifling that they cannot be made the occasion of war if either party really desires war. The matters in dis. pute between nations are nothing; the spirit which deals with them is every. thing.
And finally, in New York, at the banquet in commemoration of his services to the cause of peace, he said:
It seems to me that the Peace Society in asking me to dine with themn has gathered here all the evidences, all the proofs, the demonstration of what it is worth to preserve peace; the faces of my old home, the dear old friends of a life me, the children of many a friend who has passed away during my absence from New York, all this that I see about me, is what makes it worth while that peace shall
1 Id., p. 12.
be defended and continued by this modern civilization which substitutes peace for war.
We have passed in the development of modern society far from those old days when men fought for the mere joy of fighting; except here ond there an individual and here and there a half-savage community, no one now makes war for the love of war. But there are causes of war, and I am going to take the occasion of having you here to suggest some missionary work in the interests of the society which is giving this dinner, and which, it seems to me, my friends have invaded and overwhelmed.
The work of a peace society and the work of peace-loving men and women, the work of all those who love home, who desire that mankind shall be enlarged in intelligence and in moral vision, of all those who desire to see science and art and the graces of life and sweet charity and the love of mankind for one another continue and grow among men, their work is to aid, not by great demonstration, but by that quiet, that resistless influence which among great bodies of men makes up the tendency of mankind and in the long process of the years moves men from savagery and brutality to peace and brotherhood. It rests with the army and tne navy to make aggression and injustice unprofitable and unattractive. It rests with you and with me, with every woman without struggling for the right of suffrage, to exercise the powers that God has already placed in our hands, of every man in the exercise of his duties, political and social, to morally move the conceptions of an honorable life away from the old ideas of savagery toward the new ideas of civilization, of humanity, that in their progress gradually approximate to the supreme idea of Christianity.
Peace can never be except as it is founded upon justice. And it rests with us in our own country to see to it that the idea of justice prevails and prevails against the declamation of the demagogue, against the interested exhortation of the politician, against the hot temper of the foolish and of the inconsiderate.
If we would have peace it isn't enough to cry “ Peace! Peace!” It is essential that we should promote and insist upon the willingness of our country to do justice to all countries of the earth.
In the exercise of those duties in which the ambassadors of Great Britain, of Brazil and of Japan have displayed so great a part in the last few years in Washington the great obstacle to the doing of things which make for peace has been not the wish of the diplomatist, not the policy of the government, but it has been the inconsiderate and thoughtless unwillingness of the great body of the people of the respective countries to stand behind the man who was willing for the sake of peace and justice to make fair concessions.
There is a peculiar situation created when a diplomatic question arises between two countries. It is the duty of the diplomatic representatives to argue each the cause of his own country; he cannot turn his back upon an opponent in that friendly contest and state to his countrymen the weakness of his own position and the strength of the other side's position, and it is one of the great difficulties of peace making and peace keeping that the orators, the politicians, the stump speakers, aye, often, the clergymen of each country, press and insist upon the extreme view of their own country, and impress upon the minds of the great masses of people who have not studied the question the idea that all right is. upon one side and all wrong upon the other side.
If you would help to make and keep peace, stand behind the men who are in the responsible positions of government, ready to recognize the fact that there is some right on the other side.
War comes to-day as the result either of actual or threatened wrong by one country to another, or as the result of a suspicion by one country that another intends to do it wrong, and upon that suspicion, instinct leads the country that suspects the attack to attack first; or from bitterness of feeling, dependent in no degree whatever upon substantial questions of difference, and that bitterness of feeling leads to the suspicion, and the suspicion in the minds of those who suspect and who entertain the bitter feeling is justification for war. It is their justification to themselves.
The least of these three causes of war is actual injustice. There are to-day acts of injustice being perpetrated by one country upon another; there are several situations in the world to-day where there is gross injustice being done. I will not mention them, because it would do more harm than it would good, but they are few enough. By far the greatest cause of war is that suspicion of injustice, threatened and intended, which comes from exasperated feeling.
Now, the feeling which makes a nation willing to go to war with another makes real causes of difference of no consequence. If the people of two countries want to fight they will find an excuse, a pretext, find what seems to them sufficient cause in anything. Questions which can be disposed of without the slightest difficulty between countries really friendly are insoluble between countries realiy unfriendly. And the feeling between the peoples of different countries is the product of the acts and the words of the peoples of the countries themselves, not of their governments. Insult, contemptuous treatment, bad manners, arrogant and provincial assertion of superiority is the chief cause of war to-day.
And in this country of ours we are far from free from being guilty of all those great causes of war. The gentlemen who introduced into the legislatures of California, Montana and Nevada the legislation regarding the treatment of the Japanese in those states doubtless had no conception of the fact that they were doing to that great nation of gentlemen, of soldiers, of scholars and scientists, of statesmen, a nation worthy of challenging and receiving the respect, the honor and the homage of mankind, an injury by an insult that would bring on private war in any private relation in our own country.
Thank Heaven the wiser heads and the sounder hearts, instructed and enlightened upon the true nature of the proceeding, prevailed and overcame the inconsiderate and foolish. There are no two men in this room to night who cannot bring on private war between themselves by an insult without any cause or reason, and it is so with the nations, for national pride, national sensitiveness, sense of national honor, are more keenly alive to insult than can be the case with any individual.
But a few days ago a member of the House of Representatives, with no other apparent purpose than to make himself prominent by an attack upon an American, charged upon the Chief Magistrate of the little Republic of Panama a fraudulent conspiracy with regard to a contract under negotiation by the government of that country regarding the forests of Panama.
All Panama was instantly alive with just indignation. This insult was felt all the more keenly because we, with our ninety millions and our great navy and army, presented an overwhelming and irresistible force with a little repubije whose sovereignty we are bound, trebly bound, in honor to maintain and respect.
These are the things that make for war, and if you would make for peace you will frown upon
em, condemn them, ostracize and punish by all social penalties the inen who are guilty of them until it is understood and felt that an insult to a friendly foreign power is a disgrace to the insulter, upon a level with the crimes that we denounce and for which we inflict disgraceful punishment by lav.
Two-thirds of the suspicion, the dislike, the distrust, with which our country was regarded by the people of South America, was the result of the arrogant and contemptuous bearing of Americans, of people of the United States, for those gentle, polite, sensitive, imaginative, delightful people.
Mr. Choate has alluded to my visit there, to the generous, magnanimous, hospitality that they have inherited from their ancestors of Spain and Portugal, to the way they opened wide the gateways of their land and their hearts to . mes. sage of courtesy and kindly consideration. No questions existed before to be settled, no serious questions have been settled, but the difference between the feeling, the attitude, of the people of Latin America and our Republic to-day from what it was four years ago is the result of the conspicuous substitution of the treatment that one gentleman owes to another for the treatment that one blackguard pays to another.
Now this is the subject for you to deal with. The government cannot reach it. Laws cannot control it; public opinion, public sentiment must deal with it, and when the public opinion has risen to that height all over the world that the peoples of every country treat the peoples of every other country with that human kindness that binds home communities together you will see an end of war. And not until then.
But, my friends, it becomes less and less necessary to preach peace. We have not reached ideal perfection yet, far from it, but the way to judge of conditions in this world is not by comparing them with the standard of ideal perfection; it is by comparing the conditions to-day with the conditions of the past and noting, not what we can do to-day — if we note that alone we must be discour. aged; if we note that alone we must be convinced of the desperate selfishness, the injustice, the cruelty of mankind — but if we compare the conditions of to-day with the conditions of yesterday and the last decade and the last generation and the last century and centuries before, no one can fail to see that in all those qualities of the human heart which make the difference between cruel and brutal war and kindly peace the civilized world is steadily and surely advancing day by day.
No one can fail to see that the continuous and unswerving tendency of human development is toward peace and the love of mankind.
My friends, if all men could feel toward er.ch other as I feel toward you to-night the Peace Society might well disband.
It is to be hoped that the addresses of Mr. Root delivered on public occasions may be collected so that the public may have within the compass of a single volume Mr. Root's contributions to the spirit of American diplomacy.