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to the Royal Government of the Netherlands, and of which the second shall be deposited on the same day and in the same form with His Excellency the Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of the Portuguese Republic near H. M. the Queen of the Netherlands, as notification to the Government of the Portuguese Republic. The third original shall be deposited in the archives of the International Bureau of the Permanent Court of Arbitration.
PARIS, June 25, 1914.
The British Empire and the United States: A Review of their Relations During the Century of Peace following the Treaty of Ghent. By William Archibald Dunning, Professor of History and Political Philosophy in Columbia University. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1914.
We learn from the preface that this "delicate and difficult task" was entrusted to Professor Dunning by President Nicholas Murray Butler, representing the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and by authority of the American Peace Centenary Committee, and it is being circulated by the Carnegie Endowment. It is preceded by an Introduction of some length by James Bryce, written after he had examined the author's work. He pays him a well deserved compliment for the execution of his task "with so much judgment as well as with a conspicuous impartiality," and adds some interesting comments on the general topic with the rare discrimination which distinguishes his writings.
The title page properly describes the work as "a review of their [the two countries] relations during the century of peace following the Treaty of Ghent," and it will be the judgment of every careful reader on completing the volume that the task has been well done. It will take high rank as a philosophical and historical discussion of the relations of the two peoples in this interesting period. It cannot fail to have a marked influence in promoting the cause of international peace, the object which the Endowment and the Centenary Committee have so much at heart. This attractive narrative is replete with aptly worded descriptions of the many crises through which the two countries have passed in the century, when the various boundary disputes, the fishery questions, the slavery agitation, the Venezuela boundary and others, seemed to be threatening open hostilities. In none of these is the author's command of language, array of cause and effect, of conflicting passions and prejudice, and his intimate mastery of his facts, so conspicuous and charming as in his narrative of the Civil War. The effects on our foreign relations of that great political and social cataclysm have never been more correctly or effectively portrayed.
The book shows great research and careful study, and gives occasion
for very little criticism as to facts and conclusions. A few unimportant ones may be noted. The statement that a popular belief prevails in this country as to the War of 1812 that "the Americans won as decisive a triumph as that which was crowned at Yorktown" (page 9) is subject to some qualification. By the War of the Revolution we gained the great object for which it was fought, our independence. Every intelligent American knows that we gained nothing for which we fought the War of 1812. It is asserted that President Polk's declaration in 1845 was an "indefinite extension of Monroe's doctrine" (page 132). This would not be accepted by the adherents of that doctrine today. The action of the Senate on the first Hay-Pauncefote Treaty is described as "diligent, not to say suspicious scrutiny," and the result is summed up in the words. "eventually the extremists had their way," (page 331). The fact is that the first treaty did not repeal or supersede the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty, and it was the almost unanimous judgment of our public men that no treaty should be made which did not absolutely abrogate it. The Senate followed, not the "extremists," but the general judgment of the country.
Prof. Dunning's work constitutes a volume of over 400 pages, and it is possible that quite a number of those to whom it is sent by the Carnegie Endowment may be deterred in this busy age, by its size, from reading it. No one who had the leisure to peruse it carefully would wish any of it curtailed, but the critical observer might wish that the volume had been brought within a more reasonable compass by the author keeping more closely to his subject. Digressions into the realm of domestic politics, while interesting, tend somewhat to divert the general reader from the prescribed subject, and he fails to readily see the connection between it, for instance, and a discussion of Catholic emancipation, Daniel O'Connell and Parliamentary reform, or the United States Bank, the "spoils system," and Jacksonism. While a curtailment as to these subjects is suggested, on one topic the author might well have dwelt at greater length. The most conspicuous element in preserving the hundred years of peace between the United States and Canada has been the disarmament on the Great Lakes, and it is the one measure which above all others today commends itself to the nations of the world as the best preventive of war. At different times during the century its utility was tested, as in the Canadian rebellion and in our Civil War, and it is to be regretted that so competent a writer as the author should not have more fully elaborated its advantages.
The most serious defect of the book is that the author at times falls
into "a free and easy" style of writing both as to topics and public men. One of his chapters he styles "The Roaring Forties," for what reason is no quite evident, unless it be on account of his low estimate of President Polk. He cites in his table of contents "The Democracy's sense of power and craving for bigness" and in discussing the annexation of Texas, refers to "the gleams of smudgy glory from the war in Mexico" (page 148), "American diplomats diligently fishing in the murky waters of Latin-American politics" (page 155), to the British Musquito coast action as "the diplomatic equivalent of a fraud” (page 162), and to the "wile and guile in the lobbies of legislation in Nicaragua and Washington" (page 165).
* * *
But still more objectionable is the liberty he takes with the character and reputation of the statesmen of the two nations. "Palmerston's personal concern about the Americans was of the slightest," he writes, and that he regarded "the United States as a vexatious intruder in the field of serious diplomacy" (page 154). "Lord Salisbury's reputation in America was that of a case-hardened aristocrat," and the fishery trouble was regarded as "a manifestation of the unfriendly spirit which the prime minister was disposed to promote" (page 282). The election snare into which "the British minister at Washington Sir L. S. Sackville West" fell is described as "a trick that anything above infantile sagacity would have detected" (page 283).
President Polk is described as "the crude and narrow Tennessee Democrat" who "offered a strange contrast to the broad culture and long experience of the British aristocrat " (Palmerston), and his annual message of 1845 as a "belligerent pronouncement" (pp. 132, 153), the author losing sight of the fact that history accredits the administration of Polk as one of the most successful and useful which our country has enjoyed. The negotiations of his Secretary of State are characterized as "the almost tearful protests of the timid Buchanan" (page 131). In the review of the Trent affair it is stated that "Seward's paper elicited scant applause from the experts of international law," although on the next page it is stated that "the law officers of the crown, * the British legal authorities" maintained "the precise ground that Seward took in his despatch" (pp. 214, 215). President Harrison's administration is described as "a policy of extreme and aggressive protectionism. * * In addition to this policy it brought to the front a personality which gave small promise of better relations with any foreign power. Mr. James G. Blaine became Secretary of State." But the
inaptness of this characterization is shown by the author's statement later on: "Forebodings in this respect proved groundless" (page 284). Mr. Olney's attitude in regard to the Venezuela arbitration is dealt with in such language as the following: "Secretary Olney's pronouncements were startling," "audacious and arrogant dogmas" "Olney's note was startlingly new somewhat coarse and repulsive (pp. 306, 7 and 8).
These characterizations in unfavorable terms of national policy and of statesmen held in high esteem would be quite allowable in an author who was writing a treatise on his own account, but it is given to be understood that in the present case he was engaged for a specific work by organizations which desired to have produced a volume which would promote international good feeling and not offend national sensibilities or awaken individual resentment. President Butler describes the engagement as a "delicate task," but these citations seem to show a forgetfulness of the duty assumed. Nevertheless they are but as slight defects in a work which will take a high place in the historical and philosophical study of this important era in the world's affairs.
JOHN W. FOSTER.
The Essentials of International Law. By Amos S. Hershey, Ph. D. New York: Macmillan Company, 1912. pp. xlviii, 558. $3.00 net.
The above is a work of some 532 pages beside a Table of Cases of 8 pages, a "List of Authorities" of 29 pages and a careful index of 26 pages. The purpose of Prof. Hershey is, as he tells us, "to furnish the teacher and student with an up-to-date text adapted to the needs of the classroom," and also to present the specialist as well as the general public with a "scientific treatise on the subject." The scheme of arrangement is to present in a clear, consecutive and concise text "the Essentials of International Public Law," leaving "minor and controversial details" to extended footnotes and closing each chapter with an elaborate bibliography of the topic treated. "Those parts of international law which have been officially codified, viz., the Hague Conventions and the Declaration of the London Naval Conference of 1909" have been "incorporated into the body of the text." The historical chapters and those on "The Succession of States" and "Aërial Space" had already appeared in this JOURNAL. The work is based especially upon "modern or contemporary as distinguished from the older sources and author