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have been precipitated by that contest, the change was inevitable, had
been long preparing, and could not have been long delayed. . . . when
our troubles with Spain came to a head, it had, it is believed, already
dawned upon the American mind that the international policy suitable
to our infancy and our weakness was unworthy of our maturity and our
strength ; that the traditional rules regulating our relations to Europe,
almost a necessity of the conditions prevailing a century ago, were
inapplicable to the changed conditions of the present day ; and that
both duty and interest required us to take our tnie position in the
European family and to both reap all the advantages and assume all
the burdens incident to that position. . . •

. . . That relinquishment — the substitution of international fellow-
ship — the change from passive and perfunctory membership of the
society of civilized states to real and active membership — is to be
ascribed . . . above all to that instinct and impulse in the line of national
growth and expansion whose absence would be a sure symptom of our
national deterioration. For it is tnie of states as of individuals — they
never stand still, and if not going forward, are surely retrogressing. This
evolution of the United States as one of the great Powers among the
nations has, however, been accompanied by another departure radical in
character and far-reaching in consequences. The United States has come
out of its shell and ceased to be a hermit among the nations, naturally
^nd properly. What was not necessary and is certainly of the most

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No. iga] Our Foreign Policy 613

doubtful expediency is that it should at the same time become a colo-
nizing Power on an immense scale. . . .

* . • The United States now asserting itself not only as one of the
great Powers of the world but as a Power with very large Asiatic depend-
encies — what consequent changes in respect of its foreign relations
must reasonably be anticipated?

It goes without saying that the United States cannot play the part in
the world's affairs it has just assumed without equipping itself for the part
with all the instrumentalities necessary to make its will felt either through
pacific intercourse and negotiation or through force. . . . But the equip-
ment required for our new international rdle need not be discussed at
any length. We must have it — the need will be forced upon us by facts
the logic of which will be irresistible — and however slow to move or
indisposed to face the facts, the national government must sooner or
later provide it. It is more important as well as interesting to inquire
how the new phase of our foreign relations will affect the principles regu-
lating our policy and conduct towards foreign states.

In dealing with that topic, it should be kept in mind that membership
of the society of civilized states does not mean that each member has
the same rights and duties as respects every subject-matter. On the
contrary . . . while the United States as regards Europe in general may
... be regarded as an insular Power, its remoteness and separation
from Europe by a great expanse of ocean make its interest in the internal
affairs of European states almost altogether speculative and sentimental.
Abstention from interference in any such affairs . . . should be and
must be the rule of the United States for the future as it has been in the
past.

Again, as between itself and the states of Europe, the primacy of the
United States as respects the affairs of the American continents is a
principle of its foreign policy which will no doubt hold good and be as
firmly asserted in the future as in the past. . . .

It is to be remembered, however, that no rule of policy is so inflexible
as not to bend to the force of extraordinary and anomalous conditions.
... It is hardly necessary to add that the status of the United States
as an Asiatic Power must have some tendency to qualify the attitude
which, as a strictly American Power, the United States has hitherto suc-
cessfully maintained towards the states of Europe. They are Asiatic
Powers as well as ourselves — we shall be brought in contact with them
as never before — competition ai>d irritatiot) are inevitable and contrg-



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6 14 Foreign Problems [1899

versies not improbable — and when and how far a conflict in the East may
spread and what domestic as well as foreign interests and policies may be
involved; is altogether beyond the reach of human sagacity to foretell.

Subject to these exceptions . . . our new departure in foreign affairs
will require no change in the cardinal rules already alluded to. . . . It
can not be doubted, however, that our new departure not merely unties
our hands but fairly binds us to use them in a manner we have thus £ar
not been accustomed to. We can not assert ourselves as a Power whose
interests and sympathies are as wide as civilization without assuming
obligations corresponding to the claim. . . . The first duty of every
nation, as already observed, is to itself — is the promotion and conserva-
tion of its own interests. . . • But, just weight being given to that
principle, and its abilities and resources and opportunities permitting,
there is no reason why the United States should not act for the relief of
suffering humanity and for the advancement of civilization wherever and
whenever such action would be timely and effective. Should there, for
example, be a recurrence of the Turkish massacres of Armenian Christians,
not to stop them alone or in concert with others, could we do so without
imperiling our own substantial interests, would be unworthy of us and
inconsistent with our claims and aspirations as a great Power. We
certainly could no longer shelter ourselves behind the time-honored
excuse that we are an American Power exclusively, without concern with
the affairs of the world at large.

On similar grounds, the position we have assumed in the world and
mean to maintain justifies us in undertaking to influence and enables us
to greatly influence the industrial development of the American people.
The " home market " fallacy disappears with the proved inadequacy of
the home market. Nothing will satisfy us in the future but free access
to foreign markets — especially to those markets in the East now for the
first time beginning to fully open themselves to the Western nations. . . .
In the markets of the Orient especially, American citizens have always
been at a decided disadvantage as compared with those of the great
European Powers. The latter impress themselves upon the native
imagination by their display of warlike resources and their willingness
to use them in aid not merely of the legal rights of their citizens but in
many cases of their desires and ambitions as well. . . . Obstacles of
this sort to the extension of American trade can not but be greatly
lessened in the future under the operation of the new foreign policy of
the United States and its inevitable accompaniments. . . . Our diplo-



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Ko. iga] Our Foreign Policy 615

matic representatives, no matter how certain of the greatness of their
country, have hitherto labored under the difficulty that nations to whom
they were accredited, especially the Oriental nations, were not appre*
ciative of the fact. That difficulty is unlikely to embarrass them in the
future. They will, like the nation itself, cease to be isolated and of small
consideration, and will speak and act with something of the same per-
suasiveness and authority as the representatives of European Powers.

Along with the Monroe doctrine and non-interference in the internal
concerns of European states . . . has gone another which our changed
international attitude will undoubtedly tend to modify. It has heretofore
been considered that anything like an alliance between the United
States and an European Power, for any purpose or any time, was some-
thing not to be thought of. . . . Yet there may be " alliances " which
are not " entangling " but wholly advantageous. . . . Nev^ertheless, up
to this time the theory and practice of the United States have been
against all alliances peremptorily, and, were the Philippines not on our
hands, might perhaps have been persisted in for a longer or shorter
period. Whether they could have been or not is a contingency not
worth discussing. We start our career as a world Power with the Philip-
pine handicap firmly fastened to us, and that situation being accepted,
how about "alliances"? The true, the ideal position for us, would be
complete freedom of action, perfect liberty to pick allies from time to
time as special occasions might warrant and an enlightened view of our
own interests might dictate. Without the Philippines, we might closely
approach that position. With them, not merely is our need of friend-
ship imperative, but it is a need which only one of the great Powers can
satisfy or is disposed to satisfy. Except for Great Britain's countenance,
we should almost certainly never have got the Philippines — except for
her continued support, our hold upon them would be likely to prove pre-
carious, perhaps altogether unstable. It follows that we now find our-
selves actually caught in an entangling alliance, forced there not by any
treaty, or compact of any sort, formal or informal, but by the stress of
the inexorable facts of the situation. It is an alliance that entangles
because we might be and should be friends with all the world and because
our necessary intimacy with and dependence upon one of them is certain
to excite the suspicion and ill-will of other nations. Still, however much
better off we might have been, regrets, the irrevocable having happened,
are often worse than useless, and it is much more profitable to note such
compensatory advantages as the actual situation offers. In that view, it



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6x6 Foreign Problems [1899

is consoling to reflect that, if we must single out an ally from among
the nations at the cost of alienating all others, and consequently have
thrown ourselves into the arms of England, our choice is probably
unexceptionable. . . .

In undertaking any forecast of the future of our foreign relations, it
is . . . not rash to affirm . . . that a consequence of the new inter-
national position of the United States must be to give to foreign affairs
a measure of popular interest and importance far beyond what they have
hitherto enjoyed. Domestic affairs will cease to be regarded as alone
deserving the serious attention of Americans generally. . . . Such a
change will import ... if not for us, for coming generations, a larger
knowledge of the earth and its diverse peoples ; a familiarity with prob-
lems world-wide in their bearings ; the abatement of racial prejudices ;
in short . . . enlarged mental and moral vision. . . •

Richard Olney, Grow/ A of our Foreign Policy y in Atlantic Monthly ^ March,
1900 (Boston, etc.)» LXXXV, 290-301 passim.



193. The Open Door (1899)

BY SECRETARY JOHN HAY

Hay began his public career as Lincoln^s private secretary. Later he held several
minor diplomatic appointments and became prominent as a writer. McKinley ap-
pointed him ambassador to Great Britain in 1897, and secretary of state in 1898. In
this last position his name has become inseparably associated with the policy of the
United States in respect to the far-eastern question. This extract is from a letter
addressed to Charlemagne Tower, the United States ambassador at St. Petersburg.
Similar letters were sent to the legations at London, Paris, Berlin, Rome, and Tokyo,
and favorable replies were received from all the foreign governments thus addressed.
— Bibliography : A. P. C. Griffin, List of Books relating to the Theory of Colonization,
115-131.

Washington, September 6, j8qq.

^N 1898, when His Imperial Majesty had, through his diplo-
matic representative at this capital, notified this (xovernment
that Russia had leased from His Imperial Chinese Majesty the ports of
Port Arthur, Ta-lien-wan, and the adjacent territory in the Liao-tung
Peninsula in north-eastern China for a period of twenty-five years, your
predecessor received categorical assurances from the Imperial Minister
for Foreign Affairs that American interests in that part of the Chinese
Empire would in no way be affected thereby, neither was it the desire
of Russia to interfere with the trade of other nations, and that our citi-



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Na X93] The Open Door 617

zens would continue to enjoy within said leased territory ail the rights
and privileges guaranteed them under existing treaties with China, As-
surances of a similar purport were conveyed to me by the Emperor's
Ambassador at this capital ; while fresh proof of this is afforded by the
Imperial Ukase of x5l|u^ii ^^> creating the free port of Dalny, near Ta-
lien-wan, and establishing free trade for the adjacent territory.

However gratifying and reassuring such assurances may be in regard
to the territory actually occupied and administered, it can not but be
admitted that a further, clearer, and more formal definition of the con-
ditions which are henceforth to hold within the so-called Russian " sphere
of interest '' in China as regards the commercial rights therein of our
citizens is much desired by the business world of the United States, in-
asmuch as such a declaration would relieve it from the apprehensions
which have exercised a disturbing influence during the last four years on
its operations in China.

The present moment seems particularly opportune for ascertaining
whether His Imperial Russian Majesty would not be disposed to give
permanent form to the assurances heretofore given to this Government
on this subject.

The Ukase of the Emperor of August 1 1 of this year, declaring the
port of Ta-lien-wan open to the merchant ships of all nations during
the remainder of the lease under which it is held by Russia, removes the
slightest uncertainty as to the liberal and conciliatory commercial policy
His Majesty proposes carrying out in northeastern China, and would
seem to insure us the sympathetic and, it is hoped, favorable considera-
tion of the propositions hereinafter specified.

The principles which this Government is particularly desirous of seeing
formally declared by His Imperial Majesty and by all the great Powers
interested in China, and which will be eminently beneficial to the com-
mercial interests of the whole world, are :

First. The recognition that no Power will in any way interfere with
any treaty port or any vested interest within any leased territory or
within any so-called " sphere of interest " it may have in China.

Second. That the Chinese treaty tariff of the time being shall apply to
all merchandise landed or shipped to all such ports as are within said
" sphere of interest " (unless they be " free ports "), no matter to what
nationality it may belong, and that duties so leviable shall be collected
by the Chinese Government.

Third. That it will levy no higher harbor dues on vessels of another



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6i8 Foreign Problems t«899

nationality frequenting any port in such " sphere " than shall be levied
on vessels of its own nationality, and no higher railroad charges over
lines built, controlled, or operated within its " sphere " on merchandise
belonging to citizens or subjects of other nationalities transported
through such '' sphere " than shall be levied on similar merchandise be-
longing to its own nationals transported over equal distances.

The declaration of such principles by His Imperial Majesty would not
only be of great benefit to foreign commerce in China, but would power-
fully tend to remove dangerous sources of irritation and possible conflict
between the various Powers ; it would reestablish confidence and secur-
ity ; and would give great additional weight to the concerted represen-
tations which the treaty Powers may hereafter make to His Imperial
Chinese Majesty in the interest of reform in Chinese administration so
essential to the consolidation and integrity of that Empire, and which, it
is believed, is a fundamental principal of the policy of His Majesty in
Asia.

Germany has declared the port of Kiao-chao, which she holds in
Shangtung under a lease from China, a free port and has aided in the
establishment there of a branch of the Imperial Chinese Maritime Cus-
toms. The Imperial German Minister for Foreign Affairs has also given
assurances that American trade would not in any way be discriminated
against or interfered with, as there is no intention to close the leased ter-
ritory to foreign commerce within the area which Germany claims.
These facts lead this Government to believe that the Imperial German
Government will lend its cooperation and give its acceptance to the
proposition above outlined, and which our Ambassador at Berlin is now
instructed to submit to it.

That such a declaration will be favorably considered by Great Britain
and Japan, the two other Powers most interested in the subject, there
can be no doubt ; the formal and oft- repeated declarations of the British
and Japanese Governments in favor of the maintenance throughout
China of freedom of trade for the whole world insure us, it is believed,
the ready assent of these Powers to the declaration desired.

The acceptance by His Imperial Majesty of these principles must
therefore inevitably lead to their recognition by all the other Powers in-
terested, and you are instructed to submit them to the Emperor's Minis-
ter for Foreign Affairs and urge their immediate consideration.

Department of State, Correspondence concerning American Commercial Rights
in China (Washington, 1900), 15-17.



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No. ig4] Besieged in Pekin 619

194. Besieged in Pekin (1900)

BY MRS. KATHARINE MULLIKIN LOWRY

Mrs. Lowry resided for five years in China, where her husband was formerly con-
nected with the United States embassy at Pekin. When the Boxer insurrection
began, she was living at the Methodist Episcopal mission settlement in Pekin. The
" Sir Claude '* in the text was the British minister, Sir Claude MacDonald. — Bibliog-
raphy as in No. 193 above.

WEDNESDAY, June 13 [1900] : About 6.30 p.m. there is excite-
ment and loud voices at the Ha-ta gate, and from the Woman's
Foreign Missionary Society's upper windows soldiers can be seen on the
wall looking into the street Later, smoke and flame announce that our
street chapel is being burned. All night long fires spring up in different
parts of the city. (All the different mission compounds and Catholic
churches were firet looted and then burned, except the Pei-Tang, which
was guarded). . . .

Thursday, June 14 : To-day some of our number went to the Lega-
tion carrying the records, mission history, deeds, etc. . . .

Friday, June 15 : Last night for two hours awful sounds of raging
heathen filled the air, and seemed to surge against the wall in the
southern city, opposite our place. Some estimated there were 50,000
voices. " Kill the foreign devil ! Kill, kill, kill ! " they yelled till it
seemed hell was let loose. . . .

Wednesday, June 20 : About nine a.m. . . . great excitement was
caused by the word that Baron von Ketteler, the German Minister, had
been shot on his way to the Tsungli Yamen, and his interpreter wounded.
. . . Captain Hall thought as it would be impossible to hold the com-
pound against soldiers, our only chance would be to abandon it imme-
diately, while it is still possible for women and children to walk on the
street. He therefore sends word to the Legation that he wishes to be
relieved, and sets the time for leaving the compound at eleven a.m.,
with no baggage except what we can carry in our hands. ... At
eleven o'clock the melancholy file takes up its march, the seventy
foreigners at the front, two and two, the gentlemen, with their guns,
walking by the side of the ladies and children, while behind follow over
500 Chinese refugees who have been with us all these twelve mournful
days, the twenty marines with Captain Myers bringing up the rear — 656
persons in all. Sad, indeed, did we feel to thus march away from our
homes, leaving them with aU their contents to certain destruction. . . •



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620 Foreign Problems [1900

The nationalities represented here (British legation) are American,
Austrian, Belgian, Boer, British, Chinese, Danish, Dutch, French, Finn,
German, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish,
Swedish. . . . They are divided into men, 245 ; women, 149 ; children,
79 ; total, 473 ; not including the marines, of whom there were 409.
. . . The Chinese here number about 700 to 800 Protestants an«i
2,000 Catholics. . . .

Thursday, June 21 : To-day Sir Claude requests that Mr. Gamewell
take full charge of fortifying this place, and that committees be ap-
pointed with full authority to control our defenses. This is done. Mr.
Tewkesbury is made head of the general committees. Other committees
are appointed for fire, food, fuel, Chinese labor, foreign labor, sanitation,
and water, and in a remarkably short time this motley crowd of many
nationalities is thoroughly organized for the best good of all. Mr. Game-
well suggests the use of sand-bags in the defense, and the making of
them begins, the church being headquarters for this work. Large fires
are seen raging in many parts of the city. . . .

Saturday, June 23 : To-day has been one of great excitement. Five
big fires rage close about us, and bucket lines are formed several times.
Some of the fires are started by the Chinese ; some by our people, to
burn out places which are dangerous to us, because the Chinese may
burn them or can fire from them. After burning the Russian Bank the
Chinese start a fire in the Han Lin College, with a wind blowing from
the north, which makes it very dangerous for us. Hardly is the fire
under way, however, when the wind providentially changes and we are
saved from that danger, though much hard work is required in passing
water. Sentiment and fear of antagonizing the Chinese caused our
people to refrain from firing this Han Lin College, the very foundation
of Chinese literature and culture. The intense hatred of the Chinese
for us is shown by the fact that they themselves set fire to this relic of
the ages. ... It is said the destruction of this Han Lin Library is only
paralleled by the burning of the Alexandrian Library.

Sunday, June 24 : To-day the Chinese do their first shelling. . . .

Wednesday, June 27 : The usual nerve strain is endured all day from
the bullets and shells. We shall forget how it feels to be without their
sound. The nights are dread fill with the sound of shattering tiles and
falling bricks, and there is so much echo in the courts that at night it is
hard to locate where an attack is being made, and harder still to sleep
at all. At eleven p.m. an alarm is rung at the bell tower for all to as-



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No. ig4] Besieged in Pekin 621

semble there with their firearms. This is the second or third gen-
eral alarm we have had, and they frighten us almost worse than the
attacks. . . .

Friday, June 29. . . . To-day many gentlemen are busy construct-
ing bomb-proof houses, to which we may retreat if necessary. . . .

Friday, July 6. . . . Another unsuccessful sortie is made fi-om the
Fu after the big gun to the northeast which does so much damage, the
Japanese commander being killed and a Japanese and an Austrian
wounded. ...

Tuesday, July 17 : Last night, about six p.m., the . . . messenger
. . . brought a letter and a telegram in cipher. The latter when
translated read, "Washington, Conger, send tidings, bearer." Mr.
Conger is puzzled, as the code can be none other than that of the State
Department, yet it is incomplete, as there is no date nor signature. . . .

Wednesday, July 18: Major Conger asks in his reply ... to have
his cablegram completed, as he does not know from whom it comes.
They send back the whole thing. The first message proves to be
included in a cablegram from Chinese Minister Wu to his Govern-
ment, which accounts for the lack of date and signature. Complete
message from Wu is as follows : " United States gladly assist China, but
they are thinking of Major Conger. Inclosed is message inquiring for
his health. Please deliver and forward reply." Major Conger sent in
cipher cable the following : " Surrounded and fired upon by Chinese for
a month. If not relieved soon, massacre will follow." This the Tsungli



Online LibraryAlbert Bushnell HartAmerican history told by contemporaries.. → online text (page 62 of 77)