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In connection with this note, diplomacy in Washington is asking a question which as yet remains unanswered, and that is, why did Germany make the first move 2 Was it friendship for Russia, or was it with the sinister purpose of injuring China Ż Nobody knows, but if the motive that moved the Kaiser were explained it might perhaps be the key to the mysteries of German diplomacy.
One of the most interesting of recent publications is a book of 350 pages entitled, The Man Roosevelt, a Portrait Sketch, by Mr. Francis E. Leupp, who has for many years enjoyed an intimate acquaintance with President Roosevelt. In his preface, Mr. Leupp says that no one but himself is responsible for the book, and not a line of it was submitted to Mr. Roosevelt for his approval, and that the writer has not the President's authority for a single statement made about himself. With that explanation one can understand that although this book is written by a friend and an admirer, the admirer is not entirely blind to the faults of his friend, and he indulges in some rather piquant criticisim. Any book having President Roosevelt as its subject must be interesting, because even Mr. Roosevelt's faults and mistakes are attractive, and Mr. Leupp has the rare gift of style, and is happy in his method of expression. Here is the sketch he draws of the President in the first chapter: President Roosevelt is not a genius. He is a man of no extraordinary natural capacity. As author, lawmaker, administrator, huntsman, athlete, soldier, what you will, his record contains nothing that might not have been accomplished by any man of sound physique and good intelligence. Such prestige as he enjoys above his fellows he has acquired partly by hard work and partly by using his mother-wit in his choice of tasks and his method of tackling them. He has simply taken up and completed what others have dropped in discouragement, sought better ways of doing what others have done before, laboured always in the open, and remembered that the world moves. Mr. Leupp relates a characteristic anecdote of the President's intolerance of delay and desire to reach results. When he was Assistant Secretary of the Navy a Committee of Chiefs of Bureaus had met with him daily for a week and adjourned every afternoon without making any discernible progress. “To-morrow,” said one of the members of the Committee as they were about to adjourn, “we can do so and so.” “To-morrow !” echoed Mr. Roosevelt, grinding his teeth. “Gentlemen, if Noah had had to consult such a committee as this about building his ark, it wouldn't have been built yet.”
Mr. Roosevelt continues on his triumphant way, and the very stars in their courses seem to be fighting for him. With the death of Senator Hanna disappears the last cloud on his horizon. Although Mr. Hanna had in a measure declined to permit his name to be used in connection with the Republican nomination for the Presidency, nobody felt certain that at the last moment Mr. Hanna might not be forced into becoming a candidate, and some of the President's best friends lived in constant fear that something would happen to cause a breach between the two men, which inevitably would have made Mr. Hanna a candidate. Now every obstacle is removed from Mr. Roosevelt's path and Mr. Roosevelt's nomination, as I have previously pointed out, is assured. Not only is Mr. Roosevelt assured of his nomination, but he is profiting by the crass folly of his opponents. The Democrats still continue to fight among themselves; the very name of the man with whom they might be able to achieve success, Cleveland, is anathema to the Bryan wing of the Democratic party, and nothing appears to give Mr. Bryan a more unholy joy than to abuse Mr. Cleveland, and prevent the chasm in the party from closing. Mr. Bryan will not permit Mr. Cleveland to be nominated, no other Democrat of force or character is accepted by Democrats as the natural party leader, and the field apparently is left open to Mr. Hearst, the proprietor of the New York journal and the father of yellow journalism in America. While the other candidates are doing nothing, and apparently waiting for the lightning to come down from on high, Mr. Hearst, who is of the earth earthy, and pins his faith to sublunary rather than celestial methods, who has a cynical disbelief in twentieth-century miracles and an abiding faith in the potency of the American dollar properly used, has his army of paid agents and touters going up and down the land securing delegates by the devious methods that men of the Hearst stamp know how to employ. Mr. Hearst, as the New York Evening Post points out, is without the intellectual equipment for the high office of President, he is without public experience, and simply by the fortunate circumstance of being the possessor of great wealth, which he inherited from his father, has set out to buy the American Presidency. “This is to degrade public life,” the Post remarks, “but there is something darker and more fearful behind. It is well known that this man has a record which would make it impossible for him to live through a Presidential campaign—such gutters would be dragged, such sewers laid open We can only refer to the loathsome subject.” The Post well adds that if the Hearst millions can purchase the Democratic nomination to-day, who knows that some financial Cataline will not instruct his brokers to buy the Republican nomination four years hence 2 The country
cannot afford to have its insignia of honour trailed in the mud of the market-place. “We have not yet reached the point where we can be indifferent to the spectacle of an aspirant to our highest office being an Alcibiades without talent or courage or personal charm, and with little but profligacy to entitle him to the name,” and the Post closes this severe but not unmerited indictment in these stinging words:
We are convinced that it is only necessary to set forth the facts in order to make an end of this unspeakable candidacy. Hearst's record will crush him as soon as it is known. It is obviously better, for the nation, that it should be known before the Convention. Afterwards it would be too late for the party that nominated him to save even its honour. It is not a question of policies, but of character. An agitator we can endure ; an honest radical we can respect ; a fanatic we can tolerate ; but a low voluptuary, trying to sting his jaded senses to a fresh thrill by turning from private to public corruption, is a new horror in American politics. To set the heel of contempt upon it must be the impulse of all honest men.
Personally I do not believe that Mr. Hearst will be the nominee, because I do not believe that the Democratic Party, or any considerable number of Americans, have sunk so low or are so lacking in every element of self-respect as to degrade the high office of the Presidency by coupling it with the name of the man of the character described by the Post. But although I do not believe that Mr. Hearst will be the nominee, I think it is probable that he will wield sufficient influence in the Convention to be able to prevent the nomination of a man of character and standing, of such a man for instance as Mr. Cleveland, or Mr. Olney, or Judge Parker, and will compel the Convention to take a man of his own stamp. And that means of course Mr. Roosevelt's easy victory.
The ratification of the Panama Canal Treaty in the closing days of last month marks the beginning of a work which has been the dream of American statesmen for more than half a century, and which will confer a blessing on the entire world, especially those nations having a great mercantile marine. In the beginning England will profit more by the building of the canal than the United States, because the sea-borne commerce of the world is largely in the hands of England, and the mercantile marine of the United States is as yet in its infancy. But to the people of the United States the canal is a military as much as a commercial necessity; and the building of the canal will unquestionably stimulate the American merchant marine and change the current of the world's commerce, especially the commerce of the far East, and make the United States more than ever interested in the political and commercial suture of the Orient.
By the ratification of the treaty the United States is now firmly established in Central America, for it has not only taken the newly-created Republic of Panama under its protection, but it exercises a virtual sovereignty over the canal zone, and the Isthmus of Panama becomes to all intents and purposes American territory. This dream of the canal, the building of which has been so often discussed and so often regarded as a visionary scheme, too impracticable to demand the serious attention of a serious-minded nation, is now about to become a reality, and in so becoming it still further extends the power of the United States; it still further projects it into the maze of foreign politics; it still further leaves behind the once hermit-like isolation of the United States; and it makes it more than ever the hegemon of the American continent; because it holds in its hands the key to the gateway between the East and the West. Marvellous the position of the United States in world affairs to-day; marvellous the change that has come over the American mind in a scant halfdozen years 1 Little wonder, then, that the American statesmen who look even a year or two into the future, see the necessity of the United States being able to exert and maintain its power on the sea, and vote with lavish hand supplies that shall, before another half-decade, make the United States divide with Great Britain the supremacy of the seas.
It comes as a surprise to the American people to be told, as they were in the course of a debate in the Senate the other day, that the United States is rapidly becoming the second naval power of the world. At the present time the United States ranks fifth, that is estimating Russia's paper strength, and making no deductions for the vessels placed hors de combat by the Japanese since the outbreak of the war; but when the present building programme of the nations is completed, the United States will rank third, and will be exceeded only by France and Great Britain in ships of the line—that is, battleships of Io,000 tons or more displacement and not more than twenty years old; and the United States will be only 20,000 tons behind France, and will have twenty-two battleships to the twenty-six of France ; but this disparity will be still further reduced, as Congress has authorised the construction of two battleships of the heaviest tonnage, which have not yet been contracted for. It was Senator Hale of Maine, the chairman of the naval committee of the Senate, who made this information public, and who added that while foreign Powers reckon in their tonnage old and practically obsolete ships, the American tonnage is all new; so that the American navy, ship for ship, is more effective than the navy of any other Power.
If any one imagines that the United States is appropriating 4.20,000,000 a year solely to furnish work for shipbuilders, he makes a mistake. The growth of the United States as a world power and as one of the great factors in weltpolitik has been coincident with the growth of the American navy. The United States has within the last few years realised that sea power is essential to national greatness, and that no nation can command respect unless it can command the sea. If to-day the United States, while nominally fifth in naval strength, is able to exercise such an influence in international politics, what will be its power when it is second and is outranked only by Great Britain 7 And one is naturally tempted to ask, will the United States be content to stop there 7 Will it not deem it essential that it shall be first, that it shall have a navy more powerful even than that of Great Britain 2
The country has been horrified and its moral sensibilities shocked during the last few weeks by the revelations brought out in connection with the examination by the Senate to determine whether Mr. Reed Smoot shall be permitted to retain his seat as a Senator from the State of Utah.
The testimony adduced reveals a terrible state of affairs in Utah. When Utah was admitted into the Union as a State, its people adopted a constitution by which they pledged themselves not to practise polygamy; and the Mormon church, which is all powerful, apparently accepted the constitution in good faith, and pledged itself not to permit future “plural ” marriages or to countenance polygamy in any form. Mormons who had more than one wife were to be allowed to support them and their children, but they pledged themselves not to live with more than one wife.
Witnesses before the committee have testified that the law has been flagrantly disregarded. The president of the Mormon church admitted that he was the husband of five wives, and the father of forty-two children, and that since 1890, when the manifesto of the Mormon church was issued prohibiting polygamous marriages, children had been born to him by these various wives. The excuse given by this witness for violating the law was that while the law and constitution of the State prohibited polygamous marriages, it did not prohibit polygamous cohabitation. Other high officers in the church, the so-called apostles and members of the hierarchy, have been forced to make similar admissions. “Plural ” wives have testified to the degradation of women in Utah, and the horrible conditions existing there. The country is shocked, and feels that for the vindication of decency and to preserve the sanctity of the home, a stern lesson