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In that settlement it does not appear that either Russia or the Caucasus republics will be consulted, despite their protests, and it is altogether likely that the same failure in policy which marred the Paris Conference—the omission of consultation of Russia—will be repeated. It has been suggested that a larger conference, in which the interests of the Black Sea Powers might well be consulted, should be held with regard to the settlement of the control of the Straits. In any event, the settlement as regards the Straits demands international action on the widest possible basis, whether reached in an independent conference or in one under the auspices of the League of Nations.
DIVISION OF LATIN-AMERICAN AFFAIRS
EDITED BY IRVIN STEWART
University of Texas
DOLLAR DIPLOMACY-LEAVING MEXICO
DAVID Y. THOMAS
It is still the true policy of the United States to leave the parties [Latin-America] to themselves, in the hope that other powers will pursue the same course.—Monroe's Message, 1823.
It is not true that the United States feels any land hunger or entertains any projects as regards the other nations of the Western Hemisphere save such as are for their welfare. All that this country desires is to see the neighboring countries stable, orderly, and prosperous. Any country whose people conduct themselves well can count upon our hearty friendship. If a nation shows that it knows how to act with reasonable efficiency and decency in social and political matters, if it keeps order and pays its obligations, it need fear no interference from the United States. Chronic wrong-doing or an impotence which results in a general loosening of the ties of civilized society, may ultimately require intervention by some civilized nation, and ... the Monroe Doctrine may force this United States
to the exercise of an international police power.—Roosevelt, Annual Message, 1904.
Human rights, national integrity, and opportunity as against material interests—that, is the issue which we now have to face. I want to take this occasion to say that the United Sates will never again seek one additional foot of territory by conquest. She will devote herself to showing that she knows how to make honorable and fruitful use of the territory she has, and she must regard it as one of the duties of friendship to see that fromí no quarter are material interests made superior to human liberty and national opportunity.-President Wilson's Mobile Address, 1913.
To some people the whole Mexican embroglio smells of oil. While there are some phases of the trouble between the United States and Mexico, extending over a series of years,
1Copyright, 1922, by David Y. Thomas.
Read in part at the Third Annual Meeting of the Southwestern Political Science Association, Norman, Oklahoma, March 25, 1922. which have no intimate connection with oil, there are few, if any, which do not, directly or indirectly, affect the property rights of foreigners in Mexico. The insecurity of life and property furnished an excuse for European intervention and for a time this did not seem a remote possibility. That would have involved very directly the Monroe Doctrine. The demand of Americans with property rights in Mexico, particularly those with oil interests, for intervention by the United States was for a time persistent and insistent. This involves that side of the Monroe Doctrine which promises to leave the Latin-American States to themselves.
In 1877 Porfirio Diaz began an autocratic rule of Mexico which lasted, with an interval of four years (1880-1884) until 1911. He wanted the country developed. As native capacity and capital seemed to be lacking he held out alluring inducements to foreign capitalists. Concessions were granted for mining, railroad building, stock-raising, fruitgrowing, and what not until by, the end of Diaz's career the larger part of the wealth of Mexico was in alien hands. The masses of the people were landless, ignorant and poor, many of them peons. Discontent grew apace and in 1911 Francisco Madero succeeded in driving Diaz out and was himself elected President.
Diaz had maintained a semblance of order by buying off the bandits with money and offices. Madero was unable to meet this situation and more or less disorder, with insecurity to life and property, has prevailed since the disappearance of Diaz. Early in 1913 Madero was killed and Huerta, whose hands were stained with the blood of Madero, seized the reins of government. He was promptly recognized by the leading European powers. President Taft awaited the inauguration of President Wilson, who refused to recognize Huerta, largely because of his connection with the murder of Madero. Said he: "We can have no sympathy with those who seek to seize the power of government to advance their own personal interests or ambitions."
In August, 1913, President Wilson sent a personal representative who proposed the following solution of the problem: (1) the cessation of hostilities by the warring factions; (2) an early and free presidential election, in which Huerta should not be a candidate; (3) agreement by all parties to abide by the result. As Huerta would not accept the proposal it was useless to present it to the other factions and President Wilson now settled down into a policy of "watchful waiting" for the downfall of Huerta. Indeed, his policy was shaped to help bring about that event, and he warned American citizens to get out of Mexico.
This policy of "watchful waiting" was roundly denounced by the jingoes and those whose property interests were involved. They pointed to the warships of France, Germany and Great Britain in Mexican waters to protect their nationals and cried shame that we should hold back and deny protection to our citizens. They called for intervention, even annexation. Naturally reports became current that the European powers were going to adopt a policy contrary to that of the United States. If they intervened, what would become of the Monroe Doctrine? Senator Bacon, chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations, admitted that they would be justified in landing marines for protection, but thought it best that they should ask the United States to do this when such protection was necessary. The situation was soon eased when Great Britain asked the United States to investigate the killing of her subject, Mr. Benton, instead of doing it herself. Soon the further possibility of European intervention was averted by the outbreak of the Great War.
In April, 1914, the capture of Vera Cruz by American forces because of the refusal of Huerta to apologize for the arrest of several American sailors caused Latin-America to fear that the interventionists and annexationists were at last in the saddle; and the A B C powers (Argentine, Brazil, and Chile) offered to mediate. The result was a protocol providing for the establishment of a provisional government by agreement between Huerta and Carranza and promising immediate recognition by the United States and the ABC powers. But Carranza was gaining and refused to accept the protocol. July 5 Huerta was “elected” President, but ten days later he recognized that he was beaten, resigned and fled to Europe. August 20, Carranza entered the city of Mexico but he and his general, Villa, soon fell to fighting.
President Wilson now (June, 1915) proposed to the A B C powers and Bolivia, Uruguay, and Guatemala that they join the United States in formulating plans for a provisional government, but before the conference adjourned Carranza seemed to be mastering the situation, and it advised his recognition. October 19, Carranza was recognized as head of the provisional government. An embargo on the shipment of arms into Mexico was laid, and the policy of "watchful waiting" was resumed.
Villa was infuriated by this action and did not wait long to raid over the border and attack Columbus, New Mexico (March 9, 1916). This led to the invasion of Mexico, with the reluctant consent of Carranza, by a considerable American force “in aid of the constituted authorities of Mexico" in repressing disorder.
The pressure of the jingoes now became tremendous. As a means of combatting it President Wilson issued a public statement in which he referred to the "sinister and unscrupulous influences" at work to make him go in and "clean up Mexico" ... "in the interest of certain American owners of Mexican property" but he declared that this would not be done so long as a "sane and honorable” policy was followed by the United States. Later he declared that it was the right of any people to do anything they please with their own country and their own government.”
By January, 1917, our government recognized the hopelessness of the attempt to capture Villa, and, considering the disgruntled state of Carranza's mind over the presence of American soldiers on Mexican soil, withdrew all our troops. February 5, the new Mexican constitution, which
2 Robinson and West, The Foreign Policy of Woodrow Wilson, 96-7, 113, 115.