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between us and it. Our protection of Venezuela, therefore, i failed to increase our popularity in America. In this respect Olney seems to have been guilty of an ignorance which Blaine avoided. His remark that "the states of America, South as well as North, by geographical proximity, by natural sympathy, by similarity of governmental constitutions, are friends and allies, commercially and politically, of the United States,” could scarcely have compressed more errors into fewer words. It contrasts with Blaine's effort to make precisely those hopes, facts.
GROWTH OF AMERICAN INFLUENCE IN THE
WHILE both political parties were doing their best to deepen the Atlantic, and the careless words of so many of
our statesmen were preventing any diplomatic American influence in the understanding with Spanish America, our influ
ence in the Pacific, unbacked by policy and largely unnoticed, was rapidly extending. Foremost among the pioneers were the missionaries, who were carrying their ministrations to every coral isle and penetrating the vast bulk of China, to whose awakening they were ultimately to contribute so much. In China their ministry was distinctly recognized by the treaties of 1858 and 1868, and everywhere, as American citizens, they carried the protection of our name and extended the duties of our diplomacy. The whaler had become a less customary visitant in the Pacific, but the trade was not entirely dead. Regular commerce with the East was not relatively so important as in the first part of the century, but absolutely it was growing and demanded the constant attention of our state department and our representatives abroad. 1
In Japan we took a benevolent interest. In returning to her in 1883 our portion of the Shimonoseki indemnity, we
1 J. M. Callahan, American Relations in the Pacific and the Far East, 178+ 1900, Johns Hopkins University, Studies in Historical and Political Science, 1901, xix. Nos. 1-3; J. W. Foster, American Diplomacy in the Orient, Boston, etc., 1903; W. E. Griffis, America in the East, a Glance at our History, Prospects, Problems, and Duties in the Pacific Ocean, New York, 1899; A. T. Mahan, The Problem of Asia and its Efect upon International Policies, Boston, 1900; A. R. Colquhoun, The Mastery of the Pacific, New York, etc., 1902; E. E. Sparks, National Development, 1877-1885 (American Nation, vol. xxiii.), chs. xiii-xiv. All these were written after the Spanish war.
performed an unusual act of international courtesy. With Japan's desire for commercial autonomy we exhibited sympathy, which was checked, however, by our in
Japan ternational convention of 1866, and by our suspicion as to her readiness for the judicial autonomy for which she was equally desirous. In 1878 we concluded a commercial treaty with her, surrendering our tariff rights; but, as it was not to go into effect until the other treaty powers had similarly surrendered theirs, it served merely as an expression of our good will. We finally left it for Great Britain to be the first absolutely to recognize the accomplished modernity of the empire in 1894, but we followed with a treaty of the same year. Our general relations continued to be of special friendliness.
With China there was much the same spirit, but just as our territorial acquisitiveness, actual or suspected, has always prevented that sympathy for which we have Chinese imhoped in America, so the vase of our friendship migration with the Far East began to show a flaw. As subjects for missionary effort, and as honest merchants with whom to deal, we respected the Chinese while we condescended to them. As competitive laborers in our country we both disliked and feared them. Concentrated as it was on the Pacific coast, this sentiment had the advantage of being the dominant political issue there. The electoral vote of California began to veer with the attitude of parties on this question, and by 1880 the Californian position became the embodied national will.
In 1879 Congress passed a bill excluding the Chinese, but, as this action was in contradiction to the Burlingame treaty, President Hayes vetoed it. To accomplish Chinese the same end by diplomacy he sent a special clusion commission. Following the precedent of calling upon the best talent in the country to deal with such emergencies, instead of relying on our regular diplomatic staff, he selected
1 W. E. Griffis, Townsend Harris, First American Envoy in Japan, Boston, etc., 1895.
President James B. Angell of the University of Michigan, and Trescott, with John F. Smith to represent California. They succeeded in obtaining a treaty permitting us to limit or suspend, though not absolutely to prohibit, the immigration of laborers. In accordance with this treaty we passed an exclusion act in 1882.
Successfully evading the law, however, the Chinese continued to come.
More vigorous measures being necessary Treaty of 1894 to carry out our purpose, we again negowith China
tiated in 1888, and in spite of the failure of the treaty passed a new and more effective act in that year. Other laws followed, the most important being the Geary act of 1892, requiring the registration of all Chinese in this country. The question as to the return, after leaving the country, of those once resident here added to the diplomatic difficulty of the situation. At length in 1894 a new treaty was signed prohibiting by its own terms the immigration of Chinese laborers for ten years. “Officials, teachers, students, merchants, or travellers for curiosity or pleasure" were exempted, but they must carry certificates. This took the question through the period, but our success was not without the loss of some regard.
Our interest in the Pacific, however, was not confined to our relations with other nations resident upon it: we were
becoming one of the most important resident Territorial expansion on the nations ourselves. The definite acquisition of Pacific coast
Oregon with Puget Sound in 1846, and of California with the bay of San Francisco in 1848, gave us the best commercial coast line on its western shores, and the annexation of Alaska in 1867 stretched a finger round toward Asia.1
From time to time the American flag was raised over a number of the Pacific islands. In 1812 Commodore Porter, cruising in the Pacific, named and annexed Madison island;
1 F. H. Skrine, The Expansion of Russia, 1815-1900, Cambridge, Eng.,
but name and flag alike soon vanished from it. Ephemeral national occupation was taken from time to time of guano islands. By a succession of United States laws The Pacific the President was authorized, after proper formalities, to maintain these as national possessions while the guano was being extracted, but without incurring any obligation of perpetual possession. Although some of them were situated in the Caribbean and elsewhere, the majority were in the Pacific; in the eighties over fifty were reported as claimed by Americans in that ocean. The hold of the United States in such cases was not only temporary but slight; still conflicting claims of persons and nations, and complaints as to conditions on them, demanded constant attention by the department of state. The occupation of the appropriately named Midway island by the navy in 1867 has been held to have brought it permanently within our sovereignty.
More important was our connection with the inhabited islands, the first general interest being excited by the island kingdom of Samoa. This earthly paradise,
Samoa which Stevenson has made the home of romance and faery, was the scene of diverting wars between the natives and of Gilbertian intrigues between the American, German, and English consuls. Like the "three kings of Chickeraboo," they smoked at Apia, the capital, and dreamed of circumventing their rivals. Three hundred foreigners, mostly of the beach-combing variety, divided the trade of the islands. That of the United States and Great Britain had ceased to grow, but the Deutsche Handels-und Plantagengesell-schaft für Südseeinseln zu Hamburg was extending its sales and taking in payment therefor land titles of the significance of which the natives had as little idea as the American Indians had had of theirs. The tendency, therefore, was for the American and English consuls to cooperate against the German.1
"R. L. Stevenson, A Footnote to History: Eight Years of Trouble in Samoa, New York, 1892.