University of Hawaii at Manoa Library

Home: The Annexation Of Hawaii: A Collection Of Document

Hawaii Organic Act: Congressional debates on Hawaii Organic Act

[ Previous Page ] -- [ View PDF ] -- [ View in MS Word ] -- [ Next Page ]

April 3, 1900
T. 33  (4)
p. 3721-3723

April 3, 1900 House T. 33  (4) p. 3721-3723
Are we to sacrifice the principles of the Declaration of Inde-
pendence to sell a few bales of cotton or a few bushels of wheat? 
Trade is valuable; but, purchased by the sacrifice of the principles of 
the Declaration of Independence and of the Farewell Address of 
Washington and of the Monroe doctrine, it is not worth the price. 
There is a good deal of talk about "manifest destiny" in connection 
with the Philippines.   I am one of those who believe that the hand 
of God is in the affairs of the world.   "By Him kings reign and 
princes decree justice."   But I do not believe the hand of God is in 
this business.   If it is, I fear it is to discipline and teach us the 
dangers to our Government from an imperial or colonial policy.   
Mr. Chairman, some of the same people who are loudest and most 
persistent in the assertion that the possession of the Philippines is a 
"manifest destiny" are also asserting the following as good 
imperialist doctrine.   An Administration paper asserts:                    
While it may seem a cold-blooded assertion, there is little more to regret in the 
death of 10,000 Filipinos than in the catting down of as many pine trees in the 
United States.  The American Indian is going the way pointed out by evolution; 
the Filipino must follow.
Let us be honest with ourselves and the world in this matter and 
admit that we are not altogether animated by humane motives, 
that in many respects this question with the present Administration is 
not one of humanity but one of profit.   In the language of two of the 
leading papers of the country, which I quote, it is evident that it is 
not all a question of benevolence.   A leading newspaper says 
There is a good deal of nonsensical talk about humanity requiring as to keep 
possession of the Philippines.   It is noteworthy, however, that it comes 
principally from those who advocate the wholesale slaughter of the Filipinos to 
teach them that the United States is not to be trifled with.   If we retain the 
Philippines, we will not do so because we are animated by humane motives, but 
because we believe it will pay as to keep them.
The Washington Post, published at the national capital, adds:
Why not tell the truth and say, what is the fact, that we want Cuba, Porto 
Rico, Hawaii, and Luzon, together with any other islands in either ocean 
that may hereafter commend themselves to our appetite, because we believe 
they will add to our national strength, and because we hope they will some day 
become purchasers at our bargain counters?  We might as well throw off the 
pious mask and indulge ourselves in a little honest candor.   It will cost us 
nothing, and it may profit much.   At any rate we shall have the comfort and 
satisfaction of being honest with ourselves and the privilege of looking into the 
mirror without blushing.
If we want to Christianize these people, let us accord them in-
dependence with protection and secure harbors, coaling stations, 
trade and commercial advantages, which they will gladly give us. Let 
them reimburse us the twenty millions paid Spain, and let us send 
the message of the cross through Christian missionaries. You can 
never Christianize any people under the sun by cruelty, by 
oppression, or by a shotgun policy.   The "manifest destiny" of this 
great Republic, this nation blessed of God, the greatest in wealth, 
in contiguous area, and in population (except Great Britain, 
Russia, and the Chinese Empire) is to show to all the world that 
men are capable of self-government, that a great nation can exist 
without great fleets, navies, and standing armies, and that we are 
the friends of liberty, of humanity, of the oppressed of every race 
in every clime under the sun.
This present policy of the Republican Administration must 
necessarily lead to foreign entanglements and foreign alliances- 
the very things against which the founders of the Republic warned us.   
Thomas Jefferson, one of  the founders, gave utterance to these 
sentiments many years ago:
Separated by a wide ocean from the nations of Europe and from the political 
interests which entangle them, with productions and wants which render our 
commerce and friendship useful to them and theirs to us. it can not be the 
interest of any to assail us nor ours to disturb them.  We should be most 
unwise indeed were we to cast away the singular blessings of the position in 
which nature has placed us, the opportunity she has endowed us with of pur-
suing at a distance from foreign contentions the paths of industry, peace, and 
happiness, of cultivating general friendship, and of bringing collisions of interest 
to the umpirage of reason rather than of force.  How desirous, then,

must it be in a government like ours to see its citizens adopt, individually, the 
views, the interests, and the conduct which their country should pursue, divesting 
themselves of those passions and partialities which tend to lessen useful 
friendships and to embarrass and embroil us in the calamitous scenes of Europe.
The following sentiments of the Father of his Country are also 
applicable, it seems to me, to the present situation:
BUT THEY ARE AS APPLICABLE NOW AS THEN. Separated as we are by a world of 
water from other nations, we shall, if we are wise, surely avoid being drawn 
into the labyrinth of their politics and involved in their destructive wars. 
America may think herself happy in having the Atlantic for a barrier.
The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations, is to have with 
them as little political connection as possible.
Kindly separated by nature and a wide ocean from the exterminating havoc of 
one-quarter of the globe; too high minded to endure the degradations of others; 
possessing a chosen country with room enough for our descendants to the 
thousandth and thousandth generation; entertaining a due sense of our equal 
right to the use of our own faculties, to the acquisitions of our own industry, to 
honor and confidence from our fellow-citizens, resulting not from birth, but from 
our actions and our sense of them; *  *   * with all these blessings, what more is 
necessary to make us a happy and a prosperous people?  Still one thing more, 
fellow-citizens; a wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from 
injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own 
pursuits of industry and improvements, and shall take not from the mouth of 
labor the bread it has earned.   This is the sum of good government, and this is 
necessary to close the circle of our felicities.
The following utterances apply especially at this time to the 
tendency toward too strong a British-American alliance:
A passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils.   
Sympathy for the favorite nation facilitates the illusion of imaginary common 
interests in cases where no real common interest exists, and, infusing into one 
the enmities of the other, betrays the other into a participation in the quarrels and 
wars of the hitter without inducement or justification.
I can most religiously aver that I have no wish that is incompatible with the 
dignity, happiness, and true interest of the people of this country.   My ardent 
desire is, and my aim has been, to comply strictly with all our engagements, foreign 
and domestic; but to keep the United States free from political connections with 
every other country, to see them independent of all and under the influence of 
none.   In a word, I want an American character, that the powers of Europe may 
be convinced we act for ourselves and not for others.   This, in my judgment, is 
the only way to be respected abroad and happy at home, and not, by becoming 
the partisans of Great Britain or Franco (or any other country), create 
dissensions, disturb the public tranquillity, and destroy, perhaps forever, the 
cement which binds the Union.
Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence (I conjure you to believe me, fellow-
citizens) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake, since 
history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful 
foes of republican government. Excessive partiality for one foreign nation and 
excessive dislike of another cause them whom they actuate to see danger only on 
one side, and serve to veil, and even to second, the arts of influence on the other.
This new policy of imperialism in spirit is furthermore an 
abandonment of the doctrine enunciated by President Monroe in his 
message to Congress during his Administration, well known as the 
"Monroe doctrine."   The exact language of this doctrine, as 
enunciated in the message, is as follows:
The occasion has been judged proper for asserting, as a principle in which the 
rights and interests of the United States are involved, that the American 
continents, by the free and independent condition which they have assumed and 
maintained, are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future 
colonization by any European powers.   We owe it, therefore, to candor and to the 
amicable relations existing between the United States and those powers to 
declare that we should consider any attempt on their part to extend their system 
to any portion of this hemisphere as dangerous to our peace and security. With the 
existing colonies or dependencies of any European power we have not 
interfered and shall not interfere; but with the governments that have declared 
their independence and maintained it, and whose independence we have, on great 
consideration and on just principles, acknowledged, we could not view any 
interposition for the purpose of oppressing them or controlling in any other 
manner their destiny, by any European power, in any other light than as a 
manifestation of an unfriendly disposition toward the United States.
If we involve ourselves in foreign complications and the affairs of 
nations upon the European and Asiatic continents, necessarily we 
will be driven step by step from an adherence to this doctrine, 
enunciated by President Monroe, which has enabled us to maintain 
the peace of the Western Hemisphere and added to our strength 
among the nations of the earth.
Mr. Chairman, the cost of this present policy of the Administration, 
the cost of imperialism, is growing gradually greater year by year.   I 
desire to submit, in connection with my remarks upon this subject 
the very carefully prepared and full, while brief, statement of the 
distinguished gentleman from Tennessee [Mr. RICHARDSON] , made 
a few days ago in the House, showing the cost of imperialism - 
showing that we have had an annual increase

Return to Top

Terms of Use  |  UH Mānoa  |  UH System  |  Ask Us
University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Library  |  2550 McCarthy Mall  |  Honolulu, Hawaii 96822 USA
808-956-7214 (Reference)  |  808-956-7203 (Circulation)  |  808-956-7205 (Administration)
808-956-5968 (fax)  |