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  < Back to Table Of Contents  < Back to Topic: You Can Enjoy Politics

article number 288
article date 11-14-2013
copyright 2013 by Author else SaltOfAmerica
He Was a Bull … The First Teddy Roosevelt Years, 1901-04
by James Truslow Adams
   

From the 1933 book, March of Democracy, America and World Power.

By 1904, 164,500 miles of railroad, practically all that was worth anything, was controlled by six groups of individuals, who by means of their own wealth, and yet more by the control they held over banks and life insurance companies, were coming to dominate the life of the people in every department.

The organization and control of the business concerns were, in truth, concentrating so rapidly that by 1910 an investigating committee of Congress could report that the two banking groups in New York, known generally as the Morgan and the Rockefeller groups, held 341 directorships in 112 companies with aggregate resources of $ 2.2 billion. In the face of this situation, the old political system of government appeared to have become useless.

On the other hand, the people were becoming very much alive to the evils, though they did not know how to cure them, and the spiritual forces of the nation were gathering strength. For the first time, the women, who had been given a great increase of leisure in many classes by the change in the type and management of the home, began to take their part in forming public opinion.

The women’s clubs throughout the country tended rapidly to become not merely blue-stocking reading circles but aggressive centres in their communities for the militant improvement of local conditions. Here and there, in such cities as Cleveland, Toledo, Milwaukee or San Francisco, efforts, more or less successful, were made to clean up the municipal governments, such efforts in the last city in particular bringing out clearly that the power of the great corporations was wholly on the side of graft and bribery and against any attempt to cleanse the filth.

   

Not much good was accomplished permanently, for the system of building up, by corruption, political machines dominated by a boss whom the corporations believe essential to them for corrupt purposes of their own, is too deeply entrenched even yet in our national life. Every fink in the chain that runs from the corporation desiring political favors down to the policeman on the beat levying his toll on the prostitute or the apple-seller is too strong to have been broken yet.

Roosevelt was right. Big business does not want honest government, and so long as government is not honest, and the laws are not justly and impartially administered, every business man, even if he desires to be honest, finds himself caught in the system of great or petty graft and bribery.

In 1901, however, among a very large and steadily increasing part of the ordinary people, there were developing a vast disgust and a vast fear. The magnates believed even more firmly than old Vanderbilt had a generation earlier, that they had the power, and refused to accede to any demands of the public.

In truth they were living over a smouldering volcano which might blow them into the air at any moment if no vent were provided for the forces of discontent.

The Democrats had understood that much in 1896 but they had been able to find no leader save Bryan, who, honest and well-meaning as he was, could lead them only into the wilderness because he was not intellectually capable of understanding the economic forces and tendencies of his time.

He had been, however, no more dangerous to the peace of the nation than were the great business leaders and the Republican politicians who were equally blind to the social forces, and as to whither their own economic policies were carrying the nation.

   
THE FAMOUS FLORODORA SEXTETE. Florodora opened November 11, 1900, at the Casino Theatre and ran to five hundred and forty-seven performances in New York. The original members of the sextette were: Margaret Walker, Vaughn
Texsmith, Marie Wilson, Marjorie Relyea, Agnes Wayburn, Daisy Green.

The shot that killed McKinley had by chance installed in the White House a Republican leader who did understand both the social discontent and the inevitability of large aggregations of capital under the conditions of the new economic era.

It was Roosevelt’s sympathy with all classes, his love of fairness, and his ability as a statesman that led him to undertake, not the leadership of the forces of discontent but the reconciliation of the conflicting parties on the basis of what he called the “square deal” in what was promising otherwise to become serious social upheaval.

Roosevelt was far from being a perfect character, and there are not a few traits and episodes in his career which even his most ardent admirers have to deplore. One has only to consider his character in terms of a Washington to realize vividly some of his shortcomings, but his general love of honesty and his devotion to the people as a whole and not to any one class.

His practicality, his fighting spirit, and his equal courage when faced either by labor unions or entrenched wealth, together with the extraordinary popularity which he possessed, made him the best possible leader in the struggles of the next eight years and the commanding figure in the entire nation.

It had been McKinley and not himself who had been chosen President by a great majority, and Roosevelt declared that he would continue his predecessor’s policies, as he did his Cabinet. The latter had been an unusually distinguished one, including John Hay as Secretary of State, Lyman J. Gage in the Treasury, Elihu Root in the War Department, and Philander C. Knox as Attorney-General.

   

It was impossible, however, that Roosevelt should merely carry on the policies of another. The most dynamic and explosive personality that has ever crossed the stage of American public life, he could be no one but himself. During his service as President, he made no less than twenty-three changes in his Cabinet, and in his first message to Congress, on December 3, 1901, he went at once to the attack of the economic problems of his day.

It was, in truth, a distinctly conservative message, decrying any rash attempts to destroy the existing delicate economic machinery of the nation. Nevertheless it seemed radical to the business men who had considered themselves above the law, because the President suggested that corporations should be amenable to the law and subject to investigation and, “within reasonable limits,” controlled by the government in the interest of the people.

The addition of another member to the Cabinet, a Secretary of Commerce and Industries, was also suggested, and the extraordinarily long document of about 20,000 words laid down all the principles on which Roosevelt was to act for the next eight years.

Reasonable as most of it would seem today, it sent a shiver down the spine of big business, which waited, in considerable fear and anger, to see what the new President might do in acts rather than words.

Meanwhile, the Sherman Anti-trust Law had been almost wholly neglected since its passage in 1890, and the great combinations had given it scant attention, if any, as court decisions appeared to have shown that it was a mere toothless bogey.

   
Trying to block his way. One of the innumerable cartoons printed during Teddy Roosevelt’s Presidency which pictured the opposition to Roosevelt’s policies in the unflattering guise of serpents, devil-fish, and the like. From “The Tribune” (Minneapolis.)

RAILROAD TRUST BUSTING

Suddenly, in the spring of 1901, all Wall Street, and a good deal of the country, were made to realize how powerful for good or ill had become the forces wielded by the super-business men who could play with the rest of us like pawns on a chess-board. It was as though a terrific flash of lightning had made us realize the strength of the electrical forces in the sky.

The Hill-Morgan group controlled the Great Northern and Northern Pacific lines in the northwest, and wished to obtain control of the Burlington, running out of Chicago. The Harriman-Kuhn, Loeb and Company group owned the Southern and Union Pacific lines, and wished to block the purchase. Hill and Morgan won, securing control of 97 per cent of the Burlington stock, which they divided between the two northern roads.

Thinking themselves secure, Hill went home and Morgan went to Europe. The ambition of the comparative newcomer, Harriman, however, would not be balked, and, backed by Kuhn, Loeb, he suddenly began to buy Northern Pacific stock in the expectation of wresting control from Morgan, and so getting not only that line but half of the Burlington stock with it.

Sensing what was being attempted by the action of Northern Pacific stock in the market, Morgan cabled to buy 150,000 shares. Ordinarily selling for about $100 a share, many brokers had sold it short as it rose, and as the violent fight for control between Morgan and Harriman reached its climax, the brokers were unable to deliver.

On May 9, Northern Pacific soared to $1000 a share, bid up by frantic “shorts” who were trying to make good their contracts and avoid bankruptcy.

   
PART OF THE NEW YORK TIMES FINANCIAL PAGE OF MAY 10, 1901, SHOWING NORTHERN PACIFIC AT $1000 A SHARE.

As that stock rose, others fell with appalling rapidity, Standard Oil dropping 150 points between sales. By noon there would have been scarcely a Stock Exchange house which would have been solvent if it had to settle at the prices then prevailing. The chief contestants, to save the whole banking structure, had to call a truce, and allow the shorts to settle.

EDITOR’S NOTE: A “short” is a financial tool for betting that a stock will drop in price. Yes! They had “shorts” way back then.

Each side claimed to have approximately half the stock of the Northern Pacific, having in fact purchased from short-sellers 78,000 shares more than existed. As a way out of the difficulty, a great holding company, capitalized at about $ 400 million under the hospitable laws of New Jersey, was formed to take over the stocks of the Great Northern and Northern Pacific, with their joint ownership of the Burlington.

As the Harriman-Kuhn, Loeb interests would have heavy representation on its board and already owned the other two Western transcontinentals, it seemed as though the entire Western railway system would come under one control, and the West was immediately up in arms.

This had been done in November, less than a month before Roosevelt sent his first message to Congress, and those who were waiting to see what he would do had not long to wait. In February, the government brought suit for the dissolution of the holding company under the Sherman Act, and in a little less than two years had won its suit and dissolved the company.

   
Teddy Roosevelt vs. the Railroad Interests. From “The Eagle”, Brooklyn, N.Y.

By his action, Roosevelt had antagonized practically all the greatest leaders in finance and industry, but in the summer, after his Attorney-General had started the suit, the President made a speaking tour of the country.

The wild enthusiasm of the audiences in response to his reiterated statements that there should be no one in the nation so great or powerful as to be above the law and that he intended to enforce it, showed clearly that the people stood behind him.

Roosevelt was no demagogue but he had grasped the fact that the time had come to control irresponsible power for the interests of society as a whole.

On the other hand, the business leaders, used to riding rough-shod toward their ends, denounced the suggested right of control as socialistic demagoguery, destructive of the business interests of the nation. This attitude was to appear rather brutally in another contest between Roosevelt and the business leaders in the autumn of the same year, 1902.

   
THE TWENTIETH CENTURY LIMITED. A monarch of the rails typifying the progress in transportation since the days of the De Witt Clinton. On her maiden trip in 1902, she covered in twenty hours the distance between New York and Chicago, which in thirty years has been reduced only two hours. The Twentieth Century, said to be the most popular deluxe train in the world, uses the Hudson type locomotive, which has great reserve power and is able to handle the heaviest train smoothly under all operating conditions.

RESOLUTION OF THE COAL MINER’S STRIKE

The condition, of the coal-mining industry had been scandalous for many years, both legally and socially. Contrary to law in some States, the great railroads, such as the Reading, owned mines, the products of which they carried, and contrary to social justice the owners treated their employees shamefully.

Kept on low wages, forced to live at exorbitant rents in houses belonging to the mine-owners, required to buy even the tools of their trade, such as blasting powder, at more than double cost from the companies whose own coal it was that was to be blasted, and receiving in many cases the bulk of their wages in certificates good only for purchases of supplies at the companies’ stores, the status of the worker in the mines had come to be that of economic slavery.

There had been a flare-up in 1900, when the miners had offered to submit their grievances to fair arbitration and to abide loyally by the decision. This the owners refused, but to avoid serious trouble and scandal just before the Presidential election, Hanna had patched up a truce. There was no real redress of grievances, however, and in the early summer of 1902 the storm broke.

The leader and spokesman for the miners was John Mitchell, one of the finest and broadest-minded of the labor leaders we have had in America. On the other hand, the leader of the owners was George F. Baer, president of the Reading Railway, one of the most reactionary, narrow-minded and arbitrary of the inner ring of big business magnates.

Refusing to consider complaints, to arbitrate or to recognize the union, Baer’s attitude was summed up in his incredible statement that “the rights and interests of the laboring man will be protected and cared for, not by the labor agitators, but by the Christian men to whom God in his infinite wisdom has given the control of the property interests of this country.”

One scarcely knows whether to wonder most at the ignorance, arrogance or blasphemy of such a view of the relations of the new coal barons to their new serfs. Unfortunately the view was accepted as natural by the owners, the great bankers and all the small group of big business leaders. These resented any assertion of rights by labor or the ordinary citizen which might challenge their own absolute control, reducing their personal profits or limiting their entire freedom of action.

   

Almost 150,000 desperate men had gone on strike in May, and as the cold of autumn approached without any settlement, the price of coal to consumers had risen to $30 a ton.

Even such a man as Stuyvesant Fish, who a few years later was to be financially murdered by Harriman and other leaders because of his firm stand on the reform of the life insurance companies, warned Roosevelt that the coal owners had the right to make all they could out of the situation and that nothing should be done by the government to end the strike and interfere with the “legitimate” increase in profits.

In view of the enormous suffering in store for the people at large, as well as the miners, when winter should come, the President wrote that “the only analogy” to Fish’s suggestion “I could think of would be a protest by the undertakers against the improper activity of the government quarantine officers in preventing the admittance of Asiatic cholera.”

As President, Roosevelt had no constitutional power to do anything beyond maintaining order by force, if necessary, in the mining districts, but he undertook personally to bring about a settlement.

Calling a conference at the White House of Mitchell and some of the representatives of the owners, he asked them to reach some agreement which, for the good of the suffering nation, might result in resumption of mining. Mitchell immediately offered to arbitrate, but the owners flatly refused, and the meeting broke up in anger, Mitchell, according to the President, being the only one of all, including Roosevelt himself, who kept his temper.

The public, however, which had been on the side of the men, was deeply aroused and alarmed, and the owners began to take fright. Moreover the President was considering taking over the mines with Federal troops and operating them for the benefit of the people regardless of the owners.

At last the latter agreed to the appointment of a Commission of Arbitration, and although they absolutely refused to allow a representative of labor on the Commission they agreed to it if he should be designated as “an eminent sociologist”! As Lodge wrote, “the business man dealing with a large political question is really a painful sight.”

   
Arbitrators arrive to help end the strike.

Mining was at once resumed and the nation was saved unthinkable suffering. Four months later the Commission decided largely in favor of the miners, who received a ten per cent increase in wages, recognition of the Union, and other advantages. The willingness of the owners to entail any amount of suffering on the people rather than yield an inch on the side of fairness and justice had taught the public again how completely it was coming under the control of a small and arrogantly arbitrary group. Roosevelt’s able handling of the situation enormously increased his popularity as a leader.

INTERNATIONAL STRENGHT OF THE UNITED STATES

An episode at the very end of the same year was to do so yet further, as well as to give him prestige abroad, although the details were not disclosed for many years after. Venezuela, which, under its dictator Castro, owed considerable sums to several European nations, had been involved in disputes over payments for a long time, when England and Germany, working in harmony, broke off diplomatic relations, and both sent some war-ships to the Venezuelan coast.

Roosevelt had no objections to the European nations’ bringing Castro to book, but he became convinced, apparently justly, that Germany intended to use the incident to acquire at least a permanent naval base in the Caribbean. This we would not have allowed in any case under the Monroe Doctrine, but in addition, as we shall see, we had begun negotiations looking to the building of the Panama Canal. The President had no intention of allowing Germany to establish a fortified base commanding its eastern end.

England, which had no such intention and had no wish to pull Germany’s chestnuts out of the fire, withdrew her ships and there was no trouble on that score.

Germany, however, refused arbitration with Venezuela, and contented herself with denying that she intended “permanent” occupation of any Venezuelan territory.

Roosevelt pointed out to von Holleben that “permanent” was a very vague word, and that Germany had seized the Chinese port of Kiauchau on a ninety-nine-year lease.

Meanwhile, the President had ordered Dewey, with a fleet of over fifty ships, including every battle-ship and torpedo boat in the American navy (at that time more powerful than the German), to “manoeuvre” in the West Indian waters, with secret orders to have the fleet ready to sail to Venezuela at an hour’s notice. The German Ambassador was then informed that if Germany did not agree to arbitrate within ten days, Dewey would be ordered to Venezuela.

   
A CARTOON ON THE MONROE DOCTRINE. From “The New York Herald,” December 16, 1902.

According to Roosevelt’s version, unfortunately the ambassador advised his government that Roosevelt was bluffing. When some days passed and no word came from Germany, the President asked von Holleben if he had any answer.

Roosevelt’s story is that when von Holleben replied “No,” he was informed that, in that case, Dewey would receive his orders twenty-four hours earlier than had been planned. Recent research has thrown grave doubt on Roosevelt’s tale; but it is certain that von Holleben miscalculated his purpose.

The Emperor agreed to arbitration and von Holleben was dismissed from the service. It was a wound to the Kaiser’s prestige and self-esteem that must have cut deep, but in a public statement Roosevelt gave the German praise for his offer of arbitration and let him off easily.

Although the Emperor had asked Roosevelt himself to be the arbitrator, the President declined, and strengthened the position of the Hague Tribunal by having all the nations take their cases to that Court.

Although the full story of the negotiations was not to be revealed for more than a decade, it was clear that the President had scored a heavy diplomatic victory over the Emperor, and between his defense of American rights abroad and his defense of the ordinary small citizen at home, Roosevelt was attaining a degree of enthusiastic popularity which has fallen to the lot of no other President.

CONSERVATION

Few, indeed, have had such a successful year as Roosevelt had in 1902. Perhaps the most important and beneficent policy which he initiated in it, and which Congress embodied in the Newlands Act, was that of the much-needed conservation of our national resources. For generations we had been recklessly wasteful of them.

Private ownership had destroyed the forests of State after State, with no replanting, so that the vast forest areas which under proper management might have lasted us a thousand years had disappeared almost in one generation. But we had also been wasteful of our water power and other resources, the government having taken little or no interest in preventing their rapid dissipation in private hands.

Cleveland had made a beginning, and a few Acts, such as the Forest Reserve Act of 1891, and the Carey Act of 1894 had been passed, but fraud, graft, and greed, combined with lack of aggressiveness on the part of the authorities, had largely made them dead letters.

Roosevelt initiated a wholly new era and indeed changed the current of national thought on the subject. He not only withdrew 85 million acres of public lands from sale until their mineral resources could be examined, but, whereas under the Act of 1891 former Presidents bad set aside about 30 million acres each of forest land, he formed a national forest preserve of nearly 150 million wooded acres, out of the 200 million that existed when he became President.

Moreover, by the building of dams and the utilization of our Western water powers for the irrigation of “desert” lands, the results of Roosevelt’s policy and foresight are crops now valued at about $ 250 million a year. In this, as in all else, he encountered the strong opposition of private interests of one sort or another, who much preferred the old opportunities for making money by exploiting the resources of the moment to considering their value for future generations.

   

Although 1903 was chiefly notable for the acquisition of Panama at its close, it began less spectacularly with continued social legislation. In February, an Act was passed by Congress creating the Department of Labor, and another giving precedence in the courts to cases against the trusts, such as that against the beef combine which was won by the government in May.

The Elkins Act, although it did not give the government control over railway rates, made an important step forward by making illegal any secret rebates from published rates, and making the receiver as well as the giver of such rebates liable to punishment.

Fear, mistrust, and hatred of Roosevelt were increasing almost as rapidly in Wall Street as was his popularity outside of it. The brief, but rather sharp, depression in business in 1903, which was due to the reckless way in which the bankers had floated enormous amounts of “undigested securities” in capitalizing their new consolidations, was, of course, attributed to the President, either because the financiers believed it or because they wanted a scapegoat for their own misdeeds.

Even so extraordinary a judge of values as Morgan had lost his head, and in throwing together the International Mercantile Marine combination, had displayed an utter disregard of realities in the prices paid for the White Star Line and other constituents.

BUILDING THE PANAMA CANAL

Whatever other things he accomplished, and they were both many and great, Roosevelt himself always believed that the greatest was the building of the Panama Canal. It is certain that no other action of his life brings out more clearly both his qualities and their defects.

The background of the situation in 1903 may be briefly described in its essential points. For at least a decade, Roosevelt had been deeply interested in the project of an isthmian canal, which, owned, controlled, and fortified by us, he deemed essential to our security and naval policy, and which he was most keen to have as the chief claim to glory of his own administration.

To accomplish what he wished, it was necessary to abrogate honorably the old Clayton-Bulwer Treaty of 1850 with England, and after a couple of years’ negotiation this was done amicably by the signing of the Hay-Pauncefote Treaty, February 21, 1902.

There was a question whether the route across Nicaragua or that across Panama was the more suitable, the decision finally being in favor of the latter. A French company had long before secured a concession, terminating in 1904, from the Colombian Government, and had done some work but had been unable to make a success of the undertaking.

In January, 1902, the company offered to sell out to the United States for $ 40 million.

   
Abandoned equipment from the French attempt to build the canal.

There was also in the background, an old treaty made in 1846 between Colombia (then called New Granada) and the United States. For nearly sixty years this had been interpreted by both parties to mean that we should protect the neutrality of Panama (a province of Colombia) against foreign attack; preserve freedom of transit across the isthmus; maintain Colombia’s sovereignty over it; and avoid interference with any effort of Colombia to suppress insurrection, indeed to assist her in so doing.

In March, 1902, negotiations were begun with the Colombian Minister in Washington for a treaty which should serve as the basis for our undertaking to build the Canal. On January 22, 1903, a Convention was signed by John Hay and the Colombian charge’ d’affaires, Thomas Herran. The terms on which the United States had insisted had been so repugnant to the Minister from Colombia and his government that the former had declined to sign the Convention and had left Washington.

The terms were, in brief, that there could be no negotiations between Colombia and the French company; that the United States should have full control over a strip of land six miles wide across the isthmus, Colombia renouncing her sovereignty; and that for these and other considerations we should pay Colombia $ 10 million in gold, and after nine years $250,000 a year. On the 17th of March the American Senate ratified the agreement.

On the other hand, the Colombian Government did not. There had been a dictatorship in that country for five years, and the politicians were unquestionably difficult to deal with, but popular sentiment upheld the Colombian Senate in its contention that Colombia should not give up its sovereignty and that the $ 10 million offered to that country for all it was asked to yield was too little compared with the $ 40 million paid to the almost defunct French private company. In August, the Senate rejected the proposed treaty.

There is no question that however useful the Canal might prove to us and to the world, and however anxious Roosevelt may have been to link his name with it, Colombia was entirely within her rights in declining to ratify the treaty, precisely as our own Senate has declined to ratify innumerable treaties.

   
Culebra Cut, the deepest cut of the Panama Canal.

It is also almost certain that although more time would have been involved, a satisfactory treaty could have been made by the use of more courteous negotiation and by the payment of a larger sum. It was none of our business what might become of the money after we paid it to the Colombian Government, and in truth what we offered was very small.

Within a few years after the opening of the Canal our annual net profits from its operation, quite apart from its strategic value to us, were about fifty per cent more, not allowing for capital charges, than the total capital sum we offered Colombia for the Zone.

However, Roosevelt, always impatient, would brook no delay. Powerful interests had become involved in the possible payment of $ 40 million to the French company, and so careful was the protection accorded to it that although its charter had only one year to run, we insisted, by prohibiting all negotiations between it and Colombia, that the Colombians could get none of the $ 40 million.

Moreover, no Vice-President who had succeeded to the Presidency had ever been subsequently elected, and the Presidential election was only a year off. Roosevelt preferred therefore to wield “the big stick,” and throughout the negotiations there was an air of haste and bullying which was most unusual in diplomatic intercourse.

The Province of Panama itself naturally wanted the Canal built, and when Colombia declined to sign the treaty and we declined to negotiate further, it was not difficult for those interested in the $ 40 million payment to the expiring French company, and others, to stage a revolution.

There is no evidence that Roosevelt took an active part in bringing it about. He did not have to, but he was aware that it was coming, and was prepared to act. He had already contemplated seizing the Canal Zone by force and declaring war against Colombia, but the revolution offered a simpler way out.

Although by our Treaty of 1846 we were supposed to uphold Colombian sovereignty, Roosevelt gave a different and wholly new interpretation to that document, and as a result of the intervention of our naval forces we established the independence of the revolted province as the Republic of Panama.

We then made a treaty with that new State, getting all we wanted in the way of a Canal Zone for ourselves at our own price.

   
After completion, the USS Wisconsin in the Gatun Lock at Panama Canal demonstrates our security need for the canal.

The evidence points to the almost certainty that if we had agreed to give Colombia $ 7.5 million more, we could have got all we wanted from her, but it seems to have been less a question of money than of time—time which was growing short for those interested in the French company with its expiring concession and for Roosevelt with only a year or so more of his term.

The consequence of the way the affair was handled was that not only did Colombia become our bitter enemy, and justly so, but fear of the “big stick” and of the brutal aggressiveness of the great American Republic spread throughout the whole of South America.

Roosevelt’s later statement, “I took the Canal Zone,” was all too clearly understood by our southern neighbors, and in spite of the fact that in 1922, tardy justice was done to Colombia, partly under pressure from American oil interests on Congress, by the payment to her of $25,000,000, or more than three times what we would have had to pay extra in 1903, irreparable harm had been done to our reputation for friendly and honest dealing.

In the treaty with Panama we reserved to ourselves the right to intervene to maintain order in that new “sovereign” state, as we had done in the case of Cuba, and, largely as a result of our interest in the Canal, we were in succeeding years to develop further the theory of our “protectorate” over the countries of the Caribbean.

Most of them were unstable in government and in debt to Europe, a situation which, in order to prevent European occupation, might cause us, as Roosevelt pointed out in his message to Congress in December, 1904, to exercise “an international police power.”

This, within a few weeks, he proceeded to do in Santo Domingo, which had become bankrupt, owing money to France, Italy, and Belgium, which nations had announced their intention of extorting payment by force.

Roosevelt made a treaty with the small republic under which the United States was to take over the finances and assets of Santo Domingo in the capacity of a receiver and to administer them for the benefit of that nation and its creditors. Although the Senate declined to ratify the treaty and denounced Roosevelt’s usurpation, the President went ahead and carried out his plan by Executive action only.

The plan worked well, and the treaty was ratified three years later, but the extension given to the Monroe Doctrine by, Roosevelt marked an important, and perhaps dangerous, step in the interpretation of that very vague policy. On the other hand, until the Drago theory of non-intervention by force to collect international debts is generally accepted by the nations of the world, probably Roosevelt’s policy of our acting as policeman in the Caribbean is the lesser of two dangers.

   
EXPANSION LED TO THIS CARTOON BY LEON BARRITI, USED BY THE REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE OF 1904. From the Library of Congress.

It was a policy, however, that by no means approved itself to all Americans, many of whom had also been shocked by the way we acquired the Canal Zone.

The settlement of the Alaska boundary dispute with England and Canada in 1903, the courageous handling of the coal strike the year before, and above all the President’s attitude on the trust problem, had won him enormous popularity.

On the other hand, the last two points had also made him a host of powerful enemies among the leaders of business and his party, to which were now added many who had formerly approved of his course but who objected to our wielding the “big stick” in foreign relations.

   
A FARO GAME IN FULL SWING AT THE ORIENT SALOON, BISBEE, ARIZONA, IN 1903. Recognized: Left to right: Tony Downs (standing with derby—part owner of saloon); Doyle, a concert-hall singer, at the corner of table sitting, with derby. Back of him standing is Dutch Kid. Sleepy Dick, Se Porter, to right with light felt. Charlie Bassett, wearing soft felt, in rear, next wall; dealer is Johnny Murphy. Smiley Lewis is in silk hat.
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