American Neutrality, Trial and Failure

American Neutrality, Trial and Failure

American Neutrality, Trial and Failure

American Neutrality, Trial and Failure

Excerpt

During the critical events of the past five years a majority of the American people have placed their faith in a policy of neutrality. Let war come in Europe, if it must; the United States would be neutral. Not only was the policy said to be justified by expediency, but it had sound national tradition behind it as well. By international law the neutral state had only to fulfill faithfully certain duties of neutrality and it could rest assured that its rights would be respected and it could remain at peace while the belligerents fought out their battles upon another continent. Whenever we had departed from that policy we had done so to our misfortune. If now we told the world our purpose to remain neutral and sought to forestall every danger of involvement, we could safely let events take their course without our interference.

The purpose of the author in preparing these lectures was to show the falsity of these assumptions--that neutrality, instead of being the simple formula it was believed to be, was an inherently illogical and paradoxical system which had neither the facts of history to justify it nor the logic of practical politics; that it led inevitably to the situation where the neutral must surrender certain rights not worth fighting for and prepare to defend others which were too vital to surrender. Moreover, the announcement in time of peace that the United States proposed to treat alike the law-breaker and his victim was, if not an invitation to lawlessness, certainly no deterrent . . .

Author Advanced search

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.