Mahan: The Life and Work of Captain Alfred Thayer Mahan, U.S.N.

By W. D. Puleston | Go to book overview

Chapter XXXIII The Monroe Doctrine

DURING 1903 Mahan had planned to concentrate upon his "War of 1812." He therefore asked Maxse to decide at his leisure on the subjects for two or three articles "to be published at intervals of about four months for which you would be willing to pay me $500.00 each." Maxse replied at once, "it is clearly understood that I am to take three articles from you during the next year at the rate of $500.00 each," thus leaving Mahan entirely free, when and what to write.

While Mahan was suggesting that the British and German people avoid permanent antipathies, their governments were making earnest efforts to reduce the existing friction which had accumulated during the Boer War. The two foreign offices had been negotiating throughout the summer of 1902, seeking a basis of common action against Venezuela, whose government had failed to meet its obligations to German and British citizens. As friendly gestures, Field Marshall Lord Roberts accepted the Kaiser's invitation to attend the maneuvers of the German Army; and later in the autumn, the Kaiser visited his uncle, King Edward, at Sandringham. During this visit the King informed the Kaiser of the successful outcome of the negotiations concerning Venezuela, and shortly afterwards the two governments separately informed the United States of their intention to put pressure upon Venezuela. The State Department regretted the proposed action but did not enter a formal protest since "no acquisition of territory was contemplated."

The British did not propose any occupation of Venezuelan territory. Indeed, they had reminded the Germans

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