Theodore Roosevelt and His Time Shown in His Own Letters - Vol. 2

By Joseph Bishop Bucklin | Go to book overview

CHAPTER II
HAGUE CONFERENCE -- ESTIMATE OF JEFFERSON -- INTERVENTION IN CUBA -- BROWNSVILLE INCIDENT

IMMEDIATELY after the adjournment of Congress in June, 1906, the President went with his family to Oyster Bay where he enjoyed a quiet and restful summer, in strong contrast to that of 1905 when he was directing the work of the Portsmouth Peace Conference. A letter which he wrote to Andrew Carnegie, August 5, 1906, is interesting as showing his views of the Hague tribunal:

"In such matter as the Hague Conference business the violent extremists who favor the matter are to be dreaded almost or quite as much as the Bourbon reactionaries who are against us. This is as true of the cause of International peace as it is of the cause of economic equity between labor and capital at home. I do not know whether in the French Revolution I have most contempt and abhorrence for the Marat, Hébert, Robespierre, and Danton type of revolutionists, or for the aristocratic, bureaucratic, and despotic rulers of the old régime; for the former did no good in the Revolution, but at the best simply nullified the good that others did and produced a reaction which reenthroned despotism; while they made the name of liberty a word of shuddering horror for the time being.

"I hope to see real progress made at the next Hague Conference. If it is possible in some way to bring about a stop, complete or partial, to the race in adding to armaments, I shall be glad; but I do not yet see my way clear as regards the details of such a plan. We must always remember that it would be a fatal thing for the great free peoples to reduce themselves to impotence and leave the despotisms and barbarians armed. It would be safe to do so if there

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