America's Foreign Relations - Vol. 2

By Willis Fletcher Johnson | Go to book overview

XXIX
LATIN-AMERICAN NEIGHBORS

THE relations of the United States with the countries of Central and South America during the Civil War and the generation following were chiefly sporadic and incidental. Little effort was made to cultivate intimate political, social, or commercial intercourse, and the Monroe Doctrine, which was supposed to be the principal index and guide of our conduct toward them, was maintained as a formal letter instead of being developed into a vital spirit. Diplomatic negotiations with those Governments therefore consisted principally of the settlements of disputes arising from claims preferred by one country against another, though sometimes of benevolent mediation or arbitration by the United States in controversies between some of those States or between them and European powers.

In 1866 war occurred between Spain and a South American alliance composed of Peru and Chile, and appeal was made to the United States for an assertion of the Monroe Doctrine which would protect the latter countries from the attack of the former. Seward, then secretary of state, replied that the United States would maintain and insist with all possible decision and energy that the republican system of government in the South American States should not be wantonly assailed and should certainly not be subverted as a result of a war waged by any European power. Beyond that position the country could not go. The Monroe Doctrine was not a screen or shield behind which American States could avoid the discharge of their just obligations; nor did it forbid the waging of war against them by European powers, for cause. So long as there was no attempt to destroy their republicanism and their independence and to establish monarchical governments in them, the United States could not be expected to intervene. That was a perfectly sound

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America's Foreign Relations - Vol. 2
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Contents of Volume II iii
  • Portraits in Volume II ix
  • Xxi the Civil War--Neutrality 3
  • Xxii the Civil War--Intervention 28
  • Xxiii Some North American Complications 51
  • Xxiv British Relations 75
  • Xxv Dealings with British America 95
  • Xxvi Some Diplomatic Miscellany 116
  • Xxvii Embroilment at Samoa 136
  • Xxviii the Annexation of Hawaii 161
  • Xxix Latin-American Neighbors 185
  • Xxx Dealings with the Far East 211
  • Xxxi the War with Spain 237
  • Xxxii Results of the War 259
  • Xxxiii Later Relations with the Far East 281
  • Xxxiv the Isthmian Canal 306
  • Chapter XXXV Settlements and Unsettlements 327
  • Xxxvi War and Peace 353
  • Appendices 381
  • Index 453
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