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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (May 15, 1903)
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was given statehood within a few years. Another
portion has not been admitted to statehood, al
though a century has elapsed although, doubtless
It soon will be. In each caso wo showed tho
practical governmental genius of our race by de
vising methods suitable to meet the actual exist
ing needs; not by Insisting upon tho application
of some abstract shibboleth to all our new pos
sessions alike, no matter how incongruous this
application might sometimes bo."
It will bo noticed that in commending tho
system of expansion which our nation has hereto
fore followed ho endeavors to work In an indi
rect dofenso of tho policy which tho administra
tion has adopted in tho Orient. It is evident
that his reforonco to "some abstract shibboleth"
Is intended as a rebuke to thoso who insist upon
tho application of American principles to tho
Philippine question, and yot tho Roman example
which ho cqndomns is really llko our present
Tho oxpanslon of Jefferson wa3 a totally dif
ferent thing from imperialism. First, it included
land not only contiguous to tho United States,
but so situated that its occupancy by an un
friendly nation would havo seriously hampered
tho growth of our country. Second, it was a
sparsely Bottled and uncultivated territory. Third,
It was to bo settled by our own people, and made
a part of tho United States. Tho Philippino isl
ands aro not only not near us, but are so remoto
from us and so situated as to bo a source of
weakness rather than a source of strength. In
stead of being sparsely settled tho population
per square milo is greater in tho Philippino isl
ands than in tho United States, which means that
if wo add tho Philippines to our land, and their
people to our people, there would be fewer acres
for each citizen than there are today. Third, and
most important, tho Philippino islands aro not
to bo settled by Americans, as tho Louisiana ter
ritory was, but, if imperialism is to prevail, to
bo ruled, by tho Americans as Rome ruled her
subjects. It will never bo possible to make eighc
mllllouVsubmlt willingly to tho government of a
few thousand. At least, there is not a single
examplo in history 'to justify tho belief that they
will welcome a foreign ruler. Canada, Australia
and Now Zealand cannot bo cited in defense of
our present policy in tho Philippines, first, be
causo tho Inhabitants of these English colonies
aro largely descendants of Englishmen, and there
fore attachod to England by ties of blood, and,
second, because England does not attempt to raauo
their laws for them or to tax them. If England
attempted to do in Canada, Australia or New
Zealand wnat we are now doing in tho Philip
pines, she would not hold tho colonies long, not
withstanding tho blood relationship.
Tho president persistently refuses to consider
tho real question involved in the Philippine pol
icy, namely, tho theory of government to be ap
plied. Is this an "abstract shibboleth?" Our
home government rests upon the theory set forth
in tho Declaration of Independence, our colonial
policy rests upon tho European theory of gov
ernment which our revolutionary patriots suc
cessfully resisted. A colonial government
'Would ultimately destroy the doctrine of self
government in tho United States, for wo could not
permanently assert the principles of the Declar
ation of Independence hero and deny them abroad.
If, on the other hand, the present policy in tho
Philippines is only intendod to bo temporary, ie
the purpose is to make the Philippine islands a
part of tho United States as tho Louisiana pur
chase was made a part, and the Filipinos citi
zens, as the inhabitants of the Louisiana terri
tory wero made citizens, then while avoiding
danger to our theory of government wo would
encounter another danger which is appalling,
namely, tho demoralizing influence of Filipino
states upon our government and destiny. Tho
Filipinos aro separated from us by an ocean
which places them in another hemisphere ani
adjacent to other nations. Their history, race
and language, make it impossible for them to act
intelligently upon our affairs or for us to act
intelligently upon their affairs, and the objec
tions to incorporation are so great that nearly
all tho republicans who voted for tltf ratification
of tho treaty voted for a resolution which de
clared that the Philippino islands wero .not to
become an integral part of thi United States.
While tho president talks of expansion and
Intimates that a nation must continue to grow
In territory if it is to be a great nation, ho avoid
tho vital questions raised by his Philippine pol
icy. His argument in regard to tho necessity of
continuing expansion is absurd, for it, mean
that the United states must contiiuo to tako in
new territory until it has all there is in tho
world, and then must die because there are no
more worlds to conquer. Constant expansion is
not essential' to greatness.
Every proposed extension of our , territory,
must rest upon its own merits, and in deciding
whether it is wise or unwise, we must consider
both tho wishes of our own people and the
wishes of the people to be incorporated. Our
system of national unity, combined with local
self-government, makes It possible for tho United
States to include an indefinite area of land so
long as tho peoplo are homogeneous, but it is es
sential that tho national unity shall be not merelz
a unity in government, but a unity in sympathy
and in purpose. Jefferson regarded the North.
American continent as tho natural home of tho
American republic. He believed that we could
extend our borders throughout North America
without endangering our form of government.
Our theory of government is applicable to all the
world, but it is far better that therer should be
several separate republics administering their
own affairs and arbitrating their differences, than
one 'republic with elements so antagonistic as to
bo warring with each other.
Our nation has demonstrated the correctness
of our theory of government and it has inspired
other nations to attempt the same experiment.
It ought never to weaken its influence by a policy
that casts suspicion upon its faith in equal rights
and self-government Our nation is under no
compulsion to sacriuce its own ideals, even if by
doing so it could hope to force undesired bless
ings upon a resisting people. Experience shows,
however, that you can help people by raising
their Ideals, not by crushing their aspirations.
The expansion of Jefferson was democratic and
entirely in keeping with our form of government;
republican imperialism is antagonistic to every
principle of a republic and a menace to the na
Does It Dare Answer? .
The Nashville American seems to resent the
suggestion made by The Commoner that it is a
republican paper in disguise. It responds in the
following choice language:
Yet there is a wild ass- of the Nebraska
plains who with the practiced ease of an un
truthful pen and a slanderous lip denounces
as republican organs and subservient tools of
monopoly those newspapers which have the
intelligence and the courage to declare against
a continuation of the absolute fplly which,
has led the party into such disaster. The un
fairness, the injustice, the downright false- "
hood of such charges ought to condemn their
authoi to the perpetual and profound con
tempt cf the general public.
If Tho Commoner has done the American in
justice it will bo glad to acknowledge the same,
but it does not believe that tho American has
been misrepresented. To settle the question tho
following offer is made: If the American will
publish upon its editorial page the names of its
three largest stockholders, with the amount of
their holdings, their business and sources of in
come, and state how they voted in the national
elections of 189G and 1900, and will also give
tho names of its three most prominent editorial
writers, and state how they voted in thoso elec
tions, Tho Commoner will be glad to republish
such an editorial and withdraw its charges if
the American's own statement shows that thoso
who control Its policy and speak through its
columns are really democrats and in sympathy
with tho general public. Surely the American
ought not to bo 'ashamed to reveal the identity of
those who own it and speak for it
Municipal Ownership Wins.
On another page will be found a copy of the
Mueller municipal ownership bill, which Governor
Yates now has under consideration. It will be re
membered that this bill figured conspicuously in the
Chicago city election. Mayor Harrison tried to
secure tho passage of the measure before th.3
election, and asked Mr. Stuart, his republican
opponent, to join with him in the effort While
Stuart claimed to favor the bill it was evident
that the republican leaders did not want it pasai
and it was postponed until after the election.
Then tho speaker, who- seemed to be under orders
from the traction companies, tried to prevent
its passage and his outrageous unfairness resulted
In a riot in the house, during which ho declared
tho house adjourned and escaped to another room.
A majority of the legislature remained and took
charge of tho body. Finally an agreement was
VOLUME .3, NUMBER 17,
reached whereby the bill was put to a vote an 5
Tho advocates of municipal ownership hava
reason to rejoice over the issue of this fight
The fact that the second city in the United State
should vote for the municipal ownership of tho
street car lines is in itself strongly indicative o
the growth of sentiment in favor of the right o
the people of a city to attend to their own busi
ness without tho aid of syndicates efhd public
service corporations. That the sentiment was
so strong as to force a republican legislature, in
one of the greatest states of the Union, to pas3
this bill, is still more significant. The demo
crats supported the Mifeljer bill and furnished mo3fc
of the votes to pass it, but as the republicans
had a majority in the legislature the republicans
who voted with the democrats deserve as much,
credit as the democrats do. It only shows that
when a cause gets strong it breaks down party;
lines and makes a new alignment on that issue.
Why Silver is Coined.
A reader of Tho Commoner asks by what law
silver is coined since the repeal of the Sherman
law. The government is now coining (has almost
finished) the seigniorage that accumulated under
the Sherman law. The Sherman law provided
that silver should be bought at tho market price
and certificates issued therefor. The difference
between the market price 'and the coinage price
was called seigniorage and was held as silver
bullion. The Sherman law also provided that so
much of the purchased silver should be coined as
was necessary to redeem certificates presented.
Tho act of 1898 required the coinage of the seign
iorage and also the coinage of the silver held for.
the redemption of the Sherman certificates. When
this silver, is coined coinage will cease, as there
is now no provision for the purchase of further
silver except for subsidiary coinage. A bill
passed the lower house of tho last congress au
thorizing the recoinage of silver dollars into sub
sidiary coin. If this bill ever becomes a law it
will make it unnecessary for the government -to
buy silver for a century to come, and. it .the
same time the volume of standard money wili-be
reduced to the extent that the silver., dollars Vre
recoined into fractional currency. - v,
Three Questions Answered.
A reader of The Commoner asks three ques
tions: First What provision is made to insure re
tirement of national bank notes wnen the bonds
upon which they are issued have matured
or have been redeemed? r
SecondCan any state bank issue notes for,
circulation within the borders of the sjate?
Third Would it be possible for the banks to
organize a boycott against silver and silver cer
tificates in case silver was restored?
Answer to the first: If the bank is using
bonds at the time of the maturity of the bonds
it can withdraw them and substitute other bonds.
As bank notes today rest upon bonds they would
have to be retired if all the bonds were re
deemed and cancelled.
Answer to the second: A state bank can is
sue notes, but those notes are subject to a 10
per cent tax. It was intended to' be prohibitory,
and has proven so.
Answer to the third: The banks would not
find it to their interest to boycott silver. The
banks are so dependent upon the government
that they could not afford, and would not at
tempt, to oppose the policy of the party In power.
The organization of democratic clubs is pro--ceeding
at a'gratifying rate.
Among those whoso organization have been
reported to Tho Commoner aro tho following: -
The "Democratic Club," Bentonville, Ark.:'
J. p. Parkalow, secretary. Tho club begins with
The "William It. Hearst Club," St LoulsTtie-'
club begins with 150 members.
The "Bryan 'Club," Weston Township, York,
1 y-11 members. G. W. Gilmore,.
president; Henry Schultz, secretary.
The "Jefferson Club," East Greenville, Pa.;'
J. L. Dimmlg, president; Dan W. Garber, corre
vpv Jtv ofJeer,SOn 2eycratic Club," of the Uni
versity of Maine, School of Law, Bangor, Me.
SV?8"- Lewis B. Record, president
L.eon G. C. Brown, secretary.
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