The Conservative (Nebraska City, Neb.) 1898-1902, October 20, 1898, Page 5, Image 5

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    choice of the chief executive and the
whole domestic aud foreign policy of the
The Philippine Islands , with ti popu
lation of eight or ten millions , must , un
less wo are to vio-
PHILU late the organic
SENATORS. Qf the huul
and hold and govern them perpetually
as conquered provinces , bo erected ,
within a reasonable time , into several
states , each with two senators and all to
gether having thirty or forty represent
atives ; while Cuba , with a population of
a million and a half , must also become
a state , with two senators , and at least
live representatives according to the
present ratio. But this is not ah1 we
have to apprehend , for if we once inaug
urate the policy of conquest and annex
ation beyond the boundaries of oiir own
continent at what point are wo to stop ?
The possession of the Philippine Islands ,
Cuba , Hawaii , the Caroline Islands , the
Ladrone Islands aud Porto Rico will not
satisfy the aggressive spirit of imperial
ism ; in fact , it will , according to the
uniform experience of other nations ,
stimulate the desire for new acquisi
tions , and wo will almost certainly go
on unless checked by the armed opposi
tion of other powers , until wo have fast
ened upon the United States a black and
yellow horde of conscript citizens to de
bauch the suffrage and sap the founda
tions of our free institutions.
It is a permanent national policy that
wo are asked to inaugurate , not merely
a temporary do-
course marked out by the statesmen of
the past. Visions of a great empire ex
tending into every part of the habitable
globe , limited only by the measure of
our own military power and the bounds
of our own ambition , are already begin
ning to obscure the popular judgment
and silence the voice of sober reason and
genuine patriotism. Domestic problems
of the gravest character , pressing for
settlement , are treated with indifference ,
while dreams of wealth , of commercial
supremacy abroad , martial glory , and
autocratic dictation in the great inter
national councils of the world , are in
flaming the imaginations of the people ,
and rapidly driving them , without duo
consideration , into the endorsement of a
policy , which , when once adopted , can
never be abandoned without a confession
of wealuiess which no administration
will ever bo willing to make. Every
disappointed politician , every adventur
ous speculator , every ambitious soldier
of fortune , and every recldess enthusi
ast , whatever may bo his calling or
station in life , will clamor for now ac
quisitions , and the additional patronage
which a compliance with his demands
would secure will always constitute a
persuasive argument in support of his
policy. Every extension of our juris
diction over inhabited territory acquired
from other countries , especially if the
inhabitants are ignorant and inex
perienced in public affairs , will open a
fruitful field for the operations of the
unscrupulous politician , which , wo maybe
bo sure , ho will promptly occupy and
diligently cultivate. It is said that the
" " is the
Spanish "carpet-bngger" now
curse of the Philippine Islands , plunder
ing the rich aud the poor , the church
and the state , with perfect impartiality ,
and it is probable that his capacity for
extortion and peculation has not been
exaggerated ; but if we appropriate the
islands it will very soon be demonstrated
that the American species of this pest is
much more destructive than the Spanish
variety , and that ho can easily grow
rich and arrogant off the remnants left
by his predecessors.
We must not delude ourselves with
the hope or belief that the era of con
quest and annexation will close when
the present programme is completed ; it
will bo the beginning , not the end.
After the first step , public sentiment
will bo so perverted aud the public ser
vice so demoralized that it will require
more than ordinary moral courage upon
the part of the conservative element in
the country to resist the aggressive
movement , urged on , as it will be , by
appeals to patriotism , to national pride ,
aud to commercial avarice. It will take
our people a long time to learn , if they
ever learn , that the enthusiasm and self-
confidence born of successful warfare
are not safe guides in matters affecting
the permanent policies of the govern
ment. The great danger is that they
will not learn this truth at all , or learn
it too late to save the republic.
Hitherto wo have been exempt from
the maintenance of largo standing arm
ies and great nav-
quently the burden
of taxation , while much greater at some
periods than the real necessities of the
public service reqxiired , has never been
so heavy as seriously to impede the
growth and prosperity of the country.
Our energies have been devoted to the
cultivation of the arts of peace , to the
construction of great highways , to the
development of otir mineral resources ,
to the improvement of water-ways , to
agriculture , mamifactures , and com
merce , and to the establishment of char
ities and institutions of learning , and all
the other interests and objects which
most distinguish the civilization of a
peaceful American republic from that of
the armed and fortified kingdoms and
empires of the old world. * * * But
if wo are to adopt and successfully main
tain an imperial policy , the glory of the
achievement will belong principally to
the army and navy , and the people at
largo will simply enjoy the privilege of
paying the cost. Each successful exped
ition , each forcible extension of our jur
isdiction over an unwilling people , will
add to the laurels of the military
branches of the government , and the al-
most inevitable result will bo that their
social and political influence will grow
until they overshadow all other callings
and professions. Military senators and
representatives in congress will enact
laws for a military president to execute ,
and military governors of states will not
long perplex themselves with questions
of civil law when the soldiery under
their command can easily cut the knots
with their swords. Wo will bo more
fortunate than the people of some other
countries if our judicial tribunals , under
the elective system , shall escape the in
fluence of the military spirit and con
tinue to administer justice between pri
vate individuals and between the gov
ernment and its citizens according to the
simple and conservative rules and pro
cesses of the common law of the land.
When territory is conquered or an
nexed , wo must not only govern it , wither
or without the consent of its people , but
wo must also be prepared at all tiuies to
protect it against the possible encroach
ments of other powers ; its cities aud
towns must bo garrisoned by a sufficient
military force , and its coasts must bo
fortified aud guarded by a navy strong
enough at least to meet any sudden
emergency. This involves an enormous
addition to our regular army , and siieh
a permanent increase of our naval es
tablishment as will keep it constantly
on a war footing. This drain upon our
resources must bo met immediately by
exorbitant taxation xipon the property of
the people , and , sooner or later , by con
scription of their persons ; for great
standing armies and navies cannot bo
permanently maintained by voluntary
enlistment in a country where the op
portunities for profitable employment
are so great as they are here. The un
wholesome climates of our tropical pos
sessions will demand now victims every
year , and thousands of our young men
must bo forcibly withdrawn from the
productive industries of the country and
sacrificed to the remorseless spirit of im
perialism , which has already ruined
many nations and impoverished and oppressed - '
pressed may people.
Already the most advanced advocates
of imperialism , and even some who are
opposed to it , are
MAKE WAY FOH , ilmi to fore.
THE KINO. see the rcsults Qf
that policy and to suggest preparations
to meet them ; but one of the most seri
ous objections to their suggestion is that
its adoption would probably provoke at
once the very international entanglement
which all true Americans desire to avoid.
Coupled with the imperial policy , and ,
in fact , constituting a part of it , an alli
ance with Great Britain , it is contended ,
would make us strong enough to hold
whatever we to take in any part
of the world ; but the fact seems to bo
overlooked that if Great Britain is to
help us take care of our dependencies ,
wo must help Great Britain take care of
hers ; and thus , while our power and
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