America Father of His Country: The Wandering Prodigal Son

The advent of the United States in the Orient will not tend to amity, but rather to animosity. This was cleverly stated by Lord Salisbury, when at the last lord mayor’s banquet, he said the “appearance of the United States as a factor in Asiatic affairs is likely to conduce to the interests of Great Britain, but might not conduce to the interests of peace.” It can not possibly conduce to the interests of peace, for the very reason that in entering the Orient this nation has deserted her policy of peace, and has adopted in principle, at least, the bellicose spirit; she has now departed from that doctrine of the “father of his country,” which, if it never brought to her military glory, most certainly has been the cause of her material greatness. The words in the “Farewell Address” are a pearl of great price. They may be familiar, but they can not too often be recalled:—
“Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence (I conjure you to believe me, fellow citizens) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake, since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government….
“The great rule of conduct for us in regard to foreign nations is, in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible. So far as we have already formed engagements, let them be fulfilled with perfect good faith. Here let us stop.
“Europe has a set of primary interests which to us have none or a very remote relation. Hence she must be engaged in frequent controversies, the causes of which are essentially foreign to our concerns. Hence, therefore, it must be unwise in us to implicate ourselves by artificial ties in the ordinary vicissitudes of her politics, or the ordinary combinations or collisions of her friendships or enmities.
“Our detached and distant situation invites and enables us to pursue a very different course. If we remain one people, under an efficient government, the period is not far off when we may defy material injury from external annoyance; when we may take suck an attitude as will cause the neutrality we may at any time resolve upon to be scrupulously respected; when belligerent nations, under the impossibility of making acquisitions upon us, will not lightly hazard the giving us provocation; when we may choose peace or war, as our interests, guided by justice, shall counsel.
“Why forego the advantages of so peculiar a situation? Why quit our own to stand upon foreign ground? Why, by interweaving our destiny with that of any part of Europe, entangle our peace and prosperity in the toils of European ambition, rivalship, interest, humor, or caprice?
“It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world.”
But all the nations interested in the Chinese and Oriental problem in general are continually making and breaking alliances. This is absolutely necessary in the very nature of things. One nation may on account of its own internal policy and traditions desire to keep aloof from the others; but when combinations are formed against it, there is no other choice but to join forces with some other power. England has been, more than any other nation, perhaps, friendly to the idea of having the United States in the Oriental caldron. Many think that this friendship will conduce to peace, but that it can not possibly do this is clearly set forth by Carl Schurz in his address before the convocation of the Chicago University last January:—
“If we take those new regions, we shall be well entangled in that contest for territorial aggrandizement which distracts other nations and drives them far beyond their original design. So it will be inevitably with us. We shall want new conquests to protect that which we already possess. The greed of speculators working upon our government will push us from one point to another, and we shall have new conflicts on our hands, almost without knowing how we got into them. It has always been so under such circumstances, and always will be. This means more and more soldiers, ships, and guns. PRUS 170.1 – PRUS 171.4

Author: Adventist Angels Watchman Radio

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