Classic History Books


The Path of Empire. A Chronicle of the United States as a World Power
by Carl Russell Fish

education of the islanders, and the gradual introduction of the latter into responsible positions of
government. With little of the encouragement which might have come from appreciative interest at

home, thousands of Americans have now labored in the Philippines for almost twenty years, but with

little disposition to settle there permanently. Their efforts to develop the Filipinos have achieved

remarkable success. It has of late been found possible to turn over such a large proportion of the

governmental work to the natives that the number of Americans in the islands is steadily diminishing.

The outbreak of the war with Germany found the natives loyal to American interests and even saw a son

of Aguinaldo taking service under the Stars and Stripes. Such a tribute, like the services of Generals

Smuts and Botha to Great Britain, compensates for the friction and noise with which democracy works

and is the kind of triumph which carries reassurance of its ultimate efficiency and justice.

* By the Act of July 1, 1902, the Legislature was to consist of two houses, the Commission acting as an
upper house and an elective assembly constituting a lower house. The Legislature at its first session was

to elect two delegates who were to sit, without the right to vote, in the House of Representatives at

Washington. An Act of August 29, 1916, substituted an elective Senate for the Philippine Commission as

the upper house of the Legislature.

 

CHAPTER XIV. The Open Door

 

The United States arrived in the Orient at a moment of high excitement. Russia was consolidating the
advance of two centuries by the building of the trans-Siberian railroad, and was looking eagerly for a port

in the sun, to supplement winter-bound Vladivostok. Great Britain still regarded Russia as the great

enemy and, pursuing her policy of placing buffer states between her territories and her enemies, was

keenly interested in preventing any encroachment southward which might bring the Russian bear nearer

India. France, Russia's ally, possessed IndoChina, which was growing at the expense of Siam and which

might grow northwards into China. Germany saw in eastern Asia the richest prize remaining in the world

not yet possessed by her rivals, and it was for this that she was seeking power in the Pacific. Having

missed the Philippines, she quickly secured Samoa and purchased from Spain the Caroline Islands, east

of the Philippines, and all that the United States had not taken of Spain's empire in the Pacific.

These latent rivalries had been brought into the open by the Chino-Japanese War of 1894-1895, which
showed the powerlessness of China. The western world was, indeed, divided in opinion as to whether

this colossus of the East was essentially rotten, old, decrepit, and ready to disintegrate, or was merely

weak because of arrested development, which education and training could correct. At any rate, China

was regarded as sick and therefore became for the moment even more interesting than Turkey, the

traditional sick man of Europe. If China were to die, her estate would be divided. If she were really to

revitalize her vast bulk by adapting her millions to modern ways, she had but to stretch herself and the

toilfully acquired Asiatic possessions of the European powers would shiver to pieces; and if she awoke

angry, Europe herself might well tremble. The really wise saw that the important thing was to determine

the kind of education which China should receive, and in solving this problem the palm of wisdom must

be given to the missionaries who represented the great Christian societies of Europe and America. To

small-minded statesmen it seemed that the situation called for conquest. No nation was willing to be late

at the division, if division it was to be; while if China was to awake, the European powers felt that she

should awake shackled. By no one was this latter view so clearly held as by the Kaiser. With his

accustomed versatility, he designed a cartoon showing the European powers, armed and with Germania

 

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