Classic History Books

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

who was elected president in October, was promptly recognized as the constitutional head of the
Mexican Government. The revolution, however, aroused the United States to the fact that there still

persisted the era of disturbance which it had hoped was drawing to a close in Latin America. With this

disturbing revelation in mind, Congress took another step in the development of American policies

consequent upon the Monroe Doctrine by passing an act authorizing the President, whenever he should

"find that in any American country conditions of domestic violence exist which are promoted by the use

of arms and munitions of war procured from the United States," to prohibit trade in such articles. Under

this authority, President Taft promptly forbade the export of such articles to Mexico except to the


Real revolutions, however, seldom result simply in the transfer of authority from one group to another.
The breaking of the bonds of recognized authority releases all sorts of desires, represented in the state by

separate groups, each of which sees no reason for accepting the control of another. All seek to seize the

dropped reins. The inauguration of Madero, therefore, did not result in a new and popular government

but in continued disturbance. Factions with differing creeds raised revolts in various sections of the

country until, in February, 1913, Madero was overthrown by one of these groups, led by Felix Diaz and

General Victoriano Huerta, and representing a reactionary tendency. Madero and his vice president Pino

Suarez were killed, it was believed by order of Huerta, and on the 27th of February, in the City of

Mexico, Huerta was proclaimed President. Don Venustiano Carranza, Governor of the State of Coahuila,

straightway denied the constitutionality of the new Government and led a new revolution under the

banner of the Constitution.

It was in such a condition that President Wilson found the affairs of the continent when he took office on
March 4, 1913. The American policy in the Caribbean was well defined and to a large extent in

operation. Pan-American sentiment was developing, but its strength and direction were yet to be

determined. Mexico was in chaos, and upon the Government's handling of it would depend the final

success of the United States in the Caribbean and the possibility of effecting a real and fruitful

cooperation of the Americas.


CHAPTER XVII. World Relationships


It became increasingly evident that the foreign policy of the United States could not consist solely of a
Caribbean policy, a Pan-American policy, and a Far Eastern policy, but that it must necessarily involve a

world policy. During the years after the Spanish War the world was actively discussing peace; but all the

while war was in the air. The peace devices of 1815, the Holy and the Quadruple Alliances, had

vanished. The world had ceased to regard buffer states as preventives of wars between the great nations,

although at the time few believed that any nation would ever dare to treat them as Germany since then

has treated Belgium. The balance of power still existed, but statesmen were ever uncertain as to whether

such a relation of states was really conducive to peace or to war. A concert of the Great Powers

resembling the Quadruple Alliance sought to regulate such vexing problems as were presented by the

Balkans and China, but their concord was not loud enough to drown the notes of discord.

The outspoken word of governments was still all for peace; their proposals for preserving. it were of two
kinds. First, there was the time-honored argument that the best preservative of peace was preparation for

war. Foremost in the avowed policies of the day, this was urged by some who really believed it, by some


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