National Geographic : 1898 Jun
THE DISPOSITION OF THE PHILIPPINES The following forcible article by Mr Charles E. Howe is taken from The FinancialReview of May 27: What commercial benefits can accrue to any European nation in pur chasing these islands which will not accrue to us? Since we are well able to retain them, would it not be a short-sighted policy to dispose of them? With Hawaii and the Philippines, we shall control the trade of the Pacific. With Japan as our ally and England as our friend, we have nothing to fear from other foreign nations. What claim can any power advance, or by what right can they demand that our government evacu ate these islands? None! Our government can no longer pursue a policy of isolation. The times demand that we take our rightful position among the nations of the world, and especially in the unfolding commercial possibilities of the East. There await untold advantages to the nation which encourages the awakening of the Orient from its long sleep and assists it in taking a prominent part in its trade relations with other nations. Are we to re fuse to seize this golden opportunity and allow some European power to outwit us? We cannot afford to barter away our newly acquired terri tory for a few pieces of silver. What other form of government will do more to civilize these natives than our own? It may be said, " What shall we do with the natives of these islands?" I may ask, "What will any other nation do with them?" What are we to do with the natives of Hawaii? What of our responsibilities with the inhabitants of Cuba and Porto Rico ? Our re sponsibilities will be practically the same in all these cases. The truth is, we are face to face with a new foreign policy for America. We must meet it and not shirk it! The welfare of our nation lies largely in the development of our trade with the nations south of us and the countries of the far East. We can not hope for any wonderful expansion of our manufacturing trade with Europe. From the West Indies, South America, China, and Japan we can rightfully expect a marvelous growth of trade, and especially a de mand for our various manufactured goods. We shall find that this war will result in untold advantages to the United States. Our aim was to banish Spain from the Western conti nent and free an oppressed people. Our reward is the unexpected ac quirement of territory and control of the trade of the Antilles, and a foothold in the development of the Orient. If Spain never pays our government a farthing for the cost of this war, still we shall be well re paid in a very few years from the revenues to be derived from these several countries. Our policy in the future must be an aggressive one. Our markets must be the world and our base of supplies the. United States. All Europe recognizes this newer policy as the only true one for the healthy growth of nations. From a political, naval, and industrial standpoint, we must retain our new territory.