Page:A Study of Mexico.djvu/235

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225
RECIPROCAL INTERESTS.

the people of the United States to the extent of some fifteen million dollars per annum, for the purpose of fostering only one department of the industry of the country—namely, that of manufacturing tin-plate.

That such a proposition is likely to be scouted, in the first instance, by the American public, is to be anticipated. "Have we not debts enough of our own to pay," it may be asked, "without looking after those of other people?" But let us reason a little. Can it be doubted that, after the termination of our late civil war, the United States would have practically enforced against the Maximilian government, had it been necessary, that phase of the Monroe doctrine which affirms that European political jurisdiction shall not be enlarged on this continent? Fortunately, . Mexico was able, out of its patriotism and sacrifice, to protect itself against the encroachment of foreign powers, and thus saved the United States from a conflict that would have permanently increased the burden of its debt by many times two million dollars.

Again, the demands of the world's commerce, for the establishment of speedy and cheap methods of transit across the narrow belt of Southern Mexico and Central America which separates the two oceans, are being recognized; and new routes sup-