Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 30.djvu/344

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336
Southern Historical Society Papers.

Then we have a standing army now three-fold what was abundantly large as late as 1898, and which the President may at his pleasure make five-fold. The terrible danger to liberty in that no intelligent man needs to be told. Expansion was the name affected by its defenders for the foreign conquests of the United States, but, growing confident from impunity, they now frankly call it by its proper name—imperialism. Such staunch and veteran partisans of the North as the late Mr. Godkin, Senator Hoar, Carl Schurz, Charles F. Adams, and other like men have set forth its terrible evils. They show the vile things done on a large scale, and press in vain on the President for a hearing. The President sets forth afresh in his address in Philadelphia on November 22, 1902, his reasons for rejoicing in the career of the armies of conquest in Cuba, Porto Rico and in the Asiatic waters; but his Judge-Advocate-General has to report that 1 in 20 of this army, the nobleness of which the President so commends, has been convicted of crime within the last twelve months 1 in 20 of the whole army, not of the part in the tropics, and convicted, not merely tried. The President's order to defend his army has betrayed him more than once into salving his censures of the tortures (atrocities that the world hoped were left behind with the seventeenth century) by pleading in justification that the Fillipinos, too, were cruel and treacherous in their dealings. When men have trapped the tiger which they saw torturing after—the instinct of its kind—its human prey, would Mr. Roosevelt extenuate their barbarity if they tortured the beast?

In that same speech of November 22 the President touches on another evil so tremendous that even his ardent partisanship could not ignore it the trusts. Insolently defying us while they rob us all of us that eat beef or use a coal fire or coal oil on a scale that yields them profits a hundred fold more than any Eastern despot ever extorted from his subjects, the trusts could not be ignored. The brave words in which the President declared that the Government had the power and would find the way to curb the trusts bring no relief, nor promise any. It is in strange contrast with the humble attitude in which he so lately approached Pierpont Morgan a mode of procedure so humiliatingly different from the way that Presidents have hitherto summoned citizens to their councils, that it has justly provoked scornful criticism and bitter satire.

As to the future, what may we hope? For those who are humbly submissive to the powers that be there is no doubt a sort of career. Some few Southerners showed long ago that a good name could be