Page:The Cambridge History of American Literature, v3.djvu/381

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
363
Imperialism

here during the last five years. New markets and new ports must, therefore, be found if surplus capital is to be profitably employed.[1]

The argument for foreign territory met vigorous opposition. Prominent among its critics were those who had been identified with the abolition of slavery, notably George S. Boutwell, George F. Hoar, George F.Edmunds, Samuel Bowles, John Sherman, Charles Francis Adams, and Carl Schurz. Illustrative of the sentiments of these men is the following passage from the Autobiography of George F. Hoar upon the conquest of the Philippines:

When I think of my party, whose glory and whose service to Liberty are the guide of my life, crushing out this people in their effort to establish a republic, and hear people talking about giving them good government and that they are better off than they ever were under Spain, I feel very much as if I had learned that my father or some other honoured ancestor had been a slave trader in his time and had boasted that he had introduced a new and easier kind of handcuffs or fetters to be worn by the slaves during the horrors of the middle passage.

Co-operating with this group were Samuel Gompers, the labour leader, Ed ward Atkinson, statistician, Professor Sumner, David Starr Jordan, President of Leland Stanford University, and Andrew Carnegie. As an organ for propaganda the New England Anti-imperialistic League was formed at Boston in 1899, and about one hundred subsidiary branches were established. A notable episode was the exclusion from the mails by the postmaster at San Francisco of three pamphlets addressed to members of the Philippine Commission, written by Edward Atkinson. These were entitled The Cost of a National Crime, The Hell of War and Its Penalties, and Criminal Aggression; By Whom Committed. They pointed out the cost of imperialism, its "moral, physical, and social degradation," and the responsibility of President McKinley for the annexation of the Philippines. Not daunted by the action of the government Atkinson promptly reprinted the pamphlets and gave them a wide circulation in his serial publication, The Anti- Imperialist. Other noteworthy pamphlets were Sumner's Conquest of the

  1. Economic Basis of Imperialism in the United States and the Orient.