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because the sea is the world's great medium of circulation. From this necessarily follows the principle that, as subsidiary to such control, it is imperative to take possession, when it can righteously be done, of such maritime positions as contribute to secure command. If this principle be adopted there will be no hesitation about taking the positions—and they are many—upon the approaches to the Isthmus, whose interests incline them to seek us. It has its application also to the present case of Hawaii.
There is, however, one caution to be given from that military point of view beyond the need of which the world has not yet passed. Military positions, fortified posts, by land or by sea, however strong or admirably situated, do not by themselves confer control. People often say that such an island or harbor will give control of such a body of water. It is an utter, deplorable, ruinous mistake. The phrase may indeed by some be used only loosly, without forgetting other implied conditions of adequate protection and adequate navies; but the confidence of our nation in its native strength, and its indifference to the defense of its ports and the sufficiency of its fleet, give reason to fear that the full consequences of a forward step may not be soberly weighed. Napoleon, who knew better, once talked this way. "The islands of San Pietro, Corfu, and Malta," he wrote, "will make us masters of the whole Mediterranean." Vain boast! Within one year Corfu, in two years Malta, were rent away from the state that could not support them by its ships. Nay, more; had Bonaparte not taken the latter stronghold out of the hands of its degenerate but innocuous government, that citadal of the Mediterranean would perhaps—would probably—never have passed into those of his chief enemy. There is here also a lesson for us.
It is by no means logical to leap, from this recognition of the necessity of adequate naval force to secure outlying dependencies, to the conclusion that the United States would for that object need a navy equal to the largest now existing. A nation as far removed as is our own from the bases of foreign naval strength may reasonably reckon upon the qualification that distance—not to speak of the complex European interests close at hand—impresses upon the exertion of naval strength. The mistake is when our remoteness, unsupported by carefully calculated force, is regarded as an armor of proof, under cover of which any amount of swagger may be safely indulged. Any estimate of what is an adequate naval force for our country may properly take large account of the happy interval that separates both our present territory and our future aspirations from the centers of interest really vital to European states. If to these safeguards be added, on our part, a sober recognition of what our reasonable sphere of influence is and a candid justice in dealing with foreign interests within that sphere, there will be little disposition to question our preponderance therein.
Among all foreign states it is especially to be hoped that each passing year may render more cordial the relations between ourselves and the great nation from whose loins we sprang. The radical identity of spirit which underlies our superficial differences of polity will surely so draw us closer together, if we do not willfully set our faces against a tendency which would give our race the predominance over the seas of the world. To force such a consummation is impossible, and, if possible, would not be wise; but surely it would be a lofty aim, fraught with immeasurable benefits, to desire it, and to raise no needless impediments by advocating perfectly proper acts, demanded by our evident interests in offensive or arrogant terms.—(A. T. MAHAN.)
XII. Also the following extract from the report of hon. john quincy adams, chairman of the committee on foreign affairs of the house of representatives, on the message of president tyler, december 30, 1842.
"It is a subject of cheering contemplation to the friends of human improvement and virtue that, by the mild and gentle influence of Christian charity, dispensed by humble missionaries of the gospel, unarmed with secular power, within the last quarter of a century, the people of this group of islands have been converted from the lowest debasement of idolatry to the blessings of the Christian gospel; united under one balanced government; rallied to the fold of civilization by a written language and constitution, providing security for the rights of persons, property and mind, and invested with all the elements of right and power which can entitle them to be acknowledged by their brethren of the human race as a separate and independent community. To the consummation of their acknowledgment the people of the North American Union are urged by an interest of their own, deeper than that of any other portion of the inhabitants of the earth—by a virtual right of conquest, not over the freedom of their brother man by the brutal arm of physical power, but over the mind and heart by the celestial panoply of the gospel of peace and love."
XIII. Also the following, a translation of the constitution of the hawaiian government of 1840.
"In the Hawaiian bill of rights, the chiefs endeavored to incorporate in few words the general basis of personal rights, both of the chiefs and common people, and to guard against perversion; and this they have accomplished with, perhaps, as much precision and consistency as the Americans, who affirm 'that all men are born free and equal, possessing certain inalienable rights, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.' " With distinguished and commendable care do the Hawaiians of 1840 acknowledge the paramount authority of God, in which Kaahumanu had set them a noble example, and the importance of an unwavering purpose in legislation not to controvene his word,"
The following translation I have made with care from the original, published at the islands as the constitution of 1840:
"God has made of one blood all the nations of men, that they might alike dwell upon the earth in peace and prosperity. And he has given certain equal rights to all people and chiefs of all countries. These are the rights or gifts which he has granted to every man and chief of correct deportment, life, the members of the body, freedom in dwelling and acting, and the rightful products of his hands and mind; but not those things which are inhibited by the laws."
From God also are the office of rulers and the reign of chief magistrates for protection; but in enacting the laws of the land it is not right to make a law protecting the magistrate only and not subjects; neither is it proper to establish laws for enriching chiefs only without benefiting the people, and hereafter no law shall be established in opposition to the above declarations; neither shall taxes, servitude, nor labor be exacted without law of any man in a manner at variance with those principles.
"PROTECTION FOR ALL.
"Therefore let this declaration be published in order to the equal protection of all the people and all the chiefs of these islands while
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