Page:The Green Bag (1889–1914), Volume 25.pdf/474

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The Editor's Bag

THE FORMATION OF A WORLD SITTLICHKEIT TNTERNATIONAL alliances have in J- the past usually been based on the idea of expediency. Plainly it is diplo matically expedient that the United States should cultivate the good offices of powerful European nations, and it will probably be admitted that the good will of Great Britain means more to the United States than that of any other European power. Particularly it is to be desired that we shall be on good terms with all our neighbors in the Western Hemisphere, not only with the British possessions to the north, but with the republics of Latin America. The United States has held aloof from foreign alliances, but if we were to see fit to form any alliance, it would be more logical for us to ally ourselves with the British Empire, or with the repub lics of Central and South America, than to join any other group. It is well, however, that attention should be directed to alliances of a different kind, alliances not of expe diency but of friendship, a friendship resting on the possession of similar aims, interests, and ideals, requiring no tan gible instrument in the form of a treaty bargain for its expression. The his tory of the United States affords in stances of friendship of this kind, which is no new thing in the case of our rela tions with England and France, and the possession of kindred political insti

tutions has undoubtedly been the chief factor in its promotion. Apart from the republican form of government of France and our gratitude for her past kindnesses to us, there is nothing to draw this country into closer comity with France than with Germany, and there is every likelihood that the future will see grow ing good fellowship between the United States and both the two great Conti nental powers with whose civilization we have much in common. There can never, however, be the same sense of community between France and the United States, or Germany and the United States, though there may be cor dial friendship, as there can be between England and this country, for the closest of all ties are those of language, common political, legal, and religious institutions, and similar ethical and intellectual tradi tions. We purposely omit ties of race, because their importance is so easily overestimated. Admitting the great tide of immigration that is pouring into our gates, we have nevertheless only to fear the influx of races that cannot assimilate Anglo-Saxon ideals and usages in the course of a generation or two, and such races are few. The comity of the two chief Anglo-Saxon nations will thus be promoted in years to come by the closest bonds that can unite any two countries. There was something, there fore, in Lord Haldane's address which had an appearance of prophecy, for even should anything ever arise to dis turb the Anglo-American entente, it will