INTEREST OF AMERICA
PRESENT AND FUTURE.
CAPTAIN A.T. MAHAN, D.C.L., LL.D.
United States Navy.
Author of "The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, 1660-1783," "The Influence of Sea Power Upon the French Revolution and Empire," of a "Life of Farragut," and of "The Life of Nelson, The Embodiment of the Sea Power of Great Britain."
Sampson Low, Marston & Company,
By Alfred T. Mahan.
Copyright, 1890, 1893,
By Houghton, Mifflin and Company.
By The Forum Publishing Company.
By Lloyd Bryce.
Copyright, 1895, 1897,
By Harper and Brothers.
All rights reserved.
John Wilson and Son, Cambridge, U.S.A.
Whatever interest may be possessed by a collection of detached papers, issued at considerable intervals during a term of several years, and written without special reference one to the other, or, at the first, with any view to subsequent publication, depends as much upon the date at which they were composed, and the condition of affairs then existent, as it does upon essential unity of treatment. If such unity perchance be found in these, it will not be due to antecedent purpose, but to the fact that they embody the thought of an individual mind, consecutive in the line of its main conceptions, but adjusting itself continually to changing conditions, which the progress of events entails.
The author, therefore, has not sought to bring these papers down to the present date; to reconcile seeming contradictions, if such there be; to suppress repetitions; or to weld into a consistent whole the several parts which in their origin were independent. Such changes as have been made extend only to phraseology, with the occasional modification of an expression that seemed to err by excess or defect. The dates at the head of each article show the time of its writing, not of its publication.
The thanks of the author are expressed to the proprietors of the "Atlantic Monthly," of the "Forum," of the "North American Review," and of "Harper's New Monthly Magazine," who have kindly permitted the republication of the articles originally contributed to their pages.
- THE UNITED STATES LOOKING OUTWARD
- From the Atlantic Monthly, December, 1890.
- HAWAII AND OUR FUTURE SEA POWER
- From the Forum, March, 1893.
- THE ISTHMUS AND SEA POWER
- From the Atlantic Monthly, September, 1893.
- POSSIBILITIES OF AN ANGLO-AMERICAN REUNION
- From the North American Review, November, 1894.
- THE FUTURE IN RELATION TO AMERICAN NAVAL POWER
- Harper's New Monthly Magazine, October, 1895.
- PREPAREDNESS FOR NAVAL WAR
- Harper's New Monthly Magazine, March,1897.
- A TWENTIETH-CENTURY OUTLOOK
- Harper's New Monthly Magazine, September, 1897.
- STRATEGIC FEATURES OF THE CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO
- Harper's New Monthly Magazine, October, 1897.
THE GULF AND CARIBBEAN
THE UNITED STATES LOOKING OUTWARD.
Indications are not wanting of an approaching change in the thoughts and policy of Americans as to their relations with the world outside their own borders. For the past quarter of a century, the predominant idea, which has asserted itself successfully at the polls and shaped the course of the government, has been to preserve the home market for the home industries. The employer and the workman alike have been taught to look at the various economical measures proposed from this point of view, to regard with hostility any step favoring the intrusion of the foreign producer upon their own domain, and rather to demand increasingly rigorous measures of exclusion than to acquiesce in any loosening of the chain that binds the consumer to them. The inevitable consequence has followed, as in all cases when the mind or the eye is exclusively fixed in one direction, that the danger of loss or the prospect of advantage in another quarter has been overlooked; and although the abounding resources of the country have maintained the exports at a high figure, this flattering result has been due more to the superabundant bounty of Nature than to the demand of other nations for our protected manufactures.
For nearly the lifetime of a generation, therefore, American industries have been thus protected, until the practice has assumed the force of a tradition, and is clothed in the mail of conservatism. In their mutual relations, these industries resemble the activities of a modern ironclad that has heavy armor, but inferior engines and guns; mighty for defence, weak for offence. Within, the home market is secured; but outside, beyond the broad seas, there are the markets of the world, that can be entered and controlled only by a vigorous contest, to which the habit of trusting to protection by statute does not conduce.
At bottom, however, the temperament of the American people is essentially alien to such a sluggish attitude. Independently of all bias for or against protection, it is safe to predict that, when the opportunities for gain abroad are understood, the course of American enterprise will cleave a channel by which to reach them. Viewed broadly, it is a most welcome as well as significant fact that a prominent and influential advocate of protection, a leader of the party committed to its support, a keen reader of the signs of the times and of the drift of opinion, has identified himself with a line of policy which looks to nothing less than such modifications of the tariff as may expand the commerce of the United States to all quarters of the globe. Men of all parties can unite on the words of Mr.