« PředchozíPokračovat »
It may be asked, Why are the Japanese so insistent about Manchuria? Their answer is, "Because we have the lion's share of trade in that rich Chinese province." The Japanese have an old grudge that arose in 1895, after the defeat of China by Japan. By the treaty of Simonoseki, China ceded the possession of southern Manchuria to Japan. Russia, backed by Germany and France, informed Japan that it would not do for any country to interfere with the integrity of China, or make territorial annexation, and that Japan must give up southern Manchuria. The Japanese were forced to yield, and a little later to see the Russians themselves take possession of Manchuria. It was much the same with Port Arthur.
Practically, all Korean resources are under the control of the Japanese, who own and control two railroads in that kingdom. Under the pretext of getting a timber concession along the Yalu river, the Russians began their encroachment upon Korea. From that moment, the Japanese honestly believed they foresaw as complete an absorption of Korea by Russia as the latter's absorption of Manchuria had been. Korea is an absolute necessity to Japanese enterprise and commercial expansion. For Japan, the situation has become desperate. The Japanese have been quiet but firm in their determination; their self-control under the most trying ordeal has won the admiration of the world. With them the war means a life-and-death struggle. The independence of Korea is just as much a "Monroe doctrine" to the Japanese, as the independence of the South American republics is to the United States.
The Attitude of the United States.
John Hay, our Secretary of State, immediately upon the outbreak of the war between Japan and Russia communicated to the Great Powers a note asking that they join in a declaration to Russia and Japan that under no circumstances, whatever might be the outcome of the war, would either of those countries be permitted to infringe upon China's sovereignty over Manchuria. The note will be quite agreeable to Great Britain; and Germany is said to look upon it in a favorable light; France, the ally of Russia, will probably take no action in the matter; and even Russia dis
claims any intention to interfere with China's sovereignty in this province.
Manchuria is of vital interest to the United States, as it is one of the most flourishing Asiatic markets for our exports. American commerce over the Pacific is now guarded with the utmost jealousy, and the reason for our jealousy will appear in the fact that within the last ten years our exports to Asia have increased from sixteen to fifty-five million dollars annually. In Oceanica the increase has been from eleven to thirty-seven million, so that our exports to Asia are greatly in excess of what they are to South America. These rapid strides in our foreign trade with eastern Asia have given rise to the jealous anxiety with which American interests are guarded in Manchuria.
Sympathy of the United States in the Present War.
So far as newspapers afford us an accurate barometer, the sympathy of this country is decidedly with Japan, and there are special reasons why Japan has our sympathy. It may be said that it is not because we love Japan more, but because we love Russia less. There has been, it is true, a traditional friendship between the United States and Russia since the war of the Rebellion; but that friendship, until we came to meet Russia in China, was never put to the test; and since the year 1900, the march of events has been in the direction of an alienation of sentiment between this country and Russia.
In 1900, the Great Powers made the march upon Pekin where their representatives were under the attack of Chinese mobs during the Boxer rebellion. During the march of the allied armies, up the Peiho river, we had an opportunity to compare the Japanese and Russian soldiers. If all reports be true, the Russian soldiers were guilty of inhuman excesses, and flagrant violations of every principle of humanity and justice. Innocent men and woman were ruthlessly shot down, and outrages perpetrated upon Chinese women by the Russian s ldiers that sent a chill of horror throughout the civilized world. On the other hand, the Japanese soldiers were orderly, well behaved, and humane. behaved, and humane. They were among the best soldiers of that expedition, and much was said in their praise. When the foreign representatives at Pekin were rescued, and
order was established in the Chinese empire, the Great Powers agreed that China should not be dismembered, and that the different nations of the world should enjoy equal commercial opportunities in the celestial empire. The troops of all the Great Powers but Russia were withdrawn. Russia was building railroads in Manchuria, and developing commercial affairs in that country; so, under one pretext or another, that nation not only kept her soldiers in Manchuria that were there to quell the Boxer rebellion, but kept on shipping in more. This aroused the suspicion of the Powers, and a formal treaty was finally decided upon by which Russia was to begin the withdrawal of her troops from the province of Manchuria, on the 8th day of October, 1903. This written pledge has not been kept, and the Powers realize that the excuses which Russia offers for still maintaining her armies in Manchuria are not substantial, and that what Russia really intends to do is to take permanent possession of that valuable Chinese province. The United States has not, therefore, felt that Russia was dealing honorably, and in accordance with the terms of a written treaty.
Another source of irritation to the people of this country was the conviction aroused, only a short time ago, that Russia was really interfering with the treaty we are entering into with China. It may be said that for months past Russia was the most influential foreign power at Pekin. We are making a treaty with China by which we are to enjoy commercial privileges throughout its empire, including Manchuria. The powers that were making a treaty similar to us had long felt the disadvantage to commerce that arose out of the old Chinese likin tax: that every province, and certain large cities, charged a tax on all foreign goods that came into them, or even passed through them. These likin taxes were an uncertain factor. It was not always known just what these would be, and the merchant, therefore, who would do business in the interior of China, never knew just what taxes would be levied upon his goods before they reached their destination. In the place of this likin tax, China was to put an additional seven and a half of advalorem duty upon the goods at the port of entrance. This treaty was agreeable to China; it was acceptable to the United States; and ratified by the Senate, and yet we awaited for a long time the
ratification of the treaty by China. The suspicion grew in this country that some third party, influential at the court of Pekin, was preventing the Chinese government from acting; and it was not until the suspicion fell upon Russia, and considerable temper was shown in this country, that China ratified the treaty which it was believed Russia was hindering.
Japan is more vitally concerned in the contention that Manchuria must remain a province of the Chinese empire than we are; and Japan has felt that unless something be done, and done at once, Russian diplomacy and aggression would not only make Manchuria a Russian province, but would also place Korea under Russian control.
Many of our newspapers have said some very sharp things about the policy of Russia, and Russian papers have answered with a considerable show of temper. Our Executive department has been perfectly frank in telling Russia about some things that Russia is doing which this country does not like; and now our Secretary of State is sending a note to the Great Powers asking that they join us in a note to Russia to the effect that whatever may be the military outcome of the struggle between Japan and Russia, the Great Powers will permit neither to annex either Manchuria or Korea. The probabilities are that whether the Great Powers join us or not, we shall insist that Manchuria remain a province of the Chinese empire.
We have a very large Jewish constituency in this country; and the fact that our government interceded in behalf of the Jews, in their protest against Russian brutality, has done much to alienate the former friendly feelings of Russia toward this country. These are some of the reasons, perhaps the most important ones, why our sympathies are with Japan.
New York and Religion.
For years, New York has been the center of the commercial life of the United States. But this wonderful city offers to this country problems in religion that are no less interesting than those of her commerce. Religious controversy and religious power are centering more and more in our great commercial metropolis. The following list of church membership affords a comparison of
relative numerical strength of the great religious denominations of that city:
Catholics, enrolled, 984,800; Catholics, out of church, 265,200; Protestants, enrolled, 1,152,650; out of church, 741,080; Jews, 675,000.
Among the Protestant churches, a comparison will show a surprising preponderance in the Episcopal church, as that church. leads the list with 88,263. The large membership of the Lutheran church, namely 45,745, can be largely accounted for by the presence of so many Germans of that denomination in New York. The following list shows the relative membership of the various Protestant denominations:
Protestant Episcopal, 88,263; Methodists, all bodies, 48,133; Lutheran, 45,745; Presbyterian, all bodies,45,526; Baptist, all bodies, 37,627; Reformed Dutch, 23,059; Congregational, 18,653; all others, 24,784.
It is very evident that such a large church membership is accompanied by great wealth. The property in New York exempt from taxation exceeds in value $200,000,000. It is easily seen how New York is rapidly gaining in religious ascendency in the United States. Wealth and membership are two powerful factors in religious influence; so that New York is as easily the metropolis of the different religious denominations as it is in the commerce of the United States. The study, therefore, of the religious problem of that great city is attracting the attention of those who are following the religious forces in the history of our country. The Panama Canal.
For the past month, the ratification of our treaty with Panama has been held up in the Senate by its opponents. Mr. Gorman, the leader of the minority, undertook to solidify the Democrats in the Senate in opposition to the treaty. Its ratification required the vote of two-thirds, sixty senators. The Republicans had but fifty-four. The legislatures of Mississippi, Louisiana, and Florida instructed their senators to vote for the treaty. These Gulf states are ardently in favor of it, so it was early seen how impossible it would be for the Democrats in the Senate to successfully unite in opposition to the treaty. Other Southern