Uphill All the Way: The Fortunes of Progressivism, 1919-1929
By Kevin C. Murphy, Copyright 2013. All Rights Reserved.

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Chapter Seven:
America and the World

Progressives and the
Foreign Policy of the 1920s


V. The Temptations of Empire

I. The Sins of the Colonel.
II. Guarding the Back Door.
III. Disarming the World.
IV. The Outlawry of War.
V. The Temptations of Empire.
VI. Immigrant Indigestion.

Before he passed away too soon in 1919, Walter Weyl had warned in The End of the War that America is "as likely to become imperialistic as are other nations." "After the war, we too have a victory to win, over ourselves," Weyl wrote. "Unless we achieve that victory, here, at home, we may become an aggressive and imperialistic power, a menace to the nations…":
[W]e have been gradually strengthening our strategic positions in the approved English, Russian, and German manner. We have acquired Hawaii to protect our Western shores, the Canal Zone to permit the passage of our warships from Atlantic to Pacific, and finally, in order to maintain our supremacy in the Caribbean and to guard the Canal Zone, we have taken over Porto Rico, a few naval stations in Cuba, and the Danish West Indies, and have acquired a quasi-protectorate over Nicaragua, Hayti, and Santo Domingo. We seem to be moving toward some form of domination, open or concealed, partial or complete, over all Caribbean countries. Moreover, while strengthening our defenses, we have also begun to enter the phase of financial imperialism… Today, we are coming into a new phase in which, unless we change conditions, we shall desire to take our part in a furious international struggle for spoils.1
"The war," Weyl concluded, "has immensely increased this danger of an eventual American imperialism…Never before have we been so likely to become a danger to ourselves and to the world. It is no man's fault nor even the nation's, but the inevitable result of our own economic development." Walter Lippmann wrote similarly in 1926. "We continue to think of ourselves as a great, expanding world power," he noted. "Our imperialism is more or less unconscious." In the years after the war, America's potential imperial entanglements moved into the visible realm, as progressives who had felt cheated by the sordid realpolitik that had ended the war to end all wars now saw bad intentions and economic determinism rife throughout America's diplomacy. 'Our State Department," wrote Frederick Howe, "was thinking in terms of oil in Mesopotamia, of oil in Mexico, of gold and railroads in Haiti and Santo Domingo."2

The peace progressives in the Senate were inclined to agree. In fact, one of the reasons they remained distrustful of entangling alliances was because, in the words of George Norris, even "we ourselves have not shown the right kind of spirit that a civilized country ought to show to those who are weak and those who cannot defend themselves." William Borah thought it telling in 1922 that "[w]henever a dependent people are discovered to be in the possession of vast natural resources…immediately some great nation feels a benevolent desire to go in there and lift them up. I do not believe in that doctrine at all. I think each people have in a measure got to work out their own salvation." Throughout the decade, Norris, Borah, and other progressive nationalists would work to uphold not just the independence and integrity of the United States, but the self-determination and nationhood of other countries as well. "The peril to the white race," Borah argued in 1925, "is not the yellow or the brown race, but the oppressive and imperialistic attitude of the white race toward these races."3

The 1920 election had furnished a prime example of that imperialistic attitude when Democratic vice-presidential candidate Franklin Roosevelt had openly bragged of writing the Haitian constitution. In fact, United States Marines under the command of Admiral William Caperton and General Smedley Darlington Butler, a grizzled veteran of everything from the Philippine War to the Boxer Rebellion (and thus nominally under Roosevelt, as Assistant Secretary of the Navy) had occupied and effectively run the country since 1915, when they were sent in to restore order after the overthrow and violent death of Haitian president Vibrun Guillame Sam, the seventh president of Haiti in seven years. After dissolving the legislature and rewriting the Haitian constitution, General Butler and the Marines worked to prop up the foreign investment-friendly puppet regime of Sudre Dartiguenave. In 1918, even as American attentions looked across the Atlantic to the war to make the world safe for democracy, Haitian insurgents known as Cacos rebelled. By the time the Cacos rebellion was put down in 1919, with the death of rebel leader Charlemagne Peralte, roughly 3000 Haitians (and possibly as many as 11,500) were dead, as were thirteen Americans. This massive discrepancy in the casualty rate, Oswald Villard argued, "was the completest proof that it was not war that was waged in Haiti."4

In 1920, the situation in Haiti received a more thorough accounting in the American press thanks to James Weldon Johnson. Johnson conducted an investigation into the origins and conduct of the American occupation for the NAACP, which was subsequently published in The Crisis, The Nation, and as a standalone book, Self-Determining Haiti. "To know the reasons for the present political situation in Haiti," Weldon explained, "it is necessary, among other things, to know that the National City Bank of New York is very much interested in Haiti…and that Mr. R. L. Farnham, vice-president of the National City Bank, is virtually the representative of the State Department in matters relating to the island republic." National City Bank (today, Citibank), Weldon explained, had taken over the Haitian National Bank in 1910, and since even before the 1915 coup had been using the power of the American government to protect its investment in the region. After going over the unsavory details of the American occupation and pacification, Johnson concluded that "[t]he United States has failed in Haiti. It should get out as well and as quickly as it can and restore to the Haitian people their independence and sovereignty." Johnson's reporting was buttressed by Herbert Seligmann, who told readers of The Nation how "Haiti has been regarded and has been treated as conquered territory…Machine guns have been turned into crowds of unarmed natives, and United States marines have, by accounts which several of them gave me in casual conversation, not troubled to investigate how many were killed or wounded."5

In fact, the United States Marines held both sides of the island of Hispaniola when Harding came into office. In 1916, one year after landing in Haiti, Admiral Caperton and the Marines entered Santo Domingo (today, the Dominican Republic) after the US-friendly government of Juan Isidro Jiménez Peraya fell to opposition forces. When Dominicans refused to recognize a puppet government similar to Dartiguenave's in Haiti, Admiral Caperton abolished the Dominican Congress and installed Captain Harry Shepherd Knapp as Military Governor.6

Taking advantage of the media furor that accompanied Franklin Roosevelt's impolitic boast in 1920, Hiram Johnson called for a special investigation into both occupations in February, 1921. Around the same time, Oswald Villard, his fellow Nation editor Ernest Gruening, and Moorfield Storey created the Haiti and Santo Domingo Independence Society to further press the issue. In response, the Senate authorized a special committee, the US Select Committee on Haiti and Santo Domingo, to investigate the twin occupations in Hispaniola. Chaired by Republican Medill McCormick of Maryland, the Committee conducted inquiries into both situations over 1921 and 1922. During these investigations, at which James Weldon Johnson and Ernest Gruening testified, the NAACP implored its members to demand of Washington that they "withdraw the United States army from Haiti and…treat black republics in the way white republics want to be treated."7

In The Nation, meanwhile, Gruening publicized the revelations of atrocities - "murder of women and children, wholesale killing of prisoners, torture with red-hot irons, the 'water cure,' arson, robbery, violence of every kind - they constitute a stain on American honor. If this report does not arouse the American people then its conscience is indeed dead." The New Republic was only slightly more measured: "There is nothing in the worst annals of imperialism to exceed the savage callousness of the behavior of our forces in Haiti, as charged by responsible men and never refuted." But even though the records of the special committee came to several thousand pages, the fix had been in all along. Senator McCormick had written an article in 1920 entitled "Our Failure in Haiti," which argued that "[w]e are there, and ought to be there for twenty years." That was also the final conclusion of the select committee, albeit with a few minor administrative changes.8

This was not good enough for the progressives in the Senate. "I confess I am at an utter loss to understand the policy of this government toward Haiti and Santo Domingo," Senator Borah wrote a friend in 1922. "It is not only impracticable should we view the matter wholly as a matter of expediency, but more than that, it is contrary to every principle which we profess as a government or as a people." To another correspondent, Borah lamented that "we are wandering these days from those principles without which we cannot continue as a republic." Borah thought "the manner of our taking possession of the Island and the method by which we have governed the Island are intolerable under any theory of our constitutional government." What is more, he believed the people of Haiti "are capable now [of self-government], and so do they." In short, he argued, "the whole Latin -American countries look upon us as imperialistic, cruel, and hypocritical…by reason of such acts as ours in Nicaragua, Haiti and Santo Domingo. [A small force of American troops had been stationed in Managua, Nicaragua since 1912.] This is one of the main reasons why it seems to me so essential that we change our policy, not alone for the sake of our own honor and for the sake of our principles, but also for the sake of the friendship and esteem of the whole South American continent."9

In early 1922, the Senate progressives rallied around an amendment to the naval appropriations bill put forward by William King of Utah that would cut off all federal funding for the Haitian occupation. King, a Wilson Democrat, admitted he did not want to litigate the origins of the invasion - he mainly just wanted to save some money in the naval budget. And so Borah took the lead, deeming the American occupation "sheer brutal despotism," a "shameless tyranny," and "exactly the authority which any military despot has over a helpless people" - all fueled by predatory financial interests. "We go to Haiti ostensibly to restore law and order," he scoffed, and "[w]e immediately begin the wrecking of their form of government" The uplift argument was a canard as well, Borah said, since even in America, in "one big city 90,000 remained out of school last winter because they could not have the clothes necessary to enable them to go." The United States was doing the bidding of the National City Bank, argued George Norris, taking up the standard, with "the American Navy and the American Army…the guaranties that the bonds shall be paid in full:"
When we stand before the world as one of the leading nations of civilization and take advantage of a poor, weak, ignorant nation…and perform the little tricks that we have been performing there, we ought to withdraw in shame and humiliation. All these things are being charged up in history against us. All over South America they know about it, and we are gaining every day in the reputation…that we are trying to conquer the balance of this continent and that we intend in the end to take all without their consent under our flag and under our jurisdiction. It is no defense to say that these people are barbarous, not fit for self-government, and therefore we must take charge of them.10
Nonetheless, many Senators otherwise sympathetic to the cause of exiting Haiti, such as Joseph France of Maryland, thought it an unwise precedent to dictate foreign policy through the power of the purse, since "general legislative matters should not be passed upon in connection with appropriations bills." Others thought it prudent to wait for the McCormick committee to offer its final report. And others still, particularly those of the Southern Democratic persuasion, had no desire to vote on the independence of a majority black nation. And so the King amendment went down to defeat, 43-9, with a goodly part of the Senate abstaining. Among the nine votes in favor were Borah, Norris, Johnson, La Follette, Edwin Ladd, and Thomas Walsh.11

Despite the failure of the King amendment, progressives continue to rally on the issue of Haiti. In April 1922, Nation editor Ernest Gruening -- who had become personally invested in the fight -- released a report condemning the Haiti occupation under the auspices of the Foreign Policy Association, which included the signatures of Zechariah Chafee and Felix Frankfurter. The following month, he organized a May Day speech at Carnegie Hall on the issue by William Borah, which drew a crowd of 3500 and a nationwide audience by radio. (Borah calling the actions of the Marines "a disgrace to the American people" precipitated a minute-long ovation. In response, supporters of the occupation placed a full-page ad in the New York Herald praising the Marines for their uplift of Haiti.)12

For his part, President Harding had campaigned against imperialism in Haiti and the Dominican Republic in 1920, even before Franklin Roosevelt's blunder. Discussing the issue with candidate Harding on the Marion front porch in August, 1920, James Weldon Johnson noted that the Ohio Senator "looked upon the Haitian matter as a gift right off the Christmas tree. He could not conceal his delight." Soon thereafter, in a speech on August 28, 1920, Harding declared that Woodrow Wilson had "made enemies of those who should be our friends" and "rightfully discredited our country as their trusted neighbor." If he became president, Harding promised never to "misuse the power of the executive to cover with a veil of secrecy repeated acts of unwarranted interference in the domestic affairs of the little Republics of the Western Hemisphere." And, in fact, President Harding did initiate the machinery for a military withdrawal from the Dominican Republic as early as June 1921, although troops did not leave in full until September 1924, and the nation remained in the nominal control of American financial interests until well after. Harding and Secretary of State Hughes also pulled troops from Camaguey, Cuba in 1922, to help normalize relations there, and began laying the groundwork for a withdrawal from Nicaragua, which did not occur in full until August 1925. In December 1922, Hughes presided over a Washington conference of Central-American nations where all agreed not to recognize any governments in the region that arose from coups.13

But Harding never pulled troops out of Haiti -- if anything, American control over that nation was only consolidated during his administration. And so progressives spent the rest of the decade continuing to rail against American involvement there. In 1926, an interracial delegation of WILPF members, headed by Emily Greene Balch, and the International Council of Women of the Darker Races initiated their own investigation in Haiti. They released a report detailing the considerable corruption, human suffering, racism, and civil liberties abuses they uncovered as a result of "American despotism," and called for an immediate end to the occupation. The situation in Haiti, they concluded, was "a clear challenge to all who believe in the fundamental principle upon which the United States is founded, that government should rest upon the consent of the governed." The case of Haiti, the WILPF argued, illustrated that there "has been for some time a drift toward imperialism" by the United States, "a movement veiled and therefore the more dangerous, dangerous to the liberty of our neighbors, dangerous to our democracy."14

Nonetheless, at the end of the decade, progressives remained stymied by the continuing occupation. Though he thought it "a great wrong being consummated," Borah lamented in April 1928 that he did not know "what we can do in the way of effectuating any change in the situation." When riots broke out in Port-au-Prince in December 1929, Borah found himself making the same arguments on the Senate floor he had made seven years earlier in the fight over the King amendment, once again to no avail. As it was, the Haiti occupation would continue until 1934, when Franklin Roosevelt - atoning for his early imperialism at last - ended American military involvement there.15

Senate progressives were slightly more successful in their campaigns against the two major Latin American policy flare-ups of the Coolidge years, in Mexico and Nicaragua respectively. Tensions with Mexico had been high since the Wilson administration, which had occupied Veracruz in 1914 and sent 4800 troops under General John J. Pershing to chase Pancho Villa in 1916. By early 1921, the new presidents of the United States and Mexico, Warren Harding and Álvaro Obregón, eyed each other warily across the border, with Harding (and his Secretary of the Interior, Albert Fall) eager to secure and enhance US oil interests in the region and Obregón, who had taken power in an election following a 1920 coup, desiring American recognition and help with his nation's massive debt. (In the midst of a decade of revolution, Mexico had been in default on its bonds since 1913.)16

In May 1921, Secretary of State Hughes offered the Obregón government recognition if they waived Article 27 from the Mexican Constitution, which argued that "natural resources in national territory are property of the nation" and thus could be nationalized and/or confiscated from American industries at any time. Mexico balked, but the seeds of a later deal were laid when the Mexican Supreme Court deemed that Article 27 was not retroactive and did not apply to natural resources already being extracted. And so in 1922, Obregón's finance minister, Adolfo de la Huerta and Thomas Lamont of JP Morgan, speaking on behalf of an international coalition of bankers (and, by extension, the United States government) agreed to a deal in which Mexico would, among other things, begin to pay back its debts and agree to re-privatizing their railroads. The following year, in the Bucareli Treaty of 1923, the United States agreed to recognize the Obregón government in return for certain concessions, including an agreement that Article 27 did not apply to United States oil ventures begun before 1917. (As part of the deal, oilman Edwin Doheny -- the largest US oil interest in Mexico -- magnanimously threw in a $5 million loan for the cash-strapped Mexican government.)17

Before the treaty could be ratified, however, Obregón's successor as president, Plutarco Elías Calles, threw it out, and began moving to aggressively implement Article 27 against American oil interests, including demanding they exchange their land titles for fifty year leases. New Secretary of State Frank Kellogg then swung into action, declaring that Calles' actions, "lacking in the essential elements of justice usual in the law and procedure of nations," struck "at the very root of the system of property rights which lies at the basis of all civilized society." Kellogg's fits of pique stirred the Senate progressives to action. "The truth is," William Borah told a group of journalists in December 1926, "that effort is being made to get this country into a shameless, cowardly, little war with Mexico." Arguing that oil interests likely intended to "steal oil lands in Mexico without anybody knowing it, or anybody finding it out," George Norris introduced and passed a resolution calling upon the State Department to release all correspondence pertaining to the issue of American oil titles in Mexico, while Borah asked Kellogg to appear before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to discuss the issue.18

By then, the situation in Mexico had been compounded by a slowly unfolding crisis in Nicaragua. In 1925, one year after the election of a fusion government consisting of Conservative Carlos Solórzano as President and Liberal Juan Sacasa as Vice-President, the contingent of American Marines that had been stationed in Managua since 1912 finally left Nicaraguan soil. But, the following year, violence erupted again when the loser in that 1924 election, an even-more Conservative Emilio Chamorro, led a coup that forced Solórzano to resign and Sacasa to flee to Guatemala. As a result, Calvin Coolidge sent troops back into Nicaragua to restore order - by the spring of 1927, 3000 Marines were stationed there. Since US policy was not to recognize coup-created governments (as agreed in the non-binding 1922 Washington Conference), Chamorro resigned in favor of an ally, Adolfo Díaz. This Díaz government was then recognized by Secretary Kellogg and the Coolidge administration, even though Liberal forces under the deposed Juan Sacasa had by then set up an alternative government. When Sacasa appealed to Kellogg for recognition, the Secretary of State replied that Díaz was now head of Nicaragua and that, if he threatened otherwise, America "could not consider him other than a revolutionist." Complicating matters even further, when the Marines arrived, the Liberals were well on their way to retaking Managua, and so now American forces faced the unenviable task of buttressing the Conservative Díaz government, while the Calles administration in Mexico officially recognized and backed the Liberal Sacasa government.19

Progressives were surprisingly divided on the renewed Marine presence in Nicaragua. Recent events, argued Walter Lippmann in the New York World, proved that Nicaragua was "not an independent republic, that its government is the creature of the State Department, that management of its finances and the direction of its domestic and foreign affairs are determined not in Nicaragua but in Wall Street." Burton Wheeler declared that the Coolidge administration was "simply bullying the Nicaraguan people because Nicaragua is a small nation," and submitted two resolutions, one calling for recognition of the former Solórzano-Sacasa government and the other calling for an investigation into concessions given to American firms in the region. But Borah - while publicly breaking with the administration by calling for recognition of the Sacasa government -- thought that, in this case, American troops had been rightfully called back in to a tense situation to protect American lives and property, and that they should withdraw as soon as the situation was "reasonably safe." Either way, progressives were fearful that, in George Norris' words, Coolidge and Kellogg were "anxious to make what they call a 'firm stand' in Nicaragua in order to impress Mexico" -- in other words, that the Nicaraguan standoff would devolve into either a proxy war with Mexico or a casus belli for an actual war with Mexico.20

Appearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at Borah's request on January 12, 1927, Kellogg aggravated his public relations problem by making the ill-advised mistake of pulling a Palmer. Presenting a report entitled "Bolshevik Aims and Policies in Mexico and Central America" Kellogg argued that "the Bolshevik leaders have had very definite ideas with respect to the role which Moscow and Latin America are to play in the general program of world revolution" In short, Kellogg argued, the Calles and Sacasa governments were an arm of the Comintern in Moscow. Their overarching ambition: To "set up as one of their fundamental tasks the destruction of what they term American Imperialism as a necessary prerequisite to the successful development of the international revolutionary movement of the New World -- Thus, Latin America and Mexico are conceived as a base of activity against the United States."21

Kellogg was virtually laughed out of the room. "[E]ver since the Swedes up in Minnesota threw him out of the Senate," wrote Burton Wheeler, "Kellogg has been seeing a red behind every bush." Soon thereafter, Wheeler, attacking Kellogg's "faulty logic" and "fevered imagination," called on Kellogg to resign. The New York Times attacked Kellogg's "singular lack of perspective" and thought it "humiliating" that the State Department "stands in dread of the hands of Soviet Russia." In a series of editorials, Walter Lippmann argued that what was at work throughout Mexico and Latin America was the "desire to assert the national independence and the dignity of an inferior race," and that "'the thing which the ignoramuses call bolshevism in these countries is in essence nationalism, and the whole world is in ferment with it." "All this talk by 'Nervous Nelly' of communistic plots and propaganda," wrote Harold Ickes to Hiram Johnson two days after the hearing, "gives me a feeling, half of amusement and half of illness. Bolshevism is the most famous red herring of all time." The bigger issue here, thought Ickes, was that "[w]e paint ourselves as the most peaceful country in the world, we criticize other nations for foreign aggression, for imperialism, for disregarding the rights of weaker nations and yet we reveal ourselves as being no less a bully than the greatest bully of them all."22

Two weeks after Kellogg's testimony, on January 25th, 1927, Borah helped to steer a resolution put forward by Arkansas Democrat and Senate Minority Leader Joseph Robinson calling for arbitration with Mexico, which passed the Senate 79-0. (This was a weaker version of a resolution put forward by Lynn Frazier of North Dakota, which attempted to block Coolidge sending in the armed forces during a congressional recess.) Borah then called for the Foreign Relations Committee to investigate the situation directly. When his own committee rejected the proposal on a 10-8 vote, Borah corresponded with Calles directly, asking him for the same information he had requested of the State Department about American oil interests operating in Mexico. This Calles provided, prompting administration regulars to call for Borah's prosecution under the Logan Act. "As Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee," Borah replied to one heckler in New Haven who had brought up the charge, "I have a right to get my information from any source I wish. This I propose to do, and I know of no power that can stop me. We have not yet got Mussolini in the United States." Borah would spend the rest of the year working to learn Spanish so he could start getting a better sense of the situation on the ground in Latin America.23

By this point, Coolidge and Kellogg were looking for a graceful exit from both foreign policy snafus. And so the president appointed JP Morgan banker (and his Amherst college classmate) Dwight Morrow as the new Ambassador to Mexico and former Taft Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson as Coolidge's man in Nicaragua, both of whom were given the latitude to reach any deal possible. "My only instructions," Coolidge told Morrow, "are to keep us out of war." To Stimson, the president asked that "[i]f you find a chance to straighten the matter out, I want you to do so." Kellogg had one additional reservation for Stimson: Whatever arrangement he came to should not have to go through the damnable Senate.24

Young Bob La Follette thought the appointment of a JP Morgan banker to sort out the Mexico situation was "the most flagrant avowal of domination by the international bankers which any President has ever dared to make." (For his part, Borah endorsed the move.) But as it turned out, Morrow was the right man for the job. Bringing such leading lights as Charles Lindbergh (eventually to become his son-in-law) and Will Rogers to Mexico City as part of his charm offensive, Morrow managed to enamor himself with the local population and convince the Calles government to accept an agreement roughly akin to the earlier Bucareli compact -- Oil companies could hold titles on lands acquired before 1917, and would have to procure leases for those acquired after then. By 1928, passions had eased greatly along the border, and Morrow could happily call Calles, deemed a Bolshevik agent by the Secretary of State only a year previously, "the best President the country has had since [Porfiro] Díaz."25

While the situation in Mexico slowly resolved, the tensions did cause two press brouhahas of note. First, when Calvin Coolidge grew tired of anti-administration articles on the issue from the New York World and other outlets, he called for reporters to clear all their stories on Mexico with the government before publication. "It has not been the custom in America to let government officials edit newspapers," replied an irate Walter Lippman. "It is not going be the custom":
'There is a name for the kind of press Mr. Coolidge seems to desire. It is called a reptile press. This is a press which takes its inspiration from government officials and from great business interests. It prints what those in power wish to have printed. It suppresses what they wish to have suppressed. It puts out as news those facts which help its masters to accomplish what they are after. Its comments on affairs consist in putting a good face on whatever the interests which control it are doing. It makes no independent investigation of the facts. It takes what is handed to it and it does what it is told to do."26
Meanwhile, Senator George Norris was incensed to discover while reading a Hearst newspaper in late 1927, that he, William Borah, Bob La Follette, and Thomas Heflin had all been on the Calles government's payroll - Norris had apparently received $350,000 in the total of $1.2 million in bribes. A special Senate committee soon followed, which found that the charges had been conjured out of thin air. Nonetheless, Norris took the opportunity to read his reply to William Randolph Hearst into the Congressional Record. "A fair analysis of the recent articles published in the Hearst papers," Norris declared, "…that you are not only unfair and dishonest, but that you are entirely without honor. These articles show, on the face, a constant attempt…to practice deception on the American people…[and] to excite an animosity and a hatred on the part of our people against the Mexican Government." Norris declined to sue Hearst, who apparently had been trying to recreate the same publishers' magic that had helped to furnish the Spanish-American War. In any case, the following year, when it was reported that Norris and Borah had both been paid $100,000 each from the Comintern in Moscow, the same Senate committee exonerated them once more.27

While Dwight Morrow managed to defuse a second Mexican war, Henry Stimson faced a heavier lift. When he arrived in Nicaragua, he found the Díaz government on its last legs and the Liberal forces sure to overrun the capital city were it not for the presence of the Marines. Since, the last time American troops had withdrawn, "the country learned nothing in the way of self-government and within twenty five days…there was a coup d'etat," Stimson thought the answer for Nicaragua lay in "constructive American intervention which would endeavor to lead the country nearer to self-government." And so he struck a deal with the Díaz government, the Samasa government in exile, and the top Liberal general, José Moncada, known as the Tipitapa accords, that the current government would step down and that American forces would oversee a fair election in 1928. Thus, Stimson told the State Department in May, 1927, "the civil war in Nicaragua is definitely ended."28

Unfortunately, one of General Moncada's lieutenants, Augusto Sandino - whom Stimson had dismissed as a member of the "bandit fringe" - refused to abide by the deal and began to escalate his guerilla attacks on American troops and Nicaraguan Conservatives. As the situation became increasingly violent, Coolidge dispatched additional troops under General Frank McCoy to oversee the "election-monitoring" efforts in Nicaragua, raising the number to 3700 Marines in-country, accompanied by five cruisers and 1500 sailors offshore. Meanwhile, the rhetoric in the Senate grew more heated. The Sandinists were only "called bandits," declared progressive Senator C.C. Dill of Washington, "because they would not sell their ammunition and their right to fight for what they believed to be self-government in their own country." Burton Wheeler argued Sandino's forces were fighting for "exactly the same principles of liberty and free government" as the patriots at Lexington and Concord.29

George Norris, comparing Sandino's guerilla army to Washington at Valley Forge, asked why American Marines were there "to destroy human life, to burn villages, to bomb innocent women and children from the air." The answer, he argued, was to teach Nicaragua "not to contravene the rights of American oil companies." The United States Marines, the Senator maintained, should not be "a collection agency for Wall Street or any other interest," and those who gambled in Nicaragua have "no right to ask the Government to go to war in order to collect it." As it was, by acting "as a Great Colossus," America's troops in the region were trampling "under military foot every doctrine of democracy" and besmirching the nation "with bloody disgrace." And Borah, who supported the Sacasa government-in-exile rather than the Sandino insurgency, conceded that American Marines until 1925 "had kept in power those who represented not the people…so much as the foreign capitalists who were investing in Nicaragua." That being said, he alone of the peace progressives argued for maintaining the troops in Nicaragua until the election - Otherwise, "we would leave the Liberals in Nicaragua absolutely subject to the dictation and the power of those who had driven them out prior to the time that Díaz had become president."30

In the end, the 1928 election was won by General Moncada of the Liberals -- and yet Sandino's guerilla campaign persisted. Over the course of that year, Wisconsin Senator John J. Blaine had put forward two resolutions of note -- the first arguing that American citizens and industries abroad had to obey the laws of their location, and the second -- like the King amendment on Haiti in 1922 -- calling for a proscription on funding the military effort in Nicaragua as of Christmas 1928. Both went down to defeat, but on February 22nd, 1929, C.C. Dill introduced a variation on the latter amendment once again, arguing that, with the Nicaraguan election come and gone, it was time to stand down. Dill's amendment passed 38-30 before administration forces figured out what was going on and -- after leaning heavily on South Carolina's two Democrats to change their vote or lose $350,000 for Charleston Harbor -- re-voted the amendment down in a special session the following day, 48-32.

This, historian Robert David Johnson notes in his study of the peace progressives, "marked the first occasion in American history on which a branch of Congress had cut off funding for an overseas military conflict still in progress." Nonetheless, US Marines, while beginning to draw down in 1931, remained in Nicaragua until January 2nd, 1933 - one day after the inauguration of Juan Sacasa, the recognized president at last. The following year, Augusto Sandino would be assassinated, in violation of a safe-conduct agreement, by Nicaragua's US-trained National Guard, headed by Anastasio Somoza - soon to be the dictator of Nicaragua for two decades.31

Surveying the events in Mexico and Nicaragua with Hiram Johnson in January 1927, Harold Ickes called into question the American behavior that he thought precipitated both diplomatic crises. To Ickes, the "Nicaraguan situation…[was] particularly distasteful":
I haven't seen anything to date to prove the assertion that our intervention in that country was necessary in order to protect American lives and property. Even in cases where American lives and property are endangered I have often wondered to what extent our government should go in order to protect our business adventurers. If I go into another country because I see a chance of making an extraordinary profit it would seem to me that I ought to be willing to assume whatever personal risk is involved. Of course, there are practical limits to any theory, but, generally speaking, I don't see why you should be called upon to spend your money and risk your life to protect me in my deliberately chosen pursuit of large profits.

But waiving this point…Why do we have to land marines, censor news, disarm inhabitants, and chase belligerents in Nicaragua?...What concern is it of ours and what right have we to decide for the Nicaraguans at the point of a pistol who their president should be? It seems to me that the furthest we have the right to go is to assure ourselves that whoever is in control of the government, legally acquired American rights will be safeguarded. It is difficult for me to believe that such assurances could not have been secured from Sacasa as well as from Diaz.

We all hate a bully and this country of ours seems to be occupying very completely the role of a bully with respect to Nicaragua. Of course, there is no doubt about our being able to determine the result in that country, but it looks to me to be a case of losing even if we win. We will lose in the accumulation of distrust and misunderstanding that we will add to throughout Central and South America. We will lose even more in world opinion because we will be accused, and justly so, of cant and hypocrisy….

Is American to be committed to an indefensible policy in Nicaragua merely because a nervous Secretary of State and an inadequate President commit us to that policy without our knowledge or consent? That is the theory on which ghastly wars have been waged and millions of men slain throughout the ages. Who are Coolidge and Kellogg? Why should they have the right and power to sign in blank a check against the moral and spiritual resources of America that America is bound to honor although America has not been consulted? Why should we back them up merely because they have made fools of themselves and are playing fast and loose with our foreign affairs? What a salutary thing it would be for future Coolidges and Kelloggs if America, instead of following through on a course which America did not chart, should order these misguided pilots of ours to take a different tack…

The administration complains of Mexican aid and comfort given to Sacasa. Why hasn't Mexico as much right in Nicaragua as we have?...As to Mexico I haven't any doubt that matters will be adjusted to the satisfaction of the Standard Oil Company…What right have we to dictate to Mexico its policy with reference to the holding of lands and mineral and oil rights?32
"I hope that some day, some time," Ickes concluded, "some great power will really point the way to international understanding, good-will and peace by its own real consideration of the rights of other nations and by its forbearance under seeming provocation. I wish the United States might be the country thus to point the way. If we don't do it, if we continue to bully weaker nations, what real hope is there that the world can ever be composed of anything but selfish, grasping, warring nations?"33

That was the question that progressives would continue to grapple with over the course of the decade. And it didn't apply only to the nations of Latin America. As best they could, the progressive nationalists in the Senate tried to accord the American rights of self-determination and non-interference to all nations who desired them. "How shall the rights of small nations be guarded or maintained?" Borah told the Jewish Congress in 1927. "It is not war between the great powers but the spoliation of the weak nations which seem the most vital and imminent in international affairs at this time." This included the colonial assets of the French and British Empires. "In my opinion," Borah wrote in 1925, "there will never be any peace among the Syrian people or in that region of country until the specific pledge made to the Syrian people during the war is in good faith carried out. The Syrian people are entitled to their independence and to the right of self-government and the pledge have being made to that effect should be kept."34

In April 1921, one month into the Harding presidency, George Norris put forward a resolution protesting the continued British suppression in Ireland. While Britain was acting in "violation of every rule of war, peace, or humanity," the Irish, according to Norris, deserved to be accorded "the same freedom, the same liberty that by the will of Almighty God and the sacrifices of our forefathers we ourselves enjoy." Norris had previously served, along with Jane Addams, Frederic Howe, and Norman Thomas, on the American Commission on Conditions in Ireland, also known as the "Villard Commission" due to its primary backer, which had investigated accounts of British atrocities in Ireland.35

That same month, Robert La Follette followed with his own resolution forcing the Harding administration to recognize Irish independence, arguing that America must lead in "the establishment of new nations throughout the world founded upon the consent of the governed." (Henry Cabot Lodge bottled it up in committee.) And Senator Borah -- who thought "that too much praise cannot be given for the service which the Irish race in America rendered to America in the League fight" -- argued "it is for the interest of England, certainly for the interest of Ireland, and for the interest of the peace of the world, that the Irish question should be settled in accordance with 700 year old demands of Ireland…So long as they exist as a people, they will demand their liberty…I voted for the independence of the Philippines," he concluded, "and I would like to see the Irish free." The following year, 1922, saw the Irish Free State - minus six provinces in Ulster - created. India received less attention than Ireland from the Senate progressives, but it did not go completely unnoticed. Wisconsin Senator John J. Blaine continually urged the Senate to pass a resolution supporting India, "mindful of the struggle for independence that gave birth to our Republic," and blaming the British for "the most atrocious conduct known to history." It never passed.36

Perhaps the best example of the peace progressives' agnostic approach to other nations during the decade was their fight to extend recognition to Soviet Russia, a nation on which progressive views ran the gamut during the Twenties. On one hand, Woodrow Wilson, in one of his last published essays, argued that the Bolshevik revolution was a cautionary tale for the democracies of the world. "The world has been made safe for democracy," the former president argued, "But democracy has not yet made the world safe against irrational revolution. That supreme task, which is nothing less than the salvation of civilization, now faces democracy, insistent, imperative." On the other was muckraker Lincoln Steffens' oft-quoted statement after a trip to Bolshevik Russia, "I have seen the future, and it works!" and the effusive endorsements of the regime by Social Gospel ministers like Harry Ward and Sherwood Eddy. "[I]f what I have seen with my ears and heard with my ears in Russia is Bolshevism," wrote W.E.B. Du Bois from Moscow in November 1926, "I am a Bolshevik." At the very least, Jane Addams argued in 1930, "it would seem obvious that the most important condition for the peaceful and fruitful development of the world would be at the lowest, a theory of live and let live between countries organized on different economic systems." That is the theory which the Senate progressives tried to bring to bear on the Soviet Union.37

As noted earlier, Johnson, Borah, La Follette, and Norris, among others, had all been harsh critics of Wilson's Polar Bear Expedition in 1919. "I can't help but believe," Borah told one constituent, "that the most short-sighted, selfish policy that was ever practiced toward one people by another, has been the policy of this Government toward Russia from the hour the old regime broke down." The Idaho Senator thought "our sacrifice of our boys in Russia the most remarkable instance of wholesale murder that has ever took place by reason of the action of a free government. We have no business in Russia. There is positively no justification for our being there." When told that this position made him a potential Bolshevik lover, Borah argued he had not "defended the…Bolshevists unless it be considered defending them to have objected to sending our troops there to shoot them down. While I do not believe in their practices I do not consider it our business to go there and engage in bloody riots with them."38

Arguing for recognition of Russia throughout the decade (to no avail), Borah continually made the point that the behavior of the Bolshevik regime in Russia was irrelevant. "For one hundred and fifty years we traded with Russia at a time when she we governed by an autocratic, militaristic and brutal regime," he noted in 1920. "We never complained of the fact that the Czar was in the habit of putting his people into Siberia to freeze and die in exile, and that he was shooting them when they became restless about their conditions; we kept on trading. In other words, we have never made the question of our trade depend upon whether the government was a government we liked or not, and no sane people ever did such things." Three years later, Borah told a constituent that recognizing Russia, "instead of helping bolshevism…will tend to destroy bolshevism. Anything which restores normal conditions will help to destroy bolshevism. Bolshevism has been greatly aided and helped by the course which the Allies have pursued towards Russia since the war." Nonetheless, Borah contended, the question of how recognition affected bolshevism was beside the point:
Of course, wrongs have been committed in Russia. No one defends them. But that is not a controlling proposition in the matter of recognition. We have recognized Turkey for the last hundred years, didn't even break with her during the War, and yet, under official authority, literally thousands of Christians have been murdered in Turkey by the Turkish government. On the day that the priest was condemned to execution, thirteen Germans were shot down in Germany, unarmed and helpless, by an invader. That didn't have any bearing upon our continued recognition of France. For years and years the British government shot and killed Irishmen, priests and everybody else, but it didn't cause a break with our government.39
In sum, Borah, argued, "[t]he basis of recognition rests upon a principle wholly aside from these cruelties which may be practiced." Harold Ickes thought similarly. "I believe Russia should be recognized," he told Hiram Johnson in December 1923. "I had always thought that it was a well-established principle of international relationships that the question of recognition depended upon the apparent stability of the government of the country proposed to be recognized and not upon the form of government of that country…We never had any difficulty in recognizing the Tsarist regime; we never recalled our Ambassadors when pogroms were instituted against the Jews; we have recognized the bloody Turks and yet we cannot recognize Russia which, even if mistakenly and haltingly, is reaching out toward a popular form of government." As Burton Wheeler put it after a 1923 visit to Russia -- during a long Senate recess that also saw Robert La Follette, Edwin Ladd, and Smith Brookhart visit Moscow -- the USSR appeared to be "the most stable government in Europe today," and thus deserved American recognition. Besides, Wheeler later explained, "I had discovered on my trip that Britain and France were buying cotton from us and reselling it to the Russians at a profit…it was silly for us not to recognize the Soviets when doing business with them might help pull us out of a growing depression."40

While Borah never succeeded in extending recognition to Soviet Russia, his attempts led the Kremlin in Moscow to think of the Idaho Senator as their most likely ally in the United States. As historian Robert David Johnson put it, Borah in the late 1920's "functioned as a de facto Secretary of State in dealing with the Soviet Union," working to release American prisoners, end the persecution of Catholics, and otherwise interact with the regime while Frank Kellogg and Hoover Secretary of State Henry Stimson remained silent. In fact, Borah held a similarly sterling reputation in China, where his "reputation for liberalism and anti-imperialism," noted one correspondent, "was nowhere greater."41

Over the course of the Twenties, from the Nine-Power Treaty on, Borah had argued that the Open Door was "contrary to the spirit of the times and the modern conception of national integrity." When the Kuomintang nationalist movement began to take hold and Senators worried about Bolshevik influence, Borah argued that, as in Mexico and Nicaragua, it was not radicalism "but the spirit of nationalism which is aflame." And he wasn't bashful about attacking the bad behavior of American interests in the Middle Kingdom, such as when he called the "American Chamber of Commerce…part of the imperialistic combine which would oppress and exploit the Chinese people and charge the result of their offenses to someone else." "The truth is that China," Borah argued in 1925, "tortured and demoralized by the imperialism of a few nations beginning with the vicious opium war and running down to this day, has at last, like the worm, turned. Unless these imperialistic nations see fit to conform their practices in the future with the wave of nationalism in China, we have only seen the beginning of this trouble."42

When Kellogg briefly dispatched American Marines to Shanghai in 1927 to protect Americans there, Borah urged the State Department not to use the opportunity to interfere with Chinese politics. "The most magnificent scene in the world is to see a great people, after years of turmoil and strife and oppression by outside powers, coming into their own," Borah proclaimed. "The nationalistic spirit, in my judgment is uniting these people and I look to see them ultimately accomplish their complete redemption as a great power and take their rightful place among the family of nations." George Norris, meanwhile, asked the Coolidge administration to declare that "we sympathize with those who believe that foreigners should not make laws for an unwilling people, simply because they are too weak to defend themselves."43

Instead of engaging in entangling alliances or the building of empire, Borah and the peace progressives, in Jeffersonian fashion, urged the State Department to recognize all nations' rights of self-determination and non-interference, and then to conduct trade with them. The "one fundamental thing which must be done in order to restore anything like economic sanity or business prosperity in this country," Borah argued soon after the war, was to "restore trade relations with the different nations of the earth, and get things back to normal conditions in the world of commercial trade.." That following year, he argued the best path to prosperity and normalcy was for the Harding administration "to find markets for our products. That can only be done by opening up the channels of trade between all Nations of the world. There are some people in this world who would rather see bankruptcy than to trade with the Russian government…There are those who would rather see bankruptcy than to restore immediately and promptly our business relations, and therefore our trade relations, with Germany -- and they have largely had their way. But you will pardon me for saying I have not been one of them."44

It is for this reason that Borah, unlike many of his allies in the farm bloc, resisted the Emergency Tariff of 1921, and why he was the only Republican vote against the Fordney-McCumber Tariff of 1922 (although Norris and La Follette, both abstentions, said they would have also voted against the bill.) "It would be like putting a porous-plaster upon a cancer," Borah argued in 1921. "Tariff is alright. The principle is alright. But the things from which we are suffering now are not to be cured in that way…What we want is the restoration of trade throughout the world." The idea of higher tariffs, Ickes told Hiram Johnson similarly, "leaves me stone cold. I thought it was axiomatic that a creditor nation must of necessity be a free trade nation, but it seems we are going to prove all history and economic theory wrong."45

They were and they weren't. "A creditor nation unwilling to absorb more imports than exports," historian William Leuchtenburg noted in The Perils of Prosperity, "the United States maintained world trade by private investment of dollars abroad." As waves of tourists, flush with cash, visited the Old World, "American dollars," writes Leuchtenberg, "developed rubber plantations in the Dutch East Indies, built American branch factories in Scandinavia, mined tin in Bolivia, and drilled oil wells in the Middle East." Between 1919 and 1929 around $12 billion American dollars ventured overseas, mostly in the form of loans.46

For one, this made for a deeply unstable world economy, almost entirely dependent on continued capital investment abroad by the United States and American corporations. When that capital flow dried up at the onset of the Great Depression, the world economy collapsed soon thereafter. For another, American investment overseas led to an explosion of multi-national corporations. The decade saw over $4 billion in direct investments overseas, and by 1929 over 1300 corporations owned wholly or in part by American interests were active in Europe. For decades, progressives had tried to constrain bad behavior by their ancient adversary, the Trust, by either growing the American government to regulate them (the New Nationalism) or breaking them up into smaller parts (the New Freedom). But now, even as Senate progressives worked to maintain the inviolable integrity of nations, corporations were spilling over and beyond the nation-state and gaining footholds across multiple continents.47

In the Commerce Department, the Great Engineer was semi-cognizant of both of these world-historical developments. In March 1922, Hoover and Hughes pushed Harding to issue a series of federal guidelines for loans overseas -- While there was no penalty for non-compliance, from now on foreign loans, it was argued, ought to be approved by the State Department first. Hoover wanted this government oversight to make sure the money was going to efficient, worthwhile, and constructive endeavors, while Hughes didn't want private money undermining diplomatic attempts to isolate the Soviet Union or other potential adversaries. Either way, government oversight of loans was extensive, but not particularly effective at regulating the flow of capital. Hoover was also worried that the growth of corporations with multi-national holdings would eventually result in stronger global competitors and American jobs shipped overseas, and he urged these businesses to voluntarily make investments that were also in the public interest -- say, investing in the infrastructure of underdeveloped China rather than backing the machinations of Japanese imperialists.48

Hoover's fears for America's long-term future proved as prescient as his ability to alter the behavior of business interests was ineffective. The money - much to Hoover's consternation - pooled where the easy, low-risk profits where, not where it may have potentially made most sense from a diplomatic or public interest perspective to invest. Despite government oversight of loans and Hoover's prodding, "[a]t no time in the 1920s," notes historian Warren Cohen, "did the government exercise effective control over American economic activity abroad."49

The sheer importance of American capital to the global economy had one additional effect as well. It enmeshed America in the dealings of the rest of the world as thoroughly as any alliance, pact or League ever could. Senator Borah was right to worry, as he told Albert Beveridge in 1921, that "[i]mperial finance is…as objectionable as militarism." Because even as he and the other Senate progressives worked desperately to avoid entangling alliances or imperialistic behavior in the political sphere, the flow of money in the absence of normal trade created for America, in Cohen's word, an "Empire Without Tears," in which "the dollar, if not the flag, could be found wherever the sun might shine at any given moment." By the end of the decade, Cohen writes, "[o]fficially or otherwise, the government of the United States had to participate in every major political or economic conference in the world to protect its interests."50

Continue to Chapter 7, Pt. 6: Immigrant Indigestion.

Return to the Table of Contents.

1. Weyl, The End of the War, 299-300.
2. Weyl, The End of the War, 300-301. Steel, 238. Dawley, Changing the World, 303.
3. Johnson, Peace Progressives, 171. Ashby, 115, 109.
4. Pietrusza, 132-133. Johnson, Peace Progressives, 114. Mary Renda, Taking Haiti: Military Occupation and the Culture of US Imperialism, 1915-1940 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2001), 10-14.
5. James Weldon Johnson, Self-Determining Haiti (New York: The Nation, 1920), 5-6. James Weldon Johnson, "The Truth about Haiti. An N.A.A.C.P. Investigation." The Crisis 5 (September 1920):224. Pietrusza, 133.
6. Johnson, Peace Progressives, 114.
7. Leon Pamphile, Haitians and African Americans: A Heritage of Tragedy and Hope (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2001), 119. Johnson, Peace Progressives, 114-115. Hans Schmidt, The United States Occupation of Haiti, 1915-1934 (Rutgers: Rutgers University Press, 1971), 121-122. Robert David Johnson, Ernest Gruening and the American Dissenting Tradition (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1998), 37, 41. The Select Committee also included Atlee Pomerene (D-OH), Tasker Oddie (R-NV), William King (D-UT), and Philander Knox (R-PA), although King and Knox did not take part. Schmidt, 121.
8. "Haiti Speaks," The Nation, May 18th, 1921 (Vol. 112, No. 2915), 708. "Imperialism in Haiti," The New Republic, June 29th, 1921, 128. Schmidt, 121-122.
9. Borah to Frederick M. Webb, May 31, 1922. WJB Box 114: 1921-22: Haiti and Caribbean Situation. Borah to Aug. Peterson, June 28th, 1922. WJB Box 114: 1921-22: Haiti and Caribbean Situation Ashby, 115. Borah to Octavio Elias Moscoso, May 5th, 1922. WJB Box 114: 1921-22: Haiti and Caribbean Situation.
10. Johnson, Peace Progressives, 115. Johnson, Ernest Gruening, 41-42. Lowitt, 145-146.
11. Johnson, Ernest Gruening, 42. Johnson, Peace Progressives, 116. Ashby, 104-105.
12. Johnson, Ernest Gruening, 42-44. Ashby, 116. In September 1922, Oswald Villard was forced to let Gruening go from The Nation due to money troubles (and due to his single-minded focus on his Haiti activities.) The two men parted amicably. Johnson, Ernest Gruening, 44-45.
13. Pamphile, 13, 119. Kenneth J. Grieb, "Warren G. Harding and the Dominican Republic U.S. Withdrawal, 1921-1932, Journal of Inter-American Studies, Vol. 11, No. 3 (Jul., 1969), 425-440. Robert Kagan, A Twilight Struggle: American Power and Nicaragua, 1977-1980 (New York: Free Press, 1996), 7. David F. Schmitz, Henry L. Stimson: The First Wise Man (Wilmington: Scholarly Resources, 2001), 50.
14. Pamphile, 119. Dawley, Changing the World, 302. Kristen E. Gwinn, Emily Greene Balch: The Long Road to Internationalism (Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2010), 136-139.
15. Johnson, Peace Progressives, 141.
16. Linda Biesele Hall, Oil, Banks, and Politics: The United States and Post-Revolutionary Mexico, 1917-1924 (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1995), 51-59.
17. Hall, 88-89. Merrill Rippy, Oil and the Mexican Revolution (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1972), 119-122. Johnson, Peace Progressives, 121. Rippy, 164-165.
18. Steel, 237-238. Johnson, Peace Progressives, 122. Ashby, 210. Lowitt, 369-370.
19. Steel, 236-237. Johnson, Peace Progressives, 126-127. Ashby, 208-209. Don M. Coerver and Linda Biesele Hall, Tangled Destinies: Latin America and the United States (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1999), 78.
20. Ibid.
21. Johnson, Peace Progressives, 123. Marcelo Villegas, "Moscow, Mexico - and Morrow," The Outlook, October 24, 1928, 1009-1011.
22. Johnson, Peace Progressives, 123. Steel, 237-238. Ickes to Johnson, January 14, 1927. HLI Box 33: Hiram Johnson.
23. Ashby, 210-212. Johnson, Peace Progressives, 124-125, 132.
24. Ashby, 213. David Greenberg, Calvin Coolidge (New York: Henry Holt, 2006), 119. Schmitz, 54. Johnson, Peace Progressives, 126, 129-130.
25. Johnson, Peace Progressives, 126. Greenberg, 119.
26. Steel, 239.
27. Lowitt, 370-372.
28. Johnson, Peace Progressives, 130-131., Schmitz, 54-61. It probably didn't help matters that Stimson personally thought Nicaraguans "were not fitted for the responsibilities that go with independence and still less fitted for popular self-government," and that Latin Americans in general were "admittedly like children and unable to maintain the obligations which go with independence." Stimson would carry these same condescending attitudes into his next position, as Governor-General of the Philippines. Schmitz, 54, 61.
29. Schmitz, 57. Coerver and Hall, 78. Johnson, Peace Progressives, 134-138.
30. Lowitt, 373-375. Johnson, Peace Progressives, 134-138.
31. Coerver and Hall, 78. Johnson, Peace Progressives, 135, 1-2. Greenberg, 121.
32. Ickes to Johnson, January 14, 1927. HLI Box 33: Hiram Johnson.
33. Ibid.
34. William Borah, "For the Press," February 20th, 1927. Borah to The Syrian Society of America, November 12, 1925. WJB Box 201: Foreign Affairs - Misc.
35. Lowitt, 142. Wreszin, 141-142.
36. Johnson, Peace Progressives, 118-119, 157. Borah to John E. Milholland, January 13, 1921. WJB, Box 96: Irish Question. Borah to James H. Lyons, January 31, 1921. WJB, Box 96: Irish Question.
37. Woodrow Wilson, "The Road Away from Revolution," (New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1923). Schlesinger, Crisis of the Old Order, 93-95, 142. The Crisis, November 1926, 8. Addams, Second Twenty Years, 390.
38. Borah to John Spargo, March 28, 1921.WJB Box 101: 1919-1920 Russian Matters. Borah to C.H. Putnam, July 22, 1919. WJB, Box 87: Russian Matters. Noggle, Into the Twenties, 143-144.
39. Borah to Marcus Day, December 10, 1920. WJB, Box 95: Foreign Affairs 1920-1921. Borah to Orrin S. Good, May 7, 1923. WJB Box 144: 1922-23 Russian Matters. When it came to recognizing nationhood, religion and ehnicity did not matter to Borah either. "I observe you say 'Everyone knows that these Bolsheviks are Jews, all of them,'" he responded to one letter-writer from New York. "Perhaps so. What of it? Shall we refuse to recognize a government because its principal men are Jews? Are we going to revive the infamous intolerance of the Dark Ages? It is wholly immaterial to me whether the leading men of Russia are Jews or not." Borah to Robert Green, June 5, 1922. WJB Borah Box 121: 1921-22: Russian Situation.
40. Borah to Marcus Day, December 10, 1920. WJB, Box 95: Foreign Affairs 1920-1921. Ickes to Johnson, December 7, 1923. HLI Box 33: Hiram Johnson. Johnson, Peace Progressives,144. Wheeler, 202.
41. Johnson, Peace Progressives, 146-148.
42. Ibid. William Borah, "For the Press," June 27, 1925. WJB. Box 780: Speeches. Borah to Frederic William Wile, June 8, 1925. WJB Box 187: Newspapers.
43. William Borah, "For the Press," January 27, 1927. Johnson, Peace Progressives, 146-148.
44. Borah to D.J. Bisthan, December 5, 1920. WJB, Box 98: Misc. Borah to Mark Austin, July 11, 1921. WJB, Box 89.
45. "Your Government at Work," The Searchlight on Congress, August 31, 1922, 6. Borah to Mark Austin, July 11, 1921. WJB, Box 89. Ickes to Johnson, June 30, 1921. HLI Box 33: Hiram Johnson.
46. Leuchtenburg, The Perils of Prosperity, 111-112.
47. Ibid. Cohen, Empire Without Tears, 36-37.
48. Cohen, Empire Without Tears, 30-33, 36-38.
49. Ibid.
50. Ibid, 44.

[Download Uphill all the Way: The Fortunes of Progressivism, 1919-1929 as a PDF.]

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