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Blaine, Garfield and Latin America: A New Look

  • Allan Peskin (a1)
Extract

IF, as has been suggested, a country without a foreign policy is a happy country, then the United States must have reached the peak of its felicity between the Civil War and the turn of the century. Of all the Secretaries of State in that otherwise obscure progression from William Seward to John Hay only one has managed to escape oblivion and capture the imagination of diplomatic historians. That exception is James G. Blaine. Secretary of State on two separate occasions and under three different presidents, Blaine brought to his office not only his personal dynamism but also an apparently well thought-out conception of foreign affairs. Unlike his contemporaries, who seemed content merely to react to events, Blaine appeared to have a policy. The genesis of that policy has been a source of controversy ever since.

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1 Tyler, Alice Felt The Foreign Policy of James G. Blaine (Minneapolis, 1927), 17.

2 Bastert, Russell H.A New Approach to the Origins of Blaine’s Pan-American Policy,” Hispanic American Historical Review, 39 (August 1959), 375412.

3 Blaine, James G.Foreign Policy of the Garfield Adminstration,” Chicago Weekly Magazine, September 16, 1882 ; Blaine, , Political Discussions: Legislative, Diplomatic, and Popular, 1865–1886 (Norwich, Connecticut, 1887).

4 Pletcher, David M. The Awkward Years: American Foreign Relations Under Garfield and Arthur (Columbia, Missouri), 1962).

5 Hamilton, Gail [pseud., Mary Abigail Dodge], Biography of James G. Blaine (Norwich, Connecticut, 1895), 182.

6 Clement Hugh Hill to James A. Garfield, November 18, 1880, James Abram Garfield Papers, Library of Congress.

7 John Sherman to Garfield, January 23, 1881, ibid.

8 Luke Poland to Garfield, January 6, 1881, ibid.

9 Clement Hugh Hill to Garfield, January 1, 1881, ibid.

10 Diary, April 14, 1880, ibid.

11 Ibid., November 27, 1880.

12 Barrows, Chester Leonard William M. Evarts: Lawyer, Diplomat, Statesman (Chapel Hill, 1941), 347.

13 Blaine, , “Foreign Policy,” 2.

14 Blaine to L. P. Morton, September 5, 1881 in, U.S. Department of State, Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States: 1881 (Washington, 1882), 426–427.

15 Blaine to Philip H. Morgan, June 21, 1881, ibid., 768–770.

16 Ibid., 643.

17 Blaineto L. P. Morton, September 5, 1881, ibid., 426–427.

18 “Blaine to Edward F. Noyes, July 23, 1881, Diplomatic Register, State Department Archives.

19 Blaine to P. H. Morgan, June 21, 1881, Foreign Relations of the United States: 1881, 768–770.

20 Blaine, , “Foreign Policy,” 3.

21 BlainetoJ. R. Lowell, November 19, 1881, Foreign Relations of the United States: 1881, 555.

22 Blaine to P. H. Morgan, June 21, 1881, ibid., 768–770.

23 Open letter of Blaine to President Chester Alan Arthur, New York Tribune, February 4, 1882, in Muzzey, David Saville James G. Blaine, A Political Idol of Other Days (New York, 1934), 219.

24 See, “Chile-Peruvian Investigation,” House Reports, No. 1780, 47 Congress, 1 session.

25 Foreign Relations of the United States: 1881, 549.

26 Tyler, , Foreign Policy of Blaine, 16.

27 Blaine, “Foreign Policy”; “Chile-Peruvian Investigation,” 205.

28 Muzzey, Blaine, 220n.

29 See, for example, Blaine to Garfield, December 13, 1880, Garfield Papers, LC.

30 Congressional Globe, 42 Cong., 2 sess., 1168. February 21, 1872.

31 Diary, February 3 and 6, 1876, Garfield Papers, LC.

32 Hinsdale, Burke Aaron (ed.), The Works of James Abram Garfield (2 volumes: Boston, 1883), 2, 277278.

33 See, for example, Horace N. Fisher to Garfield, October 28, 1878, Garfield Papers, LC.

34 Congressional Record, 45 Cong., 2 sess., 2127.

35 Garfield, , Works, 2, 281.

36 Cong. Globe, 42 Cong., 2 sess., 1620. March 12, 1872. See also, Diary February 24, 1872, Garfield Papers, LC.

37 See, Garfield, , Works, 2, 320323.

38 Garfield to Isaac Demmon, December 30, 1870, Garfield Papers, LC.

39 Garfield, , Works, 2, 320 ; see also “Speech on Public Expenditures, January 23, 1872,” Ibid., 4–5.

40 Blaine, , Political Discussions, 176185.

41 Garfield, , Works, 2, 573 ; Diary, June 18, 1878, Garfield Papers, LC.

42 Garfield, , Works, 2, 325.

43 See, for example, entries for June 7, 13 and 14, 1881, Diary, Garfield Papers, LC.

44 “Chile-Peru Investigation,” 205.

45 Gerry, Margurita Spalding (ed.), Through Five Administrations. Reminiscences of Colonel William H. Crook (New York and London, 1910), 262263.

46 “Chile-Peru Investigation,” 205.

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The Americas
  • ISSN: 0003-1615
  • EISSN: 1533-6247
  • URL: /core/journals/americas
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