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Index I

Browse Index A-Z

Utilizing this index, you can look up topics in the TRA Cyclopedia. To find a topic in the index, select a letter from the alphabet.

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z


Ideal—The Practical and the

All my life in politics, I have striven to make the necessary working compromise between the ideal and the practical. If a man does not have an ideal and try to live up to it, then he becomes a mean, base and sordid creature, no matter how successful. If, on the other hand, he does not work practically, with the knowledge that he is in the world of actual men and must get results, he becomes a worthless head-in-the-air creature, a nuisance to himself and to everybody else. (To Kermit Roosevelt, January 27, 1915.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 419; Bishop II, 356.


See also Compromise; Practicality.

Idealism—Need of

Surely all of us . . . ought to realize the need in this country of a loftier idealism than we have had in the past; and the further and even greater need that we should in actual practice live up to the ideals we profess. The things of the body have a rightful place and a great place. But the things of the soul should have an even greater place. There has been in the past in this country far too much of that gross materialism which, in the end, eats like an acid into all the finer qualities of our souls. (Metropolitan, November 1918.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 272; Nat. Ed. XIX, 252.

Idealism—Plea for

When I speak of lofty idealism, I mean ideals to be realized. I abhor that mock idealism which finds expression only in phrase and vanishes when the phrase has been uttered. I am speaking of the idealism which will permit no man in public or private to say anything lofty as a cloak for base action. I am asking for the idealism which will demand that every promise expressed or implied be kept, that every profession of decency, of devotion that is lofty in words, should be made good by deeds. I am asking for an idealism which shall find expression beside the hearthstone and in the family and in the councils of the state and the nation, and I ask you men in this great crisis, and I ask you women who have now come into the political arena, to stand shoulder to shoulder with your husbands and brothers and sons. I ask you to see that when those who have gone abroad to endure every species of hardship, to risk their lives, to give their lives, when those of them who live come home, that they shall come home to a nation which they can be proud to have fought for or could be proud to have died for. (At Saratoga, N. Y., July 17, 1918.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 529; Bishop II, 452.

Idealism, Applied

The only idealism worth considering in the workaday business of this world is applied idealism. This is merely another way of saying that permanent good to humanity is most apt to come from actually trying to reduce ideals to practice, and this means that the ideals must be substantially or at
least measurably realizable. (1918.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 346; Nat. Ed. XIX, 316.

Idealists — Responsibility of

There can be nothing worse for the community than to have the men who profess lofty ideals show themselves so foolish, so narrow, so impracticable, as to cut themselves off from communion with the men who are actually able to do the work of governing, the work of business, the work of the professions. It is a sad and evil thing if the men with a moral sense group themselves as impractical zealots, while the men of action gradually grow to discard and laugh at all moral sense as an evidence of impractical weakness. (At Harvard University, Cambridge, June 28, 1905.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 441; Nat. Ed. XVI, 328. 

Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars, but remember to keep your feet on the ground. Be truthful; a lie implies fear, vanity, or malevolence; be frank; furtiveness and insincerity are faults incompatible with true manliness. Be honest, and remember that honesty counts for nothing unless back of it lie courage and efficiency. If in this country we ever have to face a state of things in which on one side stand the men of high ideals who are honest, good, well-meaning, pleasant people, utterly unable to put those ideals into shape in the rough field of practical life, while on the other side are grouped the strong, powerful, efficient men with no ideals: then the end of the Republic will be near. (At Groton School, Groton, Mass., May 24, 1904. ) Mem. Ed. XV, 480; Nat. Ed. XIII, 557.

____________. Our ideals should be high, and yet they should be capable of achievement in practical fashion; and we are as little to be excused if we permit our ideals to be tainted with what is sordid and mean and base, as if we allow our power of achievement to atrophy and become either incapable of effort or capable only of such fantastic effort as to accomplish nothing of permanent good. The true doctrine to preach to this nation, as to the individuals composing this nation, is not the life of ease, but the life of effort. If it were in my power to promise the people of this land anything, I would not promise them pleasure. I would promise them that stern happiness which comes from the sense of having done in practical fashion a difficult work which was worth doing. (At Pilgrim Memorial Monument, Provincetown, Mass., August 20, 1907.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 92-93; Nat. Ed. XVI, 78.

____________. If this nation has not the right kind of ideal in every walk of life, if we have not in our souls the capacity for idealism, the power to strive after ideals, then we are gone. No nation ever amounted to anything if it did not have within its soul the power of fealty to a lofty ideal. (At Pacific Theological Seminary, Spring, 1911.) Mem. Ed. XV, 589; Nat. Ed. XIII, 627.

Ideals—Adherence to

When questions involve deep and far-reaching principles, then I believe that the real expediency is to be found in straightforward and unflinching adherence to principle, and this without regard to what may be the temporary effect. (To Baron d'Estournelles de Constant, September 1, 1903.) Mem. Ed. XXIII, 290; Bishop I, 252.

Ideals—Attainment of

We must realize, on the one hand, that we can do little if we do not set ourselves a high ideal, and, on the other, that we will fail in accomplishing even this little if we do not work through practical methods and with a readiness to face life as it is, and not as we think it ought to be. (Inaugural Address as Governor, Albany, January 2, 1899.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 4; Nat. Ed. XV, 4.

Ideals—Devotion to

We must not prove false to the memories of the nation's past. we must not prove false to the fathers from whose loins we sprang, and to their fathers, the stern men who dared greatly and risked all things that freedom should hold aloft an undimmed torch in this wide land. They held their worldly well-being as dust in the balance when weighed against their sense of high duty, their fealty to lofty ideals. Let us show ourselves worthy to be their sons. Let us care, as is right, for the things of the body; but let us show that we care even more for the things of the soul. Stout of heart, and pledged to the valor of righteousness, let us stand four-square to the winds of destiny, from whatever corner of the world they blow. (1916.) Mem. Ed. XX, 262; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 225.

Ideals, Realizable

If there is one thing with which I have no sympathy, it is with the type of oration very frequently delivered to graduating classes, sometimes, I regret to say, delivered from pulpits, which preaches an ideal so fantastic that those listening listen with a merely intellectual pleasure, and without the slightest intention of trying in real life to realize it. To preach an ideal like that does not do good; it does harm; for it is an evil thing to teach people that precept and practice have no close relation. The moment that any person grows to believe that the abstract conception of conduct is not in any real way to be approached inactual life, that person has received serious harm. . . . I want you to have ideals that you can achieve, and yet ideals that shall mean on your part a steady spiritual life within you if you try to reach them. I want you to have your eyes on the stars, but remember that your feet are on the ground; and never to let yourselves get into the frame of mind which accepts the abstract deification of certain attributes in theory as an excuse for falling far short in actual life of what you can actually accomplish. (At Commencement of National Cathedral School, Washington, D. C., June 6, 1906.) Presidential Addresses and State Papers V, 776-777.

____________. If we consciously or carelessly preach ideals which cannot be realized and which we do not intend to have realized, then so far from accomplishing a worthy purpose we actually tend to weaken the morality we ostensibly preach. . . . Harm is always done by preaching an ideal which the preacher and the hearer know cannot be followed, which they know it is not intended to have followed; for then the hearer confounds all ideals with the false ideal to which he is listening; and because he finds that he is not expected to live up to the doctrine to which he has listened he concludes that it is needless to live up to any doctrine at all. Now I do not mean for a moment that the ideal preached should be a low one; I do not mean for a moment that it is ever possible entirely to realize even for the very best man or woman the loftiest ideal; but I do mean that the ideal should not be preached except with sincerity, and that it should be preached in such a fashion as to make it possible measurably to approach it. (At Pacific Theological Seminary, Spring 1911.) Mem. Ed. XV, 575, 577; Nat. Ed. XIII, 615, 616.

____________. The vital thing for the nation no less than the individual to remember is that, while dreaming and talking both have their uses, these uses must chiefly exist in seeing the dream realized and the talk turned into action. It is well that there should be some ideals so high as never to be wholly possible of realization; but unless there is a sincere effort measurably to realize them, glittering talk about them represents merely a kind of self-indulgence which ultimately means atrophy of will power. Ideals that are so lofty as always to be unrealizable, have a place, sometimes an exceedingly important place, in the history of mankind, if the attempt partially to realize them is made; but in the long run what most helps forward the common run of humanity in this workday world is the possession of realizable ideal and the sincere attempt to realize them. For similar reasons mere closet theorizing about the work of governing or bettering men is only rarely of any use, and is never of as much use as a working hypothesis that is being translated into practice. It is not mere documentation, mere historical or philosophical research, but experimentation, the service test, the test by trial and error, which counts most in the ceaseless struggle for the slow, partial, never very satisfactory, but never-to-be-abandoned uplift of our brother man and sister woman. (Stafford Little Lecture at Princeton University, November 1917.) Theodore Roosevelt, National Strength and International Duty. (Princeton, N. J., 1917), PP. 33-34.

Ideals as Guide in Politics

I certainly have not yet found any new principle, of importance, in public life, and so far as I have been able to get, I have become more and more a convinced believer in the doctrine flouted a few years ago by a then eminent statesman, that, after all, the Decalogue and the Golden Rule are the two guides to conduct upon which we should base our actions in political affairs. I do not mean to speak in a spirit of cant. I am about the last person who would advocate holding up to any body of men an impractical theory of life; for I steadily feel more and more that if you make your theory impractical you will make your practice imperfect, and that if you set up a theory to which no man can live, you will in practice condone a course of life on the part of your public men which falls far short of what it is your right and duty to insist upon. (Before Independent Club, Buffalo, N. Y., May 15, 1899.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 482; Nat. Ed. XIV, 322.


See also Character; Democratic Ideal; Honesty; Justice ; Moral Sense; Morality; Ten Commandments.


The idler, rich or poor, is at best a useless and is generally a noxious member of the community. (At Labor Day Picnic, Chicago, September 3, 1900.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 516; Nat. Ed. XIII, 487.

____________. There is no room in our healthy American life for the mere idler, for the man or the woman whose object it is throughout life to shirk the duties which life ought to bring. Life can mean nothing worth meaning, unless its prime aim is the doing of duty, the achievement of results worth achieving. (At State Fair, Syracuse, N. Y., September 7, 1903.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 67; Nat. Ed. XVI, 57.


See also Leisure; Pleasure; Work.


Viewed from any angle, ignorance is the costliest crop that can be raised in any part of this Union. (At Tuskegee Institute, Tuskegee, Ala., October 24, 1905.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 472; Nat. Ed. XVI, 352.


See also Education.

Immigrants—Aid to

If we leave the immigrant to be helped by representatives of foreign governments, by foreign societies, by a press and institutions conducted in a foreign language and in the interest of foreign governments, and if we permit the immigrants to exist as alien groups, each group sundered from the rest of the citizens of the country, we shall store up for ourselves bitter trouble in the future. (Before Knights of Columbus, New York City, October 12, 1915.) Mem. Ed. XX, 465; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 399.

Immigrants—Assimilation of

Where immigrants, or the sons of immigrants, do not heartily and in good faith throw in their lot with us, but cling to the speech, the customs, the ways of life, and the habits of thought of the Old World which they have left, they thereby harm both themselves and us. If they remain alien elements, unassimilated, and with interests separate from ours, they are mere obstructions to the current of our national life, and, moreover, can get no good from it themselves. In fact, though we ourselves also suffer from their perversity, it is they who really suffer most. It is an immense benefit to the European immigrant to change him into an American citizen. To bear the name of American is to bear the most honorable of titles; and whoever does not so believe has no business to bear the name at all, and, if he comes from Europe, the sooner he goes back there the better. Besides, the man who does not become Americanized nevertheless fails to remain a European, and becomes nothing at all. The immigrant cannot possibly remain what he was, or continue to be a member of the Old World society. If he tries to retain his old language, in a few generations it becomes a barbarous jargon; if he tries to retain his old customs and ways of life, in a few generations he becomes an uncouth boor. He has cut himself off from the Old World, and cannot retain his connection with it; and if he wishes ever to amount to anything he must throw himself heart and soul, and without reservation, into the new life to which he has come. (Forum, April 1894.) Mem. Ed. XV, 26; Nat. Ed. XIII, 22.

____________. We should insist that if the immigrant who comes here does in good faith become an American and assimilates himself to us he shall be treated on an exact equality with every one else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed or birth-place or origin. But this is predicated upon the man's becoming in very fact an American and nothing but an American. If he tries to keep segregated with men of his own origin and separated from the rest of America, then he isn't doing his part as an American. There can be no divided allegiance here. . . We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language, for we intend to see that the crucible turns our people out as Americans, of American nationality, and not as dwellers in a polyglot boarding-house; and we have room for but one soul loyalty, and that is loyalty to the American people. (To President of the American Defense Society, January 3, 1919; last message, read at meeting in New York, January 5, 1919.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 554; Bishop II, 474.

Immigrants — Discrimination Against

Any discrimination against aliens is a wrong, for it tends to put the immigrant at a disadvantage and to cause him to feel bitterness and resentment during the very years when he should be preparing himself for American citizenship. If an immigrant is not fit to become a citizen, he should not be allowed to come here. if he is fit, he should be given all the rights to earn his own livelihood, and to better himself, that any man can have. (Before Knights of Columbus, New York City, October 12, 1915.) Mem. Ed. XX, 464; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 398.

Immigrants—Obligation of

We should provide for every immigrant, by day-schools for the young and night-schools for the adult, the chance to learn English; and if after, say, five years he has not learned English, he should be sent back to the land from whence he came. . . . We should demand full performance of duty from them. Every man of them should be required to serve a year with the colors, like our native-born youth, before being allowed to vote. Nothing would do more to make him feel an American among his fellow Americans, on an equality of rights, of duties, and of loyalty to the flag. (New York Times, September 10, 1917.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 54; Nat. Ed. XIX, IMMIGRANTS—RIGHTS OF. The Americans of other blood must remember that the man who in good faith and without reservations gives up another country for this must in return receive exactly the same rights, not merely legal, but social and spiritual, that other Americans proudly possess. We of the United States belong to a new and separate nationality. We are all Americans and nothing else, and each, without regard to his birthplace, creed, or national origin, is entitled to exactly the same rights as all other Americans. (July 15, 1918.) Roosevelt in the Kansas City Star, 180.

Immigrants—Treatment of

Never under any condition should this Nation look at an immigrant as primarily a labor unit. He should always be looked at primarily as a future citizen and the father of other citizens who are to live in this land as fellows with our children and our children's children. Our immigration laws, permanent or temporary, should always be constructed with this fact in view. (December 1, 1917.) Roosevelt in the Kansas City Star, 58.

____________. The immigrant must not be allowed to drift or to be put at the mercy of the exploiter. Our object is not to imitate one of the older racial types, but to maintain a new American type and then to secure loyalty to this type. We cannot secure such loyalty unless we make this a country where men shall feel that they have justice and also where they shall feel that they are required to perform the duties imposed upon them….

We cannot afford to continue to use hundreds of thousands of immigrants merely as industrial assets while they remain social outcasts and menaces any more than fifty years ago we could afford to keep the black man merely as an industrial asset and not as a human being. We cannot afford to build a big industrial plant and herd men and women about it without care for their welfare. We cannot afford to permit squalid overcrowding or the kind of living system which makes impossible the decencies and necessities of life. We cannot afford the low wage rates and the merely seasonal industries which mean the sacrifice of both individual and family life and morals to the industrial machinery. (Before Knights of Columbus, New York City, October 12, 1915.) Mem. Ed. XX, 468; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 402.


See also Aliens; Allegiance; Americans, Hyphenated; Citizenship; Language; Lutheran Church; Public Schools.


We cannot have too much immigration of the right sort and we should have none whatever of the wrong sort. Of course, it is desirable that even the right kind of immigration should be properly distributed in this country. We need more of such immigration for the South; and special effort should be made to secure it. Perhaps it would be possible to limit the number of immigrants allowed to come in any one year to New York and other Northern cities, while leaving unlimited the number allowed to come to the South; always provided, however, that a stricter effort is made to see that only immigrants of the right kind come to our country anywhere. (Fifth Annual Message, Washington, December 5, 1905.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 372-373; Nat. Ed. XV, 318.

Immigration—Regulation of

It is urgently necessary to check and regulate our immigration, by much more drastic laws than now exist; and this should be done both to keep out laborers who tend to depress the labor market, and to keep out races which do not assimilate readily with our own, and unworthy individuals of all races, (Forum, April 1894.) Mem. Ed. XV, 27; Nat. Ed. XIII, 23.

Immigration—Restriction of

I wish Congress would revise our laws about immigration. Paupers and assisted immigrants of all kinds should be, kept out; so should every variety of Anarchists. And if Anarchists do come, they should be taught, as speedily as possible, that the first effort to put their principles into practice will result in their being shot down . . . . We must soon try to prevent too many laborers coming here and underselling our own workmen in the labor market; a good round head tax on each immigrant, together with a rigid examination into his character, would work well. (Before Federal Club, New York City, December 13, 1888.). Mem. Ed. XVI, 137-138; Nat. Ed. XIV, 85.

____________. Many working men look with distrust upon laws which really would help them; laws for the intelligent restriction of immigration, for instance. I have no sympathy with mere dislike of immigrants; there are classes and even nationalities of them which stand at least on an equality with the citizens of native birth, as the last election showed. But in the interest of our working men we must in the end keep out laborers who are ignorant, vicious, and with low standards of life and comfort, just as we have shut out the Chinese. (Review of Reviews, January 1897.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 380; Nat. Ed. XIII. 164.

____________. The prime need is to keep out all immigrants who will not make good American citizens. The laws now existing for the exclusion of undesirable immigrants should be strengthened. Adequate means should be adopted, enforced by sufficient penalties, to compel steamship companies engaged in the passenger business to observe in good faith the law which forbids them to encourage or solicit immigration to the United States, Moreover, there should be a sharp limitation imposed upon all vessels coming to our ports as to the number of immigrants in ratio to the tonnage which each vessel can carry. This ratio should be high enough to insure the coming hither of as good a class of aliens as possible. (Fifth Annual Message, Washington, December 5, 1905.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 373; Nat. Ed. XV, 319.

Immigration — Restriction of Oriental

There has always been a strong feeling in California against the immigration of Asiatic laborers, whether these are wage-workers or men who occupy and till the soil. I believe this to be fundamentally a sound and proper attitude, an attitude which must be insisted upon, and yet which can be insisted upon in such a manner and with such courtesy and such sense of mutual fairness and reciprocal obligation and respect as not to give any just cause of offense to Asiatic peoples. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 429; Nat. Ed. XX, 368.

Immigration Policy

Our present immigration laws are unsatisfactory. We need every honest and efficient immigrant fitted to become an American citizen, every immigrant who comes here to stay, who brings here a strong body, a stout heart, a good head, and a resolute purpose to do his duty well in every way and to bring up his children as law-abiding and God- fearing members of the community. But there should be a comprehensive law enacted with the object of working a threefold improvement over our present system. First, we should aim to exclude absolutely not only all persons who are known to be believers in anarchistic principles or members of anarchistic societies, but also all persons who are of a low moral tendency or of unsavory reputation . . . . The second object of a proper immigration law ought to be to secure by a careful and not merely perfunctory educational test some intelligent capacity to appreciate American institutions and act sanely as American citizens. This would not keep out all anarchists, for many of them belong to the intelligent criminal class. But it would do what is also in point, that is, tend to decrease the sum of ignorance, so potent in producing the envy, suspicion, malignant passion, and hatred of order, out of which anarchistic sentiment inevitably springs. Finally, all persons should be excluded who are below a certain standard of economic fitness to enter our industrial field as competitors with American labor. There should be proper proof of personal capacity to earn an American living and enough money to insure a decent start under American conditions. This would stop the influx of cheap labor, and the resulting competition which gives rise to so much of bitterness in American industrial life. (First Annual Message, Washington, December 3, 1901.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 110-111; Nat. Ed. XV, 95-96.


See also American People; Chinese Immigration; German Immigration; Japanese Exclusion.


See Neutrality.


Nations that expand and nations that do not expand may both ultimately go down, but the one leaves heirs and a glorious memory, and the other leaves neither. The Roman expanded, and he has left a memory which has profoundly influenced the history of mankind, and he has further left as the heirs of his body, and, above all, of his tongue and culture, the so- called Latin peoples of Europe and America. Similarly to-day it is the great expanding peoples which bequeath to future ages the great memories and material results of their achievements, and the nations which shall have sprung from their loins, England standing as the archetype and best exemplar of all such mighty nations. But the peoples that do not expand leave, and can leave, nothing behind them. (1900.) Mem. Ed. XV, 290-291; Nat. Ed. XIII, 339.

____________. It is as idle to apply to savages the rules of international morality which obtain between stable and cultured communities, as it would be to judge the fifth-century English conquest of Britain by the standards of to-day. Most fortunately, the hard, energetic, practical men who do the rough pioneer work of civilization in barbarous lands, are not prone to false sentimentality. The people who are, are the people who stay at home. Often these stay-at-homes are too selfish and indolent, too lacking in imagination, to understand the race-importance of the work which is done by their pioneer brethren in wild and distant lands; and they judge them by standards which would only be applicable to quarrels in their own townships and parishes. Moreover, as each new land grows old, it misjudges the yet newer lands, as once it was itself misjudged. The home-staying Englishman of Britain grudges to the Africander his conquest of Matabeleland; and so the home-staying American of the Atlantic States dislikes to see the Western miners and cattlemen win for the use of their people the Sioux hunting-grounds. Nevertheless, it is the men actually on the borders of the longed-for ground, the men actually in contact with the savages, who in the end shape their own destinies. (1894.) Mem. Ed. XI, 274-275; Nat. Ed. IX, 57.
____________. Russia has expanded in Asia, England in Asia, Africa and Australia, and France and Germany in Africa, all with the strides of giants during the years that have just passed. In every instance the expansion has taken place because the race was a great race. It was a sign and proof of greatness in the expanding nation, and moreover bear in mind that in each instance it was of incalculable benefit to mankind. In Australia a great sister commonwealth to our own has sprung up. In India a peace like the Roman peace has been established, and the country made immeasurably better. So it is in Egypt, in Algiers and at the Cape, while Siberia, before our very eyes, is being changed from the seat of wandering tribes of ferocious nomads into a great civilized country. When great nations fear to expand, shrink from expansion, it is because their greatness is coming to an end. Are we still in the prime of our lusty youth, still at the beginning of our glorious manhood, to sit down among the outworn people, to take our place with the weak and craven? A thousand times no! A thousand times rather face any difficulty— rather meet and overcome any danger—than turn the generous and vigorous blood of our national life into the narrow channels of ignominy and fear. (At Akron, O., September 23, 1899.) Thomas W. Handford, Theodore Roosevelt, The Pride of the Rough Riders. (Chicago, 1899), pp. 190-191.

Imperialism—Justification of

It is infinitely better for the whole world that Russia should have taken Turkestan, that France should have taken Algiers, and that England should have taken India. The success of an Algerian or of a Sepoy revolt would be a hideous calamity to all mankind, and those who abetted it, directly or indirectly, would be traitors to civilization. And so exactly the same reasoning applies to our own dealings with the Philippines. (At Lincoln Club Dinner, New York City, February 13, 1899.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 476; Nat. Ed. XIV, 317· 

Imperialism—Opponents of

There are some anti-expansionists whose opposition to expansion takes the form of opposition to Ameri can interest; and with these gentry there is no use dealing at all. Whether from credulity, from timidity or from sheer lack of patriotism, their attitude during the war was as profoundly, un-American as was that of the "Copperheads" in 1861. Starting from the position of desiring to avoid war even when it had become inevitable if our national honor was to be preserved, they readily passed into a frame of mind which made them really chagrined at every American triumph, while they showed very poorly concealed satisfaction over every American shortcoming; and now they permit their hostility to the principle of expansion to lead them into persistent effort to misrepresent what is being done in the islands and parts of islands which we have actually conquered. (Outlook , January 7, 1899.) Mem. Ed. XII, 518-519; Nat. Ed. XI, 248-249.

Imperialism, American

The simple truth is that there is nothing even remotely resembling "imperialism" or "militarism" involved in the present development of that policy of expansion which has been part of the history of America from the day when she became a nation. The words mean absolutely nothing as applied to our present policy in the Philippines; for this policy is only imperialistic in the sense that Jefferson's policy in Louisiana was imperialistic; only military in the sense that Jackson's policy toward the Seminoles or Custer's toward the Sioux embodied militarism. . . . There is no more militarism or imperialism in garrisoning Luzon until order is restored than there was imperialism in sending soldiers to South Dakota in 1890 during the Ogillallah outbreak. The reasoning which justifies our having made war against Sitting Bull also justifies our having checked the outbreaks of Aguinaldo and his followers, directed, as they were against Filipino and American alike. (Letter accepting nomination for Vice-Presidency, September 15, 1900.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 556-557; Nat. Ed. XIV, 368-369.

Imperialism and Peace

With a barbarous nation peace is the exceptional condition. On the border between civilization and barbarism war is generally normal because it must be under the conditions of barbarism. Whether the barbarian be the Red Indian on the frontier of the United States, the Afghan on the border of British India, or the Turkoman who confronts the Siberian Cossack, the result is the same. In the long run civilized man finds he can keep the peace only by subduing his barbarian neighbor; for the barbarian will yield only to force, save in instances so exceptional that they may be disregarded. . . .

Every expansion of civilization makes for peace. In other words, every expansion of a great-civilized power means a victory for law, order, and righteousness. This has been the case in every instance of expansion during the present century, whether the expanding power were France or England, Russia or America. In every instance the expansion has been of benefit, not so much to the power nominally benefited, as to the whole world. In every instance the result proved that the expanding power was doing a duty to civilization far greater and more important than could have been done by any stationary power. (1900.) Mem. Ed. XV, 286-287; Nat. Ed. XIII, 336.


See also Africa; Colonial System; Expansion; India.

Imperialist War

The very causes which render this struggle between savagery and the rough front rank of civilization so vast and elemental in its consequence to the future of the world, also tend to render it in certain ways peculiarly revolting and barbarous. It is primeval warfare, and it is waged as war was waged in the ages of bronze and of iron. All the merciful humanity that even war has gained during the last two thousand years is lost. It is a warfare where no pity is shown to noncombatants, where the weak are harried without ruth, and the vanquished maltreated with merciless ferocity. A sad and evil feature of such warfare is that the whites, the representatives of civilization, speedily sink almost to the level of their barbarous foes, in point of hideous brutality. (1894.) Mem. Ed. XI, 276; Nat. Ed. IX, 58.

Imperialist War

See also Wars Of Conquest


See Painting.

“In God We Trust."

When the question of the new coinage came up we looked into the law and found there was no warrant therein for Putting "IN GOD WE TRUST" on the coins. As the custom, although without legal warrant, had grown up, however, I might have felt at liberty to keep the inscription had I approved of its being on the coinage. But as I did not approve of it, I did not direct that it should again be put on. Of course the matter of the law is absolutely in the hands of Congress, and any direction of Congress in the matter will be immediately obeyed. At present, as I have said, there is no warrant in law for the inscription.

My own feeling in the matter is due to my very firm conviction that to put such a motto
on coins, or to use it in any kindred manner, not only does no good but does positive harm, and is in effect irreverence which comes dangerously close to sacrilege. A beautiful and solemn sentence such as the one in question should be treated and uttered only with that fine reverence which necessarily implies a certain exaltation of spirit. Any use which tends to cheapen it, and above all, any use which tends to secure its being treated in a spirit of levity, is from every standpoint profoundly to be regretted. . . .

As regards its use on the coinage we have actual experience by which to go. In all my life I have never heard any human being speak reverently of this motto on the coins or show any sign of its having appealed to any high emotion in him. But I have literally hundreds of times heard it used as an occasion of, and incitement to, the sneering ridicule which it is above all things undesirable that so beautiful and exalted a phrase should excite. For example, throughout the long contest, extending over several decades, on the free- coinage question, the existence of this motto on the coins was a constant source of jest and ridicule; and this was unavoidable. Every one must remember the innumerable cartoons and articles based on phrases like "In God we trust for the other eight cents”; "In God we trust for the short weight"; "In God we trust for the thirty-seven cents we do not pay"; and so forth, and so forth. (Letter of November 11, 1907.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 83; Bishop II, 71.

Income Tax

There is every reason why, when next our system of taxation is revised, the National Government should impose a graduated inheritance tax, and, if possible, a graduated income tax. The man of great wealth owes a peculiar obligation to the State, because he derives special advantages from the mere existence of government. Not only should he recognize this obligation in the way he leads his daily life and in the way he earns and spends his money, but it should also be recognized by the way in which he pays for the protection the State gives him. On the one hand, it is desirable that he should assume his full and proper share of the burden of taxation; on the other hand, it is quite as necessary that in this kind of taxation, where the men who vote the tax pay but little of it, there should be clear recognition of the danger of inaugurating any such system save in a spirit of entire justice and moderation. Whenever we, as a people, undertake to remodel our taxation system along the lines suggested, we must make it clear beyond peradventure that our aim is to distribute the burden of supporting the government more equitably than at
present; that we intend to treat rich man and poor man on a basis of absolute equality, and that we regard it as equally fatal to true democracy to do or permit injustice to the one as to do or permit injustice to the other. (Sixth Annual Message, Washington, December 3, 1906.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 432-433; Nat. Ed. XV, 368-369.

____________. I speak diffidently about the income tax because one scheme for an income tax was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court by a five to four vote; and in addition it is a difficult tax to administer in its practical workings, and great care would have to be exercised to see that it was not evaded by the very man whom it is most desirable to have taxed, for if so evaded it would of course be worse than no tax at all, as the least desirable of all taxes is the tax which bears heavily upon the honest as compared with the dishonest man. Nevertheless, a graduated income tax of the proper type would be a desirable permanent feature of Federal taxation, and I still hope that one may be devised which the Supreme Court will declare constitutional. (Before National Editorial Association, Jamestown, Va., June 10, 1907.) Presidential Addresses and State Papers VI, 1319-1320.

____________. The Constitutional Amendment about the income tax is all right; but an income tax must always have in it elements of gross inequality and must always be to a certain extent a tax on honesty. A heavily progressive inheritance tax—national (and heavy) only on really great fortunes going to single individuals—would be far preferable to a national income tax. But whether we can persuade the people to adopt this view I don't know. (To H. C. Lodge, September 10, 1909.) Lodge Letters II, 346.

Income Tax

See also Wealth.

Independence Day

See Fourth of July.

Independence Spirit — Perversion of

The separatist feeling is ingrained in the fibre of our race, and though in itself a most dangerous failing and weakness, is yet merely a perversion and distortion of the defiant and self-reliant independence of spirit which is one of the chief of the race virtues. (1887.) Mem. Ed. VIII, 39; Nat. Ed. VII, 33.

Independence Spirit

See also Slavery.

Independent, the, in Politics

I now wish to speak for a moment to those Republicans who call themselves the Independents and work outside of the party. They always claim that they wish to purify the Republican party. They say that to do that they must defeat our candidates. There is a better way to teach those on the inside–that is, when they put up good candidates elect them. (At Republican mass-meeting, 21st Assembly Dist., N. Y., October 28, 1882.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 16; Nat. Ed. XIV, 14.

____________. The independent, if he cannot take part in the regular organizations, is bound to do just as much active constructive work (not merely the work of criticism) outside; he is bound to try to get up an organization of his own and to try to make that organization felt in some effective manner. Whatever course the man who wishes to do his duty by his country takes in reference to parties or to independence of parties, he is bound to try to put himself in touch with men who think as he does, and to help make their joint influence felt in behalf of the powers that go for decency and good government. He must try to accomplish things; he must not vote in the air unless it is really necessary. (Forum, July 1894.) Mem. Ed. XV, 44; Nat. Ed. XIII, 31.

–––––––––. I took the best mugwump stand: my own conscience, my own judgment, were to decide in all things. I would listen to no argument, no advice. I took the isolated peak on every issue, and my people left me. When I looked around, before the session was well under way, I found myself alone. I was absolutely deserted. The people didn't understand. The men from Erie, from Suffolk, from any. where, would not work with me. "He won't listen to anybody," they said, and I would not. My isolated peak had become a valley; every bit of influence I had was gone. The things I wanted to do I was powerless to accomplish. What did I do ? I looked the ground over and made up my mind that there were several other excellent people there, with honest opinions of the right, even though they differed from me. I turned in to help them, and they turned to and gave me a hand. And so we were able to get things done. We did not agree in all things, but we did in some, and those we pulled at together. That was my first lesson in real politics. It is just this: if you are cast on a desert island with only a screw-driver, a hatchet, and a chisel to make a boat with, why, go make the best one you can. It would be better if you had a saw, but you haven't. So with men. Here is my friend in Congress who is a good man, a strong man, but cannot be made to believe in some things which I trust. It is too bad that he doesn't look at it as I do, but he does not, and we have to work together as we can. There is a point, of course, where a man must take the isolated peak and break with it all for clear principle, but until it comes he must work, if he would be of use, with men as they are. As long as the good in them overbalances the evil, let him work with that for the best that can be got. (In conversation with Mr. Riis.) Jacob H. Riis, Theodore Roosevelt: The Citizen. (The Outlook Co., N. Y., 1904), pp. 58-60.

Independent, the

See also Boss; Com- Promise; Machine; Mugwumps; Organization; Party Allegiance; Party System; Politics.


In India we encounter the most colossal example history affords of the successful administration by men of European blood of a thickly populated region in another continent. It is the greatest feat of the kind that has been performed since the break-up of the Roman Empire. Indeed, it is a greater feat than was performed under the Roman Empire. Unquestionably mistakes have been made; it would indicate qualities literally superhuman if so gigantic a task had been accomplished without mistakes. It is easy enough to point out shortcomings; but the fact remains that the successful administration of the Indian Empire by the English has been one of the most notable and most admirable achievements of the white race during the past two centuries. On the whole it has been for the immeasurable benefit of the natives of India themselves. Suffering has been caused in particular cases and at particular times to these natives; much more often, I believe, by well-intentioned ignorance or bad judgment than by any moral obliquity. But on the whole there has been a far more resolute effort to do justice, a far more resolute effort to secure fair treatment for the humble and the oppressed during the days of English rule in India than during any other period of recorded Indian history. England does not draw a penny from India for English purposes; she spends for India the revenues raised in India; and they are spent for the benefit of the Indians themselves. Undoubtedly India is a less pleasant place than formerly for the heads of tyrannical states. There is now little or no room in it for successful freebooter chieftains, for the despots who lived in gorgeous splendor while under their cruel rule the immense mass of their countrymen festered in sodden misery. But the mass of the people have been and are far better off than ever before, and far better off than would now be if English control were overthrown or withdrawn. Indeed, if English control were now withdrawn from India, the whole peninsula would become a chaos of bloodshed and violence; all the weaker peoples, and the most industrious and law-abiding, would be plundered and forced to submit to indescribable wrong and oppression; and the only beneficiaries among the natives would be the lawless, violent, and bloodthirsty. I have no question that there are reforms to be advanced—this is merely another way of saying that the government has been human; I have also no question that there is being made and will be made a successful effort to accomplish these reforms. But the great salient fact is that the presence of the English in India . . . has been for the advantage of mankind. (At celebration of Methodist Episcopal Church, Washington, January 18, 1909.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 345-347; Nat. Ed. XVI, 261-263.

Indian Difficulties—Cause of

When I went West, the last great Indian wars had just come to an end, but there were still sporadic outbreaks here and there, and occasionally bands of marauding young braves were a menace to outlying and lonely settlements. Many of the white men were themselves lawless and brutal, and prone to commit outrages on the Indians. Unfortunately, each race tended to hold all the members of the other race responsible for the misdeeds of a few, so that the crime of the miscreant, red or white, who committed the original outrage too often invited retaliation upon entirely innocent people, and this action would in its turn arouse bitter feeling which found vent in still more indiscriminate retaliation. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 132; Nat. Ed. XX, 113.

Indian Lands

During the past century a good deal of sentimental nonsense has been talked about our taking the Indians' land. Now, I do not mean to say for a moment that gross wrong has not been done the Indians both by government and individuals, again and again. The government makes promises impossible to perform, and then fails to do even what it might toward their fulfillment; and where brutal and reckless frontiersmen are brought into contact with a set of treacherous, revengeful and fiendishly cruel savages a long series of outrages by both sides is sure to follow. But as regards taking the land, at least from the Western Indians, the simple truth is that the latter never had any real ownership in it at all. Where the game was plenty, there they hunted; they followed it when it moved away to new hunting-grounds, unless they were prevented by stronger rivals, and to most of the land on which we found them they had no stronger claim than that of having a few years previously butchered the original occupants. When my cattle came to the Little Missouri, the region was only inhabited by a score or so of white hunters; their title to it was quite as good as that of most Indian tribes to the lands they claim; yet nobody dreamed of saying that these hunters owned the country. Each could eventually have kept his own claim of 160 acres, and no more. The Indians should be treated in just the same way that we treat the white settlers. Give each his little claim; if, as would generally happen, he declined this, why, then let him share the fate of the thousands of white hunters and trappers who have lived on the game that the settlement of the country has exterminated, and let him, like these whites, who will not work, perish from the face of the earth which he cumbers. The doctrine seems merciless, and so it is; but it is just and rational for all that. It does not do to be merciful to a few at the cost of justice to the many. (1885.) Mem. Ed. I, 1820; Nat. Ed. I, 16.

____________. Much maudlin nonsense has been written about the governmental treatment of the Indians, especially as regards taking their land. For the simple truth is that they had no possible title to most of the lands we took, not even that of occupancy, and at the most were in possession merely by virtue of having butchered the previous inhabitants. For many of its actions toward them the government does indeed deserve the severest criticism; but it has erred quite as often on the side of too much leniency as on the side of too much severity. From the very nature of things, it was wholly impossible that there should not be much mutual wrong-doing and injury in the intercourse between the Indians and ourselves. It was equally out of the question to let them remain as they were, and to bring the bulk of their number up to our standard of civilization with sufficient speed to enable them to accommodate themselves to the changed conditions of their surroundings. (1887.) Mem. Ed. VIII, 44; Nat. Ed. VII, 38.

____________. The question which lay at the root of our difficulties was that of the occupation of the land itself, and to this there could be no solution save war. The Indians had no ownership of the land in the way in which we understand the term. The tribes lived far apart; each had for its hunting-ground all the territory from which it was not barred by rival. Each looked with jealousy upon all interlopers, but each was prompt to act as an interloper when occasion offered. Every good hunting-ground was claimed by many nations. It was rare, indeed, that any tribe had an uncontested title to a large tract of land; where such title existed, it rested not on actual occupancy and cultivation, but on the recent butchery of weaker rivals. For instance, there were a dozen tribes, all of whom hunted in Kentucky, and fought each other there, all of whom had equally good titles to the soil, and not one of whom acknowledged the right of any other; as a matter of fact, they had therein no right, save the right of the strongest. The land no more belonged to them than it belonged to Boone and the white hunters who first visited it. (1889.) Mem. Ed. X, 80; Nat. Ed. VIII, 70.

Indian Policy

It was wholly impossible for our policy to be always consistent. Nowadays we undoubtedly ought to break up the great Indian reservations, disregard the tribal governments, allot the land in severalty (with, however, only a limited power of alienation), and treat the Indians as we do other citizens, with certain exceptions, for their sakes as well as ours. But this policy, which it would be wise to follow now, would have been wholly impracticable a century since. Our central government was then too weak either effectively to control its own members or adequately to punish aggressions made upon them; and even if it had been strong, it would probably have proved impossible to keep entire order over such a vast, sparsely peopled frontier, with such turbulent elements on both sides. The Indians could not be treated as individuals at that time. There was no possible alternative, therefore, to treating their tribes as nations, exactly as the French and English had done before us. Our difficulties were partly inherited from these, our predecessors, were partly caused by our own misdeeds, but were mainly the inevitable result of the conditions under which the problem had to be solved; no human wisdom or virtue could have worked out a peaceable solution. As a nation, our Indian policy is to be blamed, because of the weakness it displayed, because of its short-sightedness, and its occasional leaning to the policy of the sentimental humanitarians; and we have often promised what was impossible to perform; but there has been little wilful wrong-doing. Our government almost always tried to act fairly by the tribes. (1889.) Mem. Ed. X, 91-92; Nat. Ed. VIII, 80.

____________. In my judgment the time has arrived when we should definitely make up our minds to recognize the Indian as an individual and not as a member of a tribe. The General Allotment Act is a mighty pulverizing engine to break up the tribal mass. It acts directly upon the family and the individual. Under its provisions some 60,000 Indians have already become citizens of the United States. We should now break up the tribal funds, doing for them what allotment does for the tribal lands; that is, they should be divided into individual holdings. There will be a transition period during which the funds will in many cases have to be held in trust. This is the case also with the lands. A stop should be put upon the indiscriminate permission to Indians to lease their allotments. The effort should be steadily to make the Indian work like any other man on his own ground. The marriage laws of the Indians should be made the same as those of the whites.

In the schools the education should be elementary and largely industrial. The need of higher education among the Indians is very, very limited. On the reservations care should be taken to try to suit the teaching to the needs of the particular Indian. (First Annual Message, Washington, December 3, 1901.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 150-151; Nat. Ed. XV, 129-130.

____________. Wherever the effort is to jump the ordinary Indian too far ahead and yet send him back to the reservation, the result is usually failure. To be useful the steps for the ordinary boy or girl, in any save the most advanced tribes, must normally be gradual. Enough English should be taught to enable such a boy or girl to read, write, and cipher so as not to be cheated in ordinary commercial transactions. Outside of this the training should be industrial, and, among the Navajos, it should be the kind of industrial training which shall avail in the home cabins and in tending flocks and herds and irrigated fields. The Indian should be encouraged to build a better house; but the house must not be too different from his present dwelling, or he will as a rule, neither build it nor live in it. The boy should be taught what will be of actual use to him among his fellows, and not what might be of use to a skilled mechanic in a big city, who can work only with first-class appliances; and the agency farmer should strive steadily to teach the young men out in the field how to better their stock and practically to increase the yield of their rough agriculture. The girl should be taught domestic science, not as it would be practised in a first-class hotel or a wealthy private home, but as she must practise it in a hut with no conveniences, and with intervals of sheep-herding. If the boy and girl are not so taught, their after-lives will normally be worthless both to themselves and to others. If they are so taught, they will normally themselves rise and will be the most effective of home missionaries for their tribe. (1916.) Mem. Ed. IV, 40-41; Nat. Ed. III, 218-219.

Indian Wars

The difficulty and duration of a war with an Indian tribe depend less upon the numbers of the tribe itself than upon the nature of the ground it inhabits. The two Indian tribes that have caused the most irritating and prolonged struggle are the Apaches, who live in the vast, waterless, mountainous deserts of Arizona and New Mexico, and whom we are at this present moment engaged in subduing, and the Seminoles, who, from among the impenetrable swamps of Florida, bade the whole United States army defiance for seven long years; and this although neither Seminoles nor Apaches ever brought much force into the field, nor inflicted such defeats upon us as have other Indian tribes, like the Creeks and Sioux. (1887.) Mem. Ed. VIII, 155; Nat. Ed. VII, 135.

____________. It is idle folly to speak of . . . [the Indian wars] as being the fault of the United States Government; and it is even more idle to say that they could have been averted by treaty. Here and there, under exceptional circumstances or when a given tribe was feeble and unwarlike, the whites might gain the ground by a treaty entered into of their own Free will by the Indians, without the least duress; but this was not possible with warlike and powerful tribes when once they realized that they were threatened with serious encroachment on their hunting-grounds. Moreover, looked at from the standpoint of the ultimate result, there was little real difference to the Indian whether the land was taken by treaty or by war. In the end the Delaware fared no better at the hands of the Quaker than the Wampanoag at the hands of the Puritan; the methods were far more humane in the one case than in the other, but the outcome was the same in both. No treaty could be satisfactory to the whites, no treaty served the needs of humanity and civilization, unless it gave the land to the Americans as unreservedly as any successful war. (1894.) Mem. Ed. XI, 272-273; Nat. Ed. IX, 55.

Indian Welfare—Responsibility for

The Indians must be treated with intelligent and sympathetic understanding, no less than with justice and firmness; and until they become citizens, absorbed into the general body politic, they must be the wards of the nation, and not of any private association, lay or clerical, no matter how well-meaning. (1914.) Mem. Ed. VI, 148; Nat. Ed. V, 126. INDIANS. I suppose I should be ashamed to say that I take the Western view of the Indian. I don't go so far as to think that the only good Indians are the dead Indians, but I believe nine out of every ten are, and I shouldn't like to inquire too closely into the case of the tenth. The most vicious cowboy has more moral principle than the average Indian. Turn three hundred low families of New York into New Jersey, support them for fifty years in vicious idleness, and you will have some idea of what the Indians are. Reckless, revengeful, fiendishly cruel, they rob and murder, not the cowboys, who can take care of themselves, but the defenseless, lone settlers on the plains. (At New York, January 1886.) Hermann Hagedorn, Roosevelt in the Bad Lands. (Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, 1921), p. 355.

____________. They were trained to the use of arms from their youth up and war and hunting were their two chief occupations, the business as well as the pleasure of their lives. They were not as skillful as the white hunters with the rifle—though more so than the average regular soldier—nor could they equal the frontiersman in feats of physical prowess, such as boxing and wrestling; but their superior endurance and the ease with which they stood fatigue and exposure made amends for this. A white might outrun them for eight or ten miles; but on a long journey they could tire out any man, and any beast except a wolf. Like most barbarians, they were fickle and inconstant, not to be relied on for pushing through a long campaign and after a great victory apt to go off to their homes, because each man desired to secure his own plunder and tell his own tale of glory. They are often spoken of as undisciplined; but in reality their discipline in the battle itself was very high. They attacked, retreated, rallied, or repelled a charge at the signal of command; and they were able to fight in open order in thick covers without losing touch of each other—a feat that no European regiment was then able to perform. (1889.) Mem. Ed. X, 74-75; Nat. Ed. VIII, 65-66.

Indians—Ability Among

Always when I have seen Indians in their homes, in mass, I was struck by the wide cultural and intellectual difference among the different tribes, as well as among the different individuals of each tribe, and both by the great possibilities for their improvement and by the need of showing common sense even more than good intentions if this improvement is to be achieved. Some Indians can hardly be moved forward at all. Some can be moved forward both fast and far. To let them entirely alone usually means their ruin. To interfere with them foolishly, with whatever good intentions, and to try to move all of them forward in a mass, with a jump, means their ruin. A few individuals in every tribe, and most of the individuals in some tribes, can move very far forward at once; the non-reservation schools do excellently for these. Most of them need to be advanced by degrees; there must be a half-way house at which they can halt, or they may never reach their final destination and stand on a level with the white man. (1916.) Mem. Ed. IV, 39; Nat. Ed. III, 217.

____________. Of course all Indians should not be forced into the same mould. Some can be made farmers; others mechanics; yet others have the soul of the artist. Let us try to give each his chance to develop what is best in him. . . . A few Indians may be able to turn themselves into ordinary citizens in a dozen years. Give these exceptional Indians every chance; but remember that the majority must change gradually, and that it will take generations to make the change complete. Help them to make it in such fashion that when the change is accomplished we shall find that the original and valuable elements in the Indian culture have been retained, so that the new citizens come with full hands into the great field of American life, and contribute to that life something of marked value to all of us, something which it would be a misfortune to all of us to have destroyed. (1916.) Mem. Ed. IV, 56; Nat. Ed. III, 231-232.


To The Exceptional qualities of courage, hard-headed common sense, sympathy, and understanding are needed by the missionary who is to do really first-class work; even more exceptional than are the qualities needed by the head of a white congregation under present conditions. The most marked successes have been won by men, themselves of lofty and broad-minded spirituality, who have respected the advances already made by the Indian toward a higher spiritual life, and instead of condemning these advances have made use of them in bringing his soul to a loftier level. One very important service rendered by the missionaries is their warfare on what is evil among the white men on the reservations; they are most potent allies in warring against drink and sexual immorality, two of the greatest curses with which the Indian has to contend. . . . Many of the missionaries, including all who do most good, are active in protecting the rights of each Indian to his land. Like the rest of us, the missionary needs to keep in mind the fact that the Indian criminal is on the whole more dangerous to the well-meaning Indian than any outsider can at present be. (1916.) Mem. Ed. IV, 52; Nat. Ed. III, 228.


See also Buffalo; Jesuits; Primitive Society; War Of 1812; Westward Movement.


No amount of legislation or of combination can supply the lack of individual initiative—the lack of individual energy, honesty, thrift, and industry. (Annual Message, Albany, January 2, 1899.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 9; Nat. Ed. XV, 9.

____________. Individual initiative, the reign of individualism, may be crushed out just as effectively by the unchecked growth of private monopoly if the state does not interfere at all, as it would be crushed out under communism or as it would disappear, together with everything else that makes life worth living, if we adopted the tenets of the extreme Socialists. Outlook , June 19, 1909, p. 392.

____________. Under modern industrial conditions absence of governmental regulation and control means such swollen development of a few personalities that all other personalities are dwarfed, are stunted and fettered, and their power of initiative, their power of self-help, largely atrophied. Absolute liberty for each individual to do what he wishes in the modern industrial world means for the mass of men much what, a thousand years ago, similar liberty for the strong in a military age meant for the multitude in that day. It is as necessary to possess the power of control over the industrial baronage of the twentieth century as it was to impose such control on the mediaeval baronage of the sword; and the movement is one for real as against nominal liberty now just as truly as in the Middle Ages. It is as necessary to shackle cunning in the present as ever it was to shackle physical force in the past. Outlook , January 28, 1911, p. 145.

Individualism—Abuse of

On the border each man was a law unto himself, and good and bad alike were left in perfect freedom to follow out to the uttermost limits their own desires; for the spirit of individualism so charactersitic of American life reached its extreme of development in the backwoods. The whites who wishes peace, the magistrates and leaders, had little more power over their evil and unruly fellows than the Indian sachems had over the turbulent young braves. Each man did what seemed best in his own eyes, almost without let or hindrance; unless, indeed, he trespassed upon the rights of his neighbors, who were ready enough to band together in their own defense, though slow to interfere in the affairs of others. (1889.) Mem. Ed. X, 83; Nat. Ed. VIII, 73.

Individualism—Restriction of

I am a strong individualist by personal habit, inheritance and conviction; but it is a mere matter of common sense to recognize that the State, the community, the citizens acting together, can do a number of things better than if they were left to individual action.·The individualism which finds its expression in the abuse of physical force is checked very early in the growth of civilization, and we of to-day should, in our turn, strive to shackle or destroy that individualism which triumphs by greed and cunning, which exploits the weak by craft instead of ruling them by brutality. We ought to go with any man in the effort to bring about justice and the equality of opportunity; to turn the tool user more and more into the tool owner; to shift burdens so that they can be more equitably borne. (At the Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910.) Mem. Ed. XV, 366; Nat. Ed. XIII, 520.

____________. It is curious to see how difficult it is to make some men understand that insistence upon one factor does not and must not mean failure fully to recognize other factors. The selfish individual needs to be taught that we must now shackle cunning by law exactly as a few centuries back we shackled force by law. Unrestricted individualism spells ruin to the individual himself.·But so does the elimination of individualism, whether by law or custom. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 191; Nat. Ed. XX, 164.

Individualism and Collective Action

A fundamental requisite of social efficiency is a high standard of individual energy and excellence; but this is in no wise inconsistent with power to act in combination for aims which can not so well be achieved by the individual acting alone. (Second Annual Message, Washington, December 2, 1902.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 163; Nat. Ed. XV, 141.
Individualism. See also Collective Action; Collectivism; Competition; Contract ; Cooperation; Equality; Freedom; Frontier Democracy; Government; Laissez-Faire; Political Issues; Socialism.

Industrial Arbitration

I suppose every thinking man rejoices when by mediation or arbitration it proves possible to settle troubles in time to avert the suffering and bitterness caused by strikes. Moreover a conciliation committee can do best work when the trouble is in its beginning, or at least has not come to a head. When the break has actually occurred, damage has been done, and each side feels sore and angry; and it is difficult to get them together—difficult to make either forget its own wrongs and remember the rights of the other. If possible the effort at conciliation or mediation or arbitration should be made in the earlier stages, and should be marked by the wish on the part of both sides to try to come to a common agreement which each shall think in the interests of the other as well as of itself. (At Sioux Falls, S. D., April 6, 1903,) Presidential Addresses and State Papers 1, 308.

____________. The exercise of a judicial spirit by a disinterested body representing the Federal Government, such as would be provided by a commission on conciliation and arbitration, would tend to create an atmosphere of friendliness and conciliation between contending parties; and the giving each side an equal opportunity to present fully its case in the presence of the other would prevent many disputes from developing into serious strikes or lockouts, and, in other cases, would enable the commission to persuade the opposing parties to come to terms.

In this age of great corporate and labor combinations, neither employers nor employees should be left completely at the mercy of the stronger party to a dispute, regardless of the righteousness of their respective claims. (Sixth Annual Message, Washington, December 3, 1906.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 424-425; Nat. Ed. XV, 362.

____________. Congress [should] favorably consider the matter of creating the machinery for compulsory investigation of such industrial controversies as are of sufficient magnitude and of sufficient concern to the people of the country as a whole to warrant the Federal Government in taking action. . . . Each successive step creating machinery for the adjustment of labor difficulties must be taken with caution, but we should endeavor to make progress in this direction. (Seventh Annual Message, Washington, December 3, 1907.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 511-512; Nat. Ed. XV, 436.

____________. When any labor trouble becomes of such size as to involve the public, the public has a right to interfere, to insist that there shall be no intereference with the welfare and safety of the public, and therefore to insist on arbitration, that is, for just decision by the Government, after an investigation conducted through a commission which will get all the facts and lay them before the Executive and Legislative representatives of the public for what action they deem necessary. These were the principles which by actual deed, when I was President, I upheld in the teeth of violent opposition from the most powerful corporations in the land, representing the employers' interest. The opposition of these great employing corporations was asserted in every possible way against me throughout the period when I held public office or was a candidate for public office. I absolutely disregarded it, because I thought that only by disregarding it could I do my duty to the country. (At Battle Creek, Mich., September 30, 1916.) Theodore Roosevelt, Americanism and Preparedness. (New York, 1917), p. 50.

Industrial Arbitration

See also Coal Strike; Collective Bargaining; Labor; Strikes.

Industrial Commission — Plan for

We propose, we Progressives, to establish an interstate commission having the same power over industrial concerns that the Inter-state Commerce Commission has over railroads, so that whenever there is in the future a decision rendered in such important matters as the recent suits against the Standard Oil,. . . . we will have a commission which will see that the decree of the court is really made effective; that it is not made a merely nominal decree. (At Milwaukee, Wis., October 14, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 448; Nat. Ed. XVII, 326.

____________. What is needed is the application to all industrial concerns and all cooperating interests engaged in interstate commerce in which there is either monopoly or control of the market of the principles on which we have gone in regulating transportation concerns engaged in such commerce. The antitrust law should be kept on the statute-books and strengthened so as to make it genuinely and thoroughly effective against every big concern tending to monopoly or guilty of antisocial practices. At the same time, a national industrial commission should be created which should have complete power to regulate and control all the great industrial concerns engaged in interstate business- which practically means all of them in this country. This commission should exercise over these industrial concerns like powers to those exercised over the railways by the Interstate Commerce Commission, and over the national banks by the comptroller of the currency, and additional powers if found necessary.

The establishment of such a commission would enable us to punish the individual rather than merely the corporation, just as we now do with banks, where the aim of the government is, not to close the bank, but to bring to justice personally any bank official who has gone wrong. Any corporation voluntarily coming under the commission should not be prosecuted under the antitrust law as long as it obeys in good faith the orders of the commission. The commission would be able to interpret in advance, to any honest man asking the interpretation, what he may do and what he may not do in carrying on a legitimate business. Any corporation not coming under the commission should be exposed to prosecution under the antitrust law, and any corporation violating the orders of the commission should also at once become exposed to such prosecution; and when such a prosecution is successful, it should be the duty of the commission to see that the decree of the court is put into effect completely and in good faith, so that the combination is absolutely broken up, and is not allowed to come together again, nor the constituent parts thereof permitted to do business save under the conditions laid down by the commission. This last provision would prevent the repetition of such gross scandals as those attendant upon the present Administration's prosecution of the Standard Oil and the Tobacco Trusts. (Before Progressive National Committee, Chicago, August 6, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 387-389; Nat. Ed. XVII, 279- 280.

____________. Our proposal. . . .is to create a commission like the Interstate Commerce Commission, and through this commission to supervise the big industrial concerns doing an interstate business, just as the government now supervises railroads and banks. We will thereby prevent the eggs from being scrambled, and, if necessary, unscramble them effectively. The antitrust law will remain on the books, and it will be strengthened by prohibiting agreements to divide territory or limit output, by prohibiting a refusal to sell to customers who buy from business rivals, by prohibiting the custom of selling below cost in certain areas while maintaining higher prices in other areas, by prohibiting the use of the power of transportation to aid or injure special business concerns—in short, by prohibiting these and all other unfair trade practices. The Interstate Industrial Commission will give us an efficient instrument for seeing that the law is carried out in letter and in spirit, and for effectively punishing not only every corporation, but every individual who violates the provisions of the law. (At Oyster Bay, N. Y., November 2, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 469; Nat. Ed. XVII, 346.

Industrial Commission — Work of

An industrial commission should do as the Interstate Commerce Commission should do, that is, remember always its dual duty, the duty to the corporation and individual controlled no less than to the public. It is an absolute necessity that the investors, the owners, of an honest, useful, and decently managed concern, should have reasonable profit. It is impossible to run business unless this is done. Unless the business man prospers, there will be no prosperity for the rest of the, community to share. He must have certainty of law and opportunity for honest and reasonable profit under the law. (Century Magazine, October 1913.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 548; Nat. Ed. XVII, 404.·

Industrial Commission

See also Business; Combinations; Corporations; Monopolies; Sherman Anti-Trust Act; Trusts.

Industrial Cooperation

There must to-day be some species of collective control of industry; which means that the tool-users shall become the tool-owners; but which also means that they will assuredly break down themselves and their business unless they are willing to pay for skilled management a price, in some measure, corresponding to the high value of the service rendered, and unless they are willing to give a just reward to whatever necessary capital they cannot themselves supply. This means an effort toward a combination of the proper functions of the corporation with the wise activities of the labor-union (and I emphasize proper in one case and wise in the other). (1917.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 70; Nat. Ed. XIX, 60.

Industrial Cooperation

See also Collectivism; Cooperation.

Industrial Democracy — Meaning of

Let me again repeat that industrial democracy does not mean handing over the control of matters requiring expert knowledge to masses of men who lack that knowledge; and therefore it does mean that it cannot come until the men in the ranks have sufficient self- knowledge and self-control to accept and demand expert leadership as part of the necessary division of labor. If democracy, whether in industry or politics, refuses to employ experts, it will simply show that it is unfit to survive. At the outset, at least, the share of the workers in control would not be on the business side proper of the management, but over the conditions of daily work—the essentially human side of the industrial process. . . . It is only by experiments in the actual work of business that we shall find the exact methods by which, and the exact degree to which, we can measurably realize the ideal. For full success, the trial should be made in a business in which the workers are of a high type in skill, intelligence, and character, and are fairly accustomed to act together. The government could well afford to experiment along these lines in some of its work. (1917.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 94; Nat. Ed. XIX, 81.

Industrial Democracy

See also Democracy, Economic.

Industrial Education

See Education

Industrial Fatalities

Of course industry inevitably takes toll of life. Far more lives have been lost in this country by men engaged in bridge-building, tunnel-digging, mining, steel-manufacturing, the erection of sky-scrapers, the operations of the fishing- fleet, and the like, than in all our battles in all our foreign wars put together. Such loss of life no more justifies us in opposing righteous wars than in opposing necessary industry. There was certainly far greater loss of life, and probably greater needless and preventable and uncompensated loss of life, in the industries out of which Mr. Carnegie made his gigantic fortune than has occurred among our troops in war during the time covered by Mr. Carnegie's activities on
behalf of peace. (Everybody's, January 1915.) Mem. Ed. XX, 143; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 123.

Industrial Fatalities

See also Workmen's Compensation.

Industrial Justice

The fundamental need in dealing with our people, whether laboring men or others, is not charity but justice; we must all work in common for the common end of helping each and all, in a spirit of the sanest, broadest, and deepest brotherhood. It was not always easy to avoid feeling very deep anger with the selfishness and short-sightedness shown both by the representatives of certain employers' organizations and by certain great labor federations or unions. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 561; Nat. Ed. XX, 482.

____________. Here in America we have in many ways been more backward than in most countries of middle and western Europe, because our situation was such that we could shut our eyes to unpleasant truths and yet temporarily prosper. But our system, or rather no-system, of attempting to combine political democracy with industrial autocracy, and tempering the evil of the boss and the machine politician by the evil of the doctrinaire and the demagogue, has now begun to creak and strain so as to threaten a breakdown.

Surely the time has come when we should with good nature and practical common sense set ourselves to the practical work of solving the problem. This means that we must disregard equally the apostles of ultracollectivism and the doctrinaires of ultraindividualism. It also means that we must rebuke with equal emphasis the men who can see nothing wrong in what is done by capitalists and corporations, and the other men who can see nothing wrong in what is done by labor leaders and trades-unions. (1917.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 86; Nat. Ed. XIX, 74.

Industrial Justice

See also Brotherhood; Fellowship; Justice; Social And

Industrial Justice. Industrial Legislation

See Labor Legislation; Social Insurance; Social Legislation.

Industrial Peace

See Nobel Peace Prize.

Industrial Problems — New Types of

We are now forced to face problems not only new in degree, but new in kind. We must face these problems in the spirit of Washington and Lincoln; but our methods in industrial life must differ as completely from those that obtained in the times of those two great men of the past as the weapons of warfare now differ from the flint-locks of Washington's soldiers, or the muzzle-loading smoothbores of Lincoln's day. We must quit the effort to meet modern conditions by flint-lock legislation. (At Cooper Union, N. Y. C., November 3, 1916.) Mem. Ed. XX, 517; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 444.

Industrial Revolution

Over a century ago the "industrial revolution" began to turn the industrial world into one of big business, in which the dominant features were massed capital on a hitherto unheard-of scale, and laborers employed, also in enormous masses, by the capitalist, without personal touch or sense of responsibility on his part. The new system was inaugurated in England. France and Germany speedily followed suit. In the United States, the change from the old system of unlimited cutthroat competition among the multitude of small, weak concerns, to the new system of concentration (without either co-operation or control), got under full headway about the time of the Civil War; in economically backward countries like Russia and Spain it was yet later.

There was much that was beneficial in the change. It produced an immense increase of population and aggregate wealth; it was everywhere accompanied or followed by a great spread of education and community effort; and it probably, on the whole, raised the standard of attainable luxury and comfort for the workers in the industrial countries, compared to what it remained in the backward countries such as Spain and Russia.

But it was accompanied by evils so numerous and so grave that to this day one of our heaviest tasks is the struggle to do away with them. The movement substituted for the old social contrast between privileged patrician and unprivileged plebeian an even more offensive and violent industrial contrast between the man of one type of specialized capacity who possessed capital and the men of all other types of capacity who did not possess capital. (1917.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 84-85; Nat. Ed. XIX, 73-74.

Industrial Workers of the World

The I. W. W. and the "direct-action" anarchists and apologists for anarchy are never concerned for justice. They are concerned solely in seeing one kind of criminal escape justice, precisely as certain big business men and certain corporation lawyers have in the past been concerned in seeing another kind of criminal escape justice. . . . .Murder is murder, and it is rather more evil, when committed in the name of a professed social movement. The reactionaries have in the past been a great menace to this republic; but at this moment it is the I. W. W., the Germanized Socialists, the Anarchists, the foolish creatures who always protest again the suppression of crime, the pacifists and the like, who are the really grave danger. These are the Bolsheviki of America. (Letter of December 19, 1917.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 541; Bishop II, 463. 
____________.The leaders of the I. W. W. are no more victims of social wrong, are no more protesters against social evil, than are so many professional gunmen. There are plenty of honest, misled men among the rank and file of all these organizations; and plenty of wrongs from which these men suffer; but these men can be helped, and these wrongs remedied, only if we set our faces like flint against the evil leaders who would hurl our social organism into just such an abyss as that which has engulfed Russia. (1918.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 385; Nat. Ed. XIX, 349.

Industrial Wrongs — Remedy for

The convictions to which I have come have not been arrived at as the result of study in the closet or the library, but from the knowledge I have gained through hard experience during the many years in which, under many and varied conditions, I have striven and toiled with men. I believe in a larger use of the governmental power to help remedy industrial wrongs, because it has been borne in on me by actual experience that without exercise of such power many of the wrongs will go unremedied. (Before Progressive National Convention, Chicago, August 6, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 409; Nat. Ed. XVII, 297.


See Efficiency.

Infant Mortality

A high percentage of infant mortality does not mean the weeding out of the unfit; it means the existence of conditions which greatly impair the vitality of even those who survive. Moreover, the moral effect is at least as great as the physical. (Metropolitan, February 1916.) Mem. Ed. XX, 297; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 255.


See Currency.


See National Inheritance.

Inheritance Tax

In the near future our national legislators should enact a law providing for a graduated inheritance tax by which a steadily increasing rate of duty should be put upon all moneys or other valuables coming by gift, bequest, or devise to any individual or corporation. It may be well to make the tax heavy in proportion as the individual benefited is remote of kin. In any event, in my judgment the pro rata of the tax should increase very heavily with the increase of the amount left to any one individual after a certain point has been reached. It is most desirable to encourage thrift and ambition, and a potent source of thrift and ambition is the desire on the part of the bread-winner to leave his children well off. This object can be attained by making the tax very small on moderate amounts of property left; because the prime object should be to put a constantly increasing burden on the inheritance of those swollen fortunes which it is certainly of no benefit to this country to perpetuate. (Sixth Annual Message, Washington, December 3, 1906.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 433-434; Nat. Ed. XV, 369-370.

____________. It is eminently right that the nation should fix the terms upon which the great fortunes are inherited. They rarely do good and they often do harm to those who inherit them in their entirety. (Eighth Annual Message, Washington, December 8, 1908.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 588; Nat. Ed. XV, 500.

____________. I believe we should have a Federal Inheritance Tax, aimed only at the very large fortunes, which cannot be adequately reached by State Inheritance taxes, if they are sufficiently high and the graduation sufficiently marked. (To H. C. Lodge, July 26, 1909.) Lodge Letters II, 341.

Inheritance Tax—Purpose of

I feel that we shall ultimately have to consider the adoption of some such scheme as that of a progressive tax on all fortunes, beyond a certain amount either given in life or devised or bequeathed upon death to any individual—a tax so framed as to put it out of the power of the owner of one of these enormous fortunes to hand on more than a certain amount to any one individual; the tax, of course, to be imposed by the National and not the State Government. Such taxation should, of course, be aimed merely at the inheritance or transmission in their entirety of those fortunes swollen be yond all healthy limits. (At Washington, April 14, 1906.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 578; Nat. Ed. XVI, 421.

____________. I do not believe that any advantage comes either to the country as a whole or to the individuals inheriting the money by permitting the transmission in their entirety of such enormous fortunes as have been accumulated in America. The tax could be made to bear more heavily upon persons residing out of the country than upon those residing within it. Such a heavy progressive tax is of course in no shape or way a tax on thrift or industry, for thrift and industry have ceased to possess any measurable importance in the acquisition of the swollen fortunes of which I speak long before the tax would in any way seriously affect them. Such a tax would be one of the methods by which we should try to preserve a measurable equality of opportunity for the people of the generation growing to manhood. (Before National Editorial Association, Jamestown, Va., June 10, 1907.) Presidential Addresses and State Papers VI, 1322-1323.

Inheritance Tax

See also Fortunes; Income Tax; Wealth.

Initiative and Referendum

The opponents of the referendum and initiative, . . . would do well to remember that the movement in favor of the two is largely due to the failure of the representative bodies really to represent the people. There has been a growing feeling that there should be more direct popular action as an alternative, not to the action of an ideal legislative body, but to the actions of legislative bodies as they are now too often found in very fact to act. . . . On the other hand, the advocates of the initiative and referendum should, in their turn, remember that those measures are in themselves merely means and not ends; that their success or failure is to be determined not on a priori reasoning but by actually testing how they work under varying conditions; and, above all, that it is foolish to treat these or any other devices for obtaining good government and popular rule as justifying sweeping condemnation of all men and communities where other governmental methods are preferred (Outlook, January 21, 1911.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 94, 96; Nat. Ed. XVII, 60, 61.

____________. I believe in the initiative and the referendum, which should be used not to destroy representative government, but to correct it whenever it becomes misrepresentative. Here again I am concerned not with theories but with actual facts. If in any State the people are themselves satisfied with their present representative system, then it is of course their right to keep that system unchanged; and it is nobody's business but theirs. But in actual practice it has been found in very many States that legislative bodies have not been responsive to the popular will. Therefore I believe that the State should provide for the possibility of direct popular action in order to make good such legislative failure. The power to invoke such direct action, both by initiative and by referendum, should be provided in such fashion as to prevent its being wantonly or too frequently used. I do not believe that it should be made the easy or ordinary way of taking action. In the great majority of cases it is far better that action on legislative matters should be taken by those specially delegated to perform the task; in other words, that the work should be done by the experts chosen to perform it. But where the men thus delegated fail to perform their duty, then it should be in the power of the people themselves to perform the duty. (Before Ohio Constitutional Convention, Columbus, February 21, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 180; Nat. Ed. XVII, 134. 
Initiative And Referendum— Application of

The initiative and referendum may if applied in a given manner in a given community work real benefit, or they may be so applied as to work harm. I am sorry that they are advocated as though they were a panacea for everything, and sorry where they are opposed in such a way as to convey the entirely wrong impression that the big man, the fine public servant who opposes them has allied himself with the forces of reaction. (To H. C. Lodge, December 13, 1911.) Lodge Letters II, 417·

Initiative And Referendum— Experience with

Oregon has already tried the principle of the initiative and the referendum, and it seems to have produced good results—certainly in the case of the referendum, and probably in the case of the initiative. This, of course, does not necessarily mean that the principle would work well in all other communities, and under our system it is difficult to see at present how it could normally have more than a State-wide application. In Switzerland it has been applied both in the cantons, or states, and in the federal or national government, and it seems on the whole to have worked fairly well. (Outlook , January 21, 1911.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 91; Nat. Ed. XVII, 58.

Initiative And Referendum — Function of

The "initiative and referendum,". . . are so framed that if the legislatures obey the command of some special interest, and obstinately refuse the will of the majority, the majority may step in and legislate directly. No man would say that it was best to conduct all legislation by direct vote of the people—it would mean the loss of deliberation, of patient consideration—but, on the other hand, no one whose mental arteries have not long since hardened can doubt that the proposed changes are needed when the legislatures refuse to carry out the will of the people. The proposal is a method to reach an undeniable evil. (At Carnage Hall, New York City, March 20, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 202; Nat. Ed. XVII, 153.

Initiative And Referendum — Role of

There are plenty of cases in which, on a given issue of sufficient importance, it is better that the people should decide for themselves rather than trust the decision to a body of representatives—and our present-day acceptance of this fact is shown by our insistence upon a direct vote of the State when the State adopts a new constitution. But ordinary citizens in private life—such as the present writer, and most of his readers—neither can nor ought to spend their time in following all the minutiæ of legislation. This work they ought to delegate to the legislators, who are to make it their special business; and if scores of bills are habitually presented for popular approval or disapproval at every election, it is not probable that good will come, and it is certain that the percentage of wise decisions by the people will be less than if only a few propositions of really great importance are presented. It is necessary to guard not only against the cranks and well-meaning busybodies with fads, but also against the extreme laxity with which men are accustomed to sign petitions. . . . A much larger proportion of men should be required to petition for an initiative than for a referendum, but in each case the regulations both as to the number of names required and as to additional guarantees where necessary should be such as to forbid the invocation of this method of securing popular action unless the measure is one of real importance, as to which there is a deep rooted popular interest. (Outlook , January 21, 1911.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 90; Nat. Ed. XVII, 57.

____________. Action by the initiative or referendum ought not to be the normal way of legislation; I think the Legislature should be given an entirely free hand.

But I believe the people should have the power to reverse or supplement the work of the Legislature, whenever it becomes necessary. Outlook, March 30, 1912, p. 721. Initiative. See also Minority Demands; Recall; Referendum; Representative Government. INJUNCTION—RIGHT OF. As for the right of injunction, it is absolutely necessary to have this power lodged in the courts; though of course any abuse of the power is strongly to be reprobated. During the four and a half years that I have been President I do not remember an instance where the Government has invoked the right of injunction against a combination of laborers. We have invoked it certainly a score of times against combinations of capital; I think possibly oftener. But understand me, gentlemen, if ever I thought it necessary, if I thought a combination of laborers were doing wrong, I would apply an injunction against them just as quick as against so many capitalists. (At interview granted members of Executive Council, American Federation of Labor, March 21, 1906.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 20; Bishop II, 16.


There has been demand for depriving courts of the power to issue injunctions in labor disputes. Such special limitation of the equity powers of our courts would be most unwise. It is true that some judges have misused this power; but this does not justify a denial of the power any more than an improper exercise of the power to call a strike by a labor leader would justify the denial of the right to strike. The remedy is to regulate the procedure by requiring the judge to give due notice to the adverse parties before granting the writ, the hearing to be ex parte if the adverse party does not appear at the time and place ordered. What is due notice must depend upon the facts of the case; it should not be used as a pretext to permit violation of law or the jeopardizing of life or property. Of course, this would not authorize the issuing of a restraining order or injunction in any case in which it is not already authorized by existing law. (Fifth Annual Message, Washington, December 5, 1905.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 332; Nat. Ed. XV, 284-285.

____________. I believe it would be wrong altogether to prohibit the use of injunctions. It is criminal to permit sympathy for criminals to weaken our hands in upholding the law; and if men seek to destroy life or property by mob violence there should be no impairment of the power of the courts to deal with them in the most summary and effective way possible. . . . In this matter of injunctions there is lodged in the hands of the judiciary a necessary power which is nevertheless subject to the possibility of grave abuse. It is a power that should be exercised with extreme care and should be subject to the jealous scrutiny of all men, and condemnation should be meted out as much to the judge who fails to use it boldly when necessary as to the judge who uses it wantonly or oppressively. Of course, a judge strong enough to be fit for his office will enjoin any resort to violence or intimidation, especially by conspiracy, no matter what his opinion may be of the rights of the original quarrel. There must be no hesitation in dealing with disorder. But there must likewise be no such abuse of the injunctive power as is implied in forbidding laboring men to strive for their own betterment in peaceful and lawful ways; nor must the injunction be used merely to aid some big corporation in carrying out schemes for its own aggrandizement. (Sixth Annual Message, Washington, December 3, 1906.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 406-407; Nat. Ed. XV, 347.

____________. The process of injunction is an essential adjunct of the court’s doing its work well; and as preventive measures are always better than remedial, the wise use of this process is from every standpoint commendable. But where it is recklessly or unnecessarily used, the abuse should be censured, above all by the very men who are properly anxious to prevent any effort to shear the courts of this necessary power. The court's decision must be final; the protest is only against the conduct of individual judges in needlessly anticipating such final decision, or in the tyrannical use of what is nominally a temporary injunction to accomplish what is in fact a permanent decision. (Seventh Annual Message, Washington, December 3, 1907.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 507-508; Nat. Ed. XV, 432.

Injunctions Abuse of

The worst injunctions, so far as my remembrance goes, in the whole history of the United States have been granted in West Virginia. Ten years ago some of the injunctions then granted by Judge Jackson read as the veriest travesty upon justice. Under the pressure of an unenlightened capitalistic opinion, the West Virginian courts have rendered decisions . . . which themselves serve as the most striking object-lessons of the need of the wide-spread application of Progressive principles. (Before National Conference of Progressive Service, Portsmouth, R. I., July 2, 1913.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 521; Nat. Ed. XVII, 381.


See also Labor.

Inland Waterways Importance of

While . . . the improvement of inland navigation is a vital problem, there are other questions of no less consequence connected with our waterways. One of these relates to the purity of waters used for the supply of towns and cities, to the prevention of pollution by manufacturing and other industries, and to the protection of drainage areas from soil wash through forest covering or judicious cultivation. With our constantly increasing population this question becomes more and more pressing, because the health and safety of great bodies of citizens are directly involved.

Another important group of questions concerns the irrigation of arid lands, the prevention of floods, and the reclamation of swamps. Already many thousands of homes have been established on the arid regions, and the population and wealth of seventeen States and Territories have been largely increased through irrigation. Yet this means of national development is still in its infancy, and it will doubtless long continue to multiply homes and increase the productiveness and power of the nation. The reclamation of overflow lands and marshes, both in the interior and along the coasts, has already been carried on with admirable results, but in this field, too, scarcely more than a good beginning has yet been made. Still another fundamentally important question is that of water-power. (Before Deep Waterway Convention, Memphis, Tenn., October 4, 1907.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 152; Nat. Ed. XVI, 115.

Inland Waterways Improvement of

Until the work of river improvement is undertaken in a modern way it cannot have results that will meet the needs of this modern nation. These needs should be met without further dilly-dallying or delay. The plan which promises the best and quickest results is that of a permanent commission authorized to co-ordinate the work of all the government departments relating to waterways, and to frame and supervise the execution of a comprehensive plan. Under such a commission the actual work of construction might be intrusted to the reclamation service; or to the military engineers acting with a sufficient number of civilians to continue the work in time of war; or it might be divided between the reclamation service and the corps of engineers. Funds should be provided from current revenues if it is deemed wise¾otherwise from the sale of bonds. The essential thing is that the work should go forward under the best possible plan, and with the least possible delay. We should have a new type of work and a new organization for planning and directing it. The time for playing with our waterways is past. The country demands results. (Eighth Annual Message, Washington, December 8, 1908.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 617-618; Nat. Ed. XV, 525.

____________. Facility of cheap transportation is an essential in our modern civilization, and we cannot afford any longer to neglect the great highways which nature has provided for us. These natural highways, the waterways, can never be monopolized by any corporation. They belong to all the people, and it is in the power of no one to take them away. . . .Year by year transportation problems become more acute, and the time has come when the rivers really fit to serve as arteries of trade should be provided with channels deep enough and wide enough to make the investment of the necessary money profitable to the public. The National Government should undertake this work. Where the immediately abutting land is markedly benefited, and this benefit can be definitely localized, I trust that there will be careful investigation to see whether some way can be devised by which the immediate benficiaries may pay a portion of the expenses¾as is now the custom as regards certain classes of improvements in our municipalities; and measures should be taken to secure from the localities specially benefited proper terminal facilities. The expense to the nation of entering upon such a scheme of river improvement as that which I believe it should undertake, will necessarily be great. Many cautious and conservative people will look askance upon the project, and from every standpoint it is necessary, if we wish to make it successful, that we should enter upon it only under conditions which will guarantee the nation against waste of its money, and which will insure us against entering upon any project until after the most elaborate expert examination, and reliable calculation of the proportion between cost and benefit. (Before Deep Waterway Convention, Memphis, Tenn., October 4, 1907.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 148-149; Nat. Ed. XVI, 111-112.

Inland Waterways Commission

The preliminary report of the Inland Waterways Commission was excellent in every way. It outlines a general plan of waterway improvement which when adopted will give assurance that the improvements will yield practical results in the way of increased navigation and water transportation. In every essential feature the plan recommended by the commission is new. In the principle of co-ordinating all uses of the waters and treating each waterway system as a unit; in the principle of correlating water traffic with rail and other land traffic; in the principle of expert initiation of projects in accordance with commercial foresight and the needs of a growing country; and in the principle of cooperation between the States and the Federal Government in the administration and use of waterways, etc.; the general plan proposed by the commission is new, and at the same time sane and simple. The plan deserves unqualified support. I regret that it has not yet adopted by Congress, but I am confident that ultimately it will be adopted. (1908.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 464; Nat. Ed. XX, 399.

Inland Waterways

See also Conservation; Flood Prevention; Mississippi River; Water Power.

Insanity Pleacriticism of

I have scant sympathy with the plea of insanity advanced to save a man from the consequences of crime, when unless that crime had been committed it would have been impossible to persuade any responsible authority to commit him to an asylum as insane. (Letter of August 8, 1904.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 425; Nat. Ed. XX, 365

Inscriptions Value of

It is only of recent years that the importance of inscriptions has been realized. To the present-day scholar they are invaluable. Even to the layman, some of them turn the past into the present with startling clearness. The least imaginative is moved by the simple inscription on the Etruscan sarcophagus, "I, the great lady"; a lady so haughty that no other human being was allowed to rest near her; and yet now nothing remains but this proof of the pride of the nameless one. (Presidential Address, American Historical Association, Boston, December 27, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIV, 10; Nat. Ed. XII, 9.

Insular Possessions Administration of

In making appointments to the insular service, the appointing power must feel all the time that he is acting for the country as a whole, in the interest of the good name of our people as a whole, and any question of mere party expediency must be wholly swept aside, and the matter looked at solely from the standpoint of the honor of our own nation and the welfare of the islands. (At Hartford, Conn., August 22, 1902.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 357; Nat. Ed. XVI, 272.

____________. Politics should have as little to do with the choice of our colonial administrators as it should have to do with the choice of an admiral or a general. We cannot afford to trifle with our own honor or with the interests of the great alien communities over which we have assumed supervision. . . . We cannot afford to let politicians do with our public service in our dependencies what they have done for the consular service; still less can we afford to let doctrinaires, or honest, ignorant people, decide the difficult and delicate questions bound to arise in administering the new provinces. (Outlook , January 7, 1899.) Mem. Ed. XII, 526; Nat. Ed. XI, 255.

Insular Possessions

See also Hawaii; Philippines; Porto Rico; Wood, Leonard.

Insurance Companies Regulation of

Recent events have emphasized the importance of an early and exhaustive consideration of this question, to see whether it is not possible to furnish better safeguards than the several States have been able to furnish against corruption of the flagrant kind which has been exposed. It has been only too clearly shown that certain of the men at the head of these large corporations take but small note of the ethical distinction between honesty and dishonesty; they draw the line only this side of what may be called law- honesty, the kind of honesty necessary in order to avoid falling into the clutches of the law. Of course the only complete remedy for this condition must be found in an aroused public conscience, a higher sense of ethical conduct in the community at large, and especially among business men and in the great profession of the law, and in the growth of a spirit which condemns all dishonesty, whether in rich man or in poor man, whether it takes the shape of bribery or of blackmail. But much can be done by legislation which is not only drastic but practical. There is need of a far stricter and more uniform regulation of the vast insurance interests of this country. The United States should in this respect follow the policy of other nations by providing adequate national supervision of commercial interests which are clearly national in character. (Fifth Annual Message, Washington, December 5, 1905.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 337-338; Nat. Ed. XV, 289.


See Independent; Machine; Mugwumps; Party Allegiance; Politics; Progressive Movement.


Intellect is a great thing. A sound mind is a great thing, just as a sound body is a great thing. But more than body and more than mind is what we call character. That is what counts ultimately with the individual and with the nation. I am sure all of us here have known a great many men of large intellect, of whom we distinctly preferred to see as little as possible. Some of the men who have left the most unenviable reputations in our history were men of marked intellect; because, of course, a man who possesses intellect greatly developed without having his moral sense equally developed is a more dangerous wild beast. Sound morality and good principles count for more than intellect. (Address, October 11, 1897.) Two Hundredth Anniversary of the Old Dutch Church of Sleepy Hollow. (First Reformed Church, Tarrytown, N. Y., 1898), p.106.

Intellectual Acuteness and Morality

I intend to try . . . to warn you¾oh, how I wish I could warn all my countrymen! ¾against that most degrading of processes, the deification of any man for what we are pleased to term smartness, the deification of mere intellectual acuteness, wholly unaccompanied by moral responsibility, wholly without reference to whether it is exercised in accordance or not in accordance with the elementary rules of morality. (Before Independent Club, Buffalo, N. Y., May 15, 1899.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 484; Nat. Ed. XIV, 324.

Intellectual Acuteness

See also Character; Moral Sense; Virtues.

Intellectual Leadership need of

We can well do without the hard intolerance and arid intellectual barrenness of what was worst in the theological systems of the past, but there has never been greater need of a high and fine religious spirit than at the present time. So, while we can laugh good- humoredly at some of the pretensions of modern philosophy in its various branches, it would be worse than folly on our part to ignore our need of intellectual leadership. (At University of Berlin, May 12, 1910.) Mem. Ed. XIV, 283; Nat. Ed. XII, 82.

Intellectual Leadership

See also Educated Men; Leadership.


No man can reach the front rank if he is not intelligent and if he is not trained with intelligence; but mere intelligence, by itself, is worse than useless, unless it is guided by an upright heart, unless there are also strength and courage behind it. Morality, decency, clean living, courage, manliness, self-respect¾these qualities are more important in the make-up of a people than any mental subtlety. (At National University, Cairo, Egypt, March 28, 1910.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 621; Nat. Ed. XVI, 451.


See also Character; Courage; Mental Acuteness; Morality; Reason.


See Liquor; Prohibition; Temperance. Interests. See National Interests; New Nationalism; Special Interests.

International Agreements

The prime fact to consider in securing any peace agreement worth entering into, or that will have any except a mischievous effect, is that the nations entering into the agreement shall make no promises that ought not to be made, that they shall in good faith live up to the promises that are made, and that they shall put their whole strength unitedly back of these promises against any nation which refuses to carry out the agreement, or which, if it has not made the agreement, nevertheless violates the principles which the agreement enforces. In other words, international agreements intended to produce peace must proceed much along the lines of The Hague conventions; but a power signing them, as the United States signed The Hague conventions, must do so with the intention in good faith to see that they are carried out, and to use force to accomplish this, if necessary. (Independent, January 4, 1915.) Mem. Ed. XX, 180; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 155.

International Agreement

See also Promises; Treaties.

International Arbitration

See Arbitration.

International Court—Proposal for

It is necessary to devise means for putting the collective and efficient strength of all the great powers of civilization back of any wellbehaved power which is wronged by another power. In other words, we must devise means for executing treaties in good faith, by the establishment of some great international tribunal, and by securing the enforcement of the decrees of this tribunal through the action of a posse comitatus of powerful and civilized nations, all of them being bound by solemn agreement to coerce any power that offends against the decrees of the tribunal. That there will be grave difficulties in successfully working out this plan I would be the first to concede, and I would be the first to insist that to work it out successfully would be impossible unless the nations acted in good faith. But the plan is feasible, and it is the only one which at the moment offers any chance of success. (New York Times, November 8, 1914.) Mem. Ed. XX, 85; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 73.

____________. All the civilized powers which are able and willing to furnish and to use force, when force is required to back up righteousness¾and only the civilized powers who possess virile manliness of character and the willingness to accept risk and labor when necessary to the performance of duty are entitled to be considered in this matter¾should join to create an international tribunal and to provide rules in accordance with which that tribunal should act. These rules would have to accept the status quo at some given period; for the endeavor to redress all historical wrongs would throw us back into chaos. They would lay down the rule that the territorial integrity of each nation was inviolate; that it was to be guaranteed absolutely its sovereign rights in certain particulars, including, for instance, the right to decide the terms on which immigrants should be admitted to its borders for purposes of residence, citizenship, or business; in short, all its rights in matters affecting its honor and vital interest. Each nation should be guaranteed against having any of these specified rights infringed upon. They would not be made arbitrable, any more than an individual's right to life and limb is made arbitrable; they would be mutually guaranteed. All other matters that could arise between these nations should be settled by the international court. The judges should act not as national representatives, but purely as judges, and in any given case it would probably be well to choose them by lot, excluding, of course, the representatives of the powers whose interests were concerned. Then, and most important, the nations should severally guarantee to use their entire military force, if necessary, against any nation which defied the decrees of the tribunal or which violated any of the rights which in the rules it was expressly stipulated should be reserved to the several nations, the rights to their territorial integrity and the like. . . .

In addition to the contracting powers, a certain number of outside nations should be named as entitled to the benefits of the court. These nations should be chosen from those which are as civilized and well-behaved as the great contracting nations, but which, for some reason or other, are unwilling or unable to guarantee to help execute the decrees of the court by force. They Would have no right to take part in the nomination of judges, for no people are entitled to do anything toward establishing a court unless they are able and willing to face the risk, labor, and self-sacrifice necessary in order to put police power behind the court. But they would be treated with exact justice; and in the event of any one of the great contracting powers having trouble with one of them, they would be entitled to go into court, have a decision rendered, and see the decision supported, precisely as in the case of a dispute between any two of the great contracting powers themselves. . . . [In addition] there are various . . . states which have never been entitled to the consideration as civilized, orderly, self-respecting powers which would entitle them to be treated on terms of equality in the fashion indicated. As regards these disorderly and weak outsiders, it might well be that after a while some method would be devised to deal with them by common agreement of the civilized powers; but until this was devised and put into execution they would have to be left as at present.

Of course, grave difficulties would be encountered in devising such a plan and in administering it afterward, and no human being can guarantee that it would absolutely succeed. But I believe that it could be made to work and that it would mark a very great improvement over what obtains now. (Independent, January 4, 1915.) Mem. Ed. XX, 184-187; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 158-161.

International Court

See also Arbitration Treaties; Force; Hague Court; League For Peace; League Of Nations; Peace.

International Courtesy

Courtesy among individuals is a good thing, but international courtesy is quite as good a thing. If there is any one quality to be deprecated in a public man and in a public writer alike, it is the using of language which without any corresponding gain to ourselves tends to produce irritation among nations with whom we ought to be on friendly terms. Nations are now brought much nearer together than they formerly were. Steam, electricity, the immense spread of the newspaper press in all countries, the way in which so much of what is written in any country is translated into the language of another country, all of these facts have tended to bring peoples closer together now. That ought to and I think in the future will tell predominantly for good; but it does not help us in the least to be brought closer together with other peoples if they merely find our unamiable traits more strongly marked than they thought. We can rest assured that no man ever thinks better of us because we point out his salient defects; and no nation is ever won to a kindlier feeling toward us if we adopt toward it a tone which we would resent if adopted toward us. (Before Periodical Publishers' Association, Washington, D. C., April 7, 1904.) Presidential Addresses and State Papers III, 7-8.

International Criticism

International criticism may be of value in three ways. First, it may help the country criticised (and that it may do, even though in large part inaccurate); second, it may help outsiders, by holding up to their view an example, either to follow or avoid; third, it may throw a flood of light on the mental condition of the critic himself. Eclectic Magazine, November 1888, p. 578.

International Disputes — Settlement of

It is our duty, so far as is now possible, so far as human nature in the present-day world will permit, to try to provide peaceful substitutes for war as a method for the settlement of international disputes. But progress in this direction is merely hindered by the folly that believes in putting peace above righteousness; while it is of course even worse to pretend so to believe. The greatest service this nation can render to righteousness is to behave with scrupulous justice to other nations, and yet to keep ready to hold its own if necessary. (Outlook, September 9, 1911.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 426; Nat. Ed. XVI, 318.

____________. I have always championed every practical measure to bring nearer the day when we shall be able to substitute other methods than those of war for the settlement of international disputes. I have always sought in every way to further the cause of the peace and righteousness throughout the world. But as yet, friends, it would be an act of criminal folly for the great free nations not to remember that we must make might the servant of right instead of divorcing might from right. As yet no movement for peace amounts to anything unless the peoples behind it possess in addition to the love of justice, the power and the determination in time of need to use the potential force that is theirs. (At Buenos Aires, Argentina, November 12, 1913) American Ideals. Speeches . . . of Dr. Emilio Frers and of Col. Theodore Roosevelt. (Buenos Aires, 1914), p. 22.

International Disputes

See also Arbitration; Force; War.

International Duties

An American who is loyal to this great American nation has two duties, and only two, in international matters. In the first place, he is bound to serve the honor and the interest of the United States. In the second place, he is bound to treat all other nations in accordance with their conduct at any given time, and in accordance with the ultimate needs of mankind at large; and not in accordance with the interests of the European nation from which some or all of his ancestors have come. If he does not act along these lines, he is derelict in his duty to his fellow citizens and he is guilty of betraying the interests of his country. (Metropolitan, October 1915.) Mem. Ed. XX, 330; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 283.

International Duties — Avoidance of

We must clearly grasp the fact that mere selfish avoidance of duty to others, even although covered by such fine words as "peace" and "neutrality," is a wretched thing and an obstacle to securing the peace of righteousness throughout the world. (New York Times, November 8, 1914.) Mem. Ed. XX, 84; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 73.

International Duties — Performance of

It is impossible for us much longer to blind ourselves to the fact that we have international relations, and that we have no choice save to perform our international duties. We may perform them well or badly, but perform them we must; we may meet the problems that we have to face either wisely or foolishly, but meet them we have to. All that we can decide is whether we shall do our work well or ill. (Outlook , May 31, 1913.) Mem. Ed. XIV, 225; Nat. Ed. XII, 242.

International Duties and Rights

Whether we desire it or not, we must henceforth recognize that we have international duties no less than international rights. (First Annual Message, Washington, December 3, 1901) Mem. Ed. XVII, 135; Nat. Ed. XV, 117. 
International Duty The other type of duty is the international duty, the duty owed by one nation to another. I hold that the laws of morality which should govern individuals in their dealings one with the other, are just as binding concerning nations in their dealings one with the other. (At Oxford University, England, June 7, 1910.) Mem. Ed. XIV; 105; Nat. Ed. XII, 58.

____________. There can be no higher international duty than to safeguard the existence and independence of industrious, orderly states, with a high personal and national standard of conduct, but without the military force of the great powers; states, for instance, such as Belgium, Holland, Switzerland, the Scandinavian countries, Uruguay, and others. (Outlook , September 23, 1914.) Mem. Ed. XX, 14; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 12.

____________. I believe in International Duty. I hold that we cannot assert that we are entirely guiltless of responsibility for the outrages committed on well- behaved nations, particularly on Belgium, and on non- combatants, particularly on women and children, in the present war. Prior to the war we had become parties to the various conventions and treaties designed to mitigate the horrors of war, and to limit the offenses that can, with impunity, be committed by belligerents either on neutrals or non-combatants. When we declined to take any action under these conventions and treaties we ourselves treated them as "scraps of paper." Such being the case while our guilt is not as great as that of the strong and ruthless nations who committed the misdeeds, we nevertheless occupy, in some respects, an even meaner position. For we possess strength, and yet we refuse to make ready this strength and we refuse to use it for righteousness. We possess strength, and yet we decline to put it behind our plighted word when the interests and honor of others are involved.

Performance of international duty to others means that in international affairs, in the commonwealth of nations, we shall not only refrain from wronging the weak, but shall, according to our capacity, and as opportunity offers, stand up for the weak when the weak are wronged by the strong. Most emphatically it does not mean that we shall submit to wrongdoing by other nations. To do so is a proof not of virtue, but of weakness, and of a mean and abject national spirit. To submit to wrongdoing is to encourage wrongdoing; and it is, therefore, itself, a form of iniquity—and a peculiarly objectionable form of iniquity, for it is based on cowardice. (At Kansas City, Mo., May 30, 1916.) The Progressive Party; Its Record from January to July 1916. (Progressive National Committee, 1916), p. 58.

International Duty

See also Belgium; Foreign Policy; Hague Conventions; Neutrality; World War.

International Fear

It is idle merely to make speeches and write essays against this fear, because at present the fear has a real basis. At present each nation has cause for the fear it feels. Each nation has cause to believe that its national life is in peril unless it is able to take the national life of one or more of its foes or at least hopelessly to cripple that foe. The causes of the fear must be removed or, no matter what peace may be patched up to-day or what new treaties may be negotiated to-morrow, these causes will at some future day bring about the same results, bring about a repetition of this same awful tragedy. (New York Times, October 11, 1914.) Mem. Ed. XX, 59; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 50.

International Guarantees

Fear of national destruction will prompt men to do almost anything, and the proper remedy for outsiders to work for is the removal of the fear. If Germany were absolutely freed from danger of aggression on her eastern and western frontiers, I believe that German public sentiment would refuse to sanction such acts as those against Belgium. The only effective way to free it from this fear is to have outside nations like the United States in good faith undertake the obligation to defend Germany’s honor and territorial integrity, if attacked, exactly as they would defend the honor and territorial integrity of Belgium, or of France, Russia, Japan, or England, or any other well-behaved, civilized power, if attacked. (Independent, January 4, 1915.) Mem. Ed. XX, 182; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 156.

____________. I very earnestly hope that this nation will ultimately adopt a dignified and self-respecting policy in international affairs. I earnestly hope that ultimately we shall live up to every international obligation we have undertaken — exactly as we did live up to them during the seven and a half years while I was president. I earnestly hope that we shall ourselves become one of the joint guarantors of world peace . . . and that we shall hold ourselves ready and willing to act as a member of the international posse comitatus to enforce the peace of righteousness as against any offender big or small. This would mean a great practical stride toward relief from the burden of excessive military preparation. It would mean that a long step had been taken toward at least minimizing and restricting the area and extent of possible warfare. It would mean that all liberty-loving and enlightened peoples, great and small, would be freed from the haunting nightmare of terror which now besets them when they think of the possible conquest of their land. (New York Times, November 8, 1914.) Mem. Ed. XX, 96; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 83.

International Guarantees

See also Belgium; Hague Treaties; League For Peace; League Of Nations.

International Justice

The prime lesson of this war is that no nation can preserve its own self-respect, or the good-will of other nations, unless it keeps itself ready to exact justice from others, precisely as it should keep itself eager and willing to do justice to others. (New York Times, October 11, 1914,) Mem. Ed. XX, 50; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 43.

____________. I have certainly never hesitated, and at this moment am not hesitating, to condemn my own country and my own countrymen when it and they are wrong. I would just as unhesitatingly condemn England, France, or Russia if any one of them should in the future behave as Germany is now behaving. I shall stand by Germany in the future on any occasion when its conduct permits me so to do. We must not be vindictive, or prone to remember injuries; we need forgiveness, and we must be ready to grant forgiveness. When an injury is past and is atoned for, it would be wicked to hold it in mind. We must do justice as the facts at the moment demand. (1916.) Mem. Ed. XX, 254; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 218.

International Justice — Character of

Justice and fair dealing among nations rest upon principles identical with those which control justice and fair dealing among the individuals of which nations are composed, with the vital exception that each nation must do its own part in international police work. If you get into trouble here you can call for the police; but if Uncle Sam gets into trouble, he has got to be his own policeman, and I want to see him strong enough to encourage the peaceful aspirations of other peoples in connection with us. I believe in national friendships and heartiest good-will to all nations; but national friendships, like those between men, must be founded on respect as well as on liking, on forbearance as well as upon trust. (At Osawatomie, Kan., August 31, 1910.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 21; Nat. Ed. XVII, 14.

International Justice

See also Big Stick; "Hands Across the Sea."

International Law—Nature of

There is no such thing as international law in the sense that there is municipal law or law within a nation. Within the nation there is always a judge, and a policeman who stands back of the judge. The whole system of law depends first upon the fact that there is a judge competent to pass judgment, and second upon the fact that there is some competent officer whose duty it is to carry out this judgment, by force if necessary. In international law there is no judge, unless the parties in interest agree that one shall be constituted; and there is no policeman to carry out the judge's orders. In consequence, as yet each nation must depend upon itself for its own protection. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 436; Nat. Ed. XX, 374.

International Law and World Peace

World peace must rest on the willingness of nations with courage, cool foresight, and readiness for self- sacrifice to defend the fabric of international law. No nation can help in securing an organized, peaceful, and justice-doing world community until it is willing to run risks and make efforts in order to secure and maintain such a community. (1916.) Mem. Ed. XX, 235; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 203.

International Law

See also Contraband; Hague Conventions; Monroe Doctrine; Munitions; Neutrality.

International Morality— Ineffectiveness of

It would be untrue to say that nations have not at times proved themselves capable of acting with great disinterestedness and generosity toward other peoples; but such conduct is not very common at the best, and although it often may be desirable, it certainly is not always so. If the matter in dispute is of great importance, and if there is a doubt as to which side is right, then the strongest party to the controversy is pretty sure to give itself the benefit of that doubt; and international morality will have to take tremendous strides in advance before this ceases to be the case. (1887.) Mem. Ed. VIII, 194; Nat. Ed. VII, 168.

International Morality

See also Imperialism.

International Opinion — Force of

I believe that international opinion can do something to arrest wrong; but only if it is aroused and finds some method of clear and forceful expression. (New York Times, October 4, 1914.) Mem. Ed. XX, 44; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 38.

International Police Power

The supreme difficulty in connection with developing the peace work of The Hague arises from the lack of any executive power, of any police power to enforce the decrees of the court. In any community of any size the authority of the courts rests upon actual or potential force; on the existence of a police, or on the knowledge that the able- bodied men of the country are both ready and willing to see that the decrees of judicial and legislative bodies are put into effect. In new and wild communities where there is violence, an honest man must protect himself; and until other means of securing his safety are devised, it is both foolish and wicked to persuade him to surrender his arms while the men who are dangerous to the community retain theirs. He should not renounce the right to protect himself by his own efforts until the community is so organized that it can effectively relieve the individual of the duty of putting down violence. So it is with the nations. Each nation must keep well prepared to defend itself until the establishment of some form of international police power, competent and willing to prevent violence as between nations. Outlook , May 7, 1910, p. 20.

____________. The futility of international agreements in great crises has come from the fact that force was not back of them.

What is needed in international matters is to create a judge and then to put police power back of the judge.

So far the time has not been ripe to attempt this. Surely now, in view of the awful cataclysm of the present war, such a plan could at least be considered; and it may be that the combatants at the end will be willing to try it in order to secure at least a chance for the only kind of peace that is worth having, the peace that is compatible with self-respect. (New York Times, October 18, 1914.) Mem. Ed. XX, 62-63; Nat. Ed. XVIII,53.

International Police Power

See also Defense; Disarmament; Hague Court; League For Peace; League of Nations; Preparedness.

International Relations—Basis of

It is a mistake, and it betrays a spirit of foolish cynicism, to maintain that all international governmental action is, and must ever be, based upon mere selfishness, and that to advance ethical reasons for such action is always a sign of hypocrisy. This is no more necessarily true of the action of governments than of the action of individuals. It is a sure sign of a base nature always to ascribe base motives for the actions of others. Unquestionably no nation can afford to disregard proper considerations of self-interest, any more than a private individual can do so. . . . A really great nation must often act, and as a matter of fact, often does act, toward other nations in a spirit not in the least of mere self-interest, but paying heed chiefly to ethical reasons; and as the centuries go by this disinterestedness in international action, this tendency of the individuals comprising a nation to require that nation to act with justice toward its neighbors, steadily grows and strengthens. (Sixth Annual Message, Washington, December 3, 1906) Mem. Ed. XVII, 450; Nat. Ed. XV, 383.

International Relations—Conduct of

In international affairs this country should behave toward other nations exactly as an honorable private citizen behaves toward other private citizens. We should do no wrong to any nation, weak or strong, and we should submit to no wrong. (Before Progressive National Convention, Chicago, August 6, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 407; Nat. Ed. XVII, 295.

____________. The questions arising in connection with our international relations must to-day, as always, be settled exactly along the lines of general policy laid down by Washington, under penalty of risking grave national discredit and disgrace. (Century Magazine, October 1913.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 532; Nat. Ed. XVII, 391.

International Relations—Progress In

The world has moved so far that it is no longer necessary to believe that one nation can rise only by thrusting another down. All far-sighted statesmen, all true patriots, now earnestly wish that the leading nations of mankind, as in their several ways they struggle constantly toward a higher civilization, a higher humanity, may advance hand in hand, united only in a generous rivalry to see which can best do its allotted work in the world. I believe that there is a rising tide in human thought which tends for righteous international peace; a tide which it behooves us to guide through rational channels to sane conclusions. (At Jamestown Exposition, Va., April 26, 1907.) Mem. Ed. XII, 586; Nat. Ed. XI, 306.

____________. Two centuries ago there was the greatest suspicion and malevolence exhibited by all the people, high and low, of each European country, for all the people, high and low, of every other European country, with but few exceptions. The cultivated people of the different countries, however, had already begun to treat with one another on good terms. But when, for instance, the Huguenots were exiled from France, and great numbers of Huguenot workmen went to England, their presence excited the most violent hostility, manifesting itself even in mob violence, among the English workmen. The men were closely allied by race and religion, they had practically the same type of ancestral culture, and yet they were unable to get on together. Two centuries have passed, the world has moved forward, and now there could be no repetition of such hostilities. In the same way a marvellous progress has been made in the relations of Japan with the Occidental nations. (To Baron Kentaro Kaneko, May 23, 1907.) Julian Street, Mysterious Japan. (Doubleday, Page & Co., Garden City, N. Y., 1921, p. 224.

International Relations

See also Alliance; Arbitration; Big Stick; Diplomacy; Force; Foreign Policy; Foreign Relations; "Hands Across The Sea"; Peace; War.


The man who loves other nations as much as he does his own, stands on a par with the man who loves other women as much as he does his own wife. (1916.) Mem. Ed. XX, 233; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 201.

Internationalism And Nationalism

The cult of absolute internationalism as a substitute for nationalism is the cult of a doctrine of fatal sterility. It had much vogue up to the beginning of this war among the professional "intellectuals," especially among bright, clever young college men of superficial cultivation. It was of real damage to these, and therefore it, to a certain extent, damaged the country; for it inevitably emasculates its sincere votaries, and therefore deprives their country of whatever aid they could otherwise give in the effort to build a vigorous civilization, based, as every civilization worth calling such must be, on a spirit of intense nationalism.

The damage done, because of the way such sham internationalism destroys the creative fibre of the intellectuals, is chiefly of negative character. It deprives the nation of a growth-force which ought to be a valuable asset. But it works in positively mischievous fashion among the powerful sinister men who are not sincere devotees of the cult, but who use it as a cloak behind which they war on all civilization, or else deliberately adopt a pretense of belief in it in order to weaken other nations and make them an
easier prey. (1918.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 352; Nat. Ed. XIX, 321.

____________. To substitute internationalism for nationalism means to do away with patriotism, and is as vicious and as profoundly demoralizing as to put promiscuous devotion to all other persons in the place of steadfast devotion to a man's own family. Either effort means the atrophy of robust morality. . . . The professional internationalist is a man who, under a pretense of diffuse attachment for everybody hides the fact that in reality he is incapable of doing his duty by anybody. (Lafayette Day exercises, New York City, September 6, 1918.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 410; Nat. Ed. XIX, 372. demagogic legislation about the business use of this wealth, and should realize that it would be better to have no legislation at all than legislation couched either in a vindictive spirit of hatred toward men of wealth or else drawn with the recklessness of impracticable visionaries. But, on the other hand, it shall and must ultimately be understood that the United States Government, on behalf of the people of the United States, has and is to exercise the power of supervision and control over the business use of this wealth—in the first place, over all the work of the common carriers of the nation, and in the next place over the work of all the great corporations which directly or indirectly do any interstate business whatever—and this includes almost all of the great corporations. (At Harrisburg, Pa., October 4, 1906.) Mem. Ed. XVIII. 85-86; Nat. Ed. XVI.72.

____________. I most strongly hold the view that the States should not, and cannot permanently, be allowed to exercise any power, directly or indirectly, over interstate commerce. Wherever commerce is interstate the national power is not only supreme but sole. . . . All questions of the regulation of traffic through any State, if that traffic is interstate, belong, under the Constitution, to the National Government. The encouragement to the States to act on their own initiative in this matter has come chiefly from the failure of the National Government to act; the failure of Congress to pro- vide laws sufficiently far-reaching; and the nullification of these laws, when enacted, by decisions like that in the Knight Sugar Case. When, by what ordinary men regard as a mere legal subtlety, the power of the National Congress over great corporations engaged in interstate commerce is reduced to a nullity, it is inevitable that the State governments should themselves try to step in and take the place which the highest Federal court, in the decision which has become the supreme law of the land, has declared to be vacant so far as the National Government is concerned. A decision like that in the Knight Case invites each State to act for itself, and therefore invites industrial chaos. (Outlook , March 11, 1911.) Mem. Ed. XlX, 138; Nat. Ed. XVII, 98.

____________. The National Government exercises control over inter-State commerce railways, and it can in similar fashion, through an appropriate governmental body, exercise control over all industrial organizations engaged in inter-State commerce. This control should be exercised, not by the courts, but by an administrative bureau or board such as the Bureau of Corporations or the Inter-State Commerce Commission; for the courts cannot with advantage permanently perform executive and administrative functions. Outlook, November 18, 1911, p. 656.

____________. The Constitution was framed more for the purpose of giving to the government complete power over interstate commerce than for any other object. Every trust magnate in the country can rest in safety if he can have the law relegated to the States instead of to the nation. All danger to him will vanish forthwith. (Outlook, July 27, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 356; Nat. Ed. XVII, 253.

Interstate Commerce

See also Business; Corporations; Industrial Commission; Knight Case; Northern Securities Case; Railroads; Trusts.

Interstate Commerce Law- Accomplishments Under the

It was framed on the theory that certain monopolies—for every railway is, because of its very nature, to a certain extent a monopoly, or has a certain monopolistic tendency—because of their tremendous power as business entities and of the impossibility of the individual man grappling with them on even terms, should be rigidly supervised and controlled by the agent of the people as a whole, that is, by the National Government. We are as yet very far from having achieved the best possible results under the Inter-State Commerce Law, but we have steadily improved both the law and its administration and are accomplishing far more for the control of those monopolies called railways under the Inter-State Commerce Law than is now being accomplished, or can by any possibility be accomplished, in the way of control of other business monopolies by the Anti-Trust Law or any alteration thereof. Outlook , June 3, 1911, p. 240.

Interstate Commerce Law— Strengthening Of The The interstate commerce law has rather amusingly falsified the predictions, both of those who asserted that it would ruin the railroads and of those who asserted that it did not go far enough and would accomplish nothing. During the last five months the railroads have shown increased earnings and some of them unusual dividends; while during the same period the mere taking effect of the law has produced an unprecedented, a hitherto unheard-of number of voluntary reductions in freights and fares by the railroads. Since the founding of the Commission there has never been a time of equal length in which anything like so many reduced tariffs have been put into effect. (Sixth Annual Message, Washington, December 3, 1906.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 427; Nat. Ed. XV, 364.

____________. We passed a law giving vitality to the Interstate Commerce Commission, and for the first time providing some kind of efficient control by the National Government over the great railroads. (To Sydney Brooks, December 28, 1908.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 152. Bishop II, 131.

Interstate Industrial Commission

See Industrial Commission.


I never said that I would refuse to run the risk of shedding a drop of blood to protect American property; that doctrine if carried out logically would mean that no policeman ought ever to arrest a burglar or a pickpocket, for burglary and highway robbing are only offences against property, whereas interference with them undoubtedly means incurring the risk of bloodshed. Nor did I say that all American citizens should leave the country, abandoning their property to the good-will of the contending factions. My position was the direct reverse. My position was that if Americans had a right to be in a country, they could stay there, and every resource of the government would be exhausted to protect them. Nor did I refuse to act at all until foreign powers acted, nor either ask or accept their co-operation in action; still less did I follow a course which was certain to produce anarchy and make existing conditions worse, so as to force intervention. I protected the rights of our own people, while nevertheless examining their claims so carefully as to insure us against protecting any of them in wrong- doing. (At New York City, October 3, 1913.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 403-404; Nat. Ed. XVI, 302-303.


See also Cuba; Santo Domingo; Venezuela


See Anti-Semitism; Class Jealousy; Disloyalty; Religious Discrimination; Tolerance. Intoxicating Liquors. See Liquor; Prohibition; Temperance.


See Corporations; Dividends; Speculator; Stock-Watering.

Invisible Government

See Government.

Ireland—Racial Antagonism in

There is no language in which to paint the hideous atrocities committed in the Irish wars of Elizabeth; and the worst must be credited to the highest English officials. In Ireland the antagonism was fundamentally racial; whether the sovereign of England were Catholic or Protestant made little difference in the burden of wrong which the Celt was forced to bear. (1900.) Mem. Ed. XIII, 297; Nat. Ed. X, 196.


We welcome the German or the Irishman who becomes an American. We have no use for the German or Irishman who remains such. We do not wish German-Americans and Irish-Americans who figure as such in our social and political life; we want only Americans, and, provided they are such, we do not care whether they are of native or of Irish or of German ancestry. We have no room in any healthy American community for a German-American vote or an Irish-American vote, and it is contemptible demagogy to put planks into any party platform with the purpose of catching such a vote. We have no room for any people who do not act and vote simply as Americans, and as nothing else. (Forum, April 1894.) Mem. Ed. XV, 24; Nat. Ed. XIII, 21.

Irish-Americans—Contribution of

The people who have come to this country from Ireland have contributed to the stock of our common citizenship qualities which are essential to the welfare of every great nation. They are a masterful race of rugged character, a race the qualities of whose womanhood have become proverbial, while its men have the elemental, the indispensable virtues of working hard in time of peace and fighting hard in time of war. (Before Society of Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, New York City, March 17, 1905.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 49; Nat. Ed. XVI, 42.


See also Allegiance; Americans, Hyphenated; Citizenship; Tammany Hall.

Irish Drama

See Abbey Theatre.

Irish Literature

See Celtic Literature.


I believe to the last point in the vital necessity of storing the floods and preserving the forests, especially throughout the plains and Rocky Mountain regions. The problem of the development of the greater West is in large part a problem of irrigation. I earnestly believe in the national government giving generous aid to the movement, for it is not possible, and if it were possible, it would not be wise to have this storage work done merely through private ownership; and owing to the peculiar necessities of the case, much of the work must be done by the National and not by any State government. (Letter of November 16, 1900; read before National Irrigation Congress, Chicago). The Forester, December 1900, p. 289.

____________. Irrigation works should be built by the National Government. The lands reclaimed by them should be reserved by the government for actual settlers, and the cost of construction should so far as possible be repaid by the land reclaimed. The distribution of the water, the division of the streams among irrigators, should be left to the settlers themselves in conformity with State laws and without interference with those laws or with vested rights. The policy of the National Government should be to aid irrigation in the several States and Territories in such manner as will enable the people in the local communities to help themselves, and as will stimulate needed reforms in the State laws and regulations governing irrigation. (First Annual Message, Washington, December 3, 1901.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 122- 123; Nat. Ed. XV, 106.

Irrigation—Progress in

Not of recent years has any more important law been put upon the statute books of the Federal Government than the law a year ago providing for the first time that the National Government should interest itself in aiding and building up a system of irrigated agriculture in the Rocky Mountains and plains States. Here the government had to a large degree to sit at the feet of Gamaliel in the person of Utah; for what you had done and learned was of literally incalculable benefit to those engaged in framing and getting through the national irrigation law. Irrigation was first practiced on a large scale in this State. The necessity of the pioneers here led to the development of irrigation to a degree absolutely unknown before on this continent. . . . We all know that when you once get irrigation applied rain is a very poor substitute for it. The Federal Government must co- operate with Utah and Utah people for a further extension of the irrigated area. Many of the simpler problems of obtaining and applying water have already been solved and so well solved that, as I have said, some of the most important provisions of the Federal act, such as the control of the irrigating works by the communities they serve, such a making the water appurtenant to the land not a source of speculation apart from the land, were based upon the experience of Utah. Of course the control of the larger streams which flow through more than one State must come under the Federal Government. (At Salt Lake City, Utah, May 29, 1903.) Presidential Addresses and State Papers II, 442.

____________. In legislation I succeeded in getting through the national irrigation act in the development of the semiarid States of the great plains and Rockies; I think this achievement in importance comes second only to the creation of the homestead act; and indeed in those particular States it is more important than the homestead act. (To Sydney Brooks, December 28, 1908.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 151; Bishop II, 130.


See also Conservation; Forest Problem; Inland Waterways; Reclamation.

Isthmus of Panama

See Panama Canal.


See Rome; Socialism; Victor Emmanuel; World War.



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