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Suppose for a moment that some to the present day. Recently there has non-Christian nation was very much been some indication that the present richer than the United States and very Turkish Government would recognize much more advanced in civilization. American naturalization provided we Suppose its missionaries came to our should recognize their right to exclude country and here established schools from Turkey American citizens of and hospitals which offered our people Turkish origin — a proviso which we advantages far beyond anything we are naturally unwilling to accept. could give them. Suppose these mis So the matter stands, a difficult quessionaries were actuated by a sincere tion still, though much easier of soludesire to convert us to a religion which tion now that we have practically was shared by only small racial minori. closed our doors to Turkish immigraties in our country. Would there not tion and the Capitulations are no more. be considerable friction between such The situation is, then, this:— We foreigners and, say, the Ku Klux Klan? have negotiated two treaties which are
There is another important question in the nature of fundamental bases for between the United States and Turkey. amical relations and for further negoIt hinges on divergent views on natu- tiation and adjustment of differences. ralization. It was not possible to settle We have also established modi vivendi it at Lausanne, even by the tentative for the solution of the questions of our method of exchange of notes employed schools and hospitals in Turkey and of in the case of our schools and hospitals. our monetary claims against Turkey.
In the old days of the Capitulations The question of naturalization is still a foreigner in Turkey enjoyed many outstanding, and it will undoubtedly advantages over a Turkish subject. be followed by other important quesHe was not called for military service, tions arising in the future. Our decision paid no direct taxes, and could not be to ratify or not to ratify the Lausanne tried by Turkish courts. He was pro- Treaties really comes down to a decitected in his commercial dealings by sion as to whether we want to estabhis consul — an official far more power- lish a basis of contact and from that ful than is a foreign consul in our coun- point work toward complete agreement, try. Those were also the days of un- or whether, on the other hand, we prerestricted immigration into the United fer to break relations altogether with States. The natural result was that the present Turkish Government, and many Turkish subjects, mostly Greeks, begin again on a more favorable basis Armenians, and Jews, came to Amer. at some more favorable time. In this ica. In a few years they went back decision a very important consideration to Turkey and lived there under the should be the record of the Turkish protection of our citizenship and the Government since the signature of the Capitulations.
treaties in August of last year. The Ottoman Government countered by refusing to recognize foreign naturalization in the case of Ottoman subjects. This was a move well within In considering this record there are the sovereign rights of Turkey and one two touchstones by which it should be which could not be challenged success- tested - stability and fair play. A fully sa ve by force. It brought about a foreign government worthy of treaty situation of dual nationality, and re- relations with us should be able to consulted in an impasse that has continued vince us that it is reasonably stable and that it means to play fair, at least so far matter. The cavalier manner in which as we are concerned.
the Constitution was finally adopted It so happens that the past year in (the half of it after only a few hours' Turkey has seen phenomenal changes. debate) and the almost complete inIn October 1923, the last of the Allied difference to its provisions shown by troops were withdrawn from Constanti- the country at large clearly indicate nople, Thrace, and the shores of the that constitutional government in TurDardanelles, and the whole zone came key is not yet taken seriously, if indeed into the hands of the Turks. In that the meaning of it is understood. same month the National Assembly at Nevertheless, the record of Turkey Angora, at the instigation of Mustapha for the past year, considered as a feat in Kemal, voted in the 'Republic of Tur- political transformation, is almost withkey,' a step which involved fundamen- out parallel. And it was all done withtal changes in the form of government. out the slightest internal disorder of any In March of this year the Caliphate was kind. A Government which can ‘get abolished. All members of the old im- away with’such things without opposiperial House of Osmanli were banished tion from its people, even though they from the country. Church and State be by nature subservient, which can were completely separated. Church change its form of government, sepaproperty was expropriated to the use rate a hitherto inseparable Church and of the State, the civil jurisdiction of State, cast off the spiritual head of a religious courts was abolished, and. great religion, and draw up and adopt a practically the whole of the public- new Constitution, all within a twelveschool system was transferred from month, certainly exhibits strength and, religious to secular control. In April by inference at least, stability. came the climax in political metamor- Whether the Turks will run their phoses, the adoption of the new Con- country into the ground, as many forstitution. This reorganized the whole eigners predict, is another matter. fabric of government, and incidentally Financially they are having their diffigranted a limited form of woman suf- culties, and they are going to have more frage. And throughout the year a vast of them. It is of course obvious that exchange of populations was being ef- their administrative ability is by no fected, and brigandage, which had pros- means equal to their ambitions or to pered exceedingly for several decades, their nominal progress toward democwas being effectively stamped out. racy. But it must always be remem
Had these startling changes not been bered that Turkey is an agricultural imposed by a small group upon a people State whose people are largely illiterate singularly subservient to authority, and content with very little. Administhey would be even more remarkable. trative inefficiency which would set our But there is no disguising the fact that people by the ears leaves the Turk cold. the Republic of Turkey is an oligarchy. He asks only that his taxes and his Popular elections have so far been only military service be light, that he be the form by which candidates chosen protected from brigandage and from by the ruling group are instated in of- foreign spoliation, that he be let fice. In the Constitutional debates the alone. And that is exactly what he is Assembly may have shown unexpected getting. Angora's feverish zeal for politfirmness in the defense of its rights and ical transformation passes over his limited in some degree the powers of head almost unnoticed. An Englishthe President — that does not alter the man who knows the people well was
should haver present contrive test of
recently asked whether Mustapha Ke of the Turkish Empire was not one mal is still popular among the Turkish which should incline us toward sympeasants. 'I should not say popular,' pathy for that form of government. he replied, “but rather accepted and — To a large extent predictions of the forgotten.' Not at all a bad position, early failure and dissolution of the Anthat, for an Oriental potentate! gora Government should be discounted
In deciding whether or not we shall because they come from foreigners who establish relations with a foreign gov- have lost their special privileges under ernment we often have to judge the the old régime and the Interallied ocstability of that government by exist- cupation, and also from thousands of ing facts, and not by the true test of ex-subjects of Turkey now in America time. Under present conditions we and Europe who are racially and fanatshould have few treaties with foreign ically opposed to the success of any governments were we to insist on their Turkish Government. stability being proved to the hilt. We On the head of stability, therefore, believe that a democracy is more stable we have little reason to throw the Gov. and in other ways preferable to an oli- ernment at Angora out of court. Fair garchy rendering only lip service to play is another matter. To some extent popular government. But we also have it is a question of what we should reato recognize that some people, not yet sonably expect from a Government advanced beyond the forms of democ- hardly beyond the revolutionary stage, racy, must perforce content themselves from a State so very new in all its form with autocratic rule. We have more and functions, from a country torn by than once established normal diplo- eleven years of almost continual war, matic relations with a new government from a people who have long suffered which had won its sovereignty by suc- from foreign spoliation, and who have cess in arms over external enemies, and recently been embittered to the point which was fortified by the moral force of intense chauvinism and xenophobia. of that victory. We have made rather However, American firms do continue a point of doing this when the new gov- to do business in Turkey, American inernment followed at least the forms of stitutions (at least the more important democracy, when it appeared to have of them) do continue to function, and the support of at least the majority of American citizens do travel all over its people, and when it could not be the interior without let or hindrance. charged with usurpation of power right- Against this must be balanced the fully belonging toits own people or to us. petty annoyances of governmental red
This is the case with Turkey of to- tape and inefficiency, and the far more day. We cannot be sure that the An- serious attitude assumed toward cergora Government will endure. Like all tain of our interests. The crux of the revolutionary movements it is being matter is that our delay in ratifying run on unfamiliar lines by men of no the Treaties of Lausanne has given us great administrative experience. The an opportunity of judging the vital times are unsettled and the future dim; issue of Turkish fair play. On the manbut at least we are sure that there is ner in which the Government at Annow no open opposition among the gora has met and is meeting that issue Turks to their present government should depend our decision to ratify or Whatever secret opposition exists prob- not to ratify the Treaties. But let us ably tends largely toward the reëstab- also show fair play, and not blind prejlishment of the Sultanate. The record udice, in making that decision.
charpeople, and least the mo
e, in mair play, anaties. But tuty or THE PROBLEM OF SELF-GOVERNMENT IN MEXICO
BY ROBERT GLASS CLELAND
'I SHOULD therefore suspend my con- quires, nor protected labor against the gratulations on the new liberty of evils of a violent and disorganized France,' wrote Edmund Burke in 1790, society. It has not been able to keep ‘until I was informed how it had been its treasury in funds or pay its debts combined with government, with pub- or direct its revenues to the genuine lic force, with the discipline and obedi- upbuilding of its citizens. It has failed ence of armies, with the collection of lamentably to educate its people or an effective and well-distributed rev- give them a decent standard of living enue, with morality and religion, with or teach them the rudiments of health solidity and property, with peace and and sanitation. It has built almost no order, with civil and social manners. highways, developed almost none of All these things (in their way) are good the country's great resources, and things, too, and without them liberty allowed itself to become the economic is not a benefit while it lasts, and is not vassal of other nations. It has likely to continue long.'
frequently ignored its solemn treaty The standards Burke here estab- obligations, violated the established lishes for testing a nation's liberty principles of international law, and commend themselves to the judgment invited the intervention of other naand common sense of thoughtful men. tions because of its utter helplessness Liberty is not liberty at all unless it in the face of domestic turmoil and conforms to these requirements; and a confusion. government, whatever name it bears, This indictment of self-government is of no benefit to a people if it does in Mexico is not born of hostility or not perform those essential functions prejudice, but of that same impartial for which in the last analysis every desire to arrive at the truth which government exists and upon which all leads a physician to record a patient's organized society depends for its very symptoms, no matter how serious they life.
may be, when he attempts to diagnose For over a hundred years, with a the disease from which the patient few brief exceptions, the liberty of the suffers. And if my criticisms of MexMexican people has been a fictitious ican liberty and of the Mexican liberty, and the government of that government appear to be harsh or country has failed to meet the tests exaggerated, I can only plead that they either of a free government or a suc- are no harsher nor more exaggerated cessful government. It has not main- than the facts of Mexican history themtained order, except at irregular and selves. Let us see if this statement is widely separated intervals. It has not not correct. afforded industry the security it re- Mexico became independent of Spain in the year 1821. From that date to features of Mexican politics which 1876, when Porfirio Diaz first came in- needs to be clearly pointed out. Many to power, the nation enjoyed the rule people, both foreigners and nativeof two regencies, two emperors, sundry born, who have despaired of selfdictators, nearly twenty provisional government in Mexico, propose as a presidents, twenty-three regular pres- sort of guaranteed alternative to the idents, and one or two extraconsti- nominal democracy now in effect the tutional bodies known by various restoration of a benevolent despotism, names. Altogether, in the course of such as Diaz established and so long these first fifty-five years of independ- maintained. But in addition to all the ence, the government thus changed theoretical objections that might be hands on an average of at least once a offered to this plan, there is a pracyear (or perhaps a little oftener) and tical difficulty which renders its operalmost never were these changes ac- ation quite impossible. This difficulty complished without bloodshed or in is to find the man of sufficient capacaccordance with the methods pre- ity and strength to establish and mainscribed by the Mexican Constitution. tain the proposed despotism. Virtually
Under such conditions it is obvious every president before Diaz, as well as that the government of the country after him, has attempted to do the could not perform even the simplest very thing he did — that is, to make of its duties toward its citizens, and himself absolute master of the governthat the liberty which had been won ment; but none as yet has had any from Spain was in no way combined long-continued success in this attempt. with ‘solidity and property, with peace The explanation of the single genand order,' or with any other of the eration of peace which Mexico has virtues that make for a nation's prog- known in the last hundred years lies, ress and enlightenment.
then, not in the type of government The rule of Diaz began in 1876 and Diaz established, for this was already with the exception of a four-year inter- old when he came into power, nor in val, from 1880 to 1884, extended to the methods he adopted, though these 1911. In all the history of Mexican were eminently practical and efficient, independence this is the only period in but in the personality, genius, and conwhich the country has enjoyed as summate ability of the man himself. much as five years of continuous tran- Thus those who advocate the estabquillity and peace. This relief from lishment of a dictatorship in Mexico, political confusion and the turmoil of modeled after that of Diaz, as a solurevolution enabled Mexico not only to tion of the nation's political perplexmake surprising progress along eco- ities, are advocating a delusive and nomic lines but also to reëstablish her visionary plan unless they can discover international position and to some somewhere a leader comparable to degree to improve the condition of the Diaz in ability and statesmanship, and common people.
also can devise some method by which But the government of Diaz, though this man can pass his government on an efficient and successful government, to a successor of no less ability than possessed two fatal elements of weak- himself. But when in the past, with the ness. It was neither a free govern- possible exception of Benito Juarez, ment nor a constitutional government, has Mexico brought forth a man like and it had no power to pass its virtues Diaz, and when will she again produce on to a successor. Here lies one of the his equal?