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granted upon proceedings suggested by President Roosevelt, not only forbids the combination known as the beef trust from combining to fix the prices at which cattle shall be bought and beef sold, but it also prohibits combinations to obtain discriminatory rates from the railroads. In other words, the Court placed the trust within the category of an illegal combination in restraint of trade, and declared that it must be dissolved. The pleasure experienced by the President when the decision was announced was unmistakable, and directions were immediately given to carry it into effect. In consequence of these orders, a federal grand jury will have assembled in Chicago ere this article appears, for the purpose of probing minutely into every detail of the packing industry. The executive warfare against the beef trust is not to be perfunctory. The President, to use the language of his beloved West, will have a few scalps hanging at his belt.
The question which interests the corporations at the beginning of Mr. Roosevelt's term is whether he is to be antagonistic to them. There is no doubt that the President is a firm believer in the utmost limit of governmental control, and he will also go to the farthest degree in invoking the law against illegal combinations. Nowhere has he shown, in speech or document, any desire to be aggressive simply for the purpose of inviting conflict. He has certainly spoken in most conservative and friendly manner concerning all legitimate enterprise. "We are not trying to strike down the rich man," he said in a recent speech in Philadelphia. "On the contrary," he added, "we will not tolerate any attack upon his rights. We are not trying to give an improper advantage to the poor man because he is poor, to the man of small means because he has not larger means; but we are striving to see that the man of small means has exactly as good a chance, so far as we can obtain it for him, as the man of larger means; that there shall be equality of opportunity for the one as for the other." It is worth while also, as indicating with even more elaboration the position of the President, to note the concluding paragraph of his address:
We do not intend that this republic shall ever fail as those republics of olden time failed, in which there finally came to be a government by classes, which resulted either in the poor plundering the rich or in the rich exploiting and in one form or another enslaving the poor; for either event means the destruction of free institutions and of individual liberty. Ours is not a Government which recognizes classes. It is based on the recognition of the individual. We are not for the poor man as such, nor for the rich man as such. We are for every man, rich or poor, provided he acts justly and fairly by his fellows, and if he so acts the Government must do all it can to see that inasmuch as he does no wrong so he shall suffer no wrong.
Herein the attitude of the President is made plain. He proposes to act without fear or favor, righting such wrongs as need to be righted, improving conditions wherever they need remedial application. In the larger sphere of President, he is following the same lines which made him the idol of Jacob Riis when he was police commissioner. He is fighting the battle of the oppressed. It is ideal statesmanship, liable to misconstruction and even ridicule, but none the less glorious in the height of its aims and the sincerity of its purpose. Many phases of government will interest President Roosevelt during the next four years; but, after all, his personal interest will be most largely manifested in those measures which appeal to his sense of justice, to his desire to accomplish reform, and to his earnest wish to benefit his fellow-man. HENRY LITCHFIELD WEST.
As the last number of this review was going through the press, the final word was being spoken in the first act of the great drama of the Far East. On the opening day of the new year General Stoessel surrendered. Wearied by the efforts to hold his foe at bay, the morale of his men broken by the ceaseless hammering received at the hands of their assailant, the remnants of the Port Arthur fleet destroyed by the plunging fire from the mortars and the heavy siege-guns dragged with infinite labor and consummate skill to 203-Metre Hill, with no hope of relief from Rojestvensky by sea or Kuropatkin on land, capitulation was the only course left. Terms between victor and vanquished were quickly arranged, the Japanese dealing, as usual, most generously with their foe; and, eleven months after the declaration of war, Port Arthur, the Gibraltar of the East, was for the second time in the possession of Japan.
Ten years ago Port Arthur for the first time came into the hands of that nation. Then, as now, it was won at the point of the sword. Compare the Japan of to-day with the Japan of the last decade. It is the most wonderful and most dramatic comparison the world has ever known. It is so extraordinary that it reads more like fiction than fact. The treaty of Shimonoseki, the treaty of peace between China and Japan, was signed on April 17, 1895. One of the terms of peace was the surrender of Port Arthur by China to Japan. Japan had displayed the highest military skill and valor on both land and sea; but China was so impotent and so unversed in modern methods that the world only dimly appreciated the significance of Japan as a military Power. It did not, however, suit the purpose of Russia to have Port Arthur in the hands of Japan: the domination of Russia was nearer realization if she held the key to the Yellow Sea. Russia found ready and willing accomplices in Germany and France. The new triple alliance gave Japan the alternative of surrendering Port Arthur or going to war. War would have meant annihilation. Japan yielded to the inevitable, and China was compelled to "lease" Port Arthur to Russia.
Port Arthur is now in possession of Japan. triple alliance brought into being for the occasion.
There is no longer a
of her Russian master, in her ardent longing for release from captivity does nothing to rivet the shackles more firmly. Germany, who at that time thought that her profit was to be found on the side of Russia, has received a rude shock. There is no Power to protest against the Japanese occupation of Port Arthur; there is no Power rash enough to bully Japan. What she has won by the right of conquest is hers.
Ten years ago Japan was still an enigma to the Western world. She was still a piece of lacquer that interested the cognoscenti. She was still to be patronized and condescendingly approved of for being different from her immediate neighbors. She was still in leading-strings, awkwardly playing with a new toy. She was still so little civilized and so incapable of being regarded as the equal of the Western nations that they forced her to submit to the humiliation of extra-territorial jurisdiction. And now? The lacquer has been scratched away and the iron is revealed, and the world has huge respect for a people with iron in their veins. She may not be unanimously approved of, but she is no longer to be treated with patronizing condescension. No one any longer talks of Western civilization being a toy to Japan. She has made of it a grim reality. Guns and ships and men; tactics and strategy; the flaming sword of death in one hand and the balm of life in the other for one knows not which most to admire, the capacity of Japan to kill or the ability with which the lives of her wounded have been saved. There has never been a war in which the percentage of deaths to wounds has been so small or the mortality from disease so low. And, perhaps most striking of all: a united, self-confident, patriotic Japan faces Russia, distraught, torn by internal convulsions, her people praying for the success of their foe as the quickest and surest means of bringing the liberty they so passionately crave.
In the quarterly discussion of Foreign Affairs, this writer has not felt it incumbent to discuss the military features of the campaign except as they have affected political movements; but before dismissing the fall of Port Arthur, it is important to call attention to the inglorious rôle played by the Russian fleet and the incapacity or cowardice displayed by its commanders. At the outbreak of the war, that fleet was relied upon to drive Japan off the sea and make it impossible for her to send her troops to Manchuria. On paper, Russia's fleet was vastly superior to that of her adversary. Yet, from the day the first shot was fired until fleet and army fell into the hands of the victor, the Port Arthur fleet was never a menace to Japan, except such menace as a fleet in being always possesses. It is noteworthy that not a single Japanese vessel was destroyed
or put out of action by Russian gunfire. The Japanese have lost vessels, but those vessels fell victims to submarine mines, not to the skill or bravery of Russian gunners. Nothing more strikingly illustrates the difference between the Russian and Japanese character, and the spirit that animates the two nations, than the careful deliberation with which the Japanese began their naval campaign and the sacrifices they were prepared to make to hold command of the sea, as compared with the timidity and lack of verve of their adversary.
At the outbreak of the war, the Japanese overestimated the fighting power of the Russian navy exactly as the Russians underestimated the fighting power of the Japanese army. The Russian fleet was to the Japanese their greatest menace, as the mastery of the sea once lost could never be regained; and, while Russia had vessels in reserve, Japan was staking her all on the pieces then on the board. But so thoroughly did the Japanese appreciate the vital importance of destroying or rendering useless their opponent's sea power, that shortly before the declaration of war a conference of the naval chiefs was held in Tokio, at which the relative strength of the two navies was discussed with that minuteness of detail so characteristic of the Japanese. The conclusion was reached that if the enemy's fleet was rendered hors de combat, Japan could afford to sacrifice two-thirds of her own navy. When Admiral Togo took command of the blockading squadron, he went as a man who leads a forlorn hope. Although Togo was ready to sacrifice his men and his ships, his ships were too precious to be placed in unnecessary jeopardy. Battle-ships and armored cruisers were kept out of range of Port Arthur, where the odds were heavily in favor of the besieged; but torpedoboats were sent to the attack again and again with reckless daring, because the destruction of a torpedo-boat meant very little, and it was worth while to take the chance of disabling a battle-ship at the price of a torpedo-boat.
It would have paid the Russians ten times over to have lost every vessel of their Port Arthur squadron if thereby they could have destroyed Togo's ships, because the vessels lost by Russia could have been replaced by those in the Baltic; but a Japanese ship could not be replaced until after the war. Had the Russians had a Cushing, an officer daring enough to have done with his torpedo-boat what Cushing did with his little launch when he destroyed the "Albemarle," the sequel would in all probability have been different. Cushing's "Another stripe or a coffin!" is a tradition in the American navy, and inspires every American naval officer exactly as Nelson's "Westminster Abbey or a peerage!" has made