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Does America Hate England?
1. THIS question has been much discussed of late in Britain: and the answer has generally been given in the affirmative; even the Spectator, a powerful and true friend of the Republic, has been reluctantly driven to that side.
"O friends, help the Oppressed One with well-pleasing
virtues and good deeds! Today let every soul desire to attain the
highest station. He
must not regard what is in him, but what is in God. It is not for him to
regard what shall advantage himself, but that whereby the Word of God
which must be obeyed shall be upraised. The heart must be sanctified
from every form of selfishness and lust, for the weapons of the unitarians and saints were and are the fear of God. That is the
buckler which guardeth man from the arrows of hatred and abomination.
A Traveler's Narrative, page 45 & 46)
2. But the correct answer to this inquiry depends upon what is meant by hatred; for this may be of two kinds - one deep, permanent, generally racial, which creates hereditary antipathy and renders the parties natural enemies; the other only temporary and skin-deep - indignation and resentment aroused by specific questions, which pass with their settlement, leaving no serious estrangement behind.
My hope is that through the zeal and ardour of the pure of
heart, the darkness of hatred and difference will be entirely
abolished, and the light of love and unity shall shine; this world
shall become a new world; things material shall become the mirror of
the divine; human hearts shall meet and embrace each other; the whole
world become as a man's native country and the different races be
counted as one race.
Then disputes and differences will vanish, and the Divine Beloved be revealed on this earth. ('Abdu'l-Bahá in London, page 38)
3. That several causes exist which must always create more or less irritation in the United States against Great Britain is obvious. The Canadian question must always do so. Imagine Scotland republican, owing allegiance to the United States, and constantly proclaiming its readiness to attack Britain at their bidding. The industrial question also has its effect. A score of articles "made in Germany" are causing irritation in England. What can a thousand articles "made in England" be expected to do in the United States? Industrial competitors, and the workmen employed by them, are very sensitive and easily irritated; and in our day, when every nation of the front rank aspires to manufacture and produce for its own wants, "Foreign Commerce" and "Free Trade" do not always make for peace and good will among
nations, but the contrary. Nations are disposed to resent industrial invasion, Free-Trade Britain not less than Protective Germany.
In these days when the peoples of the world are
thirsting for the teachings of the Abha Beauty--teachings that
provide the incomparable, life-giving waters of immortality--when we
Baha'is have pledged ourselves to proffer these living waters to all
mankind and are known to be prepared to endure every suffering and
tribulation, how pitiful it would be if, despite all this, we were to
neglect our binding obligations and responsibilities and to occupy
ourselves with disagreeable discussions that provoke irritation and
distress and to turn our attention to matters that lead to
ill-feeling, to despondency and unhappiness and reduce the
penetrating influence of the Word of God. (Bahiyyih Khanum, page 197)
4. But deeper than these causes of irritation there does lie at the core of the national heart of the Republic a strong and ineradicable stratum of genuine respect, admiration, and affection for the old home. The pride of race is always there at the bottom - latent, indeed, in quiet times, but decisively shown in supreme moments when stirred by great issues which affect the safety of the old home and involve the race. The strongest sentiment in man, the real motive which at the crisis determines his action in international affairs, is racial. Upon this tree grow the one language, one religion, one literature, and one law which bind men together and make them brothers in time of need as against men of other races. This racial sentiment goes deeper and reaches higher than questions of mere pecuniary import, or of material interests. The most recent proof that this pride of race exists in America in an intense degree was given, even at the very height of the Venezuelan dispute,
Carnegie's picture of the American reaction to the Boer War is inaccurate. There was a "wild cheer," but it was not out of character. American opinion is predisposed to support under-dog nations, especially when an issue of independence is involved. Irish-Americans and German-Americans there anti-British; and so were the New York world and the New York Times, though not the Hearst papers. Bryan and the Democrats were pro-Boer. Official opinion, on the other hand, accorded with the Carnegie formula. John Hay (183&1905), Secretary of State, wrote: "I hope, if it comes to blows, that England will make quick work of Uncle Paul"; and President McKinley stood off all demands for American intervention. "Uncle Paul" is of course Paul Kruger (1825-1904), president of the Transvaal.
Carnegie's real opinions on the issues were as tangled as the issues themselves. He deplored Cleveland's attitude on the Venezuelan affair. In a private letter, later than this essay, he wrote he was with the Boers heart and soul.
tion of European Powers was behind Germany's action in regard to the Transvaal, which had for its aim the humiliation and ruin of Britain, and was taking advantage of the family quarrel to begin the partition of the possessions of the only other member of our race. When the plucky little island took up the challenge and prepared without a moment's hesitation to meet the world in arms, the American continent, from Maine to California, might be said to have burst forth in one wild cheer - a cheer which meant more than prosaic people will believe, and more, perhaps, than uncontrollable outburst; nor can one tell how far this impulse, which he could not check, would lead him when once in full swing. Senator Wolcott
"A world community in which all economic barriers will have been
permanently demolished and the interdependence of capital and labour
definitely recognized; in which the clamour of religious fanaticism and
strife will have been forever stilled; in which the flame of racial
animosity will have been finally extin-guished; in which a single code
of international law--the product of the considered judgement of the
world's federated representatives--shall have as its sanction the
instant and coercive intervention of the combined forces of the
federated units; and finally a world community in which the fury of a
capricious and militant nationalism will have been transmuted into an
abiding consciousness of world citizenship--such indeed, appears, in its
broadest outline, the Order anticipated by Baha'u'llah, an Order that
shall come to be regarded as the fairest fruit of a slowly maturing
age." (Promise of World Peace, page 11)
Other wars are caused by purely imaginary racial differences; for humanity is one kind, one race and progeny inhabiting the same globe. In the creative plan there is no racial distinction and separation such as Frenchman, Englishman, American, German, Italian or Spaniard; all belong to one household. These boundaries and distinctions are human and artificial, not natural and original. All mankind are the fruits of one tree, flowers of the same garden, waves of one sea. In the animal kingdom no such distinction and separation are observed. The sheep of the East and the sheep of the West would associate peacefully. The oriental flock would not look surprised as if saying, "These are sheep of the Occident; they do not belong to our country." All would gather in harmony and enjoy the same pasture without evidence of local or racial distinction. The birds of different countries mingle in friendliness. We find these virtues in the animal kingdom. Shall man deprive himself of these virtues? Man is endowed with superior reasoning power and the faculty of perception; he is the manifestation of divine bestowals. Shall racial ideas prevail and obscure the creative purpose of unity in his kingdom? Shall he say, "I am a German," "I am a Frenchman," or an "Englishman" and declare war because of this imaginary and human distinction? God forbid! (Foundations of World Unity, page 23)
5. No combination of other races is likely to estimate at a tithe of its true value the strength of this sentiment throughout our race, or correctly to gauge how very much thicker
than water our race-blood will be found if it is ever brought to the test.
Praise be to God! The medieval ages of darkness have passed away and
this century of radiance has dawned, this century wherein the reality
of things is becoming evident, wherein science is penetrating the
mysteries of the universe, the oneness of the world of humanity is
being established, and service to mankind is the paramount motive of
all existence. Shall we remain steeped in our fanaticisms and cling
to our prejudices? Is it fitting that we should still be bound and
restricted by ancient fables and superstitions of the past, be
handicapped by superannuated beliefs and the ignorances of dark ages,
waging religious wars, fighting and shedding blood, shunning and
anathematizing each other? Is this becoming? Is it not better for us
to be loving and considerate toward each other? Is it not preferable
to enjoy fellowship and unity, join in anthems of praise to the most
high God and extol all His Prophets in the spirit of acceptance and
true vision? Then, indeed, this world will become a paradise, and the
promised Day of God will dawn. Then, according to the prophecy of
Isaiah, the wolf and the lamb will drink from the same stream, the
owl and the vulture will nest together in the same branches, and the
lion and the calf pasture in the same meadow. What does this mean? It
means that fierce and contending religions, hostile creeds and
divergent beliefs will reconcile and associate, notwithstanding their
former hatreds and antagonism. Through the liberalism of human
attitude demanded in this radiant century they will blend together in
perfect fellowship and love. This is the spirit and meaning of
Isaiah's words. There will never be a day when this prophecy will
come to pass literally, for these animals by their natures cannot
mingle and associate in kindness and love. Therefore, this prophecy
symbolizes the unity and agreement of races, nations and peoples who
will come together
in attitudes of intelligence, illumination and spirituality.
('Abdu'l-Bahá, Promulgation of Universal Peace, page 369-370)
6. The message which President McKinley sent to Queen Victoria at her Jubilee was another evidence of race pride, and was no mere formal effusion. More men in the United Kingdom than in the United States would hesitate to compliment and praise her Majesty and sing "God Save the Queen" with enthusiasm. She is universally recognized there as the truest of the true friends of the Republic, for she stood a friend when a friend was needed."
O BRETHREN! Be forbearing one with another and set not your
affections on things below. Pride not yourselves in your glory, and
be not ashamed of abasement. By My beauty! I have created all things
from dust, and to dust will I return them again. (Bahá'u'lláh,
Hidden Words #48 from the Persian)
7. It is strange that such evidences of race unity at bottom, and of genuine, cordial friendship, should not outweigh some alleged lack of courtesy of expression in a message written by a President to his own Congress or by a Secretary of State to his own minister. Yet the Spectator concludes Americans hate England, and this opinion it bases upon trifles as these.
race unity -
"The work of the Race Unity Committee should include, as
far as is feasible, contacts with all minority groups, and wherever
there is a
particularly stout prejudice against a special group--such as the
feeling against the Japanese in the Western states and the Negroes in
the Southern, etc.,--efforts should be made to counteract it by
showing publicly the Baha'i example of loving tolerance and brotherly
association." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to
an individual believer, December 30, 1945)
8. Much stress has been laid in the discussion upon American school-books reciting the facts of American history; this is held to make every American boy and girl a hater of England. This is undoubtedly true; and the pity of it is there is no possible escape, for American history begins with the revolt of the colonies and their struggle for the rights of
Britons. The Republic has never had a dangerous foe except Britain, for the short campaign against Mexico made no lasting impression upon the nation. It is impossible to do otherwise than state the facts as they occurred; and even if there were added the further facts that some of the greatest and best of British statesmen opposed the attempt to tax the colonies even at that early day, and that now the kindness and consideration with which Britain reigns over her colonies gives an example to the whole world, these things would make no impression upon children. The young American must begin in our day as an intense hater of England; and this we must accept: generations will elapse before it can be greatly modified.
The only division that is real is this: There are heavenly men and
earthly men; self-sacrificing servants of humanity in the love of the
Most High, bringing harmony and unity, teaching peace and goodwill to
men. On the other hand there are those selfish men, haters of their
brethren, in whose hearts prejudice has replaced loving kindness, and
whose influence breeds discord and strife. ('Abdu'l-Bahá, Paris
Talks, page 149)
9. On the other hand, it is impossible for any American to acquire further and more detailed knowledge of the struggle for independence, of the later treatment of her colonies by Britain, and of British history and the part his race has played in the Old World, without becoming her admirer, and, should he have British blood in his veins, -- which most Americans can boast, - without being very proud of his race. It is upon this foundation that we have to build our hopes of closer union between the old and the new lands. Englishmen and Hessians fighting Washington must give place in the minds of the young, as they grow older, to other pictures in which Britain and America are seen standing side by side, the two great pillars of civil and religious liberty throughout the world, and the sole members of our race. Later must come the knowledge of Shakspere, Milton, Burns, and Scott; then the political history of England, Cromwell, Sidney, Russell, Hampden, Chatham, Burke, and the many others, until the young American learns that from Britain he has derived, not only his language, but his laws, religion, and even his free institutions; and that the political institutions of the two countries are similar -- one crowned, the other uncrowned, yet both republican, since in both there is government of the people, for the people, and by the people, which is the es-
sence of republicanism. This is the chief point which influences the ardent young politician, and gives the old land at last a warm place in the heart of young America. From this time on, the race sentiment grows stronger and stronger in his heart as knowledge increases.
59 Expounding the theme of liberty, Baha'u'llah asserted that "the
embodiment of liberty and its symbol is the animal"; that "liberty
causeth man to overstep the bounds of propriety, and to infringe on
the dignity of his station"; that "true liberty consisteth in man's
submission unto My commandments".
60 "We approve of liberty in certain circumstances," He declared,
"and refuse to sanction it in others."
61 But He gave the assurance that, "Were men to observe that which
We have sent down unto them from the Heaven of Revelation, they
would, of a certainty, attain unto perfect liberty."
62 And "Mankind in its entirety must firmly adhere to whatsoever
hath been revealed and vouchsafed unto it.
63 Then and only then will it attain unto true liberty." (The
Universal House of Justice, Individual Rights and Freedoms
60 "We approve of liberty in certain circumstances," He declared, "and refuse to sanction it in others."
61 But He gave the assurance that, "Were men to observe that which We have sent down unto them from the Heaven of Revelation, they would, of a certainty, attain unto perfect liberty."
62 And "Mankind in its entirety must firmly adhere to whatsoever hath been revealed and vouchsafed unto it.
63 Then and only then will it attain unto true liberty." (The Universal House of Justice, Individual Rights and Freedoms
10. How different with the young Canadian and Australian, who learn with their first lessons that the rights of Britons have never been denied them, and find in Britain the most generous, most illustrious, and kindest of mothers, whom they reverence and love from the beginning. Such are the opposite results of tender and proper regard for colonies and dependencies, and of denial to them of the rights and liberties enjoyed at home.
rights and liberties -
The unification of the world of humanity, the
welding together of the world's different religions, the
reconciliation of Religion and Science, the establishment of
Universal Peace, of International Arbitration, of an International
House of Justice, of an International Language, the Emancipation of
Women, Universal Education, the abolition not only of
Chattel Slavery, but of Industrial Slavery, the Organization of
Humanity as a single whole, with due regard to the rights and
liberties of each individual--these are problems of gigantic
magnitude and stupendous difficulty in relation to which Christians,
Muhammadans and adherents of other religions have held and still hold
the most diverse and often violently opposed views, but Baha'u'llah
has revealed clearly defined principles, the general adoption of
which would obviously make the world a paradise. (Bahá'u'lláh & New
Era, page 256)
11. Whether at this day seeds of future hatred or affection are being sown in the hearts of the millions to come in various parts of the world, should be the vital Question for statesmen engaged in empire-building. What an expanding nation would here do "highly, that should she holily," for assuredly empire founded upon violent conquest, conspiracy, or oppression, or upon any foundation other than the sincere affection of the people embraced, can neither endure nor add to the power or glory of the conquerer, but prove a source of continual and increasing weakness and of shame.
"O friends, consort with all the people of the world with joy and
fragrance. If there be to you a word or essence whereof others than
you are devoid, communicate it and show it forth in the language of
affection and kindness: if it be received and be effective the object
is attained, and if not leave it to him, and with regard to him deal
not harshly but pray. The language of kindness is the lodestone of
hearts and the food of the soul; it stands in the relation of ideas
to words, and is as an horizon for the shining of the Sun of Wisdom
and Knowledge." ('Abdu'l-Bahá, A Traveler's Narrative, Page 43)
12. While, in the opinion of the writer, there is no deep-seated, bitter national hatred in the United States against Britain, there is no question but there has been recently a wave of resentment and indignation at her conduct. This has sprung from two questions:
The diversity in the human family should be the cause of
love and harmony, as it is in music where many different notes blend
together in the making of a perfect chord. If you meet those of
different race and colour from yourself, do not mistrust them and
withdraw yourself into your shell of conventionality, but rather be
glad and show them kindness. Think of them as different coloured
roses growing in the beautiful garden of humanity, and rejoice to be
Likewise, when you meet those whose opinions differ from your own, do not turn away your face from them. All are seeking truth, and there are many roads leading thereto. Truth has many aspects, but it remains always and forever one.
Do not allow difference of opinion, or diversity of thought to separate you from your fellow-men, or to be the cause of dispute, hatred and strife in your hearts.
Rather, search diligently for the truth and make all men your friends. Every edifice is made of many different stones, yet each depends on the other to such an extent that if one were displaced the whole building would suffer; if one is faulty the structure is imperfect. ('Abdu'l-Bahá, Paris Talks, page 53 & 54)
13. First, Ambassador Pauncefote and Secretary of State Blaine, years ago, agreed upon a settlement of the Bering Sea question,
tions, through Sir Julian Pauncefote, to Mr. Blaine. The two nations were jointly to police the seas and stop the barbarous destruction of the female seals. Canada appeared at Washington and demanded to see the President of the United States upon the subject. Audience was denied to the presumptuous colony; nevertheless, her action forced Lord Salisbury to disavow the treaty. No confidence here is violated, as President Harrison referred to the subject in a message to Congress. Britain was informed that if she presumed to make treaties in which Canada was interested without her consent, she would not have Canada very long. It will be remembered that Canada took precisely the same position in regard to international copyright. It is this long-desired treaty-making power which Canada has recently acquired for herself, at least as far as concerns fiscal policy, so that she need no longer even consult her suzerain. She can now appear at Washington and insist upon being received when new tariff measures are desired, having suddenly become a "free nation," according to her Prime Minister. There are surprises in store here for the indulgent mother.
"...Every system, short of the unification of the human
race, has been tried, repeatedly tried, and been found wanting. Wars
again and again
have been fought, and conferences without number have met and
deliberated. Treaties, pacts and covenants have been painstakingly
negotiated, concluded and revised. Systems of government have been
patiently tested, have been continually recast and superseded.
Economic plans of reconstruction have been carefully devised, and
meticulously executed. And yet crisis has succeeded crisis, and the
rapidity with which a perilously unstable world is declining has been
correspondingly accelerated. A yawning gulf threatens to involve in
one common disaster both the satisfied and dissatisfied nations,
democracies and dictatorships, capitalists and wage-earners,
Europeans and Asiatics, Jew and Gentile, white and coloured. An angry
Providence, the cynic might well observe, has abandoned a hapless
planet to its fate, and fixed irrevocably its doom. Sore-tried and
disillusioned, humanity has no doubt lost its orientation, and would
seem to have lost as well its faith and hope. It is hovering,
unshepherded and visionless, on the brink of disaster. A sense of
fatality seems to pervade it. An ever-deepening gloom is settling on
its fortunes as she recedes further and further from the outer
fringes of the darkest zone of its agitated life and penetrates its
very heart." (Shoghi Effendi: The World Order of Baha'u'llah, p.
14. The repudiation of the Bering Sea settlement aroused a deep feeling of resentment, not only among the uninformed, but among the educated class of Americans, who were and are Britain's best friends; and this has been greatly embittered by charges, commonly made in British publications, that the United States has failed to adhere to the findings of the Bering Sea tribunal. Nothing could be more baseless than such a charge. The tribunal decided that the United States were liable for certain vessels seized which carried the British flag, and payment was directed to be made, either of a stated sum by mutual agreement, or, failing this, of damages to be assessed by a commission. The United States Secretary
of State agreed to a fixed sum with Ambassador Pauncefote, "subject to an appropriation by Congress" - those are the very words of the agreement. When the bill was presented in Congress for an appropriation, the ex-chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations, Mr. Hitt,
A Supreme Tribunal shall be established by the peoples and
Governments of every nation, composed of members elected from each
country and Government. The members of this Great Council shall
assemble in unity.
All disputes of an international character shall be submitted to this
Court, its work being to arrange by arbitration everything which
otherwise would be a cause of war. The mission of this Tribunal would
be to prevent war.
('Abdu'l-Bahá, Paris Talks, page 155)
15. Much offense had been taken in Britain at Secretary Sherman's
not to the British Government - Lord Salisbury had already refused a conference on the subject. After that letter Lord Salisbury thought better of it, and agreed to the conference, which is to meet immediately in Washington. How this matter is viewed in America is shown by the following cable from Washington in to-day's (September 20) newspapers:
In this Cause consultation is of vital importance, but spiritual
conference and not the mere voicing of personal views is intended. In
France I was present at a session of the senate, but the experience was
not impressive. Parliamentary procedure should have for its object the
attainment of the light of truth upon questions presented and not
furnish a battleground for opposition and self-opinion. Antagonism and
contradiction are unfortunate and always destructive to truth. In the
parliamentary meeting mentioned, altercation and useless quibbling were
frequent; the result, mostly confusion and turmoil; even in one instance
a physical encounter took place between two members. It was not
consultation but comedy. ('Abdu'l-Bahá, Promulgation of Universal
Peace, page 5)
16. The whole Bering Sea business has been mismanaged by Britain - as is believed, contrary to her real wishes - simply because she could not govern her colony; the colony has governed her, as she will under Sir Wilfrid Laurier
17. The second cause of the bitter hostility which has been aroused recently against Britain is her conduct upon the Venezuela question. Let us look at the facts in this case. For many years the United States Government urges upon Great Britain in the most courteous manner that the territorial dispute with Venezuela, her small republican neighbor, should be settled amicably by arbitration. The sixteen American republics having agreed to settle their disputes by arbitration,
the torch of war upon the American continent. Mr. Gladstone's administration, through Earl Granville, foreign minister, agree to arbitrate. Lord Salisbury enters upon office, and immediately withdraws from the agreement and refuses to arbitrate. Repeated requests from the United States are made without result. Finally, President Cleveland appears upon the scene. Now, President Cleveland has one great wish namely, to bring about a treaty of arbitration between Great Britain and the United States. It was my privilege to introduce the first Parliamentary committee that approached him upon the subject. The interest he took in it was surprising, and his intimate friends well know that the consummation of the treaty of peace lies nearest his heart of all public questions. He is, beyond all things, a believer in the peaceful arbitration of international disputes.
"Consider the harmful effect of discord and dissension in
a family; then reflect upon the favours and blessings which descend
upon that family
when unity exists among its various members. What incalculable benefits
and blessings would descend upon the great human family if unity and
brotherhood were established! In this century when the beneficent
results of unity and the ill effects of discord are so clearly
apparent, the means for the attainment and accomplishment of human
fellowship have appeared in the world. His Holiness Baha'u'llah has
proclaimed and provided the way by which hostility and dissension may
be removed from the human world. He has left no ground or possibility
for strife and disagreement. First he has proclaimed the oneness of
mankind and specialized religious teachings for existing human
conditions." (Lights of Guidance, page 220, # 732)
In short, every means that produces war must be checked
and the causes that prevent the occurrence of war be advanced;--so
conflict may become an impossibility. On the other hand, every country
must be properly delimited, its exact frontiers marked, its national
integrity secured, its permanent independence protected, and its
vital interests honoured by the family of nations. These services
ought to be rendered by an impartial, international Commission. In
this manner all causes of friction and differences will be removed.
And in case there should arise some disputes between them, they could
arbitrate before the Parliament of Man, the representatives of which
should be chosen from among the wisest and most judicious men of all
the nations of the world. (Universal House of Justice, Peace, page 18
18. He asks Britain for a final reply. Will she, or will she not, arbitrate this territorial dispute with Venezuela? Upon his return to Washington, one evening, from a journey, he reads the refusal of Lord Salisbury, and writes his message before he retires for the night. It gives great offense in Britain, but this is because the British people do not know that for fifteen years the United States Government has been begging Great Britain to arbitrate this question, and that Britain has agreed to do so. The message is not addressed to the British Government, but to the American Congress, and the President concludes by stating in effect that it will be the duty of the United States Government to protect Venezuela should Britain presume to enforce her own views of her territorial rights.
19. There is no question but that the United States would have
fought, or will to-day fight, any nation - even Britain -- in defense of the principle of peaceful arbitration upon questions relating to the territorial rights of foreign Powers upon the American continent. Sixteen of the seventeen American republics have agreed to arbitrate their differences, and why should a European Power be permitted to make war on that continent thus dedicated to arbitration? Nations have their red rags. Every one knows that Great Britain would fight in defense of her right of asylum. Every one knows that she would defend her colonies to the extent of her power. There should be no mistake made by the British people upon this point, that the United States will not permit any European nation to attack an American State in consequence of a territorial dispute. These claims are to be settled by peaceful arbitration.
In past ages humanity has been defective and
inefficient because it has been incomplete. War and its ravages have
blighted the world; the
education of woman will be a mighty step toward its abolition and
ending, for she will use her whole influence against war. Woman rears
the child and educates the youth to maturity. She will refuse to give
her sons for sacrifice upon the field of battle. In truth, she will
be the greatest factor in establishing
universal peace and international arbitration. Assuredly, woman will
abolish warfare among mankind.... ('Abdu'l-Bahá, The Promulgation of
Universal Peace, page 108)
20. It is not alone the uninformed masses of the American people whose passions would be inflamed in support of war in defense of this principle, but the educated classes who will be found most determined in its defense; and it is upon these educated classes, for reasons stated, that Britain must depend for friends, because it is with education alone that there can come a just estimate of the past, and a knowledge of the position which the British people hold to-day in regard to colonial liberties and to international arbitration. It is deeply to be regretted that, although public sentiment in Britain forced Lord Salisbury to accept peaceful arbitration, as requested by the United States Government, nevertheless the majority of the American people cannot be successfully reached and impressed with that fact. The educated people, who follow foreign affairs, do know and appreciate that the best people in America had with them the best people in Great Britain in favor of settlement by arbitration, but to the masses it must unfortunately appear that Britain refused
arbitration until forced to accept it by the United States. The truth, however, fortunately for our race, is that Lord Salisbury was forced by his own people to recede from his posi-
tion. The questions which Britons might ask themselves, when seeking for some explanation of the hatred aroused in the United States recently against their country, seem to be these: Does not a nation deserve to be hated which refuses to fulfill its agreement to arbitrate a territorial dispute with a weak power? Is not irritation justified against a nation which, having agreed to a treaty settling seal fisheries, repudiates it at the dictation of a colony with which the other contracting party has nothing whatever to do?
21. These are the only two questions which have recently aroused the United States against Britain. In that of Venezuela, we have seen that the unfortunate hatred engendered was wholly unnecessary and caused solely by Lord Salisbury refusing to carry out the agreement of his predecessor. Arbitration asked for by the United States has now been agreed to, and the question will soon be out of the way, and, let us hope, soon forgotten, although the triumph of the principle of peaceful arbitration in this case should ever be remembered.
22. The other question, that of pelagic sealing, is now to be in conference again, as before asked for by the United States, but also refused by Lord Salisbury, - at first, -- and in a fair way toward settlement; and let us hope it is soon also to be forgotten, always excepting that in this case also the principle of peaceful arbitration was invoked and peace preserved through the Bering Sea tribunal, even after the treaty agreed to was canceled upon Canada's demand.
A Supreme Tribunal shall be established by the peoples
and Governments of every nation, composed of members elected from
each country and Government. The members of this Great Council shall
assemble in unity.
All disputes of an international character shall be submitted to this
Court, its work being to arrange by arbitration everything which
otherwise would be a cause of war. The mission of this Tribunal would
be to prevent war.
('Abdu'l-Bahá, Paris Talks, page 155)
23. With the removal of these two causes of hatred there remains not a serious cloud upon the horizon between the two branches of our race at present. The proposed general treaty of arbitration is again to be taken up under happier conditions. It is greatly to Lord Salisbury's credit that he proposed it; and in recognition of this service to the cause of peace and good will between the two nations, Americans are disposed to forgive and forget his unfortunate refusal to abide by the agreement of his country to arbitrate the
Venezuelan question. As for the denunciation of the Bering Sea treaty which had been agreed upon with Secretary Blaine, no one conversant with the circumstances holds him responsible. He could not have successfully withstood Canada, and there was nothing for him to do but to repudiate.
24. The treaty, which failed of ratification, obtained, let it always be remembered, within six votes of the necessary two-thirds majority of the Senate. A greater number than these six votes was thrown against it for reasons with which the treaty itself had nothing whatever to do. Into the personal and political history of the opposition to the treaty, which President McKinley declared it was our duty to pass, it would, however, be unprofitable to enter. It is impossible to obtain a two-thirds majority for any measure which becomes involved in the vortex of party politics and personal quarrels. A treaty of peace between the two branches of our race is certain to come. The pulpit, the press, the universities of the United States are its ardent supporters, President McKinley and his Cabinet being among the foremost. No other question before the nation enlists such general enlightened support from the best men of both parties. There is, therefore, no reason in the world why the two nations should not now again draw closer and closer together. On both sides of the Atlantic each should be careful hereafter to give to the other no just cause of offense, and it may be taken as true that, Briton and American being of the same race, what would be offensive to the one would be equally so to the other.
25. Both Briton and American can dwell with the greatest satisfaction upon this fact, which recent events have conclusively proven, that there is in each country so powerful an element favoring peace within the race that no Government, however strong, either in the old land or in the new, can decline peaceful arbitration, when offered by the other, as the Christian substitute for the brutal test of war. No small compensation this, even for the estrangement which has arisen over two questions, but which is now rapidly passing
away, leaving fortunately unimpaired in the Republic that element which may be trusted to determine international action in a crisis -- pride of race, a force lying too deep in the national heart to be revealed upon calm seas, but which, under the recent swing of the tempest, bared its great head high enough above the surge to be seen and noted of all men - a dangerous rock upon a fatal shore for other races in combination to strike against, if ever they attempt to sail that unsailed sea.
We have enjoined upon all mankind to establish the Most Great
Peace--the surest of all means for the protection of humanity. The
sovereigns of the world should, with one accord, hold fast thereunto,
for this is the supreme instrument that can ensure the security and
welfare of all peoples and nations. They, verily, are the
manifestations of the power of God and the daysprings of His
authority. We beseech the Almighty that He may graciously assist them
in that which is conducive to the well-being of their subjects. A
full explanation regarding this matter hath been previously set forth
by the Pen of Glory; well is it with them that act accordingly.
("Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh revealed after the Kitab-i-Aqdas", p. 126)
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