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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 42, July 1938 - April, 1939

Book Reviews

The Monroe Doctrine, 1867-1907. By Dexter Perkins. (Balti-
more: The Johns Hopkins Press, 1937. Pp. x, 480. $3.50.)
With painstaking care and indefatigable energy Professor Perkins
has explored much of the source material relating to the origin and
history of the Monroe Doctrine down to 1907, although he does
not mention some very important secondary material. His third
volume deals with "No-Transfer and Non-Colonization, 1867-
1895"; "The Canal Question. Varia. 1867-1895"; "The McKinley
Administration and the Monroe Doctrine" (mainly the war with
Spain); "The Venezuelan Blockade of 1902-03"; and "Non-Inter-
vention Becomes Intervention" (in Santo Domingo). Just why
the author should have selected the year 1907 and the Santo Do-
minican episode as the stopping place is not clear. This marks
the beginning of a phase of Monroe Doctrine history, the end of
which was not started until the time of President Hoover.
In his first two volumes Dr. Perkins practically ruled out Mon-
roe's statement about not interfering in European affairs as a part
of his "Doctrine." In this volume he says: "There was, it is true,
in the language of the message a sort of principle of neutrality;
the United States could reasonably ask Europe to abstain from
meddling in this hemisphere in view of American abstention from
interposition in the affairs of Europe." Yet, in spite of this
quid pro quo, he makes no mention of American participation in
European conferences, such as that at Madrid (1880) and Algeciras
Dr. Perkins is strong on synthesis and interpretation, but de-
cidedly weak in the judicial spirit which should be manifest in
an historian. One has a right to disagree with the Cleveland-
Olney application of the Monroe Doctrine to the Venezuelan
boundary dispute, but the author contends that "one who ap-
proaches the controversy with the slightest pretension to calm
and dispassionate judgment" could hardly have imagined that it
involved a "principle which implied that European states might
. . . 'convert American states into colonies or provinces of their
own.'" Then, throwing aside all "pretension to calm and dis-
passionate judgment," Dr. Perkins maintains in spirited language


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 42, July 1938 - April, 1939. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed April 30, 2016.

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