The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 74, July 1970 - April, 1971 Page: 356
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
American history. Traditionally, both Lansing's contemporaries and
many later historians have relegated him to an unconspicuous role as
a thinker and decision maker. This is unfair in that a forceful chief
executive always overshadows his secretary of state, despite the quali-
fications of the latter. Hence, from 1915 to i 919 Lansing had to influ-
ence Wilson's decisions by bombarding him with suggestions, and by
using guile and craft. However, when the head of state was unex-
pectedly stricken, Lansing proved himself to be a man of strong preju-
dices, narrowly realistic and forceful, determined at last to enact his
own foreign policy. In this regard he had hoped to either intimidate
Carranza into respecting his assorted demands or place Wilson in a
position where he would have little choice but to sanction some form
of positive action against Mexico. These actions made the deep rift
between himself and Wilson, evident at Paris, more obvious still. The
wonder is not that Wilson asked him to resign in early 192o, but that
he had allowed a man who was so basically unsympathetic with his
ideals and methods to continue to be a cabinet member as long as
Finally, and perhaps most significantly, the disputes of 1919 be-
tween Mexico and the United States forecast much about the nature
of their future relationship. Although the possibility of conflict was
there, although grievances on the part of the United States were
acute, the fact is that military invasion was not allowed to take place.
This is a tribute to the growth in Wilson's thinking since 1914. Hav-
ing intervened in Mexico twice to no avail, having just concluded a
war for ends which were obviously not being realized, having at
their head a crippled but determined pacifist, many Americans were
inclined to take a long view of American-Mexican-Latin American
relations. This was true despite the overwhelming power at their dis-
posal in 1919 and despite all the pressure a Lansing, a Fall, or a
Fletcher could muster. In refusing to intervene the Wilson adminis-
tration was setting a precedent of forbearance and understanding
toward the weaker Latin American republics which would become
established government policy by the 193o's. America was coming of
age; her statesmanship must follow.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 74, July 1970 - April, 1971, periodical, 1971; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101200/m1/368/: accessed April 27, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.