Home  »  Theodore Roosevelt, the Citizen  »  Page 159

Jacob A. Riis (1849–1914). Theodore Roosevelt, the Citizen. 1904.

Page 159

peace-at-any-price men have their way, and if the United States fails to check, at the outset, European aggrandizement on this continent.”
  That was one end of it, the political one, if you please; the Monroe Doctrine in its briefest and simplest form. Spain had by outrageous mismanagement of its West Indian colonies proved herself unfit, and had forfeited the right to remain. The mismanagement had become a scandal upon our own shores. Every year the yellow fever that was brewed in Cuban filth crossed over and desolated a thousand homes in our Southern States. If proof were wanted that it was mismanagement that did it, events have more than supplied it since, and justified the war of humanity.
  Plain humanity was the other end of it, and the biggest. I know, for I saw how it worked upon his mind. I was in Washington when a German cigar-manufacturer, whose business took him once or twice a year to Cuba, came to the capital seeking an interview with Senator Lodge, his home senator, since he was from Boston. I can see him now sitting in the committee-room and telling how on his last