While the laws of organization are slowly but surely welding together the nations of the world in mutual dependence, each nation is similarly welding into its organism smaller nations formerly living an independent existence. The absorption of Bosnia and Herzogovina into the Austrian Empire is merely part of this desirable process which is of incalculable benefit to both province and empire. Expansion, imperialism and com-mensalism are therefore synonyms, describing a universal process which is going on in America, too. Creasy, as early as 1851,* predicted the present expansion of the American Commonwealth as inevitable. The succeeding half century of events permit us to predict still further expansion.
A very clear and accurate statement of our attitude is that found in the chapter on "The Problem of Territorial Extension" in Bryce's "American Commonwealth" - indeed, this chapter is probably the most interesting and most accurately prophetic in the book. Writing in 1889, he stated the fundamental reason why the problem was not then important - the unsettled lands in our West. As long as there were places for the surplus population to flow into, it was, of course, unnecessary to look for more room, but he saw, as everyone did, that as the land filled up, there would be a struggle for more. He dismissed Canada as far as political union is concerned, because of the disappearance of the old hostility between England and the United States. Our animosity was formerly a result of oppression, but now that England has become more democratic than we and has effectually curbed its monarch, there is no fear of his tyranny on either side of the ocean. Finally, the commensal relationship of the two countries has made enmity impossible - we are now necessary to each other. Canada is the mistress of her own fate. She can secede from the Empire and join the American Commonwealth if she wishes - the British will not object - so they say. There is, nevertheless, good reason for believing that they would object, because it would destroy the most important link in the chain which the Empire has forged around the world, and the secession of Canada would be biologically impossible. Bryce cannot see any tendency for our union, except possibly some kind of a commercial treaty or league to reduce tariffs. There was one great omission in his argument. He failed to note the source of the population stream which was to fill up Western Canada. It might have been surmised that the easiest route would be the one chosen, and that the teeming masses in the Northwestern part of the United States would flow into the land carrying American citizens with annexation ideas, and that there would have been an attempt to repeat the history of Texas. There is one insuperable difficulty in the way of such agitation, and that is, it can have no practical basis, because the form of government and the assured rights of the individual are almost identical on both sides of the border. The Canadian Americans have nothing to fight for. We are expanding into Canada, as individuals, not as a colony. It seems safe to predict no closer political union than we have stated until we reach the time when the United States and Great Britain will form an indissoluble union by the very force of circumstances.
As to expansion southwards, Bryce was inclined to think that the disintegration of Mexico would be piecemeal after the manner of her loss of Texas and California. He bases this opinion on the fact that the natives have proved themselves wholly unfit to develop the country and that American energy and capital are already flooding the land, developing mines and agriculture, and will demand protection of the home government. So that slice after slice of this land will come into the union until we reach Panama. He thinks that we may even go on down the coast, bit by bit, until we have absorbed all the country. As to the form of union, he strikes the keynote when he states that the basis of our government is political equality and that there can be no political equality with such people as the Mexicans, who have shown such utter inability to understand or use our political birthrights. Therefore, the union will have to be in the nature of dependent provinces.*
* "Decisive Battles of the World".