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International relations in the Western Hemisphere have not been free from the paralyzing and disruptive forces of narrow nationalism. But the operation of these forces has been paralleled-and, happily, increasingly overcome-by the growth of solidarity, of common concern for peace and progress in our relations with each other, by a strengthening of determination to adjust by pacific means alone whatever differences may arise among us.
It is not an accident that American nations have been peculiarly interested in the development of international law. Relationships such as those which have been steadily growing up among us are impossible unless rules of international conduct are carefully defined and unless such rules are fully accepted and become governing. That is the essence of civilized order in the international life of the world.
Historically speaking, the developments which I have briefly described have not been peculiar to the Western Hemisphere. For a century and a half the progress of human en
lightenment and human freedom continued throughout the world, overturning the bulwarks of tyranny and opening the way for the establishment of democratic institutions and the assertion of human rights. Nor has the earnest search for world-order under law been confined to any one portion of the globe. The developments which have taken place in the Western Hemisphere have been a part of a mighty stream of new ideas, new concepts, new attitudes of mind and spirit, which has coursed and ramified with differing degrees of vigor and success throughout the world. We have made important contributions to that stream and have, in turn, been nourished by it.
Unfortunately, in recent years, powerful forces in some parts of the world have challenged the validity of the primary and basic principles upon the foundation of which we and the rest of mankind have been building the edifice of our social organization and of our international life. Whatever outer garments
they may wear today, these forces are not new in the experience of mankind. Fundamentally, they are the same forces that had for centuries held men in bodily slavery and spiritual degradation and had impressed upon the relations among nations a state of anarchy, of reliance upon armed force, of complete absence of any kind of safety and security.
Mankind is tragically confronted once more by the alternatives of freedom or serfdom, of order or anarchy, of progress or retrogression, of civilization or barbarism.
Let there be no illusion. The alternatives are real and concrete not only in the portions of the world lying in the immediate vicinity of the countries in which these resurgent forces find their organized expression; they loom threateningly throughout the world. Their ominous shadow falls athwart our own hemisphere.
In the face of this threat, it is our most important duty to ourselves and to humanity to maintain and preserve inviolate our own in
stitutions and beliefs on which they rest. It is imperative that the twenty-one republics of the Western Hemisphere proclaim, unequivocally and unmistakably, their profound belief that only the type of national organization and of international relationship which we and the rest of mankind have been persistently and laboriously building up in the course of recent generations can make it possible for nations to advance materially and culturally, and for man to be free. It is imperative that our peoples rededicate themselves to the ideals which actuated the founders of our respective nations. It is imperative that our generation should find again that clarity of vision, that tenacity of purpose, and that heroic determination which led our forefathers to stake their all-to make every sacrifice, if need should be-for the assertion of human rights and the creation and maintenance of free popular government.
The characteristics which our nations have in common and which have already rendered possible in the Western Hemisphere a recent
course of developments different from those which have occurred in many other parts of the world, are powerful factors in enabling us to perform this duty. Toward that end we must work unremittingly.
Each and all of us desire passionately to live at peace with every nation of the world. But there must not be a shadow of a doubt anywhere as to the determination of the American nations not to permit the invasion of this hemisphere by the armed forces of any power or any possible combination of powers. Each of our nations obviously must decide for itself what measures it should take in order to meet its share of our common interest and responsibility in this respect. So far as my country is concerned, let no one doubt for a moment that, as long as the possibility of armed challenge exists, the United States will maintain adequate defensive military, naval, and air establishments.
At the same time, we all know that armed force is not the only instrumentality by which nations can be conquered. Equally, the dis