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William Jennings Bryan's Moral Crusader and Pacifist

specialist, especially when they were seen as representing a narrow regional and class interest. He thus had no objections to the traditional spoils system.5 Political appointees were deserving Democrats, workers in the vinyards of the public good; why should they not represent America as well as the foreign service regulars entrenched during the long preceding period of Republican rule. A steady steam of Democratic patronageseekers duly descended upon the State Department during the early days of Bryan's tenure.

Although politically appointed, and thoroughly political and partisan in his own appointments, Bryan was none the less a firm idealist. In the eyes of a critic, Frederic Howe, he was the embodiment of the "selfrighteous missionary mind."6 The basis of his international outlook was that war was not only immoral, but on the practical point of being abandoned by the civilized world. In his whole outlook, Bryan was "almost compulsively optimistic."7

The programmatic embodiment of this was a series of "reconciliation treaties" which the United States entered into with various countries. These were designed to at least stall off an outbreak of war, to let "peacedragout."8 By the ominous month of August, 1914, Bryan had negotiated thirty such treaties, of which twenty had been ratified. Treaties 

8Koenig, 511.had been signed with all major powers except Germany, Austria, and Japan.

When Bryan came into office in 1913, the items he found on top of his desk were relations with Japan and with Central America. The cause of contention with Japan was not international differences, but immigration and racism. Japanese immigrants were not welcome in West Coast states. In California, Progressive Governor Hiram Johnson signed legislation restricting Japanese immigr...

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William Jennings Bryan's Moral Crusader and Pacifist. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 20:48, July 23, 2017, from
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