Alfred T. Mahan. The Interest of
America in Sea Power. Boston: Little, Brown, 1897.
Is the United States . . . prepared to allow Germany to acquire the Dutch stronghold of Curacao, fronting the Atlantic outlet of both the proposed canals of Panama and Nicaragua? Is she prepared to acquiesce in any foreign power purchasing from Haiti a naval station on the Windward Passage, through which pass our steamer routes to the Isthmus? Would she acquiesce to a foreign protectorate over the Sandwich Islands [Hawaii] that great central station of the Pacific?
Whether they will or no, Americans must now look outward. The growing production of the country demands it. An increasing volume of public sentiment demands it. The position of the United States, between the two Old Worlds and the two great oceans, makes the same claim, which will soon be strengthened by the creation of the new link joining the Atlantic and Pacific. The tendency will be maintained and increased by the growth of the European colonies in the Pacific, by the advancing civilization of Japan, and by the rapid peopling of our Pacific States. . . .
Three things are needful: First, protection of the chief harbors, by fortifications and coast-defense ships. . . . Secondly, naval force, the arm of offensive power, which alone enables a country to extend its influence outward. Thirdly, no foreign state should henceforth acquire a coaling position within three thousand miles of San Francisco. . . .