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The Master Architects

The Master Architects: Building the United States Foreign Service 1890--1913

Richard Hume Werking
Copyright Date: 1977
Pages: 352
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt130hrj1
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  • Book Info
    The Master Architects
    Book Description:

    During the twenty years before World War I, several key figures worked to improve the foreign service and to reform its appointment system. Richard Hume Werking explores both the methods and the motives of these "master architects." Unlike other scholars, Werking finds that the foundations and general structure of the United States foreign service emerged before World War I. He sees its development as prompted less by foreign crises than by economic conditions -- particularly the need to stimulate export trade. Indispensable to its growth were the dedicated efforts of bureaucrats who were loyal to national interests but wished the opportunity to do interesting work and to receive recognition when they did it well.

    eISBN: 978-0-8131-6512-7
    Subjects: Political Science, History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. PREFACE
    (pp. ix-xiv)
  4. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. xv-xvi)
  5. 1 THE UNITED STATES FOREIGN SERVICE
    (pp. 1-19)

    The commercial and maritime character of the United States Consular Service during the nineteenth century reflected centuries of tradition in the Western world. Six hundred years before the birth of Christ, according to Herodotus, the Egyptians granted to a community of Greeks established at Naucratis the right to select from their ranks a magistrate who would apply to them the laws of the mother country. Well over a millennium later, in the Mediterranean world of the Middle Ages, merchants from Genoa, Pisa, Venice, Marseilles, and Barcelona established mercantile agencies in Syria, Egypt, and Palestine. The merchants were unwilling to have...

  6. 2 REFORM IN THE 1890s
    (pp. 20-43)

    When Walter Raleigh, Humphrey Gilbert, and Richard Hakluyt were prodding English officialdom into establishing settlements in North America, they had a clear conception of the proper commercial relationship between those settlements and the mother country. They anticipated that the new world would supply the metropolis with raw products that could not conveniently be produced in England, taking in exchange finished manufactured goods. From the early years of Virginia, the outline of their vision held true for over two and a half centuries. Raw goods like tobacco, and then fish and wheat, provided the leading exports of those colonies which later...

  7. 3 THE BUREAUCRAT AND THE BUSINESSMAN
    (pp. 44-66)

    The young clerk in the State Department had received a promotion and was anxious to share the news with his friend. “Hail to thee bright boy!” Gaillard Hunt wrote James Garfield in 1887. “I have been put into another Bureau where I rank next to the Chief and do work that any child of seven could perform if he only knew how to hold his tongue & not give away State Secrets.” Hunt had entered the State Department only a few months earlier, at the age of twenty-four, and was currently employed in the Bureau of Indexes and Archives. He had...

  8. 4 FREDERIC EMORY’S COMMERCIAL OFFICES
    (pp. 67-87)

    The consular corps was not the only part of the foreign service that was the object of reorganizing efforts during the 1890s and early 1900s. At the same time, and without the publicity and notice accompanying the fight for consular reform, far-reaching changes were already taking place within the State Department itself.

    On Maryland’s Eastern Shore, across Chesapeake Bay from Annapolis, lies Queen Annes County. In the mid-1880s a young newspaperman chronicled its history for the localCentreville Observerin a series of sketches, which the Maryland Historical Society compiled and reissued in book form some sixty-five years later. The...

  9. 5 WILBUR CARR, ELIHU ROOT, AND CONSULAR REORGANIZATION
    (pp. 88-120)

    For Wilbur John Carr, a young farmer from Taylorsville, Ohio, the journey from his home to Washington, D.C., was both spatially and conceptually farther than Frederic Emory’s trip from across Chesapeake Bay. Carr had to uproot himself at an early age from a farming community; Emory merely had to move from one form of publicity work to another. Beginning his public service as a junior clerk in the State Department, Carr remained in Washington for forty-five years—until he left the city in 1937 to serve as minister to Czechoslovakia. Along the way, his contributions to the foreign service earned...

  10. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)
  11. 6 DIPLOMATIC AND DEPARTMENTAL REFORMS, 1905–1908
    (pp. 121-142)

    As Elihu Root was mapping out strategy for consular reorganization in the fall of 1905, other portions of the foreign service also received his attention. James Garfield observed happily that Root was “shaking the old State Department from stem to stern,” and it was a treatment that applied to all three branches of the service.¹

    If consular reform was difficult, reshaping the diplomatic service was almost impossible. The combination of low salaries and heavy social and financial obligations restricted diplomatic appointments to men of independent means. Many of the secretaries of embassy and legation serving in mid-1905 possessed little more...

  12. 7 CONTINUATION UNDER KNOX
    (pp. 143-170)

    In November 1908, the American electorate accepted Roosevelt’s designated successor and sent William Howard Taft to the White House. Taft’s election assured the foreign service that the new system would not be overturned just as it was taking hold. The next four years saw extension and elaboration of the gains made during the Root years.

    Soon after the election, Taft asked Root to continue as secretary of state. Root wanted to stay on, but reluctantly declined. His wife was exhausted from the Washington social whirl and was anxious to rest and spend time with her family. Root became instead United...

  13. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)
  14. 8 A RIVAL: THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE AND LABOR
    (pp. 171-200)

    Early in George Washington’s first administration, Congress created the United States government’s first executive departments—State, War, and Treasury. Over the years it added Navy, Interior, Post Office, and Justice. Although their individual concerns usually differed, the departments had a common function: to administer the public business. Each had responsibilities long associated with sovereign governments in the Western world. But in 1862 Congress created a new kind of executive department, the Department of Agriculture, which attained cabinet rank in 1889. Unlike waging war, conducting foreign relations, or administering justice, “agriculture” was not a government activity in nineteenth-century America. The new...

  15. 9 SHOWDOWN
    (pp. 201-215)

    Accompanying the expansion of the federal bureaucracy around the turn of the century was a growing concern for efficiency and “business methods” in its operations. By the early months of the Taft administration, the rising chorus of criticism over alleged waste and duplication had become sufficiently general to spur bipartisan action. In 1909 Congressman James Tawney of Minnesota, the powerful Republican chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, voiced strong disapproval of a rapidly rising federal budget, which amounted that year to one billion dollars.¹

    During the special congressional session convened by Taft in 1909 to enact a tariff law, the...

  16. 10 A MULTIFACETED SALESMANSHIP
    (pp. 216-238)

    Between the 1890s and World War I, the United States government greatly improved its facilities for conducting official relations with other nations and for assisting economic (principally commercial) expansion abroad. Concern about foreign markets did not, however, prevent foreign affairs officials from recognizing two additional sets of advantages offered by the new machinery.

    Officials at both State and C & L believed that the appearance of greater usefulness in trade promotion would help their agencies obtain additional appropriations and legislation for reorganization. Such legislation would extend their facilities for promoting exports and, in the State Department’s case, would also improve other...

  17. 11 EPILOGUE: 1913 AND AFTER
    (pp. 239-250)

    By 1913, after sixteen years of Republican rule, the foundations and framework of the modern United States foreign service had appeared. Of the State Department’s two field forces, the consular corps was easily the more improved. New officers entered the lower ranks after an examination. They no longer departed for their posts unprepared, but underwent both group and individual training in the department. The inspection procedure continued the instruction and, with an assist from the geographic divisions, bound the overseas consular facilities and those of the State Department into an integrated system supervised by the watchful Wilbur Carr. Inspection reports...

  18. APPENDIX A: ROSTER OF SELECTED STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIALS
    (pp. 251-252)
  19. APPENDIX B: ABBREVIATIONS AND RECORD GROUPS
    (pp. 253-254)
  20. NOTES
    (pp. 255-310)
  21. SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY
    (pp. 311-318)
  22. INDEX
    (pp. 319-330)