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tain a purpose of overthrowing the independence of that country and reannexing the same to Spain. The suspicion was given some color by the report from certain quarters that Spain considered herself free to do this since she had never recognized the independence of Peru.
On May 19, 1864, Mr. Seward instructed Mr. Koerner, our Minister to Spain, that he was to inform the Spanish Government "that the United States cannot yield their assent to the positions thus assumed in the name of Spain, or regard with indifference an attempt to reduce Peru by conquest and re-annex its territory to the kingdom of Spain.'
On June 3, 1864, it was reported by the American Minister to the Department of State that he had been authorized by the Prime Minister of Spain to assure the United States "that Spain had not the slightest intention to reacquire any of her ancient colonies or to encroach upon the independence of Peru." "
In the latter part of June 1866, Mr. Tassara advised the Department of State that Spain proposed to take temporary possession of the Chincha Islands belonging to Peru. The Minister stated, as reported by Mr. Moore, that Spain's purpose was not that of "acquiring territory or of intervening in the internal affairs of the SpanishAmerican republics, but was moved solely by the idea of taking important resources from its enemies and making itself whole for the sacrifices of Spain in the war.""
Mr. Seward prepared an instruction to our Minister at Madrid directing him to protest against this reported action and stating that if Spain persisted, in spite of the protest, Spain should not expect the United States "to remain in their present attitude of neutrality between Spain and the Spanish-American republics." This note having been read to Mr. Tassara before its sending, Mr. Tassara withdrew his note advising of the proposed action of the Spanish Government in order that he might advise his Government of the whole matter. However, Mr. Seward did communicate with our Minister at Madrid acquainting him with the views of the President and instructing him to intimate to the Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs
in an informal and most friendly manner, without entering into written correspondence, that the President sincerely and earnestly trusts that Spain may not proceed to any reoccupation of the Chincha Islands, because such a proceeding would seriously tend to disturb the harmonious relations with Her
Papers relating to Foreign Affairs (Diplomatic Correspondence), 1864, vol. iv, p. 24.
6 Moore, International Law Digest, vol. VI, p. 507. 'Ibid., pp. 507-508.
Catholic Majesty's Government which it is the President's desire may remain without interruption."
On the other hand, the United States has always been desirous that friendly relations should exist between Spain and her former colonies as is shown by the instruction of Mr. Evarts to Mr. Dichman, our Minister to Colombia, February 18, 1879, when he said:
It is hoped that the attempt to bring about a more harmonious condition of things between the two countries, and one better calculated to inure in benefits to the Spanish-American state in its intercourse with its former parent country, will be successful."
THE MONROE DOCTRINE DOES NOT PREVENT EUROPE FROM WAGING WAR AGAINST THE LATIN AMERICAS
In 1825, in an instruction to the American Minister to St. Petersburg with reference to the possible development of the conflict between Spain and her colonies in this country, and particularly with reference to the possibility that the Republics of Colombia and Mexico might be preparing a military expedition against the Spanish authorities in Cuba, Secretary Clay said:
For ourselves, we desire no change in the possession of Cuba, as has been heretofore stated. We cannot allow a transfer of the island to any European Power. But if Spain should refuse to conclude a peace, and obstinately resolve on continuing the war, although we do not desire that either Colombia or Mexico should acquire the island of Cuba, the President cannot see any justifiable ground on which we can forcibly interfere. Upon the hypothesis of an unnecessary protraction of the war, imputable to Spain, it is evident that Cuba will be her only point d'appui in this hemisphere. How can we interpose, on that supposition, against the party clearly having right on his side, in order to restrain or defeat a lawful operation of war? If the war against the island should be conducted by those Republics in a desolating manner; if, contrary to all expectation, they should put arms into the hands of one race of the inhabitants to destroy the lives of another; if, in short, they should countenance and encourage excesses and examples, the contagion of which, from our neighborhood, would be dangerous to our quiet and safety, the Government of the United States might feel itself called upon to interpose its power. But it is not apprehended that any of those contingencies will arise, and, consequently, it is most probable that the United States, should the war continue, will remain hereafter, as they have been heretofore, neutral observers of the progress of its events.1
Commenting upon a reported purpose of certain Latin American countries to attack Cuba and Porto Rico in case Spain should continue in her effort to resubdue her Spanish American colonies, Mr. Van Buren as Secretary of State instructing Mr. Van Ness, Minister to Spain, on October 13, 1830, said:
This Government has, also, been given to understand that if Spain should persevere in the assertion of a hopeless claim to dominion over her former Colonies, they will feel it to be their duty as well as their interest to attack her colonial possessions in our vicinity-Cuba and Porto Rico. Your general instructions are full upon the subject of the interest which the United States take in the fate of those Islands, and particularly of the latter [former?]. They inform you that we are content that Cuba should remain as it now is, but could not consent to its transfer to any European power. Motives of
1American State Papers, Foreign Relations, vol. v, p. 851.
reasonable state policy render it more desirable to us that it should remain subject to Spain rather than to either of the South American States. Those motives will readily present themselves to your mind. They are principally founded upon an apprehension that, if possessed by the latter, it would, in the present state of things be in greater danger of becoming subject to some European Power than in its present condition. Although such are our own wishes and true interests the President does not see on what ground he would be justified in interfering with any attempts which the South American States might think it for their interest in the prosecution of a defensive war to make upon the Islands in question. If, indeed, an attempt should be made to disturb them by putting arms in the hands of one portion of their population to destroy another, and which, in its influence, would endanger the peace of a portion of the United States, the case might be different. Against such an attempt the United States, (being informed that it was in contemplation,) have already protested, and warmly remonstrated in their communications, last summer, with the Government of Mexico. But the information lately communicated to us, in this regard, was accompanied by a solemn assurance that no such measures will, in any event, be resorted to; and that the contest, if forced upon them, will be carried on, op their part, with strict reference to the established rules of civilized warfare.'
Mr. Cass instructing Mr. Dodge, our Minister to Spain, on October 21, 1858, with reference to a presumed attack of Spain on Mexico, said:
With respect to the causes of war between Spain and Mexico, the United States have no concern, and do not undertake to judge them. Nor do they claim to interpose in any hostilities, which may take place."
In 1860, Mr. Cass instructing Mr. Robert M. McLane, our then Minister to Mexico, to proceed to Vera Cruz without delay, set out the position of the United States (quoted and glossed by Mr. Moore) as follows:
In September, 1860, Mr. Robert M. McLane, then Minister to Mexico, was, in anticipation of hostilities between Spain and the government of President Juarez, directed to proceed to Vera Cruz without delay. The general position of the United States was expressed by Mr. Cass in an instruction of September 20, 1860, in the following terms:
While we do not deny the right of any other power to carry on hostile -operations against Mexico, for the redress of its grievances, we firmly object to its holding possession of any part of that country, or endeavoring by force to control its political destiny.
This opposition to foreign interference is known to France, England, and Spain, as well as the determination of the United States to resist any such attempt by all the means in their power. Any design to act in opposition to this policy has been heretofore disavowed by each of those powers, and recently by the minister of Spain, in the name of his Government, in the most explicit manner.
Mr. Cass also adverted to the fact that Mr. McLane had previously expressed a confident opinion, which he seemed still to retain, that projects were meditated
'MS., Instructions to United States Ministers, vol. x, pp. 187-188; Moore, International Law Digest, vol. vi, p. 449.
'MS., Instructions, Spain, vol. xv, p. 189.
by the three powers referred to incompatible with the policy which the United States had announced. An effort might, said Mr. Cass, be renewed by friendly representations to prevail on the contending parties in Mexico to establish by amicable arrangement the basis of a free, stable, and liberal government and to submit the result of their labors to the decision of the Mexican people. If such a plan could be honestly carried out, the United States would not oppose it, though its nonintervention principles would preclude any direct participation in the endeavor. Mr. Cass added: "You fear that the project will be converted into a scheme for control or acquisition by taking advantage of the weakness of the country and by operating upon its fears, so that an extorted assent may be given to the proposition and European ascendancy thus established. I have no reason to anticipate that any such effort will be made, and have only to add that, if attempted, it will be met by the armed action of the United States, should Congress adhere to the policy we have so long avowed and publicly proclaimed.*
As early as August 31, 1860, Secretary Cass replying to a communication transmitted to the Department of State by the French Chargé d'Affaires, declared:
that the United States did not call in question the right of France to compel the Government of Mexico by force, if necessary to do it justice."
In 1860, Mr. Cass instructing Mr. Preston, our Minister to Spain, regarding the reported operations against Mexico by Spain, stated that the commander of the naval forces of the United States in that quarter was ordered "to afford all proper and necessary protection to American rights and interests," though he was directed that, if Spain "should resort to war measures against Mexico, he would, of course, not resist them."
On November 30, 1861, the Ministers from Spain, France, and Great Britain sent to the Government of the United States a joint note with which they enclosed the text of a convention between their Governments concluded at London on October 31, 1861, providing for combined action against Mexico in order to redress the grievances which the various Governments had suffered at the hands of that country. Mr. Seward, replying to this joint note under date of December 4, 1861, stated among other things:
.. that the sovereigns represented have undoubted right to decide for themselves the fact whether they have sustained grievances, and to resort to war against Mexico for the redress thereof, and have a right also to levy the war severally or jointly."
On May 8, 1863, Mr. Seward in an instruction to Mr. Dayton, our Minister to France, called attention to his averment "that this
Moore, International Law Digest, vol. vi, pp. 481–482.
"MS., Instructions, France, vol. xv., p. 482.
Correspondence relative to the Present Condition of Mexico, communicated
to the House of Representatives by the Department of State (Washington, Government Printing Office, 1862), p. 395.