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Government has no purpose to interfere in any way with the war between France and Mexico." 8
On December 6, 1865, Mr. Seward stated that the "prevailing discontent in the United States" was not on account of the presence of a foreign army in Mexico. Mr. Seward said:
We recognize the right of sovereign nations to carry on war with each other if they do not invade our right or menace our safety or just influence."
Mr. Seward in his instruction to Mr. Kilpatrick, our Minister to Chile, on June 2, 1866, regarding the difficulties between Spain and Chile, stated:
We therefore conceed to every nation the right to make peace or war, for such causes other than political or ambitious as it thinks right and wise. In such wars as are waged between nations which are in friendship with ourselves, if they are not pushed, like the French war in Mexico, to the political point before mentioned, we do not intervene, but remain neutral, conceding nothing to one belligerent that we do not concede to the other, and allowing to one belligerent what we allow to the other.10
In his report to the President of July 14, 1870, Secretary Fish, speaking of the Monroe Doctrine, said:
It does not contemplate forcible intervention in any legitimate contest; but it protests against permitting such a contest to result in the increase of European power or influence; and it ever impels this government, as in the late contest between the South American republics and Spain, to interpose its good offices to secure an honorable peace.11
In 1871, Mr. Fish, Secretary of State, instructing General Schenck, our Minister to England, regarding the German suggestion of a joint action by the creditors of Venezuela against that country, stated:
That the United States could not look with indifference, upon any combination of European Powers, against an American State,-that if Germany or any other Power had just cause of war against Venezuela, this Government could interpose no objection to her resorting thereto."
Mr. Roosevelt in his annual message to Congress on December 3, 1901, stated as to the Monroe Doctrine:
This doctrine has nothing to do with the commercial relations of any American power, save that it in truth allows each of them to form such as it desires. In other words, it is really a guaranty of the commercial independence of the Americas. We do not ask under this doctrine for any exclusive commercial
'Papers relating to Foreign Affairs (Diplomatic Correspondence), 1863. pt. 1, p. 665.
MS., Notes to the French Legation, vol. VIII, p. 176.
Papers relating to Foreign Affairs (Diplomatic Correspondence), 1866, pt. 2, p. 413.
dealings with any other American state. We do not guarantee any state against punishment if it misconducts itself, provided that punishment does not take the form of the acquisition of territory by any non-American power."
Mr. Moore has the following note regarding the use of force against Latin American countries without our interference:
With reference to President Roosevelt's statement that "we do not guarantee any state against punishment if it misconducts itself, provided that punishment does not take the form of the acquisition of territory by any non-American power," the fact may be adverted to that, in 1842 and again in 1844, Great Britain blockaded the port of San Juan de Nicaragua. In 1851 the same power laid an embargo on traffic at the port of La Union, in Salvador, and blockaded the whole coast of that country. In 1862 and 1863 the same power seized Brazilian vessels in Brazilian waters in reprisal for the plundering of the bark Prince of Wales on the Brazilian coast. In 1838 France blockaded the ports of Mexico as an act of redress for unsatisfied demands. From 1865 till some scarcely defined date Spain was at war with the republics on the west coast of South America. The bombardment of Valparaiso by a Spanish fleet was a prominent incident of the conflict. It was in respect of this conflict that Mr. Seward declared in an instruction to the American minister at Santiago, June 2, 1866, that the United States did not intervene in wars between European and American states "if they are not pushed, like the French war in Mexico, to the political point." In 1846 the United States itself went to war with Mexico. In 1854, the commander of an American man-of-war, failing to obtain an indemnity of $24,000 for the seizure and destruction of property and an apology for an affront to the American minister by some of the inhabitants of the place, bombarded and destroyed Greytown. In 1859 an expedition was sent to Paraguay. In 1890 Congress passed an act to authorize the President to use force to settle the claim of the Venezuela Steam Transportation Company against Venezuela. In April, 1895, the British Government resorted to force to bring about an adjustment of certain demands against Nicaragua.“
In his article in the Political Science Quarterly for March 1896,15 Mr. Moore makes the following statement regarding the relationship between the Monroe Doctrine and the operations of European forces against Latin American States in connection with difficulties between those States and the European powers concerned:
At the present time an idea seems to prevail that the Monroe Doctrine committed us to a kind of protectorate over the independent states of this hemisphere, in consequence of which we are required to espouse their quarrels, though we cannot control their conduct. To state this theory is to refute it. Like other independent nations, we are at liberty to act with some regard to our own interests. We should, indeed, always be ready to extend the good offices of friendship in every proper case. But the idea that our position is that of an involuntary military force, at the beck and call of every American state that may stand in need of it, and that we are to supply their deficiencies in men and in money, in order that they may conduct their controversies with
Foreign Relations of the United States, 1901, pp. XXXVI-XXXVII.
14 International Law Digest, vol. vi, p. 596.
16 Vol. XI, pp. 25 et seq:
European powers on a basis of equality in force and resources, is an idea that must be repugnant to the sense of every reflecting man.
We have not assumed to forbid European powers to settle their quarrels with American states by the use of force any more than we have hesitated to do so ourselves. In 1861 we admitted the right of France, Spain and Great Britain to proceed jointly by force against Mexico for the satisfaction of claims. Indeed, Mr. Seward, in an instruction to our minister to France of June 21, 1862, said:
France has a right to make war against Mexico, and to determine for herself the cause. We have a right and interest to insist that France shall not improve the war she makes to raise up in Mexico an anti-republican or anti-American government, or to maintain such a government there. France has dislaimed such designs, and we, besides reposing faith in the assurances given in a frank, honorable manner, would, in any case, be bound to wait for, and not anticipate, a violation of them.
It was not till these assurances were violated, that Mr. Seward protested. In 1842 and again in 1844, Great Britain blockaded the port of San Juan de Nicaragua. In 1851 the same power laid an embargo on traffic at the port of La Union, in Salvador, and blockaded the whole coast of that country. In 1862 and 1863 the same power seized Brazilian vessels in Brazilian waters in reprisal for the plundering of the bark Prince of Wales on the Brazilian coast. In 1838 France blockaded the ports of Mexico as an act of redress for unsatisfied demands. From 1865 till some scarcely defined date Spain was at war with the republics on the west coast of South America. The bombardment of Valparaiso by a Spanish fleet was a prominent incident of the conflict. It was in respect of this conflict that Mr. Seward, in an instruction to Mr. Kilpatrick, our minister to Chili, of June 2, 1866, while declaring that we did not intervene in wars between European and American states "if they are not pushed, like the French war in Mexico, to the political point," said:
Those who think that the United States could enter as an ally into every war in which a friendly republican state on this continent becomes involved, forget that peace is the constant interest and the unwavering policy of the United States. They forget the frequency and variety of wars in which our friends in this hemisphere engage themselves, entirely independent of all control or counsel of the United States. We have no armies for the purpose of aggressive war; no ambition for the character of a regulator. Our constitution is not an imperial one, and does not allow the executive government to engage in war except upon the well considered and deliberate decree of the Congress of the United States. If there is any one characteristic of the United States which is more marked than any other, it is that they have from the time of Washington adhered to the principle of non-intervention, and have perseveringly declined to seek or contract entangling alliances, even with the most friendly states.
In 1846 we ourselves went to war with Mexico. In 1854 the commander of one of our men-of-war, having failed to obtain from the town of Greytown an indemnity of $24,000 for the seizure and destruction of property, and an apology for an affront to the American minister by some of the inhabitants of the place, bombarded it, and afterwards, "in order to inculcate a lesson never to be forgotten," burned such buildings as were left standing. In 1859 we sent an expedition to obtain redress from Paraguay. In 1890, while the Pan-American Conference was in session, Congress passed an act to authorize the president to use force to collect a claim from Venezuela. In 1892 we sent an ultimatum to Chili, with which she had the wisdom to comply.
The suggestion has been made that it is a violation of the Monroe Doctrine for a European power to employ force against an American republic for the purpose of collecting a debt or satisfying a pecuniary demand, whatever may
have been its origin. As has been seen, there is nothing in President Monroe's declarations even remotely touching this subject; and the examples I have given of the employment of force by the United States as well as by other powers for such objects show that the American republics have not heretofore been supposed to enjoy so desirable an exemption. But I think I can trace the idea to its origin. In Wharton's International Law Digest, under the section entitled "Monroe Doctrine," there is the following sentence: "The government of the United States would regard with grave anxiety an attempt on the part of France to force by hostile pressure the payment by Venezuela of her debt to French citizens." The authorities cited for this statement are two alleged manuscript instructions of Mr. Blaine to our minister to France, of July 23 and December 16, 1881. The whole matter is, however, erroneously stated. Both the instructions are published in the volume of Foreign Relations for 1881. They refer, not to "hostile pressure," but to a rumored design on the part of France of taking forcible possession of some of the harbors and a portion of the territory of Venezuela in compensation for debts due to citizens of the French republic." They nowhere express any grave anxiety." They do not mention the Monroe Doctrine. They merely argue that such a proceeding as that reported to be in contemplation would be unjust to other creditors of Venezuela, including the United States, since it would deprive them of a part of their security. And they express the "solicitude" of the government of the United States "for the higher object of averting hostilities between two republics for each of which it feels the most sincere and enduring friendship." It is plain that this development of the Monroe Doctrine, based upon the erroneous passage in Wharton's Digest, has no actual foundation whatever.
In April last a great outcry was raised over an alleged violation of the Monroe Doctrine by certain proceedings at Corinto. The facts were that on August 16, 1894, the Nicaraguan commissioner at Bluefields, Señor Madriz, invited a number of persons, including two citizens of the United States and twelve British subjects, one of whom was the British pro-consul, to call at his office. Each one of the persons so invited laid aside his business and proceeded to the commissioner's office. When they arrived there, they were ushered in, but not into the presence of the commissioner. On the contrary, they were arrested and forcibly deported from the country. No information as to the cause of their arrest was given them. They were denied all opportunity to arrange their business or to visit their families before their forcible expulsion. The two American citizens were in the following October permitted to return to the country under circumstances tending to soothe their feelings. Some of the British subjects were pardoned," and permitted to return towards the close of December. Among those not " "pardoned was the British pro-consul, Mr. Hatch. For the violent treatment of her consular representative Great Britain exacted a fine of $75,000 as punitive damages or smart money." The amount of the fine, though large, was not so large as to involve the independence of the country, and its payment did not entail so great a general loss, to say nothing of individual suffering, as would have resulted from the bombardment and destruction of a commercial town. The question of the private losses of her subjects Great Britain offered to leave to arbitration. It is obvious that these proceedings involved neither the Monroe Doctrine nor the Polk Doctrine.
THE MONROE DOCTRINE DOES NOT RELIEVE LATIN AMERICAN STATES OF THEIR RESPONSIBILITIES AS INDEPENDENT SOVEREIGNTIES
Closely connected with the principle that Europe may wage war against Latin American countries is the principle that the Monroe Doctrine does not prevent foreign countries from insisting that Latin American countries live up to their responsibilities as independent sovereign states.
Mr. Sherman instructing Mr. Powell, our Minister to Haiti, on December 22, 1897, declared:
This Government is not under any obligation to become involved in the constantly recurring quarrels of the Republics of this hemisphere with other states. The Monroe Doctrine to which you refer, is wholly inapplicable to the case, and the relations and interests of this government with its neighbors are not benefitted by erroneous conceptions of the scope of the policy announced by President Monroe and since strictly followed.1
This instruction had reference to a peremptory demand made by Germany upon Haiti for the payment of an indemnity and apology for the treatment accorded the Emperor's representative, the release of a German with responsibility for his safety, and the renewal of relations between Haiti and Germany, with the prompt acceptance of a German representative under penalty of shelling the public buildings and forts seven hours after the time the demand was made.
Mr. Sherman instructing Mr. Powell, our Minister to Haiti (January 11, 1898), with reference to certain suggestions which had been made by the Government of Haiti, which looked to the establishment of a protectorate over Haiti, said:
You certainly should not proceed on the hypothesis, that it is the duty of the United States to protect its American neighbors from the responsibilities which attend the exercise of independent sovereignty.'
On May 12, 1859, Mr. Cass instructing Mr. Dallas, our Minister to Great Britain, regarding the use of the British fleet to enforce the payment of certain claims outstanding against Mexico, stated that the United States assumed "no right to sit in judgment upon the causes of complaint which Great Britain may prefer against Mexico, nor upon the measures which may be adopted to obtain satisfaction";
'MS., Instructions, Haiti, vol. IV, pp. 23-24; Moore, International Law Digest, vol. vi, p. 475.
'MS., Instructions, Haiti, vol. I, p. 631.