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necessary, however, to enlarge upon this phase of the subject-whether moral or material interests be considered, it can not but be universally conceded that those of Europe are irreconcilably diverse from those of America, and that any European control of the latter is necessarily both incongruous and injurious. If, however, for the reasons stated the forcible intrusion of European powers into American politics is to be deprecated-if, as it is to be deprecated, it should be resisted and prevented-such resistance and prevention must come from the United States. They would come from it, of course, were it made the point of attack. But, if they come at all, they must also come from it when any other American state is attacked, since only the United States has the strength adequate to the exigency.

Is it true, then, that the safety and welfare of the United States are so concerned with the maintenance of the independence of every American state as against any European power as to justify and require the interposition of the United States whenever that independence is endangered? The question can be candidly answered in but one way. The States of America, South as well as North, by geographical proximity, by natural sympathy, by similarity of governmental constitutions, are friends and allies, commercially and politically, of the United States. To allow the subjugation of any of them by an European power is, of course, to completely reverse that situation and signifies the loss of all the advantages incident to their natural relations to us. But that is not all. The people of the United States have a vital interest in the cause of popular self-government. They have secured the right for themselves and their posterity at the cost of infinite blood and treasure. They have realized and exemplified its beneficent operation by a career unexampled in point of natural greatness or individual felicity. They believe it to be for the healing of all nations, and that civilization must either advance or retrograde accordingly as its supremacy is extended or curtailed. Imbued with these sentiments, the people of the United States might not impossibly be wrought up to an active propaganda in favor of a cause so highly valued both for themselves and for mankind. But the age of the Crusades has passed, and they are content with such assertion and defense of the right of popular self-government as their own security and welfare demand. It is in that view more than in any other that they believe it not to be tolerated that the political control of an American state shall be forcibly assumed by an European power."

* Foreign Relations of the United States, 1895, pt. 1, pp. 557-558.



On July 15, 1840, Mr. Forsyth, Secretary of State, instructed Mr. Vail, our Minister to Spain, that:

Should you have reason to suspect any design on the part of Spain to transfer voluntarily her title to the island [Cuba], whether of ownership or possession, and whether permanent or temporary, to Great Britain, or any other power, you will distinctly state that the U. States will prevent it, at all hazards, as they will any foreign military occupation for any pretext whatsoever-and you are authorised to assure the Spanish Government that in case of any attempt from whatever quarter, to wrest from her this portion of her territory, she may securely depend upon the military and naval resources of the U. States to aid her in preserving or receiving it.1

Writing to Mr. Dodge, the American Minister to Spain, under date of October 21, 1858, regarding the difficulty between Spain and Mexico, Mr. Cass 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. Their policy of observation and interference is limited to the permanent subjugation of any portion of the Territory of Mexico or of any other American State to any European Power whatsoever.2

Two years later Mr. Cass, instructing Mr. Faulkner, the American Minister to France, under date of August 31, 1860, with reference to the contemplated action of France towards Mexico, asserted that:

the permanent occupation of any part of the territory of Mexico by a Foreign Power, or an attempt in any manner forcibly to interfere in its internal concerns or to control its political destiny, would give great dissatisfaction to the United States."

In September of the same year Mr. Cass directed Mr. Robert M. McLane, our Minister to Mexico, as follows:

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.*

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President Buchanan in his annual message of December 3, 1860, commenting upon the conditions in Mexico and particularly upon the possible establishment of the constitutional government in Mexico City, and the results ensuing therefrom, said:

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We should thus have been relieved from the obligation of resisting, even by force should this become necessary, any attempt by these Governments to deprive our neighboring republic of portions of her territory-a duty from which we could not shrink without abandoning the traditional and established policy of the American people."

In the note from Mr. Seward to the representatives of France, Great Britain, and Spain, touching the suggestion of a joint action of all four powers against Mexico, Mr. Seward after adverting to the fact that the powers had a right to levy war severally or jointly, stated:

The United States have a deep interest which, however, they are happy to believe is an interest held by them in common with the high contracting powers and with all other civilized states, that neither of the soverigns by whom the convention has been concluded shall seek or obtain any acquisition of territory or any advantage peculiar to itself, and not equally left open to the United States and every other civilized state, within the territories of Mexico, and especially that neither one nor all of the contracting parties shall, as a result or consequence of the hostilities to be inaugurated under the convention, exercise in the subsequent affairs of Mexico any influence of a character to impair the right of the Mexican people to choose and freely to constitute the form of its own government.

On September 11, 1863, Mr. Seward, Secretary of State, instructing Mr. Motley, our Minister to Austria, made the following observations:

When France made war against Mexico, we asked of France explanations of her objects and purposes. She answered, that it was a war for the redress of grievances; that she did not intend to permanently occupy or dominate in Mexico, and that she should leave to the people of Mexico a free choice of institutions of government. Under these circumstances the United States adopted, and they have since maintained, entire neutrality between the belligerents, in harmony with the traditional policy in regard to foreign wars.


When in 1866, Spain seemed to be determined to reoccupy and reannex the Chincha Islands belonging to Peru, Secretary Seward instructed our Minister to Spain, Mr. Hale (July 16, 1886), to intimate to the Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs—

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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


* Messages and Papers of the Presidents (1917 ed.), vol. VII, p. 3177. 'H. Ex. Doc. No. 100, 37th Cong., 2d sess., p. 188.

'Papers relating to Foreign Affairs (Diplomatic Correspondence), 1863, vol. п, p. 929.

with Her Catholic Majesty's Government which it is the President's desire may remain without interruption.

In his message of February 15, 1905, to Congress, in relation to the situation in Santo Domingo, Mr. Roosevelt said:

An aggrieved nation can without interfering with the Monroe doctrine take what action it sees fit in the adjustment of its disputes with American states, provided that action does not take the shape of interference with their form of government or of the despoilment of their territory under any disguise."

Later in his message Mr. Roosevelt continued:

If the United States Government declines to take action and other foreign governments resort to action to secure payment of their claims, the latter would be entitled, according to the decision of The Hague Tribunal in the Venezuelan cases, to the preferential payment of their claims; and this would absorb all the Dominican revenues and would be a virtual sacrifice of American claims and interests in the island. If, moreover, any such action should be taken by them, the only method to enable them to secure the payment of their claims would be to take possession of the custom-houses, and considering the state of the Dominican finances this would mean a definite and very possibly permanent occupation of Dominican territory, for no period could be set to the time which would be necessarily required for the payment of their obligations and unliquidated claims. The United States Government could not interfere to prevent such seizure and occupation of Dominican territory without either itself proposing some feasible alternative in the way of action, or else virtually saying to European governments that they would not be allowed to collect their claims. This would be an unfortunate attitude for the Government of the United States to be forced to maintain at present. It can not with propriety say that it will protect its own citizens and interests, on the one hand, and yet on the other hand refuse to allow other governments to protect their citizens and interests.10

The position of this Government against foreign subjection of Cuba was among the earliest announced after the declaration of the Monroe Doctrine. On April 27, 1825, Secretary Clay, writing to Mr. Everett, our Minister to Spain, said:

And of all the European Powers, this country prefers that Cuba and Porto Rico should remain dependent on Spain. If the war should continue between Spain and the new Republics, and those Islands should become the object and the theatre of it, their fortunes have such a connexion with the prosperity of the United States that they could not be indifferent spectators; and the possible contingencies of such a protracted war might bring upon the Government of the United States duties and obligations, the performance of which, however painful it should be, they might not be at liberty to decline."

Mr. Gallatin reporting to Secretary Clay on December 22, 1826, narrated his attempts to secure from Great Britain a flat statement

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"MS., Instructions to United States Ministers, vol. x, p. 304.

regarding Britain's attitude toward "the remaining Spanish colonies" and, failing in his effort, observed:

This induced me to enter more at large on the subject, and to try to impress strongly on his mind that it was impossible that the United States could acquiesce in the conquest by, or transfer of that island to, any great maritime power, and that the new American States, particularly Mexico, would be equally averse to it. All this was expressed in strong but general terms, and as if I took it for granted that England had no such object in view for herself and was disposed to act in concert with us."

Secretary Van Buren instructing Mr. Van Ness, our Minister to Spain, on October 2, 1829, pushed the foregoing principle somewhat further when, in connection with his comments upon the peculiar richness of the island of Cuba, he stated that the resources of the island

Render it of the utmost importance to the United States that no change should take place in its condition which might injuriously affect our political and commercial standing in that quarter. Other considerations connected with a certain class of our population, make it the interest of the southern section of the Union that no attempt should be made in that island to throw off the yoke of Spanish dependence, the first effect of which would be the sudden emancipation of a numerous slave population whose result could not but be very sensibly felt upon the adjacent shores of the United States.13

12 Writings of Gallatin, vol. II, p. 346.

18 MS., Instructions to United States Ministers, vol. xш, p. 24.

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