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disclosed-possessed herself of Louisiana, but did so only to cede it to the United States; and in the same year Lewis and Clark started on their expedition to plant the flag of the United States on the shores of the Pacific. In 1819 Florida was sold by Spain to the United States whose territorial possessions in this way had been increased threefold in half a century. This last acquisition was so much a matter of course that it had been distinctly foreseen by the Count Aranda, then prime minister of Spain, as long ago as 1783. But even these momentous events are but the forerunners of new territorial revolutions still more stupendous. A dynastic struggle between the Emperor Napoleon and Spain, commencing in 1808, convulsed the peninsula. The vast possessions of the Spanish Crown on this continent-vice-royalties and captaingeneralships, filling the space between California and Cape Horn-one after another, asserted their independence. No friendly power in Europe, at that time, was able, or, if able, was willing, to succor Spain, or aid her to prop the crumbling buttresses of her colonial empire. So far from it, when France, in 1823, threw an army of one hundred thousand men into Spain to control her domestic policies, England thought it necessary to counteract the movement by recognizing the independence of the Spanish provinces in America. In the remarkable language of the distinguished minister of the day, in order to redress the balance of power in Europe, he called into existence a New World in the West-somewhat overrating, perhaps, the extent of the derangement in the Old World, and not doing full justice to the position of. the United States in America, or their influence on the fortunes of their sister republics on this continent.

Thus, in sixty years from the close of the seven years' war, Spain, like France, had lost the last remains of her once imperial possessions on this continent. The United States, meantime, were, by the arts of peace and the healthful progress of things, rapidly enlarging their dimensions and consolidating their power.

The great march of events still went on. Some of the new republics, from the effect of a mixture of races, or the want of training in liberal institutions, showed themselves incapable of self-government. The province of Texas revolted from Mexico by the same right by which Mexico revolted from Spain. At the memorable battle of San Jacinto, in 1836, she passed the great ordeal of nascent states, and her independence was recognized by this Government, by France, by England, and other European powers. Mainly peopled from the United States, she sought naturally to be incorporated into the Union. The offer was repeatedly rejected by Presidents Jackson and Van Buren, to avoid a collision with Mexico. At last the annexation took place. As a domestic question, it is no fit subject for comment in a communication to a foreign minister; as a question of public law, there never was an extension of territory more naturally or justifiably made.

It produced a disturbed relation with the Government of Mexico; war ensued, and in its results other extensive territories were for a large pecuniary compensation on the part of the United States, added to the Union. Without adverting to the divisions of opinion which arose in reference to this war, as must always happen in free countries in reference to great measures, no person surveying these events with the eye of a comprehensive statesmanship can fail to trace in the main result the undoubted operation of the law of our political existence. The consequences are before the world. Vast provinces, which had languished for three centuries under the leaden sway of a stationary system, are coming under the influences of an active civilization. Freedom of speech and the press, the trial by jury, religious equality, and representative government, have been carried by the Constitution of the United States into extensive

regions in which they were unknown before. By the settlement of California, the great circuit of intelligence round the globe is completed. The discovery of the gold of that region—leading, as it did, to the same discovery in Australia— has touched the nerves of industry throughout the world. Every addition to the territory of the American Union has given homes to European destitution and gardens to European want. From every part of the United Kingdom, from France, from Switzerland and Germany, and from the extremest north of Europe, a march of immigration has been taken up, such as the world has never seen before. Into the United States-grown to their present extent in the manner described-but little less than half a million of the population of the Old World is annually pouring, to be immediately incorporated into an industrious and prosperous community, in the bosom of which they find political and religious liberty, social position, employment, and bread. It is a fact which would defy belief, were it not the result of official inquiry, that the immigrants to the United States from Ireland alone, besides having subsisted themselves, have sent back to their kindred, for the three last years, nearly five million of dollars annually; thus doubling in three years the purchase money of Louisiana.

Such is the territorial development of the United States in the past century. Is it possible that Europe can contemplate it with an unfriendly or jealous eye? What would have been her condition in these trying years but for the outlet we have furnished for her starving millions?

Spain, meantime, has retained of her extensive dominions in this hemisphere but the two islands of Cuba and Porto Rico. A respectful sympathy with the fortunes of an ancient ally and a gallant people, with whom the United States have ever maintained the most friendly relations, would, if no other reason existed, make it our duty to leave her in the undisturbed possession of this little remnant of her mighty trans-Atlantic empire. The President desires to do so; no word or deed of his will ever question her title or shake her possession. But can it be expected to last very long? Can it resist this mighty current in the fortunes of the world? Is it desirable that it should do so? Can it be for the interest of Spain to cling to a possession that can only be maintained by a garrison of twenty-five or thirty thousand troops, a powerful naval force, and an annual expenditure for both arms of the service of at least twelve millions of dollars? Cuba, at this moment, costs more to Spain than the entire naval and military establishment of the United States costs the Federal Government. So far from being really injured by the loss of this island, there is no doubt that, were it peacefully transferred to the United States, a prosperous commerce between Cuba and Spain, resulting from ancient associations and common language and tastes, would be far more productive than the best contrived system of colonial taxation. Such, notoriously, has been the result to Great Britain of the establishment of the independence of the United States. The decline of Spain from the position which she held in the time of Charles the Fifth is coeval with the foundation of her colonial system; while within twenty-five years, and since the loss of most of her colonies, she has entered upon a course of rapid improvement unknown since the abdication of that Emperor.

I will but allude to an evil of the first magnitude: I mean the African slavetrade, in the suppression of which France and England take a lively interestan evil which still forms a great reproach upon the civilization of Christendom, and perpetuates the barbarism of Africa, but for which it is to be feared there is no hope of a complete remedy while Cuba remains a Spanish colony.

But, whatever may be thought of these last suggestions, it would seem impossible for anyone who reflects upon the events glanced at in this note to mis


take the law of American growth and progress, or think it can be ultimately arrested by a convention like that proposed. In the judgment of the President, it would be as easy to throw a dam from Cape Florida to Cuba, in the hope of stopping the flow of the Gulf Stream, as to attempt, by a compact like this, to fix the fortunes of Cuba now and for hereafter"; or, as expressed in the French text of the convention, "for the present as for the future," (pour le present comme pour l'avenir,) that is, for all coming time. The history of the past of the recent past-affords no assurance that twenty years hence France or England will even wish that Spain should retain Cuba; and a century hence, judging of what will be from what has been, the pages which record this proposition will, like the record of the family compact between France and Spain, have no interest but for the antiquary.

Even now the President can not doubt that both France and England would prefer any change in the condition of Cuba to that which is most to be apprehended, viz: An internal convulsion which should renew the horrors and the fate of San Domingo.


I will intimate a final objection to the proposed convention. M. de Turgot and Lord Malmesbury put forward, as the reason for entering into such a compact, 'the attacks which have lately been made on the island of Cuba by lawless bands of adventurers from the United States, with the avowed design of taking possession of that island." The President is convinced that the conclusion of such a treaty, instead of putting a stop to these lawless proceedings, would give a new and powerful impulse to them. It would strike a death-blow to the conservative policy hitherto pursued in this country toward Cuba. No administration of this Government, however strong in the public confidence in other respects, could stand a day under the odium of having stipulated with the great powers of Europe, that in no future time, under no change of circumstances, by no amicable arrangement with Spain, by no act of lawful war, (should that calamity unfortunately occur,) by no consent of the inhabitants of the island, should they, like the possessions of Spain on the American continent, succeed in rendering themselves independent; in fine, by no overruling necessity of self-preservation should the United States ever make the acquisition of Cuba.

For these reasons, which the President has thought it advisable, considering the importance of the subject, to direct me to unfold at some length, he feels constrained to decline respectfully the invitation of France and England to become a party to the proposed convention. He is persuaded that these friendly powers will not attribute this refusal to any insensibility on his part to the advantages of the utmost harmony between the great maritime states on a subject of such importance. As little will Spain draw any unfavorable inference from this refusal; the rather, as the emphatic disclaimer of any designs against Cuba on the part of this Government, contained in the present note, affords all the assurance which the President can constitutionally, or to any useful purpose, give of a practical concurrence with France and England in the wish not to disturb the possession of that island by Spain.'

The matter of neutralization of Cuba again came up in 1881 when Secretary Blaine on December 1, instructed Mr. Comly, our Minister to Hawaii as follows:

That rich island [Cuba], the key to the Gulf of Mexico, and the field for our most extended trade in the Western Hemisphere is, though in the hands of Spain, a part of the American commercial system. Our relations, present and


* Moore, International Law Digest, vol. vi, pp. 461–470.

prospective, toward Cuba, have never been more ably set forth than in the remarkable note addressed by my predecessor, Mr. Secretary Everett, to the ministers of Great Britain and France in Washington, on the 1st of December, 1852, in rejection of the suggested tripartite alliance to forever determine the neutrality of the Spanish Antilles. In response to the proposal that the United States, Great Britain, and France should severally and collectively agree to forbid the acquisition of control over Cuba, by any or all of them, Mr. Everett showed that, without forcing or even coveting possession of the island, its condition was essentially an American question; that the renunciation forever by this Government of contingent interest therein would be far broader than the like renunciation by Great Britain or France; that if ever ceasing to be Spanish, Cuba must necessarily become American, and not fall under any other European domination, and that the ceaseless movement of segregation of American interests from European control and unification in a broader American sphere of independent life could not and should not be checked by any arbitrary agreement. Nearly thirty years have demonstrated the wisdom of the attitude then maintained by Mr. Everett and have made indispensable its continuance and its extension to all parts of the American Atlantic system where a disturbance of the existing status might be attempted in the interest of foreign powers. The present attitude of this government toward any European project for the control of an isthmian route is but the logical sequence of the resistance made in 1852 to the attempted pressure of an active foreign influence in the West Indies.*

*Foreign Relations of the United States, 1881, pp. 637-638.


An interesting dictum by Mr. Wharton is cited and quoted by Mr. Moore:


A striking speech on this topic by General Dix will be found in Dix's Life, i, 217, in which he says that the protests of Presidents Monroe and Polk are sustained by an undivided public opinion, even though they may not have received a formal response from Congress." This is true so far as it concerns the arbitrary interference of European sovereigns in American affairs, or the attempt of any European power to obtain the control of the Isthmus of Panama. But the Doctrine should not be extended so as to preclude a European power from receiving for its own purposes (e. g., for coaling steamers) a cession of territory in South America.1

1Moore, International Law Digest, vol. VI, p. 502.


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