« PreviousContinue »
From 1817 to 1820 there was a slipping back in the colonies towards Spanish sympathy and Spanish rule. In 1817 Colonel San Martín and O'Higgins were able, however, to liberate Chile and in January of 1818 Chile was declared independent. In 1819, Colombia declared its independence.
In 1820, a revolution occurred in Spain against Ferdinand which was to precipitate a situation that finally led to the actual promulgation of the Monroe Doctrine. This will be considered later.
In 1821, Mexican independence was again declared; Bolivar freed Venezuela; and San Martín proclaimed Peru's independence. In 1823, Bolivar and Sucre liberated Quito.
On May 4, 1822, an appropriation for diplomatic missions in Spanish America was passed by Congress.
On June 19, 1822, the Colombian Chargé d'Affaires was presented to Monroe. This was the first recognition accorded to any of the Spanish American colonies. On December 12, 1822, Mexico was recognized. In 1823, La Plata and Chile were recognized. In 1824, Sucre defeated the Royalists and Bolivar was declared free. During this year Brazil was recognized."8
Résumé of events in Europe
Having sketched an outline of the course of events in Latin America, a similar outline will be useful of events as affecting Europe and the United States.
Pursuant to the principles of the "continental system " Napoleon on November 21, 1806, issued the famous Berlin Decree which, having in its preamble recited the various matters in which Great Britain was violating the law of nations, declared a blockade of the British Isles and forbade commerce and correspondence with them. It provided that English subjects in countries occupied by French troops or her allies should be made prisoners of war; declared all property or merchandise belonging to British subjects as lawful prize; stipulated that no vessel coming directly from England or from an English colony, or which had been to either of these since the publication of the decree, should be received in any port, and that any vessel contravening that provision by a false declaration should be seized and the vessel and cargo confiscated as if they were English property.99
This decree was considered by the United States to be violative of the 12th, 13th and 14th articles of the convention of 1800 between the United States and France. Efforts of Armstrong, then Minister of the United States at Paris, to adjust the interpretation of the
98 Robertson, History of the Latin American Nations, chap. v1, pp. 153 et seq. Moore, International Arbitrations, vol. v, p. 4448.
decree to the provisions of the convention were unsuccessful. Out of this decree and its enforcement arose what were known as the Antwerp cases.
To the Berlin Decree the British Government responded on January 7, 1807, with a British order in council forbidding neutral vessels to trade from one port to another where such ports were in the possession or control of France or her allies. On November 11, 1807, further orders in council were issued. On the 17th of December, 1807, Napoleon issued the famous Milan Decree, which declared that every ship that had submitted to be searched by an English ship, or had consented to a voyage to England, or had paid any tax to the English Government, was ipso facto denationalized, and was to be deemed good prize. The decree also declared that the British Isles were in a state of blockade, and that every ship was good prize which was destined to or sailed from a port of Great Britain or to the British possessions, or to a port in any country occupied by the British.
On December 22, 1807, the United States passed the famous Embargo Acts which laid an embargo on all vessels in ports of the United States. Napoleon's reply to this was the Bayonne Decree of April 17, 1808, by which he ordered the seizure of all American vessels which should enter the ports of France, Italy, or the Hanse Towns.
On March 1, 1809, the Nonintercourse Act (which repealed the Embargo Act) was enacted by Congress which forbade the entry into ports of the United States of the vessels of Great Britain and France under penalty of forfeiture after May 20, 1809.
By way of reprisal Napoleon, toward the end of 1809, issued secret orders for the seizure of American vessels, and many vessels were seized and sequestered.
On March 23, 1810, Napoleon issued a new decree at Rambouillet. This decree was ostensibly issued in retaliation for the Nonintercourse Act. The decree was published in May 1810, and was made retroactive in its application. Under the terms of this decree American vessels entering French ports or the ports of any of her colonies, or the ports of any countries occupied by French arms, were to be seized and sold.1
It was at this period (when the juntas were being formed in Spain) that Jefferson, writing to Governor Claiborne of Louisiana, under date of October 29, 1808, said:
The truth is that the patriots of Spain have no warmer friends than the administration of the U. S., but it is our duty to say nothing & to do noth
1Ibid., p. 4453.
ing for or against either. If they succeed, we shall be well satisfied to see Cuba and Mexico remain in their present dependence; but very unwilling to see them in that of either France or England, politically or commercially. We consider their interests and ours as the same, and that the object of both must be to exclude all European influence from this hemisphere. We wish to avoid the necessity of going to war, till our revenue shall be entirely liberated from debt. Then it will suffice for war, without creating new debt or taxes. These are sentiments which I would wish you to express to any proper characters of either of these two countries, and particularly that we have nothing more at heart than their friendship.'
The situation resulting from the chaotic condition in Europe with its repercussions in the West Indies, was such that on January 15, 1811, Congress passed the following resolution:
Taking into view the peculiar situation of Spain, and of her American prov inces; and considering the influence which the destiny of the territory adjoining the southern border of the United States may have upon their security, tranquillity, and commerce: Therefore,
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That the United States, under the peculiar circumstances of the existing crisis, can not, without serious inquietude, see any part of the said territory pass into the hands of any foreign power; and that a due regard to their own safety compels them to provide, under certain contingencies, for the temporary occupation of the said territory; they, at the same time, declare that the said territory shall, in their hands, remain subject to future negotiations.'
Resolutions passed upon the same day, and subsequently, authorized the President to take possession of West Florida.
Thus in 1811 Congress itself proclaimed as to adjacent territory the principles which, as has been seen, had already been expressed in our diplomatic correspondence regarding other parts of Spanish America. The impelling motives as declared by Congress were the "security, tranquillity, and commerce" of the United States.
Thus both the Executive and the Legislative branches of the Government were in accord as to the fundamental policy which underlay our relationship to adjacent territories.
In April 1809, England and Austria formed an alliance against France. Before the middle of May, Napoleon was again in the Austrian capital, and while he suffered on May 21-22 a reverse at Aspern on the Danube below Vienna, yet on July 5-6, the battle of Wagram was fought which, while not of the character of Austerlitz, was sufficiently decisive to enable him to conclude the treaty of Vienna on October 14, 1809. Napoleon, having secured an annulment of his marriage to Josephine on December 15, 1809, married Maria Louisa of Austria on April 1, 1810.
'Ford, Writings of Thomas Jefferson, vol. ix, pp. 212–213.
33 Stat. L. (Peters), p. 471.
'Hayes, A Political and Social History of Modern Europe, vol. 1, p. 554.
Neither the treaty of Tilsit (1807) between Napoleon and Alexander, nor the Tsar's almost rapturous expressions of admiration for Napoleon and his declaration of a mutual policy between them, were able to perpetuate long the feelings of friendliness which were expressed at Tilsit by the two men. Apparently Alexander began to feel shortly that Napoleon was using him for Napoleon's own ends. This was true not only as to international politics, but particularly true with reference to Russia's enforcement of the "continental system." This growing ill-feeling finally culminated in the invasion of Russia by Napoleon in 1812.
The events in Europe once more had a repercussion in America. In 1807, the British frigate Leopard attacked the U. S. frigate Chesapeake and searched and removed from the ship three American citizens (who, having been impressed into the British service, had deserted that service and shipped with the frigate Chesapeake) and also a British subject who had likewise deserted and gone aboard the Chesapeake. While this action was disavowed by Canning, no real adjustment thereof was ever made."
As already outlined, the relationships between ourselves and the European belligerents had been strained almost to the breaking by the Berlin Decrees, the Milan Decrees, and the orders in council, and on our own part by the Embargo and Nonintercourse Acts. The diplomatic situation had become acute between the United States and Great Britain by the refusal of the latter to go forward with the adjustment (of pending difficulties) negotiated by her Minister, Mr. Erskine, as also by the attitude of her Minister, Mr. Jackson, known as "Copenhagen Jackson" because of the part he played in the affair between Great Britain and Denmark in 1807.6
In his message to Congress President Madison gave as the reasons for recommending a declaration of war with Great Britain, the impressments of American citizens, the violation of American posts, the practice of paper blockades, and the orders in council. War was declared June 18, 1812.
It will be observed that the beginning of the war between the United States and Great Britain was practically coincident with the invasion of Russia by Napoleon.
Following the disastrous retreat of Napoleon from Russia, there was formed in March 1813, against France an alliance between Austria, Russia and Prussia. Alexander crossed the Nieman on January 13, 1813. The war waged with varying success until on October 16, 1813, was fought the Battle of the Nations which marked the collapse of Napoleon's power outside of France."
'Moore, International Law Digest, vol. 1, pp. 991 et seq.
On March 1, 1814 (actually on March 10), Great Britain, Russia, Austria and Prussia concluded the treaty of Chaumont; and on March 31 Paris surrendered to the Allies. On April 5, 1814, Napoleon abdicated.
The war with the United States was ended by the treaty of Ghent, signed December 24, 1814. This treaty contained no mention of the question of impressment, perhaps the chief cause of the war. The London Times of April 1817, said of the United States: "Their first war with England made them independent; their second made them formidable."
THE GRAND ALLIANCE AND THE HOLY ALLIANCE
Since the formation of the Holy Alliance and the proposed implementing of its general purposes (as shown by the French belligerent operations in Spain) were the immediate threat that inspired the announcement of the Monroe Doctrine, and since moreover, the aims and purposes of the "allied powers" (including, in 1823, Austria, France, Prussia and Russia) as evidenced by the French operations in Spain, had so alarmed British statesmen that they were willing to give at least a seeming moral sanction to the principles of the Monroe Doctrine, a rather clear view of the development of the Holy Alliance and of the relationship of European powers thereto, becomes of importance.
Mémoire (June 20, 1791) of Louis XVI
In June of 1791, Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette fled from Paris in disguise in an effort to reach the eastern frontier where they expected to join the emigrés who had congregated at Coblenz and other places along the Rhine and were conducting an agitation looking to the reestablishment of the old monarchical régime. The royal party was recognized at Varennes on June 21 and was arrested and brought back to Paris. Before leaving Paris on his flight, the King had written a mémoire (June 20, 1791) which closed with the following statement:
Frenchmen, and above all you people of Paris, you inhabitants of a city whom the ancestors of His Majesty were pleased to call the good city of Paris, beware of the lies and suggestions of your false friends. Return to your king; he will always be your father, your best friend. What pleasure will he not take in forgetting all his personal injuries and seeing himself again in the midst of you when a constitution, which he will have accepted freely, will be so effective that our holy religion will be respected, the government established on a firm footing and useful through its action, property and the status of each no longer
'Phillips, The Confederation of Europe, p. 77.