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of America, and was the inauguration of a new and beneficent system of civil government, ultimately sanctioned by alliances of the revolutionists with Spain and France, and expected to be acceptable to and to be adopted by all mankind.
However the fact may be, we here have no difficulty in finding an explanation of the incredulity of European statesmen. When our domestic troubles arose those politicians forined their opinions of the probable conclusion by judging us by European, not American, standards, and under the influence of European, not American, interests and sentiments. Republicanism and federalism are, to European statesmen, if not unintelligible, at least impracticable, principles; and durable power on the American continent is, in their esteem, a mere chimera. To them monarchy seems, if not the most beneficent system of government which could be devised, at least the only one which could assure the preservation of national sovereignty, and guarantee public tranquillity and peace. The experience of mankind has not controverted these opinions, so unfavorable to our new system of federal self-government. True, the success of the system itself for seventy years has vindicated it, but the experiment has all the while seemed to require a longer trial in a much wider field. The civil war seemed to Europeans to come seasonably to prove that trial itself a failure, while in the Spanish American republics the working of a similar system has inspired no hopes of its ultimate success. Nor is it to be forgotten that Europeans have not habitually contemplated America as a theatre for the development of society under new and specially adapted constitutions of government. On the other hand, material interests, where they are fixed and strong, affect, if they do not determine, the lights in which nations regard each other. For the last thirty years European nations have regarded America as a continent chiefly appointed to produce supplies of materials and provisions for their manufacturers and to consume their productions, and habit has reconciled us to that apparently merely commercial relation. The insurrection disturbed and threatened to subvert it. It is not strange that European statesmen thought that the United States ought to fall into dissolution, and, indeed, assumed that they had fallen into that condition, on the first organized outbreak of faction. For a time we seemed, at least, to be about to acquiesce in that calamity. We hesitated and examined and disputed, and it certainly was not until after due consideration that the American people, as a mass, announced the conviction that the Union could be maintained, and the determination to maintain it at whatever of cost and sacrifices the occasion should require. Our refusal for a whole year to accept the fate which European statesmen considered pot only inevitable but beneficent to us, as well as benevolent to their own countries, has been regarded as simply contumacious. They reluctantly consented to await a trial on our part of an attempt to suppress the insurrection, which attempt they felt so well assured would fail. But, encouraged by our seeming delay, they have hardly concealed their assumption of a right, and even a duty, to arbitrate between the government and its domestic enemies, and so they have measured the period they could allow us for the important trial, and even prescribed the amount of force which the government might exercise in selfdefence. It is not strange that the limits thus prescribed were adopted with reference not to our needs or our rights under the law of nations, but to the supposed interests and wants of Europe. Deference to these limits was expected under the fear, if not under menaces, of intervention, to decide a dispute already pronounced unreasonable on our part, and intolerably inconvenient to foreign nations.
It is freely confessed that these assumptions have caused us much embarrassment. They have encouraged the enemies, and tended to divide and dispirit the friends, of the Union.
It was obvions from the first that this government wanted what every government in such cases, and especially a federal republican government, without experience of war and with all its political and social forces energetically at work in the occupation of peace, must need, namely, timetime to reflect, to survey, to prepare, to organize and direct, a defensive civil war.
Happily, that time was gained, and the work of restoration was begun; and it has been prosecuted to the point which assures a complete triumph. The crisis of the country has thus been passed. We have thought it our policy and our duty to inform foreign states at every stage of the affair fully, frankly, and candidly, so that they have understood or might have understood the nature and causes of the contest, the purposes of the government, and its manner of executing them, and might be as well prepared as ourselves for the conclusion which is at hand.
It is by no fault of ours, nor is it more our misfortune than it is theirs, if they do not understand that the United States are no unorganized or blind popular mass, surged by the voice of demagogues, nor yet a confederacy of discordant States, bound by a flaxen bond which any one of them can sever at its caprice; but that they constitute a homogeneous, enlightened nation, virtuous and brave, inspired by lofty sentiments to achieve a destiny for itself that shall, by its influence and example, be beneficent to mankind. This nation is conscious that it possesses a government the most indestructible that has ever been reared among men, because its foundations are laid in common political, commercial, and social necessities, as broad as its domain, while the machinery of that government is kept in vigorous and constant activity, because the power which moves it is perenially derived from the suffrages of a free, happy, and grateful people.
It is not our fault, nor do we alone suffer in the misfortune, if foreign states are unable to see, at this moment, that through the pains and perils of a civil strife which we long strove to avert, and which we have not suffered to degenerate into a social, much less a servile, war, we are successfully readjusting a single disturbing element so as to bring it back again into subordination and harmony with the normal and effective political forces of the republic.
It is the fault of foreign states more than it is our own if they do not now see that we have already so far suppressed the revolution that it can no longer interfere with their rights or even their interests, and so can give no stranger any cause, or even any pretext, for interfering, much less any excuse for lending moral aid or sympathy to an insurrection every day of whose continuance is a prolongation of misfortunes which are felt not only here but throughout the world.
Time is needful for the eradication of prejudice, and experiments, however successful, must be continued until truth is not only firmly established, but is accepted by the general judgment of mankind.
Our responsibilities having ended, we are therefore content that foreign states shall take time to weigh and accept the results of the military, social, and political events which occur here, with all the deliberation which their remoteness from the scene and their long-cherished prejudices shall render necessary.
In three-fourths of the territory over which our Constitution has been extended the federal authority has never been disturbed, and has been peacefully maintained. Throughout the half of the other fourth it is maintained successfully by military power, while at the same time the opposing political authority which has been attempted to be set up there is daily losing ground, vigor, and vitality. The American people must, and they will, have some system of self-government. The popular passions which faction, in an unhappy moment, succeeded in raising and directing against the government of the Union, are subsiding, and within a year from this time the attempt thus made to overthrow the most beneficent system of government which the world has seen, and the only one which is adapted to this continent, while it holds out hopes of progress to all other nations, will be remembered only as a calamity to be deplored, and a crime never again to be repeated. I am, sir, your obedient servant,
WILLIAM H. SEWARD. WILLIAM L. Dayton, Esq., Sc., c., c.
Mr. Seward to Mr. Dayton.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, June 20, 1862. SIR: Your despatch of June 2 (No. 154) has been received. While the President regrets that, in your opinion, there is no immediate prospect of success in inducing the government of France to rescind the declaration of neutrality which it adopted last year, he does not at all doubt the fidelity and earnestness with which you have presented the subject; and he has intended to leave, as he still leaves, the prosecution of that object to your own discretion, in which he reposes the utmost confidence.
A change of position by the maritime powers is, in his judgment, essential to an early and complete restoration of commerce between this country and Europe. But the interest of those powers in that restoration is now fully as great as our own. Having submitted our convictions with frankness, and enforced them with arguments derived from a full knowledge of the condition of things in this country, we can now cheerfully leave the subject to the consideration of parties so deeply interested.
It is proper, however, that you should understand that the British and French governments do not at all hesitate to suggest to us continual modifications of a blockade, unquestionably lawful in all respects, with a view to facilitate their acquisition of cotton, while the concessions already made seem to the President to entitle us to the exercise of some reciprocal liberality on their part. I am, sir, your obedient servant,
WILLIAM H. SEWARD. Hon. WILLIAM L. DAYTON, $C., 8c., 8c.
Mr. Seward to Mr. Dayton.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, June 21, 1862. SIR: Your despatch of June 5 (No. 156) was received. Since it was written the events in Mexico have taken a new direction. It is not the President's purpose to charge you at present with any communication to the French government concerning them. But it is only prudent to keep you advised of the condition of our affairs there, and of our views of current transactions.
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 disclaimed 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. Circumstances tend to excite misapprehensions and jealousies between this government and that of France, in spite of all the prudence we can practice. On our part, we studiously endeavor to avoid them. You will, therefore, be fully authorized in assuming that this government does not inspire and has no responsibility for assumptions of a different character made by the press. . When we desire explanations from France, or when an occasion shall have arrived to express discontents, we shall communicate directly and explicitly with Mr. Thouvenel through your good offices.
We do not desire to suppress the fact that our sympathies are with Mexico, and our wishes are for the restoration of peace within her borders; nor do we
any sense, for any purpose, disapprove of her present form of government, or distrust her administration. We may have our opinions about the necessity or the expediency of the movements of the late allies, and now the movements of France, in regard to that power. But we are not called upon to retain which, after the explanations received from France, we have no right and no present occasion to enforce.
Mr. Corwin, not having received my despatch announcing to him the vote of the Senate unfavorable to a previous proposition for a treaty making a loan to Mexico, has made a new treaty for a loan of eleven millions of dollars, upon the security of public lands of that republic.
The President will submit this treaty to the Senate, together with the correspondence which has taken place between Mr. Corwin and the Mexican government. But the President will make no recommendation upon the subject. He understands that the treaty conflicts with the previous resolution of the Senate. To recommend it would be to take an appeal, which, in the present condition of things, would be unwise and injurious. The Senate, having the matter before them, as an original question, for their uninfluenced deliberation, will decide it as they shall deem most consistent with the interests and honor of the country. I am not authorized to express any opinion for the Senate, but I may say to you, in confidence, that I know no reason for expecting that that body will reverse its previous decision, although that decision was not in all respects such as the President desired. I am, sir, your obedient servant,
WILLIAM H. SEWARD. William L. Dayton, Esq., 8c., $c., &c.
Mr. Dayton to Mr. Seward.
PARIS, June 23, 1862. Sir: The receipt of despatches Nos. 161 and 162 is hereby acknowledged.
Despatch No. 161 was accompanied by memoranda explanatory of the proceedings of the government in reference to certain difficulties existing between Major General Butler and the foreign consuls at New Orleans.
It is only necessary to add that, believing it might be of importance to apprise this government at once of the conciliatory action initiated by the government of the United States, I forthwith submitted the memoranda in question to Mr Thouvenel to be read. He returned it with his thanks, informing me, however, that the text had already been received from his Majesty's minister at Washington. I am, sir, your very obedient servant,
WM. L. DAYTON. His Excellency WILLIAM H. SEWARD,
Secretary of State, &c., d., &c.
Mr. Dayton to Mr. Seward. No. 166.]
PARIS, June 28, 1862. Sir: Enclosed you will find a printed translation of a speech by Mr. Jules Favre, on the 26th instant, in the Chamber of Deputies, in reference to the invasion of Mexico, and of Mr. Billault's reply. The latter gentleman (minister without portfolio) is, as you know, the mouthpiece of the Emperor, and his speech is therefore the last and most authentic exposé of the purposes of France in regard to Mexico. You will, I presume, see it reprinted in the American papers, though perhaps not in full. I prefer, therefore, to send it, as it is in lieu of a despatch upon the subject. I am, sir, your obedient servant,
WM. L. DAYTON. His Excellency WILLIAM H. SEWARD,
Secretary of State, &c., &c., &c.
Speech of Mr. Jules Favre. The following is a full report of the important debate concerning Mexico on Thursday, Count de Morny in the chair :
M. Baroche, president of the council of state, MM. Billault and Magne, ministers without portfolio ; and the other government commissioners were present, as usual.
Several local bills were adopted.
The order of the day was the discussion of the bill relating to the supplementary credits of 1862.
The president read Art. 1, demanding 178,371,382 fr. over and above the credits called for in the budget.
The sections relating to the ministrics of state, finance, justice, foreign affairs, and the interior, were successively adopted. On the credits for the war department being brought forward, M. Jules Favre rose and said :
GENTLEMEN : When the government lately came to demand from this chamber the means of sending assistance to a corps d'armée, arrested by unexpected obstacles, it met with unanimous support; for to succour one's fellow. citizens in danger, and assure the honor of the flag, is the duty of all men, without distinction of party; and in such circumstances the government bas no opposition to fear. But a vote of that kind is not a vote of confidence, and we should fail in our duty as the representatives of the country if we did not endeavor to hold back the government from a course which we think fatal. I have no wish to commence an irritating debate, and I think nothing more is now requisite than to obtain explanations from the government as to the resolutions it intends to adopt. Official documents have made known to the country the reasons which determined the government to send an expedition to Mexico last November. If, at a moment when everything combined to make strict economy a bounden duty, a distant and expensive war were untertaken, it was, he considered, undoubtedly indispensable to protect our countrymen threatened by a faithless government, in contempt of all