Page images


by the United States early in the war to carry the same across the Atlantic, and after the destruction of Cervera's fleet, the organization of a fleet for the purpose was fully determined upon. This was to be under command of Admiral Watson, and was to consist of the Iowa, Oregon, Yankee, Yosemite, and Dixie, with the Newark as flag-ship. Spain was almost with


maritime protection; Camara, with the few remaining ships of war, was still dallying at the Isthmus of Suez, and should the threat be carried out Cadiz, Barcelona and the other coastal cities of the Peninsula would be at the mercy of the American fleet. To the continental powers this would not be a blow at Spain alone, but at all of Europe.

Subject thus to pressure from their own people within, and from influences without, the Spanish ministers decided to take steps leading towards a cessation of hostilities. Accordingly, the Duke of Almodovar del Rio, the Minister of State, through the offices of the French ambassador at Washington, Jules Cambon, sent a note to Secretary of State Day, the central point of which is expressed in the words: "To end calamities already so great and to avert evils still greater, our countries might naturally endeavor to find upon which conditions the present struggle could be determined otherwise than by force of arms."

This communication was received July 22, and four days later a reply was forwarded in which the condi


tions demanded by the United States for cessation of hostilities were explictly stated. These were:

First. The relinquishment by Spain of all claim of sovereignty over or title to Cuba and her immediate evacuation of the island.

Second. The President, desirous of exhibiting signal generosity, will not now put forward any demand for pecuniary indemnity. Nevertheless he cannot be insensible to the losses and expenses of the United States incident to the war or to the claims of our citizens for injuries to their persons and property during the late insurrection in Cuba. He must, therefore, require the cession to the United States and the immediate evacuation by Spain of the Island of Porto Rico and the other islands in the West Indies now under the sovereignty of Spain in the West Indies, and the cession of an island in the Ladrones, to be selected by the United States.

Third. On similar grounds the United States is entitled to occupy and will hold the city, bay, and harbor of Manila, pending the conclusion of a

treaty of peace which shall determine the control, disposition, and government of the Philippines.

The reply of Spain to these conditions was received August 7. The demands contained in the first two clauses of the letter of the Secretary of State, Spain was already willing to accede; with regard to the third, however, there was an evident tendency expressed to temporize and make further conditions. Secretary Day, however, ignored this fact, and assuming that the Spanish government had agreed wholly to the conditions imposed, invited Ambassador Cambon to sign the peace protocol on August 10. Spain writhed under what she conceived to be severe conditions. In the words of the third clause she saw the passing of the last shreds of an empire that had been the greatest the world had seen. That the United States would be content with the city

and harbor of Manila, the Spanish authorities did not dream, for they possessed no lofty conception of the altruistic ideals of the American people. They saw intuitively, what the logic of events afterwards proved to be true, that America must give up all, or retain all, as far as the Philippines were concerned. Thus peace was disastrous, but war under the present conditions would be more so, and Spain humbled her pride and accepted the inevitable. Therefore, possessed of plenary power to act for the defeated nation, Ambassador Cambon signed the protocol on August 12. The result of this agreement was only a truce or armistice, but as it contained provisions for the establishment of a conference for the purpose of framing a treaty of peace, it was the virtual end of the war.

The signing of the protocol, however, could have no binding power on either of the powers, and, until a definite treaty could be drawn up and ratified, hostilities might be resumed at any time. To attain this highly desirable end, President McKinley appointed five commissioners to represent the United States in formulating the treaty of peace. A similar group was appointed by the Spanish administration, and on October 1, 1898, the first session of the conference was held at Paris. The United States commissioners consisted of William R. Day, who resigned the position of Secretary of State in order to become a member of the same; Senators William P. Frye, of

Maine, and Cushman K. Davis, of Minnesota; George Gray, of Delaware; and Whitelaw Reid, of New York. On the Spanish commission were: Señors Montero Rios, President of the Senate of Spain; Abarzuza Garnica, Villa-Urrutia, and General Cerero.

The American representatives were all men of ability, and were deeply

versed in constitutional and international law. They had with them in addition an advisory staff of experts, the chief of whom was the secretary of the commisison, John Bassett Moore, one of the foremost authorities on international law in the United States. He served also as counsel for the American commission, and presented their arguments before the conference. The Spanish commissioners were also men of unusual

force, and made a splendid but hopeless fight for every contested point. They were prepared to yield up Cuba and Porto Rico, but there were other points involved and concessions they demanded upon which they were deAs termined to hold their ground. the result the negotiations lasted for two months and a half, the treaty being signed on December 10, 1898. The conditions imposed by the United States seemed exceedingly severe to Spain, and if she had seen any hope of an alliance with a powerful nation, she would undoubtedly have accepted further hostilities rather than accept them. them. Her efforts in that way, however, were unavailing. There were but two powers to whom she could


turn: France and Germany. The first was her friend because of the ties of a common Latin ancestry, and to another and more immediate cause for sympathy: the fact that the the fact that the French people were in possession of vast aggregate of Spanish securities. Nothwithstanding such strong incentives for intervention, France was in no condition to come to the aid of Spain. In fact, she was having serious troubles of her own just at that time. Her relations with England were strained as a result of the Fashoda incident, and at home the people were in a state of semihysteria over the Dreyfus affair. Then again, the French have always been a people of chivalry and hospitality; the Americans were guests of the nation, and hostile activities under such conditions in that respect would have stigmatized her good name.

Just what the Emperor of Germany had in mind in adopting an attitude of antagonism to America will doubtless never be known. It may be that, in his visions of Germany as a world power, he had cast longing eyes on the colonial possessions of Spain, which were clearly ready to fall into the hands of a more virile nation. It may be that it was disappointment that dictated the Kaiser's attitude throughout the Spanish-American war, but whatever it was it could not bear the test of overt opposition to the United States which a formal alliance with Spain would involve. In fact, as some one has said, the attitude of Germany was probably nothing more than a


bluff, for Emperor William was too great a man to fail to see that an alliance with Spain would have been a hostile act against those millions of German-born men and women who had found homes and prosperity in America.

So it was that the final pleas of Spain for intervention failed and she was forced to meet squarely the demands of the United States, clearly and immutably laid before her. The two points productive of most controversy at the sessions of the conference were the status of the Philippines and the Cuban debt. With regard to the former Spain maintained that the protocol did not involve the question of sovereignty of the islands, and therefore they should be returned, the demand for their cession being in fact a piece of extraordinary injustice. The American commissioners, on the other hand, claimed that the Spanish hold on the islands was so broken that any solution of the problem than that of American occupation was undesirable, if not impossible. In view of Spain's attitude on the question of the Philippines, nevertheless, the commissioners agreed to pay the sum of $20,000,000 for possession of the islands. This proposition was ultimately accepted, but not without much temporizing and many protests. With regard to the Cuban debts, the American commissioners absolutely refused to consider any proposition leading towards their assumption or guaranty. In reply to such propositions the point was made

and insisted upon that these debts had been largely acquired in suppressing uprisings in Cuba, hence producing the very conditions that had brought on the war. This demand was therefore wholly denied, and its elimination was finally accepted by the Spanish commissioners. The treaty as signed contained the following provisions:

1. Cession of Porto Rico.

2. Unconditional relinquishment of the sovereignty of Cuba.

3. Cession of the Philippines, including the Sulu Archipelago.

4. Cession of Guam, in the Ladrones. 5. Payment by the United States of $20,000,000 in settlement for the Philippines.

6. Relinquishment by the United States of any claim for money indemnity.

The text of the treaty is as follows: The United States of America and Her Majesty, the Queen-Regent of Spain, in the name of her August Son, Don Alfonso XIII., desiring to end the state of war now existing between the two countries, have for that purpose appointed as plenipotentiaries: The President of the United States, William R. Day, Cushman K. Davis, William P. Frye, George Gray, and Whitelaw Reid, citizens of the United States; and Her Majesty, Queen-Regent of Spain; Don Eugenio Montero Rios, President of the Senate; Don Buenaventura de Abarzuza, Senator of the Kingdom and exMinister of the Crown; Don Jose de Garnica, Deputy to the Cortes and Associate Justice of the Supreme Court; Don Wenceslao Ramirez de Villa-Urrutia. Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary at Brussels; and Don Rafael Cerero, General of Divisions, who, having assembled in Paris, and having exchanged their full powers, which were found to be in due and proper form, have, after discussion of the matters before them, agreed upon the following articles :

[ocr errors]


Spain relinquishes all claim of sovereignty over and all title to Cuba.

And as the island is, upon its evacuation by Spain, to be occupied by the United States, the United States will, so long as such occupation shall last, assume and discharge the obligations that may, under international law, result from the fact of its occupation, for the protection of life and property.


Spain cedes to the United States the island of Puerto Rico and other islands now under Spanish sovereignty in the West Indies, and the island of Guam in the Marianas or Ladrones.


Spain cedes to the United States the archipelago known as the Philippine Islands, and comprehending the islands lying within the following line:

A line running from west to east along or near the 20th parallel of north latitude, and through the middle of the navigable channel of Bachi, from the 118th to the 127th degree meridian of longitude east of Greenwich, thence along the 127th degree meridian of longitude east of Greenwich to the parallel of 4.45 north latitude, thence along the parallel of 4.45 north latitude to its intersection with the meridian of longitude 119.35 east of Greenwich, thence along the meridian of longitude 119.35 east of Greenwich to the parallel of latitude 7.40 north, thence along the parallel of latitude 7.40 north to its intersection with the 116th degree meridian of longitude east of Greenwich, thence by a direct line to the intersection of the 10th degree parallel of north latitude with the 118th degree meridian of longitude east of Greenwich, and thence along the 118th degree meridian of longitude east of Greenwich to the point of beginning.

The United States will pay to Spain the sum of $20,000,000 within three months after the exchange of the ratification of the present treaty.


The United States will, for the term of ten years from the date of the exchange of the ratifications of the present treaty, admit Spanish ships and merchandise to the ports of the Philippine Islands on the same terms as ships and merchandise of the United States.


The United States will, upon the signature of the present treaty, send back to Spain, at its

[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors]


« PreviousContinue »