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message of December, 1819, a further revision of the neutrality laws, in the following terms (a paragraph of the message, doubtless furnished by the Secretary of State) :

“It is of the highest importance to our national character, and indispensable to the morality of our citizens, that all violations of our neutrality should be prevented. No door should be left open for the evasion of our laws; no opportunity afforded, to any who

may

be disposed to take advantage of it, to compromit the interest or the honor of the nation. It is submitted, therefore, to the consideration of Congress, whether it may not be advisable to revise the laws with a view to this desirable result.” (4 Am. State Pap., p. 628.)

In view of this recommendation coming from President Monroe and his Cabinet more than a year after the law of April 20, 1818, had been tried in actual operation, and several months after the adoption of the British Foreign-Enlistment Act had become known at Washington, I would respectfully ask of the Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, whether he believes that Mr. Monroe or John Quincy Adams would have preferred retrogressive to progressive neutral legislation, could they have returned to their official positions, and taken upon themselves to advise the American people in July last how to act in reference to discharging their neutral duties towards other nations. Does he believe that either or both of them would have been in favor of " scaling” down, instead of rising up in the scale of civilization? And does he believe that the authors of the "Monroe doctrine," one or both, were the men who were setting American legislation to the tune of European dictation ?

I should be glad to trace Secretary J. Q. Adams's and President J. Q. Adams's neutral record down to a later point than this of 1819; particularly in the way of showing, how, though the neutrality statute of 1818 was not amended in conformity with President Monroe's recommendation, yet other important neutral legislation was inaugurated at that period, eminently serviceable to foreign powers, especially the amendment of the laws relating to piracy and the adoption of that remarkable statute (1820, chap. 110), by which the entrance of all armed vessels into the port of Baltimore was

absolutely prohibited, except at the President's special permission : but I fear that such a discussion would lead me too far from my main purpose. I believe, however, that I have shown quite enough to meet General Banks's assumption, when he quotes John Quincy Adams as concurring with such opinions and measures as were sanctioned by the House of Representatives, under his own auspices, at its late session.

It is hardly worth my while, I think, to go on and answer General Banks's strange attempt to vouch in Mr. Charles Francis Adams's name in aid of retrogressive neutral legislation. If the burden of all the younger Mr. Adams's ministerial mission has been to hold the British Government up to Mr. Canning's doctrine, that England is bound to do unto the United States what the United States have heretofore done unto England, — as I think my reader's fresh recollection of its general tenor will bear me out in asserting it really has been, — is it probable that General Banks can pick out of Mr. C. F. Adams's whole official correspondence, during the past five years, a single sentence which will fairly bear the construction that Mr. Adams views our whole past neutral practice and policy as so much subservience to foreign dictation, which, if he could have his way, he would change at the first opportunity. Until the Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs can produce at least one paragraph of Mr. Adams's writing which looks in that direction, I shall be slow to believe in any such suggestion of our worthy minister's self-stultification.

Perhaps 1 ought to add, in justice to General Banks, that I have not overlooked his citation from President Washington's Farewell Address (Report, p. 5), which Secretary John Quincy Adams quotes with approbation, in reference to the ultimate growth of the United States to that point where " they may choose peace or war with belligerent nations, as their interests, guided by justice, shall counsel.” That declaration of Washington's, uttered in 1796, canilot by possibility be made to apply to neutral legislation enacted in 1817-18, and continued in force to the present day, and had as little to do with passing neutral laws at foreign dictation at all, in my judgment, as it has to do with pronouncing on the justice of the " Alabama” claims against England at the present moment. The Father of his Country was urging upon his countrymen a policy of peace and non-entanglement with foreign complications; but he had no more idea of condemning his own approval of Hamilton's Neutrality Act, and of recommending to succeeding administrations its repeal at the earliest possible moment, than he had of striking out of his own historic fame the glory that really belongs to his presidential initiation and enforcement of American neutrality, - perhaps the brightest laurel of his civic life.

But I return from this long, though I trust not unprofitable, digression, in vindication of the opinions held by the Adamses and the founders of the Monroe doctrine in regard to modifying neutral law to the urgencies of foreign powers, to say, in conclusion of this topic of the unfavorable argument to be drawn from the temporary character of our various neutrality acts, that to my mind this point affords one of the strongest arguments in their favor.

I have already shown how Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe, who had all been opposed originally to Washington and Hamilton's neutral policy, ultimately gave in their hearty adhesion to it, and carried it forward by several degrees of advancement. The same is true of Mr. Gallatin, another historic name in our political history, except for whose exclusion from the Senate (on the ground of alienage) we should probably have never had the law of 1794 at all. Chief-Justice Marshall, in his Life of Washington (vol. ii. 2d ed. p. 327), takes notice of the fact, that, in the divided condition of the Senate on Hamilton's act [Marshall, I ought to say, does not call it such], it was only owing to Mr. Gallatin's having been unseated a few days before, on the score of his not having been a duly naturalized citizen for the length of time required by the Constitution, that the measure became a law. Now it so happened, that, when the act of 1794 came up for extension in 1797, Mr. Gallatin had found his way again into Congress as a member of the lower house, and so had an opportunity to renew his opposition to the law. Did Mr. Gallatin again attempt to get rid of that legislation ? On the contrary, he declared himself in favor of making the act perpetual, except for some provisions in the first and second sections, which he thought of doubtful expediency (Ann. Cong. 1796–7, p. 2227); and, when the act came up again in 1800 for enactment in perpetuity, he withheld any further opposition, and, it would seem, voted in its favor, without further reservation (Ann. Cong. 1799–1800, pp. 656–65; Jour. House Rep., vol. iii. p. 662).

Now, if the law of 1794 thus made good its place in permanency on the statute-book, in face of the opposition of such men as Madison, Monroe, and Gallatin, all of whom eventually approved it, is it not a testimonial in its favor, rather than in its condemnation, that it began with being only experimental and temporary ? So, again, the law of 1817 had in it a limitation of two years' duration. But its provisions (in the main), as we have seen, were made perpetual by the law of 1818, notwithstanding Henry Clay's vehement opposition ; much to the surprise, too, of the Portuguese minister, Signor Correa, who, according to the diplomatic correspondence of that day, waked up thirty days before the law of 1817, by its terms, would expire, – viz., in February, 1819, — and implored Secretary John Quincy Adams to procure an extension of that act, which he characterized "e as so honorable to the character of the United States ;” a request which the Secretary of State was able to satisfactorily meet, by pointing Mr. Correa to the act of the 20th of April of the previous year, already in force, and of which he seemed to have been profoundly ignorant (Ex. Doc. 32d Cong. 1st Sess. No. 53, p. 170):

Since the revision of 1818, we have had another temporary neutrality act, applicable to the Canadian revolt of 1838, at the time of the " Caroline” affair, as referred to by General Banks, though with no disparaging allusion on the score of its temporariness. The reason for allowing this act to expire by its own limitation was doubtless that assigned by Mr. Buchanan, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, at the time of its passage ; viz., that its terms were not sufficiently well considered, and its structure too untechnical (Benton's Abr. of Deb., vol. xiii. p. 641). It fulfilled the purposes of its enactment, however, highly satisfactorily during its two years' duration; and the British Government, so far as I am aware, never urged its extension.

According to the best judgment, then, which I am able to give to the subject, the temporariness of our neutral legislation has been only experimental, and the result of deliberate forethought; and to argue from that circumstance, that the authors of this legislation felt themselves coerced to adopt it, and retained the mental reservation of intending to get rid of it at the earliest opportunity, seems to me an unworthy imputation upon the manliness and courageous statesmanship of some of the most independent and upright statesmen and lawgivers of the country. I repeat again, that I cannot and do not believe that the Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs intended any such disparagement of the historic names of the Republic; but, in his effort to gain a foothold for subverting a long-cherished policy of the Government, he has been unavoidably driven to depreciate the motives of the measures and men identified with that policy. How bad, then, must be that proposed departure from old principles, which begins with questioning, even impliedly, the political firmness and independence of Washington and Hamilton, and which ends with confessing that the legislation approved by Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, and the two Presidents Adams, "is not an agreeable subject” for the American legislator to dwell on!

I dismiss this topic of General Banks's disparagement of our historical reputation, into which I have been led to an unexpected length by its attractive interest and undeveloped novelty, by expressing the hope that I have made good at least these five conclusions :

First, That our policy of peaceful neutrality was initiated at the outset in the assertion of a brave and self-respectful national independence, as well as in furtherance of a just and true neutral impartiality.

Second, That, so far as we have yielded to the reasonable requests of foreign nations in originally adopting and afterwards advancing and consolidating that policy, we have not only gained for ourselves the respect and approbation of the civilized world, but have secured for the nation a balance of international credit which entitles us to a reciprocation of like legislative favors, or to a just indemnity for their refusal, on the

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