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theless a richness and variety of mineral and vegetable wealth unequalled in any other part of Europe. Many of its productions could, if introduced more freely, find a ready consumption here, while, on the other hand, we could supply Austria with materials and provisions which are now at greater cost received by her from other countries. Many of the Austrian productions and fabrics which we do receive come to us through the hands of merchants in other European States. The insignificance of our commerce with Austria results in a large degree from her policy of taxing exports as well as imports, and from monopolies, by which she labors to create a national system of navigation. The subject is one of great interest, and you can render an important service probably to both countries by applying yourself to an examination of it with a view to the negotiation of a more liberal treaty than the one now in force. Just now a pressure upon this department, incidental to the beginning of a new administration, renders it impossible for me to descend into the details which must be considered in this connexion. It is, however, a purpose of the President that the subject shall be thoroughly investigated, and you will in due time be fully instructed. In the meanwhile you are authorized to communicate his disposition in this respect to the government of his Imperial Royal Majesty, and to ascertain, if possible, whether it would be willing to enter into a revision of the commercial arrangements now existing between the two nations. The President is well aware that the government of Austria is naturally pre-occupied with political questions of great moment. It must be confessed, also, that painful events occurring among ourselves have a tendency to withdraw our thoughts from commercial subjects. But it is not to be doubted, in the first place, that political embarrassments would in both countries be essentially relieved by any improvement of their commerce which could be made; and, secondly, that the greater those embarrassments are the more merit there will be in surmounting them so far as may be necessary to effect that improvement. It certainly is not the intention of the President that the progress in material and social improvement which this country has been making through so many years shall be arrested or hindered unneces: sarily by the peculiar political trials to which it seems likely to be subjected during the term for which he has been called to conduct the administration of its affairs. There is a peculiar fitness in efforts at this time to enlarge our trade in the Mediterranean, for it is never wise to neglect advantages which can be secured with small expense, and near at home, while prosecuting at great cost, as we are doing, great enterprises in remoter parts of the world. I would not overlook Italy, Germany, and Hungary, while reaching forth for the trade of China and Japan. I shall allude to political affairs in Austria only so far as is necessary to enable me to indicate the policy which the President will pursue in regard to them. They present to us the aspect of an ancient and very influential power, oppressed with fiscal embarrassments, the legacy of long and ex: hausting wars, putting forth at one and the same time efforts for material improvement, and still mightier ones to protect its imperfectly combined dominion from dismemberment and disintegration, seriously menaced from without, aided by strong and intense popular passions within. With these questions the government of the United States has and can have no concern. In the intercourse of nations each must be assumed by every other to choose and will what it maintains, tolerates, or allows. Any other than a course of neutrality would tend to keep human society continually embroiled in wars, and render national independence everywhere practically impossible.
No institutions which can be established in a country through foreign intervention can give to it security or other advantages equal to those which are afforded by the system it establishes or permits for itself; while every nation must be regarded as a moral person, and so amenable to the public opinion of mankind, that opinion can carry its decrees into effect only by peaceful means and influences. These principles, hitherto practiced by the United States with great impartiality, furnish rules for the conduct of their representatives abroad, and especially for your own in the critical condition of political affairs in the country to which you are accredited. This intimation is given so distinctly because an observance of it is peculiarly important in the present condition of our domestic affairs. We are just entering on a fearful trial, hitherto not only unknown, but even deemed impossible by all who have not been supposed to regard the career of our country, even under auspicious indications, with morbid distrust. Ambitious and discontented partisans have raised the standard of insurrection and organized in form a revolutionary government. Their agents have gone abroad to seek, under the name of recognition, aid and assistance. In this case imprudence on our part in our intercourse with foreign nations might provoke injurious, possibly dangerous, retaliation. The President does not by any means apprehend that the imperial royal . government at Vienna will be inclined to listen to those overtures. The habitual forbearance of his Majesty, the friendship which happily has always existed between the two countries, and the prudence which the government of the former has so long practiced in regard to political affairs on this continent, forbid any such apprehension. Should our confidence in this respect, however, prove to be erroneous, the remarks which I shall have occasion to make with a different view in this paper will furnish you with the grounds on which to stand while resisting and opposing any such application of the so-called Confederate States of America. e Vienna, as you are very well aware, is a political centre in continental Europe. You may expect to meet agents of disunion there seeking to mould public opinion for effect elsewhere. I will not detain you with a history of that reckless movement, or with details of the President's policy in regard to it. Your experience as a prominent member of Congress has already furnished the former. The inaugural address of the President, with despatches to your predecessor, will be found in the archives of the legation, and will supply the latter. Certainly I shall not need to anticipate and controvert any complaints of injustice, oppression, or wrong, which those agents may prefer against their country before foreign tribunals. Practically, the discontented party itself administered this government from the earliest day when sedition began its incubation until the insurgents had risen and organized their new provisional and revolutionary government. Never, in the history of the human race, has revolution been so altogether without cause, or met with forbearance, patience, and gentleness so long. Nor shall I notice particularly the apprehensions of future injustice and oppression which, in the absence of real cause, are put forth as grouuds for the insurrection. The revolutionists will find it very hard to make any European sovereign, or even any European subject, understand what better or further guarantee they could have of all their rights of person and property than those which are written in the Constitution of the United States, and which have never been by the government of the United States broken or violated either in letter or in spirit. They will find it quite as difficult to make either a European sovereign or subject understand how they can rea
sonably expect to improve their political security by organizing a new government under a constitution containing substantially the same provisions as the one they seek to overthrow. There is reason to apprehend that the form of argument which the agents alluded to will chiefly employ will be an assumption that the independence and sovereignty of the new and irregular authority they represent is already de facto established. If this were true, still you could reply that no public interest of other States, nor even any such interest of the new confederacy itself could suffer by a delay allowing sufficient time for the government of the United States, fully consulting the people, to acknowledge in the first instance the independence so claimed to have been established. The United States have a right to require such delay from all friendly powers, and a refusal of it would be an act offensive to their dignity and manifestly hostile. There is not the least ground to assume that the government of the United States would act otherwise than wisely, discreetly, and humanely, when it should come to act in such a case. Individual caprice finds no place in a govel nment so entirely popular as ours, and partisan excitement sinks in great national emergencies here before the calm considerate judgment of the American people pronouncing upon considerations exclusively of their own security, freedom, and happiness. They would, indeed, regard the effectual dismemberment of the Union as fatal to the highest hopes which humanity has ever, with apparent reason, indulged. But they are not visionary nor impracticable, and they will not lack even the magnanimity to accept the fact of their ruin, and govern themselves in conformity with it, before other nations fraternally disposed need to intervene to reconcile them, or, if unfriendly, to profit by that last calamity. At all events foreign governments may be expected to consult their own interests and welfare in regard to the subject in question, even though indifferent to the rights and interests of the United States. A premature declaration of recognition by any foreign State would be direct intervention, and the State which should lend it must be prepared to assume the relations of an ally of the projected confederacy and employ force to render the recognition effectual. But, in point of fact, the assumption that the new confederacy has established its sovereignty and independence is altogether unfounded. It was projected, or favored, by the late administration during the four months that it remained in power after the election, which constituted practically an interregnum. The new administration, now only forty days old, has practiced forbearance and conciliation, relying hitherto, as it will hereafter rely, on the virtue and patriotism of the people to rescue the country and the Union from danger by peaceful and constitutional means, and content to maintain the authority and defend the positions which came into its hands on the fourth of March last, without employing coercion, so unnatural, and, as it has hitherto believed and still believes, so unnecessary for the national security, integrity, and welfare. The so-called confederacy has yet to secure its sovereignty either by war or by peace. If it shall, as now seems probable, have determined on war, it has only just thrown down the challenge. It must not assume that a nation so sound, so vigorous, and so strong as this, although it may forbear long, will not accept such a challenge when there is no alternative. The government of the so-called Confederate States have still greater perils to incur if they are to establish their separation by the acts and processes proper for peace. They will have at some time to refer themselves and all their action to an intelligent people, who will then have had time to reflect and to inquire what all this revolution is for, and what good it can produce. They will have to satisfy that people and mankind that a republican government can be stable and permanent which is built on the principle that a minority, when defeated in the popular elections, may appeal to arms, and that a confederacy can be relied upon by creditors or nations that admits the right of each of its members to withdraw from it and cast off its obligations at pleasure. I have treated the subject as if it were a question of war or of peace in the election of the insurrectionists. But, in truth, both the justice and the wisdom of the war must in the end be settled, as all questions which concern the American people must be determined, not by arms, but by suffrage. When, at last, the ballot is to be employed after the sword, then, in addition to the pregnant questions I have indicated, two further ones will arise requiring to be answered, namely, which party began the conflict, and which maintained in that conflict the cause of freedom and humanity. The agents of the projected confederacy have hitherto affected to undervalue the power which the Union can exercise for self-preservation, and they may attempt to mislead foreign States on this subject. It is true that the government was powerless to resist them so long as it was practically in their own hands and managed to favor their designs. Its executive department was panic-stricken, its legislature divided and distracted, its army demoralized and betrayed, its fortifications virtually surrendered, its navy dispersed, and its credit prostrated. Even the people themselves were bewildered by the sudden appearance of such unlooked-for and appalling dangers. All this demoralization is passing away as rapidly as it came on; and it will soon appear in this, as in all other cases, that the greatest vigor is found combined with the greatest power of elasticity. It will be deeply to be regretted if the energy of this great government is to have its first serious trial in a civil war, instead of one against a foreign foe. But if that trial cannot be averted, it will be seen that resources prudently left unembarrassed are more available than credit in foreign markets; that the loyalty of a brave and free people is more reliable than standing armies; that a good cause is worth more than allies, and self-defence is an attribute stronger than fortresses. Its assailants will have to defend themselves before an enlightened people, and even before other nations, at least so far as to show one State that the federal Union has actually oppressed or menaced, or one citizen who fared the worse for having lived under its authority. The agents of the new confederacy it is supposed will offer more favorable conditions to foreign commerce than the United States have thought it wise to afford. Such offers may be met with a few direct propositions. The Sagacity of the federal government is not likely to be found long at fault in giving such advantages to the insurrectionists. In the second place, how is a revolution to be carried on without taxes 2 Are the so-called seceding States abler than their sister States to endure direct taxation, or will faction reconcile men to burdens that patriotism finds intolerable : It will be well for the so-called confederacy if, instead of making good the promises in this respect made in its name, it do not find itself obliged to levy duties as large as those of the federal government on imports, and to add to its revenue system, what that government never has done, the ruinous feature of taxation upon exports. It is easily seen how little such a financial policy will commend the new government to the favor of European politicians and Capitalists. - But I must draw these instructions to a close. You will on all occasions represent that the interests of Europe and of mankind demand peace, and especially peace on this continent. The Union is the only guarantee of
The Union is, moreover, the chief security for the stability of nations. When this experiment of self-government shall have failed for want of wisdom and virtue enough, either at home or abroad, to preserve it or permit it to exist, the people of other countries may well despair and lose the patience they have practiced so long under different systems in the expectation that the influence it was slowly exercising would ultimately bring them to the enjoyment of the rights of self-government. When that patience disappears, anarchy must come upon the earth. I am, sir, your obedient servant, WILLIAM H. SEWARD. ANsoN BURLINGAME, Esq., &c., &c., &c.
Mr. Jones to Mr. Seward.
No. 20.] LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATEs, Vienna, April 15, 1861.
SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your circular, dated the 9th of March, 1861.
I presented the copy of the inaugural address of the President to Count Rechberg on the 8th day of April, and at the same time verbally communicated, in accordance with the instructions contained in said despatch, the views and opinions of my government on the present disturbed condition of its domestic affairs, and the aspect in which it wished them to be regarded by the government of Austria.
He replied that Austria hoped to see us re-united. That she was not inclined to recognize de facto governments anywhere; her opinions had been made, however, and her minister and consuls in America instructed fully on the subject; that no application had yet been made to Austria for recognition as an independent sovereignty, by any portion of the confederacy of the United States, and he was of opinion that, as the views of Austria would soon be known on the subject, no such application would be made. Should it be otherwise, however, he would notify this legation and the subject could be resumed.
>k >k >k :k >k :k >k :k :k Very respectfully, your obedient servant, J. GLANCY JONES. Hon. WILLIAM H. SEwARD, Secretary of State, Washington.
Mr. Jones to Mr. Seward.
No. 22.] LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATEs, ~ Vienna, July 20, 1861.
SIR: A few days since Count Rechberg, the imperial royal minister of foreign affairs, was interrogated in the house of deputies of the Austrian empire on the subject of the course pursued, or about to be pursued, by the imperial royal government in relation to American affairs in the present complication. The report of his remarks is as follows: