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to prevent, but a misfortune to the human race, which should secure for us at least the forbearance of all other nations. It cannot be maintained that disunion would leave it still existing in its true character, and for its proper ends, although in two not very unequal and similar parts. Its integrity as a federal government, embracing all of the American independent, contiguous, and homogeneous States, protecting them all against foreign dangers and internal commotions; securing to them all a common property, greatness, dignity, influence and happiness, is an indispensable feature of its constitution. Dismemberment would be less effectually subversive of the character; objects, and purposes of the Union, if the two confederacies, which it is proposed shall succeed it, could severally be expected to exercise its great functions within their respective dominions. But this would be impossible. The several States are now held in union with each other by a confessed obligation of cohesion that only their common consent could dissolve, and that moral law, hitherto acknowledged by all, is substituted for the central military authority which, in other systems, secures the integrity as well as the peace and harmony of States. But if the revolution shall prevail and dismemberment ensue, the federal obligation in that case will be broken, its moral force spent, and in its place there must come up the principles which are the acknowledged elements of the revolution, namely, first, that in either confederacy each State is at liberty to secede at pleasure ; and secondly, the minority in each confederacy, and even in each State, may, whenever the will of the majority is ascertained, take an appeal from the ballot to the sword. It is manifest that the success of this revolution would therefore be not only a practical overthrow of the entire system of government, but the first stage by each confederacy in the road to anarchy, such as so widely prevails in Spanish America. The contest, then, involves nothing less than a failure of the hope to devise a stable system of government upon the principle of the consent of the people, and working through the peaceful expressions of their will without depending on military authority. If the President were addressing his countrymen at home on this occasion, instead of one of their representatives going abroad, he would direct me to set forth the consequences which obviously must follow the dissolution of the American Union. The loss of the ambition, which is a needful inspiration to a great people; the loss of the respect of mankind, and the veneration and respect of posterity; the loss of the enterprise and vigor which makes us a prosperous nation; and with the loss of sustained and constant culture, which makes us an intellectual people, the loss of safety, both at home and abroad, which directly involves the greatest calamity of all, the loss of liberty. It is sufficient only to allude to these possible evils on this accasion to afford you the grounds for assuring the government of France that the President regards the revolution as one which in every event must and will be prevented, since it is manifest that the evils which would result from its success would be as incurable as they would be intolerable. It is, indeed, an occasion of much regret that it has been found needful to employ force for this purpose. It is contrary to the genius and the habits of the people, as it is repugnant to the sentiments of the government of the country and of mankind. But the President believes that the country will accept that alternative with the less regret because sufficient time has been allowed to try every expedient of conciliatory prevention, and civil war is at last proved to be unavoidable. The responsibility of it must rest with those who have not only inaugurated it, but have done so without cause and without provocation. The world will see that it is an evil that comes upon us not from any necessity growing out of administration or out of our Constitution itself, but from a necessity growing out of our common nature.
It must not, however, be inferred that the reluctance of the government to employ force so long has demoralized the administration or can demoralize the American people. They are capable of a high, resolute, and vigorous defence of the Union, and they will maintain that defence with only the more firmness and fidelity, because they are animated by no hostile spirit, but, on the contrary, by a friendly and even fraternal one, being satisfied that its benefits will result equally to those who are engaged in overthrowing and those who are engaged in defending the Union. I have thus, under the President's direction, placed before you a simple, unexaggerated, and dispassionate statement of the origin, nature, and purposes of the contest in which the United States are now involved. I have done so only for the purpose of deducing from it the arguments you will find it necessary to employ in opposing the application of the so-called Confederate States to the government of his Majesty the Emperor for a recognition of its independence and sovereignty. The President neither expects nor desires any intervention, or even any favor, from the government of France, or any other, in this emergency. Whatever else he may consent to do, he will never invoke nor even admit foreign interference or influence in this or any other controversy in which the government of the United States may be engaged with any portion of the American people. It has been simply his aim to show that the present controversy furnishes no one ground on which a great and friendly power, like. France, can justly lend aid or sympathy to the party engaged in insurrection, and therefore he instructs you to insist on the practice of neutrality by the government of the Emperor, as all our representatives are instructed to insist on the neutrality of the several powers to which they are accredited. Not entertaining the least apprehension of the departure from that course by his Majesty's government, it is not without some reluctance that the President consents to the suggestion of some considerations affecting France herself, which you may urge in support of it. France is an agricultural and manufacturing country. Her industry depends very largely on a consumption of her productions and fabrics within the United States, and on the receipt, in exchange, of cotton, or other staples, or their equivalent in money, from the United States. The ability of the United States to thus consume and furnish depends on their ability to maintain and preserve peace. War here will in any case be less flagrant, and peace, when broken, will be restored all the more quickly and all the more perfectly if foreign nations shall have the sagacity, not to say the magnanimity, to practice the neutrality we demand. Foreign intervention would oblige us to treat those who should yield it as allies of the insurrectionary party, and to carry on the war against them as enemies. The case would not be relieved, but, on the contrary, would only be aggravated, if several European states should combine in that intervention. The President and the people of the United States deem the Union, which would then be at stake, worth all the cost and all the sacrifices of a contest with the world in arms, if such a contest should prove inevitable. However other European powers may mistake, his Majesty is the last one of those sovereigns to misapprehend the nature of this controversy. He knows that the revolution of 1775 in this country was a successful contest of the great American idea of free popular government against resisting prejudices and errors. He knows that the conflict awakened the sympathies of mankind, and that ultimately the triumph of that idea has been hailed by all European nations. He knows at what cost European nations resisted for a time the progress of that idea, and perhaps is not unwilling to confess how much France, especially, has profited by it. He will not fail to recognize ' the presence of that one great idea in the present conflict, nor will he mis
take the side on which it will be found. It is, in short, the very principle of universal suffrage, with its claim to obedience to its decrees, on which the government of France is built, that is put in issue by the insurrection here, and is in this emergency to be vindicated, and, more effectually than ever, established by the government of the United States. I forbear from treating of questions arising out of the revenue laws of the United States, which lately have been supposed to have some bearing on the subject. They have already passed away before the proclamation of the blockade of ports in the hands of the revolutionary party. Nor could considerations so merely mercenary and ephemeral in any case enter into the counsels of the Emperor of France. You will, naturally enough, be asked what is the President's expectation concerning the progress of the contest and the prospect of its termination. It is, of course, impossible to speculate, with any confidence, upon the course of a revolution, and to fix times and seasons for the occurrence of political events affected by the excitement of popular passions; but there are two things which may be assumed as certain : First. That the union of these States is an object of supreme and undying devotion on the part of the American people, and, therefore, it will be vindicated and maintained. Secondly. The American people, notwithstanding any temporary disturbance of their equanimity, are yet a sagacious and practical people, and less experience of evils than any other nation would require will bring them back to their customary and habitual exercise of reason and reflection, and, through that process, to the settlement of the controversy without further devastation and demoralization by needless continuance in a state of civil war. The President recognizes, to a certain extent, the European idea of the balance of power. If the principle has any foundation at all, the independence and the stability af these United States just in their present form, properties, and character, are essential to the preservation of the balance between the nations of the earth as it now exists. It is not easy to see how France, Great Britain, Russia, or even reviving Spain, could hope to suppress wars of ambition which must inevitably break out if this continent of North America, now, after the exclusion of foreign interests for three-quarters of a century, is again to become a theatre for the ambition and cupidity of European nations. It stands forth now to the glory of France that she contributed to the emancipation of this continent from the control of European states, an emancipation which has rendered only less benefit to those nations than to America itself. The present enlightened monarch of France is too ambitious, in the generous sense of the word, to signalize his reign by an attempt to reverse that great and magnanimous transaction. He is, moreover, too wise not to understand that the safety and advancement of the United States are guaranteed by the necessities, and, therefore, by the sympathies of mankind. I am, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant, - WILLIAM H. SEWARD. Hon. WILLIAM L. DAYTON, doc., d.c., d.c.
Mr. Faulkner to Mr. Black.
No. 111..] . LEGATION of THE UNITED STATEs,
SIR : I had the honor to-day to receive your despatch, No. 45, touching certain recent political movements in the United States. I had, of course, through the public journals, been made acquainted with the painful facts to which you refer ; but your communication brings them now, for the first time, officially to my notice. I need hardly say to you that the events which have signalized the history of the United States for the last few months have occupied the attention of a very large share of the statesmen and people of Europe. In all my inter. course, public and private, from the Emperor to the peasant, embracing all grades of ministerial and diplomatic agents, it has been the engrossing, I might almost say the only topic of conversation. A revolution was as little anticipated in the United States as an earthquake in Paris. That large communities should be casting off the protection of a government to which thousands on this continent were looking for the realization of all their dreams of happiness on earth ; that a system should he pronounced a failure which has produced, within a few years, the most extraordinary developments of national prosperity and power of which history has left any record ; that a flag should be trampled in the dust which has never been stained by oppression, and which is hailed as the emblem of civil and religious freedom in every corner of the globe, were problems well calculated to rouse the inquisitive and to puzzle the uninformed. The conse. quence was, that there has been, within the last four months, throughout Europe a more thorough and general discussion, by the press and by individuals, of American institutions than had occurred for the previous twenty years. In general the press of Europe is in able and skilful hands; and if, in their late discussions, it has occasionally fallen into some egregious blun: ders, it shows how little familiar the best-informed were with the details of our system when those events arose which have attracted to our condition the gaze of Europe. You inform me that it is not improbable that persons claiming to represent the States which have attempted to throw off their federal obligations will seek a recognition of their independence by the Emperor of the French; that you would regard such an act, on the part of the French government, as calculated to encourage the revolutionary movements of the seceding States, and to increase the dangers of disaffection in those which shall remain loyal ; that it would be inconsistent with the friendship which the government of the United States has always heretofore experienced from the government of France ; that it would tend to disturb the friendly relations, diplomatic and commercial, now existing between those two powers, and prove adverse to the interests of France and the United States. You have not in your despatch informed me what line of policy it is the purpose of the federal government to adopt towards the seceding States, a fact most material in determining my own action, as well as the views to be addressed to a foreign power on the points presented by your instructions. If I correctly construe the intentions of the government, it looks to a pacific solution of the difficulties which now disturb its relations with the seceding States. In other words, it does not propose to resort to the strong arm of military power to coerce those States into submission to the federal authority. If this be a correct view of its proposed action, and all who understand the genius of our institutions and the character of our people must hope that it shall be such, the only difficulty will be in making European governments appreciate the spirit of such wise and conciliatory policy, and comprehend the just application of the principles of international jurisprudence to a state of facts so novel and peculiar. The fact which seems chiefly to have governed the conduct of nations in establishing diplomatic and commercial relations with States or provinces which have thrown off their allegiance to the general power—I mean, of course, apart from the fact of their ability to maintain international relations with the world—is the practical cessation of all attempts by arms to enforce
obedience to the authority asserted. This rule is founded upon the idea that force, successfully exerted or resisted, is the only criterion by which the respective claims to sovereignty of the contending parties can be adjudged. And, unfortunately, the past history of the world exhibits no other influence which has been deemed fit and proper to be invoked to maintain authority or to suppress revolution. But it is obvious that this rule cannot be rigidly applied by foreign governments to our political system, nor to the course of policy which the federal government has thought expedient to pursue towards the seceding States, without exhibiting, on the part of such foreign government, a most unfriendly disregard of the rights and interests of the remaining twenty-eight States, and an eager desire to dismember the confederacy. Where the parties place the issue fairly upon the arbitrament of the sword, there the result of arms must naturally determine the action of foreign powers. But where force is ab initio repudiated as the means of terminating the contest; where the appeal is to the reason, judgment, and interests of the seceding States; where time is an essential element to moderate excited passion, to examine into alleged grievances, and to apply the remedies provided by our constitutional system; and especially when it is known that propositions for the adjustment of the points at issue are now being considered by some of the most influential States of the confederacy, a hasty recognition by any foreign power of the independence of the seceding States would exhibit, upon the part of such foreign government, proof as unequivocal of an unfriendly spirit towards the United States as if such recognition were made amidst the clash of arms, and with a view of exerting a moral influence over the result of the struggle. It would seem to me, therefore, that no principle of international law, nor any considerations of courtesy or commercial benefit could justify a foreign power in adding to the embarrassments of our present domestic position by recognizing at this time the independence of the confederated States. No appeal will be made to its sympathy by the allegation of grievous wrong and oppression in the presence of the fact that nine other States, with the same rights and interests involved, equally free, brave, and high spirited, have not deemed the evil sufficient to justify a remedy so extreme. Time has not yet made manifest to the world how far those movements have sprung from passion, or are the results of deliberate judgment; whether they have originated in fears which have since proved unfounded, or are the settled convictions of the popular mind. Nor has any adequate opportunity been afforded for the correction of the grievance complained of by the regular operation of our constitutional system. The foreign power which would, under such circumstances, recognize the independence of those States, and thus frustrate and embarrass the regular and pacific adjustment of our own internal difficulties, would subject itself to grave accusations of hostility to the Union, and give to the federal authority, as the agent and representative of the remaining States, just cause of dissatisfaction. I have no hesitation in expressing it as my opinion, founded upon frequent general interviews with the Emperor, although in no instance touching this particular point, that France will act upon this delicate question when it shall be presented to her consideration in the spirit of a most friendly power; that she will be the last of the great states of Europe to give a hasty encouragement to the dismemberment of the Union, or to afford to the government of the United States, in the contingency to which you refer, any just cause of complaint. The unhappy divisions which have afflicted our country have attracted the Emperor's earnest attention since the first of January last, and he has never, but upon one occasion of our meeting since, failed to make them the subject of friendly inquiry, and often of comment. He looks upon the dismemberment of the American confederacy with no pleas