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good one, the existing choice lay not between it and a better one, but between it and war. This view was most forcibly expressed by Fisher Ames in the greatest speech till then made in Congress; and at length, on April 30, 1796, the appropriation was passed and the treaty became an established fact.
The Jay treaty worked more satisfactorily than was expected. Grenville had promised Jay some concessions not Working of
formally mentioned, and these were fulfilled. the treaty
The admiralty courts in the West Indies were reorganized and made respectable. Hammond was replaced by Liston, who proved to be somewhat more pleasing personally. From 1796, moreover, in spite of the excision of the West Indian article from the treaty, that trade
as thrown open to American vessels under certain limitations. Best of all was the quieting effect on the northern frontier. Vermont was relieved by the opening of trade to Montreal, the national power was vindicated by the occupation of the whole national territory, and with the Jay treaty added to Wayne's treaty of 1795 came sixteen years of comparative peace with the Indians. On September 8, 1796, the British consul, Bond, wrote to Lord Grenville that the treaty had a “tendency to retain this infant country in a state of peace with the most powerful empire in the universe.”
The effect of the Jay treaty was not confined to the relations between the United States and Great Britain. The European document was observed by all the cabinets of opinion
Europe with varying emotions, but everywhere from the point of view of the obsession that the United States must be upon one side or the other. If she had rejected the overtures of France and made a treaty with England, it must mean that she was to be counted on the side of England. Nowhere, was the effect so immediate and pronounced as in Spain.
IS. B. Crandall, Treaties, their Making and Enforcement, New York, 1904.
?C.C. Pinckney, Thomas Pinckney, Boston, etc., 1895; Schuyler, American Diplomacy, 271-281.
Important as were the questions at issue with that country, no progress had been made in solving them. In part this was due to the inadequacy, nearly always Relations with characteristic, of our representation at that Spain court. Carmichael exhibited a nonchalance that excites suspicions as to his good intent. His industrious successor, Short, was persona non grata. At length, in August, 1794, Spain distinctly declared that “at least His Majesty expected that the ministers appointed by the United States should be persons of such character, distinction, and temper as would become a residence near his royal person.”
Meantime Spain had continued her various policies, keeping on good terms with the Indians and bribing Wilkinson. In 1794 Gayoso had hopes of Kentucky, but Spanish polifeared that, if the settlers there knew of the cies Spanish relations with the Indians, they would, instead of continuing their negotiations, “become our most cruel enemies.” Washington wrote in September, 1794: "Spain by a similar conduct to that of Great Britain has imposed the necessity of sending an envoy extraordinary to her. They coöperate; cordial in their hatred, they have agreed to employ the Indians against us."
The envoy selected was Thomas Pinckney, the resident minister at London, whose position was perhaps rendered slightly invidious in consequence of Jay's mis- Pinckney's sion. The attitude of Spain always varied mission with the changes in European conditions. By her defeats of 1794 she had been forced to turn from England to France; the treaty of Basle, July 22, 1795, revived the old “family alliance, although the dynastic situation had so tragically changed. It was in this new condition that news of the Jay treaty found Spain. Her court, believing that it meant the alliance of the United States and Great Britain, saw in imagination irresistible forces descending upon her frail defences in Louisiana and attacking the mines of Mexico. Although convinced of the necessity of coming to terms, her
ministers could not shake off their constitutional habits of delay, until on October 24, 1795, Pinckney announced his immediate departure for London. His bluff was successful, and on October 27 the treaty of San Lorenzo was signed.
As the first treaty between United States and Spain, it laid down the general rules of intercourse upon liberal terms. Treaty of Sex In regard to neutral rights it provided that Lorenzo
provisions should not be contraband of war, and that free ships make free goods. Until 1794 the Spanish fleet had coöperated with that of Great Britain, and had acted upon somewhat the same principles. To settle questions arising from this conduct, a commission was arranged for, which came to an end in 1800 after having awarded over three hundred thousand dollars to American claimants. But these questions were of Tess interest than those relating to boundaries and the use of the Mississippi. As to the former, Spain accepted the American contention, the thirty
first parallel, and agreed to evacuate her posts in the disputed region. She opened the navigation of the Mississippi to the
Americans, and engaged that for three years New Orleans was to serve them as a "place of deposit" with the right to export their goods therefrom free of duty. “And His Majesty promises either to continue this permission, if he finds during that time that it is not prejudicial to the interests of Spain, or if he should not agree to continue it there, he will assign to them on another part of the banks of the Mississippi an equivalent establishment."
With the prompt ratification of this favorable treaty, Washington could indeed feel that the new government had Success of the justified itself to the people as their representanational gove
tive before the world. The diplomatic prob
lems that had helped cause the fall of the Confederation had all been solved. Commercial treaties had been made with Spain and Great Britain. If the latter had not permanently opened her West India islands, at any rate they were open now. The Indians north and south had
been quieted. Outlets had been obtained down the St. Lawrence to Montreal and Quebec, and down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico. The occupation of the entire national territory had been provided for. In addition, the policy of national independence from European disputes had been effectively laid down, the worst irregularities of belligerent interference with our commerce had been done away with, and compensation for our losses provided for. If these settlements were not all to prove permanent, at least they established precedents which we were steadily gaining added strength to enforce. For many of these suc Washington's cesses Washington could take personal credit, influence over and above that of choosing the men who accomplished them. The Indian policy was peculiarly his own. His selection from the various alternatives proposed by Hamilton and Jefferson for handling the Genêt affair made the policy adopted essentially his. In view of the conflicting forces within him and without, his decision to sign the Jay treaty was a great act which proved to be a wise one. Finally in his farewell address he gave the policy of neutrality a consecration in the minds of the people which still persists. The points on which he might have done better were comparatively minor. He was able to retire in March, 1797, not, to be sure, leaving all problems solved, but having settled all those, except the opening of the Mediterranean, that he was chosen to deal with, and more.
WAR AND PEACE WITH FRANCE
The Jay treaty, which settled so many of our difficulties, served to intensify those with France. That country, in Permanent
addition to a continued insistence on the execuFrench policies tion of the treaties of 1778 and 1788, was pressing two lines of policy which animated her diplomacy throughout the period of her final struggle with England. One was the claim, which gradually took clearer and clearer form, that the rights of the neutral were the possession of the belligerent. She held that it was the duty of the United States to maintain in full her neutral rights against England, that the failure to do so constituted practical alliance with England and justified retaliatory disregard of neutral rights by France. Her second policy was the attempt to destroy English trade by attacking her commerce, "to force the English to a shameful bankruptcy." John Quincy Adams wrote, August 21, 1796: “But the French Government are evidently making their preparations to put in execution their singular plan of war against Britain, the season ensuing. That they will succeed in cutting off the communication between that island and all the rest of Europe, is not at all impossible.
The mission of Monroe had been accepted as an indication of regard for France. He had been publicly and en
thusiastically received by the convention in France
August, 1794, and had pleased it by his response. “America and France,” he said in effect, “have the same interests and principles, the recollection of common
1 Volume ii. of his Writings (ed. W. C. Ford, New York, 1913, etc.) throws much light on this period.