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tenance by the two powers of a joint squadron off the coast of Africa.
This agreement was promptly attacked by Lewis Cass, our minister to France, on the ground that Great Britain
had not definitely admitted that she did not Cass defeats the quintuple possess the right of search, and hence that she treaty
would in all probability actually exercise it. His fears had been excited by the attempt of that power in 1842 to effect a quintuple agreement by joining with her Austria, Prussia, France, and Russia for such a mutual right. On the basis of this powerful support he believed that Great Britain would assert the right as established international law. Cass therefore wrote a pamphlet attacking the proposal, and, acting without instructions, protested to the French prime minister, Guizot, and secured the defeat of the British plan, France finally adopting the American scheme of a joint squadron. In this action he was endorsed by Webster, and was supported by an article written by Henry Wheaton, entitled “An Inquiry into the Validity of the British Claim to a Right of Visitation and Search.” 1
Nevertheless, by 1849 Great Britain had secured treaties with twenty-four nations, all, except those with the United
States and France, permitting a mutual right of Great Britain yields visitavisita- search. With this great weight of international
support behind her, she justified Cass's fears by acting upon a claim, not indeed to search, but to visit any vessel suspected of the traffic in order to ascertain its nationality, a course to which she was provoked by the facts that otherwise any vessel flying the American flag was immune, and that most vessels used that flag in places where American war-ships were not to be found. If the vessel visited was not American, we did not suffer; but when, as often happened, it was ours, we, with our special sensitiveness to such liberties taken with our flag, resented the visit and
1 Daniel Webster, Works (ed. Edward Everett, 6 vols., Boston, 1851). v. 78–150; A. C. McLaughlin, Life of Lewis Cass (Boston, 1891), 174-192.
became increasingly angry. Finally in 1858, Cass himself having become secretary of state, the issue was forced, and the British government, with the advice of its law officers, admitted that no right of visitation existed.
The American government thus successfully met the attempt of Great Britain to continue in time of peace a practice which we had unsuccessfully resisted The conflict of in time of war. It is uncontestably true that in accomplishing this object we delayed the abolition of the slave trade to which we stood committed. It was a question of conflict between the national ideal of the freedom of our flag, strengthened later by the rising pro-slavery movement, and the ideal of humanitarianism. With the outburst of the Civil War the latter element got the upper hand in the national government, and in 1862 Seward ar
Triumph of huranged a treaty providing for a limited mutual manitarian
ideals right of search, but protecting American interests by a provision for mixed courts to try the cases. Seward said that, had such a treaty been made in 1808, there would have been no Civil War; but Seward was apt to be hyperbolic in expression.
The achievements of the period from 1829 to 1844 were the final settlement of the difficulties growing out of the Napoleonic wars, and the passing of another mile- The period stone in the adjustment of our relationships 1829 to 1844 with Great Britain. The latter transaction was a conventional agreement, in which it is doubtful if Webster did as well as John Quincy Adams would have done. The former was the work of Jackson, whose fearless, mannerless method of procedure marks the dominance of the frontier element in political life; it was not in accordance with rule, but it was characteristic and it was effective. More was done for the furtherance of commerce than one would have expected from the ruling elements in the United States at that time. To no small extent this progress must be considered as due to the
1 McLaughlin, Lewis Cass, 323-330.
presence on our staff of a man of Henry Wheaton's preeminent ability; but a factor still more important lay in the character of the commerce itself, now almost wholly noncompetitive and universally desired. The period as a whole, however, would be barren were it considered in relation to actual achievements alone. Its chief interest lies in the rise of new problems which it left for the future to solve.
In a report to the Mexican Congress in 1830, the secretary of foreign affairs, Lucas Alaman, analyzed the process of American expansion: 1
Alaman's “The United States of the North have been analysis of
American ergoing on successfully acquiring, without awak- pansion ening public attention, all the territories adjoining theirs. Thus we find that, in less than fifty years, they have succeeded in making themselves masters of extensive colonies belonging to various European Powers, and of districts, still more extensive, formerly in the possession of Indian tribes, which have disappeared from the face of the earth; proceeding in these transactions, not with the noisy pomp of conquest, but with such silence, such constancy, and such uniformity, that they have always succeeded in accomplishing their views. Instead of armies, battles, and invasions, which raise such uproar, and generally prove abortive, they use means which, considered separately, seem slow, ineffectual, and sometimes palpably absurd, but which united, and in the course of time, are certain and irresistible.
“They commence by introducing themselves into the territory which they covet, upon pretence of commercial negotiations, or of the establishment of colonies, with or without the assent of the Government to which it belongs. These colonies grow, multiply, become the predominant party in the population, and as soon as a support is found in this manner, they begin to set up rights which it is impossible to sustain in a serious discussion, and to bring forward ridiculous pretensions, founded upon historical facts which 1 House Exec. Docs., 25 Cong., 2 sess., No. 351, pp. 312-822.
are admitted by nobody. ... These extravagant opinions are, for the first time, presented to the world by unknown writers; and the labor which is employed by others, in offering proofs and reasonings, is spent by them in repetitions and multiplied allegations, for the purpose of drawing the attention of their fellow-citizens, not upon the justice of the proposition, but upon the advantages and interests to be obtained or subserved by their admission.
“Their machinations in the country they wish to acquire are then brought to light by the appearance of explorers, some of whom settle on the soil, alleging that their presence does not affect the question of the right of sovereignty or possession to the land. These pioneers excite, by degrees, movements which disturb the political state of the country in dispute. . When things have come to this pass,
which is precisely the present state of things in Texas, the diplomatic management commences: the inquietude they have excited in the territory in dispute, the interests of the colonists therein established, the insurrections of adventurers and savages instigated by them, and the pertinacity with which the opinion is set up as to their right of possession, become the subjects of notes, full of expressions of justice and moderation, until, with the aid of other incidents, which are never wanting in the course of diplomatic relations, the desired end is attained of concluding an arrangement as onerous for one party as it is advantageous to the other.”
In the History Teachers' Magazine for February, 1914, Dr. Jameson of the Carnegie Institution analyzed the Process of ex
natural history of American expansion. He pansion
omitted the stage of diplomatic claim-making by the United States and added the final step,—that of popularizing annexation by arousing our fears that some other power would annex if we did not. Otherwise these two analyses harmonize completely, except that Alaman finds the motive force in the malevolent scheming of the government, Dr. Jameson in the working of natural forces. Al