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assembly of Mexican notables to deal with the situation. Amid the confusion of local factions and personal rivalries
that divided the land there ran one main Formation of the Mexican line of division,—that between the Church empire
party and the Liberal party. The latter, under Juarez, was in the field fighting the French; the other Napoleon hoped to use as the local basis for French influence. His notables were chosen with that end in view, and they proved docile to his leading. Under his tutelage they decided that an empire on the Napoleonic plan afforded the best basis for security, and asked the Archduke Maximilian of Austria, to rule over them. Napoleon calculated on establishing in America an empire that would be strong and yet dependent upon his support, and on gaining in Europe the gratitude of the pope and of Austria.
The situation thus presented to us was, both technically and practically, more difficult than that produced by Spain Danger of our in Dominica. Technically it was so because
this was not a question of annexation, but prima facie an exhibition of popular sovereignty. Napoleon's was plainly the guiding hand, yet to the eye the marionette notables moved of their own volition. Practically it was more dangerous because of the greater strength of France. Spain was simply no longer afraid of us, of France we ourselves were fearful. We could not acquiesce in such a way as to find our hands tied after the war was over; on the other hand, if we protested too vigorously we should not only be making useless threats, but might give Napoleon an excuse for breaking from England's lead and interfering in our Civil
On February 3, 1863, he offered to act as mediator between the North and South, and, when the North firmly rejected that offer, it was only England's influence that prevented his recognition of the Confederacy. Napoleon and the Confederacy mutually cultivated each other; Slidell was con
1 Lettre d M. Duchon Doris, Bordeaux, 1864; “Mme. Adam's Reminiscences,” Nation, 1905, lxxxi. 521-522.
cerned in the Napoleonic attempt to influence the British Parliament through Roebuck; Benjamin attempted to bribe Napoleon by a million bales of cotton. Almost to the day of Lee's surrender the hope of Napoleon's intervention persisted in the South. Of Seward's first dispatch on the subject, in which he assured France of our neu- Seward and trality in her war with Mexico, and with refer- Napoleon ence to the new empire said that it would be neither easily established nor useful, his friend Weed wrote to him: “Your dispatch on Mexican matters breaks no eggs. It makes a record, and there, I hope, you are at rest.” Napoleon, on hearing that Seward's dispatch had arrived, eagerly asked if there had been a protest. Rather annoyed than relieved by its mild indefiniteness, he asked that we follow the example of the powers of Europe except Russia, by recognizing Maximilian as emperor. Seward replied that he understood there was still opposition to the Austrian, and that he should prefer to err on the side of neutrality.
Seward's policy of avoiding offence to France and yet of leaving the future unpledged, was undoubtedly wise, but in pursuing it he was forced to deal not only Seward and with Napoleon but with our own newspapers Congress and with Congress. In April, 1864, the House of Representatives unanimously resolved that it could not accord with United States policy to acknowledge a monarchical government established under the auspices of any European power on the ruins of an American Republic. The French foreign minister, Drouyn de l’Huys, learning of the resolution, greeted our minister, Dayton, with the question, “Do you bring us peace or bring us war?” He brought Seward's explanation that the foreign policy of our country was directed by the President.
The close of our war left us masters of the situation; but the task of getting rid of Maximilian was a delicate one, for there was the chance that our aroused and militant public sentiment would force Napoleon into war to defend his
prestige. General Grant looked on the whole movement as a “direct act of war,” and it was proposed that an army Seward and
of our volunteers, Union and Confederate, be
reënlisted across the Mexican border to serve under Juarez in driving out the French. General Schofield was detached for twelve months to head this organization.
Seward met this dangerous proposition by finesse. He called Schofield to him and asked him to go to France inSeward allows stead. “I want you to get your legs under Napoleon a diplomatic
Napoleon's mahogany,” said he, “and tell him victory
he must get out of Mexico.” Schofield did not happen to dine with Napoleon, but Seward informed France that peace would be put in "imminent jeopardy" by the further retention of French troops in Mexico. Realizing, however, that Napoleon, by reason of the domestic situation in France, could face war more easily than a confessed defeat, Seward gave him a seeming victory by assuring him, February 12, 1866, that after the French evacuation the United States would continue the same neutrality between Juarez and Maximilian that she had previously preserved between Juarez and the French. This recognition constituted a triumph of French diplomacy, though a triumph that every one knew was hollow, for Maximilian could not stand a year unsupported by France. Accepting this way out, so wisely prepared for him, de l'Huys replied. “We receive this assurance with entire confidence and we find therein a sufficient guarantee not any longer to delay the adoption of measures intended to prepare for the return of our army."
Hearing of the probable abandonment of Maximilian by the French, his countrymen of Austria prepared to enlist an army for his defence. Seward promptly directed John
*C. A. Duniway, Reasons for the Withdrawal of the French from Mexico, Amer. Hist. Assoc., Report, 1902, i. 312-328; Latané, Diplomatic Relations of the United States and Spanish America, 221-265; Henry Wheaton, Elements of International Law, 8th edition by R. H. Dana, London, etc., 1866.
Lothrop Motley, our minister at Vienna, to challenge such
The American residuum of European interference soon
That Great Britain does not appear in this crisis of the Monroe Doctrine seems strange to many critics. Bernhardi wrote in 1901: "Since England committed the
Great Britain unpardonable blunder, from her point of view, and the
roe Doctrine of not supporting the Southern States in the American war of Secession, a rival to England's world-wide empire has appeared . in the form of the United States of North America.” In part this apparent neglect of oppor
tunity was due to the fact that, although her prime minister was jingoistic, there was in England at this time a strong sentiment that colonies were unprofitable, and that it was the universal tendency for them to ripen and drop from the parent tree. Still, Canning himself would probably not have acted otherwise. What Great Britain wanted was commercial opportunity, and of that the independence of Spanish America was sufficient guarantee to the cheapest producer in the world. The only portions of America that England might desire were Cuba and the Isthmus; but the first was Spain's, the second was protected by the ClaytonBulwer treaty. If Great Britain showed a lack of enterprise in not pushing her interests during the Civil war, at least she was spared recognizing the Monroe Doctrine at its close.
It was probably more nearly a deviation from British policy to allow other European powers, like Spain and France,
to acquire permanent interests in America. Great Britain and European On that point England had been in agreement interference
with us since 1823; the conflicts between us had arisen when we were endeavoring to extend our interests. Her acquiescence in this case was due to her practical alliance with Napoleon, and perhaps to a well-justified cynical belief that nothing would come of it.
Just after the war, in 1867, the House of Representatives endeavored to hoist Great Britain on our favorite petard by
declaring that the organization of the DominThe Monroe Doctrine and ion of Canada, the union of the several British Canada
provinces, constituted such a change of status in American affairs as to constitute a violation of the Monroe Doctrine. The failure of the administration to urge this forced interpretation upon Great Britain deprived her of an opportunity of replying to it.
In 1870 Grant gave expression to a corollary of the Doctrine which had for some time been recognized: “Hereafter no territory on this continent shall be regarded as subject to