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citizens of that State,” it had been said "that the direction of the current of the rivers which run in front of their dwellings points clearly to the power to which they ought to ally themselves.”
Miro did not neglect Tennessee. Of the settlers in the Nashville region the most prominent was James Robertson. Restless under the restraint of trade, but even Miro and more under the Indian attacks, he at any rate
Tennessee coquetted with the Spaniards. McGillivray wrote, April 25, 1788, that the Cumberland settlers had asked for terms, "and added that they would throw themselves into the arms of his Majesty as subjects, and that Cumberland and Kentucky are determined to free themselves from their dependence on Congress, because that body cannot protect either their persons or their property, or favor their commerce. They therefore, believe that they owe no obedience to a power which is incapable of benefiting them.” Even in the valleys of East Tennessee, John Sevier, foremost man of the district, in 1788 offered his services to Miro and Gardoqui, although he subsequently withdrew from the connection.
The government under the Confederation, therefore, not only failed to open up commerce with the Mediterranean and the West Indies, and to put that with Diplomatic Spain upon a desirable basis, but it was unable failure to occupy the territory granted to the United States by the treaty of 1783, either in the northwest or on the Florida border. It was unable to quiet the Indians of north or south, or to provide commercial outlets for the trans-Appalachian settlers. Its failure was causing not only discontent but disloyalty, and to such a degree that, although the racial control of the great valley was probably determined by the character of the aggressive population already on the spot, its governmental future was still uncertain.
1 Roosevelt, Winning of the West, iii. chs. ii.-v.; Winsor, Westward Movement, 334.
While the western situation was not widely appreciated in the older portion of the country, the financial plight was The danger of fully realized. Owing to the lack of national
resources, the interest on our foreign debt was met only by occasional sales of such portions of the Dutch loan arranged by Adams as had not been immediately taken up. The loans from France were still unprovided for, and it was the gossip of diplomatic circles that France might take the island of Rhode Island as her payment. To the public mind of Europe in 1789, the acquisition of a French naval base on the United States coast seemed no more improbable than the acquisition of a United States naval base in Cuba seems to-day. It was by no means an accepted opinion that the United States would prove to be more than what we call to-day a protectorate, under French or English influence. The public debt was one of the weapons of France, as it has since so often been the key to European interference in the weaker countries of the world. Even though we were not actually in danger of being forced into political dependency, Europe had yet to be convinced that we were not. The future independence as well as the future limits of the country were in 1789 felt to be undetermined.
1 John Adams, Works, see index under loans.
. For the French position, see “Correspondence of the Comte de Moustier [French Minister in the United States) with the Comte de Montmorin," Amer. Hist. Review, 1903, viii. 709–733; for rumors, see Buckingham's letter to Temple, Mass. Hist. Soc., Proceedings, 1866, p. 75.
OLD PROBLEMS IN NEW HANDS 1
UNDER the Articles of Confederation the administration had proved too weak to perform the duties of a national government in maintaining the rights and interests of its citizens among the nations powers of the
Diplomatic of the world. This failure in diplomacy was
ernment one of the causes for the formation of a stronger central authority. Naturally, therefore, the constitution gave the new government a freer hand in dealing with international affairs. The states conceded to the nation almost complete control of war, peace, treaty-making, army and navy, commerce, naturalization, and Indian affairs; and treaties were made the law of the land, enforceable by the national supreme court. The only limitations were that the importation of slaves was not to be prohibited for twenty years, that no taxes should be levied on exports, and no preference given to the ports of one state over those of another. In actual practice, these limitations proved to give rise to little controversy and to hamper the national government
TJ. D. Richardson, Messages and Papers of the Presidents, 10 vols., to 1899, with continuations by other editors (contains valuable summaries and discussions); Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate, 1789– 1901, 32 vols. in 34, Washington, 1828–1911 (contains votes on treaties and appointments); Compilation of Reports of (Senate] Committee on Foreign Relations, 1789–1901, 8 vols., Washington, 1901 (Senate Doc., 56 Cong., 2 sess., No. 231); American State Papers, Foreign Relations, 6 vols., Washington, 1832–59 (gives such correspondence as was submitted to Congress from 1789 to 1828; that between 1828 and 1860 is not collected (see Hart, Foundations of American Foreign Policy, 281-283); since 1860 selected material has been published each year, although further papers are still presented to Congress on call from time to time); J. B. Moore, Digest of International Law as embodied ... especially in Documents . United States, 8 vols., Washington, 1906 (House Doc., 56 Cong., 2 sess., No. 551; an invaluable aid, discussing all points involving questions of law).
very little in its negotiations; but the failure to give the government full control of aliens within the limits of the states, coupled with the fact that foreign nations have held it to be responsible for them, has occasionally caused trouble.
Within the government, the direction of foreign affairs was given to the President, but the appointment of “ambasThe executive sadors, other public ministers, and consuls” and Congress
requires the confirmation of the Senate, and treaties must be ratified by a two-thirds vote of the same body. The relation of the House of Representatives to diplomacy has proved one of the most baffling ambiguities of the constitution. A minister appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate is an official of the United States. He can, however, draw no salary unless one is provided for by Congress as a whole. In the same way a treaty confirmed by the Senate is the law of the land and enforceable by the supreme court; but if it provides for the expenditure of money it cannot be executed unless the House consents. A treaty, moreover, often fixes rates to be paid on imported articles and on the vessels carrying them; but of no power are the representatives more jealous than that of regulating customs duties, a function clearly granted by the constitution to Congress as a whole. Although these questions have never been authoritatively adjudicated upon, and perhaps never can be, it may be said that Congress as a body has directed the expansion of the diplomatic service, that the House, although it has sometimes delayed discharging financial obligations laid upon the nation by treaties, has never failed to do so eventually, and that, on the other hand, it has never yielded its direction of commercial policy.
When Washington took office in April, 1789, he found no organization by means of which he could execute his diploThe determin- matic powers. Congress, however, speedily ation of policy provided for a department of state, charged chiefly with that function, its secretary becoming in effect foreign minister. The natural selection for this office was
John Jay, but he preferred the position of chief justice. Washington therefore appointed Thomas Jefferson, who had served on the committee of correspondence of the Continental Congress and since 1784 had been minister to France. Foreign affairs were, however, of such critical moment throughout the Federalist period that all questions of policy were discussed by the whole cabinet, together with Jay and the vicepresident John Adams. As a matter of fact, Jefferson's opinion was seldom followed; his influence was modifying rather than directing. The responsibility and the credit belong primarily to the presidents, Washington and, later, Adams.?
Although conditions of intercourse were better than during the Revolution, they were still poor, and a close-knit policy was impossible. It was very difficult,
Federalist moreover, to induce fit men to accept appoint- diplomatic ments in the regular diplomatic service. Salaries, while perhaps more adequate than they are to-day, were smaller than during the Revolution. The social allure which now renders so many patriots willing to spend abroad for their country was not strong enough to cross the Atlantic in the cheerless barks of that day. Old men feared the voyage; young men like John Quincy Adams disliked to abandon their professions for positions of “nominal respectability and real insignificance.” Consequently it was found impossible to keep first-class ministers except at London and Paris. Spain was ill-supplied, and the missions to Holland, Portugal, Russia, and Prussia were only occasionally filled. In this situation the government resorted to the expedient of sending special missions in important crises, and at such times it was well served.
The consular service was still less satisfactory. The only positions that carried salaries were those to the Barbary states, which were semi-diplomatic in character. In all
1 On organization, see Schuyler, American Diplomacy, chs. i-ïïi; J. W. Foster, The Practice of Diplomacy, Boston, 1910: Gaillard Hunt, Departmont of State, New Haven, 1914.