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when he stood particularly high in the estimation of his countrymen," and then goes on to belittle bis grudging concession by explanations, which do not reduce it, but do reduce Marshall.
If Jefferson was fortunate in the time of his retirement, as Marshall intimated, credit is due solely to Jefferson, because, except for his acts and efforts, we could not have emerged with peace and honor from our labyrinth of international difficulties, and the only fortunate thing about it, as far as Jefferson's fortunes were concerned, to wit, the universal applause which followed him, could not have existed. It is not too much to say that Jefferson had for these years virtually controlled the foreign policy of the United States. In no single case, that I can find, were his suggestions and propositions concerning foreign affairs in any essential overruled. He went reluctantly, it is true, into the violation of the French treaties, believing that State necessity alone justified it, but he saw as fully as Washington did the necessity of “standing out from under” in every possibly honorable way. He never did, however, dishonor himself by denying the obligations of the treaties. He did not add hypocrisy to bad faith. He simply accepted the bad faith as the necessity of the situation, the less of two evils. A man has no right to sacrifice his honor to save his own life. But a public servant may perhaps sacrifice the word of a nation to save a nation's life, or to save its people great hurt — militarily and institutionally.
Washington made one more effort early in September, 1794, to get Jefferson to resume his place in the Cabinet. This was after the latter had been for
some time in retirement at Monticello. He did this through Randolph, temporarily Secretary of State. Jefferson's reply to Randolph is worth reading.
After retirement Jefferson, in a letter to Edward Rutledge, on November 30th, lays down, in connection with the Jay Treaty, a diplomatic principle that may be fairly considered as having gone permanently into the working of our institutions; a principle that where a treaty is made, and contains in it some promise or undertaking (like the payment of money, for example), jurisdiction over which is vested in Congress, Congress being a free and independent and coördinate branch, it can, within its sound discretion, comply with, or refuse to comply with, the provisions of the treaty by making, or refusing to make, the appropriation. This depends, too, upon the principle that foreign nations are affected with the knowledge of the nature of our Government. Jefferson expresses it in these words: “Both negotiators must have understood that, as there were articles in it, which could not be carried into execution without the aid of the Legislatures on both sides, therefore, it must be referred to them,” and that, “these Legislatures being free agents would not give it their support, if they disapproved of it.” Subsequently, in the treaty acquiring Louisiana, he as President obeyed strictly the precept here laid down for others. He submitted the Louisiana Treaty to both Houses, “because,” he said, "both have important functions to exercise respecting it."
So much for the Jeffersonian view of the rights of the House of Representatives concerning treaties.
Now for the Jeffersonian view of the President's rights respecting treaties:
On the 19th of February, 1807, President Jefferson P announced to Congress that a treaty of peace had been agreed on with England. Soon after that the treaty which had been negotiated by Monroe came over. He found to his surprise that it did not touch upon the question of impressment of our sailors; that Great Britain did not disclaim this alleged right. He, therefore, took the responsibility of not sending the treaty to the Senate. He was much, even bitterly criticised for this at the time. He acted within his right; because, , if he were not going to sign the treaty and had made up his mind that he would not, it was “love's labor lost" for the Senate to discuss it. The precedent set by him here has been acknowledged ever since, and has become I engrafted upon our working institutions. It will be si remembered that the Jay Treaty, under General * Washington's administration, was also silent on this head of impressment, and yet Washington signed it. Jefferson had criticised him for it. His own conduct in and out of office was therefore consistent.
Jefferson took the position that signing a treaty that was silent upon the subject was an acquiescence in, and therefore a quasi-recognition of, the British claim to the right of impressment, and that it was better, to use his characteristic language, “to let the negotiation take a friendly nap, and endeavor in the meantime to practice on such of its principles, as are mutually acceptable.”
Jefferson's reason for rejecting (by not submitting to the Senate for their action), this treaty effected by Monroe with Great Britain on December 31, 1806, is
expressed more happily by Henry Adams than I could express it myself. I therefore quote from him:
“That a people like an individual, should for a time choose to accept a wrong, like impressment or robbery, without forcible resistance, implied no necessary discredit. Every nation at one
time or another had submitted to treatment it disliked and to eat theories of international law which it rejected. The United States pre might go on indefinitely protesting against belligerent aggressions, ety while submitting to them, and no permanent evil need result.
Yet a treaty was a compromise which made precedent; it recorded sel rules of law which could not be again discarded; and, above all, ise, it abandoned protest against wrong. This was doubtless the
reason why Jefferson wished for no treaties in the actual state of the world; he was not ready to enforce his rights, and he was not willing to compromise them.”
In April, 1794, in this same letter to Madison, to which I have once referred, appears the first inkling of the central idea of the Monroe Doctrine. He expresses the view that "we ought at the proper time to declare to both France and to England, that the French West India Islands were to rest with France, and that we should make a common cause with her for that object." This seems to preclude the idea of France's voluntarily transferring, as well as of England's forcibly acquiring them, and this is virtually our present attitude towards the West India Islands: “those who have, can keep; those who have not may not acquire,” whether by war or purchase.
On October 29, 1808, Jefferson wrote a letter to the Governor of Louisiana, in which is to be found a plain expression of the principle of the Monroe Doctrine, and, as far as I know, the last sentence in the quotation which I am about to make, is the first absolutely distinct expression of it ever made by anybody: —
is new situárican nations, icy, totally 17 distant,
ent of arm.coalescing in an the American natin advantages of
“The patriots of Spain have no warmer friends than the administration of the United States, but it is our duty to say nothing and to do nothing for or against either. If they succeed, we shall be well satisfied to see Cuba and Mexico remain in their present dependence; but very unwilling to see them in that of either France or England, politically or commercially. We consider their interests and ours as the same, and that the object of both must be to exclude all European influence from this hemisphere."
In a letter to Short, dated August 4, 1820, is another anticipation of the Monroe Doctrine:
“From many conversations with him" (Mr. Correa, appointed Minister to Brazil by the Government of Portugal), “I hope he sees, and will promote in his new situation, the advantages of a cordial fraternization among all the American nations, and the importance of their coalescing in an American system or policy, totally independent of and unconnected with that of Europe. The day is not distant, when we may formally require a meridian of partition through the ocean which separates the two hemispheres, on the hither side of which no European gun shall ever be heard, nor an American on the other; and when, during the rage of the eternal wars of Europe, the lion and the lamb, within our regions, shall lie down together in peace.”
In another letter to Short, dated August 20, 1820, he speaks of the "essential policy of interdicting in the seas and territories of both Americas the ferocious and sanguinary contests of Europe." This is very much like the language he wrote to Monroe in 1823, to wit: “Our first and fundamental maxims should be never to entangle ourselves in the broils of Europe; our second, never to suffer Europe to interfere in Cis-Atlantic affairs."
In the Fortnightly Review, No. 5, Vol. 70, pages 357 to 368, may be found an interesting and authoritative article by Theodore A. Cook on “The Original Intention