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free from all other war, but we have a war-fleet such as we never before possessed, munitions of war in abundance, and an army trained in the field, and in the very highest degree of efficiency. It is the last wish of the British heart to go to war with the United States, but we will not submit to dishonour to humour the miserable policy of Mr Pierce's Cabinet; and if war be forced upon us, assuredly the United States will be the first to regret it. It is not idle boast to say that in two months from the declaration of war every port of the Union would be blockaded by our immense fleet-our gunboats would ascend the St Lawrence and carry the war into the American Lakes, while Walker and his filibusters, who are already reported to be in wretched plight, would very summarily be ejected from Central America, and our position in that region fortified by more direct intervention than we should otherwise have found necessary.
It has been remarked of the consular system of ancient Rome, that the brief term of office acted as a stimulus to the consuls to do something remarkable in order to secure their re-election. The same remark may be made of the Presidential Office in the United States, with sundry differences to the disadvantage of the modern institution. The President of the United States is sometimes very far from being the most popular, much less the most distinguished man in the Union. He is sometimes chosen as a mere neutral tertium quid,-as a person so little
known or distinguished, and therefore having given so little objection to the great parties in the State, that a majority of votes can be united in his favour. This was notoriously the case with Mr Pierce, who was so little known, that descriptions of his personal appearance were published by the New York and other journals for the information of their readers! Once into the President's chair, however, Mr Pierce resolved to let the world hear of him. The people of the States are unanimous ín hating Spain, as a power now somewhat decrepit, yet maintaining its hold upon certain possessions in the Gulf of Mexico which the people of the Union have an excessive desire to appropriate. To bully Spain, accordingly, was the first project of the Pierce Cabinet. M. Soulé, a hotheaded supporter of slavery and annexation, was chosen as ambassador to Madrid, and the Black Warrior affair was made a handle of complaint against the Spanish Government. But the upshot was failure; and after getting up some sharp duelling work, and doing a vast amount of blustering at Madrid, M. Soulé had to withdraw from the Spanish soil, with the additional mortification of being refused permission by the French Government to pass through its territories. This failure recoiled upon the Pierce Cabinet, and made them only the more anxious to regain prestige by some new but more successful display of high-handed policy. The rivalry between the Union and England, in regard to Central America, suggested
were engaged in an arduous struggle, and we interfered and assaulted one of them, will any man doubt our intention to assist the other?' At a subsequent period of the same year, the state of Massachusetts took still more decisive measures. Openly asserting their inherent right to frame a new constitution, they resolved to appoint delegates to confer with delegates from New England on the subject of their griev ances and common concerns, and to take measures, if they think proper, for procuring a convention of delegates from all the United States to revise the constitution.' These propositions were the more alarming, that the general discontent was much increased by the vast augmentation of the taxes, which were progressively swelled to the end of the year, and had already arisen to the most alarming amount. The indirect taxes were advanced fifty per cent, the tax on auctions was doubled, and many new imposts were added, expected to produce eleven or twelve millions of dollars, or about two million five hundred thousand pounds. And with all these aids, so low had the credit and resources of the treasury fallen, that the government could not negotiate a loan, and were driven to the necessity of issuing treasurynotes to a large amount, which were to bear interest like English Exchequer bills, and supply the want of a circulating medium in the States."-Chap. xci. § 72.
our country as a fitting object, in the popular estimation, for as much blustering as could be prudently indulged in; and, moreover, the fact of England being engaged in a European war, rendered it, perhaps, probable in their eyes that, rather than brave a rupture with America also, we might make important concessions of our rights in the Western hemisphere. The sudden and unlooked-for termination of the war in Europe threw the Pierce Cabinet somewhat out in its calculations; and the very speed with which they have sought to close the affair, is an indication of this. There was clearly nothing more to be made out of the dispute, and to have continued it longer, would only have aggravated it; but at the same time, after their nine months' blustering, they could not overtly recede from their position,— so they took the middle course of relinquishing their complaints against the British Government, and, while dismissing our ambassador on personal" grounds, accompanied the dismissal with an elaboration of friendly words, which would be very mollifying, if we could attribute it to any higher motive than the private interests of the Pierce Cabinet. The blustering and the soothing are off springs of the same policy.
We do not fully identify the people of the United States with the present policy of their Government, and we have little doubt that the results of it will be such as still further to damage the popularity of the Pierce Cabinet, for the Americans, while ever inciting their Presidents to overbearing acts, have no sympathy with them when they fail, or land the Union in political embarrassments. Nevertheless it is impossible to shut our eyes to the fact that a spirit of dislike to this country is general among the people of the States. And, however strange the circumstance may at first seem, it is in reality susceptible of easy explanation. We have already indicated the cause. It is to be found in the simple fact that Great Britain is the only power with which the interests of the United States have brought them into conflict. Mr Disraeli says truly that at the bottom of the Enlistment quarrel lies the Central American question;
but the rivalry existed before the Central American question arose, and, if other influences do not come into play, will continue after that question also is settled. Great Britain, unlike the other European Powers, has vast interests at stake in the New World, and in her magnificent fleet she has means such as no other power possesses of transporting her military strength across the broad basin of the Atlantic. Accordingly she is the only great State with which the American Union has yet come in contact, and hence the widespread dislike with which she is regarded in the latter country. It has been remarked as extraordinary that there is always an American party in this country, but never a British one in America. Our readers will now perceive how this happens. The British people, like their Continental neighbours, have been at war in turn with almost every State in the world, and by long experience have learned to bear rivalry with equanimity. While standing up for our own interests, we are not surprised that other States should as stoutly maintain theirs. Hence we will engage to say that, even during the heat of the late war, there was not more personal antipathy felt in this country towards the Russians than has prevailed of late years towards ourselves among the people of the United States. The United States do not yet know their place in the world. In their own hemisphere they have encountered nothing more redoubtable than roaming savages and petty half-breed States falling to pieces of their own accord. Hence the Union has learnt to be arrogant in its policy, and, intoxicated with its really marvellous progress, has come to imagine that it has the world at its foot. The progress of events is destined to explode this delusion. The United States have never yet felt the pressure of Europe
hitherto Continental Europe might have been non-existent so far as regards acting as a check upon the policy of the Union; but this state of things will not continue. We need not go over the ground which we discussed at considerable length last month, to show that Europe and America are gradually being brought into closer connection that the
Powers of the Old World will come to take a livelier interest in the affairs of the New,--and that in this way the United States will receive a lesson as to their true position in the community of nations, and will come to discover that the British alliance is the best one to cultivate after all. As the world grows older, the Powers of Europe will appear more and more in Central America; and if a war between England and the United States were now breaking out, the latter Power would probably be mortified to find at its close, that the European Powers had established something more solid than mere protectorates in the countries of the Isthmus. If England be forced to go to war with the Union, she need not go alone. She does not require assistance to maintain her dignity and rights, but she would not want alliances were she to seek them on the Continent of Europe. The overbearing spirit of American diplomacy has become intolerable to many of the European States; and France and the Western Powers especially recognise in its policy towards the weak States of Central America, a perfect parallel to the recent aggressions of Russia upon Turkey, which Europe found necessary to resist by means of a general coalition. A similar European coalition will in due time, if its arrogant policy be not discontinued, be formed against the American Union. Any war about the affairs of Central America must greatly accelerate the progress of events in this direction; and, for the sake of averting any such contest, by teaching the Americans moderation, we beg them to look ahead and consider into what difficulties their present policy is likely to lead them.
Passing by the Enlistment question-which, though now looming large, is a mere symptom of a deeperseated complaint-an effort to get up a cause of quarrel, with the view of gratifying a pre-existing enmity-let us consider the grand source of the offence which the United States give to other Powers (namely, its arrogant
policy), as manifested in the Central American question. There is no use making many words about the Clayton-Bulwer treaty. That treaty was designed to meet a special endnamely, to prevent Great Britain and the Union coming to loggerheads by asserting counter-pretensions to certain parts of the then projected line of transit across the Isthmus. The treaty bound both the contracting parties to make no settlements in "Central America" which term was then used to signify the provinces immediately adjoining to the Isthmus, and did not apply to British Honduras at all. The Americans had no settlements in that part of America to abandon, and, during the negotiation of the treaty, they made no demand for the abandonment by us of our settlements. And so the treaty was concluded, and both parties felicitated themselves on having done good service to the cause of commerce and humanity, by thus agreeing to guarantee (so far as they were concerned) the reign of peace in perpetuity in the important transit-region between the two oceans. But with the accession of Mr Pierce, the Presidential policy became unusually rampant, and nothing would satisfy the new Government but to open up the Central American question with the view of applying to it, "pure and simple," the Monroe doctrine; or rather, we should say, the so-called "Monroe doctrine," for Mr Monroe's views did not go so far by one-half as those of which he has now become the reputed father.* "America for the Americans!" cries brother Jonathan-meaning, however, by Americans nobody but himself. Britain has possessions in North America as large as the whole territories of the Union-so has Russia; Spain, France, Denmark, Holland, have possessions in the Gulf of Mexico and South America, and Portugal has never lost the allegiance of Brazil. But, putting these things out of sight, and trampling contemptuously on Mexico and other feebler States, it is demanded that the New World shall be set aside as the spe
* Mr Monroe's statement of policy was first made in his Message to Congress, December 2, 1823, and contained the express qualification and restriction that "with the existing colonies or dependencies of any European Power we have not interfered, and shall not interfere."
cial spoil and heritage of the United States! We need not dwell on the preposterous character of the demand. As long, indeed, as it remains a mere maxim, a theory, a "notion," the British nation cares not a straw about it. We are much too sensible and matter-of-fact a people to quarrel about empty words or political moonshine. But if the United States are resolved to carry out their theory, and to do so at our expense, that is a very different matter. Notwithstanding all their rancour towards us, and their belief that England is ever on the watch to thwart their progress, we feel persuaded that the British nation has no desire to impede the southward extension of the Union, nay, even if that extension took place by means which we did not wholly approve, still we would not necessarily feel called upon to interfere. What we object to is the attack which the United States are directing against our own possessions in Central America, with the design, avowedly, of trying to eject us whenever they can muster courage and strength enough for the attempt. Let them cease from this arrogant and indefensible line of policy, and the question is at once settled.
But mark what must spring from the assertion of the overbearing "Monroe doctrine." Britain is not the only Power menaced by these pretensions of the United States to exclusive right over the territories of the New World. All the other European Powers who have possessions in that hemisphere are similarly menaced. Repeated lawless attacks upon Cuba have made Spain sufficiently alive to the fact; while the sagacious ruler of France not only perceives it, and resents the indignity which the arrogant policy of the Union offers to other States, but we have no doubt is quite ready to enact a remedy, and repeat in the West that process of righting the balance which has just been applied to Russia in the East. We have no desire to see England taking part in a Coalition for such a purpose, and she never will do so unless the United States Government lose its senses and drive her into it. The friendly alliance of the United States is one which we prize above measure.
this country there is little or none of that angry jealousy towards the States which prevails in the States towards us; and were a war to take place between the two countries, it would be universally regarded by the British as a national calamity. It would be regretted not merely from commercial motives, but as a wound to our generous feelings, and to every native predilection of the British heart. In the United States, on the other hand, while commercially the war would be even more regretted than with us,-as a question of national feeling, we are sorry to think that it would be regarded with positive satisfaction. If war entailed on them no burdens and dangers, the United States people would go to war with us at once; whereas even were we certain of winning all the successes, and getting all the expenses of the war repaid, the British people would still seek, as far as possible, to avoid the conflict. Such is the different temper of the two nations. United by the closest ties of blood, we yet find one of them eager to fight the other, if it can but do so cheaply and successfully; whereas no considerations but those of selfdefence will prevail on the other to fight at all. Once the United States emerge from their state of isolation, and enter fairly into the lists of the world, they will better reciprocate our kindly feelings. Hitherto, as we have said, they have existed apart from the general community of nations; and finding England as their only rival in their own sphere, they have come to regard her with embittered enmity. It did not matter that England-for instance, in the Canadian and Oregon boundaryquestions-was most moderate and yielding. If she had not been there, the Union would have got still more
immeasurably more. It is the old story of Haman and Mordecai: "All these things profit me nothing," says the Union, "as long as England sits with me in the same continent !" There can be but one cure for this kind of enmity, and that is, the progress of events, the gradual rapprochement of the Old and New Worlds, the appearance of other European powers in strength in the Gulf of Mexico, and, as a conse
quence of bickerings and negotiations with them, the enlightenment of the United States as to their true position and affinities in regard to us and the other nations of the world. That time will come, and with it must come a change of sentiments towards England on the part of a large portion of the now United, but perhaps then sundered, States of America. There is no logic like the logic of events; and a hostile pressure from some other Power, or coalition of Powers, upon the American Union will be the first thing that will make it revise its opinions, and begin to draw closer to the side of England. All union between States is the result of external pressure. Brothers may quarrel as long as they have none to fight with but themselves, but when each begins to have alien enemies of his own, they soon draw together. As soon as the United States become thus circumstanced, they will cease from their Anglophobia, but never effectually till then. Meanwhile, we trust that, for their own sakes as well as ours, if they will not learn from us the spirit of friendship, they will at least not force us from our attitude of forbear
It is just possible that one of the motives which the Pierce Cabinet has for seeking a quarrel at present with Great Britain is the idea that a foreign war would act as a counter-irritant to the internal inflammation which now afflicts the Union, -that a war with England would retard or suppress the civil war that is imminent on the Slavery question. If so, the Cabinet of Washington seriously miscalculates. A war with England would at once bring the Slavery-rupture to a head. For any war between the two countries will be occasioned, not by the quibbles and fripperies of the Enlistment question, but on the more substantial one of Central America. Certainly a practical solution of the Central American dispute would, in case of war, be the one to which both parties would direct their efforts. But the southward expansion of the Union, the capture of Cuba, and all such projects, tell primarily in favour of the Slave-Power, to which it would give an accession of new votes in
Congress. And in the present state of excitement on the Slavery question, is it probable that the Free-soil States of the North would undergo the heavy burdens of war for the purpose of adding to the power of their rivals, whose tyranny (they complain) is already too strong? Nothing, it seems to us, would so effectually promote a rupture of the Union as the occurrence of a war with England; for in that case, we conjecture, the Northern States, instead of going to war with Canada, would more likely enter into bonds of amity with the British provinces, and seek to obtain in return a community of right in the St Lawrence,--a nobler outlet by far for the States of the North-west than the Mississippi, the river of Slavery.
While choosing to quarrel with us on the Enlistment question, the Pierce Cabinet, despite the statements at first current on the subject, show no inclination to abate a jot of their pretensions in the Central American dispute. They refuse to submit to arbitration the meaning of the Clayton-Bulwer treaty-insisting that, whatever England or any other Power may think, their interpretation is, must, and shall be regarded as the true one, and that England has no right whatever to any settlement or protectorate in that part of the world. What they propose to submit to arbitration is, the question whether or not British Honduras is within the limits of Central America ; and this they propose to refer to a select committee of geographical savans! A manoeuvre half-humbug and half-trick. For, in the first place, the question is not what geographers may define as Central America, but what was meant by that term in the treaty. What did the framers of the treaty, as shown by their letters and statements, mean by that term? If there is to be arbitration on this point, that, and that only, is the question to be decided. And if there be any force in testimony at all, it must be decided in our favour. For Mr Clayton, the American negotiator of the treaty, has himself declared that the term "Central America" has always been considered by the United States as merely expressing the five central American states-Guatemala, Spar