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of men, and considerable progress had been made in raising troops, when the movement, though conducted secretly, became known, and measures were taken by the government of South Carolina for its suppression. The other project found great favor with the western inhabitants, who complained of the exclusion, by Spain, of the people of the United States, from a free navigation of the Mississippi ; and it was not without some difficulty that the federal authorities succeeded in arresting the enterprise.

But we may not extend this sketch of the proceedings of the French minister. Suffice it to say, that, in consequence of his continued insolence, and his efforts to array the people and their representatives against the executive, the president came to the determination to refuse all farther intercourse with him; and was about to present the subject to congress, when his recall was officially communicated by Mr. Morris. Fauchet, the new minister, arrived soon after, (February, 1794,) and Mr. Morris, not sufficiently zealous for the French cause, was recalled at the request of the executive government of France; and Mr. Monroe, ar ardent friend of France, was appointed to succeed him.

There was, perhaps, no time when there was not a majority of the people in favor of neutrality and the proclamation. The reprehensible conduct of the French minister, and the horrid excesses committed by the revolutionists, doubtless weakened the cause of France in this country. There was, however, a powerful party opposed to the proclamation, and in favor of joining France. This party derived not a little strength from the divisions known to exist in the cabinet. Mr. Jefferson entertained a strong partiality for France, and considered the guaranty in full force. Although he had assented to the proclamation, he regarded the question of neutrality as merely, reserved to the meeting of congress.

This question was publicly discussed by Hamilton and Madison. These two distinguished statesmen, who had been associated in advocating the adoption of the constitution, in those celebrated numbers of the Federalist, now took opposite sides in the practical construction of that instrument with reference to an important question. Hamilton appeared in seven numbers, under the signature of Pacificus, in which the authority of the executive to issue the proclamation, and its consistency with our treaties with France, were maintained with great ability: These numbers were replied to by Madison at the request, it is said, of Jefferson. The reply was in five numbers, signed Helvidius, in which the positions of Pacificus were combated with great ingenuity and force.

The reaction in favor of the government produced by the causes above mentioned, were more than counterbalanced by the operation of certain measures of the British government annoying to neutral trade. The transfer of a large portion of the laboring population of France from their usual avocations to the military service, added to other causes, had produced a scarcity of provisions. Induced by this state of things, as well as by other motives, she had, as has been observed, opened her ports to neutral commerce.

In perfect contrast with this measure, was the policy of Great Britain. In the hope of reducing her enemy by famine, it was determined to cut off external supplies. Instructions were accordingly issued to the British cruisers to stop all vessels having on board breadstuffs, and bound to any port of France, and to bring them into a convenient port. If they were proved to be neutral property, the cargoes were to be purchased and the ships released; or, both ships and cargoes were to be released on the master's giving bond that they would proceed to dispose of the cargo in the ports of countries at peace with Great Britain. These instructions, issued the 8th of June, 1793, did not reach the United States until September. Great Britain, in justification of this measure, alleged that, by the law of nations, as laid down by the most modern writers, all provisions were deemed contraband and liable to confiscation, wherr the depriving of an enemy of these supplies was one of the means intended to be employed for reducing him to reasonable terms of peace. But the British orders, it was said, did not go even to the extent allowable, neither prohibiting all kinds of provisions, nor requiring forfeiture. The American government, on the other hand, maintained, that both “reason and usage had established, that when two nations went to war, those who chose to live in peace, retain their natural rights to pursue their agriculture, manufactures, and other ordinary vocations ; to carry the produce of their industry, for exchange, to all nations, belligerents or neutrals as usual; to go and come freely, without injury or molestation.”

Great Britain also urged that the neutral character of the trade was changed by the fact, that the contracts for the greater part of the cargoes had been made by the French government. It was therefore a national, not an individual transaction. It was farther urged in justification, that the measure was sanctioned by the example of France herself. A decree of her national convention, issued in May, and remaining in full force, authorized the capture and condemnation of an enemy's property in neutral vessels, (not excepting those of the United States) contrary to a special stipulation in the treaty between the United States and France, that "free ships should make free goods."

The enforcement of these orders, in which the allied powers were united, greatly embarrassed American commerce. This measure, superadded to the supposed encouragement of Indian hostilities by the British in Canada; the continued occupation of the western military posts; the alleged agency of the British government in the depredations upon our commerce, and the enslavement of our seamen by Algerine cruisers; and the impressment of American seamen into the British service; awakened resentments in the American people, towards Great Britain, scarcely less intense, than those which impelled them to arms to secure their independence. Add to all this the menacing aspect of affairs with Spain, the Florida boundary question remaining unsettled; the southern states threatened with war from the Creeks and Cherokees, supposed to have been instigated by the Spanish government; the Mississippi closed against the Americans, a cause of general discontent among the western inhabitants; and a strong suspicion of an alliance between Spain and Great Britain against the United States ;--and it was easy to imagine the dificulty of maintaining the position of neutrality assumed by the administration.



In the state of affairs just described, the new congress convened on the 2d of December, 1793; and its deliberations were awaited with deep interest

At this session, a resolution was passed by the senate, declaring that the business of that body, hitherto transacted with closed doors, should be done publicly, after the termination of the present session.

In the house, Frederick A. Muhlenburg, of Pennsylvania, was elected speaker over Theodore Sedgwick, of Massachusetts, by a majority of ten Fotes, indicating a predominance of the opposition party in that body.

The president, in his speech, alluding to the measures adopted as a rale of conduct toward belligerent nations, ascribed them to a desire to prevent the interruption of our intercourse with them, and to manifest a disposition for peace. He said: "In this posture of affairs, both new and delicate, I resolved to adopt general rules which should conform to the treaties, and assert the privileges of the United States. These were reduced to a system, which shall be communicated to you.” He suggested to congress the expediency of providing remedies in cases where individuals shall, within the United States, array themselves in hostility against any of the powers at war, or enter upon military expeditions or enterprises, or usurp and exercise judicial authority, within the United States ;” and then said:

“I can not recommend to your notice measures for the fulfillment of our duties to the rest of the world, without again pressing upon you the necessity of placing ourselves in a condition of complete defenseand of exacting from them the fulfillment of their duties toward us. There is a rank due to the United States among nations which will be withheld, if not absolutely lost, by the reputation of weakness. If we desire to avoid insult, we must be able to repel it; if we desire to secure peace--one of the most powerful instruments of our prosperity-it must be known that we are, at all times, ready for war.” He also suggested provisions for “the regular redemption and discharge of the public debt," and the productiveness of the public revenues."

In this message was recommended a just and humane policy towards the Indian nations, designed "to conciliate their attachment" and " to render tranquillity with them permanent, by creating ties of interest – a policy strictly pursued during several successive administrations.

In a message communicated a day or two after, the president referred to the orders and decrees of Great Britain and France, so injurious to our commerce, and informed congress of the acts and proceedings of the French minister, “the tendency of which," he said, “had been to involve us in war abroad, and discord and anarchy at home.”

The house of representatives, in their answer, which was unanimously adopted, said : “ The maintenance of peace was justly to be regarded as one of the most important duties of the magistrate charged with the faithful execution of the laws. We therefore witness, with approbation and pleasure, the vigilance with which you have guarded an interruption of that blessing by your proclamation, admonishing our fellow-citizens of the consequences of illicit and hostile acts toward the belligerent parties; and promoting, by a declaration of the existing legal state of things, an easier admission of our right to the immunities belonging to our situation.” The senate responded in similar terms of approbation.

On the 16th of December, Mr. Jefferson made a report to the house on the commerce of the United States, in pursuance of a resolution of that body, passed in February, 1791, instructing him "to report to congress the nature and extent of the privileges and restrictions of the commercial intercourse of the United States with foreign nations, and the measures which he should think proper to be adopted for the improvement of the commerce and navigation of the same.” This report is by some considered one of the ablest official productions of Mr. Jefferson.

From this report it appeared, that the exports of the United States in

domestic produce and manufactures, amounted to $19,587,055, the imports to $19,823,000. Of the exports, nearly one-half were carried to Great Britain and her dominions ; of the imports, about four-fifths came from the same countries. American shipping was 277,519 tons, of which not quite one-sixth was employed in the trade with those countries. In all the nations of Europe, most of our products bore heavy duties, and some articles were prohibited. In Great Britain, our trade was on the whole on as good footing as that of other countries : some articles were more favored than similar articles from other countries.

Our navigation was seriously affected by the regulations of Great Britain. Her navigation acts of 1660 and 1663, which prohibited to the colonies the privilege allowed to other countries, of bringing their own productions into Great Britain, were unrepealed. Since the war, the king had been authorized to extend this privilege to the United States, and had done so from year to year by proclamation ; but a more secure enjoyment of the right was desirable. The report stated also, that a large proportion of the commodities exported to Great Britain, were required to be carried to her ports, to be thence reëxported; thus subjecting them to additional charges of double voyage.

As a method of relief to our commerce, the secretary proposed, first, as being preferable, the removal of these restrictions by friendly arrangements; or, secondly, by countervailing acts. If a nation persists in a "system of prohibitions, duties, and regulations, it behooves the United States to protect their citizens, their commerce, and navigation, by counter prohibitions, duties, and regulations also.” Our navigation was said to be valuable as a branch of industry, but more so as a resource of defense.

It was stated, that France had proposed entering into a new treaty for improving the commercial relations of the two countries; but her internal disturbances had prevented the prosecution of the negotiation to effect. Proposals of friendly arrangements with Great Britain bad been made on our part; “but being already on as good a footing in law, and a better in fact, than the most favored nations, she has not as yet discovered any disposition to have it meddled with.”

The secretary stated, that, since the report was prepared in time to be laid before the preceding congress, France had relaxed some of the restraints mentioned in the report; and Spain had made free ports of New Orleans, Pensacola, and St. Augustine, to the vessels of friendly nations having treaties of commerce with her. She had excluded our rice from her dominions. On account of the war she had given us free access to her West India islands; but our vessels were liable to serious vexations and depredations.

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