« AnteriorContinuar »
Great Britain protesting to the last that the United States sought to give them an interpretation not contemplated by her Britannic Majesty's Government at the ratification of the Treaty.
The Geneva Arbitration' must therefore be recorded in history as a great international fiasco. It is thought by some to have saved the cost and peril of a war between Great Britain and the United States. This is important, if true, and no one is now disposed to be critical on that point, or desires to begrudge it the credit of having done that much in the cause of peace; but it was not the means of founding any new law, or clearly defining any
It laid down no general principle whatever, and the rights of belligerents and the duties of neutrals remain in the fog which has enveloped them ever since strong maritime Powers first began to enforce the one and exact the other—for that is the process by which 'international law' became the code of nations.'
No one who has had occasion to consult the standard authorities in respect to the rights and duties of belligerents and neutrals, or to search for precedents, is likely to attempt a dogmatic exposition of the law. It has, however, been commonly agreed heretofore that there can be no such thing as contraband goods on board of a neutral ship, when she is bound from one neutral port to another. The United States, previous to the Civil War, always contended for that doctrine, but during that great struggle their anxiety to isolate the South caused them to lose sight of every consideration but that of a present advantage. They stopped on the high seas, boarded, searched, and captured, neutral ships while sailing between neutral ports hundreds of miles from the blockaded coast, and have thus established precedents which will give them much trouble whenever
they may occupy the position of a neutral during a war between two strong maritime Powers.
THE RULES PRESCRIBED IN ARTICLE VI. OF THE
NOTE FOR PAGE 387. • A neutral Government is bound
First,—To use due diligence to prevent the fitting out, arming, or equipping, within its jurisdiction, of any vessel which it has reasonable ground to believe is intended to cruise or to carry on war against a Power with which it is at peace; and also to use like diligence to prevent the departure from its jurisdiction of any vessel intended to cruise or carry on war as above, such vessel being specially adapted, in whole or in part, within such jurisdiction, to warlike use.
'Secondly,--Not to permit or suffer either belligerent to make use of its ports or waters as the base of naval operations against the other, or for the purpose of the renewal or augmentation of military supplies or arms, or the recruitment of men.
* Thirdly,—To exercise due diligence in its own ports and waters, and, as to all persons within its jurisdiction, to prevent any violation of the foregoing obligations and duties.'
NOTE FOR PAGE 400. The award, in respect to money indemnity, etc., was rendered in the following words :
• The Tribunal, making use of the authority conferred upon it by Article VII. of the said Treaty, by a majority of four voices to one, awards to the United States a sum of 15,500,000 dollars in gold as the indemnity to be paid by Great Britain to the United States for the satisfaction of all the claims referred to the consideration of the Tribunal, conformably to the provisions contained in Article VII. of the aforesaid Treaty.'
Position of the Confederate Agents at the end of the War.–Financial
difficulties.—The United States and the property of the Confederate Government.--Proceedings against Messrs. Fraser, Trenholm, and Co. by the United States Government.—Presidents Lincoln and Johnson. The reconstruction of the Southern States.--Political condition of the United States at the present day.
ALTHOUGH the shifts to which the fiscal agents of the Confederate Government were driven in their efforts to supply the ever-increasing wants of the country, and the condition of the Confederate finances in Europe at the close of the Civil War, are not perhaps subjects of much historical importance, yet a narrative whose purpose it is to reveal the means by which aggressive operations against the Federal Government were organized abroad, would scarcely be complete without some explanation of the peculiar and perplexing position in which the representatives of the Confederate States in Europe were placed by the sudden and complete overthrow of the authority under which they had been acting
While Mr. Davis and his Cabinet could maintain their position in Richmond, they fulfilled all the practical requirements of a de facto Government, and were recognised as such by foreign Powers.
Even the United States were
compelled to exhibit a marked distinction between their practice and their theory, and were driven by force of circumstances to treat in Virginia with men on terms of entire equality, who in Washington they denounced as traitors' and 'rebels.'
In ordinary international wars the defeat of the vanquished may be so crushing as to wholly disorganize the political institutions of the States, or even to effect an entire change in them, as was the case with France at the close of the Franco-German war. But in all modern contests between different countries there has remained at the close of the struggle a vested sovereignty in the people of the defeated States, which the conquerors themselves have acknowledged, and they have been permitted to decide upon the authority who should act for them in pledging the national faith, and thus arranging the conditions of peace. But when General Lee was forced to abandon his lines around Richmond, the Executive Government of the Confederacy was compelled to retire with him or to quickly follow, and when the armies under Lee and Johnston surrendered, and the officers and men dispersed to their homes under parole, there was no longer a common central authority to whom the several States could refer. Indeed, after Mr. Davis and his Cabinet were driven from Richmond they never found a resting-place in which they could remain long enough to examine the condition of affairs and to reorganize further resistance. President Davis was soon captured; the Vice-President, Mr. Stephens, and the Secretary of the Navy, Mr. Mallory, were shortly afterwards arrested ; Mr. Benjamin, who was the Secretary of State, and General Breckenridge, the War Secretary, happily escaped and got out of the country; and thus it will be perceived that the civil organization of the
Confederate States was destroyed simultaneously with the military power which gave it vitality.
The politicians in Mr. Lincoln's Cabinet, and the Republican senators who had professed extreme views on the question of secession, had now the opportunity to enforce their favourite theory—a theory so often and so vehemently enunciated by Mr. Seward in the declarations that the integrity of the Republic is unbroken,' the so-called Civil War is only an insurrection, the Southern people are rebels,' and the Government at Richmond 'represents merely a domestic faction.'
The Southern States were without a common rallying point, and were thus deprived of the strength which results from union, even if they had not been too thoroughly exhausted to make any further resistance. The people in the conquered States had no other resource than to submit, and the victors, with an external manifestation of clemency, imposed conditions in the way of test oaths, political disabilities, alien governors,
universal negro suffrage, and executive interference with elections, which have left a permanent stain upon the political institutions and the political integrity of the whole country.
By the conditions under which the military leaders of the South had surrendered, the whole population actually in arms against the United States were protected against any civil prosecution, and it would have been so manifest a violation of those conditions to proceed against any of them by indictment for treason,' that the extreme men in the North were forced to abandon that purpose. Reasonable men also perceived that it would not be either rational or just to prosecute mere civilians for alleged offences which had already been condoned in respect to the military forces of the Confederacy. It is well known that several prominent leaders of the Re