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Cushing, with the Celestial Empire. The immense accessions subsequently made to our commercial facilities in the Indian Ocean, with the prospect of opening, through our means, to the trade of the world the Empire of Japan, have added greatly to the contemplated benefits of the proposed route, which, as well as the one through the Isthmus of Suez, it was suggested to put under the common guarantee of all the maritime powers, as part of the great thoroughfare of nations. But though only
1 The mission entrusted to Commodore Perry, who was also the commander of the United States naval forces in the East India Seas, resulted in the conclusion of a treaty with Japan on 31st of March, 1854, establishing commercial relations with that empire. By it, after declaring that there should be a perfect, permanent and universal peace between the two nations, it was stipulated that Simoda and Hakodadi should be ports for the reception of American ships, where they could be supplied with wood, water, provisions, and coals and other articles that their necessities might require, as far as the Japanese had them; that whenever ships of the United States are thrown or wrecked on the coast of Japan, that Japanese vessels would assist them and carry their crews to Simoda or Hakodadi, and hand them over to their countrymen appointed to receive them, with whatever articles they may have preserved, without the refunding of expenses for the rescue and support of Japanese and Americans thrown on the shores of either country; that those shipwrecked persons and other citizens of the United States shall be free as in other countries, and not subject to confinement, but amenable to just laws — that shipwrecked men and other citizens of the United States shall not be subject to such restrictions and confinement as the Dutch and Chinese are at Nangasaki, but shall be free at Simoda and Hakodadi to go where they please within certain defined limits — that if there be any goods wanted or business requiring to be arranged, there shall be careful deliberation between the parties — that ships of the United States resorting to the ports open to them shall be permitted to exchange gold and silver coin and articles of goods for other articles of goods under regulations to be established by the Japanese government, and to carry away what they are unwilling to exchange — wood, water, provisions, coals, and goods required, are only to be procured through Japanese officers — that if the government of Japan should grant to any other nation or nations privileges and advantages not granted by the treaty to the United States or the citizens thereof, the same privileges and advantages shall be granted likewise to the United States and their citizens, without any consultation or delay — that ships of the United States sball not be permitted to resort to any other ports of Japan than Simoda or Hakodadi, and that agents or consuls shall be appointed by the United States to reside at Simoda, if either of the two governments deem the arrangement necessary, at any time after the expiration of eighteen months. A compact was also made, July 11, 1854, with Lew Chew, for supplies to vessels, and as to pilot
some nine years have elapsed since Mr. Wheaton wrote, our title to Oregon had not then been admitted; the war with Mexico had not yet commenced; much less had California been ceded to us, and the foundations laid of a State on the Pacific, which already rivals, in wealth and commerce, the most flourishing of the Atlantic Commonwealths. The prosperity of these newly acquired regions has justly diverted the attention of the American people from a communication through foreign territory, with guarantees depending on the good faith of maritime and commercial rivals, and the very attempt to form which has occasioned serious diplomatic embarrassments, to direct routes across the continent, wherever convenience may dictate, wholly within our own sovereignty, and binding together, with bolts of iron, the confederated States, extending over the immense tract separating the two oceans.1
The close scrutiny, which the long pending negotiations with the Zollverein rendered necessary, into the economical policy of the German States, induced the Minister to acquaint himself with all the conventional arrangements of that nature, which Prussia and her associate States were contracting with other powers, in and out of Germany. We have thus the objections of Prussia to any member of the Confederation entering into a commercial union with a State foreign to Germany, while in
age, wrecks, and a burying ground; and Americans are to have liberty to go over the island, subject to being, for bad conduct, arrested and reported to the captains of the ships for punishment. Cong. Doc. 33d Cong. 2 Sess., Senate Ex. Doc. 34, p. 153. The treaty of 1844 with China had been preceded by treaties with Siam and Muscat in 1833 and was followed by a treaty, in 1850, with Borneo. It had also been the intention of Commodore Perry to have entered into negotiations for a treaty with Cochin China.
! See the Clayton Bulwer Treaty of 19th of April, 1850, referred to in Part I., C. 2, § 14, page 55, note, and Part III., c. 2, § 5, page 328, note. Also the treaty of December 30, 1853, with Mexico, ceding territory through which, it is understood, a road may be constructed within the United States to California, and providing for the use by citizens of both countries, of the road that may be constructed across the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, as authorized by the Mexican government, 5th of February, 1853. U. S. Treaties, 1853 – 4, p. 124.
the refusal of the King of Holland to ratify a treaty for the union of Luxemburg with the Zollverein, we have an examination of the right of a sovereign to withhold his ratification, though the treaty has been made in strict conformity to instructions and in virtue of a full power.
Reference is made, in connection with the mission to China, set on foot by Prussia for the purpose of promoting the general commercial interests of Germany, to the project, which was one of the objects of the short-lived Germanic Enpire, — the establishment of a national unity, as regards the navigation interests, by the adoption of a system, which might do for shipping what the Zollverein had proposed for commerce. “For this purpose, a plan had been prepared by Dr. Smidt, Senator and Burgomaster, at Bremen, (who governs that town as Pericles governed Athens, with authority almost absolute, at the same time preserving the forms of a free State,) to establish a general union of all the maritime States of Germany, (including Austria,) for the purpose of protecting the common navigation interests of the entire Germanic Confederation. This Schiff-fahrts Verein, as it was to have been called, was to have been authorized to make treaties of navigation with foreign powers, for the purpose of securing to German shipping reciprocal advantages in foreign ports, to appoint consuls in those ports, and to adopt a common national flag.” 2
The anomalous position of a government, where religion is an affair of State, but where the sovereign and the people belong to different creeds, is presented in the case of the difficulties which arose between the King of Prussia and the ecclesiastical authorities of the Rhenish provinces, where the Catholic religion predominates. The dispute with the Archbishop of Cologne, in 1837-8, for refusing to submit to the king's views as to mixed marriages, and other questions regarded as matters exclusively
1 See Part III., ch. 2, § 5, p. 326, note. ? Mr. Wheaton to the Secretary of State, May 17, 1843.
of ecclesiastical cognizance, and which became almost a subject of European discussion, made the Prussian Cabinet anxious to oppose to the ultra-montane or Jesuit party of Germany the united force of the Protestant community. A very favorite measure of the king to bring about this object was the blending of the Lutheran and Reformed Churches in one communion, to which effect, indeed, a decree was issued so far back as 1817. We have a notice of a conference of ecclesiastical and lay deputies, representing the different Protestant governments of Germany, assembled at Berlin, at the beginning of 1846, for the purpose of promoting unity of faith, discipline, and worship. The disappointment, however, which began to be felt at the evasions of the long deferred promise, made by Frederick William III., of a constitutional charter, did not aid the ecclesiastical projects of his successor; and, as Mr. Wheaton remarks, “ under these circumstances a measure, which is intended to promote uniformity of faith and worship in the established national church, finds but little favor in public opinion, which tends more and more to tolerate dissent in religious matters, and to demand constitutional securities in political concerns.”?
Mr. Wheaton's mission terminated, even before the promulgation of the edict of February, 1847, for convoking the Prussian Diet, and by which it was attempted, most imperfectly, to fulfil the promises made under the edict of the 26th of October, 1810, and the declaration of the 25th of May, 1815, of a constitution founded on popular representation. Consequently the revolutionary movements of the succeeding year are not within the particular scope of this notice.
? Mr. Wheaton to the Secretary of State, March 28, 1838. 2 The Same to the Same, January 21, 1846.
3 The North American Review for January, 1849, vol. Ixvii. p. 220, contains an able paper, justifying the people of Prussia who, during the political ferment following the revolutions of 1848, took up arms to wrest from the government the liberal institutions so often promised, and as often evasively withheld. It is from the pen of Robert Wheaton, the only son of Mr. Wheaton, who survived
The old king, Frederick William III., who died in June, 1840, though not wanting in that personal courage which has ever distinguished the princes of the House of Brandenburg, had very little of that self-reliance which suggests and executes great revolutions. From his inveterate habits of self-indulgence and procrastination, he ever suffered the most urgent and important business to be neglected. As he frequently consulted, though he was the minister of the great rival of Prussia, Prince Metternich, whom he saw every year at the Baths of Toeplitz, on the affairs of his own kingdom, as well as on matters of foreign policy, it was not extraordinary that nothing was effected towards political reform in his life-time. The present sovereign, Frederick William IV., was described, on his accession to the throne, as “a man of exemplary morals, and a highly educated and accomplished prince."
In a notice of this nature it is impossible to present even an analysis of the despatches from Berlin, on the general questions of European politics. When his mission there began, the agitation consequent on the French Revolution of 1830 had not yet ceased; while in the premature insurrection of Poland, in the movements in Prussia and the other States of Germany, and in the attempts of the sovereigns to satisfy by the smallest concessions possible the popular demands, we have the germ of those demonstrations throughout Europe, to which subsequent events gave vitality. The severance of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, — the creation of the Congress of Vienna, with the separation of Belgium from Holland, — the result of the Revolution of Brussels, the miniature edition of that of Paris, obstinately resisted by the King of Holland, and the controversy respecting it, including the questions connected with the dismemberment of Luxemburg, in which the Diet of the Germanic
him, and whose death, on the 9th of October, 1851, five days after he had attained his twenty-fifth year, redoubled the bereavement which his mother and sisters had experienced from the loss of his father. The article referred to is included in a * Memoir of Robert Wheaton, with Selections from his Writings,” published in 1854, by his sister, now Mrs. Charles C. Little.