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the same character. Three commissioners with plenipotentiary powers were appointed to negotiate treaties of amity, navigation and commerce with all the principal powers of Europe. They met and resided at Paris for one. year, for that purpose, and the only result of their negotiations was our first treaty between the United States and Prussia, memorable in the diplomatic annals of the world and precious as a monument of principles in relation to commerce and maritime warfare, with which our country entered upon her career as a member of the great family of independent nations."
In the Senate, the Committee on Foreign Affairs reported against the expediency of sending ministers to the Panama Congress, but afterwards, and very grudgingly, approved the President's selection. The House, after long delay, agreed to appropriate the necessary funds. The ministers were sent, but delay had done its designed work. They were too late for the Conference, which had adjourned previous to their arrival. Mr. Clay, then Secretary of State, was much mortified at the failure, and the President, in 1829, in alluding to the failure said to the Senate :—" While there is no probability of the renewal of the negotiations, the purposes for which they were intended are still of the deepest interest to our country and to the ivorld, and may, hereafter, call again for the active energies of the Government of the United States."
It might be interesting in this connection to know that the South and Central American Republics continued to hold conferences for consideration and adjustment of their affairs and the unification of their interests. One was held at Lima in 1847, another in 1864, another was proposed at Panama in 1881, which was prevented by the South American wars, and another was held at Montevideo in 1888-89. The United States was not represented in any of therrt. The era of our political 'influence upon these Republics, whether by example, or by the encouragement extended in the " Monroe Doctrine," or by the comity intended by Mr. Adams, had ended with their freedom from monarchical yoke and the assurance that they were forever committed to the Republican spirit.
COMMERCIAL BONDAGE OF THE REPUBLICS.
But singular as it may seem that political freedom was followed by commercial bondage. Commercial Europe set her head for conquest, and with her immense facilities overran the marts from which the Spanish warships had been driven. This invasion has become well nigh complete.
We now come to the second era above mentioned—the commercial. We have seen how the end of the political era witnessed the dawn of the idea of commercial reciprocity with the Southern Republics. The idea lay dormant, so far as the United States was concerned, through the period devoted to working out its own industrial and commercial independence. The industrial and commercial period from 1824 to 1860 maybe likened to the political period prior to the Revolution. The industrial and commercial period from 1861 to the present may be likened to the political period from 1787 to 1824, each of these periods being considered with reference to our relations to the Southern Republics. Strange to say, the above period from 1861 to the present corresponds in length with the period from 1787 to 1824, at whose end we took political cognizance of these Republics and witnessed their freedom from European monarchy.
The settlement of our sectional differences by civil war, the establishment of a system of finance which gives u« rank among the nations, the practice of protection which made us industrially and commercially independent, brings us to a point of time when our example and influence must affect the countries of our continent to the south of us in a commercial sense, just as they were affected in a political sense. If their commercial subjugation by Europe is as complete as was their political subjugation by Spain, and their independence as desirable, they may well look once more to us for something which in commerce shall be the equivalent of the " Monroe Doctrine" in politics. We are; in a position to extend it, at least that is the significance of practical reciprocity.
A PEACE CONGRESS.
What President Adams called "the deepest interests of our country," and what he prophesied might " hereafter call again for the active energies of the Government of the United States," began its culmination with the invitation of President Garfield for all the independent governments of North and South America to meet in a Peace Congress at Washington. It has been given out that he aimed at something more than a mere code of arbitration in case of disputes which might lead to war among American states, and that he contemplated making commercial reciprocity a leading feature of his administration. His death frustrated his design.
A MORE COMMERCIAL THOUGHT.
President Garfield's invitation was recalled by President Arthur in order that the Congress might be given opportunity to consider the advisability of the step. Just as soon as the Congress began to deliberate upon the matter, the subject took wider and wider range, and the idea of reciprocal commerce became a conspicuous feature. On January 21, 1880, Senator Davis of Illinois first threw his suggestion of an " International American Conference" into a Senate Bill in which occurred the following words: —
"Whereas from the southern boundary of the United States to the Argentine Republic, and also the Republic of Chile, a distance of about 4,500 miles, including Mexico, Central America, Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador, Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay, containing a population of, in all, about 40,000,000 industrious «nd progressive people, with whom 'he United States ho/d, and d::ire to maintain, the most frondly relations, and with whom a closer and reciprocal inter-^t in trade and commerce ought to be encouraged,' etc.
The Davis proposition looked to this "closer and reciprocal interest in trade and commerce" by means of a great southern railroad connecting the three Americas.
On April 24, 1882, Senator Cockrell, of Missouri, introduced into the Senate a bill similar to the above, whose object was the "appointment of a special commissioner for promoting intercourse with such countries of Central and South America as may be found to possess natural facilities for railway communication with each other and with the United States."
On the same date, April 24, 1882, Senator Morgan, of Alabama, introduced a kindred bill, " for the encouragement of closer commercial relations between the United States and the Republic of Mexico, Central America, the Empire of Brazil and the several Republics of South America."
Similar bills were introduced into the House, all looking to "the promotion of commercial intercourse" with the countries to the south of us, all of which were reported adversely by the Committee on Foreign Affairs.
In 1883 Senator Sherman reintroduced into the Senate the Morgan Bill of 1882. In the first session of the Fortyeighth Congress, Mr. Townsend, of Illinois, introduced a Joint resolution, " inviting the co-operation of the Governnents of American nations in securing the establishment of free commercial intercourse among those nations and an American Customs' Union."
On March 3, 1884, Senator Cockrell introduced a Senate bill authorizing a commission to Central and South America " for the purpose of collecting information looking to the extension of American trade and commerce," etc. This bill was reported favorably by the Committee on Foreign Affairs.
Before taking action on this bill, the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Senate requested the views of Mr. Frelinghuysen, Secretary of State, as to the proposed legislation. He reviewed the entire question very fully in his reply of March 26, 1884, and fully set forth the advantages of reciprocity with these countries. His arguments pointed directly to reciprocity as a necessity, in case duties were greatly lowered, or entirely removed, on the products of these countries.
"I am," said he, "thoroughly convinced of the advisability of knitting closely our relations with the States of this Continent, and no effort on my part shall be wanting to accomplish a result so consonant with the constant policy of this country and in the spirit of the Monroe Doctrine, which, in excluding foreign political interference, recognizes the common interest of the States of North and South America. It is the history of all diplomacy that close political relations and friendship spring from unity of commercial interests
The true plan, it seems to me, is to make a series of reciprocity treaties with the States of Central and South