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a line-of-battle ship, two frigates, and 700 process of self-deception Napoleon III. could supernumerary marines.
have come to the conclusion that he would be The probability of the necessity for hos- able to impose a European archduke on the tilities in Mexico had, for some time past, Mexican people; or what advantage he could been the cause of uneasiness both in France ultimately gain for France or for himself by and England. Strong representations had such an attempt. It is equally astonishing been made of the injustice and even the bar- that Maximilian should have been permitted barity displayed to European residents in by his friends and counsellors to undertake that country, and it was therefore important such a responsibility, even though he relied that the commissioners should seek redress on the promise of a sufficient force being left with an expeditionary force, which was con- in Mexico to support and protect him. Whatsidered sufficient to add authority to their ever may have been the foundation for the susdemands.
picion of Almonte's mission, it was certainly These demands were accompanied by an confirmed by M. Billault's remarks in reply to invitation to the Mexicans to put an end to the subsequent discussion on the subject in the their long anarchy and confusion, from which Corps Législatif. He then said it was “false to they had suffered through the factions of rival assert that France had sent Almonte to excite pretenders to government, by electing their a civil war.
He was only to arrive in the own ruler, with the support of the allied repre- city of Mexico when the ballot had been sentatives.
opened, to consult the national will. He arOn the 10th of January the commissioners rived in Mexico under the protection of the of the allied powers issued at Vera Cruz a French flag, and committed no hostile act proclamation, in which they adverted to the before the rupture of negotiations." This
” frequent breach of treaties and agreements, seems to admit that the archduke, being claimed the right of their citizens to reside in known to France as a candidate whose interthe country without being molested, and ex- ests Napoleon III. desired to promote, Alhorted the people to establish a government monte, as his agent, was permitted to be preand put an end to their devastating civil sent, with the danger of being suspected to
To this proclamation was attached a influence the elections in favour of a foreign despatch from the plenipotentiaries of each of ruler, designed to seek an empire by a plethe allied powers, stating the nature of their biscite. respective demands.
At all events the Mexican government deAmong those who accompanied the French manded that Almonte should be sent back to expeditionary force was a Mexican émigré France. A conference with commissioners named General Almonte, whose presence was appointed by the Juarez government had intensely objectionable to the Mexican gov- been appointed to take place at Orizaba on the ernment, since it was believed that the true 15th of April, but the French commissioner, reason of his presence was to excite a civil M. Dubois de Saligny, refused to join it, war for some ulterior object, which was after- alleging that the real and principal object of wards suspected to be the promotion of the the convention was to obtain satisfaction for Archduke Maximilian of Austria to the throne outrages heaped upon foreigners by the Mexiof the country, with the connivance of France. can government, and to enforce its observMaximilian was brother to the Emperor of ance of treaties; that the temporizing and Austria and had married the Princess Char-conciliatory system hitherto pursued was conlotte, the youngest daughter of the King of demned by what was daily occurring, inasBelgium by Louise, daughter of Louis Philippe. much as the reign of extortion, tyranny, and Both Maximilian and his archduchess were violence had been made doubly oppressive, good amiable people, and much beloved by our and rendered the situation of foreigners inqueen and by Prince Albert.
tolerable; that proofs of this were daily afIt is difficult even now to see by what strange forded by the complaints sent to him; that
FRENCH DOMINATION IN MEXICO.
the attitude of the allied forces appeared to In 1863 the treaty of commerce with Engstimulate the government to redoubled auda- land had, it was said, tended still further to city; that, for his part, he formally declared develop the resources of France. The exports he would not treat with that government, increased from those of the previons year by and that his well-matured op ion was that the amount of 233,000,000 francs, while during it was necessary to march upon Mexico. the same period 175,000 tons of shipping had
For this the commissioners of England and been added to the mercantile marine, of which Spain, Sir C. Wyke and General Prim, were 136,000 tons were under the French flag. in no way prepared. They thought that the The harvest was abundant, public works were conference should take place, and at length, carried on with great enterprise, and consideras they could not induce M. de Saligny to able prosperity was manifest, notwithstanding alter his determination, the English and the expenses required for carrying on the war. Spanish governments relinquished their co- General Forey had taken Puebla. The garrioperation, and their troops were withdrawn son defending it suffered severely from hunger, from Mexico.
and General Ortega, who commanded the The consequence was that the French army, place, proposed to capitulate, but asked to be under General Lorencez, was left to prosecute allowed to leave with the honours of war, and the enterprise alone. On the 16th of April the with arms, baggage, and artillery to withdraw French commissioners issued a proclamation to Mexico. This was refused, General Forey saying, “We are not here to take part in your demanding that his army should march past discussions, but to settle them.
the French army, lay down their arms, and who have been too long divided rally round remain prisoners of war. These proposals us. In their hands are the destinies of Mexico. were not accepted, and on the night of the The French flag has been planted on Mexican 16th of May General Ortega disbanded his soil; that flag will not retire: let wise men army, destroyed the weapons, spiked his guns, hail it as a friendly flag; only madmen will blew up the powder magazines, and sent an dare to fight it.”
envoy to the French general to say that the The Mexican troops, under General Zara-garrison had completed its defence, and surzoga, had retired from Orizaba, which was rendered at discretion. By daylight 12,000 occupied by the French about the middle of men, mostly without arms or ammunition, surApril. Puebla had been represented as the rendered as prisoners, and about 1000 officers town most hostile to Juarez, and yet, after of different grades awaited the orders of a desperate attempt, the French general failed General Forey at the palace of the government. to take the two forts by which it was protected. On the 10th of June the French army made
The news of the repulse of the troops its triumphal entry into the city of Mexico. caused great dissatisfaction in France, but it The throne was then at the disposal of the was then too late to accept the disaster and conquerors. General Forey issued a proclaretire from any further attempt. The gov- mation, in which he said : “I invoke the supernment had been deceived as to the state of port of all classes; I demand of all parties to public feeling in Mexico, but it was necessary lay down their arms, and to employ henceforth to support their flag energetically on every all their strength, not in destroying, but in point where it was engaged.
constructing. I proclaim oblivion of the past, This was the expressed determination of the and a complete amnesty for all those who will committee, who passed the bill granting sup- rally in good faith round the government plementary credits, to enable General Forey which the nation, by its own free-will, shall to go out at the head of the reinforcements, impose upon itself.” These were excellent which reached Vera Cruz at the end of the words, but there was nobody left who was year.
strong enough to oppose the method of obtainThe French army in Mexico then amounted | ing the plebiscite. to not less than 30,000 men.
Juarez and the members of his government
had already evacuated the city and retired to istics of a continued intestine war, joined San Luis Potosi, and no attempt was made to to insurrectionary troubles, kept his throne disturb the French occupation. “An assembly insecure and gave him only the shadow of of notables," 215 in number, was constituted, empire. Juarez was again in arms, and his the members of which, it was carefully repre- followers were active, numerous, and fighting presented, were taken from all classes. They in a kind of guerilla warfare, which perpetu
a were to determine what form of government ally harassed the regular forces, and yet gave should be established in Mexico; their vote on them none of the advantages of such victories this question was to unite two-thirds of their as they were able to gain. suffrages.
At the beginning of February, 1867, the On the 10th of July they resolved that Emperor Maximilian left the city of Mexico Mexico should be an empire, and that the at the head of his army, and marched norththrone should be offered to the Archduke wards, where the adherents of Juarez were in Maximilian of Austria. In the event of his force. He occupied the town of Queretaro refusal to accept the crown, the Emperor of with about 10,000 troops, and then had to the French was to be requested to select a sustain the attacks of General Escobedo, which candidate for the imperial dignity. The arch- were generally defeated, but without such a duke was therefore solemnly proclaimed em- decided victory as to crush the revolt. peror, and a deputation of “notables" proceeded The whole of the French troops quitted to Europe to offer him the throne.
Mexico in the early part of 1867, leaving him He received them at his residence near to carry on the conflict. In the beginning of Trieste, and, in answer to their offer, accepted April his reverses began. Puebla was capthe trust, on the condition that there should tured by the Juarists, who at once prepared be a spontaneous expression of the wishes of to lay siege to the city of Mexico, and surthe whole nation; that he should obtain guar-rounded Queretaro, then held by the emperor, antees securing Mexico against the dangers and the garrison of which was reduced to that threatened her integrity and independ desperate straits. The place becoming at last
He also declared that it was his inten- untenable, Maximilian determined to make tion to open the path of progress by a consti- an attempt to cut through the enemy's lines, tution, as was done by Napoleon III., and, but it was too late. On the 14th of May the “after the complete pacification of the country, Juarists, under Escobedo, forced their way to seal the fundamental law with an oath." into the town, and after a short resistance the
It was not till May, 1864, that he assumed emperor surrendered, and was taken prisoner the empire, after the expression of that “spon- with all his staff. In the following month taneous desire of the majority” which he had Maximilian, who bore his reverses with great clemanded. He then issued an imperial pro- dignity and resignation, was brought before a clamation at Vera Cruz, and became the ruler council of war at Queretaro, and with his genof Mexico, under the partial protection of erals, Miramon and Mejia, was condemned to France.
death. On the morning of the 19th they were The unhappy result of the French inter- led out to the place of execution and shot. vention in Mexico is one of the saddest records The following official notice was published of history during that period. After his ac- to the Mexican people:-“Ferdinand Maxicession the Emperor Maximilian discovered milian von Hapsburg, a grandduke of Austria that the French government had been en- and an ally of Napoleon III. of France, came tirely mistaken in their estimate of the Mexi- to Mexico to rob the country of its independcan character, and that he had been grossly ence and its institutions, and although a mere deceived in the assurances he had received usurper of the national sovereignty, assumed of the stability of the population, and their the title of emperor. This usurper having desire for European intervention. A series been captured by the republican forces at of conflicts, which partook of the character- | Queretaro, on the 15th of May, 1867, he was
NAPOLEON III. PROPOSES A PEACE CONGRESS.
sentenced to death by a military court-martial, ruler; for nearly all the world seems to have with the concurrence of the nation, and was agreed to give Napoleon III. credit for subtle shot for his crimes against the independence statecraft, while he himself assumed to be the of the nation at Queretaro, on the 9th of June, least secret and the least combinative of Euro1867, in company with Generals Miramon and
pean sovereigns. He claimed credit for frankMejia. Peace be to his ashes!"
ness, and professed to pursue a candid and A few days afterwards the city of Mexico easily estimated policy. At the same time, it surrendered, and Juarez became once more cannot be denied that the promptitude of absolute master of the kingdom, or rather of a action, combined with the liberal sentiments republic, which, in the space of less than fifty which characterized the whole policy of the years, had been the scene of upwards of thirty emperor, had placed the country high in the changes of government. At the close of the rank of nations with reference to all quesyear he was elected president.
tions affecting peace and mutual understanding The Archduchess Charlotte, ex-Empress of between European states. It was with this Mexico, contrived to escape from the country, assurance that, on the 4th of November, 1863, and returned to Europe in a condition of mind the emperor proposed to the other powers to which aroused the respectful sympathy of all regulate the condition of Europe, and to secure who knew her sad history.
its future by a congress of nations or an interShe continued in a state of mental derange- national council. This proposition was accomment for two or three years, and by the ad- panied by an invitation, which said:vice of her physicians travelled from place to “In case the princes, allies and friends of place, but with little hope of complete restor- France, should think proper to heighten by ation of her physical health, or cure for the their presence the authority of the deliberamental malady which had ensued from the tions, I shall be proud to offer them my corgrief she had undergone and the terrible dial hospitality. Europe would see, perhaps, scenes she had witnessed.
some advantage in the capital from which the
signal for subversion has so often been given, The policy of Napoleon III. seems to have becoming the seat of the conferences destined been to combine the development of the in- to lay the basis of a general pacification.” ternal material resources of France with After some diplomatic correspondence, in such a degree of foreign influence as would which it was stated that the emperor had make his opinion, supported by the nation, a already indicated the questions of Poland, power not only in Europe but in distant coun- Denmark, and Germany, the Danubian Printries. In Syria, where French arms vindicated cipalities, Austria and Italy, and the occupathe rights of the Christian population; in tion of Rome, to be those which would demand Montenegro, where the national desire to be- discussion; Earl Russell, on the part of the come part of a single government, including English government, declined participation in all the principalities, was upheld by French the congress, on the ground that those quesinfluence; in Cochin China, where an expedi- tions could not be decided by the mere uttertion had been organized for promoting French ance of opinions, while if the mere expression colonial interests; in Spain, where the ques- of wishes and opinions would accomplish no tions of the frontier line and the debt of 1823 positive results, it appeared certain that the were settled without further misunderstand- deliberations of a congress would consist of ing; and in Switzerland, where the differences demands and pretensions put forward by some arising from disputes about the valley of the and resisted by others. That there being no Dappes were explained and remedied, this supreme authority in such an assembly to enprompt and aggressively conciliatory inter- force the decisions of the majority, the congress vention wils exercised. France was power- would probably separate leaving many of its ful and respected even where suspicion still members on worse terms with each other than cxisted as to the probable intentions of her they had been when they met; while if this would be the probable result, it followed that Austria and Prussia; the liberty of Italy no decrease of armaments would be likely to might have penetrated Rome, set free from be effected by the proposed congress.
the threatenings of French bayonets. But the The Emperor of Russia gave his entire ad- very statement of these subjects of discussion hesion to the principle of settling the peace of is almost sufficient to show that no decision Europe by such a representative meeting of was likely to be come to, involving the satisthe sovereigns, but thought it essential that factory arrangement of affairs which had Napoleon III., who initiated the proposal, already been made of vital importance by the should define clearly the questions which, in states which included them in their most unhis opinion, should be the subject of an under- yielding demands. standing, and the bases upon which this un- Small war clouds gathering and bursting derstanding would have to be established. in other places challenged comparatively little
The Queen of Spain gave her ready adhesion attention while the roar of the great tempest to the proposal, and promised cordial co-oper- of strife continued in America. The sufferation.
ings of Poland excited much emotion, the exThe Emperor of Austria considered it essen- pedition to Mexico aroused curiosity not untial to have a clear understanding upon the mixed with apprehension of the result. The point of departure, to define the object and archduke consented to take his cue from means of action held in view, and to determine an actor who had written only his own part beforehand the line of conduct that would be in the drama which ended in a tragedy, not followed.
for Maximilian only, but as some thoughtful The King of Prussia considered the mea- statesmen believed, for the French emperor sures to be discussed should first be submitted also. There were forewarnings that the presto the responsible ministers of the respective tige of Napoleon III. would never survive the states.
Mexican fiasco, and that, from the moment of The pope accepted the proposition with the its becoming known, it would lead to the downutmost gratification, only reserving, with satir- fall of his power. If this opinion was founded ical caution, the power to sustain with the great
on the belief that he had already given eviest rigour the rights of the Romish Church. dence of a weak reliance on false or incompe
The Swiss Confederation, the new King of tent advisers, it was signally verified; but it is Greece, and the King of Denmark accepted characteristic of many prophecies that they are the proposal without reserve; and the replies fulfilled in a manner or under conditions not of the King of Hanover and the King of clearly perceived by the prophet himself. Bavaria were equally favourable. It was evi- Meantime, while the wretched dénouement of dent, however, that the English minister had the Mexican story was scarcely guessed at, and stated the true difficulty; the objections of while fresh difficulties in China and the necesPrussia, Russia, and Austria were proofs that sity for insisting on reparation for attacks on this difficulty was sufficient to prevent any British traders in Japan were engaging si ine lasting advantage from a deliberative assem- notice here, the arrogant assumptions which lly to which each member would go with the Prussia had for some time been exhilatina, view rather of confirming than relinquishing threatened the peace of Europe. the demands of his policy.
It would have been well, indeed, if some of The Schleswig-Holstein question, though ly the questions then arising in Europe could no means a laughing matter, was, at the time, have been settled by pacific discussion. The jocularly mentioned as another way of exelusion of blood during the Polish insurrection pressing an insoluble problem. The rival would then have been stayed; the question of claims of the kingdom of Denmark and the the clainis of Denmark and Schleswig-Holstein duchies of Schleswig and Holstein as repremight have been so settled as to avert the sented by the hereditary prince of Schleswigevents that led to the dreadful war between | Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg were not