into the Gulf of Mexico, the increase of the population within the last ten years amounts to more than that of the entire Union at the time Louisiana was annexed to it.
The natural and main outlet to the products of this entire population, the highway of their direct water-course with the Atlantic and the Pacific States, can never be secure, but must ever be endangered, whilst Cuba is a dependency of a distant power, in whose possession it has proved to be a source of constant annoyance and embarrassment to their interests.
Indeed, the Union can never enjoy repose, nor possess reliable security, as long as Cuba is not embraced within its boundaries.
These arguments for the necessity of acquiring Cuba
on our part, though not so strong intrinsically as might be adduced to justify the acquisition of Great Britain
, are still further amplified; intermingled with demonstrations that Spain
would be, pecuniarily, the gainer by the sale, and insults which would seem offered on purpose to render her compliance impossible.
Witness these specimens:
Such is her present wretched financial condition, that her best bonds are sold upon her own Bourse at about one-third of their par value; whilst another class, on which she pays no interest, have but a nominal value, and are quoted at about one-sixth the amount for which they were issued.
Besides, these latter are held principally by British creditors, who may, from day to day, obtain the effective interposition of their own Government for the purpose of coercing payment.
Intimations to that effect have been already thrown out from high quarters; and, unless some new source of revenue shall enable Spain to provide for such exigencies, it is not improbable that they may be realized.
Extreme oppression, it is now universally admitted, justifies any people in endeavoring to relieve themselves from the yoke of their oppressors.
The sufferings which the corrupt, arbitrary, and unrelenting local administration necessarily entails upon the inhabitants of Cuba, cannot fail to stimulate and keep alive that spirit of resistance and revolution against Spain, which has of late years been so often manifested.
In this condition of affairs, it is vain to expect that the sympathies of the people of the United States will not be warmly enlisted in favor of their oppressed neighbors.
We know that the President is justly inflexible in his determination to execute the neutrality laws; but, should the Cubans themselves rise in revolt against the oppression which they suffer, no human power could prevent citizens of the United States, and liberal-minded men of other countries, from rushing to their assistance.
Besides~ the present is an age of adventure, in which restless and daring spirits abound in every portion of the world.
It is not improbable, therefore, that Cuba may be wrested from Spain by a successful revolution: and, in that event, she will lose both the island and the price which we are now willing to pay for it — a price far beyond what was ever paid by one people to another for any province.
is frankly told by our model diplomatists that we will have Cuba
at any rate; that resistance on her part will only serve to deprive her of the liberal bonus we are prepared to pay for its peaceful cession.
Here is the language:
But if Spain, dead to the voice of her own interest, and actuated by stubborn pride and a false sense of honor, should refuse to sell Cuba to the United States, then the question will arise, What ought to be the course of the American Government under such circumstances?
Self-preservation is the first law of nature, with States as well as with individuals.
All nations have, at different periods, acted upon this maxim.
Although it has been made the pretext for committing flagrant injustice, as in the partition of Poland and other similar cases which history records, yet the principle itself, though often abused, has always been recognized. * * * * After we shall have offered Spain a price for Cuba far beyond its present value, and this shall have been refused, then it will be time to consider the question, Does Cuba, in the possession of Spain, seriously endanger our internal peace and the existence of our cherished Union?
Should this question be answered in the affirmative, then, by every law, human and divine, we shall be justified in wresting it from Spain, if we possess the power: and this upon the very same principle that would justify an individual in tearing down the burning house of his neighbor if there was no other means of preventing the flames from destroying his own home.
Under such circumstances, we ought