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Chapter XX

  • French intervention in Mexico
  • -- a plan to compel the withdrawal of the French army -- Grant's letter of instructions to General Sheridan -- Secretary Seward Advocates moral Suasion -- a mission to Paris with that end in view -- Speechmaking at the American Thanksgiving dinner -- Napoleon's method of retreating with dignity -- a presentation to the Emperor and Empress.

while the government of the United States was fully occupied with the contest for the preservation of the Union, Napoleon III, Emperor of the French, attempted to overthrow the republican government in Mexico, and establish in its stead all empire under the Archduke Maximilian of Austria. If the American conflict had resulted in the triumph of secession, so also might Napoleon have succeeded in reestablishing monarchical government on the American continent. But from the moment when the Union of the States became reassured, European interference in the political affairs of the American republic became impossible. Upon this subject there appeared to be no division of sentiment among the people of the United States. Certainly there was none among the responsible American statesmen of that time. It was their unanimous voice that the French intervention in Mexico must be speedily terminated; but there was naturally some division of opinion respecting the means by which this should be effected. Some favored

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