The expedition against Mexico.the Mexican convention between England, France and Spain--sentiments of the London press — the Monroe doctrine Regarded as Obliterated--British opinion of the Federal blockade, &c.
The European files by the City of Baltimore have been received at New York. A synopsis of foreign news has already been published by telegraph. The following in relation to the gaeat expedition against Mexico our readers will find of a very interesting character: [From the Supplement to the London Gazette of the 15th of November. --Saturday, No. 16.]
Convention between her Majesty, the Queen of Spain, and the Emperor of the French, Relative to combined operations against Mexico.Her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, her Majesty the Queen of Spain, and his Majesty the Emperor of the French, feeling themselves compelled, by the arbitrary and vexatious conduct of the authorities of the republic of Mexico, to demand from those authorities more efficacious protection for the persons and properties of their subjects, as well as a fulfillment of the obligations contracted towards their Majesties by the republic of Mexico, have agreed to conclude a convention, with a view to combine their common action, and for this purpose, have named as their Plenipotentiaries, that is to say: ‘ Her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, the Right Hon. John Earl Russell, Viscount Amberly, of Amberly and Ardsalla, a Peer of the United Kingdom, a member of her Britannic Majesty's Privy Council, her Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs; Her Majesty the Queen of Spain, Don Xavier de Isturizy Montero, Knight of the Illustrious Order of the Golden Fleece, Grand Cross of the Royal and Distinguished Order of Charles III., of the Imperial Order of the Legion of Honor of France, of the Orders of the Conception of Villaviciosa and Christ of Portugal, Senator of the Kingdom, late President of the Council of Ministers, and First Secretary of State of her Catholic Majesty, and her Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to her Britannic Majesty; And his Majesty the Emperor of the French, his Excellency the Count de Flahault de la Billarderie, Senator, General of Division, Grand Cross of the Legion of Honor, his Imperial Majesty's Ambassador Extraordinary to her Britannic Majesty; ’ Who, after having reciprocally communicated their respective full powers, found in good and due form, have agreed upon the following articles: Article 1. Her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, her Majesty the Queen of Spain, and his Majesty the Emperor of the French, engage to make, immediately after the signature of the present convention, the necessary arrangements for dispatching to the coasts of Mexico combined naval and military forces, the strength of which shall be determined by a further interchange of communications between their Governments, but of which the total shall be sufficient to seize and occupy the several fortresses and military positions on the Mexican coast. The commanders of the allied forces shall be, moreover, authorized to execute the other operations which may be considered, on the spot, most suitable to effect the object specified in the preamble of the present convention, and specifically to insure the security of foreign residents. All the measures contemplated in this article shall be taken in the name and on account of the high contracting parties, without reference to the particular nationality of the forces employed to execute them. Art. 2. The high contracting parties engaged not to seek for themselves, in the employment of the coercive measures contemplated by the present convention, any acquisition of territory nor any special advantage, and not to exercise in the internal affairs of Mexico any influence of a nature to prejudice the right of the Mexican nation to choose and to constitute freely the form of its government. Art. 3. A commission, composed of three commissioners, one to be named by each of the contracting Powers, shall be established, with full authority to determine all questions that may arise as to the application or distribution of the sums of money which may be recovered from Mexico, having regard to the respective rights of the three contracting parties. Art. 4. The high contracting parties desiring, moreover, that the measures which they intend to adopt should not bear an exclusive character, and being aware that the Government of the United States, on its part, has, like them, claims to enforce upon the Mexican republic, agree that immediately after the signature of the present convention, a copy thereof shall be communicated to the Government of the United States; that Government shall be invited to accede to it, and that in anticipation of that accession their respective ministers at Washington shall be at once furnished with full powers for the purpose of concluding and signing, collectively or separately, with the plenipotentiary designated by the President of the United States, a convention identic, save the suppression of the present article, with that which they sign this day. But as by delaying to put into, execution articles 1 and 2 of the present convention, the high contracting parties would incur a risk of falling in the object which they desire to attain, they have agreed not to defer, with the view of obtaining the accession of the Government of the United States, the commencement of the above mentioned operations beyond the time at which their combined forces can be assembled in the neighborhood of Vera Cruz. Art. 5. The present convention shall be ratified, and the ratifications thereof shall be exchanged at London within 15 days. In witness whereof the respective Plenipotentiaries have signed it, and have affixed thereto the seal of their arms. Done at London, in triplicate, the 31st day of the month of October, in the year of our Lord 1861. Russell, Xavier Ds Isturiz, Flahault.
How the expedition may Affect our blockade.[From the London Shipping Gazette, Nov.19.] The expeditionary force which will shortly he assembled in Mexican waters; under the flags of England, France, and Spain, has naturally attracted great attention, especially in the Northern States, and has furnished the occasion for suspicions and surmises which have found expression in language by no means complimentary to the Powers engaged. The British contingent amounts already to 850 guns, and 10,600 seamen and marines. The Spanish Admiral, Rubaleaba, commends twelve steamers, mounting 800 guns, and the French Admiral, Jurien de Grayiere, probably a squadron of ten sail and 310 guns. The assemblage of this force in the Gulf of Mexico, while the Federal squadron is laboring to effect a blockade, the inefficiency of which has been demonstrated in numberless instances, and the recognition of which is solely due to the courtesy of the States of Europe, is not an agreeable subject of contemplation for the Cabinet of Washington, or their supporters in the press. It has been designated as a movement uncalled for, ‘"and justly open to suspicion."’ ‘"We are free."’ says the New York Herald,"to conjecture that these superfluous, heavily armed squadrons of Spain, England and France have other objects in view than the settlement of their outstanding accounts with Mexico, and the protection of their commerce against our rebel privateers, and against the accidents of our Southern blockade." It was not to be supposed that this Mexican expedition could have been organized and set on foot without exciting the suspicions of the North, and yet there is no prospect whatever that the triple alliance just concluded will be directed towards an interference between the American belligerents. If France or England, or both powers combined, have determined on raising the Southern blockade, they need only have united their forces on the West India stations, and ordered them upon that service. It was surely not necessary to take the roundabout course of concluding a Convention with Spain, and enlisting the aid of that country in an undertaking in which she could have no direct concern. The closing of the Southern ports is of no great consequence to Spain. Her commerce is but slightly affected by the blockade, and the Cabinet of Madrid would most assuredly never incur the cost and trouble of equipping an expedition to give a coloring to the designs of France and England. The Mexican expedition is obviously not directed against the Southern blockade, though we can understand why the Northern press should assert that it is. If the blockade was really efficient, if the Federal Government had at their command a force sufficient to interdict commerce, in conformity with the received maxims of international law, we should hear nothing of the Mexican expedition as a movement justly open to suspicion. It is because the Federal Government well know that they are maintaining a blockade on sufferance, and embarrassing commerce through the forbearance of the neutral Powers, that they fear the presence in the Gulf of Mexico of a combined fleet belonging to those Powers. The Federal Government may rest satisfied on this point. Whatever the want of this country, or of France, of the raw material, which is stored in abundance at the present moment in the Southern States, there is no intention of resorting to force to open the Southern ports, or even to coerce the Federal Government into a respect for the obligations imposed by the laws of maritime warfare. It is quite possible for the Cabinet of Washington to commit the Northern States to a collision with this country. The decisions of the Northern Prize Courts, the imprisonment of British subjects on frivolous and groundless pretences, but above all, the constant threat of an invasion of Canada, may induce the British Government to take a very prompt and resolute course for the protection of British interests in the Northern continent.--But without some such provocation, we are quite satisfied no action will be taken by our Government in reference to the existing struggle, nor would any such action be sanctioned by the British public. The N. Y Herald, and the other journals who think it necessary to stimulate the Northern feeling against this country, may spare the threats of the extinction of ‘"England and her Confederates,"’ of which they are so lavish. If England or France, separate or united, find it necessary to take steps to uphold their interests in the West, they will do so, notwithstanding the warning that when "the Southern rebellion is suppressed, an end will be put in a brief campaign to British dominion in the North, or to Spanish intervention in the South." This, however, is perfectly consistent with the innocuous presence of the combined fleets in the Gulf of Mexico, and with the solution of the question to which the expeditionary force is subordinate. That question has nothing whatever to do with the existing troubles in the States, and the Powers engaged, especially England and France, are superior to making it the pretence for the assembling of a force with another and a very different object.
Spain and her rebellious colonies finally died out, no attempt has been made to assert by force of arms the supremacy of the Old Word over the New. We were all of us, to say the truth, more or less converted to the doctrine of ‘"manifest destiny. "’ A new world has been called into existence to redress the balance of the old, and so the old had, not unnaturally, felt itself dispensed from any attempt to redress the balance of the new. The colossal power of the United States, overshadowing Canada on the North, and Mexico and the States of the Gulf on the South, so clearly arrogated to itself the disposition of all matters on the continent of America, that it seems useless to interfere with the affairs of communities all destined sooner or later, to absorption in the vast and growing republic. If we wanted a convincing proof that the tide has turned, and that we are entering on a course of new and unforeseen events, we find it in the fact that the three Powers who possess the coast of Europe immediately opposite to America have entered into a convention which binds them to fit out and send a joint expedition for the purpose of demanding from the Republic of Mexico more efficacious protection for the persons and properties of their subjects, as well as the fulfillment of all obligations contracted towards them. Knowing the very limited resources of which the authorities of the Republic of Mexico can dispose, the chronic anarchy which has so long wasted that unhappy country, the alternations of plunder which have wasted its wealth, and the exceedingly precarious position of whichever faction may for the moment be predominant, we do not believe that these forces go to meet any very formidable or obstinate opposition. We do not expect that the Allies are about to act over again the exploits of Hernan Cortes, for they have no vast and consolidated empire to confront them, and the Mexican authorities well know that in case of resistance they are but the precursors of a force which would render resistance absurd.--We cannot doubt that the troops of the three nations go to dictate their own terms, and that whatever these terms may be they must of necessity he complied with. The main difficulty may very possibly be found to consist in finding a Government with which to negotiate, and which will remain in power long enough to perform the articles of the treaty. If, indeed, we were to apply the principle which is urged on behalf of the United States, that we have no right to claim that Mexico should treat us better than she treats herself, we should be without excuse for our expedition, for each Government has uniformly repudiated the acts of its predecessor, and the peaceful citizen has been alternately the victim of both. The case, however, is so extreme that we cannot consent to be judged by such a criterion. Mexico has treated us as ill as she treats her own citizens, and what worse can possibly be said or her? We want in this case something more than the privileges of citizens, something more than the privileges of the most favored nation; for in Mexico all who come in contact with her bands of remorseless robbers are plundered and murdered alike. There are two nations which will regard this expedition with very different feelings. Spain will naturally see it in a substantial proof that she is rapidly regaining the place she once occupied in the first rank amid the Powers of Europe. She is admitted as a confederate by two States which aspire to control the destinies of the world. She must also feel a peculiar pleasure in beholding the position of the colony which thing off its allegiance to her forty years ago, and comparing it with her own: The Spanish nation seems about to renew its youth, while the apparently vigorous and prosperous colony has fallen into more than senile decrepitude. The States of the American Union, on the other hand, cannot but view the presence of the troops of France, England and Spain on the continent of North America with feelings of mortification and distrust. England, so long lectured with the Monroe doctrine, and Spain, whose fairest possessions in the New World America has so long socked on as about to become her own, have announced their intention of doing themselves justice by an armed intervention, without seeking the approbation of the United States. It is true that the convention reserves to the United States the liberty of joining with the three European Powers, and that a sort of apology is offered for this course by the suggestion that if the convention were not immediately concluded its object might fail through delay. Still it can hardly be concealed that torn by intestine disorders, and wasting in mutual destruction that strength which once was consolidated in support of their foreign policy, the United States occupy a less important position than in the days of their union and of their strength. No ungenerous advantage has been or will be taken of this, but it is impossible not to feel that a great nation is seeking to efface itself, and that, considering the shortness of the time which has elapsed and the small amount of bloodshed which it has undergone, its endeavors have been crowned with a very considerable amount of success.