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ONE HUNDEED YEARS OF PEACE



THE MACMILLAN COMPANY

NEW YORK BOSTON CHICAGO DALLAS
ATLANTA SAN FRANCISCO

MACMILLAN & CO., LIMITED

LONDON BOMBAY CALCUTTA
MELBOURNE

THE MACMILLAN CO. OF CANADA, LTD,

TORONTO




FACSIMILE OF THE SIGNATURES TO THE TREATY OF
GHENT



ONE HUNDRED YEARS
OF PEACE



BY
HENRY CABOT LODGE



WITH ILLUSTRATIONS



Nefo |f orfe

THE MACMILLAN COMPANY
1913

All right* reserved






COPYRIGHT, 1912,

BT THE OUTLOOK COMPANY.

COPYMOHT, 1913,

BY THE MACMILLAN COMPANY.

Set up and electrotyped. Published September, 1913.



NortenoB

J. 8. Cushing Co. Berwick 4 Smith Co.
Norwood, Mass., U.S.A.



PREFATORY NOTE

THIS sketch of the relations between the United
States and Great Britain during the century which



ERRATA

Page 49, fifth line from the bottom, for "is" read "are."
Page 98, seventh line from the top, for "Slumkey" read



"SJurk."



296783



NorinooB

J. 8. Cushing Co. Berwick A Smith Co.
Norwood, Mass., U.S.A.



PREFATORY NOTE

THIS sketch of the relations between the United
States and Great Britain during the century which
has elapsed since the War of 1812 appeared first in
the "Outlook." To the publishers of the "Out
look " I wish to express my thanks for their kind
permission to reprint here the two original articles
revised, corrected, and much enlarged.



296783



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

FACSIMILE OF THE SIGNATURES TO THE TREATY OP

GHENT ........ Frontispiece

FACING PAGK
"WHAT? YOU YOUNG YANKEE-NOODLE, STRIKE YOUR OWN

FATHER?" 24

JOHN QUINCY ADAMS 36

ROBERT SOUTHEY, CHARLES DICKENS, AND SIDNEY SMITH 44
JAMES BRYCE, WILLIAM MAKEPEACE THACKERAY, AND

WASHINGTON IRVING 58

WOODCUTTER S CABIN ON THE MISSISSIPPI ... 62

THE SOLEMNITY OF JUSTICE 64

DANIEL WEBSTER 74

LORD ASHBURTON 78

REAR-ADMIRAL CHARLES WILKES, U. S. N. . . . 90

LORD PALMERSTON 96

ABRAHAM LINCOLN 100

LORD JOHN RUSSELL 108

CHARLES FRANCIS ADAMS 110

"THE LAND OF LIBERTY" 120

THE CHAMPION MASHER OF THE UNIVERSE . . . 130



vii



ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF PEACE

THE last war between Great Britain and
the United States began in June, 1812.
There has been no war between the two
countries since the treaty of Ghent was
signed on Christmas eve in 1814. Strictly
speaking, the absence of war constitutes
peace, and therefore we may describe these
hundred years just passed as a century of
peace between the United States and Great
Britain. But in the larger and better sense
of the word it must be confessed that the
relations between the two countries during
that period have been at times anything
but peaceful, and often far from friendly.
Indeed, there have been some perilous
moments when war has seemed very im
minent. To describe this jeriod therefore
as one of unbroken good will merely be
cause there was no actual fighting would
be wholly misleading. If a review, how-



2 , . QNK HUNDRED YEARS OF PEACE

ever brief, of the relations between Great
Britain and the United States since 1812 is
to possess any value, it can only be through
showing how, by slow steps, with many
interruptions and much bitterness on both
sides, we have nevertheless finally attained
to the genuine friendship in which all sen
sible men of both countries rejoice to-day.
This fortunate condition has been reached
only after many years of storm and stress,
which it seems to posterity, always blessed
with that unerring wisdom which comes after
the event, might have been easily avoided.

To understand the present situation
aright, to comprehend the meaning and
effects of the war of 1812 and of the ninety-
eight years of peace which have followed
its conclusion, it is necessary to begin with
the separation of the two countries by the
Treaty of Paris in 1782, when the connec
tion between England and the United States
ceased to be that of mother country and
colonies and became the more distant rela
tion which exists between two independent



ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF PEACE 3

nations. Just now there appears to be a
tendency among Englishmen to regard that
separation of the eighteenth century as a
small matter, especially so far as their own
country is concerned, a view which, how
ever comfortable, is hardly sustained by
history, and we may well pause a moment
at the outset to consider just what the war
resulting in the treaties of Paris meant, for
on that decisive event rests ultimately all
that has since come to pass.

As an illustration of the attitude of mind
to which I have referred, let me take the
recent case of a well-known writer and very
popular novelist. Some years ago Mr. H.
G. Wells came to this country, and on his
return to England, like many of his country
men, he wrote a book about the United
States. Unlike many of his countrymen,
however, he wrote a very pleasant and
friendly book, enlivened by some character
istic remarks in favor of socialism and of
converting the Niagara Falls into horse
power. He made, however, one comment



4 ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF PEACE

which struck me at the time, and which, I
think, has been made since by others of his
countrymen. This comment was in connec
tion with his visit to Boston, as I remember,
and criticised us good-naturedly for the
extreme care with which we marked all spots
connected with the Revolution, and for the
apparent importance which we attached to
that event. Mr. Wells, unlike Sir George
Trevelyan, the most brilliant of living Eng
lish historians, seemed to think that this
American feeling about the Revolution
which resulted in the independence of the
United States was provincial, if not paro
chial. In view of the sound system of Brit
ish education, which has a great deal to say
about English victories, great and small, and
is curiously reticent as to English defeats,
it is perhaps not surprising that the impor
tance attached to the incidents of the Amer
ican Revolution in this country should
surprise the average traveller from Great
Britain. But, putting aside the partiality
which Americans feel toward the Revolution,



ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF PEACE 5

owing to the fact that they were victorious,
and the lack of interest with which the
British regard it, possibly because they were
defeated, it is perhaps not amiss to point
out that the war for American independence
really was an event of high importance, and
was so considered then, as it has been ever
since, by dispassionate persons.

The revolt of the American Colonies in
1776 agitated the world of that day far
beyond the parish limits of the United States.
It divided parties and overthrew Ministries
in England. It involved France and Spain
in war with Great Britain, and created the
armed neutrality of the northern Powers,
events which are rarely caused by trifling
or provincial struggles. But the American
Revolution had results even more momen
tous than these. It broke the British
Empire for the first, and, so far, for the
only time. It took from England her
greatest and most valuable possession.
With the American Colonies she lost a
population equal to about a fifth of the



6 ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF PEACE

inhabitants of Great Britain at that period,
as well as the ownership of the best part of
a great continent. The independence of the
Colonies was the foundation of the United
States, and, whether one approves of the
United States or not, there can be no ques
tion, I think, that they constitute to-day a
large and important fact in the existing
world. It was an Englishman, I believe,
who said that, after all, England s most con
siderable achievement was the United States.
Finally, and this is something which I feel
it would hardly be possible to describe as
parochial, modern democracy began with
the American Revolution. Carlyle, who
had more imagination as well as more humor
than the average British commentator, either
upon America or upon things in general,
turns aside from a letter of Friedrich to
D Alembert which happened to be dated
December 16, 1773, in order to give an
account, a quite inimitable account, of the
Boston Tea Party which occurred on that
day. He did so because, to use his own



ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF PEACE 7

words : " The case is well known and still
memorable to mankind." It did not seem
to him parochial, but on the contrary an
event charged with meaning. With his
penetrating and wide ranging glance, at
past and future alike, Carlyle had already
in one oft quoted sentence set forth what
the American Revolution really meant when
he wrote the history of that greater Revolu
tion which came to pass a few years later
on the other side of the English Channel.
Here is what he says : " Borne over the
Atlantic, to the closing ear of Louis, King
by the Grace of God, what sounds are these ;
muffled, ominous, new in our centuries?
Boston Harbor is black with unexpected
Tea; behold a Pennsylvania Congress
gather; and ere long, on Bunker Hill, De
mocracy announcing, in rifle volleys death-
winged, under Star Banner, to the tune
of Yankee-doodle-do, that she is born and,
whirlwind-like, will envelop the whole
world!"

Another great writer of that generation,



8 ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF PEACE

a friend of Carlyle, read the same prophecy
in the revolt of the Colonies. With the
insight of the poet, Emerson declared that
the shot which the embattled farmers fired
at Concord Bridge was heard " round the
world," which, although expressed in verse,
told the exact truth. At that bridge, in
that little New England village, the first
drum-beat of democracy broke upon the
troubled air, and there the march began.
The same drum-beat was heard soon after
wards in France, where several things
happened which no one probably would
regard as provincial, and which caused
some stir at the time. Looking over
the world to-day, it may be fairly said
that no greater event could be commemo
rated than the first uprising of democracy
which later swept over the Governments of
the nineteenth century, and which is still
pressing onward, crossing even now into
the confines of Asia.

Yet, very characteristically, this American
Revolution, which Mr. Wells smiles at



ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF PEACE 9

gently as a little provincial incident, but
which seems not to have been without its
effect on the history of civilized man, turned
on a question of law. That two great
branches of the same people, speaking the
same language, holding the same beliefs,
and cherishing the same institutions, should
go to war about a question of legal right in
the imposition of taxes is indeed very typical
of the race and breed. It is also one reason
why the war of the Revolution, as a whole,
was sullied by few acts of cruelty or ferocity,
for, as Macaulay pointed out long ago, the
character of a civil war is very largely
determined by the amount of oppression
which one side has suffered at the hands of
the other. The government of the English
colonies in America had been, on the whole,
easy and liberal. Sir Robert Walpole, with
his favorite motto of " Quieta non movere,"
with his wise indifference which allowed the
dust to gather upon American despatches,
and the elder Pitt, who had the faculty of
arousing the enthusiasm of the colonists by



10 ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF PEACE

appealing to their patriotic impulses and by
treating them as friends and equals, had
made the bonds between the mother country
and her American children very strong.
But a dull and narrow-minded King, served
by ministers of slight capacity or of judi
ciously pliant natures, soon undid the work
of the two great statesmen and forced on
the war which had in it at that moment
nothing of the inevitable. The Revolution
thus generated was fought out through
seven long years, and the Colonies won.
There was, of course, bitterness of feeling
on both sides, but none which could not
have been quickly and easily overcome, if
right methods had been pursued. The
Americans, it is true, did not carry out the
treaty properly in regard to the loyalists,
and the British, on their side, failed to
observe it in regard to the relinquishment
of the western posts which were an absolute
threat not only to the expansion but to the
very existence of the United States. One of
the greatest achievements of Washington s



ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF PEACE 11

administration was the Jay treaty, and to
make this settlement with England he sac
rificed the French alliance, but he removed
forever the western menace and cleared the
frontiers of the United States from a danger
which in time of war might have proved
fatal. The French Revolution, which de
stroyed the American alliance, divided public
opinion in the United States, as it did in
England, and the immediate result was
virtual, although not declared, war with
France, a situation that gave England an
opportunity to bind her former colonies
closely to her, which unfortunately did not
seem to English statesmen a thing worth
doing.

That the people of England generally
should think little and know less about
their former colonies during the closing
years of the eighteenth century is not sur
prising. It was the period of the French
Revolution, and that terrible convulsion,
which brought the genius of Burke to the
confines of madness, unsettled many lesser



12 ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF PEACE

minds, and through the passions of fear
and anger seized public attention with such
an absorbing and relentless grasp that, natu
rally, no room was left for thought concerning
three millions of English speaking people who
had just set up a national government on the
other side of the Atlantic. But it is strange
that English ministers, statesmen charged
with the responsibility of government in
a time crowded with perils of every kind,
should not have paid some attention to
the United States. They were involved
in a desperate war with France. Their
success at sea had been brilliant, but their
military failures had been little short of
appalling. They were pouring out millions
of pounds to pay for coalitions which one
after the other went to pieces in defeat.
Their subsidies were almost as completely
wasted as the huge sums of money which
went to the Chouans of Brittany, to the
wretched following of the Comte d Artois in
London, or to the conspirators who were
trying to assassinate the First Consul in



ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF PEACE 13

Paris. Their allies on the Continent were
breaking down as the century ended, and
isolation stared them in the face. One
would have imagined that under such
circumstances they would have looked in
every corner of the globe for new friends
and new sources of strength. In the
United States were three millions of people,
active, enterprising, pushing their vessels
into every sea. These people were very
largely of their own race and despite the
recent war were still bound to them not
only by community of language and of
political belief but by the still stronger ties
of long existing habits of trade, of com
mercial intercourse, and of thought and
manners. It is true that they grudgingly
drove a hard bargain with the United
States in the Jay treaty. But that was
all. They were content to avoid war
with their former colonies, and then they
turned their backs to them, even when
the policy of France was forcing the
Americans into their arms. It seems a



14 ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF PEACE

strange blindness on the part of ministers
of a great country at such a time as that,
filled as it was with war and confusion,
with crumbling governments and falling
dynasties. No great effort was required,
had they wished to inform themselves as
to the United States and to learn that it
would be profitable to turn them from
quondam enemies into useful friends and
allies. It was not difficult to acquire
knowledge of the United States. In 1794,
for instance, Mr. Thomas Cooper, an Eng
lishman who had emigrated to America,
published in the form of letters to a friend
a book entitled " Some Information Re
specting America." The volume did not
belie its title. It was full of valuable infor
mation, and on page 52 occurs this passage :
" There is little fault to find with the
government of America, either in principle
or in practice : we have very few taxes
to pay, and those are of acknowledged
necessity, and moderate in amount : we
have no animosities about religion ; it is



ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF PEACE 15

a subject about which no questions are
asked : we have few respecting political
men or political measures : the present
irritation of men s minds in Great Britain,
and the discordant state of society on
political accounts, is not known here. The
government is the government OF the
people, and FOR the people. There are
no tythes nor game laws : and the excise
laws upon spirits only, and similar to the
British only in name."

It is interesting to note that this little
known writer described the character of
the government of the United States in
the exact words of two of the three defi
nitions used by Lincoln in his famous
Speech at Gettysburg. But in this con
nection Thomas Cooper s book is of im
portance as showing that it was not
difficult for Englishmen, had they so desired,
to obtain information about the United
States. If the book ever came under the
eyes of any of them, it seems as if the
inference would have been drawn that a



16 ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF PEACE

people of whom such things could be
written deserved, in that great crisis of
western civilization, both examination and
consideration.

But there were other facts of public no
toriety not concealed in the books of travel
lers which must also have been known to
the British ministers, but which went by
them apparently unheeded. They knew
that the American states, shaken and broken
by seven years of civil war, after five years
of a weak central government, ever grow
ing more impotent and imbecile, had come
together and formed a Federal constitution.
It was a constitution of an unusual charac
ter. There was nothing like it just then
extant among men. A century later a
great English statesman and prime minister
was to speak of it as the most remarkable
instrument of government ever struck off
by a single body of men at one time, and Mr.
Gladstone was confirmed in this view by
Lord Acton, who wrote in his " History of
Freedom " :



ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF PEACE 17

" American independence was the begin
ning of a new era, not merely as a revival
of the Revolution, but because no other
revolution ever proceeded from so slight a
cause or was ever conducted with so much
moderation. The European monarchies
supported it. The greatest statesmen in
England averred that it was just. It estab
lished a pure democracy, but it was democ
racy in its highest perfection, armed and
vigilant, less against aristocracy and mon
archy than against its own weakness and
excess. Whilst England was admired for
the safeguards with which, in the course of
many centuries, it had fortified liberty
against the power of the crown, America
appeared still more worthy of admiration
for the safeguards which, in the deliberations
of a single memorable year, it had set up
against the power of its own sovereign peo
ple. It resembled no other known democ
racy, for it respected freedom, authority, and
law. It resembled no other constitution, for
it was contained in half a dozen intelligible



18 ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF PEACE

articles. Ancient Europe opened its mind to
two new ideas that revolution with very
little provocation may be just, and that
democracy in very large dimensions may be*
safe."

To criticise Pitt and his colleagues
because they did not look at the constitu
tion of the United States then just born into
the world with the eyes of posterity or with
the insight and comprehension of the great
est historical scholar in England a century
afterwards would of course be most unjust.
Yet it would seem not unreasonable to ex
pect from responsible and able ministers,
certainly from a man of such commanding
intellect as the younger Pitt, some slight
perception of the meaning of the American
Revolution and of the remarkable qualities
of the constitution of the United States
pointed out with such terseness and force
by Lord Acton. Had they given any at
tention to the subject, they must have seen
that in this new constitution and its first ten
amendments were embodied all those great



ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF PEACE 19

principles of individual rights and ordered
liberty for which Englishmen had fought for
centuries. They must have perceived with
but trifling intellectual effort that this new
government was organized and marching
forwards, that the Americans had provided
for the payment of all public debts with
scrupulous honesty, that their revenue
was growing, and that the administration of
Washington, of whom they had certainly
heard, was strong and courageous and had
not hesitated to resist revolutionary France
or to assert complete neutrality. If they
had considered these facts, one would have
supposed that in their own condition, en
gaged as they were in a desperate war, they
would have decided that the friendship of
this new nation was worth consideration and
cultivation. But the thought apparently
never occurred to them, and they passed the
United States by as unworthy of attention
and deserving only of contemptuous and ig
norant indifference. Then came the great
struggle with Napoleon, and again England



20 ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF PEACE

might easily have made her former colonies
her close friends and allies. This policy in
deed was so obvious that it is hard to under
stand why even English ministers failed to
adopt it. Jefferson, with all his eulogy of
France and denunciation of England for polit
ical purposes, was more than ready to unite
with her against Napoleon if England
would only have allowed him to do so, but
after the death of the younger Pitt and the
dissolution of the Ministry of " All the
Talents," the English Government fell once
more into the hands of very inferior men.
Ministers of the caliber of Perceval, Castle-
reagh, and Lord Liverpool, united with ex
treme Tories like Lord Eldon, whose ability
was crippled by their blind prejudices, were
utterly unable to see the value of friendship
with the United States and preferred to treat
their former colonists with a comfortable
contempt. The one very clever man not in
opposition in those days was Canning, and
he did more than any one else, perhaps, by
his unfortunate attitude to drive the United



ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF PEACE 21

States away from England. It was he who
said that the navy of the United States con
sisted of " a few fir frigates with a bit of
bunting at the top." For the sake of this
not very humorous alliteration he paid rather
heavily in the loss of a good many English
frigates at a later day. Disraeli says in
" Sybil " that from the death of the younger
Pitt to 1825 " the political history of England
is a history of great events and little men,"
a description of the period as terse as it was
truthful, if we except the Duke of Welling
ton. The combination was not beneficial to
England and was unfortunate for her rela
tions with the United States.

It is not pleasant to Americans to recall
the years which preceded our second war
with England. There was no indignity, no
humiliation, no outrage, that England on
the one side and Napoleon on the other
did not inflict upon the United States.
Our Government submitted and yielded
and made sacrifices which it is now difficult
to contemplate with calmness, until at last



22 ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF PEACE

a party arose composed of young men
who were profoundly convinced that any
thing was better than such conditions, and
that if we were to enjoy a national exist
ence worth having we must fight. They
did not care very much with whom we
fought, but they were determined to fight
some one in order to vindicate the right
of the United States to live as a nation
without dishonor. The unscrupulous dex
terity of Napoleon and the marvellous stu
pidity of England resulted in our fighting
England instead of France, and thus we
came to the war of 1812.

We had no army and a very small navy.
The political group which had forced war
upon us, although right in their reasons
for going to war, were utterly wrong in
the ignorant boasts with which they pro
claimed our readiness for battle. Wholly
unprepared, we suffered many defeats on
the Canadian frontier, which were redeemed
only by the two battles of Lundy s Lane
and Chippewa. Upon the seas and lakes



ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF PEACE 23

we had almost unbroken victory, and,


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