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hand, Russia, Prussia, and some German States, joined the alliance of Vienna. A general war appeared to be approaching, when Austria, by the temporary suspension of the company of Ostend, and Spain, by the treaty with England at the Pardo, opened the way for a reconciliation. (5.) The congress at Soissons, in June 1728, was convened to effect a similar settlement between Austria, France, England and Spain ; but the French minister, cardinal Fleury, succeeded in dividing Spain and Austria, and France, Spain and England formed a treaty of amity and mutual defence, at Seville, in 1729 (to which Holland acceded), in order to give law to Austria. The congress at Soissons was thus dissolved, and injured Austria took up arms. But the guarantee of the pragmatic sanction, which England and Holland undertook, induced the emperor Charles VI, in 1731, to accept the conditions of the treaty of Seville. (6.) The congress at Aix-la Chapelle, in April, 1748, in which France, Austria, England Spain, Sardinia, Holland, Modena and Genoa took part, terminated the war of the Austrian succession by the peace of Aix-la-Chapelle, Oct. 18, 1748. (7.) The seven years' war between England and France was ended without a congress; but Austria, Saxony and Prussia concluded a peace at the congress of Hubertsburg, Feb. 15, 1763, the session having lasted from Dec. 1762. (8.) The congress at Teschen, in March, 1779, decided the dispute with regard to the Bavarian succession, by the mediation of France and Russia, between the contending powers, Austria and Prussia. The elector palatine, the elector of Saxony, and the duke of Deux-Ponts, sent their ministers, but not the elector of Bavaria, whose hereditary succession was the subject of negociation. (9.) Russia and Austria offered their mediation to France and England in the war of the American Revolution. Vienna was proposed for the
place of meeting ; but France refused the mediation ; and when the Russian and Austrian ministers wished to take part, as mediators, in the congress opened at Paris, in October, 1782, by the ministers of France, Spain, England, Holland and the U. States, the preliminaries of peace were settled without their knowledge, Nov. 30, 1782, and Jan. 20, 1783, also the definitive treaty of Versailles and of Paris, Sept. 3, 1783, and that with Holland, May 20, 1784. (10.) The disputes of Joseph II with the republic of Holland, relating to the opening of the Scheldt, and other subjects, in 1784, induced France to offer its mediation ; and a congress was opened at Versailles, Dec. 8 of the same year, by the French minister count Vergennes, and the imperial and Dutch ministers. It ended with the treaty of Fontainebleau, Nov. 8, 1785, by which the barrier treaty of 1715, and the treaty of Vienna, in 1731, were annulled, the boundaries of Flanders restored as they were in 1664, several strips of land yielded up to the emperor, and, as a compensation for his claims a sum of 10,000,000 florins, of which France contributed 4,500,000, to prevent the congress from being dissolved. On the other hand, the Scheldt remained closed, and the emperor gave up the rest of his claims."
It is unnecessary to extend this enumeration. It is sufficient to say, that Congresses, embracing a greater or less number of the States of Europe, have been repeated at short intervals from the last mentioned period down to the present time. Wars have been terminated by them; conflicting jurisdictions have been settled ; boundaries have been ascertained ; commercial conventions have been formed ; and in various ways the interests of friendly intercourse and of peace have been promoted. About the year 1825, a proposition was made by the then Republic of Columbia to the other republics of North and South America, to unite in the formation of an interna
tional Congress to be assembled at Panama. The proposition excited much interest, both from its novel character and in view of the important results which it might by possibility lead to. It was accepted by the Government of the United States ; but owing to the disturbed and revolutionary condition of the South American republics, the assembly met but once, and then only for a short time ; and the hopes, which it naturally excited, failed to be realized. During the discussion of this subject in the Congress of the United States, a communication was made, (March 15, 1826,) to the House of Representatives by President Adams, in which the following passages are particularly worthy of being introduced here, as having a close connection with some of the topics, that have already claimed our attention.
“ It will be within the recollection of the House, that immediately after the close of the war of our Independence, a measure closely analogous to this Congress of Panama, was adopted by the Congress of our Confederation, and for purposes of precisely the same character. Three commissioners, with plenipotentiary powers, were appointed to negotiate treaties of amity, navigation, and commerce, with all the principal Powers of Europe. They met, and resided for that purpose about one year at Paris ; and the only result of their negotiations at that time, was the first treaty between the United States and Prussia-memorable in the diplomatic annals of the world, and precious as a monument of the principles, in relation to commerce and maritime warfare, with which our country entered upon her career as a member of the great family of independent nations. This treaty, prepared in conformity with the instructions of the American Plenipotentiaries, consecrated three fundamental principles of the foreign intercourse which the Congress of that period were desirous of establishing. First, equal
reciprocity, and the mutual stipulation of the privileges of the most favored nation in the commercial exchanges of peace; secondly, the abolition of private war upon the ocean ; and, thirdly, restrictions favorable to neutral commerce upon belligerent practices, with regard to contraband of war and blockades. A painful, it may be said a calamitous experience of more than forty years, has demonstrated the deep importance of these same principles, to the peace and prosperity of this nation, and to the welfare of all maritime states, and has illustrated the profound wisdom with which they were assumed as cardinal points of the policy of the Union.
At that time, in the infancy of their political existence, under the influence of those principles of liberty and of right, so congenial to the cause in which they had just fought and triumphed, they were able but to obtain the sanction of one great and philosophical, though absolute, Sovereign, in Europe, to their liberal and enlightened principles. They could obtain no more. Since then, a political hurricane has gone over three-fourths of the civilized portions of the earth, the desolation of which, it may with confidence be expected, is passing away, leaving at least, the American atmosphere purified and refreshed. And now, at this propitious moment, the newborn nations of this hemisphere, assembling by their representatives at the Isthmus between its two Continents, to settle the principles of their future international intercourse with other nations and with us, ask, in this great exigency, for our advice upon those very fundamental maxims, which we, from our cradle, at first proclaimed, and partially succeeded to introduce into the code of national law.
Without recurring to that total prostration of all neutral and commercial rights which marked the progress of the late European wars, and which finally involved
the United States in them, and adverting only to our pe litical relation with these American nations, it is observable, that, while in all other respects those relations have been uniformly, and, without exception, of the most friendly and mutually satisfactory character, the only causes of difference and dissension between us and them which ever have arisen, originated in those neverfailing fountains of discord and irritation, discriminations of commercial favor to other nations, licentious privateers, and paper blockades. I cannot, without doing injustice to the Republics of Buenos Ayres and Colombia, forbear to acknowledge the candid and conciliatory spirit with which they have repeatedly yielded to our friendly representations and remonstrances on these subjects; in repealing discriminative laws which operated to our disadvantage, and in revoking the commissions of their privateers : to which Colombia has added the magnanimity of making reparation for unlawful captures by some of her cruisers, and of assenting, in the midst of war, to treaty stipulations favorable to neutral navigation. But the recurrence of these occasions of complaint has rendered the renewal of the discussions which result in the removal of them, necessary; while, in the mean time, injuries are sustained by merchants and other individuals of the United States, which cannot be repaired, and the remedy lingers in overtaking the pernicious operation of the mischief. The settlement of general principles, pervading, with equal efficacy, all the American States, can alone put an end to these evils, and can alone be accomplished at the proposed assembly.
If it be true that the noblest treaty of peace ever mentioned in history is that by which the Carthaginians were bound to abolish the practice of sacrificing their own children, because it was stipulated in favor of human nature, I cannot exaggerate to myself the unfading glory