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the genius of barbarism that urged the confessedly from partial premises, since American colonists to win their indepen- we have up to this point regarded only dence with the sword, nor can that well one of the many sides which the modern be called an uncivilized impulse which has world presents to the eye of the statesflushed so high the encroaching pride of man and political philosopher, and espethe United States at the present hour. cially omitted one of the most con
We are thus driven to admit that we spicuous and important phases of Eurocannot with truth assert that a diminu- pean civilization. Industry and commerce tion of war is a characteristic of our have revolutionised occidental society, epoch ; nor that, if some ancient causes and established an economical alliance, of quarrel have disappeared before the as it were, between its members. One progress of civilization, it has imported of the firmest bases of the feeling of no new germs of discord into the bosom nationality or fellow-citizenship may be of nations. Our survey of the past is traced at bottom, says an eminent far from warranting the prediction that traveller, to the “need and aid of each all the ends which are for the ultimate other in their daily life,'” felt by inhabenefit of mankind will be henceforward bitants of the same country. Each disaccomplished without bloodshed. Nortrict, each house, each man has a demand does it seem to entitle the warmest for what another district, house, or man advocate of peace to stigmatize a martial supplies ; people are in habitual interspirit as barbarous in every form, and course or contact of an amicable, or at for whatever purpose it is animated. least pacific character, and reciprocal On the other hand, we may glean some obligations and conveniences make up reason for the general reflection, that it the sum and business of existence. But is often by war itself that future wars this mutual interdependence now exists, are made impossible or improbable, as it is urged, between nation and nation, while peace is not unfrequently but the and all Christendom feels itself to be gathering time for hostile elements. literally one commonwealth. And, And the particular observation in refer- besides the powerful interests altogether ence to our own island lies upon the opposed to war, which have arisen in surface, that, since it has been by the im- every state, men's minds are habitually provements of civilization brought into swayed by commonplace and unromantic closer contact with the Continent, the ideas; and the presiding idea of modern chances of collision with Continental communities, we are told, is the altoStates are multiplied, and military insti- gether unwarlike one of the acquisition tutions and ideas seem to have arisen of wealth. among us pari passu with increased Even France is said to afford a conproximity to our military neighbours. spicuous example of this ; and there Again, the extension of our empire far are several reasons why that country beyond the confines of Europe, has given may, with particular propriety, be reus enemies and wars in lands of which ferred to in connexion with our present our mediæval ancestors never heard, and topic of inquiry. At this moment the which uncivilized men would have never peace of Europe depends mainly upon reached.
French policy. France, moreover, boasts, These inferences are, however, drawn and with reason, of being, as regards the 1 "Ah, we are far from Waterloo ! We are continent of Europe, a representative not now exhausted and ruined by twenty and missionary country in institutions years of heroic war. We have taken advan- and ideas. What is of importance here. tage of the twenty years of peace which Provi.
moreover--in France and over most of dence has given us, to recruit our forces, and stimulate our patriotism. We have an army
the Continent there are wanting some of 600,000 men; we can also fight at sea. We peculiar physical and historical conhave built gigantic ships, cased with iron; we ditions which contribute to make pacific have gun-boats; in short, we have a powerful navy, which formerly we had not.”_"La i Notes on the Social and Political State of Coalition.”—Paris, April 16, 1860.
Denmark, by Mr. S. Laing.
interests and sentiments unquestionably predominant in Great Britain, the absence of which peculiarities would render any estimate of the prospects of Europe, that might be founded upon a mere extension of the elements of our own social condition, altogether fallacious. On the other hand there are facts, which have grown up with the present generation, “ depriving former times of analogy with our own," and obliging us to dispute the logic which infers the character of future international relations from their past type.
Eight years before his arguments were sanetioned by a Treaty of Commerce, Mr. Cobden drew public attention to new features of the industrial economy of the world, surely calculated, in his opinion, to render a military policy uncongenial to the great mass of the French people, and a rupture with Great Britain particularly improbable. Those arguments are of course now entitled to additional weight, but they could hardly be more forcibly expressed by Mr. Cobden himself at the present moment than they were in a remarkable pamphlet which he published the year before the Russian War, from which we reproduce the following passage :
“I come to the really solid guarantee “ which France has given for a desire to “preserve peace with England. As a “ manufacturing country France stands “ second only to England in the amount “of her productions and the value of "her exports; but the most important " fact in its bearings on the question " before us is that she is more dependent " than England upon the importation of “the raw materials of her industry ; “ and it is obvious how much this must “place her at the mercy of a Power “ having the command over her at sea. “ This dependence upon foreigners ex“ tends even to those right arms of peace, " as well as of war, .coal and iron. « The coal imported into France in "1792, the year before the war, amounted " to 80,000 tons only. In 1851, her “ importation of coal and coke reached " the prodigious quantity of 2,841,900
“In the article of iron we have “ another illustration to the same effect. “ In 1792 pig iron does not figure in “the French tariff. In 1851 the im“portation of pig iron amounted to “33,700 tons. The point to which I “ wish to draw attention is that so “ large a quantity of this prime neces“sary of life of every industry is im“ported from abroad; and in propor“ tion as the quantity for which she is “ thus dependent upon foreigners has “increased since 1792, in the same “ ratio has France given a security to “ keep the peace.
“Whilst governments are preparing “ for war, all the tendencies of the age “ are in the opposite direction ; but “that which most loudly and con“stantly thunders in the ears of em“ perors, kings, and parliaments, the “stern command, 'You shall not break “ the peace,' is the multitude which in " every country subsists upon the produce “ of labour applied to materials brought “from abroad. It is the gigantic growth " which this manufacturing system has “ attained that deprives former times “ of any analogy with our own, and is “fast depriving of all reality those “ pedantic displays of diplomacy, and “those traditional demonstrations of “ armed force, upon which peace or war “ formerly depended.” 1
We have quoted Mr. Cobden's principal argument, that a war with a state possessing, as Great Britain does, a superior navy, would ruin the staple manufactures of France ; but he has also contended that a great military expenditure would entail burdens intolerable to the French people. If it be replied to this latter argument that Government loans produce no immediate or sensible pressure, and are rather popular measures, good authority is not wanting for the rejoinder that this State mine has been so freely worked by French financiers that it must be pretty nearly exhausted—the public debt of France having grown from £134,184,176, in 1818, to £301,662,148
1 “1793 and 1853.” By Richard Cobden, M.P. Ridgway.
in 1858.2 To this it is added, that, for actual war, and that his popularity while the Government has become yearly appears to be now much greater than at more embarrassed, the nation has become his accession, in a large measure in conricher, more comfortable, and less ready sequence of the manner in which he has for military life and pay ; and that the employed the loans he has raised. We very investments which have been so have, indeed, only to recollect the amount largely made by all classes in the French of debt incurred by our own Governfunds have arrayed interests propor- ment in the last war with France, and tionately strong against any course of the opinion entertained by the highest public action calculated, to depreciate authorities of its overwhelming magnigreatly the value of their securities. tude when it was but a seventh of the In short, we are told that the French sum it afterwards reached, to see the Emperor is too poor, and that the French fallacy of prophecies of peace based people are too rich, for war.
upon the supposition of the impossiThese are considerations which deserve bility of a country in the condition of much attention ; but they are, it seems France plunging into a great contest, to us, insufficient to prove that France and emerging from it without ruin. has passed out of the military into the Moscow and Waterloo have been folindustrial stage of national development, lowed by Sebastopol and Solferino; and or that its economical condition is such of disasters befalling his country from a as to render war very distasteful to the foreign enemy the Frenchman is, we French nation, as a nation ; especially fear, inclined to repeat :as one which endures in time of peace, “Merses profundo, pulchrior evenit: with the utmost cheerfulness, one of the “Luctere, multa proruet integrum heaviest inflictions of a great and pro “Cum laude victorem, geretque tracted war. For if we reflect upon the
“Proelia conjugibus loquenda.” amount of wealth and industrial power
Neither can we put unreserved confiwithdrawn from production to sustain an army of 600,000 soldiers, besides an
dence in the pledges of peace afforded
by the trade and manufactures of France, enormous fleet, we cannot but admit that
on the value of which the following this wonderful people bears, not only
figures throw a light which has probably with constancy, but with pride, one of the chief economical evils of hostilities
escaped Mr. Cobden’s notice :on a gigantic scale, and that this con
EXPORTS FROM FRANCE. spicuous feature of French society suf
(Expressed in millions sterling and tenths.)
Mill. sterl. fices to characterise it as warlike and To England ....... 11 2 wasteful, rather than as prudent and ,, United States · · · · · ? pacific. The immense increase of the
,, Belgium · · · · · ·.
Sardinia national debt of France in the last
· · · · ·
· · , Switzerland .
. 20 forty years, if it shows that the fund of
4, Zollverein · · · · · · loanable capital has been largely trenched -, Turkey .. .
10 on, shows also the facility with which
“ Russia . . this financial engine has been worked ,, 46 other countries and places 12 5 hitherto ; while the admitted augmenta
IMPORTS INTO FRANCE. tion of the general wealth of the people
(Expressed in millions sterling and tenths.)
Mill, stert. appears to contain an implicit answer to
From England . . . . . . . 5 3 any conjecture that their capacity to lend .: United States..... 77 has been nearly exhausted. Nor is it
Belgium . . . . . . immaterial to observe, that the debt of
Sardinia . . . .
Switzerland . . . France has been contracted mainly for
, Zollverein . . . . . . 2 3 military purposes, that it has been . Turkey . . . . . . . considerably added to by the Emperor , Russia . . .
. 1 8
* 46 other countries and places 13 5 i Economist, November 26, 1859. ? Tooke's History of Prices, vi. pp. 7 and 13. Tooke's History of Prices, vi. 652-3.
It will be seen from this table that passage :—“De même que nous déclathe French exports to England are larger “rons la Hollande puissance germanique, than to any other country, and the im- “ de même aussi n'hésitons-nous pas à ports from England second only to those “regarder la Belgique comme française. from America. When this state of facts “Elle vit par nous, et sans la pusillaniis taken in connexion with the common “mité du dernier roi des Français, sentiments of the French towards the “l'assimilation serait complète depuis English, on the one hand, and towards “1830.” Perhaps this allusion to the those nations, on the other, with which year 1830 may derive illustration from their trade is comparatively insignifi. the inspirations of a more celebrated cant—as, for example, the Russians, politician. Among the works of NapoSpaniards, and Italians—we are led to leon III. there is a fragment, entitled suspect some great fallacy in a theory “Peace or War," which expresses a very which presumes that national friend- decided opinion upon the policy which ships and animosities, and international became the Sovereign of France in 1830, relations and differences, are adjusted and by implication upon the policy mainly by reference to a sliding scale of which becomes its Sovereign in 1860, or exports and imports; and we are warned “whenever moral force is in its favour." to seek for some other indications and It is in these terms :-“All upright guarantees of a lasting alliance.
“men, all firm and just minds agree, Again, we may observe, that the “ that after 1830 only two courses were European trade of France with Bel. “open to France,-a proud and lofty gium ranks next in importance to “one, the result of which might be war; that with England. Now, when it is “or a humble one, but which would suggested that France depends upon “reward humility by granting to France importation for those prime necessaries "all the advantages which peace engenof both war and peace, iron and coal, “ders and brings forth. Our opinion and that this fact, above all others, " has always beon, that in spite of all its affords security against French aggres- “ dangers, a grand and bold policy was sion, the reminiscence can hardly fail to “the only one which became our excite some inauspicious recollections. "country: and in 1830, when moral Belgium is almost traversed from west “ force was in our favour, France might to east by beds of coal, from which, in “easily have regained the rank which is 1850, nearly six million tons were ex- “hers by right." tracted; and in the same year the It is not out of place, perhaps, to reBelgian mines yielded 472,883 tons of mark here that the hope of a meek and iron. Give Belgium then to France, or quiet, but remunerative, policy on the rather let France take Belgium, and she part of France---rather than one grand does not want English coal and iron in and bold but perilous—which Mr. Cobtime of war for her steam navy and den had some reason to form in 1853 ordnance. Is it towards commercial or from the nature and extent of the mariwarlike enterprise-towards the annex- time commerce of France, has since lost ation of the adjoining land of coal and its foundation by a change in the mariiron, or peace with all her neighbours time laws of war brought about by that the mind of the French is likely Napoleon III. To have crippled by to be tempted by this consideration ? hostilities with a superior naval power Which policy would best consort with the sale of manufactures to the value of some of their longest treasured aspira- 50,000,0001. and interrupted the imtions, and some of their latest anticipa- portation of more than 40,000,0001. tions1 Last year a pamphlet, entitled worth of the materials of French in“L'Avenir de l'Europe," passed through dustry, might well have seemed a risk several editions in Paris. The future too prodigious even for a sovereign with sketched for his country by the writer magnificent ideas to encounter. But may be conjectured from the following not to speak of the efforts made by that
No. 7.-Vol. II.
Sovereign to place France without a the blindness of both nations to the superior on the seas—there is, since the advantages of trade, but because men Russian War and the Treaty of Paris, are sometimes disposed to exchange nothing which France imports from blows rather than benefits, and because foreign shores which she could not con- they have passions, affections, and aspitinue to receive during a war with Eng- rations both higher and lower than land in neutral vessels. Even a blockade the love of gold or goods. Still, in of the whole French coast would only 1860, the fiery element of war burns send the cargoes round by the Scheldt ardently in France, because the desire and the Gulf of Genoa ; and to whatever of wealth is not the one ruling thought extent it were really successful in ob- which moulds the currents of the nastructing neutral trade, it would tend, tional will. There, at least, the econoon peace principles themselves, to make mical impulse is not paramount over America, Sardinia, Spain, Russia, and every other, and the social world does Turkey, the enemies of the blockading not take all its laws from the industrial ; power, in the ratio of the intercept of of which in politics we find an example imports.
in the insignificance of the bourgeoisie, It is by no means intended by these and, in common life, in the preference observations to attenuate the truism that of the public taste for the ornamental the material interests of France would rather than the useful. counsel a pacific policy on the part of There are thinkers who not only its Government, but only to show that speculate upon the future of our own they do not present an insuperable country from a purely English point of obstacle to a warlike one, even against view, and take into account in their ourselves, and therefore do not relieve predictions of its destinies no forces us of the barbarous onus of defensive save those visibly in action in ordinary preparations, or afford us much security times inside our island shores, but who that no temptation to achieve distinction measure the prospects of the whole huby the sword could be strong enough to man race according to principles which divert our powerful neighbours from the would be valid only if every people had loom and the spade.
an English history, climate, geographical In truth, it is no original discovery of position, and physical and moral constiour era that the commercial demands of tution. Yet, in fact, some of the proxiFrance and England make them natural mate dangers of war arise from the fact allies. . It was seen with perfect clear that England is the active centre of ness by that statesman who led them principles which, were all other countries into, a conflict during which, on each similarly conditioned, would indeed be side of the Channel, infants grew to favourable to the maintenance of intermanhood, seldom hearing of an overture national amity, but which, being domifor peace, and personally unacquainted nant in Britain almost alone, come with any human world but one of per- sometimes into violent collision with petual, war.
the elements of national life that are When laying before Parliament the combined elsewhere. Treaty, of Commerce of 1786, Mr. Pitt The mechanical and commercial conexpressed a confident hope that the ditions common to the modern civilized time was now come when those two world have, in many respects, operated countries which had hitherto acted as if but little below the surface to modify intended for the destruction of each diversities created by nature and descent, other would “justify the order of the and betrayed even in the ordinary round “ universe, and show that they were of life. The likeness between the Anglo“ better calculated for friendly inter- Saxon and the Gaul of the nineteenth « course and mutual benevolence.” century lies on the outside ; but in sym
That generous confidence was so soon pathies and ideas, in heart and soul, in and signally frustrated, not because of the inner moral life, they differ funda