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It will from thence appear, that the powers leagued
against France are fighting to attain an object, which, were it possible
to be attained, would be injurious to themselves.

This is not an uncommon error in the history of wars and governments, of
which the conduct of the English government in the war against America
is a striking instance. She commenced that war for the avowed purpose of
subjugating America; and after wasting upwards of one hundred millions
sterling, and then abandoning the object, she discovered, in the course
of three or four years, that the prosperity of England was increased,
instead of being diminished, by the independence of America. In short,
every circumstance is pregnant with some natural effect, upon which
intentions and opinions have no influence; and the political error
lies in misjudging what the effect will be. England misjudged it in
the American war, and the reasons I shall now offer will shew, that she
misjudges it in the present war. In discussing this subject, I leave out
of the question everything respecting forms and systems of government;
for as all the governments of Europe differ from each other, there is no
reason that the government of France should not differ from the rest.

The clamours continually raised in all the countries of Europe were,
that the family of the Bourbons was become too powerful; that the
intrigues of the court of France endangered the peace of Europe. Austria
saw with a jealous eye the connection of France with Prussia; and
Prussia, in her turn became jealous of the connection of France with
Austria; England had wasted millions unsuccessfully in attempting to
prevent the family compact with Spain; Russia disliked the alliance
between France and Turkey; and Turkey became apprehensive of the
inclination of France towards an alliance with Russia. Sometimes the
quadruple alliance alarmed some of the powers, and at other times a
contrary system alarmed others, and in all those cases the charge was
always made against the intrigues of the Bourbons.

Admitting those matters to be true, the only thing that could have
quieted the apprehensions of all those powers with respect to the
interference of France, would have been her entire NEUTRALITY in Europe;
but this was impossible to be obtained, or if obtained was impossible
to be secured, because the genius of her government was repugnant to all
such restrictions.

It now happens that by entirely changing the genius of her government,
which France has done for herself, this neutrality, which neither wars
could accomplish nor treaties secure, arises naturally of itself, and
becomes the ground upon which the war should terminate. It is the
thing that approaches the nearest of all others to what ought to be the
political views of all the European powers; and there is nothing that
can so effectually secure this neutrality, as that the genius of the
French government should be different from the rest of Europe.

But if their object is to restore the Bourbons and monarchy together,
they will unavoidably restore with it all the evils of which they have
complained; and the first question of discord will be, whose ally is
that monarchy to be?

Will England agree to the restoration of the family compact against
which she has been fighting and scheming ever since it existed? Will
Prussia agree to restore the alliance between France and Austria, or
will Austria agree to restore the former connection between France and
Prussia, formed on purpose to oppose herself; or will Spain or Russia,
or any of the maritime powers, agree that France and her navy should be
allied to England? In fine, will any of the powers agree to strengthen
the hands of the other against itself? Yet all these cases involve
themselves in the original question of the restoration of the Bourbons;
and on the other hand, all of them disappear by the neutrality of
France.

If their object is not to restore the Bourbons, it must be the
impracticable project of a partition of the country. The Bourbons will
then be out of the question, or, more properly speaking, they will be
put in a worse condition; for as the preservation of the Bourbons made
a part of the first object, the extirpation of them makes a part of the
second. Their pretended friends will then become interested in their
destruction, because it is favourable to the purpose of partition that
none of the nominal claimants should be left in existence.

But however the project of a partition may at first blind the eyes of
the confederacy, or however each of them may hope to outwit the other
in the progress or in the end, the embarrassments that will arise are
insurmountable. But even were the object attainable, it would not be of
such general advantage to the parties as the neutrality of France, which
costs them nothing, and to obtain which they would formerly have gone to
war.



OF THE PRESENT STATE OF EUROPE, AND THE CONFEDERACY.

In the first place the confederacy is not of that kind that forms
itself originally by concert and consent. It has been forced together by
chance--a heterogeneous mass, held only by the accident of the moment;
and the instant that accident ceases to operate, the parties will retire
to their former rivalships.

I will now, independently of the impracticability of a partition
project, trace out some of the embarrassments which will arise among the
confederated parties; for it is contrary to the interest of a majority
of them that such a project should succeed.

To understand this part of the subject it is necessary, in the
first place, to cast an eye over the map of Europe, and observe the
geographical situation of the several parts of the confederacy; for
however strongly the passionate politics of the moment may operate, the
politics that arise from geographical situation are the most certain,
and will in all cases finally prevail.

The world has been long amused with what is called the "_balance of
power_." But it is not upon armies only that this balance depends.
Armies have but a small circle of action. Their progress is slow and
limited. But when we take maritime power into the calculation, the scale
extends universally. It comprehends all the interests connected with
commerce.

The two great maritime powers are England and France. Destroy either of
those, and the balance of naval power is destroyed. The whole world of
commerce that passes on the Ocean would then lie at the mercy of the
other, and the ports of any nation in Europe might be blocked up.

The geographical situation of those two maritime powers comes next under
consideration. Each of them occupies one entire side of the channel from
the straits of Dover and Calais to the opening into the Atlantic. The
commerce of all the northern nations, from Holland to Russia, must pass
the straits of Dover and Calais, and along the Channel, to arrive at the
Atlantic.

This being the case, the systematical politics of all the nations,
northward of the straits of Dover and Calais, can be ascertained from
their geographical situation; for it is necessary to the safety of their
commerce that the two sides of the Channel, either in whole or in part,
should not be in the possession either of England or France. While one
nation possesses the whole of one side, and the other nation the other
side, the northern nations cannot help seeing that in any situation of
things their commerce will always find protection on one side or the
other. It may sometimes be that of England and sometimes that of France.

Again, while the English navy continues in its present condition, it is
necessary that another navy should exist to controul the universal sway
the former would otherwise have over the commerce of all nations. France
is the only nation in Europe where this balance can be placed. The
navies of the North, were they sufficiently powerful, could not be
sufficiently operative. They are blocked up by the ice six months in the
year. Spain lies too remote; besides which, it is only for the sake of
her American mines that she keeps up her navy.

Applying these cases to the project of a partition of France, it will
appear, that the project involves with it a DESTRUCTION OF THE BALANCE
OF MARITIME POWER; because it is only by keeping France entire and
indivisible that the balance can be kept up. This is a case that at
first sight lies remote and almost hidden. But it interests all the
maritime and commercial nations in Europe in as great a degree as any
case that has ever come before them.--In short, it is with war as it
is with law. In law, the first merits of the case become lost in the
multitude of arguments; and in war they become lost in the variety of
events. New objects arise that take the lead of all that went before,
and everything assumes a new aspect. This was the case in the last great
confederacy in what is called the succession war, and most probably will
be the case in the present.

I have now thrown together such thoughts as occurred to me on the
several subjects connected with the confederacy against France, and
interwoven with the interest of the neutral powers. Should a conference
of the neutral powers take place, these observations will, at least,
serve to generate others. The whole matter will then undergo a more
extensive investigation than it is in my power to give; and the evils
attending upon either of the projects, that of restoring the Bourbons,
or of attempting a partition of France, will have the calm opportunity
of being fully discussed.

On the part of England, it is very extraordinary that she should have
engaged in a former confederacy, and a long expensive war, to _prevent_
the family compact, and now engage in another confederacy to _preserve_
it. And on the part of the other powers, it is as inconsistent that they
should engage in a partition project, which, could it be executed, would
immediately destroy the balance of maritime power in Europe, and would
probably produce a second war, to remedy the political errors of the
first.

A Citizen of the United States of America.




XX.



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