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It will then be found, that England, on a comparison of
strength with France, when both nations are disposed to exert their
utmost, has no possible chance of success. The efforts that England made
within the last century were not generated on the ground of _natural
ability_, but of _artificial anticipations_. She ran posterity into
debt, and swallowed up in one generation the resources of several
generations yet to come, till the project can be pursued no longer. It
is otherwise in France. The vastness of her territory and her population
render the burden easy that would make a bankrupt of a country like
England.

It is not the weight of a thing, but the numbers who are to bear that
weight, that makes it feel light or heavy to the shoulders of those who
bear it. A land-tax of half as much in the pound as the land-tax is in
England, will raise nearly four times as much revenue in France as is
raised in England. This is a scale easily understood, by which all the
other sections of productive revenue can be measured. Judge then of the
difference of natural ability.

England is strong in a navy; but that navy costs about eight millions
sterling a-year, and is one of the causes that has hastened her
bankruptcy. The history of navy bills sufficiently proves this. But
strong as England is in this case, the fate of navies must finally be
decided by the natural ability of each country to carry its navy to the
greatest extent; and France is able to support a navy twice as large as
that of England, with less than half the expense per head on the people,
which the present navy of England costs.

We all know that a navy cannot be raised as expeditiously as an army.
But as the average duration of a navy, taking the decay of time, storms,
and all circumstances and accidents together, is less than twenty years,
every navy must be renewed within that time; and France at the end of a
few years, can create and support a navy of double the extent of that of
England; and the conduct of the English government will provoke her to
it.

But of what use are navies otherwise than to make or prevent invasions?
Commercially considered, they are losses. They scarcely give any
protection to the commerce of the countries which have them, compared
with the expense of maintaining them, and they insult the commerce of
the nations that are neutral.

During the American war, the plan of the armed neutrality was formed and
put in execution: but it was inconvenient, expensive, and ineffectual.
This being the case, the problem is, does not commerce contain within
itself, the means of its own protection? It certainly does, if the
neutral nations will employ that means properly.

Instead then of an _armed neutrality_, the plan should be directly the
contrary. It should be an _unarmed neutrality_. In the first place,
the rights of neutral nations are easily defined. They are such as are
exercised by nations in their intercourse with each other in time of
peace, and which ought not, and cannot of right, be interrupted in
consequence of war breaking out between any two or more of them.

Taking this as a principle, the next thing is to give it effect. The
plan of the armed neutrality was to effect it by threatening war; but an
unarmed neutrality can effect it by much easier and more powerful means.

Were the neutral nations to associate, under an honourable injunction of
fidelity to each other, and publicly declare to the world, that if any
belligerent power shall seize or molest any ship or vessel belonging
to the citizens or subjects of any of the powers composing that
Association, that the whole Association will shut its ports against the
flag of the offending nation, and will not permit any goods, wares,
or merchandise, produced or manufactured in the offending nation, or
appertaining thereto, to be imported into any of the ports included in
the Association, until reparation be made to the injured party,--the
reparation to be three times the value of the vessel and cargo,--and
moreover that all remittances on money, goods, and bills of exchange, do
cease to be made to the offending nation, until the said reparation be
made: were the neutral nations only to do this, which it is their
direct interest to do, England, as a nation depending on the commerce of
neutral nations in time of war, dare not molest them, and France would
not. But whilst, from the want of a common system, they individually
permit England to do it, because individually they cannot resist it,
they put France under the necessity of doing the same thing. The supreme
of all laws, in all cases, is that of self-preservation.

As the commerce of neutral nations would thus be protected by the means
that commerce naturally contains within itself, all the naval operations
of France and England would be confined within the circle of acting
against each other: and in that case it needs no spirit of prophecy to
discover that France must finally prevail. The sooner this be done, the
better will it be for both nations, and for all the world.

Thomas Paine.(1)

1 Paine had already prepared his "Maritime Compact," and
devised the Rainbow Flag, which was to protect commerce, the
substance and history of which constitutes his Seventh
Letter to the People of the United States, Chapter XXXIII.
of the present volume. He sent the articles of his proposed
international Association to the Minister of Foreign
Relations, Talleyrand, who responded with a cordial letter.
The articles of "Maritime Compact," translated into French
by Nicolas Bouneville, were, in 1800, sent to all the
Ministers of Foreign Affairs in Europe, and to the
ambassadors in Paris.--_Editor._,




XXX. THE RECALL OF MONROE. (1)


1 Monroe, like Edmund Randolph and Thomas Paine, was
sacrificed to the new commercial alliance with Great
Britain. The Cabinet of Washington were entirely hostile to
France, and in their determination to replace Monroe were
assisted by Gouverneur Morris, still in Europe, who wrote to
President Washington calumnies against that Minister. In a
letter of December 19, 1795, Morris tells Washington that he
had heard from a trusted informant that Monroe had said to
several Frenchmen that "he had no doubt but that, if they
would do what was proper here, he and his friends would turn
out Washington." On July 2, 1796, the Cabinet ministers,
Pickering, Wolcott, and Mo-Henry, wrote to the President
their joint opinion that the interests of the United States
required Monroe's recall, and slanderously connected him
with anonymous letters from France written by M.
Montflorence. The recall, dated August 22, 1796, reached
Monroe early in November. It alluded to certain "concurring
circumstances," which induced his removal, and these "hidden
causes" (in Paine's phrase) Monroe vainly demanded on his
return to America early in 1797. The Directory, on
notification of Monroe's recall, resolved not to recognize
his successor, and the only approach to an American Minister
in Paris for the remainder of the century was Thomas Paine,
who was consulted by the Foreign Ministers, De la Croix and
Talleyrand, and by Napoleon. On the approach of C. C.
Pinckney, as successor to Monroe, Paine feared that his
dismissal might entail war, and urged the Minister (De la
Croix) to regard Pinckney,--nominated in a recess of the
Senate,--as in "suspension" until confirmed by that body.
There might be unofficial "pourparlers," with him. This
letter (State Archives, Paris, États Unis, vol. 46, fol. 425)
was considered for several days before Pinckney reached
Paris (December 5, 1796), but the Directory considered that
it was not a "dignified" course, and Pinckney was ordered to
leave French territory, under the existing decree against
foreigners who had no permit to remain.--_Editor._.


Paris, Sept. 27, 1797. Editors of the Bien-in formé.

Citizens: in your 19th number of the complementary 5th, you gave an
analysis of the letters of James Monroe to Timothy Pickering. The
newspapers of Paris and the departments have copied this correspondence
between the ambassador of the United States and the Secretary of State.
I notice, however, that a few of them have omitted some important facts,
whilst indulging in comments of such an extraordinary nature that it is
clear they know neither Monroe's integrity nor the intrigues of Pitt in
this affair.

The recall of Monroe is connected with circumstances so important to the
interests of France and the United States, that we must be careful not
to confound it with the recall of an ordinary individual. The Washington
faction had affected to spread it abroad that James Monroe was the cause
of rupture between the two Republics. This accusation is a perfidious
and calumnious one; since the main point in this affair is not so much
the recall of a worthy, enlightened and republican minister, as
the ingratitude and clandestine manoeuvering of the government of
Washington, who caused the misunderstanding by signing a treaty
injurious to the French Republic.

James Monroe, in his letters, does not deny the right of government to
withdraw its confidence from any one of its delegates, representatives,
or agents. He has hinted, it is true, that caprice and temper are not
in accordance with the spirit of paternal rule, and that whenever a
representative government punishes or rewards, good faith, integrity and
justice should replace _the good pleasure of Kings_.

In the present case, they have done more than recall an agent. Had they
confined themselves to depriving him of his appointment, James Monroe
would have kept silence; but he has been accused of lighting the torch
of discord in both Republics. The refutation of this absurd and infamous
reproach is the chief object of his correspondence. If he did not
immediately complain of these slanders in his letters of the 6th and
8th [July], it is because he wished to use at first a certain degree of
caution, and, if it were possible, to stifle intestine troubles at
their birth.



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