Cyclopædia of Political Science, Political Economy, and the Political History of the United States

Edited by: Lalor, John J.
(?-1899)
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Editor/Trans.
First Pub. Date
1881
Publisher/Edition
New York: Maynard, Merrill, and Co.
Pub. Date
1899
Comments
Includes articles by Frédéric Bastiat, Gustave de Molinari, Henry George, J. B. Say, Francis A. Walker, and more.
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OSTEND MANIFESTO

III.20.1

OSTEND MANIFESTO (IN U. S. HISTORY). The filibustering expeditions against Cuba (see FILIBUSTERS) occasioned anxiety in Europe as to the possible future action of the United States government in concealed or open favor of such expeditions. In 1852 Great Britain and France jointly proposed to the United States a tripartite convention, by which the three powers should disclaim all intention to obtain possession of Cuba, and should discountenance such an attempt by any power. Dec. 1, 1852, the secretary of state, Everett, refused to do so, while he declared that the United States would never question Spain's title to the island. Everett's letter has been severely criticised, but it seems justifiable as a refusal to voluntarily and needlessly restrict future administrations.

III.20.2

—Aug. 16, 1854, President Pierce directed the American ministers to Great Britain, France and Spain, James Buchanan, John Y. Mason and Pierre Soulé, to meet in some convenient city and discuss the Cuban question. They met at Ostend, Oct. 9, and afterward at Aix la Chapelle, and drew up the dispatch to their government which is commonly known as the "Ostend Manifesto." It declared, in brief, that the sale of Cuba would be as advantageous and honorable to Spain as its purchase would be to the United States; but that, if Spain should obstinately refuse to sell it, self-preservation would make it incumbent upon the United States to "wrest it from her," and prevent it from being Africanized into a second St. Domingo.

III.20.3

—The Ostend manifesto was denounced in the republican platform of 1856, as "the highwayman's plea that might makes right"; and was not openly defended by the democratic platform of 1856 or of 1860, except that the latter declared in favor of the acquisition of Cuba by honorable and just means, at the earliest practicable moment.

III.20.4

—See 3 Spencer's United States, 510; 1 Greeley's American Conflict, 273; 2 Wilson's Rise and Fail of the Slave Power, 611; Cairnes' Slave Power, 145; Cluskey's Political Text Book of 1860, 477 (correspondence and manifesto in full).

ALEXANDER JOHNSTON.

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