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high contracting parties to considerable losses, but, besides, render necessary burdensome measures of protection and repression." It then states that the British and French governments, having received a pressing request from the Greeks to interpose their mediation with the Porte, and being, as well as the Emperor of Russia, animated by the desire of stopping the effusion of blood, and of arresting the evils of all kinds which might arise from the continuance of such a state of things, had resolved to unite their efforts, and to regulate the operations thereof by a formal treaty, with the view of reëstablishing peace between the contending parties, by means of an arrangement, which was called for as much by humanity as by the interest of the repose of Europe. The treaty then provides, (art. 1,) that the three contracting powers should offer their mediation to the Porte, by a joint declaration of their ambassadors at Constantinople; and that there should be made, at the same time, to the two contending parties, the demand of an immediate armistice, as a preliminary condition indispensable to opening any negotiation. Article 2d provides the terms of the arrangement to be made, as to the civil and political condition of Greece, in consequence of the principles of a previous understanding between Great Britain and Russia. By the 3d article it was agreed, that the details of this arrangement, and the limits of the territory to be included under it, should be settled in a separate negotiation between the high contracting powers and the two contending parties. To this public treaty an additional and secret article was added, stipulating that the high contracting parties would take immediate measures for establishing commercial relations with the Greeks, by sending to them and receiving from them consular agents, so long as there should exist among them authorities capable of maintaining such relations. That if, within the term of one month, the Porte did not accept the proposed armistice, or if the Greeks refused to execute it, the high contracting parties should declare to that one of the two contending parties that should wish to continue hostilities, or to both, if it should become necessary, that the contracting powers intended to exert all the means, which circumstances might suggest to their prudence, to give immediate effect to the armistice, by preventing, as far as might be in their power, all collision between the contending parties. The secret article concluded by declaring, that
if these measures did not suffice to induce the Ottoman Porte to adopt the propositions made by the high contracting powers; or if, on the other hand, the Greeks should renounce the conditions stipulated in their favor, the contracting parties would nevertheless continue to prosecute the work of pacification on the basis agreed upon between them; and, in consequence, they authorized, from that time forward, their representatives in London to discuss and determine the ulterior measures to which it might become necessary to resort.
The Greeks accepted the proffered mediation of the three powers, which the Turks rejected, and instructions were given to the commanders of the allied squadrons to compel the cessation of hostilities. This was effected by the result of the battle of Navarino, with the occupation of the Morea by French troops; and the independence of the Greek State was ultimately recognized by the Ottoman Porte, under the mediation of the contracting powers. If, as some writers have supposed, the Turks belong to a family or set of nations which is not bound by the general international law of Christendom, they have still no right to complain of the measures which the Christian powers thought proper to adopt for the protection of their religious brethren, oppressed by the Mohammedan rule. In a ruder age, the nations of Europe, impelled by a generous and enthusiastic feeling of sympathy, inundated the plains of Asia to recover the holy sepulchre from the possession of infidels, and to deliver the Christian pilgrims from the merciless oppressions practised by the Saracens. The Protestant princes and States of Europe, during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, did not scruple to confederate and wage war, in order to secure the freedom of religious worship for the votaries of their faith in the bosom of Catholic communities, to whose subjects it was denied. Still more justifiable was the interference of the Christian powers of Europe to rescue a whole nation, not merely from religious persecution, but from the cruel alternative of being transported from their native land, or exterminated by their merciless oppressors. The rights of human nature wantonly outraged by this cruel warfare, prosecuted for six years against a civilized and Christian people, to whose ancestors mankind are so largely indebted for the blessings of arts and of letters, were but tardily and imperfectly vindicated by this measure. "Whatever," as
Sir James Mackintosh said, "a nation may lawfully defend for itself, it may defend for another people, if called upon to interpose." The interference of the Christian powers, to put an end to this bloody contest might, therefore, have been safely rested upon this ground alone, without appealing to the interests of commerce and of the repose of Europe, which, as well as the interests of humanity, are alluded to in the treaty, as the determining motives of the high contracting parties.1
§ 10. In
Ottoman Empire, in
We have already seen, that the relations which have prevailed between the Ottoman Empire and the other terference European States have only recently brought the former G. Britain, within the pale of that public law by which the latter Russia, in are governed, and which was originally founded on affairs of the that community of manners, institutions, and religion, which distinguish the nations of Christendom from those 1840. of the Mohammedan world. Yet the integrity and independence of that empire have been considered essential to the general balance of power, ever since the crescent ceased to be an object of dread to the western nations of Europe. The above-mentioned interference of three of the great Christian powers in the affairs of Greece had been complicated, by the separate war between Russia and the Ottoman Empire, which was terminated by the Treaty of Adrianople, in 1829, followed by the treaty of alliance between the two empires, of Unkiar-Skelessi, in 1833. The casus fœderis of the latter treaty was brought on by the attempts of Mehemet Ali, Pasha of Egypt, to assert his independence, and of the Porte, which sought to recover its lost provinces. The status quo, which had been established between the Sultan and his vassal by the arrangement of Kutayah, in 1833, under the mediation of France and Great Britain, on which the peace of the Levant depended, and with it the peace
1 Another treaty was concluded at London, between the same three powers, on the 7th of May, 1832, by which the election of Prince Otho of Bavaria, as King of Greece, was confirmed, and the sovereignty and independence of the new kingdom guaranteed by the contracting parties, according to the terms of the protocol signed by them on the 3d of February, 1830, and accepted by Greece and the Ottoman Porte.
2 Vide supra, Part I. ch. i. § 10.
of Europe was supposed to depend, was thus constantly threatened by the irreconcilable pretensions of the two great divisions of the Ottoman Empire. The war again broke out between them in 1839, and the Turkish army was overthrown in the decisive battle of Nezib, which was followed by the desertion of the fleet to Mehemet Ali, and by the death of Sultan Mahmoud II.
In this state of things, the western powers of Europe thought they perceived the necessity of interfering to save the Ottoman Empire from the double danger with which it was threatened; by the aggressions of the Pasha of Egypt on one side, and the exclusive protectorate of Russia on the other. A long and intricate negotiation ensued between the five great European powers, from the voluminous documents relating to which the following general principles may be collected, as having received the formal assent of all the parties to the negotiations, however divergent might be their respective views as to the application of those principles.
1. The right of the five great European powers to interfere in this contest was placed upon the ground of its threatening, in its consequences, the general balance of power and the peace of Europe. The only difference of opinion arose as to the means by which the desirable end of preventing all future conflict between the two contending parties could best be accomplished.
2. It was agreed that this interference could only take place on the formal application of the Sultan himself, according to the rule laid down by the Congress of Aix-la-Chapelle, in 1818, that the five great powers would never assume jurisdiction over questions concerning the rights and interests of another power, except at its request, and without inviting such power to take part in the conference.
3. The death of Sultan Mahmoud being imminent, and the dangers of the Ottoman Empire having increased by a complication of disasters, each of the five powers declared its determination to maintain the independence of that empire, under the reigning dynasty; and as a necessary consequence of this determination, that neither of them should seek to profit by the present state of things to obtain an increase of territory or an exclusive influence.
The negotiations finally resulted in the conclusion of the con
vention of the 15th July, 1840, between four of the great European powers, Austria, Great Britain, Prussia, and Russia, to which the Ottoman Porte acceded, and in consequence of which Mehemet Ali was compelled to relinquish the possession of all the provinces held by him, except Egypt, the hereditary pachalic of which was confirmed to him, according to the conditions contained in the separate article of the convention.1
in the Bel
The interference of the five great European powers § 11. In represented in the conference of London, in the Belgic tren Revolution of 1830, affords an example of the applica- great Eurotion of this right to preserve the general peace, and to adapt the new order of things to the stipulations of the tion of 1830. treaties of Paris and Vienna, by which the kingdom of the Netherlands had been created. We have given, in another work, a full account of the long and intricate negotiations relating to the separation of Belgium from Holland, which assumed alternately the character of a pacific mediation and of an armed intervention, according to the varying circumstances of the contest, and which was finally terminated by a compromise between the two great opposite principles which so long threatened to disturb the established order and general peace of Europe. The Belgic Revolution was recognized as an accomplished fact, whilst its legal consequences were limited within the strictest bounds, by refusing to Belgium the attributes of the rights of conquest and of postliminy, and by depriving her of a great part of the province of Luxembourg, of the left bank of the Scheldt, and of the right bank of the Meuse. The five great powers, representing Europe, consented to the separation of Belgium from Holland, and admitted the former among the independent States of Europe, upon conditions which were accepted by her and have become the bases of her public law. These conditions were subsequently incorporated into a definitive treaty, concluded between Belgium and Holland in 1839, by which the independence of the former was finally recognized by the latter.2
1 Wheaton's Hist. of the Law of Nations, pp. 563-583, [and note b, p. 21.] 2 Ibid. pp. 538-555.