Page:The Fall of Maximilan's Empire.djvu/16

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Under the leadership of the indomitable Benito Juarez, however, Mexico did not respond as Prince Maximilian had been led to believe it would. The patriot forces, dispersed, atomized, but not crushed, displayed powers of self-sacrifice and determination of purpose undreamed of by Napoleon. By force of arms alone, and foreign arms at that, could the Empire be upheld; and when, contrary to the expectations of many European powers, the United States brought their civil war to a successful close, it was shrewdly foreseen by many that the days were numbered of that ephemeral Empire designed by Napoleon to be the "most brilliant page in the history of his reign." The President and the Cabinet could then certainly feel less restraint in voicing the American sentiment in that and all kindred matters; and Mr. Johnson's first annual message to Congress, containing a clear and firm, though moderately expressed, declaration of the will of the government to maintain its traditional policy—in other words to sustain the Monroe doctrine,—was telegraphed to every part of Europe, and due significance was attached to every word therein expressed.

Much has been said and written of the stormy period of Mr. Johnson's administration, but it must be considered that his hand was most firm and most wise in the guidance of the republic through this most dangerous crisis, and that, with the help of