Page:The Fall of Maximilan's Empire.djvu/66

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.

straits the patriots of the former country had been driven, little hope could be derived from the remembrance of the clemency shown to the leader of the gigantic rebellion so recently subdued in the powerful republic north of the Rio Grande. The difference in the positions of the two governments was one of degree rather than fact. Mr. Jefferson Davis was not an invader, but had organized and prosecuted a colossal movement against the integrity of his own country. Prince Maximilian was a foreigner, and had been seated on the Mexican throne by foreign arms. Both were finally defeated, and both became prisoners of war. To the mind of the American commander at Vera Cruz, compelled to think and act without diplomatic inspiration, the possible contrast between the course of the two republics, in these not altogether dissimilar circumstances, was as striking as it was full of food for reflection. The weight of a republican government had been lightly felt in Mexico, and its obligations had hung loosely upon the people. For many years of their history, pronunciamentos, insurrections, revolutions had been of such frequent occurrence that government and people alike had become familiarized with them. Political capacity had not in past years attained to much development, and the nation was passing through the hard school of experience on its way to a better and more stable administration. Parties of opposition in that