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domestic concerns of other nations. We recognise in all nations. the right which we enjoy ourselves, to change and reform their political institutions according to their own will and pleasure. Hence we do not look behind existing governments, capable of maintaining their own authority. We recognise all such actual governments, not only from the dictates of true policy, but from a sacred regard for the independence of nations.
While this is our settled policy, it does not follow that we can ever be indifferent spectators of the progress of liberal principles. The government and people of the United States hailed with enthusiasm and delight the establishment of the French republic, as we now hail the efforts in progress to unite the States of Germany in a confederation, similar in many respects to our own federal Union. If the great and enlightened German States, occupying, as they do, a central and commanding position in Europe, shall succeed in establishing such a confederated government, securing at the same time to the citizens of each State local governments adapted to the peculiar condition of each, with unrestricted trade and intercourse with each other, it will be an important era in the history of human events. Whilst it will consolidate and strengthen the power of Germany, it must essentially promote the cause of peace, commerce, civilization, and constitutional liberty throughout the world.
With all the governments on this continent our relations, it is believed, are now on a more friendly and satisfactory footing than they have ever been at any former period.
Since the exchange of ratifications of the treaty of peace with Mexico, our intercourse with the government of that republic has been of the most friendly character. The envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary of the United States to Mexico has been received and accredited, and a diplomatic representative from Mexico of similar rank has been received and accredited by this government. The amicable relations between the two countries. which had been suspended have been happily restored, and are destined, I trust, to be long preserved. The two republics, both situated on this continent, and with coterminous territories, have every motive of sympathy and of interest to bind them together in perpetual amity.
This gratifying condition of our foreign relations renders it unnecessary for me to call your attention more specifically to them.
It has been my constant aim and desire to cultivate peace and commerce with all nations. Tranquillity at home and peaceful relations abroad constitute the true permanent policy of our country. War, the scourge of nations, sometimes becomes inevitable, but is always to be avoided when it can be done consistently with the rights and honor of a nation.
One of the most important results of the war into which we were recently forced with a neighboring nation, is the demonstration it has afforded of the military strength of our country. Before the late war with Mexico, European and other foreign powers enter-.
tained imperfect and erroneous views of our physical strength as a nation, and of our ability to prosecute war, and especially a war waged out of our own country. They saw that our standing army on the peace establishment did not exceed ten thousand men. Accustomed themselves to maintain in peace large standing armies for the protection of thrones against their own subjects, as well as against foreign enemies, they had not conceived that it was possible for a nation without such an army, well disciplined and of long service, to wage war successfully. They held in low repute our militia, and were far from regarding them as an effective force, unless it might be for temporary defensive operations when invaded on our own soil. The events of the late war with Mexico have not only undeceived them, but have removed erroneous impressions which prevailed to some extent even among a portion of our own countrymen. That war has demonstrated, that upon the breaking out of hostilities not anticipated, and for which no previous preparation had been made, a volunteer army of citizen soldiers equal to veteran troops, and in numbers equal to any emergency, can in a short period be brought into the field. Unlike what would have occurred in any other country, we were under no necessity of resorting to draughts or conscriptions. On the contrary, such was the number of volunteers who patriotically tendered their services, that the chief difficulty was in making selections and determining who should be disappointed and compelled to remain at home. Our citizen-soldiers are unlike those drawn from the population of any other country. They are composed indiscriminately of all professions and pursuits: of farmers, lawyers, physicians, merchants, manufacturers, mechanics, and laborers; and this, not only among the officers, but the private soldiers in the ranks. Our citizen-soldiers are unlike those of any other country in other respects. They are armed, and have been accustomed. from their youth up to handle and use fire-arms; and a large proportion of them, especially in the western and more newly-settled States, are expert marksmen. They are. men who have a reputation to maintain at home by their good conduct in the field. They are intelligent, and there is an individuality of character which is found in the ranks of no other army. In battle, each private man, as well as every officer, fights not only for his country, but for glory and distinction among his fellow-citizens when he shall return to civil life.
The war with Mexico has demonstrated not only the ability of the government to organize a numerous army upon a sudden call, but also to provide it with all the munitions and necessary supplies with despatch, convenience, and ease, and to direct its operations with efficiency. The strength of our institutions has not only been displayed in the valor and skill of our troops engaged in active service in the field, but in the organization of those executive branches which were charged with the general direction and conduct of the war. While too great praise cannot be bestowed upon the officers and men who fought our battles, it would be unjust to
withhold from those officers necessarily stationed at home, who were charged with the duty of furnishing the army, in proper time and at proper places, with all the munitions of war and other supplies so necessary to make it efficient, the commendation to which they are entitled. The credit due to this class of our officers is the greater, when it is considered that no army in ancient or modern times was ever better appointed or provided than our army in Mexico. Operating in an enemy's country, removed two thousand miles from the seat of the federal government, its different corps spread over a vast extent of territory, hundreds, and even thousands of miles apart from each other, nothing short, of the untiring vigilance and extraordinary energy of these officers could have enabled them to provide the army at all points, and in proper season, with all that was required for the most efficient service.
It is but an act of justice to declare that the officers in charge of the several executive bureaus, all under the immediate eye and supervision of the Secretary of War, performed their respective duties with ability, energy, and efficiency. They have reaped less of the glory of the war, not having been personally exposed to its perils in battle, than their companions in arms; but, without their forecast, efficient aid, and, co operation, those in the field would not have been provided with the ample means they possessed of achieving for themselves and their country the unfading honors which they have won for both.
When all these facts are considered, it may cease to be a 'matter of so much amazement abroad how it happened that our noble army in Mexico, regulars and volunteers, were victorious upon every battle-field, however fearful the odds against them.
The war with Mexico has thus fully developed the capacity of republican governments to prosecute successfully a just and necessary foreign war with all the vigor usually attributed to more arbitrary forms of government. It has been usual for writers on public law to impute to republics a want of that unity, concentration of purpose, and vigor of execution, which are generally admitted to belong to the monarchical and aristocratic forms; and this feature of popular government has been supposed to display itself more particularly in the conduct of a war carried on in an enemy's territory. The war with Great Britain, in 1812, was to a great extent confined within our own limits, and shed but little light on this subject. But the war which we have just closed by an honorable peace evinces, beyond all doubt, that a popular representative government is equal to any emergency which is likely to arise in the
affairs of a nation.
The war with Mexico has developed most strikingly and conspicuously another feature in our institutions. It is that, without cost to the government or danger to our liberties, we have in the bosom of our society of freemen, available in a just and necessary war, virtually a standing army of two millions of armed citizensoldiers, such as fought the battles of Mexico.
But our military strength does not consist alone in our capacity
for extended and successful operations on land. The navy is an important arm of the national defence. If the services of the navy were not so brilliant as those of the army in the late war with Mexico, it was because they had no enemy to meet on their own element. While the army had opportunity of performing more conspicuous service, the navy largely participated in the conduct of the war. Both branches of the service performed their whole duty to the country. For the able and gallant services of the officers and men of the navy-acting independently as well as in co-operation with our troops-in the conquest of the Californias, the capture of Vera Cruz, and the seizure and occupation of other important positions on the Gulf and Pacific coasts, the highest praise is due. Their vigilance, energy and skill, rendered the most effective service in excluding munitions of war and other supplies from the enemy, while they secured a safe entrance for abundant supplies for our own army. Our extended commerce was nowhere. interrupted; and for this immunity from the evils of war, the country is indebted to the navy.
High praise is due to the officers of the several executive bureaus, navy yards, and stations connected with the service, all under the immediate direction of the Secretary of the Navy, for the industry, foresight, and energy with which everything was directed and furnished to give efficiency to that branch of the service. The same vigilance existed in directing the operations of the navy as of the army. There was concert between the heads of the two arms of the service. By the orders which were from time to time issued, our vessels of war on the Pacific and the Gulf of Mexico were stationed in proper time and in proper positions to co-operate efficiently with the army. By this means their combined power was brought to bear successfully on the enemy.
The great results which have been developed and brought to light by this war will be of immeasurable importance in the future progress of our country. They will tend powerfully to preserve us from foreign collisions, and to enable us to pursue uninterruptedly our cherished policy of "peace with all nations, entangling alliances with none."
Occupying, as we do, a more commanding position among nations than at any former period, our duties and our responsibilities to ourselves and to posterity are correspondingly increased. This will be the more obvious when we consider the vast additions which have been recently made to our territorial possessions, and their great importance and value.
Within less than four years the annexation of Texas to the Union has been consummated; all conflicting title to the Oregon Territory south of the forty-ninth degree of north latitude, being all that was insisted on by any of my predecessors, has been adjusted; and New Mexico and Upper California have been acquired by treaty. The area of these several territories, according to a report carefully prepared by the Commissioner of the General Land Office from the most authentic information in his possession, and which is herewith
transmitted, contains one million one hundred and ninety-three thousand and sixty-one square miles, or seven hundred and sixtythree million five hundred and fifty-nine thousand and forty acres; while the area of the remaining twenty-nine States, and the territory not yet organized into States east of the Rocky mountains, contains two million fifty-nine thousand five hundred and thirteen square miles, or thirteen hundred and eighteen million one hundred and twenty-six thousand and fifty-eight acres. These estimates show that the territories recently acquired, and over which our exclusive jurisdiction and dominion have been extended, constitute a country more than half as large as all that which was held by the United States before their acquisition. If Oregon be excluded from the estimate, there will still remain within the limits of Texas, New Mexico, and California, eight hundred and fifty-one thousand five hundred and ninety-eight square miles, or five hundred and fortyfive million twelve thousand seven hundred and twenty acres; being an addition equal to more than one-third of all the territory owned by the United States before their acquisition; and, including Oregon, nearly as great an extent of territory as the whole of Europe, Russia only excepted. The Mississippi, so lately the frontier of our country, is now only its centre. With the addition of the late acquisitions, the United States are now estimated to be nearly as large as the whole of Europe. It is estimated by the superintendent of the coast survey, in the accompanying report, that the extent of the seacoast of Texas on the Gulf of Mexico is upwards of four hundred miles; of the coast of Upper California, on the Pacific, of nine hundred and seventy miles; and of Oregon, including the Straits of Fuca, of six hundred and fifty miles; making the whole extent of seacoast on the Pacific one thousand six hundred and twenty miles, and the whole extent on both the Pacific and the Gulf of Mexico two thousand and twenty miles. The length of the coast on the Atlantic, from the northern limits of the United States, around the capes of Florida to the Sabine, on the eastern boundary of Texas, is estimated to be three thousand one hundred miles so that the addition of seacoast, including Oregon, is very nearly twothirds as great as all we possessed before; and excluding Oregon, is addition of one thousand three hundred and seventy miles; being nearly equal to one half of the extent of coast which we possessed before these acquisitions. We have now three great maritime fronts on the Atlantic, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Pacificmaking in the whole an extent of seacoast exceeding five thousand miles. This is the extent of the seacoast of the United States, not including bays, sounds, and small irregularities of the main shore, and of the sea islands. If these be included, the length of the shore line of coast, as estimated by the superintendent of the coast survey in his report, would be thirty-three thousand and sixty-three miles.
It would be difficult to calculate the value of these immense additions to our territorial possessions. Texas, lying contiguous to the western boundary of Louisiana, embracing within its limits a