CONGRESSIONAL RECORD - SENATE
64th CONGRESS, 1st SESSION
VOLUME 53, PART 7
25 April 1916
I wish to put in the RECORD the secret treaty of Verona of November 22, 1822, showing what this ancient conflict is between the rule of the few and the rule of the many. I wish to call the attention of the Senate to this treaty because it is the threat of this treaty which was the basis of the Monroe doctrine. It throws a powerful white light upon the conflict between monarchial government and government by the people. The Holy Alliance under the influence of Metternich, the Premier of Austria, in 1822, issued this remarkable secret document:
[American Diplomatic Code, 1778 - 1884, vol. 2; Elliott, p. 179.]
The undersigned, specially authorized to make some additions to the treaty of the Holy Alliance, after having exchanged their respective credentials, have agreed as follows:
ARTICLE 1. The high contracting powers being convinced that the system of representative government is equally as incompatible with the monarchial principles as the maxim of the sovereignty of the people with the high divine right, engage mutually in the most solemn manner, to use all their efforts to put an end to the system of representative governments, in whatever country it may exist in Europe, and to prevent its being introduced in those countries where it is not yet known.
ARTICLE 2. As it can not be doubted that the liberty of the press is the most powerful means used by the pretended supporters of the rights of nations to the detriment of those princes, the high contracting parties promise reciprocally to adopt all proper measures to suppress it, not only in their own states but also in the rest of Europe.
ARTICLE 3. Convinced that the principles of religion contribute most powerfully to keep nations in the state of passive obedience which they owe to their princes, the high contracting parties declare it to be their intention to sustain in their respective States those measures which the clergy may adopt, with the aim of ameliorating their own interests, so intimately connected with the preservation of the authority of the princes; and the contracting powers join in offering their thanks to the Pope for what he has already done for them, and solicit his constant cooperation in their views of submitting the nations.
ARTICLE 4. The situation of Spain and Portugal unite unhappily all the circumstances to which this treaty has particular reference. The contracting parties, in confiding to France the care of putting an end to them, engaged to assist her in the matter which may the least compromit [sic] them with their own people and the people of France by means of a subsidy on the part of the two empires of 20,000,000 of francs every year from the date of the signature of this treaty to the end of the war.
ARTICLE 5. In order to establish in the Peninsula in the order of things which existed before the revolution of Cadiz, and to insure the entire execution of the articles of the present treaty, the high contracting parties give to each other the reciprocal assurance that as long as their views are not fulfilled, rejecting all other ideas of utility or other measure to be taken, they will address themselves with the shortest possible delay to all the authorities existing in their States and to all their agents in foreign countries, with the view to establish connections tending toward the accomplishment of the objects proposed by this treaty.
ARTICLE 6. This treaty shall be renewed with such changes as new circumstances may give occasion for, either at a new congress or at the court of one of the contracting parties, as soon as the war with Spain shall be terminated.
ARTICLE 7. The present treaty shall be ratified and the ratifications exchanged at Paris within the space of six months.
Made at Verona the 22nd November, 1822.
for Austria: METTERNICH
for France: CHATEAUBRIAND
for Prussia: BERNSTET
for Russia: NESSELRODE
I ask to have printed in the CONGRESSIONAL RECORD this secret treaty, because I think it ought to be called now to the attention of the people of the United States and of the world. This evidence of the conflict between the rule of the few verses popular government should be emphasized on the minds of the people of the United States, that the conflict now waging throughout the world may be more clearly understood, for after all said the great pending war springs from the weakness and frailty of government by the few, where human error is far more probable than the error of the many where aggressive war is only permitted upon the authorizing vote of those whose lives are jeopardized in the trenches of modern war.
Mr. SHAFROTH. Mr. President, I should like to have the senator state whether in that treaty there was not a coalition formed between the powerful countries of Europe to reestablish the sovereignty of Spain in the Republics of South and Central America?
Mr. OWEN. I was just going to comment upon that, and I am going to take but a few moments to do so because I realize the pressure of other matters. This Holy Alliance, having put a Bourbon prince upon the throne of France by force, then used France to suppress the constitution of Spain immediately afterwards, and by this very treaty gave her a subsidy of 20,000,000 francs annually to enable her to wage war upon the people of Spain and to prevent their exercise of any measure of the right of self-government. The Holy Alliance immediately did the same thing in Italy, by sending Austrian troops to Italy, where the people there attempted to exercise a like measure of liberal constitutional self-government; and it was not until the printing press, which the Holy Alliance so stoutly opposed, taught the people of Europe the value of liberty that finally one country after another seized a greater and greater right of self government, until now it may be fairly said that nearly all the nations of Europe have a very large measure of self government.
However, I wish to call the attention of the Senate and the country to this important history in the growth of constitutional popular self-government. The Holy Alliance made its powers felt by the wholesale drastic suppression of the press in Europe, by universal censorship, by killing free speech and all ideas of popular rights, and by the complete suppression of popular government. The Holy Alliance having destroyed popular government in Spain and in Italy, had well-laid plans also to destroy popular government in the American colonies which had revolted from Spain and Portugal in Central and South America under the influence of the successful example of the United States.
It was because of this conspiracy against the American Republics by the European monarchies that the great English statesman, Canning, called the attention of our government to it, and our statesmen then, including Thomas Jefferson, took an active part to bring about the declaration by President Monroe in his next annual message to the Congress of the United States that the United States should regard it as an act of hostility to the government of the United States and an unfriendly act if this coalition or if any power of Europe ever undertook to establish upon the American Continent any control of any American Republic or to acquire any territorial rights.
This is the so-called Monroe doctrine. The threat under the secret treaty of Verona to suppress popular governments in the American Republics is the basis of the Monroe doctrine. This secret treaty sets forth clearly the conflict between monarchial government and popular government and the government of the few as against the government of the many.
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