FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC POLICY
One of the most troublesome matters inherited by the Johnson administration related to Mexico. When the Civil War began that turbulent country was in a chronic state of violence, and in forty years the republic had had no less than seventythree presidents. There was not a dollar in the treasury, interest on the public debt was not paid, and the leading road, from Mexico City to Vera Cruz, was infested by bandits. During Lincoln's administration our state department was full of complaints that American citizens were murdered and their property destroyed. But during war times these evils had to be borne for fear of an alliance between Mexico and the Southern Confederacy. While war was raging the Rio Grande had been kept open for rebel cruisers, and when the war ended Mexico became the refugee home of southern rebels.
But America was not the only nation that suffered at the hands of the Mexicans. British citizens had been foully murdered, the British legation at Mexico City attacked, and funds which Mexico had paid to be forwarded to British bond holders stolen. The French Foreign Office was also fired into and a bullet imbedded in the gallery of the legation. Spain fared no better than England or France, everywhere the cry being, "Death to foreigners."1 These conditions induced England, France and Spain to combine for mutual protection. In October 1861, at a conference in London, they agreed on a joint military operation against Mexico, "not for the acquisition of territory or to prevent Mexico conducting its government as it chose," but to protect the person and the property of their citizens. America was invited to join in the expedition but declined. The first nation to arrive in Mexico was Spain, landing six thousand troops from fourteen transports____________________