No. 154.
Mr. Taylor to Mr. Evarts.

No. 32.]

Sir: On Saturday, the 13th instant, precisely one month after its first meeting, the European congress came to an end. The treaty of Berlin, perhaps the most important historical act since that of Vienna, in 1815, was signed by the representatives of Germany, Russia, England, Turkey, France, and Austria, and the so-called “Eastern question” is thereby temporarily settled.

Referring to my dispatch No. 21, I take this occasion to explain that, after the first three or four sessions of the congress, the representatives of the English press succeeded in penetrating the secresy which had been imposed upon its deliberations. When I discovered that the latter were correctly reported day by day in the London journals, and consequently transmitted immediately to the United States, I considered it unnecessary to forward mere repetitions of known facts. The text of the completed treaty is already published, and is probably in the possession of the Department of State as I write these lines.

I may add, nevertheless, that while the prevalent impression here is one of relief, especially since a general peace, although of uncertain duration, is assured, the solution of the question is more or less unsatisfactory to all the parties concerned. During the second week of the congress political differences so serious as to cause some anxiety were developed; and it is probable that the distinguished statesmen would have failed in their object but for the remarkable tact, firmness, and energy displayed by Prince Bismarck, the presiding officer. The disclosure of the separate treaty of June 4, between England and Turkey, was not made until the agreement of the congress was assured, hence it had no direct effect as a disturbing influence.

While the treaty of Berlin practically removes Turkey from the list of European powers, it establishes no permanent basis of peace. The fact that Greece, Roumania, Servia, and Montenegro are equally dissatisfied, changes the character of the discord without removing it. England’s acquisition of Cyprus and her protectorate of Asiatic Turkey shifts the ground of her rivalry with Russia, yet at the same time declares that rivalry more openly and defiantly than ever before in her history. I notice that the Russian press already accepts the defiance, and proclaims that the Empire must extend its communications to Central Asia, in order, when the struggle comes, to attack England in India. It is perhaps an advantage that the political situation has been stripped of many former disguises and pretexts and now becomes clear to the world. The chief interest which the Government and people of the United States [Page 228] have in the treaty is its enforcement of religions liberty in Roumania, Bulgaria, and East Roumelia. This is the only point which I felt at liberty to present unofficially to several members of the congress, and I am glad to report that it was opposed by none of the statesmen present.

I have, &c.,