The declaration of war by England against Scotland, in answer to the recent Franco-Scottish negotiations, prevented his return.
In the month of June 1880, President Avellaneda and his ministers left Buenos Aires, and this act was considered by the porteno leaders equivalent to a declaration of war.
On the fiat 29th Francis Joseph declared war, and the next day 1859 his troops crossed theTicino, a move which was followed, as Napoleon had stated it would be, by a French declaration of war.
In 1917 he gave his support to the declaration of war against Germany, and also to all the war measures, including the Selective Draft and Espionage bills.
The charge of pacifism was often brought against him, and his career generally as Secretary was widely condemned throughout the United States as lacking in energy, foresight and ability, and especially for his failure to prepare adequately in the months immediately preceding the American declaration of war.