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Chap. the best of all sources—his own recorded statement. XI1' "When the French army," said he, "was on the point im' of entering Spain, we did all we could to prevent it; \re resisted it by all means short of war. We did not go to war, because we felt that, if we did so, whatever the result might be, it would not lead to the evacuation of Spain by the French troeps. In a war against France at that time, as at any other, you might perhaps have acquired military glory; you might perhaps have extended your colonial possessions; you might even have achieved, at a great loss of blood and treasure, an honourable peace; but as to getting the French out of Spain, that is the one object which you would certainly not have accomplished. Again, is the Spain of the present day the Spain whose puissance was expected to shake England from her sphere? No, sir; it was quite another Spain: it was the Spain within whose dominions the sun never sets; it was 'Spain
nous faut sa chute ou ea convorsion. II tie tombera pas ; ses ennemis n'ont pu l'exiler sur le troue des Indes. M. Peel, jeune, ferme, et populaire, s'avance sans impatience vers le ministère, qui ne peut lui manquer un jour. Lord Wellington, guerrier peu redoutable tur le champ de [intrigue, a dû cétler aux talents et à l'habilité do M. Canning. Il ne tombera pas ; il faut donc pour nous qu'il change de conduite, et que de Briton qu'il est, il se fasse Européen; faites reluire à ses yeux l'éclat d'une grande gloire diplomatique : assemblez un nouveau congrès, qu'il vienne y traiter, à son tour, des intérêts de VOrient, des colonies Américaines, de nos quatre dernières révolutions éteintes en deux ans, la Qrèco, l'Italie, le Portugal, l'Espagne! Que l'Europe le couvre de faveurs! Inaccessible à l'or, il no l'est pas à la louange: enfin réconciliez-le avec ses anciennes opinions monarchiques, et pardonnez-moi si, malgré mon jeune âge, je parle si librement avec vous des plus hauts intérêts de mon pays."—M. Marcellus à M. De Chateaurriand, 17th December 1822. "No comptez pas sur l'Angleterre. Elle se refusera à toute mesure même pacifique, et cachera sous l'apparence de quelques demandes sans force réelle, son indifférence profonde des intérêts purement continentaux. Ce système de séparation ou d'égoïsme est imposé à M. Canning par ses amis, et surtout par son intérêt. Cet intérêt même peut le pousser à des concessions d'opinion personnelle, qu'on n'eût jamais obtenues du Marquis de Londonderry. Ainsi on le verra reconnaître la Colombie pour gagner le commerce, épouser la cause des Noirs pour plaire au Parlement, puis suspendre son action jusqu'ici favorable à la réforme catholique. Enfin il fera tout pour accroître cette popularité à laquelle il devra sou maintien, comme il lui doit son élévation."— M. MarcelLot à M. De Chateaueriand, Londres, 3 Octobre, 1822; Marcellus, Politique de la Restauration, 96; and Lamartine, Hittoire de la Restauration, vii. 222.
with the Indies' that excited the jealousies and alarmed °hap. the imagination of our ancestors. When the French
army entered Spain, the balance of power was disturbed, and we might, if we chose, have resisted or resented that measure by war. But were there no other means but war for restoring the balance of power? Is the balance of power a fixed and invariable standard; or is it not a standard perpetually varying as civilisation advances, and new nations spring up to take their place among established political communities 1
"To look to the policy of Europe in the time of William and Anne, for the purpose of regulating the balance Continued, of power in Europe at the present day, is to disregard the progress of events, and to confuse dates and facts, which throw a reciprocal light upon each other. It would be disingenuous not to admit that the entry of the French army into Spain was, in a certain sense, a disparagement —an affront to the pride, a blow to the feelings, of England; and it can hardly be supposed that the Government did not sympathise on that occasion with the feelings of the people. But, questionable or unquestionable as the act might be, it was not one which necessarily called for our direct and hostile opposition. Was nothing then to be done ?—was there no other mode of resistance but by a direct attack upon France, or by a war undertaken on the soil of Spain \ What if the possession of Spain might be rendered harmless in rival hands—harmless as regarded us, and valueless to the possessors? Might not compensation for disparagement be obtained, and the policy of our ancestors vindicated, by means better adapted to the present time? If France occupied Spain, was it necessary, in order to avoid the consequences of that occupation, that we should blockade Cadiz 1 No : I looked another way; I sought materials for compensation 1 P«i- rutin another hemisphere.1 Contemplating Spain such as 395.' our ancestors had known her, I resolved that, if France
Chap. Lad Spain, it should not be Spain 'with tbe Indies. xu' / called the New World into existence, to redress the balance of the Old."
It is one of the most curious truths apparent from hisMrcanning torj, how identical are the impulses of the human mind hidden-"* at all times and in all countries, in similar circumstance*, south Ame- an<i now insensible men are to the moral character of onfrac- actions when pursued for their own benefit, to which kdgld it ^ey arc sensibly alive when undertaken for the advantage of others. The English had loudly exclaimed against the iniquity of the Northern powers in pretending to preserve the balance of power in the east of Europe, by dividiug the spoils of Poland amongst each other; and they dwelt on the selfishness of Austria, in after times, which held out the Russian acquisition of Wallachia and Moldavia a sufficient ground for giving them a claim to Servia and Bosnia; but they thought there was nothing unjustifiable in our upholding the balance of power in the West, not by defending Spain against France, but by sharing in its spoils, and loudly applauded the minister who proposed to seek compensation for the French invasion of the Peninsula, by carving for British profit independent republics out of the Spanish dominions in South America, at the very time when he professed the warmest interest in its independence. But be the intervention of England in South America justifiable or unjustifiable, nothing is more certain than that neither its merit nor its demerit properly belongs to Mr Canning. The independence of Columbia was decided by a charge of English bayonets on the field of Carabobo, on 14th June 1821, more than a i Hist. of year before Mr Canning was called to the Foreign Office.1 ixmTi 73. I' was the ten thousand British auxiliaries, most of them veterans of Wellington, who sailed from the Thames, the »Hint, of Mersey, and the Clyde, under the eye of Lord CastleuTii.p§'69. reagh, in 1818, 1819, and 1820, who really accomplished the emancipation of South America.2 Mr Canning did
I not call the New World into existence, he only recognised Chap. it when already existing. X11' There can be no doubt, however, that this recognition 18~3
was of essential importance to the infant republics, and Recognition that it was the stability and credit which they acquired American"1 from it which enabled them to fit out the memorable Mrctnnin/. expedition which in the next year crossed the Andes, and at the foot of the cliffs of Ayacucho achieved the independence of Peru.1 Mr Canning's measures, when i Hut of he had once determined on neutralising the efforts of I^vh.p|§7x France in this way, were neither feeble nor undecided.77On the 26th February 1823, he obtained from the British government, by order in council, a revocation of the prohibition to export arms and the muniments of war to Spain,"*—a step which called forth the loudest remonstrances from the French minister in London at the time.f This was soon after followed by still more decisive measures. On 16th April, Lord Althorpe brought forward a motion, in the House of Commons, for the repeal of the Act of 1819, which prohibited British subjects from engaging in foreign military service, or fitting out, in his Majesty's dominions, without the royal license, vessels for warlike purposes; and although this proposal was thrown out by a majority of 216 to 110, yet the object was gained by the proof afforded of the interest
* "As far as the exportation of arms and ammunition was concerned, it was in the power of tho Crown to remove any inequality between France and Spain simply by an order in council. Such an order was accordingly issued, and the prohibition of exporting arms and ammunition to Spain was taken off." —Mr Canning's Speech, April 16, 1823; Pari. Deb., viii. 1051. It was prohibited since 1819, both to Spain and the colonies, on the remonstrance of the Spanish government.—Ante, chap. iv. sect. 95.
t " Hier je me suis plaint, et tres-vivement, de la permission d'exporter en Espagne toutcs armes ct munitions de guerre; permission que le ministre vient do donner, dc son propre mouvement, en revoquant l'arret qui s'y oppose. Des marches importants d'armes et^Je munitions se traitent; des banquiers, membres influents do la Chambre des Communes, sont entres dans ces speculations que lo gouvornement encourage de la manicre la plus manifeste."— M. Mabcellus a M. De Chateaubriand, Londres, 28th Feb. 1823; MaeCellcs, 151.
which the cause of the insurgent colonies excited, in thi* country. In June, Mr Canning refused to recognise thi 1823- Regency established at Madrid after the entry of the Duke d'Angouleme; and in July, on a petition from som; respectable merchants in Loudon engaged in the SoutL American trade, he agreed to appoint consuls to Mexico. Columbia, Peru, Chili, and Buenos Ayres. His language on this occasion was manly, and worthy of a British minister. "We will not," said he, "interfere with Spain in any attempts she may make to reconquer what were once her colonies, but we will not permit any third power to attack them, or to reconquer them for her: and in granting or refusing our recognition, we shall look, not to the conduct of any European power, but to the actual circumstances of these countries."1 And when Prince Polignac, the French minister in London, applied for explanations on the subject, and urged the expedience of x.7i'i|Mar- establishing, in concert with the other European powers, ajo* Ann. monarchical states in South America, Mr Canning's reply 27egi4sJ3' wa8' *^at " however desirable the establishment of a i46; Can- monarchical form of government in any of those provinces ■S34." might be, his Government could not take upon itself to put it forward as a condition of their recognition." 1 Thus was achieved, mainly in consequence of the French Effects of invasion of Spain, the recognition of the independence of «uTM on*" the South American republics. Whether they were fitted units.m f°r the change—whether the cause of liberty has been advanced, or the social happiness of mankind advanced, by the substitution of the anarchy of independence for the despotism of old Spain, and whether British interests have been benefited by the alteration—may be judged of by the fact, that while the exports of Spain to her colonies, before the war of independence began, exceeded £15,000,000 sterling, the greater part of which consisted of British manufactures, conveyed in Spanish bottoms, the whole amount of our exports to these colonies is now