« ForrigeFortsett »
and what we bought of her for ours, would be pronounced ruinous. But the unfavorable balance was covered by the profits of trade with other nations. We may safely trust to the daring enterprise of our merchants. The precious metals are in South America, and they will command the articles wanted in South America which will purchase them. Our navigation will be benefited by the transportation, and our country will realize the mercantile profits. Already the item in our exports of American manufactures is respectable. They go chiefly to the West Indies and to Spanish America. This item is constantly augmenting. And he would again, as he had on another occasion, ask gentlemen to elevate themselves to the actual importance and greatness of our Republic; to reflect, like true American statesmen, that we were not legislating for the present day only; and to contemplate this country in its march to true greatness, when millions on millions will be added to our population, and when the increased productive industry will furnish an infinite variety of fabrics for foreign consumption, in order to supply our own wants. The distribution of the precious metals has hitherto been principally made through the circuitous channel of Cadiz. No one can foresee all the effects which will result from a direct distribution of them from the mines which produce them. One of these effects will probably be to give us the entire command of the India trade. he advantage we have on the map of the world over Europe, in that respect, is prodigious. Again, if England, persisting in her colonial monopoly, continued to occlude her ports in the West Indies to us, and we should, as he contended we ought, meet her system by a countervailing measure, Venezuela, New Grenada, and other parts of Spanish America, would afford us all that we get from the British West Indies. He confessed that he despaired, for the present, of our adopting that salutary measure. It was proposed at the last session, and postponed. He saw, and he owned it with infinite regret, a tone and a feeling in the councils of the country infinitely below that which belonged to the country. It was, perhaps, the moral consequence of the exertions of the late war. We are alarmed at dangers, we know not what, by spectres conjured up by our own vivid imaginations. The West India bill is brought up. We shrug our shoulders, talk of restrictions, non-intercourse, embargo, commercial warfare, make long faces, and-postpone the bill. The time will, however, come—must come—when this country will not submit to a commerce with the British colonies upon the terms which England alone prescribes. And he repeated that, when it arrived, Spanish America would afford us an ample substitute. Then, as to our navigation, gentlemen should recollect that, if reasoning from past experience were safe, for the future our great commercial rival will be in war a greater number of years than she will be in peace. Whenever she shall be at war, and we are in peace, our navigation, being free from the risks and insurance incident
to war, we shall engross almost the whole transportation of the Spanish American commerce. For he did not believe that that country would ever have a considerable marine. Mexico, the most o of it, had but two ports, La Wera Cruz and Acapulco, and neither of them very good. Spanish America had not the elements to construct a marine. It wanted, an must always want, hardy seamen. He did not believe that, in the present improved state of navigation, any nations so far South would ever make a figure as maritime Powers. If Carthage and Rome, in ancient times, and some other States of a later period, occasionally made great exertions on the water, it must be recollected that they were principally on a small theatre, and in a totally different state of the art of navigation, or when there was no competition from northern States. He was aware that, in opposition to the interest which he had been endeavoring to manifest that this country had in the independence of Spanish America, it was contended that we should find that country a great rival in agricultural productions. There was something so narrow and selfish, and grovelling in this argument, if founded in fact, something so unworthy the magnanimity of a great and a generous people, that he confessed he had scarcely patience to notice it. But it was not true to any extent. Of the eighty odd millions of exports, only about one million and a half consisted of an article which might come into competition with us, and that was cotton. The tobacco which Spain received from her colonies was chiefly produced in her islands. Breadstuffs could nowhere be raised and brought to market in any amount materially affecting us. The table lands of Mexico, owing to their elevation, were, it is true, well adapted to the culture of grain; but the expense and difficulty of getting it to the Gulf of Mexico, and the action of the intense heat at La Vera Cruz, the only port of exportation, must always prevent Mexico, from being an alarming competitor. Spanish America was capable of producing articles so much more valuable than those which we raised, that it was not probable they would abandon a more profitable for a less advantageous culture, to come into competition with us. The West India islands were well adapted to the raising cotton ; and yet the more valuable culture of coffee and sugar was constantly preferred. Again: Providence had so ordered it, that with regard to countries producing articles apparently similar, there was some }. resulting from climate, from soil, or rom some other cause, that gave to each an appropriate place in the general wants and consumption of mankind. The southern part of the continent, La Plata and Chili, was too remote to rival us. - The immense country, watered o the Mississippi and its branches, had a peculiar interest, which he trusted he should be excused for noticing. Having but the single vent of New Orleans, for all the surplus produce of their industry, it was quite evident that they would have a greater
security for enjoying the advantages of that outlet, if the independence of Mexico upon any European Power were effected. Such a Power, owning at the same time Cuba, the great key of the Gulf of Mexico, and all the shores of that Gulf, with the exception of tho portion between the Perdido and the Rio del Norte, must have a powerful command over our interests. Spain, it was true, was not a dangerous neighbor at present, but, in the vicissitudes of States, her power might be again resuscitated. r. C. continued—having shown that the cause of the patriots was just, and that we had a great interest in its successful issue, he would next inquire what course of policy it became us to adopt. He had already declared that to be one of strict and impartial neutrality. It was not necessary for their interest, it was not expedient for our own, that we should take part in the war. All they demanded of us was a just neutrality. It was compatible with this pacific policy—it was required by it, that we should recognise any established Government, if there were any established Government in Spanish America. Recognition alone, without aid, was no just cause of war. With aid it was, not because of the recognition, but because of the aid, as aid without recognition was cause of war. The truth of these propositions he would maintain upon principle, by the practice of other States, and by the usage of our own. There was no common tribunal among the nations, to pronounce upon the fact of the sovereignty of a new
State. Each Power must and does judge for itself. It was an attribute of sovereignty so to judge. A nation, in exerting this incontestable
right-in pronouncing upon the independence in fact of a new State, takes no part in the war. It gives neither men, nor ships, nor money. It merely pronounces that in so far as it may be necessary to institute any relations or to support any intercourse, with the new Power, that Power is capable of maintaining those relations and authorizing that intercourse.—Martens and other publicists lay down these principles. When the United Provinces formerly severed themselves from Spain, it was about eighty years before their independence was finally recognised by Spain. . Before that recognition, the United Provinces had been received by all the rest of Europe into the family of nations. It is true that a war broke out between Philip and Elizabeth, but it proceeded from the aid which she determined to give and did give to Holland. In no instance he believed could it be shown, from authentic ho that Spain made war upon any Power, on the sole ground that such Power had acknowledged the independence of the United Provinces. In the case of our own Revolution, it was not until after France had given us aid, and had determined to enter into a treaty of alliance with us-a treaty by which she guarantied our independence, that England declared war. Holland also was charged by England with favoring our cause, and deviating from the line of strict neu
trality. And, when it was perceived that she was, moreover, about to enter into a treaty with us, England declared war. Even if it were shown that a proud, haughty, and powerful nation, like England, had made war, upon other provinces, on the ground of a mere recognition, the single example could not alter the public law, or shake the strength of a clear principle.
But what had been our own uniform practice? We had constantly proceeded on the principle, that the government de facto was that which we could alone notice. hatever form of government any society of people adopt; whoever they acknowledge as their sovereign, we consider that government or that sovereign as the one to be acknowledged by us. We have invariably abstained from assuming a right to decide in favor of the sovereign de jure, and against the sovereign de facto. That is a question for the nation in which it arises to determine. And, so is far as we are concerned, the sovereign de facto the sovereign de jure. Our own revolution stands on the basis of the right of a people to change their rulers. He did not maintain that every immature revolution—every usurper, before his ower was consolidated, was to be acknowledged y us; but that as soon as stability and order were maintained, no matter by whom, we always had considered and ought to consider the actual as the true Government. General Washington, Mr. Jefferson, Mr. Madison, had all, whilst they j respectively Presidents, acted on these princloles.
!. the case of the French Republic, General Washington did not wait of some of the crowned heads of Europe should set him the example of acknowledging it, but accredited a Minister at once. And it is remarkable that he was received before the Government of the Republic was considered as established. It will be found, in Marshall's Life of Washington, that, when it was understood that a Minister from the French Republic was about to present himself, President Washington submitted a number of questions to his Cabinet for their consideration and advice, one of which was, whether, upon the reception of the Minister, he should be notified that America would suspend the execution of the treaties between the two countries until France had an established Government. General Washington did not stop to inquire whether the descendants of St. Louis were to be considered as the legitimate sovereigns of France, and if the revolution was to be regarded as unauthorized resistance to their sway. He saw France, in fact, under the government of those who had subverted the Throne of the Bourbons, and he acknowledged the actual Government. During Mr. Jefferson's and Mr. Madison's Administra: tions, when the Cortes of Spain and Joseph Bonaparte respectively contended for the Crown, those enlightened statesmen said, we will receive a Minister from neither party; settle the question between yourselves, and we will acknowledge the party that prevails. We have nothing to jo with your feuds; whoever all Spain acknowl.
edges as her sovereign, is the only sovereign with whom we can maintain any relations. Mr. Jefferson, it is understood, considered whether he should not receive a Minister from both parties, and finally decided against it because of the inconveniences, to this country, which might result from the double representation of another Power. As soon as the French armies were exelled from the Peninsula, Mr. Madison, still acting on the principle of the government de facto, received the present Minister from Spain. During all the phases of the French GovernmentRepublic, Directory, Consuls, Consul for life, Emperor, King, Emperor again, King—our Government has uniformly received the Minister. If then, there be an established Government in Spanish America, deserving to rank among the nations, we were morally and politically bound to acknowledge it, unless we renounced all the principles which ought to #o and which hitherto had guided, our councils. Mr. C. then undertook to show, that the united provinces of the Rio de la Plata was such a Government. “Its limits, he said, extending from the South Atlantic ocean to the Pacific, embraced a territory equal to that of the United States, certainly equal to it, exclusive of Louisiana. AIts population was about three millions, more than equal to ours at the commencement of our Revolution. That population was a hardy, enterprising, and gallant population. The establishments of Montevideo and Buenos Ayres had, during different periods of their history, been attacked by the French, Dutch, Danes, Portuguese, English, and Spanish; and such was the martial character of the people, that, in every instance, the attack had been repulsed. In 1807, General whitlocke, commandingapowerful Énglish army, was admitted, under the guise of a friend, into Buenos Ayres, and, as soon as he was supposed to have demonstrated inimical designs, he was driven by the native and unaided force of Buenos Ayres from the country. Buenos Ayres had, during now nearly eight years, been, in point of fact, in the enjoyment of self-government. The capital, containing more than sixty thousand inhabitants, has never been once lost. . As early as 1811, the Regency of Old Spain made war upon Buenos Ayres, and the consequence subsequently was, the capture of a Spanish army in Montevideo, equal to that of Burgoyne. This Government has now in excellent discipline, three well appointed armies, with the most abundant materiel of war; the army of Chili, the army of Peru, and the army of Buenos Ayres. The first, under San Martin, has conquered Chili; the second is netrating in a Northwestern direction from uenos Ayres, into the vice-royalty of Peru; and, according to the last accounts, had reduced the ancient seat of empire of the Incas. The third remains at Buenos Ayres to oppose any force which Spain may send against it. To show the condition of the country in July last, Mr. C. again called the attention of the Committee to the message of the Supreme Director, delivered to the Congress of the United Provinces.
It was a paper of the same authentic character with the speech of the King of England on opening his Parliament, or the Message of the President of the United States, at the commencement of Congress. [Mr. C. here read the following passages:] .
“The army of this capital was organized at the same time with those of the Andes and of the interior; the regular force has been nearly doubled; the militia has made great progress in military discipline; our slave population has been formed into battalions, and taught the military art as far as is consistent with their condition. The capital is under no apprehension that an army of ten thousand men can shake its liberties, and, should the Peninsularians send against us thrice that number, ample provision has been made to receive them.
“Our navy has been fostered in all its branches. The scarcity of means, under which we labored until now, has not prevented us from undertaking very considerable operations, with respect to the national vessels; all of them have been repaired, and others have been purchased and armed for the defence of our coasts and rivers; provisions have been made, should necessity require it, for arming many more, so that the enemy will not find himself secure from our reprisals even upon the ocean.
“Our military force, at every point which it occupies, seems to be animated by the same spirit; its tactics are uniform, and have undergone a rapid improvement from the science of experience, which it has borrowed from warlike nations.
“Our arsenals have been replenished with arms, and a sufficient store of cannon and munitions of war has been provided to maintain the contest for many years; and this, after having supplied articles of every description to those districts, which have not, as yet, come into the Union, but whose connexion with us has been only intercepted by reason of our past misfortunes.
“Our legions daily receive considerable augmentations from new levies; all our preparations have been made, as though we were about to enter upon the contest anew. Until now, the vastness of our resources were unknown to us, and our enemies may contemplate, with deep mortification and despair, the present flourishing state of these provinces after so many devastations.
“Whilst thus occupied in providing for our safety within, and preparing for assaults from without, other objects of solid interest have not been neglected, and which hitherto were thought to oppose insurmountable obstacles.
“Our system of finance had hitherto been on a footing entirely inadequate to the unfailing supply of our wants, and still more to the liquidation of the immense debt which had been contracted in former years. An unremitted application to this subject has enabled me to create the means of satisfying the creditors of the State, who had already abandoned their debts as lost, as well as to devise a fixed mode, by which the taxes mny be made to fall equally and indirectly on the whole mass of our population; it is not the least merit of this operation, that it has been effected in despite of the writings by which it was attacked, and which are but little creditable to the intelligence and good intentions of their authors. At no other period have the public exigencies been so punctually sup
plied, nor have more important works been underen. isk The people, moreover, have been relieved from many burdens, which being partial, or confined to particular classes, had occasioned vexation and disgust. Other vexations, scarcely less grievous, will, by degrees, be also suppressed, avoiding, as far as possible, a recurrence to loans, which have drawn aster them the most fatal consequences to States. Should we, however, be compelled to resort to such expedients the lenders will not see themselves in danger of losing their advances. “Many undertakings have been set on foot for the advancement of the general prosperity. Such has been the re-establishing of the college, heretofore named San Carlos, but hereafter to be called the Union of the South, as a point designated for the dissemination of learning to the youth of every part of the State, on the most extensive scale, for the attainment of which object the Government is at the present moment engaged in putting in practice every possible diligence. It will not be long before these nurseries will flourish, in which the liberal and exact sciences will be cultivated, in which the hearts of those young men will be formed, who are destined, at some future day, to add new splendor to our country. “Such has been the establishment of a military depot on our frontier, with its spacious magazine, a necessary measure to guard us from future dangers, a work which does more honor to the prudent foresight of our country, as it was undertaken in the moment of its prosperous fortunes; a measure which must give more occasion for reflection to our enemies, than they can impose upon us by their boastings. “ Fellow-citizens, we owe our unhappy reverses and calamities to the depraving system of our ancient metropolis, which, in condemning us to the obscurity and opprobrium of the most degraded destiny, has sown with thorns the path that conducts us to liberty. Tell that metropolis that even she may glory in your works! Already have you cleared all the rocks, escaped every danger, and conducted these provinces to the flourishing condition in which we now behold them. Let the enemies of your name contemplate with despair the energies of your virtues, and let the nations acknowledge that you already appertain to their illustrious rank. Let us felicitate ourselves on the blessings we have already obtained, and let us show to the world that we have learned to profit by the experience of our past misfortunes.”
Mr. CLAY continued—there was a spirit of bold confidence running through this fine State paper, which nothing but conscious strength could communicate. Their armies, their magazines, their finances, were on the most solid and respectable footing. And, amidst all the cares of war, and those incident to the consolidation of their new institutions, leisure was found to promote the interests of science, and the education of the rising generation. It was true, that the first part of the message portrayed scenes of difficulty and commotion, the usual attendants upon revolution. The very avowal of their troubles manifested, however, that they were subdued. And what State, passing through the agitations of a great revolution, was free from them 7 We had our tories, Qur intrigues, our factions. More than once were the affections of the country, and the con
fidence of our councils, attempted to be shaken in the great Father of our liberties. 'Not a Spanish bayonet remains within the immense extent of the territories of La Plata to contest the authority of the actual Government. It is free—it is independent-it is sovereign. It manages the interests of the society that submits to its sway. It is capable of maintaining the relations between that society and other nations. Are we not bound, then, upon our own principles, to acknowledge this new Republic If we do not, who will? Are we to expect, that Kings will set us the example of acknowledging the only Republic on earth, except our own 7 We receive, promptly receive, a Minister from whatever King sends us one. From the great Powers and the little Powers, we accredit Ministers. We do more : , we hasten to reciprocate the compliment ; and, anxious to manifest our gratitude for royal civility, we send for a Minister (as in the instance of Sweden and the Netherlands) of the lowest grade, one of the highest rank recognised by our laws. We were the natural head of the American family. \ He would not intermeddle in the affairs of Europe. We wisely kept aloof from their broils. He would not even intermeddle in those of other parts of America, farther than to exert the incontestable rights appertaining to us as a free, sovereign, and independent Power; and, he contended, that the accrediting of a Miniller from the new Republic was such a right. We were bound to receive their Minister, if we meant to be really neutral. If the Royal belligerent were represented and heard at our Government, the Republican belligerent ought also to be heard. Otherwise, one party would be in the condition of the poor patriots who were tried ea: parte the other day in the Supreme Court, without counsel, without friends. Give M. Onis his congé, or receive the Republican Minister. Unless you do so, your neutrality is nominal. N- Mr. C. next proceeded to inquire into the consequences of a recognition of the new Republic. Will it involve us in war with Spain 7 He had shown, he trusted, successfully shown, that it was no just cause of war to Spain. Being no cause of war, we had no right to expect that war would ensue. If Spain, without cause, would make war, she may make it whether we do or do not acknowledge the Republic. But she would not, because she could not make war against us. He called the attention of the committee to a report of the Minister of the Hacienda to the King of Spain, presented about eight months ago. A more beggarly account of empty boxes, Mr. C. said, was never rendered. The picture of Mr. Dallas, sketched in his celebrated report during the late war, may be contemplated without emotion, after surveying that of Mr. Gary. The expenses of the current year required 830,267,829 of reals, and the deficit of the income is represented as 233,140,932 of reals. This, besides an immense mass of unliquidated debt, which the Minister acknowledges the utter inability of the country to pay, although bound in honor to redeem it. He
states, that the vassals of the King are totally un
able to submit to any new taxes, and the country is without credit, so as to render anticipation by loans wholly impracticable. Mr. Gary appears to be a virtuous man, who exhibits frankly the naked truth; and yet such a Minister acknowledges, that the decorum due to one single family, that of the Monarch, does not admit, in this critical condition of his country, any reduction of the enormous sum of upwards of 56,000,000 of reals, set apart to defray the expenses of that family He states, that a foreign war would be the greatest of all calamities, and one which, being unable to provide for it, they ought to employ every possible means to avert. e proposed some inconsiderable contribution from the clergy, and the whole body was instantly in an uproar. Indeed, Mr. C. had no doubt, that, surrounded as Mr. Gary was, by *". by intrigue, and folly, and imbecility, he would be compelled to retire, if he had not already been dismissed, from a post for which he had too much integrity. It had been now about four years since the restoration of Ferdinand; and if, during that period, the whole energies of the monarchy had been directed unsuccessfully against the weakest and most vulnerable of all the American possessions, Venezuela, how was it possible for Spain to encounter the difficulties of a new war with this country's Morillo had been sent out with one of the finest armies that had ever left the shores of Europe—consisting of ten thousand men, chosen from all the yet: erans who had fought in the Peninsula. It had subsequently been reinforced with about three thousand more. And yet, during the last Summer, it was reduced, by the sword and the cli. mate, to about four thousand effective men. And Venezuela, containing a population of only about one million, of which near two-thirds were persons of color, remained unsubdued. The little island of Margaritta, whose population was less than twenty thousand inhabitants—a population fighting for liberty with more than Roman valor —had compelled that army to retire upon the main. Spain, by the late accounts, appeared to be deliberating upon the necessity of resorting to that measure of conscription, for which Bonaparte had been so much abused. The effect of a war with this country would be to insure success, beyond all doubt, to the cause of American independence. Those parts even, over which Spain has some prospect of maintaining her dominion, would probably be put in jeopardy. . Such a war would be attended with the immedate and certain loss of Florida. Commanding the Gulf of Mexico, as we should be enabled to do by our navy, blockading the port of Havana, the port of La Vera Cruz, and the coast of Terra Firma, and throwing munitions of war into Mexico, Cuba would be menaced—Mexico emancipated—and Morillo’s army deprived of supplies, now drawn principally from this country through the Havana, compelled to surrender. The war, he verily believed, would be terminated in less than two years, supposing no other Power to interpose. Will the allies interfere? If, by the exertion of an unquestionable attribute of a sovereign
Power, we should give no just cause of war to Spain herself, how could it be pretended that we should furnish even a specious pretext to the allies for making war upon us? On what ground could they attempt to justify a rupture with us, for the exercise of a right which we hold in common with them, and with every other independent State? But, we have a surer guarantee against their hostility, in their interests. That all the allies, who have any foreign commerce, have an interest in the independence of Spanish America, was perfectly evident. On what ground, Mr. C. again asked, was it likely, then, that they would support Spain, in opposition to their own decided interest ? To crush the spirit of revolt, and prevent the progress of free principles? Nations, like individuals, do not sensibly feel and seldom act upon dangers which are remote, either in time or place. Of Spanish America, but little is known by the great body of the population of Europe. Even of this country, the most astonishing ignorance prevails there. Those European statesmen who were acquainted with the country would reflect, that, tossed by a great revolution, it would most probably constitute four or five several nations, and that the ultimate modification of all their various Governments was by no means absolutely certain. But, Mr. C. said, he entertained no doubt that the principle of cohesion among the allies was gone; it was annihilated in the memorable battle of Waterloo. When the question was, whether one should engross all, a common danger united all. How long was it, even with a clear perception of that danger, before an effective coalition could be formed ! How often did one Power stand by unmoved and indifferent to the fate of its neighbor, although the destruction of that neighbor removed the only barrier to an attack upon itself!... No ; the consummation of the cause of the allies was—and all history and all experience would prove it—the destruction of the alliance. The principle was totally changed. It was no longer a common struggle against the colossal power of Bonaparte, Sut it became a common scramble for the spoils of his Empire, There may indeed be one or two points on which a common interest still exists—such as the convenience of subsisting their armies on the vitals of poor, suffering France—but, as for action—for new enterprises—there was no principle of unity; there could be no accordance of interests or of views among them. What was the condition in which Europe was left, after all its efforts? It was divided into two great Powers—one having the undisputed command of the land, the other of the water. Paris was transferred to St. Petersburg, and the navies of Europe were at the bottom of the sea, or concentrated in the ports of England. Russia-that huge land animal, awing by the dread of her vast power all continental Europe-was seeking to encompass the Porte, and, constituting herself the kraken of the ocean, was anxious to lave her enormous sides in the more genial waters of the Mediterranean. It was said, he knew, that she