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originally proposed, the history of the year, according to the legal division, from one national anniversary to the succeeding one in 1826, has been given. This plan, however, has not been rigidly adhered to, when it was necessary to give unity to a historical statement, either by tracing it back to its origin, or by bringing it when practicable, to a conclusion.
Among other 'matters, biographical sketches of such eminent men as have died within the year, have been inserted. In doing this, the materials have been collected from other publications; and in the European biographies, the language has been preserved.
This publication will be conducted upon strictly national principles ; and it is contemplated, that a volume will make its appearance in the spring of
Retrospective view- Independence of the United States
Abolition of Colonial System— Views of Great Britain—Independence of Spanish America—Policy of the United States—Dissolution of PartiesVisit of La Fayette National Jubilee-Deaths of Adams and Jefferson.
The 50th year of the national ty, and its gradual emancipation independence of the United States, from European sway. will be long regarded as marking The interest, however, which an important epoch in the history was derived from a recurrence to of the western hemisphere. A past events, was soon absorbed in common prejudice, founded upon the important occurrences that associations connected with our were crowded within the year. religious faith, had imparted to Although the revolution, which this era an interest, growing out was to produce an entire change of the recollections of the revolu- in the condition of America, had tion, and the important conse- previously commenced, and had quences of that event. The at- already advanced to that point, tention of the American people from which (experience teaches) was naturally directed to it, as the it could not retrograde ; it was rejubilee of national independence, served for this year to witness those and a comparison was instituted signal events, which have forever between the infancy and maturity separated the greatest part of the of the country ; between the con- western hemisphere from Europe. dition of the United States, when On the 25th of August, 1825, as thirteen colonies, thinly scat- the extensive empire of Brazil was tered along a narrow strip of the finally severed from the mother Atlantic coast, they asserted their country, by the formal recognition claim to independence, and vin- of its independence by the king of dicated it by a recital of their Portugal, and afterwards, when, wrongs, and now, when reposing by the death of his father, the Porin conscious strength on the bosom tuguese crown devolved upon Don of the continent, they are witness- Pedro, the emperor of Brazil, the ing the progressive triumph of their inconvenience of such a connecprinciples to its southern extremi- tion was so strongly impressed
upon his mind, that he abdicated her forces might invade their ter-
interest which the members of that the threatening aspect of the Holy alliance took in the affairs of Spain, Alliance, had induced them to and the promulgation of the prin- seek strength in union; but the ciples by which they justified their peculiarity of their situation, when interference.
first emerging from the colonial As the guardians of that mo- state, caused them to extend their narchy, they appeared to consi- views to other points than those der themselves bound to prosecute connected with their defence its claims, while it remained under against open hostilities. As they
, their tutelage, and it was with great assumed the rank, and, from time reason apprehended, that they were to time, claimed a participation in about to apply their principles to the privileges of independent nathe governments of the American tions, they felt, that though their continent.
particular wrongs had proceeded Apprehensions of danger from from the government of Spain, the this quarter had, at an early pe- whole continent had been injured riod, induced these governments to by the principles, which had been regard their cause as common, adopted in regard to it by the Euand to devise some mode by which ropean governments, and that the their efforts might be combined in full enjoyment of the benefits atits behalf. A meeting of the repre- tendant upon their new state, desentatives of the American states pended upon the dissolution of all at Panama was contemplated, and colonial connection between Amenegotiations had been for some rica and Europe ; in short, the time carried on between the Spa- entire abolition of the colonial sysnish American governments, for tem, and all the novel principles the purpose of accomplishing this which, as its legitimate consedesirable object. The entire ex- quences, have been engrafted upon pulsion of Spain from their terri- the law of nations. tories, now left them at liberty to The experience of the United agree upon the time of meeting, States, the vanguard in the march
, and the spring of 1826 was to wit- of a new world to independence, ness the opening of this congress, strongly inculcated upon them this whose deliberations and resolutions, fundamental maxim of American from the nature of things, must be policy. directed to effect the complete They saw that the whole history emancipation of America from of this republic, was but the record Ewopean sway.
of a constant struggle against the The contest with Spain, and colonial system. All its wars had grown out of attempts on the part tify the adventurous spirits of their of the great colonial powers to subjects, the monarchs of Europe extend the principles of that sys- authorised them to conquer the tem, so as to circumscribe the free- native powers, and to establish codom, which a portion of the west- lonies within certain limits. ern world had succeeded in obtain- At first, these expeditions were ing. The grasping spirit of Eu- made without reference to trade, ropean monopoly had felt injured but afterwards, when the advanby the emancipation of a part of tages of a commercial intercourse America, and displayed itself in were perceived, they were undercontinual efforts to cripple the taken with the view of trading commerce it could not prohibit, with the natives. In some inand to arrest the growth of the stances, these establishments were prosperity it had no longer the made at the public expense, and power to crush.
sustained by the power of the state. A short view of the colonial In others, they were the efforts system, will show that it was of private enterprise ; but whether founded upon maxims inherently private or public, they were all unjust, and destructive of the best subjected to a novel principle of interests of this continent, and that national law, which extended the it was intended to serve merely as jurisdiction of the crown over the a justification to European powers colonies, and made them, at the in their systematic design, of appro- same time, an integral and a subpriating a new world to the use of ordinate part of the empire. Inthe old.
tegral, when the power of the goUpon its discovery, the whole vernment was to be exercised over continent, with its inhabitants, them, but separate and subordinate were claimed by Spain. This for all other purposes. claim it was finally compelled to The duty which a private citizen abridge, so as to permit the other owes to the community in which he great powers of Europe to partici- lives, and by whose power and laws pate in the advantages to be de. he is protected from unjust violence, rived from America. In those bi- was perverted into the doctrine of gotted ages, this claim to appro- perpetual and unalienable allepriate the possessions, and enslave giance, and the maxim, that a subthe persons of the aborigines, as ject could not expatriate himself, destitute of the light of the gospel, was made the corner stone of the was considered valid, and th the colonial systém. view of establishing it, and to gra- Upon these two principles, the