Slike strani

federation, proposed to the Cortes by the Mexican deputies themselves. But what credulity to expect to treat with

the deputies of all New Spain, including the internal provinces of Guatimala; the other two sections shall comprehend--the one New Granada and the provinces of Terra Firma; the other Peru, Buenos Ayres and Chili.

"ART. 2. These sections shall unite, at the time appointed by the constitution.

"ART 3. The capitals where these sections shall, for the present, unite, are the following. The section of New Spain in Mexico, that of New Granada and Terra Firma in Santa Fe, and that of Peru, Buenos Ayres and Chili in Lima.

"ART. 4. There shall be in each of these divisions a delegation to exercise, in the name of the King, the executive authority.

"ART. 5. These delegations shall each be composed of one person, named by the will of his Majesty, selected from amongst men of the most transcendent talents, without excluding the members of the royal family. This delegate shall be removable at the pleasure of his Majesty, and shall only be responsible for his conduct to his Majesty and the general Cortes.

"ART. 6. There shall be four departments of the interior,-of finance, of justice, of war and marine.

"ART. 7. There shall be three sections of the supreme tribunals of justice, composed of a president, eight ministers and an attorney general.

"ART. 8. There shall be three sections of the council of state, each composed of seven individuals, but the legislative sections may, at pleasure, reduce their number to five.

"ART. 9. The commerce between the peninsula and America, shall be considered as interior from one province of the monarchy to another; and, consequently, the Spaniards of both hemispheres shall enjoy in them the same advantages as their respective natives.

"ART. 10. They shall, likewise, reciprocally enjoy the same civil rights and equal eligibility to employments and public offices as their respective natives.

"ART. 11. New Spain and the other countries, comprehended in the territory of their legislative section, oblige themselves to deliver to the peninsula, the sum of two hundred millions of reals in the space of six years, which shall commence on the 1st of January 1823.

"ART. 12. New Spain and the other territories, comprehended in her legislative section, likewise bind themselves to contribute to the navy expenses of the peninsula with forty millions of reals annually.


Spain on this momentous subject! Spain, of all governments most celebrated for delays, for never ending correspondences and for diplomatic lethargy! This power, expected to yield to the impatience and eagerness of the aspiring states of the new world, to renounce, in a cession of the Cortes, an allegiance she had held for three centuries! The kingdom of the Indies abandoned in a single importation of deputies! "The Spaniards of both hemispheres," says the King in his speech," ought to be persuaded there is nothing he desires so much as their liberty, founded in the integrity of the monarchy and in the observance of the constitution."

The time had now arrived, when this government determined to recognise some of the new states in South America. This memorable disposition was communicated to Congress in a message, March 8th, 1822. From a report of the House of Representatives, made on the subject of this communication, we shall, before reciting the resolutions, extract one or two passages.

"That the provinces of Buenos Ayres after having, from the year 1810, proceeded in their revolutionary movements without any obstacle from the government of Spain, formally declared their independence of that government in 1816. After various intestine commotions and external collisions, those provinces now enjoy domestic tranquillity and a good understanding with all their neighbours, and actually exercise, without opposition from within, or the fear of annoyance from without, all the attributes of sovereignty.

The provinces of Venezuela and New Granada, after having separately declared their independence, sustained, for a period of

"ART. 13. The rest of the countries of America comprised in the other sections shall contribute to the peninsula in the manner, that shall be hereafter fixed upon, and according to their circumstances.

"ART. 14. New Spain takes upon herself the payment of all the public debt, contracted in her territory by order of her agents in her name and by her authority, the lands, revenues and other property of the state, of whatever nature, without prejudice to what has been agreed upon in the 11th article, shall be made over to her to serve as an hypothecation of what has been stipulated in said article."

more than ten years, a desolating war against the armies of Spain, and having severally attained, by their triumph over those armies, the object for which they contended, united themselves on the 19th of December 1819, in one nation, under the title of 'The Republic of Colombia.'

"The Republic of Colombia has now a well organized government, instituted by the free will of its citizens, and exercises all the functions of sovereignty, fearless alike of internal and foreign enemies. The small remnant of the numerous armies, commissioned to preserve the supremacy of the parent state, is now blockaded in two fortresses, where it is innoxious, and where, deprived, as it is, of all hope of succour, it must soon surrender at discretion; when this event shall have occurred, there will not remain a vestige of foreign power in all that republic, containing between three and four millions of inhabitants.

"The province of Chili, since it declared its independence in the year 1818, has been in the constant and unmolested enjoyment of the sovereignty, which it then assumed.

"The province of Peru, situated like Chili beyond the Andes, and bordering on the Pacific Ocean, was, for a long time, deterred from making any effectual effort for independence by the presence of an imposing military force, which Spain had kept up in that country. It was not, therefore, until the 12th of June of the last year, that its capital, the city of Lima, capitulated to an army, chiefly composed of troops from Buenos Ayres and Chili, under the command of General San Martin. The greatest part of the royal troops, which escaped on that occasion, retreated to the mountains, but soon left them to return to the coast, there to join the royal garrison in the fortress of Callao. The surrender of that fortress soon after to the Americans, may be regarded as the termination of the war in that quarter.

"The revolution in Mexico has been, somewhat, different in its character and progress, from the revolutions in other Spanish American provinces, and its result, in respect to the organization of its internal government has, also, not been precisely the same. Independence, however, has been as emphatically declared and as practically established since the 24th of August last by the 'Mexican Empire,' as ever it has been by the republics of the South; and her geographical situation, her population and her resources,

eminently qualify her to maintain the independence she has thus declared and now actually enjoys."

"Who is the rightful sovereign of a country, is not an enquiry permitted to foreign nations, to whom it is competent only to treat with the powers that be.'



"There is no difference of opinion on this point among the writers on public law and no diversity with respect to it in the practice of civilized nations. It is not necessary here to cite authority for a doctrine familiar to all, who have paid the slightest attention to the subject, nor to go back for its practical illustration to the civil wars between the houses of York and Lancaster. Have we not, indeed, within the brief period of our own remembrance, beheld governments vary their forms and change their rulers, according to the prevailing power or passion of the moment, and doing so in virtue of the principle now in question, without materially and lastingly affecting their relations with other governments? Have we not seen the emperors and kings of yesterday receive on the thrones of exiled sovereigns, who claimed the right to reign there, the friendly embassies of other powers, with whom those exiled sovereigns had sought an asylum,—and have we not seen today those emperors and kings thus courted and recognised yesterday, reft of their sceptres, and, from a mere change of circumstances, not of right, treated as usurpers by their successors, who, in their turn, have been acknowledged and caressed by the same foreign powers?

"Even when civil war breaks the bonds of society and of government, or, at least, suspends their force and effect, it gives birth in the nation to two independent parties, who regard each other as enemies and acknowledge no common judge.' It is of necessity, therefore, that these two parties should be considered by foreign states as two distinct and independent nations. To consider or treat them otherwise would be to interfere in their domestic concerns, to deny them the right to manage their own affairs in their own way, and to violate the essential attributes of their respective sovereignty. For a nation to be entitled to respect in foreign states, to the enjoyment of these attributes, and to figure directly in the great political society, it is sufficient that it is really sovereign and independent, that it governs itself by its own autho-rity and laws. The people of Spanish America do notoriously so

govern themselves, and the right of the United States to recognise the governments, which they have instituted, is incontestable. A doubt of the expediency of such a recognition can be suggested only by the apprehension, that it may injuriously affect our peaceful and friendly relations with the nations of the other hemisphere ?

"No nation in Europe, excepting Spain herself, has, hitherto, opposed force to the independence of South America. Some of those nations have not only constantly maintained commercial and friendly intercourse with them in every stage of the revolution, but indirectly and efficiently, though not avowedly, aided them in the prosecution of their great object. To these the acknowledgment by the United States of the attainment of that object must be satisfactory.

"To the other nations of Europe, who have regarded the events occurring in Spanish America, not only without interference, but with apparent indifference, such an acknowledgment ought not to be offensive.

"The nations, who have thus, respectively, favoured or never opposed the Spanish American people during their active struggle for independence, cannot, it is believed, regard with dissatisfaction the formal recognition of that independence by a nation, which, while that struggle lasted, has religiously observed towards both the conflicting parties all the duties of neutrality. Your committee are, therefore, of opinion, that we have a right on this occasion confidently to expect, from what these nations have done or forborne to do, during the various fortunes of the civil war, which has terminated, that they will frankly approve the course of policy, which the United States may now think proper to adopt in relation to the successful party in that war. It surely cannot be reasonably apprehended, that nations, who have thus been the tranquil spectators, the apparent well wishers, if not the efficient supporters of this party, and who have not made the faintest attempt to arrest its progress, or to prevent its success, should be displeased with a third power, for merely recognising the governments, which, owing to that success, have thus been vitally permitted or impliedly approved in acquiring the undisputed and exclusive control of the countries in which they are established."

"Resolved, That the House of Representatives concur in the

« PrejšnjaNaprej »