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the impossibility of making acquisitions upon us will not lightly hazard the giving us provocation, when we may choose peace or war, as our interests guided by justice shall counsel.""
The consideration, that all treaties are subject to a revision of the Senate, appears, in this case, to be an answer by no means complete and satisfactory. If the Senate, after debate on the motives and objects of an embassy, approve nominations of the Executive, accompanied with a detail and communication of information, a full exposition of the views of government, and the House under similar circumstances of enquiry, grant the appropriations, with what grace, consistency or propriety can treaties (made within the instructions of the diplomatic functionaries employed in the business) be rejected. These considerations amount almost to a pledge to foreign nations. To say the least, a refusal to ratify under these circumstances cannot but be considered as extremely unbecoming and repulsive, and is not a course, by any means, calculated to conciliate confidence and good will. And, even, if these well considered steps, preparatory to a negotiation, do not presuppose an eventual ratification, it may often happen, that the same bodies, in which the previous measures have been discussed and decided, will, under the constitutional provision, exercise the privilege of bestowing the last sanction and confirmation upon their deeds and doctrines. The distinction is, therefore, obviously formal, and the safety nugatory and deceitful. We have, it is true, a recent instance where the government did, in some degree, retrace its own steps ;-We refer to the slave trade abolition convention concluded with England; but this was an awkward business, followed by painful, embarrassing explanations. Besides, the identical provision, requiring a revision by the Senate, imposes a double obligation on the government of entering with caution into negotiations. If we claim a right to reject a treaty, we have ourselves proposed, it is certainly but the precept and exercise of a discreet and suitable consideration to give to our terms and projects the least imposing, or tempting air and appearance of pledge or warrant.
We shall conclude this subject with one remark. In the vindications of the Panama mission we have read, (many prepared with care and ability) it has appeared to us, that there was throughout an inherent defect in the application of the principle upon which their reasoning depended. Their authors have seemed to consider, there was an essential difference between a confederacy of European states and one of American. We confess, we perceive none. ernments of the old continent unite for the consolidation of the throne,-those of the new for the defence of the republic. The motives and objects of these respective alliances are different, but for this country to become a member either of one or the other is equally dangerous in its consequences, -equally a violation of the principles of the constitution, - and equally a departure from the policy and practice of the government.
This Congress was first proposed at Panama, but it does not appear ever to have assembled there. Tacubaya, a village a few miles from Mexico, was afterwards appointed, and Mr. Sergeant joined Mr. Poinsett at that capital, for the purpose of attending it. But the former gentleman, aster a becoming delay, returned to the United States, not having accomplished a single object of his important and vexatious embassy, the government being fully satisfied that the present situation of the South American states forbade all prospect of a speedy meeting of the Congress.*
* Since the first establishment of a diplomatic intercourse with the South American states, some change has been made in the rank of the agents employed. We have at this period (1828) but two ministers with full powers in that country ; Joel R. Poinsett of South Carolina in Mexico, and William II. Harrison of Olio in Colombia. At the Federation of Central America the United States are represented by a chargé, W. B. Rochester of New-York,-at the republic of Buenos Ayres by John M. Forbes, and in Peru hy James Cooley. On the other hand, Don Pablo Obregon remained the minister from Mexico till his late lamented death, and Don Jose Maria Salazar from Colombia. From Central America only a chargé has been accredited, Pe. dro Gonzalez, since the return of Don Antonio J. Canas. VOL. II.
In this general review we have not touched at all upon two important topics, mentioned in the President's message, the abolition of the slave trade and religious freedom. In regard to the first, the policy of the government has been already developed in a distinct manner at the time of the abolition slave trade convention with England ;—we do not apprehend any material departure from that determination in future negotiations. And as it respects the establishment of the catholic religion, as a state religion in some of the American republics, the extreme caution and tenderness, with which that most delicate and important subject has always been approached in the constitutions of government, as well as in the municipal ordinances of this people, can leave no doubt on the mind of the entire and scrupulous forbearance, they would, at all times, exercise in regard to the religious concerns of a foreign nation.
As the basis of our government is that of a representative republic, we shall never look but with the greatest satisfaction to the progress and propagation of that principle, both on account of the political sympathies this nation feels on that subject, and because we believe it better calculated than any other to promote general happiness, and to lead, in the most direct as well as solid manner, to the best kind of civilization. But in all other respects there is little to attract our attention to South America. It is only in the way of commerce that we have an intercourse, and that, comparatively, to a limited extent. The two continents of this bemisphere are, at their medium distance, more widely separated than the northern is from the European. With that continent we are connected by a traffic more incessant and more skilfully conducted than any, that has yet been witnessed since the invention of the compass, by the arts, by literature, fashions, and by every circumstance and association, that enter into the composition of society.
All those matters, that depend on the forinal courtesies of diplomacy, this country and the South American states have exactly performed towards each other. With two of them we have entered into conventions for the regulation of trade, in most respects satisfactory, but our commerce has not received the developement, that was anticipated from the emancipation of the continent, nor a relief from unjust and unreasonable burthens and impositions, that the establishment of free and independent governments there might have been expected to furnish. On the contrary, in consequence of the disturbed state of the country, or an ignorance of just commercial principles, our trade has been exposed to many vexations, not only in the shape of duties, often varying, but of blockades and the exercise of other belligerent rights, not permitted by the laws of nations and forming a lamentable commentary on the declarations of some of those governments concerning neutral rights. Intestine commotions have, also, appeared in Chili, Peru and the federation of the centre of America which, though they have not disturbed our diplomatic relations, have discouraged and embarrassed every other description of intercourse. On the whole, the governments of Mexico and Colombia appear more firmly established than the other states. In the latter the revolution began earlier and in the former there has been less change.
It is now twenty years since the first glimmerings of the revolution were discerned in South America. Unfortunately, the progress, it has made, is, for the most part, still matter of speculation. And nothing can be more hazardous than to attempt to assign a specific form or a probable termination to the fresh changes, now threatened on the west and south border of the continent. But, to say the least, the independence of the country is achieved and some sure steps taken towards the introduction of free, well regulated civil institutions. The sluggishness and, in some respects, the bigotry, unhappily a universal and principal ingredient in the character of the population, if not eradicated, have been violently assailed;—and after twenty years of political changes and disturbances, it is not possible, but that a spirit of enquiry and some activity of mind and a disposition for improvement should become visible. At the same time, little satisfaction is to be derived from a contemplation of the state of things on that continent at the present moment. The con
viction, that nothing appears fully completed, constantly weighs on the spirits. Those, to whom the task may fall of describing the events of the revolution, are without materials to furnish a perfect picture. The animation and ardour therefore, with wbich they may enter on the work, will soon be cooled and checked by the extreme irregularity, that has attended the progress of things, and by a darkness and uncertainty, as profound as barassing, in which the concluding scenes of this great political drama are now shrouded and enveloped. The well defined and rapid manner in which our own revolution terminated, the subsequent, surprising prosperity and tranquillity of the country, the speedy and almost invisible establishment of a firm, solid and lasting gore ernment have rendered us both impatient and unreasonable in regard to South America. The people of this continent had but a single change to effect. Those of the southern have had a twofold revolution on their bands,-a separation from the parent state and the training of their own population for self-government. The first operation was accomplished by a decree,—the second can only be brought about by time and perseverance.*
* Brazil. In one respect Brazil has followed the fate of the other portions of South America ;-a separation has taken place from the parent state. But in all others its political changes and condition differ from those of the whole American hemisphere. A government has been there established upon the principle of the European monarcbies, and Don Pedro, the representative of the ancient house of Braganza and elder brother of the reigning King of Portugal, has been crowned and proclaimed Emperor. The Portuguese possessions are thus divided (and in a peaceable manner) into two parts, and each governed by a monarch of the same family. This is a singular stale of things and in modern times, at least, has no precedent. Since the separation, the United States have held a diplomatic connexion with both portions of the ancient Portuguese dominion ; in Europe as bas already been related in the chapter on Portugal, and in America by the appointment in 1825 of Condy Raguet to be a chargé d'affaires to the empire of Brazil. The same year a chargé, Jose Sylvestre Rebello, was, also, accredited from that government; he still remains in this country. At the present time William Tudor of Massachusetts