« AnteriorContinuar »
that s Sport chat à
proved, and settled down, holding a distinguished rank in the world, advancing with amazing rapidity, they must far outstrip any of the American empires. Mexico, it is true, may one day vie with us in some respects, but being necessarily a mere inland state, she never can be equal to us in strength; it will be long before the Brazils, provinces of La Plata, New Granada, Chili, and Peru, or other parts of South America, which cannot coalesce, will be able to overtake us. In stretching the vision into futurity, we look in vain for those causes of war which continually desolate Europe; if systems like our own are established, where peace is the great end of all our wishes, where the happiness of society alone is congulted, and not the vanity of privileged families, we may live thousand years without a quarrel. If all the nations in the world were governed by the same principles that we are, there would be an end to wars.
The patriots have, at this moment, agents near all the courts of Europe. We have been told that they have made propositions to some of them incompatible with the very object they are struggling for. We should be on our guard against their enemies, who will be very busy in circulating stories to their disadvantage. It is natural that the patriots should be desirous of conciliating the nations of Europe--at least, prevail on them to remain neutral. I believe they have little to fear; neither European interest, nor inclination, nor honor, leads to take part with Spain in the hellish work of extermination, carried on by this wretched monarchy. They know well the disposition of this country; from us they have nothing to fear. It might be doubted how much French influence or English influence there might have been here, but certainly there never was much Spanish influence. It is, therefore, natural that the patriots should be chiefly solicitous to render the European nations passive. I firmly believe that this will be the case; they all sincerely join with us in wishing the independence of South America ; and whatever they might feel themselves bound to do for Spain, in case we took a part in the contest, they will certainly not be disposed to undertake the odious task of executioners, without something of this kind to justify the interference. In my opinion, they will 7100 interfere under any circumstances; for surely, what cannot be the interest of any one singly, cannot be the interest of all conjointly; and it is not their interest to oppose the emancipation of America. But if not disposed to consent that we shall be directly instrumental in effecting its independence, they at least expect of us to acknowledge the independence of such as have fairly earned it. It is very evident that we must be, and should be proud to be, the first to acknowledge the independence of South America, or any part of it, whenever it may be achieved, now, or ten years hence. It is probable,
that some of the European powers, having objects to answer, may sport with the credulity of Spain; the agents of Spain may whisper that her cause is to be espoused by the great congress ; but these tricks will deceive none but themselves.
In what condition are the European powers to render her assistance ? And if they be the first to do this, shall we be idle ? We can render more assistance to the patriots than all Europe can render to Spain. The fact is, the European states are in no condition to render such assistance. A sort of mysterious phrase has lately been introduced, for the purpose of alarming our people with some indescribable danger, some “deed without a name." It is said, our conduct is narrowly watched,” that we are regarded “ with no friendly eye,” that “ Europe is jealous of us." —How long is it since, we were “a patch-work republic,” a “ heterogeneous jarring mass,” continually on the point of falling to pieces in consequence of our political dissensions, weak and despicable as a nation, and therefore every where to be insulted with impunity! Now, it seems, we are to bé narrowly watched; we have become dangerous to Europe.-Ever running from one extreme into another, it appears that those who speak of us, are at all times equally removed from truth. The former set of opinions respecto ing us, have all been found erroneous; we have shown the world that we are not a miserable patch-work, that we can be united, that our government has a sufficient energy when circumstances call for it, and that our political squabbles are proofs of health, and not of disease ; they now, therefore, call us the Great Republic, and pretend to think that we are becoming dangerous. Yes, and we are dangerous; but it is to those who declare themselves our enemies, and do us wrong. Lawless and unprincipled individuals will be found in every nation; but the true character of the American government and people, is a scrupulous regard to the principles of justice, and a love of honorable peace. What, for instance, would have been the conduct of any of the powers of Europe, in our situation, towards Spain for the last fifteen years ? Would any of them have patiently borne, as we did, the aggressions and 'insults of that monarchy, when we had the means of redress so completely in our power? What European government would have forborne, like ours, to take possession of the Floridas and the province of Texas ? Had France or England been in our situation, the territories which we claim by the right of cession, and to which all, but the Spaniards themselves, now admit that we are entitled, would have been taken possession of long ago. East Florida would have been sequestered on the double ground of the villanous spoliations of our commerce, and the conduct of Spain in permitting our enemy to make war upon
us from it. Had we been governed by the ambition of either of
we inhabit a vast continent-we are not part froth and part dregs, but ten millions of the most effective and intelligent people, taken as a body, in the world ! devotedly fond of our country and political institutions, united and enthusiastic in their defence. There is, moreover, far less diversity in the manners, habits, and language of our people, than is usually supposed abroad; we meet, occasionally, individuals of all nations, but there is a wonderful similarity in the natives of this extensive country. In England, or France, one meets a different description of people in every canton or county; but in travelling over all America, we shall find in the general population little more than inconsiderable shades of difference, arising from local circumstances. We are unexhausted in our resources, while Europe is bending under the weight of burthens, and the internal situations of France, England, and Spain, are the most deplorable. They might with some reason
if we were a lawless banditti like the first Romans; but happily for the world, we are not; and while our republican institutions remain pure and incorrupt, Europe will have nothing to fear from us, not even when our population shall amount to fifty millions, as it certainly will in the natural course of things, in half a century. We rose from the late war with England like a giant refreshed; our strength has increased at least ten-fold. What then have we to fear when our course is marked out by justice ? Let us do what we believe in conscience to be right, and leave the consequences to Heaven.
It is as much the interest of England to aid the patriots as it is ours. We ought not, therefore, to allow narrow jealousies to prevent us from concurring with them in the work of liberation. Notwithstanding all the intrigues of the English, we shall occupy the first place in the esteem and confidence of the patriots, and we ought not to desire more than an equal chance of trading with them. If the English have rendered them essential service, it is but just that they should be rewarded; it surely cannot be the wish of any generous American that the English should be excluded. All that we ought to ask of the patriots is, to be placed on an equal footing. But on this important occasion, I should like to see, for the honor of my countrymen, something like disinterested generosity, a noble and elevated zeal for the happiness of the human race, and for the glory of America--and not a dwarfish selfishness. There is no doubt but that the patriots are chiefly indebted to the English for the means with which they have been successful in throwing off the Spanish yoke. It is, indeed, paying but a poor. compliment to the patriots, to suppose that they are led by the English merchants among them. The jealousy with respect to the English in this country is natural, it can be easily traced ; it is time, however, that it should be laid aside, for we may now, AT LAST, indulge a friendly feeling towards England with safety. It is, in fact, mingling a topic of politics of the United States with a question of infinite importance to the world, that ought to be considered in the most liberal manner ; before we can properly comprehend with the eye a field so vast, we must rise above the little mists and fogs that obscure the objects which lie below. The common-place topics of newspaper politics should be cast aside. · It is equally wrong in us, to pretend to take sides in the political disputes which must occur in La Plata, as well as in other republics. I should think it a much more unfavorable symptom, if there were no such disputes. We, however, can be no judges in the case, who is in the right or who is in the wrong, from the want of opportunity of obtaining a perfect knowledge of the facts. But I am asked, “Have we not facts that are incapable of explanation, and which prove the government of La Plata to be a mere military despotism? Do we not know of the deportation of the patriots of Buenos Ayres, and the treatment of Carrera ? Are not these facts which no one can defend.? Has not the conduct of Puerrydon been that of a tyrant ?" Alas! we have learned nothing from experience have we so soon forgotten the nature of the accusation brought against our own government both at home and abroad? If Puerrydon has been called a tyrant, Mr. Madison has been called a Caligula ; if Puerrydon is said to be the tool of the Portuguese, our republican administrations have been charged with acting in subserviency to Napoleon. Whence does this proceed but from ill will, and a partial view of facts ? Let us try if we cannot imagine an explanation of the conduct of the supreme director.--Suppose a few warm, zealous, enthusiastic men, should sincerely and honestly believe, that the director was about to sell their country, and listening more to passion than prudence, should form a plot to depose him by force--that the director, informed of this, instead of bringing them to trial, should think it most adviseable in the present state of things, to have them arrested and sent out of the country. Here is nothing improbable. I am far from insinuating that any thing of this kind has happened, I am only arguing to prove that we do not know what has happened. Without making any reflections on the unfortunate individuals who have excited our sympathy in this country, (and with several of whom I have had the pleasure of an acquaintance, and cheerfully bear testimony to their truly generous and patriotic sentiments,) it is possible that these men may have