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and inconvenience or evil result, fit to be given, if we possessed the who is answerable ? And I suppose power of giving them.” it is expected they will be obeyed. Mr. W. then proceeded :-"Mr. Certainly it cannot be intended to Chairinan-It is our fortune to be give them, and not to take the re- called upon to act our part, as pubsponsibility of consequences, if they lic men, at a most interesting era in be followed. It cannot be intended human affairs. Not only new inteto hold the president answerable rests and new relations have sprung both ways; first, to obey our in- up among states, but new socistructions, and secondly, for having eties, new nations, and families obeyed them, if evil comes from of nations, have risen to take their obeying them.
places, and perform their parts, “Sir, events may change. If we in the order, and the intercourse had the power to give instructions, of the world. We have seen and if these proposed instructions eight states formed out of colonies were proper to be given, before we on our own continent, assume the arrive at our own homes, affairs rank of nations. may take a new direction, and the “This is a mighty revolution ; public interest require new and cor- and when we consider what an responding orders to our agents extent of the surface of the globe abroad.
they cover; through what cli“ This is said to be an extraordi- mates they extend ; what populanary case, and, on that account, to tion they contain, and what new imjustify our interference. If the fact pulses they must derive from this were true, the consequence would change of government, we cannot not follow. If it be the exercise of but perceive that great effects are a power assigned by the constitu- likely to be produced on the intertion to the executive, it can make no course, and the interests of the cidifference whether the occasion be vilized world. common or uncommon. But, in "In many respects, the Eurotruth, there have been much stronger pean and American nations are cases for the interference of the alike. They are alike christian house, where, nevertheless, the states, civilized states, and commerhouse has not interfered.
cial states. They have access to " I am, therefore, against the the same common fountains of inamendment; not only as not being a telligence ; they all draw from those proper manner of exercising any sources which belong to the civilipower belonging to this house, but, zed world. In knowledge and letalso, as not containing instructions ters in the arts of peace and war, they differ in degrees; but they upon principles tending to peace, bear, nevertheless, a general resem- and the mutual prosperity of nablance. On the other hand, in mat- tions. In this respect, America, ters of government and social insti- the whole of America, has a new tution, the nations on this conti- career before her. If we look back nent are founded upon principles on the history of Europe, we see which never did prevail, in conside- how great a portion of the last two rable extent, either at any other centuries her states have been at time, or in any other place. There war for interests connected mainly has never been presented to the with her feudal monarchies ; wars mind of man a more interesting for particular dynasties ; wars to subject of contemplation than the support or defeat particular succesestablishment of so many nations in sions ; wars to enlarge or curtail the America, partaking in the civiliza- dominions of particular crowns ; tion and in the arts of the old world, wars to support or to dissolve famibut having left behind them thosely alliances ; wars, in fine, to encumbrous institutions, which had force, or to resist religious intoletheir origin in a dark and military rance. What long and bloody chapage. Whatsoever European expe- ters do these not fill, in the history rience has developed favorable to the of European politics! Who does freedom and the happiness of man; not see, and who does not rejoice to whatsoever European genius has see, that America has a glorious invented for his improvement or chance of escaping, at least, these gratification; whatsoever of refine- causes of contention? Who does ment or polish the culture of Eu- not see, and who does not rejoice to ropean Society presents for his see, that, on this continent, under adoption and enjoyment—all this is other forms of government, we have offered to man in America, with before us the noble hope of bethe additional advantages of the full ing able, by the mere influence of power of erecting forms of govern- civil liberty and religious tolement on free and simple principles, ration, to dry up these outpourwithout overturning institutions suit- ing fountains of blood, and to exed to times long passed, but too tinguish these consuming fires of strongly supported, either by inte- war. The general opinion of the rests or prejudices, to be shaken age favors such hopes and such without convulsions. This unpre- prospects. There is a growing discedented state of things presents position to treat the intercourse of the happiest of all occasions for an nations more like the useful interattempt to establish national inter- course of friends ; philosophy, just course upon improved principles ; views of national advantage, good
sense, and the dictates of a common treated Spain with scrupulous delireligion, and an increasing convic- cacy. We acted on the case, as tion that war is not the interest of one of civil war. We treated with the human race-all concur, to in the new governments, as governcrease the interest created by this ments de facto. Not questioning new accession to the list of nations. the right of Spain to coerce them
“ But, although the independence back to their old obedience, if she of these new states seems effectually had the power; we yet held it to be accomplished, yet a lingering and our right to deal with them as with hopeless war is kept up against existing governments in fact, when them by Spain. This is greatly to the moment arrived at which it bebe regretted by all nations. To came apparent and manifest that Spain it is, as every reasonable man the dominion of Spain over these, sees, useless, and without hope. her ancient colonies, was at an To the new states themselves, it is end. Our right, our interest, and burdensome and afflictive. To the our duty, all concurred at that mocommerce of neutral nations it is ment to recommend recognition annoying and vexatious. There is and we did recognize. some reason, however, to believe “Now, sir, the history of this prothat the war approaches to its posed congress goes back to an end : that the measures adopted by earlier date than that of our recogour own government have had an nition. It commenced in 1821 ; effect in tending to produce that re- and one of the treaties now before sult.
: us, proposing such a meeting, (that “Our own course during this con- between Colombia and Chili,) was test between Spain and her colo- concluded in July, 1822, a few nies, is well known. Though en- months only after we had acknowtirely and strictly neutral, we were ledged the independence of the in favor of early recognition. Our new states. The idea originated, opinions were known to the allied doubtless, in the wish to strengthen sovereigns when in congress at the union among the new governAix-la-Chapelle in 1818, at which ments, and to promote the common time the affairs of Spain and her cause of all-the effectual resistance colonies were under consideration; to Spanish authority. But this purand, probably, the knowledge of pose of the congress, or this leading those sentiments, together with the idea, in which it may be supposed policy adopted by England, pre- to have originated, has led, as it vented any interference by other seems to me, to great misapprepowers at that time. Yet we have hensions as to its true character. and great mistakes in regard to the we call the treaty of Utrecht, was a danger to be apprehended from our bundle of treaties, negotiated at sending ministers to the meeting. that congress; some of peace, This meeting, sir, is a congress— some of boundary, and others of not a congress, as the word is known commerce. Again, it has been 10 our constitution and laws; but as said, in order to prove that this it is known to the law of nations. meeting is a sort of confederacy; A congress, by the law of nations, that such assemblies are out of the is but an appointed meeting, for the way of ordinary negotiation, and settlement of affairs between differ- are always founded on, and provient nations, in which the represen- ded for, by previous treaties. Pray, tatives or agents of each, treat and sir, what treaty preceded the connegotiate, as they are instructed by gress at Utrecht ? and the meeting their own government. In other of our plenipotentiaries with those words, this congress is a diplomatic of England at Ghent, what was that meeting. We are asked to join no but a congress ? and what treaty government--no legislature—no preceded it? It is said, again, that league-acting by votes. No na- there is no sovereign to whom our tion is a party to any thing done in ministers can be accredited. Let such assemblies, to which it does me ask whether, in the case last cinot expressly make itself a party. ted, our ministers exhibited their No one's rights are put at the dis- credentials to the mayor of Ghent ? position of any of the rest, or of all Sir, the practice of nations in these the rest. What ministers agree to, matters, is well known, and is free being afterwards duly ratified at of difficulty. If the government be home, binds their government; and not present, agents or plenipotennothing else binds the government. tiaries interchange their credentials. Whatsoever is done, to which they “It contended that this congress, do not assent, neither binds the mi- by virtue of the treaties which the nisters nor their government, any new states have entered into, will more than if they had not been pre- possess powers others than those sent.
of a diplomatic character, as be“It has been said that commercial tween those new states themselves. treaties are not negotiated at such If that were so, it would be unimmeetings. Far otherwise is the portant to us. The real question fact. Among the earliest of impor- here is, what will be our relation tant stipulations made in favor of with those states, by sending miniscommerce and navigation, were ters to this congress? Their arthose at Westphalia. And what rangements among themselves will not affect us. Even if it were a go- of belligerents, is it not a breach of vernment, like our old confedera- neutrality ? Certainly not : no tion, yet, if its members had au- man can say it is. Suppose, sir, thority to treat with us in behalf of that these ministers from the new their respective nations, on subjects states, instead of Panama, were to on which we have a right to treat, assemble at Bogota, where we althe congress might still be a very ready have a minister : their counproper occasion for such negotia- cils, at that place, might be bellitions. Do gentlemen forget that gerent, while the war should last the French minister was introduced with Spain. Should we, on to our old congress, met it in its that account, recall our minister sessions, carried on oral discus- from Bogota ? The whole argument sions with it, and treated with it rests on this ; that because, at the in behalf of the French king? All same time and place, the agents of the that did not make him a member of South American governments may it; nor connect him at all with the negotiate about their own relations relations, which its members bore with each other, in regard to their to each other. As he treated on common war against Spain, therethe subject of carrying on the war fore we cannot, at the same time against England, it was, doubtless, and place, negotiate with them, or hostile towards that power ; but any of them, upon our own neutral this consequence followed from the and commercial relations. This object and nature of the stipula- proposition, sir, cannot be maintions, and not from the manner of tained; and, therefore, all the inthe intercourse. The representa- ferences from it fail. tives of these South American “It has been affirmed, that this states, it is said, will carry on bel- measure, and the sentiments exligerent councils at this congress. pressed by the executive relative to Be it so ; we shall not join in such its objects, are an acknowledged councils. At the moment of invi- 'departure from the neutral policy tation, our government informed of the United States. Sir, I deny the ministers of those states, that there is an acknowledged deparwe could not make ourselves a ture, or any departure at all, from party to the war between them and the neutral policy of the country. Spain ; nor to councils for delibera- What do we mean by our neutral ting, on the means of its farther policy? Not, I suppose, a blind prosecution.