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approaching evils, till they meet us of the committee to an important full in the face. Nor do we mean, point in the discussion, I mean the by our neutral policy, that we in- declaration of the president in tend never to assert our rights by 1823. Not only as a member of force. No, sir. We mean by our the house, but as a citizen of the policy of neutrality, that the great country, I have an anxious desire objects of national pursuit with us, that this part of our public history are connected with peace. We should stand in its proper light. covet no provinces ; we desire no “Sir, let us recur to the imporconquests; we entertain no ambi- tant political events which led to tious projects of aggrandizement that declaration, or, accompanied by war. This is our policy. But it. In the fall of 1822, the allied it does not follow, from this, that sovereigns held their congress at we rely less than other nations, on Verona. The great subject of conour own power to vindicate our sideration was the condition of own rights. We know that the Spain, that country then being unlast logic of kings is also our last der the government of the Cortes. logic; that our own interests must The question was, whether Fer. be defended and maintained by our dinand should be reinstated in all own arm; and that peace or war, his authority, by the intervention may not always be of our own of foreign force. Russia, Prussia, , choosing. Our neutral policy, France, and Austria, were inclined therefore, not only justifies but re- to that measure; England dissentquires, our anxious attention to the ed and protested; but the course political events, which take place in was agreed on, and France, with the world; a skilful perception of the consent of these other contitheir relation to our own concerns; nental powers, took the conduct of an early anticipation of their conse- the operation into her own hands. quences; and firm and timely asser- In the spring of 1823, a French tion of what we hold to be our own army was sent into Spain. Its sucrights, and our own interests. Our cess was complete. The popular neutrality is not a predetermined government was overthrown, and abstinence, either from remonstran- Ferdinand re-established in all bis ces, or from force. Our neutral power. This invasion, sir, was depolicy is a policy that protects neu- termined on, and undertaken, pretrality, that defends neutrality, that cisely on the doctrines which the takes up arms, if need be, for neu- allied monarchs had proclaimed the trality.
year before, at Laybach; and that " I must now ask the indulgence is, that they had a right to interfere
in the concerns of another state, December, a formal invitation was and reform its government, in or- addressed by Spain to the courts of der to prevent the effects of its bad St. Petersburg, Vienna, Berlin, and example ; this bad example, be it Paris, proposing to establish a conremembered, always being the ex- ference at Paris, in order that the ample of free government. Now, plenipotentiaries, there assembled, sir, acting on this principle of sup- might aid Spain in adjusting the posed dangerous example, and hav- affairs of her revolted provinces. ing put down the example of the These affairs were proposed to be Cortes in Spain, it was natural to adjusted in such manner as should inquire with what eyes they would retain the sovereignty of Spain look on the colonies of Spain, that over them; and though the cowere following still worse exam- operation of the allies, by force of ples. Would king Ferdinand and arms, was not directly solicitedhis allies be content with what had such was evidently the object been done in Spain itself, or would aimed at. he solicit their aid, and was it likely “The king of Spain, in making they would grant it, to subdue his this request to the members of the rebellious American provinces. holy alliance, quoted their own
" It was in this posture of affairs, doctrines of Laybach ; pointed out on an occasion which has already the pernicious example of Ameribeen alluded to, that I ventured to ca; and reminded them that their say, early in the session of Decem- success, in Spain itself, had paved ber, 1823, that these' allied mo- the way for successful operations narchs might possibly turn their at- against the spirit of liberty, on this tention to America. The doctrines side of the Atlantic. . . of Laybach were not limited to any “The proposed meeting, however, continent ; Spain had colonies in did not take place. England had America, and having reformed already taken a decided course ; Spain herself to the true standard, for, as early as October, Mr. Canit was not impossible that they ning, in a conference with the might see fit to complete the work French minister in London, informby reconciling, in their way, the ed him distinctly and expressly, colonies to the mother country. that England would consider any And, accordingly, as soon as the foreign interference, by force or by Spanish king was completely esta- menace, in the dispute between blished, he did invite the co-opera- Spain and the colonies, as a motive tion of his allies, in regard to South for recognizing the latter, without America. In the same month of delay.
* It is probable this determina- the provinces, if the allies should tion of the English government was take part with Spain against them. known here, at the commencement We had already recognized them. of the session of congress ; and it It remained, therefore, only for our was under these circumstances, it government to say how we should was in this crisis, that Mr. Mon- consider a combination of the allied roe's declaration was made. It powers, to effect objects in Ameriwas not then ascertained whether a ca, as affecting ourselves ; and the meeting of the allies would, or message was intended to say, that would not, take place, to concert we should regard such combination with Spain the means of re-esta- as dangerous to us. Sir, I agree blishing her power ; but it was that the message did mean someplain enough they would be pressed thing ; that it meant much ; and I by Spain to aid her operations; maintain, that the declaration anand it was plain enough also, that swered the end designed by it, did they had no particular liking to great honor to the foresight, and the what was taking place on this side spirit of the government, and that it the Atlantic, nor any great disin- cannot now be taken back, retractclination to interfere. This was ed, or annulled, without disgrace. the posture of affairs; and, sir, I It met, sir, with the entire concurconcur entirely in the sentiment rence, and the hearty approbation expressed in the resolution, of a of the country. The tone which it gentleman from Pennsylvania, (Mr. uttered, found a corresponding reMarkley,) that this declaration of sponse in the breasts of the free Mr. Monroe was wise, seasonable, people of the United States. That and patriotic.
people saw, and they rejoiced to " It has been said, in the course see, that, on a fit occasion, our of this debate, to have been a loose weight had been thrown into the and vague declaration. It was, I right scale, and that without departbelieve, sufficiently studied. I have ing from our duty, we had done understood, from good authority, something useful, and something that it was considered, weighed, and effectual, for the cause of civil distinctly and decidedly approved liberty. One general glow of exulby every one of the president's ad- tation-one universal feeling of the visers, at that time. Our govern- gratified love of liberty-one conment could not adopt, on that occa- scious and proud perception of the sion, precisely the course which consideration which the country England had taken. England threat possessed, and of the respect and ened the immediate recognition of honor which belonged to it-pervaded all bosoms. Possibly the pub- commit us at all events to take up lic enthusiasm went too far ; it cer- arms, on any indication of hostile tainly did go far. But, sir, the sen- feeling by the powers of Europe timent which this declaration in towards South America. If, for exspired, was not confined to our- ample, all the states of Europe had selves. In that very house of com- refused to trade with South Amerimons, of which the gentleman from ca, until her states should return to South Carolina has spoken with their former allegiance, that would such commendation, how was it have furnished no cause of interfethere received ? Not only, sir, with rence to us. Or if an armament approbation, but I may say, with had been furnished by the allies to no little enthusiasm. While the act against provinces the most releading minister expressed his en- mote from us, as Chili or Buenos tire concurrence in the sentiments Ayres, the distance of the scene of and opinions of the American pre- action diminishing our apprehensident, his distinguished competitorsion of danger, and diminishing also in that popular body, less restrained our means of effectual interposiby official decorum, more at liberty tion, might still have left us to conto give utterance to the feeling of tent ourselves with remonstrance. the occasion, declared that no event But a very different case would had ever created greater joy, exul- have arisen, if an army, equipped tation, and gratitude, among all the and maintained by these powers, free men in Europe ; that he felt had been landed on the shores of pride in being connected by blood the Gulph of Mexico, and comand language, with the people of menced the war in our own immethe United States ; that the policy diate neighborhood. Such an event disclosed by the message, became might justly be regarded as dangera great, a free, and an independent ous to ourselves, and, on that
nation ; and that he hoped his own ground, to have called for decided •country would be prevented by no and immediate interference by us. mean pride, or paltry jealousy, from “ But how should it happen, sir, following so noble and glorious an that there should now be such a example,
new-born fear, on the subject of this " It is doubtless true, as I took declaration? The crisis is over ; occasion to observe the other day, the danger is past. At the time it that this declaration must be con- was made, there was real ground sidered as founded on our rights, for apprehension : now there is and to spring mainly from a regard none. It was then possible, perto their preservation. It did not haps not improbable, that the allied
powers might interfere with Ameri- a similar character, rendered it highca. There is now no ground for ly desirable to us, that these new any such fear. Most of the gentle- states should settle it, as a part of men who have now spoken on the their policy, not to allow colonizasubject, were at that time here. They tion within their respective territoall heard the declaration. Not one ries. True, indeed, we did not of them complained. And, yet, need their aid to assist us in mainnow, when all danger is over, we taining such a course for ourselves; are vehemently warned against the but we had an interest in their assentiments of the declaration. sertion and support of the princi
" To avoid this apparent incon- ple as applicable to their own tersistency, it is, however, contended, ritories. that new force has been recently "I now proceed, Mr. Chairman, given to this declaration. But of to a few remarks on the subject of this, I see no evidence whatever. I Cuba, the most important point of see nothing in any instructions or our foreign relations. It has been communications from our govern- said, that if Spain chose to transment, changing the character of fer this island to any power in Euthat declaration in any degree.: rope, she had a right to do so, and
“I have but a word to say on we could not interfere to prevent the subject of the declaration it. Sir, this is a delicate subject. against European colonization in I hardly feel competent to treat it America. The late president seems as it deserves ; and I am not quite to have thought the occasion used willing to state here all that I think by him for that purpose, to be a about it. I must, however, disproper one for the open avowal of sent from this opinion. The right a principle which had already been of nations, on subjects of this kind, acted on. Great and practical in- are necessarily very much modified conveniences, it was feared, might by circumstances. Because Engbe apprehended, from the establish- land or France could not rightfully ment of new colonies in America, complain of the transfer of Florida having a European origin, and a to us, it by no means follows, that European connection. We have we could not complain of the cesa general interest, that through all sion of Cuba to one of them. The the vast territories rescued from the plain difference is, that the transdominion of Spain, our commerce fer of Florida to us, was not danmight find its way, protected by trea- gerous to the safety of either of ties with governments existing on those nations, nor fatal to any of the spot. These views, and others of their great and essential interests.