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the possibility of carrying those principles into effect.
As to the idea of the interference of the United States in the concerns of Europe, which they take much pains to disavow; in itself, it is one of the most useless and preposterous, and romantic political notions, that ever entered into a young statesman's head. It is the assumption of an air of consequence, which tends to make the party ridiculous. It is however the peg upon which the further machinery is to hang. It means, that we, the United States, most magnanimously resolve that we will not send our fleets and armies to conquer Europe or to support her quarrels; but we will promote to the utmost of our power, a disseverance of the trans-Atlantic territories from their Mother countries; and if any attempt is made to re-conquer them, then we shall consider such attempt as the manifestation of an unfriendly disposition towards ourselves : or, in diplomatic language, look upon it, as affording grounds for war.
If this be not a position merely intended to try an effect upon Europe, then at this moment ought the United States to be at war both with Spain and Portugal, who have not yet given up their claims, or one iota of them, upon their South American possessions ; and the recognition of which, in the shape of independent Governments, on the part of the United States, will not ad
vance them one jot in their political independence.
Besides, when is this declaration made ? Long after the Cabinet of St. James's had announced a policy quite as decisive, but of much higher consideration and importance. The Cabinet of St. James's makes the state of the South American Governments at once an European question: not, however, by interdicting their re-conquest or re-occupation by the parent state, (if possible,) but by warning a third party from all and any interference. The declaration of England would be followed up by actions if necessary; but that of the United States is already futile; because the circumstances under which they declare that they should take umbrage, already exist, and they take no part in the affray.
Still, however unaccompanied by the reality of execution, these political fulminations may be; and however distant from the possibility of giving a tone to Europe; yet the United States were once British, are peopled with our people, and the policy they may adopt in their own element, will always be greatly connected with, and bear upon the interests of England.
Their improvements will increase the means of an extending interchange; for many many years must elapse before they can change their national and natural feature from an agricultural and
consuming, to a manufacturing community: and there are few countries placed in so favourable a position for the preservation of peace, or to whom war would be more injurious.
If however, no such equitable principle was evident (as there appears to be) in the conduct of England towards the colonies of her European allieš; still the precarious and endangered state of some of her own-trans-Atlantic possessions, would suggest a line of extreme caution and forbearance; any unjust or selfish principle which England might set up, would form a precedent, upon which others' might raise grounds of retaliation. - International law renders the disseverance of the parent state and its colonies, a matter of great difficulty and extreme nicety. A parent state would not withdraw its sceptre, until completely overpowered, and all chance of the capability of retention gone; and even in such a case, the mere formal act of acknowledging the independence of the colony, contains in itself reasons for a valuable consideration. : It was not until Philadelphia had been abandoned by the British troops, and not until the British nation, by their petitions to the throne,
evinced the sentiment, “that the armed occupation of the revolted states, and a nominal sovereignty were of far less importance than the chance of a future commercial intercourse;" that the Crown consented to the abandonment of its rights.
Whilst Spain continues to hold, and can hold Cuba, a point d'appui is afforded to her, as against her South American colonies; and neither their own safety and their disseverance from the parent state can be relied on, whilst she retains such a rendezvous; for though she may not fit out expeditions on an extensive scale, yet, by an intercourse of intrigue, she may produce a counteraction in public opinion, and either obtain a modified acknowledgment of her jurisdiction, or å more favoured state of mutual and commercial intercourse.
The policy of England, therefore, as between the European and its colony, appears to be this: “ fight your own battles, and work out, without interference, your own independence---your civil wars will not affect our neutrality. It is presumed that we know nothing diplomatically of the nature of your disputes—we trade with you as merchants, on the best terms we can procure, and you with us, as your own interest points out-and when you can give us the guarantee of a free and independent state, in which is included the avoidance (in consequence of any acknowledgment by us, of your independence) of a war with the parent state,
then are we ready to admit you into the rank of a nation.”
There is no country more interested than England ; in laying down, enforcing, and abiding by certain fixed and equitable principles, as regards the contest of a parent state and a province or colony; for possibly, at this very moment may be
many of our distant settlements—already some colonial journals speak the language of a threatened defiance. “The Parliament of England (including Scotland) made laws for us (say they); but are we bound by laws made since the union with Ireland ?” Untenable as is the position, yet there is in such a sentiment “ an ingenuity of mischief.” And again—" We consider ourselves justified in calling on Parliament-on the British nation, to pay us for our possessions, or to leave us at liberty to offer our allegiances where our personal safety can be secured by the observance of legal enactments.” · Against the effects of such language of scarcely stifled menace, England must be prepared. Can she be better prepared than by having herself previously laid down a severe rule of right; by which she conducts herself towards other countries having colonies ; so that in any contest with her own, she may point to such rule, and deprive all of the shadow of a pretence to interfere, grounded on her own misconduct or bad faith.