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originally proposed, the history of the year, according to the legal division, from one national anniversary to the succeeding one in 1826, has been given. This plan, however, has not been rigidly adhered to, when it was necessary to give unity to a historical statement, either by tracing it back to its origin, or by bringing it when practicable, to a conclusion.
Among other 'matters, biographical sketches of such eminent men as have died within the year, have been inserted. In doing this, the materials have been collected from other publications; and in the European biographies, the language has been preserved.
This publication will be conducted upon strictly national principles; and it is contemplated, that a volume will make its appearance in the spring of
Retrospective view— Independence of the United States—Abolition of
Colonial System-Views of Great Britain-Independence of Spanish America-Policy of the United States-Dissolution of Parties Visit of La Fayette-National Jubilee-Deaths of Adams and Jefferson.
The 50th year of the national ty, and its gradual emancipation independence of the United States, from European sway. will be long regarded as marking The interest, however, which an important epoch in the history was derived from a recurrence to of the western hemisphere. A past events, was soon absorbed in common prejudice, founded upon the important occurrences that associations connected with our were crowded within the year. religious faith, had imparted to Although the revolution, which this era an interest, growing out was to produce an entire change of the recollections of the revolu- in the condition of America, had tion, and the important conse- previously commenced, and had quences of that event. The at- already advanced to that point, tention of the American people from which (experience teaches) was naturally directed to it, as the it could not retrograde ; it was rejubilee of national independence, served for this year to witness those and a comparison was instituted signal events, which have forever between the infancy and maturity separated the greatest part of the of the country ; between the con western hemisphere from Europe. dition of the United States, when On the 25th of August, 1825, as thirteen colonies, thinly scat the extensive empire of Brazil was tered along a narrow strip of the finally severed from the mother Atlantic coast, they asserted their country, by the formal recognition claim to independence, and vin- of its independence by the king of dicated it by a recital of their Portugal, and afterwards, when, wrongs, and now, when reposing by the death of his father, the Porin conscious strength on the bosom tuguese crown devolved upon Don of the continent, they are witness- Pedro, the emperor of Brazil, the ing the progressive triumph of their inconvenience of such a connecprinciples to its southern extremi- tion was so strongly impressed
upon his mind, that he abdicated her forces might invade their terin favor of his daughter, who was ritories. proclaimed queen of Portugal, while They now enjoyed a temporary the emperor declared his intention repose from the horrors of war, of remaining in Brazil, which was and improved the opportunity, by thereafter to be regarded as a se. consolidating their strength, and parate empire. This event alone establishing their political instituwas a great step in the dissolution tions upon a more permanent basis of the colonial system. The in- than that of military force. dependence of Brazil, a country of Their situation now became almost boundless territory and in- highly interesting to the rest of the exhaustible resources, would, at world. They were about to form any period, have been regarded as their political and commercial ties an occurrence of vast importance with other nations, and much deto the inhabitants of all commer pended upon the direction which cial states, and especially to those was, in the first instance, given to of America. This event, how- their trade. They were not yet ever, was accompanied and fol- recognized by any government, exlowed by others of still greater cept by that of the United States, interest and higher importance. and Spain still persisted in consiThe protracted struggle, between dering them as colonies in a state the forces of Spain and her former of rebellion, though she did not colonies, was at last terminated by venture to enforce these pretenthe overthrow and capture at Aya- sions against the citizens of other cucho, of the only Spanish army countries. Her own situation at on the continent; and this victory home, her government in a totterwas shortly followed by the sur- ing condition, and only sustained render of Callao, St. Juan De by the troops of France, as the Ulloa, and Chiloe, the last fort- representative of the Holy Alliance, resses held by Spain in the Ameri- rendered the prosecution of the
The interest which that pow- contest, on her part, an act of er, upon whose empire, as was for- madness; but the pertinacity with merly boasted, the sun never set, which she adhered to claims, that possessed in the western world, she did not even attempt to enwas now reduced to a feeble hold force, induced the belief, that she upon the islands of Cuba and Por- expected from her holy allies, some to Rico. Her former colonies had aid in re-establishing her sovereigndriven her from the continent, and ty over her former colonies. This reduced every fortress, from which opinion was strengthened by the
interest which the members of that the threatening aspect of the Holy alliance took in the affairs of Spain, Alliance, had induced them to and the promulgation of the prin- seek strength in union ; but the ciples by which they justified their peculiarity of their situation, when interference.
first emerging from the colonial As the guardians of that mo state, caused them to extend their narchy, they appeared to consi- views to other points than those der themselves bound to prosecute connected with their defence its claims, while it remained under against open hostilities. As they their tutelage, and it was with great assumed the rank, and, from time reason apprehended, that they were to time, claimed a participation in about to apply their principles to the privileges of independent nathe governments of the American tions, they felt, that though their continent.
particular wrongs had proceeded Apprehensions of danger from from the government of Spain, the this quarter had, at an early pe- whole continent had been injured riod, induced these governments to by the principles, which had been regard their cause as common, adopted in regard to it by the Eu. and to devise some mode by which ropean governments, and that the their efforts might be combined in full enjoyment of the benefits atits behalf. A meeting of the repre- tendant upon their new state, desentatives of the American states pended upon the dissolution of all at Panama was contemplated, and colonial connection between Amenegotiations had been for some rica and Europe ; in short, the time carried on between the Spa- entire abolition of the colonial
sysnish American governments, for tem, and all the novel principles the purpose of accomplishing this which, as its legitimate consedesirable object. The entire ex quences, have been engrafted upon pulsion of Spain from their terri- the law of nations. tories, now left them at liberty to The experience of the United agree upon the time of meeting, States, the vanguard in the march and the spring of 1826 was to wit- of a new world to independence, ness the opening of this congress, strongly inculcated upon them this whose deliberations and resolutions, fundamental maxim of American from the nature of things, must be policy. directed to effect the complete They saw that the whole history emancipation of America from of this republic, was but the record European sway.
of a constant struggle against the The contest with Spain, and colonial system.
All its wars had
grown out of attempts on the part tify the adventurous spirits of their of the great colonial powers to subjects, the monarchs of Europe extend the principles of that sys- authorised them to conquer the tem, so as to circumscribe the free- native powers, and to establish codom, which a portion of the west lonies within certain limits. ern world had succeeded in obtain At first, these expeditions were ing. The grasping spirit of Eu- made without reference to trade, ropean monopoly had felt injured but afterwards, when the advanby the emancipation of a part of tages of a commercial intercourse America, and displayed itself in were perceived, they were undercontinual efforts to cripple the taken with the view of trading commerce it could not prohibit, with the natives. In some inand to arrest the growth of the stances, these establishments were prosperity it had no longer the made at the public expense, and power to crush.
sustained by the power of the state. A short view of the colonial In others, they were the efforts system, will show that it was of private enterprise ; but whether founded upon maxims inherently private or public, they were all unjust, and destructive of the best subjected to a novel principle of interests of this continent, and that national law, which extended the it was intended to serve merely as jurisdiction of the crown over the a justification to European powers colonies, and made them, at the in their systematic design, of appro- same time, an integral and a subpriating a new world to the use of ordinate part of the empire. Inthe old.
tegral, when the power of the goUpon its discovery, the whole vernment was to be exercised over continent, with its inhabitants, them, but separate and subordinate were claimed by Spain. This for all other purposes. claim it was finally compelled to The duty which a private citizen abridge, so as to permit the other owes to the community in which he great powers of Europe to partici- lives, and by whose power and laws pate in the advantages to be de- he is protected from unjust violence, rived from America. In those bi was perverted into the doctrine of gotted ages, this claim to appro- perpetual and unalienable allepriate the possessions, and enslave giance, and the maxim, that a subthe persons of the aborigines, as ject could not expatriate himself, destitute of the light of the gospel, was made the corner stone of the was considered valid, and with the colonial system. view of establishing it, and to gra Upon these two principles, the