« PreviousContinue »
The zeal of the other Co-belligerent States, has undoubtedly contributed to the realization of the present system; the coustant efforts of the Government of Colombia, however, to obtain it, are well known; and the new Republicks derive from the Federation all the benefits which can be expected from independence and liberty.
An important part of South America experienced, a short time ago, the great advantages which result from a Consederation. Peru bebeld two-thirds of her Territory occupied by the Spaniards, with an Army commanded by skilful Chiefs, who threatened the extinction of the sacred flame of liberty and independence in that country. Its Government entreated for the Auxiliaries of Colombia, which were conceded to them with the greatest liberality, and in sufficient numbers to enable it to triumph over the Enemy. Not content with this, the President Liberator, being invited to Peru, went to that Republick, and, notwithstanding difficulties which appeared insurmountable, overcame them, by his genius, constancy, and good fortune. The victories of Junin and Ayacucho, crowned his success, and, by destroying the Spanish power insured the Independence of South America. A new State soon appeared, formed of the Provinces of Upper Peru, so soon as they had been freed from the Spanish yoke, by means of the Conquering Army at Ayacucho: they assumed the name of Bolivia, in honour of the Liberator, and have augmented the great mass, with which the efforts which Spain may chuse to make, must come in collision.
The Constitutional Government of Colombia has thus contributed to the glorious success of the enterprize of liberating Peru from the Spanish Dominion, and by which its relations with this Republick, as well as with that of Bolivia, have been strengthened. A frank and honourable friendship has been the result of the efforts of the Republick for the Independence of Upper and Lower Peru; and it is to be hoped that it will be as lasting, as it is requisite for the common interests and mutual benefits which should be derived therefrom.
Our relations with The United States of North America have been formed and consolidated, on the basis of the Constitutional system. That Government in 1822, first offered the noble example of recognizing our Independence, and has promoted that recognition by other Nations The Chargé d'Affaires from Colombia, at Washington, was then replaced by an Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary. A Commissioner from the President of The United States brought to Bogota the different Acts by which our Independence had been recognized; and, subsequently, a Minister arrived, invested with the same character as that of the Representative of Colombia at Washington. A general Convention of Peace, Friendship, Navigation, and Commerce, with The United States, and another declaring the Slave-trade to be Piracy, were afterwards negotiated, and concluded in this Capital on the 3d October, 1824. The first was ratified by both Governments, agreeably
to the requisite formalities prescribed by their Fundamental Laws, and the Ratifications were exchanged; but the Ratification of the latter met with difficulties in The United States, which have not yet been overcome in favour of humanity.
Our relations with The United States have been established upon the faith of Treaties, by a commerce which offers mutual advan. tages, and by the sympathy which should exist between the Colombians and North Americans, in consequence of their liberal Institutions, and have daily encreased and strengthened. The good Offices of the Governments of The United States, to promote the cause of American Independence, have been both generous and constant, and it has omitted no occasion to interpose its intluence with other Neutral Powers, so as to anticipate as much as possible the happy epoch of Peace, and the recognition by Spain. Although the desired result has not yet been produced, it is to be hoped that the obstinate resist. ance of the Court of Madrid will not be of much longer duration.
A remarkable event has recently occurred on the American Continent :--the erection of an Empire in Brazil, at a time when the rest of America was being constituted into Republicks. This Empire has been recognized by all the Powers, including Portugal, and its present Emperor, Don Pedro I. has granted liberal Constitutions, both to Brazil and to its European Mother-Country. The Government of Colombia has endeavoured to establish friendly relations with that neighbouring Southern Empire; and, confident of meeting with a corresponding friendship, it appointed, during the last Year, an Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to the Court of Rio de Janeiro. It is known that His Imperial Majesty has appointed a Minister with the same character for Colombia ; and hopes are entertained that these Missions will promote the interests of both States, connect more closely their mutual relations, and contribute to the establishment and duration of Peace in South America.
Although greater difficulties have been encountered by the Executive Power of the Republick, in establishing relations with the European Governments, it has not relaxed in its endeavours to overcome them, and its efforts have, in a great measure, been attended with success. On the publication of the Constitution, it took care to forward immediately to England a Minister, in whom it placed confidence, in order to replace the deceased Señor Zea. It was of the greatest importance to Colombia, and to the other American States, to be recognized by the Government of His Majesty the King of Great Britain, who has so much power and influence in Europe, and whose Subjects had always manifested the greatest desire for the triumph of the cause of American Independence. But, notwithstanding such a favourable disposition in the English Nation, and the steps successively and regularly taken by the Governments of Colombia, Buenos Ayres, Mexico, and Peru, the efforts of our Agent, in the Capital of the British Empire, continued for some time, ineffectual. The great event of the recognition of the Independence of Colombia, Mexico, and the United Provinces of the Rio de la Plata, by England, was not realized till the commencement of 1825. In the preceding Year, Commissioners from His Britannick Majesty resided in this Capital; Consuls were likewise appointed in our Ports, but to their Letters Patent the Government could not concede the Exequatur, in consequence of the form in which they were drawn up. The recognition of our Independence being resolved upon, the same Commissioners, competently authorized, negotiated a Treaty of Perpetual Friendship, Commerce, and Navigation, between Colombia and Great Britain. This Treaty, being founded on the basis of reciprocal equality, obtained the Ratification of the respective Governments; and, from that period, our relations with Great Britain have been sincere and cordial. Great and mutual interests, principally commercial, unite the two Nations, so that it behoves them to cultivate the intercourse and friendship of their respective People.
The Executive of Colombia receives frequent proofs of the lively interest that the British Cabinet takes, in promoting the American Cause, with those Governments which have most influence in the Spanish Councils, to incline them to recognize our Independence, and thereby to give Peace to America. Such good offices, and the just and liberal principles upon which the English Government has acted, cause us daily still more to appreciate its friendship for the New States. It may hasten that epoch, which is not perhaps very remote, when the happy moment shall have arrived, in which the ob stinacy of His Catholick Majesty shall be overcome, and general Peace benefit our Hemisphere. The open wounds of this protracted War will then be healed, and a vast field for prosperity and affluence will be opened by a free Commerce with all Nations.
Other Governments of Europe, besides England, have manifested a wish to form Relations with the Republick. That of Portugal, since 1821, has taken direct steps towards the recognition of the Nes States of America, which however have had no definite result, oring probably to the difficult circumstances in which that Kingdom bas, subsequently, been placed. His Majesty the King of Sweden and Norway sent his Consul-General in The United States, to this Capital, for the purpose of concluding a Provisional Arrangement for Commerce, but which was not carried into effect from the absence of certain preliminary formalities. Nothing has been advanced in the matter, pero haps on account of the delay in appointing the Mission, which the Executive Power has for some time had it in contemplation to send to the Northern Courts of Europe.
The Government of His Majesty the King of The Netherlands hal likewise manifested, since 1824, a wish to form Relations with Colombia.
The Chevalier de Quartell, in consequence, arrived at the Capital, and he was received with all the consideration due to the Government by which he had been appointed. The Government of The Netherlands has recently appointed Consuls to Colombia, agreeably to the forms established by Nations, which, as I have before stated, include the recognition of our Independence.
The Executive Power, from the commencement of its Administration, was aware of the importance it was to Colombia, that it should be recognized by France. No opportunity, or means compatible with its dignity, has, therefore, been spared, to induce the Cabinet of His Most Christian Majesty to accede to this measure. Although this has not hitherto been accomplished, steps bave been taken towards an understanding between the two Governments, which, combined with the Commercial Interests of France in Colombia and in the other American States, give well founded reasons for believing, that the time is not distant, when the Government of His Most Christian Majesty will recognize us as an independent Nation. This event will influence in a great measure the other Courts of Europe in favour of American Independence, especially the Cabinet of His Catholick Majesty which is so closely united to that of France.
Since the Legation which was sent in 1820, by the Government of Colombia to Madrid, no communication has been made, nor have any direct steps been taken, by Spain, towards the recognition of the in dependence of the Republick. The Executive Power has nevertheless omitted nothing to promote an affair of such importance, by every means in its power. There is a well founded hope that ere long this desired result will be obtained.
The Government has likewise endeavoured to establish Relations with the Apostolick See, to which it determined to send an Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary, soon after the publication of the Constitution. It was however delayed, in consequence of certain difficulties which occurred, and the Mission at Rome has not yet produced the good effect which was expected, from the motives which I have had the honour to state to Congress.
Notwithstanding that some of the European Powers have not recognized the Independence of Colombia, but have even given cause of complaint to the Republick, they have all observed a Neutrality, and the Colombian Flag has been admitted into their Ports, as well as into those of some of the States of Barbary. And the enterprise and speculations of our Citizens, have displayed themselves in the greater part of the Commercial World.
The Government has taken the greatest care to promote the principles of friendship and reciprocal communication, observing on its part an equality towards all Nations whose Ships arrive in the Ports of Colombia, as well as the most rigorous justice with respect to the Re
clamations on the part of Neutral Powers. Notwithstanding the ex. tended War which has been carried on between Colombia and its ancient Mother Country, the complicated interests of other Nations, and the necessity of employing Privateers against Spanish Commerce, the Executive enjoys the satisfaction of knowing that, hitherto, it has not only been enabled to maintain a good intelligence with the Neutrals, but likewise to improve its relations with some of them. This bas been effected, by adhering to strict justice, and by a timely observance of the recognized principles of the rights and customs of all Nations.
The Government has scrupulously fulfilled the Decrees of Congress, by which they have approved of the different Conventions and Treaties concluded between Colombia and other Nations, as well as the Laws established on various points relative to the Department of exterior relations. Should the Executive Power judge it requisite to make any reforms they will in due time be proposed to Congress.
The brief sketch which I have now given of the actual state of the Foreign Affairs of Colombia, compared with that in which it was at the time of the publication of the Constitution, as well as of the progress which has been made during the Constitutional period of the present Administration, is gratifying to the Government. The order, regularity, and principles of justice and equality, which were proposed, and which have been strictly and constantly observed by the Executive, have improved the exterior relations of the Republick, and have established them upon a solid basis. There are well founded hopes of further important improvements; and, when these shall have been accomplished, the propitious day will probably be at hand, when Peace will be proclaimed throughout the New American States.
JOSE MANUEL RESTREPO. Bogota, 21st March, 1827. 17o.
REPORT of the Minister of Finance to the Chamber of
Deputies of Portugal.--15th February, 1827. (Extract.)
(Translation.) Estimate of the Receipt and Expenditure of the Publick Treasury for
the Year 1827.
DIRECT CONTRIBUTIONS, VIZ: General.
Milreis. Last Year ......
14,850 Tithe of the whole Kingdom.........
981,940 New Duties......... do ..............
103,661 Sealing Grants and Legal Papers
105,329 Excise Duties