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(28.)-Manifesto of the Provisional Junta of Government, to the People of Mexico, on the state of the Country, and its Relations with Spain.-13th October, 1821.
AFTER the long night of three ages, in which America has lain plunged in darkness, the aurora of her felicity has at last burst forth; that day has dawned for which she has sighed, and which she desires may be perpetual. This consummation would never have been obtained, had it not been founded in justice, and were not justice to be. the basis of the Government on which it is to be consolidated. The Junta has the satisfaction to announce, that both considerations are combined in the emancipation which we have accomplished.
Nature has marked out the Territories of Nations by Rivers, Mountains, and other Boundaries, which establish their limits. How many States are divided by the Po and the Rhine, as the Alps and the Pyrenees divide France from Italy and from Spain! Immense Seas and a vast space divide America from the latter; distances which not only make them different as Kingdoms, but establish them as belonging to two different Worlds. Policy must necessarily conform to the order of Nature, and as it would be monstrous to put together the contrary elements of fire and water, it would be equally so, to unite into one Province, People who are distinct and distant from each other, especially if that distinction and distance extend to the extremities of the two Worlds, and embrace all the contrarieties which climate can occasion. As two vast Globes, with opposite movements, cannot revolve without embarrassment upon one axis, but each requires its own; in the same manner, two Empires, of distinct and opposite qualities, require two Governments, and are not capable of being united in one, which could never be sufficient to govern both properly.
If, occasionally, the order of Nature be violated, in departing from the Boundaries she fixes, it must happen, as with fire enclosed within Mines, that an explosion will ultimately take place. The two Spains, Old and New, or, what is the same thing, Castile and Mexico, which have hitherto borne those names, belong to distinct Regions of the Earth, to different portions of the Globe, to opposite zones of the sphere; differences, which at once evince the Justice of their separation. If they have been united, like Esau and Jacob, in the womb of Rebecca, and have long remained so; this alone, giving to the latter her growth, has rendered it necessary that they should separate, as those twins did, first from the maternal bosom, and afterwards in their Descendants.
The growth of Nations constitutes, successively, their youth and virility, ages which demand their separation. It is very natural that when a Nation arrives at these ages, it should refuse to depend upon one whose assistance it no longer needs, in order to act for itself. If,
even among brutes, the teats of the dam are forsaken by the offspring, which has now become capable of receiving other aliment than milk; if the chick whose wings have grown, flies alone, and no longer suffers itself to be guided by the bird which formerly conducted it; if the pubescent virgin consents to the nuptials which compel her to abandon the paternal dwelling, in order to form a new family; is it not just that America, having acquired the strength which justifies it, should emancipate herself?
It has been long since she arrived at her youth; but it has also been long since assent was refused to her emancipation, for before that was accomplished she had attained the age of virility, which justified it still more. The qualities which demonstrate that age are to be found in her; both the moral ones of refinement and intelligence, and the physical ones of arms and Population. The increase of their families alone prevented Abraham and Lot from dwelling together, and they took different routes in order to live separate.
Why then deny to America the justice which may assist her in emancipating herself, supposing this to be her situation and circumstances? Must she not listen to the voice of nature, which speaks to her even through her insensible organs? May she not burst, like the plant, the teguments which covered her when young? Must she be for ever in pupilage though at the age of puberty, and must she remain a child of the family even when she is both able and willing to shake off the paternal Authority? But even this is not all: nature tells her still more, especially through the organ of reason.
Whenever the bird can force the door of its cage, or any other animal break the ligaments which confine it, they do not hesitate a moment in so doing, for reason teaches them to seek their own happiness. This justifies still more the Independence of America. She has been able to burst her fetters in order to acquire her liberty, and to escape from the yoke which impeded her prosperity, and placed her labour, industry, commerce, and all her movements, within such bounds and restraints as might enfeeble them, in order to make preponderant the importance of the Mother Country, or rather in order that the sole and absolute authority might be vested in the latter. Between the power and the performance in this case, and with respect to such high and interesting objects as are dictated by nature and demonstrated by reason, there ought to be no space whatever, for they immediately touch each other.
The Provisional Board of Government installed for these purposes, in consequence of their attainment, and the occupation of the Capital, has no other objects in view. It has been assembled, in order to found, perfect, and perpetuate them. The fundamental principles of Government which they have adopted, appertain to the first: the mode of proceeding upon which they have resolved, to the second: the ties and
ligaments which they have proposed to themselves, to the third: and they expose them all to the People, in order that they may judge of the sincerity and propriety of their intentions and conduct.
The foundations should correspond to the edifice, and are what give it its principal strength. The principles of Government which have been adopted, conformably to the Plan of Iguala and the Treaty of Cordova, are those received by the most illustrious Nations. A representative in preference to an absolute Government, a limited Monarchy, and a Constitutional System with which we are already acquainted, are the fundamental maxims, the corner stone of our edifice. There is nothing to apprehend from any opposition to these ideas, nor from those which will not bear the light of day. The sentiments which animate us are purely liberal. Until the Meeting of the Cortes, the Spanish Constitution and Laws will be observed, so far as they are not inapplicable to the peculiar situation of the Country.
The plan of operations, or mode of proceeding of the Junta, has been to appoint a Regency to exercise the Executive Power, reserving to itself the Legislative Power, for such purposes as cannot be delayed until the Meeting of the Cortes, to whom this branch of the Government appertains. Had the Junta assumed this Power in its whole extent, it would have usurped it from the People; but if it were not to exercise it provisionally, in cases of urgency, the Government would remain defective; the necessities of the moment could not be provided for, nor the thousand junctures which may present themselves, be met.
To obviate both the one and the other, they have already prescribed to themselves a rule, not to sanction any thing, even provisionally, unless its nature be such that it will not admit of being delayed until the Meeting of the Cortes, to whom every thing else is referred. The wisdom of their measures, which involves the perfection of the liberty and happiness of the People, depends upon the choice which they may make of proper Representatives. It is the province of this Junta to inform them on the subject, in order that, all passions being laid aside, and intrigue and party spirit banished, they may have no other end in view than the welfare of the Country. For this the Junta is now labouring, and will take measures so that the Congress may be assembled in as short a time as possible.
In the mean time, the Publick Debt, so called, has been acknowledged, and ordered to be paid, as soon as matters are in condition to do so; at the same time a stop has been put to the arbitrary contributions with which the Inhabitants were oppressed, without any advantage to the Treasury. The first fact is announced for the satisfaction of the Creditors, the second for that of the Publick, and both as an evidence of the proceedings of the Government.
Would it were possible for the latter to pay another Debt, much greater, and of a superior kind, of which it confesses itself a Debtor. Such is that of the deserving Army, which, animated by the purest patriotism, and braving dangers and difficulties at the expense of inexpressible sacrifices, has consummated the arduous undertaking which Heaven was pleased to protect and crown with success. But there is no tongue to express what it deserves, nor hand to remunerate its services. Who is there competent to relate what all and each of its Individuals have performed; the actions which have signalized many of the Chiefs and Soldiers, especially the first, who animated the rest? What reward can we give them, or what can recompense their benefits? as Tobias the youth demanded of his father, speaking of his benefactor. We have no other choice, inasmuch as reward is impossible, but to manifest to them our gratitude; to which end many steps have been, and others will be, taken.
Finally, the bonds which the Junta has proposed to itself in order to insure and prolong our Independence, are, besides the union of the Inhabitants of the Empire, which constitutes one of the guarantees, an Alliance, Federation, and Commerce, with other Nations. The Spanish Nation, to whom we owe our origin, and to whom we are attached by the closest ties, ought to be the first and most privileged in our consideration. We do not content ourselves with the mere family connection which results from calling one of their Princes of the Royal Blood to our Empire. We aspire to more; we desire to unite ourselves in a fraternity which may turn to the advantage of the whole Nation, and to let it know that our political independence, to which we have been compelled by the causes set forth, does not loosen the bonds which unite us, nor cool our affections, which ought to be the more sincere, in order to destroy all resentment.
We desire, then, that our fraternity may be made known to the whole World: that European Spaniards, in virtue of that title alone, may domiciliate themselves in our Country, submitting themselves to its Laws, and to the superintendence of our Government; that our Ports may be opened to them for the purposes of trade, in such manner as may be arranged by our Laws, and that a preference may be given to them, as far as possible, above other Nations; that there may be established between them and us, if practicable and agreeable to them, a good reciprocal understanding, regulated by Definitive Treaties; and that in every thing there may appear the most cordial amity. With regard to Foreign Nations, we shall preserve harmony with all, and commercial relatious with others, as may be expedient.
The Junta congratulates itself that the People of the Empire will perceive, in what has been set forth, at least their desire for a successful result, which they expect from the patriotism and intelligence of
the Inhabitants, who may suggest to it whatever they may deem conducive to better government, and which the Junta will receive with due consideration.
ANTONIO, BISHOP OF PUEBLA, President. JUAN JOSE ESPINOSA DE LOS MONTEROS, Vocal Secretary. JOSE RAFAEL SUAREZ PEREDA, Vocal Secretary. Mexico, 13th October, 1821.
ORDONNANCE DU ROI, qui prescrit de Nouvelles Dispositions en ce qui concerne le Droit de Tonnage sur les Navires des Etats-Unis d'Amérique, et ceux à percevoir sur les Produits Naturels ou Manufacturés du même Pays, importés en France par des Navires de la même Puissance.
Au Château des Tuileries, le 3 Septembre, 1822.
Nous avons ordonné et ordonnons ce qui suit:
Art. 1. L'application de notre Ordonnance du 26 Juillet, 1820, portant que "les Droits de Tonnage qui se perçoivent sur les Navires Etrangers, à l'entrée des Ports de notre Royaume situés en Europe, seront remplacés, pour les Navires appartenant aux Etats Unis d'Amérique, par un droit spécial de 90 francs par Tonneau," sera suspendue, à partir du 1 Octobre prochain.
2. A dater de la même époque du 1 Octobre, et jusqu'à ce qu'il en soit autrement ordonné, les Produits Naturels ou Manufacturés des Etats-Unis d'Amérique, qui, lorsqu'ils sont importés par des Bâtimens appartenant à cette Puissance, paient, en vertu des Lois actuellement en vigueur, une surtaxe s'élevant à plus de 20 francs par Tonneau de mer, ne paieront qu'un droit additionnel de 20 francs par Tonneau en sus des droits payés sur les mêmes Produits Naturels ou Manufacturés des Etats-Unis, quand ils sont importés par Navires Français.
Ceux desdits produits dont la surtaxe ne s'élève pas à 20 francs par Tonneau, continueront à payer les taxes et surtaxes imposées par le Tarif Général, la présente Ordonnance ne devant être appliquée qu'à titre de réduction.
3. Les quantités suivantes seront considérées comme formant le Tonneau de Marchandises pour chacun des articles ci-après spécifiés :