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Such are some of the advantages, which the cause of South American independence will derive, from a single body of delegates convened from all the states, especially in the first stages of their national existence. The next important step is to secure a permanent peace, not only in regard to their standing with foreign nations, but with each other. It is of vast moment, at the outset of their political intercourse, that such measures should be concerted, and maxims adopted, as will be mutually understood and received. By judicious arrangements of this sort, the usual causes of national differences and discord will in a good degree be obviated, a uniformity of thinking on these subjects will gradually diffuse itself through the different parts, and a similarity of habits and opinions prevail. In short, each will see its real interests in their true light, and be ready to make sacrifices, where they are required from another. The governments of South America are all established on precisely the same principles, their condition has hitherto been the same, they have thrown off the same yoke of oppression, and they have before them the same difficulties to encounter in their national progress; they speak the same language, have the same manners, domestic habits, and characteristic peculiarities. It follows, of course, that similar laws and political institutions are strictly applicable to the whole. In this respect there can be no essential difference between Mexico and Chile, Buenos Ayres and Colombia. Yet some of these governments are separated by so wide a distance from others, that the bonds of national sympathy will every day become weaker, distinctive national habits will spring up, and, as in all other nations, not cemented by any local attachments, rival interests will begin to take rool, and the seeds of discord to be scattered, and the fair blossoms of peace to be blasted. With every hope realised, the day will come, perhaps, when these evils will have a being, but this is no reason why their causes should not be timely cut off to as great a degree as possible. And since there is such an entire similarity in everything pertaining to the people of these countries, and in the principles of the governments they are constituting, it is evident, that they are in a condition to be guided by one general system, formed by a united voice. And it is moreover evident, that this same harmony of character, customs, opinion, and feeling, may be turned to the best account in promoting a universal spirit of conciliation and peace. An assembly of representatives, such as that at Panamá, is the only body, that could frame and give authority to a system, that would be suited to this uniformity of character, condition, and interests.

Peace will be preserved, not only by such a system, adapted alike to the institutions and internal policy of each government, but also by having a tribunal of weight and authority, representing the interests of all parties, to which may be referred national differences, the exposition of doubtful points in national law, the settlement of disputed rights and titles, and the interpretation of treaties. Many a long and bloody war would have been avoided in the old world, had these points been clearly defined, and understood in the same sense by the parties, before a difference of opinion, or a misapprehension, had kindled animosity, and an imaginary injury had prompted to unseasonable aggression.

Lastly, a general Congress is calculated to afford the most perfect guaranty, which can be given, of the security of the several states, or of the enjoyment of their rights and privileges as independent sovereignties. As the representatives meet on reciprocal grounds, the very essence of the confederacy will be a pledge to conduct their deliberations, and form their decisions, on principles of perfect reciprocity. It is only upon this basis, indeed, that the Congress can exist at all, and if this be removed, the union will necessarily dissolve. While such an assembly continues, therefore, in the full and active exercise of its delegated powers, the states individually can have no stronger safeguard to their rights as separate governments. A majority in the assembly will rule, but the interests of each member of the confederacy are nearly the interests of all the others, that a case can hardly occur, in which a majority would come to a decision essentially detrimental to the minority, and not at the same time be equally so to themselves. The extraordinary circumstance already repeated, that is, the remarkable similarity of interests on all subjects, which will be brought before this body, guards its deliberations with a system of checks and balances, which leaves it no power to act, while it acts at all as a united assembly, except for the common good. This must

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inevitably be the character of the assembly, unless it can be supposed, that the majority will conspire to accelerate their own ruin,

Navigation and commerce are yet in their infancy in the South American republics; the laws of nations concerning this kind of intercourse are very imperfectly understood there, as well as the theory of the freedom of trade, and the rights of neutrals in time of war. Obstacles, which have proved most serious to the peace and prosperity of the old countries, will be removed, if the laws of international communication can be defined by a competent tribunal at this period, and be watched over and interpreted as occasions may hereafter require. In the administration of justice, and the general forms of interpal government, the laws of Old Spain still prevail throughout Spanish America. These must gradually be reformed, and abolished, and their place supplied by others in unison with the spirit of free constitutions. Such a change must be produced slowly, but it will be done much more surely, when promoted by the influence of a general Congress, which will collectively be acquainted with the condition and wants of the separate republics, and be able to apply such counsels and such remedies as are most needed, and as will command the confidence and respect of the people.

But we aimed only at a few hints on this subject, and have already transgressed our intended limits. As far as we can collect the views of the South American writers, froin such of their remarks as we have seen, it may be expected, that the inmediate attention of the Congress will be drawn to some or all of the following topics, as enumerated in the Gaceta de Colombia of the 27th of February, 1825.

1. To form a solemn compact, or league, by which the states, whose representatives are present, will be bound to unite in prosecuting the war against their common enemy, Old Spain, or against any other power, which shall assist Spain in her hostile designs, or any otherwise assume the attitude of an enemy.

2. To draw up and publish a manifesto, setting forth to the world the justice of their cause, and the relations they desire to hold with other christian powers.

3. To form a convention of navigation and commerce, applicable both to the confederated states, and to their allies.

4. To consider the expediency of combining the forces of the republics, to free the islands of Puerto Rico and Cuba from the yoke of Spain, and, in such case, what contingent each ought to contribute for this end.

5. To take measures for joining in a prosecution of the war at sea, and on the coasts of Spain.

6. To determine whether these measures shall also be extended to the Canary and Phillipine islands.

7. To take into consideration the means of making effectual the declaration of the President of the United States, respecting any ulterior design of a foreign power to colonise any portion of this continent, and also the means of resisting all interference from abroad with the domestic concerns of the American governments.

8. To settle by common consent the principles of those rights of nations, which are in their nature controvertible.

9. To determine on what footing shall be placed the political and commercial relations of those portions of our hemisphere, which have obtained, or shall obtain their independence, but whose independence has not been recognised by any American or European power, as was for many years the case with Hayti.

This is a formidable list of subjects, and enough to show, that, if they should all be discussed, the first Congress at Panamá will not have an idle session. As to the question, whether the United States ought to join in the confederacy, it can hardly be doubted, that such a step would at present be bighly inexpedient. Nearly all the topics for primary consideration, are such as pertain exclusively to the local interests of the South American republics; any close alliance, or active interference of the United States, would embarrass, rather than facilitate some of the most important deliberations of the Congress. Besides, our friendly relations with Old Spain render it impossible for us to participate in any measures of war, or hostility, either by counsel or action, which her enemies may think themselves compelled to adopt. The pledge of the President of the United States may be considered as sacred and permanent, so far as the warm and universal approbation of the country, when it was given, may be regarded as clothing it with such a character. In his message to Congress two years ago, speaking of the European powers, President Monroe used

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the following dignified and decided language. We owe it to candor, and to the amicable relations existing between the United States and those powers, to declare, that we should consider any attempt on their part, to extend their system to any portion of this hemisphere, as dangerous to our peace and safety. With the existing colonies or dependencies of any European power, we have not interfered, and shall not interfere. But with the governments, who have declared their independence and maintained it, and whose independence we have, on great consideration and on just principles acknowledged, we could not view any interposition for the purpose of oppressing them, or controlling in any other manner their destiny, by any European power, in any other light, than as the manifestation of an unfriendly disposition towards the United States.' The South Americans cannot want a more hearty and decided expression of interest in their concerns, and of friendly feeling towards them, than is contained in this paragraph. The government of the United States has recognised the independence of all the republics, and formed with thein on mutual terms the relations of sovereign and independent nations. Should the great cause of American freedom be assailed, whether at the north or the south, the people of the United States will be ready to take up arms, and unite with all the friends of liberty on the continent in desence of their common rights. At such a crisis there would be strong motives for a union of counsel, in a general congress of delegates collected from every part of America. As it is contemplated, that the Congress of Panamá shall be a permanent body, holding its sessions statedly from time to time, the day may arrive, when the local affairs of the south will be so adjusted, that there will be few national interests in those countries, which are not common to the north. At such a period, also, a union may with great propriety be formed.

But notwithstanding we think it would be manifestly premature and impolitic, for the United States to join the confederacy at this stage of the business, yet there are many reasons why representatives from our government should be present, and take part in such discussions as effect our immediate interests, and be prepared to express the sense of the government on all topics of general concern. Let the acts of the Congress be what they may, since they will apply to all the southern re

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