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TONNAGE OF BRITAIN, FRANCE, &c. 45 Of Boston . . Tons 149,121
New York 268,548 Second only to that of London.
.: 125,258 Baltimore 103,444 Charleston 52,888
Now, in 1817, the whole tonnage employed in foreign trade is much less than it was in 1810. So much has peace all over the world lessened the external commerce of the United States. The tonnage of Britain has not grown with a rapidity equal to that of America ; for, in 1700, it was only, 273,693 tons; in 1750, 690,798 tons; in 1800, 1,269,329 tons; in 1813, 1,579,715 tons. In 1787, France owned only 300,000 tons, in her foreign trade; in 1800, only 98,304 tons. In 1804, the nations round the Baltic, including Norway and Holstein, owned only 493,417 tons, not half the tonnage of the United States.
The extensive and rapidly increasing coasting trade, as well as the fisheries of the United States, will not only augment the wealth and comfort of the American people, but will always ensure a large body of excelIent seamen for the supply of the navy, when wanted. The American navy, formerly proscribed as a burden and curse to the country, seems at length to have fought itself into favour with all parties. Its heroic achievements and splendid success, during the late war with England, and its present commanding attitude in the Mediterranean, have elevated the character of the country, and conferred an imperishable glory upon its own name; and justly claims the support and honour of the government and people, both in peace and in war, now and for ever. The American navy consiste of nearly one hundred ships, brigs, and schooners, besides small sloops, and gun-boats-of which nine are rated at seventy-four, but carry ninety guns; ten fortyfour guns; one thirty-eight guns; two thirty-six guns ; two thirty-two guns, and thirty from twenty-eight to sixteen guns. · The actual number far exceeds the rate of guns in all the classes of vessels. Congress has
made ample appropriations for the annual increase of the navy; so that the United States, in all probability, will soon be able to send out fleets sufficiently numerous to cope with any European power, for the mastery of that element, whose dominion invariably confers a paramount influence among all the sovereignties of the earth. The number of naval officers, at the commencement of the last war, were thirteen captains, nine masters commanding, and seventy lieutenants. The promotions during the war were sixteen captains, twentyeight masters commanding, and one hundred and twenty lieutenants. The promotions since the peace have been ten captains, nineteen masters commanding, and sixty-eight lieutenants.
An almost universal notion prevails in this country, that the commerce of the United States will be prodigiously benefited by the emancipation of the Spanish American colonies, and throwing open their trade to the world. But this is at least problematical, because those immense regions produce all the staples of the United States, and many more also, and would find, in the event of their emancipation and free trade, a more profitable market in Britain than in the United States, and in return, England could supply them with manufactured goods, better in quality, more abundant in quantity, and at a lower rate, than any other country can possibly do. A proof of this is to be found in the fact, that the influx of British goods into the United States, since the
peace of 1815, has destroyed or suspended a great portion of our American manufacturing establishments; a fortiori, then, American cannot contend with British manufactures in foreign markets, seeing that they are beat in the unequal competition at home, upon their own ground, although aided by protecting duties.
It appears somewhat doubtful, whether the Spanish colonies, unassisted by any other power, will be able, eventually, to shake off the yoke of Old Spain ; for, during nearly ten years of revolutionary movements, they do not seem to have shown the intelligence, skill, reflection, forecast, combination, and perseverance, re
EMANCIPATION OF SPANISH AMERICA.
47 quisite to establish a free government. The hands of England, probably, are tied up by the Treaty of Vienna; and the United States government do not seem disposed to interfere, as they passed an Act of Congress, a few months since, forbidding the transportation of men, and arms, and ammunition, from our American ports to aid the revolted colonies. The President, in his Message of the second of December, 1817, states, that our citizens sympathize with the Spanish Americans, but the United States government have maintained, and will continue to maintain, a strict neutrality between the contending parties, keeping their ports open to both, and seeking no exclusive commercial advantage from the colonies, if they shall become independent. Nevertheless, the United States government have ordered the settlements on Amelia Island, at the mouth of St. Mary's River, near the boundary of Georgia, and at Galvestown, in the Gulf of Mexico, made by the Spanish Americans, to be broken up by our troops; and have sent commis, sioners along the southern coast of Spanish America, to communicate with the existing authorities, and claim redress for past and prevention of future injuries. France and Spain both materially assisted the American colonies in their revolt from the mother country; and, doubtless, any government, whether military, or monarchical, or republican, provided the Hispano-Americans could establish their own national sovereignty and independence, would be infinitely preferable to the colonial system of Old Spain-a system which enslaves both body and mind, and debases the human animal below the condition of the brutes that perish. In all probability, if their national independence were once fixed, in whatever form, and under how many sovereignties soever, the felicitous contagion of liberty would spread from the United States, and gradually improve the spirit, and liberalize the character and conduct of the new-born dynasties.
The reader may find considerable information on this subject, by consulting the “ Outline of the Revolution in Spanish America, &c.” by a South American, first
published in London, and republished in New York, in November, 1817. This work gives a full and fair account of the origin, progress, and actual state of the war between Spain and Spanish America, down to the close of the year 1816. The “ Letter to Mr. Monroe," on the Spanish American revolution, supposed to be written by Mr. H. Brackenridge, is an able and spirited performance; it advises our government to acknowledge the independence of the Hispano-American provinces, as soon as they become independent de facto ; but not to go to war with Spain on their account; nor to aid them with men, money, arms, or ammunition. See also a very able article in the Quarterly Review, for November, 1817, respecting Spain and her colonies; in which the writer maintains it to be the duty of Britain, either to observe a strict neutrality, or to mediate amicably between the contending parties. This article contains much valuable information respecting Spanish America, and some profound and accurate observations on the different characteristics of its population and of that of the United States.
The advantages of the emancipation of Spanish America will pervade the whole world; but, in the first instance, will be more particularly directed towards England. The liberation of this immense region from colonial bondage has engaged the attention of some of the most distinguished statesmen, in this country and in Europe. Early in the first revolutionary war, a Jesuit, born in Arequipa, in the province of Peru, addressed the Spanish colonists, and called upon them to establish a free and independent government, which might at once secure their own prosperity and happiness, and open a liberal intercourse of reciprocal benefits with the rest of the world. This enlightened ecclesiastic, who exhibits an intimate acquaintance with the most approved principles of political philosophy; died in London, in 1798, and left his manuscript papers in the hands of the Honourable Rufus King, at that time minister in Britain, from the United States. Some of these papers was afterward printed, through the intervention of General
EMANCIPATION OF SPANISH AMERICA.
Miranda, for the purpose of being distributed among his countrymen, previous to his unsuccessful expedition in 1806.
Perhaps the greatest commercial benefit, resulting from the emancipation of Spanish America, would be the formation of a navigable passage across the isthmus of Panama, the junction of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The expense of such an undertaking would not exceed three or four millions sterling; and Britain could not more profitably employ twenty or thirty thousand of her distressed labourers than in executing such a task, under the superintendence of competent engineers. The completion of this navigation would give England the command of the commerce of the whole world, and soon compensate her for all the toil, and wealth, and blood, which she has expended during twenty-five years of unexampled warfare, waged for the redemption of Europe from revolutionary bondage.
In the year 1790, the scheme of Spanish American emancipation was first proposed to Mr. Pitt by General Miranda, and met with a cordial reception; but was soon afterward laid aside, on account of Britain and Spain resuming their pacific relations with each other. In the year 1797, Miranda was met at Paris by deputies and commissioners from Mexico and the other principal provinces of Spanish America, for the purpose of concerting with him the means of emancipating their country. It was decided that Miranda should, in their name, repair to England, and communicate their propositions to the British government; one of which was to join the Atlantic and Pacific at the expense of the colonies, and another to cede the Floridas to the United States, the Mississippi being proposed as the boundary between the two nations; and the stipulation of a small military force, from the Anglo-Americans, to aid the establishment of the proposed independence. It was also proposed to resign all the islands which belong to the Spaniards, excepting Cuba, the possession of which is rendered necessary by the situation of the Havanna, commanding the passage from the Gulf of Mexico. This