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quences when transplanted into new situations), spread their influence beyond the limits of the town to which they nominally belonged. In Europe, the power and influence of the baron occu. pied all the country; and it was much if the town could preserve its own independence. In the new world, however, there were no barons; and the influence of the Cabildo extended to the whole district around. The whole territory, therefore, became divided among the Cabildos ; and thus, the basis which they form for the erection of a new government is so much the more complete and satisfactory. The powers, too, which they engrofled, corresponded with their new situation. Il arriva,' says Depons,
que, n'ayant aucun autre tribunal pour contre-poids, les. Cabil. dos, dans les provinces dépendantes de Caraccas, donnerent à leurs attributions plus d'etendue qu'elles n'en eurent jamais en Espagne. Tous, excepte le militaire, y fut de leur reffort.' It is abundantly evident from all this, that there exists in South America such an elementary organization, emanating from the country, as affords a security against confusion, and a foundation on which to build ; in all respects as good, to say the least, as existed in Holland, at the time when the threw off her dependence upon Spain, and erected a comparatively happy government for herself.
The small extent, however, of Holland, enabled her to proceed in a manner somewhat different from that which circumstances point out as the necessary course for South America. Her whole territory might be considered as included within the jurisdiction of the seven principal municipalities; and it was easy for these to join together in a sort of a confederacy, without tumult or confusion. It is evident, on the other hand, that in a country of such vast extent as South America, or even its great divisions, this is impracticable. It is the representative system alone which, in circumstances like these, can ever afford a good government. The problem, then, with regard to South America, is, how the representative system can be ingraffed upon the Cabildos, and upon that stock of organization which is rooted in the country.
The most important question which occurs here, is, whether the national representatives shall be elected by the members of the Cabildos, or by the electors of these members. Both plans are exemplified in Great Britain. In Scotland, it is the magistrates of the towns, corresponding to the members of the Cabildos, that vote for members of Parliament. In England, where the principles of freedom were always more powerfully afferted, it is the electors of the magistrates, the townsmen themselves, that generally chuse the representatives. Without entering into the details of this question, we shall
state ftate the grand principle which ought to guide in all deliberations of this fort. There is one danger in rendering the basis of a representation too wide. There is another danger in rendering it too narrow. In rendering it too wide, you incur the inconveniences of the ignorant and precipitate pallions of the vulgar. In rendering it too narrow, you incur, what is still worse, the mischiefs of bribery and corruption. If the electors of the Cabildos would form too wide a basis, there is reason to dread that the Cabildos themselves would form one too narrow. The difficulty, however, might probably be got over, by establishing provincial assemblies, for the members of which almost all the inhabitants might have a vote, while the great national legislator was elected by the members of the Cabildos alone.
Much, however, still remains, and perhaps of the most delicate operations to the composition of a complete government. There is the appointment of that primary magistrate, call him King, Consul, Inca, * or by whatever name shall be most to the public taste, to whom those affairs are entrusted which require immediate decision, and which a numerous assembly cannot perform. There is the provision of a fabric of responGbility-responsibility not in name only but in fact,- which, hitherto, has hardly been regarded as a part of legislation, but without which good legislation will never long prevail. There is the whole, too, of that most important department, the judicative, which itill, even in the best governed countries, remains in so deplorable a ftate. - But we have already exhausted our limits. If it appear, as we trust it will, that our government is disposed to set about the great work in earnest, and if it seems, to men wiser than ourselves, that any good is likely to be derived from pursu. ing our speculations, we shall gladly resume the subject on a future occafion. In the mean time, we are anxious to warn those persons, to whom the glorious task of regenerating South America may fall, not to be duped by the common division, on which to many changes have been rung, of the powers of government into the legislative, the executive, and the judicative. It is a division not inconvenient for the ordinary purposes of discourse ; but at bottom so vague and inaccurate, that some of the most deep-rooied errors and the greatest mistakes in politics have arisen from it. For complete information on this point, we refer our readers 10 Mr Bentham, ' Traités de Legislation,' t. i. p. 319, par Dumont; and A Fragment on Government,' p. 46, published ano'nymously in 1776. For many other important objects connected
* It is worth mentioning, that Inca, as a name dear to South A. meriça, is what General Miranda has proposed.
with the same speculations, we would earnestly recommend another little book, published a few years ago at Edinburgh, entitled, “ Thoughts on Public Trusts,' which we think entitled to far greater notoriety than it has ever attained; for it contains more of valuable thinking on constitutional legislation than most other books with which we are acquainted. In regard to the whole of the judicative branch, including both tribunals and laws, invaluable instruction might be obtained from the works of Mr Bentham, -the man, unquestionably, of all who have ever lived, by far the best qualified to give advice on this subject.
With regard to the particular mode in which it would be most prudent to employ the British influence at this crisis, it is not necessary, nor perhaps proper, that we should say much. One circumstance is peculiarly fortunate, that the employment of troops has become, if not altogether, at least in a very great degree, unnecessary. Another happy circumstance is, that the influence of the country itself can be combined with that of Britain in making those fraternal advances to South America which the exigencies of the time so urgently demand. There is a passage, presenting some curious thoughts, so applicable to the present occasion, that we cannot forbear transcribing it, in a Memorial of Governor Pownall, published so long ago as 1780, entitled, ' A Memorial, most humbly addressed to the Sovereigns of Europe, on the present State of Affairs between the Old and New World;' ibe passage may be seen at p. 26. of a curious volume, entitled, · Three Memorials, most humbly addressed to the Sovereigns of Europe, Great Britain, and North America, by T. Pownall,'
"I would,' says he, by a detailed description of the nature of the country; of the application of the labour of the country to its capabilities; of the state of the community as it lies in nature, and as it is actuated; all compared with the constitution and administration of the government which is established there ; with the spirit of the people, both Old Spaniards, Creoles, and Indians, show that South America is growing too much for Spain to manage ; that it is in power to be independent, and will be so in act, whenever, and as soon as, any occasion shall call forth that power. Whenever such revolt takes place, it will not be after the manner, or in the form of that of North America. North America, building on the foundation of its dominion as it lies in nature, has become a democratic or aristocratic republic. The falling off of South America will be conducted, in its natural progress, by the spirit of some injured enterprizing genius, taking the lead of a sense of alienation, and of a disposition of reyolt, to the establishment of a great monarchy.'
It is curious, indeed, to contemplate with what uniformity great men have every where, and at all times, thought upon this subject. After some melancholy reflections upon the immediate consequences of the discovery of South America, Montaigne (Essais, Liv. iii. ch. 6.) exclaims, · Que n'est tombée soubs Alexandre, ou soubs ces anciens Grecs et Romains, une si noble conqueste : et une si grande mutation et alteration de tant d'empires et de peuples, soubs des mains, qui eussent doucement poly et defriché ce qu'il y avoit de sauvage : et eussent conforté et promeu les bonnes semences que nature y avoit produit : meslant non seulement à la culture des terres, et ornement des villes, les arts de deça, entant qu'elles y eussent esté necessaires, mais aussi, meslant les vertus Grecques et Romaines, aux originelles du pays ! Quelle reparation eust-ce esté, et quel amendement à toute cette machine, que les premiers exemples et deportmens nostres, qui se sont presentez par dela, eussent appelle ces peuples à l'admiration, et imitation de la vertu, et eussent dressé entre-eux et nous, une fraternelle societé et intelligence! Combien il eust esté aisé, de faire son profit, d'ames si neuves, si affamées d'apprentissage, ayants, pour la plus part, de si beaux commencemens naturels !'
Les Indes et l'Espagne,' says Montesquieu, (Esprit des Lais, Liv. xxi. ch. 22.), sont deux puissances sous un même maître ; mais les Indes sont le principal ; l'Espagne n'est que l'accessoire. En vain la politique prétend de ramener le principal à l'accessoire ; les Indes attirent toujours l'Espagne à elles.'
With regard to the persons whom the unfortunate catastrophe of Spain may compel to seek refuge across the Atlantic, but whose unwelcome interference would be attended with much inconvenience, and perhaps disaster, in the delicate moment of regulation and change, a very easy expedient presents itself. Let them be received into Cuba, where they may remain till the new constitution is established ; and, afterwards, let them be admitted into the Continent upon the footing of citizens and brothers.
There is one other caution which we are still anxious to impress upon our countrymen. In looking to the advantages of friendship and of commerce, which will flow spontaneously in such abundance from the freedom and prosperity of South America, let them not be too eager to stipulate for monopolies. In the first place, it will have an illiberal and rapacious appearance. In the next place, it is not only unprofitable, but worse than unprofitable. That merchants should still cry aloud for monopolies, is not, perhaps, very wonderful; because, in regard to this or that individual, what is other men's loss, may be their gain. But it is matter of indignation, that any thing in the shape of a ministry, or of a legismature, should need the demonstration to be re
peatedly peated to them (for demonstration it is, complete as any in Euclid,) of the elementary proposition, that monopolies are disad. vantageous. Since it is but too clear, however, that the repetition is necessary, it must, of course, be given. The effect, then, of any degree of monopoly, in our favour, exacted from the South Americans for the protection afforded them, would be, to yield a greater profit than usual to the merchants who would deal with them. But one set of merchants are never contented to have a small profit, while their neighbours are making a large one. Any permanent enhancement of the rate of profit in any one branch of trade, raises it proportionally in all others. Monopoly, therefore, afforded us, in any quarter of the world, raises the price of all commodities at home; and that exactly in proportion to the extent, or, in the vulgar idea, to the value of that monopoly. The consequence of this necessarily is, to thrust us out of other markets. The creating, therefore, of a-monopoly in our favour in one country, is just creating a monopoly against us in all other countries,--the monopoly of nature, which executes itselfs, which needs no stipulations; no guarda costas, nor revenue officers for its security.
In submitting these views and these details to the consideration of our readers, we have been actuated chiefly by the desire of communicating to them those pleasing and comfortable inpressions for which we would now look in vain in any other branch of political speculation. We have also been anxious, no doubt, to turn to the consideration of this most important subject the many powerful understandings to which it may not hitherto have presented itself; and thus to secure to the undertaking the benefit of a freer and more extended discussion than it has yet had the fortune to receive. Something, too, may perhaps be gained by interesting the nation at large in a project which has hitherto beeir almost exclusively the nurseling of ministers ; and thus binding the government to more prompt and effectual exertions, in behalf of a eause which may have become popular as well as important. We have stated nothing that has not been long known to our enemies, both in Europe and in America; and nothing but good, it is evident, can result from its being generally known anong ourselves.
ART. III. Account of Steam Engines.- from a Treatise on Me.
chanics, Theoretical, Practical, and Descriptive. By Olinthus · Gregory, A. M. Second Edition. London. 1807.
TT is necessary to explain, why, instead of taking this entire work for a subject of review, we have confined ourselves to a