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country which can not fail to be sensibly felt in its intercourse with other nations. The minister of Spain has essentially declared his inability to act in consequence of that change. With him, however, under his present powers nothing could be done. The attitude of the United States must now be assumed on full consideration of what is due to their rights, their interest and honor, without regard to the powers or incidents of the late mission. We may at pleasure occupy the territory which was intended and provided by the late treaty as an indemnity for losses so long since sustained by our citizens; but still, nothing could be settled definitively without a treaty between the two nations. Is this the time to make the pressure? If the United States were governed by views of ambition and aggrandizement, many strong reasons might be given in its favor; but they have no objects of that kind to accomplish, none which are not founded in justice and which can be injured by forbearance. Great hope is entertained that this change will promote the happiness of the Spanish nation. The good order, moderation, and humanity which have characterized the movement are the best guaranties of its success.
The United States would not be justified in their own estimation should they take any step to disturb its harmony. When the Spanish Government is completely organized on the principles of this change, as it is expected it soon will be, there is just ground to presume that our differences with Spain will be speedily and satisfactorily settled.
With these remarks I submit it to the wisdom of Congress whether it will not still be advisable to postpone any decision on this subject until the next session.
To the Senate of the United States:
WASHINGTON, May 11, 1820.
I transmit herewith to the Senate a report from the Secretary of State, together with the returns of causes depending in the courts of the United States, collected conformably to a resolution of the Senate of the 18th of January, 1819.
WASHINGTON, May 12, 1820.
The SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:
I transmit to the House of Representatives a report from the Secretary of State, with the document prepared in pursuance of a resolution of the House of the 14th ultimo, on the subject of claims of citizens of the United States for Spanish spoliations upon their property and commerce. JAMES MONROE.
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE United States of AMERICA.
Whereas by an act of the Congress of the United States of the 3d of March, 1815, so much of the several acts imposing duties on the ships and vessels and on goods, wares, and merchandise imported into the United States as imposed a discriminating duty of tonnage between foreign vessels and vessels of the United States and between goods imported into the United States in foreign vessels and vessels of the United States were repealed so far as the same respected the produce or manufacture of the nation to which such foreign ship or vessel might belong, such repeal to take effect in favor of any foreign nation whenever the President of the United States should be satisfied that the discriminating or countervailing duties of such foreign nation so far as they operate to the disadvantage of the United States have been abolished; and
Whereas satisfactory proof has been received by me from the burgomasters and senate of the free and Hanseatic city of Lubeck that from and after the 30th day of October, 1819, all discriminating or countervailing duties of the said city so far as they operated to the disadvantage of the United States have been and are abolished:
Now, therefore, I, James Monroe, President of the United States of America, do hereby declare and proclaim that so much of the several acts imposing duties on the tonnage of ships and vessels and on goods, wares, and merchandise imported into the United States as imposed a discriminating duty of tonnage between vessels of the free and Hanseatic city of Lubeck and vessels of the United States and between goods imported into the United States in vessels of Lubeck and vessels of the United States are repealed so far as the same respect the produce or manufacture of the said free Hanseatic city of Lubeck. Given under my hand, at the city of Washington, this 4th day of May, A. D. 1820, and forty-fourth year of the Independence of the United States. JAMES MONROE.
By the President:
JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, Secretary of State.
FOURTH ANNUAL MESSAGE.
WASHINGTON, November 14, 1820.
Fellow-Citizens of the Senate and of the House of Representatives:
In communicating to you a just view of public affairs at the commencement of your present labors, I do it with great satisfaction, because, taking all circumstances into consideration which claim attention, I see much cause to rejoice in the felicity of our situation. In making this remark
I do not wish to be understood to imply that an unvaried prosperity is to be seen in every interest of this great community. In the progress of a nation inhabiting a territory of such vast extent and great variety of climate, every portion of which is engaged in foreign commerce and liable to be affected in some degree by the changes which occur in the condition and regulations of foreign countries, it would be strange if the produce of our soil and the industry and enterprise of our fellow-citizens received at all times and in every quarter an uniform and equal encouragement. This would be more than we would have a right to expect under circumstances the most favorable. Pressures on certain interests, it is admitted, have been felt; but allowing to these their greatest extent, they detract but little from the force of the remarks already made. In forming a just estimate of our present situation it is proper to look at the whole in the outline as well as in the detail. A free, virtuous, and enlightened people know well the great principles and causes on which their happiness depends, and even those who suffer most occasionally in their transitory concerns find great relief under their sufferings from the blessings which they otherwise enjoy and in the consoling and animating hope which they administer. From whence do these pressures come? Not from a government which is founded by, administered for, and supported by the people. We trace them to the peculiar character of the epoch in which we live, and to the extraordinary occurrences which have signalized it. The convulsions with which several of the powers of Europe have been shaken and the long and destructive wars in which all were engaged, with their sudden transition to a state of peace, presenting in the first instance unusual encouragement to our commerce and withdrawing it in the second even within its wonted limit, could not fail to be sensibly felt here. The station, too, which we had to support through this long conflict, compelled as we were finally to become a party to it with a principal power, and to make great exertions, suffer heavy losses, and to contract considerable debts, disturbing the ordinary course of affairs by augmenting to a vast amount the circulating medium, and thereby elevating at one time the price of every article above a just standard and depressing it at another below it, had likewise its due effect.
It is manifest that the pressures of which we complain have proceeded in a great measure from these causes. When, then, we take into view the prosperous and happy condition of our country in all the great circumstances which constitute the felicity of a nation-every individual in the full enjoyment of all his rights, the Union blessed with plenty and rapidly rising to greatness under a National Government which operates with complete effect in every part without being felt in any except by the ample protection which it affords, and under State governments which perform their equal share, according to a wise distribution of power between them, in promoting the public happiness-it is impossible to behold so gratifying, so glorious a spectacle without being penetrated with the
most profound and grateful acknowledgments to the Supreme Author of All Good for such manifold and inestimable blessings. Deeply impressed with these sentiments, I can not regard the pressures to which I have adverted otherwise than in the light of mild and instructive admonitions, warning us of dangers to be shunned in future, teaching us lessons of economy corresponding with the simplicity and purity of our institutions and best adapted to their support, evincing the connection and dependence which the various parts of our happy Union have on each other, thereby augmenting daily our social incorporation and adding by its strong ties new strength and vigor to the political; opening a wider range, and with new encouragement, to the industry and enterprise of our fellow-citizens at home and abroad, and more especially by the multiplied proofs which it has accumulated of the great perfection of our most excellent system of government, the powerful instrument in the hands of our All-merciful Creator in securing to us these blessings.
Happy as our situation is, it does not exempt us from solicitude and care for the future. On the contrary, as the blessings which we enjoy are great, proportionably great should be our vigilance, zeal, and activity to preserve them. Foreign wars may again expose us to new wrongs, which would impose on us new duties for which we ought to be prepared. The state of Europe is unsettled, and how long peace may be preserved is altogether uncertain; in addition to which we have interests of our own to adjust which will require particular attention. A correct view of our relations with each power will enable you to form a just idea of existing difficulties, and of the measures of precaution best adapted to them.
Respecting our relations with Spain nothing explicit can now be communicated. On the adjournment of Congress in May last the minister plenipotentiary of the United States at Madrid was instructed to inform the Government of Spain that if His Catholic Majesty should then ratify the treaty this Government would accept the ratification so far as to submit to the decision of the Senate the question whether such ratification should be received in exchange for that of the United States heretofore given. By letters from the minister of the United States to the Secretary of State it appears that a communication in conformity with his instructions had been made to the Government of Spain, and that the Cortes had the subject under consideration. The result of the deliberations of that body, which is daily expected, will be made known to Congress as soon as it is received. The friendly sentiment which was expressed on the part of the United States in the message of the 9th of May last is still entertained for Spain. Among the causes of regret, however, which are inseparable from the delay attending this transaction it is proper to state that satisfactory information has been received that measures have been recently adopted by designing persons to convert certain parts of the Province of East Florida into depots for the reception
of foreign goods, from whence to smuggle them into the United States. By opening a port within the limits of Florida, immediately on our boundary where there was no settlement, the object could not be misunderstood. An early accommodation of differences will, it is hoped, prevent all such fraudulent and pernicious practices, and place the relations of the two countries on a very amicable and permanent basis.
The commercial relations between the United States and the British colonies in the West Indies and on this continent have undergone no change, the British Government still preferring to leave that commerce under the restriction heretofore imposed on it on each side. It is satisfactory to recollect that the restraints resorted to by the United States were defensive only, intended to prevent a monopoly under British regulations in favor of Great Britain, as it likewise is to know that the experiment is advancing in a spirit of amity between the parties.
The question depending between the United States and Great Britain respecting the construction of the first article of the treaty of Ghent has been referred by both Governments to the decision of the Emperor of Russia, who has accepted the umpirage.
An attempt has been made with the Government of France to regulate by treaty the commerce between the two countries on the principle of reciprocity and equality. By the last communication from the minister plenipotentiary of the United States at Paris, to whom full power had been given, we learn that the negotiation had been commenced there; but serious difficulties having occurred, the French Government had resolved to transfer it to the United States, for which purpose the minister plenipotentiary of France had been ordered to repair to this city, and whose arrival might soon be expected. It is hoped that this important interest may be arranged on just conditions and in a manner equally satisfactory to both parties. It is submitted to Congress to decide, until such arrangement is made, how far it may be proper, on the principle of the act of the last session which augmented the tonnage duty on French vessels, to adopt other measures for carrying more completely into effect the policy of that act.
The act referred to, which imposed new tonnage on French vessels, having been in force from and after the 1st day of July, it has happened that several vessels of that nation which had been dispatched from France before its existence was known have entered the ports of the United States, and been subject to its operation, without that previous notice which the general spirit of our laws gives to individuals in similar cases. The object of that law having been merely to countervail the inequalities which existed to the disadvantage of the United States in their commercial intercourse with France, it is submitted also to the consideration of Congress whether, in the spirit of amity and conciliation which it is no less the inclination than the policy of the United States to preserve in their intercourse with other powers, it may not be proper to extend relief