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on our part is worthy of observation. The first was concluded with the republic of Colombia, in accordance to the general instructions to Richard C. Anderson, the first Minister Plenipotentiary to that republic. These instructions framed prior to entering on the negotiation which resulted in the ratification of the above treaty, are important as containing a review of the principles upon which the United States, were governed in the conclusion of that instrument.
“ The only object,” says the Secretary of State (Mr Adams) to Mr Anderson, “which we shall have much at heart in the negotiation,will be the sanction, by solemn compact, of the broad and liberal principles of independence, equal favors, reciprocity. With this view I recommend to your particular attention the preamble, and first four articles of the first treaty of amity and comnierce between the United States and France, concluded on the 6th of February, 1778. The preamble is believed to be the first instance on the Diplomatic Record of Nations, upon which the true principles of all fair commercial negotiations, between Independent States were laid down and proclaimed to the world. That preamble was to the foundation, of our commercial intercourse, with the rest of mankind, what the Declaration of Independence was to that of our internal Government. The two instruments were parts of one and the same system, matured by long and anxious deliberation of the founders of this Union in the ever memorable Congress of 1776; and as the Declaration of Independence was the fountain of all our municipal institutions, the preamble to the Treaty with France laid the corner stone for all our subsequent transactions of intercourse with foreign nations. Its principles should be, therefore, deeply impressed upon the mind of every statesman and negotiator of this
Union, and the first four articles of the Treaty with France contain the practical exposition of those principles, which may serve as models for insertion in the projected Treaty, or in any other, that we may hereafter negotiate, with any of the rising Republics of the South.” Further—“ Let Colombia look to commerce and navigation, and not to empire, as her means of communication with the rest of the human family. These are the principles upon which our confederated Republic is founded, and they are those upon which we hope our sisters of the southern continent will ultimately perceive it to be for their own welfare, no less than for that of the world, that they should found themselves."
A clear and forcible writer has remarked that our diplomacy may be termed, altogether, of a commercial character; at least, its legitimate origin being in commerce, our treaties, for the most part, have consisted of arrangements for the regulation of trade and navigation. In this particular course of negotiation the United States have, in modern times, taken the lead, though they cannot lay claim to the honour of having been the authors of the system, which, inc'eed, may be traced back to the Congress of Utrecht, an æra, remarkable, in the commercial history of the world, for the excellence and liberality of the maritime principles and regulations there consecrated by treaty stipulations, But, even, if the United States were not the first to convert diplomacy to purposes of commerce, or, (a more recent invention) to propose the principle of reciprocity as the basis of commercial conventions, they are certainly entitled to the applause of having first resisted the arbitrary features of the English navigation laws. The war of the revolution was itself, in some degree, .connected with commerce, and the United States having become
independent, soon after the establishment of the Federal Government declared their determination of trading only on equal terms. They assailed, and, finally, with success, the navigation laws of the mother country, by countervailing duties; and as they were the earliest foes of that system, they have reaped the first and greatest benefits from its partial downfall.
In the collection of Foreign Treaties, and in the Appendit will be found the Declarations of Independence, and the principal part of the DIPLOMATIC Law of the South American States: under the latter head is included a list of Conventions, not printed at large in the work, being simply models of those inserted with the necessary variations in the phraseology. The various commercial treaties with the Powers of Europe, by which their national independence was recognized, and the several Conventions between the individual States of South America, their treaties of “ Perpetual Union, League, and Confederation,"
Friendship and Alliance,” of “ Commerce and Navigation,” &c., form, it is believed, the body of Diplomatic Law of the South American States, so far as official documents have promulgated their conventions. The aim of this collection being to present the Conventional Law of America, at large, must certainly confer additional value on this Code.
The Law enacted by the United States “fixing the compensation of public Ministers and Consuls ;” the Law respecting the “Privileges of Foreign Ministers;" the acts “concerning Consuls and Vice Consuls,” and the “ Deposite of Foreign Consular Papers,” are inserted at large. The various laws relating to discriminating duties on tonnage, &c. to Navigation, to passenger vessels, to British American and West India Intercourse, to Piracy, and to the regulation of our foreign trade, are also added.
On the important question of the Slave Trade, the successive acts of March 1794, May 1800, February 1803, March 1807, April 1818, March 1819, and the highly important act, May 1820, which it has been justly remarked, received from England the well deserved praise of being the most vigorous measure, yet devised for the entire suppression of the traffic, are given in this part of the work.
In relation to the collection of Foreign Treaties, the great French work, the “Corps Universel Diplomatique du Droit des Gens,” has been occasionally consulted; but the compiler is aware that, in the present day, it is now chiefly looked into more for curiosity, than for daily use. Barbeyrac has also been used in this part of the plan. Chalmers's collection, a work of high standing in Europe, Jenkinson's Treaties, and Hertsleis Treaties, are of great practical use, and have been also employed in making up this collection, beginning with the treaty of Utrecht, and closing with the pacification of Greece and the treaty of Adrianople, which opened, to all nations, the Navigation of the Black Sea.
The Congress of Vienna will probably form a most important epoch in the annals of Diplomacy. On the question of the Slave Trade, the opinions of the Cabinets of Europe are full of interest to the nations of America. On that account, the Declaration of the Eight Powers that signed the treaty of Paris has been preserved entire; the opinions of the leading Cabinets of Europe on the same question are also interesting to this hemisphere.
* Extract from the Conferences held by the Five Powers, at Aix la Chapelle, Nov. 1818. OPINION of the Russian Cabinet “ There is no object in which his Imperial Majesty takes a more lively interest, and which he has more at heart, than that the decision upon this question may be conformable to the precepts of the Christian religion,
The abstract of Judicial Decisions, on points connected with our Foreign Relations, is next in order.
As it was not intended, to form a system, or connected treatise of National Law, but only to serve merely as an Index to the various books in which the Decisions are to be found, iu was thought that the form of an Index would be more useful than an attempt to reduce the cases to a system: the facility
to the wishes of humanity, and to the rights and real interests of all the Powers invited to assist therein.
“ It is only when this abolition (of the slave trade) shall have been thus solemnly declared, in all countries, and without reserve, that the powers shall be able to pronounce, without being checked by distressing and contradictory exceptions, the general principles which shall characterise the trade, and place it in the rank of the deepest crimes.
“It would denounce, as a fundamental principle, a law characterising this odious traffic, as a description of piracy, and rendering it punishable as such. No maritime nation should refuse to submit its flag to the police of the right of search.”
Of the French Government—“ It cannot but fear (speaking of the suppression of the slave trade) that the idea of a compulsory sacrifice might attach to the concession in submitting to the reciprocal right of visit.” “ The immediate consequence of such an institution would be to withdraw the subjects of H. M. from their natural judges," as they “would pass under a foreign jurisdiction.”
The Austrian Cabinet, concurs in the opinion that “a system of permanent surveillence” may effect the suppression of the traffic, and “put an end to the slave trade.”'
The Prussian Cabinet—on the slave question, “ cannot dissemble the inseparable inconveniences of the concession of the right of visit on the high seas”-it might “become too easily a source of abuse and misunderstanding."
“ The dissenting powers, [the United States and France] hoped that the opinion hitherto given, on the part of their respective cabinets would form no obstacle to the adoption on their part of that measure [the suppression of the slave trade.]
On the subject of these opinions, in conclusion, Lord Castlereagh writes, to Lord Bathurst, on the 10th December, 1818, that he “ventures to indulge an expectation that the French Government may be brought, at no distant period, to unite their naval exertions with those of the other allied powers for the suppression of the illicit trade, under the modified regulations submitted for this purpose to the Plenipotentiaries assembled at Aix la Chapelle."