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lish as well as Irish, a deep, personal, and even pecuniary interest in that battle which has been so long fighting on the banks of the river Plate, and that is mixed up, in no slight degree, with the siege, and, mayhap, the downfall of Monte Video.

It is well known, that as long as the Dictator Francia governed Paraguay, that great country was cut off from all communication with Europeans-that the European, who, for any purpose penetrated within its precincts, did so at the peril of his life; and what is now feared is, that should General Rosas, the President at Buenos Ayres, obtain possession of Monte Video, all those vast and rich countries which formerly constituted the viceroyalty of Buenos Ayres, but have since been split up into so many distinct and independent states, will be as hermetically sealed against the trade of Europeans, or the settlement of Europeans in them, as Paraguay under the dictatorship of Francia. Injurious as this policy would be to the world at large, still we can well conceive its arising from, and being enforced by the purest principles of patriotism. "Here," it might be said by a good and virtuous ruler, "I command a country that supplies with the spontaneous bounty of nature, every article necessary for the sustainment and comfort of life; the Oriental del Uruguay gives to them more than they can use of meat and of corn, of hides, wool, and tallow; in the Corrientes and other provinces they have the finest timber, sugar, tobacco, cotton-wool, dyewoods, drugs; whilst Paraguay affords to them its tea, and its bark. What care we for the rest of the world? why not exclude it, and its gold, its diamonds, and its luxuries-its cares, its anxieties, and its vices? and though the lands I hold might maintain a thousand for the one they now feed, still better the superabundance of the wilderness, than that frightful competition for a dry crust, which is now going on in the crowded streets of civilized and populous Europe. Better, far better that my people should remain as they are, in their innocent and contented simplicity, than that they should be inoculated with the avarice of the European. God has given us these lands, and we will permit no foreigner to intrude upon us.'

If an exclusive policy were dictated by such principles as these, we could respect, and even admire it, even though for our own sakes, and that of our industrious and poor countrymen, we regretted its adoption. In no place where

this exclusive policy has been acted upon, have we, however, found it to be coincident with a love for the people governed, a regard for their interests, and a care for their liberties. It was not so when Royal Viceroys ruled over the South American Colonies; it was not so with Francia in his despotic government of Paraguay; and we have now to see whether it has been so with the governor of Buenos Ayres, General Rosas, who it is said "confines foreign commerce to the single port of Buenos Ayres, and excludes both foreigners and foreign vessels from the other ports of the confederation, as strictly as the Chinese formerly excluded them from every port except Canton."*

And who, it may here be asked, is General Rosas, and how came he to be possessed of the power he now exercises? In affording a satisfactory answer to that question, we are compelled to trace back the history of the ancient Viceroyalty of Buenos Ayres, from the moment that it was shattered by the convulsions of the mother country. From 1810 until 1820 this portion of South America was an anarchy; in which the infidels Voltaire and Rousseau were deified, Mably and Raynal the oracles of the press, Robespierre and the Convention the models of men assuming to take the lead in politics. The central or governmental power, which had previously been deposited at Buenos Ayres, disappeared in presence of the provincial organizations. On all sides leaders sprang up, sought to govern, and were superseded by new rivals. governors of Buenos Ayres were no longer counted by months or weeks, but by the day and the hour. Such was the miserable condition of the nation, when an administration was formed, which promised to procure for it some tranquillity.f

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Observations on the Present State of the Affairs of the River Plate, by Thomas Baines."-p. 10.

"Le General Rosas et la Question de la Plata," p. 10. The state of anarchy which is thus described, is confirmed by the letter of Senor Nunez, who not only portrays it in as strong terms as the able writer from whom we quote, but who also mentions the cause of all this commotion-namely, the proposal of France to convert those provinces into a monarchy, and to place upon the throne the Duke of Orleans, (Louis Philippe!) Don Francisco de Paula, or the prince of Lucca. The last named became the favourite with the European sovereigns, and the consequences of his name being put forward, are thus described by Senor Nunez :

At the head of this administration was a man named Bernardino Rivadavia, who had resided for many years in a public capacity in Europe, that is as Minister Secretary of Government and Foreign Affairs."


This administration was constituted about the middle of the year 1821, and it not only projected great things, but carried many of them into effect. It established the representative system, as the basis on which all govermental authority should rest, bestowing the franchise upon every citizen twenty years of age, and the capacity of being elected upon every citizen above twenty-five years of age,


possessing a real estate, or property acquired by in

"The first ten years of the revolution passed in constant struggles with the difficulties to which I have alluded; but in the eleventh, that is, in the year 1820, hope was entirely extinguished. Very early in that year, a revolutionary movement took place against the supreme authority of the country, having been fostered chiefly by resistance to the project of France for the coronation of the Prince of Lucca. This produced a great dislocation, and the nation subdivided itself into as many states as there are provinces, each assuming the form of a sovereign independent body. At last each province was severed into fractional parts of as many sections as there were component cities, each adopting the same form; and thus my country, in the eleventh year, was brought to the present appearance, not of a federal state, because no relations were kept

up between one state and the other, but of something similar to the Hanseatic towns. But as yet nothing remarkable occurred, till that state of things was followed by inveterate wars in the interior of each city, and between one city and another, which gave rise to the idea that the cause of the country was lost for ever. From shock to shock, and from abyss to abyss, all the states proceeded in the year 1820; and Buenos Ayres, which, as the capital, possessed greater means, and presented a more expanded field for the exercise of the vehement passions, suffered, in cousequence, all the results attendant on such situations, and which completely demolished the credit and directing character which had been conceded to her during the whole of the revolution. Judge, Sir, what could have been the hopes of these states after having arrived, amidst so many difficulties, at a state of entire anarchy; and I beg you not to forget that the origin of these catastrophes I have laid to the charge of France, in consequence of her ultimate proposition to establish a throne in my country."Letter of Don Y. Nunez, to Woodbine Parish, Esq., dated Buenos Ayres, 15th June, 1824.

dustry." It declared "the inviolability of property,f publicity in the management of all the departments of gov ernment; a law of amnesty for all past offences arising out of political disputes; toleration for all religions; and finally, it obtained from the representatives of the nation, "a law, by which it was solemnly acknowledged that the union of the Provinces, made before each had separately effected its internal economical arrangement should not be allowed to take place, lest it might again endanger the credit of the country at large." The administration of Rivadavia endeavoured to establish at Buenos Ayres, a liberal press, and an University; to place colonies in the desert but fruitful plains, to establish a sea and a river marine, a national bank for industry, and it generously invited foreigners from all-countries to come and people the immense territory of the republic, and to co-operate with it in the great work of opening to the commerce and the civilization of Europe, one of the loveliest lands on the face of the globe.§ That the administration of Rivadavia did this generously invite foreigners to Buenos Ayresis a fact, of which every Irishman should bear a grateful recollection. It is one confirmed by the high and indisputable authority of General O'Brien, now the Consul General for the Oriental del Uruguay, who, in a letter addressed to the Earl of Clarendon, as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, thus expresses himself:

"I was, my lord, in the Banda Oriental in the year 1822, when I heard that subscriptions were raising in England to relieve the distress of the Irish poor. I made arrangements with the government then established on the River Plate to bring out a number of

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"Law of Elections," ch. i. art. 3.

This did not, we fear, include church property; for Senor Nunez, in addressing himself to Sir Woodbine Parish, as the representative of a Protestant government, thus expresses himself: the suppression of the convents, a work which you are better qualified to appreciate than I am, and which to the honour of my country I am bound to declare, was every where effected without the slightest inconvenience."-Letter, dated 15th June, 1824.

Letter of Don Y. Nunez to Woodbine Parish, Esq., dated 15th June, 1824,

§ M. Chevalier de Saint Robert, p. 11.

emigrants from Ireland. I had for this purpose FIFTEEN THOUSAND POUNDS at my disposal.

"I returned to this country in the year 1823. I communicated my intentions in a memorial to the Foreign Secretary, Mr. Canning, and in a second memorial to the Marquess Wellesley. I proposed then to take out a few thousand families, and locate them on the Uruguay in the Banda Oriental. I had even the ships prepared, and was on the point of making a selection of emigrants, when Mr. Canning, apprehensive that it might be said that he was permitting a political object to be gained, rather than sanctioning the accomplishment of a benevolent purpose, interfered, and the emigration I then suggested, was rendered abortive."

We do not stop here to enquire how much Ireland suffered by being thus sacrificed to a fancied political expediency; but having occasion to refer to the Rivadavia administration, we cannot allow that reference to be made without stating this fact to its honour, that not only did it desire to promote emigration from Ireland, but it advanced funds for that purpose.

From 1821 until 1829 the Rivadavia administration continued in office. Its downfall was traceable to the unjust aggressions of Brazil, which inherited from the Portuguese crown the desire to retain possession of the east side of the river Plate, then known as the Province of Monte Video, and of which military occupation had been taken by the Portuguese troops in the year 1817. The persistance of Brazil in this unjust occupation led to that war between Brazil and Buenos Ayres which terminated, through the intervention of Lord Ponsonby, in the creation of the Oriental del Uruguay as an independent state, with Monte Video as its capital.

The war of 1826, which Buenos Ayres was compelled to wage with Brazil, was, as far as the former state was concerned, a truly popular war: for it was believed that it was necessary to defend by arms the liberty which the people had won, and the fruits of which they were then enjoying. It revived the military spirit that had been slumbering for some years, and in so doing, incalculable mischief was inflicted upon the people.

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It was on this occasion," observes M. Chevalier de Saint Robert, that the general organization of the Republic underwent


* Letter of General O'Brien to the Earl of Clarendon, lithographed for private circulation, p. 1.

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