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Right well his bidding shall be done, and countless be his prey,
Shall the Ocean-Queen haul down her flag, and yield without a blow?
Will ye trust the Frenchman's honour, will ye melt his heart with tears?
Will ye buy with gold the freedom that your own right hand should save?
"Woe worth the vanquished,' scoffed the chief-and Brennus was a Gaul. Shall such a lot be England's !-never, never while the land
Hath a bank to rest a musket, or a forge to shape a brand.
While her children own the stalwart frame, the heart that knows not fear,
The experience of Algeria, the training of our foes—
Be ours the steady discipline, that best becomes a man,
Be ours stout hearts, and ready hands, and 'God defend the Right!"
G. J. WHYTE MELVILLE.
ROSAS, THE DICTATOR OF BUENOS AYRES.
THERE is no portion of political
science more attractive or interesting to study at present than the law of dictatorship. How this comes to be established in a free people, what blindness or licentiousness on their part create the opening for it, what act
most successful in taking
of such weakness, and of men or species of policy dapted for success in such se are subjects well worry, even for people like
ourselves, the most remote from any such contingency.
In the phenomena of such extremes as democracy and dictatorship, no country has been so abun dant as South America. There is, indeed, not a phase of either through which the republics north of the Amazon have not passed. The chief excuse of these countries is that their premature independence was not so much of their seeking, as the fruit of the weakness of the mother coun
try, torn by civil war and overwhelmed by French invasion. In South America generally, as soon as the war of independence was over, two rival interests and influences started up. One consisted of the men and ideas and interests of the coast and the seaports; the other those of the country and its wide and remote agricultural districts. In Europe, the strife between town and country population was of a different kind, and was the resistance of the artizan to the lord. In the New World the town population concentrated on spots on the coast, with trade for their aim, and for their principles those advanced ideas of freedom and self-government which they had gleaned from Europe, pretended, with some reason, to guide and direct the people of the interior.
Landed possessions are in those regions of considerable extent, with immense space and innumerable herds, and farm establishments like fortresses, walled in from marauders, and garrisoned by gauchos. Every country proprietor was, we need not say, a despotic lord over his retainers, and ruled his estancia with summary and unquestionable jurisdiction. These men too had been the supporters of the war of independence, and had flung off the yoke of Spain. But they understood the independence for which they had fought to mean that they should be their own masters; and were as little inclined to obey any new magistrate, delegated with powers from the distant city, as to resume upon their necks the yoke of the Spanish monarchy.
Don Juan Manuel de Rosas, so recently ejected from the Dictatorship of Buenos Ayres, which he held for nearly twenty years, was one of these country gentlemen. The son of a rich estancero of the region north of the Rio Salado, Don Manuel did not wait for his father's death to acquire fortune and influence. Quitting his paternal abode, he undertook the office of manager for rich estan ceros less hardy, active and young, and especially for the brothers Anchorena. He thus became the leader of the armed force of the district, such as it was, and led it frequently either to disperse Indian marauders, or to quell the seditious mutineers of the
city. As far back as 1820, Buenos Ayres was surprised to see young Rosas at the head of some hundred mounted gauchos, clad in scarlet, enter the city at the bidding of Governor Rodrigues, put down an émeute, and then retire to his district of Chascomus. He was then just thirty, and began to be looked up to as a man not merely of provincial weight, but as capable of influencing the political destinies of his country.
Meantime, the republic of Buenos Ayres had gone to war with Brazil, and reaped as a result its own subjugation, not by Brazil, but by the Buenos Ayrean army under the command of the military chief, Lavalle. The army complained that there was no vigour in the lawyers and civilians, who wielded power in the capital; it ventured to install its own general as President-in-chief of the executive in the hope by his means of exercising practical and concentrated power for fiscal and other purposes over the provinces. The country gentlemen and provincial population were determined to resist any such pretensions. To the lawyer and civilian of the city they had offered a passive and tranquil resistance; but when the central or unitarian power, as it was called, came to be exercised by a general, in command of a professional army, that sounded like a real and bona fide despotism, and so the provincials of north and south, with Lopez of Santa Fé as their chief, raised the cry of Federalism, in opposition to the Salvajos Unitarios. The first levy of militia was placed under the command of Colonel Dorrego, who marched at its head to the capital. The civilians at once abandoned all idea of resistance, and submitted to elect Dorrego to the place of President. The chief strength of the army was at this time, in 1827, absent. But peace being made with Brazil in 1828, the army returned, and General Lavalle, placing himself at the head of the greater part of it, marched against Dorrego, defeated him at Navarro, and put him to a cruel death. The defeat and the cruelty roused the gauchos. The militia and provincials mustered stronger. They chose Rosas to be their commander, and he completely defeated Lavalle. The victor for a time put forward
mash population slaughtered red into slavery by the Indians, and the province promises to become This state of things is digmed by the name of local independence. St. Luis would scorn to submit to the sovereignity of Buenos Arres. It prefers federalism under ne ndian scourge to security from aurier and robbery under the shield
imtarianism. And Rosas has ery coolly indulged the prefernce dus countrymen in this re
When Bosas was engaged in the 30s Traiseworthy act of his life, is ower was menaced at Buenos ATTPS Balcarce, who governed
as 30sence, or rather by the moderado party, which sought to mse um a railving point against ze camilados of the party of Rosas. Le sosence of the latter seemed a 304 pportunity. But Rosas had us whole family with his WE VIL I Donna Encarnacion It is vite, courageously took is race, summoned an army of ganmne country, and through de stramentality of the Masorea stu. emmered Baicarce to resign. ea Rusas returned victor, he 36 How to take vengeance. teamcit, eager to propitiate T WAS TAUT to assign him any ELLOT ▼ section. One of his hower armamed for him a five Tramp and this was But Rosas, like
preferred consult epie, im obtained the meme utie of universal
nesas, is we have de
Tittie for the obe DENISA JE DIRmi provinces, his jet
lousy and vigilance were always alive against the rivalry and independence of the provinces on the opposite coast of the river. His resources lay in the trade and revenue of Buenos Ayres. The provinces, however independent, could only trade through it, send hides to Europe, and get commodities from Europe, through the great maritime town. Their fiscal and commercial dependence was all that Rosas coveted. But these he could not suffer Montevideo to share. Thus commenced a quarrel and a war, no longer between town and country, but between two seaports and two trading communities: Montevideo was supported by all the naval power and resources of France, and from time to time favoured by England also.
A hatred of the foreigner is always a strong feeling in the Spanish character. Rosas joined to it an especial hatred and contempt of the French. Their trade was small, whilst their pretensions were in the inverse proportion to it. Then their mode of trade was displeasing. The English were wholesale merchants, dealing largely, giving long credit, and not interfering in, but on the contrary holding aloof from, the internal concerns of the country. But when the French sent out a cargo of small wares, they sent at the same time a legion of pedlars to carry them about, retail, and vend them. These French pedlars and retailers were Rosas's abhorrence; and he taxed and tormented them until he gave causes of complaint, and even grounds for claims of indemnity. It was the same as in Mexico. The French Government sent ships of war and admirals, to avenge the griefs of these pedlars. They spent millions to avenge the wrongs of venders of tape, and then told the Chamber in Paris that they were warring in behalf of great commercial interests. They blockaded Buenos Ayres and garrisoned Montevideo, and worked all the ill they could to Rosas. But he was too many for them, too obstinate and full of resources, and had it but continued a maritime and sea-coast war, it might have lasted out the century, so powerful was the Dictator.
There were other elements and tendencies in the population of South
America, which of late had been more developed, and which it is necessary to consider, in order to get a just idea, not only of the recent struggle in the Plata, but of the future fate and settlement of the
country. One's first thought in looking upon the new world is, that as the northern portions of it have been peopled from England, and the southern portion from the Iberian Peninsula, there could not exist those diversities and mutual repulsion of race and tongue, which divide the regions of Europe. But South America, though apparently divided between the Spanish and Portuguese race, has seen the singular phenomena arise in its very central region, of a race of strong, industrious, and civilized men, who make use neither of the Spanish nor the Portuguese tongue, and who are determined not to undergo the yoke of either. The region, not only from its central position, but from being at the head of all the great rivers, is destined to wield great political and commercial influence. The Spaniards who first landed in South America, perceived this, and accordingly they fixed their seat of government, not on the banks of the Plata, but high up the river Parana, at Assumpcion, in the fertile districts, and on the banks of the beautiful river of Paraguay. Naturally a docile and industrious race, the Indians of Paraguay were rendered more so by the Jesuits. We have heard a great deal of the evils worked by the Jesuits in that country, and no doubt they are answerable for much of the moral and political torpor which still affects the country. But there was one thing which the Jesuits did, and for which liberal and philanthropic writers have never given them due credit. This was the complete equality which they established between the proud Spaniard and the humble Indian. In the other regions, the conquerors formed one caste, the conquered another; and the former enslaved, oppressed, decimated, and destroyed the latter. In Paraguay, on the contrary, the Spaniard treated the Indian as his brother, intermarried with the sable race on equal terms; and the result has been, a mixed breed now peopling the fertile districts of the country, and speaking no other than the Guarani
with negotiating the opening of the Parana. If this is done by force or by threats, it will fail; while, if the natives, boatmen and traders, be not interested in it, it will also fail. Buenos Ayres has not the power, even if it had the desire, to place the internal communications of the country, and the profits supposed to accrue thereon, in foreign hands; and any government that would attempt it, must be overthrown. These vast territories, it should not be forgotten, are in the hands of a rude, pastoral, and carnivorous race. The metropolis of such a region must partake somewhat of the nature of the region. The rich merchant and the refined politician cannot rule such a country. If such men as Rosas and Urquiza do not take the government, there will be no government at all. And when such men do rise up, they will not be bullied into this or that, as the French seem to have an idea they may be.
Yet civilization is not to be despaired of. It will take root and grow, if it has fair play, and upon certain conditions. The first of these conditions is peace, permanent peace; for setting the gauchos to war is distracting them from the ways and ideas of peace for a quarter of a century, even after the war is over. The pretence, therefore, of civilizing such a region by setting one chief and one party to fight and hunt down another, is a bad and a criminal delusion. Peace is the first condition; peace under Rosas were better than squabbles and disorders under the most enlightened constitution. After peace, the next thing ecessary is trade-trade not forced upon the country, nor conducted by foreigners to the exclusion of the natives, but trade naturally springing out of the wants and the activity of the country.
It is very inconvenient, undesirable, and anomalous, that the extensive rural districts near the mouths of the great rivers should be inhabited by a pastoral and a savage race, whilst further up, in the remote interior, there dwells an agricultural, an industrious, and docile race. It is unfortunate that our wares and our ideas can only get to the latter through the former, and by their permission.
But so it is, and so it must remain; nor will our interference convert pastorals into husbandmen, and gauchos into shepherd-peasants. By fair means, quiet conduct, and noninterference-in a word, by imitating the knowing Yankees on the Plata, we shall recover lost ground, and lay the foundations of civilization where they can best extend, on the banks of its great rivers. Instead of making joint treaties with the French for the purposes of war and the measures of blockade, let us rather join the government of Washington in deprecating and preventing all interference, either by ourselves or others.
A greater difficulty than even pacifying the gauchos, and getting them to submit to so much of the control of civil, enlightened, and central government as will secure to them the advantage of ready sale for their productions, security for their property, greater facility of transit, and the other improvements necessary to their well-being, will be to overcome the fears of the Guaranis. They act on the principle of Japan or of China, and believe their best security lies in a non-intercourse even with their neighbours. Rulers and people can, however, be made so sensibly to feel the great and immediate pecuniary benefit of trade, that not even a Francia, we should think, could resist it. But if this is to be attempted by a fleet of armed steamers meeting at the Parana, it will but augment alarm, and render even diplomatic intercourse impossible. When Francia died, the same hopes were aroused for the liberation of Paraguay which are entertained for Buenos Ayres, now that the flight of Rosas is announced. Yet the Dictator Francia has been succeeded by the Dictator Lopez; the people know no principle of government, save absolute power. We must, in fact, when dealing with these countries, make up our minds to tolerate absolute power in the chief, and pastoral rudeness in the people, however much we may prefer an executive of limited authority and a population of civilized manners. The way, however, to attain these is not doggedly to go to war, at all times and on all occasions, with their opposites.