Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub

ceed alone, and, with one excep. difficulties intervened ; and the tion, returned to their former ships were not ready for the voyage positions. It was not easy to round Cape Horn till the following divine whether such misconduet year. The privateers of Buenos proceeded from dislike and jealousy Ayres made several captures. Miof a foreign commander, or regard litary operations had been almost to their own personal safety. The suspended, since the defeat susBrazilian fleet had been put under tained by the Brazilians in the a new leader, Norton, but he was neighbourhood of Monte Video, in neither more enterprising, nor the preceding Oetober. That town more successful than his prede- still continued to be invested by the céssor Lobo. Though much supe- republican army, but was defended rior in numbers, and in weight of by a garrison of three thousand metal, he ventured nothing more troops, and was regularly and serious than the bravado of ap- abundantly supplied with proviproaching the town, and uniformly sions. Inferiority in point of retiring when the republican numbers constrained the republisquadron drew near.

cans to remain in inactivity, but In the beginning of June, while the government, notwithstanding great part of the republican its financial difficulties, made great squadron were on the opposite exertions, towards the end of the coast, to which they had convoyed year, to augment the invading a reinforcement of troops undis- army, and send it across the Negro. turbed, he approached the re The plan was, to attack the mainder lying at anchor near the Brazilian provinces of Rio Grande town. Without leaving their and San Paulo, to which they anchorage, they opened their fire were invited by the spirit of disupon him, and he retired to a affection whieħ prevailed in these safer distance. They weighed provinces, particularly in the latanchor, and stood out after him, ter; the appearance of republican and a distant cannonadev

was kept invaders was to call forth insurup, till night separated the parties, rection. Considering that Don while, in the mean time, the de- Pedro's throne in Brazil was yet tachment from the republican scarcely established; that, even in squadron, having safely landed time of peace, all his neighbourtheir troops on the Banda Oriental, ing states presented a powerful had returned in safety, under the seduction to his subjects in their very eyes of the Brazilian feet, republican forms of government, which, with all its numerical and could entertaim only one com-? superiority, had been unable, or mon wish to see royalty, as well rather did not attempt, to stop from opinion as for the safety of

their own institutions, rooted out To increase its maritime force, from the American continent; it the government had purchased the was extreme imprudence in the naval armament of Chili, which cabinet of Rio Janeiro to provoke that republic was willing to sell, a war which increased tenfold their and admiral Brown proceeded to means of exciting discontent, and the coast, over land, to take the enabled them, at the same time, command of it; bat unexpected to take advantage of it with a good

[2 C 2]

their passage.

its sting.

grace. The war, at least once towns and districts of the empire. begun, ought to have been prose- It was now again formally procuted with energy, and not con- mulgated, and orders issued for ducted by indecisive skirmishes; the meeting of the first national every month it lasted increased to assembly to be convoked under it. the emperor its political dangers; By this constitution, the gosuccess alone could deprive it of vernment of Brazil was declared

to be "monarchical, hereditary, At home, the emperor of Brazil constitutional, and représentative;" was amusing his subjects with the the crown to descend through the re-production of a liberal consti- posterity of Don Pedro, the first tution, two years old, and the pa- of its emperors, according to the geant of assembling the represen- right of primogeniture, the first tative legislative body. In No- line of issue being always prefervember, 1823, he had dissolved the able to any subsequent line, the legislative assembly as it then ex next degree to the more remote of isted; he had promised, at the each line, and the elder person tó same time, 'to prepare, without the younger of each sex. : All delay, a more liberal constitution; strangers were declared incapable and, accordingly, in December he of succession; the husband of a had given forth the plan of a con- princess, who might be heiress prestitution, to be submitted for dis- sumptive, was to be selected by the cussion to a general national and reigning emperor, or, in event of constitutional assembly. This his death, the choice was to be document, being officially pub- approved of by the legislative body; lished, was considered by the Bra- the husband was to take no part in zilians as perfectly satisfactory; the government, nor assume the title and the citizens of all the towns of emperor, untilthe empress should in the empire, beginning with the have become a mother--a rule borcapital, expressed their approba- rowed from the ancient customs tion of it. Books were opened in of Portugal. It was declared to which every body was invited to be the prerogative of the crown to inscribe his assentor dissent; appoint all public functionaries, the assent was nearly unanimous; civil

, naval, and military ; to apthe books, crowded with signa- point all bishops, and provide fit tures, were sent to Rio de Janeiro. persons for ecclesiastical benefices; The emperor 'considered this as a to declare war, or conclude peace, formal assent of the nation to the making to the national assembly, constitution which he had pre- in the former case, such commupared, and it was accordingly pro- nications as might be compatible mulgated as such, without losing with the interest of the state; to time by calling a constitutional form treaties of alliance, defensive assembly to discuss it. The em- or offensive, obtaining, however, peror himself took the oath to ob- the sanction of the legislature, as serve it on the 25th of March, indispensable to the validity of any 1824, declaring that he complied treaty entered into during time of with the wish of his people assem- peace, which might stipulate for bled in Camaras, that is, the mu- the cession or exchange of any nicipal councils of the different part of the territories included

1

in, or belonging to, the empire ; were entitled to take their seats to distribute titles, honours, and at 25), possess an annual income pensions, the last, when not al- of 800 milreas (2002.) arising from ready fixed by law, being always property, trade, a profession, or submitted for approval to the as- an office; and, above all, that sembly; to confirm, or reject, the they should be persons of prųdecrees of councils, and other ec- dence experience, and virtue," clesiastical bodies, before present- one of those requirements on which ing them, in the case of approval, all the value of a constitution deand of their relating to general pends, but which is in no degree affairs, for the sanction of the le- aided by being fairly set down in gislature; and to maintain, along a paper constitution. It was made with the indivisibility of the em- the exclusive duty of this body to pire, and the purity of the consti- take cognizance of all offences tution, the apostolic Roman Ca- committed by members of the imtholic religion. The emperor, perial family, ministers and coun, however, was not invested with an sellors of state, senators and de absolute legislative veto. If both puties during the period of their chambers of the national assembly legislative existence; in other should páss a law, he had the words, to try impeachments. The power of refusing his sanction to mode of election of the chamber it once; and, if this prerogative of deputies was indirect; provincial were exercised, the chambers, who assemblies, or colleges, choosing had, met with the refusal, were provincial delegates, and these to answer, " The chambers com- again electing the deputies of the mend bis majesty for the interest province in a certain proportion which he takes in the nation ;” to its population. The elective but, if two successive legislatures franchise was vested in all citizens, should approve of the law, and twenty-five years of age, possesspresent it for his adoption in the ing an income of an hundred milsame terms, it was to be under- reas (251.), except servants, monks, stood” that the emperor granted and the regular clergy; but the his sanction.

qualification for a provincial elector The legislative body was formed was fixed at two hundred milreas of the Senate and the Chamber of (501.), and the qualification which the Deputies, both of them elective, should entitle the possessor to be but elective for different periods. elected a deputy, at double that The members of the senate, once sum ; one half of the qualification chosen, were to retain their offices required in a senator. The chamfor life; their number from each ber was to be renewed every

four province was to be equal to one years; and was to enjoy the exhalf of the number of deputies clusive privilege of originating all from that province, unless , a laws relating to taxes, the raising province should have only one of men and the selection of a new deputy, in which case it was like- dynasty for the throne whenever wise to have one whole senator. a reigning one should become It was required that the sena- extinct. tors should be at least forty years These two bodies formed the old (except imperial princes, who National Assembly, which was to

[ocr errors]

meet every year on the 2nd of ed was to receive within twenty-
May, the session to continue for four hours after he had been sent
four months. Its most important to prison, a written note from the
powers were, to fix the annual ex* magistrate by whom he had been
penditure, and the amount of di- committed, setting forth the cause
rect taxation; to determine, on of his imprisonment, the names of
reports presented by government, his accusers, and the names of
the extent of the naval and mili- the witnesses against him, so far
tary force to be maintained to as they might then be known. In
regulate the administration, and all cases in which the punishment
disposal, of the national property; could not be higher than six
to create or suppress public offices; months imprisonment, or banish-
to give, or refuse, its sanction to ment from the arrondissement,
the introduction of foreign forces, the accused person was to be al-
naval or military, into the interior, lowed to remain at large; in all
or the harbours, of the empire. Its other cases, bail was to be taken,
members were to receive wages for except in military offences, or im-
their legislative services; they prisonment for debt, or contempt
were' not to be answerable for any of court: : The liberty of the
opinion which they might express; press, without a censorship, was
their persons were declared exempt established, writers and publishers
from arrest; and, if any action being made responsible in a court
should be brought against a legis- of law.
lator, the judge before whom it One of the most striking fea-
might come was to intimate the tures of this constitution was, the
circumstance to the chamber of provision which it made for giving
'which the defendant was a mem the great body of the population
ber, that it might decide whether à direct influence in the local ad-
or not' he ought to be suspended ministration of the provinces. In
from his functions.'

every province there was to be a In relation to the administra- provincial council, consisting of tion of jnstice, the constitution twenty-one members in the more introduced juries, declared the populous provinces, and of twelve judges to be irremoveable, and gave in the less populous, chosen at à right of popular action against the same time, and in the same them for subornation, corrup- manner, with the deputies to the tion, peculation, and extortion national assembly, enduring for a provision which, unless guarded the same period, and holding anhy very strict practical restraints, mually a session of two months threatened to render the office of continuancé. It was the business a judge to object of envy: for, of of these councils to discuss, and all men, disappointed litigants deliberate upon, all matters touchare most apt to accuse their ing the interest of their particular judges of corrupt motives, and districts, and, if they should think deceive themselves into a belief proper, to transmit their resoluthat their suspicions are correct. tions to the emperor, that they This charter, likewise, contained might be enforeed by his authority, within itself å species of habeas if he saw. reason to adopt them, corpus act. Every person arrest- for be proposed to the national as

[ocr errors]

sembly as projets de lot. These ants of the Spanish settlers formed constituted political bodies evi a considerable population, among dently might have become very whom the spirit of provincialisin embarrassing companions to the prevailed in a higher degree than general government, if they had even in any other part of South been allowed to extend their con- America. Partly from this cir: stitutional powers beyond the cumstance - partly from their sphere of merely local interests; secluded and inland situation and they were, therefore, pros and partly from the inconsiderable hibited from introducing the gene progress which they had made in ral affairs of the nation among any species of improvement or matters of discussion which might industry, the Paraguayans were arise between different provinces, little affected by the convulsions taxes, or the execution of the of the surrounding countries. laws.

Shortly after Buenos Ayres had asThe National Assembly met onserted its independence, the junta the 6th of May. Its delibera- of that state despatched a force tions wete almost entirely of a under general Belgrave, to expel preparatory nature. Both char- the Spanish authorities from Pabers #nanimously passed an act, raguay. The Paraguayans, howrecognizing the eldest son of the ever, supported the Spanish goemperor, born in Oetober; 1825, vernor, and the invaders were as successor to his father, a cere defeated. In the following year, mony which the constitution re- the inhabitants of Assumption quired to be performed by the deposed the governor, and estabassembly during its first session lished a junta, which refused to after the birth of an heir apparent. acknowledge the authority of The emperor prorogued them on Buenos Ayres, or to have any the 6th of September.

political connections with that The emperor thought it his in- neighbour. Under these circumterest to accede to the congress stances it was that Francia, who of republics which was to be as was an advocate by profession, sembled at Panama; although contrived to raise himself to suprobably with the design of preme power, by means of his watching and impeding its motions great family connections with rather than of cordially seconding many of the principal landed proits resolutions; and, at the same prietors. His system of policy time, he maintained most amicable' was, to prevent, as far as possible, relations with his singular neigh any intercourse with foreign counbour doctor Francia, Dictator tries; thereby at once confirming of Paraguay, and the enemy of his own power, and flattering the all the republics. Brazit and prejudices of the Paraguayans, Paraguay were natural allies who conceive themselves to be a against Buenos Ayres. Parágưay chosen race, superior to the rest had formed part of the vice-royal-of mankind. So pertinaciously ty of the river Plate; it had been did he adhere to this non-interpeopled by the Spaniards almost course system, that a foreigner beforë any other province of the who was found within the limits viet-royalty; and the descend- of Paraguay was seldom permitted

« EdellinenJatka »