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In other provinces they are mingled withi the Spaniards, and in many of their fettlements practise the mechanick arts, and fill molt of the inferior stations in foclety. As the inhas bitants both of Mexico and Peru were accustomed to a fixed residence, and to fome degree of regular industry, less violence was requisite in bringing them to some conformity with the European modes of civil life. But wherever the Spaniards settled among the savage tribes of America, their attempts to incorporate with them have been always fruitless, and often fatal to the natives. Impatient of restraint;

and disdaining labour as a mark of servility, they either abandoned their original feats , and fought for independence in mountains and forests inacceflible to their oppreffors, or perifned when reduced to a ftaté repugnant to their ancient ideas and habits. In the districts adjacent to Carthagena, to Panama, and to Buenos-Ayres, the desolation is more general than even in those parts of Mexico', and Perd, of which the Spaniards have taken moft fall poffeffion.

General ideas of the policy of Spain in its colonies,

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Bat the establidhments of the Spaniards in the New World, though fatal to its ancient inhabitants , were made at a period when that monarchy was capable of forming them to best advantage. By the union of all its petty kingdoms, Spain was become a powerful state,

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Its mon.

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equal to so great an undertaking.
archs, having extended their prerogative far
beyond the limits which once circumscribed the
regal power in every kingdom of Europe, were
hardly subject to controul, either in concert-
ing or in executing their measures. In every
wide extended empire the form of govern -
ment must be simple, and the sovereign author
rity such, that its resolutions may be taken
with promptitude, and may pervade the whole
with sufficient force. Such was the power
of the Spanish monarchs, when they were called
to deliberate concerning the mode of establish.
ing their dominion over the moft remote pro,
vinces, which had ever been subjected to any
European ftate. In this deliberation, they felt
themselves rnder no conftitutional restraint,
and that, as independent masters of their own
resolves, they might issue the edi&ts requisite for
modelling the government of the new colonies,
by a mere act of prerogative.

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Early interposition of the regal auth oriye

This early interpofition of the Spanish crown, in order to regulate the policy and trade of its colonies , is a peculiarity which distinguishes their progress from that of the colonies of any other European nation. When the Portuguese , the English, and French, took possession of the regions in America which they now occupy , the advantages which these promised to yield

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were so remote and uncertain, that their colonies were suffered to struggle through a hard infancy, almost without guidance or protection from the parent state. But gold and silver, the first productions of the Spanish settlements in the New World, were more alluring, and immediately attracted the attention of their mons archs. Though they had contributed little to the discovery, and almost nothing to the con queft of the New World, they instantly affumi ed the function of its legislators; and having acquired a species of dominion formerly unknown, they formed a plan for exercising it, to which nothing similar occurs in the history of human affairs.

All power and property verted in the crown.

The fundamental maxim of Spanishi jurifprudence with respect to America, is to consider what has been acquired there as vested in the crown, rather than in the state. "By the bull of Alexander VI. on which, as its great charter, Spain founded its right, all the regions that had been, or should be discovered, were bestowed as a free gift upon Ferdinand and Ifabella. They and their fucceffors were uniformly held to be the universal proprietors of the vast territories, which the arms of their subjects conquered in the New World. From them, all grants of land there flowed, and to them they finally returned. The leaders who

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conducted the various expeditions, the governors who prefided over the different colonies, the officers of justice, and the ministers of religion, werê'all appointed by their authority, and removable at their pleasure. The people who composed infant settlements were intitled to po privileges independent of the sovereign, or that served as a barrier against the power of the crown. It is true, that when towns were built, and formed into bodies corporate, citizens were permitted to elect their own magiftrates, who' governed them by laws which the community enacted. Even in the most despotick ftates, this feeble spark of liberty is not extinguished. But in the cities of Spanish America, this jurisdiction is merely municipal, and is confined to the regulation of their own interior commerce and police. In whatever relates to publick government, and the general intereft, the will of the fovereign is law. No political power originates from the people. All centres in the crown, and in the officers of its nomination.

All the pew dominions of Spain subje&ed to two viceroys.

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When the conquests of the Spaniards in America were completed, their monarchs, in forming the plan of interior policy for their new dominions , divided them into two immense governments, one subject to the viceroy of New Spain, the other to the viceroy of Peru.


jurisdiction of the former extended over all the provinces belonging to Spain in the northern division of the American continent. Under that of the latter, was comprehended whatever she poffefled in South America. This arrangement, which, from the beginning, was attended with many inconveniencies, became intolerable when the remote proyinces of each vice-royalty began to improve in indusțry and population. The people complained of their subjection to a fuperior, whose place of residence was, so diftant, or so inaccessible, as almoft excluded them from any intercourse with the feat of government. The authority of the viceroy over distriets fo far removed from his own eye and obfervation, wąs unavoidably both feeble and illdirected. As a remedy for those eyils, a third vice-royalty has been established in the present century, at Santa Fé de Bogota, the capital of the new kingdom of Granada, the jurisdica tion of which extends over the whole kingdom of Tierra Firmè, and the province of Quito. k)

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Their powers.

Those viceroys not only represent the person of their sovereign, but posless his regal prerogatives within the precincts of their own governments, in their utmost extent. Like him, they exercise fupreme authority in every dea partment of government, civil, military, and

criminal b) Voy. de Ulloa, i, 23. 255.

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