Readings in Modern European History, Vol. 2

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Author: Joseph Bonaparte

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British and Foreign State Papers, VII, pp. 281 sqq. World History

Spanish Americans!

198.

Ferdinand’s Appeal to the Spanish Americans to Return to Their Allegiance (March, 1820)

. . . You, who have strayed from the right path, have now gained that which you have been so long seeking, but at the expense of immense toils, of endless sufferings, of sanguinary wars, of horrible desolation, and of the most frightful destruction of life. Your lamented separation has been productive to you of nothing but tears and grief, disappointment and bitterness, turbulence, rancor, deadly feuds, famine, incendiarism, devastation, and unheard-of horrors; the recital alone of your miseries will be sufficient to terrify future generations.

Spaniards in both hemispheres are united by blood, language, religion, and laws

What, then, do you desire? Hear the tender voice of your king and father; let the restless and jealous fears which agitate you cease, and let rancor end with the circumstances in which it originated, and give place to tender and generous sentiments. Let not vengeance be regarded as a virtue, nor hatred as a duty. The two hemispheres, formed to esteem one another, need only come to a proper understanding to be forever inseparable friends, affording mutual aid, instead of seeking opportunities for injuring one another. Nor is it possible that those should be enemies who are in truth brothers, who speak the same language, who profess the same religion, who are ruled by the same laws, who observe the same customs, and who are, above all, adorned with the same virtues,—virtues which are the offspring of valor, of generosity, and of the elevated sublimity of great souls.

Reform in Spain especially favors the restoration of harmony with the colonies

Let those relations with the mother country be renewed which, after the toils and sacrifices of three centuries, were established by out ancestors, the favored sons of victory; and let others be created which the enlightened state of the age and the nature of a representative government require. Let arms be laid aside, and let the barbarous war come to an end, which has been the cause of events so disastrous as to be recorded in letters of blood on the page of history. The quarrels of members of the same family should not be fought out or adjusted by arms; let us, therefore, lay them aside, in order to avoid despair and the risk of oppression and hatred.

The whole nation entertains this wish, and will give me the means of overcoming, without the use of force, the obstacles which have stood in the way of our happiness during the period of domestic calamity. We have adopted a system more generous in its principles, and in harmony with those which you have yourselves laid down; let the distinguishing feature of out character be to observe reciprocally a frank and loyal conduct, rejecting the maxims and suggestions of that erring and crooked policy which the false combinations of fortune may perhaps have once smiled upon with ephemeral favor. The parent State sets you the example; follow it, Americans, for upon this depends your present and future happiness. Give to the mother country a day of joy, at a period so productive of calamitous events; and let the lore of order and the general good make us one in our wishes and opinions.

The colonists are asked to send representatives to confer with the Cortes on terms of reunion

The Cortes, whose name alone is to all Spaniards a sweet memorial of portentous events, are about to assemble. Your brethren of the Peninsula are anxiously waiting with open arms the arrival of those who may come deputed by you to confer with them, as their equals, upon the measures required by the misfortunes of their country and of your own in particular. The security of their persons has for its guarantee the national honor, and that long-wished-for constitution to which, in the face of the world, I have sworn and which I will religiously observe. The fathers of their country, the wise and chosen favorites of the people, will, united, save the State, and fix forever the destinies of both hemispheres; and, as a reward of their wisdom, their contemporaries will prepare the immortal crown to be bestowed upon them by the gratitude of posterity. What happiness, what blessings will this desired union produce! . . .

FERDINAND

Metternich arranges a system of international congresses to deal with "revolution"

To facilitate and secure the execution of the present treaty and to strengthen the bonds which at the present moment so closely unite the four sovereigns for the happiness of the world, the high contracting parties have agreed to renew their meetings at fixed periods, either under the immediate auspices of the sovereigns themselves or of their respective ministers, for the purpose of consulting upon their common interests and for the consideration of the measures which, at each of these periods, shall be considered most salutary for the repose and prosperity of nations and for the peace of Europe.1

1 For the whole of this interesting document, see Anderson, Constitutions and Documents, pp. 482 sqq.

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Chicago: Joseph Bonaparte, "Ferdinand’s Appeal to the Spanish Americans to Return to Their Allegiance (March, 1820)," Readings in Modern European History, Vol. 2 in Readings in Modern European History: A Collection of Extracts from the Sources Chosen With the Purpose of Illustrating Some of the Chief Phases of the Development of Europe During the Last Two Hundred Years, ed. James Harvey Robinson (1863-1936) and Charles A. Beard (Boston: Ginn and Company, 1908), 32–34. Original Sources, accessed February 23, 2024, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=49YZ2RKTC62BJDE.

MLA: Bonaparte, Joseph. "Ferdinand’s Appeal to the Spanish Americans to Return to Their Allegiance (March, 1820)." Readings in Modern European History, Vol. 2, in Readings in Modern European History: A Collection of Extracts from the Sources Chosen With the Purpose of Illustrating Some of the Chief Phases of the Development of Europe During the Last Two Hundred Years, edited by James Harvey Robinson (1863-1936) and Charles A. Beard, Vol. 2, Boston, Ginn and Company, 1908, pp. 32–34. Original Sources. 23 Feb. 2024. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=49YZ2RKTC62BJDE.

Harvard: Bonaparte, J, 'Ferdinand’s Appeal to the Spanish Americans to Return to Their Allegiance (March, 1820)' in Readings in Modern European History, Vol. 2. cited in 1908, Readings in Modern European History: A Collection of Extracts from the Sources Chosen With the Purpose of Illustrating Some of the Chief Phases of the Development of Europe During the Last Two Hundred Years, ed. , Ginn and Company, Boston, pp.32–34. Original Sources, retrieved 23 February 2024, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=49YZ2RKTC62BJDE.