History of the United States of America, from the Discovery of the Continent - Vol. 6

By George Bancroft | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXVI.
VIRGINIA COMES TO THE AID OF MASSACHUSETTS. GRAFTON’S
ADMINISTRATION. HILLSBOROUGH COLONIAL MINISTER.

MARCH–AUGUST 1769.

THE decision of the king of Spain had been hastened by tidings of the rebellion in New Orleans. The cabinet, with but one dissentient, agreed that Louisiana must be retained, as a granary for Havana and Porto Rico, a precaution against the contraband trade of France? and a barrier to keep off English encroachments by the indisputable line of a great river.

“Still more,” said the duke of Alva, “the world, and especially America, must see that the king can and will crush even an intention of disrespect.” “If France should recover Louisiana,” said Masones do Lima, “she would annex it to the English colonies, or would establish its independence.” “A republic in Louisiana,” such was Aranda’s carefully prepared opinion, “would be independent of the European powers, who would all cultivate her friendship and support her existence. She would increase her population, enlarge her limits, and grow into a rich, flourishing, and free state, contrasting with our exhausted provinces. From the example before them, the inhabitants of our vast Mexican domain would be led to consider their total want of commerce, the extortions of their governors, the little esteem in which they themselves are held, the few offices which they are permitted to fill; they would hate still more the Spanish rule, and would think to brave it with security. If, by improving the government of the Mexican provinces and the condition of their inhabitants, we should avoid the fatal revolution, Louisiana would still trade with the harbors on our coast, and by land with Texas

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