Spanish Minister, gave his definitive answer; ‘the
position and strength of the countries occupied by the Americans
, excite a just alarm for the rich Spanish possessions on their borders.
They have already introduced their grain and rice into our Colonies by a commerce of interlopers.
If this introduction should be legalized and extended to other objects of commerce, it would effectually increase the power and prosperity of a neighbor, already too formidable.
Moreover; it is probable, that if this neighbor should separate from its metropolis, it would assume the republican form of Government; and a republic is a government dangerous from the wisdom, the consistency, and the solidity of the measures which it would adopt for executing such projects of conquests as it would naturally form.’1
The opinion of Spain
was deliberately pronounced and sternly adhered to. She divided the continent of North America
, and loved to see ‘her enemy’ embarrassed by war with its Colonies; but while she feared England
much, she at that early day feared America more; she preferred as a neighbor a dependent Colony to an independent Republic; and Spain
was later than Great Britain
itself to confess our national existence.