Texas Historical Association Quarterly.
ENGLAND AND MEXICO, 1824-1825.
FREDERIC L. PAXSON.
The activities of Great Britain in Mexico during the years 1824
and 1825 were inspired not only by a desire to ascertain the actual
conditions prevailing in that Republic, with a view to ultimate recog-
nition, but also by an anxiety lest the United States should profit
by proximity and interest and thereby acquire undue advantages
in Mexico. 'These facts are clearly developed by the Foreign Office
correspondence of these years, and the following extracts from
the correspondence tell the story with but little need for comment.
It was with difficulty that Canning preserved in his Mexican
agents the neutral attitude which he desired to show to all the
Latin-American colonies. The most imperative instructions often
failed to direct the actions of the men on the ground. "You
are sent," he instructed one of them,1 "to ascertain the Fact of
Mexican Independence, not actively to promote it; and to form
and report an Opinion of the Stability of the Government, not to
prescribe its form or attempt to influence its Councils." Yet there
was a 'quality in the Mexican influence to which none of his agents
was impervious. Whether it was a corrupt attack, or a sympathy
with the spirit of independence, or a truer view based upon better
information, is hard to say, but certain it is that the English
agents can not be accused of failing to see certain dangers taking
shape along the northern frontier, or of failing to try to inspire
both Mexico and the Foreign Office to resist them.
As early as January, 1824, the agent, Lionel Hervey, had an-
nounced to Canning that Mexico was ready to enter into exclusive
trade arrangements with Great Britain, and had advised strongly
in favor of such an arrangement. Spain had been expelled, he
said, and Mexico was too poor and too weak to stand alone.
"Hence the Mexicans are looking anxiously around them in quest
Canning to Morier, July 30, 1824, Foreign Office MSS.
Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 9, July 1905 - April, 1906. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101036/. Accessed April 18, 2014.