BARTHOLOMEW FAIR, LONDON, IN 1721. (From a Painting on a Fan.)When peace was made in Europe, the United States became anxious for peace too. Madison had begun the war in the ungenerous hope of wresting Canada from Great Britain, because he thought her too deeply engaged in the gigantic war against Napoleon to be able to defend that colony. He believed that it would fall an easy prey; that the Canadians must so greatly admire the model republic that they would abandon monarchy at the first call, and that he should thus have the glory of absorbing that great world of the north into the American Republic. In all this, he and those who thought with him found themselves egregiously deceived. The Canadians showed they were staunchly attached to Great Britain, and the attempts at invasion were beaten back by the native militia and by our handful of troops with the greatest ease. Meanwhile, the blockade of the east, and the seizure of the merchant shipping, drove the New England and other eastern States to desperation. Throughout this war Great Britain made a uniform declaration of a preference for peace, but her offers were regularly rejected so long as Napoleon was triumphant. The United States, professing the utmost love of freedom, were the blind and enthusiastic worshippers of the man who was trampling the liberties of all Europe under his feet. It was not till the last moment—not till he had been defeated in Russia, driven by Britain out of Spain, routed and pursued out of Germany, and compelled to renounce the Imperial Crown of France—that the American Government began to understand the formidable character of the Power which it had so long and so insolently provoked, and to fear the whole weight of its resentment directed against its shores. It is certain that, had Britain been animated by a spirit of vengeance, it had now the opportunity, by sending strong fleets and a powerful army to the coast of America, to ravage her seaboard towns, and so utterly annihilate her trade as to reduce her to the utmost misery, and to precipitate a most disastrous system of internal disintegration. The New England States, in 1814, not only threatened to secede, but stoutly declared that they would not furnish another shilling towards paying the expenses of the war. They even intimated an idea of making a separate peace with Britain. In Massachusetts especially these menaces were vehement. Governor Strong spoke out plainly in the Legislative Chamber of that State. Madison endeavoured to mollify this spirit by abandoning his Embargo and Emancipation Acts, but this was now too late, for the strict blockade of the British, in 1814, rendered these Acts perfectly dead.
A new Ministry was appointed with Prince Schwarzenberg at its head, and on the 2nd of December the Emperor Ferdinand abdicated in favour of his nephew, Francis Joseph, whose father Francis Charles, next in succession, renounced his claim to the throne. The retiring emperor stated that the pressure of events, and the immediate want of a comprehensive reformation in the forms of State, convinced him that more youthful powers were necessary to complete the grand work which he had commenced. The real reason was that Lord Palmerston, who in his private correspondence held the Emperor to be "next thing to an idiot," had been constantly advising him to resign his sceptre into firmer hands. The young Emperor, in his proclamation, expressed his conviction of the value of free institutions, and said that he entered with confidence on the path of a prosperous reformation of the monarchy.THE JUMMA MUSJID, DELHI. (From a Photograph by Frith & Co.)
Meanwhile, in America military intrigues were on foot against Washington. Amongst these endeavours was one for alienating from him Lafayette. For this purpose an expedition was planned against Canada, and Lafayette, as a Frenchman, was appointed to the command, hoping thus to draw to him the Frenchmen of Canada. Not a word was to be breathed of it to Washington; and Conway and Starke, two of the most malicious members of the cabal, were to take command under Lafayette. On the 24th of January, 1778, Washington received a letter from Gates, the President of the Board of War, commanding him to send one of his best regiments to Albany, on the Hudson, for a particular service, and enclosing another to Lafayette, requiring his immediate attendance on Gates. Gates found, however, that Lafayette was not to be seduced from his attachment to Washington. He would not accept the command, otherwise than as acting in subordination to his Commander-in-Chief; and he should send all his despatches and bulletins to him, at the same time that he furnished copies to Congress. The vain Frenchman verily believed that he was going to restore Canada, not to America, but to the French Crown—a fear which began to haunt Congress after he had set out; but the fear was needless. When Lafayette reached his invading army, instead of two thousand five hundred men, it amounted to about one thousand two hundred, and the militia were nowhere to be heard of. Clothes, provisions, sledges, were all wanting, and, instead of leading his troops, as he was directed, to Lake Champlain, whence he was to proceed to ?le-aux-Noix to blow up the English flotilla, and thence, crossing the Sorel, to descend the St. Lawrence to Montreal, he gave up the expedition with a sigh, and returned to the camp of Washington.[See larger version]
After the Painting by BIRKET FOSTER, R.W.S.As for Spain, she abandoned all designs on Portugal, and restored the colony of Sacramento; and she surrendered every point on which her declaration of war against England was based—namely, the right to fish on the coast of Newfoundland; the refusal to allow us to cut logwood in Honduras; and to admit the settlement of questions of capture by our courts of law.
FROM THE PAINTING BY J. M. W. TURNER, R.A., IN THE NATIONAL GALLERY.The English lay all night on their arms, and, as day dawned, began to entrench their position. If ever a general needed to push on his advantage it was now. Every day was consuming Burgoyne's stores; every day was augmenting the forces of the enemy. The country was closed to Burgoyne; it was open with all its resources to the Americans. Yet he lay there, as if paralysed, from the 20th of September to the 7th of October. The reason of this fatal delay is said to have been that Burgoyne had received a letter from General Sir Henry Clinton at New York, informing him that he must expect no co-operation from General Howe, but that he himself would take the responsibility of making a diversion in his favour by attacking the Forts Montgomery and Clinton, on the lower part of the Hudson. Burgoyne, on receiving this intelligence, sent Clinton word that he would remain where he was till the 12th of October—a fatal resolve, as a calculation of his stores should have shown him, which the acts of the Americans were certain to render calamitous. Elated at being able to stand their ground in some degree, this novel and almost sole success in the war had raised the spirits of the Colonials as by a miracle. They poured in on all sides, and Arnold, ever ready in resource, suggested to Gates an enterprise to be effected while Burgoyne was lying still and consuming his own victuals.
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The Viennese repeatedly sent petitions and deputations imploring him in vain to return; and it was not till the 8th of August that he consented to quit the safe asylum he had chosen. Personally he had nothing to apprehend. He was amiable and kind, and wanted both the ability and energy to make himself feared. It was not at Vienna alone, or in the Austrian province, that the imperial power was paralysed. Every limb of the vast empire quivered in the throes of revolution. Two days after the outbreak in Vienna a great meeting, convoked anonymously, was held at Prague, the capital of Bohemia, which passed resolutions demanding constitutional government; perfect equality in the two races—German and Czech; the union of Bohemia, Moravia, and Silesia, with a common Diet to meet alternately at Prague and Brünn; that judicial proceedings should be public; that there should be a separate and responsible government at Prague, with security for personal liberty; free press, and religious equality. A deputation was sent with these demands to Vienna. They were all granted; Bohemia was recognised as having a distinct nationality; the Prince Francis Joseph, afterwards Emperor of Austria, having been appointed Viceroy. Even so Slav ambition was unsatisfied, and Prague had to be bombarded by the Austrian troops.
LOUIS BLANC.[See larger version]
It was in these circumstances that Sir James Graham, on the 7th of April, brought forward a series of resolutions on our relations with China, and the Government escaped defeat by a narrow majority of ten. A vote of censure would inevitably have been passed, had not the Duke of Wellington expressed his cordial approval of the Ministerial policy. His followers were furious. "I know it," said the Duke to Charles Greville, "and I do not care one damn. I have no time to do what is not right."December 10th. January 11th.详情
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