MAP OF SPAIN AND PORTUGAL TO ILLUSTRATE THE PENINSULAR WAR.On the 9th of October the King of Prussia issued a manifesto from his headquarters at Erfurt, calling attention to the continual aggressions of France—those aggressions which Prussia had so long watched in profound apathy, and which, by timely union with Austria and Russia, might have been checked. But Prussia had, by her mean conduct, now stripped herself of all sympathy and all co-operation. She would have been very glad indeed of the money of Great Britain, but she had so far favoured the very aggressions of Buonaparte of which she now complained as to receive Hanover from him, and could not even now find it in her heart to surrender it, and make a powerful friend by that act of justice. The Emperor of Russia was willing to co-operate, but Prussia had made her hostile manifestations before Alexander could approach with his army. In reply to the intimations of Prussia, that she would be glad of the support of Britain, Lord Morpeth was sent to Berlin; but the language of the Prussian Ministry was still of the most selfish and impolitic character, and Lucchesini told Lord Morpeth that the fate of Hanover must depend on the event of the coming war. With such a Power no union could take place, and in this isolated and pitiable condition Prussia was left to try her strength with Napoleon. As for that ambitious soldier, he desired nothing so much as this encounter with Prussia; he saw in it the only obstacle to his complete dominion over Germany, and he was confident that he should scatter her armies at the first shock.
During the year 1796 strong forces were sent to the West Indies, and the Island of Grenada was recovered by General Nichols; St. Lucia, by General Abercromby, whilst General Whyte conquered the Dutch settlements of Demerara, Berbice, and Essequibo; but some of these possessions were dearly purchased by the number of the troops who perished from the unhealthiness of their climate. The Dutch made an effort to recover the Cape of Good Hope. They were to have been assisted by the French in this enterprise, but their allies not keeping their engagement, they sailed alone, and reached Saldanha Bay on the 3rd of August, when Rear-Admiral Sir George Elphinstone surprised and captured the whole of their vessels, consisting of two sixty-four-gun ships, one fifty-four, five frigates and sloops, and a store-ship. A squadron then proceeded from the Cape to Madagascar, and destroyed a French settlement there, seizing five merchant vessels.
On the 8th of April the dissolution of the Peel Administration took place, and on the 18th Lord Melbourne announced the completion of his arrangements. On that occasion Lord Alvanley asked the Premier if he had secured the assistance of Mr. O'Connell and his friends, and if so, upon what terms. Lord Melbourne answered that he did not coincide in opinion with Mr. O'Connell; that he had taken no means to secure his support; that he gave the most decided negative to Lord Alvanley's question; adding, "And if he has been told anything to the contrary, he has been told what is false, and without foundation." In the House of Commons, a few days after, Colonel Sibthorpe spoke of O'Connell as the prompter and adviser of the new Ministry, and said: "I do not like the countenances of the honourable gentlemen opposite, for I believe them to be the index of their minds, and I will oppose them on every point, from the conviction that they could not bring forward anything that would tend to benefit the country. I earnestly hope that we shall have a safe and speedy riddance from such a band." This escapade roused the ire of O'Connell, who instantly rose and said that he thought the gallant colonel's countenance was, at all events, as remarkable as any upon the Ministerial benches. He would not abate him a single hair in point of good-humour. "Elsewhere," he said, "these things may be treated in a different style. There is no creature—not even a half-maniac or a half-idiot—that may not take upon himself to use that language there which he would know better than to make use of elsewhere; and the bloated buffoon ought to learn the distinction between independent men and those whose votes are not worth purchasing, even if they were in the market."MR. (AFTERWARDS LORD) MACAULAY. (From a photograph by Maull and Fox.)
The American Colonies and their Trade—Growing Irritation in America—The Stamp Act—The American Protest—The Stamp Act passed—Its Reception in America—The King's Illness—The Regency Bill—The Princess Dowager omitted—Her Name inserted in the Commons—Negotiations for a Change of Ministry—The old Ministry returns—Fresh Negotiations with Pitt—The first Rockingham Ministry—Riots in America—The Stamped Paper destroyed—Pitt's Speech—The Stamp Act repealed—Weakness of the Government—Pitt and Temple disagree—Pitt forms a Ministry—And becomes Lord Chatham—His Comprehensive Policy—The Embargo on Wheat—Illness of Chatham—Townshend's Financial Schemes—Corruption of Parliament—Wilkes elected for Middlesex—Arrest of Wilkes—Dangerous Riots—Dissolution of the Boston Assembly—Seizure of the Liberty Sloop—Debates in Parliament—Continued Persecution of Wilkes—His Letter to Lord Weymouth—Again expelled the House—His Re-election—The Letters of Junius—Luttrell declared elected for Middlesex—Incapacity of the Ministry—Partial Concessions to the Americans—Bernard leaves Boston—He is made a Baronet—"The Horned Cattle Session"—Lord Chatham attacks the Ministry—Resignations of Granby and Camden—Yorke's Suicide—Dissolution of the Ministry.[See larger version]
The army had declared for the Republic; the clergy were passive; but the great difficulty was with the unemployed workmen of Paris, to whom promises were made which it was utterly impossible to fulfil. The Government undertook "to put an end to the long and iniquitous sufferings of workmen, and to give employment to every one, at good wages;" for which purpose a commission was appointed, whose president was M. Louis Blanc, and his vice-president M. Albert, formerly a manufacturer, to whose name the word ouvrier was always attached. This commission fixed the time of labour as ten hours for all professions. One of the first fruits of its interference with the labour market was a demand that the British workmen should be expelled from the railways and different manufacturing establishments. In many places they had to fly for their lives, to escape the fury of the mob.
In concluding the remarkable events of this year, we must turn to India, and witness the termination of the career of Tippoo Sahib. This prince, for ever restless under the losses which he had suffered from the British, though nominally at peace with them, was seeking alliances to help him once more to contend with them. He sought to engage the Afghans in his favour, and to bring over the British ally, the Nizam of the Deccan. Failing in this, he made overtures to the French Republic through the Governor of the Isle of France. Buonaparte, as we have said, had Tippoo in his mind when he proposed to march to India and conquer it, but only a few hundreds of French of the lowest caste reached Seringapatam from the Isle of France. Lord Mornington, afterwards the Marquis of Wellesley, determined to anticipate the plans of Tippoo, and dispatched General Harris with twenty-four thousand men into Mysore, at the same time ordering another force of seven thousand, under General Stuart, from Bombay, to co-operate with him. To these also was added a strong reinforcement of British troops in the pay of the Nizam, and some regiments of sepoys, commanded by English officers. The united forces of Harris and the Nizam came into conflict with Tippoo's army on the 22nd of March, 1799, when within two days' march of Seringapatam. In this action, Colonel Wellesley, afterwards the Duke of Wellington, greatly distinguished himself, and the success of the action was ascribed to his regiment, the 34th. On the 5th of April General Harris invested Seringapatam, and on the 14th General Stuart arrived with the Bombay army. Tippoo soon made very humble overtures for peace, but the British, having no faith in him, continued the siege, and the city was carried by storm on the 4th of May, and Tippoo himself was found amongst the slain. Two of his sons fell into the hands of the victors; his territories were divided between the British and the Nizam. The former retained Seringapatam and the island on which it is situated, and the whole of his territory on the Malabar coast, with Coimbra, and all the rest of his possessions stretching to the Company's territories west and east, thus completing their dominion from sea to sea. The Nizam received equally valuable regions in the interior, and a province was bestowed on the descendant of the Hindoo rajah who had been dispossessed of it by Hyder Ali, Tippoo's father. Thus was the British empire of India freed from its most formidable enemy, and thus was it enabled, soon afterwards, to send an armament up the Red Sea to assist in driving the French from Egypt.The only matters of interest debated in Parliament during this year, except that of the discontent in the country, were a long debate on Catholic emancipation, in the month of May, which was negatived by a majority of only twenty-four, showing that that question was progressing towards its goal; and a motion of Lord Castlereagh for the gradual abolition of sinecures. This intimated some slight impression of the necessity to do something to abate the public dissatisfaction, but it was an impression only on the surface. This Ministry was too much determined to maintain the scale of war expenditure to which they had been accustomed to make any real retrenchment. A committee appointed to consider the scheme recommended the abolition of sinecures to the amount of fifty-four thousand pounds per annum, but neutralised the benefit by recommending instead a pension-list of forty-two thousand pounds per annum. The country received the amendment with disgust and derision.On the 8th of March, 1801, General Sir Ralph Abercromby landed in Egypt, where Nelson had fought the battle of Aboukir. Menou brought down against the British twelve or fourteen thousand men, including a fine body of cavalry. Sir Ralph Abercromby landed only about ten thousand in effective order, but these were men full of ardour and disciplined to perfection. On the 8th of March they landed in face of the French, five thousand being put on shore at once, these returning no single shot whilst in the boats, though assailed by fifteen pieces of artillery from the opposite hill, and by grape-shot from Aboukir Castle. They were led on by General (afterwards Sir John) Moore; and running, or climbing on hands and knees, up the steep sand-hills, they drove the French from their cannon, and seized them. The French retreated, and posted themselves on some heights between Aboukir and Alexandria. On the 19th, having compelled Fort Aboukir to surrender, General Abercromby advanced, and found Menou had concentrated all his forces between them and Alexandria. On the 21st of March a general engagement took place. It commenced as early as three o'clock in the morning, whilst quite dark, by an attack on the British left, which was meant to draw all attention to that quarter, then a desperate charge was made on the right by the main body of the French cavalry, which hoped to get into the rear of the British infantry; but the attempted surprise failed: the French were driven back with great loss. As the day dawned the battle became general, and the French found themselves opposed not only by accustomed British doggedness, but by a precision of fire and an adroitness of man?uvre which astonished them. By ten o'clock the French were in full flight for Alexandria, leaving seventeen hundred men on the field. The loss of the British was stated at fourteen hundred killed and wounded; and, unfortunately, the brave Abercromby was killed. To complete the success, the Capitan Pacha's fleet in a few days brought a Turkish army of between five and six thousand men, and the Grand Vizier, posted at El Arish, began to march towards Cairo. General Hutchinson, now chief in command of the British army, hastened to join the Grand Vizier; but before he could accomplish this, he had to drive four thousand French from a fortified camp at Ramaneeh, and meanwhile five thousand French rushed out of Cairo and attacked the Grand Vizier. On the 27th of June Cairo capitulated, General Belliard obtaining the condition that his troops should be conveyed to the ports of France on the Mediterranean with their arms and baggage; yet they left behind them three hundred and thirteen heavy cannon and one hundred thousand pounds of gunpowder. On the 8th of June General Baird had landed at Cosseir on the Red Sea with his Indian army, and was marching through the burning desert for Cairo. Menou, cooped up at Alexandria, found it useless to contend further and, before Baird could join the main army, capitulated on the same terms as Belliard, and the Egyptian campaign was at an end. The news of the French expulsion reached France sooner than it did England, and created a strong sensation.
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Carleton being, by the beginning of June, reinforced by still more troops from England, determined to follow the Americans. They had reached the Three Rivers, about midway between Quebec and Montreal, and about thirty miles from the American headquarters on the Sorel, when General Sullivan, who had succeeded Thomas, sent two thousand men under General Thompson. They got across the river and hoped to surprise the English; but it was daylight before they drew near the Three Rivers. Landing with confusion, they sought a place where they could form and defend themselves; but they found themselves entangled in a labyrinth of streams and morasses. Then they were attacked, front and rear, by Generals Fraser and Nesbit. In the suddenness of the surprise, no precaution had been taken to secure or destroy their boats; the remainder of the Americans, therefore, getting into them, pulled away and crossed. Sullivan, who had hastened to support them, now, accompanied by St. Clair, made the best of his way back to Fort Chambly. Carleton pursued, but coming to the Sorel, instead of sailing up it, by which he might have reached Chambly nearly a day earlier than Sullivan, with a strange neglect he continued lying at the mouth of the river for a couple of days. Had he not done this, Arnold would have been intercepted at Montreal, and Ticonderoga, now defenceless, would have fallen into his hands. By this false step much damage to the king's cause ensued. Carleton, however, determined to seek out Arnold himself, and sent on General Burgoyne in pursuit of Sullivan. Burgoyne made quick pursuit; but the Americans were too nimble for both himself and Carleton. Arnold hastily evacuated Montreal, and, crossing the river, joined Sullivan at St. John's, on the Sorel. There Sullivan proposed to make a stand, but his troops would not support him, for the whole army was in a state of insubordination. Burgoyne marched rapidly after them; but, on reaching the head of the Sorel, he found they had escaped him by embarking on the lake. Sullivan and Arnold had encamped on the Isle aux Noix, a swampy place, where their men perished, many of them, of fever, and Burgoyne was obliged to satisfy himself with the thought that they were driven out of Canada.
THE TOLBOOTH, EDINBURGH.In the West Indies a small squadron and some land troops took the islands of Tobago, St. Pierre, and Miquelon. At the invitation of the planters, we also took possession of the western or French portion of St. Domingo; but in Martinique, where we had had the same invitation, the Royalist French did not support our efforts according to promise, and the enterprise failed from the smallness of the force employed. Besides these transactions, there occurred a severe fight between Captain Courteney, of the frigate Boston, with only thirty-two guns and two hundred men, and the Ambuscade, a French frigate of thirty-six guns and four hundred picked men, in which both received much damage, and in which Captain Courteney was killed, but in which the Frenchman was compelled to haul off. In the East Indies we again seized Pondicherry, and all the small factories of the French.详情
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