In the manufacture of iron a most material discovery of smelting the ore by the use of pit-coal was made. The forests of England were so much reduced by the consumption of wood in the iron furnaces, that it was contemplated removing the business to our American colonies. This necessity was obviated by the discovery by Dud Dudley of a mode of manufacturing bar-iron with coal instead of wood. This discovery had been patented in 1619, yet, singularly, had been neglected; but in 1740 the principle was applied at Coalbrookdale, and iron thus made tough or brittle, as was wished. Iron works, now not confined to one spot by the necessity of wood, sprang up at various places in England and Wales, and the great works at Rotherham were established in 1750, and the famous Carron works in Scotland in 1760. The quantity of pig-iron made in 1740 was calculated at 17,000 tons, and the number of people employed in the iron trade at the end of this period is supposed to be little short of 300,000.Whilst the rebellion was raging in Scotland there had been an attempt to change the ministry, and to place at the helm Lord Granville. That nobleman had so engrossed the favour of the king, that Pelham and his brother, Newcastle, found their measures greatly obstructed by Granville's influence, and suspected that they would soon be called on to give place to him. They determined, therefore, to bring matters to a crisis, confident that Granville would never be able to secure a majority in either House against them. To furnish a reason for their tendering their resignation, they demanded the place which they had promised to Pitt.Buonaparte continued the pursuit of the Allies as far as Pirna, whence, owing to indisposition, he returned to Dresden; but Vandamme, Murat, Marmont, and St. Cyr pushed forward by different ways to cut off the route of the fugitives into the mountains of Bohemia. Vandamme, however, having passed Peterswald, beyond which he had orders not to proceed, was tempted to try for T?plitz, where the Allied sovereigns lay, and take it. In doing this he was enclosed, in a deep valley near Kulm, by Ostermann and other bodies of the Allies, completely routed, and taken prisoner, with Generals Haxo and Guyot, the loss of two eagles, and seven thousand prisoners. This was on the 29th of August.
Whilst these indignant sentiments were uttering, the petitions for economical reform were pouring in from all parts of the country in such numbers that the table of the House appeared buried under them. The House went into committee upon the subject, and then Dunning rose and introduced his famous motion for a resolution in these words:—"That it is the opinion of this committee that the influence of the Crown has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished." Dunning declaimed in language bold and unsparing, and expatiated at great length on the alarming influence of the Crown, purchased by the lavish expenditure of the people's money, the people thus being made the instruments of their own slavery. He censured in stinging terms the treatment of the economical plans of Burke, the treacherous terms of approbation with which Ministers had received them, and then had trodden on them piecemeal till they had left of them the merest shred. He trusted the nation would still resent this audacious mockery of reform—this insult to the most distinguished patriots. This was the way, he contended, that this Administration had again and again acted—adding ridicule to oppression. Dunning's motion was carried, at a late hour of the night, by two hundred and thirty-three votes against two hundred and fifteen.
The affair was now becoming serious, and Hastings demanded to be heard at the bar, where he appeared on the 1st of May, and read a long and wearisome defence, which did not go to a denial of the charges, but a justification of them, from the need of money to save India, and from the approbation awarded to these actions both in India and at the India House. On the 1st of June Burke brought forward his first charge—the Rohilla war. The debate was not finished till seven o'clock on the morning of the 3rd. The motion was rejected by one hundred and nineteen against sixty-seven, and it was fondly hoped that the proceedings against Hastings were altogether crushed. Lord Thurlow advised the king to carry out his intention to make Hastings Baron Daylesford, and the talk in the clubs and West End assemblies was the triumph of Hastings. But the rejoicing was premature. On the 13th of June Fox took up the second charge—the treatment of Cheyte Sing and Francis, with all the bitterness of his character, and of his hatred of Hastings, supported it. So black were the facts now produced that Pitt was compelled to give way. He defended the Governor-General for calling on Cheyte Sing to contribute men and money for the war against Mysore; he lauded the firmness, decision and ability of Hastings, but he was forced to admit that he had been excessive in his demands, and must support the charge.
The Ministers and the Prince Regent, indeed, fully approved of the conduct of these magistrates, and that was to be expected, for neither of these parties ever evinced much sympathy for the people, and consequently received very little regard in return. There was a disposition to rule by the high hand in both the Prince and the Cabinet, which eventually brought them into extreme odium, and warned them that very different times were approaching. On the reassembling of Parliament Lord Sidmouth made the most candid statement of the full and entire approbation of himself and his colleagues of this cruel and dastardly transaction. He said that the news of the event reached town on the Tuesday night; and that it was followed on the Wednesday by two gentlemen from Manchester, one of them a magistrate, to give the Government the most minute particulars regarding it; that a Cabinet Council was immediately summoned, at which the two Manchester gentlemen attended, and entered into the fullest details of all that had taken place; and that the Attorney-General and Solicitor-General, then present, gave it as their opinion that the proceedings were perfectly justified by the necessity of the case. The statement of all particulars was then dispatched to the Prince Regent, who was yachting off Christchurch, and, on the 19th, the Prince replied, by the hand of Sir Benjamin Bloomfield, expressing his "high approbation and commendation of the conduct of the magistrates and civil authorities at Manchester, as well as of the officers and troops, both regular and yeoman cavalry, whose firmness and effectual support of the civil power preserved the peace of the town on that most critical occasion." To most people this appeared to be giving commendation, not for preserving, but for disturbing the peace of the town; but Lord Sidmouth, having received this sanction, addressed letters, on the 21st, to the Lords-Lieutenant of Lancashire and Cheshire, the Earls of Derby and Stamford, requesting them to convey to the magistrates of the two counties, who were present at Manchester on the 16th, "the great satisfaction derived by his Royal Highness from their prompt, decisive, and efficient measures for the preservation of the public tranquillity." Hunt and his confederates were charged with high treason; but, on the circumstances being examined, they were found not to bear out this charge, and Hunt and his friends were indicted only for a treasonable conspiracy; and true bills to the extent of this mitigated charge were proved against Hunt and nine others at the summer assizes for the county of Lancaster.SCENE AT THE "SURRENDER" BANQUET IN DERRY. (See p. 287.)
On the 11th of February Lord Althorp brought forward the Budget. Basing his calculations on the revenue of the previous year, he estimated the national income at ￡50,000,000, and the expenditure at ￡46,850,000, leaving an anticipated surplus of more than ￡3,000,000; and it was proposed to take off taxes to the whole of that amount, and to replace it to some extent by other taxes, less burdensome to the people. The principal taxes to be taken off were those on tobacco, sea-borne coal, tallow candles, glass, printed calicoes, and newspapers. The new taxes consisted in an increase of the duties on wine, colonial timber, and raw cotton, a tax on steamboat passengers, and on the transfers of funded property. The proposed new taxes excited violent opposition, which obliged the Chancellor of the Exchequer to modify some of them, and abandon the last two; in fact, the financial scheme was a failure. Equally unsuccessful were his attempts to introduce retrenchments into the Civil and Pension Lists. But the Government was borne up by its great measure, the Reform Bill.These events were a little diversified by the storming of Algiers on the 27th of August. In 1815 the Government of the United States of America had set the example of punishing the piratical depredations of the Algerines. They seized a frigate and a brig, and obtained a compensation of sixty thousand dollars. They do not appear to have troubled themselves to procure any release of Christian slaves, or to put an end to the practice of making such slaves; and, indeed, it would have been rather an awkward proposal on the part of North Americans, as the Dey might have demanded, as a condition of such a treaty, the liberation of some three millions of black slaves in return. But at the Congress of Vienna a strong feeling had been shown on the part of European Governments to interfere on this point. It was to the disgrace of Great Britain that, at the very time that she had been exerting herself so zealously to put an end to the negro slave trade, she had been under engagements of treaty with this nest of corsairs; and Lord Cochrane stated in Parliament this year that only three or four years before it had been his humiliating duty to carry rich presents from our Government to the Dey of Algiers. But in the spring of this year it was determined to make an effort to check the daring piracies of Tunis, Algiers, and Tripoli. Lord Exmouth was sent to these predatory Powers, but rather to treat than to chastise; and he effected the release of one thousand seven hundred and ninety-two Christian slaves. From Tunis and Tripoli he obtained a declaration that no more Christian slaves should be made. The Dey of Algiers refused to make such concession till he had obtained the permission of the Sultan. Lord Exmouth gave him three months to determine this point, and returned home. A clause in the treaty which he had made with Algiers ordered that Sicily and Sardinia should pay nearly four hundred thousand dollars for the ransom of their subjects; they accordingly paid it. This clause excited just condemnation in England, as actually acknowledging the right of the Algerines to make Christian slaves.
The Hon. H. Skeffington, made clerk of Paper Office at the Castle, with ￡7,500 for his patronage.
The brilliant successes of this campaign had clearly been the result of Pitt's plans before quitting office. Bute and his colleagues had no capacity for such masterly policy, and as little perception of the immense advantages which these conquests gave them in making peace. Peace they were impatient for—less on the great grounds that peace was the noblest of national blessings, than because the people grumbled at the amount of taxation—and because, by peace, they diminished, or hoped to diminish, the prestige of the great Minister, who had won such vast accessions to the national territory. Bute was eager to come to terms with France and Spain, regardless of the advantages he gave to prostrate enemies by showing that impatience. Had he made a peace as honourable as the war had been, he would have deserved well of the country; but to accomplish such a peace required another stamp of mind.CHAPTER XVII. REIGN OF GEORGE III. (continued).Prosperity of the Manufacturers—Depression of Agriculture—Resumption of Cash Payments—A restricted Currency—The Budget of 1823—Mr. Huskisson—Change of the Navigation Acts—Budget of 1824—Removal of the Duties on Wool and Silk—Repeal of the Spitalfields Act and the Combination Laws—Speculative Mania—The Crash—Remedial Measures of the Government—Riots and Machine-breaking—Temporary Change in the Corn Laws—Emigration—State of Ireland—Efforts of Lord Wellesley—Condition of the Peasantry—Unlawful Societies—The Bottle Riot—Failure to obtain the Conviction of the Rioters—The Tithe Commutation Act—Revival of the Catholic Question—Peel's Views—The Catholic Association and its Objects—Bill for its Suppression—Plunket's Speech—A new Association formed—Rejection of Burdett's Resolution—Fears of the Moderates—General Election—Its Features—Inquiry into the Bubble Companies—Death of the Duke of York—Canning's vigorous Policy in Portugal—Weakness of the Ministry and Illness of Liverpool—Who was to be his Successor?—Canning's Difficulties—Peel and the Old Tories resign—State of Canning's Health—His arrangements completed—Opposition to Him—His Illness and Death—Collapse of the Goderich Ministry—Wellington forms an Administration—Eldon is omitted—The Battle of Navarino—"The Untoward Event"—Resignation of the Canningites—Grievances of the Dissenters—Lord John Russell's Motion for the Repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts—Peel's Reply—Progress of the Measure—Lord Eldon's opposition—Public Rejoicings.
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The Swiss acted a more cautious part. Fearful that Napoleon might yet, by some other wonderful chance, regain his power, they summoned a Diet, passed an order for the neutrality of the cantons, and issued an order calling on the Allies to respect this, and not attempt to march troops through their country. This would have suited Buonaparte extremely well, as it would have closed his eastern frontiers to the Austrians, who were marching that way under Count Bubna; but the Austrians informed the Swiss authorities that they should certainly march through; and the Allied sovereigns dispatched Count Capo d'Istria and Herr Lebzeltern to Zurich to state that the power of France over Switzerland was at an end, and to desire them to send deputies to meet them, and to establish an independent government for Switzerland. Thus assured, the greater part of the cantons sent their deputies to Zurich, who proclaimed the restoration of national independence, and gave free consent for the armies of the Allies to march through the country.CHAPTER X. REIGN OF WILLIAM IV. (continued).Progress of the War on the Continent—Lethargic Condition of Politics—Battle of Laufeldt—Capture of Bergen-op-Zoom—Disasters of the French on the Sea and in Italy—Negotiations for Peace—Congress of Aix-la-Chapelle—Conditions of Peace—Peace at Home—Commercial Treaty with Spain—Death of the Prince of Wales—Popular feeling against the Bill for Naturalising the Jews—Lord Hardwicke's Marriage Act—Foundation of the British Museum—Death of Pelham—Newcastle's Difficulties—Failure of Robinson—Approaching Danger from America—A State of Undeclared War—The Battles of Boscawen and Braddock—George's Anxiety for Hanover—Subsidiary Treaties against Prussia—Pitt's Opposition—Debate in the House of Commons—Danger of England—French Expedition against Minorca—The Failure of Byng—Newcastle resigns—Attempts to Form a Ministry—Devonshire Succeeds—Weakness of the Ministry—Coalition against Prussia—Alliance with England—Commencement of the Seven Years' War—Frederick Conquers Saxony—Gloominess of Affairs—Court-Martial on Byng, and his Death—Dismissal of Pitt—The Pitt and Newcastle Coalition—Failure of the attack on Rochefort and of that on Louisburg—Convention of Closter-Seven—Frederick's Campaign; Kolin, Rosbach, and Lissa—Successes elsewhere—Wolfe and Clive—Battle of Plassey—Capture of Louisburg—Ticonderoga and Fort Duquesne—Attacks on St. Malo and Cherbourg—Victory of Crefeld—Frederick's Campaign—Commencement of 1759; Blockade of the French Coast—Pitt's Plans for the Conquest of Canada—Amherst's and Prideaux's Columns—Wolfe before Quebec—Position of the City—Wolfe fails to draw Montcalm from his Position—Apparent Hopelessness of the Expedition—Wolfe Scales the Heights of Abraham—The Battle—Successes in India—Battle of Quiberon—Frederick's Fortunes—Campaign of Ferdinand of Brunswick—Battle of Minden—Glorious Termination of the Year—French Descent on Carrickfergus—Attempt of the French to Recover Quebec—Their Expulsion from North America—Frederick's Fourth Campaign—Successes of Ferdinand of Brunswick—Death of George II.
INVASION OF CANADA: RED MEN ON THE WAR PATH. (See p. 35.)详情
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