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Lucia. In Africa the river Senegal, and all Senegal and Goree-In Asia, Pondicherry its dependencies and forts, were ceded, and was not only given back, but, to render the the island of Goree restored to the French. boon more acceptable, a large territory was In the East Indies England restored all her made to accompany it-In America, the proconquests. The articles also relative to the hibitions against fortifying St. Pierre and port and harbor of Dunkirk, established at Miquelon were removed, and the limits of the peace of Utrecht, were by the new the fisuery extended-and under pretence treaty annulled.
of drawing a boundary line, the treaty grants In return for these concessions, France to the United States an immense tract of restored to Great Britain the islands of Gren- country inhabited by more than twenty Inada, the Grenadines, St. Vincent, Dominica, dian nations—In the West Indies, St. Lucia St. Christopher's, Nevis, and Montserrat, in was relinquished, which was of such milithe West Indies; and in Africa the posses- tary importance, that so long as we retained sion of Fort James, and the river Gambia, this island in our hands, we might well have were guarantied to Great Britain. stood upon the uti possidetis, as the basis of
By the treaty with Spain, Great Britain negotiation in that quarter– The cession of relinquished all right and claim to West East Florida to Spain was an extravagance Florida, and the island of_Minorca, and for which it was impossible to find even the ceded the province of East Florida : on the shadow of a pretence—to complete the other side, the Bahama islands were restor-whole, France was allowed to repair and ed to Great Britain. With respect to the fortify the harbor of Dunkirk, which, in the Dutch, a suspension of arms only was agreed event of a future war, might annoy our to; and it was some months before the pre- trade in its centre, and counteract all the liminaries were settled. (See note B, at the advantages of our local situation for foreign end of this Vol.)
commerce: and what is most wonderful,
PEACE.—MINISTRY OUTVOTED—THEY unequivocal desire; the end he had in view
was the advantage of his country, and he The parliament met on the twenty-first was certain that he had attained it. The of January 1783, and a coalition having vast uncultivated tract of land to the southbeen previously formed between lord North ward of the lakes,” his lordship said, “ was and the Portland faction, some debates en- of infinite consequence to America, and of sued concerning the provisional articles none to England; and the retention of it, or with America; but little business of conse- even of the forts which commanded it, could quence was transacted till the seventeenth only have laid the foundation of future hosof February, when the preliminary articles tility. If our liberality to Ireland was the subwere laid before the two houses.
ject of just applause, why act upon princiAn address of thanks and approbation be- ples of illiberality to America ? The refusal ing moved in the house of peers by lord of the Newfoundland fishery would have Pembroke, and seconded by the marquis of been a direct manifestation of hostile intenCarmarthen, a succession of able and elo- tions; and as it lay on their coasts, it was in quent speeches were made by the lords Car- reality impossible to exclude them from it lisle, Walsington, Sackville, Stormont, and by any restrictions; it is an advantage which Loughborough, reprobating the prelimina- nature has given them, and to attempt to ries of peace as derogatory from the dignity, wrest it from them would not only be unjust, and in the highest degree injurious to the but impracticable. Of one objection his interests of the nation. “The dereliction of lordship acknowledged that he deeply felt the loyalists of America, and the Indians our the force. His regret and compassion for the allies, was said to be a baseness unexampled situation of the unhappy loyalists were as in the records of history. In the lowest ebb pungent as those of their warmest advocates. of distress we ought not to have subscribed This objection admitted only of one answer, to terms so ignominious. Francis I. when the answer which he had given to his own conquered and a captive, wrote, “ that all bleeding heart— It is better that a part was lost except his honor;" and his mag- should suffer, rather than the whole empire nanimity finally re-established his fortune. perish. He would have dashed from him
The folly of our negotiations was every- the bitter cup which the adversities of his where apparent._ In Africa, our trade was country held out to him, if peace had not surrendered to France by the cession of been absolutely necessary-if it had not
been called for with a unanimity and vigored against without candor or reason ; Dinthat could not be resisted. No arts of ad- kirk, as a port, was, as his lordship asserted, dress or negotiation had been neglected; but far from possessing the consequence ascribed the American commissioners had no power to it; it lies near a shoaly part of the chanto concede further. The congress itself had nel; it cannot receive ships of a large size, not the power-for, by the constitution of and can never be a rendezvous for squadrons; America, every state was supreme, including it may indeed be a resort for privateers, but in itself the legislative and judicial powers; these we know by experience could easily its jurisdiction, therefore, was not liable to issue from other ports. In fine, the confedecontrol. In the mode of interposition, by racy formed against us was decidedly surecommendation alone, could the congress perior to our utmost exertions our taxes act. If, after all, the loyalists should not be were exorbitant-our debts, funded and unreceived into the bosom of their native coun- funded, amounted to two hundred and fortytry, Britain, penetrated with gratitude for seven millions our commerce was rapidly their services, and warm with the feelings declining-our navy was overbalanced by of humanity, would afford them an asylum: the feets of the combined powers, in the and it would doubtless be wiser to indemnify alarming proportion of more than fifty ships them for their losses, than to ruin the nation of the line. Peace was in those circumby a renewal or prolongation of the calami- stances necessary to our existence as a naties of war. The cession of East Florida, tion. The best terms of accommodation his lordship said, was rendered unavoidable, which our situation would admit had been by the mistaken and ruinous policy of those procured; and his lordship ventured to affirm, ministers who had brought the nation under that they could be decried or opposed only the miserable necessity of treating with its by ignorance, prejudice, or faction.” On a enemies on terms very different from those it division, the address was carried by a macould formerly have commanded. This prov- jority of seventy-two to fifty-nine voices. ince, detached from Western Florida, already In the house of commons the ministry conquered by the arms of Spain, was how- were less successful. The address was ever of trivial value; and the amount of its moved by T. Pitt, and seconded by Wilberimports and exports bore no proportion to force. It however met with a very different the expense of its civil establishment. We fate, after giving occasion to very warm had, nevertheless, obtained a compensation debates. in the restitution of the Bahamas. Although An amendment to the address was prothe bounds of the French fishery were some-posed by lord John Cavendish, and seconded what extended, by far the most eligible by St. John. parts of the Newfoundland coast were left Lord North, in a very long, but (considin possession of the English, and a source of ering his situation) a most unbecoming future contention removed by the exact as- speech, went over the different articles of certainment of limits. In exchange for St. the peace, which he reprobated as being alLucia, France had restored six of the seven together unfavorable to Great Britain, danislands she had taken, and only retained gerous to the safety, and derogatory to the Tobago. Senegal and Goree had been origi- honor of the nation, and not warranted or nally French settlements, but their com- justified by the situation of the parties at merce was inconsiderable; and the whole war. He therefore said, he would vote for African trade was open to the English, by the amendment, to which he proposed to add our settlements on the river Gambia, which a clause in favor of the American loyalists. were guarantied to us by this treaty. The Powys was strenuous for the address, and restoration of Pondicherry, and our other declared his satisfaction with the peace in conquests in the East, must be acknowledg- the most unequivocal manner. He disavow, ed not a measure of expediency so much as ed all personal and interested motives; and of absolute necessity, if the state of the while he gloried that the first lord of the East India company were adverted to. Such treasury had broken the confederacy in arms nad been the formidable confederacy against against this country, he confessed that he which they were compelled to contend, such had no great predilection for his character. the wretched derangement of their finances, He thought that this was the age of strange and so exposed to hazard were their vast confederacies. The world had seen great and precarious possessions, that nothing but and arbitrary despots stand forth the propeace could recover to them their ascen- tectors of an infant republic. France and dency in Asia; in such a situation it was Spain had combined to establish the rising impossible to procure terms of accommoda- liberties of America; and what was wondertion more honorable. The removal of the ful, the house of commons now surveyed the restraints relative to the harbor of Dunkirk counterpart of this picture. A monstrous -restraints disgraceful to France, and of coalition had been made between a noble trifling advantage to England—was inveigh- lord, and an illustrious commoner. The lofty asserter of the prerogative had joined in al-' The defeat of the minister in the house liance with the worshipper of the majesty of commons on the subject of the address of the people.
to the throne, was a topic of universal conThe lord advocate exclaimed against the versation, and considered as a prognostic of amendment, and against the addition made his approaching fall. It was immediately to it by lord North; and from the coalition perceived, that the determination of the formed between the latter and Fox, he judg- house would be a public notification of the ed that they would be both against the ori- impropriety of the peace; and it was thereginal motion. After attacking the coalition, fore thought advisable that it should be folhis lordship defended the treaties. He was lowed up by some other proceedings. Ac' persuaded that, with regard to the loyalists, cordingly, on the twenty-first February, the the ministry had done everything within the subject was a second time brought before compass of their power.
the house of commons by lord John CavenSheridan remarked the reflections which dish. His lordship expressed his concern, had been thrown out against the coalition that the majority for the amendment on the of lord North and Fox; and pointed out, as address to the throne had been represented something more singular, the intimate alli- as having actually voted against the peace, ance which had been formed between the possibly by some persons who might have lord advocate, the most pledged supporter had their own views to serve in propagating of the high prerogative of the crown, and such a report. He was therefore anxious to Pitt, the leader of the popular advocates for convince the nation, and the powers with a parliamentary reform. He doubted not whom we were negotiating, of our fixed dethe convenience of the principles of the termination not to renew the war. Neverlearned lord. They could perpetually fluc- theless, he censured in severe terms the tuate with his interest. It mattered not to conditions on which the peace had been obhim whether he was to advance the pre- tained; and having recapitulated the varogative, or to act to its overthrow. In their rious disadvantages we had sustained in efopposite lines of conduct he could preserve fecting the pacification, read the following his consistency; for his uniform object was motions: himself.
“1. That in consideration of the public Fox now rose, and pointed out the pecu- faith, which ought to be preserved inviolable, liar delicacy of his situation. He had been his faithful commons will support his majesaccused of having formed a union with a ty in rendering firm and permanent the peace noble lord whose principles he had opposed to be concluded definitively, in consequence for several years of his life. But the grounds of the provisional treaty, and the preliminaof their opposition being removed, he did ry articles.—2. That, in concurrence with not conceive it to be honorable to keep up his majesty's paternal regard for his people, animosities for ever. The American war they will employ their best endeavors to imwas the source of his disagreement with the prove the blessings of peace.-3. That his noble lord; and that cause of enmity being majesty, in acknowledging the independence now no more, it was wise and fit to put an of the United States of America, has acted end to the ill-will, the animosity, the rancor, as the circumstances of affairs indisputably and the feuds which it engendered. The required, and in conformity to the sense of learned lord, who had imprudently been so parliament.-4. That the concessions made lavish of his charges, had once been the to the adversaries of Great Britain, are greatobedient friend of the noble person in the er than they were entitled to, either from blue riband; and with what view had he the actual situation of their respective posdeserted him? He had formerly approved sessions, or from their comparative strength. his system when it was calamitous and un- -And, 5. That they would take the case just; and did he now, from a spirit of sys of the loyalists into consideration, and admintem, avoid him when his line of conduct was ister such relief as their conduct and necesmore meritorious? The maxims adopted sity should be found to merit.” by the learned lord were not unknown; The two first resolutions were agreed to and no virtuous statesman could possibly ap- without any opposition. On the third a short nove of them. They taught him to submit debate took place, occasioned by doubts havto perpetual variations of his sentiments; ing arisen in the minds of several members, and to go decidedly into the views of minis- respecting the power vested in the king, to ters, whatever they might be.
acknowledge the independency of the UnitPitt, and several other members, took part ed States, which, it was unanimously agreed in the debate; after which the house having by the gentlemen of the long robe, his madivided, it appeared that ministry were out- jesty had full authority to do, in consequence voted, there being a majority for the amend of the statute past last year to enable him ment of two hundred and twenty-four to two to make peace with America. The last reso inndred and eight.
Ilution lord John Cavendish consented to
waive. On the fourth, which conveyed so tion was unnecessary, lord Surrey consented pointed a censure on ministry, a very ani- to withdraw his motion : and the ministers, mated debate took place; but the memorable who, reluctant to quit the luxury of power, coalition brought such an accession of strength had lingered in office to the last moment, and numbers to one side, that the question now gave place to their determined and vicwas carried against the ministry by a major-torious antagonists. ity of two hundred and seven voices to one COALITION MINISTRY-ACT AGAINST hundred and ninety.
APPEALS FROM IRELAND. The success of this motion ascertained the The duke of Portland was placed at the certainty of a ministerial revolution, and the head of the treasury; and lord John Cavenhouse of commons adjourned from time to dish was reappointed chancellor of the ex-' time, with the view of forwarding a new chequer; lord North and Fox were nominatarrangement. From these ineffectnal en- ed joint secretaries of state, the first for the deavors to accommodate party views, the home, the latter for the foreign department; business of the nation was suspended, and lord Keppel, who had recently resigned on more than a month passed in a kind of min- account of his disapprobation of the peace, isterial interregnum.
was again placed at the head of the admiThe want of an efficient government ralty; lord Stormont was created president could be at no time more severely felt than of the council; and lord Carlisle was adat this. At home the disembodying the mi- vanced to the post of lord privy-seal. The litia, the discharge of seamen, the reduc- great seal was put into commission: the tion of soldiers, the neglect of giving them chief-justice Loughborough, so distinguished their pay, contributed to fill Portsmouth and for political versatility, “ who could change Plymouth with tumult and confusion, and and change and yet go on,” being declared spread mutinies and riots all over the king- first lord commissioner; the earl of Northing, dom. But these were not the only matters ton was appointed to the government of that called for the attention of government. Ireland : and Burke was reinstated in his Our negotiations with foreign powers were former post of paymaster of the forces. Of not brought to an end. No definitive trea- the seven cabinet ministers, the majority, ty was concluded with France and Spain. who also occupied the most important posts No commercial alliance was adjusted with of administration, were of the old whig, or America, and the East India Company re- Rockingham party. Lord Stormont, lord quired the immediate aid of parliament both North, and lord Carlisle, contented themwith regard to its foreign and domestic con- selves rather with a participation of honors
and emoluments, than of power. Such was the state of public affairs, when Notwithstanding, therefore, the admission Coke, member for Norfolk, moved, on the of those tory lords into the ministry, it could twenty-fourth of March, an address to the not but be acknowledged, as to all the grand king, “ That he would be graciously pleased purposes of government, a whig administo take into consideration the distracted and tration : more especially when the ability, unsettled state of the empire, and conde- the vigor, and the decision, of its efficient scend to a compliance with the wishes of leader, were justly and impartially estimatthis house, by forming an administration en- ed. But unfortunately a junction of persons titled to the confidence of his people.” This whose principles were radically hostile, opaddress was unanimously carried, and pre-erated to diminish public confidence in their sented to the king, by such members of the measures ; and therefore, while it obtained house as were privy-counsellors. His majes- them a complete conquest, it deprived them ty replied, “That it was his earnest desire of the more solid advantages of victory. to do everything in his power to comply One of the first measures of the new with the wishes of his faithful commons.” ministry was to expedite the passage of a This answer not being deemed sufficiently bill, before pending, “for preventing any explicit, lord Surrey moved, in a few days writs of error or appeal from the kingdom after, another address, framed in very strong of Ireland, from being received by any of and pointed terms, “Assuring his majesty his majesty's courts in Great Britain; and that all delays in a matter of this moment, of renouncing, in express terms, the legislahave an inevitable tendency to weaken the tive authority of the British parliament in authority of his government, and most hum- relation to Ireland.” This bill was a necesbly entreating his majesty that he will take sary consequence of the general plan of such measures towards this object as may Irish emancipation ; for the mere repeal of quiet the anxiety and apprehension of his the declaratory act did not, in the contemfaithful subjects." But Pitt, declaring that plation of the common law, make any difhe had resigned his office of chancellor of the ference whatever in the relative situation exchequer, and that any resolution or address of the two countries. relative to a new arrangement of administra- Mr. Fox lost no time in attempting to re
move every obstacle which opposed the depended upon the success of the bill ;"
PI'IT'S REFORM BILL.
The former motion of Pitt, for an inqui-
To a representation of the defects and preferred the consistency of public characabuses of Indian government, succeeded in ter to every consideration." In his opinion a few days a disclosure of the ruined state the constitution required innovation and reof the company's finances, by a bill intro- novation. Its nature exposed it to change ; duced by Sir Henry Fletcher, “ For sus- and he regarded it as one of its chief excelpending the payments of the company now lences, that it was capable of renewed imdue to the royal exchequer, and for enabling provements. It might thas be gradually car. them to borrow the sum of three hundred ried to perfection.' thousand pounds for their farther relief.” While the discussion of this important
Lord John Cavendish declared this bill to subject exposed the absurdity of one coalibe only a branch of a larger plan; and that tion, it is very remarkable that it paved the it was brought forward separately, in order way for another, in every view certainly as to answer an exigency which did not admit singular and extraordinary. The lord advoof delay.
cate for Scotland, who had all along distinIn the upper house, lord Fitzwilliam guished himself by his zeal for high prerog. dwelt on the desperate situation of the East ative, suspended upon the present occasion India company, and affirmed, “ that, unless his natural sentiments, became at once a the bill passed, their bankruptcy would be convert to the doctrine of reform, and asinevitable. The expenditure of their settle- serted his entire approbation of Pitt's resoments had far exceeded their revenue ; bills lutions. He stood up boldly the advocate of had been drawn upon them which they were the people, and affirmed, “ that the yielding unable to answer without a temporary sup- to their wishes would be the happiest means ply, so that the existence of the company of putting an end to their complaints; and