« PreviousContinue »
by, that the public interest demanded that Surinam, Curaços, and St. Eustatia. A nethe property tax should not be collected gotiation was also entered into for uniting after the fifth of April next. Apprehen- Great Britain and Holland more closely, by sions, however, were still entertained that a marriage between the young prince of the tax might be renewed; and the incon- Orange and the princess Charlotte of Wales; clusive replies given by government to the but, from some cause with which the public inquiries made on that subject excited a has never been fully acquainted, though it very deep and general alarm throughout does not appear that the prince was ever the country. The first place which took very acceptable to his intended consort, the measures to petition parliament against the treaty was not successful. renewal of the tax was the city of London; On the twenty-ninth of March, the prince and the example of the metropolis was so of the Netherlands opened the grand meetgenerally followed, that the voice of the ing of the notables of the country, to take people, which, when distinctly and perse- into consideration the plan of the constituveringly raised, must always be heard, final- tion, which was viewed and adopted with ly prevailed.
acclamation. Decrees were also passed, STATE OF IRELAND.
for the establishment of the freedom of the THE state of Ireland had, for some time, press; the restoration of the Dutch language, been such as to call for the adoption of addi- which had fallen into disuse during the tional measures for securing the public tran- union of Holland with France; the relief of quillity; and on the eighth of July, Peel, the inferior clergy; the solemn observance chief secretary for Ireland, proposed the re- of the sabbath, and other purposes. The newal of a measure which had received the Austrian Netherlands were conferred on the sanction of parliament in 1807. The clause house of Orange, in the hope that so importof the insurrection act, which it was now ant an acquisition would render it capable intended to revive, provided that, in case of preserving its independence, and mainany part of the country should be disturbed, taining a rank among the sovereigns of Eutwo justices of the peace should be empow-rope. ered to summon an extraordinary sessions The emperor of Russia and the king of of the county, which should consist of seven Prussia made their solemn entry into Vienna; magistrates; that the lord-lieutenant, in and on the first of November the formal incouncil, on receiving a report from the stallation of the congress took place. The magistrates so assembled, stating that the royal personages congregated on this occaordinary law was inadequate to the preser- sion consisted of the emperors of Russia and vation of the public peace, should be em- Austria, and the kings of Prussia, Denmark, powered to issue a proclamation, command-Wirtemberg, and Bavaria; with ambassaing all resident within the same district to dors from England, Russia, Austria, Prussia, keep within their houses from sun-set to France, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Italy, sun-rise; and that any persons detected out and the minor states of Germany. One of of their houses at the prohibited times, with the first acts of the congress was to recog. out being able to show good cause, should nize a new regal title annexed to the British be liable
to be transported for seven years. crown, and to confirm to Hanover the rank It was also required that the lord-lieutenant of a kingdom, the title of elector being renshould order a special session of the peace dered unsuitable to present circumstances to be held, at which the persons offending by the sixth article of the treaty of Paris, by against this law should be tried, and, if ne- which it was agreed " that the states of Gercessary, the trial by jury should, in these many should remain independent, and joined cases, be dispensed with. Other provisions in a federal union." On this ground, several sanctioned the employment of the military; of the powers concurring in the treaty had enabled the magistrates to pay domiciliary invited the prince-regent to renounce the visits; and to break open doors if denied ad- ancient title and to assume that of king, mission. The bill was warmly discussed in with some extension of territory, by which its several stages, but it ultimately passed the arrangements required for the future both branches of the legislature; and, at the welfare of Germany would be facilitated; close of the session, obtained the royal as particularly as all the ancient electors, and sent. Parliament was prorogued, on the the duke of Wirtemberg, had already thirtieth of July, by the prince-regent in erected their states into kingdoms. A genperson.
eral diet assembled on the fifteenth of DeTREATY WITH HOLLAND.-CONGRESS cember, which was opened by the duke of OF VIENNA.
Cambridge, and a constitution was agreed It was agreed by treaty between Great upon on the plan of a representative gore Britain and Holland, that this country should ernment. retain the Cape of Good Hope, Demerara, In Italy, the territories formerly possessed Essequibo, and Berbice, but restore Batavia, by the sovereign house of Sardinia were
cestored to Victor Emanuel; and, by a pro- would be restored to its former indepentocol signed in the congress of Vienna on dence; but lord Castlereagh expressed the the fourteenth of December, the territory regret of himself and his brother ministers, forming, before the French revolutionary that they had not been able to preserve its wars, the venerable republic of Genoa, was separate existence, without the risk of weakdefinitively united to the states of his Sar-ening the system adopted for Italy; and to dinian majesty, contrary to the condition on this state-necessity the ancient republic was which Genoa was occupied by a British obliged to submit
, as was that of its old rival, force. The annexation of all the other dis- Venice, to the political arrangement which tricts in the north of Italy to the Austrian finally annexed it to Austria. Of all the dominion, followed almost as a matter of sovereigns by right of French conquest, Mucourse. Lord William Bentinck had given rat, king of Naples, alone held his acquisithe Genoese an assurance that their city |tions undisturbed.
Negotiations with America-Campaign in Canada–Failure at Plattsburg–Expedi
tion to Washington— Attacks on Alexandria and Baltimore-Naval Actions— Failure against New Orleans-Capture of Fort Bowyer—Peace with America-Capture of President frigate-Meeting and Proceedings of Parliament—Return of Buonaparte from Elba, his march to Paris-Measures of allied Powers-State of Paris–Movements of French and allied forces—Buonaparte attacks the Prussians
- Battle of Waterloo-Buonaparte's return to Paris-His Abdication-Advance of Allies-Capitulation of Paris-Return of Louis XVIII.—Buonaparte surrenders to the English, is sent to St. Helena, Murat attempts Naples, and loses his lifeParliament reassembled-Corn Laws, and other Aleasures-Terms imposed upon France-Continental Affairs-Hostilities in India.
NEGOTIATION WITH AMERICA.-CAM. ton, particularly unfavorable to the war as PAIGN IN CANADA.
that town had been, they were received During the continuance of a conflict in with every mark of honor and distinction, which embattled nations were the actors, and a splendid entertainment was given to and empires the stake-whilst the united captain Hull and his officers. armies of all Europe were approaching, and In the interval between the breaking out finally occupying, the proud city of Paris- of the war and the close of the year, the the war between Great Britain and the elections to the offices of government in the United States was of a secondary interest. United States took place; and the federalA war so differently affecting the different ists, in common with the English people, parts of the Union could not fail to call forth cherished the expectation that the power those violent political contentions for which and influence of Madison the president, and that republic is so much distinguished. At the war party in America, were nearly at an Boston the declaration of war was the sig- end. The disasters in Canada, however, innal of a general mourning ; all the ships in stead of rendering the war more generally the harbor displayed flags half-mast high; and decidedly unpopular, changed the disand in that, as in other cities of the north- like which had been entertained for it in the ern states, public meetings of the inhabitants northern states into a determination to proswere held, at which a number of resolutions ecute the contest with increased vigor. were passed, stigmatizing the approaching The democratic interest was consequently contest as unneces
cessary and ruinous, and as strengthened; and, on the second of Decemtending to a connexion with France, de- ber, the re-election of Madison was secured. structive to American liberty and independ- Soon after the American government had ence. Immediately after the declaration a declared war against Great Britain, overparty was formed, called the Peace Party, tures of a pacific nature were made by both which combined nearly the whole of the parties: but although much diplomatic disfederalists throughout the United States, cussion took place on both sides, the negotiand by whom a systematic opposition, prin- ation proved unsuccessful. In each country cipally directed against the national finances, the original cause of the war, and the rewas maintained to the latest period of the sponsibility of its continuance, were imputed war. With the democratic party, and in the to the enemy: admitting, however, the exsouthern states in particular, where swarms istence of the British orders in council, and of privateers were preparing to reap a rich the impressment of American seamen, to harvest among the West India Islands, the have justified the United States in declaring popular sentiment was decidedly in favor of war in the first instance, yet, when the forwar; and, of all the cities of America, in mer of these evils was removed, and when this interest, Baltimore stood in the foremost an offer to suspend hostilities by sea and rank in zeal and violence. The first im- land was made through the medium of the portant event, the capture of the British British authorities in America, in order to frigate Guerriere by the Constitution, cre- adjust the still existing differences, it was ated in England astonishment not unmixed the duty of the American government to with dismay; whilst in America the contest have accepted the pacific overture. The became in consequence more popular, and limits of the right of blockade stand fixed, the spirit of maritime enterprise more ani- by the law of nations, upon grounds that admated and enthusiastic. When the captain mit of no serious dispute ; and, with regard and crew of the Constitution landed at Bos- to the impressment of seamen, America did not deny that Great Britain had a right to est fortress being taken, in a masterly style, reclaim her own subjects; and the English by colonel Murray, under the orders of gengovernment did not pretend to have any eral Drummond, who had been recently apright to impress any who were really and pointed to the command in Upper Canada. truly American citizens. The whole quar- Sir James Yeo, a naval officer of high repurel, then, was about the means of asserting tation, who commanded on Lake Ontario, these rights; and had the ministers of both and the American commodore Chauncey, countries sought for peace in the spirit of were each indefatigable in preparing for the peace, that inestimable blessing must have campaign of 1814, and Sir James was prebeen speedily obtained : the conquest of pared for any operation before Chauncey Canada, however, against which, notwith- was in a condition to meet him; but, being standing all their reverses, the Americans unsupported by an adequate land force, no had yet met with sufficient success to give thing important took place. The Canadian them some hope of its final accomplishment, bank of the Niagara became the theatre of may be regarded as one of the objects for a quick succession of obstinate and sanguiwhich they were induced to persevere in nary conflicts; and general Brown, who the war.
was opposed to general Drummond, proved At the opening of congress on the seventh himself the ablest of the American land ofof November, 1813, the president announced ficers; but the struggle closed by leaving that Great Britain had declined an offer, the two armies in the same positions they which had been made by the emperor Alex- had occupied in the spring. ander, to mediate the existing differences FAILURE AT PLATTSBURG. between that power and the United States; In June and July, after the dethronement and under such circumstances, the president of Buonaparte, a numerous fleet arrived in conceived that a nation proud of its rights, the river St. Lawrence from Bourdeaux, and conscious of its strength, had no choice with fourteen thousand of those troops which, but in exertion of the one in support of the under the duke of Wellington, had raised other. The door of negotiation was not, the military reputation of their country to however, finally closed ; for, while Great the highest pitch of renown; but it was not Britain was disinclined to commit the deci- till the third of September that Sir George sion of the question at issue to the mediation Prevost entered the American territory, and of a power, that, in common with America, advanced against Plattsburg, on Lake Chammight be disposed to circumscribe her mari- plain, in conjunction with a flotilla under time claims, she professed a readiness to captain Downie of the navy. The Amerinominate plenipotentiaries to treat directly can flotilla, which was somewhat superior with those of the American government, in force, lay at anchor in Plattsburg bay. and expressed an earnest wish that their After waiting for the arrival of the British conferences might result in establishing be- vessels, during which time the American tween the two nations the blessings of troops were busily employed in improving peace. This proposal, which was commu- their defences, and increasing the difficulties nicated by lord Castlereagh to the American of attack, a joint assault was agreed upon; secretary of state on the fourth of Novem- and, on the morning of the eleventh, captain ber, was accepted by the government of the Downie stood into the bay, and attacked the United States without hesitation, and Got- American squadron. Not a moment was tenburg was fixed upon as the seat of dis- now to be lost on shore; but, from some uncussion. The negotiations, however, which explained cause, the advance of the army were removed to Ghent, did not commence was not sufficiently rapid, and, during an till the following August, and then proceed- obstinate struggle of more than two hours, ed with little prospect of success, although the vessels were successively obliged to the restoration of peace in Europe had re- strike. When the light troops were close moved the principal causes of difference. in upon their works, and half an hour would
After the failure of the enemy in their in- have avenged the fall of the gallant Downie, vasion of Canada, and attempt upon Mont- who was mortally wounded early in the acreal in October, 1813, they were convinced tion, the loss of the fleet induced Sir George not only that an overwhelming superiority Prevost to recall them, but they reluctantly of force was of little avail against British yielded this triumph to a weak and undistroops, but that the inhabitants were not so ciplined enemy; and in the night he comfavorably disposed towards them as they ex- menced a precipitate retreat, abandoning a pected. In the course of the year they had, large quantity of stores. The whole loss however, acquired the ascendency on Lake of the army, in killed and wounded, did not Erie; but, instead of expelling the British exceed two hundred men; but the disgracefrom the Niagara frontier, they had, on the ful issue of the expedition had such an eflast day of December, lost all their own fect on the minds of the soldiery, that above posts on the river St. Lawrence, their strong- eight hundred of them had deserted before
the retreat was concluded. Hitherto it had other vessels; and the common-council of been considered that Sir George Prevost had Alexandria capitulated, on condition that ably conducted the defence of Canada; but private property should be respected. All he was now recalled to answer to charges naval and military stores and merchandise, preferred against him by Sir James Yeo, for being delivered up, were shipped on board his neglect to co-operate with captain Dow-twenty-one vessels which were found in the nie; he did not, however, live to await his harbor; and the British departed, laden with trial.
spoil, without sustaining inuch injury from EXPEDITION TO WASHINGTON-ATTACKS the batteries on the river.
ON ALEXANDRIA AND BALTIMORE. The next object of attack was Baltimore;
A STRONG naval force, with an adequate and on the twelfth of September the forces number of troops, was also dispatched against under general Ross effected a landing near the American coasts, and their operations North Point, about thirteen miles from the were attended with general success. On town. Having forced an intrenchment which the nineteenth of August admiral Sir Alex-' had been drawn across the peninsula, they ander Cochrane and major-general Ross en- advanced; and, while their van-guard was tered the Patuxent; and the army, being engaged with the riflemen in the woods, a disembarked, immediately commenced its bullet pierced the breast of general Ross, march for the city of Washington, while ad- who expired on the spot, deeply lamented miral Cockburn, with a flotilla of armed boats, by the army. Colonel Broke, who succeeded proceeded up the river on its flank. As these to the command, attacked and dispersed a boats opened the reach above Pig-point they large body of Americans; but, on advancing perceived the Baltimore flotilla, under com- to the town, he found it so strongly defendmodore Barney, which had taken refuge in ed, that he was compelled to relinquish the the Patuxent. Those vessels were soon af- enterprise. terwards discovered to be on fire, and six
NAVAL ACTIONS. teen of them blew up in succession. The Among the losses sustained at this period seventeenth fell into the hands of the Brit- was that of captain Sir Peter Parker, comish, and several merchant schooners were manding the Menelaus, who was mortally captured or destroyed. On the twenty-fourth, wounded while leading a body of a hundred when the land forces, in number about five seamen against an American force stationed thousand, came within five miles of Wash- near Bellair; and the British sloop of war ington, they encountered about nine thou- Reindeer was taken by the American sloop sand Americans, whom they completely Wasp; but this misfortune was fully comrouted ; and at eight o'clock in the evening pensated by the capture of the United States they entered the new metropolis of the frigate Essex, off Valparaiso, on the western United States, when they immediately pro- coast of South America, by the English frigceeded to set fire to the capitol, including ate Phæbe, which relieved the British trathe senate-house and the house of repre- ders in that quarter from a formidable enemy. sentatives. The arsenal, the dock-yard, with An expedition, which sailed from Halifax a frigate nearly ready to be launched, and a in July, under general Pilkington, had resloop of war, the treasury, the war-office, duced Moose Island, and two others in the the rope-walk, the president's house, and a bay of Passamaquoddy. In September this great bridge over the Potowmac, were also advantage was followed up by an expedition consigned to the flames. Private property which caused the enemy to burn a fine frigwas respected, except some houses from ate, called the John Adams, and compelled which guns had been discharged at the Brit- them to leave the whole district, from that ish troops. On the evening of the twenty- bay to the Penobscot river, in possession of fifth the army left Washington, it being ne- the British. cessary to retreat before any great force In consequence of the alarm created by could be assembled ; and some wounded these operations, measures were submitted were necessarily left behind, who were to congress by the American government for treated with humanity. On the thirtieth making adequate defensive preparations ; the whole force reimbarked without molest- and it was proposed that the present miliation. The destruction of public buildings, tary establishment, amounting to sixty-two not designed for military purposes, was re- thousand four hundred and forty-eight men, sented, by the Americans, as an insult which should be preserved and rendered complete; one free people ought not to inflict on an- and that an additional permanent force of at other. This enterprise was followed by an least forty thousand men should be raised for attack on the town of Alexandria, situated the defence of the cities and frontiers. A lower down the Potowmac. On the twenty- bill was accordingly introduced, providing ninth, Fort Washington, by which the river that the white male inhabitants of the Uniis there protected, surrendered to captain ted States, between the ages of eighteen Gordon, of the Seahorse, accompanied by and forty-five, should be distributed into