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(1852), thirty years after their independence had been Chap. established, only £5,000,000; and that the republic of Xu' Bolivia, called after the liberator Bolivar, has entirely 1823" disappeared from the chart of British exports. *
But whatever opinion may be formed on this point, one thing is clear, that M. de Chateaubriand has furnished M. de 6h&a better vindication of the British intervention in South des'^sTa' America than any consideration of commercial advan- ^fstuth tages could have done. It appears from a revelation in ^"can his memoirs, that Mr Canning only anticipated his own designs upon these vast possessions of Spain, and that, instead of British consuls negotiating with independent republics, he contemplated monarchical states under Bourbon princes. "Cobbett," says he, " was the only person in England at that period who undertook our defence, who did us justice, who judged calmly both of the necessity of our intervention in Spain, and of the view which we had to restore to France the strength of which it had been deprived. Happily he did not divine our
* Exports In 1852 From Great Britain'
Buonos Ayres, 837,538
Venezuela, . 273,733
Central America, 260,669
New Granada 602,128
Total to South American republies, . £5,046,982 -Pari. Paper, 17th July 1853.
Exports In 1809 From Spain'
Porto Rico, £2,750,000
New Granada, 1,450,000
Peru and Chili, 2,875,000
Buenos Ayres and Potosi, 875,000
—Humeoldt, NouttUe Etpagne, iv. 153, 154.
Chap. entire plan—which was to break through or modify Ute xn' treaties of Vienna, and to establish Bourbon monarchies
im' in South America. Had he discerned this, and lifted i Congas the veil, he would have exposed France to great dani.°358. 'ger, for already the alarm had seized the cabinets of Europe."1
The great danger which there was at that period of Speech of Europe being invoked in a general war, and the ardent MrCanmng feelingS ^[q^ ]y|r Canning had on the subject, cannot Scpl'V De better illustrated than by a speech which he made at Plymouth in the autumn of this year, memorable alike from the sentiments it conveyed and the beauty of the language in which they were couched. "Our ultimate object," said he, "is the peace of the world; but let it not be said we cultivate peace, either because we fear, or because we are not prepared for war: on the contrary, if, eight months ago, the Government did not hesitate to proclaim that the country was prepared for war, if war should unfortunately be necessary, every month of peace that has since passed has made us so much the more capable of exertion. The resources created by peace are the means of war. In cherishing these resources, we but accumulate those means. Our present repose is no more a proof of inability to act than the state of inertness and inactivity in which I have seen those mighty masses that float in the waters above your town, is a proof they are devoid of strength, and incapable of being fitted for action. You well know, gentlemen, how soon one of those stupendous masses, now reposing on their shadows in perfect stillness—how soon, upon any call of patriotism or necessity, it would assume the likeness of an animated thing, instinct with life and motion—how soon it would ruffle, as it were, its swelling plumage—how quickly it would put forth all its 9 Ann. Reg. beauty and its bravery, collect its scattered elements of 147.' 'streugth, and awake its dormant thunders!2 Such as is one of those magnificent machines when springing from inac
tion into a display of its strength—such is England Chap. herself: while apparently passive and motionless, she silently caused the power to be put forth on an adequate
The usual effects of success appeared in the result of
the elections which took place for the renewal of the fifth The election
of the Chamber in the autumn of 1823. Nearly all strength o"d
werc in favour of the Royalists, who had now acquired a decisive preponderance in the Chamber, sufficient to set at defiance the united strength of the Liberals and Centre. Several appointments were made at this time, all of extreme Royalists, indicating the acknowledged supremacy of that party in the legislature. M. de Villele skilfully availed himself of this favourable state of affairs to contract a loan of 413,980,981 francs (£16,400,000) with the house of Rothschild & Co., which, in exchange for it, received an inscription on the Grand Livre for 23,114,000 francs yearly (£920,000); in other words, they took the stock created at 89.55 per cent. This advantageous loan—by far the most favourable for Government which had been made since the Restoration— put the treasury entirely at ease, and enabled Government to clear off all the outstanding debts connected with the Spanish war. Encouraged by this eminently favourable state of the public mind, M. de Villele resolved on a dissolution of the Chamber, which was done by an ordonnance on 24th December. The colleges of arron- Dec . 24. dissements were by the ordonnance appointed to meet on the 25th February, those of the departments on the 6th March. They met accordingly, and the result was entirely favourable to the Royalists. In Paris, the centre of the Liberal party, and where they had hitherto in general obtained all the twelve seats, they succeeded in returning only General Foy, M. Casimir Perier, and Benjamin Constant. So entire was tho defeat of the Opposition, that over all France they succeeded, out of 434 elections, in gaining only fifteen seats Vol. 11. 2 z
Chap. in the colleges of arrondissements, and two in those of XI1, departments—in all, seventeen;—an astonishing result in 18"4" a country so recently torn by popular passions, and indicating at once the great change in the composition of the legislature which the institution of the colleges of departments had made, and the overwhelming influence of military success on a people so essentially warlike in their M"^^"' disposition as the French. Such was the effect of these Hist:viinn' circumstances on the public funds, that notwithstanding 6!-?\£*p- the great loan contracted for by Rothschild, and which
"vin. 21b, O J
222;2Lam. was not yet fully paid into the treasury, the Five per Cents 274. ' rose in the beginning of March to 104.80, an elevation which they had never even approached for half a century.1 j To all appearance the Government of the Restoration
Great effect was now established on the most solid of all bases on had on the which a constitutional throne can rest, for an overwhelmtinTeTMofTM" ing majority in its favour had at last been obtained even France. in popular branch of the legislature. Yet so closely are the seeds of evil interwoven with those of good in the complicated maze of human affairs, that out of this very favourable state of affairs arose the principal causes which in the end occasioned its fall. It induced a result—fatal in a free state—that of making Government consider themselves safe if they could command a majority in the Chamber of Deputies; a very natural opinion in men accustomed to look to its votes as determining the fate of administrations, and even of dynasties, but of »im vii. a^ others the most dangerous, if the period arrives, as it TM, 2JJj must do in the course of time, when the public mind is Atm "Hist. strongty excited, and the popular representatives do not vii. 8, a. respond to its mutations. This tendency revealed itself in the very first measures of the new legislature.2
The Chambers met on the 23d March, and the king's speech congratulated the country with reason on the eminently auspicious circumstances under which they were assembled. "The triumph of our arms," said the monarch, "which has secured so many guarantees for drder, is due to the discipline and bravery of the French army, con- Chap. ducted by my son with as much wisdom as valour." At x"'
these words, loud cries of " Vive le Roi! Vive le Due 18'24d'Angouleme!" arose on all sides; but subjects more Meeting of likely to elicit difference of opinion were next intro- unfmTM" duced. After stating the inconveniences which expe- jounced rience had proved resulted from the annual election of a!n the.ro>'al
1 , " speech.
fifth of the Chamber, it announced an intention of intro- March 23ducing a bill for extending the duration of the legislature to seven years, subject to the king's right of dissolution; and another for the purpose of " providing the means of repaying the holders of Government annuities, or converting their rights into a claim for sums annually, more in accordance with the present state of other transactions; an operation which cannot fail to have a beneficial influence on commerce and agriculture, and will enable ^ °jj~uTM Government, when it is carried into effect, to diminish March the public burdens, and close the last wounds of the Hik'vii. e. Revolution."1
These words announced the two important measures of the session, which were immediately brought forward Law of sepby Government. So obvious were the advantages, at considera-' first sight at least, of the first, that the Cabinet were £TMsuJnof unanimous on the subject. The sagacious and practicallU M. de Villele, and the ardent and enthusiastic M. de Chateaubriand, alike gave it their cordial support. It was argued in support of this measure, "that the time had now arrived when it had become practicable to remove the great difficulty with which the Bourbons had had to contend since the Restoration. That difficulty was the want of a fixed majority in the Chamber of Deputies, upon which Government could rely for the support of their measures. The inevitable consequence of this was, that anything like a consistent system of government was impossible. The king was obliged to take bis ministers at one time from the Liberal, at another from the Royalist side; a single vote might compel an