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The peninsular war has likewise been carried on with unusual vigour; and the storming of two strong fortresses, with an action in the field of greater magnitude than had before occurred between the chief contending parties, followed by the liberation of the southern provinces of Spain from its invaders, offer splendid materials to the military historian of this period. At the same time, the adoption of free governments in Spain and Sicily will equally interest the philosophical observer, provided their duration shall correspond with the zeal displayed in their establishment.

Another event which has added to the confusion and calamity of the times, and perhaps will be the parent of consequences more momentous than any which are yet apparent, is the unfortunate conmencement of a war between Great Britain, and those Trausatlantic States to which she gave birth, and has communicated the most valuable of her treasures, her laws and liberty. To this country, indeed, the war has been little more than an addition to its drains and losses; but to the United States its continuance must prove a severe trial of the strength of that federal union which has hitherto contributed so essentially to their prosperity and security, and will probably give origin to those evils which press so heavily upon all old governments.

In domestic history the present year will be distinguished as tliat which by reuniting all the

of

powers

of the crown in the person of the Prince Regent, has made an actual commencement of a new reign, and afforded a sufficient criterion of the spirit in which it is likely to be conducted. It has also puť to the test the strength of the different political parties; and by weighing them all in the balance, has demonstratively proved the existence of a preponderating mass of power which retiuces them to comparative insignificance. After all the complaints of the want of “a strong and effective administration," that ministry has been continued which gave rise to these complaints; and no want of strength or efficacy has appeared in carrying through the measures determined upon by the government. Difficulties, it is true, have occurred respecting certain political points, but they have been such as it required rather wisdom than power to adjust. The intestine disorders which have pervaded a considerable tract of the manufacturing districts, and which assumed a character of daring and ferocity unprecedented among the lower classes in this country, have been happily quelled by a firm but lenient exertion of authority; and the record of them may serve to exemplify the dangers attending a population forced by prosperous trade greatly beyond its natural level, whenever the sources of employment are cut off, or maintenance is rendered unusually difficult by the exorbitant price of the necessaries of life. This last cause has prevailed during this year to a degree almost be

yond

yond all former example, but, it is to be feared,

not beyond what may in future be expected as long

as public burdens and expenses are proceeding in

an unlimited increase.

With respect to the conduct of our publication,

we have little to remark in addition to the state-
ments given in our last preface. It has not been
found necessary to make any further alterations in
the plan; and we are happy in being able to verify,
and even to surpass, the expectations held forth of a
future early appearance of our annual volume.

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