determined to be free against a wicked conspiracy, on the part of the king and his ministers, to enslave them, and to refer their good success to the military ardour and persistent bravery of their men, guided by the military skill of Washington. A better tone and truer statement are to be found in some of their recent writings, but they have not yet found their way into the books which are read by the bulk of the people, or are taught in the schools. Contrary to the lessons of these last, Mr. Smith shows that from the foundation of the several colonies, 'by religious or political exiles, who carried with them the spirit of resistance to

oppression, there had always been a strong degree of repulsion to the authority of the English Government:

"In the north was the descendant of the exiled Puritan; in the south was the descendant of the exiled Cavalier; in Maryland the Roman Catholic had sought a haven of refuge from the penal laws; in Pennsylvania the Quaker had found freedom from a state church. To these had recently been added Irish Presbyterians, fugitives at once from the tyranny of the Irish episcopate and from British restrictions on Irish industry.' He then gives a short outline of the different forms of government in the different colonies, and continues :

'Though there was a certain amount of chronic friction between their local assemblies and the governors, they had politically little cause for complaint, nor did they seriously complain. . . . Commercially it was far otherwise. The colonies generally were treated by the mother-country, according to the notion universally prevalent in those protectionist days, as existing for her commercial benefit.' He goes on to enumerate the several restrictions on trade as the practical working of the Navigation Act, and the jealousy of English manufacturers. This jealousy was no new thing; it was already well established before the end of the seventeenth century; and when some merchants of London suggested that the competition in manufactured goods might be prevented by developing the trade in colonial products, and proposed to found a company to import from New England the supplies of timber, masts, spars, tar, &c., needed for the navy, the influence of the Baltic merchants was sufficient to prevent the proposals being approved or the company's getting a charter; while, at the same time, the influence of the manufacturers was sufficient to procure a prohibition of all manufacturing industry in the colonies. Some privileges, supposed to be countervailing, were conceded :but these privileges did by no means countervail, and the colonial

system of England, though liberal compared with the Spanish system, and practically mitigated by contraband trade, was still so galling that in spite of the ties of race, history, and a common flag, there would probably have been a rupture long before, had the colonies not been bound to the mother-country by a strong tie of another kind.' This tie was the need of protection against the French.

• The English colonists outnumbered the French thirty to one, and were certainly not inferior to them in natural valour. But they were farmers and traders, while the French-Canadian was as much of a bushranger as either, and was backed by the army of France as well as aided by the tomahawk of the Indian savage, to him a too congenial ally.' The French were one compact body, governed by one despotic will. The English were split up into many different bodies, with many mutual jealousies; none was willing to take arms for the defence of another where the interest was not common. The danger from the French was more threatening to the New England colonies, and the southern provinces washed their hands of it; and similarly when Virginia was suffering from the invasion of the Indians, in 1763–4, New England refused to assist.* It was not as is commonly said, and as Mr. Smith has repeated—to meet the cost of the war with France that Grenville imposed the Stamp Duties, but to ward off the ill consequences of this disunion by providing an armed force for the common defence. As is well known, the colonists refused to see the necessity or to pay the tax; all they would understand was that the French danger was removed :

• After the conquest of Canada there was an outburst of loyal affection, and Pitt was as much idolised † in British America as in Great Britain. But, as shrewd observers at the time foresaw, when the fear of France departed attachment to England cooled. From that time there was among the Republicans in Massachusetts a party which aspired to independence, and was ready to embrace the first occasion of breaking the chain. Its apostle was Samuel Adame, who, finding himself unfitted for trade, had turned his mind to political agitation.' This first occasion came with the passing of the Stamp Act:

Massachusetts was ripe for revolt. Samuel Adams and his circle had leavened her with his doctrines; lawyers were her political

* Cf. Lecky's 'History of England,' vol. iv. pp. 57-8.

† The memory of this is preserved in the name of Pittsburg, a town which occupies the site of Fort Duquesne.

pastors; her taverns were full of political debate and agitation. She rose at once in angry protest, forcibly resisted the execution of the Act, levelled the stamp office, wrecked the house of the stamp distributor . . . and gutted the mansion of the Lieutenant-Governor, who barely escaped with his life. Her lips continued to speak the language of loyalty, but her hand had raised the standard of rebellion.' Whether, in the state of public feeling thus excited, any ministry could have prevented the rebellion may be doubted; but all possibility was at an end when the reins of government were entrusted to Lord North:

North, round whose head an historic aureole of infamy bas gathered, was neither bad nor wanting in capacity. He had great aptitude for business, great industry, great tact and readiness, as well as imperturbable good humour in debate. . . . Nor, though the king's nominee and a minister of prerogative, was he by any means himself disposed to violent or tyrannical courses. His easy good nature was his fault. His crime was compliance with the arbitrary and obstinate temper of the king. . . . His infamy shows that amiable weakness is criminal in a statesman.' And so the rebellion began and the civil war. War, conducted in the cabinet by such men as Sandwich and Germain, and in the field by a Gage or a Howe, was not likely to have any happy result. Still the inherent superiority of disciplined over undisciplined forces was gradually showing itself. Enthusiasm, like a river in flood, may threaten to carry everything before it, but it dashes in vain against an army buttressed by discipline, and in cold, in wet, in hunger, and defeat, will surely die out. In presence of these difficulties raw levies will melt away. It is the rule of human nature, and once more proved itself in 1777.

* When from patriotic oratory or the tarring and feathering of Tories it came to real war, and that war opened with reverses, colonial fire began to coul. Men compared the cost of the conflict with its cause. Discontent, disunion, defalcation, and cabal set in. The militiaman would fight for his own homestead, but not for the common cause. Bodies of militia, when their time was up, marched away from the camp on the eve of battle. . . . Despair begot treason, and Benedict Arnold conceived the design of playing Monck. The salvation of the colonial cause was its leader.

Yet at last even Washington almost despaired.' And just in the nick of time came the surrender of Burgoyne and the French intervention :

' For some time it had been apparent that France meant mischief, and that her disclaimers were lies. She now impudently threw off the mask, and sent a fleet and army to the assistance of the Americans. . . . All the enemies of England gathered, vulture-like, round her

[ocr errors]

apparently fainting frame. Spain joined the league, not from sympathy with the Americans, but from the passionate desire of recovering her Rock. Holland was drawn in while she contended against the right of searching neutral vessels for enemy's goods. Russia and the other Baltic powers formed a menacing league of armed neutrality with the same intent. This last is, indeed, an exaggeration. The Armed Neutrality-or, as Catherine called it, the Armed Nullitywas never, in reality, menacing, for the Russian navy, largely officered by Englishmen and Scotchmen, was powerless. But the coalition was sufficiently formidable, and more especially when England was weakened by ten years of maladministration. And so the fatal blow fell. Cornwallis was compelled to surrender, North resigned, the king yielded, and the American colonies were free.

The loss, according to Mr. Smith, was a gain in disguise, so far as military strength, commercial profit, or real greatness was concerned.' It is difficult to see where these advantages came in; how England's military strength, for instance, was increased in the war with France ten years later, by having the ports of the United States closed to her ships as bases of operations, open to the enemy as harbours of refuge. But he is possibly right in saying that the parting was sure to come;

he is certainly right in saying, “What was deplorable was the

manner of the parting, which entailed a deadly schism of • the race and left a long train of bitterness and mutual

animosities behind.' When, however, he goes on to say that much of this animosity 'is due to the retention of

Canada,' with the very obvious suggestion that we were morally bound to give up Canada because the States would have liked it, we venture to think that, with all his ability, all his experience, he does not realise that the affairs of man are controlled by man's nature.

The story of Canada follows in due course, and is an interesting though short account of the solution, after many unsuccessful attempts, of the problem of how to settle the government of a country peopled by two distinct nationalities. Mr. Smith's work is here more historical than elsewhere, and rightly so; for English historians have not yet learnt that the history of our colonies is the history of England herself, that what affects the one affects the other. If the events of the past months have brought this more truly home to our comprehensions, the united exertions of England's sons will have given not only a present support, but a strength for all time to the integrity of the Empire.

ART. II.-Histoire de la Marine Française de 1815 à 1870.

Par E. CHEVALIER, Capitaine de Vaisseau. Paris :

1900. If any one should be disposed to believe that Captain

Chevalier's latest contribution to the bistory of the French navy is a pamphlet rather than a purely historical work, the supposition may be traced to the date of publication. Within a brief period of time there has been a remarkable display of belligerent inclination throughout the civilised world. The long course of heavy expenditure on armaments has at length produced what, without exaggeration, may be called an explosion of pugnacity restricted to no one hemisphere and regardless of both latitude and longitude. As though there had arisen a deliberately malicious desire to controvert the theories of the complacent school of political philosophers, eagerness for combat has been as conspicuous in the industrial nations as in others. If observation, with extensive view, surveys mankind from Japan to Chicago, this is clearly perceived. The whole world, in spirit at least, is out on the war-path, and has been since the Spanish-American war began. It is no disparagement to the public-spirited and patriotic attitude of her Majesty's subjects, both in the United Kingdom and in the Colonies during the present South African war, to say that the rush of volunteers to the front bas, in some cases at least, been prompted by a longing to fight somebody. It would be worth while for a philosopher to inquire, and presumably not impossible to ascertain, how long after the conclusion of a great war a disinclination to engage in a fresh one continues. If we may hazard a suggestion, we would propose thirty years, or a little more, as a probable average on which to base investigations tending to establish a more precise figure. The period will be longer in the case of some nations than in that of others. The dominating factor will probably turn out to be the influence on public sentiment of the generation which has had no experience of war, and which fails to understand what it really involves.

We have been led into these reflexions not only by the date at which the book before us has been published, but also by its final chapter, a postscript containing a disquisition on future belligerent methods which closely concern the British Empire and on which we shall remark further

« ForrigeFortsett »