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AGRICULTURAL LABOURERS AT THE PERIOD OF THE FIRST REFORM PARLIAMENT.
CALVI, CORSICA.The Houses of Parliament reassembled on the 17th of January, 1712, and Anne sent word that she was not able to attend in person, not having recovered sufficiently from her attack of the gout. She announced that the plenipotentiaries were now assembled at Utrecht, and were already engaged in endeavouring to procure just satisfaction to all the Allies according to their several treaties, and especially with relation to Spain and the Indies. This was a delusion, for, by our treaty with the Emperor, we had engaged to secure Spain and the Indies for his son; and it was now, notwithstanding the assurance in her message regarding them, fully determined to give them up to Philip. There was a strong protest in the message against the evil declarations that there had been an intention to make a separate peace, though nothing was more notorious than that the Ministers were resolved, if the Allies did not come to their terms, to go on without them. The message ended by recommending a measure for the restriction of the liberty of the press. Much alarm was expressed at the great licence in the publishing of false and scandalous libels, though the Ministers themselves did not scruple to employ the terrible pen of Swift.
The Austrians and Russians by this time were in full march for Italy. Leaving the Archduke Charles to cope with Jourdain, who had made himself master of the fortress of Ehrenbreitstein in January, and menaced a march on the Danube, an army of Austrians, under Generals Bellegarde and Hotze, entered Switzerland, re-occupied the Grisons country, drove the French from the St. Gothard, and menaced Massena at Zurich. Another army of Austrians, under old General Mlas, issued from the Tyrol and drove the French General, Scherer, from post to post in Upper Italy, till he took refuge behind the Mincio. Moreau was then sent to supersede Scherer, but found himself in April confronted not only by Mlas, but by Suvaroff, with an addition of fifty thousand men. On the 27th of that month he was attacked by this combined force and beaten. Brescia and Peschiera surrendered, Mantua was invested, and Suvaroff entered Milan. Moreau was compelled to retreat upon Genoa, and await the arrival of Macdonald, who was rapidly marching from Naples to his aid. But Macdonald was confronted on the banks of the Trebia, and after a fierce battle of three days he was routed, and escaped only to Moreau with the remnant of his army. Moreau now stationed himself in the entrance of the Bochetta Pass, in the Apennines, behind the town of Novi; but there he was superseded by General Joubert, the Directory having lost faith in him. Joubert, however, had no better success than Moreau. Suvaroff attacked him on the 16th of August, routed his army and killed him; the French abandoning nearly all their artillery on the field, and flying in disorder towards Genoa.Early in the morning of the day she was to leave she went to the graveyard alone again. She was beginning to realize more than she had at first that Landor was quite gone. She missed him, in a way. He had been a strong influence in her life, and there was a lack of the pressure now. But despite the form of religion to[Pg 290] which she clung, she had no hope of meeting him in any future life, and no real wish to do so.
In America, all at the opening of the campaign seemed to favour the English cause. The army of Washington, still suffering the utmost extremities of cold and starvation, began in earnest to mutiny. A Pennsylvanian division of one thousand three hundred men marched out of their camp at Morristown, and proceeded to Princeton, carrying with them six field-pieces and their stores, and their demands were granted by Congress. The success of this revolt encouraged others to repeat the man?uvre. On the night of the 20th of January a part of the Jersey brigade, stationed at Pompton, marched to Chatham, and made precisely the same demands. But now seeing that, if this were suffered, the whole army would quickly go to pieces, Washington sent General Howe after them, with orders to surround them, and shoot them down, if they did not surrender; and if they did surrender, immediately to seize the most active ringleaders, and execute them. Howe readily accomplished his mission; he reduced the mutinous, and shot their leaders.Notwithstanding the constant wars of this time, British shipping, commerce, colonies, and manufactures made considerable progress. At the commencement of this period the amount of shipping employed in our commerce was altogether 244,788 tons, being 144,264 tons English, and 100,524 foreign; in 1701 the amount of shipping employed was 337,328 tons, of which alone 293,703 were English. In 1702, the end of William's reign, the number of English mercantile vessels was about 3,281, employing 27,196 seamen. The royal navy, at the end of William's reign, amounted to about 159,000 tons, employing some 50,000 sailors, so that the seamen of England must have amounted at that period to nearly 80,000.