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The plan of a very liberal constitution was discussed for several days, and ultimately adopted. It is unnecessary here to describe in detail the principles of a constitution so short-lived. One of those principles led to its speedy destruction. It was, that the President of the Republic should be chosen, not by the Assembly, but by the nation at large. This was a very extraordinary course for the Assembly to take, because they must have known that Louis Napoleon would be elected by universal suffrage; whereas their own choice would have fallen upon Cavaignac. The following was the result of the voting:Louis Napoleon, 5,434,226; Cavaignac, 1,448,107; Ledru Rollin, 370,119; Raspail, 36,900; Lamartine, 17,910; Changarnier, 4,790; votes lost, 12,600. On the 20th of December Prince Napoleon was proclaimed President of the French Republic, in the National Assembly, by the President, M. Marrast, and took the oath required by the Constitution.It was upon this very able report of Mr. Nicholls that the Irish Poor Law was based. After undergoing much consideration, it was finally adopted by the Government on the 13th of December, 1836, and on the following day he was directed to have a Bill prepared, embodying all his recommendations. This was accordingly done; and after being scrutinised, clause by clause, in a committee of the Cabinet specially appointed for the purpose, and receiving various emendations, the Bill was introduced on the 13th of February, 1837, by Lord John Russell, then Home Secretary, and Leader of the House of Commons. His speech on the occasion was able and comprehensive. "It appears," he said, "from the testimony both of theory and experience, that when a country is[406] overrun by marauders and mendicants having no proper means of subsistence, but preying on the industry and relying on the charity of others, the introduction of a Poor Law serves several very important objects. In the first place, it acts as a measure of peace, enabling the country to prohibit vagrancy, which is so often connected with outrage, by offering a substitute to those who rely on vagrancy and outrage as a means of subsistence. When an individual or a family is unable to obtain subsistence, and is without the means of living from day to day, it would be unjust to say they shall not go about and endeavour to obtain from the charity of the affluent that which circumstances have denied to themselves. But when you can say to such persons, 'Here are the means of subsistence offered to you'when you can say this on the one hand, you may, on the other hand, say, 'You are not entitled to beg, you shall no longer infest the country in a manner injurious to its peace, and liable to imposition and outrage.'" Another way, he observed, in which a Poor Law is beneficial is, that it is a great promoter of social concord, by showing a disposition in the State and in the community to attend to the welfare of all classes. It is of use also by interesting the landowners and persons of property in the welfare of their tenants and neighbours. A landowner who looks only to receiving the rent of his estate may be regardless of the numbers in his neighbourhood who are in a state of destitution, or who follow mendicancy and are ready to commit crime; but if he is compelled to furnish means for the subsistence of those persons so destitute, it then becomes his interest to see that those around him have the means of living, and are not in actual want. He considered that these objects, and several others collateral to them, were attained in England by the Act of Elizabeth. Almost the greatest benefit that could be conferred on a country was, he observed, a high standard of subsistence for the labouring classes; and such a benefit was secured for England chiefly by the Quest Act of Elizabeth. Lord John Russell then alluded to the abuses which subsequently arose, and to the correction of those abuses then in progress under the provisions of the Poor Law Amendment Act, and said that we ought to endeavour to obtain for Ireland all the good effects of the English system, and to guard against the evils which had arisen under it.Disappointed in this quarter, the odious race of incendiary spies of Government tried their arts, and succeeded in duping some individuals in Yorkshire, and many more in Derbyshire. That the principal Government spy, Oliver, was busily engaged in this work of stirring up the ignorant and suffering population to open insurrection from the 17th of April to the 7th of June, when such an outbreak took place in Derbyshire, we have the most complete evidence. It then came out, from a servant of Sir John Byng, commander of the forces in that district, that Oliver had previously[126] been in communication with Sir John, and no doubt obtained his immediate liberation from him on the safe netting of his nine victims. In fact, in a letter from this Sir John Byng (then Lord Strafford), in 1846, to the Dean of Norwich, he candidly admits that he had received orders from Lord Sidmouth to assist the operations of Oliver, who was, his lordship said, going down into that part of the country where meetings were being frequently held, and that Oliver, who carried a letter to Sir John, was to give him all the information that he could, so that he might prevent such meetings. Here, as well as from other sources, we are assured that Oliver only received authority to collect information of the proceedings of the conspirators, and by no means to incite them to illegal acts. We have also the assurance of Mr. Louis Allsop, a distinguished solicitor of Nottingham, that Oliver was in communication with him on the 7th of June, immediately on his return from Yorkshire, and informed him that a meeting was the same evening to take place in Nottingham, and he and another gentleman strongly urged him to attend it, which Oliver did. Mr. Allsop says that Oliver had no instructions to incite, but only to collect information. All this has been industriously put forward to excuse Ministers. But what are the facts? We find Oliver not onlyaccording to evidence which came out on the trials of the unfortunate dupes at Derbydirectly stimulating the simple people to insurrection, but joining in deluding them into the persuasion that all London was ready to rise, and that one hundred and fifty thousand from the east and west of the capital only waited for them. We find him not only disseminating these ideas throughout these districts from the 17th of April to the 27th of May, but also to have concerted a simultaneous rising in Yorkshire, at Nottingham, and in Derbyshire, on the 6th of June. Thornhill-lees, in Yorkshire, was on the verge of action, and ten delegates, including Oliver, were arrested. In Derbyshire the insurrection actually took place.

The year 1829 was distinguished by disturbances in Ireland, as well as distress in England. The 12th of July, the anniversary of the battle of the Boyne, was celebrated with unusual manifestations of defiance by the Orangemen. The country seemed armed for civil war. In the county Clare there was a conflict between the Protestants and Catholics, in which one man was killed, and seven or eight wounded on each side. In Armagh there was a fight, in which ten men lost their lives. In the county Fermanagh 800 Roman Catholics, armed with scythes and pitchforks, turned out and attacked the Protestants, killing four persons and wounding seven. The same party rose in Cavan, Monaghan, and Leitrim, threatening something like civil war. In Tipperary society was so convulsed that the magistrates met, and called upon the Government for a renewal of the Insurrection Act, and for the passing of a law rendering the possession of fire-arms a transportable offence.In the eyes of the Conservatives the League was now the great cause of the political ferment that had spread throughout the land. In the Quarterly Review for December a long and elaborate indictment had been published against that body, and all who were in any way connected with them, in which it was attempted to show that the means by which the League sought to attain their objects were of the worst kind. The writer of the article hinted that the League's system of levying money for the avowed purpose of forcing Parliament to alter the law of the land was criminally punishable. A Mr. Bailey had stated, at one of the League meetings, that he had heard of a gentleman who, in private company, had said that if one hundred persons cast lots, and the lot should fall upon him, he would take the lot to deprive Sir Robert Peel of life. The teller of this injudicious anecdote added, that "he felt convinced that no such attempt ought to be made under any pretence whatever; but he was persuaded of this, that when Sir Robert Peel went to his grave there would be but few to shed one tear over it." The speaker was a minister of the Gospel, and there could be no doubt that he intended his anecdote only as an illustration of the frenzy to which some persons had been wrought by the political circumstances of the time; but this fact circulated by the great Tory organs, together with all the most violent and excited passages which could be found in the innumerable speeches delivered at League meetings, and in the pamphlets and other publications of that body, tended to create a vague horror of the Leaguers in the minds of that large class who read only writers on that side which accords with their own views.

The troops of the Convention were equally successful against Lyons. It was speedily invested by numerous troops, under the command of Dubois-Cranc, one of the Commissioners of the Convention. On the 21st of August he summoned the place to surrender, but the Lyonese held out till the 2nd of October, when Couthon, one of the most ruthless of the Jacobin deputies, arrived, with twenty-eight thousand armed peasants, from Auvergne. He demanded that the city should be instantly bombarded, and, if necessary, reduced to ruins. Dubois-Cranc said there was no need for this merciless alternative, as the place must very soon yield from famine. Couthon thereupon obtained an order from the Convention to supersede Dubois-Cranc, as devoid of proper Republican zeal; and on the 7th of October commenced a terrible bombardment. The inhabitants came to a parley with Couthon, and agreed to surrender without conditions. Couthon immediately appointed a committee to try all rebels, and he sent his opinion of the population at large to the Convention, describing the people as of three kindsthe wicked rich, the proud rich, and the ignorant poor, who were too stupid to be good Republicans. He proposed to guillotine the first class, to seize the property of the second, and to remove the last into different quarters of France. The Convention adopted his views cordially, and passed a decree that Lyons should be destroyed; that nothing should be left but the houses of the poor, the manufactories, the hospitals, the school of arts, the public schools, and public monuments; that the name of Lyons should be buried for ever, and that on its ruins should be erected a monument bearing this inscription:"Lyons made war against liberty: Lyons is no more!" The name of the spot ever afterwards was to be the Liberated Commune. The massacres were carried out by Collot d'Herbois.[See larger version]But this declaration did not issue without a violent debate in Congress, where the moderate party stated that the interests of the country were sacrificed to a mischievous war-spirit, and in the east and north of the States there was raised a loud cry for severance, as there had been in the south when Jefferson laid his embargo on American vessels. They complained that if, as was now alleged, the French Emperor had abrogated his Berlin and Milan Decrees in favour of America as early as the 2nd of March, 1811, why was this not communicated to England before the 20th of May, 1812? And when England had long ago declared that she would rescind her Orders in Council when such a notification could be made to her, accompanied by a repeal of the American non-Intercourse Act; and when she did immediately rescind her Orders in Council on this condition, why should there be all this haste to rush into war with Great Britain? They complained bitterly that though Buonaparte was professed to have abrogated his Decrees as early as November, 1810, he had gone on till just lately in seizing American ships, both in the ports of France and by his cruisers at sea. The State of Massachusetts addressed a strong remonstrance to the Federal Government, in which they represented the infamy of the descendants of the Pilgrim Fathers cooperating with the common enemy of civil liberty to bind other nations in chains, and this at the very moment that the European peoples were uniting for their violated liberties.

I put my hat upon my head,

But the royal family put no faith in these professions; they resolved not to wait the arrival of the French, but to muster all the money and valuables that they could, and escape to their South American possessions. Whilst these preparations were being made in haste, the British traders collected their property and conveyed it on board British vessels. The inhabitants of the British factory, so long established in Lisbon, had quitted it on the 18th of October, amid the universal regret of the people. The ambassador, Lord Strangford, took down the British arms, and went on board the squadron of Sir Sidney Smith, lying in the Tagus. On the 27th of November the royal family, amid the cries and tears of the people, went on board their fleet, attended by a great number of Portuguese nobility; in all, about one thousand eight hundred Portuguese thus emigrating. The Prince Regent accompanied them, sensible that his presence could be of no service any longer. The fleet of the royal emigrants was still in the Tagus, under the safe[548] protection of Sir Sidney Smith's men-of-war, when Junot and his footsore troops entered Lisbon, on the 1st of December. He was transported with rage when he saw their departing sails, for he had received the most imperative injunctions to secure the person of the Prince Regent, from whom Napoleon hoped to extort the cession of the Portuguese American colonies. Junot declared that the Prince Regent and royal family, having abandoned the country, had ceased to reign, and that the Emperor Napoleon willed that it should henceforth be governed, in his name, by the General-in-chief of his army. This proclamation of the 2nd of February set aside at once the conditions of the Treaty of Fontainebleau; the imaginary princedom of Godoy was no more heard of, and the kingdom erected for the King of Etruria remained a mere phantom at the will of Buonaparte. The property of the royal family, and of all who had followed them, was confiscated; a contribution of four million five hundred thousand pounds sterling was laid on a people of less than three millions, and as there was not specie enough to pay it, plate and every kind of movable property was seized in lieu of it, without much regard to excess of quantity. The officers became money-brokers and jobbers in this property, much of which was sent to Paris for sale, and the whole unhappy country was a scene of the most ruthless rapine and insult.On the 20th of October, 1848, Chuttur Singh and his son, Shere Singh, raised the standard of revolt in the Punjab, and soon appeared at the head of 30,000 men. In November Lord Gough encountered them with 20,000. At Ramnuggur, in attacking the position of the enemy, his men were led into an ambuscade, and were repulsed with tremendous loss. The contest was again renewed on the 13th of January, 1849, when the Sikhs were also very strongly posted in a jungle with 40,000 men and sixty-two guns. Near the village of Chillianwallah a desperate battle was fought, and had lasted for some time when the 14th Light Dragoons, on being ordered to charge, turned and fled through our Horse Artillery, upsetting several guns, and causing such confusion that the Sikh cavalry, promptly availing themselves of the advantage, made a charge, and cut down seventy of our gunners, capturing six guns and five colours. The result was a drawn battle, but the loss on our side was fearfultwenty-seven officers and 731 men killed, and sixty-six officers and 1,446 men wounded. This terrible reverse produced a profound sensation at home. It was ascribed to bad generalship, and there were loud cries for the recall of Lord Gough. The Duke of[601] Wellington felt that the case was so desperate that he called upon Sir Charles Napier to go out and take the command, though suffering under a mortal disease, using the memorable expression, "If you don't go, I must." Sir Charles went immediately. But before he arrived, Lord Gough, on the 21st of February, had retrieved his reputation, and covered the British arms with fresh glory by winning, in magnificent style, the great battle of Goojerat, with the loss of only ninety-two killed and 682 wounded. Mooltan had been besieged again in December. During the bombardment the principal magazine was blown up. It contained 16,000 lbs. of powder: 800 persons were killed or wounded by the explosion, and many buildings destroyed. But Moolraj, though he saw ruined in a moment a work which it cost him five years to construct, still held out. On the 2nd of January the city was stormed, but the citadel remained. Though of immense strength, it yielded to artillery, and Moolraj, with his garrison of nearly 4,000 men, surrendered at discretion.

The movement going forward in the Established Church of Scotland during this reign related almost exclusively to the subject of patronage. This church, though drawing its origin from Switzerland, a thoroughly Republican country, and rejecting bishops, took good care to vest the right of presenting ministers to parishes in the clergy. The Government insisted on this right continuing in lay patrons; but for some time after the Revolution the people asserted their right to choose their own pastors, and continued to carry it. But in 1698 the General Assembly took the opportunity, when it had been accused by the English Church of throwing the office of choosing ministers amongst the people, to repudiate all such notion on their part. They declared unanimously that "they allowed no power in the people, but only in the pastors of the Church, to appoint and ordain to such offices."Yet, in that blind and defiant spirit, which he continued to show till he had lost the colonies, George created Bernard a baronet on his reaching home, for having, in effect, brought Massachusetts to the verge of rebellion; and, to show his emphatic sense of these services, he himself paid all the expenses of the patent.

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The next day tempest scattered the approaching transports. Sir John thought the storm sufficient excuse for not pursuing; but the winds followed the invaders, and blowing directly from London towards Dunkirk, dispersed the French transports, sank some of the largest of them with all their men, wrecked others on the coast, and made the rest glad to recover their port. Charles waited impatiently for the cessation of the tempest to put to sea again, but the French ministers were discouraged by the disaster, and by the discovery of so powerful a British fleet in the Channel. The army was withdrawn from Dunkirk, Marshal Saxe was appointed to the command in Flanders, and the expedition for the present was relinquished.

All these causes of unpopularity were rendered more effective by the powerful political party which now assailed him. Pitt led the way, and the Dukes of Devonshire, Bolton, and Portland, the Marquis of Rockingham, the Earls of Temple, Cornwallis, Albemarle, Ashburton, Hardwicke, and Bessborough, Lords Spencer, Sondes, Grantham, and Villiers, James Grenville, Sir George Savile, and other Whigs, presented a formidable phalanx of opponents in both Houses. The measures, too, which he was obliged to bring forward, were certain to augment his discredit. The funded debt had grown to upwards of a hundred millions, and there were three millions and a half besides unfunded. It was necessary to raise a new loan, and, moreover, to raise a new tax, for the income was unequal to the expenditure, even in time of peace. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Dashwood, was not a man likely to make these new burdens go down easily. He issued the new loan to the public with so little advertisement, that the friends of the Ministers secured the greater part of the shares, and they soon rose to eleven per cent. premium, by which they were enabled, at the public cost, to make heavy sums. The tax which Sir Francis proposed was one on cider and perry, besides some additional duties on wines. There was at once an outcry in the City against this tax, led on by the Lord Mayor, Alderman Beckford, a great friend of Pitt. The cry was only too sure to find a loud echo from the cider-growing districts. Bute and his Chancellor were quickly compelled to reduce the proposed impost from ten shillings a hogshead, to be paid by the buyer, that is, by the merchant, to four shillings, to be paid by the grower. The tax thus cut down was calculated to produce only seventy-five thousand poundsa sum for which it was scarcely worth while to incur so much odium.The General Congress met at Philadelphia on the 4th of September, when all the delegates, except those of North Carolina, who did not arrive till the 14th, were found to represent twelve States, namely, the four New England States, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, and the two Carolinas. It was settled, however, that, whatever the number of delegates, each colony should have one vote. The next day they assembled in Carpenters' Hall for business, and elected Peyton Randolph, late Speaker of the Virginian House of Burgesses, president. It was soon found that so much diversity of opinion prevailed, it was deemed prudent, in order to preserve the air of unanimity, to deliberate with closed doors. It was clear that Massachusetts and Virginia were ready for war; but it became equally clear that other States yet[213] clung with all the attachment of blood and old connection to the fatherland. Strong and long-continued, according to Mr. Joseph Galloway, one of their own members, were the debates; and though they finally, and, from their system of secrecy, with an air of unanimity, drew up strong resolutions, they were more moderately expressed than the instructions of many of the delegates. They agreed to a Declaration of Rights, in which they asserted that they had neither lost the rights of nature, nor the privileges of Englishmen, by emigration; consequently, that the late Acts of Parliament had been gross violations of those rights, especially as affecting Massachusetts. They therefore passed resolutions to suspend all imports, or use of imported goods, until harmony was restored between Great Britain and her colonies. An association was formed to carry these resolutions out, to which every member subscribed. Having adjourned till the 10th of May of the next year, the Congress dissolved itself on the 26th of October, and the delegates then hastened home to keep alive the flame of their revived zeal in every quarter of the continent.

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