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VOL. IV. 1802-1914 



In Four Volumes. With Plans and Coloured Maps. 
Crown &V0. 6s. net each. 

Vol. I. Before the English came, to 1485. 
Vol. II. 1485-1688. 
Vol. III. 1689-1802. 
Vol. IV. 1802-1914. 

Also a Library Edition, Demy &V0, 
i os. 6d. net each volume. 
















19 i 5 





THE completion of the History of England and the British 
Empire down to the year 1914 calls for a few prefatory 
words to this, the fourth, volume. The later chapters con- 
tain the record of events within the writer's own memory 
events of which it is impossible to speak with the same 
detachment as in picturing earlier periods of history. The 
natural temptation is to make of such a record something 
in the nature of a political pamphlet. The alternative for 
the writer is to abstain from pronouncing his own judg- 
ments on controversial questions, and to endeavour to set 
forth an exact statement of facts and a correct exposition 
of the varying views taken of those facts by intelligent and 
honest members of all political parties. This is the course 
which he has adopted, his purpose being not to impress 
his own views upon the reader, but to enable the student 
to form an unbiassed opinion for himself. As the questions 
discussed become more and more such as are or have been 
very recently of an exceedingly intimate interest, it has 
become increasingly difficult to enter into details ; and the 
whole of the last chapter can only be regarded as a summary 
and an epilogue expressed with such impartiality as is 
possible in the circumstances. The commencement of the 
great war on which we are now engaged has provided a very 
definite terminus. Not less decisively than the birth of 
the French Revolution, it is the opening of a new phase 
in the history of the European nations. Not until the war 
is over and the terms of peace have been dictated by the 
victorious powers, will it be possible to apply historical treat- 
ment to the ^Bschylean drama which is now unfolding itself. 

Innes's Ene. Hist. Vol. iv. " 

vi England and the British Empire 

Certain comments which have been passed upon the 
present volume while in MS. suggest that a note may be 
advisable regarding the author's use of the terms Britain 
and England, British and English. ' English ' is the recog- 
nised name of our common language and literature ; other- 
wise it i? a term strictly appropriate only to what is specifi- 
cally English as distinguished from what is specifically 
Scottish or Irish. ' England/ on the other hand, not as a 
political but as a geographical term, appears to be legiti- 
mately used both in the specific sense and when the only 
strictly correct (but extremely pedantic and inconvenient) 
alternatives would be ' The British Isles ' or ' The United 
Kingdom.' ' British/ not ' English/ is the term applied 
to the Imperial Government, policy, navies, and armies ; 
and ' Britain ' or ' Great Britain/ not ' England/ to the 
Imperial State properly so from the time of the incorpora- 
tion of the hitherto separate and often antagonistic States 
of England and Scotland as the single State of Great Britain. 
There is no adequate reason for the somewhat discourteous 
practice of most English writers, who habitually ignore the 
susceptibilities of Irishmen or Scots by persistently calling 
Irish and Scottish regiments ' English ' troops, the parlia- 
ment of the United Kingdom the ' English ' parliament, 
and the Imperial Government ' England/ A pedantic 
scrupulosity in the observance of rule need not be insisted 
upon. It is neither unreasonable nor unnatural that the 
name of the predominant partner should occasionally be 
used as an alternative to the correct name of the firm ; 
it is probable enough that the author will be found to have 
sometimes neglected the strict observance of his regular 
practice. But except in the case of a few possible lapses, 
the author has used the word ' England ' when he means 
England, the country, not the British State, and ' English ' 
when he means English, not British. 




EMPIRE: 1802-1815 



1802. The Peace of Amiens ... i 
Its transitory character ; causes of friction . 2 
Evasions of treaty obligations ; 

charges and counter-charges ... 3 

Technical or moral pleas put forward . . 4 

A breach inevitable .... 5 

May 1803. Declaration of war .... 5 

,, Napoleon's aim ; the destruction of Britain . 6 

State of the British forces ... 6 

British isolation ..... 7 

May 1803, January 1806 

Operations in the West Indies ... 7 

1803. The Boulogne army and the British volunteers . 8 
1802-1803. The Addington ministry ... 8 
May 1804. The return ^of Pitt . . 9 

The shadow of invasion . . . 10 
Tsar Alexander . . .10 
March ,, Murder of the Due d'Enghien ; 

Napoleon emperor . . . . 1 1 

Pitt and the Admiralty . . . . n 

viii England and the British Empire 


1804. Napoleon's scheme of invasion . .12 
1804-1805. Pitt and the Tsar ; a new coalition 13 

. 1804. Spain . M 

March 1805. The fleets ; Villeneuve escapes to sea 15 

May The Malta expedition ; Nelson pursues Villeneuve 16 

June-July The chase home ... .17 

Lord Barham's naval strategy . . . 18 

Sept. Before Trafalgar . 18 

Oct. 21 Trafalgar .... .19 

Lord Melville ... 20 

Aug. The coalition completed . . 2I 

Ulm (October) and Austerlitz (December) 21 

Jan. 1806. Death of Pitt .... 22 

1802. Lord Welles ley in India; the Mahratta princes 22 
Dec. ,, Wellesley's treaty of Bassein with Baji Rao, 

Peshwa .... 25 

1803. The Mahratta war ; Assaye (September) 

and Laswari (October) . . 26 

Dec. Treaties with Sindhia and the Bhonsla . . 26 
1804-1805. War with Holkar . . .27 

1805. Cornwallis governor-general (July-October) . 27 

1806. Sir George Barlow, governor-general ad interim 27 
Jan. ,, Cape Colony reoccupied . . . . 28 


1806. Ministry of 'All the Talents' ... 28 

March 1807. Abolition of the slave trade ; fall of the ministry 29 

1806. Supremacy of Napoleon in Europe . . 30 
Death of Fox (September) ; battle of Maida . 31 

1807. Failures at Buenos Ayres and in Egypt . . 32 
1806. The Prussian challenge and the Jena debacle 

(October) ..... 32 

July 1807. Treaty of Tilsit . . . . 33 

April The Portland ministry formed ... 34 

,, Copenhagen ..... 34 

1806. The theory of the 'continental system 5 . . 35 

Nov. The Berlin Decree .... 36 

Synopsis and Contents ix 


Jan. 1807. The Orders in Council . . . . 37 
Oct. Napoleon's plans against Portugal ; 

seizure of Lisbon . . . . 38 

1808. Seizure of the crown of Spain . . 39 


Napoleon's miscalculation ; sea power 

and nationalism .... 40 

1808. The Spanish uprising . .40 

July Baylen .... 42 

Aug. ,, Britain intervenes in Portugal ; 

Vimiero and Cintra . .42 

Nov. Napoleon's Spanish campaign ... 43 

Dec. Sir John Moore's diversion . . 44 

Jan. 1809. Corunna ...... 44 

April Sir Arthur Wellesley takes the Portuguese com- 
mand ...... 45 

May Oporto ; Soult expelled from Portugal . . 46 

July 27 Talavera ; the subsequent withdrawal . . 47 
The Wagram campaign and the Treaty of Vienna 

(October) . . . . . 48 

July-Aug. The Walcheren expedition ... 48 
Perceval prime minister ; 

Canning and Castlereagh ... 50 

1 8 10. Wellington's position in the Peninsula . . 50 
Massena in command against Wellington (May) ; 

Busaco (September) . . . . 51 

,, Torres Vedras (November-March 1811) . . 51 

,, Barrosa . . . . . . 51 

i Si i. Massena's retreat ; Fuentes d'Onoro and Albuera 

(May) . ... 52 

Failure of the continental system ; Napoleon 

and the Tsar ..... 53 

1812. Marmont in Massena's place ; capture of Ciudad 

Rodrigo (January) . . . . 53 

Capture of Badajoz (April) ; bridge of Almaraz 

(May) 54 

x England and the British Empire 


July 22, 1812. Salamanca. .... 54 
Wellington's last withdrawal to Portugal : 

his difficulties . -55 

May Assassination of Perceval ; 

Liverpool prime minister . . 56 

June-Dec. ,, Napoleon's Moscow expedition . 56 

The uprising of the nations : Leipzic (October) . 56 
June 13 Vittoria ; retreat of the French from the Pen- 
insula .... -57 

April 1814. Abdication of Napoleon, who is relegated to Elba 57 

Wellington and Soult at Toulouse . . 57 


1 8 10. Lord Minto in India : capture of Mauritius 

and of Java (1811) .... 58 

1812. The United States declare war . . . 58 

1812-1813. Course of the war with America ... 59 
1814. Last phase of the American war ; 

Peace of Ghent (December) . . . 59 

The European powers in conference . . 60 

Nov. Congress of Vienna 61 

Feb. 1815. Napoleon's return from Elba ... 62 

March The powers resolve on war ... 63 

Preparations for the campaign ... 63 

June 13 Napoleon captures Charleroi ... 64 

1 6 Ligny and Quatre Bras .... 64 

1 8 The armies at Waterloo .... 65 

The battle of Waterloo .... 67 

July 31 ,, Napoleon sent to St. Helena ... 69 



Nov. 1815. Second Treaty of Paris .... 70 

The reward of Britain . . . . 71 

Tsar Alexander . . . . . 71 

The Holy Alliance (September 1815) 7 2 

Synopsis and Contents xi 


Nov. 1815. Democracy, nationalism, and the Vienna settle- 
ment ... -73 
The Concert of Europe .... 74 

1815-1822. II. CASTLEREAGH 

Nov. 1815. The Quadruple Alliance . ... 75 

Economic troubles ; the Corn Law of 1815 . 76 

1816. Popular disturbances ; a repressive policy . 77 

1817. Demand for political power ... 78 

1818. The Peterloo Massacre and the Six Acts . 79 

1819. Resumption of cash payments ... 80 
Princess Charlotte and the royal marriages . 80 

Jan. 1820. Accession of George IV. . . . . 81 

Feb. 1820. The Cato Street conspiracy . . ." 81 

King George and his wife ... 82 

1821. Robert Peel, home secretary . . . 82 

Aug. 1822. Death of Castlereagh; Canning foreign secretary 83 

Estimate of Castlereagh's domestic policy . 83 

Estimate of his foreign policy ... 84 

1818. The Congress of Aix-la-Chapelle . . . 85 

1820. The Congress of Troppau ... . 85 

1821. The Greek revolt ..... 86 

1822. Congress of Vienna ; Castlereagh's memorandum 86 

1822-1827. III. CANNING 

1822. The year a landmark . . . ' . 87 
Peel as home secretary ; the criminal code . 88 
Huskisson at the Board of Trade . . a 89 
The practical application of Adam Smith's 

doctrines ..... 90 

The Navigation Acts out of date . . . 91 

1823. Reciprocity of Duties Act .... 92 
1827. Proposal for a corn -law sliding scale . . 92 

Reductions of duties .... 93 

xii England and the British Empire 


1827. Canning at the Foreign Office : 

active ' non-intervention ' ... 94 

Spanish America and Portugal . . . 94 

The Eastern question . ." . . 95 

1825. Accession of Nicholas I. .... 96 

1827. End of Liverpool's ministry ; 

Canning prime minister ... 96 

Aug. 1827. Death of Canning ; Goderich prime minister . 97 

Oct. 26 Navarino ...... 97 

Dissolution of the cabinet .... 97 

Survey of Liverpool cabinets ... 97 


Jan. 1828. Wellington prime minister, without Canningites 98 

Passive non-intervention ; its effects . . 98 

Affinities of Canningites and Whigs . . 99 

1828. Adoption of the sliding scale for corn . . 99 
Repeal of Test and Corporation Acts . . 100 
Irish demand for Catholic emancipation ; 

O'Connell . ... 101 

The Catholic Association .... 101 

July 1828. The -Clare election converts Peel and Wellington 102 

1829. The enactment of Catholic emancipation . 103 
Failure of the measure to conciliate Ireland . 104 

1830. Accession of William iv. . . . . 105 
Fall of the Tory ministry ; Earl Grey takes office 106 



1806. India : the Vellur mutiny . . . 107 

1807-1813. Lord Minto ; the Persian mission ; the Punjab 108 

Amir Khan and the Mahrattas . . . 109 

1813-1822. Lord Moira (Lord Hastings) . . . no 

1814-1815. The Nepal or Ghurka war , , , no 

Synopsis and Contents xiii 


1816. The Pindaris . . . in 
1817-1819. Pindari and Mahratta wars ; 

end of the Peshwaship . . . 112 

1822. Hastings succeeded by Amherst . . . 113 

1823-1826. The first Burmese war . . . . 113 

1826. Capture of Bhartpur . . . . 114 

1828. Lord William Bentinck governor-general . 115 

The ryotwari land settlement . . . 115 

Non-regulation provinces . . . 116 

The Colonies : the two Canadas . . . 116 

Cape Colony . . . . . 117 

Australasia 118 


Progress of the industrial revolution . . 119 

Roads and canals . . . . 120 
Beginnings of steam locomotion, by land 

and water . . . . .120 

1830. The Manchester and Liverpool railway . . 121 

Rural conditions ; depression of the labourer . 122 

Capital and labour ; prohibition of combination 123 

Masters and men ; partisan administration of 

justice . . . . . .124 

1825. Repeal of the combination laws . . . 126 

Failure of trade unions . . . .126 


The new poets and the new poetry . . 127 

Individualism versus convention . . . 129 

Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley, Keats . . 130 

Scott and Byron . . . . . 131 
The novel : Scott, Maria Edgeworth, 

and Jane Austen .... 132 

Development of the Review . . . 133 

xiv England and the British Empire 


1830-1832. I. REFORM J>AGE 

1830. Earl Grey's cabinet . . . . 134 

The state of parliamentary representation . 135 

Rural disturbance sharply repressed . . 136 

March 1831. The first Reform Bill . . . .136 

April Government defeated in committee ; 

parliament dissolved . . . 137 

July Great Reform majority ; second Reform Bill . 138 

Oct. Rejection of the bill by the Lords . . 138 

Dec. Third Reform Bill introduced . . . 139 

April 1832. Second reading passed by the Lords . . 139 

May The struggle : creation of peers authorised . 140 

June 7 The bill passed ; its effect . . . 141 

Aspects of the struggle . . . . 142 

1833-1834. II. GREY'S MINISTRY 

1833. The new parliament . . . . 144 

An era of legislation initiated . . . 145 

Problems and influences .... 146 

1833. Abolition of slavery . . . .147 

Beginning of factory legislation . . . 148 

Pioneers of factory legislation . . . 149 

The humanitarian motive ; Michael Sadler 

and Lord Ashley . . . .150 

1833. Althorp's Factory Act ; Bank Charter Act . 151 
The first education grant . . . .152 

1834. Poor Law Amendment Act . . . 153 
Resignation of Lord Grey . . . 154 

1834-1841. III. MELBOURNE 

July 1834. Lord Melbourne takes office . . . 155 

Nov. The king dismisses the ministry ; 

Peel takes office . . . . 1 56 

Synopsis and Contents xv 


1835. The Tamworth manifesto . . . 156 
April Fall of Peel's ministry ; return of the Whigs . 157 

The Municipal Corporations Act . . . 157 

1836. Minor reforms . . . . .158 
June 1837. Accession of Queen Victoria . . . 159 

Separation of Hanover from the British crown . 159 

Popular depression and the proposed remedies . 160 

1838. The People's Charter . . . .160 

1839. The Anti-Corn Law League ; 

Chartist disturbances 161 

Melbourne, Peel, and the bed-chamber question 162 

1839-1841. Incidents of Melbourne's last ministry . . 162 

1841-1846. IV. PEEL 

1841. Financial difficulties and others ; 

Peel and his party . . . . 163 

1842. The budget ; a revised sliding scale . . 164 
Reduction of duties ; income tax revived . 165 

1843-1844. Budgets; Peel's Bank Charter Act . . 166 

1842. Chartism ; the Collieries report and Mines Bill . 167 

1843-1844. Graham's Factory Bills . . . .168 

1845. The budget: 'organised hypocrisy' . . 169 
Peel's conversion to Free Trade ; the potato famine 1 70 

Nov. Peel and his cabinet ; Russell's Edinburgh letter 170 

Peel resigns, but resumes office as a free trader . 171 

1846. Repeal of the Corn Law (passed 25th June) . 171 
June 25 Government defeat on Irish Coercion Bill . 172 

Peel and Cobden . . . . .172 

1846-1852. V. RUSSELL AND DERBY 

1846. Lord John Russell's ministry ; the sugar duties . 173 

1847. Fielden's Factory Act ; short hours and efficiency 173 
Later Amending Acts . . . .174 

1848. The year of revolutions ; the collapse of Chartism 175 
1847. Increased education grant . . . 176 

xvi England and the British Empire 


1851. Ecclesiastical Titles Bill . . .177 

1850. Death of Peel . . . 177 

1851. Palmerston . . . . .178 
Feb. 1852. Fall of Russell's ministry ; 

Lord Derby takes office . . . 178 

Disraeli's budget ; death of Wellington . . 179 


1839-1852. V. IRELAND 

Emancipation ; Daniel O'Connell . 180 

1832. Tithe and the tithe war . . . . 181 

1833. Coercion and 'appropriation' . . . 182 
1835. The Lichfield House Compact . . . 183 

The shelving of tithe commutation . . 184 

Thomas Drummond . , . .184 

1838-1840. Commutation and other reforms passed . 185 

1841. O'Connell, Repeal, and Young Ireland . . 185 

1843. The Clontarf meeting . . . .186 

1845. The Devon Commission and its report ; 

Maynooth . . . . .187 

The potato famine . . . .188 

1846. Relief measures . . . . .189 
1849. The Encumbered Estates Act . . . 189 
1848. The Young Ireland insurrection . . 190 


Character of the era .... 191 

Railway development ; the penny post . . 192 

The telegraph and steamships . . . 193 

Labour legislation . -. . . 193 

Trade unions and Owen's socialism . . 194 

Progress of organised unions . . . 196 

The engineers' society . . . . 196 

The Oxford movement . 197 

The Disruption . . . . .199 

A note on literature 200 

Synopsis and Contents xvii 



Palmerston's career . . . . 201 

The position in 1830 .... 202 

The Belgian question .... 202 

Relations with Louis Philippe . . . 204 

1833-1834. Spanish and Portuguese questions . . 204 

1832-1833. The Eastern question; Egypt, Turkey, and Russia 204 

1840. Palmerston turns the tables on Russia . . 205 

1841-1846. Aberdeen at the Foreign Office; the Spanish 

marriages ..... 207 

1848. The year of revolutions ; Palmerston's methods. 207 

1850. The Don Pacifico incident ; Civis Romanus suui 208 

Aug. The queen's memorandum to Palmerston . 209 

Dec. 1851. Napoleon's coup cPEtat ; dismissal of Palmerston 210 

1828-1848. II. INDIA 

1828-1835. Lord William Bentinck governor-general . 210 
The native states . . . . . 211 
Russia, Persia, and Afghanistan . . . 211 
Nature of the British rule . . 212 
1829. Abolition of suttee . . . . . 212 
Gradual suppression of thuggee and infanticide . 213 
The Oudh land settlement ; education, ad- 
mission of natives to the public services . 214 
1836. Lord Auckland governor-general . . . 215 
1837-1838. Persia and Afghanistan ; seige of Herat . . 215 
1839. The British restore Shah Shuja at Kabul . 215 
Nov. 1841. The Kabul disaster .... 216 

1842. Re-conquest and evacuation . . . 217 
Lord Ellenborough governor-general . . 217 

1839-1842. The China war and the Treaty of Nankin . 218 

1839. Outram in Sindh . . . . . 219 

1843. Napier's conquest and annexation of Sindh . 219 

xviii England and the British Empire 


Condition of the Punjab and Gwalior . . 220 

The Maharajpur campaign . . 220 

Sir Henry Hardinge governor-general . . 221 

Dec. 1845. The Sikh army crosses the Sutlej . . 221 

Battles of Mudki and Firozshah . 222 

1846. Aliwal and Sobraon (February) . . . 222 

Treaty of Lahore (March) ; Henry Lawrence 

in the Punjab ..... 223 


Canada ; the popular demands . . . 223 

1837. Lower Canada ; Papineau's rebellion . . 224 
Upper Canada ; Governor Head . . . 224 

1838. Lord Durham in Canada .... 225 
1840. Lord Durham's report and the Act of Reunion . 226 

1840-1847. The arrival of responsible government . . 227 

1849. Final repeal of the Navigation Acts . 228 

1842. The Ashburton Treaty . . . .228 

1845-1846. The Oregon boundary question . . . 229 

1838-1839. The Jamaica troubles .... 230 

1830-1856. IV. SOUTH AFRICA 

Character of the colony . . . . 231 

1830. Dutch and British ..... 232 

1834. The Kaffir war, and the emancipation of slaves . 233 

1836. The Great Trek begins . . . . 233 

1837. Boers, Matabele, and Zulus . . . 234 
Dec. 16, 1838. Dingan's Day ..... 234 

1842. British annexation of Natal . . . 235 

Basutos and Griquas .... 235 
1848-1852. Sir Harry Smith's governorship ; 

Kaffir and Basuto wars . . . 236 
Jan. 1852. The Sand River Convention ; the South African 

Republic ..... 237 

1854. Bloemfontein Convention ; the Orange Free State 238 

Synopsis and Contents xix 


Australia to 1830 ; New South Wales, Tasmania, 

and West Australia .... 238 

1834. South Australia ..... 239 
Beginnings of Victoria, Queensland, 

and New Zealand . . . 239 

Early colonial conditions .... 240 

The land question ; squatters and land sales . 241 

Elimination of transportation . . . 242 

1842. New South Wales granted a constitution . 242 

1850. Extension of representative government. . 243 

1851. Discovery of Australian gold-fields . . 243 
1854. Responsible government granted to four colonies 244 

New Zealand '; the Maoris . . . 244 

1840. The Treaty of Waitangi . . . .245 

New Zealand separated from New South Wales 245 

1842. Maori troubles ..... 246 

1845-1852. Governorship of George Grey . . . 246 

1852. New Zealand granted a constitution . . 247 
1854. Responsible government established . . 248 



Dec. 1852. Formation of Aberdeen's coalition ministry . 249 

1853. The first Gladstone budget . . . 250 

1840-1850. Tsar Nicholas I. and the 'sick man' . . 251 

1851-1852. Nicholas I. and Napoleon in. . . . 252 

1853. Russian demands ; the crossing of the Pruth( June) 253 

The Vienna note (July) ; Turkey declares war 

(October) ..... 254 

To fight or not to fight ? . . . . 254 

Dec. ,, The crisis in England .... 256 
March 1854. France and Britain declare war on Russia ; 

the opening stages .... 257 

xx England and the British Empire 


Sept. 1854. Expedition to the Crimea ; battle of the Alma 

(20th) 258 

Siege of Sevastopol begins . . . 259 

Oct 25 Balaclava . . . 260 

Nov. 5 Inkerman ...... 261 

Miss Nightingale . . 262 

Jan. 1855. Fall of the Aberdeen ministry . . . 262 


1855. Palmerston forms a ministry . . . 262 

Failure of peace negotiations . . . 263 

Sept. 9 Fall of Sevastopol ; fall of Kars . . . 264 

March 1856. Treaty of Paris and Declaration of Paris . 265 

Home affairs ; the Wensleydale peerage . 266 

Persia and Naples . . . . 267 

China : the Arrow incident (October) ; 

China war begins .... 268 
March 1857. Dissolution of parliament ; Palmerston returns 

to power . . . . . 269 


Dalhousie ...... 270 

Feb. 1848. India : the Punjab .... 270 

The Multan outbreak : Herbert Edwardes 271 
Revolt of Sher Singh (September) : 

the Punjab invaded (November) . . 272 

Jan. 13, 1849, Chillian walla ..... 272 

Feb. 21 Gujerat ...... 273 

March Annexation of the Punjab ; its administration . 273 

1852. Burmese war and annexation of Pegu . . 274 

Dalhousie's annexation policy ; adoption . 275 

Annexations of Nagpur, Sattara, and Jhansi . 276 

1856. Annexation of Oudh .... 277 

Public works ; the army .... 278 

Synopsis and Contents xxi 


Dalhousie and Canning . . . 279 

1856-1857. The Persian war .... 280 

1857. The latent unrest . . . .281 

The sepoys and the greased cartridges , 282 

May 10 Mutiny at Mirat begins the revolt . . 282 

Position of the troops in May and June . 284 

June 26 ,, Capitulation of Cawnpore . . . 284 

June-Sept. Delhi ...... 285 

The Lucknow Residency . . . 286 

Havelock and Outram .... 287 

Sept 25 First relief of the Lucknow Residency . 288 

Nov. -Dec. Sir Colin Campbell's campaign in Oudh . 288 
Sir Hugh Rose's campaign and the last 

struggle ..... 289 

End of the East India Company . . 290 

Lord Canning ..... 290 


1857. The Divorce Act .... 291 

Feb. 1858. Fall of the ministry ; Lord Derby takes office 291 
The Orsini bombs and the Conspiracy to 

Murder Bill ..... 292 

Derby's India Bill . 293 

1859. Disraeli's First Reform Bill . . . 294 

Fall of Derby's government ; Palmerston 

returns .... ;,. 295 

1857-1860. The China war . . . ..." 296 


1859-1860. Italy: establishment of the North Italian 

kingdom ..... 297 

1 86 1. Italy united under Victor Emmanuel . . 299 

Attitude of Britain during the struggle . 300 

Innes's Eng. Hist, Vol. iv. C 

xxii England and the British Empire 


1860. The United States ; antagonism of North 

and South ... .301 

1 86 1. Outbreak of the war ; British neutrality . 302 
Nov. The Trent affair .... 33 

1862. The Lancashire cotton famine . . . 304 
American bitterness against the British . . 305 

1864. Schleswig-Holstein . 3 6 

1862. Collision with Japan . . 307 

1864. An Ashanti expedition . . 307 


1860. A Reform Bill shelved .... 308 

1859. A Gladstone budget .... 308 

1860. Cobden's commercial treaty with France . 309 
Gladstone's budget .... 309 
The paper duties and the Lords . . . 310 

1 86 1. The budget framed as one bill . . . 312 
Creation of the Post Office Savings Bank . 313 

1862. Education : the revised code . . . 313 
Oct. 1865. Death of Palmerston .... 313 


1865. The Russell government . . . . 314 

1866. The cattle plague . . . . . 314 
The Overend and Gurney failure . . . 315 

Ireland and the American Irish ; the Fenian 

Brotherhood . . . . . 316 

Sept. 1865. Arrest of Fenian leaders . . . . 317 

1866. A Liberal Reform Bill ; compound householders 318 

The Adullamites ; government defeat . . 318 

Lord Derby forms his third administration . 319 

Feb. 1867. Disraeli's proposals for reform . . . 319 

March Introduction of a revised Reform Bill . . 320 

Synopsis and Contents xxiii 


1867. Passage of the Bill . .321 

1868. Retirement of Derby ; Disraeli prime minister . 321 

1867. Fenian activities ..... 322 

1868. Gladstone and the Church in Ireland . . 323 
Disraeli's Irish proposals . . . . 324 

Nov. A general election ; return of Liberals to power . 324 

Lord Stanley's conduct of foreign affairs . . 324 

The Abyssinian expedition . , . 325 

1854-1868. IX. THE EMPIRE 

Australia and New Zealand . . . 326 

1867. South Africa ; the Kaffir madness . . 327 

1865-1866. The Jamaica insurrection : Governor Eyre . 328 

1864. Canadian scheme of federation . . . 330 

1867. Federation of the Dominion of Canada 

under the British North America Act . 331 

1858. India transferred to the Crown ; the new policy. 332 
1858-1869. Viceroyalties of Canning, Elgin, and Lawrence . 332 


Middle- Victorian economic developments . 333 

Extension of Factory Acts . . . 334 

1867. The Master and Servant Act . . . 334 

1859. The builders' strike .... 335 
The trade unions ..... 335 

1867. The Trade Unions Commission . . . 336 

Poets, novelists, and historians . . . 337 

The Broad Church movement . . . 339 

1859. Charles Darwin and the theory of Natural 

Selection . 339 

xxiv England and the British Empire 

1864-1871. I. EUROPE 


An international revolution . . . 342 

Prussia : William I. and Bismarck . . 343 
Prussia and Austria; Schleswig-Holstein 

(1864-1865) 343 

1866. The Seven Weeks' War, and the North German 

Confederation ..... 344 

Napoleon in. ..... 345 

1870. The Spanish candidature . . . . 345 

July The Franco-Prussian war begins . . . 346 

1870-1871. Fall of the French empire : the Prussian triumph 347 
The French republic and the new German 

empire ...... 347 


1869. The Irish Church question . . . 348 
The Irish Church Bill . . . .350 
The bill in Parliament . . . .351 
Passage of the bill ; its effects . . . 352 

The land question : England and Ireland . 353 

1870. A Land Act to establish dual ownership . . 355 
A Peace Preservation Act . . . 356 


The education question .... 357 

1870 Forster's Education Bill .... 357 

Religious teaching : the Cowper-Temple clause 358 

The government and the trade unions question . 359 

1871. The Trade Unions Acts .... 360 
CardwelFs army reforms : abolition of pur- 
chase ...... 361 

Synopsis and Contents xxv 


1871. Lowe's unpopular budget .... 362 

1872. The Ballot Act ..... 362 

1870. The government and the Franco-Prussian war . 362 

1871. The Black Sea Treaty .... 363 
The Alabama claim ; Treaty of Washington . 364 
The award of the Geneva arbitration . . 364 

1873. An Irish University Bill .... 365 
The Judicature Act .... 365 
An Ashanti expedition .... 366 

1874. A general election ; overthrow of the government 366 


Disraeli's cabinet ..... 367 

The Irish Home Rule party . . . 368 

1874. Public Worship Regulation Act . . . 368 
Church Patronage (Scotland) Act . . 369 
,, Endowed Schools Act .... 369 

The Conservative government and the working . 370 

man ...... 370 

1875. Acts conceding the trade unions' demands . 370 
Nine hours, Agricultural Holdings, and Artisans' 

Dwellings Acts . . . . 371 

Purchase of Suez Canal shares . . . 372 
The Irish Home Rule party ; 

organised obstruction .... 372 

1876. The Royal Titles Bill : * Empress of India ' . 373 
1875-1876. The Eastern question . . . . 373 
June 1876. The Bulgarian atrocities .... 375 
Dec. Failure of the Constantinople Conference . 375 

1877. Russia, Turkey, and the Powers . . . 376 

1876. Disraeli goes to the House of Lords as earl of 

Beaconsfield . . . . . 377 

1877. Russia invades Turkey .... 377 
March 1878. Treaty of San Stefano .... 378 

April Indian troops ordered to Malta . . . 379 

June The Berlin Congress .... 379 

xxvi England and the British Empire 


1878. 'Peace with Honour' . . . 380 
Ireland : Parnell and the Land League . 381 

1879. Gladstone's Midlothian campaign . . 382 
April 1880. A general election : fall of the Beaconsfield 

ministry ..... 382 


1869-1872. Lord Mayo's viceroyalty .... 383 

1872-1876. Lord Northbrook's viceroyalty . . . 383 

'Masterly inactivity' and the 'forward policy' . 384 

The problem of Afghanistan . . 385 

1876. Lord Lytton viceroy . . . 385 

1878-1879. A mission enforced on Afghanistan . . 386 

Sept. 1879. The Kabul rising ; murder of the resident . 387 

1879-1880. Roberts at Sherpur ; Stewart at Kandahar . 388 

1880. Maiwand, Roberts's great march, and the fall 

of Ayub Khan ..... 389 

Abdur Rhaman established as amir . . 389 

1 88 1. Evacuation of Kandahar .... 390 

1869-1881. VI. SOUTH AFRICA 

Cape Colony and the Boer Republics . . 390 

1869-1871. The diamond fields . . . .391 

1876. The South African Republic and Sekukuni . 392 

April 1877. Annexation of the Transvaal . . 392 

1876. The Zulu power under Cetewayo . . 393 
Lord Carnarvon's imperial policy . 394 

1877. Sir Bartle Frere as high commissioner . . 395 
The Zulu menace ..... 395 

Dec. 1878. Frere's ultimatum to Cetewayo . . . 395 

Jan. 1879. The Zulu war : Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift . 396 

,, Subjection of the Zulus .... 397 

Dec. 1880. Revolt of the Transvaal burghers . . 397 

Feb. 1 88 1. Laing's Nek and Majuba . . . . 398 

Retrocession of the Transvaal . . . 399 

Synopsis and Contents xxvii 

VII. THE 'EIGHTY PARLIAMENT': (i) 1880-1882 


1880. Gladstone's cabinet .... 400 
Minor legislation ..... 400 
Charles Bradlaugh . . . . 401 
Ireland : the Compensation for Disturbance Bill 401 

1881. 'Boycotting'; Coercion Bills . . .402 
A Land Bill ; commission for fixing rents . 402 

April Death of Lord Beaconsfield . . . 403 

The Land League and the government . . 403 
Oct. Arrest of League leaders ; the ' Kilmainham 

Treaty' ..... 404 

1 88 1. The Phoenix Park murders . . 405 

1882. The Crimes and Arrears Bills . . 405 
The National League .... 405 

Lord Salisbury . . . . . 406 

1 88 1. Egypt : Arabi Pasha .... 407 

July 1882. Bombardment of Alexandria . . . 408 

Sept. Tel-el- Kebir ..... 408 

The British occupation .... 409 


1883. Domestic legislation .... 409 
India : the Ilbert Bill .... 410 

1884. The Agricultural labourer and the franchise . 410 
A Franchise Extension Bill . . . 411 
Attitude of the Lords ; the ' Mending or Ending ' 

campaign . . . . .411 

Nov. The crisis averted . . . . . 412 

1885. A Redistribution Bill by consent . . . 4 12 

1883. Egypt : the Mahdi in the Sudan . . . 4 1 3 
General Gordon sent to the Sudan . . 4 1 3 

1884. Gordon isolated in Khartum-- 

the relief expedition . . . . 416 

xxviii England and the British Empire 


1885. Fall of Khartum, and withdrawal from the Sudan 417 

March The Penjdeh incident . 4*7 

June Gladstone resigns ; Salisbury takes office 418 

Nov. Dissolution : programmes of party leaders 418 

Feb. 1886. Defeat of the Salisbury government . . 4*9 

STRUGGLE, 1886-1895 


Break-up of parties . . . 420 

Democratic and anti -democratic influences . 421 

Parties and foreign policy .... 422 

Parties and the colonies .... 422 

The scramble for Africa .... 423 

A riot in London ..... 424 

Formation of Gladstone's ministry . . 425 

The Home Rule and Land Purchase Bills . 429 

Defeat and dissolution .... 427 


1886. Salisbury's ministry formed from the Conser- 

vatives . . . . . 427 
Lord Randolph Churchill, Mr. Goschen, 

and Mr. W. H. Smith ... 428 

Ireland: the plan of campaign . . . 429 

1887. The Round Table Conference . . . 430 
Mr. Arthur Balfour .... 430 
The Procedure or Closure Act . . . 431 
The Crimes Act . . . . .431 
The Land Act ..... 432 

Synopsis and Contents xxix 


1887. Queen Victoria's Jubilee .... 432 
Irish disturbances ; Mitchelstown . . 432 
Home Rule and religious antagonisms . . 433 

1888. The Papal Decree 433 
March Mr. Ritchie's Local Government Act . . 434 

Parnellism and Crime ; the Parnell Commission 435 

1889. The Pigott forgery . 436 

1890. The Commission's report .... 437 

1889. Mr. Balfour's government in Ireland . . 437 
Aug. The Dock Strike .... 438 

1890. Fall of Parnell ; disruption of the Nationalists . 438 

1891. Land Purchase and Free Education . . 439 
July 1892. General election ; resignation of government 

(August) 440 


Abdur Rhaman ..... 440 

1887. The annexation of Burma . . . 441 
The Indian National Congress . . . 441 

The colonies and the Mother Country : 

New Guinea ..... 442 
Growth of a new feeling ; first Colonial Con- 
ference ..... 443 

1888. Newfoundland and Canadian fisheries disputes . 444 

1892. The Alaska dispute .... 445 
1891. East Africa : quarrel with Portugal . . 445 
1890. East Africa : agreement with Germany . . 446 

South Africa : Cecil Rhodes . . . 447 


1892. Gladstone's last cabinet .... 447 

1893. Opening events . . . . . 448 
The new Home Rule Bill . . ^ ... ' . 448 
The bill rejected by the Lords , . . 449 
Other bills rejected or mutilated . . . 450 

xxx England and the British Empire 


1894. The Parish Councils Act . . 45 
Retirement of Gladstone ; Lord Rosebery 45 1 
Matabeleland annexed .... 452 
Sir William Harcourt's death duties . 45 2 
Filling up the cup . 453 
Fall of the Rosebery administration . . 453 

India : Lord Lansdowne ; Manipur (1891) 453 

1895. Lord Elgin ; Chitral . . . 454 
1894. Treaty with Japan. .... 454 



State of parties ; fusion of the Unionists . . 455 

1895. Ashanti and Siam ..... 456 
,, The Porte and Armenia .... 457 
Venezuela : President Cleveland's message . 458 
The Jameson Raid .... 458 

1896. Lord Salisbury's foreign policy . . . 459 
The Venezuela arbitration . . . 460 
Irritation against the Kaiser . . . 461 
The Armenian question ; 

retirement of Lord Rosebery . . . 461 

The Cretan question .... 462 

1897. The Greco-Turkish war .... 462 
1896. Egypt: towards the Sudan . . . 463 

1898. Re-conquest of the Sudan . . . . 464 
The Fashoda incident .... 464 
India : frontier expeditions . . . 465 

China : the scramble for leases . . . 467 

1900. The Boxer rising and its results . . . 468 

Europe and the war in South Africa . . 469 

Synopsis and Contents xxxi 
1895-1902. II. SOUTH AFRICA 


Effect of the Jameson Raid ; the Uitlanders . 470 

President Kruger . . . . .471 

1897. Sir Alfred Milner appointed high commissioner . 472 

March 1899. The Edgar petition and Sir Alfred's dispatch . 472 

June The Bloemfontein Conference . . . 473 

Various views ..... 474 

Oct. Kruger's ultimatum ; the war opens I2th October 475 

Dec. The black week ..... 476 

Feb. 1900. The tide turns . . . . .477 

June Lord Roberts at Pretoria ; 

annexation (September) . . . 478 

1901. Kitchener, De Wet, and concentration camps . 479 

1902. Peace of Vereeniging .... 480 


1895. Position of parties ..... 480 

1896. Agricultural Rating Act ; Gorst's Education Bill 481 

1897. A simplified Education Act . . . 482 
Workmen's Compensation Act . . . 483 

Ireland: attitude of parties . . . 484 

1896. An Irish Land Act .... 485 

1898. Irish Local Government Act . . 486 
Death of Gladstone .... 486 

1899. London government .... 487 
The Navy and the War Office . . . 488 

1867. The Diamond Jubilee ; Colonial Conference . 489 

1900. Changes in the ministry .... 489 
The Taff Vale decision .... 490 
General election ..... 490 
Australasian federation ( ist January 1901) . 490 

Feb. 1901. Death of Queen Victoria ; Edward vn. . . 491 

Lord Rosebery . . . . .491 

1902. Education Bill ; the Church schools . . 492 

July Lord Salisbury retires ; Mr. Balfourprime minister 493 

xxxii England and the British Empire 



Queen Victoria ; the Crown and Ministers . 495 

The democratic development . . 497 

The imperial development . . . 498 

Free Trade ..... 500 

Russophobia ..... 501 


The old non-nationalist European system . 503 

Reconstruction on nationalist lines . , 504 

Particularism and unification . . . 504 

Italian unification ..... 505 

German unification .... 506 

The German empire and the French republic . 508 

The states outside Europe . 509 

The European concert . . . 510 


Humanitarian developments . . . 512 

Material progress . . . . .514 

Electricity. . . . . . . 515 

Medicine and sanitation . . . .516 

The evolution doctrine . . . . 517 

Literature : the Victorian poets . . . 519 

Historians . . . . .521 

The cheapening of the press . . . 522 

Synopsis and Contents xxxiii 



1902. Position of Parties . . . . 523 

1903. An Irish Land Bill .... 525 
Mr. Chamberlain's economic departure . . 525 
Development of the Tariff Reform Controversy . 526 

1904. A Licensing Act . . . . .529 
Chinese labour in South Africa . . . 530 
The North Sea incident . . . 531 

1905. Devolution and Mr. Wyndham . . . 531 
Lord Curzon in India .... 532 
The entente cor di ale . . . . 534 

Dec. Resignation of the government . . . 535 

Jan. 1906. General election ; the debacle . . . 535 


1906. The new government and the Opposition . 536 
The Trades' Unions Act and the Plural Voting 

Bill 537 

The first Education Bill and its fate . . 537 

,, Grant of responsible government to South Africa 538 

1907. Mr. Asquith and the Income Tax . . 539 
Mr. Haldane's new army scheme. . . 539 
The Liberals and the House of Lords . . 540 

1908. Mr. Asquith becomes prime minister . . 540 
Old age pensions ..... 541 
,, The second Education Bill and its fate . . 541 
The Licensing Bill .... 542 

1909. The naval programme . . . .543 
Mr. Lloyd George's budget . . . 544 
Rejection of the budget by the Lords . . 545 

Jan. 1910. General election ; distribution of parties . . 546 

The budget passed .... 546 

xxxiv England and the British Empire 


Jan. 1910. The government and the Lords . . . 547 
May 7 Death of King Edward VII. 

and accession of King George v. . . 547 

Attitude of the Government . . . 548 

Dec. General election ; distribution of parties . . 549 

Relations with Russia and Germany . . 549 

The Dominions . . . . -55 

India ..... 551 

The women's suffrage movement . , 552 

1911-1914. III. EPILOGUE 

1911. The Parliament Act ... -553 
National Insurance . . , .554 
Doctrine of the referendum . . . 555 

1912. The new Home Rule Bill. . . . 556 
The Welsh Church Disestablishment Bill . 557 

1913. The Plural Voting Bill . . . . 557 
1911-1913. Foreign affairs ..... 558 

Various problems . . . . -559 

1914. Third introduction of the Home Rule Bill . 559 
The crisis ...... 560 

The Austrian ultimatum . . . .561 

The nation at one ..... 561 

Aug. 4. Declaration of war ..... 562 

Synopsis and Contents xxxv 



TRAFALGAR . . . . . . 563 

In Text 

The Spanish Peninsula . . 41 

Waterloo .... ... 66 

Egypt . . 4U 

Trafalgar ..... 564 

At end of Volume 

MAP I. The Netherlands War Area. 

II. Europe in 1815. 

III. India, 1802-1914. 

IV. India, North- West, and Afghanistan. 
V. India, the Ganges Basin. 

VI. South Africa. 

Vol. iv. p. 286, for * Holmes,' read * Home.' 



THE Peace of Amiens, negotiated for the Addington ministry 
mainly by Cornwallis, was subjected to sharp criticism. The 
general feeling was summarised by Sheridan when The Peace 
he said that it was ' A peace which all men are glad of Amiens, 
of but no one can be proud of.' For the sake of peace, Britain 
had surrendered a good deal and France nothing. The attacks 
came chiefly from Grenville and from the Portland Whigs, 
Spencer and Windham, distrust of the intentions of the French 
government being really at the root of the opposition. The 
country, in fact, was grievously in need of peace, though it had 
shown an extraordinary capacity for bearing the strain of the 
war. The National Debt had doubled since 1783, as in 1783 
it had doubled since 1763. The population, suffering from the 
dislocation of employment accompanying the rural and industrial 
revolutions, had been brought to a state of more acute distress 
by the immense rise in the price of food-stuffs consequent upon 
the war. Wheat had risen to a hundred and twelve shillings, 
whereas before it had rarely been as high as fifty shillings, 
and had never exceeded sixty-four. The merchants looked 
forward to great profits when the course of trade should no 
longer be interrupted. The country generally, therefore, was 
glad to acquiesce in any peace which seemed to promise security 
and the opportunity of recuperation. There was at least a 
prima facie presumption that a really stable government had 
been established in France, and that if the intentions of that 
government were pacific a long era of peace was at hand. 

But were the intentions of that government pacific ? N apoleon , 

Innes's Eng. Hist. Vol. iv. A 

2 The War with the French Empire 

who formally adopted the monarchical custom of using his 
Christian name, after his position as First Consul was confirmed 
to him for life in the August following the peace, had a great 
Doubts of its task before him in the reorganisation of France, 
permanency. an( j might well have been anxious to devote the 
whole of his energies to that work. Nevertheless, it would 
be difficult for any man with a military genius such as his to 
set a limit to his own ambition, to turn from the exercise of the 
art of war, in which he had been so triumphant, and to confine 
himself to the interests of the organiser and administrator. It 
is particularly difficult for one who by the brilliant achievements 
of his sword has won his way to the supreme power in the 
state, raising his own country to unprecedented heights of 
martial glory, to abstain from securing his supremacy by further 
feats of arms. Even if Napoleon had honestly determined to 
seek peace and avoid war it is doubtful whether he could have 
kept to his resolve, doubtful whether he could have resisted the 
temptation to assert dubious claims supported by the material 
argument of invincible legions. And facts point to the irresist- 
ible conclusion that the only kind of peace which he would have 
allowed to be permanent would have demanded the submission 
of all Europe to his dictation, or, at least, such as would have 
ruled Britain out of any voice in European affairs. 

It was at least impossible for the British government to feel 
assured that the peace would be permanent or was intended to 
causes be permanent. Causes of friction had not been 

of friction. removed. Almost at the last moment, Napoleon 
had ruffled British nerves, by accepting for himself the presi- 
dency of what was thereafter known as the Italian Republic, 
hitherto styled Cisalpine. Napoleon was ruffled by the liberty 
allowed to the emigres in England, of making the grossest attacks 
upon him in the English press. Britain had abstained from 
including in the terms of the peace any demands as to the rela- 
tions between France and the various republics which had been 
practically her creation, or with regard to the minor German 
states ; aggressive action by France in those quarters would 
carry with it a menace of further aggressive intentions ; yet 

The Truce and the Rupture 3 

France might resent any British protest on the subject, on the 
plea that it was none of Britain's business. There was no 
stipulation for a commercial treaty; and to British dismay, 
there was no sign of any intention on the part of France to relax 
her efforts for maintaining commercial barriers between Britain 
and Europe. Finally, Britain had agreed to the evacuation of 
Malta and its restoration to the Knights of St. John, condi- 
tionally upon the common guarantee of the powers for its 
neutrality ; but the actual guarantee had not yet been 

Consequently, after the treaty, Britain made no haste to 
evacuate Malta, wherein she was obviously within her rights, but 
she also delayed to restore the French towns which Evasions of 
had been seized in India, and to withdraw her troops treaty 
from Egypt. This was in fact a technical breach { 
of the terms of the treaty, in defence of which it could only be 
urged that grave suspicion of Napoleon's intentions was war- 
ranted by his actions. In the autumn, Napoleon having been 
made First Consul for life, France annexed Piedmont and practi- 
cally compelled the Helvetic republic to adopt a constitution, 
placing it under French control. The secularisation and redis- 
tribution of the territories of the West German princes was 
proceeding apace, and the hand which guided it was obviously 
that of France. Yet none of these things were breaches of 
the Treaty of Amiens. French commercial agents were visiting 
Ireland and the Levant ; it was more than suspected that their 
purposes and the reports they were preparing were much more 
political than commercial in character. Instructions for these 
agents which fell into the hands of the British government 
desired them to furnish information about" the ports, which 
seemed to imply hostile intentions. In January 1803, was pub- 
lished the report of Colonel Sebastiani, who had been officially 
sent to the Levant ; it was chiefly concerned to explain how 
easy would be the recovery of Egypt by France. The per- 
sistent retention of French troops in Holland could not in Britain 
be regarded with equanimity, and protests from Britain were 
met with the answer that these proceedings were no contraven- 

4 The War with the French Empire 

tion of the Treaty of Amiens, and with counter-protests against 
the standing grievance of the scurrilous attacks upon the First 
Consul issued in the London press by the French emigres. 

If then we endeavour to divest ourselves of the almost irresist- 
ible disposition of the natural man, to read sinister motives into 
Technical ^e act i n * opponents while repudiating correspond- 
justification ing insinuations against his friends, the case may still 

be fairly stated on this wise. Terms had been arrived 
at for the Treaty of Amiens under which the British made certain 
definite engagements, having certain understandings in view ; 
but the superior diplomatic skill of the French foreign minister, 
Talleyrand, prevented them from obtaining any guarantee for 
those understandings, under the treaty. If the British carried 
out their engagements, they would be placed at a serious disad- 
vantage in the event of a renewal of hostilities, unless France 
acted upon those understandings which had not been guaranteed, 
but had been in the minds of the British when they made their 
engagements. France, on the other hand, declined to give any 
consideration to those understandings ; and in view of the 
hostile intent implied by the action of France as interpreted by 
the British, the British evaded the carrying out of their engage- 
ments without further security. Napoleon stood by the letter 
of the agreement, regarded the demand for further security as a 
breach of faith, and took measures to strengthen his position in 
the event of a renewal of the fighting. 

So far, on purely technical grounds, Napoleon had the best of 
the argument ; but when the security of a state is at stake, its 
Moral action cannot be governed by purely technical con- 

justification siderations. What the British saw was that after 

the peace had been made Napoleon was engaged in 
securing complete control for France over Holland, Switzerland 
and North Italy ; and, by February 1803, over the principalities 
of Western Germany. It was vain for Napoleon to pretend that 
these matters were no concern of the British ; the domination 
of all these states by an unfriendly power was very much their 
concern. There was no question at all that the peace had been 
made on both sides on the hypothesis that it was intended to be 

The Truce and the Rupture 5 

a permanent settlement. Napoleon knew perfectly well that 
the policy he was carrying out in Western Europe was incom- 
patible with the permanence of the settlement ; therefore from 
the British point of view, his actions were a moral though not a 
technical violation of the treaty, warranting its technical viola- 
tion by a delay in carrying out the British engagements. The 
British case became all the stronger with the discovery of evidence 
pointing to a more definitely hostile intent. With relation to 
Egypt in particular, the publication of Sebastiani's report 
carried the conviction that the moment Britain fulfilled her 
engagement and evacuated Alexandria, France would drop the 
mask, break her own engagement, and occupy Egypt herself. 

In plain terms, Napoleon's determination, which was manifest, 
to make all Western Europe dependent upon France, necessi- 
tated his insistence upon the doctrine that Western A breach 
Europe was no concern of Britain. The security inevitable. 
of Britain necessitated her insistence upon her right to a voice in 
the settlement of Western Europe, although that right had not 
been formally asserted in the Treaty of Amiens. These two 
incompatible positions must almost in any case have led to a 
renewal of the war ; but behind them lay the French convic- 
tion that the British were actuated by hostility to France and 
the British conviction that the French were actuated by hostility 
to Britain, which made a rupture certain. By March 1803, the 
Addington government was so convinced of the menace of war, 
that the king's message to parliament called for military pre- 
parations in view of the hostile preparations which were in 
progress in the French ports. 

The result of the king's message was an explosive scene between 
the First Consul and the British ambassador, Whitworth, at the 
Tuileries. The actual rupture, however, was still de- 1803 War 
ferred for a couple of months. On May I2th diplo- declared, 
matic relations were broken off; on the i8th war May ' 
was declared. Immediately afterwards all British subjects in the 
French dominions were seized and thrown into prison as prisoners 
of war, a violation of all recognised custom, which emphasised 
the bitterness with which the renewed struggle was to be waged. 

6 The War with the French Empire 

Both in France and in England it was recognised at this time 
that there must be a fight to a finish. The evidence of the whole 
Napoleon's career of Napoleon points to the conclusion that 
aims. j ie regarded the British power throughout as the 

grand obstacle to the achievement of his own ambition, which 
was the establishment not merely of France as the ascendant 
power in Europe, but of his own unqualified supremacy, and 
that, consequently, the ruin of the British empire was the 
primary object which he held in view. It is not easy to doubt 
that it was his deliberate intention to use the Peace of Amiens 
first for the consolidation of his control, as yet incomplete, over 
Western Europe, and then to apply himself to the annihilation 
of the British commercial supremacy, upon which rested the 
power of the British empire. This was not apparent when the 
Peace of Amiens was made, because it was assumed in England 
that there were to be no further alterations in the map of Europe. 
When Napoleon chose to treat that assumption as unwarranted, 
it became practically impossible to doubt the fundamentally 
anti-British character of his ambitions ; and it is impossible to 
doubt them now, in the light of his subsequent operations. It 
may be true that he did not intend to provoke war, as it is cer- 
tainly true that the British government did not intend to pro- 
voke war. But if so, it was only on the hypothesis that he would 
be able to effect the ruin of the British empire without going 
to war ; and the British nation was fully determined to fight in 
order to avert that catastrophe. 

Yet it is one thing to declare war, and another to make war 
effective. While each of the two combatants was fighting single- 
Armies handed, each might bring painful pressure to bear 
and fleets. on ^ e other, but neither could strike a crushing 
blow. In the British isles, there were scarcely more than fifty 
thousand troops available, though the material was there for rais- 
ing a force of perhaps half a million for home defence. But 
these were not troops which could be employed for striking on 
land at France with her large armies of veterans under the com- 
mand of the greatest of soldiers. It was equally impossible 
for Napoleon to use his armies to strike at England, unless he 

The Struggle: First Phase 7 

could obtain at least a temporary command of the sea, and there 
was no chance of his achieving that object by any direct blow to 
the superior British fleet. In effect all that Britain could do 
was to prevent French ships from coming out of French or 
Dutch ports, and to take possession of French or Dutch islands 
since for all practical purposes Holland was now a part of 
France. All that Napoleon could do was to shut British com- 
merce out of French and Dutch ports, and endeavour to frighten 
England by menaces of invasion. 

On the other hand, there was no immediate prospect of move- 
ment on the part of other powers. Austria might have taken 
alarm at Napoleon's policy in Western Germany, Europe 
yet her assent to it was already assured. The Tsar quiescent. 
was satisfied by the advantages which Napoleon had been care- 
ful to secure to the states in which Alexander was personally 
interested, Bavaria, Wiirtemberg and Baden. Prussia's acquies- 
cence followed upon her hopes of compensation for herself in 
Hanover. Russia, too, was annoyed by the British refusal to 
evacuate Malta. Since France retained her hold on Otranto 
in Southern Italy, the Bourbon king of the Sicilies was too much 
afraid of her to make common cause with the British ; and if 
the Bourbon king of Spain was not unlikely to be seduced into 
a French alliance for the same reasons as in the past, yet at the 
moment Spain had no excuse for intervention and was not in a 
due state of preparation for a maritime war. 


The war, when it opened, was on the part of Great Britain 
a purely defensive one. She could not strike hard, however 
earnestly she might desire to do so. She could The West 
secure her domination in the West Indies by again Indies. 
seizing St. Lucia, a position strategically of the highest value. 
She could, and did extend her domination by occupying French 
and Dutch islands, a process which involved considerable 
expense and the dispatch of troops which, considering the small 
numbers of her army, it might have been wiser to keep at home. 
The principal gain in fact lay in the seizure of harbours which 

8 The War with the French Empire 

would otherwise have sheltered innumerable privateers engaged 
in the harrying of British commerce. 

But for Napoleon the grand object was to find an opportunity 
for striking ; for the British, to prevent him from doing so. 
The army of Napoleon set himself to developing a grand scheme 
Boulogne. o f invasion, the British to ensuring that any such 
scheme should be abortive. At Boulogne and neighbouring 
ports, Napoleon gathered flotillas of flat-bottomed boats for 
transport, and troops to be ready for embarkation in the vain 
hope that they could be carried to England, and effect an imme- 
diate conquest, if only the Channel could be cleared of British 
warships for three days or even for twenty-four hours. That 
' if ' was the vital point. For the British fleet was standing on 
guard, and had no intention of allowing itself to be either forced 
or beguiled into leaving an open passage. 

It does not appear that the Admiralty at any time had a 
shadow of doubt regarding the ability of the Navy to frustrate 
The any possible attempt at invasion. But confidence 

volunteers. on the part of the Admiralty was no more sufficient 
to satisfy popular anxiety than had been the confidence of 
Elizabeth's mariners in the days of the Armada. There must 
be an army to meet the invader, if he should succeed in effecting 
a landing. It was well that the naval authorities should be con- 
fident, since they had the best of reasons for their confidence ; 
it was well also that the nervousness of those who understood 
the situation clearly should be allayed ; and it was emphatically 
well that the manhood of the country should be zealous to 
answer the call to arms, so long as the chance of invasion existed, 
however infinitesimal. Volunteers were enrolled to the number 
of three hundred thousand before the war had been in progress 
for much more than three months. 

The Addington ministry possessed the advantage that the 
king was on better terms with the prime minister than with any 
1802-3. The f ms predecessors since North had quitted office 
Addington in 1782. At the same time, by no stretch of 
imagination could the ministry be called a strong 
one ; its intentions were excellent, but it was surrounded by 

The Struggle : First Phase 9 

critics, of greater ability than most of its members, who resented 
its existence. A feeling grew that the ' Pilot who had weathered 
the storm ' should return to his post. An abortive insurrection 
in Ireland, headed by Robert Emmett, whose brother Thomas 
had been one of the persons seized before the outbreak of the 
Rebellion of '98, gives some point to the view that Pitt ought to 
have stipulated for the completion of his own Irish policy as a 
condition of his return to office. Nevertheless he was probably 
right in considering that the king would have remained obdurate 
upon the point. That the king was hopelessly wrongheaded, 
does not alter the fact that the thing had become with him a 
matter of conscience, and he would have resigned his crown 
rather than give way. Addington himself wished for Pitt's 
return, and had opened negotiations with him towards the end 
of the year 1802. Pitt, however, required not only that he should 
himself resume his old position, but that Grenville and others 
who had resigned with him should also return to the ministry. 
Grenville, again, made it a condition that Addington should retire. 
Pitt's terms were rejected in April 1803 by the Addington 
cabinet, a month before the declaration of war. 

Pitt's relations with the ministry, which he had hitherto sup- 
ported though only after a lukewarm fashion, now became in- 
creasingly chilly. In the spring of 1804, his criti- isoa. Pitt 
cism of the government began to sound a distinctly returns, May. 
hostile note. By this time Grenville and Fox were uniting their 
forces, and both supported Pitt. Ministers came near to being 
defeated in the House of Commons. At the end of April, Pitt 
submitted his own view of the situation to the king, who had 
only just recovered from his third serious brain-attack. At the 
same moment Addington resigned. George invited Pitt to 
submit his plans for a new ministry ; Pitt proposed a joint 
ministry which should include both Grenville and Fox. The 
king rejected Fox personally, and would only accept Grenville 
if a pledge were given that the question of Catholic emancipation 
should not be raised. Fox did not wish his own exclusion to 
stand in the way ; but neither Fox's followers nor Grenville and 
his followers would join without Fox. Pitt, however, had come 

io The War with the French Empire 

to the conclusion, first, that the Addington ministry under 
Addington's leadership was incompetent ; secondly, that it was 
impossible under existing conditions to force Fox upon the king ; 
thirdly, that the crisis demanded his own return to the helm. In 
the new ministry which the king accepted, Pitt with his per- 
sonal followers such as Dundas, now Viscount Melville, took the 
places of Addington and his immediate followers, while others, 
such as the chancellor, Lord Eldon, Lord Hawkesbury (after- 
wards earl of Liverpool), Pitt's brother, Lord Chatham, and 
Castlereagh, remained. Pitt returned to office at the precise 
moment when Napoleon was proclaimed no longer First Consul 
of the French republic, but Emperor of the French (May 1804) . 

The war had now been in progress just twelve months. Apart 
from the mustering of armies of invasion, the first definite step 
watching taken by France had been the occupation of Hanover, 
and But since the days of George IL, British govern- 

waiting. ments had ceased to be susceptible to attacks upon 
Hanover ; the object of the French was to enable themselves to 
dangle the electorate as a bait before the eyes of the Prussian 
king. For the rest, the army of invasion collected at Boulogne; 
volunteers in increasing numbers drilled and trained themselves 
on the other side of the Channel ; and British fleets kept watch 
over all the French ports in the North Sea and in the Channel, 
on the Atlantic and in the Mediterranean. Repeatedly in the 
past from 1756 to 1797, the menace of invasion had frightened 
British governments into complete or partial withdrawals from 
the inland sea, but it had no such effect now when the British 
naval force could maintain an adequate strength of ships in 
every region. 

But another actor was coming on the scene. Doubts were 
stirring in the mind of the Tsar, suspicions that Napoleon was 
Tsar projecting designs against the Turkish empire, in 

Alexander. pursuance of his old schemes for Oriental conquest. 
It was more than probable that the kingdom of the Sicilies 
would be made a stepping-stone. At any rate the tightening of 
Napoleon's grip upon Western Europe was ominous. The Tsar 
began to think of alliances to hold the ambitions of France in 

The Struggle : First Phase 1 1 

check ; and in the quarter where his own interests were directly 
threatened British interests were threatened also. Neither 
power could afford to see France in possession of the Sicilies. 

Then, in March 1804, all Europe was startled by a tragedy. A 
plot was framed in France against the emperor's life. At the 

bottom of it were the Breton Georges Cadoudal, , 

Murder of 
and Pichegru, the former general of the republic, the Due 

Something of it was known to Moreau, the victor d'Enghien, 
of Hohenlinden, who in military reputation stood 
second only to Napoleon himself. The plot was discovered, 
Cadoudal was executed, Pichegru was found dead in his prison, 
and Moreau, who had refused to participate, was banished. But 
matters did not end here. Napoleon believed, and had some 
colour for the belief, that there was an extensive Bourbon plot 
in which the British government was implicated. The Due 
d'Enghien, a prince of the blood royal, the direct representa- 
tive of the great Conde, was in Baden territory. Presumably in 
order to terrorise the Bourbons, the unfortunate duke was 
kidnapped on neutral soil, carried over the French border, and 
after a mock trial was shot for complicity in the plot. Napoleon 
persuaded himself and France that the crime was a necessity of 
state ; he used the event as an argument for ending once for 
all the vision of a Bourbon restoration, by establishing a new 
dynasty and procuring his own acceptance by France as emperor. 
But P^urope was shocked by the outrage, and no one more than 
Alexander. Even before it was capped by Napoleon's assump- 
tion of the imperial dignity, the Tsar had begun to negotiate 
actively for a British alliance, hoping to include in it Austria, 
Prussia, and the zealous but impracticable king of Sweden, 
Gustavus iv. 

Now it had been proved in the war which terminated with the 
Peace of Amiens, that Pitt was not, as his father had been, an 
organiser of victories. But he was aware that to 1804 . 5 . 
organise victories had become a necessity, that it Pitt and the 
was not enough to remain on the defensive until Adn 
the struggle with Napoleon ended in a stalemate. Only through 
concerted action with other powers would it be possible to win ; 

12 The War with the French Empire 

and though Russia must be credited with having made the first 
move, before Pitt himself had come into power, Pitt was no less 
zealous than Alexander himself, in the effort to organise a coali- 
tion in which not only British fleets but also British armies 
would have to take their share, and the partners would be largely 
financed by British gold. It is also to be observed from the 
outset that the British navy not only had the ships, the men, 
and the officers, as she had in 1793, but also the naval organisa- 
tion which had been attained in nine years of continuous war, 
controlled by men who had a thorough grasp of naval strategy 
in all its aspects. There is no fault to be found with its direc- 
tion while in the hands of Melville, in spite of the poor figure he 
had cut when directing the military administration at the begin- 
ning of the previous war ; and Melville was succeeded before 
the most critical moment arrived by a man who had proved 
himself a thorough master, Sir Charles Middleton, who was 
created Lord Barham. Middleton was a veteran nearing his 
eightieth year when Melville was at the Admiralty ; there is very 
little doubt that the wisdom of Melville's own measures was due 
to the confidence which he reposed in Middleton's advice ; and 
there is no doubt at all that when Melville was forced to resign 
on account of the personal attacks made upon him, and Middleton 
as Lord Barham officially took his place, to Barham belongs the 
credit for the perfection of the Admiralty plans in the critical 
year 1805. But it is also to be observed that Pitt himself 
during this period showed an appreciation of strategical con- 
siderations which had not distinguished him in the earlier 

In the summer of 1804 Napoleon was becoming aware that a 
new European coalition was threatening. It would seem also that 
Napoleon's ms confidence in his plan of invasion was weaken- 
scheme of ing. Whether he ever believed much in it except 
by fits is doubtful ; at one time he asserted in the 
most emphatic manner that the whole scheme had never been 
anything but a blind. The British Admiralty was obliged to 
act on the hypothesis that the scheme was intended seriously ; 
but its equanimity was never disturbed. Its arrangements 

The Struggle : First Phase 1 3 

provided always for adequate squadrons watching over all the 
French ports, so linked up that they could always concentrate 
upon the mouth of the Channel, if occasion arose, in such force 
that no possible combination could successfully challenge an 
engagement. Napoleon's plans for invasion involved the hypo- 
thesis that the Toulon fleet might evade the Mediterranean 
squadron, escape through the Straits, evade the blockading 
squadrons between Ferrol, where Spain had admitted French 
ships, and Brest, and co-operate with the fleet blockaded at 
Brest to crush the fleet blockading it ; or else evade the fleet 
blockading Brest and rush the Channel, which would be held 
long enough for carrying the army of invasion over to England. 
But for that purpose, the Toulon fleet would have required 
to be stronger than the fleet blockading Brest ; since a 
blockaded fleet had practically no chance of getting out of 
port in time to support the relieving fleet. As for the plan 
of evading the fleet and rushing the Channel, the squadron 
which attempted it might conceivably have got in, but it 
would have had no possible chance of surviving. The whole 
scheme in fact was chimerical, as the British Admiralty very 
well knew. 

Now whether or not Napoleon seriously believed in his scheme 
of invasion, whether it was with a view to that scheme that he 
originally devised his West Indian expedition, no 1804 Tlie 
one will ever know. It is quite certain that in the West Indian 
autumn and winter of 1804 the costly but always scllenie> 
inadequate arrangements made for the embarkation of the army 
at Boulogne were allowed to fall into a state of complete dis- 
organisation ; and at the turn of the year the Rochefort squadron 
and the Toulon fleet had their instructions to get to sea if they 
possibly could, and to make for the West Indies ; apparently 
with the single intention of creating what may be called a 
colonial diversion, and paralysing the British for active naval 
and military co-operation with the European states, of whose 
coalition Napoleon was afraid. 

The negotiations between the powers were pursuing a very 
doubtful course. The Tsar's mind was set upon three things 

14 The War with the French Empire 

which he wanted from Pitt : military co-operation in Italy, in- 
volving the placing of British troops under Russian command ; 
Russia the British evacuation of Malta; and the British 

Britain, and concession of the old demands of the Armed Neu- 
Austria. trality. For the first, Pitt was willing so soon as the 

army could be raised in numbers and efficiency to a standard 
which would make it possible to spare from England troops 
available for an Italian campaign. But on the other two 
questions Pitt was adamant. Malta was necessary to the 
command of the Eastern Mediterranean ; the British naval 
command of the Eastern Mediterranean was necessary, not to 
say vital, from a European as well as from a British point of 
view. Britain could not surrender her maritime rights. As for 
the other powers, Prussia was obviously not to be tempted 
out of her neutrality, and Sweden clamoured for impossible 
subsidies from Britain as a condition of her joining the alliance. 
Austria might come in for the sake of recovering her old posses- 
sions in North Italy, but never took any hearty part in any 
portion of a common programme which was not directed to 
her own particular interest. She was in fact finally induced to 
commit herself to the alliance by her alarm when the North 
Italian republic resolved to turn itself into a monarchy, and 
invited Napoleon himself to assume the ancient iron crown of 
Lombardy, an invitation which he accepted and acted upon in 
May 1805. The result of all these complications was that the 
offensive and defensive alliance of Britain, Russia and Austria 
was not finally ratified until after midsummer of that year. 

At the close of 1804, then, there was no actual change in the 
naval situation. Villeneuve at Toulon and Missiessy at Roche- 
fort had not yet received their orders from the West Indies. 
Spain. One event of importance, however, had occurred. 

Spain had had warning from Pitt that if she persisted in giving 
covert assistance to France, as exemplified by the presence of 
the French squadron at Ferrol, she would be treated as a hostile 
power. She did persist, and in October without any declara- 
tion of war, Spanish treasure ships were seized. The effect was 
to throw Spain definitely into the arms of France, and to, cause 

The Struggle : First Phase 1 5 

her to set about vigorous preparations for getting her fleet into 
fighting order. Still there was no prospect of its being ready 
for many months to come. Napoleon was anxious to separate 
Great Britain from Austria, and sought to open distinct nego- 
tiations by addressing, under his new imperial title, a personal 
letter to King George. Pitt's reply ignored the put declines 
new title, and was a refusal to negotiate apart to negotiate, 
from the other powers. The tone of a note from Austria was so 
pacific that Napoleon was balked of his intention of immediately 
using his Boulogne army to threaten Austria, and thus excuse 
himself for dropping the project of invading England which, 
as he had just informed his council, he had never really intended 
to do. This, it has been conjectured, was the reason why, not 
long afterwards, he resolved to turn his West Indian expedition 
into a means for enabling his various fleets, including that of 
Spain, to unite, and after all to carry out the old plan of invasion. 
In January 1805 Villeneuve and Missiessy had their orders. 
The latter, by combined luck and skill, escaped to sea under con- 
ditions of weather which prevented the blockading 1305. The 

squadron from getting any clue to his destination. Rochefort 
T 7-ii v r T- i and Toulon 

Villeneuve too slipped out ot ioulon. Nelson, fleets, 

knowing that Sicily and the Eastern Mediterranean January. 
were the sphere in which the French were likely to be dangerous, 
directed his pursuit thither ; but Villeneuve, finding that he 
had been sighted by a couple of Nelson's scouts, took discre- 
tion to be the better part of valour, and retired to Toulon again. 
It was only after this that we have the first intimation of a pre- 
sumably new intention on Napoleon's part to carry out the 
grand combination of fleets in the West Indies, and to use it for 
forcing the Channel. 

On 3oth March, Villeneuve with his fresh instructions, again 
slipped out of Toulon. Nelson, still judging that the area of 
first importance was the Eastern Mediterranean, The escape of 
had prepared a trap into which his adversary Villeneuve, 
would have sailed if the East had been his destina- March> 
tion. But by good fortune Villeneuve picked up information 
which enabled him to evade ^elson's scouts and make his course, 

1 6 The War with the French Empire 

to the westward : though he was in such haste to escape from 
Nelson's reach, that he barely gave himself time to pick up 
some Spanish battleships at Cadiz before hurrying off to the 
West Indies. Nor could Nelson at first discover what had 
become of him, and for a time the English admiral held himself 
bound to maintain his watch over the regions where he was 
entitled to expect Villeneuve ; until at last he got the definite 
information which showed that his adversary had departed 
through the Straits and at the same time other news, in the 
circumstances of an alarming character, of which he would have 
had early and timely information but for the loss of two dispatch 

At the moment when Villeneuve was moving from Toulon, 
and the Russian ambassador, though not the Tsar himself, was 
The Malta agreeing to Pitt's terms, an expedition was sailing 
expedition. from Portsmouth, carrying six thousand troops to 
Malta, with a view to an Italian campaign, and taking with it a 
convoy of merchantmen. In the ordinary course, that expedi- 
tion would have passed along the linked line of blockading 
squadrons from Brest to Cadiz, till it passed under the care of 
Nelson. But Villeneuve was out through the Straits. Orde, 
driven off from Cadiz by the unexpected approach of Villeneuve, 
had fallen back to join Calder, who was watching Ferrol ; but 
though he had done his best he had failed to keep touch of Ville- 
neuve, and no one knew where the great French fleet had 
gone ; it was quite possible that the Malta expedition would 
fall into his hands. As a matter of fact, Villeneuve had made 
for the West Indies, but the pressing necessity was the protec- 
tion of the Malta expedition from a probable very serious danger. 

Nelson himself was thoroughly alive to the vital importance 

of securing the Sicilies, and it was only when the safety of 

the expedition was insured, a sufficient portion of 

pursues his fleet detached to command the Mediterranean, 

Villeneuve, an( j the last doubt banished from his own mind 

that the West Indies were Villeneuve's objective, 

that he was able, with a smaller fleet than Villeneuve's, to start 
in pursuit. 

The Struggle : First Phase \ 7 

Napoleon's plan of combination had already failed. The 
Brest fleet, as well as those from Rochefort and Toulon, was to 
have come out if it could get to sea without fight- Collapse 
ing a pitched battle ; but it had failed to do so. of the 
Missiessy had failed to accomplish anything on his ( 
own account in the West Indies ; and since Villeneuve failed 
to arrive in accordance with the original plan which had been 
foiled in January, Missiessy, not having received the fresh in- 
structions which were on their way, acted on his first instruc- 
tions, and sailed for home. By the end of May the British line 
of blockade, disturbed by the events of April, was again com- 
plete still in perfect readiness for a concentration upon the 
Channel should that be called for ; and the returned Missiessy 
was again shut up in Rochefort. 

Villeneuve had a month's start of Nelson ; but according to 
his instructions he was to wait for Ganteaume from Brest before 

driving the British out of the West Indies. By 

. . The chase 

the beginning of June it was not Ganteaume, but after 

Nelson who reached the West Indies. Nelson's Villeneuve, 
fleet, combined with Cochrane's West India squadron, 
though smaller than that of the combined French and Spaniards, 
was more than Villeneuve cared to meet in a pitched battle, 
and the Franco-Spanish fleet started to sail home again on 
loth June. Cochrane had remained undisturbed by the French 
at Jamaica. There Nelson left him, having formed his own 
conviction that the French were making for Europe, and once 
more started in pursuit five days behind his quarry. 

He judged that Villeneuve would make for the Mediterranean, 
whereas Villeneuve was actually making for the Bay of Biscay. 
Hence the pursuer did not overtake the pursued. The end of 
But the dispatch boat sent direct to England the chase, 
sighted the French, and on 8th July, Barham had warning of 
the course Villeneuve was taking. He had fully expected that 
the arrival of Nelson in the West Indies would send Villeneuve 
home again. His object then was to intercept the approaching 
fleet; and the blockade of Rochefort was raised in order to 
strengthen Calder off Ferrol. Calder succeeded in finding 

Innes's Eng. Hist. Vol. iv. B 

1 8 The War with the French Empire 

Villeneuve, whose fleet considerably outnumbered his own. The 
fight was in itself successful ; but Calder, not knowing what 
the Rochefort fleet might do, did not follow up his victory, and 
the French and Spaniards went to Vigo. They had not been 
broken up, but Napoleon's scheme of combination had gone 
completely to pieces. A fortnight later, while Calder was watch- 
ing for the Rochefort fleet, which had seized its opportunity, 
slipped out, and disappeared into space, Villeneuve got into 
Ferrol. The combined fleet there was so large that Calder's 
blockade could no longer be maintained. Meanwhile Nelson 
reached the Mediterranean, and since it was clear that this 
had not been Villeneuve's objective, he made fresh arrange- 
ments for possible contingencies, left Collingwood still in com- 
mand, and carried his own squadron round to join Admiral 
Cornwallis before Brest ; the presumption being that the 
objective of the French fleets would be the Channel. 

The Channel concentration was completed in the middle of 
August, but was not maintained. Villeneuve from Ferrol 
Barham and might attempt to strike either northward or.south- 
Cornwaiiis. wa rd. Cornwallis had no hesitation in reducing 
his own force to the lowest point which he considered necessary 
for defensive operations, and again dispatched Calder, with a 
force sufficient to paralyse an active offensive on Villeneuve's 
part, to watch Ferrol. The same view of the situation was taken 
by Barham independently, and Cornwallis received instructions 
to do precisely what he was doing although severe criticism 
has been passed upon him by modern critics for breaking up the 
concentration. Subject to the security of the Channel, for 
which, in the view of the best judges at the time, adequate pro- 
vision was made, it was imperative that the enemy should not 
snatch superiority in the Mediterranean ; the more so because 
of the critical relations between Austria, Russia and Britain. 
The Medi- ^ s a ma -tter of fact, Villeneuve with his thirty sail 
terranean, of the line was actually at the moment sailing for 
September. c a( jj z> There Collingwood, who with his small 
squadron had fallen back on his approach, quietly renewed the 
blockade on 2ist August, reckoning with justifiable confidence, 

The Struggle: First Phase 19 

that the enemy were in too demoralised a condition to be imme- 
diately dangerous. Within the next few days the political sky 
had so far cleared that the coalition had taken definite shape, 
Napoleon had abandoned the whole scheme of invasion, and the 
Mediterranean had once more become the vital area. Nelson 
was again dispatched to take the Mediterranean command with 
an increased fleet and a free hand. 

Nelson had no doubt about his power of preventing Villeneuve 
from taking an effective offensive ; but his extreme anxiety 
was to bring the enemy to battle and annihilate yuieneuve 
him a very different thing from merely paralysing leaves Cadiz, 
him. Villeneuve had no mind to tempt fate ; and 18th October - 
Nelson had inspired him with the same sort of fear as Drake 
had inspired in Queen Elizabeth's days. Left to himself he 
would have remained in Cadiz. But the emperor had chosen 
to attribute the failure of his scheme of invasion to his admirals, 
and especially to Villeneuve, who was driven to desperation by 
the expectation of immediate supercession. On the night of 
i8th October he put to sea, for Nelson was holding off with his 
main fleet, with the express object of enticing him out. The 
intended movements of the two fleets were complicated by 
changing winds, and it was not till the 2ist that Nelson found 
his adversary in the Bay of Trafalgar. 1 The British were numeri- 
cally inferior, but had a large supply of the three-deckers which 
appear to have been reckoned as equivalent to two Battle of 
two-deckers apiece, and there was no comparison Trafalgar, 
between the personnel of the two fleets. The 21st October - 
enemy's fleet was stretched in a line heading northwards. Nelson 
with a north-west wind came down approximately at right 
angles in two lines upon the French centre, pierced it at two 
points, enveloped the centre and rear, and annihilated it. The 
victory, though won at the cost of the life of the greatest of all 
seamen, was absolutely and completely crushing. After 
Trafalgar, there was no more question of balancing British 
fleets against naval combinations ; the united fleets of Europe 
could not have wrested the naval supremacy from the British. 
1 See Note TRAFALGAR and diagram at end of volume. 

2O The War with the French Empire 

The brilliancy of Nelson's career so outshines all others, that 
in thinking of the Trafalgar campaign, we are apt to forget the 
Some con- complete mastery of the situation shown through- 
siderations. ou t by the Admiralty, and the admirable manner 
in which every move of the game was played by admirals and 
captains, and above all by the octogenarian director of the 
whole, Lord Barham. The action of two officers only has been 
seriously criticised, that of Orde when Villeneuve escaped through 
the Straits, and that of Calder after his engagement off Finis- 
terre. Orde's defence was apparently complete ; he did the 
best that it was possible for him to do in the circumstances. 
Calder was court-martialled and censured ; not, however, for his 
conduct in the battle, but because he did not renew the attack. 
The worst that could be said of him was, that he committed an 
error of judgment in not hanging on to Villeneuve owing to 
his mistaken impression that, having forced that particular 
adversary away, it was his main business to prevent the fleet 
from Rochefort, the blockade of which had been raised, from 
joining the squadron at Ferrol. Nelson's glory is his own, but 
the honour due to others ought not to be forgotten. 

That Barham was at the Admiralty was due to the resigna- 
tion of Lord Melville, consequent upon a vote of censure on him, 
impeachment which was carried in the House of Commons only 
of Melville. by the casting- vote of the Speaker. The matter 
charged against him was the misuse of public funds when he 
was treasurer of the navy, during the previous war. He had, 
in fact, been culpably careless, but had not misused public 
money for his own ends ; and when the vote of censure was 
followed by an impeachment he was acquitted. Some changes 
in the ministry followed, which placed Castlereagh in the office 
of secretary ' for War and the Colonies ' ; the Colonies having 
recently been separated from the Home department, with which 
they had previously been associated. 

At the moment when Villeneuve sailed for Cadiz, instead of 
attempting to carry out the emperor's design of a naval con- 
centration upon the Channel, the coalition for which Pitt had been 
working was at last brought into line. An Austrian advanced 

The Struggle : First Phase 2 1 

army was collected at Ulm ; the intention was that the Arch- 
duke Charles should conduct a campaign in Northern Italy. 
Russian troops were massing on the east, and it The coalition 
was imagined that, before Napoleon could move, formed, 
the legions of the coalition would dominate the August - 
situation. Never was a more erroneous calculation made. 
Napoleon when he was dealing with fleets was an amateur, who 
never understood the working of the British system or the con- 
ditions of naval warfare, and always appears to have supposed 
that the particular foolish thing which would best suit his plans, 
the thing he would like the enemy to do, was the thing they 
would do ; and he had nothing but reproaches for the naval 
experts who endeavoured to explain to him that the things he 
wanted his admirals to do would be merely suicidal. But of 
warfare on land he was a past master ; as compared with any 
adversary he had yet encountered, a giant amongst pygmies. 
The instant he abandoned his design of crushing Britain by an 
invasion, his plans took shape for crushing the coalition before 
any concentration of its forces could be accomplished. 

For a time his intentions remained obscure, and the Austrians 
were hardly perturbed. Then suddenly his armies were sweep- 
ing across Germany, and on the day before Trafalgar, The 
2oth October, the whole of the Austrian force at Austeriitz 
Ulm, thirty-three thousand men, found itself in a cam P ai ^ n - 
trap from which there was no escape, and was compelled to sur- 
render. The capitulation of Ulm left the road to Vienna open. 
On 1 3th November the French army entered Vienna ; on 3rd 
December Napoleon, who had marched to meet the Russian 
army and the Austrian troops which had joined them, won perhaps 
the most brilliant of his victories at Austeriitz. The coalition 
was shivered to atoms ; Austria lay at Napoleon's mercy ; 
Russia recoiled from the terrific blow which had been struck, 
angry because Austria had proved a broken reed, angry also 
because Prussia made haste to seek the friendship of the victor. 
French troops advancing upon Ulm had violated Prussian 
territory, and Frederick William had been thereby almost stirred 
into joining the coalition, but found Austeriitz convincing. The 

22 The War with the French Empire 

Treaty of Pressburg surrendered to Napoleon's kingdom of Italy 
all that after Luneville had remained to Austria of Italy and 
The coalition the Adriatic coast. Napoleon's protege, the elector 
shattered, of Bavaria, was rewarded with Swabia and the 
Tyrol a transfer of sovereignty to which the 
Tyrolese themselves were to have something to say. With 
corresponding liberality Napoleon made a present of Hanover 
to Prussia, by the Treaty of Schonbrunn. 

Under the tremendous strain, Pitt's health had been breaking 
down. Great as was the triumph of Trafalgar, for him Austeiiitz 
ISOG Death was a crushing blow. ' Roll up the map of Europe,' 
of Pitt, 23rd he said ; ' it will not be wanted again for ten years.' 
A few weeks later, on January 23rd, his indomit- 
able spirit passed away. Almost, but not quite, within three 
months the statesman and the sailor, who most of men had 
checked Napoleon's career and shaken his power, were removed 
from the scene of struggle. Trafalgar, Austerlitz, and the 
death of Pitt mark a definite epoch in the history of the 

But before we enter upon the second phase we must turn to 
another region, where another side of the struggle was being 
fought out. 

The Marquess Wellesley had won in England unqualified 
approval by his destruction of the hostile power of Mysore. His 
Lord subsequent proceedings had been viewed with less 

Wellesley favour. His doctrine that the British must assert 
themselves as the paramount power, and ought to 
extend the territories under their direct control whenever the 
thing could be done legitimately, was in flat contradiction to 
the recognised theory that intervention in the native states was 
only desirable when British interests were directly endangered, 
and that every extension of territory was a burden rather than 
an advantage. There was also serious friction between the 
India House or the East India Company at home and the 
governor-general for other reasons. The India House regarded 
patronage as its own perquisite ; Wellesley made excellent 
appointments on his own responsibility without consulting the 

The Struggle : First Phase 23 

India House ; and the fact that his selections included kinsmen 
and connections of his own made matters worse from their point 
of view. Still the power of his personality made itself effectively 
felt ; and when the irritated governor-general tendered his resig- 
nation in 1802 it was not accepted. 

With the Peace of Amiens, Wellesley received instructions to 
restore to the French the stations which had, as a matter of course, 
been seized during the war. But Wellesley was 1802 R e t en , 
not satisfied with the situation, and held on to tion of the 
them pending further instructions, very much as 
the Aldington government held on in Malta and Alexandria. 
His prescience was demonstrated when the war broke out again, 
and when it was found that the official sent from France before 
the end of the peace to take over the French towns had instruc- 
tions to intrigue with the native powers. 

It must not be forgotten that from the beginning to the end 
of Wellesley's career in India, he had Napoleon's ambitions in 
his mind. With a vigilant government there was 
about as much chance of the French getting a foot- Mahrattas 

ing in India as there was of their getting a footing and the 

% -i T j French peril, 

in England, but there was precisely the same kind 

of reason for the perpetual vigilance and precautions in the 
absence whereof such a chance existed. As yet it was quite 
conceivable that if the Mahrattas really combined, they would 
not be content to share India with the British, but would make 
a bid for an inclusive empire. It was certain that they would 
welcome French help if they could get it ; and it was probable 
that such help would make the Mahrattas the more formidable, 
and would bring concurrent advantages to the French empire 
in its struggle with the British empire. Hence, just as Wellesley 
on his first arrival in India had at once insisted that the Nizam 
and Tippu must dismiss all Frenchmen from their service, and 
cease holding communications with the French anywhere and 
everywhere, so now his policy was directed to inducing the 
Mahrattas to accept similar conditions. And in like manner 
he was anxious to procure with them his favourite arrangement 
of maintaining a British force theoretically for the security of 

24 The War with the French Empire 

the Mahratta government, but actually serving also as a guarantee 
against Mahratta aggression. 

Now at the moment when Wellesley had landed in India in 
1798, the Mahratta menace was not imminent because of the 
Mahratta divisions and feuds then prevailing amongst them, 
dissensions. Th e pressing danger came from Tippu of Mysore ; 
and Tippu was crushed, while the Nizam, by perfectly friendly 
methods, was practically reduced to the position of a dependent 
prince. The governor-general after this might have acted 
on the presumption that if the Mahrattas were left alone 
they would devour each other, so that the British ascendency 
would have nothing to fear from them an application of the old 
principle divide et impera. But in his view India required to 
have peace imposed on it, if necessary, by the strong hand. 
He did not want to see the Mahrattas fighting each other and 
devastating half India in the process, with the possibility in the 
background, that they might at any moment effect a reconcilia- 
tion among themselves and turn against the British and also 
with the other possibility that the French would establish incon- 
venient relations with them. 

Theoretically, the head of the whole Mahratta confederacy, 
the five Mahratta powers, was the Peshwa at Puna, who at this 
Baji Rao time was Baj i Rao. Wellesley vainly endeavoured to 
peshwa. persuade the Puna government to follow the example 

of the Nizam, to accept a subsidiary alliance ceding territory 
for the maintenance of a British contingent in Puna territory, 
and to submit the control of foreign relations to the British 
government. But no native state was willing to become a 
vassal of the British until it felt that British protection was 
necessary to its own preservation. So it had been with Oudh 
and with Haidarabad. So it was now with the Mahrattas. But 
since the death of the great Madhoji Sindhia in 1794, no one 
endowed with his diplomatic powers had arisen to manipulate 
Mahratta affairs. The new Sindhia, Daulat Rao, was still a 
young man. The succession in Holkar's dominions had only 
just been decided after much fighting in favour of the reigning 
Holkar, Jeswant Rao. At the turn of the century, Sindhia 

The Struggle: First Phase 25 

and Holkar were quarrelling to get the mastery over the Peshwa 
Baji Rao. In 1802 Holkar routed the forces of Sindhia and 
Baji Rao under the walls of Puna ; and the Peshwa, who made 
his own escape, decided that the time had come to place himself 
temporarily under British protection. He accepted 
the proposals which he had before rejected, and on Treaty of 
the last day of the year the Treaty of Bassein was Bassein, 
signed by the official head of the Mahratta con- 
federacy. In May 1803 he was reinstated, with the governor- 
general's brother, Arthur Wellesley, at his elbow to take care 
of him. 

Now Holkar was for a time kept out of count by his disagree- 
ments with the other two great Mahratta princes, Sindhia and 
the Bhonsla of Nagpur. The Gaekwar in Gujerat also kept 
quiet. But the Bhonsla was hard at work trying to form a 
combination of powers against the British ; and the Peshwa 
was only too ready to desert his British allies and masters if he 
could get his own position secured without their assistance. He 
was helpless in the hands of the young soldier, who was to be 
known in later days as the Iron Duke. But though he was 
reinstated at Puna, Sindhia and the Bhonsla were still in his 
territory at the head of masses of troops which they showed no 
disposition to withdraw, though called upon to do so by 
the British Resident. If they did not withdraw, war must 

In August, the British agent with Sindhia was recalled ; and 
thus war was practically declared with Sindhia and the Bhonsla. 
Central India was in effect shared between the 1803 The 
Bhonsla, Sindhia and Holkar, while Sindhia's terri- Mahratta 
tories ran up north, so as to include the western war ' 
portion of the Ganges and Jumna Doab, bordering upon the 
provinces recently acquired from Oudh by the British. In this 
northern region Sindhia, w r ho was in person in Central India, 
had a large force, partly of troops under the command of, and 
organised by, the Frenchman Perron. There were thus two 
theatres of war, the northern in Upper Hindustan, and the 
southern, where Sindhia and the Bhonsla were operating together 

26 The War with the French Empire 

in Central India. In the southern area, Wellesley gave the 
command to his brother, whose military capacities had been pre- 
viously tested in the Mysore war. In the north the operations 
were entrusted to General Lake. On 23rd September, General 
Assaye, Wellesley routed the Mahrattas at Assaye. Lake 

September. defeated the Mahrattas and captured Delhi, and 
with it the person of the old Mogul, Shah Alam ; then he cap- 
tured Agra, and finally crushed Sindhia's second army at Laswari 
Laswari, on 3ist October. During November Arthur 
October. Wellesley inflicted a second decisive defeat upon 

the Bhonsla at Argaon, and then captured his principal fortress 
at Gawilgarh. 

So decisive were the two campaigns that in December, only 
four months after the war began, Sindhia and the Bhonsla made 
their submission. Sindhia ceded the district north of the river 
Chambal, so that the headquarters of the Mogul empire, and 
the Mogul himself, passed under British instead of under Mahratta 
protection, and the British were thenceforth able to act as the 

representatives of the titular Lord of India, whose 
with Sindhia legal supremacy every one professedly acknow- 

andNagpur, ledged. The Bhonsla ceded the province called 
December. ... , . J __. 

Berar, which was transferred to the Nizam, and 

also Cuttack on the east coast, which had hitherto broken 
the land connection between the Bengal and Madras presi- 
dencies. Both the Mahratta princes surrendered their old claim 
to the tribute called chauth, agreed to accept British arbitration 
in disputes with other powers, and dismissed all French officers. 
This in effect completed Wellesley's work ; for now the British 
held the whole east coastal territory continuously, from Calcutta 
to Cape Comorin, the whole of the Ganges and Jumna Doab 
from Allahabad to Delhi, and the control of the Mogul himself. 
Every one of the larger states was pledged to submit to British 
arbitration in the event of a dispute with a powerful neighbour, 
and every one was pledged to employ no French officers, and 
to hold no communication with France. By the beginning 
of 1804 the paramount position of the British authority was 
completely established. 

The Struggle: First Phase 27 

Yet trouble was not over. Holkar had stood aloof while the 
war was going on ; but he was not convinced by the fate which 
had befallen Sindhia and the Nagpur rajah. His 1804 
attitude became so aggressive that during 1804 it Hoikar's 
was necessary to attack him ; and the campaign was { 
one of the most unfortunate in our Indian annals. Colonel 
Monson was dispatched against him with an inadequate force. 
Holkar adopted sound tactics, evaded a pitched battle, harassed 
Monson's communications, cut off his supplies, and finally drove 
him into a helpless and ignominious retreat, so that the unfor- 
tunate commander only struggled back to Agra with a remnant of 
his men, while Holkar gathered his forces and made a dash upon 
Delhi. The moment was one of extreme danger ; had the crisis 
been continued a very little longer, the whole of the Mahratta 
forces would have been in the field again. But Holkar was re- 
pulsed at Delhi, and then by the vigorous action of General 
Fraser was driven out of the Doab. He would undoubtedly 
have been completely shattered if at the critical moment the 
direction had not been disorganised by the peremptory recall of 
the great governor-general, whose vigorous policy had at last 
proved too much for the home authorities. 

In July 1805 Cornwallis reappeared as governor-general, bent 
on carrying out his own old policy of avoiding intervention with 
the native powers except under dire necessity. 1805 
He was too strong a man not to have realised in a Cornwallis 
very short time that the conditions had changed returns - 
since 1793 ; but he survived only three months after his arrival, 
and the acting governor-generalship was entrusted to the hands 
of an Indian official, Sir George Barlow, who was isoe. Barlow, 
an extreme adherent of the non-intervention policy. The result 
was that although Lake was not prevented from driving Holkar 
from pillar to post, clean out of his own dominion, the peace or 
treaties which were concluded in 1806 restored his posses- 
sions ; and also most unfortunately withdrew the protection 
which the British had promised to the princes of Rajputana, 
who were left as before to the tender mercies of Holkar and 

28 The War with the French Empire 

One more event must be recorded in connection with this first 
phase of the great war. It was almost the last act of William 
Pitt to dispatch an expedition which again took 
Cape Colony possession of the Dutch colony at the Cape, in order 
occupied, that it might not be used by the French as a half- 
way house for war upon the communications 
between England and India. In January 1806, less than a week 
before the great minister's death, the Dutch surrendered to the 
British, in whose hands the Cape has remained ever since. 


To the last the whole burden of the administration had rested 
upon Pitt's shoulders ; deprived of him, the ministry was far 

from strong, and contained no dominating per- 
1806. The i * 

ministry of sonahty. Lord Hawkesbury (afterwards earl of 

an the Liverpool) was in later years to prove a minister 

of the same type as Henry Pelham, an adept in the 
art of persuading antagonistic personalities to act in concert if 
not in perfect harmony. But as yet he was not prepared to 
undertake the task of leadership. In the circumstances, the 
king found himself obliged to turn to Grenville. Grenville and 
Fox were now in an alliance too close to be severed ; and al- 
though Fox had been in opposition for thirty years past, except 
during two months of 1782 and eight months of 1783, he had 
been in all men's eyes Pitt's sole rival in political stature. Both 
he and Grenville were now of opinion that the first necessity 
was to form a ' national ' government including all the best men 
available. Fox had displayed a fine magnanimity when the 
king rejected Pitt's wish to include him in the ministry in 1804. 
It was no longer possible for the king to withhold his countenance, 
however reluctantly, from him ; and the ' ministry of all the 
talents ' was formed, with Grenville at its head, Fox as foreign 
secretary, Sidmouth (Addington) and Ellenborough to repre- 
sent the Tories, with Grey, Spencer, Windham and Moira among 
its other members. In the seven months of life which remained 

The Continental System 29 

to him, Fox was destined to realise that his faith in Napoleon's 
honesty of purpose was vain. He himself strove hard to procure 
a peace upon a permanent basis, but learnt by The last 
direct personal experience that peace without honour wnig ad- 
or security for Britain was all that the emperor r 
would condescend to concede. The Grenville ministry lasted 
for little more than a year, ending in March 1807 ; and its place 
was taken by the Tory ministry of the duke of Portland, wherein 
no section of the Whigs was represented. From that time the 
Whigs as a party remained in the wilderness for more than twenty 
years. During those twenty years the domestic policy of the 
government was of a consistently reactionary order; varying 
only in the same sort of way as Whig ministries varied from 
each other during the old era of the Whig supremacy, when the 
Tories had formed no more than an insignificant minority in the 
House of Commons and the House of Lords alike. 

The Grenville administration can claim credit for one single 
achievement ; it passed the Act which abolished the slave-trade. 
The interests involved had for' a long time stood 
in the way of a measure which Pitt himself had Abolition of 
advocated for years, and which had steadily been t^e slave- 
gaining the support of all persons of enlightenment. 
Even as late as 1804 the Lords rejected an Abolition Bill which 
had been passed in the Commons ; in 1806 the resistance of the 
House of Lords was giving way. A general election after Fox's 
death practically made no change in the distribution of parties 
in parliament ; nevertheless the bill abolishing the slave-trade 
was accepted by both Houses on 25th March 1807, the Oppo- 
sition vote in the Commons numbering only sixteen. 
The fall of the ministry, almost at the same moment, turned 

lot upon the war or foreign policy but upon a constitutional 
question. Pitt had given his promise to the king Faiiofthe 
that he would not himself again raise the Catholic ministry, 

[uestion. The Grenville ministry were under no Marcn> 
such obligation, and proposed to extend to the Roman Catholics 
in England as well as in Ireland, where the concession had already 
been made, the right to hold colonels' commissions in the army. 

30 The War with the French Empire 

The king refused consent, and the proposal was dropped ; but the 
cabinet, at a meeting from which the anti-Catholic members 
were absent, drew up a minute which was submitted to the king, 
stating that they reserved the right of again advising him in the 
same sense in the future. George replied by requiring them in- 
dividually to pledge themselves never again to tender such ad- 
vice. They refused to give the pledge and resigned, claiming 
that under no circumstances was it legitimate for ministers to 
bind themselves by any pledges as to what advice they might 
tender to the king in the future. That principle passed into 
one of the recognised axioms of constitutional government ; 
but at this time, when reactionary ideas were dominant, it was 
so far from appearing axiomatic that resolutions embodying it 
were shelved in parliament. 

The British supremacy on the seas had been established beyond 
all possibility of challenge in the hour when Nelson fell. Napo- 
isoe Icon's supremacy on the Continent had been estab- 

Napoieon's lished a few weeks later at Austerlitz. The treaties 
supremacy. Q p ressDur g an( j Schonbrunn with Austria and 
Prussia left no power prepared to defy his might save Russia. 
The attempt at a combined British and Russian movement in 
Southern Italy had come to nothing, leading only to the over- 
running by the French of the Italian half of the Sicilian kingdom 
and the flight of King Ferdinand to the island of Sicily, where 
British fleets rendered him secure. Austria was shorn of great 
portions of her territory, which were appropriated either to 
Napoleon's Italian kingdom or to his obedient proteges of South 
Germany. Prussia had purchased what amounted to little but 
a contemptuous toleration by promising to close the Prussian 
ports to British trade, and in effect to declare war against the 
emperor's most obstinate enemy ; for which she paid the penalty 
by finding her ports blockaded. The Austrian emperor formally 
dropped his title as the successor of the Caesars and of Charle- 
magne ; the Holy Roman empire ceased to exist. The emperor 
of the French had taken over the heritage of the Caesars and of 
Charlemagne ; he was the true King of Kings, and he emphasised 
the fact by setting up one of his brothers, Louis, as king of 

The Continental System 31 

Holland, and another, Joseph, as king of Naples. Also he com- 
bined his German vassals under his imperial protection in the 
Confederation of the Rhine. 

Even while these things were going on, Fox was making his 
great effort for pacification. But Fox, like Pitt before him, 
refused to treat apart from Russia ; nor could sug- Death of Fox, 
gestions for the restoration of Hanover tempt him September, 
to agree to the restitution of the Cape and of Malta. Before his 
death on i6th September, he knew that his generous dream was 
a dream and nothing more. 

Whatever may have been Pitt's defects as a war minister, 
there was assuredly none better to take his place. The policy 
of isolated expeditions, so persistently employed by Pollcy of 
the elder Pitt in the Seven Years' War, had a very small 
definite purpose, thoroughly approved by the ex P edltlons - 
greatest soldier of that time, Frederick the Great. Those expedi- 
tions served as diversions perpetually confusing and hampering 
the operations of the French army in Germany. In the war 
with the Republic, the younger Pitt had followed his father's 
practice, but without the same strategical motive which had 
been its one justification. In the war with the emperor, he had 
again prepared an expeditionary force, which had been dis- 
patched to Malta in 1805, but this time it had been with the 
definite purpose, partly strategical and partly political, of co- 
operating with Russia in securing the Two Sicilies, lest Napoleon 
should seize them and use them for operations in the East. 
Moreover, the scheme had been essential to the creation of a 
new coalition. But the Grenville ministry reverted to the plan 
of miscellaneous expeditions with forces too small to effect any- 
thing. Thus an army was sent to Calabria under Sir John 
Stuart. It fought and defeated an army of French veterans 
at Maida, which showed, as Abercromby had shown 1806. Maida. 
in 1801, that French veterans were not invincible, and that 
there were no better troops than British infantry. But Stuart 
could not conquer Calabria, and was obliged to retire to Sicily. 
Another expedition was sent to South America, where, after an 
initial success under Beresford, it met with utter disaster under 

32 The War with the French Empire 

the miserably incompetent General Whitelock, at Buenos Ayres. 
This disaster befell at the beginning of 1807 ; and about the 
1807. same time, Turkey being at the moment domi- 

Buenos Ayres nated by French influence, a force was dispatched 
and Egypt. ^ Q Egypt, and a squadron to the Dardanelles, 
with no results except those of forcing the Porte into the arms of 
France and of a complete fiasco in Egypt, ending in capitulation 
and evacuation. 

All these operations were merely illustrations of inefficient direc- 
tion at headquarters. They would have served no great purpose 
if they had been successful ; they wasted men and money ; they 
dissipated energies which ought to have been concentrated ; and 
their general effect was damaging. Still they did not materially 
advance the projects of Napoleon. The decisive events of 1806 
Prussia. did not have their source in England, but in Prussia. 

The policy of that power had been vacillating in the extreme, 
directed exclusively by selfish considerations, and even from 
the selfish point of view singularly short-sighted. Before 
Austerlitz there were influences, increasing in strength, which 
were opposed to the policy of neutrality and opposed to Napoleon. 
If the French emperor's onslaught upon Austria had been delayed, 
the Prussian war party would have gained the upper hand, and 
Prussia would have joined the coalition. Austerlitz turned the 
scale, and Prussia made her humiliating and dishonourable 
treaty with the victor. But in the course of the ensuing months 
she found first that her commerce was cut off, and then that the 
French emperor was bargaining with Fox for the restitution of 
Hanover to Britain ; whereas the acquisition of Hanover by 
Prussia was the bait for which she had sold herself. Since the 
death of the great Frederick, Prussia had not progressed ; she 
was living on her old reputation, and imagined that, because 
1806. Jena, Frederick had won Rossbach, her armies were a 
October. match for those of the French emperor. The dis- 
closure of the negotiations about Hanover turned the scale 
again ; the war party gained the upper hand. Prussia declared 
war upon Napoleon, and called upon Russia and Britain to aid 
her, while she flung herself single-handed against Napoleon. 

The Continental System 33 

Neither Russia nor Britain could render immediate assistance. 
On I4th October the Prussian armies were shattered to pieces 
at the two battles of Jena and Auerstadt, and Napoleon very 
soon entered Berlin. 

No one but Bliicher attempted to resist the advance of the 
victor, whose terms grew more and more merciless, as he saw 
how completely his adversary was prostrated. From Jena to 
They were too humiliating even for Frederick Tilsit, July 
William, who retreated with such fragments of the " 
army as could be collected to join the Russians in East Prussia. 
The rest of the states of Western Germany, including Saxony, 
were forced to join the Confederation of the Rhine, while a few 
of them were combined to form the kingdom of Westphalia for 
the emperor's youngest brother Jerome. Then Napoleon ad- 
vanced against the Russians, and in the battle of Eylau learnt, 
as Frederick the Great had learnt before, of what stubborn stuff 
Russian troops were made. Eylau was the first real reverse 
sustained by the all-conquering Corsican, and Eylau was only 
a check. More would have come of it if the British had acted 
with vigour in the Baltic ; but they were wasting their energies 
elsewhere, the French were able to reduce the fortresses on the 
Baltic which were still holding out, and the Tsar was filled with 
wrath at what seemed to him our cowardly desertion. Before 
midsummer of 1807, Napoleon had gathered an immense force 
and after a desperate struggle, accompanied by frightful carnage 
on both sides, inflicted a defeat upon the Russians at Friedland 
on i4th June. Eleven days later Napoleon met Alexander in a 
conference at Tilsit, held upon a raft in mid-stream in the river 
Niemen, and the two autocrats became for a time allies instead 
of enemies. 

On 7th July the peace was signed. Russia deserted her allies ; 
in effect the treaty was an agreement that Napoleon should be 
emperor of the West, and Alexander emperor of Treaty of 
the East. Prussia reaped the reward of her selfish T 1181 *- 
vacillations, the vacillations not of a people but of a thoroughly 
incompetent government. She was deprived of Prussian Poland, 
which was transformed into the duchy of Warsaw, and delivered 

Innes's Eng. Hist. Vol. iv. C 

34 The War with the French Empire 

over to the now subservient king of Saxony ; her western 
provinces were incorporated in the kingdom of Westphalia. 
The great port of Danzig in the Baltic was declared free and 
was virtually annexed by France. But, what was of the first 
importance from Napoleon's point of view, Russia was to come 
in to his system of closing European ports to British commerce, 
and was to bring in the small powers which still stood outside, 
Denmark, Sweden and Portugal. 

Meanwhile, however, a few weeks after the battle of Eylau, 

the Grenville ministry in England had fallen. The figurehead 

of the new ministry was the duke of Portland. 


The Portland Castlereagh returned to the ministry for war, and 
ministry, George Canning went to that for foreign affairs. 
Neither Canning nor Castlereagh could dominate 
the government, and most unhappily an intense personal anti- 
pathy prevented them from working in concert. The govern- 
ment continued to suffer from the want of consistent and deter- 
mined direction by a single head ; the plans of one minister 
were frequently thwarted by the open or secret antagonism of 
one or another of his colleagues ; but both Canning and Castle- 
reagh were at least bent upon vigorous action. 

Canning had no sooner come into office than he sought to take 
energetic measures for a Baltic expedition ; but before Britain 
Copenhagen, was ready, the battle of Friedland had been won 
and lost, and the Tsar had definitely gone over to France. Infor- 
mation reached Canning which left him no doubt that the Treaty 
of Tilsit was directed against Britain, and that a plan was on 
foot similar to that which had been frustrated by Nelson six 
years before at the battle of the Baltic. Canning repeated the 
counterstroke. Denmark was at peace with Britain, but an 
expedition was dispatched to Copenhagen, which demanded the 
transfer of the Danish fleet, to be held by Britain till the close 
of the war. The Danes refused, Copenhagen was bombarded, 
and Denmark was forced to submit and surrender her fleet, 
though she was rendered thereby bitterly hostile to Britain 
during the rest of the war. The action was a breach of inter- 
national law, to be excused on the sole ground of sheer necessity. 

The Continental System 35 

The alternative was to allow the Danish fleet to pass into the 
hands of hostile powers, and to be brought into play against 
Britain when it suited their convenience. But in fighting 
with Napoleon there was the further excuse that the emperor 
never hesitated for a moment to set international law at nought 
if he could gain anything by doing so. Of that fact he was on 
the point of giving very emphatic illustration ; though he 
denounced the treachery and general iniquity of Canning's 
action in most unmeasured terms. Nevertheless, though 
Napoleon was the last person who had the shadow of a right to 
pose as the champion of international rights, it may be ques- 
tioned whether Canning's action was really justified, whether 
the military necessity was as great as he claimed. The British 
fleet had little to fear from all the fleets of Europe, and the 
seizure of the Danish fleet in time of peace gave colour to the 
impression that Britain was as reckless as Napoleon himself 
in disregarding the rights of others when her own interests were 

Napoleon's wrath was extreme, not because his moral sensi- 
bilities were shocked, but because he had calculated upon decisive 
results from the scheme which was foiled by Can- Tne 
ning's stroke. Unable to strike at the British continental 
power on the sea by means of hostile fleets, he had ByBtem - 
developed his scheme for cutting off the sources of that power 
by destroying British commerce through the closure of the con- 
tinental markets. The British empire was strong because it 
was rich ; it had fought French aggression in Europe by filling 
the war-chests of its continental allies. If British commerce 
were killed, there would be no more British wealth and no more 
British power. If British commerce were shut out completely 
from Europe it would be killed, therefore every European port 
was to be closed to it. This was the scheme to which Napoleon 
gave the name of the Continental System, and this was the scheme 
which he hoped to carry to completion by the Treaty of Tilsit. 

The perfect working of the system rested upon the two funda- 
mental assumptions that sea-borne goods were not needed in 
Europe, and that the entire coastline of Europe could be sealed 

36 The War with the French Empire 

up ; or failing these two, upon a third assumption, that Europe 
could get the sea-borne goods she required without the help 
The fallacy, of British commerce. All the three assumptions 
were actually falsified in the event ; British commerce was not 
ruined at all by his project, but expanded in spite of it. The 
coastline never was sealed up ; Europe could never do without 
British goods ; neutral commerce was all but annihilated, and 
virtually it was only from Britain that the Continent could 
procure the sea-borne goods she needed. 

But this was not the event which Napoleon anticipated. He 
had never grasped the truth that France suffered more than 
Sealing the Britain by the exclusion of British goods from 
European French ports and ports under French control. 
His continued exclusion of British goods during 
the Peace of Amiens had been one of the most significant marks 
of his scarcely veiled hostility to Britain. After the war was 
renewed and Spain was drawn into it, every port in Western 
Europe was closed, from the Texel to Civita Vecchia, except those 
of Portugal. In 1806 the closure extended to all the Italian 
ports except those of the papal states, and also to the West- 
phalian and Prussian ports until Prussia threw down the gauntlet 
so disastrously for herself. It was then that Napoleon believed 
igo6 his hour had come for stamping out British com- 

The Berlin merce. After Jena, on 2ist November, Napoleon 

issued the Berlin Decree ' which declared that a11 
British ports were in a state of blockade, prohibited 

France and all the vassal states from commerce with them, and 
incidentally pronounced that all British merchandise in the 
ports of France and her dependencies was forfeit, and that all 
the British subjects therein were prisoners of war. Russia, 
Sweden, Denmark, Portugal, the papal states, Austria and 
Turkey were still outside, but Napoleon was confident enough 
that it would not be for long. He himself soon afterwards saw 
to the closing of the papal ports ; while Tilsit secured Russia, 
and was intended to secure Sweden, Denmark and Portugal. 

Napoleon failed to realise that if he could hit Britain hard 
by closing markets to her, she could hit still harder. The Gren- 

The Continental System 37 

ville ministry retorted by the Orders in Council, issued in 
January 1807, which declared all the ports of France, of her de- 
pendencies, and of states which recognised the Berlin 
Decree, to be in a state of blockade ; which meant The Orders 
that any neutral vessels seeking to trade to any in Council, 
of those ports would be treated as blockade-runners. 
In other words, where British commerce was not admitted, no 
commerce should be admitted. Both parties sufficiently 
ignored the doctrine of ' effective blockade ' ; but of the two 
the British were much the better able to enforce the penalties, 
since French ships could not even make a pretence of blockading 
British ports, whereas it was by no means easy for neutrals to 
trade between French and allied ports without being captured. 
After Tilsit fresh Orders in Council stiffened those of January, 
and the Berlin Decree was stiffened by the Milan Decree in the 
following December. On the one hand, owing to the superior 
efficacy of the British in enforcing the Orders in Council upon 
neutrals, the irritation of neutrals as such was greater against 
the British than against the French ; and this some con- 
presently led to war between Britain and the United sequences. 
States. On the other hand, it was not the Orders in Council 
but the decrees of Napoleon which reduced Europe to dire 
straits, by depriving her of the goods which had become necessary 
to her ; therefore the irritation in Europe against the author of 
the decrees grew constantly stronger. And at the same time an 
immense and highly lucrative if dangerous smuggling traffic 
arose for the illicit importation into Europe of the goods which 
were openly prohibited. Nor were Napoleon's eyes opened, 
even when he found that he himself was under the necessity of 
clothing his own soldiers in British overcoats, and of issuing 
licences for the importation and sale of prohibited goods. The 
destruction of the British power by the complete sealing up 
of the Continent remained fixed in his mind as one primary 
object in all his designs. 

After Tilsit, the one great gap in Napoleon's barrier was 
Portugal. Possibly the French emperor was already contem- 
plating the transformation of the Spanish Peninsula into two or 

38 The War with the French Empire 

more vassal kingdoms under brothers or brothers-in-law of his 
own. Portugal may for the moment have been intended for a 
Napoleon's sister and her husband, now duke of Tuscany, which 
designs on he wished to absorb in his own kingdom of North Italy, 
ortugai, g u j. ^.j ie ma tter O f nrs t consequence was to compel 
Portugal to desert the neutrality, for permission to enjoy which 
she had already paid a high price, and to close her ports to the 
British trade. The course which he followed, however, leaves 
no doubt that he intended from the outset to eject the house of 
Braganza, and to employ the subjugation of Portugal as an 
excuse for rilling Spain itself with French troops, which would 
and Spain. enable him to carry out the annexation of Spain 
in one form or another. For the Spanish government had in a 
moment of extraordinary rashness before Jena shown ominous 
signs of believing that it would soon be time to change sides, 
though the minister Godoy had lost no time in returning to a 
cringing attitude when he saw what a mistake he had been 
making. Spain, however, was kept in the dark as to Napoleon's 
intentions ; Godoy, indeed, was led on to a comfortable belief 
that Portugal was to be dismembered, that he himself was to 
have a principality carved out of it, and that his imbecile master, 
Charles iv., was to be dignified by the title of 'Emperor of the 
Two Indies/ with half the Portuguese colonies added to his 
dominion. Such in effect was the promise of the Treaty of 
Fontainebleau (October 1807) with which Napoleon cajoled 

But while the emperor was playing with Godoy, he was coercing 
Portugal. The prince regent, who was ruling on behalf of an 
insane mother, would have submitted, not without 
Napoleon reluctance, to an order to close the ports to the 
seizes Lisbon, British, though it would have spelt ruin. But when 
he was ordered further to declare war against 
Britain, he struggled enough to provide the emperor with an 
excuse for dispatching a force to Lisbon under General Junot. 
Portugal was wholly unable to resist ; but the prince, the court, 
and some thousands of other persons were able to betake them- 
selves to the British ships which were lying in the Tagus, and 

The Continental System 39 

were by them conveyed to Brazil, the great Portuguese colony 
in South America. The prince nominated a provisional govern- 
ment which he left behind him, but for all practical purposes 
they were simply at Junot's orders. 

In Spain, Napoleon found his opportunity in the jealous hos- 
tility of the crown prince, Ferdinand, to the minister who 
dominated his parents. Godoy was detested in the 1808 
country, and as a natural consequence, the prince The Spanish 
was credited with all sorts of good qualities which * 
he was very far indeed from possessing. We need not give the 
sordid story of court intrigues in detail. Godoy found occasion 
to alarm the old king and queen with a tale of treason on the 
part of their son. The son was imprisoned, disgraced, and 
released again. Napoleon's battalions were moving across the 
border into Spain, on the pretext that Portugal was offering 
resistance with British help. In February 1808 they actually 
seized Pampeluna. A few days later, they had evicted the 
Spanish garrisons from San Sebastian on the north coast, and 
Barcelona in the Mediterranean. There was a popular impres- 
sion that the French were coming to remove Godoy. In March 
there was an emeute at Aranjuez directed against the minister ; he 
escaped, but the old king was terrified and abdicated in favour 
of his son to the immense joy of the populace. Napoleon had 
entrusted the management of affairs to his brother-in-law, the 
brilliant cavalry officer Murat. There came a period of futile 
intriguing ; Charles betook himself to France, declaring that his 
abdication was not voluntary, but had been forced upon him ; 
Ferdinand was enticed over the frontier to the presence of the 
emperor who was at Bayonne ; and there the king and the 
prince were both compelled formally to resign the Spanish 
crown, which an obedient group of Spanish notables who had 
also been brought over the frontier, invited the emperor to 
bestow upon his brother Joseph, the king of the Two Sicilies. 

The Peninsular War 41 


Napoleon was the victim of two misconceptions which proved 
fatal to him. He never realised that the British sea power could 
not be broken except by superior fighting fleets ; gea power 
and being wholly without national sentiment him- and 
self he never suspected that the sentiment of natlonalism - 
nationalism was a force which needed to be taken into account. 
Therein no doubt his misconception was shared by the great 
majority of European politicians ; it had never occurred to any 
chancellery in Europe that provinces might not be handed over 
from Spain to Austria, from Austria to France, passed from one 
sovereign to another like shuttlecocks, without any consideration 
for the feelings of the population. No national sentiment had 
entered into the struggle terminated by the Peace of Amiens ; 
the interests involved had been those not of nations but of 
dynasties. Yet it was to the awakening of national sentiment 
that Napoleon owed his downfall, and the first sudden and 
startling expression of that sentiment was evoked by his treat- 
ment of the Spanish people. 

Before Joseph Bonaparte was proclaimed king of Spain, before 
the month of May 1808 was out, the flame of insurrection had 
been kindled, and every individual province of The Spanish 
Spain was rising in arms on behalf of the Bourbon problem, 
prince who was supposed to be a patriot. Among the Spanish 
provinces there was very little concert and no real central con- 
trol ; each had its own provincial junta, or governing council, 
acting on its own responsibility, regardless of the central junta 
which had no real authority. It is not surprising that Napoleon 
should have imagined that no serious difficulties were to be 
anticipated from such an insurrection. The armies of Spain 
were unorganised and undisciplined. Austria had been twice 
brought to her knees by one crushing blow, at Hohenlinden and 
at Austerlitz ; Prussia had collapsed at Jena. Much less would 
be required for the subjugation of Spain. It was not perceived 
that Spain was not an organism with a heart which could be 

42 The War with the French Empire 

struck at. Every separate province required to be held under 
by a great permanent garrison. A concentration in one quarter 
which reduced the garrison in another only gave insurrection a 
fresh opportunity of making head. The lines of communication 
ran across mountain ranges and over rivers where they were 
perpetually exposed to the raiding of guerillas. The roads were 
few and for the most part bad ; and no army could move without 
carrying great stores of food which could only be accumulated 
with great difficulty. The very conditions which would have 
made it the simplest of tasks to crush a dynastic resistance in 
Spain made it all but impossible to crush a determined popular 

Napoleon received his first lesson promptly enough. In the 
north Bessieres seized and secured the main line of communi- 
isos. cation with Madrid, the road passing from Bayonne 

Bayien, through Burgos. But in Aragon, Saragossa defied 

attack ; Catalonia throughout the war remained 
an isolated theatre where the French could never establish 
control. Southwards, the column dispatched against Valencia 
was repulsed ; the column which advanced under Dupont into 
Andalusia was surrounded and compelled to capitulate at Bayien 
in July, at the moment when King Joseph was entering Madrid ; 
and the emperor's nominee was obliged to retire hastily beyond 
the Ebro. And in the meanwhile Portugal was taking example 
by Spain, and it was extremely doubtful whether Junot with his 
25,000 men would find the task of holding it in subjection an 
easy one. 

The liberation of Portugal was of the utmost importance to 
the British government, which was prompt also to ally itself 

with the official Spanish government of the central 
Peninsular junta, disregarding of course the usurpation of 
Waropens, Joseph Bonaparte. With British command of the 

sea, Portugal was an open gate, and thither a force 
was dispatched of 13,000 men under the immediate command of 
Sir Arthur Wellesley who had rendered brilliant service in India. 
Unfortunately, however, he was to be followed by two senior 
officers, Sir Hew Dalrymple and Sir Harry Burrard. Sir Arthur 

The Peninsular War 43 

landed at Mondego Bay, and having driven back at Rolica a 
smaller French force sent by Junot to hold him in check, pushed 
southwards towards Lisbon. On 2ist August he won a decisive 
victory over Junot at Vimiero. Burrard, however, vimiero 
had now arrived upon the scene, and though he left and cintra. 
his subordinate to win the battle and take the credit of it, he 
refused to allow the pursuit which would have made the victory 
a completely crushing one. Then Dalrymple arrived to take 
the supreme command, and he proved no less cautious than 
Burrard. Hence the fruit of Vimiero was the so-called Con- 
vention of Cintra, which caused great wrath both to Napoleon 
and in England. Junot with the whole of his troops evacuated 
Portugal ; they were conveyed to a French port in British ships, 
while a separate convention was concluded with the Russian 
squadron, which was at the time lying blockaded in the Tagus. 
All three generals who had a hand in the convention were recalled 
for inquiry ; and the command of the British troops in Portugal 
was passed on to Sir John Moore who had been withdrawn from 
Sweden, whither he had been sent in the vain hope that he would 
be able to co-operate with the hopelessly impracticable monarch 
Gustavus iv. 

Hitherto the role of Britain had been that of a naval not of a 
military power. Outside of India the only military operation 
she had passed through with credit during the whole Napoleon's 
of the previous war had been the Egyptian cam- operations, 
paign of 1801. Since 1803 she had nothing to her ] 
credit except Stuart's fruitless victory at Maida. In Napoleon's 
eyes military intervention on the part of the British was a folly 
which need not disturb his calculations, though it might be turned 
to account when he should have leisure to wipe them off the 
board. The immediate business on hand was to put an end to 
the annoying insurrection in Spain. It was not so simple as he 
had imagined ; that was proved by the disaster at Baylen. He 
would take the command himself and employ an overwhelm- 
ing force of veterans instead of trusting to second-rate generals 
and young troops. His plan of campaign was masterly. The 
Spanish central junta was utterly incompetent and incapable 

44 The War with the French Empire 

of organising any general plan, while it left the several chiefs 
of the several forces without any directing head. In November 
Napoleon had reached Madrid, delivering crushing blows to the 
Spanish armies on his way. They were scattered and seemed 
powerless to make head against him ; it only remained to sub- 
jugate Andalusia and to leave his subordinates to finish off the 
work in the two northern corners of the Peninsula, Galicia and 

Yet the whole plan was foiled by the factor which he had 

thought he could ignore. Sir John Moore in Portugal despaired 

of rescuing Madrid when he saw how little reliance 

Moore's could be placed on Spanish assistance. His opinion 

was alrea( ty f rme ^ tnat tne tas k which had been 
laid on his shoulders was utterly hopeless, that the 
Spaniards were spiritless, that Portugal was indefensible, that 
there was nothing for it but withdrawal. He had already issued 
orders for a retreat to the coast ; then he formed the resolution of 
first striking one blow, and flung himself suddenly with his 20,000 
men upon the French line of communication in the north where 
Soult was in command. The effect of this unexpected move was 
decisive. Napoleon sped northwards in force, intending to over- 
whelm Moore. This was just what Moore had desired. As the 
great French army approached he began his retreat. The with- 
drawal of the troops to the north made it quite impossible for 
the emperor to carry out his plan for the immediate subjugation 
of Southern Spain and a march upon Lisbon. Napoleon, finding 
that the British army had eluded him, and not caring to engage 
in person in a pursuit which could carry with it no great credit 
and might damage his prestige, left Soult to complete the opera- 
tions and betook himself to France ; nor did he again set foot in 
1809 the Peninsula. Moore made for Corunna, where he 

Corunna, expected to find transports to carry his troops back 
16th January. to England Soult) following hard on his track, 

only overtook him at Corunna itself, where the French attack 
was beaten off after a brilliantly fought battle in the course of 
which Moore was himself killed (i6th J anuary 1809) . The French 
were unable to interfere in any way with the embarkation of the 

The Peninsular War 45 

exhausted troops. With little more than 20,000 men Moore had 
successfully dislocated the whole scheme of operations of an 
army numbering about a quarter of a million men under the 
leadership of the greatest captain in the world. 

It was at this time that Castlereagh came to the momentous 
decision, from which he never wavered, of maintaining an army 
in Portugal under Wellesley's command to secure We uesiey 
that country and to co-operate with the Spaniards sent to 
in the deliverance of Spain. Wellesley came out ] 
of the inquiry into the Cintra Convention with flying colours, and 
was reappointed to the Peninsula command. He expressed to 
Castlereagh his own conviction that 30,000 British troops would 
be able, if the Portuguese themselves were tolerably organised, 
to defend Portugal against any armies of less than 100,000 men, 
and that so large a force could not be detached by the French for 
Portuguese operations. What a British force might do in the 
way of helping the Spaniards would depend very much on the 
Spaniards themselves. Further, as Wellesley judged the situa- 
tion, if the French should attempt to employ more than 100,000 
men against him they would find it impossible to provision such 
an army as a shrewd judge of war had remarked long before, 
Spain is a country where a small army will be beaten and a large 
one will starve. This was the entirely sound hypothesis upon 
which Sir Arthur Wellesley conducted the Peninsular War. 
There was, however, a strong body of opinion, with good military 
authority behind it, that the Peninsular War was a mistake ; 
and the general was always hampered by the disconcerting 
knowledge that one disaster would certainly lead to his own 
recall, and not improbably to withdrawal from the Peninsula. 

After the event we can see that Wellesley was right. The 
presence of a British army under his command practically had the 
effect of keeping a quarter of a million of Napoleon's Effect of tne 
best troops and half his best generals locked up Peninsular 
in the Peninsula for four years. But at the time it War ' 
was not unnatural that critics should have doubted the ' Sepoy ' 
general's capacity for defeating marshals of the highest reputa- 
tion, or should have suffered from Napoleon's own persistent 

46 The War with the French Empire 

illusion that the Spanish resistance would collapse, and the 
British troops be driven ignominiously into the sea. 

The events of 1809 scarcely had an encouraging appearance. 
When Wellesley arrived at Lisbon in April, Soult had entered 
the north of Portugal and taken possession of 
pelled from Oporto. Cradock, the British general, left in corn- 
Portugal, mand with 10,000 troops, had necessarily con- 
tented himself with taking up a defensive position 
at Lisbon. General Beresford had already been entrusted 
with the task of reorganising the Portuguese army. Wellesley 
had to be prepared for an attack from the east by the French 
marshal, Victor, and for the advance southward of Soult. He 
resolved to take the offensive at once and to deal with Soult 
before Victor could move, leaving the Portuguese to hold him 
in check in case of accidents. The passage of the Douro was 
effected by a daring surprise, and Soult was driven headlong, 
before May was half over, across the borders into Galicia ; where 
for the time he was certain to find the attentions of the insurgent 
commander, La Romafia, sufficiently embarrassing. 

Wellesley fell back to Abrantes on the Tagus. The next step 
was to strike a blow if possible at Victor in Central Spain, in 
Taiavera, conjunction with the Spanish forces. It was some 
27th July. time before he could move, and he was misinformed 
as to the forces in the north at the disposal of Soult, who had 
withdrawn from Galicia A junction was effected with the 
Spaniards under Cuesta. On 27th July Wellington, with some 
20,000 British, and Cuesta, with 30,000 Spaniards, were facing 
Victor with something under 50,000 men at Taiavera, where a 
two days' battle was fought, which ended with the decisive 
defeat of the French. The burden of fighting borne by the 
sections of the allied army may be estimated from the fact that 
while the French lost 9000 men the British lost over 6000 and 
the Spaniards one-fifth of that number. There were Spanish 
regiments which ran away and others which stood their ground 
manfully ; the fault lay much more with the commander than 
with the troops. Taiavera taught Wellesley once for all that 
for practical purposes Spanish troops under a Spanish com- 

The Peninsular War 47 

mander could not be reckoned upon in the field. Not only was 
it impossible to follow up the victory, but it was absolutely 
necessary to withdraw the British army away into a safe posi- 
tion. British losses could not be replaced with weiiesley 
ease as could those of the French ; and Weiiesley retreats. 
only now learnt that Soult was at the head of 50,000 men, 
and that to escape him he must take the southward route back 
to Portugal by Badajoz. Talavera increased the prestige of the 
British arms and the British general, to whom also it brought 
the title of Viscount Wellington, but in other respects it was 
fruitless. Before the end of the year, it seemed as though the 
French would overrun all Spain except the fastnesses of Galicia 
and Catalonia. 

But the Peninsula was not the only theatre of war. When 
Napoleon withdrew to France in January, it was to prepare for 
a renewal of the European conflict. The example Europe 
of Spain was already exciting a new feeling of arising; 
nationalism ; if Prussia had been humbled, the Spring - 
skilful and vigorous administration of the great minister Stein 
was reorganising the whole Prussian system after a fashion 
which was presently to bear splendid fruit. It seemed that 
even in Western Germany, a German feeling was arising very 
unlike the old particularism of every petty principality. An 
Austrian minister was in power, like-minded to Stein, if inferior 
to him in ability and fire. The acquiescence of Austria in the 
existing order was exhausted, and in March she was inviting 
British co-operation, which was promised so soon as the British 
army should be brought up to a standard making it possible to 
dispatch a powerful expedition. In April Austria declared 
war upon Bavaria, the ally and protege of Napoleon ; her own 
army had been reorganised by the archduke Charles, the one 
commander who had hitherto succeeded in achieving a high 
reputation ; while the Tyrolese, led by the patriot Hofer, rose 
in arms against the Bavarian domination. 

But before the end of April Napoleon had split up the Austrian 
forces, smiting them in five successive battles, on successive 
days, and on I3th May he was in Vienna. A week later he 

48 The War with the French Empire 

suffered a reverse at Aspern-Essling. His position appeared to 
be critical, but he succeeded in extricating himself from it with 
The Wagram extraordinary skill, and on 6th July gained a hard- 
campaign ; won but by no means overwhelming victory over 
the Austrians at Wagram. Though the Austrian 
army was far from being crushed, and retreated in good order 
into Moravia, Austria threw up the struggle. Hostilities were 
suspended, though the definite Treaty of Vienna was deferred 
till October, while the combatants awaited the outcome of the 
British operations. 

Talavera was fought three weeks after Wagram ; and Talavera 

was followed by Wellington's retreat to Portugal, which implied 

the practical failure of his campaign though that 

Waicheren was no fault of his. Much more disastrous was the 

expedition, second of the British operations in this year. In 
July-August. ... .' . 

accordance with the promise to Austria, it was 

designed to send a great expedition to capture Antwerp. It 
would doubtless have been wiser to concentrate upon the cam- 
paign in the Peninsula, where Wellington could presumably 
have accomplished more with a larger British force at his dis- 
posal. Nevertheless, the plan of a diversion against Antwerp 
had much to be said for it. If the attack had been made at 
the moment when Napoleon found himself in fact free for the 
campaign on the Danube, the seizure of Antwerp would have been 
a serious blow, which might have gravely hampered Napoleon's 

But the expedition was too late. Forty thousand soldiers, 
under the command of Lord Chatham, were landed on the Scheldt 
its mis- three weeks after the battle of Wagram had been 

management, fought. It was accompanied by a naval force under 
Sir Richard Strachan. The French fleet which was at Flushing 
ought to have been seized, but was allowed to escape up the 
Scheldt to Antwerp. That city, of which the defences were at 
the moment weak, since the attack had not been anticipated in 
this quarter, would have fallen if it had been attacked at once. 
Instead, Chatham wasted time in securing Flushing, which did not 
fall till the i6th. The blundering was recorded in a popular rhyme. 

The Peninsular War 49 

' Lord Chatham with his sword drawn, 
Was waiting for Sir Richard Strachan. 
Sir Richard longing to be at 'em, 
Was waiting for the Earl of Chatham.' 

The result was that the defences of Antwerp were put in com- 
plete repair, the expedition found the capture impossible, and 
most of the troops, already attacked by sickness, were with- 
drawn. But 15,000 of them were left to hold the island 
of Walcheren, where they soon began to die like flies from 
malaria and the lack of medical requirements. Before the close 
of the year the wretched remnant was carried back its woful 
to England. Such was the miserable end of the end - 
Walcheren expedition. If it had been ready to sail in April, 
ks arrival might have turned the scale in North Germany, and 
have changed the whole character of the campaign which ended 
at Wagram. At that stage there was reason in the view that 
North Germany was a more useful field of operations than the 
Peninsula. But after Wagram it was too late, though even then 
the capture of Antwerp might have had a material effect on the 
situation. From the moment, however, when it became clear 
that Antwerp would not be captured, it ought also to have been 
clear that no more men and no more money should be wasted 
in that quarter ; as it turned out both men and money were 
merely squandered. 

The effect of the failure took shape in October. Austria 
humbled herself by the Treaty of Vienna, in which she sur- 
rendered her last ports in the Adriatic, deserted the Treaty 
Tyrolese who had shown such stout loyalty to the of Vienna, 
house of Hapsburg, and was shorn also of so much 
of Poland as she had acquired in the previous partitions. It was 
part of the policy of Napoleon to pose as the friend of the Poles, 
on account of strategical considerations in relation to Russia, 
The French emperor was tightening the fetters upon Western 
Europe, though by absorbing the duchy of Oldenburg he created a 
cause of friction with his distinctly lukewarm ally Alexander. The 
humiliation of Austria was completed when the Tsar in effect 
declined Napoleon's proposals that he should marry a Russian 

Innes's Eng. Hist. Vol. iv. D 

5o The War with the French Empire 

princess and the Austrian emperor permitted an Austrian 
princess to become empress of the French, wife of the Corsican 
upstart who divorced his former wife Josephine to marry her. 

The Walcheren expedition was also mainly responsible for 
ministerial changes in England. The antagonism between 
Perceval Canning and Castlereagh, intensified by misunder- 
prime standings, came to a head. Both the ministers 

resigned, and there was a duel between them in 
which Canning was slightly wounded, and which for the time 
made it practically impossible for either of them to return to 
office. Portland, the ministerial figurehead, resigned at the same 
time, and the ministry was reconstructed under the leadership 
of Spencer Perceval, the Marquess Wellesley taking Canning's 
place at the Foreign Office, while the earl of Liverpool, the 
former Lord Hawkesbury, took Castlereagh's secretaryship for 
war. It may be noted that the minor office of 'secretary at 
war ' was given to young Lord Palmerston, who retained it for 
twenty years. The ministerial changes, however, produced no 
practical change in the policy of the government ; nor was it 
affected when late in the following year, 1810, the old king was 
incapacitated once more, this time permanently, and the Prince 
of Wales became prince regent at the beginning of 1811. 

In the Peninsula too there was a lull so far as the British were 

concerned. The Walcheren fiasco prevented Wellington from 

receiving adequate reinforcements, and the practical 

Position failure of the Talavera campaign had proved the 

in the hopelessness of any attempt to take the offensive 

Peninsula. v . * c . , 

on the basis of effective co-operation by Spanish 

armies. For the time the French were engaged in the endeavour 
to master Spain itself. The Spaniards were able to secure Cadiz, 
but Soult and Victor were dominating Andalusia in the south, 
and Suchet was establishing himself in Aragon, though Catalonia 
remained as always defiant. As yet the frontier fortresses of 
Portugal, Almeida and Ciudad Rodrigo in the north, and Badajoz 
in the south, were in the hands of the Portuguese and the British. 
But an invasion of Portugal was sure to come, and it was for this 
that Wellington was preparing. 

The Peninsular War 51 

Napoleon too was preparing his stroke. Occupied himself 
with his projects for a marriage which should formally recognise 
his dynasty as being on an equality with the oldest Busaco, 27th 
in Europe, he organised an immense force which was September, 
to conquer Portugal and drive the British into the sea under 
the command of Massena, the marshal whose reputation stood 
highest. In May Massena's advance began. Wellington could 
only wait and watch. He could not even venture to attempt 
the relief of Ciudad Rodrigo and Almeida, which fell in July. 
Wellington had only some 50,000 troops, British and Portuguese. 
With these he offered battle to Massena at Busaco on 27th Septem- 
ber, when after a desperate struggle the French were repulsed. 
But Lisbon was Massena's objective, and Busaco was only a check, 
since there was a route by which he could march round the 
opposing force. 

Wellington fell back ; and then Massena suddenly and un- 
expectedly found himself facing the impregnable lines of Torres 
Vedras, stretching from the Tagus to the sea Thelineg 
and completely blocking the entry to the Lisbon of Torres 
peninsula. The British general had prepared those 
lines so that it was a sheer impossibility to force 
them. He had drawn in the Portuguese population behind 
them, and not only the population but all the supplies, of which 
he had completely denuded the country. Behind him the sea 
was open ; before him lay Massena with his great army in a 
country which had already been stripped of everything which 
could give it support. From November to March Massena lay 
at Santarem, his troops gradually starving, perpetually harassed 
by the Portuguese guerillas who intercepted dispatches and cut 
off foraging parties, while Wellington waited grimly immovable. 
From the south, Soult, under orders from Napoleon, moved up 
from Andalusia into Estremadura and captured and garrisoned 
Badajoz, but made no attempt to reinforce Massena. A force of 
Spaniards and British was transported by sea from Cadiz to 
Algeciras, in order to take in the rear the forces under Barrosa. 
Victor which were blockading Cadiz. But for the mismanage- 
ment of the Spanish commander the movement might have 

52 The War with the French Empire 

forced the raising of the siege ; as it was, a complete disaster was 
only averted by the brilliant conduct of the British troops at 
Barrosa, and the siege was not raised. 

In March Massena began his retreat to the frontier with Welling- 
ton hanging on his rear. In April there was a sharp action at 
1811. Sabugal, in which only a part of the troops were 

Fuentes engaged and the British light division covered itself 

d'Onoro, May. with glory In May Wel i ington attacked Almeida ; 

Massena attempted its relief but was defeated in a very critical 
and very sanguinary battle at Fuentes d'Onoro (5th May). Al- 
meida was taken, but the French garrison cut its way out, having 
blown up the fortifications and stores. In the south, Beresford 
had been detached with a small force to attack Badajoz ; Soult 
marched to its relief, and a few days after Fuentes d'Onoro was 
Albuera. fought the desperate battle of Albuera, in which 
the British lost more than a third out of their 10,000 men, 
the Portuguese taking but a small part in the struggle. Soult 
lost 6000 men out of his 23,000 and drew off ; but it was quite 
hopeless for Beresford to attempt Badajoz. Wellington hurried 
south in person to give his directions, but the assaults were 
beaten off and the siege was abandoned. In the autumn the 
French were still in possession of both Ciudad Rodrigo and 
Badajoz, and Marmont had taken the place of Massena in the 
northern command. Aragon, Castile, Estremadura, Andalusia, 
with the exception of Cadiz, were so far mastered by the French 
that no Spanish armies were in the field to resist them. 

And yet circumstances were working in favour of the patient 
captain whose soldiers trusted him infinitely though they did 
Winter: the no * * ove n * m a * an< - There was no Spanish field 
situation in army, but it had dissolved itself into bands of 
guerillas who did not fight pitched battles but did 
intercept communications which left the French generals with- 
out information, cut up small detachments, cut off convoys, and 
cleared off supplies ; so that co-operation between the French 
armies was extremely difficult. Moreover the French generals 
were jealous of each other, none would willingly help another ; 
even when they professed to act together it was without cor- 

The Peninsular War 53 

diality. Napoleon was still stormily angry with the men who 
failed to carry out what were to them impossible orders, and still 
regarded the Peninsula only as an irritating distraction from his 
more ambitious designs. For his relations with Russia were 
more than strained. All Europe was groaning under the weight 
of the continental system. Napoleon's own brother Napoleon 
Louis in Holland refused to be bound by it, and and the Tsar. 
Holland was annexed to France in order that the embargo on 
British goods might be enforced. Sweden obstinately refused 
to come into the system, and Sweden, though nominally ruled by 
Charles xin., the uncle and successor of Gustavus iv. who had 
been deposed, was actually governed by the French marshal 
Bernadotte, who had been nominated as his heir ; who, moreover, 
had elected to identify himself with the interests of the kingdom 
which was to be one day his own. Then the Tsar Alexander 
declared the Russian ports open to neutral trade, which gave yet 
another entry for British goods to the Continent. For this 
reason Napoleon was now concentrating upon preparations for 
an attack upon Russia which should break down the one con- 
tinental power which had never given way to him, and force it 
into the system by which Napoleon still believed he could ruin 
his island foe. The plain truth was that the only hope of crush- 
ing Wellington lay in Napoleon taking the field himself and con- 
centrating all his efforts on that one object and even then it 
is not absolutely certain that he would have succeeded. Instead 
he concentrated his own attention on his projected Russian cam- 
paign, one of the most tremendous tragedies of history ; and his 
armies in Spain were weakened instead of being strengthened. 

In 1811 then Wellington had done little beyond driving the 
French out of Portugal ; he was as far as ever from any apparent 
prospect of taking the offensive in Spain. Never,- 1812 C i U a a( i 
theless his hour was near at hand. In January Rodrigo, 
1812, before Marmont suspected what was happening Januar y' 
he sprang suddenly upon Ciudad Rodrigo, carried it by assault, 
and secured it. Marmont had begun to move but was too late. 
None of the French commanders was prepared for the sudden 
and tremendous energy developed by Wellington. With the 

54 The War with the French Empire 

north secured he flung himself south upon Badajoz. The fortress 
was magnificently defended by its commandant Philippon ; 
Badajoz, but before Soult was ready to come to the rescue, 
April. Badajoz too had been stormed with desperate valour 

which overcame the desperate valour of the besieged. Once 
more the two gateways into Spain were in Wellington's hands. 
The British soldiery were learning to believe that they, not 
Napoleon's veterans, were the real invincibles. In their hour 
of triumph it is grievous to record that they broke loose utterly 
from all discipline and disgraced themselves unspeakably both 
at Ciudad Rodrigo and still more at Badajoz, though the aber- 
ration was only temporary. 

Badajoz was captured in April. There Wellington of neces- 
sity remained until the fortifications were thoroughly restored. 
Aimaraz. It was vain to tempt Soult into an engagement ; the 
cool-headed marshal had no mind to challenge the British troops 
in the full flush of their victory. But meanwhile the north could 
not be left to Marmont ; as soon as Badajoz could be left, Wel- 
lington hastened thither with his troops, dispatching General Hill 
to close the one route of communication between Marmont and 
Soult by seizing the passage of the Tagus at the bridge of Aimaraz, 
an operation brilliantly carried out. 

Then for a couple of months Wellington and Marmont were 
manoeuvring against each other with armies fairly equal in 
Salamanca, numbers. Wellington's was somewhat the larger, 
22nd July. b u t m0 re than half of them were Portuguese, who, 
though they fought well, could not be relied upon like the British 
in a crisis. Each of the generals wanted to fight, but each was 
equally anxious not to do so except on his own terms, and with 
the chance of winning a crushing victory. At last, however, 
the manoeuvring brought on a pitched battle before Salamanca 
on 22nd July, under conditions which made it practically certain 
that whichever way the battle went it would be decisive. The 
decisive moment came when Marmont, extending his left in an 
enveloping movement, intended to cut off the British right from 
retreat, left a gap between his columns which was instantly 
detected by his adversary. Wellington seized the opportunity, 

The Peninsular War 55 

hurled his forces against the weak point, split Marmont's 
army in two, and rolled up his centre and left wing. In forty 
minutes the battle was lost and won. In the French army of 
40,000 men there were 15,000 casualties. Marmont himself was 
wounded ; the honours of the skilfully conducted retreat belonged 
to Clausel, on whom the command devolved. Yet the destruc- 
tion would have been far greater if the Spanish allies, who had 
been posted to cut off the retreat, had not entirely neglected 
their allotted task. Marmont's army fell back further north to 
join the troops nearer the French frontier. 

Three weeks later, Wellington was in Madrid, hailed on every 
side as the saviour of Spain. Yet even now the delivery was 
incomplete. Magnificent as was the victory of one more 
Salamanca, Wellington was not in command of a retreat, 
force which could crush Soult in the south or drive the northern 
army over the Pyrenees. Between those two armies it was still 
possible that he might be crushed. Still, one more blow was 
to be attempted. Wellington turned north. If he could seize 
the fortress of Burgos, he would virtually command the gate of 
Castile. Unwisely perhaps he made the attempt ; but he had 
not the necessary siege train with him. Though he entered the 
town, the citadel defied assault ; he was obliged to raise the 
siege after a month, and for the last time to fall back to the 
Portuguese frontier at Ciudad Rodrigo. Soult, however, had 
been drawn to the north, and Southern Spain was in effect clear 
of the French armies. 

All this time Wellington had been conducting his campaign 
under immense difficulties, very insufficiently supplied from 
home either with money, which was urgently re- Wellington's 
quired to pay Portuguese and Spaniards, or with difficulties, 
reinforcements. There were never more than 40,000 troops 
at his disposal, and he lived under the perpetual necessity 
of achieving something which would reassure the doubters at 
home, and the perpetual consciousness that one serious failure 
might cause him to be recalled. In the circumstances there 
was more reason to admire the audacity with which he took risks 
than to criticise him for over-caution. His brother at the 

56 The War with the French Empire 

Foreign Office did his best for him, but resigned just before the 
Salamanca campaign, because he could not induce his colleagues 
to give Wellington adequate support. Castlereagh, however, 
who returned to office and took his place, was as determined as 
Wellesley, as confident in the merits and the wisdom of the man 

in whom from the first he had placed his trust. 

prime In May the prime minister, Perceval, was assassin- 

minister, ated, and the ministry was reconstructed, without 

any material changes, under the leadership of 
Liverpool, who remained prime minister for fifteen years. 

Before Wellington fought Salamanca, Napoleon had started 
upon his Russian campaign. All Europe west of Prussia and 
of Austria, with the exception of the Spanish Peninsula, was 
under his direct dominion or in practical dependence upon him. 

1812. MOSCOW. Neither Prussia nor Austria dared to refuse him 
their nominal alliance though neither would actively participate 
in the war. We need not here tell the story of that tremendous 
tragedy. Of the 400,000 men who began the Russian march 
in June, only some 40,000 ever came back. The disaster was 
followed by the national uprising of Prussia. So amazing was 
the power of Napoleon and the capacity of France, that 
May again saw him at the head of a great army and victorious 

1813. over * ne ame d Russians and Prussians at Lutzen 
Leipzig, and again at Bautzen. Even then it seemed that 

he might have retrieved his fortunes, but he made 
the mistake of agreeing to a two months' armistice. By the 
end of the two months Austria had joined the coalition ; so 
also had Sweden under the guidance of Bernadotte. In August 
Napoleon won a great battle at Dresden, but Dresden was no 
crushing blow. Napoleon could not follow it up, the allies 
continued to mass in vast numbers, and on i6th October at 
Leipzig in the ' Battle of the Nations ' Napoleon's forces were 
overwhelmed and driven in retreat over the Rhine. 

The necessities of the desperate struggle had compelled 
Napoleon still further to reduce the forces in the Spanish Penin- 
sula. The British government gave Wellington a more vigorous 
support than ever before. At the end of May he was over 

The Peninsitlar War 57 

the Portuguese frontier. On 2ist June Wellington faced the 
French army, under the command of King Joseph and Marshal 
Jourdan at Vittoria. There was fought the battle 1813 
which virtually ended the war in the Peninsula. Vittoria, 
Wellington's victory was complete. The great : 
defeat became a rout and a flight to Pampeluna. Enormous 
spoils fell into the hands of the British and their allies. Napoleon 
had called away Soult to Dresden, but now dispatched him in 
haste to take supreme command of all the troops at Bayonne 
and within the Spanish frontier. So skilful and vigorous were 
his arrangements that it was only by hard fighting 1814 
that he was prevented from relieving Pampeluna. Wellington 
San Sebastian, however, fell on sist August. Yet and Soult> 
it was only after a series of stubborn engagements that Welling- 
ton forced his way over the frontier in December. And still 
Soult stood at bay, nor was he driven from Bayonne till February. 
The last desperate action of the war was fought before Toulouse 
on loth April. It would be hard to say that it was a victory 
either for Wellington or for Soult ; and as it happened it was 
altogether needless, for before it was fought Napoleon abdicated. 
The emperor's audacity and resourcefulness had never been 
more brilliantly illustrated than in the French campaign in the 
first months of 1814, when he was still struggling 
to hold in check the deluge of European armies abdication 
rolling over all the land frontiers of France. But and exne, 
while Soult was disputing every yard of Wellington's 
advance in the south-west and Napoleon was himself threaten- 
ing the communications of the allies on the east, the northern 
armies swept upon Paris itself. When Paris fell, Napoleon 
found his marshals with one voice insisting that to struggle 
longer was in vain, and he accepted the terms dictated by the 
allies. The emperor, still retaining his title, was to be relegated 
to the island of Elba off the coast of Italy, to be held by him as 
a toy principality. The Bourbon monarchy was to be restored 
in France, and a congress of the powers was to arrange the affairs 
of Europe, in which the exile at Elba was to have no voice at all. 

58 The War with the French Empire 


In the course of the war practically the whole of the French 
colonial possessions had been seized ; since after Trafalgar 
Capture destructive privateering attacks upon British com- 

of French merce had been the only form of maritime warfare 
open to the French. The Marquess Wellesley had 
been balked in his desire to seize the French islands of the 
Mauritius, which lay on the flank of the route from India to the 
Cape ; but Lord Minto, who became governor-general of India 
in 1807, effected their capture in 1810, and that of the Dutch 
island of Java a year later. 

In 1812, however, Britain had become involved on her own 
account in a separate war with the United States. It was re- 
The United mar ked that the commerce of neutrals suffered 
states and severely from that aspect of the struggle between 
the orders the Napoleonic and the British empires which was 
inaugurated by the Berlin Decree and the retalia- 
tory Orders in Council of the Grenville ministry. The Orders in 
Council were certainly a justifiable and probably a necessary 
retort to the emperor's decrees ; but it was the Orders in Council 
which pressed most directly, most conspicuously, and most 
offensively upon the neutrals and especially upon the United 
States, because of the enforcement of the right of search. The 
most acute grievance was the British claim to search American 
vessels for naval deserters, who escaped thither in large numbers. 
Before 1812 there was a growing antagonism to the Orders in 
Council in England itself, owing to the grave extent to which 
British commerce was suffering, As early as 1810, the strict- 
ness with which the Orders were put in execution was consider- 
ably relaxed ; but Perceval, the prime minister, regarded them 
as of vital importance. After his assassination in 1812 they 
were suspended, but as far as America was concerned it was 
already too late. 

An approaching presidential election and the exigencies of 

The End of the Struggle 59 

American party politics, which pointed to a war with Britain 
as a popular move, led to a declaration of war, at a moment 
when the British were entirely preoccupied with 1812 The 
the struggle against Napoleon, and Salamanca had American 
not yet been fought. The war was a singularly war * 
unhappy one ; it should have been well within the power of 
diplomacy to avert it, and there was nothing material for either 
side to gain by it. It left a legacy of ill-feeling on both sides of 
the Atlantic which survived for more than two generations, and 
its conduct reflected no great credit on either side apart from 
two or three episodes. 

The Americans reverted to their old scheme for a conquest 
of Canada. There they failed completely : Canadian loyalty to 
the empire and hostility to the republic was deeply Canadian 
rooted, both in the British United Empire Loyalists loyalty, 
and in the French Canadians, whose French sympathies were 
with the French loyalists and the old Bourbon monarchy, not 
with the French republic or the new empire. The defeat of the 
United States forces was due to the vigour and the valour with 
which the Canadians rallied to the call when invasion was at- 
tempted. One American force of 2500 men was reduced to 
capitulate at Detroit in August 1812, and another of nearly 
1000 met the same fate at Queenstown in October ; while a 
third attack in November was repulsed in the neighbourhood 
of Niagara. It is somewhat surprising that no adequate fleet 
should have been sent to the American waters, where no general 
engagements took place, but in several isolated fights the 
American ships proved the stronger. In 1813, varying fortunes 
attended the fighting upon the Great Lakes, but The contest 
when an invasion of Lower Canada was attempted during 1813. 
the Canadians again distinguished themselves by defeating the 
Americans at the Chateaugay River and at Chrystler's farm in 
October and December ; and in June the credit of the British 
navy was vindicated by the famous fight between the Shannon 
and the Chesapeake, two vessels of equal strength in which the 
British captain Broke brought the enemy to surrender after an 
engagement which lasted for fifteen minutes. 

60 The War with the French Empire 

The Americans were not fighting as allies of Napoleon, and the 
war went on through 1814. The termination of the Peninsular 
operations War released British troops ; and an expedition 
of 1814. to the Chesapeake under General Ross defeated the 

American troops at Bladensburg and captured Washington, 
where the public buildings were burnt down. Ross, however, 
was killed in an unsuccessful attack upon Baltimore ; and in 
January 1815 British troops from the Peninsula, led by General 
Pakenham, suffered a complete disaster in making a frontal 
assault upon impregnable entrenchments before New Orleans. 
The battle was a sheer waste of blood, since peace had been 
Peace, 24th signed at Ghent between the belligerents a fortnight 
December. earlier on 24th December 1814. In the course of 
the struggle each side had inflicted serious losses upon the com- 
merce of the other ; both had been guilty of outrages ; neither 
had gained anything, unless we reckon it as a British gain 
that Canadian hostility to the American republic had been in- 
tensified. The peace arranged for a delimitation of frontiers, 
but left unsettled the questions as to right of search which had 
been at the bottom of the whole dispute. 

On the abdication of Napoleon it became the immediate 
business of the powers to effect the settlement of Europe. It 
1814. was a foregone conclusion that the Bourbons should 

Towards the ^ e res tored to the French throne in the person of 

of Europe. Louis xviii. , the brother of Louis xvi., a less hot- 
Ma -y- headed person than the younger brother Charles of 

Artois. Under pressure from the Russian Tsar who was an 
eccentric idealist except when his ideals happened to clash with 
his personal interests, and of Britain which clung to the prin- 
ciples of the English Revolution of 1688, Louis was obliged to 
concede something in the nature of a constitutional government. 
France was permitted to retain her boundaries as they had been 
when the monarchy was overthrown in 1792. The rearrange- 
ments of territory in Germany, Italy, and Poland were to be left 
for settlement by a congress of the powers which was to assemble 
in Vienna in the winter. Meanwhile the house of Orange was 
reinstated in Holland and the independence of the Swiss republic 

The End of the Struggle 61 

was restored. Though Britain had fought through the war 
from beginning to end ; though the victory of the allies and 
indeed the formation of the last coalition would Moderation 
never have been possible but for the Peninsular of British 
War of which she had borne the weight on her own 
shoulders ; though she alone had won French territory from 
France ; she displayed a magnanimity which the other powers 
were in no haste to recognise. Of the French colonies she 
claimed to retain only Tobago and Santa Lucia in the West 
Indies, and the Mauritius. Of what she had taken from the 
Dutch she retained only Demerara in one hemisphere and the 
Cape Colony and Ceylon in the other, paying for the Cape a 
substantial indemnity. The rest she was willing to restore, 
contenting herself with the insertion of a clause in the treaty 
directed to the suppression of the slave-trade jointly by the 
powers. The Treaty of Paris was concluded on 3oth May. 

The congress which met at Vienna did not turn seriously to 
business until the beginning of November. It had been agreed 
among the four powers which together had over- congress 
thrown Napoleon Britain, Russia, Austria, and of Vienna, 
Prussia that they should reserve to themselves ] 
the final decision upon vexed questions, of which there were 
plenty ; but Talleyrand, who had really managed the Bourbon 
restoration in France and was Louis's foreign minister as he had 
been Napoleon's, succeeded in placing France on an equality 
with the other four powers as one of the arbiters of the European 
settlement. Britain was represented by Castlereagh. There 
were plenty of complicated problems to be dealt with, and it 
was not easy to find any general principle for guidance. To the 
disgust of Ferdinand of Sicily, Napoleon's brother-in-law 
Joachim Murat was confirmed in the Italian kingdom of Naples 
to which he had succeeded when Joseph Bonaparte had resigned 
the crown for that of Spain. This was his reward for deserting 
Napoleon after the Moscow campaign. He in his turn was dis- 
pleased by the restoration of the Pope's temporal authority in 
the papal states, which he had hoped to annex. 

If Stein had represented Prussia instead of the less effective 

62 The War with the French Empire 

Hardenberg, he might have succeeded in carrying the principle 
of arranging the redistribution of territories on nationalist 
Legitimism. lines ; but the general principle which was adopted 
instead, under the guidance of Talleyrand and Metternich, was 
that of legitimism. The most serious questions were those of 
Saxony and Poland. Russia and Prussia on the one side proposed 
the annexation of Saxony to Prussia and the erection of Poland, 
as it had stood before the final partition, into a constitutional 
kingdom under the Russian Tsar. Austria was afraid of any- 
thing which should aggrandise either Russia or Prussia. Castle- 
Castiereagn. reagh appears at first to have favoured the northern 
powers, but then to have been drawn over by Metternich and 
Talleyrand, working upon his fears of Russian ambitions and 
of Alexander's visionary advocacy of Jacobin ideas. The three 
powers actually agreed upon a defensive alliance pledging them to 
defend in arms jointly the principles upon which they agreed. 

In February the substitution for Castlereagh of Wellington, 
upon whom a dukedom had recently been conferred, might have 

had a conciliatory effect ; but it still seemed far from 
Re-entry of impossible that the outcome of the peace congress 
Napoleon, would be another European conflagration, when the 

quarrels of the powers were suddenly checked by 
the news that Napoleon himself had intervened. Slipping away 
from Elba at the end of February he landed at Cannes, and 
issued proclamations announcing that he had come to remove 
the Bourbon monarchy which had been rendering itself ex- 
tremely unpopular and that he himself would rule not as a 
despot but as a constitutional monarch. For a moment his fate 
seemed to hang in the balance when the government troops 
marched to arrest him. But the troops were carried by his 
appeal, and hailed him as emperor once more. He began what 
was a triumphal march towards Paris. Those of the marshals 
who had never pledged themselves to the restored monarchy 
came in ; those who had identified themselves with it had to take 
hasty flight. Ney, who had declared himself for the Bourbon, 
marched with an army to capture Napoleon, making loud pro- 
fession, honestly enough it may be, of his loyalty ; but when he 

The End of the Struggle 63 

came in contact with his old chief the old sentiment swept him 
away and he joined the emperor instead of attempting to cap- 
ture him. On I3th March the powers at Vienna, The powers, 
their quarrels hushed for the moment, proclaimed March. 
Napoleon the public enemy of Europe ; on I9th March King 
Louis took flight to Ghent. On the 25th the four powers had 
resolved that there could be no parleying with the breaker of the 
European peace, in spite of his offers to accept the Peace of Paris, 
and they pledged themselves to place in the field 150,000 men 
apiece. On 3oth March Napoleon was at the Tuileries. 

For Napoleon it was of the first importance to strike before 
the armies of a united Europe could be reorganised for war and 
hurled against him. In his favour he had his own June 
unique genius and the immense advantage of the Biiicher and 
single directing mind. It must be long before 
either Russia or Austria, slow movers at the best of times, could 
bring up their forces. Prussia was comparatively ready, and her 
forces were soon gathering under Bliicher's command upon a 
line stretching from Liege to Charleroi, numbering 120,000 men. 
By the beginning of June Wellington was in Belgium with a 
very heterogeneous force under his command. The Peninsula 
veterans had not yet got back from America ; most of his 
30,000 British troops were raw recruits. He could count upon 
the German legion which had distinguished itself in the Penin- 
sula, and upon the Hanoverians, who made up another 20,000. 
Most of the balance of 40,000 was composed of Dutch and Belgians 
on whom no great reliance could be placed. In May Murat did 
his brother-in-law no service by attacking the Austrians who had 
reoccupied the old Austrian territories in North Italy. He was 
soundly beaten and was obliged to take flight to France, 
where Napoleon had nothing for him but reproaches for his 

Meanwhile Napoleon himself had been with titanic energy 
gathering and organising upon the Belgian frontier an army of 
125,000 men which included corps of his own Napoleon's 
seasoned veterans, as well as a large proportion of army, 
untried conscripts. Wellington and Biiicher should have 

64 The War with the French Empire 

strained every nerve to complete their connection and present 
an unbroken front. But before they did so, Napoleon, whose 
activity had surpassed all their calculations, had launched his 
thunderbolt. On I2th June he left Paris for the front. On the 
15th. 1 5th he drove the Prussian advance guard in from 

Charleroi. Charleroi, while Wellington's officers were dancing in 
Brussels at the duchess of Richmond's famous ball. The Anglo- 
Prussian concentration had never been carried out. Bliicher 
pushed up his troops to Ligny. 1 The main road between Brussels 
and Charleroi is crossed by another main road at Quatre Bras, 
leading south-east in the rear of Ligny, but Wellington had 
expected that Napoleon would direct his march north-west 
so as to throw himself between the British force and the sea, 
whereas Napoleon's real intention was to crush Bliicher before 
Wellington could come to his assistance, and then to crush 
Wellington himself. 

Accordingly upon i6th June the emperor flung his main force 
upon the Prussians at Ligny, dispatching Ney to seize and hold 
16th Quatre Bras. Thus he calculated that Ney would 

Ligny and be able to contain the British advance, and to turn 
Quatre Bras. ^ e Prussian right and complete the destruction of 
Bliicher. The attack at Ligny was successful. Bliicher was 
defeated and was driven off the field. But Ney found that the 
duke of Saxe- Weimar with some of the allied troops was before 
him at Quatre Bras. There was some delay in the attack ; 
through the day British regiments were being hurried to the 
front, and the allies held their ground. All day a corps under 
D'Erlon wasted its energies hovering between Ligny and Quatre 
Bras ; and if Ney succeeded in containing the British advance, 
he was able neither to carry the position nor to carry out the 
second part of the programme and strike at the Prussians. The 
result was that Bliicher though defeated was able to draw off in 
good order under cover of the dark, and also to mislead Napoleon 
as to the direction he was taking. For it was naturally supposed 
that he was falling back upon his base of supplies to Namur and 
Liege, whereas, in fact, he was wheeling north-eastwards towards 

1 See Map I., The Netherlands War area. 

The End of the Struggle 65 

Wavre in the hope of still being able to co-operate with Welling- 
ton and to form a junction with him. 

On the morning of the I7th Wellington learnt definitely that 
the Prussians were retreating on Wavre and resolved to make 
his own stand covering Brussels at Waterloo. 17tn British 
Napoleon's entirely misleading information was to concentration 
the effect that a part of Blucher's force was making at Waterlo - 
for Namur, and the main body was on the way to Liege. He 
accordingly detached Grouchy, an officer who was not accus- 
tomed to independent command, to follow up the Prussians 
whom he imagined to be in a demoralised condition after their 
heavy losses at Ligny ; while he himself turned to crush Welling- 
ton. The British general was able to draw back his forces from 
Quatre Bras though the French were in hot pursuit ; and that 
night his army had taken post along the ridge of Mont St. Jean. 

Wellington had with him 67,000 men. In round numbers 
24,000 were British, there were 6000 of the German legion, and 
17,000 Hanoverians and Brunswickers, the balance British 
being Dutch and Belgians. He had early infor- position at 
mation that the Prussians from Wavre intended Waterlo * 
to converge upon the French right, and he hoped to be able to 
hold on to his position until their arrival. If he should be com- 
pelled to retreat, the forest of Soignes on his rear would make 
pursuit difficult ; but it was of vital importance that he should 
hold on, because if he were defeated the Prussians would inevit- 
ably suffer a more serious disaster than at Ligny. His army lined 
the crest of a slope, steep and well covered on the left. On the 
slope in front of the centre was the farm of La Haye Sainte, not 
too well prepared for defence ; and covering his right was the 
chateau and wood of Hougoumont. These posts were occupied 
by small detachments of the German legion and of the Guards 
respectively. At the bottom of the valley was an undulation. 
Behind the crest of Wellington's ridge a dip was formed by a 
cross road which enabled Wellington to conceal the movement 
of troops. Napoleon's forces were arrayed on the crest of the 
opposing slope with the right resting upon Planchenoit. With 
74,000 men, he was stronger than the British, especially in the 

Innes's Eng. Hist. Vol. iv. E 


The War with the French Empire 

artillery and cavalry arms. He had never met British troops 
before and relied upon the method which had habitually proved 
Napoleon's successful against other continental armies, of pre- 
position, paring the way by a storm of artillery fire and then 
hurling masses of troops in column against the enemy's weakened 
line ; and he paid no attention to the warnings of Soult who 
knew Wellington and the British troops by experience that the 

British line was not to be broken by column attack. The prin- 
ciple of the superiority of the line against the column, not only 
for defence but also for attack, at least when British troops were 
engaged, had been first illustrated at Maida, and then conspicu- 
ously and repeatedly demonstrated in the engagements of the 
Peninsular War. Napoleon's plan then was to pierce the British 
line at its weakest point, the centre, to which end it was necessary 
to capture La Haye Sainte and also to secure Hougoumont so as 
to prevent a flank movement on the British right. 

The End of the Struggle 67 

A drenching rain had destroyed the surface of the ground for 
the purpose of the cavalry charges on which Napoleon counted, 
when the two armies faced each other on the morn- isth. The 
ing of Sunday, i8th June. For this reason Napoleon, battle opens. 
confident that the Prussians were out of the game, postponed 
opening the attack till almost midday. The artillery opened 
fire to cover an assault by Jerome Bonaparte upon the wood of 
Hougoumont. Jerome was not content to occupy the wood, 
which was all that was required of him, but made desperate 
attempts to capture the chateau itself, all of which were repulsed 
with equally desperate valour by the small body of the Guards 
which held it. The defence of Hougoumont is one Hougoumont. 
of the heroic episodes of the great battle. But Hougoumont 
was not the real point of attack. This was to be delivered upon 
La Haye Saint e in the centre at 1.30. It was just at that hour 
that the first indications were received of the approach of a 
Prussian corps from Wavre much later, it should be remarked, 
than Wellington had anticipated. Napoleon, however, was not 
disturbed, because he supposed that only a division of the 
Prussian army was moving, and that it was marching to its own 
destruction at the hands of Grouchy. 

Accordingly at 1.30 he opened fire from a tremendous battery, 
under cover of which D'Erlon's division swept down to the 
valley, a part of it attacking La Haye Sainte on its Tne first 
left where the Germans offered a stout and sue- grand attack 
cessful resistance, while the rest drove up the slope repulsed> 
and topped the ridge, sweeping back the Dutch troops which 
held it in a hasty flight. Here, however, Ponsonby's Union 
Brigade the First Royal Dragoons, the Inniskillings, and the 
Scots Greys were hurled upon them, drove them in rout down 
the slope with immense slaughter, and crashed up the opposite 
slope upon the French guns ; where they in turn were charged 
and swept back by Napoleon's cavalry, and were perhaps only 
saved from destruction by a countercharge of Vandeleur's horse. 

This was the blow which ought to have pierced the British 
centre, but was foiled by the charge of the Union Brigade. But 
hitherto Napoleon had hardly brought his cavalry into play. 

68 The War with the French Empire 

While Wellington was reinforcing his depleted lines with 
fresh troops from the reserve, new attacks were made 
The cavalry upon Hougoumont and La Haye Sainte, where 
attack. the reinforced Guards and Germans maintained 

their obstinate resistance. But this and a renewed storm 
of artillery fire were the prelude to a tremendous cavalry charge 
in the centre. For this, however, the British were prepared, 
and falling back behind the ridge for cover from the artillery 
fire, formed squares which received the onslaught of the horse 
with withering volleys ; the gunners, who had worked their 
guns with murderous effect to the last moment, dismantling 
the guns and taking shelter in the squares. Against the squares 
the cavalry hurled themselves in vain, never even getting to 
hand strokes. As they reeled back the British cavalry fell upon 
them and hurled them down the slopes again. Again they 
formed up to the charge, reinforced by fresh regiments ; again 
they swept up the slope and again they were shattered by the 
storm of fire from the batteries, and the indomitable firmness 
of the squares. And yet for the third time they formed and 
charged, only to be shattered again for the third time. 

It was now six o'clock. Those cavalry charges ought to have 
been supported by infantry. They were not so supported 
Tne because as the afternoon advanced the Prussians 

Prussians were approaching and there was no sign of Grouchy, 
approaching. That commander had failed in his task, whether 
through his own fault or Napoleon's we need not here inquire, 
and had misdirected his movements so that he gave no effective 
aid to his chief. The approach of the Prussians, as early as 
4.30, necessitated the drawing off of 8000 men to check them who 
would otherwise have advanced to support Ney and his cavalry. 
Large numbers also were still held engaged by the stubborn 
resistance at Hougoumont and La Haye Sainte. 

At last, however, Ney was ordered to hurl himself upon La 

The attack Haye Sainte ; and even the heroism of the Germans 

of the could no longer hold it against the storm. But 

the advance-guard of the Germans was forcing 

jts way into Planchenoit. At seven o'clock Napoleon made his 

The End of the Struggle 69 

final effort. The masses of the Imperial Guard, the soldiery 
who were accounted invincible, were launched upon the British 
centre ; but Wellington had drawn in his troops from the wings 
to strengthen it. As the advancing column rolled up the slope, 
the line on the right was wheeled forward and poured a flank 
fire upon its dense masses. Still it rolled on over the ridge, 
only to find itself faced by the Guards who were lying under 
cover and received it with a murderous fire. As they reeled 
back, the line of the Guards swept forward driving them down 
the hill. Yet a second column rolled forward only Victory, 
to be met by the Guards' fire in front, and volleys poured into 
the whole length of their left flank by Colborn, who then charged 
on them and swept them away. For a moment they reformed ; 
but the whole British line swung forward. By this time the 
Prussian army, not merely the Prussian advance-guard, was 
overwhelming the French right. Napoleon's great army broke 
and scattered in a wild and helpless flight, pursued far through 
the night by the storm of Prussian horsemen, thirsting after a 
final vengeance for Jena. The British were too exhausted to 
join in the pursuit. 

On 2ist June, Napoleon was in Paris. Even then he imagined 
for a moment that all was not lost. But all men fell away from 
him, and the ministry, headed by Fouche, held the The end 
control in its hands. Bliicher and Wellington were of Napoleon, 
advancing on Paris, Bliicher thirsting to glut his hate, Wellington 
chiefly anxious to restrain his colleague's rage. On I5th July 
the fallen emperor placed himself in the hands of Captain Mait- 
land on H. M.S. Better ophon at Rochefort. On 3ist July he learnt 
the decision that had been reached. The conqueror of Europe, 
by the decree of the powers, was to pass the remainder of his days 
on a rock far away in the South Atlantic. Only so, it appeared, 
could Europe feel itself safe from his restless ambitions. 



THE ' Hundred Days ' made a difference, though less than might 
have been expected, in the settlement of Europe. The pro- 
ms. visional government in France which had taken 

Treat e of d Over ^ e control and induced Napoleon to abdicate 
Paris, before he surrendered himself at Rochefort, effected 

November. ^ e restoration of Louis xvni., who had now fully 
realised that the old regime could never be restored. On 20th 
November, five months after Waterloo, the second Treaty of 
Paris was signed. Poland, Napoleon's grand-duchy of Warsaw, 
was transferred to Russia except for a small portion which was 
handed back to Prussia, and Prussia was compensated for her 
losses by a portion of Saxony and of what had been Jerome 
Bonaparte's kingdom of Westphalia. She became a purely 
German power, destined by her acquisitions to the leadership 
of Germany, though Austria did not abdicate her claim to the 
first place till another half century had passed. Belgium was 
added to the kingdom of Holland under the house of Orange ; 
Hanover too was henceforth to take rank as a kingdom. The 
Bourbons were restored in the kingdom of the Two Sicilies and 
in Spain ; the western German states were formed into a loose 
confederation. France was to pay a heavy indemnity, and 
the troops of the allies were to remain in occupation for a term 
of years. Owing chiefly to the determination of the Tsar and of 
Wellington, Bliicher was balked of his desire to humiliate her 
further, and she retained with very little alteration the bound- 
aries fixed by the first Peace of Paris. Austria and Sardinia in 
effect recovered their old positions in North Italy. 

The British government made no fresh demands for territorial 


The Settlement of Europe 7 1 

aggrandisement, or other compensations for the enormous burden 
she had borne. Even her disinterested insistence upon the sup- 
pression of the slave-trade, a question which had laid The reward 
an extraordinarily firm grip upon the national of Britain, 
conscience, produced nothing more than a general declaration 
denouncing the traffic. But, as a matter of fact, heavily as she 
had suffered and cruel as the strain had been, she had yet rela- 
tively gained very much by the war. The last prospect of her 
disturbance in India by the French had vanished. The ac- 
quisition of the Cape Colony and the Mauritius put in her hands 
the outposts from which it had previously been possible to 
threaten the route to the eastern seas. The possession of Malta 
and the protectorate of the Ionian islands secured her ascend- 
ency in the waters of the Mediterranean ; development of her 
trans-oceanic empire became a matter of course. The war had 
not only given her a fighting ascendency on the seas, but had also 
given her a monopoly of transmarine commerce which left the 
rest of the nations almost mere gleaners of the commercial har- 
vest. Her isolation had enabled her to develop the new methods 
of manufacture, which had been out of the reach of every con- 
tinental state, and to obtain thereby a lead so huge that even its 
diminution seemed almost unthinkable. She had spent enor- 
mously, but she had been creating wealth all the time ; the other 
nations had been exhausting their resources without creating 
fresh wealth. There was indeed another side of the picture, 
which we shall examine when we come to the inquiry into her 
economic and industrial development. But, broadly speaking, 
although the moderation of her claims in the moment of her 
triumph excited a general wonder which was rather contemptu- 
ous than admiring, she had emerged from the war with her im- 
perial destinies assured and with a relative increase of power and 
wealth and prestige greater than any state in Europe. 

When the powers undertook to settle Europe, the great rulers 
intended not merely to arrive at satisfactory territorial arrange- 
ments which took little if any account of the pre- Tsar 
judices or susceptibilities of populations, but also Alexander, 
to guard against any more cataclysmic disturbances of the 

72 The Era of Tory Rule 

divinely appointed social order. They did not concur in the 
British view that the states should be left to organise and alter 
their own governments after their own fashion. The Tsar, who 
had always been a theoretical advocate of the principles of 
liberty, was anxious to see those principles as he understood 
them recognised in a Europe restored to order after twenty- 
five years of upheavals. The reinstated princes were all en- 
couraged to make promises of constitutions which were to be 
granted to their subjects, more or less based upon the British 
model. For Britain and Russia were the only two powers 
which had never bowed the knee to Napoleon, and the success 
with which Britain had resisted him was attributed in some degree 
to the merits of the British constitution. So also the Tsar con- 
ceded a constitution to Poland. But the Tsar's conceptions of 
liberty were superficial ; his idea of autocracy was fundamental. 
It was good for the peoples to be permitted to take a share in 
the government ; but kings derived their authority not from 
the peoples but from God, whose vicegerents they were, and to 
whom alone they were responsible. The prince was the father 
of his people ; he was bound in conscience to rule them for their 
good ; but he was to judge, not they, to what extent he was to 
be guided by their wishes and their judgments ; nor had they 
any right to rebel against his decrees whether as a matter of fact 
these decrees were beneficent or no. 

So the Tsar bound his brother potentates of Austria and 
Prussia in a Holy Alliance by which they pledged themselves to 
The Holy act up to his own ideals. All Christian princes of 
Alliance. Europe were invited to join the alliance ; the in- 
vitation was not extended to the sultan, because he was not a 
Christian prince. The princes acceded cheerfully, with the ex- 
ception of the British prince regent the old king, now hopelessly 
and permanently insane, obviously could not join, and it was 
pointed out politely that in fact no king of Great Britain could 
enter such an alliance because as a constitutional monarch he was 
in the hands of parliament and could not follow his own devices. 
Moreover, the Holy Alliance pledged itself to maintain the lawful 
authority of monarchies by joint action against revolutionary 

The Settlement of Europe 73 

subjects ; and although the British government had not yet 
recovered from the nightmare fear of Jacobinism, the British 
people could not see any reason why other people should not 
follow the example which they had themselves set in securing 
the right of constitutional government. Their sympathies were 
certain to be in favour of what they recognised as strictly con- 
stitutional movements. The Tsar and the king of Prussia were 
both quite honestly convinced that they were actuated by the 
highest motives, a deep religious sense of their responsibilities. 
But there were two sides to their programme. One was bene- 
ficent government, the other the upholding of authority ; and 
the weak point of the whole position was that joint action was 
to apply only to the second part of the programme, but not to 
the first. Consequently, since the rest of the European princes 
and their ministers felt no obligation to carry out sentimental 
pledges, the Holy Alliance practically degenerated into a league 
for the joint suppression of popular movements wherever they 
might arise and the absolute authority of any potentate within 
his own dominions might appear to be threatened. 

Now the French Revolution and the Napoleonic wars had 
sown all over Europe seeds which were not to be eradicated, 
seeds which were germinating and developing all Democracy 
through the nineteenth century. The Revolution and 
had given birth to a democratic movement three- nationalism - 
fold in character, political, social, and economic, and the 
Napoleonic wars to a nationalist movement. The settlement of 
1815 was antagonistic to both. Being dynastic, it ignored the 
claims of nationalism, treating as a unity such a heterogeneous 
empire as that of Austria, which included Germans, Slavs, 
Magyars, and Italians, while in Germany it prevented the uni- 
fication of a German nation by preserving the particularism of a 
crowd of petty principalities. Being absolutist, it opposed the 
development of any form of popular government except on the 
initiative of the monarchs themselves. A system antagonistic 
to political was almost inevitably antagonistic also to social 
and economic democracy. Consequently the internal history 
of every state in Europe during the nineteenth century is to 

74 The Era of Tory Rule 

a great extent the history of the struggle against the settlement 
of 1815 ; a struggle in which both nationalism and democracy 
play their parts, sometimes independently and sometimes in 
alliance. In that struggle the sympathies of the reigning 
monarchs in Europe were habitually enlisted on the side of the 
settlement. But the sympathies of Britain, which had long ago 
won constitutional liberties, were always on the side of consti- 
tutional movements ; and since England and Scotland had 
solved for themselves their own problem of unification and 
nationalism, British sympathies were also invariably favourable 
to nationalist movements in Europe. We shall find therefore 
that British statesmen, while habitually adopting the line of 
non-intervention in the domestic affairs of European states, so 
far acted up to the national sympathies as to advocate and 
sometimes to insist vigorously that the rule of non-intervention 
should be observed by others as well as by themselves. British 
intervention in short was limited to ' keeping the ring ' when 
contests were going on, with greater or less vigour according to 
the character of the minister who directed foreign policy. 

While the European settlement was antagonistic to political 
emancipation, seeking so far as it could to revert to the system 
The cdncert as it had been before 1789, wherein it was fighting 
of Europe. against progressive forces too strong to be crushed 
out, it has another side which is deserving of praise. The con- 
gress of Vienna was the first tentative effort at formulating the 
idea of a European concert, of a community of European interests, 
of common consultation and action for the preservation of the 
general peace. If we look at our own history, we see that Great 
Britain was at war with France, and frequently with Spain as 
well as with France, during one half of the years between 1689 
and 1815. In all but one of those wars Austria was also habitu- 
ally engaged, and frequently Prussia. These were wars between 
the powers for possession of territory. For forty years after 
Waterloo there were practically no wars between European 
powers ; the wars which took place were insurrectionary, 
between rulers and their subjects. The international peace was 
preserved till another Napoleon was emperor of the French. 

Castlereagh 75 

A European conflagration continued with short intervals from 
1688 to 1713, another from 1733 to 1738, another from 1740 
to 1748, another from 1755 to 1763, and another from 1792 to 
1815. But from 1815 to the Armageddon of 1914 there has been 
no European conflagration, though there have been great conflicts 
between individual powers Prussia and Austria, Germany and 
France, and twice between Russia and Turkey, French and 
British intervening in the Crimean War ; and only recently the 
concert availed to localise the struggle in the Balkans, though 
the great conflagration was only postponed. Till 1914, Britain 
has been involved in no war in Europe except that in the Crimea. 
Here is a very striking contrast between the last century and the 
hundred and twenty-five years which preceded it, to go no further 
back. And it cannot be questioned that the contrast is in part 
at least due not so much to the actual settlement at Vienna as 
to the idea of the European concert which was then formulated. 

II. CASTLEREAGH, 1815-1822 

The Holy Alliance came into being in September 1815. It 
was not joined by Britain, formally because it was an agreement 
between sovereigns to which it was impracticable The 
for the British sovereign to become a party, actually Quadruple 
because the British ministers either regarded it as AUlance - 
visionary or distrusted the sincerity of the Tsar's intentions. In 
November however a quadruple alliance between Russia, Austria, 
Prussia and Great Britain was formed which, rather than the 
Holy Alliance itself, was the progenitor of the European concert. 
Expressly the four powers guaranteed the second Treaty of 
Paris and the principles of the preceding treaties, united to 
preserve the public peace, and agreed that congresses should 
meet at intervals to consult upon the common interests. In the 
nature of the case the three autocrats of the East were in closer 
correspondence, and as their absolutist tendencies became more 
marked their proceedings were popularly associated with the 

76 The Era of Tory Rule 

Quadruple Alliance, and Castlereagh was commonly accused of 
lending them his support ; though as a matter of fact he was 
primarily responsible for restraining their energies to a very 
considerable degree. Canning, when he succeeded to the Foreign 
Office in 1822, was more uncompromising in his insistence upon 
non-intervention, and less afraid of taking the risk of bringing 
on war by that insistence ; but, in fact, there was less danger 
from Canning's vigorous methods in the years when he was in 
office than there would have been at an earlier date, and also 
the objectionable features of the policy of the autocrats were 
more pronounced. 

In the first years after Waterloo, however, the problems of 
foreign policy were less prominent. Home affairs occupied the 
Economic leading place. Peace appeared to be more disas- 
disturbance. trous than war. Europe was too much impover- 
ished to provide at once an immense market .for British goods. 
The reduced demand for war materials was bad for the iron and 
steel industries, and there was much unemployment. In the 
natural course of events the influx of foreign corn would have 
brought down the price of bread, and so far the condition of the 
poorer classes would have been relieved. But events were not 
permitted to take their natural course. The agricultural interest 
had flourished greatly upon the war. The country had been 
obliged to live upon home-grown supplies, and every acre upon 
which crops could be raised had been brought under cultivation. 
It paid the farmers to do so when they were getting war prices 
for what they produced the enormous war prices of the last 
years. If war prices were not maintained, a quantity of land 
would go out of cultivation because it would no longer pay. 
Numbers of agricultural labourers would be thrown out of work. 
The country would cease to produce sufficient corn to feed itself 
with its growing population, and the next war would bring 
hideous disaster. Incidentally, landowners and farmers would 
have to curtail the rate of living to which they had become 
accustomed; in a word, the agricultural interest would be 

All the peers and the majority of the members of the House 

Castlereagh 77 

of Commons were landowners to whom these arguments ap- 
pealed forcibly ; and the Corn Law of 1815 was passed which 
prohibited the import of corn except when the price The 1815 
of wheat was above Sos. Even that did not save Corn Law - 
a good deal of the land which had been brought under the 
plough from reverting to waste ; but on the other hand it kept 
the price of bread portentously high, though not as high as in 
the worst years. Unemployment, its inevitable concomitant of 
low wages, and the high cost of living, had combined to drive 
the working classes to unreasoning desperation, since men are 
not given to reasoning calmly upon empty stomachs. In their 
eyes, labour-saving machinery was a thing that robbed them of 
employment and took the bread out of their mouths ; it was 
useless to tell them that its effect would be to provide increased 
employment to the next generation after they themselves were 
dead of starvation. Mobs of labourers clamouring for employ- 
ment which they could not get, for higher wages, for cheaper 
bread, smashed up machinery and burnt down Riots. 
barns and ricks. Apart from the Corn Law, which kept up the 
price of bread without saving the farmers from collapse after 
the recent inflation, the causes of the distress were economic, 
and could not be laid to the door of the government ; but 
popular opinion held ministers and the governing classes re- 
sponsible. A year after Waterloo the mob smashed the duke of 
Wellington's windows ; but because Castlereagh was the most 
prominent personality in the government, it was upon Castle- 
reagh that its unpopularity centred. 

It was a matter of course that the populace should attribute 
their distress to political instead of to economic causes. It was 
hardly less natural that the government attributed Government's 
disturbances born of acute distress to political agi- policy of 
tators who of course fomented them. From 1791 re P ression - 
onwards the rulers of the nation had been convinced that the 
one answer to political agitation was forcible repression. There 
are times when forcible repression becomes a stern necessity if 
order is to be preserved at all ; but the mere fact that it has 
become necessary is in itself a proof of the presence of an evil 

7 8 The Era of Tory Rule 

which force cannot cure, and for which a real remedy must be 
found. The fault of the Liverpool administration lies in the 
fact that it looked to repression alone without making any ade- 
quate attempt either to alleviate distress which like the use of 
force is of only temporary utility or to find a remedy for the 
causes of distress. 

This attitude of the government in its turn intensified the 
popular conviction that the cause of the distress was political, 

that the governing classes were guided solely by 
demand for the determination to guard their own class interests, 
political an d that the remedy for all the troubles was to be 

found in the acquisition of political power by the 
masses who did not possess it. Intelligent leaders like Cobbett 
might pin their faith to constitutional agitation and demand 
parliamentary reform which should give to the masses a real 
representation in parliament ; but the government saw no dis- 
tinction between such persons and the unintelligent agitators 
whose cry appeared to be ' Down with everything/ 

In December 1816, the Spafields riot, headed by demagogues, 
confirmed the alarmist fears of the authorities, though the rioters 
isi? were very easily dispersed. In March 1817, bills 

Repressive were passed for the suppression of seditious meet- 
es * ings, and the Habeas Corpus Act was suspended for 
four months. Derbyshire became the scene of great disorder and 
lawlessness, and tjie unrest in the neighbourhood of Manchester 
caused it to be regarded as a revolutionary centre. Sidmouth 
as home secretary was directly responsible for the repres- 
sive activities of the government, though there was no diver- 
sity of opinion in the ministry, which now included Canning, 
who joined it in 1816 as president of the Board of Control, and 
was now working in harmony with Castlereagh. Extreme in- 
dignation was excited by an instruction issued by Sidmouth to 
the magistrates that persons charged on oath with seditious 
libel might be apprehended and held to bail. The government 
gained nothing because the prosecutions which followed were 
rarely succeeded by convictions ; and a bookseller named Hone 
was acquitted on three several charges by juries, in spite of the 

Castlereagh 79 

obvious efforts of the Chief Justice, Lord Ellenborough, to obtain 

A rich harvest in this year alleviated the distress, and the 
ferment in 1818 was less. A general election increased the 
strength of the Opposition. The transfer of fifteen isis. 
votes, counting thirty on a division, was more sig- Peterioo. 
nificant than it appears to us, since only some hundred elections 
were contested. But in 1818 there occurred the singularly un- 
fortunate incident of Peterloo, otherwise called the Manchester 
Massacre. The magistrates permitted an immense assembly 
to gather in St. Peter's Fields, and then attempted to arrest the 
leaders, employing the military for the purpose. The result was 
that the crowd was dispersed ; but although only some half- 
dozen persons were actually cut down, several more were killed 
in the crush and some hundreds were seriously injured. Obvi- 
ously the magistrates had blundered grossly in their methods, 
and a storm of indignation was excited ; but ministers upheld 
their action uncompromisingly, and thereby increased their 
own unpopularity. 

Then they went on to pass a drastic code known as the Six 
Acts for the suppression of disorder and sedition. On the govern- 
ment hypothesis that there was a serious danger of The Six Acts, 
armed insurrection, three of the six were entirely reasonable, 
being directed chiefly to the prevention of arming and drilling. 
A fourth was insignificant. A fifth, directed to the suppression 
of seditious publications, was little more than a dead letter from 
the beginning. But the sixth, which prohibited any large 
assemblies unless summoned by the principal authorities of the 
county or the borough, was a practical denial of the right of 
public meeting and free speech. Such a measure could only 
be justified in a very extreme emergency as a temporary ex- 
pedient for the immediate prevention of civil war. The govern- 
ment believed that such an emergency had arisen ; but the 
general verdict has entirely refused to endorse that extreme view. 
While government had failed to suggest any remedy for the 
unrest except stringent repression so far as concerned the prole- 
tariat and their interests, and sought to protect the landed and 

8o The Era of Tory Rule 

agricultural interests by the Corn Law, the commercial classes 
too were suffering seriously from the disturbance of equilibrium 
consequent upon the change from a state of war 
Resumption to a state of peace, while measures were still in force 
of cash which had been adopted in order to meet the con- 

ditions of the former stage. Even while the war 
was going on, the suspension of cash payments by the bank was 
recognised by financial experts, though not by the government, 
as a cause of financial instability. It was not till 1819 that the 
whole question was investigated by a Bullion Committee under 
the chairmanship of Robert Peel. In accordance with the report 
of that committee the gradual resumption of cash payments was 
resolved upon, to be completed in 1823. The wisdom of that 
measure was fully demonstrated by the fact that two years 
before the stipulated time the bank was able to undertake the 
payment of gold for its notes at sight. 

The revolutionary spirit which, however much it may have 
been exaggerated by panic, was undoubtedly present 'in the 
The royal country, was fostered by the character and position 
family. o f the royal family. The moral character of the 

prince regent was about as bad as it could be ; moral scandals 
of varying magnitude were associated with the names of nearly 
all his six brothers. The royal family was in fact held in general 
contempt ; and the respect for the institution of monarchy was 
proportionately lowered. Politicians might regard the monarchy 
as a necessity, but loyalty was centred upon one person, the prince 
regent's daughter Charlotte, the sole representative of the royal 
family in the next generation. There were great popular re- 
joicings when a husband was found for her in the person of Prince 
Leopold of Saxe-Coburg ; but in November 1817, within a year 
of her marriage, the Princess Charlotte died. Large as was the 
family of George IIL, there was every prospect that within a few 
years there would be no legitimate heirs of his body living. 
Hence, in 1818, the three unmarried sons, William, duke of Clar- 
ence (afterwards William iv.), Edward of Kent, and Adolphus 
of Cambridge took wives, and in 1819 there were fresh rejoicings 
when a daughter, Victoria, was born to the duke of Kent, the 

Castlereagk 8 1 

fourth of the series of brothers. For the fifth, Ernest, duke ol 
Cumberland, was so detested that his accession to the throne 
might very possibly have precipitated a revolution and perhaps 
the overthrow of the monarchy. 

In 1820 the old king died. During the last years of his life 
insanity and blindness had withdrawn him entirely from the 
public eye. For practical purposes the accession of 
the prince regent as George iv. made no difference. Accession of 
For the past eight years he had been discharging George iv., 
the regal functions, and his reign had virtually 
begun when he became prince regent. 

George in. died in January. In February, the world was 
startled by the discovery of what is known as the Cato Street 
conspiracy. Simple assassination plots directed 
against the reigning monarch and associated with street 
the idea of general insurrection had been familiar conspiracy, 
in English history only in the two reigns of Eliza- 
beth and William in. But the Cato Street conspiracy was a plot 
to murder all the members of the ministry at a cabinet dinner, 
an exploit which was to be the signal for revolution. For the 
revolution itself there were apparently no serious preparations ; 
among the conspirators there were no persons of any consequence, 
even no prominent demagogues. The ministers received timely 
information ; they did not assemble to dine at the appointed 
place ; and the conspirators themselves were surprised in a body 
at their rendezvous in Cato Street, from which the whole affair 
takes its name. Eleven of them were captured after a fierce re- 
sistance, of whom five were executed ; the death sentence on the 
other six was changed to transportation for life. The rest escaped. 
The whole affair pointed to no widespread or deep-seated design. 
It was nothing more than an insane plot on the part of a few 
desperadoes ; but it would never have been concocted if the 
desperadoes themselves at least had not believed that the 
country was only waiting for a spark to kindle a huge confla- 
gration. The only practical effect was to enable ministers 
to point to it as a proof that their policy of repression 
had been dictated not by panic but by a really imminent danger. 

Innes's Eng. Hist. Vol. iv. F 

82 The Era of Tory Rule 

There was less danger to the monarchy from the plottings of 
fanatics than from the discredit which the new king brought 
1820-1. upon it. Married morganatically when a young 

The king and man to a Roman Catholic lady of irreproachable 
virtue, he had shortly afterwards publicly denied 
that marriage and wedded the youthful Princess Caroline of 
Brunswick. Then he and she had quarrelled. The lady's con- 
duct in its most favourable interpretation had been frivolous, 
indiscreet, and unseemly ; the husband's had been absolutely 
intolerable. Still the worst charges had not been actually 
brought home to Caroline. For many years the royal couple had 
lived apart ; but when George iv. became king his wife came 
forward to demand recognition as queen. The government 
replied by introducing a bill in the House of Lords to deprive 
her of the title and dissolve the marriage. She had always en- 
joyed a degree of public sympathy ; public feeling ran extremely 
high while the bill was under discussion, and Canning, whose 
sympathies were with her, felt that he could no longer 
remain in the ministry. The matter became to a great 
extent a party affair ; and when the government majority 
in the House of Lords on the third reading fell to nine, the 
government realised that the bill was certain to be defeated in 
the Commons, and withdrew it. The queen lost a good deal of 
her somewhat fictitious popularity by an extremely ill-directed 
and unseemly attempt to insist upon being crowned with the 
king at his coronation ceremony ; which she survived, however, 
only a few weeks. In the contemporary records the story looms 
exceedingly large ; its real political importance lies only in the 
increased discredit which it brought upon the Crown by the public 
exposure and public discussion of the improprieties in the private 
lives of royal personages. 

In December the government was strengthened by the ac- 
cession to it of the Marquess Wellesley, an advocate 
Cabinet of Catholic emancipation, who was appointed lord- 

lieutenant of Ireland. Shortly afterwards, Sidmouth, 
without leaving the cabinet, resigned the home sec- 
retaryship, which was conferred upon Robert Peel. The former 

Castlereagh 83 

was a significant, and the latter an important change. But 
another of still greater consequence was to follow. Castlereagh, 
who had recently succeeded to his father's earldom Ig22 
of Londonderry, was on the point of leaving London Death of 
in August to represent the country at a European 
congress, when the heavy strain and the bitter un- 
popularity which he had borne for so long broke down his brain, 
and he died by his own hand. Lord Liverpool at once offered 
the post of foreign secretary, together with the leadership of the 
House of Commons, to Canning, who had just accepted appoint- 
ment as governor-general of India. Not without reluctance 
Canning resigned India and acceded to the offer, which made 
him at once the central figure of the government. 

The policy of Lord Liverpool's government during the ten 
years when Castlereagh was at the Foreign Office is to be identi- 
fied, as it was in his own time, with Castlereagh. castiereagh's 
If he was not the prime mover in domestic affairs, domestic 
the public at any rate always saw his influence in policy - 
the background and detested him accordingly. He was the 
representative of the Toryism which feared mob rule above all 
things, trusted in ' resolute ' government, and believed with in- 
tense conviction not only that authority must be upheld, but 
that it could not be upheld if it allowed itself to be subjected 
to rancorous criticism. It may be contended that revolution 
could be resisted only by the methods of reaction, that those 
methods were in fact successful, and that their employment 
was dictated not by any selfish consideration of class interest, 
but by a genuine public spirit. After the victory of reform it 
became almost impossible to look with sympathy upon the old 
Toryism, even to attempt to understand it. Yet to men who 
actually remembered the events of the French Revolution and 
the Reign of Terror, Jacobinism did not present itself as a bogy, 
but as a real, ever-present menace. They had seen the ardent 
advocates of just reforms swept away and overwhelmed by the 
revolutionary forces which they found themselves powerless to 
restrain. This was what they feared in England, and it was this 
which determined them never to suffer the revolutionary forces 

8 4 The Era of Tory Rule 

to be let loose. It is easy enough to see how the government 
in those years did actually intensify instead of removing the 
causes of the evils of which the revolutionary propaganda was 
not the source but the symptom. For us it is not so easy to 
recognise that the error committed was an error of judgment, 
of diagnosis, not the outcome of malignant intention. If the 
government had embarked on a course of social reform, it would 
not have thereby opened the floodgates of revolution ; but it 
was misled by the precedent of 1789 into imagining that it would. 
For that imagination it was not wholly without some reasonable 
excuse. But until comparatively recent years Castlereagh was 
judged with the judgment of the Opposition of his own day, which 
dominated historical criticism for fifty years after the Reform 
Bill, and it has only gradually become possible to revise the old 
condemnatory estimates, to recognise that though he was a 
reactionary he was a man of high principle, keen insight, and 
strong determination, whose fate it was to control the helm of 
state in one of the most difficult and complex periods of our 

Just as the key to the domestic policy of Castlereagh and the 
Tory government is to be found in their dread of the forces 
Principles of ^ anarcnv > so the key to their foreign policy is to 
MS foreign be found in their dread of another European con- 
flagration. In the former case, the course they 
adopted was that of an uncompromising insistence upon authority 
at the expense of liberty, for which they have been not less 
uncompromisingly condemned. But in the latter case they 
have been condemned with less justice not for asserting them- 
selves too much, but for not asserting themselves enough ; for 
allowing themselves to be dragged in the wake of the Holy 
Alliance. Posterity has confirmed the adverse verdict in the 
first case ; though with distinctly modified severity in recent 
years, at least as regards the judgment passed on their motives. 
But the condemnation of Castlereagh's foreign policy has been 
almost reversed, since it had been realised that the principles 
upon which Castlereagh acted were the principles upon which 
Canning acted also; that Castlereagh's efforts, like Canning's, 

Castlereagh 85 

were directed to withholding the Holy Alliance from intervening 
in the domestic affairs of other states ; that his endeavours 
were crowned with a very considerable degree of success ; and 
that the apparent change under Canning only corresponded to 
an increasing disposition towards intervention on the part of the 
great monarchies. 

In the three years which followed the settlement of 1815 the 
restored governments were showing markedly reactionary ten- 
dencies. In 1818 the five great powers met at the 
congress of Aix-la-Chapelle. At that congress it congress 
was the influence of Castlereagh and Wellington ofAi*- 1 *- 
which secured the withdrawal of the allied troops 
from French soil, and the definite reinstatement of France no 
longer as suspect and under surveillance, but as one of the five 
powers responsible for the peace of Europe. Moreover, it was 
British influence which at this congress definitely rejected the 
idea that the great powers should form a league claiming the 
right to regulate the domestic concerns of other states. The 
same influence procured the agreement that congresses should 
assemble not at regular intervals, but only to deal with specific 
questions ; and that if such specific questions concerned primarily 
minor states, the congresses should be held only on the invitation 
of such states, which should themselves be admitted to participate 
in the consultations of the congress. 

But by 1820, the reactionary zeal of the governments in Spain, 
Portugal, and the Sicilies brought about popular revolts. Metter- 
nich, the real ruler of Austria, was determined to 1820 
intervene in Italy ; with some justification, because Congress 
the Austrian dominion in North Italy might be ofTr PP au - 
seriously affected by a revolution in the south. Alexander, with 
no corresponding excuse, was eager to suppress the Spanish 
revolt by force of arms. Castlereagh declared definitely that 
any intervention on the part of the powers would be a breach 
of the rights of sovereign states, and a contravention of the prin- 
ciples laid down at Aix-la-Chapelle. Nevertheless, a conference 
of the powers was assembled at Troppau. France did not partici- 
pate. The British government contented itself with a declara- 

86 The Era of Tory Rule 

tion that although it might be legitimate for Austria to intervene 
in South Italy if her own interests were jeopardised, there must 
be no joint intervention on the part of the powers. But Russia, 
Austria, and Prussia issued a joint declaration under which they 
bound themselves in effect to suppress, if necessary by force of 
arms, revolutions in other states which set a dangerous example. 
Although France expressed a general approval, Castlereagh re- 
sponded by a very emphatic protest, declaring that the prin- 
ciples enunciated could not be endorsed by the British govern- 
ment, and could not be reconciled with the independent authority 
of sovereign states. Still he was unable to restrain the inter- 
vention of Austria for the restoration of Ferdinand's power in 
the Sicilies. 

Then, in 1821, the Greeks revolted against the Turkish dominion, 
and the French monarchy, with the approval of the Eastern 
1821. The powers, was threatening intervention on its own 
Greek revolt, account in Spain. As concerned the Greek revolt, 
it was palpably a revolutionary movement directed against the 
Turkish government, and as such to be condemned. On the 
other hand, the Russian interest in the dismemberment of Turkey 
was a strong inducement to Russia to intervene on behalf of the 
Greeks, and to turn the intervention to her own territorial advan- 
tage. And at the same time the Spanish colonies in South 
America were in revolt. Were they to be treated as rebels or 
as belligerents ? A state of affairs had arisen which did clearly 
demand a conference of the powers, which was summoned to 
meet at Vienna and Verona in 1822. 

Again Wellington and Castlereagh were to be the British 
representatives. Castlereagh 's intentions were made clear in a 
1822 memorandum drafted for the guidance of Welling- 

Congress ton until he should himself be able to join the con- 
ference. Britain was to reject entirely the principle 
of joint intervention ; the revolution in Spain was a matter to 
be dealt with by Spain and Spain alone. As to the Spanish 
castiereagh's colonies, Britain claimed for herself the right to 
memorandum, recognise as independent states the colonies which 
in her opinion had established a de facto independence. But this 

Canning 87 

was a matter of individual, not of concerted, action ; and none 
of the powers would be warranted in helping either the revolts 
or their suppression. The question of Italy was not to be dis- 
cussed at all. As to the Eastern question, every effort was to 
be made to reconcile the quarrel between Russia and Turkey, 
but with regard to Greece there should be no joint action either for 
the suppression of the Greek revolt or for the recognition of 
Greek independence. It was precisely upon the principles laid 
down in this memorandum that Canning acted when he became 
foreign minister, and that Castlereagh was resolved to act, down 
to the moment when he took his own life. 

III. CANNING, 1822-1827 

Although the epoch of reform was still some years away in 
1822, that year may be taken as marking the close of the period 
of reaction. Hitherto it had been possible, though 1322. 
not with justice, to reproach the government for A landmark, 
giving moral support to the absolutist movement on the Con- 
tinent ; after 1822 the only complaint that could be made of it, 
except during a brief interval after Canning's death, was that it 
went too far in expressing its sympathies with populations which 
were in revolt under constitutional or nationalist banners. Down 
to 1822 it had seemed too much concerned with upholding the 
majesty of the law to give adequate consideration to the justice 
which the law administered ; after 1822, the Home Office under 
Peel became engaged on an active reformation of the criminal 
code. Until 1822 it had been singularly deficient in financial 
ability, and to the last had clung to all the extremely unsatis- 
factory financial expedients which had been forced upon Pitt 
by the war ; after 1822, Huskisson, at the Board of Trade, and 
Frederick Robinson, afterwards Lord Goderich, at the Ex- 
chequer, took up the tradition of Pitt's progressive finance at 
the stage where the war had diverted its course. The moment 
had not yet come for reopening the question of Catholic emanci- 
pation, but the coming event had been foreshadowed by the 

88 The Era of Tory Rule 

appointment of Lord Wellesley as viceroy and of William 
Plunket as attorney-general in Ireland at the close of 1821 ; 
while Canning himself, as a devoted adherent of Pitt, had been 
its advocate from the beginning. Also by 1822, the period of the 
most extreme distress, of manufacturing and commercial in- 
stability and depression, was passing ; and with it was passing 
also the lawlessness and disorder which had been its outcome, 
though this last improvement was not unnaturally attributed 
by the government to the firmness with which it had held down 
the forces of anarchy. 

There were two reasons for revising the criminal code. The 
first was its barbarity, and the second its inefficiency. There 
The criminal were as many as two hundred offences, from petty 
code - larceny up to murder, which rendered the criminal 

liable to the death penalty. It was true that for most of these 
crimes the death sentence was rarely carried out ; yet trans- 
portation, a terrible punishment for every one, but especially so 
for youthful offenders, was a not unusual substitute. The code 
was based not upon any apportionment of the penalty to the 
magnitude of the crime, but upon the theory that crimes easy to 
commit and offering strong temptation can only be checked by 
Failure of a correspondingly painful deterrent. The system 
the system. as a deterrent was a failure, and at the same time 
the conscience of the community was outraged when the penalty 
paid was out of all proportion to the offence committed. The 
system failed for two reasons. Juries declined to convict even 
in the face of convincing evidence, because conviction would 
carry with it perhaps death, and if not death at least a mon- 
strously harsh penalty. And instead of checking minor crimes 
the system encouraged the committal of greater crimes. The 
man who knew that he would suffer death or transportation if 
he were convicted for stealing, ran no additional risk if he 
committed murder in order to effect his own escape. Thomas 
More in his Utopia had pointed out in 1615 how the brutality 
of the criminal code defeated its own objects ; and since 1615 
the criminal code had been made not less but more Draconic. 

For more than twenty years past, Romilly, and after Romilly 

Canning 89 

Sir James Mackintosh, had been striving persistently to awaken 
the public conscience to the enormities of the existing system. 
Except for nine months during 1827, Peel was at p ee i's 
the Home Office from 1822 till the end of 1830. revision. 
During that period, half the capital offences were struck off the 
list at one blow, and the number was still further heavily reduced. 
The strange survival by which ' benefit of clergy ' could still be 
pleaded for criminal offences was finally abolished. Peel was 
responsible also for sundry improvements in criminal procedure, 
and in prisons ; and for an invaluable preventive measure, the 
establishment of the metropolitan police force, popularly nick- 
named after him ' Peelers ' or ' Bobbies/ in place of the ancient 
watchmen known as ' Charlies,' whose efficiency had scarcely 
been increased since Shakespeare held them up to ridicule. 

At the beginning of 1823, Vansittart, the extremely incom- 
petent chancellor of the exchequer, resigned that post, to which 
Robinson was promoted from the presidency of the Huskisson 
Board of Trade, where he was succeeded by William at the Board 
Huskisson. Huskisson at once proceeded to ex- ' 
tend those principles in the regulation of commerce which Pitt, 
under the influence of Adam Smith's doctrine, had begun to 
apply during the years of peace between 1784 and 1792. The 
root principle of the doctrine was that the development of trade 
should be left to the self-interest, energy, and enterprise of in- 
dividuals ; and that in general at least state regulation should 
be limited to taxation for the single purpose of A disciple of 
providing revenue. That doctrine could not be Adam Smith, 
applied suddenly and in its entirety without an exceedingly 
violent dislocation of the existing system, which had been de- 
veloped in every country in Europe, on the hypothesis that it 
was the business of the state to make the country self-supporting, 
to foster home production of every kind by the artificial exclusion 
or partial exclusion of competing foreign goods, and in particular 
to protect those employments, notably agriculture and shipping, 
upon which the national strength depended. Pitt had not been 
able to go far in the direction of removing protective duties, 
because every protected trade saw itself threatened with ruin if 

90 The Era of Tory Rule 

faced by unrestrained competition. But on another side, Adam 
Smith's doctrine completely displaced that of the old mercantile 
theory, and the regulation of trade with the object of increasing 
the import and preventing the export of bullion ceased to be advo- 
cated. On another side Pitt had developed the financial practice 
of which Walpole and Henry Pelham had been effective exponents 
long before Adam Smith, and had recognised the principle that 
low duties realise a larger revenue than high duties, because high 
duties are an inducement to smuggling, while with low duties 
the bulk of the goods on which they are paid is increased. 

Now, during the last thirty years a material change had taken 
place. The protected trades and employments were as firmly 
Progress of convinced as ever that they would be ruined by the 
the doctrine, removal of tariffs. But new trades had grown up, 
and expanded enormously with the development of machinery, 
which absolutely defied foreign competition. Those trades did 
not want to be protected themselves ; and whereas the agri- 
cultural interest procured for itself the protective Corn Law of 
1815, the merchants of London and of Edinburgh were in 1820 
presenting petitions urging that duties, being restrictions on 
trade, should be imposed only for revenue purposes. Free 
imports, they argued, diminish the home production only of 
those goods which can be produced more cheaply elsewhere ; the 
production of such goods ought not to be artificially fostered, as 
the real effect is to divert the productive energies of the country 
from channels in which they would be more usefully employed ; 
and further, competition has the wholesome effect of inducing 
producers to search for cheaper methods of production. These 
views were generally endorsed by a royal commission appointed 
to inquire into the whole question. 

The Navigation Acts were the most conspicuous of the checks 
upon the free flow of commerce. They had been created essen- 
tially with a political rather than an economic object 
Navigation in view, in order to develop British shipping and 
Acts out of British sea-power, and to diminish Dutch shipping 
and Dutch sea-power. Such in particular had been 
the definite intention of the Commonwealth Navigation Act and 

Canning 91 

the Navigation Act of the Restoration, the earlier Acts not having 
been directed against any particular power. Within fifty years 
of the Restoration, the English instead of the Dutch had become 
the great maritime carriers, and it is at least difficult not to 
attribute that change in a quite substantial degree to the Navi- 
gation Acts. An economist so convinced of the benefits of un- 
fettered Irade as Adam Smith himself was satisfied that the 
development of shipping and of sea-power resulting from those 
Acts had been invaluable politically and beneficial economically ; 
the great acquisition of transmarine and oceanic trade having 
been the outcome of fighting superiority at sea. Other critics, 
however, have argued that the development of British and the 
decline of Dutch sea-power in the latter half of the seventeenth 
century were an inevitable result of the conditions of com- 
petition, and were not materially advanced by the Navigation 
Acts. On that point the data do not permit of a dogmatic pro- 
nouncement. But when Huskisson came to the Board of Trade, 
the Navigation Acts had done their work. British shipping 
and the British navy had entirely distanced all competitors, and 
no longer required to be fostered artificially. 

Moreover, there was an attendant danger threatening. Every 
state with a maritime commerce resented the embargo imposed 
by the Navigation Acts, which excluded from every Retaliation 
British port merchandise brought in foreign bottoms threatened, 
unless produced in the country by whose ships it was carried. 
There were warnings that unless the navigation laws were re- 
laxed the Continent would retaliate by closing its ports to 
British shipping. Napoleon's continental system had indeed 
shown that in time of war the peoples of the Continent would 
suffer by such a process more than the British people ; but in 
time of peace the British fleets could not be brought into play, 
and foreign ports which refused to admit British shipping could 
not be blockaded. In a tariff war or war of exclusion the pro- 
babilities perhaps were that victory would have lain with the 
British, and the Continent would have found itself obliged to 
yield ; but the result could not be looked upon as certain, and 
in any case the victory would have been frightfully costly. 

92 The Era of Tory Rule 

Taking these various considerations into view, Huskisson, in 
1823, carried the Reciprocity of Duties Bill, which authorised 
the Administration to conclude treaties abolishing 
Reciprocity the existing restrictions with any powers which gave 
of Duties corresponding guarantees. Between 1824 and 1829 
fifteen such treaties were made, to which others 
were subsequently added, although the Navigation Acts them- 
selves were not actually repealed until 1849. There were as a 
matter of course clamours raised that British shipping would 
be ruined ; but the prophecies of evil were contradicted by the 
event. In the course of the twenty years which followed Hus- 
kisson's Act, British shipping increased fifty per cent., whereas 
between 1803 and 1823 it had increased only ten per cent. 

With less success, Huskisson attacked the Corn Law of 1815. 
Neither he nor any other responsible statesman would have ven- 
tured to propose the total abolition of duties on 
corn Law: foreign corn ; protection of the agricultural interest 
the sliding appeared to be a necessity more imperative than 
the provision of bread at the lowest possible price. 
The object of Huskisson 's proposals was to effect a compromise 
between the two interests at stake, those of the British producer 
and the consumer, by applying a sliding scale in place of the 
law which excluded foreign corn absolutely except when the 
home price was above 8os. a quarter. Huskisson 's bill to 
establish a sliding scale was introduced in 1827, passed by the 
Commons, but rejected by the Lords under the influence of the 
duke of Wellington. In 1828, however, when the duke was actually 
at the head of the government, he retreated from the position he 
had previously adopted, and a bill was passed which placed a 
duty of 235. on corn when the home price was under 645., and 
reduced it by degrees to is. when the price was at or over 735. 

The Reciprocity of Duties Act was a stride towards Free Trade ; 
the sliding scale was a very tentative step in the same direction. 
Tariff Between those two measures, Huskisson succeeded 

reforms. i n carrying the reduction of a number of duties, 

always with the same tendency. Iron having become the raw 
material of an immense amount of British manufacture, the 

Canning 93 

duties on imported bar-iron were cut down by seventy per cent. 
There was a similar reduction in the duties on imported cotton 
goods, which did not trouble the British manufacturers, who 
could produce better and more cheaply than any of their com- 
petitors. Wool and woollens provide an interesting example of 
a case where the interests of two sets of British producers were 
diametrically opposed. In the interests of the manufacturer 
who wanted his wool as cheap as he could get it there was a long- 
established duty on exported wool, though at the Wool. 
same time there was a duty on the imported article. The wool- 
grower naturally wished to be allowed to export free, but to have 
the duty on imported wool maintained. The manufacturer 
wanted to have the export duty retained and the import duty 
removed. Huskisson retained but reduced both ; whereby 
every one concerned benefited, for while the wool-growers found 
they Jhad as good a market as before, the amount of imported 
wool increased largely, and both manufacturers and the revenue 
benefited. At the same time, the duties on the import of 
woollen goods were very much lowered without diminishing the 
market for the British article. Silk met with similar treatment. 
By almost removing the duty on raw silk it was Silk, 
actually reduced ninety-five per cent. Huskisson enormously 
diminished the cost of their raw material to the silk-spinners. 
Thus he was able also to reduce the duty on imported spun silk 
by fifty per cent, without hurting the spinners. This again 
reduced the cost of the raw material of the silk weavers ; so that 
again Huskisson was able to put a thirty per cent, duty on French 
silks, instead of excluding them as heretofore. The silk manu- 
facturers clamoured at this, as the spinners had clamoured at 
the reduction of the duty on spun silk, yet as in the case of wool 
every one benefited. Hitherto the demand for French silks, of 
which the importation was forbidden, had caused them to be 
smuggled into the country in large quantities. Now they came in 
by legitimate channels and provided a revenue ; but at the same 
time the enterprise of the British manufacturers was so stirred 
by the legitimate competition that they set about improving 
their methods, and in a very short time had all but beaten the 

94 Tke Era of Tory Rule 

French product out of the home field and were successfully 
competing with it in foreign markets. 

If in all this Huskisson was the prime mover, he had a useful 
coadjutor in Robinson at the Exchequer, and the warm support 
Canning at ^ Canning, to whose special field of work we now 
the Foreign turn. It was his business to give decisive effect to 
the principles laid down in the memorandum which 
Castlereagh had drawn up just before his death. Those prin- 
ciples may be summarised as British non-intervention in the 
private affairs of foreign states, coupled with insistence upon 
non-intervention on the part of other foreign powers. The dis- 
tinctive feature of Canning's application of the principle is the 
practical manner in which he enforced the second as being a con- 
dition of the first, not a mere addendum, and the emphasis with 
which he revealed his own sympathy with the nationalist and 
constitutionalist movements. 

In Spain itself, Canning found himself unable to prevent the 
French intervention on behalf of the monarchy. But in his 
canning and own oft-quoted phrase he ' called the new world in, 
the Spanish to redress the balance of the old.' The Spanish 
colonies. government, having ceased to rule the colonies de 
facto, was neither able nor willing to protect British ships from 
perpetual outrages ; and Canning had full warrant for recognising 
in rapid succession the independence of one colony after another ; 
of Mexico, Buenos Ayres, Chile, Peru, and others. When France 
threatened to intervene on the side of the monarchy, she was 
warned both by Britain and by the United States that such 
intervention would not be permitted. It was at this time that 
the famous Monroe doctrine was formulated by the American presi- 
dent, declaring that interference on the part of European powers in 
order to control the destiny of states in the continent of America 
would be regarded as an unfriendly act by the United States. 

Similarly effective was Canning's treatment of Portugal. 
Thither King John had not returned from Brazil until 1821. 
Canning Next year Brazil, having for a time enjoyed the 
and Portugal, position of the superior partner instead of being 
merely a dependency of Portugal, proclaimed itself an inde- 

Canning 95 

pendent empire under King John's eldest son Pedro. In Portu- 
gal, the reactionary and absolutist party, encouraged by events 
in Spain and headed by King John's second son Miguel, appealed 
to French and Spanish support ; the constitutionalists, recog- 
nising Canning's obvious sympathies, appealed to Britain. 
Canning refused to intervene, but by sending a squadron to the 
Tagus he made it thoroughly clear that British non-interven- 
tion was conditional upon French non-intervention. Through 
Canning's mediation, King John recognised his son Pedro as 
emperor of an independent Brazil. On John's death in March 
1826, Pedro proceeded to grant a constitution to Portugal, and 
at the same time resigned his own claim to its crown in favour 
of his seven-year-old daughter Maria, proposing that she should 
marry her uncle Miguel for which there was ample precedent. 
Miguel wanted the crown for himself, rejected the proposals, and 
appealed to Spain to support him. Canning, with the utmost 
promptitude, dispatched a force to Portugal ; whereupon Spain 
retired. As the British were there to support what was both 
de facto and de jure the government of Portugal, no exception 
could be taken to Canning's action by the Holy Alliance. During 
the next twelve months comparative peace reigned in Portugal. 
The Eastern question was still more complicated than the 
Spanish and Portuguese questions. Russia was restrained from 
intervening between Greeks and Turks ; Britain 182 2-5 
and France abstained also. But in all three The Eastern 
countries, for different reasons, there was a keen ( i uestlon> 
feeling of sympathy with the Greeks, and large numbers of 
volunteers, among them Lord Byron, were allowed to take part 
in the struggle. The sultan called in the aid of Ibrahim, the son 
of Mehemet Ali, pasha of Egypt, and feeling was aroused the 
more by the savagery of his treatment of the Greeks. Early in 
1823, Canning resolved to recognise the Greeks as belligerents 
for the same reason as in the case of the Spanish- American 
colonies. British commerce was suffering from piracy and viol- 
ence, which the Porte could not or would not put down, while the 
Greek Provisional Government could not be appealed to unless 
it were first recognised. Next year, Russia again proposed 

96 The Era of Tory Rule 

common intervention in order to carry out a compromise of her 
own, which would have placed her in a very strong position, 
while it was objected to intensely both by Turks and by Greeks. 
By the spring of 1825 the proposal was modified into a joint note 
offering mediation, which was rejected by the Porte. Then the 
Greeks offered to place themselves under British protection, and 
asked for a British king. This Canning of course declined, 
insisting that the British position was, and must be, one of 
neutrality, however sympathetic. 

At the end of the year the Tsar Alexander died, and was suc- 
ceeded by Nicholas I., a hard-headed person with none of his 
1825. predecessor's peculiarities of temperament. In the 

Tsar spring of 1826 Wellington, accredited to St. Peters- 

Nicholas . T . . 

succeeds burg on a special mission, procured a treaty known 

Alexander. as the Protocol of St. Petersburg, under which the 
two powers again offered to mediate on the basis of the con- 
cession of complete self-government to the Greeks, subject to the 
payment of a tribute to the Porte. The Porte still remained 
deaf to mediation, with the result that Britain and Russia, 
acting together, threatened to recognise the actual independence 
as a sovereign state of any portion of Greece which should in fact 
free itself from Turkish control. Austria, whose lead was regu- 
larly followed by Prussia, was, on the other hand, entirely hostile 
to the Greeks. 

At the beginning of 1827 a paralytic seizure removed Lord 
Liverpool from all further participation in active politics, though 

he did not actually die till some time later. The 
canning result was that Canning was himself called upon 
prime t o take the lead of the administration. Wellington, 

Peel, and others who distrusted Canning, resigned, 
thereby forcing Canning and his supporters to throw themselves 
largely on the support of the Whigs, with whom on all questions 
save that of parliamentary reform they were now in much closer 
sympathy than with the true Tories. It was the easier for 
Canning to carry out his own policy, and in July France joined 
with Russia and Britain in the Treaty of London, wherein they 
agreed jointly to enforce an armistice, and in effect to compel 

Canning 97 

the belligerents to accept their mediation on the lines of the 
St. Petersburg Protocol. 

Canning's death in August placed Robinson, who had recently 
become Viscount Goderich, at the head of the administration, but 
it had lost all real strength with Canning's death. Canning . a 
Its brief continuance was characterised by a single death, 
event of importance, the battle of Navarino. In August - 
accordance with the Treaty of London the allied fleets of France, 
Russia, and Britain went to the bay of Navarino, where an 
Egyptian fleet had recently joined the Turks. With Navarino, 
the object of enforcing an armistice the British October, 
admiral Codrington informed Ibrahim that his ships would not 
be allowed to leave the bay. The Egyptians opened fire, where- 
upon the whole fleet was annihilated (October 26). 

But Goderich was quite incapable of carrying on the govern- 
ment. The ministry was dissolved, and in January 1828 Welling- 
ton reluctantly accepted the duty of forming an administration, 
with Peel as his right-hand man, and with practically no one but 
Huskison and Palmerston to represent the Canningites. 

From 1812 to 1827 there had been no formal change of ministry. 
Throughout the fifteen years, Liverpool remained its head with 
only occasional variations in the personnel of his colleagues. They 
all called themselves Tories, and they all regarded themselves as 
Pitt's disciples. But Pitt had been pre-eminently a practical 
politician who, while he believed in progressive theories, declined 
to apply them when the conditions appeared to him unfavour- 
able. Consequently there were among his self-styled followers 
men who were eagerly awaiting the opportunity to put in practice 
the theories which he would himself have put in practice but 
for the war ; while there were others who entirely repudiated 
those theories, as he had in effect repudiated them while the war 
was going on. Consequently, in Liverpool's cabinet there were 
vast divergencies of opinion, and when Canning succeeded to 
the Foreign Office on Castlereagh's death, he, along with Hus- 
kisson, Lord Wellesley, Robinson, and Palmerston were what we 
may call Progressive Pittites ; while the Lord Chancellor Eldon, 
the duke of Wellington, Liverpool himself, and Peel were of the 

Jones's Eng. Hist. Vol, iv. G 

98 The Era of Tory Rule 

reactionary school in which Peel at least was very much out 
of place ; for he was the victim of his own education, and spent 
his whole life in gradual realisation that he had ceased to believe 
in one after another of the doctrines which he had heretofore 
strenuously maintained. 


What Wellington thought of Canning's policy was shown 
when he took the first opportunity to refer to Navarino as ' an 
untoward event.' Both in the East and in Portugal 
withdrawal the consequences of the change of ministry were 
from foreign soon manifested. The British troops were with- 
drawn from Portugal, Miguel seized the control, and 
Portugal was again plunged into wild reaction and civil war until 
1834, when Miguel was compelled to retire. In the East Britain 
under Wellington's guidance stood aside, and in effect left Russia 
to act by herself which she did. Turkey declared war upon 
her, and surprised Europe by her initial successes in the conflict ; 
but in August 1829 the Russians were at Adrianople and were 
able to impose their terms upon the Porte. Russia had accom- 
plished single-handed the objects of the Treaty of London, 
which it had been precisely Canning's intention to prevent her 
from doing by herself. She secured the independence of Greece, 
though the final settlement with regard to that country was not 
completed till some time later when Palmerston was at the 
Advance of Foreign Office. But Russia had also gained what 
Russia, Canning had not intended : a virtual protectorate of 

the Turkish provinces on the north of the Danube, Wallachia, and 
Moldavia. From this time to the end of the nineteenth century 
British foreign policy was habitually dominated by the idea of 
Russian aggression, which had first taken hold of the younger Pitt, 
and had been active ever since the days of the Tsar Paul, who 
was more than suspected of designs upon India. 

Canning and the Canningites were not, so long as Canning still 
lived, advocates of electoral reform. But Tories as such were 
not antagonistic to Huskisson's commercial policy until the Corn 

The Last Tory Administration 99 

Law came within its scope ; their interest in protection was 
almost exclusively in the protection of agriculture. Canning's 
foreign policy was in theory at least the same as Castle- Tories and 
reagh's. Thus while Liverpool managed, the two Canningites. 
groups could be held together. They differed positively on the 
question of Catholic emancipation, but so far it had been possible 
to keep that question in the background. But when Liverpool 
was incapacitated the differences came to the front. Canning's 
' non-intervention ' was growing alarmingly like intervention on 
behalf of the Nationalists and Constitutionalists, with whom he 
sympathised. Of all living men there was none more intensely 
averse from war than its greatest living master, the duke of 
Wellington ; and in the duke's view Canning's excessive activity 
was fraught with danger. When Huskisson as a member of 
Canning's ministry proposed the corn sliding scale, it was the 
duke who destroyed the measure in the Upper House. The 
question of Catholic emancipation was becoming so acute that 
its settlement could not for very long be postponed. When 
Wellington, not without reluctance, consented to form a ministry 
in January 1828, it was certain that a reconstruction of parties 
was imminent, and all but certain that it would in effect take the 
form of a coalescence between the Canningites and the W r higs. 

The rupture between Tories and Canningites was not immedi- 
ately complete. Huskisson was a member of the ministry, though 
it was not long before he tendered his resignation, 1828 The 
which was promptly accepted. The duke had his sliding scale 
way, as we have seen, as concerned foreign policy ; ad P ted - 
but at the very outset he had to retreat from the position he had 
formally taken up with regard to the Corn Law, and to adopt the 
sliding scale in its place. For Wellington had only taken up 
the command at the moment when the whole series of the Tory 
positions had become untenable. Wellington treated politics as 
he would have treated a military problem. He had taken office 
to defend the Crown, the constitution, and the Wellington, 
country at large from what he conceived to be the dangers which 
threatened them. Nothing was to be gained by exposing the 
protecting force to annihilation ; if he saw that one defensive 

ioo The Era of Tory Rule 

post was doomed he considered it his duty to fall back upon 
another, instead of courting destruction by holding on to the in- 
defensible position till it was too late to retreat. As between the 
Corn Law and the sliding scale there was no question of principle 
involved ; the change was merely a modification, a slight diminu- 
tion of the amount of protection extended to the agricultural 
interest, a slight concession to the counter-claims of the consumer. 
Principle was more prominent in the next question which arose. 

The Test Act and Corporation Act had remained on the 
Statute Book ever since the days of Charles n. ; always disliked 
Test and ^y the uncompromising Whigs, but never repealed, 
Corporation because for fifty years after the Revolution the Whigs 
Acts repealed. never ^ are( j to arouse the passion of religious contro- 
versy which would have accompanied any attempt at repeal. 
Walpole, after his own fashion, had adopted the more peaceable 
method of devising means for their habitual evasion, by annually 
passing a bill of indemnity for Nonconformists who had taken 
office without fulfilling the conditions laid down by the law. 
Nevertheless Anglican Toryism persisted in regarding the Acts 
as the safeguards of the Church and the constitution. Latterly 
they had been among the objects selected for attack by the Whig 
Opposition. Lord John Russell, who had constituted himself 
the champion of electoral reform in the House of Commons, in 
favour whereof he had since 1820 moved resolutions session after 
session which had been defeated with regularity, assailed also 
these obnoxious Acts. In 1828 he carried a resolution in favour of 
their repeal, against the government. The government accepted 
the situation ; the sacramental test was abolished, and for it 
was substituted a simple declaration that the candidate for 
office would do nothing to subvert or injure the Protestant 
Established Church. 

In the next year came what the High Tories regarded as the 
great betrayal. Catholic emancipation was a subject which 
The question exc i te <l no enthusiasm in England, and more active 
of catholic hostility in Scotland. But in Ireland it had assumed 
emancipation. primary importance. Irish Catholics had sup- 
ported the Union chiefly because they had been led to anticipate 

The Last Tory Administration 101 

that Catholic emancipation would follow ; whereas it was prac- 
tically certain that so long as a Protestant Irish parliament 
existed Roman Catholics would not be admitted to The question 
any share of political power. But Catholic emanci- in Ireland, 
pation did not follow the Union, Catholics resented the Protes- 
tant ascendency more bitterly than ever after the rebellion of 
1798, and when the whole question was shelved by the action of 
George in. after the Union had been carried out, they felt that 
they had been duped, and resented their position all the more. 
The movement, which hitherto had been directed by the Catholic 
aristocracy, was taken out of their hands, and its control was 
assumed by one of the most remarkable of Irishmen Daniel 
O'Connell. In many respects a man of conservative Daniel 
instincts, O'Connell was endowed with a very excep- O'Connell. 
tional power of moving masses of men by his emotional oratory. 
Not less exceptional were his abilities as an organiser ; a trained 
lawyer, he had an extraordinary skill in avoiding breaches of 
the letter of the law ; he habitually preached against bloodshed 
and violence, even while his harangues were calculated to in- 
flame the passions of his hearers ; and he might almost be called 
the creator of what has come to be known as ' constitutional 
agitation/ as the grand method of attaining his political ends. 

In England the Catholic question was so far academic that its 
not infrequent discussion in parliament did not bring it pro- 
minently before the electorate ; George iv. and all The Catholic 
his brothers were opposed to any kind of Catholic Association, 
relief almost as obstinately as their father. But in Ireland, 
when O'Connell took up the agitation, he made it an essentially 
popular movement, sweeping in the masses of the Catholic 
peasantry and calling in the vigorous co-operation of the Roman 
Catholic priesthood, themselves for the most part sprung from 
the peasant class. In 1823 he formed the Catholic Association ; 
the large subscriptions, collected for the most part in very small 
sums, were utilised partly for organisation, partly to enable the 
peasantry to fight their landlords often with success in the 
law courts. The association was suppressed in 1825 by a bill 
carried for that purpose, though without support from the 

IO2 The Era of Tory Rule 

viceroy Lord Wellesley ; but only with the effect that the 
association was reconstituted with alterations which placed it 
outside the operation of the Act. 

The parliamentary franchise had been extended to Roman 
Catholics in Ireland in 1793, and forty-shilling freeholders 
1828. The Clare en joyed the vote. In order to strengthen their 
election, July. own position, many Irish landlords created a number 
of forty-shilling freeholders on their own estates, reckoning on 
being able to command their votes. But the influence of the 
priest began to prove more powerful than that of the landlord ; 
the vote of the forty-shilling freeholders defeated the Beresford 
interest in Waterford immediately after the defeat of a relief 
bill at Westminster in 1825. In 1828 Peel was already coming 
to the conclusion that the state of Ireland demanded Catholic 
emancipation in spite of his own aversion from that measure. 
His lingering doubts were dispelled by the Clare election. The 
member for Clare, Vesey Fitzgerald, was appointed to the Board 
of Trade when Huskisson and the rest of the Canningites retired 
from the ministry. The appointment necessitated re-election. 
O'Connell, though as a Catholic he was debarred from sitting in 
parliament, stood for the constituency and headed the poll. 
The election was conducted in a perfectly orderly manner without 
violence, though not without violent language. 

Peel was satisfied that, in the face of such a demonstration, 
the demand for emancipation could no longer be resisted. In 
Conversion the course of the next few months he had convinced 
of Peel and Wellington that, unless Catholic emancipation 
imgton. were conceded, there would be civil war in Ireland ; 
and Wellington was not prepared to face civil war. Having 
come to the conclusion that Catholic emancipation must be 
conceded, he judged also that it was his duty to conduct the 
retreat himself. Peel had qualms about assuming responsibility 
for a measure which hitherto he had consistently opposed, and 
tendered his resignation. This he was induced to withdraw, but 
resigned his seat for the constituency which had elected him, 
the university of Oxford, was defeated at the new election, and 
had to find another seat elsewhere. The king's resistance gave 

The Last Tory Administration 103 

way when he was faced by the resignation of the ministers, and 
found that no alternative ministry could be formed. 

In March 1829 Peel introduced the bill in the House of 
Commons. Virtually it swept away all the disabilities of Roman 
Catholics in the United Kingdom, excluding them ig29 
only from the offices of Regent, Lord Chancellor of catholic 
England, Viceroy of Ireland, and Lord Chancellor emancipation 
of Ireland. Peel in the Commons defended the 
bill on the plain ground not that it was desirable in itself, 
but that it would effect the peaceable settlement of Ireland, 
and that nothing short of it would do so. Wellington in the 
Lords defended it on the plain ground that it was the only alter- 
native to civil war. In the Commons the bill was carried by 
majorities of about two to one. In the Lords, despite the resist- 
ance of the old Tories, the third reading was carried by a majority 
of 104. 

That Catholic emancipation was a measure of simple justice, 
that a religious creed is a matter of private conscience and private 
conviction which ought not to carry with it political The political 
disabilities, is now generally admitted. But in opposition, 
judging the opposition to it, we must not forget that it was not 
solely the outcome of religious bigotry. The intolerance of 
papistry as distinct from any other creed rested primarily upon 
the definitely political ground, that the Papacy had never re- 
signed its claim to an allegiance overriding allegiance to the civil 
power. The papal doctrine that subjects owed no fealty to a 
heretic monarch had been the original ground of the penal laws 
against Roman Catholics ; though in the nineteenth century any 
real danger of the application of that doctrine was a thing of the 
past, it was still possible to believe that it was a real danger 
which might again arise in the future. But as concerned popular 
hostility to Catholic emancipation in 1829, outside The popular 
of parliament, there could be no doubt that it rested, opposition, 
in Great Britain, on hostility to the Romanist creed and the 
conviction that if the Romanists ever acquired a political pre- 
dominance they would employ it for the persecution of Protes- 
tantism. Popular imagination was still dominated by the fires 

IO4 The Era of Tory Rule 

of Smithfield and by the Gunpowder Plot, as it had been in the 
days of Titus Gates. As far as concerns Great Britain, where 
the Roman Catholics were and are only a small minority, these 
imaginations were morbid. As concerned Ireland there had 
before the Union been ample ground for fear that Catholic 
emancipation, giving political ascendency to the followers of the 
religion which for whatever reason had, as a matter of fact, been 
harshly repressed for centuries, would be turned to account in 
a vindictive repression of the Protestants ; but that danger had 
been removed by the absorption of the Irjsh legislature in the 
parliament of Great Britain. For Ireland as well as for Great 
Britain the removal of Catholic disabilities was a mere measure 
of justice involving no risk of papal ascendency either in legis- 
lation or administration. 

At the moment of the Union the concession of Catholic emanci- 
pation would have been an act of justice not without some 
The measure magnanimity. It would have been felt as a measure 
fails to of conciliation, a burying of age-long animosities, a 

free concession granted from motives of generosity 
and goodwill. But in 1829 as a healing measure it came too 
late. It was given not freely but grudgingly ; according to the 
open avowal of the head of the government, granted only because 
it was the lesser of two evils only because the alternative was 
civil war. No gift so wrung from any government has ever 
found gratitude. It was given, too, with an ill grace. O'Connell 
himself was treated with what had at least the appearance of 
petty spite when it was declared that he must be elected again 
before he could take his seat ; and the government's fear of ad- 
mitting the Irish peasantry to any share of political power was 
demonstrated by a simultaneous restriction of the franchise, 
disfranchising the forty-shilling freeholder and substituting a 
10 qualification, whereby six out of seven electors at least lost 
their votes. And still also the grievance remained that Ireland 
maintained the endowments of a Church to which not one-fifth 
of the population belonged, while the Church of more than four- 
fifths was without endowment. Civil war was indeed averted, 
but Peel's belief that emancipation would provide an effective 

The Last Tory Administration 105 

settlement for Ireland soon proved to be the vainest of dreams. 
O'Connell came to Westminster not as the grateful recipient of 
generosity, but as the victor who had only wrung a tardy frag- 
ment of justice from the reluctant British government. The 
agitation for Catholic emancipation was very soon replaced by 
agitation for the repeal of the Union. 

The Tory party was much shaken by the Emancipation Bill ; 
those of them who voted for it with Wellington and Peel hated 
it in their hearts ; those who voted against the government held 
the duke and Peel guilty of betraying the principles 1830. 
of the party. In the course of the year following the passing 
of the Act the ministry almost confined itself to economies in 
administration and reductions in taxation. In the summer of 
1830 George iv. died unmourned. He had never George IV . 
attempted to assert the powers of the Crown un- and 
constitutionally. What he might have tried to do if wmiam IV - 
the Whigs had driven the Tories out of office is another question. 
His political activities were not employed injuriously ; so much 
at least may be said for him. But his private life had lowered 
disastrously the popular respect for monarchy. Fortunately 
for the Crown, he was succeeded by his eldest surviving brother 
William, duke of Clarence; and the little princess Victoria, 
daughter of the fourth brother, still stood between the fifth, the 
duke of Cumberland, and the succession. William was not un- 
popular ; his life was not stained by flagrant scandals ; his 
sympathies were supposed to be more liberal than those of any 
of his brothers ; it was in his favour that he was a sailor, who 
loved his profession ; and although by no means brilliant he was 
a man of sense. In the seven years of his reign he restored 
a good deal of that prestige of the Crown which had been 
dissipated by George IV. 

But the reign of the Tories was near its end. A month after 
the death of George iv. the parliament, which had been elected 
in 1826 and had known four successive prime Endof 
ministers, was dissolved. Even in its last session the Tory 
it was becoming clear that the great question of s vernment - 
parliamentary reform could not long be deferred. At the general 

io6 The Era of Tory Rule 

election a number of ministerial seats were lost. When the 
Houses assembled in the autumn, the attack was immediately 
opened by the Opposition ; Wellington declared in the most un- 
compromising terms that he regarded the existing constitution 
as the best which could possibly be devised, and that he was 
absolutely opposed to any kind of electoral reform. In France 
a bloodless revolution in July had deposed the reactionary king 
Charles x. and placed on the throne his cousin of Orleans, the 
' citizen king/ Louis Philippe. The ease and the freedom from 
disturbance with which the revolution had been carried out were 
extremely reassuring as a convincing proof that Jacobinism 
and the guillotine were not inevitable accompaniments even of a 
monarchical revolution. A government defeat on a motion 
referring to the civil list gave Wellington the opportunity of 
resigning upon a side issue ; and the formation of a new ministry 
was entrusted to Earl Grey, the recognised leader of the Whigs. 



IN the direct course of the narrative dealing with European and 
domestic affairs, only incidental allusions have been made to the 
trans-oceanic empire from the time when Cornwallis returned to 
India to die, leaving the government for the time being in the 
incompetent hands of Sir George Barlow. We have noticed only 
in connection with the struggle with Napoleon that the Cape 
Colony passed permanently under British control in 1806, and 
that the island of Mauritius was taken from the French in 1810. 
The imperial development during the first portion of the nine- 
teenth century now claims our attention. 

In India the fortunately brief rule of Barlow was ended by the 
appointment of Lord Minto as governor-general in 1807. Apart 
from the ignominious termination of the Mahratta 1806 Indla: 
war, it had been signalised chiefly by a mutiny theVeiiur 
among the Madras sepoys at Vellur ; sympto- mutm y- 
matic of the troubles which came to a head fifty years later in 
the Bengal army. The mutiny was due to regulations which 
had been imposed without due consideration of what the un- 
taught European would term caste prejudices and the Hindu looks 
upon as vital principles of religion. The natives, with tradi- 
tional experience of forcible conversion by Mohammedan rulers, 
conceived that the object of the regulations was to make them 
Christians against their will by destroying their caste. The 
mutiny was quelled by the prompt action of Colonel Gillespie, 
and the sepoys were pacified by the wise attitude adopted by 
Lord Minto, who recognised the reality of the grievance which 
had been the cause of the whole affair. 


io8 Empire and People 

Minto went to India fully intending to carry out the policy 
of non-intervention ; but during his term of office he was much 
1807-13. more active than was pleasing to the directors at 

Lord Minto. home or to the British government in London. At 
the moment of his arrival the Tsar and Napoleon had recently 
come to their agreement at Tilsit ; if by this time England had 
little to fear from the French emperor, the same thing could not 
be said regarding the Russian Tsar. Between India and Russia 
India, there lay two buffers beyond the Indus, Afghanistan 

Russia, and Persia ; within the mountain barrier the Pun- 

Bia " jab had recently been consolidated into a powerful 
state dominated by the Sikh confederacy, whose head was the 
Maharaja Ran jit Singh of Lahore Persia was already in col- 
lision with Russia. Before Tilsit she appealed to Napoleon ; 
after Tilsit the attitude of France and Russia towards each other 
changed, and the circumstances clearly demanded the im- 
mediate establishment of friendly relations between the Shah 
and the British. Unfortunately, the government of India and 
the government in London each dispatched an envoy on its own 
account. The government in London was annoyed by the 
action of the government of India ; and it was chiefly due to the 
diplomatic tact of Minto's envoy, Malcolm, that the friction was 
removed, and an arrangement was reached satisfactory in so far 
that the Shah undertook to resist the passage of European troops 
through his territories, in return for which he was promised 
military support if Persia should be invaded. But there was 
another result, not perhaps altogether satisfactory. It was 
understood thenceforth that the diplomatic relations with 
Persia were the affair not of the Indian but of the home govern- 
ment, which proved itself only too apt to forget that any 
importance attached to them. 

The Persian mission and another mission to Kabul had for 
their object the extension of political relations with states outside 
Kanjit Singh India itself with a view to defensive arrangements 
and sirhind. against European aggression ; but Lord Minto also 
found himself compelled to intervene in the affairs of native 
states in India with that kind of diplomatic pressure which in- 

India and the Colonies 109 

volves an ominous moving of troops. Sikh sirdars or chiefs domi- 
nated not only the Punjab but Sirhind, which is, roughly speak- 
ing, the country between the Sutlej and the Jumna. Ran jit 
Singh was by this time the acknowledged lord of the Punjab 
Sikhs, and was anxious to extend his sway over the Sikhs of 
Sirhind who appealed to the British government for protection. 
Lord Minto was very anxious to placate the master of the Punjab 
whose territories guarded the Asiatic gateway of India. The 
astute Sikh was no less anxious for the friendship of the British 
government, for he had thoroughly made up his mind not only 
that the British were at the moment the strongest power in 
India, but that they were destined to absorb the whole peninsula 
under their dominion. He believed that they would crush him 
if he challenged a combat, but that if he preserved their friend- 
ship they would not interfere with his own ambition of develop- 
ing the power of his own state outside their sphere. Therefore 
he pursued the systematic policy of getting everything he could 
out of them, making full use of every diplomatic advantage which 
circumstances might provide, but always with a fixed resolve that 
he would not fight them. Now, as it became clear that the re- 
lations between France and Russia were becoming strained, he 
saw that his own position was weakening, and made a great 
favour of withdrawing his claims on Sirhind in deference to the 
wishes of the British. So long as Ranjit lived and it was 
not till 1839 that he died his convinced belief in the British 
power was of constant service. 

More pronounced was Minto's intervention in Central India. 
Holkar had encouraged the settlement in his dominions of a 
host of roving freebooters, Mohammedan Pathan Amir Khan. 
tribesmen from the hills, whose most powerful leader was named 
Amir Khan, or miscellaneous hordes, mainly Mahratta, known 
as Pindaris. Holkar had entered into alliance with the bold 
adventurer ; but since his contest with the British the Mahratta 
prince had become completely insane. Amir Khan, acting pro- 
fessedly on behalf of Holkar, employed the masses of his mer- 
cenary troops first to play havoc in Rajputana, and then to make 
incursions into the Bhonsla's territory. If Amir Khan and his 

no Empire and People 

mercenary hordes were allowed to get the upper hand, it was 
evident to Lord Minto that India would be thrown into an in- 
tolerable turmoil. The troops of the British government were 
ordered to support the raja of Nagpur, and Amir Khan promptly 
retired beyond the Nerbudda. No further action was taken 
against him at the time, though the struggle was only deferred ; 
but what Minto had done was more, not less, than was approved 
in London ; and a good deal to his own surprise he was super- 
seded by Lord Moira, who arrived in India in 1813. 

Again the new governor-general was a man who took up his 
office with every intention of carrying out the non-intervention 
1813-22. P nc y, on ly to discover that non-intervention was 

Lord Moira a plain impossibility. He had hardly appeared on 
Hastings). ^ scene wnen ne found himself faced by native 
aggressors from an entirely new quarter. Along the whole 
stretch of the northern mountains bordering upon Oudh and 
Behar lay the state of Nepal, occupied by the hardy tribes of 
mountaineers called Ghurkas. They were few in numbers but 
exceptionally valiant and skilful soldiers, physically of an entirely 
different type from Pathan or Mahratta, from the Rajput clans- 
men of Hindustan or from the Sikhs of the north-west. Before 
Lord Minto left India, these hillmen were pushing down into 
the plains and occupying territories within the area of Oudh and 
Behar. Moira (or the marquess of Hastings, to give him the 
title which was soon conferred upon him) arrived at a moment 
when it had become necessary to demand their withdrawal in 
peremptory terms. Instead of retiring, they sent fresh troops 
into the occupied districts, and the Ghurka war began in 1814. 

The governor-general was a soldier of experience and capacity. 
But war with the Ghurkas meant war conducted by officers and 
1814-15 troops who knew nothing about hill-fighting, against 

The Nepal hillmen who were first-rate soldiers and understood 
hill-fighting to perfection. Small as was the entire 
force which the Nepalese were able to put in the field in com- 
parison with the forces sent against them, the opening cam- 
paigns were so disastrous that half India was filled with the 
expectation that the moment was coming when the British power 

India and the Colonies 1 1 1 

would be destroyed. Even Ran jit Singh at Lahore began to 
waver. But in 1815 the tide turned. By the skilful -operations of 
General Ochterlony, the ablest of the Nepalese commanders and 
the best of his troops were isolated and forced to a most honour- 
able capitulation. Although this stroke compelled Western 
Nepal to submission, Eastern Nepal still refused to yield, and 
another campaign was necessary before Ochterlony repeated his 
previous success and again compelled the stubborn Ghurkas to 
a capitulation. After that, the Nepalese government recognised 
that further resistance was hopeless, and accepted a treaty by 
which Western Nepal became British territory. The splendid 
qualities displayed by the Ghurkas won the highest admiration ; 
they had only been beaten after a very valiant fight against 
overwhelming odds ; and having been fairly and squarely beaten 
they were ready to make friends without any feeling of latent 
vindictiveness. From the moment when the treaty was made, 
the Nepalese government never wavered in its loyalty to the 
power with whom it had formed an alliance ; and the Ghurkas 
who had passed under British sway proved no less loyal to their 
new rulers, in whose Indian armies there are to this day no troops 
more absolutely trustworthy than the Ghurka regiments. 

The war, however, had given fresh opportunity to Amir Khan 
and his Pathans, and still more to the Pindaris under other 
leaders, to break out in a renewal of their predatory 
and devastating excursions. Their suppression had 
become a necessity, the more because there could be no doubt 
that all the western Mahrattas were conniving at their proceed- 
ings. Hastings laid the position of affairs before the government 
in London. Fortunately at this moment Canning joined the 
Liverpool administration as president of the Board of Control. 
After very short hesitation, he was convinced by the governor- 
general's account of the Pindari incursions, and gave Hastings 
a free hand to act with the utmost vigour. In another respect 
the moment was favourable ; for the Bhonsla, who had always 
refused a subsidiary alliance, died, and the regency, acting for 
his imbecile son, accepted the subsidiary alliance, which enabled 
the British to use Nagpur territory as a base of operations. 

112 Empire and People 

in 1817 the war for the suppression of the Pindaris was opened 
upon a scale for which there was no previous precedent, since it 
1817-19. The was only by the display of overwhelming force that 
Pindariwar. the Mahratta princes could be kept from open co- 
operation with the Pindaris. Sindhia was paralysed for action 
by the British troops on his northern frontier ; but in November, 
first the Peshwa and then the new Bhonsla, who had succeeded 
on the death of the boy for whom he had been acting as regent, 
rose and attempted to wipe out the British contingents, with the 
residents and other officials, at Puna and at Nagpur. At Kirki 
and Sitabaldi the small British forces completely defeated the 
Mahratta attack. In December and January 1818 Amir Khan 
and Holkar's government were forced to accept the British terms, 
and the Pindari war became practically a pursuit of the scattered 
parties of banditti. Still some months elapsed before the Peshwa 
was captured, and it was not till April 1819 that the last of the 
Bhonsla's fortresses was reduced, he himself having escaped as 
a fugitive to the Punjab. 

The general results were as follows. The Pindari hordes were 
completely scattered, and all prospect of their combining together 
The Mahratta a g am was destroyed. Holkar accepted the sub- 
confederacy sidiary treaty, and a portion of his territories was 
broken up. annexed to the British dominion. Amir Khan was 
allowed to enjoy a principality of his own at Tonk. Sindhia had 
to submit to a revision of the treaty made by Barlow, and to the 
extension of the British protectorate over the Rajput chiefs 
whom that treaty had left at his mercy. At Nagpur another 
member of the royal family, a minor, was established as Bhonsla ; 
during whose minority the administration was taken over by the 
British. The hardest blow was dealt to the Puna government. 
From the beginning of his career Baji Rao had played the traitor 
whenever opportunity offered. His dominions were now an- 
nexed, although a separate independent principality was set up 
at Sattara under the prince who was the nominal head of the 
Mahratta confederacy, though absolutely powerless almost 
throughout the last century the representative of the house of 
Sivaji, the original creator of the Mahratta power, Baji Rao, 

India and the Colonies 113 

deprived of all political position, was handsomely endowed with 
private estates and a very large pension for the term of his own 
life ; and thus amply provided for, he retired into private life 
in British territory, where he trained up an adopted son, the 
infamous Nana Sahib. 

With the fall of the Puna peshwaship the period of annexations 
within the Indian peninsula came to an end. No fresh territory 
was brought under direct British dominion by war The Mogul 
for more than twenty years. With somewhat ignored, 
doubtful wisdom the governor-general ignored the titular sove- 
reignty of the Mogul, and bestowed upon the Oudh nawab the 
title of padishah, or king, as a reward for his steady loyalty. A 
like reward was offered to the Nizam, who rejected it, refusing to 
ignore his allegiance to the head of Mohammedan India. 

The India House objected to the government of Hastings very 
much on the same grounds as those on which they had objected 
to the government of Lord Wellesley. His wars, 1822 . 
however necessary, had cost money ; his annexa- Hastings 
tions, however inevitable, increased their responsi- 3 
bilities ; and he persisted in making first-class appointments 
instead of deferring to the selections which they made them- 
selves, or wished to make for reasons quite irrelevant to sound 
government. They did not venture to recall him, since he had 
acted with Canning's sanction ; but there was friction ; and when 
Hastings tendered his resignation in 1822 it was accepted. Can- 
ning himself had actually accepted the succession when the death 
of Castlereagh summoned him to the charge of foreign affairs 
and the leadership of the House of Commons. 

Before Lord Hastings left India he received an astonishing 
demand from the king of Burma for the ' restoration ' to that 
kingdom of a large portion of Bengal. The Burmese Lord Amherst 
dominion was in fact cut off from India proper by and Burma, 
the mountain chains of the north-east and by the sea. Burma 
never had owned any part of Bengal ; but the ' Lord of the 
White Elephant,' dwelling apart, deluded himself with vain 
imaginings and dreams that he was the mightiest monarch in 
the world. The reply of Hastings assumed that the missive 

Innes's Eng. Hist. Vol. iv. H 

1 1 4 Empire and People 

which he had received was not an official document but a forgery. 
But when Lord Amherst, the newly appointed governor-general, 
arrived, a body of Burmese took possession of an island belong- 
ing to Chittagong, which was part of the province of Bengal, but 
borders on the Burmese province of Arakan. Lord Amherst 
removed the Burmese and sent a warning protest to the Burmese 
government at Ava. The warnings were ignored, and the 
governor-general was informed that any communications he had 
to make must be addressed to the Burmese general, Bandula, 
as the Burmese court would give them no attention. Bandula 
was collecting troops, and Amherst found that war had been 
forced upon him. 

It proved to be tedious, inglorious, and costly. The country 
was difficult, the climate atrocious, and for a considerable part 
1824-6. f the year military operations were impracticable. 

First Burmese Invasion by way of the land frontier appeared un- 
manageable ; so in May 182 an expedition con- 
sisting of European troops and low-caste Madrasi sepoys was 
dispatched across the sea to Rangoon since the high-caste 
sepoys of the Bengal army would lose their caste by crossing 
what they called the ' Black Water.' Rangoon was occupied, 
but the army had to depend for its supplies on Calcutta con- 
tractors, the worst existing specimens of that kind. The rainy 
season came on, and any advance up the Irrawadi was rendered 
impossible. In the early months of 1825 the British were able 
to push forward slowly till the rains came on again. There was 
another advance and a defeat of the Burmese ; but it was not 
till 1826 that the Burmese court realised that the Burmese troops 
could not stand up to the invaders ; and a peace was made by 
which, as a necessary consequence of Oriental warfare, Burmaceded 
the districts of Assam, Arakan, and Tenasserim, and agreed to 
pay a heavy indemnity and to receive a British Resident at Ava. 

The prolongation of this war over a period of two years once 
more excited in the minds of some Indian potentates the recur- 
1826. ring conviction that the British ascendency was 

Bhartpur. tottering to its fall; and the small Jat principality 
of Bhartpur threw down a deliberate challenge, relying upon the 

India and the Colonies 115 

supposed impregnability of its citadel. It had successfully re- 
pulsed Lake's attacks at the time when Holkar was defying the 
British in 1804. Now, however, the illusion of its impregna- 
bility was dispelled. In January 1826 Bhartpur fell ; and its 
fall was more convincing to the native mind than even the Pindari 
war had been. Seventeen years passed before any native power 
again ventured to throw down the gage of battle. 

Amherst was followed in 1828 by Lord William Bentinck, 
who some time before had been governor of Madras, and so 
added knowledge of India to a practical experience Ig2g 
of public affairs at home, and a sympathy with Bentinck 
those more liberal ideas which had been making succeeds 

ATTinfirsL T 

rapid progress in England, at least since 1822. At 
last the governor-general found himself free to give undivided 
attention to the administrative reforms of which the story belongs 
to another chapter. 

Administrative reform on a large scale had not been practicable 
while the Indian government was perpetually engaged in wars 
great or small. In the period which we have been Tne 
here considering the most notable work was the ryotwari 
land settlement in the south, in those districts Bettlement - 
which passed under British dominion through the Mysore and 
Mahratta wars. Here the zemindari system 1 had never been 
established with the same thoroughness as in Bengal ; and it 
was comparatively easy to see that the zemindar was not a pro- 
prietor, but only a middleman between the government and the 
ryot or peasant who had a better title than any one else to be 
regarded as the real proprietor. The system adopted has the 
name of ryotwari. The ryot paid to the government a fixed rent 
for a term of years, modified only as he allowed a portion of his 
holding to go out of cultivation or brought fresh ground into 
cultivation. The rent was fair, and was always considerably 
lower than that demanded under the native rulers, and the 
peasant enjoyed fixity of tenure and the power of alienation. 
The settlement differed from that in Bengal because the assess- 
ment was not permanent, but only for a term of years, and the 

1 See vol. iii. 

1 1 6 Empire and People 

ryot instead of the zemindar was treated as the proprietor of 
the soil. 

There was, however, another outcome of the annexations. The 
conditions prevalent in some of the newly acquired provinces 
Non . made it inconvenient to treat them in accordance 

regulation with the established regulations applied to all the 
provinces brought under British administration in 
the first years of expansion. In some of these areas it was felt 
advisable to entrust the administration to an officer often a 
soldier with large powers of adapting the methods of govern- 
ment to the peculiar local conditions ; and this gave rise to the 
distinction between ' regulation ' and ' non-regulation ' provinces, 
One more point only needs to be noticed here before we turn 
from India. The charter of the East India Company was re- 
newed in 1813 for twenty years ; but with the important altera- 
tion that the company no longer enjoyed the monopoly of trade 
except as concerned China. The Indian trade was virtually 
opened to all comers. 

The history of the colonies during this period, unlike that of 
India, was not for the most part characterised by striking events, 
The colonies, though certain marked tendencies are to be ob- 
served in them. 

In the two Canadas hostility to the United States was in- 
tensified by the war of 1812 ; an episode which redounded to 
upper the credit more particularly of the United Empire 

Canada. Loyalists in Upper Canada who bore the brunt of 

the contest. In the years that followed, however, popular dis- 
content developed for reasons which were not identical in the 
two colonies, though there was some kinship between them. 
In each there was an elective popular assembly and a nominated 
legislative council, the executive being in the hands of the 
latter, who practically commanded the ear of the governor. 
Consequently both in Upper and in Lower Canada there was 
antagonism between the assembly and the council owing to 
the presence in the former of a popular party demanding an 
increased control. Upper Canada was dominated by what was 
called the Family Compact, a family group sprung for the most 

India and the Colonies 117 

part from the United Empire Loyalists, who were shaping into 
a kind of aristocracy from which the growing stream of immi- 
grants was almost entirely excluded. The council and govern- 
ment officers were practically all taken from among them. The 
rest resented what was virtually their exclusion from power ; 
apart from this the principal bone of contention was the treat- 
ment of the ' clergy reserves.' These were lands which had been 
set apart for the maintenance of the Protestant clergy by the Act 
of 1791, and which the Anglican clergy had succeeded in appro- 
priating to their own Church as the only Protestant Church 
recognised by the state. They were, however, forced to admit 
the claims of ministers of the Established Church of Scotland 
to a corresponding share. Outside the Family Compact there 
were numerous members of dissenting bodies who claimed either 
that the clergy reserves should be impartially applied for the 
benefit of all Protestant settlers, or that they should be secular- 
ised and applied to educational or other similar purposes. 

In Lower Canada the contest between the chambers was on 
a different footing. In the assembly, as in the population 
generally, there was a large majority of French ; Lower 
but there also the administration was virtually Canada, 
in the hands of a bureaucracy, an aristocracy of officials 
who were nearly all British. The antagonism therefore tended 
to run upon racial lines ; but the assembly, in its efforts to attain 
practical power, followed the British precedent and fought to 
obtain financial control. At the same time there was an in- 
evitable tendency on the part of those who were outside the 
bureaucratic connection to side with the assembly in demanding 
that increased political weight should attach to the elected 
chamber. The flow of immigrants, to a great extent members 
of the industrial classes driven from England and still more 
from Scotland by the economic depression, strengthened the 
democratic element. 

In the Cape Colony, taken from the Dutch and retained by 
the British after the close of the war, there arose a gradual 
accumulation of British settlers occupying the The Cape, 
colony by the side of the old Dutch and French Huguenot 

1 1 8 Empire and People 

inhabitants. The new-comers were planted chiefly in the eastern 
regions between Capetown and the districts beyond the Fish 
River occupied by the Kaffir tribes, which increased the danger 
of collisions between negroes and whites. Within the colony 
itself the non-European population was for the most part not 
Kaffir (negro) but Hottentot. As in the West Indian colonies, 
slavery was an established institution in South Africa. The 
government was in the hands of a governor and a nominated 
council. The laws and institutions of the Dutch, who had been 
in occupation for two hundred years, were at first preserved ; 
but with the increase of the British population there came a 
disposition on the part of the government to modify them in 
accordance with British ideas, much to the displeasure of the 
Dutch, especially when British ideas were applied to the treat- 
ment of the natives. The development of humanitarian views 
which brought about the abolition of the slave-trade were re- 
pellent to the Dutch, both in theory and in practice ; in theory, 
because they retained the peculiar Old Testament religion of the 
ancestors who had been persecuted by Alva, regarding them- 
selves very much as the chosen people and the natives as Canaan- 
ites ; in practice, because experience had implanted in them the 
firm conviction that the natives could be controlled only by 
the strong hand applied without hesitation and without mercy ; 
whereas the humanitarians were shocked by any application of 
the strong hand at all. It was by no means easy for any govern- 
ment to grasp and act upon the true principle that the strong 
hand should be applied with mercy, but without hesitation. 
But as in Canada so at the Cape, dissatisfaction and discontent 
had not yet come to a head. 

Lastly, we turn to the new territory which Great Britain had 
annexed in 1788. Colonisation in Australia was for many years 
Australasia, very slow. The first occupation was for the pur- 
pose of a convict settlement, and the first expansion was from 
the convict settlements, by means of the establishment upon 
the soil of convicts who had passed their term and preferred re- 
maining where they were to returning to England, and a similar 
establishment of the soldiers on the spot when they had served 

Industry and Commerce 1 1 9 

their time and earned their discharge. These settlers remained 
under the control of a military governor ; but emigrants from 
England were not attracted by the prospect of a society consist- 
ing of ex-convicts. Nevertheless, the growth was sufficiently 
rapid for Tasmania to be constituted a separate government 
from New South Wales in 1812. The development was largely 
due to the energy of Governor Macquarie, who went to New 
South Wales in 1809. He succeeded in obtaining some financial 
assistance from the home government ; and that movement of 
emigration which sent settlers to New Brunswick and Canada 
began to find an outlet also in Australia, so that by 1826 New 
South Wales had some thirty thousand inhabitants, of whom 
a considerable majority were free settlers. Another convict 
settlement at Brisbane in the north of New South Wales was 
the beginning of what ultimately developed into the separate 
colony of Queensland. Explorers opened out new fields mainly 
for cattle and sheep farming ; and by 1829 the progress had been 
such, and the attractions of Australia had become so far known 
in Great Britain, that the new colony of Western Australia was 
created with no convict settlement as its nucleus. 


The great revolution in the methods of production was in full 
operation some years before the close of the eighteenth century. 
Machinery driven by water or by steam had already pro regg 
in the important manufactures destroyed domestic of the 
industries ; the manufacturer employing a large industrial 
number of hands in his factories to work the machin- 
ery, which was his own property, displaced the groups of weavers, 
spinners, and other hand-workers, whose looms and spinning- 
wheels had been their own property. The manufacturer was 
the owner of the machinery and materials of production, and the 
folk who had hitherto done the spinning and weaving brought 
into the market not goods but labour. The former ' customer ' 

I2O Empire and People 

became the employer, and the modern relations between labour 
and capital were established. In the early part of the nine- 
teenth century the process of superseding water power by steam 
power continued rapidly, with the effect of concentrating the 
factories more and more in or near the iron and coal fields ; 
while continual improvements in machinery increased the out- 
put in proportion to the number of workers employed more, 
that is, could be produced by a smaller number of workers. 

No detailed account need be given of the advances in the 
method of production. Increased production is of little use 
Roads without easy means of rapid distribution enabling 

and canals. the producer to reach the consumer. Traffic im- 
provement accompanied the manufacturing advance ; carriage 
in bulk by water superseded the old laborious haulage by wagons, 
and the country was covered with a network of canals. In the 
last quarter of the eighteenth and the first quarter of the nine- 
teenth century, the main roads at least were improved past recog- 
nition. But the time was at hand when canals in their turn 
were to become obsolete, and steam haulage was to displace 
water carriage, as steam power displaced water power. 

Steam locomotion was effectively inaugurated by the opening 
of the Manchester and Liverpool railway in 1830. Steam loco- 
Beginnings motion solved the problem of carrying practically 

of steam unlimited quantities of the heaviest goods at a high 
locomotion. j -,i r j !. 

speed with a minimum of danger, making it im- 
possible for production to outrun the means of distribution 
except as a consequence of an artificial suspension of traffic. 

The first quarter of the nineteenth century was the period of 
incubation, not of fulfilment. The steam-engine was applied 
Early to locomotion on the water before locomotion on 

steamship. j an( j . j n T ^ I2 a steamship was plying on the Clyde, 
and in 1819 an American steamship actually crossed the Atlantic, 
though even then the whole journey was not accomplished under 
steam. The development of the steamship after the first begin- 
nings was much less rapid than the development of the railway ; 
and it was not till 1838 that a British steamship steamed the 
whole way to America. 

Industry and Commerce 121 

Steam haulage by land followed upon the invention of the 
railway. The first railroad, laid down in 1801, was intended to 
facilitate the haulage of heavily laden trucks by The first 
horses between Wandsworth and Reigate. But railroads, 
when the idea of running traffic upon iron rails had once been 
introduced, the idea of haulage by steam power became prac- 
ticable. George Stephenson built his first steam locomotive 
in 1814. In 1818 it was proposed to lay a line of rails between 
Stockton and Darlington, for horse traffic, like the Wandsworth 
and Reigate line. The proposal was blocked by the duke of 
Cleveland, through whose estate it was necessary that a portion 
of the line should pass. In 1821 , however, parliamentary sanction 
was obtained for making the line ; and in 1823 George Stephen- 
son obtained authorisation to employ a steam- steam 
engine as the locomotive power. Public attention traction, 
was only really attracted to the subject by the next proposals 
for steam railways between Manchester and Liverpool, and to 
Woolwich. The Woolwich scheme was subjected to scathing 
criticism by the Quarterly Review, which entirely declined to 
believe that the people of Woolwich would permit themselves 
to be carried along at a speed so terrific as twenty miles an hour, 
or indeed that such a speed would ever be attained. In 1825, 
however, the Manchester and Liverpool railway 1330. 
was sanctioned ; Stephenson himself did not then Manchester 
anticipate a higher speed than fourteen miles an Liverpool 
hour. It was only in 1829 that the directors of the railway. 
new railway finally decided to employ Stephenson 's locomotive. 
In 1830 the line was actually opened. The function was attended 
with great public interest, and was unhappily signalised by the 
fatal accident which killed Huskisson. But from the opening of 
the railway the rapid triumph of steam locomotion was assured. 

As yet, however, the coming new factor in transit had not 
affected industrial conditions which had been revolutionised by 
the application of steam to manufacture, and in agriculture by 
the enclosures which in conjunction with the destruction of weav- 
ing and spinning as domestic industries had turned the yeoman 
and cottar into mere agricultural labourers, depending for 

122 Empire and People 

livelihood upon the wages paid to them by large farmers 
supplemented by allowances from the rates. 

By the unspeakably pernicious system established at the close 
of the eighteenth century, the farmer was carefully encouraged 
The rural to pay the lowest possible wages, while a sort of 
labourer. living wage was made up to the labourer out of the 
rates. The labourer was not encouraged in an endeavour to- 
earn higher wages by industry, because if his wages should be 
raised he would lose his dole from the parish ; he was not en- 
couraged even to seek a living wage as the reward of his work ; 
but he was encouraged to beget a multitude of children, since the 
dole he received was proportioned to the number of his offspring. 
Under the strain of the war the dole was not increased in pro- 
portion to the increase in the cost of living ; the actual wages 
did not rise because the only immediate effect of their rising 
would have been to diminish the actual amount of the dole; 
and the labourer lived always on the verge of destitution. 

With the peace matters became worse. While the war went 
on, although the rural population increased rapidly, and although 
Effect of the large farmer was able to economise in the amount 

the peace. o f labour employed, the extra supply of labour was, 
as a matter of fact, brought into requisition because at war 
prices it paid to bring under cultivation land from which under 
peace conditions there was no adequate return. But with the 
peace much of this land went out of cultivation again ; violent 
fluctuations in the price of corn threatened farmers with ruin, 
while the price of bread did not fall ; numbers of rural labourers 
were thrown out of employment altogether ; wages tended to 
fall, not to rise, because the supply of labour was greatly in 
excess of the demand ; and the position of the agricultural 
labourer became worse than ever. 

In the country as in the factory, the new relation of peasant and 
landholder, like the new relation of masters and operatives, evoked 
Class a class hostility between capital and labour for 

hostility. which there had been no precedent since the days 
of Wat Tyler's revolt. The English peasant felt that he had 
been robbed of his land in order that landlords and compara- 

Industry and Commerce 123 

lively rich farmers might grow richer ; that the landlords and the 
well-to-do farmers were his enemies ; and the administration of 
the law encouraged the feeling. The starving rustic naturally 
took to poaching to supply his needs ; the rural population had 
never been seriously troubled with conscientious scruples in that 
respect, and the poacher was not condemned by Poaching, 
men of his own class. But from the latter part of the eighteenth 
century landlords became much more zealous in preserving, 
and the penalties imposed for poaching were conspicuous for 
their severity in an otherwise barbarously severe penal code. 
During the war compulsory service in the army or navy became 
one of the penalties for poaching, and the poacher who resisted 
arrest was liable to transportation. An Act of 1816 made 
transportation the penalty in effect for any one found in 
suspicious circumstances carrying firearms or even a bludgeon. 
Theoretically, at least, the law punished rich and poor with an 
even hand ; but the offences for which it dealt out its penalties 
with a savage harshness were those to which the poor were 
tempted and the rich were not ; and from which the little that 
was suffered was suffered by the rich and not at all by the poor. 
And at the same time, the extravagant penalisation of the minor 
offence made the poacher recklessly ready to risk his life on the 
chance of escaping capture and transportation. 

The rural revolution sank the peasant to depths unknown for 
centuries. The labourers at other trades than agriculture also 
at the outset suffered instead of gaining by the Laissez 
Industrial Revolution. A huge increase of pro- faire - 
duction through labour-saving machinery did not provide an 
increase of employment equivalent to the increase of the popula- 
tion. Employers accepted with enthusiasm the doctrine of 
laissez faire, of free competition between individuals, of the right 
of the employer to conduct his own business according to his 
own judgment without any external regulation. With the labour 
market overstocked, they could pay what wages they chose. 
If the particular workman refused the wages offered, it was easy 
to find another in the ranks of the unemployed who would take 
any wages which kept him from starvation. 

124 Empire and People 

In the absence of regulation, combination among the work- 
men, agreement to demand higher wages, collective bargaining, 
Combination was the only way in which masters and men could 
prohibited. bargain on anything like equal terms. But before 
1799 the judges were already ruling that combinations among 
the workmen to demand higher wages were conspiracies under 
common law ; and in 1799 and 1800 the combination laws, 
passed primarily because of the fear that associations of work- 
men would really resolve themselves into revolutionary societies, 
prohibited such combinations under severe penalties. No steps 
were taken against them, except at the instance of masters, 
who in the more skilled trades were not averse from them ; but 
in the unskilled trades comprising the mass of the workmen 
effective combination was impossible. Masters with liberal 
inclinations were dragged in the wake of the rest ; not indeed 
on the same level with them, but on a level not very much higher, 
because the keenness of competition forbade a disproportionate 
expenditure on wages. Moreover, the labour competition was 

made worse, and wages were still further lowered, 
Employment . 

of women by the extensive employment of women and 

and children. The men were too short-sighted to see 

children. , . ,, . .. , 

that every penny earned by the child meant two- 
pence less wages to the father, and that it was precisely for that 
reason that the masters employed children wherever they could. 
The employment of children reduced the wages bill, as did that 
of women in a somewhat less degree, so that a smaller amount 
went into the pockets of the working-classes. And yet the 
working-man chose to send his children to the factory, because 
the pennies they earned were an actual immediate addition to the 
money in the father's pocket. 

Dear bread, insufficient employment, and inadequate wages 
were at the root of the grave depression among the working 
Masters classes, who did not realise that they were them- 
andmen. selves in part responsible for the two latter griev- 
ances through their encouragement of the employment of women 
and children. The causes in their eyes were the use of the labour- 
saving machinery which took the bread out of their mouths, 

Industry and Commerce 125 

and the political system which placed legislation and the ad- 
ministration of justice in the hands of a class who were thereby 
enabled to appropriate to themselves the profits of the labourer's 
toil. The capitalists, with very rare exceptions, had not begun 
to realise the existence of any relation between efficiency, on the 
one side, and on the other an adequate living-wage standard, 
hours of labour, or sanitary conditions. Many of them did, in 
fact, spend a good deal more than the minimum possible for the 
benefit of their hands ; but they did so from motives of humanity, 
and usually with the belief that they were diminishing their own 
profits. When the capitalist did not realise that his own in- 
terests were advanced by the prosperity of the men working under 
him, but believed that the interests of the men were economi- 
cally opposed to those of the employer, it was scarcely surprising 
that the men on their side should have acquired an almost 
ineradicable conviction that employers and employed are natur- 
ally enemies with antagonistic interests. So whenever the 
depression became particularly acute there were outbreaks of 
machine-smashing ; and the working-men became more and 
more convinced that the remedy for their grievances lay in 
changing the centre of political power, and that all would be 
well when the working-man was political master. 

But among the more skilled trades there were men who were 
looking to the power of combination as the real panacea ; who 
saw in the combination laws the most serious operation 
obstacle to the amelioration of the lot of the working- of the corn- 
man. Those laws operated in what can only be a lon aws ' 
called an extremely iniquitous manner. They forbade combina- 
tion not only for purposes of aggression but also for purposes of 
defence. A typical instance occurred in the case of the Scottish 
weavers in 1812. Weaving was one of the trades which still 
came under the old laws which authorised the regulation of wages 
by the magistrates. The magistrates, in view of the depressed 
state of trade, laid down the minimum wage which was to be 
paid. The employers ignored the regulation. Individual action 
on the part of the weavers would have been perfectly useless, 
and they struck in a body to demand nothing more than the 

126 Empire and People 

actual rate of wages to which they were by law entitled. But 
because the strike was organised, they were treated as guilty of 
forming an illegal combination ; and actually at the instance of 
the government the leaders were arrested and sentenced to 
various terms of imprisonment. 

In skilled trades, on the other hand, the supply of labour was 
not in excess of the demand ; the men belonged to a higher class 
that is, they were better off and were better educated. They 
1825 Repeal were not open to any suspicion of Jacobinism. The 
of the Com- masters did not find their own interests threatened 
mation Acts, ^y combinations amongst them ; the relations were 
mutually friendly, and they were found helpful in the adjust- 
ment of differences, it appeared then that an extension of the 
principle of combination ought to have an entirely salutary 
effect, and to remove instead of fostering antagonisms. The 
repeal of the combination laws was really the work of Francis 
Place, a master-tailor, who found a parliamentary ally in Joseph 
Hume. By exceedingly skilful management he succeeded in 
1824 in procuring the introduction and passage of a bill in effect 
repealing the obnoxious Acts. The thing was done so quietly 
that it went through almost unnoticed ; and when in the next 
year, 1825, the adherents of the Combination Acts introduced 
another bill which was intended to reinstate them, the ingenious 
management of Place and Hume amended it into an Act which 
only made rather more complete the enactment of 1824. Associa- 
tions ceased to be illegal ; men could thenceforth bargain col- 
lectively and strike collectively without incurring the penalties 
of illegal combinations. They were even so far protected that 
associations formed for the regulation of wages and hours of 
labour were expressly exempted from the common law against 
conspiracy, though the ingenuity of lawyers often found means 
of evading the exemption. 

The repeal was passed at the end of the five years in which 
trade had recovered from the depression which followed upon 
Combination the peace. The unrest among the working classes 
discredited. h a( j quieted down more for that reason than as a 
consequence of the government's repressive measures. Trade 

Literature 127 

was flourishing, and at the moment there seemed to be every 
prospect that a demand for increased wages would meet with a 
ready and easy response. Trade unions were promptly formed 
all over the country. But the hope was delusive. The revival 
of trade had been accompanied by a fit of wild speculation. 
The next four years were again years of depression. The unions 
entirely failed to procure a rise in wages when half the masters 
were living in perpetual dread of financial disaster. Employ- 
ment fell off and wages dropped. The panacea failed to act, the 
movement was discredited, and the workers returned to their 
faith in the political cure for the economic disease. 

III. LITERATURE, 1798-1830 

In 1796 died Robert Burns, almost the only man who, belonging 
entirely to the eighteenth century, claims beyond all possibility 
of dispute to rank as a great poet, a master-singer ; The 
since poetry may be defined in terms which forbid precursor, 
us to include among its high priests the consummate masters of 
literary form who in the eighteenth century used verse as the 
medium of literary expression. Burns discarded the eighteenth- 
century convention, not because he was a conscious exponent 
of a new critical theory, but because in Scotland lyrical ex- 
pression, not consciously cultivated as an art, but spontaneous, 
had never died out. Yet because he stands alone among the 
eighteenth-century men, and stands also on the threshold of the 
new era, in which the eighteenth-century convention had no 
part nor lot, and because his spirit was the spirit of the new era, 
he is in a sense to be accounted its herald. 

In the year of his death appeared without attracting attention 
the first published verses of Samuel Taylor Coleridge. The 
arrival of the new era was definitely announced two The new- 
years later with the publication of William Words- P ets - 
worth's Lyrical Ballads, with contributions from Coleridge which 

icluded the immortal Ancient Manner. The fact that the old 

128 Empire and People 

convention was being deliberately challenged was emphasised 
two years later by Wordsworth's preface to his second volume of 
Lyrical Ballads. The thirty years following 1798 witnessed in 
the British Isles an output of poetry more amazing than had 
ever been seen in an equally short period in any country in the 
world save the England of Shakespeare's day, and the Athens 
of Pericles. Six names stand out most prominently : Words- 
worth, Coleridge, Shelley, Keats, Byron, Scott. Any one of the 
six would have sufficed to make the era in which he lived a not- 
able one. All the poetical work of five out of the six was done 
during that one period of thirty years ; and if Wordsworth 
sustained his reputation he did not effectively add to it by what 
he wrote at a later date. 

The new poetry was not the work of a school of men who took 
a common view of the function of poetry or of the laws of poetic 
The new form or diction. The thing common to them all 
poetry. was the revolt of individualism against artificial 

restrictive canons. Accidents caused one group of them 
to be designated the Lake School, because it happened that 
Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Southey were intimate friends who 
for a time resided in close neighbourhood to each other in the 
Lake country, and because two of them published a joint volume. 
By a curious irony, the one of their number who was emphatically 
a distinguished man of letters, but has long ceased to be counted a 
great poet, was the first to obtain public recognition as a poet, and 
was appointed to the laureateship Robert Southey. Southey's 
theory of the poetic art is of no great consequence. Words- 
worth's, set forth in the preface to the second volume of Lyrical 
Ballads, was demolished critically not by the reviewers, who gibed 
at the ' Lake school/ but by Coleridge himself, who demonstrated 
that whenever his friend rose to poetic heights he discarded his 
own doctrine of poetic diction, whereas the very considerable 
mass of poor pedestrian stuff with which he did not succeed in 
burying his great work was the unhappy outcome of his 

As the literary movement at the close of the sixteenth century 
in England was one aspect of the revolution, which in the course 

Liter at zire 1 29 

of that century broke free from the intellectual and moral conven- 
tions of the Middle Ages, effected the Protestant Reformation 
and the Reformation within the Roman Church, and character 
liberated scientific inquiry, so this literary movement of the 
was one aspect of the intellectual and political revolu- 3 
tion which shattered the eighteenth-century conventions, created 
the French republic and the French empire, and set in motion 
the forces of democracy and nationalism. Both the revolutions 
were essentially individualist : the first primarily an assertion 
of the right of the individual to follow his own conscience in 
matters of religion to liberty of conscience ; the second primarily 
of his right to a voice in the government, to political liberty. 
The basis of both was the refusal to be tied by conventions which 
had served their turn in the history of progress ; conventions 
which, from having been conditions of the suppression of anarchy, 
had been gradually transformed into instruments for the main- 
tenance of privilege. For progress, control and development 
are both necessary ; the eternal problem is that of confining 
control to its true function of protecting development ; since the 
regulations which have served as a bulwark against anarchy in one 
generation, when they become stereotyped change their character, 
and turn into the conventions which check the free development of 
a later generation. Unless they are removed by degrees, the time 
arrives when they are challenged en masse by a general revolt. 

The literary movement then was a revolt against the literary 
convention of the eighteenth, century, the canons which arti- 
ficially restricted the sub j ect-matter and the methods R G J ection of 
of literary, and chiefly of poetic, expression. The conventions, 
new spirit refused to be bound by those canons. It was deter- 
mined to express its most intense emotions, to recognise beauty 
wherever it saw it. The canons virtually forbade the expression 
of the deeper emotions, and ruled that no beauty was to be found 
except within an arbitrarily restricted field, limiting the poet's 
vocabulary with an artificial pedantry. Wordsworth carried his 
revolutionary doctrine to the poin^ of declaring that the proper 
language of poetry was nothing more or less than the language 
of everyday life, and almost implying that a subject was appro- 

Innes's Eng. Hist, Vol. iv. I 

130 Empire and People 

priate to poetry in proportion to its commonplaceness. Yet he 
was in fact only giving exaggerated expression to the actual 
truth that it is no matter whether a word or a phrase be familiar 
or exceptional, provided that it is expressive and harmonious, 
and that any subject is suitable for poetry in which the poet not 
only sees beauty himself but can make his audience see it. 

The mental quality, as distinct from the power of expression, 
which distinguishes the great poet from the most skilful versi- 
fier, is the power of vision or imagination ; lacking 
Wordsworth, ' . 

Coleridge, which no man can be in the higher sense a poet. 

Shelley, j ne other essential factor is the power of musical 

expression. The eighteenth -century convention 
insisted not upon imaginative vision but upon accuracy of 
thought, not upon music but upon correctness of form. Both 
vision and music require a keen sensibility to beauty ; imagina- 
tion requires intensity of feeling. Accuracy of thought and 
correctness of expression may be attained without either the one 
or the other, and if pursued too exclusively may be destruc- 
tive of both. The common characteristic of the four greatest 
among the six poets of the literary revolution whom we have 
named, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Keats, and Shelley, is their pos- 
session of these qualities in a very high degree. In Shelley and 
Keats they are persistent, very rarely failing ; in Coleridge, on 
the other hand, they are very rarely sustained, though whenever 
present they are at the very highest level. The result is that 
from him, except in the case of the Ancient Mariner, we get 
nothing but very short pieces or fragments. His inspiration 
was intermittent, and he wrote his poetry only in the moments of 
inspiration. Wordsworth suffered from the peculiarity of being 
quite unconscious when inspiration deserted him, or, perhaps it 
should be said, of believing that the inspiration was always 
present ; with the result that he produced quantities of verse 
in which there is neither imagination nor music. But whenever 
his thought was adequate it glowed with imagination, and found 
musical expression, not as with Coleridge in haunting melodies, 
but in gracious or stately harmonies. Each of the four poets 
worked in a field of his own, typified for Wordsworth in the 

Literature 131 

Lines written above Tintern Abbey, for Coleridge in Christabel, for 
Shelley in Alastor, for Keats in Endymion. None of those poems 
could have been conceived by any other of the four poets, and 
none of them could have been produced while the eighteenth- 
century convention was dominant. 

Wordsworth, Scott, and Coleridge were all of one generation ; 
they were nineteen, eighteen, and seventeen respectively when 
the Bastille fell. In that year Byron was in his scottand 
cradle ; Shelley and Keats were born during the next Byron. 
six years. All the three elder men survived the three younger. 
Neither Scott nor Byron was primarily a poet in the same sense 
as the other four ; though both in their own day had as poets a 
greater celebrity and a greater popularity, both played their 
part in shattering the eighteenth -century tradition. Their 
sensibility to beauty was less delicate, their emotion less deep ; 
perhaps as a consequence their appeal was wider. Scott was 
unequivocally a balladist, a story-teller, whose delight was in 
action and movement, whose vision, eminently sane and healthy, 
still did not penetrate far beneath the surface. Byron, least of 
the whole group, departed from the eighteenth-century literary 
tradition ; he wrote for the most part not poetry, but highly 
rhetorical verse ; yet in the vehemence of his individualism 
and his rebellion against restraints he was emphatically a child 
of the Revolution, and indeed much more obviously so than any 
of the rest except Shelley. 

Scott made his mark as a poet, though later critics have been 
apt to deny that title to a writer of stories in rhyme, forgetful 
of not a few very admirable lyrics of which he was The 
also the author. His great work, however, was not waverieys. 
in the field of poetry, but in his recasting of the novel and his 
creation of the historical romance. It would hardly be too 
much to say that nine-tenths of the average Englishman's ideas 
of history and of the great characters who have trodden the his- 
torical stage are to be traced either to the dramas of Shake- 
speare or the novels of Sir Walter Scott, or to later novelists who 
consciously drew their inspiration from Scott. It was he who 
turned prose fiction to account, to make the past alive. It is 

132 Empire and People 

a small matter that since his day much light had been thrown 
upon history which was denied to the author of the Waverley 
Novels, a small matter that he dwells too rejoicingly upon its pomp 
and pageantry ; the dry bones live where he has touched them. 
Others have carried on the work, sometimes with brilliant 
success, improving, it may be, upon his methods, according to 
the critical taste of their day, and with a more exact knowledge ; 
but it was Scott who showed the way, who definitely created a 
new type of prose fiction. 

And yet it was not even in the historical romance that Scott 
achieved his highest artistry. His finest work was in the por- 
Maria trayal of essentially Scottish types, in whatever 

Edgeworth. century he gave them their setting. In this field 
it is perhaps his distinctive merit that unlike any of his pre- 
decessors he succeeded in painting the humble life of his country- 
men with a refinement of touch which leaves the picture free 
from any element of coarseness without detracting from its 
essential sincerity and truth. Let it be said, however, that Maria 
Edgeworth, his nearest predecessor, stands as an exception in 
respect of Castle Rackrent and others of her Irish novels. To her 
Scott, the most generous of critics, avowed a debt considerably 
greater no doubt than he really owed. But the fact remains that 
her sketches of Irish life and character, when she was writing with- 
out any ulterior educational design, did lead the way in depicting 
humble life with entire truthfulness, and at the same time with 
a delightful humour and an artistic refinement before unknown. 

Maria Edgeworth's light has been dimmed by a perverse fate 
which induced her to write moral tales for the edification of 
Jane Austen, youth. Fortune has been kinder to Jane Austen, 
another object of Scott's appreciative enthusiasm, the most 
consummate of realists within the limited field which was known 
to her and to which she confined her work. Jane Austen proved 
once for all what had not been definitely proved before, that 
a woman may be a great creative artist, as original and as in- 
dividual as any man. For a century after Jane Austen and Scott, 
the novel has been the dominant literary organ for discharging 
the functions formerly specifically associated with the drama. 

Literature 133 

The literary revolution revived the poetry of the imagination 
and the emotions with an immense vitality ; it shaped the novel, 
the new literary form which had been rough-hewn The Reviews, 
by Fielding and Smollett. It created also the modern review 
and the modern journal. The eighteenth century had developed 
the short essay with its T alters, Spectators, and Ramblers ; it had 
developed political pamphleteering from Jonathan Swift to 
Edmund Burke. Out of a sort of cross between these two forms 
the early nineteenth century created the review, the collection 
in a periodical publication of disquisitions critical, political, his- 
torical, on all subjects of interest. Scotland led the way with 
the publication of the Edinburgh, under the editorship of J effrey ; 
when the Edinburgh in 1809 proved too definitely Whig for some 
of its Tory contributors, J ohn Murray started in London a rival 
magazine, the Quarterly, and in 1817 Edinburgh Toryism found 
its mouthpiece in Blackwood's Magazine. The inward mean- 
ing of these new ventures was that literature at last resolved to 
throw itself boldly upon the public. Throughout the eighteenth 
century the men of letters had depended largely upon the patron- 
age of the great. The scholar was rewarded with a deanery or a 
bishopric, the successful pamphleteer with a comfortable sine- 
cure. Now the time had come when a relation was established 
between the rewards of literature and its market value ; 
authors contributed to the magazines because the magazines 
paid them adequately for their contributions ; and the maga- 
zines paid them because the public bought the magazines. 



I. REFORM, 1830-1832 

EARL GREY, the head of the new ministry which took office on 
the resignation of the duke of Wellington, had been in public 
The Reform life for more than forty years. As Charles Grey, 
cabinet. th e son o f a distinguished soldier, he entered the 

House of Commons in 1786, attached himself to Fox, and after 
the outbreak of the French war took a leading part in the vain 
advocacy of electoral reform. In his long career he had only 
held office for one year in Grenville's ' ministry of all the talents ' 
when, as Viscount Howick, he succeeded Fox at the Foreign 
Office. A Whig who had not been driven to abandon his Whig 
theories by the French Revolution, a lover of justice, and of 
freedom as understood by the Whigs, he had been resolutely 
opposed to the repressive policy of Castlereagh and Sidmouth, 
but was very far indeed from being a democrat. In his cabinet 
there were only four members of the House of Commons, of 
whom one, Viscount Althorp, would in due course become Earl 
Spencer, and another, Edward Stanley, was prospective heir to 
the earldom of Derby ; while a third, Viscount Palmerston, was 
an Irish peer eligible for an English constituency under the Act 
of Union. Canningites were combined with Whigs in the 
ministry ; the three secretaries of state, Melbourne, Goderich, 
and Palmerston at the Foreign Office, were all members of the 
Canningite group, who were merged into a party which was about 
to take to itself the name of Liberal instead of Whig. The death 
of Huskisson in September had deprived them of a financier who 
would have been a tower of strength. 


Reform 135 

Electoral reform had become a crying necessity. Nearly 
sixty years before, Chatham had uttered his warning that if 
parliament did not reform the representation from state of re- 
within, it would be reformed with a vengeance from presentation, 
outside. In the course of the centuries the whole system had 
changed as far as the boroughs were concerned. In the counties 
the limitation of the franchise was still what it had been in the 
days of Henry vi. But in Plantagenet times the boroughs which 
sent members to parliament were the substantial towns. The 
same boroughs still returned members ; but many of them had 
long ceased to be substantial towns at ah 1 . Many new boroughs 
had been created by Tudors and Stuarts, but these new boroughs 
had not been towns which had risen in population and import- 
ance ; they had been created boroughs chiefly because in them 
the elections could be directly or indirectly controlled by the 
Crown. Changes in the conditions of manufacture had caused 
some of the old boroughs to decay or even to become almost 
depopulated; they returned their members as of yore. Other 
towns, formerly too small to have any title to representation, had 
grown so greatly that they were now among the foremost in the 
country in population and importance ; the Industrial Revolu- 
tion had created new great centres; but these towns were all 
unrepresented. In the boroughs which were represented there 
was no uniform franchise. In some, the electors were virtually 
the corporation ; in others, they were all the ratepayers ; in 
others, the ' pot wallopers ' every one who had a hearth of his 
own. There were boroughs where the electors could be counted 
on the fingers, where they could be counted by dozens or scores. 
Half a dozen peers could nominate forty members between them. 
Two-thirds of the members were returned by constituencies 
which were in effect controlled by about one hundred and fifty 
individuals. And in Scotland and Ireland the state of affairs was 
even more anomalous and grotesque than in England 

In effect, while one-third of the House of Commons was 
returned by a more or less free electorate on a An 
limited but by no means uniform franchise, the other oligarchy, 
two-thirds represented a few old families. That did not mean 

136 Reform and Free Trade 

that they were all of one party, because the old families were 
not all of one party ; but it did mean that they represented great 
landed proprietors and their interests. From the point of view 
of stable government alone, the system was not without its merits. 
The oligarchy had shown that in the face of a foreign foe it could 
be patriotic, public spirited, resolute, and tolerably intelligent. 
But it was an oligarchy which could not be expected to show, 
and did not show, any understanding of the new conditions which 
had arisen owing to the French Revolution and the Industrial 

The preparation of a scheme was entrusted to a committee 
of four which included Lord John Russell, who since 1820 had 

been the persistent champion of the cause in the 
Government House of Commons, although he was not included 
and the j n Grey's cabinet. While the committee was 

deliberating, the new government, at least, had 
time to show that there was nothing Jacobinical about it. 
During recent months the distress in the agricultural districts 
had again given rise to rioting, rick-burning, and the destruc- 
tion of threshing-machines, which were regarded with especial 
ill-will by the rural labourer. There were the usual fears of a 
violent insurrection. The powers of the law were exercised 
drastically while Wellington's government was still in office, 
and the popular expectations were disappointed when the new 
government with Lord Melbourne at the Home Office continued 
to act with the same severity. Broadly speaking, the harshest 
penalties permitted by the law were inflicted, which included 
hanging or transportation for very minor acts of violence such 
as to-day would involve at the most a very brief term of 

The government bill for amending the representation of the 
people of England and Wales was introduced in the House of 
1831. First Commons by Lord John Russell. The measure was 
Reform Biu, a sweeping one ; but by its framers it was not by 

any means intended to be democratic. The demands 
which had been put forward by advanced Radicals for manhood 
suffrage, equal electoral districts, and annual parliaments, found 

Reform 137 

no place in it. The committee had proposed to introduce the 
ballot and to shorten the life of parliament to five years instead 
of seven. Both the proposals had been eliminated before the 
bill was presented to the House. The principles of the bill were 
not complex. The objects were to give to the boroughs the same 
uniformity of franchise which already existed in the counties ; 
which did not mean extending it to new classes, but to the same 
classes in all constituencies. In the second place, every con- 
stituency was to have a free electorate ; none was to consist of a 
few electors bound to vote according to the proprietor's orders. 
There was to be no equalising of the constituencies, but boroughs 
with less than 2000 inhabitants were to be disfranchised alto- 
gether, and boroughs with less than 4000 were to return one 
member instead of two. By this process of disfranchisement 
168 seats would be abolished. Of these 106 were to be redistri- 
buted ; 27 new boroughs were to have 34 seats among them, 
57 were to be added to the counties, 9 to Scotland, Ireland, and 
Wales, and 8 to London. As to the qualification, the franchise 
in the counties, hitherto restricted to freeholders whose numbers 
had been enormously reduced by the agricultural revolution, was 
extended to 10 copyholders and to 50 leaseholders who might 
all be regarded as persons of substance. In the boroughs, the 
freemen of the borough retained their vote, and otherwise the 
franchise was restricted or extended to the ratepaying 10 house- 
holder. In Scotland the qualification was to be the same as 
in England ; in Ireland the qualification for the counties was to 
be unchanged, but was extended in the boroughs to the 10 

On its second reading in the House of Commons in a full house, 
the bill was carried by a majority of one ; and immediately 
afterwards, when there were 13 fewer members 
present, the Opposition carried General Gascoyne's and a general 
instruction that the total number of English and election, 
Welsh representatives should not be diminished, by 
a majority of 8. King William, who was on the whole in favour 
of the bill, at once acted upon Grey's advice and dissolved 
parliament upon 22nd April. 

138 Reform and Free Trade 

The excitement in the country ran high. Everywhere the cry 
was for ' the bill, the whole bill, and nothing but the bill.' 
Victory at The electors voted with unwonted zeal and un- 
the polls. wonted disregard for the views of the magnates, and 
the new House of Commons had a solid majority of 100 in favour 
of the bill. 

Although King William was in favour of reform, he was ex- 
tremely anxious to avoid the serious collision between the two 
houses of parliament which was threatening, and he tried hard to 
induce Grey to make modifications in the bill which would con- 
ciliate the Lords. Grey, however, was convinced in the first place 
that the country would not be satisfied with anything short of 
his measure, and that the Opposition would not be conciliated 
by any possible concessions. The new bill, presented again 
by Lord John Russell, scarcely differed from the old one. The 
Second second reading was carried on 7th July by a majority 

Reform Bill, of 136. The Opposition fought stubbornly, and the 
third reading was not carried till 2ist September, 
the majority being 109. In the interval the Opposition had 
succeeded in introducing a clause proposed by Lord Chandos 
extending the county franchise to 50 tenants-at-will as well as 
leaseholders ; the hypothesis being that such tenants would 
inevitably vote on the same side as their landlords. 

Then the king's fears were justified. After an exceptionally 
fine debate, probably unsurpassed in the annals of the Upper 
Rejected by Chamber, and extended over five nights, the Lords 
the Lords, rejected the second Reform Bill by a majority of 
41 on 8th October. Twelve days later parlia- 
ment was prorogued. 

The effect of the rejection of the bill was electrical. Riots 
broke out all over the country. It was true that the bill was not 
consequent on the face of it calculated to establish anything like 
excitement. a democracy. It was true that the Whigs enjoyed 
the cheerful conviction that it would provide a final settlement ; 
that when it had been passed, the newly enfranchised electorate 
would by no means be willing to let political power pass out of 
their own hands by any further extension of the suffrage ; that 

Reform 139 

the effect of the bill would, in fact, be to close the door to demo- 
cracy. But in the eyes of Tories it was only the ' thin end of the 
wedge'; in the eyes of Radicals and in the eyes of the unen- 
franchised populace it was only an instalment of reform, but 
it was a necessary instalment, and it was intolerable to them 
that it should be rejected by the hereditary chamber. The 
fiercest of the outbreaks was at Bristol, where the town was 
practically in the hands of rioters for three days. 

The new session of parliament opened in December, some six 
weeks after the prorogation. On I2th December the third 
Reform Bill was introduced. This time there were lg32 Tfaird 
some modifications. The disfranchising clauses Reform Bill, 
were less drastic. The former bills had diminished 
the total number of seats by 62 ; the new bill struck 
out 143 seats instead of 168, and 37 additional seats were 
allotted, keeping the total number of seats unchanged. By the 
end of March the bill had passed all its stages in the House of 

It was still, however, quite uncertain what its fate would be 
in the House of Lords. There was only one possible method of 
coercing the peers, and that was by the creation of a The Bill in 
number sufficient to convert the government minority the Lords, 
into a majority. From such a course the king was ApriL 
intensely averse, and Grey himself was extremely anxious to 
avoid it. He promised at least not to make any such demand of 
the king before the second reading. A section of the peers was 
doubtful what to do, detesting the bill, but dreading the alter- 
native. Attempts to arrive at some compromise came to 
nothing, and when the bill came up for its second reading the 
waverers carried the day, and it was passed by a majority of nine. 

Three weeks later the House met again. In the country the 
political reform unions had been active, so also had been the 
opponents of reform among the peers. Lord Lynd- A ^recking- 
hurst at once proposed and carried a motion to amendment, 
postpone the disfranchising clauses of the bill May * 
until the rest of it had been examined. Evidently the intention 
was to wreck the bill by picking it to pieces in committee. There 

140 Reform and Free Trade 

was then only one course open to Grey ; he desired authority 
from the king to create a sufficient number of peers to secure the 
passing of the measure ; if the king should refuse, the resignation 
of the ministry would be the necessary result. William still hoped 
to avoid a course which would flood the aristocracy with new 
creations and destroy its character. If the Tories took office 
and brought in a Reform Bill of their own the situation might be 
saved ; he resolved to try the alternative, accepted the resig- 
nation of the ministry, and appealed to the duke of Wellington 
and Lord Lyndhurst. 

The pillar of the Tory party in the House of Commons was 
Sir Robert Peel. Only if he joined with the duke of Wellington 
Wellington would it be possible to form a Tory administration, 
fails to form The conduct of the two leaders was characteristic. 
3 ^ Both without any question at all regarded electoral 
reform with extreme aversion, as little less than a subversion of 
the constitution. Both had expressed that opinion about as 
emphatically as it was possible for men to do. Both saw that 
at the stage which had now been reached the alternatives to 
acceptance of a practically unmodified Reform Bill were the 
swamping of the peers or civil war. In the circumstances the 
duke judged his duty simply from the point of view of a servant 
of the Crown. Of the three alternatives the Reform Bill was 
the least intolerable ; he would be shirking his duty if he refused 
to take it upon himself to save the Crown by accepting office and 
himself assuming responsibility for the reform which in itself he 
abominated. Peel looked at the matter as a parliamentarian. 
The whole system of parliamentary government would go to 
pieces if ministers deliberately adopted a programme which they 
had publicly condemned as subversive of the constitution, and 
still believed to be so. He would not join a ministry for 
carrying a Reform Bill. Without Peel it was not possible 
to construct a Tory administration. Within a week the duke 
found himself obliged to inform the king that the task laid 
upon him was an impossible one, and to advise him to recall 

William accepted the situation. He tried indeed to persuade 

Reform \ 4 1 

Grey to modify the bill ; but the Whig leader was adamant. 
He would only return to office on condition of receiving the 
royal authority for the creation of such number of Grey's 
peers as might be necessary to the passing of the bill, firmness. 
William yielded and gave the authority. Yet a door of escape 
was found at the last moment. It would not be necessary to 
exercise the authority if assurances were given that a sufficient 
number of the peers would withdraw to enable the bill to pass. 
The duke exercised all his influence, and about a The bill 
hundred of the peers joined him in abstaining from passed, 
discussing or voting on the bill in its committee June 7th - 
stage. That was sufficient ; no new peers were created, no new 
amendments of consequence were carried, and the bill received 
the royal assent on 7th June. 

The Reform Bill was not final. The prophets who foresaw 
that it would prove to be not a barrier against democracy but a 
pathway leading to it, were in the right. The Effects of 
aristocratic Whigs who imagined that it would theWiL 
secure the permanent predominance of the cultured and leisured 
classes were wrong. But the Reform Bill postponed the coming 
of democracy until the memory of the French Revolution had 
faded into a remote past, when there were few* men living who 
had been born when the tumbrils were carrying their daily load 
of victims to the guillotine. And while it postponed democracy, 
it was in itself nothing less than a revolution. It changed the 
political centre of gravity. The counties continued to be as 
before strongholds of the agricultural interest, of the landlords and 
the paymasters of the agricultural labourer. But the boroughs, 
which before had been mainly under the control of the same 
dominant class, passed entirely into the hands of traders manu- 
facturers, merchants, and shopkeepers, mostly employers of 
labour on a large or small scale, but with their interests centred 
in commerce, not in land. These were the people who were 
now to exercise the predominant influence in the House of 

And at the same time the predominance of the House of 
Commons as compared with the House of Lords became very 

142 Reform and Free Trade 

much more marked. Never before the Reform Bill had the 
two Houses been arrayed against each other in such direct 
Lords and antagonism on a question of first-rate importance, 
Commons. because the constitution of the House of Commons 
caused it in some degree at least to reflect the party divisions of 
the House of Lords. The interests of the two Houses had only 
been incidentally antagonistic when the privileges of one or the 
other were in question. Henceforth the main interests of the 
one and the main interests of the other were not identical, were 
often antagonistic ; with the inevitable consequence that their 
views of what was for the public interest differed, because all 
men in every class have the utmost difficulty in realising that 
what is in the interest of their own class is not necessarily best 
for the public at large. And the struggle over the Reform 
Bill showed definitely that in the long run it was in the power 
of the House of Commons to coerce the House of Lords in the last 
resort. That view of their respective powers dominated the 
relations between the two Houses, so that three-quarters of a 
century passed before there was another pitched battle between 

It remains to review some aspects of the struggle of 1831-2. 
The central fact of the situation at the time was that the country 

demanded reform, and would have been satisfied 
Grey, with nothing less thorough than Grey's bill ; that 

Wellington, the alternative to it would have been civil war and 

the complete overthrow of the constitution. When 
it appeared that the coercion of the peers was the only way 
by which reform could be carried, after a general election at which 
it had been made absolutely clear that what the country de- 
manded was ' the bill, the whole bill, and nothing but the bill ' 
and only then Grey brought into play the constitutional power 
of the Crown to coerce the peers by artificially creating a majority; 
and only then could the king be persuaded to exercise the powers 
he possessed. Grey was entirely right in his firm refusal to sur- 
render any part of the bill, and his determination to carry it in 
the last resort by the only available means. Not less was the 
king right in making even the last despairing attempt to avoid 

Reform 143 

that exercise of his prerogative by changing his ministers, and 
again in yielding to Grey when that attempt had failed. From 
the constitutional point of view, Peel was right in declaring that 
public confidence would be destroyed if ministers made them- 
selves responsible for measures to which they avowed themselves 
opposed in principle ; and yet there was something heroic in 
Wellington's acceptance of the very, responsibility which Peel 
was right in refusing. And finally Wellington was right in with- 
drawing his opposition to a measure which he regarded as bad 
in itself, but knew also to be unequivocally demanded by the 
nation. At the same time, the immediate reason of his with- 
drawal was not so much acquiescence in an adverse national 
judgment as fear of civil war, and, still more immediately, fear 
of a creation of peers. 

Finally, with regard to that anticipated creation of peers, it 
is not easy to understand the apparent conviction that it would 
have changed the character of the House of Lords. The proposed 
It seems to have been supposed that as few as fifty creation of 
new peerages would have been found sufficient to peers - 
meet the necessities of the case. Most of them would at any 
rate have been allotted to members of aristocratic families. 
The number, of course, would have been altogether exceptional 
for a single stroke. Yet since the beginning of the reign of 
George in., and especially since the younger Pitt's accession to 
power, commoners had been elevated to the peerage in such 
numbers that the addition of another fifty, of whom as many as 
possible would themselves have been the eldest sons of peers, who 
if they lived would in any case have become peers in due course, 
would have made no very great change. Of much more real 
importance was the danger of creating a precedent on which 
ministers might base a demand for a creation of peers when the 
emergency was less instant than in 1832 the possibility that such 
creations might gradually be turned into instruments of party 
warfare. It was primarily in order to prevent such a 
catastrophe, foreshadowed by the Tory creations at the end of 
Queen Anne's reign, that Sunderland had introduced his Peerage 
Bill in 1717, For this reason it was well that the threatened 

144 Reform and Free Trade 

necessity of a large creation for the purpose of carrying a par- 
ticular measure was avoided ; but from the point of view of 
anything approaching a theory of popular government, it was 
also well that as Walpole had defeated Sunderland's Peerage Bill, 
so also, in 1832, the principle of the royal prerogative of creating 
peerages without limit of numbers was unequivocally asserted. 

II. GREY'S MINISTRY, 1833-1834 

The Reform Bill created a new electorate ; the next step was 
to enable the electorate to choose its representatives in parlia- 
ment. As soon as possible, at the end of the year, 
The new parliament was dissolved and the new House of 
parliament, Commons met in February 1833. The Tories, or, 
as we are now to call them, the Conservatives, were 
badly beaten at the polls ; Peel had less than one hundred and 
seventy of them at his back. But the rest of the members did 
not form a homogeneous party. In the first place, O'Connell 
had his own following from Ireland, making up a quite distinct 
party of thirty-eight ' repealers ' who voted not on the merits of 
any given question, but with the simple object of embarrassing 
the government or obtaining a quid 'pro quo for any support 
which they might lend to it. There was the extreme wing: 
men who called themselves Radicals, sometimes with the term 
' philosophic ' attached to it, while some of them might be more 
definitely classed as demagogues not necessarily a term of 
abuse. More numerous than these were the free-lances, some of 
whom would go with the Conservatives if the government took 
an advanced line, while others would go with the Radicals and 
the repealers who voted together when ministers showed signs 
of Conservatism. 

Against combinations of the adverse elements the government 
was not over sure of a majority ; and if Peel had acted upon the 
Peers simple doctrine that ' the duty of an Opposition is to 

attitude. oppose,' he could probably have turned them out. 
But to turn them out would have served no good purpose, 
because no other government was possible. Instead of doing so 

Greys Ministry 145 

he adopted the politic attitude which left to the government 
the responsibility for the government measures, while it did his 
work. In effect, by supporting ministerialists against the Radical 
wing, he achieved the double aim of educating his own party to 
accept the logic of facts, and to act on the assumption that the 
Reform Bill was irrevocable, and of preventing the ministerialists 
from being dominated by the Radical section. Incidentally he 
established his own position as the most powerful personality in 
the House. 

No subject more immediately or more persistently engaged the 
attention of parliament than the problem of governing Ireland. 
But the Legislative Union had not bridged St. -.. 
George's Channel. Irish members sat at West- other than 
minster, but Ireland still remained separate from domestic 
Great Britain in so marked a degree that it will 
continue necessary to give Irish affairs separate and consecutive 
treatment. The same practice must be applied to foreign affairs, 
to India and to the colonies ; and the history of domestic legisla- 
tion will be all the clearer, though we shall be obliged in the course 
of it to make such references to those other matters as may be 
necessary to explain the changes of government which were 
occasionally induced by them. 

The era of domestic legislation was, in fact, inaugurated by the 
Reform Bill. Since that date we have become so thoroughly 
accustomed to the infinite multiplication of laws that we regard 
ceaseless legislation as the habitual function of a legislature. 
Every year witnesses great accretions to the Statute An era of 
Book. Yet there was no such perpetual activity legislation, 
in earlier times. The population of the British Isles has quad- 
rupled since the last year of the eighteenth century. The con- 
ditions of life have become infinitely more complex, and the law 
is perpetually called in to define and to regulate where definition 
and regulation appeared unnecessary in the past, when long- 
established customs seemed sufficient guides. The nineteenth 
century saw the creation of a whole series of problems for which 
there was no precedent, and of which it appeared that the only 
solution was to be found in legislation. 

Innes's Eng. Hist. Vol. iv. K 

146 Reform and Free Trade 

Until the Reform Bill, the disposition of government was to 
ignore the problems except at moments when their existence 
seemed to threaten a system of law and order which took no 
account of them ; and then it did not attempt to solve the pro- 
blems, but dealt drastically with their disorderly exponents. 
Before the reform of the electorate, the ruling classes believed 
Emergence of quite honestly that they were the only people in the 
problems. country fit to have anything to do with the manage- 
ment of public affairs ; that there were no problems to solve, and 
that the poor were unaccountably ungrateful for the generosity 
of the rich. The condition of the proletariat was a part of 
the nature of things, and it would do more harm than good to 
attempt to improve it by legislation. Those of them who were 
conscientious did their best by purely individual action to relieve 
distress among their own dependants. But the idea of providing 
remedies by corporate action instead of relief by individual 
action hardly presented itself as practicable. 

The Reform Bill transferred the balance of political power 
from the class of rich people whose relations with their own de- 
Change of pendants were of a traditional semi-feudal character, 
ruling class, to a class of rich or moderately prosperous people 
who had no such traditions. The Industrial Revolution had pro- 
duced a new class of relations between employers and employed 
in manufacturing occupations. These new relations called for 
adjustment, and the new electorate was aware of the fact, dimly 
conscious that there were problems, beginning to suspect that 
they would have to be dealt with by legislation, which still 
seemed incredible in the case of relations which had a long 
tradition of custom behind them. 

Moreover, the national conscience was troubled. It was quite 
capable of sympathising with suffering and with victims of in- 
Humani- justice when it realised that they were victims of 
tarianism. injustice, though the realisation was sometimes 
difficult to bring about. At the close of the eighteenth century 
it had begun to understand that the conditions of the prisons 
was a blot on British civilisation. It had come to see that the 
slave-trade was an abomination in which the country had been 

Greys Ministry 147 

particularly active for a couple of centuries ; and it had there- 
upon set itself in dead earnest to persuade all Europe to join in 
suppressing that iniquity. It had begun to feel the barbarity 
of its criminal code. If its sensibilities were stirred, it was ready 
to make some sacrifices in what it conceived to be the cause of 
humanity ; and it was a good deal easier after the Reform Bill 
than before it to touch its sensibilities and bring them into play. 
And though the results were by no means always happy, a good 
deal of the new legislation followed from the returning activity 
of the humanitarian spirit ; though this was still crossed both 
by a concrete fear of the proletariat and by an abstract belief 
in the laissez faire doctrine of competition, unqualified except, 
it might be, in relation to the foreigner. 

The new parliament, itself the offspring of a reforming move- 
ment, assembled with a disposition to advance reform in fresh 
fields. The legislative activities of the year were Abolition 
of the highest importance. Setting aside Ireland of slavery, 
and India, the most sensational of them was the Act for the total 
abolition of slavery throughout the British dominions. Lord 
Mansfield in the reign of George in. had pronounced that in the 
British Isles no one was a slave in the legal sense ; and in 1807 
British participation in the slave-trade had been abolished. But 
Lord Mansfield's dictum did not apply to the British colonies, 
and vast numbers of negro slaves were employed in the West 
Indian plantations and in South Africa. The Act The Act of 
of Abolition passed in 1833 emancipated all slaves Abolition, 
throughout the British empire. Simple unqualified emanci- 
pation would have been a huge injustice to slave-owners whose 
slaves had hitherto been their property with the full sanction of 
the law. It would also have involved a dislocation of the whole 
labour system in the slave-holding colonies which would have 
produced sheer chaos. The latter difficulty was met by fixing 
a term of six years during which the emancipated slaves were 
to be maintained by their masters, whom they were to serve as 
before without wages for three-fourths of their time. At the 
end of the six years of what was called ' apprenticeship ' they 
Avere to become free wage-earning labourers. As to the owners, 

148 Reform and Free Trade 

they were to receive compensation for the loss of their property. 
When it was calculated that the sum of 20,000,000 would be 
required to make the compensation adequate, the payment of 
that sum was voted by parliament without a murmur. It has 
sometimes been said that no great and far-reaching reform has 
ever been carried until resort has been had to violence, or at 
least, when emancipation has been concerned, until the class 
to be emancipated has proved itself too dangerous to be ignored. 
But the emancipation of the slaves in the British empire is a very 
marked instance to the contrary. Nobody dreamed of emanci- 
pating the slaves in order to avert a danger. Nor did any one 
anticipate any profit to himself from the liberation of the negroes. 
The United Kingdom deliberately paid 20,000,000 in order to 
relieve its conscience of what it had only recently taught itself 
to regard as a stain ; and it had no motive whatever except the 
moral one. Economically, the expediency of the measure was 
questionable ; it carried with it some undoubted evils ; in 
South Africa especially the slave-owners felt that they were by 
no means adequately compensated by the liberality of the 
mother country. But the grand fact remains that the United 
Kingdom voluntarily paid for abolition at the rate approxi- 
mately of i per head of the population, on moral grounds, and 
on moral grounds alone. 

The Abolition Act was a great achievement, the final com- 
pletion of the Anti-Slavery movement which had been initiated 
Work in n t quite fifty years before. The second of the 

factories. government's measures, less dramatic, important 
perhaps more for its significance than for its achievement, was 
Lord Althorp's Factory Act, commonly spoken of as the first 
Factory Act. Strictly speaking, it was not actually the first. 
Fifty years before, still in the eighteenth century, the system of 
collecting workers in factories had already progressed so far 
that the pernicious sanitary conditions, and especially the con- 
ditions of the employment of children, had attracted attention ; 
Apprentices, matters were made worse by the obsolescence of 
the Elizabethan law of apprenticeship. That law allowed 
the masters in the scheduled trades to employ only journeymen 

Greys Ministry 149 

and apprentices, the number of the latter being restricted, and 
various regulations being enforced with regard to them. But the 
trades which were not scheduled under the Elizabethan law were 
under no such restriction ; they had increased and multiplied, 
employing large numbers of young folk to whom apprenticeship 
regulations did not apply ; and the practical result was that 
where apprentices were employed the regulations were very 
commonly disregarded. It was the duty of the parish authorities 
to place pauper children as apprentices as soon as they were old 
enough ; but as soon as that had been done the parish considered 
that it had discharged its responsibilities, and there was no one 
to see that the pauper apprentices were properly treated. Hence 
the worse kind of masters got as much as possible of their work 
done either by pauper apprentices, who had no one to look after 
their interests and insist upon regulations being observed, or by 
young people who were not apprentices at all, and for whose 
protection regulations did not exist even nominally. 

The Manchester magistrates, as the outcome of a Committee 
of Inquiry in 1784, declined to indenture children as apprentices 
where their working hours were not restricted to precursors of 
ten. This had little enough effect, because children factory 
could be employed without being apprentices. So le ^ lslatlon - 
the Manchester Board of Health was formed with the object of 
procuring legislation in order to make proper sanitary conditions 
and reasonable hours of labour compulsory. Many manu- 
facturers were setting an excellent example, but there was no 
way of bringing into line those who economised at the expense 
of their workpeople. Hence in 1802 Sir Robert Peel, father of 
the more famous son who bore the same name, procured the actual 
first Factory Act, very limited in scope, and giving protection 
only to apprentices, for whom night-work was forbidden, and 
whose hours of work in the day were limited to twelve, while 
some regulations were imposed for securing the barest decency 
in the conditions under which they lived. In 1819 an attempt 
was made to strengthen the Act, but at that moment the manu- 
facturers were alarmed at the mere idea of the state interfering 
with their perfect freedom of control ; and the only additional 

150 Reform and Free Trade 

limitations imposed were the prohibition of the employment of 
children under nine in cotton mills, and the restriction to twelve 
hours, not counting meal-times, of the employment of any one 
under sixteen. Six years later, the work on Saturdays was 
limited to nine hours. 

Now the general development of humanitarian feeling, to 
which allusion has been made, encouraged a general desire to 
Movement for improve conditions which were obviously destruc- 
intervention. tive of the health of the rising generation, and 
threatened very seriously to lower the national physique. Only 
here and there were there manufacturers like Robert Owen 
who believed in the positive economic advantage of such im- 
proved conditions. Owen put the thing to a very practical test 
in his own works at New Lanark. He employed no pauper 
apprentices the cheapest possible form of labour, since the 
parish authorities were always only too eager to get the pauper 
children off their hands ; he employed no young children at all ; 
he provided education for the children of his employees ; and the 
Humani- hours of work of all his hands were comparatively 
tarian, not short. Yet the success of his business failed to con- 
vince his neighbours that his methods were economi- 
cally sound. Those benevolent manufacturers who were now 
inclining towards state interference were doing so because they 
believed themselves to be handicapped by their own benevolence 
in the competitive struggle, and saw in compulsion applied to 
their neighbours the only way in which the handicap could be 
removed ; although in the abstract they regarded state inter- 
vention for the regulation of trade as injurious to trade. Hence 
the movement did not follow party lines. But so far as it did 
so, it was favoured rather by the Conservatives whose strength 
was in the agricultural and landed interests, than by the Liberals 
whose strength was in the manufacturing and trading interests 
the newly emancipated classes. For to the trader the economic 
arguments were all in favour of laissez faire, whereas to the 
agriculturist they were in favour of the protective intervention 
of the state. 

Thus in 1832, in the still unreformed parliament, it was the 

Greys Ministry 151 

Tory Michael Sadler who forced the question forward by intro- 
ducing a Ten Hours Bill. The bill was withdrawn Sadler and 
owing to the opposition of the manufacturers ; at A s&iey. 
the general election Sadler lost his seat. But his mantle de- 
scended upon Lord Ashley, best known to later generations as 
Lord Shaftesbury, since he succeeded to the earldom in 1851. 
Lord Ashley immediately introduced a measure the object of 
which was to make effective regulations already supposed to be 
in operation, which there were no practical means of enforcing. 
The bill, however, was withdrawn in favour of Lord Althorp's 
Factory Bill of 1833. The bill applied to the textile 1833 
industries. It forbade the employment of children Althorp's 
under nine, except in silk mills ; it limited that of Factory Actt 
children under thirteen to nine hours in any one day, and to forty- 
eight hours in any one week. ' Young persons ' from thirteen 
to eighteen had their work-time limited to twelve hours and 
sixty-nine hours. It seems sufficiently amazing that such limita- 
tions as these should not have been universally acted upon with- 
out legal compulsion, and that they should in practice have been 
habitually transgressed. The great new departure in the Act 
was the machinery by which the compulsion was made effective ; 
and for this the manufacturers themselves were responsible. 
At their instance government inspectors were appointed with 
powers of free entry, of calling evidence, and of exacting the 
penalties for infringement. 

Three other measures which require notice were passed in 
1833. The Bank Charter Act renewed the charter of the Bank 
of England, and made its notes legal tender every- Three useful 
where except by the Bank of England itself, which measures, 
was still required to give gold for them on presentation. 
The notes passed current, as being promises to pay in gold 
which were secure of being honoured at the Bank of England ; 
they were not an inconvertible paper currency as had been 
the case during the long period of the suspension of cash pay- 
ments. The charter of the East India Company also came up 
for renewal ; the terms on which it was renewed threw the Indian 
trade entirely open, and closed the career of the company as a 

152 Reform and Free Trade 

commercial corporation, without altering its political status in 
India. The third measure was the establishment of the Judicial 
Committee of the Privy Council, taking the place of occasionally 
appointed committees for discharging the functions of a final 
court of appellate jurisdiction for the British dominions overseas 
and for ecclesiastical causes. Finally in this year was made 
First grant the first national grant for purposes of education, 
for education. a ma tter which in England had hitherto been left 
entirely to private enterprise ; the education of the poor having 
been undertaken almost exclusively by the mainly Noncon- 
formist British and Foreign School Society and by the Anglican 
National Society. The grant was small enough ; the amount was 
only 20,000 ; but it was the first step, the first hint of a dawning 
consciousness on the part of the state that the education of its 
children was a matter of national concern. 

In 1834 came the most sweeping measure of reform. It 
certainly could not be said that Lord Grey's government set 
conscientious itself to catch votes. The abolition of slavery was 
legislation. approved by the nation, but appealed to the direct 
interest of no class in the whole community. The Factory Act 
was regarded by that body of employers who supported it as a 
philanthropic expression of their own rectitude from which others 
were to derive the benefit ; the working classes looked upon it 
not gratefully but suspiciously. It prevented the younger children 
from adding their pennies to the family purse ; it emanated from 
the capitalist, and therefore must certainly be intended in some 
way or other to benefit the capitalist class at the expense of the 
operative. And it had taken the place of the Ten Hours Bill 
which they had expected to shorten indirectly the hours of adult 
labour as a result of the direct shortening of the hours of children's 
labour ; a consequence which was not to be expected from the 
new Act, which tended to encourage the employment of children 
in two shifts, keeping one or other at work over a complete day 
of sixteen hours. Least of all was the Poor Law Amendment 
Act calculated to achieve popularity. The subject was, in fact, 
one which no government could expect to handle conscientiously 
and effectively without acquiring a great deal of ill-will. 

Greys Ministry 153 

The Elizabethan Poor Law had served its turn fairly well for 
a century and a half. It had relieved extreme destitution ; it 
had provided a certain amount of employment for state of the 
men who were willing to work and could get nothing Poor Law - 
to do. It began to be felt as insufficient with the change in rural 
and industrial conditions during the second half of the eighteenth 
century. And at the end of that century it had been transformed 
into a positive instrument of evil by its administration after 
Gilbert's Act. The old system of giving relief to able-bodied 
persons only if they entered the workhouse, and did the work 
provided for them, was set aside ; relief was given indiscriminately 
to the needy ; and then the Speenhamland scheme was generally 
adopted, and the labourer's wages were supplemented out of the 
rates. Theoretically, he received the amount necessary to make 
up the equivalent of a living wage for himself and his family, 
whether large or small ; with the result that he ceased to think of 
the existence of any ratio between work and wages. He got 
enough to keep him alive, and practically no more, whether he 
worked well or worked ill. He had every incentive to add every- 
thing he could by illegitimate methods, none to increase his 
earnings in legitimate ways. He was taught to believe that he 
had a claim to be supported ; incidentally, he was very often 
taught by his spiritual instructors that it was wrong of him to be 
dissatisfied with his lot. And at the same time his paymasters 
were encouraged to keep his wages at a minimum. 

The Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834 interposed drastically 
to counteract the evils which had for the most part grown up 
since Gilbert's Act. Only in one respect was the 
precedent of that Act followed ; the process of Poor Law- 
combining parishes into larger unions with a corre- Amendment 
spondingly improved organisation was pushed 
forward. Otherwise there was a return to the earlier pre- 
cedents. Outdoor relief was abolished ; relief from the rates 
was given only to those who were in the workhouse. With no 
help from the rates the worker was obliged to demand, and the 
employer was obliged to give him, a wage on which he could keep 
himself and his family alive in return for his work ; so that 

154 Reform and Free Trade 

efficiency in work again acquired a market value, and the work- 
man was encouraged to do the better work which would earn him 
a higher wage. But the new Act also ignored the still earlier 
precedent which assumed that it was the duty of the community 
to provide employment for the man who was honestly willing to 
work, and honestly unable to find work to do. 

The remedy was drastic. Wages did not immediately adjust 
themselves to the new conditions. Able-bodied men who found 
its effects. themselves out of work or insufficiently paid also 
found themselves starving ; they would not send their families 
into the workhouse, so they starved too. It was only by degrees 
that the beneficial effects of the change showed themselves. The 
rates dropped, and the farmers began to find that they could pay 
in increased wages what they had before paid in the high rates. 
Both employer and labourer found that better wages and better 
service went together. The Poor Law ceased to act as a pauperis- 
ing influence ; work and wages were restored to something like 
their true economic relations. But the process was slow, and in 
its earlier stages it was accompanied by a vast amount of severe 
suffering. The unpopularity of the bill was not diminished by 
the establishment of a Poor Law Board of three commissioners 
with very wide powers of controlling the administration of 
the new law, powers which they employed with a relentless if 
necessary rigour which produced an impression of extreme and 
most unsympathetic harshness. 

Before the bill was passed into law, Lord Grey resigned a step 
in which he had been preceded by several of his colleagues, and 
in which he was accompanied by Althorp. The cabinet had 
become seriously divided over Irish questions. On the Poor 
Law Bill, Peel in the Commons gave a steady support to the 
government in resisting the pressure of the Radicals to relax its 
severity. The result of Grey's resignation was that Melbourne 
took his place as prime minister and reconstructed the Liberal 
cabinet ; since neither Liberal nor Conservative chiefs saw their 
v/ay to a coalition, and the seceders from the government did not 
go into actual opposition. The ministry was saved when 
Althorp, under pressure from practically the whole party, con- 

Melbourne 155 

sented to return to the cabinet. He was one of those statesmen 
who, without being brilliant, attract to themselves a vast amount 
of confidence by the plain common sense which appeals to the 
average man, and by conspicuous integrity and devotion to duty. 
The present generation can recall the somewhat similar authority 
which was reposed in a later Earl Spencer, and in the late duke 
of Devonshire. 

III. MELBOURNE, 1834-1841 

Melbourne succeeded Grey in July. The Poor Law Amend- 
ment Act had already passed through the House of Commons, 
and Wellington employed his influence to carry it 1834 
through the House of Lords almost unopposed. Melbourne, 
In spite of the change, the government seemed so u y ' 
secure that, when parliament was prorogued, Peel went abroad. 
Yet three months later King William dismissed the ministry. 
By his father's sudden death, Lord Althorp became Earl Spencer, 
and his accession to the title involved his withdrawal from the 
Commons to the Peers ; the strength of the government de- 
pended largely upon the influence of his personality in the 
Commons ; and Melbourne himself seems to have been doubtful 
of his ability to carry on the government. The king would not 
listen to his suggestion that the leadership of the House of 
Commons should be entrusted to Lord John Russell. Five days 
after Earl Spencer's death, Melbourne himself conveyed the 
royal summons to the duke of Wellington. The p a u fthe 
king had lost confidence in a Liberal government, ministry, 
the more since Grey's retirement and the failure ] 
to effect a coalition between Melbourne and Wellington. He 
wished to see the Conservatives in power, and he believed that 
the country had the same desire. He knew that Melbourne 
was personally not unwilling to lay down the burden of office. 
There was no question that the dismissal of ministers with whom 
he was dissatisfied lay within the king's prerogative ; and he 
acted upon it for the last time. Wellington advised him to 
send post-haste to Italy for Sir Robert Peel, and in the meantime 

156 Reform and Free Trade 

himself took over the business of administration with all the 
three secretaryships of state in his own hands. Peel returned 
1835. with all possible speed, took over the office of prime 

Peel's minister on gth December, constructed a cabinet 

December- of Conservatives, having failed to induce any of 
April. the Liberal seceders to join him, and dissolved 

parliament on 3oth December. The general election only raised 
the strength of his party in the House of Commons to 270. The 
position was curiously reproduced in 1910 and 1911, when a 
Unionist government, like the Conservatives in 1835, would have 
been quite unable to carry out its task in face of a combined 
Opposition of official Liberals, the Radical wing represented by 
the Labour party, and the Irish Repealers or Nationalists. In 
April, Peel's government suffered a direct defeat and resigned ; 
and Lord Melbourne again returned to office. 

Since the dismissal of Melbourne by William iv. the Crown 
has accepted the doctrine that it should act strictly on the advice 
1834 The f ministers. The long reign of Queen Victoria 
king's action, established the constitutional practice ; the queen 
>er ' never dismissed her ministers, although there was 
never any formal abrogation by the Crown of a right which in 
the past had been frequently exercised, notably so lately as in the 
case of George m. and the coalition ministry of 1783. Such 
action would at least temporarily identify the Crown with one 
political party, and the complete severance of the Crown from 
party was the most notable product of the unfailing practice 
during the sixty-four years of Queen Victoria's reign. 

When faced with the general election Peel had issued what 
was known as the Tamworth manifesto, a statement setting 
1835. The forth the principles on which he proposed to conduct 
Tamworth the government of the country. In fact, it was 
lto ' an expansion of the text that the middle road is 
the safe road to follow. He declared in effect that the old ultra- 
Toryism and the new democratic Radicalism must both be dis- 
carded. The Reform Bill was an accomplished fact from which 
there was no going back. The country was committed to the 
correction of proved abuses and the redress of social grievances, 



but only after careful inquiry, and in combination with the firm 
maintenance of established rights ; yet this was a very different 
thing from treating every suggested grievance as an abuse 
demanding instant suppression. The manifesto was one of 
those declarations to the terms of which any one of any party 
not being an avowed extremist could cheerfully subscribe ; 
since every one will claim that he is personally in favour of 
judicious reforms, but not of reforms which are injudicious or 
ill-considered. But it did not remove almost unlimited oppor- 
tunity for a difference of opinion as to which category any specific 
reform was to be included under. The importance of it lay mainly 
in its departure from the old Toryism in definitely recognising 
that there were subjects which might be legitimately approached 
in a reforming spirit that a review of existing institutions was 
permissible and justifiable. 

During his brief tenure of office Peel introduced sundry pro- 
posals of a reforming character. He appointed an ecclesiastical 
commission to investigate the distribution of church 


revenues, and a bill to relieve dissenters from the ministry 
necessity of marriage according to Anglican rites, overturned, 
But the Liberals were angry at having been ejected 
from office, and were determined to eject Peel. An understand- 
ing was arrived at with O'Connell, known as the Lichfield House 
Compact, which of course presented itself to the other side as a 
monstrously flagitious bargain. Russell raised a debate on one 
of the burning Irish questions, that of tithe, the government was 
defeated, Peel resigned, and Melbourne returned to office. But 
the new government depended for its preservation upon the 
support of the Repealers, and consequently its Irish policy was 
largely dictated by O'Connell. 

Weak as the government undoubtedly was, it carried in 1835 
one measure of first-rate importance, a corollary of the Reform 

Bill itself the Municipal Corporations Act. This 

f . . . Melbourne: 

was the outcome of a commission of inquiry ap- Municipal 

pointed under Grey's administration. The govern- corporations 

ment of most boroughs had fallen into a very 

corrupt condition, and was for the most part in the hands of some 

158 Reform and Free Trade 

small oligarchical group which applied the revenues of the cor- 
poration exclusively with an eye to its own interests. The Act 
remodelled the constitutions of very nearly all the old boroughs, 
providing them with a uniform system. The oligarchies were 
displaced, and the government of the borough was placed in the 
hands of a mayor, aldermen, and a body of councillors elected 
by the ratepayers and freemen, holding office for three years. 
The councillors elected the aldermen, who held office for six 
years ; and the whole town council, including aldermen and 
councillors, elected the mayor for one year. In effect, the reform 
placed the whole administration in the hands of an elective body, 
very much as the Reform Bill had restored the House of Commons 
as a body of elected representatives. The bill was supported by 
Peel in the Commons, but was very nearly wrecked in the House 
of Lords by the devices of the old Tories, guided by Lord Lynd- 
hurst. The Lords' amendments, however, were rejected except 
on minor points by the House of Commons, Peel in effect giving 
his support to the government, and the Tory Peers did not 
venture to maintain their resistance. 

During 1836 and the first months of 1837 several minor reforms 
of an unobtrusive nature were carried, such as the introduction 
1836. Minor of a purely civil marriage before a district registrar, 
reforms. o f the system of registering births and deaths as 
well as marriages, and the reduction of the stamp duty on news- 
papers from fourpence to a penny. 

The year 1837, however, is a landmark in our history, because 

in June the old king died and was succeeded on the throne by 

his niece Victoria, the only child of Edward, duke 

Accession of Kent, the fourth of the sons of King George m. 

of Queen With her accession began the longest reign in our 

annals. Only once since the succession to the 

throne of the house of Hanover has the transfer of the crown 
from a monarch to his successor inaugurated a conscious change 
in policy. George in. deliberately set himself to recover political 
ascendency for the Crown. The girl of eighteen who succeeded 
King William iv. was no innovator like her grandfather, and 
made no attempt to obtrude her personality into politics. To 

Melbou me 159 

all appearance, things went on as they had done before. She 
was very young, extremely conscientious, intensely interested 
in her duties, clear-headed, and determined. Also she was a 
queen, not a king. This combination of qualities made her an 
admirable subject to work on for the wise mentor who took her 
political education in hand, Lord Melbourne. The result was 
that in the course of her reign she perfected the British type of 
constitutional monarchy in which the Crown exercises not a 
control over party programmes, but a pervading influence 
independent of party. 

At the moment, however, the fact of first significance was that, 
but for Victoria, Ernest, duke of Cumberland, would have become 
king of England. The duke's personal character The Duke of 
was objectionably notorious ; and politically he Cumberland, 
was known to be an extreme reactionary. William had restored 
to the Crown some of the credit which his elder brother had 
dissipated ; but he had not made the throne really popular or 
deeply respected ; there was no strong sentiment of loyalty to it. 
Conservatism adhered to monarchy partly because it was tradi- 
tional, partly because the British monarchy was not aggressive, 
partly because it was still mortally afraid of sansculottism. Had 
Cumberland become king it is by no means impossible that the 
Revolution of 1688 would have been repeated, with no one to 
take the part of the Prince of Orange. But the country was 
disposed from the first to treat the young queen with a mildly 
critical benevolence, which her own excellent qualities soon 
transformed into a sincere loyalty. A secondary, but by no 
means unimportant result of the succession was that severance 
the crown of Hanover was separated . from the from 
crown of England, passing by the law of male sue- Hano 
cession to Ernest of Cumberland. The Hanoverian connection 
ceased to be a political complication, as it had constantly been 
ever since 1714. 

Before the session of parliament closed, an Act was passed 
abolishing capital punishment, except for the crimes of high 
treason, murder, piracy, arson, and robbery with violence. 
Parliament was then dissolved and the general election gave 

160 Reform and Free Trade 

the government a reduced majority of only thirty-four, count- 
ing Radicals and Repealers (of whom there were now only 
weakness thirteen) among its supporters. The houses met in 
of the November, and within eighteen months of that date 

Melbourne's second ministry had come to an end. 
The circumstances precluded any vigour of legislative activity, and 
the government was surrounded with embarrassments. There 
was a rising in Canada, which had to be dealt with. In 1838 
popular discontents were bringing to birth on one side Chartism, 
and on the other the Anti-Corn Law League. Trade unionism 
was not at the moment prominently active. But the Poor Law 
had supplied the labouring classes with a fresh grievance, and 
they were full of the conviction that the panacea for all evils 
Remedies for was ^ ^ e f un( l m the political predominance of the 
popular labourer. The manufacturers, on the other hand, 

depression. gaw the root of the Depression of the working classes 

in the high cost of living, and were beginning to look upon cheap 
bread, to be obtained by the abolition of the Corn Laws, as the 
remedy. Philanthropy apart, they could also see that with 
cheap bread a lower wage would still keep the working-man in 
comparative comfort ; and the lower wage would mean less cost 
of production for themselves. If the agitation against the Corn 
Law had not arisen amongst the manufacturers, who could easily 
be represented as having only their own interests in view, the 
working classes might have found the cry an attractive one. As 
it was, it appeared to them to be a red herring drawn across the 
path by their enemies, the capitalists, in order to distract them 
from the pursuit of political power. 

Hence, in 1838, a body called the London Workingmen's 
Association tabulated a series of political demands which came 
to be known as the People's Charter, while its advocates were 
known as the Chartists. There were six points in the charter : 
1838 abolition of property qualification for members of 

The People's parliament ; the payment of members ; vote by 
ballot ; manhood suffrage ; equal electoral districts ; 
and annual parliaments. No one at the present day asks for 
annual parliaments ; but of the points named, the first three 

Melbourne 161 

have all been conceded, equal electoral districts is merely another 
form of the demand ' One vote one value/ while manhood 
suffrage or even adult suffrage hardly present themselves as 
revolutionary ideas. But in 1838 they seemed extremely re- 
volutionary, and undoubtedly the great mass of the population 
expected a complete social revolution to result from their 

The demand for the repeal of the Corn Law was not a general 
or popular one. The working classes fought shy of it, the agri- 
cultural interest abhorred it, and it had not taken 1839 ^^ 
hold even of the manufacturers. In 1839, however, corn Law 
the Anti-Corn Law League was formed, and an ex- League - 
tremely vigorous propaganda was instituted, the leading spirits 
being Richard Cobden, Charles Villiers, and John Bright, whose 
agitation was to bear fruit abundantly within a remarkably 
short space of time. 

The Corn Law agitation was as yet hardly an embarrassment 
for the government ; hitherto it had not reached the point of 
attracting any of the recognised political chiefs, chartist 
The Chartists, however, began to cause grave troubles, 
alarm. They were divided between the moral force men who 
wished to rely upon constitutional agitation, and the physical 
force men who held that their ends could only be gained by 
terrorising the authorities. In 1839 the latter section was dis- 
tinctly gaining the upper hand. Then, in June, a monster petition 
embodying the points of the charter was brought before the 
House of Commons. It was dismissed by the House in July 
without discussion. Riots immediately broke out at Newport 
and elsewhere, but were energetically suppressed. John Frost 
and two other leaders were arrested, charged with high treason, 
and sentenced to transportation. The Newport riot was a 
practical demonstration that the physical force behind the 
Chartists was not adequate to defy the physical force behind 
the government. 

These disturbances weakened a ministry already weak enough. 
Another colonial trouble, this time in Jamaica, brought them 
so near to defeat in the House of Commons that Melbourne 

Innes's Eng. Hist. Vol. iv. L 

1 62 Reform and Free Trade 

tendered his resignation to the young queen, to her intense 
regret, and advised her to send for Sir Robert Peel. So ended 
Melbourne the second Melbourne administration. Yet it was 
resigns. hardly dissolved before the same ministry was called 

upon to resume office. Peel was joined by Wellington, Stanley, 
and others, and laid the list of his proposed cabinet before the 
The bed- queen ; but at the same time he informed her that 
chamber it would be necessary for her to dismiss the ladies 
question. of her househo ld all Whigs or Liberals as it was 
not proper that the influences about her person should all be 
antagonistic to the government. Times had changed since the 
reign of Queen Anne, so that there was practically no precedent. 
Queen Victoria entirely declined to change her ladies. Peel 
declined to take office, except upon that condition ; and 
Melbourne came to the rescue, consenting to return to office 
in order to save his royal pupil from her dilemma. 

The reconstructed ministry was palpably weaker than it had 
been even before Melbourne's resignation. The grant for educa- 
1839-41 tion was increased from 20,000 to 30,000, and was 

Melbourne accompanied by the appointment of some school in- 
spectors ; an Act, the result of a libel case known as 
Stockdale v. Hansard, gave protection to the authorised reports of 
parliamentary proceedings. But nothing more striking char- 
acterised English legislation. In 1840, the queen married her 
cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg Gotha, who as Prince 
Consort became an invaluable ally and adviser to her, especially 
after Melbourne's death some years later. Melbourne, however, 
held on until the summer of 1841, when, after being defeated on 
a vote of ' no confidence/ he advised the queen to dissolve 
parliament. The general election went heavily against the 
government ; it was defeated on an amendment to the address 
by a majority of over ninety ; and at the end of October 
Melbourne for the third time resigned. 

Peel 163 

IV. PEEL, 1841-1846 

The immediate cause of the resignation of Melbourne's ministry 
was its defeat by one vote on a motion of ' no confidence ' ; but 
this had been preceded by a defeat on the budget. 
Finance had been throughout the weak point of the Need of 
Liberal administrations ; year after year there had financial 
been deficits, while no serious attempt had been 
made to evolve new means whereby the revenue should be 
brought to balance the expenditure. On the crucial question 
of the Corn Law, they had retained the sliding scale devised by 
Huskisson and adopted under the last Tory administration. 
Latterly, however, while they held aloof from the pure free 
trade doctrine of the Anti-Corn Law League, they had inclined 
to the substitution of a fixed duty upon foreign corn in place of 
the sliding scale. In 1841, it was proposed in the budget to 
abolish the sliding scale, and to establish in its place an unvary- 
ing duty of 8s. ; and it was on this proposal that they had been 

Peel, then, upon taking office found himself face to face with 
a very serious task. Although there was a slight lull in the 
Chartist agitation, the general financial depression p ee i's 
and the poverty of the working classes were very difficulties, 
grave, and the country was engaged in a troublesome war with 
China. Before the year 1841 was out, alarming events were 
taking place in Afghanistan ; and during the winter the de- 
pression reached its lowest depths. In Peel's view, financial 
reconstruction was of first necessity. The party was committed 
to no programme ; it had confidence in its chief, who was sup- 
ported by a decidedly strong cabinet ; and it remained for Peel 
to design a policy which should carry with it the continued sup- 
port of the parliament in which he actually enjoyed a decisive 
majority. And in that majority the agricultural interest was 

With a miserably low level of wages, the high price of bread was 
conspicuously a prime cause of the sufferings of the wage-earning 
classes. It was also obvious that the high price was maintained 

164 Reform and Free Trade 

by the tax upon imported corn, which was intended to ensure 
that the price of grain should be high enough to make agri- 
Tne sliding culture pay, but not so high as to prevent bread 
scale. f rom being reasonably cheap. But, in fact, the 

sliding scale operated so as to encourage speculation in corn, 
which caused violent fluctuations in price often ruinous to the 
farmer, while keeping the price of bread at the high level. This 
was the particular evil which the Liberal proposal of a fixed duty 
was intended to remedy. 

Peel, however, in 1842 still held to the principle of the sliding 
scale, which he modified in the hope that the change would secure 
1842. the farmer by steadying the fluctuations in the 

A revised price of grain, would lower the price of bread in 

ling scale. some d e gr ee f or the working classes, and would do 
so without increasing the dependence of the country upon foreign 
corn supplies. Instead of the 235. imposed under the old scale 
whenever the price of grain was less than 645., a maximum duty 
of 2os. was to be imposed when grain was 505. or less. When 
grain was as high as 755. there was to be only a is. duty on 
imported corn, and no duty at all when the price rose above 755. 
Between 503. and 753. the impost was to be applied on a care- 
fully graduated scale, diminishing from 2os. to is. as the price 
rose. Cobden and the Anti-Corn Law Leaguers denounced the 
whole scheme as one which afforded no relief to the poor, and 
was really intended to benefit no one but the landed interest. 
The Liberals insisted on their old alternative, a fixed duty of 8s. 
The agricultural interest, though rendered suspicious and un- 
easy, stood loyally by Peel ; and extreme protectionist pro- 
posals for making the duties more stringent were rejected as 
emphatically as those of the Liberals and the Leaguers. The 
measure was carried. 

In other respects, however, Peel's budget of 1842 marks an 
epoch in the national finance. The aggregate deficits in the last 
An epoch- nve vears amounted to little less than 8,000,000 ; 
marking the anticipated deficit for the coming year would 
be about 2,500,000. Unless there were a change, 
the deficits would continue to increase. Mindful of Pitt and 

Peel 165 

Huskisson, Peel believed that in the long run diminished duties 
increase revenue, and that the abolition of duties on raw 
materials, by diminishing cost of production, so fosters manu- 
facture and increases wealth as to add to the revenue from other 
sources more than it loses by being deprived of the duties. The 
same argument applied to export duties on home products. He 
proposed therefore to reduce the import duties on 750 out of 
the 1 200 taxed articles, making all those on raw materials 
merely nominal, and to abolish the export duties on British 
manufactures. But whatever benefits might accrue to the 
revenue in the long run from Tariff Reform on these lines, the 
immediate effect would be to reduce revenue and still further to 
increase the anticipated deficit. 

To meet this deficit then it was imperatively necessary to 
impose new taxes which would bring in some 4,000,000. A 
part of this was to be provided by laying upon coal Income tax. 
exported in British ships the same export duty as upon coal 
carried in foreign bottoms the preference given to the former 
being a survival of the partially repealed Navigation Act. But 
the main new source of revenue was to be the imposition of an 
income tax of sevenpence in the pound. Such a charge had been 
imposed by Pitt as a war tax, and, as being exclusively a war tax, 
it had been abolished a year after Waterloo. Peel now looked 
upon it as an emergency tax, intended to tide over the period 
until his reform of the tariff should again increase the revenue 
instead of diminishing it. In the meantime, the cost of living 
would be so far lowered by the reform of the tariff as to provide 
the tax-payer with more than the equivalent of the amount 
paid in income tax. That was the theory. Year after year 
sanguine chancellors of the exchequer retained a fond belief 
that in a very few years it would cease to be necessary to impose 
the income tax. That happy hour never arrived, though it was 
only in the twentieth century that the fiction was dropped and 
the chancellors of the exchequer definitely included the income 
tax as a recognised permanent and necessary source of revenue. 
The income tax was vigorously but unsuccessfully opposed by 
the Liberals, whose political forebears had procured its abolition 

1 66 Reform and Free Trade 

twenty-six years earlier. Peel was also vigorously assailed as 
legislating on behalf of the landed interest, because of his re- 
tention of the corn and sugar duties which protected the British 
landowner and the West Indian sugar planter, while he withdrew 
protection from British traders. Nevertheless the budget was 
triumphantly passed. 

In the following year, Goulburn, Peel's chancellor of the 
exchequer, found that there was after all a deficit. But this was 
Budgets explained by the fact that only six months' instead 

ot 1843 of twelve months' income tax had been collected. 

Since it was evident that the yield of that tax was 
going to exceed considerably the amount estimated, no altera- 
tions were made. In 1844, the justice of the calculation was 
demonstrated by a realised surplus of over 2,000,000. Good 
harvests and improving trade warranted some further remissions 
in taxation. But the year was signalised by two other financial 
measures of great importance. One was the conversion of 
250,000,000 of the national debt, by which the interest payable 
thereon was reduced from 3^ per cent, to 3^ for ten years, and 
was to be at the end of ten years further reduced to 3 per cent. ; 
effecting a diminution of the annual charges by 625,000 during 
the first period, and 1,250,000 afterwards. The conversion was 
warranted by the substantial rise in the price of consolidated 
stock since Peel had come into power. 

The second financial measure was the Bank Charter Act. By 
this Act the banking and issue departments of the Bank of 
Bank England were separated ; and while the banking 

Charter business remained in the hands of the directors, 

Act, 1844. the j ssue k us j ness was strictly regulated. Notes 

might be issued to the amount of 14,000,000 against government 
securities ; the further issue of notes was to be limited to the 
amount of bullion in the cellars of the bank. At the same time 
established banks other than the Bank of England were restricted 
to issuing notes to a total value not exceeding 8,500,000, while 
no banks established in the future were to be allowed the privilege 
of issuing notes at all. This measure was the result of recent 
over-trading, which had multiplied private banks in America and 

Peel 167 

in Great Britain until there was an enormous excess of paper 
money in the market ; with the result that when depression set 
in there were runs on the banks which they were unable to meet, 
and many were brought to ruin, with a generally disastrous 
effect upon credit. The Act made no direct provision for meet- 
ing a panic, but Peel reckoned, and was justified in so doing by 
the event, that in case of a crisis the Act would be temporarily 

Meanwhile there had been, in 1842, a second insurgence of 
Chartism, again accompanied by riots, and again suppressed 
without great difficulty, which further discredited 1842 The 
the physical force party ; and there was another Chartists 
lull in the movement, partly at least in consequence agam< 
of the recovery of trade. 

There were, it has been remarked, three methods of dealing 
with the working-class problems created by the industrial revolu- 
tion : combinations among the workmen, extension of political 
power to the working classes, and legislation by the governing 
classes. The first movement was comparatively speaking in the 
background. The working men for the most part placed their 
faith in the second, which found its expression in Chartism. 
They did not believe that legislation emanating from the govern- 
ing classes was really intended for their benefit. Hence they dis- 
trusted the Anti-Corn Law Leaguers, detested the new Poor Law, 
and held Althorp's Factory Act of little account. They knew 
in fact that legislation directed to the control of the relations 
between employer and adult workmen was not to be looked 
for, while they were singularly callous to legislation for the protec- 
tion of the children, which they favoured only when it seemed, as 
in the case of Sadler's abortive Ten Hours Bill, to promise the men 
indirectly and as a consequence a reduction in the hours of labour. 

About the time, however, when Peel came into office an 
agitation was beginning, to check the employment of women 
and to reduce their hours of work. The men were 1842 The 
waking up to the fact that their own employment collieries 
was curtailed by the employment of cheaper female 
labour, and that a reduction in the women's hours of work might 

1 68 Reform and Free Trade 

as a matter of organisation necessitate a reduction in the men's 
hours of work. The movement received a great impulse from 
the publication in 1842 of a report on the employment of women 
in mines and collieries. A commission of inquiry discovered an 
appalling state of things. Women and quite small children 
were working in galleries underground, carrying burdens or 
dragging trucks, forced to stoop or crawl the whole time, doing 
in fact everything which women and children ought not to 
The Mines do, everything most admirably calculated to ruin 

utterly the physique, the intelligence, and the morals 
of future generations. The public mind was so shocked by the 
report that Lord Ashley was able to carry, almost unopposed, a 
Mines Bill which prohibited the employment underground of 
females of any age or of boys under ten (1842). 

The impulse born of the collieries report was again intensified 
by the emotional appeal of Mrs. Browning's poem, ' The Cry of the 
Children/ In 1843, Sir James Graham introduced a new govern- 
ment Factory Bill, which Ashley endeavoured to amend by fight- 
ing for a ten hours clause for women and young persons. A first 
edition of the measure had been withdrawn in the previous year 

in consequence of the hot opposition of the in- 
Grahain's dividualist economists commonly known as the 
Factory Manchester school, who were convinced that all 

questions of employment should be left to be settled 
by unfettered competition, on the questionable assumption that 
masters and employees alike were entirely free agents. The 
second edition was reduced to chaos by cross voting on amend- 
ments. Finally, Graham introduced the bill in a third form, 
which applied to women in factories the regulations which had 
already been made to apply to young persons. An inadequate 
attempt was also made to meet the difficulties which had revealed 
themselves to the inspectors under Althorp's Act in their efforts 
to enforce the rules applied to children and young persons. For 
children a half-time system was enacted, restricting the employ- 
ment of every child to the half day before the dinner hour or the 
half day after it, instead of allowing them to work in ' relays/ 
which had made it practically impossible to ascertain whether 

Peel 169 

the children were being worked for too long. It was required at 
the same time that they should attend school for three hours 

In 1845, interest again centred on Peel's financial measures. 
The three years for which the income tax had been imposed 
were now over. The balance between revenue 1345. 
and expenditure had already adjusted itself. Peel, Tlle budget, 
however, felt that the successful experiment of 1842 might be 
repeated. A renewal of the income tax would permit him to 
carry through another stage in the reduction of duties. The 
revenue derived from it would enable him to dispense with the 
revenue from the indirect taxes which he proposed to remove, 
until full compensation should be derived from the correspond- 
ing development of trade. The development of trade would at 
the same time increase the demand for labour, the amount and 
the price of the employment obtainable by the working classes. 
The sugar duty was reduced ; such of the export duties as still 
remained were abolished ; so were the duties on more than four 
hundred articles, the raw materials of manufacture. Practically, 
the general principle of protection was thrown over, and Benjamin 
Disraeli, the most effective of the champions of protectionist 
principles which had been hitherto generally professed by the 
Conservative party, denounced the government as an ' organised 
hypocrisy.' But this was a kind of tariff reform which had won 
the approval of the Liberals as well as of many Conservatives, 
and Peel's budget was triumphantly carried. 

The budget modified the sugar duties, while it left the Corn 
Law untouched. There can, however, be little doubt that for 
some time past Peel's receptive mind had been The change 
adapting itself to a change of conviction, to a grow- in Peel - 
ing belief that the interests of the consumer were paramount. 
The same change of conviction was taking place in many other 
minds ; it was not unique in Peel's case. So lately as in 1842, 
the bulk of the Liberal party still believed in protecting the 
agricultural interest ; Lord Melbourne had declared that the 
abolition of the tax upon imported corn would be madness, and 
the Liberal attacks upon Peel's budgets were directed to the sub- 

170 Reform and Free Trade 

stitution of a fixed duty for the sliding scale. But the change 
which was coming over public opinion was precisely exemplified 
by the rapid progress of the Anti-Corn Law League. In 1839, 
the League had been well content with subscriptions amount- 
ing to 5000. In 1843, it obtained ten times that amount, which 
was again nearly doubled in 1844. When Peel introduced his 
budget in 1845 the League already had 250,000 to devote to 
political purposes. 

These were facts of a kind which appealed very strongly to 
the prime minister, whose whole record shows how powerfully 
The Irish ms own views were influenced by developments of 
potato public opinion. His conversion was completed by 

amme. ^ e t er rible potato famine which in this year invaded 

Ireland. The population of that country in 1841 was over 
8,000,000, of whom one half literally depended for their subsist- 
ence upon the potato crop ; nearly all the corn grown in Ireland 
was exported. In the summer of 1845, blight attacked the 
potato crop, which was almost entirely destroyed. Sheer starva- 
tion was staring the population in the face, and before October 
Peel had already come to the conclusion that grain would have 
to be provided. But the English corn harvest failed, grain could 
not be provided unless it came from abroad, and it could not 
be provided at a tolerable price while the tax upon imported 
corn was maintained. 

On ist November, Peel, having summoned a cabinet council, 

raised the question whether the Corn Law should be modified 

, or suspended to meet the emergency one course 

conversion or the other was absolutely necessary. Once sus- 

compieted, pended, it was tolerably certain that it would be 
November. ... . .; , T , . . ... r 

impossible to reimpose it. In his own view, modifi- 
cation would not meet the case. He carried with him at first 
only three members of the cabinet. Already it seemed probable 
that he might feel called upon to resign ; when towards the end 
Russell's of the month Lord John Russell issued the 'Edin- 
conversion. burgh letter ' declaring himself a complete convert 
to the doctrine of the Anti-Corn Law League. In December 
the attitude of many members of the cabinet had changed. 



Wellington and others were either converted or convinced that 
the repeal of the Corn Law was preferable to the shattering of 
the party. But there were stalwarts, Stanley and the duke of 
Buccleuch, who refused to give way. 

There was no question that Peel and the Conservatives had 
come into power as convinced believers in agricultural pro- 
tection. Since the party was not converted en masse, Peel felt 
that as its leader he was not the right person to introduce the 
new policy. He tendered his resignation, and Peel resigns; 
advised the queen to consult Lord John Russell. Russell 
endeavoured to form a cabinet, but his efforts were finally 
frustrated by the refusal of Lord Grey (the son of the former 
prime minister) to join the government with Palmerston as 
foreign secretary. In the circumstances, Peel consented to re- 
sume office on the definite understanding that he did so as a free 
trader. All his old colleagues except Stanley con- but resumes 
sented to join him ; Stanley's place at the colonial offlce - 
office and in the cabinet was taken by William Ewart Gladstone, 
once ' the rising hope of the Tory party/ who had been president 
of the Board of Trade, but had retired from office on an Irish 
question at the beginning of the year. Lord George Bentinck 
became the nominal, and Disraeli the effective, leader of the Pro- 
tectionist Opposition when parliament met in January 1846. 

In the debate on the address, Peel explained his position and 
his policy. Five days later, on 27th January, the financial 
resolutions were introduced. There was to be a 1346. 

further remission of duties on many manufactured Repeal of the 

J Corn Laws, 

articles ; most of the remaining duties on raw January- 
materials were to be abolished altogether. But June - 
everything else was overshadowed by the repeal of the Corn 
Laws. At the end of three years they were to disappear, leaving 
only a registration duty of one shilling. In the interval, by way of 
softening the blow to the agricultural interest, a duty of los. 
was to be retained when the price of corn was at or below 485., 
falling to 43. when the price was at or over 533. The Protec- 
tionists, led by Disraeli, made a desperate stand, resisting the 
passage of the bill by every parliamentary device. The bill 

172 Reform and Free Trade 

did not pass the third reading in the Commons until I5th May. 
A fortnight later the second reading was carried in the Lords 
with a majority of forty-seven. On 25th June the third reading 
was carried in the Lords, in spite of the opposition headed by 
Lord Stanley, who in 1844 had been raised to the peerage in 
anticipation of his succession to the earldom of Derby. 

On the same night the government were defeated in the House 
of Commons on an Irish bill, by a combination of Irish Repealers, 

Radical Freetraders who objected to coercion, and 
Simultaneous . . 

government Tory Protectionists who approved of coercion but 

defeat, 25th were bent on the destruction of the ministry which 
in their view had betrayed the party. Two days 
later Peel announced his resignation. The cause of Free Trade 
had triumphed, but the ministry could no longer remain in office. 
Peel and In proffering his apologia Peel with a fine mag- 

Cobden. nanimity declared that the triumph was due not to 

himself but to Richard Cobden, who on the Irish bill had joined 
forces with the Protectionists and wrought his downfall. The 
statement was in the circumstances not the less magnanimous 
because it was true. It was the unwearied zeal, the ceaseless 
efforts of Cobden and his allies of the Anti-Corn Law League 
which had educated the public, transformed public opinion, and 
converted Peel himself. None the less it was also true that the 
repeal of the Corn Laws would not then have been carried if Peel 
had not been converted. It was Peel's conversion which converted 
also a mass of Liberal-Conservative opinion, and at the same time 
induced the actually unconverted duke of Wellington to use his 
powerful influence to save the bill from rejection by the House 
of Lords. Peel never returned to office ; but until his death in 
1850 his personality continued to exercise in the House of 
Commons an influence more powerful than that of any other 

V. RUSSELL AND DERBY, 1846-1852 

On the resignation of Peel's cabinet the task of forming a 
new ministry fell to the Liberal leader in the House of Commons, 

Russell and Derby 173 

Lord John Russell. That party, though substantial in numbers, 
could not by itself command a majority, and depended for its 
continuance in office on the effective support of Peel 1846 
and the Peelites that wing of the Conservative The Russell 
party which had followed the great chief and mini8tr y- 
could never again coalesce with the Protectionists. In spite of 
offers from Lord John Russell, no Peelites would join the cabinet, 
though Wellington continued to hold the post of commander-in- 

The five and a half years during which the ministry remained 
in office witnessed many critical events on the continent, in 
India, and in the colonies ; Ireland also was very much to the 
fore ; but there were few opportunities for domestic activities 
in parliament. Before the Houses rose, Russell took in hand the 
readjustment of the sugar duties which had hitherto The sugar 
been arranged with the primary object of protecting duties, 
the interests of the sugar-growing colonies. While the duty on 
British colonial sugar was 145., that upon foreign sugar was pro- 
hibitive, a secondary intention being the exclusion of sugar 
grown by slave-owners. Russell's bill reduced the duty on 
foreign sugar to 2 is., and arranged for its further reduction in the 
course of five years to the 145. imposed on colonial sugar. This 
was another step in the direction of complete Free Trade, which 
was carried by large majorities despite the opposition of humani- 
tarians (on behalf of slaves), and of the Protectionists who in- 
sisted that the removal of preferential tariffs for colonial produce 
was a fatal blow to imperial interests. 

In 1847 came an important advance in industrial legislation 
the Factory Act which bears the name of John Fielden. The 
Act brought into existence the ten hours day for 1847 
which Michael Sadler had originally contended. Fieiden's 
Fielden's bill was introduced in 1846 while the Corn Factor y Act - 
Law fight was going on. It was then defeated, since it was opposed 
not only by the Cobdenites but also by the government as an 
interference with freedom of contract the habitual argument 
which confronted all proposals for compulsory legislation during 
the next fifty years. Being brought in again when Russell was 

174 Reform and Free Trade 

prime minister, but being no longer opposed by the official govern- 
ment, it was supported by many who had previously resisted it, in 
order to preserve the ministry from defeat ; and it was carried 
by substantial majorities. The argument as to freedom of con- 
tract was not convincing to any one who recognised that as a 
matter of fact women and young persons were not free parties 
shorter * a contract. Much weight, however, was attached 

hours and to the argument of economists who proved elabor- 
ately that the manufacturer made his profit on the 
last hour of work done, so that if the number of working hours 
in the day were reduced by one the manufacturer would get no 
profit, and if by two would incur serious loss. The economists 
had not yet learnt that the reduction of hours may mean a more 
than equivalent increase in efficiency. It was very soon found 
that after a few months' trial, the output of ten hours' toil 
excelled in quantity and quality the previous output of twelve 
hours. The actual problem is to ascertain in any given employ- 
ment the precise point at which the reduction of hours ceases to 
supply an equivalent in the increase of efficiency. 

Still, Fielden's Act was not easy to enforce. It retained the 
factory ' day * of fifteen hours from 5.30 A.M. to 8.30 P.M., requiring 
1850-3. on ty that women and young persons should not be 

Amending actually at work for more than ten hours out of 
those fifteen. The inspectors found almost insuper- 
able difficulties in their efforts to ascertain whether the regula- 
tions were observed. Hence there came in 1850 an Amending 
Act which fixed the women's factory day as the twelve hours 
from 6 A.M. to 6 P.M. Outside those hours, that is, all work 
done was ' night work/ from which women and young persons 
were prohibited. Within the twelve hours two had to be 
allowed free for meals, so that it became practicable to ensure 
that the regulations were observed, and the women were not 
actually at work for more than ten hours. Another practical 
outcome was that organisation necessitated a corresponding 
adjustment of the men's hours, as had been anticipated when 
the question of limiting women's work was raised in 1841. 
Even this Act fell short of the lookeoMor result, because it 

Russell and Derby 175 

still retained for children the old fifteen hours day, in one half 
or the other of which they might be employed. It was not till 
1853 that the children's day was reduced to the same period as 
the women's day, and the complete readjustment of the men's 
work to a factory day of twelve hours became inevitable. 

In 1848 Chartism made its last effort. The year was one of 
convulsions on the continent. It opened with the February 
Revolution in France, where the monarchy was 1848 
quietly ejected and a republic was again established. The year of 
Everywhere Nationalist and Constitutionalist move- revo u ] 
ments broke out ; but in the British Isles they were confined to 
an abortive insurrection in Ireland, the Chartist panic, and the 
Chartist fiasco. 

Since 1843 the bulk of the Chartists had passed under the 
leadership of Feargus O'Connor. The physical force men had 
lost ground in consequence of the ease with which actual out- 
breaks had been repressed. But as the revolution- chartism 
ary movement came to a head on the continent in active. 
1848, revolutionary Chartism appeared at least to be recru- 
descent in England. There was a renewed activity of agitation ; 
large meetings assembled at which violent speeches were made, 
and considerable alarm was aroused. The determination, how- 
ever, to keep to constitutional methods was followed unfortun- 
ately for the Chartists, after a very unskilful fashion. A monster 
petition was prepared carrying, it was said, 5,000,000 signatures. 
A monster meeting was summoned to be held on Kennington 
Common on loth April, which meeting, on its adjournment, was 
to march in procession over Westminster Bridge to the House 
of Commons to present the petition. There was a general fear 
that it was actually intended to seize the metropolis and overawe 
the House of Commons. Preparations were made, unostentati- 
ously but on a large scale, to paralyse completely any possible 
attempt of the kind. An immense number of special constables 
were enrolled to preserve order ; but at the same time the old 
duke of Wellington, to whom the preparations for defence were 
entrusted, quietly posted concealed troops in such a manner that 
if there were any actual outbreak of violence the soldiers would be 

176 Reform and Free Trade 

completely masters of the situation. It was politely intimated 
to O'Connor that he might hold his meeting and present his 
petition, but that the procession would not be permitted. 

The Chartist leader had no real belief in physical force, and had 
gone as far as he was disposed to venture in the way of bluff. 
Collapse. The 500,000 who were to have gathered on Kenning- 
ton Common dwindled to some 30,000. There was no attempt 
to march over the bridge in procession ; and the monster petition 
was carried to the House of Commons by three hackney cabs. 
On inspection the supposed 5,000,000 signatures were found to 
number only 2,000,000, and of those it was obvious that a large 
proportion were bogus. The Chartist movement perished in 
pure ridicule. As a bogy it was finally laid. But, as already 
remarked, most of the political demands formulated in the 
People's Charter lost their terror, and were in the course of time 
adopted as desirable reforms. 

The parliament in which Russell began his administration 
in 1846 was the same which had been elected in 1841. It was 
is*?. dissolved in 1847, but no appreciable variation in 

Education. the balance of parties resulted from the general 
election. There is not much else to record in the life of the 
administration so far as its relations to domestic affairs in Great 
Britain are concerned. Apart from the Factory Acts, the most 
progressive measure to its credit was the education grant of 1847. 
The amount of the grant was now raised to 100,000. The main 
object was to increase the efficiency of the teachers, for whom 
a very elementary kind of training was provided by the intro- 
duction of a system of assistance by pupil- teachers. Advanced 
pupils in a sort of transition stage were initiated into the work 
of teaching before they became full-fledged responsible masters 
and mistresses. Provision was also made for pensioning masters 
when they became superannuated. But the grant was still 
applied so that it gave no assistance to Roman Catholics, and 
benefited mainly the Anglican schools where the children of 
Dissenters could be withdrawn from the religious education pro- 
vided under a conscience clause. As has always been the case 
when this very thorny subject has come up for consideration, the 

Russell and Derby 177 

measure was opposed both by Anglicans and Dissenters for 
precisely opposite reasons. 

At the close of the administration much excitement was 
created by a papal bull dividing England into territorial dioceses, 
with territorial titles, and appointing Father Wise- 1851 
man cardinal and archbishop of Westminster. This Ecclesiastical 
appeared as an unwarrantable act of papal aggres- ^ 
sion because of the manner in which the thing was done, though 
in itself it was trivial enough. The ' No Popery ' cry was suffi- 
ciently vigorous to enable Russell to pass in 1851 the Ecclesi- 
astical Titles Bill, which declared the papal bull to be null and 
void, and imposed heavy penalties on any Roman Catholic 
bishops who assumed the territorial titles. The Act, however, 
was merely a safety-valve for anti-papal sentiment, and no 
attempt was ever made to apply it effectively. 

Lord Palmerston's conduct of foreign policy was a frequent 
cause of anxiety not only to statesmen of other schools, but also 
to his own colleagues. He vindicated his principles isso. Death 
in a splendid effort of parliamentary oratory, remem- of Peel - 
bered as the Civis Romanus Sum speech, in 1850 ; a speech which 
established his popularity in the country, and elicited from Peel, 
who condemned his policy, the encomium, ' It has made us all 
proud of him/ The debate was the last in which Peel took part. 
On the following day he was thrown while out riding, and the 
injuries he received proved fatal. His death deprived the 
ministry of the independent but invaluable support that he had 
habitually accorded to it. It had been his paradoxical fate to 
carry through parliament at least two reforms of enormous 
importance, to both of which he had been strongly opposed 
almost until the last moment. He had been a persistent opponent 
of Catholic emancipation until 1828, and was a supporter of 
agricultural protection when he took office in 1841. He was not 
an originator in politics, but he was endowed with an exceptional 
capacity for realising that he had been mistaken in rejecting the 
ideas of more original persons than himself. And his unequalled 
skill as a parliamentarian enabled him to give practical effect 
to such ideas, as no other man could have succeeded in doing. 

Innes's Eng. Hist. Vol. iv, M 

178 Reform and Free . Trade 

In the personal ascendency which he exercised in the House, 
whether in or out of office, he had no rival. In his capacity for 
absorbing and making his own ideas which had once been abhor- 
rent to him he was equalled perhaps only by his pupil and 
follower, William Ewart Gladstone. 

At the beginning of 1851 there occurred a ministerial crisis. 
The government's Budget proposals were unsatisfactory, the 
Ministerial Peelites in general were opposed to the Ecclesiastical 
crisis in 1851. Titles Bill, and the finality of the great Reform 
Bill was already being seriously called in question. It was 
Russell's intention to make some proposals for the extension of 
the franchise, but a motion was carried against the government 
in favour of placing the county and borough franchises on the 
same basis. Russell tendered his resignation ; but the formation 
of a new ministry by any process of combination proved impos- 
sible, and the same government resumed office. Later in the 
year there came another crisis. Palmerston had already been 
taken seriously to task for treating foreign policy very much 
as if it was a private concern of his own, acting on his own 
responsibility without keeping either the queen or his colleagues 
adequately informed of what was doing. In 1851 Louis Napoleon 
effected the coup d'Etat which established him as the head of the 
state in France. Palmerston again transgressed in a manner 
which compelled the queen to insist upon his dismissal. The 
foreign secretary felt himself precluded in the peculiar circum- 
stances from offering more than an incomplete defence of his 
1852 action, for which there was better excuse than was 

Fail of apparent. But within a few weeks he got what he 

the ministry. called , tit for tat with j ohnny R usse ll/ when the 

government, owing to Palmerston's intervention, was defeated 
on a Militia Bill (February 1852) . 

After this defeat the ministry could no longer retain office. 
The Conservatives were in a considerable minority, but Lord 
Derby's Derby (hitherto known to us as Stanley) undertook 

ministry the task of carrying on the government. Lord 
George Bentinck was dead, and the leadership of the House of 
Commons along with the chancellorship of the exchequer was 

Russell and Derby 179 

entrusted to Disraeli, although his brilliancy, ingenuity, and 
supreme skill in debate had not yet by any means won the real 
confidence of the party. For the time being it was necessary 
to avoid contentious questions. But the position was uneasy. 
Parliament was dissolved in July, but after the general election 
parties remained very much as before. This was conclusive 
proof that on the crucial question of Protection the country had 
not changed its mind as expressed in 1847 at the election which 
followed the repeal of the Corn Law. The question The burial of 
was laid to rest, on the formal adoption by an Protection, 
overwhelming majority of a resolution pronouncing that the 
Act of 1846 was wise and beneficial, and that the extension of 
the policy of Free Trade would most contribute to the prosperity, 
welfare, and contentment of the people. In its original form 
the resolution had been unnecessarily offensive to the whole 
body of those who had fought against Free Trade, but of whom 
many had been converted by the actual success which had 
attended Peel's policy. A judicious amendment, however, by 
Palmerston, made the motion sufficiently acceptable ; nor was 
the subject again brought into the arena of practical politics 
until the twentieth century. 

But the ingenious Budget proposed by the chancellor of the 
exchequer was discovered by the financiers of the Opposition 
to be directed to compensating the landed interest Di 8rae ii' s 
at the expense of the community. The Budget Budget 
was defeated, Lord Derby resigned ; it was now defeated - 
evident that the only possible government must be the product 
of a coalition between Liberals and Peelites ; and Russell con- 
sented to waive his own claim to the position of prime minister 
in favour of Lord Aberdeen, the foreign secretary of Peel's 

Before the Derby government fell, another great figure had 
vanished from the scene. In September the duke of Wellington 
was laid in his tomb in St. Paul's ' to the noise of Death of 
the mourning of a mighty nation/ He had been a the duke - 
great soldier, a great public servant, who throughout his life had 
unfailingly subordinated every other interest to what he judged 

180 Reform and Free Trade 

to be his duty. In his last years he had won what till then had 
been denied to him the love and affection, as well as the admira- 
tion, of the whole people. The final judgment of the nation and 
the world is enshrined for ever in the noble memorial ode of the 
poet laureate, Alfred Tennyson. 

VI. IRELAND, 1830-1852 

Throughout the twenty years following the Reform Bill 
which, like the Bill of Rights, is always referred to as a Bill 
Daniel instead of as an Act Ireland was an ever-present 

O'Conneii. trouble to successive ministries. In 1829 the 
'Liberator' achieved the great object for which he had spent 
half his life in fighting, and in effect forced Catholic emancipa- 
tion upon a Tory government. But the manner of the surrender 
only roused in O'Conneii a renewed hostility. He had extorted 
one tardy act of justice ; now he would extort another kind of 
reparation. He had opened his political career as an opponent 
of the Treaty of Union between Great Britain and Ireland ; now 
he set himself to champion the same old cause, and to demand 
the repeal of the Union which was presently to become the 
supreme and persistent claim, in one form or another, of 
political malcontents in Ireland. 

Had the Union been attended by emancipation and by the 
subsidiary concessions to the Roman Catholics which Pitt had 
Emancipation * n contemplation, it is probable that the old hostility 
did not between Catholic and Protestant would have faded 

away with the complete removal of the religious 
grievance. That happy consummation had been entirely 
frustrated by the obstinate conscience of George in. Concessions 
were made to the Protestant Nonconformists, at one time the 
hottest opponents of the English connection, which transformed 
them into its most determined supporters, but at the same time 
embittered the grievance of the Catholics, and raised anew the 
barrier between them and the Presbyterians which the policy 
of the United Irishmen had so nearly removed when it combined 

Ireland \ 8 1 

them in hostility to the British domination. In 1829 emancipa- 
tion came not as a boon conceded in the spirit of justice and 
generosity, but as a right extorted by fear, granted reluctantly 
and ungraciously. Instead of having a conciliating effect, it 
was only an incentive to the pressing of further demands. 

The political demand for repeal was the cry which O'Connell 
took up when he found that the Whigs on taking office showed 
no disposition to reward him for the assistance he 1832 
had given in bringing about the downfall of the The tithe 
Tory ministry. But the demand was thrust into rievance - 
the background by the persistence of a Catholic grievance which 
had not been removed by emancipation. The land had to pay 
tithe to the clergy of the established Church, and the person 
who paid the tithe was the occupier, whatever his religion might 
be. The occupier felt that he was compelled by the law to pay 
tithe for the maintenance of a Church which included less than 
one-fifth of the population, while no provision whatever was 
made for the Church of four-fifths of the population. If he was 
one of the four-fifths he naturally resented the law which endowed 
an alien Church. And the grievance was made tangible because 
he personally had to pay his contribution in cash or in kind. 
The fact did not present itself to his mind that if the tithe had 
not gone to the parson it would have gone instead in the form of 
rent into the pocket of his landlord. It appeared to him simply 
that the collection of tithes was a monstrous injustice ; nor was 
the case made any better by saying that the tithe was the lawful 
property of the parson ; that was merely another way of saying 
that the law itself was unjust. An eternally depressed agri- 
cultural population, living habitually at only one or two removes 
from starvation, fastened upon the tithe as one of the causes 
of its sufferings, and a particularly unjust one. 

So there arose what was called the tithe war. The peasantry 
refused to pay tithe, and applied their own forms of coercion to 
those of their number who did pay it ; who were The tithe war. 
subjected to a merciless persecution. The sympathies of the 
population were on the side of the persecutors, who in conse- 
quence could enforce their own decrees very much more effectively 

1 82 Reform and Free Trade 

than the government could enforce the law. Witnesses could 
not be persuaded to give evidence, and even when convincing 
evidence was produced juries refused to convict. All the familiar 
forms of violence and outrage were brought into play, and 
popular leaders did nothing to hold them in check, though it 
was never possible to convict O'Connell himself of giving 
positive encouragement to violence. 

The reformed parliament in England under Grey's leadership 
practically initiated the system of seeking to pacify Ireland by 
coercion. removing grievances with one hand, and with the 
other applying exceptional measures for the enforcement of the 
law, measures generally referred to as Coercion Acts. There was 
always a section of the Liberal party which was disposed to rely 
upon conciliation and to abstain from coercion. There was 
always a section of the Conservative party which was disposed 
to rely upon coercion and oppose conciliation. O'Connell always 
maintained that neither conciliation nor coercion nor the two 
together would ever give peace to Ireland until the Union was 
repealed ; but in Great Britain, at least, no one of any party 
for half a century to come could see any reason to suppose that 
repeal would produce the desired effect. 

So in 1833, Stanley, then chief secretary for Ireland, intro- 
duced a Coercion Bill of an exceedingly stringent type, which 
included the partial suspension of the Habeas 
Coercion Corpus Act and a partial application of martial law, 
and 'appro- an( } was duly carried in spite of the vehement 
opposition of O'Connell and the Radical wing. It 
was accompanied by a measure for reorganising the distribution 
of the Church temporalities, which was sound enough in itself 
but did not touch the Roman Catholic grievance, except in one 
single respect. It was expected that under the new scheme of 
distribution there would be an undistributed surplus of about 
60,000 which was to be appropriated by parliament to what- 
soever purposes, whether secular or clerical, it might think fit. 
To those who were not members of the Church this seemed 
entirely proper ; to those who were it seemed plain robbery. 
The government found itself obliged to yield to the views of the 

Ireland 183 

churchmen and to surrender the appropriation clause. The 
surplus remained under ecclesiastical control. Both the bills 
were carried. 

In the next year it was manifest that the tithe question could 
not rest where it was ; but the Irish question wrecked the Grey 
administration and brought in that of Melbourne. The battle of 
The government in the first place introduced a bill 1834 - 
which was to transform tithe into a land tax. But on the 
question of ' appropriation ' there was a division in the cabinet. 
Russell openly declared himself in favour of appropriation, 
claiming in other words that ecclesiastical endowments might be 
appropriated by the state to secular purposes. Four ministers 
resigned ; and then came another split on the question of renew- 
ing the Coercion Act. It had beyond doubt been effective in 
checking crime, but on the one side it was held that it had 
already served its purpose sufficiently, and on the other that the 
purpose would be served more thoroughly by its continuation. 
An informal attempt was made to arrive at some agreement 
with O'Connell ; there were misunderstandings and imputations 
of bad faith, with the result that Grey and Althorp retired, 
though Althorp consented to rejoin Melbourne's ministry. A 
comparatively mild Coercion Bill was carried, but a variant on 
the Tithe Commutation Bill was decisively rejected by the House 
of Lords. 

At the end of the year the Melbourne ministry was dismissed 
by the king. From November till April 1835 Wellington and 
Peel conducted the government. Again it was the 
Irish question which destroyed the ministry. Lichkeid 
Russell succeeded in carrying against Peel a resolu- House 

, - r r r .* Compact. 

tion in favour of applying the surplus funds of the 
Irish Church to education ; in effect asserting the appropriation 
principle. Peel immediately resigned. The restored Melbourne 
ministry were able to hold office because they had come to an 
agreement with O'Connell, the agreement known as the Lichfield 
House Compact. According to Russell it was a perfectly 
straightforward alliance. O'Connell undertook to suspend the 
repeal agitation and to give the government general support on 

184 Reform and Free Trade 

conditions which were perfectly reasonable on the assumption 
that he was an honest man, and inexcusable upon the contrary 
assumption. The same criticism, it may be remarked, has 
habitually applied mutatis mutandis to all negotiations, ' com- 
pacts/ and ' treaties ' which have taken place at any time 
between English politicians and Irish leaders. The practical 
outcome at this time was that the men who were sent to govern 
Ireland were all approved by Daniel O'Connell. 

Once more the government introduced the Tithe Commutation 
Bill. As before, the principle was to be that of substituting a 
Tithe com- * ax levied on the landowner for the collection of 
mutation tithes from the occupier. The arrears of tithes 
suspended. w hj cn the peasantry had refused to pay were to be 
met by a subsidy from the state. Again the battle was over the 
appropriation clause. The government carried their measure 
in the Commons, but the appropriation clause was defeated in 
the Lords, and for three years the question was shelved. 

For practical purposes the man who now governed Ireland 
was Thomas Drummond, the under-secretary. The last Coercion 
Thomas Act h ac * lapsed ; disorder and violence were still 

Drummond rife ; the tithe war was still going on. The popula- 
in Ireland. tion took ^ j aw accor di n g to the unwritten code 

of the secret societies, which set the laws of the government at 
defiance, besides being in its methods not less tyrannous and a 
good deal more barbarous. Drummond organised a strong 
administration, establishing the magistracy and the police force 
on a very much sounder basis, which greatly increased the 
effectiveness of the administration of justice. He strove ener- 
getically to develop the industrial resources of Ireland. But 
while he strengthened the administration of the law he bitterly 
offended the landlord class by his public assertion that ' property 
has its duties as well as its rights,' a phrase which appeared to 
them to be an incitement to disorder, at a moment when the 
rights of property were being very actively challenged, when 
the old agrarian grievances were at their height, tenants were 
refusing to pay their rents, and outrages were painfully prevalent. 
Drummond was determined to maintain the law, but was un- 

Ireland 185 

doubtedly hostile to the landlords as a class, and sympathised 
with the genuine grievances of the tenants. 

At last in 1838 the tithe question was settled, at least for the 
time. The government was not strong enough to overcome the 
determined opposition in the Lords to the doctrine 1838 Com _ 
of appropriation, nor was the question one upon mutation 
which it could rest an appeal to the country. A ' 
Commutation Bill which devoted the surplus to ecclesiastical 
purposes was passed in both Houses without difficulty ; thence- 
forth the tithe was collected in the form of a tax upon landlords. 
The principle was unaltered. The land was charged with the 
support of the established Church and no other. The tenant, 
though he did not realise the fact, merely paid an increased rent 
instead of paying tithe direct ; but his sense of grievance against 
the parson was removed, and his sense of grievance against the 
landlord was practically unaffected. One other sensible Irish 
measure emanated from Westminster the establish- 183 g. 40 . 
ment of the Poor Law on the same lines as that of other Irish 
England. But as in England, the benefits of the reforms - 
measure were not upon the surface as were the objections to it, 
so that its effect was rather irritating than conciliating. A 
Municipal Corporations Act was emasculated by the House of 
Lords, so that it practically retained the control of corporations 
in the hands of the Protestant ascendency by fixing a 10 instead 
of a 5 franchise. As with appropriation, the government at 
last gave way to the Peers and the bill was passed in 1840. 

O'ConnelFs repeal agitation had first been pushed into the 
background by the tithe war, and then virtually suspended by 
his alliance with the Melbourne government. At is. 
the general election in 1841 which established Peel 'Repeal.' 
in office, hardly more than a dozen repealers were returned to 
parliament. But the truce was over and the agitation assumed 
new proportions. It was taken up by a group of young 
enthusiasts, Protestants as well as Catholics, who with their 
followers came to be known as Young Ireland. O'Connell re- 
covered the ascendency which he had lost for the moment ; 
it became evident that the demand for repeal was growing 

1 86 Reform and Free Trade 

formidable, and in 1843 Peel made it known that repeal meet- 
ings were to be suppressed by coercive measures. O'Connell 
replied by holding monster meetings where much inflam- 
matory language was used, amounting to threats of armed 
rebellion, though the Liberator continued to pronounce against 
violence. The meetings were absolutely legal, and irritation 
was increased when a number of prominent magistrates who had 
attended them sympathetically were removed from the bench. 
This was followed by a new Coercion Act. Irishmen such as 
Smith O'Brien who had hitherto been supporters of the Union, 
were driven over to the side of Repeal. The agitation only 
received a fresh impetus. 

Monster meetings more enormous than ever were held ; then 
a gigantic one was organised to assemble at Clontarf on 8th 
1943. The October. On 7th October the government issued 
Clontarf a proclamation which forbade the meeting. 
O'Connell, true to his principle of opposing open 
violence, succeeded in dispersing the crowds who were gathering, 
and a disastrous collision between the government troops and the 
population was averted. Nevertheless, the government, con- 
vinced of the necessity for suppressing the agitation, almost 
immediately afterwards arrested O'Connell himself and some 
other leaders on a charge of conspiracy. A jury was em- 
panelled of which every member was a Protestant ; it followed 
the direction of the presiding judge, and found the accused 
persons guilty ; and they were condemned to various terms of 
imprisonment. In the circumstances, however, the legality of 
the court was open to question. On this point appeal was 
made to the House of Lords ; and the majority of the law lords 
quashed the verdict, in effect on the ground that the jury had 
been packed. The impartiality of the highest tribunal was 
honourably vindicated, and O'Connell was released. But his 
power was gone. The old energy was beaten out of him ; his 
followers no longer trusted in his courage ; and the direction of 
the Irish movement passed to younger hands and hotter heads. 

Just as the Clare election convinced Peel of the necessity for 
Catholic emancipation, the events of 1843 convinced him of the 

Ireland 187 

necessity for a more thorough examination of the Irish problem. 
The Devon Commission was appointed to inquire into the land 
question. At the same time the religious grievance The Devon 
was by no means settled by the commutation Commission, 
of tithes. In 1845 Peel proposed to increase the endowment 
of the college at Maynooth, for the education of the Irish priest- 
hood, from 9000 to 20,000, besides making an immediate grant 
for its pressing necessities. In spite of a loud ' No 1345. 
Popery ' outcry the proposal was carried by Peel in Maynooth. 
the Commons and Wellington in the Lords. A further attempt 
was made to deal with the whole education question by the 
establishment of free colleges on undenominational lines. Un- 
denominational education when the differences are no greater 
than those between Anglicans and Nonconformists has always 
excited sufficiently bitter controversy. The seriousness of the 
controversy was increased tenfold when the differences were 
those between Roman Catholic and Protestant. The ' Godless 
colleges/ as they were called, were legally established, but did 
nothing whatever to bridge the chasm between Roman Catholics, 
Churchmen, and Dissenters. 

On the top of all the other troubles came the appalling potato 
famine of 1845, just after the Devon Commission had 
presented its report. That report showed that the Tne De von 
vast bulk of the population of Ireland depended commission's 
entirely upon the produce of the soil, and that the * 
conditions of land tenure reduced them to a permanent condition 
of deplorable poverty. The peasant was not only sentimentally 
attached to the soil ; if he attempted to leave it there was practi- 
cally no industrial employment to which he could resort. Conse- 
quently, he was at the mercy of a rack-renting landlord. In order 
to remain where he was, he would agree to any terms, even though 
the terms were obviously impossible to keep. The peasant's 
method of solving the resulting problem was to leave his rent 
unpaid ; the landlord's solution was the eviction of the tenant. 
Most of the landlords were absentees ; had they not been so they 
might have grasped the necessity of conceding fairer terms. 
But they left their estates in the hands of agents, and the agents 

1 88 Reform and Free Trade 

regarded it as their business to extract all they could for the 
landlords without any consideration for the tenants. There were 
other cases in which the estates had passed out of the hands of 
the landlord himself into those of a mortgagee, more destitute 
of any consideration for the tenant than even a landlord's agent. 
Half the rents were far higher than the soil could possibly bear. 
And except where what was called the Ulster Custom prevailed, 
the tenant had no security of tenure ; he could be evicted at 
short notice ; and if by any conceivable chance he managed to 
make improvements in his holding, the landlord's agent raised 
the rent. The obviously inevitable result of such a state of 
things was that the tenant, left at the landlord's mercy by 
the law, set the law at defiance, and was enabled to do so with 
more or less impunity by the organisations of the secret societies. 

Nevertheless the report of the Devon Commission had no 
effective result. The doctrine of freedom of contract was in- 
The report vincibly predominant. On the hypothesis that 
shelved. contracts between landlords and tenants were free 

contracts on both sides, the state must on no account interfere. 
The shock of the revelations was just sufficiently strong to cause 
the introduction of a small measure in the House of Lords. 
Though landlords were not whole-hearted in their enthusiasm 
for laissez faire when the manufacturing interests were con- 
cerned, yet being human they found those doctrines altogether 
convincing when their own freedom from state interference was 
at stake. So the measure after being introduced was unosten- 
tatiously shelved and forgotten. 

The famine came. It finally converted Peel on the question 
of the Corn Laws, but the abolition of the corn duties could not 
The famine, serve the immediate purpose of averting starvation. 
The government purchased a quantity of maize which was sold 
at a nominal price for food. Relief works were set on foot, with 
reasonable pay. But little enough good resulted. Famine and 
destitution were accompanied by fresh outbreaks of crime. 
Crime brought its corollary, a Coercion Bill. The Coercion Bill 
was resisted in parliament by Irish Repealers and advanced 
English Liberals. At the last stage the Protectionists, in order 

Ireland 189 

to wreck the government, joined forces with the Opposition and 
defeated the bill. The business of governing Ireland passed 
from Peel to Russell. 

Again the blight descended on the potatoes, and crime continued 
rampant while the government could not venture upon coercive 
legislation. By the Labour Rate Act relief works 1846 
were set going on a much larger scale than Peel's. Labour Rate 
By an extravagant interpretation of the doctrine Act ' 
that the government must do nothing which could interfere 
with private enterprise, the relief works undertook nothing except 
what private enterprise would leave sternly alone ; so the works 
themselves were useless. A huge number of officials were re- 
quired ; the wages paid for the labour were unnecessarily high ; 
there were no means of preventing the labourers from helping 
each other to do nothing ; the works attracted tens of thousands 
of men to what was comparatively speaking comfortably paid 
idleness. Food was provided, but, on the same principle of not 
competing with private enterprise, it was sold only at the highest 
market rates and never reached the worst districts ; pestilence 
broke out ; and the land remained uncultivated, because most 
of the men went or tried to go to the relief works. And all over 
the country landlords were ruined. 

In 1847 the government tried legislation. It amended the 
Poor Law so as to legalise outdoor relief. In 1849 it passed the 
Encumbered Estates Act, to enable the embarrassed 1849 En . 
landlords to sell their land. They did so, with the cumbered 
result that the land came into the possession of men ] 
who, unlike the old proprietors, had money to spend on it, and 
to turn it to account. But the new men took up their land as a 
matter of business ; they intended to make it pay ; there was no 
accompanying change in the tenure of the tenants, who were 
evicted without mercy if they failed to pay their rents ; and the 
peasantry were no better off than before. In the years which 
followed the famine began the great Irish emigra- Emigration. 
tion, the exodus to America, which in course of time reduced the 
Irish population by about one half while that of England and 
Wales was approximately doubled. 

1 90 Reform and Free Trade 

Still the outrages multiplied. After the general election of 
1847 the Russell government ventured on a new Coercion Act. 
1848. Young O'Connell was dead, the more violent of the Young 
Ireland. Ireland party were in the ascendent, and some of its 

members were arrested under the Security Act which extended 
to Ireland a modification of the old English law of treason. 
Under it one of the leaders, John Mitchell, was sentenced to 
fourteen years' transportation. Revolutionary conflagrations 
were breaking out all over Europe, and an attempted insurrection 
in Ireland was headed by Smith O'Brien. The insurrection 
collapsed after one trivial skirmish ; several of the leaders were 
arrested, the death sentences were commuted to transportation 
for life, and all the condemned men except Smith O'Brien him- 
self promptly accepted the ticket of leave which was offered 
them. For the time being, the futility of resistance to the 
government was made obvious, and for a while the reign of law 
and something like order was apparently restored. 


Down to the reign of William in., the character and person- 
ality of the monarch were habitually the pivot upon which 
Reigns and national policy turned. Almost invariably the 
dates. reign of a particular king had a particular and 

distinctive character of its own, derived directly from the king 
himself. Since the Revolution of 1688, or at any rate since the 
accession of the House of Hanover, the change from one reign 
to another has no longer been a natural landmark ; the dates of 
a monarch's accession and death do not mark the beginning and 
end of a distinctive period ; they are merely convenient sign- 
posts. The character of the monarch, except during a portion 
of the reign of George in., has been only an influence in politics, 
not one of the definitely controlling factors. The phrase the 
1 Victorian Era ' is a convenient one, because the reign of Queen 
Victoria corresponds roughly in point of time to the period of a 
series of political and social developments. But neither the date 

Social Aspects 191 

of the great queen's accession, nor that of her death, is actually 
connected with any positive deflection in the course of policy or 
of national development. It is extremely improbable that the 
events in the early part of her reign would have taken a course 
substantially different if William iv. had still been on the throne. 
It was in the year 1830, not in 1837, that a new era opened with 
the accession to power of a ministry pledged to The opening 
parliamentary reform and committed to all that date > 183 - 
parliamentary reform entailed. That era came to a close with 
a new movement for parliamentary reform and the introduction 
of a democratic extension of the franchise in the years which 
immediately followed the death of Lord Palmerston in 1865. 
From 1832 to 1868 the predominant influence in parliament, the 
voting power in the constituencies, was vested in the commercial 
and manufacturing classes. 

Still the era falls into two tolerably distinct divisions. In 
the British islands the earlier, that period with which we are 
dealing in this chapter, was one of active legislation, Division of 
culminating in the definite acceptance by the country tne new era - 
of Free Trade principles ; in the second period, active legislation 
was almost at a standstill. But whereas in the first period we 
are not impressed by the importance of the relations between 
Britain and the European states, in the second both Europe and 
America witnessed events which materially influenced national 
relations of every kind. Louis Napoleon established his French 
empire ; the unification of Italy was achieved ; Prussia tore from 
Austria the hegemony of Germany ; the United States passed 
through the fiery trial of the great Civil War ; Britain herself 
was plunged in the one European war in which she has taken 
active part between 1815 and 1914. Again, when we turn to the 
empire overseas, the first period witnessed the complete establish- 
ment of the principle of ' responsible government ' in the colonies ; 
while the second saw in India the portent of the Sepoy mutiny 
which led directly to the assumption of complete control in India 
by the Crown. Before we proceed therefore to the second period, 
we shall devote a complete chapter to the imperial aspects of the 
first ; certain social aspects of it remain to be dealt with here. 

192 Reform and Free Trade 

The conditions of manufacture were very much modified, 
mainly as regards women and children, by the Factory Acts. 
Railway Advances were made in manufacturing machinery, 

development, but in the way of improvements, not through the 
application of a new power or a new principle. An immense 
change, however, was made by the application of steam power 
to locomotion both by land and by water, a change effectively 
inaugurated by the opening of the Liverpool and Manchester 
Railway in 1830, only a few months before the fall of the last 
Tory ministry. The success of that enterprise was decisive. 
The line from London to Birmingham was sanctioned in 1833, 
and the Great Western Railway in 1835, although those ancient 
seats of learning, Eton and Oxford, were able for a time to resist 
the contamination. By 1845 there were nearly 2500 miles of 
railways in active work. In 1844, when Gladstone was president 
of the Board of Trade in Peel's ministry, the demands of passengers 
led to the enactment which required the railway companies to 
run what appeared to the authorities to be a reasonable number 
of trains at a reasonable speed not less than twelve miles an 
hour with covered accommodation for passengers instead of 
open trucks, at a rate not exceeding a penny a mile ; the trains 
which were put on in accordance with the Act came to be known 
as ' parliamentary.' The companies declared that they would 
be ruined, but found almost immediately that the enormous 
increase in passenger traffic not only recouped them, but brought 
in such substantial profits that it was soon borne in upon them 
that improved accommodation and reduced fares bring not a 
diminution but an increase of dividends. The rapid progress of 
the railways led to wild speculation, followed by a disastrous 
collapse in 1836-7 and again in 1846, when thousands of the 
speculators were ruined. The results of the railway mania of 
that year had a sobering effect, and thereafter the schemes for 
railway construction were usually kept within reasonable limits. 
Incidentally the expansion of the railways made possible the 
introduction in 1840 of the penny post. A rapidity of corre- 
Penny post, spondence which had left even the railways far 
behind was inaugurated by the establishment of a telegraphic 

Social Aspects 193 

service between London and Slough in 1844. So rapid was the 
advance in telegraphy that seven years later a T he 
submarine cable was laid from Dover to Calais; telegraph, 
and before Lord Dalhousie left India in 1856 the system had 
been introduced in the Indian peninsula. 

The steamship was not long in following the railway. In 
1838 two British vessels made the journey across the Atlantic 
between America and England, travelling under steamships, 
steam the whole way. The problem of building ocean-going 
steamships was solved. Two years later four ocean lines had 
been started. It may be noted that some fifty years after the 
first important railway and the first ocean liners had been in- 
troduced the maximum railway speed had barely been doubled, 
and the maximum ocean speed was about trebled. 

We have seen how a dominant middle class dealt with the 
condition of the unenfranchised classes by legislation Poor Law 
reform, Factory Acts, and the repeal of the Corn Labour and 
Laws. We have seen also the failure of the Chartists legislation, 
to take the direction of legislation out of the hands of the middle 
class and to transfer it to the working-men. Middle-class legis- 
lation assumed, first, that freedom of contract was the essential 
condition of economic progress ; secondly, that bargains between 
the individual capitalist and the individual adult male labourer 
were free contracts ; and thirdly, as a corollary, that the state 
had no business to interfere in such bargains. If, then, the 
labourer could not get the control of legislation into his own 
hands, the only alternative for him, assuming that the interests 
of labour and capital were antagonistic and were regarded as 
antagonistic by the capitalist, was to strengthen his own hands 
for the purposes of bargaining. As matters stood he was like 
an unarmed man bargaining with one armed cap-d-pie ; the 
capitalist could dictate his own terms. The only method of 
equalising matters was combination the power of combination 
uniting the workmen in refusal of the capitalist made legal, 
terms. The repeal of the Combination Laws sanctioned combina- 
tion, but, in the years which immediately followed, the combina- 
tions of workers in a given employmentthe trade unions were 

Innes's Eng. Hist. Vol. iv. N 

194 Reform and Free Trade 

beaten in every contest with the employers. The strike proved 
an ineffective weapon, since only a limited proportion of the 
labourers joined the union ; and the whole supply of labour 
was so much in excess of the demand that strikes could not 
paralyse the employers in the conduct of their business. The 
trade unions, so long as they restricted themselves to legitimate 
methods, were still unable to bargain on equal terms. They 
were not sufficiently organised or sufficiently disciplined to act 
effectively ; and, what was of no less importance, none of them 
had sufficient funds to maintain a struggle for any length of 

During the thirties there was a marked tendency to seek for 
increased strength through the trades union instead of the 
Trade union trade union. The distinction is very generally 
and trades overlooked in common speech. The trade union 
is a combination of workers all of whom are em- 
ployed in the same specific trade. The trades union is an organi- 
sation which combines the members of several trades specifically 
distinct. The trade union was primarily a local association of the 
members of one trade in a given district. The new idea developed 
in three forms : the association in one large trade union of the 
local associations in that trade ; the combination of different 
trade unions associated in the conduct of an inclusive complex 
trade ; and the association of the labourers in all trades in a 
national or even an international trades union, based upon the 
recognition of a community of interest among all labourers, the 
solidarity of labour. Thus there was an attempt to form a 
National Union of cotton spinners, expressly directed to joint 
action on the part of all the unions for resisting any reduction of 
wages, but not for demanding an increase. With the same 
object a National Association for the protection of labour was 
founded in 1830, a trades union uniting the unions of various 
trades. A stronger and more aggressive union was the Builders' 
Union, which sought to combine the group of trades which might 
be looked upon as branches of the building trade. 

Finally Robert Owen, having proved by successful experiment 
the economic advantage of preferring efficiency to cheapness in 

Social Aspects 195 

labour, paying good wages, attending to sanitary and moral con- 
ditions, restricting hours, and refusing to employ young children, 
now devoted himself to the pursuit of a socialistic Robert Owen's 
ideal which would make the workers themselves socialism, 
the owners and controllers of the means and methods of pro- 
duction. We may here remark, apropos of the extremely diverse 
senses in which the term Socialism is used, that Owen's Socialism 
differed essentially from the Socialism which to-day calls itself 
by that name. Professed Socialism now aims at making the state 
the owner and controller of the means of production, assuming 
that the manual labourer is to be the dominant factor in the 
state itself. Owen's Socialism placed no faith in state control, 
but relied upon the capacity of the working classes to acquire 
through association the possession of the means and the direction 
of the methods of production. In the one scheme the demo- 
cratic state takes the place of the capitalist ; in the other he is 
displaced by the associated workers. Owen's theory material- 
ised in the Grand National Consolidated Trades Union which 
was to unite all the workers, control manufacture, and abolish 
individual competition. Each individual trade and each indi- 
vidual locality was to have its own local lodge, and no trade 
was too insignificant for admission into the general scheme. 

All these unions were found by the masters to be very 
alarming, and laid themselves open to the darkest suspicions 
by a great paraphernalia of secret initiatory rites, union ex- 
administering of oaths, and other melodramatic travagances. 
accompaniments. Also there was an undoubted tendency on 
the part of the societies to terrorise reluctant labourers. The 
masters united in declarations that they would employ no one 
who would not sign what was called the Document, abjuring 
unions and unionism. The alarm was raised almost into panic 
by a series of strikes. The strikes collapsed one after another, 
because still the unions were a very long way from being suffi- 
ciently provided with funds or capital ; but the panic, though 
it did not lead to new legislation, caused the existing law to be 
applied with an excessive rigour which took excessive advantage 
of every possible technicality. The most notorious instance was 

196 Reform and Free Trade 

the condemnation of a few Dorsetshire labourers to seven years' 
transportation for no other offence than the illegal administration 
of an oath on the formation of an agricultural lodge of the 
' Grand National ' in Dorsetshire. The practical outcome was 
that the more sensible unions began to dispense with illegal oaths 
and elaborate initiatory functions. 

Already, however, the shrewder heads among the working-men 
were thinking out saner methods of solving the industrial pro- 
Progress in blem. Leading trade unions such as those of the 
the forties. miners in the early forties sought to form national 
associations as the cotton spinners had already done, not with 
intent to aggression but in order to resist aggression. Instead 
of defying the law, the Miners' Association called in the assist- 
ance of trained lawyers ; and battles between masters and the 
unions were fought on comparatively equal terms in the law 
courts. A National Association of United Trades, formed in 
1845, was not so much a trades union as a federation of trades 
whose object was the promotion of measures favourable to the 
interests of the working classes, or mediation in trade disputes ; 
on the hypothesis that the ultimate interests of masters and men 
were identical, and that the apparent clashing of minor interests 
was capable of adjustment. It produced little immediate effect ; 
but it was a tentative experiment in a new and healthy direction, 
and the trade unions which had abstained from joining it were 
actively influenced by its spirit. They began to realise that the 
first step towards solving problems is to understand them. 
They set about the education of their members, the careful study 
of industrial facts, the dissemination through trade journals of 
sound information. 

The new model of trade unionism was set in 1850 by the 
Amalgamated Society of Engineers. In the nature of things, 
Tne an engineers' society was bound to be composed 

Engineers' of comparatively intelligent men. Since 1830 the 
society. Manchester engineers had been organising them- 

selves, not rushing into hasty conflicts, and accumulating funds. 
In 1848 the Manchester society had a membership of six thou- 
sand and a reserve fund of 27,000. It was a benefit society and 

Social Aspects 197 

an educational society as well as an organisation for protecting 
the interests of the men in disputes with the masters. This was 
the most important of those unions in Lancashire and London, 
which, when combined in 1850 into the Amalgamated Society, 
adopted its system of organisation. The strike of the Amal- 
gamated Society in 1852 marked an epoch in the development of 
trade unionism. The questions at issue were piecework and 
overtime, which the society desired to abolish. The masters 
refused the demand, rejected a proposal for arbitration, and 
when the men refused to work overtime, locked them out. In 
three months the masters had won. But the men had set an 
example of abstention from all violence and of steady discipline, 
throughout the contest, which brought them an amount of 
public sympathy quite without precedent. The most conclusive 
proof of the new spirit of discipline lay in the fact that the 
society survived its defeat with its strength undiminished. It 
had taught the meaning of organisation and discipline ; in the 
ensuing period it provided the model for other trade organisations, 
but it had also proved that, however soundly organised the 
workmen might be, the strike was a weapon which should only 
be brought into play as a last and desperate resort. 

Two religious movements, in England and Scotland re- 
spectively, during these years, require attention. Little has 
hitherto been said regarding ecclesiastical matters Religious 
except where they were directly intruded as poli- movements, 
tical factors. But the Oxford movement and the Scottish Dis- 
ruption have both in their own way counted for too much in the 
national life to be passed over. In both countries during the 
eighteenth century what we have called the rationalistic spirit 
predominated within the established Churches, tending to pro- 
duce a certain apathy. In England the Wesleyan movement 
had broken in upon this, but it had not touched the clerical 
body or the educated classes nearly so much as the uneducated 
emotional masses. It had been essentially of the Protestant 
order, insisting upon the close immediate personal relation 
between the individual and his Creator. It was the very anti- 
podes of the Oxford movement, which claimed to be a Catholic 

Reform and Free Trade 

revival ; not a return to the Roman obedience but a renewal of 
the claim of the one recognised Church before the Reformation, 
The and of the leading school of Anglican divines in 

Tractarian the seventeenth century, to a Divine authority in- 
in ' herent in the priesthood. To the new reformers it 
seemed that spiritual life had departed out of a Church which 
had become little more than a sort of social organisation vaguely 
interested in morality and professing merely a perfunctory 
acceptance of loosely denned doctrines. This was the inevitable 
result of the theory which permitted every man to apply the 
criterion of his own reason to vital dogmas. Religious truth 
had been revealed ; the depository of the revelation was the 
Church ; and its interpretation and application rested not with 
the reason of the individual layman but in the ordinances of the 
Church Universal which could be modified by no lay authority 
whatever. And the Church speaks and acts only through its 
ordained clergy, upon whom the succession to the apostles them- 
selves has descended by the laying-on of hands in accordance 
with the unbroken practice from the time of the apostles them- 
selves. The so-called churches which have ignored or failed 
to preserve the apostolic succession are without a priesthood, 
and have severed themselves from the Catholic Church. Those 
which have retained the apostolic succession may fall into error 
like the Church of Rome or the Greek Church, but are still 
branches of the Catholic Church. It was claimed consequently 
that the doctrines of the Church cannot be formulated by the 
state, and that there can be no valid lay jurisdiction in ecclesi- 
astical affairs. 

It followed that the new school, reviving the mediaeval con- 
ception of the authority of the Church, reverted also to the 
' Tracts for mediaeval interpretation of its doctrines. The 
the Times.' movement may be described as having been in- 
augurated by a sermon preached at Oxford in 1833 by John 
Keble. Its prophets were Keble, John Henry Newman, and, 
still more prominently in popular estimation, Doctor Pusey. 
With other coadjutors, they issued a series of pamphlets, entitled 
Tracts JOY ike Times, culminating with ' Tract XC./ which 

Social Aspects 199 

sought to demonstrate that the doctrines of the Church of Eng- 
land, as set forth in the formularies in the Prayer-Book, do not 
contradict the doctrines formulated at the Council of Trent ; 
with the inference that the doctrines of the Church of England 
are reconcilable with the doctrines of the Church of Rome. But 
the further inference was drawn not only that it was possible 
to hold all the doctrines which Protestantism regarded as papis- 
tical, and yet to remain within the Anglican Church, but also 
that these interpretations were the true and only doctrines of 
the Church, and that Protestant interpretations were in- the 
nature of heresy. 

In the course of time Newman and many of his companions 
found themselves forced to the conclusion that the true authority 
was to be found in the Church of Rome and not in Rome and the 
the Church of England ; the majority, however, re- Tractarians. 
mained with Keble and Pusey in the Anglican Church. At the 
same time the new school revived, as orthodox, doctrines and 
observances which had long been entirely, or almost entirely 
discarded, treating them as of vital importance, while for a long 
time at least public opinion denounced them as papistical ; and 
the authorities recognised by the state, though rejected by the 
Tractarians, inclined to the popular view. The Tractarians, how- 
ever, while denying the authority of the state, did not sever 
themselves from the Established Church. And it is not to be 
questioned that they did bring into the Church a new intensity 
of spiritual life, although it did not carry them to the point of 
surrendering endowments in order to be released from the lay 
control which they denounced. 

A different course was followed in Scotland. In that country 
the primary question was not, as in England, one of dogma or 
ritual, but was definitely that of ' spiritual inde- Scotland : the 
pendence.' The General Assembly claimed supreme Disruption, 
authority in the Church. The nomination to parishes accord- 
ing to statute law was in the hands of lay patrons. Custom 
but not law allowed the congregations to reject the appoint- 
ments. But the principle of lay patronage appeared to be 
objectionable, and in 1834 the General Assembly definitely 

2oo Reform and Free Trade 

declared by what was called the Veto Act that the presbyteries 
must refuse appointment to any nominee on the protest of the 
heads of families in the congregation. Two cases followed, in 
one of which, the Auchterarder case, the patron insisted on 
presenting his nominee to the living in spite of his rejection by 
the presbytery. The law courts upheld the patron. In the 
second case, that of Strathbogie, the presbytery obeyed the 
statute law instead of the Veto Act, whereupon the Assembly 
sought to enforce its authority. Being defeated on the point of 
law/the Assembly appealed to the government to abolish Church 
patronage. The government declined, and the great Disrup- 
tion followed. In May 1843 nearly five hundred ministers 
seceded from the Church, which was under state control, leaving 
their manses and their stipends ; and the Free Church of 
Scotland was created, depending entirely on the voluntary 
contributions of its members. 

Of the literary history of the period it may be said that it was 
a development along the lines marked out in the thirty years 
A note on preceding. Of the great poets, Wordsworth sur- 
literature. vived till 1850, but added little of consequence to 
his previous work. Scott died in 1832, Coleridge in 1834. But 
they had worthy successors, notably in Tennyson and Browning 
and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, whose fame for many years 
entirely eclipsed that of her husband, whose full recognition did 
not arrive till near the end of his life. In the thirties, Thomas 
Carlyle made his reputation and established his position as a 
new intellectual force by the publication of his French Revolution ; 
in the next decade appeared the first volume of Ruskin's Modern 
Painters. Charles Dickens began the publication of Pickwick 
in the last year of William iv. ; Thackeray, after many years of 
literary work, sprang into fame with the appearance of Vanity 
Fair in 1847. Disraeli won as a novelist a fame which he 
eclipsed as a politician. And Thomas Babington Macaulay by 
the Essays which he contributed to reviews and by the opening 
volumes of his History of England, which appeared in 1848, 
created the prose style which has been accepted consciously or 
unconsciously as a model by succeeding generations of journalists. 



IN the conduct of foreign policy the mantle of George Canning 
fell upon Henry John Temple, Viscount Palmerston in the 
peerage of Ireland. In 1809, at the age of twenty- Palmerston. 
five, he had become secretary at war (having declined a seat in 
the cabinet) in Perceval's ministry. He retained that office in 
successive ministries entering the cabinet in that of Canning 
until he parted from the Wellington ministry in 1828. In 1830 
when he had already attained his forty-sixth year he became 
Lord Grey's foreign secretary. Except during the five months 
of the Wellington-Peel ministry, from November 1834 till April 
1835, and the five years of Peel's administration, from 1841 to 
1846, Palmerston was continuously at the Foreign Office until 
his dismissal in December 1851 ; that is, for fifteen and a half 
years out of twenty-one. He was then out of office for twelve 
months, at the end of which he joined the Aberdeen cabinet as 
home secretary. Two years later, at the beginning of 1855, he 
became prime minister, and remained prime minister till his death 
in 1865, except during an interval of less than eighteen months 
when Derby was again in office. That is to say, out of the fifty- 
six years from 1809 to 1865, he was in office forty-seven years, 
in the cabinet twenty-nine years, and in effective control of 
foreign policy for twenty-five. When he became foreign secre- 
tary he had behind him a ministerial experience of nearly 
twenty years, and could no longer be called a young man in the 
ordinary sense of the term ; but he retained to the very last a 
light-hearted buoyancy which younger politicians might have 
envied, and which was the despair of his graver colleagues. His 
name was associated with no domestic reform, though he was a 


202 Imperial Affairs 

member of many reforming cabinets. But his vigorous assertion 
of British influence in the affairs of Europe a policy which never 
in fact involved us in conflict with European powers though it 
caused them extreme annoyance has given him a unique place 
in our history. 

When the Grey ministry came into office at the end of 1830, 
France had just dismissed the Bourbon Charles x. and set up 
The European wna -t might be called the bourgeois monarchy of 
position in his cousin, Louis Philippe of Orleans, the ' Citizen 
King.' In the East, non-intervention carried to 
extremes by the duke of Wellington had left the settlement of 
the Eastern question for the time being to Russia ; in Portugal 
the same policy had withdrawn British support from the 
Constitutionalists and the young queen Maria, and given the 
predominance to the reactionaries, headed by the queen's uncle 
Dom Miguel. In the East Russia was on the verge of absorbing 
Poland in defiance of the Vienna settlement ; and finally the 
July revolution in France was attended by the development of 
a serious situation in the Netherlands. 

This last was the immediate problem with which Palmerston 
had to deal at the outset of his career as foreign secretary. The 
The Belgian powers at Vienna, very much to their own satis- 
question. faction, had settled that the whole of the Nether- 
lands, which for a couple of centuries had been divided into the 
Northern United Provinces, or Holland, and the Southern, 
Spanish, or Austrian Netherlands, should form one kingdom 
under the house of Orange. For a century and a half previously 
it had been the object of French ambitions to annex the Southern 
Netherlands to France ; and it had been a primary object of 
British statecraft from the days of William of Orange to those 
of Castlereagh to prevent that annexation. The powers in their 
settlement had systematically ignored every sentiment and every 
consideration suggested by the word nationality. Belgium the 
Southern Netherlands was anything but homogeneous with 
Holland. Racially the Teutonic element in it was much smaller ; 
its language and its religion were not the language and religion 
of the northern states. It resented its absorption into Holland 

Foreign Affairs 203 

the more because the Dutch were apt to treat the Belgians almost 
as a conquered people. 

During August and September 1830 Belgium broke out in 
revolt, demanding independence. The Eastern powers resented 
a disturbance of the Vienna settlement. Britain 1830 . 3 
and France, on the other hand, favoured the separa- Paimerston's 
tion of Belgium and Holland France because she B 
had hopes of making Belgium a dependency of her own. In 
November a conference of the powers was held in London. 
Paimerston's diplomacy first secured that the powers should 
agree on a basis on which the separation of Belgium from 
Holland should be effected. Belgium rejected the territorial 
arrangements proposed, which Holland accepted ; and pro- 
ceeded to offer the crown of Belgium to Nemours, the second 
son of the French king. Under pressure from Palmerston, who 
was quite determined that Belgium should not become a depend- 
ency of France, Louis Philippe declined the crown for his son 
in February. Palmerston proposed Prince Leopold of Saxe- 
Coburg, an uncle of the English Princess Victoria, accepting the 
suggestion that he should marry an Orleanist princess. The 
selection, on this understanding, was accepted by the conference 
and by Prince Leopold himself in June. The conference at the 
same time modified the proposed territorial arrangement. It 
was the turn, however, of the Dutch to refuse the terms. Dutch 
troops were marched into Belgium ; Belgium appealed to Britain 
and France ; and France dispatched troops to Belgium. Again 
the pressure of Palmerston stopped the hostilities ; in 1832 
France and Britain acting together blockaded Antwerp, where 
the Dutch held out stubbornly till they were forced to surrender 
in December ; and in May 1833 Holland accepted the terms, 
though six years passed before the final treaty between Holland 
and Belgium was actually signed. The final settlement was a 
distinct triumph for Palmerston, for he had induced the powers 
to recognise the principles of nationality and constitutionalism 
ignored by the Congress of Vienna, had prevented the new 
kingdom from becoming an appendage of France, and had pro- 
cured an international guarantee of her neutralisation. 

204 Imperial Affairs 

The same disposition to co-operation on behalf of constitu- 
tionalism in antagonism to the theories of Vienna, accompanied 
Anglo-French by the same latent opposition between the ulterior 
relations. aims of Britain and France, is to be observed in the 
Peninsula. Down to 1830, France under Charles x. was on 
the side of reactionary absolutism ; after 1830 she was on the 
side of the constitutionalists ; but Palmerston was always on 
guard against the French endeavours to acquire an ascendent 
influence in the Peninsula, much as in the case of Belgium. The 
two powers together actively supported the young Portuguese 
queen Maria against the pretensions of her reactionary uncle 
Dom Miguel ; and in the summer of 1833 the queen was in 
possession of Lisbon. 

In the same year Ferdinand vil. of Spain died, having by 
decree set aside the law of male succession instituted twenty 
years before, which would have given the crown 
Spanish and to his brother Don Carlos, while he declared his own 
Portuguese infant daughter Isabella to be his heir, and her 
mother Christina regent. Carlos, with the reaction- 
aries behind him, claimed the crown ; Christina threw herself 
on the support of the constitutionalists. In 1834 Palmerston 
effected an alliance between France, Spain, and the Portu- 
guese and Spanish queens. The two pretenders, Miguel and 
Carlos, found it necessary to withdraw, though Carlos presently 
returned, and Spain long continued to be a theatre of civil war. 

In the East the Greek question had been brought to a de- 
cisive issue by Russia at the Treaty of Adrianople in 1829. Still 
The Eastern the details of the final settlement remained to be 
question. arranged, and Britain and France had a share in 
the arrangement which finally recognised Greek independence, 
and in 1833 gave the crown of Greece to Prince Otto of Bavaria. 
A new Eastern question, however, now came to the fore. The 
Porte in its contest with the Greeks had called in to its aid 
1832-3. Mehemet Ali, the pasha of Egypt, who there ruled 

Egypt. nominally as the sultan's viceroy. The pasha had 

ambitions of his own ; in 1832 he and his son Ibrahim took 
possession of Syria, and advanced on Constantinople. Britain 

Foreign Affairs 205 

and France were too busy with Belgium to act. The sultan in 
despair appealed to Russia. Russia sent troops to the Bosphorus. 
The Western powers could not afford to leave Turkey to become 
a Russian protectorate ; yet in the spring of 1833, and in spite 
of an inadequate attempt at diplomatic intervention by the 
Western powers, she was allowed to conclude with Russia the 
Treaty of Unkiar Skelessi. In effect Turkey placed herself under 
the protection of Russia, and undertook to close the Dardanelles 
to the warships of all nations except Russia in the event of 
war. By Britain this was regarded as a breach of her own 
treaty rights. Britain, France, and Austria all protested, 
but practically without avail. Austria, in fact, seemed very 
much inclined to play into the hands of Russia unless her 
own immediate interests were jeopardised ; and Palmerston's 
already strong disposition to suspect Russia's aggressive designs 
was intensified. 

Not many years passed before Palmerston found his oppor- 
tunity for subverting Russian influence at the Porte. Mehemet 
Ali had met with a decisive check in 1833, but five 
years later he was obviously planning to make paimerston 
himself independent lord of Egypt and Syria. In * u 8 tlie 
1839 Turkish troops advanced against him, but they 
were defeated, and the Turkish fleet went over to him. Once 
more it appeared that the pasha would be able to dictate to his 
suzerain, who could only be saved from him by the intervention 
of the dangerous protector, Russia. Palmerston did not intend 
to leave the protection of Turkey to Russia. On the other hand, 
France was disposed to back up Mehemet Ali, on the theory that, 
in her own interest, Egypt should be an independent power 
dominated by French influence. In Palmerston's view it was 
necessary, in order to curb Russian aggression, that the integrity 
of the Turkish empire should be maintained by Europe at large, 
whether with or without the goodwill of France. Russia could 
not resent the principle of united action, and in July 1840 
Palmerston procured the Treaty of London under which four of 
the five powers, Britain, Russia, Austria, and Prussia, agreed to 
guarantee in concert the integrity of the Turkish empire and to 

206 Imperial Affairs 

offer terms to Mehemet All which he was to be compelled to 

France was furious and threw herself into vigorous prepara- 
tions for war ; but Palmerston reckoned with perfect justice 
Paimerston's that when the decisive moment arrived the French 
success. king would not fight. The powers dispatched their 

ultimatum to Mehemet AH. He rejected the ultimatum and 
opened negotiations with the Porte. The Porte rejected his 
overtures and declared that he was deposed from his pashalik. 
When the time allowed to Mehemet AH had expired, Palmerston 
acted at once. British fleets, with some support from Austria, 
bombarded the Syrian ports, captured Acre, and drove Ibrahim 
out of Syria. Practically, Britain had done the work of the 
powers single-handed. Russia had no share in the operations ; 
France accepted the situation, and in July she was joined with 
the other four powers in concluding the new Treaty of London. 
The Treaty of Unkiar Skelessi became waste paper. Mehemet 
AH was left as hereditary pasha of Egypt, and Egypt only under 
Turkish suzerainty ; Syria was restored as an integral portion of 
the Turkish empire. Finally, Britain took the place of Russia 
as the saviour of Turkey and as the power whose influence 
predominated at the Porte. 

Events in China and India will be dealt with elsewhere. Here 
it is only necessary to note that while the Melbourne ministry 
1841. India was still in office the Indian government had inter- 
and China. vened in Afghanistan, and restored to the throne at 
Kabul as its own protege an exiled prince, Shah Shuja ; inspired 
thereto by the efforts of Russia to extend her influence to Afghan- 
istan as a part of the ingenious method by which she was ac- 
quiring an ascendency in Central Asia and pushing towards the 
Indian border. Almost at the moment of Peel's accession to power 
in 1841, the Afghans rose against the government which had been 
set up by British bayonets, and a fresh Afghan war was necessary 
to save British prestige. During very much the same period the 
British became involved in the first China war, which, like the 
Afghan war, was brought to an end early in Peel's ministry. 

When Melbourne's ministry fell, Palmerston was succeeded 

Foreign Affairs 207 

at the Foreign Office by Lord Aberdeen. Much mutual hostility 
had been aroused between France and Britain in connection 
with the Eastern question. Both the governments 
were desirous of preserving friendly relations, but Aberdeen at 
in each country there was a strong sentiment of tne Foreign 
popular hostility and suspicion towards the other. 
Every source of friction was sedulously magnified. Palmerston 
had treated France with scant ceremony, being confident that 
she would not translate bellicose words into bellicose deeds. 
The duke of Wellington, who detested war, lacked Palmerston's 
airy confidence, and persistently warned Peel that war was 
imminent. Palmerston proved to be right ; there was no war, 
but the perpetual friction required perpetual delicate handling. 
The most troublesome of these causes of friction was to be found 
in Spain where Louis Philippe was intriguing to procure the 
marriage of the young queen and her younger sister to two of his 
sons. The possibility of a French succession in Spain, or even of 
a French prince consort, was one which could not be accepted 
with equanimity, but consent was given to the marriage of the 
king's younger son to the younger of the Spanish princesses. 
Extreme irritation and disgust, however, were created when 
Louis Philippe procured the marriage of the young queen to 
a cousin of her own in circumstances which precluded the 
possibility of any child being born, and therefore seemed to 
ensure that a grandchild of the French king would one day sit on 
the Spanish throne. The Spanish marriage was effected in 1846, 
a few months after the formation of Russell's ministry in 
England in succession to that of Sir Robert Peel. The affair 
went far to increase the sense of distrust and ill-feeling. 

The arrival of 1848, the ' year of revolutions/ was of grave 
import in European politics. In France the February Revo- 
lution sent the Orleanist family out of the country 1848 Tne 
and reinstated a French republic, in which Louis year of 
Napoleon, a son of the great emperor's brother revo11 
Louis, succeeded in procuring his own election to the presidency 
before the end of the year. The revolutionary example was 
followed all over Europe ; in the German, Magyar, Slavonic and 

208 Imperial Affairs 

Italian areas of the Austrian dominion, and in various German 
principalities. The king of Sardinia, Charles Albert, set himself 
at the head of the nationalist movement in Italy ; the alarmed 
king of the Sicilies granted constitutions to the two portions of 
his kingdom. The Austrians, at first apparently doomed to be 
expelled from North Italy, recovered themselves ; before the end 
of 1849 the Austrian dominion was again to all appearance 
thoroughly re-established, and Ferdinand of Sicily was able to 
revoke his constitutions. Kossuth and other leaders of the 
Hungarian insurgents were driven to take refuge in Turkey ; 
Paimerston's Palmerston sent a fleet to the Dardanelles to pro- 
methods, tect Turkey from being coerced by Russia and 
Austria into surrendering the fugitives. Paimerston's sym- 
pathies were entirely on the side of each and all of the nationalist 
movements. He had taken upon himself to warn sundry Italian 
potentates in 1847 that they would find themselves in trouble 
unless they set their houses in order warnings which, however 
intelligent, were resented as acts of impertinent interference 
by those sovereigns. The foreign minister went his own way, 
ignoring the anxiety of his colleagues and the resentment of the 
queen, while the popular sympathies throughout the country 
were entirely with him. It was his doctrine that it was Britain's 
business to remain neutral, but at the same time to express her 
sympathies and give her advice, whether asked or unasked, with 
entire freedom. In 1849 there was a grand attack upon the 
foreign minister, both from the advocates of non-intervention, 
and from the extreme sympathisers with the revolutionists, who 
insisted that British intervention ought to be carried a great 
deal further. Paimerston's vindication of his policy was suc- 
cessful both in the House and in the country. 

Then came an affair in which Palmerston asserted himself 
with even more than his ordinary aggressiveness, and with his 
i860. Don usual assumption that it was unnecessary to pay 
Pacifico. much attention either to the queen or to his col- 

leagues. King Otho in Greece had not justified his selection to 
wear the crown of that country. It was very badly governed ; 
sundry British merchants and other subjects had grievances 

Foreign Affairs 209 

against the government. Finally, the Greek government appro- 
priated some land belonging to the historian Finlay, refusing the 
price which he demanded for it, and allowed a British subject 
from Gibraltar, Don Pacifico, a Portuguese Jew, to be mobbed, 
and damage to be done to his property, without making adequate 
compensation. Palmerston refused to leave these questions to 
be settled by the Greek law-courts, and a British squadron was 
sent to the Piraeus to bring the Greek government to reason. In 
the course of the proceedings France was irritated by the refusal 
of French mediation. Again there was a grand attack upon 
Palmerston for his high-handed methods the occasion upon 
which he delivered the great speech in which he declared that ' as 
in the ancient world the man who could say Civis Romanus Sum 
was secure against insult and injury, so every British subject 
should have a perfect confidence that the arm of England would 
be swift to protect him from any wrong or injustice.' 

Palmerston's personal triumph was so emphatic that the 
queen's growing desire for his removal from the Foreign Office 
had to be held in check. An extremely complicated 
question arose between Denmark, Prussia, and The queen's 
Austria with relation to the duchies of Schleswig 
and Holstein. On this question the views of Pal- 
merston were diametrically opposed to those of Prince Albert, 
who had an intimate understanding of German politics, and with 
whom the queen was, as always, in entire agreement. Palmer- 
ston took his own line, with the result that in August, six weeks 
after the great speech, the queen sent a memorandum to the 
foreign secretary. She required him before acting to inform her 
precisely what he intended to do ; and when her sanction had 
been received, to abstain from arbitrarily changing or modifying 
the course of action laid down. Further he must, before acting, 
lay before her full information regarding discussions between 
himself and the ministers of foreign states, and she must receive 
the dispatches for her approval in sufficient time for her to 
master their contents before they were sent. 

Palmerston expressed polite regret, promised to amend his 
ways, and went on precisely as before. He was only with 

Innes's Eng. Hist. Vol. iv. O 

2io Imperial Affairs 

difficulty prevented by his colleagues from personally receiving 
Kossuth, the leader of the Hungarian insurgents, technically a 

rebel against the Austrian emperor, on his arrival 
Dismissal of in England. The climax was reached when Palmer- 
Paimerston, s t on j n December 1851 allowed his personal ap- 
December. j>*. . 

proval of Louis Napoleon s coup d Etat to be con- 
veyed to the French president at a moment when Normanby, 
the ambassador at Paris, had been instructed to maintain a strict 
neutrality between the French parties. Russell roused his 
courage to the sticking point, and delighted the queen by 
insisting on his retirement ; which was followed, however, 
immediately by the downfall of the ministry. 

II. INDIA, 1827-1848 

After the capture of Bhartpur in January 1826, British India 
enjoyed a period of respite from wars and of continuous adminis- 
trative progress which lasted unbroken for thirteen years. 

Then came another period during which war followed upon 
war, though with the single exception of the Maharajpur cam- 
paign at the end of 1843, all those wars were beyond the British 
frontier in Afghanistan, in Sindh, in the Punjab, and in Bur- 
ma. By a curious coincidence this also was a period of thirteen 
years, concluding with the end of the second Burmese war in 
1852. Bhartpur was the concluding lesson that for a long time 
established among all the native courts, which at one season 
or another had come into collision with the British, the con- 
viction that the British ascendency was too firmly established 
to be shaken. 

In 1828 Lord Amherst was succeeded as governor-general by 
Lord William Bentinck, who had at one time been governor of 
1828-35. Madras, had in the interval taken an active though 

Bentinck. no t a leading part in public affairs at home, and was 
thoroughly imbued with the liberal ideas which were rapidly 
gaining ground in England. The moment had at last arrived 
when it was possible for the governor-general to devote himself 



to administrative progress unhampered by aggression or threats 
of aggression on the part of native powers. 

A few words, however, require to be said with regard to the 
native states. The Pindari war had finally broken up the 
Mahratta confederacy. Four of the five Mahratta The native 
principalities remained ; but the overthrow of the states. 
Peshwa and the peshwaship, with the annexation of Baji Rao's 
dominions, had deprived the confederacy of any nominal head. 
The old turbulent chiefs were dead ; the reigning princes at 
Indur and Baroda, at Gwalior and at Nagpur, acquiesced in the 
established order. The British had no reason to complain of 
the Nizam's government at Haidarabad. They had, on the 
other hand, much reason to complain of bad government in 
Oudh ; but that appeared to be only a domestic concern of Oudh 
itself, and on the non-intervention principle the governor-general 
was content with threats and remonstrances which did not issue 
in active interference. In Mysore a. pitch of disorder was reached 
which necessitated stronger measures, and the actual adminis- 
tration was taken over by the British with the entire acquiescence 
of the Mysore state. Incomparably the most powerful of the 
native princes at this period was Ran jit Singh, who had estab- 
lished himself at Lahore as the head of the Sikh confederacy, 
and had built up an extremely powerful army on the basis of 
the armed brotherhood of the Sikhs, the khalsa. But Ran jit 
was far too astute to be at all disposed to challenge a collision 
with the British. 

Beyond the mountains an Afghan king of the royal family, 
Kamran, reigned at Herat on the Persian border ; but the greater 
part of Afghanistan was ruled by the Barakzai, Dost R USS i a) 
Mohammed, at Kabul, though he called himself Persia,'and 
only Wazir, the king's minister. Behind Afghan- Af&hani 
istan lay Persia ; and the principle of non-intervention had 
allowed Persia to become the tool of Russia. In 1814 the im- 
perial government had made an alliance with Persia and promised 
to defend her against Russian invasion. But at a later date there 
was a quarrel between Russia and Persia, Persia appealed for 
the promised aid, and the aid was refused on the ground that 

212 Imperial Affairs 

Persia herself was the aggressor. So the Shah had made haste 
to agree with the enemy, and to seek Russian friendship since 
British friendship availed him so little. From 1826 onwards 
Persia, instead of being a barrier to Russian advance, was an 
instrument of the Petersburg government. 

It was a matter of the first necessity for India that the whole 
peninsula should be under the control of some paramount power 
The British strong enough to impose continuous peace ; since 
Ra J- in the absence of such a power the whole peninsula 

would continue to be, as it had been in the past, a theatre of 
ceaseless wars of aggression. This was the great end which had 
been achieved ; the British power was able everywhere to en- 
force the Pax Britannica. In all the regions under its direct 
rule, a system had been established which at last ensured an 
absolutely incorruptible and impartial administration of justice. 
Yet it was an alien administration, in the nature of things never 
capable of grasping fully the point of view of the subjects over 
whom it ruled, though honestly striving its utmost to do so. 
The point had now been reached when it was time to seek for 
something more ; not only to provide ordered peace, the con- 
dition of all progress, but to initiate progress on its own account ; 
and this was to be done in part by abolishing or diminishing bar- 
barous practices sanctioned by immemorial usage, partly by the 
introduction of positive improvements. In the former of these 
two fields marked success attended the efforts of Bentinck's 

There were two customs, the direct outcome of Hinduism, 
which Mohammedan governments had occasionally endeavoured 
to check : sati or suttee (to use the familiar spelling) 
Indian and infanticide. The Hindu religion encouraged 

reforms: the w jf e w hen her husband died to immolate her- 
self upon his funeral pyre. In its original idea this 
self-immolation, ' dedication,' was a voluntary act of high de- 
votion ; in practice it was habitually imposed upon entirely 
reluctant widows, who only chose it as a lesser evil than the 
misery of living on under the intolerable conditions suffered by 
those who refused the sacrifice. There was, in fact, no possible 

India 2 1 3 

means of ascertaining whether or no a widow was in any real 
sense of the term willing. In spite of much grave anxiety as to 
the effect on the religious susceptibilities of the Hindus, Bentinck 
in 1829 issued a law absolutely forbidding suttee in British 
territory, and making it homicide to take part in any such cere- 
mony. The courage of the government was justified by the 
event. No disturbance attended the suppression of the practice ; 
and native rulers also very soon followed in their own territories 
the example set in the British dominion. 

Infanticide, as practised, meant the destruction of female 
infants. It had no sanction from the sacred books of the Hindus, 
but it was the product of the system which attached infanticide, 
disgrace not only to all unmarried women but also to their 
parents. The marriage of a daughter involved, first, the difficulty 
of finding a husband of equivalent caste, and, secondly, of pro- 
viding for the enormous expenses which custom imposed upon 
such occasions. On the other hand, infanticide was easy ; it 
was not condemned by the community ; it was all but impossible 
to prove that the death of an infant had not been due to natural 
causes. The frightful extent to which the custom prevailed is 
demonstrated by the fact that among sundry hill tribes the 
growing boys outnumbered the growing girls by six to one. 
It could not be suppressed merely by penalisation ; penalties 
cease to deter when proofs of crime are certain not to be forth- 
coming. The remedy applied by the government was that of 
limiting the expenditure on weddings, and prohibiting the enter- 
tainment of vast crowds of beggars which custom enjoined on 
such occasions. With the removal of this prime motive to in- 
fanticide, the evil custom was gradually reduced to insignificant 

Thuggee was another portentous evil, the very existence of 
which had been unsuspected. The thugs were, in fact, a secret 
society of murderers whose victims as a rule simply Thuggee, 
disappeared. The frequency of such disappearances at last 
aroused suspicion ; but to get evidence against the thugs was 
a matter of quite extraordinary difficulty ; the populace believed 
that they were under Divine protection, and that ill-luck would 

214 Imperial Affairs 

descend upon any one who interfered with them. The sup- 
pression of the system was mainly the result of the indefatigable 
energy of Major Sleeman. Between 1829 and 1839 he suc- 
ceeded in eradicating thuggee within the British dominion ; 
and when the population at large discovered that the tutelary 
goddess of the thugs took no vengeance upon the govern- 
ment which smote them, the difficulty of obtaining evidence 
was so much reduced that thuggee presently disappeared 

The labours of Robert Merttins Bird in the north-west pro- 
vinces those encircling Oudh prepared the way for Thomason's 
Education. Land Settlement in the next decade. The main field 
of material improvement was in the construction of canals for 
the purposes of irrigation. The reform, however, with which 
Bentinck's name is most generally associated is the introduction 
of Western methods of education. Hitherto there had been a 
small expenditure with this object in view, but the education 
had always been conducted on Oriental lines, based upon the 
Oriental classics. The new scheme, of which Macaulay was the 
most enthusiastic advocate, insisted on the infinitely superior 
merits of English literature and science, with which it was 
sought* to imbue the receptive mind of the Hindu. The plan 
met with a measure of success ; the Hindu mind absorbed the 
Western ideas set before it, but transmuted them in the process, 
adapting them to its own preconceptions, the inheritance of 
centuries and the product was not exactly what had been 

In Bentinck's time also there was a professed abandonment 
of the doctrine laid down by Cornwallis and adhered to by every 
Admission of one of his successors, that only Europeans should 
natives to ^ allowed to hold offices of responsibility within 
trative the British dominions. In actual practice little 

posts. difference was made, because as a rule only Euro- 

peans could fulfil the conditions necessary for such appoint- 
ments. Officially, however, the appointments were thrown open 
to natives who could fulfil the conditions equally with Europeans. 

Bentinck retired in 1835, when the duties of governor-general 

India 2 1 5 

were discharged by the able Indian official, Sir Charles Metcalfe, 
until the arrival of Lord Auckland in 1836. 

In 1837, the year of Queen Victoria's accession, the ascend- 
ency of Russia at the Persian court began to make itself felt. 
Russian envoys tried to gain the ear of Dost Mo- 1337. Russia 
hammed at Kabul, and Persian troops advanced on and Persia. 
Herat l to make good the Persian claim to the lordship of Afghan- 
istan. The Shah of Persia was recognised by one half of the 
Mohammedans as at once the political and the religious head of 
Islam. The restoration of his ancient authority in Afghanistan 
was to be only the preliminary to a jehad, a religious war for 
the revival of the Moslem supremacy in India. It was antici- 
pated in other quarters not that the Shah would conquer India, 
but that his invasion would reduce it to a state of chaos which 
would effectually destroy the British grip on the peninsula, 
and would give Russia her opportunity. 

The Indian government took alarm. It failed entirely to 
form a correct appreciation of the Wazir at Kabul, who had 
every desire to remain on friendly terms with the Ig37 g 
British, and regarded the Russian overtures as traps Afghanistan : 

to be "judiciously avoided. The Persian scheme sie & e of 

was foiled because Herat was brilliantly defended, 

mainly through the energy of a young British officer, Eldred 
Pottinger, who happened to arrive on the spot at the critical 
moment. The siege was raised in September 1838, ten 
months after its commencement, and the Persian army 

Meanwhile, however, Auckland was persuaded, not, as his 
wisest advisers urged, that it would be sound policy to give Dost 
Mohammed energetic support, but that he must be Ig3g 
displaced in favour of an Amir who would be a Restoration 
British puppet. The puppet was found in the 
person of Shah Shuja, once lord of Kabul, from 
which he had been expelled in 1810. The plan was to reinstate 
Shah Shuja by means of British bayonets, his attempts to rein- 
state himself having invariably ended in ignominious defeat. 

1 See Map iv. 

216 Imperial Affairs 

In spite of the expressed disapproval of practically every one 
with Indian experience, Wellesley and Wellington, Bentinck and 
Metcalfe, Auckland persisted in his plan. Ranjit Singh, who 
did not care at all about the business, was to give his help, 
though he would not permit the British troops to pass through 
his territory. Early in 1839 Shah Shuj a joined the British troops 
which had reached Kandahar by way of Sindh without actual 
righting, and was duly proclaimed. Ghazni was captured. Dost 
Mohammed at Kabul could not persuade his followers to fight, 
and made his escape to the mountains of the Hindu Kush. In 
August Shah Shuj a was in Kabul. 

It was obvious that he could not stay there without British 
troops. A British garrison was placed in Kandahar, while five 
1839-41. thousand men, mostly Hindustani sepoys, were can- 

The British toned at Kabul itself with Macnaughten and Burnes 
in political charge. The Afghan tribal chiefs were 
quieted by subsidies. In 1840 Dost Mohammed, having re- 
deemed his credit by putting up a very gallant fight at the head 
of a few horsemen against a much larger body of troops, elected 
to surrender, and was placed under mild surveillance in British 
territory. For another year Macnaughten and Burnes imagined 
that all was going well. The subsidies to some of the chiefs were 

Then in November 1841 came a sudden explosion. A riot 
broke out in Kabul ; Burnes was murdered ; the general in com- 
1841. mand of the troops in the cantonment sat still ; the 

The Kabul mo b se j zec i the treasury and the military stores. 
November- The riot developed into a general insurrection. 
January. Macnaughten found himself helpless owing to the 
almost incredible incompetence of the unfortunate general, and 
was obliged to submit to the terms dictated by Dost Mohammed's 
son Akbar Khan, the leader of the insurgents. The British were 
to retire from Kabul, Kandahar, Ghazni, and their frontier 
station at Jellalabad on the Peshawar road ; but they were to 
leave hostages, while the Afghans were to speed them on their 
ignominious journey by supplying provisions and transports. 
Then Macnaughten himself was shot down while holding a con- 



ference with Akbar Khan. On 6th January 1842 the British, 
Europeans and sepoys, soldiers and civilians, women, children, 
and camp-followers, some fifteen thousand in all, began the 
march from Kabul. Some twoscore had the good fortune to 
be detained as hostages. The rest perished of privation, or were 
shot down by the Afghan tribesmen as they struggled through 
the passes in bitter winter weather. Only one survivor arrived 
at Jellalabad to tell the terrible tale. 

Sale at Jellalabad, Nott at Kandahar, and Palmer at Ghazni 
refused to obey the orders they received from Kabul to with- 
draw their garrisons. Nott could not advance from Nott, sale, 
Kandahar, but inflicted sharp reverses on masses and Pollock, 
of the insurgents in the neighbourhood. Ghazni surrendered ; 
Sale held his post at Jellalabad, a very difficult task, with energy 
and skill, which deserved the success they won. In April he 
succeeded in compelling Akbar Khan to raise the siege. Mean- 
while Auckland had been recalled and his place taken by Lord 
Ellenborough. A column was sent up by the Bolan Pass to join 
Nott at Kandahar, and another under Pollock forced its exceed- 
ingly difficult way through the Khaibar, and joined Sale. Shah 
Shuja had been assassinated a few days earlier. Then came from 
headquarters the startling orders to Pollock and Nott that they 
were to evacuate Afghanistan entirely, orders which they could 
not repudiate as they had repudiated those which had been sent 
to them by the general under duresse at Kabul. But they 
managed to make delays ; and before they were ready to move 
they received amended instructions that the evacuation was to 
be effected via Kabul, which was very much as if hostile armies 
at Munich and Frankfort were instructed to evacuate Germany 
via Berlin. Kabul was accordingly captured, as well as Ghazni, 
before the evacuation. The Afghan insurgents were convinced 
of the futility of resistance ; if British prestige was not restored, 
the ultimate invincibility of the British arms had been demon- 

Still, it had been proved no less conclusively that the 
British occupation had been a disastrous blunder from the very 
beginning. There was nothing left to do but to retire, making 

218 Imperial Affairs 

as much as possible of the final triumph. Unfortunately Ellen- 
borough made too much of it ; and his bombastic proclamation 
in which he announced that the victorious British were bringing 
back to India among their spoils the gates of Somnath which 
had been carried off by Mahmud of Ghazni eight hundred years 
before was more ridiculous than impressive. One entirely 
Dost sensible step, however, was taken. The government 

Mohammed woke up to the excellent qualities of Dost Mohammed, 
and restored him to the throne from which he ought 
never to have been removed. The Afghans knew the Dost for 
a valiant warrior with a strong hand, an iron will, and an exceed- 
ingly shrewd brain ; the British having restored him found him 
an unfailingly loyal ally until the day of his death. 

While this disastrous adventure was in progress, the British 
empire had been involved in another war, not indeed disastrous, 
1839-42. The but by no means glorious, and somewhat sordid, in 
China war. the Farthest East. The Chinese empire always 
exerted itself to shut out all foreign intercourse ; whereas the 
Europeans were no less resolved to force their commerce upon 
China, refusing to be shut out. The Indian government derived 
a considerable revenue from the opium traffic with China. The 
Chinese government, whether in order to protect Chinese opium- 
growers, or to deliver its subjects from the noxious drug, forbade 
the traffic. They were not without excuse ; they had indeed 
grievances against British traders, which had increased consider- 
ably since the East India Company had been deprived of its 
monopoly in 1833, and the trade had been thrown open to all 
comers. But the manner in which the Chinese commissioner 
Lin endeavoured to enforce the exclusion in 1837 was more than 
high-handed. Friction became increasingly acute, and by the 
beginning of 1840 active hostilities were in progress. No interest 
attaches to the campaigning ; but the war was brought to an end 
in 1842 by the Treaty of Nankin, which procured to the British 
the cession of Hong-Kong, an indemnity of 6,000,000, and the 
promised opening to general commerce of five ' treaty ports/ 
The news of the Nankin treaty and of Pollock's recapture of 
Kabul reached England simultaneously. 

India 2 1 9 

The basin of the Indus below the Punjab formed the territory 
of Sindh, ruled over by the Amirs who might be called a family 
of chiefs. Sindh in the past had been tributary to 1839. Sindh. 
Kabul, though its allegiance was of the usual dubious character. 
Diplomatic relations had been opened with the Amirs as early 
as 1809 ; since 1830 considerable progress had been made in the 
way of arrangements for the development of commerce ; and in 
1839 James Outram was given the charge of British interests in 
Sindh and Baluchistan with the official title of Resident. The 
Amirs and their neighbour, the Khan of Kelat, had not been for- 
ward in giving the British facilities for marching through their 
territories in 1839, when Ranjit Singh had refused the passage 
through the Punjab. Still there was no excuse for any aggres- 
sive movement against them ; there was no chance of their 
becoming dangerous. Outram had a genius for gaining the con- 
fidence of the more primitive chieftains and peoples in India, 
and under his influence the suspicions of the Amirs would 
soon have been transformed into a genuine friendliness. But in 
1842 Ellenborough removed Outram and sent Sir Charles Napier 
to take his place. 

Napier was a brilliant soldier who had fought in the Penin- 
sula ; he was masterful, resourceful, and perfectly fearless ; and 
he enjoyed the governor-general's confidence and 1843 
a free hand. On his arrival in Sindh he saw his conquest 
way to what he himself described as a very bene- 4 
ficent piece of rascality. Sindh would be much more comfortable 
under British government than under the Amirs, and would have 
no chance of giving trouble if trouble arose with Afghanistan or 
the Punjab. So by deliberately provocative methods the popu- 
lation at Haidarabad (on the Indus) was stirred up to make an 
attack on the British residency. This overt act gave Napier 
his excuse. By the victories of Miani and Daba (February 
1843) in a brilliantly audacious campaign, he wrecked the power 
of the Amirs and proceeded to annex Sindh to British India. 
The achievement was notified by the famous pun, humorous but 
truthful * Peccavi, I have Sindh.' For every other annexation 
really legitimate grounds could honestly be pleaded ; Sindh 

220 Imperial Affairs 

provides the sole instance in which the pretexts were palpably 
manufactured. The most plausible excuse is the bad one that 
the Afghan disaster and the loss of prestige consequent upon it 
required to be counterbalanced by some brilliant feat of arms. 
Still, though the annexation was a piece of rascality, it was also 
beneficial; the prosperity of Sindh advanced greatly under 
British rule. 

In spite of the actual vindication of the British arms by Nott 
and Pollock and by Napier's campaign in Sindh, infinite harm 
The Punjab had been done by the Afghan affair. The con- 
and Gwalior. dition of the Punjab had become extremely omin- 
ous. After Ranjit Singh's death in 1839 the succession was 
doubtful ; by 1843 it was secured to a child, Dhulip Singh, who 
was supposed to be a son of Ranjit, but whose real paternity was 
extremely doubtful. The reins of government were grasped by 
the child's mother, Ranjit's widow, the Rani Jindan, ' the Messa- 
lina of the Punjab,' along with her paramour, Lai Singh; by no 
means to the contentment of the sirdars or chiefs the Sikh 
barons, as they might be called. But the real power since 
Ranjit's death lay with the highly organised army, the khalsa, 
which, having never fought with the British, had learnt in a 
long series of wars beyond the Indus to believe itself invincible. 
If the army realised its power it was more than probable that 
it would challenge the British, now that it was no longer held 
back by the restraining grip of the great Maharaja. If there 
should be a fight between the Sikhs and the British, Gwalior 
was posted on the British flank, and at Gwalior was an army 
much more powerful than any other controlled by a native 
potentate outside the Punjab. 

At the beginning of 1843 Jankoji Sindhia, the successor of 
Daulat Rao, died, leaving to succeed him only his exceedingly 
1843 Tara youthful widow Tara Baj, who was permitted by 
Baj and the British government as suzerain to adopt a boy 

Maharajpur. ag j^^ ^ accordance with Hindu practice. But 
Tara Baj was very clever and very energetic, and she proved 
anything but amenable. Ellenborough appointed a regent who 
was not to her liking, and there ensued a political conflict between 

India 221 

the faction of the regent and the faction of the rani. The army 
was won over by the rani's faction and the regent was driven 
out. This was a defiance of the suzerain too marked to be toler- 
ated. Ellenborough brought troops up to Agra and informed 
the rani that a satisfactory and orderly government was to be 
established, the Gwalior army to be reduced, and the British 
contingent to be increased. The Gwalior army resolved to fight, 
and took up a strongly entrenched position at Maharajpur. On 
29th December two British columns under Sir Hugh Gough and 
General Grey advanced into Gwalior territory ; the main Gwalior 
army was shattered by Gough after a stoutly contested fight at 
Maharajpur, while Grey routed the second column at Puniar. 
No further resistance was possible. Lord Ellenborough ap- 
pointed a Council of Regency to act till the young Maharaja 
came of age, under the direction of a British Resident. The army 
was reduced from forty thousand to nine thousand, with a 
British contingent native soldiers under British officers of 
ten thousand. Gwalior was at least put out of action in the 
coming struggle with the Sikhs. Almost immediately after- 
wards Lord Ellenborough was recalled. He had gone to India 
with a great reputation to remedy the blunders committed by his 
predecessor. The situation demanded a man clear-headed, 
resolute, and strong. Ellenborough's sensational methods were 
the most unsuitable and dangerous possible. His place was 
taken by Sir Henry Hardinge. 

It was just at this time that the Rani Jindan captured the 
government of the Punjab. Her power was precarious, and, like 
Tara Baj at Gwalior, she realised that it depended 1845 Tne 
upon securing the support of the army or destroy- Sikh invasion, 
ing it. The anarchy in the Punj ab was watched with B 
grave anxiety by Hardinge. For two years after his arrival in 
India he was preparing for an emergency while abstaining from 
any ostentatious massing of troops on the frontier. At the end 
of 1845 the storm burst. The rani had been encouraging the 
disposition of the khalsa to hurl itself against the British. If it 
should be beaten and broken to pieces, as was probable, the 
government would be relieved from an incubus. If it should be 

222 Imperial Affairs 

victorious, she would claim that it was she and her party who 
had given the impulse. In December 1845 the Sikh army 
crossed the Sutlej. On the day when the news of the Sikh 
invasion arrived the British troops were set in motion. 

There was an advanced post at Firozpur on the Sutlej held by 
seven thousand British troops, which it was presumed would be 
Mudki and the first objective of the Sikhs. On i8th December, 
Firozshah. a b ou t a week after the Sikhs crossed the Sutlej, the 
British column on its march to Firozpur, under the commander- 
in-chief Sir Hugh Gough accompanied by the governor-general, 
met and routed the advance force of the Sikhs at Mudki. 
There they were joined by a second column from Amballa. 
After a halt of two days, the advance was renewed. On 2ist 
December the British found their advance blocked by the main 
Sikh army occupying an entrenched position at Firozshah. 
Littler at Firozpur had instructions to send a force to co-operate 
with the advancing army. Hardinge, a peninsula veteran, 
whose audacious initiative had perhaps saved the day at Albuera 
when he was only a subaltern, overruled the commander-in- 
chief's desire to rush the Sikh entrenchments. Defeat would 
have meant annihilation ; victory in the circumstances was any- 
thing but secure. Hardinge, whose authority permitted him to 
do so, took the command over Cough's head, awaited Littler's 
approach, and did not open the attack till four o'clock. In spite 
of desperate assaults, the entrenchments were not carried ; the 
night was passed in intense anxiety ; but when the troops ad- 
vanced to the assault in the early morning it was found that the 
Sikh commander, Lai Singh, had evacuated the position and was 
in full retreat. 

Firozshah was secured. Five weeks after Firozshah the 

Sikhs, who had not fallen back behind the Sutlej, suffered a 

sharp defeat at the hands of Sir Harry Smith at 

1846. Aliwal 

and Sobraon, Aliwal (names which reappear in the South African 
January and war; because Sir Harry was subsequently governor 
at the Cape). The decisive victory was won at 
Sobraon on the Sutlej, where the Sikhs had taken up a position 
of immense strength with the river behind. The position was 

India 223 

stormed and carried at the point of the bayonet only after a 
desperate struggle. Firozshah and Sobraon between them cost 
the British more than five thousand casualties. 

Sobraon concluded the war. The khalsa was broken up, not at 
all to the regret of the sirdars with whom the Treaty of Lahore 
was signed in March. The Punjab was not annexed, 
but Kashmir was separated from it and was set up Henry 
as an independent state. The portion of territory Lawrence in 
called the Jalandar Doab was ceded. The Sikh 
artillery was nominally surrendered, though as a matter of fact 
the Sikhs succeeded in concealing a great portion of it. The 
khalsa was reduced to thirty thousand men. A Council of 
Regency was appointed, by the request of the sirdars them- 
selves some British troops were left at Lahore to help in main- 
taining order, and Henry Lawrence was appointed Resident with 
almost unlimited administrative powers for a year. Then by 
the earnest request of the sirdars the period of British occupation 
was again extended, and the charge of the Trans-Indus districts 
was committed to the young frontier officers who drew their 
inspiration from their great chief. In January 1848 Hardinge 
left India, taking Lawrence with him, satisfied that although 
the breakdown of Lawrence's health had necessitated his with- 
drawal, order was established in the Punjab and the peace of 
India was secure. His successor in the governor-generalship 
was Lord Dalhousie, with whose administration it will be more 
convenient to deal in a later chapter. 


At the time when the Reform movement definitely triumphed 
in England, the leading figures of the popular movement in 
the Canadas were the French-Canadian Louis Cana( i a: 
Papineau in the Quebec province, and William popular 
Mackenzie, an energetic journalist and an immigrant demands - 
from Scotland, in the upper colony. In both the primary 
demand was that for an elected instead of a nominated legis- 
lative council. In Lower Canada this was an object which did 

224 Imperial Affairs 

not find favour with the population of British descent, because 
it would have meant a complete French ascendency, which 
many persons democratically inclined in the abstract regarded 
with quite as much aversion as the bureaucratic domination. 
Papineau, however, an effective orator, who had long been the 
leader of the French party in the assembly, was immensely 
popular among the French Canadians, who formed the great 
majority of the population and entirely dominated the assembly. 
In 1835, during Peel's brief tenure of office, a commission of 
inquiry was sent to Canada in order to investigate the grievances, 
with Lord Gosford as chief commissioner and governor-general. 
The commission reported against the scheme of an elective legis- 
lative council in Lower Canada. But the reinstated 
Canada: Melbourne cabinet, without introducing any re- 

Papineau's forms, intervened perhaps as a step towards a 
rebellion. . * . 

union between the two provinces to provide 

machinery whereby the legislatures of the two might take joint 
action in the adjustment of questions between them regarding 
trade and commerce. Anything in the nature of a union was 
destructive to Papineau's idea of a French ascendency. He 
raised the standard of revolution and declared for complete 
independence. There were a few outbreaks, but the insurrec- 
tionists were easily suppressed, Papineau himself making haste 
to escape over the United States border. The whole explosion 
was futile, having behind it only a most superficial hostility to 
the British dominion, while the loyalty to the British connection 
was deeply rooted. The better class of the French Canadians 
themselves gave no support to the revolutionary movement. 

In Upper Canada events followed a somewhat similar course. 
In 1835 a committee of grievances presented a quite reasonable 

report recommending the establishment of an 
Canada: elective second chamber, and urging that as in 
Governor England the administration should be responsible 

to the chambers. Most unfortunately, Sir Francis 
Head was at this time appointed governor of Upper Canada. 
He was so entirely devoid of any sort of qualification for the 
office that he was popularly supposed to have been given the 

The Transatlantic Empire 225 

appointment by mistake, another Francis Head having been 
intended. The governor indulged himself in a series of almost 
incredible indiscretions, which drove the assembly into for- 
mulating an address to the king and a memorial to the House 
of Commons, in effect denouncing Head as totally unfit for 
his office. He retorted by a dissolution and an appeal to the 
country on the hypothesis that the question at issue was separa- 
tion from the empire. This misrepresentation of the facts had 
the immediate effect desired of giving the government a majority 
in the assembly. Very few of the reformers were otherwise 
than loyal to the British connection ; but Mackenzie and some 
others were driven to desperation. Although Head resigned on 
receiving sensible instructions from home, and his resignation 
was accepted, very much to his own surprise, Mackenzie at- 
tempted to organise a revolution. At the moment the troops 
were called away from Upper Canada to suppress Papineau's 
insurrection in Lower Canada, Mackenzie succeeded 1837 
in getting together some eight hundred men ; but the Mackenzie's 
loyalists promptly assembled a force which dis- ' 
persed the insurgents in a fight which lasted a quarter of an hour 
at the cost of one man killed and several wounded to the rebels, 
and no casualties at all among the loyalists. An unfortunate 
accompaniment of the insurrection was that the United States 
government failed to prevent lawless citizens on the western 
frontier from raiding Canadian territory, professedly as sym- 
pathisers with the rebels. The men who took part in such raids 
were very properly treated by the Canadians as filibusters. 

The disturbances in Canada caused the Melbourne government 
to send out a special commission with Lord Durham as high 
commissioner and governor-in-chief. His com- 1838 Lord 
mission did not give him an entirely free hand, Durham in 
though he acted as if it had done so. In England Canada * 
he had been one of the committee which prepared the great 
Reform Bill, and was the advocate generally of views which 
moderate Whigs regarded as dangerously advanced. Also he 
was a man of high temper, a keen brain, an independent spirit, 
and an immense capacity for quarrelling with his colleagues. 

Innes's Eng. Hist. Vol. iv. P 

226 Imperial Affairs 

The situation which he found in Canada was one which demanded 
the exercise of all his good qualities, but also of a tact with which, 
unhappily, he was not endowed. In Canada what he did was 
regarded with general approval ; but he did it on his own re- 
sponsibility, disregarding the limitations of his powers. Refusing 
to be guided by any party considerations, determined to do what 
was actually best for the country, he proclaimed a general 
amnesty, from which twenty-four individuals were excepted, in- 
cluding Papineau. Eight of these he ordered to be transported 
to Bermuda ; the other sixteen, who had already escaped from 
the country, were forbidden to return to Canada on pain of 
death. The measure was wise enough, but it was ultra vires ; 
his enemies in England were able to force the government in 
effect to disavow his action while endeavouring to conciliate 
Durham the high commissioner by complimentary language, 

recalled. Durham considered that he had been basely deserted, 
and resigned, issuing on his departure a proclamation defending 
his acts and implicitly denouncing the government which had 
betrayed him. On his withdrawal the administration was placed 
in the hands of Sir John Colborne (afterwards Lord Seaforth), 
the able soldier who had effected the suppression of Papineau's 
insurrection. Another ineffective insurrection broke out, which 
was easily suppressed. 

Brief as had been the period of Lord Durham's administration, 
it was followed by a measure of the most far-reaching importance, 
Lord based entirely on the recommendations put forward 

Durham's in his report on the situation in Canada. Lord 
Durham had at once grasped the fact that the 
division into Upper and Lower Canada intensified antagonism 
between French Canadians and British, encouraging a local 
provincial sentiment where the grand desideratum was a common 
national sentiment. The first necessity was the establishment 
of a union under a common legislature and a single governor ; 
1840. Act of the second was to establish responsible government 
Reunion. a government, that is, in which the executive is 
responsible to, and is controlled by, the legislature. The Act 
of Reunion passed in 1840 established a single legislative 

The Transatlantic Empire 227 

council and a single legislative assembly. In the assembly 
Upper and Lower Canada were each of them to have forty-two 
elected representatives. On the legislative council there were 
to be not less than twenty members appointed for life. The first 
governor-general was Lord Sydenham. The new constitution 
was accepted, not without opposition by the council and 
assembly of Upper Canada, but readily by the council of Lower 
Canada where the assembly had been suspended. 

Actual responsible government did not immediately follow. 
Sydenham himself considered that if he as governor was to be 
responsible to the imperial government, his ministers 
could not be responsible to the Canadian legislature, struggle for 

But he realised that Canadian public opinion was responsible 
, . , , T i , , government, 

too strong to be overridden, and he accepted reso- 
lutions adopted by the legislature declaring that the principal 
advisers of the governor must be men who enjoyed the confidence 
of the representatives of the people in other words, that the 
ministers must be appointed with the approval of the majority 
in the elective assembly. Sydenham himself died in 1841, and 
his successor Sir Charles Bagot in 1843. Both of them acted 
practically upon the principles laid down in the resolutions. 
But Bagot was succeeded by Lord Metcalfe who had been a quite 
admirable administrator in India, but brought to Canada ideas 
not at all consonant with those of popular government. That is 
to say, he was of opinion that as supreme authority responsible 
to the imperial government he was bound to assert himself 
actively. He exercised patronage and made his appointments 
without consulting his responsible advisers. Nearly all the 
ministers resigned. Only a very weak ministry could be got 
together, a general election became necessary, and by the utmost 
efforts Metcalfe could only succeed in obtaining a very small 
majority in the chamber. The tension was extremely serious, 
and was not finally relieved until, a year after Metcalfe's death, 
Lord Elgin was sent out as governor in 1847 by the Russell 
ministry. Under the wise administration of Lord Elgin, who 
adopted what was in England the recognised constitutional prin- 
ciple of making all appointments under the advice of ministers 

228 Imperial Affairs 

chosen from the party dominant in the elective chamber, re- 
sponsible government was fully established. In the course of the 
same decade it was likewise established in New Brunswick and 
Nova Scotia. 

The final repeal of the Navigation Acts in 1849 was a sequel 
to the development of Free Trade which was strongly opposed 
1849. Repeal ky ^^ e Protectionists in England, but won its way 
of Navigation through the reluctant House of Lords mainly 
because it was an answer to the colonial, and especi- 
ally the Canadian, demand. Free Trade deprived the colonies 
of preferential tariffs, but the Navigation Acts compelled them 
to pay the traffic charges of the British shippers whom the Acts 
protected from competition. It was even stated by Sir James 
Grahame that the Canadian wheat-growers were now so handi- 
capped that Canadian secession would follow if the Navigation 
Acts were not repealed. It cannot be claimed generally, however, 
that any British ministries were sufficiently deferential to colonial 
opinion in matters which concerned the colonies. Even the Act 
of Reunion was dictated less by imperial sentiment than by a 
general feeling that the colonies ought not to be hindered from 
developing on the same lines as the mother country, although it 
was almost assumed that they would follow the example of the 
United States and cut themselves adrift as soon as they felt 
strong enough for independence. 

This feeling was perhaps responsible for the distinctly yielding 
attitude towards the United States adopted by Peel's ministry 
1842 The * n res P e t of boundary disputes. The treaty of 
Ashburton 1783 had left with undefined boundaries a consider- 
Treaty. a ^j e territory, which remained a debatable land 

between Maine and New Brunswick. This question was settled 
by the Ashburton Treaty of 1842, in a form very unduly favour- 
able to Maine ; that is to say, it is not possible to doubt that 
when the treaty of 1783 was made the negotiators on both sides 
intended to be included in New Brunswick a large area which by 
the Ashburton Treaty was conceded to Maine. 

This treaty left unsettled another question of territory in the 
Far West. From the Great Lakes to the Rocky Mountains the 

The Transatlantic Empire 229 

49th parallel of latitude was the agreed boundary between 
British and United States territory. Between the Rockies 
and the Pacific there was no treaty boundary. The 1845 . 6 
Americans had purchased from Spain her territories The Oregon 
on the west coast, and claimed that the territories boundar y- 
so purchased extended to parallel 54*40 ; a great part of which 
region was claimed by the British on the ground of prior occu- 
pation. In 1845 a presidential election caused the United States 
government to threaten war unless the whole of its quite un- 
reasonable claim were conceded. It proved, however, that this 
was to a large extent mere party bluster ; and in 1846 a compro- 
mise was proposed by Lord Aberdeen, which was accepted. The 
boundary was continued to the coast along the 49th parallel, 
and on reaching the coast diverged southwards along the ' mid- 
channel/ separating Vancouver island from the mainland. 
Vancouver was thus included in British territory. An oppor- 
tunity for further dispute was, however, left open, because the 
meaning of mid-channel was not defined : British and Americans 
claiming that different channels passing between the smaller 
islands were intended. The British had a strong case for claim- 
ing not only all that they got but a good deal more, and from the 
Canadian point of view the compromise was culpably inadequate ; 
while in America it came generally to be regarded as a diplomatic 
victory for the United States. In Great Britain, however, the 
peaceful termination of the quarrel was generally regarded with 

In Jamaica, troubles which sprang from the abolition of slavery 
were productive of serious embarrassment to Melbourne's 
ministry. The Emancipation Act retained the isss. 
negroes who had formerly been slaves as ' appren- Jamaica, 
tices ' for a term of years, at the end of which time they were to 
become completely free. When the slaves were the actual 
property of the owner it was in his interest to preserve them 
physically in tolerable condition. The apprentices were no 
longer his property, and it was his interest to extract the maxi- 
mum of profit out of their services as long as they remained 
apprentices, regardless of the effect upon the slaves themselves, 

230 Imperial Affairs 

The results were so obviously bad that public opinion in England 
compelled the government to pass an Act for the immediate 
emancipation of the apprentices. The measure was accepted 
under protest by the Jamaica assembly. The negroes became 
entirely free in the eye of the law (ist August 1838). 

Acute friction arose at once ; the former slave-owners, de- 
prived of compulsory labour, made every effort to depress wages 
The crisis and to recoup themselves in any way they could at 
of 1839. the expense of the negroes. On the top of the 

troubles came the announcement that another Act had been 
passed at Westminster to place the control of the prisons, which 
were notoriously managed in most iniquitous fashion, in the 
hands of the governor, regardless of the colonial parliament's 
rights of supervision. Consequently, when the assembly met 
there was an explosion against this violation of constitutional 
rights. By way of protest, the assembly refused to pass even 
the ordinary legislation for the renewal of laws which were usually 
passed for a year. The governor dissolved the assembly ; when 
the new assembly met it was of precisely the same mind as the 
last ; there was a complete deadlock, and the home government 
proposed to meet the situation by suspending the constitution 
of Jamaica for five years, during which the whole administration 
was to be in the hands of the governor and three commissioners. 
The narrow majority by which the second reading of the bill 
was carried brought about Melbourne's resignation and the Bed- 
chamber Incident, followed by Melbourne's return to office and 
the passage of the bill in a modified shape, which left an open 
door for the assembly to avoid a suspension of the constitution. 
Lord Metcalfe, afterwards, as we have seen, governor of Canada, 
was sent out to Jamaica as governor ; the problem he here had 
to solve was a different one, and under his able management the 
crisis was tided over. 

South Africa 231 

IV. SOUTH AFRICA, 1830-1856 

Between 1830 and 1856 the Boer population of South Africa 
that is, the old Dutch with their admixture of Huguenots 
expanded from the Cape Colony and occupied terri- The Boer 
tories extending as far to the northward as the expansion, 
river Limpopo, in which they were ultimately permitted, not to 
say required, by the British authorities to establish the semi- 
independent South African Republic and Orange Free State. 
To render the story intelligible it is necessary to take a brief 
geographical survey, 1 including some explanations with regard 
to the various native races and peoples occupying the South 
African area. 

First, then, we must take note of what is practically the northern 
boundary of our area, the river Zambesi, flowing approximately 
from west to east, and reaching the ocean at about Geography, 
the i8th latitude. Next comes the river Limpopo, also flowing 
from west to east, forming something like a semicircle with a 
northward curve. Starting from the Limpopo the mountain 
range of the Drakensberg runs from north to south leaving a 
broad margin of territory between the mountains and the eastern 
ocean. Where the south-westerly curve of the South African 
coast turns almost due west at Algoa Bay, the Fish River flows 
southward into the ocean, forming what was in 1830 the eastern 
boundary of the Cape Colony. From the southern end of the 
Drakensberg the Orange River flows from east to west into the 
Atlantic Ocean, forming the northern limit beyond which the 
Cape Colonists had not penetrated. Between the Limpopo 
and the Orange River the Vaal River flows westward from the 
Drakensberg, joining the Orange River about midway between 
the east and west coasts. Another of the landmarks which we 
shall find it convenient to observe is the river Tugela, flowing 
south-eastward from the Drakensberg to the sea between Delagoa 
Bay and Algoa Bay. The area north of the Orange River on the 
west of the confluence of the Vaal and the Orange falls outside our 
present purview. 

1 See Map VI. 

232 Imperial Affairs 

The Anglo-Dutch Cape Colony may be treated as having for 
its northern and eastern boundaries the Orange River and the 
Native races. Fish River. Beyond this area of the colony the 
territories were occupied by tribes of Bantu negroes, known 
inclusively to the colonists by the name of Kaffirs, in various 
stages of primitive civilisation. Northwards beyond the Vaal 
and the Tugela two branches of one people, both of which de- 
veloped a great military organisation, the Matabele and the Zulus, 
had established, or were establishing, their dominion, on the west 
and east respectively of the Drakensberg, over the comparatively, 
but only comparatively, peaceable Kaffirs who had previously 
been in occupation. Along the coast, at and beyond Delagoa 
Bay, north of the Zulus, was the Portuguese East African colony. 
Within the area of the Anglo-Dutch colony the primitive popu- 
lation was not negro but Hottentot, yellow-skinned and lank- 
haired, not black-skinned and woolly-haired. It may further 
be remarked that the negro slaves within the colony were not 
Kaffirs but had been imported from other parts of Africa. The 
always restless Kaffirs were made the more restless by the 
pressure upon them of the ultra-military Zulus and Matabele, 
somewhat as at the beginning of the Middle Ages the Teutonic 
hordes on the borders of the empire were pushed forward by 
the pressure of the still wilder and fiercer hordes behind them. 

Turning then to our story. Between 1820 and 1830 a number 
of British immigrants were introduced into the Cape Colony, 
1830. Dutch who were for the most part planted in the hitherto 
and British. ii tt i e occupied districts towards the Fish River. 
The Dutch element still remained enormously preponderant. 
There had been hitherto no material interference with Dutch 
institutions and customs ; but the government was in the 
hands of a British governor with a nominated council, and 
the influx of British immigrants encouraged the introduction of 
Anglicising measures, such as the adoption of English as the 
official language, and the development of a disposition, derived 
from the humanitarian ideas prevalent in England, to interfere 
between the Hottentots and the Dutch, who had hitherto been 
their absolute masters. And at the same time the governors 

South Africa 233 

found their hands tied by instructions from home, due to the 
influence of missionaries, which prohibited them from dealing 
with the Kaffirs as firmly as colonial opinion judged to be 
absolutely necessary. The upland farmers found themselves 
debarred by the action of the British government from taking 
the needful steps for their own protection from the Kaffirs. 

The Kaffirs understood force, but regarded the milder methods 
of negotiation merely as indications of weakness. At the end of 
1834 they broke over the Fish River and swept 1334. The 
through the neighbouring districts, murdering and Kaffir war. 
destroying. As a matter of course, a Kaffir war resulted, and the 
Kaffirs were beaten ; but even then the Cape government 
was positively forbidden to take the measures which the 
governor, Sir Benjamin Durban, rightly regarded as absolutely 

Also in 1834 the imperial government abolished slavery. Out 
of the 20,000,000 to be applied for the compensation of slave- 
owners, the amount allotted to South Africa was a Emancipation 
good deal less than half the compensation which of slaves, 
would have been due under the official valuation of the claims of 
the slave-owners. By 1836 the Boers or farmers began to realise 
what had happened. They were already irritated by the over- 
riding of their own immemorial usages by British customs, 
and by interference with what they regarded as their lawful 
authority over the natives. They were filled with a not un- 
justifiable indignation when they found themselves unable to take 
measures of self-defence against the Kaffirs because of the orders 
of the imperial government, and now they found themselves, 
as they considered, robbed by that same government. They 
resolved to betake themselves beyond the restricting reach of its 
arm, and so began the Creak Trek, the exodus from isse. The 
the House of Bondage to the Land of Promise. Great Trek. 
Numbers of Boer families gathered together their goods and 
chattels, flocks and herds, and emigrated out of British territory 
across the Orange River. Some of them settled in the territories 
between the Orange River and the Vaal. Others pushed on 
across the Vaal and were fallen upon by the hordes of the Matabele. 

234 Imperial Affairs 

Nevertheless, few as they were, they defended their encamp- 
ment, their ' laager/ so obstinately and so successfully, that the 
Matabele were beaten off with great slaughter, and presently re- 
treated beyond the Limpopo, leaving the Transvaal between the 
Vaal and the Limpopo to the Boers and the less military Kaffirs. 
While one enterprising group of Boers was ejecting the Mata- 
bele and their chief Moselikatse from the Transvaal, another 
1837. Boers group made its way eastwards over the Drakensberg 
and Zulus. j n the region of the Tugela, and opened negotiations 
with Dingan the lord of the Zulus. Dingan had allowed the 
settlement of a few British at Port Natal, afterwards rechristened 
Durban. The tribes in the immediate neighbourhood were not 
themselves Zulus, but were in effect their subjects. Dingan 
received the Boer envoys politely, promised them the land they 
asked for, and when they were on the point of departure mur- 
dered them. Then without delay he dispatched his hosts to wipe 
the Boers out altogether. The nearest camp was rushed, and 
every one in it, man, woman, or child, was slaughtered, except 
one youth who succeeded in escaping and giving warning to the 
other camps. Each one formed laager, their wagons serving as 
an outwork, and when the Zulus came gave them so hot a recep- 
tion that not one of the camps was carried. The Zulus retreated, 
and the Boers seized their opportunity to concentrate in a single 
camp. A counterstroke was attempted, supported by a force 
from Natal consisting of a score of British and fifteen hundred 
natives. But the Dutch and British forces advancing separately 
were both ambushed and narrowly escaped annihilation. At 
the end of the year the Boers had a new leader, Andries Pre- 
torius. Under his command a Boer force advanced, having 
sent preliminary messages inviting peace through Zulus whom 
1838 they had captured. Dingan responded by sending 

Dingan's Day, his army to wipe them out. The Boers' precautions 
ember 'secured them against surprise ; the Zulus found four 
hundred and fifty of them in laager. A great battle was fought on 
i6th December (1838) ; at the end of it there were four Boers killed, 
but there were three thousand Zulu corpses on the field. The 
stream which passes by the scene of the battle was christened the 

South Africa 235 

Blood River, and the Boers have ever since continued to celebrate 
the anniversary of Dingan's Day. 

The Zulu chief's power was seriously shaken by the disaster ; 
a year later it was finally broken by a rival chief, his half-brother 
Panda, who was disposed to seek the friendship of the white 
men By him Dingan was overthrown and slain. The Boers 
collected at Pietermaritzburg proclaimed a republic with sove- 
reignty over the whole region, to which Panda bowed. The 
Boers might fairly claim that they had acquired a DU^ and 
right to the territory by conquest a right quite as British in 
sound as that of the Zulus who were themselves a a ' 
merely conquering invaders. But the Dutch organisation of 
government was primitive ; also it was displeasing to the mis- 
sionaries. So the British government intervened. The Boers, 
it was claimed, had not ceased to be British subjects merely 
because they had removed themselves from British territory ; 
the territory they had conquered became ipso facto British. 
When the Volksraad continued in its arbitrary course, British 
troops were sent to assert the British sovereignty. The Boers 
defeated them ; more troops were sent ; the Boers could not 
defy the British power, and retired into the Transvaal ; and three 
years later the government of Natal was organised as an annexe 
to the government of Cape Colony, with Durban as headquarters. 

The British government at the Cape did not endeavour to ex- 
tend efficient control over the Dutch, north of the Orange River. 
The plan, however, was tried of establishing native Basutos and 
states along the Orange River itself. The Kaffir Griquas. 
tribes called the Basutos, between the upper or eastern Orange 
River and the Caledon, were placed under the control of a very 
able Basuto chief named Moshesh ; on the west of this area was 
formed the Griqua state under Adam Kok, the riquas being 
half-breeds of mixed Hottentot and European descent. The 
results were unsatisfactory. The numerous emigrants in the 
Griqua territory declined to recognise Adam Kk's authority. 
The other chiefs in the Basuto territory objected to having 
Moshesh set over them. The arrangement with the Griquas 
was modified ; Adam Kok was granted an increased subsidy, 

236 Imperial Affairs 

while a portion of the territory was withdrawn from his control 
arid placed under a British officer who took his instructions from 
Capetown. Moshesh was less amenable than Adam Kok, and 
declined to accept any satisfactory modification. Then the 
Kaffirs on the east of the Fish River were growing more trouble- 
some than ever ; and in 1846 there came another Kaffir war 
known as the seventh. This induced the home government 
(Russell's administration) to send out as governor Sir Harry 
Smith, the hero of the battle of Aliwal in the Punjab, who already 
had some experience of South Africa. 

The Kaffirs had made submission, without any solid con- 
viction that they had been beaten. Sir Harry proceeded to 
1848-52. sir constitute on the east of the Fish River the depend- 
Harry smith's ent province of Kaffraria under a British commis- 
srnorship. s j oner ^ fae chiefs being allowed generally to exercise 
their old authority under his supervision. The Kaffirs acquiesced 
cheerfully. Somewhat arbitrarily Adam Kok and his Griquas 
were relegated to a much diminished district, and the territory 
between the Vaal and the Orange Rivers, excluding Basutoland, 
was added to the British dominion by proclamation under the 
name of the Orange River Sovereignty, with Major Warden at the 
head of the government. Thereupon the Boer stalwarts revolted 
and drove Warden and the British officials back over the Orange 
River from Bloemfontein, the headquarters of the government. 
Sir Harry marched a force over the river and defeated the Boers 
under the command of Andries Pretorius at the battle of Boom- 
plaats, after which the Boer irreconcilables joined their pioneer 
brethren on the other side of the Vaal. The farmers within the 
Orange River Sovereignty accepted the situation. Those beyond 
the Vaal were left severely alone by the British government. 

The Kaffirs, however, had merely been awaiting an opportunity 
when they accepted the arrangement of 1847. At the end of 
1850-2. I ^5 they broke out again, and maintained a long 

Another and exhausting struggle for a couple of years. The 

ar * home government made it an unvarying practice 
to recall any governor under whose rule a war broke out ; Sir 
Harry met with the usual fate, and his place was taken at the 

South Africa 237 

beginning of 1852 by Sir George Cathcart. Shortly afterwards 
the Kaffirs grew tired of fighting and made their submission. 
The province of Kaffraria was reorganised, but the most im- 
portant change, a decisive one, was the government's establish- 
ment of a strong body of European constabulary whose presence 
and activities sufficed to prevent the native chiefs from getting 
out of hand for many years to come. 

Immediately after the outbreak of this war, the disturbances 
deliberately fostered by Moshesh in Basutoland caused Major 
Warden from the Orange River Sovereignty to inter- 1351. The 
vene in arms with a force of something less than Basutowar. 
three hundred Europeans and something more than a thousand 
natives. The troops marched into a trap and suffered a serious 
defeat. Many of the farmers, who cared nothing about main- 
taining British authority, made a compact with Moshesh under 
which he engaged to leave them alone, and they engaged to stand 
neutral. The intervention of Pretorius from beyond the Vaal 
was then invited by the Boer friends of Moshesh, with the ap- 
proval of Moshesh himself. Pretorius used his opportunity to 
inform Warden that he would abstain from intervention if the 
independence of the Boers beyond the Vaal were acknowledged. 
The British troops were fully engaged at the time with the Kaffir 
war ; Sir Harry Smith, who was still governor, could not afford to 
have a Boer war on his hands as well ; the independence of the 
Transvaal appeared to be a matter of indifference ; and the result 
was the Sand River Convention (January 1852), 
which guaranteed independent control of its own sand River 
affairs to the * South African Republic ' beyond the Convention, 
Vaal. The Kaffir war came to an end, troops were at 
Cathcart's disposal for the Basuto troubles, and Moshesh made 
haste to submit while he still enjoyed the honours of having 
defeated the British government without being defeated 

To complete this portion of our narrative we must carry our- 
selves a little beyond the year 1852. The British government 
at this time was extremely reluctant to extend its colonial re- 
sponsibilities, and was in fact suffering from an impulse towards 

238 Imperial Affairs 

contraction. It not only acquiesced without reluctance in the 
independence of the South African Republic ; in 1853 it em- 
phasised its enthusiasm for colonial self-government 
independence by insisting upon the establishment of an elected 
of the orange legislature in the Cape Colony, which was accepted 
with a considerable reluctance by the colonists 
themselves who were content with the existing system ; and 
finally in 1854 it pronounced that the Orange River Sovereignty 
should be left to take care of itself. Unlike the South African 
Republic the farmers in the Sovereignty were not at all anxious 
to be cut adrift ; still the arrangement was carried out, and by 
the Convention of Bloemfontein in February 1854 the Orange 
River Sovereignty became the Orange Free State under a 
guarantee of independence. Two years afterwards Natal was 
constituted a colony separate from the Cape Colony. 


The colonisation of Australia began with the convict settle- 
ment of 1788, which, with another con vict settlement in Tasmania, 
1788-1830. formed the first colony of New South Wales. In 
Australia. 1812 the island was constituted a separate but inde- 
pendent colony with a separate governor. The area of colonisa- 
tion expanded from Sydney, the New South Wales capital, so 
named after the secretary of state when it was founded. Further 
north a new convict settlement was planted at Brisbane in 1826, 
in subordination to Sydney, free settlers being barred out of that 
region. In 1829 a separate colony of free settlers with no con- 
vict element was planted in West Australia with its nucleus at 
Perth and Fremantle. These were all the colonies which had 
come into existence in 1830. As a consequence of their original 
character as convict settlements, New South Wales and Tasmania 
were till 1823 under the rule of a military governor with virtually 
absolute powers. In that year, owing to the influx of free 
settlers, a modification was introduced, and the governor of New 
South Wales was given a small advisory council of nominees. 
His powers were also limited by the institution of a Supreme 

Australasia ^1854 239 

Court of Judicature which displayed a tendency to come into 
collision with the governor. In 1828 the constitution was 
amended by the removal of points of friction, and by the enlarge- 
ment of the governor's council to fifteen members who gradually 
acquired a degree of control over the governor. The separation 
of Tasmania from New South Wales was completed. 

In 1834 the colony of South Australia was founded, indepen- 
dent of New South Wales, and without any convicts, having as 
its nucleus Adelaide, so named after William iv.'s 1334. south 
queen. In the same year a new district was occu- Australia, 
pied on the south of New South Wales ; in 1837 the name of 
Melbourne, then prime minister, was given to its principal port 
in Port Phillip Bay. Settlers were attracted thither both from 
home and from New South Wales proper. It was known as the 
' Port Phillip District/ and for the time was governed Beginnings 
by officials from Sydney, though its prosperity soon of Victoria, 
encouraged it to demand recognition as a separate colony. It 
did not, however, obtain this recognition in full until 1851, when 
it became the colony of Victoria. Meanwhile, inland, behind the 
convict settlement at Brisbane the ' Moreton Bay District '- 
a vast amount of territory was taken up by squatters, stock- 
breeders, who were in effect allowed to settle them- Beginnings of 
selves upon the unclaimed land without any actual Queensland, 
title, except that which was accorded to them by the common 
understanding that where a man settled himself he was to have 
elbow-room without being encroached upon by neighbours 
elbow-room meaning some thousands of acres. In course of time 
this area also claimed separate recognition, when transportation 
ceased and Brisbane was no longer a convict settlement. Ulti- 
mately it was incorporated as the colony of Queensland, though 
this end was not actually achieved until 1859. 

From a quite early stage, miscellaneous Britons found their 
way to the great islands which constitute the modern Dominion 
of New Zealand and settled among the Maoris. Beginnings of 
These adventurers found no recognition from any New Zealand. 
British government until 1833, when a resident magistrate was 
sent out to do what he could in the way of preserving order 

240 Imperial Affairs 

which was little enough. Then in 1839 a company was formed 
in England for the colonisation of New Zealand. The immediate 
result was that Governor Gipps of New South Wales was author- 
ised to extend his jurisdiction over the islands, which were there- 
upon brought under the British flag as a dependency of New 
South Wales with a lieutenant-governor appointed by the govern- 
ment of that colony. Thus in 1840 there were the four distinct 
colonies of Tasmania, Western Australia, South Australia, and 
New South Wales ; while New South Wales had also its three 
dependencies, the Port Phillip district, Moreton Bay district, 
and New Zealand across the sea. 

For more than half a century after the formal annexation of 
Australia by Great Britain, the population was engaged almost 
Early colonial entirely upon what are termed inclusively agri- 
conditions, cultural employments tillage, sheep-farming, and 
cattle-breeding. For many years the amount of grain raised 
by tillage was insufficient for the sustenance of the population. 
It was at first believed that cattle could not be acclimatised ; but 
wool-growing, which became the staple industry of New South 
Wales, was already making considerable progress before the end 
of the eighteenth century through the enterprise of John Mac- 
arthur, who has been called the ' Father of New South Wales.' 
At the time when machinery was revolutionising industry in 
England, nothing of the kind was introduced in Australia ; for 
manufactured goods the population was entirely dependent 
upon imports. Real expansion began under Governor Macquarie 
(1809-23), who encouraged the exploration which opened up new 
regions and fostered agricultural development, assisted by grants 
of money from the home government. In Macquarie's view, the 
colony existed primarily to give a fresh start to the convicts under 
conditions which made self-respect possible ; and he sought to 
check rather than to encourage the immigration of free settlers, 
which was nevertheless a real necessity. Before the end of his 
tenure of office the free settlers already considerably outnumbered 
the ' emancipists/ or convicts who had received their liberty. 

According to the legal theory every acre of land in Australia 
was Crown property ; the private individual could only acquire 

Australasia /# 1854 241 

a title by grant from the government. At first the system adopted 
was to make a free grant, or a grant with a small quit-rent of 
land up to three or four hundred acres, to any suit- The land 
able person who asked for it, smaller grants being question, 
made to emancipists, the hypothesis being that the land was 
taken up for tillage ; Macarthur in 1805 procured from the home 
government a grant of five thousand acres for his sheep-run. 
Such additional labour as was required, in a country where there 
was no labouring population, was provided by the convicts them- 
selves, who were assigned to employers who for their part re- 
lieved the government of the cost of their maintenance. Then 
came the development of squatting, with the discovery of new 
areas available for stock-breeding. Without acquiring any 
title from the government, individuals went off up country, and 
as we have seen took up each man for himself a great area upon 
which new arrivals did not encroach. They took their chance 
of making their profit before the government should intervene, 
or of being left alone long enough to acquire a moral title which 
the government would in the end be bound to recognise. 

Naturally confusion arose. In 1824 the home government 
propounded an absurd scheme for dividing up the whole of New 
South Wales into counties, hundreds, and parishes, M30 4Q 
accompanied by an official valuation of the land. The Crown, 
Large estates might then be bought from the govern- 
ment instead of estates conveyed under a quit-rent. 
The scheme was wholly impracticable ; and in 1831 Lord Ripon 
(who as Lord Goderich had acted as prime minister for a few 
months after Canning's death) propounded a new scheme under 
which, if any one wanted a particular piece of land, it was to be 
put up to public auction with a reserve price of five shillings an 
acre. Then came the question, what was to be done about the 
squatters who objected strongly to paying five shillings an acre 
for their runs or to being ejected. The government of the colony 
appointed commissioners of Crown lands in 1833 to deal with 
intrusions upon Crown lands ; but the commissioners found that 
they could do nothing, and in 1836 and 1839 the plan was estab- 
lished of what was in effect granting a licence to the squatter for 

Innes's Eng. Hist. Vol. iv. Q 

242 Imperial Affairs 

a small fee, relieving him from the legal penalties for the un- 
authorised use of Crown lands. The arrangement applied only 
to the established squatter. Otherwise the acquisition of land 
by government sales within the districts of Sydney, Moreton Bay, 
and Port Phillip continued in force ; the reserve price being 
raised in 1842 to one pound an acre. 

In 1840 the transportation of convicts to New South Wales 
ceased ; a later attempt to revive it was so angrily resented that 
Trans- it came to nothing. Several years elapsed, however, 

portation. before transportation ceased altogether ; there 
were still parts of Australia where the shortage of free labour 
maintained the demand for convict labour. The complete dis- 
appearance of transportation accompanied the development of 
representative institutions with which the presence of a large 
number of convicts, perpetually reinforced, was incompatible. 

Representative government began with the constitution 
granted to New South Wales in 1842. The question had been 
brought home to the minds of the authorities in 
Constitution England by the events in Canada. Although full 
for New responsible government was not actually established 

in Canada until some years after the Act of Reunion, 
it was felt that in any colony which was sufficiently advanced 
and had a sufficiently numerous population, the methods of 
government ought to follow the British precedent. Accordingly 
in 1842 New South Wales was given a new legislative council of 
thirty-six members, twenty-four being elected, while twelve were 
nominees. Of the twelve nominees not more than six were to 
be government officials. There was a property qualification for 
the elected members and for the electors. The council had 
authority to initiate as well as to sanction any laws ' not repug- 
nant to the laws of England,' the governor retaining power to 
veto measures of which he disapproved, or to refer them to the 
decision of the home government. The legislative council had 
control of finance except in respect of the land sales, the product 
of which did not form part of the revenue of the colony but 
belonged to the imperial revenue, though it was allotted by the 
imperial government to the benefit of the colony. 

Australasia /0 1854 243 

The next decade brought a revolution, hastened by the dis- 
covery of the Australian goldfields Rumours that gold was to 
be found were current for some years. Attention 1851 
was attracted to the question, owing to the excite- Discovery of 
ment created by the discovery of goldfields in gol( 
California in 1848. In 1851 Edward Hargraves, who had 
tried his luck not very successfully in California, turned his ex- 
periences there to account, and detected the presence of gold 
on the banks of a stream, Summer Hill Creek, which flows into 
the Macquarie River in New South Wales. Government safe- 
guarded its rights by proclaiming that no one might dig on Crown 
land without a licence obtainable for a small fee ; to this was 
presently added the claim of a royalty of ten percent, on all rock 
gold that might be raised. There came an extraordinary rush 
to the goldfields ; everywhere men left their employments ; 
gold-seekers began to swarm in from Europe, the more readily 
because steamship services had now begun. In every quarter 
of Australia settlements were swept bare of their men-folk who 
had hurried off to the diggings. The great rush worked itself 
out in course of time ; but it had had the effect of bringing into 
the country a great new population of a different type. The 
country could no longer afford to be content with a supply of 
manufactured goods from Europe ; the new population was to 
a great extent better fitted for manufacturing than agricultural 
employment, and the colonies began to take up the business of 
manufacturing for themselves. 

The discovery of the goldfields coincided in point of time 
with the extension of ' representative government/ and its ex- 
pansion into ' responsible government.' The Australia Act of 
1850 placed South Australia, Tasmania, and Victoria 1850 Re _ 
on the same footing as New South Wales. Each of preservative 
these colonies was given complete control over the | ^ndeS? n1 
customs revenues, only with the limitation that 
there were to be no differential duties and no duties upon 
goods imported for British troops. The system of self-govern- 
ment was carried to completion immediately afterwards. In 
view of the changed conditions brought about by the gold 

244 Imperial Affairs 

discoveries, the colonial office invited the four colonies to 
draw up constitutions for themselves and submit them for 

The constitutions of all four received the royal assent in 1854, 
though two were subjected to slight alterations at the hands of 
1854 the imperial parliament. All of them adopted the 

Responsible ' two chamber ' system with one assembly whose 
government. mem b ers we re all elected, something in the way of 
a property qualification being required for the electors. In each 
case money bills were to originate in the assembly, and in all the 
upper chamber had the power of rejecting such bills, though 
Victoria expressly refused to it the power of amendment. New 
South Wales had a second chamber or legislative council, whose 
members were to be appointed for life by the governor and the 
executive council. In Victoria and Tasmania the legislative 
council was also to be elective but on a restricted franchise, with 
a substantial property qualification for membership. In South 
Australia there was a similarly restricted franchise, without the 
property qualification for membership. The ministers were to be 
responsible to the legislature, holding office only so long as they 
commanded the confidence of the legislature. The principle 
was implicit in the constitutions, but no more explicit than in 
the imperial parliament itself, where the system has become 
established as ' constitutional/ and breaches of it as ' unconsti- 
tutional/ without any enactment whatever. 

The history of New Zealand follows a divergent course. The 
Australian natives and those of Tasmania were peoples in an 
New Zealand, extremely low state of civilisation, dwelling in un- 
settled tribal communities with ideas of organisation which only 
just deserve to be called rudimentary. The white man entering 
Australia and Tasmania met with nothing in the shape of sys- 
tematic resistance from the aborigines. The Maoris of New 
Zealand were of a very different type ; although cannibalism 
was one of their customs, their political organisation was of a 
comparatively advanced order. The ideas conveyed by such 
terms as ' law ' and ' property ' were familiar to them. Physi- 
cally and intellectually they were at least on a level with the 

Australasia to 1854 245 

highest of the definitely barbaric races with whom British 
enterprise has come in contact. 

The proclamation of the island as forming part of the British 
dominion in 1839 was followed in the beginning of 1840 by the 
arrival of a governor, Captain Hobson. No one 1840> Treaty 
thought of effecting a conquest by force of arms, ofwaitangi. 
which would have been extremely difficult and also utterly 
inexcusable. Hobson 's aim was to effect the annexation by 
a friendly agreement, which was embodied in the Treaty of 
Waitangi, made with the chiefs of a group of confederated tribes 
in the north island. The chiefs and the tribes were guaranteed 
all their proprietary rights ; if any of them wished to part with 
their lands they must be offered first to the British government, 
which promised them full protection as British subjects. They 
in their turn yielded to the queen their ' sovereign ' rights, 
evidently with a thoroughly intelligent understanding of what 
that meant. It was perfectly clear, on the one hand, that the pro- 
prietary rights were those of the tribe, not even the chiefs having 
any power of alienation, and, on the other hand, that no white 
man could purchase except from the British government. Un- 
fortunately, however, the British settlers in the island imagined 
that the treaty was a mere formality which they were at liberty 
to ignore ; whereas there was no confusion in the mind of the 
Maoris as to the nature of the compact to which they had agreed. 

Before the end of the year, the home government formally 
separated New Zealand from New South Wales, made Hobson 
governor instead of lieutenant-governor, and pro- New z ea i an a 
vided him with a legislative council of six and an a separate 
executive council of three who were also members 
of the legislative council. Within two years serious trouble 
arose. A group of settlers claimed to have purchased certain 
lands in the middle island. Their claim was denied by two 
Maori chiefs. While the claim was still the subject of inquiry, 
there was a collision between the Maoris and the settlers. There 
was no possibility of questioning that the aggressive action of the 
British was responsible. A score of the white men were killed ; 
but for the firm action of Shortland, the governor ad, interim 

246 Imperial Affairs 

Hobson had died just before there would probably have been 
a general Maori rising which would have meant the extermina- 
Troubie in tion of the whites. But the Maori chiefs and the 
1842. governor were alike ready to take their stand by 

the law. Shortland recognised the justice of the Maori con- 
tention with regard to what had taken place, and repeated the 
undertaking that the terms of the Treaty of Waitangi were to be 
maintained. No British claims to land would be recognised as 
valid until they had been ratified after inquiry by the government. 
Shortland, however, was superseded by a new governor, in whose 
much less capable hands matters were already going far wrong 
when he was recalled and his place was taken by George Grey, 
who was soon to establish his reputation as one of the very 
greatest of British colonial administrators. He had already 
given a taste of his quality, as governor of South Australia, when 
he was transferred to New Zealand at the end of 1845. 

He found the Maoris in the north island in a state of ferment 
over a variety of claims asserted by the white settlers which were 
1845 in clear contravention of the Waitangi treaty. 

George Grey Already the Maoris were in arms against the whites. 
Grey again announced that the government would 
stand by the treaty, convinced a number of Maori chiefs of his 
honesty by displaying his own trust in them, and in conjunction 
with the friendly chiefs marched against those who remained in 
arms. The campaign was brief and decisive ; it was followed 
immediately by a measure for the administration of justice, in 
accordance with Maori custom where Maoris were concerned, 
whereby the confidence of the natives was secured. Grey then 
proceeded to penalise heavily any further purchases of land 
from Maoris by whites. 

But for Grey's self-reliance and political audacity, the inter- 
vention of the home government would have counteracted his 
Grey and measures. The New Zealand Company in England, 
the home which was ultimately responsible for a good deal 
government. of the trouble> had the ear of the government. Two 

Acts were passed, one providing a constitution, and the other 
laying down a new and entirely unsuitable provision for dealing 

Australasia to 1854 247 

with the land. Grey, backed by the Bishop of New Zealand, the 
chief justice, and a strong body of colonial opinion, refused to 
put the Land Act in force, and the home government gave way. 
The new constitution was as impossible as the Land Act. Grey 
issued a proclamation, in accordance with the terms of the Act, 
and then treated it as a dead letter as far as the colony was con- 
cerned. But he pointed out the folly of the plan to the home 
authorities in such a convincing manner that the new consti- 
tution was promptly suspended and the working constitution 

The home authorities, under the interested influence of the 
New Zealand Company, had blundered badly, though with the 
best intentions. They had learnt, however, at least 
to respect the governor, who received knighthood constitution 
in spite of the extremely independent attitude he for New 
had adopted. As we have noted with regard to 
the whole series of colonies, opinion in England since 1840 had 
been running strongly in favour of developing representative 
institutions as much as possible. In Sir George's view it had 
now become possible in New Zealand, and in 1851 he sent home 
a dispatch, a draft of what he regarded as a constitution suited 
to the peculiar conditions of New Zealand. With some altera- 
tions the draft was adopted in the Constitution Act of 1852, 
passed by the imperial parliament. Under this scheme New 
Zealand was divided into six provincial districts, each of them 
having its own elected council and an elected superintendent, 
to deal with provincial affairs. The central government con- 
sisted of the governor, a legislative council whose members were 
to be nominated by him for life, and a house of representatives 
elected upon the same franchise as the provincial councils. Under 
the title of the General Assembly, the legislative council, with the 
house of representatives and the governor, were the equivalent 
of the sovereign authority in England, ' the king in parliament.' 
Its legislative control was complete, with only the limitation that 
the legislation must not be ' repugnant to the laws of England.' 
Grey's suggestion that the direction of certain specified matters, 
such as the land revenue and the protection of the Maoris, 


248 Imperial Affairs 

should be reserved to the governor and his executive council, 
was set aside. 

The provincial system was brought into full working order in 

1853 ; at the close of the year Sir George left New Zealand, 

his great abilities being requisitioned in another 

Responsible sphere, and the completion of the new system 

government was j e ft to his successor, Colonel Wynyard. Thus 
established. XT . . ' , J . J 

in 1854 New Zealand and the four major Australian 

colonies were all beginning to enjoy ' responsible government,' 
as well as Canada, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia. 



' ENGLAND,' said Disraeli, ' does not love coalitions.' The phrase, 
like ' No taxation without representation,' has in the twentieth 
century been adopted as a catchword without re- The coali . 
gard to its original meaning. Representation, as it tion, Decem- 
was understood by Chatham, Burke, and Franklin, ] 
did not involve possession of a parliamentary vote. To any 
statesman of the eighteenth century, it would have appeared 
merely ridiculous to pretend that no one ought to be called upon 
to pay taxes unless he or she enjoyed the franchise. The term 
' coalition ' has been similarly perverted. It meant a combina- 
tion of diverse parties in a single administration, not the reten- 
tion in office of one party by the support of another party or 
parties in the House of Commons. The second Melbourne 
ministry from 1835 was kept in office by the support of O'Connell 
and the Repealers ; but though the Opposition denounced the 
Litchfield House Compact with fervour, they never dreamed of 
calling Melbourne's government a ' coalition/ Russell's govern- 
ment from 1846 to 1852 was maintained by the support of the 
Peelites ; but the Peelites did not take office, and the govern- 
ment was not a coalition. But in 1852 the ministry was an 
actual ' coalition ' of two hitherto distinct parties, the Peelites 
and the official Liberals, each of which was drawn upon in form- 
ing the cabinet. 

The one real precedent for a coalition had been that between 
Fox's Whigs and North's Tories in 1783. Other coalitions had 
been combinations not of parties, but of groups which had 
more or less sunk their differences in order that their chiefs 
might hold office together. But the essence of a coalition is 


250 Middle Victorian 

precisely that offices are shared between the leaders of recog- 
nised parties or groups which form the coalition ; an arrange- 
ment fundamentally different from one in which two or more 
parties or groups unite to support a ministry in which all offices 
are held by members of one party. 

To one group belonged Aberdeen, Newcastle (war and the 
colonies), Gladstone (chancellor of the exchequer), and Sir 
The James Grahame ; to the other, Russell, Palmerston, 

ministers. Granville, Clarendon, and Lansdowne. The coali- 
tion formed in December 1852 was exceedingly difficult to shape. 
There was no question that Aberdeen must be at its head, since 
every one except Russell himself was convinced that with 
Russell as leader it could not last ; yet Russell was necessary. 
Palmerston could not go to the Foreign Office ; yet he, too, was 
necessary. Palmerston cheerfully agreed to accept the Home 
Office. Russell wanted to lead in the House of Commons, and 
finally took the Foreign Office with the intention which was 
carried out that his place there should be taken by Lord 
Clarendon, and that he himself should remain in the cabinet 
without holding any specific office. Aberdeen himself would 
willingly have given place to Russell, but for the knowledge that 
if he did so the ministry was doomed to go to pieces. 

A distinguishing feature of the first session was the triumph 
of the new chancellor of the exchequer, Gladstone, who had 
1853 Glad- opened his thirty years' duel with Disraeli by his 
stone's first successful onslaught upon Disraeli's budget. On 
the hypothesis that the peace which had lasted for 
eight-and-thirty years would continue, he proposed to continue 
on the path laid down by Peel. The income tax was to be re- 
tained for seven years, first at sevenpence and ultimately at five- 
pence. The only change in its incidence was its extension to 
incomes over 100 ; hitherto it had applied only to those over 
150. It was to be imposed upon Ireland as well as Great 
Britain, but in return the Irish famine debt of 4,500,000 was 
to be cancelled. Next, Gladstone extended the legacy duties. 
These had hitherto been confined to personal property, and did 
not apply to such property passing by settlement. It was now 

The Aberdeen Ministry 251 

to be applied to real as well as personal property, and to both 
whether passing by settlement or not. The surplus anticipated 
from these measures was to be utilised on~e more for he reduc- 
tion of duties, which were entirely removed from one hundred 
and twenty-three articles still on the schedule, and lowered in 
as many more the duty on tea being cut down by more than 
one half. 

Parliament rose in August. When the session had opened, 
the political sky seemed clear ; when it closed there were already 
threatenings of a storm which was soon to burst in the East. 

From 1829 to 1840 Russia had dominated the Porte. Then 
Palmerston by his successful operations 1 against Mehemet Ali 
had effectually prevented the Turkish empire from The gick man 
being converted into a Russian protectorate, and of Turkey, 
the establishment of Egypt as an independent ' 
power under French ascendency. In the minds of most 
Englishmen it had become established doctrine that the integrity 
of the Turkish empire must be maintained, because either the 
Russians at Constantinople or the French in Egypt would be a 
menace both to our Indian empire and to British naval ascend- 
ency in the Mediterranean. The Russian and the French 
ambitions were incompatible ; both had been scotched by 
Palmerston's action. But it would appear that in the mind of 
the Tsar Nicholas the total dissolution of the Turkish empire 
was merely a question of time, and he was disposed to come to 
terms with the British so that the two powers might arrange 
between them for that eventuality, striking a bargain in which 
the rest of Europe would be obliged to acquiesce. On a visit to 
England in 1844, when Peel was prime minister and Aberdeen 
was at the Foreign Office, Nicholas had dropped a hint. 
Nothing further had come of it, and the Tsar probably had no 
expectation of making progress while Palmerston was in control 
of foreign affairs. 

Between 1844, however, and 1852, matters had been moving, 
and in a fashion not to the Tsar's liking. British and French 
influence supported the sultan's refusal to surrender the Hun- 

1 See p. 206 supra. 

252 Middle Victorian 

garian refugees in 1849 in spite of Russian and Austrian pres- 
sure. Then the French republic, guided by the President 

Napoleon, came forward as the champion of the 
of Greeks Latin Christians in Palestine in their outstanding 
and Latins, controversy with the Greek Christians as to the 

charge of the Holy Places ; whereas Russia had always 
championed the Greeks. At the end of 1852, Napoleon con- 
firmed the effects of the coup d'Etat of the previous year, and 
having procured a favourable plebiscite, proclaimed himself 
Napoleon in., emperor of the French. Simultaneously the 
pacific Aberdeen, whom the Tsar regarded as personally friendly 
to himself, became prime minister in England, while the anti- 
Russian Palmerston was merely home secretary. 

For the events which followed it is not easy to apportion 
responsibility between the Tsar and the French emperor. Accord- 
Napoleon in. ing to one view, Napoleon wanted to provoke war, 
and Nicholas I. provided he could get the backing of Britain, 
because military glory would secure his own power in France. 
According to another view, Nicholas meant to establish a decisive 
ascendency over Turkey, and reckoned that if Britain could 
not be brought to work with him by a bargain, she was at any- 
rate sure to stand neutral. It is possible that if the Aberdeen 
cabinet from the outset had been guided by Palmerston it 
might have been made emphatically clear to the Tsar that she 
would fight for the integrity of the Turkish empire, and Nicholas 
would not have pushed matters to extremities. But whether 
or no the revived activity of France in the East was the real 
irritant, the palpable aggression came from Russia. 

At the beginning of 1853, the Tsar told the British ambassador 
at St. Petersburg that the Porte was ' a very sick man,' for 
1853. whose immediate dissolution provision must be 

Russian made. Russia and Britain ought to make the 

to'sritain, provision together. Russia could not permit any 
February. power but herself to occupy Constantinople. She 
would not permit a new Greek empire to take the place of the 
Ottoman empire. She would not permit the empire to be con- 
verted into a group of republics which would harbour all the re- 

The Aberdeen Ministry 253 

volutionary leaders from the rest of Europe. So the plan she 
proposed was to establish principalities in the Balkans and on the 
Danube under Russian protection, while British interests should 
be secured by the annexation of Egypt, Cyprus, and Crete. The 
proposal was rejected. Britain did not want Turkish territory 
for herself, declined to regard any partition of the Turkish 
empire as a necessity, and would discuss no proposals to that 

Meanwhile Nicholas sent as ambassador at Constantinople 
not a diplomatist but a soldier, Prince Menschikoff, with in- 
structions to demand an immediate settlement, in 

.... , ,, , ,, ,. Menschikoff 

a manner satisfactory to the Tsar, of the question an d Lord 

of the Holy Places in Palestine, and a treaty prac- Stratford, 
tically conceding to the Tsar the protectorate over 
all the sultan's subjects who belonged to the Greek Church. On 
the other hand, the extremely able diplomatist, Stratford Canning, 
was sent back (as Lord Stratford de Redcliffe) to Constanti- 
nople by the British government. Lord Stratford very promptly 
manoeuvred Menschikoff into accepting separately a settlement 
of the question as to the Holy Places, and so reduced the point 
at issue to the Russian demand for a protectorate over the 
sultan's * orthodox ' subjects a demand which ultimately no 
sovereign power could dream of conceding. The British 
ambassador encouraged the Porte to refuse that demand, and 
undoubtedly allowed the sultan to understand that if necessary 
Britain would back up his refusal in arms. 

The claims were rejected, and the Russian ambassador with- 
drew from Constantinople on 22nd May. In June, Russian 
forces crossed the Pruth and occupied the Trans- The Russians 
Danube principalities as a ' material guarantee.' cross the 
British and French fleets were sent to Besika Bay, - ?ruth ' June - 
so as to be prepared to defend Constantinople. But as yet no 
hostilities took place. Ostensibly the quarrel was one between 
Russia and Turkey, which it was in the interest of the other 
four great powers, Britain, France, Austria, and Prussia, to bring 
to a peaceful termination. At the end of July their envoys 
assembled in conference at Vienna, and dispatched a note to the 

254 Middle Victorian 

sultan and to the Tsar which was intended to be a basis of 
settlement The Tsar accepted the note promptly, putting upon 
The Vienna it his own interpretation, according to which it con- 
note, July. ceded all the Russian demands ; which was not the 
intention. The Porte rejected the note, on the ground that it 
might bear the Russian interpretation, which Turkey could not 
accept. The powers thereupon dispatched an amended note, 
which embodied their original intention. Russia refused the 
amended note, claiming that the powers were bound to abide 
by the definite proposal to which they had committed them- 

Still the Russian troops remained in the Danube principalities ; 
they were not, as the Tsar announced, to be withdrawn until the 
Turkey French and British fleets retired from Besika Bay. 

declares war, Early in October, the Porte, encouraged by the 
>er> British ambassador, demanded immediate evacua- 

tion without result, and at the end of the month Turkey declared 
war. The Tsar publicly declared that he would not take the 
offensive ; but the Turks began active operations, and with this 
excuse the Russian fleet attacked and annihilated a Turkish 
squadron in the Bay of Sinope. Seeing that the Turks had 
already assumed the aggressive, the so-called ' Massacre of 
Sinope ' was hardly a breach of the Tsar's declaration ; but that 
was the light in which it presented itself to Western Europe. 
From that moment at least war was inevitable. 

Here, then, we may pause to examine the position. In a 
somewhat vague fashion it has come to be a generally accepted 
doctrine that the Crimean War was at best unnecessary, inas- 
much as it might have been avoided ; and at worst, that it was 
a huge blunder from the beginning. But the first question we 
have to answer is this : Was British statesmanship right in 
committing itself to the principle that the Turkish empire was to 
be preserved ? The alternative was in effect to allow European 
Why did Turkey, and as a corollary Asiatic Turkey, to become 
we fight ? a Russian protectorate in one form or another. 
On the assumption that Russia was aiming at the creation of 
an Eastern empire which would sooner or later challenge the 

The Aberdeen Ministry 255 

British supremacy in India, British statesmanship was right ; 
the British empire could not afford to allow Russia, by hold- 
ing the gates of the Black Sea, to dominate the Eastern Medi- 
terranean with her fleets, and to acquire effective control of all 
Western Asia. That was a view of Russian intentions which 
presented itself first to the younger Pitt and to Pitt's disciple 
George Canning. The progress of Russia in Central Asia, the 
obvious interpretation of her attitude in Persia and in Afghanistan, 
have been entirely convincing to very nearly every one concerned 
in the government of India, at least throughout the nineteenth 
century. If, then, that view was sound, the preservation of the 
Turkish empire, the exclusion of Russia from the Dardanelles, 
was an imperative necessity. For there was no possibility of 
setting up another independent power in the place of Turkey. 

On the other side is the argument that Turkey's rule was an 
abomination which civilised Europe should have united to 
extirpate ; that Nicholas was right in desiring the The Opposi 
dissolution of Turkey ; that he was as innocent of tion w - 
desire for aggrandisement as the British governors-general who 
annexed India piecemeal ; that he wished to work in co-opera- 
tion with Britain ; that if Britain and Russia could only have 
trusted each other frankly, all would have been well. The hypo- 
thesis would certainly have been a dangerous one to act upon, 
possible only if entire mutual confidence had subsisted ; and it 
may reasonably be claimed that Russia never at any time gave 
any reason to suppose that such abnormal confidence would be 

Whether war could have been averted without allowing 
Russia to dominate Turkey is another question. It is tolerably 
clear that the Tsar acted on the belief that, however Could war 
much the Aberdeen government might protest, it have been 
would not actually go to war, and that he held to averted? 
that assumption until he had gone so far that to draw back had 
become impossible. Assuming that in any case the British 
government must have resisted in arms the establishment of 
any Russian protectorate dominating Constantinople, it would 
hardly have brought war nearer to make the fact clear from 

256 Middle Victorian 

the outset. Faced with that certainty, it is possible that the 
Tsar would never have sent Menschikoff to Constantinople, or 
that a golden bridge might have been devised by which it would 
still have been possible for him to withdraw his extravagant 
claims. Possibly, too, a more skilful diplomacy might have 
brought Austria and Prussia so emphatically into line as to 
compel Russia to give way. But it is not easy to see how, by 
adopting a more complaisant attitude, the British government 
could have induced the Tsar to modify his demands, or how, if 
he did not modify his demands, war would have been avoided. 

While the Eastern question was at this critical stage, Russell 
was bent upon pressing forward a new measure of parliamentary 
reform. There was a brief cabinet crisis in consequence. 
A cabinet Palmerston resigned ; Russell, however, consented to 
crisis, some modifications in his bill, and Palmerston was 

December. induced to return to his post. The public at large 
did not believe that the Reform Bill was the issue ; they con- 
ceived that the close of the crisis meant the victory of the anti- 
Russian section of the cabinet, Palmerston, Lansdowne, and 
Newcastle, with whom Russell was presently joined. There 
is no question at all as to the trend of popular feeling. It 
was as vehemently anti-Russian as it had been anti-Spanish 
in 1739. 

The public scoffed at the idea that the Tsar was actuated 
only by his honest desire to deliver the Christian subjects of the 
Public Porte from misrule. It had learnt to believe whole- 

opinion, heartedly, and it retained the belief for half a century, 

that Russia was the enemy of the British empire, that the pro- 
tection of the Christians in Turkey was merely a hypocritical 
excuse for aggression, and that aggression must be held in check 
at all costs. Aberdeen, though he was intensely desirous of 
avoiding war, knew that unless a way of retreat were found for 
the Tsar war must come. The main difference between the two 
sections of the cabinet was that the Palmerstonian group, like Lord 
Stratford at Constantinople, was convinced that the time had 
come for delivering Turkey from the Russian menace ; whereas 
the Aberdeen group would have been satisfied by the withdrawal 

The Aberdeen Ministry 257 

of the Tsar's immediate claims. Aberdeen's hand was forced by 
Lord Stratford, Napoleon in., and the war party in the cabinet, 
because the great mass of public opinion was behind the war 

The Tsar would not withdraw. The British and French fleets 
were ordered to the Black Sea at the instance of Napoleon, to 
persuade the Russian fleets to retire to Sevastopol. Igg4 
At the end of February, France and Britain War declared, 
demanded the evacuation of the Danubian princi- Marcn - 
palities by Russia before the end of April. Nicholas refused to 
reply to the ultimatum. At the end of March, France and 
Britain issued formal declarations of war. At the beginning of 
April, French and British troops were landed at Gallipoli in the 
Dardanelles. On I2th April the formal treaty was signed between 
France, Britain, and Turkey. 

The command of the British army was entrusted to Lord 
Raglan, an able soldier who, as Lord Fitzroy Somerset, had served 
with distinction under Wellington in the Peninsula The opening 
and at Waterloo ; a selection made in part because st *s e ' 
he possessed qualities necessary to a commander who had not a 
free hand, but could only act in concert with our French allies, 
whose troops were led by Marshal St. Arnaud. A British 
fleet under Admiral Sir Charles Napier, a cousin of the con- 
queror of Sindh, was dispatched to the Baltic, where, however, 
it was found that the defences of Kronstadt were completely 
impregnable. At the outset, it appeared that the war would 
resolve itself into a campaign on the Danube. The Russians 
crossed that river and laid siege to Silistria in May. The allied 
forces were encamped at Varna, where soon afterwards they 
were attacked by cholera, while the Turks in Silistria offered a 
stubborn resistance to the invaders. At the beginning of June, 
Austria, supported by Prussia, added her demand for the evacua- 
tion of the principalities to that of the belligerents, and moved 
an army up to the frontier. The siege of Silistria was raised 
before the end of June, and by the first week in August the 
whole of the Russian troops had been withdrawn across the 

Innes's Eng. Hist. Vol. iv. R 

258 Middle Victorian 

The demands of the combined powers had now been conceded ; 
but the belligerent allies were not satisfied. The war party in 
A Crimean England had by this time become completely pre- 
campaign dominant, and they declined to leave Russia in a 
resolved on. position where she could renew the attack upon 
Turkey whenever it might happen to suit her convenience. It 
was not sufficient merely to defer the Russian menace. The 
key to the position lay in the Crimea at Sevastopol, where a 
Russian fleet might be sheltered, capable at any moment of 
striking at Turkey. The idea of making Sevastopol the objec- 
tive had presented itself both to Napoleon and to the British 
cabinet at the first outbreak of hostilities. To the Western 
nations the Crimea was unexplored territory ; the military 
authorities had the vaguest idea of what a Crimean campaign 
would involve. But Raglan and St. Arnaud received instruc- 
tions that they were to arrange for a campaign in the Crimea 
and the siege of Sevastopol unless they had definite information 
which convinced them that the scheme was impracticable. They 
had no definite information ; Raglan in the circumstances felt 
bound to undertake the operation. 

In the second week of September the French and British 
forces were landed in the Bay of Eupatoria, about thirty miles 
The Crimea nortn f Sevastopol, the British numbering a little 
invaded, less and the French a little more than 25,000 men. 
September. The movement would have been made earlier but 
for difficulties of transport, which were enhanced by the cholera 
visitation. Even as matters stood, the French had been obliged 
to leave their cavalry behind. 

The advance from Eupatoria began upon igth September ; 
on the 2oth the troops found their way blocked at the river 
Battle of the Alma ^Y a R uss i an force 40,000 strong under 
Alma, 2oth Menschikoff. The French were on the allied right, 
September. the seawar( } s ^ e j t was intended that they should 
effect a turning movement, but a great part of them never came 
into action. The stress of the fighting fell upon the British. 
At the end of three hours the Russians were driven off the field. 
Raglan would have advanced at once, and there appears to be 

The Aberdeen Ministry 259 

little doubt that if he had done so the defences of Sevastopol 
would have been carried. But he was overruled by the French 
marshal, a brave enough soldier, but rendered quite unfit for 
his position by the mortal disease of which he died a few days 
later. There was a three days' halt therefore. Then the allies 
advanced. Raglan was again anxious to make an immediate 
attack upon the northern fortifications ; again St. Arnaud 
opposed his plan, and the allies marched round the fortress and 
took up their position on the south of it. For the third time 
Lord "Raglan urged an assault. St. Arnaud was dying, the com- 
mand of the force devolved upon Canrobert, and for the third 
time the French refused to adopt the bolder policy. The armies 
prepared for a siege. 

Since the battle of the Alma, Menschikoff had not interfered ; 
he had withdrawn into the interior with the bulk of his troops. 
The allied forces were not sufficiently numerous to Sevastopol 
invest Sevastopol completely, and every day the besieged, 
fortifications were improved and strengthened by the energy 
and skill of the great engineer Todleben. The Russians took 
their ships' guns and the sailors into the garrison, and blocked the 
entrance to the harbour by sinking ships in it so that the British 
fleet under Admiral Lyons was rendered comparatively useless. 

From Eupatoria to Sevastopol the coastline runs nearly due 
north and south. The great harbour is an inlet running from 
west to east with the river Tchernaya flowing from The 
south-east to north-west, into its eastern extremity, position at 
On the north side of the harbour, near its western Sevastopol, 
extremity, was the outwork called the Star Fort ; on the south 
side, also at the western extremity, lies Sevastopol itself. The 
coastline runs south-westwards to Cape Kherson, some twelve 
miles, and then turns sharply backward to the south-east 
passing Balaclava Bay about twenty-five miles off. The object 
of the allies was to draw a semicircle close round Sevastopol. 
The French took the left, having their sea communications at 
Kazatch Bay, close to Cape Kherson ; the British took the right, 
with their sea communications at Balaclava. Menschikoff, as 
has already been remarked, had withdrawn eastward so as to 

260 Middle Victorian 

maintain a field army preserving communications with Sevastopol 
on one side and with the mainland on the other. The British 
occupying the right were consequently liable to be threatened at 
any time by an attack from Menschikoff, who might endeavour 
to cut their communication with Balaclava. On the right of 
the British line near the head of Sevastopol harbour was Mount 

Since Sevastopol had not been carried by a coup de main 
the idea with which the expedition had started a regular 
A bombard s i e g e was rendered necessary. Unfortunately, the 
ment, army was not equipped for a prolonged siege in a 

17th October. hard w i nterj b ut that was the task which lay before 
it. Still, it was resolved to make a great effort to capture 
Sevastopol without a winter campaign, by a heavy bombard- 
ment followed by a grand assault. The bombardment opened 
on 1 7th October. But the French were put out of action by a 
great explosion within their own lines ; and though the bom- 
bardment went on for a week it was evident almost from the 
outset that it would fail to attain its object. 

On 25th October it was MenschikofPs turn. An attack was 
made on the south-east, with Balaclava as its objective. The 
Balaclava, Turkish troops guarding the communications were 
25th October, driven out of their position, and some guns were 
captured. The Russians pushed forward, till an immense mass 
of their cavalry was shattered and driven off the field by the 
magnificent charge of the Heavy Brigade. But the most famous 
incident of the day was the charge of the Light Brigade. An 
order came to Lord Lucan, who was in command of the cavalry, 
which he misunderstood. The result was that he ordered Lord 
Cardigan, with the Light Brigade of six hundred sabres, to make 
what he himself knew to be a perfectly useless charge through a 
deadly storm of fire upon a distant Russian battery. The six 
hundred rode ' into the valley of death/ captured the battery, 
and then the remnant of them rode back again. The Charge of 
the Light Brigade, like the fight of the three hundred Spartans at 
Thermopylae, was, from a military point of view, a piece of pure 
folly, but as a display of disciplined valour it stands unsurpassed 

The Aberdeen Ministry 261 

in history. In the popular mind it quite eclipsed the magnificent 
work of the Heavy Brigade, which had in effect beaten off the 
attack upon Balaclava. 

Eleven days later Menschikoff made another attempt, not 
upon Balaclava, but to dislodge the British from their lines. 
The battle of Inkerman was fought in a fog, in the inkerman, 
early morning of 5th November. The Russians 5th November, 
came in tremendous force. The nature of the attack was not 
at first understood, and owing to the mist the commanders never 
knew what their neighbours were doing. The battle resolved 
itself into a series of desperate struggles between groups of 
British soldiers and masses of Russians ; and the British won. 
The Russian attack was decisively repulsed. The probability 
that an assault upon Sevastopol would be the signal for an attack 
by Menschikoff, which would place the besiegers between two 
fires, had always needed to be reckoned* with. The Russian 
repulse at Inkerman seemed in Raglan's eyes to provide an 
excellent opportunity ; since there would be no further immediate 
attack on Menschikoff's part. Again, however, Canrobert was 
not to be persuaded. 

Eight days after the battle came a disaster more serious even 
than an unsuccessful engagement. On 1/ November, a furious 
hurricane not only swept away the men's tents, but A disastrous 
wrought infinite damage to the ships in the harbour hurricane, 
at Balaclava. Quantities of the stores, which had ^November, 
been kept on board owing to the difficulties of storage, were 
destroyed, while on two of the ships which were lost were stocks 
of ammunition and supplies of winter clothing for the men. 
The losses were estimated at 2,000,000 ; but it was no mere 
question of pecuniary loss. The organisation at home had 
proved to be shockingly defective ; a winter of frightful severity 
set in, and the troops in the trenches suffered terribly from lack 
of the food and clothing which never reached them. The trans- 
port arrangements were so hopelessly inadequate that even the 
supplies which reached Balaclava could not be carried up to 
the front. 

Among the other troubles was the terrible inefficiency at the 

262 Middle Victorian 

army hospital base at Scutari. If the Crimean War had its 
heroes, it had also its heroines, in the noble band of women who, 
Miss organised by Miss Florence Nightingale, devoted 

Nightingale, themselves to the care of the sick and wounded. 
Miss Nightingale arrived at the beginning of November ; the 
beneficent effects of the revolution which she inaugurated were 
beyond all possibility of expression. But the revolution took 
time. The British public began to understand what British 
soldiers were suffering, and to attribute these sufferings to 
government mismanagement. 

A demand for a committee of inquiry was carried on 2Qth 
January 1855, by a majority of more than two to one, Russell 
1855. having already committed himself to the statement 

End of the that the motion could not be resisted. The ministry 
ministry, resigned. The queen sent for Lord Derby ; but he 
January. would only take office if Palmerston, Gladstone, 
and Sidney Herbert would join him. Disraeli was magnani- 
mous enough to withdraw his own claims both to the leadership 
of the House of Commons in favour of Palmerston, and to the 
chancellorship of the exchequer in favour of Gladstone. But 
neither Gladstone nor Herbert was willing to serve under Derby ; 
Palmerston insisted that Clarendon should remain at the Foreign 
Office. Derby gave up the task, and the queen sent for Russell ; 
but Russell's conduct was generally condemned by his late col- 
leagues, and his attempt to form a ministry was a failure. Then 
the task was assigned to Palmerston, in whom the country 
certainly reposed confidence, and at the age of seventy-one he 
became for the first time prime minister. 


Of the coalition ministry Aberdeen, and the war minister 

Newcastle could clearly not join the new government. Of the 

rest, only Russell, who had resigned when the 

Paimerston's motion for a committee of inquiry was brought in, 

ministry, stood out of the cabinet, being appointed instead 

minister-plenipotentiary to the conference of powers 

about to be held at Vienna. Within three weeks, however, the 

P aimer storis First Administration 263 

Peelites, Gladstone, Sidney Herbert, and Sir James Grahame, 
resigned. The final result of the committee of inquiry was one of 
those safe reports which generally exonerated individuals and 
attributed nearly all the mismanagement to the defects of the 
system. When the Peelites resigned, Russell rejoined the govern- 
ment as colonial secretary, an office which had already been 
separated from that of the ministry for war, which was now 
assigned to Lord Panmure. Russell's business, however, was 
with the conference. 

While the soldiers through desperate winter weather were 
enduring untold hardships with incomparable fortitude, the 
diplomatists were at work ; and at the end of Negotiations 
December the powers had presented to Russia a which failed, 
note proposing : That the powers jointly, instead of Russia alone, 
should guarantee the rights of the sultan's subjects in the prin- 
cipalities ; that the navigation of the Danube should be free ; 
that Russia should no longer control the Black Sea ; and that 
the powers jointly, not Russia alone, should obtain from the Turk 
guarantees for the religious liberty of his Christian subjects of 
whatever church. In February, the kingdom of Sardinia with 
a fine political audacity associated itself with France and Britain 
in the war, thereby securing to itself recognition as one of the 
powers having a right to a voice in the settlement of the Eastern 
question. On 2nd March Nicholas died, and was succeeded by 
his son Alexander n. A fortnight later the conference at Vienna 
was formally opened. The negotiations broke down over the 
Black Sea question. The Tsar rejected the proposal that the 
Black Sea should be neutralised, and that no ships of war should 
be allowed in it. The Austrian suggestion that the Russian 
warships should be limited in future to their actual strength at 
the time was actually approved by Russell, and would probably 
have been adopted but for the more uncompromising attitude of 
Palmerston and Napoleon. The emperor needed more laurels ; 
Palmerston wanted to cripple Russia. Russell yielded to Pal- 
merston, and the war went on : but Russell left the ministry. 

Under Palmerston's energetic guidance the arrangements for 
the war, the provision of transports, supplies of every kind, both 

264 Middle Victorian 

at the front and at the hospital base, were amazingly improved. 
Before summer, the troops were as conspicuously well-found 
in the as they had before been ill-found. The allies met 

Crimea. w jth some successes, capturing Kertsch at the 

entry of the Sea of Azov, a main base of the supplies for the 
Sevastopol garrison. On the other hand, the anniversary of 
Waterloo was marked by the disastrous if heroic failure of the 
French and British to capture the keys of Sevastopol, the Mala- 
koff and the Redan. Immediately afterwards Raglan suc- 
cumbed to cholera, the command devolving upon General 

In August, the Russian field army in the Crimea, commanded 
by Prince Gortschakoff, made its last attempt to relieve Sevas- 
Faiiof * topol, but was completely repulsed at the battle 
Sevastopol, of the Tchernaya, where the Italian troops of the king 
>er 'of Sardinia found and made splendid use of their 
one opportunity for distinguishing themselves. On 8th Septem- 
ber the second British attack on the Redan was repulsed ; but 
the French stormed the Malakoff and won it, though at the cost 
of 7500 casualties. That night the Russians blew up their 
magazines and evacuated Sevastopol, their retreat northward 
being opened. On the gth the allies were in occupation of the 
great Russian arsenal, where the Russian fleet lay at the bottom 
of the harbour. 

Still the war was not finished. Russia gathered some comfort 
from the capture of Kars in Turkish Armenia, which under the 
Kars. direction of its British commander, Fen wick Williams, 

had offered a magnificent defence against enormous odds for 
more than six months. 

Napoleon in., however, was now satisfied. He could claim that 
Sevastopol had fallen as the result of a glorious feat of arms on 
the part of the French. He had nothing more to gain, and was 
ready for the war to come to an end. Palmerston, on the other 
hand, was prepared to go on fighting, with or without France 
and Sardinia (which had also achieved its object), until the con- 
ditions which he regarded as necessary had been secured ; in spite 
of pressure both from Austria and from France, which aroused his 

P aimer st on s First Administration 265 

resentment. And he had the country with him. Russia gave way. 
In March 1856, the Treaty of Paris was signed by the five powers, 
Britain, Russia, France, Austria, and Prussia, to- Ig56 Treat 
gether with Sardinia which had made good its right of Paris, 
to recognition, and with Turkey which was for- Marcb - 
mally admitted by the treaty to the European ' Concert.' The 
powers undertook collectively to guarantee the independence 
and territorial integrity of the Ottoman empire. They accepted 
as a voluntary undertaking on the sultan's part his promises 
of administrative reforms for the benefit of his subjects, without 
distinction of race or creed ; while they surrendered, severally 
and collectively, any right of interference in the internal adminis- 
tration of the Turkish empire. The navigation of the Danube 
was secured. Kars was restored to Turkey, and the Crimea to 
Russia. Russia gave up her separate powers of protection over 
Wallachia and Moldavia, but the powers collectively guaranteed 
the privileges of the municipalities, together with those of Servia. 
Finally, the Black Sea was neutralised ; no warships and no 
arsenals, whether Turkish or Russian, were to be allowed on its 
waters or on its coast, and it was to be open to the commerce 
of all nations. 

To the Treaty of Paris was added the compact called the 
Declaration of Paris, modifying, in accordance with the practice 
which had actually been adopted during the war, The Deciara- 
the old British claims which had given rise to the tion of Paris. 
Armed Neutralities. Thenceforth a neutral flag protected 
enemies' goods, except contraband of war ; neutral merchandise, 
except contraband of war, was to be secure from capture, 
even when carried in enemies' ships ; the principle that a 
blockade must be ' effective ' was definitely recognised ; and 
privateering was abolished. 

Palmerston won that for which Britain had fought. Russia 
could not dominate the Eastern Mediterranean with a fleet 
from the Black Sea ; she could no longer use her The fruits, 
powers of protection over the Trans-Danube provinces to coerce 
the Porte in her own interest. He had practically imposed upon 
the Concert of Europe the duty of preventing any one power 

266 Middle Victorian 

from controlling Constantinople, though it might be suggested 
that one of the effects was to cause Russia to concentrate her 
expansive energies upon Asia. On the other hand, he had 
definitely committed Europe to the preservation of the Ottoman 
rule, and enabled the Turk to reckon with perfect security that, 
so far as intervention from any European powers was concerned, 
she could go on ruling as badly as she chose ; since no single 
power could coerce him on its own individual responsibility, 
while mutual jealousy and distrust provided a tolerably strong 
guarantee against the effectiveness of collective intervention. 

The war had entirely distracted attention from domestic 
politics. Russell's Reform Bill, which had brought about the 
Home affairs, cabinet crisis at the beginning of the war, had been 
shelved when it became too obvious that in face of the struggle 
in the East problems of domestic legislation could not be ade- 
quately dealt with. One valuable addition was made to the 
Statute Book with the passage in 1855 of the Limited Liability 
Act. Hitherto any one who invested money in a trading company 
rendered himself personally liable for the whole of the company's 
debts in case of its failure. Under the Act which was now passed, 
investment with a limited company involved personal liability 
only up to the amount actually invested. 

Interest, however, attaches to what may be called a consti- 
tutional episode at the beginning of 1856. The House of 
The Lords is the final Court of Appeal. Custom had 

wensieydale evolved the practical rule that when the House 
peerage. o f L or cl s sat as a Court of Appeal only the law 
lords should take part in the proceedings. That custom had 
been definitely confirmed on the occasion of the appeal against 
the condemnation of O'Connell: But the result was that at the 
end of 1855 there were only two law lords who could be counted 
upon to take part in such proceedings. To remedy this incon- 
venience, it was proposed to raise Judge Parke to the peerage. 
He had no children, and was unlikely to have any. The patent 
of his peerage, instead of being drawn in the usual form, con- 
veyed it to him only for his own life. Had the matter been 
quietly passed over, a precedent would have been created which 

Palmerstoris First Administration 267 

would have enabled the Crown to grant peerages for life, and by 
the adoption of that practice the whole constitution of the House 
of Lords as a hereditary assembly might within no very long 
time have undergone a complete change. But no such patent 
had been issued certainly for four hundred years. The Lords 
promptly declared that the new Lord Wensleydale could not 
sit or vote in the House, because he had been made a peer in 
an irregular manner. The thing was legal, but it was certainly 
' unconstitutional.' The government thereupon proposed to 
sanction by Act of Parliament the creation of life peerages, but 
they were defeated and were reduced to the simple alternative 
of bestowing Baron Parke's peerage upon him in the ordinary 

Apart from this, however, interest continued to centre in 
external affairs. At the end of the year there began a brief war 
with Persia, which belongs rather to the history of Persia. 
Indian affairs. The Tsar was given an opportunity of putting 
Britain and France technically in the wrong by their attempt 
at intervention to check the iniquitous misgovernment of the 
Bourbon king of the Sicilies a proceeding which stultified 
the recent treaty, which rested upon the doctrine Naples, 
that individual powers had no business to interfere with the 
internal administration of their neighbours. The Tsar had at 
least as good a right to intervene on his own account for the 
protection of the sultan's Christian subjects from misgovern- 
ment as France or Britain to interfere for the protection of the 
subjects of the king of the Sicilies. The British had to withdraw 
and leave King Ferdinand to his own devices : for which in due 
time his son paid the penalty. 

If Palmerston was popular in the country, his majorities in 
the House of Commons were not to be relied on. Occasion arose 
in the Farthest East, whereby his position was put to the test. 

By the Treaty of Nankin, China had undertaken to open five 
treaty ports to European commerce. One of these, Canton, 
never had been opened, the government excusing China, 
itself on the ground that it could not promise security to Europeans 
in that city. In 1856, the supreme British authority at Hong- 

268 Middle Victorian 

Kong was Sir John Bowring, officially entitled the ' chief super- 
intendent of trade/ At Canton there was a British consul, 
whose name later became familiar when he was known as Sir 
Harry Parkes. The admiral in command of the Chinese squadron 
was Sir Michael Seymour. The name of the Chinese governor 
of Canton was Yeh. On 8th October 1856, there was a small 
vessel lying off Canton named the Arrow. She was Chinese 
built, her owners and her crew were Chinese. Thirteen months 
The ' Arrow' before, sne na( ^ received a register as a British ship, 
incident, valid for only twelve months ; her Chinese owner 
October. being resident in Hong-Kong. The register, there- 

fore, had expired. She was boarded by the Chinese authorities, 
and on the ground that one member of the crew was sup- 
posed to be a pirate, the whole twelve of the ship's company 
were taken off as prisoners. It was claimed, however, though 
evidence on the point was conflicting, that the Arrow was flying 
the British flag at the time. That was the one and only ground 
upon which it was possible to contend that the British authorities 
had any sort of excuse for intervention. Parkes, however, on 
the assumption that the Arrow was a British ship, demanded 
from Yeh that the captives should be handed over to the British 
authorities. Yeh declined. Parkes wrote to Bowring. Bowring 
took the line that an insult had been offered to the British flag, 
and that the technical excuse that the Arrow's British register 
had expired could not be pleaded by the Chinese, because the 
Chinese authorities could not have been aware of the fact. 
Therefore he demanded from Yeh the release of the prisoners, 
and an apology within forty-eight hours. Yeh declined ; the 
Arrow, as a matter of fact, was not, he said, a British ship, 
and could not be converted into one merely by the process of 
hoisting the British flag. 

Bowring replied by summoning Admiral Seymour to attack 
the Canton forts. Sir Michael captured them. Yeh thereupon 
canton released the men, but still refused to apologise, 

attacked. Bowring thereupon fell back on the demand for 
admission to Canton, in accordance with the Treaty of Nankin. 
Up to this point it is sufficiently obvious that Yeh was in the 

India under Dalhousie 269 

right and Bowring was in the wrong ; but at this stage, when 
the admiral, under Bowring's instructions, set about enforcing 
the demand for admission by throwing shells into Canton, Yeh 
spoilt his case by issuing orders for the destruction of British 
shipping, and offering a reward for British heads. The British 
squadron acted as if China and Britain were at war ; and the 
Chinese massacred a number of Europeans and burnt the 
European factories. 

These things were going on through November and December ; 
they were brought before parliament in February. Palmerston 
was resolved to back Bowring. Derby and old 1357. 
Lord Lyndhurst in the Upper House, Cobden, Palmerston 
Russell, and Gladstone in the Commons, denounced the country, 
the conduct of the British authorities. Palmerston March. 
was defiant. The attack on the government was defeated 
in the Lords, but in the Commons the hostile motion was 
carried by a majority of sixteen. Palmerston appealed to the 
country. The country had not perhaps examined the merits 
of the case with any great care ; but the popular minister had 
carried it with him in the Crimean War, and the public at large 
looked upon him as the trusted champion of British prestige. 
In that capacity the Peelites, represented by Aberdeen, had 
failed, and the Conservatives, led by Derby, conspicuously 
failed when Derby evaded the task of forming an administra- 
tion upon Aberdeen's resignation. When the ministry met the 
new House of Commons on 3oth April, Palmerston had an over- 
whelming majority at his back. His triumph was complete. 

Ten days later, the sepoys at Mirat had mutinied and marched 
upon Delhi. 


Our narrative of Indian events broke off with the year 1848, 
when Lord Hardinge left the great dominion to the charge 
of his successor, the earl (afterwards marquess) Dalhousie. 
of Dalhousie. By common consent, Dalhousie is regarded as 
the greatest of all the rulers whom Great Britain has given to 

270 Middle Victorian 

India. It was during his reign that the territorial expansion 
of the British dominion was virtually completed. It was he 
who inaugurated the railway and telegraph systems which 
changed India as they had changed Europe. He excelled all 
his predecessors in the development of public works, and he 
made his personality felt in every quarter of the peninsula aS 
emphatically as Wellesley himself. He was only thirty-five 
when he took up the task younger than any previous governor- 
general, three years younger than Wellesley ; he compressed 
into the eight years of his rule the work of a lifetime ; the strain 
shattered his health, and he died when he was only forty-seven. 
The ten years which followed his arrival at Calcutta formed the 
most momentous decade in the history of India. 

Hardinge left the country in the happy conviction that no 
more fighting would be needed. He had felt himself free to 
1848. India, make a large reduction in the sepoy army, though 
February. ne was careful to reorganise the arrangements so 
that the quantity of troops in the north-west was in fact con- 
siderably increased. Events proved, however, that his antici- 
pations were entirely wrong. A month after his departure, and 
three months after Dalhousie's arrival, a new flame had been 
kindled in the Punjab. 

The trouble began at Mult an. The Punjab was not under 
British government but under Sikh government, temporarily 
state of directed by the British at the desire of the sirdars 
the Punjab, themselves. British officers were in charge of out- 
lying districts beyond the Indus, where the tribesmen had been 
brought into subjection to the Sikh dominion, but were them- 
selves for the most part not Sikhs at all but Mussulman hill- 
men. The sirdars had accepted the situation created by the 
war, because they hated the rani and her favourites and feared 
the khalsa, and because there was no one among them to take 
Ran jit Singh's place ; and yet they resented the palpable fact 
that a British ascendency had been created. But the khalsa 
was still more resentful. It did not believe that it had been 
beaten in a square fight ; it attributed its defeat to treachery 
on the part of its leaders. Both the sirdars and the soldiery 

India under Dalhousie 271 

were to some extent reconciled for a time, owing to the magnetic 
personality of Henry Lawrence ; but now Lawrence was gone. 

Mulraj, the governor of Multan, tendered his resignation to 
the government at Lahore. His resignation was allowed, and 
two British officers, Vans Agnew and Anderson, The Multan 
went to Multan to take charge until a new governor outbreak, 
should be appointed. The troops in Multan declared that they 
would have none but Mulraj for governor, murdered Agnew and 
Anderson, and proclaimed that they were in revolt against the 
British dominion. Yet the government which they defied was 
not a British but a Sikh government. Sir Frederick Currie at 
Lahore took the strictly correct course. It was the business of 
the Sikh government, not of the British, to suppress the revolt. 
If British troops marched on Multan, that would be in effect 
an assumption that the government was in the hands of the 
British that they had usurped authority ; and the rebels 
would be warranted in declaring that they were not rebels, but 
patriots, fighting for freedom from a foreign yoke. 

Meanwhile, however, Lieutenant Herbert Edwardes, a young 
officer who was in charge of the Derajat beyond the Indus, 
where he won the devotion of the tribesmen, who did Herbert 
not love the Sikhs, acted on his own responsibility. Edwardes, 
Before the murder of the British officers, the news June> 
had reached him that they were in danger, and he took the bold 
step of marching at once to the rescue at the head of his Pathan 
levies. On i8th June he inflicted a sharp defeat upon the rebels 
at Kiniri, repeated his success at Saddusan a fortnight later, 
drove the rebels into Multan, and early in July joined hands 
with Sher Singh, the commander of the official Sikh forces, who 
had come down to suppress the rebellion on behalf of the official 
Sikh government. The united forces sat down before Multan ; 
but no one knew from day to day whether the Sikh troops and 
Sher Singh would or would not go over to the rebels. Lord 
Gough, the British commander-in-chief, in agreement with 
Dalhousie, objected entirely to the dispatch of small columns to 
act in the Punjab. If a force entered the Punjab it must be 
one capable of crushing resistance ; small columns would only 

272 Middle Victorian 

have the effect of raising the Sikhs en masse, and the columns 
themselves would probably be annihilated. He made his pre- 
parations therefore for an invasion in force, if it should become 
necessary ; but since Currie at Lahore determined to send a 
flying column to support Edwardes and the government troops 
at Multan, under the command of General Whish, Gough ordered 
up a column from Bombay to strengthen the small British force. 

The decisive moment came in September when Sher Singh and 
his Sikhs went over to Mulraj, thus putting the immediate cap- 
sher Singh * ure ^ Multan out of the question, proclaimed war 
revolts, against the British, summoned all old members of 

September. the khalsa to their aid, and set about making the 
insurrection a general one. Whish and Edwardes remained 
before Multan, but could undertake no active operations until 
the arrival of the Bombay column in December. 

Meanwhile Sher Singh's revolt was decisive. ' If the Sikhs 
want war,' said Dalhousie, ' they shall have it with a vengeance.' 

In November, Gough entered the Punjab with the army of 
invasion. Sher Singh had collected his forces beyond the river 
invasion of Chenab, Lahore and the eastern portion of the 
the Punjab, Punjab being sufficiently dominated by the British 
November. ^ o ^ e secur6j although it had now become absurd 
to think of using Sikhs for the suppression of the rebellion, 
transformed as it was, actually though not technically, into a 
national uprising. At the beginning of December, the passage of 
the Chenab was forced at Sadulapur after a sharp skirmish in the 
river bed at Ramnagar in which the I4th Light Dragoons 
suffered severely. Sher Singh fell back to a very strong position 
at Rassul on the Jhelam. 

Gough wished to await the fall of Multan and a junction with 

the troops from that quarter before attempting to carry the 

campaign to a decisive finish. But Multan did not 

Chiiiian- fall immediately on the arrival of the Bombay 

walla, column, and under very strong political pressure 

13th January. ~ , , 1-1 *u T 

Gough began his advance on I2th January, having 

with him some fourteen thousand men. The Sikh insurgents had 
captured Attock and Peshawar on the north-west frontier, and 

India under Dalhousie 273 

it was feared that delay would enable Sher Singh to collect an 
overwhelming army. On the I3th the advancing force found the 
Sikhs drawn up behind entrenchments between Chillianwalla and 
Rassul. Gough would have deferred his attack to the next day, 
but the Sikhs, advancing through the jungle, which concealed 
their movements, opened fire, and so began the sanguinary 
engagement of Chillianwalla. By sheer hard fighting the Sikhs 
were driven off the field, but there had been more than one 
critical moment during the battle when the issue had been 
extremely doubtful. As at Firozshah the fight had begun late 
in the afternoon, and the falling darkness made it impossible to 
press a very hardly-won victory which was in fact little more 
than a drawn battle in which the British had suffered very 
severely; though Gough held the field, the Sikhs were able to 
fall back upon their impregnable lines at Rassul. Chillianwalla 
in fact appeared in the light of a defeat, not a victory. 

It was resolved that the gallant but hot-headed old general, 
whose methods at Firozshah and Sobraon had been severely 
censured by military critics, should give place to Gujerat, 
Sir Charles Napier; but before the change could 2ist February, 
be effected Gough had retrieved his reputation. He hung on 
to his position, refusing to be drawn into another fight until he 
should be joined by the troops and guns from Multan, which 
was stormed on 22nd January. On I4th February he learnt 
that Sher Singh had evacuated his lines, and was executing a 
flank march on Gujerat. Gough fell back in a parallel move- 
ment, was joined on 20th February by the Multan column, and on 
the 2ist fought the decisive battle of Gujerat. The Sikh army was 
shattered to pieces, and its dispersion was completed by a well- 
executed pursuit. The khalsa knew now that it had been soundly 
beaten in a straight fight, and the Sikhs accepted the inevitable. 

There was no more doubt in the mind of any one except Henry 
Lawrence that the Punjab must be annexed. Lawrence, who had 
just returned, still believed that it was possible to Tlie Pun j ab 
organise a competent native government ; but it is annexed, 
quite certain that no man except himself was March - 
capable of organising a strong Sikh government ; probably it 

Innes's Eng. Hist. Vol. iv. S 

274 Middle Victorian 

would have been beyond even his unique powers. Annexation 
was resolved upon, and the Sikhs acquiesced sombrely enough. 
The young maharaja was pensioned off. Lawrence, who under- 
stood the Punjabbetter than any living man, desired to con- 
ciliate the sirdars, to trust them, and to give them all the 
authority possible as the natural leaders of the Sikhs. Dal- 
housie wished to reduce their influence to a minimum, and his 
views were endorsed by Henry Lawrence's brother John. It 
was quite certain that Henry Lawrence must be put in charge 
of the new province. It was more than difficult to compel him 
to act upon lines which he regarded as fundamentally wrong, 
while Dalhousie was the last man to submit his own judgment 
to that of any subordinate, however able. The plan the governor- 
general adopted was to put the governorship into commission 
under a board of three, the two Lawrences and a legal member, 
Henry being president. The brothers were in strong disagree- 
ment, and the government became a series of compromises which 
had a painful effect on the relations between Henry and John, 
but served the purpose of pacification ; and when this was 
accomplished it was of less consequence that it was no longer 
possible to make the Lawrences act together. John, whose 
views agreed with the governor-general's, was left as chief com- 
missioner, and Henry was transferred to Raj put ana, very much 
to the advantage of the Rajput princes. A consequence of the 
Sikh war was that Dost Mohammed at Kabul, who had held 
aloof from the conflict, became thoroughly satisfied that the 
British ascendency was not to be shaken, and made a treaty in 
1855, confirmed in 1857, which proved of no little service in 
the troubles to come. 

The annexation of the Punjab was proclaimed on 30th March 
1849. Three years later a British force was on its way to 
1852 Rangoon. The Burmese monarch during the last 

Annexation five- and- twenty years had continued to be per- 
ofPegu. sistently offensive in his treatment of the British. 

Repeated complaints came from the mercantile community. 
In 1851 Dalhousie's patience was nearly exhausted. A war- 
ship was sent to Rangoon to demand attention to the British 

India under Dalhousie 275 

complaints and reasonable compensation. The treatment meted 
out to the British officers was so preposterously insolent that 
Dalhousie found himself with no choice but to send an ulti- 
matum to Ava, repeating the demands previously made, and 
claiming a further indemnity of 100,000. The ultimatum was 
ignored. In April 1852 troops were dispatched to Rangoon, 
and on the I4th the city was captured. A provisional govern- 
ment was at once set up. The folly of a summer campaign had 
been proved by the last Burmese war, so further advance was 
delayed till October. The capture of Prome and Pegu in the 
next few weeks was sufficient. Military operations ceased; 
there was no treaty with Burma ; the whole province of Pegu 
was simply annexed by proclamation, and was taken under 
British administration, to the great satisfaction of the inhabi- 
tants who had already learnt to envy the prosperity of the 
previously annexed provinces of Arakan and Tenasserim. 

These two annexations by conquest, the Punj ab and Pegu, ended 
the era of expansion. Dalhousie, however, shared with Wellesley 
the belief that whenever native territory could be Dalnousie > s 
legitimately brought under direct British adminis- principle of 
tration, it was in the interest of natives and annexation. 
Europeans alike tha.t it should be done ; and there were two 
ways in which it might be done. Persistent and flagrant mis- 
rule would warrant the intervention of the paramount power and 
the deposition of a dynasty. It would then be open to the para- 
mount power either to institute a new dynasty or itself to take 
possession. The second method was by escheat or lapse. If 
a ruler died without heirs, it remained at the option of the 
suzerain to nominate an heir or to take possession. Hindu law 
permitted any one who had no heirs of his body to adopt a son, 
who inherited precisely as if he had been the Adoption, 
adoptive father's actual offspring. But the Mogul emperors 
had always claimed that such adoptions were invalid, as far as 
concerned the inheritance of political functions, unless sanc- 
tioned expressly by the imperial authority ; which sanction 
was a matter entirely of grace, not of right. It had been the 
British custom to sanction such adoptions, which were frequently 

276 Middle Victorian 

necessary for the continuity of a dynasty ; in the case, for instance, 
of the Sindhias at Gwalior, the great Mahdoji himself had been an 
adopted son, and so also had every single Sindhia since his day. 

There were always three alternatives : preservation of a 
native state as an independent, that is a self-governing, vassal ; 
The alter- intervention to control administration where 
natives. government was palpably bad ; and annexation. 

Every British governor-general had regularly rejected the 
second of these alternatives ; but with the exception of Wellesley, 
all had acted on the assumption that only extreme necessity 
made annexation a preferable alternative to the preservation 
of the native government. Dalhousie's theory was that where- 
ever there was legitimate ground for annexation, annexation 
was the right course to follow. There was no departure from 
the law, no promulgation of a new law ; the change of policy 
meant merely that the recognised right of annexation should be 
enforced instead of being waived. There was no doubt at all 
that annexation invariably increased the prosperity of the mass 
of the population ; but always it was also destructive to the power 
and influence if not the wealth of the great landowners whose 
position in some parts of the country was analogous to that of 
a feudal baronage, and in others , especially in Raj put ana and 
among the Rajputs of the Ganges basin, to that of the chieftains 
of Highland clans. Also every reigning dynasty was extremely 
anxious to perpetuate itself, and viewed with the utmost alarm 
any tendency on the part of the supreme government to set 
aside the practice of adoption. There is no doubt that Dal- 
housie's departure from the ordinary practice did much to create 
unrest and potential disloyalty, in spite of the beneficent effects 
of British administration. 

A series of opportunities for annexation by lapse occurred, 
of which the governor-general took advantage. Most con- 
spicuous was that of Nagpur, where the raja 
Annexations , . , , . , . ., , c 

of Nagpur, died, leaving no heir, either natural or adopted. 

sattara, Here there was clearly no obligation to search for 

andJhansi. , . , . . 

an heir, and no strong reason for abstaining from 

annexation. But in two other cases, Sattara and Jhansi, the 

India under Dalhousie 277 

position was different. The raja of Sattara had been repeatedly 
refused permission to adopt a son. Nevertheless, he did adopt 
one before his death in 1848. Dalhousie refused to recognise 
the adoption and annexed Sattara ; which it may be remembered 
was the Mahratta principality reserved to the house of Sivaji, 
the founder of the Mahratta power, when Hastings annexed the 
peshwa's dominion in 1819 after the Pindari war. The case of 
Jhansi was similar. In 1853, on the raja's death, the heir 
who had been adopted without sanction was set aside, to the 
extreme indignation of the rani, the late raja's widow. 

Taken individually, none of these three cases would probably 
have greatly disturbed native sentiment. Taken collectively, 
they appeared to point to a definite policy of uneasiness 
gradual absorption. The feeling of anxiety was created. 
strengthened by similar treatment of some small principalities 
which were unimportant in themselves, and also by the Nizam's 
cession of the district of Berar, for the liquidation of debts to 
the company incurred in connection with the Haidarabad 

Last came the annexation of Oudh, and for this it cannot be 
said that Dalhousie was responsible. The maladministration 
of Oudh had been persistent. The king had had Annexation 
repeated warnings which produced no practical of Oudh. 
result. After Dalhousie's arrival two successive Residents, 
Sleeman and Out ram, both reported on the condition of affairs 
in Oudh in terms of very strong condemnation. The dynasty 
would have fallen long before but for British support ; on the 
other hand, it had been consistently and unfailingly loyal to the 
British raj for three-quarters of a century and more. This, 
however, did not alter the fact that a continuation of the exist- 
ing order of things could not be permitted. Two alternatives, 
therefore, remained ; recognition of the king in form, accom- 
panied by direct control of his administration or annexation. 
The former course was actually favoured by Lord Dalhousie ; 
but when the question was referred to the authorities in England 
they decided in favour of annexation, without qualification. 
Oudh was one of the two great Mussulman principalities still 

278 Middle Victorian 

remaining in India ; and the deposition of its dynasty the 
king declined to abdicate was undoubtedly a shock to the 
whole Mohammedan community. The annexation was carried 
out in February 1856. 

It has already been noted that Dalhousie introduced rail- 
ways ; although no great amount of construction was actually 
Public achieved in his time, he laid out the grand scheme 

works. of railway unification, and thousands of miles were 

brought under survey for that purpose. It was unfortunate 
that in 1856 just enough had been done to excite supersti- 
tious alarms in the minds of the native population, while enough 
had not been done to render railways of any practical service 
for the conveyance of troops or supplies when the mutiny broke 
out in 1857. The telegraph, on the other hand, was advanced 
enough to prove of notable service. There was much progress 
in road-building and canal construction for purposes of irriga- 
tion under the Department of Public Works which Dalhousie 
created ; and a complete system of education, State-aided and 
under State control, leading from local native schools up to 
universities, was established. 

In one respect, however, the period of Dalhousie's rule 
developed a serious danger. The annexations involved a large 
The army. increase in the numbers of the native troops. The 
great reduction effected by Lord Hardinge after the first Sikh 
war or Sutlej campaign was nearly, though not quite, cancelled 
by the increases under Dalhousie ; and the difference was very 
much more than made up by additional regiments raised in the 
Punjab itself ; the increase above referred to and Hardinge's 
reduction having both been effected by diminutions or increases 
in the strength of the several regiments, not by disbanding 
existing regiments or raising new ones. But while the native 
army was enlarged, the European regiments in India were 
actually reduced by the withdrawal of troops for the Crimea 
which were never replaced. No blame lies at Dalhousie's door 
in the matter ; it was in defiance of his urgent representations 
that the home government abstained from making up and sub- 
stantially enlarging the European military establishment in 

India: the Great Revolt 279 

India. But Dalhousie's policy necessitated the increase in the 
native army, and involved the concentration of the best troops 
in the Punjab ; with the practical result that when the Mutiny 
broke out there were only five regiments of white soldiers in the 
whole region between Delhi and Patna. 


Dalhousie, utterly worn out by the tremendous strain of his 
ceaseless activity, left India in 1856. His place as gover- 
nor-general was taken by Lord Canning, George Dalhousie 
Canning's younger son, who when appointed was and canning, 
a member of the ministry. The task of the new ruler was 
in certain respects made the more difficult by his prede- 
cessor's great qualities. Dalhousie was an autocrat who went 
his own extremely masterful way, holding the control of 
every department of State in his own hands. The men who are 
capable of doing so are rare. The effect of such concentration 
of power, the general direction by a single brain of a single co- 
ordinated scheme in all its details, is to produce, while it lasts, 
the strongest possible form of government. But it is always 
apt to involve the danger that the work of the autocrat is carried 
out by subordinates very efficient as subordinates, who learn 
to take their directions from headquarters, but prove to be by 
no means equally efficient when the initiative is forced upon 
them. Canning, arriving in India, was necessarily to a very 
great extent at the outset in the hands of the officials, whom 
Dalhousie had trained to obedience. John Lawrence was 
absorbed in the Punjab, Henry Lawrence and Dalhousie had 
been antipathetic, and Henry's influence at headquarters was 
all the more at a discount because of the differences between 
himself and his brother. Outram, who should have been- in 
charge of the difficult task of establishing the new regime in 
Oudh, was compelled by his health to go home on leave, and 
the officials who took his place, though actuated by the best 
intentions, were lacking in real grasp of the situation. Canning 
himself was a man of great powers, sound judgment, keen sym- 

2 8o Middle Victorian 

pathy, and immense moral courage ; but not like Dalhousie, a 
born man of action, of rapid intuitions and swift decisions. 

Before the end of the year, the unfortunate disproportion 
between white troops and sepoys, already intensified by the 
1856-7. The withdrawal to the Crimea of regiments which had 
Persian war. no t been replaced, was made worse by the Persian 
war. Persia in the eyes of Indian statesmen, as well as of 
Palmerston, was Russia's cat's-paw. In 1856, the Shah found an 
excuse for marching upon Herat and seizing it, Dost Mohammed 
of Kabul having just extended his own dominion to Kandahar. 
The seizure was a breach of a compact entered into with the 
British in 1853, by which the Shah engaged not to attack Herat 
unless it were attacked by a foreign army which could only mean 
by Dost Mohammed. The pretence that the Dost's seizure of 
Kandahar was an attack upon Herat was absurd. The Shah's 
measure was palpably one of aggression against the Amir of 
Kabul. The governor-general took the only possible step in 
declaring war upon Persia in November. Dost Mohammed 
behaved with complete loyalty. Troops were dispatched forth- 
with to the Persian Gulf, which were soon followed by Outram 
with a larger force and with Havelock as his second-in-command. 
The campaign was brief ; early in March peace was made, the 
Shah withdrawing his troops from Herat, and pledging himself 
to make no more claims to sovereignty in Afghanistan, and 
to abstain from any interference with that country. But the 
Persian war had at a critical moment withdrawn from India 
a substantial proportion out of the already reduced numbers of 
the European troops. 

At the beginning of 1857, almost every one in authority in 
India was satisfied that all was well. There was no native 
Apparent power from which any danger was to be appre- 
quietude. hended. The government was strong ; everywhere 
within its own dominions it was bestowing upon the popula- 
tions the inestimable gift of even-handed justice, caring for 
the peasantry as they had never been cared for before. It had 
stamped out disorder and established an unprecedented security. 
Its roads, its railways, its canals, by increasing facilities of com- 

India: the Great Revolt 281 

munication and developing irrigation, were preparing the way 
for material progress. But the authorities were blind to the 
unrest beneath the surface. 

The classes which most definitely gained by the British rule 
were inarticulate, ignorant, powerless. They did not under- 
stand the benefits which the government was Latent 
thrusting upon them. They forgot the evils from unrest, 
which they had been delivered, and they resented reforms intro- 
duced at the expense of immemorial customs ; moreover, they 
were panic-stricken by superstitious alarms, engendered by 
railways and the telegraph, which seemed to be works of black 
magic. On the other hand, the most energetic proportion of 
the population, who in the old days had thriven upon war and 
robbery, were sternly held under by the law. The Mussulmans 
who had once dominated the peninsula had been forced to yield 
to the conquerors from Europe. The same fate had befallen the 
Mahrattas, who did not forget that the ascendency had once 
seemed almost within their own grasp. All the Hindu princes 
had been shaken by Dalhousie's attitude on the adoption 
question. What we have called the feudal aristocracy was 
disturbed by the government's disregard of clan sentiment and 
feudal sentiment ; though happily in Raj put ana confidence was 
to a great extent restored by the sympathetic tact, first of Henry 
Lawrence, and then of the third brother, George. In Oudh, 
too, Henry Lawrence, transferred from Rajputana, succeeded 
to a great extent in allaying the irritation caused by the well- 
intentioned but injudicious proceedings of the government in 
the period immediately following the annexation. 

The instrument by which the British had conquered India was 
in the main the sepoy army, and chiefly the army of Bengal, 
where the soldiery were nearly all Hindus of high The sepoys, 
caste, Rajputs or Brahmans, or else Mussulmans. Where 
dominion has been acquired by the sword, the army is apt to 
believe that it is master of the situation. As long as the sepoys 
were loyal to the British raj, there was little to be feared. But 
outside the army, as we have seen, were plenty of actively dis- 
loyal elements, and these were acting upon the army itself. 

282 Middle Victorian 

Plotters saw their opportunity in the reduction of the white 
regiments. The high caste Hindu soldiery took fresh alarm 
over the General Service Enlistment Act of 1856, itself an out- 
come of the Burmese war. There was a difficulty in raising 
troops for the new province, and the order was issued that all 
recruits in the future would be liable for service anywhere, 
although upper caste Hindus would suffer loss of caste by cross- 
ing the ' Black Water.' The sepoy saw here an insidious design 
for compelling him to turn Christian, or his sons if not himself, 
since in general the soldiers' sons followed the fathers' profession. 

Besides all these sources of perturbation, the native mind was 
easily moved by the resuscitation of an ancient prophecy that 
the British raj, which had come into being at Plassey, was 
doomed to end when it had lasted a hundred years and Plassey 
had been won in 1757. 

Matters were brought to a head by the cartridge incident. A 
new rifle, the Enfield, was adopted for service. On loading the 
The greased soldier had to bite off the tip of his cartridge, 
cartridges. Grease was employed in the manufacture of the 
cartridges, and the story got abroad among the soldiery that 
the grease was prepared from the fat of pigs and cows. To the 
Moslem the pig is unclean ; to the Hindu the cow is sacred. 
Here was proof of an intended outrage upon the faith of Moslem 
and Hindu alike. The story was so far true that the govern- 
ment had not taken adequate precautions to prevent the use of 
the obnoxious elements. The cartridges were not issued ; the 
sepoys were told that when they were issued there would be no 
contaminating matter in them ; but the harm had been done, 
and the sepoys refused to believe. In March and April there 
were mutinies in regiments in Lower Bengal at Barrackpur and 
Murshidabad : the soldiers would not use the cartridges. The 
regiments were disbanded. 

Then came a mutiny in a regiment at Mirat, a great military 
The mutiny station in the Delhi district ; the mutineers were 
at Mirat, placed under arrest. British officers everywhere were 
iothMay. under the firm conviction that whatever any one 
else might do, their own regiments were thoroughly loyal. 

India: the Great Revolt 283 

Disillusion was close at hand. On loth May, all the sepoy regi- 
ments at Mirat rose, massacred every white man or woman they 
could get at, the white regiments remaining inactive, released 
their comrades, and marched upon Delhi, the residence of the 
old puppet Mogul. The population there rose ; the Europeans 
were massacred. A telegraph operator stuck to his post long 
enough to get a message through to the Punjab before he was 
murdered. A heroic band of less than a dozen men held the 
arsenal for some time against the insurgents, and then blew it 
up, and with it some two thousand of the enemy. But Delhi was 
in the hands of the sepoys ; the emergency for which Moslem 
plotters had been working had arrived, and they proceeded to 
proclaim the restoration of the Mogul empire. 

The revolt was not an organised rebellion of India against the. 
British dominion. Moslem conspirators had sedulously organised 
disaffection, intending to turn it to account fpr character of 
the re-establishment of Mussulman supremacy, the revolt. 
The Mussulman supremacy was hardly more to the taste of 
Hindu princes than that of the British. There were Hindu 
chiefs who were playing for their own hand, like Nana Sahib, 
the adopted son of the last peshwa, who regarded himself as 
being specially aggrieved because the government had refused 
to continue to him the huge pension which it had bestowed upon 
Baji Rao. Moslem plotters and Hindu plotters had different 
objects in view, and each expected to turn to their own account 
a general revolt of the army, which should wipe out the British 
raj. But because the revolt was not really organised, there 
was no simultaneous rising ; the mutinies occurred sporadically 
in the course of several weeks, over the whole district from Delhi 
to Patna. The dispossessed begum of Oudh and the dispos- 
sessed rani of Jhansi threw themselves vigorously into the 
struggle ; but no other native princes followed their example. 
Sindhia and his minister Dinkar Rao at Gwalior, the Nizam and 
his minister Salar Jang at Haidarabad the two greatest poten- 
tates remained resolutely loyal. The Nizam was even able to 
hold his army in check, though in course of time the Gwalior con- 
tingent mutinied in defiance of the maharaja, and took the law 

284 Middle Victorian 

into its own hands. In the Punjab, some disaffected regiments 
were disarmed, but it was some time before John Lawrence felt 
that any troops could be spared from that province. South of 
the Nerbudda there were no risings at all; while in Rajputana 
and Sirhind the princes would make no movement against the 
British. It was perhaps fortunate that the Mogul party had 
shown its hand, and by so doing ensured the quiescence of the 
Hindu chiefs. 

Perhaps if the mutiny at Mirat had been delayed, there might 
have been more organisation about the rising. As it was, the 
May. real series of mutinies did not begin till the last 

week of the month. In the meanwhile the disarmament of 
the Hindustani regiments in the Punjab had been effected ; 
the Sikhs and the irregular levies of Pathan hillmen detested the 
Hindustani sepoy ; and the fact went far to account for the 
loyalty displayed by the Sikh detachments wherever they were 
to be found. The white troops at Mirat and Amballa united 
to march upon Delhi. Henry Lawrence at Lucknow prepared 
the Residency for a siege. Agra was safe. During the first 
June. fortnight of June, very nearly every sepoy regi- 

ment between Delhi and Benares mutinied, usually but not 
always murdered its officers, and then marched either to join 
the main body at Delhi, or Nana Sahib, who attacked the small 
station of Cawnpore on the Ganges, or the force which was gather- 
ing in the north of Oudh to attack Lucknow. The important 
point of Allahabad was secured by Brasyer and Neill with some 
Sikhs and white troops. 

On 8th June, Nana Sahib was before Cawnpore. On I2th 
June, the British from Amballa and Mirat had seized the ridge 
in front of Delhi and began the siege. On I4th June, the Gwalior 
contingent mutinied, though Sindhia succeeded in conveying 
most of the British, but not all, in safety to Agra. The 
Gwalior troops, however, did not as yet march either upon Delhi 
or Oudh, though they moved up to Kalpi, which commanded 
the passage of the Jumna. In Jhansi the British were massacred. 

On 26th June, the little garrison at Cawnpore capitulated. 
The fortifications were wholly inadequate, the number of fight- 

India: the Great Revolt 285 

ing men was small, and the number of helpless women and 
children, as well as other non-combatants, was particularly large. 
The defence had been maintained with magnifi- Cawnpore. 
cent determination for nearly three weeks. The garrison 
surrendered on the promise of safe conduct for the whole party, 
who were to be dispatched down the river to Allahabad by 
water. They were duly conveyed to the river, packed into 
boats and taken out into midstream. Then the native boat- 
men dived overboard, and the Nana's men opened fire upon the 
boats. Somehow the hapless fugitives struggled ashore, where 
nearly every man was murdered. The women and children to 
the number of two hundred were taken back to Cawnpore. 

On 3oth June, Henry Lawrence and the Lucknow garrison 
were shut up in the Residency, after having been worsted in 
an engagement at Chinhat. At the beginning of The war 
July, there were three main mutineer armies ; the area - 
largest at Delhi, with a small British force ' besieging ' them on 
one side at the Ridge. Nana Sahib at Cawnpore held the passage 
of the Ganges, where any British troops coming up to the relief 
of Lucknow must cross the river. The third army was in Lucknow 
besieging the small garrison at the Residency. From Allahabad 
eastwards, the British communications were open. On 30th 
June, Havelock had arrived to take command at Allahabad, 
having just returned from the Persian expedition. On the 
Ridge, in the Lucknow Residency, and with Havelock, there 
were bodies of loyal sepoys, for the most part Sikhs. 

Throughout July and the early part of August, the British, 
besieged rather than besiegers, held their grip of the Ridge. Five 
attacks in force were repelled. But by this time DelM 12tll 
the confidence and security of the Punjab was June-2ist 
becoming established; John Nicholson, in spite of Se P tember - 
much reluctance on the part of John Lawrence, brought down 
a column from the Punjab to join the force on the Ridge, bring- 
ing the numbers up to more than eight thousand. By 6th 
September, some more native levies joined, and a siege train 
from the Punjab arrived. General Archdale Wilson was in 
command, three predecessors having succumbed successively. 

286 Middle Victorian 

Wilson was with difficulty induced to assent to the plans of the 
engineers, Baird Smith and his young subordinate, Alexander 
Taylor, of whom Nicholson said, ' If I live, the world shall know 
that it was Taylor who took Delhi/ From nth to I3th 
September, the breaching batteries were at work ; on the i/jih 
the Kashmir gate was blown up by Holmes and Salkeld. Three 
columns forced their way through the breach and won foothold 
within the ramparts ; not till the 2ist was the whole city in the 
hands of the British, the Mogul a prisoner, and the mutineer 
army in full retreat upon Lucknow. 

There the garrison had been holding out grimly, utterly cut 
off from communication with the outside world. The siege had 
The defence hardly been opened when Henry Lawrence was 
of the Luck- killed, and the command devolved upon General 
dency^soth Inglis. The small garrison had about a mile of 
June- 25th defences to defend, and successfully repelled every 
September. attempt to storm them. The sepoys were un- 
skilled in the use of artillery and could not effect a breach. 
The real danger lay in the almost unlimited possibilities 
of mining ; no fewer than thirty-seven separate mines were 
attempted between 3oth June and 23rd September. Six were 
misdirected and exploded harmlessly. Twenty-five were met and 
destroyed by counter mines by good fortune there happened 
to be a number of Cornish miners among the British troops. 
Only one mine actually effected a breach, when the mutineers 
were so surprised at their success that the garrison had time to 
repair it before an attack was made. But the enemy were 
occupying buildings often only a few yards away from the 
ramparts, and were perpetually on the watch to fire upon any one 
who showed himself for an instant. The strain upon those who 
remained fit for work was terrific ; it was very rarely that a 
scrap of information penetrated from outside ; the prospects 
of relief seemed very remote ; and some of the loyal sepoys 
openly declared that unless relief came before the end of the 
month they would make their own terms and march out. 

The relief came just in time. On 7th July, Havelock started 
from Allahabad on the march to Cawnpore. The whole force 

India : the Great Revolt 287 

with which on the I2th he encountered the Nana's troops was 
between two and three thousand men. After two more actions, 
in which he routed the mutineers, he had no more . 

JrlctVGlOCiC 8 

than fifteen hundred men in line of battle. With advance, 
these he fought and drove back masses of the July ' 
mutineers three times on the i6th ; on the I7th he reached Cawn- 
pore, hoping that his desperate efforts had enabled him to save 
the captives. What he found all men know a shambles wet 
with the blood of Nana Sahib's helpless victims, slaughtered 
before he fled ; the bodies had been flung into a well. Such a 
passion of vengeful fury, such a lust of blood, took possession 
of almost the whole British people when the news of that ghastly 
tragedy became known, as has perhaps no parallel in our history. 

Some delay was needed, but on the 2gth Havelock crossed 
the Ganges. There was more furious fighting, and always the 
rebels were routed. But now came the news that Havelock 
down the river at Dinapur, close to Patna, the fails back, 
sepoys had mutinied, breaking the communica- Au ^ ust - 
tions with Bengal. Cholera broke out among Havelock's men. 
Twice more at Basharat Ganj, Havelock routed the rebels ; but 
advance had become impossible, and he fell back again across 
the river to Cawnpore. Nothing else was possible, but one 
effect of the retreat was disastrous. The Oudh gentry, if we 
may employ that term, the 'talukdars, had hitherto held back 
their clansmen to a great extent from active participation in the 
revolt. Now that the British seemed to have abandoned Oudh, 
they allowed their retainers to swell the rebel army at Lucknow, 
though still they did not move themselves. Ominous rumours 
penetrated to the Residency, and then came silence. 

The way by Dinapur, however, was cleared. Fifteen Europeans 
with fifty Sikhs fortified a house at Arrah, which they held with 
extraordinary skill and valour against a large body Outram 
of rebels, until a small force arrived which success- joins Have- 
fully dispersed the enemy and cleared the way up J ck ^ h r 
the river from the east. At the end of August, 
Outram arrived at Calcutta, and was immediately dispatched 
to join Havelock, who was his junior. The junction was actually 

288 Middle Victorian 

effected on I5th September, when Outram with characteristic 
chivalry refused to deprive Havelock of the honour of accom- 
plishing the relief of Lucknow, gave up the command to him, 
and himself served as a volunteer. 

On 2oth September, Outram and Havelock, with a force which 
had been raised even now only to three thousand men, crossed the 
The Residency Ganges into Oudh once more, and fought their way 
secured, 25th up to Lucknow, entering the Residency on 25th 
>er * September, four days after the rebels had been 
driven out of Delhi. In the proper sense of the term this was 
not a relief, but simply a reinforcement of the garrison. It was 
not possible to withdraw the non-combatants, but there was no 
longer any danger that the Residency would be captured. The 
siege had served one great purpose in detaining a great mass of 
the mutineers, who would otherwise have joined the force at 
Delhi ; for Lucknow, it was perhaps fortunate that Delhi had 
not fallen sooner ; for if the Delhi insurgents had joined those 
in Lucknow, the garrison might have been overwhelmed by the 
sheer numbers of the enemy. The back of the revolt was broken 
when Delhi was captured and Lucknow made secure. 

The China war, arising out of the Arrow incident, was already 
in progress. Troops which had been dispatched were diverted 
Campbell's to Bengal, at the instance of the governor-general, 
campaign, j n September, Sir Colin Campbell, who had greatly 
November ,.,-, V- ir , CM , , 

and distinguished himself both in the second Sikh war 

December. an d j n the Crimea, arrived in India as commander- 
in-chief the old commander- in-chief, General Anson, had died 
of cholera in May. Through October, Sir Colin was planning 
and arranging the decisive campaign. On i7th November he 
relieved Lucknow. A week later Havelock died. A stronger 
position than the Residency was occupied at the Alam Bagh, 
where Outram was left in command with four thousand men. 
Meanwhile the Gwalior troops under the command of Tantia 
Topi, by far the ablest of the rebel commanders, joined hands 
with Nana Sahib, and were threatening Cawnpore. Campbell 
advancing from Lucknow routed the rebels on the 6th December, 
and split their forces, driving one section over the Ganges and 

India : the Great Revolt 289 

the other over the Jumna. The main mutineer army was now 
gathered in the city of Lucknow ; to crush it decisively and 
completely was the work of the early spring, Camp- 1858. 
bell's column coming from the west and another, accompanied by 
a Ghurka contingent, from the east. On I7th March, Lucknow 
was captured, though a considerable portion of the army was 
allowed to escape through the defective disposition of the 

While Campbell was operating in the Ganges basin against 
the principal masses of the mutineers, the task of dealing with 
Central India between the Nerbudda and the Jumna i 858> Rose's 
was entrusted to Sir Hugh Rose, moving up from campaign. 
Bombay. Within three weeks of Campbell's capture of the city 
of Lucknow, Rose, after a skilfully conducted campaign, had 
routed Tantia Topi and taken both the city and the fort of J hansi. 
The rani, however, with a considerable body of troops succeeded 
in joining Tantia Topi. Although resistance had now become 
desperate, it was by no means over. Lord Canning issued a 

proclamation which was based on the erroneous in- 

Oudn and tno 

formation that the Oudh talukdars had taken active confiscation 
part in the revolt. The proclamation accordingly 
declared that all but a very few of them had forfeited 
their proprietary rights by rebellion. This was interpreted by 
the talukdars to mean that the forfeitures would be exacted ; 
they would be ruined men, and ruined unjustly, since even to the 
last they had abstained from joining the rebels. Naturally 
enough, the proclamation turned them into rebels, with the 
result that nine months elapsed before the exhausting guerilla 
war on which they embarked was completely brought to an 
end. South of the Jumna, Tantia Topi and the J hansi rani, 
' the Indian Boadicea,' were still in the field ; in Oudh, besides 
the talukdars and their clansmen, the army which had escaped 
from Lucknow was still in the field, and the Mussul- The last 
mans were also gathering in Rohilkand. In June, struggle, 
the rani and Tantia Topi even drove Sindhia out of Gwalior and 
proclaimed Nana Sahib peshwa. The rani, however, was killed 
in action on i7th June ; still Tantia Topi, and others who were 

Innes's Eng. Hist. Vol. iv. T 

290 Middle Victorian 

convinced that there was no hope of pardon for them, continued 
to struggle on ; the war became practically a prolonged hunt 
after their dwindling forces, till some of them were captured 
and others, among them Nana Sahib, disappeared altogether. 
Tantia Topi was tried and executed for complicity in the Cawn- 
pore massacre. 

The Mutiny had brought home to the British people the neces- 
sity for assuming complete national responsibility for the govern- 
The end ment of India. The career of the company was 

of John closed, and the transfer of the government to the 

Crown was proclaimed in November 1858. Lord 
Canning, the last of the company's governors-general, was con- 
tinued in office as the first of her Britannic Majesty's viceroys. 
He had been responsible for two actual blunders, though for the 
first the blame attaches rather to his advisers than to himself. 
Canning. These were the General Service Enlistment Act and 
the Confiscation Proclamation in Oudh. The latter was in effect 
misunderstood by the talukdars, for it had not been Canning's 
intention to apply it rigidly, but to reinstate the talukdars as an 
act of grace, whenever it should seem reasonable to do so. By 
a curious irony, the governor-general was then bitterly denounced 
for tyranny by the British press, which had hitherto denounced 
him still more virulently for his clemency. The plain truth was, 
that Canning kept his head and looked facts in the face, when 
nine-tenths of his whole countrymen were ' seeing red ' and had 
entirely lost all power of cool judgment. There was excuse 
enough. The systematic murder of the officers who had deserved 
best of their men, the slaughter of women and children, to say 
nothing of harmless non-combatants, above all the crowning 
horrors of the Cawnpore massacres, aroused such a storm of 
passion that every other sentiment was swept away in the thirst 
for undiscriminating vengeance. Canning refused to yield to 
the storm and insisted on discriminating. Therefore he was 
denounced with savage contempt as Clemency Canning, a name 
which in the pages of history will cling to him as a title of honour. 

Domestic Vicissitudes 291 


Palmerston, defeated on a vote of censure on his Chinese 
policy, in March 1857, appealed to the country, and was returned 
to power with a triumphant majority by the electors 1857< Tne 
in April. The outbreak of the sepoy mutiny Divorce Act. 
immediately following absorbed public attention ; and while 
measures were taken for dealing with the Chinese question, the 
only piece of domestic legislation in the first session of the new 
parliament was an Act enabling ordinary citizens to obtain 
divorce by process of law, instead of being required, as hitherto, 
to obtain a special Act of parliament which had made any 
release from the marriage bond a privilege accorded only to 
the wealthy. By the new law, the husband could divorce 
his wife on the plea of unfaithfulness alone, while the wife could 
divorce her husband only by proving cruelty or desertion as well. 
The distinction, it may be remarked, was not one of morals, 
since the law does not concern itself with the censorship of morals ; 
the point was that unfaithfulness in the wife was sufficient by 
itself, because the unfaithful wife can impose upon her husband 
children who are not his offspring, whereas the unfaithful husband 
cannot palm off upon his wife the children of another woman. 
The Opposition, however, was mainly concerned with the objec- 
tion to permitting remarriage of the divorced parties, which in 
the view of the majority of the Anglican clergy is contrary to 
the teaching of the Church. Nevertheless the bill was carried 
by decisive majorities. 

Later in the year, after parliament had risen, there was a 
serious financial crisis which the government met A financial 
successfully by suspending the Bank Charter Act, crisis, 
and allowing the bank to issue notes to the value of 2,000,000 
above the legal limit. 

When parliament met in February, it seemed manifest that 
the ministry was established in power for an in- 1858 Fallof 
definite period. Palmerston introduced an India the ministry, 
Bill to do away with the East India Company, : 
abolish the ' dual control/ and transfer the government of India 

292 Middle Victoria n 

entirely to the Crown. The first reading was carried with a 
majority of 145, despite the opposition of the company's advo- 
cates, on i8th February. On igth February, the government 
was defeated on the second reading of the Conspiracy to Murder 
Bill. Palmerston at once resigned, and once more the Con- 
servatives took office under Lord Derby, being in a substantial 
minority in the House. 

The episode which overthrew Palmerston is a very curious 
one. It arose out of an attempt made upon the life of the 
TheOrsini Emperor Napoleon, by throwing explosive bombs 
bombs. 2 his carriage. The plot had been concocted in 

England by an Italian conspirator, Felice Orsini, who was 
moved to anger against the emperor for his desertion of the cause 
of Italian liberation. Under English law, there was no power 
of excluding an alien from British soil, nor could an alien be tried 
in England for a crime committed on foreign soil. Conspiracy 
was punishable, but by nothing more than two years' imprison- 
ment. England, therefore, naturally became a harbour of 
refuge for political refugees who could practically concoct con- 
spiracies there to their heart's content. There was a wild 
explosion of excitement in France, with much bombastic and 
threatening language which aroused corresponding indignation 
in England. The tone adopted by the French foreign minister 
in Paris and the French ambassador in London was singularly 
dictatorial, and it would have been naturally expected that 
Palmerston, of all men, would resent anything in the shape of 
dictation in the most uncompromising terms. It appeared, 
however, to the prime minister that the foreign power really 
The Con- na ^ a legitimate grievance. A bill was introduced 
spiracyto making conspiracy to murder which in Ireland 
;ilL was actually a capital crime a felony which might 
be punished by penal servitude for life. In itself the bill was 
reasonable enough ; but that a British minister, the minister 
of Civis Romanus Sitm, should introduce it at the blustering 
dictation of a foreign potentate, backed by the still more insolent 
blustering of a number of the officers of his army, was intolerable. 
In the heat of popular anger it was easy enough to make the thing 

Domestic Vicissitudes 293 

appear as though Britain was surrendering her cherished right 
of asylum. Conservatives, Peelites, and advanced Liberals 
united, and the bill on its second reading was defeated by a 
majority of 19. Palmerston found that, popular as he had been, 
there were limits to his dictatorial powers. He took the lesson to 
heart, and soon recovered his old popularity. But in the mean- 
time the conduct of the government passed into Lord Derby's 
hands. Incidentally the excitement caused by the threatening 
language which had been used in France was responsible for the 
vigorous development of the volunteer movement for national 
defence. The affair was closed in effect by a diplomatic letter 
from the French foreign minister, explaining away his former 
expressions. The emperor did not want to have a serious quarrel 
with Britain on his hands. 

The immediate business of the Derby ministry was to produce 
an India Bill which should take the place of Palmerston's. 

When Disraeli laid the new measure before the . 

The second 

House, it was in effect laughed out of court. It Derby 
proposed to place the Indian government in the administra- 
hands of a secretary of state with a council of 
eighteen members, of whom four were to be elected by holders of 
India stock and five by London, Manchester, Glasgow, Liverpool, 
and Belfast respectively. The other nine were to be nominated 
by the Crown. The parliamentary situation, however, was 
embarrassing. The Liberals were for the moment too much 
divided to be at all anxious to return to office ; so Russell saved 
the government by suggesting that the India Bill should not 
be treated as a party matter at all, but that its principles should 
be decided by a series of resolutions taking the sense of the 
House. Disraeli was more than willing. The bill The India 
was framed accordingly and was promptly passed by Biu - 
both Houses, becoming law upon 2nd August. Under it the 
company was wound up. The viceroy and the members of all 
the Indian services became the servants of the Crown. The 
company's army was incorporated in the British army. The 
home authority was placed in the hands of a secretary of 
state, who was to be a member of the cabinet ; he was to be 

294 Middle Victorian 

assisted by a council of fifteen, appointed by the Crown, though 
in the first instance some of the members were to be nominated 
by the old court of directors. The first nominations were for 
life, but for this a term of years was afterwards substituted. It 
was required that nine of the members of council must have 
served for ten years in India. 

An extraordinarily ill-judged dispatch from Lord Ellenborough, 
as president of the Board of Control, to Lord Canning with re- 
Position of gard to the Oudh proclamation, necessitated Ellen- 
the cabinet, borough's retirement, and a distinctly unwise 
attempt was made to fasten the responsibility for it upon the 
cabinet, which damaged the Opposition more than the Govern- 
ment. Party divisions at this stage were very ill-defined. 
Protection was buried, there was very little left of the old 
Toryism, and the Conservative party was led in the House of 
Commons by Disraeli, who might have been called by many 
names, but was perhaps as far removed from the old Toryism 
as any man could possibly be. It was not therefore altogether 
surprising that when Lord Derby took office he announced that 
the government would undertake a measure of parliamentary 
reform, although Russell's later attempts in that direction had 
been foiled. In 1858, two minor measures of reform were 
actually adopted. The property qualification for members was 
abolished, and thereby one of the Chartist points was conceded. 
Also, the House of Commons was enabled to administer to persons 
of the Jewish religion elected to the House a form of oath which 
did not include the words ' On the faith of a Christian.' Thus 
Baron Rothschild, who had been duly elected for the city of 
London, was the first representative of the Jewish faith who 
was able actually to take his seat in parliament. 

In 1859, Disraeli produced a comprehensive Reform Bill. 
He had taken upon his shoulders an exceedingly difficult task. 
Disraeli. He was what British statesmen as a rule are not, 
a man of an extremely lively imagination, with a passion for the 
unexpected. That type of political intelligence which is gene- 
rally suggested by the term Tory, is not at all imaginative, and 
particularly abominates the unexpected. Everything that 

Domestic Vicissitudes 295 

stood for Toryism found itself, very much to its own uneasy 
surprise, being led in the House of Commons by a man whom it 
did not in the least understand. Yet somehow it could not 
help following. This leader was very much more of a democrat 
than the great majority of the Liberal party; or more accu- 
rately perhaps it may be said that he was much less afraid than 
most Liberals of a democratic extension of the franchise, because 
he believed in his own capacity for capturing the popular votes. 
He did not believe in government by the people, but he did 
believe that a government which captivated the people rested 
upon stronger foundations than any other. He believed that 
he could make the Conservatives the popular party in spite of 
themselves ; that he could fascinate his party in parliament 
and the electorate outside of parliament. But it was some 
time before he entirely succeeded. His very cleverness frightened 
his own followers. 

So when Disraeli introduced his Reform Bill, it died of in- 
genuity. The franchise was to be extended to possessors of 
personal property 60 in the savings bank, 10 per 1859 Dis . 
annum from the Funds, a government pension raeii's first 
of 20, to the 10 householder in the country as Refc 
well as in the borough ; it was to be enjoyed by university 
graduates and all members of the learned professions. The 
theory was that while a larger popular element was to be intro- 
duced, any objections to lowering the voting standard were to 
be counterbalanced by the extended recognition of educated 
intelligence. The effect was the opposite of that intended. 
The Conservatives were frightened by the popular element, 
while the Opposition discovered that the bill was carefully 
calculated to ensure an increase in the Conservative vote. A 
skilfully worded resolution drawn up by Russell so as to bring 
into one fold all the diverse objectors to the diverse aspects of 
the bill succeeded in its object. The government was defeated 
in a very full House by thirty-nine votes. Lord Derby appealed 
to the electors ; the government was still in a minority when the 
new House of Commons met ; a vote of ' no confidence ' was 
carried by thirteen votes ; and Lord Derby resigned. 

296 Middle Victorian 

The primary problem for the Liberal party lay in the stand- 
ing difficulty of real co-operation between Palmerston and 

, , Russell, each of whom had been at the head of a 
Palmerston s 

last adminis- Liberal ministry. Each, however, was induced to 
tration, agree that he would give his support to the other 

in effect, that if either of them became prime minister 
the administration should be a joint one. The task of forming 
the ministry was actually assigned to Palmerston, and Russell 
joined him as foreign minister. The Peelites were definitely 
absorbed into the larger united party, and Gladstone became 
chancellor of the exchequer. The cabinet was filled with men 
of marked ability. The real problem was that of keeping them 
united, since so many of them were persons of extremely inde- 
pendent judgment. But though differences of opinion might 
have produced disastrous results if domestic affairs had claimed 
the attention of the ministry, there was in the first place a 
common disposition to postpone such questions in deference to 
the views of the prime minister, who had already attained to the 
age of seventy-five ; and further, the interest of foreign affairs 
again became absorbing. So long as this was the case, the 
question of parliamentary reform would at least be held in 

Before passing on to the account of the last Palmerston 
administration, we may conveniently complete the story of the 
The China China war, which we left at its initial stage before 
war, 1857-8. the outbreak of the Indian Mutiny; though its 
actual conclusion was not reached till 1860. Since Governor 
Yeh's offending proclamation had set a price upon the heads of 
Europeans, France joined Britain in demanding reparation 
and a revision of the relations between Chinese and Europeans. 
The British government sent out Lord Elgin, the successful 
governor of Canada, as plenipotentiary. Troops originally in- 
tended for China were, as we have seen, diverted to render 
service in the suppression of the Mutiny. Elgin also visited 
Calcutta before going on to China. On his arrival at Hong- 
Kong in September 1857 he found the Chinese authorities 
still determined to refuse concessions. At the end of December, 

Palmerslon : Foreign Affairs 297 

the French and British squadrons bombarded Canton, which 
was captured and sacked in January, Governor Yeh being taken 
prisoner. Still the Pekin government was obdurate. So the 
allied fleets went up to the Peiho and destroyed the Taku forts 
which guarded the entrance. When Pekin found itself actually 
threatened, the government gave way, and on 26th June 1858 
the Treaty of Tien-tsin was concluded. The Chinese undertook 
to concede most of the British demands, and a British Resident 
was placed in Pekin. The treaty was to be formally ratified 
within twelve months. 

But the Chinese showed no disposition to carry out the terms 
of the treaty. In June 1859, when the British and French 
plenipotentiaries attempted to proceed to Pekin to The last 
procure the ratification, they found the Taku forts phase, 
restored and the entry to the Peiho barred. An 1859 - 60 - 
attempt to carry the forts by storm ended in disaster. Nothing 
more could be effectively accomplished without substantial 
reinforcements. When the French and British advanced again 
in the autumn of 1860, the Taku forts were captured. Chinese 
commissioners came to meet the Europeans, but the party sent 
forward to make the arrangements was seized and carried captive 
to Pekin ; consequently, Pekin was attacked, the famous summer 
palace was sacked and destroyed, and the Chinese submitted. A 
heavy sum in compensation was exacted, and on 24th October 
the Pekin Treaty was signed. For the time, the Chinese govern- 
ment had learnt its lesson, and a British minister was actually 
received at the Chinese capital. 

(i) FOREIGN AFFAIRS, 1859-1865 

Sufficiently satisfactory relations with France had been re- 
stored at the beginning of the Derby administration. But the 
fears of assassination inspired by the Orsini incident Italy in 1858. 
revived Napoleon's disposition to pose as the saviour of Italy. 
The effort of the Italians to free themselves from foreign rule in 
1849 had been throttled. When that struggle was over, Southern 

298 Middle Victorian 

Italy and Sicily were still ruled by the oppressive Bourbon 
monarchy ; in Central Italy, Pope Pius ix., who at the beginning 
of his career had been credited with liberal sentiments, had 
thrown himself on the side of the reaction. So it was also with 
the independent duchies. Austrian dominion was established 
apparently more firmly than ever over most of the north. Only 
the king of Sardinia, Victor Emmanuel, ruling over Piedmont, 
Nice, and Savoy, attached himself to the principles of constitu- 
tionalism, 'supported by the genius of his great minister Cavour. 
Italian patriots were, many of them, in pursuit of republican 
ideals ; Cavour's ideal was Italian unification under a national 
monarchy, which involved primarily the ejection of the entirely 
foreign dominion of Austria in Venetia and Lombardy. 

In 1858, Cavour obtained the promise of Napoleon's support 
in the event of a contest between Sardinia and Austria. Pro- 
posals were put forward for a European congress to settle the 
Italian question. The refusal of Austria to recognise Sardinia 
at a congress, and an ultimatum from her demanding disarma- 
ment on the part of Sardinia, placed her definitely in the posi- 
tion of aggressor, and gave Napoleon his warrant for entering 
The -war North Italy as Victor Emmanuel's ally, in May 

of 1859. 1859. The campaign was decided by the two 

battles of Magenta and Solferino in June. The duchies and 
Bologna rose ; the dukes took to flight, and the duchies offered 
themselves to the king of Sardinia. It was part of Napoleon's 
bargain that Austria was to cede Lombardy and Venetia to the 
king of Sardinia, who was to cede to him Savoy and Nice, both 
of which were quite as much French as Italian. But the 
emperor had accomplished his purpose, and Victor Emmanuel 
was obliged to accept the terms which he chose to proffer to 
Austria at Villafranca. Lombardy was to be ceded but not 
Venetia. The duchies were to return to their former obedience. 
The papal authority was to be again recognised in the papal 
states. Napoleon, in fact, did not want a strong kingdom of 
North Italy. The reinstatement of these rulers, however, was 
not to be accomplished by force. 

As a matter of fact, however, the affair did not end here. 

Palmer ston : Foreign Affairs 299 

The duchies and the legations (the papal territories) rejected the 
conditions, and insisted on offering themselves to Viet or Emmanuel. 

Cavour, whose indignation at the Villafranca Treaty 

, ,. . . The North 

had caused him to resign, resumed office ; in Italian king- 
effect Napoleon insisted on the cession of Savoy dom, i860, 
and Nice as the condition of his goodwill ; that being 
granted, he agreed that the question of the duchies should be 
settled by plebiscite ; the plebiscite was overwhelmingly in 
favour of annexation ; and in March 1860 the duchies became 
a part of the Sardinian kingdom. Venetia remained to Austria, 
a portion of the papal states to the Pope, and Southern Italy, 
the ' Two Sicilies,' to the Bourbon Francis n., who succeeded 
the iniquitous Ferdinand n. in 1859. 

Within twelve months the Sicilies had been added to the king 
of Sardinia's dominion by the independent action of the warrior 
patriot, Giuseppe Garibaldi. Victor Emmanuel had The kingdom 
no ground for taking action against Francis, but of Italy, isei. 
Garibaldi raised a band of volunteers, known as ' The Thousand,' 
with whom he landed in Sicily in May. The whole island rose. 
Before the end of June it was entirely in the possession of the 
insurgents. Garibaldi crossed to the mainland and conducted 
what was simply a triumphal march to Naples, from which 
Francis retreated in haste. Garibaldi proclaimed himself 
dictator, and it appeared probable that Southern Italy, instead 
of uniting itself with Northern Italy, would seek to establish 
itself as an independent republic. Meanwhile Pius IX. had 
opened the door for Cavour, by himself attacking the legations 
which had transferred themselves to the northern kingdom. 
The Sardinian troops thereupon entered the papal territory, 
and routed the papal troops. In spite of the protests of the 
powers, with the exception of Britain, Cavour declared that the 
annexation of the Sicilies was now the only available method of 
checking the revolutionary party. Victor Emmanuel's troops 
entered Neapolitan territory. Garibaldi's patriotic desire for 
Italian unity triumphed over his republican ideals, and instead 
of offering resistance he met Victor Emmanuel and hailed him 
king of Italy. Early in 1861, the expulsion of the Bourbon 

300 Middle Victorian 

dynasty was completed, and Europe accepted the fait accompli. 
Venetia was still under the Austrian dominion ; Rome, under 
the Pope supported by a French garrison, together with the 
districts known as ' the patrimony of St. Peter,' remained apart ; 
but the rest of Italy was united under a single monarchy which 
took its name no longer from Sardinia but from the peninsula. 

Throughout these proceedings the cause of Italian unity owed 
not a little to the attitude adopted in England. Palmerston, 
The British Russell, and Gladstone were all in agreement in the 
attitude. vigour of their sympathies with the Italians. Popu- 
lar feeling was with them, though the court and several members 
of the ministry were not in accord with them. But for the firm- 
ness of their attitude the other powers would certainly have 
intervened to prevent the adventure of Garibaldi, and probably 
to prevent the adhesion of the duchies to the Sardinian kingdom. 
The attitude of the Palmerston government in respect of Italy 
was entirely sound and entirely successful. What still remained 
to be accomplished for Italian unity was brought to completion 
in the course of the next ten years. Politically, Italy had never 
been united since the days of the Roman empire ; her unification 
in the nineteenth century was perhaps the most decisive achieve- 
ment of the spirit of nationalism. Each in his own way the 
heroes of the movement were Mazzini, Garibaldi, and Cavour, 
though they worked by no means in concert ; and the statesman- 
ship was Cavour's, in association with the shrewd king, Victor 
Emmanuel. But Italy recognised to the full the part that had 
been played by Britain in keeping the ring and preventing the 
active foreign intervention which would have stayed her from 
working out her own redemption. The Palmerstonian methods 
were not calculated to gain the goodwill of European govern- 
ments ; but the newly created Italian state was an exception. 

Equally sound, but in one respect at least not equally success- 
ful, was the attitude of the government in relation to the great 
The United American Civil War, which broke out in 1861. 
states, 1861. British sympathies, so far as the war presented it- 
self as being one for the abolition of slavery, were wholly on the 
side of the North. From another point of view the case for the 

Palmerston : Foreign, Affairs 301 

South appealed to them very strongly. It was a matter of 
extraordinary difficulty for the British government to maintain 
an attitude of strict neutrality. To each of the combatants it 
appeared monstrous that the justice of their own cause could be 
questioned in the old country, monstrous that the old country 
did not side with them whole-heartedly and emphatically ; yet 
the old country did steadily and resolutely refuse to take sides in 
a quarrel which was emphatically one for the states to settle 
between themselves. 

Between the northern and the southern states there was a 
long-standing antagonism of interests. The wealth of the South 
lay in its plantations, principally of cotton and North and 
tobacco, which from the earliest days of the colonies s uth. 
had been worked mainly by slave labour. The wealth of the 
North lay in agriculture and manufacture, which never created 
a demand for negro slave labour. The manufacturing North 
desired high protection against European and especially British 
competition ; the South, with no manufactures, and dependent 
for everything it wanted upon the imports for which it exchanged 
its own natural products, wanted not Protection, which raised 
the price of manufactured goods, but Free Trade and cheap 
imports. The North, which derived no benefits from slavery, 
could see, as Europe had learnt to see, the iniquity of the system. 
The South, conscious of deriving advantages from the system, 
conscious also that the average negro on the average estate was 
not living by any means in a condition of abject misery, clung 
to its belief that slavery was an institution sanctioned, not to say 
commended, by Scripture. 

The interests of North and South being thus diverse, the 
northern states were dominant in the central or federal govern- 
ment. But the government of the United States state rights 
was that of a union of a number of states originally and federal 
quite independent of each other which had com- pov 
bined together, each state making a partial surrender only of its 
independence to the central controlling body, so that the im- 
mediate interests of the individual state might not be permitted 
to override the interests of the community at large. How far 

302 Middle Victorian 

then were the interests of one group of states having a prepon- 
derance in the central governing body entitled to override the 
interests of a less powerful group ? The preponderant North 
claimed for the central government the maximum of control ; 
the South, overborne in the central government, claimed for 
the individual states the maximum of control, and in particular 
resisted the right claimed by the central government to impose 
tariffs and to interfere with the institution of slavery. Finally, 
the South declared in effect that if state rights were to be over- 
ridden by the central government the southern states would 
secede from the Union, maintaining that the Union itself was 
not an insoluble federation, but a voluntary confederacy of in- 
dependent states, each of which had the right of dissolving its 
connection with the rest. 

It is not easy to see prima facie how a nation which had come 
into independent existence by asserting for itself the right of 
Secession. secession from the British empire could maintain 
that its own members had not a corresponding right of secession 
from the Union. But circumstances alter cases. The United 
States as one federated body bound permanently together, form- 
ing a single organism, might be an imperial nation. If separa- 
tion were permissible at all, there was no limiting the extent to 
which it might be carried. Secession would, in the first place, 
create two nations with interests largely antagonistic which 
might disintegrate into a number of separate semi-hostile com- 
munities. The North insisted on the Federal bond, and declared 
that secession would be rebellion. When Abraham Lincoln was 
elected to the presidency at the end of 1860 the question came 
to a head. Slavery was involved in the issue, but was not in 
itself the main issue ; which was that of particularism against 
imperialism, the right of secession. 

The Southerners formed themselves into a separate con- 
ig6i federation, and elected a president of their own, 

Federals and Jefferson Davis. In the war which followed they 
Confeder- called themselves Confederates, the term representing 
the looser form of union. The Northerners called 
themselves Federals, as insisting upon the closer insoluble form 

Palmerston : Foreign Affairs 303 

of union distinguished as Federalism ; and they called the 
Southerners rebels, as having thrown off the authority of the 
Federal government. The British government in May 1861 
issued a proclamation of neutrality. At the same British 
time the government refused to take upon itself neutrality, 
either the recognition of the South as an independent sovereign 
state or the assumption of the Northerners that the Southerners 
were rebels. Both parties were to be treated as belligerents, 
the rules of neutrality applying to both in identically the same 
manner. The official attitude was in fact very much that which 
had been adopted when Greece was fighting for independence, 
and the British government had refused to treat the Greeks 
either as rebels against the Turks or as an independent state until 
they had achieved a de facto independence. 

Before the war had been going on for twelve months, the 
country had a narrow escape from becoming involved in it. The 
Confederates dispatched two commissioners to 1861 The 
England and France. Having reached Havana, ' Trent ' affair, 
the commissioners took passage on a British ship 
called the Trent on 8th November. Next day the Trent was 
boarded by a Federal ship of war, and the commissioners were 
carried off as prisoners. There was no possible question that 
this proceeding was a gross outrage in defiance of international 
law. An apology and the immediate surrender of the com- 
missioners were demanded forthwith, and troops were embarked 
for Canada. But a method of retreat was provided for the 
American president, suggested by Prince Albert, then on his 
deathbed. If the commissioners were released and the action 
of the Federal commander disavowed, honour would be satisfied. 
France and Russia united in pressing friendly warnings upon the 
American president. Lincoln yielded, though with an ill grace, 
and war was averted. 

Through 1861 and 1862 the fighting went steadily in favour 
of the South. But the resources of the North were infinitely 
greater, and a change was brought into the character Abolition, 
of the war when in the later months of 1862 abolition was brought 
into the forefront by a proclamation freeing all slaves. Before 

304 Middle Victorian 

the final victory of the North in April 1865 there was no other 
moment when there was imminent danger that Britain would 
be dragged into the struggle. Yet at the end of 1862 the British 
government was on the verge of definitely recognising the inde- 
pendence of the South, or at least of offering mediation, with 
The British the alternative, if it were refused by the North, 
attitude. o f recognition. The cabinet, however, abstained 
from taking the decisive step. Feeling against Britain was 
much embittered in the North by obvious display of sympathy 
with the South on the part of a large proportion of the British 
public, especially among the wealthier classes, during the earlier 
stages of the war. Apart from the question of slavery there could 
be very little doubt that the whole weight of public opinion would 
have been on the side, not of imperialism, but of the community 
which was making a stubborn fight for its own political freedom 
against enormous odds. Yet through the country there was a 
pervading consciousness that another kind of freedom was at 
stake, and that the cause of the North was the cause of abolition. 
The depth of that feeling, the intensity of its moral force, was 
splendidly displayed in the noble self-control of the cotton 
The Lanca- operatives during the cotton famine which resulted 
shire cotton directly from the war. During the first two years 
famine, 1862. the amount of the raw mate rial of the cotton in- 
dustry imported fell by as much as two-thirds, because the 
blockade of the southern ports by the Federal navy cut off the 
supply. The great population which lived by the cotton in- 
dustry was thrown out of employment. The inducement to 
demand intervention on behalf of the South in order to liberate 
the cotton trade was enormous. If that demand had been 
pressed, it must have turned the scale irresistibly ; yet the 
working man chose to endure through a long period of terrible 
privation rather than demand an intervention which must have 
given a renewed lease of life to the institution of slavery. The 
whole episode redounds to the national honour, and most of 
all to that of the British working-man ; though there were some 
too many perhaps of the Lancashire mill-owners who did 
not scruple to reap an advantage for themselves by selling 

Palmerston : Foreign Affairs 305 

abroad at famine prices the stocks of cotton which they had 
accumulated, instead of using them for the employment of their 
own operatives. The working-men endured in grim silence ; 
a splendid liberality was shown by the public in subscribing for 
the relief of their sufferings. The organisation to deal with the 
relief fund, which amounted to little short of 3,000,000, was 
admirably managed under the presidency of Lord Derby. Only 
once through the whole prolonged period of privation was there 
a serious riot, although at one time there were no less than 
250,000 persons in receipt of relief. 

Both the South and the North were so angry with the British 
government for its persistence in neutrality that at one stage 
there was actually some talk of dropping their own American 
quarrel to make war upon Britain. Neither had resentment, 
in fact any better reason for indignation than its own conviction 
of the righteousness of its own cause and the depravity of 
Britain in not acting on the same assumption. The North, 
however, had one cause of grievance in the amount of assistance 
which was given to the South by ships from British ports which 
put to sea with every appearance of innocent intentions, but 
were actually destined to be employed as cruisers by The cruisers, 
the Confederates. As a matter of fact, there was some lack of 
vigilance on the part of the government. With regard to one 
vessel in particular, the Alabama, there was at least a fair case 
for claiming that the government had information of her destina- 
tion in time to prevent her from putting to sea ; but there was 
no justification for the pretence that such negligence as the 
government displayed was intentional. The fact, however, 
remained, that several British cruisers did come into the hands 
of the Southerners, and did do a vast amount of injury to the 
Northern mercantile marine. The demands for compensation 
put forward by the United States government were ultimately 
settled by arbitration in 1872. 

Although the conduct of the government through the American 
Civil War deserves almost unqualified praise, it left behind it an 
unfortunate and unwarranted heritage of bitter feeling towards 
Britain in the United States, unhappily almost as strong in the 

Innes's Eng. Hist. Vol. iv. U 

306 Middle Victorian 

South as in the North. The government's conduct in relation 
to Italian affairs is no less deserving of commendation. Equal 
wisdom, however, was not shown with regard to two other 
Poland, 1863. questions which disturbed Europe, Poland and 
Schleswig-Holstein. In 1863, the Poles revolted against the 
outrageous tyranny of the Russian government. Prussia, 
whose destinies were now under the guidance of the great 
minister, Otto von Bismarck, showed her sympathies (which 
were not to be unrewarded) by permitting Russian troops to 
pass over Prussian territory for the suppression of the revolt. 
British sympathies were, as a matter of course, entirely and 
vehemently on the side of the Poles. Public opinion would 
have supported the government in a determined intervention ; 
but intervention which it was not prepared to back in arms was 
entirely futile. Russell intervened with lectures and remon- 
strances, but allowed it to be seen that he would restrict himself 
to words ; with the natural result that Russia in effect told 
him to mind his own business, and Britain was placed in the 
undignified position of having issued blustering denunciations 
which were contemptuously ignored. 

Very much the same thing happened with regard to Schleswig- 
Holstein. The death of the king of Denmark, whose heir was 
schieswig- the father of the newly married Princess of Wales, 
Hoistein, .raised the question of succession, the king having 
also been duke of Schleswig and Hoistein. The 
integrity of the Danish kingdom had been guaranteed by the 
powers in the Treaty of London in 1852 ; but the interpretation 
of the treaty was a matter very far from simple. The duchies 
fell within the German empire ; Denmark claimed them for the 
new king of Denmark ; the diet of the Germanic confederation 
claimed the duchies for another candidate. Bismarck worked 
the situation in his own interest, in such fashion that the British 
public believed that Prussia and Austria in combination were 
carrying out to their own advantage a piece of pure robbery. 
Again Russell adopted a blustering attitude which he had no 
intention of supporting by force of arms, and again his denun- 
ciations were ignored. 

Palmerston : Foreign Affairs 307 

Whether, in relation to the great powers, the government 
assumed the attitude of determined neutrality or of wordily 
aggressive interference, it never meant fighting. Japan, 1862. 
But apart from the conclusion of the Chinese war, it did become 
involved in two small wars overseas. The first was a brief 
conflict with Japan, which, like China, had held itself apart 
from the Western world. Very little was known about it, 
and, until 1858, its ports were closed to all foreign commerce, 
except that of the Dutch, who were admitted only to a small 
island off Yokohama. In 1858, however, when Lord Elgin 
went to China, he was able to pay a visit to Japan and to open 
negotiations with the Japanese government, which promised to 
open five ports to British trade with an agent in each. Although 
hidebound in a peculiar feudal system of its own, there was a 
section of the Japanese which was waking up to the existence 
of a real outer world beyond its own ring-fence; in 1862, an 
embassy from Japan actually visited England. But the feudal 
lords despised the foreigners who took up their residence in the 
treaty ports, and the foreigners were apt to behave for their 
part with an unbecoming arrogance. Consequently, in 1862, 
there was a collision ; the retinue of one of the nobles killed 
an Englishman named Richardson. The British minister at 
Yokohama demanded compensation ; the government paid and 
apologised. But the nobleman implicated refused to pay the 
claim entered against him personally. Popular hostility to the 
foreigners was fomented, and the ports were closed. A part of 
the British squadron in those waters was dispatched to threaten 
the recalcitrant nobleman who was at the bottom of the quarrel. 
The admiral seized some Japanese ships close to Kagosima, 
the forts of Kagosima opened fire upon the British ships, the 
British ships bombarded Kagosima, the Japanese gave way, 
and the ports were reopened. 

The second war was in Ashanti, at the back of the African 
Gold Coast. The king of Ashanti made an attack upon the 
friendly tribe of the Fantis. A punitive expedi- Ashanti, 
tion became necessary ; the troops accomplished 1864 - 
very little and suffered a great deal from the pestilential climate, 

308 Middle Victorian 

and the affair brought some discredit on the government, which 
narrowly escaped defeat on a vote of censure. 

(2) DOMESTIC AFFAIRS, 1859-1865 

Meanwhile, in domestic affairs the Liberal ministry was mark- 
ing time. Palmerston was no enthusiast for anything in the 
Eeform nature of democratic change ; and though Russell 

suspended. h ac i earnest aspirations in that direction, his posi- 
tion as foreign minister gave him occupation sufficiently absorb- 
ing to restrain him from pressing the cause of reform. After 
the rejection of Disraeli's Reform Bill, it was indeed scarcely 
possible for a Liberal ministry to leave the question entirely 
alone, and a Reform Bill was actually brought in in 1860. Its 
main intention was simply an extension of the franchise by conced- 
ing an occupation franchise of 10 in the counties, and lowering 
the 10 borough franchise to 6. There was also to be a small 
redistribution of seats, accompanied by an arrangement for repre- 
senting minorities in the three-member constituencies. There 
was, however, no enthusiasm for the bill, which was withdrawn at 
midsummer, and the whole matter was dropped for the time. 

Consequently, the whole of the interest in domestic legislation 
during these years is associated directly or indirectly with the 
Gladstone's operations of Gladstone as chancellor of the ex- 
budgets ; chequer. Although there was nominal co-operation, 
1859 ' or rather a professed agreement between France and 

Britain, as to the objects in view in the field of European 
politics, the emperor's proceedings were always regarded with 
extreme suspicion. The Treaty of Villafranca confirmed the 
general belief that Napoleon was playing an entirely selfish 
game, and that he might be found at any moment adopting a 
line antagonistic to this country. In 1859, suspicions of the 
emperor's intentions forced into prominence the necessity for 
a large expenditure on the organisation of defence. Averse 
as Gladstone always was from expenditure upon armaments, 
he could not resist the pressure. At the same time, he 

Palmer ston : Domestic Affairs 309 

insisted strongly on the principle that in time of peace the 
year's expenditure ought to be met out of the year's revenue. 
Hence, instead of the reduction of taxation which had been 
hoped for, the chancellor of the exchequer found himself obliged 
to raise an additional 4,000,000 by adding fourpence to the 
income tax. 

In 1860, however, he was able to make an advance. In the 
interval, Cobden had been authorised to negotiate a commercial 
treaty with France. The French tariff was pro- cobden's 
hibitive, and French economists were for the most commercial 
part intensely protectionist. The emperor, how- treaty 186 - 
ever, had been converted to Free Trade views by the rapid ad- 
vance in commercial prosperity which had followed upon the 
Free Trade developments in England. According to Cobden's 
own doctrine, free imports provided the best weapon for fighting 
hostile tariffs, as they reduced the cost of production in the Free 
Trade country, which could buy all its commodities in the cheapest 
market. There was no reason, however, against obtaining a 
direct price for the removal of such tariffs as still existed, even 
though it would pay to remove them without any direct return. 
Under the commercial treaty negotiated by Cobden, France was 
to reduce her tariffs against a large number of British products, 
while Britain was to remove duties on manufactured goods and 
to reduce those on wine and brandy. Neither country, however, 
in making these alterations was thereby granting a preference 
to the other as compared with other foreign nations. The same 
reductions and removals of tariffs were to apply to imports, 
wherever they came from. It was Cobden's conviction above all 
that the increase of commerce between nations was the best 
possible pacificator ; and he anticipated a consequent develop- 
ment of friendly feeling which did not immediately result. 

The treaty represented the utmost limits to which the em- 
peror dared venture in the direction of Free Trade. It still 
required ratification when Gladstone introduced his The budget 
budget in February 1860. Upon it, however, the of 186 - 
budget was framed. The falling in of a large number of annuities 
in this year would have provided in the natural course of events 

313 Middle Victorian 

a surplus of 2,000,000. But the abolition of the taxes upon 
manufactured goods, together with the other reductions pro- 
posed, would immediately deprive the revenue of a still larger 
sum. Gladstone therefore did not propose for the moment to 
abate either the income tax or the still very heavy tea and sugar 
duties, though all were felt as grievances. The theory was that 
which lay at the bottom of Free Trade finance, that the removal 
of duties would so increase the general wealth of the nation that 
it could bear with ease the weight of taxation drawn from other 
sources. The schedule of taxable articles had already been re- 
duced between 1845 and 1859 from 1163 to 419. The budget of 
1860 retained only 48. Nor were any of these of a protective 
character. A protective tax is one which enables the home 
producer to place his goods on the market at a higher price than 
if he were exposed to unrestricted competition. A non-pro- 
tective tax upon goods is one which is exacted equally from the 
home producer and the foreign producer. In both cases the 
amount of the tax is added to the cost of production in fixing 
the price to the consumer. In the case of the non-protective 
tax the whole of the additional sum goes to the revenue ; in the 
case of the protective tax, only so much of it as is derived from 
imports, the extra price for the home produced goods going to 
the producer. The root principle upon which Gladstone acted 
was that the extra price which the consumer pays should go 
entirely to revenue. The actual outcome of the treaty was that 
the British exports to France in 1861 were all but doubled as 
compared with 1859. 

The budget, however, gave rise to a question of great consti- 
tutional importance. One of the duties to be abolished was the 
The paper tax upon paper, which was of considerable value 
dut y- to the revenue. The effect of its removal would 

chiefly be to cheapen the production of printed matter. Was 
it desirable that the price of printed matter should be reduced ? 
From the democratic point of view it would mean that know- 
ledge and information could be disseminated at a lower price, 
and would reach to the poorer strata of the population. From 
another point of view, it meant that demagogues would find an 

Palmerston : Domestic Affairs 311 

immensely and dangerously increased circulation for their in- 
flammatory propaganda. That is, on the one side there was the 
body of opinion which reckoned that cheap literature and a 
cheap press would be a public benefit, and on the other a body of 
opinion which reckoned that they would be a public danger. 
There was a third body of opinion floating midway, uncertain 
whether the benefits would outweigh the evils, inclining also to 
the view that, since the balance was uncertain, it would be better 
not to surrender what was at any rate a useful source of revenue 
for the sake of a change of doubtful value. 

The budget was not at that time embodied in a single bill ; 
the Paper Bill was separate from the other provisions. Its second 
reading was carried in the Commons by a majority The Lordg 
of fifty, but on the third by only nine. The Lords reject the 
found their opportunity. It had been recog- Fa P erBiu - 
nised since the days of Charles n. that the Lords could not 
amend a finance bill ; it had never been laid down that they 
could not reject one in its entirety, though it would have been 
necessary to go back a very long way to find any precedent for 
their doing so. The Lords, instigated by old Lord Lyndhurst, 
asserted their right of rejection and threw out the Paper Bill- 
to the private satisfaction of Palmerston, who disliked it. There 
was no doubt that the peers were technically within their legal 
rights ; whether in view of the want of precedents they had 
acted unconstitutionally in touching a finance bill at all was 
another question. There are rights of which the Crown has 
never been deprived by statute, rights which it can legally exer- 
cise, but of which the exercise would certainly be challenged as 
unconstitutional. There was an outcry amongst the advanced 
Liberals that the action of the Lords in this case was uncon- 
stitutional. An immediate collision, however, was avoided by 
the appointment of a committee to investigate precedents, and 
the passing of a series of resolutions in the Commons upon the 
presentation of their report. The resolutions de- The 
clared that the Commons alone have the right of commons' 
granting supplies and of settling their limits ; that the 
power occasionally exercised in the past by the Lords of rejecting 

312 Middle Victorian 

bills of supply was viewed by the Commons with extreme jealousy ; 
and that the Commons had in their own hands the power so to 
impose and remit taxes and to frame bills of supply that their 
rights should be maintained inviolate. 

From the Gladstonian point of view, the action of the Lords 
had necessitated a decisive step which should ensure that they 
should not again interfere with the sole authority of the Commons 
to deal with money bills. Whether the particular bill happened 
to be one as to which the House of Commons was lukewarm was 
beside the question. The direct challenge was thrown down 
when the budget was introduced in 1861. The chancellor of the 
exchequer, instead of bringing in a series of finance bills as had 
The single hitherto been the custom, embodied the whole of 
finance bill, his financial proposals in a single bill. In doing 
so he made himself responsible for what was un- 
questionably a very striking innovation. Agitation on the 
subject had been active in the interval. There were ardent sup- 
porters of the Paper Bill who would have preferred to adhere to 
the old practice, and to fight out the single issue of the ' tax upon 
knowledge.' The Conservative element saw that if Gladstone's 
plan were carried out, the Lords would in future be unable to 
touch any details in the financial proposals for the year, and 
would be obliged either to accept or reject the budget in its en- 
tirety. Gladstone's plan was carried by a majority of only 
The bill fifteen. The bill went up to the House of Lords, 

passed. p or them to reject it in its entirety was out of the 

question. The alternative was to claim that the form which 
had been sent up was an innovation upon constitutional practice ; 
that they were entitled to divide the bill and return it to the 
House of Commons. That course, however, would certainly 
have been fraught with danger. They did not venture upon 
the heroic course, and the budget was passed. Nearly fifty years 
passed before they again asserted actively the right of challenging 
the financial proposals of the House of Commons. 

In 1860 a penny had been added to the income tax, to meet 
the loss of revenue from the proposed abolition of the paper 
duty. In 1861 the year's development of trade warranted 

Palmer ston : Domestic Affairs 313 

the removal of the extra penny. The continued prosperity 
allowed of further reductions of twopence, a penny, and two- 
pence again in 1863 and the two following years, successor 
and also a much desired reduction of the tea duty Gladstone's 
in 1863 and 1865, and of the sugar duty in 1864. So finance> 
striking was the success of the financial system inaugurated by 
Peel, and carried to completion by Gladstone, that the exports 
increased one hundred and fifty per cent, between 1848 and 

Another notable achievement of Gladstone in 1861 was the 
establishment of the Post Office Savings Bank, which enabled 
persons with the smallest incomes to find for the The savings 
smallest savings a secure investment guaranteed by Bank, isei. 
the government. There remains only one other measure of the 
last Palmerston administration which here demands our atten- 
tion. A commission was appointed in 1858 to inquire into the 
working of the system of education established between 1839 
and 1846. The result was the revised code of 1863, Education, 
the work of Robert Lowe, vice-president of the Educa- 1862 - 
tion Committee. The distribution of the Treasury grant was to 
be on the principle of payment by results, the ' results ' being 
ascertained by the examination of all the children who had 
attended school with regularity. It was, however, to be modi- 
fied by the apportionment of one-third of the grant on the basis, 
not of efficiency, as shown by the examination test, but of the 
number of children in regular attendance. 

The parliament elected in 1859 had enjoyed six years of life 
in April 1865. In July it was dissolved. The general election 
raised the majority of the government supporters Death of 
from forty to sixty. But before the new parlia- Palmerston, 
ment met, the chief, who had first become prime J 
minister at the age of seventy, died, two days before what 
would otherwise have been his eighty-first birthday. The 
period of marking time was at an end. 

314 Middle Victorian 


It was a matter of course that on Palmerston's death he should 
be succeeded as prime minister by the other veteran leader of 

1865. After the Liberal party, who during the course of the 
Paimerston. administration had withdrawn to the House of 
Lords with the title of Earl Russell. It followed also, upon the 
disappearance of Lord Paimerston, that the leadership of the 
House of Commons devolved upon the chancellor of the exchequer. 
Both Russell and Gladstone were zealous advocates of franchise 
extension, Paimerston no longer blocked the way, and the early 
introduction of a new Reform Bill was a certainty. Yet even 
now there were no signs of popular excitement on the subject. 
There were, moreover, other questions which distracted public 
attention ; three were acute, while the fourth was the renewal 
of Irish troubles which, since the lull of seventeen years from 
1848 to 1865, have never ceased to appropriate a foremost share 
in British politics. 

The agricultural interests, in the first place, were seriously dis- 
turbed by an outbreak of cattle plague known as rinderpest, 
The imported from abroad in the summer of 1865. A 

rinderpest. commission urged the prohibition of importation, 
and the stringent prevention of the transit of cattle from one 
district to another. Hostility to the idea of government inter- 
vention was still strong. Nothing at first was done beyond per- 
mitting local authorities to apply severe regulations. This 
proved entirely insufficient. The murrain spread, and in the 

1866. spring session of the new parliament a bill was in- 
troduced and carried, requiring the slaughter of all imported 
cattle when they reached port Irish cattle being exempted 
from the order, as that island remained completely free from the 
disease. The slaughter also was ordered of all plague-stricken 
or infected cattle ; and after a sharp tussle between the econo- 
mists, compensation from the rates up to one half the value of 
the cattle destroyed was sanctioned. In the course of the year, 
the measures proved effective, and the plague was stamped out, 
though not till losses had been sustained, estimated at between 

The Gates of Democracy 315 

three and four millions. One beneficial result, however, was 
that increased attention was paid to sanitary precautions and 
dairy supervision. 

In the spring of 1866 came the turn of the commercial world. 
The establishment of the principle of limited liability companies, 
by diminishing the risks of the individual investor, overend 
stimulated speculation, as also did the general and Gurney. 
commercial prosperity. Speculation led up to a crisis, and the 
failure of a large number of companies ; the great firm of bill 
discounters, Overend and Gurney, failed with liabilities not far 
short of 20,000,000, and a crowd of lesser firms followed suit. 
The bank came to the assistance of the financial community, 
and the government came to the assistance of the bank by sus- 
pending the Bank Charter Act. The authorisation to increase 
the issue of bank-notes served the purpose of checking the panic, 
and the bank did not find it actually necessary to resort to the 
extra issue. 

The third question over which public opinion was greatly 
disturbed was an insurrection in Jamaica in the autumn of 
1865, which was vigorously suppressed by the Jamaica, 
governor, Edward Eyre. To this we shall revert later, here 
observing that public opinion at home was violently divided 
on the question of the justification of the arbitrary measures 
adopted by the governor. The division had no connection 
with parliamentary parties, but great literary names were ranged 
on either side on the one J. S. Mill, Herbert Spencer, and 
Huxley ; on the other, Carlyle, Tennyson, and Charles Kingsley. 

Of far more lasting importance than any of these matters was 
the new development in Ireland. In that country there had 
been from time immemorial three grievances the Ireland, 
agrarian, the religious, and the political. British opinion had 
so far realised the existence of the religious grievance as to 
concede Catholic emancipation and the commutation of tithes. 
For the agrarian grievance, the legal relations between landlords 
and tenants, the only palliative hitherto attempted had been 
the Encumbered Estates Act. The political grievance, the 
plain fact that Ireland was governed not in accordance with the 

3 1 6 Middle Victorian 

wishes and opinions of the majority of Irishmen, but by English 
ideas, did not present itself to English minds as a grievance at 
all. Although O'Connell had taken up the agitation for the 
repeal of the Union, and although that idea had taken a strong 
grip on the minds of that section of the Irish community which 
in the forties had been banded together under the name of 
' Young Ireland,' British opinion was absolutely deaf to it. It 
may reasonably be maintained tha,t in all probability Irish 
opinion also would have been deaf to it if the parliament of the 
United Kingdom had dealt with the other two grievances with 
any degree of success. But a new factor in the situation had 
The Irish arisen since the Irish famine. During the years 
in America, following that terrible visitation, vast numbers of 
Irishmen had emigrated to America. They conceived that 
British misgovernment of Ireland was responsible for the con- 
ditions which had driven them into* exile. In America, they 
found themselves in an atmosphere of hostility to the British, 
whereby their own sense of wrongs was intensified. The griev- 
ance which they nursed was that of an alien domination in the 
land from which they had been exiled. All their influence was 
directed to fostering among the kinsfolk they had left behind 
a hatred of British rule ; and the Irish problem became enor- 
mously complicated, because the American Irish, entirely out- 
side of British jurisdiction, had become a factor of first-rate 
importance. This had not become immediately apparent. But 
in 1865 the American Civil War was brought to an end with the 
decisive victory of the North. Irishmen had taken an active 
part in that contest fighting on both sides. Their hatred of the 
British, as exiled Irishmen, was intensified by their hatred of 
the British, as American citizens ; and they had learnt something 
about war. 

For some years that definitely revolutionary element which 
had subsisted in Ireland ever since the days of Wolfe Tone, now 
The Fenian fostered and encouraged and to a great extent 
Brotherhood, financed by the American Irish, had been actively 
engaged in the formation of secret societies for the 
subversion of the government. In America itself, a secret society 

The Gates of Democracy 

had been formed as early as 1858, known as the Fenian Brother- 
hood, the name Fenian being taken from the warriors of the 
Irish legendary era. The Irish revolutionary societies were 
attached to the Fenian movement, which did not in itself appeal 
with great force either to the Irish peasant or to the Irish Roman 
Catholic priest. Fenianism recognised that there was no hope 
in open rebellion ; no forces could conceivably be put in the field 
which could cope with the military resources of the British 
government. The war of liberation must be a secret war, a 
war by conspiracy. But conspiracy on a large scale can never 
be kept secret for very long. Information reached the govern- 
ment, and in September 1865 the government struck. Several 
of the Fenian leaders in Ireland were suddenly arrested. In 
November they were brought to trial and condemned, for 
the most part to long terms of imprisonment. The evidence 
demonstrated the widespread character of the plot. The Irish 
authorities definitely came to the conclusion that the ordinary 
powers of the executive would not suffice for the preservation 
of public security. There was a rapid exodus of the American 
Fenians ; but the imperial parliament in February 1866 sus- 
pended the Habeas Corpus Act. In the course of twelve months 
the immediate Fenian movement appeared to have been stamped 
out ; but it was merely one particular expression of a movement 
which was only in its early stages. 

In March the oft-times deferred Reform Bill was once more 
introduced. Russell's measure was by no means a sweeping 
one ; it was intended to conciliate the more Con- 1866 
servative element within the Liberal ranks. But The Liberal 
while it was too moderate to arouse enthusiastic Refc 
support, it went too far for the opponents of democracy. The 
bill confined itself to arrangements for an extension of the fran- 
chise which, it was calculated, would add some four hundred 
thousand persons to the register. At the same time, it post- 
poned the question of redistribution of seats, which was a neces- 
sary concomitant of any appreciable change in the class of voters 
admitted to the franchise. The county franchise qualification was 
to be lowered to 4, that in the boroughs to 7. Thrift was to 

3 1 8 Middle Victorian 

be rewarded by the admission of any one who had kept a deposit 
of not less than 50 in the savings bank for three years. In the 
boroughs the 10 lodger was to be admitted as well as the 7 
householder ; but the change upon which the Opposition fastened 
was that the qualification was fixed by the rental instead of by 
personal payment of the rates. Hitherto only the man whose 
The sense of public responsibility was brought home to 

compound him by the demands of the rate collector had been 
Ler ' allowed to vote. But there were a great many 
people who were known as compound householders, because they 
compounded with the landlords for the payment of rates. The 
tenant, that is, instead of paying so much for rent and so much 
to the rates agreed to pay a larger rent out of which the land- 
lord paid the rates ; very much as before commutation of tithes 
the tenant had paid so much rent and so much tithe, whereas, 
after commutation, the landlord paid the tithe and the tenant 
paid an increased rent. The compound householder, and the 
tenant after commutation, did in effect produce the money for 
the payment of rates or tithes, though they did not appear to be 
doing so because the actual cash payment of those imposts fell 
upon the landlord, and the rent did not vary directly with the 
variations of the rates. But it was argued that the indirect 
payment made all the difference in the tenant's sense of citizen- 
ship and responsibility. 

A group of the Palmerstonian Liberals, brilliantly led into 
action by Robert Lowe, denounced the bill. John Bright 
TheAduUa- likened them to those discontented persons who 
mites. gathered about the outlawed David in the cave of 

Adullam ; the group became known as the Adullamites, and the 
word cave was added to political terminology as a title for all 
similar groups of malcontents. But the Adullamites achieved 
their immediate object. The government only escaped defeat 
by five votes on a motion to suspend the Franchise Bill until a 
Redistribution Bill also should be before the House. Six weeks 
later, the cave carried an amendment substituting rating for 
rental as the basis of qualification. The ministry resigned. The 
only alternative was another Derby government, with which 

7^ he Gates of Democracy 319 

the Adullamites refused to coalesce. For the third time an ad- 
ministration was formed with Lord Derby at its head and 
Disraeli as chancellor of the exchequer and leader of the House 
of Commons, which could only retain office by grace of an 
Opposition which was in an actual majority. 

Curiously enough, though the introduction and discussion of 
Russell's Reform Bill had been treated with apparent apathy 
in the country, its rejection was followed by excited Hyde Park 
demonstrations. Incidentally, the prohibition of a railings, 
meeting which was to have been held in Hyde Park caused the 
mob to break down Hyde Park railings, and though no very 
great damage was done a good deal of alarm was aroused. The 
demonstrations, however, impressed upon the new government 
the necessity for taking up the question on their own account. 

When parliament met in February 1867, Disraeli took up the 
position that since each of the parties had failed to carry its own 
scheme of reform the question should not be treated 
any longer as a party matter at all, but should be Derby 
dealt with, like the India Act of 1858, by taking the ^ dmi 

r , TT f 1 ^ J tlOD, 1866-B. 

sense of the House on a series of resolutions and 
then passing a bill based thereon. To the Opposition the pro- 
posal appeared in the light of a trick on the part of the Govern- 
ment to evade responsibility. The resolutions were introduced, 
and their intention expounded. The idea was, that 
while the franchise was to be extended primarily 
by a 6 rating franchise in the boroughs and a 20 scheme, 
rating franchise in the counties, so as to create a February, 
substantial working-class vote, the balance between different 
classes of the community was to be preserved in order that mere 
numerical preponderance might not carry with it an undue 
political predominance. To the rating qualification were to be 
added four other qualifications : the possession of 50 in the 
funds, or 30 in the savings bank, payment of twenty shillings 
in direct taxes, and an educational qualification. It became 
evident, however, at once that the method of proceeding by reso- 
lutions would not be accepted, and the government was obliged 
to promise a bill of its own. At the last moment three members 

320 Middle Victorian 

of the government, including Lord Cranborne, afterwards marquis 
of Salisbury, resigned. 

The scheme propounded by Disraeli had been prepared by 
him in the belief that it would conciliate this section. Since 
The revised they had refused it their support he was prepared 
bill, March. W ^j 1 a more sweeping measure. He carried the 
cabinet with him, the places of the ministers who had resigned 
were filled up, and the actual bill brought in on i8th March was 
by no means identical with that explained three weeks before. 
Subject to two years' residence, all ratepaying householders in 
the boroughs, and in the counties all occupiers rated at 15, 
were to have the franchise, the ' fancy ' franchises were to be re- 
tained, and any one who was entitled to vote by the household 
franchise, as well as by a fancy franchise, was to be able to record 
a vote in each capacity. Gladstone and Bright, on the other 
hand, denounced plural voting and the principle of distinguishing 
between the direct and the compound ratepayer. In Gladstone's 
view, a 5 valuation should be the limit of the qualification both 
of the franchise and of the liability to rates. The lodger had as 
good a right to the vote as the householder. 

The progress of the measure described by the prime minister 
as ' a leap in the dark ' was variegated. On both sides of the 
The progress House there were all manner of cross currents of 
of the bill. opinion, and Disraeli practically implied that there 
was hardly a point in the bill which he regarded as actually 
essential. In effect there was a prolonged struggle between the 
two party leaders, each seeking to get the support of a majority 
for his own view of each successive point. Gladstone's amend- 
ment for a 5 rating and franchise limit was defeated by a Liberal 
cave known as the ' Tea-room ' party. On the other hand, the 
Government dropped the proposal for the double vote ; the Oppo- 
sition carried an amendment reducing the residential quali- 
fication from two years v to one ; the education and taxation 
franchises were eliminated ; the 10 lodger franchise was intro- 
duced. In the counties the occupier's franchise was reduced to 
12 and the owner's to 5. Disraeli had gone beyond Gladstone 
himself, in giving household franchise in the boroughs without 

The Gates of Democracy 321 

the 5 limit. In the redistribution clauses, the population re- 
quired for a two-member constituency was raised from seven 
to ten thousand. Four of the large towns, Manchester, Leeds, 
Liverpool, and Birmingham, were given three members, while 
the representation of minorities was secured by permitting each 
elector to vote for only two of the candidates. Eleven boroughs 
were disfranchised altogether, thirty-five more were allowed only 
one member, and a corresponding number of members were 
allotted among the counties and boroughs. The grand difficulty 
of the compound householder, the principle that Exit the 
no one ought to have a vote for parliament who did compound 
not personally pay rates, was circumvented by a householder - 
clause abolishing the compound householder altogether in the 
boroughs requiring, that is, that the householder should in 
all cases pay his rates direct instead of through the landlord. 
In the outcome, the one part of the Conservative Bill which was 
too democratic to please Gladstone and Bright was retained ; 
but everything which Disraeli had put into it to counterbalance 
the numerical preponderance of the newly enfranchised classes 
was removed. At last, though still incompletely, the House of 
Commons was to be returned by a democratic electorate. 

In February 1868, Lord Derby resigned on account of failing 
health ; Russell had ceased to take any active part in politics 
after the defeat of the Liberal Reform Bill. Both lg6g 
those veterans had in fact become much less im- Disraeli be- 
portant personages than the leaders of the two 
parties in the House of Commons, Disraeli and 
Gladstone. When Lord Derby retired, there was no possible 
question as to his successor at the head of the government ; 
Disraeli became first lord of the treasury. No important 
change took place in the personnel of the cabinet, nor did Disraeli 
follow up the Reform Act by fresh legislative efforts. Glad- 
stone, in spite of his early defeat by the Tea-room party, which 
almost induced him to withdraw from the leadership of the 
Opposition, completely re-established his personal ascendency 
in the course of the debates on the Reform Bill, and it was he 
who actually commanded the House of Commons, 

Innes's Eng. Hist. Vol. iv. X 

322 Middle Victorian 

Though Fenianism had been scotched, the condition of Ireland 
clearly demanded immediate attention. At the beginning of 
The Fenian 1867 there had been a prospect that the suspension 
effort, 1867. o f the Habeas Corpus Act would end, and that 
Ireland would again be governed by the normal methods. In 
America, however, the Fenians resolved to carry the war into 
England. In Ireland there were some abortive insurrections, 
but the great coup was to be the capture of the military stores 
at Chester Castle. It was generally believed that some fifteen 
hundred persons had collected in Chester for that purpose on nth 
February. Government, however, had received information. 
The arrival of a regiment of Guards showed the conspirators that 
their project was hopeless, and they dispersed, though some 
scores of them were arrested. The Irish government, however, 
with such evidence before them of Fenian audacity, felt it neces- 
sary to obtain a continuation of the suspension of the Habeas 
Corpus Act. Then in September, two Fenians were arrested in 
Manchester, the actual charge preferred against them being one 
of burglary. A desperate attempt was made to rescue them ; 
one of the police officers in charge was killed, and three of the 
would-be rescuers were tried and hanged for murder, whereby 
they became known to their compatriots as the Manchester 
Martyrs. There were in fact attendant circumstances which war- 
ranted some sympathy for the men. In December there followed 
another outrage when an attempt was made to blow up a part 
of Clerkenwell prison in order to liberate a couple of prisoners. 
The prisoners did not escape, but four innocent people were 
killed and more than a hundred injured. 

The efforts of Fenianism were singularly ineffective, but they 

were at least convincing proof of the existence of an acute feeling 

of hostility to the existing regime. Gladstone, it 

lobo. IrlSta- . - 

stone and would seem, was already convincing himself that 

the great task before him was the pacification of 

Ireland, and that the means to that pacification 

would be the removal of two grievances, the religious and the 

agrarian. It was not till a much later stage that he began to 

look upon the third grievance as a question demanding serious 

The Gates of Democracy 3^3 

consideration. The immediate conclusion which he arrived at 
in 1868 was that the Anglican Church in Ireland ought to be 
disestablished. Its endowments were in the main the endow- 
ments of the old Church before the Reformation, retained by 
what was technically the same ecclesiastical body after the 
Reformation. But, whereas in England the Reformed Church 
continued to be the national Church, to which the bulk of the 
population conformed, it had never been so in Ireland. It was 
possible to maintain plausibly that the endowments The Irish 
ought to have remained with the Roman Catholics. Church. 
It was possible to maintain that when the State reorganised the 
Church, or recognised the reorganised Church as national, it 
was entitled to appropriate the endowments to that national 
Church. It was possible from a strictly secular point of view 
to maintain that it was always within the authority of the State 
to alienate those endowments for whatever object it might think 
fit ; or, less drastically, that it might apply them for the benefit 
of other ecclesiastical bodies. But it was not easy to find any 
justification except that of prescription for appropriating them 
to a particular body which had severed itself from the mediaeval 
Church, but had not become in any possible sense the national 
Church. And even if a master of dialectic could arrive at a 
demonstration that the Reformed Church was the old Church 
from which the Romanist priesthood had seceded, it was quite 
inconceivable that the mass of the population, who belonged 
to the Roman Church, would be persuaded to regard the endow- 
ment of Anglicanism and the disendowment of Romanism as 
anything but gross injustice. Already Roman Catholics had 
been freed first from the oppression of all the old penal laws, 
and then from their civil disabilities. If, then, the Anglican 
Church ceased to enjoy any distinctive privileges there should 
no longer be any religious grievance, and one of the standing 
factors of discontent, would disappear. The disestablishment 
of the Irish Church would be the first step in the conciliation of 

The government in March 1868 announced its intention of 
introducing a Land Bill on lines suggested by the report of the 

324 Middle Victorian 

Devon Commission, which had been pigeon-holed for a quarter 
of a century. Of the Church question it spoke in very vague 
Disraeli's terms which were generally supposed to point to the 
Irish suggestion of concurrent endowments. It would have 

nothing to say at any rate to confiscation. Glad- 
stone, himself, a devoted churchman of an advanced type, who 
until recently had been looked upon as entirely hostile to dis- 
establishment, now took the lead on the other side with a series 
of resolutions calling for the disestablishment of the Irish Church, 
' due regard being had to all personal interests and to all indi- 
vidual rights of property.' The first resolution was carried in 
April by a majority of sixty-five. Disraeli announced that he 
had proposed either to resign or to dissolve as soon as the com- 
pletion of necessary business permitted, and that the queen had 
adopted the latter alternative. The appeal was to be to the 
General new electorate created by the Reform Bill, and by 

election, the attendant bills for Scotland and Ireland. This 
mber * postponed the actual dissolution until November. 
The majority against ministers was over one hundred ; Disraeli 
resigned, and Gladstone formed his first administration. 

During this period Prussia had fought in 1866 the short and 
sharp campaign against Austria which shut that power out of 
Foreign the German federation altogether, and set Prussia 

affairs. a { j s head ; at the same time adding Venetia to 

the Italian kingdom. Lord Derby's government abstained from 
any intervention in this contest, although credit is due to the 
prime minister's son, Lord Stanley, the foreign minister, for 
effecting the neutralisation of Luxembourg, which threatened to 
be an immediate bone of contention between France and Prussia. 
In another quarter British intervention was invited and refused. 
The adventure which had made Maximilian, brother of the 
Austrian emperor, emperor of Mexico in 1864, was terminated 
in 1867 by his fall and execution at the hands of Mexican in- 
surgents. Lord Stanley declined to regard the affair as one with 
which the British government was in any way concerned. 

It is, however, one of the penalties attached to an empire 
such as that of the British that it is repeatedly drawn into rela- 

The Gates of Democracy 325 

tions with barbaric or semi-barbaric powers which lead up to 
situations from which there appears to be no possible escape with- 
out a resort to arms. Such a power was Abyssinia, Abyssinia, 
a Christian country lying at the southern extremity of the Red 
Sea. For some years British consuls had exercised considerable 
influence at the court of the negus or supreme king, Theodore ; 
intervening with an activity not always judicious in native 
politics. During the Palmerston ministry, King Theodore 
addressed a letter to the queen which was left unanswered by 
Russell, who was then at the Foreign Office. Theodore's dignity 
was offended ; he was annoyed by the pragmatical behaviour 
of the British consul, Captain Cameron ; and in 1864 he shut 
up as many Europeans as he could lay hands on, including 
Consul Cameron, in the fortress of Magdala. A commission 
was then sent to demand the release of the captives ; Theodore 
shut up the commissioners along with the other prisoners. 

In the spring of 1867 the inevitable ultimatum was sent and 
was ignored. The inevitable expedition was prepared ; the 
command was given to Sir Robert Napier, an The cam 
Indian officer who had won a deservedly high re- paignin 
putation. The expedition was planned and carried 
out by him with consummate skill. His army of 
twelve thousand men, chiefly Indian troops, was landed at 
Massowa in January 1868. In spite of the difficulties of a 
mountainous country of which hardly anything was known, 
Napier reached Magdala in April, repulsed the Abyssinian 
troops at a cost of only nineteen wounded, and carried the fort 
of Magdala itself. Theodore died by his own hand, the prisoners 
were released, the power of the British arms was vindicated, 
and in May Napier was back on the Red Sea. Abyssinia had 
nothing whatever to do with India, but the British government 
discovered with a perverse ingenuity that as the business had 
been done with 'Indian troops, India ought to bear the cost. 
The only excuse that could be put forward was that the main 
object of the expedition was to confirm in Oriental minds the 
British prestige, which would have- suffered seriously if the British 
military power had not been emphatically asserted. 

326 Middle Victorian 

IX. THE EMPIRE, 1854-1868 

Of the development of Australia during the years which 
followed the establishment of responsible government in the 
Australia. four colonies, no detailed account is necessary. The 
fifth, Western Australia, remained a Crown colony for many 
years. In 1858, however, the northern section 'of New South 
Wales, the Moreton Bay district, with its capital at Brisbane, 
had advanced so far in wealth and population that it was sepa- 
rated from New South Wales and made an independent colony 
with responsible government, under the name of Queensland. 

In New Zealand, on the other hand, there were further troubles 
of an active description, since the Maori problem had by no 
New Zealand, means been solved, and the great governor Sir George 
Grey was withdrawn at the end of 1853 to take charge of South 
Africa. The greater part of the north island was in the hands 
not of Europeans, but of Maoris ; and among them there was a 
strong feeling against allowing any more land to pass into the 
hands of the Europeans. But they had quite sufficient warrant 
for believing that what they regarded as their rights would be 
overridden by the government in favour of the whites. Pur- 
chases were recognised which in the view of the Maoris who 
were leagued together were invalid ; and in 1860 the determination 
took shape to reject the British sovereignty and assert independ- 
ence under the leadership of the very able chief whose name 
usually appears as Waremu Kingi. The result was a prolonged 
struggle in which the Maoris showed a high degree of military 
skill and British troops met with several reverses, until the 
natives were at last worn down. Practically the war was over 
in 1867, though the last embers were not quenched until 1870 ; 
since which time active hostilities have ceased, and the decay of 
a once powerful race has destroyed all possibility of a racial 
struggle being renewed. 

In South Africa, after the Orange Free State had been cut 
adrift, there were repeated contests between that community 
South Africa, and the wily Basuto chief Moshesh. Ultimately 
these quarrels were brought to a close by a final delimitation of 

The Empire 3 27 

frontiers effected through the arbitration of the British governor 
of the Cape, Sir Philip Wodehouse, acting on the invitation of 
Hendrick Brand, the president of the Free State ; an arbitration 
which was followed by the extension of the British sovereignty 
and British protection over Basutoland at the request of Moshesh 
himself in 1869. An episode, which occurred in 1857, during Sir 
George Grey's governorship of the Cape, deserves to be recorded, 
partly as in itself a terrible tragedy, and partly as an illustra- 
tion of Kaffir superstition. The district of British The Kosa 
Kaffraria, situated between Cape Colony proper Kaffirs, 1857. 
and what was then its outlying province of Natal, was inhabited 
almost entirely by the Bantu or Kaffir tribes, of the group called 
Kosas. The series of Kaffir wars had at last inspired in the 
Kaffirs a reasonable respect for the British arms ; but the bene- 
volent administration of the British government, being misunder- 
stood, did not arouse a corresponding affection. There were a 
good many Kaffirs who wanted ' Africa for the black man.' 
There arose among them a sort of prophet, who proclaimed that 
a day of retribution was at hand when the spirits of the warriors 
of past generations would return to earth to lead their children to 
victory over the white man. Meanwhile, until the great day 
came, the Kaffirs were to set about the destruction of their flocks 
and herds and crops ; because on this Kaffir ' Day of Judgment ' 
flocks and herds and crops should be divinely replenished. The 
Kaffirs heard, believed, and obeyed. They believed so thoroughly 
that the chiefs did not even think it worth while to make military 
preparations for wiping out the white man. The Cape govern- 
ment received intelligence of what was going on in Kaffraria, 
and set about making its own preparations both to deal with the 
attack when it should come and to provide for the famine which 
the Kaffirs were preparing for themselves. The great day 
arrived ; the last of the grain and of the cattle had been de- 
stroyed. Then came the appalling disillusionment. No warriors 
came back from the dead, no crops sprang from the soil, no cattle 
appeared. Too late the chiefs found that they could not or- 
ganise war in twenty-four hours at the head of starving hosts. 
The Kaffirs poured over the border not to fight the white man, but 

328 Middle Victorian 

to cry for food. The best that the government had been able to 
do fell far short of the necessities. At the very lowest com- 
putation, twenty-five thousand Kaffirs perished of sheer want. 
So tremendous was the depopulation that it became at once 
advisable to stock the country afresh with Europeans where 
before there had scarcely been a white man to be found. 
Kaffraria could no longer be treated as a purely native 
protectorate ; in 1865 it was formally incorporated with Cape 

Jamaica in 1865 became the theatre of an insurrection to 
which reference has already been made because, unlike colonial 
Jamaica, affairs as a rule, it aroused a good deal of excite- 
1865> ment at home. After the earlier crisis of 1839 the 

active troubles in that island quieted down. There was constant 
ill-feeling however between the whites and the very large coloured 
population, comprising not only the labourers, the emancipated 
slaves, but what might be called the middle class. The hostility 
of the natives, if they may properly be so called, to the whites 
reached a climax in October 1863, following upon sundry indig- 
nation meetings, at which an aggrieved coloured proprietor 
named Gordon indulged in Scriptural denunciations of the 
offending authorities which were probably more inflammatory 
than he intended them to be. A riot broke out, an attempt was 
made to arrest some of the rioters, the riot developed into a local 
insurrection which threatened to assume alarming proportions. 
Bands of insurgents began to spread over the island, and white 
folk up country had to flee for their lives. 

The governor, Edward Eyre, had proved himself in Australia 
to be a man of extremely humane and enlightened views in 
Governor relation to the aborigines, and still bore the same 
Eyre. reputation. But in Jamaica, the coloured popula- 

tion in insurrection were dangerous as Australian black- fellows 
could never be. The governor struck at once with the ruthless 
energy which he regarded as being in the long run the most 
merciful course which he could pursue. The insurrection was 
suppressed ; but what caused excitement in England was the 
revelation of the severities and the informalities to which the 

The Empire 329 

governor had resorted. Gordon himself was court-martialled 
and executed under martial law, though he had been arrested in 
a district where martial law was not proclaimed ; and the 
evidence against him would certainly not have been accounted 
conclusive in any British court of law. There were over four 
hundred other executions under martial law, and more than six 
hundred persons were severely flogged, including a great many 
women. Also over a thousand dwellings were burnt down. 
Hence arose the demand that Eyre, who had in the first instance 
been thanked by parliament for his energy, should be proceeded 
against. The Jamaica Committee was formed to bring him to 
punishment, and a counter-committee for his defence. Public 
opinion on the whole was satisfied that the governor was justified 
in what he had done, and grand juries repeatedly refused to 
find a true bill against him. Ultimately parliament definitely 
exonerated him by resolving to discharge the legal expenses 
which he had incurred through the prosecutions. 

The whole story is an outstanding example of the difficulty 
perpetually incurred where a ruling race is planted with con- 
trolling authority in the midst of a population of Tbe W fcit e 
an inferior racial type ; which when its passions are man's 
aroused can only be held under by brute force, and 
is not sufficiently sensitive to recognise even brute force unless 
applied with what presents itself to Europeans as positive 
cruelty. No one will challenge the propositions that where the 
white man rules over the coloured, the coloured man must be 
protected against tyranny, and that at the same time the superi- 
ority of the white man must be unmistakably asserted. But 
those two principles require tQ be kept perpetually balanced. 
The tendency of the powers on the spot when the crisis arrives is 
inevitably to give rigorous action the benefit of the doubt ; 
whereas the tendency of civilised opinion at a distance is to 
judge by the standards applicable in a European community. 
Since the authorities on the spot have in the nature of things 
a bias towards the severity which vindicates authority, it is pro- 
bably well that they can never fail to be conscious that they will 
be severely called to account at the bar of public opinion for 

3 30 Middle Victorian 

anything which prima facie has the appearance of an arbitrary 
abuse of authority. 

Of far more vital importance in the history of empire than 
any of these episodes was the great change which took place in 
Canada. American colonies proper. The Act of Reunion 

following upon Lord Durham's report had joined the two 
Canadas under a single system of government, while still recog- 
nising a division between them. Responsible government had 
followed, and had been established also in the other four colonies 
proper, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia (called the Maritime 
Provinces), Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland. It did 
not extend, however, to the territories on the north and west of 
Canada. In Canada itself the position was not altogether satis- 
factory. The Union had not produced unification between 
Ontario and Quebec. The disposition was rather towards a 
severance. In the Maritime Provinces, however, there was a 
strong inclination towards closer union on a federal basis. 
There were at the same time leading Canadian statesmen who 
desired a compact union of the whole group of colonies, the most 
prominent of them being John Macdonald. But the antagonism 
between Ontario and Quebec stood in the way of such a compact 
union, and the solution was found in a scheme of federation. 

In 1864 the Maritime Provinces, with Prince Edward Island, 
held a convention for the discussion of the plan. The Canadian 
A scheme of ministry sent representatives to the convention, 
federation, The result was a scheme adopted by the two 
Canadas as separate bodies, and by Nova Scotia 
and New Brunswick, for a federation; providing a central 
government for the whole group, but retaining State govern- 
ment for its several members. At the end of 1866, the Derby 
ministry being then in office with Lord Carnarvon as colonial 
secretary, a conference was held in London ; the scheme was 
presented as a bill in the imperial parliament, and was passed 
on 29th March 1867 as the British North America Act. 

The central government consisted of the executive body, 
namely, the Crown, represented by the governor-general and 
the privy council of the Dominion of Canada, and the legis- 

. The Empire 331 

lature or parliament, a senate and a House of Commons. In 
the senate, Ontario and Quebec were to have twenty-four 
members apiece, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick 
twelve apiece. If Prince Edward Island should come North 
in (as it very soon did) , it was to have four members, Am erica Act, 
Nova Scotia and New Brunswick each surrender- 
ing two. The senators were to be nominated for life by the 
governor-general on the advice of the council ; the Crown having 
a reserve power, never actually exercised, of adding either one 
or two extra members apiece for Ontario, Quebec, and the 
Maritime Provinces together. The House of Commons was 
to be elective, each of the provinces returning a number of 
members in proportion to its population. Money bills were to 
originate in the elective chamber. Further, each of the four 
provinces was to have its own lieutenant-governor appointed by 
the governor-general, and its own executive council and legis- 
lature. The specific characteristic of the relations between the 
provincial and the central government in Canada is that the 
central government exercises all powers except those expressly 
delegated to the provincial governments ; whereas, in sundry 
other federal constitutions, the provincial or state government 
exercises all powers except those expressly transferred to the 
central government. A provision was also made for the admis- 
sion of the other provinces to the Dominion. Manitoba came 
in in 1870 ; British Columbia in 1871 ; Prince Edward Island 
in 1873. Newfoundland, however, has never joined the Dominion. 
The story of India has already in this chapter been carried 
as far as the crucial year 1858, and the proclamation issued on 
ist November transferring the government of India . The 
India to the Crown. The last of the company's Royal Pro- 
governors-general became the first of the viceroys, ciamation, 
with the task of inaugurating the new order. The 
proclamation ' breathing feelings of generosity, benevolence, 
and religious feeling, pointing out the privileges which the 
Indians will receive in being placed on an equality with the sub- 
jects of the British Crown, and prosperity following in the train 
of civilisation,' had an immense effect in restoring the confidence 

33 2 Middle Victorian 

of the natives of India. It laid down in the clearest terms that 
neither class nor creed was to be a bar to admission to any office 
for which a candidate was otherwise qualified. It extended 
complete pardon" to all who had not been actually concerned 
in the murder of British subjects or the protection of the 
murderers, and who had not been active instigators of revolt; 
and it promised a large indulgence to those who had been misled. 
The alarm of the Oudh talukdars was removed when they 
learnt that their proprietary rights, although technically for- 
feited, would be recognised in all but very exceptional cases. 

Nothing, however, was more effective in the restoration of 
confidence, and the confirmation of loyalty among the native 
Recognition princes, than the definite announcement that 
of adoption, thenceforth the right of adoption would be recog- 
nised, and that the doctrine of escheat or lapse, upon which Dal- 
housie had acted, would not in future be applied. Side by side 
with conciliation, the government adopted a permanent prin- 
ciple for the establishment of security. It was laid down that 
The army. the proportion of native to European troops in the 
country should not materially exceed two to one, a ratio which 
would remove all temptation to the sepoys to imagine that 
they were masters of the situation. 

In March 1862, Lord Canning left India a dying man. He 
was succeeded by Lord Elgin ; who died in the next year and 
John was followed by John Lawrence, the great ruler 

Lawrence, of the Punjab, who remained in India until his 
place was taken by Lord Mayo in January 1869. 
Lawrence's viceroy alty was not in general distinguished by 
great events within the peninsula ; but beyond the borders it was 
notable for the marked display of the principle of ' masterly 
inactivity ' or non-intervention. After the death of old Dost 
Mohammed, his third son, Sher Ali, was recognised as Amir of 
Kabul. He, however, was involved in severe struggles with 
his brothers before his dominion was finally established and his 
nephew, Abdur Rhaman, driven over the border. Lawrence 
steadily refused to intervene in these struggles. The Indian 
government recognised and treated with the de facto government 

Social 333 

at Kabul ; first, with Sher All when he succeeded, then with his 
brother Azil, by whom he was driven out, and again with Sher 
Ali when he recovered his supremacy. Under Lawrence, at 
least the old blunder of Lord Auckland was nof to be repeated ; 
although there was a rising school of statesmen who, with their 
eyes fixed upon the advance of Russia in Central Asia, were 
anxious at least for a strategic rectification of the North- West 
frontier which should convert the mountains into an absolutely 
impenetrable barrier. 


The second period of Queen Victoria's reign covered by the 
years from 1852 to 1868 witnessed no new departures in the 
methods of "economic development. The Glad- Economic de- 
stone budgets were the logical, and complete appli- veiopments. 
cation of the principle to which Peel had finally committed 
himself. They effected an immense change and were accom- 
panied or immediately followed by an immense increase of 
national wealth, but they were admittedly continuous steps in 
the development of a trade policy already accepted. Similarly, 
industrial legislation consisted wholly in extensions of the 
principles already recognised in the existing Factory Acts. 

Those Acts had been designed with the single object of regu- 
lating the employment of women and children. Their opponents 
resisted them either on the ground that State in- principle of 
tervention was an interference with the liberty of Factory Acts, 
the subject, or that it was objectionable in principle from an 
economic point of view, or that it would be economically dis- 
astrous in the specific cases selected for experiment, or that it 
was unjust to select cases for experiment arbitrarily. Their 
advocates, on the other hand, claimed that so long as State regu- 
lation was applied only in regard to women and children, it was 
not an interference with the liberty of the subject, because 
women and children could not take care of themselves ; that even 
admitting it to be true that State intervention is economically 
unsound, circumstances required that moral considerations 

334 Middle Victorian 

should override the economic considerations ; that in the 
specific instances the actual economic result would be gain, not 
loss ; and finally, that the process being necessarily experimental, 
common sense demanded that it should be applied in the first 
instance where regulation could be most easily enforced, and 
its effects most easily tested. Thus before the fifties the Factory 
Their Acts applied only to specified textile industries ; 

extension. m the following years they were extended to the 
rest of the textile and associated industries, and finally to all 
' factories,' as defined in the Act of 1867, by which the term was 
made to cover any premises in which fifty or more persons were 
employed in any manufacturing process. There was still no 
departure from the principle that regulation should be directed 
to the protection only of women and children. The Act did 
not touch wages at all ; and the men's hours of work as well as 
their wages remained exclusively a question of bargain between 
the employers and the operatives. 

One other piece of legislation, however, marked the same year, 
when the Derby administration was in office, though it could 
Master and scarcely be described as being in power. This was 
servant Act. the Master and Servant Act, which dealt with a 
grave anomaly in the existing law, an anomaly wholly incon- 
sistent with the theory that employers and employed were 
legally on an equal footing in making their contracts. As the 
law stood, the master who broke a contract could only be sued 
for damages, whereas breach of contract on the part of the 
servant was a criminal offence for which the servant could be 
imprisoned. Further, and as a consequence, when a suit was 
brought against the master for breach of contract, he could 
give evidence in his own favour, whereas the servant, being 
charged with a criminal offence, could not do so. The servant, 
moreover, might be summarily tried before a single justice of 
the peace ; however fair-minded the average justice of the peace 
might be, it was impossible that he should not have a natural 
bias to the employer's point of view ; and whenever the justice 
was not an exceptionally fair-minded man, matters were tolerably 
certain to go hardly with the employee. It was mainly due to 



the persistent efforts of the Glasgow Trades Council, a committee 
of representatives of various trade unions, that the Master and 
Servant Act was procured, to remedy the worst features of the 
existing law. 

The Amalgamated Society of Engineers gave a new tone to the 
greater trade unions. For some years after the great strike 
there was a lull, the usual concomitant of a period Building , 
of trade expansion. With 1857 there came another trade strike, 
period of depression, and with the depression 85 ' 
quarrels between the masters and the unions. The most notable 
of these was the contest in the building trades in 1859. The 
unions demanded a reduction in the number of hours in a work- 
ing day. The masters refused unanimously. One firm dis- 
missed one of the men who had personally 'taken part in the 
presentation of the demand. There was an immediate strike 
in that establishment, whereupon the masters in unison announced 
a general lockout, and declared that they would give no employ- 
ment to any member of a union. The lockout was signalised 
by the fact that the unions were subsidised by other unions 
which were not directly concerned at all to the extent of 23,000 ; 
the engineers alone provided 3000 a remarkable proof of the 
strength and vitality of their organisation. The strike or lock- 
out was terminated by what was a practical compromise. The 
demands of the men were not conceded, but the masters with- 
drew their refusal to employ union men. 

The strike and the lockout are the industrial equivalent of 
open war between masters and men, and the unwisdom of open 
war from the point of view of both sides was empha- Tne grea t er 
sised by this contest. More unions were formed unions 
on the engineers' model, with the aim of perfecting ( 
organisation, of removing those legal disabilities of unions which 
restricted their power of collective bargaining, and at the same 
time of educating the political intelligence of the working-man. 
This educational propaganda was in a great degree responsible 
for the adherence of the British working classes to the cause of 
the Northern States when the American struggle was going on, 
and for the patient determination with which the Lancashire 

336 Middle Victorian 

operatives endured the cotton famine. Again, it was the political 
character of those trade unions which enabled them to procure 
the Master and Servant Act. 

At the same time this new intelligent spirit was not universally 
prevalent. In a number of minor local unions, and especially 
Violence ^ n Sheffield, the patient methods of the great 
of small societies found no favour. Thus while employers 

associations. were v i ew j n g w jth apprehension the development 
of powerful organisations with reserve funds which would make 
it necessary to think twice before engaging in contests with them, 
they and the public at large were generally inclined to attribute 
to trade unionism as a system all the evil characteristics of the 
small unions which were guilty of frequent outrages in imposing 
their tyranny upcfn the workers who refused to submit to their 
dictation. These iniquities, which were flagrant and gross, were 
resented quite as strongly by the great unions as by the general 
public ; and when a particularly scandalous outrage at Sheffield 
brought about public demand for a thorough investigation, that 
demand was very emphatically endorsed by the union leaders. 

The outcome was a royal commission of inquiry in 1867, in 
which it was made perfectly clear that the highly organised 
Trade Unions un i ns were entirely innocent of the charges which 
commission, had been brought against trade unionism in 
1867< general, based upon the evil doings of the small 

uncontrolled associations. Yet just at the moment when the 
character of the unions was cleared, and it was proved that there 
was no justification whatever for their suppression by legisla- 
tion which before the inquiry had been looked upon as an 
extremely probable result a legal decision deprived them of 
all efficacy. It had been generally supposed that a trade 
union's funds were secure that it could proceed against any 
of its officials who appropriated them. But it was now pro- 
nounced that the unions themselves, so far as their constitution 
authorised the employment of their funds in contests with the 
masters, were combinations in restraint of trade, and therefore 
illegal ; being illegal societies, they had no redress for the mis- 
appropriation of their funds. The report of the Royal Commis- 

Social 337 

sion went no further than to recommend the recognition of the 
unions under the protecting Friendly Societies Act, provided 
that their constitution excluded from the object at which they 
aimed any restrictions on the use of machinery or piece-work, 
and did not permit intervention in external trade disputes. No 
immediate legislation therefore could be anticipated ; but the 
investigation made clear that the primary need of the working- 
man was the establishment of the principles that acts com- 
mitted by working-men should not be illegal unless they were 
illegal also for others than working-men ; and that The 
what was legal for one man to do should be legal also inferences, 
for a number of persons acting together to do. If those principles 
were recognised the unions would be freed from their illegal 
character, could be registered as legal associations, and would 
be able to protect their funds. But they would still remain 
powerless unless they were also secured from proceedings against 
them as corporate bodies, since they would otherwise be exposed 
to ceaseless litigation and expenses which it would be impossible 
for them to meet. Such was the position when the second 
Reform Bill gave to the working-man in the towns a voice in the 
election of parliamentary representatives. The extension of 
the franchise had been given by a Conservative government, 
but was felt to have been due to the Liberals more than to their 
opponents ; and in the election of 1868 the weight of the new 
working-man's vote was cast on the side of the Liberals. 

It has been observed already that, politically speaking, the 
nineteenth century falls into three eras, the pre- Reform period, 
ending about 1830 ; the period of middle-class Literature, 
supremacy, ending in 1868 with the election of the first demo- 
cratic parliament ; and the remainder of the reign of Queen 
Victoria ; each of those periods falling again into two fairly 
well-defined and very nearly equal portions. Broadly speaking, 
it may be said also that to each of the larger political periods 
there corresponds a literary period ; though the dates are more 
vague, and the great names overlap more. Although Words- 
worth survived until 1850, and his great work was much more 
amply recognised in his latter years than in his richest period 

Innes's Eng. Hist. Vol. iv. Y 

338 Middle Victorian 

of production, the creative age to which both he and Scott 
belonged may be said to have ended with Scott's death. Before 
the end of the fourth decade of the century, two great poets had 
arisen, both of whom were still in the plenitude of their powers 
at the end of the seventh decade. Of those two, Tennyson and 
Tennyson Browning, Tennyson is the typical representative 
and other of his age its doubts, its aspirations, its faiths, 
poets. ^ s jd ea i s> When upon Wordsworth's death in 

1850 he was appointed to the vacant laureateship, his fame had 
already been long established by many shorter pieces, by The 
Princess, and finally by In Memoriam. Four years later both 
his strength and his weakness found their expression in the lyrics 
of Maud, and in 1858 appeared the first series of the Idylls of the 
King, which in more than one respect are the English equivalent 
of Virgil's Mneid. Browning's great plays had achieved no 
stage successes ; his Men and Women and Dramatis Persona 
did not appeal to the popular taste which, while it could appre- 
ciate Tennyson, was still more easily satisfied by the simplicity 
of Longfellow, and had hardly ceased to believe that Martin 
Tupper's Proverbial Philosophy was a work of genius. In 1868, 
the Ring and the Book was still unpublished. Younger poets 
were entering the field. Classicalism of another kind than that 
of the eighteenth century found unique representation in the 
poems of Matthew Arnold, Romanticism in the resounding 
music of the verse in which Swinburne gave expression to moral 
and political ideas very terrifying to mid- Victorian respectability. 
In the ranks of the novelists, Dickens, who lived till 1870, 
leaving the Mystery of Edwin Drood uncompleted, and Thackeray, 
The who died in 1863, leaving his last novel in a still 

novelists. j ess advanced stage, were joined by Mrs. Gaskell 
and George Eliot, though the world did not recognise a master 
when George Meredith's Ordeal of Richard Feverel was pub- 
lished in 1859. Charles Reade's Cloister and the Hearth has been 
called the best of all historical novels. Henry Kingsley and 
Charles Kingsley each wrote one book which is likely, in spite of 
defects, .to retain a permanent place as a classic. Yet perhaps 
the work most absolutely characteristic of the period, the work 

Social 239 

in which remote generations will find a common and common- 
place type of the English life of the mid- Victorian age most 
faithfully photographed is the work altogether inferior from 
the intellectual or artistic point of view, of Anthony Trollope 
and Charlotte Yonge. The student of social conditions, how- 
ever, may learn a more intimate knowledge of his subject from 
the pages of Punch and the pencil of John Leech than from any 

In other fields of prose, John Ruskin and Thomas Carlyle con- 
tinued to hold a unique position, though a later generation is 
indisposed to accept the philosophy of either. Historians 
Macaulay died in 1859 leaving his history still in- and others, 
complete. George Grote's History of Greece was completed in 
1856, and the twelve volumes of J. A. Froude's brilliant History 
of England from the last years of Wolsey to the rout of the 
Spanish Armada, appeared between 1856 and 1870. Before 
its completion a historian of a very different order, Edward 
Freeman, had begun his History of the Norman Conquest, though 
the great works of William Stubbs and JobyR Richard Green in the 
field of English history did not appear till the following decade. 

Following upon the Oxford movement and the defection to 
Rome of several of its leaders, headed by Newman, came the 
Broad Church movement, in which for some time the The Broad 
most prominent figures were F. D. Maurice and Church. 
Charles Kingsley. As the tractarian propaganda had culminated 
in the celebrated Tract XC, so did that of the Broad school in 
the volume of Essays and Reviews, published in 1860 ; its seven 
contributors included the famous master of Balliol College, 
Benjamin Jowett, and the headmaster of Rugby, Frederick 
Temple, who, at this time denounced as a heretic, was in the 
fullness of time destined to become primate of the Church of 

But by far the most revolutionary event in the intellectual 
world since the publication of Newton's Principia was the 
appearance in 1859 of Charles Darwin's Origin of Charles 
Species. Moreover, whereas Newton's discoveries Darwln - 
differed from most epoch-making advances in science in being 

340 Middle Victorian 

perfectly acceptable to the most orthodox, the new biological 
theory put forward by Darwin appeared at first sight to be 
wholly destructive of the doctrine of revealed religion. Ortho- 
doxy had been seriously alarmed when earlier in the century 
the geologists, and especially Charles Lyell, had demonstrated 
that the story of the Creation as told in the Book of Genesis 
was not literally true, and that the building up of the world had 
been a process extending over countless centuries. But it had 
still remained possible to believe, and the world did still believe, 
that the multitudinous species of living creatures, animal and 
vegetable, were actually created separately each after their 
kind ; that the differentiation of species could only be accounted 
for by an act of creation. Theories had indeed been put forward 
of the transmutation of species, suggesting that the differentia- 
tion had been a gradual process, not a single creative act ; but 
no satisfactory working hypothesis to account for the transmu- 
tation had been produced until Charles Darwin and Alfred 
Russell Wallace simultaneously arrived at the theory of Natural 
Selection or * the survival of the fittest ' the name coined for 
it by Herbert Spencer. 

Broadly speaking, according to the new doctrine particular 
qualities tend to be persistently reproduced by heredity in suc- 
The survival cessive generations. Where the inherited qualities 
of the fittest, serve a useful purpose enabling the individual pos- 
sessors to cope more successfully with their environment, they 
enable the race to survive in the struggle for existence. Differen- 
tiation is the outcome of the persistent reproduction of inherited 
attributes helpful to the preservation of the individual life and 
the propagation of offspring. Finally, the differentiation of 
man from the anthropoid ape is an example of the same process. 
Man is not indeed descended from monkeys, but man and the 
apes have a common ancestry. 

The slow building up of the world, the gradual transmutation 
of species from primeval forms, their development even from 
a single original form, seemed possible to reconcile with the 
Mosaic cosmogony if not too literally interpreted ; but that man 
should have been evolved by natural process and not specially 

Social 341 

created by the Almighty in His own image, appeared to be the 
negation of the whole scheme of Christianity. The ecclesias- 
tical panic was completely allayed before many years had passed ; 
the evolution of man was found to be no more incompatible 
with Christianity than the movement of the earth round the 
sun. The conception of natural law as the expression of Divine 
Will making eternally for progressive development towards 
perfection involved a grander conception of the Divine Being 
than the episcopal definition of the * moral and intelligent Gover- 
nor of the Universe,' which so moved the contempt of Matthew 
Arnold. Nothing perhaps has done so much as Darwin's develop- 
ment of the doctrine of evolution to establish the idea that 
progress is the law of the universe ; but for a time it undoubtedly 
tended to undermine Theistic creeds ; and, in the economic field, 
to encourage the idea that all interference with unfettered com- 
petition is running counter to natural law. 



BEFORE entering on the career of the first British parliament repre- 
senting a democratised electorate it will be convenient to review 
The the European events which, culminating with the 

European fall of Paris in 1871, created the modern German 
Revolution. enl pi rej excluding from it the power which for close 
on four centuries had exercised a hegemony in Germany ; which 
completed the unification of Italy ; which destroyed the second 
empire of France, and for the third time established a republic, 
which in spite of vicissitudes in its early years has become the 
most stable form of government enjoyed by France since the 
old monarchy of Louis xiv. began to decay at the heart in 
the reign of his great-grandson. 

Germany since the Congress of Vienna had remained nothing 
more than a congeries of states loosely confederated, with no 
Prussia effective power of concerted action. Of the German 

before states Prussia was the only one which ranked as a 

first-class power ; for of the Austrian empire only 
a fragment was German, although Austria still claimed the 
traditional ascendency which legally belonged to the Emperors 
until the Holy Roman empire ceased to exist in 1806. Since 
the people of Prussia had headed the German uprising against 
the great Napoleon, Prussia had played no very dignified part 
in European history. But in the middle of the nineteenth cen- 
tury a statesman was rising to prominence who did not intend 
Prussia to continue playing a secondary part. 

Bismarck's time came when William I. succeeded his brother 
Frederick William iv. on the Prussian throne in 1861. The new 
Bismarck. king was in his sixty-fourth year, but he was abun- 
dantly vigorous in body and mind. His political theories were 


Europe 343 

autocratic ; but as Victor Emmanuel was shrewd enough to 
take a cleverer man than himself as his guide and his minister, 
in the person of Cavour, so William of Prussia gave himself to 
the guidance of Bismarck. It was Bismarck's primary aim to 
thrust Austria out of Germany and to unite Germany under 
Prussian supremacy. In Prussia itself he could not create the 
military organisation he required, so long as the parliament had 
power to interfere with him. In effect King William and Bismarck 
treated the Prussian parliament, when it opposed Bismarck's 
scheme for military organisation, very much as Cromwell treated 
his parliaments when they insisted on discussing constitutions. 
The parliament was suspended ; and the army was reorganised 
by Moltke and Albert von Roon. In a very short time the 
military machinery was brought to an extraordinary perfection 
quite unsuspected by Europe at large. 

Bismarck recognised no relations between ethics and politics. 
When he wanted a quarrel he picked one at a carefully selected 
moment, and with an unequalled skill in manceuvr- Bismarck 
ing his chosen enemy into the position of the aggres- and Austria, 
sor. He found his first opening for setting this policy in motion 
over the Schleswig-Holstein affair. That imbroglio gave him an 
opportunity of testing the working of the military machine, 
and of inveigling Austria into a position which would pro- 
vide him with an occasion for picking a quarrel as soon as he 
could feel confident of carrying it to a successful issue. By a 
convention between Prussia and Austria at Gastein in 1865, 
the administration of Schleswig was placed in the hands of 
Prussia and that of Holstein in the hands of Austria. Austria 
had too many internal troubles to allow her to suppress in 
Holstein, as Prussia suppressed in Schleswig, the party hostile 
to this arrangement. Bismarck had long before made sure of 
the friendly neutrality of Russia ; now he provided himself 
with an ally upon the Austrian flank in the king of Italy, who 
was to be rewarded for his co-operation by receiving Venetia. 
Bismarck was quite satisfied that there would be no intervention 
from Britain, and his affectation of simplicity and bluntness 
enabled him to outwit the French emperor completely. Napoleon 

344 The New Democracy 

was under the happy illusion that Prussia was about to plunge 
into a war which would be long and exhausting : then France 
would be able to intervene with friendly offices, secure the 
gratitude of Prussia, and get her own reward upon the Rhine. 

Prussia, thus secured, protested in 1866 that the incompetence 
of the Austrian administration in Holstein was a menace to 
1866. The order in Schleswig. Disregarding the terms of the 
Seven weeks' convention of Gastein, Austria declared her inten- 
tion of referring the question at issue to the diet 
of the German confederation. In June the Prussian governor 
of Schleswig moved to occupy Holstein. Austria appealed to 
the diet to mobilise the armies of the confederation. The 
majority of the diet agreed. Prussia at once withdrew from 
the diet. On i5th June war was declared. On 3rd July the 
Austrian army met with an overwhelming defeat at Sadowa 
or Koniggratz. On 26th July an armistice was concluded, and 
the Seven Weeks' War was over. On 23rd August the terms of 
the armistice were ratified at the Peace of Prague. An Austrian 
victory over the Italians at Custozza on 24th June made no 
difference in the result, and the king of Italy obtained the cession 
of Venetia. 

It was no part of Bismarck's programme to humiliate or 
penalise Austria ; his object was to separate her altogether 
The North from Germany, and to strengthen Prussia in every 
German con- possible way. This object was achieved by the 

jration. treaty. Austria gave up Schleswig and Holstein ; 
Hanover and Hesse, which, with Saxony had committed them- 
selves to the Austrian side, were annexed by Prussia, while 
Saxony was reduced almost to a state of vassaldom. Frank- 
fort and Nassau also became Prussian. The German con- 
federation was broken up, and Prussia constructed a new North 
German confederation, comprising the states north of the river 
Maine. Of this new bund the king of Prussia was hereditary 
president, and also commander of its armies. Throughout the 
confederation the military system was co-ordinated with that 
of Prussia itself. The great southern states, Bavaria, Wurtem- 
berg, and Baden, were not included in the bund, but treaties were 

Europe 345 

made with each of them in effect securing their military support, 
and they were included in the commercial union or zollverein. 
Austria had neither part nor lot in any of these arrangements. 

The French emperor found himself completely outwitted. 
The war instead of providing him with an agreeable oppor- 
tunity for extending French territory on the Rhine Napoleon in. 
had advanced Prussia, and converted it into a very powerful 
state with much more than a benevolent interest in the Rhine 
provinces. The emperor tried to get Luxembourg, but was 
foiled ; the neutralisation of that province was in a great degree 
the outcome of the diplomacy of Lord Stanley, who succeeded 
his father as earl of Derby in 1869. 

Foiled on the Rhine, the emperor's policy in Italy served him 
no better in the long run. The kingdom of Italy was now com- 
plete, except for its severance from the papal dominion of Rome 
and the patrimony of St. Peter, still under the temporal power 
of the Pope. In 1867, Garibaldi attempted to repeat in Rome 
the methods by which the Bourbon dynasty had been expelled 
from Naples. Napoleon as the protector of the Holy See 
afraid of the French clericals of whom the Empress Eugenie was 
a devoted adherent crushed Garibaldi's attempt at the battle 
of Mentana, and garrisoned Rome with French troops ; but by 
so doing he entirely alienated Italian sentiment. 

All this was extremely satisfactory to Bismarck, who knew 
that French hostility was the grand obstacle to his cherished 
design for consolidating a German empire in which The Spanish 
the king of Prussia should be actually and effec- candidature, 
tively supreme, not a merely nominal suzerain like the Haps- 
burg emperors of old. The man of ' blood and iron ' meant to 
remove that obstacle by a war with France, which should be 
not merely decisive, but should shatter her power completely. 
Napoleon, too, knew that the war must come, though he dreaded 
it personally ; but it was Bismarck who arranged the occasion 
for it so as to make it appear that France was the aggressor. 
Spanish affairs provided the opportunity. In that country the 
intolerable government of the Bourbon queen Isabella brought 
about a revolution and her deposition. Spain did not want a 

346 The New Democracy 

republic, but none of the Bourbon candidates for the throne 
was acceptable. It was resolved to procure a new king from 
a foreign country, and France was roused to extreme indigna- 
tion when the crown was offered to Prince Leopold of Hohen- 
zollern-Sigmaringen, a connection of the Prussian royal family, 
and also, on the mother's side, of the Bonaparte family. But 
the latter connection counted for nothing. 

The prince accepted the Spanish crown with the approval 
of the king of Prussia. Then under pressure from Napoleon, who 
declared that a Hohenzollern could not be permitted to wear 
the Spanish crown, he withdrew his acceptance, again with the 
sanction of King William. But Napoleon was being urged 
forward by a war party which imagined that a march to Berlin 
The rupture, would be a simple matter. There were ominous 
July 1870. signs that the popularity of the empire and the 
dynasty could only be saved by a successful war. The French 
ambassador was instructed to obtain from King William a 
guarantee that the prince's candidature should not be renewed. 
William declined, stating that the whole incident was terminated 
by the prince's withdrawal. It is at any rate possible that 
common sense and the peace party would have carried the day 
at Paris ; but Bismarck did not intend them to carry the day. 
His hour had come. The account of the communications 
between the king and the French ambassador issued to the 
German press by the chancellor conveyed the wholly un- 
warrantable impression that the ambassador had behaved in- 
solently to the king, and the king had publicly turned his back 
upon him. The last meeting actually took place on I3th July ; 
and on the night of i4th July the French government decided 
upon war. 

The first engagement took place at Saarbruck on 3rd 
August. On 2nd September the emperor with 80,000 men sur- 
Tne Franco- rendered to the Prussians at Sedan. The French 
Prussian were completely outgeneralled and completely out- 
war, 1870-1. num k erec i Prussia brought to bear not only the 
whole of the forces of the North German confederation, but also 
those of her allies of South Germany. The French fought heroic- 

Europe 347 

ally ; in the great battles of Worth and Gravelotte during August 
they were completely defeated, with frightfully heavy slaughter 
on both sides, yet the heavier losses fell on the Germans. At the 
time when Napoleon surrendered at Sedan, Marshal Bazaine, 
with a great army of 150,000 men, was shut up in Metz. On 
the emperor's surrender a Republic was declared in Paris, which 
pronounced emphatically that no foot of French soil should 
be given up to the enemy. Nevertheless, on 20th September 
the investment of Paris by a Prussian army began ; before 
the end of the month Strassburg surrendered ; on 28th October 
Bazaine with his 150,000 men capitulated at Metz. Leon 
Gambetta appealed to French patriotism, and raised troops in 
the provinces ; but the struggle was hopeless. On 28th January 
1871, Paris capitulated after a prolonged and exceptionally 
terrible siege. A National Assembly convened at Bordeaux 
appointed the veteran statesman Thiers head of the Republic; 
peace preliminaries were signed in February, and the formal 
peace was ratified in May. Alsace and Lorraine were transferred 
to Prussia, and France was saddled with an enormous indemnity. 

Meanwhile Victor Emmanuel used his opportunity. In the 
first month of the war the French troops had been recalled from 
Rome. In September, Italian troops entered the R 0me the 
papal territory ; the Pope refused to yield, but capital of 
after a bombardment on i8th September the king's Italy ' 187 * 
troops occupied Rome on 2Oth September. A 'plebiscite of the 
population was taken, and pronounced overwhelmingly in favour 
of annexation to Italy. Rome became the capital of the Italian 
kingdom ; the temporal power of the Papacy came to an end ; 
the Pope remained in undisturbed possession of the Vatican, 
and of nothing more. 

In France, the third Republic was established under the 
presidency of Thiers, who was succeeded in that office by the 
veteran Marshal MacMahon in 1873, though it The French 
was not till the presidency of Grevy, which began Republic, 
in 1878, that any general confidence in the permanence of the 
Republic was confirmed. This was one vital consequence of 
the war ; for between 1815 and 1870 France had witnessed the 

348 The New Democracy 

Revolution which restored the Bourbons : the Revolution of 
1830, which set up the constitutional monarchy of Louis Philippe ; 
the Revolution of 1848, which set up the second French republic ; 
the Revolution of 1851, which in effect created the second 
empire; and the Revolution of 1870, which overthrew that 
empire, and set up the third French republic. 

Yet still more vital than the Revolution in France, was the 
metamorphosis of Germany. While the war was still in progress, 
The new treaties were made with the southern German states 
German which united them all with the northern confedera- 

tion. By the assent of all the principalities, the 
king of Prussia was proclaimed German emperor on i8th 
January 1871 at Versailles. The unity of Germany as a federa- 
tion of states under the definite supremacy of Prussia, with a 
strong central government, and forming one solid military 
power, was at last accomplished. 

IRELAND, 1869-1873 

Gladstone was unfortunate in his selection of Robert Lowe 
as chancellor of the exchequer, fortunate in the return, though 
only for a short time, of Lord Clarendon to the Foreign Office. 
John Bright, though a wonderful orator and a noble personality, 
did not add to the administrative strength of the cabinet. 

In the new parliament, the Irish question took precedence of 
all others. It was upon Gladstone's Irish Church resolution 
1869. The that Disraeli's government had been definitely 
Irish Church, beaten in the last parliament, and there could be 
no sort of doubt that that issue had been prominently before the 
electorate which returned a great Liberal majority. Gladstone 
unfolded his scheme without delay. There were two questions 
to be dealt with, different though closely connected, disestab- 
lishment and disendowment. To disestablish the Church meant 
to withdraw from it all special privileges, which it enjoyed on 
the hypothesis that it was the national Church. Palpably the 
Anglican Church was not the national Church ; the only defence 

First Gladstone Administration : Ireland 349 

for its recognition rested on the argument that a Christian State 
ought to make profession of its Christianity ; that it would 
cease to do so if it ceased to recognise a national Disestabiish- 
Church. The Anglican establishment, therefore, was ment - 
to be maintained because there was no other Church which could 
be established in its place. The Protestantism of the United 
Kingdom would by no possibility permit the establishment of 
Romanism in one portion of it. The Anglican Church, how- 
ever, embraced not much more than half of the Irish Protestants ; 
and the Irish Protestants, all told, were less than one-fourth of 
the population. In these circumstances, it was obviously absurd 
to continue the pretence that the Anglican Church in Ireland 
was the national Church of Ireland. Nor could it be claimed 
that Ireland was a part of England, and therefore the Church 
of England must be recognised as the Church of Ireland. The 
demand for disestablishment, therefore, was irresistible. 

But the demand for disendowment was on a somewhat different 
footing. In the first place, there was at any rate a very strong 
case for believing that legally the corporation Disendow- 
which enjoyed the endowments in the nineteenth ment - 
century was the same corporation which had enjoyed them in 
the fifteenth. There was the clearly indisputable fact that at 
least all endowments since the Restoration of 1660 had been 
endowments of the Anglican Church. Whether or no the Post- 
Reformation Church was justified in its claim to be the Pre- 
Reformation Church, it had the prescriptive right of four cen- 
turies to the endowments. Looking at the position of the 
clergy from a purely secular point of view, they had taken up 
their profession in life on the assumption, warranted by the 
law, that the endowments were appropriated to their main- 
tenance. On the other side was the argument that the 
endowments were drawn mainly from the land which had been 
saddled with them at a time when the Church was co-terminous 
with the State, and as a consequence of the fact that Church 
and State were co-terminous ; that their retention by the 
Church when Church and State were no longer co-terminous 
was unjust ; that in any case, as a matter of public policy, 

350 The Neiv Democracy 

the State was entitled to resume them, and apply them as it 
should think fit ; that as a matter of fact the Church to which 
only about one-eighth of the Irish people belonged, and to 
which a large proportion of them were positively hostile, was 
being maintained at the expense of those who were hostile to it 
as well as of those who supported it. Yet even if the right of 
confiscation were conceded, it was urged on the other side that 
the endowments had been made for the purposes of religion, and 
that to appropriate them to any purposes other than those of 
religion was to ' rob God/ 

The bill which was introduced at the beginning of March 
1869 proposed to disestablish the Church, to separate it from 
The Irish the Church of England, abolish the ecclesiastical 
church BUI. courts and corporations, ancl deprive the Irish 
bishops of their seats in the House of Lords. The clergy and 
laity of the Anglican Church in Ireland were to elect a repre- 
sentative Church body for its government, which body was to 
be incorporated by law. With regard to disendowment, the 
property of the Irish Church was estimated at 16,000,000. Of 
this about 8,500,000 was to be restored to the Church. Exist- 
ing stipends would be continued for life, with option of commu- 
tation for a lump sum. A commission was to be appointed for 
the management of the restored Church property. The tithe 
rent-charge was to be redeemed by the landlords under an 
arrangement which would extinguish it in forty-five years. 
Churches and glebe houses in actual use formed a part of the 
restored property, though the money advanced by the State 
for their repair was to be repaid. Tenants of glebe lands were 
to have the right of pre-emption when the commissions decided 
on the sale of such lands. The State grants to Maynooth, and 
that to the Presbyterians known as the Regium Donum, were to 
cease at the same time, compensation being given out of the 
Church funds, amounting to about 1,000,000. There would be 
an estimated surplus of about 7,500,000, which was to be applied 
mainly to the relief * of unavoidable calamity and suffering, yet 
not so as to cancel or impair the obligations now attached to 
property under the Acts for the relief of the poor.' 

First Gladstone Administration: Ireland 351 

In the House of Commons the second and third readings of 
the bill were carried by majorities of 118 and 113 on 24th March 
and 3ist May. Opposition to it was virtually The bill in 
confined to Anglicans in England and Ireland ; tne Commons. 
Scottish Presbyterianisrn even in the Established Church was 
not fervently attached to the association of Church and State. 
Both in England and in Scotland, Nonconformists who stood 
outside the Established Church were apt to regard endowments 
other than of a purely voluntary kind as tending to destroy 
energy within the Church and to hamper spiritual independence, 
and were entirely unfavourable to the theory that the inequality 
of the Churches ought to be rectified by concurrent endowments 
apart from the extreme aversion of the great majority of 
Protestants from any schemes involving the endowment of 
Romanism. The same spirit of hostility survived towards the 
Church of Rome which had made the Dissenters in the reign 
of James n. prefer suffering their own disabilities to purchasing 
release from them by the extension of the same act of justice 
or favour to Romanists. But among churchmen, both in 
England and in Ireland, there was intense hostility to a bill 
which they judged to be sacrilegious. There was a disposition 
to adopt the ' no surrender ' attitude, to refuse all parleying with 
the enemy ; but in the House of Commons resistance was vain. 

The spirit of defiance concentrated in the House of Lords. 
Lord Derby the old earl, whose death was but a few months 
distant maintained stoutly that the queen could The Lords 
not assent to the bill without breaking her corona- and tne bUL 
tion oath. Lord Cairns, the lord chancellor of the last adminis- 
tration, claimed not only that the bill contravened the Act of 
Union, but made it of no effect. Other opponents of the bill, 
though not convinced by these constitutional arguments, re- 
garded it as being so iniquitous as to warrant rejection in spite 
of the indubitable fact* that the Liberals had been returned to 
power with a clear mandate of the constituencies to pass it. 
The debate on the second reading was one of exceptional brilli- 
ancy. The queen, though disliking the measure, urged both 
upon Lord Derby and upon the archbishop of Canterbury the 

35 2 The New Democracy 

danger of forcing a serious collision between the House of Lords 
and a House of Commons which manifestly represented the will 
of the electorate. The two archbishops and two bishops 
abstained from voting. One bishop (St. David's) spoke and 
voted for the bill. Prudence prevailed with the majority, and 
the second reading was carried by a majority of 33. 

But this did not end the matter. The opponents of the bill 
had their turn in committee. Amendments were carried which 
The Lords' would have transferred some 4,000,000 from the 
amend- surplus to the amount restored to the Church ; 

merits. an( j ano ther amendment required that the surplus 

itself should be appropriated not to secular purposes but to con- 
current endowment, the endowment of other religious bodies. 
When the amendments were returned to the House of Commons, 
the representative chamber would concede hardly anything 
more than a transfer amounting to 280,000. It appeared that 
the Lords intended to remain obdurate, and Gladstone himself 
was in favour of abandoning the bill, which would in effect have 
involved direct hostilities between the Houses. Nevertheless, 
the queen endeavoured through the mediation of the dean of 
Windsor to effect a compromise between Gladstone and the 
archbishop. More effectively, the Liberal leader in the Upper 
House, Lord Granville, held a private consultation with Lord 
Cairns ; they found a way out of the impasse which they in- 
duced their colleagues to accept. In place of the appropria- 
tion of the surplus either to the purposes of secular relief pro- 
posed by the bill or to the concurrent endowments proposed by 
the peers' amendments, it was to be appropriated ' in such 
manner as parliament shall hereafter direct/ and property vari- 
ously estimated at a value between 250,000 and 750,000 was 
transferred from the surplus to the Church. Thus modified the 
bill was passed. 

The vitality of the Anglican Church in Ireland was increased 
rather than diminished by disestablishment and partial dis- 
Effectsof endowment. The Act, however, was felt as a 
the measure, grievance by the Anglican community, while 
neither the peasantry nor the Roman Catholic priesthood were 

First Gladstone Administration: Ireland 353 

conscious of deriving any direct benefit from it. As a measure 
of conciliation it failed ; and although it removed what must 
otherwise have remained a perpetual barrier between Anglicans 
and Romanists in Ireland, it did not in effect tone down religious 
antagonisms. The real religious grievance, the actual political 
ascendency of an aggressively Protestant minority, was an 
ascendency which, though it had long been deprived of its last 
statutory basis, had still survived in practice with undiminished 
force, not controllable by legislation. The Anglican establish- 
ment had been one of those abstract grievances of which in the 
total sum of grievances a great deal can easily be made, but of 
which the removal is very little felt. 

The thing that touched the peasantry most nearly was the 
agrarian grievance. In Ireland as in England the legal relations 
between landlord and tenant were based simply The land 
upon contract. In England it was almost an in England, 
accepted axiom that for the State to interpose between contract- 
ing parties was an economic enormity. It was generally assumed, 
that is to say, that all contracts were free bargains which both 
sides were equally free to accept or reject. The strictness of 
that doctrine had been so far relaxed that the Factory Acts 
recognised that bargains with women and children were not 
free contracts ; but as far as concerned adult males there had 
been hitherto no relaxation of the doctrine. But in England, 
broadly speaking, while trade and manufacture were flourish- 
ing, both labour and capital were, comparatively speaking, trans- 
ferable from one employment to another. If there was a great 
overplus of labour in one trade, there were openings for it in 
another. Applying the principle to land, the English landlord 
could not simply dictate terms to the tenant. The tenant 
himself was a capitalist in a small way ; if he could not rent land 
upon tolerably satisfactory terms, he had it in his power to take 
to some other employment ; and, on the other hand, it suited 
the landlord much better to have tenants who were capitalists 
in a small way. The system during the last hundred years had 
indeed almost wiped out the small holder, but it preserved 
tolerably satisfactory relations between the actual owner and 

Innes's Eng. Hjst.^Vol. iv. Z 

354 The New Democracy 

the actual occupier of the soil. The occupier got his land at a 
fair rent, that is to say a rent which allowed him a reasonable 
margin of profit. He usually held his land upon a long lease, 
and could reckon that if he spent money on improvements he 
was sure of a fair return. Also it was the established practice 
for the landlords themselves to spend money on maintenance 
and improvements ; so that if thereby the value of the land was in- 
creased, they were morally as well as legally entitled to increased 
rents on the termination of the contract. But the justice of 
these conditions depended on the actual fact that the tenant 
was a free party to the contract ; he was really free to refuse it. 

In Ireland the conditions were entirely different. Contracts 
were not free, because the competition for the soil lay between 
The land people who were bound either to remain on the soil 
in Ireland. or to emigrate. There was nothing corresponding 
to the class, so desirable from a landlord's point of view, of 
small capitalist fanners. The occupier was the peasant, who 
kad no capital, and was obliged either to starve, to emigrate, 
or to promise whatever rent the landlord demanded. The 
practical result was that over the greater part of the country 
the occupier was a tenant-at-will, who could be ejected at short 
notice. The landlord in England had inducement to expendi- 
ture on improvements, because there was a degree of competi- 
tion to keep good tenants. There was no such inducement in 
Ireland ; landlords did not spend money on improvements 
a considerable proportion of them indeed, even after the En- 
cumbered Estates Act, had no money to spend and if there were 
improvements, they were made by the tenant. But if the tenant 
made improvements, he had no property in them. There was 
nothing to prevent the landlord from saying that the value of the 
land had been increased and a higher rent must be paid for it. 
The tenant, being liable to ejection at short notice, had no remedy. 

But if this was the state of things generally, it was still not 
universal The Ulster custom prevailed in the province of 
The Ulster Ulster ; by that custom it was understood that 
custom. the tenant would not be ejected so long as he paid 

his rent. Custom, not law, gave him security of tenure, and 

First Gladstone Administration: Ireland 355 

protected him from having his rent raised on account of im- 
provements which he had himself made ; and custom also 
recognised his right to alienate his holding, transferring his own 
rights to another tenant. The Ulster custom in effect carried 
with it what were afterwards known as the three F's fixity of 
tenure, freedom of alienation, and in some degree fair rent; 
securing to the tenant a return for his expenditure on improve- 
ments so long as he remained in occupation, and compensation 
for them from the new tenant if he elected to alienate his 

Broadly speaking, it was the object of the Land Bill, which 
Gladstone introduced early in 1870, to give the force of law 
generally all over the country to something like 1870 
the Ulster custom. Where the custom actually The Irish 
did exist, it was actually to be given the force of LandBm * 
law ; so were analogous customs elsewhere. Where no such 
customs existed, compensation for actual improvement and 
compensation for disturbance that is to say, for injury suffered 
from summary eviction was to be paid by the landlord, except 
where the tenant was evicted for non-payment of rent. But 
fixity of tenure in England was generally conveyed by long 
leases ; this was offered as an alternative to the Irish landlords, 
who, by granting long leases, were freed from the obligation of 
compensation. So far the system to be established was in 
effect one of dual ownership ; that is, it recognised an owner- 
ship vested in the tenant as well as ownership vested in the 
landlord. But it was further sought to provide a method of 
establishing an actual peasant proprietary, the single ownership 
not of the landlord but of the actual occupier, by means of 
public loans to assist tenants in purchasing their holdings out- 
right if they desired to do so. The new system would at any 
rate secure fixity of tenure and freedom of alienation, subject 
always to the regular payment of rent. It was assumed that 
the conditions generally would ensure fair rents as they did in 
England ; such a breach of economic proprieties as direct inter- 
vention for fixing rents did not call for consideration. No 
material amendments were introduced into the bill ; the most 

356 The New Democracy 

debatable question was that of compensation for disturbance, 
which implied an actual proprietary right in the soil as distinct 
from proprietary right in the improvements. Disraeli's objec- 
tion on this point was over-ruled by a large majority. The bill 
became law at the end of July. 

Neither the Irish Church Bill nor the expectation of the Land 
Bill had the pacificatory effect anticipated. The release of 
Disturbances a number of the Fenian prisoners in 1869 was 
and coercion, looked upon rather as a sign of weakness ; and, just 
as in the case of Catholic emancipation forty years earlier, it 
appeared that measures commonly recognised as just, at least 
in intention, were actually concessions to a threatening agita- 
tion. If Fenianism had been throttled, its place was taken by 
an increasingly active agrarian secret society movement, financed, 
like that of the Fenians, by the American Irish. Agrarian out- 
rages were growing in prevalence in 1869 and 1870, and the 
Land Bill was accompanied by a Peace Preservation Act, 
authorising the lord-lieutenant to proclaim districts in which 
the use of firearms was to be prohibited, increasing the powers 
of the police for searching dwelling-houses and arresting doubtful 
characters on suspicion, and strengthening the summary juris- 
diction of the magistrates. In 1871 powers still more arbitrary 
were conferred for a period of two years, in consequence of the 
persistence of outrages. On the other hand, one other un- 
successful attempt at conciliation was made by the Irish Univer- 
sity Bill of 1873 ; a bill which was defeated in circumstances 
presently to be recorded. 


The Irish Church question and the threatened collision between 
the two Houses of Parliament occupied the government during 
Demand for 1869, and in 1870 the Irish Land Bill ; but in 1870 
education. j r i s h affairs, important as they were, did not fill 
the entire field. The enfranchisement of the artisan class 
forced the question of education to the front. If the working- 
man was going to be the numerically predominant factor in 

First Gladstone Administration 357 

the electorate, it behoved the nation which was to be governed 
by him to see that he was fit to exercise his new function. Lowe 
had summed up the position in the phrase, ' We must educate 
our masters ' ; for although since 1839 government had made 
some provision for the assistance of education, it was obvious 
that a great deal more must be done than could be accom- 
plished by voluntary effort with only trifling help from the State 
to support it. 

W. E. Forster, the vice-president of the Education Committee 
of the Privy Council, though not a member of the cabinet, was 
the parent of the great educational measure of 1870. The eiemen- 
In the previous year a statutory commission had tar y schools, 
been appointed to revise the system of secondary education 
at the grammar schools, but this was a small matter as com- 
pared with the great problem of providing elementary educa- 
tion for the labouring classes. In 1870, elementary education 
was still provided entirely by the voluntary schools created and 
controlled by sundry religious bodies, of which the Church of 
England National Society was the most prominent. The 
schools were maintained by voluntary contributions, supple- 
mented by grants from the State. The first grant of 20,000 
was made in 1833 ; this was raised in 1839 to 30,000, and in 
1846 to 100,000. By 1869 the grant had gone up to 500,000. 
In all the State-aided schools, t'he religious teaching was de- 
nominational, though modified by a conscience clause under 
which parents who so desired might withdraw their children 
from the religious lessons. But the school accommodation 
provided under the voluntary system was entirely inadequate. 
It was difficult enough for the existing schools to maintain a 
sufficient standard, and there were far too few of them to satisfy 
the necessary requirements. 

The purpose of the new scheme, then, was not to displace the 
existing schools, but to supplement them by State 1870 
schools. The State schools were to be under the Forster's 
management of local bodies, school boards, elected Education 
by town councils in municipal boroughs and by 
vestries elsewhere. The expenses were to be met in equal 

358 The New Democracy 

proportions by local rates, government grants, and fees to be 
paid by the parents. The government code and the govern- 
ment inspection were to be applied both to the new board schools 
and to the voluntary schools. The school boards were to be 
authorised to frame bye-laws making attendance compulsory, 
and to establish schools where no fees were to be demanded 
from the child ; but it was left to the local authorities to decide 
whether attendance should be compulsoty, and whether it should 
be free. The most difficult of all the questions still remained to 
be faced, that of the religious education which was to be pro- 
vided. The bill as framed left the decision on this point also 
to the local school boards. 

There was a section of the Liberal party at that time specially 
associated with Birmingham, which objected to these three 
Religious permissive powers vested in the school boards, 
education. They demanded that all the State schools should 
be free, that the attendance should be compulsory, and that the 
education should be entirely secular ; religious education should 
be a thing apart, having nothing to do with the State. Apart 
from this group there was no strong demand either that educa- 
tion should be free, or that it should be compulsory. But while 
public feeling was very strongly opposed to the exclusion of 
religious education, there was a strong sentiment among Non- 
conformists that secular education was preferable to sectarian 
education ; from their point of view, it was certain that Anglican 
influences would predominate, and that in the great majority 
of cases the religious education sanctioned by the local school 
board would be specifically Anglican. Their own children 
would be withdrawn under the conscience clauses, and they 
would be paying at the same time for the Anglican education 
of their Anglican neighbours. The difficulty of providing special 
instruction separately for the children of the members of different 
religious bodies was too great for a solution of the problem to 
be found upon those lines. 

It seemed probable that Nonconformist opinion would be 
thrown on the side of secular education, when a way out was 
found through an amendment, known as the Cowper-Temple 

First Gladstone Administration 359 

Clause. The option of the local school boards was taken 
away and a regulation was substituted for it, requiring that 
simple Biblical instruction should be given with- TheCowper- 
out any denominational colouring, and without the Temple 
employment of the formularies of any particular Clausc - 
religious denomination. Parents who regarded this unde- 
nominational religious education as hurtful could withdraw 
their children under the conscience clause. Other modifications 
in the bill raised the age limit to thirteen years, and gave the 
election of the school boards to the ratepayers instead of to the 
town councils and vestries. Forster's Education Act, the name 
by which this great measure will always be remembered, became 
law in August 1870. 

The two years following were decidedly damaging to the 
popularity of the Liberal government. It was in the first place 
presented with a dilemma, by the necessity for Government 
taking action upon the report of the 1867 com- and trade 
mission with regard to trade unions. At the unions - 
general election of 1868 the working-class vote had been cast 
for the Liberals, and they were naturally expected to recognise 
that fact in their legislation. But the party was still largely 
dominated by the ideas of the Manchester school. Where 
capital and labour were in opposition the ideas of the Manchester 
school were unfavourable to labour ; that is to say, it was held 
to be economically wrong for the capitalist to be in any way 
controlled in the management of his business, whether by the 
State or by organised labour. As the outcome of the late 
commission, the trade unions had grasped the fact that, in order 
to make collective bargaining effective, it was in the first place 
necessary that the unions should acquire a legal status which 
would enable them to protect their funds in a court of law 
against malversation ; secondly, that they must at the same 
time be protected against corporate liability; and thirdly, 
that in the event of strikes they were helpless unless they could, 
without transgressing the law, apply some form of pressure 
to deter other men from taking the places of the men on 

360 The New Democracy 

A government bill was introduced in 1871, which was sub- 
sequently divided into two portions the Trade Union Act, 
and the Criminal Law Amendment Act. The first 

Io71. Ine 

government of these measures was intended, and was commonly 

trade union understood, to secure the two first of the trade 

unionist demands. The unions were permitted by 

it to register themselves, so that they could proceed against 
their officials for malversation ; and they could not them- 
selves be proceeded against at law. The second measure dealt 
with intimidation and coercion. Intimidation and coercion 
quite clearly ought to be illegal ; not less clearly simple per- 
suasion, whether of masters or workmen, should be recognised 
as legitimate ; but the problem was to draw the line between 
persuasion and intimidation. The methods employed in the 
past by the ill-regulated unions, for instance at Sheffield, 
had been those of sheer terrorism. The revelations concerning 
them had horrified the public, which failed to discriminate. 
The tyranny of unions over non-unionist workmen was a thing 
not to be tolerated, and protection against such tyranny was 
the primary object of the new bill. Consequently, in drawing 
the line between persuasion and intimidation, it allowed only 
the" narrowest possible margin for persuasion, and in effect 
endorsed all the legal decisions condemning any overt methods 
of dissuading men from working where a strike was in progress. 
The Act did not in effect alter the law as it had been interpreted 
by the judges ; it gave those decisions statutory endorsement. 
But the practical effect of the two Acts taken together was 
that the employers were angry because they regarded the first 
as dangerously increasing the power of the unions, while they 
were not mollified by the second ; whereas the union men found 
that by the second Act they were definitely forbidden to take 
any of the steps necessary to make a strike effective ; so that 
they, too, were turned against the government. 

Unpopular also at the time were the administrative reforms 
in the army introduced by Cardwell at the War Office ; reforms 
generally denounced at the time by military men, though as 
time passed the unfavourable verdict was completely reversed. 

First Gladstone Administration 361 

The revelations of inefficiency in the system at the time of 
the Crimean War had necessitated some reorganisation ; but 
the startling success of the German arms in the cardweii's 
Franco-Prussian war in 1870 forced the question army 
to the front. Cardwell's reforms brought the reforms - 
whole organisation of the army under the control of the secretary 
of state for war, so curtailing the powers of the commander-in- 
chief, who had hitherto stood in an exceptional relation to the 
Crown. The continental practice of compulsory military 
service was rejected ; but the attraction of enlistment was in- 
creased by a short-service system, under which the men were to 
serve with the colours for six years, and to spend another six 
in a special reserve, which did not prevent them from taking 
up civil employment ; whereas under the old system they had 
enlisted for twelve years with the colours, and were encouraged 
to enlist for another nine years when their time expired. 

Not less notable was the abolition of purchase, the system by 
which the admission of officers to the service and their promo- 
tion had been controlled. Commissions were to Abolition of 
be obtained by open competition, and promotion purchase, 
was to go by seniority. The officers, however, who had entered 
the army under the old system, were to receive the equivalent 
of the price paid for commissions. The bill abolishing pur- 
chase preceded the bill for army organisation. It was passed 
in the Commons, but in effect rejected by the Lords. But 
a statute of 1808 had conveyed to the Crown the power by 
which the purchase system had been established under a royal 
warrant. The Crown had beyond all question the legal power 
of cancelling the warrant under which the system was estab- 
lished. Gladstone took the extremely audacious but indubit- 
ably legal step of over-riding the opposition of the Lords and 
abolishing purchase by royal warrant. No one could have 
complained if, in the first instance, the thing had been done by 
royal warrant without introducing a bill ; but there was justi- 
fication for the contention of the Opposition that to fall back 
upon a royal warrant because the House of Lords exercised 
its constitutional right of rejecting a bill was an abuse of the 

362 The New Democracy 

constitution. Even Gladstone's supporters were made uneasy 
by the method employed for obtaining a reform as to the 
desirability of which in itself they had no doubts at all. 

Again, irritation was created by Lowe's budget. Money 
was wanted to give Cardwell's reforms effect. The chancellor 
Lowe's of the exchequer proposed to raise it in the first 

budget place by a small increase in the income tax. But 

he wanted more than a penny and less than twopence, so he 
proposed to impose it in the form of a percentage, which annoyed 
the public who were accustomed to calculate so many pennies 
in the pound, but not so much per cent. Then he wanted to 
increase the succession duties, whereby he irritated property ; 
and finally, he proposed a small tax upon matches, which created 
a somewhat absurd excitement. The chancellor of the ex- 
chequer found himself obliged ignominiously to withdraw his 
scheme and to content himself with a simple twopence added 
to the income tax ; but the general effect was damaging to the 
reputation of the government, which was not retrieved by the 
removal of the extra impost a year afterwards. 

Then in 1872 the ministry tried its hand at one of the most 
dangerous of experiments, a bill dealing with public-house licences. 
1872 A The kill enraged the licensed trade without pleasing 
licensing temperance reformers. And the government did 
nothing to regain popularity by passing in the 
same year the Ballot Act, which, as a matter of fact, made it 
certain that no one could possibly tell on which side an elector 
The Ballot gave his vote except by his own admission. Yet 
Act - even after forty years there are still many electors 

who remained unconvinced of the secrecy of the ballot, and it 
was only to a very small degree that the Act served as a check 
upon bribery. 

One after another the domestic measures of the government, 
Foreign whether they were good or ibad, served only to 

policy ; weaken their hold upon public support. Still more 

the Franco- ,_f 

Prussian destructive was its record in foreign affairs. 

War, 1870. During the Franco- Prussian War it preserved a 
strict neutrality. Both France and Prussia, like the North 

First Gladstone Administration 363 

and South in the American War, were extremely aggrieved 
France, because Britain did not intervene in her favour, Prussia, 
because she commended moderation to the victors. Public 
opinion in England, at first vehemently hostile to France, after- 
wards hostile to Prussia, considered that British influence ought 
somehow to have made itself felt. On the main issue, the 
government certainly did not deserve reproach ; but on a side 
issue of great importance which sprang out of the war it suffered 
a grave defeat. Russia seized her opportunity to repudiate the 
1856 Treaty of Paris. She announced that she no longer in- 
tended to be bound by it as concerned the clauses neutralising 
the Black Sea, and interdicting warships on its 1871 Tlie 
waters. In fact, there was nothing to be done, un- Black Sea 
less Britain chose to plunge single-handed into a war ' 
with Russia in order to maintain the neutralisation of the Black 
Sea, which in itself was a question of indifference to the other 
powers. Practically all that was open to Lord Granville was to 
protest against the pretension that a single power was at liberty 
on its own account to tear up a treaty to which all the European 
powers had been parties. A modification of the Paris treaty 
could only be made by the powers in conference. This was 
doctrine to which Russia could hardly object, especially as there 
was every reason to believe that a conference would sanction 
her claims. The conference was duly held in London after 
Bismarck had shown his predilection in favour of Russia by 
suggesting St. Petersburg. The Russian expectations were 
fulfilled ; Britain was the only power which desired to preserve 
the treaty intact. Russia got what she wanted, and Granville 
got nothing beyond the formal recognition of the principle that 
a general assent must be obtained for the abrogation of a general 
treaty. The one actual gain of the Crimean War was taken 
away (March 1871). 

Hardly more satisfactory in the popular judgment was the 
pacific settlement by arbitration of the outstanding question 
of the Alabama and the other claims put forward The'Aia- 
by the United States. The British government had bama ' claim - 
expressed readiness to discuss compensation for private losses 

364 The Neiv Democracy 

incurred by the conduct of the cruisers. The United States 
demanded compensation for a great deal besides private losses, 
vaguely estimated at 400,000,000. This was obviously ridicu- 
lous. In 1871, however, it was agreed that a joint commission 
should meet in Washington to discuss the whole matter. The 
British commissioners proposed that such questions as could 
not be at once adjusted should be submitted to arbitration, 
without prejudice to the British contention that in a strictly 
technical point of view no claim to compensation existed. By 

1871 the Treaty of Washington, which was adopted 
Treaty of on 8th May 1871, sundry outstanding disputes 
Washington. b e t ween the United States and Canada were 
adjusted. The still open question as to the western boundary 
in the neighbourhood of Vancouver Island was to be referred 
to the German emperor for arbitration. The question of the 
cruisers was to be referred to a tribunal of five persons nominated 
by Great Britain, the United States, and three states presumed 
to be impartial, namely, Italy, Brazil, and Switzerland. The 
British consented to waive counter claims in respect of Fenian 
raids into Canada, and to allow, for the purposes of the arbitra- 
tion, the recognition of a principle which heretofore had no 
place in international law, but had just been adopted in the 
Foreign Enlistment Act, which penalised the building of ships 
for use by a foreign belligerent power. The United States then 
declared their intention of insisting upon submitting the pre- 
posterous ' indirect claims ' to the Geneva Court of Arbitration ; 
and a final breach was only avoided when the court itself pro- 
nounced that these claims did not fall within the scope of the 

1872 treaty. The arbitration, therefore, resolved itself 
The Geneva into the award of compensation for direct damage 

done by eight cruisers. In respect of five, the 
claims were dismissed by the court. In respect of one, the 
Alabama herself, the court was unanimous. In respect of the 
other two, the Florida and the Shenandoah, the British arbi- 
trator differed from his colleagues, but was over-ruled. The 
award finally fixed the total of compensation at 3,250,000. 
British opinion held, as a matter of course, that the award was 

First Gladstone Administration 365 

unfairly favourable to the United States. The award of the 
Emperor William on the Vancouver question adopted the 
United States view ; and the settlement of the popular 
Canadian Fisheries question in the Treaty of Wash- disapproval. 
ington itself was regarded by Canadians as unfair to Canada. 
Popular opinion also judged that the treaty had gone too 
far in its concessions as to the terms of the arbitration. 
Again the government lost credit, although it had done infinite 
service, not so much by averting war at the time as by setting 
the precedent of voluntarily referring international disputes to 
impartial arbitration. For the moment, however, the result 
tended to establish the conviction that any foreign tribunal, 
or tribunal consisting chiefly of foreigners, was quite certain to 
enter upon its duties with an anti-British bias. 

The Geneva award was given in September 1872. At the 
beginning of 1873 Gladstone introduced a University Bill for 
Ireland. In England the last religious tests had 1873 
just been abolished at the universities in the face Irish Uni- 
of strong opposition. In Ireland, the antagonism versit y Blu - 
of creeds offered an educational problem even more difficult 
of solution than in England. The attempt was now made to 
create a single Irish university, to which the existing colleges 
were to be affiliated. The university was to be undenomina- 
tional, and consequently it was to be precluded from the teach- 
ing of theology, mental and moral science, and modern history. 
The scheme was denounced on all sides, though for different 
reasons, by Irish Protestants, by Roman Catholics, and by 
English Nonconformists. The bill was defeated by a majority 
of three. Gladstone resigned, Disraeli refused to take office, 
and neither party was anxious for an immediate dissolution. A 
week after his resignation Gladstone reluctantly resumed office. 

Only one measure of importance was recorded in the year, a 
Judicature Act reorganising the Courts of Justice ; it estab- 
lished a Supreme Court having two branches, the judicature 
High Court of Justice and the Court of Appeal ; the Act - 
High Court having three divisions, King's Bench, Chancery, and 
a third covering Probate, Divorce, and Admiralty. Ultimately 

366 The New Democracy 

the separate position of the House of Lords as the final 
Court of Appeal received statutory recognition. The Act is 
associated with the name of Lord Selborne. 

In the latter part of the year, it was found necessary to send 
a small expedition under Sir Garnet Wolseley to deal with the 
The Ashanti king of Ashanti, who had been attacking the British 
expedition. Protectorate on the Gold Coast. The commander 
and his troops did their work admirably ; but before it was 
finished the Gladstone government had ceased to exist. 

In January 1874 the prime minister determined on a dis- 
solution and an appeal to the country. He was apparently 
1874. The under the impression that his position would be 
government's strengthened. The finances were in a satisfactory 
>rd ' condition, and he announced that the long-desired 

moment had come when the income tax could be taken off 
altogether, while a sufficient compensation was to be extracted 
from an increase of the succession duties. In the course of the 
administration 12,000,000 of taxation had been remitted, 
26,000,000 of the National Debt had been paid off, and in 1873 
the income tax had actually been reduced to threepence, the 
lowest figure on record since its first imposition. The govern- 
ment had to its credit an immense legislative achievement ; 
though opinions might differ as to the merits of its legislation. 
The disestablishment of the Irish Church, the Irish Land Bill, 
the Education Act, and the reorganisation of the army, were 
measures each of which individually would have made an 
administration remarkable. Not less striking was the appeal 
to arbitration in the Alabama case. Yet none of these measures 
excited popular enthusiasm. Remission of taxation does not 
add to popularity as increase of taxation detracts from it. 
The Alabama arbitration might be looked upon as an experi- 
ment courageous to the point of heroism ; but it could also be 
portrayed along with the new Black Sea Treaty as a painful 
proof of diplomatic feebleness. For the rest the government 
measures had aroused the anger of capitalists and of trade 
unionists ; they had stirred the hostility of that very powerful 
organisation, the licensed trade ; churchmen could not forgive 

Disraeli 's Second Administration 367 

the spoliation of the Irish Church ; Nonconformists thought 
the Education Act too favourable to churchmen. There was no 
single section of the community which felt that its own par- 
ticular interests had been positively advanced ; even the promise 
that the income tax should be removed could be denounced 
as a mere electioneering trick. The disappointed Dissolution 
leaders of the trade unions took their revenge by & defeat, 
running a number of independent candidates, of whom only 
two won seats, but nearly all the rest succeeded in diverting a 
sufficient number of votes to transfer the contested seat from the 
Liberal to the Conservative candidate. When the new House of 
Commons met, the Opposition had a solid majority of fifty 
the first Conservative majority since it had been dissolved by 
Peel's adoption of Free Trade. Gladstone resigned, and Disraeli 
became prime minister for the second time. 


The reforming energies of the Gladstone ministry more than 
exhausted the immediate enthusiasm of the electorate for 
political changes ; it had already exhausted the 1374. 
capacity of the Liberal party for cohesion. Long Gladstone, 
before his term of office was over, Gladstone was highly irritated 
by what he regarded as party disloyalty, the disposition of 
members to break away. From the moment when he resigned 
office he was anxious to be freed from the strain of party leader- 
ship, and believed himself to be anxious for a political repose 
which he was quite incapable of enjoying. For the time being, 
however, he consented to retain the leadership. 

Disraeli, on the other hand, embarked upon his second adminis- 
tration with clear skies and favouring breezes. Storms were 
not to be anticipated. There was no demand for Disraeli's 
heroic measures such as would arouse contentious cabinet, 
passion. The nations of the Continent were at peace ; our 
quarrel with America had been settled ; an understanding had 
been arrived at even with Russia in respect of her advance in 
Central Asia, The prime minister was at the head of a reunited 

368 The Neiv Democracy 

party; Lord Derby at the Foreign Office commanded general 
confidence. In 1867 Lord Cranborne and Lord Carnarvon had 
revolted when the old Lord Derby and Disraeli took their leap 
in the dark ; but they accepted the fait accompli. Cranborne, 
who had become marquess of Salisbury, went to the India Office, 
and Carnarvon took the Colonies. An able home secretary 
was found in the person of Richard Cross ; Sir Stafford North- 
cote, the chancellor of the exchequer, was of proved financial 
ability, besides being happily endowed with a personality which 
inspired the affection of political opponents as well as supporters. 
No one as yet realised that a new parliamentary factor had come 
into existence destined to play a very important part, the 
The Home organised group of Irish Home Rulers, fifty-eight in 
Rule Party, number, who were as yet under the by no means 
aggressive leadership of Isaac Butt. The movement was not 
separatist like Fenianism, though in effect Irish Separatists 
supported it ; rather it was a variant upon O'Connell's Repeal 
movement, professedly constitutional in its methods, aiming 
primarily at the establishment of an Irish legislature in Dublin ; 
while its representatives aimed at controlling Irish legislation 
and Irish administration, pending that solution of the Irish 

Drastic legislation then was not to be looked for from the 
new Conservative government. It had not yet been suggested 
that a party coming into power should repeal or subvert the 
measures of its predecessors in office. Vehemently as the Con- 
servatives liad opposed Irish disestablishment and Army re- 
organisation, those questions were regarded as settled. Eccle- 
Pubiicwor- siastical questions attracted immediate attention, 
ship Reguia- A Public Worship Regulation Act in England, due 
to the obvious fact that no existing authority was 
able effectively to control the ceremonial idiosyncrasies of the 
clergy, established a special judge for ecclesiastical causes for 
dealing, that is, with complaints of breaches of ecclesiastical law, 
the bishop in each case having the right to veto proceedings. 
The bill received very general support from Protestant senti- 
ment, because it was in effect directed against the introduction 

Disraeli s Second Administration 369 

of practices which were looked upon as papistical ; but it was 
resented in clerical quarters, as subjecting ecclesiastical questions 
to lay jurisdiction, which to most laymen appeared to be the 
logical corollary of the privilege of establishment. Gladstone 
entirely failed to carry the Opposition with him in resisting the 

Nor was he more successful in the case of the Scottish Church 
Patronage Bill, whereby the Established Church in Scotland 
procured the abolition of lay patronage, to which 
the Disruption and the creation of the Free Kirk patronage 
had been due. The Free Kirk naturally resented (Scotland) 
the proposal; their ministers had surrendered the 
endowments precisely on account of lay patronage ; if now the 
establishment recognised that it had then been in the wrong, it 
was not justified in keeping the endowments to itself. Justice 
required a measure of reunion and reinstatement. In spite of 
the support given by Gladstone to the Free Kirk contention, 
parliament remained unmoved. The measure was a proper 
measure in itself, and was not made improper by being belated. 
So the Free Kirk protest was ignored and the Act was passed. 

A third measure proposed in part to reverse the Endowed 
Schools Act of the last government, and to restore to the control 
of the Established Church in England a number Endowed 
of the schools endowed prior to 1661, which that Schools Bill. 
Act had deprived of their denominational character. The rela- 
tion between endowments and the year 1661 arises from the 
fact that the existence of religious bodies outside the Church 
was not recognised before that date, so that endowments with a 
religious object, such as all schools were, necessarily connected 
the school with the Established Church ; not because the person 
who left the money wished to endow that particular church, 
but because he had no choice. This proposal, however, reunitea 
the whole Opposition and alarmed a good many Conservatives ; 
consequently the government dropped it out of the bill, and 
contented themselves with placing the schools in the hands of 
the charity commissioners, and merely abolishing the special 
Endowed Schools Commission. 

Innes's Eng. Hist. Vol. iv. 2 A 

370 The New Democracy 

Legislation on behalf of the working classes had hitherto been 
connected in no greater degree with one of the political parties 
than the other. If Liberal governments had 
and the passed the Factory Acts, the initiative had come 

working- quite as much from philanthropic Tories as from 
advanced Radicals. Official Liberalism, while 
hostile to all that is recognised as class privilege, was ultra- 
individualist ; the Conservative party, whose education Dis- 
raeli had taken in hand, believed with entire conviction in the 
essential differentiation of the social strata. Benevolent Con- 
servatism desired earnestly to ease the lot of the ' lower orders/ 
provided always that they were duly kept in their place. But 
politicians in the Conservative party were aware that the Fran- 
chise Act had made the working-class vote a political force which 
it was expedient to conciliate. Official Liberalism had shown 
no disposition to conciliate the working-class vote, and in the 
general election that vote had been one of the most important 
factors which gave the Conservatives their majority. It was 
the turn of the Conservatives to show that they were the true 
friends of the working-man. 

The year 1875 then was a fruitful one; for the Government 
was exceedingly strong while the Opposition was exceedingly 
1875. The weak. Gladstone formally withdrew from the 
trade union leadership of his party, which in the House of 
triumph. Lords remained with Lord Granville, and in the 
House of Commons devolved upon Lord Hartington. Perhaps 
the most notable event was the unexpectedly complete victory 
of the Trade Unionists. All that they had demanded and failed 
to obtain from the Liberals was now conceded. The late 
Criminal Law Amendment Act and the earlier Master and Servant 
Act of 1867 gave place to the Conspiracy and Protection of 
Property Act and the Employers and Workmen Act. These 
two measures definitely placed the employer and the employee 
on the footing of two equal parties to a civil contract a change 
significantly expressed in the title of the Act which dropped 
the terms master and servant. At the same time, they so 
amended the law of conspiracy, which the courts had made so 

Disraeli 's Second Administration 371 

effective an instrument in the hands of employers, that it was 
made legal for men acting in concert to do anything which was 
legal for a single individual. Peaceful picketing was definitely 
sanctioned ; that is, it became definitely legal to post men out- 
side works where a strike was in progress to dissuade other 
workmen from entering them, provided that no actual intimida- 
tion were employed. It was not till a considerably later date 
that the courts found themselves obliged to enforce on technical 
grounds an interpretation of these Acts and of the Liberal 
Trade Unions Act which was undoubtedly other than had been 
intended when the Acts were framed. 

Another step in factory legislation was the adoption of a Nine 
Hours Act for women and children in the cotton trade, initiated 
at the instance of the men, because they justly A Nine Hours 
calculated that it would inevitably be accompanied Act - 
in practice by a reduction in the hours of adult male labour. 

State intervention was still viewed with apprehension. Two 
measures of this session provided something in the nature of 
a new departure. The Agricultural Holdings Act permissive 
theoretically enforced the payment of compensa- legislation, 
tion to a tenant at the close of his tenancy for capital expended 
upon his holding. Practically it did nothing more than recog- 
nise the abstract desirability of the payment of compensation, 
since landlord and tenant could contract out that is, they 
could make a contract freeing the landlord from his liability 
under the Act, so that in effect the Act itself was almost a dead 
letter. In the same way the Artisans' Dwellings Act asserted 
the very sound principle, that corporations of large cities should 
have power to acquire compulsorily buildings or land for the 
purpose of providing decent habitations. But again the actual 
effect was small, because the measure was merely permissive. 
If the corporations were not disposed to acquire insanitary areas 
and make them sanitary they were not required to do so. Hence, 
the inducement to undertake such operations being small, this 
Act also to a large extent remained a dead letter. 

The year, however, was not without its sensation. In 1869, 
a canal had been opened from Port Said to Suez, connecting" 

372 The New Democracy 

the Mediterranean with the Red Sea. Its construction had 
occupied ten years ; it had been mainly the work of its French 
The Suez projector, Lesseps. The capital sunk in it had 
Canal shares, been mainly French; for Palmerston had turned 
a cold shoulder upon the whole project, judging that even if it 
were successful it would be in effect under French control, and 
would be utilised in the interests of France. As he did not 
want it to succeed, he would have nothing to say to it; but 
it did succeed, with the result that the controlling interest in 
it was held first by the khedive of Egypt, and next to him by 
the French shareholders ; although the shipping which passed 
through it was mainly British, and its primary value was as a 
route to India. In 1875 the Khedive Ismail was in serious 
financial straits ; and it occurred to him to escape from his 
difficulties by selling his interest in the Suez Canal. Disraeli 
learnt of this intention, and also that the khedive was about 
to make his offer to France. If the French purchased the 
khedive's shares, the control of the canal would be completely 
in their hands. On 25th November 1875, the world was startled 
by the announcement that the British government had pur- 
chased the khedive's shares for the sum of 4,000,000. Merely 
as an investment, the stroke was more than warranted ; at the 
present time the shares are producing an interest of about 
twenty-five per cent. But the purchase almost converted the 
canal into a British concern and the canal was the high road 
to India. 

After 1875 domestic legislation was practically suspended. 
Public interest was beginning to be absorbed in external affairs, 
The Home and in parliament the time had arrived for the Irish 
Rulers. Home Rule party to make itself felt. The govern- 

ment was deaf to their demands for a revision of the 1870 Land 
Bill, with a view to preventing the methods of evading its pro- 
visions or intentions which the landlords had discovered. The 
mild methods of the Irish leader did not satisfy his more warlike 
followers, and under the guidance of Charles Stewart Parnell 
they developed a system of obstructing all business by a skilful 
abuse of the rules of the House, such as was without any pre- 

Disraeli s Second Administration 373 

cedent in the history of parliament. In 1876, however, the 
actual leadership had not yet passed to Parnell, and the new 
aggressive movement was only in embryo. 

The Suez Canal sensation was soon followed by another. 
Early in 1876 Disraeli introduced the Royal Titles Bill, by 
which the style of Empress of India was added 1876 
to the titles of Queen Victoria. Disraeli, with a Empress 
keener perception of Oriental sentiment than is a * 
common in England, was anxious to create in the mind of 
India an impression of magnificence and power more picturesque, 
appealing more to the imagination, than the mere practical 
strength and justice of the Indian administration. Probably 
he was right. Something had just been effected by the tour 
of the Prince of Wales in India and its attendant displays. 
According to Indian conceptions, an emperor means something 
greater than a king, and a real value was attached to the new 
title of Kaisar-i-Hind. In England, however, the idea met with 
little favour. During the last century Europe had seen two 
French empires, neither of which had lasted twenty years, and 
the arrival of a new German empire of which the durability had 
not yet been put to the proof. In British minds, imperial titles 
were at a discount ; but Disraeli got his way, very much to the 
satisfaction of the queen herself. The prime minister probably 
reckoned, not without reason, that with a Russian Kaisar loom- 
ing behind Afghanistan, it would be as well to have a British 
Kaisar reigning in Hindustan. 

In relation to Russia's policy, the mantle of Palmerston had 
fallen upon Disraeli, not upon his foreign minister, Lord Derby, 
nor upon Gladstone's foreign minister, Lord Gran- 1375. 
ville. Russia had beaten Granville over the Black Russia- 
Sea question, and had certainly not been foiled by him over 
the Central Asian question. Now the Turkish question was 
coming tothe fore again ; but Disraeli did not leave the manage- 
ment of it to Lord Derby. 

Turkey had in effect done nothing whatever to carry out the 
promises made in 1856. Troubles in the Balkan provinces had 
never ceased. British diplomacy had not been exerted to 

374 The New Democracy 

bring pressure upon the Porte, but Russia had certainly not 
been inactive in assuring the Forte's Christian subjects of her 
The powers wn goodwill. Whether she actively fomented in- 
and Turkey, surrection is a question which will never be answered ; 
but in 1875 insurrections broke out in the provinces of Bosnia 
and Herzegovina. At the same time Turkey practically 
announced her bankruptcy, and it appeared necessary that the 
powers should once more intervene. At the end of December 
Austria issued the note which bears the name of her chancellor, 
Count Andrassy, which received the general approval of the 
powers. It invited the Porte to set on foot a series of long pro- 
mised reforms, and to entrust the execution thereof to a special 
commission. The sultan with cheerful promptitude promised 
very nearly everything ; but the insurgents wanted something 
more than Turkish promises, and the note provided no material 
guarantees that they would be carried out. The sultan argued 
that it was unreasonable to expect him to set about reforms 
while the rebels were in arms. Not only did the 

1 ft Yfi 

Disagree- rebels remain in arms, but in April Bulgaria also 

ment among revolted. Thereupon the three emperors pro- 
the powers. , . f 

posed to issue another note 01 a more peremptory 

character, threatening armed intervention if its terms were 
not complied with. France and Italy assented. The British 
government resented the action of the three powers in pre- 
paring the note without consulting Britain, and declined to 
endorse it. Violent disorders broke out in Constantinople, 
ending in the deposition and death, by his own hand or other- 
wise, of the sultan. Clearly, the imperial chancelleries, on the 
one hand, had assumed that they could act independently of 
Britain ; not less clearly the Turks were under the impression 
that they could count upon British support. And this latter im- 
pression was intensified when a British squadron was dispatched 
to Besika Bay. This was done by the desire of the British am- 
bassador, not by way of a threat, but in case the disturbances at 
the capital should necessitate intervention for the protection of life 
and property. But while this reason was a quite sufficient one, it 
appeared to be merely the cloak for more aggressive designs. 

Disraeli's Second Administration 375 

Before June was over a new complexion was given to the 
situation by the publication of appalling stories of atrocities 
committed by the Turks in the endeavour to Bulgarian 
suppress the Bulgarian revolt. The Bulgarian atrocities, 
atrocities roused Gladstone to plunge into a campaign against 
the ' Unspeakable Turk.' It is needless to inquire whether the 
pictures drawn by the newspaper correspondents were over- 
coloured ; allowing everything possible for hasty acceptance 
of unsifted evidence and for picturesque exaggeration, a mere 
residuum of the horrors recounted would have been quite suffi- 
cient to warrant a storm of resentment. Lord Derby himself 
addressed the ambassador at Constantinople in terms which, if 
carefully restrained, were still sufficiently emphatic. But mean- 
while Servia also revolted ; and the Servian prince was aided 
by a Russian general and numbers of Russian volunteers. But 
still the Servian army could not stand against the Turkish 
troops, and Servia appealed for European intervention. 

A scheme was proposed by Lord Derby to the powers to be 
imposed upon Turkey, with which the powers were in sub- 
stantial agreement. Turkey evaded acceptance ; A flltile 
but Lord Derby succeeded in bringing about a conference, 
general conference at Constantinople, where Britain : 
was represented by Lord Salisbury. The powers adopted Lord 
Derby's proposals ; but the Porte, while ready to promise any- 
thing, entirely declined to subject the carrying out of the reforms 
to the control of an international commission. Thereupon, in 
January 1877, Russia withdrew from the confer- 1877. 
ence and set about the mobilisation of troops. The Constan- 
tinople conference had ended ; yet a protocol was signed by 
the powers in London on 3ist March, pronouncing that if they 
were dissatisfied with the manner in which the reforms were 
carried out, they would consider in common what should be the 
next step. The protocol was accompanied by a declaration 
from Lord Derby, which was taken by the Turks to mean that 
there would be no next step ; and by a declaration from Russia, 
which in effect implied that in the Russian view the protocol 
was an ultimatum. The Porte rejected the protocol, declaring 

376 The New Democracy 

that it was an infringement of the Treaty of Paris, which expressly 
repudiated the right of the powers to control the internal adminis- 
tration of the T ur kish empire. As for the reforms demanded, 
they fell short of what the Turkish government had already 
guaranteed. A fortnight later Russia announced that since 
Turkey had refused to yield to the peaceful pressure of the 
Concert of Europe, the Tsar would take it upon himself to coerce 
her single-handed. 

Now there was colour for the Turkish contention ; but the 
plain fact was that Turkey, taking shelter behind the terms of 
The situation the Treaty of Paris, had made it perfectly clear 
in April. that whatever promises she might make she would 
do nothing at all unless actually coerced or convinced that 
coercion would really be applied. She would have been con- 
vinced, if the British government had not given her very good 
reason to trust in its hostility to coercion. But Russia was 
determined on coercion, and the attitude of the British govern- 
ment ensured that she would have to apply it single-handed, 
as she had done before the Crimean War. There was at least 
a very strong justification for the position taken up by Russia. 
The oppression of the Porte's Christian subjects was not to be 
endured by the Christian states of Europe. Although it is true 
that every sovereign state has a right to manage its own affairs 
without foreign intervention, and that fact had officially been 
acknowledged in the Treaty of Paris, still there is a limit, and 
Russia was not alone in considering that that limit had been 
passed. Russia, though unsupported by the rest of the powers, 
took upon herself the role of champion of the oppressed ; nor 
was she to be deterred therefrom by British protests. In 1877 
as in 1853, if Britain had openly declared that she would co- 
operate with Russia, Turkey would almost certainly have given 
way, and there would have been no war ; if Britain had from 
the outset made it unmistakably clear that she would intervene 
in arms on behalf of Turkey before Russia had finally committed 
herself, Russia would probably have held her hand and there 
would have been no war. But in both cases, Turkey took the 
risk of being defiant on the assumption that sooner or later 

Disraeli's Second Administration 377 

the British would be obliged to intervene on her behalf, and 
Russia took the risk of aggression in the belief that the British 
government might protest, but would not fight. In both cases 
the Turk proved right in his anticipation, and the Russian 
proved to be wrong. 

In August 1876, Disraeli, who was then seventy-two years of 
age, withdrew from the turmoil of the House of Commons to the 
more restful atmosphere of the House of Lords, 1876 
taking the title of earl of Beaconsfield. In his The earl of 
last speech as a commoner he emphasised the ] 
determination of the government to maintain British interests 
at all costs ; and British interests, in his view as in Palmerston's, 
demanded the preservation of the integrity of the Turkish 
empire. But Russia gave greater weight to the evidences of 
popular indignation aroused by the Bulgarian atrocities, and 
trusted to the pacific character of Lord Derby as before she 
had trusted to the pacific character of Lord Aberdeen. 

The Russian declaration of war was followed by invasion. 
At the outset the Russian arms were successful, and there were 
some expectations of an easy promenade to Con- Th e R U8S0 . 
stantinople. Then came a check to the advance. Turkish war, 
At the Schipka Pass and at Plevna the Turkish 1877 " 8< 
troops held their ground against enormous odds with an indomit- 
able valour which stirred the keenest admiration and won the 
sporting sympathies of the British public. The agitation 
against Turkish iniquities gave way before the agitation against 
Russian ambition and Russian hypocrisy. The public was 
again dominated by the conviction that the Russian ' champion- 
ship of the oppressed ' was merely a cloak to cover her aggres- 
sive designs. Russia within her own borders governed by 
methods which were only a degree less barbarous than those of 
the Turk. But the mere fact that Russia and Turkey were 
at war was manifestly insufficient to warrant intervention ; 
after all Russia was fighting theoretically only to enforce a pro- 
gramme upon which the powers had agreed. No overt action 
could be adopted unless she attempted to take steps which 
transgressed that programme. Officially the British govern- 

378 The New Democracy 

ment stood for the maintenance of strict neutrality so long as 
neither Egypt nor Constantinople was threatened. 

But in December Plevna fell after a heroic defence of five 
months. In January 1878 the Russians were at Adrianople. 
1878. Lord Derby reminded Russia that no treaty she 

might make with the Porte would be valid unless ratified by the 

While the Russians were on their way to Adrianople, the 
British parliament met on I7th January. The chancellor of 
On the brink, the exchequer immediately asked for 6,000,000 
for the army and navy, as a provision for possible eventualities. 
The money was voted by a large majority. On 23rd January, 
the fleet was ordered to the Dardanelles. Lord Derby and 
Lord Carnarvon both resigned, since both were averse from 
war ; but Derby withdrew his resignation when Besika Bay 
instead of the Dardanelles was assigned as the destination of 
the fleet. Russia declared that if British warships entered the 
Dardanelles she would occupy Constantinople ; the sultan, how- 
ever, abstained from sanctioning the entry of the fleet. 

Meanwhile, an armistice was signed, which was followed 
on 3rd March by the Treaty of San Stefano, between Russia 
Treaty of an( ^ Turkey. Austria had already suggested a 
San stefano, congress, and on 4th March Derby expressed ap- 
Marcn. proval on condition that the whole treaty should 

be submitted to the decision of the powers. This was in strict 
accordance with the doctrine which the government had main- 
tained from the beginning. Russia declined ; she would give 
consideration at the congress to specific objections raised by 
particular powers to individual points affecting their own in- 
terests, but that was all. A deadlock seemed certain ; pacific 
though he was, on this point Lord Derby stood firm ; but the 
less pacific elements in the cabinet were now so completely 
dominant that he resigned. If it could be said that any specific 
project of the cabinet had brought him to this decision, it was 
the determination to call out the reserves. His place at the 
Foreign Office was taken by Lord Salisbury. 

The Treaty of San Stefano provided for recognition of the com- 

Disraeli s Second Administration 379 

plete independence of Roumania, Servia, and Montenegro. An 
immensely enlarged Bulgaria was to form a principality tribu- 
tary to the Porte, but autonomous. Reforms were Terms of 
to be at once introduced in Bosnia, Herzegovina, the treaty, 
and Armenia ; and Russia was to receive some Asiatic territory 
in lieu of a cash indemnity. In Lord Salisbury's view, the posi- 
tion of the new Bulgaria and the independence of the Danube 
and Balkan states would make the Black Sea a Russian lake 
and the Balkan peninsula a dependency of Russia. 

Through April and May war and peace hung in the balance. 
Immediately upon the adjournment of parliament for the 

Easter recess it was announced that seven thousand _ 

Indian troops 
Indian troops had been ordered to Malta, a step ordered to 

which was certainly dramatic, and brought the Malta, 
resources of the British empire into emphatic pro- 
minence ; but it was more than doubtful whether the Crown 
had the legal power to take it without the consent of parliament, 
and it was quite obvious that the government had deliberately 
avoided asking the consent of parliament. It was vigorously 
denounced and vigorously applauded, but the applause was 
the louder. When the question was raised in parliament, the 
action of the government was endorsed by a majority of 120, 
on 23rd May. 

But by this time, it appeared that Russia would yield the 
point of submitting the Treaty of San Stefano to the congress 
of Europe ; negotiations went forward, and on Tne Ber ii n 
1 3th June the congress met at Berlin under the congress, 
presidency of Bismarck, Britain being represented June ' 
by Lord Beaconsneld himself and by Lord Salisbury. In fact, 
however, before the congress met Lord Salisbury had come to 
separate secret agreements both with Russia and with Turkey. 
It was a foregone conclusion that the congress would adopt 
whatever Russia and Britain were mutually agreed upon. 
Russia had also made a private agreement with Austria. In 
effect, the business of the congress was to ratify the alterations 
in the Treaty of San Stefano which had thus been arranged 
beforehand. The independence of Servia, Montenegro, and 

380 The New Democracy 

Roumania held good ; but Bosnia and Herzegovina were to be 
reorganised under Austrian administration. The greater Bul- 
garia which would in effect have been a Russian dependency 
was reduced to a comparatively small piece of territory, a Danube 
province about one-third of the size originally proposed. Another 
third was to be a Turkish province, with the name of Roumelia, 
under a Christian governor. The rest remained as it had 
been before. The British private agreement with Turkey did 
not affect the general treaty, but conveyed the occupation of 
the island of Cyprus to the British, in consideration of a 
British guarantee of the Turkish possessions in Asia, which did 
not affect the cessions to Russia made in the Treaty of San 
Stefano. The Turk, on the other hand, was solemnly pledged 
as before to introduce the reforms which were always coming 
and never came. 

Lord Beaconsfield returned from the Berlin congress bring- 
ing ' peace with honour.' The Opposition might denounce the 
4 Peace with methods by which it had been obtained, the secret 
honour.' treaties, the manipulation of troops, the melo- 

dramatic atmosphere which Lord Beaconsfield had created. 
But the fact remained that British diplomacy had won a com- 
plete triumph, and gained everything at which the government 
aimed. If the prime minister had chosen this moment for a 
dissolution, he would have been returned to power with an 
overwhelming majority. But he did not dissolve, and the 
record of triumph was followed by unhappy developments of 
policy in India and Africa, and by a domestic struggle with the 
new leaders of the Irish movement, which between them wrecked 
the popularity won by Beaconsfield's dramatic successes, dis- 
counted when the emotional crisis was past. 

The troubles to come were not immediately apparent. The 
obstructive tactics of the Home Rulers did indeed develop with 
inparlia- great rapidity as soon as the leadership of the 
ment, 1877-8. House of Commons was transferred to the hands 
of Sir Stafford Northcote, by Lord Beaconsfield's retirement 
to ' another place. ' In 1877, new rules of procedure were adopted 
sanctioning the suspension of members, but they were of little 

Disraeli s Second Administration ^>8i 


effect in checking obstruction. In the next year, debates in 
connection with the murder of Lord Leitrim were so acrimonious 
that they brought about a rupture among the Irish members, 
the retirement of Butt, and the definite though still not the 
formal leadership of Parnell. Still the year 1878 witnessed a 
useful piece of legislation in the codification of the Factory Acts 
with some changes. The distinction between the factories to 
which the maximum of regulation applied, and the workshops 
where the regulation was partial, was modified so that the term 
' factory ' covered all places where mechanical power was used 
irrespective of the number of employees. 

At the close of 1878 the Irish Land League was formed, with 
Parnell as its president, and the abolition of landlordism as its 
avowed object Parnell, himself a Protestant Irish 
landlord, English on the father's side, inherited parneiiand 
from an American mother an intense personal hos- the Land 
tility to England. At this time there is no doubt 
that he shared with most 01 the Irish in America the desire to 
sever Ireland entirely from the British empire. In the view 
of Home Rulers in general, self-government for Ireland was a 
necessity, and the government of Ireland by a British majority 
over the heads of Irish representatives was intolerable. Pro- 
bably a majority of them believed that self-government was 
out of reach without separation. But the political programme 
would secure a much stronger popular support by being coupled 
with a definite agrarian programme. The programme of the 
Land League was the suppression of rack-rents, resistance to 
evictions, and the ultimate establishment of a peasant proprie- 
tary. On his visits to America, Parnell had no hesitation 
in professing that the agrarian agitation was a means to 
severing the ' last link ' binding Ireland to England. In 1879, 
when the rural distress was rendered more acute by the imminent 
prospect of another famine, a vigorous agitation was set on 
foot to resist the payment if not of all rents, at any rate of 
all such as were ' unfair.' Evictions were resisted ; where 
they were enforced, life was made unendurable to any new 

382 The New Democracy 

Disasters in India and South Africa, depression of trade and 
failure of employment, which had been on the increase since 
1879 The trade had reached the high-water mark of prosperity 
Midlothian in 1874, the paralysis of business in the House of 
Commons resulting from the inability of the 
government to control the obstructive tactics of the Irish 
members, the agrarian agitation in Ireland itself all these 
circumstances combined had seriously shaken the government 
when Gladstone emerged from his comparative retirement and 
developed his fervid indictment of the administration in the 
Midlothian campaign. For the first time a great political 
chief, not actually at the moment of a general election, appealed 
to the electorate not in parliament, but from the platform and 
from railway carriage windows. At seventy years of age, the 
veteran leader gave a display of physical and oratorical vigour 
without precedent or parallel. 

The effect on public opinion was tremendous. When parlia- 
ment met at the beginning of 1880, the government's financial 
isso. programme seemed unsatisfactory, its measures for 

Fan of the the relief of distress in Ireland, due to the famine, 
Beaconsfield . ' 

ministry, appeared somewhat inadequate, and a plan for 
April. forming a single Metropolitan Water Company 

appeared to be needlessly costly and far too favourable to the 
existing water companies. Lord Beaconsfield did not choose 
to risk a possible defeat on the question, and appealed to the 
country. Ireland had not occupied a prominent position in 
Gladstone's campaign ; Beaconsfield sought to withdraw 
attention from the general attacks on his administration by 
giving the first place to the necessity for resisting Irish separa- 
tism. But the appeal produced no effect upon the electors. 
The Liberals were returned with a majority of nearly fifty over 
Conservatives and Home Rulers together. Lord Beaconsfield 
resigned ; the official Liberal chiefs, Lord Granville and Lord 
Hartington, impressed upon the reluctant queen the necessity 
of recognising that the prime minister demanded by the country 
was Gladstone. On 23rd April the new administration formally 

India and Afghanistan 383 


The last act of Disraeli's ministry in 1868 was the appoint- 
ment of Lord Mayo as Lawrence's successor in India. The 
selection was a source of bitter criticism at the time, Lord M 
but was amply justified in the event. Lord Mayo in India, 
had no crisis to deal with ; but in the short period 
of his rule he proved himself in tact, firmness, and adminis- 
trative capacity, a viceroy of the first rank. Sher Ali of Kabul 
learnt that although he would not be maintained on his throne 
by British bayonets, and could not be received into an offensive 
and defensive alliance, he could count upon the moral support 
of the British government, and upon its material support within 
limits as to which it would be the sole judge. The distinction 
between the position taken up by Lord Mayo and that of his 
predecessor is not on the face of it a very marked one ; but to 
the Afghan, Lawrence had conveyed the impression that any 
and every rebel who managed to make himself master of a 
district would be recognised as lord of that district by the 
British government as long as he remained in possession ; 
whereas Mayo gave the impression that no rebel would be re- 
cognised except when he had actually made himself master of 
Afghanistan ; it seemed that Lawrence took no more than a 
polite interest in the Kabul dominion, whereas Mayo actively 
desired that it should be strong and secure. The mourning 
was universal when Mayo, almost exactly three years after his 
first landing in India, was assassinated by a convict in the 
Andaman islands. 

The viceroy's place was taken by Lord Northbrook in 1872. 
Sher Ali, who was nervous about the Russian movement, tried 
in vain to obtain closer terms of alliance than Northbrook, 
Northbrook, acting on his predecessor's policy, 1872-6. 
was disposed to concede. On the other hand, the advocates of 
the ' forward policy ' obtained the ear of the Conservative govern- 
ment which came into power in 1874. The dread of Russian 
aggression was active ; suspicions that Sher Ali, dissatisfied 
with the amount of support he was receiving from India, was 

384 The New Democracy 

allowing himself to be drawn into intrigues with Russia, became 
rife. In 1875, the India Office urged Lord Northbrook to induce 
the Amir to allow the establishment of a British agent at Herat 
and at Kandahar. The viceroy, supported by his council, was 
strongly opposed to the plan, being convinced not only that the 
Amir would refuse, but that the proposal would rouse his sus- 
picions of sinister designs against his independence in the back- 
ground. Lord Salisbury insisted that a mission should be sent 
to Kabul ; Lord Northbrook resigned, finding himself entirely 
out of harmony with the government ; and in April 1876 Lord 
Lytton arrived in India as viceroy. 

The assumption at the root of the Lawrence policy of ' masterly 
inactivity ' in its most extreme form was that the actual north- 
Rival west frontier as it existed was practically impene- 
schoois. trable. Beyond that frontier it was wise to culti- 
vate friendly relations with native powers which would then 
serve as an additional barricade against a Russian attack, if 
such an attack should ever be contemplated. But history had 
proved that there was one absolutely certain way of ensuring 
the hostility to the British of the peoples beyond the mountains ; 
and that was to excite in their minds the suspicion that attempts 
were being made by insidious methods to deprive them of their 
independence, and to bring them under the British sway. Next 
we have to observe that politicians of every school were agreed 
that Afghanistan ought to be maintained as an independent 
state, a buffer between the Russian and the British empires in 
Asia. No one at all wanted either to annex Afghanistan or to 
see it annexed to Russia. Every one wanted British influence 
to prevail in Afghanistan, and Russian influence to be excluded. 
But the politicians of the forward school represented by Sir 
Henry Rawlinson and Sir Bartle Frere, backed by the general 
military, as distinct from political, opinion, were not satisfied 
with the existing degree of security. In the first place, they 
held that in order to render the frontier itself impregnable posi- 
tions required to be occupied beyond the present boundary. 
In the second place, it was necessary to be able not only to block 
every possible gateway, but to take the offensive. 

India and Afghanistan 385 

For Afghanistan lay between the upper and nether millstones, 
the Russians and the British. By herself she could bid defiance 
neither to the one nor to the other. If she could Position of 
not trust the British to protect her against Russia, Afghanistan, 
she would certainly experiment on the chance of getting Russian 
support against the British. That could mean only that she 
would become a dependency of Russia ; and if once Afghanistan 
became a Russian dependency the actual impregnability of the 
frontier, even when held in force by loyal troops, would not be 
convincing to the disloyal elements within the peninsula. The 
problem therefore was to secure the loyalty of Afghanistan 
against the peculiar methods of Russian diplomacy, apart from 
the establishment of a scientific frontier. 

Now it was clearly a matter of the highest importance that 
the British government should have accurate knowledge of 
what was actually going on beyond the mountains ; Need for 
and accurate knowledge was not to be looked for a Resident, 
when the only authoritative information came from a native 
vakil or agent, himself a Mohammedan, at the court of a Moham- 
medan prince. Manifestly it was extremely desirable that the 
Amir should consent to the appointment, as agent, of a British 
officer on whom the British government could place complete 
reliance. But this was precisely the thing to which the Amir 
had the strongest possible objection. It appeared to him that 
the agent of to-day would become the dictator of to-morrow ; 
that the appointment of a Resident was always the preliminary 
to effective deprivation of independence. It would seem then 
that of the two schools of Indian politicians, the one was con- 
vinced that the presence of a Resident was an idea so repugnant 
to the Amir that it must be set entirely on one side, whereas 
the Frere school considered that it should certainly be made an 
object of policy to remove the Amir's repugnance to it. But 
Lord Lytton arrived in India apparently under the impression 
that the Amir's assent to a Resident must be obtained with his 
goodwill if possible, but if not, without it. 

Lord Lytton soon after his arrival opened communications 
with Sher Ali, in order to induce the Amir, in the first instance, 

Innes's Eng. Hist. Vol. iv. 2 B 

386 The New Democracy 

to receive a complimentary mission. The Amir explained with 
extreme elaboration his objections to that course. Then Lytton 
Lord Lytton, became peremptory ; the Amir suggested that 
1876. the vakil should visit Simla to discuss matters. 

The viceroy, who was now partly occupied with preparations 
for the great Durbar which was to be held on ist January, for 
the purpose of proclaiming the empress of India, assented to 
the proposal, and arrangements were then made for a formal 
conference to be held at Peshawar immediately after the Durbar. 
The conferences were held in February 1877, but nothing came 
of them. In Lytton's view, Sher Ali intended nothing to come 
of them, and was merely fencing while he was carrying on nego- 
tiations with Russia. The British were therefore released from 
any obligation to extend friendship and protection to him. 

For the next eighteen months, however, the Afghan question 
remained in suspense, though the principles of the forward policy 
Russian were furthered by a treaty with the Khan of Kelat, 

designs. which placed the British in possession of Quetta, 

controlling the Bolan Pass, the more southern of the two great 
gateways into India. During 1877 the war between Russia 
and Turkey was in progress ; in 1878 came the Treaty of San 
Stefano, the crisis when an Anglo-Russian war seemed to be 
more than probable, the Berlin congress, and the triumph of 
Lord Beaconsfield. As in 1856, Russian designs upon Constan- 
tinople, if she had such designs, were foiled ; and again, as in 
1856, the activity of her Asiatic intrigues increased. Officially, 
she repudiated the idea that she regarded Afghanistan as within 
the sphere where she desired to extend her influence ; unofficially, 
the governor of Turkestan acted upon the contrary hypothesis. In 
the summer of 1878, a Russian mission was received at Kabul. 

If the Amir could receive a Russian mission, it appeared that 
he could have no excuse for refusing a British mission. Lord 
1878. Lytton announced to the Amir that a mission, witl 

A mission General Sir Neville Chamberlain at its head, would 
proceed .to Kabul. The Russian mission withdrew 
from Kabul, and Sher Ali protested against the coming of 
the British mission, declaring that the visit of the Russians 

India and Afghanistan 387 

had been entirely against his own will. Nevertheless, the 
mission went up to Peshawar, but was then informed by 
Afghan officers, in effect, that it would -be allowed to go no 
further. Lord Lawrence, who had been raised to the peerage 
on his return to England, maintained that, both morally and 
politically, it would be a mistake to force a mission upon 
the Amir ; but it was felt that to submit to such a rebuff 
as had just been administered would be ruinous to British 
prestige. An ultimatum was sent to the Amir demanding 
the acceptance of a permanent mission. No reply was re- 
ceived, and in November British troops were in motion. The 
course of events followed the precedent of the first interven- 
tion in Afghanistan. The British advanced in three columns, 
Sir Donald Stewart made his way by the Bolan Pass to Kandahar ; 
Sir Sam Browne moving by the -Khaibar secured Jellalabad and 
Gandamak, and Sir Frederick Roberts cleared the Karam Valley 
after the only sharp fight of the campaign at Peiwar Kotul. 

Sher Ali, finding that Russia had not the slightest intention 
of helping him, retreated from Kabul, having set up as governor 
one of his sons, Yakub Khan, whom he had kept 1379. 
a prisoner for some years past. Yakub took Yaku & Kh an. 
discretion to be the better part of valour, and in May came 
to terms with the British at the Treaty of Gandamak. There 
was to be a British Resident at Kabul ; the British were to have 
entire control of the foreign relations of Afghanistan ; they were 
to be given possession of the passes, and the control over the neigh- 
bouring tribes ; and they were to continue the subsidy which of old 
had been given to Sher Ali, who by this time had died. The Amir 
was to be responsible for the safety of the Resident. Stewart 
was to remain temporarily at Kandahar. The remainder of the 
British troops withdrew behind the new frontier. 

Then the old story was repeated. On 3rd September the 
Kabul mob rose, and the Amir's soldiers mutinied. The 
Resident, Sir Louis Cavagnari, with his escort were The Kabul 
cut to pieces after a desperate defence. The Indian rising, 
government, however, acted with promptitude. Septe 
Within a month Sir Frederick Roberts with a force of some 

388 The New Democracy 

six thousand men was back in Afghanistan and was met by the 
Amir, who hastened to place himself under British protection. 
On loth October, Roberts was in Kabul and had taken over the 
government on behalf of Yakub Khan. A few days later Yakub 
Winter abdicated, and Roberts governed as de facto ruler 

Roberts at until fresh arrangements could be made ; but his 
sherpur. jurisdiction extended precisely as far as his troops 
could enforce it. Meanwhile Stewart reoccupied Kandahar, which 
he had evacuated just before the Kabul explosion Sir Frederick, 
knowing that he would be isolated with his force throughout the 
winter, occupied the Sherpur cantonment, close to Kabul, and 
maintained it in a state of defence. In December there was some 
hard fighting, culminating in an attack in force on 23rd December, 
which resulted in the total rout of the Afghans, who did not venture 
on any further attack, though the British general was still unable 
to extend his control beyond the actual Kabul district. 

In March, Sir Donald Stewart was able to leave a portion of 
his force at Kandahar, and to march up with his main body to 
isso. Com- support Roberts. The march was one of great 
plications. difficulty through a hostile country, but it was 
conducted with admirable skill, and after one brief but very 
fierce engagement at Ahmed Kehl, where the Afghan attack 
was turned into a rout, Stewart joined hands with Roberts. 
It was just at this moment that the Beaconsfield administra- 
tion came to an end. The Liberals were entirely hostile to the 
policy which had been adopted towards Afghanistan by Beacons- 
field and Lytton ; their views were those advocated by Lawrence. 
Lytton was recalled, and his place was taken by Lord Ripon. 
The new government was determined to drop the policy of 
imposing a Resident upon the ruler of Afghanistan ; but at the 
moment there was no ruler. Yakub Khan was impossible ; his 
brother, Ayub Khan, governor of Herat, was bitterly hostile to 
the British. But their cousin, Abdur Rhaman, who had been 
driven out of the country a dozen years earlier by Sher AH, took 
the opportunity to reassert his old claim. The government 
resolved to recognise Abdur Rhaman, and duly acknowledged 
him as Amir at the end of July. 

India and Afghanistan 389 

But meanwhile a fresh complication had arisen. Kandahar 
was in the hands of the British, the governor of that district 
being another Sher Ali. Ayub Khan at Herat Maiwand, 
resolved to play for his own hand, and to make Jul 7- 
himself master of Kandahar, as a preliminary to a fight for the 
crown with Abdur Rhaman. In June, he was on the march 
for Kandahar. Naturally it would have been the business of 
Sher All's troops to deal with Ayub, but Sher All's troops 
mutinied. Therefore General Burrows, the British commander, 
marched out with the greater part of his force and delivered 
battle at Maiwand with disastrous results. Out of his 2500 
men nearly 1000 were killed ; the rest had to fall back to 
Kandahar and prepare for a desperate defence. 

Maiwand was fought on 27th July. When the news reached 
the army at Kabul, it was at once resolved that Roberts should 
march with 10,000 men to the relief of Kandahar. RobertS ' S 
On Qth August the march began. For almost march, 
three weeks no news of the army's doings arrived. ugus ' 
But on 29th August Roberts was seventeen miles from Kandahar, 
and on the 3ist he was in it. He had marched his men over three 
hundred miles in twenty days, through mountainous country 
where attack might have been expected almost daily, though none 
was delivered a happy consequence of Stewart's earlier march 
from Kandahar to Kabul. So skilfully was the work done 
that the troops arrived in perfect condition. On the day after 
entering Kandahar, Sir Frederick shattered Ayub's forces in 
the decisive battle of Kandahar. 

It was already a settled question of policy that Abdur 
Rhaman was to be acknowledged as Amir of Afghanistan ; that 
the demand for a British Resident at Kabul was to 
be absolutely withdrawn; that the Amir was to 
enter into no independent relations with any foreign power; 
that in case of aggression against him by a foreign power he 
would have British support, both material and moral. It was 
understood that some of the positions ceded under the Gandamak 
treaty were not to be retained, and that there was to be no 
British interference with the Amir's administration. But there 

390 The New Democracy 

was very strong pressure from some military quarters for the 
retention of Kandahar in British hands. Military opinion, 
however, though exceedingly strong on both sides, was very 
1881 much divided, and in these circumstances the 

Kandahar political considerations urged by the Lawrence 
evacuated. sc h oo i predominated. It was quite certain that 
if Kandahar were retained it would be necessary to maintain 
a large military force, the presence of which would be a constant 
incitement to Afghan hostility, and would be looked upon as 
a perpetual grievance by the Amir. It was decided, therefore, 
that Kandahar should not be retained, and the evacuation was 
completed early in 1881. Abdur Rhaman was left to establish 
his own authority in his own dominions ; which he did with 
entire success. 

VI. SOUTH AFRICA, 1869-1881 

While British colonies and dominions in the Western Hemi- 
sphere and in Australasia were following a normal course of 
steady development, the seeds of future troubles were being 
sown in South Africa, and before the close of the Beaconsfield 
administration troubles arose in that region which had their 
share in bringing about the downfall of the government. 

The Orange Free State, under its very able president, Hendrick 
Brand, progressed steadily and peacefully, and in fact presented 
The govern- * ne appearance of a model Republic. The more 
ments in turbulent group of Boers established in the Trans- 
out frica. yaa | were mu ch ] ess organised for purposes of 
government than their kinsfolk between the Vaal and the 
Orange. West of the loop of the river Limpopo and the junction 
of the Orange and the Vaal there was no systematically organised 
government ; the way northward into the interior was open 
from the Cape, though partly blocked by the region called the 
Kalahari desert. The native population, since the Matabele 
had been driven away to the north-east beyond the Limpopo, 
were Bantu negroes of a much less warlike type than the eastern 
Kaffirs or the Zulus and their kinsfolk the Matabele. But as 

South Africa 391 

yet the British and Dutch of Cape Colony were not pushing up 
into this area. 

At the close, however, of the sixties, diamonds were discovered 
on the western borders of the Free State and the Transvaal, 
upon land claimed by a Griqua chief, named Water- The <ji alnon( j 
boer, a claim disputed both by the Free State and fields, 
by the South African Republic. Waterboer offered 1869 - 71 - 
the land for sale to the British government. The Transvaal 
president, Pretorius, consented to an arbitration as to the 
ownership ; President Brand refused on the ground that there 
was no case for arbitration. Nevertheless, Mr. Keate the 
governor of Natal was appointed arbitrator ; there was no one 
to present the case properly for the Republics ; the case of 
Waterboer was presented with great skill, and naturally the 
Keate award was entirely in his favour. The British govern- 
ment bought him out and took over the administration of the 
diamond district, which was called Griqualand West. Shortly 
afterwards conflicting claims arose as to titles to particular 
portions of the land ; these claims came up for settlement before 
the British courts, and the investigations which were involved 
made it perfectly clear that Waterboer's title had never been 
good at all. Here then was a serious difficulty. If Waterboer's 
title was not good, neither was that of the British government 
which had purchased it from him. But the government which 
had paramount power in South Africa, generally responsible 
for order, could not afford to let the diamond districts go out 
of its hands into the possession of the Orange Free State ; which 
had practically no option but to accept a lump sum as compen- 
sation for the surrendered territory. Although it was hardly 
realised at the time, the true importance of this British acquisi- 
tion lay in the fact not that it was a diamond district, but that it 
was the gateway to the interior. 

Griqualand West was constituted a province of Cape Colony 
in 1871 ; in the following year the representative government 
which had been established in Cape Colony in 1854 was developed 
into full responsible government. Almost immediately after- 
wards another serious question arose, owing to the relations 

3Q2 The New Democracy 

between the Transvaal Boers and a Kaffir chief named Sekukuni 
which brought on a war between them. The Boers were 

mustered for an expedition against Sekukuni. They 
vaaiand had elected as their president, in succession to 
Sekukuni, Pretorius, a clever enough man named Burgers ; but 

they then discovered that he was a Freethinker. 
With their religious ideas drawn chiefly from the books of Judges 
and Kings in the Scriptures, the Boers came to the conclusion 
that the hand of the Lord would be against them by reason of 
the apostasy of their president ; therefore they either fought 
very badly or declined to fight at all. It was vain for the govern- 
ment to offer high pay in order to get men to fight, because there 
was no money in the treasury. It appeared then that Sekukuni 
would take advantage of the situation to bring the Basutos 
down upon them and wipe them out. Behind Sekukuni was 
the Zulu state, now under a very powerful chief of the same 
militant type as the old leaders, Tcharka and Dingan. If a 
black deluge swept into the Transvaal it was not likely to stop 
there ; so it became necessary to take preventive measures. 

Sir Theophilus Shepstone was sent up from Natal as com- 
missioner to deal with the situation in the South African 

Republic. Recent events had produced the erro- 
TranBvaai neous impression that the Transvaal Boers were 
annexed, o f no use f or fighting purposes. Their political 

organisation was almost non-existent and their 
treasury was empty. There were British and German settlers 
in the district who infinitely preferred the idea of organised 
British government to the existing anarchy, though most of the 
Dutch population were intensely averse from any such sub- 
ordination. Those of them who had not themselves taken part 
in the Great Trek of 1837 as boys or young men were the sons 
or possibly the grandsons of those stalwart protestors against 
British domination. Shepstone, however, was convinced first that 
annexation was a sheer necessity, since native chiefs who would 
attack the Boers with a light heart would hesitate to challenge 
the British government ; and next that the majority of the 
white inhabitants of the Transvaal were in favour of annex; 

South Africa 393 

tion. In April 1877, acting upon powers given to him, he pro- 
claimed the annexation of the South African Republic under 
the title of the ' Transvaal Territory.' 

Evidence of unrest among the Kaffirs had shown itself in 
another quarter. In Natal and Kaffraria the number of whites 
was very small in proportion to the Bantu ; con- Tne Kaffirs, 
sequently the law required the registration of all natives who 
were in possession of firearms. There was no reason why any 
native should object to registration, unless he wanted to use 
firearms for illegitimate purposes. It was found that a chief 
named Langalabalele in Natal was encouraging the accumulation 
of unregistered firearms. He ignored the warnings of the Natal 
government ; it was not actually proved, but there was prac- 
tically no doubt, that he was planning a general Kaffir rising ; 
and he was accordingly tried and sentenced to be detained in 
the Cape Colony. 

More dangerous than either Sekukuni or Langalabalele was the 
Zulu king Cetewayo. He had succeeded his father, the com- 
paratively mild Panda, in 1873 ; and ever since Tne Zulus . 
that year he had been steadily working up the Cetewayo, 
military organisation of his Zulus upon the tradi- ' 
tional lines which had made the Zulus a conquering force against 
whom no other tribes had been able to make head at all. One of 
the laws of the Zulu organisation forbade any man to marry until 
he had ' washed his spear ' a phrase which needs no interpreta- 
tion. He revived sundry bloodthirsty practices of his predecessors, 
which Panda had given up at the instance of the British ; and he 
met the remonstrances of the lieutenant-governor of Natal by 
telling him in effect to mind his own business. Now Cetewayo 
had 40,000 fighting men formed into drilled regiments, and all 
thorough masters of their own peculiar method of fighting. 

Such was the situation when the new high commissioner, Sir 
Bartle Frere, arrived in South Africa, a fortnight before Shep- 
stone proclaimed the annexation of the Transvaal. Lord 
Highly distinguished as an administrator in India, Carnarvon's 
a leading advocate of the forward policy, Frere im P enalism - 
was chosen by the then colonial secretary, Lord Carnarvon, to 

394 The New Democracy 

carry out a new imperial policy with which Frere was heartily 
in accord. Carnarvon had been at the Colonial Office in 1867 
when the British North America Act federated the North 
American colonies into the Dominion of Canada. He returned 
to the Colonial Office when Disraeli returned to power in 1874. 
At that time the British public in general and the great majority 
of politicians took it for granted that colonial policy meant 
educating the colonies or allowing them to educate themselves 
up to such a standard of political organisation that they could 
set up for themselves as independent states whenever they 
might elect to do so ; and that they were rather to be encouraged 
to take such a step, so as to reduce the world-wide responsi- 
bilities of the British empire. Lord Carnarvon was the pioneer 
of a different conception which looked forward to the day when 
the colonies should not be separated from the mother country, 
but should form a group of sister states, all self-governing, but 
all united in one imperial family. The federation of the 
Dominion of Canada set the example which he hoped that the 
other groups of colonies would follow ; he had not realised that 
the time was not yet ripe, and he was extremely desirous of 
seeing a South African Federation after the Canadian model. 

His ideas were received in England with indifference ; in 
South Africa they appeared to be even less acceptable. Pro- 
Carnarvon posals emanating from the home government were 
and Frere. always regarded with jealousy, and matters were 
not improved when the eminent historian J. A. Froude was 
sent on a journey round the empire, a sort of semi-official 
imperialist mission. Carnarvon, however, was undaunted. 
Much was to be hoped from the influence of a man of such high 
character and proved ability as Sir Bartle Frere in South Africa 
itself ; and at home a bill was introduced, also in 1877, to 
sanction the federation of the South African colonies if they 
should see fit to take advantage of it. 

Frere was not destined to carry out the imperial scheme. 
His first step was merely to give a formal sanction to Shepstone's 
annexation of the Transvaal, for which the new commissioner 
had no responsibility. But the annexation directly involved 

South Africa 395 

the imperial government in outstanding disputes between the 
Transvaal Boers and the Zulu state as to territorial boun- 
daries. A commission appointed to arbitrate be- Frere w h 
tween the disputants gave its decisions in favour comm'is- 
of Cetewayo. But this involved another difficulty. Bioner ' 1877 ' 
A number of Boers were settled in the disputed district ; it was 
necessary that they should receive either compensation for 
disturbance, or protection if they remained where they were. 
The high commissioner resolved that the time had come for 
a definite settlement of the relations with Zululand. To talk 
of that kingdom as though it were a peaceable and harmless 
state which desired nothing except to be left in quiet was absurd. 
Zululand was very emphatically a military state organised 
entirely for war and aggression. The principles which had 
been applied in India must be applied in Africa, with just the 
difference involved in the fact that the Indian native princi- 
palities enjoyed a civilisation very much in advance of the 
Zulus. There must be an end of practices intoler- The Zulu 
ably barbaric in their character ; there must be menace, 
a British Resident ; the Zulu king must be made to recognise 
the British as the paramount power as definitely as any Indian 
potentate ; and he must be persuaded by peremptory methods, 
since milder language had been treated with contempt. For 
the Zulu power was an actual menace ; if it should assume the 
aggressive, there would be a black and white war of a more 
appalling character than anything that had ever been known 
either in India or in Africa. Sir Bartle warned the home 
government that the military situation was one of great gravity ; 
that large reinforcements of troops were needed to deal with 
it. But the home government through 1877 and the first half 
of 1878 was contemplating the possibilities of a Russian war. 
Early in 1878 Frere's ally in the cabinet, Carnarvon, resigned ; 
and the appeals of the high commissioner received no serious 

So when the commissioners made their award, Frere, though 
dissatisfied with the quantity of troops at his disposal, had no 
doubt at all that a firm line must be taken with Cete- 

396 The New Democracy 

wayo. Whether the British troops were many or few, the 
Zulu king must not be permitted to imagine that the British 
government feared a contest. Therefore to the 
Ultimatum award were appended a series of demands which 
to Cetewayo, Frere regarded as imperative : compensation or 
protection for the Boers settled in the districts 
conveyed to the Zulu king ; compensation for recent Zulu 
raids into Natal territory ; modifications in the Zulu military 
system, and in the bloodthirsty Zulu laws which were part of 
the system ; and the presence in Zululand of a British Resident, 
for whose safety the Zulu king was to be responsible. The 
award and the conditions attached were delivered to Cetewayo 
on Qth December 1878, in the form of an ultimatum which was 
to be accepted within a month. Immediately after the delivery 
of the ultimatum, Frere learnt with some satisfaction that addi- 
tional troops were on their way to the Cape. 

The ultimatum was ignored, as Frere himself had antici- 
pated. On loth January 1879, the day after the time limit of 
1879. The the ultimatum expired, three British columns 
Zulu War, entered Zululand Colonel Evelyn Wood on the 
January. north-west ; Colonel Pearson across the Lower 
Tugela; while the main body under the commander-in-chief, 
Lord Chelmsford, formed the central column. The three were 
to converge upon Cetewayo 's principal kraal camp, village, or 
town at Ulundi. 

Lord Chelmsford, on crossing the Buffalo River, left a small 
party of 130 men at Rorke's Drift to keep the communications 
isandhiwana w ^ Natal P en - On the 20th he encamped at 
and Rorke's Isandhiwana. On the 2ist he marched with the 

Drift, greater part of his force to capture a Zulu kraal 

2lst January. * 

some miles away, where the enemy were supposed 

to be in force, leaving 900 men in camp at Isandhiwana. He 
had been completely misled by his information, and a Zulu 
army 20,000 strong surprised the camp at Isandhiwana, where 
the British force was annihilated. On the same day a picked 
detachment of Zulus fell upon the small party at Rorke's Drift. 
But there the two officers in command, Lieutenants Chard and 

South Africa 397 

Bromhead, received warning in time to enable them to extem- 
porise defences, behind which they held the swarming Zulus 
at bay for eleven hours. At daybreak the Zulus retreated, 
carrying off many of their dead, but leaving 370 on the field. 
The British had lost 17 killed and 10 wounded. 

After the disaster of Isandhlwana, Chelmsford had no alter- 
native but to fall back upon Natal and await reinforcements. 
Wood and Pearson entrenched themselves in the End of the 
positions they had reached at Kambula and Ekowe. war July. 
Some months elapsed before it was possible to renew the advance ; 
it was not till 4th July that Chelmsford fought the decisive battle 
at Ulundi, where the Zulu army was completely shattered. 
Cetewayo himself was captured and removed to Cape territory, 
and it was left to Sir Garnet Wolseley, who had been sent out 
to take Chelmsford's place, to settle a temporary administra- 
tion in Zululand. The Zulu organisation was broken up and 
the country was divided among thirteen chiefs, under the 
control of a single Resident. We may here carry matters so far 
forward as to say that this arrangement did not work ; that 
Cetewayo in his captivity created such a favourable impression 
that he was presently restored, but almost immediately after- 
wards died ; that his son Dinizulu proved an unsatisfactory 
substitute ; and that Zululand was ultimately annexed in 1887. 
Frere met the usual fate of a governor who has faced his respon- 
sibilities, and whose administration has been attended by a 
military disaster. 

The destruction of the Zulu power relieved the Transvaal 
from the danger to avert which had been the primary object of 
Shepstone's annexation. To that annexation the 
Boers themselves had always been hostile. They TheTrans- 
in fact believed themselves to have been quite vaai revolt, 
capable of defying the Zulus, as long ago they had 
defied the Matabele a belief which it is not easy to share. 
But when the danger had passed, their resentment at the loss 
of independence was intensified. The Liberals in Opposition 
denounced the annexation, and the Boers hoped that when 
they came into office they would reverse it. The hope was 

398 The New Democracy 

dispelled by Gladstone's first declarations. During the months 
which followed Gladstone's accession to power, the government 
was actually changing its mind, and came to the conclusion 
not only that the annexation had been impolitic in itself, but 
that the antagonism to it had been much deeper and more 
general than was at first supposed ; that a people to whom 
freedom had been deliberately conceded in 1852 had been forced 
into subjection against its will in 1876, and that its independence 
ought to be restored. But this was not known to the Boers, 
the ' burghers ' or citizens of the Transvaal. Bent on recover- 
ing the independence of which they had been bereft, they 
appeared to have no alternative to a recourse to arms. On 
i6th December, their great anniversary, Dingan's Day, they 
proclaimed the Republic again, and set up a provisional govern- 
ment under Paul Kruger, Pretorius, and Joubert. A few days 
later they captured a small detachment of British troops at 
Potchefstroom, and cut up another at Bronkhorst Spruit. 

The places of Frere and Wolseley respectively had been taken 
by Sir Hercules Robinson and Sir George Colley. While Robin- 
1881 son was hoping to achieve a peaceful solution with 

Disaster, the help of President Brand of the Orange Free 

bruary. State, Colley with a force of about 1000 men 
advanced from Natal to force his way into the Transvaal and 
suppress the rebellion. On 28th January 1881 he met with a 
reverse at Laing's Nek ; on 27th February the British force 
suffered a complete disaster at Majuba Hill, inflicted by a still 
smaller force of Boers. Colley himself fell 

All precedent demanded that after such a reverse, the enemy 
at whose hands it had been suffered should be taught emphati- 
cally that it had been nothing more than an accident, before 
any other negotiations should be opened with them. But the 
Gladstone government had already before the disaster resolved 
Retro- upon retrocession on the ground that the annexa- 

cession. tion had been essentially unjust. If the annexa- 

tion was unjust the rebellion was just ; it might be politic to 
punish the rebels for having been successful, but the morality 
of doing so was another matter. The cabinet, which included 

South Africa 399 

Lord Hartington and Mr. Joseph Chamberlain, came to the con- 
clusion that the retrocession should go forward as though there 
had been no Majuba. Immediately after the disaster, an 
armistice was arranged, followed by a convention conferring 
upon the Transvaal Republic complete self-government within 
its own territory, of which the boundaries were definitely de- 
limited ; the suzerainty of Great Britain was to be expressly 
recognised, and there was to be a British Resident at Pretoria, 
the Transvaal capital. It may here be remarked that two 
years afterwards the convention was modified ; the Resident 
was withdrawn, and the amended convention contained no 
express mention of British suzerainty, though it explicitly 
retained British control over the external relations of the 

There are now probably few people who believe that the retro- 
cession was made in consequence, not in spite, of Majuba. 
The government claimed that it was actuated by the principles 
of justice without qualification. So regarded the measure was 
perhaps the most courageous attempt recorded in history to 
govern political action by purely ethical considerations. But 
if it is difficult in private life for a man to take a blow without 
returning it, to acknowledge that he has been in the wrong and 
that the blow was justified, it is infinitely more difficult for a 
government to take such a course. The world declines to believe 
in the higher motive, and attributes the action of the state, as 
of the individual, to mere pusillanimity ; and so it befell in this 
case. The government was furiously denounced by the Opposi- 
tion ; but what was much more serious, the majority of the 
Dutch in South Africa, though not by any means all of them, 
believed that the Boers had won by force of arms, and that the 
British government gave way because it was afraid of attempt- 
ing to enforce its authority ; and from that belief a crop of 
troubles was to spring in the future. 

400 The New Democracy 

VII. THE 'EIGHTY' PARLIAMENT: (i) 1880-1882 

It was no easy task for Gladstone to form the administration 
which took office in April 1880, on his return to the leadership 
isso which he had abdicated. Besides the many members 

Gladstone's of his old cabinet, and men who outside the cabinet 
had rendered prominent service between 1869 and 
1874, there were the members of the more advanced section 
of the party who had distinguished themselves in the last parlia- 
ment, notably Mr. Joseph Chamberlain and Sir Charles Dilke, 
both of them reputed to be Republicans. Dilke waived his 
claim in favour of Mr. Chamberlain, who in the cabinet repre- 
sented the extreme wing of the party as president of the Board 
of Trade. Lord Granville returned to the Foreign Office, Lord 
Hartington took charge of India, Lord Kimberley of the colonies, 
Gladstone himself of the exchequer. Sir William Harcourt 
became home secretary, and Forster chief secretary for Ire- 
land. Some shifting in the cabinet at the end of 1882, con- 
sequent upon Gladstone's retirement from the chancellorship 
of the exchequer, allowed Lord Beaconsneld's former foreign 
secretary, Lord Derby, to join the cabinet as colonial secretary. 

The new government found itself with the Afghan troubles on 
its hands, and these were hardly settled when it was faced with 
the South African crisis. How it dealt with both these matters 
we have already seen. It was its intention to carry the last 
Reform Bill to completion by the extension of the franchise 
Legislation to the agricultural labourer, who continued to be 
of isso. unrepresented ; but it was impossible to proceed 

at once with any sort of heroic legislation, since besides its other 
difficulties the Irish land problem urgently required to be dealt 
with. The legislation for the year, therefore, was confined to 
the Burials Bill, which, to the indignation of many of the Anglican 
clergy, permitted Nonconformists to bury their dead without 
the Anglican form of service, and with such forms of service as 
they themselves chose, in the parish churchyards ; the Ground 
Game Act, commonly called the ' Hares and Rabbits ' Bill, 
enabling tenant-farmers to protect themselves from those depre- 

The 'Eighty' Parliament 401 

dators ; and the Employers' Liability Act, giving the workman 
a claim to compensation from his employer for injuries conse- 
quent upon his employment ; though this was in effect a per- 
missive bill, like so many of those passed by the late govern- 
ment, as it left the employer free to contract out of liability. 

Much excitement also was caused by the action of the senior 
member for Northampton, Charles Bradlaugh, an aggressive 
unbeliever who claimed to be allowed to make Bradiaugii. 
affirmation instead of taking the regular parliamentary oath. 
A select committee decided that he could not lawfully do so ; 
whereupon Bradlaugh proposed to take the oath in the ordinarv 
way. Another select committee pronounced that in view of 
his declarations that to him the formula was meaningless, he 
could not be permitted to take an oath which would be a 
blasphemy. The courts decided that he could not legally affirm. 
Throughout the remainder of the parliament the battle went on, 
the House refusing him the right to take the oath, though he 
resigned his seat three times, and was each time re-elected by 
his constituency ; while a bill which was brought in to remove 
the anomaly, and allow an unbeliever to make affirmation, was 
rejected as being a ' Bradlaugh Relief Bill.' 

Ireland, however, very soon became the absorbing question. 
The government announced its intention of governing by the 
ordinary law as soon as the last Coercion Act should fre^a. the 
lapse. But the only remedial measure introduced Disturbance 
was the Compensation for Disturbance Bill. Bad Bm * 
crops and anti-rent agitation between them had caused an 
enormous number of the tenants to leave their rents unpaid, 
and the non-payment of rent was accompanied by an immense 
crop of evictions. The Government proposed that when tenants 
evicted for non-payment of rent could show that the failure 
was really due to actual inability to pay, they should receive 
compensation for disturbance. But the bill was contemned by 
the Parnellites and denounced by the Opposition, and though 
it made its way through the House of Commons it was rejected 
by the House of Lords. The Peace Preservation Boycotting. 
Act lapsed, and there followed immediately a renewed out- 

Innes's Eng. Hist. Vol. iv. 2 C 

4O2 The Nezv Democracy 

break of violence and outrages, the special weapon brought 
into play being the very extensive employment of ' boycotting/ 
a term derived from the name of Captain Boycott, one of its 
most prominent victims. The method was in effect to cut off 
all supplies both of goods and of labour from offending landlords 
and any one who tried to support them. 

Government by the ordinary law was impossible, and the 
Habeas Corpus 'Act was suspended. Some of the Land League 
1881. Coer- leaders, whom public opinion held responsible for 
cion Bills. the latest agrarian developments, were arrested 
on the charge of conspiracy, but the jury were ' unanimous 
that they could not agree ' and were discharged. Parliament 
met in January, and a Protection of Property Bill and an Arms 
Bill were immediately produced. Parnell and his followers 
fell upon them furiously ; obstruction in the House was carried 
to such a pitch that more than thirty of the Irish members were 
suspended in the course of a single sitting. Their wrath, having 
been thoroughly aroused, was in no way conciliated by the 
introduction of a Land Bill, intended to secure the ' three F's ' 
fair rent, fixity of tenure, and free sale. It set up a land court, 
at which tenants could have a fair rent fixed for fifteen years, 
A Land BUI. the tenant having the right to sell his interest in 
the holding to the highest bidder. The tenant could be evicted 
only for breach of contract or non-payment of rent. Power was 
also given to the land commissioners to facilitate the estab- 
lishment of a peasant proprietary by advancing three-fourths 
of the sum required by a tenant who desired to purchase his 
holding. But the Land League refused to believe, or to let 
the tenants believe, that the rents fixed by the land court would 
be fair ; instead of supporting the bill they denounced it. It 
met with equally vigorous opposition from the other side, led 
by the duke of Argyll, who left the government. The bill passed 
the Commons, but not till it had been somewhat severely handled. 
The Lords passed the second reading, and then proceeded to 
amend it out of all recognition. The deadlock, imminent when 
the government rejected the Lords' amendments, was averted by 
a compromise which satisfied no one, least of all the Parnellites. 

The ' Eighty ' Parliament 403 

Before the passage of the bill a great figure had disappeared 
from the political world. On igth April Lord Beaconsfield 
died. Since the days of Melbourne's paternal Dea^tf 
mentorship, no statesman had so gained the con- Beaconsfield, 
fidence of Queen Victoria as Lord Beaconsfield. 19th AprU * 
In his early years he had been an adventurer who won his way 
to the leadership of the Conservative party, which feared, dis- 
trusted, and followed him, compelled by his brilliancy in debate 
and mastery of political tactics. Having won that position, 
he made himself their idol, although Conservatism was entirely 
alien to him if Conservatism means dislike of innovation or fear 
of popular government. He achieved his unique position by 
fascinating the popular imagination by the resounding if 
theatrical triumphs of his European diplomacy. He had re- 
constructed the Conservative party by teaching it to regard 
itself as the true guardian of popular welfare and the true deposi- 
tory of the national honour. For the moment there was no 
one left in the party who could assert such an unqualified ascend- 
ency as his. The leadership was divided between the sardonic 
and militant marquess of Salisbury in the House of Lords and 
the placable Sir Stafford Northcote in the House of Commons, 
whose gentle sway was soon to be challenged by the more 
reckless energies of Lord Randolph Churchill. 

From Parnell's point of view, the Land Bill was not a thing 
demanding gratitude, but a concession wrung from the govern- 
ment by the Land League, an insignificant instal- 
ment of what was still to be won. The agitation League 
of the League continued with unabated vigour ; and th ? 
so did the outrages, but more especially those 
which, like boycotting, it was extremely difficult to bring into 
the category of actual crime. Like O'Connell, Parnell was 
skilful in avoiding actual incitement to law-breaking, but he 
was equally careful in abstaining from condemnatory language. 
There could be no doubt that the practical effect was to encourage 
lawlessness, defiance of the government, recognition of the 
League as the real ruler of Ireland. On the other hand, the 
executive, armed with arbitrary powers, made numerous 

404 The Neiv Democracy 

arrests, but obtained no convictions ; the agitators having no 
serious objection to being arrested. The Land League had 
succeeded where the Fenians had failed, and had swept in to 
its support the whole of the peasantry and the majority of the 
Roman Catholic priesthood. 

In October, the government resolved to strike at higher game 
than the common agitators ; Parnell and some of his colleagues 
were arrested and lodged in Kilmainham gaol. 
League The League at once responded by ordering that 

leaders, no ren t should be paid until the leaders were re- 

leased. The government retorted by proclaiming 
the League as an illegal association. The principal result was 
the extensive development of outrages of the worst kind, while 
the peasantry would not or dared not give any evidence. It 
had been the policy of the League to keep on the windy side of 
the law ; when the League was suppressed ' Captain Moonlight ' 
took the law into his own hands. 

The government had two alternatives. If Forster could have 
had his way it would have fought its hardest to conquer law- 
The ' Kil- lessness by force. It took another course. If 
mainham the parliamentary leaders chose to exert their 
influence, there was no doubt that they would be 
able to restrain the extreme section. Parnell and his colleagues 
had taken their stand on the position that it was no business 
of theirs to help the government in preserving order. They 
were released, on the understanding that they would exert their 
influence in that direction. Technically there was no bargain ; 
actually there were expressions of opinion from Parnell which 
amounted to assurances, conveyed through a third party to 
the government. Forster, regarding Parnell as the arch-con- 
spirator, objected to his release, until the authority of the law 
had been successfully asserted ; he resigned ; the Opposition, 
in accordance with precedent, denounced the ' Kilmainham 
Treaty ' as a corrupt bargain on the part of the government 
to buy the support of the Irish party for its measures. 

Forster's place as chief secretary was taken by Lord Frederick 
Cavendish, the brother of Lord Hartington. On the night of 

The * Eighty ' Parliament 405 

his arrival in Dublin, the active under-secretary, Mr. Burke, 
was assassinated in the Phoenix Park. Lord Frederick was 
murdered at the same time, because he happened Tne p^nix 
to be in Mr. Burke's company. With splendid cour- Park 
age Forster offered to return to his post ; but this murders - 
was judged inadvisable, and the chief secretaryship was accepted 
with a courage hardly inferior by Mr. G. O. Trevelyan. The 
murder was a frightful shock, to no one probably more than to 
Parnell, who wanted to keep the partisans of violence in check, 
without losing their support. Even popular sympathies in 
Ireland were enlisted for the murdered chief secretary, who had 
hurt no one. The one fortunate outcome of the crime was that 
it acted as some check upon outrage and agitation. 

It was immediately followed, of necessity, by a new Crimes 
Act greatly enlarging the arbitrary powers of the executive, 
an Act vigorously enforced with excellent results 1882 
amongst others the capture of the assassins. Side Crimes and 
by side with the Crimes Act was the Arrears Act, < ArrearsBms - 
advocated by Parnell as the most urgently needed measure, by 
which the government paid one half and the landlords surren- 
dered the other half of the arrears of rent due to the actual in- 
ability of tenants to pay. The 2,000,000 for this purpose was 
to be supplied chiefly by the Irish Church Fund. The theory 
of the Kilmainham ' bargain ' was hardly borne out by the viru- 
lence of the Irish opposition to the Crimes Bill. The Arrears 
Bill was resisted with equal determination by the Opposition, 
especially by the Lords under Salisbury's leadership ; but both 
the Acts were passed without material alteration. There was 
not, indeed, an immediate cessation of outrages, as the result 
either of the Phoenix Park murders, the Kilmainham Treaty, or 
the Crimes Act ; there were, on the contrary, several murders 
of a very brutal character ; but there was a marked increase 
in the detections and convictions. 

Before the year was out the place of the suppressed Land 
League was taken by a new National League, which The National 
continued the agrarian campaign, and was fully League. 
as hostile to the government as was its predecessor, but gave 

406 The New Democracy 

the first place in its programme to the demand for Irish self- 

Lord Beaconsfield had been actually responsible for intro- 
ducing the measure which democratised the House of Commons. 
Salisbury's The House of Lords was consistently antagonistic 
leadership to legislation curtailing the powers of landlords, 
in the Lords. k u t under Lord Beaconsfield's leadership it was 
not guided into direct collisions with the representative chamber. 
The leadership of Lord Salisbury marked a change. He 
frankly and avowedly distrusted the democracy ; he had re- 
signed his position in the Derby cabinet on account of his 
hostility to the Franchise Bill. The thing was done and could 
not be undone ; but Lord Salisbury saw in the House of Lords 
the bulwark whose function it was to prevent the democratic 
tide from sweeping the country to destruction. As a constitu- 
tional force the peers had been losing ground ever since the 
great Reform Bill ; it became Lord Salisbury's object to restore 
their energies and their powers as a counterpoise to the popular 
chamber. Unlike his late leader, he was steeped in Conserva- 
tism. Definite expression was given to his policy when, early 
in 1882, the peers at his instigation appointed a committee to 
inquire into the working of the Land Act, a step to which Glad- 
stone replied by carrying a resolution of the Commons which 
was practically a vote of censure upon the Upper House. Lord 
Salisbury's committee could do nothing, and a resolution of the 
House of Commons was merely an expression of opinion ; but 
the episode is significant, as marking the inauguration of a 
policy of identifying the House of Lords with the Conservative 

Before the Irish bills had passed through their final stage 
the country in general was somewhat surprised to find that a 
Egypt. British fleet was bombarding Alexandria. Bond- 

holders apart, no one in the country knew or thought much 
about Egypt, except for the momentary wave of interest excited 
by the purchase of the Suez Canal shares. Egypt was outside 
the sphere of normal European relations. The Egyptian 
troubles originated with Egyptian finances. Theoretically the 

The * Eighty ' Parliament 407 

country was a province of the Turkish empire, ruled over by 
the khedive, who was a hereditary viceroy. The last khedive, 
Ismail, had borrowed enormously, chiefly in France and England ; 
his debts were his reason for selling his Suez Canal shares. But 
his creditors saw no hope of being paid as long as Egyptian 
finances were managed by the Egyptian government ; hence 
he had been obliged to submit to the establishment of a joint 
Franco-British financial direction. Financial direction inevit- 
ably involves interference with other branches of administra- 
tion ; and the Egyptian bureaucracy, a supremely corrupt body, 
resented this foreign interference. 

Ismail's successor, the Khedive Tewfik, was willing enough 
for reforms, but he was not master of the situation. A military 
party, having as its figurehead Colonel Ahmed issi. 
Arabi 'Arabi Pasha/ himself probably the tool Arabi Pasha, 
of more cunning politicians, succeeded in dominating Tewfik, 
taking upon itself the character of a patriotic party, determined 
to secure ' Egypt for the Egyptians/ and to release her from 
foreign domination. Tewfik was forced to accept Arabi as 
minister for war. To some sincere and enthusiastic observers 
the movement appeared to be genuinely patriotic and commend- 
able ; the great majority of those who were comparatively in 
a position to judge saw in it a mere intrigue for power on the 
part of a group of politicians, who utilised and fomented Moham- 
medan hostility to the foreign Christians as a means to the 
attainment of purely selfish ends which had in them no element 
of patriotism. 

Whether or no Arabi was sincere, the position of the very 
considerable European population in Egypt was daily becoming 
more precarious. By the end of 1881 it was 1882 
evident that something would have to be done, A crisis ap- 
but the question was who was to do it. The P roachin - 
khedive was in the hands of the Arabi group, helpless. Turkey, 
the suzerain, could certainly not be trusted to restore any 
satisfactory authority. France and Britain were obviously the 
two powers primarily concerned. In January 1882 they sent 
a joint note to Tewfik, assuring him of their support the 

408 The Neiv Democracy 

Egyptian party treated it as an additional proof of the deter- 
mination of the Europeans to assume control of Egyptian affairs. 
A combined French and British fleet anchored off Alexandria 
in May to overawe the ' patriots/ without producing any effect. 
It seemed the correct thing to refer the Egyptian question to 
the concert of Europe, and a conference was called for June. 
But events moved too fast to allow of waiting for that ponderous 

On nth June the mob in Alexandria rose against the Europeans 
and slaughtered fifty of them. A general exodus of Christians 
Alexandria began ; Arabi was busy fortifying Alexandria, 
bombarded, At last the British admiral, Sir Beauchamp Seymour, 
nth July. judged that action could no longer be postponed ; 
he invited the co-operation of the French admiral, who preferred 
to wash his hands of the whole affair and steamed away with 
his squadron. Sir Beauchamp bombarded the forts ; Arabi 
withdrew his troops ; the mob rose ; for two days Alexandria 
was the scene of massacre and pillage, while Seymour had at his 
disposal no force sufficient to restore order. 

Inaction had become impossible for the British government ; 
the bombardment of Alexandria had imposed upon it the duty 
Tel ei-Kebir ^ Fating an end to the chaos which now reigned 
isthseptem- in Egypt. The Porte was notified of its intentions ; 
an expedition was prepared and placed in charge 
of Sir Garnet Wolseley, another column being dispatched from 
India under the command of General Macpherson. Arabi pro- 
claimed himself the champion of Islam ; a large force gathered 
to his standard, and he entrenched himself at Tel el-Kebir. 
Wolseley landed in Egypt. His plans were worked out with 
consummate skill and precision, and on isth September he 
entirely shattered Arabi's army at Tel el-Kebir. The total of 
the casualties of the British force was just short of 400. Arabi 
was captured, tried, and found guilty of rebellion, but the 
death sentence was changed into deportation to Ceylon. 

But the overthrow of Arabi was only the beginning. The 
whole Egyptian system had been blown into fragments ; the 
British had done it, and now a new system had to be con- 

Gladstone and Salisbury 409 

structed. Outside of France at least, Europe in general recognised 
that the British had done what was the right and necessary 
thing. She had done it single-handed, and it lay The 
with her to decide what was to be done next ; no 'temporary' 
one else could possibly claim a right to interfere; 
certainly not France, which had deliberately stood aside. If 
Britain elected to annex Egypt, no one except the Egyptians 
would be entitled to object. She did not wish to annex Egypt, 
but could not leave it to itself. To restore the Anglo-French 
dual control was out of the question. The government decided 
upon a military occupation and a temporary assumption of 
effective control of the administration until a system could be 
established in complete working order. But to show that the 
arrangement was merely temporary, the British appeared as 
the khedive's ' advisers ' and ' assistants,' in the process of 
restoring order and reconstructing the government. 

The ministry in England honestly hoped, and tried to per- 
suade itself that it believed, that the occupation would cease to 
be necessary ere long. Gladstone had believed the same thing 
about the income tax. Lord Dufferin was sent to Egypt in the 
first instance to inaugurate the new order of things ; but the 
supreme civil authority was soon vested in Sir Evelyn Baring, 
the present Lord Cromer. The building up of a new Egyptian 
army was entrusted to Sir Evelyn Wood, afterwards succeeded 
by Sir Herbert Kitchener. The financial dual control vanished, 
and Sir Auckland Colvin became the khedive's financial adviser. 

SALISBURY, 1883-1886 (Feb.) 

During 1883, the firm and just administration of the law in 
Ireland, under Mr. Trevelyan and the viceroy, Earl Spencer, 
the comparative discouragement of outrages, and 1883 
the comparative improvement in the position of Domestic 
the peasantry, combined to effect a steady diminu- ^s 1818 ^ 1011 - 
tion in the amount of crime. Still, however, there was a lull 
in domestic legislation. The ' Bradlaugh Relief Bill ' was intro- 

4-iQ The New Democracy 

duced and rejected ; a Corrupt Practices Act sought to check 
electoral corruption in the constituencies ; an Agricultural 
Holdings Act abolished the power of contracting out, which 
had in effect nullified the Act of the late government intended 
to secure compensation for improvements to tenants. In India 
India : the much excitement was caused by what was known 
HbertBiii. as the Ilbert Bill, which was intended to give 
native magistrates jurisdiction in cases where Europeans were 
concerned. British society in India refused to contemplate 
the possibility of subjecting Europeans to the jurisdiction of 
any one not of the ruling race. This resentment appeared to 
a considerable portion of the public at home to be mere racial 
arrogance, a view shared by very few Englishmen having any 
actual experience of Indian conditions. The measure was 
ultimately promulgated in a form which did not give rise to any 
actual grievances ; but the whole affair was singularly unfor- 
tunate, as exacerbating racial antagonisms. Although in Ireland 
there was a lull in the violence of agrarian agitation, the activity 
of the extreme section of the Irish in America increased ; and 
public equanimity was seriously disturbed by a development 
Dynamite. of dynamiting outrages, appalling in their con- 
ception, though singularly ineffective in their outcome. 

The time had now arrived for the government to carry out 
its intention of assimilating the rural to the borough franchise, 
1884 so that the agricultural labourer might acquire 

Franchise representation. At the end of February 1884, 
extension. Gladstone expounded his scheme, the effect of 
which would be to add some 2,000,000 voters to the roll ; in 
Ireland the anticipated increase was about 400,000. There 
were many doubters even in the Liberal party as to the fitness 
of the agricultural labourer for exercising the vote ; but Liberals 
in general inclined to the belief that responsibility would bring 
with it the disposition to an intelligent study of political duties, 
and that the labourer had a right to a voice in legislation 
which in existing circumstances inevitably tended to favour the 
landlords and payers of wages, who possessed the vote, when 
their interests clashed with those of the wage-earners who were 

Gladstone and Salisbury 411 

without the vote. While, therefore, what was called the Whig 
element among the Liberals was distinctly doubtful and appre- 
hensive, it yielded a reluctant acquiescence. Among the official 
Conservatives there was also a disposition to reluctant acquies- 
cence ; the party which had made itself responsible for the 
democratic measure of 1867 could not very easily refuse the rural 
labourer what it had conceded to his urban brother. Yet this 
did not prevent a considerable section of the party from making 
it clear that they regarded the measure as at best premature. 

The government, however, gave a handle to the Opposition, 
as Russell had done on a previous occasion, by separating the 
scheme of extending the franchise from its neces- The bill, 
sary accompaniment, a scheme for the redistribution of seats. 
The government was pursuing in Egypt an indefinite policy 
which laid it open to attack. If it were defeated and could be 
compelled to a dissolution without having passed its Franchise 
Bill, there was a reasonable prospect that it would be defeated 
at the polls ; if it passed its Franchise Bill, it was tolerably 
certain that the new voters would cast their votes on its side. 
The Franchise Bill was passed in the House of Commons. The 
Liberals declared that the Lords had no right to force a dis- 
solution ; but when the bill came before the Upper Chamber, 
the peers, under Lord Salisbury's leadership, passed a resolution 
which, without rejecting it, demanded security that it should 
not come into operation except as part of a com- The Lords 
plete scheme including redistribution. Gladstone suspend 
thereupon withdrew the bill, but refused to intro- thebl11 - 
duce his redistribution scheme at the dictation of the House of 
Lords, and announced his intention of again introducing the 
measure in an autumn session. Lord Salisbury was putting 
to the test his doctrine that it was the function of the hereditary 
chamber to redress the democratic balance in the representa- 
tive chamber. Through the summer a fiery agitation was 
carried on in the country, most prominently by Mr. Joseph 
Chamberlain and Mr. John Morley, who denounced hereditary 
legislators who * toil not neither do they spin/ and declared 
that the House of Lords must be either ' mended or ended.' 

4 1 2 The New Democracy 

A constitutional crisis appeared to be imminent. But Glad- 
stone himself and several members of the cabinet were anxious 
A com- to avoid a struggle, which might involve organic 

promise, changes in the constitution. The queen, too, was 
November. urgent in her desire to avoid a crisis. When the 
autumn session opened there was a general feeling that com- 
promise was in the air. The government was willing to satisfy 
the Opposition that it had no intention of ' jerrymandering ' 
the constituencies, and arranging the redistribution so as to 
give undue weight to its own political supporters. Meetings 
took place between the leaders of the two parties in both Houses. 
It was agreed between them that the Redistribution Bill should 
be a joint product, not a party measure ; the lines upon which 
it was to be framed were settled in conference. 

The Franchise Bill was passed in the Commons through all 
its stages, and the day before it came up for its third reading 
The Redistri- ^ n ^ ne Lords the second reading of the Redistri- 
bution BUI, bution Bill was carried in the Commons (4th 
December. December). The general principle of the Redis- 
tribution Bill was that each of the newly arranged constitu- 
encies, with very few exceptions, should return one member 
only, the large boroughs being divided into two or more con- 
stituencies. Of the existing seats 160 were extinguished ; all 
boroughs with a population of less than 15,000 would be absorbed 
in the counties ; existing boroughs, with a population between 
15,000 and 50,000 would have one member ; those between 
50,000 and 165,000 would be one constituency with two members ; 
those above 165,000 would be divided into single-member con- 
stituencies ; Lancashire and Yorkshire would receive fifteen and 
sixteen additional members respectively ; the counties, with the 
1885. exception of Rutland and Hereford, of which the 

The bill populations entitled them only to one member 

passed, June. a pj ece> were divided into single-member constitu- 
encies. The Redistribution Bill was not actually passed until 
June 1885 ; before that end was attained there was much 
fighting over details in the Commons, since the Opposition were 
by no means satisfied with the attitude adopted by their leaders. 

Gladstone and Salisbury 413 

Meanwhile, however, matters had not been going well with 
the government elsewhere. Most fatal was the course of events 
in Egypt. Egypt proper extends south, as far up 1883 Tlie 
the Nile as Wadi Haifa, at the Second Cataract. Sudan and 
South of this is the great district known as the the Malldl - 
Egyptian Sudan, occupied by fanatical tribes, Arabs and 
Berbers, and, theoretically, controlled from sundry military 
stations. As a matter of fact, the Egyptian Sudan never was 
under control. In this region there arose a Mahdi, a claimant, 
that is, to the position of Mohammed's successor, a new ' prophet/ 
who rallied the fanatical tribes to his standard, and threatened 
to destroy the garrisons at the various forts. The British 
government in its own view had no concern with the Sudan, 
and would not help the khedive to re-establish his authority 
there. This Tewfik attempted to do on his own account, and 
sent a considerable but wholly inefficient force to accomplish 
the task under the command of Hicks Pasha. Hicks and his 
army were cut to pieces. Wolseley, now a viscount, urged that 
reinforcements should be sent to the three principal stations 
at Suakim, on the coast of the Red Sea ; at Berber, above the 
Fifth Cataract ; and at Khartum, above the Sixth Cataract. But 
the British government refused to make itself responsible for 
the Sudan ; and the Egyptian government could not hold it 
without British assistance. At the same time, it was probable 
that the Mahdi would become a serious menace to Egypt itself, 
and there was a grave obligation either to support the garrisons, 
or to withdraw them from their critical position. 

A British soldier, General Charles George Gordon, commonly 
known as Chinese Gordon, on account of the services he had 
rendered to the Chinese government in the Taeping General 
Rebellion, had acted with extraordinary success Gordon. 
as governor of the Sudan in the service of the former khedive, 
Ismail. In an unhappy hour the British government resolved 
to entrust Gordon with the very difficult task of withdrawing 
the troops. Had Gordon been simply a man of exceptional 
ability with exceptional knowledge of the conditions, the course 
would have been a wise one ; but he was also exceptional in 



New Dong-ola v Ca * a '' ac ' 


A N G L OJ* 

6th. Cataract 
Omdurman ^Khartum 

E G Y P T I 

E1 Obeid 

1. D a rf r Kordofan| 

S U D A .-2 

, the NILE 
and the SUDAN 

English Mil 
o 50 too 200 300 400 500 

LJVictoria Nyanza 

Emery Walker Ltd. : 

Gladstone and Salisbury 415 

other respects. Left to himself with a perfectly free hand, 
Gordon was capable of accomplishing tasks which to any one 
else would have appeared entirely impossible ; but he himself 
was impossible as a subordinate. A puritan and a mystic, he 
had the ' faith which can move mountains/ arid the absolute 
confidence in himself inspired by that belief. But he had no 
notion of acting against his own judgment, merely because that 
judgment required him to act in direct opposition to his in- 
structions. And the government, in making the appointment, 
expressly refused him a free hand. 

The judgments passed by the Opposition in 1884 demanded 
subsequent modification from a party point of view. At that 
time the ministry was angrily denounced for pur- Thegovem- 
suing a ' policy of scuttle/ as in 1881 it had been ment policy, 
denounced for ' surrendering ' to the victorious Boers in South 
Africa. In both cases the Opposition pointed to Mr. Chamber- 
lain as the arch-criminal. In both cases Lord Hartington 
shared the responsibility with his colleagues, and was at least 
not sufficiently dissatisfied with their action to withdraw from 
the government. The Opposition learnt in after years to revise 
their impressions of Lord Hartington and Mr. Chamberlain 
that to run away was the very last thing that Mr. Chamberlain 
would do. The Government blundered, but it was not from 
pusillanimity ; it was from its failure to realise the gravity of 
the situation which had arisen. The blunder did not lie in the 
refusal to accept responsibility for establishing a strong govern- 
ment in the Sudan, or in adopting the only alternative policy 
of evacuating the Sudan. But if the province was to be evacu- 
ated, the garrisons could only be withdrawn by a strong 
military force ; and it would still be necessary to hold a sound 
strategical frontier in force. Instead of taking its measures 
accordingly, the Government announced emphatically that 
there should be no military expedition ; and no strategic 
frontier was decided upon. 

Hitherto the British public had taken only a passing interest 
in Gordon ; but when he went to Egypt it suddenly woke up 
to the fact that he was a very remarkable man. Its imagina- 

416 The New Democracy 

tion, not easily stirred, was gripped by his personality; he 
became as he fully deserved to be, its hero. It would have 
1884. cheerfully helped him to go his own way without 

Gordon in regard to the consequences. But the Government 
Sudan. k a d choggn fa m no j- ^h a t j^ might dictate their policy, 
but as the most efficient instrument for carrying it out. When 
he went up to the Sudan the situation had just been made 
more serious through a reverse suffered by an Egyptian force 
at the hands of the Mahdi's followers. Gordon had arrived 
at the conclusion that the Mahdi must be ' smashed/ and a 
strong government set up in the Sudan ; to which end he 
demanded that he should have the assistance of one Zebehr, a 
notorious slaver, but a person of great influence. But he could 
have neither Zebehr, nor troops. Gordon got as far as Khartum, 
and there he was in effect beleaguered before the end of March. 

The ministry in England succeeded in persuading itself that 
his movements were free, though already the queen was urging 
Fatal delays, the necessity of sending an expedition to his relief. 
The ministry took the matter in consideration ; but it was also 
thinking about the Franchise Bill and the House of Lords ; 
it was annoyed, not without excuse, because if Gordon had 
simply acted upon his instructions, instead of assuming that 
there would be a change of policy if he demanded it, he would 
never have been shut up in Khartum ; and it declined to 
believe that there was any need for haste. There was an appa- 
rently interminable controversy as to the best route for effect- 
ing the relief ; and it was not till ist September that Lord 
Wolseley left England to take the command of the expedition. 

When once the men of action were set free, the preparations 

went forward with all speed. The Nile route had been decided 

upon in preference to that by Suakim and the Red 

The tragedy Sea. At Korti the Nile takes a great loop, tra- 

of Khartum, versing three sides of a square before it reaches 

Metemma, some hundred miles below Khartum. 

To save time, therefore, a column was dispatched from 

Korti by land to Metemma, where it would be necessary to 

re-embark. There were two sharp fights on the way at Abu 

Gladstone and Salisbury 417 

Klea and Gubat. The death of General Stewart gave the 
command to Sir Charles Wilson, who delayed for four days at 
Metemma ; for which there were sound enough military reasons 
except on the hypothesis that all risks must be taken in order 
to reach Khartum at the first possible moment, whatever it 
might cost. The Mahdi took advantage of the delay, and 
rushed the defences of Khartum. When Wilson's force arrived 
on 28th January the town had fallen, and Gordon was dead. 
Khartum sealed the fate both of the Sudan and of the Gladstone 
ministry. The Sudan was left to the Mahdi and his successor 
for eleven years. In England the failure to relieve Gordon was 
received with an outburst of sorrow and anger, though the 
denunciations of desertion and betrayal went a good deal further 
than the facts warranted. 

On the top of Khartum came another incident in another 
quarter, which damaged the government. In 1884, when 
politicians in England were sufficiently engaged penjdeh, 
with the domestic and the Egyptian problems, March. 
Russia occupied Merv, thereby violating the formal under- 
standing that it was outside the Russian sphere. The pacific 
Foreign Office protested, but agreed to the appointment of a 
joint commission for the delimitation of the Afghan and Russian 
frontiers. The Russian commissioner delayed, while the Russian 
troops occupied strategic points. On 2Qth March 1885, the 
Turcoman commander AH Khan, whose name appeared in English 
papers in the conveniently Russianised form of Alikanoff, 
attacked or got himself attacked by Afghan troops at Penjdeh. 
The official repudiation of his action was mitigated by the present 
of a sword of honour. He had undoubtedly provoked the collision. 
But submission was impossible. Gladstone expressed himself in 
the House in unmistakable language ; the reserves were called 
out ; the Russian government realised the necessity for diplo- 
matic retreat ; the Amir was judicious enough to minimise the 
affair. But public opinion condemned the government for the 
haste with which it accepted the very inadequate explanations 
of the Russian government, and its readiness to condone what 
had been done in order to facilitate the progress of a peaceful 

Innes's Eng. Hist. Vol. iv. 2 D 

4i 8 The New Democracy 

delimitation. The particular question was referred to the 
arbitration of the king of Denmark, the outcome of which 
satisfied the Amir, though it was generally felt that Britain 
had suffered a diplomatic defeat. 

The Penjdeh crisis was at its height at the end of April. The 
cabinet was much divided, especially as to its Irish programme. 
Resignation Six weeks later it was defeated on a clause in the 
of govern- budget, and Gladstone resigned. A dissolution 
tent, June. wag j m p rac ti c able until the machinery of the 
Franchise and Redistribution Acts could be adjusted ; and 
Lord Salisbury accepted office on the understanding that in 
the interim he was to have the support of the Opposition in 
carrying on the routine of the queen's government. 

Lord Salisbury was not disposed to invite the hostility of 
the Irish members in the existing conditions. No fresh Coercion 
Salisbury Bill was introduced, and the maintenance of order 
forms a in Ireland was left to the ordinary law. The 

governmen . g Overnm ent introduced a bill, known as the Ash- 
bourne Act, in order to facilitate land purchase by government 
advances to the tenants of the whole amount required to make 
the purchase a measure which involved a grant of 5,000,000. 
Lord Carnarvon had been made lord-lieutenant ; he was known 
Irish con- to be disposed towards an extension of self-govern- 
versations. ment in Ireland, and he held some conversations 
with Parnell, which in the eyes of the Opposition were highly 
compromising. In the Commons Lord Randolph Churchill, who 
had succeeded in driving the former leader into the Upper 
House as Lord Iddesleigh, attacked the late administration of 
Lord Spencer in Ireland in a manner which more than suggested 
that he was making a bid for the Parnellite vote at the coming 
general election. Parliament rose in August as preliminary to a 
dissolution and a general election which followed in November. 

The Liberals were without an official programme ; it had 
long been extremely difficult to harmonise the Whig or Hart- 
Party pro- ington and the Radical or Chamberlain sections, 
grammes. an( j ]y[ r Chamberlain produced an ' unauthorised 
programme' extremely distasteful to the other section of the 

Gladstone and Salisbury 419 

party, and denounced by the Conservatives as socialistic a 
term which had not yet come to be applied, as a matter of course, 
to measures emanating from the Liberal party. Parnell's 
programme was simple and direct ; it was national independ- 
ence for Ireland. As to Gladstone's, there were suspicions that 
he was contemplating some startling proposal with regard to 
Ireland, but his public utterances gave no clue to his intentions. 
Seldom had a general election been attended with more uncer- 
tainty than that of 1885. But as yet there had been no formal 
break up of the Liberals. The rural electors cast their votes 
on the whole for the party which had enfranchised them, except 
in Ireland, where every Liberal was unseated, and Parnell came 
back to Westminster with a following of eighty-five. The 
Liberals, if they acted together, would constitute just one half 
of the assembly. 

The publication of an unauthorised announcement, which 
was supposed, not incorrectly, to embody Gladstone's inten- 
tions with regard to Ireland, intensified the misgivings in the 
minds of many Liberals. But at least all doubt disappeared 
as to any possible bargains between the Conservatives and the 
Parnellites. Until the unauthorised scheme of Home Rule 
should become authorised, Mr. Chamberlain and his followers 
were as anxious as Gladstone himself to turn the Conservatives 
out. Parnell, on the other hand, had both the will and the 
power to make impossible any government which did not choose 
to conciliate him. Gladstone, when parliament met, implied 
his readiness to support the government in devising a non- 
party scheme for the extension of Irish self -government ; but 
Lord Carnarvon had left the cabinet, and it was at once evident 
that nothing of the kind was in contemplation by the ministry. 
The renewal of coercion was now part of its programme. 
An amendment to the address, in effect calling for a measure 
with the object of establishing small holdings for agricultural 
labourers, was moved by Mr. Jesse Collings, a faithful supporter 
of Mr. Chamberlain, and was carried against the government. 
Lord Salisbury resigned (ist February 1886), and the queen 
sent for Gladstone, 

STRUGGLE, 1886-1895 



THE year 1886 marks a new line of cleavage. Since the passing 
of the Act of Union with Ireland in the year 1800, the two 
Party great political parties at Westminster through all 

disruption. their vicissitudes had regarded the principle of 
maintaining the Union, of preserving a single parliament for 
the three kingdoms, as axiomatic. In 1886, the bulk of one 
of the two great parties arrived at the conclusion that 
the axiom was fallacious, and committed itself to the 
principle of devolution upon Nationalist lines, involving 
at least the establishment of some kind of a parliament 
at Dublin for the management of exclusively Irish affairs. 
Another section of that party agreed with the whole of the 
other party in refusing to abandon the axiom, persisting in the 
view that the affairs of each division of the United King- 
dom should be directed by one common parliament. Thus at 
the outset there was formed a third party, comparatively 
small in numbers, but disproportionately powerful from the 
weight and influence of its members, the party which took 
the name of Liberal Unionists. Until 1895 the Liberal 
Unionists, with nearly the same numbers as the Irish Nation- 
alists, co-operated with the Conservatives, but there was no 
coalition. In 1895, the two parties formed a coalition, and 
were gradually merged in a single Unionist party ; that is, 
except in a few localities, parliamentary candidates called 
themselves not Conservatives or Liberal Unionists, but simply 
Unionists. At only one general election since 1885 have Unionist 
voters supported Liberal candidates, because at that particular 


The New Battle-Ground 421 

election the Liberals were pledged not to deal with the question 
till after another dissolution. 

No similar line of cleavage between parties had existed since 
the passage of the great Reform Bill. Neither Free Trade nor 
franchise extension had provided anything of the its corn- 
kind. Free Trade and franchise extension, before pieteness. 
they came, were more generally advocated by Liberals than by 
Conservatives ; that was all. It was a minister in a Tory cabinet, 
Huskisson, who initiated Free Trade; it was a Conservative 
minister, Peel, who, with Liberal support, carried Free Trade, 
though it was a Liberal chancellor of the exchequer, Gladstone, 
who brought it to completion. It was a Conservative ministry 
which, in conjunction with the Liberals, carried the Franchise 
Bill of 1867 ; and official Conservatism avowedly supported 
in principle the Franchise Bill of 1884. In short, the battles 
in parliament had been waged over particular issues ; one 
particular issue had never remained the controlling or pre- 
dominant factor in a long series of general elections. 

The splitting up of the Liberal party in 1886 carried into 
the new Liberal Unionist party most of the Whig wing, and a 
fraction of the Radical wing of the Liberals. By Democratic 
so doing it considerably strengthened for the time influence, 
the democratic element in the Conservative party, and ulti- 
mately to a very slight extent democratised the Unionist 
party. For, on the one hand, it tended to make the 
Liberal Unionists more Conservative, and, on the other, to 
make the Liberal centre more Radical. While the Liberals 
had been in office Lord Salisbury began to develop his policy 
of using the House of Lords as a counterpoise to the democratic 
tendencies of the House of Commons. The accentuation of 
Radicalism in the Liberal party following upon its severance 
from the Liberal Unionists, made the House of Lords all the 
more definitely a Unionist body whose support Anti 
could be counted upon by a Unionist government, democratic 
as certainly as its hostility would have to be i^ 1161106 - 
reckoned with by a Liberal government. The permanent 
identification of one of the two legislative chambers with one 

422 The First Home Ride Stmggle 

political party, of which hitherto there had only been threaten- 
ings, gradually developed a constitutional issue which had 
been anticipated in the ' Mending or Ending ' campaign of 

In other respects the old vague lines of demarcation survived. 
The tendency of the one party was to look upon vested interests 
Party and established privileges as existing by indefeas- 

principies. jki e right, the tendency of the other was to suspect 
anything that looked like privilege of being a wrong that 
ought to be removed. Where the interests of the Established 
Church and the Nonconformists were antagonistic, one party 
consistently favoured the Establishment and the other the Non- 
conformists. Both parties treated the question of state inter- 
vention, when they themselves were in office, as one which 
should be decided upon the merits of the particular case, whether 
the intervention were in the character of restriction or of State aid. 
As to the principles of conducting foreign policy, there was no 
line of demarcation at all. Lord Salisbury, Lord Rosebery, Lord 
Lansdowne, and Sir Edward Grey varied in their direction of 
foreign affairs only because they were different persons, not 
because they belonged to different parties. Among the rank 
and file, however, there was a keener sensitiveness on the score 
of British interests and British prestige on the one side, and a 
keener sympathy for oppressed populations on the other ; and 
there was an inclination on the part of the Conservative party 
to assume that they were the depositaries of ' peace with 
honour,' and the Liberals of ' peace at any price/ based upon 
the records of Lord Beaconsfield and Lord Granville, who was 
never at the Foreign Office after 1885. For some while, distrust 
of Russia was stronger on one side, and dislike of Turkey on the 
other, but the fact found no expression at the Foreign Office. 

With regard to the colonies, it could not be said at least 
until 1895 that there was any distinction of attitude. The 
Parties and colonies were generally neglected and left to go 
the colonies, their own way without help or hindrance, unless 
they wanted to do something which might have a disturbing 
effect on foreign relations. There was, however, in both parties 

The New Battle-Groimd 423 

a growing element, represented most conspicuously on one side 
by Lord Rosebery, and on the other by Lord Carnarvon, who 
rejected the accepted doctrine that the connection between 
the colonies and the mother country was merely a temporary 
one. The general public regarded their imperial claims as 
amiable but impracticable illusions until Mr. Chamberlain took 
charge of the Colonial Office; but between 1885 and 1895 
the expansion of other powers gave a new aspect to the colonial 
question or, at least, an aspect heretofore unrealised. 

The colonising power of Spain, Portugal, and Holland had 
long been exhausted. They had no inducement towards ex- 
pansion, and no capacity for it," The two other The scramble 
colonising powers, Britain and France, had fought for Africa. 
out their main struggle in the eighteenth century. North 
America had been secured for the British race, though only 
a portion of it for the British empire. France had been expelled 
from India, and the British flag planted in Australia and New 
Zealand. France was left virtually without prospect of expan- 
sion, except in Northern Africa. But of the dark continent 
itself, only a comparatively small portion, little more than 
patches of coast, was occupied by civilised powers. Save in 
the British colonies, there was no outlet left for superabundant 
European populations except in Africa ; and there were other 
European countries besides those which already possessed 
colonies, which had just realised or were realising that they 
too wanted room for expansion. They looked at the map and 
found all the great spaces in the temperate zones already 
occupied by the British, but vast regions in tropical Africa 
unclaimed. The explorations of H. M. Stanley in the seven- 
ties encouraged King Leopold of Belgium to take up the idea 
of developing a Belgian dependency on the Congo river. 
Stanley's return in 1882 from another expedition undertaken 
on behalf of King Leopold marked the point at which other 
European nations suddenly awoke to the somewhat prob- 
lematic possibilities of Africa; with the result that a general 
conference was held in the winter of 1884-5, which in general 
terms arranged a partition of Africa among the powers, though 

424 The First Home Rule Struggle 

this partition was of a vague and preliminary character. In 
1885 the Congo Free State was defined, Germany had appro- 
priated a great territory called German East Africa, Britain 
was in formal occupation of a more northern region reaching 
to the borders of the Sudan, called British East Africa ; France 
was dominant in North Africa, Egypt and the Gold Coast 
excepted ; the whole process of partition, though as yet by no 
means completed, was at least very thoroughly initiated. 

A week after Gladstone took office, London was startled by 
a riot. Trade was bad, and during this winter the ranks of 
1886. A riot the unemployed were swelled to very large numbers. 
in London. An assembly was brought together by the small 
group who had recently, to deaf ears, been reviving the demand 
for Protection under the name of Fair Trade. They intended 
to impress upon the working-man that tariffs on imported 
manufactures were the true remedy for unemployment. The 
meeting, however, was captured by the Social Democratic 
Federation, a Socialist body which hitherto had not attracted 
much attention from the authorities. The mob smashed a 
large number of windows after hearing some inflammatory 
addresses, and frightened a great many people, but otherwise 
did much less harm than might have been expected, since the 
police were entirely unprepared. The riot, however, was signi- 
ficant of the fact that low wages and unemployment were again 
providing inducements to a revolutionary propaganda among 
the working classes, and that they were dissatisfied with the 
outcome of the recognition of trade unions from which so much 
had been anticipated. From this time forward there was a 
growing movement towards the establishment of a Labour party 
in parliament, seeking to procure legislation, not, as in the 
past, with the object of enabling the working-man to bargain 
on equal terms with the employer, but in order to confer upon 
him an effective control over the materials and methods of 

During 1885, there had been a general impression that the 
Conservatives were dallying with the idea of conceding some- 

The New Battle- Ground 425 

thing in the nature of Home Rule. The publication of the 
unauthorised scheme of Home Rule had been regarded as a 
counter-move; and the Salisbury government re- Effect of the 
sponded to it by assuming an attitude of unmistak- election on 
able hostility to the Parnellites. There is no doubt Gladstone - 
at all that the Whig element in the Liberal party would have 
nothing to say to Home Rule ; the Radical wing, on the other 
hand, headed by Mr. Chamberlain, had taken up the scheme 
not of creating an Irish legislature, but of a large extension of 
local self-government, including the establishment of a central 
board in Dublin. But Gladstone, before the election, declined 
to formulate an Irish programme until the electors in Ireland 
gave a clear pronouncement as to what they themselves wanted. 
The pronouncement, which gave Parnell a solid party of eighty- 
six members, was tolerably definite, and convinced Gladstone 
that the Irish democracy did in fact demand the establish- 
ment of an Irish legislature. He had hoped that the general 
election would return his own party to power with a majority 
so emphatic as to enable it to deal with the Irish question 
according to its own judgment, unhampered by any need of 
Irish Nationalist votes. He had been disappointed. Even if 
the whole Liberal party voted solidly together, it could never 
be secure of a majority without Nationalist support. 

When therefore he was called upon to take office, it was at 
once clear that the provision of something in the nature of an 
Irish legislature was in contemplation, and that The new 
in view of that fact he would not have the Whigs cabinet. 
with him. Of his former colleagues, Hartington, Selborne, 
Bright, Goschen, and Sir Henry James at once declined to 
join him. Mr. Chamberlain and Mr. Trevelyan came into 
the cabinet conditionally upon their finding his Irish plan 
satisfactory when it should be produced. When it was pro- 
duced both of them retired. Yet the cabinet which included 
Earl Spencer, Mr. John Morley, Lord Granville, Lord Herschell, 
Lord Rosebery as foreign secretary, Sir William Harcourt, 
and Mr. Childers, could not be called a weak one ; and it was 
undoubtedly courageous. 

426 The First Home Rule Struggle 

Gladstone's proposals were embodied in two bills. The inten- 
tion was to provide Ireland with a legislature of her own to deal 
Home Rule w ^ n P ure ty Irish affairs without impairing the 
with Land supremacy of the imperial parliament; and at the 
Purchase. sa me time to withdraw from it any inducement to 
deal with the land question in a manner unjust to the land- 
lords. Whether the bills put forward would have effected 
their purpose is another question. One bill proposed to create 
an Irish legislature with control over the Irish executive, 
but with none over the army, the navy, or foreign and colonial 
relations. Ireland was no longer to send any representatives 
at all to the parliament at Westminster, but she was to pay her 
share, one fourteenth, to the imperial exchequer. The second 
measure dealt with the land question ; it was a land purchase 
scheme enabling landlords to sell their property to a state 
authority at twenty years' purchase ; that authority would 
sell in turn to the tenants, thus establishing a peasant proprie- 
tary, the tenants making their payments in annual instalments. 
120,000,000 would be required to effect the initial purchase 
by the State. 

Now the whole idea of reinstating an Irish legislature was in 
effect new. Hardly any one except the Irish Repealers had 
Diversities looked upon it as one which demanded any serious 
of opinion. consideration. Although a large proportion of the 
Liberal party had made up its mind to follow its leader, the 
public at large had by no means adjusted its views to the new 
idea. There were those who had come to the independent con- 
clusion that the Irish question would never be settled until 
Ireland managed her own affairs. There were those who had 
not formed any judgment, but were prepared to follow Glad- 
stone. There were those who were definitely convinced that 
Ireland was absolutely unfit to manage her own affairs. There 
were those who were convinced that Home Rule would in any 
case be merely used as a stepping-stone for separation. There 
were those who supported Home Rule simply in order that 
the parliament at Westminster might be rid of Parnellites. 
There were those who were not averse from Home Rule in the 

The Conservative Ministry: Domestic Affairs 427 

abstract, but did not see how any concrete scheme could be 
rendered compatible with imperial supremacy. Among those 
who were not opposed to Home Rule at any price, the great 
question was whether or no Irish representatives should con- 
tinue to sit at Westminster. 

In the view of one group, which was met by Gladstone's 
measure, the exclusion of the Irish members was imperative ; 
the principal advantage to be derived from Home Defeat and 
Rule was release from the Irish vote ; besides, it dissolution, 
was absurd that Irishmen should have a voice in legislation 
for Great Britain, while Great Britain had no voice in legisla- 
tion for Ireland. To the other group, the exclusion of the Irish 
members made the measure definitely separatist. It treated 
Ireland as if she had no interest in imperial affairs, in the empire 
to which she had supplied so many great parliamentarians, 
soldiers, and administrators, from Burke and the Wellesleys to the 
Lawrences ; as a consequence, her interest in it would perish. The 
whole of this group was at once alienated by the government bill. 
The Land Bill excited no less hostility. The country was going to 
provide an enormous sum for land purchase, with no security 
whatever for its repayment. The Home Rule Bill was defeated 
by a majority of thirty on its second reading, and Gladstone 
decided upon an immediate appeal to the electorate. 


The general election was decisive. It did not indeed show 
that the country had made up its mind finally either for or 
against Home Rule, a question of very far-reaching 1886 
importance which it had never before taken under coalition 
consideration. But it was proved beyond question ' 
that the particular bill was dead, and that the country declined 
to be hurried into any new scheme. In the constituencies there 
was in effect a compact which forbade Conservatives to stand 
in opposition to Liberal Unionists, or Liberal Unionists to stand 
in opposition to Conservatives. When the elections were over, 

428 The First Home Rule Struggle 

78 Liberal Unionists were returned, while the Conservatives 
alone outnumbered the Gladstonians and Parnellites together 
by 35 ; the total Unionist majority was 113. Gladstone at 
once resigned. Though there were four times as many Con- 
servatives as dissentient Liberals, the latter body comprised 
so many leading men of recognised weight and character that 
Lord Salisbury was not only prepared for a coalition, but even 
invited Lord Hartington to assume the leadership, himself 
offering to take a subordinate position. But Lord Hartington 
as yet was not prepared for fusion ; it was by no means certain 
that the Liberal split, on the one question of Home Rule, would 
be permanent. The party preferred to remain as a separate 
party, giving a general support to a Conservative government, 
as the Peelites had supported Russell after the repeal of the 
Corn Laws. 

Lord Salisbury then, as a matter of course, accepted the duty 
of forming a ministry, which he constructed entirely from the 
Lord Conservative party. The Foreign Office was in the 

Salisbury's hands of Lord Iddesleigh. Sir Michael Hicks- 
Beach, who in 1885 had been chancellor of the 
exchequer and leader of the House of Commons, gave way in 
both capacities to Lord Randolph Churchill, himself taking 
the Irish secretaryship. Lord Randolph's promotion was 
viewed with considerable apprehension ; throughout the 
administration from 1880 to 1885 he had played the part of a 
free-lance, following his own devices often in open rebellion 
against his official chiefs. His talents, however, were so con- 
spicuous that he believed himself to be indispensable, and it 
appeared for the moment that the rest of the party chiefs shared 
his belief. Disillusionment, however, was not long postponed. 

Before the end of the year there were troubles in the Near 
East, ominous of war between Austria and Russia. The 
Lord government was determined to be ready for con- 

Randolph tingencies. Lord Randolph as chancellor of the 

cil j rc j" ] exchequer insisted upon economies in the spend- 

and others. 

mg departments, and the spending departments 

objected emphatically. If Lord Randolph had carried the 

The Conservative Ministry: Domestic Affairs 429 

day, his domination would have been assured. He saw no 
one in the Conservative ranks who could take his place as 
chancellor of the exchequer. But he ' forgot Goschen/ in 
whom the Liberal Unionists possessed a financier of the highest 
ability. The Whig section at least of that party was 
in sympathy with the government's views upon the Eastern 
situation. To his own extreme surprise, Lord Randolph found 
his resignation accepted, and his place taken by Mr. Goschen. 
Immediately following upon this there were some changes in 
the cabinet. Lord Iddesleigh retired, under pressure, and 
died suddenly ; Lord Salisbury again took the Foreign Office 
as well as the premiership. The leadership of the House of 
Commons was given to Mr. W. H. Smith, who had won the 
respect of the House by his character and his pre-eminent 
common sense, and who now gave up the War Office to Mr. 
Edward Stanhope, himself becoming first lord of the treasury 
in succession to Lord Salisbury. Sir Henry Holland, after- 
wards Lord Knutsford, took Mr. Stanhope's place as colonial 

But when the new government met the new parliament in 
August, Lord Randolph's resignation was still in the future, 
and it was he who announced the intentions of the Ireland. 
government with regard to Ireland. Latterly he had given 
great offence to the Irish Nationalists, and his declaration that 
the government intended to rely upon the ordinary law for the 
suppression of disorder was interpreted as implying that the 
landlords should be encouraged in using to the full all the powers 
which they enjoyed under the ordinary law. Parnell promptly 
introduced a Tenants' Relief Bill for the protec- The 'Plan of 
tion of tenants, by giving the land court powers Campaign.' 
to stay evictions where tenants paid half their rent. The bill 
was rejected, and in October the Nationalists, independently 
of Parnell, devised and promptly placed in working order what 
was known as ' The Plan of Campaign.' Evictions had been 
carried out in circumstances of extreme hardship, especially 
on the Clanricarde estate. Tenants were now instructed that 
they were to offer their landlords what they agreed among 

430 The