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ERRATA.

PART I.

Page 88, line 26, for Bill read Act

129, 33, for Gavan Duff read Gavan Duffy
133, 4, for Bill read Act
354, 36, for his merits read the merits of Mr. Joaquim Miller

PART II.

24, 2, for accused of heresy read accused of illegal observances
81, – 10, for the first Bank holiday read the first summer Bank holiday
161, 6, for represented Sunderland from 1845 to 1859 read 1845 to 1819

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ANNUAL REGISTER,

FOR THE YEAR

1871.

PART I.

ENGLISH HISTORY.

CHAPTER I. The War--Condition of England at the opening of the Year-The Money Market

Unpopularity abroad-Alarmists at home -Attitude of the Ministry-Agitation for Army Reform-The Licensing Bill–Contagious Diseases Acts—The Affair at Duclair - The Black Sea Conference-History of the Russian Note-IrelandMeath Election—The Land Act-Strength of the Ministry-Personal Unpopu. larity of Mr. Ayrton and others—Ministerial Changes---The Army Question before the Meeting of Parliament-Speech of Sir W. Mansfield-Letter of Earl Russell -Question of the Abolition of Purchase-The Small-Pox Epidemio-Opening of Parliament-The Queen's Speech-Debates on the Address in both HousesDebates on Foreign Affairs-Speeches of Mr. Gladstone, Mr. Disraeli, and others - Army and Navy Estimates—The Army Regulation Bill introduced by Mr. Cardwell-Mr. Trevelyan's Motion - The Ballot Bill—The Trades' Union Bill

Indian Budget-Princess Louise's Dowry. The War, and nothing but the War, occupied the hearts and minds of men at the beginning of the year 1871. From day to day we looked with absorbing interest for the thrilling narratives which day after day brought to us from the seat of war,—the wonderful romances of the “ besieged resident,” or “our own correspondents" at Versailles. Previous and contemporary transactions had been reduced, by the astonishing events of the second half of 1870, to real or apparent insignificance. Spectators of the great Continental drama had almost forgotten for the moment their own domestic affairs. At public meetings as in private society speakers, with the approval of the audience, habitually departed from the avowed purpose of the assemblage to the absorbing topic of the war, and publishers had almost suspended literary enterprise, because neither fiction nor former history was capable of competing with it. Though industrial and commercial activity, meanwhile, which had at last revived after a long depression extending over three or four years, was checked and disordered at first by the

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sudden closing of Continental workshops and markets, the condition of England was on the whole fairly prosperous at the opening of the year. The public revenue maintained its customary elasticity. The money and discount markets were in a very easy condition. Money was in far greater supply than demand ; and rates which shortly before were quoted for three months' bills at 24 per cent. owing to requirements connected with balancings and adjustments at the end of the year, had receded to 21 to 2% per cent., and this before the disbursement of the public dividends, which commenced at the close of the first week of the year. One main cause of the abundance of supplies was clearly to be traced to the Continental war. Before it broke out Paris was every year becoming more and more a financial centre, where foreign loans were negotiated sometimes on terms more favourable to the borrowers than could be obtained in England or Germany. In this way various countries were gradually coming under tribute to the capitalists of France, and the interest upon such debts punctually found its way to Paris. Egypt, Turkey, and Spain were the chief, but not the sole contributories. Whilst the gates of Paris remained closed, money could be sent neither to nor from the besieged capital ; and thus the dividend distributions on foreign loans that used to be made in Paris were at this time being made in London, with the necessary effect of increasing our immediate supplies. It was anticipated, also, that some years might elapse before such business returned to Paris.

The loudly-expressed sympathy for France, which made itself heard in too many quarters, was neither very logical nor very wise, in the case at least of the large number of people who had professed themselves partisans of the German cause at the outbreak of the war, and seemed to have been converted either by an irrational sympathy with the name of a republic, or an even less rational feeling that France had suffered enough. With her usual felicity in these matters England had brought upon herself the enmity of both the belligerent parties, loudly proclaimed in the one case, and more quietly, and somewhat contemptuously, expressed in the other. But neither vituperation nor thanklessness, it must be said, availed for a moment to stay the stream of charity which the ever open hand of England poured out upon the sufferers by the war. Meanwhile she was in one of her fits of periodical alarm about herself, and to believe those who should know best, she was never in so fatally unprepared a condition as now, at a moment when the Prussian armaments were secretly gathering against her, if indeed the French war, as some of our journals more than insinuated, had not been undertaken chiefly as a prelude to the working-out of some sinister design upon ourselves. Loudly and publicly, after our usual fashion, did we proclaim every where and in every way, as the best means of averting the danger, our hopeless state of incapacity and misgovernment, and declare ourselves an easy prey to the coming invader; while almost in the same breath many of those who rated loudest were calling on us to make common cause with the French Republic. Fortunately the Prussians either did not believe us, or spared to act on the belief. Perhaps-for the contemporary historian can only speak in perhapses—they had so much upon their hands that they did not think very much about us. Fortunately, too, Mr. Gladstone's ministry held firm, more happy in this than they were destined to prove themselves in the legislation of the forthcoming session, which was to bring to them little but failure and mortification. In her relations to the belligerent powers, as far as in them lay, they held England blameless, and the general voice of the country fully and unreservedly approved them. But that general voice, at the same time, called upon them to take rigorous measures for increasing the efficiency of our forces by a sweeping reform, which, all allowance made for panic and exaggeration, was universally felt to have become a pressing necessity. Orators "stumped” the country in all directions, preaching the need of vigorous action, foremost among whom, in mark and success, was Mr. George Trevelyan, the young member for the Border boroughs, who had made for himself a specialty of the "abolition of purchase,” as the first great step required. So much had the ideas on this point, of which he stood forward as the exponent, penetrated the mind of the country, that it will be seen that this particular reform was adopted and incorporated by the ministry in the scheme proposed by them to Parliament, by a concession altogether unexpected, and further that, when the Army Regulation Bill finally became law by a violent exercise of power which will be described in its place, it had been narrowed to little more than a measure for the abolition of purchase. Army Reform was not the only subject of domestic oratory and agitation at the commencement of the year, as Mr. Bruce's threatened Licensing Bill came in for its full share; and if the interest taken in it was not so widely spread as the interest in the military question, it was certainly quite as genuine. The Licensed Victuallers marshalled a violent and, in the end, successful opposition to Mr. Bruce. The Contagious Diseases Acts furnished another subject of agitation, the opposition to them being led by certain women, who were not ashamed to use arguments in public which men on their side were too modest to answer. So effective was the turmoil they created, that candidates for Parliament were every where called upon to pledge themselves to the repeal of the obnoxious measures, by working-men to whom the scope and objects of them had been in many cases studiously misrepresented. Thus Sir Henry Storks, who manfully declared his intention to support the Acts, and whose presence in Parliament at this crisis was most desirable for other reasons, with great difficulty found a seat at Ripon. The days of a inost useful sanitary reform appeared already numbered,

With these sore subjects added to the excitement created by meetings of sympathy with the French Republic, doomed in a very few weeks to alienate all but the most revolutionary of her admirers, it will be seen that there was enough food and to spare, at the com

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