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dependent, Spain, to attack her triumphant rival with considerable probability of success. From these considerations, Burke concluded that a war with France and Spain would be a certain consequence of our perseverance in attempting to coerce America, and adduced that apprehension as a forcible collateral argument to assist his direct reasoning in favour of conciliation. Thus did
this illustrious senator, from the commence· ment of the dispute with the colonies, and
during its progress, until it ripened into civil war, direct the full force of his extraordinary knowledge and powers to avert and prevent the rupture. If it would have been better for this country to have avoided war with her colonies, then was she indebted to the efforts of Burke in endeavouring to preserve peace. If the events not. only in general, but in a great measure in : detail, were such as he predicted, then must we give much praise to his sagacity and wisdom. If we acknowledge that the loss from the contest overbalanced the gain ; if we admit that our advantage was not equi
valent to myriads of men slain and to one hundred millions of debt incurred, we must allow that it would have been fortunate for Britain if she had followed the counsels of Burke. When we consider the CONSEQUENCES of the American war, not merely immediately as affecting Britain, in the waste of men and money, in the incumbrances entailed on posterity, and the increased price of every article of convenience, and even of necessity; but as affecting France, and through her Europe in general, and Britain in particular ; that but for the revolution in America, the revolution in France probably either would not so soon have taken place, or would have been much less democratical, and in the natural course less turbulent and despotical to herself, and dangerous and hurtful to her neighbours, we must wish that Government had followed the often repeated advice of Edmund Burke.
It has been frequently asserted, that the violence of Opposition stimulated the Ame
ricans to commence resistance, and encouraged its continuance: that, therefore, first, the American war, and next, its bad success, was owing to the opponents of Government in this country, and above all to the ablest, most persevering, and constant of those opponents—to Shelburne, Chatham, Dunning, Fox, and Burke.
If our proceedings were originally unjust and unconstitutional, then were these senators right in their opposition. But to suppose that their abilities and eloquence caused the successful resistance of America, is supposing a cause, which, in the usual operation of moral causes as known from experience, was very inadequate to the effect. How the speeches of those at the distance of several thousand miles could enable men to make a successful stand against great armies, it is difficult to conceive; as difficult indeed in general, as it would be in particular, if one were to assert that the capture of Burgoyne's army by General VOL, I.
Gates, and Cornwallis's by General Green, were owing to Charles Fox and Edmund Burke. Other causes, both physical and moral, are easily discovered for these two events and the general success of the Americans. Men will fight with the greatest vigour for their liberties, real or imagined, or whatever else warmly interests them. Men can fight with much greater advantage where they do know the country than where they do not. If America was conquerable by England, it must be by the men and money of England. These were under the direction of Government, through the majority in Parliament. Whatever troops were proposed by Ministry for any destination, whatever money was said to be necessary for their equipment and maintenance was granted. They had the choice of the commanders, and it was their own fault if they chose improper persons. Strange would it be if Opposition eloquence was to be the cause which rendered all those advantages ineffectual !
The cause which Burke so powerfully, espoused, had, besides Johnson, some able literary opponents, and, besides himself, some able literary defenders. He, of political antagonists, between whom and Burke there was the greatest degree of contention, was Doctor Tucker. That gentleman, Dean of Gloucester and Prebend of Bristol, had made commerce a principal object of his study, had distinguished himself by several ingenious publications on trade, and had turned his attention to the contest arising between America and her mother country owing to the revenue laws. Doctor Tucker had asserted that the opposition to the stamp-act had encouraged the Americ cans to resistance. His opinion had drawn forth the severe animadversion of Burke in his speech on American taxation. This,' says he, · has formerly appeared in print, in a regular volume, from an advocate of that faction, (court favourites) a Doctor Tucker. This Doctor Tucker is already a Dean, and his earnest labours in this vineyard will, I suppose, raise himn to a bishop