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though very judicious in themselves, could not be serviceable in the plan we had adopt
The peace, which has contributed fo much to the happiness of Europe in general, has taken fomething from the entertainment of the curious and idle part of it. We are now deprived of those mighty events, of those astonishing revolutions of fortune, of those matters of anxious hope and fear, which diftinguished the late troubled and glorious. period. We do not, however, despair, by the continuance of our former industry, and the continuance of the public indulgence to it, of furnishing, from the occafional political tranfactions of each fucceeding year both foreign and domeftic, fomething, which may not prove altogether unworthy of the reader's attention; and which may supply the lofs of the military materials.
HE clofe of the year 1761 left the affairs of all Europe, both military and political, in the most interesting fituation, in which they have ftood, at perhaps any period of our modern hiftory. The endeavours which had been made to bring about peace amongst the belligerent powers, ferved only to increase their animofity. And at the fame time they brought into light and exertion, thofe latent motives and difpofitions VOL. V.
State of Europe in the beginning of this year. Ill ftate of the British alliance. Condition of the northern powers. War reaches to the fouthern. Family compact. Some articles from it. Obfervations upon them. Confequences of this treaty to Europe. War declared against Spain. State of Spain and Great Britain at the beginning of the war between them. Advantages and disadvantages on each fide.
to war, which had long lurked in other powers under the veil of a neutrality; and have only been kept down fometimes by irrefolution of temper in perfons, and fometimes by want of fyftem in politics. These ineffectual endeavours for peace produced alfo many occafions of quarrel and debate, that were absolutely new.
To the north there was no appearance of relenting in any one of the powers engaged. It was
not to be expected, that the confederacy, which had held together fo long, and under fuch difficulties and difappointments, fhould now break to pieces, juft at the moment when the ftates which composed it seemed in a condition to reap the mature fruits of their unanimity and perfeverance. The king of Pruffia was not in a state either to allure or to intimidate. Great Britain could not increase his fubfidy, nor reinforce his armies. The allied army in Weftphalia played a defenfive, and, on the whole of the campaign, a lofing game; and there was no body fo fanguine as to think that Great Britain could increase her strength in Germany, where the paid already one hundred thousand men, and expended five millions annually.
Although nothing feems more certain, in a general view of the politicat fyftem, than that the king of Pruffia is not the natural and neceffary ally of this nation; yet his fortune neither was, fince the be ginning of the war, nor is it now a matter of indifference to us.
The late Mr. Shippen was of opinion, that the power of France was become an object of much less terror fince the growth of the power of Ruffia. But he never imagined it poffible, that all the great continental powers of Europe fhould ever be united with France; and that they fhould confpire to load her fcale, inftead of ballancing it. He never could forefee, what has actually happened in this war, that this very power of Ruffia could co-operate with France, and even with Sweden; and what is full as extraordinary, that both thefe latter could co-operate with Auftria to deftroy in effect the fyftem, which had been established by the treaty of Weftphalia; that fyftem, which
it had been the great drift of policy, and the great object of war to both France and Sweden in the laft century to establish and to confirm, and to the house of Austria conftantly to appofe. The deftruction of the king of Pruffia feemed to include the deftruction of the treaty of Weftphalia; becaufe he is the only power in the empire capable of afferting the independency of its members, and fupporting the declining credit of the Proteftant caufe.
The total ruin of Saxony, with fuch circumftances of unpardonable cruelty by that prince himself, and the exhaufted ftate of all the other Proteftant members of the empire, have narrowed that intereft more and more to the fingle object of Pruffia. As this intereft was first formed in the empire, fo its condition there cannot fail of having the most sensible influence on all the potentates of the fame communion. Even in this light, England had an intereft that the king of Pruffia fhould not be entirely crushed by the prevalence of a combination compofed in fo extraordinary a manner, that its fuccefs muft neceffarily produce a total revolution in the fyftem of Europe, and draw on a feries of confequences, which, though it is impoffible to particu larize, must have undoubtedly been of the most important and alarming nature.
But there was an intereft yet nearer to us, the fate of our own army in Germany, which could not furvive the deftruction of the king of Pruffia for an hour. These circumftances rendered the prospect of the campaign in Germany very gloomy; as there was no fort of ground to fuppofe that this prince, upon whofe fate fo many important interefts
interefts immediately depended, could hold out till the middle of fummer. Befides, Denmark fhewed no favourable difpofitions towards us; and Holland difcovered evident marks of coldnefs, if not of abfo lute alienation. Such was the difpofition of the powers in the north.
The fouthern powers of Europe, whofe total unconnection with the caufes, and whose great remoteness from the feat of war might appear fufficient to ensure their tranquility, began to enter into action with a fpirit equal to that of any of the parties, who had from the beginning acted as principals; new fewel was heaped upon the fire of contention, which had wasted fo many nations, just as it feemed to be on the point of expiring.
That alliance between the branches of the houfe of Bourbon, of which we have spoken last year, and which is fo well known by the name of the Family Compact, is one of the most extraordinary tranfactions of this, or, perhaps, of any time. It has already produced fome effects answerable to its defign; it may produce others ftill more important; and on the whole must be confidered as an event of the most extenfive, lasting, and alarming influence.
was formerly counterpoifed, may, poffibly, not be fo much a lafting change, as a temporary and excentric deviation from the fphere in which the house of Austria had formerly moved, and into which it feems fo fuitable to her natural and permanent intereft to return. The Bourbon compact is of a different nature; and it feems to have at length produced that entire union between the French and Spanish monarchies, which was fo much dreaded on the death of Charles II. and which it was the great purpose of the treaty of partition, and the war of the grand alliance to prevent. We have feen it take place in our days, comparatively with very little notice; fo much greater is our prefent ftrength; or fo much greater was the apprehenfion in thofe days, than the danger of the actual event in the prefent.
The treaty of Vienna in 1756, between France and Auftria, has certainly contributed not a little to give that new turn to affairs, by which almost all the difcourfes, that have hitherto been written on the interefts of princes, are rendered erroneous, and of little ufe in future fpeculations. That treaty, however, tho' it seems entirely to have disjointed the ancient fyftem of alliance by which France
It was a bold push in France to attempt, and an uncommon fuccefs to procure, towards the clofe of an unfortunate and difgraceful war, an alliance of this kind. France could not have expected from the moit fortunate iffue of her affairs, an advantage fo great as that which the derived from her uncommon diftreffes. It is fome time fince the jealoufy of her power has began to abate. But in fact her fecurity, and probably too her power, will be greatly increafed by this very circumftance. Instead of forming fuch an object as alarmed mankind, and against which all Europe ufed to unite, the is herfelf become the center of an alliance, which extends from the northern to the fouthern extrem ty of Europe; and fhe was,in this war, actually united with Ruffia, Sweden. Auftria, the empire, Spain, and Naples; to fay nothing of Den[B] 2 mark,
mark, with which he had alfo fome connections.
With other nations, however, her ties are comparatively flight but the engagements of the Bourbon compact form rather an act of incorporation than an alliance. It contains ftipulations hitherto unheard of in any treaty. By the 23d and 24th articles, the fubjects of the feveral branches of the house of Bourbon are admitted to a mutoal naturalization, and to a participation of fuch privileges and immunities, as if they were natural born fubjects of the countries of their respective fovereigns. The direct trade to America forms the only exception to this comprehenfive community of interefts. The tenor of this article is of infinite confequence to the general trading intereft of Europe; all the flates of which, by the 25th article of the fame alliance, are excluded from any profpect of obtaining fimilar advantages.
This forms a civil union in al-, moft the stricteft fenfe; the political union is even more perfect. By the Ift and 16th articles, the two monarchs of France and Spain agree to look upon every power as their enemy, which becomes an enemy of the other; that a war declared against either, fhall be regarded as perfonal by the other; and that, when they happen to be both engaged in a war against the fame enemy or enemies, they will wage it jointly with their whole forces; and that their military operations fhall proceed by common confent, and with a perfect agreement.
By the 26th article, they agree reciprocally to disclose to each other their alliances and negotiations.
By the 17th and 18th, they for
mally engage not to make, or even to liften, to any propofal of peace from their common enemies, but by mutual confent; being refolved, in time of peace as well as in time of war, each mutually to confider the interests of the allied erown as its own; to compensate their feveral loffes and advantages, and to act as if the two monarchies formed only one and the fame power. The king of the Sicilies, and the infant duke of Parma are comprehended in this treaty.
Here is the model of the most perfect confederacy. There is but one reftriction to the extent of this fcheme; but this particular reftriction is a key to the whole treaty; as it fhews, in the moft fatisfactory manner, against what object it was principally directed. For by the 8th article it is provided, that Spain fhall not be bound to fuccour France, when she is engaged in a war in confequence of her engagements by the treaty of Weftphalia, or other alliances with the princes and ftates of Germany and the north, unless fome maritime power take part in those wars, or France be attacked by land in her own country. This exception of the maritime powers indicates fufficiently that the tendency of this article is to affect England, and ferves to point out clearly, though obliquely, to the other powers of Europe, that their connection with England is the great circumflance which is to provoke the enmity of Spain.
It should feem that this treaty alone, when once its true nature came to be discovered, if no other caufe exifted, would have been fufficient to justify Great Britain in a declaration of war against a monarchy, which had united itfelf in fo intimate