Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

dal privileges, and a free constitu- the different provisions in the constition, established on the basis of a tutional charter; and this difficult fair and general representation is a and important task was discharged solecism in politics; and it can ex- with rare wisdom, moderation, and cite no wonder that the rejection unanimity. The new constitution of of this edict, which was declared by Wurtemberg, indeed, differs in the the Duke to be rendered imperative most essential points from those aby the federal act, should have not dopied in Bavaria and Baden; inasonly disturbed the harmony that was much as it recognises, to a greater so necessary to be maintained, but extent, the equality of political and prevented his Royal Highness and civil rights, religious toleration, inihe Chambers from concurring in al- dividual liberty, and the freedom of most a single point during the course the press. Hence it was received by of the session. At length, after many the people with the most enthusiastic fruitless attempts to induce the States acclamations ; -and on the 28th of to vote a supply to cover the deficit September, the King's birth-day, a of last year, the session was closed great fête was given in honour of the by the Duke in a speech expressive ratification, and the King universally of his chagrin and disappointment, hailed by his subjects as the founder but announcing bis intention to fol. of the liberties of his country. Some low the most rigid economy in the alarm was at first excited by the republic expenditure, and to carry, solutions of the Diet at Frankfort, provisionally, into execution, the law lest that august body, with its wellof finance presented to the States, known propensity to interfere in the in conformity to article 82. of the internal government of the German Constitution

States, should force the King to moWurtemberg presented a different dify some of the articles peculiarly spectacle. The unexpected demise favourable to liberty; but happily this of the Queen, which took place in alarm was either groundless, or his January, did not prevent the King Majesty resolved to hazard its disfrom performing his engagements to pleasure rather than break faith with his subjects, and endeavouring to his people. reform whatever was defective in the Hesse-Darmstadt exhibits a diffeinternal administration of the coun- rent scene. In this little state the try, particularly in the inferior tribu. desire of a new constitution had be. nals, where justice is administered to come so great, that petitions to that the poor, and which had formerly effect were presented by more than been distinguished for gross and no- four-fifths of the people; and when torious corruption. A special com- the only answer given to these was the mission was also appointed to endea- disarming the landwehr, and turning vour to remove the obstacles which loose soldiers to live at free quarters the conflicting pretensions of diffe- on the people, serious disturbances rent classes had thrown in the way of took place, particularly in the Odenthe new constitution; and when this wald, which had taken the lead in commission had concluded its la. getting up the obnoxious petitions. bours, the Assembly of the States The principal movers were seized was summoned to meet on the 15th of and dragged to prison; but at a moJuly, which took place accordingly. ment when every thing indicated the . During its meeting, this Assembly approach of a revolution by force, the was wholly occupied in discussing resolutions of Frankfort, backed as

[ocr errors]

they were by the Germanic Confede- son of Gustavus IV., the ex-King, ration, succeeded for a time in allay. having become of age, his father ing the agitations which had been ex. claimed for him the crown, which he cited.

stated he had abdicated upon that The history of the other German condition alone. This claim of itself States presenting nothing of the smal. would have been simply ridiculous ; lest iniportance, we shall now turn but the relationship of the young our attention to that of the Northern Prince, Count Itterberg, to the Ema Powers.

peror of Russia, and the coldness and The session of the States-General reserve with which Alexander has of the kingdom of the Netherlands uniformly treated his upstart brother was opened, as usual, on the 18th of of Sweden, must have inspired the October; and the principal subject partisans of his family with the most of discussion was the budget of the sanguine hopes, and in the same proyear, in which the total sum to be portion added to the difficulties of raised for the service of the year 1820 Bernadotte's exceedingly singular and was estimated at 77,468,296 florins; precarious situation. The decay of thus exceeding the budget of 1819 public credit; the pressure of the naby no less than 4,765,152 florins. iional debt, which had been greatly The details of this budget were some. augmented by the operations which what roughly handled in the Lower led to the conquest and incorporation Chamber, in which there appeared a of Norway with Sweden, as well as strong party in opposition to the by the transfer of the debt of the forCourt; but a unanimous vote was mer to the latter; and the unsettled passed, authorising the Government and in many parts disturbed state of to collect the taxes for eight months the country, all tended to thicken of 1820, according to the scale which these difficulties, and to render the had been fixed for 1819. This de- position of Bernadotte far from being feat of the Ministry is a new feature enviable. It is but justice to say, in the history of a country, where the however, that he appears to have conannual budget used to be voted at ducted himself at once with energy one sitting, without discussion, and and conciliation ; and that the party almost en masse. Two projects, con• in direct hostility to his throne is evitaining the eleven first titles of a new dently so insignificant, that he has civil code, destined to replace the more to fear from the views and prinancient customs of Holland, and the ciples of his powerful neighbour, or French laws of Belgium, by establish-' the Holy Alliance, than from the efing a general system of laws for the forts of faction in the country at the whole kingdom, were also introduced; head of which he has been placed. but as by the constitution these can. The history of Russia is to be fourrd not be promulgated as law till they in the ukases of the Czar; and, during have been adopted by both Cham- this year, they contain almost nothing bers, we must defer our account of of any interest or importance. The this bold innovation till that event finances appear to be rather in a take place.

prosperous condition, and the counThe affairs of Denmark present no- try in a progressive state of improvething deserving of record. In Swe- ment; although centuries must e den, the new Government of Berna- lapse before that vast empire can dotte experienced considerable em- attain to the point, in the career of barrassments from various causes. The civilization, to which the greater

part of the European States have the deliverance of passports, on apalready advanced To accelerate plication made for them, and to apthis progress by every means, seems point a commission to assign lands to be the great aim of Russian poli. to those who proposed to emigrate cy; and yet, it is plain, that know- on account of the want of the means ledge and some degree of liberty of subsistence, or rather, perhaps, as must go hand in hand. The Empe. a bribe to retain them in the counror Alexander has, however, labour. try. ed much both to improve the condi. On the side bordering on Turkey, tion, and to alleviate the burdens, of there have been always difficulties his subjects. Of this we have an springing up relative to the execution example in the course of the pre- of certain articles in the treaty of Bu. sent year, although, to some, the charest. Certain violations of these measure we are about to mention may articles were intimated to the Grand be ascribed to a far different cause. Seignior, in an autograph letter of The army of Bessarabia, or of the the Emperor, to which the Porte reSouth, composed of three corps, plied in the same manner. This, acamounting to about 100,000 men, has cording to the barbarous practice of been distributed in military colonies that barbarous power, was followed in the neighbouring provinces of Ga- by the summary decapitation of the licia and Bukowina, where the sol. delinquents, which the Reis Effendi diers cultivate the lands round the vil. announced in a letter to Baron Stro. lages where they are cantoned. It is gonoff, and with which he declared said to be intended to colonise the himself satisfied. whole Russian army in the same Disorders within and without, de. manner, and thus to establish a sort gradations of viziers, pachas, and of. of military cordon from the Baltic to ficers ; exiles, confiscations, and puthe Crimea, and along the frontiers nishments ; revolts in the provinces, of Persia and China, already cover- riots and burnings in the capital, and ed by military posts composed of general confusion and anarchy; such Cossacks. Whatever may be the ul- is the picture which the history of timate object of this policy, which Turkey this year exhibits, and to certainly enables Russia to maintain, which Egypt presents the only ex. at little or no expence, an enormous ception. Under the government military force, it has the immediate of Mehemmed Ali Pacha, who only effect of relieving the inhabitants of maintains a nominal dependance the interior from a burden of the on the Porte, it has been raised from most oppressive kind.

the lowest ebb of poverty and wretchIn Poland, we find the Russian edness to comparative prosperity Government pursuing its favourite and tranquillity.

favourite and tranquillity. European artisans policy of emancipating the serfs, and and engineers have met, from the establishing interior colonizations. Pacha, with every encouragement. A war tax,

similar to our income tax, Commerce and agriculture show was also this year abolished, and se- symptoms of a revival, and public veral salutary laws passed. Nothing, works have been undertaken and prohowever, can reconcile the Poles to secuted with an energy and spirit, of the government of Russia. In the which the Ottoman annals 'furnish course of the year, emigrations be- few examples. We particularly allude came so frequent, that it was found to the Canal of Ramanieh, for connecessary to suspend, provisionally, ducting the waters of the Nile to

Alexandria, upon which, in the month cial and populous towns of the em. of May, about 270,000 workmen were pire. This mediation appears to have employed, chiefly under the direction been ineffectual. Aleppo having, on of European engineers. An insurance the 3d and 19th of January 1820, company, with a capital of 100,000 sustained two furious assaults, surpiastres, has also been established at rendered on the 23d. At first, the Alexandria.

Pacha, satisfied with banishing fiftyWhat remains to be stated is a three Janissaries, and putting to death dark detail of revolts, atrocities, and seven of the ringleaders of the revolt, crimes. In Diarbekir, Bagdat, and the promised a complete pardon to the Pachaliks on the frontiers of Persia, rest of the rebels ; but we have since whither many of the Wachabees, af- learned that he has been guilty of ter their defeat by the son of Mehem. the most shocking barbarities. med Ali, had fled for refuge, partial But if the provinces of the Ottoman insurrections broke out, and were empire were convulsed, the capital soon followed by the open revolt of was no less so. A furious riot, ocDervish, the Pacha of Wan, who, aid casioned by some orders of the poed by the Kurdes, and secretly encou- lice, took place in April between the raged by Abbas Mirza, presumptive Janissaries and the Bostandgis, and beir to the throne of Persia, entered between the artillery and the work. Wan unexpectedly, and took posses- men of the arsenal, who are generally sion of the fortress, from which his Kurdes; and on the night of the successor, Ibrahim Pacha, was unable 19th of July, no less than four regi. to dislodge him. Great exertions ments of Janissaries went by the ears, were now made to punish the rebel and threw the city into the utmost chief, and seven Pachas were ordered consternation. At length, the Aga to unite their forces for that purpose. succeeded in putting an end to the Dervish, however, held out the for. fray, and twenty of the principal mutress for a considerable time; and tineers were strangled. The indeci. when he saw that his affairs were sion of the great officers of state on hopeless, attempted to escape, but this occasion led to a complete change was taken, and his head sent to Con- in the Divan, and to the exile or destantinople, to add to the number of capitation of those who were believed similar ornaments on the gates of the to have been remiss during the muSeraglio.

tiny. But this expedient did not Towards the end of the year, an- prevent the recurrence of these disother revolt broke out in the city of orders. Dissatisfied with their new Aleppo, occasioned by the intolerable Aga, the Janissaries resolved upon exactions of the Pacha and his agents, his death, and, to bring him out of his who were driven from the city by the palace, set fire to the quarter of the inhabitants and the Janissaries. The town where he resided. Agreeably expelled Pacha implored assistance to the indispensable duty of his office, of the Porte, who, in consequence, he was about to repair to the scene of issued orders to the neighbouring conflagration, when the Court, informPachas to march to his aid; but at ed of his danger, announced his depothe same time sent a commissioner, sition to the enraged Janissaries, apwith orders to examine into the state pointed another in his place, and by of affairs, to attempt to bring about this timely interference saved his life, an accommodation, and to prevent -but nột till fifteen houses had been the ruin of one of the most commer. consumed. If any thing could add

VOL. XII. PART 1.

T

a darkershade to atrocities like these, habitants, the half of the population; it would be the fate of Abdurraman and carried such devastation into the Bey, and the family of Douz Oglou, countries of the interior, that all sorts Armenian bankers, who, without the of labour were abandoned in despair, shadow of a crime imputed, except and many districts became a frightful that of being Christians and wealthy, solitude. fell the victions of some villanous An English and French squadron court intrigue, and were decapitated appeared before Algiers on the 1st on the 16th of October, before the of September, to present to the Dey, gates of the Grand Seignior's pa. in the name of the respective sovelace. Even the Ulemas pronounced reigns, a resolution adopted last year their sentence illegal and unjust. at the Congress of Aix-la-Chapelle,

That the measure of suffering to bearing, that the Barbary Powers this ill-fated empire might be com- would no longer be suffered to remain plete, the plague followed in the wake in their present situation, and that of these disturbances, and committed henceforth, in their political relations, dreadful ravages, particularly at Con- they were to consider themselves as stantinople ; spreading itself with civilized powers. The Dey, who did such frightful rapidity, that, on one not much relish this intimation, reside, it extended itself to the frontiers turned an evasive answer, and the of Austria ; on another, over the coast squadron quitted Algiers without taof Africa, as far as Sierra Leone; king any other measures. while at Tunis it swept off 30,000 in

« AnteriorContinuar »