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victory of Saragossa, Madrid was for the second time occupied by the allies in September 1710, it was found to be nearly deserted, almost the whole active population having retired with Philip to Valladolid. When it became evident that the conferences at Gertruydenberg would lead to no result, Lewis sent Vendome to command the Spanish forces. Charles was compelled to abandon Madrid for Toledo, where his troops added to their unpopularity by burning the Alcazar. He soon after left his army and retreated with 2,000 men to Barcelona. Bands of guerillas cut off communications on every side, and it was found almost impossible, in the face of the determined hostility of the population, to obtain either provisions or information. Stanhope, at the head of an English army of between 5,000 and 6,000 men, was surrounded at Brihuega, and after a desperate resistance the whole army was forced to surrender. Staremberg had marched at the head of the Austrian army to his assistance, but the battle of Villaviciosa compelled him to evacuate Aragon, and to retreat with great loss into Catalonia, while at the same time a French corps, commanded by Noailles, descending from Rousillon, invested and captured Gerona, so that, with the exception of the seaboard of Catalonia, the cause of Charles at the close of the year was ruined in Spain. In the meantime the cost of the war to England was rapidly increasing, while her interest in the result had greatly diminished. In 1702, when the war began, its expense for the year was estimated at about 3,700,000l. In 1706, when Lewis offered terms more than fulfilling every legitimate object of the war, it had risen to nearly 5,700,000l. In 1711 it was about 6,850,000l. A heavy debt had been incurred. Nearly 800 corsairs had sailed, during the war, from Dunkirk to prey upon English and Dutch commerce, and the former had been severely crippled by the heavy duties rendered necessary by the increasing expenses. Not less than 20,000 of the allied troops had been killed or wounded at Malplaquet. England, too, which of all the allied powers had the least

See Ralph's Use and Abuse of Parliaments. i., pp. 167-168.


2 Martin, Hist. de France, xiv. 572.

direct interest in the war, bore by far the greatest share of the burden. Holland had obtained from England, in 1709, a treaty guaranteeing her, in return for a Dutch guarantee of the Protestant succession, the right of garrisoning a long line of barrier fortresses, including Nieuport, Furnes, Knocke, Ypres, Menin, Lille, Tournay, Condé, Valenciennes, Maubeuge, Charleroy, Namur, and other strong places, hereafter to be captured from France, while some strong places were to be incorporated absolutely in her dominions. The war, therefore, offered her advantages of the most vital nature, but she had invariably fallen short of the proportion of soldiers and sailors which at the beginning of the struggle she agreed to contribute; she refused even to prohibit her subjects from trading with France, and, with the exception of a duty of one per cent. for encouraging her own privateers, she had imposed no additional trade duty during the war. The Emperor had acquired immense territories in Italy and Germany, and he was fighting for the claims of an Austrian Prince to the Spanish throne; but he, too, as well as the Princes of the Empire, continually fell short of the stipulated quota. The minor powers in the alliance were chiefly subsidised by England, who had at one time no less than 244,000 men in her pay.1

Nor was this all. It was quite evident that the alliance must soon fall to pieces. From the first the mutual jealousies and the conflicting objects of the confederate powers had thrown obstacles in the way of the military operations, which it required all the genius and all the admirable patience and dexterity of Marlborough and Eugene to surmount. The absurd habit adopted by the Dutch, of sending deputies with their armies to control their generals, had again and again paralysed the allies.

At the beginning of the war England had agreed to furnish only 40,000 men, the Emperor 90,000, and the States-General no less than 102,000, of whom 42,000 were to supply their garrisons, and 60,000 to act against the enemy. Of the ships five-eighths were to be supplied by

England and three-eighths by the States. On the extent to which England exceeded and the other powers fell short of the stipulated proportion, see the Representation of the House of Commons, Parl. Hist. vi. 10951105.

Marlborough thus lost his most favourable opportunity of crushing Boufflers at Zonhoven in 1702. He was prevented by the same cause from invading French Flanders in 1703, and from attacking Villars on the plain of Waterloo in 1705, though he expressed his confident belief that he could have gained a victory even more decisive than Blenheim; and Dutch jealousy was plausibly said to have been the chief reason why the war was never carried into the Spanish West Indies, where conquests would have been very easy and very lucrative to England. The conduct of the Emperor was no less open to censure. In the beginning of 1707 he had entered into separate and secret negotiations with the French; had concluded with them, without the consent of any of the allies except the Duke of Savoy, a treaty for the neutrality of Italy, and had thus enabled them to send reinforcements from Lombardy to Spain, which prepared the way for the great disaster of Almanza. In the course of the same year he insisted, contrary to the wishes of his allies, upon sending a large body of troops to conquer Naples for himself; and the want of his co-operation led to the calamitous failure of the siege of Toulon. There was hardly an expedition, hardly a negotiation, in which bickerings and divergent counsels did not appear. The Dutch and the English were animated by the bitterest spirit of commercial jealousy; and when Charles assumed the imperial crown, the alliance was at once placed in the most imminent danger. Portugal and Savoy formally declared that they would carry on the war no longer to unite the crown of Spain with that of Austria; and there was probably scarcely a statesman out of Germany who considered such a union in itself a good.1

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Such was the state of affairs when the Tory ministry rose to power. It was evidently in the highest degree their party interest to negotiate a speedy peace. The war was originally a Whig war. It had been mainly supported by the Whig party. The great general who chiefly conducted it had been the pillar of the Whig ministry, and every victory he gained redounded to its credit. The principal allies of England during the struggle had, moreover, shown themselves actively hostile to the Tories. When the change of ministry was contemplated, the Emperor wrote to Anne to dissuade her from the step; and the Dutch Government directed their envoy to make a formal remonstrance to the same effect. Besides this, it was a favourite doctrine of the Tory leaders that the large loans necessitated by the war had given an unnatural importance to the moneyed classes, who were the chief supporters of the Whigs, and who were regarded with extreme jealousy by the country gentry.2 The mixture of party with foreign policy in times when a great national struggle is raging, is perhaps the most serious danger and evil attending parliamentary government; and it was shown in every part of the reign of Anne. But if the foregoing arguments are just, it will appear evident that in this case the party interest which led the Tory ministers to desire the immediate termination of the war was in complete accordance with the most momentous and pressing interests of the nation. It will appear almost equally evident that the essential article of the Peace of Utrecht, which was the recognition by Eng

while the commerce of Holland extends itself and flourishes to a great degree. I can see no immediate benefit likely to accrue to this nation by the war, let it end how, and when it will, besides the general advantages common to all Europe of reducing the French power; whilst it is most apparent that the rest of the confederates have in their own hands already very great additions of power and dominion obtained by the war, and particularly the States.' Bolingbroke's Letters, i.

26-27. See, too, i., pp. 54-55, 191– 195, and also his able letter to the Examiner in 1710, which was answered by no less a person than the Chancellor Cowper. Somers' Tracts, xiii. 71-75.

Coxe's Life of Marlborough. Bolingbroke's Letters, i. 9, iii. 76.

2 See Bolingbroke's Letters, ii., 74, 211. The same idea frequently occurs in Swift. In his letter to Sir W. Windham, Bolingbroke very frankly admitted that the peace was s supreme party interest.

land of Philip as the sovereign of Spain, was perfectly righteous and politic. The permanent maintenance of Charles on the Spanish throne was, probably, an impossibility. If it had been effected, so great an accession of power to the Empire would have been most dangerous to Europe. No other solution than the recognition of Philip was possible without a great prolongation of the war, and the dangers apprehended from that recognition might never arise, and could be at least partially averted. Philip might never become the heir to the French throne, and as long as the two kingdoms remained separate, there was no reason to believe that the relationship between their sovereigns would make Spain the vassal of France. The intense national jealousy of the Spanish character was a sufficient safeguard. More than half the wars which desolated Europe had been wars between sovereigns who were nearly related; and if it was true that Lewis exercised a great personal ascendancy over Philip, it was also true that Lewis was now so old a man, and his kingdom so reduced, that another war during his lifetime was almost impossible. If, on the other hand, the death of the infant Dauphin made Philip the heir to the French throne, a real danger would arise; but serious measures were taken by the Peace of Utrecht to mitigate it. In the first place, Philip made a solemn renunciation of his claims to the succession of France, and that renunciation was confirmed by the Spanish Cortes and registered by the French Parliaments. It was, it is true, only too probable that this renunciation would be disregarded if any great political end was to be attained. The examples of such a course were only too recent and glaring, and in this case an admirable pretext was already furnished. French lawyers had laid down the doctrine that such a renunciation, by the fundamental laws of France, would be null and invalid; that the next prince to the throne is necessarily the heir, by the right of birth; and that no political act of his own, or of the sovereign, could divest him of his title. In the earlier stages of the negotiation Torcy had maintained this doctrine in his correspondence with St. John, and if it was found convenient it would

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