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scandalous outrages, while La Bourdonnais returned to France and was soon after, on false charges, flung into the Bastille, where he remained for nearly three years. In 1748 the English made a formidable attempt to retaliate upon the French, and a large force of English and Sepoy troops, under the command of Admiral Boscawen and of Major Lawrence, besieged Pondicherry. It was defended, however, by Dupleix with great energy and genius. The rainy season came on, sickness decimated the besiegers, and the enterprise was at last abandoned.

It was plain that the time for peace had arrived. France had already made overtures, and she showed much moderation, and at this period much disinterestedness in her demands, and the influence of England and Holland at length forced the peace upon Austria and Sardinia, though both were bitterly aggrieved by its conditions. France agreed to restore every conquest she had made during the war, to abandon the cause of the Stuarts, and expel the Pretender from her soil; to demolish, in accordance with earlier treaties, the fortifications of Dunkirk on the side of the sea, while retaining those on the side of the land, and to retire from the contest without acquiring any fresh territory or any pecuniary compensation. England in like manner restored the few conquests she had made, and submitted to the somewhat humiliating condition of sending hostages to Paris as a security for the restoration of Cape Breton. The right of search, in opposition to which she had originally drawn the sword against Spain, and the debt of 95,000l., which the Convention of 1739 acknowledged to be owing to her by Spain, were not even mentioned in the peace. The disputed boundary between Canada and Nova Scotia, which had been a source of constant difficulty with France, was left altogether undefined. The Assiento treaty for trade with the Spanish colonies was confirmed for the four years it had still to run, but no real compensation was obtained for a war expenditure which is said to have exceeded sixty-four millions,' and which had raised the funded and unfunded debt to more

1 Chalmers' Estimate, p. 105.

than seventy-eight millions. Of the other Powers, Holland, Genoa, and the little State of Modena retained their territory as before the war, and Genoa remained mistress of the Duchy of Finale, which had been ceded to the King of Sardinia by the Treaty of Worms, and which it had been a main object of his later policy to secure. Austria obtained a recognition of the election of the Emperor, a general guarantee of the Pragmatic Sanction, and the restoration of everything she had lost in the Netherlands, but she gained no additional territory. She was compelled to confirm the cession of Silesia and Glatz to Prussia, to abandon her Italian conquests, and even to cede a considerable part of her former Italian dominions. To the bitter indignation of Maria Theresa, the Duchies of Parma, Placentia, and Guastalla passed to Don Philip of Spain, to revert, however, to their former possessors if Don Philip mounted the Spanish throne, or died without male issue. The King of Sardinia also obtained from Austria the territorial cessions enumerated in the Treaty of Worms, with the important exceptions of Placentia, which passed to Don Philip, and of Finale, which remained. with the Genoese. For the loss of these he obtained no compensation. Frederick obtained a general guarantee for the possession of his newly-acquired territory, and a long list of old treaties was formally confirmed."

Inter

Thus small were the changes effected in Europe by so much bloodshed and treachery, by nearly nine years of wasteful and desolating war. The design of the dismemberment of Austria had failed, but no vexed question had been set at rest. national antipathies and jealousies had been immeasurably increased, and the fearful sufferings and injuries that had been inflicted on the most civilised nations had not even purchased the blessing of an assured peace. Of all the ambitious projects | that had been conceived during the war, that of Frederick alone was substantially realised, and France, while endeavouring

Coxe's Pelham, ii. 77.

2 See on this war Freder Mémoires de mon Temps, the Mémo

VOL. I.

31

de Valori, Voltaire, Louis XV., and the histories of Smollett, Coxe, Carlyle, Ranke, Martin, and Lord Stanhope.

to weaken one rival, had contributed largely to lay the foundation of the greatness of another.

The definitive peace between England and Holland, and France was signed on October 18, 1748, and the other Powers acceded to it before the close of the year. From this time till the death of Pelham in March 1754, political rivalry in England almost ceased. The Tories were gratified by a few places, and almost every politician of talent and influence was connected with the Government. The Prince of Wales, who kept up some faint semblance of opposition, died in March 1750. Even Lord Granville, sated with ambition and broken by excessive drinking, joined the ministry in 1751, accepting the dignified but uninfluential post of President of the Council. During this period the leading ideas of the policy of Walpole were steadily pursued. Europe being at peace, and the dynasty firmly established by the suppression of the rebellion, the army and navy were both rigorously reduced; 20,000 soldiers and 34,000 sailors and marines were discharged, and some serious distress having in consequence arisen, it was met by the bold and novel expedient of a system of emigration, organised and directed by the Government. As early as 1735 Captain Coram, in a memorial to the Privy Council, had called attention to the deserted and unprotected state of Nova Scotia, to the ease with which the French carried their encroachments into that province, and to the insufficiency of the small British garrison which was collected at Annapolis for its protection. Nova Scotia was justly regarded as the key to North America, equally important in time of war for attacking Canada and for defending New England. The adjacent sea teemed with fish, and its magnificent forests supplied admirable timber for the royal navy. It was accordingly determined to strengthen the colony by encouraging the officers and men lately dismissed from the land and sea service, to settle there with or without their families. To every private was offered a free passage, a free maintenance for twelve months, the fee simple of fifty acres of land, an additional grant of ten acres for every member

J

of his family, and an immunity from taxation for ten years. The officers received still larger grants, varying according to their rank. The scheme was eminently successful. About 4,000 men, many of them with their families, embraced the Government offers. The expedition sailed in May under the command of Colonel Cornwallis, and with the protection of two regiments. It was joined on its arrival by an additional force, which had lately been withdrawn from Cape Breton, and soon after the new colonists founded the important town of Halifax, which derived its name from Lord Halifax, who, as President of the Board of Trade, was a principal person in organising the expedition, and which soon became the capital of a flourishing colony."

Not less successful was the financial policy of Pelham. The measures which were carried in 1717 and 1727 for reducing the interest of the debt have been already recounted, and another effort in the same direction had been made by Sir John Barnard in 1737. He had proposed to reduce gradually that portion of the debt which bore four per cent. interest to three per cent., enabling the Government to borrow money at the lower rate in order to pay off those creditors, who refused to accept the reduction. As the three per cents. were at this time at a premium, and as it was part of the scheme of Sir John Barnard that the contributors to the new loan should be guaranteed from payment of any part of the principal for fourteen years, there is not much doubt that the plan in its essential features could have been carried out, nor yet that it would have been very beneficial to the nation. It was, however, exceedingly unpopular. The great companies who contributed so powerfully to support the ministry of Walpole were opposed to it. A deep impression was made throughout the country by a statement that a very large proportion of the 4 per cent. funds were in the possession of widows and orphans and trustees, who would suffer greatly by the reduction. The growing complications with Spain made it probable that the Government would soon be compelled to have recourse to new loans, and especially

'Smollett's Hist. of England. Coxe's Life of Pelham.

important that it should take no step that could alienate the moneyed classes, or injure, however unjustly, the credit of the country. Besides this, the Government was now too weak to bear the strain of additional unpopularity, and Sir John Barnard, who originated the measure, was a prominent member of the Opposition Under these circumstances Walpole, after some hesitation, placed himself in opposition to the Bill. He showed even more than his usual financial knowledge in pointing out the weak points in its details, and he succeeded without diffculty in defeating it. The question of how far he was justified in this course by the special political circumstances of the time is one which can hardly be answered without a more minute knowledge of the dispositions of Members of Parliament and of the currents of feeling in the country than it is now possible to attain. The strong ministry of the Pelhams, however, was able to carry out a somewhat similar measure, in spite of the strenuous opposition both of the Bank and of the East India Company, in 1749. By far the larger part of the national debt was at 4 per cent., a part was at 3 per cent., and another part at 3 per cent. As the 3 per cents. were selling at par, and the 31 per cents above par,2 the time had evidently come when a reduction was feasible. Availing himself largely of the assistance, without absolutely adopting the plan, of Sir J. Barnard, Pelham introduced and carried a scheme by which such holders of 4 per cent. stock as consented by February 28, 1749-50, to accept the arrangement were to receive 3 per cent. interest from December 1750 to December 1757, with a security that no part of their stock should be redeemed before the latter date except what was due to the East India Company. After December 1757 the interest was to sink to 3 per cent. till reduced by the Govern

' Compare Coxe's Life of Walpole, ch. xlvii.; Sinclair's Hist. of the Revenue, i. 500-502; and Lord Hervey's Memoirs, ii. 325–332. It is remarkable that this was almost the only question on which'Henry Pelham ever voted against Walpole.

2 Coxe states that an individual

was said at this time to have purchased 3 per cents. at 1093. This, however, must have been quite an isolated transaction, and the ordinary price appears to have been from par to 101. Coxe's Pelham, ii. 77-85. Sinclair's Hist. of the Revenue, i. 504–507.

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