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come to no other conclusion. The facts are pretty fully detailed in the Life of the late Lord Sydenham, though this view does not appear to have been entertained either by his Lordship, or his biographer.
Our relation to Ireland is repeatedly brought before us in these volumes. There are probably few in England who would sanction the renewal of a separate Parliament, or who fear any serious attempt to obtain it. Yet it is not a subject to be slighted, and one of the most important evils involved is seldom referred to, though well known to all conversant with the subject. Though too weak for independence, the injury that Ireland could inflict upon England, as the tool of France, renders it essential to our stability that Ireland should act in harmony. The power over England which Ireland would obtain by a separate Parliament is undoubtedly the leading object of such repealers as are not Dublin shopkeepers. But they do not see that the mere risk of that power being abused must always force English statesmen to take care to ensure subservience; and that this, too, could only be by measures which, if not strictly to be called corrupt, must be very injurious to both countries. Our experience on this subject is most pointed.
In 1767 the Irish Lord-Lieutenant wished to appoint an Irishman as Chancellor. Lord Chancellor Camden objected to it, and wrote to the Prime Minister, the Duke of Grafton, as follows :
“The popular party are sure to distress the Castle to some degree every session, and the method has been hitherto, to win over the leaders in the House of Commons by places, &c., which has enabled the Lord-Lieutenant for the time being to close his particular session with ease to himself; at the same time that it has ruined the King's affairs and enraged the people. The next successor is involved in the same difficulties.” [And the same plan being pursued, at last] “ Government has nothing to give, and is left beggared, and consequently unsupported.” — Vol. v. p. 270.
In 1782 the Ministers found themselves compelled to pass the Act declaring the Legislative Independence of Ireland. This of course increased the power to injure England, and the fruits were experienced seven years after in the different terms on which the Regent was appointed by the two countries, which must have led to serious consequences had not the King recovered.
In 1784 we have again the clear views of this enlightened statesman in another letter to the Duke.
“ Those who wish so much,” he says, “ for the reformation at home, cannot with much consistence refuse it to Ireland, and yet their corrupt Parliament must be considered the only means we have left to preserve the union between the two countries. But that argument will not bear the light, and no means ought, in my opinion, to be adopted, too scandalous to be avowed. I foresaw when we were compelled to grant independence to Ireland, the mischief of the concession, and that sooner or later a civil war would be the consequence—a consequence ruinous [injurious] to England, but fatal to Ireland, for she must at all events be enslaved either to England or France, &c.”—P. 327.
We will notice only one more subject. A striking instance of the slow recognition of the rights of woman is the long denial to her of the right of Divorce. Though denied as divorce has always been in England to all but those powerful by wealth, perhaps its entire refusal to the weaker sex can be no great wonder. The first time that a woman even attempted to obtain a divorce was in 1801. Lord Thurlow, to his credit, after a long absence from Parliament, came down to support it. The debate was commenced by our last Sovereign, then Duke of Clarence. He opposed the Bill on the ground that marriage had never been dissolved in this country, and never ought to be dissolved, unless for the adultery of the wife,—which alone for ever frustrated the purposes for which marriage had been instituted. Lord Thurlow, how. ever, carried the House against the Duke, and brought over the Chancellor, Eldon, who had intended to oppose the Bill. Yet even Thurlow only treated this as an exceptional case, being one where forgiveness, he contended, was out of the question, as the adultery was with the wife's sister.
We trust our readers will not think we have dwelt too long on these volumes, and then we may rest satisfied that we have shown that they form an interesting and important work.
ART. II.-COLONIZATION OF THE UNITED
History of the Colonization of the United States. By George
Bancroft. 3 vols. 8vo. Thirteenth Edition, 1846. The history of the world does not exhibit another synchronism so remarkable as that which connects the Invention of Printing, the Discovery of America, and the Reformation. We speak of these events as a synchronism, notwithstanding the separation of the earliest and the latest of them by two thirds of a century, because they were identical in their origin, and their effects have been inseparably blended. It was the same awakening of the energies of the human mind, after the trance of the middle ages, which produced the new mechanical means for the diffusion of thought, revealed the Western hemisphere, and restored religion to the control of reason. The emancipation of Europe from the royal tyranny which had succeeded to the feudal began somewhat later, but it could not have been accomplished without the Press and the Reformation. And the history of the New World has been from the first most intimately connected with the struggles of the Old for civil and religious liberty. It offered an asylum to those whose love of both was too energetic to admit of their living in peace under governments in which regal and hierarchical principles were still predominant; free institutions grew up there with a rapidity and vigour which they could not attain under the counteracting influences to which they were subjected in Europe. The colonists of the United States had learnt the elements of liberty in the school of their native land; but the pupil soon outstripped the master, and has become the teacher in his turn.
In all past experience there is nothing which approaches the rapid diffusion of the people and institutions of the United States. Their establishment on the Eastern shore of America seems an event but of yesterday compared with the history of the world, removed from our own times by no longer an interval than that during which France lay in destructive convulsions from Clovis to Pepin, or Greece
CHRISTIAN TEACHER.—No. 40.
was decaying from the Peloponnesian war to the Roman conquest. Yet in these three centuries, which may be contracted into two if we reckon from the foundation of the New England States, the living heart of American liberty, they have reached the extreme limits of the West. On the shores of California and Oregon, the youthful and vigorous democracy of America stands or will soon stand, confronting the worn-out and stationary despotism of China. Primæval and modern civilization are thus seen at the limits of their respective spheres, marking the completion of the circuit which has been accomplishing since the commencement of history. Perhaps the Pacific may not always keep them asunder. A people of boundless activity and aggressive ambition, to whom the sea is as familiar as the land, may be tempted across its waters, should they encounter any permanent obstacle in the South, and aid in destroying the time-worn fabric, which seems only waiting for some shock from without to crumble into ruins.
To understand the causes which have developed this new and powerful element in modern history we must study the early annals of the United States. The influences which determine national character begin commonly in ante-historic times; all the great nations of antiquity become known to us in a period of comparative maturity; for no observer stood by in their infancy and childhood to report what was going on. But we can look into the cradle of the States of America ; knowing what France, Spain and England were, at the time when they sent forth their colonies to the New World, we know also what arts, habits, opinions and institutions the new settlers carried with them, and can understand the divergencies of their subsequent history. It is, indeed, sufficiently obvious why the colonies of Spain should no more resemble those of England, than the parent states one another; but the causes which have produced such marked differences in the North American States themselves, Virginia and Massachusetts for example, do not disclose themselves, unless we advert to the different classes of society by whom they were established, and their history from their settlement to the war of Independence. We have hitherto scarcely possessed the means of thus following out their history.
completed.:is labours and ment be re-esit though beo-fur
Robertson, our most popular authority, and a very excellent one as far as he goes, has left his account of the North American Colonies very imperfect, having brought down that of Virginia only to 1688, and that of New England to 1652. He had originally intended to embrace their entire history, and not to publish any part till the whole was completed. The revolt of the colonies induced him to suspend his labours and “wait till the ferment should subside and regular government be re-established," before returning to this part of his work; but though he lived for fifteen years longer, he appears to have made no further progress in it. * Mr. Grahame's History is acknowledged by the Americans themselves to be faithful and candid: but he had access only to the ordinary materials of the compiler. The revolutionary history of America belongs intimately to that of England, and is known from the biography of Washington and other works; the subsequent change of the constitution and the vicissitudes of the Federalist and Democratic parties lie within the recollection of the present generation. The properly Colonial history is very little known, and yet without it the events of the Revolution and the subsequent development of parties in the Republic cannot be understood. It is this vacant department which Mr. Bancroft has undertaken to fill in the present portion of his work, and the approbation of his countrymen has pronounced decisively on his success.
; Such a history, ascending to the earliest settlement of the colonies, could be written, at least for Americans, only by one who could devote long years to the collection and investigation of the evidence which lies scattered in the archives of thirteen separate States, in family. documents, in historical tracts scarcely known beyond the limits of the district in which they were printed, and in those ephemeral publications which give the most lively picture of the feelings of their contemporaries, but are proportionally perishable and difficult to be procured after a long lapse of years. The materials laboriously and conscientiously collected,
* A letter to him from Mr. Burke on the publication of his History of America is preserved by Mr. Stewart (p. 109), containing a passage very instructive to political prophets. Speaking of the events of the war (1777), he says, “ I have not been, nor am I, very forward in my speculations on this subject. All that I have ventured to make have hitherto proved fallacious."