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though very judicious in themselves, could not be serviceable in the plan we had adopted.
The peace, which has contributed so much to the happiness of Europe in general, has taken something 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 occasional political transactions of each succeeding year both foreign and domestic, something, which may not prove altogether unworthy of the reader's attention ; and which may supply the loss of the military materials.
State of Europe in the beginning of this year. Ill fiate of the British alliance.
Condition of the northern powers. War reaches to the southern. Family compact. Some articles from it. Observations upon them. Consequences 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 side.
HE close of the year 1761 to war, which had long lurked in left the affairs of all Eu- other powers under the veil of a
rope, both military and neutrality; and have only been kept political, in the most interesting fi- down sometimes by irresolution of tuation, in which they have stood, temper in persons, and sometimes at perhaps any period of our mo- by want of system in politics. These dern hiftory. The endeavours which ineffectual endeavours for peace prohad been made to bring about peace duced also many occasions of quaramongst the belligerent powers, rel and debate, that were absoiuteserved only to increase their ani- ly new. mosity. And at the same time they To the north there was no apbrought into light and exertion, pearance of relenting in any one chofe latent motives and dispositions of the powers engaged. It was Voli V.
not to be expected, that the con- it had been the great drift of pofederacy, which had held together fo licy, and the great object of war long, and onder such difficulties and to both France and Sweden in the disappointments, should now break last century to establish and to conto pieces, juft at the moment when firm, and to the house of Austria conthe states which composed it seemed ftantly to oppose. The destruction in a condition to reap the mature of the king of Prussia seemed to infruits of their unanimity and perse- clude the destruction of the treaty verance. The king of Prussia was of Westphalia ; becaufe he is the not in a state either to allure or to in- only power in the empire capable timidate. Great Britain could not of asserting the independency of increase his subsidy, nor reinforce its members, and supporting the his armies. The allied army in West- declining credit of the Protestant phalia played a defensive, and, one cause. the whole of the campaign, a lofing The total ruin of Saxony, with game; and there was no body fofuch circumstances of unpardonable fanguine as to think that Great Bri- cruelty by that prince himself, and tain could increase her strength in the exhausted state of all the other Germany, where she paid already Proteftant members of the empire, one hundred thousand men, and have narrowed that interest more expended five millions annually. and more to the fingle object of
Although nothing seems more cer- "Prussia. As this interest was first tain, in a general view of the politi- formed in the empire, so its condicat fyftem, than that the king of tion there cannot fait of having the Prussia is not the natural and ne- most sensible influence on all the cessary ally of this nation; yet his potentates of the same communion. fortune neither was, since the be Even in this light, England had an ginning of the 'war, nor is it now interest that the king of Prussia a matter of indifference to us. should not be entirely crushed by
The late Mr. Shippen was of opi- the prevalence of a combination nion, that the power of France was composed in so extraordinary a manbecome an object of much less-terror ner, that its success muft necessafince the growth of the power of rily produce a total revolution in Russia. But he never imagined it the system of Europe, and draw on pollible, that all the great conti. a series of consequences, which, nental powers of Europe should though it is impoffible to particu. ever be united with France; and larize, must have undoubtedly been that they should conspire to load of the most important and alarmher scale, instead of ballancing it. ing nature. He never could foresee, what has But there was an interest yet actually happened in this war, that nearer to us, the fate of our own this very power of Ruffia could army in Germany, which could not co-operate with France, and even furvive the destruction of the king with Sweden ; and what is full as of Prussia for an hour. These cirextraordinary, that both these latter cumstances rendered the prospect of could co-operate with Austria to thc campaign in Germany very destroy in effect the fyftem, which gloomy; as there was no sort of had been established by the treaty ground to suppose that this prince, of Westphalia ; shar fyftem, which upon whose fate so many important
interets immediately depended, was formerly counterpoised, may, could hold out till the middle of possibly, not be so much a lafting fummer. Befides, Denmark shewed change, as a temporary and excenno favourable dispofitions towards tric deviation from the sphere in us; and Holland difcovered evident which the house of Austria had formarks of coldness, if not of abso- merly moved, and into which it lute alienation. Such was the dif- feems fo suitable to her natural and position of the powers in the permanent interest to return. The north.
Bourbon compact is of a different The fouthern powers of Europe, nature; and it feems to have at whose total unconnection with the length produced that entire cnion caufes, and whose great remoteness between the French and Spanish from the seat of war might appear monarchies, which was so much fufficient to ensure their tranquility, dreaded on the death of Charles II. began to enter into action with a and which it was the great purpose fpirit equal to that of any of the of the treaty of partition, and the parties, who had from the beginning war of the grand alliance to preacted as principals ; new fewel was vent. We have seen it take place heaped upon the fire of contention, in our days, comparatively withi which had waited fo many nations, very little notice; so much greater just as it feemed to be on the point is our present strength ; or so much of expiring
greater was the apprehenfion in Thar alliance between the chose days, than the danger of the branches of the house of Bourbon, actual event in the present. of which we have spoken last year, It was a bold push in France to and which is so well known by the attempt, and an uncommon success name of the Family Compact, is to procure, towards the close of an one of the most extraordinary tranf- unfortunate and disgraceful war, an actions of this, or, perhaps, of any alliance of this kind. France could time. It has already produced some not have expected from the most effects answerable to its defign; it fortunate issue of her affairs, an admay produce others ftill more im- vantage fo great as that which me portant; and on the whole must be derived from her uncommon diconsidered as an event of the most streffes. It is some time since the extenfive, lafting, and alarming in- jealoufy of her power has began to fluence.
abate. But in fact her security, and The treaty of Vienna in 1756, probably too her power, will be greatbetween France and Austria, has ly increased by this very circumcertainly contributed not a little to stance. Instead of forming such an obgive that new turn to affairs, by ject as alarmed mankind, and against which almost all the discourses, which all Europe used to unite, the that have hitherto been written is herself become the center of an on the interests of princes are alliance, which extends from the rendered erroneous, and of little northern to the fouthern extrein ty ufe in future speculations. That of Europe; and she was in this war, treaty, however, tho' it seems en- actually united with Russia, Siveden, tirely to have disjointed the arcient Austria, the empire, Spain, and system of alliance by which France Naples ; to say nothing of Den
mark, with which he had also some
mally engage not to make, or even connections.
to listen, to any proposal of peace With other nations, however, from their common enemies, but her ties are comparatively flight: by mutual confent; being resolved, but the engagements of the Bour- in time of peace as well as in time bon compact form racher an act of of war, each mutually to consider incorporation than an alliance. It the interests of the allied erown as contains ftipulations hitherto un- its own; to compensate their seveheard of in any treaty. By the ral losses and advantages, and to 23d and 24th articles, che subjects act as if the two monarchies formed of the feveral branches of the house only one and the same power. The of Bourbon are admitted to a mu- king of the Sicilies, and the infant toal naturalization, and to a parti- duke of Parma are comprehended cipation of such privileges and im- in this treaty. munities, as if they were natural Here is the model of the most born subjects of the countries of perfect confederacy. There is but their respective sovereigns. The one restriction to the extent of this direct trade to America forms the scheme ; but this particular restriconly exception to this comprehen- tion is a key to the whole treaty ; five community of interests. The as it shews, in the most fatisfactory tenor of this article is of infinite
manner, against what object it was consequence to the general trading principally directed. For by the interest of Europe; all the ftates of 8th article it is provided, that Spain which, by the 25th article of the Thall not be bound to fuccour fame alliance, are excluded from France, when she is engaged in a any prospect of obtaining similar war in consequence of her engageadvantages.
ments by the treaty of Westphalia, This forms a civil union in al., or other alliances with the princes moft the strictest sense ; the politi- and states of Germany and the cal union is even more perfect. north, unless fome maritime power By the ift and 16th articles, the two take part in those wars, or France be monarchs of France and Spain agree attacked by land in her own counto look upon eyery power as their try. This exceprion of the marienemy, which becomes an enemy time powers indicates fufficiently of the other; that a war declared that the tendency of this article is to against either, shall be regarded as affect England, and serves to point personal by the other; and that, out clearly, though obliquely, to when they happen to be both en- the other powers of Europe, that gaged in a war against the fame their connection with England is enemy or enemies, they will wage the great circumstance which is to it jointly with their whole forces; provoke the enmity of Spain. and that their military operations It should seem that this treaty fhall proceed by common consent, alone, when once its true nature and with a perfect agreement. came to be discovered, if no other
Ey the 26th article, they agree cause existed, would have been fufreciprocally to disclose to each other ficient to jutify Great Britain in a their alliances and negotiations. declaration of war againit a monarBy the 17th and 18th, they fer- chy, which had unied itself in so