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PRINTED FUR BALDWIN, CRADOCK, AND JOY;
2. JEFFERY ; LACKINGTON, ALLEN, AND CO.; J. BELL; J. ASPERNE;
P R E F A C E.
HE prevalence throughout Europe of a state
of general peace, to which universal exliaustion promises a long and secure continuance, limits the history of the year 1816, with one brilliant exception, to a relation of occurrences domestic and political.
One of the most remarkable features of the parliamentary year, was a defeat of the minister of finance in his motion for a renewal of the property tax. After much had been said in disparagement of the numerous petitions against the tax, which were flowing in from the different towns and counties, the whole was brought to a close by a petition presented by Sir William Curtis, and bearing the signatures of 22,000 merchants, bankers, and traders of the city of London, united in opposition to the measure, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, after a renewed attempt, seconded by the ministerial intluence in the house, for its support, was obliged to submit to a counter-majority of 238 to 201.
A further advance towards a complete blending of the interests of England and Ireland, was made by the consolidation of the exchequers of the two countries, carried by the ministry on the motion of Mr. Vesey Fitzgerald, chancellor of the Irish exchequer.
Another important change was the introduction of a new silver coinage into the kingdom, in which the denomination of the coin was raised by the exaction of a small seignorage ; sixty-six instead of sixty-two shillings being now allowed to the pound troy. From these and other points of permanent regulaA 2