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Originally appearing in Volume V09, Page 580 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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XIL THE REIGN OF VICTORIA (1837-1901) The death of William IV., on the 20th of June 1837, placed on the throne of England a young princess, who was destined to reign for a longer period than any of her predecessors. The new queen, the only daughter of the duke of Kent, the fourth son of George III., had just attained her majority. Educated in comparative seclusion, her character and her person were unfamiliar to her future subjects, who were a little weary of the extravagances and eccentricities of her immediate predecessors. Her accession gave them a new interest in the house of Hanover. And their loyalty, which would in any case have been excited by the accession of a young and inexperienced girl to the throne of the greatest empire in the world, was stimulated by her conduct and appearance. She displayed from the first a dignity and good sense which won the affection of the multitude who merely saw her in public, and the confidence of the advisers who were admitted into her presence. The ministry experienced immediate benefit from the change. The Whigs, who had governed England since 1830, under Lord Grey and Lord Melbourne, were suffering from the reaction which is the inevitable consequence of revolution. The country which, in half-a-dozen years, had seen a radical reform of parliament, a no less radical reform of municipal corporations, the abolition of slavery, and the reconstruction of the poor laws, was longing for a period of political repose. The alliance, or understanding, between the Whigs and the Irish was increasing the distrust of the English people in the ministry, and Lord Melbourne's government, in the first half of 1837, seemed doomed to perish. The accession of the queen gave it a new lease of power. The election, indeed, which followed her ac-cession did not materially alter the composition of the House of Commons. But the popularity of the queen was extended to her government. Taper's suggestion in Coningsby that the Conservatives should go to the country with the cry, " Our young queen and our old institutions," expressed, in an epigram, a prevalent idea. But the institution which derived most immediate benefit from the new sovereign was the old Whig ministry. The difficulties of the ministry, nevertheless, were great. In the preceding years it had carried most of the reforms which were demanded in Great Britain; but it had failed to Queen Victoria's accession. obtain the assent of the House of Lords to its Irish measures. It had desired (1) to follow up the reform of English cor-Lord Mel- porations by a corresponding reform of Irish munibourne's cipalities; (2) to convert the tithes, payable to the dtfit- Irish Church, into a rent charge, and to appropriate cult/es. its surplus revenues to other purposes; (3) to deal with the chronic distress of the Irish people by extending to Ireland the principles of the English poor law. In the year which succeeded the accession of the queen it accomplished two of these objects. It passed an Irish poor law and a measure commuting tithes in Ireland into a rent charge. The first of these measures was carried in opposition to the views of the Irish, who thought that it imposed an intolerable burden on Irish property. The second was only carried on the government consenting to drop the appropriation clause, on which Lord Melbourne's administration had virtually been founded. It was not, however, in domestic politics alone that the ministry was hampered. In the months which immediately followed the queen's accession news reached England of dis- turbances, or even insurrection in Canada. The rising was easily put down; but the condition of the colony was so grave that the ministry decided to suspend the constitution of lower Canada for three years, and to send out Lord Durham with almost dicta- torial powers. Lord Durham's conduct was, unfortunately, marked by indiscretions which led to his resignation; but before leaving the colony he drew up a report on its condition and on its future, which practically became a text-book for his successors, and has influenced the government of British colonies ever since. Nor was Canada the only great colony which was seething with discontent. In Jamaica the planters, who had sullenly accepted the abolition of slavery, were irritated by the passage of an act of parliament intended to remedy some grave abuses in the management of the prisons of the island. The colonial House of Assembly denounced this act as a violation of its rights, and determined to desist from its legislative functions. The governor dissolved the assembly, but the new house, elected in its place, reaffirmed the decision of its predecessor; and the British ministry, in face of the crisis, asked parliament in 1839 for authority to suspend the constitution of the island for five years. The bill introduced for this purpose placed the Whig ministry in a position of some embarrassment. The advocates of popular government, they were inviting parliament, for a second time, to suspend representative institutions in an important colony. Supported by only small and dwindling majorities, they saw that it was hopeless to carry the measure, and they decided on placing their resignations in the queen's hands. The queen naturally sent for Sir Robert Peel, who undertook to form a government. In the course of the negotiations, however, he stated that it would be necessary to make certain changes in the household, which contained some great ladies closely connected with the leaders of the Whig party. The queen The bed- shrank from separating herself from ladies who had chamber question. surrounded her since she came to the throne, and Sir Robert thereupon declined the task of forming a ministry. Technically he was justified in adopting this course, but people generally felt that there was some hardship in compelling a young queen to separate herself from her companions and friends, and they consequently approved the decision of Lord Melbourne to support the queen in her refusal, and to resume office. The Whigs returned to place, but they could not be said to return to power. They did not even venture to renew the original Jamaica Bill. They substituted for it a modified proposal which they were unable to carry. They were obviously indebted for office to the favour of the queen, and not to the support of parliament. Yet the session of 1839 was not without important results. After a long struggle, in which ministers narrowly escaped defeat penny in the Commons, and in the course of which they postage. suffered severe rebuffs in the Lords, they succeeded in laying the foundation of the English system of national education. In the same session they were forced against their will to adopt a reform, which had been recommended by Rowland Hill, and to confer on the nation the benefit of a uniform penny postage. No member of the cabinet foresaw the consequences of this reform. The postmaster-general, Lord Lichfield, in opposing it, declared that, if the revenue of his office was to be maintained, the correspondence of the country, on which postage was paid, must be increased from 42,000,000 to 480,000,000 letters a year, and he contended that there were neither people to write, nor machinery to deal with, so prodigious a mass of letters. He would have been astonished to hear that, before the end of the century, his office had to deal with more than 3,000,000,000 postal packets a year, and that the net profit which it paid into the exchequer was to be more than double what it received in 1839. In 184o the ministry was not much more successful than it had proved in 1839. After years of conflict it succeeded indeed in placing on the statute book a measure dealing with Fiscal Irish municipalities. But its success was purchased policy, by concessions to the Lords, which deprived the measure of much of its original merit. The closing years of the Whig administration were largely occupied with the financial difficulties of the country. The first three years of the queen's reign were memorable for a constantly deficient revenue. The deficit amounted to £1,400,000 in 1837, to £400,000 in 1838, and to £1,457,000 in 1839. Baring, the chancellor of the ex-chequer, endeavoured to terminate this deficiency by a general increase of taxation, but this device proved a disastrous failure. The deficit rose to £1,842,000 in 1840. It was obvious that the old expedient of increasing taxation had failed, and that some new method had to be substituted for it. This new method Baring tried to discover in altering the differential duties on timber and sugar, and substituting a fixed duty of 8s. per quarter for the sliding duties hitherto payable on wheat. By these alterations he expected to secure a large increase of revenue, and at the same time to maintain a sufficient degree of protection for colonial produce. The Conservatives, who believed in protection, at once attacked the proposed alteration of the sugar duties. They were reinforced by many Liberals, who cared very little for protection, but a great deal about the abolition of slavery, and consequently objected to reducing the duties on foreign or slave-grown sugar. This combination of interests proved too strong for Baring and his proposal was rejected. As ministers, however, did not resign on their defeat, Sir Robert Peel followed up his victory by moving a vote of want of confidence, and this motion was carried in an exceptionally full house by 312 votes to 311. Before abandoning the struggle, the Whigs decided on appealing from the House of Commons to the country. The general election which ensued largely increased the strength of the Conservative party. On the meeting of the SIrR. Peel forms a new parliament in August 1841, votes of want of ministry. confidence in the government were proposed and carried in both houses; the Whigs were compelled to resign office, and the queen again charged Sir Robert Peel with the task of forming a government. If the queen had remained unmarried, it is possible that the friction which had arisen in 1839 might have recurred in 1841. In February 184o, however, Her Majesty had married her cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. She was, therefore, no longer dependent on the Whig ladies, to whose presence in her court she had attached so much importance in 1839. By the management of the prince—who later in the reign was known as the prince consort—the great ladies of the house-hold voluntarily tendered their resignations; and every obstacle to the formation of the new government was in this way removed. Thus the Whigs retired from the offices which, except for a brief interval in 1834–1835, they had held for eleven years. During the earlier years of their administration they had succeeded in carrying many memorable reforms: during the later years their weakness in the House of Commons had prevented their passing any considerable measures. But, if they had failed in this respect, Lord Melbourne had rendered conspicuous service to the queen. Enjoying her full confidence, consulted by her on every occasion, he had always used his influence for the public good; and perhaps those who look back now with so much satisfaction at the queen's conduct during a reign of unexampled length, imperfectly appreciate the debt which in this respect is owed to her first prime minister. The closing years of the Whig government were marked by external complications. A controversy on the boundary of Canada and the United States was provoking increasing bitterness on both sides of the Atlantic. The intervention of Lord Palmerston in Syria, which resulted in a great military success at Acre, was embittering the relations between France and England, while the unfortunate expedition to Afghanistan, which the Whigs had approved, was already producing embarrassment, and was about to result in disaster. Serious, however, as were the complications which surrounded British policy in Europe, in the East, and in America, the country, in August 1841, paid more attention to what a great writer called the " condition of England " question. There had never been a period in British history when distress and crime had been so general. There had hardly ever been a period when food had been so dear, when wages had been so low, when poverty had been so widespread, and the condition of the lower orders so depraved and so hopeless, as in the early years of the queen's reign. The condition of the people had prompted the formation of two great associations. The Chartists derived their name from the charter which set out their demands. The rejection of a monster petition which they presented to parliament in 1839 led to a formidable riot in Birmingham, and to a projected march from South Wales on London, in which twenty persons were shot dead at Newport. Another organization, in one sense even more formidable than the Chartist, was agitating at the same time for the repeal of the corn laws, and was known as the Anti-Corn Law League. It had already secured the services of two men, Cobden and Bright, who, one by clear reasoning, the other by fervid eloquence, were destined to make a profound impression on all classes of the people. The new government had, therefore, to deal with a position of almost unexampled difficulty. The people were apparently Budget sinking into deeper poverty and misery year after year. reforms. As an outward and visible sign of the inward distress, the state was no longer able to pay its way. It was estimated that the deficit, which had amounted to £1,842,000 in 184o, would reach £2,334,000 in 1841. It is the signal merit of Sir Robert Peel that he terminated this era of private distress and public deficits. He accomplished this task partly by economical administration—for no minister ever valued economy more—and partly by a reform of the financial system, effected in three great budgets. In the budget of 1842 Sir Robert Peel terminated the deficit by reviving the income tax. The proceeds of the tax, which was fixed at 7d. in the £, and was granted in the first instance for three years, were more than sufficient to secure this object. Sir Robert used the surplus to reform the whole customs tariff. The duties on raw materials, he proposed, should never exceed 5%, the duties on partly manufactured articles 12 %, and the duties on manufactured articles 2o% of their value. At the same time he reduced the duties on stage coaches, on foreign and colonial coffee, on foreign and colonial timber, and repealed the export duties on British manufactures. The success of this budget in stimulating consumption and in promoting trade induced Sir Robert Peel to follow it up in 1845 with an even more remarkable proposal. Instead of allowing the income tax to expire, he induced parliament to continue it for a further period, and with the resources which were thus placed at his disposal he purged the tariff of various small duties which produced little revenue, and had been imposed for purposes of protection. He swept away all the duties on British exports; he repealed the duties on glass, on cotton wool, and still further reduced the duties on foreign and colonial sugar. This budget was a much greater step towards free trade than the budget of 1842. The chief object in his third budget in 1846—the reduction of the duty on corn to 1s. a quarter--was necessitated by causes which will be immediately referred to. But it will be convenient at once to refer to its other features. Sir Robert Peel told the house that, in his previous budgets, he had giventhe manufacturers of the country free access to the raw materials which they used. He was entitled in return to call upon them to relinquish the protection which they enjoyed. He decided, therefore, to reduce the protective duties on cotton, woollen, silk, metal and other goods, as well as on raw materials still liable to heavy taxation, such as timber and tallow. As the policy of 1842 and 1845 had proved unquestionably successful in stimulating trade, he proposed to extend it to agriculture. He reduced the duties on the raw materials which the farmers used, such as seed and maize, and in return he called on them to give up the duties on cattle and meat, to reduce largely the duties on butter, cheese and hops, and to diminish the duty on corn by gradual stages to 1s. a quarter. In making these changes Sir Robert Peel avowed that it was his object to make the country a cheap one to live in. There is no doubt that they were followed by a remarkable development of British trade. In the twenty-seven years from 1815 to 1842 the export trade of Great Britain diminished from £49,600,000 to £47,280,000; while in the twenty-seven years which succeeded 1842 it increased from £47,280,000 to nearly £190,000,000. These figures are a simple and enduring monument to the minister's memory. It is fair to add that the whole increase was not due to free trade. It was partly attributable to the remarkable development of communications which marked this period. Two other financial measures of great importance were accomplished in Sir Robert Peel's ministry. In 1844 some £250,000,000 of the national debt still bore an interest of 3z %o. The improvement in the credit of the country enabled the government to reduce the interest on the stock to 31% for the succeeding ten years, and to 3 % afterwards. This conversion, which effected an immediate saving of £625,000, and an ultimate saving of £1,250,000 a year, was by far the most important measure which had hitherto been applied to the debt; and no operation on the same scale was attempted for more than forty years. In the same year the necessity of renewing the charter of the Bank of England afforded Sir Robert Peel an opportunity of reforming the currency. He separated the issue department from the banking department of the bank, and decided that in future it should only be at liberty to issue notes against (1) the debt of £14,000,000 due to it from the government, and (2) any bullion actually in its coffers. Few measures of the past century have been the subject of more controversy than this famous act,. and at one time its repeated suspension in periods of financial crises seemed to suggest the necessity of its amendment. But opinion on the whole has vindicated its wisdom, and it has survived all the attacks which have been made upon it. The administration of Sir Robert Peel is also remarkable for its Irish policy. The Irish, under O'Connell, had constantly supported the Whig ministry of Lord Melbourne. But their alliance, or understanding, with the Whigs Ireland had not procured them all the results which they had expected from it. The two great Whig measures, dealing with the church and the municipalities, had only been passed after years of controversy, and in a shape which deprived them of many expected advantages. Hence arose a notion in Ireland that nothing was to be expected from a British parliament, and hence began a movement for the repeal of the union which had been accomplished in 18o1. This agitation, which smouldered during the reign of the Whig ministry, was rapidly revived when Sir Robert Peel entered upon office. The Irish contributed large sums, which were known as repeal rent, to the cause, and they held monster meetings in various parts of Ireland to stimulate the demand for repeal. The ministry met this campaign by coercive legislation regulating the use of arms, by quartering large bodies of troops in Ireland, and by prohibiting a great meeting at Clontarf, the scene of Brian Boru's victory, in the immediate neighbourhood of Dublin. They further decided in 1843 to place O'Connell and some of the leading agitators on their trial for conspiracy and sedition. O'Connell was tried before a jury chosen from a defective panel, was convicted on an indictment which contained many counts, and the court passed sentence without distinguishing between these counts. These irregularities induced the House of Lords to reverse the judgment, and its reversal did much to prevent mischief. O'Connell's illness, which resulted in his death in 1847, tended also to establish peace. Sir Robert Peel wisely endeavoured to stifle agitation by making considerable concessions to Irish sentiment. He increased the grant which was made to the Roman Catholic College at Maynooth; he established three colleges in the north, south and west of Ireland for the undenominational education of the middle classes; he appointed a commission—the Devon commission, as it was called, from the name of the nobleman who presided over it—to investigate the conditions on which Irish land was held; and, after the report of the commission, he introduced, though he failed to carry, a measure for remedying some of the grievances of the Irish tenants. These wise concessions might possibly have had some trade. some effect in pacifying Ireland, if, in the autumn of 1845, they had not been forgotten in the presence of a disaster which suddenly fell on that unhappy country. The potato, which was the sole food of at least half the people of an overcrowded island, failed, and a famine of unprecedented proportions was obviously imminent. Sir Robert Peel, whose original views on protection had been rapidly yielding to the arguments afforded by the success of his own budgets, concluded that it was impossible to provide for the necessities of Ireland without suspending the corn laws; and that, if they were once suspended, it would be equally impossible to restore them. He failed, however, to convince two prominent members of his cabinet—Lord Stanley and the duke of Buccleuch—that protection must be finally abandoned, and considering it hopeless to persevere with a disunited cabinet he resigned office. On Sir Robert's resignation the queen sent for Lord John Russell, who had led the Liberal party in the House of Commons with conspicuous ability for more than ten years, and charged him with the task of forming a new ministry. Differences, which it proved impossible to remove, between two prominent Whigs—Lord Palmerston and Lord Grey—made the task impracticable, and after an interval Sir Robert Peel consented to resume power. Sir Robert Peel was probably aware that his fall had been only postponed. In the four years and a half during which his ministry had lasted he had done much to estrange his party. They said, with some truth, that, whether his measures were right or wrong, they were opposed to the principles which he had been placed in power to support. The general election of 1841 had been mainly fought on the rival policies of protection and free trade. The country had decided for protection, and Sir R. Peel had done more than all his predecessors to give it free trade. The Conservative party, more-over, was closely allied with the church, and Sir Robert had offended the church by giving an increased endowment to Maynooth, and by establishing undenominational colleges—" godless colleges " as they were called—in Ireland. The Conservatives were, therefore, sullenly discontented with the conduct of their leader. They were lashed into positive fury by the proposal which he was now making to abolish the corn laws. Lord George Bentinck, who, in his youth, had been private secretary to Canning, but who in his maturer years had devoted more time to the turf than to politics, placed himself at their head. He was assisted by a remarkable man—Benjamin Disraeli—who joined great abilities to great ambition, and who, embittered by Sir Robert Peel's neglect to appoint him to office, had already displayed his animosity to the minister. The policy on which Sir Robert Peel resolved facilitated attack. For the minister thought it necessary, while providing against famine by repealing the corn laws, to ensure the preservation of order by a new coercion bill. The financial bill and the coercion bill were both pressed forward, and each gave opportunities for discussion and, what was then new in parliament, for obstruction. At last, on the very night on which the fiscal proposals of the ministers were accepted by the Lords, the coercion bill was defeated in the Commons by a combination of Whigs, radicals and protectionists; and Sir R. Peel, worn out with a protracted struggle, placed his resignation in the Queen's hands. Thus fell the great minister, who perhaps had conferred more benefits on his country than any of his predecessors. The external policy of his ministry had been almost as remarkable as its domestic programme. When he Peek's accepted office the country was on the eve of a great foreign disaster in India; it was engaged in a serious dispute with the United States; and its relations with France were so strained that the two great countries of western Europe seemed unlikely to be able to settle their differences without war. In the earlier years of his administration the disaster in Afghanistan was repaired in a successful campaign; and Lord Ellenborough, who was sent over to replace Lord Auckland as governor-general, increased the dominion and responsibilities of the East India Company by the unscrupulous but brilliant policy which led to the conquest of Sind. The disputes with the United States were satisfactorily composed; and not only were the differences with France terminated, but a perfect understanding was formed between the two countries, under which Guizot, the prime minister of France, and Lord Aberdeen, the foreign minister of England, agreed to compromise all minor questions for the sake of securing the paramount object of peace. The good under-standing was so complete that a disagreeable incident in the Sandwich Islands, in which the injudicious conduct of a French agent very nearly precipitated hostilities, was amicably settled; and the ministry had the satisfaction of knowing that, if their policy had produced prosperity at home, it had also maintained peace abroad. On Sir R. Peel's resignation the queen again sent for Lord John Russell. The difficulties which had prevented his forming a ministry in the previous year were satisfactorily arranged, and Lord Palmerston accepted the seals of the foreign office, while Lord Grey was sent to the colonial office., The history of the succeeding years was destined, however, to prove that Lord Grey had had solid reasons for objecting to Lord Palmerston's return to his old post; for, whatever judgment may ultimately be formed on Lord Palmerston's foreign policy, there can be little doubt that it did not tend to the maintenance of peace. The first occasion on which danger was threatened arose immediately after the installation of the new ministry on the question of the Spanish marriages. The queen of The Spain, Isabella, was a young girl still in her teens; the Spanish heir to the throne was her younger sister, the infanta mar-Fernanda. Diplomacy had long been occupied with rages. the marriages of these children; and Lord Aberdeen had virtually accepted the principle, which the French government had laid down, that a husband for the queen should be found among the descendants of Philip V., and that her sister's marriage to the duc de Montpensier—a son of Louis Philippe—should not be celebrated till the queen was married and had issue. While agreeing to this compromise, Lord Aberdeen declared that he regarded the Spanish marriages as a Spanish, and not as a European question, and that, if it proved impossible to find a suitable consort for the queen among the descendants of Philip V., Spain must be free to choose a prince for her throne elsewhere. The available descendants of Philip V. were the two sons of Don Francis, the younger brother of Don Carlos, and of these the French government was in favour of the elder, while the British government preferred the younger brother. Lord Palmerston strongly objected to the prince whom the French government supported; and, almost immediately after acceding to office, he wrote a despatch in which he enumerated the various candidates for the queen of Spain's hand, including Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg, a near relation of the prince consort, among the number. Louis Philippe regarded this despatch as a departure from the principle on which he had agreed with Lord Aberdeen, and at once hurried on the simultaneous marriages of the queen with the French candidate, and of her sister with the duc de Montpensier. His action broke up the entente cordiale which had been established between Guizot and Lord Aberdeen. The second occasion on which Lord Palmerston's vigorous diplomacy excited alarm arose out of the revolution which broke out almost universally in Europe in 1848. A rising in Hungary was suppressed by Austria with Russian assistance, and after its suppression many leading Hungarians took refuge in Turkish territory. Austria and Russia addressed demands to the Porte for their surrender. Lord Palmerston determined to sup- port the Porte in its refusal to give up these exiles, and actually sent the British fleet to the Dardanelles with this object. His success raised the credit of Great Britain and his own reputation. The presence of the British fleet, however, at the Dardanelles suggested to him the possibility of settling another long-standing controversy. For years British subjects settled in Greece had raised complaints against the Greek government. In particular Don Pacifico, a Jew, but a native of Gibraltar, corn- paw/co. plained that, at a riot, in which his house had been attacked, he had lost jewels, furniture and papers which he alleged to be worth more than £30,000. As Lord Palmerston was unable by correspondence to induce the Greek government to settle claims of this character, he determined to enforce them; and by his orders a large number of Greek vessels were seized and detained by the British fleet. The French government tendered its good offices to compose the dispute, and an arrangement was actually arrived at between Lord Palmerston and the French minister in London. Unfortunately, before its terms reached Greece, the British minister at Athens had ordered the resumption of hostilities, and had compelled the Greek government to submit to more humiliating conditions. News of this settlement excited the strongest feelings both in Paris and London. In Paris, Prince Louis Napoleon, who had acceded to the presidency of the French republic, decided on recalling his representative from the British court. In London the Lords passed a vote of censure on Lord Palmerston's pro- ceedings; and the Commons only sustained the minister by adopting a resolution approving in general terms the principles on which the foreign policy of the country had been conducted. In pursuing the vigorous policy which characterized his tenure of the foreign office, Lord Palmerston frequently omitted to consult his colleagues in the cabinet, the prime Palmer- ston tits. minister, or the queen. In the course of 1849 Her sto missed. Majesty formally complained to Lord John Russell that important despatches were sent off without her knowledge; and an arrangement was made under which Lord Palmerston undertook to submit every despatch to the queen through the prime minister. In 185o, after the Don Pacifico debate, the queen repeated these commands in a. much stronger memorandum. But Lord Palmerston, though all confidence between himself and the court was destroyed, continued in office. In the autumn of 1851 the queen was much annoyed at hearing that he had received a deputation at the foreign office, which had waited on him to express sympathy with the Hungarian refugees, and to denounce the conduct of " the despots and tyrants " of Russia and Austria, and that he had, in his reply, expressed his gratification at the demonstration. If the queen had had her way, Lord Palmerston would have been removed from the foreign office after this incident. A few days later the coup d'etat in Paris led to another dispute. The cabinet decided to do nothing that could wear the appearance of interference in the internal affairs of France; but Lord Palmerston, in conversation with the French minister in London, took upon himself to approve the bold and decisive step taken by the president. The ministry naturally refused to tolerate this conduct, and Lord Palmerston was summarily removed from his office. The removal of Lord Palmerston led almost directly to the fall of the Whig government. Before relating, however, the exact occurrences which produced its defeat, it is necessary to retrace our steps and describe the policy which it had pursued in internal matters during the six years in which it had been in power. Throughout that period the Irish famine had been its chief anxiety and difficulty. Sir Robert Peel had attempted to deal with it (1) by purchasing large quantities of Indian corn, which he had retailed at low prices in Ireland, and (2) by enabling the grand juries to employ the people on public works, which were to be paid out of moneys advanced by the state, one-half being ultimately repayable by the locality. These measures were notentirely successful. It was found, in practice, that the sale of Indian corn at low prices by the government checked the efforts of private individuals to supply food; and that the offer of comparatively easy work to the poor at the fam ne. cost of the public, prevented their seeking harder private work either in Ireland or in Great Britain. The new government, with this experience before it, decided on trusting to private enterprise to supply the necessary food, and on throwing the whole cost of the works which the locality might under-take on local funds. If the famine had been less severe, this policy might possibly have succeeded. Universal want, how-ever, paralysed every one. The people, destitute of other means of livelihood, crowded to the relief works. In the beginning of 1847 nearly 750,000 persons—or nearly one person out of every ten in Ireland—were so employed. With such vast multitudes to relieve, it proved impracticable to exact the labour which was required as a test of destitution. The roads, which it was decided to make, were blocked by the labourers employed upon them, and by the stones, which the labourers were supposed to crush for their repair. In the presence of this difficulty the government decided, early in 1847, gradually to discontinue the relief works, and to substitute for them relief committees charged with the task of feeding the people. At one time no less than 3,000,000 persons—more than one-third of the entire population of Ireland—were supported by these committees. At the same time it decided on adopting two measures of a more permanent character. The poor law of 1838 had made no provision for the relief of the poor outside the workhouse, and outdoor relief was sanctioned by an act of 1847. Irish landlords complained that their properties, ruined by the famine, and encumbered by the extravagances of their predecessors, could not bear the cost of this new poor law; and the ministry introduced and carried a measure enabling the embarrassed owners of life estates to sell their property and discharge their liabilities. It is the constant misfortune of Ireland that the measures intended for her relief aggravate her distress. The encumbered estates act, though it substituted a solvent for an insolvent proprietary, placed the Irish tenants at the mercy of landlords of whom they had no previous knowledge, who were frequently absentees, who bought the land as a matter of business, and who dealt with it on business principles by raising the rent. The new poor law, by throwing the maintenance of the poor on the soil, encouraged landlords to extricate themselves from their responsibilities by evicting their tenants. Evictions were made on a scale which elicited from Sir Robert Peel an expression of the deepest abhorrence. The unfortunate persons driven from their holdings and forced to seek a refuge in the towns, in England, or—when they could afford it—in the United States, carried with them everywhere the seeds of disease, the constant hand-maid of famine. Famine, mortality and emigration left their mark on Ireland. In four years, from 1845 to 1849, its population decreased from 8,295,000 to 7,256,000, or by more than a million persons; and the decline which took place at that time went on to the end of the century. The population of Ireland in 1901 had decreased to 4,457,000 souls. This fact is the more remarkable, because Ireland is almost the only portion of the British empire, or indeed of the civilized world, where such a circumstance has occurred. We must go to countries like the Asiatic provinces of Turkey, devastated by Ottoman rule, to find such a diminution in the numbers of the people as was seen in Ireland during the last half of the 19th century. It was probably inevitable that the distress of Ireland should have been followed by a renewal of Irish outrages. A terrible series of agrarian crimes was committed in the autumn of 1847; and the ministry felt compelled, in consequence, to strengthen its hands by a new Rebellion measure of coercion, and by suspending the Habeas of M& Corpus Act in Ireland. The latter measure at once brought to a crisis the so-called rebellion of 1848, for his share in which Smith O'Brien, an Irish member of parliament, was convicted of high treason. The government, however, did not venture to carry out the grim sentence which the law still applied to traitors, and introduced an act enabling it to commute the death penalty to transportation. The " insurrection " had from the first proved abortive. With Smith O'Brien's transportation it practically terminated. In the meanwhile the difficulties which the government was experiencing from the Irish famine had been aggravated by a grave commercial crisis in England. In the autumn of r847 a series of failures in the great commercial centres created a panic in the city of London, which forced consols down to 78, and induced the government to take upon itself the responsibility of suspending the Bank Charter Act. That step, enabling the directors of the Bank of England to issue notes unsecured by bullion, had the effect of gradually restoring confidence. But a grave commercial crisis of this character is often attended with other than financial consequences. The stringency of the money market increases the distress of the industrial classes by diminishing the demand for work; and, when labour suffers, political agitation flourishes. Early in 1848, moreover, revolutions on the continent produced a natural craving for changes at home. Louis Philippe was- driven out of Paris, the emperor of Austria was driven out of Vienna, the Austrian soldiery had to withdraw from Milan, and even in Berlin the crown had to make terms with the people. While thrones were falling or tottering in every country in Europe, it was inevitable that excitement and agitation should prevail in Great Britain. The Chartists, reviving the machinery which they had endeavoured to employ in 1839, decided on preparing a monster petition to parliament, which was to be escorted to Westminster by a monster procession. Their preparations excited general alarm, and on the invitation Chartism. of the government no less than 170,000 special con- stables were sworn in to protect life and property against a rabble. By the judicious arrangements, however, which were made by the duke of Wellington, the peace of the metropolis was secured. The Chartists were induced to abandon the procession which had caused so much alarm, and the monster petition was carried in a cab to the House of Commons. There it was mercilessly picked to pieces by a select committee. It was found that, instead of containing nearly 6,000,000 signatures, as its originators had boasted, less than 2,000,000 names were attached to it. Some of the names, moreover, were obviously fictitious, or even absurd. The exposure of these facts turned the whole thing into ridicule, and gave parliament an excuse for postponing measures of organic reform which might otherwise have been brought forward. If the ministry thus abstained from pressing forward a large scheme of political reform, it succeeded in carrying two measures of the highest commercial and social importance. In 1849 it supplemented the free trade policy, which Sir Robert Peel had developed, by the repeal of the Navigation Acts. Briefly stated, these acts, which had been originated during the Protectorate of Cromwell, and continued after the Restoration, reserved the whole coasting trade of the country for British vessels and British seamen, and much of the foreign trade for British vessels, commanded and chiefly manned by British subjects. The acts, therefore, were in the strictest sense protective, but they were also designed to increase the strength of Great Britain at sea, by maintaining large numbers of British seamen. They had been defended by Adam Smith on the ground that defence was " of much more importance than opulence," and by the same reasoning they had been described by John Stuart Mill as, " though economically disadvantageous, politically expedient." , The acts, however, threw a grave burden on British trade and British shipowners. Their provisions by restricting competition naturally tended to raise freights, and by restricting employment made it difficult for shipowners to man their vessels. Accordingly the government wisely determined on their repeal; and one of the last and greatest battles between Free Trade and Protection was fought over the question. The second reading of the government bill was carried in the House of Lords by a majority of only ten: it would not have been carried at all if the government had not secured a much larger number of proxies than their opponents could obtain. If the repeal of the Navigation Acts constituted a measure of the highest commercial importance, the passage of the Ten Hours Bill in 1847 marked the first great advance in factory legislation. Something, indeed, had already Bil/. Te^ Hours been done to remedy the evils arising from the em- ployment of women and very young children in factories and mines. In 1833 Lord Ashley, better known as Lord Shaftesbury, had carried the first important Factory Act. In 1842 he had succeeded, with the help of the striking report of a royal corn-mission, in inducing parliament to prohibit the employment of women and of boys under ten years of age in mines. And in 1843 Sir James Graham, who was home secretary in Sir Robert Peel's administration, had been compelled by the pressure of public opinion to introduce a measure providing for the education of children employed in factories, and for limiting the hours of work of children and young persons. The educational clauses of this bill were obviously framed in the interests of the Church of England, and raised a heated controversy which led to the abandonment of the measure; and in the following year Sir James Graham introduced a new bill dealing with the labour question alone. Briefly stated, his proposal was that no child under nine years of age should be employed in a factory, and that no young person under eighteen should be employed for more than twelve hours a day. This measure gave rise to the famous controversy on the ten hours clause, which commenced in 1844 and was protracted till 1847. Lord Ashley and the factory reformers contended, on the one hand, that ten hours were long enough for any person to work; their opponents maintained, on the contrary, that the adoption of the clause would injure the working-classes by lowering the rate of wages, and ruin the manufacturers by exposing them to foreign competition. In 1847 the reform was at last adopted. It is a remarkable fact that it was carried against the views of the leading statesmen on both sides of the House. It was the triumph of common sense over official arguments. During the first four years of Lord John Russell's government, his administration had never enjoyed any very large measure of popular support, but it had been partly sustained by the advocacy of Sir Robert Peel. The differences peat6 of Peel. which estranged Sir Robert from his old supporters were far greater than those which separated him from the Whigs, and the latter were therefore constantly able to rely on his assistance. In the summer of 185o, however, a lamentable accident—a fall from his horse—deprived the country of the services of its great statesman. His death naturally affected the position of parties. The small remnant of able men, indeed, who had been associated with him in his famous administration, still maintained an attitude of neutrality. But the bulk of the Conservative party rallied under the lead of Lord Stanley (afterwards Derby) in the House of Lords, and gradually submitted to, rather than accepted, the lead of Disraeli in the House of Commons. In the autumn which succeeded Sir Robert Peel's death, an event which had not been foreseen agitated the country and produced a crisis. During the years which had succeeded the Reform Bill a great religious movement Oxford had influenced politics both in England and Scotland. movement. In England, a body of eminent men at Oxford—of whom J. H., afterwards Cardinal, Newman was the chief, but who numbered among their leaders Hurrell Froude, the brother of the historian, and Keble, the author of the Christian Year—endeavoured to prove that the doctrines of the Church of England were identical with those of the primitive Catholic Church, and that every Catholic doctrine might be held by those who were within its pale. This view was explained in a remarkable series of tracts, which gave their authors the name of Tractarians. The most famous of these, and the last of the series, Tract XC., was published three years after the queen's accession to the throne. In Scotland, the Presbyterian Church—mainly under the guidance of Dr Chalmers, one of the most eloquent preachers of the century —was simultaneously engaged in a contest with the state on the subject of ecclesiastical patronage. Both movements had this Navigation Acts. in common, that they indicated a revival of religious energy, and aimed at vindicating the authority of the church, and resisting the interference of the state in church matters. The Scottish movement led to the disruption of the Church of Scotland and the formation of the Free Church in 1843. The Tractarian movement was ultimately terminated by the secession of Newman and many of his associates from the Church of England, and their admission to the Church of Rome. These secessions raised a feeling of alarm throughout England. The people, thoroughly Protestant, were excited by the proofs—which they thought were afforded —that the real object of the Tractarians was to reconcile England with Rome; and practices which are now regarded as venial or even praiseworthy—such as the wearing of the surplice in the pulpit, and the institution of the weekly offertory—were denounced because they were instituted by the Tractarians, and were regarded as insidious devices to lead the country Romewards. The sympathies of the Whigs, and especially of the Whig prime minister, Lord John Russell, were with the people; and Lord John displayed his dislike to the Romanizing tendencies of the Tractarians by appointing Renn Dickson Hampden—whose views had been formally condemned by the Hebdomadal Board at Oxford—to the bishopric of Hereford. The High Church party endeavoured to oppose the appointment at every stage; but their attempts exposed them to a serious defeat. The courts held that, though the appointment of a bishop by the crown required confirmation in the archbishop's court, the confirmation was a purely ministerial act which could not be refused. The effort which the High Church party had made to resist Dr Hampden's appointment had thus resulted in showing conclusively that authority resided in the crown, and not in the arch-bishop. It so happened that about the same time this•view was confirmed by another judicial decision. The lord chancellor presented the Rev. G. C. Gorham to a living in Devonshire; and Dr Phillpotts, the bishop of Exeter, declined to institute him, on the ground that he held heretical views on the subject of baptism. The court of arches upheld the bishop's decision. The finding of the court, however, was reversed by the privy council, and its judgment dealt a new blow at the Tractarian party. For it again showed that authority—even in doctrine—resided in the crown and not in the church. Within a few months of this famous decision the pope—perhaps encouraged by the activity and despondency of the High Church party—issued a brief " for re-establishing and extending the Catholic faith in England," and proceeded to divide England and Wales into twelve sees. One of them—Westminster—was made an archbishopric, and the new dignity was conferred on, Nicholas Patrick Stephen Wiseman, who was almost immediately after-wards created cardinal. The publication of this brief caused much excitement throughout the country, which was fanned by a letter from the prime minister to the bishop of Durham, condemning the brief as " insolent and insidious " and inconsistent with the queen's supremacy, with the rights of our bishops and clergy, and with the spiritual independence of the nation." Somewhat unnecessarily the prime minister went on to condemn the clergymen of the Church of England who had subscribed the Thirty-nine Articles, " who have been the most forward in leading their own flocks, step by step, to the very edge of the precipice." In accordance with the promise of Lord John Russell's letter, the ministry, at the opening of the session of .1851, introduced Bodeslas- a measure forbidding the assumption of territorial ma] Titles titles by the priests and bishops of the Roman Catholic 8m. Church, declaring all gifts made to them .and all acts done by them under these titles null and void, and forfeiting to the crown all property bequeathed• to them. The bill naturally encountered opposition from many Liberals, while it failed to excite any enthusiasm among Conservatives, who thought its remedies inadequate. In the middle of the debates upon it the government was defeated on another question —a proposal to reduce the county franchise—and,, feeling that it could no longer rely on the support of the House of Commons, tendered its resignation. But Lord Stanley, whom the, queenentrusted with the duty of forming a new administration, was compelled to decline the task, and Lord John resumed office. Mild as the original Ecclesiastical Titles Bill had. been thought, the new edition of it, which was introduced after the restoration of the Whigs to power, was still milder. Though, after protracted debates, it at last became law, it satisfied. nobody. Its provisions, as was soon found, could be easily evaded, and. the bill, which had caused so much excitement, and had nearly precipitated the fall of a ministry, remained a dead letter. The government, in fact, was experiencing the truth that, if a defeated ministry may he occasionally restored to place, it cannot be restored to power. The dismissal of Lord Palmerston from the foreign office in 1851 further increased the embarrassments of the government. In February 1852 it was defeated on a proposal to revive ' the militia, and resigned. The circumstances which directly led to the defeat of the Whigs were, in one sense, a consequence of the revolutionary wave which had. swept over Euxope in 1848. The fall of Louis Philippe in that year created a panic in French scare. Great: Britain.Men thought that the unsettled state of France made war probable, and they were alarmed at the defenceless, condition of England. Lord Palmerston, speaking in 1845, had declared that " steam had bridged the. Channel "; and the duke of Wellington had addressed a letter to Sir John Burgoyne, in which he had demonstrated that. the country was not in a position to resist an invading force. The panic was so great.. that the ministry felt it . necessary to make exceptional provisions for allaying it. Lord John Russell decided on asking parliament to sanction increased armaments, and to raise the income tax to is. in the pound in order to pay for them. The occasion deserves to be recollected as one on which a prime minister, who was not also chancellor of the exchequer, has himself proposed the budget of the year. But it was still more memorable because the remedy which Lord John proposed at once destroyed the panic which had suggested it. A certain increase of the income tax to a shilling seemed a much more serious calamity than the uncertain prospect of a possible invasion. The estimates were recast, the budget was withdrawn, and the nation was content to dispense with any addition to its military and naval strength. Events in France, in the meanwhile, moved with railway speed. Louis Napoleon 'became president of the French Republic: in 1852 he became emperor of the French. The new emperor, indeed, took pains to reassure a troubled continent that " the empire was peace." The people insisted on believing—and, as the event proved, rightly—that the empire was war. Notwithstanding the success of the' Great Exhibition of 1851, which was supposed to inaugurate a new reign of peace, the panic, which had been temporarily allayed in 1848, revived at the close of 1851, and the government endeavoured to allay it by reconstituting the militia. There were two possible expedients. An act of 1757 had placed under the direct authority of the crown a militia composed of men selected in each parish by ballot, liable to be called out for active service, and to be placed under military law. But the act had been supplemented by a series of statutes passed between 18o8 and 1812, which had provided a local militia, raised, like the regular militia, by ballot, but, unlike the latter, only liable for service for the suppression of riots, or in the event of imminent invasion. Lord. John Russell's government, forced to do something by the state of public opinion, but anxious—from the experience of 1848—to make that something moderate, decided on reviving the local militia. Lord Palmerston at once suggested that the regular and not the local militia should be revived; and, in a small house of only 265 members, he succeeded in carrying a resolution to that effect. He had, in this way, what he called his tit for tat with Lord John; and the queen, accepting her minister's resignation, sent for Lord Derby—for Lord Stanley had now succeeded to this title—and charged him with the task of forming a. ministry. The government which Lord. Derby succeeded in forming was composed almost exclusively of the men who had rebelled against Sir Robert Peel in 1845. It was led in the House of Commons by the brilliant; but somewhat unscrupulous states-man who had headed the revolt. With the exception of Lora Lord Derby and one other man, its members had Derby. no experience of high office; and it had no chance of commanding a majority of the House of Commons in the existing parliament: It owed its position to the divisions of its opponents. Profiting by their experience, it succeeded in framing and passing a measure reconstituting the regular militia, which obtained general approval. It is perhaps worth observing that it maintained the machinery of a ballot, but reserved it only in case experience should prove that it. was necessary. Voluntary enlistment under the new Militia Bill was to be the rule: compulsory service was only to be resorted to if voluntary enlistment should fail. This success, to a certain extent, strengthened the position of the new ministry. It was obvious, however, that its stability would ultimately be deter-mined by its financial policy. Composed of the men who had resisted the free trade measures of the, previous decade, its fate depended on its attitude towards. free trade. In forming his administration Lord Derby had found it necessary to declare that, though he was still in favour of a tax on corn, he should take no steps in this direction till the country had received an opportunity of expressing its opinion. His leader in the House of Commons went much further, and declared that the time had gone by for reverting to protection. The view which Disraeli thus propounded in defiance of his previous opinions was con-firmed by the electors on the dissolution of parliament. Though the new government obtained some increased strength from the result of the polls, the country, it was evident, had no intention of abandoning the policy of free trade, which by this time, it was clear, had conferred substantial benefits on all classes. When the new parliament met in the autumn of 1852, it was at once plain that the issue would be determined on the rival merits of the old and the new financial systems. Disraeli courted the decision by at once bringing forward the budget, which custom, and perhaps convenience, would have justified him in postponing till the following spring. His proposal—in which he avowedly threw over his friends on the ground that " he had greater subjects to consider than the triumph of obsolete: opinions "—was, in effect, an attempt to conciliate his old supporters by, a policy of doles, and to find the means for doing so by the increased taxation of the middle classes. He offered to relieve the shipping interest by transferring some of the cost of lighting the coasts to the Consolidated Fund; the West India interest by sanctioning the refining of sugar in bond; and the landed classes by reducing the malt tax by one-half, and by repealing the old war duty on hops. He suggested that the cost of these measures should be defrayed by extending the income tax to Ireland to industrial incomes of £zoo and to permanent incomes of £5o a year, as well as by doubling the house tax, and extending it to all £ro householders. The weight, therefore, of these measures was either purposely or unintentionally thrown mainly on persons living in houses worth from £10 to £2o a year, or on persons in receipt of incomes from £5o to £15o a year. This defect in the budget was exposed in a great speech by Gladstone, which did much to ensure the defeat of the scheme and the fall of the ministry. On the resignation of Lord Derby, the queen, anxious to terminate a period of weak governments, decided on endeavour-Coalition, ing to combine in one cabinet the chiefs of the Whig 1853. party and the followers of Sir Robert Peel. With this view she sent both for Lord Aberdeen, who had held the foreign office under Sir Robert, and for Lord Lansdowne, who was the Nestor of the Whigs; and with Lord Lansdowne's concurrence charged Lord Aberdeen with the task of forming a government. In the new ministry Lord Aberdeen became first lord of the treasury, Gladstone chancellor of the exchequer, Lord John Russell foreign minister—though he was almost immediately replaced in the foreign office by Lord Clarendon, and himself assumed the presidency of the council. Lord Palmerston went to the home office. One other appointment must also be mentioned. The secretary of state for the colonieswas also at. that time secretary of state for war. No dne in 1852. however, regarded that office as of material importance, and it was entrusted by Lord Aberdeen to an amiable and conscientious nobleman, the duke of Newcastle. The first session of the Aberdeen administration will be chiefly recollected for the remarkable budget which Gladstone brought forward. It constituted a worthy supplement Badger of to the measures of 1842, 1845 and 1846. Gladstone 1863. swept away the duty on one great necessary of life soap; he repealed the duties on 123 other articles; he reduced the duties on 1.33 others, among them that on tea; and he found means for paying for these reforms and for the gradual reduction and ultimate abolition of the income tax, which had become very unpopular, by (1) extending the tax to incomes of £too a year; (2) an increase of the spirit duties; and (3) applying the death duties to real property, and to property passing by settlement. There can be little doubt that this great proposal was one of the most striking which had ever been brought forward in the. House of Commons; there can also, unhappily, be no doubt that its. promises and intentions were frustrated by events which proved too strong for its author. For Gladstone, in framing his budget, had contemplated a continuance of peace, and the country was, unhappily, already drifting into war. For some years an obscure quarrel had been conducted at Constantinople about the custody of the holy places at Jerusalem. France, relying on a treaty concluded in the first half The holy of the 18th century, claimed the guardianship of these places. places for the Latin Church. But the rights which the Latin Church had thus obtained had practically fallen into disuse, while the Greek branch of the Christian Church had occupied and repaired the shrines which the Latins had neglected. In the years which preceded 1853, however, France had shown more activity in asserting her claims; and the new emperor of the French, anxious to conciliate the church which had supported his elevation to the throne, had a keen interest in upholding them. If, for reasons of policy, the emperor had grounds for his action, he had personal motives for thwarting the tsar of Russia; for the latter potentate had been foolish enough, in recognizing the second empire, to address its sovereign as " Mon Cher Ami," instead of, in the customary language of sovereigns, as "Monsieur Mon Frere." Thus, at the close of 1852, and in the beginning of 1853, Russia and France were both addressing opposite and irreconcilable demands to the Porte, and France was already talking of sending her fleet to the Dardanelles, while Russia was placing an army corps on active service and despatching Prince Menshikov on a special mission to Constantinople. So liar the, quarrel which had occurred at the Porte was obviously one in which Great Britain had no concern. The Aberdeen ministry, however, thought it desirable that it should be represented in the crisis by a strong man at Constantinople; and it selected Lord Stratford de Redcliffe for the post, which he had filled in former years with marked ability. Whatever merits Lord Stratford possessed—and he stands out in current diplomacy as the one strong man whom England had abroad-there was no doubt that he had this disqualification: the emperor Nicholas had refused some years before to receive him as ambassador at St Petersburg, and Lord Stratford had resented, and never forgiven, the discourtesy of this refusal. Lord Stratford soon discovered that Prince Menshikov was the hearer of larger demands, and that he was requiring the Porte to agree to a treaty acknowledging the right of. Russia to protect the Greek Church throughout the Turkish dominions. By Lord Stratford's advice the Porte-while making the requisite concession respecting the holy places—refused to grant the new demand; and Prince Menshikov thereupon withdrew from Constantinople. The rejection of Prince Menshikov's ultimatum was followed by, momentous consequences.. Russia—or rather her. tsar—resolved on the occupation of the Danubian principalities; the British ministry—though the quarrel did not directly concern Great Britain—sent a fleet to the Dardanelles and placed it under Lord Stratford's orders. Diplomacy, however, made a fresh attempt to terminate the. dispute, and in July 1853 a note was agreed upon by the four neutral powers, France, Great Britain, Austria and Prussia, which it was decided to present to Constantinople and St Petersburg. This note, the adoption•of which would have ensured peace, was accepted at St Petersburg; at Constantinople it was, unfortunately, rejected, mainly on Lord Stratford's advice, and in opposition to his instructions from home. Instead, however, of insisting on the adoption of the note to which it had agreed, Lord Aberdeen's ministry recommended the tsar to accept some amendments to it suggested by Lord Stratford, which it was disposed to regard as unimportant. It then discovered, however, that the tsar attached a meaning to the original note differing from that which it had itself applied to it, and ill conjunction with France it thereupon ceased to recommend the Vienna note—as it was called—for acceptance. This decision separated the two western powers from Austria and Prussia, who were disposed to think that Russia had done all that could have been required of her in accepting the note which the four powers had agreed upon. It was obvious that the control of the situation was passing from the hands of the cabinet at home into those of Lord Stratford at Constantinople. The ambassador, in fact, had the great advantage that he knew his own mind; the cabinet laboured under the fatal disadvantage that it had, collectively, no mind. Its chief, Lord Aberdeen, was dominated by a desire to preserve peace; but he had not the requisite force to control the stronger men who were nominally serving under him. Lord John Russell was a little sore at his own treatment by his party. He thought that he had a claim to the first place in the ministry, and he did not, in consequence, give the full support to Lord Aberdeen which the latter had a right to expect from him. Lord Palmerston, on the other hand, had no personal grudge to nurture, but he was convinced that the first duty of England was to support Turkey and to resist Russia. He represented in the cabinet the views which Lord Stratford was enforcing at Constantinople, and step by step Lord Stratford, thus supported, drove the country nearer and nearer to war. In October the Porte, encouraged by the presence of the British fleet in the Bosporus, took the bold step of summoning the Russians to evacuate the principalities. Following up this demand the Turkish troops attacked the Russian army, and inflicted on it one or two sharp defeats. The Russians retaliated by loosing their squadron from Sevastopol, and on the 3oth of November it attacked and destroyed the Turkish fleet at Sinope. The massacre of Sinope—as it was rather inaccurately called in Great Britain, for it is difficult to deny that it was a legitimate act of a belligerent power—created an almost irresistible demand for war among the British people. Yielding to popular opinion, the British ministry assented to a suggestion of the French emperor that the fleets of the allied powers should enter the Black Sea and " invite " every Russian vessel to return to Sevastopol. The decision was taken at an unfortunate hour. Diplomatists, pursuing their labours at Vienna, had Crimean succeeded in drawing up a fresh notewhichtheythought war might prove acceptable both at St Petersburg and at Constantinople. This note was presented almost at the moment the tsar learned that the French and British fleets had entered the Black Sea, and the Russian government, instead of considering it, withdrew its ministers from London and Paris; the French and British ambassadors were thereupon withdrawn from St Petersburg. An ultimatum was soon afterwards addressed to Russia requiring her to evacuate the principalities, and war began. In deciding on war the British government relied on the capacity of its fleet, which was entrusted to the command of Sir Charles Napier, to strike a great blow in the Baltic. The fleet was despatched with extraordinary rejoicings, and amidst loud and confident expressions of its certain triumph. As a matter of fact it did very little. In the south of Europe, however, the Turkish armies on the Danube, strengthened by the advice of British officers, were more successful. The Russians were forced to retire, and the principalities were evacuated. A prudent administration might possibly have succeeded in stopping the war at this point. But the temper of the country was by thistime excited, and it was loudly demanding something more than a preliminary success. It was resolved to invade the Crimea and attack the great arsenal, Sevastopol, whence the Russian fleet had sailed to Sinope, and in September 1854 the allied armies landed in the Crimea. On the loth the Russian army, strongly posted on the banks of the Alma, was completely defeated, and it is almost certain that, if the victory had been at once followed up, Sevastopol would have fallen. The commanders of the allied armies, however, hesitated to throw themselves against the forts,erected to the north of the town, and decided on the hazardous task of marching round Sevastopol and attacking it from the south. The movement was successfully carried out, but the Allies again hesitated to attempt an immediate assault. The Russians, who were advised by.Colonel Todleben, the only military man who attained a great reputation in the war, thus gained time to strengthen their position by earthworks; and the Allies found themselves forced, with scanty preparations, to undertake a regular. siege against an enemy whose force was numerically superior to their own. In the early days of the siege, indeed, the allied armies were twice in great peril. A formidable attack on the 25th October on the British position at Balaklava led to a series of encounters which displayed the bravery of British troops, but did not enhance the reputation of British commanders. A still more formidable sortie on the 5th of November was with difficulty repulsed at Inkerman. And the Russians soon afterwards found, in the climate of the country, a powerful ally. The allied armies, imperfectly organized, and badly equipped for such a campaign, suffered severely from the hardships of a Crimean winter. The whole expedition seemed likely to melt away from want and disease. The terrible condition of the army, vividly described in the letters which the war correspondents of the newspapers sent home, aroused strong feelings of indignation in Great Britain. When parliament met Roebuck gave notice that he would move for a committee of inquiry. Lord John Russell—who had already vainly urged in the cabinet that the duke of Newcastle should be superseded, and the conduct of the war entrusted to a stronger minister— resigned office. His resignation was followed by the defeat of the government, and Lord Aberdeen, thus driven from power, was succeeded by Lord Palmerston. In selecting him for the post, the queen undoubtedly placed her seal on the wish of the country to carry out the watt to the bitter end. But it so happened that the formation of a new stow Palme sr ministry was accompanied by a fresh effort to make ministry. terms of peace. Before the change of administration a conference had been decided on, and Lord Palmerston entrusted its management to Lord John Russell. While the latter was on his way to Vienna an event occurred which seemed at first to facilitate his task. The tsar, worn out with disappointment, suddenly died, and was succeeded by his son Alexander. - Unfortunately the conference failed, and the war went on for another year. In September 1855 the allied troops succeeded in obtaining possession of the southern side of Sevastopol, and the emperor of the French, satisfied with this partial success, or alarmed at the expense of the war, decided on withdrawing from the struggle. The attitude of Napoleon made the conclusion of peace only a question of time. In the beginning of 1856 a congress to discuss the terms was assembled at Paris; in February hostilities were suspended; and in April a treaty was concluded. The peace set back the boundaries of Russia from the Danube to the Pruth; it secured the free navigation of the first of these rivers; it opened the Black Sea to tha commercial navies of the world, closing it to vessels of war, and forbidding the establishment of arsenals upon its shores. The last condition, to which Great Britain attached most importance, endured for about fourteen years. Peace without this provision could undoubtedly have been secured at Vienna, and the prolongation of the war from 1855 to 1856 only resulted in securing this arrangement for a little more than one decade. The Crimean War left other legacies behind it. The British government had for some time regarded with anxiety the gradual encroachments of Russia in central Asia. Russian 1856-1857] diplomacy was exerting an increasing influence in Persia, and the latter had always coveted the city of Herat, which was popularly regarded as the gate of India. In 1856 the Persian government, believing that England had her hands fully occupied in the Crimea, seized Herat, and, in consequence, a fresh war— in which a British army under Sir James Outram rapidly secured a victory—broke out. The campaign, entered upon when parliament was not in session, was unpopular in the country. A grave constitutional question, which was ultimately settled by legislation, was raised as to the right of the government to undertake military operations beyond the boundaries of India without the consent of parliament. But the incidents wars with of the Persian war were soon forgotten in the presence Persia and China. of a still g ~ raver crisis; for in the following year, 1857, the country suddenly found itself involved in war with China, and face to face with orfe of the greatest dangers which it has ever encountered—the mutiny of the sepoy army in India. The Chinese war arose from the seizure by the Chinese authorities of a small vessel, the " Arrow " commanded by a British subject, and at one time holding a licence (which, however, had expired at the time of the seizure) from the British superintendent at Hongkong, and the detention of her crew on the charge of piracy. Sir John Bowring, who represented Great Britain in China, failing to secure the reparation and apology which he demanded, directed the British admiral to bombard Canton. Lord Palmerston's cabinet decided to approve and support Sir John Bowring's vigorous action. Cobden, however, brought forward a motion in the House of Commons condemning these high-handed proceedings. He succeeded in securing the co-operation of his own friends, of Lord John Russell, and of other independent Liberals, as well as of the Conservative party, and in inflicting a signal defeat on the government. Lord Palmerston at once appealed from the House to the country. The constituencies, imperfectly acquainted with the technical issues involved in the dispute, rallied to the minister, who was upholding British interests. Lord Palmerston obtained a decisive victory, and returned to power apparently in irresistible strength. Lord Elgin had already been sent to China with a considerable force to support the demand for redress. On his way thither he learned that the British in India were reduced to the last extremities by the mutiny of the native army in Bengal, and, on the application of Lord Canning, the governor-general, he decided on diverting the troops, intended to bring the Chinese to reason, to the more pressing duty of saving India for the British crown. During the years which had followed the accession of the queen, the territories and responsibilities of the East India Company had been considerably enlarged by the Indian annexation of Sind by Lord Ellenborough, the conquest mutiny. of the Punjab after two desperate military campaigns under Lord Dalhousie, the conquest of Pegu, and the annexation of Oudh. These great additions to the empire had naturally imposed an increased strain on the Indian troops, while the British garrison, instead of being augmented, had been depleted to meet the necessities of the Russian war. Several circumstances, moreover, tended to propagate disaffection in the Indian army. Indian troops operating outside the Company's dominions were granted increased allowances, but these were automatically reduced when conquest brought the provinces in which they were serving within the British pale. The Sepoys again had an ineradicable dislike to serve beyond the sea, and the invasion of Pegu necessitated their transport by water to the seat of war. Finally, the invention of a new rifle led to the introduction of a cartridge which, though it was officially denied at the moment, was in fact lubricated with a mixture of cow's fat and lard. The Sepoys thought that their caste would be destroyed if they touched the fat of the sacred cow or unclean pig; they were even persuaded that the British government wished to destroy their caste in order to facilitate their conversion to Christianity. Isolated mutinies in Bengal were succeeded by much more serious events at Cawnpore in Oudh, and at Meerut in the North-West Provinces. From Meerut the mutineers, after some acts of567 outrage and murder, moved on Delhi, the capital of the old Mogul empire, which became the headquarters of the mutiny. In Oudh the native. regiments placed themselves under a Mahratta chief, Nana Sahib, by whose orders the British in Cawnpore, including the women and children, were foully murdered. In the summer of 1857 these events seemed to imperil British rule in India. In the autumn the courage of the troops and the arrival of reinforcements gradually restored the British cause. Delhi, after. a memorable siege, was at last taken by a brilliant assault. Lucknow, where a small British garrison was besieged in the residency, was twice relieved, once temporarily by Sir James Outram and General Havelock, and afterwards permanently by Sir Colin Campbell, who had been sent out from England to take the chief command. Subsequent military operations broke up the remnants of the revolt, and in the beginning of 1858 the authority of the queen was restored throughout India. The mutiny, however, had impressed its lesson on the British people, and, as the first consequence, it was decided to. transfer the government from the old East India Company to the crown. Lord Palmerston's administration was defeated on another issue before it succeeded in carrying the measure which it introduced for the purpose, though Lord Derby's second ministry, which succeeded it, was compelled to frame its proposals on somewhat similar lines. The home government of India was entrusted to a secretary of state, with a council to assist him; and though the numbers of the council have been reduced, the form of government which was then established has endured. The cause which led to the second fall of Lord Palmerston was in one sense unexpected. Some Italian refugees living in London, of whom Orsini was the chief, formed a Orsini. design to assassinate the emperor of the French. On the evening of 14th January 1858, while the emperor, accompanied by the empress, was driving to the opera, these men threw some bombs under his carriage. The brutal attempt happily failed. Neither the emperor nor the empress was injured by the explosion, but the carriage in which they were driving was wrecked, and a large number of persons who happened to be in the street at the time were either killed or wounded. This horrible outrage naturally created indignation in France, and it unfortunately became plain that the conspiracy had been hatched in England, and that the bombs had been manufactured in Birmingham. On these facts becoming known, Count Walewski, the chief of the French foreign office, who was united by ties of blood to the emperor, called on the British government to provide against the danger to which France was exposed. " Ought the right of asylum to protect such a state of things? " he asked. " Is hospitality due to assassins ? Ought the British legislature to continue to favour their designs and their plans? And can it continue to shelter persons who by these flagrant acts place themselves beyond the pale of common rights? " Lord Clarendon, the head of the British foreign office, told the French ambassador, who read him this despatch, that " no consideration on earth would induce the British parliament to pass a measure for the extradition of political refugees," but he added that it was a question whether the law was as complete and as stringent as it should be, and he stated that the government had already referred the whole subject to the law officers of the crown for their consideration. Having made these remarks, however, he judged it wise to refrain from giving any formal reply to Count Walewski's despatch, and contented himself with privately communicating to the British ambassador in Paris the difficulties of the British government. After receiving the opinion of the law officers the cabinet decided to introduce a bill into parliament increasing in England the punishment for a conspiracy to commit a felony either within or without the United Kingdom. The first reading of this .bill was passed by a considerable majority. But, before the bill came on for a second reading, the language which was being used in France created strong resentment in England. The regiments of the French army sent addresses to the emperor congratulating him on his escape and violently denouncing the British people. Some of these addresses, which were published in the Moniteur, spoke of London as " an 568 assassins' den," and invited the emperor to give his troops the order to destroy it. Such language did not make it easier to alter the law in the manner desired by the government. The House of Commons, reflecting the spirit of the country, blamed Lord Clarendon for neglecting to answer Count Walewski's despatch, and blamed Lord Palmerston for introducing a bill at French dictation. The feeling was so strong that, when the Conspiracy Bill came on for a second reading, an amendment hostile to the government was carried, and Lord Palmerston at once resigned. For a second time Lord Derby undertook the difficult task of carrying on the work of government without the support of lord a majority of the House of Commons. If the Liberal berby's party had been united his attempt would have failed second immediately. In 1858, however, the Liberal party mtaistry. had no cohesion. The wave of popularity which had carried Lord Palmerston to victory in 1857 had lost its strength. The Radicals, who were slowly recovering the influence they had lost during the Crimean War, regarded even a Conservative government as preferable to his return to power, while many Liberals desired to entrust the fortunes of their party to the guidance of their former chief, Lord• John Russell. It was obvious to most men that the dissensions thus visible in the Liberal ranks could be more easily healed in the cold shade of. the opposition benches than in the warmer sunlight of office. And therefore, though no one had much confidence in Lord Derby, or in the stability of his second administration, every one was disposed to acquiesce in its temporary occupation of office. Ministries which exist by sufferance are necessarily compelled to adapt their measures to the wishes of those who permit them to continue in power. The second ministry of Lord Derby experienced the truth of this rule. For some years a controversy had been conducted in the legislature in reference to the admission of the Jews to parliament. This dispute had been raised in 1847 into a question of practical moment by the election of Baron Lionel Nathan Rothschild as representative of the City of London, and its importance had been emphasized in 1851 by the return of another Jew, Alderman Salomons, for another constituency. The Liberal party generally in the House of Commons was in favour of such a modification of the oaths as would enable the Jews so elected to take their seats. The bulk of the Conservative party, on the contrary, and the House of Lords, were strenuously opposed to the change. Early in 1858 the House of Commons, by an increased majority, passed a bill amending the oaths imposed by law on members of both Houses, and directing the omission of the words " on the true faith of a Christian " from the oath of abjuration when it was' taken by a Jew. If the Conservatives had remained in opposition there can be little doubt that this bill would have shared the fate of its predecessors and have been rejected by the Lords. The lord chancellor, indeed, in speaking upon the clause relieving the Jews, expressed a hope that the peers would not hesitate to pronounce that our " Lord is king, be the people never so impatient." But some Conservative peers realized the in-convenience of maintaining a conflict between the two Houses when the Conservatives were in power; and Lord Lucan, who had commanded the cavalry in the Crimea, suggested as a compromise that either House should be authorized by resolution to determine the form of oath to be administered to its members. This solution was reluctantly accepted by Lord Derby, and Baron Rothschild was thus enabled to take the seat from which he had been so long excluded. Eight years afterwards parliament was induced to take a fresh step in advance. It imposed a new oath from which the words which disqualified the Jews were omitted. The door of the House of Lords was thus thrown open, and in 1885 Baron Nathan Mayes Rothschild, raised to the peerage, was enabled to take his seat in the upper chamber. This question was not the only one on which a Conservative government, without a majority at its back, was compelled to make concessions. For some years past a growing disposition had been displayed among the more earliest Liberals to extend the provisions of the Reform Act of 1832. Lord John Russell's[z 858-1859 ministry had been defeated in 1851 on a proposal of Locke King to place £10 householders in counties on the same footing as regards the franchise as £io householders in towns, and Lord John himself in 1854 had actually intro- Reform Bill, 1859. duced a new Reform Bill. After the general election of 1857 the demand for reform increased, and, in accepting office in 1858, Lord Derby thought it necessary to declare that, though he had maintained in opposition that the settlement of 1832, with all its anomalies, afforded adequate representation to all classes, the promises of previous governments and the expectations of the people imposed on him the duty of bringing forward legislation on the subject. The scheme which Lord Derby's government adopted was peculiar. • Its chief proposal was the extension of the county franchise to £xo householders. But it also proposed that persons possessing a 40s. freehold in a borough should in future have a vote in the borough in which their property was situated, and not in the county. The bill also conferred the franchise on holders of a certain amount of stock, on depositors in savings banks, on graduates of universities, and on other persons qualified by position or education. The defect of the bill was that it did nothing to meet the only real need of reform-the enfranchisemeht of a certain proportion of the working classes. On the contrary, in this respect it perpetuated the settlement of 1832. The £10 householder was still to furnish the bulk of the electorate, and the ordinary working man could not afford to pay £xo a year for his house. While the larger proposals of the bill were thus open to grave objection, its subsidiary features provoked ridicule. The suggestions that votes should be conferred on graduates and stockholders were laughed at as " fancy franchises." The bill, moreover, was not brought forward with the authority of a united cabinet. Two members of the government—Spencer Walpole and Henley—declined to be responsible for its provisions, and placed their resignations in Lord Derby's hands. In Walpole's judgment the bill was objectionable because it afforded no reasonable basis for a stable settlement. There was nothing in a £10 franchise which was capable of permanent defence, and if it was at once applied to counties as well as boroughs it would sooner or later be certain to be extended. He himself advocated with some force that it would be wiser and more popular to fix the county franchise at £20 and the borough franchise at L6 rateable value; and he contended that such a settlement could be defended on the old principle that taxation and representation should go together, for £20 was the minimum rent at which the house tax commenced, and a rateable value of £6 was the point at which the householder could not compound to pay his rates through' his landlord. Weakened by the defection of two of its more important members, the government had little chance of obtaining the acceptance of its scheme. An amendment by Lord John Russell, condemning its main provisions, was adopted in an unusually full house by a substantial majority, and the cabinet had no alternative but to resign or dissolve. It chose the latter course. The general election, which almost immediately took place, increased to some extent the strength of the Conservative party. For the first time since their secession from Sir Robert Peel the Conservatives commanded more than three hundred votes in the House of Commons, but this increased strength was not sufficient to ensure them a majority. When the new parliament assembled, Lord Hartington, the eldest son of the duke of Devonshire, was put forward to propose a direct vote of want of confidence in the administration. Itwas carried by 323 votes to 310, and the second Derby administration came to an end. It was plain that the House of Commons had withdrawn its support from Lord Derby, but it was not clear that any other leading politician would be able to form a government. palme,-The jealousies between Lord John Russell and Lord stop's ; Palmerston still existed; the more extreme men, who second were identified with the policy of Cobden and Bright, ministry. had little confidence in either of these statesmen; and it was still uncertain whether the able group who had been the friends of Sir Robert Peel would finally gravitate to the Conservative or to the Liberal camp. The queen, on the advice of Lord Derby, Jews in parliament. z859-r86o] endeavoured to solve the first of these difficulties by sending for Lord Granville, who led the Liberal party in the Lords, and authorizing him to form a government which should combine, as far as possible, all the more prominent Liberals. The attempt, however, failed, and the queen thereupon fell back upon Lord Palmerston. Lord John Russell agreed to accept office as foreign minister; Gladstone consented to take the chancellorship of the exchequer. Cobden was offered, but declined, the presidency of the Board of Trade; and the post which he refused was conferred on a prominent free trader, who had associated himself with Cobden's fortunes, Milner Gibson. Thus Lord Palmerston had succeeded in combining in one ministry the various representatives of political progress. He had secured the support of the Peelites, who had left him after the fall of Lord Aberdeen in 1855, and of the free traders, who had done so much to defeat him in 1857 and 1858. His new administration was accordingly based on a broader bottom, and contained greater elements of strength than his former cabinet. And the country was requiring more stable government. The first three ministries of the queen had endured from the spring of• 1835 to the spring of 1852, or for very nearly seventeen years; but the next seven years had seen the formation and dissolution of no less than font cabinets. It was felt that these frequent changes were unfortunate for the country, and every one was glad to welcome the advent of a government which seemed to promise greater permanence. That promise was fulfilled. The administration which Lord Palmerston succeeded in forming in 1859 endured till his death in 1865, and with slight modifications, under its second chief Lord John (afterwards Earl) Russell, till the summer of 1866. It had thus a longer life than any cabinet which had governed England since the first Reform Act. But it owed its lasting character to the benevolence of its opponents rather than to the enthusiasm of its supporters. The Conservatives learned to regard the veteran statesman, who had combined all sections of Liberals under his banner, as the most powerful champion of Conservative principles; a virtual truce of parties was established during his continuance in office; and, for the most part of his ministry, a tacit understanding existed that the minister, on his side, should pursue a Conservative policy, and that the Conservatives, on theirs, should abstain from any real attempt to. oust him from power. Lord John Russell, indeed, was too earnest in his desire for reform to abstain from one serious effort to accomplish it. Early in 186o he pro-posed, with the sanction of the cabinet, a measure providing for the extension of the county franchise to £10 householders, of the borough franchise to £6 householders, and for a moderate redistribution of seats. But the country, being in enjoyment of considerable prosperity, paid only a languid attention to the scheme; its indifference was reflected in the House; the Conservatives were encouraged in their opposition by the lack of interest which the new bill excited, and the almost unconcealed dislike of the prime minister to its provisions. The bill, thus steadily opposed and half-heartedly supported, made only slow progress; and at last it was withdrawn by its author. He did not again attempt during Lord Palmerston's life to reintroduce the subject. Absorbed in the work of the foreign office, which at this time was abnormally active, he refrained from pressing home the arguments for internal reform. In one important department, however, the ministry departed from the Conservative policy it pursued in other matters. Gladstone signalized his return to the exchequer by Clad- introducing a series of budgets which excited keen stone's budgett, opposition at the time, but in the result largely added to the prosperity of the country. The first of these great budgets, in 186o, was partly inspired by the necessity of adapting the fiscal system to meet the requirements of a com- mercial treaty which, mainly through Cobden's exertions, had been concluded with the emperor of the French. The treaty bound France to reduce her duties on English coal and iron, and on many manufactured articles; while, in return, Great Britain undertook to sweep away the duties on all manufactured goods, and largely to reduce those on French wines. But Gladstone 569 was not content with these great alterations, which involved a loss of nearly £1,2oo,000a year to the exchequer; he voluntarily undertook to sacrifice another million on what he called a supple-mental measure of customs reform. He proposed to repeal the duties on paper, by which means he hoped to increase the opportunities of providing cheap literature for the people. The budget of r86oproduced a protracted controversy. The French treaty excited more criticism than enthusiasm onboth sides of the Channel. In France the manufacturers complained that they would be unable to stand against the competition of English goods. In England many people thought that Great Britain was wasting her resources and risking her supremacy by giving the French increased facilities for taking her iron, coal and machinery, and that no adequate advantage could result from the greater consumption of cheap claret. But the criticism which the French treaty aroused was drowned in the clamour which was created by the proposed repeal of the paper duties. The manufacture of paper was declared to be a struggling industry, which would be destroyed by the withdrawal of protection. The dissemination of cheap literature and the multiplication of cheap newspapers could not compensate the nation for the ruin of an important trade. If money could be spared, moreover, for the remission of taxation, the paper duties were much less oppressive than those on some other articles. The tax on tea, for example, which had been raised during the late war to no less than Is. 5d. a lb, was much more injurious; and it would be far wiser—so it was contended—to reduce the duty on tea than to abandon the duties on paper. Notwithstanding the opposition which the Paper Duties Bill undoubtedly excited, the proposal was carried in the padper Commons; it was, however, thrown out in the Lords dues ~. r repealed and its rejection led to a crisis which seemed at one time to threaten the good relations between the two houses of parliament. It was argued that if the Lords had the right to reject a measure remitting existing duties, they had in effect the right of imposing taxation, since there was no material difference between the adoption of a new tax and the continuance of an old one which the Commons had determined to repeal. Lord Palmerston, however, with some tact postponed the controversy for the time by obtaining the appointment of a committee to search for precedents; and, after the report of the committee, he moved a series of resolutions affirming the right of the Commons to grant aids and supplies as their exclusive privilege, stating that the occasional rejection of financial measures by the Lords had always been regarded with peculiar jealousy, but declaring that the Commons had the remedy in their own hands by so framing bills of supply as to secure their acceptance. In accordance with this suggestion the Commons in the following year again resolved to repeal the paper duties; but, instead of embodying their decision in a separate bill, they included it in the same measure which dealt with all the financial arrangements of the year, and thus threw on the Lords the responsibility of either accepting the proposal, or of paralysing the whole machinery of administration by depriving the crown of the supplies which were required for the public services. The Lords were not prepared to risk this result, and they accordingly accepted a reform which they could no longer resist, and the bill became law. In order to enable him to accomplish these great changes, Gladstone temporarily raised the income tax, which he found at 9d. in the £, to tod. But the result of his reforms was so marked that he was speedily able to reduce it. The revenue increased by leaps and bounds, and the income tax was gradually reduced till it stood at 4d. in the closing years of the administration. During the same period the duty on tea was reduced from 1s. 5d. to 6d. a lb; and the national debt was diminished from rather more than £800,000,000 to rather less than £780,000,000, the charge for the debt declining, mainly through the falling in of the long annuities, by some £2,600,000 a year. With the possible exception of Sir Robert Peel's term of office, no previous period of British history had been memorable for a series of more remarkable financial reforms. Their success redeemed the character of the administration. The Liberals, who complained that their leaders were pursuing a Conservative policy, could at least console themselves by the reflection that. the chancellor of the exchequer was introducing satisfactory budgets. The language, moreover, which Gladstone was holding on other subjects encouraged the more advanced Liberals to expect that he would ultimately place himself at the head of the party of progress. This expectation was the more remarkable because Gladstone was the representative in the cabinet of the old Conservative party which Sir Robert Peel had led to victory. As lately as 1858 he had reluctantly refused to serve under Lord Derby; he was still a member of the Carlton Club; he sat for the university of Oxford and on many questions he displayed a constant sympathy with Conservative traditions. Yet, on all the chief domestic questions which came before parliament in Lord Palmerston's second administration, Gladstone almost invariably took a more Liberal view than his chief. It was understood, indeed, that the relations between the two men were not always harmonious; that Lor4 Palmerston disapproved the resolute conduct of Gladstone, and that Glad-stone deplored the Conservative tendencies of Lord Palmerston. It was believed that Gladstone on more than one occasion desired to escape from a position which he disliked by resigning office, and that the resignation was only averted through a consciousness that the ministry could not afford to lose its most eloquent member_ While on domestic matters, other than those affecting finance, the Liberal ministry was pursuing a Conservative policy, its members were actively engaged on, and the attention of the public was keenly directed to, affairs abroad.. For the period was one of foreign unrest, and the wars which were then waged have left an enduring mark on the map of the world, and have affected the position of the Anglo-Saxon race for all time. In the far East, the operations which it had been decided to under- take in China were necessarily postponed on account of the diversion of the forces, intended to exact redress at Peking, to the suppression of mutiny in India. It was only late in 1858 that Lord Elgin and Baron Gros, the French plenipotentiary (for France joined England in securing simultaneous redress of grievances of her own), were enabled to obtain suitable reparation. It was arranged that the treaty, which was then provisionally concluded at Tientsin, should be ratified at Peking in the follow- ing year; and in June 1859 Mr (afterwards Sir China war, Frederick) Bruce, Lord Elgin's brother, who had been appointed plenipotentiary, attempted to proceed up the Peiho with the object of securing its ratification. The allied squadron, however, was stopped by the forts at the mouth of the Peiho, which fired on the vessels; a landing party, which was disembarked to storm the forts, met with a disastrous check, and the squadron had to retire with an acknowledged loss of three gunboats and 400 men. This reverse necessitated fresh operations, and in 186o Lord Elgin and Baron Gros were directed to return to China, and, at the head of an adequate force, were instructed to exact an apology for the attack on the allied fleets, the ratification and execution of the treaty of Tientsin, and the payment of an indemnity for the expenses of the war. The weak- ness of the Chinese empire was not appreciated at that time; the unfortunate incident on the Peiho in the previous summer had created an exaggerated impression of the strength of the Chinese arms, and some natural anxiety was felt for the success of the expedition. But the allied armies met with no serious resistance. The Chinese, indeed, endeavoured to delay their progress by negotiation rather than by force; and they succeeded in treacher- ously arresting some distinguished persons who had been sent into the Chinese lines to negotiate. But by the middle of October the Chinese army was decisively defeated; Peking was occupied; those British and French prisoners who had not succumbed to the hardships of their confinement were liberated. Lord Elgin determined on teaching the rulers of China a lesson by the destruction of the summer palace; and the Chinese government was compelled to submit to the terms of the Allies, and to ratify the treaty of Tientsin. There is no doubt that these operations helped to open the Chinese markets to British trade; but incidentally, by regulating the emigration of Chinese coolies, they had the unforeseen effect of exposing the industrial markets of the world to the serious competition of " cheap yellow " labour. A distinguished foreign statesman observed that Lord Palmerston had made a mistake. He thought. that he had opened China to Europe; instead, he had let out the Chinese. It was perhaps a happier result of the war that it tended to the continuance of the Anglo-French alliance. French and British troops had again co-operated in a joint enterprise, and had shared the dangers and successes of a campaign. War was not confined to China. In the beginning of 185o diplomatists were alarmed at the language addressed by the emperor of the French to the Austrian ambassador at Paris, which seemed to breathe the menace of a rupture. Notwithstanding the exertions which Great Britain made to avert hostilities, the provocation of Count Cavour induced Austria to declare war against Piedmont, and Napoleon thereupon moved to the support of his ally, promising to free Italy from the the Adriatic. As a matter of fact, the attitude of northern Germany, which was massing troops on the Rhine, and the defenceless condition of France, which was drained of soldiers for the Italian campaign, induced the emperor to halt before he had carried out his purpose, and terms of peace were hastily concerted at Villafranca, and were afterwards confirmed at Zurich, by which Lombardy was given untfloatjon to Piedmont, while Austria was left in possession of oflra~y. Venice and the Quadrilateral, and central Italy was restored to its former rulers. The refusal of the Italians to take back the Austrian grand dukes made the execution of these arrangements impracticable. Napoleon, indeed, used his influence to carry them into effect; but Lord John Russell, who was now in charge of the British foreign office, and who had Lord Palmerston and Gladstone on his side in the cabinet, gave a vigorous support to the claim of the Italians that their country should be allowed to regulate her own affairs. The French emperor had ultimately to yield to the determination of the inhabitants of central Italy, when it was backed by the arguments of the British foreign office, and Tuscany, Modena, Parma, as well as a portion of the states of the Church, were united to Piedmont. There was no doubt that through the whole of the negotiations the Italians were largely indebted to the labours of Lord John Russell. They recognized that they owed more to the moral support of England than to the armed assistance of France. The French emperor, moreover, took a step which lost him the sympathy of many Italians. Before the war he had arranged with Count Cavour that France should receive, as the price of her aid, the duchy of Savoy and the county of Nice. After Villafranca, the emperor, frankly recognizing that he had only half kept his promise, consented to waive his claim to these provinces. But, when he found himself unable to resist the annexation of central Italy to Piedmont, he reverted to the old arrangement. The formation of a strong Piedmontese kingdom, with the spoliation of the papal dominion, was unpopular in France; and he thought—perhaps naturally—that he must have something to show his people in return for sacrifices which had cost him the lives of 50,000 French soldiers, and concessions which the whole Catholic party in France resented. Count Cavour consented to pay the price which Napoleon thus exacted, and the frontier of France %, as accordingly extended to the Alps. But it is very doubtful whether Napoleon did not lose more than he gained by this addition to his territory. It certainly cost him the active friendship of Great Britain. The Anglo-French alliance had been already strained by the language of the French colonels in 1858 and the Franco-Austrian War of 1859; it never fully recovered from the shock which it received by the evidence, which the annexation of Savoy and Nice gave, of the ambition of the French emperor. The British people gave way to what Cobden called the last of the three panics. Lord Palmerston proposed and carried the provision of a large sum of. money for the fortification of the coasts; and the volunteer movement, which had its origin in 1859, received a remarkable stimulus in r86o.. In this year the course of events in Italy emphasized the differences between the policy of Great Britain and that of France. Garibaldi, with a thousand followers, made his famous descent on the coast of Sicily. After making himself master of that island, he crossed over tc the mainland, drove the king of Naples out of his capital, and forced him to take refuge in Gaeta. In France these events were regarded with dismay. The emperor wished to stop Garibaldi's passage across the strait, and stationed his fleet at Gaeta to protect the king of Naples. Lord John Russell, on the contrary, welcomed Garibaldi's success with enthusiasm. He declined to intervene in the affairs of Italy by confining the great liberator to Sicily; he protested against the presence of the French fleet at Gaeta; and when other foreign nations denounced the conduct of Piedmont, he defended it by quoting Vattel and citing the example of William III. When, finally, Italian troops entered the dominions of the pope, France withdrew her ambassador from the court of Turin, and England under Lord John Russell's advice at once recognized the new kingdom of Italy. In these great events—for the union of Italy was the greatest fact which had been accomplished in Europe since the fall of the first Napoleon—the British ministry had undoubtedly acquired credit. It was everywhere felt that the new kingdom owed much to the moral support which had been steadily and consistently given to it by Great Britain. Soon afterwards, however, in the autumn of 1863, the death of the king of Denmark led to a new revolution in the north of Europe, in which Lord Palmerston's government displayed less resolution, and lost much of the prestige which it had acquired by its Italian policy. The duchies of Schleswig and Holstein had been for centuries united to the kingdom of Denmark by the golden link of the Schles- crown; in other respects they had been organically wig- kept distinct, while one of them—Holstein—was a Holstein member of the German confederation. The succession question. to the crown of Denmark, however, was different from that in the duchies. In Denmark the crown could descend, as it descends in Great Britain, through females,. In the duchies the descent was confined to the male line; and, as Frederick VII., who ascended the Danish throne in 1848, had no direct issue, the next heir to the crown of Denmark under this rule was Prince Christian of Glucksburg, afterwards king; the next heir to the duchies being the duke of Augustenburg. In 185o an arrangement had been made to prevent the separation pf the duchies from the kingdom. As a result of a conference held in London, the duke of Augustenburg was induced to renounce his claim on the receipt of a large sum of money. Most of the great powers of Europe were parties to this plan. But the German confederation was not represented at the conference, and was not therefore committed to its conclusions. During the reign of Frederick VII. the Danish government endeavoured to cement the alliance between the duchies and the kingdom, and specially to separate the interests of Schleswig, which was largely Danish in its sympathies, from those of Holstein, which was almost exclusively German. With this object, in the last year of his life, Frederick VII. granted Holstein autonomous institutions, and bound Schleswig more closely to the Danish monarchy. The new king Christian IX. confirmed this, arrangement. The German diet at Frankfort at once protested against it. Following up words with acts, it decided on occupying Holstein, and it delegated the duty of carrying out its order to Hanover and Saxony. While this federal execution was taking place, the duke of Augustenburg—regardless of the arrangements to which he had consented—delegated his rights in the duchies to his son, who formally claimed the succession. So far the situation, which was serious enough, had been largely dependent on the action of Germany. In the closing days of 1863 it passed mainly into the control of the two chief German powers. In Prussia Bismarck had lately become prime minister, and was animated by ambitious projects for his country's aggrandizement. Austria, afraid of losing her influence in Germany, followed the lead of Prussia, and the two powers required Denmark to cancel the arrangements which Frederick VII. had made, and which Christian IX. had confirmed, threatening in case of refusal to follow up the occupa- tion of Holstein by that of Schleswig. As the Danes gave only a provisional assent to the demand, Prussian and Austrian troops entered Schleswig. • These events created much excitement in England. The great majority of the British people, who imperfectly understood the merits of the case, were unanimous in their desire to support Denmark by arms. Their wish had been accentuated by the circumstance that the marriage in the previous spring of the prince of Wales to the daughter of the new king of Denmark had given them an almost personal interest in the struggle. Lord Palmerston had publicly expressed the views of the people by declaring that, if Denmark were attacked, her assailants would not have to deal with Denmark alone. The language of the public press and of Englishmen visiting Denmark confirmed the impression which the words of the prime minister had produced; and there is unfortunately no doubt that Denmark was encouraged to resist her powerful opponents by the belief, which she was thus almost authorized in entertaining, that she could reckon in the hour of her danger on the active assistance of the United Kingdom. If Lord Palmerston had been supported by his cabinet, or if he had been a younger man, he might possibly, in 1864, have made good the words which he had rashly uttered in 1863. But the queen, who, it is fair to add, understood the movement which was tending to German unity much better than most of her advisers, was averse from war. A large section of the cabinet shared the queen's hesitation, and Lord Palmerston—with the weight of nearly eighty summers upon him—was not strong enough to enforce his will against both his sovereign and his colleagues. He made some attempt to ascertain whether the emperor of the French would support him if he went to war. But he found that the emperor had not much fancy for a struggle which would have restored Holstein to Denmark; and that, if he went to war at all, his chief object would be the liberation of Venice and the rectification of his own frontiers. Even Lord Palmerston shrank from entering on a campaign which would have involved all Europe in conflagration and would have unsettled the boundaries of most continental nations; and the British government endeavoured thence-forward to stop hostilities by referring the question immediately in dispute to a conference in London. The labours of the conference proved. abortive. Its members were unable to agree upon any methods of settlements, and the war went on. Denmark, naturally unable to grapple with her powerful antagonists, was forced to yield, and the two duchies which were the subject of dispute were taken from her. The full consequences of this struggle were not visible at the time. It was impossible to foresee that it was the first step which was to carry Prussia forward, under her ambitious minister, to a position of acknowledged supremacy on the continent. But the results to Great Britain were plain enough. She had been mighty in words and weak in deeds. It was no doubt open to her to contend, as perhaps most wise people consider, that the cause of Denmark was not of sufficient importance to justify her in going to war. But it was not open to her to encourage a weak power to resist and then desert her in the hour of her necessity. Lord Palmerston should not have used the language which he employed in 1863 if he had not decided that his brave words would be followed by brave action. His conduct lowered the prestige of Great Britain at least as much as his Italian policy had raised it.• Continental statesmen thenceforward assumed that Great Britain, however much she might protest, would not resort to arms, and the influence of England suffered, as it was bound to suffer, in consequence. Meanwhile, in this period of warfare, another struggle was being fought out on a still greater scale in North America. The election of Abraham Lincoln to the presidency of the United States emphasized the fact that the majority of the inhabitants of the Northern States were opposed to the further spread of slavery; and, in the beginning of 1861, several of the Southern States formally seceded from the union. A American ~' civil war. steamer sent by. the Federal government with reinforce- ments to Fort Sumter was fired upon, and both parties made preparations for the civil war which was apparently inevitable. On the one side the Confederate States—as the seceding states were called—were animated by a resolution to protect their property. On the other side the " conscience " of the North was excited by a passionate desire to wipe out the blot of slavery. Thus both parties were affected by some of the most powerful considerations which can influence mankind, while the North were further actuated by the natural incentive to' preserve the union, which was threatened with disruption. The progress of the great struggle was watched with painful attention in England. The most important manufacturing interest in England was paralysed by the loss of the raw cotton, which was obtained almost exclusively from the United States, and tens of thousands of workpeople were thrown out of employment. The distress which resulted naturally created a strong feeling in favour of intervention, which might terminate the war and open the Southern ports to British commerce; and the initial successes which the Confederates secured seemed to afford some justification for such a proceeding. In the course of 1862 indeed, when the Confederate armies had secured many victories, Gladstone, speaking at Newcastle, used the famous expression that President Jefferson Davis had " made a nation "; and Lord Palmerston's language in the House of Commons—while opposing a motion for the recognition of the South—induced the impression that his thoughts were tending in the same direction as Mr Gladstone's. The emperor Napoleon, in July of the same year, confidentially asked the British minister whether the moment had not come for recognizing the South; and in the following September Lord Palmerston was himself disposed in concert with France to offer to mediate on the basis of separation. Soon afterwards, however, the growing exhaustion of the South improved the prospects of the Northern States: an increasing number of persons in Great Britain objected to interfere in the interests of slavery; and the combatants were allowed to fight out their quarrel without the interference of Europe. At the beginning of the war, Lord Jolin Russell (who was made a peer as Earl Russell in 1861) acknowledged the Southern States as' belligerents. His decision caused some ill-feeling at Washington; but it was inevitable. For the North had pro- claimed a • blockade of the Southern ports; and it would have been both inconvenient and unfair if Lord Russell had decided to recognize the blockade and had refused to acknowledge the belligerent rights of the Southern States. Lord Russell's decision, however, seemed to indicate some latent sympathy for the Southern cause; and the irritation which was felt in the North was increased by the news that the Southern States were accrediting two gentlemen to represent them at Paris The and at London. These emissaries,' Messrs Mason and "Trent" incident Slidell, succeeded in running the blockade and in reaching Cuba, where they embarked on the " Trent," a British mail steamer sailing for England. On her passage home the Trent " was stopped by the Federal steamer '" San Jacinto she was boarded, and Messrs Mason and Slidell were arrested: There was no doubt that the captain of the " San Jacinto had acted irregularly. While he had the right to stop the Trent, examine the mails, and, if he found despatches for the enemy among them, carry the vessel into an American port for adjudication, he had no authority to board the vessel and arrest two of her passengers. The British government," to use its own language, " could not allow such an affrbnt to the national honour to pass without due reparation." They decided on sending what practically amounted to an ultimatum to the Federal government, calling upon it to liberate the prisoners and to make a suitable ap6logy. The presentation of this ultimatum, which was accompanied by the despatch of troops to Canada, was very nearly provoking war with the United States. If, indeed, the ultimatum had been presented in the form in which it was originally framed. war might have ensued. But at the prince consort's sugges'on its language was consider-ably modified, and the responsibility for the outrage was thrown on the officer who committed it, and not on the government of the Republic. It ought not tube forgotten that this important modification was the last service rendered to his adopted country'by the prince consort before his fatal illness, He died before the answer to the despatch was received; and his death deprived the queen of an adviser who hadstood by her side since the earlier days of her reign, and who, by his prudence and conduct, had done much to raise the tone of the court and the influence of the crown. Happily for the future of the world, the government of the United States felt itself able to accept the despatch which had been thus addressed to it, and to give the reparation which was demanded; and the danger of war between the two great branches of the Anglo-Saxon race was averted. But, in the following summer, a new event excited fresh animosities, and aroused a controversy which endured for the best part of ten years. The Confederates, naturally anxious to harass the commerce of their enemies, endeavoured from the commencement of hostilities to purchase armed cruisers from builders of neutral nations. In June 1862 the American minister in London drew Lord Russell's attention to the fact that a vessel, lately launched at Messrs 'Laird's yard at Birkenhead, was obviously intended to be employed as a Confederate cruiser. The solicitor to the commissioners of customs, however, considered that no facts had been revealed to authorize the detention of the vessel, and this opinion was reported in July to the American minister, Charles Francis Adams. He thereupon supplied the government with additional facts, and at the same time furnished them with the opinion of an eminent English lawyer, R. P. Collier (afterwards Lord Monkswell), to the effect that it would be difficult to make out 'a stronger case of infringement of the Foreign Enlistment Act, which if not enforced on this occasion is little better than a dead letter." These facts and this opinion were at once sent to the law officers. They reached the queen's advocate on Saturday the 26th of July; but, by an unfortunate mischance; the queen's advocate had just been wholly incapacitated by a distressing illness; and the papers, in consequence, did not reach the attorney- and solicitor-general till the evening of the following Monday, when they at once advised the government to detain the vessel. Lord Russell thereupon 'sent orders to Liverpool for her detention. In the meanwhile the vessel—probably aware of the necessity for haste —had put to sea; and had commenced the career which made her fambus'as the " Alabama." Ministers might even then have taken steps to stop the vessel by directing her detention in any British port to which she resorted for supplies. The cabinet, however, shrank from this course. The" Alabama "was allowed to prey on Federal 'commerce, and undoubtedly inflicted a vast amount of injury on the trade of the United States. In the autumn of 1862 Adams demanded redress for the injuries which had thus been sustained, and this demand was repeated for many years' in stronger and stronger language. At last, in 1871, long after Lord Palmerston's death and Lord Russell's retirement, a joint commission Was appointed to examine into the many cases of dispute" which had arisen between the United States and • Great `Britain. ' The commissioners agreed upon three rules by which they thought neutrals should in future be bound, and recommended that they should be given a retrospective effect. They decided also that the claims which had arisen out of the depredations of the " Alabama " should be referred to arbitration.' In the course of 1872 the arbitrators met at Geneva. Their' finding was adverse to Great Britain, which was condemned to pay' a large sum of money-more than £3,000,000 —as compensation. A'period of exceptional prosperity, which largely increased the revenue, enabled a chancellor of the exchequer to boast that the country had drunk itself out of the "Alabama " difficulty. In October 1865 "Lord Palmerston's rule, which had been characterized by six years of political inaction at home and by constant disturbance abroad, was terminated by his Lord death. The ministry, which' 'had suffered many losses Russell's from death during its duration; was temporarily re- second constructed under Lord Russell; and the new minister 1Di°istry: at once decided to put an end to' the period of internal stagnation, which had lasted so long, by the introduction of a The " Alabama." new Reform Bill. Accordingly, in March 1866 Gladstone, who now led the House of Commons, introduced a measure which proposed to extend the county franchise to £14 and the borough franchise to £7 householders. The bill did not create much enthusiasm among Liberals, and it was naturally opposed by the Conservatives, who were reinforced by a large section of moderate Liberals, nicknamed, in consequence of a phrase in one of Bright's speeches, Adullamites. After many debates, in which the. Commons showed little disposition to give the ministry any effective support, an amendment was carried by Lord Dunkellin, the eldest son of Lord 'Clanricarde, basing the borough franchise on rating instead of rental. The cabinet, recognizing from the division that the control of the House had passed out of its hands, resigned office, and the queen was compelled to entrust Lord Derby with the task of forming a new administration. For the third time in his career Lord Derby undertook the formidable task of conducting the government of the country Lord with only a minority of the House of Commons to Derby's support him. The moment at which he made this third third attempt was one of unusual anxiety. Abroad, ministry. the almost simultaneous outbreak of war between Prussia and Austria was destined to affect the whole aspect of continental politics. At home, a terrible murrain had fallen on the cattle, inflicting ruin on the agricultural interest; a grave commercial crisis was creating alarm in the city of London, and, in its consequences, injuring the interests of labour; while the working classes, at last roused from their long indifference, and angry at the rejection of Lord Russell's bill, were assembling in their tens of thousands to demand reform. The cabinet deter-mined to prohibit a meeting which the Reform League decided to hold in Hyde Park on the 23rd of July, and closed the gates of the park on the people. But the mob, converging on the park in thousands, surged round the railings, which a little inquiry might have shown were too weak to resist any real pressure. Either accidentally or intentionally, the railings were overturned in one place, and the people, perceiving their opportunity, at once threw them down round the whole circuit of the park. Few acts in Queen Victoria's reign were attended with greater consequences. For the riot in Hyde Park led almost directly to a new Reform Act, and to the transfer of power from the middle classes to the masses of the people. Yet, though the new government found it necessary to intro- duce a Reform Bill, a wide difference of opinion existed in the cabinet as to the form which the measure should take. Several of its members were in favour of assimilating the borough franchise to that in force in municipal elections, and practically conferring a vote on every householder who had three years' residence in the constituency. General Peel, however—Sir Robert Peel's brother—who held the seals of the war office, objected to this extension; and the cabinet ultimately decided on evading the difficulty by bringing forward a series of resolutions on which a scheme of reform might ulti- mately be based. Their success in 1858, in dealing with the government of India in this way, commended the decision to the acceptance of the cabinet. But it was soon apparent that the House of Commons required a definite scheme, and that it would not seriously consider a set of abstract resolutions which committed no one to any distinct plan. Hence on the 23rd of February 1867 the cabinet decided on withdrawing its resolutions and reverting to its original bill. On the following day Lord Cranborne—better known afterwards as Lord Salisbury—dis- covered that the bill had more democratic tendencies than he had originally supposed, and refused to be a party to it. On Monday, the 25th, the cabinet again met to consider the new difficulty which had thus arisen; and it decided (as was said' afterwards by Sir John Pakington) in ten minutes to substitute for the scheme a mild measure extending the borough franchise to houses rated at £6 a year, and conferring the county franchise on £20 householders. The bill, it was soon obvious, would be acceptable to no one; and the government again fell back on its original proposal. Three members of the cabinet, however, Lord Cranborne,. Lord Carnarvonand General Peel, refused to be parties to the measure, and resigned office, the government being necessarily weakened by these defections. In the large scheme which the cabinet had now adopted, the borough franchise was conferred on all householders rated to the relief of the poor, who had for two years occupied the houses which gave them the qualification; the county franchise was given to the occupiers of all houses rated at £I5 a year or upwards. But it was proposed that these extensions should be accompanied by an educational franchise, and a franchise conferred on persons who had paid twenty shillings in assessed taxes or income tax; the tax-payers who had gained a vote in this way being given a second vote in respect of the property which they occupied. In the course of the discussion on the bill in the House of Commons, the securities on which its authors had relied to enable them to stem the tide of democracy were, chiefly through Gladstone's exertions; swept away. The dual vote was abandoned, direct payment of rates was surrendered, the county franchise was extended to f12 householders, and the redistribution of seats was largely increased. The bill, in the shape in which it had been introduced, had been surrounded with safeguards to property. With their loss it involved a great radical change, which placed the working classes of the country in the position of predominance which the middle classes had occupied since 1832. The passage of the bill necessitated a dissolution of parliament; but it had to be postponed to enable parliament to supplement the English Reform Act of 1867 with measures applicable to Scotland and Ireland, and to give time for DisraeU settling the boundaries of the new constituencies minister. which had been created. This delay gave the Conservatives another year of office. But the first place in the cabinet passed in 1868 from Lord Derby to his lieutenant, Disraeli. The change added interest to political life. Thence-forward, for the next thirteen years, the chief places in the two great parties in the state were filled by the two men, Gladstone and Disraeli, who were unquestionably the ablest representatives of their respective followers. But the situation was also remark-able because power thus definitely passed from men who, without exception, had been born in the 18th century, and had all held cabinet offices before 1832, to men who had been born in the loth century, and had only risen to cabinet rank in the 'forties and the 'fifties. It was also interesting to reflect that Gladstone had begun life as a Conservative, and had only gradually moved to the ranks of the Liberal party; while Disraeli had fought his first election under the auspices of O'Connell and Hume, had won his spurs by his attacks on Sir Robert Peel, and had been only reluctantly adopted by the Conservatives as their leader in the House of Commons. The struggle commenced in 1868 on an Irish question. During the previous years considerable attention had been paid to a secret conspiracy in Ireland and among the Irish in America. The Fenians, as they were called, actually attempted insurrection in Ireland, and an invasion of Canada from the United States. At the beginning of 1866 Lord Russell's government thought itself compelled to suspend the Habeas Corpus Act in Ireland; and in 1867 Lord Derby's government was confronted in the spring by a plot to seize Chester Castle, and in the autumn by an attack on a prison van at Manchester containing Fenian prisoners, and by an atrocious attempt to blow up Clerkenwell prison. Conservative politicians deduced from these circumstancesthe necessity of applying firm government to Ireland. Liberal statesmen, on the contrary. desired to extirpate rebellion by remedying the grievances of which Ireland still complained. Chief among these was the fact that Irish Church. the Established Church in Ireland was the church of only a minority of the people. In March 1868 John Francis Maguire, an Irish Catholic, asked the House of Commons to resolve itself into a committee to take into immediate consideration the affairs of Ireland. Gladstone, in the course of the debate, declared that in his opinion the time had come when the Irish Church, as a political institution, should cease; and he followed up his declaration by a series of resolutions, which Reform, 1867. were accepted by considerable majorities, pledging the House to its disestablishment. Disraeli, recognizing the full significance of this decision, announced that, as soon as the necessary preparations could be made, the government would appeal from the House to the country. Parliament was dissolved at the end of July, but the general election did not take place till the end of the following November. The future of the Irish Church naturally formed one of the chief subjects which occupied the attention of the electors, but the issue was largely determined by wider considerations. The country, after the long political truce which had been maintained by Lord Palmerston, was again ranged in two hostile camps, animated by opposing views. It was virtually asked to decide in 1868 whether it would put its trust in Liberal or Conservative, in Gladstone or Disraeli. By an overwhelming majority it threw its lot in favour of Gladstone; and Disraeli, without even venturing to meet parliament, took the unusual course of at once placing his resignation in the queen's hands. The Conservative government, which thus fell, will be chiefly recollected for its remarkable concession to democratic principles by the passage of the Reform Act of 1867; but it deserves perhaps a word of praise for its conduct of a distant and unusual war. The emperor of Abyssinia had, for some time, detained some Englishmen prisoners in his country; and the government, unable to obtain redress in other ways, decided on sending an army to release them. The expedition, entrusted to Sir Robert Napier, after-wards Lord Napier of Magdala, was fitted out at great expense, and was rewarded with complete success. The prisoners were released, and the Abyssinian monarch committed suicide. Disraeli—whose oriental imagination was excited by the triumph —incurred some ridicule by his bombastic declaration that " the standard of St George was hoisted upon the mountains of Rasselas." But the ministry could at least claim that the war had been waged to rescue Englishmen from captivity, that it had been conducted with skill, and that it had accomplished its object. The events of the Abyssinian war, however, were forgotten in the great political revolution which had swept the Conservatives from office and placed Gladstone in power. His government was destined to endure for more than five years. During that period it experienced the alternate prosperity and decline which nearly forty years before had been the lot of the Whigs after the passage of the first Reform Act. During its first two sessions it accomplished greater changes in legislation than had been attempted by any ministry since that of Lord Grey. In its three last sessions it was destined to sink into gradual disrepute; and it was ultimately swept away by a wave of popular reaction, as remarkable as that which had borne it. into power. It was generally understood that Gladstone intended to deal with three great Irish grievances—" the three branches of the mad- upas tree "—the religious, agricultural and educa- stone's tional grievances. The session of 1869 was devoted first to the first of these subjects. Gladstone introduced ministry, a bill disconnecting the Irish Church from the state, establishing a synod for its government, and—after leaving it in possession of its churches and its parsonages, and making ample provision for the life-interest of its. existing clergy—devoting the bulk of its property to the relief of distress in Ireland. The bill was carried by large majorities through the House of Commons; and the feeling of the country was so strong that the Lords did not venture on its rejection. They satisfied themselves with engrafting on it a series of amendments which, on the whole, secured rather more liberal terms of compensation for existing interests. Some of these amendments were adopted by Gladstone; a compromise was effected in respect of the others; and the bill, which had practically occupied the whole session, and had perhaps involved higher constructive skill than any measure passed in the previous half-century, became law. Having dealt with the Irish Church in 1869, Gladstone turned to the more complicated question ;of Irish land. So far back as the 'forties Sir R. Peel had appointed a commission, known from its chairman as the Devon commission, which had recommended that the Irish tenant, in the event of disturbance, should receive some compensation for certain specified improvements which he had made in his holding. h Irish ind land. Parliament neglected to give effect to these recommendations; in a country where agriculture was the chief or almost only occupation, the tenant remained at his landlord's mercy. In 187o Gladstone proposed to give the tenant a pecuniary interest in improvements, suitable to the holding, which he had made either before or after the passing of the act. He proposed also that, in cases of eviction, the smaller tenantry should receive compensation for disturbance. The larger tenantry, who were supposed to be able to look after their own interests, were entirely debarred, and tenants enjoying leases were excluded from claiming compensation, except for tillages, buildings and reclamation of lands. A special court, it was further provided; should be instituted to carry out the provisions of the bill. Large and radical as the measure was, reversing many of the accepted principles of legislation by giving the tenant a quasi-partnership with the landlord in his holding, no serious opposition was made to it in either House of Parliament. Its details, indeed, were abundantly criticized, but its principles were hardly disputed, and it became law without any substantial alteration of its original provisions. In two sessions two branches of the upas tree had been summarily cut off. But parliament in 1870 was not solely occupied with the wrongs of Irish tenantry. In the same year Forster, as vice-president of the council, succeeded in carrying the great measure which for the first time made education compulsory. In devising his scheme, Forster endeavoured to utilize, as far as possible, the educational machinery which had been voluntarily provided by various religious organizations. He gave the institutions, which had been thus established, the full benefit of the assistance which the government was prepared to afford to board schools, on their adopting a conscience clause under which the religious susceptibilities of the parents of children were protected. This provision led to many debates, and produced the first symptoms of disruption in the Liberal party. The Nonconformists contended that no such aid should be given to any school which was not conducted on undenominational principles. Sup-ported by the bulk of the Conservative party, Forster was enabled to defeat the dissenters. But the victory which he secured was, in one sense, dearly purchased. The first breach in the Liberal ranks had been made; and the government, after 1870, never again commanded the same united support which had enabled it to pursue its victorious career in the first two sessions of its existence. Towards the close of the session of 187o other events, for which the government had no direct responsibility, introduced new difficulties. War unexpectedly broke out between France and Prussia. The French empire fell; the Black Sea neutrality. German armies marched on Paris; and the Russian government, at Count Bismarck's instigation, took advantage of the collapse of France to repudiate the clause in the treaty of 1856 which neutralized the Black Sea. Lord Granville, who had succeeded Lord Clarendon at the foreign office, protested against this proceeding. But it was everywhere felt that his mere protest was not likely to affect the result; and the government at last consented to accept a suggestion made by Count Bismarck, and to take part in a conference to discuss the Russian proposal. Though this device enabled them to say that they had not yielded to the Russian demand, it was obvious that they entered the conference with the foregone conclusion of conceding the Russian claim. The attitude which the government thus chose to adopt was perhaps inevitable in the circumstances, but it confirmed the impression, which the abandonment of the cause of Denmark had produced in 1864, that Great Britain was not prepared to maintain its principles by going to war. The weakness of the British foreign office was emphasized by its consenting, almost at the same moment, to allow the claims of the United States, for the depredations of the " Alabama," to be settled under a rule only agreed upon in 1871. Most Englishmen now Abys- sinian war. Elementary education. appreciate the wisdom of a concession which has gained for them the friendship of the United States. But in 1871 the country resented the manner in which Lord Granville had acted. What-ever credit the government might have derived from its domestic measures, it was discredited, or it was. thought to be, by its foreign policy. In these circumstances legislation in 1871 was not marked with the success which had attended the government in previous sessions. The government succeeded in terminating a long controversy by abolishing ecclesiastical tests at universities. But the Lords ventured to reject a measure for the introduction of the ballot at elections, and refused to proceed with a bill for the abolition of purchase in the army. The result of these decisions was indeed remarkable. In the one case, the Lords in 1872 found it necessary to give way, and to pass the Ballot Bill, which they had rejected in 1871. In the other, Gladstone decided on abolishing, by the direct authority of the crown, the system which the Lords refused to do away with by legislation. But his high-handed proceeding, though it forced the Lords to reconsider their decision, strained the allegiance of many of his supporters, and still further impaired the popularity of his administration. Most men felt that it would have been permissible for him, at the commencement of the session, to have used the queen's authority to terminate the purchase system; but they considered that, as he had not taken this A111y course, it was not open to him to reverse the decision purchase. of the legislature by resorting to the prerogative. Two appointments, one to a judicial office, the other to an ecclesiastical preferment, in which Gladstone, about the same time, showed more disposition to obey the letter than the spirit of the law, confirmed the impression which the abolition of purchase had made. Great reforming ministers would do well to recollect that the success of even liberal measures may be dearly purchased by the resort to what are regarded as unconstitutional expedients. In the following years the embarrassments of the government were further increased. In 1872 Bruce, the home secretary, succeeded in passing a measure of licensing reform. M72- But the abstainers condemned the bill as inadequate; 1874. the publicans denounced it as oppressive; and the whole strength of the licensed victuallers was thenceforward arrayed against the ministry. In 1873 Gladstone attempted to complete his great Irish measures by conferring on Ireland the advantage of a university which would be equally acceptable to Protestants and Roman Catholics. But his proposal again failed to satisfy those in whose interests it was proposed. The second reading of the bill was rejected by a small majority, and Gladstone resigned; but, as Disraeli could not form a government, he resumed office. The power of the great minister was, however, spent; his ministry was hopelessly discredited. History, in fact, was repeating itself. The ministry was suffering, as Lord Grey's government had suffered nearly forty years before, from the effect of its own successes. It had accomplished more than any of its supporters had expected, but in doing so it had harassed many interests and excited much opposition. Gladstone endeavoured to meet the storm by a rearrangement of his crew. Bruce, who had offended the licensed victuallers, was removed from the home office, and made a peer and president of the council. Lowe, who had incurred unpopularity by his fiscal measures, and especially by an abortive suggestion for the taxation of matches, was transferred from the exchequer to the home office, and Gladstone himself assumed the duties of chancellor of the exchequer. He thereby created a difficulty for himself which he had not foreseen. Up to 1867 a minister leaving one office and accepting another vacated his seat; after 1867 a transfer from one post to another did not necessitate a fresh election. But Gladstone in 1873 had taken a course which had not been contemplated in 1867. He had not been transferred from one office to another. He had accepted a new in addition to his old office. It was, to say the least, uncertain whether his action in this respect had, or had not, vacated his seat. It would be unfair to suggest that the inconvenient difficulty with which he was thus confronted determined his policy, though hewas probably insensibly influenced by it. However this may be, on the eve of the session of 1874 he suddenly decided to dissolve parliament and to appeal to the country. He announced his decision in an address to his constituents, in which, among other financial reforms, he promised to repeal the income tax. The course which Gladstone took, and the bait which he held out to the electors, were generally condemned. The country, wearied of the ministry and of its measures, almost everywhere supported the Conservative candidates. Disraeli found himself restored to power at the head of an overwhelming majority, and the great minister who, five years before, had achieved so marked a triumph temporarily withdrew from the leadership of the party with whose aid he had accomplished such important results. His ministry had been essentially one of peace, yet its closing days were memorable for one little war in which a great soldier increased a reputation already high. Sir Garnet Wolseley triumphed over the difficulties which the climate of the west coast of Africa imposes on Europeans, and brought a troublesome contest with the Ashantis to a successful conclusion. The history of Disraeli's second administration affords an exact reverse to that of Gladstone's first cabinet. In legislation the ministry attempted little and accomplished less. They did something to meet the wishes of the publicans, Dei=drs whose discontent had contributed largely to Gladstone's ministry, defeat, by amending some of the provisions of Bruce's licensing bill; they supported and succeeded in passing a measure, brought in by the primate, to restrain some of the irregularities which the Ritualists were introducing into public worship; and they were compelled by the violent insistence of Plimsoll to pass an act to protect the lives of merchant seamen. Disraeli's government, however, will be chiefly remembered for its foreign policy. Years before he had propounded in Tattered the theory that England should aim at eastern empire. Circumstances in his second term of office enabled him to translate his theory into practice. In 1875 the country was suddenly startled at hearing that it had acquired a new position and assumed new responsibilities in Egypt by the purchase of the shares which the khedive of Egypt held in the Suez Canal. In the following spring a new surprise was afforded by the introduction of a measure authorizing the queen to assume the title of empress of India. But these significant actions were almost forgotten in the presence of a new crisis; for in 1876 misgovernment in Turkey had produced its natural results, and the European provinces of the Porte were in a state of armed insurrection. In the presence of a grave danger, Count Andrassy, the Austrian minister, drew up a note which was afterwards known by his name, declaring that the Porte had failed to carry into effect the promises of reform which she had made, and that some combined action on the part of Europe was necessary to compel her to do so. The note was accepted by the three continental empires, but Great Britain refused in the first instance to assent to it, and only ultimately consented at the desire of the Porte, whose statesmen seem to have imagined that the nominal co-operation of England would have the effect of restraining the action 'fa of other powers. Turkey accepted the note and .atroci- ties. renewed the promises of reform, which she had so often made, and which meant so little. The three northern powers thereupon agreed upon what was known as the Berlin Memorandum, in which they demanded an armistice, and proposed to watch over the completion of the reforms which the Porte had promised. The British government refused to be a party to this memorandum, which in consequence became abortive. The insurrection increased in intensity. The sultan Abdul Aziz, thought unequal to the crisis, was hastily deposed; he was either murdered or led to commit suicide; and insurrection in Bulgaria was stamped out by massacre. The story of the " Bulgarian atrocities " was published in Great Britain in the summer of 1876. Disraeli characteristically dismissed it as " coffee-house babble," but official investigation proved the substantial accuracy of the reports which had reached England. The people regarded these events with horror. Gladstone, emerging from his retirement, denounced the conduct of the Turks, In a phrase which became famous he declared that the only remedy for the European provinces of the Porte was to turn out the Ottoman government " bag and baggage." All England was at once arrayed into two camps. One party was led by Disraeli, who was supposed to represent the traditional policy of England of maintaining the rule of the Turk at all hazards; the other, inspired by the example of Gladstone', was resolved at all costs to terminate oppression, but was at the same time distrusted as indirectly assisting the ambitious views by which the Eastern policy of Russia had always been animated. The crisis soon became intense. In June 1876 Servia and Montenegro declared war against Turkey. In a few months Servia was hopelessly beaten. Through the insistence of Russia an armistice was agreed upon; and Lord Beaconsfield—for Disraeli had now been raised to the peerage—endeavoured to utilize the breathing space by organizing a conference of the great powers at Constantinople, which was attended on behalf of Great Britain by Lord Salisbury. The Constantinople conference proved abortive, and in the beginning of 1877 Russia declared war. For some time, however, her success was hardly equal to her expectations. The Turks, entrenched at Plevna, delayed the Russian advance; and it was only towards the close of 1877 that Plevna at last fell and Turkish resistance collapsed. With its downfall the war party in England, which was led by the prime minister, increased in violence. From the refrain of a song, sung night after night at a London music hall, its members became known as Jingoes. The government ordered the British fleet to pass the Dardanelles and go up to Constantinople; and though the order was subsequently withdrawn, it asked for and obtained a grant of £6,0oo,00b for naval and military purposes. When news came that the Russian armies had reached Adrianople, that they had concluded some arrangement with the Turks, and that they were pressing forward towards Constantinople, the fleet was again directed to pass the'Dardanelles,• Soon afterwards the government decided to call out the reserves and to bring a contingent of Indian troops to the Mediterranean. Lord Derby,' who was at the foreign office, thereupon retired from the ministry, and was succeeded by Lord Salisbury. Lord Derby's resignation was everywhere regarded as a proof that Great Britain was on the verge of war. Happily this did not occur. At Prince Bismarck's suggestion Russia consented to refer the treaty which she had concluded at San Stefano to a congress of the great powers; and the congress, at which Great Britain was represented by Lord Beaconsfield and Lord Salisbury, succeeded in substituting for the treaty of San Stefano the treaty of Berlin. The one great advantage derived frotn it was the tacit acknowledgment by Russia that Europe could alone alter arrangements which Europe had made. In every other sense it is doubtful whether the provisions of the treaty of Berlin were more favourable than those of the treaty of San Stefano. On Lord Beaconsfield's return, however, he claimed for Lord Salisbury and himself that they had brought back " peace with honour," and the country accepted with wild delight the phrase, without taking much trouble to analyse its justice. If Lord Beaconsfield had dissolved parliament immediately after his return from Berlin, it is possible that the wave of popularity which had been raised by his success would have borne him forward to 'a fresh victory in the constituencies. His omission to do so gave the country time to meditate on the con-sequences of his policy. One result soon became perceptible. Differences with Russia produced their inevitable consequences in fresh complications on the Indian frontier. The Russian government, confronted with a quarrel with Great Britain. in Afghan eastern Europe, endeavoured to create difficulties in wars. Afghanistan. A Russian envoy was sent to Kabul, where Shere Ali, who had succeeded his father Ddst Mahommed in 1863, was amir; and the British , government, alarmed at this new embarrassment, decided on sending a mission to the Afghan capital. The mission was stopped on the frontier ' Edward Henry Stanley, 15th earl of Derby, son of the 14th earl and former prime an agent of Shere Ali, who declined to allow it to proceed. The British government refused to put up with, an affront of this kind, and their envoy, supported by an army, continued his advance. Afghanistan was again invaded. Kabul and Kandahar were occupied; and Shere Ali was forced to fly, and soon afterwards died. His successor, Yakub Khan, came to the British camp and signed, in May 1879, the treaty of Gandamak. Under the terms of this treaty the Indian government undertook to pay the new amir a subsidy of £6o,000 a year; and Yakub Khan consented to receive a British mission at Kabul, and to cede some territory in the Himalayas which the military advisers of Lord Beaconsfield considered necessary to make the frontier more scientific." This apparent success was soon followed by disastrous news. The deplorable events of 1841 were re-enacted in 1879. The new envoy reached Kabul, but was soon afterwards murdered. A British army was again sent into Afghanistan, and Kabul was again occupied. Yakub Khan, who had been made amir in 1879, was deposed, and Abdur Rahman Khan was selected as his successor. The British did not assert their superiority without much fighting and some serious reverses. Their victory was at last assured by the ex-, cellent strategy of Sir Donald Stewart and Sir Frederick (after-wards Lord) Roberts. But before the final victory was gained Lord Beaconsfield had fallen. His policy had brought Great Britain to the verge of disaster in Afghanistan: the credit of reasserting the superiority of British arms was deferred till his successors had taken office. It was not only in Afghanistan that the new imperial policy which Lord Beaconsfield had done so much to encourage was straining the resources of the empire. In South Africa a still more serious difficulty was already commencing. At the time at which Lord Beaconsfield's administration began, British territory in South Africa was practically confined to Cape Colony and Natal. Years before, in 1852 and 1854 respectively, the British government, at that time a little weary of the responsi bilities of colonial rule, had recognized the independence of the two Dutch republics, the Transvaal and the Orange Free State. Powerful native tribes occupied the territory to the north of Natal and the east of the Transvaal. War broke out between the Transvaal Republic and one of the most powerful of these native chieftains, Sikukuni; and the Transvaal was worsted in the struggle. Weary of the condition of anarchy which existed in the republic, many inhabitants of the Transvaal were ready to welcome its annexation to Great Britain-a proposal favoured by the colonial secretary, Lord Carnarvon, who wished to federate the South African states, after the manner in which the North American colonies had become by confederation the Dominion of Canada. Sir Theophilus Shepstone, who was sent to inquire into the proposal, mistook the opinion of a party for the verdict of the republic, and declared (April 1877)the Transvaal a part of the British Empire. His policy entailed far more serious consequences than the mission to Afghanistan. The first was a war with the Zulus, the most powerful and Zulu war. warlike of the South African natives, who under their ruler, Cetewayo, had organized a formidable army. A dispute had been going on for some' time about the possession of a strip of territory which some British arbitrators had awarded to the Zulu king. Sir Bartle Frere, who had won distinction in India, and was sent out by Lord Beaconsfield's government to the Cape, kept back the award; and, though he ultimately communicated it to Cetewayo, thought it desirable to demand the disbandment of the Zulu army. In the war which ensued, the British troops who invaded Zulu territory met with a severe reverse; and, though the disaster1was ultimately retrieved by Lord Chelmsford, the war involved heavy expenditure' and brought little credit to the British army, while one unfortunate incident, the death of Prince Napoleon, who had obtained leave to serve with the British troops, and was surprised by the Zulus while reconnoitring, created a deep and unfortunate impression. Imperialism, which had been excited by Lord Beaconsfield's policy in 1878, and by the prospect of a war with a great European power, fell into discredit when it degenerated into a fresh expedition into Berlin treaty. Afghanistan, and an inglorious war with a savage African tribe. A period of distress at home increased the discontent which Lord Beaconsfield's external policy was exciting; and, when parliament was at last dissolved in 188o, it seemed no longer certain that the country would endorse the policy of the minister, who only a short time before had acquired such popularity. Gladstone, emerging from his retirement, practically placed himself again at the head of the Liberal party. In a series of speeches in Midlothian, where he offered himself for election, he denounced the whole policy which Lord Beaconsfield had pursued. His impassioned eloquence did much more than influence his own election. His speeches decided the contest throughout the kingdom. The Liberals secured an even more surprising success than that which had rewarded the Conservatives six years before. For the first time in the queen's reign, a solid Liberal majority, independent of all extraneous Irish support, was returned, and Gladstone resumed in triumph his old position as prime minister. The new minister had been swept into power on a wave of popular favour, but he inherited from his predecessors difficulties Quad- in almost every quarter of the world; and his own stone's language had perhaps tended to increase them. He second was committed to a reversal of Lord Beaconsfield's ministry. policy; and, in politics, it is never easy, and perhaps rarely wise, suddenly and violently to change a system. In one quarter of the world the new minister achieved much success. The war in Afghanistan, which had begun with disaster, was creditably concluded. A better understanding was gradually established with Russia; and, before the ministry went out, steps had been taken which led to the delimitation of the Russian and Afghan frontier. In South Africa, however, a very different result ensued. Gladstone, before he accepted office, had de- nounced the policy of annexing the Transvaal; his language was so strong that he was charged with encouraging the Boers to maintain their independence by force; his example had naturally been imitated by some of his followers at the general election; and, when !le resumed power, he found himself in the difficult dilemma of either maintaining an arrangement which he had declared to be unwise, or of yielding to a demand which the Boers were already threatening to support in arms. The events of the first year of his administration added to his difficulty. Before its close the Boers seized Heidelberg and established a republic; they destroyed a detachment of British troops at Bronkhorst Spruit; and they surrounded and attacked the British garrisons in the Transvaal. Troops were of course sent from England to maintain the British cause; and Sir George Colley, who enjoyed a high reputation and had experience in South African warfare, was made governor of Natal, and en- trusted with the military command. The events which im- mediately followed will not be easily forgotten. Wholly mis- calculating the strength of the Boers, Sir George Colley, at the end of January 1881, attacked them at Laing's Nek, in the north of Natal, and was repulsed with heavy loss. Some ten days afterwards he fought another action on the Ingogo, and was again forced to retire. On the 26th February, with some boo men, he occupied a high hill, known as Majuba, which, he thought, dominated the Boer position. The following day the Boers attacked the hill, overwhelmed its defenders, and Sir George Colley was himself killed in the disastrous contest on the summit. News of these occurrences was received with dismay in England. It was, no doubt, possible to say a good deal for Gladstone's indignant denunciation of his predecessor's policy in annexing the Transvaal; it would have been equally possible to advance many reasons for reversing the measures of Lord Beaconsfield's cabinet, and for conceding independence to the 1881 War, Transvaal in r880. But the great majority of persons considered that, whatever arguments might have been urged for concession in 188o, when British troops had suffered no reverses, nothing could be said for concession in 1881, when their arms had been tarnished by a humiliating disaster. Great countries can afford to be generous in the hour of victory; but they cannot yield, without loss-of credit, in the hour of defeat. Unfortunately this reasoning was net suited to Gladstone's u 19temperament. The justice or injustice of the British cause seemed to him a much more important matter than the vindication of military honour; and he could not bring himself to acknowledge that Majuba had altered the situation, and that the terms which he had made up his mind to concede before the battle could not be safely granted till military reputation was restored. The retrocession of the Transvaal was decided upon, though it was provided that the country should remain under the suzerainty of the queen. Even this great concession did not satisfy the ambition of the Boers, who were naturally elated by their victories. Three years later some Transvaal deputies, with their president, Kruger, came to London and saw Lord Derby, the secretary of state for the colonies. Lord Derby consented to a new convention, from which any verbal reference to suzerainty was excluded; and the South African republic was made independent, subject only to the condition that it should conclude no treaties with foreign powers without the approval of the crown. (For the details and disputes concerning the terms of this convention the reader is referred to the articles TRANSVAAL and SUZERAINTY.) Gladstone's government declined in popularity from the date of the earliest of these concessions. Gladstone, in fact, had succeeded in doing what Lord Beaconsfield had failed to accomplish. Annoyance at his foreign policy had rekindled the imperialism which the embarrassments created by Lord Beacons-field had done so much to damp down. And, if things were going badly with the new government abroad, matters were not progressing smoothly at home. At the general election of i88o, the borough of Northampton, which of late years has shown an unwavering preference for Liberals of an advanced type, returned as its members Henry Labouchere and Charles Bradlaugh. Bradlaugh, who had attained some notoriety for an Bradlaugh aggressive atheism, claimed the right to make an affirmation of allegiance instead of taking the customary oath, which he declared was, in his eyes, a meaningless form. The speaker, instead of deciding the question, submitted it to the judgment of the House, and it was ultimately referred to a select committee, which reported against Bradlaugh's claim. Bradlaugh, on hearing the decision of the committee, presented himself at the bar and offered to take the oath. It was objected that, as he had publicly declared that the words of the oath had no clear meaning for him, he could not be permitted to take it; and after some wrangling the matter was referred to a fresh committee, which supported the view that Bradlaugh could not be allowed to be sworn, but recommended that he. should be permitted to Make the affirmation at his own risk. The House refused to accept the recommendation of this committee when a bill was introduced to give effect to it. This decision naturally enlarged the question before it. For, while hitherto the debate had turned on the technical points whether an affirmation could be substituted for an oath, or whether a person who had declared that an oath had no meaning for him could properly be sworn, the end at which Bradlaugh's opponents were thenceforward aiming was the imposition of a new religious test—the belief in a God—on members of the House of Commons, The controversy, which thus began, continued through the parliament of i88o, and led to many violent scenes, which lowered the dignity of the House. It was quietly terminated, in the parliament of 1886, by the firm action of a new speaker. Mr Peel, who had been elected to the chair in 1884, decided that neither the speaker nor any other member had the right to intervene to prevent a member from taking the oath if he was willing to take it. Parliament subsequently, by a new act, permitted affirmations to be used, and thenceforward religion, or the absence of religion, was no disqualification for a seat in the House of Commons. The atheist, like the Roman Catholic and the Jew, could sit and vote. The Bradlaugh question was not the only difficulty. with which the new government was confronted. Ireland was again attracting the attention of politicians. The Fenian movement had practically expired; some annual motions for the introduction of Home Rule, made with all the decorum of II parliamentary usage, had been regularly defeated. But the Irish were placing themselves under new leaders and adopting new methods. During the Conservative government of 1874, the Irish members had endeavoured to arrest attention by organized obstruction. Their efforts had increased the difficulties of Parne& government and taxed the endurance of parliament. These tactics were destined to be raised to a fine art by Parnell, who succeeded to the head of the Irish party about the time of the formation of Gladstone's government. It was Parnell's determination to make legislation impracticable, and parliament unendurable, till Irish grievances were redressed. It was his evident belief that by pursuing such tactics he could force the House of Commons to concede the legislation which he desired. The Irish members were not satisfied with the legislation which parliament had passed in 1867–1870. The land act of 187o had given the tenant no security in the case of eviction for non-payment of rent; and the tenant whose rent was too high or had been raised was at the mercy of his landlord. It so happened that some bad harvests had temporarily increased the difficulties of the tenantry, and there was no doubt that large numbers of 'evictions were taking place in Ireland. In these circumstances, the Irish contended that the relief which the act of 187o had afforded should be extended, and that, till such legislation could be devised, a temporary measure should be passed giving the tenant compensation for disturbance. Gladstone admitted the force of this reasoning, and a bill was introduced to give effect to it. Passed by the Commons, it was thrown out towards the end of the session by the Lords; and the government acquiesced—perhaps could do nothing but acquiesce—in this decision. In Ireland, however, the rejection of the measure was attended with disastrous results. Outrages increased, obnoxious landlords and agents were " boycotted "—the name of the first gentleman exposed to this treatment adding a new word to the language; and Forster, who had accepted the office of chief secretary, thought it necessary, in the presence of outrage and intimidation, to adopt stringent measures for enforcing order. A measure was passed on his initiation, in 1881, authorizing him to arrest and detain suspected persons; and many well-known Irishmen, including Parnell himself and other members of parliament, were thrown into prison. It was an odd commentary on parliamentary government that a Liberal ministry should be in power, and that Irish members should be in prison; and early in 1882 Gladstone determined to liberate the prisoners on terms. The new policy—represented by what was known as the Kilmainham Treaty—led to the resignation of the viceroy, Lord Cowper, and of Forster, and the appointment of Lord Spencer and Lord Frederick Cavendish as their successors. On the 6th of May 1882 Lord Spencer made his entry into Dublin, and on the evening of the same day Lord Frederick, unwisely allowed to walk home alone with Burke, the under-secretary to the Irish government, was murdered with his companion in Phoenix Park. This gross outrage led to fresh measures of coercion. The disclosure, soon afterwards, of a conspiracy to resort to dynamite still further alienated the sympathies of the Liberal party from the Irish nation. Gladstone might fairly plead that he had done much, that he had risked much, for Ireland, and that Ireland was making him a poor return for his services. In the meanwhile another difficulty was further embarrassing a harassed government. The necessities of the khedive of Egypt had been only temporarily relieved by the sale to Egypt. Lord Beaconsfield's government of the Suez Canal shares. Egyptian finance, in the interests of the bondholders, had been placed under the dual control of England and France. The new arrangement naturally produced some native resentment, and Arabi Pasha placed himself at the head of a movement which was intended to rid Egypt of foreign interference. His preparations eventually led to the bombardment of Alexandria by the British fleet, and still later to the invasion of Egypt by a British army under Sir Garnet, afterwards Lord Wolseley, and to the battle of Tell-el-Kebir, after which Arabi was defeated snd taken prisoner. The bombardment of Alexandria led to theimmediate resignation of Bright, whose presence in the cabinet had been of importance to the government; the occupation of Egypt broke up the dual control, and made Great Britain responsible for Egyptian administration. The effects of British rule were, in one sense, remarkable. The introduction of good government increased the prosperity of the people, and restored confidence in Egyptian finance. At the same time it provoked the animosity of the French, who were naturally jealous of the increase of British influence on the Nile, and it also threw new responsibilities on the British nation. For south of Egypt lay the great territory of the Sudan, which to some extent commands the Nile, and which had been added to the Egyptian dominions at various periods between 1820 and 1875. In 1881 a fanatic sheikh—known as the mandi—had headed an insurrection against the khedive's authority; and towards the close of 1883 an Egyptian army under an Englishman, Colonel Hicks, was annihilated by the mandi's followers. The insurrection increased the responsibilities which intervention had imposed on England, and an expedition was sent to Suakin to guard the littoral of the Red Sea; while, at the beginning .of 1884, General Gordon—whose services in China had gained him a high reputation, and who had had previous experience in the Sudan—was sent to Khartum to report on the condition of affairs. These decisions led to momentous results. The British expedition to Suakin was engaged in a series of battles with Osman Digna, the mandi's lieutenant; while General Gordon, after (Jordon, alternate reverses and successes, was isolated at Khartum. Anxious as Gladstone's ministry was to restrict the sphere of its responsibilities, it was compelled to send an expedition to relieve General Gordon; and Lord Wolseley, who was appointed to the command, decided on moving up the Nile to his relief. The expedition proved much more difficult than Lord Wolseley had anticipated. And before it reached its goal, Khartum was forced to surrender, and General Gordon and his few faithful followers were murdered (January 1885). General Gordon's death inflicted a fatal blow on the Liberal government. It was thought that the general, whose singular devotion to duty made him a popular hero, had been allowed to assume an impossible task; had been feebly supported; and that the measures for his relief had been unduly postponed and at last only reluctantly undertaken. The ministry ultimately experienced defeat on a side issue. The budget, which Childers brought forward as chancellor of the exchequer, was attacked by the Conservative party; and an amendment proposed by Sir Michael Hicks-Beach, condemning an increase in the duties on spirits and beer, was adopted by a small majority. Gladstone resigned office, and Lord Salisbury, who, after Lord Beaconsfield's death, had succeeded to the lead of the Conservative party, was instructed to form a new administration. It was obvious that the new government, as its first duty, would be compelled to dissolve the parliament that had been elected when Gladstone was enjoying the popularity which he had lost so rapidly in office. But it so happened Reform Act, 1884. that it was no longer possible to appeal to the old constituencies. For, in 1884, Gladstone had introduced a new Reform Bill; and, though its passage had been arrested by the Lords, unofficial communications between the leaders of both parties had resulted in a compromise which had led to the adoption of a large and comprehensive Reform Act. By this measure, household franchise was extended to the counties. But counties and boroughs were broken up into a number of small constituencies, for the most part returning only one member each; while the necessity of increasing the relative weight of Great Britain, and the reluctance to inflict disfranchisement on Ireland, led to an increase in the numbers of the House of Commons from 658 to 67o members. This radical reconstruction of the electorate necessarily made the result of the elections doubtful. As a matter of fact, the new parliament comprised 334 Liberals, 250 Conservatives and 86 Irish Nationalists. It was plain beyond the possibility of doubt that the future depended on the course which the Irish Nationalists might adopt. It they threw in their lot with Gladstone, Lord Salisbury's government was evidently doomed. If, on the contrary, they joined the Conservatives, they could make a Liberal administration impracticable. In the autumn of 1885 it was doubtful what course the Irish Nationalists would take. It was generally understood that Lord Carnarvon, who had been made viceroy of home Ireland, had been in communication with Parnell; Rule. that Lord Salisbury was aware of the interviews which had taken place; and it was whispered that Lord Carnarvon was in favour of granting some sort of administrative autonomy to Ireland. Whatever opinion Lord Carnarvon may have formed—and his precise view is uncertain—a greater man than he had suddenly arrived at a similar conclusion. In his election speeches Gladstone had insisted on the necessity of the country returning a Liberal majority which could act independently of the Irish vote; and the result of the general election had left the Irish the virtual arbiters of the political situation. In these circumstances Gladstone arrived at a momentous decision. He recognized that the system under which Ireland had been governed in the past had failed to win the allegiance of her people; and he decided that it was wise and safe to entrust her with a large measure of self-government. It w13 perhaps characteristic of Gladstone, though it was unquestionably unfortunate, that, in determining on this radical change of policy, he consulted few, if any, of his previous colleagues. On the meeting of the new parliament Lord Salisbury's government was defeated on an amendment to the address, demanding facilities for agricultural labourers to obtain small holdings for gardens and pasture—the policy, in short, which was described as " three acres and a cow." Lord Salisbury resigned, and Gladstone resumed power. The attitude, however, which Gladstone was understood to be taking on the subject of Home Rule threw many difficulties in his way. Lord Hartington, and others of his former colleagues, declined to join his administration; Mr Chamberlain, who, in the first instance, accepted office, retired almost at once from the ministry; and Bright, whose eloquence and past services gave him a unique position in the House, threw in his lot in opposition to Home Rule. A split in the Liberal party thus began, which was destined to endure; and Gladstone found his difficulties increased by the defection of the men on whom he had hitherto largely relied. He persevered, however, in the task which he had set himself, and introduced a measure endowing Ireland with a parliament, and excluding the Irish members from Westminster. He was defeated, and appealed from the House which had refused to support him to the country. For the first time in the queen's reign two general elections occurred within twelve months. The country showed no more disposition than the House of Commons to approve the course which the minister was taking. A large majority of the members of the new parliament were pledged to resist Home Rule. Gladstone, bowing at once to the verdict of the people, resigned office, and Lord Salisbury returned to power. The new cabinet, which was formed to resist Home Rule, did not succeed in combining all the opponents to this measure. Unionism. The secessionists from the Liberal party—the Liberal Unionists, as they were called—held aloof from it; and Lord Salisbury was forced to form his cabinet out of his immediate followers. The most picturesque appointment was that of Lord Randolph Churchill, who was made chancellor of the exchequer and leader of the House of Commons. But before many months were over, Lord Randolph—unable to secure acceptance of a policy of financial retrenchment—resigned office, and Lord Salisbury was forced to reconstruct his ministry. Though he again failed to obtain the co-operation of the Liberal Unionists, one of the more prominent of them—Goschen- accepted the seals of the Exchequer. W. H. Smith moved from the war office to the treasury, and became leader of the House of Commons; while Lord Salisbury himself returned to the foreign office, which the dramatically sudden death of Lord Iddesleigh, better known as Sir Stafford Northcote, vacated. These arrangements lasted till 1891, when, on Smith's death, the treasury and the lead of the Commons were entrusted to Lord Salisbury's nephew, Mr Arthur Balfour, who had made a great reputation as chief secretary for Ireland. The ministry of 1886, which endured till 1892, gave to London a county council; introduced representative government into every English county; and made elementary education free throughout England. The alliance with the Liberal Unionists was, in fact, compelling the Conservative government to promote measures which were not wholly consistent with the stricter Conservative traditions, or wishes. In other respects, the legislative achievements of the government were not great; and the time of parliament was largely occupied in devising rules for the conduct of its business, which the obstructive attitude of the Irish members made necessary, and in discussing the charges brought against the Nationalist party by The Times, of complicity in the Phoenix Park murders. Under the new rules, the sittings of the Hoi,tse on ordinary days were made to commence at 3 P.M., and opposed business was automatically interrupted at midnight, while for the first time a power was given to the majority in a House of a certain size to conclude debate by what was known as the closure. Notwithstanding these new rules obstructive tactics continued to prevail; and, in the course of the parliament, many members were suspended for disorderly conduct. The hostility of the Irish members was perhaps increased by some natural indignation at the charges brought against Parnell. The Times, in April 1887, printed the facsimile of a letter purporting to be signed by Parnell, in which he declared that he had no other course open to him but to denounce the Phoenix Park murders, but that, while he regretted " the accident " of Lord Frederick Cavendish's death, he could not " refuse to admit that Burke got' no more than his deserts." The publication of this letter, and later of other similar documents, naturally created a great sensation; and the government ultimately appointed a special commission of three judges to inquire into the charges and allegations that were made. In the course of the inquiry it was proved that the letters had emanated from a man named Pigott, who had at one time been associated with the Irish Nationalist movement, but who for some time past had earned a precarious living by writing begging and threatening letters. Pigott, subjected to severe cross-examination by Sir Charles Russell (afterwards Lord Russell of Killowen), broke down, fled from justice and committed suicide. His flight practically settled the question; and an inquiry, which many people had thought at its inception would brand Parnell as a criminal, raised him to an influence which he had never enjoyed before. But in the same year which witnessed his triumph, he was doomed to fall. He was made co-respondent in a divorce suit brought by Captain O'Shea—another Irishman—for the dissolution of his marriage; and the disclosures made at the trial induced Gladstone, who was supported by the Nonconformists generally throughout the United Kingdom, to request Parnell to withdraw from the leadership of the Irish party. Parnell refused to comply with this request, and the Irish party was shattered into fragments by his decision. Parnell himself did not long survive the disruption of the party which he had done so Natlosa/lst split. much to create. The exertions which he made to retrieve his waning influence proved too much for his strength, and in the autumn of 1891 he died suddenly at Brighton. Parnell's death radically altered the political situation. At the general elections of 1885 and 1886 the existence of a strong, united Irish party had exercised a dominating influence. As the parliament of 1886 was drawing to a close, the dissensions among the Irish members, and the loss of their great leader, were visibly sapping the strength of the Nationalists. At the general election of 1892 Home Rule was still the prominent subject before the electors. But the English Liberals were already a little weary of allies who were quarrelling among themselves, and whose disputes were introducing a new factor into politics. The political struggle virtually turned not on measures, but on men. Gladstone's great age, and the marvellous powers which he displayed at a time when most men seek the repose of retirement, were the chief causes which affected the results. His influence enabled him to secure a small Liberal majority. But it was noticed that the majority depended on Scottish, Irish and Welsh votes, and that England—the " predominant partner," as it was subsequently called by Lord Rosebery—returned a majority of members, pledged to resist any attempt to dissolve the union between the three kingdoms. On the meeting of the new parliament Lord Salisbury's government was defeated on a vote of want of confidence, and for a fourth time Gladstone became prime minister. yome Rule In the session of 1893 he again introduced a Home

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