Brookes’ Universal Gazetteer, page 343
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Mary, this great princess placed herself at the head
of the movement which had drawn all minds with-
in its influence. Unjust and cruel towards Mary
Stuart, the political difficulties of her situation can
hardly palliate the enormity of her crime, but in
other respects we cannot too much admire the
grandeur of her conceptions. It was she who laid
the foundations of the English power: who first
despatched ships to circumnavigate the globe, and
who, after sending colonies to both Indies, laid
the foundation of that company of merchants who
rule over nearly an hundred millions of people in
the East. Skilful in turning the peculiarities of
the English constitution to her advantage, she
had the talent to govern despotically without of-
fending the nation, to restore order and economy
among tne finances, and to give a new impulse to
trade and commerce. The accession of James
VI, of Scotland, to the English throne, under the
name of James I, was attended with the advantage
of uniting without violence, two crowns which the
common interest should have placed on the same
head. His reign was disturbed by plots which
ceased only with the Stuarts, but exterior quiet
favoured the operations of trade. Charles I, after
sundry acts of indecision, weakness, and despo-
tism, died upon a scaffold, before the eyes of a
people who had learned by the tragical end of
Lady Jane Grey and Mary Stuart, to witness the
fall of a crowned head without shuddering. U nder
the protectorate of Cromwell, the English navy
attained to
a degree of power and reputation, which
earned a title of glory not to be withheld from this
cruel and crafty usurper.

Charles II, restored to the throne of his ances-
tors, confirmed the abolition of the feudal laws,
encouraged commerce and agriculture, and found-
ed the Royal Society of London ; but his luxuries
and pleasures led him into foolish expenses, to
met which he espoused the Infanta of Portugal
withhhe sole desire of enjoying her rich dowry.
He sold Dunkirk to France for 25,000 pounds
sterling, and compromised the interests of Eng-
land by joining Louis XIV, in the undertaken to
destroy the Dutch power. His despotism and ex-
tortions prepared a new revolution, which was
accelerated by the pretentions of the Jesuit party,
and the distrust of the protestants: victims on
both sides fell upon the scaffold, and James II, in
the midst of these troubles, forerunners of civil
war, succeeded his brother, shocked the prejudices
ofthe nation upon political and religious liberty,
and fled from the kingdom at the approach of
William of Orange. Enlightened by the experi-
ence of the past, the parliament, in decreeing the
c. vn to the son-in-law of James, drew up the
celebrated Bill of Rights, which restrained the
royal power within its just limits ; the two houses
retained the management of the public expenses,
and the kin* that of the civil lists. In vain Louis
XIV, actuated bv his attachment to the catholic
religion, generosity towards an unfortunate prince,
and”hatred of William, placed at the command of
James his money, soldiers, and ships : the battles
of the Bovne and Aghrim, in which this prince
showed neither the courage nor presence of mind
so necessarr to a king, took away from him the
hope of ever reconquering his throne. Finally
after a reign of thirteen years, in which, for the
maintenance of expensive wars with France, he
was obliged to resort to loans, William died, leav-
ing the kingdom burthened with a debt of 48 mil-
ions of dollars, or ten times the amount of the
debt in 1688.

Anne the daughter of James II, in placing
Marlborough at tne head of the army, saw the
national glory revive in the victorios of Blenheim
and Ramillies, while the battles of Oudenarde
and Malplaquet caused that of Almanza to be for-
gotten. Under her reign, Newfoundland, Hud-
son’s Bay, Minorca, and Gibraltar, were acknowl-
edged to belong to the English. Conformable to
the act of succession, the house of Brunswick fur-
nished, in 1714, a new dynasty to Great Britain.
George I. and George II. had to struggle against
the bold enterprises of Charles Edward, the grand-
son of James II. till the battle of Culloden, which,
in 1746, overthrew the party of the Pretender, and
delivered England from civil war, and the fears
of a new revolution. Toward the middle'of the
reign of George I, the private fortunes of many
individuals were ruined by the South Sea scheme,
as it happened in France at the same time, from
the financial system of Law. The reign of George
II, longer and more abounding in importantevents,
witnessed the renewal of that rivalry between
Great, Britain and France, which had subsequent-
ly such important effects upon the political sys-
tem of Europe. The former consoled herself for
the loss of the battle of'Fontenoy, and the disas-
ters of the Duke of Cumberland in Flanders, by her
successes on the ocean and in India, and by the
capture of the island of Goree, and the conquest of
Gaudaloupe and Canada.

Under these favourable auspices George III.
succeeded to the throne of his grandfather in 1760.
Born in England, he possessed a great advantage
over his predecessor, and was the idol of the na-
tion. A war which had broken out in 1755, between
France and England, wTas continued for three
years longer, and when the former had suffered
the loss of her fleets, and the latter so far exhaust-
ed her finances as to be no longer able to raise
soldiers without difficulty, the treaty of 1763 fol-
lowed. Great Britain retained Canada, the island
of Cape Breton, Dominica, Grenada, Tobago, St.
Vincent, and Senegal, hut these acquisitions in-
creased her debt tenfold, and the sum now
amounted to 134 millions sterling. This was no
favourable time for diminishing the taxes, and
still less so for increasing them, particularly by
imposing burdens upon xe2x80xa2 colqnies so important
as those of North America, and who required
so much forbearance. These colonies had always
possessed the right of taxing themselves in their
provincial' assemblies. The British parliament
in 1765, passed an act for collecting stamp-duties
in America, but this attempt failing in conse-
quence ofthe spirited resistance ofthe Americans,
it was renewed in another farm by imposing, a
duty on tea imported from England : the Colo-
nies began reprisals by refusing to make use of
any British imports, and the Bostonians threw
the tea into the sea. The mother country scorned
the medium of concession and took up arms. The
colonies assembled in a national congress, de-
clared the couatry an independent,sovereign state,
made preparation for war and placed Washington
at the head ofthe army. Victory, long time un-
decided, at length inclined to the side of the
Americans, and in 1778 France made a treaty
with the new confederation, and agreed to defend
their cause : this was a declaration of war against
England : the struggle was obstinate and bloody,
and the successes balanced, as shown by the treaty
of peace in 1783 by which Great Britain ceded to
France Tobago, the banks of the Senegal, and
some districts in the neighborhood of Pondicher-

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Brookes' Universal Gazetteer of the World (1850)


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