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Italy, of all the countries on the Continent, was most predisposed for revolution in 1848. In fact, the train had long been laid in that countryrather, a number of trainsdesigned to blow up the despotisms under which the people had been so grievously oppressed. Mazzini, the prince of political conspirators, had been diligently at work, and the Carbonari had been actively engaged in organising their associations, and making preparations for action. The hopes of the Italian people had been greatly excited by the unexpected liberalism of the new Pope, Pius IX., who startled the world by the novelty of his reforming policy. Already partial concessions had been made by the Government, but these proved wholly insufficient. Upon the news of the revolution in Vienna, Venice rose, forced the Governor to release her leaders, Tommaseo and Manin, compelled the Austrians to evacuate the city, and established a Provisional Government. Meanwhile in Milan all was quiet until the news arrived of the flight of Metternich. Then the inhabitants became impatient and clamorous, and assembled in large numbers around the Government House. In order to disperse them, the soldiers fired blank cartridge. At this moment a fiery youth shouted "Viva l'Italia!" and then, apparently, gave the preconcerted signal by firing a pistol at the troops. Instantly the guards were overpowered, the Vice-Governor, O'Donell, was made prisoner, and the success of the movement was quickly signalised by the floating of the tricolour over the palace. That night (March 18) and the next day (Saturday) the people were busily occupied in the erection of barricades. The bells of Milan tolled early on Sunday morning, summoning the population, not to worship, but to battle. An immense tricolour flag floated from the tower of the cathedral, and under that emblem of revolution the unarmed people, men and women, fought fiercely against Marshal Radetzky's Imperial troops, and in spite of his raking cannon, for five days. It was the most terrific scene of street fighting by an enraged people who had broken their chains that had ever occurred in the history of the world. Every stronghold was defended by cannon, and yet one by one they all fell into the hands of the people, till at last the troops remained masters of only the gates of the city. But the walls were scaled by emissaries, who announced to the besieged that Pavia and Brescia were in open insurrection, and that the Archduke, son of the Viceroy, had been taken prisoner. The citizens also communicated with the insurgent population outside by means of small balloons, containing proclamations, requesting them to break down the bridges and destroy the roads, to prevent reinforcements coming to the Austrians. In vain the Austrian cannon thundered from the Tosa and Romagna gates. The undaunted peasantry pressed forward in increasing numbers, and carried the positions. Radetzky was at length compelled to order a retreat. He retired to Crema, within the Quadrilateral fortresses beyond the Mincio. In the meantime a Provisional Government was appointed at Milan, which issued an earnest appeal to all Italians to rise in arms. "We have conquered," they said; "we have compelled the enemy to fly." The proclamation also intimated that Charles Albert of Sardinia was hastening to their assistance, "to secure the fruits of the glorious revolution," to fight the last battle of independence and the Italian union. On the 25th of March the Piedmontese army was ordered across the Ticino. The Congress at ViennaNapoleon's Escape from ElbaMilitary PreparationsEngland supplies the MoneyWellington organises his ArmyNapoleon's Journey through FranceHis Entry into ParisThe Enemy gathers round himNapoleon's PreparationsThe New ConstitutionPositions of Wellington and BlucherThe Duchess of Richmond's BallBattles of Ligny and Quatre BrasBlucher's RetreatThe Field of WaterlooThe BattleCharge of the Old GuardArrival of the PrussiansThe RetreatFrench Assertions about the Battle refutedNapoleon's AbdicationThe Allies march on ParisEnd of the Hundred DaysThe Emperor is sent to St. HelenaThe War in AmericaEvents on the Canadian FrontierRepeated Incapacity of Sir George PrevostHis RecallFailure of American Designs on CanadaCapture of Washington by the BritishOther ExpeditionsFailure of the Expedition to New OrleansAnxiety of the United States for PeaceMediation of the CzarTreaty of GhentExecution of Ney and LabdoyreInability of Wellington to interfereMurat's Attempt on NaplesHis ExecutionThe Second Treaty of ParisFinal Conditions between France and the AlliesRemainder of the Third George's ReignCorn Law of 1815General DistressRiots and Political MeetingsThe Storming of AlgiersRepressive Measures in ParliamentSuspension of the Habeas Corpus ActSecret Meetings in LancashireThe Spy OliverThe Derbyshire InsurrectionRefusal of Juries to convictSuppression of seditious WritingsCircular to Lords-LieutenantThe Flight of CobbettFirst Trial of HoneThe Trials before Lord EllenboroughBill for the Abolition of SinecuresDeath of the Princess CharlotteOpening of the Session of 1818Repeal of the Suspension ActOperation of the Corn LawThe Indemnity BillIts Passage through ParliamentAttempts at ReformMarriages of the Dukes of Clarence, Cambridge, and KentRenewal of the Alien ActDissolution of Parliament and General ElectionStrike in ManchesterCongress of Aix-la-ChapelleRaids of the PindarreesLord Hastings determines to suppress themMalcolm's CampaignOutbreak of CholeraCampaign against the PeishwaPacification of the Mahratta DistrictApparent Prosperity of Great Britain in 1819Opening of ParliamentDebates on the Royal ExpenditureResumption of Cash PaymentsThe BudgetSocial ReformsThe Scottish BurghsRoman Catholic Emancipation rejectedWeakness of the GovernmentMeeting at ManchesterThe Peterloo MassacreThe Six ActsThe Cato Street ConspiracyAttempted Insurrection in ScotlandTrials of Hunt and his AssociatesDeath of George III.
over everything. We're going to have a storm.The Session of 1850 was creditably distinguished by the establishment of a policy of self-government for our colonies. They had become so numerous and so large as to be utterly unmanageable by the centralised system of the Colonial Office; while the liberal spirit that pervaded the Home Government, leading to the abolition of great monopolies, naturally reacted upon our fellow-subjects settled abroad, and made them discontented without constitutional rights. It was now felt that the time was come for a comprehensive measure of constitutional government for our American and Australian Colonies; and on the 8th of February, Lord John Russell, then Prime Minister, brought the subject before the House of Commons. It was very fully discussed, Sir William Molesworth, Mr. Roebuck, Mr. Labouchere, and others who had taken an active part in colonial affairs, being the principal speakers. With regard to Canada, great progress had already been made in constitutional government. The same might be said of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, in which the practice of administration approximated to that observed in Great Britain. It was determined to introduce representative institutions of a similar kind in Cape Colony. In Australia it was proposed that there should be but one Council, two-thirds elected by the people and one-third nominated by the Governor. Mr. Roebuck objected strongly to the Government measure, because it left the colonists free, to a great extent, to gratify the strong desire almost universally felt among them to have power to choose a Constitution for themselves, instead of having a Constitution sent out to them, cut and dry. He wanted the House to plant at once liberal institutions there, which would spare the colonists the agony of working out a scheme of government for themselves. He declared that "of all the abortions of an incompetent Administration, this was the greatest." A ready-made Constitution had been sent out by the Government to South Africa; why, then, could not Parliament send out a ready-made Constitution to Australia? Lord John Russell replied to Mr. Roebuck's arguments, and after a lengthened debate the Bill was read a second time. There was a strong division of opinion in committee as to whether there should be two Chambers or one. Sir William Molesworth moved an amendment to the effect that there should be two, which was rejected by a majority of 218 against 150. The Bill passed the House of Commons on the 18th of May, and on the 31st was brought into the Lords, where also it was subjected to lengthened discussions and various amendments, which caused it to be sent back to the Commons for consideration on the 1st of August. On the motion of Lord John Russell the amendments were agreed to, and the Bill was passed. This was the principal legislative work of the Session and possessed undoubted merits.
There goes the gong for dinner. I'll post this as I pass the box.
"Yes, ye have one!"27th May
There goes the gong for dinner. I'll post this as I pass the box.You deserve ten thousand years out of purgatory.
The year 1816 was a most melancholy year. Both agricultural and manufacturing labourers rose in great masses to destroy machinery, to which, and not to the temporary poverty of the whole civilised world, exhausted by war, they attributed the glut of manufactured goods, and the surplus of all kinds of labour. In Suffolk and Norfolk, and on the Isle of Ely, the agricultural labourers and fen-men destroyed the threshing-machines, attacked mills and farms, pulled down the houses of butchers and bakers, and marched about in great bands, with flags inscribed "Bread or blood!" In Littleport and Ely shops and public-houses were ransacked, and the soldiers were called out to quell the rioters, and much blood was shed, and numbers were thrown into prison, of whom thirty-four were condemned to death, and five executed. The colliers and workers in the iron mines and furnaces of Staffordshire and Warwickshire, as well as in the populous districts of South Wales, were thrown out of work, and the distress was terrible. The sufferings and consequent ferments in Lancashire were equally great. In Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, and Derbyshire, the Luddites broke out again, as they had done in 1812, and by night demolished the stocking-frames and the machinery in the cotton-mills. Great alarm existed everywhere, and on the 29th of July a meeting was called at the "City of London" Tavern to consider the means of relieving the distress, the Duke of York taking the chair, the Dukes of Kent and Cambridge, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Bishop of London, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and others attending. Many palliatives were proposed, but Lord Cochrane and other reformers declared that the only effectual remedy would be the abolition of the Corn Law. Soup-kitchens were recommended, but in Scotland these were spurned at as only insults to the sufferers; at Glasgow the soup-kitchen was attacked, and its coppers and materials destroyed; and at Dundee the people helped themselves by clearing a hundred shops of their provisions.J. A.