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his allies had not hitherto been effectual for restoring the general tranquillity, yet the farther extenfion of hostilities had been prevented, and the fituation of affairs abroad promifed to this country the uninterrupted enjoyment of peace.



Continental affairs.-The year 1789 eventful to the civilized world.—Change in the relative policy of France and Austria. -Profound policy of Kaunitz in the treaty of Auftria with France.-Imperial confederacy-produces the defenfive alliance of Britain, Holland, and Pruffia.-State of the bellige rent powers.- Character of the fultan.-His death.-Succeeded by Selim.-Change of counfels, and effects on military operations. Succeffes of the Ruffians and Auftrians.-They respectively capture Bender and Belgrade.-Ottoman empire in danger.-Sweden.-Diftreffes of Gustavus.-Eƒforts of his genius and courage for extrication.—Miners of Dalecarlia.-The Danes invade Sweden.-British policy induces the Danes to retreat.-Guftavus fuppreffes mutiny and faction.—He confirms his popularity.-He directs his whole energies against Ruffia.-Military and naval campaign between Sweden and Ruffia.-Commotions in the Netherlands.-State and conftitution of these provinces. Jofeph's violent defire of change under the name of reform.

-Innovations in the ecclefiaftical establishment.—Suppreffion of religious orders, and confifcation of their property, -Suppreffion of ancient, venerated, and beneficial customs. Change of judicial forms and proceedings.— Arbitrary system introduced.-Subverfion of the established legislature. Progrefs of defpotism trampling liberty and franchises. Jofeph confiders his Flemish fubjects merely as fources of revenue-Remonftrances of the Netherlanders.-Meeting of the States.-Deputies are fent to Vienna.-Jofeph pretends to grant their requests.-Sends general Dalton to the Netherlands.-Defpotic conduct of that officer. Effects of his tyranny.-Farther cruelty and robbery by Jofeph.-The Flemings refolve en forcible refiftance-Declaration of

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1789. 1789 eventful to the



Changes in the relative policy of France and Auftria.

rights.-The patriots defeat the Auftrian troops.—They form themselves into a federal republic.


HE fummer of 1789 teemed with events of greater importance to the civilized world, than any which are recorded in modern hiftory. Caufes that had long fecretly operated and gradually increafed in force, now manifefted themselves in the moft ftupendous effects. Before, however, the history proceeds to the principal tranfaction which will render the year 1789 for ever memorable, it is proper to carry the narrative to other fubjects that may illuftrate the collateral and relative ftate of other countries at the time in which a fyftem commenced, that changed not only the policy but the opinion, fentiments, and character of continental Europe.

During the last thirty years a very important alteration had taken place in the political relations of the continent. Through a great part of the fixteenth century, and the whole of the feventeenth, the wars which agitated the christian world arofe chiefly from the contending ambition of France and of Auftria. At the acceffion of the house of Bourbon, both the royal and imperial princes of Austria had begun to decline 'from that power which the family had poffeffed under one head. The infatuated bigotry of Philip undid much of what the skilful policy of Charles had done; nevertheless, the dynasty, in the dominions of both the fovereigns retained a power very formidable to their neighbours. To impair the ftrength of the house of Auftria was the principal object of Henry IV. in

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his foreign politics. His fucceffors, as we have CHAP, feen throughout the seventeenth century, pursued this policy, and with fuch efficacy as to render the French monarchy far fuperior to the combined dominions of the two Austrian branches. In the fucceffive wars of Louis the XIII. and XIV. against Spain and Austrian Germany, France made large acquifitions; and that war, which was more fatal to her than any which fhe had encountered in modern times, fecured to her princes the kingdom and dominions of Spain. This was the most dif astrous blow which France ever gave to the house of Auftria, and appeared to threaten her rapid humiliation. But the maritime ambition of France having driven her to pernicious contests with England, arrested the progress of her continental advantages: fhe required a long interval of peace after the death of Louis XIV. to recruit her ftrength; and at the demise of the emperor Charles VI. fhe was recovered from her loffes, and fufficiently potent to annoy her neighbours. A new co-operator now arofe against the house of Auftria; the king of Pruffia on the one fide aggrandized himself at the expence of Maria Therefa, while France preffed her on the other; and at the peace of Aix-la-Chapelle the emprefs-queen found her hereditary domi. nions curtailed, and her ftrength impaired. For a century and a half Auftria had been progreffively lofing; her maritime ally had been uniformly vic

See the Introduction to this hiftory.

The impolicy of the French contefts with England is placed in a very ftriking light by Soulavie, a writer now at the court of Bonaparte. See his Memoirs of Louis XVI. passim.

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1789. Profound

policy of Kaunitz

in the treaty with France,

of Auftria

CHAP. torious: but the naval triumphs of Britain had not averted disaster from Auftria. Such was the general feries of policy and events when Kaunitz came to be the minister of the emprefs-queen. The penetrating and comprehenfive genius of that celebrated ftatefman faw, that in the whole refult of contention Auftria was really not a match for France; and that if she persisted in enmity to that kingdom, fhe not only would be totally unable to recover her loffes, but must incur greater. He conceived a design which, he trusted, would restore the fplendor of Auftria, and might permit France to embark in projects that he knew to be agreeable to her inclinations, but was convinced would reduce her refources, and leave to her lefs ftrength for continental advancement *. Hence arose the treaty of 1756 with France, which fuffered Auftria, inftead of acting on the defenfive, to refume her offenfive ambition; and though her projects were defeated for the time by the genius and heroism of Frederic, yet her means of influence and aggrandizement were effentially increased by her amity with France. The want of a continental rival encouraged France to direct her principal efforts to a favourite object, that she never could nor can obtain: fhe hoped to overpower the naval ftrength of the mistress of the ocean failed in the extravagant and impracticable attempts, and wafted at fea that ftrength which might have made her irresistible by land; and thus the diminution of the refources and power of France was, as Kaunitz forefaw t, the confequence of her

* See Soulavic's Memoirs of Louis XVI. vol. iii. chap. 8. + See Soulavic paffim.


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