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which all crowned heads, our own included, hastened to hob-nob with Napoleon III, when he mounted the Imperial throne over the corpse of a murdered Republic. From the herd of mediocrities who scramble for portfolios in Paris with much the same zest and motive that gutter-snipes scramble for halfpence in our streets, no great man has emerged. But it has been sufficiently demonstrated that the scrambles for office which now pre-occupy the attention of French politicians can be carried on without disturbing the stability of the State. Russia long looked askance at the Republic, fearing that in the perpetual procession of Ministers which file and defile, form and reform on the French stage, materials were not afforded of sufficient stability on which to base even a working understanding. At last the experience of a quarter of a century sufficed, and the visit of Nicholas II. to President Faure may be regarded as the formal proclamation to the world that autocracy finds
De Witte, but favourites outside his own family he has none. He is feeling his way, but although the Autocrat is as yet like a political x, the value of which is unknown, Russia is the overlord of Europe beyond the utmost ambitions even of Nicholas I. It is a curious comment upon all the imaginings of the fervent Republicans and humanitarians of the last half century, that 1896 should have enthroned the youngest descendant of the Romanoffs, not merely as Sovereign Lord of an Empire stretching from the Baltic to the Yellow Sea, but made him virtual suzerain of two continents. Mankind will not, however, grudge the survival, or even revival, of autocracy if the one-man power is used to prevent the millions from cutting each others' throats. It is notable that the dominance of Russia in the councils of Europe is based upon the universal conviction that Russian policy has the maintenance of peace as its first object. Even the Russo-French Alliance, of which so much is talked, is recognised
an understanding entered into by Russia for the purpose of guaranteeing the good behaviour of France, and of averting the danger of war which arose from the mortified amour propre of the French people. It is somewhat paradoxical, but not less indisputable, that Europe by covering herself with armour and providing her whole population with instruments of slaughter, has so enormously increased the perils of war as to make the preserving of peace the most passionate pre-occupation of all the sovereigns of Europe. Who can say how many wars we should have had since the Emperor Frederick died, if the young War-Lord at Berlin, instead of having to put an armed nation in motion, had found ready to his hand a compact efficient army of, say, 100,000 fighting men, who could be launched, east, west, north, or south without clislocating the whole framework of society throughout his empire ?
The believer in popular representative Government with its formula of government of the people by the people for the people, turns with a sigh of relief to the imposing spectacle that was presented last November, when the American nation mustered its millions of adult males at the polling booth, and decided one of the most complex and difficult of economic and moral problems by the mass vote of its whole population. The election of Mr. McKinley as President was the result achieved after months of political education in which the whole continent was the school-house, and seventy millions of people the scholars. To fight out the issue of gold versus silver on such a battlefield is in itself so gigantic an undertaking
to throw into the shade all previous attempts in the way of the political education of the
Cybden did something of the same kind when he fought and won the battle of Free Trade by appealing to ihe English middle class; but the English electorate of 1846, compared with the American electorate of 1896, is very much as the falls of Lodore are to the falls of Niagara. The issue is by no means so simple as it seemed to Lord Salisbury at the Guildhall Banquet. It is characteristic of Conservatives to regard a Liberal as the exponent of all villanies and an incarnate breach of the Decalogue; but there was quite enough of the evil element on the side of McKinley to justify many honest men in supporting any opponent on any platform which would enable them to assert the rights of the people against the monopolists. The American presidential election remains on record as one of the best things of the year 1896. It was
the French Republic a workable, prac:icable system of Government, which Emperors may find it well not only to tolerate, but to utilise.
On the other hand, the position of Russia is a not less striking demonstration of the stability of an autocracy. The establishment and consolidation of Russian ascendency, both in Europe and northern Asia, has been not by any means the least conspicuous achievement of 1896. It is more remarkable that this work, which found appropriate symbolic representation in the magnificent ceremonial of the coronation at Moscow, has not been interrupted or endangered by the disappearance of the only man who contributed anything of a personal element to the enthronement of Russia. Prince Lobanoff has passed away, leaving no one in his place but a young Emperor whose character is still an unknown quantity, and who so far has manifested no qualities except caution and an anxious desire to abide by the traditions of his father's reign, modified by the best, advice which he can obtain among the advisers who surround his throne, He supported Prince Lobanoff, he supports
vehemently contested, but it was a contest of reason and of argument. The whole nation was
EN. DAKOTA polled out with less display of physical force than used to be seen in
S. DAKOTA a single rotten borough in England in the old
IOWA times. The result, no doubt, was a very bitter disappointment to many persons who had buoyed themselves up with the
S.CAR belief that they were about to inaugurate the millennium by electing
TEXAS Mr. Bryan. But when the people saw the re
Republican States sult of the poll, it was
A Populist as with Satan contend
3 Territories, no vote ing with Gabriel in the Garden of Eden, who read his lot in the
PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, 1892. celestial signThe fiend looked up and knew
of Parliamentary Government. The experience of last His mounted scale aloft: nor more; but fled,
session convinced Mr. Balfour, the leader of the House Murmuring, and with him fled the shades of night. of Commons, that it is impossible under the new conIn like manner it would seem that the shades of ditions for Ministers to carry any lengthy bill through industrial depression have vanished and the whole of the Parliament if it be pertinaciously opposed. In this federated States are humming with the welcome sound of melancholy estimate it is understood Sir William reviving trade.
Harcourt entirely concurs. The result is that men of At home 1896 has not done much for the nation which both sides are beginning to recognise that the ordinary was the foremost pioneer in the development of Par- methods of legislation must be reconsidered. From liamentary Government. It may be that things must be this point of view 1896 has tended to ripen public worse before they get better, and from that point of opinion by the very evidence it afforded of the paralysis view, no doubt, 1896 has led us somewhat further into of the existing system. Party Government in the old the morass in which we welter owing to the break-down sense seems to be becoming more and more impossible,
and if there is to be any legislation at all, it will have to be carried on by agreement between the two front
benches, while only a MiCLAN
certain percentage of the days of the session will be left open for party fighting When con
tentious bills are inNEURASKA
troduced they will be fined down to an irreducible minimum of clauses, and one of those clauses will delegate to a Government department the right to frame such provisions as are
necessary for giving TEXAS
effect to the will of
Parliament. We are in MKinley States
a process of evolution, Bryan
and 1896 has not 36 Number of Electoral Votos
afforded very clear light B Territories, no vote
as to whither we are
going. But so far as I'RESIDEXTIAL ELECTION, 1896.
we can see, our pro
gress is in the direction which I have indicated, viz., that of concerted action between the leaders of both parties at the beginning of the session to decide on the programme of legislation and the time to be allotted to each measure; and secondly, the condensation of all measures upon which the two front benches cannot agree into the briefest possible compass, in order to afford the least opportunity for obstruction, or even for that respectable form of obstruction known as pertinacious and minute criticism of details.
It is possible, of course, to take a much less gloomy view of the lessons of the session of 1896. It may be contended with reason that a majority of one hundred and sixty is a standing temptation to indiscipline, and further, that the fate of the Education Bill only
majority, it is equally bad to be in too great a minority, and for the same reason. If a minority thinks it has a chance, it will stick together. If the struggle is manifestly hopeless, men say it makes no difference whether they hold together or not, they will be beaten all the same. Propagandists of thrift always find the most willing converts amongst those who have something to save; it is yonr extremely poor man who is most hopelessly improvident. At the same time it does not seen as if Liberals had shown any indication of taking the lesson to heart.
1896 brought to the Liberal Party a very unpleasant gift in the shape of the resignation of its leader, and that upon grounds which can hardly be stated without a smile or a sigh.
If it is essential to Lord Rosebery's leadership that he should find a political twin to represent him in
illustrates the impossibility of carrying on business with a house divided against itself. Ministers had a majority of two hundred and sixty-seven votes for their bill, and then had to abandon it in face of mutiny in their own ranks, and the lack of accord between Mr. Balfour and Sir John Gorst. Be that as it may, the general effect of the defeat of the bill was good, in that it administered a cordial to the almost perishing spirit of the Liberal Party, and enabled the outnumbered and demoralised Opposition to feel that after all victories can be achieved even by minorities. It would be well if the lesson of the need for unity, which was thus strikingly illustratel by the collapse of the Education Bill and the defeat of a Government with an immense majority, taken to heart by the Liberals. They indeed need to be taught the importance of discipline and of unanimity much more than the Conservatives. If it is bad to be in too great a
the House of Commons, we must reluctantly abandon the hope of the return of Lord Rosebery as head of the British Government. For nature from her teeming womb omitted to furnish us with Lord Rosebery's twin. There is only one Lord Rosebery. Twins in politics are rare, and when a man is as sensitive, as highly strung, as reserved, and as inscrutable in many ways as Lord Rosebery, we must recognise reluctantly that twinship is out of the question. Lord Rosebery in resigning inflicted a heavy blow upon the Liberal Party which would have been resented much more bitterly had it not been that the party itself was in such a hopeless state of demoralisation and disintegration. Yet at the same time that he bade us farewell, he did so in a speech which astonished every one by the force and fervour with which he spoke, the eloquence which he had at his command, and the power with which he asserted his individual judgment when freed from what
he regarded as the trammels of association with his col- sign of the fact that the menace of foreign competition leagues. It is said that some people have not strength has at least been taken to heart by Great Britain, and as to stand alone. Lord Rosebery is one of those men who one result we are told that Ministers will not, as was conhave not strength enough to stand unless they are alone. sidered probable, abandon the Secondary Education Bill It seems as if the strain of asserting his own individual next session. Germany is by no means our only, or even opinion so far exhausts his initial energy and personal our most formidable, competitor. The Japanese are vitality as to leave him nothing over to give effect to tlie already threatening to invade the markets of the world, conviction which he has formed.
and the yellow man with the white money is confidently Sir William Harcourt, on the other hand, has improved calculating upon his ability to transfer the cotton industry his position, and, but for his age and manifold infirmities, of Lancashire to the shores of the Pacific. American both of temper and temperament, would have an unchal- competition has also made itself felt considerably this lenged right to the leadership of the party, should year in the cycle trade, which is but one among the unforeseen circumstances open the way to office. But of many warnings that it will not do for the hare to go to that at present there seems to be no hope.
sleep, for when it does even the tortoise can beat it. Every year brings with it a crop of problems to be Another phase of the same question, but one that is solved, and in this 1896 was in no way behind his pre- also fraught with elements of goo I hope for the few, has decessors. His particular crux has been the Education been the somewhat tardy discovery by those representing Question, which caused the temporary discomfiture of our rurai districts, that there is no reason why we one of the strongest Ministries England has had for should continue to sit supine while the foreign agriculmany years. In the Dominion of Canada the same turist destroys, one after another in grim succession, question has come to the front in a more sharply defined the staple branches of our farming industry. One of denominational aspect. The quarrel over the position of the signs of the times which 1896 has brought with it, the French and the Catholics in the common schools of has been the report of the Recess Committee in Ireland, Manitoba first precipitated the struggle between the which calls attention in detail to the various measures Provinces and the Parliament of the Dominion, which which are necessary for the purpose of enabling us to being transferred to the electorate, resulted in the return, regain our lost ground. We English are slow people, for the first time for many years, of a Liberal majority, but perhaps before the end of the century it may be and for the first time in Canadian history a French possible for us, with the best grazing ground in the Catholic was installed in power. The new Ministry's world, to beat the Dane, the Belgian, and the Dutch out first act has been to arrange a settlement by which it is of our own market, from which at present they are hoped the education difficulty may be settled in Manitoba. steadily excluding us. The education in the common schools is to be secular, The combat of nations in Europe has fortunately been but for the last half-hour religious education may be
confined to industrial warfare. No sword has been given by the priests, or ministers of the denomination to drawn by one civilised state against another through the which the scholars belong. Against this the Catholic whole of 1896, but the gates of the Temple of Janus hierarchy are already protesting as a refusal of their have by no means been shut. The map which is demands. So 1896 closes with its problem still unsolved, the frontispiece to this article shows in how many although no doubt by the election of a Liberal majority places the Year has brought, not peace, but war. under Mr. Laurier there is better hope of securing a By far the most blood-stained portion of the world's settlement than would have been possible if the old surface, so far as 1896 is concerned, is the Ottoman administration had remained in office.
Empire. There has been actual fighting in Crete, while
the tale of massacres of Armenians in all parts of the IV.-THE STRUGGLE FOR EXISTENCE.
Empire is still far from complete. “ The Shadow of
God” in Constantinople is haunted by a perpetual fear, The struggle for existence takes many forms-from and imagines, like most men in panic, that he can best the wild emulation which leads children to do their best secure his own safety by striking terror. This terrorism to please their parents, to the war of extermination which of massacre is resorted to as the antidote for the is waged endlessly between the carnivores and the creatures fear which haunts the Palace. There is no way upon whom they dine. There must be in Africa at this of regarding Abdul Hamid as a gift from the gods moment an indefinite number of millions of hyenas, to excepting in so far he
may be welcome speak of no other beast of prey, every one of which must embodying in his reign, and in the every twenty-four hours obtain a full meal by the by which its closing days are being marked, a slaughter of some innocent creature which, when the sun great object lesson to the real nature rose, was enjoying his brief span of existence all un- Turkish rule. Without some such demonstration it thinking of his approaching doom. It is only in this would have been impossible for us to conceive the popular way, naturalists tell us, that the gazelle maintains its enthusiasm which launched armed Europe on the series swiftness and symmetry, while the moment the sharp of enterprises which we call Crusades. There are many edge of the struggle for existence is dulled, your graceful persons to-day who would be very glad to see a new carrier pigeon develops into the unwieldy Dodo. There crusade preached for tho extermination of the Infidel, seems little prospect at present of evolution Dodowards not because he is an infidel, but because he has established in a world in which the population daily becomes assassination as an instrument of government, and replied thicker upon the ground. Engiand for so long has by massacre to the protests of the conscience of Europe been such an easy first in the field of industry and and America. The chief gain of Abdul Hamid's devilry commerce, that John Bull has been somewhat surly is that it has compelled every one to recognise the indiswhen roused this year to recognise the fact that unless pensable necessity of strengthening the European concert. he pulls himself together, there is every likelihood In the European concert we have the germ of the United that he will be beaten even in his own markets States of Europe; but so great are the rivalries and by the foreigner. The discussion raised by Mr. Wil- antagonisms of the various Powers, that nothing but hell liams' book, entitled “ Made in Germany," is a prominent broken loose on their frontiers will suffice to keep
them together even in a nominal alliance. We shall have to wait until the Sultan massacres an ambassador before we see the concert roused to action; but who knows but that even that may be in store for us among the New Year's gifts of 1897.
Casting a rapid glance over the world, it is curious to note how much of the fighting has gone on in the islands. On the continents there has been little or no war, but man has faced man in deadly wrath in Crete, in Cuba, in Madagascar, and in the Philippine Islands. In fact, with the exception of the continent of Africa, and certain of these islands, 1896 has been a year of peace. There are no doubt, however, considerable exceptions, and neither in Cuba nor the Philippines did 1896 bring any prospect
of the Soudan. The Anglo-Egyptian force under the Sirdar, Sir Herbert Kitchener, achieved an almost bloodless success when it marched southward along the Nile valles, and cleared the soldiers of the Madhi out of the fertile provinces of Dongola. It is understood that next year, when the Nile is high, Dongola will be used as a basé for the reconquest of Khartoum. But for the unfortunate issue of Jameson's raid, Cecil Rhodes would probably have realised his ideal of joining the Cape to Cairo before the end of the century.
Matabeleland has risen in revolt and has been reconquered. The Transvaal has been the scene of fighting which could hardly be dignified by the title of a war. On the other side the Ashanti power has been broken by
In both, Spain and its subjects worry at each other somewhat as a dog worries a badger. The struggle on both sides is marked by atrocities of which the civilised world hears but dimly, if at all. In Madagascar, a French expedition to Antananarivo has placed the French in nominal possession of the island. It is only nominal, for outside the capital the French appear to be obeyed only so far as their guns will carry, and until such time as their guns are removed. In the African Continent there has been more serious fighting. Italy suffered a great defeat in Abyssinia, which, however, has been a blessing in disguise, in that it has led to the abandonment of the ambitious scheme of establishing an Ethiopian Empire raised upon the colony of Erythræa. The defeat in Africa shook down the Crispi ministry, and crippled Italy in the estimation of Europe. It was also the means of launching the long-expected expedition for the recovery
an English expedition, which has opened up one of the dark places of the world, full of frightful cruelty, to the milder influences of commerce and civilisation. As the year closes, Sir George Taubman Goldie is departing for the Niger in order to strike a blow at one of the slave-trading tribes, which still live and thrive under the nominal protectorate of the Niger Company. Of all the enterprises now on foot, that of the Niger Company is the most critical. Sir George Taubman Goldie stakes his all upon this venture, and if he fails, it is possible his charter may go with him. I hope he will not fail, but still supposing he does, what will become of the Niger? It is a question which Mr. Chamberlain and Lord Wolseley will do well to think over this Christmas time.
Peace, however, has its triumphs not less than war, and the great achievement of the year with which this