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ed hatred against France was the only sentiment which sometimes toused the passions of the people, and turned them aside from their frue interests, peace, commerce, and industry. Jealous of their small military establishment, they carefully kept it down, and the only part they took in European wars, was by assisting with subsidies those sovereigns, who courted them for that purpose in the most humble style.
"At present, since the blind passions of the people have enabled the government to form a powerful army, they have actively interfered in all the contests and interests of Europe, and with Russia, direct the whole machine of its political system. British blood has been poured as prodigally as Napoleon poured that of the French; British armies have appeared in every quarter of the world, and their empire has spread over the globe in every direc tion. The influence of the cabinet of St. James has been uniformly exerted to put down the spirit of liberty and improvement, and Saxony, Genoa, Italy, Poland, Norway, as well as France, have been pressed under its iron weight, or betrayed by its fallacious promises. In Spain it has supported Ferdinand and the inquisition. In short, England is no longer the proud and independent country she was; like that of all the great empires that have successively appeared in the world, her government is oppressive and despotic at home, ambitious, grasping and rapacious abroad. England was considered as the bulwark of liberty; she is become one of its chief oppressors.
'The change which has taken place in the interior, is not at first visible to the cursory view of a traveller. The high and finished state of the cultivation, the beauty, luxury, and opulence which shine all around, the immense profusion of wealth, the perfection of the manufactures, the busy bustle of trade, the ingenious and universal application of machinery to every useful purpose, and the prodigies which it effects, give to the whole country an appear. ance of unparalleled plenty and prosperity. But a very little observation discloses the melancholy fact, that this is forced and artificial. Such is the weight of the taxes and charges, that without the most incessant activity, labour, and industry, the people must starve. Anxious about their very existence, they are grown cal lous and indifferent on every other subject; and delicacy, honour and principle, love and regard for liberty, proper pride and independence of character, the honest peculiarity of the old Englishman, are almost lost in the exclusive and universal ardour for gain. The precariousness of the means of livelihood in all the industrious classes is inconceivable; the farmer, trader, and manufacturer live on their capital, the labouring poor are in a state of the most abject misery and distress, and the number of paupers and criminals has consequently augmented in such a frightful ratio, that it baffles calculation and passes belief.
• The corruption of the administration, and its prodigality and tyranny, from the ministry, great sinecure placemen, and boroughmongers, down to the tax-gatherer, excisemen, titheman and spy, their arbitrary measures, the suspension of the habeas-corpus act, and consequently of the liberty of the press, the national debt, the abuses of the banking system, and multiplication of forgeries, the multiplication of poor-rates, pauperism and crimes, have been too ably and too frequently exposed to require any comments upon them here. Loaded with debt, and corrupted to the very core, the people and government of England are, at this day, the most profligate and unprincipled as well as the most powerful and splendid in the world. They are miserable and unsatisfied under all their greatness, and must be so under every change of situation. War cannot make them worse, peace cannot make them better. Loud as the public misery made them call for peace at the close of the late contest, a most numerous and influential party wish again at this day for war, because they did not find in the cessation of hostilities those benefits which they expected, because, great as were the charges of war, it gave them a monopoly of trade, which they are fast losing, and because the rising industry of other nations is entering in competition with theirs, and requires to be stopt.
Such is the present situation of England, such is the result of the old clamour of the infatuated people, France must be put down, government must le strengthened. France has been put down, and England is reduced, at least, at home, very nearly to the situation of France some time before the revolution. On the ruins of her independence and of her principle, is raised the enormous edi. fice of the executive power and military despotism. But the world, we repeat it, and the people of America in particular, are not aware on what a military power that despotism is founded-nor of the complete change which has taken place in the military system of that country:
It is well known that in the last war, her armies were prodigiously augmented, that they were actively thrown in the contest, that one great general like another Marlborough appeared at their head, and that a number of able officers were form. ed under him; that they obtained splendid victories, and conjointly with the other nations of Europe overturned the empire and mili. tary ascendancy of France. This, however, is not all, and those who are aware of no greater change, when they see successive acts passed for reducing the numbers of the army, think that every thing is gradually returning into its ordinary channel.-- But it must be observed:
* 1st, That a military spirit has been created in the nation, almost as universal as it was in France under Napoleon. The uniform has become fashionable and honourable, in a country where no drum was allowed to be beaten in the city of London, and eve. ry young man, if he does not enter the army or navy, aspires at least to belong to some militia, volunteer, or yeomanry corps.
* 2d. That military services are become the surest road to titles, honours and dignities. A number of peerages have been distributed in the army, and the order of the Bath, organized on the model of the legion of honour; an innovation for which Walpole or North might have lost their heads.
3d. The composition of the army has been greatly ameliorated. The venality which disgraced the administration of the duke of York in the time of the famous Mrs. Clarke has been corrected. Although promotions by purchase or family interest still exist in the subaltern ranks, yet a number of able officers have risen by service or seniority in the last war, and the government has an ample choice of subjects to fill all high and commanding posts. The artillery and engineers will hereafter be exclusively recruited with instructed officers from the military schools. The discipline, the armament of the troops, their clothing and equipment, have been equally ameliorated on the model of the French army.
* 4th. A good staff has been organized. That service was in its infancy in Britain at the beginning of the war, and was organized in its present form by some French emigrant officers, Messrs. Tromelin, Phelippeaux, &c. That staff is carefully maintained.
* 5th. It may be seen from the work of Mr. Dupin, with what sedulous care and attention the British government maintain and improve all their military and naval establishments, how they have organized and keep in readiness for action the most complete, ef. fective, and numerous materiel, that was ever possessed by a military power, and what importance they attach to the diffusion and improvement of military education, principally in the corps of their engineers and artillery. This improvement can scarcely yet be perceived. Many years must elapse after the creation of military schools, before their influence can be felt in the army. The old officers, however uninstructed and inefficient, cannot be displaced to put young men in their room. The polytechnic school in France has scarcely yet exerted a sensible influence on the improvement of those branches of the military profession, which it was destined to recruit, and which indeed were already carried to a high state of perfection before the revolution by the fostering care of the government since the days of Louis XIV. The British engineers, on the contrary, ranked very low in the estimation of the best judges, but their government is forming the elements of a new corps in their military schools. Their artillery is better.
6th. Although the British government have disbanded some corps of infantry and cavalry which they can easily recruit again; although to satisfy the clamours of the reformers and economize their finances, they may disband some more, yet they carefully keep up their military institutions, and a mass of troops sufficient to awe any opposition at home, and in case of war, to embody in their ranks any number of recruits, and to communicate to them their spirit and their discipline. I do not exactly know the present force of the British army. But without including their colonial service in the East Indies, in Africa and America, I believe the whole mass of their European troops of all kinds, will not be found
under 200 battalions of foot and 200 squadrons of horse, a force more than sufficient for these purposes. As if the exclusive devo tion of these troops to the government that pays them, and from which they expect recompenses and promotion, if their total indif. ference to public spirit and patriotism be doubted, let it be remem bered how easily they have been turned out against the people on recent occasions.
• However strongly the power of the British government may be built on such an army, and on such a navy, they do not exclusively rely upon them. In the first place the very abuses of their administration, its prodigality, and the number of people who live on the interest of the national debt, have intimately connected with their cause a great mass of the population, who must stand or fall with them. The ramifications of political corruption reach the lowest ranks of society. In the next place, the splendour and brilliancy of their successes have attached to them a numerous class, who forget the loss of their liberty, dazzled by the external glory to which the British name has been raised. With a parliament composed, organized and drilled as the British parliament is at this day; with such a mass of ready instruments in such a needy and unprincipled population; with such an army and such a navy at the disposition of government, what is to become of English liberty? It is time for other nations to look to theirs. For what will that government do with the military force and spirit which they have created. France was obliged, in the same circumstances, to keep her army employ. ed in foreign war and conquest.
Let it not be imagined that the financial embarrassments of Britain will prevent her from following that course. Whatever be the distress of the people, whatever ruin war may bring upon them, the government are taking another ground, and rendering themselves independent of its support. If they create so numerous a class, exclusively devoted to their interests; if they can only secure enough to pay and maintain a force that will keep down the people, what Deed the ministry care for their murmurs, their distress, and their ruin. When their army acquires the same superiority over the other armies of Europe which the French possessed in the time of Napoleon; when their navy surpasses the collected naval force of the rest of the world, they need no longer subsidize foreign nations; they can even abridge their means and liberty, their industry and trade, draw contributions from them, and support their own forces at their expense.*
• The finances of Great Britain present certainly an artificial and imaginary Pealth, which, like the collection of electric fuid, may be discharged at a single shock. Is the artificial credit okher paper money boundless and exhaustless? We know that she can never pay off her debt, but she can afford to increase it at will, by paying the interest with an imaginary and fictitious value, whilst her trade and industry, additionally loaded, must diminish, and those of the rest of the world increaser The approaching resumption or non-resumption of cash payments, will perbaps decide this question; but this is not the only view in which it should be considered
* This forced, artificial and unnatural situation, cannot however last long. Despotism and corruption universally produce decay. In losing her liberty and her principles, England has lost her real strength
and her real glory, and exchanged them for the vain and momentary blaze of military fame and usurping empire; an em. pire not founded on the love and respect of nations, but on force; an empire which can only be supported by force, and must fall some day or other by the same means that raised it. She has already lost on the continent of Europe, that veneration which accompanied her name when it was always linked with the ideas of freedom, justice, and sound policy. Like the statue of Nebuchadnezzar, the splendid edifice of her despotism is topped with gold, armed with brass and iron, but reposes on a foundation of sand and of clay. When founded only on a military force, however excellent, numerous and well appointed, every power is subject to the chances of for. tune. An awful example has lately shown to the world in what an instant such an edifice may be crushed. And melancholy indeed
“The wealth of England is not entirely artificial: The knowledge, the general instruction, science and industry of the people, is wealth; her excellent soil and agriculture, is wealth; the power of machinery, applied to her manufactures, was, several years ago, equal to the labour of 100,000,000 of able men; this is very great wealth; and the actual riches and merchandize existing in the country, the cities, roads, cabals, &c are also wealth. Great and terrible will be the shock of national bankruptcy; but after it, this real wealth will remain, increased in ito value, and the reproducing powers, freed from the immense load with wbich they are charged, may possibly begin to act with renovated energy. Every individual in Britain will be ruined; but from the great mass of information, and the habits of activity and industry which exist in that country, its commercial credit may be retrieved, its losses repaired, before trade has decidedly run in another channel, provided the government does not turn those very means in another direction, and afford, in war and plunder, a career to the desperate enterprize of the people.
If this great change should be accompanied by an amelioration of the goverement, it should be desired by all good men, and especially by all good Englisbmes. But if that government survives the shock, it will, for a time, be stroager than ever. Freed from its load of debt, it will have the unembarrassed disposal of ineans, less in appearance, but more in reality. Its stores of destruction are laid in, and exist; its navy and army, with all their immense materiel, exist. and are devoted to them; their numbers pass 300,000 men. An official return of the 25th January, 1819, laid before the bouse of commons, states the troops of the line alone at 109,810, non-commissioned officers and privates, 5852 officers, and 11, 276 horses, of which 15,258, with 7516 foot guards serve in England, 18,923 in Ireland, 18,280 in India, &c. Add to these the navy, colonial corps, the natire troops of Hindostan, the Hanoverian army, &c. and this is the state of peace.
• They will be enabled to strengthen this army, by the very inisery of the peo ple; and thousands after thousands of starving wretches, when England ceases to be a manufacturing and industrious country, will seek for employment in its ranks, an i be maintained at foreign expense. That government exerts at present its power, by the expensive system of corrupting the people; it may then throw off the mask, apd rule by oped force. In the mean time, it has interested almost every class, in keeping up the deception; even the poor, empowered to rest in the public funds, as corporate bodies, the economies which they had laid up in the saving banks, are thereby interested in maintaining the present system. Those economies were stated, in the course of last year, to bare amounted, in England alone, to 1,254,0001. sterling.'