图书图片
PDF
ePub

HISTORIC SUMMARY:

THE FIRST REPUBLICAN CAMPAIGN.

APOLEON had fallen; Despotism was triumphant. The Holy-Alliance of Kings, meeting at Vienna, reparcelled out Europe among them,-'to them and to their heirs for ever.' One generation passed away; and spite of popular efforts, some called successful, 1847 found the Despots in good heart. The three days of July had been excellently turned to the very advantage of the defeated: it was but a happy change from an imbecile to the very wiliest and most unscrupulous of crowned usurpers. Poland had arisen and been crushed at Cracow the Vultures had gorged their last morsel. Italy, ever struggling in her fetters, seemed everlastingly doomed to partial and useless attempts. As for the new kingdoms of Greece and Belgium, they did not alter the relations of Europe: the Powers' were undisturbed; there were but two crowned heads the more. But in 1847 Switzerland, that focus of insurrection and republicanism, dared refuse to continue in the impotent state of division to which the Treaties of Vienna had doomed her; and before intervention could be decided on by the diplomatists a rapid march had overthrown the Sonderbund,— the first step toward a real federation of the Republican Cantons.

1848

As if a beacon fire had been lit upon the Alps to rouse the whole of Europe, the New Year sprung to arms. Sicily first. In Palermo, JANUARY 12, the Sicilians proclaimed a provisional government, demanding the Constitution of 1812. FEBRUARY 23, the stones arose in Paris streets: 30,000 barricades. One day's skirmishing, and the Citizen Dynasty was at an end; the French Republic was proclaimed-for ever. It was the commencement of the European revolutionary era. MARCH 13, Vienna itself followed the example: Metternich was driven out and the Kaiser compelled to grant a constitution. On the 18th the Austrian Viceroy had fled from Milan, barricades were raised, the Italian tricolour floated over Lombardy. On the 19th Berlin too was in full revolt, and the Prussian Monarchy bowed its head to receive sentence.

Three days later Frederic-William assumed the German colours, as leader of the German Revolution. The revolt of Schleswig-Holstein followed. On the 23rd Charles-Albert of Piedmont declared himself the Soldier of Italian Freedom, and crossed the Lombard frontier. The Reaction had begun. The old Governments, recovering from their surprise, considered how they might exploit the improvized revolutions to their own purposes. In Posen the Germans were

craftily set against the Poles: desperate conflicts ensued; and in spite of all that heroism could accomplish, the Poles were forced to succumb. Then began the bewildering of Germany with kingly treacherous promises of a dreamy nationality, or royalty, when the only aim should have been the Republic.

In France, though universal suffrage was proclaimed, the elections were deferred till the old parties had time to turn their accustomed organization to account. So at home the Republic was damaged, while abroad the fratricidal non-intervention manifesto of M. de Lamartine flung dismay into the insurrectionary camps. MAY 15th the French people protested against this foreign policy: when some few intriguers, availing themselves of an accidental tumult, thought to overthrow the Assembly and the Government, and afforded the first pretext for the 'Party of Order.'

On the same day Naples was sacked by the Lazzaroni, by order of their Bourbon King. On the 18th, the German Parliament, elected by universal suffrage, met at Frankfort-to do nothing. On the 29th a provisional government was formed at Prague; and on the 29th and 30th Charles-Albert defeated the Austrians at Goito and Peschiera. JUNE 12th Radetzky bombarded Vicenza; on the 15th Padua surrendered; the whole of the Venetian territory, except Venice, was again at the mercy of the Hun: and by the 19th Prague had been bombarded by Windischgrätz, and the Bohemian insurrection was put down. Yet more disastrous the course of events in France. Played with by the bourgeoisie, hurried blindly forward by vague hopes excited by competing schools of Socialism, urged by desperate want, and used by political intriguers, 40,000 of the Paris proletarians rose in arms. The enemies of Freedom laughed to see Republican fighting against Republican. 8000 prisoners, and twice that number killed or wounded, evidenced the deadly character of the struggle; and on the ruins of the barricades of St. Antoine the shopkeeping Republicans-Republicans only in name-enthroned themselves.

Meanwhile the Austrian Cabinet, following the course of Prussia in the duchy of Posen, was organizing dissension in Hungary, with Jellachich and his Croats for their tools; and Charles Albert, failing in his ambition, was betraying Italy to save his taruished crown. AUGUST 4th Milan was sold to Austria, and Radetzky returned in triumph. SEPTEMBER 7th Messina was taken by the Neapolitans, after five days bombardment.

OCTOBER 6th another insurrection broke out in Vienna: the emperor fled. On the 28th Windischgrätz and Jellachich with 75,000 men invested the city. NOVEMBER 1st they were masters. The Hungarian armies, slowly travelling to the assistance of the citizens, arrived too late. NOVEMBER 9th Robert Blum was shot.

Prussian royalty also was again rampant. In the beginning of November, the Constituent Assembly was forcibly ejected from its place of meeting at Berlin; the civic guard was disarmed; Berlin placed in a state of siege; and at length, DECEMBER 5th, the Assembly was altogether dissolved.

Hungary, after too long patience with the House of Hapsburg, was at last goaded to serious resistance. DECEMBER 2nd, Ferdinand, the idiot emperor, abdicated in favour of his nephew, a lad of eighteen. The Hungarian Diet refused to acknowledge him king of Hungary. Their first campaign was disastrous. DECEMBER 18th Windischgrätz entered Presburg; on the 28th Schlick defeated them at Szikszö; on the 29th Jellachich was victorious at Mohr. Almost with the new year the Austrians entered Pesth, Kossuth and the Diet retiring to Debreczin.

One turn of fortune. NOVEMBER 24 the 'reforming' Pope, tired of playing his constitutional game, fled from Rome to his friend, the Sacker of Naples. A provisional government was appointed; and on DECEMBER 28th a Constituent Assembly, to be elected by universal Suffrage, was summoned to meet in the Capitol.

1849

FEBRUARY 5th the Assembly met in Rome; and on the 8th pronounced the deposition of the Pope and proclaimed the Roman Republic. On the 7th the grand duke of Tuscany fled from his states; and a provisional government was proclaimed in Tuscany.

MARCH 12th the old traitor of Carignan, Charles Albert, again interfered to ruin the Italian Cause, and resumed 'hostilities' against Austria. On the 23rd his army was routed at Novara. On the 30th Haynau bombarded Brescia. APRIL 6th Catanea was bombarded by the Neapolitans. On the 8th Syracuse surrendered. On the 12th Genoa, which had flung out its garrison and pro

claimed a republic, was compelled to yield to General Marmora; the Tuscan Assembly was dissolved, and the grand duke reinstated.

APRIL 14th Hungary declared her independence. Before the end of the month the Imperialists were defeated at Gran, and obliged to raise the seige of Comorn and to evacuate Pesth.

MAY 3rd Dresden was in insurrection. On the 7th it was bombarded by the Prussian and Saxon troops, and the revolt was trampled down. On the 13th an insurrection broke out in Baden, and the grand duke fled.

The German Parliament of Frankfort, playing at constitution-making, hankering after compromise, dreaming of reformed tyrants, and unwilling or afraid to act decidedly for the Nation, had lost its hold upon Germany. It had elected a Regent, who was powerless; it had remonstrated with the Reaction, of course to no effect; it had been backed, but had no purpose worth backing, and it dared not commit itself. Austria and Prussia recalled their members. Its constitution was rejected by the kings. The republican portion of the Assembly at length retired to Stuttgardt, and chose a regency of five to replace the useless Archduke John. JUNE 18th the king of Wurtemberg put an end to their sittings, preventing their meeting by occupying their Hall with his troops.

But the Republic was established at Rome: and toward Rome the combined craft and force of Absolutism were directed. APRIL 26th a French 'republican' army, submitting to be the infamous tool of Jesuitism (the English Government conniving), occupied Civita Vecchia, and by the end of the month invested Rome; the Austrian and Neapolitan armies under their cover advancing into the Roman States. MAY 16th Bologna fell after a sanguinary resistance of eight days. JULY 3rd the Romans abandoned the defence of their city, and yielded to superior force.

MAY 13th the best of the French Republicans endeavoured to rouse France to prevent the outrage upon Rome. Their appeal was unanswered. The men who made it swell the number of the Proscribed.

JUNE 18th the Russians, called in to the help of Austria, entered Hungary by the Dukla Pass. JULY 11th the Austrians were in Ofen and proceeding to bombard Pesth. In the South the Hungarians defeated Jellachich on the 14th; but were defeated under Görgey, on the 17th by the Russians, after a three days' fight, at Waitzen. On the 31st Bem was beaten at Segesvar, and at Temeswar on the 9th of the following month. AUGUST 13th, at Vilagos, the traitor Görgey delivered his army into the hands of Russia: Kossuth escaping into a Turkish prison.

JULY 23rd the Baden insurrection terminated by the surrender of Rastadt to the Prussians. AUGUST 22nd Venice was compelled to yield. The first republican campaign was ended: the party struck down. Almost everywhere victorious at first, everywhere fighting singly, without concert or common policy, everywhere crushed by the coalition of the kings.

1850.

In FRANCE the Reaction has had its full swing. Laws against the Press,laws of transportation and imprisonment for republicanism-with a ministerial endeavour by M. Baroche to make them retrospective,-four millions and a half of electors disfranchised,-national guards disarmed,-workmen's associations persecuted and prevented, shabby plots got up by Government after the fashion of the old tyrannies,-this is French history during the third year of the Republic. The Reaction has grown ever bolder with success. And the republicans--it must be confessed, are more careful. There is wisdom in their patience, if their party is not strong enough to act, it is a moral course if pacific means of redress are left them: but even if politic and morally right, the continual preaching and practice of forbearance accustom men to the yoke of wrong, till their very souls

become enslaved and release impossible. The year concludes with the ill-blooded jesuit de Montalembert bringing in a bill for the forced observance of the Sabbath, while in the South of Fiance, where in the print shops 'Providence watches over Louis Napoleon,' a painted Christ sweats occasional drops of blood,—it might puzzle Ignatius himself to say to what purpose.

Barbès is ill in his Belleisle prison. Sobrier, it is said, is driven mad. Through the general murkiness one only clear speck is seen in the horizon: the refusal of the electors to use the Suffrage as a privilege,-large majorities abstaining. The moral protest, against the laws which abolished Universal Suffrage, is not to be undervalued. But protests are not revolutions.

That Louis Philippe has gone down into his ignominious grave may be mentioned here, though no part of French history.

In ITALY, the Pope has sneaked back to the Vatican, to bless the infidel bombarders, and to slander as prostitutes the noble women who had nursed the wounded defenders of Rome. A Lie reënthroned by Liars.-In Piedmont the clergy have been deprived of some of their privileges, and the Archbishop of Turin has been condemned to a mild imprisonment for resistance to the civil power. But is not this advance toward heresy amply atoned for by the special providence of two or three miraculous Virgins, at Rimini and elsewhere, who wink their eyes to the admiration of the devout, and the immense discomfiture of impious Republicans.

GERMANY is now a fief of Russia. On the 20th of March Frederic-William opened at Erfurt his parliament of the smaller states, to play out the last dull act of German Unity under a Hydra-Royalty. May 20th, Austria set up her diet in pretended opposition at Frankfort. Saxony completed her 900 political trials of the insurrectionists of 1849; destroyed (in the beginning of June) her new constitution, and went back to 1831. In Schleswig-Holstein 'success' has varied. The Duchies have been left to combat with the Danes, till it may be convenient for Nicholas, or his lieutenants, to arrange the matter to his liking. Meanwhile the combat fulfils one of the purposes for which it was excited: the getting rid of some troublesome democrats. The other object, of complicating the German Question, was answered long ago.-In Hesse-Cassel, in the beginning of September, the Elector, enraged at his supplies being stopped, attempted to place the Country under martial law. The Burgomasters refused to publish his ordinance; his Ministers were impeached; his General-in-Chief was indicted for a breach of the Constitution; the Supreme Court of Appeal declared his ordinance illegal. National guards, gendarmerie, and troops, all nobly refused to support him. So the baffled tyrant fled, and appealed to Austria. But magnanimous Prussia interfered for the Hessians, called out the Landwehr, would fight to the death for constitutional freedom. It was the last exploit of Prussian humbug. Straight a Conference at Warsaw. The Czar's orders must of course be obeyed, but still Frederic-William is very sorry. The Elector returns to his capital supported by Austrian and Prussian bayonets. The moral resistance is overborne. So the King of Wurtemberg asks the same good offices for the ruin of his Constitution. For such purposes, under pretence of quarrels between Austria and Prussia, a million of men are in arms: a million of men, at the bidding of the Czar and his tools, to keep watch before the tomb of European Freedom, to prevent the Resurrection. On the 27th of December the HolyAlliance met in council at Dresden, to seal the Sepulchre and make it sure.

Other events need not many words. Bosnia, infected by Russia, has long been in a state of intermittent insurrection.-July 18th, commenced a three days' fire at Cracow, the Austrians hoping to destroy the monuments of the Polish capital, and partially succeeding.

1848-1849-18 5 0.

During the three years, SPAIN and PORTUGAL, HOLLAND and BELGIUM have been free from insurrection: Spain apparently too demoralized to make any effort at regeneration; Portuguese liberals perhaps dreading the recurrence of British sympathy; Holland and Belgium too busied in their counting-houses to care for Freedom. Happy Belgium, however, possesses a Coburg, and is Catholic.

An influx of Californian gold, a petty buccaneering attempt to wrest Cuba from Spain, and a new law (whose villainy dims every Star in the Union) for the surrender of fugitive slaves to their owners: these are the only prominent events in the great Republic' of America.

[ocr errors]

And the History of the BRITISH EMPIRE for these three stormful years has been-what? cowardice, impotence, and shame, both at home and abroad. Let us pass as quickly as possible over the sad and uneventful time.

Abroad:-intrigues with Austria for the betrayal of Italy; similar intrigues, and desertion of the Right, elsewhere; reseating the Pope; abandoning Hungary ; bullying Greece; truckling to Russia; playing the false friend and sham humanitarian at Constantinople, pushing Kossuth into his dungeon; while one British representative (like a true whig-radical) acts as hangman in the Greek Ionian Islands, and another expels the Italian exiles from Italian Malta. We turn loathingly from the task of filling up the details of British' (if it could but be only Palmerstonian) worthlessness and perfidy.

At home-what might be looked for from a people without aim, or union, or even partial organization, or courage-whether of hope or of despair. The Government ferocious from its very weakness; and the People (of all classes) submitting to a state of siege and horrible starvation in Ireland, and in England to a revival of the edicts of the most disgraceful period of our annals. The handworkers, who did petition by the million for their rights, unable to muster 5000 mea-nay, not 300 in any way organized, to defend a pass against Tyranny; and the middle-class traders and gentlemen-heartless, dastardly, and self-seeking, arraying themselves against the people, to make better terms for themselves,― the net amount of their contributions to the cause of Freedom being an agitation for the sake of their own pockets, a recommendation to their workmen to buy up all the land of England, as a step toward the franchise, and a plan for 'garrisoning' property (see Mr. Cobden) to insure the continuance of a class of helots. In Ireland, as in England, no lack of words, with this difference, that in Ireland there was an abortive attempt at action. Starved slaves, alas! may not be heroes. The only sign of English courage and care for freedom was given at the Cape, where a handful of determined colonists defeated the Imperial Government,-the only actual evidence of sympathy with the oppressed was the rude impulsive justice of a few hearty London brewers against the Austrian Haynau. All else may be summed up briefly: many stormy words, a few foolish riots, then general apathy and silent stooping to dishonour. On the very day of the fall of heroic Venice, our English Statesmen' (the bidders for the future rule of Britain) are frothing at the mouth in a Peace '-Congress, hoping' to tame the crowned were-wolves with a profusion of cowardly talk. Is it worth chronicling that we have added to the number of our slaves in India? 1850 passes away like an idiot, raving to no purpose at the increase of Papal power in England.

Some little leaven of good. Socialist experiments are helping some few associators. Popular education is beginning to be thought of:-if it may but be begged from unjust Power. In Ireland the Tenant-League drives in the end of the wedge that shall rive the social system of Britain. 1850 has not passed away without giving us one gleam of hope from its sad and hollow eyes.

« 上一页继续 »