Imatges de pàgina

of force and fraud that the men who suffered became martyrs.

The Protestants of the North were in all respects far better off than the Catholics. This privileged class had always been the most rebellious and disloyal of the British peoples; the interference with their religious beliefs had been little compared with their own persecution of their fellows. But they had also suffered from and rebelled against the heavy rise of rents and taxes and the exaction of tithe and the enclosure of commons. Not being so utterly without spirit as their neighbours, they more openly organized and were more insistent in their resistance. Similar bands of wreckers, the Oakboys and the Hearts of Steel, were set up, and Ulster tenant right giving fair rents and security of tenure was insisted on. Their religious grievances united them with the Catholics. As the Presbyterians of Ulster had from the first persistently persecuted their fellow Irishmen for religion, they were not likely to submit quietly to any interference with their own; yet in 1704 an Act for the Repression of Popery, which contained a test clause, had been passed by the Irish Parliament, as a result of which Presbyterians were expelled from all offices under the Crown until 1774.

The poverty-stricken Irish cottiers might have been ignored or reduced by additional violence, the Presbyterians might have been conciliated; but, as in America, the interests of the smugglers could not be compromised with the insoluble grievance of the regulation of trade in the interests of monopoly by the British merchants and the prohibition of export of Irish manufactures and material. The exports from England to Ireland exceeded those to any other country except America, and amounted on an average to about two millions. For whatever purpose the regulations for trade were made at Westminster, they told with deadly effect against the commerce of Ireland. Until 1774 the Irish were excluded from the Newfoundland fisheries ; they were forbidden to import various articles, such as sugar, from foreign colonies, or to export their own wool, which was their staple, or coal or various manufactures, such as woollen and cotton goods, hats, glass and gunpowder. They were forbidden to import direct from the British colonies.

The manufacturers and merchants in Ireland had been recruited from time to time not only from England but by large numbers of Protestant refugees, in many cases men of position and wealth from France, Germany and Holland. These men saw themselves being steadily ruined by the trade regulations in favour of England.

The result of such conditions was threefold : the smuggling profession, which had taken the place of buccaneering, increased to such a degree as almost to extinguish legal trade; a continuous stream of all the most energetic Catholics emigrated to the Continent, swelling the armies of the enemies of Britain, though towards the end of the Seven Years' War the prohibition of the recruiting of Catholics for British armies had broken down : their numbers were estimated by McGeoghagan and others as, between 1691 and 1745, 450,000 men; the wretched cottiers and small tenants evicted after the suppression of the Whiteboy movement, emigrated in very great numbers to the West Indies and the American colonies; and the united mercantile class, the men with capital, energy and brains to use it, both the Catholics driven into commerce by the laws preventing Papists from holding land, and the great progressive body of Huguenots and other Protestant refugees, who had been building up Irish trade and introducing new manufactures and improved methods into Ireland with the Irish merchants of the North, left the old world in enormous numbers in a continuous stream for the British settlements of the West. There was an immense emigration from all parts for the West after the fearful famine of 1740–41, when the dead were “eaten in the fields by dogs for want of people to bury them”; in 1773, says Arthur Young, four thousand went from Belfast alone, who set up linen factories in New England against Britain. You must add the immense numbers exported by the kidnapping trade both on the coast of Scotland and Ireland for the “indented” labour of the planters as a side issue to the smuggler of other goods. During the last half of the eighteenth century the religious hatreds were being given up in the unity of social and commercial interests, to be revived at the end of the nineteenth.

When the dispute between the mother country and the colonies came to a head, the British faced, fighting on the side of the colonists, an immense number of these emigrants from Ireland, Protestant and Catholic, ready to instruct the older colonists in the revolutionary philosophy which had filtered through from France by the Irish boys sent over to the Continent for their education, to inform them of Swift's doctrine that Ireland was only joined to Great Britain by the kingship, and owed no obedience to the British Parliament, and to point to the results in Ireland of the claim of that Parliament to tax other parts of the Empire. When Cornwallis surrendered to the French and Americans at Yorktown, four Ulster Protestants, says an Ulster historian, stood as generals in the American army to receive his sword. The Irish Presbyterians of the North formed the very heart of the American rebellion (as they afterwards used all their power against Britain in the French revolutionary wars) and contributed more than any other element to its success. The Catholics, accustomed to obey authority, good or bad, whether those who joined in the emigration or those who stayed at home, were more frequently loyalists as they have generally been.

The other very prominent result of the attempted enforcement of commercial monopoly, which will be dealt with later, was the art, trade, faith, profession of smuggling. Ireland with its extended seaboard, its magnificent harbours, its chain of lakes and rivers, forbidden to legitimate trade, formed an ideal site for the warehouses of the men who paid no customs duties.

vi. The Leaders and the War Cry.--In fact, the rulers in the islands, while they conserved at home all those who were content with the social conditions of the present, and invited them to subordinate their individual good to that of the society in which they lived, had for a century exported to their colonies all those whose independence and daring had led them to put themselves above the commonweal, and especially all those who resisted authority and law. For more than a century the islands had neglected to enforce the laws regulating trade against those colonists who objected. Now they were faced with the situation caused by their own neglect, and the men to whom they were opposed were trained by long tradition, use, local conditions, and imperial neglect, to look to their own immediate personal interests only, and to regard as an infringement of their freedom any attempt on the part of the Imperial Government to require the performance of social obligations. The only progress of the human race, the feature which has obtained for the British the first rank, has been the superiority in social organism on which intellectual progress depends. A large proportion of the existing individuals at any time, says Kidd, and it is strictly true of the American colonists, have no personal interest in this progress of the race or in the social development we are undergoing.

To obtain this social pre-eminence every community which conjugates the word Liberty needs leaders who can think clearly and impartially, minds formed by historic and philosophic training. Otherwise it falls into the hands of the demagogue mouthing cant phrases. A true leader, a man with a true vision of the needs of humanity, of the need for subordination of personal or of local wrongs to human, to national, to imperial progress, was called for. Such a man might have saved the situation. But he was not there. The common demagogue was assisted throughout the remainder of the century by the worship of the phrases Liberty and Equality, applied by selfinterested men to a very ignorant bourgeois and to farmers. Of such men there were plenty on both sides of the Atlantic, and their propaganda succeeded in effecting revolution.

It might be expected that the aristocratic planters of the south, closely connected as they were with much of the British aristocracy, would have been prominent in their loyalty to the mother country. Some of them were loyal; but several causes contributed to loosen these ties, and to commit them to association or sympathy with the rebels. Foremost, no doubt, in such causes came the terrorism which from the first was exercised by the men who engineered the revolution over all who had property to be seized or principles of loyalty to be debased. The great planters would most likely as a body have rallied to the Crown if they had been encouraged in the first instance by any decisive support given to them by the British ministers; but until it was too late they did not receive it. Exposed to the resentment of their fellows in America, and only too often treated with contempt by the European ministers and their supporters, the great planters learnt to associate themselves with the protests, thinking, no doubt,

that they could lead as they had hitherto done, and restrain. But, as time went on, such men, having once thrown in their lot with the colonists against the British, were not allowed to be moderate, but were compelled to follow the extremists.

“Our revolution,” says the Yale editor of The Journal of a Lady of Quality, "was true to type, and in the year 1775 there was no place in the revolutionary party for men who qualified in any important particular their entire submission to the will of those in control. A radical minority dominated the movement and played the autocrat without mercy, pursuing with intolerant resentment anyone who failed to see the situation eye to eye with themselves. It could not have been otherwise, for a revolution to be a revolution means the uncontrolled rule by a relatively small body of men."

For example : Thomas Mackwright, a Scotsman, who came to North Carolina in 1757, and engaging in trade and planting and shipbuilding became wealthy, refused as a delegate to the North Carolina convention to subscribe to the Continental Association for non-consumption and non-importation of British goods on the ground that it would involve a repudiation of a debt owed to a certain merchant in Great Britain," and that he could not approve of a conduct in a collective capacity which as an individual he should blush to acknowledge. He was cajoled, bribed, and threatened ; finally an attempt was made to assassinate him in his own house, and his dwelling, his merchandise, his crops, and his negroes were plundered.

As an example of the jealousies occasioned among the colonists by British appointments to office I would cite the following, told by Walpole under 1768, equally an example of the condition of British politics and of American grievances. Lord Bottetort, a Lord of the Bedchamber (you will find his name Botetourt in P.H., Vol. XVI., p. 164, as reporting from the Committee on the Disturbances in America in 1766) had engaged in an adventure with some copperworkers at Warmley in Warwickshire. They became bankrupt; in order to save his estate, Lord Bottetort asked for a privy seal to incorporate the Company, as his private estate would not then be answerable. The king granted it. Lord Chatham, aware of the deception, honestly refused to affix the seal. Lord Bottetort threatened to petition the House of Lords to address for the


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