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by men who could afford to risk money in investments for future return. High farming became the fashion in England. The change raised her to the front rank in agriculture.
Like all inevitable changes in industry which come about by natural means, this Revolution had evil as well as good results. It divorced from the land some of the steadiest and best of the population, and it resulted, for the time at least, in a great increase in misery and pauperism among the poor.
We still suffer from the change. The worst aspect of our great superiority as a manufacturing nation and our dependence on trade only in such a small area of land is that we have an increasing population with no association with the soil and no tradition or knowledge of its cultivation. The only remedy would appear to be extensive emigration to areas of greater space.
Ireland, after long disputes with Great Britain over her commercial restraints, during which any efforts of Pitt and others to arrive at a satisfactory compromise were frustrated by the opposition of the British trader and manufacturer, was moving under a most atrocious persecution of the Catholicst by the Ulster Protestants, under the influence of French and American emissaries of freedom,' to the outbreak of 1798, to be followed by the Act of Union. On the other hand, as showing the real danger to Britain, in a Report drawn up in 1793 by the House of Lords (quoted in Lecky's Ireland, III, 201) it was stated that prayers for the success of the French arms had been offered up in Belfast from the pulpit in the presence of military associations which had been newly raised in that town; that bodies of men composed mostly of the lowest classes of the people and armed and disciplined under officers chosen by themselves had been enrolled in different parts of the north ; that great supplies of arms and gunpowder had been collected at Belfast and Newry; that men were drilled and exercised almost every night for several hours by candlelight; and that Belfast and other parts of Presbyterian Ulster were the special centres of Irish Republicanism.
* For the story of the Highland Enclosures from the view of the evicted tenants I refer to The Highland Clearances, by Alexander Mackenzie.
† In the course of this extraordinary persecution it was estimated that in County Armagh alone in 1796 seven thousand persons were killed or driven from their homes to starve on the mountains by the gangs of Orangemen. It was impossible for them to get any appearance of justice in the Courts of Law. Refer to W. J. MacNeven, Pieces of Irish History, and Robert Emmett, R. R. Madden and Francis Plowden on 1798.
It was undoubtedly a time of very great danger for the British Empire. The population of the islands was rapidly overtaking the means of subsistence, the people were in a state of desperate discontent, and the means of expansion which had been given by the American colonies for the overflow was cut off.
iii. The United States of America. During these troubled years at the end of the century these former colonies, still wholly European, were forming their constitution on British lines, continuing their State Legislatures of two Chambers, accepting the English Common Law, and putting their finances in order. This last was a matter of very great difficulty.
After the Revolution the country was practically bankrupt, unable to keep up the value of the dollar at any level, the paper currency being about forty to one silver dollar. When the army was being paid off, Washington arranged that full pay should be given to the officers for five years : but Massachusetts protested against paying the men who had done the fighting, as being contrary to the doctrine of equality. In 1784, the Federal Court of Appeals in prize cases came to an end owing to the refusal of Congress to pay the salaries of the judges. Congress, being bankrupt, had to call on the states for help towards the central government, given grudgingly in certificates of indebtedness. The only cash was a small loan from France in 1783 and a loan from Holland in 1788. Eventually Hamilton and other financiers restored credit, so that American securities in 1793 were at par.
During these early years the Confederation showed signs of falling to pieces. Like the “Wild Ass ” of the French Revolution, the Central Congress consisted of one Chamber only, useful relations with the states being rendered impossible by a provision of unanimity. One state or another always stood outside, states in the North raising their own troops and refusing contributions to the central government. But, led for the first forty-five years after 1783 by Washington and his Southern compeers, and influenced by the jealousy which had always existed between themselves and their French deliverers,
showing itself in fierce riots during the War of Independence, the states gradually drew away from the continental theories. The moderate constructive men worked for a solution, with the result that in 1787, after years of wrangling, the Federal Constitution was formed, written by Gouverneur Morris, and, of course, strenuously opposed by the patriots Hancock, Samuel Adams and Patrick Henry. Undoubtedly in the first instance it was an agreement between the several states, which gradually by force of circumstances became a Constitution for all the states in matters reserved to it. In 1789 Washington was elected President.
The quarrels of the Union of American States with European powers over ephemeral questions disappeared with the Napoleonic wars, but a great internal dispute arose almost immediately, which rested upon the principles at issue in the War of Independence, the imposition of customs tariffs and the right of secession from the Union of States.
The tendency from the first had been towards a cleavage between the two sections, North and South. The Southern States, gifted with a moderate climate and fertile soil, had developed at the instance of Britain the cultivation of tobacco and of semi-tropical products, such as rice and sugar. These were cultivated to a great extent by negro slaves. At the time of the Revolution the slaves were comparatively few in the States and so little profitable even in the South that there was always talk of their emancipation. Then came cotton growing, which became the leading industry of the South and the greatest export of the continent. But for the invention of the cotton gin in 1793, negro slavery in America would probably not have survived the century.
The Northern States, on the other hand, struggling with a poor soil and bitter climate, exerted themselves to manufacture the raw materials for home use and for export. The American tariffs to protect the manufacture of the North, which were later the root cause of the civil war, began in 1789.
In those early days there had been a very great increase of population. It had been almost entirely of native growth, the extent of the back country open to settlement permitting of all unused man material being eaten up by the advancing prairies and forests. The growth meant that men pushed out
to the rural West as landowners instead of supplying landless labour for the manufacturing North. A permanent dispute arose as to whether these new territories, whose voice would soon be heard in settling tariff questions, should be controlled in the interest of the South, raising the raw material by slave labour, or of the North, manufacturing by the import of free Europeans. Moderate men made attempts from time to time for settlement by compromise. The Northern States had early in 1787 provided against slavery in the northern territories by the North-West ordinance, but the Southern States, in ceding lands to the Confederation, did not prohibit slavery, expecting it gradually to disappear. A compromise line from East to West was drawn across the continent. But all efforts to avoid the resort to force were foiled by the anti-slavery clique who, like all who distinguish between law and liberty, encouraged violence to gain their end.
When in 1861 the Southern States proposed to part from the industrial North, a district far more alien to them, owing to the continuous stream of foreign blood, than the British of the days of George III. had been to any of the colonists, for reasons far more cogent than Townsend's 8d. duty on tea, the northern men repudiated the assertions for which they had all fought in the eighteenth century and refused to allow independence. The war which followed resulted, as a modern American historian puts it, in "the victory of the coarser elements of the American people over the finer, the defeat of that Nordic race which had made the Republic and the American civilization." more illustration of the truth that the trend of thought at the time decides the direction of the economic and political affairs of the world.
iv. The New Colonies. Australasia.—Meanwhile the British Islands were seeking an outlet for their surplus population in the place of the lost colonies. It has been the great good fortune of the British Islands that since the sixteenth century the restless spirit of the French people had exhausted itself in attacks on their neighbours north, south and east, leaving to one side for the most part expansion by the sea. They are pre-eminently a military people, as the British are pre-eminently a naval people. The Dutch and Iberian peoples, our sea rivals, were concerned with their own considerable colonies. As a result the British have been able to explore and colonize vast spaces of the earth's surface with little or no interference from other peoples. This was especially the case after the outcome of the American Revolution. The British were not only enabled to settle peaceably their problems in Canada, issues concerned with race and religion and administrative form, and dangerous disputes between the farmer and the hunter, but they quietly obtained an Australasian Empire, not unknown but unoccupied, which took the place of the American colonies as an outlet for the surplus population of the islands.
Tasman and others before him had discovered Tasmania and New Zealand. Dampier had visited them in 1689 and 1699. Then, in 1769, Cook went round the islands of New Zealand. In 1770 he sailed to Botany Bay, explored a great extent of coast, and took possession of the country in the name of the King. He made two more voyages before his murder at Hawaii in 1778, and outlined the coast of Australia, the survey being completed by the discovery of the strait between Australia and Tasmania by Surgeon Bass in 1798.
The British had hitherto sent out convicted persons as "servants" to the American colonies by contractors, about one in seven, it is said, generally dying on the voyage. Australia now took the place of America. Captain Phillip took out a cargo of convicts of both sexes and marines with their wives in 1787, reaching Botany Bay in January, 1788, but, not finding it favourable, he removed on January 24, to Port Jackson, now Sydney harbour. Just as he was sailing, a French expedition, sent out before his own, appeared in the Bay. But no conflict occurred; the French sailed away, leaving the British in possession. After the usual extremity of famine, hardship, misfortune and panics, with the crop of crimes and mutinies which accompany all pioneer settlement, and disputes with the very low aborigines, the colony grew and became very flourishing. From 1791, bodies of Irish political prisoners, who had dared to give expression to their desire for economic and political freedom from the government of the British Parliament, were shipped to Sydney.
In 1797, coal was discovered. In the same year some merino sheep were imported from the Cape, and the great wool in