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dependence of the Spanish Ame- that the king, by a decree of anrican states, at the instigation nesty, gave permission to most of of Spain, was the most impolitic of the Neapolitan exiles to return to bis measures. He imprudently ad- their country, and concluded a condressed a pastoral letter to the ec- vention with Austria, for decreasing clesiastics in Mexico, enjoining the army of occupation. upon them to return to their alle- By pre-existing treaties, the numgiance to Ferdinand, as a duty ber of Austrian troops was fixed at which they owed the catholic 32,500 men, who were to remain church. This measure could have until May, 1826. This number no effect among American catho- was now reduced to 15,000, who ics, but to produce alienation of were not to evacuate the two Sicifeeling, towards the see of Rome. lies, until March, 1827, unless the
In the domestic administration king should, in the mean time, feel of-his territorial possessions, the secure in making a still farther represent pontiff has, also, shown duction. himself less liberal than his prede- Notwithstanding the obstinate cessor. In August, 1825, the law legitimacy of the emperor of Arsregulating the censorship of the TRIA, and his extreme care to prepress was remodeled, requiring vent the introduction of liberality, printers and booksellers to be li- or its harbinger, knowledge, into censed, and probibiting books to bis dominions, he found it difficult be delivered to the public libra- to satisfy the Hungarian diet, which ries.
assembled at Presburg, in SeptemProsecutions for carbonarism, ber, 1825. The emperor addresshave also been instituted at Rome; ed the states in a Latin speech, in and, it is said, that a part of the which he charged them to discoutroops, to be removed from Naples, rage all innovations, assuring them will be stationed in the adjoining of his devotion to their welfare, Roman territory, as an army of with many other unmeaning geneobservation.
ralities, and ended, by presenting Ferdinand, king of Naples the them with a demand for money and imbecile protege of the Holy Alli- troops. Before giving any anance, died January 4th, 1825, and swer to his requisition, the diet was succeeded by his son, who be- discussed and adopted a kind of gan his reign, with endeavors to re- petition of rights, couched in firm, lieve his kingdom of part of its mi- but respectful language. They litary burden. The fear of revolu- complained that levies had been tion was now so much diminished, made, and contributions levied by him alone, without their assent;ı us—we shall hasten over them, to and they demanded an assurance leave the more space for an account from him, that the fundamental of the important events, which have laws of the kingdom should no occurred in Russia., longer be disregarded. To these During the winter of 1824–5, representations, the emperor made much suffering was occasioned in a conciliatory reply, and engaged the NETHERLANDS by inundations, to convene the diet regularly every which extended even to the kingthree years, or oftener, if they de- dom of Hanover.
The greatest sired it.
distress was experienced in east In SARDINIA, and the neighbor- Frisland and Overyssel In the ing country of SWITZERLAND, no latter province, it was calculated political events of consequence have that not less than 250 persons,
and occurred. The bigoted policy of 14,000 cattle perished. The dethe holy alliance, still predominated struction of houses, manufactories, in the councils of Sardinia, and furniture, dockyards, and other domineered over the Swiss repu- erections, swept away by the floods, blics. In the former, an ordinance was immense. Subscriptions were was issued, forbidding any one to liberally made to relieve the disbe taught reading and writing, who tressed; and a credit of eight millwas not worth 1,500 francs, and ions of florins, was granted by, the the works of Goethe, Wieland and states-general, to repair the dykęs, Schiller, were prohibited : while and other damages which the countwo German professors, who had try sustained. removed to Basel, were compelled The government was sedulously to leave the cantons, in order to occupied in the internal improveescape from the power of the allied ment of the country; having no courts, who demanded them as care elsewhere, except the embarconspirators against " the establish- rassed condition of its East India ed order of things."
possessions, to which we shall alThere is little in the recent his- lude in our chapter on Asia. tory of Netherlands, the Germanic The session of the states-genestates, and the smaller powers in the ral in 1826, was opened in Octonorth of Europe, to arrest our at- ber. The king's speech annountention. Devoted to the arts of ced that Curaçoa was made a free peace, pursuing the even tenor of port, the only fact in it, of much their course, engaged in no wars interest to foreign nations. It also and presenting but few incidents in stated, that the indigent classes their domestic affairs, of interest to every where in the kingdom, conld
now enjoy education gratuitously. health, had been apparent for some Nothing in the political condition time ; and a few days after he was of the country was inauspicious; taken ill, at Taganrog, his situation excepting the pecuniary distresses began to grow critical, and he exof the East India colonies, which pired the 1st of December. His were ascribed to their pertinacious physicians ascribed his disease to a conflicts with the natives, and the bilious fever ; but he himself, conundue severity of their policy. sidered it an erysipelas driven in
Maximilian Joseph, king of Ba- upon his stomach. VARIA, died of apoplexy, in Octo- The unexpected death of Alexanber, 1825, and was succeeded by der, in the vigor of manhood, for his son, Charles Louis.
he was only forty-eight years of Between SWEDEN and Great age, created much uneasiness Britain, a treaty was concluded in throughout Europe. Not that the November, 1825, which provided for emperor's intellect was such as to enforcement of penal laws against command admiration abroad ; nor slave trade, conferring on each his policy of a nature to acquire for power the right of searching sus- him the unqualified respect of the pected vessels, and establishing tri- wise. Alexander was a temperate bunals at Sierra Leone and St. Bar- and prudent, but not a great motholomew's, for the trial of vessels.narch. His influence in foreign captured.
affairs, depended on his mighty None of the other northern military power, and the weight of powers underwent any political his vast empire, in the scale of change of moment, except Russia. nations. His principles of admi
In Russia, the death of Alexan- nistration had not always been unider, although it produced no change form, nor consistent. At one time, in the foreign policy of the empire, he was the friend of peace, aboundwas the commencement of a series ing with expressions of general of domestic incidents, full of the good will; although maintaining deepest interest.
the greatest standing army in the After closing the diet of Warsaw, world. At another, he was disposed in June, 1825, the emperor com- to favor liberal ideas, and to exmenced a tour through his extensive tend the blessings of education to dominions. In November, being on his subjects. But latterly, the dea visit to the Crimea, he was taken velopment of his policy, as head of sick, at Taganrog a town situated the holy alliance, tended to shake on the sea of Azoff. Symptoms of that esteem for his character, which Alexander's declining state of his early misfortunes, when attack
ed by Napoleon, had inspired ; and the advice, and approbation, of which his subsequent successes con- the empress mother. firmed. Still, when he died, anxie- Scarcely had Nicholas discharged ty was felt for the consequences. this duty, when he was apprised by Would not his death be followed by the senate, that the late emperor some act on the part of his success- had deposited in their hands, in or, to disturb the present course of October, 1823, a letter under his events ?—was the universal ques- seal, with a direction upon it, in tion, in Europe and America. But his own handwriting, to open the these speculations were abruptly packet, immediately on his decease, terminated, by the singular events and before proceeding in any other which transpired in the capital, on business. This packet contained the news of his decease being re- a letter of Constantine's, dated ceived there.
January 14, 1822, addressed to Alexander left no children : of Alexander, by virtue of which, he course, in the order of succession, renounced the succession to the as prescribed by the testament of throne, belonging to him, by right Paul, which was regarded as a fun- of primogeniture ; and a manifesto, damental law of the empire, the bearing the signature of Alexander, imperial crown would descend to dated August 16th, 1823, ratifying his elder brother, the grand duke Constantine’s renunciation, and deConstantine, who was in Warsaw at claring Nicholas to be his successor, this period. Intelligence of Alex- in the empire. Documents of the ander's death, was sent from Ta- same tenor, were deposited also, ganrog to St. Petersburg, by ex- with the directing senate, and the press ; and immediately communi- holy synod, and in the cathedral cated to the grand duke Nicholas, church of the Ascension, at MoAlexander's second brother. It was generally believed, that Con- Nevertheless, Nicholas refused to stantine had, at the instance of abide by an abdication, which, Alexander, renounced his right of when it took place, was not prosuccession, in favor of Nicholas. claimed publicly, and had not reNevertheless, Nicholas immediate- ceived the force of law, as irrevoly assembled the palace guards, cable. Accordingly, the senate and, after taking himself the oath took, and subscribed, the oath of of allegiance, to Constantine, allegiance to Constantine, caused caused it to be administered to the him to be proclaimed, by ukase; guards, and the great officers of the and despatched orders to every dearmy. These acts were done with partment of the empire, to have the
oath administered to all the male linquish his claims to the greatest subjects of Constantine.
empire on earth. Curiosity was Intelligence of Alexander's death busy, above all, to discover the reached Warsaw, direct from Ta- causes and motives of Constantine's ganrog, two days before it was renunciation in 1822. They, who known at St. Petersburg. Con- suspect duplicity in every act of a stantine, immediately before hear- court, insist that Nicholas was ining from the capital, addressed sincere, and that Constantine was letters to the empress mother, and authoritatively compelled to abdito Nicholas, in which he persisted cate in favor of his younger broin renouncing the throne. Mean- ther.
Mean- ther. On the other hand, if it was time, he continued to reside at so, never did compulsion wear Warsaw, as a private individual; and more completely the air of cheerful when acquainted with the proceed- willingness. In his letter of abdiings at the capital, he again wrote cation, Constantine says: “I do to Nicholas, solemnly persisting in not lay claim to the spirit, the abilihis previous declarations, and re- ties, or the strength, which would fusing the proffered allegiance of be required if I should ever exercise the Russians.
the high dignity, to which I may Nicholas no longer hesitated to
possess a right by birth.” He afassume the imperial dignity. By terwards says : “ The circumstana manifesto, dated December 24th, ces of my present situation, induce he announced the foregoing facts, me still more to adopt this meaannexing to it copies of the wri- sure.” These expressions furnish tings and correspondence of which much color to the generally receiwe have given an abstract. The ved idea, that Constantine was pre25th, he
communicated these vailed upon by Alexander to do documents to the senate, and was this, in consideration of the empeimmediately proclaimed emperor of ror's consenting to his marriage Russia. On the next day, 'the with a Polish lady of humble cirmanifesto was published, and orders cumstances. But the submissivewere issued 'to the guards to re- ness of temper implied in such an assemble and take the oath of alle. act for such a cause, and his disgiance to the new emperor. qualifying expressions concerning
These remarkable incidents, could himself above cited, are by no not but fill Europe with astonish- means in unison with the impetument. The world hesitated to be. ous and warlike character, which lieve, that both Nicholas and Con- Constantine has always been suppostantine were so ready, to re- sed to possess.