Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

And the progress of events in TURKEY was such, as ere long to direct the eyes of all Europe to the seeming approach of the downfall of the Porte, and the consequent ascendency of Russia on the Bosphorus. Those who observed the progress of the Pacha of Egypt on the side of Arabia, and who recollected the extent of territory formerly possess ed by the Sultans of Egypt, had long foreseen that Mehemet Ali would be likely to embrace some propitious occasion to make himself master of Syria. Such an occasion grew out of a dispute between Mehemet Ali and Abdallab, Pacha of the neighboring government of Acre. Ibrahim Pacha, the conqueror of Greece, was despatched with a powerful army, supported by a fleet, to deprive Ibrahim of his Pachalik. The Porte saw two of its provincial vassals thus engaged in deadly hostilities, without reference to the wishes of their common head. Mehemet Ali, however, was in the situation of aggressor, as he had invaded the territory of the Sultan by sea and land. A firman was despatched to the two Pachas, commanding them to desist from hostilities, and submit their differences to the arbitration of the Porte. This Mehemet Ali would by no means consent to do; and he pressed the siege of Acre with redoubled vigor, while Abdallah held out as obstinately, in the expectation of receiving succor from Constantinople. The Egyptians gained possession of Gaza and Jaffa without difficulty, and reduced Acre to a heap of ruins. Time wore, and no succor

came. Osman Pacha, indeed, advanced as far as Tripoli, but was fain to abandon every thing and fly in disgrace on the approach of Ibrahim. Finding it impossible to hold out any longer, Abdallah at length capitulated, in May 1832, after sustaining a siege of several months' duration.

Ibrahim and his father-in-law were now fairly embarked in rebellion against the Porte. They had treated the Sultan's firman with contempt, driven Osman Pacha from the field, and taken possession, by force, of the Pachalic of Acre. Fortified in their purpose by the success they had thus far enjoyed, the Egyptians lost no time in marching upon Damascus, which fell with scarce a serious attempt at defence. Continuing his triumphant march, Ibrahim proceeded towards Aleppo. On the 8th of July he encountered a large Turkish force commanded by the Pacha of Aleppo, aided by the displaced Pachas of Tripoli and Damascus, and gained a signal victory, which assured to him the possession of Aleppo. The war had now grown to be a matter of life and death to the Sultan, who strained all his exhausted resources to raise a force adequate to withstand the Egyptians. Ibrahim had, meanwhile, advanced to Antioch, and there he found that Hussein Pacha had taken post at Beilan, with a large army, to guard the passes of Mount Taurus. If Ibrahim could overcome this force, there would be nothing to prevent his entering Caramania, when he might, if he pleased, march upon Constantinople, and dictate his

own terms to the Sultan in the
capital of the empire. It was a
bold venture, but the Egyptian
tried it, and triumphed. He at-
tacked the Turks on the 29th of
July, and gained a complete vic-
tory, thus completing the con-
quest of Syria. The circumstan-
ces, which saved the Turkish
Empire from total dissolution in
consequence of the advance of
Ibrahim to the neighborhood of
Constantinople, belong to the his-
tory of another year, when the
Sultan was seen to have recourse,
for the
the preservation of his
throne, to the Russians, the hered-
itary enemies of Turkey by re-
ligion and by policy, deliver-
ing up his capital to them as his
only means of defending it from
the all-grasping ambition of the
Egyptians.

SPAIN was tranquil, and afforded no materials for history, until the dangerous illness of the king in September, 1832, proved by how feeble a thread the peace and happiness of an hereditary monarchy are suspended. His health had been sometime declining, and at length the prospect of his death became imminent. The partisans of Don Carlos seized upon the favorable mo

to be crowned with complete success, and the King was accounted as it were already dead, he unexpectedly rallied, recovered full possession of his reason, and was made conscious by the Queen of the machinations of which she and her daughter were to have been the victims. Indignant that such advantage had been taken of his condition, he appointed the Queen to be Regent of the kingdom during the continuance of his illness, banished Calomarde from his councils and eventually from the kingdom, and entered upon a series of comparatively liberal measures, which promised the happiest influence upon the general welfare of Spain. This last change in policy necessarily ensued from the character and purposes of the individuals, who had composed the particular adherents of Don Carlos, they being the ultra-absolutists, and by no means cordially attached to Ferdinand himself. To strengthen herself against them, the Queen invited to her service many of the moderate party. Don Francisco de Zea Bermudez was recalled from the Court of Saint James, to replace Calomarde in authority at Madrid. The uniment of bodily and mental weak-versities were reöpened. A general amnesty for political offences was proclaimed, from which those only were exempted, who had at any time commanded an armed force against their King, or who as members of the Cortes had voted for his deposition at Seville. Finally, a decree was issued in December, reviving that of March, 1831, and restoring the ancient law of succession in

ness to obtain from him a decree revoking that of March, 1830, and restoring the Salic law of succession, introduced by Philip V. Yielding to the representations made to him by so many eager advocates of the pretensions of his brother, he consented to disinherit his daughter in favor of Don Carlos. But when the schemes of the Carlists appeared

behalf of the daughter of Maria Cristina. And thus, by the accident of an abortive intrigue in the sick chamber of a monarch, the dawn of improvement, so long hoped for and almost despaired of, was at length opened upon Spain.

It remains only to relate the beginning and progress of the war in PORTUGAL between Miguel, the ruler of the kingdom de facto, and his elder brother Pedro, acting in the name of his daughter Donna Maria de Gloria. Immediately after his arrival in Europe, Pedro had set about the vindication of the rights of the titular Queen of Portugal. Troops were enlisted, and vessels, arms, and stores taken up in England and France, a rendezvous being established at Belleisle, on the coast of France. After making such arrangements as were necessary, the expedition departed for Saint Michael, one of the Azores, where the final measures were taken for effecting a landing in Portugal. Notwithstanding the professed neutrality of the governments of England and France, they undeniably connived at the preparations making in the ports of their respective countries, influenced by views adverse to the authority of Miguel. It was very easy to collect a large force of disbanded soldiers, half-pay officers, emnigrant Portuguese and Poles, in short, men of action and adventure, of various nations,-to inan the ships and compose the army of Don Pedro. British officers commanded his fleet, and French or British officers held eminent rank in his land forces. If the

expedition were successful, there would be prize money for the privates, and honor for the officers; they hardly paused to reflect how it would fare with them if they failed.

Pedro set sail from Saint Michael's in June, with a fleet of five large, and seven smaller vessels, besides transports and gunboats, mustering a force of about 10,000 men. His preparations having gone on very publicly for upwards of six months, Miguel had ample notice to be ready to receive him, and might have resisted his landing, except that his intended place of effecting it was kept secret. At length, however, the squadron appeared off the Douro, near the mouth of which the troops were disembarked without resistance, to march immediately and gain possession of Oporto. This they accomplished on the 10th of July, while the troops of Miguel fell back upon Coimbra. Oporto had been selected by Pedro, as a point at once defensible on the land side, and accessible to communication with his fleet by means of the Douro, at the same time that it was the second city in the kingdom, and peculiarly attached to the Constitution. Here he fortified himself strongly, and prepared to take advantage of circumstances, hoping to see the Portuguese themselves rise in the cause of his daughter. In this, however, he was disappointed. The country remained tranquil and unmoved, while Miguel took measures to invest Oporto with all his forces, and either to reduce the city, or at least prevent Pedro from making

any advance into the heart of the kingdom.

Although Miguel's troops fell back at first, yet they came up again in a few days, and took post at Penafiel. A little skirmishing, with marching and countermarching, ensued, previous to the 22nd, when a battle was fought at Vallongo, which satisfied both parties that the contest was not likely to be a brief one. Pedro claimed the victory, but was content to make good his position in Oporto and in the suburb of Villa Nova, on the opposite side of the river, while the troops of Miguel continued to hem in the Constitutionalists by a line of posts stretching from Penafiel on the southeast, around to Redondo on the south side of the Douro. On the 7th of August the Constitutionalists made an unsuccessful attempt to carry the position of the Miguelites at Redondo. Some few rencontres, of no great moment, occurred in the same month between the fleet of Pedro under Admiral Sartorius, and that of Miguel.— Early in September the Miguelites became the assailants. They began by driving the Pedroites from Villa Nova; but as the latter still retained the convent of Serra on the same side of the river, the two parties exhausted

themselves for a while in desperate efforts to gain or hold those places respectively. On the 29th of September, again, the Miguelites made a combined attack on the works around Oporto, but without carrying them; and on the 13th of October another attempt was made, without success, on the convent of Serra. After this the Miguelites contented themselves with laying siege to Oporto; and for the residue of the year the war consisted only of the usual incidents of a siege, in which neither side made any very effectual progress towards a conclusion of the affair. Thus much, however, was apparent.Pedro was shut up in Oporto, with a turbulent army, opinionated foreign officers, and very imperfect resources, to maintain the pretensions of Donna Maria. But the Portuguese nation afforded him neither men nor money. On the contrary, Miguel's army was numerous, resolute, comparatively well found, and betrayed not the slightest disposition to quit his service, for that of Pedro. In fact at the expiration of the year, the war presented to all appearance the picture of an invader and a foreign army striving to impose a new government upon Portugal.

[ocr errors]

Situation of England in 1831 - Proclamation against Political Unions-Meeting of Parliament - Reform Bill again introduced Character of Bill-Adjournment of Parliament — Trial of Bristol Rioters-Parliament re-assembles - Proceedings in Commons on Reform Bill-Bill passes - Proceedings in House of Lords Second reading of Bill-Ministers defeated in Committee Ministers resign-Negotiation to form a new Administration - Excitement-Resolutions of Commons Whig Ministers re-appointed Opposition to Reform withdrawn — Reform Bill passes-Scotch Reform Bill-Nature of ReformBill passes Irish Reform Bill-Nature of Reform - Bill passes-Nature of Reform Consequences-Ireland - Opposition to collection of Tithes - Modification of Tithe System proposed-Nature of alteration-Law for collection of Tithes passes for Composition of Tithes - Prohibiting Party Processions-State of Ireland Disturbances - West India ColoEmancipation-Insurrection at Jamaica― Reform in Finances Legislation — Dissolution of Parliament.

nies

[ocr errors]

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

CHAPTER X.

[ocr errors]

ENGLAND.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

THE riots at Bristol, Nottingham and other places, in the latter part of 1831, had given indications, which could not be misunderstood, that the downfal of the Tory party was at hand.

Upon the rejection of the reform bill in the House of Lords, on the 7th of October, steps were immediately taken to prevent the resignation of the ministry. Lord Ebrington moved, in the House of Commons, a vote of confidence in the Whig cabinet, and the triumphant majority, by which that

[merged small][ocr errors]

« AnteriorContinuar »