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inces. At the commencement of his reign Alexander evinced those liberal tendencies which were, no doubt, the true bent of his nature; and, amongst other reforms, he took some steps towards preparing the way for the emancipation of the serfs. But the latter part of his life was embittered by doubts and suspicions; the machinations of secret societies. shook his faith in political progress, and he began to believe that his subjects were ungrateful for the service which he had rendered to them and to Europe. He died at Taganrog, on the sea of Azoff, in 1825.
Very shortly after the death of the emperor, the empress addressed to the empress-mother the fol
lowing letter, which has acquired an historical fame. "Mamma! Our angel is in heaven, and I exist still upon the earth. Who would have thought that I, feeble and wasted, should have survived him? Mamma, do not abandon me, for I am utterly alone in this world of grief. Our dear departed one wears in death his own benevolent expression; his smile proves to me that he is happy, and that he sees other things than he beheld while he was amongst us. My only consolation under this irreparable loss, is, that I shall not long survive him,—that I hope to rejoin him soon." Nor was her hope deceived; a little more than five months, and she was with her "angel in heaven."
HE Greeks began to aspire to freedom.
In the year 1814 two societies were formed in Greece, the object of both being the emancipation of the country from thraldom; the latter being a purely political combination, which in 1820 was placed under the presidency of Alexander Ypsilanti, a Moldavian nobleman in the service of Russia. Through his efforts the Greeks were incited to rise in rebellion against their Turkish masters; but in a desperate battle near Dragatschan, on June 19, 1821, the "sacred band" of the Greeks was entirely exterminated, and Ypsilanti was compelled to make his escape to Austria. Almost simultaneously the population of the Peloponnesus took up arms, and incurred the bloody vengeance of the Turks. The Turkish fleet was, however, successfully attacked by the Greeks, who also maintained their ascendency on land. After the victorious battle of Valtezi, the town of Tripoli fell into the hands of the Greeks, and on Jan. 1, 1822, the first Greek national assembly was held at Piadka, when a constitution was drawn up for the country. In this national struggle of the Greeks, the famous English poet, Lord Byron, devoted his talent, his property, and his energy to the cause of Greek liberty, until his death was brought about from the effect of the climate and the fatigues of the campaign. In 1824, the Porte gained the assistance of (616)
its vassal, the viceroy of Egypt, Mahomet Ali, in repressing its insubordinate subjects, and for two years the Peloponnesus was cruelly devastated, until the fall of Missolonghi, on April 22, 1826.
Shortly before this event the emperor Alexander had died suddenly after a short illness, at Taganrog, in December, 1825, and was succeeded by his second brother, Nicholas. In England the rudder of state was confided to George Canning, who succeeded in bringing about an alliance between England and Russia, which was subsequently joined by France, for mediating between Greece and Turkey. Shortly afterwards the Turkish fleet was attacked in the harbor of Navarino, and after a fierce contest lasting four hours, was entirely destroyed, in October, 1827. In the spring of the following year war broke out between Russia and Turkey. The campaign, however, proved unfavorable to the former power; the Russian general, Diebitsch, crossed the Balkans to Adrianople, but his troops were so much reduced in number by hunger and disease, that he was unable to maintain his position in the hostile territory. The Porte at last consented to the peace of Adrianople, in September, 1829, and soon afterwards the London Conference resulted in the procotol of February 3, 1830, which recognized the independence of Greece, established an hereditary monarchy, and appointed Otho I., of the House of Bavaria, as king, in May, 1830.
→ Central and
HE history of the settlements made in Central and Southern America by the Spanish and Portuguese, resembles that of the United States in presenting a period of dependence followed by contests with the mother country and final separation. In all other features, however, their annals are unlike; for while in the one territory we have a solid empire well organized, save at its outskirts, obedient to a settled system of law, governed by a free constitution, and firmly united-we have in the other nothing but turbulence, despotism alternating with anarchy, and sanguinary internal contests. The unfortunate characteristics of the Spanish and Portuguese settlements, like the better features of the British, were the natural fruit of their position as dependencies. The home governments considered a dependency in no other light than as a treasury from which they might perpetually draw supplies, rendering the colonists no services in return. The earliest settlers oppressed the natives, but the permanent colonists were, in their turn, oppressed by the home government. All privileges and emoluments belonged to the nobles of the mother country, who formed a separate class, keeping the colonists in serfage.
Yet when Napoleon made evident his designs on the Peninsula, a loyal feeling was roused in America. The Spanish colonies refused to receive the new foreign dynasty, and met in juntas or small parliaments. Of these one was formed at Caraccas, others at La Paz in upper Peru, at Quito, at Santa Fe, at Buenos Ayres, and at Santiago in Chili. Left, however, in some measure to self-action by a
government which could not enforce its authority, a reluctance to re-admit the rule of Spain ripened by degrees into a determination in the Spanish settlements to separate themselves and possess a government of their own. A scattered contest took place with the royalist troops throughout the provinces, in which the independent party were generally victorious. There was a hard struggle in Chili, where the royalist troops, after having been twice defeated by Carreras, receiving large reinforcements, again subjugated the province, and compelled it to submit to the old system. The independent party, however, with an army levied in La Plata chiefly through their sympathizers in Buenos Ayres, marched against the royalists, and completely defeated them at the battle of Chacabueo in 1817. San Martin, the general of the army, was now made the head of a representative government; but the contest was not yet over. The patriots, as they were termed, were signally defeated by the royalists at Chancharayda. But in their turn they gained the great victory of Maipù, celebrated for the ferocity of the victors, and the terrible extent of the slaughter. The independence of Chili being now established, this state became a base of operations to its neighbors in the assertion of their independence. Troops were sent to Peru, where a long and doubtful contest with the Spaniards was conIcluded by the battle of Ayacucho, in 1824. It was in the provinces for some time united as the Republic of Colombia-which afforded to the Spanish troops the readiest access, and where at the same time the natives were most enterprising and intelligent that the most dubious and protracted strug
gle occurred. A narrative of the wars in New Grenada and Venezuela might fill several volumes. The tide was effectually turned by the victory of Carabobo in 1819; but it was not until the surrender of Porto Cabello in 1823, that the contest was at an end.
In Mexico, in the meantime, royalist principles were so far prevalent, that for several years the revolutionist party were only represented by a few guerilla bands lurking in distant provinces. A feeling in favor of separation was, however, making silent progress. An accident at last favored it. When the Spanish government became constitutional in 1820, the governor of Mexico, designing to counteract the constitutional principle, trusted the military force to the celebrated Iturbide, who from the command of an unresisted army rising to the temporary sovereignty of the province, accomplished a bloodless revolution. Nearly at the same time Guatemala, the last province to dissever itself from Spain, established a constitution.
The most important general event in the history of these American states, is the acknowledgment of their independence by Britain in 1825, under the influence of Canning. The event gave a great stim
ulus to mutual trade. Into the revolutions and contests through which the republics of Spanish origin have passed it would be impossible to enter with the detail necessary to render the account intelligible. The insurrectionary spirit of 1848 swept over them, and created a year or two of more than usual turbulence, which has scarcely yet subsided.
The history of the Portuguese colonies was rendered in some measure peculiar by the court of Portugal seeking refuge there from the designs of Napoleon. Brazil was erected into a kingdom, and a devout loyalty became the peculiarity of the colonists. They found, however, that the court brought over a band of followers who expected to rule the colony, and live on its official salaries. The revolutionary spirit was imbibed from the Spanish provinces and received an impulse from the propagation of constitutional principles in the Peninsula in 1820. The king leaving his American dominions and returning to Portugal, much discontent was expressed in the anticipation that Brazil was again to become. a province. But, in 1822, the discontents were quenched, and a permanent system was founded by giving the province the sonorous title of an empire, and making the king's son, Don Pedro, emperor.
HE predominance which Britain has achieved in the East, simplifies the history of the Oriental nations by clustering them round a common centre. As it was with Rome of old and the nations of the European continent, the states around Hindustan take their position in history from their connection with the British influence; and, whether they are to respect it, or, seduced by Russia or any other rival influence to oppose it, is always the most important national question that can affect these governments.
The British dominions in India have seldom been many years free of contention, and during the long peace of Europe they have had to cope with a continued succession of wars. It can justly be said of these wars that, unlike those of the previous century, they had not been systematically provoked by the conduct of Britain; yet, they certainly arose in a great measure in quarrels bequeathed from more unscrupulous times. Thus towards the close of the preceding century, by fostering a quarrel among the native chiefs, a position had been obtained in the Mahratta territories. In 1817, the Peshwa, who was kept on his throne by British influence, was found to have laid a plot for driving the British from their possessions. His army being attacked and routed, he surrendered himself to Sir John Malcolm, and the greater part of Poonah, or the territory of the Mahrattas, fell into the hands of Britain.
In 1824, a contest arose with a more formidable power-the Burmese empire. Naturally separated from the possessions of the East India Company, the government always prudently avoided any attempt to encroach on the Burmese territory, or to
afford any excuse for a rupture. The monarch of the Burmese however the king of Ava, trusting in the reputed valor of his troops, prepared to seize a portion of the Company's territory. He began in the usual Oriental manner by insulting the officers of the British government, and attacking isolated bodies of troops. The moderation with which his first aggressions were met led him into the perpetually recurring mistake, that fear, not moderation, saved him from sharper retaliation. It was necessary to send a force under Sir Archibald Campbell to teach him his true position. The Burmese raised a very formidable army, amounting to 60,000 men, and it was only after severe fighting, that the superior discipline of the smaller British-Indian force entirely defeated them and threatened the capital. Negotiations now began, but they were fruitless, and indeed were only intended to suspend operations until the king of Ava could reconstruct his army, and fall unexpectedly on his enemy. last to save his capital the king seriously negotiated, and consented to part with a portion of territory, and pay a large sum as ransom money. Nearly at the same time Britain had to seize from a usurper the strong fortress of Bhurtpore and its province, and restore them to the heir, who, of course, became one of the princes dependent on Britain.
For nine years no further conflicts of importance occurred, but the affairs of the East India Company created considerable interest in England. They possessed the two functions, not naturally compatible with each other, of ruling a great nation and carrying on a trade in certain commodities, such as tea, indigo, and cotton. When an act was passed for the renewal of their charter in 1833, the monopoly of the Company was abolished, and the trade of