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pretended compulsion of necessity, and par- out such preconceptions as we are now suggesttitioned populations, to satisfy ministerial ing, no adequate comprehension of the state of crotchets or royal greed. There was a for- Europe can possibly be formed : But as soon mal partage d'âmes. Claims to so many as the reader has once realized the character millions of souls, founded on previous bar- of the political system, with the places and gains, presumptions, or services, were put functions of its const ent members, as it in and recognized, at the cost of all national was constructed at Vienna, and as it existed feelings ; and in councils over which no great after its intervening modifications up to a geographical or bistorical ability is said to recent day, he will find that every incident have presided. Nor was all this done in of this wonderful year drops naturally into innocence, or ignorance, or without audible its place in the historical panorama, and that expostulation and warning. In the British he can run his eye from Schleswig to Sicily, senate, before yet the arrangements were and from Bucharest to Brunswick, without finally concluded, Sir James Mackintosh de- being deceived by any false light or diverted nounced aloud the mistaken provisions of the by any unreal phenomenon. treaty, and exposed the evils of such arbitra- Twelve months had scarcely elapsed after ry adjudications, in the wisest spirit of politi- the ratification and acceptance of this syscal foresight. But the Congress had a giant's tem, when perturbations began to disclose strength; and they used it, despotically in themselves, though with reference less to effect, though, for the most part, not wrong- landmarks than principles. It was hardly fully in intention. The results have fur- to be expected but that some such offences nished the incidents of European history should come. Intermingled and confused during the thirty years' peace. Naturam with that insurrectionary enthusiasm which expulêre furca--and the throes and struggles had been studiously excited in the War of of nature against the violence could never Liberation, there still stalked abroad the pure be made to cease. It was to the known spirit of Jacobinism, and the military fanatispirit of reaction against this unnatural pres- cism which survived the loss of Napoleon. sure, that the appeals, so familiar to modern How far the two latter passions really modicars, were made.
It was on the spirit thus fied the more legitimate yearnings of the forengendered, that the French Republicans mer, and whether the alarm of governments relied when they proclaimed to Europe, in or the suspicion of the people was the better terrorem, that a word spoken in Paris was founded sentiment, it is not our present busipotent enough donner secousse aux trónes. ness to decide. It is sufficient for our purNo doubt it was. It was the fabric from the pose to remark, that the resolutions prohands of the Congress which shook in 1830, fessed by the allied sovereigns of concedand which shakes in 1848. The Allied ing constitutional privileges to their subPowers constructed an edifice which the di- jects, were quickly cancelled; and superplomacy of Europe has ever since been en- seded immediately by repressive measures, gaged in transforming, to meet those precise taken in such earnest concert and under requirements which the Congress had neglect- such singular conditions, that the general ed. Unhappily, too, the mischief was aggra- system of Europe became intimately affected vated by supplementary conclusions ; and by the consequences of the course now enat Carlsbad, Laybach, and Verona, much of tered upon. To meet this tergiversation of what was good in the provisions of Vienna the Courts, all the modifications and developwas lucklessly neutralized, while all that was ments of carbonarisme which tradition details, evil was made infinitely worse.
were now put in operation; and every state It does not enter into our design to adju- of Central Europe had its secret societies dicate between princes and people in those for the prosecution of its peculiar object. political collisions which followed so closely In Germany the leading idea appears to on the great European act of settlement; have involved that revival of imperial or naour object is confined to the selection of tional Unity which was so long a proscribed those particular facts which became really theory, and which has now been so unexinfluential upon the actual system of Europe, pectedly proclaimed, though we can hardly and which will assist us in elucidating its re- say realized. Among the Poles there was cent character and its present state. Letno that undying aspiration for distinct nationreader imagine that we are leading him ality, which, hopeless and even useless as it through irrelevant details, or that we are drag- now is to themselves, seems preserved solely ging him to an unconscionable height, before as a thorn in the side of their oppressors. we present him with the promised view. With- The Italians had less definite objects of as
sociation and agitation. There was great stipulations of which showed that their apdiscontent in the unconsolidated kingdom of prehensions for the future were still confined Sardinia ; and natural disaffection in the to the frontiers of France. revolutionized and ill-governed states of the But the true tendency of continental poPeninsula ; but the desire of fusing the whole licy was not long in disclosing itself. Though of Italy into a single monarchy under an at the first re-union of the Allied Powers at Italian king, seems not to have been an idea Aix la Chapelle in 1818, no measures were either practically comprehended or generally overtly concerted for suppressing the liberal entertained. France was of course the hot-movements by this time set on foot, yet the bed of all revolutionary principles, but the apprehensions excited, especially in Gerarmy of occupation then answered for its many, by these popular manifestations, had neutrality, and its people were suspended been mainly influential in provoking the from that initiative in all commotions which conferences; and it was speedily determined is their high prerogative, as completely as its to retract or suspend those concessions of cabinet was then politely outlawed in the constitutional privileges which had been forre-unions of its august allies.
merly promised. These royal re-unions and Upon looking at the date of the Holy compacts were rapidly repeated. At CarlsAlliance, at its discoverable tenor, and at bad, at Troppau, at Laybach, and at Verona, the reception which its declarations experi- conclusions were announced, successively of enced, we shall perhaps be led to conclude greater and greater stringency and sweep, that this famous compact was not in reality amidst explosions of popular discontent, any incarnation of those notorious principles which, according to the feelings or judgment which its title usually recalls, and that it was of writers, are represented as either the scarcely even a prelude to the more practi- cause or the effect of the resolutions adopted. cal conventions which followed it. It was In Germany the insurrectionary spirit took the production of Alexander alone ; and the disgraceful form of assassination ; in the was merely a vehicle of those vague and Italian and Spanish peninsulas, the more mysterious doctrines of the religious obliga- dangerous guise of military revolt. But the tions of sovereigns and states, over which important point to be observed is, the attithe Czar delighted to ponder.' Its purport tude gradually assumed by the Allied Powwas little more than an open and unwaver-ers, and its remarkable influence upon
the ing profession of that faith and those prin- public policy of Europe. The contracting ciples upon the ruin of which French do- parties represented themselves as charged minion had been founded. It was an advised with the superintendence of general tranand formal declaration on the part of the quillity; and characterized their combinacontracting Powers, that the doctrines of tion against the “revolutionary” spirit of Christianity should be the rule of their con- Europe, as the natural continuation of that duct towards others and among themselves. alliance, which, by overwhelming the power Austria and Prussia accepted and subscribed of Napoleon, had restored the peace of the its conditions, with little sincere sympathy, world. The result was a perpetual league but with great readiness to conciliate by of crowned heads, which, if originally disuch insignificant stipulations so important rected against license, was soon made availan ally. But that which recommended the able against liberty. The principle now alliance to these Powers disqualified it for promulgated was this, that if any disturbance approval in England. The British govern- of the “ tranquillity,” constituted and prement was unwilling to commit itself to obli- scribed by the dispensing Powers, should gations which were either superfluous or in- occur at any point of Europe, the entire definite. If the compact meant no more force of the Alliance should be immediately than it expressed, it was but a gratuitous ex-employed to suppress it. In this way the position of the national faith; if any practi- political system, as ordinarily organized becal duties were concealed beneath its terms, tween sovereign and independent States, was they ought to be more intelligibly specified to be superseded by a kind of Confederation, It seems clear, however, that no such un- which would have transformed the governeasiness had yet arisen respecting the popular ments of Europe into a diet, of which Ausfeeling in the several states, as would have tria or Russia would have seized the presisuggested any counter-association of govern- dency. Forms of government were put in ments; and in fact the more practical mat- the same category with configurations of ters were cared for in a separate convention frontier ; and the mutual guarantee was exbetween Austria, Russia, and Prussia ; the tended from integrity of territoru to interity
of absolutism. “Intervention,” upon these transformed Europe entire into the Poland principles, in the internal affairs of an inde- of Nicholas or the Naples of Ferdinand. pendent state, was proclaimed a duty in- The other Powers, however, persisted in cumbent upon the allied governors of the their scheme. By a little manquvring, to world; and so strict was the union thus con- which M. de Metternich condescended, tracted, and so hearty the concurrence of Spain, Portugal, and Sweden had been expurpose, that it was hoped wars and tumults cluded from participation in these supplewould never again be found afflicting nations mentary compacts; so that five Powers only or dethroning kings.
of the eight contracting parties at Vienna, In accordance then with these views and were engaged in these deliberations. Of stipulations, as far as their acceptance could England and France we have spoken ; but be secured, was the new system of Europe Austria, Russia, and Prussia now entered insensibly framed. France appeared in two into an alliance so firm, and upon principles different capacities before the eyes of the so clearly understood, that the result lost Allies. She was either the France of 1793, scarcely any material portion of its signifithe scourge and outlaw of Europe, or she cance, up to the beginning of the present was the France of 1815, the grateful and year. Few.results, indeed, have been more obliged creation of their own hands. For extraordinary. That political combination, three years, notwithstanding the adroit and which upon its first occurrence at the parsuccessful assumptions of Talleyrand at Vi- tition of Poland, was described by statesmen enna, she was regarded in the former light; and publicists as the most monstrous and her provinces were occupied by foreign unnatural which accident or depravity could troops, and the work of conquest and of have engendered, was thus rendered a perpeace was still considered incomplete. But manent and characteristic feature of the at Aix la Chapelle the representations of system of Europe The misshapen and Richelieu induced the Allies to evacuate her stigmatized “coalitions” of '93 became the territory; and she was at the same time for- conspicuous and enduring alliances of the mally readmitted to her diplomatic place thirty years' peace ; since the ordinary prinamong nations. Her accession to the terms ciples of policy never recurred, but were of the Holy Alliance was the first exercise, superseded permanently by extraordinary and, as it were, the symbol of her restored apprehensions and extraordinary precaurights : but she subsequently displayed some tions. The “ three Northern Powers” were repugnance to the repressive policy of the now fused, as it were, into an almost insepaNorthern Powers, and neither at Carlsbad rable whole; and it may well be questioned, nor at Troppau was her co-operation cor- at this stage of the drama, whether Germany dially given. But the assassination of the will ever secure, for national purposes, a Duke de Berri concurred with other events more efficient unity than that which commuto influence the temper of her government; nity of recollections, responsibilities, and and eventually she lent her instrumentality fears had established between Prussia, Austo the worst and most conspicuous example tria, and Russia. of the intervention system—the invasion of On such considerations as these was based Spain. The sudden change produced by the system which, for three-and-thirty years the revolution of July, 1830, in what was then becoming a traditionary policy, most * After looking back at the politics of the last readers will be able to recall.
thirty years, the reader may be amused with the England had stood aloof from all these following opinion of one of the most sagacious,
well - informed, and experienced writers of his conventions, and not without reason. In
day :-" This transient union of Austria, Prussia, perusing the documents connected with our and Russia (in 1772), was a singular phenomenon, notice of these transactions, the reader may produced by a conjunction of extraordinary cirthink that he detects no small portion of cumstances, assisted by the genius of one of the personal pique entering into the discussion ; of all the calculations of ordinary politics. Such and perhaps it may fairly be said that the phenomena must always defeat them; they ex. stand was made rather for administrative ceed the science, and expose its insufficiency. A independence, than on behalf of popular the course of many centuries ; it could never last;
similar combination will, perhaps, not occur in freedom. But the result was a manifesto its pernianence would be in contradiction to the from Lord Castlereagh's pen, conveying as nature of things, and to the necessary order of all round a denunciation as any liberal could political relations.”—Gentz's Reply to Hauterive's desire, of the aggressive combination against in 1801), chap. 3.
Etat de la France à la Fin de l'An VIII. (written
Now who will be bold enough the liberties of the world, which would have to pronounce upon the state of Europe ?
of general peace, was substantially allowed something definite to desire; and this preto regulate the public policy of Europe. sumed community of feeling between the Looking at the five dispensing Powers, we unsatisfied and the dissatisfied, left an openmay say that the elements of disturbance ing for overtures which, if they have not reappeared to be confined to France and Rus- sulted in any important combinations, have
Between them lay a compact mass of originated schemes of policy familiar, by strength, invested solely with the functions name at least, to most of our readers. Inof conservatism. All the interests of Prus- deed, this brief allusion to the circumstances sia and Austria were in the maintenance of of the great settlement, will explain much of the status quo. The former Power, by the that foreign policy of France, projected or events of the war, had finally secured that pursued, which is now so interesting, and which increase of territory demanded by the pre- we have recently had occasion to describe. vious disproportion between her resources That denunciation of “the Treaties of and her obligations; and for which, in the 1815," which was incessantly repeated by past century, she had so desperately strug- the government restored under these very gled. The latter Power was still more deep- compacts ; which was the first cry of the ly interested in the preservation of the exist- victorious insurgents of July, and the first ing equilibrium. Less, relatively speaking, proclamation of the young republic of Febthan either of her two northern neighbors ruary last, rested entirely upon the circumhad she gained from the dividend of territo-stances which we have been relating. It is rial spoils; and there were obvious reasons true that, looking strictly to the due and for apprehending that any further change lawful influence of France in the European would be to her prejudice, if not at her ex- system, it could not be then argued from pense. Besides this, her peaceable rule in facts, and assuredly it cannot be now shown her own provinces depended in no slight de- from experience, that she had suffered any gree upon the predominance of those politi- serious penalty or deprivation. No such cal principles, the maintenance of which, as arbitrary interference with her territory took well as of the territorial arrangements, had place as had awaited other states less activenow been stipulated by the system estab- ly concerned. It was only after a repetition lished, and which, in fact, she herself had of great provocations that the line of her been mainly instrumental in imposing. frontier was subjected to the modifications Italy and Germany served for little but to which the common security was thought to swell the influence of Austria and Prussia. demand. Comparatively speaking, little inIn the position of Russia there was some- dignation was expressed against the treaty what more ambiguity. Her enormous ex- of May, 1814, by which the affairs of France tent of territory, so disproportioned to that had been originally arranged; and which of her neighbors; her comparative immuni- fixed her frontiers according to the line of ty from the worst consequences of war; the November, 1792. But, though the further restless character of her policy; and the cessions now exacted were certainly not disnotorious direction of her ambition towards proportioned to the provocation given, they ends irreconcileable with the equilibrium of formed a pretext for an outcry, which has Europe—concurred with the traditions of but little abated ever since. A part of the the old system, under which she had been department of Ardennes was taken off ; as the most wilful disturber of the public was also the Saarbruck district, up to Lanpeace, to raise certain suspicions respecting dau, while Chambéry reverted again to its her possible deportment. On the other ancient lords ; Geneva received a little enhand, besides the essential antagonism be- largement, and the protectorate of the tiny tween the political principles of St. Peters- principality of Monaco was transferred to burg and Paris, she had actually suffered, no Sardinia. The“ line of the Rhine"
was not less than other nations, from French ag- lost by the Treaties of 1815: For it had gression ; she had been one of the principal never belonged to any France recognized in instruments in repelling and chastising it ; the history of peaceful and independent Euand she was now the most hearty and cordial rope ; nor had it been temporarily gained co-operator in the micasures by which such but by the most violent and arbitrary invapossibilities were to be obviated for the fu- sion of ancient rights—by the annexation of ture. There was no reason, therefore, to Belgium, the subjugation of Holland, and doubt the original sincerity of her councils
. the violent dispossession and ejection of some But the fact still remained that she was the score of the princes of Germany. Yet this only leading Power besides France who had is the frontier termed “natural i by French
writers; for the restoration of which half termined, and, perhaps, less daring purthe nation has been clamoring and caballing poses, assuming the form merely of a certain ever since 1815, and the loss of which they leaning towards the Russian connexion as a have never ceased to represent as an indig-principle of policy, in preference to any apnity and a stigma. It is certain, indeed, proaches to other Courts of Europe. It is that all this agitation and struggle on the to be observed that this was the characterispart of France against the settlement of tic policy of all the governments of the Res. 1815, has sprung exclusively from an am-toration. Notwithstanding the indebtedness bitious desire to recover an influence which of that dynasty to Great Britain and her was not legitimate; and a frontier which, other allies, the Bourbons were no sooner however geographically natural, was never seated on the throne than they turned to. historically rightful. It has been a mere wards St. Petersburg with the views which question of territory, not of principle. As we have been describing; and from M. de far as the other and more justly offensive Richilieu even down to M. de Polignacordinances of the Congress went, they have English as was that Minister in his personal long ago been cancelled. Whatever curb inclinations—there is scarcely a statesman may have been kept upon Italy and Ger- to be found who did not advocate the Allimany, France has been left to modify her ance Russe as the true policy of France. institutions and government as seemed best Most emphatically is it worth remarking, to her, in the fullest license of political free- that this policy, which represented nothing dom ; and few will deny that she has availed but the selfishness of dynastic ambition or herself largely enough of the privilege. If popular interests, was the darling system of the necks of the French were still galled by the Republicans, as well as of Legitimists; a government or a dynasty imposed by an while it was reserved for a constitutional armed alliance, there would be more reason government to forego such intrigues for the in these restless clamors for a new organi- nobler consideration of succoring the strugzation of the political system ; but, as it is, gles of independence. The Legitimists, such protests can be only regarded as the with all their confessions of'obligation—the irrepressible symptoms of a feverish and dis- Republicans, with all their professions of satisfied ambition.
generosity and liberalism--concurred in taFrom what we have premised, no difficulty king territorial aggrandizement as the groundwill be found in comprehending the various work of their policy. It was the government schemes of policy by which French cabinets of Louis Philippe which exchanged such have been, and still are tempted. The visionary conspiracies for the more disinterproblem being to recover some of the lost ested objects of the Alliance Anglaise, and influence of France, and to supersede exist- the cordial promotion of constitutional reing arrangements on the eastern frontier by forms. The common cry of M. de Chateausome adjudication more flattering to the briand and M. Louis Blanc was,
“ the line of nation, there appeared to be two systems of the Rhine,”—at whatever expense to the operation—that of the Alliance Russe, and nations of Europe, or whatever violence to that of the old federative policy of Riche- the duties of France. That of M. Guizot lieu and the Capets. The first system was and his colleagues was constitutional freebased upon the probabilities of conciliating dom, and the entente cordiale by which the Court of St. Petersburg by a commu- alone so honorable a cause was to be secunity of interests created for the occasion. red. Alas! that it should not have reAs France and Russia were the only two mained so to the end. Powers who wanted anything, there ap- The old federative system of France conpeared a natural opportunity of reciproca- sisted in such a concerted alliance with the ting good offices, and of combining their several minor powers as should make them efforts for the attainment of their respective at all times available for any combination ends. Sometimes this system was devel- against one of the leading states; and it is oped in a deliberate scheme for an offensive surprising to what an extent this system was alliance, such as we described the other day practically carried, considering the adrcitin the case of the French Republicans, ness and versatility requisite to the successwhere the partition of Turkey on one side, ful adoption of so singular a policy. How and the annexation of the Rhenish Provin- the states of the Empire were conciliated to ces on the other, were to be the undissem- this scheme, and how closely they became bled conditions of the projected treaty. At attached to France, we explained on a very other times it was advocated with less de- I recent occasion. Spain-for after the Peace