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F A C E. and we had the history of three sessions, filled with the moit interesting matter, to recount. In that time, belides the change of one administration, and the appointment of another (measures which in both cases were attended with new and extraordinary circumstances) an unexpected and fignal revolution took place in the state of parties, interests, and public opinions, throughout the kingdom. In this course of things, some new, and many great constitutional questions were agitated.

The complex and intricate state of East India affairs, and the long course of enquiry which they produced, were not the least difficult or arduous parts of our task. In treating this subject, we were pledged, and indeed necessarily bound, to take a retrospective view of the proceedings in parliament relative to the Company, from the time that the Secret and the Select Indian Commit. tees were appointed by the House of Commons in the year 1781, to the period which comes properly within the line of our parrative.

Whatever other effcat our new experiment may produce, it will at least afford a proof of our disinterestednels, and a testimony of the high sense which we entertain of our obligations to the Public : Our publisher having liberally sacrificed his own emolument in giving the double volume without any additional expence, and we having, no less cbearfully, bestowed our labour and time for the fame purpose.

THE

ANNUAL REGISTER, For the YEARS, 1784 and 15.

Τ Η Ε

H I S T OR Y

OF

E U R O P E.

ОР

С НА Р. І.

Retrofpe&ive view of the general affairs of Europe for the year 1780.

Emperor, Great sekemes of reform and regulation. Some general obfervations on them Decree for extending the liberty of the press. Decree in favour of the Jews. Ordinances striking at ibe authority of the court of Rome. Oftensible causes, and political motives, for ihe Emperor's journey to the Low Countries in the year 1781. Il consequences of the war in which Holland was engaged, and of the new political lyftem adopted by that Republic. Rofumption of the Dutch Barrier among the principal objects of the Emperor's journiy. Observations on that measure. Barrier reigned, and the fortreffes dismantled. Alarm crcafioned thereby ir Holland. Great benefiis derived by the Austrian leherlands, from becoming the medium of British Commerce, in consequence of the war between the maritime powers., Sudden rise of Ojlend to commercial ime poriance ihrough the same cause. Great favours conferred by the Emperor upon the city and people of Oftend. Declares the port free; orders a bafon 1o be constructed; grants ground for building to foreign settlers; and places of public worship to the Profiant. Emperor examines the obstructions 10 the navigation of the Scheldt, and visits Hollund. Returns to Vienna. Various wife and bumane reguiations adopted in the course of the years 1781 and 1782. Enlargement of religious iberty 10 the Protestants of civil liberty to the peasants of Bohemia, Moravia, Silefia, and Austrian Poland, wbo are discharged from their ancient savery io ive lords. Free Exercise of their religion, with other advantages, granted by the Elector of Vol. XXVII,

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Saxony

Sarcny to the Roman Catholics in bis dominions. Inquisition abolipped by the Grand Duke of Inscary. Universities reformed by the Emperor. Allots Jchools for ibe caucalion of poldiers children. Nienjures for rendering the city of Iriste a great commercial Emporium. Emperor lends four millions of forins to the merchants of that city. Suppression of religious benjes in the Austrian dominions. kiel fiastics in the luftrian Metberlands discharged from all foreign jurisdiction. Imperial referipi, disclaiming all fub idmation, injicular off.irs, in the Holy Su. Supprin of religicus boufes in the Duchy of Milan. dlarm at home. Correspondence betw. en the Pope and be Émperer. Journey of the Sovereign Pontiff, Pras the Sixth from Rome to Vienna. Received with great honours by the Emperor and Leurt; but fails in the objects of his journey. Returns to Rome. Reform of the religious orders continued; and extended to the Hierarchy, ani fecular Clergy, as well as to the Regulars. Commision for adminisering the Nequeftredeflates; the produced itined to public purposes. Observations and Priclures of foreigners on some of these transactions,

W

THILE the four great mari- figns so fpeedily, as not only, if

time powers of Europe were he should himself be cut off, to exhaufting their firength and sacri- place them out of the reach of future ticing their subjects in that war, to contingencies, but to obtain a prowhich the revolt of the British co. bability, if he lived, of participating lonies in America gave rise, and in the benefits he intended for his which in its progrets spread such country. He was accordingly indelolation through both the Od ceffantly occupied in framing,adoptand the New world, the emperor ing, examining or carrying into of Germany was more happily, em- execution, numberless proje&ts of ployed, in cultivating the arts of regulation and improvement, of peare, in the improvement of his leis or greater importance, but inwidely extended dominions, and in cluding some of such magnitude, eliablithing upon fure and perina- as went to the essential retorn of nent toundations the power, and the first departments of the state and Consequently the fecurity, of his government, whether ecclefiaftical, empire.

civil, or military. This task, fuffiIn the laudable pursuit of these ciently arduous in it felf, was renobje&s, he was not contented with dered ftill more difficult by the naadhering to the beaten tracks ture of his dominions, compofid as marked out by otbers, or of waiting they are of separate kingdoms, and the distant effect of flow and pro- a number of diftinct provinces, obgretive scbemos of improvement. tained by different means, and at The fertile and active mind of this different periods, subject to their prince, embracing at once a mul- own peculiar forms of government, iitude of objects, would carry every and still retaining many of their ibing directly to that ultimate point original rights and inftitutions. of perfection which it held con- It would have been contrary to all Nantly in view: as if ruminating experience, and consequently to huon the shortness of human life, he man nature itself, (of which expe. had determined to efiablith his de- rience is our only evidence) if such,

and

and so many schemes of reform, of improvement. They said, that

. militating with popular opinions, he set out too rapidly to be able to national practices, and tending di- maintain his career. 'I hat his re&ly to overthrow establishmenis hatly, indigested schemes, involved now venerable by their antiquity, in their formation the principles and which has been considered as of diffolution ; that they militated sacred in their institution, could with each other; were in many have been carried into effe&t, with respects contrary to natural justice, out at leatt exciting much dissatis- and highly oppressive ; that some faction and complaint, and without of them warred fo direally against winging the thafts of censure, and the opinions and feelings of man. giving energy to them, if not to kind, that they were already of more dangerous weapons. All these neceflity abandoned. Nor did even effe&s, except the lan, the pursuit the meaiures which he pursued in

ts of these mealures indeed produced: the regulation and conduct of his nor were the terrors of punishment, vast armies, and on which he was the dangers of which were multi supposed particularly to rest his plied by the great rewards held out fame, escape the cenfure of military for the discovery of offenders, suf. critics, either at home or abroad. ficient to prevent the bitterett libels It is, however, to be rememupon the emperor from being cire' bered, that the Herculean task of culated even in his capital. But the reformation requires very peculiar mischief went no farther; and this properties and qualities. That the prince proceeded in the establish. degrees of fervour, zeal, and ferment of his new regulations, with tility of design, eflentially neunexampled facilicity and success. ceffary to constitute a reformer,

Nor indeed was observation con- , frequently lead him to overshoot his fined to the harsher part of criti- obje&s; but that without these, cism. Foreigners, being under no and o: hercorresponding difpofitions restraint, bave been equally free in and propensities, he seldom or ever both respe&s; but it may be sup- could reach them. That nearly all posed, that religious and political successful reformers have accordprejudices hare had some ihare in ingly erred in the same manner, dictating both their praises and their and fallen into a fimilar excess. firieures : for who, in the great And with respect to military affairs, European republic, can be totally it is to be observed, that it is of the unconcerned in these subjects ? very nature of discipline, to pro

It has been urged, on one side, duce a tenacious adherence to forms, that the spirit of reform is too vio. and of course an animofity to inlent in this prince: and that, novation. To which it may be though in some instances it might added, that the diffatisfa&tions inhave been directed to proper obje&s, evitable in all armies, and more yet, that in general it seemed rather particularly in such vast hosts, from to degenerate into a passion for in- the great variety of tempers and novation, than to be the cool result characters they include, muft throw of a comprehensive knowledge and many impediments in the way of due con deration of things, guided reformation. by prudent and practicable views Upon the whole it may be suf

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pected, pected, that the too hasty adoption Rome ; with the suppreffion of of his projects, the multiplicity of the religious orders, and the approthem, and the endeavour to carry priation of their property, were them at once into execution, were among the great and determined among the principal errors of this objects of the emperor's policy, prince. But it must at the same A liberal extension to the liberty time be acknowledged, even lup- of the press, which had bitherto poling thejuttnefs of these and other been much circumscribed in the objections admitted, that the em- Austrian dominions, feemed in some peror has, within the finall num- degree an opening to succeeding ber of years that have elapsed since events, and might be considered as he arrived at undivided power throwing some light upon views by the death of his mother, made which were not otherwise revealed. wonderful advances towards the The order or decree for this purpose improvement of various parts of his was also written by the emperor's dominions; that he has done great own hand, and was published early and praise-worthy things for the in the year 1781. By one of the benefit, fecurity, and happiness of articles he allowed a free circulahis subjects in general, as well as tion, without examination or liof particular classes and orders; and cence, to all those literary reviews that he has made great and essen- of various publications, with which tial reforms in several departments Germany, from the number of its of the state and government, how- states, of its public schools and ever the utility of some of his regu- universities, and the great differJations may yet be thought quef- ences with respect to religious and tionable.

political principles or opinions, A liberal disposition with re- more particularly abounds than any speer to religious toleration was other country. Even the subject of early to be expected, from the cha- ecclefiaftical bifiory is left open by racter and general conduct of this this article. By another, he perprince ; and little doubt was ac

mits that all firictures upon the cordingly entertained but that it conduct of the throne itself might would be freely displayed, when- be published with full security; ever the power was lodged solely providing only, that they do not in his own bands. Other parts of descend to the character of pafhis disposition and policy, parti quinades or abfolute libels. Upon cularly with reipect to ecclefiaftical this subject he expresses himself · matters, continued yet unknown with a noble magnanimity-" If and unsuspected, even for some time “there be any thing juft in them, after the demise of the empress“ (he says) we fall profit by them

shall ; queen. But the years 1781 and 1782 “if not, we thall diiregard them." removed the veil that covered his -Ile likewise permits the free pubdefigns in this respect ; and it foon lication of all political news papers became apparent, that the reducing and pamphlets without exception; the exorbitant power of the clergy and the discusion even of religious within his own dominions; the fe fubjects is admitted, with only this vering and emancipating tliein from refervation, that such writings all dependence on the court on ihould not attack, in any of their

funda.

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