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liberated whether they should wait for the enemy in their intrench ments. The majority voted against the measure, but Marshal Marsin produced an order, signed by the king, immediately after receiving the account of his defeat at Ramillies, commanding his generals not to offer, but to wait for battle. This order hurt the pride and confused the measures of the duke of Orleans. While the French generals were angrily debating what arrangements should be made, Prince Eugene and the duke of Savoy fell upon their lines; the French got entangled in their extensive intrenchments, the river Doria running through their camp prevented one part of their army from coming to the assistance of the other; they were speedily routed, and fled with precipitation, not halting until they had passed their own frontiers. In men, the loss of the French army was not great, but they abandoned all their cannon, baggage, ammunition, and military chest. By this single blow, the house of Bourbon lost the dutchies of Milan and Mantau, the principality of Piedmont, and eventually the kingdom of Naples.
That the success of the allies was not equally decisive in Spain must be attributed to the want of energy and Austrian sluggishness of the archduke Charles. Philip besieged his rival in Barcelona, but was forced to retire by the appearance of Sir John Leake, with an English squadron, before the town. The retreat was made in great disorder, partly occasioned by an eclipse of the sun, which the superstitious Spaniards regarded as an omen of their ruin. Forty thousand English and Portuguese, under the command of the earl of Galway and the marquis de las Minas, advanced through Estremadura toward Madrid, and Philip was forced to abandon his capital; at the same time, the count de Santa Cruz surrendered Carthagena and the galleys to the allied powers. Had the archduke gone immediately to Madrid, and closely pressed his rival, the crown of Spain would probably have been lost to the house of Bourbon ; but he lingered unaccountably in the Leighborhood of Barcelona, until Philip and the duke of Berwick,* having collected a superior army, compelled the English and Portuguese to abandon Madrid. Carthagena was soon after recovered, but this was more than compensated by the loss of the islands of Majorca and Ivica, which surrendered to the English fleet under Sir John Leake. Louis was so disheartened by his losses, that he sought for peace on very humble conditions, but the allies, intoxicated with success, de.nanded such humiliating terms, that he resolved to try the hazards of another campaign.
While the English ministers were lavishing blood and treasure to support foreign wars, they did not neglect the internal affairs of the nation. A treaty for uniting England and Scotland under one legislature, was ratified by the parliaments of both countries ; but the Scottish nation generally was opposed to a union that galled their national pride, and the advantages of which time alone could develop (A. D. 1707). Louis derived one advantage from his recent misfortunes; the expulsion of his force from Italy enabled him to send powerful succors into Spain, where the allies were acting with the greatest negligence and misconduct. The earl of Galway and the marquis de las Minas, having ex
* The duke of Berwick was the natural son of James II., and one of the ablest generals in the service of France.
hausted all their provisions in Valencia, attempted to pass into New Castile ; the duke of Berwick, having received large reinforcements, and aware that the allies had been weakened by the departure of the archduke, did not hesitate to attack them at Almanza, and won a victory as complete as any that had been obtained during the war. This great triumph restored the cause of the Bourbons in Spain, and similar success attended the French army in Germany, where Marshal Villars penetrated to the Danube, and laid the dutchy of Wirtemberg under contribution. Nothing of importance occurred in Flanders, and the only naval enterprise was the siege of Toulon. Prince Eugene, and the duke of Savoy, marched through France to besiege this great port, while Sir Cloudesly Shovel appeared off the coast to second their operations. But unfortunately, the garrison of Toulon had been reinforcé 1 two hours before the appearance of the allies; they retreated through Provence, wasting the country as they passed, and diffusing consternation almost to the gates of Paris. Nor was this the only evil that Louis suffered from the invasion ; the detachments withdrawn from the army of Marshal Villars so weakened that general, that he was forced to relinquish his high projects in Germany, and repass the Rhine, instead of advancing beyond the Danube.
Great expectations had been formed in England, which the results of the campaign miserably disappointed ; Godolphin and Marlborough lost a considerable share of their popularity ; they were opposed even by the members of the cabinet, and though they persuaded the queen to dismiss Mr. Secretary Harley, and Mr. St. John, they saw that their influence with her majesty, and their power in parliament, had been considerably diminished (A. D. 1708). Marlborough felt that a vigorous campaign was essential to his future interests, especially as the duke le Vendome had, by treachery, gained possession of Ghent and Bruges ; ne therefore resolved to risk a general battle, and crossing the Scheldt, came up with the French army strongly posted at Oudenarde. The British cavalry broke their opponents at the first charge, the French .ines fell into confusion, and though the approach of darkness prevented the allies from completing their victory, the enemy fled in such disorder, that nine thousand were taken prisoners, and nearly six thousand deserted. Marlborough, being reinforced by Prince Eugene, undertook the siege of Lisle, the principal city in French Flanders, and though it was vigorously defended by Marshal Boufflers, it was forced to surrender after a siege of two months, while Ghent and Bruges were recovered ere the close of the campaign. Nothing of importance occurred in Italy, Germany, or Spain; but the English fleet conquered the island of Sardinia, and terrified the pope into the acknowledgment of the archduke Charles as lawful king of Spain.
The confidence of the allies now rose to the highest pitch; Godolphin and Marlborough found the English parliament ready to grant additional supplies ; the Dutch agreed to augment their troops, and the imperialists promised to lay aside their inactivity. Louis, on the contrary, disheartened by defeat, his treasury exhausted, his councils distracted, and his kingdom suffering from famine, offered to purchase pesce by every concession that could reasonably be demanded (A. D. 1709). Once more his proffers were rejected, except upon conditions inconsistent with his personal honor and the safety of his kingdom, and once more he appealed to the hazards of war. The confederates in Flanders, finding that Marshal Villars had taken a position from which he could not be dislodged, laid siege to Tournay, and on the surrender of that place invested Mons. Villars, unable to relieve the place, took possession of a strong camp at Malplaquet, whence he trusted that he could harass the besiegers. The confederates, elated with past success, resolved to attack the French in their intrenchments. Few battles, since the invention of gunpowder, have been more obstinate and bloody ; victory finally declared in favor of the allies, but it was dearly purchased by the loss of fifteen thousand men ; while the French, who had fought under cover, lost only ten thousand. Mons was now closely invested, and the surrender of that important place closed the campaign Nothing of importance occurred in Germany, Italy, or Spain ; but Louis, finding his resources exhausted, once again made an unsuccessful effort
to obtain peace.
Conferences were opened at Gertruydenberg (A. D. 1710), but the allies, influenced by Marlborough and Prince Eugene, rejected the propositions of the French king; he was, however, unwilling to break off the negotiations, and the conferences were continued even after the hostile armies had actually taken the field. The duke of Marlborough took several fortified places in Flanders; but nothing of importance was done in Germany or Piedmont; and the misfortunes of the allies in Spain more than counterbalanced their other successes. The archduke Charles, aided by the English general, Stanhope, twice defeated his rival, and a second time gained possession of Madrid; instead of improving these advantages, he loitered in the capital until forced to retire by the united forces of the French and Spaniards, under the duke of Vendome. The allies retired toward Catalonia, and marched, for the sake of subsistence, in two bodies. Stanhope, who commanded the rear division, allowed himself to be surrounded at Brihuega, and was forced to surrender at discretion. Staremberg, who led the principal division, was soon after forced to engage at a disadvantage, but he made such able dispositions, that Vendome was compelled to retreat, and the imperialists continued their march in safety. They were, however, so weakened and dispirited by Stanhope's misfortune, that they could not check the victorious progress of Philip.
A revolution in the English cabinet proved of more consequence to Louis than even the success of his arms in Spain. The queen, a woman of feeble mind, had long been under the influence of the dutchess of Marlborough, who did not always use her power with discretion. A new favorite, Mrs. Masham, supplanted the dutchess, and was gained over, by Harley and St. John, to induce the queen to make a total change in the administration. This would have been impossible if the whigs had continued to enjoy the confidence of the nation ; but many circumstances contributed to diminish their popularity. The weight of taxes, occasioned by the expenses of the war, began to be felt as a burden, when victories, from their very frequency, ceased to excite joy ; the conduct of the allies, who contrived that “ England should fight for all and pay for all,” gave just dissatisfaction ; and the rejection of the French king's offers at Gertruydenberg was justly regarded as the triumph of private ambition over public policy. In addition to these grounds of discontent, the tories raised the cry that the “church was in danger," on account of the favor shown to the dissenters ; and the whigs, instead of allowing the imputation to refute itself, unwisely attempted to silence the clamor by force. Dr. Henry Sacheverell preached a sermon before the lord mayor, in which he bitterly attacked the dissenters, and advocated the exploded doctrines of passive obedience and non-resistance. Though it was but a poor contemptible production, such is the violence of party, that it was printed, and forty thousand copies are said to have been sold in a week. In another week, it would probably have been forgotten, had not Godolphin, who was personally attacked in the commons, persuaded his friends to make it the subject of a parliamentary impeachment. Common sense revolted from such an absurdiy; the
generous feelings of the nation were enlisted on the side of the preacher, and this sympathy was soon transferred to his cause. During his trial, the populace showed the liveliest zeal in his behalf; and when he was found guilty, the house of lords, dreading popular tumults, passed a sentence so lenient, that it was hailed by the tories as a triumph.
The persecution of Sacheverell was the ruin of the whigs; the queen, aware of their unpopularity, dismissed all her ministers except the duke of Marlborough ; and a new cabinet was formed under the auspices of Mr. Harley, who was soon after created earl of Oxford. A new parliament was summoned, in which the tories had an overwhelming majority (A. D. 1711), but the ministers did not abandon the foreign policy of their predecessors, and copious supplies were voted for the maintenance of the war.
At this crisis an unexpected event changed the situations and views of all parties. The emperor Joseph died without issue ; his brother Charles, the claimant of the Spanish crown, succeeded to the empire, and the liberties of Europe were thus exposed to as much danger from the aggrandizement of the house of Austria, as from that of the Bourbon family. The campaign was languidly conducted in every quarter, and ere its conclusion, the English ministers were secretly negotiating with France.
After many disgraceful intrigues, in which all the actors sacrificec the interests of the nation to party purposes, the duke of Marlborough was stripped of all his employments, and conferences for a general peace commenced at Utrecht. The successive deaths of the dauphin of France, his son the duke of Burgundy, and his grandson the duke of Bretagne, left only the sickly duke of Anjou between Philip and the throne of France. The union of the French and Spanish monarchies filled the confederates with no unreasonable apprehension, and the English ministers were obliged to threaten that they would renew the war, unless Philip renounced his right of succession to the throne of France (A. D. 1712). When this important point was obtained, the English and French agreed upon a cessation of arms; the Dutch and the imperialists continued the campaign, but with such ill success, that they were induced to renew the conferences for peace. On the 31st of March, 1713, the treaties between the different powers were signed at Utrecht by the plenipotentiaries of France, England, Prussia (recently exalted into a kingdom), Savoy, and the United Provinces
peror held out until the following year, when he signed a treaty at Radstadt, less favorable than that which had been offered at Utrecht; and the king of Spain, with more reluctance, gave his adhesion to the general arrangements.
Few subjects have been more fiercely contested than the conduct of the English ministers in relation to the treaty of Utrecht. The reason is perfectly obvious : both the political parties that divided the nation had acted wrong ; the whigs continued the war after all its reasonable objects had been gained; the tories concluded a peace in which the advantages that England might have claimed, from the success of her arms, were wantonly sacrificed. The people of England generally disliked the peace, and the commercial treaty with France was rejected by a majority of nine votes in the house of commons. The "higs now began to pretend that the protestant succession was in danger, and the alarm spreading rapidly, brought back to their party a large share of its former popularity. Nor were these apprehensions groundless ; through the influence of the jacobites, the earl of Oxford was removed from his office, and a new administration, more favorable to the house of Stuart, formed under the auspices of St. John, Lord Bolingbroke. But before the court of St. Germains could derive any advantage from this change, the queen, harassed by the intrigues and quarrels of her servants, sank into a lethargy, and her death disappointed the hopes of the Pretender and his adherents (August 1,1714). Several whig lords, without being summoned, attended the council, which was of course held at the demise of the crown; and the tories, overawed, concurred in issuing an order for the proclamation of the elector of Hanover, as George I., king of Great Britain and Ireland.
SECTION VI.--Peter the Great of Russia.--Charles XII. of Sweden.
In the last two sections, we have confined our attention to the wars which the ambition of Louis XIV. excited in the south and west of Europe. During this period, the northern and eastern divisions of Christendom were occupied by the rivalry of two of the most extraordinary men that ever appeared on the stage of human life-Peter the Great of Russia, and Charles XII. of Sweden. Before entering on their history, we must take a brief retrospect of the affairs of the north after the accession of the Czar Alexis, and the resignation of Queen Christina.
Under the administration of Alexis, Russia began rapidly to emerge from the barbarism into which it had been plunged by the Mongolian invasion and subsequent civil wars.
He reformed the laws, encouraged commerce, and patronised the arts; he recovered Smolensko from the Poles, and prevented the Turks from establishing their dominion over the Cossack tribes. His son Theodore, though of a weak constitution, steadily pursued the same course of vigorous policy.
- He lived,” says a native Russian Historian, “ the joy and delight of his people, and died amid their sighs and tears. On the day of his decease, Moscow was in the same state of distress which Rome felt at the death of Titus." John, the brother and successor of Theodore, was a prince of weak iritellect; his ambitious sister, Sophia, seized for a time on the sovereign