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auxiliary force to aid the lawful sovereign of Persia against an Afghan usurper, he obtained the cession of the provinces on the south and west of the Caspian sea ; and, while he thus extended his dominions, he did not neglect their internal improvement, but constructed canals, planned roads, and established manufactories. But Peter's own character retained many traces of barbarism, and his treatment of his eldest son, Alexis, excited general horror. This unfortunate prince is said to have been induced by some of the Russian priests and boyars to promise, that in the event of his accession, he would restore the old state of things, and abolish the new institutions of his father. He was arrested and forced to sign an abdication of the crown; soon after this, he died in prison, but whether violent means were used to accelerate his end, has never been satisfactorily ascertained. The second son of the Russian emperor died in infancy, and Peter chose his emperess as his successor. He assisted at her coronation after his return from the Persian war; and on his death (A. D. 1725) she became emperess of all the Russias, and by the excellence of her administration justified the choice of her illustrious husband.

The Turks were enraged at the diminution of their national glory in the war that was terminated by the treaty of Carlowitz, and eagerly longed for an opportunity of retrieving their lost honor. Ahined III., the most warlike sultan that had recently filled the throne, was far from being displeased by their martial zeal, and he took the earliest opportunity of declaring war against the Venetians, whom he expelled from the Morea in a single campaign (A. D. 1715). The emperor, Charles VI., was solicited by the pope to check the progress of the Mohammedans; he therefore interfered, as protector of the treaty of Carlowitz ; but finding his remonstrances disregarded, he assembled a powerful army, and published a declaration of war (A. D. 1716). Prince Eugene, at the head of the imperialists, crossed the Danube, and attacked the forces of the grand vizier, near Peterwaradin. He gained a complete victory, twenty-five thousand of the Turks were either killed or drowned, while the loss of the Austrians did not exceed one fifth of that number. In the ensuing campaign, the prince laid siege to Belgrade, and having defeated with great slaughter the vast Turkish army that marched to its relief, became master of that important fortress. The consequence of these victories was the peace of Passarowitz (A. D. 1718) by which Austria and Russia gained considerable acquisitions; but the republic of Venice, for whose sake the war was ostensibly undertaken, did not recover its possessions in Greece, and found its interests neglected by its more potent allies.

These wars were very remotedly connected with the political condition of southern Europe, which now depended entirely on the maintenance of the terms of the peace of Utrecht. Several powers were interested in their preservation; England's flourishing commerce depended in many essential particulars on the articles of the treaty ; they were the best security to Austria, for the provinces lately ceded in Italy; and the Dutch, unable or unwilling to garrison the barrier towns, felt that peace was necessary to their security. But above all, the regent of France believed that this treaty was the sole support of his power, since it involved the Spanish king's renunciation of his claims to the French crown. Altogether opposed to these views were the de signs.of the court of Spain; the marriage of Philip to Elizabeth Far nese, heiress to the dutchies of Parma, Placentia, and Tuscany, inspired him with the hope of recovering the provinces that had been severed from the Spanish monarchy; his prime minister, Cardinal Alberoni, flattered him with hopes of success, and at the same time diligently labored to improve the financial condition of the country. Alberoni's projects included an entire change in the political system of Europe ; he designed to reconquer Sardinia and Sicily for Spain; to place James III. on the throne of England by the aid of the Russian emperor and the king of Sweden; to prevent the interference of the emperor, by engaging the Turks to assail his dominions. Pope Clement XI., a weak and stupid pontiff, could not comprehend the merits of Alberoni's schemes; he refused to pay the ecclesiastical subsidies to Philip V., and before the ambitious cardinal could further develop his schemes, the Quadruple Alliance was formed by the alarmed potentates of Europe, and Philip V., was forced to dismiss his intriguing minister. The pope

had the mortification to find that his interests were totally disregarded in the new arrangements made for preserving the tranquillity of Europe ; his superiorities in Parma and Placentia formed part of the bribe tendered to the court of Spain by the rulers of France and Germany; he remonstrated loudly, but, in spite of his efforts, they were accepted and retained.

On the death of Clement XI., Alberoni became a candidate for the papacy, and was very near being elected. Fortunately for the permanency of Romish power, this violent prelate was excluded from the chair of St. Peter, and Innocent XIII. was chosen. During his pontificate the society of freemasons began to be regarded with suspicion by the heads of the church, especially as several other secret associations were formed in Germany and Italy for the propagation of what were called philosophical tenets; but these doctrines were, in reality, not only hostile to popery, but subversive of all religion and morality. Though Austria, France, England, and Holland, united against the dangerous schemes of Alberoni, and formed the Quadruple Alliance (A. D. 1716), yet the cardinal steadily pursued his course, and war was proclaimed against Spain by France and England.

The strength of Spain, exhausted by the war of the succession, could not resist this powerful combination; the English fleet rode triumphant in the Mediterranean; a German army expelled the Spaniards from Sicily; the French, under the command of the duke of Berwick, invaded Spain, and captured several important fortresses; the duke of Ormond failed in his attempt to land a Spanish army in Great Britain ; and Philip, completely subdued, dismissed Alberoni (A. D. 1720), and acceded to the terms of the Quadruple Alliance.

During this war, France and England were involved in great financial difficulties, by the Mississippi scheme in one country, and the South sea speculation in the other. A Scotch adventurer, named Law, proposed a plan to the regent of France for speedily paying off the vast national debt, and delivering the revenue from the enormous interest by which it was overwhelmed. He effected this by an extraordinary issue of paper, on the security of the Mississippi company, from whose commercial speculations the most extravagant results were expected. So rapid was his success, that in 1719, the nominal value of the funds was eighty times greater than the real value of all the current coin of the realm. This immense disproportion soon excited alarm ; when the holders of the notes tried to convert them into money, there was no specie to meet the demands, and the result was a general bankruptcy. Some efforts were made by the government to remedy this calamity, but the evil admitted only of slight palliation, and thousands were completely ruined.

The South sea scheme, projected by Sir John Blount, in England, was a close imitation of Law's plan. He proposed that the South sea company, to which great commercial advantages had been secured by the treaty of Utrecht, should become the sole creditor of the nation ; and facilities were offered to the owners of stock to exchange the security of the crown for that of the South sea company. Never did so wild a scheme meet such sudden success; South sea stock in a short time rose to ten times its original value ; new speculations were started, and for a time had similar popularity ; but when suspicion was excited and some cautious holders of stock began to sell, a universal panic succeeded to the general delusion. By the prompt interference of parliament a general bankruptcy was averted, and the chief contrivers of the fraud, including many individuals of rank and station, were punished, and their estates sequestrated for the benefit of the sufferers.

The confusion occasioned by the South sea scheme encouraged the jacobites to make another effort in favor of the Stuarts (A. D. 1722). But their plans were discovered, a gentleman named Layer was capitally punished for enlisting men in the service of the Pretender, and Dr. Atterbury, bishop of Rochester, the soul of his party, was exiled.

Fortunately for the repose of Europe, the prime ministers of France and England, Cardinal Fleury, who succeeded tr power soon after the death of the duke of Orleans, and Sir Robert Walpole, were both bent on the preservation of peace, and for nearly twenty years they prevented any active hostilities. Walpole's administration, however, began to lose its popularity, on account of his not gratifying the national hatred against Spain. A powerful opposition was formed against him, composed of the old tories, and some disappointed courtiers, which he contended against by unbounded parliamentary corruption. The death of George I. (A. D. 1727) made no change in the position of parties, for George II. intrusted Walpole with the same power he had enjoyed under his father.

The emperor Charles, having no prospect of male issue, was naturally anxious to secure the peaceful succession of his daughter, Maria Theresa, to his hereditary,dominions; and for this purpose he prepared a solemn law, called the Pragmatic Sanction, and procured its confirmation by the principal states of Europe. The guarantee of France was not obtained without war. Stanislaus Leczinski, father-in-law to the French monarch, was elected king of Poland, but was dethroned by the influence of the German powers (A. D. 1733). To avenge this insult, the French king formed a league with the courts of Spain and Sardinia against the emperor ; and, after a brief struggle, the court of Vienna was forced to purchase peace by considerable sacrifices. The success of the Russians under the reign of the emperess Anne, niece to Petei the Great, against the Turks, induced the German emperor to commence a second unfortunate war.

Scarcely was it concluded, when the death of Charles (A. D. 1740) involved Europe in the contentions of a new disputed succession.

Sir Robert Walpole had long preserved England at peace; but the interested clamors of some merchants engaged in a contraband trade with the Spanish colonies, compelled him to commence hostilities (A.D. 1739). Admiral Vernon, with a small force, captured the important city of Porto Bello, on the American isthmus. This success induced the minister to send out large armaments against the Spanish colonies. Vernon with a fleet, and Lord Cathcart with a numerous army, undertook to assail Spanish America on the side of the Atlantic, while Commodore Anson sailed round Cape Horn to ravage the coasts of Chili and Peru. The death of Lord Cathcart frustrated these arrangements , he was succeeded by General Wentworth, an officer of little experience, and very jealous of Vernon's popularity. An attack was made on Carthagena, but it failed lamentably, owing to the disputes between the naval and military commanders. Both were reinforced from England, but they effected nothing of any importance, and returned home after more than fifteen thousand of their men had fallen victims to the climate. Anson, in the meantime, encountered such a severe storm in rounding Cape Horn, that two of his ships were forced to return, and one was lost. His diminished squadron, however, took several prizes off the coast of Chili, and plundered the town of Paita, in Peru. His force was finally reduced to one ship, but with this he captured the Spanish galleon, laden with treasure, that sailed annually from Acapulco to Manilla. He then returned to England triumphant; but the loss at Carthagena was so severely felt, that the English would not venture to renew their enterprises against Spanish America.

Scarcely had Maria Theresa succeeded her father, the emperor Charles, when she found herself surrounded by a host of enemies. The elector of Bavaria laid claim to Bohemia ; the king of Sardinia revived some obsolete pretensions to the dutchy of Milan; while the kings of Poland, Spain, and France, exhibited claims to the ole Austrian succession. An unexpected claimant gave the first signal for

Frederic III., who had just ascended the Prussian throne, inherited from his father a rich treasury and a well-appointed army. Relying on the goodness of his troops rather than the goodness of his cause, he entered Silesia, and soon conquered that fine province (A. D. 1741). At the same time he offered to support Maria Theresa against all competitors, on the condition of being permitted to retain his acquisition. The princess steadily refused, though she knew that France was arming against her, and that her enemies had resolved to elevate Charles Albert, elector of Bavaria, to the empire. The forces of the king of France entered Germany, and being joined by the Bavarian army, made several important conquests, and even threatened Vienna · but Maria Theresa, repairing to Presburg, convened the states of Hungary, and appearing before them with her infant son in her arms, made such an eloquent appeal, that the nobles with one accord exclaimed, • We will die for our King, Maria Theresa.” Nor was this a momentary burst of passion ; they raised a powerful army for the defence of their young and beautiful princess, and a subsidy was at the same time voted to her by the British parliament. So great was the attachment of the English people to her cause, that the pacific Sir Robert Walpole was forced to resign, and a new administration was formed by his political rivals.

war.

The new ministers had been raised to power by a sudden burst of popular enthusiasm, but they soon showed themselves unworthy of th nation's confidence. They took the lead in suppressing the measures which they had themselves declared necessary to the security of the constitution, and they far outstripped their predecessors in supporting German subsidies, standing armies, and continental connexions, which had been so long the theme of their severest censure. They augmented the army, sent a large body of troops into the Netherlands under the command of the carl of Stair, and granted subsidies to the Danes, the Hessians, and the Austrians. The French had some hopes of gaining the support of the Russians, who were now ruled by the emperess Elizabeth. On the death of the emperess Anne, her niece, the princess of Mecklenburgh, assumed the government, as guardian of her son John. Bui the partiality that the regent showed for her German countrymen displeased the Russian nobles; their discontents were artfully increased by a French physician named Lestocq; a bloodless insurrection led to the deposition of the Mecklenburgh princess, and Elizabeth, the daughter of Peter the Great, was raised to the throne. She found the country involved in a war with Sweden, which she brought to a successful issue, and secured the inheritance to the Swedish crown for her favorite, Adolphus, bishop of Lubeck. Though the czarina owed her elevation in a great degree to French intrigue, she was inclined to support the Austrian cause ; but she did not interfere in the contest until she had completed all her arrangements.

The republic of Holland showed still more reluctance to engage in the war; and the English army in the Netherlands, deprived of the expected Dutch aid, remained inactive. In Germany, the Bavarian elector was driven not only from his conquests, but from his hereditary dominions,* while the king of Prussia took advantage of a brilliant victory o conclude a treaty with Maria Theresa, by which he was secured in he possession of Silesia. The French army, thus deprived of its most

• Dr. Johnson has powerfully described the fate of this unfortunate prince :

" The bold Bavarian, in a luckless hour,

Tries the dread summits of Cæsarean power,
With unexpected legions bursts away,
And sees defenceless realms receive his sway :
Short sway! fair Austria spreads her mournful charms,
The queen, the beauty, sets the world in arms;
From hill to hill the beacons' rousing blaze
Spreads wide the hope of plunder and of praise;
The fierce Croatian and the wild hussar,
With all the sons of ravage, crowd the war;
The baffled prince, in honor's flaitering bloom,
Of hasty greatness finds the fatal doom;
His foes' derision, and his suojects' blame,
An' steals to death, from anguish and from shame."

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