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the only vestige of it that remains, is in the Spitalfields district, where a few thousand artisans, for the most part poor, still betray their origin, less by their language than by their costume, which bears some resemblance to that of the corresponding class in Louis XIV.'s time. The architecture of the houses they inhabit resembles that of the workmen of Lille, Amiens, and the other manufacturing towns of Picardy. The custom of working in cellars, or in glazed garrets, is also borrowed from their original country."-Weiss, pp. 283, 284.
The ability, the ingenuity, the industry of the Huguenots were lost to France by the folly of their King; they went to enrich the States with whom that King was at war, to enable them to bear more easily the struggle against his enormous power, to rival and excel his country in branches of commerce and manufacture in which it had hitherto commanded the trade of the world. No sooner were they lost than the fatal error was perceived, and fruitless endeavours were made, and large sums in vain expended, to restore to France that useful band of citizens. It was no false alarm which spread its gloom over the heart, and darkened the declining years, of the mighty Louis XIV. It may be called unphilosophical to trace his misfortunes to the crimes he had suffered to be committed in his name; but the pages of history have been written in vain, if we fail to see in them the judgments of a retributive Providence. It is a fact, that the fortunes of Louis declined from the period when his persecution of the Protestants commenced. The power of his empire was immeasurably weakened by his want of sagacity in thus striking out its very sinews. The sympathies of Europe were aroused against him, and the Refugees met every where with a warm reception. The policy of Richelieu, of Mazarin, and of Henry IV. was reversed, and William of Orange combined those Protestant powers against France, which they had employed to humble the House of Austria. Quem Deus vult perdere, priùs dementat. And a more frantic act of folly, to say nothing of its wickedness, was never committed, than the abolition of toleration in France. The sun of Louis's glory, which had been hitherto unclouded, went down in disaster, defeat, and shame; and the triumphs of Rocroi, of Nordlingen, and of Sens, were reversed at Ramillies, at Malplaquet, and at Blenheim.
But the effects of Louis's intolerant policy may be traced in still remoter and deadlier results. The monstrous doctrine of unqualified submission to the Monarch produced, as its offspring, the still more monstrous theory of the absolute power of the people; and the enormities committed by the servants of the Grand Monarque were precedents for the wholesale butcheries of the Republic. The minds of men, confined within too narrow limits, and compelled to avow obedience to the decrees of Rome, took refuge by running into the opposite
extreme; and the age of universal bigotry was followed by an age of universal atheism. Unchecked by the presence of an opposing faith, and secured in the possession of the entire kingdom, the Romish Priesthood in France fell into disorder, and crowded the ranks of libertines and infidels. The loss of the manufacturing and commercial classes, which was the immediate consequence of the Edict of Revocation, both removed all checks upon the Sovereign and nobles, and lessened the resources from which they were supported. On his death-bed, Louis declared that he had acted by the advice of his Confessors, and they alone must be answerable for his decrees; but it is vain thus to endeavour to shake off responsibility, and to make such a separation between the agent and the act. The real onus of their united deeds must be shared between the King and his advisers; and their crime met its due punishment in their own humiliation, and in the sufferings of their descendants, at that Revolution which was the fruit of their measures. In Dr. Félice's History there are some significant hints, that even the minor details of the persecution of the Huguenots have their counterpart in the sufferings of the Priests under the Republic. But, to pass over these, and regard the matter in a broad and extended view, we do not hesitate to declare, that the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes was the principal cause of the first Revolution.
We cannot follow our authors any further, although both contain matter of great interest; but from the history of the period which we have rapidly sketched, we may, in conclusion, draw an important lesson,-a lesson which, we think, may fairly be deduced from its perusal; a lesson which it were well that our statesmen should lay to heart,-that, however the circumstances of the times may seem to require a departure from it, or however such a policy may be termed "expedient," yet for States, as for individuals, the law of morality and of right is immutable. We see the fruits of the apostasy of Henry IV. in the miseries of the Protestants under Louis XIV.; and the results of the latter Monarch's iniquitous policy may be as clearly traced. So true is it that crime is ever followed by its punishment, however long the appearance of that punishment may be delayed; so true is it that "righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people."
ART. VIII.-1. The West Indies before and since Emancipation. By JOHN DAVY, M.D., F.R.S., &c. London: W. and F. G. Cash.
2. Papers relating to the Affairs of the Island of Jamaica. Blue Books. 1854.
3. Papers and Reports of the Anti-Slavery Society.
THE Condition of our West-Indian Colonies at the present moment, is one of intense interest to the statesman, the political economist, and the philanthropist. Overwhelmed with a complication of social evils, for the cure or avoidance of which the colonists themselves have hitherto appeared perfectly powerless, those splendid and fertile possessions, once considered the pride and ornament of the British Crown, and the source of almost boundless wealth to its subjects, seem to be on the eve of sinking into utter ruin and desolation; and, unless something can be devised to avoid the catastrophe, it is probable that a large portion of these Colonies will soon be wholly abandoned by the present proprietors, and either revert to their pristine wilderness state, or be cultivated exclusively by that once enslaved, oppressed, and despised race, who have already taken the initiative in rescuing a portion of the soil from the hand of nature.
There are two parties deeply concerned in this question, by whom, however, very different causes are assigned for this singular decadence of one of the most favoured regions, so far, at least, as nature is concerned, on the face of the globe. The one, consisting of the planters and their supporters, the merchants, called collectively the "West India Interest," assert that the reverses are owing entirely to the Abolition of the Slave-Trade in the first instance, and to the Act of Emancipation in the second; both of which measures, they say, have wholly failed of the objects for which they were passed. The other party, embracing the great body of the British nation, allege, with far more truth and justice, that whatever evils have overtaken the West-Indian Colonies, their foundation was laid in the condition of Slavery itself; and in the fact, that since the Emancipation of the Negroes, the principle of Slavery has been cherished and retained by the planters, all of whose measures have had for their object the re-establishment of that principle, in a new and modified state, it is true, but still in direct contravention of that compact with the Imperial Parliament, by virtue of which they had received compensation to the amount of twenty millions sterling. It is to the consideration of these two opposite opinions that, with the aid of the works named above, and such other materials as lie within our reach, we shall now address ourselves.
In accounting for the present condition of the British West
Decline of Prosperity.
Indies, it will be necessary briefly to revert to their past history, with which it is so intimately connected. It would appear, that up to the period of the Restoration, the islands had enjoyed almost uninterrupted prosperity. The system of colonization consisted, in a great measure, of grants of land, of about two acres each, to poor settlers and white servants who had fulfilled their term of indenture. Long, in his "History of Jamaica," written about 1774, says, that Barbadoes, in 1676, was reported to have maintained 70,000 whites and 80,000 blacks; in all, 150,000. These small properties were gradually bought up, their owners seeking their fortunes elsewhere in the adjoining countries. (Barbadoes, be it recollected, is about the size of the Isle of Wight.) The prosperity of these Islands is justly ascribed to the fertility of the virgin soil, and the zeal, industry, perseverance, and frugality of the early settlers. Towards the end, however, of the reign of Charles II., the increase of production, without a corresponding or adequate increase of consumption, coupled with the imposition of high duties, began to affect the price of produce; and from that period may be dated the continuous and growing distress which has been the prevailing tenor of reports from the Islands. In the "Groans of the Plantations," a quarto volume published in London in 1689, the principal causes of the early prosperity and its decline are well deserving attention even now. "In former times," say the "Groans," ". we accounted ourselves a part of England, and the trade and intercourse was opened accordingly. But upon the King's Restoration, we were, in effect, made foreigners and aliens, a custom being laid upon our sugar amongst other foreign commodities." The "Groans" go on to state the various restrictions and monopolies then instituted, which obstructed trade, and involved the planters in double expenses. In addition to these, there was the "war of elements," the hurricane, the tornado, the shipwreck, droughts and floods, followed by short or no crops, destruction of property and life, civil dissensions, and, to crown all, bad management. Things went on in this fluctuating way, with alternate seasons of prosperity and adversity, until 1772, when it appears a rapid decline commenced. The following statement, which we extract from the Report of Richard Hill, Stipendiary Magistrate at Spanish-Town, dated January 23rd, 1854,† will explain it :
I have looked back into the Annual Reports transmitted to the Home Government from the Island Legislature, and I find insolvency was not a casual occurrence, but a constant calamity. In a Report of November 23rd, 1792, we are told that, in the course of twenty years, which at once sets us back to 1772, one hundred and seventyseven estates in Jamaica had been sold for payment of debts; and
that ninety-two more were in the hands of creditors; and that executions had been lodged in the Provost-Marshal's office to the amount of £22,563,786 sterling.
"In a Report for November 23rd, 1804, it is stated that every British merchant who holds securities on Jamaica estates, is filing Bills to foreclose; although, when he has obtained a decree, he hesitates to enforce it, because he must himself become a proprietor of the plantation, of which, from fatal experience, he knows the consequences that all kind of credit is at an end; that if litigation is at an end, it is not from increased ability to perform contracts, but from confidence having ceased, and no man parting from property but for immediate payment; and that a faithful detail would have the appearance of a frightful caricature.
"In another Report, November 13th, 1807, after setting forth that the distresses of the sugar-planters have already reached an alarming extent, and are now increasing with accelerated rapidity, it states, "The sugar estates lately thrown up, brought to sale, and now in the Court of Chancery, amount to about one fourth of the whole Colony; and that the Assembly anticipates, very shortly, the bankruptcy of a much larger part of the community; and, in the course of a few years, that of the whole class of sugar-planters.'
"In a Petition of the House of Assembly to the Prince Regent, dated December 10th, 1811, it is therein detailed, that estate after estate has passed into the hands of mortgagees and creditors absent from the island; until there are whole districts, whole parishes, in which there is not a single resident proprietor of a sugar plantation.
"The first three of the Reports here quoted take up the period when a flood of enterprise was pouring into the Colony with every fresh cargo of slaves from the coast of Africa. The Memorial to the Prince Regent embraces the period when all the foreign Colonies, except those of Spain, were in the hands of England; and the entire monopoly of colonial produce in the hands of her merchants."
In 1812, the ruin of the original proprietors was represented as completed. In 1813, it was stated in the House of Commons by a merchant of the name of Marryatt, that there were comparatively few estates in the West Indies that had not, during the preceding twenty years, been sold or given up to creditors. Thus, in twenty years preceding 1792, and in the twenty years following, the ruin and distress of the West-India planters was continuous, as well before the abolition of the Slave-Trade (in 1808) as after. It must be borne in mind, too, that during the latter period the cultivation of sugar had been wholly suspended in St. Domingo by the Revolution, and was never resumed,—a circumstance which drew off a supply of 70,000 tons of sugar per annum from the markets of Europe, and consequently benefited, in the same proportion, the other Colonies, all of which, except those of Spain, fell into the hands of the British by conquest during the second period of twenty years; so that the British planters absolutely enjoyed as complete a monopoly of colonial produce, especially sugar, as it is possible for any body of merchants to