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tachment to the person of Ferdinand seemed to have taken universal possession of the minds of the people; while the viceroys, and captains general, and other Spaniards in high authority, were generally disposed to recognise the title of Joseph. But a long period of doubt, division, and uncertainty elapsed, during which the country was exhausted by enormous contributions of money for the use of Spain, and the precious moments of decisive action had glided by unheeded.
At length the more intelligent Americans began to regard the situation of their country in its true aspect. It was then universally believed that Spain must inevitably succumb to the gigantic power of Napoleon, as Italy, Germany, and the Netherlands had done already. The European Spaniards constantly maintained that America should peaceably compose herself to the fate of the Peninsula; but the Americans, who had originally proclaimed Ferdinand in the enthusiasm of the moment, were far from admitting that they were under obligations to obey whatever conqueror should possess himself of Spain. They secretly contemplated the organization of provisional juntas of government, in imitation of the proceedings in Spain, as equally their rights, quite as much as that of Asturias or Andalusia.
Of the Colombian provinces, Quito was the first to attempt availing herself of the advantage afforded by circumstances. On the tenth of August, 1809, the patriots of Quito, having privately taken these measures, arrested the President of the Audiencia, the
Conde Ruiz de Castilla, and established a Junta, intended for Quito, Guayaquil, Popoyan, and Panama; the several Colombian provinces in the Pacific. This Junta was speedily put down by the intervention of the viceroys Abascal, of Peru, and Amar, of New Granada; but the example was not lost in Bogota and Caracas. Various projects had been attempted in Spain to prevent the occurrence of an event, which everybody saw was imminent.— The Central Junta invited the Americans to send deputies to that body, in order to identify their interests; but actuated by a short-sighted policy, failed to make the proposal palatable in America, by adopting a singular inequality of representation.— Only one delegate was assigned to the great population of Mexico, whilst every little province in Spain was entitled; and Spain was entitled to thirty-two delegates, while only nine were assigned to the whole of America. No such imperfect measure of justice could ward off the dreaded crisis; for everything was now ripe for insurrection. On the 19th of April, 1810, the municipality and inhabitants of Carracas deposed the Spanish authorities, and constituted a Supreme Junta, professing to maintain the authority of Ferdinand. Similar proceedings were had in Bogota on the 20th of July, 1810; and the example of the two capitals was followed in the various provinces of New Granada and Venezuela. These two events form the commencement of the revolution of Colombia.
Importance of Germany.-Fall of the Western Empire, and its revival under Charlemagne.-Electors.-Constitution of the Holy Roman Empire.-Diet of the Empire.-French Revolution.-Dissolution of the German Empire.-Confederation of the Rhine-its Dissolution.-Congress of Vienna.-Mediatised Princes.-Deliberations respecting the reconstruction of the German Empire-as to Saxony.-New Confederacy its Objects.Provisions of the Act of Confederacy.-Diet at Frankfort.General and Ordinary Assembly.-Powers of the Members of the Diet.-Deliberations of the Diet.-Federal Army.-Internal Navigation.-Tariffs.-Commercial Conventions.-Literature.-Copy-rights.-Liberty of the Press.-Patriotic Associations.-Central Commission at Mentz.-Constitutions of SaxeWeimar, Bavaria, Wurtemberg, Hanover, Baden, Nassau, Prussia, Austria, &c.-Quarrel of the Duke of Brunswick with George IV-Decision of the Diet.-Revolution in Brunswick.— Commotions in Saxony, Hesse Cassel, &c.
In our annual retrospects of the affairs of the world, we have not always deemed it necessary to devote a separate chapter to each of the European States. We fear, however, that Germany, which, from its population and geographical extent, as well as from the influence of some of the kingdoms comprised under that general name, and the high intellectual attainments of the inhabitant, ranks among the most important divisions of the earth, has heretofore scarcely received at our hands the attention, to which it is entitled. But, so connected are all the great powers of Christendom, that it is impossible to
write a summary of the transactions of England and France, without referring to the parts enacted by Austria and Russia in the great political drama; while the constitutional systems of the several minor principalities, with the modifications which their institutions are undergoing, may be better explained by discussing them together, than by a few brief paragraphs on individual States in each successive volume.
The name of Germany has, in different ages, been applied to districts of country of very unequal extent. It anciently, besides embracing the regions now known by that appellation, included the
northern part of France, the Netherlands, Holland, Denmark, Poland, Hungary, part of Turkey in Europe, and Muscovy. The Southern Germans were intermixed with the Gauls, while the Northern were blended with the Scythians.
With the success of the Heruli under Odoacer, in the fifth century, terminated the Western Empire of the Romans. These barbarians were, however, in turn, subjugated by the Ostrogoths, who themselves yielded to Justinian, by whom Italy was annexed to the Eastern Empire. The subsequent wars between the Lombards and the Popes, who had assumed temporal as well as spiritual authority, induced the latter to invoke the aid of Charlemagne, King of France. This prince, having conquered both Italy and Germany, was crowned Emperor of the West in the year 800; and we have here the resuscitation of that dignity, which, until all ancient institutions bowed before the genius of Napoleon, gave to the sovereigns of Germany a pre-eminence among the princes of the earth. After the posterity of Charlemagne had filled the imperial throne for eighty years, the empire became elective, in the person of the King of Bohemia, from whom it passed successively to the houses of Saxony, Franconia and Suabia; but, in 1440, Frederic, Duke of Austria, was chosen Emperor, and the office continued in the male line of his family for three hundred years.
The course of events, as respected the feudal nobles, differed
widely in Germany and in other parts of Europe. In most countries the barons gradually yielded to the increased power of the sovereign, or to the influence of the commons, whom the progress of civilization and the diffusion of knowledge advanced to importance, but, in Germany, the princes encroached constantly on the prerogatives of the emperor; and, except in a few free towns, where the burghers held the position maintained elsewhere by the nobles, the mass of the population were reckoned of no account.
The capitulation, formed on the death of Maximilian, the predecessor of Charles V., and to preserve which all subsequent emperors were before their coronation sworn, was deemed the magna charta of the German princes, while the electoral union, confirmed by the golden rule of Charles IV., gave to seven electors,* (to whom two others were afterwards added), the choice of the chief of the empire.
To the emperor high honorary distinctions were accorded, but there was very little real power connected with his office. It was, however, deemed requisite to obtain his assent to the assumption of a new title, and when in 1688 the elector of Brandenberg became King of Prussia, his royal rank was only acknowledged on specific conditions. But though
*The King of Bohemia, the Duke of Saxony, the Margrave of Brandenberg, the Count Palatine of the Rhine, and the Archbishops of Mentz, Treves, and Cologne.
The Duke of Bavaria and the Duke
of Brunswick-Lunenburg, the ancestor of the present Royal Family of England.
the Emperor, was the head of the Germanic body, and, for of fences against him as such, any of the members might be punished and put under the ban of the empire; yet the subordinate princes might constitutionally wage war against him, on account of his possessions unconnected with the imperial dignity. Indeed, notwithstanding the jurisdiction of the Aulic Council and Imperial Chamber, and the amenability of all the princes of Germany to the Diet of the Empire, the annals of Europe are replete with bloody contests, carried on by the different States among themselves or against their acknowledged chief.
It was not in the person of the emperor, that the Germanic Confederacy was alone known to the world. While the several States also conducted negotiations with foreign princes, and waged wars on their own authority, most of the powers of Europe were represented by public ministers at Ratisbon the seat of the Diet. In this assembly, which was composed of the three colleges of Electors, Princes and Free Cities, the legislative power of the empire resided, and the acquiesence of each college, as well as of the emperor, was required for all enactments. The division of the people of Germany into Protestants and Catholics, led, also, on the termination of the religious wars, to other arrangements, having in view a guaranty of the rights of these two great sects; but in these preliminary remarks, we can only glance at that com
plicated system, which is now mere matter of historical research.
Connected as was the unfortunate queen of Louis XVI, with the house of Austria, and interfering, as did the powers of Germany from an early day in the affairs of France, it could not be expected that the Holy Roman Empire would escape the effects of a revolution, whose influence has extended to every part of the civilized world. As early as 1797, the Netherlands—a foreign possession of Austria,—were annexed to France. In 1801, the ecclesiastical electorates of Mentz, Treves and Cologne were abolished. Bishoprics were secularised and free towns disfranchised to provide indemnities for the princes, who were deprived of their possessions on the left bank of the Rhine, and, in 1806, after the battle of Australitz, the old constitution of the German Empire was totally abrogated. Francis renounced the title of Emperor of Germany, and assumed that of Emperor of Austria. The sovereigns of Bavaria, Saxony and Wurtemberg, were made kings, and disconnecting themselves wholly from Austria, which had been humbled by repeated defeats, and from Prussia, which was stripped in 1807 of half her possessions, they formed with the smaller States in the neighborhood, the Confederation of the Rhine. At the head of this league, the Emperor Napoleon placed himself, and as it was established with an exclusive view to his continental policy, it was naturally, after a short lived
existence of seven years, dissolved, at the downfal of its author, in 1814.
The present political organization of Germany is to be traced to the Congress of Vienna. It had, indeed, been provided by the sixth article of the treaty of Paris, that the German States should be independent and united by a federal bond. But, though status ante bellum was always appealed to as the governing principle of the Holy Alliance; ancient privileges availed but little, when put in competition with the establishment of barriers against new revolutions or the distribution of spoils among the leading potentates.
verse ratio of the number of their subjects.
Though strongly urged by the minor states to style himself a new emperor of Germany, Francis preferred solid acquisitions in Italy and elsewhere, to the empty distinction conferred by the old imperial title. He positively declined resuming his place as chief of the empire, unless there was confided to him a degree of authority which the other princes, particularly the king of Prussia, (who viewed himself rather as a rival than as a subordinate sovereign), would never have consented to confer. All idea of reconstructing the Holy Roman Empire was consequently abandoned, and the attention of the congress turned to the adoption of such a system, as, while it did not offend against the pretensions of the two great powers, might prevent the other states from engaging in intestine wars or lending aid to a neighboring kingdom in its future contests with Austria and Prussia.
There were in Germany, before the French revolution, a vast number of princes and counts, who received the investiture of their fiefs direct from the emperor, and enjoyed sovereign rights on their own estates. These princes and counts, including the free cities, also mediatised in 1806, possessed a territory of 450,000 square leagues, with The first deliberations of the 1,200,000 inhabitants. They ap- Plenipotentiaries at Vienna, on peared at Vienna, under the German affairs, had reference to presidency of Prince Metternich the king of Saxony, whose crime (the father of the great minister), consisted in his being the last of to reclaim the privileges which the new made kings, who, in the they had lost by the Confedera- same year, supported the Empetion of the Rhine; but, fortu- ror Napoleon. It was in vain nately, in this case, the interests that he appealed to that old order of all the German sovereigns of of things, which was the basis of the higher orders, in whose do- all the acts of the Holy Alliance, minions these independent juris--that he showed that, in foldictions formerly existed, coin- lowing the example of Wurtemcided with those of humanity, berg and Bavaria, and becoming and the people were spared the a member of the confederation of return of petty tyrants, whose ex- the Rhine, he was adopting a actions were generally in the in- course approved by the former