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high Tory followers. Lord Palmerston, Mr. Huskisson, and Mr. Wynn remained faithful to Mr. Canning; and the accomplished Master of the Rolls, Sir John Copley, succeeded Lord Eldon, who, at length, had ceased to be one of the permanent institutions of the country. Differences of opinion upon the Catholic question were the avowed ground of this schism in the Tory party; and whatever personal considerations of ambition or jealousy may have contributed to this result, there can be no doubt that the open Catholic ques. tion, which had been the principle of Lord Liverpool's ministry, contained the seeds of disunion, rivalry, and conflict. Mr. Canning and his friends had contended in debates and divisions against their own colleagues, and had obtained the warmest support from the opposition. And now the personal pretensions and the cause of the first minister, alike repelled that section of his colleagues, who had adopted a narrower policy than his own.

The same causes naturally attracted to Mr. Canning the Mr. Canning friendly support of the Whigs. They differed supported with him upon the subject of parliamentary reby the Whigs. form, and the repeal of the Test Act; but had long fought by his side on behalf of the Catholics : they approved his liberal foreign policy, and hailed his separation from the high Tory connection, as a happy augury of good government, upon enlarged and generous principles. An immediate coalition was not desirable, and was discountenanced by Earl Grey and other Whig leaders ; but the cabi. net was soon joined by Lord Lansdowne, Lord Carlisle, and Mr. Tierney ; while the Whigs, as a body, waited to defend him against the acrimonious attacks of the Tory seceders.? Such was the commencement of that union between the liberal Tories and the Whigs, which was destined to lead to the most important political consequences.

1 Stapleton's Political Life of Canning, iii. 321; George Canning and his Times, 590; Twiss's Life of Lord Eldon, ii. 536; Hans. Deb., May 21, 1827, 2d Ser., xvii. 448-498; Lord Colchester's Diary, iii. 481, 493, &c. Plumer Ward's Mem., ii. 167.

2 Stapleton's Political Life of Canning, iii. 337–345, 348, et 388,

seq.,

e seq.

In a few months, Mr. Canning was snatched from the scene of his glory and his trials.

His old friends Divisions of and associates had become his bitterest foes : his parties after new allies, however sincere, were estranged from ning's death. him by their connections, by a life-long parliamentary opposition, and by fundamental differences of opinion. This broken health succumbed to the harassing difficulties of his position. Had he lived, he might have surmounted them. Mutual concessions might have consolidated a powerful and enlightened party, under his guidance. But what bis commanding talents might possibly have accomplished, was beyond the reach of his successor, Lord Goderich. That nobleman, - after a provisional rule of five months, ble to reconcile the claims and pretensions of the two parties, resigned his hopeless office. The complete union of the Whigs with the friends of Mr. Canning was soon to be accomplished: but was reserved for a more auspicious period.

The resignation of Lord Goderich was followed by the immediate revival of the old Tory party, under the Duke of Wellington. The formation of such lington Prea ministry was a startling retrogression. A military premier, surrounded by his companions in arms and by the narrowest school of Tory politicians, could not fail to disappoint those who had seen with hope the dawn of better days, under Mr. Canning. At first, indeed, the Duke had the aid of Lord Palmerston, Mr. Huskisson, and other friends

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1 August 8th, 1827
? Lord Colchester's Diary, iii. 527.

8 Mr. T. Grenville, writing to the Duke of Buckingham, Sept. 9, 1828, says: “My original objections to the formation of a government concocted out of the Army List and the Ultra-Tories, are quite insuperable on constitutional principles alone: neither is there any instance since the Revolution of any government so adverse, in its formation, to all the free principles and practice of our Constitution." – Court and Cabinets of Geo. Il'., ii.

5

VOL. II.

and Text Arts, Feb.

Catholic

viewed in reference to party.

of Mr. Canning ;1 but the general character of the ministry was ultra-Tory; and within a few months, all the Liberal members seceded. It was too late, however, for an effete school to prevail over principles of liberty and justice; and its temporary revival served to precipitate its final overthrow. The first assault upon the stronghold of the Tory party

was led by Lord John Russell, who carried against Repeal of Corporation the government his motion for a Bill to repeal the

Corporation and Test Acts. The Duke, once fair. 26th, 1828.

ly overcome, retreated from his position, and suffered the Bill to pass through both Houses, amid the execrations of Lord Eldon, Lord Winchelsea, and the ultraTories.8 Ireland was the Duke's next difficulty. Affairs in that

country had, at length, reached a crisis which deemancipation manded present concessions or a resort to the sword.

The narrow policy of ministers could not longer be maintained ; and they preferred their duty to the state to the obligations of party.

To the consternation of the Tories, the leaders whom they trusted suddenly resolved upon the immediate removal of the civil disabilities of the Catholics. The Duke and Mr. Peel were, doubtless, induced to renounce the faith which had gained them the confidence of their party, by a patriotic desire to avert civil war ; but how could they hope to be judged by their followers, their opponents, and the people ? Tories who conscientiously believed that the church, and the Protestant Constitution of their ancestors were about to be sacrificed to political expediency, loudly complained that they had been betrayed, and their citadel treacherously surrendered to the enemy. Never had party-spirit been inflamed to a higher pitch of bitterness and exasperation. The great body of the Tories, – sullen, indignant, and revengeful, — were wholly alienated from their leaders. Men who had no sympathy with that party, could not deny that their complaints were well founded. According to all the ethics of party, they had been wronged, and were absolved from further allegiance.

1 As first constituted, the administration comprised a majority favorable to the Catholic claims, viz, seven for and six against them. — Lord Coba chester's Diary, iii. 535.

2 See supra, Vol. I. 329.
8 See infra, p. 367.
1 See infra, p. 371.

Ministers were charged with sinning against political morality, in another form. The Whigs and followers of Mr. Canning, allowing their tardy resolution to be wise and statesmanlike, asked if they were the men to carry it into execution ? If they were convinced that the position they had held so stubbornly could no longer be defended, should they not have capitulated, and surrendered the fortress to the besieging force ? If a just and conciliatory policy was, at length, to be adopted, the principles of the opposition had prevailed; and to that party should be confided the honorable privilege of consummating the labors of a political life. Men who had maintained power for thirty years, by deferring to the prejudices of their party, were not entitled to its continuance, when they had accepted the policy of the opposition. If the Catholics were to be emancipated, they should owe their privileges to their own steady friends, and not to their oppressors.2 Nor was this opinion confined to the opposition. The Tories themselves, - fiercely as they condemned the conversion of their leaders, — condemned no less fiercely their retention of office. Had ministers resigned, the united body of Tories might have shown a formidable front against a Whig government, though aided by the Tory supporters of the Catholic cause ; but they were powerless against their own leaders, who retained the entire influence of the government, and could further rely upon the support of the opposition.

i Hans. Deb., Sess. 1829, passim; Ann. Reg., 1829, ch. i.-iv.; Letter of Duke of Wellington to Duke of Buckingham, April 21st, 1829; Court and Cabinets of Geo. IV., ii. 397.

2 Jr. Peel freely acknowledged that the measure was due to the efforts of the opposition. He said: “ The credit belongs to others, and not to me: it belongs to Mr. Fox, to Mr. Grattan, to Mr. Plunket, - to the gentlemen opposite, and to an illustrious and right hon. friend of mine, who is Dow no more. By their efforts, in spite of every opposition, it has proved victorious." — Hans. Deb., 2d Ser., xx. 1289; Guizot's Life of l’eel, 39.

8 Hans. Deb., 2d Ser., xx. 1119, 1163, 1263; Twiss's Lite of Lord Eldon, lij. 73.

The friends of Mr. Canning observed that two years ago, the Duke of Wellington and Mr. Peel had refused to serve with that eminent man, lest they should give countenance to the Catholic claims, and bad pursued him with relentless hostility. And now these very men were engaged in carrying a measure which Mr. Canning himself would have been restrained, by the conditions under which he took office, from promoting.'

Men of all parties looked with astonishment at the sudden abandonment, by ministers, of the distinctive principles of their party. Some doubted the hone-ty of their former professions: others deplored an inconsistency which bad shaken the confidence of the people in the character and statesmanship of public men. All saw plainly that the Tory party could not long survive the shock. The question which had first broken the consolidated strength of that party in 1801, and bad continued to divide and weaken it, throughout the regency and the reign of George IV., had at length shattered it to pieces. The Catholic Relief Bill was passed; but time did not abate the resentment of the Tories. Henceforth the government were kept in power by the friendly support of the opposition, who, at the same time, prepared the way for their own eventual accession, by the advocacy of economic and parliamentary reform, the exposure of abuses, and the assertion of popular principles.

In 1830, the ministers, thus weakened and discredited, were The Whigs forced, by the death of George IV., to appeal to power in 1830. the people ;— when their own unpopularity, the

1 Hans. Deb., 2d Ser., xxi. 221; Stapleton's Political Life of Canning, iii. 460; Quarterly Review, vol. xliv. 286.

restored to

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