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ANNUAL REGISTER,

• ,

OR A V I E W OF THE

HISTORY,
POLITICS,

AND

LITERATURE,

For the YEAR 1787.

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THE year 1787 has not only been productive of very important events, but of some in which the interests of this nation were deeply concerned. The happy revolution which has taken place in Holland, the restoration of the Stadtholder to his rights, and the recovery of that republic to its ancient system of policy, by detaching it from the rtew connections it had formed with France, were matters in which Great Britain had not a greater (hare than an immediate political interest, as well as a neighbourly iand friendly concern;, while the vigour and wisdom of her conduct in these transactions have effectually restored her jo that high eminence among the nations of Europe from which she had suffered no small derogation through the loss of her colonies, and other ill consequences of the American war.

But these objects, important as they are, cannot in any degree rank, with respect to magnitude and general consideration, with those new prospects which have been opening upon us through the course of the present year. A singular revolution seems to be taking place in the minds of men; and the spirit of liberty appears to be reviving with great energy, in countries where it had long been deemed nearly extinct. It has already produced such effects in France, and indicates others so much greater, asto render that country (through causes very different from those which drew the attention of mankind upon it during the last two centuries) the grand theatre of political speculation. A similar spirit is dawning in other places; while our Belgic neighbours have afforded a notable instance that it never was totally extinct in them, by the struggle which they have manfully sustained against exuberant power, in the support of their ancient constitution, and the preservation of their civil and political rights.

These three principal objects, the affairs of Holland, of France, and of the Low Countries, have engrossed our utmost attention in treating the history of the present year: ve have entered into the respective subjects with care and (diligence, and trust the Public'will not rind themselves disappointed in the narrative of these affairs which we lay before them. The momentous war which has broken out

between

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between the great powers in the North and East of Europe, was commenced too late in the year for the production of any considerable military operation j those immediate causes which accelerated that event will accordingly be the introduction to the narrative of their mutual hostilities in out' next volume. Other matters have, for the present, necessarily given way to those of greater importance, and will form an article of future retrospect.

Our domestic affairs have not been less carefully attended to, as we hope the discussion of the commercial treaty with France, and other subjects of national importance, will sufficiently testify.

We have been informed by a gentleman not long arrived from Italy, of some misrepresentation and exaggeration of circumstances, in the account of the new cemetery near Florence, given in our last volume. We have ever embraced with pleasure every occasion that offered of bestowing due praise upon the excellent government of the Grand Duke; and are too deeply impressed with a regard for the humanity and beneficence of his character, to suffer any thing derogatory from it to appear without concern; and this we testified in the passage alluded to, although we could not refuse stating facts which seemed perfectly authenticated. We are not, however, ignorant that some of his reforms have, as well as the cemetery, been the cause of much dissatisfaction and complaint among his subjects; and that even his admirable code of penal law, notwithstanding the philanthropy and beneficence that breathe through every part of it, has not been received without dislike and censure, and has even been productive of much distress to individuals; a consequence perhaps which no system of general reform, hastily adopted, can ever be entirely free from.

With respect to the matter in question, if we have been imposed upon in the accounts which we received of the cemetery, we are not singular in the imposition; for an English gentleman, whose poetical and literary talents are well known, and who was immediately upon the spot, published a very severe satire upon the subject, from which it is evident, that it appeared to him in the fame light that it was afterwards represented to us.

THE

ANNUAL REGISTER, For the YEAR 1787

THE

HISTORY

OF

E U R O P E.

\ ___ .1

CHAP. I.

Mediation of France and Prussia in the affairs of Holland. Reasons for doubting the success of that mediation confirmed by the event, h'e^cciauons carried on at Nimeguen and the Hague. Conditions laid dcvui: by the States of Holland as the basis of an accommodation vjitb the Stallholder. Causes nvhich rendered these propositions inadmissible.' M. de Raynoval suddenly breaks off the negotiation and returns to Paris. Count de Gocrtz receives a letter of recal, and returns to Berlin. Violent animosity and mutual recrimination of the contending parties on the failure of the- negotiation. The nehu form of government, established in the city of Utrecht, considered as a model of perfection by the demccraiical party in other places. Difficult situation and temporizing .conduit of the States of Holland, with rested to the prevalent democratic spirit. Sudden and unaccountable changes in the political conduit and principles of the party in opposition to the Stadlholder displayed in various places. States of Friefland first 'quaver, and then, from being among the foremost in opposition,, appear decidedly in favour, of the Prince. M. de Rendorp changes fides in Amsterdam, and carries over a majority of the senate along txrith him. Immediate consequences of this change; great alarm jpread by it among the republican party. Means pursued by the leaders to remedy the defection of Amsterdam. Procure addresses from several tonuns, laito a viete ef gaining thereby a decided majority of votes in the assembly nf provincial Jtatei.

Vat. XXIX- ■ " [A]" Failing

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