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On the return of the king and Carteret, Parliament was opened on the 1st of December. The first trial of the Opposition was on the Address, on which occasion its real strength was not called forth, and this was carried by two hundred and seventy-eight votes against one hundred and forty-nine. But the subject of Hanoverian troops and Hanoverian measures soon displayed its extent and virulence. There was a vehement feeling against everything relating to Hanover, and Pitt lost no time in denouncing Carteret and his measures in the most bitter terms. Pitt's thunder was echoed by others, and the scene in the Commons was described by a spectator as like nothing but a tumultuous Polish Diet. Such was the ferment amid which opened the year 1744, and it soon became evident that the existence of the country was at stake. Preparations had been making for the invasion of England for some time. Cardinal Tencin, the new French Minister, sent Murray of Broughton to James in Rome, to desire him to send his eldest son, Prince Charles, to France to be in readiness for the campaign[87] in England, and in due course the Young Pretender arrived at Gravelines..
So passed from a long possession of power a Minister who inaugurated a system of corruption, which was not so much abused by himself, as made a ready instrument of immeasurable mischief in the hands of his successors. Had Walpole used the power which he purchased with the country's money more arbitrarily and perniciously, the system must have come much sooner to an end. As it was, the evils which he introduced fell rather on posterity than on his own time..
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The debate lasted four nights, and was kept up with the greatest spirit and vigour. The division was taken between three and four o'clock in the morning, when it was found that in a House of 611 members the numbers were鈥攆or the motion, 322; against it, 289; leaving the Government in a minority of 33. A Cabinet Council was held on the following day, when it was unanimously resolved to await the result of the debate on the Irish Tithe question on the same evening. Lord John Russell, on the report of the committee being brought up, moved the following resolution:鈥"That it is the opinion of this House that no measure upon the subject of tithes in Ireland can lead to a satisfactory and final adjustment which does not embody the principle contained in the foregoing resolution." He referred to the principle of the appropriation clause. On this an animated debate followed, which lasted till one o'clock in the morning. When the House divided,[385] it was found that the resolution was carried by a majority of twenty-seven; the numbers being鈥攁yes, 285; noes, 258. As these divisions took place on a question of vital policy, Sir Robert Peel had no alternative but to resign. Accordingly, he announced his decision in the House next day. After the extraordinary efforts that he had made, and considering the circumstances in which he had been called upon to assume the reins of Government, it must have been very painful to him to be thus cut short in his patriotic labours; but he bore the disappointment with admirable spirit, and retired from his position so gracefully that he was warmly cheered from all parts of the House.?
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Again, on the night between the 18th and 19th of April, General Gage sent a detachment of about eight hundred grenadiers and light infantry to destroy a dep?t of stores and arms at Concord. They were commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Smith and Major Pitcairn, of the Marines. The alarm was given, fires were kindled, bells rung, guns discharged, and the country was up. The British troops reached Lexington at five o'clock in the morning, and pushed on their light infantry to secure the bridges. They encountered a body of militia under cover of a gun near the road, whom they ordered to retire, and they withdrew in haste.
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21 August, 2019 - 13:08
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