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THE COLONIES AND THE FRENCH ALLIANCE.
1. Great Britain and the Foreign Powers, 1775. French losses in 1763. Natural desire on part of France to retaliate. Family compact between France and Spain. Encouragement given to the colonists by the Foreign Powers.
2. America and France. Overtures to France made by the colonies. Accession of Louis XVI. Defeat of Turgot and fall of his ministry, 1776. Aspirations towards liberty in France. Enthusiasm for American cause. Lafayette and volunteers from France. The French require guarantees. Importance of the Declaration of Independence.
3. British combined plan of campaign. Burgoyne fails in his movements. Surrender of Saratoga, October, 1777. The French conclude an alliance with America. Spain joins France against Great Britain. Attack on Britain's commercial and naval supremacy. Claims of Great Britain as to rights of search and principles of blockades. The Northern powers combine against Britain. The Armed Neutrality. Britain's isolated situation. The war on the high seas and in the Mediterranean. Rodney and De Grasse. Siege of Minorca and of Gibraltar. Eliot (Lord Heathfield) at Gibraltar.
4. The campaign in America. Operations in Virginia and the Carolinas. Nathaniel Greene. His character and military qualities. Cornwallis in command against Greene. Washington moves southward to co-operate with Greene. Cornwallis retreats to York Town. His reliance on the assistance of the fleet. Rochambeau in New York Harbour. Washington closes in on Cornwallis. Surrender of York Town, October, 1781.
Virtual close of the war.
CAUSES OF COLONIAL SUCCESS.
1. The rival causes contrasted. Moral rights involved. Principles of freedom innate in the American people. If they fall, they fall like the strong man grasping the pillars of the Constitution' (Pitt). Faults inherent in Britain's view of colonial policy. Results for American colonies had Britain won.
2. Qualities of the commanders. Washington embodies and glorifies the American cause. His difficulties, and means by which he overcame them. The British commanders. Gates, Howe, Cornwallis as contrasted with Washington and Greene.
3. Difficulties peculiar to Great Britain's position. Misapprehension of the gravity of the struggle-underestimate of the strength of the enemy. Weakness due to continued hopes of conciliation. Difficulties of transport. Distance from base. Advantages of carrying on a campaign out of reach of the fluctuating currents of public opinion. Character and views of George III. His responsibility for the loss of the colonies.
4. England overweighted by the French alliance. Co-operation of British fleet. The Continental war occupies the British fleet, and scatters its resources far and wide. Momentary loss of naval supremacy produces fall of York Town, and so decides
Some remarks on the teachings of history, contained in the history of the American War.
University Extension Lectures
Course of Six Lectures
Six Historical Plays of
E. L. S. Horsburgh, B.A.
Societies for the Extension of University Teaching
Copyright, 1903, by
III South Fifteenth Street, Philadelphia, Pa.
Richard II, Richard III, and King John are published by the Clarendon Press, edited by ALDIS WRIGHT.
The Temple Shakespeare. Ed. by ISRAEL GOLLANCZ.
Introductory. Elizabethan Chronicle plays. They form a series from the earliest times to Queen Elizabeth. The principal authors of them. Aim which characterizes them all, the scenic exposition of our annals to the nation. Motives of instruction and patriotism.
'Plays have ... taught the unlearned the knowledge of many famous histories, instructed such as cannot read in the discovery of all our English chronicles. . . because plays are writ with this aim ... to teach their subjects obedience to their king, to show the people the untimely ends of such as have moved tumults, commotions and insurrections, to present them with the flourishing estate of such as live in obedience, exhorting them to allegiance, dehorting them from all traitorious and felonious stratagems.'-HEYWOOD, A pology for Actors.
The external interest of the play is small. It is in Shakespeare's earlier manner; probably written about 1593, and therefore contemporary with Richard II. It contains no creation of Shakespeare's imagination. It is simply an old play written up.
The troublesome reign of King John gave the dramatist his characters (including Faulconbridge), his subject-matter, and his method.
Thus there is no evidence of independent study of the chronicles. The history is confused and inaccurate-anachronisms abound-there is little unity of dramatic action.
The interest, therefore, is wholly internal, and depends very largely upon the characters of Faulconbridge and Arthur. On these pivots the drama largely moves.