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class of civil cases might be as well or better decided by a judge or judges appointed for that purpose; and one would be disposed to think that trial by jury might now be advantageously confined to that description of civil cases where the facts are disputed, for the investigation of which it is peculiarly well fitted. The vital importance of an indifferent selection of jurymen is obvious; but if any doubt should remain in the mind of any one with respect to it, that will be removed by comparing its influence in England with its influence in Scotland: in the former, it has been the best defence of the liberty of the subject; whereas, in the latter, it was the readiest means government could employ to oppress and get rid of any obnoxious individual' This anomalous result was entirely owing to the fact that in England juries were fairly selected; while in Scotland they were nominated by the sheriffs and judges Luckily, however, this gross abuse has, of late }. been obviated; and Scotland, as well as 2ngland, is now in the bond side enjoyment of a system of trial by impartial juries. Ireligion.— The most perfect toleration is given to the professors of different religious creeds in the U. Kingdom. But, from the Revolution down to 1829, Catholics were excluded from parliament, and were incapable of holding most offices of trust and emolument. These unjust and degrading disabilities were, however, removed at the epoch referred to; and Catholics may now be elected members of the legislature, and are eligible to almost all offices. The repeal of the test and corporation acts, in 1828, removed sundry disabilities under which dissenters previously laboured. The established church of England has retained the episcopal form of church government with its subordination of ranks; and is a very richly-endowed institution. Its tenets, which are partly Lutheran and partly Calvinistic, are embodied in the famous 39 Articles. The Kirk, or established church of Scotland, which is Presbyterian in form and Calvinistic in principle, is moderately well endowed. The greatest equality subsists among its members; and, on the whole, it may be said to be an essentially popular body. The church of England enjoys the confidence and support of the great bulk of the people of England, and such also was the case with the church of Scotland previously to the disruption, in 1843, occasioned by the disputes relating to patronage, which led to the formation of the Free church. But it has always been quite otherwise with the established church of Ireland. The latter is identical with the Church of England. Inasmuch, however, as the doctrines of the Reformation never made any considerable progress in Ireland, and as the great bulk of its inhabitants have always been Roman Catholics, the established church has been that of a small minority only, and has never possessed the esteem of the people. On the contrary, they have always regarded it as a usurpation, as being originally forced upon them by the arms, and upheld by the power of England, and as being hostile alike to their religion and their secular interests. Much of the disturbance and disaffection that always prevail in Ireland may be ascribed to this unhappy constitution of the established church. The furnishing of religious instruction to the bulk of the people, to those who are too poor to be able easily to furnish it for themselves, has always been held to be a principal object of an established church. And it is in truth little better than a contradiction and an absurdity, to make
the church of a small and opulent minority the national church, and to appropriate to its exclusive use funds that might amply provide for the religious instruction of the whole people. It is not to be supposed that the majority should tamely acquiesce in such a state of things; they cannot but regard it as an insult to their religion, and as an outrage upon their sense of justice. Common sense would suggest, either that the Catholic should be made the established religion of Ireland, or, if not, that the Catholic clergy should participate, in proportion to the number of their adherents, in the endowments now i.o. enjoyed by the clergymen of the church of England. Revenue and Erpenditure. — That portion of the national revenue that is withdrawn from the public by means of taxes, and appropriated to the use of government, amounts at present (1845) to about 58,500,000l. sterling, and far exceeds in magnitude the public revenue of any other country. But it must not thence be inferred that taxation is here comparatively heavy. Its pressure is not to be estimated by the actual amount of the sum taken from the people and o in the coffers of the treasury; but by the mode in which taxes are imposed, and the ability of the people to bear them. In some countries taxes are imposed on certain classes only; and , even where this gross inequality does not exist, they are often imposed on erroneous principles, and in a way that makes their assessment and collection peculiarly difficult and injurious. But in the U., Kingdom taxation presses equally, or very nearly so, on all classes; and, without pretending to say that our system of taxation is perfect, or that it might not be materially improved, it appears, speaking generally, to be founded on sound principles, and is practically as little injurious as it could well be rendered. And if we compare the magnitude of our taxes with that of the national revenue whence they are derived, it will probably be found that the complaints of the peculiarly heavy pressure of taxes in this country are, in a at measure, without foundation. It is not to the influence of taxation, but to the expensive style of living, which prevails amongst us, and which luckily (for it is the grand incentive to industry and invention) pervades all classes, that the difficulty many individuals have in preserving their places in society is to be ascribed. Instead of supsing that the influence of taxation in Great ritain has been hostile to the increase of public opulence and private comfort, we incline to think it has had a precisely opposite effect. To the desire of rising in the world, the increasing pressure of taxation during the late war superadded the fear of being thrown down to a lower station; and the two together produced results that we should in vain have looked for from the unassisted agency of either. Oppressive taxes would have had an opposite effect; and instead of producing new displays of industry and economy, would have produced only despair and national impoverishment. But it was seen that the increase of taxation might be met by increased exertion and economy; and this increased exertion has, in fact, led to the production of a far greater amount of wealth than was required to meet the increased demands of the revenue collectors. About two thirds of the public revenue are derived from duties of customs and excise; and the rest from the property and income tax, the duties on stamps, the assessed taxes, and the post-office. With few exceptions, the duties
seem to be judiciously selected; and though it be in the selection of the articles on which to imtrue that some of them, as those on tea, foreign |pose duties, but in the too great height to which brandy, tobacco, &c., would be more productive they have been carried; a defect that admits of were they materially reduced, the defect is not being easily obviated.
Account of the Public Income of the United Kingdom, in 1841, 1842, and 1843.
Income. 1841. 1842. | 1843. Customs and Excise: £ £ £ #2 £ ... e Foreign - - - || 1,361,453 || - - || 1,262,894 || - - || 1,210,154 i Spirits 3 Rum - - - | 1,063,087 - - 978,959 - - 981, British - - - 5,178,175 | - - 5,041,773 || - - 4,958,223 Malt - - - - || 5,263,363 || - - || 4,385,221 || - - || 4,659,638 Hops - - - - 69,055 - - 260,979 || - - * Wine - - - - 1,721,281 - - 1.335,412 - - 1,703,721 Sugar and molasses - - 5,307,675 - - 5,130,271 - - 5,290,406 Tea - - - - 3,973,668 - - 4,088,957 - - 4,407,642 Coffee - - - - 887,723 - - 768,886 - - 697,376 Tobacco and snuff - - 3,550,825 - - 3,577,224 - - 3,711,227 28,376,305 ||—| 26,829,776 — 27,928,659 Butter - - - - 262,614 - - 187,921 - - 151,614 Cheese - - - - 134,622 - - 98,112 - - 90,888 Currants and raisins - - 410,827 - - 375,464 - - 482,942 Corn - - - - 568,341 || - - 1,363,977 || - - 758,293 Cotton wool and sheep's imorted - - - - 664,576 - - 566,700 - - 843,244 Silks - - - - 257,735 - - 245,080 - - 263,949 Hides and skins - - - 79,119 - - 49,566 - - 27,871 Paper - - - - 586,219 || - - 591,263 || - - 642, Soap - - - - 815,864 - - 829,277 - - 893,170 Candles and tallow - - 205,832 - - 170,834 - - 194,735 Coals, sea-borne - - - 11,925 - - 57,415 - - 131,304 Glass - - - - 682,192 - - 594,815 - - 599,444 Bricks, tiles, and slates - 443,018 - - 393,050 - - 355,281 Timber - - - - 1,500,315 || - - 948,070 || - - 667,536 Auctions - - - - 311,788 - - 294,836 - - 2, Excise licences - - - || 1,036,582 - - 1,014,899 - - 1,019,947 Post-horse duties - - 199,864 - - 179,457 - - 166,434 Miscellaneous of Customs and Excise - - - - 1,570,477 | - - 1,350,402 - 1,069,369 — 9,741,917 9,311,138 8,641,222 Total Customs and Excise - || - - || 38,118,222 - - 36,140,924 - - 36,569,881 Stamps: Deeds and other instruments - 1,665,297 - - 1,604,672 - - 1,622,557 Probates and legacies - - 2,132,473 - - 2,163,564 - - 2,143,127 Insurance marine - - 284,496 - - 251,490 - - 253,529 fire - - - 964,146 || - - 984,726 || - - 987,339 Bills of exchange, bankers’ notes - - - - 743,312 || - - 680,671 - - 673,673 Newspapers and advertisements 377,471 - - 381,215 - - 391,653 Stage coaches - - - 460,733 - - 444,215 - - 388,928 Receipts - - - - 174,747 - - 180,059 - - 174,756 Other stamp dutie - - 473,685 - - 449,171 - - 441,190 7,276,360 7,139,783 7,076,752 Assessed and land taxes: Land taxes - - - 1,214,431 - - 1,172,842 || - - 1,159,149 Windows - - - - || 1,664,053 - - 1,569,344 - - 1,545,281 Servants - - - - 215,844 - - 205,727 - - ,252 Horses - - - - 464,592 - - 388,181 - - 376,002 Carriages - - - - 414,676 - - 442,880 - - 428,904 Dogs - - - - 172,190 - - 159,326 || - - 151,857 Additional 10 per cent. - - 311,357 - - 296.342 - - 289,403 Other assessed taxes - - 258,210 - - 250,768 - - 234,220 4,715,353 4,485,410 4,385,606 Property and income tax - - - - - - - - - - - - 5,387,455 Post-office - - - - 1,495,540 | . - || 1,578,145 || - - 1,535,216 Crown lands - - - - - - 438,298 - - 368,161 - - 409,377 Other ordinary revenue and other resources - - - - - - 271,660 - - 825,589 - - 256,065 Money from China, under treaty of August, 1842 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 1,315,208 Total income - - - - - - 52,315,433 - - || 51,120,040 || - - 56,935,022 Excess of expenditure over income - 2,149,885 - - 4,075,119 54,465,318 55,195,159 56,935,022 The following is an account of the nett of the U. Kingdom to the principal branches of amount (including the expenses of collection) the public revenue in 1844: — contributed by each of the three great divisions | England. | Scotland. Ireland. U. Kingdom. £ s. d. £ s. d. £ s. d. £ s. d. Customs - - - || 19,844,433 13 10; 1909,767 18 6 2,353,146 2 1 24,107,347 14 5; Excise - - - 10,837,378 15 7; 2,294,175 18 11 1,337,781 7 1 7 Stamps - - - || 6,237,622 7 4 525,230 10 3} 564, 5 7,327,803 3 2 Taxes - - - 4,155,405 2 # 274,465 0 8 - - 4,429,870 2 Property-tax - - 4,903,670 3 0; 425,930 12 3 - - 5,329,600 15 Post-office - - - 1,435,367 15 7 128,341 16 4 141,358 4 5 1,705,067 16 4 47.43,577 in 7; I on 16 11} 4,397,235. 19 14_l 57,369,025 13 SA_
Account of the Public Expenditure of the United Kingdom, in the Years 1841, 1842, and 1843.
China and India, army, navy, and ordnance services
Quarantine and warehousing establishments - - 7,911 - 130,586 Miscellaneous, not classed under the foregoing heads - - 1,802,578 1,511,360 - 1,760,163 Total expenditure - - - -|31,455,51s - - so, 195,139 - - |35,501,710 Surplus of income over expenditure - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 1,155,285 56,935,022 Memorandtorn. The amount of terminable annuities, on 5th o was - - || 4,096,952 - - - - 5,921,79: In corresponding perpetuities, as estimated by Mr. Finlaison - - || 1,664,693 - - - 1,550,762 Ilifference - - - - 2,152,257 2,592, its 2,375,961 * Account of the Principal and Annual Charge of the Public Debt at different Periods since the Revolution. Principal Interest Principal, I Interest Eunoma and Manage. Funded * ManageUnfunded. ment. Unfunded. inent. £ 42 £ .e Debt at the Revolution, in 1680 - G64,265 39,855 || Debt at the commencement of the AmeExcess of debt contracted during the rican war, in 1775 - - - 128,585,635 | 4,471,571 reign of William III, above debt paid - - Debt contracted during the American oft” - - - - - || 15,750,439| 1,271,087 war - - - - 121,267,995 || 4,980,201 Debt at the accession of Queen Anne Debt at the conclusion of the American *itica duo 'Queen A ! | 16,391,702 1,310,942 roar. ins, jo. ool "#### elut contrac duri ueen Anne's aid duri - 10.3. so on' - - ns. anne. 57,750,661 2,040,416 uring peace, from 1784 to 1793 ,301,3 245,277
- - Debt at the commencement of the Debt * the accession of George I., in French war, in 1795 - -
Ioad off during the reign of Geo. 1. above debt contracted -
2,053,125 1,133,807 || Total funded and unfunded debt on - ----- the 1st of February, 1817, when the Debt at the accession of Geo. II., in 1727 52,092,238 2,217,551 English and Irish exchequers were
An Account of the Total Number of Persons to whom
Payment thereof, on each Description of Public Stock, and on each Desc tinguishing the Number respectively of those whose Dividends for the Half 2001, 300l., 500l., 1000l., 2,000l., 3,000l., 4,000l., 5,000l., and the Number of those whose Dividends exceed 5,000l.
distinguishing also, in those above 1,000l., the Dividends due to any Public Company, or to more than a single
name. — (Parl. Paper, No. 202. Sess. 1833.)
Literature. — Some remarks respecting the language and literature of England, will be found under the head ENGLAND. Here it is sufficient to observe that the basis of the English language is essentially Saxon, intermixed, however, with a great number of words derived from the Latin, and other languages of Latin origin. It is needless to say that the English have attained to the highest distinction in every department of literature. But in modern times, the distinguishing feature of our literature, is undoubtedly the periodical, and especially the daily, press. To such perfection has the method of conducting the daily journals been carried, that debates that occur in either house of parliament, are accurately and very fully reported in the morning papers of the ensuing, or it may be, of the same day. . These, indeed, are not unfrequently published within two or three hours . the termination of the debate; and being carried to the country by the railway coaches, and other speedy conveyances, the report of a debate ending in the II. of Lords or Commons at 4 o'clock in the morning, may be perused at Birmingham or Bristol, above 100 miles off, by 12 o'clock of the same day ! The other departments of the daily journals; such as communications from foreign parts; criticisms in various branches of science and literature; and the comments of the editors on the events of the day, are, for the most part, written with great ability; and though strongly tinctured with party prejudices, and but little to be depended on when party interests are concerned, they discover a p of mind, and an extent and accuracy of information, that are really astonishing, considering the haste with which they have to be composed, and the little time given for correction. . Generally speaking, the periodical press of Great Britain is decidedly superior to that of every other country, and displays much practical good sense, and, with some few exceptions, the most praiseworthy respect for the decencies of private life, and for the great principles that form the foundations of society.
The Colonies and Foreign Dependencies belonging to the U. Kingdom, and forming part of the British empire, are of great extent and importance. They consist principally of our dominions in N. America and the West Indies, the Cape of Good Hope, Australia, and India. The reader will find in the table at the end of this article, statements of the population, trade, &c., of the greater number of these colonial possessions, and detailed accounts of each will be found under its peculiar head in this work. The common opinion is, that the U. Kingdom is indebted for a large portion of its wealth and power to the possession of these distant territories; but it may be doubted whether there be much real ground for this opinion. It is true that England, in common with all Europe, has derived infinite advantage from the discovery and settlement of America, and from the intercourse with India by the Cape of Good Hope. But the question is, have we derived greater advantages from retaining the countries we settled in a state of dependence, after they were able to govern ào. than we should have done by making them free? We are inclined to think that those who dispassionately inquire into the matter will find that this is a question which must be answered in the negative. Our colonies in America and the West Indies have never furnished one farthing towards defrayin any part of the general expenditure of the §§ Kingdom; they are, indeed, exempted, by express statute, from any such charge; at the same time that the fleets and armies required for their protection-in war, and their security in peace, are all supplied by the British nation, and cost them nothing. Exclusive of the outlet they afford to emigrants, the only advantage, in a national point of view, derivable from them must, therefore, if it exist at all, be found in the trade or intercourse we carry on with them. But it has been shown, over and over again, that the trade with colonies differs in no important respect from that with foreign countries; that, unless it be naturally advantageous for both parties, it cannot be for the interest of the mother country to engage in it; and that if it be naturally advantageous, it will be carried on to the same or a greater extent, were the colony an independent state. The great and growing intercourse we have continued to keep up with the U. States since they achieved their independence, is a practical proof of the truth of what has now been stated. Our trade with Canada is, on the other hand, a proof of the mischief occasioned by forcing an intercourse where there is no natural aptitude for one. That colony, of the value of which the most extravagant notions have been entertained, has not, we believe, a single commodity to export which we might not obtain better and cheaper elsewhere. It is true it supplies us with large quantities of timber, but why? Because, while timber from the N. of Europe is charged, on importation into this country, with a duty of 24s. a load, timber from Canada is charged with a duty of only 1s. This regulation, besides forcing the use of an inferior article, imposes a burden on the people of Britain of about 500,000l. a year. Surely, therefore, it were for our advantage that it were repealed; and if so, there would be an end of nine tenths of our trade with Canada. While, however, the forcing a trade with colonies is no advantage, but the reverse, the effort to keep them in a state of unwilling dependence, after they are desirous to be independent, entails a very heavy expense on the mother country. Our ascendancy in Canada, at this moment, is wholly dependent on the presence of a large military force, occasioning, one way and another, a direct outlay of little less than 1,500,000l. a year; and all this enormous direct and indirect expense is incurred without any equivalent advantage, and with a full conviction in the mind of every man of sense in the empire that, at no very distant period, Canada will be independent, or an integral portion of the United States. It is said that the West Indian colonies are advantageous, because they supply us with sugar, which yields a large amount of revenue ! ut in this respect they are merely on a level with China and Virginia, which supply us with tea and tobacco, which also yield a large amount of revenue. It is the people of Britain, and not the West Indian islands, that pay the sugar duties. And as sugar could be imported from Brazil and Cuba quite as cheap as it can be imported from the British West Indies, or rather, we believe, decidedly cheaper, it is difficult to perceive how the emancipation of the latter could occasion any very material public loss. Nothing, therefore, can be a greater error than to suppose that we are indebted for any very considerable portion of our national greatness to the extent of our colonial dominion. In all those cases in which we carry on a really beneficial trade with a colony, the chances are ten to one that we should carry it on to an equal extent were it independent; while the number of our colonies, their distance from the U. Kingdom, the ease with which some of them may be attacked during war, and the difficulty and expense of defending them, must be very serious consid ations. On the whole, perhaps, it will be found, if rightly examined, that extensive colonial possessions are a source of weakness rather than of strength. We derive our superior wealth and civilisation from totally different sources—from the physical and moral advantages enjoyed by the U. Kingdom; and while we possess these, we need not fear that any
serious injury will result from circumscribing the extent of our colonial dominion. Our Indian empire is a foreign dependency, not a colony; it does not enjoy that exemption from taxation, for the benefit of the U. Kingdom, enjoyed by our colonial possessions; and it has occasionally remitted considerable sums as tribute to England. But the magnitude of these sums has been much exaggerated; and it has been doubted by various well-informed parties whether, at an average of f." we have received an; thing considerable from India. Malta, Gibraltar, and such like strongholds, are valuable, because they afford convenient and secure asylums for our ships of war and merchantmen, serving also as depots for our produce, and arsenals, whence we may send out cruisers and expeditions to annoy our enemies in war. They are, as it were, a species of foreign bulwarks, and are of importance and value, as means of defence and aggression. Probably the greatest advantage derived from our extensive colonial dominions is to be found in the vast field they afford for the profitable employment of our surplus population, and for the exercise of talents for which there is comparatively little demand at home. The U. States also present great attractions to emigrants from this country, resulting in part from the common origin of their people, the identity of their language, the general mildness of their climate, and their comparative proximity; and in part from the greater facility with which tracts of unoccupied land may be acquired in them. The policy of the existing regulations in regard to the disposal of unoccupied lands in most of our colonies appears, indeed, to be of the most questionable description. At present, however, we shall content ourselves with observing that whether the plan of fixing a minimum price on unoccupied land be or be not expedient, the price fixed in the greater number of our colonies is by far too high, being in truth twice or three times as much as it should be. We subjoin