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THE WAR IN EUROPE.
The year 1853 ended with gloomy forebodings was clear that from words the sovereigas must for the peace of Europe, indeed of the entire Old now come to blows. World. The year 1854 has seen those forebod Early in the year the Christian populations of ings realized to a great extent, and according Turkey, and especially the Greeks of Epirus to all probability will transmit to its successor the and Albania, believing that the quarrel between bloody torch of war, still blazing and ready to Russia and Turkey had a religious origin, and inflame countries which have hitherto been pre- that the Eastern Church was menaced-these served from conflagration.
populations effected partial risings, which were The year 1853 closed with the destruction of backed principally from Greece with men, money the Turkish fleet in the harbor of Sinope, by the and ammunition. This contest began successRussian Admiral Nachimoff. This catastrophe fully for the insurgents, and lasted for a few forced England and France, on behalf of their months. But the Western powers menaced the ally, to employ more decided measures. On the King of Greece with the loss of his throne, block4th of January, 1854, the allied fleets left the aded the shores of the Adriatic and the Egean, Bosphorus and entered the Black Sea. But as and French vessels finally entered the port of England and France still desired to mask their Piræus, occupied Athens, and forced the King ulterior projects with a semblance of peaceful to withhold all support from the insurgents, who intentions, the commanding Admirals issued a after a spirited struggle succumbed to the Turks. proclamation, to the effect that this measure was The Turkish sway over them was restored by resorted to for the sake of preserving the Turk- Christian powers, and thus ended one of the side ish shores of the Euxine from further annoy- episodes of the struggle between Turkey and ance, and thus facilitating a pacific solution of Russia. the pending contest. Diplomacy was still busy The great centre of action was the banks of with the same purpose. The so-called Confer- the Danube. The Turks tried to cross it on other ence at Vienna, composed of the representatives points beyond those already occupied, but were of England, France, Austria, and Prussia, con- repulsed. During this pulling backwards and tinued to hold its sittings. But early in the year forwards in the East, matters came to an issue in 1854 the war was opened with redoubled energy. the West, and the Russian envoys at Paris and At Tchetate, on the left bank of the Danube, a London broke off further communications with bloody fight occurred between the Turks and the these cabinets, and soon after left both the capi. Russians. It was renewed for four consecutive tals. Nicholas, Napoleon, and Queen Victoria days; during the first the Russians were success- each respectively issued proclamations or decful, but finally they were repulsed with heavy larations of war. England, France, and Turkey losses, and the Turks maintained possession of concluded a special defensive and offensive allithe battle-field.
ance. Austria, without declaring positively for France and England strengthened their alli- the one or the other, began to cover with troops ance, on the ground that the equilibrium of her frontiers toward Turkey and Russia, and Europe and of the powers composing it was her language toward the latter became more endangered by Russia. To this idea they have and more frigid and even hostile. Austria, made and make still great efforts to win over as her Minister positively declared, was moved the remaining sovereigns, and principally those principally by the fear that the crossing of the of Vienna, Berlin, Copenhagen, and Stockholm. Danube by Russia would be followed by a genThe spring and a part of summer was spent by eral insurrection of the Christian populations in the diplomats in drawing up protocols, notes, Turkey, whose consequences would be incalcúcommunications, explanations, and exchanging lable; as the movement might extend to the dispatches. The high roads between the Euro- Austrian provinces inhabited by Slavonic races, pean capitals were covered with couriers. But, kindred by origin as well as by religion to those all these efforts ended in smoke, and the Vienna of Turkey, most of them being believers in the Conference was finally dissolved in June. Greek Church. Prussia, on the contrary, tried
Previous to its closing, polite but trenchant to preserve a strict neutrality, and so far she letters were exchanged between Napoleon and has shown ao hostile feeling whatever toward Nicholas. The language of diplomacy also be- Russia. came more and more irritated and angry, and it After the declaration of war, and as soon as
the season allowed it, a powerful English and were always successfully repulsed, some of their French fleet entered the Baltic for the purpose Generals, including Pashkiewitch, wounded, and of blockading the Russian seaports, and attack-Gen. Schilders slain. Finally, as Austria began to ing the principal strongholds. Russia, remaining threaten an immediate occupation of the Princion the defensive, shut up her fleets behind the palities, and thus to cut off the Russian army stone walls. of her two principal military har- from its communications with Russia, the siege bors : that of Cronstadt, defending the en-of Silistria was abandoned, and the whole army trance to St. Petersburg, and that of Sweaborg, retired behind the Danube. In June, the Rusin Finland. If the allied fleet should attack sians wholly evacuated the Principalities, rethose two points, the question at issue would be entered behind the Pruth, and the country between wooden and stone walls, or between forming the bone of contention was immediately men-of-war and land defences. The feet of the occupied by either Austrian or Turkish forces. Allies, having embarked about 30,000 French Thus ended for this year the war on the Danube. troops, wore rather a menacing aspect. But On the Black Sea the struggle began by an they limited their operations to attacking and attempt of the allied fleets to bombard Odessa. partially destroying some small harbors on They destroyed a land battery, burnt some stores the coast of Finland. Their principal feat of and vessels of transport, and then retired. arms was the bombarding by land and sea, and In Asia, the war was continued during the storming of the Russian fort of Bomarsund, on whole year, until the advanced season obliged the island of Aland. The fortress was defended both Turks and Russians to take to their winter by 2,000 Russians, and as the attack on land was quarters. The Russians were assailed in the made by 12,000 French troops, the Russians ca- north and in the south of their possessions. In pitulated and were taken prisoners of war. The the north by the Caucasian mountaineers, under fortress was blown up, the Islands abandoned the indefatigable and almost invincible Shamyl; by the Allies, and thus ended for the year 1854, in the south by the Turks. With the latter the in the North, the exploits of the formidable Russians have been mostly successful, the TurkBaltic fleet, leaving undecided the question be- ish army having suffered several heavy defeats. tween the two sorts of walls, with however a The great chieftain of the Circassians was more strong preponderance in favor of the stone ones. lucky in his rapid invasions of the plains, and The Allies tried hard to bring Sweden to join his scouts even terrified Tiflis, the capital of the them, and to declare war against Russia, but Russian possessions in this part of Asia. But their efforts in this respect proved unsuccessful. still no general rising of all the tribes inhabit
Meanwhile England and France prepared to ing the Caucasus has taken place; and even send armies to Turkey--France about 70,000, those living on the western slope toward the and England 30,000 men, During these prepa- shores of the Euxine, refused lately to admit the rations the fighting continued on the Danube. envoys of Shamyl and of the Sultan, as well as The Russians were wholly unable to force and English agents. This has crippled the force of expel the Turks from their strong position at Shamyl, and according to the last accounts he Kalafat, on the left bank of the river, but they has retired into his inaccessible mountainous repelled an attempt of the Turks to establish recesses. themselves at Kalarash. Finally, about 70,000 In the autumn, the war acquired a more deof the Russian army crossed the Danube at three cided and bloody character, being transported to points, overpowered small Turkish forces defend- a new theatre, on Russian soil. The Allies, uning the banks, took several small fortresses, and able to get at the Russian fleet sheltered behind established a firm footing in the Turkish province the walls and forts of Sevastopol, on the peninof the Dobrodja, around Trajan's wall.
sula of the Crimea, and one of the strongest posiThe Russians advanced into Bulgaria, and tions in the world, decided to attack the place finally invested and besieged with their main by land as well as by sea.
Great preparations army the fortress of Silistria, one of the principal having been made in the harbors of Varna and defences before the entrance to the Balkan moun. Constantinople, nearly 100,000 men were transtains. Various parties of Russian troops which ported to the Crimea. The army consisted of remained in the Dobrodja were worsted in their more than 50,000 French, the rest of English, encounters with the Turks. The siege of Silis- Turkish, and Egyptian troops. They landed in tria, commanded in person by Field Marshal September near the small harbor of Eupatoria, Prince Pashkiewiteh, proved likewise unsucces- without any opposition from the Russians. The ful. In vain the whole Russian force attempted Allies began their inland march, but next day to storm one of the advanced forts--the Russians met a Russian army about 33,000 strong, en
camped on the hights along the river Alma. Afits ambiguous position, and will be forced to take bloody encounter took place, and the Russians an active part in this duel of the West against were finally obliged to retire, which they did in the East. the best order, having lost only two cannons. Another episode of this great struggle, and an The Allies lost, in killed and wounded, about 5,000, evidence of its extensive reach, was the attack by and the loss on the Russian side was about the a combined Anglo-French squadron on the harsame. Menchikoff, the chief commander of the bor of Petropauloffsk, situated in Kamtchatka, Russian forces in the Peninsula, retired a little on the northern shores of the Pacific. The Allies into the interior, while the Allies marched to the attempted to seize the place, but were beaten off south of Sevastopol, took a small harbor called land obliged to retire, with considerable losses. Balaklava, and therefrom began their besieging If the military operations have relaxed, the operations against the stronghold, which they diplomatic have been more active. Austria, assailed on the southern side only. The Russians Prussia, and the rest of Germany have been the had previously blocked up the entrance of the cause of these negotiations. Russia wished to port by sinking several line-of-battle ships. In secure their neutrality; the western allies, on the the beginning of the operations the Allies con contrary, constantly seek to bring these powers centrated their action on two forts, which they to their side, and entangle them in a war with bombarded by land and by sea, and seriously the enemy. Russia finally accepted the four damaged, without either destroying or taking points laid down by the Western Powers as the them. The assailing vessels were roughly treat- basis of negotiations for peace. The points ed, since which they have kept aloof from the aim--First, to establish a joint protectorate over stone walls.
the Principalities subject to the existing Russian As only a part of Sevastopol was invested, the treaties; secondly, a like protectorate over the Russian army outside of the forts was in continual Principalities subject to the Russian treaties
i communication with the town, and reinforce- thirdly, the revision of the treaty of 1841, to ments were continually thrown in. Menchikoff's which Russia will assent if the Sultan will; and army was increased by considerable numbers of finally, the free navigation of the Danube. The fresh troops from the interior of the Empire, and Allies, apparently dissatisfied with this tardy he soon became able to take the offensive against concession, succeeded in bringing Austria more the besiegers. They were first attacked in the decidedly on their side, and a treaty was conflank at Balaklava, and the attack was success- cluded on the 2d of December, between Austria, fully carried out by the Russians. But this did England and France. It secures to the Allies an not prevent the Allies from approaching their, invasion of Russian territory beyond the Pruth; trenches nearer and nearer to the city, or from and, in a word, allows as much as an open bombarding it successfully. Their shells set on enemy of one of the belligerents could permit. fire and destroyed a hospital filled with two A decided step this, and it would seem that thousand sick and wounded men.
hostilities between Russia and Austria, foreseen On the 5th of November, the Russian army in in another article of the treaty, ought to begin the field made an attack on the intrenchments at once. Still this treaty, a work principally of of the Allies. The battle, known as that of In- Louis Bonaparte, is accepted with distrust by at kermann, lasted the whole day. The Russians least a portion of the British Cabinet, as may be were finally beaten off, having inflicted severe inferred from the comments thereupon by Lord losges on the besieging army, and having suf- John Russell, which occasioned a fall in the fered terribly themselves. England and France funds. It appears that the English Ministry is at once began to send new reinforcements to confident in the force of the treaty. Austria is the Crimea, and Russia most probably did the still wrapped in double-meanings, still facing
While we write, the panting attention both ways, and still likely to extricate herself at of the whole world is concentrated on the the last extremity. This uncertainty becomes awful drama playing around Sevastopol. What more profound from the fact, that instantly ever be its final fate, the war will probably after the conclusion of the treaty, the Austrian not end there; this struggle, which began slowly, Emperor sent for the Russian Envoy, and during and so to say on both sides with reluctance, con- a long audience, explained personally to Prince tinually expands its bloody folds, and acquires Gorchakoff the meaning of the new alliance. step by step more gigantic and extensive pro- The Emperor contended that there was nothing portions. It may next year embrace the whole new in the treaty, and as the Russian Envoy of Europe, as Germany led by Austria, or even did not quit Vienna, the mystery is increased. Austria alone, will no longer be able to preserve! Nrw-YORK, Jan. 1, 1855.
THE KNOW-NOTHINGS. The Political events of the year 1854 are: 1. The test of 1800. The Jeffersonian triumph insured passage of the Nebraska bill; 2. The Veto of the a return to liberality in Naturalization; and the River and Harbor bill; 3. The defeat of the act was passed which still endures, reducing the Federal Administration, through its supporters, term of probation to five years, and requiring a in nearly all the Free States of the Union, mainly declaration of intention to become a citizen at in consequence of the general opposition to so least two years before that intention can be conmuch of the Nebraska bill as repeals the Missouri summated. Restriction on the westward progress of Slavery. The Naturalized citizens, improperly termed 4. The rise and progress of the Know-Nothings." Foreigners,' continued, very naturally, to vote The Acts of Congress and the Election Returns almost unanimously for the party which had thus herewith printed will shed light on most or all of lowered the barrier between their former estate these events, but the rise of the new power in our and citizenship; and, as they were in the average politics known as the Know-Nothings seems to notoriously less intelligent and more inclined to require some further elucidation.
belligerent demonstrations at the polls than our Congress is empowered by the Constitution to native-born electors, they were often viewed with pass uniform laws of Naturalization; yet it has unfriendly regard by those whom, by throwing been legally decided that no law so passed can their whole weight into one of the scales nearly oblige a State to admit to or exclude from the balanced without them, they pretty generally Political Franchises in accordance with its pro- overbalanced at the polls. Accordingly we find visions. That is to say: Congress may extend the easy naturalization and great power of the term of probation for immigrants seeking to Foreigners enumerated among the chronic grievbecome citizens to twenty or forty years, and yet ances complained of by the ultra-Federalists in any State may admit those same probationers to the famous Hartford Convention of 1814–15. vote, to hold office, and even be elected to the And when Albert Gallatin was nominated for lower House of congress itself, before they shall Vice-President in 1824, as the Republican' or have resided among us even one year. The ex- Congressional caucus candidate, it was objected clusive power of Naturalization vested in Con- to him that he, being of Foreign (Swiss) birth, gress is thus practically of small account; the and therefore constitutionally ineligible to the States being enabled to overrule or evade it as Presidency, ought not to be chosen to the second they may see fit. And in fact Michigan, Illinois, office, which might involve him at any moment Indiana, and perhaps other Free States, have in the discharge of the high responsibilities of extended the Right of Suffrage to immigrants the first. Still, no change in the law of Naturalwho had not been naturalized nor lived long ization was made or seriously urged in Congress, enough among us to be entitled to Naturalization. nor has there been down to this December, 1854.
The first act of Congress establishing the con In 1835-6-7, a 'Native American' organization ditions of Naturalization was quite liberal-much-not very formidable nor yet very decided and like our present law. The great convulsion in definite in its purposes-was maintained in the Europe generated by the French Revolution of city of New-York; but it dealt mainly with mu1789-93, however, threw upon our shores a large nicipal affairs, and did not make head in the body of exiles and refugees from the British Isles, Fall or State Election of 1837. Nothing more was from France, &c., of whom the younger and more heard of it until 1843, when the Democrats, bavenergetic portion were eager to involve this ing regained control of the city at the Spring country in a war with Great Britain and other Election, in good part through the efforts of the Aristocratic Powers in favor of Democracy and Adopted Citizens, (and, as was stoutly alleged, by revolutionary France. Their efforts were sternly the aid of illegal voting to an enormous extent) resisted by the Federal Administrations of Wash- proceeded to parcel out the newly won offices, ington and John Adams, and the refugees very and gave so considerable a share of them to their naturally became the active and implacable ad- partisans born in Europe as to excite very genversaries of the Federal party. Hence, in 1798, eral dissatisfaction and disgust among their Congress, under the Presidency of John Adams, native-born compatriots. Hereupon Nativism passed an act requiring fourteen years' residence sprang into new life, this time having its origin in this country prior to Naturalization-an act in the Democratic camp, but soon drawing in which did not prevent but probably aided the thousands from the opposite party. It polled overthrow of Adams and the election of Jefferson 9,000 votes at the Fall Election of that year, and in the heated and memorable Presidential con-next spring carried the city, most of the Whigs
falling into its support as the only way of beating selecting the best men already in nomination their old antagonists. James Harper (Native) from the tickets of the several parties and voting was chosen Mayor, having some 25,000 votes to for them without giving public notice of their 20,000 for Coddington (Dem.) and 5,000 for Gra- choice until the ballots were counted out of the ham (Whig), and a strong Native ascendency in box, they were well nigh invincible. For inevery branch of the city government was se stance: suppose the Know-Nothings of this city cured. Thence the flame spread to Philadelphia, to number 5,000 only, composed of 3,000 Whigs where it was swelled by repeated riots and fights and 2,000 Democrats; the concentration of their between the Natives and the Irish, in the course entire vote on a ticket made up by selection from of which several lives were destroyed and much the regular Whig and Democratic tickets, would property, including one or two Catholic churches. almost inevitably result in their complete triThe cities of Philadelphia and New-York were umph. Thus were won their earlier victories. both carried in the Fall by the Natives, with such More recently, however, they have seen fit in help as the Whigs chose to give them in the many cases to nominate tickets of their own, expectation of securing in return the entire Na- containing few or no names borne on other ticktive vote for Clay and Frelinghuysen, and thus ets. Thus they have succeeded in Delaware and electing those candidates. This expectation was Massachusetts, (two of the States which went disappointed ; New-York city gave 2,800 majority strongest for John Adams against Jefferson ;) against Clay at the same time that it chose Na- while they have failed in New-York, where their tive Members of Congress and Assembly,and both State ticket ran below either its “Whig' or its this State and Pennsylvania voted for Polk and · Soft’ antagonist. In the local or municipal elected him. Next spring Nativism was beaten Elections, however, this secret organization has in our city, and prostrate or extinct everywhere. often exhibited great strength, especially where
But its spirit was not wholly dead. It gave the Whig party has declined to oppose it-witrise to a secret society known as 'The Order of ness Baltimore, New Orleans, San Francisco, &c. United Americans,' which has ever since existed, It is now organizing and drilling to play an im. and though ostensibly taking no part in politics, portant part in the next Presidential contest, and has occasionally given a lift to a brother who was among those severally mentioned as its probable up for office,especially if a “foreigner' or champion nominee for President are Millard Fillmore of of foreigners were running against him. Very little New-York, Sam Houston of Texas, John M. Clay. attention, however, was excited by its doings. ton of Delaware, John Bell of Tennessee, Kenneth
In 1852, a new secret order was devised and Raynor of North Carolina, and Jacob Broome of started, having the same general object, but more Pennsylvania. In case a Southern man should subtle in its principles and operations. Its ani- be taken for President, the Vice-Presidency is mating spirit is hostility to the exercise of politi- assigned by public rúmor to Daniel Ullmann of cal power in this country by · Foreigners !--that New-York. But all such forecastings are subject is, men born in other lands—but more especially to time and chance, and the powerful Order is to Roman Catholics. Its members are popularly already, as is reported, beset by jars and feuds termed * Know-Nothings, because they are which threaten its unity if not its existence. Unrequired, when interrogated with respect to this less past experience misleads, it is likely to run Order, to declare that they know nothing about its career rapidly, and vanish as suddenly as it it, and to answer all manner of interrogatories appeared. It may last through the next Presiin that spirit. The very name of the Order is dential canvass, but hardly longer than that ; not revealed to them until they are admitted to or it may cast off its cloak of mystery and come its higher degrees, so that they can conscien- into the field of open conflict a Native American tiously swear that they know no such society and anti-Romanist party, and win two or three and do not belong to it. (It is understood to be victories on that platform. But it would seem as * The Sons of '76, or Order of the Star-Spangled devoid of the elements of persistence as an antiBanner.) No badges are worn by the members Cholera or anti-Potato-Rot party would be, and at any time, no banners displayed; their meet- unlikely long to abide the necessary attrition of ings are held as privately as possible, and called real and vital differences of opinion among its by a signal understood only by the initiated. members with respect to the great questions of Each lodge is represented by delegates to a Foreign and Domestic Policy which practically
Council,' which nominates candidates whom the divide the country. These must soon dissolve its members are sworn to support and punished by compact organization, distract its councils, expulsion when they fail to do so. And, so long
* And like the baseless fabric of a vision, as the Councils adhered to their original plan of
Leave not a wreck behind."