« AnteriorContinuar »
moned to evacuate the territory, (1736.) declared by England against Spain, chiefly in consequence of Spanish depredations upon English commerce, Oglethorpe received orders to invade Florida, (1739.) He did so, with a force of twelve hundred men from both the Carolinas and Virginia, as well as from his own province, besides an equal number of Indians. With these, and with trains and ships, he laid siege to St. Augustine; but being deserted by most of his Indians, and by many of his volunteers, he was obliged to abandon the enterprise, (1740.) A large expedition from England, reënforced, first and last, by upwards of four thousand colonial troops, was equally unsuccessful against the Spanish strongholds in the West Indies, (1740-41.) But the Spaniards themselves did no better in their invasion of Georgia, from which they were repelled, partly by battle and partly by fraud, Oglethorpe being still there, (1741.) After this, the Spanish war subsided, nor did the French share in the hostilities begin for three years to come, (1744.) Four years later, the treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle restored things to their state before the war, (1748.)
Just as the last colonial war with France was ending, the fourth and last colonial war with Spain of Flor- began. This power came into the contest as the ida. ally of France, in America even more than in Europe, the object being to prevent the English expelling the French from their American possessions, and then turning against the Spaniards, as was apprehended, and expelling them from theirs. But the French were already driven out; and nothing interfered with a vigorous onset of the English upon the Spaniards. New England and New York contributed to the capture of Havana in the opening year of the war, (1762.) The treaty of Paris, begun upon in the same, though not formally completed till the
following year, restored Havana to Spain. But it gave an immense accession of territory to England and her colonies. What France surrendered will appear hereafter. Spain ceded Florida, once the whole of North America, but now little more than a peninsula of the southern coast, (1763.) A royal proclamation of the same year gave names and boundaries to East and West Florida, the latter province embracing the French cessions east of the Mississippi. Twenty years after, the Floridas reverted to Spain, to be again separated from it at a later period.
To make some amends to Spain for her losses in Louisiana attempting the rescue of France, the latter kingand Cali- dom gave up her colony of Louisiana. To this we shall revert. At nearly the same time that the Spaniards took possession of their acquisition in the east, they extended their settlements in the west by establishing missions at San Diego and Monterey, California, (1769.)
Character of the Spanish
But the Spanish wars, so far as our country was concerned, were over. They had never arisen, except in the case of the last brief war, from any consideration of American interests. Nor had they called forth any development of American energies either in crowded battles or extended campaigns. But they had continued, if we date from the first encounters, for nearly a century.
THE great rival of the English race upon our
soil reappears. It is time to turn back beyond Spanish, Dutch, and Indian wars, nay, beyond the growth of the English colonies, to trace the progress of the French in America. No other nation, it will be found, not even the English, asserted claims or projected achievements of equal vastness.
We left the French the masters of New France
France. a name of vague extension originally, but subsequently confined, as will be remembered, to Acadie and Canada. Acadie being itself shorn of its original dimensions, the province of Canada remained the chief division. of New France.
The French, like the English colonies, were not always under the immediate government of the ernment. mother country. An intermediate authority, vested in the Company of New France, prevailed for thirty-five years, (1627–62.) For twelve years more, a French West India Company was commissioned to administer the affairs of the colony, (1663-75.) But with these bodies were associated some officers of royal appointment, so that there was no time when the colony was wholly removed from the oversight of the sovereign. Nor was the season during which the two companies lasted by any means so long or so decisive as the periods of the royal government. New