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ANNUAL REGISTER,

FOR THE YEAR

1863.

PART I.

ENGLISH HISTORY.

CHAPTER I.

State of the Revenue, Trade and general interests of the country at the commencement of the year-Distress in the Cotton Manufacturing Districts-State of public opinion in England in regard to the Civil War in America-Tranquil condition of our domestic politics-General absence of party feeling and acquiescence in the ascendancy of Lord Palmerston-Opening of the Session of Parliament by Commission on the 5th of February-The Royal Speech-Absence of recommendations of legislative changes-Debates on the Address in both Houses of Parliament-Principal topics of the leading speakers-The discussions turn chiefly on points of Foreign Policy-The chiefs of the Opposition make strong objections to the proposed cession of the Ionian Islands to Greece - General approval expressed of the policy of non-interference pursued towards the belligerent powers in America-Strictures on the conduct of our Government in regard to Denmark, Greece, Rome, and ChinaDefences of the ministerial policy by Earl Russell and Lord Palmerston-The Address in both Houses agreed to without division-Provision for the Marriage of the Prince and Princess of Wales-The proposed allowance is readily voted by the House of Commons-The announcement of the Marriage affords universal satisfaction -Great demonstrations of loyalty throughout the kingdom-Reception of the Princess Alexandra, her entry into London and celebration of the royal MarriagePublic rejoicings and festivities on the occasion-Presence of Her Majesty as a spectator at the nuptials-Gratifying anticipations deduced from that event.

Ar the commencement of the year 1863 the condition of the United Kingdom was, with one marked exception, flourishing and prosperous. The people, save in that single instance, were well employed, peaceable and contented. Political and religious animosities were more than usually quiescent, and there was little to disturb the calm of the social atmosphere. The Revenue of the country, notwithstanding many drawbacks and recent heavy drains on the finances, was in an improving state, and there appeared to be an opening for further relief from taxation by means of some reductions in the public expenditure. The condition of trade was

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