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the remains of the ancient leagues of the Achaeans and Amphictyons struggling to throw off the yoke, which internal wars, and a quarrelsome military spirit drew upon them.
The league of the Hanse-towns .commenced in the year 1140 according to some, and not until the year 1200 according to others; but it was confirmed and established in 1226 and 1234, and an extraordinary general assembly was held every ten years, in which they solemnly renewed their league, admitted new members, and expelled old ones, if they proved refractory. It first commenced by a league between the cities of Lubec and Hamburg, and afterward consisted of 12 towns, situated near the Baltic. They first formed a system of commercial, international laws, enacted in their general assemblies. The league afterward extended to between 70 and 80 towns and cities. But, in the year 1730, the regular number was 63, beside which there were 44 towns that were considered as allies. While they kept at peace, they flourished beyond all precedent; but, having got rich, they equipped ships and raised armies, and about the year 1846, waged
a successful war against Waldemir 3d, king of Denmark, and, afterward, again, against. the same power in 1428. By these means, they drew on them the jealousy of other pow. ers, and the league was gradually reduced, so that the present Hanseatic league comprises only the three cities of Lubeck, Hamburg and Bremen; and in the definitive treaty of 1803, they were acknowledged as Hanseatic cities, with the guarantee of their jurisprudence and perpetual neutrality.
The foundation of the Swiss confederacy was laid in 1308 ; but “ the code of public law between the combined republics of Switzerland, is founded on the treaty of Sempatch in 1393, upon the convention of Stenzt, and the treaty of peace concluded in 1712. at Arau, between the protestant and catholic cantons. From these several treaties it appears, that the Helvetic union is a perpetual defensive alliance between the thirteen independent contracting powers, to protect each other by their united force against all foreign enemies. Another essential object of the league is, to preserve general peace and good order ; for which purpose it is cor
enanted, that all public discussions shall finally be settled between contending parties, in an amicable manner; and with this view, particular judges and arbiters are appointed, who shall be empowered to compose the dissensions that may happen to arise. To this is added a reciprocal guarantee of the form of government established in the respective commonwealths. No separate engagement, which any of the cantons may conclude, can be valid, if it be inconsistent with the fundamental articles of this general union. With these exceptions, the combined states are independent of each other; they may form alliances with any power, or may reject the same, although all the others have acceded to it; may grant auxiliary troops to foreign princes-may prohibit the money of the other cantons from being current within their own territories; may impose taxes, and, in short, perform every other act of absolute sovereignty. The whole republic is composed of 13 cantons, 13 incorporated territories, and 21 dependent lordships." Some of the cantons are aristocratic, and some democratic; some are catholic and
others protestant. This happy confederacy enjoyed peace and plenty, and a degree of liberty unusual in Europe, until the 'emissaries of the French convention sowed dissensions among them, and then invaded the country and dissolved the confederacy, in the year 1798. Since the downfall of Napoleon, Switzerland has again recovered its independence, and I believe has resumed its former constitution.
I might here notice the States General of the United Provinces, the Diet of Germany, the Confederation of the Rhine, and some others ancient and modern, but the reader's patience would tire; and the instances I have brought forward are sufficient to confirm the fact, that leagues have existed between independent states of different forms of government and religion, and have been the means of preserving peace and happiness among themselves for ages. The two first of the four instances which I have adduced, have gone down the stream of time. They lasted for centuries, and might have lasted longer, had they been as careful to avoid foreign, as they were to avoid domestic
war. The third flourished until it engaged in war, and is now nearly extinct. The fourth has stood the test of time; and though for a while, it was deranged by the shock of the French revolution, it still remains, and enjoys the same peace and happiness it did centuries ago. This is to be attributed to the peaceful charaeter of the confederacy ; for though individuals of the country have fought in all the wars of Europe, and have often met each other on the fatal field, in opposing armies--the confederacy itself has “sought the things that make for peace.” To which end, the transportation of its warlike spirits has, perhaps not a little, contributed.
We now come to the “great scheme,” as it was called, which was first imagined by Henry IV. King of France, which was no less than the union of all the nations of Christendom, in one grand confederation, for the purpose of establishing permanent and universal peace. It will not however be necessary to go through the details of the scheme projected by the French King. It is practicable, and may one day be consummated. Such things have been and such