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Charles James Fox

Geburtstag: 24. Januar 1749
Todesdatum: 13. September 1806

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Charles James Fox war ein britischer Staatsmann und Redner.

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Zitate Charles James Fox

„Ich sterbe glücklich.“

—  Charles James Fox
Letzte Worte, 13. September 1806

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„[Fox] exhibited two pictures of this country; the one representing her at the end of the last glorious war, the other at the present moment. At the end of the last war this country was raised to a most dazzling height of splendour and respect. The French marine was in a manner annihilated, the Spanish rendered contemptible; the French were driven from America; new sources of commerce were opened, the old enlarged; our influence extended to a predominance in Europe, our empire of the ocean established and acknowledged, and our trade filling the ports and harbours of the wondering and admiring world. Now mark the degradation and the change, We have lost thirteen provinces of America; we have lost several of our Islands, and the rest are in danger; we have lost the empire of the sea; we have lost our respect abroad and our unanimity at home; the nations have forsaken us, they see us distracted and obstinate, and they leave us to our fate. Country!... This was your situation, when you were governed by Whig ministers and by Whig measures, when you were warmed and instigated by a just and a laudable cause, when you were united and impelled by the confidence which you had in your ministers, and when they were again strengthened and emboldened by your ardour and enthusiasm. This is your situation, when you are under the conduct of Tory ministers and a Tory system, when you are disunited, disheartened, and have neither confidence in your ministers nor union among yourselves; when your cause is unjust and your conductors are either impotent or treacherous.“

—  Charles James Fox
Speech in the House of Commons (27 November 1781), reprinted in J. Wright (ed.), The Speeches of the Rt. Hon. C. J. Fox in the House of Commons. Volume I (1815), p. 429.

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„Although Fox's private character was deformed by indulgence in vicious pleasures, it was in the eyes of his contemporaries largely redeemed by the sweetness of his disposition, the buoyancy of his spirits, and the unselfishness of his conduct. As a politician he had liberal sentiments, and hated oppression and religious intolerance. He constantly opposed the influence of the crown, and, although he committed many mistakes, and had in George III an opponent of considerable knowledge of kingcraft and immense resources, the struggle between him and the king, as far as the two men were concerned, was after all a drawn game... the coalition of 1783 shows that he failed to appreciate the importance of political principles and was ignorant of political science... Although his speeches are full of common sense, he made serious mistakes on some critical occasions, such as were the struggle of 1783–4, and the dispute about the regency in 1788. The line that he took with reference to the war with France, his idea that the Treason and Sedition bills were destructive of the constitution, and his opinion in 1801 that the House of Commons would soon cease to be of any weight, are instances of his want of political insight. The violence of his language constantly stood in his way; in the earlier period of his career it gave him a character for levity; later on it made his coalition with North appear especially reprehensible, and in his latter years afforded fair cause for the bitterness of his opponents. The circumstances of his private life helped to weaken his position in public estimation. He twice brought his followers to the brink of ruin and utterly broke up the whig party. He constantly shocked the feelings of his countrymen, and ‘failed signally during a long public life in winning the confidence of the nation’ (, Hist. iii. 465 sq). With the exception of the Libel Bill of 1792, the credit of which must be shared with others, he left comparatively little mark on the history of national progress. Great as his talents were in debate, he was deficient in statesmanship and in some of the qualities most essential to a good party leader.“

—  Charles James Fox
William Hunt, 'Fox, Charles James (1749–1806)', Dictionary of National Biography (1889).

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„... a greater evil than the restoration of the Bourbons to the world in general, and England in particular, can hardly happen.“

—  Charles James Fox
Letter to Lord Holland (28 July 1795), quoted in L. G. Mitchell, Charles James Fox (London: Penguin, 1997), p. 160.

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