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[217] expostulate against the act as a breach of commercial
Chap. VI.}
amity; the parliament studied the interests of England, and would not repeal laws to please a neighbor.1

A naval war soon followed, which Cromwell eager-

1652
ly desired, and Holland as earnestly endeavored to avoid. The spirit of each people was kindled with the highest national enthusiasm; the commerce of the world was the prize contended for; the ocean was the scene of the conflict; and the annals of recorded time had never known so many great naval actions in such quick succession. This was the war in which Blake, and Ayscue, and De Ruyter, gained their glory; and Tromp fixed a broom to his mast in bravado, as if to sweep the English flag from the seas.

Cromwell was not disposed to trammel the industry of Virginia, and Maryland, and New England. His ambition aspired to make England the commercial emporium of the world. His plans extended to the possession of the harbors in the Spanish Netherlands; France was obliged to pledge her aid to conquer, and her consent to yield Dunkirk, Mardyke and Gravelines; and Dunkirk, in the summer of 1658, was given up to his ambassador by the French king in person. Nor was this all: he desired the chief harbors in the North Sea, and the Baltic; and an alliance with Sweden, made not simply from a zeal for Protestantism, was to secure him Bremen, and Elsmore,

1657
and Dantzig, as his reward.2 In the West Indies, his commanders planned the capture of Jamaica, which
1655
succeeded; and the attempt at the reduction of Hispaniola, then the chief possession of Spain among the

1 Clarendon, b. XIII. Parl. History, II. 1374, 5, 8. Godwin, III. 381—2. Heeren, i. 156.

2 Thurloe, VI. 478. Heeren's Works, i. 158.

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