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Title: A Political and Social History of Modern Europe V.1.
Author: Hayes, Carlton J. H. (Carlton Joseph Huntley)
Language: English
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*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Political and Social History of Modern Europe V.1." ***




This book represents an attempt on the part of the author to satisfy a
very real need of a textbook which will reach far enough back to afford
secure foundations for a college course in modern European history.

The book is a long one, and purposely so. Not only does it undertake to
deal with a period at once the most complicated and the most inherently
interesting of any in the whole recorded history of mankind, but it
aims to impart sufficiently detailed information about the various
topics discussed to make the college student feel that he is advanced a
grade beyond the student in secondary school. There is too often a
tendency to underestimate the intellectual capabilities of the
collegian and to feed him so simple and scanty a mental pabulum that he
becomes as a child and thinks as a child. Of course the author
appreciates the fact that most college instructors of history piece out
the elementary textbooks by means of assignments of collateral reading
in large standard treatises. All too frequently, however, such
assignments, excellent in themselves, leave woeful gaps which a slender
elementary manual is inadequate to fill. And the student becomes too
painfully aware, for his own educational good, of a chasmal separation
between his textbook and his collateral reading. The present manual is
designed to supply a narrative of such proportions that the need of
additional reading will be somewhat lessened, and at the same time it
is provided with critical bibliographies and so arranged as to enable
the judicious instructor more easily to make substitutions here and
there from other works or to pass over this or that section entirely.
Perhaps these considerations will commend to others the judgment of the
author in writing a long book.

Nowadays prefaces to textbooks of modern history almost invariably
proclaim their writers' intention to stress recent happenings or at
least those events of the past which have had a direct bearing upon the
present. An examination of the following pages will show that in the
case of this book there is no discrepancy between such an intention on
the part of the present writer and its achievement. Beginning with the
sixteenth century, the story of the civilization of modern Europe is
carried down the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries with
constant _crescendo_. Of the total space devoted to the four
hundred years under review, the last century fills half. And the
greatest care has been taken to bring the story down to date and to
indicate as clearly and calmly as possible the underlying causes of the
vast contemporaneous European war, which has already put a new
complexion on our old historical knowledge and made everything that
went before seem part and parcel of an old régime.

As to why the author has preferred to begin the story of modern Europe
with the sixteenth century, rather than with the thirteenth or with the
French Revolution, the reader is specially referred to the
_Introduction_. It has seemed to the author that particularly from
the Commercial Revolution of the sixteenth century dates the remarkable
and steady evolution of that powerful middle class--the bourgeoisie--
which has done more than all other classes put together to condition
the progress of the several countries of modern Europe and to create
the life and thought of the present generation throughout the world.
The rise of the bourgeoisie is the great central theme of modern
history; it is the great central theme of this book.

Not so very long ago distinguished historians were insisting that the
state, as the highest expression of man's social instincts and as the
immediate concern of all human beings, is the only fit subject of
historical study, and that history, therefore, must be simply "past
politics"; under their influence most textbooks became compendiums of
data about kings and constitutions, about rebellions and battles. More
recently historians of repute, as well as eminent economists, have
given their attention and patronage to painstaking investigations of
how, apart from state action, man in the past has toiled or traveled or
done the other ordinary things of everyday life; and the influence of
such scholars has served to provide us with a considerable number of
convenient manuals on special phases of social history. Yet more
recently several writers of textbooks have endeavored to combine the
two tendencies and to present in a single volume both political and
social facts, but it must be confessed that sometimes these writers
have been content to tell the old political tale in orthodox manner and
then to append a chapter or two of social miscellany, whose connection
with the body of their book is seldom apparent to the student.

The present volume represents an effort really to combine political and
social history in one synthesis: the author, quite convinced of the
importance of the view that political activities constitute the most
perfect expression of man's social instincts and touch mankind most
universally, has not neglected to treat of monarchs and parliaments, of
democracy and nationalism; at the same time he has cordially accepted
the opinion that political activities are determined largely by
economic and social needs and ambitions; and accordingly he has
undertaken not only to incorporate at fairly regular intervals such
chapters as those on the Commercial Revolution, Society in the
Eighteenth Century, the Industrial Revolution, and Social Factors,
1870-1914, but also to show in every part of the narrative the economic
aspects of the chief political facts.

Despite the length of this book, critics will undoubtedly note
omissions. Confronting the writer of every textbook of history is the
eternal problem of selection--the choice of what is most pointedly
significant from the sum total of man's thoughts, words, and deeds. It
is a matter of personal judgment, and personal judgments are
notoriously variant. Certainly there will be critics who will complain
of the present author's failure to follow up his suggestions concerning
sixteenth-century art and culture with a fuller account of the
development of philosophy and literature from the seventeenth to the
twentieth century; and the only rejoinders that the harassed author can
make are the rather lame ones that a book, to be a book, must conform
to the mechanical laws of space and dimension, and that a serious
attempt on the part of the present writer to make a synthesis of social
and political facts precludes no effort on the part of other and abler
writers to synthesize all these facts with the phenomena which are
conventionally assigned to the realm of "cultural" or "intellectual"
history. In this, and in all other respects, the author trusts that his
particular solution of the vexatious problem of selection will prove as
generally acceptable as any.

In the all-important matter of accuracy, the author cannot hope to have
escaped all the pitfalls that in a peculiarly broad and crowded field
everywhere trip the feet of even the most wary and persistent searchers
after truth. He has naturally been forced to rely for the truth of his
statements chiefly upon numerous secondary works, of which some
acknowledgment is made in the following _Note_, and upon the
kindly criticisms of a number of his colleagues; in some instances,
notably in parts of the chapters on the Protestant Revolt, the French
Revolution, and developments since 1848 in Great Britain, France, and
Germany, he has been able to draw on his own special studies of primary
source material, and in certain of these instances he has ventured to
dissent from opinions that have been copied unquestioningly from one
work to another.

No period of history can be more interesting or illuminating than the
period with which this book is concerned, especially now, when a war of
tremendous magnitude and meaning is attracting the attention of the
whole civilized world and arousing a desire in the minds of all
intelligent persons to know something of the past that has produced it.
The great basic causes of the present war the author has sought, not in
the ambitions of a single power nor in an isolated outrage, but in the
history of four hundred years. He has tried to write a book that would
be suggestive and informing, not only to the ordinary college student,
but to the more mature and thoughtful student of public affairs in the
university of the world.



The author begs to acknowledge his general indebtedness to a veritable
host of historical writers, of whose original researches or secondary
compilations he has constantly and almost unblushingly made use in the
preparation of this book. At the close of the _Introduction_ will
be found a list of the major works dealing with the whole period under
review, or with the greater part of it, which have been drawn upon most
heavily. And there is hardly a book cited in any of the special
bibliographies following the several chapters that has not supplied
some single fact or suggestion to the accompanying narrative.

For many of the general ideas set forth in this work as well as for
painstaking assistance in reading manuscript and correcting errors of
detail, the author confesses his debt to various colleagues in Columbia
University and elsewhere. In particular, Professor R. L. Schuyler has
helpfully read the chapters on English history; Professor James T.
Shotwell, the chapter on the Commercial Revolution; Professor D. S.
Muzzey, the chapters on the French Revolution, Napoleon, and
Metternich; Professor William R. Shepherd, the chapters on "National
Imperialism"; and Professor Edward B. Krehbiel of Leland Stanford
Junior University, the chapter on recent international relations.
Professor E. F. Humphrey of Trinity College (Connecticut) has given
profitable criticism on the greater part of the text; and Professor
Charles A. Beard of Columbia University, Professor Sidney B. Fay of
Smith College, and Mr. Edward L. Durfee of Yale University, have read
the whole work and suggested several valuable emendations. Three
instructors in history at Columbia have been of marked service--Dr.
Austin P. Evans, Mr. D. R. Fox, and Mr. Parker T. Moon. The last named
devoted the chief part of two summers to the task of preparing notes
for several chapters of the book and he has attended the author on the
long dreary road of proof reading.





  The New National Monarchies
  The Old Holy Roman Empire
  The City-States
  Northern and Eastern Europe in the year 1500

  Agriculture in the Sixteenth Century
  Towns on the Eve of the Commercial Revolution
  Trade Prior to the Commercial Revolution
  The Age of Exploration
  Establishment of Colonial Empires
  Effects of the Commercial Revolution

  The Emperor Charles V
  Philip II and the Predominance of Spain

  The Catholic Church at the Opening of the Sixteenth Century
  The Protestant Revolt
  The Catholic Reformation
  Summary of the Religious Revolution in the Sixteenth Century

  The Invention of Printing
  Art in the Sixteenth Century
  National Literatures in the Sixteenth Century
  Beginnings of Modern Natural Science



  Growth of Absolutism in France: Henry IV, Richelieu, and Mazarin
  Struggle between Bourbons and Habsburgs: The Thirty Years' War

  The Age of Louis XIV
  Extension of French Frontiers
  The War of the Spanish Succession

  Conflicting Political Tendencies in England: Absolutism _versus_
  The Puritan Revolution
  The Restoration: the Reign of Charles II
  The "Glorious Revolution" and the Final Establishment of
    Parliamentary Government in Great Britain

  French and English Colonies in the Seventeenth Century
  Preliminary Encounters, 1689-1748
  The Triumph of Great Britain: The Seven Years' War, 1756-1763

  The British Colonial System in the Eighteenth Century
  The War of American Independence, 1775-1783
  The Reformation of the British Empire

  The Holy Roman Empire in Decline
  The Habsburg Dominions
  The Rise of Prussia. The Hohenzollerns
  The Minor German States
  The Struggle between Hohenzollerns and Habsburgs

  Russia in the Seventeenth Century
  Peter the Great
  Sweden and the Career of Charles XII
  Catherine the Great: the Defeat of Turkey and the Dismemberment of



  Agriculture in the Eighteenth Century
  Commerce and Industry in the Eighteenth Century
  The Privileged Classes
  Religious and Ecclesiastical Conditions in the Eighteenth Century
  Scientific and Intellectual Developments in the Eighteenth Century

  The British Monarchy
  The Enlightened Despots
  The French Monarchy

  The End of Absolutism in France, 1789
  The End of the Old Regime: the National Constituent Assembly,
  The Limited Monarchy in Operation: the Legislative Assembly
    (1791-1792) and the Outbreak of Foreign War
  Establishment of the First French Republic: the National
     Convention, 1792-1795
  The Directory (1795-1799) and the Transformation of the Republic into
    a Military Dictatorship
  Significance of the French Revolution

  The French Republic under the Consulate, 1799-1804
  The French Empire and its Territorial Expansion
  Destruction of the French Empire
  Significance of the Era of Napoleon


The story of modern times is but a small fraction of the long epic of
human history. If, as seems highly probable, the conservative estimates
of recent scientists that mankind has inhabited the earth more than
fifty thousand years [Footnote: Professor James Geikie, of the
University of Edinburgh, suggests, in his _Antiquity of Man in
Europe_ (1914), the possible existence of human beings on the earth
more than 500,000 years ago!], are accurate, then the bare five hundred
years which these volumes pass in review constitute, in time, less than
a hundredth part of man's past. Certainly, thousands of years before
our day there were empires and kingdoms and city-states, showing
considerable advancement in those intellectual pursuits which we call
civilization or culture,--that is, in religion, learning, literature,
political organization, and business; and such basic institutions as
the family, the state, and society go back even further, past our
earliest records, until their origins are shrouded in deepest mystery.
Despite its brevity, modern history is of supreme importance. Within
its comparatively brief limits are set greater changes in human life
and action than are to be found in the records of any earlier
millennium. While the present is conditioned in part by the deeds and
thoughts of our distant forbears who lived thousands of years ago, it
has been influenced in a very special way by historical events of the
last five hundred years. Let us see how this is true.

Suppose we ask ourselves in what important respects the year 1900
differed from the year 1400. In other words, what are the great
distinguishing achievements of modern times? At least six may be noted:

(1) _Exploration and knowledge of the whole globe_. To our
ancestors from time out of mind the civilized world was but the lands
adjacent to the Mediterranean and, at most, vague stretches of Persia,
India, and China. Not much over four hundred years ago was America
discovered and the globe circumnavigated for the first time, and very
recently has the use of steamship, telegraph, and railway served to
bind together the uttermost parts of the world, thereby making it
relatively smaller, less mysterious, and in culture more unified.

(2) _Higher standards of individual efficiency and comfort_. The
physical welfare of the individual has been promoted to a greater
degree, or at all events preached more eloquently, within the last few
generations than ever before. This has doubtless been due to changes in
the commonplace everyday life of all the people. It must be remembered
that in the fifteenth century man did the ordinary things of life in
much the same manner as did early Romans or Greeks or Egyptians, and
that our present remarkable ways of living, of working, and of
traveling are the direct outcome of the Commercial Revolution of the
sixteenth century and of the Industrial Revolution of the nineteenth.

(3) _Intensification of political organization, with attendant public
guarantees of personal liberties_. The ideas of nationalism and of
democracy are essentially modern in their expression. The notion that
people who speak the same language and have a common culture should be
organized as an independent state with uniform laws and customs was
hardly held prior to the fifteenth century. The national states of
England, France, and Spain did not appear unmistakably with their
national boundaries, national consciousness, national literature, until
the opening of the sixteenth century; and it was long afterwards that
in Italy and Germany the national idea supplanted the older notions of
world empire or of city-state or of feudalism. The national state has
proved everywhere a far more powerful political organization than any
other: its functions have steadily increased, now at the expense of
feudalism, now at the expense of the church; and such increase has been
as constant under industrial democracy of the nineteenth and twentieth
centuries as under the benevolent despotism of the seventeenth and
eighteenth centuries. But in measure as government has enlarged its
scope, the governed have worked out and applied protective principles
of personal liberties. The Puritan Revolution, the French Revolution,
the American Revolution, the uprisings of oppressed populations
throughout the nineteenth century, would be quite inexplicable in other
than modern times. In fact the whole political history of the last four
centuries is in essence a series of compromises between the conflicting
results of the modern exaltation of the state and the modern exaltation
of the individual.

(4) _Replacement of the idea of the necessity of uniformity in a
definite faith and religion by toleration of many faiths or even of no
faith_. A great state religion, professed publicly, and financially
supported by all the citizens, has been a distinguishing mark of every
earlier age. Whatever else may be thought of the Protestant movement of
the sixteenth century, of the rise of deism and skepticism in the
seventeenth and eighteenth, and of the existence of scientific
rationalism in the nineteenth and twentieth, there can be little doubt
that each of them has contributed its share to the prevalence of the
idea that religion is essentially a private, not a public, affair and
that friendly rivalry in good works is preferable to uniformity in

(5) _Diffusion of learning_. The invention of printing towards the
close of the fifteenth century gradually revolutionized the pursuit of
knowledge and created a real democracy of letters. What learning might
have lost in depth through its marvelous broadening has perhaps been
compensated for by the application of the keenest minds in the
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries to experimental science and in our
own day to applied science.

(6) _Spirit of progress and decline of conservatism_. For better
or for worse the modern man is intellectually more self-reliant than
his ancestors, more prone to try new inventions and to profit by new
discoveries, more conscious and therefore more critical of conditions
about him, more convinced that he lives in a better world than did his
fathers, and that his children who come after him should have a better
chance than he has had. This is the modern spirit. It is the product of
all the other elements of the history of five hundred years--the larger
geographical horizon, the greater physical comfort, the revolutionized
political institutions, the broader sympathies, the newer ideals of
education. Springing thus from events of the past few centuries, the
modern spirit nevertheless looks ever forward, not backward. A debtor
to the past, it will be doubly creditor to the future. It will
determine the type of individual and social betterment through coming
centuries. Such an idea is implied in the phrase, "the continuity of
history"--the ever-flowing stream of happenings that brings down to us
the heritage of past ages and that carries on our richer legacies to
generations yet unborn.

From such a conception of the continuity of history, the real
significance of our study can be derived. It becomes perfectly clear
that if we understand the present we shall be better prepared to face
the problems and difficulties of the future. But to understand the
present thoroughly, it becomes necessary not only to learn what are its
great features and tendencies, but likewise how they have been evolved.
Now, as we have already remarked, six most important characteristics of
the present day have been developed within the last four or five
centuries. To follow the history of this period, therefore, will tend
to familiarize us both with present-day conditions and with future
needs. This is the genuine justification for the study of the history
of modern times.

Modern history may conveniently be defined as that part of history
which deals with the origin and evolution of the great distinguishing
characteristics of the present. No precise dates can be assigned to
modern history as contrasted with what has commonly been called ancient
or medieval. In a sense, any division of the historical stream into
parts or periods is fundamentally fallacious: for example, inasmuch as
the present generation owes to the Greeks of the fourth century before
Christ many of its artistic models and philosophical ideas and very few
of its political theories, the former might plausibly be embraced in
the field of modern history, the latter excluded therefrom. But the
problem before us is not so difficult as may seem on first thought. To
all intents and purposes the development of the six characteristics
that have been noted has taken place within five hundred years. The
sixteenth century witnessed the true beginnings of the change in the
extensive world discoveries, in the establishment of a recognized
European state system, in the rise of Protestantism, and in the
quickening of intellectual activity. It is the foundation of modern

The sixteenth century will therefore be the general subject of Part I
of this volume. After reviewing the geography of Europe about the year
1500, we shall take up in turn the _four_ factors of the century
which have had a lasting influence upon us: (1) socially and
economically--The Commercial Revolution; (2) politically--European
Politics in the Sixteenth Century; (3) religiously and
ecclesiastically--The Protestant Revolt; (4) intellectually--The
Culture of the Sixteenth Century.


THE STUDY OF HISTORY. On historical method: C. V. Langlois and Charles
Seignobos, _Introduction to the Study of History_, trans. by G. G.
Berry (1912); J. M. Vincent, _Historical Research: an Outline of Theory
and Practice_ (1911); H. B. George, _Historical Evidence_ (1909); F. M.
Fling, _Outline of Historical Method_ (1899). Different views of
history: J. H. Robinson, _The New History_ (1912), a collection of
stimulating essays; J. T. Shotwell, suggestive article _History_ in
11th edition of _Encyclopædia Britannica_; T. B. Macaulay, essay on
_History_; Thomas Carlyle, _Heroes and Hero Worship_; Karl Lamprecht,
_What is History_? trans. by E. A. Andrews (1905). Also see Henry
Johnson, _The Teaching of History_ (1915); Eduard Fueter, _Geschichte
der neueren Historiographie_ (1911); Ernst Bernheim, _Lehrbuch der
historischen Methode und der Geschichtsphilosophie_, 5th ed. (1914); G.
P. Gooch, _History and Historians in the Nineteenth Century_ (1913).

Beard, _The Development of Modern Europe_, 2 vols. (1907), a political
and social narrative from the time of Louis XIV, and by the same
authors, _Readings in Modern European History_, 2 vols. (1908-1909), an
indispensable sourcebook, with critical bibliographies; Ferdinand
Schevill, _A Political History of Modern Europe from the Reformation to
the Present Day_ (1907); T. H. Dyer, _A History of Modern Europe from
the Fall of Constantinople_, 3d ed. revised and continued to the end of
the nineteenth century by Arthur Hassall, 6 vols. (1901), somewhat
antiquated but still valuable for its vast store of political facts;
Victor Duruy, _History of Modern Times from the Fall of Constantinople
to the French Revolution_, trans. by E. A. Grosvenor (1894), verbose
and somewhat uncritical, but usable for French history. More up-to-date
series of historical manuals are now appearing or are projected by
Henry Holt and Company under the editorship of Professor C. H. Haskins,
by The Century Company under Professor G. L. Burr, by Ginn and Company
under Professor J. H. Robinson, and by Houghton Mifflin Company under
Professor J. T. Shotwell: such of these volumes as have appeared are
noted in the appropriate chapter bibliographies following. The
Macmillan Company has published _Periods of European History,_ 8 vols.
(1893-1901), under the editorship of Arthur Hassall, of which the last
five volumes treat of political Europe from 1494 to 1899; and a more
elementary political series, _Six Ages of European History_, 6 vols.
(1910), under the editorship of A. H. Johnson, of which the last three
volumes cover the years from 1453 to 1878. Much additional information
is obtainable from such popular series as _Story of the Nations_ (1886
_sqq._), _Heroes of the Nations_ (1890 _sqq._), and _Home University
Library,_ though the volumes in such series are of very unequal merit.
Convenient chronological summaries are: G. P. and G. H. Putnam,
_Tabular Views of Universal History_ (1914); Carl Ploetz, _Manual of
Universal History_, trans. and enlarged by W. H. Tillinghast, new
edition (1915); _Haydn's Dictionary of Dates_, 25th ed. (1911); C. E.
Little, _Cyclopædia of Classified Dates_ (1900); _Cambridge Modern
History_, Vol. XIII (1911). The best atlas--a vitally necessary adjunct
of historical study--is either that of W. R. Shepherd, _Historical
Atlas_ (1911), or that of Ramsay Muir, _Hammond's New Historical Atlas
for Students_, 2d ed. (1915); a smaller historical atlas is that of E.
W. Dow (1907), and longer ones are _Cambridge Modern History_, Vol. XIV
(1912) and, in German, Putzger, _Historischer Schulatlas_. Elaborate
treatises on historical geography: Elisée Reclus, _The Universal
Geography_, trans. and ed. by E. G. Ravenstein, 19 vols.; _Nouveau
Dictionnaire de Géographie Universelle_, by Vivien de Saint-Martin and
Louis Rousselet, 10 vols. See also H. B. George, _The Relations of
Geography and History_ (1910) and Ellen C. Semple, _The Influence of
Geographic Environment_ (1911).

Modern History_, 12 vols. and 2 supplementary vols. (1902-1912),
planned by Lord Acton, edited by A. W. Ward, G. W. Prothero, and
Stanley Leathes, written by English scholars, covering the period from
1450 to 1910, generally sound but rather narrowly political. Better
balanced is the monumental work of a group of French scholars,
_Histoire générale du IVe siècle à nos jours_, edited by Ernest Lavisse
and Alfred Rambaud, 12 vols. (1894-1901), of which the last nine treat
of the years from 1492 to 1900. For social history a series, _Histoire
universelle du travail_, 12 vols., is projected under the editorship of
Georges Renard. _The Encyclopædia Britannica_, 11th ed. (1910-1911), is
the work mainly of distinguished scholars and a storehouse of
historical information, political, social, and intellectual. Also
available in English is _History of All Nations_, 24 vols. (1902), the
first nineteen based on translation of Theodor Flathe, _Allgemeine
Weltgeschichte_,--Vols. X-XXIV dealing with modern history,--Vol. XX,
on Europe, Asia, and Africa since 1871, by C. M. Andrews, and Vols.
XXI-XXIII, on American history, by John Fiske; likewise H. F. Helmolt
(editor), _Weltgeschichte_, trans. into English, 8 vols. (1902-1907).
Sets and series in German: Wilhelm Oncken (editor), _Allgemeine
Geschichte in Einzeldarstellungen_, 50 vols. (1879-1893); _Geschichte
der europäischen Staaten_, an enormous collection, appearing more or
less constantly from 1829 to the present and edited successively by
such famous scholars as A. H. L. Heeren, F. A. Ukert, Wilhelm von
Giesebrecht, and Karl Lamprecht; G. von Below and F. Meinecke
(editors), _Handbuch der mittel-alterlichen und neueren Geschichte_, a
series begun in 1903 and planned, when completed, to comprise 40 vols.;
Paul Hinneberg (editor), _Die Kultur der Gegenwart, ihre Entwicklung
und ihre Ziele_, a remarkable series begun in 1906 and intended to
explain in many volumes the civilization of the twentieth century in
all its aspects; Erich Brandenburg (editor), _Bibliothek der
Geschichtswissenschaft_, a series recently projected, the first volume
appearing in 1912; J. von Pflugk-Harttung, _Weltgeschichte: die
Entwicklung der Menschheit in Staat und Gesellschaft, in Kultur und
Geistesleben_, 6 vols. illust. (1908-1911); Theodor Lindner,
_Weltgeschichte seit der Völkerwanderung_, 8 vols. (1908-1914).
Valuable contributions to general modern history occur in such
monumental national histories as Karl Lamprecht, _Deutsche Geschichte_,
12 vols. in 16 (1891-1909), and, more particularly, Ernest Lavisse
(editor), _Histoire de France depuis les origines jusqu'à la
Révolution_, 9 double vols. (1900-1911).

BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARIES. General: _Encyclopedia Britannica_, 11th
ed., 29 vols. (1910-1911); _New International Encyclopedia_, 2d ed., 24
vols. (1914-1916); _Catholic Encyclopedia_, 15 vols. (1907-1912). Great
Britain: Leslie Stephen and Sidney Lee (editors), _Dictionary of
National Biography_, 72 vols. (1885-1913). France: Hoefer (editor),
_Nouvelle biographie générale_, 46 vols. (1855-1866); _Dictionnaire de
biographie française_, projected (1913) under editorship of Louis
Didier, Albert Isnard, and Gabriel Ledos. Germany: Liliencron and
Wegele (editors), _Allgemeine deutsche Biographie_, 54 vols. (1875
_sqq_.). Austria-Hungary: Wurzbach (editor), _Biographisches Lexikon
des Kaiserthums Oesterreich_, 60 vols. (1856-1891). There is also a
well-known French work--L. G. Michaud, _Biographie universelle ancienne
et moderne_, 45 vols. (1880).

BIBLIOGRAPHY. Many of the works cited above and most of the works
mentioned in the following chapter bibliographies contain convenient
bibliographies on special topics. The best general guide to collections
of source material and to the organization of historical study and
research, though already somewhat out-of-date, is C. V. Langlois,
_Manuel de bibliographie historique_, 2 vols. (1901-1904). See also C.
M. Andrews, J. M. Gambrill, and Lida Tall, _A Bibliography of History
for Schools and Libraries_ (1910); and C. K. Adams, _A Manual of
Historical Literature_, 3d ed. (1889). Specifically, for Great Britain:
W. P. Courtney, _A Register of National Bibliography_, 3 vols. (1905-
1912); S. R. Gardiner and J. B. Mullinger, _Introduction to the Study
of English History_, 4th ed. (1903); H. L. Cannon, _Reading References
for English History_ (1910); _Bibliography of Modern English History_,
now (1916) in preparation under the auspices of English scholars and of
the American Historical Association. For German bibliography: Dahlmann-
Waitz, _Quellenkunde der deutschen Geschichte_, 8th ed. (1912);
_Jahresberichte der Geschichtswissenschaft_, a valuable annual
publication issued under the auspices of the Historical Association of
Berlin. For French bibliography: Gabriel Monod, _Bibliographie de
l'histoire de France_ (1888), new ed. projected (1910) in 4 vols.;
_Manuels de bibliographie historique_ (1907-1916): Part II, 1494-1610,
by Henri Hauser, _Part III, 1610-1715_, by Émile Bourgeois and Louis
André; _Répertoire méthodique de l'histoire moderne et contemporaine de
la France_, an annual publication edited by Brière and Caron. For
American bibliography: Edward Channing, A. B. Hart, and F. J. Turner,
_Guide to the Study of American History_ (1912). Among important
historical periodicals, containing bibliographical notes and book
reviews, are, _History Teacher's Magazine, The American Historical
Review, The English Historical Review, Die historische Zeitschrift,
Revue d'histoire moderne et contemporaine, La revue historique_, and
_La revue des questions historiques_. For periodical literature see
_Poole's Index_ (1802-1906) and _Readers' Guide_ (1900 _sqq._). The
most famous lists of published books are: _The American Catalogue_
(1876 _sqq._); the _English Catalogue_ (1835 _sqq._); C. G. Kayser,
_Bücher-Lexikon_ (1750 _sqq._); Wilhelm Heinsius, _Bücher-Lexikon_
(1700-1892); Otto Lorenz, _Catalogue général de la librarie française
(1840 _sqq_.); and, for general comment, American Library Association,
_Index to General Literature_ (1893 _sqq._).






[Sidenote: "National Monarchies" in 1500]

Before we can safely proceed with the story of European development
during the past four hundred years, it is necessary to know what were
the chief countries that existed at the beginning of our period and
what were the distinctive political institutions of each.

A glance at the map of Europe in 1500 will show numerous unfamiliar
divisions and names, especially in the central and eastern portions.
Only in the extreme west, along the Atlantic seaboard, will the eye
detect geographical boundaries which resemble those of the present day.
There, England, France, Spain, and Portugal have already taken form. In
each one of these countries is a real nation, with a single monarch,
and with a distinctive literary language. These four states are the
_national_ states of the sixteenth century. They attract our
immediate attention.


[Sidenote: The English Monarchy]

In the year 1500 the English monarchy embraced little more than what on
the map is now called "England." It is true that to the west the
principality of Wales had been incorporated two hundred years earlier,
but the clannish mountaineers and hardy lowlanders of the northern part
of the island of Great Britain still preserved the independence of the
kingdom of Scotland, while Irish princes and chieftains rendered
English occupation of their island extremely precarious beyond the so-
called Pale of Dublin which an English king had conquered in the
twelfth century. Across the English Channel, on the Continent, the
English monarchy retained after 1453, the date of the conclusion of the
Hundred Years' War, only the town of Calais out of the many rich French
provinces which ever since the time of William the Conqueror (1066-
1087) had been a bone of contention between French and English rulers.

While the English monarchy was assuming its geographical form, peculiar
national institutions were taking root in the country, and the English
language, as a combination of earlier Anglo-Saxon and Norman-French,
was being evolved. The Hundred Years' War with France, or rather its
outcome, served to exalt the sense of English nationality and English
patriotism, and to enable the king to devote his whole attention to the
consolidation of his power in the British islands. For several years
after the conclusion of peace on the Continent, England was harassed by
bloody and confused struggles, known as the Wars of the Roses, between
rival claimants to the throne, but at length, in 1485, Henry VII, the
first of the Tudor dynasty, secured the crown and ushered in a new era
of English history.

[Sidenote: Increase of Royal Power in England under Henry VII]

Henry VII (1485-1509) sought to create what has been termed a "strong
monarchy." Traditionally the power of the king had been restricted by a
Parliament, composed of a House of Lords and a House of Commons, and as
the former was then far more influential than the latter, supreme
political control had rested practically with the king and the members
of the upper house--great land-holding nobles and the princes of the
church. The Wars of the Roses had two effects which redounded to the
advantage of the king: (1) the struggle, being really a contest of two
factions of nobles, destroyed many noble families and enabled the crown
to seize their estates, thereby lessening the influence of an ancient
class; (2) the struggle, being long and disorderly, created in the
middle class or "common people" a longing for peace and the conviction
that order and security could be maintained only by repression of the
nobility and the strengthening of monarchy. Henry took advantage of
these circumstances to fix upon his country an absolutism, or one-man
power in government, which was to endure throughout the sixteenth
century, during the reigns of the four other members of the Tudor
family, and, in fact, until a popular revolution in the seventeenth

Henry VII repressed disorder with a heavy hand and secured the
establishment of an extraordinary court, afterwards called the "Court
of Star Chamber," to hear cases, especially those affecting the nobles,
which the ordinary courts had not been able to settle. Then, too, he
was very economical: the public revenue was increased by means of more
careful attention to the cultivation of the crown lands and the
collection of feudal dues, fines, benevolences [Footnote:
"Benevolences" were sums of money extorted from the people in the guise
of gifts. A celebrated minister of Henry VII collected a very large
number of "benevolences" for his master. If a man lived economically,
it was reasoned he was saving money and could afford a "present" for
the king. If, on the contrary, he lived sumptuously, he was evidently
wealthy and could likewise afford a "gift."], import and export duties,
and past parliamentary grants, while, by means of frugality and a
foreign policy of peace, the expenditure was appreciably decreased.
Henry VII was thereby freed in large measure from dependence on
Parliament for grants of money, and the power of Parliament naturally
declined. In fact, Parliament met only five times during his whole
reign and only once during the last twelve years, and in all its
actions was quite subservient to the royal desires.

[Sidenote: Foreign relations of England under Henry VII]

Henry VII refrained in general from foreign war, but sought by other
means to promote the international welfare of his country. He
negotiated several treaties by which English traders might buy and sell
goods in other countries. One of the most famous of these commercial
treaties was the _Intercursus Magnus_ concluded in 1496 with the
duke of Burgundy, admitting English goods into the Netherlands. He
likewise encouraged English companies of merchants to engage in foreign
trade and commissioned the explorations of John Cabot in the New World.
Henry increased the prestige of his house by politic marital alliances.
He arranged a marriage between the heir to his throne, Arthur, and
Catherine, eldest daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella, the Spanish
sovereigns. Arthur died a few months after his wedding, but it was
arranged that Catherine should remain in England as the bride of the
king's second son, who subsequently became Henry VIII. The king's
daughter Margaret was married to King James IV of Scotland, thereby
paving the way much later for the union of the crowns of England and

England in the year 1500 was a real national monarchy, and the power of
the king appeared to be distinctly in the ascendant. Parliament was
fast becoming a purely formal and perfunctory body.


[Sidenote: The French Monarchy]

By the year 1500 the French monarchy was largely consolidated
territorially and politically. It had been a slow and painful process,
for long ago in 987, when Hugh Capet came to the throne, the France of
his day was hardly more than the neighborhood of Paris, and it had
taken five full centuries to unite the petty feudal divisions of the
country into the great centralized state which we call France. The
Hundred Years' War had finally freed the western duchies and counties
from English control. Just before the opening of the sixteenth century
the wily and tactful Louis XI (1461-1483) had rounded out French
territories: on the east he had occupied the powerful duchy of
Burgundy; on the west and on the southeast he had possessed himself of
most of the great inheritance of the Angevin branch of his own family,
including Anjou, and Provence east of the Rhone; and on the south the
French frontier had been carried to the Pyrenees. Finally, Louis's son,
Charles VIII (1483-1498), by marrying the heiress of Brittany, had
absorbed that western duchy into France.

[Sidenote: Steady Growth of Royal Power in France]

Meanwhile, centralized political institutions had been taking slow but
tenacious root in the country. Of course, many local institutions and
customs survived in the various states which had been gradually added
to France, but the king was now recognized from Flanders to Spain and
from the Rhone to the Ocean as the source of law, justice, and order.
There was a uniform royal coinage and a standing army under the king's
command. The monarchs had struggled valiantly against the disruptive
tendencies of feudalism; they had been aided by the commoners or middle
class; and the proof of their success was their comparative freedom
from political checks. The Estates-General, to which French commoners
had been admitted in 1302, resembled in certain externals the English
Parliament,--for example, in comprising representatives of the clergy,
nobles, and commons,--but it had never had final say in levying taxes
or in authorizing expenditures or in trying royal officers. And unlike
England, there was in France no live tradition of popular participation
in government and no written guarantee of personal liberty.

[Sidenote: Foreign Relations of the French Kings about 1500]

Consolidated at home in territory and in government, Frenchmen began
about the year 1500 to be attracted to questions of external policy. By
attempting to enforce an inherited claim to the crown of Naples,
Charles VIII in 1494 started that career of foreign war and
aggrandizement which was to mark the history of France throughout
following centuries. His efforts in Italy were far from successful, but
his heir, Louis XII (1498-1515), continued to lay claim to Naples and
to the duchy of Milan as well. In 1504 Louis was obliged to resign
Naples to King Ferdinand of Aragon, in whose family it remained for two
centuries, but about Milan continued a conflict, with varying fortunes,
ultimately merging into the general struggle between Francis I (1515-
1547) and the Emperor Charles V.

France in the year 1500 was a real national monarchy, with the
beginnings of a national literature and with a national patriotism
centering in the king. It was becoming self-conscious. Like England,
France was on the road to one-man power, but unlike England, the way
had been marked by no liberal or constitutional mile-posts.


[Sidenote: Development of the Spanish and Portuguese Monarchies]

South of the Pyrenees were the Spanish and Portuguese monarchies,
which, in a long process of unification, not only had to contend
against the same disuniting tendencies as appeared in France and
England, but also had to solve the problem of the existence side by
side of two great rival religions--Christianity and Mohammedanism.
Mohammedan invaders from Africa had secured political control of nearly
the whole peninsula as early as the eighth century, but in course of
time there appeared in the northern and western mountains several
diminutive Christian states, of which the following may be mentioned:
Barcelona, in the northeast, along the Mediterranean; Aragon, occupying
the south-central portion of the Pyrenees and extending southward
toward the Ebro River; Navarre, at the west of the Pyrenees, reaching
northward into what is now France and southward into what is now Spain;
Castile, west of Navarre, circling about the town of Burgos; Leon, in
the northwestern corner of the peninsula; and Portugal, south of Leon,
lying along the Atlantic coast. Little by little these Christian states
extended their southern frontiers at the expense of the Mohammedan
power and showed some disposition to combine. In the twelfth century
Barcelona was united with the kingdom of Aragon, and a hundred years
later Castile and Leon were finally joined. Thus, by the close of the
thirteenth century, there were three important states in the peninsula
--Aragon on the east, Castile in the center, and Portugal on the west--
and two less important states--Christian Navarre in the extreme north,
and Mohammedan Granada in the extreme south.

While Portugal acquired its full territorial extension in the peninsula
by the year 1263, the unity of modern Spain was delayed until after the
marriage of Ferdinand (1479-1516) and Isabella (1474-1504), sovereigns
respectively of Aragon and Castile. Granada, the last foothold of the
Mohammedans, fell in 1492, and in 1512 Ferdinand acquired that part of
the ancient kingdom of Navarre which lay upon the southern slope of the
Pyrenees. The peninsula was henceforth divided between the two modern
states of Spain and Portugal.

[Sidenote: Portugal a Real National Monarchy in 1500]

Portugal, the older and smaller of the two states, had become a
conspicuous member of the family of nations by the year 1500, thanks to
a line of able kings and to the remarkable series of foreign
discoveries that cluster about the name of Prince Henry the Navigator.
Portugal possessed a distinctive language of Latin origin and already
cherished a literature of no mean proportions. In harmony with the
spirit of the age the monarchy was tending toward absolutism, and the
parliament, called the Cortes, which had played an important part in
earlier times, ceased to meet regularly after 1521. The Portuguese
royal family were closely related to the Castilian line, and there were
people in both kingdoms who hoped that one day the whole peninsula
would be united under one sovereign.

[Sidenote: The Spanish Kingdom in 1500]

From several standpoints the Spanish monarchy was less unified in 1500
than England, France, or Portugal. The union of Castile and Aragon was,
for over two centuries, hardly more than personal. Each retained its
own customs, parliaments (Cortes), and separate administration. Each
possessed a distinctive language, although Castilian gradually became
the literary "Spanish," while Catalan, the speech of Aragon, was
reduced to the position of an inferior. Despite the continuance of
excessive pride in local traditions and institutions, the cause of
Spanish nationality received great impetus during the reign of
Ferdinand and Isabella. It was under them that territorial unity had
been obtained. It was they who turned the attention of Spaniards to
foreign and colonial enterprises. The year that marked the fall of
Granada and the final extinction of Mohammedan power in Spain was
likewise signalized by the first voyage of Christopher Columbus, which
prefigured the establishment of a greater Spain beyond the seas. On the
continent of Europe, Spain speedily acquired a commanding position in
international affairs, as the result largely of Ferdinand's ability.
The royal house of Aragon had long held claims to the Neapolitan and
Sicilian kingdoms and for two hundred years had freely mixed in the
politics of Italy. Now, in 1504, Ferdinand definitely secured
recognition from France of his rights in Naples, Sicily, and Sardinia.
Spain was becoming the rival of Venice for the leadership of the

[Sidenote: Increase of Royal Power in Spain under Ferdinand and

While interfering very little with the forms of representative
government in their respective kingdoms, Ferdinand and Isabella worked
ever, in fact, toward uniformity and absolutism. They sought to
ingratiate themselves with the middle class, to strip the nobility of
its political influence, and to enlist the church in their service. The
Cortes were more or less regularly convened, but their functions were
almost imperceptibly transferred to royal commissions and officers of
state. Privileges granted to towns in earlier times were now gradually
revoked. The king, by becoming the head of the ancient military orders
which had borne prominent part in the struggle against the Mohammedans,
easily gained control of considerable treasure and of an effective
fighting force. The sovereigns prevailed upon the pope to transfer
control of the Inquisition, the medieval ecclesiastical tribunal for
the trial of heretics, to the crown, so that the harsh penalties which
were to be inflicted for many years upon dissenters from orthodox
Christianity were due not only to religious bigotry but likewise to the
desire for political uniformity.

In population and in domestic resources Spain was not so important as
France, but the exploits of Ferdinand and Isabella, the great wealth
which temporarily flowed to her from the colonies, the prestige which
long attended her diplomacy and her armies, were to exalt the Spanish
monarchy throughout the sixteenth century to a position quite out of
keeping with her true importance.


[Sidenote: The Idea of an "Empire" Different in 1500 from that of a
"National Monarchy"]

The national monarchies of western Europe--England, France, Spain, and
Portugal--were political novelties in the year 1500: the idea of
uniting the people of similar language and customs under a strongly
centralized state had been slowly developing but had not reached
fruition much before that date. On the other hand, in central Europe
survived in weakness an entirely different kind of state, called an
empire. The theory of an empire was a very ancient one--it meant a
state which should embrace all peoples of whatsoever race or language,
bound together in obedience to a common prince. Such, for example, had
been the ideal of the old Roman Empire, under whose Caesars practically
the whole civilized world had once been joined, so that the inhabitant
of Egypt or Armenia united with the citizen of Britain or Spain in
allegiance to the emperor. That empire retained its hold on portions of
eastern Europe until its final conquest by the Ottoman Turks in 1453,
but a thousand years earlier it had lost control of the West because of
external violence and internal weakness. So great, however, was the
strength of the idea of an "empire," even in the West, that Charlemagne
about the year 800 temporarily united what are now France, Germany,
Italy, the Netherlands, and Belgium into what he persisted in styling
the "Roman Empire." Nearly two centuries later, Otto the Great, a
famous prince in Germany, gave other form to the idea, in the "Holy
Roman Empire" of which he became emperor. This form endured from 962 to

[Sidenote: The Holy Roman Empire; Its Mighty Claims in Theory and its
Slight Power in Practice]

In theory, the Holy Roman Empire claimed supremacy over all Christian
rulers and peoples of central and western Europe, and after the
extinction of the eastern empire in 1453 it could insist that it was
the sole secular heir to the ancient Roman tradition. But the greatness
of the theoretical claim of the Holy Roman Empire was matched only by
the insignificance of its practical acceptance. The feudal nobles of
western Europe had never recognized it, and the national monarchs,
though they might occasionally sport with its honors and titles, never
admitted any real dependence upon it of England, France, Portugal, or
Spain. In central Europe, it had to struggle against the anarchical
tendencies of feudalism, against the rise of powerful and jealous city-
states, and against a rival organization, the Catholic Church, which in
its temporal affairs was at least as clearly an heir to the Roman
tradition as was the Holy Roman Empire. From the eleventh to the
thirteenth century the conflict raged, with results important for all
concerned,--results which were thoroughly obvious in the year 1500.

[Sidenote: The Holy Roman Empire practically Restricted by 1500 to the

In the first place, the Holy Roman Empire was practically restricted to
German-speaking peoples. The papacy and the Italian cities had been
freed from imperial control, and both the Netherlands--that is, Holland
and Belgium--and the Swiss cantons were only nominally connected. Over
the Slavic people to the east--Russians, Poles, etc.--or the
Scandinavians to the north, the empire had secured comparatively small
influence. By the year 1500 the words Empire and Germany had become
virtually interchangeable terms.

Secondly, there was throughout central Europe no conspicuous desire for
strong centralized national states, such as prevailed in western

[Sidenote: Internal Weakness of the Holy Roman Empire]

Separatism was the rule. In Italy and in the Netherlands the city-
states were the political units. Within the Holy Roman Empire was a
vast hodge-podge of city-states, and feudal survivals--arch-duchies,
such as Austria; margravates, such as Brandenburg; duchies, like
Saxony, Bavaria, and Württemberg; counties like the Palatinate, and a
host of free cities, baronies, and domains, some of them smaller than
an American township. In all there were over three hundred states which
collectively were called "the Germanies" and which were united only by
the slender imperial thread. The idea of empire had not only been
narrowed to one nation; it also, in its failure to overcome feudalism,
had prevented the growth of a real national monarchy.

[Sidenote: Government of the Holy Roman Empire]

What was the nature of this slight tie that nominally held the
Germanies together? There was the form of a central government with an
emperor to execute laws and a Diet to make them. The emperor was not
necessarily hereditary but was chosen by seven "electors," who were the
chief princes of the realm. These seven were the archbishops of Mainz
(Mayence), of Cologne, and of Trier (Trèves), the king of Bohemia, the
duke of Saxony, the margrave of Brandenburg, and the count palatine of
the Rhine. Not infrequently the electors used their position to extort
concessions from the emperor elect which helped to destroy German unity
and to promote the selfish interests of the princes. The imperial Diet
was composed of the seven electors, the lesser princes (including the
higher ecclesiastical dignitaries, such as bishops and abbots), and
representatives of the free cities, grouped in three separate houses.
The emperor was not supposed to perform any imperial act without the
authorization of the Diet, and petty jealousies between its members or
houses often prevented action in the Diet. The individual states,
moreover, reserved to themselves the management of most affairs which
in western Europe had been surrendered to the central national
government. The Diet, and therefore the emperor, was without a treasury
or an army, unless the individual states saw fit to act favorably upon
its advice and furnish the requested quotas. The Diet resembled far
more a congress of diplomats than a legislative body.

[Sidenote: The Habsburgs: Weak as Emperors but Strong as Rulers of
Particular States within the Holy Roman Empire]

It will be readily perceived that under these circumstances the emperor
as such could have little influence. Yet the fear of impending Slavic
or Turkish attacks upon the eastern frontier, or other fears,
frequently operated to secure the election of some prince who had
sufficiently strong power of his own to stay the attack or remove the
fear. In this way, Rudolph, count of Habsburg, had been chosen emperor
in 1273, and in his family, with few interruptions, continued the
imperial title, not only to 1500 but to the final extinction of the
empire in 1806. Several of these Habsburg emperors were influential,
but it must always be remembered that they owed their power not to the
empire but to their own hereditary states.

Originally lords of a small district in Switzerland, the Habsburgs had
gradually increased their holdings until at length in 1273 Rudolph, the
maker of his family's real fortunes, had been chosen Holy Roman
Emperor, and three years later had conquered the valuable archduchy of
Austria with its capital of Vienna. The family subsequently became
related by marriage to reigning families in Hungary and in Italy as
well as in Bohemia and other states of the empire. In 1477 the Emperor
Maximilian I (1493-1519) married Mary of Burgundy, daughter of Charles
the Bold and heiress of the wealthy provinces of the Netherlands; and
in 1496 his son Philip was united to Joanna, the daughter of Ferdinand
and Isabella and heiress of the crowns of Castile and Aragon. The
fortunes of the Habsburgs were decidedly auspicious.

[Sidenote: Vain Attempts to "Reform" the Holy Roman Empire]

Of course, signs were not wanting of some national life in the
Germanies. Most of the people spoke a common language; a form of
national unity existed in the Diet; and many patriots raised their
voice in behalf of a stronger and more centralized government. In 1495
a Diet met at the city of Worms to discuss with Emperor Maximilian
projects of reform. After protracted debates, it was agreed that
private warfare, a survival of feudal days, should be abolished; a
perpetual peace should be declared; and an imperial court should be
established to settle all disputes between states within the empire.
These efforts at reform, like many before and after, were largely
unfruitful, and, despite occasional protests, practical disunion
prevailed in the Germanies of the sixteenth century, albeit under the
high-sounding title of "Holy Roman Empire."


[Sidenote: "City-States" in 1500]

Before the dawn of the Christian era the Greeks and Romans had
entertained a general idea of political organization which would seem
strange to most of us at the present time. They believed that every
city with its outlying country should constitute an independent state,
with its own particular law-making and governing bodies, army, coinage,
and foreign relations. To them, the idea of an empire was intolerable
and the concept of a national state, such as we commonly have to-day,

Now it so happened, as we shall see in the following chapter, that the
commerce of the middle ages stimulated the growth of important trading
towns in Italy, in Germany, and in the Netherlands. These towns, in one
way or another, managed to secure a large measure of self-government,
so that by the year 1500 they had become somewhat similar to the city-
states of antiquity. In Germany, though they still maintained their
local self-government, they were loosely attached to the Holy Roman
Empire and were overshadowed in political influence by other states. In
the case of Italy and of the Netherlands, however, it is impossible to
understand the politics of those countries in the sixteenth century
without paying some attention to city-states, which played leading
rôles in both.

[Sidenote: Italy in 1500 neither a National Monarchy not Attached to
the Holy Roman Empire]

In the Italy of the year 1500 there was not even the semblance of
national political unity. Despite the ardent longings of many Italian
patriots [Footnote: Of such patriots was Machiavelli (see below, p.
194). Machiavelli wrote in _The Prince:_ "Our country, left almost
without life, still waits to know who it is that is to heal her
bruises, to put an end to the devastation and plunder of Lombardy and
to the exactions and imposts of Naples and Tuscany, and to stanch those
wounds of hers which long neglect has changed into running sores. We
see how she prays God to send some one to rescue her from these
barbarous cruelties and oppressions. We see too how ready and eager she
is to follow any standard, were there only some one to raise it."], and
the rise of a common language, which, under such masters as Dante and
Petrarch, had become a great medium for literary expression, the people
of the peninsula had not built up a national monarchy like those of
western Europe nor had they even preserved the form of allegiance to
the Holy Roman Empire. This was due to several significant events of
earlier times. In the first place, the attempt of the medieval German
emperors to gain control of Italy not only had signally failed but had
left behind two contending factions throughout the whole country,--one,
the Ghibellines, supporting the doctrine of maintaining the traditional
connection with the Germanies; the other, the Guelphs, rejecting that
doctrine. In the second place, the pope, who exercised extensive
political as well as religious power, felt that his ecclesiastical
influence would be seriously impaired by the creation of political
unity in the country; a strong lay monarch with a solid Italy behind
him would in time reduce the sovereign pontiff to a subservient
position and diminish the prestige which the head of the church enjoyed
in foreign lands; therefore the popes participated actively in the game
of Italian politics, always endeavoring to prevent any one state from
becoming too powerful. Thirdly, the comparatively early commercial
prominence of the Italian towns had stimulated trade rivalries which
tended to make each proud of its independence and wealth; and as the
cities grew and prospered to an unwonted degree, it became increasingly
difficult to join them together. Finally, the riches of the Italians,
and the local jealousies and strife, to say nothing of the papal
policy, marked the country as natural prey for foreign interference and
conquest; and in this way the peninsula became a battleground for
Spaniards, Frenchmen, and Germans.

Before reviewing the chief city-states of northern Italy, it will be
well to say a word about two other political divisions of the country.
The southern third of the peninsula comprised the ancient kingdom of
Naples, which had grown up about the city of that name, and which
together with the large island of Sicily, was called the kingdom of the
Two Sicilies.

[Sidenote: Southern Italy in 1500: the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies]

This state, having been first formed by Scandinavian adventurers in the
eleventh century, had successively passed under papal suzerainty, under
the domination of the German emperors, and at length in 1266 under
French control. A revolt in Sicily in the year 1282, commonly called
the Sicilian Vespers, had severed the relation between the island and
the mainland, the former passing to the royal family of Aragon, and the
latter troublously remaining in French hands until 1442. The reunion of
the Two Sicilies at that date under the crown of Aragon served to keep
alive the quarrel between the French and the Spanish; and it was not
until 1504 that the king of France definitely renounced his Neapolitan
claims in favor of Ferdinand of Aragon. Socially and politically Naples
was the most backward state in Italy.

[Sidenote: Italy in 1500: the Papal States]

About the city of Rome had grown up in the course of centuries the
Papal States, or as they were officially styled, the Patrimony of St.
Peter. It had early fallen to the lot of the bishop, as the most
important person in the city, to exercise political power over Rome,
when barbarian invasions no longer permitted the exercise of authority
by Roman emperors; and control over neighboring districts, as well as
over the city, had been expressly recognized and conferred upon the
bishop by Charlemagne in the eighth century. This bishop of Rome was,
of course, the pope; and the pope slowly extended his territories
through central Italy from the Tiber to the Adriatic, long using them
merely as a bulwark to his religious and ecclesiastical prerogatives.
By the year 1500, however, the popes were becoming prone to regard
themselves as Italian princes who might normally employ their states as
so many pawns in the game of peninsular politics. The policy of the
notorious Alexander VI (1492-1503) centered in his desire to establish
his son, Cesare Borgia, as an Italian ruler; and Julius II (1503-1513)
was famed more for statecraft and military prowess than for religious

[Sidenote: The City-States of Northern Italy in 1500]

North and west of the Papal States were the various city-states which
were so thoroughly distinctive of Italian politics at the opening of
the sixteenth century. Although these towns had probably reached a
higher plane both of material prosperity and of intellectual culture
than was to be found at that time in any other part of Europe,
nevertheless they were deeply jealous of each other and carried on an
interminable series of petty wars, the brunt of which was borne by
professional hired soldiers and freebooters styled _condottieri_.
Among the Italian city-states, the most famous in the year 1500 were
Milan, Venice, Genoa, and Florence.

[Sidenote: Italian City-States: Milan Governed by Despots]

Of these cities, Milan was still in theory a ducal fief of the Holy
Roman Empire, but had long been in fact the prize of despotic rulers
who were descended from two famous families--the Visconti and the
Sforza--and who combined the patronage of art with the fine political
subtleties of Italian tyrants. The Visconti ruled Milan from the
thirteenth century to the middle of the fifteenth, when a Sforza, a
leader of _condottieri_ established the supremacy of his own
family. In 1499, however, King Louis XII of France, claiming the duchy
as heir to the Visconti, seized Milan and held it until he was expelled
in 1512 by the Holy League, composed of the pope, Venice, Spain, and
England, and a Sforza was temporarily reinstated.

[Sidenote: Venice, a Type of the Commercial and Aristocratic Italian

As Milan was the type of Italian city ruled by a despot or tyrant, so
Venice was a type of the commercial, oligarchical city-states. Venice
was by far the most powerful state in the peninsula. Located on the
islands and lagoons at the head of the Adriatic, she had profited
greatly by the crusades to build up a maritime empire and an enviable
trade on the eastern Mediterranean and had extended her sway over rich
lands in the northeastern part of Italy. In the year 1500, Venice
boasted 3000 ships, 300,000 sailors, a numerous and veteran army,
famous factories of plate glass, silk stuffs, and gold and silver
objects, and a singularly strong government. Nominally Venice was a
republic, but actually an oligarchy. Political power was intrusted
jointly to several agencies: (1) a grand council controlled by the
commercial magnates; (2) a centralized committee of ten; (3) an elected
doge, or duke; and (4), after 1454, three state inquisitors, henceforth
the city's real masters. The inquisitors could pronounce sentence of
death, dispose of the public funds, and enact statutes; they maintained
a regular spy system; and trial, judgment, and execution were secret.
The mouth of the lion of St. Mark received anonymous denunciations, and
the waves which passed under the Bridge of Sighs carried away the
corpses. To this regime Venice owed an internal peace which contrasted
with the endless civil wars of the other Italian cities. Till the final
destruction of the state in 1798 Venice knew no political revolution.
In foreign affairs, also, Venice possessed considerable influence; she
was the first European state to send regular envoys, or ambassadors, to
other courts. It seemed in 1500 as if she were particularly wealthy and
great, but already had been sowed the seed of her subsequent decline
and humiliation. The advance of the Ottoman Turks threatened her
position in eastern Europe, although she still held the Morea in
Greece, Crete, Cyprus, and many Ionian and Ægean islands. The discovery
of America and of a new route to India was destined to shake the very
basis of her commercial supremacy. And her unscrupulous policy toward
her Italian rivals lost her friends to the west. So great was the
enmity against Venice that the formidable League of Cambrai, entered
into by the emperor, the pope, France, and Spain in 1508, wrung many
concessions from her.

[Sidenote: Genoa]

Second only to Venice in commercial importance, Genoa, in marked
contrast with her rival, passed through all manner of political
vicissitudes until in 1499 she fell prey to the invasion of King Louis
XII of France. Thereafter Genoa remained some years subject to the
French, but in 1528 the resolution of an able citizen, Andrea Doria,
freed the state from foreign invaders and restored to Genoa her
republican institutions.

The famed city-state of Florence may be taken as the best type of the
democratic community, controlled by a political leader. The city, as
famous for its free institutions as for its art, in the first half of
the fifteenth century had come under the tutelage of a family of
traders and bankers, the wealthy Medici, who preserved the republican
forms, and for a while, under Lorenzo de' Medici (1449-1492), surnamed
the Magnificent, made Florence the center of Italian culture and

[Sidenote: Florence, a Type of the Cultured and Democratic Italian

Soon after the death of Lorenzo, a democratic reaction took place under
an enthusiastic and puritanical monk, Savonarola, who welcomed the
advent of the French king, Charles VIII, in 1494, and aided materially
in the expulsion of the Medici. Savonarola soon fell a victim to the
plots of his Florentine enemies and to the vengeance of the pope, whom
Charles VIII had offended, and was put to death in 1498, The democracy
managed to survive until 1512 when the Medici returned. The city-state
of Florence subsequently became the grand-duchy of Tuscany.

[Sidenote: The Obscure Duchy of Savoy in 1500]

Before we take leave of the Italian states of the year 1500, mention
should be made of the insignificant duchy of Savoy, tucked away in the
fastnesses of the northwestern Alps, whose duke, after varying
fortunes, was to become, in the nineteenth century, king of a united

[Sidenote: The City-States in the Netherlands]

The city-state was the dominant form of political organization not only
in Italy but also in the Netherlands. The Netherlands, or the Low
Countries, were seventeen provinces occupying the flat lowlands along
the North Sea,--the Holland, Belgium, and northern France of our own
day. Most of the inhabitants, Flemings and Dutch, spoke a language akin
to German, but in the south the Walloons used a French dialect. At
first the provinces had been mere feudal states at the mercy of various
warring noblemen, but gradually in the course of the twelfth,
thirteenth, and fourteenth centuries, important towns had arisen so
wealthy and populous that they were able to wrest charters from the
lords. Thus arose a number of municipalities--practically self-
governing republics--semi-independent vassals of feudal nobles; and in
many cases the early oligarchic systems of municipal government
speedily gave way to more democratic institutions. Remarkable in
industry and prosperity were Ghent, Bruges, Antwerp, Brussels, Liege,
Utrecht, Delft, Rotterdam, and many another.

[Sidenote: Relation of the City-Stats of the Netherlands to the Dukes
of Burgundy]

Beginning in 1384 and continuing throughout the fifteenth century, the
dukes of Burgundy, who as vassals of the French king had long held the
duchy of that name in eastern France, succeeded by marriage, purchase,
treachery, or force in bringing one by one the seventeen provinces of
the Netherlands under their rule. This extension of dominion on the
part of the dukes of Burgundy implied the establishment of a strong
monarchical authority, which was supported by the nobility and clergy
and opposed by the cities. In 1465 a common parliament, called the
States General, was constituted at Brussels, containing deputies from
each of the seventeen provinces; and eight years later a grand council
was organized with supreme judicial and financial functions. Charles
the Bold, who died in 1477, was prevented from constructing a great
central kingdom between France and the Germanies only by the shrewdness
of his implacable foe, King Louis XI of France. As we have seen, in
another connection, Louis seized the duchy of Burgundy on the death of
Charles the Bold, thereby extending the eastern frontier of France, but
the duke's inheritance in the Netherlands passed to his daughter Mary.
In 1477 Mary's marriage with Maximilian of Austria began the long
domination of the Netherlands by the house of Habsburg.

Throughout these political changes, the towns of the Netherlands
maintained many of their former privileges, and their prosperity
steadily increased. The country became the richest in Europe, and the
splendor of the ducal court surpassed that of any contemporary
sovereign. A permanent memorial of it remains in the celebrated Order
of the Golden Fleece, which was instituted by the duke of Burgundy in
the fifteenth century and was so named from the English wool, the raw
material used in the Flemish looms and the very foundation of the
country's fortunes.


[Sidenote: Northern and Eastern Europe of Small Importance in the
Sixteenth Century, but of Great Importance Subsequently]

We have now reviewed the states that were to be the main factors in the
historical events of the sixteenth century--the national monarchies of
England, France, Portugal, and Spain; the Holy Roman Empire of the
Germanies; and the city-states of Italy and the Netherlands. It may be
well, however, to point out that in northern and eastern Europe other
states had already come into existence, which subsequently were to
affect in no small degree the history of modern times, such as the
Scandinavian kingdoms, the tsardom of Muscovy, the feudal kingdoms of
Poland and Hungary, and the empire of the Ottoman Turks.

[Sidenote: Northwestern Europe: the Scandinavian Countries]

In the early homes of those Northmen who had long before ravaged the
coasts of England and France and southern Italy and had colonized
Iceland and Greenland, were situated in 1500 three kingdoms, Denmark,
Norway, and Sweden, corresponding generally to the present-day states
of those names. The three countries had many racial and social
characteristics in common, and they had been politically joined under
the king of Denmark by the Union of Calmar in 1397. This union never
evoked any popularity among the Swedes, and after a series of revolts
and disorders extending over fifty years, Gustavus Vasa (1523-1560)
established the independence of Sweden. Norway remained under Danish
kings until 1814.

[Sidenote: The Slavs in Central and Eastern Europe]

East of the Scandinavian peninsula and of the German-speaking
population of central Europe, spread out like a great fan, are a
variety of peoples who possess many common characteristics, including a
group of closely related languages, which are called Slavic. These
Slavs in the year 1500 included (1) the Russians, (2) the Poles and
Lithuanians, (3) the Czechs, or natives of Bohemia, within the confines
of the Holy Roman Empire, and (4) various nations in southeastern
Europe, such as the Serbs and Bulgars.

[Sidenote: Russia in 1500]

The Russians in 1500 did not possess such a huge autocratic state as
they do to-day. They were distributed among several principalities, the
chief and center of which was the grand-duchy of Muscovy, with Moscow
as its capital. Muscovy's reigning family was of Scandinavian
extraction but what civilization and Christianity the principalities
possessed had been brought by Greek missionaries from Constantinople.
For two centuries, from the middle of the thirteenth to the middle of
the fifteenth, the Russians paid tribute to Mongol [Footnote: The
Mongols were a people of central Asia, whose famous leader, Jenghiz
Khan (1162-1227), established an empire which stretched from the China
Sea to the banks of the Dnieper. It was these Mongols who drove the
Ottoman Turks from their original Asiatic home and thus precipitated
the Turkish invasion of Europe. After the death of Jenghiz Khan the
Mongol Empire was broken into a variety of "khanates," all of which in
course of time dwindled away. In the sixteenth century the Mongols
north of the Black Sea succumbed to the Turks as well as to the
Russians.] khans who had set up an Asiatic despotism north of the Black
Sea. The beginnings of Russian greatness are traceable to Ivan III, the
Great (1462-1505), [Footnote: Ivan IV (1533-1584), called "The
Terrible," a successor of Ivan III, assumed the title of "Tsar" in
1547.] who freed his people from Mongol domination, united the numerous
principalities, conquered the important cities of Novgorod and Pskov,
and extended his sway as far as the Arctic Ocean and the Ural
Mountains. Russia, however, could hardly then be called a modern state,
for the political and social life still smacked of Asia rather than of
Europe, and the Russian Christianity, having been derived from
Constantinople, differed from the Christianity of western Europe.
Russia was not to appear as a conspicuous European state until the
eighteenth century.

[Sidenote: Poland in 1500]

Southwest of the tsardom of Muscovy and east of the Holy Roman Empire
was the kingdom of Poland, to which Lithuanians as well as Poles owed
allegiance. Despite wide territories and a succession of able rulers,
Poland was a weak monarchy. Lack of natural boundaries made national
defense difficult. Civil war between the two peoples who composed the
state and foreign war with the neighboring Germans worked havoc and
distress. An obstructive parliament of great lords rendered effective
administration impossible. The nobles possessed the property and
controlled politics; in their hands the king gradually became a puppet.
Poland seemed committed to feudal society and feudal government at the
very time when the countries of western Europe were ridding themselves
of such checks upon the free growth of centralized national states.

[Sidenote: Hungary in 1500]

Somewhat similar to Poland in its feudal propensities was the kingdom
of Hungary, which an invasion of Asiatic tribesmen [Footnote:
Hungarians, or Magyars--different names for the same people.] in the
tenth century had driven like a wedge between the Slavs of the Balkan
peninsula and those of the north Poles and Russians. At first, the
efforts of such kings as St. Stephen (997-1038) promised the
development of a great state, but the weakness of the sovereigns in the
thirteenth century, the infiltration of western feudalism, and the
endless civil discords brought to the front a powerful and predatory
class of barons who ultimately overshadowed the throne. The brilliant
reign of Matthias Hunyadi (1458-1490) was but an exception to the
general rule. Not only were the kings obliged to struggle against the
nobles for their very existence--the crown was elective in Hungary--but
no rulers had to contend with more or greater enemies on their
frontiers. To the north there was perpetual conflict with the Habsburgs
of German Austria and with the forces of the Holy Roman Empire; to the
east there were spasmodic quarrels with the Vlachs, the natives of
modern Rumania; to the south there was continual fighting, at first
with the Greeks and the Slavs--Serbs and Bulgars, and later, most
terrible of all, with the Ottoman Turks.

[Sidenote: The Ottoman Turks in 1500]

To the Eastern Roman Empire, with Constantinople as its capital, and
with the Greeks as its dominant population, and to the medieval
kingdoms of the Bulgars and Serbs, had succeeded by the year 1500 the
empire of the Ottoman Turks. The Ottoman Turks were a tribe of Asiatic
Mohammedans who took their name from a certain Othman (died 1326),
under whom they had established themselves in Asia Minor, across the
Bosphorus from Constantinople. Thence they rapidly extended their
dominion over Syria, and over Greece and the Balkan peninsula, except
the little mountain state of Montenegro, and in 1453 they captured
Constantinople. The lands conquered by the arms of the Turks were
divided into large estates for the military leaders, or else assigned
to the maintenance of mosques and schools, or converted into common and
pasturage lands; the conquered Christians were reduced to the payment
of tribute and a life of serfdom. For two centuries the Turks were to
remain a source of grave apprehension to Europe.


THE NATIONAL MONARCHIES ABOUT 1600. A. F. Pollard, _Factors in European
History_ (1907), ch. i on "Nationality" and ch. iii on "The New
Monarchy"; _Cambridge Modern History_, Vol. I, ch. xiv, xii, xi;
_Histoire générale_, Vol. IV, ch. xiii, iv, v; _History of All
Nations_, Vol. X, ch. xii-xvi; A. H. Johnson, _Europe in the Sixteenth
Century_ (1897), ch. i, ii; Mary A. Hollings, _Renaissance and
Reformation_ (1910), ch. i-v. On England: A. L. Cross, _History of
England and Greater Britain_ (1914), ch. xviii; J. F. Bright, _History
of England_, Vol. II, a standard work; James Gairdner, _Henry VII_
(1889), a reliable short biography; Gladys Temperley, _Henry VII_
(1914), fairly reliable and quite readable; H. A. L. Fisher, _Political
History of England 1485-1547_ (1906), ch. i-iv, brilliant and
scholarly; A. D. Innes, _History of England and the British Empire_
(1914), Vol. II, ch. i, ii; William Cunningham, _The Growth of English
Industry and Commerce in Modern Times_, 5th ed., 3 vols. (1910-1912),
Vol. I, Book V valuable for social conditions under Henry VII; William
(Bishop) Stubbs, _Lectures on Mediæval and Modern History_, ch. xv,
xvi; F. W. Maitland, _The Constitutional History of England_ (1908),
Period II. On Scotland: P. H. Brown, _History of Scotland_, 3 vols.
(1899-1909), Vol. I from earliest times to the middle of the sixteenth
century; Andrew Lang, _A History of Scotland_, 2d ed., 4 vols. (1901-
1907), Vol. I. On France: A. J. Grant, _The French Monarchy, 1483-
1789_, 2 vols. (1900), Vol. I, ch. i, ii, brief and general; G. B.
Adams, _The Growth of the French Nation_ (1896), ch. viii-x, a
suggestive sketch; G. W. Kitchin, _A History of France_, 4th ed., 3
vols. (1894-1899), Vol. I and Vol. II (in part), dry and narrowly
political; Lavisse (editor), _Histoire de France_, Vol. V, Part I
(1903), an exhaustive and scholarly study. On Spain and Portugal: E. P.
Cheyney, _European Background of American History_ (1904), pp. 60-103;
U. R. Burke, _A History of Spain from the Earliest Times to the Death
of Ferdinand the Catholic_, 2d ed., 2 vols. (1900), edited by M. A. S.
Hume, Vol. II best account of the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella; W.
H. Prescott, _History of the Reign of Ferdinand and Isabella_, 3 vols.
(1836), antiquated but extremely readable; Mrs. Julia Cartwright,
_Isabella the Catholic_ (1914), in "Heroes of the Nations" Series; H.
M. Stephens, _Portugal_ (1891) in "Story of the Nations" Series; F. W.
Schirrmacher, _Geschichte von Spanien_, 7 vols. (1902), an elaborate
German work, of which Vol. VII covers the years 1492-1516.

THE HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE. _Cambridge Modern History_, Vol. I (1902), ch.
ix, a political sketch; James (Viscount) Bryce, _The Holy Roman
Empire_, new ed. revised (1911); William Coxe, _History of the House of
Austria_, Bohn edition, 4 vols. (1893-1894), a century-old work but
still useful for Habsburg history; Sidney Whitman, _Austria_ (1899),
and, by the same author, _The Realm of the Habsburgs_ (1893) 5 Kurt
Kaser, _Deutsche Geschichte zur Zeit Maximilians I, 1486-1519_ (1912),
an excellent study appearing in "Bibliothek deutscher Geschichte,"
edited by Von Zwiedineck-Südenhorst; Franz Krones, _Handbuch der
Geschichte Oesterreichs von der altesten Zeit_, 5 vols. (1876-1879), of
which Vol. II, Book XI treats of political events in Austria from 1493
to 1526 and Vol. III, Book XII of constitutional development 1100-1526;
Leopold von Ranke, _History of the Latin and Teutonic Nations_, 1494-
1514, a rev. trans. in the Bohn Library (1915) of the earliest
important work of this distinguished historian, published originally in

ITALY AND THE CITY STATES. _Cambridge Modern History_, Vol. I (1902),
ch. iv-viii; _Histoire générale, Vol. IV, ch. i, ii; Mrs. H. M. Vernon,
_Italy from 1494 to 1790_ (1909), a clear account in the "Cambridge
Historical Series"; J. A. Symonds, _Age of the Despots_ (1883),
pleasant but inclined to the picturesque; Pompeo Molmenti, _Venice, its
Individual Growth from the Earliest Beginnings to the Fall of the
Republic_, trans. by H. F. Brown, 6 vols. (1906-1908), an exhaustive
narrative of the details of Venetian history; Edward Armstrong,
_Lorenzo de' Medici_ (1897), in the "Heroes of the Nations" Series,
valuable for Florentine history about 1500; Col. G. F. Young, _The
Medici_, 2 vols. (1909), an extended history of this famous Florentine
family from 1400 to 1743; Ferdinand Gregorovius, _History of the City
of Rome in the Middle Ages_, trans. from 4th German ed. by Annie
Hamilton, 8 vols. in 13, a non-Catholic account of the papal monarchy
in Italy, of which Vol. VII, Part II and Vol. VIII, Part I treat of
Rome about 1500. For the city-states of the Netherlands see _Cambridge
Modern History_, Vol. I (1902), ch. xiii; the monumental _History of
the People of the Netherlands_, by the distinguished Dutch historian P.
J. Blok, trans. by O. A. Bierstadt, 5 vols. (1898-1912), especially
Vols. I and II; and _Belgian Democracy: its Early History_, trans. by
J. V. Saunders (1915) from the authoritative work of the famous Belgian
historian Henri Pirenne (1910). For the German city-states see
references under HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE above.

NORTHERN AND EASTERN EUROPE ABOUT 1500. General: _Cambridge Modern
History_, Vol. I (1902), ch. x, iii; _Histoire générale, Vol. IV, ch.
xviii-xxi; R. N. Bain, _Slavonic Europe: a Political History of Poland
and Russia from 1447 to 1796_ (1908), ch. i-iv; T. Schiemann,
_Russland, Polen, und Livland bis ins 17ten Jahrhundert_, 2 vols.
(1886-1887). Norway: H. H. Boyesen, _The History of Norway_ (1886), a
brief popular account in "Story of the Nations" Series. Muscovy: V. O.
Kliuchevsky, _A History of Russia_, trans. with some abridgments by C.
J. Hogarth, 3 vols. to close of seventeenth century (1911-1913), latest
and, despite faulty translation, most authoritative work on early
Russian history now available in English; Alfred Rambaud, _Histoire de
la Russie depuis les origines jusqu'à nos jours_, 6th ed. completed to
1913 by Émile Haumant (1914), a brilliant work, of which the portion
down to 1877 has been trans. by Leonora B. Lang, 2 vols. (1879); W. R.
A. Morfill, _Russia_, in "Story of the Nations" Series, and _Poland_, a
companion volume in the same series. See also Jeremiah Curtin, _The
Mongols: a History_ (1908). For the Magyars: C. M. Knatchbull-Hugessen,
_The Political Evolution of the Hungarian Nation_, 2 vols. (1908),
especially Vol. I, ch. i-iii; A. Vámbéry, _The Story of Hungary_ (1886)
in "Story of the Nations" Series; Count Julius Andrássy, _The
Development of Hungarian Constitutional Liberty_, trans. by C. Arthur
and Ilona Ginever (1908), the views of a contemporary Magyar statesman
on the constitutional development of his country throughout the middle
ages and down to 1619, difficult to read. For the Ottoman Turks and the
Balkan peoples: Stanley Lane-Poole, _Turkey_ (1889), in "Story of the
Nations" Series, best brief introduction; A. H. Lybyer, _The Government
of the Ottoman Empire in the Time of Suleiman the Magnificent_ (1913);
Prince and Princess Lazarovich-Hrebelianovich, _The Servian People,
their Past Glory and their Destiny_, 2 vols. (1910), particularly Vol.
II, ch. xi, xii; far more pretentious works are, Joseph von Hammer,
_Geschichte des osmanischen Reiches_, 2d ed., 4 vols. (1834-1835), and
Nicolae Jorga, _Geschichte des osmanischen Reiches nach den Quellen
dargestellt_, 5 vols. (1908-1913), especially Vol. II, _1451-1538_,
and H. A. Gibbons, _The Foundation of the Ottoman Empire _(1916),
covering the earlier years, from 1300 to 1403.



[Sidenote: Introductory]

Five hundred years ago a European could search in vain the map of "the
world" for America, or Australia, or the Pacific Ocean. Experienced
mariners, and even learned geographers, were quite unaware that beyond
the Western Sea lay two great continents peopled by red men; of Africa
they knew only the northern coast; and in respect of Asia a thousand
absurd tales passed current. The unexplored waste of waters that
constituted the Atlantic Ocean was, to many ignorant Europeans of the
fifteenth century, a terrible region frequented by fierce and fantastic
monsters. To the average European the countries surveyed in the
preceding chapter, together with their Mohammedan neighbors across the
Mediterranean, still comprised the entire known world.

Shortly before the close of the fifteenth century, daring captains
began to direct long voyages on the high seas and to discover the
existence of new lands; and from that time to the present, Europeans
have been busily exploring and conquering--veritably "Europeanizing"--
the whole globe. Although religion as well as commerce played an
important role in promoting the process, the movement was attended from
the very outset by so startling a transformation in the routes,
methods, and commodities of trade that usually it has been styled the
Commercial Revolution. By the close of the sixteenth century it had
proceeded far enough to indicate that its results would rank among the
most fateful events of all history.

It was in the commonplace affairs of everyday life that the Commercial
Revolution was destined to produce its most far-reaching results. To
appreciate, therefore, its true nature and significance, we must first
turn aside to ascertain how our European ancestors actually lived about
the year 1500, and what work they did to earn their living. Then, after
recounting the story of foreign exploration and colonization, we shall
be in a position to reappraise the domestic situation in town and on
the farm.


[Sidenote: Differences between Sixteenth-century Farming and That of

Agriculture has always been the ultimate basis of society, but in the
sixteenth century it was of greater relative importance than it is now.
People then reckoned their wealth, not by the quantity of stocks and
bonds they held, but by the extent of land they owned. Farming was
still the occupation of the vast majority of the population of every
European state, for the towns were as yet small in size and few in
number. The "masses" lived in the country, not, as to-day, in the city.

A twentieth-century observer would be struck by other peculiarities of
sixteenth-century agriculture. He would find a curious organization of
rural society, strange theories of land-ownership, and most unfamiliar
methods of tillage. He would discover, moreover, that practically each
farm was self-sufficing, producing only what its own occupants could
consume, and that consequently there was comparatively little external
trade in farm produce. From these facts he would readily understand
that the rural communities in the year 1500, numerous yet isolated,
were invulnerable strongholds of conservatism and ignorance.

[Sidenote: Two Rural Classes: Nobility and Peasantry]

In certain respects a remarkable uniformity prevailed in rural
districts throughout all Europe. Whether one visited Germany, Hungary,
France, or England, one was sure to find the agricultural population
sharply divided into two social classes--nobility and peasantry. There
might be varying gradations of these classes in different regions, but
certain general distinctions everywhere prevailed.

[Sidenote: The Nobility]

The nobility [Footnote: As a part of the nobility must be included at
the opening of the sixteenth century many of the higher clergy of the
Catholic Church--archbishops, bishops, and abbots--who owned large
landed estates quite like their lay brethren.] comprised men who gained
a living from the soil without manual labor. They held the land on
feudal tenure, that is to say, they had a right to be supported by the
peasants living on their estates, and, in return, they owed to some
higher or wealthier nobleman or to the king certain duties, such as
fighting for him, [Footnote: This obligation rested only upon lay
noblemen, not upon ecclesiastics.] attending his court at specified
times, and paying him various irregular taxes (the feudal dues). The
estate of each nobleman might embrace a single farm, or "manor" as it
was called, inclosing a petty hamlet, or village; or it might include
dozens of such manors; or, if the landlord were a particularly mighty
magnate or powerful prelate, it might stretch over whole counties.

Each nobleman had his manor-house or, if he were rich enough, his
castle, lording it over the humble thatch-roofed cottages of the
villagers. In his stables were spirited horses and a carriage adorned
with his family crest; he had servants and lackeys, a footman to open
his carriage door, a game-warden to keep poachers from shooting his
deer, and men-at-arms to quell disturbances, to aid him against
quarrelsome neighbors, or to follow him to the wars. While he lived, he
might occupy the best pew in the village church; when he died, he would
be laid to rest within the church where only noblemen were buried.

[Sidenote: Reason for the Preëminence of the Nobility]

In earlier times, when feudal society was young, the nobility had
performed a very real service as the defenders of the peasants against
foreign enemies and likewise against marauders and bandits of whom the
land had been full. Then fighting had been the profession of the
nobility, And to enable them to possess the expensive accoutrements of
fighting--horses, armor, swords, and lances--the kings and the peasants
had assured them liberal incomes.

Now, however, at the opening of the sixteenth century, the palmy days
of feudalism were past and gone. Later generations of noblemen,
although they continued by right of inheritance to enjoy the financial
income and the social prestige which their forbears had earned, no
longer served king, country, or common people in the traditional
manner. At least in the national monarchies it was the king who now had
undertaken the defense of the land and the preservation of peace; and
the nobleman, deprived of his old occupation, had little else to do
than to hunt, or quarrel with other noblemen, or engage in political
intrigues. More and more the nobility, especially in France, were
attracted to a life of amusement and luxury in the royal court. The
nobility already had outlived its usefulness, yet it retained its old-
time privileges.

[Sidenote: The Peasantry]

In striking contrast to the nobility--the small minority of land-owning
aristocrats--were the peasantry--the mass of the people. They were the
human beings who had to toil for their bread in the sweat of their
brows and who were deemed of ignoble birth, as social inferiors, and as
stupid and rude. Actual farm work was "servile labor," and between the
man whose hands were stained by servile labor and the person of "gentle
birth" a wide gulf was fixed.

[Sidenote: Serfdom and the Manorial System]

During the early middle ages most of the peasants throughout Europe
were "serfs." For various reasons, which we shall explain presently,
serfdom had tended gradually to and the die out in western Europe, but
at the opening of the sixteenth century most of the agricultural
laborers in eastern and central Europe, and even a considerable number
in France, were still serfs, living and working on nobles' manors in
accordance with ancient customs which can be described collectively as
the "manorial system."

The serf occupied a position in rural society which it is difficult for
us to understand. He was not a slave, such as was usual in the Southern
States of the American Union before the Civil War; he was neither a
hired man nor a rent-paying tenant-farmer, such as is common enough in
all agricultural communities nowadays. The serf was not a slave,
because he was free to work for himself at least part of the time; he
could not be sold to another master; and he could not be deprived of
the right to cultivate land for his own benefit. He was not a hired
man, for he received no wages. And he was not a tenant-farmer, inasmuch
as he was "attached to the soil," that is, he was bound to stay and
work on his land, unless he succeeded in running away or in purchasing
complete freedom, in which case he would cease to be a serf and would
become a freeman.

[Sidenote: Obligations of the Serf to the Lord]

To the lord of the manor the serf was under many and varied
obligations, the most essential of which may be grouped conveniently as
follows: (1) The serf had to work without pay two or three days in each
week on the strips of land and the fields whose produce belonged
exclusively to the nobleman. In the harvest season extra days, known as
"boon-days," were stipulated on which the serf must leave his own work
in order to harvest for the lord. He also might be called upon in
emergencies to draw a cord of wood from the forest to the great manor-
house, or to work upon the highway (_corvée_). (2) The serf had to
pay occasional dues, customarily "in kind." Thus at certain feast-days
he was expected to bring a dozen fat fowls or a bushel of grain to the
pantry of the manor-house. (3) Ovens, wine-presses, gristmills, and
bridges were usually owned solely by the nobleman, and each time the
peasant used them he was obliged to give one of his loaves of bread, a
share of his wine, a bushel of his grain, or a toll-fee, as a kind of
rent, or "banality" as it was euphoniously styled. (4) If the serf died
without heirs, his holdings were transferred outright to the lord, and
if he left heirs, the nobleman had the rights of "heriot," that is, to
appropriate the best animal owned by the deceased peasant, and of
"relief," that is, to oblige the designated heir to make a definite
additional payment that was equivalent to a kind of inheritance tax.

[Sidenote: Free-Tenants]

As has been intimated, the manorial system was already on a steady
decline, especially in western Europe, at the opening of the sixteenth
century. A goodly number of peasants who had once been serfs were now
free-tenants, lessees, or hired laborers. Of course rent of farm-land
in our present sense--each owner of the land letting out his property
to a tenant and, in return, exacting as large a monetary payment as
possible--was then unknown. But there was a growing class of peasants
who were spoken of as free-tenants to distinguish them from serf-
tenants. These free-tenants, while paying regular dues, as did the
others, were not compelled to work two or three days every week in the
lord's fields, except occasionally in busy seasons such as harvest;
they were free to leave the estate and to marry off their daughters or
to sell their oxen without the consent of the lord; and they came to
regard their customary payments to the lord not so much as his due for
their protection as actual rent for their land.

[Sidenote: Hired Laborers]

While more prosperous peasants were becoming free-tenants, many of
their poorer neighbors found it so difficult to gain a living as serfs
that they were willing to surrender all claim to their own little
strips of land on the manor and to devote their whole time to working
for fixed wages on the fields which were cultivated for the nobleman
himself, the so-called lord's demesne. Thus a body of hired laborers
grew up claiming no land beyond that on which their miserable huts
stood and possibly their small garden-plots.

[Sidenote: Métayers]

Besides hired laborers and free-tenants, a third group of peasants
appeared in places where the noble proprietor did not care to
superintend the cultivation of his own land. In this case he parceled
it out among particular peasants, furnishing each with livestock and a
plow and expecting in return a fixed proportion of the crops, which in
France usually amounted to one-half. Peasants who made such a bargain
were called in France _métayers_, and in England "stock-and-land
lessees." The arrangement was not different essentially from the
familiar present-day practice of working a farm "on shares."

[Sidenote: Steady Decline of Serfdom]

In France and in England the serfs had mostly become hired laborers,
tenants, or _métayers_ by the sixteenth century. The obligations
of serfdom had proved too galling for the serf and too unprofitable for
the lord. It was much easier and cheaper for the latter to hire men to
work just when he needed them, than to bother with serfs, who could not
be discharged readily for slackness, and who naturally worked for
themselves far more zealously than for him. For this reason many
landlords were glad to allow their serfs to make payments in money or
in grain in lieu of the performance of customary labor. In England,
moreover, many lords, finding it profitable to inclose [Footnote: There
were no fences on the old manors. Inclosing a plot of ground meant
fencing or hedging it in.] their land in order to utilize it as
pasturage for sheep, voluntarily freed their serfs. The result was that
serfdom virtually had disappeared in England before the sixteenth
century. In France as early as the fourteenth century the bulk of the
serfs had purchased their liberty, although in a few districts serfdom
remained in its pristine vigor until the French Revolution.

In other countries agricultural conditions were more backward and
serfdom longer survived. Prussian and Austrian landowners retained
their serfs until the nineteenth century; the emancipation of Russian
serfs on a large scale was not inaugurated until 1861. There are still
survivals of serfdom in parts of eastern Europe.

[Sidenote: Survival of Servile Obligations after Decline of Serfdom]

Emancipation from serfdom by no means released the peasants from all
the disabilities under which they labored as serfs. True, the freeman
no longer had week-work to do, provided he could pay for his time, and
in theory at least he could marry as he chose and move freely from
place to place. But he might still be called upon for an occasional
day's labor, he still was expected to work on the roads, and he still
had to pay annoying fees for oven, mill, and wine-press. Then, too, his
own crops might be eaten with impunity by doves from the noble dovecote
or trampled underfoot by a merry hunting-party from the manor-house.
The peasant himself ventured not to hunt: he was precluded even from
shooting the deer that devoured his garden. Certain other customs
prevailed in various localities, conceived originally no doubt in a
spirit of good-natured familiarity between noble and peasants, but now
grown irritating if none the less humorous. It is said, for instance,
that in some places newly married couples were compelled to vault the
wall of the churchyard, and that on certain nights the peasants were
obliged to beat the castle ditch in order to rest the lord's family
from the dismal croaking of the frogs.

[Sidenote: Persistence of "Three-field System" of Agriculture]

In another important respect the manorial system survived long after
serfdom had begun to decline. This was the method of doing farm work. A
universal and insistent tradition had fixed agricultural method on the
medieval manor and tended to preserve it unaltered well into modern
times. The tradition was that of the "three-field system" of
agriculture. The land of the manor, which might vary in amount from a
few hundred to five thousand acres, was not divided up into farms of
irregular shape and size, as it would be now. The waste-land, which
could be used only for pasture, and the woodland on the outskirts of
the clearing, were treated as "commons," that is to say, each villager,
as well as the lord of the manor, might freely gather fire-wood, or he
might turn his swine loose to feed on the acorns in the forest and his
cattle to graze over the entire pasture. The cultivable or arable land
was divided into several--usually three--great grain fields. Ridges or
"balks" of unplowed turf divided each field into long parallel strips,
which were usually forty rods or a furlong (furrow-long) in length, and
from one to four rods wide. Each peasant had exclusive right to one or
more of these strips in each of the three great fields, making, say,
thirty acres in all; [Footnote: In some localities it was usual to
redistribute these strips every year. In that way the greater part of
the manor was theoretically "common" land, and no peasant had a right
of private ownership to any one strip.] the lord too had individual
right to a number of strips in the great fields.

[Sidenote: Disadvantages of Three-field System of Agriculture]

This so-called three-field system of agriculture was distinctly
disadvantageous in many ways. Much time was wasted in going back and
forth between the scattered plots of land. The individual peasant,
moreover, was bound by custom to cultivate his land precisely as his
ancestors had done, without attempting to introduce improvements. He
grew the same crops as his neighbors--usually wheat or rye in one
field; beans or barley in the second; and nothing in the third. Little
was known about preserving the fertility of the soil by artificial
manuring or by rotation of crops; and, although every year one-third of
the land was left "fallow" (uncultivated) in order to restore its
fertility, the yield per acre was hardly a fourth as large as now. Farm
implements were of the crudest kind; scythes and sickles did the work
of mowing machines; plows were made of wood, occasionally shod with
iron; and threshing was done with flails. After the grain had been
harvested, cattle were turned out indiscriminately on the stubble, on
the supposition that the fields were common property. It was useless to
attempt to breed fine cattle when all were herded together. The breed
deteriorated, and both cattle and sheep were undersized and poor. A
full-grown ox was hardly larger than a good-sized calf of the present
time. Moreover, there were no potatoes or turnips, and few farmers grew
clover or other grasses for winter fodder. It was impossible,
therefore, to keep many cattle through the winter; most of the animals
were killed off in the autumn and salted down for the long winter
months when it was impossible to secure fresh meat.

[Sidenote: Peasant Life on the Manor]

Crude farm-methods and the heavy dues exacted by the lord [Footnote: In
addition to the dues paid to the lay lord, the peasants were under
obligation to make a regular contribution to the church, which was
called the "tithe" and amounted to a share, less than a tenth, of the
annual crops.] of the manor must have left the poor man little for
himself. Compared with the comfort of the farmer today, the poverty of
sixteenth-century peasants must have been inexpressibly distressful.
How keenly the cold pierced the dark huts of the poorest, is hard for
us to imagine. The winter diet of salt meat, the lack of vegetables,
the chronic filth and squalor, and the sorry ignorance of all laws of
health opened the way to disease and contagion. And if the crops
failed, famine was added to plague.

On the other hand we must not forget that the tenement-houses of our
great cities have been crowded in the nineteenth century with people
more miserable than ever was serf of the middle ages. The serf, at any
rate, had the open air instead of a factory in which to work. When
times were good, he had grain and meat in plenty, and possibly wine or
cider, and he hardly envied the tapestried chambers, the bejeweled
clothes, and the spiced foods of the nobility, for he looked upon them
as belonging to a different world.

In one place nobleman and peasant met on a common footing--in the
village church. There, on Sundays and feast-days, they came together as
Christians to hear Mass; and afterwards, perhaps, holiday games and
dancing on the green, benignantly patronized by the lord's family,
helped the common folk to forget their labors. The village priest,
[Footnote: Usually very different from the higher clergy, who had large
landed estates of their own, the parish priests had but modest incomes
from the tithes of their parishioners and frequently eked out a living
by toiling on allotted patches of ground. The monks too were ordinarily
poor, although the monastery might be wealthy, and they likewise often
tilled the fields.] himself often of humble birth, though the most
learned man on the manor, was at once the friend and benefactor of the
poor and the spiritual director of the lord. Occasionally a visit of
the bishop to administer confirmation to the children, afforded an
opportunity for gayety and universal festivity.

[Sidenote: Rural Isolation and Conservatism]

At other times there was little to disturb the monotony of village life
and little to remind it of the outside world, except when a gossiping
peddler chanced along, or when the squire rode away to court or to war.
Intercourse with other villages was unnecessary, unless there were no
blacksmith or miller on the spot. The roads were poor and in wet
weather impassable. Travel was largely on horseback, and what few
commodities were carried from place to place were transported by pack-
horses. Only a few old soldiers, and possibly a priest, had traveled
very much; they were the only geographies and the only books of travel
which the village possessed, for few peasants could read or write.

Self-sufficient and secluded from the outer world, the rural village
went on treasuring its traditions, keeping its old customs, century
after century. The country instinctively distrusted all novelties; it
always preferred old ways to new; it was heartily conservative.
Country-folk did not discover America. It was the enterprise of the
cities, with their growing industries and commerce, which brought about
the Commercial Revolution; and to the development of commerce,
industry, and the towns, we now must turn our attention.


[Sidenote: Trade and the Towns ]

Except for the wealthy Italian city-states and a few other cities which
traced their history back to Roman times, most European towns, it must
be remembered, dated only from the later middle ages. At first there
was little excuse for their existence except to sell to farmers salt,
fish, iron, and a few plows. But with the increase of commerce, which,
as we shall see, especially marked the thirteenth, fourteenth, and
fifteenth centuries, more merchants traveled through the country, ways
of spending money multiplied, and the little agricultural villages
learned to look on the town as the place to buy not only luxuries but
such tools, clothing, and shoes as could be manufactured more
conveniently by skillful town artisans than by clumsy rustics. The
towns, moreover, became exchanges where surplus farm products could be
marketed, where wine could be bartered for wool, or wheat for flax. And
as the towns grew in size, the prosperous citizens proved to be the
best customers for foreign luxuries, and foreign trade grew apace.
Town, trade, and industry thus worked together: trade stimulated
industry, industry assisted trade, and the town profited by both. By
the sixteenth century the towns had grown out of their infancy and were
maintaining a great measure of political and economic freedom.

[Sidenote: Freedom of the Towns.]
[Sidenote: Town Charters]

Originally many a town had belonged to some nobleman's extensive manor
and its inhabitants had been under much the same servile obligations to
the lord as were the strictly rural serfs. But with the lapse of time
and the growth of the towns, the townsmen or burghers had begun a
struggle for freedom from their feudal lords. They did not want to pay
servile dues to a baron, but preferred to substitute a fixed annual
payment for individual obligations; they besought the right to manage
their market; they wished to have cases at law tried in a court of
their own rather than in the feudal court over which the nobleman
presided; and they demanded the right to pay all taxes in a lump sum
for the town, themselves assessing and collecting the share of each
citizen. These concessions they eventually had won, and each city had
its charter, in which its privileges were enumerated and recognized by
the authority of the nobleman, or of the king, to whom the city owed
allegiance. In England these charters had been acquired generally by
merchant gilds, upon payment of a substantial sum to the nobleman; in
France frequently the townsmen had formed associations, called
_communes_, and had rebelled successfully against their feudal
lords; in Germany the cities had leagued together for mutual protection
and for the acquisition of common privileges. Other towns, formerly
founded by bishops, abbots, or counts, had received charters at the
very outset.

[Sidenote: Merchant Gilds]

A peculiar outgrowth of the need for protection against oppressive
feudal lords, as well as against thieves, swindlers, and dishonest
workmen, had been the typically urban organization known as the
merchant gild or the merchants' company. In the year 1500 the merchant
gilds were everywhere on the decline, but they still preserved many of
their earlier and more glorious traditions. At the time of their
greatest importance they had embraced merchants, butchers, bakers, and
candlestick-makers: in fact, all who bought or sold in the town were
included in the gild. And the merchant gild had then possessed the
widest functions.

[Sidenote: Earlier Functions of the Merchant Gild.]
[Sidenote: Social]

Its social and religious functions, inherited from much earlier bodies,
consisted in paying some special honor to a patron saint, in giving aid
to members in sickness or misfortune, attending funerals, and also in
the more enjoyable meetings when the freely flowing bowl enlivened the
transaction of gild business.

[Sidenote: Protective]

As a protective organization, the gild had been particularly effective.
Backed by the combined forces of all the gildsmen, it was able to
assert itself against the lord who claimed manorial rights over the
town, and to insist that a runaway serf who had lived in the town for a
year and a day should not be dragged back to perform his servile labor
on the manor, but should be recognized as a freeman. The protection of
the gild was accorded also to townsmen on their travels. In those days
all strangers were regarded as suspicious persons, and not infrequently
when a merchant of the gild traveled to another town he would be set
upon and robbed or cast into prison. In such cases it was necessary for
the gild to ransom the imprisoned "brother" and, if possible, to punish
the persons who had done the injury, so that thereafter the liberties
of the gild members would be respected. That the business of the gild
might be increased, it was often desirable to enter into special
arrangements with neighboring cities whereby the rights, lives, and
properties of gildsmen were guaranteed; and the gild as a whole was
responsible for the debts of any of its members.

[Sidenote: Regulative]

The most important duty of the gild had been the regulation of the home
market. Burdensome restrictions were laid upon the stranger who
attempted to utilize the advantages of the market without sharing the
expense of maintenance. No goods were allowed to be carried away from
the city if the townsmen wished to buy; and a tax, called in France the
_octroi_, was levied on goods brought into the town. [Footnote:
The _octroi_ is still collected in Paris.] Moreover, a conviction
prevailed that the gild was morally bound to enforce honest
straightforward methods of business; and the "wardens" appointed by the
gild to supervise the market endeavored to prevent, as dishonest
practices, "forestalling" (buying outside of the regular market),
"engrossing" (cornering the market), [Footnote: The idea that
"combinations in restraint of trade" are wrong quite possibly goes back
to this abhorrence of engrossing.] and "regrating" (retailing at higher
than market price). The dishonest green grocer was not allowed to use a
peck-measure with false bottom, for weighing and measuring were done by
officials. Cheats were fined heavily and, if they persisted in their
evil ways, they might be expelled from the gild.

These merchant gilds, with their social, protective, and regulative
functions, had first begun to be important in the eleventh century. In
England, where their growth was most rapid, 82 out of the total of 102
towns had merchant gilds by the end of the thirteenth century.
[Footnote: Several important places, such as London, Colchester, and
Norwich, belonged to the small minority without merchant gilds.] On the
Continent many towns, especially in Germany, had quite different
arrangements, and where merchant gilds existed, they were often
exclusive and selfish groups of merchants in a single branch of

[Sidenote: Decline of Merchant Guilds]

With the expansion of trade and industry in the thirteenth and
fourteenth centuries the rule of the old merchant gilds, instead of
keeping pace with the times, became oppressive, limited, or merely
nominal. Where the merchant gilds became oppressive oligarchical
associations, as they did in Germany and elsewhere on the Continent,
they lost their power by the revolt of the more democratic "craft
gilds." In England specialized control of industry and trade by craft
gilds, journeymen's gilds, and dealers' associations gradually took the
place of the general supervision of the older merchant gild. After
suffering the loss of its vital functions, the merchant gild by the
sixteenth century either quietly succumbed or lived on with power in a
limited branch of trade, or continued as an honorary organization with
occasional feasts, or, and this was especially true in England, it
became practically identical with the town corporation, from which
originally it had been distinct.

[Sidenote: Industry: the Craft Guilds]

Alongside of the merchant gilds, which had been associated with the
growth of commerce and the rise of towns, were other guilds connected
with the growth of industry, which retained their importance long after
1500. These were the craft gilds. [Footnote: The craft gild was also
called a company, or a mistery, or _métier_ (French), or _Zunft_
(German).] Springing into prominence in the thirteenth and fourteenth
centuries, the craft gild sometimes, as in Germany, voiced a popular
revolt against corrupt and oligarchical merchant gilds, and
sometimes most frequently so in England--worked quite harmoniously with
the merchant gild, to which its own members belonged. In common with
the merchant gild, the craft gild had religious and social aspects, and
like the merchant gild it insisted on righteous dealings; but unlike
the merchant gild it was composed of men in a single industry, and it
controlled in detail the manufacture as well as the marketing of
commodities. There were bakers' gilds, brewers' gilds, smiths' gilds,
saddlers' gilds, shoemakers' gilds, weavers' gilds, tailors' gilds,
tanners' gilds, even gilds of masters of arts who constituted the
teaching staff of colleges and universities.

When to-day we speak of a boy "serving his apprenticeship" in a trade,
we seldom reflect that the expression is derived from a practice of the
medieval craft gilds, a practice which survived after the gilds were
extinct. Apprenticeship was designed to make sure that recruits to the
trade were properly trained. The apprentice was usually selected as a
boy by a master-workman and indentured--that is, bound to work several
years without wages, while living at the master's house. After the
expiration of this period of apprenticeship, during which he had
learned his trade thoroughly, the youth became a "journeyman," and
worked for wages, until he should finally receive admission to the gild
as a master, with the right to set up his own little shop, with
apprentices and journeymen of his own, and to sell his wares directly
to those who used them.

This restriction of membership was not the only way in which the trade
was supervised. The gild had rules specifying the quality of materials
to be used and often, likewise, the methods of manufacture; it might
prohibit night-work, and it usually fixed a "fair price" at which goods
were to be sold. By means of such provisions, enforced by wardens or
inspectors, the gild not only perpetuated the "good old way" of doing
things, but guaranteed to the purchaser a thoroughly good article at a
fair price.

[Sidenote: Partial Decay of Craft Gilds]

By the opening of the sixteenth century the craft gilds, though not so
weakened as the merchant gilds, were suffering from various internal
diseases which sapped their vitality. They tended to become exclusive
and to direct their power and affluence in hereditary grooves. They
steadily raised their entrance fees and qualifications. Struggles
between gilds in allied trades, such as spinning, weaving, fulling, and
dyeing, often resulted in the reduction of several gilds to a dependent
position. The regulation of the processes of manufacture, once designed
to keep up the standard of skill, came in time to be a powerful
hindrance to technical improvements; and in the method as well as in
the amount of his work, the enterprising master found himself
handicapped. Even the old conscientiousness often gave way to greed,
until in many places inferior workmanship received the approval of the

Many craft gilds exhibited in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries a
tendency to split somewhat along the present lines of capital and
labor. On the one hand the old gild organization would be usurped and
controlled by the wealthier master-workmen, called "livery men,"
because they wore rich uniforms, or a class of dealers would arise and
organize a "merchants' company" to conduct a wholesale business in the
products of a particular industry. Thus the rich drapers sold all the
cloth, but did not help to make it. On the other hand it became
increasingly difficult for journeymen and apprentices to rise to the
station of masters; oftentimes they remained wage-earners for life. In
order to better their condition they formed new associations, which in
England were called journeymen's or yeomen's companies. These new
organizations were symptomatic of injustice but otherwise unimportant.
The craft gilds, with all their imperfections, were to continue in
power awhile longer, slowly giving away as new trades arose outside of
their control, gradually succumbing in competition with capitalists who
refused to be bound by gild rules and who were to evolve a new
"domestic system," [Footnote: See Vol. II, ch xviii.] and slowly
suffering diminution of prestige through royal interference.

[Sidenote: Life in the Towns]

In the year 1500 the European towns displayed little uniformity in
government or in the amount of liberty they possessed. Some were petty
republics subject only in a very vague way to an extraneous potentate;
some merely paid annual tribute to a lord; some were administered by
officers of a king or feudal magnate; others were controlled by
oligarchical commercial associations. But of the general appearance and
life of sixteenth-century towns, it is possible to secure a more
uniform notion.

It must be borne in mind that the towns were comparatively small, for
the great bulk of people still lived in the country. A town of 5000
inhabitants was then accounted large; and even the largest places, like
Nuremberg, Strassburg, London, Paris, and Bruges, would have been only
small cities in our eyes. The approach to an ordinary city of the time
lay through suburbs, farms, and garden-plots, for the townsman still
supplemented industry with small-scale agriculture. Usually the town
itself was inclosed by strong walls, and admission was to be gained
only by passing through the gates, where one might be accosted by
soldiers and forced to pay toll. Inside the walls were clustered houses
of every description. Rising from the midst of tumble-down dwellings
might stand a magnificent cathedral, town-hall, or gild building. Here
and there a prosperous merchant would have his luxurious home, built in
what we now call the Gothic style, with pointed windows and gables,
and, to save space in a walled town, with the second story projecting
out over the street.

The streets were usually in deplorable condition. There might be one or
two broad highways, but the rest were mere alleys, devious, dark, and
dirty. Often their narrowness made them impassable for wagons. In
places the pedestrian waded gallantly through mud and garbage; pigs
grunted ponderously as he pushed them aside; chickens ran under his
feet; and occasionally a dead dog obstructed the way. There were no
sidewalks, and only the main thoroughfares were paved. Dirt and filth
and refuse were ordinarily disposed of only when a heaven-sent rain
washed them down the open gutters constructed along the middle, or on
each side, of a street. Not only was there no general sewerage for the
town, but there was likewise no public water supply. In many of the
garden plots at the rear of the low-roofed dwellings were dug wells
which provided water for the family; and the visitor, before he left
the town, would be likely to meet with water-sellers calling out their
ware. To guard against the danger of fires, each municipality
encouraged its citizens to build their houses of stone and to keep a
tub full of water before every building; and in each district a special
official was equipped with a proper hook and cord for pulling down
houses on fire. At night respectable town-life was practically at a
standstill: the gates were shut; the curfew sounded; no street-lamps
dispelled the darkness, except possibly an occasional lantern which an
altruistic or festive townsman might hang in his front-window; and no
efficient police-force existed--merely a handful of townsmen were
drafted from time to time as "watchmen" to preserve order, and the
"night watch" was famed rather for its ability to sleep or to roister
than to protect life or purse. Under these circumstances the citizen
who would escape an assault by ruffians or thieves remained prudently
indoors at night and retired early to bed. Picturesque and quaint the
sixteenth-century town may have been; but it was also an uncomfortable
and an unhealthful place in which to live.


Just as agriculture is the ultimate basis of human society, so town-
life has always been an index of culture and civilization. And the
fortunes of town-life have ever depended upon the vicissitudes of trade
and commerce. So the reviving commerce of the later middle ages between
Europe and the East meant the growth of cities and betokened an advance
in civilization.

[Sidenote: Revival of Trade with the East]

Trade between Europe and Asia, which had been a feature of the antique
world of Greeks and Romans, had been very nearly destroyed by the
barbarian invasions of the fifth century and by subsequent conflicts
between Mohammedans and Christians, so that during several centuries
the old trade-routes were traveled only by a few Jews and with the
Syrians. In the tenth century, however, a group of towns in southern
Italy--Brindisi, Bari, Taranto, and Amalfi--began to send ships to the
eastern Mediterranean and were soon imitated by Venice and later by
Genoa and Pisa.

This revival of intercourse between the East and the West was well
under way before the first Crusade, but the Crusades (1095-1270)
hastened the process. Venice, Genoa, and Pisa, on account of their
convenient location, were called upon to furnish the crusaders with
transportation and provisions, and their shrewd Italian citizens made
certain that such services were well rewarded. Italian ships, plying to
and from the Holy Land, gradually enriched their owners. Many Italian
cities profited, but Venice secured the major share. It was during the
Crusades that Venice gained numerous coastal districts and islands in
the Ægean besides immunities and privileges in Constantinople, and
thereby laid the foundation of her maritime empire.

The Crusades not only enabled Italian merchants to bring Eastern
commodities to the West; they increased the demand for such
commodities. Crusaders--pilgrims and adventurers--returned from the
Holy Land with astonishing tales of the luxury and opulence of the
East. Not infrequently they had acquired a taste for Eastern silks or
spices during their stay in Asia Minor or Palestine; or they brought
curious jewels stripped from fallen infidels to awaken the envy of the
stay-at-homes. Wealth was rapidly increasing in Europe at this time,
and the many well-to-do people who were eager to affect magnificence
provided a ready market for the wares imported by Italian merchants.

[Sidenote: Commodities of Eastern Trade]

It is desirable to note just what were these wares and why they were
demanded so insistently. First were spices, far more important then
than now. The diet of those times was simple and monotonous without our
variety of vegetables and sauces and sweets, and the meat, if fresh,
was likely to be tough in fiber and strong in flavor. Spices were the
very thing to add zest to such a diet, and without them the epicure of
the sixteenth century would have been truly miserable. Ale and wine, as
well as meats, were spiced, and pepper was eaten separately as a
delicacy. No wonder that, although the rich alone could buy it, the
Venetians were able annually to dispose of 420,000 pounds of pepper,
which they purchased from the sultan of Egypt, to whom it was brought,
after a hazardous journey, from the pepper vines of Ceylon, Sumatra, or
western India. From the same regions came cinnamon-bark; ginger was a
product of Arabia, India, and China; and nutmegs, cloves, and allspice
grew only in the far-off Spice Islands of the Malay Archipelago.

Precious stones were then, as always, in demand for personal adornment
as well as for the decoration of shrines and ecclesiastical vestments;
and in the middle ages they were thought by many to possess magical
qualities which rendered them doubly valuable. [Footnote: Medieval
literature is full of this idea. Thus we read in the book of travel
which has borne the name of Sir John Maundeville:
"And if you wish to know the virtues of the diamond, I shall tell you,
as they that are beyond the seas say and affirm, from whom all science
and philosophy comes. He who carries the diamond upon him, it gives him
hardiness and manhood, and it keeps the limbs of his body whole. It
gives him victory over his enemies, in court and in war, if his cause
be just; and it keeps him that bears it in good wit; and it keeps him
from strife and riot, from sorrows and enchantments, and from fantasies
and illusions of wicked spirits. ... [It] heals him that is lunatic,
and those whom the fiend torments or pursues."] The supply of diamonds,
rubies, pearls, and other precious stones was then almost exclusively
from Persia, India, and Ceylon.

Other miscellaneous products of the East were in great demand for
various purposes: camphor and cubebs from Sumatra and Borneo; musk from
China; cane-sugar from Arabia and Persia; indigo, sandal-wood, and
aloes-wood from India; and alum from Asia Minor.

The East was not only a treasure-house of spices, jewels, valuable
goods, and medicaments, but a factory of marvelously delicate goods and
wares which the West could not rival--glass, porcelain, silks, satins,
rugs, tapestries, and metal-work. The tradition of Asiatic supremacy in
these manufactures has been preserved to our own day in such familiar
names as damask linen, china-ware, japanned ware, Persian rugs, and
cashmere shawls.

In exchange for the manifold products of the East, Europe had only
rough woolen cloth, arsenic, antimony, quicksilver, tin, copper, lead,
and coral to give; and a balance, therefore, always existed for the
European merchant to pay in gold and silver, with the result that gold
and silver coins grew scarce in the West. It is hard to say what would
have happened had not a new supply of the precious metals been
discovered in America. But we are anticipating our story.

[Sidenote: Oriental Trade-Routes]

Nature has rendered intercourse between Europe and Asia exceedingly
difficult by reason of a vast stretch of almost impassable waste,
extending from the bleak plains on either side of the Ural hills down
across the steppes of Turkestan and the desert of Arabia to the great
sandy Sahara. Through the few gaps in this desert barrier have led from
early times the avenues of trade. In the fifteenth century three main
trade-routes--a central, a southern, and a northern--precariously
linked the two continents.

(1) The central trade-route utilized the valley of the Tigris River.
Goods from China, from the Spice Islands, and from India were brought
by odd native craft from point to point along the coast to Ormuz, an
important city at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, thence to the mouth of
the Tigris, and up the valley to Bagdad. From Bagdad caravans journeyed
either to Aleppo and Antioch on the northeastern corner of the
Mediterranean, or across the desert to Damascus and the ports on the
Syrian coast. Occasionally caravans detoured southward to Cairo and
Alexandria in Egypt. Whether at Antioch, Jaffa, or Alexandria, the
caravans met the masters of Venetian ships ready to carry the cargo to

(2) The southern route was by the Red Sea. Arabs sailed their ships
from India and the Far East across the Indian Ocean and into the Red
Sea, whence they transferred their cargoes to caravans which completed
the trip to Cairo and Alexandria. By taking advantage of monsoons,--the
favorable winds which blew steadily in certain seasons,--the skipper of
a merchant vessel could make the voyage from India to Egypt in somewhat
less than three months. It was often possible to shorten the time by
landing the cargoes at Ormuz and thence dispatching them by caravan
across the desert of Arabia to Mecca, and so to the Red Sea, but
caravan travel was sometimes slower and always more hazardous than

(3) The so-called "northern route" was rather a system of routes
leading in general from the "back doors" of India and China to the
Black Sea. Caravans from India and China met at Samarkand and Bokhara,
two famous cities on the western slope of the Tian-Shan Mountains. West
of Bokhara the route branched out. Some caravans went north of the
Caspian, through Russia to Novgorod and the Baltic. Other caravans
passed through Astrakhan, at the mouth of the Volga River, and
terminated in ports on the Sea of Azov. Still others skirted the shore
of the Caspian Sea, passing through Tabriz and Armenia to Trebizond on
the Black Sea.

The transportation of goods from the Black Sea and eastern
Mediterranean was largely in the hands of the Italian cities,[Footnote:
In general, the journey from the Far East to the ports on the Black Sea
and the eastern Mediterranean was performed by Arabs, although some of
the more enterprising Italians pushed on from the European settlements,
or _fondachi_, in ports like Cairo and Trebizond, and established
_fondachi_ in the inland cities of Asia Minor, Persia, and Russia.]
especially Venice, Genoa, Pisa, and Florence, although Marseilles
and Barcelona had a small share. From Italy trade-routes led
through the passes of the Alps to all parts of Europe. German merchants
from Nuremberg, Augsburg, Ulm, Regensburg, and Constance purchased
Eastern commodities in the markets of Venice, and sent them back to the
Germanies, to England, and to the Scandinavian countries. After the
lapse of many months, and even years, since the time when spices had
been packed first in the distant Moluccas, they would be exposed
finally for sale at the European fairs or markets to which thousands of
countryfolk resorted. There a nobleman's steward could lay in a year's
supply of condiments, or a peddler could fill his pack with silks and
ornaments to delight the eyes of the ladies in many a lonesome castle.

[Sidenote: Difficulties of European Commerce]

Within Europe commerce gradually extended its scope in spite of the
almost insuperable difficulties. The roads were still so miserable that
wares had to be carried on pack-horses instead of in wagons. Frequently
the merchant had to risk spoiling his bales of silk in fording a
stream, for bridges were few and usually in urgent need of repair.
Travel not only was fraught with hardship; it was expensive. Feudal
lords exacted heavy tolls from travelers on road, bridge, or river.
Between Mainz and Cologne, on the Rhine, toll was levied in thirteen
different places. The construction of shorter and better highways was
blocked often by nobles who feared to lose their toll-rights on the old
roads. So heavy was the burden of tolls on commerce that transportation
from Nantes to Orleans, a short distance up the River Loire, doubled
the price of goods. Besides the tolls, one had to pay for local market
privileges; towns exacted taxes on imports; and the merchant in a
strange city or village often found himself seriously handicapped by
regulations against "foreigners," and by unfamiliar weights, measures,
and coinage.

Most dreaded of all, however, and most injurious to trade were the
robbers who infested the roads. Needy knights did not scruple to turn
highwaymen. Cautious travelers carried arms and journeyed in bands, but
even they were not wholly safe from the dashing "gentlemen of the
road." On the seas there was still greater danger from pirates. Fleets
of merchantmen, despite the fact that they were accompanied usually by
a vessel of war, often were assailed by corsairs, defeated, robbed, and
sold as prizes to the Mohammedans. The black flag of piracy flew over
whole fleets in the Baltic and in the Mediterranean. The amateur
pirate, if less formidable, was no less common, for many a vessel
carrying brass cannon, ostensibly for protection, found it convenient
to use them to attack foreign craft and more frequently "took" a cargo
than purchased one.

[Sidenote: Venice]

These dangers and difficulties of commercial intercourse were due
chiefly to the lack of any strong power to punish pirates or
highwaymen, to maintain roads, or to check the exactions of toll-
collectors. Each city attempted to protect its own commerce. A great
city-state like Venice was well able to send out her galleys against
Mediterranean pirates, to wage war against the rival city of Genoa, to
make treaties with Oriental potentates, and to build up a maritime
empire. Smaller towns were helpless. But what, as in the case of the
German towns, they could not do alone, was partially achieved by

[Sidenote: The Hanseatic League. Towns in the Netherlands: Bruges]

The Hanse or the Hanseatic League, as the confederation of Cologne,
Brunswick, Hamburg, Lübeck, Dantzig, Königsberg, and other German
cities was called, waged war against the Baltic pirates, maintained its
trade-routes, and negotiated with monarchs and municipalities in order
to obtain exceptional privileges. From their Baltic stations,--
Novgorod, Stockholm, Königsberg, etc.,--the Hanseatic merchants brought
amber, wax, fish, furs, timber, and tar to sell in the markets of
Bruges, London, and Venice; they returned with wheat, wine, salt,
metals, cloth, and beer for their Scandinavian and Russian customers.
The German trading post at Venice received metals, furs, leather goods,
and woolen cloth from the North, and sent back spices, silks, and other
commodities of the East, together with glassware, fine textiles,
weapons, and paper of Venetian manufacture. Baltic and Venetian trade-
routes crossed in the Netherlands, and during the fourteenth century
Bruges became the trade-metropolis of western Europe, where met the raw
wool from England and Spain, the manufactured woolen cloth of Flanders,
clarets from France, sherry and port wines from the Iberian peninsula,
pitch from Sweden, tallow from Norway, grain from France and Germany,
and English tin, not to mention Eastern luxuries, Venetian
manufactures, and the cunning carved-work of south-German artificers.


[Sidenote: Desire of Spaniards and Portuguese for New Trade-Routes]

In the unprecedented commercial prosperity which marked the fifteenth
century, two European peoples--the Portuguese and the Spanish--had
little part. For purposes of general Continental trade they were not so
conveniently situated as the peoples of Germany and the Netherlands;
and the Venetians and other Italians had shut them off from direct
trade with Asia. Yet Spanish and Portuguese had developed much the same
taste for Oriental spices and wares as had the inhabitants of central
Europe, and they begrudged the exorbitant prices which they were
compelled to pay to Italian merchants. Moreover, their centuries-long
crusades against Mohammedans in the Iberian peninsula and in northern
Africa had bred in them a stern and zealous Christianity which urged
them on to undertake missionary enterprises in distant pagan lands.
This missionary spirit reënforced the desire they already entertained
of finding new trade-routes to Asia untrammeled by rival and selfish
Italians. In view of these circumstances it is not surprising that
Spaniards and Portuguese sought eagerly in the fifteenth century to
find new trade-routes to "the Indies."

[Sidenote: Geographical Knowledge]

In their search for new trade-routes to the lands of silk and spice,
these peoples of southwestern Europe were not as much in the dark as
sometimes we are inclined to believe. Geographical knowledge, almost
non-existent in the earlier middle ages, had been enriched by the
Franciscan friars who had traversed central Asia to the court of the
Mongol emperor as early as 1245, and by such merchants and travelers as
Marco Polo, who had been attached to the court of Kublai Khan and who
subsequently had described that potentate's realms and the wealth of
"Cipangu" (Japan). These travels afforded at once information about
Asia and enormous incentive to later explorers.

Popular notions that the waters of the tropics boiled, that demons and
monsters awaited explorers to the westward, and that the earth was a
great flat disk, did not pass current among well-informed geographers.
Especially since the revival of Ptolemy's works in the fifteenth
century, learned men asserted that the earth was spherical in shape,
and they even calculated its circumference, erring only by two or three
thousand miles. It was maintained repeatedly that the Indies formed the
western boundary of the Atlantic Ocean, and that consequently they
might be reached by sailing due west, as well as by traveling eastward;
but at the same time it was believed that shorter routes might be found
northeast of Europe, or southward around Africa.

[Sidenote: Navigation]

Along with this general knowledge of the situation of continents, the
sailors of the fifteenth century had learned a good deal about
navigation. The compass had been used first by Italian navigators in
the thirteenth century, mounted on the compass card in the fourteenth.
Latitude was determined with the aid of the astrolabe, a device for
measuring the elevation of the pole star above the horizon. With maps
and accurate sailing directions (_portolani_), seamen could lose
sight of land and still feel confident of their whereabouts. Yet it
undoubtedly took courage for the explorers of the fifteenth century to
steer their frail sailing vessels either down the unexplored African
coast or across the uncharted Atlantic Ocean.

[Sidenote: The Portuguese Explorers]

In the series of world-discoveries which brought about the Commercial
Revolution and which are often taken as the beginning of "modern
history," there is no name more illustrious than that of a Portuguese
prince of the blood,--Prince Henry, the Navigator (1394-1460), who,
with the support of two successive Portuguese kings, made the first
systematic attempts to convert the theories of geographers into proved
fact. A variety of motives were his: the stern zeal of the crusader
against the infidel; the ardent proselyting spirit which already had
sent Franciscan monks into the heart of Asia; the hope of
reëstablishing intercourse with "Prester John's" fabled Christian
empire of the East; the love of exploration; and a desire to gain for
Portugal a share of the Eastern trade.

To his naval training-station at Sagres and the neighboring port of
Lagos, Prince Henry attracted the most skillful Italian navigators and
the most learned geographers of the day. The expeditions which he sent
out year after year rediscovered and colonized the Madeira and Azores
Islands, and crept further and further down the unknown coast of the
Dark Continent. When in the year 1445, a quarter of a century after the
initial efforts of Prince Henry, Denis Diaz reached Cape Verde, he
thought that the turning point was at hand; but four more weary decades
were to elapse before Bartholomew Diaz, in 1488, attained the
southernmost point of the African coast. What he then called the Cape
of Storms, King John II of Portugal in a more optimistic vein
rechristened the Cape of Good Hope. Following in the wake of Diaz,
Vasco da Gama rounded the Cape in 1497, and then, continuing on his own
way, he sailed up the east coast to Malindi, where he found a pilot
able to guide his course eastward through the Indian Ocean to India. At
Calicut Vasco da Gama landed in May, 1498, and there he erected a
marble pillar as a monument of his discovery of a new route to the

[Sidenote: Occupation of Old Trade-Routes by the Turks]

While the Portuguese were discovering this new and all-water route to
the Indies, the more ancient Mediterranean and overland routes, which
had been of inestimable value to the Italians, were in process of
occupation by the Routes by Ottoman Turks. [Footnote: Professor A. H.
Lybyer has recently and ably contended that, contrary to a view which
has often prevailed, the occupation of the medieval trade-routes by the
Ottoman Turks was not the cause of the Portuguese and Spanish
explorations which ushered in the Commercial Revolution. He has pointed
out that prior to 1500 the prices of spices were not generally raised
throughout western Europe, and that apparently before that date the
Turks had not seriously increased the difficulties of Oriental trade.
In confirmation of this opinion, it should be remembered that the
Portuguese had begun their epochal explorations long before 1500 and
that Christopher Columbus had already returned from "the Indies."]
These Turks, as we have seen, were a nomadic and warlike nation of the
Mohammedan faith who "added to the Moslem contempt for the Christian,
the warrior's contempt for the mere merchant." Realizing that
advantageous trade relations with such a people were next to
impossible, the Italian merchants viewed with consternation the advance
of the Turkish armies, as Asia Minor, Thrace, Macedonia, Greece, and
the islands of the Ægean were rapidly overrun. Constantinople, the
heart of the Eastern Empire, repeatedly repelled the Moslems, but in
1453 Emperor Constantine XI was defeated by Sultan Mohammed II, and the
crescent replaced the Greek cross above the Church of Saint Sophia.
Eight years later Trebizond, the terminal of the trade-route from
Tabriz, was taken. In vain Venice attempted to defend her possessions
in the Black Sea and in the Ægean; by the year 1500 most of her empire
in the Levant was lost. The Turks, now in complete control of the
northern route, proceeded to impose crushing burdens on the trade of
the defeated Venetians. Florentines and other Italians who fared less
hardly continued to frequent the Black Sea, but the entire trade
suffered from Turkish exactions and from disturbing wars between the
Turks and another Asiatic people--the Mongols.

[Sidenote: Loss to the Italians]

For some time the central and southern routes, terminating respectively
in Syria and Egypt, exhibited increased activity, and by rich profits
in Alexandria the Venetians were able to retrieve their losses in the
Black Sea. But it was only a matter of time before the Turks,
conquering Damascus in 1516 and Cairo in 1517, extended their
burdensome restrictions and taxes over those regions likewise. Eastern
luxuries, transported by caravan and caravel over thousands of miles,
had been expensive and rare enough before; now the added peril of
travel and the exactions of the Turks bade fair to deprive the Italians
of the greater part of their Oriental trade. It was at this very moment
that the Portuguese opened up independent routes to the East, lowered
the prices of Asiatic commodities, and grasped the scepter of maritime
and commercial power which was gradually slipping from the hands of the
Venetians. The misfortune of Venice was the real opportunity of

[Sidenote: Columbus]

Meanwhile Spain had entered the field, and was meeting with cruel
disappointment. A decade before Vasco da Gama's famous voyage, an
Italian navigator, Christopher Columbus, had presented himself at the
Spanish court with a scheme for sailing westward to the Indies. The
Portuguese king, by whom Columbus formerly had been employed, already
had refused to support the project, but after several vexatious rebuffs
Columbus finally secured the aid of Ferdinand and Isabella, the Spanish
monarchs who were at the time jubilant over their capture of Granada
from the Mohammedans (January, 1492). In August, 1492, he sailed from
Palos with 100 men in three small ships, the largest of which weighed
only a hundred tons. After a tiresome voyage he landed (12 October,
1492) on "San Salvador," one of the Bahama Islands. In that bold voyage
across the trackless Atlantic lay the greatness of Columbus. He was not
attempting to prove a theory that the earth was spherical--that was
accepted generally by the well informed. Nor was he in search of a new
continent. The realization that he had discovered not Asia, but a new
world, would have been his bitterest disappointment. He was seeking
merely another route to the spices and treasures of the East; and he
bore with him a royal letter of introduction to the great Khan of
Cathay (China). In his quest he failed, even though he returned in
1493, in 1498, and finally in 1502 and explored successively the
Caribbean Sea, the coast of Venezuela, and Central America in a vain
search for the island "Cipangu" and the realms of the "Great Khan." He
found only "lands of vanity and delusion as the miserable graves of
Castilian gentlemen," and he died ignorant of the magnitude of his real

[Sidenote: America]

Had Columbus perished in mid ocean, it is doubtful whether America
would have remained long undiscovered. In 1497 John Cabot, an Italian
in the service of Henry VII of England, reached the Canadian coast
probably near Cape Breton Island. In 1500 Cabral with a Portuguese
expedition bound for India was so far driven out of his course by
equatorial currents that he came upon Brazil, which he claimed for the
king of Portugal. Yet America was named for neither Columbus, Cabot,
nor Cabral, but for another Italian, the Florentine Amerigo Vespucci,
who, returning from voyages to Brazil (1499-1500), published a letter
concerning what he called "the new world." It was thought that he had
discovered this new world, and so it was called after him,--America.

[Sidenote: First Circumnavigation of the Earth]

Very slowly the truth about America was borne in upon the people of
Europe. They persisted in calling the newly discovered lands the
"Indies," and even after Balboa had discovered (1513) that another
ocean lay beyond the Isthmus of Panama, it was thought that a few days'
sail would bring one to the outlying possessions of the Great Khan. Not
until Magellan, leaving Spain in 1519, passed through the straits that
still bear his name and crossed the Pacific was this vain hope
relinquished. Magellan was killed by the natives of the Philippine
Islands, but one of his ships reached Seville in 1522 with the tale of
the marvelous voyage.

Even after the circumnavigation of the world explorers looked for
channels leading through or around the Americas. Such were the attempts
of Verrazano (1524), Cartier (1534), Frobisher (1576-1578), Davis
(1585-1587), and Henry Hudson in 1609.


[Sidenote: Portugal]

When Vasco da Gama returned to Lisbon in 1499 with a cargo worth sixty
times the cost of his expedition, the Portuguese knew that the wealth
of the Indies was theirs. Cabral in 1500, and Albuquerque in 1503,
followed the route of Da Gama, and thereafter Portuguese fleets rounded
the Cape year by year to gain control of Goa (India), Ormuz, Diu
(India), Ceylon, Malacca, and the Spice Islands, and to bring back from
these places and from Sumatra, Java, Celebes, and Nanking (China) rich
cargoes of "spicery." After the Turkish conquest of Egypt in 1517 the
bulk of commerce was carried on by way of the Cape of Good Hope, for it
was cheaper to transport goods by sea than to pay taxes to the Turks in
addition to caravan cartage. Lisbon rapidly gained prominence as a
market for Eastern wares.

The Portuguese triumph was short-lived. Dominion over half the world--
for Portugal claimed all Africa, southern Asia, and Brazil as hers by
right of discovery--had been acquired by the wise policy of the
Portuguese royal house, but Portugal had neither products of her own to
ship to Asia, nor the might to defend her exclusive right to the
carrying trade with the Indies. The annexation of Portugal to Spain
(1580) by Philip II precipitated disaster. The port of Lisbon was
closed to the French, English, and Dutch, with whom Philip was at war,
and much of the colonial empire of Portugal was conquered speedily by
the Dutch.

[Sidenote: Spain]

On the first voyage of Columbus Spain based her claim to share the
world with Portugal. In order that there might be perfect harmony
between the rival explorers of the unknown seas, Pope Alexander VI
issued on 4 May, 1493, the famous bull [Footnote: A bull was a solemn
letter or edict issued by the pope.] attempting to divide the
uncivilized parts of the world between Spain and Portugal by the "papal
line of demarcation," drawn from pole to pole, 100 leagues west of the
Azores. A year later the line was shifted to about 360 leagues west of
the Cape Verde Islands. Portugal had the eastern half of modern Brazil,
Africa, and all other heathen lands in that hemisphere; the rest
comprised the share of Spain.

For a time the Spanish adventurers were disappointed tremendously to
find neither spices nor silks and but little gold in the "Indies," and
Columbus was derisively dubbed the "Admiral of the Mosquitos." In spite
of failures the search for wealth was prosecuted with vigor. During the
next half century Haiti, called Hispaniola ("Spanish Isle"), served as
a starting point for the occupation of Puerto Rico, Cuba (1508), and
other islands. An aged adventurer, Ponce de Leon, in search of a
fountain of youth, explored the coast of Florida in 1513, and
subsequent expeditions pushed on to the Mississippi, across the plain
of Texas, and even to California.

Montezuma, ruler of the ancient Aztec [Footnote: The Aztec Indians of
Mexico, like various other tribes in Central America and in Peru, had
reached in many respects a high degree of civilization before the
arrival of Europeans.] confederacy of Mexico, was overthrown in 1519 by
the reckless Hernando Cortez with a small band of soldiers. Here at
last the Spaniards found treasures of gold and silver, and more
abundant yet were the stores of precious metal found by Pizarro in Peru
(1531). Those were the days when a few score of brave men could capture
kingdoms and carry away untold wealth.

In the next chapter we shall see how the Spanish monarchy, backed by
the power of American riches, dazzled the eyes of Europe in the
sixteenth century. Not content to see his standard waving over almost
half of Europe, and all America (except Brazil), Philip II of Spain by
conquering Portugal in 1580 added to his possessions the Portuguese
empire in the Orient and in Brazil. The gold mines of America, the
spices of Asia, and the busiest market of Europe--Antwerp--all paid
tribute to his Catholic Majesty, Philip II of Spain.

By an unwise administration of this vast empire, Spain, in the course
of time, killed the goose that laid the golden egg. The native Indians,
enslaved and lashed to their work in Peruvian and Mexican silver mines,
rapidly lost even their primitive civilization and died in alarming
numbers. This in itself would not have weakened the monarchy greatly,
but it appeared more serious when we remember that the high-handed and
harassing regulations imposed by short-sighted or selfish officials had
checked the growth of a healthy agricultural and industrial population
in the colonies, and that the bulk of the silver was going to support
the pride of grandees and to swell the fortunes of German speculators,
rather than to fill the royal coffers. The taxes levied on trade with
the colonies were so exorbitant that the commerce with America fell
largely into the hands of English and Dutch smugglers. Under wise
government the monopoly of the African trade-route might have proved
extremely valuable, but Philip II, absorbed in other matters, allowed
this, too, to slip from his fingers.

While the Spanish monarchy was thus reaping little benefit from its
world-wide colonial possessions, it was neglecting to encourage
prosperity at home. Trade and manufacture had expanded enormously in
the sixteenth century in the hands of the Jews and Moors. Woolen
manufactures supported nearly a third of the population. The silk
manufacture had become important. It is recorded that salt-works of the
region about Santa Maria often sent out fifty shiploads at a time.

These signs of growth soon gave way to signs of decay and depopulation.
Chief among the causes of ruin were the taxes, increased enormously
during the sixteenth century. Property taxes, said to have increased 30
per cent, ruined farmers, and the "alcabala," or tax on commodities
bought and sold, was increased until merchants went out of business,
and many an industrial establishment closed its doors rather than pay
the taxes. Industry and commerce, already diseased, were almost
completely killed by the expulsion of the Jews (1492) and of the Moors
(1609), who had been respectively the bankers and the manufacturers of
Spain. Spanish gold now went to the English and Dutch smugglers who
supplied the peninsula with manufactures, and German bankers became the
financiers of the realm.

The crowning misfortune was the revolt of the Netherlands, the richest
provinces of the whole empire. Some of the wealthiest cities of Europe
were situated in the Netherlands. Bruges had once been a great city,
and in 1566 was still able to buy nearly $2,000,000 worth of wool to
feed its looms; but as a commercial and financial center, the Flemish
city of Antwerp had taken first place. In 1566 it was said that 300
ships and as many wagons arrived daily with rich cargoes to be bought
and sold by the thousand commercial houses of Antwerp. Antwerp was the
heart through which the money of Europe flowed. Through the bankers of
Antwerp a French king might borrow money of a Turkish pasha. Yet
Antwerp was only the greatest among the many cities of the Netherlands.

Charles V, king of Spain during the first half of the sixteenth
century, had found in the Netherlands his richest source of income, and
had wisely done all in his power to preserve their prosperity. As we
shall see in Chapter III, the governors appointed by King Philip II in
the second half of the sixteenth century lost the love of the people by
the harsh measures against the Protestants, and ruined commerce and
industry by imposing taxes of 5 and 10 per cent on every sale of land
or goods. In 1566 the Netherlands rose in revolt, and after many bloody
battles, the northern or Dutch provinces succeeded in breaking away
from Spanish rule.

Spain had not only lost the little Dutch provinces; Flanders was
ruined: its fields lay waste, its weavers had emigrated to England, its
commerce to Amsterdam. Commercial supremacy never returned to Antwerp
after the "Spanish Fury" of 1576. Moreover, during the war Dutch
sailors had captured most of the former possessions of Portugal, and
English sea-power, beginning in mere piratical attacks on Spanish
treasure-fleets, had become firmly established. The finest part of
North America was claimed by the English and French. Of her world
empire, Spain retained only Central and South America (except Brazil),
Mexico, California, Florida, most of the West Indies, and in the East
the Philippine Islands and part of Borneo.

[Sidenote: Dutch Sea Power]

The Dutch, driven to sea by the limited resources of their narrow strip
of coastland, had begun their maritime career as fishermen "exchanging
tons of herring for tons of gold." In the sixteenth century they had
built up a considerable carrying trade, bringing cloth, tar, timber,
and grain to Spain and France, and distributing to the Baltic countries
the wines and liquors and other products of southwestern Europe, in
addition to wares from the Portuguese East Indies.

The Dutch traders had purchased their Eastern wares largely from
Portuguese merchants in the port of Lisbon. Two circumstances--the
union of Spain with Portugal in 1580 and the revolt of the Netherlands
from Spain--combined to give the Dutch their great opportunity. In 1594
the port of Lisbon was closed to Dutch merchants. The following year
the Dutch made their first voyage to India, and, long jealous of the
Portuguese colonial possessions, they began systematically to make the
trade with the Spice Islands their own. By 1602, 65 Dutch ships had
been to India. In the thirteen years--1602 to 1615--they captured 545
Portuguese and Spanish ships, seized ports on the coasts of Africa and
India, and established themselves in the Spice Islands. In addition to
most of the old Portuguese empire,--ports in Africa and India, Malacca,
Oceanica, and Brazil, [Footnote: Brazil was more or less under Dutch
control from 1624 until 1654, when, through an uprising of Portuguese
colonists, the country was fully recovered by Portugal. Holland
recognized the Portuguese ownership of Brazil by treaty of 1662, and
thenceforth the Dutch retained in South America only a portion of
Guiana (Surinam).]--the Dutch had acquired a foothold in North America
by the discoveries of Henry Hudson in 1609 and by settlement in 1621.
Their colonists along the Hudson River called the new territory New
Netherland and the town on Manhattan island New Amsterdam, but when
Charles II of England seized the land in 1664, he renamed it New York.

Thus the Dutch had succeeded to the colonial empire of the Portuguese.
With their increased power they were able entirely to usurp the Baltic
trade from the hands of the Hanseatic (German) merchants, who had
incurred heavy losses by the injury to their interests in Antwerp
during the sixteenth century. Throughout the seventeenth century the
Dutch almost monopolized the carrying-trade from Asia and between
southwestern Europe and the Baltic. The prosperity of the Dutch was the
envy of all Europe.

[Sidenote: Beginnings of English and French Explorations]

It took the whole sixteenth century for the English and French to get
thoroughly into the colonial contest. During that period the activities
of the English were confined to exploration and piracy, with the
exception of the ill-starred attempts of Gilbert and Raleigh to
colonize Newfoundland and North Carolina. The voyages of the Anglo-
Italian John Cabot in 1497-1498 were later to be the basis of British
claims to North America. The search for a northwest passage drove
Frobisher (1576-1578), Davis (1585-1587), Hudson (1610-1611), and
Baffin (1616) to explore the northern extremity of North America, to
leave the record of their exploits in names of bays, islands, and
straits, and to establish England's claim to northern Canada; while the
search for a northeast passage enticed Willoughby and Chancellor (1553)
around Lapland, and Jenkinson (1557-1558) to the icebound port of
Archangel in northern Russia. Elizabethan England had neither silver
mines nor spice islands, but the deficiency was never felt while
British privateers sailed the seas. Hawkins, the great slaver, Drake,
the second circumnavigator of the globe, Davis, and Cavendish were but
four of the bold captains who towed home many a stately Spanish galleon
laden with silver plate and with gold. As for spices, the English East
India Company, chartered in 1600, was soon to build up an empire in the
East in competition with the Portuguese, the Dutch, and the French, but
that story belongs to a later chapter.

France was less active. The rivalry of Francis I [Footnote: See below,
pp. 77 ff.] with Charles I of Spain had extended even to the New World.
Verrazano (1524) sailed the coast from Carolina to Labrador, and
Cartier (1534-1535) pushed up the Saint Lawrence to Montreal, looking
for a northwest passage, and demonstrating that France had no respect
for the Spanish claim to all America. After 1535, however, nothing of
permanence was done until the end of the century, and the founding of
French colonies in India and along the Saint Lawrence and Mississippi
rivers belongs rather to the history of the seventeenth century.

[Sidenote: Motives for Colonization]

One of the most amazing spectacles in history is the expansion of
Europe since the sixteenth century. Not resting content with
discovering the rest of the world, the European nations with sublime
confidence pressed on to divide the new continents among them, to
conquer, Christianize, and civilize the natives, and to send out
millions of new emigrants to establish beyond the seas a New England, a
New France, a New Spain, and a New Netherland. The Spaniards in Spain
to-day are far outnumbered by the Spanish-speaking people in Argentina,
Chili, Peru, Venezuela, Colombia, Central America, and the Philippine

[Sidenote: Religion]

It was not merely greed for gold and thirst for glory which inspired
the colonizing movement. To the merchant's eager search for precious
metals and costly spices, and to the adventurer's fierce delight in
braving unknown dangers where white man never had ventured, the
Portuguese and Spanish explorers added the inspiration of an ennobling
missionary ideal. In the conquest of the New World priests and chapels
were as important as soldiers and fortresses; and its settlements were
named in honor of Saint Francis (San Francisco), Saint Augustine (St.
Augustine), the Holy Saviour (San Salvador), the Holy Cross (Santa
Cruz), or the Holy Faith (Santa Fé). Fearless priests penetrated the
interior of America, preaching and baptizing as they went.
Unfortunately some of the Spanish adventurers who came to make fortunes
in the mines of America, and a great number of the non-Spanish
foreigners who owned mines in the Spanish colonies, set gain before
religion, and imposed crushing burdens on the natives who toiled as
slaves in their mines. Cruelty and forced labor decimated the natives,
but in the course of time this abuse was remedied, thanks largely to
the Spanish bishop, Bartolomé de las Casas, and instead of forming a
miserable remnant of an almost extinct race, as they do in the United
States, the Indians freely intermarried with the Spaniards, whom they
always outnumbered. As a result, Latin America is peopled by nations
which are predominantly Indian in blood, [Footnote: Except in the
southern part of South America.] Spanish or Portuguese [Footnote: In
Brazil.] in language, and Roman Catholic in religion.

The same religious zeal which had actuated Spanish missionary-explorers
was manifested at a later date by the French Jesuit Fathers who
penetrated North America in order to preach the Christian faith to the
Indians. Quite different were the religious motives which in the
seventeenth century inspired Protestant colonists in the New World.
They came not as evangelists, but as religious outcasts fleeing from
persecution, or as restless souls worsted at politics or unable to gain
a living at home. This meant the dispossession and ultimate extinction
rather than the conversion of the Indians.

[Sidenote: Decline of the Hanseatic League]

The stirring story of the colonial struggles which occupied the
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries will be taken up in another
chapter; at this point, therefore, we turn from the expanding nations
on the Atlantic seaboard to note the mournful plight of the older
commercial powers--the German and Italian city-states. As for the
former, the Hanseatic League, despoiled of its Baltic commerce by
enterprising Dutch and English merchants, its cities restless and
rebellious, gradually broke up. In 1601 an Englishman metaphorically
observed: "Most of their [the league's] teeth have fallen out, the rest
sit but loosely in their head,"--and in fact all were soon lost except
Lübeck, Bremen, and Hamburg.

[Sidenote: Decay of Venice]

Less rapid, but no less striking, was the decay of Venice and the other
Italian cities. The first cargoes brought by the Portuguese from India
caused the price of pepper and spices to fall to a degree which spelled
ruin for the Venetians. The Turks continued to harry Italian traders in
the Levant, and the Turkish sea-power grew to menacing proportions,
until in 1571 Venice had to appeal to Spain for help. To the terror of
the Turk was added the torment of the Barbary pirates, who from the
northern coast of Africa frequently descended upon Italian seaports.
The commerce of Venice was ruined. The brilliance of Venice in art and
literature lasted through another century (the seventeenth), supported
on the ruins of Venetian opulence; but the splendor of Venice was
extinguished finally in the turbulent sea of political intrigue into
which the rest of Italy had already sunk.


In a way, all of the colonizing movements, which we have been at pains
to trace, might be regarded as the first and greatest result of the
Commercial Revolution--that is, if by the Commercial Revolution one
understands simply the discovery of new trade-routes; but, as it is
difficult to separate explorations from colonization, we have used the
term "Commercial Revolution" to include both. By the Commercial
Revolution we mean that expansive movement by which European commerce
escaped from the narrow confines of the Mediterranean and encompassed
the whole world. We shall proceed now to consider that movement in its
secondary aspects or effects.

One of the first in importance of these effects was the advent of a new
politico-economic doctrine—mercantilism--the result of the transference
of commercial supremacy from Italian and German city-states to national

[Sidenote: Nationalism in Commerce]

With the declining Italian and German commercial cities, the era of
municipal commerce passed away forever. In the peoples of the Atlantic
seaboard, who now became masters of the seas, national consciousness
already was strongly developed, and centralized governments were
perfected; these nations carried the national spirit into commerce.
Portugal and Spain owed their colonial empires to the enterprise of
their royal families; Holland gained a trade route as an incident of
her struggle for national independence; England and France, which were
to become the great commercial rivals of the eighteenth century, were
the two strongest national monarchies.

[Sidenote: Mercantilism]

The new nations founded their power not on the fearlessness of their
chevaliers, but on the extent of their financial resources. Wealth was
needed to arm and to pay the soldiers, wealth to build warships, wealth
to bribe diplomats. And since this wealth must come from the people by
taxes, it was essential to have a people prosperous enough to pay
taxes. The wealth of the nation must be the primary consideration of
the legislators. In endeavoring to cultivate and preserve the wealth of
their subjects, European monarchs proceeded upon the assumption that if
a nation exported costly manufactures to its own colonies and imported
cheap raw materials from them, the money paid into the home country for
manufactures would more than counterbalance the money paid out for raw
materials, and this "favorable balance of trade" would bring gold to
the nation. This economic theory and the system based upon it are
called mercantilism. In order to establish such a balance of trade, the
government might either forbid or heavily tax the importation of
manufactures from abroad, might prohibit the export of raw materials,
might subsidize the export of manufactures, and might attempt by minute
regulations to foster industry at home as well as to discourage
competition in the colonies. Thus, intending to retain the profits of
commerce for Englishmen, Cromwell and later rulers required that
certain goods must be carried on English ships.

[Sidenote: Chartered Companies]

By far the most popular method of developing a lucrative colonial
trade--especially towards the end of the sixteenth and throughout the
seventeenth century--was by means of chartered commercial companies.
England (in 1600), Holland (in 1602), France (in 1664), Sweden,
Denmark, Scotland, and Prussia each chartered its own "East India
Company." The English possessions on the Atlantic coast of America were
shared by the London and Plymouth Companies (1606). English companies
for trade with Russia, Turkey, Morocco, Guiana, Bermuda, the Canaries,
and Hudson Bay were organized and reorganized with bewildering
activity. In France the crop of commercial companies was no less

To each of these companies was assigned the exclusive right to trade
with and to govern the inhabitants of a particular colony, with the
privilege and duty of defending the same. Sometimes the companies were
required to pay money into the royal treasury, or on the other hand, if
the enterprise were a difficult one, a company might be supported by
royal subsidies. The Dutch West India Company (1621) was authorized to
build forts, maintain troops, and make war on land and sea; the
government endowed the company with one million florins, sixteen ships,
four yachts, and exemption from all tolls and license dues on its
vessels. The English East India Company, first organized in 1600,
conducted the conquest and government of India for more than two
centuries, before its administrative power was taken away in 1858.

[Sidenote: Financial Methods.]
[Sidenote: The "Regulated Company"]

The great commercial companies were a new departure in business method.
In the middle ages business had been carried on mostly by individuals
or by partnerships, the partners being, as a rule, members of the same
family. After the expansion of commerce, trading with another country
necessitated building forts and equipping fleets for protection against
savages, pirates, or other nations. Since this could not be
accomplished with the limited resources of a few individuals, it was
necessary to form large companies in which many investors shared
expense and risk. Some had been created for European trade, but the
important growth of such companies was for distant trade. Their first
form was the "regulated company." Each member would contribute to the
general fund for such expenses as building forts; and certain rules
would be made for the governance of all. Subject to these rules, each
merchant traded as he pleased, and there was no pooling of profits. The
regulated company, the first form of the commercial company, was
encouraged by the king. He could charter such a company, grant it a
monopoly over a certain district, and trust it to develop the trade as
no individual could, and there was no evasion of taxes as by
independent merchants.

[Sidenote: The Joint-stock Company]

After a decade or so, many of the regulated companies found that their
members often pursued individual advantage to the detriment of the
company's interests, and it was thought that, taken altogether, profits
would be greater and the risk less, if all should contribute to a
common treasury, intrusting to the most able members the direction of
the business for the benefit of all. Then each would receive a dividend
or part of the profits proportional to his share in the general
treasury or "joint stock." The idea that while the company as a whole
was permanent each individual could buy or sell "shares" in the joint
stock, helped to make such "joint-stock" companies very popular after
the opening of the seventeenth century. The English East India Company,
organized as a regulated company in 1600, was reorganized piecemeal for
half a century until it acquired the form of a joint-stock enterprise;
most of the other chartered colonial companies followed the same plan.
In these early stock-companies we find the germ of the most
characteristic of present-day business institutions--the corporation.
In the seventeenth century this form of business organization, then in
its rudimentary stages, as yet had not been applied to industry, nor
had sad experience yet revealed the lengths to which corrupt
corporation directors might go.

[Sidenote: Banking]

The development of the joint-stock company was attended by increased
activity in banking. In the early middle ages the lending of money for
interest had been forbidden by the Catholic Church; in this as in other
branches of business it was immoral to receive profit without giving
work. The Jews, however, with no such scruples, had found money-lending
very profitable, even though royal debtors occasionally refused to pay.
As business developed in Italy, however, Christians lost their
repugnance to interest-taking, and Italian (Lombard) and later French
and German money-lenders and money-changers became famous. Since the
coins minted by feudal lords and kings were hard to pass except in
limited districts, and since the danger of counterfeit or light-weight
coins was far greater than now, the "money-changers" who would buy and
sell the coins of different countries did a thriving business at
Antwerp in the early sixteenth century. Later, Amsterdam, London,
Hamburg, and Frankfort took over the business of Antwerp and developed
the institutions of finance to a higher degree. [Footnote: The gold of
the New World and the larger scope of commercial enterprises had
increased the scale of operations, as may be seen by comparing the
fortunes of three great banking families: 1300--the Peruzzi's,
$800,000; 1440--the Medici's, $7,500,000; 1546--the Fuggers',
$40,000,000.] The money-lenders became bankers, paying interest on
deposits and receiving higher interest on loans. Shares of the stock of
commercial companies were bought and sold in exchanges, and as early as
1542 there were complaints about speculating on the rise and fall of

Within a comparatively short time the medieval merchants' gilds had
given way to great stock-companies, and Jewish money-lenders to
millionaire bankers and banking houses with many of our instruments of
exchange such as the bill of exchange. Such was the revolution in
business that attended, and that was partly caused, partly helped, by
the changes in foreign trade, which we call the Commercial Revolution.

[Sidenote: New Commodities]

Not only was foreign trade changed from the south and east of Europe to
the west, from the city-states to nations, from land-routes to ocean-
routes; but the vessels which sailed the Atlantic were larger,
stronger, and more numerous, and they sailed with amazing confidence
and safety, as compared with the fragile caravels and galleys of a few
centuries before. The cargoes they carried had changed too. The
comparative cheapness of water-transportation had made it possible
profitably to carry grain and meat, as well as costly luxuries of small
bulk such as spices and silks. Manufactures were an important item.
Moreover, new commodities came into commerce, such as tea and coffee.
The Americas sent to Europe the potato, "Indian" corn, tobacco, cocoa,
cane-sugar (hitherto scarce), molasses, rice, rum, fish, whale-oil and
whalebone, dye-woods and timber and furs; Europe sent back
manufactures, luxuries, and slaves.

[Sidenote: Slavery]

Slaves had been articles of commerce since time immemorial; at the end
of the fifteenth century there were said to have been 3000 in Venice;
and the Portuguese had enslaved some Africans before 1500. But the need
for cheap labor in the mines and on the sugar and tobacco plantations
of the New World gave the slave-trade a new and tremendous impetus. The
Spaniards began early to enslave the natives of America, although the
practice was opposed by the noble endeavors of the Dominican friar and
bishop, Bartolomé de las Casas. But the native population was not
sufficient,--or, as in the English colonies, the Indians were
exterminated rather than enslaved,--and in the sixteenth century it was
deemed necessary to import negroes from Africa. The trade in African
negroes was fathered by the English captain Hawkins, and fostered alike
by English and Dutch. It proved highly lucrative, and it was long
before the trade yielded to the better judgment of civilized nations,
and still longer before the institution of slavery could be eradicated.

[Sidenote: Effects on Industry and Agriculture]

The expansion of trade was the strongest possible stimulus to
agriculture and industry. New industries--such as the silk and cotton
manufacture--grew up outside of the antiquated gild system. The old
industries, especially the English woolen industry, grew to new
importance and often came under the control of the newer and more
powerful merchants who conducted a wholesale business in a single
commodity, such as cloth. Capitalists had their agents buy wool, dole
it out to spinners and weavers who were paid so much for a given amount
of work, and then sell the finished product. This was called the
"domestic system," because the work was done at home, or
"capitalistic," because raw material and finished product were owned
not by the man who worked them, but by a "capitalist" or rich merchant.
How these changing conditions were dealt with by mercantilist
statesmen, we shall see in later chapters.

The effect on agriculture had been less direct but no less real. The
land had to be tilled with greater care to produce grain sufficient to
support populous cities and to ship to foreign ports. Countries were
now more inclined to specialize--France in wine, England in wool--and
so certain branches of production grew more important. The introduction
of new crops produced no more remarkable results than in Ireland where
the potato, transplanted from America, became a staple in the Irish
diet: "Irish potatoes" in common parlance attest the completeness of

[Sidenote: General Significance of Commercial Revolution]

In the preceding pages we have attempted to study particular effects of
the Commercial Revolution (in the broad sense including the expansion
of commerce as well as the change of trade-routes), such as the decline
of Venice and of the Hanse, the formation of colonial empires, the rise
of commercial companies, the expansion of banking, the introduction of
new articles of commerce, and the development of agriculture and
industry. In each particular the change was noticeable and important.

But the Commercial Revolution possesses a more general significance.

[Sidenote: Europeanization of the World]

(1) It was the Commercial Revolution that started Europe on her career
of world conquest. The petty, quarrelsome feudal states of the smallest
of five continents have become the Powers of to-day, dividing up
Africa, Asia, and America, founding empires greater and more lasting
than that of Alexander. The colonists of Europe imparted their language
to South America and made of North America a second Europe with a
common cultural heritage. The explorers, missionaries, and merchants of
Europe have penetrated all lands, bringing in their train European
manners, dress, and institutions. They are still at work Europeanizing
the world.

[Sidenote: 2. Increase of Wealth, Knowledge, and Comfort]

(2) The expansion of commerce meant the increase of wealth, knowledge,
and comfort. All the continents heaped their treasures in the lap of
Europe. Knowledge of the New World, with its many peoples, products,
and peculiarities, tended to dispel the silly notions of medieval
ignorance; and the goods of every land were brought for the comfort of
the European--American timber for his house, Persian rugs for his
floors, Indian ebony for his table, Irish linen to cover it, Peruvian
silver for his fork, Chinese tea, sweetened with sugar from Cuba.

[Sidenote: 3. The Rise of the Bourgeoisie]

(3) This new comfort, knowledge, and wealth went not merely to nobles
and prelates; it was noticeable most of all in a new class, the
"bourgeoisie." In the towns of Europe lived bankers, merchants, and
shop-keepers,--intelligent, able, and wealthy enough to live like kings
or princes. These bourgeois or townspeople (_bourg_ = town) were
to grow in intelligence, in wealth, and in political influence; they
were destined to precipitate revolutions in industry and politics,
thereby establishing their individual rule over factories, and their
collective rule over legislatures.


GENERAL. A. F. Pollard, _Factors in Modern History_ (1907), ch.
ii, vi, x, three illuminating essays; E. P. Cheyney, _An Introduction
to the Industrial and Social History of England_ (1901), ch. ii-vi,
a good outline; F. W. Tickner, _A Social and Industrial History of
England_ (1915), an interesting and valuable elementary manual, ch.
i-vii, x-xii, xvi, xvii, xix-xxi, xxiv-xxvii; W. J. Ashley, _The
Economic Organization of England_ (1914), ch. i-v; G. T. Warner,
_Landmarks in English Industrial History_, 11th ed. (1912), ch.
vii-xiii; H. D. Traill and J. S. Mann (editors), _Social England_
(1909), Vols. II, III; H. de B. Gibbins, _Industry in England_,
6th ed. (1910), compact general survey; William Cunningham, _The
Growth of English Industry and Commerce in Modern Times_, 5th ed., 3
vols. (1910-1912), a standard work; H. D. Bax, _German Society at the
Close of the Middle Ages_ (1894), brief but clear, especially ch. i,
v, vii on towns and country-life in the Germanies. Very detailed works:
Maxime Kovalevsky, _Die ökonomische Entwicklung Europas bis zum
Beginn der kapitalistischen Wirtschaftsform_, trans. into German
from Russian, 7 vols. (1901-1914), especially vols. III, IV, VI; Émile
Levasseur, _Histoire des classes ouvrières et de l'industrie en
France avant 1789_, Vol. II (1901), Book V; Georges d'Avenel,
_Histoire économique de la propriété, des salaires, etc._, 1200-
1800, 6 vols. (1894-1912).

Farming Past and Present_ (1912), ch. iv; E. C. K. Gonner, _Common
Land and Inclosure_ (1912), valuable for England; R. H. Tawney,
_The Agrarian Problem in the Sixteenth Century_ (1912); E. F. Gay,
_Essays on English Agrarian History in the Sixteenth Century_
(1913); H. T. Stephenson, _The Elizabethan People_ (1910); W.
Hasbach, _A History of the English Agricultural Labourer_, trans.
by Ruth Kenyon (1908), an excellent work, particularly Part I on the
development of the class of free laborers from that of the medieval
serfs. Valuable for feudal survivals in France is the brief _Feudal
Regime_ by Charles Seignobos, trans. by Dow. Useful for social
conditions in Russia: James Mavor, _An Economic History of
Russia_, 2 vols. (1914), Vol. I, Book I, ch. iii. See also Eva M.
Tappan, _When Knights were Bold_ (1911) for a very entertaining
chapter for young people, on agriculture in the sixteenth century;
Augustus Jessopp, _The Coming of the Friars_ (1913), ch. ii, for a
sympathetic treatment of "Village Life Six Hundred Years Ago"; and W.
J. Ashley, _Surveys, Historical and Economic_, for a series of
scholarly essays dealing with recent controversies in regard to
medieval land-tenure.

TOWNS AND COMMERCE ABOUT 1500. Clive Day, _History of Commerce_ (1907),
best brief account; W. C. Webster, _A General History of Commerce_
(1903), another excellent outline; E. P. Cheyney, _European Background
of American History_ (1904) in "American Nation" Series, clear account
of the medieval trade routes, pp. 3-40, of the early activities of
chartered companies, pp. 123-167, and of the connection of the
Protestant Revolution with colonialism, pp. 168-239; W. S. Lindsay,
_History of Merchant Shipping and Ancient Commerce_, 4 vols. (1874-
1876), very detailed. The best account of sixteenth-century industry is
in Vol. II of W. J. Ashley, _English Economic History and Theory_, with
elaborate critical bibliographies. For town-life and the gilds: Mrs. J.
R. Green, _Town Life in England in the Fifteenth Century_, 2 vols.
(1894); Charles Gross, _The Gild Merchant_, 2 vols. (1890); Lujo
Brentano, _On the History and Development of Gilds_ (1870); George
Unwin, _The Gilds and Companies of London_ (1908), particularly the
interesting chapter on "The Place of the Gild in the History of Western
Europe." A brief view of English town-life in the later middle ages: E.
Lipson, _An Introduction to the Economic History of England_, Vol. I
(1915), ch. v-ix. On town-life in the Netherlands: Henri Pirenne,
_Belgian Democracy: its Early History_, trans. by J. V. Saunders
(1915). On town-life in the Germanies: Helen Zimmern, _The Hansa Towns_
(1889) in "Story of the Nations" Series; Karl von Hegel, _Städte und
Gilden der germanischen Volker im Mittelalter_, 2 vols. (1891), the
standard treatise in German. On French gilds: Martin St. Leon,
_Histoire des corporations des métiers_ (1897). See also, for advanced
study of trade-routes, Wilhelm Heyd, _Geschichte des Levantehandels im
Mittelalter_, 2 vols. (1879), with a French trans. (1885-1886), and
Aloys Schulte, _Geschichte des mittelalterlichen Handels und Verkehrs
zwischen Westdeutschland und Italien_, 2 vols. (1900).

History_, Vol. I (1902), ch. i, ii; A. G. Keller, _Colonization: a
Study of the Founding of New Societies_ (1908), a textbook, omitting
reference to English and French colonization; H. C. Morris, _History
of Colonization_, 2 vols. (1908), a useful general text; M. B.
Synge, _A Book of Discovery: the History of the World's Exploration,
from the Earliest Times to the Finding of the South Pole_ (1912);
_Histoire générale_, Vol. IV, ch. xxii, xxiii, and Vol. V, ch.
xxii; S. Ruge, _Geschichte des Zeitalters der Entdeckungen_
(1881), in the ambitious Oncken Series; Paul Leroy-Beaulieu, _La
colonisation chez les peuples modernes_, 6th ed., 2 vols. (1908),
the best general work in French; Charles de Lannoy and Hermann van der
Linden, _Histoire de l'expansion coloniale des peuples européens_,
an important undertaking of two Belgian professors, of which two
volumes have appeared--Vol. I, _Portugal et Espagne_ (1907), and
Vol. II, _Néerlande et Danemark, 17e et 18e siècle_ (1911); Alfred
Zimmermann, _Die europaischen Kolonien_, the main German treatise,
in 5 vols. (1896-1903), dealing with Spain and Portugal (Vol. I), Great
Britain (Vols. II, III), France (Vol. IV), and Holland (Vol. V). Much
illustrative source-material is available in the publications of the
Hakluyt Society, Old Series, 100 vols. (1847-1898), and New Series, 35
vols. (1899-1914), selections having been separately published by E. J.
Payne (1893-1900) and by C. R. Beazley (1907). An account of the
medieval travels of Marco Polo is published conveniently in the
"Everyman" Series, and the best edition of the medieval travel-tales
which have passed under the name of Sir John Maundeville is that of The
Macmillan Company (1900). For exploration prior to Columbus and Da
Gama, see C. R. Beazley, _The Dawn of Modern Geography_, 3 vols.

the United States_ (1914), ch. i, ii, a good outline; Edward
Channing, _A History of the United States_, Vol. I (1905), an
excellent and more detailed narrative; Livingston Farrand, _Basis of
American History_ (1904), Vol. II of the "American Nation" Series,
especially valuable on the American aborigines; E. J. Payne, _History
of the New World called America_, 2 vols. (1892-1899); John Fiske,
_Colonization of the New World_, Vol. XXI of _History of All
Nations_, ch. i-vi; R. G. Watson, _Spanish and Portuguese South
America_, 2 vols. (1884); Bernard Moses, _The Establishment of
Spanish Rule in America_ (1898), and, by the same author, _The
Spanish Dependencies in South America_, 2 vols. (1914). With special
reference to Asiatic India: Mountstuart Elphinstone, _History of
India: the Hindu and Mohametan Periods_, 9th ed. (1905), an old but
still valuable work on the background of Indian history; Sir W. W.
Hunter, _A Brief History of the Indian Peoples_, rev. ed. (1903),
and, by the same author, _A History of British India_ to the
opening of the eighteenth century, 2 vols. (1899-1900), especially Vol.
I; Pringle Kennedy, _A History of the Great Moghuls_, 2 vols.
(1905-1911). With special reference to African exploration and
colonization in the sixteenth century: Sir Harry Johnston, _History
of the Colonization of Africa by Alien Races_ (1899), a very useful
and authoritative manual; Robert Brown, _The Story of Africa_, 4
vols. (1894-1895), a detailed study; G. M. Theal, _South Africa_
(1894), a clear summary in the "Story of the Nations" Series; J. S.
Keltic, _The Partition of Africa_ (1895). See also Sir Harry
Johnston, _The Negro in the New World_ (1910), important for the
slave-trade and interesting, though in tone somewhat anti-English and
pro-Spanish; J. K. Ingram, _A History of Slavery and Serfdom_
(1895), a brief sketch; and W. E. Burghardt Du Bois, _The Negro_
(1915), a handy volume in the "Home University Library."

Beazley, _Prince Henry the Navigator_ in "Heroes of the Nation," Series
(1897); J. P. Oliveira Martins, _The Golden Age of Prince Henry the
Navigator_, trans. with notes and additions by J. J. Abraham and W. E.
Reynolds (1914); K. G. Jayne, _Vasco da Gama and his Successors_, 1460-
1580 (1910); H. M. Stephens, _Portugal_ (1891), a brief sketch in the
"Story of the Nations" Series; F. C. Danvers, _The Portuguese In
India_, 2 vols. (1894), a thorough and scholarly work; H. M. Stephens,
_Albuquerque and the Portuguese Settlements in India_ (1892), in
"Rulers of India" Series; Angel Marvaud, _Le Portugal et ses colonies_
(1912); G. M. Theal, _History and Ethnography of Africa South of the
Zambesi_, Vol. I, _The Portuguese in South Africa from 1505 to 1700_
(1907), a standard work by the Keeper of the Archives of Cape Colony.
Spain: John Fiske, _Discovery of America_, 2 vols. (1892), most
delightful narrative; Wilhelm Roscher, _The Spanish Colonial System_, a
brief but highly suggestive extract from an old German work trans. by
E. G. Bourne (1904); E. G. Bourne, _Spain in America_, 1450-1580
(1904), Vol. III of "American Nation" Series, excellent in content and
form; W. R. Shepherd, _Latin America_ (1914) in "Home University
Library." pp. 9-68, clear and suggestive; Sir Arthur Helps, _The
Spanish Conquest in America_, new ed., 4 vols. (1900-1904). A scholarly
study of Columbus's career is J. B. Thacher, _Christopher Columbus_, 3
vols. (1903-1904), incorporating many of the sources; Washington
Irving, _Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus_, originally
published in 1828-1831, but still very readable and generally sound;
Filson Young, _Christopher Columbus and the New World of his
Discovery_, 2 vols. (1906), a popular account, splendidly illustrated;
Henry Harrisse, _Christophe Colomb, son origine, sa vie, ses voyages_,
2 vols. (1884), a standard work by an authority on the age of
exploration; Henri Vignaud, _Histoire critique de la grande entreprise
de Christophe Colomb_, 2 vols. (1911), destructive of many commonly
accepted ideas regarding Columbus; F. H. H. Guillemard, _The Life of
Ferdinand Magellan_ (1890); F. A. MacNutt, _Fernando Cortes and the
Conquest of Mexico_, 1485-1547 (1909), in the "Heroes of the Nations"
Series, and, by the same author, both _Letters of Cortes_, 2 vols.
(1908), and _Bartholomew de las Casas_ (1909); Sir Clements Markham,
_The Incas of Peru_ (1910). On the transference of colonial power from
Spain to the Dutch and English, see _Cambridge Modern History_, Vol. IV
(1906), ch. xxv, by H. E. Egerton. England: H. E. Egerton, _A Short
History of British Colonial Policy_, 2d ed. (1909), a bald summary,
provided, however, with good bibliographies; W. H. Woodward, _A Short
History of the Expansion of the British Empire, 1500-1911_, 3d ed.
(1912), a useful epitome; C. R. Beazley, _John and Sebastian Cabot: the
Discovery of North America_ (1898); J. A. Williamson, _Maritime
Enterprise, 1485-1558_ (1913); E. J. Payne (editor), _Voyages of the
Elizabethan Seamen to America_, 2 vols. (1893-1900); L. G. Tyler,
_England in America, 1580-1652_ (1904), Vol. IV of "American Nation"
Series; George Edmundson, _Anglo-Dutch Rivalry, 1600-1653_ (1911).
France: R. G. Thwaites, _France in America, 1497-1763_ (1905), Vol. VII
of "American Nation" Series.

Essay on Western Civilization in its Economic Aspects_, Vol. II,
_Mediaeval and Modern Times_ (1910), pp. 162-224, and, by the same
author, ch. xv of Vol. I (1902) of the _Cambridge Modern History_; E.
P. Cheyney, _Social Changes in England in the Sixteenth Century_
(1912); George Unwin, _Industrial Organization in the Sixteenth and
Seventeenth Centuries_ (1904); G. Cawston and A. H. Keane, _Early
Chartered Companies_ (1896); W. R. Scott, _The Constitution and Finance
of English, Scottish, and Irish Joint-Stock Companies to 1720_, Vol. I
(1912); C. T. Carr (editor), _Select Charters of Trading Companies_
(1913); Beckles Willson, _The Great Company_ (1899), an account of the
Hudson Bay Company; Henry Weber, _La Compagnie française des Indes,
1604-1675_ (1904); _Recueil des voyages de la Compagnie des Indes
orientales des Hollandois_, 10 vols. (1730), the monumental source for
the activities of the chief Dutch trading-company.




As we look back upon the confused sixteenth century, we are struck at
once by two commanding figures,--the Emperor Charles V [Footnote:
Charles I of Spain.] and his son Philip II,--about whom we may group
most of the political events of the period. The father occupies the
center of the stage during the first half of the century; the son,
during the second half.

[Sidenote: Extensive Dominions of Charles]

At Ghent in the Netherlands, Charles was born in 1500 of illustrious
parentage. His father was Philip of Habsburg, son of the Emperor
Maximilian and Mary, duchess of Burgundy. His mother was the Infanta
Joanna, daughter and heiress of Ferdinand of Aragon and Naples and
Isabella of Castile and the Indies. The death of his father and the
incapacity of his mother--she had become insane--left Charles at the
tender age of six years an orphan under the guardianship of his
grandfathers Maximilian and Ferdinand. The death of the latter in 1516
transferred the whole Spanish inheritance to Charles, and three years
later, by the death of the former, he came into possession of the
hereditary dominions of the Habsburgs. Thus under a youth of nineteen
years were grouped wider lands and greater populations than any
Christian sovereign had ever ruled. Vienna, Amsterdam, Antwerp,
Brussels, Milan, Naples, Madrid, Cadiz,--even the City of Mexico,--owed
him allegiance. His titles alone would fill several pages.

Maximilian had intended not only that all these lands should pass into
the hands of the Habsburg family, but also that his grandson should
succeed him as head of the Holy Roman Empire. This ambition, however,
was hard of fulfillment, because the French king, Francis I (1515-
1547), feared the encircling of his own country by a united German-
Spanish-Italian state, and set himself to preserve what he called the
"Balance of Power"--preventing the undue growth of one political power
at the expense of others. It was only by means of appeal to national
and family sentiment and the most wholesale bribery that Charles
managed to secure a majority of the electors' votes against his French
rival [Footnote: Henry VIII of England was also a candidate.] and
thereby to acquire the coveted imperial title. He was crowned at Aix-
la-Chapelle in his twenty-first year.

[Sidenote: Character of Charles]

Never have greater difficulties confronted a sovereign than those which
Charles V was obliged to face throughout his reign; never did monarch
lead a more strenuous life. He was the central figure in a very
critical period of history: his own character as well as the
painstaking education he had received in the Netherlands conferred upon
him a lively appreciation of his position and a dogged pertinacity in
discharging its obligations. Both in administering his extensive
dominions and in dealing with foreign foes, Charles was a zealous,
hard-working, and calculating prince, and the lack of success which
attended many of his projects was due not to want of ability in the
ruler but to the multiplicity of interests among the ruled. The emperor
must do too many things to allow of his doing any one thing well.

[Sidenote: Difficulties Confronting Charles]

Suppose we turn over in our minds some of the chief problems of Charles
V, for they will serve to explain much of the political history of the
sixteenth century. In the first place, the emperor was confronted with
extraordinary difficulties in governing his territories. Each one of
the seventeen provinces of the Netherlands--the country which he always
considered peculiarly his own--was a distinct political unit, for there
existed only the rudiments of a central administration and a common
representative system, while the county of Burgundy had a separate
political organization. The crown of Castile brought with it the
recently conquered kingdom of Granada, together with the new colonies
in America and scattered posts in northern Africa. The crown of Aragon
comprised the four distinct states of Aragon, Valencia, Catalonia, and
Navarre, [Footnote: The part south of the Pyrenees. See above, p. 8.]
and, in addition, the kingdoms of Naples, Sicily, and Sardinia, each
with its own customs and government. At least eight independent cortes
or parliaments existed in this Spanish-Italian group, adding greatly to
the intricacy of administration. Much the same was true of that other
Habsburg group of states,--Austria, Styria, Carniola, Carinthia, the
Tyrol, etc., but Charles soon freed himself from immediate
responsibility for their government by intrusting them (1521) to his
younger brother, Ferdinand, who by his own marriage and elections added
the kingdoms of Bohemia [Footnote: Including the Bohemian crown lands
of Moravia and Silesia.] and Hungary (1526) to the Habsburg dominions.
The Empire afforded additional problems: it made serious demands upon
the time, money, and energies of its ruler; in return, it gave little
but glamour. In all these regions Charles had to do with financial,
judicial, and ecclesiastical matters. He had to reconcile conflicting
interests and appeal for popularity to many varied races. More than
once during his reign he even had to repress rebellion. In Germany,
from his very first Diet in 1521, he was face to face with rising
Protestantism which seemed to him to blaspheme his altar and to assail
his throne.

The emperor's overwhelming administrative difficulties were complicated
at every turn by the intricacies of foreign politics. In the first
place, Charles was obliged to wage war with France throughout the
greater part of his reign; he had inherited a longstanding quarrel with
the French kings, to which the rivalry of Francis I for the empire gave
a personal aspect. In the second place, and almost as formidable, was
the advance of the Turks up the Danube and the increase of Mohammedan
naval power in the Mediterranean. Against Protestant Germany a Catholic
monarch might hope to rely on papal assistance, and English support
might conceivably be enlisted against France. But the popes, who
usually disliked the emperor's Italian policy, were not of great aid to
him elsewhere; and the English sovereigns had domestic reasons for
developing hostility to Charles. A brief sketch of the foreign affairs
of Charles may make the situation clear.

[Sidenote: Francis I of France and the Reasons for his Wars with the
Emperor Charles V]

Six years older than Charles, Francis I had succeeded to the French
throne in 1515, irresponsible, frivolous, and vain of military
reputation. The general political situation of the time,--the gradual
inclosure of the French monarchy by a string of Habsburg territories,--
to say nothing of the remarkable contrast between the character of
Francis and that of the persevering Charles, made a great conflict
inevitable, and definite pretexts were not lacking for an early
outbreak of hostilities. (1) Francis revived the claims of the French
crown to Naples, although Louis XII had renounced them in 1504. (2)
Francis, bent on regaining Milan, which his predecessor had lost in
1512, invaded the duchy and, after winning the brilliant victory of
Marignano in the first year of his reign, occupied the city of Milan.
Charles subsequently insisted, however, that the duchy was a fief of
the Holy Roman Empire and that he was sworn by oath to recover it. (3)
Francis asserted the claims of a kinsman to the little kingdom of
Navarre, the greater part of which, it will be remembered, had recently
[Footnote: In 1512. See above.] been forcibly annexed to Spain. (4)
Francis desired to extend his sway over the rich French-speaking
provinces of the Netherlands, while Charles was determined not only to
prevent further aggressions but to recover the duchy of Burgundy of
which his grandmother had been deprived by Louis XI. (5) The outcome of
the contest for the imperial crown in 1519 virtually completed the
breach between the two rivals. War broke out in 1521, and with few
interruptions it was destined to outlast the lives of both Francis and

[Sidenote: The Italian Wars of Charles V and Francis I]

Italy was the main theater of the combat. In the first stage, the
imperial forces, with the aid of a papal army, speedily drove the
French garrison out of Milan. The Sforza family  was duly invested with
the duchy as a fief of the Empire, and the pope was compensated by the
addition of Parma and Piacenza to the Patrimony of Saint Peter. The
victorious Imperialists then pressed across the Alps and besieged
Marseilles. Francis, who had been detained by domestic troubles in
France, [Footnote: These troubles related to the disposition of the
important landed estates of the Bourbon family. The duke of Bourbon,
who was constable of France, felt himself injured by the king and
accordingly deserted to the emperor.] now succeeded in raising the
siege and pursued the retreating enemy to Milan. Instead of following
up his advantage by promptly attacking the main army of the
Imperialists, the French king dispatched a part of his force to Naples,
and with the other turned aside to blockade the city of Pavia. This
blunder enabled the Imperialists to reform their ranks and to march
towards Pavia in order to join the besieged. Here on 24 February,
1525,--the emperor's twenty-fifth birthday,--the army of Charles won an
overwhelming victory. Eight thousand French soldiers fell on the field
that day, and Francis, who had been in the thick of the fight, was
compelled to surrender. "No thing in the world is left me save my honor
and my life," wrote the king to his mother. Everything seemed
auspicious for the cause of Charles. Francis, after a brief captivity
in Spain, was released on condition that he would surrender all claims
to Burgundy, the Netherlands, and Italy, and would marry the emperor's

[Sidenote: The Sack of Rome, 1527]

Francis swore upon the Gospels and upon his knightly word that he would
fulfill these conditions, but in his own and contemporary opinion the
compulsion exercised upon him absolved him from his oath. No sooner was
he back in France than he declared the treaty null and void and
proceeded to form alliances with all the Italian powers that had become
alarmed by the sudden strengthening of the emperor's position in the
peninsula,--the pope, Venice, Florence, and even the Sforza who owed
everything to Charles. Upon the resumption of hostilities the league
displayed the same want of agreement and energy which characterized
every coalition of Italian city-states; and soon the Imperialists were
able to possess themselves of much of the country. In 1527 occurred a
famous episode--the sack of Rome. It was not displeasing to the emperor
that the pope should be punished for giving aid to France, although
Charles cannot be held altogether responsible for what befell. His army
in Italy, composed largely of Spaniards and Germans, being short of
food and money, and without orders, mutinied and marched upon the
Eternal City, which was soon at their mercy. About four thousand people
perished in the capture. The pillage lasted nine months, and the
brigands were halted only by a frightful pestilence which decimated
their numbers. Convents were forced, altars stripped, tombs profaned,
the library of the Vatican sacked, and works of art torn down as
monuments of idolatry. Pope Clement VII (1523-1534), a nephew of the
other Medici pope, Leo X, had taken refuge in the impregnable castle of
St. Angelo and was now obliged to make peace with the emperor.

[Sidenote: Peace of Cambrai, 1529]

The sack of Rome aroused bitter feelings throughout Catholic Europe,
and Henry VIII of England, at that time still loyal to the pope,
ostentatiously sent aid to Francis. But although the emperor made
little headway against Francis, the French king, on account of
strategic blunders and the disunion of the league, was unable to
maintain a sure foothold in Italy. The peace of Cambrai (1529) provided
that Francis should abandon Naples, Milan, and the Netherlands, but the
cession of Burgundy was no longer insisted upon. Francis proceeded to
celebrate his marriage with the emperor's sister.

[Sidenote: Habsburg Predominance in Italy]

Eight years of warfare had left Charles V and the Habsburg family
unquestionable masters of Italy. Naples was under Charles's direct
government. For Milan he received the homage of Sforza. The Medici
pope, whose family he had restored in Florence, was now his ally.
Charles visited Italy for the first time in 1529 to view his
territories, and at Bologna (1530) received from the pope's hands the
ancient iron crown of Lombard Italy and the imperial crown of Rome. It
was the last papal coronation of a ruler of the Holy Roman Empire.

The peace of Cambrai proved but a truce, and war between Charles and
Francis repeatedly blazed forth. Francis made strange alliances in
order to create all possible trouble for the emperor,--Scotland,
Sweden, Denmark, the Ottoman Turks, even the rebellious Protestant
princes within the empire. There were spasmodic campaigns between 1536
and 1538 and between 1542 and 1544, and after the death of Francis and
the abdication of Charles, the former's son, Henry II (1547-1559),
continued the conflict, newly begun in 1552, until the conclusion of
the treaty of Cateau-Cambrésis in 1559, by which the Habsburgs retained
their hold upon Italy, while France, by the occupation of the important
bishoprics of Metz, Toul, and Verdun, extended her northeastern
frontier, at the expense of the empire, toward the Rhine River.
[Footnote: It was during this war that in 1558 the French captured
Calais from the English, and thus put an end to English territorial
holdings on the Continent. The English Queen Mary was the wife of
Philip II of Spain.]

[Sidenote: Results of the Wars between Charles V and Francis I]

Indirectly, the long wars occasioned by the personal rivalry of Charles
and Francis had other results than Habsburg predominance in Italy and
French expansion towards the Rhine. They preserved a "balance of power"
and prevented the incorporation of the French monarchy into an
obsolescent empire. They rendered easier the rise of the Ottoman power
in eastern Europe; and French alliance with the Turks gave French trade
and enterprise a decided lead in the Levant. They also permitted the
comparatively free growth of Protestantism in Germany.

[Sidenote: The Turkish Peril]

More sinister to Charles V than his wars with the French was the
advance of the Ottoman Turks. Under their greatest sultan, Suleiman II,
the Magnificent (1520-1566), a contemporary of Charles, the Turks were
rapidly extending their sway. The Black Sea was practically a Turkish
lake; and the whole Euphrates valley, with Bagdad, had fallen into the
sultan's power, now established on the Persian Gulf and in control of
all of the ancient trade-routes to the East. The northern coasts of
Africa from Egypt to Algeria acknowledged the supremacy of Suleiman,
whose sea power in the Mediterranean had become a factor to be reckoned
with in European politics, threatening not only the islands but the
great Christian countries of Italy and Spain. The Venetians were driven
from the Morea and from the Ægean Islands; only Cyprus, Crete, and
Malta survived in the Mediterranean as outposts of Christendom.

[Sidenote: Suleiman the Magnificent]

Suleiman devoted many years to the extension of his power in Europe,
sometimes in alliance with the French king, sometimes upon his own
initiative,--and with almost unbroken success. In 1521 he declared war
against the king of Hungary on the pretext that he had received no
Hungarian congratulations on his accession to the throne. He besieged
and captured Belgrade, and in 1526 on the field of Mohács his forces
met and overwhelmed the Hungarians, whose king was killed with the
flower of the Hungarian chivalry. The battle of Mohács marked the
extinction of an independent and united Hungarian state; Ferdinand of
Habsburg, brother of Charles V, claimed the kingdom; Suleiman was in
actual possession of fully a third of it. The sultan's army carried the
war into Austria and in 1529 bombarded and invested Vienna, but so
valiant was the resistance offered that after three weeks the siege was
abandoned. Twelve years later the greater part of Hungary, including
the city of Budapest, became a Turkish province, and in many places
churches were turned into mosques. In 1547 Charles V and Ferdinand were
compelled to recognize the Turkish conquests in Hungary, and the latter
agreed to pay the sultan an annual tribute of 30,000 ducats. Suleiman
not only thwarted every attempt of his rivals to recover their
territories, but remained throughout his life a constant menace to the
security of the hereditary dominions of the Habsburgs.

[Sidenote: Charles V and the Holy Roman Empire.]
[Sidenote: Possibility of transforming the Empire into a National
German Monarchy]

At the very time when Charles V was encountering these grave troubles
in administering his scattered hereditary possessions and in waging war
now with the French and now with the Mohammedans, he likewise was
saddled with problems peculiar to the government of his empire. Had he
been able to devote all his talent and energy to the domestic affairs
of the Holy Roman Empire, he might have contributed potently to the
establishment of a compact German state. It should be borne in mind
that when Charles V was elected emperor in 1519 the Holy Roman Empire
was virtually restricted to German-speaking peoples, and that the
national unifications of England, France, and Spain, already far
advanced, pointed the path to a similar political evolution for
Germany. Why should not a modern German national state have been
created coextensive with the medieval empire, a state which would have
included not only the twentieth-century German Empire but Austria,
Holland, and Belgium, and which, stretching from the Baltic to the
Adriatic and from the English Channel to the Vistula, would have
dominated the continent of Europe throughout the whole modern era?
There were certainly grave difficulties in the way, but grave
difficulties had also been encountered in consolidating France or
Spain, and the difference was rather of degree than of kind. In every
other case a strong monarch had overcome feudal princes and ambitious
nobles, had deprived cities of many of their liberties, had trampled
upon, or tampered with, the privileges of representative assemblies,
and had enforced internal order and security. In every such case the
monarch had commanded the support of important popular elements and had
directed his major efforts to the realization of national aims.

National patriotism was not altogether lacking among Germans of the
sixteenth century. They were conscious of a common language which was
already becoming a vehicle of literary expression. They were conscious
of a common tradition and of a common nationality. They recognized, in
many cases, the absurdly antiquated character of their political
institutions and ardently longed for reforms. In fact, the trouble with
the Germans was not so much the lack of thought about political reform
as the actual conflicts between various groups concerning the method
and goal of reform. Germans despised the Holy Roman Empire, much as
Frenchmen abhorred the memory of feudal society; but Germans were not
as unanimous as Frenchmen in advocating the establishment of a strong
national monarchy. In Germany were princes, free cities, and knights,--
all nationalistic after a fashion, but all quarreling with each other
and with their nominal sovereign.

[Sidenote: Charles V bent on Strengthening Monarchical Power though not
on a National Basis]

The emperors themselves were the only sincere and consistent champions
of centralized monarchical power, but the emperors were probably less
patriotic than any one else in the Holy Roman Empire. Charles V would
never abandon his pretensions to world power in order to become a
strong monarch over a single nation. Early in his reign he declared
that "no monarchy was comparable though not to the Roman Empire. This
the whole world had once obeyed, and Christ Himself had paid it honor
and obedience. Unfortunately it was now only a shadow of what it had
been, but he hoped, with the help of those powerful countries and
alliances which God had granted him, to raise it to its ancient glory."
Charles V labored for an increase of personal power not only in Germany
but also in the Netherlands, in Spain, and in Italy; and with the vast
imperial ambition of Charles the ideal of creating a national monarchy
on a strictly German basis was in sharp conflict. Charles V could not,
certainly would not, pose simply as a German king--a national leader.

[Sidenote: Nationalism among the German Princes]

Under these circumstances the powerful German princes, in defying the
emperor's authority and in promoting disruptive tendencies in the Holy
Roman Empire, were enabled to lay the blame at the feet of their
unpatriotic sovereign and thereby arouse in their behalf a good deal of
German national sentiment. In choosing Charles V to be their emperor,
the princely electors in 1519 had demanded that German or Latin should
be the official language of the Holy Roman Empire, that imperial
offices should be open only to Germans, that the various princes should
not be subject to any foreign political jurisdiction, that no foreign
troops should serve in imperial wars without the approval of the Diet,
and that Charles should confirm the sovereign rights of all the princes
and appoint from their number a Council of Regency
(_Reichsregiment_) to share in his government.

[Sidenote: The Council of Regency, 1521-1531]
[Sidenote: Its Failure to Unify Germany]

In accordance with an agreement reached by a Diet held at Worms in
1521, the Council of Regency was created. Most of its twenty-three
members were named by, and represented the interests of, the German
princes. Here might be the starting-point toward a closer political
union of the German-speaking people, if only a certain amount of
financial independence could be secured to the Council. The proposal on
this score was a most promising one; it was to support the new imperial
administration, not, as formerly, by levying more or less voluntary
contributions on the various states, but by establishing a kind of
customs-union (_Zollverein_) and imposing on foreign importations
a tariff for revenue. This time, however, the German burghers raised
angry protests; the merchants and traders of the Hanseatic towns
insisted that the proposed financial burden would fall on them and
destroy their business; and their protests were potent enough to bring
to nought the princes' plan. Thus the government was forced again to
resort to the levy of special financial contributions,--an expedient
which usually put the emperor and the Council of Regency at the mercy
of the most selfish and least patriotic of the German princes.

[Sidenote: Nationalism among the German Knights]

More truly patriotic as a class than German princes or German burghers
were the German knights--those gentlemen of the hill-top and of the
road, who, usually poor in pocket though stout of heart, looked down
from their high-perched castles with badly disguised contempt upon the
vulgar tradesmen of the town or beheld with anger and jealousy the
encroachments of neighboring princes, lay and ecclesiastical, more
wealthy and powerful than themselves. Especially against the princes
the knights contended, sometimes under the forms of law, more often by
force and violence and all the barbarous accompaniments of private
warfare and personal feud. Some of the knights were well educated and
some had literary and scholarly abilities; hardly any one of them was a
friend of public order. Yet practically all the knights were intensely
proud of their German nationality. It was the knights, who, under the
leadership of such fiery patriots as Ulrich von Hutten and Franz von
Sickingen, had forcefully contributed in 1519 to the imperial election
of Charles V, a German Habsburg, in preference to non-German candidates
such as Francis I of France or Henry VIII of England. For a brief
period Charles V leaned heavily upon the German knights for support in
his struggle with princes and burghers; and at one time it looked as if
the knights in union with the emperor would succeed in curbing the
power of the princes and in laying the foundations of a strongly
centralized national German monarchy.

[Sidenote: Rise of Lutheranism Favored by the Knights and Opposed by
Charles V]

But at the critical moment Protestantism arose in Germany, marking a
cleavage between the knightly leaders and the emperor. To knights like
Ulrich von Hutten and Franz von Sickingen the final break in 1520
between Martin Luther and the pope seemed to assure a separation of
Germany from Italy and the erection of a peculiar form of German
Christianity about which a truly national state could be builded. As a
class the knights applauded Luther and rejoiced at the rapid spread of
his teachings throughout Germany. On the other hand, Charles V remained
a Roman Catholic. Not only was he loyally attached to the religion of
his fathers through personal training and belief, but he felt that the
maintenance of what political authority he possessed was dependent
largely on the maintenance of the universal authority of the ancient
Church, and practically he needed papal assistance for his many foreign
projects. The same reasons that led many German princes to accept the
Lutheran doctrines as a means of lessening imperial control caused
Charles V to reject them. At the same Diet at Worms (1521), at which
the Council of Regency had been created, Charles V prevailed upon the
Germans present to condemn and outlaw Luther; and this action alienated
the knights from the emperor.

[Sidenote: The Knights' War, 1522-1523]

Franz von Sickingen, a Rhenish knight and the ablest of his class,
speedily took advantage of the emperor's absence from Germany in 1522
to precipitate a Knights' War. In supreme command of a motley army of
fellow-knights, Franz made an energetic attack upon the rich landed
estates of the Catholic prince-bishop of Trier. At this point, the
German princes, lay as well as ecclesiastical, forgetting their
religious predilections and mindful only of their common hatred of the
knights, rushed to the defense of the bishop of Trier and drove off
Sickingen, who, in April, 1523, died fighting before his own castle of
Ebernburg. Ulrich von Hutten fled to Switzerland and perished miserably
shortly afterwards. The knights' cause collapsed, and princes and
burghers remained triumphant. [Footnote: The Knights' War was soon
followed by the Peasants' Revolt, a social rather than a political
movement. For an account of the Peasants' Revolt see pp. 133 ff.] It
was the end of serious efforts in the sixteenth century to create a
national German state.

[Sidenote: Failure of German Nationalism in the Sixteenth Century]

The Council of Regency lasted until 1531, though its inability to
preserve domestic peace discredited it, and in its later years it
enjoyed little authority. Left to themselves, many of the princes
espoused Protestantism. In vain Charles V combated the new religious
movement. In vain he proscribed it in several Diets after that of
Worms. In vain he assailed its upholders in several military campaigns,
such as those against the Schmalkaldic League, which will be treated
more fully in another connection. But the long absences of Charles V
from Germany and his absorption in a multitude of cares and worries, to
say nothing of the spasmodic aid which Francis, the Catholic king of
France, gave to the Protestants in Germany, contributed indirectly to
the spread of Lutheranism. In the last year of Charles's rule (1555)
the profession of the Lutheran faith on the part of German princes was
placed by the peace of Augsburg [Footnote: See below, p. 136.] on an
equal footing with that of the Catholic religion. Protestantism among
the German princes proved a disintegrating, rather than a unifying,
factor of national life. The rise of Protestantism was the last straw
which broke German nationalism.

[Sidenote: Charles V and England]

With England the relations of Charles V were interesting but not so
important as those already noted with the Germans, the Turks, and the
French. At first in practical alliance with the impetuous self-willed
Henry VIII (1509-1547), whose wife--Catherine of Aragon--was the
emperor's aunt, Charles subsequently broke off friendly relations when
the English sovereign asked the pope to declare his marriage null and
void. Charles prevailed upon the pope to deny Henry's request, and the
schism which Henry then created between the Catholic Church in England
and the Roman See increased the emperor's bitterness. Towards the close
of Henry's reign relations improved again, but it was not until the
accession of Charles's cousin, Mary (1553-1558), to the English throne
that really cordial friendship was restored. To this Queen Mary,
Charles V married his son and successor Philip.

[Sidenote: Abdication of Charles V]

At length exhausted by his manifold labors, Charles V resolved to
divide his dominions between his brother Ferdinand and his son Philip
and to retire from government. In the hall of the Golden Fleece at
Brussels on 25 October, 1555, he formally abdicated the sovereignty of
his beloved Netherlands. Turning to the representatives, he said:
"Gentlemen, you must not be astonished if, old and feeble as I am in
all my members, and also from the love I bear you, I shed some tears."
At least in the Netherlands the love was reciprocal. In 1556 he
resigned the Spanish and Italian crowns, [Footnote: He made over to his
brother all his imperial authority, though he nominally retained the
crown of the Holy Roman Empire until 1558] and spent his last years in
preparation for a future world. He died in 1558. Personally, Charles V
had a prominent lower jaw and a thin, pale face, relieved by a wide
forehead and bright, flashing eyes. He was well formed and dignified in
appearance. In character he was slow and at times both irresolute and
obstinate, but he had a high sense of duty, honest intentions, good
soldierly qualities, and a large amount of cold common sense. Though
not highly educated, he was well read and genuinely appreciative of
music and painting.


For a century and a half after the retirement of Charles V in 1556, we
hear of two branches of the Habsburg family--the Spanish Habsburgs and
the Austrian Habsburgs, descended respectively from Philip II and
Ferdinand. By the terms of the division, Ferdinand, the brother of
Charles, received the compact family possessions in the East--Austria
and its dependencies, Bohemia, that portion of Hungary not occupied by
the Turks, and the title of Holy Roman Emperor,--while the remainder
went to Charles's son, Philip II,--Spain, the Netherlands, Franche
Comté (the eastern part of Burgundy), the Two Sicilies, Milan, and the
American colonies.

Over the history of Ferdinand and his immediate successors, we need not
tarry, because, aside from efforts to preserve religious peace and the
family's political predominance within the empire and to recover
Hungary from the Turks, it is hardly essential. But in western Europe
Philip II for a variety of reasons became a figure of world-wide
importance: we must examine his career.

[Sidenote: Character and policies of Philip II]

Few characters in history have elicited more widely contradictory
estimates than Philip II. Represented by many Protestant writers as a
villain, despot, and bigot, he has been extolled by patriotic Spaniards
as Philip the Great, champion of religion and right. These conflicting
opinions are derived from different views which may be taken of the
value and inherent worth of Philip's policies and methods, but what
those policies and methods were there can be no doubt. In the first
place, Philip II prized Spain as his native country and his main
possession--in marked contrast to his father, for he himself had been
born in Spain and had resided there during almost all of his life--and
he was determined to make Spain the greatest country in the world. In
the second place, Philip II was sincerely and piously attached to
Catholicism; he abhorred Protestantism as a blasphemous rending of the
seamless garment of the Church; and he set his heart upon the universal
triumph of his faith. If, by any chance, a question should arise
between the advantage of Spain and the best interests of the Church,
the former must be sacrificed relentlessly to the latter. Such was the
sovereign's stern ideal. No seeming failure of his policies could shake
his belief in their fundamental excellence. That whatever he did was
done for the greater glory of God, that success or failure depended
upon the inscrutable will of the Almighty and not upon himself, were
his guiding convictions, which he transmitted to his Spanish
successors. Not only was Philip a man of principles and ideals, but he
was possessed of a boundless capacity for work and an indomitable will.
He preferred tact and diplomacy to war and prowess of arms, though he
was quite willing to order his troops to battle if the object, in his
opinion, was right. He was personally less accustomed to the sword than
to the pen, and no clerk ever toiled more industriously at his papers
than did this king. From early morning until far into the night he bent
over minutes and reports and other business of kingcraft. Naturally
cautious and reserved, he was dignified and princely in public. In his
private life, he was orderly and extremely affectionate to his family
and servants. Loyalty was Philip's best attribute.

There was a less happy side to the character of Philip II. His free use
of the Inquisition in order to extirpate heresy throughout his
dominions has rendered him in modern eyes an embodiment of bigotry and
intolerance, but it must be remembered that he lived in an essentially
intolerant age, when religious persecution was stock in trade of
Protestants no less than of Catholics. It is likewise true that he
constantly employed craft and deceit and was ready to make use of
assassination for political purposes, but this too was in accordance
with the temper of the times: lawyers then taught, following the
precepts of the famous historian and political philosopher,
Machiavelli, that Christian morality is a guide for private conduct
rather than for public business, and that "the Prince" may act above
the laws in order to promote the public good, and even such famous
Protestant leaders as Coligny and William the Silent entered into
murder plots. But when all due allowances have been made, the student
cannot help feeling that the purpose of Philip II would have been
served better by the employment of means other than persecution and

The reign of Philip II covered approximately the second half of the
sixteenth century (1556-1598). In his efforts to make Spain the
greatest power in the world and to restore the unity problems of
Christendom, he was doomed to failure. The chief Confronting reason for
the failure is simple--the number and [side note Problems Confronting
Philip II] variety of the problems and projects with which Philip II
was concerned. It was a case of the king putting a finger in too many
pies--he was cruelly burned. Could Philip II have devoted all his
energies to one thing at a time, he might conceivably have had greater
success, but as it was, he must divide his attention between
supervising the complex administration of his already wide dominions
and annexing in addition the monarchy and empire of Portugal, between
promoting a vigorous commercial and colonial policy and suppressing a
stubborn revolt in the Netherlands, between championing Catholicism in
both England and France and protecting Christendom against the
victorious Mohammedans. It was this multiplicity of interests that
paralyzed the might of the Spanish monarch, yet each one of his foreign
activities was epochal in the history of the country affected. We shall
therefore briefly review Philip's activities in order.

[Sidenote: Spain under Philip II: Political]

As we have seen, Philip II inherited a number of states which had
separate political institutions and customs. He believed in national
unification, at least of Spain. National unification implied
uniformity, and uniformity implied greater power of the crown. So
Philip sought to further the work of his great-grandparents, Ferdinand
and Isabella,--absolutism and uniformity became his watchwords in
internal administration. Politically Philip made no pretense of
consulting the Cortes on legislation, and, although he convoked them to
vote new taxes, he established the rule that the old taxes were to be
considered as granted in perpetuity and as constituting the ordinary
revenue of the crown. He treated the nobles as ornamental rather than
useful, retiring them from royal offices in favor of lawyers and other
subservient members of the middle class. All business was conducted by
correspondence and with a final reference to the king, and the natural
result was endless delay.

[Sidenote: Spain under Philip II: Economic]

Financially and economically the period was unfortunate for Spain. The
burden of the host of foreign enterprises fell with crushing weight
upon the Spanish kingdom and particularly upon Castile. Aragon, which
was poor and jealous of its own rights, would give little. The income
from the Netherlands, at first large, was stopped by the revolt. The
Italian states barely paid expenses. The revenue from the American
mines, which has been greatly exaggerated, enriched the pockets of
individuals rather than the treasury of the state. In Spain itself, the
greater part of the land was owned by the ecclesiastical corporations
and the nobles, who were exempt from taxation but were intermittently
fleeced. Moreover, the 10 per cent tax on all sales--the alcabala
[Footnote: See above, p. 57.]--gradually paralyzed all native
industrial enterprise. And the persecution of wealthy and industrious
Jews and Moors diminished the resources of the kingdom. Spain, at the
close of the century, was on the verge of bankruptcy.

[Sidenote: Spain under Philip II: Religious]

In religious matters Philip II aimed at uniform adherence to the
doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church. He felt, like so many of his
contemporaries, that disparity of belief  among subjects would imperil
a state. Both from political motives and from religious zeal Philip was
a Catholic. He therefore advised the pope, watched with interest the
proceedings of the great Council of Trent which was engaged with the
reformation of the Church, [Footnote: See below, pp. 158 ff.] and
labored for the triumph of his religion not only in his own dominions
and in France, but also in Poland, in England, and even in Scandinavia.
In Spain he strengthened the Inquisition and used it as a tool of royal

[Sidenote: Temporary Union of Spain and Portugal]

Territorially Philip II desired to complete political unity in the
peninsula by combining the crown of Portugal with those of Castile and
Aragon. He himself was closely related to the Portuguese royal family,
and in 1580 he laid formal claim to that kingdom. The duke of Braganza,
whose claim was better than Philip's, was bought off by immense grants
and the country was overrun by Spanish troops. Philip endeavored to
placate the Portuguese by full recognition of their constitutional
rights and in particular by favoring the lesser nobility or country
gentry. Although the monarchies and vast colonial possessions of Spain
and Portugal were thus joined for sixty years under a common king, the
arrangement never commanded any affection in Portugal, with the result
that at the first opportunity, in 1640, Portuguese independence was
restored under the leadership of the Braganza family.

[Sidenote: Rebellions Against Philip II in Spain]

The most serious domestic difficulty which Philip had to face was the
revolt of the rich and populous Netherlands, which we shall discuss
presently. But with other revolts the king had to contend. In his
efforts to stamp out heresy and peculiar customs among the descendants
of the Moors who still lived in the southern part of Spain, Philip
aroused armed opposition. The Moriscos, as they were called, struggled
desperately from 1568 to 1570 to reëstablish the independence of
Granada. This rebellion was suppressed with great cruelty, and the
surviving Moriscos were forced to find new homes in less favored parts
of Spain until their final expulsion from the country in 1609. A revolt
of Aragon in 1591 was put down by a Castilian army; the constitutional
rights of Aragon were diminished and the kingdom was reduced to a
greater measure of submission.

[Sidenote: Revolt of the Netherlands: The Causes]

The causes that led to the revolt of the Netherlands may be stated as
fourfold. (1) Financial. The burdensome taxes which Charles V had laid
upon the country were increased by Philip II and often applied to
defray the expenses of other parts of the Spanish possessions.
Furthermore, the restrictions which Philip imposed upon Dutch commerce
in the interest of that of Spain threatened to interfere seriously with
the wonted economic prosperity of the Netherlands. (2) Political.
Philip II sought to centralize authority in the Netherlands and
despotically deprived the cities and nobles of many of their
traditional privileges. Philip never visited the country in person
after 1559, and he intrusted his arbitrary government to regents and to
Spaniards rather than to native leaders. The scions of the old and
proud noble families of the Netherlands naturally resented being
supplanted in lucrative and honorable public offices by persons whom
they could regard only as upstarts. (3) Religious. Despite the rapid
and universal spread of Calvinistic Protestantism throughout the
northern provinces, Philip was resolved to force Catholicism upon all
of his subjects. He increased the number of bishoprics, decreed acts of
uniformity, and in a vigorous way utilized the Inquisition to carry his
policy into effect. (4) Personal. The Dutch and Flemish loved Charles V
because he had been born and reared among them and always considered
their country as his native land. Philip II was born and brought up in
Spain. He spoke a language foreign to the Netherlands, and by their
inhabitants he was thought of as an alien.

[Sidenote: Margaret of Parma and the "Beggars"]

At first the opposition in the Netherlands was directed chiefly against
the Inquisition and the presence of Spanish garrisons in the towns. The
regent, Margaret of Parma, Philip's half-sister, endeavored to banish
public discontent by a few concessions. The Spanish troops were
withdrawn and certain unpopular officials were dismissed. But
influential noblemen and burghers banded themselves together early in
1566 and presented to the regent Margaret a petition, in which, while
protesting their loyalty, they expressed fear of a general revolt and
begged that a special embassy be sent to Philip to urge upon him the
necessity of abolishing the Inquisition and of redressing their other
grievances. The regent, at first disquieted by the petitioners, was
reassured by one of her advisers, who exclaimed, "What, Madam, is your
Highness afraid of these beggars (_ces gueux_)?" Henceforth the
chief opponents of Philip's policies in the Netherlands humorously
labeled themselves "Beggars" and assumed the emblems of common begging,
the wallet and the bowl. The fashion spread quickly, and the "Beggars'"
insignia were everywhere to be seen, worn as trinkets, especially in
the large towns. In accordance with the "Beggars'" petition, an embassy
was dispatched to Spain to lay the grievances before Philip II.

[Sidenote: Duke of Alva in the Netherlands, 1567-1573]

Philip II at first promised to abolish the Inquisition in the
Netherlands, but soon repented of his promise. For meanwhile mobs of
fanatical Protestants, far more radical than the respectable "Beggars,"
were rushing to arms, breaking into Catholic churches, wrecking the
altars, smashing the images to pieces, profaning monasteries, and
showing in their retaliation as much violence--as their enemies had
shown cruelty in persecution. In August, 1566, this sacrilegious
iconoclasm reached its climax in the irreparable ruin of the
magnificent cathedral at Antwerp. Philip replied to these acts, which
he interpreted as disloyalty, by sending (1567) his most famous
general, the duke of Alva, into the Netherlands with a large army and
with instructions to cow the people into submission. Alva proved
himself quite capable of understanding and executing his master's
wishes: one of his first acts was the creation of a "Council of
Troubles," an arbitrary tribunal which tried cases of treason and which
operated so notoriously as to merit its popular appellation of the
"Council of Blood." During the duke's stay of six years, it has been
estimated that eight thousand persons were executed, including the
counts of Egmont and Horn, thirty thousand were despoiled of their
property, and one hundred thousand quitted the country. Alva, moreover,
levied an enormous tax of one-tenth upon the price of merchandise sold.
As the tax was collected on several distinct processes, it absorbed at
least seven-tenths of the value of certain goods--of cloth, for
instance. The tax, together with the lawless confusion throughout the
country, meant the destruction of Flemish manufactures and trade. It
was, therefore, quite natural that the burgesses of the southern
Netherlands, Catholic though most of them were, should unite with the
nobles and with the Protestants of the North in opposing Spanish
tyranny. The whole country was now called to arms.

[Sidenote: William the Silent, Prince of Orange]

One of the principal noblemen of the Netherlands was a German, William
of Nassau, prince of Orange.[Footnote: William (1533-1584), now
commonly called "the Silent." There appears to be no contemporaneous
justification of the adjective as applied to him, but the misnomer,
once adopted by later writers, has insistently clung to him.] He had
been governing the provinces of Holland and Zeeland when Alva arrived,
but as he was already at the point of accepting Protestantism he had
prudently retired into Germany, leaving his estates to be confiscated
by the Spanish governor. Certain trifling successes of the insurgents
now called William back to head the popular movement. For many years he
bore the brunt of the war and proved himself not only a resourceful
general, but an able diplomat and a whole-souled patriot. He eventually
gained the admiration and love of the whole Dutch people.

[Sidenote: The "Sea Beggars"]

The first armed forces of William of Orange were easily routed by Alva,
but in 1569 a far more menacing situation was presented. In that year
William began to charter corsairs and privateers to prey upon Spanish
shipping. These "Sea Beggars," as they were called, were mostly wild
and lawless desperadoes who stopped at nothing in their hatred of
Catholics and Spaniards: they early laid the foundations of Dutch
maritime power and at the same time proved a constant torment to Alva.
They made frequent incursions into the numerous waterways of the
Netherlands and perpetually fanned the embers of revolt on land.
Gradually William collected new armies, which more and more
successfully defied Alva.

[Sidenote: The "Spanish Fury" and the Pacification of Ghent, 1576]

The harsh tactics of Alva had failed to restore the Netherlands to
Philip's control, and in 1573 Alva was replaced in the regency by the
more politic Requesens, who continued the struggle as best he could but
with even less success than Alva. Soon after Requesens's death in 1576,
the Spanish army in the Netherlands, left without pay or food, mutinied
and inflicted such horrible indignities upon several cities, notably
Antwerp, that the savage attack is called the "Spanish Fury." Deputies
of all the seventeen provinces at once concluded an agreement, termed
the Pacification of Ghent (1576), by which they mutually guaranteed
resistance to the Spanish until the king should abolish the Inquisition
and restore their old-time liberties.

Then Philip II tried a policy of concession, but the new governor, the
dashing Don John of Austria, fresh from a great naval victory over the
Turks, soon discovered that it was too late to reconcile the
Protestants. William the Silent was wary of the Spanish offers, and Don
John died in 1578 without having achieved very much.

[Sidenote: Farnese, Duke of Parma]
[Sidenote: The Treaty of Array and the Union of Utrecht (1579): the
Permanent Division of the Netherlands]

But Philip II was not without some success in the Netherlands. He was
fortunate in having a particularly determined and tactful governor in
the country from 1578 to 1592 in the person of Alexander Farnese, duke
of Parma. Skillfully mingling war and diplomacy, Farnese succeeded in
sowing discord between the northern and southern provinces: the former
were Dutch, Calvinist, and commercial; the latter were Flemish and
Walloon, Catholic, and industrial. The ten southern provinces might
eventually have more to fear from the North than from continued union
with Spain; their representatives, therefore, signed a defensive league
at Arras in 1579 for the protection of the Catholic religion and with
the avowed purpose of effecting a reconciliation with Philip II. In the
same year the northern provinces agreed to the Union of Utrecht,
binding themselves together "as if they were one province" to maintain
their rights and liberties "with life-blood and goods" against Spanish
tyranny and to grant complete freedom of worship and of religious
opinion throughout the confederation. In this way the Pacification of
Ghent was nullified and the Netherlands were split into two parts, each
going its own way, each developing its own history. The southern
portion was to remain in Habsburg hands for over two centuries, being
successively termed "Spanish Netherlands" and "Austrian Netherlands"--
roughly speaking, it is what to-day we call Belgium. The northern
portion was to become free and independent, and, as the "United
Provinces" or simply "Holland," to take its place among the nations of
the world. For a considerable period of time Holland was destined to be
more prosperous than Belgium. The latter suffered more grievously than
the former from the actual hostilities; and the Dutch, by closing the
River Scheldt and dominating the adjacent seas, dealt a mortal blow at
the industrial and commercial supremacy of Antwerp and transferred the
chief trade and business of all the Netherlands to their own city of

[Sidenote: Reasons for the Success of the Dutch]

For many years the struggle dragged on. At times it seemed probable
that Farnese and the Spaniards would overcome the North by force as
they had obtained the South by diplomacy. But a variety of reasons
explain the ultimate success of the Dutch. The nature of the country
rendered ordinary campaigning very difficult--the network of canals
constituted natural lines of defense and the cutting of the dikes might
easily imperil an invading army. Again, the seafaring propensities of
the Dutch stimulated them to fit out an increasing number of privateers
which constantly preyed upon Spanish commerce: it was not long before
this traffic grew important and legitimate, so that in the following
century Amsterdam became one of the greatest cities of the world, and
Holland assumed a prominent place among commercial and colonial
nations. Thirdly, the employment of foreign mercenaries in the army of
defense enabled the native population to devote the more time to
peaceful pursuits, and, despite the persistence of war, the Dutch
provinces increased steadily in wealth and prosperity. Fourthly, the
cautious Fabian policy of William the Silent prevented the Dutch from
staking heavily upon battles in the open field. Fifthly, the Dutch
received a good deal of assistance from Protestants of Germany,
England, and France. Finally, Philip II pursued too many great projects
at once to be able to bring a single one to a satisfactory conclusion:
his war with Queen Elizabeth of England and his interference in the
affairs of France inextricably complicated his plans in the

[Sidenote: Formal Declaration of Dutch Independence, 1581]

In 1581 Philip II published a ban against William of Orange,
proclaiming him a traitor and an outlaw and offering a reward to any
one who would take him dead or alive. William replied by his famous
"Apology" to the charges against him; but his practical answer to the
king was the Act of Abjuration, by which at his persuasion the
representatives of the northern provinces, assembled at The Hague,
solemnly proclaimed their separation from the crown of Spain, broke the
royal seal of Philip II, and declared the king deprived of all
authority over them. We should call this Act of 1581 the Dutch
declaration of independence. It was an augury of the definitive result
of the war.

[Sidenote: Recognition of Dutch Independence]

Although William the Silent was assassinated by an agent of Spain
(1584), and Antwerp was captured from the Protestants in 1585, the
ability and genius of Farnese did not avail to make further headway
against the United Provinces; but Philip II, stubborn to the end,
positively refused to recognize Dutch independence. In 1609 Philip III
of Spain consented to a twelve years' truce with the States-General of
The Hague. In the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648) the Dutch and Spaniards
again became embroiled, and the freedom of the republic was not
recognized officially by Spain till the general peace of Westphalia in
1648. [Footnote: See below, p. 229.]

The seven provinces, which had waged such long war with Spain,
constituted, by mutual agreement, a confederacy, each preserving a
distinct local government and administration, but all subject to a
general parliament--the States-General--and to a stadtholder, or
governor-general, an office which subsequently became hereditary in the
Orange family. Between the States-General and the stadtholder, a
constitutional conflict was carried on throughout the greater part of
the seventeenth century--the former, supported by well-to-do burghers,
favoring a greater measure of political democracy, the latter, upheld
by aristocratically minded nobles, laboring for the development of
monarchical institutions under the Orange family.

[Sidenote: Natural Opposition of England and France to the Policies of
Philip II]

Not only his efforts in the Netherlands but many other projects of
Philip II were frustrated by remarkable parallel developments in the
two national monarchies of England and France. Both these countries
were naturally jealous opposition and fearful of an undue expansion of
Spain, which might upset the balance of power. Both states, from their
geographical locations, would normally be inimical to Philip II:
England would desire, from her island position, to destroy the monopoly
which Spain claimed of the carrying trade of the seas; France, still
encircled by Habsburg possessions in Spain, Italy, and the Netherlands,
would adhere to her traditional policy of allying herself with every
foe of the Spanish king. Then, too, the papal authority had been
rejected in England and seriously questioned in France: Philip's
crusading zeal made him the champion of the Church in those countries.
For ecclesiastical as well as for economic and political purposes it
seemed necessary to the Spanish king that he should bring France and
England under his direct influence. On their side, patriotic French and
English resented such foreign interest in their domestic affairs, and
the eventual failure of Philip registered a wonderful growth of
national feeling among the peoples who victoriously contended against
him. The beginnings of the real modern greatness of France and England
date from their struggle with Philip II.

[Sidenote: Philip II and Mary Tudor]

At the outset of his reign, Philip seemed quite successful in his
foreign relations. As we have seen, he was in alliance with England
through his marriage with Queen Mary Tudor (1553-1558): she had
temporarily restored the English Church to communion with the Holy See,
and was conducting her foreign policy in harmony with Philip's--because
of her husband she lost to the French the town of Calais, the last
English possession on the Continent (1558). Likewise, as has been said,
Philip II concluded with France in 1559 the advantageous treaty of
Cateau-Cambrésis. But during the ensuing thirty years the tables were
completely turned. Both England and France ended by securing respite
from Spanish interference.

[Sidenote: Philip II and Elizabeth]

Mary Tudor died unhappy and childless in 1558, and the succession of
her sister Queen Elizabeth, daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn,
altered the relations between the English and Spanish courts. Elizabeth
(1558-1603) was possessed of an imperious, haughty, energetic
character; she had remarkable intelligence and an absorbing patriotism.
She inspired confidence in her advisers and respect among her people,
so that she was commonly called "Good Queen Bess" despite the fact that
her habits of deceit and double-dealing gave color to the French king's
remark that she was the greatest liar in Christendom. This was the
woman with whom Philip II had to deal; he tried many tactics in order
to gain his ends,--all of them hopelessly unsuccessful.

Philip first proposed matrimony, but Elizabeth was very careful not to
give herself, or England, such a master. Then when the queen declared
herself a Protestant and showed no inclination to assist Philip in any
of his enterprises, the Spanish king proceeded to plot against her
throne. He subsidized Roman Catholic priests, especially Jesuits, who
violated the laws of the land. He stirred up sedition and even went so
far as to plan Elizabeth's assassination. Many conspiracies against the
English queen centered in the person of the ill-starred Mary Stuart,
[Footnote: Mary Stuart (1542-1587).] queen of Scotland, who was
next in line of succession to the English throne and withal a Catholic.

[Sidenote: Mary Stuart]

Descended from the Stuart kings of Scotland and from Henry VII of
England, related to the powerful family of Guise in France, Mary had
been brought up at the French court and married to the short-lived
French king, Francis II. Upon the death of the latter she returned in
1561 to Scotland, a young woman of but eighteen years, only to find
that the government had fallen victim to the prevalent factional fights
among the Scotch nobles and that in the preceding year the parliament
had solemnly adopted a Calvinistic form of Protestantism. By means of
tact and mildness, however, Mary won the respect of the nobles and the
admiration of the people, until a series of marital troubles and
blunders--her marriage with a worthless cousin, Henry Darnley, and then
her scandalous marriage with Darnley's profligate murderer, the earl of
Bothwell--alienated her people from her and drove her into exile. She
abdicated the throne of Scotland in favor of her infant son, James VI,
who was reared a Protestant and subsequently became King James I of
England, and she then (1568) threw herself upon the mercy of Elizabeth.
She thought she would find in England a haven of refuge; instead she
found there a prison.

For the score of years during which she remained Elizabeth's prisoner,
Mary Stuart was the object of many plots and conspiracies against the
existing governments of both Scotland and England. In every such scheme
were to be found the machinations and money of the Spanish king. In
fact, as time went on, it seemed to a growing section of the English
people as though the cause of Elizabeth was bound up with Protestantism
and with national independence and prosperity just as certainly as the
success of Mary would lead to the triumph of Catholicism, the political
supremacy of Spain, and the commercial ruin of England. It was under
these circumstances that Mary's fate was sealed. Because of a political
situation over which she had slight control, the ex-queen of Scotland
was beheaded by Elizabeth's orders in 1587.

[Sidenote: The Armada]

Philip II had now tried and failed in every expedient but one,--the
employment of sheer force. Even this he attempted in order to avenge
the death of Mary Stuart and to bring England, politically,
religiously, and commercially, into harmony with his Spanish policies.
The story of the preparation and the fate of the Invincible Armada is
almost too well known to require repetition. It was in 1588 that there
issued from the mouth of the Tagus River the most formidable fleet
which up to that time Christendom had ever beheld--130 ships, 8000
seamen, 19,000 soldiers, the flower of the Spanish chivalry. In the
Netherlands it was to be joined by Alexander Farnese with 33,000
veteran troops. But in one important respect Philip had underestimated
his enemy: he had counted upon a divided country. Now the attack upon
England was primarily national, rather than religious, and Catholics
vied with Protestants in offering aid to the queen: it was a united
rather than a divided nation which Philip faced. The English fleet,
composed of comparatively small and easily maneuvered vessels, worked
great havoc upon the ponderous and slow-moving Spanish galleons, and
the wreck of the Armada was completed by a furious gale which tossed
ship after ship upon the rocks of northern Scotland. Less than a third
of the original expedition ever returned to Spain.

Philip II had thus failed in his herculean effort against England. He
continued in small ways to annoy and to irritate Elizabeth. He tried--
without result--to incite the Catholics of Ireland against the queen.
He exhausted his arsenals and his treasures in despairing attempts to
equip a second and even a third Armada. But he was doomed to bitterest
disappointment, for two years before his death an English fleet sacked
his own great port of Cadiz. The war with England ruined the navy and
the commerce of Spain. The defeat of the Armada was England's first
title to commercial supremacy.

[Sidenote: Economic Benefits of the Period for England]

It was long maintained that the underlying causes of the conflict
between England and Spain in the second half of the sixteenth century
and its chief interest was religious--that it was part of an epic
struggle between Protestantism and Catholicism. There may be a measure
of truth in such an idea, but most recent writers believe that the
chief motives for the conflict, as well as its important results, were
essentially economic. From the beginning of Elizabeth's reign, English
sailors and freebooters, such as Hawkins and Drake, took the offensive
against Spanish trade and commerce; and many ships, laden with silver
and goods from the New World and bound for Cadiz, were seized and towed
into English harbors. The queen herself frequently received a share of
the booty and therefore tended to encourage the practice. For nearly
thirty years Philip put up with the capture of his treasure ships, the
raiding of his colonies, and the open assistance rendered to his
rebellious subjects. Only when he reached the conclusion that his power
would never be secure in the Netherlands or in America did he dispatch
the Armada. Its failure finally freed Holland and marked the collapse
of the Spanish monopoly upon the high seas and in the New World.

[Sidenote: Affairs in France]

Before we can appreciate the motives and results of the interference of
Philip II in French affairs, a few words must be said about what had
happened in France since Francis I (1515-1547) and his son, Henry II
(1547-1559), exalted the royal power in their country and not only
preserved French independence of the surrounding empire of Charles V
but also increased French prestige by means of a strong policy in Italy
and by the extension of frontiers toward the Rhine. Henry II had
married a member of the famous Florentine family of the Medici--
Catherine de' Medici--a large and ugly woman, but ambitious,
resourceful, and capable, who, by means of trickery and deceit, took an
active part in French politics from the death of her husband,
throughout the reigns of her feeble sons, Francis II (1559-1560),
Charles IX (1560-1574), and Henry III (1574-1589). Catherine found her
position and that of her royal children continually threatened by (1)
the Protestants (Huguenots), (2) the great nobles, and (3) Philip II of

[Sidenote: Dangers to Royal Power in France: Protestantism]

French Protestantism had grown steadily during the first half of the
sixteenth century until it was estimated that from a twentieth to a
thirtieth of the nation had fallen away from the Catholic Church. The
influence of the advocates of the new faith was, however, much greater
than their number, because the Huguenots, as they were called, were
recruited mainly from the prosperous, intelligent middle class,--the
bourgeoisie,--who had been intrusted by preceding French kings with
many important offices. The Huguenots represented, therefore, a
powerful social class and likewise one that was opposed to the undue
increase of royal power. They demanded, not only religious toleration
for themselves, but also regular meetings of the Estates-General and
control of the nation's representatives over financial matters. The
kings, on their part, felt that political solidarity and their own
personal rule were dependent upon the maintenance of religious
uniformity in the nation and the consequent defeat of the pretensions
of the Huguenots. Francis I and Henry II had persecuted the Protestants
with bitterness. From 1562 to 1593 a series of so-called religious wars
embroiled the whole country.

[Sidenote: Dangers to Royal Power in France: the Nobles]

French politics were further complicated during the second half of the
sixteenth century by the recrudescence of the power of the nobles. The
so-called religious wars were quite as much political as religious--
they resulted from efforts of this or that faction of noblemen to
dictate to a weak king. Two noble families particularly vied with each
other for power,--the Bourbons and the Guises,--and the unqualified
triumph of either would be certain to bring calamity to the sons of
Catherine de' Medici.

[Sidenote: The Bourbons]

The Bourbons bore the proud title of princes of the blood because they
were direct descendants of a French king. Their descent, to be sure,
was from Saint Louis, king in the thirteenth century, and they were
now, therefore, only distant cousins of the reigning kings, but as the
latter died off, one after another, leaving no direct successors, the
Bourbons by the French law of strict male succession became heirs to
the royal family. The head of the Bourbons, a certain Anthony, had
married the queen of Navarre and had become thereby king of Navarre,
although the greater part of that country--the region south of the
Pyrenees--had been annexed to Spain in 1512. Anthony's brother Louis,
prince of Condé, had a reputation for bravery, loyalty, and ability.
Both Condé and the king of Navarre were Protestants.

[Sidenote: The Guise Family]

The Guise family was descended from a duke of Lorraine who had attached
himself to the court of Francis I. It was really a foreign family,
inasmuch as Lorraine was then a dependency of the Holy Roman Empire,
but the patriotic exploits of the head of the family in defending Metz
against the Emperor Charles V and in capturing Calais from the English
endeared the Guises to a goodly part of the French nation. The duke of
Guise remained a stanch Catholic, and his brother, called the Cardinal
of Lorraine, was head of as many as twelve bishoprics, which gave him
an enormous revenue and made him the most conspicuous churchman in
France. During the reign of Henry II (1547-1559) the Guises were
especially influential. They fought valiantly in foreign wars. They
spurred on the king to a great persecution of the Huguenots. They
increased their own landed estates. And they married one of their
relatives--Mary, queen of Scots--to the heir to the throne. But after
the brief reign of Mary's husband, Francis II (1559-1560), the Guise
family encountered not only the active opposition of their chief noble
rivals, the Bourbons, with their Huguenot allies, but likewise the
jealousy and crafty intrigues of Catherine de' Medici.

[Sidenote: Religious Wars in France]

Catherine feared both the ambition of the powerful Guise family and the
disruptive tendencies of Protestantism. The result was a long series of
confused civil wars between  the ardent followers, respectively
Catholic and Protestant, of the Guise and Bourbon families, in which
the queen-mother gave support first to one side and then to the other.
There were no fewer than eight of these sanguinary conflicts, each one
ending with the grant of slight concessions to the Huguenots and the
maintenance of the weak kings upon the throne. The massacre of Saint
Bartholomew's Day (1572) was a horrible incident of Catherine's policy
of "trimming." Fearing the undue influence over the king of Admiral de
Coligny, an upright and able Huguenot leader, the queen-mother, with
the aid of the Guises, prevailed upon the weak-minded Charles IX to
authorize the wholesale assassination of Protestants. The signal was
given by the ringing of a Parisian church-bell at two o'clock in the
morning of 24 August, 1572, and the slaughter went on throughout the
day in the capital and for several weeks in the provinces. Coligny was
murdered; even women and children were not spared. It is estimated that
in all at least three thousand--perhaps ten thousand--lost their lives.

[Sidenote: The "Politiques"]

The massacre of Saint Bartholomew's Day did not destroy French
Protestantism or render the Huguenot leaders more timid in
asserting their claims. On the other hand, it brought into
clear light a noteworthy division within the ranks of their Catholic
opponents in France--on one side, the rigorous followers of the Guise
family, who complained only that the massacre had not been sufficiently
comprehensive, and, on the other side, a group of moderate Catholics,
usually styled the "Politiques" who, while continuing to adhere to the
Roman Church, and, when called upon, bearing arms on the side of the
king, were strongly opposed to the employment of force or violence or
persecution in matters of religion. The Politiques were particularly
patriotic, and they blamed the religious wars and the intolerant policy
of the Guises for the seeming weakness of the French monarchy. They
thought the massacre of Saint Bartholomew's Day a blunder as well as a

The emergence of the Politiques did not immediately make for peace;
rather, it substituted a three-sided for a two-sided conflict.

[Sidenote: Philip II and the War of the Three Henries]

After many years, filled with disorder, it became apparent that the
children of Catherine de' Medici would have no direct male heirs and
that the crown would therefore legally devolve upon the son of Anthony
of Bourbon--Henry of Bourbon, king of Navarre and a Protestant. Such an
outcome was naturally distasteful to the Guises and abhorrent to Philip
II of Spain. In 1585 a definite league was formed between Henry, duke
of Guise, and the Spanish king, whereby the latter undertook by
military force to aid the former's family in seizing the throne: French
politics in that event would be controlled by Spain, and Philip would
secure valuable assistance in crushing the Netherlands and conquering
England.[Footnote: At that very time, Mary, Queen of Scots, cousin of
Henry, duke of Guise, was held a prisoner in England by Queen
Elizabeth. See above, p. 99.] The immediate outcome of the agreement
was the war of the three Henries--Henry III, son of Catherine de'
Medici and king of France; Henry of Bourbon, king of Navarre and heir
to the French throne; and Henry, duke of Guise, with the foreign
support of Philip II of Spain. Henry of Guise represented the extreme
Catholic party; Henry of Navarre, the Protestant faction; and Henry of
France, the Catholic moderates--the Politiques--who wanted peace and
were willing to grant a measure of toleration. The last two were
upholders of French independence against the encroachments of Spain.

The king was speedily gotten into the power of the Guises, but little
headway was made by the extreme Catholics against Henry of Navarre, who
now received domestic aid from the _Politiques_ and foreign
assistance from Queen Elizabeth of England and who benefited by the
continued misfortunes of Philip II. At no time was the Spanish king
able to devote his whole attention and energy to the French war. At
length in 1588 Henry III caused Henry of Guise to be assassinated. The
king never had a real chance to prove whether he could become a
national leader in expelling the foreigners and putting an end to civil
war, for he himself was assassinated in 1589. With his dying breath he
designated the king of Navarre as his successor.

[Sidenote: Henry of Navarre]

Henry of Navarre, the first of the Bourbon family upon the throne of
France, took the title of Henry IV (1589-1610). [Footnote: It is a
curious fact that Henry of Navarre, like Henry of Guise and Henry of
France, died by the hand of an assassin.] For four years after his
accession, Henry IV was obliged to continue the civil war, but his
abjuration of Protestantism and his acceptance of Catholicism in 1593
removed the chief source of opposition to him within France, and the
rebellion speedily collapsed. With the Spanish king, however, the
struggle dragged on until the treaty of Vervins, which in the last year
of Philip's life practically confirmed the peace of Cateau-Cambrésis.

[Sidenote: Decline of Spain and Rise of France]

Thus Philip II had failed to conquer or to dismember France. He had
been unable to harmonize French policies with those of his own in the
Netherlands or in England. Despite his endeavors, the French crown was
now on the head of one of his enemies, who, if something of a renegade
Protestant himself, had nevertheless granted qualified toleration to
heretics. Nor were these failures of Philip's political and religious
policies mere negative results to France. The unsuccessful interference
of the Spanish king contributed to the assurance of French
independence, patriotism, and solidarity. France, not Spain, was to be
the center of European politics during the succeeding century.

[Sidenote: Philip II and the Turks]

In concluding this chapter, a large section of which has been devoted
to an account of the manifold failures of Philip II, a word should be
added about one exploit that brought glory to the Spanish monarch. It
was he who administered the first effective check to the advancing
Ottoman Turks.

After the death of Suleiman the Magnificent (1566), the Turks continued
to strengthen their hold upon Hungary and to fit out piratical
expeditions in the Mediterranean. The latter repeatedly ravaged
portions of Sicily, southern Italy, and even the Balearic Islands, and
in 1570 an Ottoman fleet captured Cyprus from the Venetians. Malta and
Crete remained as the only Christian outposts in the Mediterranean. In
this extremity, a league was formed to save Italy. Its inspirer and
preacher was Pope Pius V, but Genoa and Venice furnished the bulk of
the fleet, while Philip II supplied the necessary additional ships and
the commander-in-chief in the person of his half-brother, Don John of
Austria. The expedition, which comprised 208 vessels, met the Ottoman
fleet of 273 ships in the Gulf of Lepanto, off the coast of Greece, on
7 October, 1571, and inflicted upon it a crushing defeat. The Turkish
warships were almost all sunk or driven ashore; it is estimated that
8000 Turks lost their lives. When news of the victory reached Rome,
Pope Pius intoned the famous verse, "There was a man sent from God
whose name was John."

[Sidenote: Lepanto]

The battle of Lepanto was of great political importance. It gave the
naval power of the Mohammedans a blow from which it never recovered and
ended their aggressive warfare in the Mediterranean. It was, in
reality, the last Crusade: Philip II was in his most becoming rôle as
champion of church and pope; hardly a noble family in Spain or Italy
was not represented in the battle; volunteers came from all parts of
the world; the celebrated Spanish writer Cervantes lost an arm at
Lepanto. Western Europe was henceforth to be comparatively free from
the Ottoman peril.





Johnson, _Europe in the Sixteenth Century, 1494-1598_ (1897), ch. iii-
ix, a political summary; Mary A. Hollings, _Renaissance and
Reformation, 1453-1660_ (1910), ch. vi, ix, x, a brief outline; E. M.
Hulme, _Renaissance and Reformation_, 2d ed. (1915), ch. x, xiv, xxiv-
xxviii, a brief and fragmentary account; T. H. Dyer, _A History of
Modern Europe_, 3d ed., rev. by Arthur Hassall (1901), ch. ix, xi-
xxvii, old but containing a multitude of political facts; _Cambridge
Modern History_, Vol. II (1904), ch. ii, iii, vii, viii, and Vol. III
(1905), ch. xv, v; _History of All Nations_, Vol. XI and Vol. XII, ch.
i-iii, by the German scholar on the period, Martin Philippson;
_Histoire générale_, Vol. IV, ch. iii, ix, Vol. V, ch. ii-v, xv. Of the
Emperor Charles V the old standard English biography by William
Robertson, still readable, has now been largely superseded by that of
Edward Armstrong, 2 vols. (1902); two important German works on Charles
V are Baumgarten, _Geschichte Karls V_, 3 vols. (1885-1892), and Konrad
Häbler, _Geschichte Spaniens unter den Habsburgen_, Vol. I (1907). Of
Philip II the best brief biography in English is Martin Hume's (1902),
which should be consulted, if possible, in connection with Charles
Bratli, _Philippe II, Roi d'Espagne: Etude sur sa vie et son
caractère_, new ed. (1912), an attempt to counteract traditional
Protestant bias against the Spanish monarch. Also see M. A. S. Hume,
_Spain, its Greatness and Decay, 1479-1788_ (1898), ch. i-vi, for a
general account of the reigns of Philip II and Philip III; and Paul
Herre, _Papstium und Papstwahl im Zeitalter Philipps II_ (1907) for a
sympathetic treatment of Philip's relations with the papacy. For a
proper understanding of sixteenth-century politics the student should
read that all-important book, Machiavelli's _Prince_, the most
convenient English edition of which is in "Everyman's Library." For
political events in the Germanies in the sixteenth century: E. F.
Henderson, _A Short History of Germany_, 2 vols. in 1 (1902); Sidney
Whitman, _Austria_ (1899); Gustav Welf, _Deutsche Geschichte im
Zeitalter der Gegenreformation_ (1899), an elaborate study; Franz
Krones, _Handbuch der Geschichte Oesterreichs von der ältesten Zeit_,
Vol. III (1877), Book XIII.

FRANCE IN THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY. A. J. Grant, _The French Monarchy,
1483-1789_ (1900), Vol. I, ch. iii-v; G. W. Kitchin, _A History of
France,_ 4th ed. (1894-1899), Vol. II, Book II, ch. iv-v, and Book III;
_Cambridge Modern History_, Vol. III (1905), ch. i; Ernest Lavisse
(editor), _Histoire de France_, Vol. V (1903), Books III, IV, VII,
VIII, and Vol. VI (1904), Books I-III, the most thorough and best
treatment; Edward Armstrong, _The French Wars of Religion_ (1892); J.
W. Thompson, _The Wars of Religion in France: the Huguenots, Catherine
de Medici and Philip II of Spain_, 1559-1576 (1909), containing several
suggestions on the economic conditions of the time; A. W. Whitehead,
_Gaspard de Coligny, Admiral of France_ (1904); C. C. Jackson, _The
Last of the Valois_, 2 vols. (1888), and, by the same author, _The
First of the Bourbons_, 2 vols. (1890); Lucien Romier, _Les origines
politiques des Guerres de Religion_, Vol. I, _Henri II et l'Italie,
1547-1555_ (1913), scholarly and authoritative, stressing economic
rather than political aspects; Louis Batiffol, _The Century of the
Renaissance in France_, Eng. trans. by Elsie F. Buckley (1916),
covering the years 1483-1610, largely political.

ENGLAND IN THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY. Brief accounts: A. L. Cross, _History
of England and Greater Britain_ (1914), ch. xix-xxvi; E. P. Cheyney, _A
Short History of England_ (1904), ch. xii, xiii; _Cambridge Modern
History,_ Vol. III (1905), ch. viii-xi; J. F. Bright, _History of
England_, 5 vols. (1884-1904), Vol. II, _Personal Monarchy, 1485-1688_
(in part); A. D. Innes, _History of England and the British Empire_, 4
vols, (1914), Vol. II, ch. iii-viii; J. R. Seeley, _Growth of British
Policy_, 2 vols. (1895), a brilliant work, of which Vol. I, Part I,
affords an able account of the policy of Elizabeth. More detailed
studies: J. S. Brewer, _The Reign of Henry VIII from his Accession to
the Death of Wolsey_, 2 vols. (1884); H. A. L. Fisher, _Political
History of England, 1485-1547_ (1906), ch. vi-xviii; A. F. Pollard,
_History of England from the Accession of Edward VI to the Death of
Elizabeth_ (1910); J. A. Froude, _History of England from the Fall of
Wolsey to the Defeat of the Spanish Armada_, 12 vols. (1870-1872), a
masterpiece of prose-style but strongly biased in favor of Henry VIII
and against anything connected with the Roman Church; E. P. Cheyney, _A
History of England from the Defeat of the Armada to the Death of
Elizabeth_, Vol. I (1914), scholarly and well-written. Also see Andrew
Lang, _A History of Scotland_, 2d ed. (1901-1907), Vols. I and II; and
P. H. Brown, _History of Scotland_ (1899-1900), Vols. I and II.
Important biographies: A. F. Pollard, _Henry VIII_ (1905), the result
of much research and distinctly favorable to Henry; E. L. Taunton,
_Thomas Wolsey, Legate and Reformer_ (1902), the careful estimate of a
Catholic scholar; Mandell Creighton, _Cardinal Wolsey_ (1888), a good
clear account, rather favorable to the cardinal; J. M. Stone, _Mary the
First, Queen of England_ (1901), a sympathetic biography of Mary Tudor;
Mandell Creighton, _Queen Elizabeth_ (1909), the best biography of the
Virgin Queen; E. S. Beesly, _Queen Elizabeth_ (1892), another good
biography. For Mary, Queen of Scots, see the histories of Scotland
mentioned above and also Andrew Lang, _The Mystery of Mary Stuart_
(1901); P. H. Brown, _Scotland in the Time of Queen Mary_ (1904); and
R. S. Rait, _Mary Queen of Scots_, 2d ed. (1899), containing important
source-material concerning Mary. Walter Walsh, _The Jesuits in Great
Britain_ (1903), emphasizes their political opposition to Elizabeth.
Martin Hume, _Two English Queens and Philip_ (1908), valuable for the
English relations of Philip II. For English maritime development see
David Hannay, _A Short History of the English Navy_ (1898); J. S.
Corbett, _Drake and the Tudor Navy_, 2 vols. (1898), and, by the same
author, _The Successors of Drake_ (1900); J. A. Froude, _English Seamen
in the Sixteenth Century_ (1895).

of George Edmundson in the _Cambridge Modern History_, Vol. III
(1905), ch. vi, vii, and Vol. II (1904), ch. xix. For the Dutch
Netherlands the great standard work is now P. J. Blok, _History of
the People of the Netherlands_, trans. in large part by O. A.
Bierstadt, and for the Belgian Netherlands a corresponding function is
performed in French by Henri Pirenne. J. L. Motley, _Rise of the
Dutch Republic_, 3 vols. (many editions), is brilliantly written and
still famous, but it is based on an inadequate study of the sources and
is marred throughout by bitter prejudice against the Spaniards and in
favor of the Protestant Dutch: it is now completely superseded by the
works of Blok and Pirenne. Admirable accounts of William the Silent are
the two-volume biography by Ruth Putnam and the volume by the same
author in the "Heroes of the Nations" Series (1911); the most detailed
study is the German work of Felix Rachfahl.

Vol. III (1905), ch. iv; A. H. Lybyer, _The Government of the Ottoman
Empire in the Time of Suleiman the Magnificent_ (1913); Stanley
Lane-Poole, _Turkey_ (1889) in the "Story of the Nations" Series;
Nicolae Jorga, _Geschichte des osmanischen Reiches_; Leopold von
Ranke, _Die Osmanen und die spanische Monarchie im sechzehnten und
siebzehnten Jahrhundert_; Joseph von Hammer, _Geschichte des
osmanischen Reiches_, 2d ed., 4 vols. (1834-1835), Vol. II, a famous
German work, which has been translated into French.




[Sidenote: Differences between Religious Bodies in 1500 and Those in

Four hundred years ago, practically all people who lived in central or
western Europe called themselves "Christians" and in common recognized
allegiance to an ecclesiastical body which was called the "Catholic
Church." This Catholic Church in 1500 differed from any present-day
religious society in the following respects: (1) Every child was born
into the Church as now he is born into the state; every person was
expected to conform, at least outwardly, to the doctrines and practices
of the Church; in other words the Catholic Church claimed a universal
membership. (2) The Church was not supported by voluntary contributions
as now, but by compulsory taxes; every person was compelled to assist
in defraying the expenses of the official religion. (3) The state
undertook to enforce obedience on the part of its subjects to the
Church; a person attacking the authority of the Catholic Church would
be liable to punishment by the state, and this held true in England and
Germany as well as in Spain or Italy.

[Sidenote: Rise of Protestantism]

Then, within fifty years, between 1520 and 1570, a large number of
Catholic Christians, particularly in Germany, Scandinavia, Scotland,
and England, and a smaller number in the Low Countries and in France,
broke off communion with the ancient Church and became known as
Protestants. Before the year 1500 there were no Protestants; since the
sixteenth century, the dominant Christianity of western and central
Europe has been divided into two parts--Catholic and Protestant. It is
important that we should know something of the origin and significance
of this division, because the Christian religion and the Christian
Church had long played very great roles in the evolution of European
civilization and because ecclesiastical and religious questions have
continued, since the division, to deserve general attention.

[Sidenote: "Catholic" Christianity]

Let us understand clearly what was meant in the year 1500 by the
expression "Catholic Christianity." It embraced a belief in certain
religious precepts which it was believed Jesus of Nazareth had taught
at the beginning of the Christian era, the inculcation of certain moral
teachings which were likewise derived from Jesus, and a definite
organization--the Church--founded, it was assumed, by Jesus in order to
teach and practice, till the end of time, His religious and moral
doctrines. By means of the Church, man would know best how to order his
life in this world and how to prepare his soul for everlasting
happiness in the world to come.

[Sidenote: The Catholic Church]

The Catholic Church was, therefore, a vast human society, believed to
be of divine foundation and sanction, and with a mission greater and
more lofty than that of any other organization. Church and state had
each its own sphere, but the Church had insisted for centuries that it
was greater and more necessary than the state. The members of the
Church were the sum-total of Christian believers who had been baptized
--practically the population of western and central Europe--and its
officers constituted a regular governing hierarchy.

[Sidenote: Head of the Church]

At the head of the hierarchy was the bishop of Rome, styled the pope or
sovereign pontiff, who from the first had probably enjoyed a leading
position in the Church as the successor of St. Peter, prince of the
apostles, and whose claims to be the divinely appointed chief bishop
had been generally recognized throughout western Europe as early as the
third century--perhaps earlier. The bishop of Rome was elected for life
by a group of clergymen, called cardinals, who originally had been in
direct charge of the parish churches in the city of Rome, but who later
were frequently selected by the pope from various countries because
they were distinguished churchmen. The pope chose the cardinals; the
cardinals elected the pope. Part of the cardinals resided in Rome, and
in conjunction with a host of clerks, translators, lawyers, and special
officials, constituted the _Curia_, or papal court, for the
conduct of general church business.

[Sidenote: Local Administration of the Church]
[Sidenote: Secular Clergy]

For the local administration of church affairs, the Catholic world was
divided under the pope into several territorial subdivisions, (1) The
patriarchates had been under patriarchs who had their sees [Footnote:
"See," so called from the Latin _sedes_, referring to their seat
or chair of office. Similarly our word "cathedral" is derived from the
Latin _cathedra_, the official chair which the bishop occupies in
his own church.] in such ancient Christian centers as Rome. Jerusalem,
Alexandria, Antioch. and Constantinople. (2) The provinces were
divisions of the patriarchates and usually centered in the most
important cities, such as Milan, Florence, Cologne, Upsala, Lyons,
Seville, Lisbon, Canterbury, York; and the head of each was styled a
metropolitan or archbishop. (3) The diocese--the most essential unit of
local administration--was a subdivision of the province, commonly a
city or a town, with a certain amount of surrounding country, under the
immediate supervision of a bishop. (4) Smaller divisions, particularly
parishes, were to be found in every diocese, embracing a village or a
section of a city, and each parish had its church building and its
priest. Thus the Catholic Church possessed a veritable army of
officials from pope and cardinals down through patriarchs, archbishops,
and bishops, to the parish priests and their assistants, the deacons.
This hierarchy, because it labored _in the world_ (_sæculo_),
was called the "secular clergy."

[Sidenote: "Regular" Clergy]

Another variety of clergy--the "regulars"--supplemented the work of the
seculars. The regulars were monks, [Footnote: The word "monk" is
applied, of course, only to men; women who followed similar rules are
commonly styled nuns.] that is, Christians who lived by a special
_rule_ (_regula_), who renounced the world, took vows of
chastity, poverty, and obedience, and strove to imitate the life of
Christ as literally as possible. The regular clergy were organized
under their own abbots, priors, provincials, or generals, being usually
exempt from secular jurisdiction, except that of the pope. The regulars
were the great missionaries of the Church, and many charitable and
educational institutions were in their hands. Among the various orders
of monks which had grown up in the course of time, the following should
be enumerated: (1) The monks who lived in fixed abodes, tilled the
soil, copied manuscripts, and conducted local schools. Most of the
monks of this kind followed a rule, or society by-laws, which had been
prepared by the celebrated St. Benedict about the year 525: they were
called therefore Benedictines. (2) The monks who organized crusades,
often bore arms themselves, and tended the holy places connected with
incidents in the life of Christ: such orders were the Knights Templars,
the Knights Hospitalers of St. John and of Malta, and the Teutonic
Knights who subsequently undertook the conversion of the Slavs. (3) The
monks who were called the begging friars or mendicants because they had
no fixed abode but wandered from place to place, preaching to the
common people and dependent for their own living upon alms. These
orders came into prominence in the thirteenth century and included,
among others, the Franciscan, whose lovable founder Saint Francis of
Assisi had urged humility and love of the poor as its distinguishing
characteristics, and the Dominican, or Order of the Preachers, devoted
by the precept of its practical founder, Saint Dominic, to missionary
zeal. All the mendicant orders, as well as the Benedictine monasteries,
became famous in the history of education, and the majority of the
distinguished scholars of the middle ages were monks. It was not
uncommon, moreover, for regulars to enter the secular hierarchy and
thus become parish priests or bishops, or even popes.

[Sidenote: Church Councils]
[Sidenote: Conciliar Movement]

The clergy--bishops, priests, and deacons--constituted, in popular
belief, the divinely ordained administration of the Catholic Church.
The legislative authority in the Church similarly was vested in the
pope and in the general councils, neither of which, however, could set
aside a law of God, as affirmed in the gospels, or establish a doctrine
at variance with the tradition of the early Christian writers. The
general councils were assemblies of prelates of the Catholic world, and
there had been considerable discussion as to the relative authority of
their decrees and the decisions and directions of the pope. [Footnote:
Papal documents have been called by various names, such as decretals,
bulls, or encyclicals.] General church councils held in eastern Europe
from the fourth to the ninth centuries had issued important decrees or
canons defining Christian dogmas and establishing ecclesiastical
discipline, which had been subsequently ratified and promulgated by the
pope as by other bishops and by the emperors; and several councils had
been held in western Europe from the twelfth to the fourteenth
centuries under the direct supervision of the bishop of Rome, all the
canons of which had been enacted in accordance with his wishes. But
early in the fifteenth century a movement was inaugurated by certain
Catholic bishops and scholars in favor of making the councils superior
to the pope and a regular source of supreme legislation for the Church.
In this way, the councils of Constance (1414-1418) and Basel (1431 ff.)
had endeavored to introduce representative, if not democratic,
government into the Church. The popes, however, objected to this
conciliar movement and managed to have it condemned by the Council of
Ferrara-Florence (1438-1442). By the year 1512 the papal theory had
triumphed and Catholics generally recognized again that the government
of the Church was essentially monarchical. The laws of the Catholic
Church were known as canons, and, of several codes of canon law which
had been prepared, that of a monk named Gratian, compiled in the
twelfth century, was the most widely used.

[Sidenote: The Pope and his Powers]

We are now in a position to summarize the claims and prerogatives of
the bishop of Rome or pope. (1) He was the supreme lawgiver. He could
issue decrees of his own, which might not be set aside by any other
person. No council might enact canons without his approval. From any
law, other than divine, he might dispense persons. (2) He was the
supreme judge in Christendom. He claimed that appeals might be taken
from decisions in foreign courts to his own Curia, as court of last
resort. He himself frequently acted as arbitrator, as, for example, in
the famous dispute between Spain and Portugal concerning the boundaries
of their newly discovered possessions. (3) He was the supreme
administrator. He claimed the right to supervise the general business
of the whole Church. No archbishop might perform the functions of his
office until he received his insignia--the pallium--from the pope. No
bishop might be canonically installed until his election had been
confirmed by the pope. The pope claimed the right to transfer a bishop
from one diocese to another and to settle all disputed elections. He
exercised immediate control over the regular clergy--the monks and
nuns. He sent ambassadors, styled legates, to represent him at the
various royal courts and to see that his instructions were obeyed. (4)
He insisted upon certain temporal rights, as distinct from his directly
religious prerogatives. He crowned the Holy Roman Emperor. He might
depose an emperor or king and release a ruler's subjects from their
oath of allegiance. He might declare null and void, and forbid the
people to obey, a law of any state, if he thought it was injurious to
the interests of the Church. He was temporal ruler of the city of Rome
and the surrounding papal states, and over those territories he
exercised a power similar to that of any duke or king. (5) He claimed
financial powers. In order to defray the enormous expenses of his
government, he charged fees for certain services at Rome, assessed the
dioceses throughout the Catholic world, and levied a small tax--Peter's
Pence--upon all Christian householders.

[Sidenote: Purpose of the Church]

So far we have concerned ourselves with the organization of the
Catholic Church--its membership, its officers, the clergy, secular and
regular, all culminating in the pope, the bishop of Rome. But why did
this great institution exist? Why was it loved, venerated, and well
served? The purpose of the Church, according to its own teaching, was
to follow the instructions of its Divine Master, Jesus Christ, in
saving souls. Only the Church might interpret those instructions; the
Church alone might apply the means of salvation; outside the Church no
one could be saved. [Footnote: Catholic theologians have recognized,
however, the possibility of salvation of persons outside the visible
Church. Thus, the catechism of Pope Pius X says: "Whoever, without any
fault of his own, and in good faith, being outside the Church, happens
to have been baptized or to have at least an implicit desire for
baptism, and, furthermore, has been sincere in seeking to find the
truth, and has done his best to do the will of God, such an one,
although separated from the body of the Church, would still belong to
her soul, and therefore be in the way of salvation."] The salvation of
souls for eternity was thus the supreme business of the Church.

[Sidenote: Theology]

This salvation of souls involved a theology and a sacramental system,
which we shall proceed to explain. Theology was the study of God. It
sought to explain how and why man was created, what were his actual and
desirable relations with God, what would be the fate of man in a future
life. The most famous theologians of the Catholic Church, for example,
St. Thomas Aquinas (d. 1274), studied carefully the teachings of
Christ, the Bible, the early Christian writings, and the decrees of
popes and councils, and drew therefrom elaborate explanations of
Christian theology--the dogmas and faith of the Catholic Church.

[Sidenote: The Sacramental System]

The very center of Catholic theology was the sacramental system, for
that was the means, and essentially the only means, of saving souls. It
was, therefore, for the purpose of the sacramental system that the
Church and its hierarchy existed. The sacraments were believed to have
been instituted by Christ Himself, and were defined as "outward signs
instituted by Christ to give grace." The number generally accepted was
seven: baptism, confirmation, holy eucharist, penance, extreme unction,
holy orders, and matrimony. By means of the sacraments the Church
accompanied the faithful throughout life. Baptism, the pouring of
water, cleansed the child from original sin and from all previous
actual sins, and made him a Christian, a child of God, and an heir of
heaven. The priest was the ordinary minister of baptism, but in case of
necessity any one who had the use of reason might baptize.
Confirmation, conferred usually by a bishop upon young persons by the
laying on of hands and the anointing with oil, gave them the Holy Ghost
to render them strong and perfect Christians and soldiers of Jesus
Christ. Penance, one of the most important sacraments, was intended to
forgive sins committed after baptism. To receive the sacrament of
penance worthily it was necessary for the penitent (1) to examine his
conscience, (2) to have sorrow for his sins, (3) to make a firm
resolution never more to offend God, (4) to confess his mortal sins
orally to a priest, (5) to receive absolution from the priest, (6) to
accept the particular penance--visitation of churches, saying of
certain prayers, or almsgiving--which the priest might enjoin. The holy
eucharist was the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, the consecration of
bread and wine by priest or bishop, its miraculous transformation
(transubstantiation) at his word into the very Body and Blood of
Christ, and its reception by the faithful. It was around the eucharist
that the elaborate ritual and ceremonies of the Mass developed, that
fine vestments and candles and incense and flowers were used, and that
magnificent cathedrals were erected. Extreme unction was the anointing
at the hands of a priest of the Christian who was in immediate danger
of death, and it was supposed to give health and strength to the soul
and sometimes to the body. By means of holy orders,--the special
imposition of hands on the part of a bishop,--priests, bishops, and
other ministers of the Church were ordained and received the power and
grace to perform their sacred duties. Matrimony was the sacrament, held
to be indissoluble by human power, by which man and woman were united
in lawful Christian marriage.

Of the seven sacraments it will be noticed that two--baptism and
penance--dealt with the forgiveness of sins, and that two--holy orders
and matrimony--were received only by certain persons. Three--baptism,
confirmation, and holy orders--could be received by a Christian only
once. Two--confirmation and holy orders--required the ministry of a
bishop; and all others, except baptism and possibly matrimony, required
the ministry of at least a priest. The priesthood was, therefore, the
absolutely indispensable agent of the Church in the administration of
the sacramental system. It was the priesthood that absolved penitents
from their sins, wrought the great daily miracle of transubstantiation,
and offered to God the holy sacrifice of the Mass.

[Sidenote: Various Objections to the Church]

It must not be supposed that either the theology or the organization of
the Catholic Church, as they existed in the year 1500, had been
precisely the same throughout the Christian era. While educated
Catholics insisted that Christ was indirectly the source of all faith
and all practice, they were quite willing to admit that external
changes and adaptations of institutions to varying conditions had taken
place. Moreover, it must not be supposed that the proud eminence to
which the Catholic Church had attained by 1500 in central and western
Europe had been won easily or at that time was readily maintained.
Throughout the whole course of Christian history there had been
repeated objections to new definitions of dogma--many positively
refused to accept the teaching of the Church as divine or infallible--
and there had been likewise a good deal of opposition to the temporal
claims of the Church, resulting in increasing friction between the
clergy and the lay rulers. Thus it often transpired that the kings who
vied with one another in recognizing the spiritual and religious
headship of the pope and in burning heretics who denied doctrines of
the Catholic Church, were the very kings who quarreled with the pope
concerning the latter's civil jurisdiction and directed harsh laws
against its exercise.

[Sidenote: Sources of Conflict between Church and State]

As strong national monarchies rose in western Europe, this friction
became more acute. On one side the royal power was determined to exalt
the state and to bring into subjection to it not only the nobles and
common people but the clergy as well; the national state must manage
absolutely every temporal affair. On the other side, the clergy stoutly
defended the special powers that they had long enjoyed in various
states and which they believed to be rightly theirs. There were
_four_ chief sources of conflict between the temporal and
spiritual jurisdictions, (1) Appointments of bishops, abbots, and other
high church officers. Inasmuch as these were usually foremost citizens
of their native kingdom, holding large estates and actually
participating in the conduct of government, the kings frequently
claimed the right to dictate their election. On the other hand the
popes insisted upon their rights in the matter and often "reserved" to
themselves the appointment to certain valuable bishoprics. (2) Taxation
of land and other property of the clergy. The clergy insisted that by
right they were exempt from taxation and that in practice they had not
been taxed since the first public recognition of Christianity in the
fourth century. The kings pointed out that the wealth of the clergy and
the needs of the state had increased along parallel lines, that the
clergy were citizens of the state and should pay a just share for its
maintenance. (3) Ecclesiastical courts. For several centuries the
Church had maintained its own courts for trying clerical offenders and
for hearing certain cases, which nowadays are heard in state courts--
probating of wills, the marriage relations, blasphemy, etc. From these
local church courts, the pope insisted that appeals might be taken to
the Roman Curia. On their side, the kings were resolved to substitute
royal justice for that of both feudal and ecclesiastical courts: they
diminished, therefore, the privileges of the local church courts and
forbade the taking of appeals to Rome. (4) How far might the pope, as
universally acknowledged head of the Church, interfere in the internal
affairs of particular states? While the pope claimed to be the sole
judge of his own rights and powers, several kings forbade the
publication of papal documents within their states or the reception of
papal legates unless the royal assent had been vouchsafed.

[Sidenote: Royal Restrictions on the Church]

Gradually the national monarchs secured at least a partial control over
episcopal appointments, and in both England and France papal
jurisdiction was seriously restricted in other ways. In England the
power of the ecclesiastical courts had been reduced (1164); no property
might be bestowed upon the Church without royal permission (1279); the
pope might not make provision in England for his personal appointees to
office (1351); and appeals to Rome had been forbidden (1392).
[Footnote: All these anti-papal enactments were very poorly enforced.]
In France the clergy had been taxed early in the fourteenth century,
and the papacy, which had condemned such action, had been humiliated by
a forced temporary removal from Rome to Avignon, where it was
controlled by French rulers for nearly seventy years (1309-1377); and
in 1438 the French king, Charles VII, in a document, styled the
Pragmatic Sanction of Bourges, solemnly proclaimed the "liberties of
the Gallican Church," that a general council was superior to the pope,
that the pope might not interfere in episcopal elections, that he might
not levy taxes on French dioceses. The Pragmatic Sanction was condemned
by the pope, but for three-quarters of a century after its issuance
there were strained relations between the Church in France and the
sovereign pontiff.

[Sidenote: Political Differences Distinct from Religious Differences]

Similar conflicts between spiritual and temporal jurisdictions were
common to all Christian states, but the national strength and the
patriotism of the western monarchies caused them to proceed further
than any other state in restricting the papal privileges. Despite the
conflict over temporal affairs, which at times was exceedingly bitter,
the kings and rulers of England and France never appear to have
seriously questioned the religious authority of the Church or the
spiritual supremacy of the pope. Religiously, the Catholic Church
seemed in 1500 to hold absolute sway over all central and western

[Sidenote: Religious Opposition to Catholicism]

Yet this very religious authority of the Catholic Church had been again
and again brought into question and repeatedly rejected. Originally, a
united Christianity had conquered western Asia, northern Africa, and
eastern Europe; by 1500 nearly all these wide regions were lost to
Catholic Christianity as that phrase was understood in western Europe.
The loss was due to (1) the development of a great Christian schism,
and (2) the rise of a new religion--Mohammedanism.

[Sidenote: The Schism between the East and the West]

Eastern Europe had been lost through an ever-widening breach in
Christian practice from the fifth to the eleventh century. The Eastern
Church used the Greek language in its liturgy; that of the West used
the Latin language. The former remained more dependent upon the state;
the latter grew less dependent. Minor differences of doctrine appeared.
And the Eastern Christians thought the pope was usurping unwarrantable
prerogatives, while the Western Christians accused the Oriental
patriarchs of departing from their earlier loyalty to the pope and
destroying the unity of Christendom. Several attempts had been made to
reunite the Catholic Church of the West and the Orthodox Church of the
East, but with slight success. In 1500, the Christians of Greece, the
Balkan peninsula, and Russia were thought to be outside the Catholic
Church and were defined, therefore, by the pope as schismatics.

[Sidenote: Mohammedanism]

Far more numerous and dangerous to Catholic Christianity than the
schismatic Easterners were the Mohammedans. Mohammed himself had lived
in Arabia in the early part the seventh century and had taught that he
was the inspired prophet of the one true God. In a celebrated book,--
the Koran,--which was compiled from the sayings of the prophet, are to
be found the precepts and commandments of the Mohammedan religion.
Mohammedanism spread rapidly: within a hundred years of its founder's
death it had conquered western Asia and northern Africa and had gained
a temporary foothold in Spain; thenceforth it stretched eastward across
Persia and Turkestan into India and southward into central Africa; and
in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, as we have seen, it
possessed itself of Constantinople, the Balkans, Greece, and part of
Hungary, and threatened Christendom in the Germanies and in the

[Sidenote: Western Heresies]

Even in western Europe, the Catholic Church had had to encounter
spasmodic opposition from "heretics," as those persons were called who,
although baptized as Christians, refused to accept all the dogmas of
Catholic Christianity. Such were the Arian Christians, who in early
times had been condemned for rejecting the doctrine of the divinity of
Christ, and who had eventually been won back to Catholicism only with
the greatest efforts. Then in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries the
Albigensian heretics in southern France had assailed the sacramental
system and the organization of the Church and had been suppressed only
by armed force. In the fourteenth century, John Wycliffe appeared in
England and John Hus in Bohemia, both preaching that the individual
Christian needs no priestly mediation between himself and God and that
the very sacraments of the Church, however desirable, are not
essentially necessary to salvation. The Lollards, as Wycliffe's English
followers were called, were speedily extirpated by fire and sword,
through the stern orthodoxy of an English king, but the Hussites long
defied the pope and survivals of their heresy were to be found in 1500.

[Sidenote: Skeptics]

In addition to these heretics and the Jews, [Footnote: For detailed
accounts of the Jews during the middle ages as well as in modern times,
see the _Jewish Encyclopædia_, ed. by Isidore Singer, 12 vols.
(1901-1906).] many so-called skeptics no doubt existed. These were
people who outwardly conformed to Catholicism but inwardly doubted and
even scoffed at the very foundations of Christianity. They were
essentially irreligious, but they seem to have suffered less from
persecution than the heretics. Many of the Italian humanists,
concerning whom we shall later say a word, [Footnote: See below] were
in the fifteenth century more or less avowed skeptics.


[Sidenote: A Religious and Political Movement]

We have seen in the preceding pages that prior to 1500 there had been
many conflicts between kings and popes concerning their respective
temporal rights and likewise there had been serious doubts in the minds
of various people as to the authority and teachings of the Catholic
Church. But these two facts--political and religious--had never been
united in a general revolt against the Church until the sixteenth
century. Then it was that Christians of Germany, Scandinavia, Scotland,
and England, even of the Low Countries and France, successfully
revolted against the papal monarchy and set up establishments of their
own, usually under the protection of their lay rulers, which became
known as the Protestant churches. The movement is called, therefore,
the Protestant Revolt. It was begun and practically completed between
1520 and 1570.

[Sidenote: Political Causes of Protestant Revolt]

In explaining this remarkable and sudden break with the religious and
ecclesiastical development of a thousand years, it is well to bear in
mind that its causes were at once political, economic, and religious.
Politically, it was merely an accentuation of the conflict which had
long been increasing in virulence between the spiritual and temporal
authorities. It cannot be stated too emphatically that the Catholic
Church during many centuries prior to the sixteenth had been not only a
religious body, like a present-day church, but also a vast political
power which readily found sources of friction with other political
institutions. The Catholic Church, as we have seen, had its own
elaborate organization in every country of western and central Europe;
and its officials--pope, bishops, priests, and monks--denied allegiance
to the secular government; the Church owned many valuable lands and
estates, which normally were exempt from taxation and virtually outside
the jurisdiction of the lay government; the Church had its own
independent and compulsory income, and its own courts to try its own
officers and certain kinds of cases for every one. Such political
jurisdiction of the Church had been quite needful and satisfactory in
the period--from the fifth to the twelfth century, let us say--when the
secular governments were weak and the Church found itself the chief
unifying force in Christendom, the veritable heir to the universal
dominion of the ancient Roman Empire.

But gradually the temporal rulers themselves repressed feudalism.
Political ambition increased in laymen, and local pride was exalted
into patriotism. By the year 1200 was begun the growth of that notable
idea of national monarchy, the general outline of which we sketched in
the opening chapter. We there indicated that at the commencement of the
sixteenth century, England, France, Spain, and Portugal had become
strong states, with well-organized lay governments under powerful
kings, with patriotic populations, and with well-developed, distinctive
languages and literatures. The one thing that seemed to be needed to
complete this national sovereignty was to bring the Church entirely
under royal control. The autocratic sovereigns desired to enlist the
wealth and influence of the Church in their behalf; they coveted her
lands, her taxes, and her courts. Although Italy, the Netherlands, and
the Germanies were not yet developed as strong united monarchies, many
of their patriotic leaders longed for such a development, worked for
it, and believed that the principal obstacle to it was the great
Christian Church with the pope at its head. Viewed from the political
standpoint, the Protestant Revolt was caused by the rise of national
feeling, which found itself in natural conflict with the older
cosmopolitan or catholic idea of the Church. It was nationalism
_versus_ Catholicism.

[Sidenote: Economic Causes of Protestant Revolt]

Economically, the causes of the Protestant Revolt were twofold. In the
first place, the Catholic Church had grown so wealthy that many people,
particularly kings and princes, coveted her possessions. In the second
place, financial abuses in ecclesiastical administration bore heavily
upon the common people and created serious scandal. Let us say a word
about each one of these difficulties.

At the opening of the sixteenth century, many bishops and abbots in
wealth and power were not unlike great lay lords: they held vast fair
dominions--in the Germanics a third of the whole country, in France a
fifth, etc.--and they were attended by armies of retainers. Most of
them were sons of noblemen who had had them consecrated bishops so as
to insure them fine positions. Even the monks, who now often lived in
rich monasteries as though they had never taken vows of poverty, were
sometimes of noble birth and quite worldly in their lives. The large
estates and vast revenues of Catholic ecclesiastics were thus at first
the lure and then the prey of their royal and princely neighbors. The
latter grew quite willing to utilize any favorable opportunity which
might enable them to confiscate church property and add it to their own
possessions. Later such confiscation was euphemistically styled

On the other hand, many plain people, such as peasants and artisans,
begrudged the numerous and burdensome ecclesiastical taxes, and an
increasing number felt that they were not getting the worth of their
money. There was universal complaint, particularly in the Germanies,
that the people were exploited by the Roman Curia. Each ecclesiastic,
be he bishop, abbot, or priest, had right to a benefice, that is, to
the revenue of a parcel of land attached to his post. When he took
possession of a benefice, he paid the pope a special assessment, called
the "annate," amounting to a year's income--which of course came from
the peasants living on the land. The pope likewise "reserved" to
himself the right of naming the holders of certain benefices: these he
gave preferably to Italians who drew the revenues but remained in their
own country; the people thus supported foreign prelates in luxury and
sometimes paid a second time in order to maintain resident
ecclesiastics. The archbishops paid enormous sums to the pope for their
badges of office (_pallia_). Fat fees for dispensations or for
court trials found their way across the Alps. And the bulk of the
burden ultimately rested upon the backs of the people. At least in the
Germanics the idea became very prevalent that the pope and Curia were
really robbing honest German Christians for the benefit of scandalously
immoral Italians.

There were certainly grave financial abuses in church government in the
fifteenth century and in the early part of the sixteenth. A project of
German reform, drawn up in 1438, had declared: "It is a shame which
cries to heaven, this oppression of tithes, dues, penalties,
excommunication, and tolls of the peasant, on whose labor all men
depend for their existence." An "apocalyptic pamphlet of 1508 shows on
its cover the Church upside down, with the peasant performing the
services, while the priest guides the plow outside and a monk drives
the horses." It was, in fact, in the Germanics that all the social
classes--princes, burghers, knights, and peasants--had special economic
grievances against the Church, and in many places were ready to combine
in rejecting papal claims.

This emphasis upon the political and particularly upon the economic
causes need not belittle the strictly religious factor in the movement.
The success of the revolt was due to the fact that many kings, nobles,
and commoners, for financial and political advantages to themselves,
became the valuable allies of real religious reformers. It required
dogmatic differences as well as social grievances to destroy the
dominion of the Church.

[Sidenote: Abuses in the Catholic Church]

Nearly all thoughtful men in the sixteenth century recognized the
existence of abuses in the Catholic Church. The scandals connected with
the papal court at Rome were notorious at the opening of the century.
Several of the the popes lived grossly immoral lives. Simony (the sale
of church offices for money) and nepotism (favoritism shown by a pope
to his relatives) were not rare. The most lucrative ecclesiastical
positions throughout Europe were frequently conferred upon Italians who
seldom discharged their duties. One person might be made bishop of
several foreign dioceses and yet continue to reside in Rome. Leo X, who
was pope when the Protestant Revolt began, and son of Lorenzo de'
Medici, surnamed the Magnificent, had been ordained to the priesthood
at the age of seven, named cardinal when he was thirteen, and speedily
loaded with a multitude of rich benefices and preferments; this same
pope, by his munificence and extravagance, was forced to resort to the
most questionable means for raising money: he created many new offices
and shamelessly sold them; he increased the revenue from indulgences,
jubilees, and regular taxation; he pawned palace furniture, table
plate, pontifical jewels, even statues of the apostles; several banking
firms and many individual creditors were ruined by his death.

[Sidenote: Attacks on Immorality of Clergymen]

What immorality and worldliness prevailed at Rome was reflected in the
lives of many lesser churchmen. To one of the popes of the fifteenth
century, a distinguished cardinal represented the disorders of the
clergy, especially in the Germanics. "These disorders," he said,
"excite the hatred of the people against all ecclesiastical order; if
it is not corrected, it is to be feared that the laity, following the
example of the Hussites, will attack the clergy as they now openly
menace us with doing." If the clergy of Germany were not reformed
promptly, he predicted that after the Bohemian heresy was crushed
another would speedily arise far more dangerous. "For they will say,"
he continued, "that the clergy is incorrigible and is willing to apply
no remedy to its disorders. They will attack us when they no longer
have any hope of our correction. Men's minds are waiting for what shall
be done; it seems as if shortly something tragic will be brought forth.
The venom which they have against us is becoming evident; soon they
will believe they are making a sacrifice agreeable to God by
maltreating or despoiling the ecclesiastics as people odious to God and
man and immersed to the utmost in evil. The little reverence still
remaining for the sacred order will be destroyed. Responsibility for
all these disorders will be charged upon the Roman Curia, which will be
regarded as the cause of all these evils because it has neglected to
apply the necessary remedy." To many other thoughtful persons, a moral
reformation in the head and members of the Church seemed vitally

Complaints against the evil lives of the clergy as well as against
their ignorance and credulity were echoed by most of the great scholars
and humanists of the time. The patriotic knight and vagabond scholar,
Ulrich von Hutten (1488-1523), contributed to a clever series of
satirical "Letters of Obscure Men," which were read widely, and which
poked fun at the lack of learning among the monks and the ease with
which the papal court emptied German pockets.

[Sidenote: Ulrich von Hutten and Erasmus]

Then, too, the great Erasmus (1466-1536) employed all his wit and
sarcasm, in his celebrated "Praise of Folly," against the theologians
and monks, complaining that the foolish people thought that religion
consisted simply in pilgrimages, the invocation of saints, and the
veneration of relics. Erasmus would have suppressed the monasteries,
put an end to the domination of the clergy, and swept away scandalous
abuses. He wanted Christianity to regain its early spiritual force, and
largely for that purpose he published in 1516 the Greek text of the New
Testament with a new Latin translation and with notes which mercilessly
flayed hair-splitting theologians.

Thus throughout the fifteenth century and the early part of the
sixteenth, much was heard from scholars, princes, and people, of the
need for "reformation" of the Church. That did not signify a change of
the old regulations but rather their restoration and enforcement. For a
long time it was not a question of abolishing the authority of the
pope, or altering ecclesiastical organization, or changing creeds. It
was merely a question of reforming the lives of the clergy and of
suppressing the means by which Italians drew money from other nations.

[Sidenote: Religious Causes of Protestant Revolt]

In the sixteenth century, however, a group of religious leaders, such
as Luther, Cranmer, Zwingli, Calvin, and Knox, went much further than
Erasmus and the majority of the humanists had gone: they applied the
word "reformation" not only to a reform in morals but to an open break
which they made with the government and doctrines of the Catholic
Church. The new theology, which these reformers championed, was derived
mainly from the teachings of such heretics as Wycliffe and Hus and was
supposed to depend directly upon the Bible rather than upon the Church.
The religious causes of the Protestant Revolt accordingly may be summed
up as: first, the existence of abuses within the Catholic Church;
second, the attacks of distinguished men upon the immorality and
worldliness of the Catholic clergy; and third, the substitution by
certain religious leaders of new doctrines and practices, which were
presumed to have been authorized by the Bible, but which were at
variance with those of the medieval Church.

[Sidenote: Date and Extent of the Protestant Revolt]

For the great variety of reasons, which we have now indicated,--
political, economic, and religious,--the peoples of northern Germany,
Scandinavia, the Dutch Netherlands, most of Switzerland, Scotland,
England, and a part of France and of Hungary, separated themselves,
between the years 1520 and 1570, from the great religious and political
body which had been known historically for over a thousand years as the
Catholic Christian Church. The name "Protestant" was first applied
exclusively to those followers of Martin Luther in the Holy Roman
Empire who in 1529 protested against an attempt of the Diet of Speyer
to prevent the introduction of religious novelties, but subsequently
the word passed into common parlance among historians and the general
reading public as betokening all Christians who rejected the papal
supremacy and who were not in communion with the Orthodox Church of
eastern Europe.

Of this Protestant Christianity three main forms appeared in the
sixteenth century--Lutheranism, Calvinism, and Anglicanism. Concerning
the origin and development of each one of these major forms, a brief
sketch must be given.


[Sidenote: Martin Luther]

Lutheranism takes its name from its great apostle, Martin Luther.
Luther was born in Eisleben in Germany in 1483 of a poor family whose
ancestors had been peasants. Martin early showed himself bold,
headstrong, willing to pit his own opinions against those of the world,
but yet possessing ability, tact, and a love of sound knowledge.
Educated at the university of Erfurt, where he became acquainted with
the humanistic movement, young Martin entered one of the mendicant
orders--the Augustinian--in 1505 and went to live in a monastery. In
1508 Luther was sent with some other monks to Wittenberg to assist a
university which had been opened there recently by the elector of
Saxony, and a few years later was appointed professor of theology in
the institution.

[Sidenote: Justification by Faith]

While lecturing and preaching at Wittenberg, where he was very popular,
Luther developed from the writings of St. Paul and St. Augustine an
important doctrinal conviction which differed widely from the faith of
the Catholic Church. It concerned the means of eternal salvation. The
Church taught, as we have seen, that she possessed the sole means, and
that every Christian must perform certain "good works" in order to
secure salvation. Luther, on the other hand, became convinced that man
was incapable, in the sight of God, of any good works whatsoever, and
could be saved only by faith in God's promises. In other words, this
monk placed his doctrine of "justification by faith" in opposition to
the generally accepted belief in "justification by faith and works."

[Sidenote: Tetzel's "Sale" of Indulgences]

So far, Luther certainly had no thought of revolting against the
authority of the Church. In fact, when he visited Rome in 1511, it was
as a pious pilgrim rather than as a carping critic. But a significant
event in the year 1517 served to make clear a wide discrepancy between
what he was teaching and what the Church taught. That year a certain
papal agent, Tetzel by name, was disposing of indulgences in the great
archbishopric of Mainz. An indulgence, according to Catholic theology,
was a remission of the temporal punishment in purgatory due to sin, and
could be granted only by authority of the Church; the grant of
indulgences depended upon the contrition and confession of the
applicant, and often at that time upon money-payments. Against what he
believed was a corruption of Christian doctrine and a swindling of the
poorer people, Luther protested in a series of ninety-five Theses which
he posted on the church door in Wittenberg (31 October, 1517).

[Sidenote: The Ninety-five Theses]

The Theses had been written in Latin for the educated class but they
were now speedily translated into German and spread like wildfire among
all classes throughout the country. Luther's underlying principle of
"salvation through simple faith" was in sharp contrast with the theory
of "good works," on which the indulgences rested. "The Christian who
has true repentance," wrote Luther, "has already received pardon from
God altogether apart from an indulgence, and does not need one; Christ
demands this true repentance from every one." Luther's attitude
provoked spirited discussion throughout the Germanics, and the more
discussion, the more interest and excitement. The pope, who had
dismissed the subject at first as a mere squabble among the monks, was
moved at length to summon Luther to Rome to answer for the Theses, but
the elector of Saxony intervened and prevailed upon the pope not to
press the matter.

[Sidenote: Disputation at Leipzig, 1519]

The next important step in the development of Luther's religious ideas
was a debate on the general question of papal supremacy, held at
Leipzig in 1519, between himself and an eminent Catholic apologist,
Johann Eck. Eck skillfully forced Luther to admit that certain views of
his, especially those concerning man's direct relation with God,
without the mediation of the Church, were the same as those which John
Hus had held a century earlier and which had been condemned both by the
pope and by the great general council of Constance. Luther thereby
virtually admitted that a general council as well as a pope might err.
For him, the divine authority of the Roman Catholic Church ceased to

[Sidenote: Separation of Luther from the Catholic Church]

Separation from the traditional Church was the only course now open to
Luther and this was consummated in the year 1520. In a series of three
bold pamphlets, he vigorously and definitely attacked the position of
the Church. In the first--_An Address to the Nobility of the German
Nation_--Luther stated that there was nothing inherently sacred
about the Christian priesthood and that the clergy should be deprived
immediately of their special privileges; he urged the German princes to
free their country from foreign control and shrewdly called their
attention to the wealth and power of the Church which they might justly
appropriate to themselves. In the second--_On the Babylonian
Captivity of the Church of God_--he assailed the papacy and the
whole sacramental system. The third--_On the Freedom of a Christian
Man_--contained the essence of Luther's new theology that salvation
was not a painful _progress_ toward a goal by means of sacraments
and right conduct but a _condition_ "in which man found himself so
soon as he despaired absolutely of his own efforts and threw himself on
God's assurances"; the author claimed that man's utter personal
dependence on God's grace rendered the system of the Church

In the midst of these attacks upon the Church, the pope excommunicated
Luther, and in the following year (1521) influenced the Diet of the
Holy Roman Empire, assembled at Worms, to pronounce him an outlaw. But
the rebel calmly burnt the papal bull and from the imperial ban he was
protected by the elector of Saxony. He at once devoted himself to
making a new German translation of the Bible, which became very popular
and is still prized as a monument in the history of German literature.
[Footnote: The first edition of the Bible in German had been printed as
early as 1466. At least eighteen editions in German (including four Low
German versions) had appeared before Luther issued his German New
Testament in 1522.]

[Sidenote: Spread of Lutheranism]

Within the next few years the Lutheran teachings carried everything
before them throughout the northern and central Germanies. Nor are the
reasons for Luther's success in defying pope and emperor and for the
rapid acceptance of his new theology hard to understand. The movement
was essentially popular and national. It appealed to the pious-minded
who desired a simplification of Christian dogma and a comprehensible
method of salvation. It also appealed to the worldly minded who longed
to seize ecclesiastical lands and revenues. Above all, it appealed to
the patriots who were tired of foreign despotism and of abuses which
they traced directly to the Roman Curia. Then, too, the Emperor Charles
V, who remained a loyal Catholic, was too immersed in the difficulties
of foreign war and in the manifold administrative problems of his huge
dominions to be able to devote much time to the extirpation of heresy
in the Germanies. Finally, the character of Luther contributed to
effective leadership--he was tireless in flooding the country with
pamphlets, letters, and inflammatory diatribes, tactful in keeping his
party together, and always bold and courageous. Princes, burghers,
artisans, and peasants joined hands in espousing the new cause.

[Sidenote: Luther and the German Peasants]

But the peasants espoused it in a manner altogether too logical and too
violent to suit Luther or the desires of the princes. The German
peasants had grievances against the old order compared with which those
of the knights and towns-folk were imaginary. For at least a century
several causes had contributed to make their lot worse and worse. While
their taxes and other burdens were increasing, the ability of the
emperor to protect them was decreasing; they were plundered by every
class in the community, especially by the higher clergy. Thus, under
the influence of social and economic conditions, various uprisings of
the peasants had taken place during the latter part of the fifteenth
century. These insurrections became almost regular in the southwestern
Germanies, and were called _Bundschuhe_, a shoe fastened upon the
end of a pole serving as a standard of revolt. When Luther urged the
princes to assail the ecclesiastics, to seize church lands, and to put
an end to financial abuses, the peasants naturally listened to his
words with open ears and proceeded with glad hearts to apply his advice

The new Lutheran theology may have been too refined for the peasants,
but they imagined they understood its purport. And spurred on by
fanatics, whom the religious ferment of the times produced in large
numbers, [Footnote: Many of these radical religious leaders were more
consistent and thoroughgoing than Luther in maintaining the right of
each Christian to interpret the Scriptures for himself. Since they
generally refused to recognize infant baptism as valid and insisted
that baptism should be administered only to adults, they were
subsequently often referred to as "Anabaptists." Many of the
"Anabaptists" condemned oaths and capital punishment; some advocated
communism of worldly goods, in several instances even the community of
women. Nicholas Storch (d. 1525), a weaver, and Thomas Munzer (d.
1525), a Lutheran preacher, spread these doctrines widely among the
peasants. Luther vehemently denounced the "Anabaptists."] the peasants
again took arms against feudal oppression. That the peasants' demands
were essentially moderate and involved no more than is granted
everywhere to-day as a matter of course, may be inferred from their
declaration of principles, the Twelve Articles, among which were:
abolition of serfdom, free right of fishing and hunting, payment in
wages for services rendered, and abolition of arbitrary punishment. So
long as the peasants directed their efforts against the Catholic
ecclesiastics, Luther expressed sympathy with them, but when the
revolt, which broke out in 1524, became general all over central and
southern Germany and was directed not only against the Catholic clergy
but also against the lay lords,--many of whom were now Lutheran,--the
religious leader foresaw a grave danger to his new religion in a split
between peasants and nobles. Luther ended by taking strong sides with
the nobles--he had most to expect from them. He was shocked by the
excesses of the revolt, he said. Insisting upon toleration for his own
revolt, he condemned the peasants to most horrible fates in this world
and in the world hereafter. [Footnote: Although Luther was particularly
bitter against the "Anabaptist" exhorters, upon whom he fastened
responsibility for the Peasants' Revolt, and although many of them met
death thereby, the "Anabaptists" were by no means exterminated.
Largely through the activity of a certain Melchior Hofmann, a widely
traveled furrier, "Anabaptist" doctrines were disseminated in northern
Germany and the Netherlands.  From 1533 to 1535 they reigned supreme,
attended by much bloodshed and plenty of personal license, in the
important city of Munster in western Germany. Subsequently, Carlstadt
(1480-1541), an early associate of Luther, though his later antagonist,
set forth Anabaptist views with greater moderation; and in course of
time the sect became more or less tinged with Calvinistic theology.] He
furiously begged the princes to put down the insurrection. "Whoever
can, should smite, strangle, or stab, secretly or publicly!"

[Sidenote: The Peasants' Revolt]

The Peasants' Revolt was crushed in 1525 with utmost cruelty. Probably
fifty thousand lost their lives in the vain effort. The general result
was that the power of the territorial lords became greater than ever,
although in a few cases, particularly in the Tyrol and in Baden, the
condition of the peasants was slightly improved. Elsewhere, however,
this was not the case; and the German peasants were assigned for over
two centuries to a lot worse than that of almost any people in Europe.
Another result was the decline of Luther's influence among the
peasantry in southern and central Germany. They turned rapidly from one
who, they believed, had betrayed them. On the other hand, many Catholic
princes, who had been wavering in their religious support, now had
before their eyes what they thought was an object lesson of the results
of Luther's appeal to revolution, and so they cast their lot decisively
with the ancient Church. The Peasants' Revolt registered a distinct
check to the further spread of Lutheranism.

[Sidenote: Diets of Speyer 1526, 1529]
[Sidenote: The Word "Protestant"]

The Diet of the Holy Roman Empire which assembled at Speyer in 1526 saw
the German princes divided into a Lutheran and a Roman Catholic party,
but left the legal status of the new faith still in doubt, contenting
itself with the vague declaration that "each prince should so conduct
himself as he could answer for his behavior to God and to the emperor."
But at the next Diet, held at the same place in 1529, the emperor
directed that the edict against heretics should be enforced and that
the old ecclesiastical revenues should not be appropriated for the new
worship. The Lutheran princes drafted a legal protest, in which they
declared that they meant to abide by the law of 1526. From this protest
came the name _Protestant_.

[Sidenote: Confession of Augsburg, 1530]

The next year, Luther's great friend, Melancthon, presented to the Diet
of Augsburg an account of the beliefs of the German reformers, which
later became known as the Confession of Augsburg and constitutes to the
present day the distinctive creed of the Lutheran Church. The emperor
was still unconvinced, however, of the truth or value of the reformed
doctrine, and declared his intention of ending the heresy by force of

[Sidenote: Religious Peace of Augsburg, 1555]

In this predicament, the Lutheran princes formed a league at Schmalkald
for mutual protection (1531); and from 1546 to 1555 a desultory civil
war was waged. The Protestants received some assistance from the French
king, who, for political reasons, was bent on humiliating the emperor.
The end of the religious conflict appeared to have been reached by the
peace of Augsburg (1555), which contained the following provisions: (1)
Each prince was to be free to dictate the religion of his subjects
[Footnote: _Cuius regio eius religio_.]; (2) All church property
appropriated by the Protestants before 1552 was to remain in their
hands; (3) No form of Protestantism except Lutheranism was to be
tolerated; (4) Lutheran subjects of ecclesiastical states were not to
be obliged to renounce their faith; (5) By an "ecclesiastical
reservation" any ecclesiastical prince on becoming a Protestant was to
give up his see.

[Sidenote: Lutheranism in the Germanies]

Thus, between 1520 and 1555, Martin Luther [Footnote: He died in 1546,
aged 62.] had preached his new theology at variance with the Catholic,
and had found general acceptance for it throughout the northern half of
the Germanies; its creed had been settled and defined in 1530, and its
official toleration had been recognized in 1555. The toleration was
limited, however, to princes, and for many years Lutheran rulers showed
themselves quite as intolerant within their own dominions as did the

[Sidenote: Lutheranism in Scandinavia]

The triumph of Lutheranism in the Scandinavian countries has been
traced largely to political and economic causes. When Martin Luther
broke with the Catholic Church, Christian II (1513-1523) was reigning
as elected king over Denmark and Norway and had recently conquered
Sweden by force of arms. The king encountered political difficulties
with the Church although he maintained Catholic worship and doctrine
and apparently recognized the spiritual supremacy of the pope. But
Christian II had trouble with most of his subjects, especially the
Swedes, who were conscious of separate nationality and desirous of
political independence; and the king eventually lost his throne in a
general uprising. The definite separation of Sweden from Denmark and
Norway followed immediately. The Swedes chose the celebrated Gustavus
Vasa (1523-1560) as their king, while the Danish and Norwegian crowns
passed to the uncle of Christian II, who assumed the title of Frederick
I (1523-1533).

[Sidenote: Denmark]

In Denmark, King Frederick was very desirous of increasing the royal
power, and the subservient ecclesiastical organization which Martin
Luther was advocating seemed to him for his purposes infinitely
preferable to the ancient self-willed Church. But Frederick realized
that the Catholic Church was deeply rooted in the affections of his
people and that changes would have to be effected slowly and
cautiously. He therefore collected around him Lutheran teachers from
Germany and made his court the center of the propaganda of the new
doctrine, and so well was the work of the new teachers done that the
king was able in 1527 to put the two religions on an equal footing
before the law. Upon Frederick's death in 1533, the Catholics made a
determined effort to prevent the accession of his son, Christian III,
who was not only an avowed Lutheran but was known to stand for
absolutist principles in government.

The popular protest against royal despotism failed in Denmark and the
triumph of Christian III in 1536 sealed the fate of Catholicism in that
country and in Norway. It was promptly enacted that the Catholic
bishops should forfeit their temporal and spiritual authority and all
their property should be transferred to the crown "for the good of the
commonwealth." After discussions with Luther the new religion was
definitely organized and declared the state religion in 1537. It might
be added that Catholicism died with difficulty in Denmark,--many
peasants as well as high churchmen resented the changes, and Helgesen,
the foremost Scandinavian scholar and humanist of the time, protested
vigorously against the new order. But the crown was growing powerful,
and the crown prevailed. The enormous increase of royal revenue,
consequent upon the confiscation of the property of the Church, enabled
the king to make Denmark the leading Scandinavian country throughout
the second half of the sixteenth century and the first quarter of the
seventeenth. In time national patriotism came to be intertwined with

[Sidenote: Sweden]

In Sweden the success of the new religion was due to the crown quite as
much as in Denmark and Norway. Gustavus Vasa had obtained the Swedish
throne through the efforts of a nationalist party, but there was still
a hostile faction, headed by the chief churchman, the archbishop of
Upsala, who favored the maintenance of the union with Denmark. In order
to deprive the unionists of their leader, Gustavus begged the pope to
remove the rebellious archbishop and to appoint one in sympathy with
the nationalist cause. This the pope peremptorily refused to do, and
the breach with Rome began. Gustavus succeeded in suppressing the
insurrection, and then persevered in introducing Protestantism. The
introduction was very gradual, especially among the peasantry, and its
eventual success was largely the result of the work of one strong man
assisted by a subservient parliament.

At first Gustavus maintained Catholic worship and doctrines, contenting
himself with the suppression of the monasteries, the seizure of two-
thirds of the church tithes, and the circulation of a popular Swedish
translation of the New Testament. In 1527 all ecclesiastical property
was transferred to the crown and two Catholic bishops were cruelly put
to death. Meanwhile Lutheran teachers were encouraged to take up their
residence in Sweden and in 1531 the first Protestant archbishop of
Upsala was chosen. Thenceforth, the progress of Lutheranism was more
rapid, although a Catholic reaction was threatened several times in the
second half of the sixteenth century. The Confession of Augsburg was
adopted as the creed of the Swedish Church in 1593, and in 1604
Catholics were deprived of offices and estates and banished from the


The second general type of Protestantism which appeared in the
sixteenth century was the immediate forerunner of the modern
Presbyterian, Congregational, and Reformed Churches and at one time or
another considerably affected the theology of the Episcopalians and
Baptists and even of Lutherans. Taken as a group, it is usually called
Calvinism. Of its rise and spread, some idea may be gained from brief
accounts of the lives of two of its great apostles--Calvin and Knox.
But first it will be necessary to say a few words concerning an older
reformer, Zwingli by name, who prepared the way for Calvin's work in
the Swiss cantons.

[Sidenote: Zwingli]

Switzerland comprised in the sixteenth century some thirteen cantons,
all of which were technically under the suzerainty of the Holy Roman
Empire, but constituted in practice so many independent republics,
bound together only by a number of protective treaties. To the town of
Einsiedeln in the canton of Schwyz came Huldreich Zwingli in the year
1516 as a Catholic priest. Slightly younger than Luther, he was well
born, had received an excellent university education in Vienna and in
Basel, and had now been in holy orders about ten years. He had shown
for some time more interest in humanism than in the old-fashioned
theology, but hardly any one would have suspected him of heresy, for it
was well known that he was a regular pensioner of the pope.

Zwingli's opposition to the Roman Church seems to have been based at
first largely on political grounds. He preached eloquently against the
practice of hiring out Swiss troops to foreign rulers and abused the
Church for its share in this shameless traffic in soldiers. Then he was
led on to attack all manner of abuses in ecclesiastical organization,
but it was not until he was installed in 1518 as preacher in the great
cathedral at Zürich that he clearly denied papal supremacy and
proceeded to proclaim the Scriptures as the sole guide of faith and
morals. He preached against fasting, the veneration of saints, and the
celibacy of the clergy. Some of his hearers began to put his teachings
into practice: church edifices were profaned, statues demolished,
windows smashed, and relics burned. Zwingli himself took a wife.

[Sidenote: Zwinglian Revolt in Switzerland]

In 1523 a papal appeal to Zürich to abandon Zwingli was answered by the
canton's formal declaration of independence from the Catholic Church.
Henceforth the revolt spread rapidly throughout Switzerland, except in
the five forest cantons, the very heart of the country, where the
ancient religion was still deeply intrenched. Serious efforts were made
to join the followers of Zwingli with those of Luther, and thus to
present a united front to the common enemy, but there seemed to be
irreconcilable differences between Lutheranism and the views of
Zwingli. The latter, which were succinctly expressed in sixty-seven
Theses published at Zürich in 1523, insisted more firmly than the
former on the supreme authority of Scripture, and broke more thoroughly
and radically with the traditions of the Catholic Church. Zwingli aimed
at a reformation of government and discipline as well as of theology,
and entertained a notion of an ideal state in which the democracy would
order human activities, whether political or religious. Zwingli
differed essentially from Luther in never distrusting "the people."
Perhaps the most distinctive mark of the Swiss reformer's theology was
his idea that the Lord's Supper is not a miracle but simply a symbol
and a memorial.

In 1531 Zwingli urged the Protestant Swiss to convert the five forest
cantons to the new religion by force of arms. In answer to his
entreaties, civil war ensued, but the Catholic mountaineers won a great
victory that very year and the reformer himself was killed. A truce was
then arranged, the provisions of which foreshadowed the religious
settlement in the Germanies--each canton was to be free to determine
its own religion. Switzerland has remained to this day part Catholic
and part Protestant.

[Sidenote: Calvin]

By the sudden death of Zwingli, Swiss Protestantism was left without a
leader, but not for long, because the more celebrated Calvin took up
his residence in Geneva in 1536. From that time until his death in 1564
Calvin was the center of a movement which, starting from these small
Zwinglian beginnings among the Swiss mountains, speedily spread over
more countries and affected more people than did Lutheranism. In
Calvinism, Catholicism was to find her most implacable foe.

John Calvin, who, next to Martin Luther, was the most conspicuous
Protestant leader of the sixteenth century, was a Frenchman. Born of
middle-class parentage at Noyon in the province of Picardy in 1509, he
was intended from an early age for an ecclesiastical career. A pension
from the Catholic Church enabled him to study at Paris, where he
displayed an aptitude for theology and literature. When he was nineteen
years of age, however, his father advised him to abandon the idea of
entering the priesthood in favor of becoming a lawyer--so young Calvin
spent several years studying law.

[Sidenote: Calvin in France]

It was in 1529 that Calvin is said to have experienced a sudden
"conversion." Although as yet there had been no organized revolt in
France against the Catholic Church, that country, like many others, was
teeming with religious critics. Thousands of Frenchmen were in sympathy
with any attempt to improve the Church by education, by purer morals,
or by better preaching. Lutheranism was winning a few converts, and
various evangelical sects were appearing in divers places. The chief
problem was whether reform should be sought within the traditional
Church or by rebellion against it. Calvin believed that his conversion
was a divine call to forsake Roman Catholicism and to become the
apostle of a purer life. His heart, he said, was "so subdued and
reduced to docility that in comparison with his zeal for true piety he
regarded all other studies with indifference, though not entirely
abandoning them. Though himself a beginner, many flocked to him to
learn the pure doctrine, and he began to seek some hiding-place and
means of withdrawal from people."

[Sidenote: "The Institutes"]

His search for a hiding-place was quickened by the announced
determination of the French king, Francis I, to put an end to religious
dissent among his subjects. Calvin abruptly left France and found an
asylum in the Swiss town of Basel, where he became acquainted at first
hand with the type of reformed religion which Zwingli had propagated
and where he proceeded to write a full account of the Protestant
position as contrasted with the Catholic. This exposition,--_The
Institutes of the Christian Religion_,--which was published in 1536,
was dedicated to King Francis I and was intended to influence him in
favor of Protestantism.

Although the book failed of its immediate purpose, it speedily won a
deservedly great reputation. It was a statement of Calvin's views,
borrowed in part from Zwingli, and in part from Luther and other
reformers. It was orderly and concise, and it did for Protestant
theology what the medieval writers had done for Catholic theology. It
contained the germ of all that subsequently developed as Calvinism.

[Sidenote: Calvin and Luther]

It seemed for some time as if the _Institutes_ might provide a
common religious rule and guide for all Christians who rebelled against
Rome. But Calvin, in mind and nature, was quite different from Luther.
The latter was impetuous, excitable, but very human; the former was
ascetic, calm, and inhumanly logical. Then, too, Luther was quite
willing to leave everything in the church which was not prohibited by
Scripture; Calvin insisted that nothing should remain in the church
which was not expressly authorized by Scripture. The _Institutes_
had a tremendous influence upon Protestantism but did not unite the
followers of Calvin and Luther. Calvin's book seems all the more
wonderful, when it is recalled that it was written when the author was
but twenty-six years of age.

[Sidenote: Calvin at Geneva]

In 1536 Calvin went to Geneva, which was then in the throes of a
revolution at once political and religious, for the townsfolk were
freeing themselves from the feudal suzerainty of the duke of Savoy and
banishing the Catholic Church, whose cause the duke championed. Calvin
aided in the work and was rewarded by an appointment as chief pastor
and preacher in the city. This position he continued to hold, except
for a brief period when he was exiled, until his death in 1564. It
proved to be a commanding position not only in ordering the affairs of
the town, but also in giving form to an important branch of Protestant

The government of Geneva under Calvin's regime was a curious theocracy
of which Calvin himself was both religious leader and political "boss."
The minister of the reformed faith became God's mouthpiece upon earth
and inculcated an unbending puritanism in daily life. "No more
festivals, no more jovial reunions, no more theaters or society; the
rigid monotony of an austere rule weighed upon life. A poet was
decapitated because of his verses; Calvin wished adultery to be
punished by death like heresy, and he had Michael Servetus [Footnote: A
celebrated Spanish reformer.] burned for not entertaining the same
opinions as himself upon the mystery of the Trinity."

Under Calvin's theocratic despotism, Geneva became famous throughout
Europe as the center of elaborate Protestant propaganda. Calvin, who
set the example of stern simplicity and relentless activity, was
sometimes styled the Protestant pope. He not only preached every day,
wrote numerous theological treatises, and issued a French translation
of the Bible, but he established important Protestant schools--
including the University of Geneva--which attracted students from
distant lands, and he conducted a correspondence with his disciples and
would-be reformers in all points of Europe. His letters alone would
fill thirty folio volumes.

[Sidenote: Diffusion of Calvinism]

Such activities account for the almost bewildering diffusion of
Calvinism. French, Dutch, Germans, Scotch, and English flocked to
Geneva to hear Calvin or to attend his schools, and when they returned
to their own countries they were likely to be so many glowing sparks
ready to start mighty conflagrations.

Calvinism was known by various names in the different countries which
it entered. On the continent of Europe it was called the Reformed
Faith, and in France its followers were styled Huguenots; in Scotland
it became Presbyterianism; and in England, Puritanism. Its essential
characteristics, however, remained the same wherever it was carried.

[Sidenote: Calvinism in Switzerland]

We have already noticed how Switzerland, except for the five forest
cantons, had been converted to Protestantism by the preaching of
Zwingli. Calvin was Zwingli's real theological successor, and the
majority of the Swiss, especially those in the urban cantons of Zürich
and Bern as well as of Geneva, cheerfully accepted Calvinism.

[Sidenote: Calvinism in France: the Huguenots]

Calvinism also made converts in France. The doctrines and writings of
Luther had there encountered small success. Many French reformers
believed that greater good would eventually be achieved within the
Catholic Church than without. There appeared to be fewer abuses among
the French clergy than among the ecclesiastics of northern Europe, for
they possessed less wealth and power. The French sovereign felt less
prompted to lay his hand upon the dominions of the clergy, because a
special agreement with the pope in 1516 bestowed upon the king the
nomination of bishops and the disposition of benefices. For these
reasons the bulk of the French people resisted Protestantism of every
form and remained loyally Catholic.

What progress the new religion made in France was due to Calvin rather
than to Luther. Calvin, as we have seen, was a Frenchman himself, and
his teachings and logic appealed to a small but influential body of his
fellow-countrymen. A considerable portion of the lower nobility, a few
merchants and business men, and many magistrates conformed to Calvinism
openly; the majority of great lawyers and men of learning adhered to it
in public or in secret. Probably from a twentieth to a thirtieth of the
total population embraced Calvinism. The movement was essentially
confined to the middle-class or _bourgeoisie_, and almost from the
outset it acquired a political as well as a religious significance. It
represented among the lesser nobility an awakening of the aristocratic
spirit and among the middle-class a reaction against the growing power
of the king. The financial and moneyed interests of the country were
largely attracted to French Calvinism. The Huguenots, as the French
Calvinists were called, were particularly strong in the law courts and
in the Estates-General or parliament, and these had been the main
checks upon royal despotism.

[Sidenote: Edict of Nantes]

The Huguenots were involved in sanguinary civil and religious wars
which raged in France throughout the greater part of the sixteenth
century and which have already been treated in their appropriate
political aspect. The outcome was the settlement accorded by King Henry
IV in the famous Edict of Nantes (1598), which contained the following
provisions: (1) Private worship and liberty of conscience were allowed
to the Calvinists throughout France; (2) Public Protestant worship
might be held in 200 enumerated towns and over 3000 castles; (3) A
financial grant was made to Protestant schools, and the publication of
Calvinist books was legalized; (4) Huguenots received full civil
rights, with admission to all public offices; (5) Huguenots were
granted for eight years the political control of two hundred towns, the
garrisons of which were to be maintained by the crown; and (6)
Huguenots were accorded certain judicial privileges and the right of
holding religious and political assemblies. For nearly a hundred years
France practiced a religious toleration which was almost unique among
European nations, and it was Calvinists who benefited.

[Sidenote: Calvinism in the Netherlands]

The Netherlands were too near the Germanies not to be affected by the
Lutheran revolt against the Catholic Church. And the northern or Dutch
provinces became quite thoroughly saturated with Lutheranism and also
with the doctrines of various radical sects that from time to time were
expelled from the German states. The Emperor Charles V tried to stamp
out heresy by harsh action of the Inquisition, but succeeded only in
changing its name and nature. Lutheranism disappeared from the
Netherlands; but in its place came Calvinism, [Footnote: Many
Anabaptist refugees from Germany had already sought refuge in the
Netherlands: they naturally found the teachings of Zwingli and Calvin
more radical, and therefore more appropriate to themselves, than the
teachings of Luther. This fact also serves to explain the acceptance of
Calvinism in regions of southern Germany where Lutheranism, since the
Peasants' Revolt, had failed to take root.] descending from Geneva
through Alsace and thence down the Rhine, or entering from Great
Britain by means of the close commercial relations existing between
those countries. While the southern Netherlands eventually were
recovered for Catholicism, the protracted political and economic
conflict which the northern Netherlands waged against the Catholic king
of Spain contributed to a final fixing of Calvinism as the national
religion of patriotic Dutchmen. Calvinism in Holland was known as the
Dutch Reformed religion.

[Sidenote: Calvinism in Southern Germany]

We have already noted that southern Germany had rejected aristocratic
Lutheranism, partially at least because of Luther's bitter words to the
peasants. Catholicism, however, was not destined to have complete sway
in those regions, for democratic Calvinism permeated Württemberg,
Baden, and the Rhenish provinces, and the Reformed doctrines gained
numerous converts among the middle-class. The growth of Calvinism in
Germany was seriously handicapped by the religious settlement of
Augsburg in 1555 which officially tolerated only Catholicism and
Lutheranism. It was not until after the close of the direful Thirty
Years' War in the seventeenth century that German Calvinists received
formal recognition.

[Sidenote: Scotland]

Scotland, like every other European country in the early part of the
sixteenth century, had been a place of protest against moral and
financial abuses in the Catholic Church, but the beginnings of
ecclesiastical rebellion are to be traced rather to political causes.
The kingdom had long been a prey to the bitter rivalry of great noble
families, and the premature death of James V (1542), which left the
throne to his ill-fated infant daughter, Mary Stuart, gave free rein to
a feudal reaction against the crown. In general, the Catholic clergy
sided with the royal cause, while the religious reformers egged on the
nobles to champion Protestantism in order to deal an effective blow
against the union of the altar and the throne. Thus Cardinal Beaton,
head of the Catholic Church in Scotland, ordered numerous executions on
the score of protecting religion and the authority of the queen-regent;
on the other hand several noblemen, professing the new theology,
assassinated the cardinal and hung his body on the battlements of the
castle of St. Andrews (1546). Such was the general situation in
Scotland when John Knox appeared upon the scene.

[Sidenote: John Knox]

Born of peasant parents about 1515, John Knox [Footnote: John Knox (c.
1515-1572).] had become a Catholic priest, albeit in sympathy with many
of the revolutionary ideas which were entering Scotland from the
Continent and from England. In 1546 he openly rejected the authority of
the Church and proceeded to preach "the Gospel" and a stern puritanical
morality. "Others snipped the branches," he said, "he struck at the
root." But the Catholic court was able to banish Knox from Scotland.
After romantic imprisonment in France, Knox spent a few years in
England, preaching an extreme puritanism, holding a chaplaincy under
Edward VI (1547-1553), and exerting his influence to insure an
indelibly Protestant character to the Anglican Church. Then upon the
accession to the English throne of the Catholic Mary Tudor, Knox betook
himself to Geneva where he made the acquaintance of Calvin and found
himself in essential agreement with the teachings of the French

[Sidenote: Calvinism in Scotland]

After a stay of some five years on the Continent, Knox returned finally
to Scotland and became the organizer and director of the "Lords of the
Congregation," a league of the chief Protestant noblemen for purposes
of religious propaganda and political power. In 1560 he drew up the
creed and discipline of the Presbyterian Church after the model of
Calvin's church at Geneva; and in the same year with the support of the
"Lords of the Congregation" and the troops of Queen Elizabeth of
England, Knox effected a political and religious revolution in
Scotland. The queen-regent was imprisoned and the subservient
parliament abolished the papal supremacy and enacted the death penalty
against any one who should even attend Catholic worship. John Knox had
carried everything before him.

Mary Stuart, during her brief stay in Scotland (1561-1567), tried in
vain to stem the tide. The jealous barons would brook no increase of
royal authority. The austere Knox hounded the girl-queen in public
sermons and fairly flayed her character. The queen's downfall and
subsequent long imprisonment in England finally decided the
ecclesiastical future of Scotland. Except in a few fastnesses in the
northern highlands, where Catholicism survived among the clansmen, the
whole country was committed to Calvinism.

[Sidenote: Calvinism in England]

Calvinism was not without influence in England. Introduced towards the
close of the reign of Henry VIII, it gave rise to a number of small
sects which troubled the king's Anglican Church almost as much as did
the Roman Catholics. Under Edward VI (1547-1553), it considerably
influenced the theology of the Anglican Church itself, but the moderate
policies of Elizabeth (1558-1603) tended to fix an inseparable gulf
between Anglicans and Calvinists. Thenceforth, Calvinism lived in
England, in the forms of Presbyterianism, Independency, [Footnote:
Among the "Independents" were the Baptists, a sect related not so
immediately to Calvinism as to the radical Anabaptists of Germany. See
above, pp. 134 f., 145, footnotes] and Puritanism, as the religion
largely of the commercial middle class. It was treated with contempt,
and even persecuted, by Anglicans, especially by the monarchs of the
Stuart family. After a complete but temporary triumph under Cromwell,
in the seventeenth century, it was at length legally tolerated in
England after the settlement of 1689. It was from England that New
England received the Calvinistic religion which dominated colonial
forefathers of many present-day Americans.


Anglicanism is the name frequently applied to that form of
Protestantism which stamped the state church in England in the
sixteenth century and which is now represented by the Episcopal Church
in the United States as well as by the established Church of England.
The Methodist churches are comparatively late off-shoots of

The separation of England from the papacy was a more gradual and
halting process than were the contemporary revolutions on the
Continent; and the new Anglicanism was correspondingly more
conservative than Lutheranism or Calvinism.

[Sidenote: English Catholicism in 1500]
[Sidenote: Church of England]

At the opening of the sixteenth century, the word "Catholic" meant the
same in England as in every other country of western or central Europe
--belief in the seven sacraments, the sacrifice of the Mass, and the
veneration of saints; acceptance of papal supremacy and support of
monasticism and of other institutions and practices of the medieval
Church. During several centuries it had been customary in legal
documents to refer to the Catholic Church in England as the _Ecclesia
Anglicana_, or Anglican Church, just as the popes in their letters
repeatedly referred to the "Gallican Church," the "Spanish Church," the
"Neapolitan Church," or the "Hungarian Church." But such phraseology
did not imply a separation of any one national church from the common
Catholic communion, and for nearly a thousand years--ever since there
had been an _Ecclesia Anglicana_--the English had recognized the
bishop of Rome as the center of Catholic unity. In the course of the
sixteenth century, however, the great majority of Englishmen changed
their conception of the _Ecclesia Anglicana_, so that to them it
continued to exist as the Church of England, but henceforth on a
strictly national basis, in communion neither with the pope nor with
the Orthodox Church of the East nor with the Lutherans or Calvinists,
abandoning several doctrines that had been universally held in earlier
times and substituting in their place beliefs and customs which were
distinctively Protestant. This new conception of the Anglican Church--
resulting from the revolution in the sixteenth century--is what we mean
by Anglicanism as a form of Protestantism. It took shape in the
eventful years between 1520 and 1570.

[Sidenote: Religious Opposition to the Roman Catholic Church in

In order to understand how this religious and ecclesiastical revolution
was effected in England, we must appreciate the various elements
distrustful of the Catholic Church in that country about the year 1525.
In the first place, the Lutheran teachings were infiltrating into the
country. As early as 1521 a small group at Cambridge had become
interested in the new German theology, and thence the sect spread to
Oxford, London, and other intellectual centers. It found its early
converts chiefly among the lower clergy and the merchants of the large
towns, but for several years it was not numerous.

In the second place, there was the same feeling in England as we have
already noted throughout all Europe that the clergy needed reform in
morals and in manners. This view was shared not only by the
comparatively insignificant group of heretical Lutherans, but likewise
by a large proportion of the leading men who accounted themselves
orthodox members of the Catholic Church. The well-educated humanists
were especially eloquent in preaching reform. The writings of Erasmus
had great vogue in England. John Colet (1467?-1519), a famous dean of
St. Paul's cathedral in London, was a keen reformer who disapproved of
auricular confession and of the celibacy of the clergy. Sir Thomas More
(1478-1535), one of the greatest minds of the century, thought the
monks were lazy and indolent, and the whole body of churchmen in need
of an intellectual betterment. But neither Colet nor More had any
intention of breaking away from the Roman Church. To them, and to many
like them, reform could be secured best within the traditional
ecclesiastical body.

[Sidenote: Political Opposition to the Roman Catholic Church in

A third source of distrust of the Church was a purely political feeling
against the papacy. As we have already seen, the English king and
English parliament on several earlier occasions had sought to restrict
the temporal and political jurisdiction of the pope in England, but
each restriction had been imposed for political reasons and even then
had represented the will of the monarch rather than that of the nation.
In fact, the most striking limitations of the pope's political
jurisdiction in the kingdom had been enacted during the early stages of
the Hundred Years' War, when the papacy was under French influence, and
had served, therefore, indirectly as political weapons against the
French king. Before that war was over, the operation of the statutes
had been relaxed, and for a century or more prior to 1525 little was
heard of even a political feeling against the bishop of Rome.

Nevertheless an evolution in English government was in progress at that
very time, which was bound sooner or later to create friction with the
Holy See. On one hand, a sense of nationalism and of patriotism had
been steadily growing in England, and it was at variance with the older
cosmopolitan idea of Catholicism. On the other hand, a great increase
of royal power had appeared in the fifteenth century, notably after the
accession of the Tudor family in 1485. Henry VII (1485-1509) had
subordinated to the crown both the nobility and the parliament, and the
patriotic support of the middle class he had secured. And when his son,
Henry VIII (1509-1547), came to the throne, the only serious obstacle
which appeared to be left in the way of royal absolutism was the
privileged independence of the Catholic Church.

[Sidenote: Early Loyalty of Henry VIII to the Roman Catholic Church]

Yet a number of years passed before Henry VIII laid violent hands upon
the Church. In the meanwhile, he proved himself a devoted Roman
Catholic. He scented the new Lutheran heresy and sought speedily to
exterminate it. He even wrote in 1521 with his own royal pen a bitter
arraignment of the new theology, and sent his book, which he called
_The Defence of the Seven Sacraments_, with a delightful
dedicatory epistle to the pope. For his prompt piety and filial
orthodoxy, he received from the bishop of Rome the proud title of
_Fidei Defensor_, or Defender of the Faith, a title which he
jealously bore until his death, and which his successors, the
sovereigns of Great Britain, with like humor have continued to bear
ever since. He seemed not even to question the pope's political claims.
He allied himself on several occasions with Leo X in the great game of
European politics. His chief minister and adviser in England for many
years was Thomas Wolsey, the most conspicuous ecclesiastic in his
kingdom and a cardinal of the Roman Church.

[Sidenote: The Marriage Difficulty of Henry VIII]

Under these circumstances it is difficult to see how the Anglican
Church would have immediately broken away from Catholic unity had it
not been for the peculiar marital troubles of Henry VIII. The king had
been married eighteen years to Catherine of Aragon, and had been
presented by her with six children (of whom only one daughter, the
Princess Mary, had survived), when one day he informed her that they
had been living all those years in mortal sin and that their union was
not true marriage. The queen could hardly be expected to agree with
such a definition, and there ensued a legal suit between the royal

To Henry VIII the matter was really quite simple. Henry was tired of
Catherine and wanted to get rid of her; he believed the queen could
bear him no more children and yet he ardently desired a male heir;
rumor reported that the susceptible king had recently been smitten by
the brilliant black eyes of a certain Anne Boleyn, a maid-in-waiting at
the court. The purpose of Henry was obvious; so was the means, he
thought. For it had occurred to him that Catherine was his elder
brother's widow, and, therefore, had no right, by church law, to marry
him. To be sure, a papal dispensation had been obtained from Pope
Julius II authorizing the marriage, but why not now obtain a revocation
of that dispensation from the reigning Pope Clement VII? Thus the
marriage with Catherine could be declared null and void, and Henry
would be a bachelor, thirty-six years of age, free to wed some
princess, or haply Anne Boleyn.

[Sidenote: Difficult Position of the Pope]

There was no doubt that Clement VII would like to do a favor for his
great English champion, but two difficulties at once presented
themselves. It would be a most dangerous precedent for the pope to
reverse the decision of one of his predecessors. Worse still, the
Emperor Charles V, the nephew of Queen Catherine, took up cudgels in
his aunt's behalf and threatened Clement with dire penalties if he
nullified the marriage. The pope complained truthfully that he was
between the anvil and the hammer. There was little for him to do except
to temporize and to delay decision as long as possible.

The protracted delay was very irritating to the impulsive English king,
who was now really in love with Anne Boleyn. Gradually Henry's former
effusive loyalty to the Roman See gave way to a settled conviction of
the tyranny of the papal power, and there rushed to his mind the
recollection of efforts of earlier English rulers to restrict that
power. A few salutary enactments against the Church might compel a
favorable decision from the pope.

Henry VIII seriously opened his campaign against the Roman Church in
1531, when he frightened the English clergy into paying a fine of over
half a million dollars for violating an obsolete statute that had
forbidden reception of papal legates without royal sanction, and in the
same year he forced the clergy to recognize himself as supreme head of
the Church "as far as that is permitted by the law of Christ." His
subservient Parliament then empowered him to stop the payment of
annates and to appoint the bishops without recourse to the papacy.
Without waiting longer for the papal decision, he had Cranmer, one of
his own creatures, whom he had just named archbishop of Canterbury,
declare his marriage with Catherine null and void and his union with
Anne Boleyn canonical and legal. Pope Clement VII thereupon handed down
his long-delayed decision favorable to Queen Catherine, and
excommunicated Henry VIII for adultery.

[Sidenote: Separation of England from the Roman Catholic Church: the
Act of Supremacy]

The formal breach between England and Rome occurred in 1534. Parliament
passed a series of laws, one of which declared the king to be the "only
supreme head in earth of the Church of England," and others cut off all
communication with the pope and inflicted the penalty of treason upon
any one who should deny the king's ecclesiastical supremacy.

One step in the transition of the Church of England had now been taken.
For centuries its members had recognized the pope as their
ecclesiastical head; henceforth they were to own the ecclesiastical
headship of their king. From the former Catholic standpoint, this might
be schism but it was not necessarily heresy. Yet Henry VIII encountered
considerable opposition from the higher clergy, from the monks, and
from many intellectual leaders, as well as from large numbers of the
lower classes. A popular uprising--the Pilgrimage of Grace--was sternly
suppressed, and such men as the brilliant Sir Thomas More and John
Fisher, the aged and saintly bishop of Rochester, were beheaded because
they retained their former belief in papal supremacy. Tudor despotism

[Sidenote: The "Six Articles"]

The breach with Rome naturally encouraged the Lutherans and other
heretics to think that England was on the point of becoming Protestant,
but nothing was further from the king's mind. The assailant of Luther
remained at least partially consistent. And the Six Articles (1539)
reaffirmed the chief points in Catholic doctrine and practice and
visited dissenters with horrible punishment. While separating England
from the papacy, Henry was firmly resolved to maintain every other
tenet of the Catholic faith as he had received it. His middle-of-the-
road policy was enforced with much bloodshed. On one side, the Catholic
who denied the royal supremacy was beheaded; on the other, the
Protestant who denied transubstantiation was burned! It has been
estimated that during the reign of Henry VIII the number of capital
condemnations for politico-religious offenses ran into the thousands--
an inquisition that in terror and bloodshed is comparable to that of

[Sidenote: Suppression of the Monasteries]

It was likewise during the reign of Henry VIII that one of the most
important of all earlier Christian institutions--monasticism--came to
an end in England. There were certainly grave abuses and scandals in
some of the monasteries which dotted the country, and a good deal of
popular sentiment had been aroused against the institution. Then, too
the monks had generally opposed the royal pretensions to religious
control and remained loyal to the pope. But the deciding factor in the
suppression of the monasteries was undoubtedly economic. Henry, always
in need of funds on account of his extravagances, appropriated part of
the confiscated property for the benefit of the crown, and the rest he
astutely distributed as gigantic bribes to the upper classes of the
laity. The nobles who accepted the ecclesiastical wealth were thereby
committed to the new anti-papal religious settlement in England.

[Sidenote: Protestantizing the Church of England: Edward VI]

The Church of England, separated from the papacy under Henry VIII,
became Protestant under Edward VI (1547-1553). The young king's
guardian tolerated all manner of reforming propaganda, and Calvinists
as well as Lutherans preached their doctrines freely. Official articles
of religion, which were drawn up for the Anglican Church, showed
unmistakably Protestant influence. The Latin service books of the
Catholic Church were translated into English, under Cranmer's auspices,
and the edition of the _Book of Common Prayer_, published in 1552,
made clear that the Eucharist was no longer to be regarded as a
propitiatory sacrifice: the names "Holy Communion" and "Lord's Supper"
were substituted for "Mass," while the word "altar" was replaced by
"table." The old places of Catholic worship were changed to suit a new
order: altars and images were taken down, the former service books
destroyed, and stained-glass windows broken. Several peasant uprisings
signified that the nation was not completely united upon a policy of
religious change, but the reformers had their way, and Protestantism

[Sidenote: Temporary Roman Catholic Revival under Mary Tudor]

A temporary setback to the progress of the new Anglicanism was afforded
by the reign of Mary Tudor (1553-1558), the daughter of Catherine of
Aragon, and a devout Roman Catholic. She reinstated the bishops who had
refused to take the oath of royal supremacy and punished those who had
taken it. She prevailed upon Parliament to repeal the ecclesiastical
legislation of both her father's and her brother's reigns and to
reconcile England once more with the bishop of Rome. A papal legate, in
the person of Cardinal Reginald Pole, sailed up the Thames with his
cross gleaming from the prow of his barge, and in full Parliament
administered the absolution which freed the kingdom from the guilt
under Mary incurred by its schism and heresy. As an additional support
to her policy of restoring the Catholic Church in England, Queen Mary
married her cousin, Philip II of Spain, the great champion of
Catholicism upon the Continent.

But events proved that despite outward appearances even the reign of
Mary registered an advance of Protestantism. The new doctrines were
zealously propagated by an ever-growing number of itinerant exhorters.
The Spanish alliance was disastrous to English fortunes abroad and
distasteful to all patriotic Englishmen at home. And finally, the
violent means which the queen took to stamp out heresy gave her the
unenviable surname of "Bloody" and reacted in the end in behalf of the
views for which the victims sacrificed their lives. During her reign
nearly three hundred reformers perished, many of them, including
Archbishop Cranmer, by fire. The work of the queen was in vain. No heir
was born to Philip and Mary, and the crown, therefore, passed to
Elizabeth, the daughter of Anne Boleyn, a Protestant not so much from
conviction as from circumstance.

[Sidenote: Definite Fashioning of Anglicanism: the Reign of Elizabeth]

It was in the reign of Elizabeth (1558-1603) that the Church of England
assumed definitely the doctrines and practices which we now connect
with the word "Anglicanism." By act of Parliament, the English Church
was again separated from the papacy, and placed under royal authority,
Elizabeth assuming the title of "supreme governor." The worship of the
state church was to be in conformity with a slightly altered version of
Cranmer's _Book of Common Prayer_. A uniform doctrine was likewise
imposed by Parliament in the form of the _Thirty-nine Articles_,
which set a distinctively Protestant mark upon the Anglican Church in
its appeal to the Scriptures as the sole rule of faith, its insistence
on justification by faith alone, its repudiation of the sacrifice of
the Mass, and its definition of the Church. All the bishops who had
been appointed under Mary, with one exception, refused to accept the
changes, and were therefore deposed and imprisoned, but new bishops,
Elizabeth's own appointees, were consecrated and the "succession of
bishops" thereby maintained. Outwardly, the Church of England appeared
to retain a corporate continuity throughout the sixteenth century;
inwardly, a great revolution had changed it from Catholic to

Harsh laws sought to oblige all Englishmen to conform to Elizabeth's
religious settlement. Liberty of public worship was denied to any
dissenter from Anglicanism. To be a "papist" or "hear Mass"--which were
construed as the same thing--was punishable by death as high treason. A
special ecclesiastical court--the Court of High Commission--was
established under royal authority to search out heresy and to enforce
uniformity; it served throughout Elizabeth's reign as a kind of
Protestant Inquisition.

[Sidenote: English Dissent from Anglicanism]

While the large majority of the English nation gradually conformed to
the official Anglican Church, a considerable number refused their
allegiance. On one hand were the Roman Catholics, who still maintained
the doctrine of papal supremacy and were usually derisively styled
papists, and on the other hand were various Calvinistic sects, such as
Presbyterians or Independents or Quakers, who went by the name of
"Dissenters" or "Non-conformists." In the course of time, the number of
Roman Catholics tended to diminish, largely because, for political
reasons which have been indicated in the preceding chapter,
Protestantism in England became almost synonymous with English
patriotism. But despite drastic laws and dreadful persecutions, Roman
Catholicism survived in England among a conspicuous group of people. On
the other hand, the Calvinists tended somewhat to increase their
numbers so that in the seventeenth century they were able to
precipitate a great political and ecclesiastical conflict with


We have now traced the origins of the Protestant Revolt against the
Catholic Church, and have seen how, between 1520 and 1570, three major
varieties of new theology--Lutheranism, Calvinism, and Anglicanism--
appeared on the scene and divided among themselves the nations of
northern Europe. The story of how, during that critical half-century,
the other civilized nations retained their loyalty to the Catholic
Church virtually as it had existed throughout the middle ages, remains
to be told. The preservation of the papal monarchy and Catholic
doctrine in southern Europe was due alike to religious and to political

It must not be supposed that pious critics of ecclesiastical abuses
were confined to countries which subsequently became Protestant. There
were many sincere Catholics in Italy, Austria, France, and Spain who
complained of the scandals and worldliness that afflicted the Church at
the opening of the sixteenth century: they demanded sweeping reforms in
discipline and a return of the clergy to a simple apostolic life. They
believed, however, that whatever change was desirable could best be
achieved by means of a reformation within the Catholic Church--that is,
without disturbing the unity of its organization or denying the
validity of its dogmas--while the critics of northern Europe, as we
have seen, preferred to put their reforms into practice by means of a
revolution--an out-and-out break with century-old traditions of
Catholic Christianity. Even in northern Europe some of the foremost
scholars of that period desired an intellectual reformation within
Catholicism rather than a dogmatic rebellion against it: with Luther's
defiance of papal authority, the great Erasmus had small sympathy, and
Sir Thomas More, the eminent English humanist, sacrificed his life for
his belief in the divine sanction of the papal power.

Thus, while the religious energy of northern Europe went into
Protestantism of various kinds, that of southern Europe fashioned a
reformation of the Catholic system. And this Catholic reformation, on
its religious side, was brought to a successful issue by means of the
improved conditions in the papal court, the labors of a great church
council, and the activity of new monastic orders. A few words must be
said about each one of these religious elements in the Catholic

[Sidenote: Reforming Popes]

Mention has been made of the corruption that prevailed in papal affairs
in the fifteenth century, and of the Italian and family interests which
obscured to the Medici pope, Leo X (1513-1521), the importance of the
Lutheran movement in Germany. And Leo's nephew, who became Clement VII
(1523-1534), continued to act too much as an Italian prince and too
little as the moral and religious leader of Catholicism in the contest
which under him was joined with Zwinglians and Anglicans as well as
with Lutherans. But under Paul III (1534-1549), a new policy was
inaugurated, by which men were appointed to high church offices for
their virtue and learning rather than for family relationship or
financial gain. This policy was maintained by a series of upright and
far-sighted popes during the second half of the sixteenth century, so
that by the year 1600 a remarkable reformation had been gradually
wrought in the papacy, among the cardinals, down through the prelates,
even to the parish priests and monks.

[Sidenote: The Council of Trent]

The reforming zeal of individual popes was stimulated and reinforced by
the work of the Council of Trent (1545-1563). The idea of effecting a
"reformation in head and members" by means of a general council of the
Catholic Church had been invoked several times during the century that
preceded the Protestant Revolt, but, before Luther, little had been
accomplished in that way.

With the widening of the breach between Protestantism and the medieval
Church, what had formerly been desirable now became imperative. It
seemed to pious Catholics that every effort should be made to reconcile
differences and to restore the unity of the Church. The errors of the
manifold new theologies which now appeared might be refuted by a clear
statement of Catholic doctrine, and a reformation of discipline and
morals would deprive the innovators of one of their most telling
weapons against the Church.

It was no easy task, in that troublous time, to hold an ecumenical
council. There was mutual distrust between Catholics and Protestants.
There was uncertainty as to the relative powers and prerogatives of
council and pope. There were bitter national rivalries, especially
between Italians and Germans. There was actual warfare between the two
chief Catholic families--the Habsburgs of Germany and Spain and the
royal house of France.

Yet despite these difficulties, which long postponed its convocation
and repeatedly interrupted its labors, the Council of Trent [Footnote:
Trent was selected largely by reason of its geographical location,
being situated on the boundary between the German-speaking and Italian-
speaking peoples.] consummated a great reform in the Church and
contributed materially to the preservation of the Catholic faith. The
Protestants, whom the pope invited to participate, absented themselves;
yet such was the number and renown of the Catholic bishops who
responded to the summons that the Council of Trent easily ranked with
the eighteen œcumenical councils which had preceded it. [Footnote: Its
decrees were signed at its close (1563) by 4 cardinal legates, 2
cardinals, 3 patriarchs, 25 archbishops, 167 bishops, 7 abbots, 7
generals of orders, and 19 proxies for 33 absent prelates.] The work of
the council was twofold--dogmatic and reformatory.

Dogmatically, the fathers at Trent offered no compromise to the
Protestants. They confirmed with inexorable frankness the main points
in Catholic theology which had been worked out in the thirteenth
century by Thomas Aquinas and which before the appearance of
Protestantism had been received everywhere in central and western
Europe. They declared that the tradition of the Church as well as the
Bible was to be taken as the basis of the Christian religion, and that
the interpretation of the Holy Scripture belonged only to the Church.
The Protestant teachings about grace and justification by faith were
condemned, and the seven sacraments were pronounced indispensable. The
miraculous and sacrificial character of the Lord's Supper (Mass) was
reaffirmed. Belief in the invocation of saints, in the veneration of
images and of relics, in purgatory and indulgences was explicitly
stated, but precautions were taken to clear some of the doctrines of
the pernicious practices which at times had been connected with them.
The spiritual authority of the Roman See was confirmed over all
Catholicism: the pope was recognized as supreme interpreter of the
canons and incontestable chief of bishops.

[Sidenote: Reformatory Canons of the Council of Trent ]

A volume of disciplinary statutes constituted the second achievement of
the Tridentine Council. The sale of church offices was condemned.
Bishops and other prelates were to reside in their respective dioceses,
abandon worldly pursuits, and give themselves entirely to spiritual
labors. Seminaries were to be established for the proper education and
training of priests.

While Latin was retained as the official and liturgical language,
frequent sermons were to be preached in the vernacular. Indulgences
were not to be issued for money, and no charge should be made for
conferring the sacraments.

[Sidenote: Index and inquisition ]

The seed sown by the council bore abundant fruit during several
succeeding pontificates. The central government was completely
reorganized. A definite catechism was prepared at Rome and every layman
instructed in the tenets and obligations of his religion. Revisions
were made in the service books of the Church, and a new standard
edition of the Latin Bible, the Vulgate, was issued. A list, called the
Index, was prepared of dangerous and heretical books, which good
Catholics were prohibited from reading. By these methods, discipline
was in fact confirmed, morals purified, and the scandal of the immense
riches and the worldly life of the clergy restrained. From an unusually
strict law of faith and conduct, lapses were to be punishable by the
ancient ecclesiastical court of the Inquisition, which now zealously
redoubled its activity, especially in Italy and in Spain.

A very important factor in the Catholic revival--not only in preserving
all southern Europe to the Church but also in preventing a complete
triumph of Protestantism in the North--was the formation of several new
religious orders, which sought to purify the life of the people and to
bulwark the position of the Church. The most celebrated of these
orders, both for its labors in the sixteenth century and for its
subsequent history, is the Society of Jesus, whose members are known
commonly as Jesuits. The society was founded by Ignatius Loyola
[Footnote: Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556).] in 1534 and its constitution
was formally approved by the pope six years later.

[Sidenote: Ignatius Loyola]

In his earlier years, Ignatius followed the profession of arms, and as
a patriotic Spaniard fought valiantly in the armies of Emperor Charles
V against the French. But while he was in a hospital, suffering from a
wound, he chanced to read a Life of Christ and biographies of several
saints, which, he tells us, worked a great change within him. From
being a soldier of an earthly king, he would now become a knight of
Christ and of the Church. Instead of fighting for the glory of Spain
and of himself, he would henceforth strive for the greater glory of
God. Thus in the very year in which the German monk, Martin Luther,
became the leading and avowed adversary of the Catholic Church, this
Spanish soldier was starting on that remarkable career which was to
make him Catholicism's chief champion.

After a few years' trial of his new life and several rather footless
efforts to serve the Church, Ignatius determined, at the age of thirty-
three, to perfect his scanty education. It was while he was studying
Latin, philosophy, and theology at the University of Paris that he made
the acquaintance of the group of scholarly and saintly men who became
the first members of the Society of Jesus. Intended at first primarily
for missionary labors among the Mohammedans, the order was speedily
turned to other and greater ends.

[Sidenote: The Jesuits]

The organization of the Jesuits showed the military instincts of their
founder. To the three usual vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience,
was added a fourth vow of special allegiance to the pope. The members
were to be carefully trained during a long novitiate and were to be
under the personal direction of a general, resident in Rome. Authority
and obedience were stressed by the society. Then, too, St. Ignatius
Loyola understood that the Church was now confronted with conditions of
war rather than of peace: accordingly he directed that his brothers
should not content themselves with prayer and works of peace, with
charity and local benevolence, but should adapt themselves to new
circumstances and should strive in a multiplicity of ways to restore
all things in the Catholic Church.

Thus it happened that the Jesuits, from the very year of their
establishment, rushed to the front in the religious conflict of the
sixteenth century. In the first place, they sought to enlighten and
educate the young. As schoolmasters they had no equals in Europe for
many years. No less a scholar and scientist than Lord Francis Bacon
said of the Jesuit teaching that "nothing better has been put in
practice." Again, by their wide learning and culture, no less than by
the unimpeachable purity of their lives, they won back a considerable
respect for the Catholic clergy. As preachers, too, they earned a high
esteem by the clearness and simplicity of their sermons and

It was in the mission field, however, that the Jesuits achieved the
most considerable results. They were mainly responsible for the
recovery of Poland after that country had almost become Lutheran. They
similarly conserved the Catholic faith in Bavaria and in the southern
Netherlands. They insured a respectable Catholic party in Bohemia and
in Hungary. They aided considerably in maintaining Catholicism in
Ireland. At the hourly risk of their lives, they ministered to their
fellow-Catholics in England under Elizabeth and the Stuarts. And what
the Catholic Church lost in numbers through the defection of the
greater part of northern Europe was compensated for by Jesuit missions
among the teeming millions in India and China, among the Huron and
Iroquois tribes of North America, and among the aborigines of Brazil
and Paraguay. No means of influence, no source of power, was neglected
that would win men to religion and to the authority of the bishop of
Rome. Politics and agriculture were utilized as well as literature and
science. The Jesuits were confessors of kings in Europe and apostles of
the faith in Asia and America.

[Sidenote: Political and Economic Factors in the Catholic Reformation]

It has been pointed out already that the rapid diffusion of
Protestantism was due to economic and political causes as well as to
those narrowly religious. It may be said with equal truth that
political and economic causes co-operated with the religious
developments that we have just noted in maintaining the supremacy of
the Catholic Church in at least half the countries over which she had
exercised her sway in 1500. For one thing, it is doubtful whether
financial abuses had flourished as long or as vigorously in southern as
in northern Europe. For another, the political conditions in the states
of southern Europe help to explain the interesting situation.

[Sidebar: Italy]

In Italy was the pope's residence and See. He had bestowed many favors
on important Italian families. He had often exploited foreign countries
in behalf of Italian patronage. He had taken advantage of the political
disunity of the peninsula to divide his local enemies and thereby to
assure the victory of his own cause. Two popes of the sixteenth century
belonged to the powerful Florentine family of the Medici--Florence
remained loyal. The hearty support of the Emperor Charles V preserved
the orthodoxy of Naples, and that of Philip II stamped out heresy in
the kingdom of the Two Sicilies.

[Sidenote: France]

In France, the concordat of 1516 between pope and king had peacefully
secured for the French monarch appointment of bishops and control of
benefices within his country,--powers which the German princes and the
English sovereigns secured by revolutionary change. Moreover, French
Protestantism, by its political activities in behalf of effective
checks upon the royal power, drove the king into Catholic arms: the
cause of absolutism in France became the cause of Catholicism, and the
latter was bound up with French patriotism to quite the same extent as
English patriotism became linked with the fortunes of Anglicanism.

[Sidenote: Spain and Portugal]

In Spain and Portugal, the monarchs obtained concessions from the pope
like those accorded the French sovereigns. They gained control of the
Catholic Church within their countries and found it a most valuable
ally in forwarding their absolutist tendencies. Moreover, the
centuries-long struggle with Mohammedanism had endeared Catholic
Christianity alike to Spaniards and to Portuguese and rendered it an
integral part of their national life. Spain and Portugal now remained
fiercely Catholic.

[Sidenote: Austria]

Somewhat similar was the case of Austria. Terrifying fear of the
advancing Turk, joined with the political exigencies of the Habsburg
rulers, threw that duchy with most of its dependencies into the hands
of the pope. If the bishop of Rome, by favoring the Habsburgs, had lost
England, he had at least saved Austria.

[Sidenote: Poland and Ireland]

Ireland and Poland--those two extreme outposts of the Roman Catholic
Church in Europe--found their religion to be the most effectual
safeguard of their nationality, the most valuable weapon against
aggression or assimilation by powerful neighbors.


By the year 1570 the profound religious and ecclesiastical changes
which we have been sketching had been made. For seventy-five years more
a series of wars was to be waged in which the religious element was
distinctly to enter. In fact these wars have often been called the
Religious Wars--the ones connected with the career of Philip II of
Spain as well as the subsequent dismal civil war in the Germanies--but
in each one the political and economic factors predominated. Nor did
the series of wars materially affect the strength or extent of the
religions implicated. It was prior to 1570 that the Protestant Revolt
had been effected and the Catholic Reformation achieved.

[Sidenote: Geographical Extent of the Revolt]

In the year 1500, the Roman Catholic Church embraced central and
western Europe; in the year 1600 nearly half of its former subjects--
those throughout northern Europe--no longer recognized its authority or
practiced its beliefs. There were left to the Roman Catholic Church at
the close of the sixteenth century the Italian states, Spain, Portugal,
most of France, the southern Netherlands, the forest cantons of
Switzerland, the southern Germanies, Austria, Poland, Ireland, large
followings in Bohemia and Hungary, and a straggling unimportant
following in other countries.

Those who rejected the Roman Catholic Church in central and western
Europe were collectively called Protestants, but they were divided into
three major groups. Lutheranism was now the religion of the northern
Germanies and the Scandinavian states of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden.
Calvinism, under a bewildering variety of names, was the recognized
faith of the majority of the cantons of Switzerland, of the northern
Netherlands, and Scotland, and of important followings in Germany,
Hungary, France, and England. Anglicanism was the established religion
of England.

[Sidenote: Doctrines Held in Common by Catholics and Protestants]

The Protestants retained a large part of Catholic theology, so that all
portions of western Christianity continued to have much in common. They
still believed in the Trinity, in the divinity of Jesus Christ, in the
sacredness of the Jewish scriptures and of the New Testament, the fall
of man and his redemption through the sacrifice of the Cross, and in a
future life of rewards and punishments. The Christian moralities and
virtues continued to be inculcated by Protestants as well as by

[Sidenote: Doctrines Held by all Protestants Apart from Catholics]

On the other hand, the Protestants held in common certain doctrines
which separated all of them from Roman Catholicism. These were the
distinguishing marks of Protestantism: (1) denial of the claims of the
bishop of Rome and consequent rejection of the papal government and
jurisdiction; (2) rejection of such doctrines as were supposed to have
developed during the middle ages,--for example, purgatory, indulgences,
invocation of saints, and veneration of relics,--together with
important modifications in the sacramental system; (3) insistence upon
the right of the individual to interpret the Bible, and recognition of
the individual's ability to save himself without the interposition of
ecclesiastics--hence to the Protestant, authority resided in individual
interpretation of the Bible, while to the Catholic, it rested in a
living institution or Church.

[Sidenote: Divisions among Protestants]

Now the Protestant idea of authority made it possible and essentially
inevitable that its supporters should not agree on many things among
themselves. There would be almost as many ways of interpreting the
Scriptures as there were interested individuals. It is not surprising,
therefore, that in the last Almanac some one hundred and sixty-four
varieties or denominations of Protestants are listed in the United
States alone. These divisions, however, are not so complex as at first
might appear, because nearly all of them have come directly from the
three main forms of Protestantism which appeared in the sixteenth
century. Just how Lutheranism, Calvinism, and Anglicanism differed from
each other may be gathered from a short summary.

(1) The Calvinists taught justification by election--that God
determines, or _predestines_, who is to be saved and who is to be
lost. The Lutherans were inclined to reject such doctrine, and to
assure salvation to the mere believer. The Anglicans appeared to accept
the Lutheran doctrine of justification by faith, although the Thirty-
nine Articles might be likewise interpreted in harmony with the
Calvinistic position.

(2) The Calvinists recognized only two sacraments--baptism and the
Lord's Supper. Lutherans and Anglicans retained, in addition to the two
sacraments, the rite of confirmation, and Anglicans also the rite of
ordination. The official statement of Anglicanism that there are "two
major sacraments" has made it possible for some Anglicans--the so-
called High Church party--to hold the Catholic doctrine of seven

(3) Various substitutes were made for the Catholic doctrine of
transubstantiation, the idea that in the Lord's Supper the bread and
wine by the word of the priest are actually changed into the Body and
Blood of Christ. The Lutherans maintained what they called
consubstantiation, that Christ was _with_ and _in_ the bread
and wine, as fire is in a hot iron, to borrow the metaphor of Luther
himself. The Calvinists, on the other hand, saw in the Eucharist, not
the efficacious sacrifice of Christ, but a simple commemoration of the
Last Supper; to them the bread and wine were mere symbols of the Body
and Blood. As to the Anglicans, their position was ambiguous, for their
official confession of faith declared at once that the Supper is the
communion of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ but that the
communicant receives Jesus Christ only spiritually: the present-day
"Low Church" Anglicans incline to a Calvinistic interpretation, those
of the "High Church" to the Catholic explanation.

(4) There were pronounced differences in ecclesiastical government. All
the Protestants considerably modified the Catholic system of a divinely
appointed clergy of bishops, priests, and deacons, under the supreme
spiritual jurisdiction of the pope. The Anglicans rejected the papacy,
although they retained the orders of bishop, priest, and deacon, and
insisted that their hierarchy was the direct continuation of the
medieval Church in England, and therefore that their organization was
on the same footing as the Orthodox Church of eastern Europe. The
Lutherans rejected the divinely ordained character of episcopacy, but
retained bishops as convenient administrative officers. The Calvinists
did away with bishops altogether and kept only one order of clergymen--
the presbyters. Such Calvinistic churches as were governed by
assemblies or synods of presbyters were called Presbyterian; those
which subordinated the "minister" to the control of the people in each
separate congregation were styled Independent, or Separatist, or
Congregational. [Footnote: This latter type of church government was
maintained also by the quasi-Calvinistic denomination of the Baptists.]

(5) In the ceremonies of public worship the Protestant churches
differed. Anglicanism kept a good deal of the Catholic ritual although
in the form of translation from Latin to English, together with several
Catholic ceremonies, in some places even employing candles and incense.
The Calvinists, on the other hand, worshiped with extreme simplicity:
reading of the Bible, singing of hymns, extemporaneous prayer, and
preaching constituted the usual service in church buildings that were
without superfluous ornaments. Between Anglican formalism and
Calvinistic austerity, the Lutherans presented a compromise: they
devised no uniform liturgy, but showed some inclination to utilize
forms and ceremonies.

[Sidenote: Significance of the Protestant Revolt]

Of the true significance of the great religious and ecclesiastical
changes of the sixteenth century many estimates in the past have been
made, varying with the point of view, or bias, of each author. Several
results, however, now stand out clearly and are accepted generally by
all scholars, regardless of religious affiliations. These results may
be expressed as follows:

In the first place, the Catholic Church of the middle ages was
disrupted and the medieval ideal of a universal theocracy under the
bishop of Rome was rudely shocked.

In the second place, the Christian religion was largely nationalized.
Protestantism was the religious aspect of nationalism; it naturally
came into being as a protest against the cosmopolitan character of
Catholicism; it received its support from _nations_; and it
assumed everywhere a national form. The German states, the Scandinavian
countries, Scotland, England, each had its established state religion.
What remained to the Catholic Church, as we have seen, was essentially
for national reasons and henceforth rested mainly on a national basis.

Thirdly, the whole movement tended to narrow the Catholic Church
dogmatically. The exigencies of answering the Protestants called forth
explicit definitions of belief. The Catholic Church was henceforth on
the defensive, and among her members fewer differences of opinion were
tolerated than formerly.

Fourthly, a great impetus to individual morality, as well as to
theological study, was afforded by the reformation. Not only were many
men's minds turned temporarily from other intellectual interests to
religious controversy, but the individual faithful Catholic or
Protestant was encouraged to vie with his neighbor in actually proving
that his particular religion inculcated a higher moral standard than
any other. It rendered the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries more
earnest and serious and also more bigoted than the fifteenth.

Finally, the Protestant Revolution led immediately to important
political and social changes. The power of secular rulers was
immeasurably increased. By confiscation of church lands and control of
the clergy, the Tudor sovereigns in England, the kings in Scandinavia,
and the German princes were personally enriched and freed from fear of
being hampered in absolutist tendencies by an independent
ecclesiastical organization. Even in Catholic countries, the monarchs
were able to wring such concessions from the pope as resulted in
shackling the Church to the crown.

The wealth of the nobles was swelled, especially in Protestant
countries, by seizure of the property of the Church either directly or
by means of bribes tendered for aristocratic support of the royal
confiscations. But despite such an access of wealth, the monarchs took
pains to see that the nobility acquired no new political influence.

In order to prevent the nobles from recovering political power, the
absolutist monarchs enlisted the services of the faithful middle class,
which speedily attained an enviable position in the principal European
states. It is safe to say that the Protestant Revolution was one of
many elements assisting in the development of this middle class.

For the peasantry--still the bulk of European population--the religious
and ecclesiastical changes seem to have been peculiarly unfortunate.
What they gained through a diminution of ecclesiastical dues and taxes
was more than lost through the growth of royal despotism and the
exactions of hard-hearted lay proprietors. The peasants had changed the
names of their oppressors and found themselves in a worse condition
than before. There is little doubt that, at least so far as the
Germanies and the Scandinavian countries are concerned, the lot of the
peasants was less favorable immediately after, than immediately before,
the rise of Protestantism.


GENERAL. Good brief accounts of the whole religious revolution of the
sixteenth century: Frederic Seebohm, _The Era of the Protestant
Revolution,_ new ed. (1904); J. H. Robinson, _Reformation_, in
"Encyclopædia Britannica," 11th ed. (1911); A. H. Johnson, _Europe in
the Sixteenth Century_ (1897), ch. iii-v and pp. 272 ff.; E. M. Hulme,
_Renaissance and Reformation,_ 2d ed. (1915), ch. x-xviii, xxi-xxiii;
Victor Duruy, _History of Modern Times_, trans. and rev. by E. A.
Grosvenor (1894), ch. xiii, xiv. More detailed accounts are given in
the _Cambridge Modern History_, Vol. II (1904), and in the _Histoire
generate_, Vol. IV, ch. x-xvii, and Vol. V, ch. i. All the standard
general histories of the Christian Church contain accounts of the rise
of Protestantism, naturally varying among themselves according to the
religious convictions of their authors. Among the best Protestant
histories may be cited: T. M. Lindsay, _A History of the Reformation,_
2 vols. (1906-1910); Wilhelm Moeller, _History of the Christian
Church_, trans. and condensed by J. H. Freese, 3 vols. (1893-1900);
Philip Schaff, _History of the Christian Church_, Vols. VI and VII; A.
H. Newman, A Manual of Church History, Vol. II (1903), Period V; G. P.
Fisher, _History of the Christian Church_ (1887), Period VIII, ch. i-
xii. From the Catholic standpoint the best ecclesiastical histories
are: John Alzog, _Manual of Universal Church History_, trans. from 9th
German edition (1903), Vol. II and Vol. Ill, Epoch I; and the histories
in German by Joseph (Cardinal) Hergen-rother [ed. by J. P. Kirsch, 2
vols. (1902-1904)], by Alois Knopfler (5th ed., 1910) [based on the
famous _Conciliengeschichte_ of K. J. (Bishop) von Hefele], and by F.
X. von Funk (5th ed., 1911); see, also, Alfred Baudrillart, _The
Catholic Church, the Renaissance and Protestantism_, Eng. trans. by
Mrs. Philip Gibbs (1908). Many pertinent articles are to be found in
the scholarly _Catholic Encyclopedia_, 15 vols. (1907-1912), in the
famous _Realencyklopädie für protestantische Theologie und Kirche_, 3d
ed., 24 vols. (1896-1913), and in the (Non-Catholic) _Encyclopedia of
Religion and Ethics_, ed. by James Hastings and now (1916) in course of
publication. For the popes of the period, see Ludwig Pastor, _The
History of the Popes from the Close of the Middle Ages_, the monumental
work of a distinguished Catholic historian, the twelfth volume of which
(coming down to 1549) was published in English translation in 1912; and
the older but still useful (Protestant) _History of the Papacy from the
Great Schism to the Sack of Rome_ by Mandell Creighton, new ed. in 6
vols. (1899-1901), and _History of the Popes_ by Leopold von Ranke, 3
vols. in the Bonn Library (1885). Heinrich Denziger, _Enchiridion
Symbolorum, Definitionum, et Declarationium de rebus fidei el morum,_
11nth ed. (1911), is a convenient collection of official pronouncements
in Latin on the Catholic Faith. Philip Schaff, _The Creeds of
Christendom,_ 3 vols. (1878), contains the chief Greek, Latin, and
Protestant creeds in the original and usually also in English
translation. Also useful is B. J. Kidd (editor), _Documents
Illustrative of the Continental Reformation_ (1911). For additional
details of the relation of the Reformation to sixteenth-century
politics, consult the bibliography appended to Chapter III, above.

Modern History,_ Vol. I (1902), a severe indictment of the Church is
presented (ch. xix) by H. C. Lea, and a defense is offered (ch. xviii)
by William Barry. The former opinions are developed startlingly by H.
C. Lea in Vol. I, ch. i, of his _History of the Inquisition in the
Middle Ages._ An old-fashioned, though still interesting, Protestant
view is that of William Roscoe, _Life and Pontificate of Leo X,_ 4
vols. (first pub. 1805-1806, many subsequent editions). For an
excellent description of the organization of the Catholic Church, see
André Mater, _L'église catholique, sa constitution, son administration_
(1906). The best edition of the canon law is that of Friedberg, 2 vols.
(1881). On the social work of the Church: E. L. Cutts, _Parish Priests
and their People in the Middle Ages in England_ (1898), and G. A.
Prévost, _L'église et les campagnes au moyen âge_ (1892). The most
recent and comprehensive study of the Catholic Church on the eve of the
Protestant Revolt is that of Pierre Imbart de la Tour, _Les origines de
la Réforme,_ Vol. I, _La France moderne_ (1905), and Vol. II, _L'église
catholique, la crise et la renaissance_ (1909). For the Orthodox Church
of the East see Louis Duchesne, _The Churches Separated from Rome,_
trans. by A. H. Mathew (1908).

MOHAMMEDANISM. Sir William Muir, _Life of Mohammed,_ new and rev. ed.
by T. H. Weir (1912); Ameer Ali, _Life and Teachings of Mohammed_
(1891), and, by the same author, warmly sympathetic, Islam (1914); D.
S. Margoliouth, _Mohammed and the Rise of Islam_ (1905), in the "Heroes
of the Nations" Series, and, by the same author, _The Early Development
of Mohammedanism_ (1914); Arthur Gilman, _Story of the Saracens_
(1902), in the "Story of the Nations" Series. Edward Gibbon has two
famous chapters (1, li) on Mohammed and the Arabian conquests in his
masterpiece, _Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire._ The _Koran,_ the
sacred book of Mohammedans, has been translated into English by E. H.
Palmer, 2 vols. (1880): entertaining extracts are given in Stanley
Lane-Poole, _Speeches and Table Talk of the Prophet Mohammad._

LUTHER AND LUTHERANISM. Of innumerable biographies of Luther the best
from sympathetic Protestant pens are: Julius Köstlin, _Life of Luther,_
trans. and abridged from the German (1900); T. M. Lindsay, _Luther and
the German Reformation_ (1900); A. C. McGiffert, _Martin Luther, the
Man and his Work_ (1911); Preserved Smith, _The Life and Letters of
Martin Luther_ (1911); Charles Beard, _Martin Luther and the
Reformation in Germany until the Close of the Diet of Worms_ (1889). A
remarkable arraignment of Luther is the work of the eminent Catholic
historian, F. H. S. Denifle, _Luther und Luthertum in der ersten
Entwickelung,_ 3 vols. (1904-1909), trans. into French by J. Pasquier
(1911-1912). The most available Catholic study of Luther's personality
and career is the scholarly work of Hartmann Grisar, _Luther,_ 3 vols.
(1911-1913), trans. from German into English by E. M. Lamond, 4 vols.
(1913-1915). _First Principles of the Reformation,_ ed. by Henry Wace
and C. A. Buchheim (1885), contains an English translation of Luther's
"Theses," and of his three pamphlets of 1520. The best edition of
Luther's complete works is the Weimar edition; English translations of
portions of his _Table Talk,_ by William Hazlitt, have appeared in the
Bonn Library; and _Luther's Correspondence and Other Contemporary
Letters_ is now (1916) in course of translation and publication by
Preserved Smith. J. W. Richard, _Philip Melanchthon_ (1898) is a brief
biography of one of the most famous friends and associates of Luther.
For the Protestant Revolt in Germany: E. F. Henderson, _A Short History
of Germany_ (1902), Vol. I, ch. x-xvi, a brief sketch of the political
and social background; Johannes Janssen, _History of the German
People,_ a monumental treatise on German social history just before and
during the revolt, scholarly and very favorable to the Catholic Church,
trans. into English by M. A. Mitchell and A. M. Christie, 16 vols.
(1896-1910); Gottlob Egelhaaf, _Deutsche Geschichte im sechzehnten
Jahrhundert bis zum Augsburger Religionsfrieden,_ 2 vols. (1889-1892),
a Protestant rejoinder to some of the Catholic Janssen's deductions;
Karl Lamprecht, _Deutsche Geschichte,_ Vol. V, Part I (1896),
suggestive philosophizing; Leopold von Ranke, _History of the
Reformation in Germany,_ Eng. trans., 3 vols., a careful study, coming
down in the original German to 1555, but stopping short in the English
form with the year 1534; Friedrich von Bezold, _Geschichte der
deutschen Reformation,_ 2 vols. (1886-1890), in the bulky Oncken
Series, voluminous and moderately Protestant in tone; J. J. I. von
Döllinger, _Die Reformation, ihre innere Entwicklung und ihre
Wirkungen,_ 3 vols. (1853-1854), pointing out the opposition of many
educated people of the sixteenth century to Luther; A. E. Berger, _Die
Kulturaufgaben der Reformation,_ 2d ed. (1908), a study of the cultural
aspects of the Lutheran movement, Protestant in tendency and opposed in
certain instances to the generalizations of Janssen and Döllinger; J.
S. Schapiro, _Social Reform and the Reformation_ (1909), a brief but
very suggestive treatment of some of the economic factors of the German
Reformation; H. C. Vedder, _The Reformation in Germany_ (1914),
likewise stressing economic factors, and sympathetic toward the
Anabaptists. For additional facts concerning the establishment of
Lutheranism in Scandinavia, see R. N. Bain, _Scandinavia, a Political
History of Denmark, Norway and Sweden from 1513 to 1900_ (1905), and
John Wordsworth (Bishop of Salisbury), _The National Church of Sweden_
(1911). Zwingli, Calvin, and Calvinism. The best biography of Zwingli
in English is that of S. M. Jackson (1901), who likewise has edited the
_Selected Works of Zwingli_; a more exhaustive biography in German is
Rudolf Stahelin, _Huldreich Zwingli: sein Leben und Wirken_, 2 vols.
(1895 1897). Biographies of Calvin: H. Y. Reyburn, _John Calvin: his
Life, Letters, and Work_ (1914); Williston Walker, John Calvin, the
Organizer of Reformed Protestantism (1906); Emile Doumergue, _Jean
Calvin: les hommes et les choses de son temps_, 4 vols. (1899-1910); L.
Penning, _Life and Times of Calvin_, trans. from Dutch by B. S.
Berrington (1912); William Barry, _Calvin_, in the "Catholic
Encyclopædia." Many of Calvin's writings have been published in English
translation by the "Presbyterian Board of Publication" in Philadelphia,
22 vols. in 52 (1844-1856), and his _Institutes of the Christian
Religion_ has several times been published in English. H. M. Baird,
_Theodore Beza_ (1899) is a popular biography of one of the best-known
friends and associates of Calvin. For Calvinism in Switzerland: W. D.
McCracken, _The Rise of the Swiss Republic_, 2d ed. (1901); F. W.
Kampschulte, _Johann Calvin, seine Kirche und sein Staat in Genf_, 2
vols. (1869-1899). For Calvinism in France: H. M. Baird, _History of
the Rise of the Huguenots of France_, 2 vols. (1879), and by the same
author, a warm partisan of Calvinism, _The Huguenots and Henry of
Navarre_, 2 vols. (1886); the brothers Haag, _France protestante_, 2d
ed., 10 vols. (1877-1895), an exhaustive history of Protestantism in
France; E. Lavisse (editor), _Histoire de France_, Vol. V, Livre IX, by
Henry Lemonnier (1904), most recent and best. For Calvinism in
Scotland: P. H. Brown, _John Knox, a Biography_, 2 vols. (1895); Andrew
Lang, _John Knox and the Reformation_ (1905); John Herkless and R. K.
Hannay, _The Archbishops of St. Andrews_, 4 vols. (1907-1913); D. H.
Fleming, _The Reformation in Scotland: its Causes, Characteristics, and
Consequences_ (1910); John Macpherson, _History of the Church in
Scotland_ (1901), ch. iii-v.

Frederic Seebohm, _The Oxford Reformers_, 3d ed. (1887), a sympathetic
treatment of Colet, Erasmus, and More; F. A. (Cardinal) Gasquet, _The
Eve of the Reformation in England_ (1899), and, by the same author, an
eminent Catholic scholar, _England under the Old Religion_ (1912).
General histories of the English Reformation: H. O. Wakeman, _An
Introduction to the History of the Church of England_, 8th ed. (1914),
ch. x-xiv, the best brief "High Church" survey; J. R. Green, _Short
History of the English People_, new illust. ed. by C. H. Firth (1913),
ch. vi, vii, a popular "Low Church" view; W. R. W. Stephens and William
Hunt (editors), _A History of the Church of England_, Vols. IV (1902)
and V (1904) by James Gairdner and W. H. Frere respectively; James
Gairdner, _Lollardy and the Reformation in England_, 4 vols. (1908-
1913), the last word of an eminent authority on the period, who was
convinced of the revolutionary character of the English Reformation;
John Lingard, _History of England to 1688_, Vols. IV-VI, the standard
Roman Catholic work; R. W. Dixon, _History of the Church of England
from the Abolition of the Roman Jurisdiction_, 6 vols.  (1878-1902), a
thorough treatment from the High Anglican position; H. W. Clark,
_History of English Nonconformity_, Vol. I (1911), Book I, valuable for
the history of the radical Protestants; Henry Gee and W. J. Hardy,
_Documents Illustrative of English Church History_ (1896), an admirable
collection of official pronouncements. Valuable special works and
monographs: C. B. Lumsden, _The Dawn of Modern England, being a History
of the Reformation in England, 1509-1525_ (1910), pronouncedly Roman
Catholic in tone; Martin Hume, _The Wives of Henry VIII_ (1905); F. A.
(Cardinal) Gasquet, _Henry VIII and the English Monasteries_, 3d ed., 2
vols. (1888), popular ed. in 1 vol. (1902); R. B. Merriman, _Life and
Letters of Thomas Cromwell_, 2 vols. (1902), a standard work; Dom Bede
Camm, _Lives of the English Martyrs_ (1904), with special reference to
Roman Catholics under Henry VIII; A. F. Pollard, [Footnote: See also
other works of A. F. Pollard listed in bibliography appended to Chapter
III, p. 110, above.] _Life of Cranmer_ (1904), scholarly and
sympathetic, and, by the same author, _England under Protector
Somerset_ (1900), distinctly apologetic; Frances Rose-Troup, _The
Western Rebellion of 1549_ (1913), a study of an unsuccessful popular
uprising against religious innovations; M. J. Stone, _Mary I, Queen of
England_ (1901), an apology for Mary Tudor; John Foxe (1516-1587),
_Acts and Monuments of the Church_, popularly known as the _Book of
Martyrs_, the chief contemporary account of the Marian persecutions,
uncritical and naturally strongly biased; R. G. Usher, _The
Reconstruction of the English Church_, 2 vols. (1910), a popular
account of the changes under Elizabeth and James I; H. N. Birt, _The
Elizabethan Religious Settlement_ (1907), from the Roman Catholic
standpoint; G. E. Phillips, _The Extinction of the Ancient Hierarchy,
an Account of the Death in Prison of the Eleven Bishops Honored at Rome
amongst the Martyrs of the Elizabethan Persecution_ (1905), also Roman
Catholic; A. O. Meyer, _England und die katholische Kirche unter
Elisabeth und den Stuarts_, Vol. I (1911), Eng. trans. by J. R. McKee
(1915), based in part on use of source-material in the Vatican Library;
Martin Hume, _Treason and Plot_ (1901), deals with the struggles of the
Roman Catholics for supremacy in the reign of Elizabeth; E. L. Taunton,
_The History of the Jesuits in England_, 1580-1773 (1901); Richard
Simpson, _Life of Campion_ (1867), an account of a devoted Jesuit who
suffered martyrdom under Elizabeth; Champlin Burrage, _The Early
English Dissenters in the Light of Recent Research, 1550-1641_, 2 vols.

Barry, _The Papacy and Modern Times_ (1911), in "Home University
Library," ch. i-iii; A. W. Ward, _The Counter Reformation_ (1889) in
"Epochs of Church History" Series; _Cambridge Modern History_, Vol. Ill
(1905), ch. xiii by Ugo (Count) Balzani on "Rome under Sixtus V."
Longer accounts: G. V. Jourdan, _The Movement towards Catholic Reform
in the Early Sixteenth Century, 1496-1536_ (1914); K. W. Maurenbrecher,
_Geschichte der katholischen Reformation_, Vol. I (1880), excellent
down to 1534 but never completed; J. A. Symonds, _Renaissance in
Italy_, Vols. VI and VII, _The Catholic Reaction_, replete with
inaccuracy, bias, and prejudice. The _Canons and Decrees of the Council
of Trent_ have been translated by J. Waterworth, new ed. (1896), and
the _Catechism of the Council of Trent_, by J. Donovan (1829). Nicholas
Hilling, _Procedure at the Roman Curia_, 2d ed. (1909), contains a
concise account of the "congregations" and other reformed agencies of
administration introduced into church government in the sixteenth and
seventeenth centuries. The famous _Autobiography of St. Ignatius
Loyola_ has been trans. and ed. by J. F. X. O'Conor (1900), and the
text of his _Spiritual Exercises_, trans. from Spanish into English,
has been published by Joseph Rickaby (1915). See Stewart Rose (Lady
Buchan), _St. Ignatius Loyola and the Early Jesuits_, ed. by W. H. Eyre
(1891); Francis Thompson, _Life of Saint Ignatius_ (1910); T. A.
Hughes, _Loyola and the Educational System of the Jesuits_ (1892).
Monumental national histories of the Jesuits are now (1916) appearing
under the auspices of the Order: for Germany, by Bernhard Duhr, Vol. I
(1907), Vol. II (1913); for Italy, by Pietro Tacchi Venturi, Vol. I
(1910); for France, by Henri Fouqueray, Vol. I (1910), Vol. II (1913);
for Paraguay, by Pablo Pastells, Vol. I (1912); for North America, by
Thomas Hughes, 3 vols. (1907-1910); for Spain, by Antonio Astrain,
Vols. I-IV (1902-1913). Concerning the Index, see G. H. Putnam, _The
Censorship of the Church of Rome and its Influence upon the Production
and Distribution of Literature_, 2 vols. (1907). On the Inquisition,
see H. C. Lea, _A History of the Inquisition of Spain_, 4 vols. (1907),
and, by the same author, _The Inquisition in the Spanish Dependencies_
(1908), on the whole a dark picture; and, for a Catholic account,
Elphège Vacandard, _The Inquisition: a Critical and Historical Study of
the Coercive Power of the Church_, trans. by B. L. Conway (1908).

FROM THE THEOLOGICAL STANDPOINT, see Adolph Harnack, _History of
Dogma_, Eng. trans., Vol. VII (1900). Charles Beard, _The Reformation
of the Sixteenth Century in its Relation to Modern Thought and
Knowledge_ (1883) is a strongly Protestant estimate of the significance
of the whole movement. J. Balmes, _European Civilization: Protestantism
and Catholicity Compared in their Effects on the Civilization of
Europe_ (1850), though old, is a suggestive résumé from the Catholic



[Sidenote: "Culture"]

"Culture" is a word generally used to denote learning and refinement in
manners and art. The development of culture--the acquisition of new
knowledge and the creation of beautiful things--is ordinarily the work
of a comparatively small number of scientists and artists. Now if in
any particular period or among any special people, we find a relatively
larger group of intellectual leaders who succeed in establishing an
important educated class and in making permanent contributions to the
civilization of posterity, then we say that it is a cultured century or
a cultured nation.

[Sidenote: Greek Culture]

All races and all generations have had some kind of culture, but within
the recorded history of humanity, certain peoples and certain centuries
stand out most distinctly as influencing its evolution. Thus, the
Greeks of the fourth and fifth centuries before Christ gathered
together and handed down to us all manner of speculation about the
nature of the universe, all manner of hypothetical answers to the
eternal questions--Whence do we come, What are we doing, Where do we
go?--and this was the foundation of modern philosophy and metaphysics.
From the same Greeks came our geometry and the rudiments of our
sciences of astronomy and medicine. It was they who gave us the model
for nearly every form of literature--dramatic, epic, and lyric poetry,
dialogues, oratory, history--and in their well-proportioned temples, in
their balanced columns and elaborate friezes, in their marble
chiselings of the perfect human form, they fashioned for us forever the
classical expression of art.

[Sidenote: Roman Culture]

Still in ancient times, the Romans developed classical architecture in
the great triumphal arches and in the high-domed public buildings which
strewed their empire. They adapted the fine forms of Greek literature
to their own more pompous, but less subtle, Latin language. They
devised a code of law and a legal system which made them in a real
sense the teachers of order and the founders of the modern study of

[Sidenote: Mohammedan Culture]

The Mohammedans, too, at the very time when the Christians of western
Europe were neglecting much of the ancient heritage, kept alive the
traditions of Greek philosophy, mathematics, astronomy, and medicine.
From eastern Asia they borrowed algebra, the Arabic numerals, and the
compass, and, in their own great cities of Bagdad, Damascus, and
Cordova, they themselves developed the curiously woven curtains and
rugs, the strangely wrought blades and metallic ornaments, the
luxurious dwellings and graceful minarets which distinguish Arabic or
Mohammedan art.

[Sidenote: Medieval Culture]

In the twelfth and thirteenth centuries--the height of the middle ages
--came a wonderful outburst of intellectual and artistic activity.
Under the immediate auspices of the Catholic Church it brought forth
abundantly a peculiarly Christian culture. Renewed acquaintance with
Greek philosophy, especially with that of Aristotle, was joined with a
lively religious faith to produce the so called scholastic philosophy
and theology. Great institutions of higher learning--the universities--
were now founded, in which centered the revived study not only of
philosophy but of law and medicine as well, and over which appeared the
first cloud-wrapped dawn of modern experimental science. And side by
side with the sonorous Latin tongue, which long continued to be used by
scholars, were formed the vernacular languages--German, English,
French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, etc.--that gave a wealth of
variety to reviving popular literature. Majestic cathedrals with
pointed arch and flying buttress, with lofty spire and delicate
tracery, wonderful wood carvings, illuminated manuscripts, quaint
gargoyles, myriad statues of saints and martyrs, delicately colored
paintings of surpassing beauty--all betokened the great Christian, or
Gothic, art of the middle ages.

[Sidenote: New Elements in Culture of Sixteenth Century]

The educated person of the sixteenth century was heir to all these
cultural periods: intellectually and artistically he was descended from
Greeks, Romans, Mohammedans, and his medieval Christian forbears. But
the sixteenth century itself added cultural contributions to the
original store, which help to explain not only the social, political,
and ecclesiastical activities of that time but also many of our
present-day actions and ideas. The essentially new factors in
sixteenth-century culture may be reckoned as (1) the diffusion of
knowledge as a result of the invention of printing; (2) the development
of literary criticism by means of humanism; (3) a golden age of
painting and architecture; (4) the flowering of national literature;
(5) the beginnings of modern natural science.


The present day is notably distinguished by the prevalence of enormous
numbers of printed books, periodicals, and newspapers. Yet this very
printing, which seems so commonplace to us now, has had, in all, but a
comparatively brief existence. From the earliest recorded history up to
less than five hundred years ago every book in Europe [Footnote: For an
account of early printing in China, Japan, and Korea, see the informing
article "Typography" in the _Encyclopædia Britannica_, 11th
edition, Vol. XXVII, p. 510.] was laboriously written by hand,
[Footnote: It is interesting to note the meaning of our present word
"manuscript," which is derived from the Latin--_manu scriptum_
("written by hand").] and, although copyists acquired an astonishing
swiftness in reproducing books, libraries of any size were the property
exclusively of rich institutions or wealthy individuals. It was at the
beginning of modern times that the invention of printing revolutionized
intellectual history.

Printing is an extremely complicated process, and it is small wonder
that centuries of human progress elapsed before its invention was
complete. Among the most essential elements of the perfected process
are _movable type_ with which the impression is made, and
_paper_, on which it is made. A few facts may be conveniently
culled from the long involved story of the development of each of these

[Sidenote: Development of paper]

For their manuscripts the Greeks and Romans had used papyrus, the
prepared fiber of a tough reed which grew in the valley of the Nile
River. This papyrus was very expensive and heavy, and not at all
suitable for printing. Parchment, the dressed skins of certain animals,
especially sheep, which became the standard material for the hand-
written documents of the middle ages, was extremely durable, but like
papyrus, it was costly, unwieldy, and ill adapted for printing.

The forerunner of modern European paper was probably that which the
Chinese made from silk as early as the second century before Christ.
For silk the Mohammedans at Mecca and Damascus in the middle of the
eighth century appear to have substituted cotton, and this so-called
Damascus paper was later imported into Greece and southern Italy and
into Spain. In the latter country the native-grown hemp and flax were
again substituted for cotton, and the resulting linen paper was used
considerably in Castile in the thirteenth century and thence penetrated
across the Pyrenees into France and gradually all over western and
central Europe. Parchment, however, for a long time kept its
preeminence over silk, cotton, or linen paper, because of its greater
firmness and durability, and notaries were long forbidden to use any
other substance in their official writings. Not until the second half
of the fifteenth century was assured the triumph of modern paper,
[Footnote: The word "paper" is derived from the ancient "papyrus."] as
distinct from papyrus or parchment, when printing, then on the
threshold of its career, demanded a substance of moderate price that
would easily receive the impression of movable type.

[Sidenote: Development of Movable Type]

The idea of movable type was derived from an older practice of carving
reverse letters or even whole inscriptions upon blocks of wood so that
when they were inked and applied to writing material they would leave a
clear impression. Medieval kings and princes frequently had their
signatures cut on these blocks of wood or metal, in order to impress
them on charters, and a kind of engraving was employed to reproduce
pictures or written pages as early as the twelfth century.

It was a natural but slow evolution from block-impressing to the
practice of casting individual letters in separate little pieces of
metal, all of the same height and thickness, and then arranging them in
any desired sequence for printing. The great advantage of movable type
over the blocks was the infinite variety of work which could be done by
simply setting and resetting the type.

The actual history of the transition from the use of blocks to movable
type--the real invention of modern printing--is shrouded in a good deal
of mystery and dispute. It now appears likely that by the year 1450, an
obscure Lourens Coster of the Dutch town of Haarlem had devised movable
type, that Coster's invention was being utilized by a certain Johan
Gutenberg in the German city of Mainz, and that improvements were being
added by various other contemporaries. Papal letters of indulgence and
a version of the Bible, both printed in 1454, are the earliest
monuments of the new art.

Slowly evolved, the marvelous art, once thoroughly developed, spread
with almost lightning rapidity from Mainz throughout the Germanics, the
Italian states, France, and England,--in fact, throughout all Christian
Europe. It was welcomed by scholars and applauded by popes. Printing
presses were erected at Rome in 1466, and book-publishing speedily
became an honorable and lucrative business in every large city. Thus,
at the opening of the sixteenth century, the scholarly Aldus Manutius
was operating in Venice the famous Aldine press, whose beautiful
editions of the Greek and Latin classics are still esteemed as
masterpieces of the printer's art.

The early printers fashioned the characters of their type after the
letters that the scribes had used in long-hand writing. Different kinds
of common hand-writing gave rise, therefore, to such varieties of type
as the heavy black-faced Gothic that prevailed in the Germanics or the
several adaptations of the clear, neat Roman characters which
predominated in southern Europe and in England. The compressed "italic"
type was devised in the Aldine press in Venice to enable the publisher
to crowd more words upon a page.

[Sidenote: Results of Invention of Printing]

A constant development of the new art characterized the sixteenth
century, and at least three remarkable results became evident. (1)
There was an almost incalculable increase in the supply of books. Under
earlier conditions, a skilled and conscientious copyist might, by
prodigious toil, produce two books in a year. Now, in a single year of
the sixteenth century, some 24,000 copies of one of Erasmus's books
were struck off by one printing press.

(2) This indirectly increased the demand for books. By lessening the
expense of books and enabling at least all members of the middle class,
as well as nobles and princes, to possess private libraries, printing
became the most powerful means of diffusing knowledge and broadening

(3) A greater degree of accuracy was guaranteed by printing than by
manual copying. Before the invention of printing, it was well-nigh
impossible to secure two copies of any work that would be exactly
alike. Now, the constant proof-reading and the fact that an entire
edition was printed from the same type were securities against the
anciently recurring faults of forgery or of error.


Printing, the invention of which has just been described, was the new
vehicle of expression for the ideas of the sixteenth century. These
ideas centered in something which commonly is called "humanism." To
appreciate precisely what humanism means--to understand the dominant
intellectual interests of the educated people of the sixteenth century
--it will be necessary first to turn back some two hundred years
earlier and say a few words about the first great humanist, Francesco
Petrarca, or, as he is known to us, Petrarch.

[Sidenote: Petrarch, "the Father of Humanism"]

The name of Petrarch, who flourished in the fourteenth century (1304-
1374), has been made familiar to most of us by sentimentalists or by
literary scholars who in the one case have pitied his loves and his
passions or in the other have admired the grace and form of his Italian
sonnets. But to the student of history Petrarch has seemed even more
important as the reflection, if not the source, of a brilliant
intellectual movement, which, taking rise in his century, was to grow
in brightness in the fifteenth and flood the sixteenth with resplendent

In some respects Petrarch was a typical product of the fourteenth
century. He was in close touch with the great medieval Christian
culture of his day. He held papal office at Avignon in France. He was
pious and "old-fashioned" in many of his religious views, especially in
his dislike for heretics. Moreover, he wrote what he professed to be
his best work in Latin and expressed naught but contempt for the new
Italian language, which, under the immortal Dante, had already acquired
literary polish. [Footnote: Ironically enough, it was not his Latin
writings but his beautiful Italian sonnets, of which he confessed to be
ashamed, that have preserved the popular fame of Petrarch to the
present day.] He showed no interest in natural science or in the
physical world about him--no sympathy for any novelty.

Yet despite a good deal of natural conservatism, Petrarch added one
significant element to the former medieval culture. That was an
appreciation, amounting almost to worship, of the pagan Greek and Latin
literature. Nor was he interested in antique things because they
supported his theology or inculcated Christian morals; his fondness for
them was simply and solely because they were inherently interesting. In
a multitude of polished Latin letters and in many of his poems, as well
as by daily example and precept to his admiring contemporaries, he
preached the revival of the classics.

[Sidenote: Characteristics of Petrarch's Humanism]

This one obsessing idea of Petrarch carried with it several corollaries
which constituted the essence of humanism and profoundly affected
European thought for several generations after the Italian poet. They
may be enumerated as follows:

(1) Petrarch felt as no man had felt since pagan days the pleasure of
mere human life,--the "joy of living." This, he believed, was not in
opposition to the Christian religion, although it contradicted the
basis of ascetic life. He remained a Catholic Christian, but he
assailed the monks.

(2) Petrarch possessed a confidence in himself, which in the constant
repetition in his writings of first-person pronouns partook of
boastfulness. He replaced a reliance upon Divine Providence by a sense
of his own human ability and power.

(3) Petrarch entertained a clear notion of a living bond between
himself and men of like sort in the ancient world. Greek and Roman
civilization was to him no dead and buried antiquity, but its poets and
thinkers lived again as if they were his neighbors. His love for the
past amounted almost to an ecstatic enthusiasm.

(4) Petrarch tremendously influenced his contemporaries. He was no
local, or even national, figure. He was revered and respected as "the
scholar of Europe." Kings vied with each other in heaping benefits upon
him. The Venetian senate gave him the freedom of the city. Both the
University of Paris and the municipality of Rome crowned him with

[Sidenote: "Humanism" and the "Humanities"; Definitions]

The admirers and disciples of Petrarch were attracted by the fresh and
original human ideas of life with which such classical writers as
Virgil, Horace, and Cicero overflowed. This new-found charm the
scholars called humanity (_Humanitas_) and themselves they styled
"humanists." Their studies, which comprised the Greek and Latin
languages and literatures, and, incidentally, profane history, were the
humanities or "letters" (_litterae humaniores_), and the pursuit
of them was humanism.

Petrarch himself was a serious Latin scholar but knew Greek quite
indifferently. About the close of his century, however, Greek teachers
came in considerable numbers from Constantinople and Greece across the
Adriatic to Italy, and a certain Chrysoloras set up an influential
Greek school at Florence. [Footnote: This was before the capture of
Constantinople by the Turks in 1453.] Thenceforth, the study of both
Latin and Greek went on apace. Monasteries were searched for old
manuscripts; libraries for the classics were established; many an
ancient masterpiece, long lost, was now recovered and treasured as fine
gold. [Footnote: It was during this time that long-lost writings of
Tacitus, Cicero, Quintilian, Plautus, Lucretius, etc., were

[Sidenote: Humanism and Christianity]

At first, humanism met with some opposition from ardent churchmen who
feared that the revival of pagan literature might exert an unwholesome
influence upon Christianity. But gradually the humanists came to be
tolerated and even encourage, until several popes, notably Julius II
and Leo X at the opening of the sixteenth century, themselves espoused
the cause of humanism. The father of Leo X was the celebrated Lorenzo
de' Medici, who subsidized humanists and established the great
Florentine library of Greek and Latin classics; and the pope proved
himself at once the patron and exemplar of the new learning: he enjoyed
music and the theater, art and poetry, the masterpieces of the ancients
and the creations of his humanistic contemporaries, the spiritual and
the witty--life in every form.

[Sidenote: Spread of Humanism]

The zeal for humanism reached its highest pitch in Italy in the
fifteenth century and the first half of the sixteenth, but it gradually
gained entrance into other countries and at length became the
intellectual spirit of sixteenth-century Europe. Greek was first taught
both in England and in France about the middle of the fifteenth
century. The Italian expeditions of the French kings Charles VIII,
Louis XII, and Francis I, 1494-1547, served to familiarize Frenchmen
with humanism. And the rise of important new German universities called
humanists to the Holy Roman Empire. As has been said, humanism
dominated all Christian Europe in the sixteenth century.

[Sidenote: Erasmus, Chief Humanist of the Sixteenth Century]

Towering above all his contemporaries was Erasmus, the foremost
humanist and the intellectual arbiter of the sixteenth century. Erasmus
(1466-1536) was a native of Rotterdam in the Netherlands, but
throughout a long and studious life he lived in Germany, France,
England, Italy, and Switzerland. He took holy orders in the Church and
secured the degree of doctor of sacred theology, but it was as a lover
of books and a prolific writer that he earned his title to fame.
Erasmus, to an even greater degree than Petrarch, became a great
international figure--the scholar of Europe. He corresponded with every
important writer of his generation, and he was on terms of personal
friendship with Aldus Manutius, the famous publisher of Venice, with
Sir Thomas More, the distinguished statesman and scholar of England,
with Pope Leo X, with Francis I of France, and with Henry VIII of
England. For a time he presided at Paris over the new College of

A part of the work of Erasmus--his Greek edition of the New Testament
and his _Praise of Folly_--has already been mentioned. In a series
of satirical dialogues--the _Adages_ and the _Colloquies_--he
displayed a brilliant intellect and a sparkling wit. With quip and jest
he made light of the ignorance and credulity of many clergymen,
especially of the monks. He laughed at every one, himself included.
"Literary people," said he, "resemble the great figured tapestries of
Flanders, which produce effect only when seen from the distance."

[Sidenote: Humanism and Protestantism]

At first Erasmus was friendly with Luther, but as he strongly
disapproved of rebellion against the Church, he subsequently assailed
Luther and the whole Protestant movement. He remained outside the group
of radical reformers, to the end devoted to his favorite authors,
simply a lover of good Latin.

Perhaps the chief reason why Erasmus opposed Protestantism was because
he imagined that the theological tempest which Luther aroused all over
Catholic Europe would destroy fair-minded scholarship--the very essence
of humanism. Be that as it may, the leading humanists of Europe--More
in England, Helgesen in Denmark, and Erasmus himself--remained
Catholic. And while many of the sixteenth-century humanists of Italy
grew skeptical regarding all religion, their country, as we have seen,
did not become Protestant but adhered to the Roman Church.

[Sidenote: Decline of Humanism]

Gradually, as the sixteenth century advanced, many persons who in an
earlier generation would have applied their minds to the study of Latin
or Greek, now devoted themselves to theological discussion or moral
exposition. The religious differences between Catholics and
Protestants, to say nothing of the refinements of dispute between
Calvinists and Lutherans or Presbyterians and Congregationalists,
absorbed much of the mental energy of the time and seriously distracted
the humanists. In fact, we may say that, from the second half of the
sixteenth century, humanism as an independent intellectual interest
slowly but steadily declined. Nevertheless, it was not lost, for it was
merged with other interests, and with them has been preserved ever

Humanism, whose seed was sown by Petrarch in the fourteenth century and
whose fruit was plucked by Erasmus in the sixteenth, still lives in
higher education throughout Europe and America. The historical
"humanities"--Latin, Greek, and history--are still taught in college
and in high school. They constitute the contribution of the dominant
intellectual interest of the sixteenth century.


[Sidenote: Humanism and the Renaissance of Art]

The effect of the revived interest in Greek and Roman culture, which,
as we have seen, dominated European thought from the fourteenth to the
sixteenth century, was felt not only in literature and in the outward
life of its devotees--in ransacking monasteries for lost manuscripts
scripts, in critically studying ancient learning, and in consciously
imitating antique behavior--but likewise in a marvelous and many-sided
development of art.

The art of the middle ages had been essentially Christian--it sprang
from the doctrine and devotions of the Catholic Church and was
inextricably bound up with Christian life. The graceful Gothic
cathedrals, pointing their roofs and airy spires in heavenly
aspiration, the fantastic and mysterious carvings of wood or stone, the
imaginative portraiture of saintly heroes and heroines as well as of
the sublime story of the fall and redemption of the human race, the
richly stained glass, and the spiritual organ music--all betokened the
supreme thought of medieval Christianity. But humanism recalled to
men's minds the previous existence of an art simpler and more
restrained, if less ethereal. The reading of Greek and Latin writers
heightened an esteem for pagan culture in all its phases.

Therefore, European art underwent a transformation in the fifteenth and
sixteenth centuries. While much of the distinctively medieval culture
remained, civilization was enriched by a revival of classical art. The
painters, the sculptors, and the architects now sought models not
exclusively in their own Christian masters but in many cases in pagan
Greek and Roman forms. Gradually the two lines of development were
brought together, and the resulting union--the adaptation of classical
art-forms to Christian uses--was marked by an unparalleled outburst of
artistic energy.

From that period of exuberant art-expression in the fifteenth and
sixteenth centuries, our present-day love of beautiful things has come
down in unbroken succession. With no exaggeration it may be said that
the sixteenth century is as much the basis of our modern artistic life
as it is the foundation of modern Protestantism or of modern world
empire. The revolutions in commerce and religion synchronized with the
beginning of a new era in art. All arts were affected--architecture,
sculpture, painting, engraving, and music.

[Sidenote: Architecture]

In architecture, the severely straight and plain line of the ancient
Greek temples or the elegant gentle curve of the Roman dome was
substituted for the fanciful lofty Gothic. A rounded arch replaced the
pointed. And the ancient Greek orders--Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian--
were dragged from oblivion to embellish the simple symmetrical
buildings. The newer architecture was used for ecclesiastical and other
structures, reaching perhaps its highest expression in the vast
cathedral of St. Peter, which was erected at Rome in the sixteenth
century under the personal direction of great artists, among whom
Raphael and Michelangelo are numbered.

[Sidenote: In Italy]

The revival of Greek and Roman architecture, like humanism, had its
origin in Italy; and in the cities of the peninsula, under patronage of
wealthy princes and noble families, it attained its most general
acceptance. But, like humanism, it spread to other countries, which in
turn it deeply affected. The chronic wars, in which the petty Italian
states were engaged throughout the sixteenth century, were attended, as
we have seen, by perpetual foreign interference. But Italy, vanquished
in politics, became the victor in art. While her towns surrendered to
foreign armies, her architects and builders subdued Europe and brought
the Christian countries for a time under her artistic sway.

[Sidenote: In France]

Thus in France the revival was accelerated by the military campaigns of
Charles VIII, Louis XII, and Francis I, which led to the revelation of
the architectural triumphs in Italy, the result being the importation
of great numbers of Italian designers and craftsmen. Architecture after
the Greek or Roman manner at once became fashionable. Long, horizontal
lines appeared in many public buildings, of which the celebrated palace
of the Louvre, begun in the last year of the reign of Francis I (1546),
and to-day the home of one of the world's greatest art collections, is
a conspicuous example.

[Sidenote: In Other Countries]

In the second half of the sixteenth century, the new architecture
similarly entered Spain and received encouragement from Philip II.
About the same time it manifested itself in the Netherlands and in the
Germanies. In England, its appearance hardly took place in the
sixteenth century. it was not until 1619 that a famous architect, Inigo
Jones (1573-1651), designed and reared the classical banqueting house
in Whitehall, and not until the second half of the seventeenth century
did Sir Christopher Wren (1632-1723), by means of the majestic St.
Paul's cathedral in London, render the new architecture popular in

[Sidenote: Sculpture]

Sculpture is usually an attendant of architecture, and it is not
surprising, therefore, that transformation of the one should be
connected with change in the other. The new movement snowed itself in
Italian sculpture as early as the fourteenth century, owing to the
influence of the ancient monuments which still abounded throughout the
peninsula and to which the humanists attracted attention. In the
fifteenth century archaeological discoveries were made and a special
interest fostered by the Florentine family of the Medici, who not only
became enthusiastic collectors of ancient works of art but promoted the
study of the antique figure. Sculpture followed more and more the Greek
and Roman traditions in form and often in subject as well. The plastic
art of Italy in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries was strikingly
akin to that of Athens in the fifth or fourth centuries before Christ.

The first great apostle of the new sculpture was Lorenzo Ghiberti
(1378-1455), whose marvelous doors on the baptistery at Florence
elicited the comment of Michelangelo that they were "worthy of being
placed at the entrance of paradise." Slightly younger than Ghiberti was
Donatello (1383-1466), who, among other triumphs, fashioned the
realistic statue of St. Mark in Venice. Luca della Robbia (1400-1482),
with a classic purity of style and simplicity of expression, founded a
whole dynasty of sculptors in glazed terra-cotta. Elaborate tomb-
monuments, the construction of which started in the fifteenth century,
reached their highest magnificence in the gorgeous sixteenth-century
tomb of Giovanni Galeazzo Visconti, the founder of the princely family
of Visconti in Milan. Michelangelo himself was as famous for his
sculpture as for his painting or his architecture; the heroic head of
his David at Florence is a work of unrivaled dignity. As the style of
classic sculpture became very popular in the sixteenth century, the
subjects were increasingly borrowed from pagan literature. Monuments
were erected to illustrious men of ancient Rome, and Greek mythology
was once more carved in stone.

The extension of the new sculpture beyond Italy was even more rapid
than the spread of the new architecture. Henry VII invited Italian
sculptors to England; Louis XII patronized the great Leonardo da Vinci,
and Francis I brought him to France. The tomb of Ferdinand and Isabella
in Spain was fashioned in classic form. The new sculpture was famous in
Germany before Luther; in fact, it was to be found everywhere in
sixteenth-century Europe.

[Sidenote: Painting]

Painting accompanied sculpture. Prior to the sixteenth century, most of
the pictures were painted directly upon the plaster walls of churches
or of sumptuous dwellings and were called frescoes, although a few were
executed on wooden panels. In the sixteenth century, however, easel
paintings--that is, detached pictures on canvas, wood, or other
material--became common. The progress in painting was not so much an
imitation of classical models as was the case with sculpture and
architecture, for the reason that painting, being one of the most
perishable of the arts, had preserved few of its ancient Greek or Roman
examples. But the artists who were interested in architecture and
sculpture were likewise naturally interested in painting; and painting,
bound by fewer antique traditions, reached a higher degree of
perfection in the sixteenth century than did any of its allied arts.

Modern painting was born in Italy. In Italy it found its four great
masters--Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, and Titian. The
first two acquired as great a fame in architecture and in sculpture as
in painting; the last two were primarily painters.

Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519), a Florentine by birth and training, was
patronized in turn by the Sforza family of Milan, by the Medici of
Florence, and by the French royal line. His great paintings--the Holy
Supper and Madonna Lisa, usually called La Gioconda--carried to a high
degree the art of composition and the science of light and shade and
color. In fact, Leonardo was a scientific painter--he carefully studied
the laws of perspective and painstakingly carried them into practice.
He was also a remarkable sculptor, as is testified by his admirable
horses in relief. As an engineer, too, he built a canal in northern
Italy and constructed fortifications about Milan. He was a musician and
a natural philosopher as well. This many-sided man liked to toy with
mechanical devices. One day when Louis XII visited Milan, he was met by
a large mechanical lion that roared and then reared itself upon its
haunches, displaying upon its breast the coat-of-arms of France: it was
the work of Leonardo da Vinci. Leonardo influenced his age perhaps more
than any other artist. He wrote extensively. He gathered about himself
a large group of disciples. And in his last years spent in France, as a
pensioner of Francis I, he encouraged painting in that country as well
as in Italy.

Michelangelo (1475-1564), Florentine like Leonardo, was probably the
most wonderful of all these artists because of his triumphs in a vast
variety of endeavors. It might almost be said of him that "jack of all
trades, he was master of all." He was a painter of the first rank, an
incomparable sculptor, a great architect, an eminent engineer, a
charming poet, and a profound scholar in anatomy and physiology.
Dividing his time between Florence and Rome, he served the Medici
family and a succession of art-loving popes. With his other qualities
of genius he combined austerity in morals, uprightness in character, a
lively patriotism for his native city and people, and a proud
independence. To give any idea of his achievements is impossible in a
book of this size. His tomb of Julius II in Rome and his colossal
statue of David in Florence are examples of his sculpture; the
cathedral of St. Peter, which he practically completed, is his most
enduring monument; the mural decorations in the Sistine Chapel at Rome,
telling on a grandiose scale the Biblical story from Creation to the
Flood, are marvels of design; and his grand fresco of the Last Judgment
is probably the most famous single painting in the world.

[Sidenote: Raphael]

Younger than Michelangelo and living only about half as long, Raphael
(1483-1520), nevertheless, surpassed him in the harmonious composition
and linear beauty of his painting. For ineffable charm of grace, "the
divine" Raphael has always stood without a peer. Raphael lived the
better part of his life at Rome under the patronage of Julius II and
Leo X, and spent several years in decorating the papal palace of the
Vatican. Although he was, for a time, architect of St. Peter's
cathedral, and displayed some aptitude for sculpture and for the
scholarly study of archæeology, it is as the greatest of modern
painters that he is now regarded. Raphael lived fortunately, always in
favor, and rich, and bearing himself like a prince.

[Sidenote: Titian]

Titian (c. 1477-1576) was the typical representative of the Venetian
school of painting which acquired great distinction in bright coloring.
Official painter for the city of Venice and patronized both by the
Emperor Charles V and by Philip II of Spain, he secured considerable
wealth and fame. He was not a man of universal genius like Leonardo da
Vinci or Michelangelo; his one great and supreme endowment was that of
oil painting. In harmony, light, and color, his work has never been
equaled. Titian's portrait of Philip II was sent to England and proved
a potent auxiliary in the suit of the Spanish king for the hand of Mary
Tudor. His celebrated picture of the Council of Trent was executed
after the aged artist's visit to the council about 1555.

From Italy as a center, great painting became the heritage of all
Europe. Italian painters were brought to France by Louis XII and
Francis I, and French painters were subsidized to imitate them. Philip
II proved himself a liberal patron of painting throughout his

[Sidenote: Dürer]

In Germany, painting was developed by Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528), a
native of Nuremberg, who received a stimulus from Italian work and was
royally patronized by the Emperor Maximilian. The career of Dürer was
honored and fortunate: he was on terms of friendship with all the first
masters of his age; he even visited and painted Erasmus. But it is as
an etcher or engraver, rather than as a painter, that Dürer's
reputation was earned. His greatest engravings--such as the Knight and
Death, and St. Jerome in his Study--set a standard in a new art which
has never been reached by his successors. The first considerable
employment of engraving, one of the most useful of the arts,
synchronized with the invention of printing. Just as books were a means
of multiplying, cheapening, and disseminating ideas, so engravings on
copper or wood were the means of multiplying, cheapening, and
disseminating pictures which gave vividness to the ideas, or served in
place of books for those who could not read.

The impetus afforded by this extraordinary development of painting
continued to affect the sixteenth century and a greater part of the
seventeenth. The scene shifted, however, from Italy to the Spanish
possessions. And Spanish kings, the successors of Philip II, patronized
such men as Rubens (1577-1640) and Van Dyck (1599-1641) in the Belgian
Netherlands, or Velasquez (1590-1660) and Murillo (1617-1682) in Spain

[Sidenote: Rubens and Van Dyck]

If the work of Rubens displayed little of the earlier Italian grace and
refinement, it at any rate attained to distinction in the purely
fanciful pictures which he painted in bewildering numbers, many of
which, commissioned by Marie de' Medici and King Louis XIII of France,
are now to be seen in the Louvre galleries in Paris. And Van Dyck
raised portrait painting to unthought-of excellence: his portraits of
the English royal children and of King Charles I are world-famous.

[Sidenote: Velasquez]
[Sidenote: Murillo]

Within the last century, many connoisseurs of art have been led to
believe that Velasquez formerly has been much underrated and that he
deserves to rank with the foremost Italian masters. Certainly in all
his work there is a dignity, power, and charm, especially in that well-
known Maids of Honor, where a little Spanish princess is depicted
holding her court, surrounded by her ladies-in-waiting, her dwarfs and
her mastiff, while the artist himself stands at his easel. The last
feat of Velasquez was to superintend the elaborate decorations in honor
of the marriage of the Spanish Infanta with King Louis XIV of France.
Murillo, the youngest of all these great painters, did most of his work
for the Catholic Church and naturally dealt with ecclesiastical

A somewhat different type of painter is found in the Dutchman,
Rembrandt (1606-1669), who lived a stormy and unhappy life in the towns
of Leyden and Amsterdam. It must be remembered that Holland, while
following her national career of independence, commerce, and colonial
undertaking, had become stanchly Protestant. Neither the immoral
paganism of antiquity nor the medieval legends of Catholicism would
longer appeal to the Dutch people as fit subjects of art. Rembrandt,
prototype of a new school, therefore painted the actual life of the
people among whom he lived and the things which concerned them--lively
portraits of contemporary burgomasters, happy pictures of popular
amusements, stern scenes from the Old Testament. His Lesson in Anatomy
and his Night Watch in their somber settings, are wonderfully realistic
products of Rembrandt's mastery of the brush.

[Sidenote: Rembrandt]
[Sidenote: Music]

Thus painting, like architecture and sculpture, was perfected in
sixteenth-century Italy and speedily became the common property of
Christian Europe. Music, too, the most primitive and universal of the
arts, owes in its modern form very much to the sixteenth century.
During that period the barbarous and uncouth instruments of the middle
ages were reformed. The rebeck, to whose loud and harsh strains the
medieval rustic had danced, [Footnote: The rebeck probably had been
borrowed from the Mohammedans.] by the addition of a fourth string and
a few changes in form, became the sweet-toned violin, the most
important and expressive instrument of the modern orchestra. As
immediate forerunner of our present-day pianoforte, the harpsichord was
invented with a keyboard carried to four octaves and the chords of each
note doubled or quadrupled to obtain prolonged tones.

[Sidenote: Palestrina]

In the person of the papal organist and choir-master, Palestrina (1524-
1594), appeared the first master-composer. He is justly esteemed as the
father of modern religious music and for four hundred years the
Catholic Church has repeated his inspired accents. A pope of the
twentieth century declared his music to be still unrivaled and directed
its universal use. Palestrina directly influenced much of the Italian
music of the seventeenth century and the classical German productions
of the eighteenth.


[Sidenote: Latin and the Vernaculars]

Latin had been the learned language of the middle ages: it was used in
the Church, in the universities, and in polite society. If a lecturer
taught a class or an author wrote a book, Latin was usually employed.
In those very middle ages, however, the nations of western Europe were
developing spoken languages quite at variance with the classical,
scholarly tongue. These so-called vernacular languages were not often
written and remained a long time the exclusive means of expression of
the lower classes--they consequently not only differed from each other
but tended in each case to fall into a number of petty local dialects.
So long as they were not largely written, they could achieve no fixity,
and it was not until after the invention of printing that the national
languages produced extensive national literatures.

Just when printing was invented, the humanists--the foremost scholars
of Europe--were diligently engaged in strengthening the position of
Latin by encouraging the study of the pagan classics. Virgil, Cicero,
Caesar, Tacitus, and the comedies of Plautus and Terence were again
read by educated people for their substance and for their style.
Petrarch imitated the manner of Latin classics in his letters; Erasmus
wrote his great works in Latin. The revival of Greek, which was also
due to the humanists, added to the learning and to the literature of
the cultured folk, but Greek, even more than Latin, was hardly
understood or appreciated by the bulk of the people.

Then came the sixteenth century, with its artistic developments, its
national rivalries, its far-away discoveries, its theological debates,
and its social and religious unrest. The common people, especially the
commercial middle class, clamored to understand: and the result was the
appearance of national literatures on a large scale. Alongside of
Latin, which was henceforth restricted to the liturgy of the Roman
Catholic Church and to particularly learned treatises, there now
emerged truly literary works in Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese,
German, English, etc. The printing of these works at once stereotyped
their respective languages, so that since the sixteenth century the
written forms of the vernacular tongues have been subject to relatively
minor change. Speaking generally, the sixteenth century witnessed the
fixing of our best known modern languages.

To review all the leading writers who employed the various vernaculars
in the sixteenth century would encroach too much upon the province of
professed histories of comparative literature, but a few references to
certain figures that tower head and shoulders above all others in their
respective countries may serve to call vividly to mind the importance
of the period for national literatures.

[Sidenote: Italian Literature]

At the very outset, one important exception must be made in favor of
Italy, whose poetry and prose had already been immortalized by Dante,
Petrarch, and Boccaccio a hundred years and more before the opening of
the sixteenth century. But that country, as we have already repeatedly
observed in many kinds of art, anticipated all others in modern times.
Italy, almost the last European land to be politically unified, was the
first to develop a great national literature.

But Italian literature was broadened and popularized by several
influential writers in the sixteenth century, among whom stand
preeminent the Florentine diplomat Machiavelli (1469-1527), whose
_Prince_ really founded the modern science of politics, and who
taught the dangerous doctrine that a ruler, bent on exercising a
benevolent despotism, is justified in employing any means to achieve
his purpose; Ariosto (1474-1533), whose great poem _Orlando
Furioso_ displayed a powerful imagination no less than a rare and
cultivated taste; and the unhappy mad Tasso (1544-1595), who in
_Jerusalem Delivered_ produced a bulky epic poem, adapting the
manner of Virgil to a crusading subject, and in Aminta gave to his
countrymen a delightful pastoral drama, the exquisite lyrics of which
were long sung in opera.

[Sidenote: French literature]

French literature, like other French art, was encouraged by Francis I.
He set up printing presses, established the College of France, and
pensioned native writers. The most famous French author of the time was
the sarcastic and clever Rabelais (c. 1490-1553), whose memorable
_Gargantua_ comprised a series of daring fanciful tales, told with
humor of a rather vulgar sort. The language of _Gargantua_ is
somewhat archaic--perhaps the French version of Calvin's
_Institutes_ would be a better example of the French of the
sixteenth century. But France, thus seriously beginning her national
literature, was to wait for its supremacy until the seventeenth
century--until the institution of the French Academy and the age of
Louis XIV.

[Sidenote: Spanish Literature]

Spanish literature flourished in the golden era when Velasquez and
Murillo were painting their masterpieces. The immortal _Don
Quixote_, which was published in 1604, entitles its author,
Cervantes (1547-1616), to rank with the greatest writers of all time.
Lope de Vega (1562-1635), far-famed poet, virtually founded the Spanish
theater and is said to have composed eighteen hundred dramatic pieces.
Calderon (1600-1681), although less effective in his numerous dramas,
wrote allegorical poems of unequaled merit. The printing of large cheap
editions of many of these works made Spanish literature immediately

[Sidenote: Portuguese Literature]

How closely the new vernacular literatures reflected significant
elements in the national life is particularly observable in the case of
Portugal. It was of the wonderful exploring voyages of Vasco da Gama
that Camoens (1524-1580), prince of Portuguese poets, sang his stirring

[Sidenote: German Literature]

In the Germanies, the extraordinary influence of humanism at first
militated against the development of literature in the vernacular, but
the Protestant reformer, Martin Luther, in his desire to reach the ears
of the common people, turned from Latin to German. Luther's translation
of the Bible constitutes the greatest monument in the rise of modern

To speak of what our own English language and literature owe to the
sixteenth century seems superfluous. The popular writings of Chaucer in
the fourteenth century were historically important, but the presence of
very many archaic words makes them now difficult to read. But in
England, from the appearance in 1551 of the English version of Sir
Thomas More's _Utopia_, [Footnote: Originally published in Latin
in 1516.] a representation of an ideal state, to the publication of
Milton's grandiose epic, _Paradise Lost_, in 1667, there was a
continuity of great literature. There were Cranmer's Book of Common
Prayer and the King James Version of the Bible; Edmund Spenser's
graceful _Faerie Queene_; [Footnote: For its scenery and mechanism, the
Orlando Furioso of Ariosto furnished the framework; and it similarly
shows the influence of Tasso.] the supreme Shakespeare; Ben Jonson and
Marlowe; Francis Bacon and Richard Hooker; Thomas Hobbes and Jeremy
Taylor; and the somber Milton himself.


[Sidenote: Two-fold Development of Culture, Science and Art]

Human civilization, or culture, always depends upon progress in two
directions--the reason, and the feelings or emotions. Art is the
expression of the latter, and science of the former. Every great period
in the world's history, therefore, is marked by a high appreciation of
aesthetics and an advance in knowledge. To this general rule, the
sixteenth century was no exception, for it was distinguished not only
by a wonderful development of architecture, sculpture, painting,
engraving, music, and literature,--whether Roman, Greek, or
vernacular,--but it is the most obvious starting point of our modern
ideas of natural and experimental science.

Nowadays, we believe that science is at once the legitimate means and
the proper goal of the progress of the race, and we fill our school
curricula with scientific studies. But this spirit is essentially
modern: it owes its chief stimulus to important achievements in the
sixteenth century and the first half of the seventeenth.

[Sidenote: Characteristics of the Sixteenth Century]

Five elements contributed to impress the period that we are now
reviewing with a scientific character. In the first place, the
humanists encouraged a critical spirit in comparing and contrasting
ancient manuscripts and in investigating the history of the distant
past; and their discovery and application of pagan writings served to
bring clearly and abruptly before the educated people of the sixteenth
century all that the Greeks and Romans had done in astronomy, physics,
mathematics, and medicine, as well as in philosophy, art, and
literature. Secondly, the invention of printing itself was a scientific
feat, and its extended use enabled scientists, no less than artists,
immediately to acquaint the whole civilized world with their ideas and

Thirdly, the marvelous maritime discoveries of new routes to India and
of a new world, which revolutionized European commerce, added much to
geographical knowledge and led to the construction of scientific maps
of the earth's surface. Fourthly, the painstaking study of a small
group of scholars afforded us our first glimpse of the real character
of the vast universe about our own globe--the scientific basis of
modern astronomy. Lastly, two profound thinkers, early in the
seventeenth century,--Francis Bacon and Descartes,--pointed out new
ways of using the reason--the method of modern science.

In an earlier chapter, an account has been given of the maritime
discoveries of the sixteenth century and their immediate results in
broadening intellectual interests. In this chapter, some attention
already has been devoted to the rise of humanism and likewise to the
invention of printing. It remains, therefore, to say a few words about
the changes in astronomy and in scientific method that characterized
the beginning of modern times.

[Side Note: Astronomy]

In the year 1500 the average European knew something about the universe
of sun, moon, planets, and stars, but it was scarcely more than the
ancient Greeks had known, and its chief use was to foretell the future.
This practical aspect of astronomy was a curious ancient misconception,
which now passes under the name of astrology. It was popularly believed
prior to the sixteenth century that every heavenly body exerted a
direct and arbitrary influence upon human character and events,
[Footnote: Disease was attributed to planetary influence. This
connection between medicine and astrology survives in the sign of
Jupiter 4, which still heads medicinal prescriptions.] and that by
casting "horoscopes," showing just how the stars appeared at the birth
of any person, the subsequent career of such an one might be foreseen.
Many silly notions and superstitions grew up about astrology, yet the
practice persisted. Charles V and Francis I, great rivals in war, vied
with each other in securing the services of most eminent astrologers,
and Catherine de' Medici never tired of reading horoscopes.

[Sidenote: "The Ptolemaic System"]

Throughout the middle ages the foremost scholars had continued to
cherish the astronomical knowledge of the Greeks, which had been
conveniently collected and systematized by a celebrated mathematician
and scholar living in Egypt in the second century of the Christian era
--Ptolemy by name. Among other theories and ideas, Ptolemy taught that
the earth is the center of the universe, that revolving about it are
the moon, Mercury, Venus, the sun, the other planets, and the fixed
stars, and that the entire machine is turned with incredible velocity
completely around every twenty-four hours. This so-called Ptolemaic
system of astronomy fitted in very nicely with the language of the
Bible and with the popular prejudice that the earth remains stationary
while the heavenly bodies daily rise and set. It was natural that for
many centuries the Christians should accept the views of Ptolemy as
almost divinely inspired.

[Sidenote: "The Copernican System"]

However, a contradictory theory of the solar system was propounded and
upheld in the sixteenth century, quite supplanting the Ptolemaic theory
in the course of the seventeenth. The new system is called Copernican
after its first modern exponent--and its general acceptance went far to
annihilate astrology and to place astronomy upon a rational basis.

Copernicus [the Latin form of his real name, Koppernigk (1473-1543)]
was a native of Poland, who divided his time between official work for
the Catholic Church and private researches in astronomy. It was during
a ten-year sojourn in Italy (1496-1505), studying canon law and
medicine, and familiarizing himself, through humanistic teachers, with
ancient Greek astronomers, that Copernicus was led seriously to
question the Ptolemaic system and to cast about in search of a truthful
substitute. Thenceforth for many years he studied and reflected, but it
was not until the year of his death (1543) that his results were
published to the world. His book--_On the Revolutions of the
Celestial Bodies_, dedicated to Pope Paul III--offered the theory
that the earth is not the center of the universe but simply one of a
number of planets which revolve about the sun. The earth seemed much
less important in the Copernican universe than in the Ptolemaic.

The Copernican thesis was supported and developed by two distinguished
astronomers at the beginning of the next century--Kepler (1571-1630)
and Galileo (1564-1642), one a German, the other an Italian. Kepler
taught astronomy for a number of years at Gratz and subsequently made
his home in Prague, where he acquired a remarkable collection of
instruments [Footnote: From Tycho Brahe, whose assistant he was in
1600-1601.] that enabled him to conduct numerous interesting
experiments. While he entertained many fantastic and mystical theories
of the "harmony of the spheres" and was not above casting horoscopes
for the emperor and for Wallenstein, that soldier of fortune,
[Footnote: See below, pp. 223, 226.] he nevertheless established
several of the fundamental laws of modern astronomy, such as those
governing the form and magnitude of the planetary orbits. It was Kepler
who made clear that the planets revolve about the sun in elliptical
rather than in strictly circular paths.

Galileo popularized the Copernican theory. [Footnote: Another
"popularizer" was Giordano Bruno (c. 1548-1600).] His charming lectures
in the university of Padua, where he taught from 1592 to 1610, were so
largely attended that a hall seating 2000 had to be provided. In 1609
he perfected a telescope, which, although hardly more powerful than a
present-day opera glass, showed unmistakably that the sun was turning
on its axis, that Jupiter was attended by revolving moons, and that the
essential truth of the Copernican system was established. Unfortunately
for Galileo, his enthusiastic desire to convert the pope immediately to
his own ideas got him into trouble with the Roman Curia and brought
upon him a prohibition from further writing. Galileo submitted like a
loyal Catholic to the papal decree, but had he lived another hundred
years, he would have rejoiced that almost all men of learning--popes
included--had come to accept his own conclusions. Thus modern astronomy
was suggested by Copernicus, developed by Kepler, and popularized by

The acquisition of sound knowledge in astronomy and likewise in every
other science rests primarily upon the observation of natural facts or
phenomena and then upon deducing rational conclusions from such
observation. Yet this seemingly simple rule had not been continuously
and effectively applied in any period of history prior to the sixteenth
century. The scientific method of most of the medieval as well as of
the ancient scholars was essentially that of Aristotle. [Footnote:
Exception to this sweeping generalization must be made in favor of
several medieval scientists and philosophers, including--Roger Bacon, a
Franciscan friar of the thirteenth century.] This so-called deductive
method of Aristotle assumed as a starting-point some general of
principle as a premise or hypothesis and thence proceeded, by logical
reasoning, to deduce concrete applications or consequences. It had been
extremely valuable in stimulating the logical faculties and in showing
men how to draw accurate conclusions, but it had shown a woeful
inability to devise new general principles. It evolved an elaborate
theology and a remarkable philosophy, but natural experimental science
progressed relatively little until the deductive method of Aristotle
was supplemented by the inductive method of Francis Bacon.

[Sidenote: Modern Method of Science: Introduction. Francis Bacon]

Aristotle was partially discredited by radical humanists, who made fun
of the medieval scholars who had taken him most seriously, and by the
Protestant reformers, who assailed the Catholic theology which had been
carefully constructed by Aristotelian deduction. But it was reserved
for Francis Bacon, known as Lord Bacon (1561-1626), to point out all
the shortcomings of the ancient method and to propose a practicable
supplement. A famous lawyer, lord chancellor of England under James I,
a born scientist, a brilliant essayist, he wrote several philosophical
works of first-rate importance, of which the _Advancement of
Learning_ (1604) and the _Novum Organum_ (1620) are the most
famous. It is in these works that he summed up the faults which the
widening of knowledge in his own day was disclosing in ancient and
medieval thought and set forth the necessity of slow laborious
observation of facts as antecedent to the assumption of any general

[Sidenote: Descartes]

What of scientific method occurred to Lord Bacon appealed even more to
the intellectual genius of the Frenchman Descartes (1596-1660). A
curious combination of sincere practicing Catholic and of original
daring rationalist was this man, traveling all about Europe, serving as
a soldier in the Netherlands, in Bavaria, in Hungary, living in
Holland, dying in Sweden, with a mind as restless as his body. Now
interested in mathematics, now in philosophy, presently absorbed in
physics or in the proof of man's existence, throughout his whole career
he held fast to the faith that science depends not upon the authority
of books but upon the observation of facts. "Here are my books," he
told a visitor, as he pointed to a basket of rabbits that he was about
to dissect. The _Discourse on Method_ (1637) and the _Principles
of Philosophy_ (1644), taken in conjunction with Bacon's work,
ushered in a new scientific era, to some later phases of which we shall
have occasion to refer in subsequent chapters.


THE RENAISSANCE. GENERAL. _Cambridge Modern History_, Vol. I (1902),
ch. xvi, xvii; _Histoire générale_, Vol. IV, ch. vii, viii, Vol. V, ch.
x, xi; E. M. Hulme, _Renaissance and Reformation_, 2d ed. (1915), ch.
v-vii, xix, xxix, xxx. More detailed accounts: Jakob Burckhardt, _The
Civilization of the Period of the Renaissance in Italy_, trans. by S.
G. C. Middlemore, 2 vols. (1878), 1 vol. ed. (1898), scholarly and
profound; J. A. Symonds, _Renaissance in Italy_, 5 parts in 7 vols.
(1897-1898), interesting and suggestive but less reliable than
Burckhardt; Ludwig Geiger, _Renaissance und Humanismus in Italien und
Deutschland_ (1882), in the great Oncken Series; F. X. Kraus,
_Geschichte der christlichen Kunst_, 2 vols. in 4 (1896-1908), a
monumental work of great interest and importance, by a German Catholic.

HUMANISM. The best description of the rise and spread of humanism is J.
E. Sandys, _A History of Classical Scholarship_, Vol. II (1908). For
the spirit of early humanism see H. C. Hollway-Calthrop, _Petrarch: his
Life and Times_ (1907); J. H. Robinson and H. W. Rolfe, _Petrarch, the
First Modern Scholar and Man of Letters_, 2d ed. (1914), a selection
from Petrarch's letters to Boccaccio and other contemporaries,
translated into English, with a valuable introduction; Pierre de
Nolhac, _Pétrarque et l'humanisme_, 2d ed., 2 vols. in 1 (1907). Of the
antecedents of humanism a convenient summary is presented by Louise
Loomis, _Mediæval Hellenism_ (1906). A popular biography of Erasmus is
that of Ephraim Emerton, _Desiderius Erasmus_ (1899); the Latin
_Letters of Erasmus_ are now (1916) in course of publication by P. S.
Allen; F. M. Nichols, _The Epistles of Erasmus_, 2 vols. (1901-1906),
an excellent translation of letters written prior to 1517; Erasmus's
_Praise of Folly_, in English translation, is obtainable in many
editions. D. F. Strauss, _Ulrich von Hutten, his Life and Times_,
trans. by Mrs. G. Sturge (1874), gives a good account of the whole
humanistic movement and treats Hutten very sympathetically; _The
Letters of Obscure Men_, to which Hutten contributed, were published,
with English translation, by F. G. Stokes in 1909. An excellent edition
of _The Utopia_ of Sir Thomas More, the famous English humanist, is
that of George Sampson (1910), containing also an English translation
and the charming contemporary _Biography_ by More's son-in-law, William
Roper. The standard summary of the work of the humanists is the German
writing of Georg Voigt, _Die Wiederbelebung des classischen
Alterthums_, 3d ed., 2 vols. (1893). Interesting extracts from the
writings of a considerable variety of humanists are translated by
Merrick Whitcomb in his _Literary Source Books_ of the Renaissance in
Germany and in Italy (1898-1899).

INVENTION OF PRINTING. T. L. De Vinne, _Invention of Printing_, 2d
ed. (1878), and, by the same author, _Notable Printers of Italy
during the Fifteenth Century_ (1910), two valuable works by an
eminent authority on the subject; G. H. Putnam, _Books and their
Makers during the Middle Ages_, 2 vols. (1896-1897), a useful
contribution of another experienced publisher; Johannes Janssen,
_History of the German People_, Vol. I, Book I, ch. i. There is an
interesting essay on "Publication before Printing" by R. K. Root in the
_Publications of the Modern Language Association_, Vol. XXVIII
(1913), pp. 417-431.

NATIONAL LITERATURES. Among the many extended bibliographies of
national literatures the student certainly should be familiar with the
_Cambridge History of English Literature_, ed. by A. W. Ward and
A. R. Waller, 12 vols. (1907-1916); and with G. Lanson, _Manuel
bibliographique de la littérature française moderne_, 1500-1900, 4
vols. (1909-1913). See also, as suggestive references, Pasquale
Villari, _The Life and Times of Machiavelli_, 2 vols. in i (1898);
A. A. Tilley, _The Literature of the French Renaissance_, 2 vols.
(1904); George Saintsbury, _A History of Elizabethan Literature_
(1887); and Sir Sidney Lee, _Life of Shakespeare_, new rev. ed.

ART IN THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY. Architecture: A. D. F. Hamlin, _A
Textbook of the History of Architecture_, 5th ed. (1902), a brief
general survey; _A History of Architecture_, Vols. I, II by Russell
Sturgis (1906), III, IV by A. L. Frothingham (1915); Banister Fletcher,
_A History of Architecture_, 5th ed. (1905); James Fergusson, _History
of Architecture in All Countries_, 3d rev. ed., 5 vols. (1891-1899).
Sculpture: Allan Marquand and A. L. Frothingham, _A Text-book of the
History of Sculpture_ (1896); Wilhelm von Lubke, _History of
Sculpture_, Eng. trans., 2 vols. (1872). Painting: J. C. Van Dyke, _A
Text-book of the History of Painting_, new rev. ed. (1915); Alfred von
Woltmann and Karl Woermann, _History of Painting_, Eng. trans., 2 vols.
(1894). Music: W. S. Pratt, _The History of Music_ (1907). See also the
_Lives of Seventy of the Most Eminent Painters, Sculptors, and
Architects_ by Giorgio Vasari (1512-1574), the contemporary and friend
of Michelangelo, trans. by Mrs. Foster in the Bohn Library; Osvald
Siren, _Leonardo da Vinci: the Artist and the Man_ (1915); and Romain
Rolland, _Michelangelo_ (1915).

History_, Vol. V (1908), ch. xxiii, Vol. IV (1906), ch. xxvii,
scholarly accounts of Galileo, Bacon, Descartes, and their
contemporaries. A veritable storehouse of scientific facts is H. S. and
E. H. Williams, _A History of Science_, 10 vols. (1904-1910).
Specifically, see Arthur Berry, _Short History of Astronomy_ (1899);
Karl von Gebler, _Galileo Galilei and the Roman Curia_, Eng. trans. by
Mrs. George Sturge (1879); B. L. Conway, _The Condemnation of Galileo_
(1913); and Galileo, _Dialogues Concerning Two New Sciences_, Eng.
trans. by Crew and Salvio (1914). _The Philosophical Works of Francis
Bacon_, ed. by J. M. Robertson (1905), is a convenient edition. On the
important thinkers from the time of Machiavelli to the middle of the
eighteenth century, see Harald Hoffding, _A History of Modern
Philosophy_, Vol. I (1900); W. A. Dunning, _A History of Political
Theories from Luther to Montesquieu_ (1905); Paul Janet, _Histoire de
la science politique dans ses rapports avec la morale_, 3d ed., Vol. II



In the seventeenth century and in the greater part of the eighteenth,
public attention was directed chiefly toward dynastic and colonial
rivalries. In the European group of national states, France was the
most important. Politically the French evolved a form of absolutist
divine-right monarchy, which became the pattern of all European
monarchies, that of England alone excepted. In international affairs
the reigning family of France--the Bourbon dynasty after a long
struggle succeeded in humiliating the rulers of Spain and of Austria--
the Habsburg dynasty. The hegemony which, in the sixteenth century,
Spain had exercised in the newly established state-system of Europe was
now supplanted by that of France. Intellectually, too, Italian
leadership yielded to French, until France set the fashion alike in
manners, morals, and art. Only in the sphere of commerce and trade and
exploitation of lands beyond the seas was French supremacy questioned,
and there not by declining Portugal or Spain but by the vigorous
English nation. France, victorious in her struggle for dynastic
aggrandizement on the continent of Europe, was destined to suffer
defeat in her efforts to secure colonies in Asia and America.

This period of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries was marked
likewise by the constant decay of old political and social institutions
in Italy and in Germany, by the gradual decline of the might and
prestige of the Ottoman Turks, and by the extinction of the ancient
kingdom of Poland. In their place appeared as great world powers the
northern monarchies of Prussia and Russia, whose royal lines--
Hohenzollerns and Romanovs--were to vie in ambition and prowess, before
the close of the period, with Habsburgs and Bourbons.

Socially, the influence of nobles and clergy steadily declined. As
steadily arose the numbers, the ability, and the importance of the
traders and commercial magnates, the moneyed people, all those who were
identified with the new wealth that the Commercial Revolution was
creating, the lawyers, the doctors, the professors, the merchants,--the
so-called middle class, the _bourgeoisie_, who gradually grew
discontented with the restrictive institutions of their time. Within
the _bourgeoisie_ was the seed of revolution: they would one day in
their own interests overturn monarchy, nobility, the Church, the whole
social fabric. That was to be the death-knell of the old regime--the
annunciation of the nineteenth century.


AND HABSBURGS, 1589-1661


For the first time in many years France in 1598 was at peace. The Edict
of Nantes, which in that year accorded qualified religious toleration
to the Huguenots, removed the most serious danger to internal order,
and the treaty of Vervins, concluded in the same year with the king of
Spain, put an end to a long and exhausting foreign war. Henry IV was
now free to undertake the internal reformation of his country.

Sorry, indeed, was the plight of France at the close of the sixteenth
century. Protracted civil and foreign wars had produced their
inevitable consequences. The state was nearly bankrupt. Country
districts lay largely uncultivated. Towns were burned or abandoned.
Roads were rough and neglected, and bridges in ruins. Many of the
discharged soldiers turned highwaymen, pillaged farmhouses, and robbed
travelers. Trade was at a standstill and the artisans of the cities
were out of work. During the wars, moreover, great noblemen had taken
many rights into their own hands and had acquired a habit of not
obeying the king. The French crown seemed to be in danger of losing
what power it had gained in the fifteenth century.

That the seventeenth century was to witness not a diminution but a
pronounced increase of royal power, was due to the character of the
French king at this critical juncture. Henry IV (1589-1610) was strong
and vivacious. With his high forehead, sparkling eyes, smiling mouth,
and his neatly pointed beard (_Henri quatre_), he was
prepossessing in looks, while his affability, simplicity, and constant
expression of interest in the welfare of his subjects earned him the
appellation of "Good King Henry." His closest companions knew that he
was selfish and avaricious, but that his quick decisions were likely to
be good and certain to be put in force. Above all, Henry had soldierly
qualities and would brook no disloyalty or disobedience.

[Sidenote: Sully]

Throughout his reign, Henry IV was well served by his chief minister,
the duke of Sully, [Footnote: 1560-1641.] an able, loyal, upright
Huguenot, though avaricious like the king and subject to furious fits
of jealousy and temper. Appointed to the general oversight of financial
affairs, Sully made a tour of inspection throughout the country and
completely reformed the royal finances. He forbade provincial governors
to raise money on their own authority, removed many abuses of tax-
collecting, and by an honest, rigorous administration was able between
1600 and 1610 to save an average of a million livres a year. The king
zealously upheld Sully's policy of retrenchment: he reduced the
subsidies to artists and the grants to favorites, and retained only a
small part of his army, sufficient to overawe rebellious nobles and to
restore order and security throughout the realm. To promote and
preserve universal peace, he even proposed the formation of a World
Confederation--his so-called "Grand Design"--which, however, came to
naught through the mutual jealousies and rival ambitions of the various
European sovereigns. It proved to be much too early to talk
convincingly of general pacifism and disarmament.

[Sidenote: Agricultural Development]

While domestic peace was being established and provision was being made
for immediate financial contingencies, Henry IV and his great minister
were both laboring to increase the resources of their country and
thereby to promote the prosperity and contentment of the people. Sully
believed that the true wealth of the nation lay in farming pursuits,
and, therefore, agriculture should be encouraged even, if necessary, to
the neglect of trade and industry. While the king allowed Sully to
develop the farming interests, he himself encouraged the new commercial

In order to promote agriculture, Sully urged the abolition of interior
customs lines and the free circulation of grain, subsidized stock
raising, forbade the destruction of the forests, drained swamps,
rebuilt the roads and bridges, and planned a vast system of canals.

On his side, Henry IV was contributing to the wealth of the middle
class. It was he who introduced silkworms and the mulberry trees, on
which they feed, thereby giving an impetus to the industry which is now
one of the most important in France. The beginnings of the industrial
importance of Paris, Lyons, and Marseilles date from the reign of Henry

The king likewise encouraged commerce. A French merchant marine was
built up by means of royal bounties. A navy was started. Little by
little the French began to compete for trade on the high seas at first
with the Dutch, and subsequently with the English. French trading posts
were established in India; and Champlain was dispatched to the New
World to lay the foundations of a French empire in America. It was
fortunate for France that she had two men like Henry IV and Sully, each
supplementing the work of the other.

The assassination of Henry IV by a crazed fanatic in 1610 threatened
for a time to nullify the effects of his labors, for supreme power
passed to his widow, Marie de' Medici, an ambitious but incompetent
woman, who dismissed Sully and undertook to act as regent for her nine-
year-old son, Louis XIII. The queen-regent was surrounded by worthless
favorites and was hated by the Huguenots, who feared her rigid
Catholicism, and by the nobles, Catholic and Huguenot alike, who were
determined to maintain their privileges and power.

The hard savings of Henry IV were quickly exhausted, and France once
more faced a financial crisis. In this emergency the Estates-General
was again convened (1614). Since the accession of Louis XI (1461), the
French monarchs with their absolutist tendencies had endeavored to
remove this ancient check upon their authority: they had convoked it
only in times of public confusion or economic necessity. Had the
Estates-General really been an effective body in 1614, it might have
taken a position similar to that of the seventeenth-century Parliament
in England and established constitutional government in France, but its
organization and personnel militated against such heroic action. The
three estates--clergy, nobles, and commoners (bourgeois)--sat
separately in as many chambers; the clergy and nobles would neither tax
themselves nor cooperate with the Third Estate; the commoners, many of
whom were Huguenots, were disliked by the court, despised by the First
and Second Estates, and quite out of sympathy with the peasants, the
bulk of the French nation. It is not surprising, under the
circumstances, that the session of 1614 lasted but three weeks and
ended as a farce: the queen-regent locked up the halls and sent the
representatives home--she needed the room for a dance, she said. It was
not until the momentous year of 1789--after a lapse of 175 years--that
the Estates-General again assembled.

After the fiasco of 1614, affairs went from bad to worse. Nobles and
Huguenots contended between themselves, and both against the court
favorites. As many as five distinct uprisings occurred. Marie de'
Medici was forced to relinquish the government, but Louis XIII, on
reaching maturity, gave evidence of little executive ability. The king
was far more interested in music and hunting than in business of state.
No improvement appeared until Cardinal Richelieu assumed the guidance
of affairs of state in 1624. Henceforth, the royal power was exercised
not so much by Louis XIII as by his great minister.

[Sidenote: Cardinal Richelieu]

Born of a noble family of Poitou, Armand de Richelieu (1585-1642), at
the age of twenty-one had been appointed bishop of the small diocese of
Luçon. His eloquence and ability as spokesman for the clergy in the
fatuous Estates-General of 1614 attracted the notice of Marie de'
Medici, who invited him to court, gave him a seat in the royal council,
and secured his nomination as a cardinal of the Roman Church. From 1624
until his death in 1642, Richelieu was the most important man in

With undoubted loyalty and imperious will, with the most delicate
diplomacy and all the blandishments of subtle court intrigue, sometimes
with sternest and most merciless cruelty, Richelieu maintained his
influence over the king and proceeded to destroy the enemies of the
French crown.

[Sidenote: Richelieu's Policies]

Richelieu's policies were quite simple: (1) To make the royal power
supreme in France; (2) to make France predominant in Europe. The first
involved the removal of checks upon royal authority and the triumph of
absolutism; the second meant a vigorous foreign policy, leading to the
humiliation of the rival Habsburgs. In both these policies Richelieu
was following the general traditions of the preceding century,
essentially those of Henry IV, but to an exaggerated extent and with
unparalleled success. Postponing consideration of general European
affairs, let us first see what the great cardinal accomplished in

[Sidenote: Disappearance of Representative Government]

First of all, Richelieu disregarded the Estates-General. He was
convinced of its futility and unhesitatingly declined to consult it.
Gradually the idea became current that the Estates-General was an out-
worn, medieval institution, totally unfit for modern purposes, and that
official business could best--and therefore properly--be conducted, not
by the representatives of the chief social classes in the nation, but
by personal appointees of the king. Thus the royal council became the
supreme lawmaking and administrative body in the country.

Local estates, or parliaments, continued to exist in certain of the
most recently acquired provinces of France, such as Brittany, Provence,
Burgundy, and Languedoc, but they had little influence except in
apportioning taxes: Richelieu tampered with their privileges and vetoed
many of their acts.

[Sidenote: The Royal Army]

The royal prerogative extended not only to matters of taxation and
legislation, including the right to levy taxes and to make expenditures
for any purpose without public accounting, but it was preserved and
enforced by means of a large standing army, which received its pay and
its orders exclusively from the crown. To the royal might, as well as
to its right, Richelieu contributed. He energetically aided Louis XIII
in organizing and equipping what proved to be the best army in Europe.

Two factions in the state aroused the cardinal's ire--one the
Huguenots, and the other the nobles--for both threatened the autocracy
which he was bent upon erecting. Both factions suffered defeat and
humiliation at his hands.

Richelieu, though a cardinal of the Roman Church, was more politician
and statesman than ecclesiastic; though living in an age of religious
fanaticism, he was by no means a bigot. As we shall presently see, this
Catholic cardinal actually gave military support to Protestants in
Germany--for political purposes; it was similarly for political
purposes that he attacked the Protestants in France.

As has already been pointed out, French Protestantism meant an
influential political party as well as a religion. Since Henry IV had
issued the Edict of Nantes, the Huguenots had had their own assemblies,
officers, judges, and even certain fortified towns, all of which
interfered with the sovereign authority and impaired that uniformity
which thoughtful royalists believed to be the very cornerstone of
absolutism. Richelieu had no desire to deprive the Huguenots of
religious freedom, but he was resolved that in political matters they
should obey the king. Consequently, when they revolted in 1625, he
determined to crush them. In spite of the considerable aid which
England endeavored to give them, the Huguenots were entirely subdued.
Richelieu's long siege of La Rochelle, lasting nearly fifteen months,
showed his forceful resolution. When the whole country had submitted,
the Edict of Alais was published (1629), leaving to the Protestants
freedom of conscience and of worship but depriving them of their
fortifications and forbidding them to hold assemblies. Public office
was still open to them and their representatives kept their judicial
posts. "The honest Huguenot retained all that he would have been
willing to protect with his life, while the factious and turbulent
Huguenot was deprived of the means of embarrassing the government."

The repression of the nobles was a similar statesmanlike achievement,
and one made in the face of redoubtable opposition. It had long been
customary to name noblemen as governors of the various provinces, but
the governors had gradually become masters instead of administrators:
they commanded detachments of the army; they claimed allegiance of the
garrisons in their towns; they repeatedly and openly defied the royal
will. The country, moreover, was sprinkled with noblemen's castles or
_châteaux_, protected by fortifications and armed retainers,
standing menaces to the prompt execution of the king's orders. Finally,
the noblemen at court, jealous of the cardinal's advancement and
spurred on by the intrigues of the disaffected Marie de' Medici or of
the king's own brother, hampered the minister at every turn. Of such
intolerable conditions, Richelieu determined to be quit.

Into the ranks of noble courtiers, Richelieu struck terror. By means of
spies and trickery, he ferreted out conspiracies and arbitrarily put
their leaders to death. Every attempt at rebellion was mercilessly
punished, no matter how exalted in rank the rebel might be. Richelieu
was never moved by entreaties or threats--he was as inexorable as fate

[Sidenote: Demolition of Private Fortifications ]

The cardinal did not confine his attention to noblemen at court. As
early as 1626 he published an edict ordering the immediate demolition
of all fortified castles not needed for defense against foreign
invasion. In carrying this edict into force, Richelieu found warm
supporters in peasantry and townsfolk who had long suffered from the
exactions and depredations of their noble but warlike neighbors. The
ruins of many a _chateau_ throughout modern France bear eloquent
witness to the cardinal's activity.

[Sidenote: Centralization of Administration]
[Sidenote: The Intendants]

Another enduring monument to Richelieu was the centralization of French
administration. The great minister was tired of the proud, independent
bearing of the noble governors. Without getting rid of them altogether,
he checked these proud officials by transferring most of their powers
to a new kind of royal officer, the intendant. Appointed by the crown
usually from among the intelligent, loyal middle class, each intendant
had charge of a certain district, supervising therein the assessment
and collection of royal taxes, the organization of local police or
militia, the enforcement of order, and the conduct of courts. These
intendants, with their wide powers of taxation, police, and justice,
were later dubbed, from their approximate number, the "thirty tyrants"
of France. But they owed their positions solely to the favor of the
crown; they were drawn from a class whose economic interests were long
and well served by the royal power; and their loyalty to the king,
therefore, could be depended upon. The intendants constantly made
reports to, and received orders from, the central government at Paris.
They were so many eyes, all over the kingdom, for an ever-watchful
Richelieu. And in measure as the power of the _bourgeois_
intendants increased, that of the noble governors diminished, until, by
the eighteenth century, the offices of the latter had become largely
honorary though still richly remunerative. To keep the nobles amused
and in money, and thereby out of mischief and politics, became, from
Richelieu's time, a maxim of the royal policy in France.

[Side Note: Richelieu's Significance]

Such, in brief, was the work of this grim figure that moved across the
stage at a critical period in French history. Richelieu, more than any
other man, was responsible for the assurance of absolutism in his
country at the very time when England, by means of revolution and
bloodshed, was establishing parliamentary government; and, as we shall
soon see, his foreign policy covered France with European glory and

In person, Richelieu was frail and sickly, yet when clothed in his
cardinal's red robes he appeared distinguished and commanding. His
pale, drawn face displayed a firm determination and an inflexible will.
Unscrupulous, exacting, and without pity, he preserved to the end a
proud faith in his moral strength and in his loyalty to country and to

Richelieu died in 1642, and the very next year the monarch whom he had
served so gloriously followed him to the grave, leaving the crown to a
boy of five years--Louis XIV.

[Side Note: Minority of Louis XIV]
[Sidenote: Cardinal Mazarin]

The minority of Louis XIV might have been disastrous to France and to
the royal power, had not the strong policies of Richelieu been
exemplified and enforced by another remarkable minister and cardinal,
Mazarin. Mazarin (1602-1661) was an Italian, born near Naples, educated
for an ecclesiastical career at Rome and in Spain. In the discharge of
several delicate diplomatic missions for the pope, he had acted as
nuncio at Paris, where he so ingratiated himself in Richelieu's favor
that he was invited to enter the service of the king of France, and in
1639 he became a naturalized Frenchman.

Despite his foreign birth and the fact that he never spoke French
without a bad accent, he rose rapidly in public service. He was named
cardinal and was recognized as Richelieu's disciple and imitator. From
the death of the greater cardinal in 1642 to his own death in 1661,
Mazarin actually governed France.

[Sidenote: Unrest of the Nobles]

Against the Habsburgs, Mazarin continued the great war which Richelieu
had begun and brought it to a successful conclusion. In domestic
affairs, he encountered greater troubles. The nobles had naturally
taken umbrage at the vigorous policies of Richelieu, from which Mazarin
seemed to have no thought of departing. They were strengthened,
moreover, by a good deal of popular dislike of Mazarin's foreign birth,
his avarice, his unscrupulous plundering of the revenues of the realm
for the benefit of his own family, and his tricky double-dealing ways.

[Sidenote: The Fronde]

The result was the Fronde, [Footnote: Probably so called from the name
of a street game played by Parisian children and often stopped by
policemen.] the last attempt prior to the French Revolution to cast off
royal absolutism in France. It was a vague popular protest coupled with
a selfish reaction on the part of the influential nobles: the pretext
was Mazarin's interference with the parlement of Paris.

[Sidenote: The Parlements]

The parlements were judicial bodies [Footnote: There were thirteen in
the seventeenth century.] which tried important cases and heard appeals
from lower courts. That of Paris, being the most eminent, had, in
course of time, secured to itself the right of registering royal
decrees--that is, of receiving the king's edicts in formal fashion and
entering them upon the statute books so that the law of the land might
be known generally. From making such a claim, it was only a step for
the parlement of Paris to refuse to register certain new edicts on the
ground that the king was not well informed or that they were in
conflict with older and more binding enactments. If these claims were
substantiated, the royal will would be subjected to revision by the
parlement of Paris. To prevent their substantiation, both Louis XIII
and Louis XIV held "beds of justice"--that is, appeared in person
before the parlement, and from their seat of cushions and pillows
declared their will regarding the new edict and directed that it be
promulgated. There were amusing scenes when the boy-king, at the
direction of Mazarin, gave orders in his shrill treble to the learned
lawyers and grave old judges.

Egged on by seeming popular sympathy and no doubt by the
contemporaneous political revolution in England, the parlement of Paris
at length defied the prime minister. It proclaimed its immunity from
royal control; declared the illegality of any public tax which it had
not freely and expressly authorized; ordered the abolition of the
office of intendant; and protested against arbitrary arrest or
imprisonment. To these demands, the people of Paris gave support--
barricades were erected in the streets, and Mazarin, whose loyal army
was still fighting in the Germanies, was obliged temporarily to
recognize the new order. Within six months, however, sufficient troops
had been collected to enable him to overawe Paris and to annul his

[Sidenote: Suppression of the Fronde]
[Sidenote: Triumph of Absolutism in France]

Subsequent uprisings, engineered by prominent noblemen, were often more
humorous than harmful. To be sure, no less a commander than the great
Condé, one of the chief heroes of the Thirty Years' War, took arms
against the Cardinalists, as Mazarin's party was called, but so slight
was the aid which he received from the French people that he was
speedily driven from his country and joined the Spanish army. The
upshot of the Fronde was (1) the nobility were more discredited than
ever; (2) the parlement was forbidden to devote attention to political
or financial affairs; (3) Paris was disarmed and lost the right of
electing its own municipal officers; (4) the royal authority was even
stronger than under Richelieu because an unsuccessful attempt had been
made to weaken it. Henry IV, Richelieu, and Mazarin had made straight
the way for the despotism of Louis XIV.


[Sidenote: Dynastic Character of Wars in the Seventeenth Century.]

Every European country, except England, was marked in the seventeenth
century by a continued growth of monarchical power. The kings were
busily engaged in strengthening their hold upon their respective states
and in reaching out for additional lands and wealth. International
wars, therefore, assumed the character of struggles for dynastic
aggrandizement. How might this or that royal family obtain wider
territories and richer towns? There was certainly sufficient national
life in western Europe to make the common people proud of their
nationality; hence the kings could normally count upon popular support.
But wars were undertaken upon the continent of Europe in the
seventeenth century not primarily for national or patriotic motives,
but for the exaltation of a particular royal family. Citizens of border
provinces were treated like so many cattle or so much soil that might
be conveniently bartered among the kings of France, Spain, or Sweden.

[Sidenote: Habsburg Dominions in 1600.]

This idea had been quite evident in the increase of the Habsburg power
during the sixteenth century. In an earlier chapter we have noticed how
that family had acquired one district after another until their
property included: (1) Under the Spanish branch--Spain, the Two
Sicilies, Milan, Franche Comte, the Belgian Netherlands, Portugal, and
a huge colonial empire; (2) Under the Austrian branch--Austria and its
dependencies, Hungary, Bohemia, and the title of Holy Roman Emperor.
Despite the herculean labors of Philip II, France remained outside
Habsburg influence, a big gap in what would otherwise have been a
series of connected territories.

[Sidenote: Ambition of the Bourbons.]

In measure as the French kings--the Bourbons--strengthened their
position in their own country, they looked abroad not merely to ward
off foreign attacks but to add land at their neighbors' expense.
Richelieu understood that his two policies went hand in glove--to make
the Bourbons predominant in Europe was but a corollary to making the
royal power supreme in France.

[Sidenote: The Thirty Years' War.]

The chief warfare of the seventeenth century centers, therefore, in the
long, terrible conflict between the Habsburgs and the Bourbons. Of this
struggle, the so-called Thirty Years' War (1618-1648) may be treated as
the first stage. Let us endeavor to obtain a clear idea of the
interests involved.

When Richelieu became the chief minister of Louis XIII  (1624), he
found the Habsburgs in serious trouble and he resolved to take
advantage of the situation to enhance the prestige of the Bourbons. The
Austrian Habsburgs were facing a vast civil and religious war in the
Germanies, and the Spanish Habsburgs were dispatching aid to their
hard-pressed kinsmen.

The war, which proved momentous both to the Habsburgs and to their
enemies, resulted from a variety of reasons--religious, economic, and

[Sidenote: The Thirty Years' War: Ecclesiastical Causes]

The peace of Augsburg (1555) had been expected to settle the religious
question in the Germanies. But in practice it had failed to fix two
important matters. In the first place, the provision forbidding further
secularization of church property ("Ecclesiastical Reservation") was
not carried out, nor could it be while human nature and human
temptation remained. Every Catholic ecclesiastic who became Protestant
would naturally endeavor to take his church lands with him. Then, in
the second place, the peace had recognized only Catholics and
Lutherans: meanwhile the Calvinists had increased their numbers,
especially in southern and central Germany and in Bohemia, and demanded
equal rights. In order to extort concessions from the emperor, a union
of Protestant princes was formed, containing among its members the
zealous young Calvinist prince of the Palatinate, Frederick, commonly
called the Elector Palatine of the Rhine. The Catholics were in an
equally belligerent frame of mind. Not only were they determined to
prevent further secularization of church property, but, emboldened by
the progress of the Catholic Reformation in the Germanies during the
second half of the sixteenth century, they were now anxious to revise
the earlier religious settlement in their own interest and to regain,
if possible, the lands that had been lost by the Church to the
Protestants. The Catholics relied for political and military support
upon the Catholic Habsburg emperor and upon Maximilian, duke of Bavaria
and head of the Catholic League of Princes. Religiously, the enemies of
the Habsburgs were the German Protestants.

[Sidenote: The Thirty Years' War: Political Causes]

But a hardly less important cause of the Thirty Years' War lay in the
politics of the Holy Roman Empire. The German princes had greatly
increased their territories and their wealth during the Protestant
Revolution. They aspired, each and all, to complete sovereignty. They
would rid themselves of the outworn bonds of a medieval empire and
assume their proper place among the independent and autocratic rulers
of Europe. On his side, the emperor was insistent upon strengthening
his position and securing a united powerful Germany under his personal
control. Politically, the enemies of the Habsburgs were the German

With the princes was almost invariably allied any European monarch who
had anything to gain from dividing Germany or weakening Habsburg
influence. In case of a civil war, the Habsburgs might reasonably
expect to find enemies in Denmark, Sweden, and France.

[Sidenote: Four Periods in the Thirty Years' War]

The war naturally divides itself into four periods: (1) The Bohemian
Revolt; (2) The Danish Period; (3) The Swedish Period; (4) The French
or International Period.

[Sidenote: 1. The Bohemian Revolt]

The signal for the outbreak of hostilities in the Germanics was given
by a rebellion in Bohemia against the Habsburgs. Following the death of
Rudolph II (1576-1612), a narrow-minded, art-loving, and unbalanced
recluse, his childless brother Matthias (1612-1619) had desired to
secure the succession of a cousin, Ferdinand II (1619-1637), who,
although a man of blameless life and resolute character, was known to
be devoted to the cause of absolutism and fanatically loyal to the
Catholic Church. Little opposition to this settlement was encountered
in the various Habsburg Bohemian dominions, except in Bohemia. In that
country, however, the nobles, many of whom were Calvinists, dreaded the
prospective accession of Ferdinand, who would be likely to deprive them
of their special privileges and to impede, if not to forbid, the
exercise of the Protestant religion in their territories. Already there
had been encroachments on their religious liberty.

One day in 1618, a group of Bohemian noblemen broke into the room where
the imperial envoys were stopping and hurled them out of a window into
a castle moat some sixty feet below. This so-called "defenestration" of
Ferdinand's representatives was followed by the proclamation of the
dethronement of the Habsburgs in Bohemia and the election to the
kingship of Frederick, the Calvinistic Elector Palatine. Frederick was
crowned at Prague and prepared to defend his new lands. Ferdinand II,
raising a large army in his other possessions, and receiving assistance
from Maximilian of Bavaria and the Catholic League as well as from
Tuscany and the Spanish Habsburgs, intrusted the allied forces to an
able veteran general, Count Tilly (1559-1632). King Frederick had
expected support from his father-in-law, James I of England, and from
the Lutheran princes of northern Germany, but in both respects he was
disappointed. What with parliamentary quarrels at home and a curiously
mistaken foreign policy of a Spanish alliance, James confined his
assistance to pompous advice and long words. Then, too, most of the
Lutheran princes, led by the tactful John George, elector of Saxony,
hoped by remaining neutral to obtain special concessions from the

Within a very brief period, Tilly subdued Bohemia, drove out Frederick,
and reestablished the Habsburg power. Many rebellious nobles lost their
property and lives, and the practice of the Protestant religion was
again forbidden in Bohemia. Nor was that all. The victorious
imperialists drove the fugitive Frederick, now derisively dubbed the
"winter king," out of his original wealthy possessions on the Rhine,
into miserable exile, an outcast without land or money. The conquered
Palatinate was turned over to Maximilian of Bavaria, who was further
rewarded for his services by being recognized as an elector of the Holy
Roman Empire in place of the deposed Frederick.

The first period of the war was thus favorable to the Habsburg and
Catholic causes. Between 1618 and 1620, revolt had been suppressed in
Bohemia and an influential Rhenish electorate had been transferred from
Calvinist to Catholic hands.

Now, however, the northern Protestant princes took alarm. If they had
viewed with composure the failure of Frederick's foolhardy efforts in
Bohemia, they beheld with downright dismay the expansion of Bavaria and
the destruction of a balance of power long maintained between Catholic
and Protestant Germany. And so long as the ill-disciplined remnants of
Frederick's armies were behaving like highwaymen, pillaging and burning
throughout the Germanics, the emperor declined to consider the grant of
any concessions.

[Sidenote: 2. Danish Intervention. Christian IV]

At this critical juncture, while the Protestant princes were wavering
between obedience and rebellion, Christian IV of Denmark intervened and
precipitated the second period of the war. Christian IV (1588-1648) was
impulsive and ambitious: as duke of Holstein he was a member of the
Holy Roman Empire and opposed to Habsburg domination; as king of
Denmark and Norway he was anxious to extend his influence over the
North Sea ports; and as a Lutheran, he sought to champion the rights of
his German co-religionists and to help them retain the rich lands which
they had appropriated from the Catholic Church. In 1625, therefore,
Christian invaded Germany, supported by liberal grants of money from
England and by the troops of many of the German princes, both Calvinist
and Lutheran.

[Sidenote: Wallenstein]

Against the Danish invasion, Tilly unaided might have had difficulty to
stand, but fortune seemed to have raised up a codefender of the
imperialist cause in the person of an extraordinary adventurer,
Wallenstein. This man had enriched himself enormously out of the
recently confiscated estates of rebellious Bohemians, and now, in order
to benefit himself still further, he secured permission from the
Emperor Ferdinand II to raise an independent army of his own to restore
order in the empire and to expel the Danes. By liberal promises of pay
and plunder, the soldier of fortune soon recruited an army of some
50,000 men, and what a motley collection it was! Italian, Swiss,
Spaniard, German, Pole, Englishman, and Scot,--Protestant was welcomed
as heartily as Catholic,--any one who loved adventure or hoped for
gain, all united by the single tie of loyalty and devotion to
Wallenstein. The force was whipped into shape by the undoubted genius
of its commander and at once became an effective machine of war. Yet
the perpetual plundering of the land, on which it lived, was a constant
source of reproach to the army of Wallenstein.

The campaigning of the second period of the war took place in North
Germany. At Lutter, King Christian IV was defeated overwhelmingly by
the combined forces of Tilly and Wallenstein, and the Lutheran states
were left at the mercy of the Catholic League. Brandenburg openly
espoused the imperialist cause and aided Ferdinand's generals in
expelling the Danish king from German soil. Only the lack of naval
control of the Baltic and North seas prevented the victors from seizing
Denmark. The desperation of Christian and the growingly suspicious
activity of Sweden resulted in the peace of Lubeck (1629), by which the
king of Denmark was left in possession of Jutland, Schleswig, and
Holstein, but deprived of the German bishoprics which various members
of his family had taken from the Catholic Church.

Following up its successes, the Catholic League prevailed upon the
Emperor Ferdinand II in the same year (1629) to sign the Edict of
Restitution, restoring to the Church all the property that had been
secularized in violation of the peace of Augsburg of 1555. The edict
was to be executed by imperial commissioners, all of whom were
Catholics, and so well did they do their work that, within three years
of the promulgation of the edict, Roman Catholicism in the Germanies
had recovered five bishoprics, thirty Hanse towns, and nearly a hundred
monasteries, to say nothing of parish churches of which the number can
hardly be estimated.

So far, the religious and economic grievances against the Habsburgs had
been confined mainly to Calvinists, but now the Lutheran princes were
alarmed. The enforcement of the Edict of Restitution against all
Protestants alike was the signal for an emphatic protest from Lutherans
as well as from Calvinists. A favorable opportunity for intervention
seemed to present itself to the foremost Lutheran power--Sweden. Not
only were many Protestant princes in Germany in a mood to welcome
foreign assistance against the Catholics, but the emperor was less able
to resist invasion, since in 1630, yielding to the urgent entreaties of
the Catholic League, he dismissed the plundering and ambitious
Wallenstein from his service.

The king of Sweden at this time was Gustavus Adolphus (1611-1632), the
grandson of that Gustavus Vasa who had established both the
independence and the Lutheranism of his country. Gustavus Adolphus was
one of the most attractive figures of his age--in the prime of life,
tall, fair, and blue-eyed, well educated and versed in seven languages,
fond of music and poetry, skilled and daring in war, impetuous, well
balanced, and versatile. A rare combination of the idealist and the
practical man of affairs, Gustavus Adolphus had dreamed of making
Protestant Sweden the leading power in northern Europe and had
vigorously set to work to achieve his ends. His determination to
encircle the whole Baltic with his own territories--making it literally
a Swedish lake--brought him first into conflict with Muscovy, or, as we
call it today, Russia. Finland and Esthonia were occupied, and Russia
agreed in 1617 to exclusion from the Baltic sea coast. Next a stubborn
conflict with Poland (1621-1629) secured for Sweden the province of
Livonia and the mouth of the Vistula River. Gustavus then turned his
longing eyes to the Baltic coast of northern Germany, at the very time
when the Edict of Restitution promised him aggrieved allies in that

[Sidenote: 3. Swedish Intervention: Gustavus Adolphus]

It was likewise at the very time when Cardinal Richelieu had crushed
out all insurrection, whether Huguenot or noble, in France and was
seeking some effective means of prolonging the war in the Germanies to
the end that the rival Habsburgs might be irretrievably weakened and
humiliated. He entered into definite alliance with Gustavus Adolphus
and provided him arms and money, for the time asking only that the
Protestant champion accord the liberty of Catholic worship in conquered

[Sidenote: French Aid]

Gustavus Adolphus landed in Pomerania in 1630 and proceeded to occupy
the chief northern fortresses and to treat for alliances with the
influential Protestant electors of Brandenburg and Saxony. While
Gustavus tarried at Potsdam, in protracted negotiation with the elector
of Brandenburg, Tilly and the imperialists succeeded, after a long
siege, in capturing the Lutheran stronghold of Magdeburg (May, 1631).
The fall of the city was attended by a mad massacre of the garrison,
and of armed and unarmed citizens, in streets, houses, and churches; at
least 20,000 perished; wholesale plundering and a general conflagration
completed the havoc. The sack of Magdeburg evoked the greatest
indignation from the Lutherans. Gustavus Adolphus, now joined by the
electors of Brandenburg and Saxony and by many other Protestant princes
of northern Germany, advanced into Saxony, where, in September, 1631,
he avenged the destruction of Magdeburg by defeating decisively the
smaller army of Tilly on the Breitenfeld, near Leipzig. Then Gustavus
turned southwestward, making for the Rhine valley, with the idea of
forming a union with the Calvinist princes. Only the prompt protest of
his powerful ally, Richelieu, prevented the rich archbishoprics of
Cologne, Trier, and Mainz from passing immediately under Swedish
control. Next Gustavus Adolphus turned east and invaded Bavaria. Tilly,
who had reassembled his forces, failed to check the invasion and lost
his life in a battle on the Lech (April, 1632). The victorious Swedish
king now made ready to carry the war into the hereditary dominions of
the Austrian Habsburgs. As a last resort to check the invader, the
emperor recalled Wallenstein with full power over his freelance army.
About the same time the emperor concluded a close alliance with his
kinsman, the ambitious Philip IV of Spain.

The memorable contest between the two great generals--Gustavus Adolphus
and Wallenstein--was brought to a tragic close in the late autumn of
the same year on the fateful field of Lützen. Wallenstein was defeated,
but Gustavus was killed. Although the Swedes continued the struggle,
they were comparatively few in numbers and possessed no such general as
their fallen king. On the other side, Wallenstein's loyalty could not
be depended upon; rumors reached the ear of the emperor that his
foremost general was negotiating with the Protestants to make peace on
his own terms; and Wallenstein was assassinated in his camp by
fanatical imperialists (February, 1634). The tragic removal of both
Wallenstein and Gustavus Adolphus, the economic exhaustion of the whole
empire, and the national desire on the part of many Protestant princes,
as well as on the part of the Catholic emperor, to rid the Germanies of
foreign soldiers and foreign influence--all these developments seemed
to point to the possibility of concluding the third, or Swedish, period
of the war, not perhaps as advantageously for the imperialist cause as
had ended the Bohemian revolt or the Danish intervention, but at any
rate in a spirit of reasonable compromise. In fact, in May, 1635, a
treaty was signed at Prague between the emperor and such princes as
were then willing to lay down their arms, whereby all the military
forces in the empire were henceforth to be under the direct control of
the emperor (with the exception of a contingent under the special
command of the Lutheran elector of Saxony); all princely leagues within
the empire were to be dissolved; mutual restoration of captured
territory was to be made; and, as to the fundamental question of the
ownership of ecclesiastical lands, it was settled that any such lands
actually held in the year 1627, whether acquired before or after the
religious peace of Augsburg of 1555, should continue so to be held for
forty years or until in each case an amicable arrangement could be

What wrecked the peace of Prague was not so much the disinclination of
the Protestant princes of Germany to accept its terms as the policy of
Cardinal Richelieu of France. Richelieu was convinced more than ever
that French greatness depended upon Habsburg defeat; he would not
suffer the princes to make peace with the emperor until the latter was
soundly trounced and all Germany devastated; instead of supplying the
Swedes and the German Protestants with assistance from behind the
scenes, he now would come boldly upon the stage and engage the emperor
in open combat.

[Sidenote: 4. French Intervention. Richelieu's Policy in the Germanies]

The final, or French, period of the Thirty Years' War lasted from 1635
to 1648--almost as long as the other three periods put together.
Richelieu entered the war not only to humble the Austrian Habsburgs
and, if possible, to wrest the valuable Rhenish province of Alsace from
the Holy Roman Empire, but also to strike telling blows at the
Continental supremacy of the Spanish Habsburgs, who, since 1632, had
been actively helping their German kinsmen. The Spanish king, it will
be remembered, still held the Belgian Netherlands, on the northern
frontier of France, and Franche Comté on the east, while oft-contested
Milan in northern Italy was a Spanish dependency. France was almost
surrounded by Spanish possessions, and Richelieu naturally declared war
against Spain as against the emperor. The wily French cardinal could
count upon the Swedes and many of the German Protestants to keep the
Austrian Habsburgs busily engaged and upon the assistance of the Dutch
in humbling the Spaniard, for Spain had not yet formally recognized the
independence of the Dutch Netherlands. Inasmuch as England was chiefly
concerned with troublesome internal affairs, the enemies of France
could hardly expect aid from across the Channel.

[Sidenote: Condé and Turenne]

At first, the French suffered a series of military reverses, due in
large part to unpreparedness, incompetent commanders, and ill-
disciplined troops. At one time it looked as if the Spaniards might
capture Paris. But with unflagging zeal and patriotic devotion,
Richelieu pressed on the war. He raised armies, drilled them, and
dispatched them into the Netherlands, into Alsace, into Franche Comté,
into northern Italy, and into Roussillon. He stirred up the Portuguese
to revolt and recover their independence (1640). And Mazarin, who
succeeded him in 1642, preserved his foreign policy intact. Young and
brilliant generals now appeared at the head of the French forces, among
whom were the dashing Prince of Condé (1621-1686), and the master
strategist Turenne (1611-1675), the greatest soldier of his day. The
former's victory of Rocroi (1643) dated the commencement of the
supremacy of France in war, a supremacy which was retained for a

[Sidenote: Peace of Westphalia (1648)]

Finally, Turenne's masterly maneuvering against the Spaniards and his
forcible detachment of Maximilian of Bavaria from the imperial alliance
broke down effective opposition and ended the Thirty Years' War in the
Germanies. The various treaties which were signed in 1648 constituted
the peace of Westphalia.

The political clauses of the peace of Westphalia provided: (1) Each
German state was free to make peace or war without consulting the
emperor--each prince was invested with sovereign authority; (2) France
received Alsace, except the free city of Strassburg, and was confirmed
in the possession of the bishoprics of Metz, Toul, and Verdun; (3)
Sweden was given territory in Pomerania controlling the mouth of the
Oder, and the secularized bishopric of Bremen, surrounding the city of
that name and dominating the mouths of the Elbe and the Weser; (4)
France and Sweden received votes in the Diet of the Holy Roman Empire,
with implied rights to exercise an oversight of German affairs; (5)
Brandenburg secured eastern Pomerania and several bishoprics, including
Magdeburg; (6) The Palatinate was divided between Maximilian of Bavaria
and the son of the deposed Frederick--each bearing the title of
elector; (7) Switzerland and the United Provinces (Holland) were
formally recognized as independent of the empire and of Spain

The religious difficulties were settled as follows: (1) Calvinists were
to share all the privileges of their Lutheran fellow-Protestants; (2)
All church property was to be secured in the possession of those,
whether Catholics or Protestants, who held it on 1 January, 1624; (3)
An equal number of Catholic and Protestant judges were to sit in the
imperial courts. Inasmuch as after 1648 there was little relative
change of religion in Germany, this religious settlement was
practically permanent.

[Sidenote: Evil Effects of the Thirty Years' War on Germany]

One of the most striking results of the peace of Westphalia was the
completion of a long process of political disruption in the Germanies.
Only the form of the Holy Roman Empire survived. The already shadowy
imperial power became a mere phantom, nor was a change destined to come
until, centuries later, the Prussian Hohenzollerns should replace the
Austrian Habsburgs. Meanwhile the weakness of Germany enabled France to
extend her northern boundaries toward the Rhine.

Far more serious than her political losses were the economic results to
Germany. The Thirty Years' War left Germany almost a desert. "About
two-thirds of the total population had disappeared; the misery of those
that survived was piteous in the extreme. Five-sixths of the villages
in the empire had been destroyed. We read of one in the Palatinate that
in two years had been plundered twenty-eight times. In Saxony, packs of
wolves roamed about, for in the north quite one-third of the land had
gone out of cultivation, and trade had drifted into the hands of the
French or Dutch. Education had almost disappeared; and the moral
decline of the people was seen in the coarsening of manners and the
growth of superstition, as witnessed by frequent burning of witches."

[Sidenote: Continuation of War between French Bourbons and Spanish
Hapsburgs. Peace of the Pyrenees 1659]

The peace of Westphalia ended the Thirty Years' War in the Germanies,
but it did not stop the bitter contest between France and Spain.
Mazarin was determined to secure even greater territorial gains for his
country, and, although Condé deserted to Spain, Turenne was more than a
match for any commander whom the Spaniards could put in the field.
Mazarin, moreover, by ceding the fortress of Dunkirk to the English,
obtained aid from the veteran troops of Cromwell. It was not until 1659
that, in the celebrated treaty of the Pyrenees, peace was concluded
between France and Spain. This provided: (1) France added the province
of Roussillon on her southern frontier and that of Artois on the north;
(2) France was recognized as protector of the duchy of Lorraine; (3)
Condé was pardoned and reinstated in French service; (4) Maria Theresa,
eldest daughter of the Spanish Habsburg king, Philip IV, was to marry
the young French Bourbon king, Louis XIV, and, in consideration of the
payment of a large dowry, was to renounce all claims to the Spanish

The treaty of the Pyrenees was the last important achievement of
Cardinal Mazarin. But before he died in 1661 he had the satisfaction of
seeing the triumph of those policies which he had adopted from
Richelieu: the royal power firmly established within France; the
Habsburgs, whether Austrian or Spanish, defeated and humiliated; the
Bourbon king of France respected and feared throughout Europe.

[Sidenote: Development of International Law]
[Sidenote: In Italy]

Not least among the results of the conflict between Habsburgs and
Bourbons was the stimulus given to the acceptance of fixed principles
of international law and of definite usages for international
diplomacy. In ancient times the existence of the all-embracing Roman
Empire had militated against the development of international relations
as we know them to-day. In the early middle ages feudal society had
left little room for diplomacy. Of course, both in ancient times and in
the middle ages, there had been embassies and negotiations and
treaties; but the embassies had been no more than temporary missions
directed to a particular end, and there had been neither permanent
diplomatic agents nor a professional diplomatic class. To the
development of such a class the Italy of the fifteenth century had
given the first impetus. Northern and central Italy was then filled, as
we have discovered, with a large number of city-states, all struggling
for political and economic mastery, all dependent for the maintenance
of a "balance of power" upon alliances and counter alliances, all
employing diplomacy quite as much as war in the game of peninsular
politics. It was in Italy that there grew up the institution of
passports, the distinction between armed forces and civilians,
international comity, and in fact the very notion that states have an
interest in the observance of law and order among themselves. Of
special importance, in this connection, was Venice, which gradually
evolved a regular system of permanent diplomats, and incidentally
obliged her ambassadors to present detailed reports on foreign affairs;
and, because of their commercial preeminence in the Mediterranean, the
Venetians contributed a good deal to the development of rules of the
sea first in time of peace, and subsequently in time of war.

[Sidenote: In Europe in Sixteenth Century]

During the sixteenth century the Italian ideas of statecraft and inter-
state relations, ably championed by Machiavelli, were communicated to
the nations of western Europe. Permanent embassies were established in
foreign countries by the kings of Spain, Portugal, France, and England.
Customs of international intercourse grew up. Diplomacy became a
recognized occupation of distinguished statesmen.

[Sidenote: Thirty Years' War and International Law]

Two institutions might have thwarted or retarded the development of
international law: one was the Catholic Church with its international
organization and its claim to universal spiritual supremacy; the other
was the Holy Roman Empire, with its claim to temporal predominance and
with its insistence upon the essential inequality between itself and
all other states. But the Protestant Revolt in the sixteenth century
dealt a severe blow to the claim and power of the Catholic Church. And
the long struggle between Bourbons and Habsburgs, culminating in the
Thirty Years' War, reduced the Holy Roman Empire to a position, in
theory as well as in fact, certainly no higher than that of the
national monarchies of France, England, and Spain, or that of the Dutch

From the treaties of Westphalia emerged a real state-system in Europe,
based on the theory of the essential equality of independent sovereign
states, though admitting of the fact that there were Great Powers.
Henceforth the public law of Europe was to be made by diplomats and by
congresses of ambassadors. Westphalia pointed the new path.

Another aspect of international relations was emphasized in the first
half of the seventeenth century. It was the Thirty Years' War, with its
revolting cruelty, which brought out the contrast between the more
humane practice of war as an art in Italy and the savagery which
disgraced the Germanies. The brutality of the struggle turned thinkers'
attention to the need of formulating rules for the protection of non-
combatants in time of war, the treatment of the sick and wounded, the
prohibition of wanton pillage and other horrors which shocked the
awakening conscience of seventeenth-century Europe. It was the
starting-point of the publication of treatises on international law.

[Sidenote: Grotius]

The first effective work, the one which was destined long to influence
sovereigns and diplomats, was Grotius's _On the Law of War and
Peace_. Hugo Grotius (1583-1645) [Footnote: Known in his native
country as Huig van Groot. The last years of his life he spent as
ambassador of Sweden at the French court.] was a learned Dutch
humanist, whose active participation in politics against the stadholder
of the Netherlands and whose strong protests for religious toleration
against the dominant orthodox Calvinists of his country combined to
bring upon himself a sentence of life imprisonment. Immured in a Dutch
fortress in 1619, he managed to escape and fled to Paris, where he
prepared and in 1625 published his immortal work. _On the Law of War
and Peace_ is an exhaustive and masterly text-book--the first and
one of the best of the systematic treatises on the fundamental
principles of international law.


HENRY IV, RICHELIEU, AND MAZARIN. Brief general accounts: H. O.
Wakeman, _The Ascendancy of France, 1598-1715_ (1894), ch. i-vii; Mary
A. Hollings, _Renaissance and Reformation, 1453-1660_ (1910), ch. xi,
xii; J. H. Sacret, _Bourbon and Vasa, 1610-1715_ (1914), ch. i-vii; A.
J. Grant, _The French Monarchy, 1483-1789_, Vol. I (1900), ch. vi-ix;
G. W. Kitchin, _A History of France_, 3d and 4th editions (1894-1899),
Vol. II, Book IV, ch. i-iii, Vol. III, Book IV, ch. iv-viii; H. T.
Dyer, _A History of Modern Europe from the Fall of Constantinople_, 3d
ed. rev. by Arthur Hassall (1901), ch. xxix-xxxv; Victor Duruy,
_History of Modern Times_, trans. and rev. by E. A. Grosvenor (1894),
ch. xvii, xviii, xx; _Cambridge Modern History_, Vol. II, ch. xx (by
Stanley Leathes, on Henry IV), Vol. IV, ch. iv (on Richelieu), xxi (on
Mazarin); _Histoire générale_, Vol. V, ch. vi-viii, Vol. VI, ch. i.
More detailed works: _Histoire de France_, ed. by Ernest Lavisse, Vol.
VI, Part I (1904), Livre IV (on Henry IV), Vol. VI, Part II (1905),
Livres I-III (on Henry IV and Richelieu, by J. H. Mariéjol), Vol. VII,
Part I (1906), Livre I (on Mazarin, by E. Lavisse); P. F. Willert,
_Henry of Navarre_ (1897), in "Heroes of the Nations" Series; C. C.
Jackson, _The First of the Bourbons_, 2 vols. (1890); J. B. Perkins,
_Richelieu and the Growth of French Power_ (1900), in the "Heroes of
the Nations" Series, and, by the same author, an admirable writer and
authority on the whole period, _France under Mazarin_, 2 vols. (1886);
Georges (Vicomte) d'Avenel, _Richelieu et la monarchie absolue_, 4
vols. (1884-1890), the foremost French work on the subject; Gabriel
Hanotaux, _Origines de l'institution des intendants de provinces_
(1884), a careful study of the beginnings of the office of intendant by
a famous French statesman and historian; P. A. Chéruel, _Histoire de
France pendant la minorité de Louis XIV_, 4 vols. (1879-1880), and, by
the same author, _Histoire de France sous le ministère de Mazarin,
1651-1661_, 3 vols. (1882), a very elaborate treatment of Mazarin's
public career in France; Louis Batiffol, _The Century of the
Renaissance in France_, Eng. trans. by Elsie F. Buckley (1916),
containing an excellent chapter on the French monarchy at the close of
the sixteenth century.

THE THIRTY YEARS' WAR. General treatments: E. F. Henderson, _A Short
History of Germany_, Vol. I (1902), ch. xvii, xviii, a good, short
introduction; S. R. Gardiner, _The Thirty Years' War_ (1897), in the
"Epochs of Modern History" Series, the best brief survey; _History of
All Nations_, Vol. XII, ch. iv-viii, by Martin Philippson, a well-known
German historian; _Cambridge Modern History_, Vol. IV (1906), ch. i,
iii, v-vii, xiii, xiv, xx, xxii; _Histoire générale_, Vol. V, ch. xii;
Anton Gindely, _The Thirty Years' War_, trans. from the German by
Andrew Ten Brook, 2 vols. (1884), a popular treatment by a recognized
authority in this field, breaking off, unfortunately, in the year 1623;
Gustav Droysen, _Das Zeitalter des dreissigjährigen Krieges_ (1888) and
Georg Winter, _Geschichte des dreissigjährigen Krieges_ (1893), two
bulky volumes in the Oncken Series devoted respectively to the
political and military aspects of the war; Émile Charvériat, _Histoire
de la guerre de trente ans_, 2 vols. (1878), a reliable French account
of the whole struggle. On the history of the Germanies from the
religious peace of Augsburg to the peace of Westphalia there is the
painstaking _Deutsche Geschichte im Zeitalter der Gegenreformation und
des dreissigjährigen Krieges, 1555-1648_, by Moritz Ritter, 3 vols.
(1889-1908). For the history of Austria during the period, see Franz
Kroncs, _Handbuch der Geschichte Oesterreichs von der ältesten Zeit_,
Vol. III (1877), Books XIV-XV. For the Netherlands, with special
reference to Spain's part in the war: Henri Pirenne, _Histoire de
Belgique_, Vol. IV, _1567-1648_ (1911). For Bohemia: Ernest Denis, _Fin
de l'indépendance bohême_, Vol. II (1890), and, by the same author, _La
Bohême depuis la Montagne-Blanche_, Vol. I (1903). For Denmark and
Sweden: R. N. Bain, _Scandinavia, a Political History of Denmark,
Norway, and Sweden, from 1513 to 1900_ (1905). There is a convenient
biography of _Gustavus Adolphus_ by C. R. L. Fletcher in the "Heroes of
the Nations" Series (1890), and a more detailed study in German by
Gustav Droysen, 2 vols. (1869-1870). On Wallenstein there are two
standard German works: Leopold von Ranke, _Geschichte Wallensteins_, 3d
ed. (1872), and Anton Gindely, _Waldstein_, 1625-1630, 2 vols. (1886).
The best brief treatment of European international relations in the
time of Richelieu and Mazarin is Emile Bourgeois, _Manuel historique de
politique étrangère_, 4th ed., Vol. I (1906), ch. i, ii, vi. For a
brief treatment of the development of international law during the
period, see D. J. Hill, _History of Diplomacy in the International
Development of Europe_, Vol. II (1906), ch. vii. The treaties of
Westphalia are in the famous old compilation of Jean Dumont, _Corps
universel diplomatique du droit des gens_, 8 vols. (1726-1731).


AND HABSBURGS, 1661-1743


Upon the death of Cardinal Mazarin in 1661, the young king Louis XIV
declared that he would assume personal charge of the domestic and
foreign affairs of the French monarchy. From that date, throughout a
long reign, Louis was in fact as well as in name ruler of the nation,
and his rule, like that of Napoleon, stands out as a distinct epoch in
French history.

[Sidenote: Louis XIV the Heir to Absolutist Tendencies]

Louis XIV profited by the earlier work of Henry IV, Sully, Richelieu,
and Mazarin. He inherited a fairly compact state, the population of
which was patriotic and loyal to the crown. Insurrections of
Protestants or rebellions of the nobles were now things of the past.
The Estates-General, the ancient form of representative government, had
fallen into disuse and oblivion. Local administration was conducted by
faithful middle-class officials, the intendants; and all powers of
taxation, war, public improvements, police, and justice were centered
in the hands of the king. Abroad, the rival Habsburgs had been humbled
and French boundaries had been extended and French prestige heightened.
Everything was in readiness for a great king to practice absolutism on
a scale never before realized.

[Sidenote: Absolutism. Monarchy by Divine Right]

The theories of government upon which the absolutism of Louis XIV was
based received a classic expression in a celebrated book written by
Bossuet (1627-1704), a learned and upright bishop of the time.
Government, according to Bossuet, [Footnote: The statements of the
arguments in favor of monarchy by divine right are taken from Bossuet's
famous book, _La politique tirée des propres paroles de l'Ecriture
Sainte_.] is divinely ordained in order to enable mankind to satisfy
the natural instincts of living together in organized society. Under
God, monarchy is, of all forms of government, the most usual and the
most ancient, and therefore the most natural: it is likewise the
strongest and most efficient, therefore the best. It is analogous to
the rule of a family by the father, and, like that rule, should be
hereditary. Four qualities are referred by the eloquent bishop to such
an hereditary monarch: (1) That he is sacred is attested by his
anointing at the time of coronation by the priests of the Church--it is
accordingly blasphemy and sacrilege to assail the person of the king or
to conspire against him; (2) That he is to provide for the welfare of
his people and watch over their every activity may be gathered from the
fact that he is, in a very real sense, the father of his people, the
paternal king; (3) His power is absolute and autocratic, and for its
exercise he is accountable to God alone--no man on earth may rightfully
resist the royal commands, and the only recourse for subjects against
an evil king is to pray God that his heart be changed; (4) Greater
reason is given to a king than to any one else--the king is an earthly
image of God's majesty, and it is wrong, therefore, to look upon him as
a mere man. The king is a public person and in him the whole nation is
embodied. "As in God are united all perfection and every virtue, so all
the power of all the individuals in a community is united in the person
of the king."

[Sidenote: Louis XIV]

Such was the theory of what is called divine-right monarchy or
absolutism. It must be remembered that it had been gaining ground
during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, until it was accepted
practically by all the French people as well as by most of their
Continental neighbors. Even in England, as we shall presently
see,[Footnote: See below, pp. 263 ff.] the Stuart kings attempted, for
a time with success, to assert and maintain the doctrine. It was a
political idea as popular in the seventeenth century as that of
democracy is to-day. And Louis XIV was its foremost personification.
Suave, dignified, elegant in manners and speech, the French king played
his part well; he appeared to have been born and divinely appointed to
the kingly calling.

For a king, Louis worked hard. He was conscientious and painstaking.
Day after day he reviewed the details of administration. Over all
things he had a watchful eye. Systematically he practiced what he
termed the "trade of a king." "One reigns by work and for work," he
wrote his grandson.

No prince was more fortunate than Louis XIV in his personal advisers
and lieutenants. Not only were his praises proclaimed by the silver-
tongued Bossuet, but he was served by such men as Colbert, the
financier and reformer; Louvois, the military organizer; Vauban, the
master builder of fortifications; Condé and Turenne, unconquerable
generals; and by a host of literary lights, whom he patronized and
pensioned, and who cast about his person a glamour of renown. Louis was
hailed as the "Grand Monarch," and his age was appropriately designated
the Age of Louis the Fourteenth.

[Sidenote: Versailles and the Court of Louis XIV]

At Versailles, some twelve miles from Paris, in the midst of what had
been a sandy waste, the Grand Monarch erected those stately palaces,
with their lavish furnishings, and broad parks and great groves and
myriads of delightful fountains, which became Europe's pleasure center.
Thither were drawn the French nobility, who, if shorn of all political
power, were now exempted from disagreeable taxes and exalted as
essential parts of a magnificent social pageant. The king must have
noblemen as _valets-de-chambre_, as masters of the wardrobe or of
the chase or of the revels. Only a nobleman was fit to comb the royal
hair or to dry off the king after a bath. The nobles became, like so
many chandeliers, mere decorations for the palace. Thus, about
Versailles gathered the court of France, and the leaders of fashion met
those of brains.

[Sidenote: "The Age of Louis XIV"]

It was a time when French manners, dress, speech, art, literature, and
science were adopted as the models and property of civilized Europe.
Corneille (1606-1684), the father of the French stage; Molière (1622-
1673), the greatest of French dramatists; Racine (1639-1699), the
polished, formal playwright; Madame de Sévigné (1626-1696), the
brilliant and witty authoress of memoirs; La Fontaine (1621-1695), the
popular rhymer of whimsical fables and teller of scandalous tales; and
many another graced the court of Versailles and tasted the royal
bounty. French became the language of fashion as well as of diplomacy--
a position it has ever since maintained.

[Sidenote: "Rule of the Robe"]

While the court of Louis XIV was thus the focal point of French--almost
of European--life, the professional and mercantile classes, who
constituted the Third Estate, enjoyed comparative security and
prosperity and under the king held all of the important offices of
actual administration. Because of the judicial offices which the middle
class filled, the government was popularly styled the "rule of the

[Sidenote: "Colbert"]

Colbert (1619-1683), one of Louis's greatest ministers, was the son of
a merchant, and was intensely interested in the welfare of the class to
which he belonged. Installed in office through the favor of Mazarin, he
was successively named, after the cardinal's death, superintendent of
public works, controller-general of finances, minister of marine, of
commerce and agriculture, and of the colonies. In short, until his
death in 1683, he exerted power in every department of government
except that of war. Although he never possessed the absolute personal
authority which marked the ministries of Richelieu and Mazarin, being
plainly subservient to the king's commands, nevertheless he enjoyed for
many years the royal favor and by incessant toil succeeded in
accomplishing a good deal for the material prosperity of France. In
many respects his policies and achievements resembled Sully's.

[Sidenote: Attempted Financial Reform]

First, financial reform claimed all the energies of Colbert. Under the
government of Richelieu, and more particularly under that of Mazarin,
the hard savings of Sully had been squandered, enormous sums had been
granted to favorites, and the ever-increasing noble class had been
exempted from taxation, an evil system of tax-gathering, called
"farming the taxes," [Footnote: "Farming the taxes," that is,
intrusting the collection of taxes to individuals or corporations that
squeezed as much money as they could from the taxpayers and kept for
themselves what they collected over and above the lump sum due the
government.] had grown up, and the weight of the financial burden had
fallen almost exclusively upon the wretched peasantry. Colbert sternly
and fearlessly set about his task. He appointed agents whose honesty he
could trust and reformed many of the abuses in tax-collecting. While he
was unable to impose the direct land tax--the _taille_--upon the
privileged nobility, he stoutly resisted every attempt further to
augment the number of exemptions, and actually lowered this direct tax
upon the peasantry by substituting indirect taxes, or customs duties,
which would in some degree affect all the people. To lighten the burden
of the country-folk, he sought to promote agriculture. He provided that
no farmers' tools might be seized for debt. He encouraged the breeding
of horses and cattle. He improved the roads and other means of interior
communication. The great canal of Languedoc, joining the Mediterranean
with the Garonne River and thence with the Atlantic, was planned and
constructed under his patronage. As far as possible, the duties on the
passage of agricultural produce from province to province were

[Sidenote: Colbert and French Merchantilism]

In forwarding what he believed to be his own class interests, Colbert
was especially zealous. Manufactures and commerce were fostered in
every way he could devise. New industries were established, inventors
protected, workmen invited from foreign countries, native workmen
prohibited to leave France. A heavy tariff was placed upon foreign
imports in order to protect "infant industries" and increase the gain
of French manufacturers and traders. Liberal bounties were allowed to
French ships engaged in commerce, and foreign ships were compelled to
pay heavy tonnage duties for using French ports. And along with the
protective tariff and subsidizing of the merchant marine, went other
pet policies of mercantilism, [Footnote: See above, pp. 63 f.] such as
measures to prevent the exportation of precious metals from France, to
encourage corporations and monopolies, and to extend minute
governmental supervision over the manufacture, quality, quantity, and
sale of all commodities. What advantages accrued from Colbert's efforts
in this direction were more than offset by the unfortunate fact that
the mercantile class was unduly enriched at the expense of other and
numerically larger classes in the community, and that the centralized
monarchy, in which the people had no part, proved itself unfit, in the
long run, to oversee the details of business with wisdom or honesty.

[Sidenote: Colbert's "World Policy"]

Stimulation of industry and commerce has usually necessitated the
creation of a protecting navy. Colbert appreciated the requirement and
hastened to fulfill it. He reconstructed the docks and arsenal of
Toulon and established great ship-yards at Rochefort, Calais, Brest,
and Havre. He fitted out a large royal navy that could compare
favorably with that of England or Spain or Holland. To supply it with
recruits he drafted seamen from the maritime provinces and resorted to
the use of criminals, who were often chained to the galleys like so
many slaves of the new industry.

Likewise, the adoption of the mercantile policy seemed to demand the
acquisition of a colonial empire, in which the mother-country should
enjoy a trade monopoly. So Colbert became a vigorous colonial minister.
He purchased Martinique and Guadeloupe in the West Indies, encouraged
settlements in San Domingo, in Canada, and in Louisiana, and set up
important posts in India, in Senegal, and in Madagascar. France, under
Colbert, became a serious colonial competitor with her older European

Colbert was essentially a financier and economist. But to the arts of
peace, which adorned the reign of Louis XIV, he was a potent
contributor. He strengthened the French Academy, which had been founded
by Richelieu, and himself established the Academy of Sciences, now
called the Institute of France, and the great astronomical observatory
at Paris. He pensioned many writers, and attracted foreign artists and
scientists to France. Many buildings and triumphal arches were erected
under his patronage.

[Sidenote: Louvois and French Militarism under Louis XIV]

In the arts of war, Louis XIV possessed an equally able and hard-
working assistant. Louvois (1641-1691) was one of the greatest war
ministers that the world has ever seen. He recruited and supported the
largest and finest standing army of his day. He introduced severe
regulations and discipline. He prescribed, for the first time in
history, a distinctive military uniform and introduced the custom of
marching in step. Under his supervision, camp life was placed upon a
sanitary basis. And under his influence, promotion in the service no
longer depended primarily on social position but upon merit as well. In
Vauban (1633-1707), Louvois had the greatest military engineer in
history--for it was Vauban who built those rows of superb
fortifications on the northern and eastern frontiers of France. In
Condé and Turenne, moreover, Louvois had first-class generals who could
give immediate effect to his reforms and policies.

[Sidenote: Deceptive Character of the Glamour of the Age of Louis XIV]

Thus was the Grand Monarch well and faithfully served. Yet the outward
show and glamour of his reign were very deceptive of the true internal
conditions. Colbert tried to do too many things, with the result that
his plans repeatedly miscarried. The nobles became more indolent,
wasteful, and pleasure-loving, and the middle class more selfish and
more devoted to their own class interests, while the lot of the
peasantry,--the bulk of the nation,--despite the spasmodic efforts of
the paternal government, steadily grew worse under the unrelieved
burden of taxation. Then, too, the king was extravagant in maintaining
his mistresses, his court, and his favorites. His excessive vanity had
to be appeased by expensive entertainment and show. He preferred the
spectacular but woeful feats of arms to the less pretentious but more
solid triumphs of peace. Indeed, in course of time, Colbert found his
influence with the king waning before that of Louvois, and when he died
it was with the bitter thought that his financial retrenchment had been
in vain, that his husbanded resources were being rapidly dissipated in
foreign war. It was Louis's wars that deprived his reign of true
grandeur and paved the way for future disaster.

[Sidenote: Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, 1685]

Before turning our attention to the foreign wars of Louis XIV, mention
must be made of another blot on his reign. It was Louis XIV who renewed
the persecution of the Protestants. He was moved alike by the
absolutist's desire to secure complete uniformity throughout France and
by the penitent's religious fervor to make amends for earlier scandals
of his private life. For a time he contented himself with so-called
dragonnades--quartering licentious soldiers upon the Huguenots--but at
length in 1685 he formally revoked the Edict of Nantes. France, which
for almost a century had led Europe in the principle and practice of
religious toleration, was henceforth reactionary. Huguenots were still
granted liberty of conscience, but were denied freedom of worship and
deprived of all civil rights in the kingdom. The immediate effect of
this arbitrary and mistaken action was the emigration of large numbers
of industrious and valuable citizens, who added materially to the
political and economic life of England, Holland, and Prussia, the chief
Protestant foes of France.


Louis XIV was not a soldier himself. He never appeared in military
uniform or rode at the head of his troops. What he lacked, however, in
personal genius as a great military commander, he compensated for in a
genuine fondness for war and in remarkable personal gifts of diplomacy.
He was one of the greatest diplomats of his age, and, as we have seen,
he possessed large loyal armies and able generals that he could employ
in prosecuting the traditional foreign policy of France.

[Sidenote: Traditional Foreign Policy of France]

This foreign policy, which had been pursued by Francis I, Henry II,
Henry IV, Richelieu, and Mazarin, had for its goal the humiliation of
the powerful Habsburgs, whether of Austria or of Spain. Although France
had gained materially at their expense in the treaties of Westphalia
and of the Pyrenees, much remained to be done by Louis XIV. When the
Grand Monarch assumed direct control of affairs in 1661, the Spanish
Habsburgs still ruled not only the peninsular kingdom south of France,
but the Belgian Netherlands to the north, Franche Comte to the east,
and Milan in northern Italy, while their kinsmen of Austria maintained
shadowy imperial government over the rich Rhenish provinces on the
northeastern boundary of France. France was still almost completely
encircled by Habsburg holdings.

[Sidebar: Doctrine of "Natural Boundaries"]

To justify his subsequent aggressions, Louis XIV propounded the
doctrine of "natural boundaries." Every country, he maintained, should
secure such frontiers as nature had obviously provided--mountains,
lakes, or rivers; and France was naturally provided with the frontiers
of ancient Gaul--the Pyrenees, the Alps, the Rhine River, and the
Ocean. Any foreign monarch or state that claimed power within such
frontiers was an interloper and should be expelled.

[Sidenote: The Wars of Louis XIV]

For many years, and in three great wars, Louis XIV endeavored, with
some success, to reach the Rhine. These three wars--the War of
Devolution, the Dutch War, and the War of the League of Augsburg--we
shall now discuss. A fourth great war, directed toward the acquisition
of the Spanish throne by the Bourbon family, will be treated separately
on account of the wide and varied interests involved.

[Sidenote: The "War of Devolution"]

The War of Devolution was an attempt of Louis to gain the Spanish or
Belgian Netherlands. It will be remembered that in accordance with the
peace of the Pyrenees, Louis had married Maria Theresa, the eldest
daughter of Philip IV of Spain. Now by a subsequent marriage Philip IV
had had a son, a weak-bodied, half-witted prince, who came to the
throne in 1665 as Charles II. Louis XIV at once took advantage of this
turn of affairs to assert in behalf of his wife a claim to a portion of
the Spanish inheritance. The claim was based on a curious custom which
had prevailed in the inheritance of private property in the
Netherlands, to the effect that children of a first marriage should
inherit to the exclusion of those of a subsequent marriage. Louis
insisted that this custom, called "devolution," should be applied not
only to private property but also to sovereignty and that his wife
should be recognized, therefore, as sovereign of the Belgian
Netherlands. In reality the claim was a pure invention, but the French
king thought it would be a sufficient apology for the robbery of a weak

Before opening hostilities, Louis XIV made use of his diplomatic wiles
in order to guard himself against assistance which other states might
render to Spain. In the first place, he obtained promises of friendly
neutrality from Holland, Sweden, and the Protestant states of Germany
which had been allied with France during the Thirty Years' War. In the
second place, he threatened to stir up another civil war in the Holy
Roman Empire if the Austrian Habsburgs should help their Spanish
kinsman. Finally, he had no fear of England because that country was in
the midst of a peculiarly bitter trade war with the Dutch. [Footnote:
It was on the eve of this second trade war between England and Holland
(1665-1667) that the English took New Amsterdam from the Dutch (1664)
and rechristened it New York, and during this struggle that the
remarkable Dutch admiral, De Ruyter, burned the English fleet and
shipping on the Thames (June, 1667).]

[Sidenote: The "Balance of Power"]

The War of Devolution lasted from 1667 to 1668. The well-disciplined
and splendidly generaled armies of Louis XIV had no difficulty in
occupying the border fortresses in the Spanish Netherlands. The whole
territory would undoubtedly have fallen to France, had not a change
unexpectedly occurred in international affairs. The trade war between
England and Holland came to a speedy end, and the two former rivals now
joined with Sweden in forming the Triple Alliance to arrest the war and
to put a stop to the French advance. The "balance of power" demanded,
said the allies, that the other European states should combine in order
to prevent any one state from becoming too powerful. This plea for the
"balance of power" was the reply to the French king's plea for "natural

[Sidenote: Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, 1668]

The threats of the Triple Alliance caused Louis XIV to negotiate the
treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, by which Spain surrendered to France an
important section of territory in Flanders, including the fortified
cities of Charleroi, Tournai, and Lille, but still retained the greater
part of the Belgian Netherlands. The taste of the Grand Monarch was
thereby whetted, but his appetite hardly appeased.

[Sidenote: Franco-Dutch Rivalry]

Louis blamed the Dutch for his rebuff. He was thoroughly alive to the
fact that Holland would never take kindly to having powerful France as
a near neighbor, and that French acquisition of the Belgian
Netherlands, therefore, would always be opposed by the Dutch. Nor were
wounded vanity and political considerations the only motives for the
Grand Monarch's second war, that against the Dutch. France, as well as
England, was now becoming a commercial and colonial rival of Holland,
and it seemed both to Louis XIV and to Colbert that the French middle
class would be greatly benefited by breaking the trade monopolies of
the Dutch. Louis's second war was quite as much a trade war as a
political conflict.

[Sidenote: Civil Strife in Holland]

First, Louis bent his energies to breaking up the Triple Alliance and
isolating Holland. He took advantage of the political situation in
England to arrange (1670) the secret treaty of Dover with Charles II,
the king of that country: in return for a large pension, which should
free him from reliance upon Parliament, the English king undertook to
declare himself a Roman Catholic and to withdraw from the Triple
Alliance. Liberal pensions likewise bought off the Swedish government.
It seemed now as if Holland, alone and friendless, would have to endure
a war with her powerful enemy. Nor was Holland in shape for a
successful resistance. Ever since she had gained formal recognition of
her independence (1648), she had been torn by civil strife. On one
side, the head of the Orange family, who bore the title of stadholder,
supported by the country districts, the nobles, the Calvinistic clergy,
and the peasantry, hoped to consolidate the state and to establish an
hereditary monarchy. On the other side, the aristocratic burghers and
religious liberals, the townsfolk generally, found an able leader in
the celebrated Grand Pensionary, John DeWitt (1625-1672), who sought to
preserve the republic and the rights of the several provinces. For over
twenty years, the latter party was in power, but as the young prince of
Orange, William III, grew to maturity, signs were not lacking of a
reaction in favor of his party.

[Sidenote: The Dutch War]

Under these circumstances, Louis XIV declared war against Holland in
1672. French troops at once occupied Lorraine on the pretext that its
duke was plotting with the Dutch, and thence, proceeding down the
Rhine, past Cologne, invaded Holland and threatened the prosperous city
of Amsterdam. The Dutch people, in a frenzy of despair, murdered John
DeWitt, whom they unjustly blamed for their reverses; and, at the order
of the young William III, who now assumed supreme command, they cut the
dykes and flooded a large part of northern Holland. The same expedient
which had enabled them to expel the Spaniards in the War of
Independence now stayed the victorious advance of the French.

The refusal of Louis XIV to accept the advantageous terms of peace
offered by the Dutch aroused general apprehension throughout Europe.
The Emperor Leopold and the Great Elector of Brandenburg made an
offensive alliance with Holland, which subsequently was joined by Spain
and several German states. The general struggle, thus precipitated,
continued indeed with success for France. Turenne, by a brilliant
victory, compelled the Great Elector to make peace. The emperor was
defeated. The war was carried into the Spanish Netherlands and Franche

[Sidenote: Treaty of Nijmwegen, 1678]

But when at length the English Parliament compelled Charles II to
adhere to the general anti-French alliance, Louis XIV thought it was
time to make peace. As events proved, it was not Holland but Spain that
had to pay the penalties of Louis's second war. By the treaty of
Nijmwegen, the former lost nothing, while the latter ceded to France
the long-coveted province of Franche Comté and several strong
fortresses in the Belgian Netherlands. France, moreover, continued to
occupy the duchy of Lorraine.

[Sidenote: Effects of the Dutch War on France]

Thus, if Louis XIV had failed to punish the insolence of the Dutch, he
had at least succeeded in extending the French frontiers one stage
nearer the Rhine. He had become the greatest and most-feared monarch in
Europe. Yet for these gains France paid heavily. The border provinces
had been wasted by war. The treasury was empty, and the necessity of
negotiating loans and increasing taxes put Colbert in despair. Turenne,
the best general, had been killed late in the contest, and Condé, on
account of ill health, was obliged to withdraw from active service.

Yet at the darker side of the picture, the Grand Monarch refused to
look. He was puffed up with pride by his successes in war and
diplomacy. Like many another vain, ambitious ruler, he felt that what
economic grievances or social discontent might exist within his country
could readily be forgotten or obscured in a blaze of foreign glory--in
the splendor of ambassadors, the glint and din of arms, the grim
shedding of human blood. Having picked the sanguinary path, and at
first found pleasure therein, the Grand Monarch pursued it to an end
bitter for his family and tragic for his people.

[Sidenote: The "Chambers of Reunion" and Further French Annexations]

No sooner was the Dutch War concluded than Louis XIV set out by a
policy of trickery and diplomacy further to augment the French
territories. The cessions, which the treaties of Westphalia and
Nijmwegen guaranteed to France, had been made "with their
dependencies." It now occurred to Louis that doubtless in the old
feudal days of the middle ages or early modern times some, if not all,
of his new acquisitions had possessed feudal suzerainty over other
towns or territories not yet incorporated into France. Although in most
cases such ancient feudal ties had practically lapsed by the close of
the seventeenth century, nevertheless the French king decided to
reinvoke them in order, if possible, to add to his holdings. He
accordingly constituted special courts, called "Chambers of Reunion,"
composed of his own obedient judges, who were to decide what districts
by right of ancient feudal usage should be annexed. So painstaking and
minute were the investigations of these Chambers of Reunion that they
adjudged to their own country, France, no less than twenty important
towns of the Holy Roman Empire, including Luxemburg and Strassburg.
Nothing seemed to prevent the prompt execution of these judgments by
the French king. He had kept his army on a war footing. The king of
England was again in his pay and his alliance. The emperor was hard
pressed by an invasion of the Ottoman Turks. Armed imperial resistance
at Strassburg was quickly overcome (1681), and Vauban, the great
engineer, proceeded to make that city the chief French fortress upon
the Rhine. A weak effort of the Spanish monarch to protect Luxemburg
from French aggression was doomed to dismal failure (1684).

[Sidenote: War of the League of Augsburg or of the Palatinate]

Alarmed by the steady advance of French power, the Emperor Leopold in
1686 succeeded in forming the League of Augsburg with Spain, Sweden,
and several German princes, in order to preserve the territorial
integrity of the Holy Roman Empire. Nor was it long before the League
of Augsburg was called upon to resist further encroachments of the
French king. In 1688 Louis dispatched a large army into the Rhenish
Palatinate to enforce a preposterous claim which he had advanced to
that valuable district. The war which resulted was Louis's third
struggle, and has been variously styled the War of the League of
Augsburg or the War of the Palatinate. In America, where it was to be
paralleled by an opening conflict between French and English colonists,
it has been known as King William's War.

[Sidenote: William III, Stadholder of Holland and King of England]

In his first two wars, Louis XIV could count upon the neutrality, if
not the friendly aid, of the English. Their king was dependent upon him
for financial support in maintaining an absolutist government. Their
influential commercial and trading classes, who still suffered more
from Dutch than from French rivalry, displayed no anxiety to mix unduly
in the dynastic conflicts on the Continent. Louis had an idea that he
could count upon the continuation of the same English policy; he was
certainly on good terms with the English king, James II (1685-1688).
But the deciding factor in England and in the war was destined to be
not the subservient James II but the implacable William III. This
William III, [Footnote: William III (1650-1702), Dutch stadholder in
1672 and British king in 1689.] as stadholder of Holland, had long been
a stubborn opponent of Louis XIV on the Continent; he had repeatedly
displayed his ability as a warrior and as a cool, crafty schemer.
Through his marriage with the princess Mary, elder daughter of James
II, he now managed adroitly to ingratiate himself with the Protestant,
parliamentary, and commercial parties in England that were opposing the
Catholic, absolutist, and tyrannical policies of James.

We shall presently see that the English Revolution of 1688, which drove
James II into exile, was a decisive step in the establishment of
constitutional government in England. It was likewise of supreme
importance in its effects upon the foreign policy of Louis XIV, for it
called to the English throne the son-in-law of James, William III, the
stadholder of Holland and arch enemy of the French king.

[Sidenote: Beginning of a new Hundred Years' War between France and

England, under the guidance of her new sovereign, promptly joined the
League of Augsburg, and declared war against France. Trade rivalries
between Holland and England were in large part composed, and the
colonial empires of the two states, now united under a joint ruler,
naturally came into conflict with the colonial empire of France. Thus,
in addition to the difficulties which the Bourbons encountered in
promoting their dynastic interests on the continent of Europe, they
were henceforth confronted by a vast colonial and commercial struggle
with England. It was the beginning of a Hundred Years' War that was to
be fought for the mastery of India and America.

Louis XIV never seemed to appreciate the importance of the colonial
side of the contest. He was too much engrossed in his ambition of
stretching French boundaries to the Rhine. So in discussing the War of
the League of Augsburg as well as the subsequent War of the Spanish
Succession, we shall devote our attention in this chapter primarily to
the European and dynastic elements, reserving the account of the
parallel colonial struggle to a later chapter on the "World Conflict of
France and Great Britain."

The War of the League of Augsburg, Louis' third war, lasted from 1689
to 1697. Notwithstanding the loss of Turenne and Condé, the splendidly
organized French armies were able to hold the allies at bay and to save
their country from invasion. They even won several victories on the
frontier. But on the sea, the struggle was less successful for Louis,
and a French expedition to Ireland in favor of James II proved
disastrous. After many years of strife, ruinous to all the combatants,
the Grand Monarch sued for peace.

[Sidenote: The Treaty of Ryswick, 1697]

By the treaty of Ryswick, which concluded the War of the League of
Augsburg, Louis XIV (1) surrendered nearly all the places adjudged to
him by the Chambers of Reunion, except Strassburg; (2) allowed the
Dutch to garrison the chief fortresses in the Spanish Netherlands as a
"barrier" against French aggression; (3) granted the Dutch a favorable
commercial treaty; (4) restored Lorraine to its duke; (5) abandoned his
claim to the Palatinate; (6) acknowledged William III as king of
England and promised to support no attempt against his throne. Thus,
the French king lost no territory,--in fact, he obtained full
recognition of his ownership of the whole province of Alsace,--but his
reputation and vanity had been uncomfortably wounded.


One of the main reasons that prompted Louis XIV to sue for peace and to
abandon his claims on Lorraine and the Palatinate was the rapid
physical decline of the inglorious Spanish monarch, Charles II, of
whose enormous possessions the French king hoped by diplomacy and
intrigue to secure valuable portions.

[Sidenote: The Spanish Inheritance]

Spain was still a great power. Under its crown were gathered not only
the ancient kingdoms of Castile, Aragon, and Navarre in the Spanish
peninsula, but the greater part of the Belgian Netherlands, and in
Italy the kingdom of the Two Sicilies, the duchy of Milan, and the
control of Tuscany, as well as the huge colonial empire in America and
the Philippines. At the time when kings were absolute rulers and
reckoned their territories as personal possessions, much depended upon
the royal succession.

[Sidenote: The Spanish Succession]

Now it happened that the Spanish Habsburgs were dying out in the male
line. Charles II was himself without children or brothers. Of his
sisters, the elder was the wife of Louis XIV and the younger was
married to the Emperor Leopold, the heir of the Austrian Habsburgs.
Louis XIV had renounced by the peace of the Pyrenees (1659) all claims
to the Spanish throne on condition that a large dowry be paid him, but
the impoverished state of the Spanish exchequer had prevented the
payment of the dowry. Louis, therefore, might lay claim to the whole
inheritance of Charles II and entertain the hope of seeing the Bourbons
supplant the Habsburgs in some of the fairest lands of Christendom. In
opposition to the French contention, the emperor was properly moved by
family pride to put forth the claim of his wife and that of himself as
the nearest male relative of the Spanish king. If the contention of
Leopold were sustained, a single Habsburg ruler might once more unite
an empire as vast as that which the Emperor Charles V had once ruled.
On the other side, if the ambition of Louis XIV were realized, a new
and formidable Bourbon empire would be erected. In either case the
European "balance of power" would be destroyed.

[Sidenote: Commercial and Colonial Complications]

Bound up with the political problem in Europe were grave commercial and
colonial questions. According to the mercantilist theories that
flourished throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, every
country which possessed colonies should reserve trade privileges with
them exclusively to its own citizens. So long as France and Spain were
separate and each was only moderately powerful, their commercial
rivals, notably England and Holland, might hope to gain special trade-
concessions from time to time in French or Spanish colonies. But once
the colonial empires of France and Spain were united under a joint
ruler, such a vast monopoly would be created as would effectually
prevent the expansion of English or Dutch commerce while it heightened
the economic prosperity of the Bourbon subjects.

[Sidenote: Attempts to Partition the Spanish Inheritance]

It was natural, therefore, that William III, as stadholder of Holland
and king of England, should hold the balance of power between the
Austrian Habsburgs and the French Bourbons. Both the claimants
appreciated this fact and understood that neither would be allowed
peacefully to appropriate the entire Spanish inheritance. In fact,
several "partition treaties" were patched up between Louis and William
III, with a view to maintaining the balance of power and preventing
either France or Austria from unduly increasing its power. But flaws
were repeatedly found in the treaties, and, as time went on, the
problem grew more vexatious. After the conclusion of the peace of
Ryswick, Louis XIV was absorbed in the game of dividing the property of
the dying Spanish king. One of the very greatest triumphs of Louis'
diplomatic art was the way in which he ingratiated himself in Spanish
favor. It must be remembered that it was Spain which the Grand Monarch
had attacked and despoiled in his earlier wars of aggrandizement, and
neither the Spanish court nor the Spanish people could have many
patriotic motives for loving him. Yet such was his tact and his finesse
that within three years after the treaty of Ryswick he had secured the
respect of the feeble Charles II and the gratitude of the Spanish

[Sidenote: Will of Charles II of Spain in Favor of the French Bourbons]

A month before his pitiful death (1700), Charles II, the last of the
Spanish Habsburgs, summoned all his strength and dictated a will that
awarded his whole inheritance to Philip of Anjou, the grandson of Louis
XIV, with the resolute proviso that under no circumstances should the
Spanish possessions be dismembered. When the news reached Versailles,
the Grand Monarch hesitated. He knew that acceptance meant war at least
with Austria, probably with England. Perhaps he thought of the wretched
condition into which his other wars had plunged his people.

[Sidenote: Acceptance of the Will by Louis XIV]

Hesitation was but an interlude. Ambition triumphed over fear, and the
glory of the royal family over the welfare of France. In the great hall
of mirrors at Versailles, the Grand Monarch heralded his grandson as
Philip V, the first Bourbon king of Spain. And when Philip, left for
Madrid, his now aged grandfather kissed him, and the Spanish ambassador
exultantly declared that "the Pyrenees no longer exist."

Anticipating the inevitable outbreak of hostilities, Louis proceeded to
violate the treaty of Ryswick by seizing the "barrier" fortresses from
the Dutch and by recognizing the son of James II as king of England. He
then made hasty alliances with Bavaria and Savoy, and called out the
combined armies of France and Spain.

[Sidenote: The Grand Alliance against the Bourbons]

Meanwhile, William III and the Emperor Leopold formed the Grand
Alliance, to which at first England, Holland, Austria, and the German
electors of Brandenburg-Prussia, Hanover, and the Palatinate adhered.
Subsequently, Portugal, by means of a favorable commercial treaty with
England,[Footnote: The "Methuen Treaty" (1703).] was induced to join
the alliance, and the duke of Savoy abandoned France in favor of
Austria with the understanding that his country should be recognized as
a kingdom. The allies demanded that the Spanish crown should pass to
the Archduke Charles, the grandson of the emperor, that Spanish trade
monopolies should be broken, and that the power of the French king
should be curtailed.

[Sidenote: The War of the Spanish Succession]

The War of the Spanish Succession--the fourth and final war of Louis
XIV--lasted from 1702 to 1713. Although William III died at its very
commencement, he was certain that it would be vigorously pushed by the
English government of his sister-in-law, Queen Anne (1702-1714). The
bitter struggle on the high seas and in the colonies, where it was
known as Queen Anne's War, will be treated in another place. [Footnote:
See below, p. 308.] The military campaigns in Europe were on a larger
scale than had hitherto been known. Fighting was carried on in the
Netherlands, in the southern Germanies, in Italy, and in Spain.

The tide of war turned steadily for several years against the Bourbons.
The allies possessed the ablest generals of the time in the duke of
Marlborough (1650-1722), the conscientious self-possessed English
commander, and in the skillful and daring Prince Eugene of Savoy (1663-
1736). The great battle of Blenheim (1704) drove the French from the
Holy Roman Empire, and the capture of Gibraltar (1704) gave England a
foothold in Spain and a naval base for the Mediterranean. Prince Eugene
crowded the French out of Italy (1706); and by the victories of
Ramillies (1706), Oudenarde (1708), and Malplaquet (1709), Marlborough
cleared the Netherlands. On land and sea one reverse followed another.
The allies at length were advancing on French soil. It appeared
inevitable that they would settle peace at Paris on their own terms.

Then it was that Louis XIV displayed an energy and devotion worthy of a
better cause. He appealed straight to the patriotism of his people. He
set an example of untiring application to toil. Nor was he disappointed
in his expectations. New recruits hurried to the front; rich and poor
poured in their contributions; a supreme effort was made to stay the
advancing enemy.

The fact that Louis XIV was not worse punished was due to this
remarkable uprising of the French and Spanish nations and likewise to
dissensions among the allies. A change of ministry in England led to
the disgrace and retirement of the duke of Marlborough and made that
country lukewarm in prosecuting the war. Then, too, the unexpected
accession of the Archduke Charles to the imperial and Austrian thrones
(1711) now rendered the claims of the allies' candidate for the Spanish
throne as menacing to the European balance of power as would be the
recognition of the French claimant, Philip of Bourbon.

These circumstances made possible the conclusion of the peace of
Utrecht, with the following major provisions:

[Sidenote: The Peace of Utrecht 1713-1714]

(1) Philip V, grandson of Louis XIV, was acknowledged king of Spain and
the Indies, on condition that the crowns of France and Spain should
never be united. (2) The Austrian Habsburgs were indemnified by
securing Naples, Sardinia, [Footnote: By the treaty of London (1720),
Austria exchanged Sardinia for Sicily.] Milan, and the Belgian
Netherlands. The last-named, which had been called the Spanish
Netherlands since the days of Philip II, were henceforth for a century
styled the Austrian Netherlands.

(3) England received the lion's share of the spoils. She obtained
Newfoundland, Acadia (Nova Scotia), and Hudson Bay from France, and
Gibraltar and Minorca from Spain. She also secured a preferential
tariff for her imports into the great port of Cadiz, the monopoly of
the slave trade, and the right of sending one ship of merchandise a
year to the Spanish colonies. France promised not to assist the Stuarts
in their attempts to regain the English throne.

(4) The Dutch recovered the "barrier" fortresses and for garrisoning
them were promised financial aid by Austria. The Dutch were also
allowed to establish a trade monopoly on the River Scheldt.

(5) The elector of Brandenburg was acknowledged king of Prussia, an
important step In the fortunes of the Hohenzollern family which at the
present time reigns in Germany.

(6) The duchy of Savoy was recognized similarly as a kingdom and was
given the island of Sicily. [Footnote: The title of king was recognized
by the emperor only in 1720, when Savoy exchanged Sicily for Sardinia.
Henceforth the kingdom of Savoy was usually referred to as the kingdom
of Sardinia.] From the house of Savoy has descended the reigning
sovereign of present-day Italy.

[Sidenote: Significance of the Settlement of Utrecht]

The peace of Utrecht marked the cessation of a long conflict between
Spanish Habsburgs and French Bourbons. For nearly a century thereafter
both France and Spain pursued similar foreign policies for the common
interests of the Bourbon family. Bourbon sovereigns have continued,
with few interruptions, to reign in Spain to the present moment.

The Habsburg influence, however, remained paramount in Austria, in the
Holy Roman Empire, in Italy, and in the Belgian Netherlands. It was
against this predominance that the Bourbons were to direct their
dynastic policies throughout the greater part of the eighteenth

The peace of Utrecht likewise marked the rise of English power upon the
seas and the gradual elimination of France as a successful competitor
in the race for colonial mastery. Two states also came into prominence
upon the continent of Europe--Prussia and Savoy--about which the new
German Empire and the unified Italian Kingdom were respectively to be

[Sidenote: Last Years of the Grand Monarch]

While France was shorn of none of her European conquests, nevertheless
the War of the Spanish Succession was exceedingly disastrous for that
country. In its wake came famine and pestilence, excessive imposts and
taxes, official debasement of the currency, and bankruptcy--a long line
of social and economic disorders. Louis XIV survived the treaty of
Utrecht but two years, and to such depths had his prestige and glory
fallen among his own people, that his corpse, as it passed along the
royal road to the stately tombs of the French kings at St. Denis, "was
saluted by the curses of a noisy crowd sitting in the wine-rooms,
celebrating his death by drinking more than their fill as a
compensation for having suffered too much from hunger during his
lifetime. Such was the coarse but true epitaph which popular opinion
accorded to the Grand Monarch."

[Sidenote: Misgovernment of France during Minority of Louis XV]

Nor had the immediate future much better things in store for exhausted
France. The successor upon the absolutist throne was Louis XV, great-
grandson of Louis XIV and a boy of five years of age, who did not
undertake to exercise personal power until near the middle of the
eighteenth century. In the meantime the country was governed for about
eight years by the king's uncle, the duke of Orleans, and then for
twenty years by Cardinal Fleury.

[Sidenote: John Law]

Orleans loved pleasure and gave himself to a life of debauchery; he
cared little for the boy-king, whose education and training he
grievously neglected. His foreign policy was weak and vacillating, and
his several efforts to reform abuses in the political and economic
institutions of Louis XIV invariably ended in failure. It was while
experimenting with the disorganized finances that he was duped by a
Scotch adventurer and promoter, a certain John Law (1671-1729). Law had
an idea that a gigantic corporation might be formed for French colonial
trade, [Footnote: Law's corporation was actually important in the
development of Louisiana.] shares might be widely sold throughout the
country, and the proceeds therefrom utilized to wipe out the public
debt. Orleans accepted the scheme and for a while the country went mad
with the fever of speculation. In due time, however, the stock was
discovered to be worthless, the bubble burst, and a terrible panic
ensued. The net result was increased misery for the nation.

[Sidenote: Fleury and the War of the Polish Election]

The little sense which Orleans possessed was sufficient to keep him out
of foreign war [Footnote: France was at peace throughout his regency,
except for a brief time (1719-1720) when Orleans joined the British
government in preventing his Spanish cousin, Philip V, from upsetting
the treaty of Utrecht.] but even that was lacking to his successor,
Cardinal Fleury. Fleury was dragged into a war (1733-1738) with Austria
and Russia over the election of a Polish king. The allies supported the
elector of Saxony; France supported a Pole, the father-in-law of Louis
XV, Stanislaus Leszczinski. France was defeated and Louis XV had to
content himself with securing the duchy of Lorraine for his father-in-
law. Thus, family ambition merely added to the economic distress of the
French people.

It was during the War of the Polish Election, however, that the Bourbon
king of Spain, perceiving his rivals engaged elsewhere, seized the
kingdom of the Two Sicilies from Austria and put a member of his own
family on its throne. Thus, in the eighteenth century, the Bourbons
dominated France, Spain, and southern Italy.




GENERAL. Brief accounts: J. H. Robinson and C. A. Beard, _The
Development of Modern Europe_, Vol. I (1907), ch. i-iii; H. O. Wakeman,
_The Ascendancy of France, 1598-1715_ (1894), ch. ix-xi, xiv, xv; A. H.
Johnson, _The Age of the Enlightened Despot, 1660-1789_ (1910), ch i-
iii, vi; J. H. Sacret, _Bourbon and Vasa, 1610-1715_ (1914), ch. viii-
xii; Arthur Hassall, _Louis XIV and the Zenith of the French Monarchy_
(1897) in the "Heroes of the Nations" Series; H. T. Dyer, _A History of
Modern Europe from the Fall of Constantinople_, 3d ed. rev. by Arthur
Hassall (1901), ch. xxxvii, xxxix-xl, xlii-xliv; A. J. Grant, _The
French Monarchy, 1483-1789_, Vol. II (1900), ch. x-xvi; G. W. Kitchin,
_A History of France_, Vol. III (1899), Books V and VI, ch. i, ii;
Victor Duruy, _History of Modern Times_, trans. and rev. by E. A.
Grosvenor (1894), ch. xxi-xxiii. More detailed treatments: _Cambridge
Modern History_, Vol. V (1908), ch. i-iii, vii-ix, xiii, xiv, Vol. VI
(1909), ch. iv-vi; _Histoire générale_, Vol. VI, ch. iii-v, vii-ix,
xii-xvi, xx, Vol. VII, ch. i-iii; _Histoire de France_, ed. by Ernest
Lavisse, Vols. VII and VIII (1906-1909); _History of All Nations_, Vol.
XIII, _The Age of Louis XIV_, by Martin Philippson.

DOMESTIC AFFAIRS OF FRANCE. Cécile Hugon, _Social France in the
Seventeenth Century_ (1911), popular, suggestive, and well-
illustrated. On Colbert: A. J. Sargent, _Economic Policy of Colbert_
(1899); S. L. Mims, _Colbert's West India Policy_ (1912); Émile
Levasseur, _Histoire des classes ouvrières et de l'industrie en France
avant 1789_, Vol. II (1901), Book VI; Pierre Clément (editor),
_Lettres, Instructions et Mémoires de Colbert_, 7 vols. in 9 (1861-
1873). H. M. Baird, _The Huguenots and the Revocation of the Edict of
Nantes_, 2 vols. (1895), a detailed study by a warm partisan of the
French Protestants. Among the numerous important sources for the reign
of Louis XIV should be mentioned especially F. A. Isambert (editor),
_Recueil général des anciennes lois_, Vols. XVIII-XX, containing
significant statutes of the reign; G. B. Depping (editor),
_Correspondance administrative sous le règne de Louis XIV_, 4 vols.
(1850-1855), for the system of government; Arthur de Boislisle
(editor), _Correspondance des contrôleurs généraux_, 2 vols., for the
fiscal system. Voltaire's brilliant _Age of Louis the Fourteenth_ has
been translated into English; an authoritative history of French
literature in the Age of Louis XIV is Louis Petit de Julleville
(editor), _Histoire de la langue et de la littérature française_, Vol.
V (1898). The best account of the minority of Louis XV is that of J. B.
Perkins, _France under the Regency_ (1892); a brief summary is Arthur
Hassall, _The Balance of Power, 1715-1789_ (1896), ch. i-iv.

FOREIGN WARS OF LOUIS XIV. On Louis XIV's relations with the Dutch: P.
J. Blok, _History of the People of the Netherlands_, Part IV,
_Frederick Henry, John DeWitt, William III_, abridged Eng. trans.
by O. A. Bierstadt (1907). On his relations with the empire: Ruth
Putnam, _Alsace and Lorraine from Cæsar to Kaiser, 58 B.C.-1871
A.D._ (1914), a popular narrative; Franz Krones, _Handbuch der
Geschichte Oesterreichs_, Vol. III, Book XVI, Vol. IV, Book XVII
(1878), a standard German work. On his relations with Spain: M. A. S.
Hume, _Spain, its Greatness and Decay, 1479-1788_ (1898), ch. ix-
xiii. On Louis XIV's relations with England: Osmund Airy, _The
English Restoration and Louis XIV_ (1895), in the "Epochs of Modern
History" Series; Sir J. R. Seeley, _The Growth of British Policy_,
2 vols. (1895), especially Vol. II, Parts IV and V; Earl Stanhope,
_History of England, Comprising the Reign of Queen Anne until the
Peace of Utrecht_ (1870), a rather dry account of the War of the
Spanish Succession; G. J. (Viscount) Wolseley, _Life of John
Churchill, Duke of Marlborough, to the Accession of Queen Anne_, 4th
ed., 2 vols. (1894), an apology for Marlborough; J. S. Corbett,
_England in the Mediterranean, 1603-1713_, Vol. II (1904), for
English naval operations; J. W. Gerard, _The Peace of Utrecht_
(1885). On the diplomacy of the whole period: D. T. Hill, _History of
Diplomacy in the International Development of Europe,_ Vol. III
(1914), ch. i-iv, a clear outline; Emile Bourgeois, _Manuel
historique de politique étrangère_, 4th ed., Vol. I (1906), ch. iii,
iv, vii, ix, xiv; Arsène Legrelle, _La diplomatie française et la
succession d'Espagne, 1659-1725_, 4 vols. (1888-1892), a minute
study of an important phase of Louis XIV's diplomacy; the text of the
principal diplomatic documents is in course of publication at Paris (20
vols., 1884-1913) as the _Recueil des instructions données aux
ambassadeurs et ministres de France depuis les traités de Westphalie
jusqu'à la révolution française_.

MEMOIRS OF THE AGE OF LOUIS XIV. Among the multitudinous memoirs of the
period, the most significant, from the standpoint of the general
historian, are: Marquise de Sévigné, _Lettres_, delightful
epistles relating mainly to the years 1670-1696, edited in fullest form
for "Les grands écrivains de la France" by Monmerqué, 14 vols. (1862-
1868), selections of which have been translated into English by C. Syms
(1898); Duc de Saint-Simon, _Mémoires_, the most celebrated of
memoirs, dealing with many events of the years 1692-1723, gossipy and
racily written but occasionally inaccurate and frequently partisan,
edited many times--most recently and best for "Les grands écrivains de
la France" by Arthur de Boislisle, 30 vols. (1879-1916), of which a
much-abridged translation has been published in English, 4 vols.;
Marquis de Dangeau, _Journal_, 19 vols. (1854-1882), written day
by day, throughout the years 1684-1720, by a conscientious and well-
informed member of the royal entourage; _Life and Letters of
Charlotte Elizabeth_ (1889), select letters, trans. into English, of
a German princess who married Louis XIV's brother, of which the most
complete French edition is that of Jaeglé, 3 vols. (1890). See also
Comtesse de Puliga, _Madame de Sévigné, her Correspondents and
Contemporaries_, 2 vols. (1873), and, for important collections of
miscellaneous memoirs of the period, J. F. Michaud and J. J. F.
Poujoulat, _Nouvelle collection des mémoires relatifs à l'histoire de
France depuis le 13e siècle jusqu'à la fin du 18e siècle_, 34 vols.
(1854), and Louis Lafaist and L. F. Danjou, _Archives curieuses de
l'histoire de France_, 27 vols. (1834-1840).




Through all the wars of dynastic rivalry which have been traced in the
two preceding chapters, we have noticed the increasing prestige of the
powerful French monarchy, culminating in the reign of Louis XIV. We now
turn to a nation which played but a minor rôle in the international
rivalries of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Later, from 1689
to 1763, England was to engage in a tremendous colonial struggle with
France. But from 1560 to 1689 England for the most part held herself
aloof from the continental rivalries of Bourbons and Habsburgs, and
never fought in earnest except against Philip II of Spain, who
threatened England's economic and political independence, and against
the Dutch, who were England's commercial rivals. While the continental
states were engaged in dynastic quarrels, England was absorbed in a
conflict between rival principles of domestic government--between
constitutional parliamentary government and unlimited royal power. To
the triumph of the parliamentary principle in England we owe many of
our modern ideas and practices of constitutional government.

[Sidenote: Absolutism of the Tudors, 1485-1603]

Absolutism had reached its high-water mark in England long before the
power and prestige of the French monarchy had culminated in the person
of Louis XIV. In the sixteenth century--the very century in which the
French sovereigns faced constant foreign war and chronic civil
commotion--the Tudor rulers of England were gradually freeing
themselves from reliance upon Parliament and were commanding the united
support of the English nation. From the accession of Henry VII in 1485
to the death of his grand-daughter Elizabeth in 1603, the practice of
absolutism, though not the theory of divine-right monarchy, seemed ever
to be gaining ground.

How Tudor despotism was established and maintained is explained in part
by reference to the personality of Henry VII and to the circumstances
that brought him to the throne. [Footnote: For the character and main
achievements of Henry VII (1485-1500), see above, pp. 4 ff.] It is also
explicable by reference to historical developments in England
throughout the sixteenth century. [Footnote: For the reigns of Henry
VIII, Edward VI, Mary, and Elizabeth, see above, pp. 86, 97 ff., 150
ff.] As Henry VII humbled the nobility, so Henry VIII and Elizabeth
subordinated the Church to the crown. And all the Tudors asserted their
supremacy in the sphere of industry and commerce. By a law of 1503, the
craft gilds had been obliged to obtain the approval of royal officers
for whatever new ordinances the gilds might wish to make. In the first
year of the reign of Edward VI the gilds were crippled by the loss of
part of their property, which was confiscated under the pretext of
religious reform. Elizabeth's reign was notable for laws regulating
apprenticeship, prescribing the terms of employment of laborers,
providing that wages should be fixed by justices of the peace, and
ordering vagabonds to be set to work. In the case of commerce, the
royal power was exerted encouragingly, as when Henry VII negotiated the
_Intercursus Magnus_ with the duke of Burgundy to gain admittance
for English goods into the Netherlands, or chartered the "Merchant
Adventurers" to carry on trade in English woolen cloth, or sent John
Cabot to seek an Atlantic route to Asia; or as when Elizabeth
countenanced and abetted explorers and privateers and smugglers and
slave-traders in extending her country's maritime power at the expense
of Spain. All this meant that the strong hand of the English monarch
had been laid upon commerce and industry as well as upon justice,
finance, and religion.

The power of the Tudors had rested largely upon their popularity with
the growing influential middle class. They had subdued sedition, had
repelled the Armada, had fostered prosperity, and had been willing at
times to cater to the whims of their subjects. They had faithfully
personified national patriotism; and the English nation, in turn, had
extolled them.

Yet despite this absolutist tradition of more than a century's
duration, England was destined in the seventeenth century to witness a
long bitter struggle between royal and parliamentary factions, the
beheading of one king and the exiling of another, and in the end the
irrevocable rejection of the theory and practice of absolutist divine-
right monarchy, and this at the very time when Louis XIV was holding
majestic court at Versailles and all the lesser princes on the
Continent were zealously patterning their proud words and boastful
deeds after the model of the Grand Monarch. In that day a mere
parliament was to become dominant in England.

[Sidenote: Accession of the Stuarts: James I, 1603-1625]

The death of Elizabeth, the last of the Tudors, and the accession
(1603) of her cousin James, the first of the Stuarts, marked the real
beginning of the struggle. When he was but a year old, this James had
acquired through the deposition of his unfortunate mother, Mary Stuart,
the crown of Scotland (1567), and had been proclaimed James VI in that
disorderly and distracted country. The boy who was whipped by his tutor
and kidnapped by his barons and browbeaten by Presbyterian divines
learned to rule Scotland with a rod of iron and incidentally acquired
such astonishing erudition, especially in theology, that the clever
King Henry IV of France called him "the wisest fool in Christendom." At
the age of thirty-seven, this Scotchman succeeded to the throne of
England as James I. "He was indeed," says Macaulay, "made up of two
men--a witty, well-read scholar who wrote, disputed, and harangued, and
a nervous, driveling idiot who acted."

[Sidenote: The Stuart Theory of Absolutist Divine-right Monarchy]

James was not content, like his Tudor predecessors, merely to be an
absolute ruler in practice; he insisted also upon the theory of divine-
right monarchy. Such a theory was carefully worked out by the pedantic
Stuart king eighty years before Bishop Bossuet wrote his classic
treatise on divine-right monarchy for the guidance of the young son of
Louis XIV. To James it seemed quite clear that God had divinely
ordained kings to rule, for had not Saul been anointed by Jehovah's
prophet, had not Peter and Paul urged Christians to obey their masters,
and had not Christ Himself said, "Render unto Cæsar that which is
Cæsar's"? As the father corrects his children, so should the king
correct his subjects. As the head directs the hands and feet, so must
the king control the members of the body politic. Royal power was thus
the most natural and the most effective instrument for suppressing
anarchy and rebellion. James I summarized his idea of government in the
famous Latin epigram, "_a deo rex, a rege lex_, "--"the king is
from God, and law from the king."

[Sidenote: Stuart Theory Opposed to Medieval English Tradition]

It has been remarked already [Footnote: See above, pp. 4-7] that in one
important respect the past governmental evolution of England differed
from that of France. While both countries in the sixteenth century
followed absolutist tendencies, in France the medieval tradition of
constitutional limitations upon the power of the king was far weaker
than in England, with the result that in the seventeenth century the
French accepted and consecrated absolutism while the English gave new
force and life to their medieval tradition and practice of
constitutional government.

[Sidenote: Restrictions on Royal Power in England: Magna Carta]

The tradition of English restrictions upon royal power centered in the
old document of _Magna Carta_ and in an ancient institution called
Parliament. _Magna Carta_ dated back, almost four centuries before
King James, to the year 1215 when King John had been compelled by his
rebellious barons to sign a long list of promises; that list was the
"long charter" or _Magna Carta_, [Footnote: _Magna Carta_ was
many times reissued after 1215.] and it was important in three
respects. (1) It served as a constant reminder that "the people" of
England had once risen in arms to defend their "rights" against a
despotic king, although as a matter of fact _Magna Carta_ was more
concerned with the rights of the feudal nobles (the barons) and of the
clergy than with the rights of the common people. (2) Its most
important provisions, by which the king could not levy extraordinary
taxes on the nobles without the consent of the Great Council, furnished
something of a basis for the idea of self-taxation. (3) Clauses such as
"To no man will we sell, or deny, or delay, right or justice," although
never effectively enforced, established the idea that justice should
not be sold, denied, or delayed.

[Sidenote: Parliament]

Parliament was a more or less representative assembly of clergy,
nobility, and commoners, claiming to have powers of taxation and
legislation. The beginnings of Parliament are traced back centuries
before James I. There had been an advisory body of prelates and lords
even before the Norman conquest (1066). After the conquest a somewhat
similar assembly of the king's chief feudal vassals--lay and
ecclesiastical--had been called the Great Council, and its right to
resist unjust taxation had been recognized by _Magna Carta_.
Henceforth it had steadily acquired power. The "Provisions of Oxford"
(1258) had provided, in addition, for "twelve honest men" to represent
the "commonalty" and to "treat of the wants of the king; and the
commonalty shall hold as established that which these men shall do."

[Sidenote: House of Lords and House of Commons]

For the beginnings of the House of Commons we may go back to the
thirteenth century. In 1254 the king summoned to Parliament not only
the bishops, abbots, earls, and barons, but also two knights from every
shire. Then, in an irregular Parliament, convened in 1265 by Simon de
Montfort, a great baronial leader against the king, two burgesses from
each of twenty-one towns for the first time sat with the others and
helped to decide how their liberties were to be protected. These
knights and burgesses were the elements from which the House of Commons
was subsequently to be formed. Similar bodies met repeatedly in the
next thirty years, and in 1295 Edward I called a "model Parliament" of
archbishops, bishops, abbots, representative clergy, earls, and barons,
two knights from every shire, and two citizens from each privileged
city or borough,--more than four hundred in all. For some time after
1295 the clergy, nobility, and commoners [Footnote: _I.e._, the
knights of the shires and the burgesses from the towns.] may have
deliberated separately much as did the three "estates" in France. At
any rate, early in the fourteenth century the lesser clergy dropped
out, the greater prelates and nobles were fused into one body--the
House of "Lords spiritual and temporal,"--and the knights joined the
burgesses to form the House of Commons. Parliament was henceforth a
bicameral body, consisting of a House of Commons and a House of Lords.

[Sidenote: Powers of Parliament: Taxation]

The primary function of Parliament was to give information to the king
and to hear and grant his requests for new "subsidies" or direct taxes.
The right to refuse grants was gradually assumed and legally
recognized. As taxes on the middle class soon exceeded those on the
clergy and nobility, it became customary in the fifteenth century for
money bills to be introduced in the Commons, approved by the Lords, and
signed by the king.

[Sidenote: Legislation]

The right to make laws had always been a royal prerogative, in theory
at least. Parliament, however, soon utilized its financial control in
order to obtain initiative in legislation. A threat of withholding
subsidies had been an effective way of forcing Henry III to confirm
_Magna Carta_ in 1225; it proved no less effective in securing
royal enactment of later "petitions" for laws. In the fifteenth century
legislation by "petition" was supplanted by legislation by "bill," that
is, introducing in either House of Parliament measures which, in form
and language, were complete statutes and which became such by the
united assent of Commons, Lords, and king. To this day English laws
have continued to be made formally "by the King's most Excellent
Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and
Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the
authority of the same."

[Sidenote: Influence on Administration]

The right to demand an account of expenditures, to cause the removal of
royal officers, to request the king to abandon unpopular policies, or
otherwise to control administrative affairs, had occasionally been
asserted by Parliament, but not consistently maintained.

[Sidenote: Parliament under the Tudors]

From what has been said, it will now be clear that the fulcrum of
parliamentary power was control of finance. What had enabled the Tudors
to incline toward absolutism was the fact that for more than a hundred
years they had made themselves fairly independent of Parliament in
matters of finance; and this they had done by means of economy, by
careful collection of taxes, by irregular expedients, by confiscation
of religious property, and by tampering with the currency. Parliament
still met, however, but irregularly, and during Elizabeth's reign it
was in session on the average only three or four weeks of the year.
Parliament still transacted business, but rarely differed with the
monarch on matters of importance.

[Sidenote: James I and Parliament]

At the end of the Tudor period, then, we have an ancient tradition of
constitutional, parliamentary government on the one hand, and a strong,
practical, royal power on the other. The conflict between Parliament
and king, which had been avoided by the tactful Tudors, soon began in
earnest when James I ascended the throne in 1603, with his exaggerated
notion of his own authority. James I was an extravagant monarch, and
needed parliamentary subsidies, yet his own pedantic principles
prevented him from humoring Parliament in any dream of power. The
inevitable result was a conflict for political supremacy between
Parliament and king. When Parliament refused him money, James resorted
to the imposition of customs duties, grants of monopolies, sale of
peerages, and the solicitation of "benevolences" (forced loans).
Parliament promptly protested against such practices, as well as
against his foreign and religious policies and against his absolute
control of the appointment and operation of the judiciary. Parliament's
protests only increased the wrath of the king. The noisiest
parliamentarians were imprisoned or sent home with royal scoldings. In
1621 the Commoners entered in their journal a "Great Protestation"
against the king's interference with their free right to discuss the
affairs of the realm. This so angered the king that he tore the
Protestation out of the journal and presently dissolved the intractable
Parliament; but the quarrel continued, and James's last Parliament had
the audacity to impeach his lord treasurer.

[Sidenote: Political Dispute Complicated by Religious Difference]
[Sidenote: Calvinists in England]
[Sidenote: The "Puritans"]

The political dispute was made more bitter by the co-existence of a
religious conflict. James, educated as a devout Anglican, was naturally
inclined to continue to uphold the compromise by which the Tudors had
severed the English Church from the Roman Catholic hierarchy, yet had
retained many forms of the Catholic Church and the episcopal
organization by means of which the sovereign was able to control the
Church. During Elizabeth's reign, however, a large part of the middle
class--the townsmen especially--and many of the lower clergy had come
under the influence of Calvinistic teaching. [Footnote: On the
doctrines of Calvinism, see above, pp. 139 ff., 156, 164 ff.] The
movement was marked (1) by a virulent hatred for even the most trivial
forms reminiscent of "popery," as the Roman Catholic religion was
called; and (2) by a tendency to place emphasis upon the spirit of the
Old Testament as well as upon the precepts of the New. Along with
austerity of manner, speech, dress, and fast-day observance, they
revived much of the mercilessness with which the Israelites had
conquered Canaan. The same men who held it a deadly sin to dance round
a may-pole or to hang out holly on Christmas were later to experience a
fierce and exalted pleasure in conquering New England from the heathen
Indians. They knew neither self-indulgence nor compassion. Little
wonder that Elizabeth feared men of such mold and used the episcopal
administration of the Anglican Church to restrain them. Many of these
so-called Puritans remained members of the Anglican Church and sought
to reform it from within. But restraint only caused the more radical to
condemn altogether the fabric of bishops and archbishops, and to
advocate a presbyterian church. Others went still further and wished to
separate from the Established Anglican Church into independent
religious groups, and were therefore called Independents or

[Sidenote: Hostility of James I to the Puritans]

These religious radicals, often grouped together as "Puritans," were
continually working against Elizabeth's strict enforcement of Anglican
orthodoxy. The accession of James was seized by them as an occasion for
the presentation of a great petition for a modification of church
government and ritual. The petition bore no fruit, however, and in a
religious debate at Hampton Court in 1604 James made a brusque
declaration that bishops like kings were set over the multitude by the
hand of God, and, as for these Puritans who would do away with bishops,
he would make them conform or "harry them out of the land." From this
time forth he insisted on conformity, and deprived many clergymen of
their offices for refusing to subscribe to the regulations framed in

[Sidenote: Hatred of the Puritans for James I]

The hard rule of this monarch who claimed to govern by the will of God
was rendered even more abhorrent to the stern Puritan moralists by
reports of "drunken orgies" and horrible vices which made the royal
court appear to be a veritable den of Satan. But worst of all was his
suspected leaning towards "popery." The Puritans had a passionate
hatred for anything that even remotely suggested Roman
Catholicism. Consequently it was not with extreme pleasure that they
welcomed a king whose mother had been a Catholic, whose wife was
suspected of harboring a priest, a ruler who at times openly exerted
himself to obtain greater toleration for Roman Catholics and to
maintain the Anglican ritual against Puritan modification. With growing
alarm and resentment they learned that Catholic conspirators had
plotted to blow up the houses of Parliament, and that in his foreign
policy James was decidedly friendly to Catholic princes.

The cardinal points of James's foreign policy,--union with Scotland,
peace, and a Spanish alliance,--were all calculated to arouse
antagonism. The English, having for centuries nourished enmity for
their northern neighbors and perceiving no apparent advantage in close
union, defeated the project of amalgamating the two kingdoms of England
and Scotland. James's policy of non-intervention in the Thirty Years'
War evoked bitter criticism; he was accused of favoring the Catholics
and of deserting his son-in-law, the Protestant elector of the
Palatinate. The most hotly contested point was, however, the Spanish
policy. Time and time again, Parliament protested, but James pursued
his plans, making peace with Spain, and negotiating for a marriage
between his son Charles and the Infanta of Spain, and Prince Charles
actually went to Spain to court the daughter of Philip III.

[Sidenote: Interconnection of Puritanism, Commercialism, and

It was essentially the Puritan middle classes who were antagonized by
the king. The strength of the Puritans rested in the middle class of
merchants, seamen, and squires. It was this class which had profited by
the war with Spain in the days of "good Queen Bess" when many a Spanish
prize, laden with silver and dye woods, had been towed into Plymouth
harbor. Their dreams of erecting an English colonial and commercial
empire on the ruins of Spain's were rudely shattered by James. It was
to this Puritan middle class that papist and Spaniard were bywords for
assassin and enemy. By his Spanish policy, as well as by his irregular
methods of taxation, James had touched the Puritans in their
pocketbooks. The Puritans, too, were grieved to see so sinful a man sit
on the throne of England, and so wasteful a man squander their money.
They were even hindered in the exercise of their religious convictions.
Every fiber in them rebelled.

Puritans throughout the country looked to the large Puritan majority in
the House of Commons to redress their grievances. The parliamentary
struggle became then not only a defense of abstract ideals of democracy
but also a bitter battle in defense of class interests. Parliamentary
traditions were weapons against an oppressive monarch; religious
scruples gave divine sanction to an attack on royalist bishops;
consciousness of being God's elect gave confidence in assailing the
aristocracy of land and birth. For the present, the class interests of
the Puritans were to be defended best by the constitutional limitation
of royal power, and in their struggle with James's son and successor,
Charles I (1625-1649), they represent by chance the forces of

[Sidenote: Charles I, 1625-1649]
[Sidenote: A True Stuart in Devotion to Absolutism]

For a time it appeared as if the second Stuart king would be very
popular. Unlike his father, Charles seemed thoroughly English; and his
athletic frame, his dignified manners, and his purity of life
contrasted most favorably with James's deformities in character and
physique. Two years before his father's death Charles had been jilted
by his Spanish fiancée and had returned to England amid wild rejoicing
to aid Parliament in demanding war with Spain. He had again rejoiced
the bulk of the English nation by solemnly assuring Parliament on the
occasion of his marriage contract with Henrietta Maria, sister of Louis
XIII of France, that he would grant no concessions to Roman Catholics
in England. As a matter of fact, Charles simultaneously but secretly
assured the French government not only that he would allow the queen
the free exercise of her religion but that he would make general
concessions to Roman Catholics in England. This duplicity on the part
of the young king, which augured ill for the harmony of future
relations between himself and Parliament, throws a flood of light upon
his character and policies. Though Charles was sincerely religious and
well-intentioned, he was as devoted to the theory of divine-right
monarchy as his father had been; and as to the means which he might
employ in order to establish absolutism upon a firm foundation he
honestly believed himself responsible only to God and to his own
conscience, certainly not to Parliament. This fact, together with a
certain inherent aptitude for shirking the settlement of difficulties,
explains in large part the faults which historians have usually
ascribed to him--his meanness and ingratitude toward his most devoted
followers, his chronic obstinacy which only feigned compliance, and his
incurable untruthfulness.

Just before Charles came to the throne, Parliament granted subsidies in
expectation of a war against Spain, but, when he had used up the war-
money without showing any serious inclination to open hostilities with
Spain, and had then demanded additional grants, Parliament gave
evidence of its growing distrust by limiting a levy of customs duties
to one year, instead of granting them as usual for the whole reign. In
view of the increasingly obstinate temper manifested by the House of
Commons in withholding subsidies and in assailing his worthless
favorite, the Duke of Buckingham, Charles angrily dissolved his first

[Sidenote: Continued Conflict between King and Parliament]
[Sidenote: The Petition of Right, 1628]

The difficulties of the administration were augmented not only by this
arbitrary treatment of Parliament but also by the miserable failure of
an English fleet sent against Cadiz, and by the humiliating result of
an attempt to relieve the French Huguenots. Meanwhile, a second
Parliament, more intractable even than its predecessor, had been
dissolved for its insistence on the impeachment of Buckingham. Attempts
to raise money by forced loans in place of taxes failed to remove the
financial distress into which Charles had fallen, and consequently, in
1628, he consented to summon a third Parliament. In return for grants
of subsidies, he signed the _Petition of Right_ (1628), prepared
by the two houses. By it he promised not to levy taxes without consent
of Parliament, not to quarter soldiers in private houses, not to
establish martial law in time of peace, not to order arbitrary

Even these concessions were not enough. Parliament again demanded the
removal of Buckingham, and only the assassination of the unpopular
minister obviated prolonged dispute on that matter. The Commoners next
attempted to check the unauthorized collection of customs duties, which
produced as much as one-fourth of the total royal revenue, and to
prevent the introduction of "popish" innovations in religion, but for
this trouble they were sent home.

[Sidenote: "Personal" Rule of Charles I, 1629-1640]

Charles was now so thoroughly disgusted with the members of Parliament
that he determined to rule without them, and for eleven years (1629-
1640) he successfully carried on a "personal" as distinct from a
parliamentary government, in spite of financial and religious

Without the consent of Parliament, Charles was bound not to levy direct
taxes. During the period of his personal rule, therefore, he was
compelled to adopt all sorts of expedients to replenish his treasury.
He revived old feudal laws and collected fines for their infraction. A
sum of one hundred thousand pounds was gained by fines on suburban
householders who had disobeyed a proclamation of James I forbidding the
extension of London. The courts levied enormous fines merely for the
sake of revenue. Monopolies of wine, salt, soap, and other articles
were sold to companies for large sums of money; but the high prices
charged by the companies caused much popular discontent.

[Sidenote: "Personal" Rule of Charles I, 1629-1640]
[Sidenote: "Ship money"]

The most obnoxious of all devices for raising money were the levies of
"ship-money." Claiming that it had always been the duty of seaboard
towns to equip ships for the defense of the country, Charles demanded
that since they no longer built ships, the towns should contribute
money for the maintenance of the navy. In 1634, therefore, each town
was ordered to pay a specified amount of "ship-money" into the royal
treasury, and the next year the tax was extended to inland towns and
counties. [Footnote: The first writ of ship-money yielded £100,000
(Cunningham).] To test the legality of this exaction, a certain John
Hampden refused to pay his twenty shillings ship-money, and took the
matter to court, claiming that ship-money was illegal taxation. The
majority of the judges, who held office during the king's pleasure and
were therefore strictly under royal influence, upheld the legality of
ship-money and even went so far as to assert that in times of emergency
the king's prerogative was unlimited, but the country rang with
protests and Hampden was hailed as a hero.

[Sidenote: Devotion of Charles I to the Anglican Church: Archbishop
[Sidenote: Puritan Opposition]

Opposition to financial exactions went hand in hand with bitter
religious disputes. Charles had intrusted the control of religious
affairs to William Laud, whom he named archbishop of Canterbury, and
showed favor to other clergymen of marked Catholic leanings. The laws
against Roman Catholics were relaxed, and the restrictions on Puritans
increased. It seemed as if Charles and his bishops were bent upon
goading the Puritans to fury, at the very time when one by one the
practices, the vestments, and even the dogmas of the Catholic Church
were being reintroduced into the Anglican Church, when the tyrannical
King James was declared to have been divinely inspired, and when
Puritan divines were forced to read from their pulpits a royal
declaration permitting the "sinful" practices of dancing on the green
or shooting at the butts (targets) on the Sabbath. [Footnote: It is an
interesting if not a significant fact that the Puritans with their
austere views about observance of the Sabbath not only decreased the
number of holidays for workingmen, but interfered with innocent
recreation on the remaining day of rest. One aspect of the resulting
monotonous life of the laborer was, according to Cunningham, the
remarkable increase of drunkenness at this period.] So hard was the lot
of the extreme Protestants in England that thousands fled the country
and established themselves in America. [Footnote: In the decade 1630-
1640 some 20,000 Englishmen sailed for the colonies. Many of these,
however, emigrated by reason of strictly economic distress.]

[Sidenote: The Scotch Covenant, and Beginnings of Armed Opposition to
the King]
[Sidenote: Convocation of the Long Parliament, 1640]

In his Scotch policy Charles overreached himself. With the zealous
coöperation of Archbishop Laud, imprudently attempted to strengthen the
episcopacy (system of bishops) in the northern kingdom, and likewise to
introduce an un-Calvinistic order of public worship. Thereupon the
angry Scotch Presbyterians signed a great Covenant, swearing to defend
their religion (1638); they deposed the bishops set over them by the
king and rose in revolt. Failing in a first effort to crush the Scotch
rebellion, the king summoned a Parliament in order to secure financial
support for an adequate royal army. This Parliament--the so-called
Short Parliament--was dissolved, however, after some three weeks of
bootless wrangling. Now unable to check the advance of the rebellious
Scotch forces into northern England, Charles in desperation convoked
(1640) a new Parliament, which, by reason of its extended duration
(1640-1660), has been commonly called the Long Parliament. In England
and Scotland divine-right monarchy had failed.


[Sidenote: Reforms of the Long Parliament]

Confident that Charles could neither fight nor buy off the Scotch
without parliamentary subsidies, the Long Parliament showed a decidedly
stubborn spirit. Its leader, John Pym, a country gentleman already
famous for speeches against despotism, openly maintained that in the
House of Commons resided supreme authority to disregard ill-advised
acts of the Upper House or of the king. Hardly less radical were the
views of John Hampden and of Oliver Cromwell, the future dictator of

The right of the Commons to impeach ministers of state, asserted under
James I, was now used to send to the Tower both Archbishop Laud and
Thomas Wentworth, earl of Strafford, who, since 1629, had been the
king's most valued and enthusiastically loyal minister. [Footnote:
Strafford was accused of treason, but was executed in 1641 in
accordance with a special "bill of attainder" enacted by Parliament.
Laud was put to death in 1645.] The special tribunals--the Court of
High Commission, the Court of Star Chamber, and others--which had
served to convict important ecclesiastical and political offenders were
abolished. No more irregular financial expedients, such as the
imposition of ship-money, were to be adopted, except by the consent of
Parliament. As if this were not enough to put the king under the thumb
of his Parliament, the royal prerogative of dissolving that body was
abrogated, and meetings at least every three years were provided for by
a "Triennial Act."

[Sidenote: Violation of Parliamentary Privileges: Attempted Seizure by
Charles of the Five Members]
[Sidenote: The Great Rebellion, 1642-1646]

All the contested points of government had been decided adversely to
the king. But his position was now somewhat stronger. He had been able
to raise money, the Scotch invaders had turned back, and the House of
Commons had shown itself to be badly divided on the question of church
reform and in its debates on the publication of a "Grand Remonstrance"
--a document exposing the grievances of the nation and apologizing for
the acts of Parliament. Moreover, a rebellion had broken out in Ireland
and Charles expected to be put at the head of an army for its
suppression. With this much in his favor, the king in person entered
the House of Commons and attempted to arrest five of its leaders, but
his dismal failure only further antagonized the Commons, who now
proceeded to pass ordinances without the royal seal, and to issue a
call to arms. The levy of troops contrary to the king's will was an act
of rebellion; Charles, therefore, raised the royal standard at
Nottingham and called his loyal subjects to suppress the Great
Rebellion (1642-1646).

[Sidenote: The Parties to the Civil War: "Cavaliers" and "Roundheads"]

To the king's standard rallied the bulk of the nobles, high churchmen,
and Roman Catholics, the country "squires," and all those who disliked
the austere moral code of the Puritans. In opposition to him a few
great earls led the middle classes--small land-holders, merchants,
manufacturers, shop-keepers, especially in London and other busy towns
throughout the south and east of England. The close-cropped heads of
these "God-fearing" tradesmen won them the nickname "Roundheads," while
the royalist upper classes, not thinking it a sinful vanity to wear
their hair in long curls, were called "Cavaliers."

[Sidenote: Parliament and the Presbyterians]

In the Long Parliament there was a predominance of the Presbyterians--
that class of Puritans midway between the reforming Episcopalians and
the radical Independents. Accordingly a "solemn league and covenant"
was formed (1643) with the Scotch Presbyterians for the establishment
of religious uniformity on a Presbyterian basis in England and Ireland
as well as in Scotland. After the defeat of Charles at Marston Moor
(1644) the Presbyterians abolished the office of bishop, removed altars
and communion rails from the churches, and smashed crucifixes, images,
and stained-glass windows. Presbyterianism became a more intolerant
state religion than Anglicanism had been. Satisfied with their work,
the Presbyterian majority in Parliament were now willing to restore the
king, provided he would give permanence to their religious settlement.

[Sidenote: The Army and the Independents: Oliver Cromwell]

The Independent army, however, was growing restive. Oliver Cromwell, an
Independent, had organized a cavalry regiment of "honest sober
Christians" who were fined 12 pence if they swore, who charged in
battle while "singing psalms," and who went about the business of
killing their enemies in a pious and prayerful, but withal a highly
effective, manner. Indeed, so successful were Cromwell's "Ironsides"
that a considerable part of the Parliamentary army was reorganized on
his plan. The "New Model" army, as it was termed, was Independent in
sympathy, that is to say, it wished to carry on the war, and to
overthrow the tyranny of the Presbyterians as well as that of the

[Sidenote: Cromwell's Army Defeats the King and Dominates Parliament]
[Sidenote: The "Rump Parliament"]

The "New Model" army, under the command of Fairfax and Cromwell,
defeated Charles and forced him to surrender in 1646. For almost two
years the Presbyterian Parliament negotiated for the restoration of the
king and at last would have made peace with the royalists, had not the
army, which still remembered Charles's schemes to bring Irish and
foreign "papists" to fight Englishmen, now taken a hand in affairs.
Colonel Pride, stationed with his soldiers at the door of the House of
Commons, arrested the 143 Presbyterian Commoners, and left the
Independents--some sixty strong--to deliberate alone upon the nation's
weal (1648). This "Rump" or sitting part of Parliament, acting on its
own authority, appointed a "High Court of justice" by whose sentence
Charles I was beheaded, 30 January, 1649. It then decreed England to be
a Commonwealth with neither king nor House of Lords.

[Sidenote: The Commonwealth, 1649-1660]

The executive functions, hitherto exercised by the king, were intrusted
to a Council of State, of whose forty-one members thirty were members
of the House. The Rump Parliament, instead of calling for new
elections, as had been expected, continued to sit as the
"representatives of the people," although they represented the
sentiments of only a small fraction of the people. England was in the
hands of an oligarchy whose sole support was the vigorous army of

Menacing conditions confronted the newly born Commonwealth. War with
Scotland and with Holland was imminent; mutiny and unrest showed that
the execution of Charles had infused new life into the royalists;
Catholic-royalist rebels mastered all of Ireland except Dublin. Under
these circumstances, the Commonwealth would have perished but for three
sources of strength: (1) Its financial resources proved adequate:
customs duties were collected, excise taxes on drinks and food were
levied, and confiscated royalist estates were sold; (2) its enemies had
no well-drilled armies; and (3) its own army was remarkably powerful.

[Sidenote: Cromwell and the Restoration of Order]

Cromwell, victor in a series of bloody engagements in Ireland, after
butchering thousands of the defeated royalists and shipping others as
slaves to Barbados, was able to return to London in 1650, declaring, "I
am persuaded that this is a righteous judgment of God upon these
barbarous wretches [the Irish] who have imbrued their hands in so much
innocent blood, and that it will tend to prevent the effusion of blood
for the future." The next movement of Cromwell, as Parliamentary
commander-in-chief, was against the Scotch, who had declared for
Charles II, the son of Charles I. The Scotch armies were annihilated,
and Prince Charles fled in disguise to France.

[Sidenote: Navigation Act, 1651]

Meanwhile the members of the Rump, still the nominal rulers of England,
finding opportunity for profit in the sale of royalist lands and in the
administration of finance, had exasperated Cromwell by their
maladministration and neglect of the public welfare. The life of the
Rump was temporarily prolonged, however, by the popularity of its
legislation against the Dutch, at this time the rivals of England on
the seas and in the colonies. In 1651 the Rump passed the first
Navigation Act, forbidding the importation of goods from Asia, Africa,
or America, except in English or colonial ships, and providing that
commodities of European production should be imported only in vessels
of England or of the producing country. The framers of the Navigation
Act intended thereby to exclude Dutch vessels from trading between
England and other lands. The next year a commercial and naval war
(1652-1654) broke out between England and Holland, leading to no
decisive result, but, on the whole, increasing the prestige of the
English navy. With renewed confidence the Rump contemplated
perpetuating its narrow oligarchy, but Cromwell's patience was
exhausted, and in 1653 he turned Parliament out of doors, declaring,
"Your hour is come, the Lord hath done with you!" Cromwell remained as
military and religious dictator.

[Sidenote: Oliver Cromwell]

Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658) is the most interesting figure in
seventeenth-century England. Belonging by birth to the class of country
gentlemen, his first appearance in public life was in the Parliament of
1628 as a pleader for the liberty of Puritan preaching. When the Long
Parliament met in 1640, Cromwell, now forty-one years of age, assumed a
conspicuous place. His clothes were cheap and homely, "his countenance
swollen and reddish, his voice sharp and untuneable," nevertheless his
fervid eloquence and energy soon made him "very much hearkened unto."
From the Civil War, as we know, Cromwell emerged as an unequaled
military leader, the idol of his soldiers, fearing God but not man. His
frequent use of Biblical phrases in ordinary conversation and his
manifest confidence that he was performing God's work flowed from an
intense religious zeal. He belonged, properly speaking, to the
Independents, who believed that each local congregation of Christians
should be practically free, excepting that "prelacy" (_i.e._, the
episcopal form of church government) and "popery" (_i.e._, Roman
Catholic Christianity) were not to be tolerated. In private life
Cromwell was fond of "honest sport," of music and art. It is said that
his gayety when he had "drunken a cup of wine too much" and his taste
in statuary shocked his more austere fellow-Puritans. In public life he
was a man of great forcefulness, occasionally giving way to violent
temper; he was a statesman of signal ability, aiming to secure good
government and economic prosperity for England and religious freedom
for Protestant Dissenters.

[Sidenote: Radical Experiments under Cromwell]

After arbitrarily dissolving the Rump of the Long Parliament (1653),
Cromwell and his Council of State broke with tradition entirely by
selecting 140 men to constitute a legislative body or convention. This
body speedily received the popular appellation of "Barebone's
Parliament" after one of its members, a certain leather merchant, who
bore the descriptive Puritan name of Praisegod Barebone. The new
legislators were good Independents--"faithful, fearing God, and hating
covetousness." Recommended by Independent ministers, they felt that God
had called them to rule in righteousness. Their zeal for reform found
expression in the reduction of public expenditure, in the equalization
of taxes, and in the compilation of a single code of laws; but their
radical proposals for civil marriage and for the abolition of tithes
startled the clergy and elicited from the larger landowners the cry of
"confiscation!" Before much was accomplished, however, the more
conservative members of "Barebone's Parliament" voted to "deliver up
unto the Lord-General [Cromwell] the powers we received from him."

[Sidenote: The Protectorate, 1653-1659]

Upon the failure of this experiment, Cromwell's supporters in the army
prepared an "Instrument of Government," or constitution. By this
Instrument of Government--the first written constitution in modern
times--a "Protectorate" was established, which was a constitutional
monarchy in all but name. Oliver Cromwell, who became "Lord Protector"
for life, was to govern with the aid of a small Council of State.
Parliaments, meeting at least every three years, were to make laws and
levy taxes, the Protector possessing the right to delay, but not to
veto, legislation. Puritanism was made the state religion.

[Sidenote: Parliament under the Protectorate]

The first Parliament under the Protectorate was important for three
reasons. (1) It consisted of only one House; (2) it was the Parliament
of Great Britain and Ireland rather than of England alone; (3) its
members were elected on a reformed basis of representation,--that is,
the right of representation had been taken from many small places and
transferred to more important towns.

[Sidenote: Practical Dictatorship of Cromwell, 1655-1658]

Although royalists were excluded from the polls, the Independents were
unable to control a majority in the general election, for, it must be
remembered, they formed a very small, though a powerful, minority of
the population. The Presbyterians in the new Parliament, with
characteristic stubbornness, quarreled with Cromwell, until he abruptly
dismissed them (1655). Thenceforth Cromwell governed as a military
dictator, placing England under the rule of his generals, and
quarreling with his Parliaments. To raise money he obliged all those
who had borne arms for the king to pay him 10 per cent of their rental.
While permitting his office to be made hereditary, he refused to accept
the title of king, but no Stuart monarch had ruled with such absolute
power, nor was there much to choose between James's "_a deo rex, a
rege lex_" and Cromwell's, "If my calling be from God and my
testimony from the people, God and the people shall take it from me,
else I will not part from it."

The question is often raised, how Cromwell, representing the
numerically insignificant Independents, contrived to maintain himself
as absolute ruler of the British Isles. Three circumstances may have
contributed to his strength. (1) He was the beloved leader of an army
respected for its rigid discipline and feared for its grim
mercilessness. (2) Under his strict enforcement of law and order, trade
and industry brought domestic prosperity. (3) His conduct of foreign
affairs was both satisfactory to English patriotism and profitable to
English purses. Advantageous commercial treaties were made with the
Dutch and the French. Industrious Jews were allowed to enter England.
Barbary pirates were chastised. In a war against Spain, the army won
Dunkirk; and the navy, now becoming truly powerful, sank a Spanish
fleet, wrested Jamaica from Spain, and brought home ship-loads of
Spanish silver.

The weakness of Cromwell's position, however, was obvious. Cavaliers
were openly hostile to a régime of religious zealots; moderate
Anglicans would suffer the despotism of Cromwell only as long as it
promoted prosperity; Presbyterians were anxious to end the toleration
which was accorded to all Puritan sects; radicals and republicans were
eager to try new experiments.

[Sidenote: Disorganization following the Death of Oliver Cromwell]

The death of Cromwell (1658) left the army without a master and the
country without a government. True, Oliver's son, Richard Cromwell
(1626-1712), attempted for a time to fill his father's place, but soon
abdicated after having lost control of both army and Parliament. Army
officers restored the Rump of the Long Parliament, dissolved it, set it
up again, and forced it to recall the Presbyterian members who had been
expelled in 1648, and ended by obliging the reconstituted Long
Parliament to convoke a new and freely elected "Convention Parliament."
Meanwhile, General Monck opened negotiations for the return of Charles


[Sidenote: Popular Grievances against the Protectorate]

The widespread and exuberant enthusiasm which restored the Stuarts was
not entirely without causes, social and religious, as well as
political. The grievances and ideals which had inspired the Great
Rebellion were being forgotten, and a new generation was finding fault
with the Protectorate. The simple country folk longed for their may-
poles, their dances, and games on the green; only fear compelled them
to bear with the tyranny of the sanctimonious soldiers who broke the
windows in their churches. Especially hard was the lot of tenants and
laborers on the many estates purchased or seized by Puritans during the
Rebellion. Many townsmen, too, excluded from the ruling oligarchy,
found the Puritan government as oppressive and arbitrary as that of
Charles I.

[Sidenote: Opposition to Puritanism]

The religious situation was especially favorable for Charles II. The
outrages committed by Cromwell's soldiery had caused the Independents
to be looked upon as terrible fanatics, Even the Presbyterians were
willing to yield some points to the king, if only Independency could be
overthrown; and many who had been inclined to Puritanism were now
unwavering in loyalty to the Anglican Church. Orthodox Anglicanism,
from its origin, had been bound up with the monarchy, and it now
consistently expected a double triumph of the "divine-right" of kings
and of bishops. Most bitter of all against the Cromwellian régime were
the Roman Catholics in Ireland. Though Cromwell as Lord Protector had
favored toleration for Protestants, it would be long before Catholics
could forget the Irish priests whom Cromwell's soldiery had brutally
knocked on the head, or the thousands of Catholic girls and boys whom
Cromwell's agents had sold into horrible slavery in the West Indies.

[Sidenote: Royalist Reaction]

This strong royalist undercurrent, flowing from religious and social
conditions, makes more comprehensible the ease with which England
drifted back into the Stuart monarchy. The younger generation, with no
memory of Stuart despotism, and with a keen dislike for the confusion
in which no constitutional form was proof against military tyranny,
gave ready credence to Prince Charles's promises of constitutional
government. There seemed to be little probability that the young
monarch would attempt that arbitrary rule which had brought his
father's head to the block.

[Sidenote: Charles II, 1660-1685]

The experiment in Puritan republicanism had resulted only in convincing
the majority of the people that "the government is, and ought to be, by
King, Lords, and Commons." The people merely asked for some assurances
against despotism,--and when a throne was thus to be purchased with
promises, Charles II was a ready buyer. He swore to observe _Magna
Carta_ and the "Petition of Right," to respect Parliament, not to
interfere with its religious policy, nor to levy illegal taxes. Bound
by these promises, he was welcomed back to England in 1660 and crowned
the following year. The reinstatement of the king was accompanied by a
general resumption by bishops and royalist nobles of their offices and
lands: things seemed to slip back into the old grooves. Charles II
dated his reign not from his actual accession but from his father's
death, and his first Parliament declared invalid all those acts and
ordinances passed since 1642 which it did not specifically confirm.

The history of constitutional government under the restored Stuarts is
a history of renewed financial and religious disputes. Charles II and
his younger brother and heir, Prince James, duke of York, alike adhered
to the political faith of their Stuart father and grandfather. Cousins
on their mother's side of Louis XIV of France, in whose court they had
been reared, they were more used to the practices of French absolutism
than to the peculiar customs of parliamentary government in England.
Unlike their father, who had been most upright in private life and most
loyal to the Anglican Church, both Charles and James had acquired from
their foreign environment at once a taste for vicious living and a
strong attachment to the Roman Catholic Church. In these two Stuarts
Catholicism was combined with absolutism; and the Englishmen
represented in Parliament were therefore brought face to face not only
with a revival of the earlier Stuart theory of divine-right monarchy
but with a new and far more hateful possibility of the royal
establishment of Roman Catholicism in England. Charles II did not
publicly confess his conversion to Catholicism until his deathbed, but
James became a zealous convert in 1672.

That Charles II was able to round out a reign of twenty-five years and
die a natural death as king of England was due not so much to his
virtues as to his faults. He was so hypocritical that his real aims
were usually successfully concealed. He was so indolent that with some
show of right he could blame his ministers and advisers for his own
mistakes and misdeeds. He was so selfish that he would make concessions
here and there rather than "embark again upon his travels." In fact,
pure selfishness was the basis of his policy in domestic and foreign
affairs, but it was always a selfishness veiled in wit, good humor, and
captivating affability.

[Sidenote: Renewal of Financial Disputes between King and Parliament]

At the beginning of the reign of Charles II, the country gentlemen were
astute enough to secure the abolition of the surviving feudal rights by
which the king might demand certain specified services from them and
certain sums of money when an heiress married or a minor inherited an
estate. This action, seemingly insignificant, was in reality of the
greatest importance, for it indicated the abandonment in England of the
feudal theory that land is held by nobles in return for military
service, and at the same time it consecrated the newer principle that
the land should be owned freely and personally--a principle which has
since been fully recognized in the United States and other modern
countries as well as in England. The extinction of feudal prerogatives
in the early days of the Stuart Restoration benefited the landlords
primarily, but the annual lump sum of £100,000 which Charles II was
given in return, was voted by Parliament and was paid by all classes in
the form of excise taxes on alcoholic drinks. Customs duties of £4
10_s_. on every tun of wine and 5 per cent _ad valorem_ on
other imports, hearth-money (a tax on houses), and profits on the post
office contributed to make up the royal revenue of somewhat less than
£1,200,000. This was intended to defray the ordinary expenses of court
and government but seemed insufficient to Charles, who was not only
extravagantly luxurious, but desirous of increasing his power by
bribing members of Parliament and by maintaining a standing army. The
country squires who had sold their plate for the royalist cause back in
the 'forties and were now suffering from hard times, thought the court
was too extravagant; to this feeling was added fear that Charles might
hire foreign soldiers to oppress Englishmen. Consequently Parliament
grew more parsimonious, and in 1665-1667 claimed a new and important
privilege--that of devoting its grants to specific objects and
demanding an account of expenditures.

Charles, however, was determined to have money by fair means or foul. A
group of London goldsmiths had loaned more than a million and a quarter
pounds sterling to the government. In 1672 Charles announced that
instead of paying the money back, he would consider it a permanent
loan. Two years earlier he had signed the secret treaty of Dover (1670)
with Louis XIV, by which Louis promised him an annual subsidy of
£200,000 and troops in case of rebellion, while Charles was openly to
join the Roman Catholic Church and to aid Louis in his French wars
against Spain and Holland.

[Sidenote: Continued Religious Complications]
[Sidenote: Legislation against Protestant Dissenters]

In his ambition to reëstablish Catholicism in England, Charles
underestimated the intense hostility of the bulk of the English squires
to any religious innovation. During the first decade of the
Restoration, Puritanism had been most feared. Some two thousand
clergymen, mostly Presbyterian, had been deprived of their offices by
an Act of Uniformity (1662), requiring their assent to the Anglican
prayer-book; these dissenting clergymen might not return within five
miles of their old churches unless they renounced the "Solemn League
and Covenant" and swore loyalty to the king (Five-mile Act, 1665); for
repeated attendance at their meetings (conventicles) Dissenters might
be condemned to penal servitude in the West Indies against (Conventicle
Act, 1664); and the Corporation Act of 1661 excluded Dissenters from
town offices.

[Sidenote: Leanings of Charles II toward Roman Catholicism]

As the danger from Puritanism disappeared, the Catholic cloud darkened
the horizon. In 1672 Prince James, the heir to the throne, embraced
Catholicism; and in the same year Charles II issued a "Declaration of
Indulgence," suspending the laws which oppressed Roman Catholics and
incidentally the Dissenters likewise. The Declaration threw England
into paroxysms of fear; it was believed that the Catholic monarch of
France was about to aid in the subversion of the Anglican Church.

[Sidenote: Leanings of Charles II toward Roman Catholicism]
[Sidenote: The Exclusion Bill]

Parliament, already somewhat distrustful of Charles's foreign policy,
and fearful of his leanings toward Roman Catholicism, found in the
Declaration of Indulgence a serious infraction of parliamentary
authority. The royal right to "suspend" laws upon occasion had
undoubtedly been exercised before, but Parliament was now strong enough
to insist upon the binding force of its enactments and to oblige
Charles to withdraw his Indulgence. The fear of Catholicism ever
increased; gentlemen who at other times were quite rational gave
unhesitating credence to wild tales of a "Popish Plot" (1678). In 1679
an Exclusion Bill was brought forward which would debar Prince James
from the throne, because of his conversion to Roman Catholicism.

[Sidenote: The "Whigs"]

In the excitement over this latest assertion of parliamentary power,
[Footnote: In the course of the debate over Exclusion, the
parliamentary party won an important concession--the Habeas Corpus Act
of 1679, which was designed to prevent arbitrary imprisonment.] two
great factions were formed. The supporters of Exclusion were led by
certain great nobles who were jealous of the royal power, and were
recruited from merchants and shop-keepers who looked to Parliament to
protect their economic interests. Since many of the adherents of this
political group were Dissenters, whose dislike of Anglicanism was
exceeded only by their hatred of "popery," the whole party was called
by a nickname--"Whig"--which had formerly been applied to rebellious
Presbyterians in Scotland.

[Sidenote: The "Tories"]

Opposed to the Whigs were the "Tories" [Footnote: Tory, a name applied
to "popish" outlaws in Ireland.]--squires and country clergymen and all
others of an essentially conservative turn of mind. They were anxious
to preserve the Church and state alike from Puritans and from
"papists," but most of all to prevent a recurrence of civil war. In the
opinion of the Tories, the best and most effective safeguard against
quarreling earls and insolent tradesmen was the hereditary monarchy.
Better submit to a Roman Catholic sovereign, they said, than invite
civil war by disturbing the regular succession. In the contest over the
Exclusion Bill, the Tories finally carried the day, for, although the
bill was passed by the Commons (1680), it was rejected by the House of

[Sidenote: Temporary Success of the Tories]

In the last few years of Charles's reign the cause of the Whigs was
discredited. Rumors got abroad that they were plotting to assassinate
the king and it was said that the Whiggish nobles who brought armed
retainers to Parliament were planning to use force to establish
Charles's illegitimate son--the duke of Monmouth--on the throne. These
and similar accusations hurt the Whigs tremendously, and help explain
the violent Tory reaction which enabled Charles to rule without
Parliament from 1681 to his death in 1685. As had been feared, upon the
death of Charles II, the duke of Monmouth organized a revolt, but this,
together with a simultaneous insurrection in Scotland, was easily
crushed, and James II was securely seated on the throne.


[Sidenote: James II (1685-1688): His Futile Combination of Absolutism
and Roman Catholicism]

In his short reign of three years James II (1685-1688) succeeded in
stirring up opposition on all sides. The Tories, the party most
favorable to the royal prerogative, upon whom he might have relied,
were shocked by his attempts to create a standing army commanded by
Catholics, for such an army might prove as disastrous to their
liberties as Cromwell's "New Model"; and the Whigs, too, were driven
from sullenness to desperation by James's religious policy and despotic
government. James, like his brother, claiming the right to "suspend"
the laws and statutes which Parliament had enacted against Roman
Catholics and Dissenters, issued a Declaration of Indulgence in 1687,
which exempted Catholics and Dissenters from punishment for infractions
of these laws. Furthermore, he appointed Roman Catholics to office in
the army and in the civil government. In spite of protests, he issued a
second Declaration of Indulgence in 1688 and ordered it to be read in
all Anglican churches, and, when seven bishops remonstrated, he accused
them of seditious libel. No jury would convict the seven bishops,
however, for James had alienated every class, and they were acquitted.
The Tories were estranged by what seemed to be a deliberate attack on
the Anglican Church and by fear of a standing army. The arbitrary
disregard of parliamentary legislation, and the favor shown to Roman
Catholics, goaded the Whigs into fury.

[Sidenote: The "Glorious Revolution" (1688): Dethronement of James II]

So long as Whigs and Tories alike could expect the accession on the
death of James II of one of his Protestant daughters--Mary or Anne--
they continued to acquiesce in his arbitrary government. But the
outlook became gloomier when on 10 June, 1688, a son was born to James
II by his second wife, a Catholic. Most Protestants believed that the
prince was not really James's son; politicians prophesied that he would
be educated in his father's "popish" and absolutist doctrines, and that
thus England would continue to be ruled by papist despots. Even those
who professed to believe in the divine right of kings and had denied
the right of Parliament to alter the succession were dejected at this
prospect, and many of them were willing to join with the Whigs in
inviting a Protestant to take the throne. The next in line of
succession after the infant prince was Mary, the elder of James's two
daughters, wife of William of Orange, [Footnote: See above, pp. 245,
248] and an Anglican. Upon the invitation of Whig and Tory leaders,
William crossed over to England with an army and entered London without
opposition (1688). Deserted even by his army James fled to France.
[Footnote: Risings in favor of James were suppressed in Ireland and in
Scotland. In Ireland the famous battle of the Boyne (1 July, 1690) was

[Sidenote: Accession of William and Mary, 1689]
[Sidenote: Constitutional Settlement: the Bill of Rights (1689) and
Triumph of Parliament]
[Sidenote: The Mutiny Act]

A bloodless revolution was now accomplished and the crown was formally
presented to William and Mary by an irregular Parliament, which also
declared that James II, having endeavored to subvert the constitution
and having fled the kingdom, had vacated the throne. In offering the
crown to William and Mary, Parliament was very careful to safeguard its
own power and the Protestant religion by issuing a Declaration of
Rights (13 February, 1689), which was enacted as the Bill of Rights, 16
December, 1689. This act decreed that the sovereign must henceforth
belong to the Anglican Church, thereby debarring the Catholic son of
James II. The act also denied the power of a king to "suspend" laws or
to "dispense" subjects from obeying the laws, to levy money, or to
maintain an army without consent of Parliament; asserted that neither
the free election nor the free speech and proceedings of members of
Parliament should be interfered with; affirmed the right of subjects to
petition the sovereign; and demanded impartial juries and frequent
Parliaments. The Bill of Rights, far more important in English history
than the Petition of Right (1628), inasmuch as Parliament was now
powerful enough to maintain as well as to define its rights, was
supplemented by the practice, begun in the same year, 1689, of granting
taxes and making appropriations for the army for one year only. Unless
Parliament were called every year to pass a Mutiny Act (provision for
the army), the soldiers would receive no pay and in case of mutiny
would not be punishable by court martial.

[Sidenote: Measures Favorable to Landlords]
[Sidenote: Religious Toleration for Protestant Dissenters: Continued
Persecution of Roman Catholics]

Both Whigs and Tories had participated in the Revolution, and both
reaped rewards. The Tories were especially pleased with the army laws
and with an arrangement by which farmers were given a "bounty" or money
premium for every bushel of grain exported. [Footnote: That is, when
wheat was selling for less than 6s. a bushel.] The Whigs, having played
a more prominent part in the deposition of James II, were able to
secure the long-coveted political supremacy of Parliament, and
religious toleration of Dissenters. The Toleration Act of 1689 did not
go as far as the Dissenters might have desired, but it gave them the
legal right to worship in public, while their enemies, the Roman
Catholics, remained under the ban.

[Sidenote: Commercial Gains for England]
[Sidenote: Union of England and Scotland: the Kingdom of Great Britain,

In the foreign policy of the reigns of William (1689-1702) and Mary,
and of Anne (1702-1714), Whiggish policies generally predominated. The
merchants and shippers who formed an important wing of the Whig party
were highly gratified by the Wars of the League of Augsburg and the
Spanish Succession, [Footnote: See above, pp. 248 ff., and below, pp.
306 ff.] in which England fought at once against France, her commercial
and colonial rival, and against Louis XIV, the friend of the Catholic
Stuart pretenders to the English throne. [Footnote: Louis XIV openly
supported the pretensions of James (III), the "Old Pretender."] The
Methuen Treaty (1703) was also advantageous: it allowed English
merchants to sell their manufactures in Portugal without hindrance; in
return for this concession England lowered the duties on Portuguese
wines, and "Port" supplanted "Burgundy" on the tables of English
gentlemen. The Act of Union of 1707 was not unfavorable either, for it
established common trade regulations, customs, and excise in England
and in Scotland. To the merely personal union between the crowns of
England and Scotland which had been inaugurated (1603) by the first of
the Stuart monarchs of England now succeeded under the last of the
Stuart sovereigns a corporate union of the two monarchies under the
title of the Kingdom of Great Britain (1707).

[Sidenote: Accession of the Hanoverians (1714); Continued Decline of
Royal Power]

Upon the death of Anne (1714), the crown passed [Footnote: In
accordance with the Act of Settlement (1701).] to her cousin, the son
of Sophia of Hanover, George I (1714-1727). The new king, unable even
to speak the English language, much less to understand the complicated
traditions of parliamentary government, was neither able nor anxious to
rule, but was content merely to reign. The business of administration,
therefore, was handed over to a group of ministers who strove not only
to please their royal master but to retain the good-will of the
predominant party in Parliament.

[Sidenote: Rise of the Cabinet]

Since this practice, with the many customs which have grown up about
it, has become a most essential part of the government of the United
Kingdom today, and has been copied in recent times by many other
countries, it is important to understand its early history. Even before
the accession of the Tudors, the Great Council of nobles and prelates
which had advised and assisted early kings in matters of administration
had surrendered most of its actual functions to a score or so of "Privy
Councilors." The Privy Council in turn became unwieldy, and allowed an
inner circle or "cabal" of its most energetic members to direct the
conduct of affairs. This inner circle was called a cabinet or cabinet
council, because it conferred with the king in a small private room
(cabinet), and under the restored Stuarts it was extremely unpopular.

William III, more interested in getting money and troops to defend his
native Holland against Louis XIV than in governing England, allowed his
ministers free rein in most matters. So long as the Whigs held a
majority of the seats in the Commons, William found that the wheels of
government turned smoothly if all his ministers were Whigs. On the
other hand, when the Tories gained a preponderance in the Commons, the
Whig ministers were so distasteful to the new majority of the Commons
that it was necessary to replace them with Tories. Queen Anne, although
her sincere devotion to Anglicanism inclined her to the Tories, was
forced to appoint Whig ministers. Only toward the close of her reign
(1710) did Anne venture to dismiss the Whigs.

[Sidenote: Era of Whig Domination, 1714-1761]
[Sidenote: Robert Walpole and his Policies]

Under George I (1714-1727) it became customary for the king to absent
himself from cabinet-meetings. (It will be remembered that George could
not speak English.) This tended to make the cabinet even more
independent of the sovereign, as shown by the fact that Anne was the
last to use her prerogative to veto bills. From 1714 to 1761 was the
great era of Whig domination. Both George I and George II naturally
favored the Whigs, because the Tories were supposed to desire a second
restoration of the Stuarts. Certainly many of the Tories had
participated in the vain attempt of the "Old Pretender" in 1715 to seat
himself on the British throne as James III, and again in 1745 extreme
Tories took part in the insurrection in Scotland, gallantly led by the
Young Pretender, "Prince Charlie" the grandson of James II. Under these
circumstances practically all classes rallied to the support of the
Whigs, who stood for the Protestant monarchy. Great Whig landowners
controlled the rural districts, and the aristocracy of the towns was
won by the Whiggish policy of devotion to public credit and the
protection of commerce. The extensive and continued power of the Whigs
made it possible for Sir Robert Walpole, [Footnote: Created earl of
Orford in 1742.] a great Whig leader, to hold office for twenty-one
years (1721-1742), jealously watching and maintaining his supremacy
under two sovereigns--George I (1714-1727) and George II (1727-1760).
Though disclaiming the title, he was recognized by every one as the
"prime minister"--prime in importance, prime in power. The other
ministers, nominally appointed by the sovereign, were in point of fact
dependent upon him for office, and he, though nominally appointed by
the crown, was really dependent only upon the support of a Whig
majority in the Commons.

[Sidenote: William Pitt, Earl of Chatham]

Walpole's power was based on policy and political manipulation. His
policy was twofold, the maintenance of peace and of prosperity. We
shall see elsewhere how he kept England clear of costly Continental
wars. [Footnote: See above, p. 256, and below, pp. 309 ff., 324 f.] His
policy of prosperity was based on mercantilist ideas and consisted in
strict attention to business methods in public finance, [Footnote:
Walpole was called the "best master of figures of any man of his
time."] the removal of duties on imported raw materials, and on
exported manufactures. In spite of the great prosperity of the period,
there was considerable criticism of Walpole's policy, and "politics"
alone enabled him to persevere in it. By skillful partisan patronage,
by bestowal of state offices and pensions upon members of Parliament,
by open bribery, and by electioneering, he secured his ends and
maintained his majority in the House of Commons.

Walpole's successors,--Henry Pelham and the duke of Newcastle,--like
him represented the oligarchy of Whig nobles and millionaires, and even
outdid him in corrupt methods. Another section of the Whig party under
the leadership of William Pitt the elder (the earl of Chatham) won
great popularity by its condemnation of political "graft." Pitt's fiery
demands for war first against Spain (1739-1748) and then against France
(1756-1763) were echoed by patriotic squires and by the merchants who
wished to ruin French commerce and to throw off the restrictions laid
by Spain on American commerce. Pitt had his way until George III, a
monarch determined to destroy the power of the Whigs, appointed Tory
ministers, such as Lord Bute and Lord North. The attempt of George III
to regain the power his great-grandfather had lost, to rule as well as
to reign, was in the end a failure, and later Hanoverians might well
have joined George II in declaring that "ministers are kings in this

[Sidenote: Significance of English Constitutional Development in the
Seventeenth and Early Eighteenth Centuries]

This indeed is the salient fact in the evolution of constitutional
government in England. While in other countries late in the eighteenth
century monarchs still ruled by divine right, in England Parliament and
ministers were the real rulers, and, in theory at least, they ruled by
the will of the people. That England was able to develop this form of
government may have been due in part to her insular position, her
constitutional traditions, and the ill-advised conduct of the Stuart
kings, but most of all it was due to the great commercial and
industrial development which made her merchant class rich and powerful
enough to demand and secure a share in government.

[Sidenote: Great Britain Parliamentarian but not Democratic]

In their admiration for the English government, many popular writers
have fallen into the error of confounding the struggle for
parliamentary supremacy with the struggle for democracy. Nothing could
be more misleading. The "Glorious Revolution" of 1689 was a _coup
d'état_ engineered by the upper classes, and the liberty it
preserved was the liberty of nobles, squires, and merchants--not the
political liberty of the common people.

[Sidenote: The Unreformed Parliament]

The House of Commons was essentially undemocratic. Only one man in
every ten had even the nominal right to vote. It is estimated that from
1760 to 1832 nearly one-half of the members owed their seats to
patrons, and the reformed representatives of large towns were
frequently chosen by a handful of rich merchants. In fact, the
government was controlled by the upper class of society, and by only a
part of that. No representatives sat for the numerous manufacturing
towns which had sprung into importance during the last few decades, and
rich manufacturers everywhere complained that the country was being
ruined by the selfish administration of great landowners and commercial

Certain it is that the Parliament of the seventeenth and eighteenth
centuries, while wonderfully earnest and successful in enriching
England's landlords and in demolishing every obstacle to British
commerce, at the same time either willfully neglected or woefully
failed to do away with intolerance in the Church and injustice in the
courts, or to defend the great majority of the people from the greed of
landlords and the avarice of employers.

Designed as it was for the protection of selfish class interests, the
English government was nevertheless a step in the direction of
democracy. The idea of representative government as expressed by
Parliament and cabinet was as yet very narrow, but it was capable of
being expanded without violent revolution, slowly but inevitably, so as
to include the whole people.

[Illustration: THE HOUSE OF STUART]



GENERAL. Brief surveys: A. L. Cross, _History of England and Greater
Britain (1914)_, ch. xxvii-xli; T. F. Tout, _An Advanced History of
Great Britain (1906)_, Book VI, Book VII, ch. i, ii; Benjamin Terry, _A
History of England (1901)_, Part III, Book III and Book IV, ch. i-iii;
E. P. Cheyney, _A Short History of England (1904)_, ch. xiv-xvi, and,
by the same author, _An Introduction to the Industrial and Social
History of England (1901)_. More detailed narratives: J. F. Bright,
_History of England_, 5 vols. (1884-1904), especially Vol. II,
_Personal Monarchy_, 1485-1688, and Vol. III, _Constitutional Monarchy,
1689-1837_; _Cambridge Modern History_, Vol. IV (1906). ch. viii-xi,
xv-xix, Vol. V (1908), ch. v, ix-xi, xv; H. D. Traill and J. S. Mann
(editors), _Social England_, illus. ed., 6 vols. in 12 (1909), Vol. IV;
A. D. Innes, _History of England and the British Empire_, 4 vols.
(1914), Vol. II, ch. x-xvi; G. M. Trevelyan, _England under the
Stuarts_, 1603-1714 (1904), brilliant and suggestive; Leopold von
Ranke, _History of England, Principally in the Seventeenth Century_,
Eng. trans., 6 vols. (1875), particularly valuable for foreign
relations; Edward Dowden, _Puritan and Anglican_ (1901), an interesting
study of literary and intellectual England in the seventeenth century;
John Lingard, _History of England to 1688_, new ed. (1910) of an old
but valuable work by a scholarly Roman Catholic, Vols. VII-X; H. W.
Clark, _History of English Nonconformity_, Vol. I (1911), Book II, ch.
i-iii, and Vol. II (1913), Book III, ch. i, ii, the best and most
recent study of the role of the Protestant Dissenters; W. R. W.
Stephens and William Hunt (editors), _History of the Church of
England_, the standard history of Anglicanism, of which Vol. V (1904),
by W. H. Frere, treats of the years 1558-1625, and Vol. VI (1903), by
W. H. Hutton, of the years 1625-1714. On Scotland during the period: P.
H. Brown, _History of Scotland_, 3 vols. (1899-1909), Vols. II, III;
Andrew Lang, _A History of Scotland_ from the Roman Occupation, 2d ed.,
4 vols. (1901-1907), Vols. III, IV. On Ireland: Richard Bagwell,
_Ireland under the Tudors_, 3 vols. (1885-1890), and _Ireland under the
Stuarts and during the Interregnum_, 2 vols. (1909). Convenient source-
material: G. W. Prothero, _Select Statutes and Other Constitutional
Documents Illustrative of the Reigns of Elizabeth and James I_, 4th ed.
(1913); S. R. Gardiner, _The Constitutional Documents of the Puritan
Revolution_, 1628-1660, 2d ed. (1899); C. G. Robertson, _Select
Statutes, Cases, and Documents, 1660-1832_ (1904); E. P. Cheyney,
_Readings in English History Drawn from the Original Sources_ (1908);
Frederick York Powell, _English History by Contemporary Writers_, 8
vols. (1887); C. A. Beard, _An Introduction to the English Historians_
(1906), a collection of extracts from famous secondary works.

_The Constitutional History of England_ (1908), Periods III, IV,
special studies of the English government in 1625 and in 1702 by an
eminent authority; D. J. Medley, _A Student's Manual of English
Constitutional History_, 5th ed. (1913), topical treatment,
encyclopedic and dry; T. P. Taswell-Langmead, _English Constitutional
History_, 7th ed. rev. by P. A. Ashworth (1911), ch. xiii-xvi,
narrative style and brief; Henry Hallam, _Constitutional History of
England from the Accession of Henry VII to the Death of George II_,
an old work, first pub. in 1827, still useful, new ed., 3 vols. (1897).
The best summary of the evolution of English parliamentary government
in the middle ages is A. B. White, _The Making of the English
Constitution, 449-1485_ (1908), Part III. In support of the
pretensions of the Stuart kings; see J. N. Figgis, _The Divine Right
of Kings_, 2d ed. (1914); and in opposition to them, see G. P.
Gooch, _English Democratic Ideas in the Seventeenth Century_

JAMES I AND CHARLES I.  S. R. Gardiner, _The First Two Stuarts and the
Puritan Revolution_, 7th ed. (1887), a brief survey in the "Epochs of
Modern History" Series by the most prolific and most distinguished
writer on the period, and, by the same author, the elaborate _History
of England from the Accession of James I to the Outbreak of the Civil
War_, 10 vols. (1883-1884), _History of the Great Civil War, 1642-
1640_, 4 vols. (1893), and _Constitutional Documents of the Puritan
Revolution_ (1899); F. C. Montague, _Political History of England,
1603-1660_ (1907), an accurate and strictly political narrative;
_Cambridge Modern History_, Vol. III, ch. xvi, xvii, on Spain and
England in the time of James I. Clarendon's _History of the Great
Rebellion_, the classic work of a famous royalist of the seventeenth
century, is strongly partisan and sometimes untrustworthy: the best
edition is that of W. D. Macray, 6 vols. (1886). R. G. Usher, _The Rise
and Fall of the High Commission_ (1913), is an account of one of the
arbitrary royal courts. Valuable biographies: H. D. Traill, _Strafford_
(1889); W. H. Hutton, _Laud_ (1895); E. C. Wade, John Pym (1912); C. R.
Markham, _Life of Lord Fairfax_ (1870).

THE CROMWELLIAN RÉGIME. The standard treatise is that of S. R.
Gardiner, _The History of the Commonwealth and Protectorate_, 4 vols.
(1903). Among numerous biographies of Oliver Cromwell, the following
are noteworthy: C. H. Firth, _Cromwell_ (1900). in "Heroes of the
Nations" Series; S. R. Gardiner, _Cromwell_ (1899), and, by the same
author, _Cromwell's Place in History_ (1897); John (Viscount) Morley,
_Oliver Cromwell_ (1899); A. F. Pollard, _Factors in Modern History_
(1907), ch. ix-x; Thomas Carlyle, _Cromwell's Letters and Speeches_,
ed. by S. C. Lomas, 3 vols. (1904). The _Diary_ of John Evelyn, a
royalist contemporary, affords naturally a somewhat different point of
view: the best edition is that of H. B. Wheatley, 4 vols. (1906).
Various special phases of the régime: C. H. Firth, _Cromwell's Army_,
2d ed. (1912); Edward Jenks, _The Constitutional Experiments of the
Protectorate_ (1890); Sir J. R. Seeley, _Growth of British Policy_,
Vol. II (1895), Part III; G. L. Beer, _Cromwell's Policy in its
Economic Aspects_ (1902); Sir W. L. Clowes, _The Royal Navy: a
History_, Vol. II (1898); G. B. Tatham, _The Puritans in Power, a Study
of the English Church from 1640 to 1660_ (1913); W. A. Shaw, _History
of the English Church, 1640-1660_, 2 vols. (1900); Robert Dunlop,
_Ireland under the Commonwealth_, 2 vols. (1913), largely a collection
of documents; C. H. Firth, _The Last Years of the Protectorate_, 2
vols. (1909).

THE RESTORATION. Richard Lodge, _The Political History of England,
1660-1702_, a survey of the chief political facts, conservative in
tone; J. N. Figgis, _English History Illustrated from Original Sources,
1660-1715_ (1902), a convenient companion volume to Lodge's; Osmund
Airy, _Charles II_ (1901), inimical to the first of the restored Stuart
kings. Of contemporary accounts of the Restoration, the most
entertaining is Samuel Pepys, _Diary_, covering the years 1659-1669 and
written by a bibulous public official, while the most valuable, though
tainted with strong Whig partisanship, is Gilbert (Bishop) Burnet,
_History of My Own Times_, edited by Osmund Airy, 2 vols. (1897-1900).
See also H. B. Wheatley, _Samuel Pepys and the World he Lived In_
(1880). Special topics in the reign of Charles II: W. E. Sydney,
_Social Life in England, 1660-1660_ (1892); J. H. Overton, _Life in the
English Church, 1663-1714_ (1885); John Pollock, _The Popish Plot_
(1903); G.B. Hertz, _English Public Opinion after the Restoration_
(1902); C. B. R. Kent, _The Early History of the Tories_ (1908).

JAMES II AND THE "GLORIOUS REVOLUTION." The best brief account is that
of Arthur Hassall, _The Restoration and the Revolution_ (1912). The
classic treatment is that of T. B. (Lord) Macaulay, _History of
England, 1685-1702_, a literary masterpiece but marred by vigorous Whig
sympathies, new ed. by C. H. Firth, 6 vols. (1913-1914). Sir James
Mackintosh, _Review of the Causes of the Revolution of 1688_ (1834), an
old work but still prized for the large collection of documents in the
appendix; _Adventures of James II_ (1904), an anonymous and sympathetic
account of the career of the deposed king; H. B. Irving, _Life of Lord
Jeffreys_ (1898), an apology for a much-assailed agent of James II;
Alice Shield and Andrew Lang, _The King over the Water_ (1907), and, by
the same authors, _Henry Stuart, Cardinal of York, and his Times_
(1908), popular treatments of subsequent Stuart pretenders to the
British throne. A good account of the reign of William III is that of
Sir J. R. Seeley, _Growth of British Policy_, Vol. II (1895), Part V.

histories: _Cambridge Modern History_, Vol. VI (1909), ch. i-iii; I. S.
Leadam, _Political History of England, 1702-1760_ (1909), conservative
and matter-of-fact; W. E. H. Lecky, _A History of England in the
Eighteenth Century_, new ed., 7 vols. (1892-1899), especially Vol. I,
brilliantly written and very informing, and, by the same author, _A
History of Ireland in the Eighteenth Century_, 5 vols. (1893); C. G.
Robertson, _England under the Hanoverians_ (1911), ch. i, ii, iv; Earl
Stanhope (Lord Mahon), _History of England from the Peace of Utrecht to
the Peace of Versailles, 1713-1783_, 5th ed., 7 vols. (1858),
particularly Vols. I, II, tedious but still useful especially for
foreign affairs. On the union of England and Scotland: P. H. Brown,
_The Legislative Union of England and Scotland_ (1914); W. L.
Matthieson, _Scotland and the Union_, 1695-1747 (1905); Daniel Defoe,
_History of the Union between England and Scotland_ (1709). On the rise
of the cabinet system: Mary T. Blauvelt, _The Development of Cabinet
Government in England_ (1902), a clear brief outline; Edward Jenks,
_Parliamentary England: the Evolution of the Cabinet System_ (1903);
and the general constitutional histories mentioned above. The best
account of _Sir Robert Walpole_ is the biography by John (Viscount)
Morley (1889).




In the sixteenth century, while Spain and Portugal were carving out
vast empires beyond the seas, the sovereigns of France and England,
distracted by religious dissensions or absorbed in European politics,
did little more than to send out a few privateers and explorers. But in
the seventeenth century the England of the Stuarts and the France of
the Bourbons found in colonies a refuge for their discontented or
venturesome subjects, a source of profit for their merchants, a field
for the exercise of religious zeal, or gratification for national
pride. Everywhere were commerce and colonization growing apace, and
especially were they beginning to play a large part in the national
life of England and of France. We have already noticed how the Dutch,
themselves the despoilers of Portugal [Footnote: See above, pp. 58f] in
the first half of the seventeenth century, were in turn attacked by the
English in a series of commercial wars [Footnote: The Dutch Wars of
1652-1654, 1665-1667, and 1672-1674. See above pp. 59, 243, 278.]
during the second half of the seventeenth century. By 1688 the period
of active growth was past for the colonial empires of Holland,
Portugal, and Spain; but England and France, beginning to realize the
possibilities for power in North America, in India, and on the high
seas, were just on the verge of a world conflict, which, after raging
intermittently for more than a hundred years, was to leave Great
Britain the "mistress of the seas."

[Sidenote: Relative Position of the Rivals in 1688. In North America]

Before plunging into the struggle itself, let us review the position of
the two rivals in 1688: first, their claims and possessions in the New
World and in the Old; secondly, their comparative resources and
policies. It will be remembered that the voyage of John Cabot (1497)
gave England a claim to the mainland of North America. The Tudors
(1485-1603), however, could not occupy so vast a territory, nor were
there any fences for the exclusion of intruders. Consequently the
actual English settlements in North America, made wholly under the
Stuarts, [Footnote: However much modern Englishmen may condemn the
efforts of the Stuart sovereigns to establish political absolutism at
home, they can well afford to praise these same royal Stuarts for
contributing powerfully to the foundations of England's commercial and
colonial greatness abroad.] were confined to Newfoundland, to a few fur
depots in the region of Hudson Bay, and to a strip of coastland from
Maine to South Carolina; while the French not only had sent Verrazano
(1524), who explored the coast of North America, and Cartier (1534-
1536), who sailed up the St. Lawrence, but by virtue of voyages of
discovery and exploration, especially that of La Salle (1682), laid
claim to the whole interior of the Continent.

Of all the North American colonies, the most populous were those which
later became the United States. In the year 1688 there were ten of
these colonies. The oldest one, Virginia, had been settled in 1607 by
the London Company under a charter from King James I. Plymouth, founded
in 1620 by the Pilgrims (Separatists or Independents driven from
England by the enforcement of religious conformity to the Anglican
Church), was presently to be merged with the neighboring Puritan colony
of Massachusetts. Near these first, New England settlements had grown
up the colonies of Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New Hampshire: Maine
was then a part of Massachusetts. Just as New England was the Puritans'
refuge, so Maryland, granted to Lord Baltimore in 1632, was a haven for
the persecuted Roman Catholics. A large tract south of Virginia, known
as Carolina, had been granted to eight nobles in 1663; but it was
prospering so poorly that its proprietors were willing to sell it to
the king in 1729 for a mere £50,000. The capture of the Dutch colony of
New Netherland [Footnote: Rechristened New York. It included New Jersey
also.] in 1664, and the settlement of Pennsylvania (1681) by William
Penn and his fellow Quakers [Footnote: The Swedish colony on the
Delaware was temporarily merged with Pennsylvania.] at last filled up
the gap between the North and the South.

Numerous causes had contributed to the growth of the British colonies
in America. Religious intolerance had driven Puritans to New England
and Roman Catholics to Maryland; the success of the Puritan Revolution
had sent Cavaliers to Virginia; thousands of others had come merely to
acquire wealth or to escape starvation. And America seemed a place
wherein to mend broken fortunes. Upon the estates (plantations) of
southern gentlemen negro slaves toiled without pay in the tobacco
fields. [Footnote: Subsequently, rice and cotton became important
products of Southern agriculture.] New England was less fertile, but
shrewd Yankees found wealth in fish, lumber, and trade. No wonder,
then, that the colonies grew in wealth and in population until in 1688
there were nearly three hundred thousand English subjects in the New

The French settlers were far less numerous [Footnote: Probably not more
than 20,000 Frenchmen were residing in the New World in 1688. By 1750
their number had increased perhaps to 60,000.] but more widespread.
From their first posts in Acadia (1604) and Quebec (1608) they had
pushed on up the St. Lawrence. Jesuit and other Roman Catholic
missionaries had led the way from Montreal westward to Lake Superior
and southward to the Ohio River. In 1682 the Sieur de La Salle, after
paddling down the Mississippi, laid claim to the whole basin of that
mighty stream, and named the region Louisiana in honor of Louis XIV of
France. Nominally, at least, this territory was claimed by the English,
for in most of the colonial charters emanating from the English crown
in the seventeenth century were clauses which granted lands "from sea
to sea"--that is, from the Atlantic to the Pacific. The heart of "New
France" remained on the St. Lawrence, but, despite English claims,
French forts were commencing to mark the trails of French fur-traders
down into the "Louisiana," and it was clear that whenever the English
colonists should cross the Appalachian Mountains to the westward they
would have to fight the French.

[Sidenote: In West Indies]

French and English were neighbors also in the West Indies. Martinique
and Guadeloupe acknowledged French sovereignty, while Jamaica,
Barbados, and the Bahamas were English.[Footnote: The following West
Indies were also English: Nevis, Montserrat, Antigua, Honduras, St.
Lucia, Virgin Islands, and the Turks and Caicos Islands. St. Kitts was
divided between England and France; and the western part of Haiti,
already visited by French buccaneers, was definitely annexed to France
in 1697. The Bermudas, lying outside the "West Indies," were already
English.] These holdings in the West Indies were valuable not only for
their sugar plantations, but for their convenience as stations for
trade with Mexico and South America.

[Sidenote: In Africa]

In Africa the French had made settlements in Madagascar, at Gorée, and
at the mouth of the Senegal River, and the English had established
themselves in Gambia and on the Gold Coast, but as yet the African
posts were mere stations for trade in gold-dust,[Footnote: Gold coins
are still often called "guineas" in England, from the fact that a good
deal of gold used to come from the Guinea coast of Africa. ] ivory,
wax, or slaves. The real struggle for Africa was not to come until the
nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

[Sidenote: In India]

Of far greater importance was Asiatic India, which, unlike America or
even Africa, offered a field favorable for commerce rather than for
conquest or for colonization. For it happened that the fertility and
extent of India--its area was half as large as that of Europe--were
taxed to their uttermost to support a population of probably two
hundred millions; and all, therefore, which Europeans desired was an
opportunity to buy Indian products, such as cotton, indigo, Spices,
dyes, drugs, silk, precious stones, and peculiar manufactures.

In the seventeenth century India was ruled by a dynasty of Mohammedan
emperors called Moguls,[Footnote: So called because racially they were
falsely supposed to be Mongols or Moguls.] who had entered the
peninsula as conquerors in the previous century and had established a
splendid court in the city of Delhi on a branch of the Ganges. The bulk
of the people, however, maintained their ancient "Hindu" religion with
their social ranks or "castes" and preserved their distinctive speech
and customs. Over a country like India, broken up into many sections by
physical features, climate, industries, and language, the Mohammedan
conquerors,--the "Great Mogul" and his viceroys, called nawabs,
[Footnote: More popularly "nabobs."]--found it impossible to establish
more than a loose sovereignty, many of the native princes or "rajas"
still being allowed to rule with considerable independence, and the
millions of Hindus feeling little love or loyalty for their emperor. It
was this fatal weakness of the Great Mogul which enabled the European
traders, who in the seventeenth century besought his favor and
protection, to set themselves up in the eighteenth as his masters.

It will be remembered that after the voyage of Vasco da Gama the
Portuguese had monopolized the trade with India and the East until they
had been attacked by the Dutch toward the close of the sixteenth
century. This was the very time when the English were making their
first voyages [Footnote: Actually the first English voyage to the East
Indies was made between 1591 and 1594, almost a century after the first
Portuguese voyage.] to the East and were taking advantage of their own
war with Philip II to attack his Portuguese possessions. The first
English trading stations were opened at Masulipatam (1611) and at Surat
(1612). In the latter year and again in 1615 Portuguese fleets were
defeated, and in 1622 the Portuguese were driven out of the important
Persian city of Ormuz. By 1688 the English had acquired three important
points in India, (1) Calcutta in the delta of the Ganges had been
occupied in 1686, but it was yet uncertain whether the English could
hold it against the will of the Mogul emperor. (2) At Madras, further
south, Sir Francis Day had built Fort St. George (1640). (3) On the
western coast, the trading station of Surat was now surpassed in value
by Bombay, the dowry of Catherine of Braganza, a Portuguese princess,
who had married King Charles II (1662).

The first French Company for Eastern trade had been formed only four
years [Footnote: Charters to French companies had been granted in 1604
and in 1615. The _Compagnie des Indes_ was formed in 1642, and
reconstructed in 1664.] after the English East India Company, but the
first French factory in India--at Surat--was not established until 1668
and the French did not seriously compete with the English and Dutch in
India until the close of the seventeenth century. However, their post
at Chandarnagar (1672), in dangerous proximity to Calcutta, and their
thriving station at Pondicherry (1674), within a hundred miles of
Madras, augured ill for the future harmony of French and English in

[Sidenote: Comparative Resources of France and England]

From the foregoing brief review of the respective colonial possessions
of Great Britain and France in the year 1688, it must now be clear that
although France had entered the colonial competition tardily, she had
succeeded remarkably well in becoming a formidable rival of the
English. The great struggle for supremacy was to be decided,
nevertheless, not by priority of settlement or validity of claim, but
by the fighting power of the contestants. Strange as it may seem,
France, a larger, more populous, and richer country than England, able
then single-handed to keep the rest of Europe at bay, was to prove the
weaker of the two in the struggle for world empire.

In the first place, England's maritime power was increasing more
irresistibly than that of France. Although Richelieu (1624-1642) had
recognized the need for a French navy and had given a great impetus to
ship-building, France had become inextricably entangled in European
politics, and the navy was half forgotten in the ambitious land wars of
Louis XIV. The English, on the other hand, were predisposed to the sea
by the very fact of their insularity, and since the days of the great
Armada, their most patriotic boast had been of the deeds of mariners.
In the commercial wars with Holland, the first great English admiral--
Robert Blake--had won glorious victories.

Then, too, the Navigation Acts (1651, 1660), by excluding foreign ships
from trade between Great Britain and the colonies, may have lessened
the volume of trade, but they resulted in undoubted prosperity for
English shippers. English shipbuilders, encouraged by bounties, learned
to build stronger and more powerful vessels than those of other
nations. Whether capturing galleons on the "Spanish main" or defeating
Portuguese fleets in the Far East, English pirates, slavers, and
merchantmen were not to be encountered without fear or envy. English
commerce and industry, springing up under the protection and
encouragement of the Tudors, had given birth, as we have seen, to a
middle class powerful enough to secure special rights and privileges
through Parliament.

The French, on the other hand, labored under most serious commercial
handicaps. Local tolls and internal customs-duties hindered traffic;
and the medieval gild system had retained in France its power to hamper
industry with absurd regulations. The long civil and religious wars,
which called workmen from their benches and endangered the property and
lives of merchants, had resulted in reducing French commerce to a
shadow before 1600. Under Henry IV prosperity revived, but the growth
of royal power made it impossible for the Huguenot merchants in France
to achieve political power comparable with that which the Puritans won
in England. Consequently the mercantile classes were quite unable to
prevent Louis XIV from ruining his country by foreign war,--they could
not vote themselves privileges and bounties as in England, nor could
they declare war on commercial rivals. True, Colbert (1662-1683), the
great "mercantilist" minister, did his best to encourage new
industries, such as silk production, to make rules for the better
conduct of old industries, and to lay taxes on such imported goods as
might compete with home products, but French industry could not be made
to thrive like that of England. It is often said that Colbert's careful
regulations did much harm by stifling the spirit of free enterprise;
but far more destructive were the wars and taxes [Footnote: In order to
obtain money for his court, diplomacy, and wars, Louis XIV not only
increased taxes but debased the coinage. Particularly unfortunate,
economically, was the revocation of the Edict of Nantes (1685), as a
result of which some 50,000 of the most industrious and thrifty
citizens of France fled to increase the industry of England, Holland,
and Brandenburg (Prussia).] of the Grand Monarch. The only wonder is
that France bore the drain of men and money so well.

The English, then, had a more promising navy and a more prosperous
trade than the French, and were therefore able to gain control of the
seas and to bear the expense of war.

[Sidenote: Comparative Colonial Policies of France and England]

In general colonial policy France seemed decidedly superior. Louis XIV
had taken over the whole of "New France" as a royal province, and the
French could present a united front against the divided and discordant
English colonies. Under Colbert the number of French colonists in
America increased 300 per cent in twenty years. Moreover the French,
both in India and in America, were almost uniformly successful in
gaining the friendship and trust of the natives, whereas, at least with
most of the redmen, the English were constantly at war.

The English, however, had a great advantage in the number of colonists.
The population of France, held in check by wars, did not naturally
overflow to America; and the Huguenots, persecuted in the mother
country, were not allowed to emigrate to New France, lest their
presence might impede the missionary labors of the Jesuits among the
Indians. [Footnote: The statement is frequently made that the
"paternalism" or fatherly care with which Richelieu and Colbert made
regulations for the colonies was responsible for the paucity of
colonists and the discouragement of colonial industry. This, however,
will be taken with considerable reservation when it is remembered that
England attempted to prevent the growth of such industries in her
colonies as might compete with those at home.] England was more
fortunate in that her Puritan, Quaker, and Catholic exiles went to her
colonies rather than to foreign lands. The English colonists, less
under the direct protection of the mother country, learned to defend
themselves against the Indians, and were better able to help the mother
country against their common foe, the French.

Taken all in all, the situation was favorable to Great Britain. As long
as French monarchs wasted the resources of France in Europe, they could
scarcely hope to cope with the superior navy, the thriving commerce,
and the more populous colonies, of their ancient enemies.


[Sidenote: War of the League of Augsburg]

Colonial and commercial rivalry could hardly bring France and Great
Britain to blows while the Stuart kings looked to Louis XIV for
friendly aid in the erection of absolutism and the reinstatement of
Catholicism in England.

The Revolution of 1689, which we have already discussed [Footnote: See
above, pp. 286 ff.] in its political significance, was important in its
bearing on foreign relations, for it placed on the English throne the
arch-enemy of France, William III, whose chief concern was the
protection of his ancestral possessions--the Dutch Netherlands--against
the encroachments of Louis XIV. The support given by the latter to the
pretensions of James II was a second cause of war. In an earlier
chapter [Footnote: See above, pp. 247 ff.] we have seen how
international relations in 1689 led to the juncture of England and
Holland with the League of Augsburg, which included the emperor, the
kings of Spain and Sweden, and the electors of Bavaria, Saxony, and the
Palatinate; and how the resulting War of the League of Augsburg was
waged in Europe from 1689 to 1697. It was during that struggle, it will
be remembered, that King William finally defeated James II and the
latter's French and Irish allies in the battle of the Boyne (1690). It
was also during that struggle that the French navy, though successful
against combined Dutch and English squadrons off Beachy Head (1690),
was decisively beaten by the English in a three-day battle near La
Hogue (1692).

[Sidenote: King William's War, 1689-1697]

The War of the League of Augsburg had its counterpart in the American
"King William's War," of which two aspects should be noted. In the
first place, the New England colonists aided in the capture (1690) of
the French fortress of Port Royal in Acadia (Nova Scotia) and in an
inconsequential attack on Quebec. In the second place, we must notice
the role of the Indians. As early as 1670, Roger Williams, a famous New
England preacher, had declared, "the French and Romish Jesuits, the
firebrands of the world, for their godbelly sake, are kindling at our
back in this country their hellish fires with all the natives of this
country." The outbreak of King William's War was a signal for the
kindling of fires more to be feared than those imagined by the good
divine; the burning of Dover (N. H.), Schenectady (N. Y.), and Groton
(Mass.) by the red allies of the French governor, Count Frontenac,
earned the latter the lasting hatred of the "Yankees."

[Sidenote: Treaty of Ryswick, 1697]

The contest was interrupted rather than settled by the colorless treaty
of Ryswick (1697), according to which Louis XIV promised not to
question William's right to the English throne, and all colonial
conquests, including Port Royal, were restored.

[Sidenote: War of the Spanish Succession]

Only five years later Europe was plunged into the long War of the
Spanish Succession (1702-1713). King William and the Habsburg emperor
with other European princes formed a Grand Alliance to prevent Louis'
grandson Philip from inheriting the Spanish crowns. For if France and
Spain were united under the Bourbon family, their armies would overawe
Europe; their united colonial empires would surround and perhaps engulf
the British colonies; their combined navies might drive the British
from the seas. Furthermore, the English were angered when Louis XIV,
upon the death of James II (1701), openly recognized the Catholic son
of the exiled royal Stuart as "James III," king of Great Britain.

[Sidenote: Queen Anne's War, 1702-1713]

While the duke of Marlborough and Prince Eugene were winning great
victories in Europe, [Footnote: See above, pp. 249 ff.] the British
colonists in America were fighting "Queen Anne's War" against the
French. Again the French sent Indians to destroy New England villages,
and again the English retaliated by attacking Port Royal and Quebec.
After withstanding two unsuccessful assaults, Port Royal fell in 1710
and left Acadia open to the British. In the following year a fleet of
nine war vessels and sixty transports carried twelve thousand
Britishers to attack Quebec, while an army of 2300 moved on Montreal by
way of Lake Champlain; but both expeditions failed of their object.

On the high seas, as well as in America and in Europe, the British won
fresh laurels. It was during Queen Anne's War that the British navy,
sometimes with the valuable aid of the Dutch, played an important part
in defeating the French fleet in the Mediterranean and driving French
privateers from the sea, in besieging and capturing Gibraltar, in
seizing a rich squadron of Spanish treasure ships near Cartagena, and
in terrorizing the French West Indies.

[Sidenote: Treaty of Utrecht, 1713]

The main provisions of the treaty of Utrecht, which terminated this
stage of the conflict, in so far as they affected the colonial of
situation, [Footnote: For the European settlement, see above, pp. 253
f.] were as follows: (1) The French Bourbons, were allowed to become
the reigning family in Spain, and though the proviso was inserted that
the crowns of France and Spain should never be united, nevertheless so
long as Bourbons reigned in both countries, the colonies of Spain and
France might almost be regarded as one immense Bourbon empire. (2)
Great Britain was confirmed in possession of Acadia, [Footnote: A
dispute later arose whether, as the British claimed, "Acadia" included
Cape Breton Island.] which was rechristened Nova Scotia, and France
abandoned her claims to Hudson Bay, Newfoundland, and the island of St.
Kitts in the West Indies. (3) Great Britain secured from Spain the
cession of the island of Minorca and the rocky stronghold of Gibraltar
--bulwarks of Mediterranean commerce. (4) Of more immediate value to
Great Britain was the trade concession, called the Asiento, made by
Spain (1713). Prior to the Asiento, the British had been forbidden to
trade with the Spanish possessions in America, and the French had
monopolized the sale of slaves to the Spanish colonies.

[Sidenote: The Asiento, 1713]

The Asiento, however, allowed Great Britain exclusive right to supply
Spanish America with negro slaves, at the rate of 4800 a year, for
thirty years. They were still forbidden to sell other commodities in
the domains of the Spanish king, except that once a year one British
ship of five hundred tons burden might visit Porto Bello on the Isthmus
of Panama for purposes of general trade. For almost three decades after
the peace of Utrecht, the smoldering colonial jealousies were not
allowed to break forth into the flame of open war.

[Sidenote: The Interlude of Peace, 1713-1739]

During the interval, however, British ambitions were coming more and
more obviously into conflict with the claims of Spain and France in
America, and with those of France in India.

[Sidenote: French Aggressiveness in America]

In spite of her losses by the treaty of Utrecht, France still held the
St. Lawrence River, with Cape Breton Island defending its mouth; her
fishermen still had special privileges on the Newfoundland banks; her
islands in the West Indies flourished under greater freedom of trade
than that enjoyed by the English; and her pioneers were occupying the
vast valley of the Mississippi. Moreover, in preparing for the next
stage of the conflict, France displayed astonishing energy. Fort
Louisburg was erected on Cape Breton Island to command the entrance to
the Gulf of St. Lawrence. A long series of fortifications was
constructed to stake out and guarantee the French claims. From Crown
Point on Lake Champlain, the line was carried westward by Fort Niagara,
Fort Detroit, Sault Sainte Marie, on to Lake Winnipeg and even beyond;
other forts commanded the Wabash and Illinois rivers, and followed the
Mississippi down to the Gulf. [Footnote: By the year 1750 there were
over sixty French forts between Montreal and New Orleans.] Settlements
were made at Mobile (1702) and at New Orleans (1718), and British
sailors were given to understand that the Mississippi was French
property. The governors of British colonies had ample cause for alarm.

[Sidenote: French Aggressiveness in India: Dupleix]

In India, likewise, the French were too enterprising to be good
neighbors. Under the leadership of a wonderfully able governor-general,
Dupleix, who was appointed in 1741, they were prospering and were
extending their influence in the effete empire of the Great Mogul.
Dupleix exhibited a restless ambition; he began to interfere in native
politics and to assume the pompous bearing, gorgeous apparel, and proud
titles of a native prince. He conceived the idea of augmenting his
slender garrisons of Europeans with "sepoys," or carefully drilled
natives, and fortified his capital, Pondicherry, as if for war.

[Sidenote: Trade Disputes between Spain and Great Britain]

To the dangerous rivalry between British and French colonists and
traders in America and in India, during the thirty years which followed
the treaty of Utrecht, was added the continuous bickering which grew
out of the Asiento concluded in 1713 between Great Britain and Spain.
Spaniards complained of British smugglers and protested with justice
that the British outrageously abused their special privilege by keeping
the single stipulated vessel in the harbor of Porto Bello and refilling
it at night from other ships. On the other hand, British merchants
resented their general exclusion from Spanish markets and recited to
willing listeners at home the tale of their grievances against the
Spanish authorities. Of such tales the most notorious was that of a
certain Captain Robert Jenkins, who with dramatic detail told how the
bloody Spaniards had attacked his good ship, plundered it, and in the
fray cut off one of his ears, and to prove his story he is said to have
produced a box containing what purported to be the ear in question. In
the face of the popular excitement aroused in England by this and
similar incidents, Sir Robert Walpole, the peace-loving prime minister,
was unable to restrain his fellow-countrymen from declaring war against

[Sidenote: The "War of Jenkins's Ear," 1739]

It was in 1739 that the commercial and colonial warfare was thus
resumed,--on this occasion involving at the outset only Spain and Great
Britain,--in a curious struggle commonly referred to as the War of
Jenkins's Ear. A British fleet captured Porto Bello, but failed to take
Cartagena. In North America the war was carried on fruitlessly by James
Oglethorpe, who had recently (1733) founded the English colony of
"Georgia" [Footnote: So named in honor of the then reigning King George
II (1727-1760)] to the south of the Carolinas, in territory claimed by
the Spanish colony of Florida.

[Sidenote: War of the Austrian Succession. King George's War, 1744-

The War of Jenkins's Ear proved but an introduction to the resumption
of hostilities on a large scale between France and Great Britain. In a
later chapter [Footnote: See below, pp. 354 ff.] it is explained how in
1740 the War of the Austrian Succession broke out on the continent of
Europe--a war stubbornly fought for eight years, and a war in which
Great Britain entered the lists for Maria Theresa of Austria against
France and Prussia and other states. And the European conflict was
naturally reflected in "King George's War" (1744-1748) in America, and
in simultaneous hostilities in India.

The only remarkable incident of King George's War was the capture of
Louisburg (1745) by Colonel William Pepperell of New Hampshire with a
force of British colonists, who were sorely disappointed when, in 1748,
the captured fortress was returned to France by the treaty of Aix-la-
Chapelle. The war in India was similarly indecisive. In 1746 a French
squadron easily captured the British post at Madras; other British
posts were attacked, and Dupleix defeated the nawab of the Carnatic,
who would have punished him for violating Indian peace and neutrality.

[Sidenote: Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, 1748]

The tables were turned by the arrival of a British fleet in 1748, which
laid siege to Dupleix in Pondicherry. At this juncture, news arrived
that Great Britain and France had concluded the treaty of Aix-la-
Chapelle (1748), whereby all conquests, including Madras and Louisburg,
were to be restored. So far as Spain was concerned. Great Britain in
1750 renounced the privileges of the Asiento in return for a money
payment of £100,000.


[Sidenote: Questions at Issue in 1750]
[Sidenote: World-wide Extent of the Seven Years' War]

Up to this point, the wars had been generally indecisive, although
Great Britain had gained Hudson Bay, Newfoundland, and Nova Scotia by
the peace of Utrecht (1713). British naval power, too, was undoubtedly
in the ascendancy. But two great questions were still unanswered.
Should France be allowed to make good her claim to the Mississippi
valley and possibly to drive the British from their slender foothold on
the coast of America? Should Dupleix, wily diplomat as he was, be
allowed to make India a French empire? To these major disputes was
added a minor quarrel over the boundary of Nova Scotia, which, it will
be remembered, had been ceded to Great Britain in 1713. Such questions
could be decided only by the crushing defeat of one nation, and that
defeat France was to suffer in the years between 1754 and 1763. Her
loss was fourfold: (1) Her European armies were defeated in Germany by
Frederick the Great, who was aided by English gold, in the Seven Years'
War (1756-1763). [Footnote: For an account of the European aspects of
this struggle, see below, pp. 358 ff.] (2) At the same time her naval
power was almost annihilated by the British, whose war vessels and
privateers conquered most of the French West Indies and almost swept
French commerce from the seas. (3) In India, the machinations of
Dupleix were foiled by the equally astute but more martial Clive. (4)
In America, the "French and Indian War" (1754-1763) dispelled the dream
of a New France across the Atlantic. We shall first consider the war in
the New World.

[Sidenote: The American Phase of the Seven Years' War: the "French and
Indian" War, 1754-1763]

The immediate cause of the French and Indian War was a contest for the
possession of the Ohio valley. The English had already organized an
Ohio Company (1749) for colonization of the valley, but they did not
fully realize the pressing need of action until the French had begun
the construction of a line of forts in western Pennsylvania--Fort
Presqu'Isle (Erie), Fort Le Bœuf (Waterford), and Fort Venango
(Franklin). The most important position--the junction of the
Monongahela and Allegheny rivers--being still unoccupied, the Ohio
Company, early in 1754, sent a small force to seize and fortify it. The
French, however, were not to be so easily outwitted; they captured the
newly built fort with its handful of defenders, enlarged it, and
christened it Fort Duquesne in honor of the governor of Canada. Soon
afterward a young Virginian, George Washington by name, arrived on the
scene with four hundred men, too late to reënforce the English fort-
builders, and he also was defeated on 4 July, 1754.

Hope was revived, however, in 1755 when the British General Braddock
arrived with a regular army and an ambitious plan to attack the French
in three places--Crown Point (on Lake Champlain), Fort Niagara, and
Fort Duquesne. Against the last-named fort he himself led a mixed force
of British regulars and colonial militia, and so incautiously did he
advance that presently he fell into an ambush. From behind trees and
rocks the Frenchmen and redskins peppered the surprised redcoats. The
"seasoned" veterans of European battlefields were defeated, and might
have been annihilated but for the timely aid of a few "raw" colonial
militiamen, who knew how to shoot straight from behind trees. The
expedition against Niagara also failed of its object but entailed no
such disaster. Failing to take Crown Point, the English built Forts
Edward and William Henry on Lake George, while the French constructed
the famous Fort Ticonderoga. [Footnote: This same year, 1755, so
unfortunate for the English, was a cruel year for the French settlers
in Nova Scotia; like so many cattle, seven thousand of them were packed
into English vessels and shipped to various parts of North America. The
English feared their possible disloyalty.]

[Sidenote: Montcalm]

The gloom which gathered about British fortunes seemed to increase
during the years 1756 and 1757. Great Britain's most valuable ally,
Frederick the Great of Prussia, was defeated in Europe; an English
squadron had been sadly defeated in the Mediterranean; the French had
captured the island of Minorca; and a British attack on the French
fortress of Louisburg had failed. To the French in America, the year
1756 brought Montcalm and continued success. The Marquis de Montcalm
(1712-1759) had learned the art of war on European battlefields, but he
readily adapted himself to new conditions, and proved to be an able
commander of the French and Indian forces in the New World. The English
fort of Oswego on Lake Ontario, and Fort William Henry on Lake George,
were captured, and all the campaigns projected by the English were

In 1757, however, new vigor was infused into the war on the part of the
British, largely by reason of the entrance of William Pitt (the Elder)
into the cabinet. Pitt was determined to arouse all British subjects to
fight for their country. Stirred with martial enthusiasm, colonial
volunteers now joined with British regulars to provide a force of about
50,000 men for simultaneous attacks on four important French posts in
America--Louisburg, Ticonderoga, Niagara, and Duquesne. The success of
the attack on Louisburg (1758) was insured by the support of a strong
British squadron; Fort Duquesne was taken and renamed Fort Pitt
[Footnote: Whence the name of the modern city of Pittsburgh.] (1758);
Ticonderoga repulsed one expedition (1758) but surrendered on 26 July,
1759, one day after the capture of Fort Niagara by the British.

[Sidenote: Wolfe]

Not content with the capture of the menacing French frontier forts, the
British next aimed at the central strongholds of the French. While one
army marched up the Hudson valley to attack Montreal, General Wolfe, in
command of another army of 7000, and accompanied by a strong fleet,
moved up the St. Lawrence against Quebec. An inordinate thirst for
military glory had been Wolfe's heritage from his father, himself a
general. An ensign at fourteen, Wolfe had become an officer in active
service while still in his teens, had commanded a detachment in the
attack on Louisburg in 1758, and now at the age of thirty-three was
charged with the capture of Quebec, a natural stronghold, defended by
the redoubtable Montcalm. The task seemed impossible; weeks were wasted
in futile efforts; sickness and apparent defeat weighed heavily on the
young commander. With the energy of despair he fastened at last upon a
daring idea. Thirty-six hundred of his men were ferried in the dead of
night to a point above the city where his soldiers might scramble
through bushes and over rocks up a precipitous path to a high plain--
the Plains of Abraham--commanding the town.

[Sidenote: British Victory at Quebec, 1759]

Wolfe's presence on the heights was revealed at daybreak on 13
September, 1759, and Montcalm hastened to repel the attack. For a time
it seemed as if Wolfe's force would be over-powered, but a well-
directed volley and an impetuous charge threw the French lines into
disorder. In the moment of victory, General Wolfe, already twice
wounded, received a musket-ball in the breast. His death was made happy
by the news of success, but no such exultation filled the heart of the
mortally wounded Montcalm, dying in the bitterness of defeat.

Quebec surrendered a few days later. It was the beginning of the end of
the French colonial empire in America. All hope was lost when, in
October, 1759, a great armada, ready to embark against England, was
destroyed in Quiberon Bay by Admiral Hawke. In 1760 Montreal fell and
the British completed the conquest of New France, at the very time when
the last vestiges of French power were disappearing in India.

[Sidenote: Futile Intervention of Spain, 1762]

In his extremity, Louis XV of France secured the aid of his Bourbon
kinsman, the king of Spain, against England, but Spain was a worthless
ally, and in 1762 British squadrons captured Cuba and the Philippine
Islands as well as the French possessions in the West Indies.

[Sidenote: Phase of the Seven Years' War in India]
[Sidenote: Continued Activity of Dupleix]

Let us now turn back and see how the loss of New France was paralleled
by French defeat in the contest for the vastly more populous and
opulent empire of India. The Mogul Empire, to which reference has
already been made, had been rapidly falling to pieces throughout the
first half of the eighteenth century. The rulers or nawabs (nabobs) of
the Deccan, of Bengal, and of Oudh had become semi-independent princes.
In a time when conspiracy and intrigue were common avenues to power,
the French governor, Dupleix, had conceived the idea of making himself
the political leader of India, and in pursuit of his goal, as we have
seen, he had affected Oriental magnificence and grandiloquent titles,
had formed alliances with half the neighboring native magnates, had
fortified Pondicherry, and begun the enrollment and organization of his
sepoy army. In 1750 he succeeded in overthrowing the nawab of the
Carnatic [Footnote: The province in India which includes Madras and
Pondicherry and has its capital at Arcot.] and in establishing a
pretender whom he could dominate more easily.

[Sidenote: Robert Clive]
[Sidenote: French Failure in the Carnatic]

The hopes of the experienced and crafty Dupleix were frustrated,
however, by a young man of twenty-seven--Robert Clive. At the age of
eighteen, Clive had entered the employ of the English East India
Company as a clerk at Madras. His restless and discontented spirit
found relief, at times, in omnivorous reading; at other times he grew
despondent. More than once he planned to take his own life. During the
War of the Austrian Succession, he had resigned his civil post and
entered the army. The hazards of military life were more to his liking,
and he soon gave abundant evidence of ability. After the peace of 1748
he had returned to civil life, but in 1751 he came forward with a bold
scheme for attacking Arcot, the capital of the Carnatic, and
overthrowing the upstart nawab who was supported by Dupleix. Clive
could muster only some two hundred Europeans and three hundred sepoys,
but this slender force, infused with the daring and irresistible
determination of the young leader, sufficed to seize and hold the
citadel of Arcot against thousands of assailants. With the aid of
native and British reënforcements, the hero of Arcot further defeated
the pretender; and, in 1754, the French had to acknowledge their
failure in the Carnatic and withdraw support from their vanquished
protégé. Dupleix was recalled to France in disgrace; and the British
were left to enjoy the favor of the nawab who owed his throne to Clive.

[Sidenote: Plassey]
[Sidenote: British Success in India]

Clive's next work was in Bengal. In 1756 the young nawab of Bengal,
Suraj-ud-Dowlah by name, seized the English fort at Calcutta and locked
146 Englishmen overnight in a stifling prison--the "Black Hole" of
Calcutta--from which only twenty-three emerged alive the next morning.
Clive, hastening from Madras, chastised Suraj for this atrocity, and
forced him to give up Calcutta. And since by this time Great Britain
and France were openly at war, Clive did not hesitate to capture the
near-by French post of Chandarnagar. His next move was to give active
aid to a certain Mir Jafir, a pretender to the throne of the unfriendly
Suraj-ud-Dowlah. The French naturally took sides with Suraj against
Clive. In 1757 Clive drew up 1100 Europeans, 2100 sepoys, and nine
cannon in a grove of mango trees at Plassey, a few miles south of the
city of Murshidabad, and there attacked Suraj, who, with an army of
68,000 native troops and with French artillerymen to work his fifty-
three cannon, anticipated an easy victory. The outcome was a brilliant
victory for Clive, as overwhelming as it was unexpected. The British
candidate forthwith became nawab of Bengal and as token of his
indebtedness he paid over £1,500,000 to the English East India Company,
and made Clive a rich man. The British were henceforth dominant in
Bengal. The capture of Masulipatam in 1758, the defeat of the French at
Wandewash, between Madras and Pondicherry, and the successful siege of
Pondicherry in 1761, finally established the British as masters of all
the coveted eastern coast of India.

[Sidenote: The Treaty of Paris, 1763]

The fall of Quebec (1759) and of Pondicherry (1761) practically decided
the issue of the colonial struggle, but the war dragged on until, in
1763, France, Spain, and Great Britain concluded the peace of Paris. Of
her American possessions France retained only two insignificant islands
on the Newfoundland coast, [Footnote: St. Pierre and Miquelon.] a few
islands in the West Indies, [Footnote: Including Guadeloupe and
Martinique.] and a foothold in Guiana in South America. Great Britain
received from France the whole of the St. Lawrence valley and all the
territory east of the Mississippi River, together with the island of
Grenada in the West Indies; and from Spain, Great Britain secured
Florida. Beyond the surrender of the sparsely settled territory of
Florida, Spain suffered no loss, for Cuba and the Philippines were
restored to her, and France gave her western Louisiana, that is, the
western half of the Mississippi valley. The French were allowed to
return to their old posts in India, but were not to maintain troops in
Bengal or to build any fort. In other words, the French returned to
India as traders but not as empire builders. [Footnote: During the war,
the French posts in Africa had been taken, and now Gorée was returned
while the mouth of the Senegal River was retained by the British.]

[Sidenote: Significance of the Seven Years' War to Great Britain and

Let us attempt to summarize the chief results of the war. In the first
place, Great Britain preserved half of what was later to constitute the
United States, and gained Canada and an ascendancy in India--empires
wider, richer, and more diverse than those of a Cæsar or an Alexander.
Henceforth Great Britain was indisputably the preëminent colonizing
country--a nation upon whose domains the sun never set. It meant that
the English language was to spread as no other language, until to-day
one hundred and sixty millions of people use the tongue which in the
fifteenth century was spoken by hardly five millions.

Secondly, even more important than this vast land empire was the
dominion of the sea which Great Britain acquired, for from the series
of wars just considered, and especially from the last, dates the
maritime supremacy of England. Since then her commerce, protected and
advertised by the most powerful navy in the world, has mounted by leaps
and bounds, so that now half the vessels which sail the seas bear at
their masthead the Union Jack. From her dominions beyond the oceans and
from her ships upon the seas Great Britain drew power and prestige;
British merchants acquired opulence with resulting social and political
importance to themselves and to their country, and British manufactures
received that stimulation which prepared the way for the Industrial
Revolution of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

Thirdly, the gains of Great Britain were at least the temporary ruin of
her rival. Not without reluctance did France abandon her colonial
ambitions, but nearly a century was to elapse after the treaty of Paris
before the French should seriously reënter the race for the upbuilding
of world empire. Nor was France without a desire for revenge, which was
subsequently made manifest in her alliance with Britain's rebellious
American colonies in 1778. But French naval power had suffered a blow
from which it was difficult to recover, [Footnote: Yet between 1763 and
1778 the French made heroic and expensive efforts to rebuild their
navy. And as we shall presently see in studying the general war which
accompanied the American revolt, France attempted in vain to reverse
the main result of the Seven Years' War.] and much of her commerce was
irretrievably lost. If toward the close of the eighteenth century
bankruptcy was to threaten the Bourbon court and government at
Versailles, and if at the opening of the next century, British sea-
power was to undermine Napoleon's empire, it was in no slight degree
the result in either case of the Seven Years' disaster.

India and America were lost to France. Her trade in India soon dwindled
into insignificance before the powerful and wealthy British East India
Company. "French India" to-day consists of Pondicherry, Karikal,
Yanaon, Mahé, and Chandarnagar--196 square miles in all,--while the
Indian Empire of Britain spreads over an area of 1,800,000 square
miles. French empire in America is now represented only by two puny
islands off the coast of Newfoundland, two small islands in the West
Indies, and an unimportant tract of tropical Guiana, but historic
traces of its former greatness and promise have survived alike in
Canada and in Louisiana. In Canada the French population has stubbornly
held itself aloof from the British in language and in religion, and
even to-day two of the seven millions of Canadians are Frenchmen, quite
as intent on the preservation of their ancient nationality as upon
their allegiance to the British rule. In the United States the French
element is less in evidence; nevertheless in New Orleans sidewalks are
called "banquettes," and embankments, "levées"; and still the names of
St. Louis, Des Moines, Detroit, and Lake Champlain perpetuate the
memory of a lost empire.


GENERAL. Textbooks and brief treatises: J. S. Bassett, _A Short History
of the United States_ (1914), ch. iii-vii; A. L. Cross, _History of
England and Greater Britain_ (1914), ch. xxxvi-xlii; J. H. Robinson and
C. A. Beard, _The Development of Modern Europe_, Vol. I (1907), ch. vi,
vii; A. D. Innes, _History of England and the British Empire_, Vol. III
(1914), ch. i-vi; W. H. Woodward, _A Short History of the Expansion of
the British Empire, 1500-1911_, 3d ed. (1912), ch. i-v; A. T. Story,
_The Building of the British Empire_ (1898), Part I, _1558-1688_; H. C.
Morris, _The History of Colonization_ (1900), Vol. I, Part III, ch. x-
xii, Vol. II, ch. xvi-xviii. More detailed and specialized studies:
John Fiske, _New France and New England_(1902), a delightful review of
the development of the French empire in America, its struggle with the
British, and its collapse, and, by the same author, _Colonization of
the New World_, ch. vii-x, and _Independence of the New World_, ch. i-
iii, the last two books being respectively Vols. XXI and XXII of the
_History of All Nations; Cambridge Modern History_, Vol. V (1908), ch.
xxii, on the growth of the French and English empires, Vol. VI (1909),
ch. xv, on the English and French in India, 1720-1763, and Vol. VII
(1903), ch. i-iv, on the struggle in the New World; Pelham Edgar, _The
Struggle for a Continent_ (1902), an excellent account of the conflict
in North America, edited from the writings of Parkman; E. B. Greene,
_Provincial America, 1690-1740_ (1905), being Vol. VI of the "American
Nation" Series; Émile Levasseur, _Histoire du commerce de la France_,
Vol. I (1911), the best treatment of French commercial and colonial
policy prior to 1789; Sir J. R. Seeley, _Expansion of England_ (1895),
stimulating and suggestive on the relations of general European history
to the struggle for world dominion; A. W. Tilby, _The English People
Overseas_, a great history of the British empire, projected in 8 vols.,
of which three (1912) are particularly important--Vol. I, _The American
Colonies, 1583-1763_, Vol. II, _British India, 1600-1828_, and Vol. IV,
_Britain in the Tropics, 1527-1910_; A. T. Mahan, _The Influence of Sea
Power upon History, 1660-1783_, 24th ed. (1914), an epoch-making work;
Sir W. L. Clowes (editor), _The Royal Navy: a History_, 7 vols. (1897-
1903), ch. xx-xxviii; J. S. Corbett, _England in the Seven Years' War_,
2 vols. (1907), strongly British and concerned chiefly with naval
warfare; J. W. Fortescue, _History of the British Army_, Vols. I and II
(1899). See also the general histories of imperialism and of the
British Empire listed in the bibliographies appended to Chapters XXVII
and XXIX, of Volume II.

Colonial Period_ (1912) in "Home University Library," and C. L. Becker,
_Beginnings of the American People_ (1915) in "The Riverside History,"
able and stimulating résumés; L. G. Tyler, _England in America, 1580-
1652_ (1904), Vol. IV of "American Nation" Series; John Fiske, _Old
Virginia and her Neighbors_ (1900), and, by the same author, in his
usually accurate and captivating manner, _Beginnings of New England_
(1898), and _Dutch and Quaker Colonies in America_ (1903); H. L.
Osgood, _The American Colonies in the Seventeenth Century_, 3 vols.
(1904-1907), the standard authority, together with J. A. Doyle,
_English Colonies in America_, 5 vols. (1882-1907); Edward Channing, _A
History of the United States_, Vol. II, _A Century of Colonial History,
1660-1760_ (1908), very favorable to New England.

_France in America, 1497-1763_ (1905), Vol. VII of the "American
Nation" Series, is a clear and scholarly survey. For all concerning
French Canada prior to the British conquest, the works of Francis
Parkman occupy an almost unique position: they are well known for their
attractive qualities, descriptive powers, and charm of style; on the
whole, they are accurate, though occasionally Parkman seems to have
misunderstood the Jesuit missionaries. The proper sequence of Parkman's
writings is as follows: _Pioneers of France in the New World_ (1865),
_The Jesuits in North America_  (1867), _La Salle and the Discovery of
the Great West_ (1869), _The Old Régime in Canada_ (1874), _Count
Frontenac and New France under Louis XIV_ (1877), _A Half Century of
Conflict_, 2 vols. (1892), _Montcalm and Wolfe_, 2 vols. (1884), _The
Conspiracy of Pontiac, and the Indian War after the Conquest of
Canada_, 2 vols. (1851). Other useful studies: C. W. Colby, _Canadian
Types of the Old Régime, 1608-1698_ (1908); G. M. Wrong, _The Fall of
Canada: a Chapter in the History of the Seven Years' War_ (1914);
Thomas Hughes, S.J., _History of the Society of Jesus in North
America_, Vols. I, II (1907-1908), the authoritative work of a learned
Jesuit; T. J. Campbell, S.J., _Pioneer Priests of North America, 1642-
1710_, 3 vols. (1911-1914); William Kingsford, _History of Canada_, 10
vols. (1887-1897), elaborate, moderately English in point of view, and
covering the years from 1608 to 1841; F. X. Garneau, _Histoire du
Canada_, 5th ed. of the famous work of a French Canadian, revised by
his grandson Hector Garneau, Vol. I to 1713 (1913).

_History of India_ in 6 bulky volumes is now (1916) in preparation
by the Cambridge University Press on the model of the "Cambridge Modern
History." Of brief accounts, the best are: A. C. Lyall, _The Rise and
Expansion of British Dominion in India_, 5th ed. (1910); A. D.
Innes, _A Short History of the British in India_ (1902); and G. B.
Malleson, _History of the French in India, 1674-1761_, 2d ed.
reissued (1909). See also the English biography of _Dupleix_ by G.
B. Malleson (1895) and the French lives by Tibulle Hamont (1881) and
Eugène Guénin (1908). An excellent brief biography of _Clive_ is
that of G. B. Malleson (1895). Robert Orme (1728-1801), _History of
the Military Transactions of the British Nation in Indostan from
1745_ [to 1761], 2 vols. in 3, is an almost contemporaneous account
by an agent of the English East India Company who had access to the
company's records, and Beckles Willson, _Ledger and Sword_, 2
vols. (1903), deals with the economic and political policies of the
English East India Company. For history of the natives during the
period, see Sir H. M. Elliot, _History of India, as told by its own
Historians: the Muhammadan Period_, 8 vols. (1867-1877); and J. G.
Duff, _History of the Mahrattas_, new ed., 3 vols. (1913).

WILLIAM PITT, EARL OF CHATHAM. Of the character of the Elder Pitt, such
an important factor in the British triumph over France, many different
estimates have been made by historians. The two great biographies of
the English statesman are those of Basil Williams, 2 vols. (1913), very
favorable to Pitt, and Albert von Ruville, Eng. trans., 3 vols. (1907),
hostile to Pitt. See also Lord Rosebery, _Lord Chatham, His Early
Life and Connections_ (1910); D. A. Winstanley, _Lord Chatham and
the Whig Opposition_ (1912); and the famous essay on Pitt by Lord




The contest for world-empire, from which we have seen Great Britain
emerge victorious, was closely followed by a less successful struggle
to preserve that empire from disrupting forces. We may properly leave
to American history the details of the process by which, as the
colonies became more acutely conscious of the inherent conflict between
their economic interests and the colonial and commercial policy of
Great Britain, they grew at the same time into a self-confident and
defiant independence. Nevertheless, as an epochal event in the history
of British imperialism, the American War of Independence deserves a
prominent place in European history.

[Sidenote: Mercantilism and the British Colonies]

The germs of disease were imbedded in the very policy to which many
statesmen of the eighteenth century ascribed England's great career,--
the mercantilist theories, whose acquaintance we made in an earlier
chapter. [Footnote: See above, pp. 63 ff, and likewise pp. 239 f.] The
mercantilist statesman, anxious to build up the power, and therefore
the wealth, of his country, logically conceived three main ideas about
colonies: (1) they should furnish the mother country with commodities
which could not be produced at home; (2) they should not injure the
mother country by competing with her industries or by enriching her
commercial rivals; and (3) they should help bear the burdens of the
government, army, and navy. Each one of these ideas was reflected in
the actual policy which the British government in the eighteenth
century adopted and enforced in respect of the American colonies.

[Sidenote: Regulation of Colonial Industry. Bounties]

(1) Various expedients were employed to encourage the production of
particular colonial commodities which the British Parliament thought
desirable. The commodity might be exempted from customs duties, or
Parliament might forbid the importation into Great Britain of similar
products from foreign countries, or might even bestow outright upon the
colonial producer "bounties," or sums of money, as an incentive to
persevere in the industry. Thus the cultivation of indigo in Carolina,
of coffee in Jamaica, of tobacco in Virginia, was encouraged, so that
the British would not have to buy these desirable commodities from
Spain. Similarly, bounties were given for tar, pitch, hemp, masts, and
spars imported from America rather than from Sweden.

[Sidenote: Restrictions on Colonial Industry]

(2) The chief concern of the mercantilist was the framing of such
governmental regulations of trade as would deter colonial commerce or
industry from taking a turn which conceivably might lessen the
prosperity of the British manufacturers or shippers, on whom Parliament
depended for taxes. Of the colonial industries which were discouraged
for this reason, two or three are particularly noteworthy. Thus the hat
manufacturers in America, though they could make hats cheaply, because
of the plentiful supply of fur in the New World, were forbidden to
manufacture any for export, lest they should ruin the hatters of
London. The weaving of cloth was likewise discouraged by a law of 1699
which prohibited the export of woolen fabrics from one colony to
another. Again, it was thought necessary to protect British iron-
masters by forbidding (1750) the colonists to manufacture wrought iron
or its finished products. Such restrictions on manufacture were
imposed, not so much for fear of actual competition in the English
market, as to keep the colonial markets for English manufacturers. They
caused a good deal of rancor, but they were too ill enforced to bear
heavily upon the colonies.

[Sidenote: Restrictions on Colonial Trade]

More irksome were the restrictions on commerce. As far back as 1651,
when Dutch traders were bringing spices from the East and sugar from
the West to sell in London at a handsome profit, Parliament had passed
the first famous Navigation Act, [Footnote: See above, pp. 277 f., 304
f.] which had been successful in its general design--to destroy the
Dutch carrying trade and to stimulate British ship-building. In the
eighteenth century a similar policy was applied to the colonies. For it
was claimed that the New England traders who sold their fish and lumber
for sugar, molasses, and rum in the French West Indies were enriching
French planters rather than English. Consequently, a heavy tariff was
laid on French sugar-products. Moreover, inasmuch as it was deemed most
essential for a naval power to have many and skilled ship-builders, the
Navigation Acts [Footnote: Subsequent to the Act of 1651, important
Navigation Acts were passed in 1660, 1663, 1672, and 1696.] were so
developed and expanded as to include the following prescriptions: (1)
In general all import and export trade must be conducted in ships built
in England, in Ireland, or in the colonies, manned and commanded by
British subjects. Thus, if a French or Dutch merchantman appeared in
Massachusetts Bay, offering to sell at a great bargain his cargo of
spices or silks, the shrewd merchants of Boston were legally bound not
to buy of him. (2) Certain "enumerated" articles, such as sugar,
tobacco, cotton, indigo, and, later, rice and furs, could be exported
only to England. A Virginia planter, wishing to send tobacco to a
French snuff-maker, would have to ship it to London in an English ship,
pay duties on it there, and then have it reshipped to Havre. (3) All
goods imported into the American colonies from Europe must come by way
of England and must pay duties there. Silks might be more expensive
after they had paid customs duties in London and had followed a
roundabout route to Virginia, but the proud colonial dame was supposed
to pay dearly and to rejoice that English ships and English sailors
were employed in transporting her finery.

[Sidenote: Reasons for Early Colonial Toleration of Restrictions on the
Industry and Trade]

It would seem as if such restrictive measures would not have been
tolerated in the colonies, even when imposed by the mother country.
There were, however, several very good reasons why the trade
restrictions were long tolerated.

[Sidenote: Leniency of Enforcement]

In the first place, for many years they had been very poorly enforced.
During his long ministry, from 1721 to 1742, Sir Robert Walpole had
winked at infractions of the law and had allowed the colonies to
develop as best they might under his policy of "salutary neglect."
Then, during the colonial wars, it had been inexpedient and impossible
to insist upon the Navigation Acts; and smuggling had become so common
that respectable merchants made no effort to conceal their traffic in
goods which had been imported contrary to provisions of the law.

[Sidenote: Fear of the French]

Moreover, the colonies would gladly endure a good deal of economic
hardship in order to have the help of the mother country against the
French. So long as Count de Frontenac and his successors were sending
their Indians southward and eastward to burn New England villages, it
was very comforting to think that the mother country would send armies
of redcoats to conquer the savages and defeat the French.

[Sidenote: Weakness and Disunion of the Thirteen Colonies]

But even had there been every motive for armed resistance to Great
Britain, the American colonies could hardly have attempted it until
after the conclusion of the French and Indian War. Until the second
half of the eighteenth century the British colonies were both weak and
divided. They had no navy and very few fortifications to defend their
coastline. They had no army except raw and unreliable militia. Even in
1750 their inhabitants numbered but a paltry 1,300,000 as compared with
a population in Great Britain of more than 10,000,000; and in wealth
and resources they could not dream of rivaling the mother country.

The lack of union among the colonies sprang from fundamental
industrial, social, and religious differences. The southern provinces--
Georgia, the Carolinas, and Virginia--were agricultural, and their
products were plantation-grown rice, indigo, and tobacco. New York and
Pennsylvania produced corn and timber. In New England, although there
were many small farmers, the growing interest was in trade and
manufacture. The social distinctions were equally marked. The northern
colonists were middle-class traders and small farmers, with democratic
town governments, and with an intense pride in education. In the South,
gentlemen of good old English families lived like feudal lords among
their slaves and cultivated manners quite as assiduously as morals. Of
forms of the Christian religion, the Atlantic coast presented a bizarre
mixture. In the main, New England was emphatically Calvinistic and
sternly Puritanical; Virginia, proudly Episcopalian (Anglican); and
Maryland, partly Roman Catholic. Plain-spoken Quakers in Pennsylvania,
Presbyterians and Baptists in New Jersey, and German Lutherans in
Carolina added to the confusion.

Between colonies so radically different in religion, manners, and
industries, there could be at the outset little harmony or cooperation.
It would be hard to arouse them to concerted action, and even harder to
conduct a war. Financial cooperation was impeded by the fact that the
paper money issued by any one colony was not worth much in the others.
Military cooperation was difficult because while each colony might call
on its farmers temporarily to join the militia in order to repel an
Indian raid, the militia-men were always anxious to get back to their
crops and would obey a strange commander with ill grace.

[Sidenote: Altered Situation in the Thirteen Colonies after 1763]

With the conclusion of the French and Indian War, however, conditions
were materially changed, (1) The fear of the French was no longer
present to bind the colonies to the mother country. (2) During the wars
the colonies had grown not only more populous (they numbered about
2,000,000 inhabitants in 1763) and more wealthy, but also more self-
confident. Recruits from the northern colonies had captured Louisburg
in 1745 and had helped to conquer Canada in the last French war.
Virginia volunteers had seen how helpless were General Braddock's
redcoats in forest-warfare. Experiences like these gave the provincial
riflemen pride and confidence. Important also was the Albany Congress
of 1754, in which delegates from seven colonies came together and
discussed Benjamin Franklin's scheme for federating the thirteen
colonies. Although the plan was not adopted, it set men to thinking
about the advantages of confederation and so prepared the way for
subsequent union.

[Sidenote: More Rigorous Attitude of Great Britain toward the Colonies
after Accession of George III, 1760]

Not only were the colonists in a more independent frame of mind, but
the British government became more oppressive. During two reigns--those
of George I and George II--ministers had been the power behind the
throne, but in 1760 George III had come to the throne as an
inexperienced and poorly educated youth of twenty-two, full of ambition
to be the power behind the ministers. Not without justice have
historians accused George III of prejudice, stubbornness, and
stupidity. Nevertheless, he had many friends. The fact that he, the
first really English king since the Revolution of 1688, should manifest
a great personal interest and industry in affairs of state, endeared
him to many who already respected his irreproachable private morality
and admired his flawless and unfailing courtesy. Under the inspiration
of Lord Bute, [Footnote: The earl of Bute (1713-1792) became prime
minister in 1762, after the resignations of Pitt, who had been the real
head of the cabinet, and the duke of Newcastle, who had been the
nominal premier. Bute in turn was succeeded by George Grenville (1712-
1770).] the "king's friends" became a political party, avowedly intent
on breaking the power of the great Whig noblemen who had so long
dominated corrupt Parliaments and unscrupulous ministries.

[Sidenote: Grenville, Prime Minister, 1763-1765, Executor of the
Colonial Policies of George III]

George III attempted at the outset to gain control of Parliament by
wholesale bribery of its members, but, since even this questionable
expedient did not give him a majority, he tried dividing the forces of
his Whig opponents. This was somewhat less difficult since Pitt, the
most prominent Whig, the eloquent Chauvinist [Footnote: Chauvin, a
soldier in Napoleon's army, was so enthusiastic for the glory of the
great general that his name has since been used as an adjective
denoting excessive patriotism and fondness for war.] minister, "friend
of the colonies," and idol of the cities, had lost control of the
ministry. England, too, felt the burdensome expense of war, and the
public debt had mounted to what was then the enormous sum of
£140,000,000. George III, therefore, chose for prime minister (1763-
1765) George Grenville, a representative of a faction of Whig
aristocrats, who, alarmed by the growth of the public debt, and jealous
of Pitt's power, were quite willing to favor the king's colonial
policies. Great Britain, they argued, had undergone a costly war to
defend the colonists on the Atlantic coast from French aggression. The
colonies were obviously too weak and too divided to garrison and police
the great Mississippi and St. Lawrence valleys; and yet, in order to
prevent renewed danger from French, Spaniards, or Indians, at least ten
thousand regular soldiers would be needed at an annual expense of
£300,000. What could be more natural than that the colonists, to whose
benefit the war had redounded, and to whose safety the army would add,
should pay at least a part of the expense? This idea, put forward by
certain Whig statesmen, that the colonists should bear part of the
financial burden of imperial defense, was eagerly seized upon by George
III and utilized as the cornerstone of his colonial policy. To such a
policy the Tories, as ardent upholders of the monarchy, lent their

[Sidenote: The Sugar Act, 1764]

Grenville, the new minister, accordingly proposed that the colonists
should pay about £150,000 a year,--roughly a half of the estimated
total amount,--and for raising the money, he championed two special
finance acts in the British Parliament. The first was the Sugar Act of
1764. Grenville recognized that a very high tariff on the importation
of foreign sugar-products into the colonies invited smuggling on a
large scale, was therefore generally evaded, and yielded little revenue
to the government. As a matter of fact, in the previous year,
Massachusetts merchants had smuggled 15,000 hogsheads of molasses
[Footnote: Large quantities of molasses were used in New England for
the manufacture of rum.] from the French West Indies. Now, in
accordance with the new enactment, the duty was actually halved, but a
serious attempt was made to collect what remained. For the purpose of
the efficient collection of the sugar tax, the Navigation Acts were
revived and enforced; British naval officers were ordered to put a
peremptory stop to smuggling; and magistrates were empowered to issue
"writs of assistance" enabling customs collectors to search private
houses for smuggled goods. The Sugar Act was expected to yield one-
third of the amount demanded by the British ministry.

[Sidenote: The Stamp Act, 1765]
[Sidenote: Opposition in the Colonies]

The other two-thirds of the £150,000 was to be raised under the Stamp
Act of 1765. Bills of lading, official documents, deeds, wills,
mortgages, notes, newspapers, and pamphlets were to be written or
printed only on special stamped paper, on which the tax had been paid.
Playing cards paid a stamp tax of a shilling; dice paid ten shillings;
and on a college diploma the tax amounted to £2. The Stamp Act bore
heavily on just the most dangerous classes of the population--
newspaper-publishers, pamphleteers, lawyers, bankers, and merchants.
Naturally the newspapers protested and the lawyers argued that the
Stamp Act was unconstitutional, that Parliament had no right to levy
taxes on the colonies. The very battle-cry, "Taxation without
Representation is Tyranny," was the phrase of a Boston lawyer, James

At once the claim was made that the colonists were true British
subjects and that taxation without representation was a flagrant
violation of the "immemorial rights of Englishmen." Now the colonists
had come to believe that their only true representatives were those for
whom they voted personally, the members of the provincial assemblies.
Each colony had its representative assembly; and these assemblies, like
the parent Parliament in Great Britain, had become very important by
acquiring the function of voting taxes. The colonists, therefore,
claimed that taxes could be voted only by their own assemblies, while
the British government replied, with some pertinency, that Parliament,
although elected by a very small minority of the population, was
considered to be generally representative of all British subjects.

[Sidenote: The Stamp Act Congress, 1765]

Many colonists, less learned than the lawyers, were unacquainted with
the subtleties of the argument, but they were quite willing to be
persuaded that in refusing to pay British taxes they were contending
for a great principle of liberty and self-government. Opposition to the
stamp tax spread like wildfire and culminated in a congress at New York
in October, 1765, comprising delegates from nine colonies. The "Stamp
Act Congress," for so it was called, issued a declaration of rights--
the rights of trial by jury [Footnote: The right of trial by jury had
been violated by British officials in punishing smugglers.] and of
self-taxation--and formally protested against the Stamp Act.

[Sidenote: Repeal of the Stamp Act, 1776]

Parliament might have disregarded the declaration of the Congress, but
not the tidings of popular excitement, of mob violence, of stamp-
collectors burned in effigy. Moreover, colonial boycotts against
British goods--"nonimportation agreements"--were effective in creating
sentiment in England in favor of conciliation. Taking advantage of
Grenville's resignation, a new ministry under the marquess of
Rockingham, [Footnote: Rockingham retired in July, 1766] a liberal
Whig, procured the repeal of the obnoxious Stamp Act in March, 1766.
While the particular tax was abandoned, a Declaratory Act was issued,
affirming the constitutional right of Parliament to bind the colonies
in all cases.

[Sidenote: The Townshend Acts, 1767]

That right was asserted again in 1767 by a brilliant but reckless
chancellor of the exchequer, Charles Townshend, who, without the
consent of the other ministers, put through Parliament the series of
acts which bear his name. His intention was to raise a regular colonial
revenue for the support of colonial governors, judges, and other
officers as well as for the defense of the colonies. For these
purposes, import duties were laid on glass, lead, painters' colors,
paper, and tea; the duties were to be collected by English
commissioners resident in the American ports; and infractions of the
law in America were to be tried in courts without juries.

[Sidenote: "The Boston Massacre"]

The Townshend Acts brought forth immediate and indignant protests.
Colonial merchants renewed and extended their nonimportation
agreements. Within a year the imports Boston from Great Britain fell
off by more than £700,000. The customs officers were unable or afraid
to collect the duties strictly, and it is said that in three years the
total revenue from them amounted only to £16,000. Troops were
dispatched to overawe Boston, but the angry Bostonians hooted and
hissed the "lobsterbacks," as the redcoats were derisively styled, and
in 1770 provoked them to actual bloodshed--the so-called "Boston

[Sidenote: Lord North, Prime Minister, 1770]

At this crucial moment, King George III chose a new prime minister,
Lord North, a gentleman of wit, ability, and affability, unfailingly
humorous, and unswervingly faithful to the king. Among his first
measures was the repeal (1770) of the hated Townshend duties. Merely a
tax of threepence a pound on tea was retained, in order that the
colonies might not think that Parliament had surrendered its right to
tax them. Lord North even made an arrangement with the East India
Company whereby tea was sold so cheaply that it would not pay to
smuggle tea from the Dutch.

[Sidenote: "The Boston Tea Party," 1773]

But the colonists would not now yield even the principle of
Parliamentary taxation. [Footnote: Despite the fact that the colonists
had regularly been paying import duties on molasses and on foreign
wine.] They insisted that were they to pay this tax, trifling as it
might be, Parliament would assert that they had acknowledged its right
to tax them, and would soon lay heavier taxes upon them. They,
therefore, refused to buy the tea, and on a cold December night in 1773
a number of Boston citizens dressed up like Indians, boarded a British
tea ship, and emptied 342 chests of tea into the harbor.

[Sidenote: The Five "Intolerable Acts," 1774]

Boston's "Tea-Party" brought punishment swift and sure in the famous
five "intolerable acts" (1774). Boston harbor was closed; Massachusetts
was practically deprived of self-government; royal officers who
committed capital offenses were to be tried in England or in other
colonies; royal troops were quartered on the colonists; and the
province of Quebec was extended south to the Ohio, cutting off vast
territories claimed by Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Virginia. This
last act, by recognizing and establishing the Roman Catholic Church in
French-speaking Quebec, excited the liveliest fear and apprehension on
the part of Protestants in the English-speaking colonies.

[Sidenote: First Continental Congress, 1774]

Agitators in the other colonies feared that their turn would come next,
and rallied to the aid of Massachusetts. The first Continental Congress
of delegations from all the colonies [Footnote: Except Georgia.] met in
1774 in Philadelphia "to deliberate and determine upon wise and proper
measures, to be by them recommended to all the colonies, for the
recovery and establishment of their just rights and liberties, civil
and religious, and the restoration of union and harmony between Great
Britain and the colonies." The Congress dispatched a petition to the
king and urged the colonists to be faithful to the "American
Association" for the non-importation of British goods.


[Sidenote: Revolt of the Thirteen Colonies]

Neither king nor colonies would yield a single point. William Pitt, now
earl of Chatham, in vain proposed conciliatory measures. The colonies
fast drifted into actual revolt. In May, 1775, the second Continental
Congress met at Philadelphia, but already blood had been shed at
Lexington (Massachusetts), 19 April, 1775, and New England was a hotbed
of rebellion. The Congress accepted facts as they were, declared war,
appointed George Washington commander-in-chief, sent agents to France
and other foreign countries, and addressed a final petition to the

[Sidenote: The Declaration of Independence, 1776]

But it was too late for reconciliation, and events marched rapidly
until on 4 July, 1776, the colonies declared themselves "free and
independent states." [Footnote: The colonies on the recommendation of
Congress set up independent governments and these state governments
were formally federated in accordance with "articles of Confederation
and perpetual Union," drawn up in Congress in 1777 and finally ratified
in 1781.] The Declaration of Independence was remarkable for two
things, its philosophy and its effects. The philosophy was that held by
many radical thinkers of the time--"that all men are endowed by their
Creator with certain unalienable rights"; that among such rights are
life, liberty, and the exclusive right to tax themselves; and that any
people may rightfully depose a tyrannical ruler. We shall find a
similar philosophy applied more boldly in the French Revolution.

In America the Declaration was denounced by "Tories" as treason, but
was welcomed by "patriots" as an inspiration and a stimulus. To show
their joy, the people of New York City pulled down the leaden statue of
King George and molded it into bullets. Instead of rebellious subjects,
the English-speaking Americans now claimed to be a belligerent nation,
and on the basis of this claim they sought recognition and aid from
other nations.

[Sidenote: Difficulties and Early Successes of the British]

For over three years, however, the war was carried on simply between
rebellious colonies and the mother country. Had the grave nature of the
revolt been thoroughly understood in England from the outset, the
colonists might possibly have been crushed within a short time, for
many of the richest colonists were opposed to the war; and even had the
"people of the United States" supported the struggle unanimously, they
were no match for Great Britain in wealth, population, or naval power.
As it was, Great Britain allowed the revolution to get under full
headway before making a serious effort to suppress it. In 1776,
however, a force of about 30,000 men, many of whom were mercenary
German soldiers, commonly called "Hessians," was sent to occupy New
York. Thenceforward, the British pursued aggressive tactics, and
inasmuch as their armies were generally superior to those of the
colonists in numbers, discipline, and equipment, and besides were
supported by powerful fleets, they were able to possess themselves of
the important colonial ports of New York, Philadelphia, and
Charlestown, [Footnote: Name changed to Charleston in 1783.] and to win
many victories. On the other hand, the region to be conquered was
extensive and the rebel armies stubborn and elusive. Moreover, the
colonists possessed a skillful leader in the person of the aristocratic
Virginian planter who has already been mentioned as taking a part in
the French and Indian War. At first, George Washington was criticized
for bringing the gravity of a judge and the dignified bearing of a
courtier to the battlefield, but he soon proved his ability. He was
wise enough to retreat before superior forces, always keeping just out
of harm's way, and occasionally catching his incautious pursuer
unawares, as at Princeton or Trenton.

[Sidenote: British Reverse at Saratoga, 1777]

One of the crucial events of the war was the surrender of the British
General Burgoyne with some six thousand men at Saratoga, on 17 October,
1777, after an unsuccessful invasion of northern New York. At that very
time, Benjamin Franklin, the public-spirited Philadelphia publisher,
was in Paris attempting to persuade France to ally herself with the
United States. Franklin's charming personality, his "republican
plainness," his shrewd common sense, as well as his knowledge of
philosophy and science, made him welcome at the brilliant French court;
but France, although still smarting under the humiliating treaty of
1763, would not yield to his persuasion until the American victory at
Saratoga seemed to indicate that the time had come to strike. An
alliance with the United States was concluded, and in 1778 war was
declared against Great Britain.

[Sidenote: Entrance into the War of France (1778), Spain (1779),
Holland (1780)]
[Sidenote: Isolation of Great Britain]

The war now took on a larger aspect, and in its scale of operations and
in its immediate significance the fighting in the colonies was dwarfed
into comparative insignificance. In the attack upon Great Britain,
France was dutifully joined by Spain (1779). Holland, indignant at the
way in which Great Britain had tried to exclude Dutch traders from
commerce with America, joined the Bourbons (1780) against their common
foe. Other nations, too, had become alarmed at the rapid growth and
domineering maritime policy of Great Britain. Since the outbreak of
hostilities, British captains and admirals had claimed the right to
search and seize neutral vessels trading with America or bearing
contraband of war. Against this dangerous practice, Catherine II of
Russia protested vigorously, and in 1780 formed the "armed neutrality
of the North" with Sweden and Denmark to uphold the protest with force,
if necessary. Prussia, Portugal, the Two Sicilies, and the Holy Roman
Empire subsequently pronounced their adherence to the Armed Neutrality,
and Great Britain was confronted by a unanimously hostile Europe.

[Sidenote: The War in Europe]

In the actual operations only three nations figured--France, Spain, and
Holland; and of the three the last named gave little trouble except in
the North Sea. More to be feared were France and Spain, for by them the
British Empire was attacked in all its parts. For a while in 1779 even
the home country was threatened by a Franco-Spanish fleet of sixty-six
sail, convoying an army of 60,000 men; but the plan came to naught.
Powerful Spanish and French forces, launched against Great Britain's
Mediterranean possessions, succeeded in taking Minorca, but were
repulsed by the British garrison of Gibraltar.

[Sidenote: The War in America]

On the continent of North America the insurgent colonists, aided by
French fleets and French soldiers, gained a signal victory. An American
and French army under Washington and Lafayette and a French fleet under
De Grasse suddenly closed in upon the British general, Lord Cornwallis,
in Yorktown, Virginia, and compelled him to surrender on 19 October,
1781, with over 7000 men. The capitulation of Cornwallis practically
decided the struggle in America, for all the reserve forces of Great
Britain were required in Europe, in the West Indies, and in Asia.

[Sidenote: The War in the West Indies]
[Sidenote: Battle of Saints, 1782]

Matters were going badly for Great Britain until a naval victory in the
Caribbean Sea partially redeemed the day. For three winters an
indecisive war had been carried on in the West Indies, but in 1782
thirty-six British ships, under the gallant Rodney, met the French
Count de Grasse with thirty-three sail of the line near the group of
islands known as "the Saints," and a great battle ensued--the "battle
of Saints"--on 12 April, 1782. During the fight the wind suddenly
veered around, making a great gap in the line of French ships, and into
this gap sailed the British admiral, breaking up the French fleet, and,
in the confusion, capturing six vessels.

[Sidenote: The War in India]

While the battle of Saints saved the British power in the West Indies,
the outlook in the East became less favorable. At first the British had
been successful in seizing the French forts in India (1778) and in
defeating (1781) the native ally of the French, Hyder Ali, the sultan
of Mysore. But in 1782 the tide was turned by the appearance of the
French admiral De Suffren, whose brilliant victories over a superior
British fleet gave the French temporary control of the Bay of Bengal.

[Sidenote: Defeat but not Ruin of Great Britain]
[Sidenote: Treaties of Paris and Versailles, 1783]

Unsuccessful in America, inglorious in India, expelled from Minorca,
unable to control Ireland, [Footnote: The Protestants in Ireland had
armed and organized volunteer forces, and threatened rebellion unless
Great Britain granted "home rule" to them. Great Britain yielded and in
1782 granted legislative autonomy to the Irish Parliament. See below,
p. 431.] and weary with war, England was very ready for peace, but not
entirely humbled, for was she not still secure in the British Channel,
victorious over the Dutch, triumphant in the Caribbean, unshaken in
India, and unmoved on Gibraltar? Defeat, but not humiliation, was the
keynote of the treaties (1783) which Great Britain concluded, one at
Paris with the United States, and one at Versailles with France and
Spain. Let us consider the provisions of these treaties in order, as
they affected the United States, France, and Spain.

[Sidenote: The United States of America]

By the treaty of Paris (3 September, 1783), the former thirteen
colonies were recognized as the sovereign and independent United States
of America,--bounded on the north by Canada and the Great Lakes, on the
east by the Atlantic, on the west by the Mississippi, and on the south
by Florida. Important fishing rights on the Newfoundland Banks and the
privilege of navigation on the Mississippi were extended to the new
nation. When the treaty of Paris was signed, the United States were
still held loosely together by the articles of Confederation, but after
several years of political confusion, a new and stronger federal
constitution was drawn up in 1787, and in 1789 George Washington became
first president of the republic. The republic thus created was the
first important embodiment of the political theories of Montesquieu and
other French philosophers, who, while condemning titled nobility and
absolute monarchy, distrusted the ignorant classes of the people, and
believed in placing political control chiefly in the hands of
intelligent men of property and position.

[Sidenote: Results to France]

Had it not been for the disastrous battle of Saints, France might have
dictated very favorable terms in the treaty of Versailles, [Footnote:
In 1786 a supplementary Anglo-French treaty restored regular commerce
between the two nations, and recognized that Great Britain had no right
to seize traders flying a neutral flag, except for contraband of war,
_i.e._, guns, powder, and provisions of war.] but, as it was, she
merely regained Tobago in the West Indies and Senegal in Africa, which
she had lost in 1763. [Footnote: See above, p. 317.] The equipment of
navies and armies had exhausted the finances of the French government,
and was largely responsible for the bankruptcy which was soon to
occasion the fall of absolutism in France. Moreover, French "radicals,"
having seen the Americans revolt against a king, were, themselves, the
more ready to enter upon a revolution.

[Sidenote: Results to Spain]

Better than France fared Spain. By the treaty of Versailles she
received the island of Minorca and the territory of Florida, which then
included the southern portions of what later became the American states
of Alabama and Mississippi. [Footnote: The Louisiana territory, which
had come into Spanish possession in 1763, was re-ceded to France in
1800 and sold by France to the United States in 1803. Eighteen years
later (1821) all of Florida was formally transferred to the United
States. And see below, p. 532.]

[Sidenote: Settlement between Great Britain and Holland, 1784]

Holland, the least important participant in the war, was not a party to
the treaty of Versailles, but was left to conclude a separate peace
with Great Britain in the following year (1784). The Dutch not only
lost some of their East Indian possessions, [Footnote: Including
stations on the Malabar and Coromandel coasts of India.]  but, what was
more essential, they were forced to throw open to British merchants the
valuable trade of the Malay Archipelago.


[Sidenote: New Conciliatory Colonial Policy]

The War of American Independence not only had cost Great Britain the
thirteen colonies, hitherto the most important, [Footnote: The thirteen
colonies were not actually then so profitable, however, as the fertile
West Indies, nor did they fit in so well with the mercantilist theory
of Colonialism.] oldest, and strongest of her possessions, and likewise
Senegal, Florida, Tobago, and Minorca, but it had necessitated a
terrible expenditure of men, money, and ships. More bitter than the
disastrous results of the war, however, was the reflection that
possibly all might have been avoided by a policy of conciliation and
concession. Still it was not too late to learn, and in its treatment of
the remaining colonies, the British government showed that the lesson
had not been lost.

[Sidenote: Quebec Act, 1774]
[Sidenote: Board of Control in India, 1784]
[Sidenote: Separate Parliament for Ireland, 1782]

On the eve of the revolt of the English-speaking colonies in America, a
wise measure of toleration was accorded to the French inhabitants of
Canada by the Quebec Act of 1774, which allowed them freely to profess
their Roman Catholic religion, and to enjoy the continuance of the
French civil law. To these advantages was added in 1791 the privilege
of a representative assembly. India, too, felt the influence of the new
policy, when in 1784 Parliament created a Board of Control to see that
the East India Company did not abuse its political functions. Even
Ireland, which was practically a colony, was accorded in 1782 the right
to make its own local laws, a measure of self-government enjoyed till 1
January, 1801. [Footnote: See below, p. 431.]

[Sidenote: Decline and Gradual Abandonment of Mercantilism]

British commercial policy, too, underwent a change, for the Navigation
Acts, which had angered the American colonies, could not now be applied
to the free nation of the United States. Moreover, the mercantilist
theory, having in this case produced such unfortunate results,
henceforth began to lose ground, and it is not without interest that
Adam Smith's _Wealth of Nations_, the classic expression of the
new political economy of free trade,--of _laisser-faire_, as the
French styled it,--which was destined to supplant mercantilism, was
published in 1776, the very year of the declaration of American
independence. Of course Great Britain's mercantilist trade regulations
were not at once abandoned, but they had received a death-blow, and
British commerce seemed none the worse for it. The southern American
states began to grow cotton [Footnote: During the war, cotton was
introduced into Georgia and Carolina from the Bahamas, and soon became
an important product. In 1794, 1,600,000 pounds were shipped to Great
Britain.] for the busy looms of British manufacturers, and of their own
free will the citizens of the United States bought the British
manufactures which previously they had boycotted as aggrieved
colonists. In this particular, at least, the loss of the colonies was
hardly a loss at all.

[Sidenote: Extent of the British Empire at Close of Eighteenth Century]

Even for those ardent British patriots who wished to see their flag
waving over half the world and who were deeply chagrined by the
untoward political schism that had rent kindred English-speaking
peoples asunder, there was still some consolation and there was about
to be some compensation. In the New World, Canada, Bermuda, the
Bahamas, Jamaica, and smaller islands of the West Indies, and a part of
Honduras, made no mean empire; and in the Old World the British flag
flew over the forts at Gibraltar, Gambia, and the Gold Coast, while
India offered almost limitless scope for ambition and even for greed.

[Sidenote: Extension of the British Empire in India]
[Sidenote: Warren Hastings]

To the extension and solidification of her empire in the East, Great
Britain now devoted herself, and with encouraging results. It will be
remembered that British predominance in India had already been assured
by the brilliant and daring Clive, who had defeated the French, set up
a puppet nawab in Bengal, and attempted to eliminate corruption from
the administration, Clive's work was continued by a man no less famous,
Warren Hastings (1732-1818), whose term as governor-general of India
(1774-1785) covered the whole period of the American revolt. At the age
of seven-teen, Hastings had first entered the employ of the British
East India Company, and an apprenticeship of over twenty years in India
had browned his face and inured his lean body to the peculiarities of
the climate, as well as giving him a thorough insight into the native
character. When at last, in 1774, he became head of the Indian
administration, Hastings inaugurated a policy which he pursued with
tireless attention to details--a policy involving the transference of
British headquarters to Calcutta, and a thorough reform of the police,
military, and financial systems. In his wars and intrigues with native
princes and in many of his financial transactions, a Parliament, which
was inclined to censure, found occasion to attack his honor, and the
famous Edmund Burke, with all the force of oratory and hatred,
attempted to convict the great governor of "high crimes and
misdemeanors." But the tirades of Burke were powerless against the man
who had so potently strengthened the foundations of the British empire
in India.

[Sidenote: Cornwallis]

In 1785 Hastings was succeeded by Lord Cornwallis--the same who had
surrendered to Washington at Yorktown. Cornwallis was as successful in
India as he had been unfortunate in America. His organization of the
tax system proved him a wise administrator, and his reputation as a
general was enhanced by the defeat of the rebellious sultan of Mysore.

The work begun so well by Clive, Hastings, and Cornwallis, was ably
carried on by subsequent administrators, [Footnote: For details
concerning British rule in India between 1785 and 1858, see Vol. II,
pp. 662 ff.] until in 1858 the crown finally took over the empire of
the East India Company, an empire stretching northward to the
Himalayas, westward to the Indus River, and eastward to the

[Sidenote: The Straits Settlements]
[Sidenote: Australia]

In the years immediately following the War of American Independence
occurred two other important extensions of British power. One was the
occupation of the "Straits Settlements" which gave Great Britain
control of the Malay peninsula and of the Straits of Malacca through
which the spice ships passed. But more valuable as a future home for
English-speaking Europeans, and, therefore, as partial compensation for
the loss of the United States, was the vast island-continent of
Australia, which had been almost unknown until the famous voyage of
Captain Cook to Botany Bay in 1770. For many years Great Britain
regarded Australia as a kind of open-air prison for her criminals, and
the first British settlers at Port Jackson (1788) were exiled convicts.
The introduction of sheep-raising and the discovery of gold made the
island a more attractive home for colonists, and thenceforth its
development was rapid. To-day, with an area of almost 3,000,000 square
miles, and a population of some 4,800,000 English-speaking people,
Australia is a commonwealth more populous than and three times as large
as were the thirteen colonies with which Great Britain so unwillingly
parted in 1783.


BRITISH COLONIAL POLICY. A very brief survey: J. S. Bassett, _A Short
History of the United States_ (1914), ch. viii, ix. The most readable
and reliable detailed account of mercantilism as applied by the British
to their colonies is to be found in the volumes of G. L. Beer, _The
Origin of the British Colonial System_, 1578-1660 (1908); _The Old
Colonial System_, 1660-1754, Part I, _The Establishment of the System_,
2 vols. (1912); _British Colonial Policy_, 1754-1765 (1907); and _The
Commercial Policy of England toward the American Colonies_ (1893), a
survey. From the English standpoint, the best summary is that of H. E.
Egerton, _A Short History of British Colonial Policy_ (1897). Other
valuable works: C. M. Andrews, _Colonial Self-Government_ (1904), Vol.
V of the "American Nation" Series; O. M. Dickerson, _American Colonial
Government, 1696-1765_ (1912), a study of the British Board of Trade in
its relation to the American colonies, political, industrial, and
administrative; G. E. Howard, _Preliminaries of the Revolution, 1763-
1775_ (1905), Vol. VIII of the "American Nation" Series; Reginald
Lucas, _Lord North, Second Earl of Guilford_, 2 vols. (1913); and the
standard treatises of H. L. Osgood and of J. A. Doyle cited in the
bibliography to Chapter IX, above.

THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION. Sir G. 0. Trevelyan, _The American
Revolution_, 4 vols. (1899-1912), and, by the same author, _George the
Third and Charles Fox: the Concluding Part of the American Revolution_,
2 vols. (1914), scholarly and literary accounts, sympathetic toward the
colonists and the English Whigs; Edward Channing, _A History of the
United States_, Vol. III (1912), the best general work; C. H. Van Tyne,
_The American Revolution_ (1905), Vol. IX of the "American Nation"
Series, accurate and informing; John Fiske, _American Revolution_, 2
vols. (1891), a very readable popular treatment; S. G. Fisher, _The
Struggle for American Independence_, 2 vols. (1908), unusually
favorable to the British loyalists in America; _Cambridge Modern
History_, Vol. VII (1903), ch. v-vii, written in great part by J. A.
Doyle, the English specialist on the American colonies; J. B. Perkins,
_France in the American Revolution_ (1911), entertaining and
instructive; Arthur Hassall, _The Balance of Power_, 1715-1789 (1896),
ch. xii, a very brief but suggestive indication of the international
setting of the War of American Independence; J. W. Fortescue, _History
of the British Army_, Vol. III (1902), an account of the military
operations from the English standpoint.

Dorman, _History of the British Empire in the Nineteenth Century_, Vol.
I, 1793-1805 (1902), Vol. II, 1806-1900 (1904). On Ireland: W. O'C.
Morris, _Ireland_, 1494-1905, 2d ed. (1909). On Canada: Sir C. P.
Lucas, _A History of Canada_, 1763-1812 (1909). On India: Sir Alfred
Lyall, _Warren Hastings_, originally published in 1889, reprinted
(1908), an excellent biography; G. W. Hastings, _Vindication of Warren
Hastings_ (1909), the best apology for the remarkable governor of
India, and should be contrasted with Lord Macaulay's celebrated
indictment of Hastings; Sir John Strachey, _Hastings and the Rohilla
War_ (1892), favorable to Hastings' work in India. On Australia:
Greville Tregarthen, _Australian Commonwealth_, 3d ed. (1901), a good
outline, in the "Story of the Nations" Series; Edward Jenks, _A History
of the Australasian Colonies_ (1896), an excellent summary; Edward
Heawood, _A History of Geographical Discovery in the Seventeenth and
Eighteenth Centuries_ (1912); Arthur Kitson, _Captain James Cook_




[Sidenote: Backwardness of the Germanies]

In another connection we have already described the political condition
of the Germanies in the sixteenth century. [Footnote: See above, pp. 10
ff.] Outwardly, little change was observable in the eighteenth. The
Holy Roman Empire still existed as a nominal bond of union for a loose
assemblage of varied states. There was still a Habsburg emperor. There
were still electors--the number had been increased from seven to nine
[Footnote: Bavaria became an electorate in 1623 and Hanover in 1708; in
1778 Bavaria and the Palatinate were joined, again making eight.]--with
some influence and considerable honor. There was still a Diet, composed
of representatives of the princes and of the free cities, meeting
regularly at Ratisbon. [Footnote: Ratisbon or Regensburg--in the
Bavarian Palatinate. The Diet met there regularly after 1663.] But the
empire was clearly in decline. The wave of national enthusiasm which
Martin Luther evoked had spent itself in religious wrangling and
dissension, and in the inglorious conflicts of the Thirty Years' War.
The Germans had become so many pawns that might be moved back and forth
upon the international chessboard by Habsburg and Bourbon gamesters.
Switzerland had been lost to the empire; both France and Sweden had
deliberately dismembered other valuable districts. [Footnote: For the
provisions of the treaties of Westphalia, see above, pp. 228 f.]

[Sidenote: Deplorable Results of the Thirty Years' War]

It seemed as though slight foundation remained on which a substantial
political structure could be reared, for the social conditions in the
Germanies were deplorable. It is not an exaggeration to say that during
the Thirty Years' War Germany lost at least half of its population and
more than two-thirds of its movable property. In the middle of the
seventeenth century, at about the time Louis XIV succeeded to a fairly
prosperous France, German towns and villages were in ashes, and vast
districts turned into deserts. Churches and schools were closed by
hundreds, and religious and intellectual torpor prevailed. Industry and
trade were so completely paralyzed that by 1635 the Hanseatic League
was virtually abandoned, because the free commercial cities, formerly
so wealthy, could not meet the necessary expenses. Economic expansion
and colonial enterprise, together with the consequent upbuilding of a
well-to-do middle class, were resigned to Spain, Portugal, Holland,
France, or England, without a protest from what had once been a proud
burgher class in Germany. This elimination of an influential
bourgeoisie was accompanied by a sorry impoverishment and oppression of
the peasantry. These native sons of the German soil had fondly hoped
for better things from the religious revolution and agrarian
insurrections of the sixteenth century; but they were doomed to failure
and disappointment. The peasantry were in a worse plight in the
eighteenth century in Germany than in any other country of western or
central Europe.

[Sidenote: The German Princes]

The princes alone knew how to profit by the national prostration.
Enriched by the confiscation of ecclesiastical property in the
sixteenth century and relieved of meddlesome interference on the part
of the emperor or the Diet, they utilized the decline of the middle
class and the dismal serfdom of the peasantry to exalt their personal
political power. They got rid of the local assemblies or greatly
curtailed their privileges, and gradually established petty tyrannies.
After the Thirty Years' War, it became fashionable for the heirs of
German principalities to travel and especially to spend some time at
the court of France. Here they imbibed the political ideas of the Grand
Monarch, and in a short time nearly every petty court in the Germanics
was a small-sized reproduction of the court of Versailles. In a silly
and ridiculous way the princes aped their great French neighbor: they
too maintained armies, palaces, and swarms of household officials,
which, though a crushing burden upon the people, were yet so
insignificant in comparison with the real pomp of France, that they
were in many instances the laughingstock of Europe. Beneath an external
gloss of refinement, these princes were, as a class, coarse and
selfish, and devoid of any compensating virtues. Neither the common
people, whom they had impoverished, nor the Church, which they had
robbed, was now strong enough to resist the growing absolutism and
selfishness of the princes.


[Sidenote: Charles VI and his Hereditary Dominions]

At the opening of the eighteenth century, the largest and most
important states of the Holy Roman Empire were those which owned the
direct sovereignty of the Austrian Habsburgs. Charles VI (1711-1740),
who as the Archduke Charles had vainly struggled against Louis XIV to
secure the whole Spanish inheritance in the War of the Spanish
Succession (1702-1713), reigned over extensive and scattered dominions.
Around Vienna, his capital city, were gathered his hereditary
possessions: (1) Lower Austria, or Austria proper, on the Danube; (2)
Inner Austria, which comprised Styria, Carinthia, and Carniola; (3)
Further Austria, consisting of the mountainous regions about Innsbruck,
commonly designated the Tyrol; and (4) Upper Austria, embracing
Breisgau on the upper Rhine near the Black Forest. To this nucleus of
lands, in the greater part of which the German language was spoken
universally, had been added in course of time the Czech or Slavic
kingdom of Bohemia with its German dependency of Silesia and its Slavic
dependency of Moravia, and a portion of the Magyar kingdom of Hungary,
with its Slavic dependencies of Croatia and Slavonia and its Rumanian
dependency of Transylvania. Charles VI, like so many of his Habsburg
ancestors, was also emperor of the Holy Roman Empire and was thereby
accounted the foremost of German princes. But neither Bohemia nor
Hungary was predominantly German in language or feeling, and Hungary
was not even a part of the Holy Roman Empire.

[Sidenote: Conquests of Charles VI]

What additions were made to the Habsburg dominions by Charles VI were
all of non-German peoples. The treaty of Utrecht had given him the
Flemish- and French-speaking Belgian Netherlands and the Italian-
speaking duchy of Milan and kingdom of the Two Sicilies. [Footnote: See
above, p. 253, footnote.] A series of wars with the Ottoman Turks had
enabled his family to press the Hungarian boundaries south as far as
Bosnia and Serbia and to incorporate as a dependency of Hungary the
Rumanian-speaking principality of Transylvania. [Footnote: Definitely
ceded by Turkey by the treaty of Karlowitz (1699).] Of course all these
newer states of the Habsburgs remained outside of the Holy Roman

[Sidenote: Diversity of Habsburg Dominions]

Between the various peoples who were thus brought under the Habsburg
sway, the bond was of loosest description. They spoke a dozen different
languages and presented an even greater diversity of interests. They
did not constitute a compact, strongly centralized, national state like
France. Charles VI ruled his territories by manifold titles: he was
archduke of Austria, king of Bohemia, king of Hungary, duke of Milan,
and prince of the Netherlands; and the administration of each of these
five major groups was independent of the others. The single bond of
union was the common allegiance to the Habsburg monarch.

[Sidenote: Check upon Habsburg Ambitions in the Germanies]

To adopt and pursue a policy which would suit all these lands and
peoples would hardly be possible for any mortal: it certainly surpassed
the wit of the Habsburgs. They had made an attempt in the seventeenth
century to develop a vigorous German policy, to unify the empire and to
strengthen their hold upon it, but they had failed dismally. The
disasters of the Thirty Years' War, the jealousies and ambitions of the
other German princes, the interested intervention of foreign powers,
notably Sweden and France, made it brutally clear that Habsburg
influence in the Germanies had already reached its highest pitch and
that henceforth it would tend gradually to wane.

Blocked in the Germanies, the Austrian Habsburgs looked elsewhere to
satisfy their aspirations. But almost equal difficulties confronted
them. Extension to the southeast in the direction of the Balkan
peninsula involved almost incessant warfare with the Turks. Increase of
territory in Italy incited Spain, France, and Sardinia to armed
resistance. Development of the trade of the Belgian Netherlands aroused
the hostility of the influential commercial classes in England,
Holland, and France. The time and toil spent upon these non-German
projects obviously could not be devoted to the internal affairs of the
Holy Roman Empire. Thus, not only were the Germanies a source of
weakness to the Habsburgs, but the Habsburgs were a source of weakness
to the Germanies.

[Sidenote: Continued Prestige of the Habsburgs]

Despite these drawbacks, the Habsburg family was still powerful. The
natural resources and native wealth of many of the regions, the large,
if rather cosmopolitan, armies which might be raised, the intricate
marriage relationships with most of the sovereign families of Europe,
the championship of the Catholic Church, the absolutist principles and
practices of the reigning prince, all contributed to cloak the
weaknesses, under a proud name and pretentious fame, of the imperial
Austrian line.

[Sidenote: Question of the Habsburg Inheritance]
[Sidenote: The "Pragmatic Sanction" of Charles VI]

In the eighteenth century a particularly unkind fate seemed to attend
the Habsburgs. We have already noticed how the extinction of the male
line in the Spanish branch precipitated a great international war of
succession, with the result that the Spanish inheritance was divided
and the greater part passed to the rival Bourbon family. Now Charles VI
was obliged to face a similar danger in the Austrian inheritance. He
himself had neither sons nor brothers, but only a daughter, Maria
Theresa. Spurred on by the fate of his Spanish kinsman, Charles VI
directed his energies toward securing a settlement of his possessions
prior to his death. Early in his reign he promulgated a so-called
Pragmatic Sanction which declared that the Habsburg dominions were
indivisible and that, contrary to long custom, they might be inherited
by female heirs in default of male. Then he subordinated his whole
foreign policy to securing general European recognition of the right of
Maria Theresa to succeed to all his territories. One after another of
his manifold principalities swore to observe the Pragmatic Sanction.
One after another of the foreign powers--Prussia, Russia, Great
Britain, Holland, the Empire, Poland, France, Spain, and Sardinia,--to
whom liberal concessions were made--pledged their word and their honor
most sacredly to preserve the Pragmatic Sanction. When Charles VI died
in 1740, he left his daughter a disorganized state, a bankrupt
treasury, and a small ill-disciplined army, but he bequeathed her an
ample number of parchment guarantees. The cynical Prussian king
remarked that 200,000 fighting men would have been a more useful
legacy, and, as events proved, he was right.


[Sidenote: The Hohenzollern Family]

Next to the Habsburgs, the most influential German family in the
eighteenth century was the Hohenzollern. As far back as the tenth
century, a line of counts was ruling over a castle on the hill of
Zollern just north of what is now Switzerland. These counts slowly
extended their lands and their power through the fortunes of feudal
warfare and by means of a kindly interest on the part of the Holy Roman
Emperors, until at length, in the twelfth century, a representative of
the Hohenzollerns became by marriage burgrave of the important city of

[Sidenote: Brandenburg]

So far the Hohenzollerns had been fortunate, but as yet they were no
more conspicuous than hundreds of petty potentates throughout the
empire. It was not until they were invested by the Habsburg emperor
with the electorate of Brandenburg in 1415 that they became prominent.
Brandenburg was a district of northern Germany, centering in the town
of Berlin and lying along the Oder River. As a mark, or frontier
province, it was the northern and eastern outpost of the German
language and German culture, and the exigencies of almost perpetual
warfare with the neighboring Slavic peoples had given Brandenburg a
good deal of military experience and prestige. As an electorate,
moreover, it possessed considerable influence in the internal affairs
of the Holy Roman Empire.

In the sixteenth century, the acceptance of Lutheranism by the
Hohenzollern electors of Brandenburg enabled them, like many other
princes of northern Germany, to seize valuable properties of the
Catholic Church and to rid themselves of a foreign power which had
curtailed their political and social sway. Brandenburg subsequently
became the chief Protestant state of Germany, just as to Austria was
conceded the leadership of the Catholic states.

[Sidenote: The Hohenzollerns and the Thirty Years' War]

The period of the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648) was as auspicious to
the Hohenzollerns as it was unlucky for the Habsburgs. On the eve of
the contest, propitious marriage alliances bestowed two important
legacies upon the family--the duchy of Cleves [Footnote: Though the
alliance between Brandenburg and Cleves dated from 1614, the
Hohenzollerns did not reign over Cleves until 1666. With Cleves went
its dependencies of Mark and Ravensberg.] on the lower Rhine, and the
duchy of East Prussia, [Footnote: Prussia was then an almost purely
Slavic state. It had been formed and governed from the thirteenth to
the sixteenth century by the Teutonic Knights, a military, crusading
order of German Catholics, who aided in converting the Slavs to
Christianity. In the sixteenth century the Grand Master of the Teutonic
Knights professed the Lutheran faith and transformed Prussia into an
hereditary duchy in his own family. In a series of wars West Prussia
was incorporated into Poland, while East Prussia became a fief of that
kingdom. It was to East Prussia only that the Hohenzollern elector of
Brandenburg succeeded in 1618.] on the Baltic north of Poland.
Henceforth the head of the Hohenzollern family could sign himself
margrave and elector of Brandenburg, duke of Cleves, and duke of
Prussia. In the last-named role, he was a vassal of the king of Poland;
in the others, of the Holy Roman Emperor. In the course of the Thirty
Years' War, the Hohenzollerns helped materially to lessen imperial
control, and at the close of the struggle secured the wealthy
bishoprics of Halberstadt, Minden, and Magdeburg, [Footnote: The right
of accession to Magdeburg was accorded the Hohenzollerns in 1648; they
did not formally possess it until 1680.] and the eastern half of the
duchy of Pomerania.

[Sidenote: The Great Elector]

The international reputation of the Hohenzollerns was established by
Frederick William, commonly styled the Great Elector (1640-1688). When
he ascended the throne, the Thirty Years' War had reduced his scattered
dominions to utmost misery: he was resolved to restore prosperity, to
unify his various possessions, and to make his realm a factor in
general European politics. By diplomacy more than by military prowess,
he obtained the new territories by the peace of Westphalia. Then,
taking advantage of a war between Sweden and Poland, he made himself so
invaluable to both sides, now helping one, now deserting to the other,
that by cunning and sometimes by unscrupulous intrigue, he induced the
king of Poland to renounce suzerainty over East Prussia and to give him
that duchy in full sovereignty. In the Dutch War of Louis XIV (1672-
1678) he completely defeated the Swedes, who were in alliance with
France, and, although he was not allowed by the provisions of the peace
to keep what he had conquered, nevertheless the fame of his army was
established and Brandenburg-Prussia took rank as the chief competitor
of Sweden's hegemony in the Baltic.

In matters of government, the Great Elector was, like his contemporary
Louis XIV, a firm believer in absolutism. At the commencement of his
reign, each one of the three parts of his lands--Brandenburg, Cleves,
and East Prussia--was organized as a separate, petty state, with its
own Diet or form of representative government, its own army, and its
own independent administration. After a hard constitutional struggle,
Frederick William deprived the several Diets of their significant
functions, centered financial control in his own person, declared the
local armies national, and merged the three separate administrations
into one, strictly subservient to his royal council at Berlin. Thus,
the three states were amalgamated into one; and, to all intents and
purposes, they constituted a united monarchy.

The Great Elector was a tireless worker. He encouraged industry and
agriculture, drained marshes, and built the Frederick William Canal,
joining the Oder with the Elbe. When the revocation of the Edict of
Nantes caused so many Huguenots to leave France, the Great Elector's
warm invitation attracted to Brandenburg some 20,000, who were settled
around Berlin and who gave French genius as well as French names to
their adopted country. The capital city, which at the Great Elector's
accession numbered barely 8000, counted at his death a population of
over 20,000.

[Sidenote: Brandenburg-Prussia a "Kingdom," 1701]

Brandenburg-Prussia was already an important monarchy, but its ruler
was not recognized as "king" until 1701, when the Emperor Leopold
conferred upon him that title in order to enlist his support in the War
of the Spanish Succession. In 1713, by the treaty of Utrecht, the other
European powers acknowledged the title. It was Prussia, rather than
Brandenburg, which gave its name to the new kingdom, because the former
was an entirely independent state, while the latter was a member of the
Holy Roman Empire. Thereafter the "kingdom of Prussia" [Footnote: At
first the Hohenzollern monarch assumed the title of king _in_
Prussia, because West Prussia was still a province of the kingdom of
Poland. Gradually, however, under Frederick William I (1713-1740), the
popular appellation of "king of Prussia" prevailed over the formal
"king in Prussia." West Prussia was definitely acquired in 1772 (see
below, p. 387).] designated the combined territories of the
Hohenzollern family.

Prussia rose rapidly in the eighteenth century. She shared with Austria
the leadership of the Germanies and secured a position in Europe as a
first-rate power. This rise was the result largely of the efforts of
Frederick William I (1713-1740).

[Sidenote: King Frederick William I, 1713-1740]

King Frederick William was a curious reversion to the type of his
grandfather: he was the Great Elector over again with all his practical
good sense if without his taste for diplomacy. His own ideal of
kingship was a paternal despotism, and his ambition, to use most
advantageously the limited resources of his country in order to render
Prussia feared and respected abroad. He felt that absolutism was the
only kind of government consonant with the character of his varied and
scattered dominions, and he understood in a canny way the need of an
effective army and of the closest economy which would permit a
relatively small kingdom to support a relatively large army. Under
Frederick William I, money, military might, and divine-right monarchy
became the indispensable props of the Hohenzollern rule in Prussia.

By a close thrift that often bordered on miserliness King Frederick
William I managed to increase his standing army from 38,000 to 80,000
men, bringing it up in numbers so as to rank with the regular armies of
such first-rate states as France or Austria. In efficiency, it probably
surpassed the others. An iron discipline molded the Prussian troops
into the most precise military engine then to be found in Europe, and a
staff of officers, who were not allowed to buy their commissions, as in
many European states, but who were appointed on a merit basis,
commanded the army with truly professional skill and devoted loyalty.

In civil administration, the king persevered in the work of
centralizing the various departments. A "general directory" was
intrusted with the businesslike conduct of the finances and gradually
evolved an elaborate civil service--the famous Prussian bureaucracy,
which, in spite of inevitable "red tape," is notable to this day for
its efficiency and devotion to duty. The king endeavored to encourage
industry and trade by enforcing up-to-date mercantilist regulations,
and, although he repeatedly expressed contempt for current culture
because of what he thought were its weakening tendencies, he
nevertheless prescribed compulsory elementary education for his people.

King Frederick William, who did so much for Prussia, had many personal
eccentricities that highly amused Europe. Imbued with patriarchal
instincts, he had his eye on everybody and everything. He treated his
kingdom as a schoolroom, and, like a zealous schoolmaster, flogged his
naughty subjects unmercifully. If he suspected a man of possessing
adequate means, he might command him to erect a fine residence so as to
improve the appearance of the capital. If he met an idler in the
streets, he would belabor him with his cane and probably put him in the
army. And a funny craze for tall soldiers led to the creation of the
famous Potsdam Guard of Giants, a special company whose members must
measure at least six feet in height, and for whose service he attracted
many foreigners by liberal financial offers: it was the only luxury
which the parsimonious king allowed himself.

[Sidenote: Accession of Frederick the Great, 1740]

During a portion of his reign the crabbed old king feared that all his
labors and savings would go for naught, for he was supremely
disappointed in his son, the crown-prince Frederick. The stern father
had no sympathy for the literary, musical, artistic tastes of his son,
whom he thought effeminate, and whom he abused roundly with a quick and
violent temper. When Prince Frederick tried to run away, the king
arrested him and for punishment put him through such an arduous, slave-
like training in the civil and military administration, from the lowest
grades upward, as perhaps no other royal personage ever received. It
was this despised and misunderstood prince who as Frederick II
succeeded his father on the throne of Prussia in 1740 and is known in
history as Frederick the Great.

The year 1740 marked the accession of Frederick the Great in the
Hohenzollern possessions and of Maria Theresa in the Habsburg
territories. [Footnote: Below are discussed the foreign achievements
(pp. 354 ff.) of these two rival sovereigns, and in Chapter XIV (pp.
440 ff.) their internal policies.] It also marked the outbreak of a
protracted struggle within the Holy Roman Empire between the two
foremost German states--Austria and Prussia.


[Sidenote: German States Other than Austria and Prussia]

Of the three hundred other states which composed the empire, few were
sufficiently large or important to exert any considerable influence on
the issue of the contest. A few, however, which took sides, deserve
mention not only because in the eighteenth century they preserved a
kind of balance of power between the rivals but also because they have
been more or less conspicuous factors in the progress of recent times.
Such are Bavaria, Saxony, and Hanover.

[Sidenote: Bavaria]

Bavaria lay on the upper Danube to the west of Austria and in the
extreme southeastern corner of what is now the German Empire. For
centuries it was ruled by the Wittelsbach family, whose remarkable
prince, Maximilian I (1597-1651), had headed the Catholic League and
loyally supported the Habsburgs in the Thirty Years' War, and by the
peace of Westphalia had gained a part of the Palatinate [Footnote: The
other part of the Palatinate, under another branch of the Wittelsbachs,
was reunited with Bavaria in 1779.] together with the title of
"elector." His successor had labored with much credit in the second
half of the seventeenth century to repair the wounds caused by the war,
encouraging agriculture and industries, building or restoring numerous
churches and monasteries. But the Bavarian electors in the first half
of the eighteenth century sacrificed a sound, vigorous policy of
internal reform to a far-reaching ambition in international politics.
Despite the bond of a common religion which united them to Austria,
they felt that their proximity to their powerful neighbor made the
Habsburgs their natural enemies. In the War of the Spanish Succession,
therefore, Bavaria took the side of France against Austria, and when
Maria Theresa ascended the throne in 1740, the elector of Bavaria, who
had married a Habsburg princess disbarred by the Pragmatic Sanction of
Charles VI, immediately allied himself with Frederick of Prussia and
with France in order to dismember the Austrian dominions.

[Sidenote: Saxony]

The Saxony of the eighteenth century was but a very small fraction of
the vast Saxon duchy which once comprised all northwestern Germany and
whose people in early times had emigrated to England or had been
subjugated by Charlemagne. Saxony had been restricted since the
thirteenth century to a district on the upper Elbe, wedged in between
Habsburg Bohemia and Hohenzollern Brandenburg. Here, however, several
elements combined to give it an importance far beyond its extent or
population. It was the geographical center of the Germanies. It
occupied a strategic position between Prussia and Austria. Its ruling
family--the Wettins--were electors of the empire. It had been,
moreover, after the championship of Martin Luther by one of its most
notable electors, [footnote:  Frederick the Wise( 1486-1525)] a leader
of the Lutheran cause, and the reformer's celebrated translation of the
Bible had fixed the Saxon dialect as the literary language of Germany.
At one time it seemed as if Saxony, rather than Brandenburg-Prussia,
might become the dominant state among the Germanies. But the trend of
events determined otherwise. A number of amiable but weak electors in
the seventeenth century repeatedly allied themselves with Austria
against the Hohenzollerns and thereby practically conceded to
Brandenburg the leadership of the Protestant states of northern
Germany.[Footnote: Another source of weakness in Saxony was the custom
in the Wettin family of dividing the inheritance among members of the
family. Such was the origin of the present infinitesimal states of
Saxe-Weimar, Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, Saxe-Meiningen, and Saxe-Altenburg.]

[Sidenote: Personal Union of Saxony and Poland]

Then, too, toward the close of the century, the elector separated
himself from his people by becoming a Roman Catholic, and, in order
that he might establish himself as king of Poland, he burdened the
state with continued Austrian alliance, with war, and with heavy taxes.
The unnatural union of Saxony and Poland was maintained throughout the
greater part of the eighteenth century: it was singularly disastrous
for both parties.

[Sidenote: Hanover, and its Personal Union with Great Britain]

A part of the original ancient territory of the Saxons in north western
Germany was included in the eighteenth century in the state of Hanover,
extending between the Elbe and the Weser and reaching from Brandenburg
down to the North Sea. Hanover was recognized as an electorate during
the War of the Spanish Succession, [Footnote: The emperor had given the
title of elector to Ernest Augustus in 1692; the Powers recognized
George I as elector in 1708.] but its real importance rested on the
fact that its first elector, through his mother's family, became in
1714 George I of Great Britain, the founder of the Hanoverian dynasty
in that country. This personal union between the British kingdom and
the electorate of Hanover continued for over a century, and was not
without vital significance in international negotiations. Both George I
and George II preferred Hanover to England as a place of residence and
directed their primary efforts towards the protection of their German
lands from Habsburg or Hohenzollern encroachments.

Enough has now been said to give some idea of the distracted condition
of the Germanies in the eighteenth century and to explain why the Holy
Roman Empire was an unimportant bond of union. Austria, traditionally
the chief of the Germanies, was increasingly absorbed in her non-German
possessions in Hungary, Italy, and the Netherlands. Prussia, the rising
kingdom of the North, comprised a population in which Slavs constituted
a large minority. Saxony was linked with Poland; Hanover, with Great
Britain. Bavaria was a chronic ally of France. Add to this situation,
the political domination of France or Sweden over a number of the petty
states of the empire, the selfishness and jealousies of all the German
rulers, the looming bitter rivalry between Prussia and Austria, and the
sum-total is political chaos, bloodshed, and oppression.


[Sidenote: Frederick the Great and Maria Theresa]

In the struggle between Prussia and Austria--between Hohenzollerns and
Habsburgs--centered the European diplomacy and wars of the mid-
eighteenth century. On one side was the young king Frederick II (1740-
1786); on the other, the young queen Maria Theresa (1740-1780). Both
had ability and sincere devotion to their respective states and
peoples,--a high sense of royal responsibilities. Maria Theresa was
beautiful, emotional, and proud; the Great Frederick was domineering,
cynical, and always rational. The Austrian princess was a firm believer
in Catholic Christianity; the Prussian king was a friend of Voltaire
and a devotee of skepticism.

[Sidenote: Coalition against Maria Theresa]

Frederick inherited from his father a fairly compact monarchy and a
splendidly trained and equipped army of 80,000 men. He smiled at the
disorganized troops, the disordered finances, the conflicting interests
in the hodge-podge of territories which his rival had inherited from
her father. He also smiled at the solemn promise which Prussia had made
to respect the Austrian dominions. No sooner was the Emperor Charles VI
dead and Maria Theresa proclaimed at Vienna than Frederick II entered
into engagements with Bavaria and France to dismember her realm. The
elector of Bavaria was to be made Holy Roman Emperor as Charles VII and
Prussia was to appropriate Silesia. France was suspected of designs
upon the Austrian Netherlands.

[Sidenote: Frederick's Designs on Silesia]

Silesia thus became the bone of contention between Frederick II and
Maria Theresa. Silesia covered the fertile valley of the upper Oder,
separating the Slavic Czechs of Frederick's Bohemia on the west from
the Slavic Poles on the east. Its population, which was largely German,
was as numerous as that of the whole kingdom of Prussia, and if annexed
to the Hohenzollern possessions would make them overwhelmingly German.
On the other hand, the loss of Silesia would give Austria less direct
influence in strictly German affairs and would deprive her of a
convenient point of attack against Berlin and the heart of Prussia.

[Sidenote: Outbreak of the War of the Austrian Succession, 1740]

Trumping up an ancient family claim to the duchy, Frederick immediately
marched his army into Silesia and occupied Breslau, its capital. To the
west, a combined Bavarian and French army prepared to invade Austria
and Bohemia. Maria Theresa, pressed on all sides, fled to Hungary and
begged the Magyars to help her. The effect was electrical. Hungarians,
Austrians, and Bohemians rallied to the support of the Habsburg throne;
recruits were drilled and hurried to the front; the War of the Austrian
Succession (1740-1748) was soon in full swing.

[Sidenote: Entrance of Great Britain and Spain]

A trade war had broken out between Great Britain and Spain in 1739,
[Footnote: Commonly called the War of Jenkins's Ear. See above, p. 311]
which speedily became merged with the continental struggle. Great
Britain was bent on maintaining liberal trading privileges in the
Belgian Netherlands and always opposed the incorporation of those
provinces into the rival and powerful monarchy of France, preferring
that they should remain in the hands of some distant and less-feared,
less commercial power, such as Austria. Great Britain, moreover, had
fully recognized the Pragmatic Sanction and now determined that it was
in accordance with her own best interests to supply Maria Theresa with
money and to dispatch armies to the Continent to defend the Netherlands
against France and to protect Hanover against Prussia. On the other
side, the royal family of Spain sympathized with their Bourbon kinsmen
in France and hoped to recover from Austria all the Italian possessions
of which Spain had been deprived by the treaty of Utrecht (1713).

The main parties to the War of the Austrian Succession were, therefore,
on the one hand, Prussia, France, Spain, and Bavaria, and, on the
other, Austria and Great Britain. With the former at first joined the
elector of Saxony, who wished to play off Prussia against Austria for
the benefit of his Saxon and Polish lands, and the king of Sardinia,
who was ever balancing in Italy between Habsburg and Bourbon
pretensions. With Austria and Great Britain was united Holland, because
of her desire to protect herself from possible French aggression.

[Sidenote: Course of the War]

The war was not so terrible or bloody as its duration and the number of
contestants would seem to indicate. Saxony, which inclined more
naturally to Austrian than to Prussian friendship, was easily persuaded
by bribes to desert her allies and to make peace with Maria Theresa.
Spain would fight only in Italy; and Sardinia, alarmed by the prospect
of substantial Bourbon gains in that peninsula, went over to the side
of Austria. The Dutch were content to defend their own territories.

[Sidenote: Success of Frederick]

Despite the greatest exertions, Maria Theresa was unable to expel
Frederick from Silesia. Her generals suffered repeated reverses at his
hands, and three times she was forced to recognize his occupation in
order that she might employ all her forces against her western enemies.
By the third treaty between the two German sovereigns, concluded at
Dresden in 1745, Silesia [Footnote: Except a very small district, which
thereafter was known as "Austrian Silesia."] was definitely ceded by
Austria to Prussia. Frederick had gained his ends: he coolly deserted
his allies and withdrew from the war.

Meanwhile the Austrian arms had elsewhere been more successful. The
French and Bavarians, after winning a few trifling victories in
Bohemia, had been forced back to the upper Danube. Munich was occupied
by the troops of Maria Theresa at the very time when the elector was
being crowned at Frankfort as Holy Roman Emperor. The whole of Bavaria
was soon in Austrian possession, and the French were in retreat across
the Rhine. Gradually, also, the combined forces of Austria and Sardinia
made headway in Italy against the Bourbon armies of France and Spain.

In the last years of the war, the French managed to protect Alsace and
Lorraine from Austrian invasion, and, under the command of the gifted
Marshal Saxe, they actually succeeded in subjugating the greater part
of the Austrian Netherlands and in carrying the struggle into Holland.
On the high seas and in the colonies, the conflict raged between France
and Great Britain as "King George's War," which has already been
separately noted. [Footnote: See above, pp. 311 f.]

[Sidenote: Treaties of Aix-la-Chapelle (1748): Indecisive Character of
Struggle between Prussia and Austria]

The treaties which ended the War of the Austrian Succession were signed
at Aix-la-Chapelle in 1748. They guaranteed the acquisition of Silesia
by Frederick II of Prussia and restored everything else to the
situation at the opening of the conflict. The Wittelsbach family was
reinstated in Bavaria and in the Palatinate, and the husband of Maria
Theresa, Francis of Lorraine, succeeded Charles VII as Holy Roman
Emperor. France, for all her expenditures and sacrifices, gained
nothing. The War of the Austrian Succession was but a preliminary
encounter in the great duel for German leadership between Prussia and
Austria. It was similarly only an indecisive round in the prolonged
battle between France and Great Britain for the mastery of the colonial
and commercial world.

[Sidenote: Coalition against Frederick the Great]

In the war just closed, Austria had been the chief loser, and the
resolute Maria Theresa set herself at once to the difficult task of
recovering her prestige and her ceded territory. Her first efforts were
directed toward internal reform--consolidating the administrations of
her various dominions by the creation of a strong central council at
Vienna, encouraging agriculture, equalizing and augmenting the taxes,
and increasing the army. Her next step was to form a great league of
rulers that would find a common interest with her in dismembering the
kingdom of Frederick. She knew she could count on Saxony. She easily
secured an ally in the Tsarina Elizabeth of Russia, who had been deeply
offended by the caustic wit of the Prussian king. She was already
united by friendly agreements with Great Britain and Holland. She had
only France to win to her side, and in this policy she had the services
of an invaluable agent, Count Kaunitz, the greatest diplomat of the
age. Kaunitz held out to France, as the price for the abandonment of
the Prussian alliance and the acceptance of that of Austria, the
tempting bait of Frederick's Rhenish provinces. But Louis XV at first
refused an Austrian alliance: it would be a departure from the
traditional French policy of opposing the Habsburgs. Kaunitz then
appealed to the king's mistress, the ambitious Madame de Pompadour,
who, like the Tsarina Elizabeth, had had plenty of occasions for taking
offense at the witty verses of the Prussian monarch: the favor of the
Pompadour was won, and France entered the league against Prussia.

[Sidenote: The "Diplomatic Revolution"]

Meanwhile, however, Great Britain had entered into a special agreement
with Frederick with the object of guaranteeing the integrity of Hanover
and the general peace of the Germanies. When, therefore, the colonial
war between Great Britain and France was renewed in 1754, it was quite
natural that the former should contract a definite alliance with
Prussia. Thus it befell that, whereas in the indecisive War of the
Austrian Succession Prussia and France were pitted against Austria and
Great Britain, in the determinant Seven Years' War, which ensued,
Austria and France were in arms against Prussia and Great Britain. This
overturn of traditional alliances has been commonly designated the
"Diplomatic Revolution."

[Sidenote: The Seven Years' War, 1756-1763]

The Seven Years' War lasted in Europe from 1756 to 1763, and, as
regards both the number of combatants and the brilliant generalship
displayed, deserves to rank with the War of the Spanish Succession as
the greatest war which the modern world had so far witnessed. The story
has already been told of its maritime and colonial counterpart, which
embraced the French and Indian War in America (1754-1763) and the
triumphant campaigns of Clive in India, and which decisively
established the supremacy of Great Britain on the seas, in the Far
East, and in the New World. [Footnote: See above, pp. 312 ff.] There
remains to sketch its course on the European continent.

[Sidenote: Frederick's Victory at Rossbach, 1757]

Without waiting for a formal declaration of hostilities, Frederick
seized Saxony, from which he exacted large indemnities and drafted
numerous recruits, and, with his well-trained veteran troops, crossed
the mountains into Bohemia. He was obliged by superior Austrian forces
to raise the siege of Prague and to fall back on his own kingdom.
Thence converged from all sides the allied armies of his enemies.
Russians moved into East Prussia, Swedes from Pomerania into northern
Brandenburg, Austrians into Silesia, while the French were advancing
from the west. Here it was that Frederick displayed those qualities
which entitle him to rank as one of the greatest military commanders of
all time and to justify his title of "the Great." Inferior in numbers
to any one of his opponents, he dashed with lightning rapidity into
central Germany and at Rossbach (1757) inflicted an overwhelming defeat
upon the French, whose general wrote to Louis XV, "The rout of our army
is complete: I cannot tell you how many of our officers have been
killed, captured, or lost." No sooner was he relieved of danger in the
west than he was back in Silesia. He flung himself upon the Austrians
at Leuthen, took captive a third of their army, and put the rest to

The victories of Frederick, however, decimated his army. He still had
money, thanks to the subsidies which Pitt poured in from Great Britain,
but he found it very difficult to procure men: he gathered recruits
from hostile countries; he granted amnesty to deserters; he even
enrolled prisoners of war. He was no longer sufficiently sure of his
soldiers to take the offensive, and for five years he was reduced to
defensive campaigns in Silesia. The Russians occupied East Prussia and
penetrated into Brandenburg; in 1759 they captured Berlin.

[Sidenote: French Reverses. The "Family Compact"]

The French, after suffering defeat at Rossbach, directed their energies
against Hanover but encountered unexpected resistance at the hands of
an army collected by Pitt's gold and commanded by a Prussian general,
the prince of Brunswick. Brunswick defeated them and gradually drove
them out of Germany. This series of reverses, coupled with disasters
that attended French armies in America and in India, caused the French
king to call upon his cousin, the king of Spain, for assistance. The
result was the formation of the defensive alliance (1761) between the
Bourbon states of France, Spain, and the Two Sicilies, and the entrance
of Spain into the war (1762).

[Sidenote: Withdrawal of Russia]

What really saved Frederick the Great was the death of the Tsarina
Elizabeth (1762) and the accession to the Russian throne of Peter III,
a dangerous madman but a warm admirer of the military prowess of the
Prussian king. Peter in brusque style transferred the Russian forces
from the standard of Maria Theresa to that of Frederick and restored to
Prussia the conquests of his predecessor. [Footnote: Peter III was
dethroned in the same year; his wife, Catherine II, who succeeded him,
refused to give active military support to either side.] Spain entered
the war too late to affect its fortunes materially. She was unable to
regain what France had lost, and in fact the Bourbon states were
utterly exhausted. The Austrians, after frantic but vain attempts to
wrest Silesia from Frederick, finally despaired of their cause.

[Sidenote: Treaty of Hubertusburg (1763): Humiliation of the Habsburgs
and Triumph of the Hohenzollerns]

The treaty of Hubertusburg (1763) put an end to the Seven Years' War in
Europe. Maria Theresa finally, though reluctantly, surrendered all
claims to Silesia. Prussia had clearly humiliated Austria and become a
first-rate power. The Hohenzollerns were henceforth the acknowledged
peers of the Habsburgs. The almost synchronous treaty of Paris closed
the war between Great Britain, on the one hand, and France and Spain on
the other, by ceding the bulk of the French colonial empire to the
British. Thereafter, Great Britain was practically undisputed mistress
of the seas and chief colonial power of the world.

[Sidenote: Frederick the Great and the Partition of Poland]

Frederick the Great devoted the last years of his life to the
consolidation of his monarchy [Footnote: For the internal reforms of
Frederick, see below, pp. 440 ff.] and to enlarging its sphere of
influence rather by diplomacy than by war. Frederick felt that the best
safeguard against further attempts of Austria to recover Silesia was a
firm alliance between Prussia and Russia. And it was an outcome of that
alliance that in 1772 he joined with the Tsarina Catherine in making
the first partition of Poland. Catherine appropriated the country east
of the Düna and the Dnieper rivers. Frederick annexed West Prussia,
except the towns of Danzig and Thorn, thereby linking up Prussia and
Brandenburg by a continuous line of territory. Maria Theresa, moved by
the loss of Silesia and by fear of the undue preponderance which the
partition of Poland would give to her northern rivals, thought to
adjust the balance of power by sharing in the shameful transaction: she
occupied Galicia, including the important city of Cracow. Maria Theresa
repeatedly expressed her abhorrence of the whole business, but, as the
scoffing Frederick said, "She wept, but she kept on taking."

The partition of Poland was more favorable to Prussia than to Austria.
In the former case, the land annexed lay along the Baltic and served to
render East Prussia, Brandenburg, and Silesia a geographical and
political unit. On the other hand, Austria to some extent was
positively weakened by the acquisition of territory outside her natural
frontiers, and the addition of a turbulent Polish people further
increased the diversity of races and the clash of interests within the
Habsburg dominions.

When, a few years later, the succession to the electorate of Bavaria
was in some doubt and Austria laid claims to the greater part of that
state (1777-1779), Frederick again stepped in, and now by intrigue and
now by threats of armed force again prevented any considerable
extension of Habsburg control. His last important act was the formation
of a league of princes to champion the lesser German states against
Austrian aggression.

By hard work, by military might, by force of will, unhampered by any
moral code, Frederick the Great perfected the policies of the Great
Elector and of Frederick William I and raised Prussia to the rank of
partner with Austria in German leadership and to an eminent position in
the international affairs of Europe. Had Frederick lived, however, but
a score of years longer, he would have witnessed the total extinction
of the Holy Roman Empire, the apparent ruin of the Germanies, and the
degradation of his own country as well as that of Austria. [Footnote:
See below, Chapter XVI.] He might even have perceived that a personal
despotism, built by bloodshed and unblushing deceit, was hardly proof
against a nation stirred by idealism and by a consciousness of its own
rights and power.



GENERAL. Brief narratives: J. H. Robinson and C. A. Beard, _The
Development of Modern Europe_, Vol. I (1907), ch. iv, v; E. F.
Henderson, _A Short History of Germany_, Vol. II (1902), ch. i-iv; A.
H. Johnson, _The Age of the Enlightened Despot, 1660-1789_ (1910), ch.
vii, viii; Ferdinand Schevill, _The Making of Modern Germany (1916)_,
ch. i, ii; Arthur Hassall, _The Balance of Power, 1715-1789_ (1896),
ch. vi-ix; C. T. Atkinson, _A History of Germany, 1715-1813_ (1908),
almost exclusively a military history; H. T. Dyer, _A History of Modern
Europe from the Fall of Constantinople_, 3d ed. rev. by Arthur Hassall,
6 vols. (1901), ch. xlv-xlviii. Longer accounts: _Cambridge Modern
History_, Vol. V (1908), ch. xii, xx, xxi, and Vol. VI (1909), ch. vii-
ix, xx; _Histoire générale_, Vol. V, ch. xix, Vol. VI, ch. xvi, and
Vol. VII, ch. iv, v; Émile Bourgeois, _Manuel historique de politique
étrangère_, 4th ed., Vol. I (1906), ch. vi, xii, valuable for
international relations of the Germanies; Bernhard Erdmannsdörffer,
_Deutsche Geschichte, 1648-1740_, 2 vols. (1892-1893).

Whitman, _Austria (1899)_, and, by the same author, _The Realm of the
Habsburgs_ (1893), brief outlines; Louis Leger, _A History of Austro-
Hungary from the Earliest Time to the Year 1889_, trans. by Mrs. B.
Hill from a popular French work (1889); William Coxe, _House of
Austria_, 4 vols. (1893-1895) in the Bohn Library, originally published
nearly a century ago but still useful, especially Vol. Ill; C. M.
Knatchbull-Hugessen, _The Political Evolution of the Hungarian Nation_,
Vol. I (1908), ch. iv-vii; Ármin Vámbéry, _The Story of Hungary_
(1894), in the "Story of the Nations" Series. In German: Franz Krones,
_Handbuch der Geschichte Oesterreichs_, 5 vols. (1876-1879), Vol. IV,
Book XVIII. There is a good brief English biography of _Maria Theresa_
by J. F. Bright (1897) in the "Foreign Statesmen" Series, and a great
standard German biography by Alfred von Arneth, _Geschichte Maria
Theresias_, 10 vols. (1863-1879). See also A. Wolf and Hans von
Zwiedineck-Südenhorst, _Österreich unter Maria Theresia_ (1884).

THE RISE OF PRUSSIA. _History of All Nations_, Vol. XV, _The Age
of Frederick the Great_, Eng. trans. of a well-known German history
by Martin Philippson; Herbert Tuttle, _History of Prussia to the
Accession of Frederick the Great_ (1884), and, by the same author,
_History of Prussia under Frederick the Great_, 3 vols., coming
down to 1757 (1888-1896), primarily constitutional and political;
Reinhold Koser, _Geschichte der brandenburgisch-preussischen
Politik_, Vol. I (1914), from earliest times through the Thirty
Years' War, by the late general director of the Prussian State
Archives, an eminent authority on the history of his country; J. G.
Droysen, _Geschichte der preussischen Politik_, 14 vols. (1868-
1876), the most elaborate history of Prussia down to 1756 by a famous
national historian; Ernst Berner, _Geschichte des preussischen
Staates_ (1891), a briefer, popular account, richly illustrated;
Hans von Zwiedineck-Südenhorst, _Deutsche Geschichte im Zeitraum der
Gründung des preussischen Königtums_, 2 vols. (1890-1894), an
enthusiastic German appreciation; Albert Waddington, _Histoire de
Prusse_, Vol. I (1911), from the origins of the state to the death
of the Great Elector, an able French presentation. There is an
admirable old German biography of Frederick the Great's father, with
copious extracts from the sources, by F. C. Forster, _Friedrich
Wilhelm I König von Preussen_, 3 vols. (1834-1835). On Frederick the
Great: F. W. Longman, _Frederick the Great and the Seven Years'
War_, 2d ed. (1886), a good summary in English; W. F. Reddaway,
_Frederick the Great and the Rise of Prussia_ (1904) in the
"Heroes of the Nations" Series; Thomas Carlyle, _Frederick the
Great_, an English classic in many editions, sympathetic and in
spots inaccurate; Reinhold Koser, _Geschichte Friedrichs des
Grossen_, 5th ed., 4 vols. (1912-1914), a most thorough and
authoritative biography; _Politische Korrespondenz Friedrichs des
Grossen_, ed. by Reinhold Koser and others, in many volumes,
constitutes the most valuable original source for the reign of
Frederick the Great.

THE WARS OF FREDERICK THE GREAT. G. M. Priest, _Germany since 1740_
(1915), ch. i-iii, a useful outline; D. J. Hill, _History of Diplomacy
in the International Development of Europe_, Vol. III (1914), ch. vi-
viii, valuable for diplomatic relations; Richard Waddington, _La guerre
de sept ans: histoire diplomatique et militaire_, 5 vols. (1899-1914),
the best history of the Seven Years' War; A. D. Schaefer, _Geschichte
des siebenjährigen Kriegs_, 2 vols. in 3 (1867-1874), a careful German
account; Wilhelm Oncken, _Das Zeitalter Friedrichs des Grossen_, 2
vols. (1881-1882), an important work on Frederick's reign, in the
imposing Oncken Series. See also A. W. Ward, _Great Britain and
Hanover, Some Aspects of their Personal Union_ (1899).




How the backward, Oriental tsardom of Muscovy has been transformed into
the huge empire of Russia, now comprising one-sixth of the land surface
and one-twelfth of the population of the earth, is one of the most
fascinating phases of the history of modern times. It was not until the
eighteenth century that Russia came into close contact with the
commerce and culture of western Christendom; not until then did she
become a great power in the European family of nations.

[Sidenote: Russian Expansion]

Several occurrences during the two centuries which separated the reign
of the Tsar Ivan the Great from that of Peter the Great paved the way
for the subsequent, almost startling rise of the powerful empire of
northern and eastern Europe. The first in importance was the expansion
of the Russian race and dominion. Throughout the sixteenth and
seventeenth centuries the farming folk of the region about Moscow were
emigrating south and east and establishing themselves in the fertile
plains of the Don, the Volga, and the Irtysh. [Footnote: Armies of the
tsar backed up the colonists: they occupied Kazan in 1552 and
Astrakhan, near the Caspian Sea, in 1554.] A glance at the map of
Russia will show how the network of rivers combined with the level
character of the country to facilitate this process of racial
expansion. The gentle southerly flowing Dnieper, Don, and Volga,
radiating from the same central region, and connected by way of the
Kama with the headwaters of the Dwina, which empties into the White Sea
in the extreme north, became chief channels of trade and migration, and
contributed much more to the elaboration of national unity than any
political institutions. Boats could be conveyed over flat and easy
portages from one river-basin to another, and these portages with a
relatively small amount of labor were gradually changed into navigable
channels, so that even now the canals are more important than many of
the railways as arteries of commerce.

[Sidenote: The Cossacks]

As the emigrants threaded their way along the river courses and over
the broad plains they had to be constantly on the alert against attacks
of troublesome natives, and they accordingly organized themselves in
semi-military fashion. Those in the vanguard of territorial expansion
constituted a peculiar class known as Cossacks, who, like frontiersmen
of other times and places, for example, like those that gained for the
United States its vast western domain, lived a wild life in which
agricultural and pastoral pursuits were intermingled with hunting and
fighting. In the basins of the southern rivers, the Cossacks formed
semi-independent military communities: those of the Volga and the Don
professed allegiance to the tsar of Muscovy, while those of the Dnieper
usually recognized the sovereignty of the king of Poland.

[Sidenote: Eastword Expansion into Asia]

Nor was the migration of the Russian race restricted to Europe. The
division between Europe and Asia is largely imaginary, as another
glance at the map will prove,--the low-lying Urals are a barrier only
toward the north, while southward the plains of Russia stretch on
interminably above the Caspian until they are merged in the steppes of
Siberia. Across these plains moved a steady stream of Cossacks and
peasants and adventurers, carrying with them the habits and traditions
of their Russian homes. Ever eastward wended the emigrants. They
founded Tobolsk in 1587 and Tomsk in 1604; they established Yakutsk on
the Lena River in 1632, and Irkutsk on Lake Baikal in 1652; in 1638
they reached the Sea of Okhotsk, and, by the close of the seventeenth
century, they occupied the peninsula of Kamchatka and looked upon the
broad Pacific. Thus at the time when the Spaniards were extending their
speech and laws throughout South America and the English were laying
the foundations for the predominance of their institutions in North
America, the Russians were appropriating northern Asia and
demonstrating that, with them at least, the course of empire takes its
way eastward.

Ivan the Great had already been described in church service as "the
ruler and autocrat of all Russia, the new Tsar Constantine [Footnote:
The last Cæsar of the Græco-Roman Empire, Constantine XI, had perished
in 1453 in vain defense of Constantinople against the Turks. It was a
significant fact that the Russian rulers, who owed their Christianity
and their nation's culture to the Greeks, should now revive the title
of Caesar (Russian form, tsar or czar).] in the new city of
Constantine, Moscow." His successors invariably had themselves crowned
as tsars and autocrats of all Russia. By military might they maintained
their control over the ever-widening territories of the Russian people;
with racial pride and religious fervor, the distant emigrants regarded
their royal family at Moscow. The power of the tsars kept pace with the
expansion of the state.

[Sidenote: Oriental Characteristics of Russia]

Yet this greater Russia remained essentially Oriental. Its form of
Christianity was derived from the East rather than from the West. Its
social customs savored more of Asia than of Europe. Its nobles and even
its tsars were rated by western Christendom as little better than
barbarians. In fact, the Russian state was looked upon in the
seventeenth century in much the same way as China was regarded in the
nineteenth century.

The reasons for this relative backwardness are not hard to ascertain.
In the first place, the religion of the state was a direct heritage of
the expiring Eastern Empire and was different from either the
Catholicism or the Protestantism of western Europe. Secondly, long and
close contact with the conquering Mongols or Tatars of Asia had
saturated the Russian people with Oriental customs and
habits.[Footnote: See above, pp. 21 f.] Thirdly, the nature of the
country tended to exalt agriculture and to discourage industry and
foreign commerce, and at the same time to turn emigration and expansion
eastward rather than westward. Finally, so long as the neighboring
western states of Sweden, Poland, and Turkey remained powerful and
retained the entire coast of the Baltic and Black seas, Russia was
deprived of seaports that would enable her to engage in traffic with
western Europe and thus to partake of the common culture of

Not until Russia was modernized and westernized, and had made
considerable headway against one or all of her western neighbors, could
she hope to become a European Power. Not until the accession of the
Romanov dynasty did she enter seriously upon this twofold policy.

[Sidenote: The "Troublous Times"]

The direct line of Ivan the Great had died out at the close of the
sixteenth century, and there ensued what in Russian history are known
as "the troublous times." Disputes over the succession led to a series
of civil wars, and the consequent anarchy invited foreign intervention.
For a time the Poles harassed the country and even occupied the
Kremlin, or citadel, of Moscow. The Swedes, also, took advantage of the
troublous times in Russia to enlarge their conquests on the eastern
shore of the Baltic and to seize the important trading center of
Novgorod. In the south, the Turks warred with the Cossacks and brought
many of the Crimean principalities under their control.

[Sidenote: The Accession of the Romanovs, 1613]

Under these discouraging circumstances a great national assembly met at
Moscow in 1613 to elect a tsar, and their choice fell upon one of their
own number, a certain Michael Romanov, whose family had been connected
by marriage ties with the ancient royal line. It is an interesting fact
that the present autocrat of Russia is a lineal descendant of the
Romanov who was thus popularly elected to supreme authority in 1613.

Michael Romanov proved an excellent choice. Accepted by all classes, he
reestablished order and security throughout the country and
successfully resisted foreign encroachments. He founded several
fortified towns in the south against the Tatars and the Turks. He
recovered Novgorod from the Swedes. During the reign of his son, Polish
depredations were stopped and the Dnieper River was fixed upon
[Footnote: Treaty of Andrussovo (1667), in accordance with which Poland
ceded to Russia Kiev, Smolensk, and eastern Ukraine.] as the general
dividing line between Poland and Russia.


[Sidenote: His Accession and Early Travels]

The grandson of Michael Romanov was the celebrated Peter the Great, who
may rightfully be designated as the father of modern Russia. His older
brothers, with whom during his youth he was nominally associated in the
government, died in turn without leaving direct heirs, and Peter became
sole ruler in 1696. From the outset he showed an insatiable curiosity
about the arts and sciences of western Europe, the authority of its
kings and the organization of its armies and fleets. To an intense
curiosity, Peter added an indomitable will. He was resolved to satisfy
his every curiosity and to utilize whatever he learned or found.

From childhood, Peter had displayed an aptitude for mechanical tools
and inventions and especially for boat-making. Shipbuilding and ship-
sailing became his favorite pastimes. When he was barely twenty-one, he
launched at Archangel, on the ice-bound White Sea, a ship which he had
built with his own hands. Now in 1696, being sole tsar at the age of
twenty-four, he fitted out a fleet which defeated the Turks on the
Black Sea and allowed him to capture the valuable port of Azov. No
other successes were gained, however, in this Turkish War; and the
young tsar began to perceive that if he were to succeed in his
cherished project he would have to obtain Western aid. In 1697,
therefore, a special commission left Moscow for the purpose of
soliciting the cooperation of the principal Powers against Turkey, and
to this commission the young tsar attached himself as a volunteer
sailor, "Peter Mikhailov," in order that he might incidentally learn
much about ship-building and other technical sciences.

In its primary purpose, the Russian commission failed signally. Western
Europe was on the eve of the War of the Spanish Succession, and all the
European sovereigns seemed to be engrossed in the distractions of
dynastic politics. No help against the Turks was forthcoming. But
personally Peter learned many useful things. In Holland he studied
ship-building as well as anatomy and engraving. In England he
investigated industry and commerce. He closely scrutinized the military
establishment of Prussia. In all places which he visited he collected
artisans, sailors, engineers, or other workmen, whom he sent back to
Russia to instruct his people.

[Sidenote: Suppression of the Streltsi]

While he was on his way from Vienna to Venice, news reached him that
the royal bodyguard, called the _streltsi_, had taken advantage of
his absence of a year and a half and had mutinied at Moscow. In hot
haste he hurried home and wreaked dire vengeance upon the mutineers.
Two thousand were hung or broken on the wheel, five thousand were
beheaded, and Peter for many days amused himself and edified his court
by the wonderful dexterity he displayed in slicing off the heads of
_streltsi_ with his own royal arm.

The severe punishment of the rebellious _streltsi_ and the
immediate abolition of their military organization was clear evidence
that Peter was fully determined both to break with the past traditions
of his country and to compel all the Russian people to do likewise.

[Sidenote: Military Reform]

His first care was the reconstruction of the army on the Prussian
model. Officered and disciplined by foreigners dependent entirely upon
the tsar, the new army replaced the _streltsi_ and proved a potent
factor in furthering the domestic and foreign policies of Peter the

[Sidenote: Introduction of Occidental Customs]

The young reformer next turned his attention to the customs of his
people--their clothing and manners--which he would transform from
Oriental to Occidental. Edict followed edict with amazing rapidity. The
chief potentates of the empire were solemnly assembled so that Peter
with his own hand might deliberately clip off their long beards and
flowing mustaches. A heavy tax was imposed on such as persisted in
wearing beards. French or German clothes were to be substituted, under
penalty of large fines, for the traditional Russian costume. The use of
tobacco was made compulsory. The Oriental semi-seclusion of women was
prohibited. Both sexes were to mingle freely in the festivities of the
court. These innovations were largely superficial: they partially
permeated the nobility and clergy, but made little impression on the
mass of the population. Peter had begun a work, however, which was
certain of great results in the future.

[Sidenote: Development of Autocracy]

The reign of Peter the Great is notable for the removal of serious
checks upon the power of the tsar and the definitive establishment of
that form of absolutism which in Russia is called "autocracy." By sheer
ability and will-power, the tsar was qualified to play the role of
divine-right monarch, and his observation of the centralized government
of Louis XIV, as well as the appreciation of his country's needs,
convinced him that that kind of government was the most suitable for

[Sidenote: Subordination of the Orthodox Church to the Russian State]
[Sidenote: The Holy Synod]

We have already observed how Peter replaced the independent, turbulent
_streltsi_ with a thoroughly devoted and orderly standing army.
That was one important step in the direction of autocracy. The next was
the subordination of the Church to the state. The tsar understood the
very great influence which the Holy Orthodox Church exerted over the
Russian people and the danger to his policies that ecclesiastical
opposition might create. He was naturally anxious that the Church
should become the ally, not the enemy, of autocracy. He, therefore,
took such steps as would exalt the Church in the opinion of his
countrymen and at the same time would render it a serviceable agent of
the government. Professing the warmest faith in its religious tenets,
he deprived the patriarch [Footnote: Until late in the sixteenth
century, the metropolitan of Moscow was in theory under the authority
of the patriarch of Constantinople; thereafter, through Boris Godunov,
he became independent with full consent and approval of the whole Greek
Orthodox Church and was styled the patriarch of Moscow.] of Moscow of
his privilege of controlling the ecclesiastical organization and vested
all powers of church government in a body, called the Holy Synod, whose
members were bishops and whose chief was a layman, all chosen by the
tsar himself. No appointment to ecclesiastical office could henceforth
be made without the approval of the Holy Synod; no sermon could be
preached and no book could be published unless it had received the
sanction of that august body. The authority which the tsar thereby
obtained over the Russian Church was as complete and far-reaching as
that which Henry VIII had acquired, two centuries earlier, over the
Anglican Church. The results have been in keeping with Peter's fondest
expectations, for the Orthodox Church in Russia has been from his time
to the present the right-hand support of absolutism. The tsars have
exalted the Church as the fountain of order and holiness; as a
veritable ark of the covenant have the clergy magnified and extolled
the autocracy.

[Sidenote: Secular Power of the Tsar]

A remodeling of the secular government of Russia along autocratic lines
was another achievement of Peter the Great which long endured. At the
head of the state was the tsar or emperor, possessing absolute,
unlimited powers. An ancient assembly, or Duma, of nobles, which had
formerly exercised vague legislative rights, was practically abolished,
its place being taken by an advisory Council of State whose members,
usually noblemen, were selected by the tsar. All traces of local self-
government were similarly swept away, and the country was henceforth
administered by the tsar's personal agents. To enforce his autocratic
will, a system of police was organized on a militia basis, its chiefs
being made dependent on the central authority. In these, as in all his
other reforms, the tsar encountered a good deal of opposition, and for
a while was obliged to rely largely on foreigners to carry them out. As
soon as possible, however, Peter employed natives, for it was a
cardinal point in his policy that the Russians themselves must manage
their own state without foreign interference or help.

[Sidenote: Attempted Social Reforms of Peter the Great]

Like his contemporaries in western Europe, Peter gave considerable
attention to the economic condition of the monarchy. He strove, though
often in a bungling manner, to promote agriculture and to improve the
lot of the peasantry, who still constituted the overwhelming bulk of
forms of the population. He certainly deprived the nobles of many of
their former privileges and sought to rest political power and social
position on ability rather than on birth. He understood that Russia
grievously lacked a numerous and prosperous middle class, and he aimed
to create one by encouraging trade and industries. His almost constant
participation in wars, however, prevented him from bringing many of his
economic and social plans to fruition.

[Sidenote: Ambitious Foreign Policy of Peter the Great]

Internal reforms were but one-half of Peter's ambitious program. To him
Russia owes not only the abolition of the _streltsi_, the loss of
the independence of the Church, the Europeanization of manners and
customs, and the firm establishment of autocracy, but also the
pronouncement and enforcement of an elaborate scheme of foreign
aggrandizement. On one hand, the tsar showed a lively interest in the
exploration and colonization of Siberia and in the extension of Russian
dominion around the Caspian Sea and towards the Persian Empire. On the
other hand,--and this, for our purposes, is far more important,--he was
resolved to make the cultural and commercial connection between Russia
and Europe strong and intimate, to open a way to the west by gaining
outlets on both the Black and Baltic seas--"windows" to the west, as he
termed them.

On the Baltic Sea, Sweden blocked him; toward the Black Sea, the
Ottoman power hemmed him in. It was, therefore, against Sweden and
Turkey that Peter the Great waged war. It seemed to him a matter of
dire necessity for the preservation of European civilization in Russia
that he should defeat one or both of these states. Against the Turks,
as events proved, he made little headway; against the Swedes he fared

In order that we may understand the nature of the momentous conflict
between Russia and Sweden in the first quarter of the eighteenth
century, it will be necessary at this point to notice the parallel
development of Sweden.


[Sidenote: Sweden a Great Power in the Seventeenth Century]

It will be recalled that a century before Peter the Great, the
remarkable Gustavus Adolphus had aimed to make the Baltic a Swedish
lake. To his own kingdom, lying along the western shore of that sea,
and to the dependency of Finland, he had added by conquest the eastern
provinces of Karelia, Ingria, Esthonia, and Livonia [Footnote: Livonia,
occupied by Gustavus Adolphus during the Polish War of 1621-1629, was
not formally relinquished by Poland until 1660. Esthonia had been
conquered by the Swedes in 1561, but Russia did not renounce her
pretensions to this province until 1617.], and his successful
interference in the Thirty Years' War had given Sweden possession of
western Pomerania and the mouths of the Elbe, Oder, and Weser rivers
and a considerable influence in German affairs. For many years after
the death of Gustavus Adolphus, Sweden was the recognized leader of
continental Protestantism, and her trade on the Baltic grew and
thrived. The exports of Russia and Poland found a convenient outlet
through the Swedish port of Riga, and those of the northern Germanics
were frequently dispatched on Swedish vessels from Stettin or

Repeated efforts were made by Denmark, Poland, and Brandenburg to break
the commercial monopoly which Sweden enjoyed upon the Baltic and to
deprive her of her conquests, but for a long time in vain. Victory
continued to attend Swedish arms and a general treaty in 1660 confirmed
her dominion. At that time Sweden was not only a military power of the
first magnitude but also one of the largest states of Europe,
possessing about twice as much area as present-day Sweden. Her area
embraced a land-surface 7000 square miles larger than the modern German
Empire. All the islands and the greater part of the coast of the Baltic
belonged to her. Stockholm, the capital, lay in the very center of the
empire, whose second city was Riga, on the other side of the sea. In
politics, in religion, and in trade, Sweden was feared and respected.

[Sidenote: Elements of Weakness in Sweden's Position]

Yet the greatness of Sweden in the seventeenth century was more
apparent than real. Her commerce provoked the jealousy of all her
neighbors. Her dependencies across the Baltic were difficult to hold:
peopled by Finns, Russians, Poles, Germans, and Danes, their bond with
Sweden was essentially artificial, and they usually sympathized,
naturally enough, with their sovereign's enemies. They, therefore,
imposed on the mother country the duty of remaining a military
monarchy, armed from head to foot for every possible emergency. For
such a tremendous destiny Sweden was quite unfitted. Her wide territory
was very sparsely populated, and her peasantry were very poor. Only the
French alliance gave her solid backing in the Germanies, and, with the
decline of the fortunes of Louis XIV and the rise of Prussia and
Russia, she was bound to lose her leadership in the North.

To the fate of Sweden, her rulers in the seventeenth century
contributed no small share. Nearly all of them were born fighters and
nearly all of them were neglectful of home interests and of the works
of peace. The military instincts of the Swedish kings not only
sacrificed thousands of lives that were urgently needed in building up
their country and cost the kingdom enormous sums of money but likewise
impaired commerce, surrounded the empire with a broad belt of desolated
territory, and implanted an ineradicable hatred in every adjacent
state. Then, too, the extravagance and negligence of the sovereigns led
to chaos in domestic government. Taxes were heavy and badly
apportioned. The nobles recovered many of their political privileges.
The royal power steadily dwindled away at the very time when it was
most needed; and a selfish, grasping aristocracy hastened their
country's ruin. [Footnote: A reaction appeared under the capable
Charles XI (1660-1697), but its fruits were completely lost by his son
and successor, Charles XII.]

[Sidenote: Coalition against Charles XII]

At length, in 1697, when Charles XII, a boy of fifteen years, ascended
the throne of Sweden, the neighboring Powers thought the time had
arrived to partition his territories among themselves. Tsar Peter,
while returning home the following year from his travels abroad, had
discussed with Augustus II, elector of Saxony and king of Poland, a
plan which the latter had formed for the dismemberment of the Swedish
Empire: Poland was to recover Livonia and annex Esthonia; Russia was to
obtain Ingria and Karelia and thereby a port on the Baltic; Brandenburg
was to occupy western Pomerania; and Denmark was to take possession of
Holstein and the mouths of the Elbe and Weser. Charles XII was to
retain only his kingdom in the Scandinavian peninsula and the grand
duchy of Finland. At the last moment Brandenburg balked, but Saxony,
Denmark, and Russia signed the nefarious alliance in 1699. The allies
expected quick and decisive victory. All western and southern Europe
was on the verge of a great struggle for the Spanish inheritance and
would clearly be unable to prevent them from despoiling Sweden.

[Sidenote: Military Exploits of Charles XII]

But the allies grossly underrated their foe. Charles XII was a mere
boy, but precocious, gloomy, and sensitive, and endowed with all the
martial determination and heroism of his ancestors. He desired nothing
better than to fight against overwhelming odds, and the fury of the
youthful commander soon earned him the sobriquet of the "madman of the
North." The alliance of 1699 precipitated the Great Northern War which
was to last until 1721 and slowly, but no less inevitably, lower Sweden
to the position of a third-rate power. It was amid the most spectacular
exploits of the boy-king that the ruin of Sweden was accomplished. It
was a grander but more tragic fate than in the same period befell

Charles XII did not give the allies time to unite. Hurriedly crossing
the straits, he invaded Denmark, whose terrified king promptly signed a
treaty with him (1700), paying a large indemnity and engaging to keep
the peace in future.

Thence Charles hastened across the Baltic to Esthonia in order to deal
with the invading Russians. At Narva he met and annihilated their army.
Then he turned southward, clearing Livonia and Lithuania of Poles,
Saxons, and Russians.

Into the very heart of Poland he carried the war, possessing himself of
both Warsaw and Cracow. He obliged the Polish Diet to dethrone Augustus
and to accept a king of his own choice in the person of a certain
Stanislaus Leszczynski (1704).

All these things had been done by a young man between the age of
seventeen and twenty--two. It was quite natural that he should be
puffed up with pride in his ability and successes. It was almost as
natural that, hardened at an early age to the horrors of war, he should
become increasingly callous and cruel. Many instructions the impulsive
youth sent out over conquered districts in Russia, Poland, and Saxony
"to slay, burn, and destroy." "Better that the innocent suffer than
that the guilty escape" was his favorite adage.

Small wonder, then, that neither Peter the Great nor the Elector
Augustus would abandon the struggle. While Charles was overrunning
Poland, Peter was reorganizing his army and occupying Karelia and
Ingria; and when the Swedish king returned to engage the Russians,
Augustus drove out Stanislaus and regained the crown of Poland. Yet
Charles, with an unreasoning stubbornness, would not perceive that the
time had arrived for terminating the conflict with a few concessions.
Russia at that time asked only a port on the Gulf of Finland as the
price of an alliance against Poland.

[Sidenote: Battle of Poltava (1709): Defeat of Charles XII]

To all entreaties for peace, Charles XII turned a deaf ear, and pressed
the war in Russia. Unable to take Moscow, he turned southward in order
to effect a juncture with some rebellious Cossacks, but met the army of
Peter the Great at Poltava (1709). Poltava marks the decisive triumph
of Russia over Sweden. The Swedish army was destroyed, only a small
number being able to accompany the flight of their king across the
southern Russian frontier into Turkish territory.

Then Charles stirred up the Turks to attack the tsar, but from the new
contest he was himself unable to profit. Peter bought peace with the
Ottoman government by re-ceding the town of Azov, and the latter
gradually tired of their guest's continual and frantic clamor for war.
After a sojourn of over five years in Ottoman lands, Charles suddenly
and unexpectedly appeared, with but a single attendant, at Stralsund,
which by that time was all that remained to him outside of Sweden and

[Sidenote: Obstinacy and Death of Charles XII]

Still, however, the war dragged on. The allies grew in numbers and in
demands. Peter the Great and Augustus were again joined by the Danish
king. Great Britain, Hanover, and Prussia, all covetous of Swedish
trade or Swedish territory, were now members of the coalition. Charles
XII stood like adamant: he would retain all or he would lose all. So he
stood until the last. It was while he was directing an invasion of
Norway that the brilliant but ill-balanced Charles lost his life
(1718), being then but thirty-six years of age.

[Sidenote: Decline of Sweden]

Peace which had been impossible during the lifetime of Charles, became
a reality soon after his death. It certainly came none too soon for the
exhausted and enfeebled condition of Sweden. By the treaties of
Stockholm (1719 and 1720), Sweden resigned all her German holdings
except a small district of western Pomerania including the town of
Stralsund. Denmark received Holstein and a money indemnity. Hanover
gained the mouths of the Elbe and Weser; Prussia, the mouth of the Oder
and the important city of Stettin. Augustus was restored to the Polish
throne, though without territorial gain. Great Britain, Denmark, and
Prussia became the principal commercial heirs of Sweden.

[Sidenote: Treaty of Nystad (1721): Russia on the Baltic]
[Sidenote: Petrograd]

The treaty of Nystad (1721) was the turning point for Russia, for
thereby she acquired from Sweden full sovereignty over not only Karelia
and Ingria but the important Baltic provinces of Esthonia and Livonia
and a narrow strip of southern Finland including the strong fortress of
Viborg. Peter the Great had realized his ambition of affording his
country a "window to the west." On the waste marshes of the Neva he
succeeded with enormous effort and sacrifice of life in building a
great city which might be a center of commerce and a bond of connection
between Russia and the western world. He named his new city St.
Petersburg [Footnote: Known generally in the Teutonic form "St.
Petersburg" from its foundation until the War of the Nations in 1914,
when the Slavic form of "Petrograd" was substituted.] and to it he
transferred his government from Moscow. Russia supplanted Sweden in the
leadership of the Baltic and assumed a place among the Powers of

Peter the Great did not realize his other ambition of securing a
Russian port on the Black Sea. Although he captured and held Azov for a
time, he was obliged to relinquish it, as we have seen, in order to
prevent the Turks from joining hands with Charles XII.

[Sidenote: Character of Peter the Great]

Nevertheless, when Peter died in 1725, he left his empire a compact
state, well-organized, and well-administered, westernized at least
superficially, and ready to play a conspicuous role in the
international politics of Europe. The man who succeeded in doing all
these things has been variously estimated. By some he has been
represented as a monster of cruelty and a murderer, [Footnote: Peter
had his son and heir, the Grand Duke Alexius, put to death because he
did not sympathize with his reforms. The tsar's other punishments often
assumed a most revolting and disgusting character.] by others as a
demon of the grossest sensuality, by still others as a great national
hero. Probably he merited all such opinions. But, above all, he was a
genius of fierce energy and will, who toiled always for what he
considered to be the welfare of his country.


It is hardly possible to feel much respect for the character of the
Russian rulers who succeeded Peter the Great in the eighteenth century.
Most of them were women with loose morals and ugly manners. But they
had little to fear from Sweden, which, utterly exhausted, was now on a
steady decline; and domestic difficulties both in Poland and in Turkey
removed any apprehension of attacks from those countries. In policies
of internal government, Peter had blazed a trail so clear and
unmistakable that one would have difficulty in losing it.

[Sidenote: Character of the Tsarina Catherine II]

Of those female sovereigns of the Russian Empire, the most notable was
Catherine II, usually called Catherine the Great (1762-1796). By birth
she was not even a Russian, but a princess of Protestant Germany, whom
dynastic considerations made the wife of the heir to the Russian crown.
[Footnote: The marriage was arranged by Frederick the Great in order to
minimize Austrian influence at Petrograd.]

No sooner was she in her adopted country than she set to work to
ingratiate herself with its people. She learned the Russian language.
She outwardly conformed to the Orthodox Church. She slighted her German
relatives and surrounded herself with Russians. She established a
reputation for quick wit and lofty patriotism. So great was her success
that when her half-insane husband ascended the throne as Peter III in
1762, the people looked to her rather than to him as the real ruler,
and before the year was over she had managed to make away with him and
to become sovereign in name as well as in fact. For thirty-four years
Catherine was tsarina of Russia. Immoral to the last, without
conscience or scruple, she ruled the country with a firm hand and
consummated the work of Peter the Great.

[Sidenote: Her Administration]

In the administrative system Catherine introduced the "governments" and
"districts," divisions and subdivisions of Russia, over which were
placed respectively governors and vice-governors, all appointed by the
central authority. To the ecclesiastical alterations of Peter, she
added the secularization of church property, thereby making the clergy
distinctly dependent upon her bounty and strengthening the autocracy.

[Sidenote: Her Patronage of Learning]

The tsarina had some personal interest in the literary and scientific
progress of the eighteenth century and was determined to make Russia
appear cultured in the eyes of western Europe. She corresponded with
Voltaire and many other philosophers and learned men of the time. She
pensioned Diderot, the author of the great Encyclopædia, and invited
scholars to her court. She posed as the friend of higher education.

[Sidenote: Her Foreign Policy]

Of the three foreign countries which in the eighteenth century blocked
the western expansion of Russia, Sweden had been humbled by Peter in
the Great Northern War and the treaty of Nystad. Poland and Turkey
remained to be dealt with by Catherine the Great. Let us see what had
lately transpired to render this task comparatively easy for the

[Sidenote: Poland in the Eighteenth Century]

Poland in the first half of the eighteenth century was geographically a
large state, but a variety of circumstances contributed to render it
weak and unstable. In the first place, it was without natural
boundaries or adequate means of defense. To the west it was separated
from Prussia and Austria by an artificial line drawn through level
plains or over low-lying hills. To the south a fluctuating frontier,
fixed usually along the Dniester River, set it off from the Ottoman
Empire. The fertile valleys of the Dnieper, to the east, and of the
Dona, to the north, were shared by Russia and Poland. No chains of
mountains and no strongly fortified places protected the Polish people
from Germans, Turks, or Russians.

Nor was this wide, but indefensible, territory inhabited by a single
homogeneous people. The Poles themselves, centering in the western
cities of Warsaw and Cracow, constituted a majority of the population,
but the Lithuanians, a kindred Slavic folk, covered the east-central
part of the kingdom and a large number of Cossacks and "Little
Russians" [Footnote: Ruthenians.] lived in the extreme east, while
along the northern and western borders were settlements of Germans and
Swedes. Between the Poles and the Lithuanians existed a long-standing
feud, and the Germans regarded all the Slavs with ill-disguised

Religion added its share to the dissension created by race and language
within Poland. The Poles and most of the Lithuanians were stanch Roman
Catholics. Other Lithuanians--especially the great nobles--together
with the Russians and Cossacks adhered to the Greek Orthodox faith,
while Lutheran Protestantism was upheld by the western settlements of
Swedes and Germans. The Dissenters, as the Orthodox and Protestants
were called, demanded from the Catholic majority a toleration and a
freedom of worship which at that time existed in no other country of
Europe. When it was not forthcoming, they appealed to foreign Powers--
the Lutherans to Prussia, the Orthodox to Russia.

[Sidenote: Wretched Social Conditions in Poland]

Worst of all were the social conditions in Poland. By the eighteenth
century, the towns had sunk into relative insignificance, leaving
Poland without a numerous or wealthy middle class. Of the other
classes, the great nobles or magnates owned the land, lived in luxury,
selfishly looked out for their own interests, and jealously played
politics, while the mass of the nation were degraded into a state of
serfdom and wretchedness that would be difficult to parallel elsewhere
in Europe. With a grasping, haughty nobility on one hand, and an
oppressed, ignorant peasantry on the other, social solidarity, the best
guarantee of political independence, was entirely lacking.

[Sidenote: Weakness of Polish Political Institutions]

An enlightened progressive government might have done something to
remedy the social ills, but of all governments that the world has ever
seen, the most ineffectual and pernicious was the Polish. Since the
sixteenth century, the monarchy had been elective, with the result that
the reign of every sovereign was disfigured by foreign intrigues and
domestic squabbles over the choice of his successor, and also that the
noble electors were able not only to secure liberal bribes but to wring
from the elect such concessions as gradually reduced the kingship to an
ornamental figurehead. Most of the later kings were foreigners who used
what little power was left to them in furtherance of their native
interests rather than of the welfare of Poland. Thus the kings in the
first half of the eighteenth century were German electors of Saxony,
who owed their new position to the interested friendship of Austria,
Prussia, or Russia, and to the large sums of money which they lavished
upon the Polish magnates; these same Saxon rulers cheerfully applied
the Polish resources to their German policies.

Another absurdity of the Polish constitution was the famous "_liberum
veto_," a kind of gentlemen's agreement among the magnates, whereby
no law whatsoever could be enacted by the Diet if a single member felt
it was prejudicial to his interests, and objected. In the course of the
seventeenth century the principle of the _liberum veto_ had been
so far extended as to recognize the lawful right of any one of the ten
thousand noblemen of Poland to refuse to obey a law which he had not
approved. This amounted to anarchism. And anarchism, however beautiful
it might appear as an ideal, was hardly a trustworthy weapon with which
to oppose the greedy, hard-hearted, despotic monarchs who governed all
the surrounding countries.

[Sidenote: Steady Decline of Ottoman Power during Seventeenth Century]

The Ottoman Empire was not in such sore straits as Poland, but its
power and prestige were obviously waning. In another place we have
reviewed the achievements of the Turks in the fifteenth and sixteenth
centuries--how they overran the Balkan peninsula, captured
Constantinople, put an end to the ancient Græco-Roman Empire and under
Suleiman the Magnificent extended their conquests along the northern
coast of Africa and in Europe across the Danube into the very heart of
Hungary. Although the sea-power of the Turks suffered a serious reverse
at Lepanto (1571), their continued land advances provoked in
Christendom the liveliest apprehension throughout the seventeenth
century. After a twenty-five-years conflict they took Crete from
Venice. They subjugated to their dominion the Tatars and Russians
immediately north of the Black Sea. They exacted homage from the
princes of Rumania and Transylvania. They annexed Hungary. For a time
they received tribute from the king of Poland. In 1683 they laid siege
to the city of Vienna and would have taken it had not the patriotic
Polish monarch, John Sobieski, brought timely aid to the beleaguered
Austrians. That was the high-water mark of the Mohammedan advance in

Thenceforth the Turkish boundaries gradually receded. An alliance of
Venice, Poland, the pope, and Austria waged long and arduous warfare
with the Ottomans, and the resulting treaty of Karlowitz, signed at the
very close of the seventeenth century, gave the greater part of
Hungary, including Transylvania, to the Austrian Habsburgs, extended
the southern boundary of Poland to the Dniester River, and surrendered
important trading centers on the Dalmatian and Greek coasts to the
Venetians. Two subsequent wars between the sultan and the Habsburgs
definitely freed the whole of Hungary from the Ottoman yoke.  The
reasons for the wane of Turkey's power are scarcely to be sought in the
inherent strength of her neighbors, for, with the possible exception of
Austria and Russia, they were notoriously weak and had seldom been able
or willing to work together in behalf of any common cause. The real
reasons lay rather in the character and nature of the Turkish power
itself. Domestic, not foreign, difficulties prepared the way for future

[Sidenote: Nature of the Turkish Conquests]

It should be borne in mind that the Turks never constituted a majority
of the population of their European possessions. They were a mere body
of conquerors, who in frenzies of religious or martial enthusiasm,
inspired with the idea that Divine Providence was using them as agents
for the spread of Mohammedanism, had fought valiantly with the sword or
cunningly taken advantage of their enemies' quarrels to plant over wide
areas the crescent in place of the cross. In the conquered regions, the
native Christian peoples were reduced to serfdom, and the Turkish
conquerors became great landholders and the official class. To extend,
even to maintain, such an artificial order of things, the Turks would
be obliged to keep their military organization always at the highest
pitch of excellence and to preserve their government from weakness and
corruption. In neither of these respects did the Turks ultimately

[Sidenote: Corruption In the Turkish Government]

The sultans of the eighteenth century were not of the stuff of which a
Suleiman the Magnificent had been made. To the grim risks of battle
they preferred the cushioned ease of the palace, and all their powers
of administration and government were quite consumed in the management
of the household and the harem. Actual authority was gradually
transferred to the Divan, or board of ministers, whose appointments or
dismissals were the results of palace intrigues, sometimes petty but
more often bloody. Corruption ate its way through the entire office-
holding element of the Ottoman state: positions were bought and sold
from the Divan down to the obscure village, and office was held to
exist primarily for financial profit and secondarily as a means of
oppressing the subject people.

The army, on which so much in the Turkish state depended, naturally
reflected the demoralized condition of the government. While Peter the
Great was organizing a powerful army in Russia, and Frederick the Great
was perfecting the Prussian military machine, the Ottoman army steadily
declined. It failed to keep pace with the development of tactics and of
firearms in western Europe, and fell behind the times. The all-
prevalent corruption ruined its discipline, and its regularly organized
portion--the "janissaries"--became the masters rather than the servants
of the sultans and of the whole Turkish government.

It was the fortune of the Russian tsarina--Catherine the Great--to
appreciate the real weakness of both Turkey and Poland and to turn her
neighbors' distress to the profit of her own country.

[Sidenote: Catherine's Interference in Poland]

No sooner had Catherine secured the Russian crown and by her inactivity
permitted Frederick the Great to bring the Seven Years' War to a
successful issue, than the death of Augustus III, elector of Saxony and
king of Poland, gave her an opportunity to interfere in Polish affairs.
She was not content with the Saxon line which was more or less under
Austrian influence, and, with the astute aid of Frederick, she induced
the Polish nobles to elect one of her own courtiers and favorites,
Stanislaus Poniatowski, who thus in 1764 became the last king of an
independent Poland.

With the accession of Stanislaus, the predominance of Russia was fully
established in Poland. Russia entered into an execrable agreement with
Prussia and Austria to uphold the anarchical constitution of the
unhappy and victimized country. When patriotic Poles made efforts--as
they now frequently did--to reform their government, to abolish the
_liberum veto_, and to strengthen the state, they found their
attempts thwarted by the allies either by force of arms or by bribes of
money. The racial animosities and the religious differences within
Poland afforded sufficient pretexts for the intervention of the
neighboring Powers, especially Prussia and Russia.

A popular insurrection of Polish Catholics against the intolerable
meddling of foreigners was crushed by the troops of Catherine, with the
single result that the Russians, in pursuing some fleeing insurgents
across the southern frontier, violated Turkish territory and
precipitated a war between the Ottoman Empire and Russia.

[Sidenote: Catherine's War with the Turks, 1768-1774]

This Turkish War lasted from 1768 to 1774. The Ottoman government was
profoundly alarmed by the Russian foreign policy, believing that the
intrigues in Poland would end in the annexation of that state to Russia
and the consequent upsetting of the balance of power in the East, and
that, Poland once being disposed of, the turn of Turkey would come
next. The Turks, moreover, were egged on by the French government,
which, anxious also to preserve the balance of power and to defend the
liberties of Poland, was too financially embarrassed itself to
undertake a great war against Prussia and Russia.

This war between Russia and Turkey fully confirmed the belief that the
power of the latter was waning. The Ottoman troops, badly armed and
badly led, suffered a series of reverses. The Russians again occupied
Azov, which Peter the Great had been compelled to relinquish; they
overran Moldavia and Wallachia; they seized Bucharest; and they seemed
likely to cross the Danube. Catherine went so far as to fan a revolt
among the Greek subjects of the sultan.

[Sidenote: Treaty of Kuchuk Kainarji (1774): Russia on the Black Sea]

At length, in 1774, the treaty of Kuchuk Kainarji was concluded between
the belligerents. It was most important in marking the southern
extension of Russia. By its provisions, (1) Turkey formally ceded Azov
and adjacent territory to Russia and renounced sovereignty over all
land north of the Black Sea; (2) Turkey recovered Wallachia, Moldavia,
and Greece, on condition that they should be better governed; (3)
Russia obtained the right of free navigation for her merchant ships in
Turkish waters; and (4) Russia was recognized as the protector of
certain churches in the city of Constantinople.

Within a few years after the signature of the treaty of Kuchuk
Kainarji, Catherine established Russian control over the various Tatar
principalities north of the Black Sea, whose sovereignty Turkey had
renounced, and by a supplementary agreement in 1792, the Dniester River
was fixed upon as the boundary between the Russian and Ottoman empires.

The Turkish policy of Catherine the Great bore three significant
results. In the first place, Russia acquired a natural boundary in
southern Europe, and became the chief Power on the Black Sea, whence
her ships might pass freely through the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles
out into the Mediterranean to trade with western Europe. Russia's
second "window to the west" was gained. Then, in the second place,
Russia was henceforth looked upon as the natural ally and friend of
oppressed nationalities within the Turkish Empire. Finally, the special
clause conferring on Russia the protectorate of certain churches in
Constantinople afforded her a pretext for a later claim to protect
Christians throughout the Ottoman state and consequently to interfere
incessantly in Turkish affairs. Since the treaty of Kuchuk Kainarji,
Turkey has declined with ever-increasing rapidity, and Russia has
become an eager candidate for a liberal share of the spoils.

[Sidenote: Catherine and the Partition of Poland]
[Sidenote: First Partition, 1772]

Even while the Turkish War was in progress, Catherine the Great had not
lost sight of her Polish policy. Frederick of Prussia had doubtless
hoped that she would, in order that he might have a free rein to direct
a distribution of territory entirely satisfactory to himself and to
Prussia But the wily tsarina was never so immersed in other matters
that she neglected Russian interests in Poland. In 1772, therefore, she
joined with Frederick and with Maria Theresa of Austria in making the
first partition of Poland. Russia took all the country which lay east
of the Dona and Dnieper rivers. Prussia took West Prussia except the
town of Danzig. Austria took Galicia and the city of Cracow. In all,
Poland was deprived of about a fourth of her territory.

[Sidenote: Second Partition, 1793]
[Sidenote: Third and Last Partition, 1795]

The partition of 1772 sobered the Polish people and brought them to a
full realizing sense of the necessity of radical political reform. But
the shameful and hypocritical attitude of the neighboring sovereigns
continued to render their every effort abortive. For another twenty-one
years the wretched country struggled on, a victim of selfish foreign
tutelage. Although both Frederick and Maria Theresa died in the
interval, their successors proved themselves quite as willing to
coöperate with the implacable tsarina. In 1793 Russia and Prussia
effected the second partition of Poland, and in 1795, following a last
desperate attempt of the Poles to establish a new government, they
admitted Austria to a share in the final dismemberment of the unhappy
country. Desperately did the brave Kosciuszko try to stem the tide of
invasion which poured in from all sides. His few forces, in spite of
great valor, were no match for the veteran allies, and the defense was
vain. "Freedom shrieked when Kosciuszko fell." King Stanislaus
Poniatowski resigned his crown and betook himself to Petrograd. Poland
ceased to exist as an independent state.

By the partitions of 1793 and 1795, Austria obtained the upper valley
of the Vistula, and Prussia the lower, including the city of Warsaw,
while the rest--the major share--went to Russia. Little Russia
(Ruthenia) and approximately all of Lithuania thus passed into the
hands of the tsarina. Russia thenceforth bordered immediately on
Prussia and Austria and became geographically a vital member of the
European family of nations.

Catherine the Great survived the third and final partition of Poland
but a year, dying in 1796. If it can be said of Peter that he made
Russia a European Power, it can be affirmed with equal truth that
Catherine made Russia a Great Power. The eighteenth century had
witnessed a marvelous growth of Russia in Europe. She had acquired
territory and a capital on the Baltic. She had secured valuable ports
on the Black Sea. She had pushed her boundaries westward into the very
center of the Continent.

The rise of Russia was at the expense of her neighbors. Sweden had
surrendered her eastern provinces and lost her control of the Baltic.
Turkey had abandoned her monopoly of the shores and trade of the Black
Sea. Poland had disappeared from the map.



THE RISE OF RUSSIA. Elementary sketches: J. H. Robinson and C. A.
Beard, _The Development of Modern Europe_, Vol. I (1907), ch. iv;
H. O. Wakeman, _The Ascendancy of France, 1598-1715_ (1894), ch.
viii, xii, xiii; Arthur Hassall, _The Balance of Power, 1715-1789_
(1896), ch. v, xi; A. H. Johnson, _The Age of the Enlightened Despot,
1660-1789_ (1910), ch. iv, v; H. T. Dyer, _A History of Modern
Europe from the Fall of Constantinople_, 3d ed. rev. by Arthur
Hassall, 6 vols. (1901), ch. xxxvi, xxxviii, xli, xlix, 1. More
detailed histories: _Cambridge Modern History_, Vol. V (1908), ch.
xvi-xix, and Vol. VI (1909), ch. x, xix; _Histoire générale_, Vol.
V, ch. xvi-xviii, xx, Vol. VI, ch. xvii-xix, xxi, xxii, Vol. VII, ch.
viii, ix, excellent chapters in French by such eminent scholars as
Louis Leger and Alfred Rambaud; V. 0. Kliuchevsky, _A History of
Russia_, Eng. trans. by C. J. Hogarth, 3 vols. (1911-1913),
authoritative on the early history of Russia, but comes down only to
1610; Alfred Rambaud, _Histoire de la Russie depuis les origines
jusqu'à nos jours_, 6th ed. (1914), ch. xiv-xxxii,--an earlier
edition of this standard work was translated into English by Leonora B.
Lang and published in two volumes, of which the larger part treats of
the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; James Mayor, _Economic
History of Russia_, Vol. I (1914), Book I, ch. iv-vii, especially
useful for the economic and social reforms of Peter the Great. On the
Russian sovereigns: R. N. Bain, _The First Romanovs, 1613-1725_
(1905), and, by the same author, _Pupils of Peter the Great: a
History of the Russian Court and Empire from 1697 to 1740_ (1897);
Eugene Schuyler, _Peter the Great_, 2 vols. (1884), a scholarly
work; Kazimierz Waliszewski, _Peter the Great_, an admirable study
trans. from the French by Lady Mary Loyd (1900), and, by the same
author, though not as yet translated, _L'héritage de Pierre le Grand:
règne des femmes, gouvernement des favoris, 1725-1741_ (1900) and
_La dernière des Romanov, Elisabeth R_ (1902); Alexander Bruckner,
_Peter der Grosse_ (1879), and, by the same author, _Katharina
die Zweite_ (1883), important German works, in the Oncken Series; E.
A. B. Hodgetts, _The Life of Catherine the Great of Russia_
(1914), a recent fair-minded treatment in English. On the expansion of
the Russian people: Alfred Rambaud, _The Expansion of Russia_, 2d
ed. (1904); F. A. Golder, _Russian Expansion on the Pacific, 1641-
1850_; Hans Übersberger, _Russlands Orientpolitik in den letzten
zwei Jahrhunderten_, Vol. I, down to 1792 (1913).

_Scandinavia, a Political History of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden,
1513-1900_ (1905), and, by the same author, _Charles XII_
(1899) in the "Heroes of the Nations" Series. On Turkey: Stanley Lane-
Poole, _Turkey_ (1889), in the "Story of the Nations" Series, and
E. A. Freeman, _The Ottoman Power in Europe, its Nature, its Growth,
and its Decline_ (1877), suggestive outlines by eminent English
historians; Nicolae Jorga, _Geschichte des osmanischen Reiches_, 5
vols. (1908-1913), particularly Vols. III, IV, the best and most up-to-
date history of the Ottoman Empire; Joseph von Hammer, _Geschichte
des osmanischen Reiches_, 10 vols. (1827-1835), an old work, very
detailed and still famous, of which Vols. VI-VIII treat of the
eighteenth century prior to 1774. On Poland: W. A. Phillips,
_Poland_ (1915), ch. i-vi, a convenient volume in the "Home
University Library"; R. N. Bain, _Slavonic Europe: a Political
History of Poland and Russia from 1447 to 1796_ (1908), ch. v-xix;
_Cambridge Modern History_, Vol. VIII (1904), ch. xvii; W. R. A.
Morfill, _Poland_ (1893), in the "Story of the Nations" Series; R.
H. Lord, _The Second Partition of Poland: a Study in Diplomatic
History_ (1915), scholarly and well-written; R. N. Bain, _The Last
King of Poland and his Contemporaries_ (1909); U. L. Lehtonen,
_Die polnischen Provinzen Russlands unter Katharina II in den Jahren
1772-1782_ (1907), a German translation of an important Finnish
work. An excellent French account of international relations in the
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, affecting Russia, Sweden, Poland,
and Turkey, is Émile Bourgeois, _Manuel historique de politique
étrangère_, 4th ed., Vol. I (1906), ch. viii, x, xiii.



Our narrative of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries thus far has
been full of intrigue, dynastic rivalry, and colonial competition. We
have sat with red-robed cardinals in council to exalt the monarch of
France; we have witnessed the worldwide wars by which Great Britain won
and lost vast imperial domains; we have followed the thundering march
of Frederick's armies through the Germanies, wasted with war; but we
have been blind indeed if the glare of bright helmets and the glamour
of courtly diplomacy have hidden from our eyes a phenomenon more
momentous than even the growth of Russia or the conquest of New France.
It is the rise of the bourgeoisie.

Driven on by insatiable ambition, not content to be lords of the world
of business, with ships and warehouses for castles and with clerks for
retainers, the bourgeoisie have placed their lawyers in the royal
service, their learned men in the academies, their economists at the
king's elbow, and with restless energy they push on to shape state and
society to their own ends. In England they have already helped to
dethrone kings and have secured some hold on Parliament, but on the
Continent their power and place is less advanced.

For the eighteenth century is still the grand age of monarchs, who take
Louis XIV as the pattern of princely power and pomp. "Benevolent
despots" they are, these monarchs meaning well to govern their people
with fatherly kindness. But their plans go wrong and their reforms fall
flat, while the bourgeoisie become self-conscious and self-reliant, and
rise up against the throne of the sixteenth Louis in France. It is the
bourgeoisie that start the revolutionary cry of "Liberty, Equality,
Fraternity," and it is this cry in the throats of the masses which
sends terror to the hearts of nobles and kings. Desperately the old
order--the old régime--defends itself. First France, then all Europe,
is affected. Revolutionary wars convulse the Continent. Never had the
world witnessed wars so disastrous, so bloody.

Yet the triumph of the bourgeoisie is not assured. The Revolution has
been but one battle in the long war between the rival aristocracies of
birth and of business--a war in which peasants and artisans now give
their lives for illusory dreams of "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity," now
fight their feudal lords, and now turn on their pretended liberators,
the bourgeoisie. For already it begins to dawn on the dull masses that
"Liberty, Equality, Fraternity" are chiefly for their masters.

The old regime, its decay, the rise of the bourgeoisie, the
disappointment of the common people,--these are the bold landmarks on
which the student must fix his attention, while in the following
chapters we sketch the condition of Europe in the eighteenth century,
and trace the course of the French Revolution, the career of Napoleon,
and the restoration of "law and order" under Metternich.




[Sidenote: General Backwardness]

If some "Rip Van Winkle" of the sixteenth century could have slept for
two centuries to awake in 1750, he would have found far less to marvel
at in the common life of the people than would one of us. Much of the
farming, even of the weaving, buying, and selling, was done just as it
had been done centuries before; and the great changes that were to
revolutionize the life and work of the people were as yet hardly
dreamed of. In fact, there was so much in common between the sixteenth
and eighteenth centuries, that the reader who has already made himself
familiar with the manor and the gild, as described in Chapter II, will
find himself quite at home in the "old regime," as the order of things
in the eighteenth century is now termed.

One might still see the countless little agricultural villages and
manor houses nestling among the hills or dotting the plains, surrounded
by green fields and fringed with forest or wasteland. The simple
villagers still cultivated their strips in the common fields in the
time-honored way, working hard for meager returns. A third of the land
stood idle every year; it often took a whole day merely to scratch the
surface of a single acre with the rude wooden plow then in use; cattle
were killed off in the autumn for want of good hay; fertilizers were
only crudely applied, if at all; many a humble peasant was content if
his bushel of seed brought him three bushels of grain, and was proud if
his fatted ox weighed over four hundred pounds, though a modern farmer
would grumble at results three or four times as good.

[Sidenote: "Gentlemen Farmers" and "Husbandry"]
[Sidenote: "Rotation of Crops"]

There were some enterprising and prosperous landowners who used newer
and better methods, and even wrote books about "husbandry," as
agriculture was called. The Dutch, especially, learned to cultivate
their narrow territory carefully, and from them English farmers
learned many secrets of tillage. They grew clover and "artificial
grasses"--such as rye--for their cattle, cultivated turnips for winter
fodder, tilled the soil more thoroughly, used fertilizers more
diligently, and even learned how to shift their crops from field to
field according to a regular plan, so that the soil would not lose its
fertility and would not have to be left idle or "fallow" every third

[Sidenote: Survival of Primitive Methods]

These new methods were all very fine for "gentlemen farmers," but for
the average peasant the old "open-field" system was an effective
barrier to progress. He could not plant new crops on his strips in the
grain fields, for custom forbade it; he could not breed his cows
scientifically, while they ran in with the rest of the village cattle.
At best he could only work hard and pray that his cows would not catch
contagion from the rest, and that the weeds from his neighbor's wheat-
patch might not spread into his own, for between such patches there was
neither wall nor fence.

[Sidenote: Survival of Serfdom]
[Sidenote: Sorry Condition of the Peasantry]

Primitive methods were not the only survivals of manorial life. Actual
serfdom still prevailed in most of the countries of Europe except
France [Footnote: Even in France, some serfdom still survived.] and
England, and even in these countries nominal freedom lifted the
peasantry but little above the common lot. It is true, indeed, that
countless differences in the degree and conditions of servitude existed
between Russians and Frenchmen, and even between peasants in the same
country or village. The English or French plowman, perhaps, might not
be sold to fight for other countries like the Hessians, nor could he be
commanded to marry an undesired bride, as were of the tenants of a
Russian nobleman. But in a general way we may say that all the peasants
of Europe suffered from much the same causes. With no voice in making
the laws, they were liable to heavy fines or capital punishment for
breaking the laws. Their advice was not asked when taxes were levied or
apportioned, but upon them fell the heaviest burdens of the state.

It was vexatious to pay outrageous fees for the use of a lord's mill,
bridge, oven, or wine-press, to be haled to court for an imaginary
offense, or to be called from one's fields to war, or to work on the
roads without pay. It was hard for the hungry serf to see the fat deer
venturing into his very dooryard, and to remember that the master of
the mansion house was so fond of the chase that he would not allow his
game to be killed for food for vulgar plowmen.

But these and similar vexations sank into insignificance in comparison
with the burdens of the taxes paid to lord, to church, and to king. In
every country of Europe the peasants were taxed, directly or
indirectly, for the support of the three pillars of the "old regime."
The form of such taxation in England differed widely from that in
Hungary; in Sweden, from that in Spain. But beneath discrepancies of
form, the system was essentially the same. Some idea of the triple
taxation that everywhere bore so heavily upon the peasantry may be
obtained from a brief resume of the financial obligations of an
ordinary French peasant to his king, his Church, and his lord.

[Sidenote: Peasant Obligations to Landlord]

To the lord the serf owed often three days' labor a week, in addition
to stated portions of grain and poultry. In place of servile work the
freeman paid a "quit-rent," that is, a sum of money instead of the
services which were considered to accompany the occupation of land.
Double rent was paid on the death of the peasant, and, if the farm was
sold, one-fifth of the price went to the lord. Sometimes, however, a
freeman held his land without quit-rent, but still had numerous
obligations which had survived from medieval times, such as the annual
sum paid for a "military protection" which he neither demanded nor

[Sidenote: Peasant Obligation to Church]

The second obligation was to the church--the tithe or tenth, which
usually amounted every year to a twelfth or a fifteenth of the gross
produce of the peasant's land.

[Sidenote: Peasant Obligations to King and State]

Heaviest of all were the taxes levied by the king. The _taille_,
or land tax, was the most important. The amount was not fixed, but was
supposed to be proportional to the value of the peasant's land and
dwelling. In practice the tax-collectors often took as much as they
could get. and a shrewd peasant would let his house go to pieces and
pretend to be utterly destitute in order that the assessors might not
increase the valuation of his property.

The other direct taxes were the poll tax, _i.e._, a certain sum
which everybody alike must pay, and the income tax, usually a twentieth
part of the income. Finally, there were indirect taxes, such as the
salt _gabelle_. Thus, in certain provinces every person had to buy
seven pounds of salt a year from the government salt-works at a price
ten times its real value. Road-making, too, was the duty of the
peasant, and the _corvée_, or labor on roads, often took several
weeks in a year.

[Sidenote: Burden of Taxation on Peasants]

All these burdens--dues to the lord, tithes to the church, taxes to the
king--left the peasant but little for himself. It is so difficult to
get exact figures that we can put no trust in the estimate of a famous
writer that dues, tithes, and taxes absorbed over four-fifths of the
French peasant's produce: nevertheless, we may be sure that the burden
was very great. In a few favored districts of France and England
farmers were able to pay their taxes and still live comfortably. But
elsewhere the misery of the people was such as can hardly be imagined.
With the best of harvests they could barely provide for their families,
and a dry summer or long winter would bring them to want. There was
only the coarsest of bread--and little of that; meat was a luxury; and
delicacies were for the rich. We read how starving peasants in France
tried to appease their hunger with roots and herbs, and in hard times
succumbed by thousands to famine. One-roomed mud huts with leaky
thatched roofs, bare and windowless, were good enough dwellings for
these tillers of the soil. In the dark corners of the dirt-floors
lurked germs of pestilence and death. Fuel was expensive, and the
bitter winter nights must have found many a peasant shivering
supperless on his bed of straw.

True, the gloom of such conditions was relieved here and there by a
prosperous village or a well-to-do peasant. But, speaking in a general
way, the sufferings of the poorer European peasants and serfs can
hardly be exaggerated. It was they who in large part had paid for the
wars, theaters, palaces, and pleasures of the courts of Europe.


[Sidenote: Growth of Towns]

Let us now turn our eyes from the country to the city, for in the towns
are to be found the bourgeoisie, the class in which we are most
interested. The steady expansion of commerce and industry during the
sixteenth and seventeenth centuries had been attended by a remarkable
development of town life. Little villages had grown, until in 1787
there were 78 towns of over 10,000 inhabitants each. London, the
greatest city in Europe, had increased in population from about half a
million in 1685 to over a million in 1800. Paris was at least half as
large; Amsterdam was a great city; and several German towns like
Hamburg, Bremen, and Frankfort were important trading centers.

The towns had begun to lose some of their medieval characteristics.
They had spread out beyond their cramping walls; roomy streets and
pleasant squares made the newer sections more attractive. The old
fortifications, no longer needed for protection, served now as
promenades. City thoroughfares were kept cleaner, sometimes well paved
with cobbles; and at night the feeble but cheerful glow of oil street-
lamps lessened the terrors of the belated burgher who had been at the
theater or listened to protracted debates at the great town hall.

[Sidenote: Industry  Gild Regulation]

The life of the town was nourished by industry and commerce. Industry
in the eighteenth century meant far more than baking bread, making
clothes, cobbling shoes, and fashioning furniture for use in the town;
it meant the production on a large scale of goods to sell in distant
places,--cloth, clocks, shoes, beads, dishes, hats, buttons, and what
not. Many of these articles were still manufactured under the
regulations of the old craft gilds. For although the gild system was
pretty well broken up in England, it still maintained its hold on the
Continent. In France the division of crafts had become so complicated
that innumerable bickerings arose between cobblers' gilds and
shoemakers' gilds, between watch-makers and clock-makers. In Germany
conditions were worse. The gilds, now aristocratic and practically
hereditary corporations, used their power to prevent all competition,
to keep their apprentices and journeymen working for little or nothing,
to insure high profits, and to prevent any technical improvements which
might conceivably injure them. "A hatter who improved his wares by
mixing silk with the wool was attacked by all the other hatters; the
inventor of sheet lead was opposed by the plumbers; a man who had made
a success in print-cloths was forced to return to antiquated methods by
the dyers."

[Sidenote: Government Regulation of Industry: Mercantilism]

To gild regulation was added government regulation. It will be
remembered that many seventeenth-century statesmen had urged their
kings to make laws for the greater prosperity of industry, and that
Colbert had given the classic expression in France to the mercantilist
idea that wealth could be cultivated by regulating and encouraging
manufactures. In order that French dyers might acquire a reputation for
thorough work, he issued over three hundred articles of instruction for
the better conduct of the dyeing business. In an age when unscrupulous
English merchants were hurting the market with poorly woven fabrics,
French weavers were given careful orders about the quality of the
thread, the breadth of the cloth, and the fineness of the weave. It is
said that in 1787 the regulations for French manufactures filled eight
volumes in quarto; and other governments, while less thorough, were
equally convinced of the wisdom of such a policy.

The mercantilist was not content with making rules for established
industries. In justice to him it should be explained that he was
anxious to plant new trades. Privileges, titles of nobility, exemption
from taxation, generous grants of money, and other favors were accorded
to enterprising business men who undertook to introduce new branches of

In general, however, the efforts of such mercantilists as Colbert have
been adversely criticized by economists. The regulations caused much
inconvenience and loss to many manufacturers, and the privileges
granted to new enterprises often favored unstable and unsuitable
industries at the expense of more natural and valuable trades. It is
impossible to estimate the value to France of Colbert's pet industries,
and equally impossible to see what would have happened had industry
been allowed free rein. But we must not entirely condemn the system
simply because its faults are so obvious and its benefits so hard to

[Sidenote: Restrictions on Commerce]

Commerce, like industry, was subject to restrictions and impeded by
antiquated customs. Merchants traversing the country were hindered by
poor roads; at frequent intervals they must pay toll before passing a
knight's castle, a bridge, or a town gate. Customs duties were levied
on commerce between the provinces of a single kingdom. And the cost of
transportation was thus made so high that the price of a cask of wine
passing from the Orléanais to Normandy--two provinces in northwestern
France--increased twenty-fold.

From our past study of the commercial and colonial wars of the
eighteenth century, especially those between France and Great Britain,
we have already learned that mercantilist ideas were still dominant in
foreign commerce. We have noted the heavy protective tariffs which were
designed to shut out foreign competition. We have discussed the
Navigation Acts, by means of which England encouraged her ship-owners.
We have also mentioned the absorption, by specially chartered
companies, of the profits of the lucrative European trade with the
Indies. The East India Company, the Hudson's Bay Company, the Dutch
East India Company, and the French _Compagnie des Indes_ were but
a few famous examples of the chartered companies which still
practically monopolized the trade of most non-European countries.

[Sidenote: Great Growth of Commerce]

Customs and companies may have been injurious in many respects, but
commerce grew out of all bounds. The New World gave furs, timber,
tobacco, cotton, rice, sugar, rum, molasses, coffee, dyes, gold, and
silver, in return for negro slaves, manufactures, and Oriental wares;
and the broad Atlantic highways were traversed by many hundreds of
heavily laden ships. The spices, jewels, tea, and textiles of the Far
East made rich cargoes for well-built East Indiamen. Important, too,
was the traffic which occupied English and Dutch merchant fleets in the
Baltic; and the flags of many nations were carried by traders coastwise
along all the shores of Europe. Great Britain at the opening of the
eighteenth century possessed a foreign commerce estimated at
$60,000,000, and that of France was at least two-thirds as great.
During the century the volume of commerce was probably more than

It is difficult to realize the tremendous importance of this expansion
of commerce and industry. It had erected colonial empires, caused wars,
lured millions of peasants from their farms, and built populous cities.
But most important of all--it had given strength to the bourgeoisie.

[Sidenote: Rise of the Bourgeoisie]

Merchants, bankers, wholesalers, rich gild-masters, and even less
opulent shopkeepers, formed a distinct "middle class," between the
privileged clergy and nobility on the one hand, and the oppressed
peasant and artisan, or manual laborer, on the other. The middle class,
often called by the French word _bourgeoisie_ because it dwelt in
towns or _bourgs_, was strongest in England, the foremost
commercial nation of Europe, was somewhat weaker in France, and very
much weaker in less commercial countries, such as Germany, Austria, and

If the bourgeoisie was all-powerful in the world of business, it was
influential in other spheres. Lawyers came almost exclusively from
commercial families. Judges, local magistrates, keepers of prisons,
government secretaries, intendants, all the world of officialdom was
thronged with scions of bourgeois families. The better and older
middle-class families prided themselves on their wealth, influence, and
culture. They read the latest books on science and philosophy; they
sometimes criticized the religious ideas of the past; and they eagerly
discussed questions of constitutional law and political economy.

[Sidenote: Ambition of the Bourgeoisie]

Ambition came quite naturally with wealth and learning. The bourgeoisie
wanted power and privilege commensurate with their place in business
and administration. It seemed unbearable that a foppish noble whose
only claims to respect were a moldy castle and a worm-eaten patent of
nobility should everywhere take precedence over men of means and
brains. Why should the highest social distinctions, the richest
sinecures, and the posts of greatest honor in the army and at court be
closed to men of ignoble birth, as if a man were any better for the
possession of a high-sounding title?

Moreover, the bourgeoisie desired a more direct say in politics. In
England, to be sure, the sons of rich merchants were frequently
admitted to the nobility, and commercial interests were pretty well
represented in Parliament. In France, however, the feudal nobility was
more arrogant and exclusive, and the government less in harmony with
middle-class notions. The extravagant and wasteful administration of
royal money was censured by every good business man. It was argued that
if France might only have bourgeois representation in a national
parliament to regulate finance and to see that customs duties, trade-
laws, and foreign relations were managed in accordance with business
interests, then all would be well.


Thus far, in analyzing social and economic conditions in the eighteenth
century, we have concerned ourselves with the lowest class, the
peasants and day laborers, and with the middle class or bourgeoisie--
the "Third Estate" of France and the "Commons" of Great Britain. All of
these were technically unprivileged or ignoble classes. The highest
place in society was reserved for the classes of the privileged, the
clergy and the nobility, constituting the First and the Second Estates,
respectively. And it is to these that we must now direct our attention.

[Sidenote: Small Number of "Privileged"]

The privileged classes formed a very small minority of the population.
Of the 25,000,000 inhabitants of France, probably less than 150,000
were nobles and 130,000 clerics; about one out of every hundred of the
people was therefore privileged.

[Sidenote: Large Number of "Privileges"]

This small upper class was distinguished from the common herd by rank,
possessions, and privileges. The person of noble birth, _i.e._,
the son of a noble, was esteemed to be inherently finer and better than
other men; so much so that he would disdain to marry a person of the
lower class. He was addressed in terms of respect--"my lord," "your
Grace"; common men saluted him as their superior. His clothes were more
gorgeous than those of the plain people; on his breast glittered the
badges of honorary societies, and his coach was proudly decorated with
an ancestral coat of arms. His "gentle" birth admitted him to the
polite society of the court and enabled him to seek preferment in
church or army.

More substantial than marks of honor were the actual possessions of
nobles and clergy. Each noble bequeathed to his eldest son a castle or
a mansion with more or less territory from which to collect rents or
feudal dues. Bishops, abbots, and archbishops received their office by
election or appointment rather than by inheritance, and, being
unmarried, could not transmit their stations to children. But in
countries where the wealth of the Church had not been confiscated by
Protestants, the "prince of the Church" often enjoyed during his
lifetime magnificent possessions. The bishop of Strassburg had an
annual income approximating 500,000 francs. Castles, cathedrals,
palaces, rich vestments, invaluable pictures, golden chalices, rentals
from broad lands, tithes from the people,--these were the property of
the clergy. It is estimated that the clergy and nobility each owned
one-fifth of France, and that one-third of all the land of Europe, one-
half the revenue, and two-thirds the capital, were in the hands of
Christian churches.

The noble families, possessing thousands of acres, and monopolizing the
higher offices of church and army, were further enriched, especially in
France, by presents of money from the king, by pensions, by grants of
monopolies, and by high-salaried positions which entailed little or no
work. "One young man was given a salary of $3600 for an office whose
sole duty consisted in signing his name twice a year."

[Sidenote: Exemption from Taxation]

With all their wealth the first two orders contributed almost nothing
to lighten the financial burdens of the state. [Footnote: Exemption
from taxation was often and similarly granted to bourgeois incumbents
of government offices.] The Church in France claimed exemption from
taxation, but made annual gifts to the king of several hundred thousand
dollars, though such grants represented less than one per cent of its
income. The nobles, too, considered the payment of direct taxes a
disgrace to their gentle blood, and did not hesitate by trickery to
evade indirect taxation, leaving the chief burdens to fall upon the
lower classes, and most of all upon the peasantry.

[Sidenote: Failure of the Privileged to Perform Real Services]
[Sidenote: The Higher Nobility]

All these advantages, privileges, and immunities might be looked upon
as a fitting reward which medieval Europe had given to her nobles for
protecting peaceable plowmen from the marauding bands then so common,
and which she had bestowed upon her clergy for preserving education,
for encouraging agriculture, for fostering the arts, for tending the
poor, the sick, and the traveler, and for performing the offices of
religion. But long before the eighteenth century the protective
functions of feudal nobles had been transferred to the royal
government. No longer useful, the hereditary nobility was merely
burdensome, and ornamental. Such as could afford it, spent their lives
in the cities or at the royal court where they rarely did anything
worth while, unless it were to invent an unusually delicate compliment
or to fashion a flawless sonnet. Their morals were not of the best--it
was almost fashionable to be vicious--but their manners were perfect.

Meanwhile, the landed estates of these absentee lords were in charge of
flint-hearted agents, whose sole mission was to squeeze money from the
peasants, to make them pay well for mill, bridge, and oven, to press to
the uttermost every claim which might give the absent master a larger

[Sidenote: The Country Gentry]

The poorer noble, the "country gentleman," was hardly able to live so
extravagant a life, and accordingly remained at home, sometimes making
friends of the villagers, standing god-father to peasant-children, or
inviting heavy-booted but light-hearted plowmen to dance in the castle
courtyard. But often his life was dull enough, with rents hard to
collect, and only hunting, drinking, and gossip to pass the time away.

[Sidenote: The Clergy]

A similar and sharper contrast was observable between the higher and
lower clergy, in England as well as in Roman Catholic countries. Very
frequently dissipated young nobles were nominated bishops or abbots:
they looked upon their office as a source of revenue, but never dreamed
of discharging any spiritual duties. While a Cardinal de Rohan with
2,500,000 livres a year astonished the court of France with his
magnificence and luxury, many a shabby but faithful country curate,
with an uncertain income of less than $150 a year, was doing his best
to make both ends meet, with a little to spare for charity.


[Sidenote: The Catholic Church]

The great ecclesiastical organization that had dominated the middle
ages was no longer the one church of Europe, but was still the most
impressive. Although the Protestant Revolt of the sixteenth century had
established independent denominations in the countries of northern
Europe, as we have seen in Chapter IV, Roman Catholic Christianity
remained the state religion of Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, Austria,
the Austrian Netherlands, Bavaria, Poland, and several of the Swiss
Cantons. Moreover, large sections of the population of Ireland,
Bohemia, Hungary, Asia, and America professed Catholic Christianity.

Orthodox Roman Catholics held fast to their faith in dogmas and
sacraments and looked for spiritual guidance, correction, and comfort
to the regular and secular clergy of their Church. The "secular"
hierarchy of pope, cardinals, archbishops, bishops, priests, and
deacons, did not cease its pious labor "in the world"; nor was there
lack of zealous souls willing to forego the pleasures of this world,
that they might live holier lives as monks, nuns, or begging friars,--
the "regular" clergy.

[Sidenote: Relations of the Catholic Church with Lay States]

In its relations with lay states, the Roman Catholic Church had changed
more than in its internal organization. Many Protestant rulers now
recognized the pope merely as an Italian prince, [Footnote: The pope,
it will be remembered, ruled the central part of Italy as a temporal
prince.] and head of an undesirable religious sect--Roman Catholics
were either persecuted, or, as in Great Britain, deprived of political
and civil rights. The Pope, on the other hand, could hardly regard as
friends those who had denied the spiritual mission and confiscated the
temporal possessions of the Church.

In Roman Catholic countries, too, the power of the pope had been
lessened. The old dispute whether pope or king should control the
appointment of bishops, abbots, and other high church officers had at
last been settled in favor of the king. The pope consented to recognize
royal appointees, provided they were "godly and suitable" men; in
return he usually received a fee ("annate") from the newly appointed
prelate. Other taxes the pope rarely ventured to levy; but good Roman
Catholics continued to pay "Peter's Pence" as a free-will offering, and
the bishops occasionally taxed themselves for his benefit. In other
ways, also, the power of the Church was curtailed. Royal courts now
took cognizance of the greater part of those cases which had once been
within the jurisdiction of ecclesiastical courts;[Footnote: Blasphemy,
contempt of religion, and heresy were, however, still matters for
church courts.]  the right of appeal to the Roman Curia was limited;
and the lower clergy might be tried in civil courts. Finally, papal
edicts were no longer published in a country without the sanction of
the king. These curtailments of papal privilege were doubtless
important, but they meant little or nothing to the millions of peasants
and humble workmen who heard Mass, were confessed, and received the
sacraments as their fathers had done before them.

[Sidenote: Surviving Privileges of the Church]

Besides their incalculable influence over the souls of men, the clergy
were an important factor in the civil life of Roman Catholic countries.
Education was mostly under their auspices; they conducted the hospitals
and relieved the poor. Marriages were void unless solemnized in the
orthodox manner, and, in the eye of the law, children born outside of
Christian wedlock might not inherit property. Heretics who died
unshriven, were denied the privilege of burial in Catholic cemeteries.

Of the exemption of the clergy from taxation, and of the wealth of the
Church, we have already spoken, as well as of the high social rank of
its prelates--a rank more in keeping with that of wealthy worldly
noblemen than with that of devout "servants of the Lord." But we have
yet to mention the influence of the Church in suppressing heresy.

In theory the Roman Catholic religion was still obligatory in Catholic
states. Uniformity of faith was still considered essential to political
unity. Kings still promised at coronation faithfully to extirpate
heretical sects. In Spain, during the first half of the eighteenth
century hundreds of heretics were condemned by the Inquisition and
burned at the stake; only toward the close of the century was there an
abatement of religious intolerance. In France, King Louis XIV had
revoked the Edict of Nantes in 1685, and in the eighteenth century one
might have found laws on the French statute-books directing that men
who attended Protestant services should be made galley-slaves, that
medical aid should be withheld from impenitent heretics, and that
writers of irreligious books should suffer death. Such laws were very
poorly enforced, however, and active religious persecution was dying
out in France in the second half of the eighteenth century. But
toleration did not mean equality; full civil and political rights were
still denied the several hundred thousand Huguenots in France.

[Sidenote: Summary of Weaknesses in the Catholic Church]

The strength of the Roman Catholic Church in the eighteenth century was
impaired by four circumstances: (1) the existence of bitterly
antagonistic Protestant sects; (2) the growth of royal power and of the
sentiment of nationalism, at the expense of papal power and of
internationalism; (3) the indolence and worldliness of some of the
prelates; and (4) the presence of internal dissensions. The first three
circumstances should be clear from what has already been said, but a
word of explanation is necessary about the fourth.

[Sidenote: Jansenism]

The first of these dissensions arose concerning the teachings of a
certain Flemish bishop by the name of Cornelius Janssen (1585-1638),
[Footnote: Janssen is commonly cited by the Latin version of his name--
Jansenius.] whose followers, known as Jansenists, had possessed
themselves of a sort of hermitage and nunnery at Port-Royal in the
vicinity of Paris. Jansenism found a number of earnest disciples and
able exponents, whose educational work and reforming zeal brought them
into conflict with the Jesuits. The Jesuits accused the Jansenists of
heresy, affirming that Janssen's doctrine of conversion-by-the-will-of-
God was in last analysis practically Calvin's predestination. For some
years the controversy raged. Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), a famous
mathematician and experimenter in physics, defended the Jansenists
eloquently and learnedly, but Jesuits had the ear of Louis XIV and
broke up the little colony at Port-Royal. Four years later the pope
issued a famous bull, called "Unigenitus" (1713), definitively
condemning Jansenist doctrines as heretical; but the sect still lived
on, especially in Holland, and "Unigenitus" was disliked by many
orthodox Roman Catholics, who thought its condemnations too sweeping
and too severe.

[Sidenote: Febronianism]

A second dispute, questioning the authority of the papacy, centered in
a German theologian [Footnote: Johann Nikolaus von Hoatheim, auxiliary
bishop of Trier. His famous work was published in 1763.] who wrote
under the Latin name of Febronius. Febronianism was an attempted
revival of the conciliar movement of the fifteenth century and closely
resembled "Gallicanism," as the movement in favor of the "Liberties of
the Gallican Church" was called. These "Liberties" had been formulated
in a French declaration of 1682 and involved two major claims: (1) that
the pope had no right to depose or otherwise to interfere with temporal
monarchs, and (2) that in spiritual affairs the general council of
bishops (œcumenical council) was superior to the sovereign pontiff.
This twofold movement towards nationalism and representative church
government was most strongly controverted by the Jesuits, who took
their stand on the assertion that the pope was supreme in all things.
By the opponents of the Jesuits, this looking "beyond the mountains" to
the Roman Curia for ultimate authority was called Ultramontanism
(beyond-the-mountainism). In almost every Catholic country of Europe
the struggle between Ultramontanism and Febronianism aroused
controversy, and the nature of papal supremacy remained a mooted point
well into the nineteenth century.

[Sidenote: Suppression of the Jesuit Order]

Towards the close of the eighteenth century Ultramontanism received a
serious though temporary setback by the suppression of the Jesuits
(1773). For over two centuries members of the Society of Jesus had been
famed as schoolmasters, preachers, controversialists, and missionaries;
but in the eighteenth century the order became increasingly involved in
temporal business; its power and wealth were abused; its political
entanglements incurred the resentment of reforming royal ministers; and
some of its missionaries became scandalously lax in their doctrines.
The result was the suppression of the order, first in Portugal (1759),
then in other countries, and finally altogether by a papal decree of
1773. [Footnote: In Russia, where the order of suppression was not
enforced, the Jesuits kept their corporate organization. Subsequently,
on 7 August, 1814, the entire society was restored by papal bull, and
is now in a flourishing condition in many countries.]

[Sidenote: The Anglican Church]

We shall next consider the Anglican Church, whose complete independence
from the papacy, it will be remembered, was established by Henry VIII
of England, and whose doctrinal position had been defined in the
Thirty-nine Articles of Elizabeth's reign. It was the state Church of
England, Ireland, and Wales, and had scattering adherents in Scotland
and in the British colonies. Like the Roman Catholic Church in France,
the Anglican Church enjoyed in the British Isles, excepting Scotland,
special privileges, great wealth, and the collection of tithes from
Anglicans and non-Anglicans alike. It was intensely national,
independent of papal control or other foreign influence, and patriotic
in spirit. It retained a hierarchical government similar to that of the
Roman Catholics. As in France, the bishops were inclined to use the
emoluments without doing the work of their office, while the country
curates were very poor.

In its relations with others, the Anglican Church was not very liberal.
In England, Protestant (Calvinistic) Dissenters had been granted
liberty of worship in 1689 (Toleration Act) but still they might not
hold civil, military, or political office without the special
dispensation of Parliament. Baptism, registration of births and deaths,
and marriage could be performed legally only by Anglican clergymen.
Non-Anglicans were barred from Oxford and could take no degree at
Cambridge University.

Worst of all was the lot of the Roman Catholics. In England they had
practically no civil, political, or religious rights. By a law of 1700
[Footnote: Repealed in 1778, but on condition that Roman Catholics
should deny the temporal power of the pope and his right to depose
kings.] the Roman Catholic must abjure the Mass or lose his property,
and priests celebrating Mass were liable to life imprisonment. In
Ireland the communicants of the "Church of Ireland" (Anglican)
constituted a very small minority, [Footnote: Even in the nineteenth
century, there were only about 500,000 Anglicans out of a population of
somewhat less than 6,000,000.] while the native Roman Catholics,
comprising over four-fifths of the population, were not only seriously
hindered from exercising their own religion, not only deprived of their
political rights, not only made subservient to the economic interests
of the Protestants, but actually forced to pay the tithe to support
English bishops and curates, who too often lived in England, since
their parishioners were all Roman Catholics.

[Sidenote: Protestant Sects in England: Baptists]

The Dissenters from the Anglican Church embraced many different creeds.
We have already spoken of the Calvinistic Presbyterians and
Separatists. Besides these, several new sects had appeared. The Baptist
Church was a seventeenth-century off-shoot of Separatism. To
Calvinistic theology and Congregational Church government, the Baptists
had added a belief in adult baptism, immersion, and religious liberty.

[Sidenote: Unitarians]

A group of persons who denied the divinity of Christ, thereby departing
widely from usual Protestantism as well as from traditional
Catholicism, came into some prominence in the eighteenth century
through secessions from the Anglican Church and through the preaching
of the scientist Joseph Priestley, and gradually assumed the name of
Unitarians. It was not until 1844 that the sect obtained complete
religious liberty in England.

[Sidenote: Quakers]

A most remarkable departure from conventional forms was made under the
leadership of George Fox, the son of a weaver, whose followers, loosely
organized as the Society of Friends, were often derisively called
Quakers, because they insisted that true religion was accompanied by
deep emotions and quakings of spirit. Although severely persecuted,
[Footnote: In 1685 as many as 1460 Quakers lay in English prisons.] the
Quakers grew to be influential at home, and in the colonies, where they
founded Pennsylvania (1681). Their refusal to take oaths, their quaint
"thee" and "thou," their simple and somber costumes, and their habit of
sitting silent in religious meeting until the spirit should move a
member to speak, made them a most picturesque body. Professional
ministers and the ceremonial observance of Baptism and the Lord's
Supper, they held to be forms destructive of spontaneous religion. War,
they said, gave free rein to un-Christian cruelty, selfishness, and
greed; and, therefore, they would not fight. They were also vigorous
opponents of negro slavery.

[Sidenote: Methodists]

The Methodist movement did not come until the eighteenth century. By
the year 1740, a group of earnest Oxford students had won the nickname
of "Methodists" by their abstinence from frivolous amusements and their
methodical cultivation of fervor, piety, and charity. Their leader,
John Wesley (1703-1791), was a man of remarkable energy, rising at four
in the morning, filling every moment with work, living frugally on £28
a year, visiting prisons, and exhorting his companions to piety. The
Methodist leaders were very devout and orthodox Anglicans, but they
were so anxious "to spread Scriptural Holiness over the land" that they
preached in open fields as well as in churches. Wesley and other great
orators appealed to the emotions of thousands of miners, prisoners, and
ignorant weavers, and often moved them to tears. It is said that John
Wesley preached more than 40,000 sermons.

The Methodist preachers gradually became estranged from the Anglican
Church, established themselves as a new dissenting sect, and dropped
much of the Anglican ritual. The influence of their preaching was very
marked, however, and many orthodox Anglican clergymen traveled about
preaching to the lower classes. This "evangelical movement" is
significant because it showed that a new class of industrial workers
had grown up without benefit of the church or protection of the state.
We shall subsequently hear more of them in connection with the events
of the Industrial Revolution.

[Sidenote: Lutheran Churches on the Continent]

In the eighteenth century, Lutheranism was the state religion of
Denmark (including Norway), Sweden, and of several German states,
notably Prussia, Saxony, and Brunswick. The Lutheran churches retained
much of the old ritual and episcopal government. Ecclesiastical lands,
however, had been secularized, and Lutheran pastors were supported by
free-will offerings and state subventions. In Prussia, [Footnote:
Later, in 1817, the Lutherans and Calvinists of Prussia were brought
together, under royal pressure, to form the "Evangelical Church."
According to the king, this was not a fusion of the two Protestant
faiths, but merely an external union.]  Denmark, and Sweden the church
recognized the king as its _summus episcopus_ or supreme head.

[Sidenote: Reformed Churches]

Zwinglian and Calvinistic churches were usually called "Reformed" or
"Presbyterian" and represented a more radical deviation than
Lutheranism from Roman Catholic theology and ritual, holding the Lord's
Supper to be but a commemorative ceremony, doing away with altar-
lights, crucifixes, and set prayers, and governing themselves by synods
of priests or presbyters. In the eighteenth century Presbyterianism was
still the established religion of Scotland, and of the Dutch
Netherlands. In France the Huguenots, in Switzerland the French-
speaking Calvinists and German-speaking Zwinglians, and numerous
congregations in southern Germany still represented the Reformed Church
of Calvin and Zwingli. [Footnote: For the Orthodox Church in Russia,
see above, pp. 122, 372, 380. Some reforms in the ritual had been
introduced by a certain Nikon, a patriarch of the seventeenth century.]

[Sidenote: Growth of Skepticism. Deism]

One of the most noteworthy features of the eighteenth century was the
appearance of a large number of doubters of Christianity. In the
comparatively long history of the Christian Church, there had often
been reformers, who attacked specific doctrines or abuses, but never
before, with the possible exception of Italian humanists of the
fifteenth century, [Footnote: See above, pp. 124, 182 ff.] had there
been such a considerable and influential number who ventured to assail
the very foundations of the Christian belief. During the last quarter
of the seventeenth century, a number of English philosophers, imbued
with enthusiasm for the discovery of scientific laws, went on to apply
the newer scientific methods to religion. They claimed that the Bible
was untrustworthy, that the dogmas and ceremonies of the churches were
useless if not actually harmful, and that true religion was quite
natural in man and independent of miraculous revelation. God, they
asserted, had created the universe and established laws for it. He
would not upset these laws to answer the foolish prayers of a puny
human being. Men served God best by discounting miracles, discrediting
"superstition," and living in accordance with natural law. Just what
this law was, they left largely to the common sense of each man to
determine. As a result, the positive side of Deism, as the body of the
new teachings was called, was lost in vagueness, and the negative side
--the mere denial of orthodox Christianity--became uppermost in men's

Deism was important in several ways, especially for France, whence it
was carried from England. (1) For a large part of the most intelligent
and influential classes, it _destroyed reverence_ for the Church,
and prepared the way for the religious experiments of the French
Revolution. (2) It gave an impetus to _philosophers_ who evolved
great systems and exhibited wonderful ingenuity and confidence in
formulating laws which would explain the why, what, whence, and whither
of human life. (3) While casting doubt on the efficacy of particular
religions, it demanded _toleration_ for all. (4) Finally, it was
responsible for a great increase of _indifference_ to religion.
People too lazy or too ignorant to understand the philosophic basis of
Deism, used the arguments of Deists in justification of their contempt
for religion, and to many people disbelief and intelligence seemed to
be synonymous. We have considered Deism here for its significant
bearing on the religious situation in the eighteenth century. In the
following section we shall see how it was part and parcel of the
scientific and intellectual spirit of the times.


[Sidenote: Art]

As we have observed in an earlier chapter, both science and art
flowered in the sixteenth century. The great men of the eighteenth
century, however, devoted themselves almost exclusively to science; and
the artists of the time were too insincere, too intent upon pleasing
shallow-brained and frivolous courtiers, to produce much that was worth
while. Great numbers of plays were written, it is true, but they were
hopelessly dull imitations of classic models. Imitative and uninspired
likewise were statues and paintings and poems. One merit they
possessed. If a French painter lacked force and originality, he could
at least portray with elegance and charm a group of fine ladies angling
in an artificial pool. Elegance, indeed, redeemed the eighteenth
century from imitative dullness and stupid ostentation: elegance
expressed more often in perfumes, laces, and mahogany than in paint or
marble. The silk-stockinged courtier accompanying his exquisitely
perfect bow with a nicely worded compliment was surely as much an
artist as the sculptor. Nor can one help feeling that the chairs of
Louis XV were made not to sit in, but to admire; for their curving
mahogany legs look too slenderly delicate, their carved and gilded
backs too uncomfortable, for mere use. Chairs and fine gentlemen were
alike useless, and alike elegant.

[Sidenote: The New Science]

More substantial were the achievements of eighteenth-century
scientists. From philosophers of an earlier century--Francis Bacon
(1561-1626) and René Descartes (1596-1650)--they learned to question
everything, to seek new knowledge by actual experiment, to think
boldly. You must not blindly believe in God, they said, you must first
prove His existence. Or, if you will learn how the body is made, it
will not do to believe what Hippocrates or any other Greek authority
said about it; you must cut rabbits open and see with your own eyes
where heart and lungs are hidden beneath the coat of fur. Seeing and
thinking for oneself were the twin principles of the new scientific

[Sidenote: Isaac Newton]

The new science found many able exponents in the seventeenth and
eighteenth centuries, and of them all Sir Isaac Newton (1646-1727) was
probably the most illustrious. Coming from a humble family in a little
English village, Newton at an early age gave evidence of uncommon
intelligence. At Cambridge University he astonished his professors and
showed such great skill in mathematics that he was given a professor's
chair when only twenty-three years old.

For Descartes, Newton conceived great admiration, and, like Descartes,
he applied himself to experimentation as well as to formal mathematics.
His boyish ingenuity in the construction of windmills, kites, and
water-clocks was now turned to more serious ends. Like other scientists
of the day, he experimented with chemicals in his laboratory, and tried
different combinations of lenses, prisms, and reflectors, until he was
able to design a great telescope with which to observe the stars.

His greatest achievement was in astronomy. Galileo, Copernicus, and
other investigators had already concluded that the earth is but one of
many similar bodies moving around the sun, which in turn is only one of
countless suns--for every star is a sun. Now Newton wondered what held
these mighty spheres in their places in space, for they appeared to
move in definite and well-regulated orbits without any visible support
or prop. It is alleged that the answer to the problem was suggested by
the great philosopher's observation of a falling apple. The same
invisible force that made the apple fall to the ground must, he is said
to have reasoned, control the moon, sun, and stars. The earth is pulled
toward the sun, as the apple to the earth, but it is also pulled toward
the stars, each of which is a sun so far away that it looks to us very
small. The result is that the earth neither falls to the sun nor to any
one star, but moves around the sun in a regular path.

This suggestive principle by which every body in the universe is pulled
towards every other body, Newton called the law of universal
gravitation. Newton's law [Footnote: It was really only a shrewd guess,
but it appears to work so well that we often call it a "law."] was
expressed in a simple mathematical formula [Footnote: "The force
increases directly in proportion to the product of the masses, and
inversely in proportion to the square of the distance."] by means of
which physics and astronomy were developed as mathematical sciences.
When a modern astronomer foretells an eclipse of the sun or discusses
the course of a comet, or when a physicist informs us that he has
weighed the earth, he is depending directly or indirectly upon Newton's

[Sidenote: Experimental and Applied Science]

The brilliance of Sir Isaac Newton's individual achievement should not
obscure the fame of a host of other justly celebrated scientists and
inventors. One of Newton's contemporaries, the German philosopher
Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibnitz (1646-1716), elaborated a new and
valuable branch of mathematics, the differential calculus, [Footnote:
The credit for this achievement was also claimed by Newton.] which has
proved to be of immense service in modern engineering. At the same
time, the first experiments were being made with the mysterious
potencies of electricity: the electrical researches of Benjamin
Franklin (1706-1790), his discovery that flashes of lightning are
merely electrical phenomena and his invention of the lightning rod are
too familiar to need repeating; the work of Luigi Galvani (1737-1798)
and of Count Alessandro Volta (1745-1827), two famous Italian
physicists, is less well known, but their labors contributed much to
the development of physical science, and their memory is perpetuated
whenever the modern electrician refers to a "voltaic cell" or when the
tinsmith speaks of "galvanized" iron. In this same period, the first
important advances were made in the construction of balloons, and the
conquest of the air was begun. In the eighteenth century, moreover, the
foundations of modern chemistry were laid by Joseph Priestley (1733-
1804), Antoine Laurent Lavoisier (1743-1794), and Henry Cavendish
(1731-1810); oxygen was discovered, water was decomposed into its
elements, and the nomenclature of modern chemistry had its inception.
In medicine and surgery, too, pioneer work was done by John Hunter
(1728-1793), a noted Scotch surgeon and anatomist, and by the Swiss
professor Albrecht von Haller (1708-1777), the "father of modern
physiology"; the facts which eighteenth-century physicians discovered
regarding the circulation of the blood made possible more intelligent
and more effective methods of treating disease; and just at the close
of the eighteenth century, Edward Jenner (1749-1823), an English
physician, demonstrated that the dread disease of smallpox could be
prevented by vaccination. Geographical knowledge was vastly extended by
the voyages of scientific explorers, like the English navigator Captain
James Cook [Footnote: The Captain Cook who discovered, or rediscovered,
Australia. See above, P. 340.] (1728-1779) and the French sailor Louis
de Bougainville (1739-1811), in the hitherto uncharted expanses of the
southern Pacific. Furthermore, since these explorers frequently brought
home specimens of unfamiliar tropical animals and plants, rich material
was provided for zoology and botany, which, thanks to the efforts of
the Frenchman Georges de Buffon (1707-1788) and of the Swede Carolus
Linnaeus (1707-1778), were just becoming important sciences.

[Sidenote: Popularity of the New Science]

One reason for the rapid development of natural science in the
eighteenth century was the unprecedented popularity and favor enjoyed
by scientists. Kings granted large pensions to scientists; British
ministers bestowed remunerative offices, and petty princes showered
valuable gifts upon them. Pretentious observatories with ponderous
telescopes were built, often at public expense, in almost every country
of Europe. Groups of learned men were everywhere banded together in
"academies" or "societies." The "Royal Society" of London, founded in
1662, listened to reports of the latest achievements in mathematics,
astronomy, and physics. The members of the _Académie française
(French Academy) were granted pensions by Louis XIV and even reckoned
Newton among their honorary members.

Never before had there been such interest in science, and never before
had there been such opportunity to learn. Printing was now well
developed; the learned societies and observatories published reports of
the latest development in all branches of knowledge. Encyclopedias were
gotten out professing to embody in one set of volumes the latest
information relative to all the new sciences. Books were too expensive
for the common person, but not so for the bourgeoisie, nor for numerous
nobles. Indeed, it became quite the fashion in society to be a
"savant," a scientist, a philosopher, to dabble in chemistry, perhaps
even to have a little laboratory or a telescope, and to dazzle one's
friends with one's knowledge.

[Sidenote: The Spirit of Progress and Reform]

It seemed as if the golden age was dawning: the human mind seemed to be
awakening from the slumber of centuries to con the world, to unravel
the mysteries of life, and to discover the secrets of the universe.
Confident that only a little thought would be necessary to free the
world from vice, ignorance, and superstition, thinkers now turned
boldly to attack the vexing problems of religion and morality, to
criticize state, society, and church, and to point the way to a new and
earthly paradise.

This tendency--this enthusiasm--has usually been styled "rationalism"
because its champions sought to make everything _rational_ or
reasonable. Its foremost representatives were to be found in Great
Britain between 1675 and 1725. They wrote many books discussing
abstruse problems of philosophy, which can have slight interest for us;
but certain ideas they had of very practical importance, ideas which
probably found their most notable expression in the writings of John
Locke (1632-1704). Locke argued (1) that all government exists, or
should exist, by consent of the governed--by a "social" contract, as it
were; (2) that education should be more widespread; (3) that
superstition and religious formalism should not be allowed to obscure
"natural laws" and "natural religion"; and (4) that religious
toleration should be granted to all but atheists.

The ideas of these English philosophers were destined to exercise a far
greater influence upon France than upon England. They found delighted
admirers among the nobility, ardent disciples among the bourgeoisie,
and eloquent apostles in Voltaire, Diderot, and Rousseau.

Without a doubt, the foremost figure in the intellectual world of the
eighteenth century was François Marie Arouet, or, as he called himself,
François M. A. de Voltaire (1694-1778). Even from his boyhood he had
been a clever hand at turning verses, and had fully appreciated his own
cleverness. His businesslike father did not enjoy the boy's poetry,
especially if it was written when young François should have been
studying law. But François had a mind of his own; he liked to show his
cleverness in gay society and relished making witty rhymes about the
foibles of public ministers or the stupidity of the prince regent of

His sharp tongue and sarcastic pen were a source of constant danger to
Voltaire. For libel the regent had him imprisoned a year in the
Bastille. Some years later he was beaten by the lackeys of an offended
nobleman, again sent to the Bastille, and then exiled three years in

At times he was the idol of Paris, applauded by _philosophes_ and
petted by the court, or again he would be a refugee from the wrath of
outraged authorities. For a great part of his life he resided at Cirey
in Lorraine,--with his mistress, his books, his half-finished plays,
and his laboratory--for Voltaire, like all _philosophes_, had to
play at science. Here he lived in constant readiness to flee over the
border if the king should move against him. For a time he lived in
Germany as the protégé of Frederick the Great, but he treated that
irascible monarch with neither tact nor deference, and soon left Berlin
to escape the king's ire. He visited Catherine the Great of Russia. He
also lived at Geneva for a while, but even there he failed to keep
peace with the magistrates.

Such conflicts with established authority only increased his fame.
Moreover, his three years' exile in England (1726-1729) had been of
untold value, for they had given him a first-hand acquaintance with
English rationalism. He had been brought up to discount religious
"superstition" but the English thinkers provided him with a well-
considered philosophy. Full of enthusiasm for the ideas of his English
friends, he wrote _Letters on the English_--a triumph of deistic
philosophy and sarcastic criticism of church and society.

The opinions which Voltaire henceforth never ceased to expound had long
been held by English rationalists. He combined (1) admiration for
experimental science with (2) an exalted opinion of his own ability to
reason out the "natural laws" which were supposed to lie at the base of
human nature, religion, society, the state, and the universe in
general. (3) He was a typical Deist, thinking that the God who had made
the myriad stars of the firmament and who had promulgated eternal laws
for the universe, would hardly concern Himself with the soul of Pierre
or Jean. To him all priests were impostors, and sacraments meaningless
mummery, and yet he would not abolish religion entirely. Voltaire often
said that he believed in a "natural religion," but never explained it
fully. Indeed, he was far more interested in tearing down than in
building up, and disposed rather to scoff at the priests, teachings,
and practices of the Catholic Church than to convert men to a better
religion. (4) Likewise in his criticism of government and of society,
he confined himself mostly to bitter denunciations of contemporaneous
conditions, without offering a substitute or suggesting practical
reforms. His nearest approach to the practical was his admiration for
English institutions, but he never explained how the "liberties" of
England were to be transplanted into France.

Voltaire was not an acutely original thinker. Nevertheless, his
innumerable tragedies, comedies, histories, essays, and letters
established his reputation as the most versatile and accomplished
writer of his age. But all the "hundred volumes" of Voltaire are rarely
read today. They are clever, to be sure, witty, graceful,--but
admittedly superficial. He thought that he could understand at a glance
the problems upon which more earnest men had spent their lives; he
would hurriedly dash off a tragedy, or in spare moments write a
pretentious history. He was not always accurate but he was always

Let us remember him as, at the age of eighty-four, he pays a famous
visit to Paris,--a sprightly old man with wrinkled face, and with sharp
old eyes peering out from either side of the long nose, beaming with
pride at the flattery of his admirers, sparkling with pleasure as he
makes a witty repartee. The ladies call him a most amusing old cynic.
Cynic he is, and old. His life work has been scoffing. Yet Voltaire is
unquestionably the intellectual dictator of Europe. His genius for
satire and his fearless attacks on long-standing abuses have made him
hated, and feared, and admired. He has given tone and character to the
Old Régime.

[Sidenote: Diderot and the Encyclopedists]

Voltaire was not alone in the work of spreading discontent. Less famous
but hardly less brilliant or versatile, was Denis Diderot (1713-1784).
His great achievement was the editing of the _Encyclopedia_. The
gathering of all human knowledge into one set of volumes--an
encyclopedia--had been for generations a favorite idea in Europe.
Diderot associated with himself the most distinguished mathematicians,
astronomers, scientists, and philosophers of the time in the
compilation of a work which in seventeen volumes [Footnote: Not
counting pictorial supplements.] undertook to summarize the latest
findings of the scholarship of the age. Over four thousand copies had
been subscribed when the _Encyclopedia_ appeared in 1765. It
proved to be more than a monument of learning: it was a manifesto of
radicalism. Its contributors were the apostles of rationalism and
deism, [Footnote: Some went even further and practically denied the
existence of God.] and their criticism of current ideas about religion,
society, and science won many disciples to the new ideas.

The mission of Voltaire and the Encyclopedists (as the editors of the
_Encyclopedia_ are called) was to disseminate knowledge and to
destroy prejudice, especially in religion. Practical specific reforms
were suggested by Montesquieu, Rousseau, Beccaria, and Adam Smith.

[Sidenote:  Montesquieu]

Montesquieu (1689-1755), a French lawyer-nobleman, a student of natural
science, and an admirer of Newton, was the foremost writer of the
eighteenth century on the practice of government. In his _Persian
Letters_, and more especially in _The Spirit of the Laws_
(1748), he argued that government is a complicated matter and, to be
successful, must be adapted to the peculiarities of a particular
people. Theoretically he preferred a republic, and the Constitution of
the United States consciously embodied many of his theories.
Practically, he considered the government of Great Britain very
admirable, and although it sheltered many abuses, as we shall presently
see, [Footnote:  See below, pp. 432 ff.] nevertheless he urged the
French to pattern their political organization after it. Moderation was
the motto of Montesquieu.

[Sidenote: Rousseau]

A more radical reformer was Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778). In his
life Rousseau was everything he should not have been. He was a failure
as footman, as servant, as tutor, as secretary, as music copier, as
lace maker. He wandered in Turin, Paris, Vienna, London. His immorality
was notorious,--he was not faithful in love, and his children were sent
to a foundling asylum. He was poverty-stricken, dishonest,
discontented, and, in his last years, demented.

Yet this man, who knew so little how to live his own life, exercised a
wonderful influence over the lives of others. Sordid as was his career,
the man himself was not without beautiful and generous impulses. He
loved nature in an age when other men simply studied nature. He liked
to look at the clear blue sky, or to admire the soft green fields and
shapely trees, and he was not ashamed to confess it. The emotions had
been forgotten while philosophers were praising the intellect: Rousseau
reminded the eighteenth century that after all it may be as sane to
enjoy a sunset as to solve a problem in algebra. Rousseau possessed the
soul of a poet.

To him right feeling was as important as right thinking, and in this
respect he quarreled with the rationalists who claimed that common
sense alone was worth while. Rousseau was a Deist--at most he believed
but vaguely in a "Being, whatever He may be, Who moves the universe and
orders all things." But he detested the cold reasoning of philosophers
who conceived of God as too much interested in watching the countless
stars obey His eternal laws, to stoop to help puny mortals with their
petty affairs. "0 great philosophers!" cried Rousseau, "How much God is
obliged to you for your easy methods and for sparing Him work." And
again Rousseau warns us to "flee from those [Voltaire and his like]
who, under the pretense of explaining nature, sow desolating doctrines
in the hearts of men, and whose apparent skepticism is a hundred times
more ... dogmatic" than the teachings of priests. Rousseau was not an
orthodox Christian, nor a calmly rational Deist; he simply felt that
"to love God above all things, and your neighbor as yourself, is the
sum of the law."

This he reproached the philosophers with not doing. Rousseau had seen
and felt the bitter suffering of the poor, and he had perceived the
cynical indifference with which educated men often regarded it. Science
and learning seemed to have made men only more selfish. Indeed, the
ignorant peasant seemed to him humbler and more virtuous than the
pompous pedant. In a passionate protest--his _Discourse on Arts and
Sciences_ (1749)--Rousseau denounced learning as the badge of
selfishness and corruption, for it was used to gratify the pride and
childish curiosity of the rich, rather than to right the wrongs of the

In fact, it were better, he contended, that all men should be savages,
than that a few of the most cunning, cruel, and greedy should make
slaves of the rest. His love of nature, his contempt for the silly
showiness and shallow hypocrisy of eighteenth-century society, made the
idea a favorite one. He loved to dream of the times [Footnote: It must
be confessed that here Rousseau was dreaming of times that probably
never existed.] when men were all free and equal, when nobody claimed
to own the land which God had made for all, when there were no wars to
kill, no taxes to oppress, no philosophers to deceive the people.

In an essay inquiring _What is the Origin of Inequality among Men_
(1753), Rousseau sought to show how vanity, greed, and selfishness had
found lodgment in the hearts of these "simple savages," how the
strongest had fenced off plots of land for themselves and forced the
weak to acknowledge the right of private property. This, said Rousseau,
was the real origin of inequality among men, of the tyranny of the
strong over the weak; and this law of private property "for the profit
of a few ambitious men, subjected thenceforth all the human race to
labor, servitude, and misery."

The idea was applied to government in a treatise entitled the _Social
Contract_ (1761). The "social-contract" theory was not new, but
Rousseau made it famous. He taught that government, law, and social
conventions were the outcome of an agreement or contract by which at
the misty dawn of history all members of the state had voluntarily
bound themselves. All governments exercised their power in last
analysis by virtue of this social contract, by will of the people.
Laws, therefore, should be submitted to popular vote. The republic is
the best form of government, because it is the most sensitive to the
desires of the people. This idea of "popular sovereignty," or rule of
the people, was in men's minds when they set up a republic in France
fourteen years after the death of Rousseau.

Rousseau's cry, "Back to nature," had still another aspect. He said
that children should be allowed to follow their natural inclinations,
instead of being driven to study. They should learn practical, useful
things, instead of Latin and Greek. "Let them learn what they must do
when they are men, and not what they must forget."

It is hard to fix limits to the influence of Rousseau's writings. True,
both the orthodox Catholics and the philosophical Deists condemned him.
But his followers were many, both bourgeois and noble. "Back to nature"
became the fad of the day, and court ladies pretended to live a
"natural" life and to go fishing. His theory of the social contract,
his contention that wealth should not be divided among a few, his idea
that the people should rule themselves,--these were to be the
inspiration of the republican stage of the French Revolution, and in
time to permeate all Europe.

[Sidenote: Beccaria]

The spirit of reform was applied not only against the clergy, the
nobles, the monarchy, and faulty systems of law and education, but
likewise to the administration of justice. Hitherto the most barbarous
"punishments" had been meted out. A pickpocket might be hung for
stealing a couple of shillings [Footnote: In England.]; for a more
serious offense the criminal might have his bones broken and then be
laid on his back on a cart-wheel, to die in agony while crowds looked
on and jeered. In a book entitled _Crimes and Punishments_ (1764),
an Italian marquis of the name of Beccaria (1738-1794) held that such
punishments were not only brutal and barbarous, but did not serve to
prevent crimes as effectually as milder sentences, promptly and surely
administered. Beccaria's ideas are the basis of our modern laws,
although the death penalty still lingers in a few cases.

[Sidenote: Political Economy: the Physiocrats]

In yet another sphere--that of economics--philosophers were examining
the old order of things, and asking, as ever, "Is it reasonable?" As we
have repeatedly observed, most governments had long followed the
mercantilist plan more or less consistently. But in the eighteenth
century, François Quesnay, a bourgeois physician at the court of Louis
XV, announced to his friends that mercantilism was all wrong. He became
the center of a little group of philosophers who called themselves
"economists," and who taught that a nation's wealth comes from farming
and mining; that manufacturers and traders produce nothing new, but
merely exchange or transport commodities. The manufacturers and
merchants should therefore be untaxed and unhampered. _Laissez-
faire_--"Let them do as they will." Let the farmers pay the taxes.
The foremost disciple of _laisser-faire_ in France was Turgot
(1727-1781). As minister of finance under Louis XVI he attempted to
abolish duties and restrictions on commerce, but his efforts were only
partially successful.

[Sidenote: Adam Smith]

Meanwhile, a Scotchman, who had visited France and had known Quesnay,
was conveying the new ideas across the Channel. It was Adam Smith, the
"father of political economy." Smith was quite in harmony with the
philosophic spirit, with its "natural rights," "natural religion," and
"natural laws." He was a professor of "moral philosophy" in the
University of Glasgow, and as an incident of his philosophical
speculations, he thought out a system of political economy,
_i.e._, the "laws" by which a nation might increase its wealth, on
the lines suggested by Quesnay. Adam Smith's famous book _The Wealth
of Nations_ appeared in 1776, the year of American independence. It
was a declaration of independence for industry. Let each man, each
employer of labor, each seller of merchandise follow his own personal
business interests without let or hindrance, for in so doing he is "led
by an invisible hand" to promote the good of all. Let the government
abolish all monopolies, [Footnote: He was somewhat inconsistent in
approving joint-stock monopolies and shipping regulations.] all
restrictions on trade, all customs duties, all burdens on industry.
Thus only can the true wealth of a nation be promoted.

Smith's opinions were so plausible and his arguments so ingenious that
his doctrines steadily gained in influence, and in the first half of
the nineteenth century pretty generally triumphed. In actual practice
the abolition of restrictions on industry was destined to give free
rein to the avarice and cruelty of the most selfish employers, to
enrich the bourgeoisie, and to leave the lower classes more miserable
than ever. The "Wealth of Nations" was to be the wealth of the
bourgeoisie. But meanwhile, it was to destroy mercantilism.

[Sidenote: Conclusion]

We have now completed our survey of the social, religious, and
intellectual conditions in the Europe of the eighteenth century. Before
our eyes have passed poverty-stricken peasants plowing their fields,
prosperous merchants who demand power, frivolous nobles squandering
their lives and fortunes, worldly bishops neglecting their duties,
humble priests remaining faithful, sober Quakers refusing to fight,
earnest astronomers who search the skies, sarcastic Deists who scoff at
priests, and bourgeois philosophers who urge reform. The procession is
not quite done. Last of all come the kings in their royal ermine and
ministers in robes of state. To them we dedicate a new chapter. It will
be the last occasion on which kings will merit such detailed attention.


J. H. Robinson and C. A. Beard, _The Development of Modern Europe_,
Vol. I (1907), ch. viii, ix; H. E. Bourne, _The Revolutionary Period in
Europe, 1763-1815_ (1914), ch. i, iii; Clive Day, _History of Commerce_
(1907). More detailed accounts: _Cambridge Modern History_, Vol. VI;
and _Histoire générale_, Vol. VII, ch. xiii-xvii. The most scholarly
and exhaustive study of social conditions is that of Maxime Kovalevsky,
_Die oekonomische Entwicklung Europas bis zum Beginn der
kapitalistischen Wirtschaftsform_, trans. into German from Russian by
Leo Motzkin, 7 vols. (1901-1914), especially Vols. VI, VII.

French Revolution_ (reprint, 1912), ch. i-v, a clear summary; E. J.
Lowell, _The Eve of the French Revolution_ (1892), probably the best
introduction in English; Alexis de Tocqueville, _The State of Society
in France before the Revolution of 1789_, Eng. trans. by Henry Reeve,
3d ed. (1888), a brilliant and justly famous work; H. A. Taine, _The
Ancient Régime_, Eng. trans. by John Durand, new rev. ed. (1896),
another very celebrated work, better on the literary and philosophical
aspects of the Old Régime than on the economic; Albert Sorel, _L'Europe
et la Révolution française, Vol. I (1885) of this monumental history is
an able presentation of French social conditions in the eighteenth
century; Arthur Young, _Travels in France, 1787, 1788, and 1789_,
valuable observations of a contemporary English gentleman-farmer on
conditions in France, published in several editions, notably in the
Bohn Library. Detailed treatises in French: _Histoire de France_, Vol.
IX, Part I (1910), _Règne de Louis XVI, 1774-1789_, by H. Carré, P.
Sagnac, and E. Lavisse, especially livres III, IV; Emile Levasseur,
_Histoire des classes ouvrières et de l'industrie en France avant
1789_, Vol. II (1901), livre VII; Maxime Kovalevsky, _La France
économique et sociale à la veille de la Révolution_, 2 vols. (1909-
1911), an admirable study of common life both rural and urban; Georges
d'Avenel, _Histoire économique de la propriété, des salaires, etc.,
1200-1800_, 6 vols. (1894-1912), elaborate treatments of such topics as
money, land, salaries, the wealthy and bourgeois classes, the growth of
private expenses, etc.; Albert Babeau's careful monographs on many
phases of the Old Régime, such as _Les voyageurs en France_ (1885), _La
ville_ (1884), _La vie rurale_ (1885), _Les artisans et les
domestiques_ (1886), _Les bourgeois_ (1886), _La vie militaire_, 2
vols. (1890), _Le village_ (1891), _La province_, 2 vols. (1894);
Nicolas Karéiev, _Les paysans et la question paysanne en France dans le
dernier quart du XVIIIe siècle_, Fr. trans. (1899); Edmé Champion, _La
France d'après les cahiers de 1789_ (1897). Also see books listed under
THE FRENCH MONARCHY, 1743-1789, p. 463, below.

_History of England and Greater Britain_ (1914), ch. xliv; G. T.
Warner, _Landmarks in English Industrial History_, 11th ed. (1912), ch.
xiv; H. de B. Gibbins, _Industry in England_, 6th ed. (1910), ch. xvii-
xx; G. H. Perris, _The Industrial History of Modern England_ (1914),
ch. i. Fuller treatments: H. D. Traill and J. S. Mann (editors),
_Social England_, illus. ed., 6 vols. in 12 (1909), ch. xvi-xviii; W.
G. Sydney, _England and the English in the Eighteenth Century_, 2 vols.
(1891); E. S. Roscoe, _The English Scene in the Eighteenth Century_
(1912); Sir H. T. Wood, _Industrial England in the Middle of the
Eighteenth Century_ (1910); Sidney and Beatrice Webb, _English Local
Government from the Revolution to the Municipal Corporations Act, 1688-
1835, The Manor and the Borough_, 2 parts (1908), and _The Story of the
King's Highway_ (1913); W. E. H. Lecky, _A History of England in the
Eighteenth Century_, London ed., 7 vols. (1907), particularly full on
social and intellectual conditions. Special studies and monographs: A.
Andréadès, _History of the Bank of England_, Eng. trans. by Christabel
Meredith (1909), an authoritative review by a Greek scholar; Sir Walter
Besant, _London in the Eighteenth Century_ (1903), charmingly written
but not always trustworthy; J. L. and B. Hammond, _The Village
Labourer, 1760-1832_ (1911); J. E. Thorold Rogers, _History of
Agriculture and Prices in England_, 7 vols. (1866-1902), a monumental
work, of which Vol. VII deals with the eighteenth century; R. E.
Prothero, _English Farming Past and Present_ (1912); E. C. K. Gonner,
_Common Land and Inclosure_ (1912); A. H. Johnson, _The Disappearance
of the Small Landowner_ (1909); Wilhelm Hasbach, _A History of the
English Agricultural Labourer_, new ed. trans. into English by Ruth
Kenyon (1908); R. M. Gamier, _History of the English Landed Interest,
its Customs, Laws and Agriculture_, 2 vols. (1892-1893), and, by the
same author, _Annals of the British Peasantry_ (1895). For interesting
contemporary accounts of English agriculture in the eighteenth century,
see the journals of Arthur Young, _A Six Weeks' Tour through the
Southern Counties_ (1768), _A Six Months' Tour through the North of
England_, 4 vols. (1791), and _The Farmer's Tour through the East of
England_, 4 vols. (1791). Also see books listed under THE BRITISH
MONARCHY, 1760-1800, pp. 461 f., below.

H. G. Graham, _Social Life in Scotland in the Eighteenth Century_,
2 vols. (1900). For Hungary: Henry Marczali, _Hungary in the
Eighteenth Century_ (1910). For Russia: James Mavor, _An Economic
History of Russia_, Vol. I (1914), Book II, ch. i-iv. For Spain:
Georges Desdevises du Dezert, _L'Espagne de l'ancien régime_, 3
vols. (1897-1904). For the Germanies: Karl Biedermann, _Deutschland
im achtsehnten Jahrhundert_, 2 vols. in 3 (1867-1880).

of Christianity, cited in the bibliography to Chapter IV, above, should
be consulted. Additional information can be gathered from the
following. On the Catholic Church: William Barry, _The Papacy and
Modern Times_ (1911), ch. v; _Cambridge Modern History_, Vol. V (1908),
ch. iv, on Gallicanism and Jansenism, by Viscount St. Cyres, a vigorous
opponent of Ultramontanism; _Histoire générale_, Vol. VI, ch. vi, and
Vol. VII, ch. xvii, both by Émile Chénon; Joseph de Maistre, _Du pape_,
24th ed. (1876), and _De l'église gallicane_, most celebrated
treatments of Gallicanism from the standpoint of an Ultramontane and
orthodox Roman Catholic; C. A. Sainte-Beuve, _Port-Royal_, 2d ed., 5
vols. (1860), the best literary account of Jansenism; R. B. C. Graham,
_A Vanished Arcadia: being some account of the Jesuits in Paraguay,
1607 to 1767_ (1901); Paul de Crousaz-Crétet, _L'église et l'état, ou
les deux puissances au XVIIIe siècle, 1713-1789_ (1893), on the
relations of church and state; Léon Mention, _Documents relatifs aux
rapports du clergé avec la royauté de 1682 à 1789_, 2 vols. (1893-
1903), containing many important documents. On Protestantism in
England: H. O. Wakeman, _An Introduction to the History of the Church
of England_, 5th ed. (1898), ch. xviii, xix; J. H. Overton and Frederic
Relton, _A History of the Church of England, 1714-1800_ (1906), being
Vol. VII of a comprehensive work ed. by W. R. W. Stephens and William
Hunt; John Stoughton, _Religion under Queen Anne and the Georges, 1702-
1800_, 2 vols. (1878); H. W. Clark, _History of English Nonconformity_,
2 vols. (1911-1913), especially Vol. II, Book IV, ch. i, ii, on
Methodism; W. C. Braithwaite, _The Beginnings of Quakerism_ (1912); F.
J. Snell, _Wesley and Methodism_ (1900); and T. E. Thorpe, _Joseph
Priestley_ (1906).

_Cambridge Modern History_, Vol. V, ch. xxiii, and Vol. VIII, ch. i;
_Histoire générale_, Vol. VI, ch. x, and Vol. VII, ch. xv, two
excellent chapters on natural science, 1648-1788, by Paul Tannery; Sir
Oliver Lodge, _Pioneers of Science_ (1893); Sir Leslie Stephen,
_History of English Thought in the Eighteenth Century_, 3d ed., 2 vols.
(1902), an interesting account of the English Deists and of the new
political and economic theorists, and, by the same author, _English
Literature and Society in the Eighteenth Century_ (1909); Edmund Gosse,
_A History of Eighteenth Century Literature, 1660-1780_ (1911); J. M.
Robertson, _A Short History of Free Thought_, 3d rev. ed., 2 vols.
(1915), a sympathetic treatment of deism and rationalism; C. S. Devas,
_The Key to the World's Progress_ (1906), suggestive criticism of the
thought of the eighteenth century from the standpoint of a well-
informed Roman Catholic. On the most celebrated French philosophers of
the time, see the entertaining and enthusiastic biographies by John
(Viscount) Morley, _Rousseau_, 2 vols. (1873), _Diderot and the
Encyclopædists_, 2 vols. (1891), _Voltaire_ (1903), and the essays on
Turgot, etc., scattered throughout his _Critical Miscellanies_, 4 vols.
(1892-1908). There is a convenient little biography of _Montesquieu_ by
Albert Sorel, Eng. trans. by Gustave Masson (1887), and useful
monographs by J. C. Collins, _Bolingbroke, a Historical Study; and
Voltaire in England_ (1886). Such epochal works as Montesquieu's
_Spirit of the Laws_, Voltaire's _Letters on the English_ and
_Philosophical Dictionary_, and Rousseau's _Social Contract_ and
_Émile_, are readily procurable in English. On the rise of political
economy: Henry Higgs, _The Physiocrats_ (1897); Charles Gide and
Charles Rist, _A History of Economic Doctrines from the Time of the
Physiocrats_, Eng. trans. (1915), Book I, ch. i, ii; L. L. Price, _A
Short History of Political Economy in England from Adam Smith to Arnold
Toynbee_, 7th ed. (1911); R. B. (Viscount) Haldane, _Life of Adam
Smith_ (1887) in the "Great Writers" Series; John Rae, _Life of Adam
Smith_ (1895), containing copious extracts from Smith's letters and
papers; Georges Weulersse, _Le mouvement physiocratique en France de
1756 à 1770_, 2 vols. (1910), scholarly and elaborate. There is a two-
volume edition of Adam Smith's _Wealth of Nations_ (1910) in
"Everyman's Library," with an admirable introductory essay by E. R. A.



[Sidenote: General]

In the foregoing chapter we have seen how the social structure of the
eighteenth century rested on injustice, poverty, and suffering; we have
listened to the complaints of the bourgeoisie and to their demands for
reform. Philosophers might plead for reform, but only the king could
grant it. For in him were vested all powers of government: he was the
absolute monarch.

Such was the situation in virtually every important country in Europe.
In Great Britain alone were the people even reputed to have a share in
the government, and to Great Britain the Voltaires and the Montesquieus
of the Continent turned for a model in politics. Let us join them in
considering the peculiar organization of the British monarchy, and then
we shall observe how the other governments of Europe met the demand for


[Sidenote: England. Scotland]

In the eighteenth century, what was the British monarchy? It was, first
of all, the government of England (which included Wales). Secondly, it
embraced Scotland, for since 1603 Scotland and England had been subject
to the same king, and in 1707 by the Act of Union the two kingdoms had
been united to form the monarchy of "Great Britain," with a common king
and a common Parliament.

[Sidenote: Great Britain]

The British monarchy was properly, then, the government of united
England (Wales) and Scotland. But in addition the crown had numerous
subordinate possessions: the royal colonies, [Footnote: The royal
colonies were, in 1800: Newfoundland (1583), Barbados (1605), Bermudas
(1609), Gambia (c. 1618), St. Christopher (1623), Nevis (1628),
Montserrat (1632), Antigua (1632), Honduras (1638), St. Lucia (1638),
Gold Coast (c. 1650), St. Helena (1651), Jamaica (1655), Bahamas
(1666), Virgin Islands (1666), Gibraltar (1704), Hudson Bay Territory
(1713), Nova Scotia (1713), New Brunswick (1713), Quebec, Ontario, and
Prince Edward Island (1763), Dominica (17633), St. Vincent (1763),
Grenada (1763), Tobago (1763), Falkland (1765), Pitcairn (1780),
Straits Settlements (1786 ff.), Sierra Leone (1787), New South Wales
(1788), Ceylon (1795), Trinidad (1797), and, under the East India
Company, Madras (1639), Bombay (1661), and Bengal (1633-1765).] and
Ireland. For these dependencies the home government appointed
governors, made laws, and levied taxes, in theory at least; but they
were possessions rather than integral parts of the monarchy.

[Sidenote: Ireland]

A few words should be said in explanation of the political status of
Ireland under the British crown. The English kings had begun their
conquests in that island as far back as the twelfth century; and by
dint of much bloodshed and many efforts they had long maintained
possession. In the seventeenth century Oliver Cromwell had put down a
bitter revolt and had encouraged Protestant English and Scotch
immigrants to settle in the north and east, taking the land from the
native Irishmen, who were Roman Catholics. An Irish parliament had
existed since the middle ages, but from the close of the fifteenth
century its acts to be valid required the approval of the English Privy
Council, and from the middle of the seventeenth century Roman Catholics
were debarred from it. In 1782, however, while Great Britain was
engaged in the War of American Independence, the Protestants in Ireland
secured the right to make most of their own laws, and ten years later
the Catholic disqualifications were removed. From 1782 to 1801, Ireland
retained this half-way independence; but a Protestant minority actually
controlled the Irish Parliament, incurring the dislike of the Roman
Catholic Irish and of the British government, so that in 1800,
following an Irish revolt, an Act of Union was passed, according to
which, in 1801, Great Britain and Ireland became the United Kingdom.
Thenceforth Ireland was represented by 28 peers and 100 Commoners in
the Parliament of the United Kingdom (often called, carelessly, the
British Parliament).

It may be said, then, that except during the brief period of Irish
semi-independence (1782-1801), the British Parliament governed not only
Great Britain, but Ireland and the crown colonies as well. How the
British monarchy was governed, we have now to discover.

[Sidenote: The King and his Nominal Powers]

In theory the king was still the ruler of his kingdom. In his name all
laws were made, treaties sealed, governmental officials appointed. Like
other monarchs, he had his "Privy Councilors" to advise him, and
ministers (Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Secretaries of State, the
Lord Chancellor, etc.) to supervise various details of central
administration. But this was largely a matter of form. In fact, the
kings of Great Britain had lost most of their power, and retained only
their dignity; they were becoming figureheads.

[Sidenote: The British Constitution]

Ever since the signing of _Magna Carta_, back in 1215, the English
people had been exacting from their sovereigns written promises by
which the crown surrendered certain powers. Greatest progress in this
direction had been made amid those stirring scenes of the seventeenth
century which have been described already in the chapter on the Triumph
of Parliamentary Government in England. In addition to formal
documents, there had been slowly evolved a body of customs and usages,
which were almost as sacred and binding as if they had been inscribed
on parchment. Taken together, these written and customary limitations
on royal authority were called the "British Constitution."

[Sidenote: Limitations on the Actual Powers of the King]

This Constitution limited the king's power in four important ways. (1)
It deprived him of the right to levy taxes. For his household expenses
he was now granted an allowance, called the Civil List. William III,
for instance, was allowed £700,000 pounds a year. (2) The king had no
right either to make laws on his own responsibility or to prevent laws
being made against his will. The sovereign's prerogative to veto
Parliament's bills still existed in theory, but was not exercised after
the reign of Queen Anne. (3) The king had lost control of the judicial
system (_i.e._, the courts): he could not remove judges even if
they gave decisions unfavorable to him; and the Habeas Corpus Act of
1679 provided that any one thrown into prison should be told why, and
given a fair legal trial. (4) The king could not maintain a standing
army without consent of Parliament. These restrictions made Great
Britain a "limited," rather than an "absolute," monarchy.

[Sidenote: Parliament]

The powers taken from the king were now exercised by Parliament. The
constitutional conflict of the seventeenth century had left Parliament
not only in enjoyment of freedom of speech for its members but with
full power to levy taxes, to make laws, to remove or retain judges, and
essentially to determine the policy of the government in war and in
peace. Parliament had even taken upon itself on one celebrated occasion
(1689) to deprive a monarch of his "divine right" to rule, to establish
a new sovereign, and to decree that never again should Great Britain
have a king of the Roman Catholic faith.

French philosophers who saw so much power vested in a representative
body could not be too loud in their praise of "English liberty." Had
they investigated more closely, these same observers might have learned
to their surprise that Parliament represented the people of Great
Britain only in name.

[Sidenote: Undemocratic Character of Parliament]

As we have seen in an earlier chapter [Footnote:  See above, pp. 265
f.], Parliament consisted of two legislative assemblies or "Houses,"
neither one of which could make laws without the consent of the other.
One of these houses, the House of Lords, was frankly aristocratic and
undemocratic. Its members were the "lords spiritual"--rich and
influential bishops of the Anglican Church,--and the "lords temporal,"
or peers, haughty descendants of the ancient feudal nobles or haughtier
heirs of millionaires recently ennobled by the king. [Footnote: A peer
was technically a titled noble who possessed an hereditary seat in the
House of Lords. George III created many peers: at his death there were
over 300 in all.] These proud gentlemen were mainly landlords, and as a
class they were almost as selfish and undemocratic as the courtiers of

But, the French philosopher replies, the representatives of the people
are found in the lower house, the House of Commons; the peers merely
give stability to the government. Let us see.

One thing at least is certain, that in the eighteenth century the
majority of the people of Great Britain had no voice in choosing their
"representatives." In the country, the "knights of the shire" were
supposedly elected, two for each shire or county. But a man could not
vote unless he had an estate worth an annual rent of forty shillings,
and, since the same amount of money would then buy a good deal more
than nowadays, forty shillings was a fairly large sum. Persons who
could vote were often afraid to vote independently, and frequently they
sold their vote to a rich noble, so that many "knights of the shire"
were practically named by the landed aristocracy, the wealthy and
titled landlords.

Matters were even worse in the towns, or "boroughs." By no means all of
the towns had representation. Moreover, for the towns that did choose
their two members to sit in the House of Commons, no method of election
was prescribed by law; but each borough followed its own custom. In one
town the aristocratic municipal corporation would choose the
representatives; in another place the gilds would control the election;
and in yet another city there might be a few so-called "freemen" (of
course everybody was free,--"freeman" was a technical term for a member
of the town corporation) who had the right to vote, and sold their
votes regularly for about £5 apiece. In general the town
representatives were named by a few well-to-do politicians, while the
common 'prentices and journeymen worked uninterruptedly at their
benches. It has been estimated that fewer than 1500 persons controlled
a majority in the House of Commons.

In many places a nobleman or a clique of townsmen appointed their
candidates without even the formality of an election. In other places,
where rival influences clashed, bribery would decide the day. For in
contested elections, the voting lasted forty days, during which time
the price of votes might rise to £25 or more. Votes might be purchased
with safety, too, for voting was public and any one might learn from
the poll-book how each man had voted. Not infrequently it cost several
thousand pounds to carry such an election.

[Sidenote: "Rotten Boroughs"]

We may summarize these evils by saying that the peasants and artisans
generally were not allowed to vote, and that the methods of election
gave rise to corruption. But this was not all. There was neither rhyme
nor reason to be found in the distribution of representation between
different sections of the country. Old Sarum had once been a prosperous
village and had been accorded representation, but after the village had
disappeared, leaving to view but a lonely hill, no one in England could
have told why two members should still sit for Old Sarum. Nor, for that
matter, could there have been much need of representation in Parliament
for the sea-coast town of Dunwich. Long ago the coast had sunk and the
salt-sea waves now washed the remains of a ruined town. Bosseney in
Cornwall was a hamlet of three cottages, but its citizens were entitled
to send two men to Parliament.

While these decayed towns and "rotten boroughs" continued to enjoy
representation, populous and opulent cities like Birmingham,
Manchester, Leeds, and Sheffield were ignored. They had grown with the
growth of industry, while the older towns had declined. Yet
Parliamentary representation underwent no change from the days of
Charles II to the third decade of the nineteenth century. Thus
Parliament in the eighteenth century represented neither the different
classes of society nor the masses of population. Politics was a
gentleman's game. The nobleman who sat in the upper house had his
dummies in the lower chamber. A certain Sir James Lowther had nine
protégés in the lower house, who were commonly called "Lowther's
Ninepins." A distinguished statesman of the time described the position
of such a protégé: "He is sent here by the lord of this or the duke of
that, and if he does not obey the instructions which he receives, he is
held to be a dishonest man."

[Sidenote: Parliamentary Bribery and Corruption]

Under conditions such as these it is not hard to understand how seats
in Parliament were bought and sold like boxes at the opera or seats in
a stock-exchange. Nor is it surprising that after having paid a small
fortune for the privilege of representing the people, the worldly-wise
Commoner should be willing to indemnify himself by accepting bribes,
or, if perchance his tender conscience forbade monetary bribes, by
accepting a government post with fat salary and few duties except to
vote with the government.

[Sidenote: The Cabinet]

For many years (1714-1761) the arts of corruption were practiced with
astonishing success by a group of clever Whig politicians. As has been
noticed in an earlier chapter,[Footnote: See above, pp. 291 f.] it was
to their most conspicuous leader, Sir Robert Walpole, that the first
two Georges intrusted the conduct of affairs; and Walpole filled the
important offices of state with his Whig friends. Likewise it has been
noticed [Footnote: See above, p. 290.] that during the same period the
idea of the cabinet system became more firmly fixed. Just as Walpole
secured the appointment of his friends to the high offices of state, so
subsequent statesmen put their supporters in office. The practice was
not yet rigid, but it was customary for a dozen or so of the leaders of
the faction in power to hold "cabinet" meetings, in which they decided
in advance what measures should be presented to Parliament. If a
measure indorsed by the cabinet should be defeated by the Commons, the
leader of the party would normally resign, and the ministers he had
appointed would follow his example. In other words, the cabinet acted
in concert and resigned as a whole.

If the affairs of the government were all carried on by the cabinet,
and if the cabinet depended for its support on the majority in the
House of Commons, what remained for the king to do? Obviously, very

[Sidenote: British Government under George III]

George I and George II had not been averse from cabinet-government: it
was easy and convenient. But George III (1760-1820) was determined to
make his authority felt. He wished to preside at cabinet meetings; he
outbribed the Whigs; and he repeatedly asked his ministers to resign
because he disliked their policies.

Besides the friends he purchased, George III possessed a considerable
number of enthusiastic and conscientious supporters. The country
squires and clergy who believed in the Anglican Church and looked with
distrust upon the power of corrupt Whig politicians in Parliament, were
quite willing that a painstaking and gentlemanly monarch should do his
own ruling. Such persons formed the backbone of the Tory party and
sometimes called themselves the "king's friends." With their support
and by means of a liberal use of patronage, George III was able to keep
Lord North, a minister after his own heart, in power twelve years
(1770-1782). But as we have learned, [Footnote: See above, pp. 332 ff.]
the War of American Independence caused the downfall of Lord North, and
for the next year or two, politics were in confusion. During 1782-1783
the old Whig and Tory parties [Footnote: See above, pp. 285 f.] were
sadly broken up, and a new element was unmistakably infused into party-
warfare by the spirit of reform.

[Sidenote: Need and Demand for Reform]

Surely, if ever a country needed reform, it was Great Britain in 1783.
The country was filled with paupers maintained by the taxes; poor
people might be shut up in workhouses and see their children carted off
to factories; sailors were kidnapped for the royal navy; the farmhand
was practically bound to the soil like a serf; over two hundred
offenses, such as stealing a shilling or cutting down an apple tree,
were punishable by death; religious intolerance flourished--Quakers
were imprisoned and Roman Catholics were debarred from office and
Parliament. And Ireland was being ruined by the selfish and obstinate
minority which controlled its parliament.

But about these things English "reformers" were not much concerned. A
few altruistic souls decried the traffic in black slaves, but that evil
was quite far from English shores. The reform movement was chiefly
directed against parliamentary corruption and received its support from
the small country gentlemen who hated the great Whig owners of "pocket-
boroughs," [Footnote: Boroughs whose members were named by a political
"patron."] and from the lower and newer ranks of the bourgeoisie. For
the small shop-keepers and tradesmen, and especially the rich
manufacturers in new industrial towns like Birmingham, felt that
Parliament did not represent their interests, and they set up a cry for
pure politics and reformed representation.

[Sidenote: Wilkes]

The spirit of reform spread rapidly. In the 'sixties of the eighteenth
century, John Wilkes, a squint-eyed and immoral but very persuasive
editor, had raised a hubbub of reform talk. He had criticized the
policy of George III, had been elected to Parliament, and, when the
House of Commons expelled him, had insisted upon the right of the
people to elect him, regardless of the will of the House. His admirers
--and he had many--shouted for "Wilkes and Liberty," elected him Lord
Mayor of London, and enabled him to carry his point.

The founding of four newspapers furthered the reform movement. They
took it upon themselves to report parliamentary debates, and along with
information they spread discontent. Their activity was somewhat
checked, however, by the operation of the old laws which punished
libelous attacks on the king with imprisonment or exile, and also by a
stamp duty of 2-1/2d. a sheet (1789).

[Sidenote: Charles James Fox]

Under the new influence a number of Whigs