A HISTORY OF THE FOUNDATIONS OF THE MODERN WORLD
BY WILBUR CORTEZ ABBOTT, B.LITT. (OXON.), M.A. Professor of History in Yale University
WITH MAPS AND ILLUSTRATIONS
IN TWO VOLUMES VOL. II
NEW YORK HENRY HOLT AND COMPANY 1918
COPYRIGHT, 1918, BY HENRY HOLT AND COMPANY
Published May, 1918
THE QUINN & BODEN CO. PRESS RAHWAY, N. J.
CONTENTS - VOLUME II
Germany -- The German States -- The northern powers -- The Cossack revolt -- Western Europe -- The Fronde -- England -- The execution of Charles I -- The North and East -- The Peace of Oliva and Kardis -- Peace of Copenhagen -- The Franco -- Spanish War -- The Peace of the Pyrenees -- The Puritans -- Their rise and membership -- Their position -- Ireland -- Scotland -- Their reorganization -- Holland -- England -- The Navigation Act -- The Anglo-Dutch War -- The Protectorate-Cromwell -- The Puritan Policy -- The Puritan contribution to liberty -- The Restoration -- The changes on the continent 3 Europe overseas -- North America -- Holland -- New France -- The Exploration of the Northwest -- South America -- Brazil -- South Africa -- Portugal -- The English East India Company -- Discovery -- Russia in Asia -- Intellectual progress -- Painting --lb /> Changes in style and spirit -- Morals -- The effect of the Reformation and Counter -- Reformation -- The clergy and the sects -- Literature -- Molière -- Pascal -- The Jansenists -- The English lawyers -- Salus populi suprema lex -- The rise of parliamentary authority -- Hobbes -- Other writers -- Political science --lb /> Newspapers -- Coffee-houses -- Science -- The biologists -- The microseopists -- Scholarship -- Literature 24
Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle -- The Triple Alliance -- France and England -- The rise of English political parties -- The AngloFrench attack on Holland -- The coalition against France-The second "War of Devolution" -- England's entry into the war -- The Peace of Nymwegen -- Eastern Europe -- Brandenburg and Austria -- The northern powers -- The Great Elector -Poland and Russia -- Austria and the Empire -- The Turks -The Kiuprilis -- The Austro-Turkish war -- Battle of St. Gothard -- The Turks, the Cossacks, and Poland -- Austria and the Peace of Nymwegen 51
Louis XIV at the Peace of Nymwegen -- Oppositien to his designs -France beyond the sea -- Colbert -- His colonial plans -- Exploration -- La Salle -- Joliet -- The securing of the West -- Colbert's plans -- French expansion -- Holland and England oversea -- The decline of Holland -- Organization of the Dutch trading empire-English expansion -- The East India Company -- The Royal African Company -- England in America -- Hudson's Bay Company -- The English colonies in North America -- Their reorganization -- Their protest -- The settlement -- Results of the period 73 France at the Peace of Ryswick -- Anglo-French rivalry -- The expansion of European population in America -- Result on Europe -- Spain and Portugal -- England and Holland -- Change in colonial status 94
The new basis of life -- France under the Grand Monarque -- French literature -- French culture -- Progress in the art of war -Cavalry -- Fortification -- Standing armies -- Reaction against French domination -- Letters and politics -- Milton -- Spinoza -The scientific spirit -- England -- Her scientific and inventive interest -- Boyle -- The scientists -- The phlogiston theory -- The law of gravitation, Newton -- The invention of calculus -- The general progress of mathematics -- Astronomy and physics -Huyghens -- Leibnitz -- His philosophy -- Rationalism -- Psychology -- Invention -- The steam-engine -- Coal -- Statisties -- Mercantilism -- Clubs -- The "Age of Louis XIV" -- Popular government -- Law -- Pufendorff -- Locke -- His philosophy -- The "new course" 124
The results of the seventeenth century -- Europe at the beginning of the eighteenth century -- The European system -- Spain and Sweden -- The Spanish question -- The Partition Treaties -- The War of the Spanish Succession -- The Peace of Utrecht -- The end of the Age of Louis XIV -- European rulers and states -The Northern War -- Charles XII -- Peter the Great and Charles XII -- The Russo-Turkish War and the Peace of Pruth -- The Northern War and the Peace of Nystadt -- The AustroTurkish War and the Peace of Passarowitz -- Political results -- Russia under Peter the Great -- Russian advance into Asia -The War of the Spanish Succession oversea -- Queen Anne's War -- The North American colonies -- The South American colonies -- Uruguay -- Minas Geraes -- The Pacific Coast -- The Caribbean lands -- The expansion of Mexico -- French advance in North America -- The Great Lakes -- The Mississippi valley -- The Le Moynes -- Louisiana -- The age of the adventurers -The South Sea Company -- John Law -- The results of the period 152
The age of the pacifists and the intriguers -- England and France -Spain -- The Pragmatic Sanction -- The arts of peace -- India -- Its situation -- The death of Aurungzebe -- The Mahrattas -England and France in India -- Indian trade -- The Americas -The English -- Carolina -- Georgia -- The English and the Indians -- The English colonies and the home government -- New France -- Louisburg -- The French Empire -- The French and the trans-Mississippi region -- The Vérendryes -- France and Spain in America -- Russia in America -- The Hudson's Bay Company -- Spanish-America -- Spanish expansion in South America -- Reorganization -- Brazil -- The War of the Polish Succession -- The Peace of Vienna -- Political readjustment in Europe -- Russia -The east European states -- The new rulers -- Europe and America -- The War of Jenkins' Ear -- Its results --Altered position of the colonies 177
The altered world -- Comparison with Europe of the fifteenth century -- Polities -- Letters -- Voltaire and Montesquieu -- The Papacy and the Jansenists -- Clement XI -- Classicism -- Architecture -- Formalism -- The reaction -- Theology -- The Scientific Renaissance -- The mystics -- The Moravians -- The Methodists -Swedenborg -- The rational ists -- Voltaire -- Letters and philosophy -- The English novel -- Music -- Archæology -- Scholarship -- Applied science and invention -- The decline of classicism -The scientists and philosophers-Linnæ -- Growth of intellectual and cultural organization -- Chemistry -- Geology -Character of the eighteenth century 204 states -- Dupleix -- America -- The war in India and America -The Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle -- The Diplomatic Revolution -- The third Silesian War -- England and France in India -Clive -- England and France in America -- America -- The Seven Years' War -- India -- Europe -- India -- Pitt -- The fall of New France -- English success in India -- The war in Europe George III -- The Treaty of St. Petersburg -- The Peace of Hubertsburg and Paris -- Its results in Europe -- Oversea -The position of England -- Louisiana 232
The philosophers -- Montesquieu -- The Physiocrats -- Rousseau -Diderot and the Encyclopedists -- The triumph of Voltaire -Buffon -- d'Alembert -- Franklin -- Galleries, museums, and academies -- Education -- China -- Applied science -- The Agricultural Revolution -- England and naval progress -- The explorers -Spain -- Reorganization of Spanish imperial policy -- The English North American colonies -- Their resources -- Their commerce -- Their population -- Their expansion -- Their intellectual and economic progress -- Edwards -- Berkeley -- Colonial politics -- Europe and the colonies 261
The results of the Peace of Paris -- Liberal thought -- Economic progress -- The enlightened despots -- Catherine and Russia -Poland -- The first partition of Poland -- Results of the peace of the colonies -- Holland -- Portugal -- Pombal -- The fall of the Jesuits -- Choiseul -- Character of the Jesuits -- The causes of their dissolution -- Spain -- d'Aranda -- Reorganization of Spain's colonial system -- The British Empire -- Its extent in 1763 -England's political character and situation -- Government of the colonies -- The Whigs -- Whig policy -- George III -- George III and the Whigs -- The fall of the Whig Party -- Grenville -The problem of imperial defense -- Imperial finance -- America -- Strength and character of the English colonies -- Aristocracy and democracy in the coloniess -- Reorganization of the English colonial system -- Colonial opposition -- The Stamp Act -- Colonial opposition -- The Stamp Act Riots -- India -Clive -- Pitt 283
Repeal of the Stamp Act -- Changes in the ministry -- The Townshend Act -- Colonial resistance -- Lord North -- The colonial radicals -- English opinion -- Colonial doctrines -- The Boston Massacre -- The tea duty and India -- Hastings -- The tea duty and America -- The Boston Port Bill -- The organization of colonial resistance -- The First Continental Congress -- The appeal to arms -- The battle of Lexington and Concord -- Bunker Hill -- Character of the war -- Resources of the combatants -English weakness -- Difficulties and mistakes of English strategy -- Washington -- Congress -- The war -- The Declaration of Independence -- Howe's incapacity -- Freneh aid -- European volunteers-Howe and Washington -- The Burgoyne expedition -The French treaty -- Spain and Holland -- The Articles of Confederation -- The last phase -- The surrender of Cornwallis -India -- The Peace of Paris and Versailles 310
The European revolution -- European affairs -- Painting -- Pastel and water -- color -- Furniture -- Music -- German literature -- Schiller -- Goethe -- Kant -- French letters -- English literature -- The historians -- Hume -- Robertson -- Gibbon -- Political economy -Adam Smith -- Bentham -- The Agricultural Revolution -- The Industrial Revolution -- Spinning and weavingHargreaves -Arkwright -- Crompton -- Watt -- The steam-engine -- Results of the Industrial Revolution -- Science and invention -- Astronomy -- Geology and geography -- Physics and chemistry -- Biology -Influence upon thought and belief -- Rise of humanitarianism -The slave-trade -- Sunday-schools and prison reform -- Abolition of torture -- The "natural school" -- The "search for happiness" -- Goldsmith -- The "common man" -- Exploration and colonization -- Australia -- Administrative reform -- The younger Pitt -- The enlightened despots -- The United States of America-American advantages -- American limitations -- American problems -- Steps toward a new constitution -- The Constitution of the United States -- Its character and provisions -- Its adoption -- Importance of the establishment of the United States -The situation of France -- The assembly of the States General -- The conflict of forces The French Revolution -- Conclusion. 333
- Chapter XXIII: The Age of Cromwell. 1642-1660
- Chapter XXIV: Europe at the Middle of the Seventeenth Century
- Chapter XXV: The Age of Louis Xiv. 1660-1678
- Chapter XXVI: Europe Beyond the Sea. 1660-1678
- Chapter XXVII: The Age of William Iii. 1678-1702
- Chapter Xxviiieurope at The: End of the Seventeenth Century
- Chapter XXIX: The War of the Spanish Succession and The Reorganization of Europe. 1700-1720
- Chapter XXX: Imperial Europe. 1720-1742
- Chapter XXXI: Religion, Intellect, and Industry. 1700-1750
- Chapter XXXII: The Age of Frederick the Great. 1742-1763
- Chapter XXXIII: The Age of Voltaire and The Philosophers
- Chapter XXXIV: The European Empire. 1763-1768
- Chapter XXXV: The American Revolution. 1768-1783 - Bibliography - Index
JOHN MILTON 20
RUBENS' HOUSE, ANTWERP 36
HOOKE'S COMPOUND MICROSCOPE 48
CHAMPLAIN'S FIRST FIGHT WITH THE IROQUOIS 76
THE PORTUGUESE POST AT S. JORGE DE MINA 84
SIR ISAAC NEWTON 136
THE KREMLIN, MOSCOW 164
TAJ MAHAL AT AGRA 182
LES CHAMPS ELYSEES, WATTEAU 208
WINTER PALACE 212
CATHERINE II; PETER THE GREAT; FREDERICK THE GREAT 236
THE OLD EAST INDIA WHARF, LONDON 272
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN 280
SAMUEL JOHNSON 334
THE INDUSTRIOUS AND THE LAZY APPRENTICE, one of the series "Industry and Idleness," by Hogarth, 1747
348 JAMES WATT 352
COTTON FACTORIES IN MANCHESTER 356
GEORGE WASHINGTON 366
THE OPENING OF THE STATES-GENERAL, Versailles, May 5, 1789 370
The Western Hemisphere, by Henry Hondius, 1630 facing 26
The Conquests of Louis XIV 63
Re-drawing of Joliet's Map 78
Hennepin's Map of North America facing 80
Africa in the 17th Century 86
India at the Break-up of Aurungzebe's Empire, 1710-1740 183
The Growth of Prussia, 1415-1795 238
The North American Colonies, 1763-1775 302
Captain Cook's Voyages, 1768-1780 360
IN COLOR The European World at the Middle of the 17th Century (c. 1648-1660) 3
The European World at the Close of the 17th Century (c. 1690-1700) 121
The European World at the Peace of Paris, 1763 259
The European World at the Peace of Paris and Versailles, 1783 333
THE EXPANSION OF EUROPE - VOL. II
THE AGE OF CROMWELL. 1642-1660
WHEN in the last months of 1648 was signed the great peace which brought to an end the Thirty Years' War and with it the mediaeval polity which it finally destroyed; as the army of diplomats whose work it was dispersed to their respective governments, the awe-inspiring mass of documents which formed the fruit of their long labors might have led men to believe that Europe would hasten to enjoy the peace which she so needed and which her people for the most part so greatly desired. But whatever hopes of quiet were entertained, were already far on the way to disappointment; for the Europe to which the diplomats returned was even then altered or altering before their eyes and already shaping itself for new conflict. Scarcely a state of any consequence prepared to recruit its resources by the arts of peace; scarcely a royal house but faced a crisis in its fortunes; scarcely a people but was stirring in unrest or already engaged in revolution. So far from ushering in a period of peaceful progress the Westphalian treaties became the starting point for new and bloody rivalries.
In Germany itself, so long afflicted with the horrors of a war that depopulated whole districts and dealt a blow to her resources and prosperity which, augmented by later conflicts, weakened her position for two centuries, almost the last vestige of central authority had disappeared. The imperial power, with all its tradition of form and precedence, remained but an empty symbol of unity over the four hundred and more sovereign states and free cities among which the lands between the Rhine and the Oder were divided. The house of Hapsburg, still the strongest of central European dynasties -by virtue of its own personal dominions rather than by any Germany support it commanded from the states of the Empire or its hold on the imperial dignity -- clung to its slight suzerainty over Germany, but found its solid compensations in its struggle with the Turks for the Balkan lands.
Among the German states which eluded its sovereignty, four, Saxony, Brandenburg, Bavaria, and the Palatinate, remained of importance in the European world. Among these the first two had already sought expansion in the east, where Prussia and Poland offered them their opportunity. The principle of primogeniture, spreading from house to house, assured, indeed, a check on further extension of that subdivision which had done so much to bring Germany to infinite and absurd partition. But with their slender patrimonies the petty sovereigns held the more zealously to every prerogative of independence and absolutism. For there was as little tendency among them to increase the shadowy authority of Emperor or Diet as to share their rule with their own subjects. Imperial Chamber, Aulic Council, and the local divisions of the so-called Circles, which might otherwise have become the nucleus of a united Germany, remained as impotent as the dreams of liberty which were being roused by events outside the heart of Europe, as the last of the great religious wars came to an end.
The German states
The states of the north and east were in no better case than their Teutonic kinsmen. Under the guiding genius of Gustavus and Oxenstierna, Sweden had risen with unexampled rapidity to the position of a first-rate European power. But there were already signs of the decline of the Vasa supremacy in the Baltic regions. Scarcely had Oxenstierna brought the fruits of his diplomacy from Osnabraück when he fell in disgrace with his brilliant, erratic queen Christina, whose extravagances of conduct and expenditure then threatened the fortunes of her crown, her country, and her house. Denmark, which might have taken advantage of her old rival, was held back by the death of Christian IV, which threw the state into the hands of a triumphant aristocracy whose rule soon brought the nation close to civil war. Russia, meanwhile, under the sway of Alexis, son of that Michael Romanoff
The northern powers
the Northern Powers
support it commanded from the states of the Empire or its hold on the imperial dignity--clung to its slight suzerainty over Germany, but found its solid compensations in its struggle with the Turks for the Balkan lands.
Among the German states which eluded its sovereignty, four, Saxony, Brandenburg, Bavaria, and the Palatinate, remained of importance in the European world. Among these the first two had already sought expansion in the east, where Prussia and Poland offered them their opportunity. The principle of primogeniture, spreading from house to house, assured, indeed, a check on further extension of that subdivision which had done so much to bring Germany to infinite and absurd partition. But with their slender patrimonies the petty sovereigns held the more zealously to every prerogative of independence and absolutism. For there was as little tendency among them to increase the shadowy authority of Emperor or Diet as to share their rule with their own subjects. Imperial Chamber, Aulic Council, and the local divisions of the so-called Circles, which might otherwise have become the nucleus of a united Germany, remained as impotent as the dreams of liberty which were being roused by events outside the heart of Europe, as the last of the great religious wars came to an end.
The German states
The states of the north and east were in no better case than their Teutonic kinsmen. Under the guiding genius of Gustavus and Oxenstierna, Sweden had risen with unexampled rapidity to the position of a first-rate European power. But there were already signs of the decline of the Vasa supremacy in the Baltic regions. Scarcely had Oxenstierna brought the fruits of his diplomacy from Osnabrück when he fell in disgrace with his brilliant, erratic queen Christina, whose extravagances of conduct and expenditure then threatened the fortunes of her crown, her country, and her house. Denmark, which might have taken advantage of her old rival, was held back by the death of Christian IV, which threw the state into the hands of a triumphant aristocracy whose rule soon brought the nation close to civil war. Russia, meanwhile, under the sway of Alexis, son of that Michael Romanoff who had established his dynasty in the preceding generation on the throne of Muscovy, was in a similar situation. Harassed by popular risings and disturbances engendered by reform of the Russian church liturgy which was destined to have far-reaching consequences, no less than by the restless ambitions of the Cossacks in the south, the Czar was driven to recognize the increasing power of the boyars or nobles in affairs of state. Amid these distractions he found little opportunity for foreign enterprise; and at the very moment of the peace, in which, though he took no direct share, he was involved by his alliances, he was confronted simultaneously by a revolt in his capital and a Cossack insurrection.
This owed its importance to the fact that it was the last serious attempt for two centuries or more to found another eastern European state, and its strength to the ambitions and ability of its leader, Bogdan Khmelnitzki. Aided by their old enemies, the Tartar Khans, the wild steppe horsemen shook the unstable Polish monarchy to its base; while their final enforced acceptance of the Russian suzerainty, when their fierce attack broke on the resistance of the Polish chivalry, laid the foundations for the next advance of Muscovy toward the shores of the long-coveted Black Sea, and marked another stage in the ascendancy of Russia over Poland.
The Cossack revolt
The latter state was ill-prepared, indeed, to exercise her old authority over her far-flung, loosely woven provinces. Her new ruler, the Cardinal John Casimir Vasa, who came to power as the peace was being signed, found himself confronted not alone by Cossack rebels. Of scarcely less import was the schism between the Polish Roman Catholics and his Lithuanian subjects of the Greek communion. This was fraught with the more danger in that his Russian neighbors championed the cause of the Eastern Church. More threatening still was the claim of the turbulent Polish aristocracy to rights of confederation even against the crown itself. When this disintegrating process reached its culmination in the acceptance of that masterpiece of political fatuity, the "liberum veto" by which a single vote could block the action of the Diet, the state found itself close to anarchy. In the
Polish situation appeared the climax of that general tendency of the eastern states toward allowing political power to slip from the hands of the crown to those of a lower class, which, in far different form, was the characteristic as well of the western states in this momentous period. In this era of disorganization, the Muscovite and the Turk were held back from enlarging their territories at Polish expense by their own difficulties at home, and this alone preserved the declining power of. Poland from the effects of the political weakness which Swedish attack was shortly to reveal.
Under far different circumstances yet characterized by not dissimilar spirit, the western powers faced the outcome of the peace. Italy, divided still between the petty sovereignties, the Papacy, and the conflicting claims of foreign powers, endured, save for Venetian conflicts with the Turk over Crete, a brief interval of respite from hostilities. Meanwhile Savoy found fresh occasion to pursue that tortuous and adroit policy by which she had already begun to eat up the peninsula "as a man eats an artichoke, leaf by leaf." Only in the Spanish dominions there burst forth unparalleled disturbance. There, ten bloody days of insurrection brought the Amalfi fisherman, Masaniello, for the moment, into power, and his brief, tragic career was the wonder of western Europe in the year before the peace, as that of Khmelnitzki was soon to be to the east.
Of the greater western states Spain, shaken by the loss of Portugal, weakened and discredited by the great war, was compelled to recognize the independence of the Netherlands, yet, bankrupt in credit and resources, she still maintained her conflict with France, aided by the strangest circumstance in the long history of her ancient enemy. Against the French government, now in the hands of the Queen Dowager and the chief minister, the Cardinal Mazarin, began that amazing struggle known as the Fronde. Involved in an infinity of intrigue, the French nobility, even great generals like Condé and Turenne, gave themselves over to a nightmare of political and personal rivalries, a labyrinthine maze of plot and counterplot, whence reason and policy alike seemed to have The Fronde 1648-53 fled. Now fighting, now allied with their own government, with Spain, England, the Netherlands, and among themselves, it was a full dozen years before the discordant elements of French politics subsided again to an orderly and rational progress.
Yet with all this series of disturbances throughout the continent--aristocratic revolutions among the northern and eastern powers, Cossack insurrection, Neapolitan rising, and French civil war--England still remained the center of European interest. Beside the events in the British Isles, -noble revolts and popular disturbance paled to insignificance. Above Khmelnitzki and Masaniello and Condé towered the heroic figure of the English Cromwell. In the six years that had elapsed since that stormy August day when the English king had set up his standard at Nottingham and summoned .the forces of the crown against his Parliament, the royal power had sunk lower with successive misfortunes. The king himself was now a prisoner, his children exiles, his army destroyed, his followers proscribed, his enemies in the ascendant. At the moment of the peace events took another and decisive turn. The king's negotiations with the Presbyterian Parliament roused the resentment of the army, which had fallen into the hands of the sect of Independents that had grown rapidly in the course of the conflict. By order of the army leaders Parliament had been purged of the offending Presbyterians. Now the remnant or Rump composed of the more advanced Independents, despairing of accommodation with a monarch they had long ceased to trust and whom they felt it was impossible to bind by constitutional guarantees, established a High Court of Justice, by which the king was tried and convicted of high treason to the nation. The continent had scarcely received the news of the signing of the great peace, its signers had scarcely reported to their governments the results of their deliberations, when all Europe was shocked by the execution of the English king.
Jan. 30 1649
It was an event in European history of no less significance than the peace itself. In many respects it was of even more profound and far-reaching importance. Whatever the ulti- The execution of Charles I mate merits of the case and its more technical illegalities, the fact remained that, in the face of the doctrine that monarchs ruled by divine right and were responsible to God alone, a popular party in the English state had raised an army, conquered its numerous enemies by virtue of its courage, discipline, and its leader's unrivaled military skill; overthrown the royal power; and, for the first time in European history, brought an anointed king to the executioner's block as if he were a common mortal. It was a portent whose significance was not lost upon the world at large. Whatever crimes were committed in the name of liberty, whatever reaction even then prepared against popular government on the continent, no single circumstance for generations so profoundly evidenced the wakening of new forces in political affairs as this. As the figure of the English revolutionary leader, Oliver Cromwell, rose from the welter of civil war to European view, it was apparent that there was a new force in the world to be reckoned with thenceforth in the calculations of those individuals and classes in whose hands political power had rested for centuries. For the headsman's ax became the entering wedge of democracy.
In the confused decade which followed the Peace of Westphalia the fortunes of Europe and her oversea possessions took color from the great events which had accompanied the conclusion of the great religious war. The generation of rulers chiefly concerned in that conflict had already passed. Denmark and Poland, Russia and England were not alone in feeling new hands upon the reins of government. The brief eventful rule of William II over the Netherlands had witnessed his attempt to centralize the power of the state in his own person, and put an end to the disunion which threatened the state. His untimely death demolished his projects and Holland became, in fact and name, the Republic of the United Netherlands. The long and important reign of the Great Elector, Frederick William of Brandenburg, was already shaping those astute and far-sighted policies which were to lay the foundations of the kingdom of Prussia. The boy, Louis XIV, under the tutelage of his mother, Anne
of Austria, and Mazarin, was busy learning those lessons of governance which were to bear such fruit of war and diplomacy in the next generation. And two years after the peace there was born one who was to be his great antagonist, William of Orange. In his hands were to be gathered up so many of the threads then being spun. By him the triumph of the house of Nassau over its republican rivals was finally to be achieved, the overweening power of France checked, and the success of parliamentary government in England secured.
Yet for the moment, save for the re-entry of England into continental affairs as Cromwell rose to supreme authority, there was little in the events of the dozen years which intervened between the peace and the almost simultaneous accession of Louis XIV to the French throne and the summons which brought his cousin Charles II back to England, that did not grow from the ancient rivalries. Into the confused struggle among the northern powers the slow, sure ambitions of the Great Elector insinuated the potent factor of Brandenburg's increasing influence. But Sweden remained none the less the dominant factor in that quarter of the European world. Six years after the peace the brilliant, erratic Christina surrendered the throne to her cousin, Charles X, who, denied the recognition of his title by his relative, John Casimir, followed the example of his uncle, Gustavus, invaded the continent, fell upon Poland, and precipitated the so-called Northern War.
The North and East
Against him the Baltic powers combined with the Emperor to break the Swedish ascendancy once and for all. Through six years the brilliant generalship and fighting qualities of the Swedes maintained the unequal conflict, not without success, until the king's untimely death compelled them to the Peace of Oliva and Kardis. From that peace, thanks to his well-timed changes of front, the shrewd Elector of Brandenburg emerged the chief gainer, as the recognition of his sovereignty of the Duchy of Prussia by all the contending powers brought the house of Hohenzollern a long step nearer its ultimate goal. This, with the surrender of the southern The Peace of Olivia and Kardis 1660-1 part of the Scandinavian peninsula by Denmark to Sweden, remained the tangible results of the fierce conflict, which left the question of Baltic supremacy still far from its final settlement, while it added new and powerful factors to the problem of the mastery of the north.
Peace of Copenhagen 1660
Meanwhile the other side of the continent was no less disturbed by the continuation of the Franco-Spanish war which had survived the general pacification of Münster and Osnabrück. The five-year fantasy of the Fronde was concluded by the triumph of Mazarin and the Queen Regent. Despite the enlistment of the great Condé in Spanish service, the support of the Huguenots, and the assistance of Cromwell, France slowly gained ground. Following the decisive victory of the Battle of the Dunes, and the consequent advance of French forces on Brussels which threatened to give the Netherlands into their hands, Spain was deprived of the aid of the new Emperor, Leopold I. The adroit diplomacy of Mazarin made an ally of Cromwell, and forced her to the unfavorable Peace of the Pyrenees. By this treaty,--which, as the pendant to that of Westphalia, supplemented and concluded the settlement of western Europe for the time,-the French borders were rounded out by parts of Flanders, Hainault, and Luxembourg on the north and east, and secured by the dismantling of the fortresses of Lorraine and the acquisition of Roussillon. Alsace, abandoned by Spain, was left defenseless to French ambitions, and Portugal in turn was abandoned by France to the vengeance of the Spaniards. With these adjustments and the marriage of Louis XIV to the daughter of Philip IV of Spain, prophetic of future conflict, the affairs of the west reached a momentary equilibrium at almost the same moment that the balance of power was adjusted in the north and east. And, as a symbol of the altering times, Mazarin was replaced as head of French affairs by the young prince who as Louis XIV was to dominate the politics and the imagination of western Europe for the next half century.
The Franco-Spanish War
The Peace of the Pyrenees 1659
The success of France and the discomfiture of Spain had not been wholly due either to the diplomacy of Mazarin or The Puritans to the total incapacity of his Spanish antagonists. The final decisive Battle of the Dunes had brought into high relief another and determining element in the affairs of Europe, and one that had been scarcely felt for two generations. When at the crisis of the battle the French commander launched the corps of heavy English cavalry, the so-called Ironsides lent his master by Cromwell, the thunder of their triumphant charge and no less the swelling chorus of the psalm which prefaced their attack, gave evidence of a new and strange element in the world of war and politics. Last heirs of the long enmity which since the accession of Elizabeth a hundred years before had thrown a great section of the English people into irreconcilable opposition to the champion of the Inquisition, the Puritans, now the controlling factor in English affairs, struck the last blow against the old supremacy of Spain as their Elizabethan progenitors had been the first to challenge it.
They were fit representatives of the power which had loaned them to France. In the ten years which followed the Peace of Westphalia and the execution of Charles I, England had undergone a transformation in her fortunes and her policy beside which the other changes in European affairs seem almost insignificant. The final overthrow of the royalists and the purging of the Parliament had left the supreme authority virtually in the hands of the remodeled army whose leaders, for the most part, belonged to that sect of Independents which a decade of civil war had welded into a party. By long and victorious conflict, first with the royalists, then with the Presbyterians, there had been formed, under this Independent leadership, that political group commonly known as the Puritans. This had attracted to itself a various following by its unswerving policy of religious tolerance. It included beside the Independents the extremer elements of Protestantism, the Baptists, the millenarians or so-called Fifth Monarchists, and the newly formed sect of Quakers, combined with political enthusiasts, republicans, socialistic groups like the Diggers and the Levellers. This host of devoted enemies to the older forms of religion, politics,
Their rise and membership
and society, now prepared to attempt the construction of a new earth if not a new heaven. They were inspired by the prophecies and revelations of the Bible, whose phraseology they imitated, whose more obscure and mystical passages they inclined to translate into a guide for their own actions. Filled with a fiery fanaticism, a courage, and a calculating idealism which brooked no opposition, they had gone forth like crusaders of a new faith and practice, conquering and to conquer. It was in vain that every force of the old order, royalist and Anglican, Catholic and presently Presbyterian, the strength of Scotland, Ireland, and the sympathetic powers of the continent combined against them. Their advent, and still more their success in maintaining the position which they won and kept by the sword, became a portent of the profoundest significance in European development, a challenge which could not be ignored. For they personified militant and triumphant individualism in the two great fields of religion and politics.
It was but natural that the party which shocked every sentiment of loyalty to an established order and made compromise impossible by the execution of a king should find itself, at home, abroad, and in most of its colonies, confronted by a world of enemies. None the less it held its course, undaunted by what might have seemed to less determined or less devoted men a desperate situation. Protected from foreign interference no less by the possession of a reorganized and efficient navy than by the distracted state of the continent which left its sovereigns small inclination or opportunity for intervention, the new masters of England turned first to secure their power in the British Isles. To this task the Puritan army and its leader were more than equal. Six months after the execution of the king, Cromwell was on his way to Ireland, commissioned to put down royalist and Catholic rebellion against the usurped authority of the Parliament. Two months of vigorous effort gave into his hands the strongholds of the eastern coast, Drogheda and Wexford. Their defenders were put to the sword after the manner of the Old Testament, as a terrible warning to their fellows in arms.
Thereafter, every trace of Irish offensive strength was crushed, every spark of opposition was extinguished in blood, as the resistless army of the Commonwealth pursued its course of subjugation, till the unfortunate island and so many of its inhabitants as escaped the sword lay prostrate before its first real conquerors.
Scotland meanwhile endured a not dissimilar but far less terrible fate. For its conquest the genius of Cromwell was again invoked by Parliament, and a twelvemonth after his victories in Ireland, the Covenanting army was routed at Dunbar. The young prince Charles, who had been crowned King of Scotland at Scone, followed by a royalist force, made one last desperate attempt to invade England, only to be crushed at Worcester. With these "crowning mercies," the fate of kingship in England was, for the moment, sealed; and Parliament addressed itself to organizing its newly-won power and to the question of foreign affairs.
For the first time in history Ireland and Scotland had been effectively subdued and united to England almost if not quite as closely as Wales had been four centuries earlier. It remained to secure the conquest. Scotland, whose people were for the most part Protestant, and whose resistance had scarcely progressed beyond the campaigns which ended in Dunbar and Worcester, found itself, save for the presence of an English army of occupation, little changed in its relation to the English government. But the case of Ireland was far different and far worse. Her people were almost wholly Catholic; their resistance had been of the most stubborn and desperate character, fighting as they were not only for their political principles but for their faith, their homes, and their very existence. These it was determined to render not merely harmless but homeless and to secure English supremacy forever over the sister island by every means short of extermination. To that end, in three of the four great provinces of which Ireland was composed, Ulster, Munster, and Leinster, the land of the Irish was confiscated and allotted to adventurers who had advanced the money for the war, to officers and soldiers who had conquered it, and to supporters of the Puritan régime generally. To the English and Scotch contingents which had found a foothold in the island in the preceding two generations there was thus added a new and powerful English element, which, in so far as possible, strove to make Ireland, in fact as name, a dependency of England on the same lines and by means not unlike those which were meanwhile being used in the colonization of North America.
Scarcely was the process of transplanting the Irish from their inheritance to the wilder western lands of Connaught begun, scarcely had the new landlord conquerors entered on their rich possessions, when the Parliament which had decreed the colonization of the new dependency was called on to face another and more powerful enemy. Whatever else the Puritan triumph implied, it had invoked the rising influence of the mercantile element. Whatever else the Commonwealth typified, it stood for the assertion of English commercial rights; and now that this great interest had control of affairs, a leader, and the strength to assert itself, it was not slow to settle old scores of economic rivalry.
Chief of their grievances were those against the Dutch. Amid the ruins of the Spanish-Portuguese monopoly, and the confusion and weakness which had rendered the English government all but impotent in foreign affairs for half a century, the commercial power of the Netherlands had become well-nigh supreme in every activity which was related to the sea. The Dutch ship-building interest centering in Zaandam and its neighbors had made them the chief ship-yards of the world. Amsterdam had succeeded Antwerp as the commercial and financial metropolis of those great concerns which were related to sea-going ventures and which were the chief source of wealth in Europe of that day. In the whale-fisheries of the Arctic, the cod-fishing grounds of Newfoundland, the herring-fisheries of the North Sea coasts, the Dutch had largely supplanted their rivals. Their traders had gradually absorbed the traffic of the Baltic and the north. Their adroit diplomacy had well-nigh driven the long-standing English commerce from Muscovy. It had persuaded Denmark, which held both shores of the Skagerak and the Kattegat guarding the way into the Baltic, to relieve Dutch shipping from the so-called Sound Dues imposed on all vessels entering those waters. The Dutch colony of New Amsterdam and the Dutch conquest of Pernambuco gave Holland access to the riches of American forest and plantation. Their privateers rivaled the exploits of the Elizabethan heroes; their companies overshadowed those of their competitors in every quarter of the world. And as they had wrested Brazil from the Portuguese, so they had driven them and the English after them from any profitable share in the commerce of the East. In the Levant as in Persia, in Africa as in China and Japan, their commerce was all but supreme. Their home industries, reinforced by thousands of immigrants who brought them the arts and crafts of Europe in return for religious tolerance, made them formidable rivals in the manufacturing field. Finally their wealth, to which the whole world contributed, enabled them, through their control of ready capital, to undertake ventures difficult or impossible to their competitors. In brief, wherever Englishmen turned to exploit the resources of their own or any other country they found themselves anticipated by the Dutch.
England had not followed a course in the preceding two generations which enabled her to overcome this lead her rivals had attained. Though naturally the stronger power, she had been hampered by weak rulers, a feeble policy, and long-continued internal strife, and had thus struggled on with but indifferent success. It was not surprising that the Commonwealth found its chief support against the royal authority in that class which, apart from religious considerations, had been long antagonized by the opposition or the indifference of the crown to its interests. It is less surprising still that, now its opportunity had come, this class urged on its government to strike for England's share in the world's commerce. England
The first blow was directed against the carrying monopoly. Coincident with the triumph over the Scots was passed the so-called Navigation Act, confining English trade to English ships. It was the first move which led to a great economic
The Navigation Act 1651
struggle, soon deepening to armed conflict, for it was evident that the Netherlands would not tamely submit to the curtailment of their hard-won commercial supremacy. Proud of their newly achieved independence, unwilling to submit to English rivalry, they were further irritated by the demand that they should expel the fugitive royalists, proscribe the house of Orange, and unite with England in a single Calvinistic state. Scarcely, therefore, had each side overthrown its dynasty, scarcely had DeWitt and Cromwell found themselves at the head of their respective commonwealths, when those commonwealths plunged into war.
In this, the first of those colonial-commercial conflicts which, following a hundred years of religio-political strife, disturbed the peace of Europe and the world for a century and a half, the Dutch, despite their great resources and their recent triumphs, were ill-prepared to compete with antagonists emerging from civil war with trained forces, skilled commanders, and the impetus of success. The conflict, as became the character of the peoples concerned, was fierce and stubborn. Transferring their land generals to the sea, the Puritans slowly made head upon that element, till beside the names of Ruyter and van Tromp were set those of Blake and Monk on the naval roll of fame. The final advantage, indeed, lay with the English. But though the peace which gave them Pularoon, with damages for Amboyna, and mutually excluded the houses of Stuart and Orange from their thrones, was on the whole favorable to their contentions, it was far from satisfying their ambitions and it was evident that it marked rather a truce than the permanent cessation of hostility.
The Anglo-Dutch War 1652-4
But in the very crisis of the Dutch war the chief problem which confronted the Puritan party, once their position was assured, pressed for solution. This was the form of government which should take the place of the monarchy they had overthrown. Even in the face of foreign conflict the rivalry of the Parliament and the army which had succeded the antagonism of Independent and Presbyterian was not stilled; and, amid the chaos of contending theories and rival schools The Protectorate 1653-9 of political thought, it seemed for a time that the Puritans were likely to lose by their tongues what they had gained by their swords. At the height of the Dutch war, just as the Fronde came to an end and released French strength for other enterprises, the issue between the officers and the feeble but persistent remnant of the Rump became acute. Unable to unloose the Gordian knot by the ordinary methods of politics, the commander of the army cut it sheer through. His soldiers turned out the Parliament, he dissolved the Council of State, established a new council, and summoned a new Parliament. The coup d'état left him and his officers virtually supreme. Disguised under a multitude of forms, thenceforth the English government depended on the political and military skill of the man whom circumstances and his own pre-eminent ability had brought to the first place in the revolutionary party,--the Huntingdonshire gentleman, Oliver Cromwell. His ability had chiefly directed the organization of the army upon which the ultimate success of his party depended. His generalship had largely determined the result of the decisive victories of Marston Moor and Naseby over the royalists and had conquered the Irish and the Scotch; while his firmness, character, and insight marked him inevitably for the first place in the state.
To him the new Parliament resigned its powers, and when in December, 1653, he took office as Lord Protector under the Instrument of Government, first of English, and, indeed, of European written constitutions, he became the leading figure in the European world. At home his government remained, as it had begun, with all the limitations imposed by public sentiment and formal documents, with all his own personal inclination to the contrary, little more than a revolutionary power dependent on his own unrivaled political sagacity and his generalship. The situation of the country, and the opposition to his rule, indeed, led to more drastic measures. The land was divided into ten districts each supervised by a major-general; and what was nominally a parliamentary government became to all intents and purposes a military dictatorship. It was, at best, not merely the government of a minority, as its predecessors had been, but of a minority which hitherto had been largely excluded from political life. The result was as remarkable as it was unexpected. Among its fanatical religious elements, the ability of its leader preserved tolerance of all thought which did not concern itself too closely with politics. The Anglican establishment was suppressed, with the extremists of the other end of the religious scale, in the interests of civil peace; and, for the first time Europe beheld the spectacle of the virtual separation of church and state.
Extraordinary as was the position of England's domestic concerns, the change that came over her foreign situation was more remarkable and far more disturbing. For under Cromwell she attained, almost at once, a place she had not held certainly since the days of Elizabeth, scarcely since the time of Henry V. That a private gentleman should succeed to the place and more than the power of the Stuart kings was to seventeenth century minds little less than a miracle. That such a man, after half a lifetime of the pursuits of peace, should develop qualities of military leadership which put him in the front rank of the great captains of the world seemed even more incredible. But that when, brought to the head of the state by such means, he should discover a genius for statesmanship which restored England to a leading place in European politics, passed even the bounds of the miraculous; appearing to his supporters a direct evidence of the interposition of divine providence, and to his enemies arguing no less a compact with the powers of evil. Cromwell
Yet with all this, Cromwell was but little versed in the real political and diplomatic forces then at work in the European world. His policy was in most respects the mere injection of Puritan ideas and ideals into a larger and an alien field. To him and to his party generally, Spain was what she had been to the England of Elizabeth, the chief champion of Catholicism against the reformed communions. With all his great ability, with all the force at his command, he pushed forward a combination of the outworn religious polity of the sixteenth century and an economic policy The Puritan policy
directed against Holland. In this he but represented the element to which he belonged. The Puritans were the heirs of the Reformation, the representatives of the last phase of that great revolt against the Vatican. To them the antagonisms of the preceding century were still a living issue; to them the Spanish power was still what it had been. Like a second Gustavus, Cromwell stood forth to champion his oppressed brethren of the continent, like a second Elizabeth he struck at the Spanish Main. His wider dreams of a great Protestant federation, like his negotiations with the insurgent Condé and his encouragement of the restless Rochellois, were not destined to bear fruit, nor were his plans to transplant the seed of New England Puritanism to the West Indies more fortunate. Of all the European powers, though the folly of the Fronde and the diplomacy of Mazarin concealed it from him, England and Protestantism had most to fear from France, and among the triumphs of the Cardinalminister one of the greatest must be reckoned his enlistment of the Puritans against the Spaniards.
The relations of the Puritan régime with France were supplemented by its attitude toward Spain. Under the influence of a great tradition and an inspired diplomacy it struck the final blow against an outworn power. Following the example of a past generation no less than the demands of his own time the Protector despatched a fleet against the West Indies. This expedition under Venables and Penn added Jamaica to England's Caribbean possessions, and strengthened her claims on the Bahamas, which a later generation was to make good. The exploits of Blake echoed the triumphs of the Elizabethan sea-kings, and the capture of the Spanish treasureships off Cadiz in the third year of the Protectorate seemed almost to bring again to England the glory of Drake. And when, finally, Cromwell's protection, backed by the threat of the most dreaded army and fleet in Europe, was thrown over the Vaudois Protestants then being persecuted by their Catholic masters, not only the petty states of Italy but France herself heeded his admonition.
Yet if the Puritan régime looked backward to a past polity it looked forward to a future economy. With all their religious fervor, with a theology as old as Augustine, a close adherence to Old Testament inspiration, and a belief in the intimate presence of a Deity vitally concerned with their doings in the most minute particular, the Puritans were true sons of Calvin in their devotion to commerce and finance. In their hands began the final emergence of the mercantile element in English politics. However much they stood for an extreme, militant, and triumphant Protestantism in their dealings with Spain, they represented no less the determination to make England supreme in sea-power and trade even against communions of their own kind. In that ambition they passed the Navigation Act. In that spirit they fought Holland and secured indemnity for Amboyna with a share of eastern trade. In that spirit they cemented England's long-standing political relations with Portugal by a great commercial treaty and launched Blake to spread the terror of the English flag among the pirates of northern Africa, to enforce respect for it and for their power throughout the Mediterranean states. In that spirit they made treaties with the Protestant states of Sweden and Denmark and gained freedom from the vexatious Sound Dues. In that spirit they placed commerce for the first time in the front rank of foreign politics, and set England in the path that led to colonial and commercial pre-eminence.
Such were the circumstances which made England the real center of European interest in the decade following the Peace of Westphalia. But it was not alone because the Puritans injected the spirit of a militant Protestantism into a continent whose interest in religious conflict was all but spent. Nor was it in their emphatic challenge of the mastery of the sea, though this brought them in touch with almost every phase of European activity, that there lay the ultimate importance of their advent on the European stage. Whatever their early Christian theology, their fantastic reversion to primitive church forms and phraseology, they did much to loosen the fetters of thought and speech by which men had been bound to the established order in church and state. "No man who
The Puritan contribution to liberty
knows aught," wrote Milton, "can be so stupid to deny that all men naturally were born free . . . and were, by privilege, born to command, and not to obey." And again, in his apostrophe to Cromwell, "In human society there is nothing more pleasing to God, more agreeable to reason, nothing fairer and more useful to the State than that the worthiest should bear rule."
There spoke the prophet of democracy. But even his splendid theory was not the sum of Puritan contribution to European progress. His fellows, as he said, were "men prepared not only to debate but to fight," and capable of enforcing their contention "that kings of England may be judged even by the laws of England." However the doctrines now openly advanced touched the thought of educated men, the Puritans rendered an even greater service to the cause of political liberty by their acts than by their controversial activities. They brought the issue down from the heights of theory to the dusty, blood-stained arena of practical affairs. By one fierce stroke they made manifest that kings may be held responsible to their subjects, whatever their relations to divinity. Par more significant than the blind struggle for supremacy among the northern powers, the long-drawn conflict between Spain and France, or even their own achievements by land and sea, this challenge of constituted authority was the chief contribution of the dozen years which followed the conclusion of the last great religious war. For with it Europe embarked on another stage of her long pilgrimage toward popular government.
That impetus was soon spent. On the 3rd of September, 1658, Oliver Cromwell died; and the fabric of government which rested on his wit and sword began to disintegrate almost at once in the hands of his successors. The Council of Officers, the Parliament, and Cromwell's son, Richard, who followed him as Protector, found no support in the country, and promptly fell out among themselves. England was weary of Puritanism and its too great restrictions. Probably a considerable majority of Englishmen had never been in sympathy with the Cromwellian rule even at the height
of its triumphs; and with all its success abroad it had failed to produce any constructive work at home. The time was not ripe for true self-government, much less for the forms in which it presented itself at this moment. Royalist plots began to make themselves felt; the remnant of the Parliament and the army leaders came into sharp opposition; and a great majority of the English people began to look toward the restoration of the exiled heir to the throne as the chief of blessings which could befall them. The Puritan régime had exhausted its mandate. And when the commander of the Scotch forces, General Monk, made his way to London, declared for a free Parliament, and entered into negotiations with the exiled prince, the end was not long delayed. The navy went over to the royalists, and Charles was invited to return. That invitation he accepted with alacrity, and with his coming England entered upon another and a very different era of her history.
Moreover, concurrently with events in England, the whole face of political affairs upon the continent was changed. The Peace of the Pyrenees ended the long Franco-Spanish rivalry, with France in possession of half a score of border towns and districts which further strengthened her frontiers, while the French heir became the husband of the Spanish Infanta. Scarcely was this accomplished when the treaties of Oliva, Copenhagen, and Kardis brought to an end the northern war which had filled the years of the Cromwellian rule in England. By them Sweden finally secured the whole of the Scandinavian peninsula, and remained the dominant power in the Baltic lands. The Polish Vasas gave up their claims to the Swedish throne; and Swedes and Poles alike renounced their suzerainty over Prussia, which thus came unencumbered into the hands of Brandenburg.
The changes on the continent
Meanwhile there came an extraordinary change in the rulers of the continent. A new Emperor, Leopold I, took up the long burden of his rule; the Ottoman Turks began to rouse themselves under the inspiration of a great Albanian family, the Kiuprilis, who, as grand viziers, again threatened Europe with something of the terror it had felt in the days of
Suleiman the Magnificent. After a chaos of personal and political rivalry among the leaders of the English Commonwealth, their power was overwhelmed by the wave of royalism which brought Charles II to his fathers' throne. A twelvemonth later Mazarin was dead, and the young prince, Louis XIV, declared his majority and became king of France. With this the Age of Cromwell came to an end, and a new act of European history took its place upon the stage, prepared to develop in other hands and with far different motives another element in political affairs.
CHAPTER XXIV - EUROPE AT THE MIDDLE OF THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY
THERE are few periods of European history which can be compared with the mid-decades of the seventeenth century for dramatic events in the world of politics. The attempt of the Cossack Khmelnitzki to establish a new state in eastern Europe; the effort of the Amalfi fishermen, Masaniello, to seize the ruling power in Naples; and the rise of the English country gentleman, Cromwell, to the headship of affairs in the British Isles and a commanding place in European politics, would alone make these years memorable. But beside these extraordinary events, the mad fantasy of the Fronde in France, and the tragic failure of William II to secure the power of the house of Orange in the Netherlands, with the consequent rise of a republic there under the guidance of another great exponent of the popular principle, John de Witt,--these circumstances combine to form an unparalleled chapter in Europe's history. Never in her whole career had she seen at one time so many and such diverse attempts to change the forms of government. Nor was the least significant feature of the situation the fact that most of these activities were connected with the progress of the middle and even the lower classes into a place in public affairs. Thenceforth the so-called bourgeois or middle class, which had long been dominant in the private concerns of commerce and finance, took an increasing part in those affairs of state, long monopolized by the aristocratic element.
Yet neither the conflicts within their own borders, nor the tumults which accompanied or resulted from them, nor the struggles between opposing principles and interests within their various states, exhausted the energies of Europeans in this eventful period. Still less were they limited by the concerns of the spirit which had played so great a part in the preceding century. In two directions outside the immediate field of politics and religion, the mid-seventeenth century was an era of great significance. The one was Europe oversea, the other was the domain of intellect.
Of these the first was more spectacular if not of more immediate importance. It was but natural that the turmoil within Europe should send its ripples to the farthest edge of her possessions, even where these were not directly touched by events at home. It was no less natural that such great movements should stir the depths of thought. Above all was it inevitable that a crisis in English affairs, like that produced by the civil wars, should have an effect upon the societies which she had founded in America, in large measure from those same elements which furthered the revolt at home. Nor was it possible that the struggle between England and her continental antagonists should not be reflected throughout the extra-European world; or that the question of the mastery of the sea should not involve in some degree even those powers little moved by conflicts over European borders or discussions over popular rights.
Europe overseas 1642-60
Nowhere was the impulse of European unrest during the Age of Cromwell felt more keenly than in North America. There New England had rejoiced in the triumph of her brethren at home, to whose aid many of her strongest spirits had hurried at the outbreak of war. There, on the other hand, the more royalist Virginians had been compelled only by force to submit to the authority of the Cromwellian régime; while the belligerent Barbados planters, proclaiming Charles II, had carried their principles so far that only the bombardment of their capital reduced them to submission. This accomplished, and Jamaica secured by Venables and Penn, the chief interest in that quarter of the world remained the steady progress of population, and the increasing if unsystematic efforts of the English to secure strategic points by conquest and colonization. These movements were strengthened by the course of events at home. As in the preceding decades the
northern colonies had been reinforced by the Great Emigration of the Puritans, so now the southern colonies received recruits from the ranks of royalists fleeing from the Puritan ascendancy. The effect was quickly apparent. Far to the southward of the parent colony, the Virginians began the settlement of the Albemarle region, known to later generations as the Carolinas. With it began another chapter in the slow and steady advance of the English occupation of the continent,--the first substantial result of Puritan domination as it related itself to the colonial world.
For England found rivals in her expansion during this period, and her activities were not the only factor in the affairs of the New World. Flushed with the triumph which set the seal of recognition on the achievement of Dutch independence, the men of New Amsterdam had been quick to signalize their country's triumph by an attack upon the neighboring Swedish settlements; and with the easy conquest and ultimate transfer of New Sweden to their hands, came the beginning of the end of Sweden as a colonizing power. At the same time Dutch enterprise was active in a different field. From their traders along the Hudson, the Iroquoishad been supplied with arms and ammunition, and, for the first time, those fierce and warlike tribes were enabled to meet their old enemies, the French, on somewhat equal terms. To savage foe and civilized settler they now became equally terrible. The ensuing conflict along the loose frontiers, within which they claimed an absolute sovereignty, threatened not merely the extinction of their native enemies and the closing of all ways to the west, but the destruction of New France, which saw its darkest hour since its defeat by the English a generation earlier. Not until that long and bloody conflict was ended did trade return to Montreal and Quebec and then only on savage sufferance. In this fashion were made manifest the earliest results of the revival of Dutch enterprise in the west.
And New France
Yet at that very moment, in spite of this reverse, there was being prepared a fresh advance of French power which was destined to be of even greater importance in the Euro- The Exploration of the Northwest 1659 pean occupation of North America. The year after Cromwell died, two bold adventurers, Radisson and Groseillers, making their hazardous way as far as Lake Superior, pushed forward from there on a journey which took them south and west, possibly as far as the Mississippi. Thence west and north they found their way to the vast plains inhabited by a tribe till then unknown to Europeans--the Sioux. From this great exploit they finally returned with rich supply of skins and the first definite information of the interior of the continent beyond the great lakes. In the same year that their adventure began, another event of scarcely less importance to the French province helped to determine its fortunes; for there arrived at Quebec one Francis Xavier de Laval-Montmorency, first vicar-apostolic of New France. The advent of an ecclesiastic of such rank evidenced the growing importance of the French colony, while his spirit, ability, and character, no less than the strength of the great order whose representative he was, gave additional impetus to that opening of the west which was to bring a formidable rival to Spain into the more distant regions of North America.
Meanwhile, the southern continent shared, with the opening up of the interior of North America, the colonial activities of the European powers. But it was no longer the problem of conquering native peoples and the exploitation of vast areas and rich mines which absorbed the colonist's energies. First in importance among mid-seventeenth century events in the extra-European world was the struggle for the possession of the north and west of South America between the Spanish and Portuguese, the English and the Dutch--each straining its resources, the one to maintain its old supremacy, the other to gain a foothold in the heart of the great planting district of the colonial world. Already England had secured her power in Barbados and strengthened her hold upon the Caribbean by the possession of Jamaica. Already the expanding energies of the Barbadian planters looked toward the mainland, on the north to where the Virginians were beginning to occupy the Albemarle district, and on the south toward that portion of Surinam better known as the Guianas.
There they had founded some settlements; and there, reinforced by Jews driven from Brazil in the conflict between the Portuguese and the Dutch, they laid the foundations of British Guiana.
The struggle from which the Brazilian refugees fled was already virtually at an end. The battle of Guararapes, which had virtually decided Dutch fortunes in South America, left Holland in possession only of the districts about the ports and against these the Portuguese were now directing their efforts. Though the precarious situation of their government at home, and the reluctance of their king, John IV, lent little aid to the Brazilians, the unintentional succor which England gave them by her war with Holland served them well; and among the results of that war perhaps the most permanently important was the indirect effect it produced on the fortunes of South America. For the Dutch forces, reduced to meet contingencies elsewhere, were ill-equipped to withstand the Brazilians under João Fernandez Vieyra. The investment of Recife broke their hold. The arrival of the annual Bahia fleet, which he was able to enlist in his cause, proved the determining factor in their overthrow, which came with the fall of Pernambuco. Cut off from hope of aid from home, outnumbered if not outfought, the Dutch were unable to endure the Brazilian bombardment and attack. The place was surrendered. Its defenders were given passage home in return for yielding all their posts. Dutch residents were granted time to settle their affairs; and, with the treaty of Pernambuco, which followed close on the peace between England and Holland, Dutch dominion came to an end in Brazil.
Such was the first of the important consequences of the new and far-reaching rivalry of the northern Protestant seapowers in the extra-European world; and had this been the only feature of Dutch colonial history during these years, the Netherlands might well have reckoned their short-lived colonial ascendancy at an end. But, great as was the loss which they sustained, the history of Dutch dominion beyond the sea in this period was not that of entire failure, much less collapse, for at the same moment that Holland lost her
sovereignty in Brazil she gained compensation from Portugal elsewhere. A decade earlier she had occupied the island of St. Helena, and made that, with Table Bay--which the decline of Portuguese commerce left virtually abandoned--her ports of call on the way to the East. In the year that the Peace of Westphalia was signed, an accident led to great, and, as it proved, permanent results in that quarter of the world. 1645
A Dutch crew, escaped from shipwreck, made land at the present site of Cape Town. Compelled to support themselves, they sowed and reaped grain, obtained meat from friendly natives, and, on their rescue and return to Holland, demonstrated the habitability of the place even to the satisfaction of the slow-moving directors of the East India Company. An agent, van Riebeck, was despatched with three ships to establish a station; and with his advent, a century and a half after da Gama had rounded the Cape on his first voyage to India, there were laid the foundations of permanent Dutch occupation. The few and feeble natives, Bushmen and Hottentots, offered no obstacle to expansion, and, assured of better communication with Europe than perhaps any other European colony of the time, and a steady if slender livelihood from farming and grazing, supplying of vessels with fresh food, and a little trade, the new community grew in numbers and resources. Its population increased by a slow stream of immigrants, and its position thus secured, it was enabled to push into the interior. In such fashion South Africa was gradually brought within the broadening circle of European influence. Its far-stretching veldt became the birthplace of a new nation, and this remains one of the principal events which mark the era of the Puritan revolution.
With it the Dutch buttressed their hold upon the East, where their ceaseless and ruthless aggression had destroyed the power of Portugal. The loss of the seaways, the transformation of a great part of her colonial population into Eurasians by native intermarriage, the exhaustion and corruption of her administration, which the subjection to Spain had served to intensify, no less than the triumph of Holland, to which it had contributed, made the Portuguese thenceforth Portugal an all but negligible factor in the East. They still retained, indeed, some factories and ports, of which Goa, Bombay, and Macao were the chief. But the pacification of Westphalia scarcely reached to those distant regions, and the Dutch wrested post after post from their defenseless rivals, along the Malabar coast, till they crowned their triumphs by the occupation of Ceylon. Meanwhile, the suppression of a rising in Formosa against their harsh and arbitrary rule, like the Amboyna incident in the preceding period, and others of like sort in later years, showed that some Dutch agents at least had inherited not only the possessions but something of the methods of the former masters of the eastern trade.
Only from one quarter had they reason to fear serious rivalry; and it might well have seemed to them that the twenty years of civil disturbance which England had endured, together with the discords among the English commercial interests themselves, would have so crippled the English East India Company that all danger from that quarter was virtually at an end. But the first acts of the Puritan régime had rudely awakened them from any dream which they may have entertained of an undisputed supremacy. For it was soon apparent that their dominance in the East, as in the other quarters of the world, was to be challenged in no uncertain terms by the power which still remembered Amboyna and the humiliations of the ensuing twenty years.
The Navigation Act gave notice to the world that English commerce was thenceforth to be reckoned with as a factor in European politics. The first Dutch war confirmed that warning; and the revival of the English Company followed in due course. Re-chartered by Cromwell, reinforced by fresh acknowledgment of their right to trade throughout the East, which his government extorted from Portugal, and backed by the powerful mercantile interests identified with the Commonwealth, the authorities of the English East India Company took fresh heart. The close of the war had restored the island of Pularoon and with it their position in the spice trade. A factory was set up at Hooghli to take advantage of their old license to trade in Bengal; Madras
The English East India Company
increased in wealth and prestige. They restricted their activities chiefly to the Indian peninsula, and, despite the troubled condition of affairs at home, the dread of Cromwell secured for them a period of quiet in which they were enabled to recruit their resources and their strength. Such were the chief results in commerce and colonies during the Age of Cromwell.
Yet in this crowded mid-decade of the seventeenth century, with its revolutions and wars, its profound changes in the attitude of men toward government and society, and its altering balance of colonial and commercial supremacy, men were not wholly absorbed in politics or trade. It was only natural that the steady progress of commerce and conquest beyond the sea should be accompanied by an enormous increase in the knowledge of geography. If the explorations of the preceding generation had shaken the long-lived belief in a transcontinental waterway across America to the Pacific, the missionaries and adventurers who now pushed the claims of France as far as Hudson's Bay and the regions beyond the Great Lakes were rewarded by more than converts and commerce. They revealed the fact that, whether or not it was possible to go by boat from ocean to ocean, the way was infinitely longer and the intervening land far more important than Europeans had hitherto dreamed.
Meanwhile European knowledge was enlarged in other quarters in this period. At the moment that the interior of North America was first opened to their enterprise, the Jesuit Lobo's account of Abyssinia was made public and gave to Europeans their earliest trustworthy information of that mysterious land whose existence had done so much to mislead the continent into great enterprise. For the time, indeed, there came a perceptible pause in that progress of maritime exploration which from Prince Henry's time to that of Tasman had discovered the chief seaways of the world between the continents. But the spirit of land adventure, under the stimulus of Lobo and Radisson, prepared for fresh advance.
Already that advance had begun, but in a far different quarter of the world. Information concerning Persia had
Russia in Asia 1658
long since been acquired by the traveler, Jenkinson, and those who followed him to the nearer East. The volumes of the Italian traveler, della Valle, which now appeared, shed new light on that still powerful monarchy. But it was to the activities of the Muscovites that Europe owed its chief increase of knowledge and territories at this moment in Asia. From the Russian boundaries at Okhotsk a series of expeditions extended their operations to the Pacific and deep into the - interior. In the year of the Peace of Westphalia, one set of adventurers rounded the eastern extremity of Asia and reached Kamchatka, thus completing the knowledge of the Siberian coast. At the same time another party pushed forward to the mid Amur, founding Kumarsk as the extreme outpost of Russian sovereignty. With this an expedition was despatched to occupy the new provinces; but, attacked by Chinese and Manchus, the more advanced position became untenable, and Nerchinsk remained the limit of Muscovite dominion in Siberia. Ambassadors were despatched to Peking to negotiate for some division of authority over these central Asian lands. And, at the same moment that England gathered her energies to invade the eastern field by way of the south and the sea, there began on the north that long conflict of arms and diplomacy which two centuries later was to become a principal issue of world politics, as the rival powers gradually made their way toward each other and became leading factors in Asiatic affairs.
However little the men of action were hampered in their efforts to extend European power in these mid-decades of the seventeenth century, it might seem that amid such manifold disturbances Europe would have had small leisure or even inclination for the arts of peace. Yet there is often curiously little relation between these two series of activities in any period, and this revolutionary era was not barren of achievements in the field of intellect. In some measure, indeed, the pursuit of letters and learning in England gave way to the more insistent demands of war and politics. The energies of the Dutch were diverted to the alteration s in
Intellectual progress 1642-60
their government, and the preservation of their commerce and their colonies; while the frivolous warfare of the Fronde, with the French struggle against Spain, and the general prostration of Germany, tended to weaken the pursuits which made for civilization. Yet, even amid such unexampled distractions, artistic and intellectual progress was not lacking, and, in certain directions, achieved new excellence and new forms.
The work of Rubens and Vandyke was done before the passing of the Cromwellian régime, but the genius of Rembrandt still remained to lead that group of painters which made the two branches of the Netherland school, the Flemish and the Dutch, for the moment supreme in the world of art. No phase of human activity so accurately portrays the human soul as painting, and none, in consequence, reveals the character of a period so clearly and so pitilessly. And at no time was this more apparent than in the years which lay between the end of the sixteenth and the middle of the seventeenth century. In a measure this is due to the changing character and circumstances of the artists themselves. The Renaissance had seen them associate on nearly equal terms with sovereigns and statesmen. The Counter-Reformation saw their status depressed till, like the dramatists, they were often little more than strolling adventurers, rather the descendants of Cellini than of Leonardo. This was especially true in Italy, where the life of the typical figure of the age, the "fantastic and bestial" Caravaggio, resembles that of Villon and Marlowe in its curious combination of genius and depravity.
To this ensued the period of the great religious wars, and a new race of painters with a new age of art. With them landscape came into its own. The human body, especially the nude, which had so powerfully influenced the earlier schools, declined before the portrait, the genre, and the nature painters. For the first time the world as a whole was brought upon the canvas; for the first time men realized that beauty was to be found everywhere. For the first time, in consequence, painting lost the aristocratic tone which had marked
Changes in style and spirit
its earlier stages and became truly democratic. To the newer school a peasant was as fit a subject as an angel or a king; a farm-yard or an inn as full of artistic values as a palace. As a result, the field of art was enormously broadened and enriched, not only by the elevation of landscape but by the introduction of an infinite variety of classes and situations long excluded from the canvas. The aristocratic portrait school, indeed, survived. Rubens and Vandyke devoted their talents to that profitable pursuit; the genius of Velasquez immortalized the decay of the Spanish house of Hapsburg. But in art, as in other activities, it was evident that a new spirit had made its way into the European consciousness, and that spirit was peculiarly evident in those peoples and classes then coming into greater importance in the world of affairs.
Especially was this evident in the Netherlands. There the brushes of Cuyp, Teniers, van Ostade, Dou, and the greatest of them all save the master Rembrandt himself, Franz Hals, portrayed their country and their countrymen with unsurpassed fidelity and skill. The painters of peasants, burghers, and artisans, of homely scenes, the daily life of the middle and lower classes, the humbler surroundings of common existence, testified to the altering balance of affairs no less than to the revolution in artistic standards. Moreover, this was accompanied by a change in technique, which, for want of a better name, we call impressionism. To the men of the newer school it no longer seemed necessary or even desirable to portray in detail; it was often enough to suggest to the eye the line or color which it was supposed to see; and economy of effort often served a greater purpose and produced a more effective result than the minutest elaboration. Like nature itself they not merely regarded life as a whole, they achieved some of their greatest effects by elimination and suggestion.
This was not confined to the Netherlands. The genius of Velasquez, which immortalized and at the same time revealed the decadence of Spanish rulers and aristocracy, and damned a Pope to everlasting fame, found no less scope for its talents among the lower walks of life. While in the dark and earnest features of Spain's burgher enemies, in the flat landscape of the Netherlands, and their homely life, his rivals found subjects even more interesting and far stronger than the features and dress of their aristocratic enemies, there was evident some touch of this spirit elsewhere. The triumphs of the French engravers who reached the climax of their art in this period were won, it is true, in their delineation of their noble patrons; in England artists like Hollar followed the fortunes of their employers even into war; while Vandyke and Rubens breathed the atmosphere of courts. Yet the greatest of miniaturists, Cooper, the master of medallists, Simon, found in the patronage of the English revolutionary leaders no less incentive to their skill; and even the courtliest of court painters was not uninfluenced by the technical if not the spiritual temper of the times.
For art, which in two centuries had come from its comparative absorption in saints and divinities to worldly subjects, had begun to find not only its inspiration but its rewards among the less aristocratic elements of society. Some brave spirits even began the practice of painting, not on commission, but for the market, and so relieved their talents of the incubus of patronage which had too often restricted their natural tendencies. Thus painting turned more and more from special classes, interests, and selected subjects, to life and nature as a whole. As terrestrial subjects replaced the celestial in its hands, and democracy aristocracy, it reflected more and more truly the changing spirit of the world which it portrayed. Nor is it the least significant circumstance in this general movement that in the hands of the old Rembrandt, and even in those of Velasquez, Christ appears as a man among men. For with the era of the Thirty Years' War the great age of religious painting, like the age of ecclesiastical dominance itself, came virtually to an end. And this circumstance, were there no other, marks the dividing line between the old and new conceptions of man's relations to this world and the next.
It would be too much to expect that the tremendous burst of democratic sentiment in England and the Netherlands, which distinguished the middle of the seventeenth century, would have found a corresponding echo throughout the continent. Nor was it much connected with that general tendency of the age to allow political power to devolve from the crown to nobility, which, for the moment, seemed to indicate the decline of absolutism. Yet its influence was not without weight; and, with the advance of scientific thought, of the philosophy of Descartes, and the obscurer movement toward "naturalism" in many fields, there came a reshaping of life in quarters where Anglo-Dutch influence was little felt.
Among those gradual changes, difficult to perceive in detail, and still more difficult to express, was the alteration in the moral standards and conduct of European peoples now evident as a result of the progress of Europe during the preceding century and a half. It seems apparent to most observers that one of the principal characteristics of the Renaissance was the dissociation of intellect and morals. This was, perhaps, natural. The growth of dissatisfaction with the church of the later middle ages had led many men to neglect, even to contempt of that institution, to skepticism, or to absolute denial of its spiritual functions. This tended to a weakening of faith not only in the establishment itself, but, what was more serious, in the belief upon which it was founded. That spirit of denial was immensely strengthened by the new learning, for there was revealed a world which had apparently done very well without Christianity, and the passion for classical models and thought which developed with the spread of the Renaissance did much to discredit still further what were known as the Christian virtues. Thus, though the classes which embraced humanism were relieved from some of the practices which had been characteristic of the middle ages, the refinements of their lives only sharpened the contrast between their intellectual and their moral standards.
The effect of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation
With the Reformation and the Counter-Reformation there came a revolt against the cynical immorality which characterized a certain prominent school of the humanists. Among the manifold elements which went to make up the movement toward revolution and reform in the church establishment, it is probable that the reaction toward a purer mode of life, no less--perhaps even more--than an alteration in belief, affected large classes throughout the continent. The insistence upon conduct in this world, as well as upon faith in the next, comprised no inconsiderable part of the teaching of the reformed communions in particular; nor was the rise of the reforming agencies within the old establishment without effect. It is true that neither had any tendency toward general tolerance of faith, but it has often been remarked that faith and morals are not necessarily connected in any direct and immutable fashion. Whatever the cause, it is apparent, especially with the advance of the seventeenth century, that manners, which may be regarded as some indication of morals, had gradually improved. And there can be no question, to take one example, that the progress of Calvinism had tended toward the enforcement of a far stricter moral code than had prevailed before its advent.
The progress was slow and unequal. No code of faith operates on every individual or every community equally. The ingrained weaknesses of human nature are stubborn material; and exceptions might easily be found to any general statement regarding the progress of private morality in any period. Moreover, each generation provides its own vices no less than its own virtues. Yet the profounder beliefs which resulted from theological controversy, the growing rivalry between the sects, increasing publicity, which is itself a certain check upon conduct, each contributed in its way to the improvement of habits. The historian of morals has observed that the introduction of hot drinks in the first half of the seventeenth century conduced to the same end. One would like to believe that this is true; and there is unquestionably much truth in it. But the concurrent development of the beverages richer in alcohol than mediæval intoxicants probably neutralized the results of the introduction of tea, coffee, and cocoa so far as general sobriety is concerned.
One advance is, however, indubitable, and probably indicative of widespread improvement. This is the purification
The clergy and the sects
of the clerical caste, both by the rise of Protestantism and by the far-reaching reforms in the Catholic establishment which accompanied the progress of the Counter-Reformation. Another indication of advance is to be found in literature, for, with all their freedom, the productions, especially of the first half of the seventeenth century, lack the grossness of much earlier work. They are infused, besides, with conceptions and ideals wanting in their predecessors. It is not, of course, conclusive evidence of an improved morality that literary expression becomes more refined, yet it seems reasonable to believe that the amelioration of language and situation in letters represents at least changing standards in conduct. Finally, the development of such sects as the Puritans, the French Jansenists, even the so-called Cambridge Platonists, and similar phenomena elsewhere, with the increase of religious literature which emphasized conduct rather than dogma, leads to the belief that European morals, as well as European manners, had greatly improved in the century and a half which had elapsed since the beginning of the Reformation.
The changing spirit of civilization was emphasized no less in literature than in art and morals; and, by one of those curious circumstances which continually distinguish its progress, it was peculiarly evident in the domain of drama. Two years before the outbreak of the great German war the simul1616 taneous deaths of Shakespeare and Cervantes had deprived Europe of its two greatest literary figures. Neither in England nor in Spain had any writer arisen worthy to pretend to the places thus left vacant. In England, especially, the Puritan influence had done much to discourage a form of entertainment so alien to the spirit which dominated its religious and political tendency; and Shakespeare was followed by no successors worthy of much note. The so-called Cavalier poets, indeed, began to develop new and peculiarly beautiful forms of lyric verse; and the genius of the young Milton contributed at least two masterpieces to European literature in his idyllic pastorals of L'Allegro and Il Penseroso. But English drama in the hands of Shakespeare's
successors reflected rather the form than the genius of the great dramatist.
The situation in Spain was not dissimilar. There the lofty spirit of Calderon, turning from the pursuit of arms, devoted itself to the production of plays, moral, philosophical, even theological, in their tendencies, and partaking of the nobler qualities of the old orthodoxy. But he stood apart from the main current of European letters, and in his own land he found no worthy rivals. Germany, meanwhile, had been all but eliminated from the field of letters. It was, therefore, to other hands that literary leadership fell, particularly in France, as the new spirit so evident in art and science invaded literature, and French comedy began its long and brilliant career.
Its greatest exponent was Molière, who drew from his studies, his experiences as a strolling player, and his unrivaled acquaintance with society of every grade, those characters and situations which revolutionized his art. The reflection of contemporary life, the creation of universal and immortal character sketches, were not his only contributions to literature. He had been a pupil of the physicist Gassendi, he had been trained in the new philosophy, and he was thus in close touch with the great intellectual movements of his time. From these, no less than from his genius for observation and delineation, he added new elements to the dramatic art. In one direction he passed beyond the limits of the age of Shakespeare, for he put the people about him upon the stage, and painted for his auditors of every rank their own foibles small and great. Thus drama, like art, descended from its more aristocratic station to take account of classes hitherto as little reckoned with in stagecraft as in politics or painting. In so doing it related itself unconsciously to that movement which was coming to be called democratic. Nor was the circumstance that Molière found in the rapidly developing realm of medical practice the principal field for his satire without its wider significance. From the first court appearance of Le Docteur Amoureux to the final triumph of Le Malade Imaginaire, that motive was seldom absent. Like
his almost openly expressed contempt for the old physical hell of the church, it typified the altering tendencies of an art which, next to painting, perhaps, reveals the character of an age.
The progress of that spirit of denial of dogmatic authority as no less notable in another quarter. The same decade which saw the Puritan ascendancy in England and the beginnings of the new comedy in France was marked in the latter country no less by the appearance of the so-called Provincial Letters from the pen of the mathematicianphilosopher, Blaise Pascal. Its unmatched satire, directed against the Jesuits, voiced a new spirit in the discussion of the most vital concerns of religious life, and gave tremendous impetus to the free handling of subjects, till then reckoned, by ecclesiastics at least, as all but inviolable from the profaning touch of laymen.
Pascal's work was inspired by the attacks of the Jesuits upon the "Catholic Puritans," the so-called Jansenists, whose principal seat was the abbey of Port Royal, near Paris, which, under the rule of its great head, Angélique Arnaud, had adopted the doctrines of the Jansenist apostle, Duvergier, abbot of Cyran. These infused a new element into the religious ferment which stirred the followers of the old communion only less than the advanced disciples of the English revolutionary school. For the Jansenists, however they differed from the Calvinists in dogma, were filled with the spirit of mysticism and subjective experience as opposed to the scholasticism and rigidity of the Jesuits. They looked back to St. Augustine; they laid stress on religion rather than on theology; they tended toward a doctrine of faith rather than of works; they even verged on predestination. And this--in a country and a time when "a theological opinion was a political event," when adherence to St. Paul meant almost inevitably a controversy with the followers of St. Peter, and the disturbances of the Fronde shook the foundations of all authority--was a striking proof that the mind and heart of Europe was being altered in ways that boded ill for the champions of mere authority.
Yet with all the controversies of the Jesuits and the Jansenists, the activities of the revolutionists, and the doctrines of the philosophers, the most vigorous expression of the revolt against arbitrary authority was to be found in England. Curiously enough, it was in that class whose existence seems most intimately bound up with government and precedent, the lawyers. The principle of popular share in government which had found its most vigorous expression in England was the product of a long development, not alone in practice but in theory. It was scarcely less the result of the growing strength of the middle classes, or of the philosophical speculation which provided them with a rational foundation for their claims to a determining share in public affairs, than it was of the devotion to historical precedent and law which had always been so characteristic of the Anglo-Saxons.
The English lawyers
Among them, almost alone of European peoples, during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, the popular share in government had been preserved by Parliament, even in the days when absolutist kingship was making way among all European states. Tudor rule had been a despotism, but by popular consent; and when the Stuarts had sought to follow the example of their fellow-rulers on the continent, and turn the old royal claims into the practice of the realm, they had been confronted with the still more ancient claims of the supremacy of the law and ancient custom. In the controversies which followed, the lawyers had taken a leading part. Against James I's contention for the royal right to override the popular liberties, men like Coke contended for the privilege of the people as expressed in the old laws. There such men as he stopped. "Sovereign power," he declared, "is no Parliamentary word. . . . Magna Charta is such a fellow as he will have no sovereign." There were others in his class who did not stop there, but claimed for Parliament an authority whose concession would have altered the constitution. In this lawyer class the first two Stuart kings found their most persistent foes.
The crown in their contention was under, not above the law; and the rallying-cry of those who resisted royal attempts
Salus populi suprema lex
at "innovations" was the ancient maxim, "Salus populi suprema lex," the welfare of the people is the supreme law. Nowhere else in Europe was there an echo of this principle, save perhaps in small and remote districts of no weight in affairs. Nowhere was there a legislature which made the laws, nor such popular share in judicial procedure as the jury system which prevailed in England, and which, with all its faults, offered a powerful support against oppression, private or public. It was in the resistance of such elements, backed by the powerful sentiment of the classes whence they were drawn, that the Stuart project met its first great check.
This was not all of the situation, nor was Coke's dictum the cause of the final catastrophe. What mere legal opposition would probably never have achieved, revolution accomplished. From the strange anomaly of a class based upon precedent opposing the authority of that power which in most states was itself a precedent, and the origin of all law and precedent, there was developed a still more surprising anomaly. This was the result of a series of events which carried men beyond the doctrine of the supremacy of law even while they clung to its logic and its forms. With all its defiance of constituted authority, its actual usurpation of government, the Puritan régime held tenaciously to legal form and precedent, and, in so far as might be, to legal procedure. It sought to give its very destruction of the old order every appearance of asserting ancient rights against the efforts of the crown to enter upon a series of "innovations," which would subvert the privileges of the people.
Their progress was rapid. Against the royal claim to the right of modifying--and thus making--law to meet an emergency, they set the principle of the inviolability of law, and so dealt a death-blow to divine right and royal prerogative. Thence as the contest deepened in intensity Parliament arrogated to itself the right it had denied the king, and, under guise of "interpreting" the law it assumed virtually the lawmaking power stripped of the old royal right of veto. So from royal supremacy across the bridge of law-making the revolutionary party came to the supremacy neither of king
The rise of parliamentary authority
nor of law, but of Parliament, and ultimately of the people who chose that body. Thus if the English Revolution is the event which marks the break-down of royal supremacy in the state, it is as well the event from which dates the beginning of the ascendancy of the people and their legislature over king and law alike.
It was natural that while the revolutionaries assumed the guise of the champions of the old order the efforts of the political philosophers should be directed toward the discovery of some rational basis for government, and on every hand there arose prophets and priests of new beliefs. First of these in time and importance was Thomas Hobbes. Born in the year of the Armada and living almost to the Revolution of 1688, this great thinker comprehended in his life as in his writings all those great convulsions which profoundly influenced his fortunes and his philosophy alike. His views were perhaps no less tinged by his studies in the field of science. He began his speculations with the doctrines of Euclid, and developed his theory of the principle of motion as the basis of energy in life and thought. The political controversies which culminated in the civil wars turned his mind to politics; and from his observations and meditations he evolved his masterpiece, the Leviathan. Like its frontispiece, his book figured the state as a huge artificial man, composed of lesser individuals, with a life and development of its own, capable of being modified or destroyed.
He was a pupil of the "mechanistic" system of thought, and though insufficiently trained to appreciate fully the efforts of the experimenters to arrive at scientific truth, or to contribute to advance in that field himself, he none the less fills a not inconsiderable place. He did much to found a school of thinkers bent on the construction of a theory of universal relationship between man and nature, and between man and the society which he created. His conception of the moral nature, "the natural springs and rational grounds of human action," has given him the appellation of the "founder of the utilitarians." This has been strengthened by a philosophy which seems to indicate men as moved chiefly or entirely by self-interest, and judges events by their results rather than by any standard of higher motives. His declaration of the virtual irresponsibility of the sovereign power, however modified by later thinkers, opened the way for a discussion of the fundamental principles of politics. The forerunner of so-called materialism, of criticism, and what came to be known as positivism, he was at once a psychologist and a moralist. To him philosophy meant less vague speculation than correct thinking; and, however bitterly attacked, he did one great service. He established that method of rational and historical investigation, that application of natural laws to society and government which led to the next advance in political theory.
Beside him labored many men of many minds. Algernon Sidney and his fellows, inspired by the tradition of the classical world, dreamed of a republican form of government after the model, as they conceived it, of Greece and Rome. To these Harrington, in his Oceana, contributed another element, that of an ideal state, after the manner of More Utopia, but infused with the newer doctrines evoked by revolution. To these, again, Cromwell's Latin secretary, Milton, added his great literary gifts in defense of the English people against the charge of regicide, and his plea for liberty of speech in his Areopagitica. This not only remains the armory for the arguments in that cause, but had its practical effect in contributing to the virtual tolerance in England of all writings not positively treasonable from that day to our own.
As Hooker, Grotius, and Hobbes put forward the doctrine destined to be of such great influence thereafter--that government was the result not of divine inspiration and guidance, but of historic evolution, achieved by some process of social contact--political science took its place as a department of European thought. Against the ideas of the thinkers who sought a rational basis for human polity, the prophet of the divine right of kings, the royalist Filmer, had composed the great formal defense of that doctrine, the Patriarchia. This dogma of absolute royal power, allied with the spirit of Political science revealed religion and dogmatic authority, stood out as the chief opponent of the new principles upon which Europe was to base its next advance in political theory and practice.
Opposed to this stood the champions of still more advanced thought, the extremists, among whom the so-called Levellers and Diggers were conspicuous. These voiced doctrines of social no less than political equality, scarcely heard again for two centuries. The effect was profound, not only upon the more superficial aspects of European life and literature, but upon those deep, underlying forces which, as the years went on, came more and more to dominate men's actions and their thought. Not since the Reformation had Europe experienced so vast an outpouring of controversial literature on so vital an issue. Nor had it been so deafened by a clamor, which found echo in many quarters as yet but little moved by the questions now, during the Age of Cromwell, for the first time debated in the open air of political controversy.
In two respects, at least, the Puritan period, following in the wake of the disturbances of the preceding years, contributed even more directly to the development of European practice and principles. The first was the evolution of a new power in public affairs. In an age of unprecedented freedom in thought and speech, amid events of such nationwide importance, when every day brought forth a crisis in affairs, the appetite for news no less than for opinion grew. The demand created the supply; and, building on the model of the older news-tract, broadside, coranto, and news-book, that characteristic product of the modern European world, the newspaper, was rapidly evolved. Despite the fact that earlier generations had seen something of this form of publicity; despite the fact that later generations were to see it enlarged and altered almost beyond resemblance to the form in which it now appeared; it is to the era of the Puritan Revolution that we must ascribe the establishment of this tremendous engine of civilization in the essential form which was to make it probably the most powerful weapon of those who contended for popular authority.
This "fourth estate," as the newspaper was to be called, did much to modify the habits of those peoples,--principally the English and the Dutch,--among whom it flourished. Not unrelated to it as a means of the dissemination of news and public opinion was another institution which owes its origin to the same period. Perhaps no single minor circumstance in the transition from mediæval to modern life is more noteworthy than the development of new forms of association in almost every field of human activity, intellectual, political, and social. Among these the rise of places of public resort for the upper classes is conspicuous; and the mid-decades of the seventeenth century are notable, among other things, for the establishment of so-called coffee-houses, where men met to drink the beverage then becoming fashionable throughout Europe, to exchange gossip and opinions, and to read the newspapers. These institutions, unknown to the ancients or the middle ages, seem to have owed their origin to similar meeting-places in Constantinople, and their extraordinary popularity to the increasingly urban habits of Europeans. Vienna is usually credited with the first venture of the sort; and thence, or from a common source, they spread with great rapidity throughout Europe. London boasted its first coffee-house under Cromwell. There in particular they increased in numbers and popularity. By the beginning of the next century they were among the most conspicuous features of English life, and, apart from their own importance, they did much to inaugurate that institution so characteristic of the Anglo-Saxon race, and known by its English name in nearly every tongue, the club.
It was, too, in Cromwell's day that there began that association of English men of science which was to develop into the Royal Society in the ensuing reign. Its formation was characteristic at once of the great advance of English science and the extension of that principle of co-operation which was making itself felt in the formation of new academies and learned societies throughout Europe. It was particularly significant of that tendency to correlation of forces to wrest from nature the secret of life and its phenomena which became the function of the biologists. To them the invention
Science --the biologist
of the microscope had been so great a service that it is scarcely too much to say that it created biology in the modern sense. In consequence, the Cromwellian period saw the beginning of a series of contributions to the knowledge of the structure of animals and plants which is the principal characteristic of the science of the time, until the rise of the great mathematicians of the late years of the century. This was, indeed, the dawn of the golden age of microscopy.
The progress in the investigation of structure was not confined to any land. The labors of the Englishmen Grew and Hooke and Ray; of the Dutchmen, Swammerdam and Leeuwenhoek; of the Italians, Redi and Malpighi, among others, raised the knowledge of living organisms to heights undreamed of even a generation earlier. Their researches disturbed the belief in spontaneous generation which had persisted since the time of Aristotle. With them began comparative anatomy as the foundation for zoölogy and the consequent transition from mediæval to modern natural history. With them began that microscopic study of the minute structure of plants and animals, of insects, even of animaleulæ, which made a beginning for those branches to which we give the name of histology, of embryology, and bacteriology. Above all, so far as practical application goes, was their contribution to the knowledge of human anatomy and physiology. Here they explained the various structures and functions of the higher organisms through their investigations in the lower, by comparative anatomy. It was a significant testimony to the passing not only of mediæval ignorance but of classical error; and though their results were not immediately evident, and their conclusions long doubted, the triumphs of the microscopists now began to rival those of the astronomers and to excel those of the chemists. And, to confirm the fact that the Age of Cromwell marked a turningpoint from one age of science to another, it is a noteworthy coincidence that in the year which saw the beginning of the end of the Thirty Years' War and the outbreak of hostilities in England, 1642, Galileo died and Isaac Newton was born.
Finally, if it needed any further proof that the mediæval period was at an end, the course of scholarship in the preceding generation afforded ample demonstration of that fact. For the first half of the seventeenth century is notable for the publication of those chronicles and literary remains which the middle ages bequeathed to history and literature. Beside the editions of the classics and the church fathers there began to appear such monumental works as the Jesuit compilation of the Acta Sanctorum, which owed its origin to Bolland, and its continuation to his Belgian followers from that day to our own, and has contributed incalculably to our knowledge of the middle ages. In France the Benedictines of St. Maur entered upon historical enterprises of no less consequence, and Ducange began his labors, which were to supply the world for the first time with a dictionary of mediæval or low Latin. To this movement were lent the talents of a host of scholars, among whom the name of Scaliger stands out. The great King James version of the Bible testified to another side of this activity, and Archbishop Ussher's Biblical chronology, however misleading, to still another. At the same time, others, from Bacon to Pallavicino, laid the foundations of modern historical writing along the lines of Machiavelli and Guicciardini rather than those of the chroniclers.
This activity was of far more significance than the mere progress of historiography. In at least two directions it marked a distinct epoch in the intellectual development of Europe. On the one side it reflected the continuance into the historical field of the conflicts between the communions which had begun with the Reformation, found their fiercest expression in the Thirty Years' War, and in some form, continue to our own day. But it implied, no less, the beginning of a reaction against that classical interest which had now dominated Europe for a century and a half. It reintroduced into the content of European intellect something of that mediæval influence which had inspired so many centuries of European life and thought. That influence was never to regain its old ascendancy. But in its love of mystery, its devotion to faith, its romantic and picturesque qualities, no less than in its self-sacrifice, so alien to the classical spirit, it was to modify the sharper outlines of the scientific and pagan attitude which had become interwoven into the fabric of European thought, and it was to become, in later years, a clearly discernible thread in that fabric.
The era of the Puritan Revolution was thus a peculiarly active period in many departments of intellectual achievement, apart from politics. England and France, in particular, had been prolific in literature scarcely less notable for its form than its content. The genius of the English Puritan, John Milton, had not merely been devoted to the composition of political polemics. It had in earlier years given to the world some of the most beautiful of its odes. The so-called Cavalier poets had introduced fresh beauties into verse with their love songs and conceits, while the talents of the leading English satirist, Butler, meditated the composition of that famous mock-heroic poem of Hudibras which found its subject in the peculiarities of the masters of the English state. At the same time the letters of Madame de Sévigné founded a new form of prose literature which was to play a great part in another century. Still more important as a sign of the times was the establishment of the French Academy, which did all that is possible for authority to accomplish in giving to letters and scholarship a public and official recognition such as they had not previously received.
These phenomena revealed an altering attitude toward letters and learning which was characteristic of an era of freer expression in many fields. Another circumstance was still more significant of a changing mental attitude. It was the obvious decline of the old delusion concerning witches and witchcraft which had so long disgraced European intellect. The process of emancipation was by no means complete; and it was to be another century before the practice of witchhunting was abandoned in even the most enlightened countries. But the progress of more liberal opinions, in particular the rationalism of science had weakened the old belief in such superstition. The Protestant communions had not yet fully or even in great part accepted the revelations of science. They had contributed little or nothing directly to the doctrines of
Decline of superstition
toleration by their own teaching or practice; and it was in their hands that the last great outburst of the witch delusion was to find expression. Yet they had more or less unconsciously served the interests of greater freedom of belief, and this had powerfully aided the emancipation from the credulity which had dominated men's minds from the earliest times.
The Age of Cromwell forms a brief period in the long history of European peoples; but it has an importance beyond its years. Through it was visible that powerful tendency of a modern world toward freer expression of individual opinion and that unity in diversity of intellect, religion, and politics, which offers the widest field for achievement to every species of human capacity. Though the English experiment was of few days and full of trouble it revealed that political capacity was not wholly confined 'to that handful of royalties and nobilities which had hitherto monopolized its conduct and its rewards. And in this, even more than in its purely intellectual aspects, it' contributed to the general emancipation of European intelligence from the shackles of the past.
Nothing, indeed, so clearly reflected the spirit of the age as the new school of literature which it produced. The Réflexions of Vauvenargue, the Maxims of Rochefoucauld, the Caractéres of La Bruyère, above all, perhaps, the Pensées of Pascal, were the French expression of this tendency. In England Burton Anatomy of Melancholy, and Browne Religio Medici revealed another aspect of this reflection upon life, as well as upon "those wingy Mysteries in Divinity and airy subtleties in Religion," of death and immortality, which marked another break with mediæval thought.
CHAPTER XXV - THE AGE OF LOUIS XIV. 1660-1678
AMONG the manifold changes which came over European life in the three years between the death of Cromwell and the accession of Louis XIV to personal rule, none, not even the cessation of the two great wars which had disturbed the east and west, was more striking than the reversed positions of England and France in European politics. Under the Protector, English power had reached its greatest height since the death of Elizabeth. Under the guidance of Mazarin, France, despite her innate strength, despite her minister's ultimate triumph, despite her victory over Spain, was weakened by the faction of the Fronde, till her position, like that of her minister, was but a shadow of the predominance of the Age of Richelieu. Now in a moment everything seemed changed. Young as he was, the new king of France had scarcely ascended his throne when it was evident that a new force had appeared in the affairs of the continent, for his abilities, his resources, and, above all, his ambitions, made him almost at once the most conspicuous figure among European rulers. What Charles V had been to the first half of the sixteenth century and Philip II to its later years, the French king was to become; and his long reign of more than fifty years grew to be, in fact as in name, pre-eminently the Age of Louis XIV.
The French king ruled no such wide lands as did the great Emperor, nor did he focus so fully in himself the manifold interests of the European and the extra-European world as Charles V. But, like Philip II, he devoted his energies and the resources of the largest and richest state in western Europe to the accomplishment of a single purpose which vitally affected almost every people on the continent. And it was
this which made the activities of the young king the leading motive in the politics of the ensuing generation. The age of religious controversy was now all but at an end in international affairs. The age of nationalism centering in monarchs, of standing armies and foreign offices, of wide-reaching coalitions and overpowering secular interests was at hand. This new era it was Louis XIV's rôle to inaugurate. In it his ambition led him to play the leading part, and, by the aid of circumstances, France was enabled to become, for a time, the dominant power of the continent, in arts and arms, in civilization as in diplomacy and war. Whatever his fortune in politics, and however far his triumphs fell short of his ambitions in adding new provinces to his sovereignty, in one direction the Grand Monarque, who took the sun as his symbol, found the triumph of his people unquestioned. Under his rule France conquered the imagination of all Europe and insured the predominance of her ideals throughout the continent for more than a century.
At the same moment England fell from the high estate in European councils to which Cromwell's abilities and determination had raised her. The contrast between Sweden under Gustavus and Christina was less conspicuous than that of England under Cromwell and Charles II, for no Oxenstierna remained to preserve the traditions of greatness in the British Isles. With all the Stuart charm and a wit unusual to his line, the exiled prince returned to enjoy the life which fortune had sent him, intent only on the retention of his throne. Devoting his unquestionable gift for politics to that end, he prepared to exchange for it his friends, his honor, and such principles as remained to him. The task was difficult, to a better man it might well have been impossible. He succeeded, indeed, where his father before him and his brother after him failed. He kept his throne. But he kept it at the expense of that for which his father and brother, with all their faults and folly, had not been willing to exchange their crowns.
England under Charles II 1660-85
Only in two directions did the England of Charles II remain of importance in the world of politics at large. The impulse toward commerce and colonies which the Cromwellian rule had done so much to stimulate, favored by the ambitions of the French which now absorbed their energies and those of their neighbors on the continent, found full fruition under the second English Charles. His reign witnessed at once the refounding and the reorganization of the British colonial and commercial empire, and while England's chief rival in the extra-European field was weakened and distracted by Anglo-French attack, England secured her hold on Asia and America. At the same time those organisms within the state known as political parties, favored by the peculiar conditions in which England found herself, now took on permanent form, and became thenceforth not merely the most active and characteristic element in English political affairs, but a determining factor in international issues with which England was concerned.
Meanwhile, Louis XIV took the center of the stage. Young, ambitious, diligent beyond most monarchs, or, indeed, most men of any class, skilled in diplomacy and gifted with those dignities and graces which so become the occupant of a throne, from the very beginning of his reign he addressed himself to the great tasks which absorbed his life and the strength of his people. He was freed from all popular restraint by the cessation of the old States General, which had not been summoned for nearly fifty years, and he neutralized the political importance of that factious nobility which had disturbed his predecessors by the establishment of a splendid court and a no less imposing army. These were no less useful than ornamental, for the innumerable pensions and posts of the court lured the aristocracy to exchange their old powers and ambitions for its lucrative and picturesque service, competing there for the honors of dependence on royal bounty, while the royal authority compelled the service of the nobility in the army. Crowning the work of the statesmen, who, from his grandfather's time to his own, had labored to make the monarchy supreme, he strengthened and extended those royal councils and those local officials, which, from the beginning, had been the chief instruments of absolutism. These, subservient to his will, contributed to the complete
The system of Louis XIV
ascendancy at which he aimed, and royal power grew till the epigram attributed to him, "I am the state," was scarcely more than the declaration of the fact.
Such was the system which, close on the turmoil of the preceding period when royal power seemed slipping from the grasp of European rulers, raised monarchy to the highest state of organized efficiency which that form of government had yet attained in modern Europe. This was not due wholly to the mere elimination of the other estates of the kingdom from political power. To a voiceless people and a powerless nobility, Louis XIV joined a ministry to which he summoned the executive talent of France, with small regard for social precedence; and this became the real strength of the arbitrary system which he completed. At the head of the finances he set the ablest of living financiers, Colbert. The conduct of the war office was intrusted to Louvois, who found no rival in that field till Carnot organized the victories of the French Revolution. And while the foreign office was put nominally under the care of Lionne, the direction of the skilled diplomats, trained in the school of Richelieu and Mazarin, remained chiefly in the king's own hands. Nor was the iron hand beneath the velvet glove less powerful. From the preceding generation were inherited the military talents of Condé and Turenne, foremost of living European generals. To these was added the engineering genius of Vauban. The army was reorganized and its discipline perfected under that drill-master whose name became a symbol for rigid system, Martinet; while a score of lesser men ably seconded the endeavors of their commanders. Thus equipped, filled with an overmastering passion for fame and power, a pride which passed all ordinary bounds, cold-blooded ambition which disregarded all common human rights, those of his own subjects scarcely less than those of his neighbors, the master of the most numerous and prosperous people occupying a continuous territory in western Europe, "the ablest man born in modern times on the steps of a throne," prepared to enter "the game of kings," and plunge the continent again into the throes of war.
If no circumstance in the situation of the times more clearly illustrated the change which had overtaken European peoples in the preceding hundred years than the contrast between the religio-political ambitions of Philip II a century before, and the national-political ambitions of Louis XIV, nothing is more striking than that they should have met opposition from the same quarter. As England and the Netherlands a hundred years earlier had fought against Spanish and Catholic supremacy, so now their people were found arrayed against the extension of French arbitrary monarchy and its territorial ambitions.
England and Holland
For the moment, indeed, this was not as apparent as it was to become in later years, since England and Holland were alike divided in their interests. They were then at the crisis of long-standing commercial and colonial rivalry. The Dutch, though still adhering to a republican form of government, contained a powerful faction, nourishing monarchical principles, and devoted to the house of Orange. The English were ruled by a monarch who shared his subjects' dislike of Holland, for reasons of his own, and who sympathized secretly with the arbitrary principles and Catholic faith of his cousin, the French king, rather than with the practices of his own people. Moreover, he was in continual pressing need of money, and quite unscrupulous in obtaining it. Thus he became a willing tool of French ambitions, ready at all times to exercise his power to keep England as neutral as possible in return for the presents and pensions Louis XIV bestowed on him.
So, for a time, the real alignment of issues and antagonists was obscured by the three-cornered rivalry, and the internal situation of the two maritime powers. Not until the question of colonial supremacy had been determined in favor of the English by two great wars did their mutual danger and mutual interests compel them to unite against French Catholic aggrandizement. And not until two revolutions had set the Prince of Orange as ruler over both nations were the two peoples finally committed to resist the principles and practices of the new school of politics exemplified in Louis and France XIV. Until that time, as at a similar period in the preceding century, the chapter of western European history which now began found Holland again the storm-center of affairs. And its motive power was Louis XIV.
Before the true direction of his plans appeared, the French king had given notice of his claims to precedence throughout the continent. Scarcely was he on the throne when, through his ambassadors' challenge of Spanish precedence at the Vatican and the English court, his designs on diplomatic pre-eminence were revealed. Scarcely were they in evidence when his project for securing the Spanish succession to himself, the marriage of his brother to Charles II's sister, and the purchase of the Cromwellian conquest of Dunkirk from England, developed his position in the west. At the same time his despatch of aid to Venice and the Emperor against the Turks and his negotiations with the Baltic powers, no less than his military preparations and his advances to the west-German princes, witnessed the extent of his farreaching plans. For it became apparent that these involved not merely the extension of French boundaries but an ambition for universal influence.
The designs of Louis XIV
For the moment, indeed, the ultimate objective of these designs was masked by the alliance of France and Holland and the outbreak of war between England and the Netherlands, under cover of which the preparations of the French king were hurried forward. This second conflict with the Dutch was inspired not only by the long heritage of commercial and colonial rivalries, but by the personal animosity of the English king toward the people who had rendered him scant courtesy in his exile and had so recently replaced the Stadtholderate by a republican form of government. The English attack seemed at first likely to result in the overthrow of their rivals. The slight support afforded by France, joined to its own valor and resources, scarcely sufficed in a land so divided against itself, as was Holland between the republican and Orange factions, to withstand such an onset. Three naval battles left the advantage in English hands. New Amsterdam and Surinam were seized and Hol-
The Anglo-Dutch War 1665-7
land's power seemed likely to go down before English attack. But what the Dutch might not have been able to accomplish for themselves, England's weakness and misfortunes achieved. The maladministration and corruption of the English court were thrown in high relief by two of the most terrible catastrophes which have visited any European capital in modern times, the Great Plague and the Great Fire of London. The government was brought to the end of its offensive resources; and a Dutch descent upon the English coasts, which for the first time in history brought the thunder of hostile guns within the hearing of the capital, hastened the signature of the treaty which ended the war. The Peace of Breda preserved Surinam and the spice monopoly to the Dutch. England retained New Amsterdam, now named New York, in honor of the king's brother, while France secured Acadia in return for Antigua, Montserrat, and part of St. Kitts. Thus, at the same moment that England extended her sovereignty from New England to the West Indies, and France established herself more securely in North America, Holland virtually disappeared as a colonizing power in that quarter of the world. The buffer-state of the New Netherlands was absorbed and the two nations who were ultimately to contend for possession of that continent were left face to face.
Peace of Breda 1667
Almost at once that situation was emphasized by the changes which took place in European politics. Whatever the shifting balance of the colonial world, whatever the unsettled rivalry of the English and the Dutch, these were overshadowed by the sudden revelation of French power and ambitions which followed the conclusion of the Anglo-Dutch war. Hardly was the Peace of Breda signed when these ambitions were made manifest. Louis set up a claim to the Spanish Netherlands on the flimsy pretext of the so-called "droit de dévolution." By this, in spite of its being a principle of private law, in spite of his wife's renunciation of her inheritance, the king pretended to the possession of the coveted provinces through his marriage to the Spanish Infanta. Immediately he launched his troops under Turenne
The first "War of devolution" 1667-8
against the unfortunate districts. For the moment his aggressive tactics and his cynical disregard of international conventions seemed likely to succeed. But his shameless audacity even more than his early victories startled Europe into resistance. It was in vain that he bribed his cousin, the English king, to keep his people from intervention. It was in vain that Condé surprised and overran Franche Comté, and Turenne advanced almost to the Dutch frontiers. Though the Emperor's hands were tied by the dangers which menaced his power from every direction, the astute diplomacy of the Dutch Grand Pensionary, John de Witt, was able to summon the Protestant states to his aid against the French danger. At the moment that Louis' prize seemed in his grasp, the Protestant maritime powers, Sweden, England, and Holland, signed, suddenly and secretly, a compact to resist further aggression on the part of France. This was the famous Triple Alliance, on which the French king's ambition foundered. He was compelled to make the Treaty of Aix-laChapelle, which, though it gave him some of the so-called barrier fortresses of the Spanish Netherlands, forced him to give up Franche Comté and postpone his vengeance on the Dutch to a more propitious time.
Triple Alliance and the Treaty of Aix la Chapelle 1668
Such were the circumstances which ushered in the new era of European polity. No less important than those armed conflicts was the signature of the Triple Alliance. That treaty was of significance, not merely because it momentarily checked the ambitions of France to extend her boundaries, nor because it brought the Protestant states again into alliance, least of all because it endured as a permanent factor in affairs. It was hardly framed when the disintegrating influence of inevitable rivalries, fomented by French diplomacy, began its dissolution. But its immediate effect none the less demonstrated the strength of the doctrine and practice of the balance of power in European affairs. If Louis XIV had shown that a powerful ruler, unhampered by the moral considerations which make for peace between states, was a tremendous danger to the security and progress of European society, the alliance on which his ambition
The Triple Alliance 1668
broke revealed the fact that Europe had found an efficient remedy for even this great evil. And, while French jurists and diplomats, reinforced by French armies, prepared a new enterprise against Alsace as the first of those long-continued efforts to extend their borders across the Rhine, so, building on the example set by de Witt and his coadjutors, coalition after coalition sprang into existence, until the principle of the equilibrium of forces took its place among the recognized precepts of international polity. Thus, at the moment when Europe seemed most in danger, it devised a safeguard against the revived doctrine of predominance, if not supremacy, of any power over the rest of the continent.
For the time, indeed, it seemed that even this remedy might not be efficacious and that Louis was in a fair way to accomplish no small part of his designs. The real keystone of the new diplomatic arch was England, and to detach her from her allies the French king was quick to take advantage of the peculiar situation in which she found herself. The triumphant burst of extravagant royalism which had united her two chief parties, Anglican and Presbyterian, to recall the king, had wrecked the loose-woven elements of which the old Cromwellian party had been composed. Under the influence of reviving loyalty to church and crown and the fear of continued anarchy the Anglicans had secured control of the new House of Commons, elected in the first months of Charles II's reign, and destined to the longest life of any English Parliament. The Savoy Conference between the representatives of the rival communions failed, doubtless by intention, to provide a compromise which would insure the comprehension of the more moderate sects within the old ecclesiastical establishment. The Parliament, under the direction of the chief minister, Clarendon, enacted laws which deprived all save the Anglicans of political power, in so far as that could be accomplished by the terrors of an oath. Betrayed by the king on whom they had relied, by the Parliament whose persecuting spirit they could not check, and excluded from all hope of union with the established church, the English Dissenters, or Nonconformists, were thrown upon their
France and England 1668-72
own resources. The breach between them and their triumphant enemies became irreconcilable, and the English people were thenceforth divided against themselves on religious lines. These emphasized a cleavage, first social, presently political, between the two groups, which became no small factor in the world of thought and action, in regions far beyond the narrow confines of English domestic concerns.
In particular there arose from this situation a permanent element in public affairs of profound importance in the history of government. During the bitter conflicts of the ensuing decade and a half, the Presbyterians were transformed into a so-called Country Party, organized in opposition to the designs of the court. This, chiefly recruited at first from the Nonconformists and the more moderate Anglicans, gradually formulated a program, developed an organization, a following, and a set of political principles, into a disciplined and permanent Opposition in Parliament. At the same time the Court Party crystallized into like form, and the growing antagonism of the two bodies deepened the line of demarcation; till from them arose the political organisms known as the Whig and Tory parties. Their importance was not confined to English politics alone, nor even to their immediate influence on foreign affairs, in which the Country Party determined England's position as the enemy of Louis XIV. With them began a more truly popular government. And when the parliamentary system spread throughout the European world in the ensuing century and a half, it was in English parties, as in the English Parliament, that the widening circle of self-governing communities found models for their principles and practices. The rise of English political parties 1660-74
The first result of this cleavage in English politics, however, was in no small degree unfortunate, for in its rivalries the French king found an opportunity to render England impotent in continental affairs. To offset the popular antagonism toward France and Catholicism, he bribed Charles to adjourn or prorogue his Parliament whenever it grew too dangerous to French plans. To render its efforts futile when it met he intrigued with opposition leaders, reinforced their struggles against the policy of the crown in asserting its supremacy in matters ecclesiastical, and so assisted in producing administrative deadlocks. To divert attention from his own designs and to further weaken his enemies he encouraged the old Anglo-Dutch rivalry. Meanwhile, his diplomacy was busy isolating his intended victim. He disrupted the Triple Alliance by the secret Treaty of Dover with Charles II, and a concurrent arrangement with Sweden, which brought both powers to the side of France. He subsidized the bishops of Miinster and Cologne, and, five years after the signature of the Triple Alliance, he hurled his troops upon the Netherlands. At the same moment his English allies again launched their fleets against their ancient rivals in a last effort to secure the mastery of the sea. 1670
Before this joint attack it seemed that the Dutch were doomed to extinction as a European power. Turenne and Condé easily overran their southern provinces. The English won a great victory over their fleet in Southwold Bay; and in a popular rising the mob of Amsterdam fell upon John de Witt and his brother Cornelius, put them to death, and left the state for the moment without a head. But the very crisis which threatened the existence of the Netherlands as a nation, suddenly revealed a new hero to the European world. In William, Prince of Orange, now elevated by the overthrow of the republican enemies of his house to the conduct of affairs, Holland was destined to find a preserver, and p a worthy antagonist. Brave, phlegmatic, determined, gifted beyond any man of his day in diplomacy, statesmanship, and war, bred from his earliest youth in the school of public affairs, and accustomed to danger and intrigue, the young prince was a fit successor to those commanders and statesmen who had raised his country to independence and national greatness. The AngloFrench attack on Holland 1672-
His courage revived that of his countrymen, while his military skill made head even against the genius of the French generals; and his diplomacy enlisted Spain and the Emperor against the threat of French predominance. Brandenburg was won to his side by the fear of the Swedes and the
The coalition against France
danger to her western provinces. At the same time the rising English sentiment against the increasing danger from French and Catholic ambitions overpowered the hatred of Holland, drove from power the Cabal ministry which had succeeded that of Clarendon, and compelled a treaty with the Dutch. Again, at a critical moment, Holland found a savior in the house of Orange, as p's adroit and desperate diplomacy revealed France and her allies face to face with a coalition of the most powerful states of Europe.
Despite the earlier successes of the French, and the Swedish inroads into Brandenburg which diverted the Great Elector from sending aid to Holland, despite French naval victories in the Mediterranean over the Spanish and the Dutch, the victory of Condé over William, and Turenne's ravages in the Palatinate, Louis XIV's forces made head with increasing difficulty against their enemies. Frederick William, hastening back to defend his threatened provinces, not only struck an effective blow at Swedish prestige by his victory at Fehrbellin but laid the foundations for Prussian traditions of supremacy in arms. The seizure of p by the French ill-compensated them for the death of Turenne in the Palatinate; and Louis XIV's efforts to keep England neutral by bribery of all parties in the state were rendered futile by the determination of the country to enter the lists against France. Stimulated by the agents of the allies, no less than by their own inclinations, the leaders of the Opposition pressed on toward war. Supplies were voted for an army and a fleet; and, in spite of his obligations to his cousin and his own inclinations, Charles II was compelled to yield.
The second "War of Devolution" 1672-8
His well-founded complaint that in taking from him the direction of foreign policy the Commons had invalidated the royal prerogative was significant of the changes effected in this great crisis. With the marriage of William of Orange to the English princess, Mary, it was apparent that England would no longer be restrained from a part in the war. It was scarcely less evident that the old rivalry of the English and the Dutch would thenceforth be lost in common animosity against their common enemy. And when, at the same
England's entry into the war 1677
moment, the Emperor's hands were freed to aid the allies it was perceived by the French king that he could no longe prevail against such odds.
Under such circumstances peace seemed imperative to the Grand Monarque. Negotiations alaready begun at Nymwegen were hurried to a conclusion, and ten years after the Triple Alliance, the cycle of events which had brought such useless bloodshed to the people of the west was completed by a return to peace and the readjustment of European relations on the basis of an altering balance of national power. Brandenburg, compelled to postpone her ambition in the Baltic, exchanged her conquests in Pomerania for East Friesland and an indemnity. Holland preserved her provinces intact; the Emperor gave up Freiburg and the Breisgau for Philippsburg; while France and Spain divided a long line of barrier fortresses along the borders of the Low Countries.
The Peace of Nymwegen 1678
Such were the territorial results of Louis XIV's second adventure in war and diplomacy. But it is evident, even in a bare outline of those events in western Europe which filled the first eighteen years of his long reign, that, of themselves, the relations between England, Holland, France, and the west-German princes could scarcely have exhausted the interest of European history in this period. During those momentous years when French armies and French ambassadors dazzled the continent and roused the antagonism of half Europe, it was, in fact, in other quarters and in far different hands than the spectacular activities of Louis XIV, that most of the real interests of progress were conserved and advanced. Two movements, in particular, challenged the triumphs of the French king with solid achievements of constructive work. The first comprised the complex activities of the powers beyond the Elbe, in Europe itself; the second was the activity of Europeans in North America.
Of these, the former related itself most closely to that long series of events which culminated in the Peace of Nymwegen. What the reign of Louis XIV was to France and the house of Bourbon, that of Frederick William, "the Great Elector" of Brandenburg, was to his house and state, and that of Leopold I to Austria and the Hapsburg dynasty. What the wars in the west were to France, England, and the Netherlands, the simultaneous conflicts among the Baltic powers, the Empire, and the Turks were to the eastern states. And of far greater permanent importance to the fortunes of the continent than the personal ambitions of Louis XIV were the rise of Brandenburg and the final repulse of Turkish power.
Eastern Europe 1660-78
The reign of the French king unquestionably was a great epoch in the development of European civilization. His very luxury stimulated that tendency of his countrymen toward the refinements of life which inspired imitation and invigorated their industry. It might be argued that his ambition for conquest compelled his antagonists to exertions which redounded to their ultimate advantage. Yet with all the prestige which he enjoyed in his own day and since, it is doubtful whether the splendid Grand Monarque contributed more to the real progress of the continent and its peoples than the hard-working, uninspiring Prussian prince who, rather by management than war, fostered and organized the resources of his disjointed patrimony. Certainly his service was not greater than that of the Archduke-Emperor whose youth was spent in building toy
Brandenburg and Austria
churches and whose age was dominated by the Jesuits, yet whose slender abilities, steeled by unfaltering confidence in his family and his faith, enabled his dynasty to emerge triumphant from the greatest crisis in its history, and, with the aid of his heroic allies, to roll back the last attempt of Asia to overwhelm the civilization of Europe. Neither in dramatic interest nor in solid results, was the great French adventure in the west superior to the drama which at the same time unfolded itself in distant Poland, with the heroic John Sobieski as its central figure.
The story of eastern Europe in the years when France challenged the domination of the continent is a tangled skein of many twisted threads, and the Peace of Nymwegen determined not alone the measure of the French king's successes and failures. It marked a turning-point in the fortunes of the whole continent. Between the east and west the faraspiring diplomacy of Louis XIV in his relations with Sweden and Brandenburg, Poland, the Empire, and the Turks formed a connecting link of common interests. Yet each of these various elements played, no less, its independent part in the complex developments which found expression in the famous peace; and from their interaction with the French designs there presently emerged a readjustment of general European politics.
In the north the long rivalry of the Baltic states had been stimulated by their relations with events in the west. Denmark's alliance with the Dutch and her persistent maintenance of the so-called "Sound dues," which her control of the Baltic gateway enabled her to demand, had brought her into conflict with England. This was important as one of the earliest efforts of the new international law to free seagoing commerce from that species of feudal restriction which had disappeared on land. That controversy had been largely precipitated and composed by Cromwell who, in pursuance of his Protestant and commercial policy, had made terms with Sweden and Denmark. By them English ships enjoyed for a time the freedom accorded to the Dutch, but the issue was not finally determined and remained to vex Europe
The northern powers
for two centuries more. But the chief interest of Danish activities lay in the circumstance that, like Sweden, her people, wearying of noble and clerical dominance, assented to a Lex Regia, which made the king virtually absolute. It was symbolic of that general reaction in favor of royalty which marked the transition from the Age of Cromwell to the Age of Louis XIV, and seemed to presage the fall of popular influence in government.
That tendency, which had restored Charles II to the English throne and presently made William of Orange Stadtholder of the United Netherlands, was even more conspicuous in Sweden. Seduced from the policy which, under her dominant aristocracy had brought her into the Triple Alliance, she had, on the majority of Charles XI, put the state in his hands; and like his English namesake, the Swedish king entered the train of Louis XIV. The change was fatal to his country's ambitions, and all but fatal to her ascendancy. Her army was beaten by the Brandenburgers, her fleet was first crippled by the Dutch and then destroyed by their allies, the Danes. And it was a bitter commentary on her policy that the power which had played a leading part in the negotiations of Westphalia was only enabled to retain her boundaries thirty years later by the French king's resolution not to abandon his ally at the Peace of Nymwegen.
Far different was the case of Brandenburg, whose astute, unheroic Elector was no less bent on the extension of his boundaries and his power than the French king himself, and exerted his talents with no less success. His first care was the establishment of his authority. By his adroit and arbitrary management the privileges of the Estates of Brandenburg were limited, and the restless nobility of Prussia and Cleves repressed. The right to tax was enforced throughout his various lordships as an expression of sovereignty, no less than to increase revenue, and the straggling possessions of the Hohenzollerns began to take on some appearance of administrative if not of territorial unity. His stern but efficient administration maintained an army out of proportion to the extent and resources of his lands; and with his "state
The Great Elector 1640-88
all sting" he was enabled to play a part to which the size of his dominions would otherwise not have entitled him. Meanwhile he bent his energies to the enlargement of those lands, by the extension of his authority over the Hohenzollern share of the Cleves-Jülich inheritance, the acquisition of East Friesland and Magdeburg, Schwebus, and part of Pomerania. More important still was his effort to make his subjects prosperous, and thus increase his revenue. Every part of his dominions felt the impulse of an executive which lent itself to projects of drainage and canals, to the improvement of agriculture, the encouragement of immigration, and the spread of manufacturing industries, no less than to diplomacy and war. Scarcely anywhere in Europe was there a power which so fully represented the dominant tendencies of the age of absolutist nationality as did the disjointed territories of this second-rate state. As it developed a strong, well-organized administration, steadily reinforced by increasing economic prosperity, and directed by competent military, diplomatic, and political capacity, it prepared to claim a higher rank in European affairs.
The manifold activities of Frederick William and the ambitious plans by which he hoped to bring his electorate from merely German into European polity were meanwhile favored no less by the entanglements of his neighbors upon the east and south than by the relative decline of his northern rival. Poland and Russia, in particular, formed the antithesis to Brandenburg. The one was rent by one of those recurrent struggles for the throne, which, at this time, followed the abdication of John Casimir Vasa, and divided the warlike nobility, even while the great Cossack revolt transferred the allegiance of those wild horsemen from Warsaw to Moscow.
Poland and Russia 1660-78
or Russia this was a doubtful gain in the disturbed condition of the state. Torn by the Raskol, or great schism, she now revealed a powerful element filled with fanatical hatred of all change, especially of those west-European influences which were making way among the Muscovites. The quarrels with Poland over the Cossacks were accentuated by the turbulence of those new subjects; and until the resulting war with the Turks left Zaporogia and the Ukraine in Russian hands, the wide lands along the Don, the Dnieper, and the Caspian were the scene of war and pillage. Meanwhile, the religious fanatics, escaping the clutches of the government, bore with them seeds of disaffection into the forests and the wastes even while they extended the hold of Russia upon the vast and sparsely settled lands which surrounded her on nearly every side. And had it not been that Poland was scarcely less disturbed by the complexities of her dynastic rivalries and harassed by conflict with the Swede and Turk, the Czars might well have rued the day that brought new cause of quarrel with their neighbors on the west.
Such was the situation of the north and east in those years when France aspired to control the west. Save in so far as Sweden and Brandenburg had emphasized their growing rivalry by taking different sides in Louis XIV's wars, and Denmark found herself embroiled between the English and the Dutch, those powers played no decisive part in the western conflict. It was far different with Austria. If Holland, between England and France, was a storm-center of that struggle, the Emperor, between the Turks and Louis XIV's German ambitions, found his position no less hazardous. Along his wide frontiers lay the heart of that great problem which for five hundred years has disturbed the peace of the continent,--the Ottoman Turks. These now approached another crisis in their long career, and at the moment when Louis XIV prepared to execute his designs against his neighbors, they showed signs of a revival of those energies which had so terrified Europe in the preceding centuries.
Austria and the Empire
It had been the good fortune of the Christian powers that the Thirty Years' War had found the Turks unable to take advantage of their opportunity to extend their conquests while their enemies were engaged in religious conflict. For the eighty years after the death of Suleiman the Magnificent, the aggressive strength of his people, following their defeat at Lepanto, had gradually declined, with the incompetence of their rulers and the disorganization of their military force.
But the Age of Cromwell had revealed signs of their reviving activity. Its first manifestation was their attack on Crete, whose siege, beginning in the year of the Peace of Westphalia, dragged its slow length for twenty years, till, just as the Triple Alliance came into being, the fall of Candia wrested from Venice the most important possession left to her in the eastern Mediterranean.
In large measure Turkish regeneration was due to one family. At the moment that Cromwell concluded his war with Spain, a palace revolution had brought to the head of Ottoman affairs an old Albanian, Mohammed Kiuprili, as Grand Vizier. Under his relentless severity the Turks began to recover something of their famous skill in the one branch of human activity for which they seemed peculiarly adapted, the art of war; and for forty years thereafter, guided by some member of the Kiuprili family, they again threatened the peace of eastern Europe, and with it the course of events in the west.
The Kiuprilis 1656-96
The brunt of their attack fell, as always, upon Austria, then ill-prepared for such a stubborn conflict. The diverse territories which Leopold had inherited were united only by his personal rule and were in no condition to give him the assistance he required. Bohemia was wasted with war and cowed by the disasters of the long conflict which had begun in her borders. The portion of Hungary remaining under Hapsburg rule seethed with disaffection; and beyond its boundaries the restless principality of Transylvania--whose control was still in dispute--was scarcely more than a dependency of the Porte. And while Buda Pesth as an outpost of Turkish power threatened the imperial boundaries on the east and south, the old enmity of Sweden was now reinforced by the rising power of France which endangered the Emperor's authority upon the west and north.
The Austro-Turkish war 1661-4
Looking about for aid, Leopold found his two natural allies against the Turks, Russia and Poland, absorbed in mutual antagonism and internal difficulties. His appeal to the princes of the Empire brought little response. But Louis XIV, to whom he was finally driven to apply, was not unwilling to play a generous part which, at the same time, enabled him to secure some influence in that quarter of Europe. From him the harassed Emperor was able to secure a contingent of French troops. Thus reinforced, the imperial commander, Montecuculi, seized a defensive position on the Raab, and there--at almost the same moment that the English fleet, as a prelude to the Anglo-Dutch war, took possession of New Amsterdam--was fought one of the decisive engagements of modern times. Unable to force the Austrian position, the Turks were first repulsed, then all but annihilated in the great battle of St. Gothard. Not since Don John of Austria had crushed their naval power at Lepanto a century before had they suffered such a decisive reverse; and, as a result, they were compelled to sign a truce for twenty years. With this the Empire gained a breathing-space for the prosecution of the great enterprises which awaited her elsewhere.
Battle of St. Gothard 1664
Disastrous as was the battle of St. Gothard to the advance of the Turks along the Danube, they were still dangerous. Though they were foiled in their attack on Austria, and compelled to share the suzerainty of Transylvania with Leopold, though their hold on Hungary was shaken, they were far from the end of their aggressions. The year of the Triple Alliance had seen their conquest of Crete despite the aid despatched by Louis XIV to the heroic defenders of its capital. And, four years thereafter, the joint attack of England and France upon Holland was accompanied by a Turkish and Cossack descent upon Poland.
The course of events in these two coincident yet widely diverse conflicts was curiously similar. Each of the states attacked was divided against itself by factions aspiring to control its destinies. Each seemed about to sink beneath the force and treachery of its enemies; and each, in the great crisis of its fate, found a deliverer. For as the Netherlands were saved by the stubborn courage and adroit diplomacy of William III, so Poland was preserved by the military skill of John Sobieski. At the same moment that the Prince of Orange drew together the forces of a second coalition against his great antagonist, at Khoezim the Polish levies, under The Turks, the Cossacks, and Poland 1672-8 Sobieski's leadership, turned back the tide of barbarism which threatened their country's existence. And as de Witt had been replaced by William III, so the new Polish hero, sometime a pensioner of the French king, was raised to that precarious throne, against whose former occupant he had conspired. Nor was this all of his great services to Poland and to Europe generally. During the following year, while the Swedes were being beaten at Fehrbellin, and Turenne's conquest of the Palatinate was ended by his death, Sobieski's victory at Lemberg relieved Poland from the fear of Cossack and Turk alike.
It was inevitable that this series of events should react on the west. Had Austria during these years been at liberty to direct her full strength to the defense of Germany, the whole career of Louis XIV might have been different. This was at once apparent when the Emperor, relieved of the danger from the Turks, despatched their conqueror, Montecuculi, to face Turenne and co-operate with William III and his allies. The imperial general was no less fortunate on the Rhine than on the Danube. His cannon cost Louis XIV the services of Turenne; his ability manœuvered the French out of Germany; and, as he had earlier saved the eastern borders of the Empire from the Turk he now relieved its western states from the French.
Austria and the Peace of Nymwegen
The effect of the Turkish defeats and Montecuculi's success, joined to the activities of the great coalition William III had built, and to the threat of English hostility, proved too great for the French king's resources. It was in vain his diplomats had striven east and west to avert defeat. The Polish throne was occupied by Sobieski, who had become a firm ally of Austria. Not all French urgency availed to move the Turks to break their truce and face again the Poles and the Imperialists. The Hungarians, under Tokölyi, who had signalized his leadership by a medal inscribed "Ludovicus XIV, Galliae Rex, Protector Hungariae," remained in arms against the Emperor. But their power was small, and the unnatural policy which joined Frenchmen, Swedes, Turks, and rebel Hungarians against the rest of Europe broke down before a coalition which from English Parliamentary opposition on the west to a reviving Empire on the east, combined against the enemy of European peace. Thus were woven the elements of the Peace of Nymwegen on which was wrecked another effort to subordinate Europe to a single power.
CHAPTER XXVI - EUROPE BEYOND THE SEA.
WITH the treaties of Nymwegen Louis XIV virtually reached the height of his power if not of his ambitions and his prestige. For a decade and a half his armies and his diplomats had disturbed the peace of Europe in an attempt to give France wider boundaries. However slight the handbreadth of territory which was the reward of such an expenditure of blood and treasure, it had required the efforts of half the continent to check his aggressions, and he stood forth, in consequence, the greatest figure of the European world. Yet his desire for fame and power, growing by what it fed on, aspired to fresh triumphs; while France, infected by his spirit of aggrandizement, and filled with the spirit of militant nationality, remained a menace to the quiet of the continent.
Louis XIV at the Peace of Nymwegen
Scarcely touched by the religious zeal which had inspired Gustavus and Cromwell, unmoved by the spirit of intellectual and political liberty which found expression in the Netherlands and England, Louis XIV, save in his identification with the principle of nationality, had thus far appeared only as a destructive and reactionary force in the European world. The glamor of military glory and diplomatic pre-eminence, the glitter of a brilliant court, and the splendid burst of intellectual genius which accompanied and lent luster to his reign, could not conceal the great danger to European progress which every triumph that he won brought with it. For the real value of his personal activities and ambitions lay rather in the opposition which they evoked and which was to make their realization impossible. Thus during those momentous years when French armies and French ambassadors dazzled the imagination of the continent and roused the antagonism of half the sovereigns of Europe, it was in other quarters and in far different hands that the substantial progress of mankind was chiefly conserved and advanced. The Peace of Nymwegen determined not alone the limits of the French king's ambitions, it marked a turning point in the fortunes of the continent, only second in importance to Westphalia.
If, from the commanding eminence which he occupied, Louis XIV's vision had been capable of wider range, he would have seen that the position which he had assumed, despite the apparent greatness which it brought, had permitted his ambition to lead him and his nation into a by-path of European progress. That position was, indeed, the culmination of the older traditions of arbitrary power, of European domination, the apotheosis of kingship as it was then understood. In him that school of thought and practice of government reached its climax. But in the very days of his ascendancy it was in far different fields and very different hands that Europe was turning to other ends. Not in the narrow theater of the Rhineland and the Low Countries, nor in the extension of personal and irresponsible sovereignty, still less in the domination of the continent, lay the important lines of future progress. At the very hour of its apparent triumph the idea of divine right of kings was about to receive a fatal blow. At the very height of its challenge to the control of the destinies of Europe was born the idea of balance of power which made the continued supremacy of any single state impossible. Thus while war and diplomacy seemed to Louis XIV, and to most men besides, the principal business of mankind, the forces of commerce and colonization were altering the foundations of power in regions far beyond his ken, and so re-shaping the bases of government and society.
Opposition to his designs
Not that France was without those who perceived the truth far more clearly than the Grand Monarque. At the moment that his energies and those of his subjects were engaged in the struggle for the Low Countries, far from the precincts of his brilliant court, far from France itself, scarcely
France beyond the sea
heeded by the ruler whom they served, other and humbler Frenchmen were laying foundations for a wider empire than all his European conquests could have won. For, in the years he gave to the attack upon the Netherlands, there was first laid bare, under French auspices, the vast interior of North America, where men aspired to found a new and broader France. While their master contended for the few miles of coveted sea-coast, and his contemporaries in the east hurled back the Turkish hosts, a new chapter was begun in the history of Europe by these daring adventurers.
What dreams France had of this great exploit were chiefly centered in the far-reaching designs of the minister of finance, Colbert, in whose hands the expanding forces of French commerce and colonies now woke to new life. What enduring achievement France accomplished was chiefly due to him. The new minister personified the altering forces of his time. From a draper's apprentice to service under Mazarin, by him bequeathed to Louis XIV, Colbert had early signalized his advent to power by reorganizing the finances whose condition had been no small cause of French decline during Cromwell's ascendancy, and whose prosperity was a large element in Louis' successes. He established a council of finance and an exchequer court, punished dishonest farmers of the revenue, and arbitrarily scaled down the public debt. He established what was virtually the first system of customs duties or tariff in the modern sense. In twenty years he increased by half the revenues of the state, while decreasing the cost of its collection in even greater proportion, and thus revealed himself as the first great master of modern European public finance.
Nor were his activities confined to the administration of the revenues. Commerce was encouraged; an infinity of industries, especially lace-making and silk-weaving, were added to French resources. Roads were built and supplemented by a network of water communication crowned by the Languedoc canal, which provided France not merely with interior communication but an inland waterway from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean. Thus he filled the first great need of her industry. Created minister of marine, he created in turn a navy, and, in the process of improving the civil laws, enriched them by special codes for the marine and for the colonies. He was no less a patron of learning and the arts, of science and literature, than of the business interests. He founded academies of science, inscriptions, and architecture, and so set France on the way to wider and more enduring successes. And, finally, "persecuted because he had brains without birth by those who had birth without brains," he met his reward in popular execration for the taxes he was compelled to raise, and royal neglect by him for whom he raised them.
Of all Colbert's many claims to remembrance as one of the founders of modern Europe, not the least is that, amid the clash of arms, he re-founded French colonial empire. It was high time that this was done, if France was ever to play a part beyond the sea. In the first year of Louis XIV's reign the powerful tribe of the Iroquois, who held the lands south of the St. Lawrence and the two most easterly of the Great Lakes of North America, had almost destroyed the slender population of New France, and cut them off from the way to the west and its wealth of furs. To the despairing appeal of the survivors the French government had responded generously. The power of the old company of the Hundred Associates, into whose hands Richelieu had given the administration of the colony, was replaced by that of the crown. A Sovereign Council was created; a governor and intendant appointed; five hundred colonists were sent out and given maintenance for a year at state expense; and New France became a royal province. For its protection troops were despatched, forts built along the Richelieu, and the Iroquois so severely defeated that they were no longer a menace to the French frontiers or the fur traders. This accomplished, a part of the soldiers was left in garrison, as settlers; more emigrants arrived, including some shiploads of young women; and a premium on marriage established foundations of a sound colonial society. Thus revived and strengthened, New France took its place among European
His colonial plans
colonies as the peculiar product of French royal power, in the first decade of the new king's reign.
From it three elements almost at once began the extension of French influence westward and northward into the wilderness. As the spirit of colonial enterprise passed from the hands of Portugal and Spain to the other powers; as English and Dutch traders and religious refugees opened the ways of commerce and settlement; French soldiers, priests, and fur-traders vied with each other for the control of this new empire.
It was, above all, to the priests and fur-traders that France owed her empire. Nowhere in the stirring annals of European adventure among savage peoples is the story of their daring and devotion overmatched. A handful of explorers braved almost incredible experiences to open up the interior of North America to French enterprise. The high courage and selfsacrifice of the Jesuits and their followers not only maintained the highest traditions of an order notable for those great qualities: it contributed, perhaps, more than any other single force to the strength of France in America. Radisson and Groseillers had earlier followed the track of Nicolet, and now, as the danger from the Iroquois subsided, the explorer Joliet was despatched along their trail to find the copper deposits about Lake Superior rumors of which had reached Quebec. Returning from an unsuccessful search for that source of wealth, he met a party under Robert, Cavalier de La Salle, who, with Sulpician missionaries accompanying him, had just signalized his entry into the field of exploration by the discovery of that tremendous gorge through which the water of the Great Lakes plunges on its way to the sea, Niagara Falls. Thence, parting from his priestly companions, who retraced Joliet's course to the missions which their predecessors had established on the distant shores of Green Bay, La Salle found his way to the Allegheny. Thereafter he made his way to the river which drains the western slopes of the Allegheny Mountains, now for the first time seen by Europeans, and known as the Ohio. From this momentous journey the intrepid explorer returned to
lead another expedition northwest to Mackinac, and thence by way of Lake Michigan and the Illinois. There he founded the post of Fort Crèvecceur and sent some of his followers further on, across the vast prairies stretching to and beyond the Father of Waters, which flowed, men thought, either to the southern gulf or to the Pacific. In such fashion was the way into the heart of the continent revealed.
Re-drawing of Joliet's map. The medallion contained the inscription. Compare with Hennepin map (facing p. 80).
Before La Salle had reached his goal New France felt a fresh impulse. Her energetic ruler, Talon, under whose auspices these initial explorations had been carried on, was replaced by the Count de Frontenae, who sent Joliet to find a way to the great river which now became the goal of French exploring enterprise. Joined at Mackinac by a Jesuit missionary, the two found their way to Green Bay, thence by the Fox River to Lake Winnebago, then to and down the Wisconsin. At the same moment that on the eastern edge of Europe John Sobieski drew his forces to resist the Turks and farther west William III rallied to his support the princes of the continent to check the aggressions of Louis XIV, the two French adventurers reached the Mississippi River, laid bare the secret of the heart of North America, and, as it was to prove in no long time, widened the area for which their master was to strive against his foes.
Thereafter, as the great continental war went on, the energies of New France were directed to securing the way into this vast interior. Under the guidance of Frontenac, who brought to its accomplishment the talents which had earlier given him reputation in German and Italian wars and gained him the favor of Maurice of Nassau, the government's first care was for the military control of the route to the west. A seigneury near Fort Frontenac was conferred on his lieutenant, La Salle, who obtained a patent from the crown and planned the commercial conquest of the inland empire. Accompanied by his friend and follower, the Italian officer, Tonty, and a Réeollet friar, Hennepin, the great adventurer next established a post at Niagara, and, at the same moment that the Peace of Nymwegen was being signed, prepared an expedition to bring the Ohio and Mississippi valleys under French control. Such a plan, successfully accomplished, would have given his native land a far more splendid and valuable heritage than she could hope to gain along the bloodstained boundaries at home. Properly supported, it would have enabled her to anticipate the advance of the English sea-coast colonies across the Alleghenies into the hinterland, and make France supreme in North America.
The securing of the West
Some men, even in France, saw the vision. If the ambitions of La Salle and Frontenac had led France to the threshold of a magnificent achievement, the view of the great minister who encouraged and supported them had meanwhile taken an even wider range. At the same moment that the explorers brought the interior of the North American continent under French influence, Colbert embarked upon farreaching plans of colonial and commercial enterprise, of which even the great exploits of the heroes of New France formed but a part. Beginning with the reorganization of Canada, he sought to rival English and Dutch success in the foundation of trading corporations. The old Northern
Colbert's plans 1672-8
or Baltic company and that of the Levant were galvanized into new activity and reinforced by an African company basing its privileges on a treaty negotiated with Algiers. The moribund Senegal Association, ceding some of its privileges to a French West India corporation, was transformed into a new body; while the societies trading to the east were fused into a French East India Company under whose auspices it was proposed to enter the Persian field and open relations with Madagascar. At the same time the various interests in the west from Canada to St. Christopher were combined in the hands of the French West India Company. Thus equipped, with a naval force prepared to protect the commerce which this burst of company promotion was expected to pour into France, Colbert planned to challenge the Anglo-Dutch monopoly of colonial and commercial enterprise.
But the ambitious plans which were to have brought French power about the Atlantic from Quebec to the Cape of Good Hope and extend its influence through the nearer and the farther East, were destined to brief existence. The temper of the times, the ambitions of the monarch whom Colbert served, and, above all, the genius of his people, did not lend themselves to the devices which brought fortune and empire to England and the Netherlands. Like Spain and Portugal, France achieved her ends by different means. A few years of unsuccessful experiment and the colonies were united to the crown. Yet the efforts of Colbert and his lieutenants were by no means wholly vain. The expeditions of French traders and missionaries not merely widened the bounds of their country's knowledge and power; they poured into her markets a tremendous wealth of furs. More important still, from the standpoint of her rulers, they secured an increasing influence over the Indian tribes, providing allies who enabled her to maintain pretensions to the interior of North America for three-quarters of a century, and a position which otherwise would soon have become untenable. The development of the marine reinforced the warlike ambitions of the king and brought into existence a navy which in a dozen years was able to challenge even English supremacy on the sea.
The impetus given by Colbert's efforts in behalf of the sugar industry in the French West Indies not merely drew from that source an increasing stream of the coveted colonial product. Within a century it made those islands, in proportion to their size, the most valuable colonial possession in the world.
Such was the contribution of the French to the expansion of Europe beyond the sea in the years that her master struck for the domination of the continent. But, great as it was, French energy by no means absorbed all the importance of European activities in that field during this momentous period. Spain and Portugal, indeed, had been stricken from the list of leaders in Europe's conquering advance. England and Holland had replaced them; and these, however involved in the designs of Louis XIV, however overshadowed for the moment by the discoveries of the French, were still to be reckoned with. They were, in fact, at a turning-point in their affairs. Both at the moment faced a crisis in their domestic concerns no less than in their fortunes as world powers. And if Louis XIV stood for the spirit of national monarchy which had succeeded the struggle for politicoreligious supremacy, the Anglo-Dutch powers represented no less the spirit of colonial-commercial dominance, which was the second great element in late seventeenth century polity.
Holland and England overseas 1672-8
In that struggle Cromwell had already struck a decisive blow and laid down the lines for the economic warfare which preceded, caused, and accompanied the appeal to arms. The renewal of the Navigation Act on Charles II's accession to the throne gave notice to the world that England had not abandoned the Cromwellian policy of commercial exclusiveness. A succession of like measures which ensued, at once committed the English to those protective principles which crystallized into the so-called mercantile system, and brought her again and yet again into conflict with the Dutch. In opposition to that policy of high protection, despite Holland's ability to contend on fairly equal terms by sea, the lesser nation could hardly be expected to endure, weakened as it was, meanwhile, by French attack. The first decade and a half of Charles II's reign was the period when England took Holland's place in the commercial and colonial world. And it is a fact not unworthy of note that the second and third Anglo-Dutch wars, like the first--and in perhaps still greater measure--originated not within but without Europe. Each was preceded by naval engagements off the African or the American coasts. The great prize of the wars, New Amsterdam or New York, was actually seized and occupied by the English before the outbreak of hostilities in European waters. So early and so great was the influence of the extraEuropean world upon the course of European politics at home.
But what Holland's courage and resources could scarcely have accomplished, the ill-fortune of her principal enemy once more achieved. To the fear of the Cromwellians which had long possessed the English mind succeeded the greater fear of French and Catholic predominance. The ill-advised activity of a part of the English Catholics reinforced the alarm caused by the advance of the French into the Netherlands. Before these dangers even economic rivalry had declined. The growing opposition in the nation compelled peace with Holland, and forced on the reluctant king the marriage of the Princess Mary to William III. The most famous agitation of history, the Popish Plot, inflamed England to madness against the Catholics; and among the many threads which were gathered up at Nymwegen, not the least was the beginning of an Anglo-Dutch connection, which, concluding their long-lived rivalry, was destined to become a turningpoint of European history. Thus, with the division of English Protestantism into opposing camps and the ensuing evolution of the party system of parliamentary government, and with the growing power of the Commons in finance and foreign affairs, began a revolution not alone in English but in European affairs which was to be extended into the whole world of politics. 1678
Beside the establishment of such far-reaching relationships and institutions of the maritime states, even the successive wars and treaties in which they were involved sank into relative insignificance. Nor was the period less notable for The decline of Holland its effect on the balance of power throughout the world which hung upon their respective authority. The causes of the decline of Holland and the concurrent rise of England lay largely outside the circumstances of their wars with each other, and in some measure even beyond their relations with the other continental powers. The situation was not much altered by the misfortunes of the Dutch. Beyond the transfer of New Amsterdam,--itself a source of no great revenue in comparison with the profits of the eastern trade,--
Holland had suffered scarcely any territorial losses. The chief sources of her wealth had not been seriously impaired; while the recovery of Pularoon, the strengthening of her hold on African ports, and the virtual recognition of her monopoly of trade with the farther East and the Spice Islands--which were confirmed by the last peace with England--seemed only to make her more secure.
None the less she had suffered an absolute decline in two directions, moral and financial, and a relative loss of position as compared with her chief rival. Save for the narrow strip of Surinam and her scattered West Indian possessions, the long succession of reverses which had begun with her expulsion from Brazil and ended with the conclusion of the conflict with England, saw her authority extinguished throughout the western hemisphere. At the same time the English, by securing their hold on the North American coast, from Florida to Acadia, became the dominating influence in that region. Nor was this all. The loss of Pernambuco and of New Amsterdam, despite the indemnity of eight million florins which the former yielded, and the privilege of Brazilian trade which remained to it, dealt a death-blow to the Dutch West India Company. Compelled to dispose of its interests to the Company of Surinam, the corporation, which in fifty years had won and lost an empire and contributed in no small degree to its country's independence, passed out of existence. At almost the same moment the expulsion of Dutch factors from Formosa by a Chinese adventurer left them no port in the China Sea. And though their Nagasaki post remained to them, the terrible revolt of
the Japanese Christians which shook the throne before it was suppressed, weakened their position in the island kingdom, at the same moment that they lost their principal posts in the Americas.
But with the two extremities of their empire lopped off, their hold on what remained became the more secure. The "frontier fortress of India," the Cape of Good Hope, was reinforced and fortified. The Portuguese were expelled from Ceylon and the absolute monopoly of its trade assured; and, while they still disputed with the English for possession of Java and the Sumatra trade, there had already begun that virtual division between the rival powers which ended with Dutch supremacy in the Spice Islands and England's advance in the Indian peninsula, Under the authority of the government at Batavia, eight governorships--Amboyna, Banda, Ternate, Macassar, Ceylon, Malacca, Java, and the Cape-with posts in Bengal and along the Coromandel coast, in Siam, Surat, and Bandar Abbas, rounded out the imposing and highly profitable possessions of the Dutch East India Company. Thus narrowing the scope of their activities, relieved from the pressure of English rivalry by mutual accommodation and union of their ruling families and national interests, the Dutch withdrew from the pursuit of power and devoted themselves to dividends. Thenceforth their activities were confined to the intensive cultivation of what remained to them, and, inevitably drawn into Biagland's train by their converging interests, they ceased to be a leading force in European politics. Rich, indolent, secure, Holland thenceforth declined to insignificance.
Organization of the trading empire 1658
Meanwhile, England's position in the world greatly improved. Though her sovereign had long been harnessed by a golden chain to the French king's chariot, and the terror which Cromwell inspired on the continent had given way to the contempt inspired by Charles' rule, the Restoration had proved an important period in her history. As the lustful extravagance of the king increased the power of Parliament, so her rivals' absorption in European war gave her an opportunity to exercise her talents in a wider field. In conse-
English expansion 1660-78
quence, whatever her humiliations in foreign affairs, her colonial and commercial interests flourished, and however contemptible she appeared to her neighbors at home, beyond the sea she played a different part. For as the reign of Elizabeth had been the age of courtier-privateers, that of Charles II was the age of courtier-promoters.
The impulse to the activities on which the real importance of England in foreign affairs during the Restoration depends, was due in large measure both in colonial and in parliamentary affairs to the same elements which had inspired the Puritan régime. Beginning with the enactment of the Navigation Laws, there came a burst of activity in those fields which revolutionized the whole colonial establishment. Its most immediate results were seen in India. Among the first acts of Charles had been the issue of a new charter to the East India Company. This, with his marriage to the Portuguese princess, Catherine of Braganza--who brought as part of her dowry Tangier and Bombay--gave English enterprise new impetus and direction. Tangier, indeed, disappointed the expectations of those who saw in it a key to the Mediterranean, and after two decades was abandoned; but Bombay was destined to become a bulwark of the British empire of India. With it the company's establishment now comprised the Presidency of Bantam with Jambi, Macassar, and lesser posts in the eastern archipelago; the Presidency of Madras, or Fort St. George, with its dependencies, of which Surat was chief; and Gambroon, which divided the trade of the Persian Gulf with the Dutch post of Bandar Abbas and the Portuguese post of Ormuz. This, though it scarcely rivaled, as yet, Holland's far-flung empire of tradingposts, was neither weak nor unprofitable.
The East India Company
From their new vantage point of Bombay, whose wharves and dockyards soon offered facilities for an increasing commerce, the English strove to extend their operations through Siam, Tonquin, Formosa, and China to Japan, whence their Dutch rivals were being driven out. Nor was this the sole result of the Portuguese marriage and the development of Asiatic commerce. Hard on the re-chartering of the East The Royal African Company 1660-78 India Company, that group of interest and individuals, which, under various forms, had long striven for control of the Guinea trade, was reorganized as the Royal Company of Adventures, or the Royal African Company, as it was better known, with the king's brother at its head and the king him-
Africa, re-drawn from the Atlas prepared by Dapper in 1676, and showing the 17th century knowledge of the coast and interior (From Jacobs The Story of Geographical Discovery, courtesy of D. Appleton & Company.)
self as a stockholder. From its long conflict with the Dutch came much of the biter hostility which led to the wars with the Netherlands; and though it was ruined by the second again reorganized. with the king's cousin, Prince Rupert, among its directors. The decline of Dutch power enable it to established factories along the Gold Coast and to extend British influence throughout Guinea. There it soon rivaled the Portuguese in the traffic which gave the Slave Coast its unenviable name, while the coinage of those gold pieces, "guineas," so-called, which took their name from the new source of precious metals, emphasized its growing interest in English eyes.
Important as were these movements, two other circumstances in this period were of more immediate and no less ultimate significance. The first was the development of English power in America. The Dutch wars had done more than give her control of the Atlantic coast between the territories claimed for France and Spain and put in her hands the great harbor of New Amsterdam, re-named New York. Far to the north, indeed, England for the time abandoned her efforts to hold the St. Lawrence mouth. But far to the south, from Virginia and Barbados, almost simultaneously, emigrants began to make their way into the region between Virginia and Florida, which, chartered and organized as Carolina, added another province to the broadening bounds of British-American empire.
England in America
More important still were the concurrent developments in the Arctic. The explorer Radisson, discredited by his countrymen, to whom he first bore news of the rich fur field of the great northwest, had found his way to Boston and so to the English court, whose adventurers, with those of London, turned their attention to the region which fifty years before Hudson had found and named. Scarcely had the first Dutch war been brought to a close when a royal ship was despatched thither to find means to compete with the French traffic in furs. Fort Charles was founded at the mouth of a stream called Rupert's River, and a beginning made in barter with the natives for the coveted treasures of the northern forests. Other ships followed the lead thus given, and, within three years, a charter was issued to Prince Rupert and his associates as the "Governor and Company of Adventurers trading to Hudson's Bay." Under such auspices, at the same moment that the French outflanked the English on the west by occupying the central valley of the continent, the English, in turn, took the French colonies in
Hudson's Bay Company
the rear, and opened up the empire of the great north west.
Meanwhile, another series of events profoundly influenced the British Empire in America. This was the situation which developed in the older colonies. Fortunately for them, the English settlers, save in their earliest years, had not been called upon to face the fierce native resistance which Spanish and Portuguese, or even the French had encountered. Virginia, indeed, fared hardly for a time, but New England, apart from French and Indian forays, had been exceptionally peaceful. Its Indian tribes were few and feeble as compared even with the Iroquois; beside the Aztecs and Incas, much less the states of India and the East, they were contemptible. In consequence, the only conflict worthy the name of war which the New England settlers had thus far endured--the rebellion of a native chief, King Philip socalled--was magnified beyond its real importance, and produced almost as great an expenditure of ink as of blood.
The English colonies in North America 1660-78
Free speech, indeed, early became a peculiar characteristic of the colonies. Removed from the immediate pressure of their home government, they were, at all times, freer to express their minds, while they felt themselves important beyond their actual numbers and wealth by virtue of their unique and illimitable opportunities. These sentiments were reinforced by all the independence of the pioneer, and further strengthened by the increasing numbers of immigrants fleeing from French conquest and German Catholic persecution. In consequence, what the North American colonies lacked in native hostilities they made up in an antagonism to home authorities, which was at once a reminiscence of their origin and a prophecy of their future. The more immediate causes of the conflicts which now arose were the outgrowth of the mother country's domestic politics. It was to be expected, after twenty years of English revolution, that the Restoration should bring reorganization not only at home but in colonial affairs. It was perhaps as natural that, in addition to the efforts to restore the royal power throughout the Empire, the royal favorites should be rewarded; and it was no less to be expected that the colonists, accustomed to a large measure of self-government, should resist any attempt at the curtailment of their rights and privileges.
From these elements, therefore, resulted the third set of events which characterized English expansion during this period. The extension of the Navigation Acts to include all goods carried between England and her colonies was accompanied by administrative reorganization. The re-establishment of crown authority in Virginia in the person of the old royal governor, Berkeley, was followed by the restoration of proprietary rule, and the quit-rents and escheats of that province were granted to Lords Culpepper and Arlington. At the same time Connecticut and New Haven were joined under the terms of a new charter; as were Rhode Island and Providence; while Lord Baltimore was confirmed in the possession of Maryland. The efforts of Massachusetts to secure control of the Gorges inheritance of Maine were accompanied by a revision of its own patent. The assumption of the Cromwellian prize of Jamaica was signalized by the appointment of a governor with power to call and constitute an assembly. The conquest of New Amsterdam transferred it to the Duke of York, and the neighboring territory between the Hudson and the Delaware was conferred by him upon his followers, Berkeley and Carteret. The Bahamas were conferred on the proprietors of Carolina.
Their reorganization 1660-78
All this, with a grant of Carolina to the minister Clarendon and his associates, and its organization under the fantastic provisions of a "Fundamental Constitution"--drawn up by the political philosopher, John Locke--within a dozen years after the Restoration, put the whole North American establishment on a new footing.
It did far more; it roused the bitterest hostility among the colonists. Massachusetts and Connecticut protested against the new arrangements with a violence just short of revolution. The latter opposed by force of arms the efforts of the governor of New York, Andros, to extend his jurisdiction to the east; and in Virginia the resistance to proprietary rule compelled the crown to commute the proprietary rights Their protest into a tobacco duty. Worse followed. Roused by the Indian policy of the tyrannical governor, which revived the longstanding antagonism between the conservatism of the older "tide-water" aristocratic element and the advancing frontiersmen who desired rapid expansion, the colonists rose in rebellion. The revolt destroyed Jamestown and only ended with the death of its leader, Bacon. It was only too evident that the policy of grants to court favorites, and even the far more defensible plan of colonial amalgamation and reorganization, would have to be abandoned unless the English government was prepared to put down resistance by force.
Under such circumstances it resorted to other measures. Commissioners were despatched to investigate and secure crown rights in Maine and New Hampshire, enforce the Navigation Acts, and inquire into the courts and the relations of the colonists with the Indian tribes. In the face of continued disturbances a further and more important step was presently taken. This was the reorganization of the central authority. Colonial affairs, which had long been administered by committees of the royal council, were now combined with those of foreign trade, and, under the guidance of the Earl of Shaftesbury, who represented at once the Nonconformists, the opposition and the commercial element in politics, there was contrived a Board of Trade and Plantations, with Shaftesbury himself at its head.
The arrangement was, indeed, short-lived. The great political leader, who, with all his faults, best represented the two chief principles of the coming age of his country's rise to eminence,--the supremacy of Parliament with its control by parties, and its world-wide commercial policy,--soon fell from place if not from power. The Whig Party, which he organized in opposition to the Tories who developed from the court, did not secure control of government in his lifetime. But when, within a half dozen years, the revolution, which cost the Stuarts their throne, brought William III to the head of English affairs, the Whig Party which Shaftesbury formed was the chief gainer by the change of which it had been the chief promoter. The commercial policy which they had inherited from their progenitors, the Cromwellians, came in their hands, as a consequence, to be a prime factor in the politics of the world. In it the reorganizing policy which proved so disastrous to the Stuarts came to its fruition, and the instruments designed to re-shape the Empire were at last perfected.
Such were the chief lines of development in the European world in the eventful eighteen years which intervened between the accession of Louis XIV and the Peace of Nymwegen. If they appeared largely political rather than cultural, if the clash of arms and the negotiations of the diplomats seem to bulk larger in the story of the period, it is because these occupied a place, not greater, perhaps, than hitherto, but of a different character. For the first time the extra-European causes of European war were openly avowed. Commerce and colonies frankly became the prizes of success, the subject of treaties, a chief concern of statesmen. Thus war, in one view, became the servant of economics as it had earlier been of religion, and as it was of royalty and nationality then and thereafter. Of its achievements the advance of France, the repulse of the Turks, and the transfer of Dutch North America to English hands were the chief fruits. Yet even these yielded in importance to the development of English party government, the exploration of the North American interior, and the division of the world into new spheres of European influence by which they were accompanied. For amid the innumerable activities of a broadening Europe, those which concerned themselves but little with either war or diplomacy or government, with commerce or colonies, raised the race to new levels of capacity and influence. Great as were the activities of the Grand Monarque in the fields which were still regarded as the most honorable, and so the chief prerogative of kings, the progress of his own people, as well as that of their rivals, was making the foundations of civilization more secure than all his triumphs in war and diplomacy.
Results of the period 1660-78
For it is the advance of arts rather than the clash of arms which makes the Age of Louis XIV, if not so memorable, at least more useful to mankind than the quarrels over the border lands between France and her neighbors. One may not be able to determine the relative importance of the acquisition of Alsace and the establishment of political parties, the rise of Brandenburg or the discoveries of La Salle. But it is certainly true that, without the intellectual and political progress of this period, the military activities of European rulers, apart from the repulse of the Turkish power, would have been as fruitless as the barbarous conflicts between the Hurons and the Iroquois. For only in so far as supremacy in arms contributes to the advance of civilization in a nation, or its defense against less civilized opponents, can it be regarded as superior to the struggle for power between two savage tribes, if progress toward what we call a higher civilization be regarded as the chief end of man's striving. In that view, the extension of popular government and its devices in England, the extension of European authority and population in lands hitherto outside of European influence, and the repulse of Cossack and Turkish power, must be reckoned of greater importance than the aggrandizement of Louis XIV.
None the less, the age to which historians have agreed to attach his name was a great period in European development, and the French king a noteworthy figure in the world's affairs. For of the two forces which make for political betterment, liberty and efficiency, his rule contributed much to the latter, and, indirectly, by the opposition which his ambitions roused, to the former. In like degree his far-reaching designs did much to keep alive that sense of common interest, that unity in diversity among the threatened peoples of the continent, which has become the principal characteristic of international relationships. Finally, in so far as it aroused the French national ambitions in arts as well as arms, and stimulated the progress of what had come to be the most civilized society in Europe, that of France, promoted its ideals and inspired emulation among its neighbors to achieve like triumphs, it did much to mitigate the evils which its ruler's ambitions brought in their train. For long after those ambitions proved impossible of realization, the more humane idals and practices of his countrymen made way upon the continent, and played their part in its advance toward higher forms of social and intellectual expression.
CHAPTER XXVII - THE AGE OF WILLIAM III.
No circumstance better illustrates the fact that at any given moment men do not know whither they are tending than the position of the French monarchy in the concluding decades of the seventeenth century, and the views then generally held of its predominance. To most western European rulers nothing seemed more certain than that France had solved the age-long problem of government. From the confusion of more than a century had emerged an efficient, powerful, centralized kingship, ensuring stable and peaceful administration at home and pre-eminence abroad; the model and the terror of adjoining states, the single, all-pervasive element in international affairs, the most active agent of territorial expansion beyond the sea. Beside it England, escaped from one revolution and tending toward another, the Hapsburg monarchy, threatened by Turkish invasion and internal dissension, decadent Spain, half-Asiatic Russia, the declining power of Sweden and the Netherlands, ill compared. Probably no man in Europe, looking forward twenty years, could have foreseen that the political balance of the European world was even then trembling in an unstable equilibrium which was to be altered by one of the most extraordinary convulsions in its troubled history.
Least of all, perhaps, could Louis XIV have figured the future to himself; for at this moment he embarked upon two enterprises which at once typified his own spirit and emphasized his resemblance to Philip II. The one was the erection of the palace of Versailles, which he began on the completion of the Louvre, to provide the monarchy with an appropriate habitation, separated from all contact with the world of its subjects. Like Philip II, the French king chose Louis XIV a site removed some distance from his capital. Like the Escorial, Versailles owed nothing to nature, for the flat, sterile, and uninteresting plain selected for its location was as unpromising as the gloomy wilderness the Spanish king chose for his abode. There the resemblance ceased. For if Philip's palace reflected even in its plan the deep religious character of its master, if its massive and gloomy pile in some sort symbolized the spirit which it was built to house, and the genius of the people which gave it birth, the equally imposing but infinitely lighter and more worldly Versailles typified at once the altered standards of a new period and a new authority, no less than the character and taste of its master and his subjects.
Still more did the new palace and its surroundings reflect that spirit of authority which, having made itself supreme over its people, transferred to the realm of art and nature its determination to dominate not only men but the more stubborn quality of material circumstance. Disregarding the simplest law of architecture that a building should rise, as it were, from the soil and partake of the character of its surroundings, the French king elected to create surroundings fit for the palace he designed to build. The sandy waste which lacked nearly every element necessary to support life was provided with those elements by royal authority. Under its surface miles of pipes conducted to every part of the domain, water drawn thither at vast expense through great mains for a hundred miles. The soil was created for gardens. The very horizon was limited by plantations, so that, whichever way one looked, he saw only the triumph of royalty over nature--nor was he embarrassed by contemplation of the dwellings of the poor. The site thus prepared by the foremost engineers of France, the genius of the most eminent of living landscape gardeners, le Nôtre, was summoned to adorn it, and the result of his labors was the most splendid if not the most beautiful pleasaunce in Europe. From the slight elevation, upon which stood the old hunting-lodge of Louis XIV, the ground was made to fall away in every direction. Behind the château lay the formal gardens, whose long alleys of grass and trees, adorned with statuary, led to the magnificent fountains and the huge Grand Canal which formed the center of the scheme. On every hand the eye was led along splendid vistas to delightful retreats of shade; while the ingenuity of French sculptors and hydraulic engineers combined to produce a series of fountains unequaled in the world.
The palace itself, standing at the entrance to this paradise of gardens, was built about the hunting-lodge which had long preceded it; and was worthy, at least in size and pretensions, to its setting. Built in French Renaissance style, it was vast and imposing, if not distinguished; and though the talents of Mansart were unequal to conceiving real grandeur or the highest beauty, the result was certainly the largest and perhaps the most impressive piece of royal architecture on the continent. To this were added, at intervals throughout the grounds, other buildings of less size but greater charm, the Grand and Petit Trianon, the Orangery, and, at the entrance of the great court, a heroic statue of Louis XIV. That motive was repeated indefinitely. In the pictures which adorned the walls, in the statuary which relieved them, in the mirrors which reflected the figure of the king himself, the dominating note was everywhere the glory of the Grand Monarque.
Had he been able to inspire those who served his will in the realm of art with that spontaneous genius which is only the offspring of liberty of thought, he might have made Versailles and all France the most inspiring as it was the most imposing monument of despotism. That gift was denied him. The dignity and ceremonial of the court stifled originality. The painters, like the philosophers, could not be taught to march with the beat of the drum; and art, under royal patronage, achieved its triumphs in the delineation of splendid drapery and magnificent costume rather than in the portrayal of character. Architecture, even literature, tended to follow the same course; and the Age of Louis XIV, with all its splendor of form, did much to deprive genius of its one indispensable quality, freedom of spirit. Without that quality those arts dependent on royal or courtly patronage tended toward the formalism which became the characteristic not only of this but of the succeeding period. And of this Versailles was at once the symbol and the type.
The erection of this splendid retreat for the most splendid of European monarchs was not the only, nor even the greatest event in those years of his reign which followed immediately on the Peace of Nymwegen. It was not the only circumstance which emphasized his resemblance to the Spanish ruler who became the champion of Catholicism. The differences between them were largely superficial, the resemblances largely fundamental. No single act of Philip II had been more characteristic of his character and policy than his expulsion of the heretics and the strengthening and extension of the Inquisition in his domains. No part of his policy was more striking and more disastrous than his effort to impose his will and his belief upon the Netherlands; no phase of European politics more decisive than the resultant conflict between Spain and the Protestant powers of England and Holland. Nor was the situation without its personal side. Louis XIV's mother was the daughter of Philip III of Spain, and it is not inconceivable that he inherited from her and from the influence she brought into France something of that religious spirit and that formalism which distinguished her grandfather, Philip II.
The Revocation of the Edict of Nantes 1685
As the seventeenth century wore to a close and the authority of Louis XIV rose to its height, the absolute Catholicisrn of France ventured on the same stroke of state as its Spanish predecessor had attempted a century earlier. It was nearly a hundred years since Louis XIV's grandfather, Henry IV, had issued the edict of Nantes which secured to French Protestants political equality. Now, inspired by diverse motives,--his Catholic subjects' jealousy of their Huguenot rivals in trade, his own religious tendencies, strengthened by the influence of his confessor and that of a new and deeply religious mistress,--the disabilities which had pressed harder on the Huguenots year by year since his accession, were crowned, some seven years after the Peace of Nymwegen by the revocation of the great Edict, and the consequent dispersion of the Huguenots.
Perhaps no single circumstance of the time had wider consequences than this ill-judged piece of persecution. The French Protestants were a numerous, rich, and industrious element, and they bore with them to every corner of the European world their wealth and skill to strengthen the enemies of France, and deepen the fear and hatred of her king and his faith. London welcomed their silk-weavers. The Great Elector invited them to populate the thinly settled lands of Brandenburg. The English colonies in North America and the Dutch settlements in South Africa were reinforced by the addition of this vigorous element. Above all, Holland profited, for William III recruited his power with the talents of men like the great general, Marshal Schomberg, and the no less eminent diplomat, Ruvigny. These, with their fellows, were soon to play a great part in the drama of war and politics. For they brought to the Netherlands thousands of citizens and soldiers at the very moment that liberal and Protestant states, with others, neither liberal nor Protestant, rallied to resist the pretensions of the recognized champion of Catholic absolutism.
The dispersion of the Huguenots 1685-8
In a peculiar sense the dispersion of the Huguenots typifies the conflict now coming to a head between the spiritual no less than the material forces of the continent. On the one hand were arrayed the powers of the old establishment, the throne and altar, the statecraft which reckoned lands and peoples as the mere pawns and prizes of the great game of war and diplomacy, the ecclesiastical systems which maintained their pretensions to dictate their beliefs to individual consciences, the absolutism which aspired to be supreme not only within but without its own borders. On the other stood the principles of self-government, and independence of belief, of toleration, and of the right of individuals and communities. to determine the bases of their own existence.
Above all, perhaps, there was the introduction of new elements of thought and practice into fields where they had long been denied recognition by authority, and the enlist- ment of forces not hitherto reckoned in the calculations of the state. It was no mere accident that the discoverer of the law of gravitation was intrusted with the reorganization of England's coinage; that the leader of the English opposition was chief among the deists of his day; that Leibnitz became the Hanoverian ambassador to France; that Colbert lured Huyghens to adorn the learned circle which centered in Paris. Whatever the future relations between religion and politics, there had begun the connection between science and affairs, between power and knowledge, and the decline of persecution for heterodox beliefs which were not associated with politics. Thus the flight of the Huguenots which spread their skill through Europe and her colonies, marked the final act in the emancipation of the continent from its older conception of politics and economy. For the dispersion was the last attempt made by any west-European power to drive from its midst any such body of its people who were at variance with the official faith of their government.
The Revocation of the Edict of Nantes was but one of many notable circumstances which marked the years when French monarchy dominated the European situation. At the same moment that Louis XIV signalized his power and his shortsighted bigotry by expelling the Huguenots, two events of widely different character and at the opposite ends of Europe altered the whole complexion of the European polity and joined with the action of Louis XIV to precipitate another conflict. The one was the renewed activity of the Turks. In the years between the Peace and the Revocation their forces were again summoned by the talents and determination of the Grand Vizier, Kara Mustapha, last of the Kiuprilis, to take advantage of an invitation from the insurgent Hungarian nobility and hurl themselves again upon the bulwark of Europe, the Hapsburg lands. Their initial successes brought them across Transylvania and Hungary to the walls of Vienna, whose heroic resistance under the command of Rüdiger von Stahremberg checked their advance. Even its strength might not have availed; but to its rescue hurried Charles of Lorraine with a German army and the king of
The Turkish invasion
Poland, John Sobieski.
With their aid, seconded by the German princes and Venice, the invaders were repulsed. Four years later Charles conquered Hungary in the decisive victory of Mohacs. The Turks were deprived of its suzerainty, the insurgent nobles suppressed, and the iron crown of St. Stephen, symbol of Hungarian sovereignty, was confirmed to the rulers of Austria. Venice joined with Poland and the Empire against the Porte, and conquered the Morea; Russia entered the war; Buda Pesth was taken by the Imperialists, and the Turkish menace was effectively repulsed.
Scarcely was this accomplished when the other extremity of the continent witnessed the first act of the great drama which was to absorb its interest for a generation. This was the crisis which overtook English politics as a result of the struggle between the Whigs and the crown. It began at the moment of the Turkish revival, with an attempt to prevent the accession to the throne of the king's brother, the Catholic James, Duke of York. The failure of an Exclusion Bill, designed to accomplish this end by parliamentary means, was followed by a conspiracy; and its discovery ruined the party whose members were concerned in it. Some perished on the scaffold. The Whig leader, Shaftesbury, fled to Holland, where he died. Charles II triumphed; and, in the year of the revocation, his brother, James II, became king of England, prepared with all the stubborn bigotry of a dull intellect to compel a nation stirred by the Protestant persecution in France to accept Catholicism at least on an equality with its established church.
The overthrow of the Whigs
At the same time another circumstance contributed to the coming storm. The French king, taking advantage of the distraction of the eastern states, the quiescence of the north, and the confusion of English politics, resumed his course of aggression. Establishing so-called Chambers of Reunion, which decreed the annexation to France of all border territories which by any stretch of fact or fiction might be claimed by the French crown, his armies scarcely waited on the legal farce to occupy Strassburg and invade German Alsace, Lor- The renewal of French aggression 1680-3 raine, and Luxembourg. Such were the events which combined to plunge Europe again into war.
Despite the League of Augsburg formed against him by his great antagonist, William III, despite English hostility to his policy, despite the hatred his aggressions had aroused, and his treatment of the Huguenots, it seemed for the moment that Louis XIV's high-handed policy would be successful. Without England, Louis' enemies were hard pressed to make head against his power, and the accession of James seemed to make English aid impossible. But what William's ability could not accomplish, his father-in-law's folly did for him. The efforts of James to force the recognition of Catholicism upon a hostile people infuriated the Anglicans and Nonconformists, dismayed the more moderate English Catholics, and alarmed even the Vatican. Popular discontent found expression in a rebellion headed by James' illegitimate nephew, the Duke of Monmouth, and the greatest of Scotch Covenanting nobles, Argyle. These hastened from their refuge in Holland to strike a blow against the crown. Their failure was followed by a reign of terror; and that by even more violent efforts of the king to make Catholicism not merely equal but superior to the Anglican establishment. Conspiracy followed. Whigs and Tories united to invite William of Orange to save them from Catholicism and arbitrary government. Hundreds of English refugees hurried to enlist in the Dutch service, and, completing the plans for his great exploit with such care and secrecy as to deceive even the most experienced of French diplomats, three, years after James' accession to the throne, William invaded England at the head of a formidable force. To his standard flocked the principal men of the country; and James, deserted by his followers, his friends, and at last by his own family, fled to France.
The Revolution of 1688
Nov. 5 1688
It was a fatal error. A Convention Parliament declared his flight an abdication, and offered the throne to William and Mary, accompanying the offer with a Declaration of Rights, which marked an epoch in the history of parliamentary government. It secured, once for all, the personal lib-
The Bill of Rights 1689
erty of the subject, the independence of the judiciary, the right of jury-trial, habeas corpus, freedom of speech, and frequent and regular Parliaments. Its acceptance by the joint sovereigns crowned that long struggle for the rights of the governed which had begun with Magna Charta and had been continued with the popular triumphs of the period of the civil wars. But, however bloodless the English revolution proved in England itself, the victory of Parliament over the Crown--complicated as it was by the situation which had brought Louis XIV's greatest antagonist to the English throne--was not to be won without war. There remained to be dealt with Scotland and Ireland, supported by the power of the French king; and there began, in consequence, a civil conflict, and a second hundred years' war with France, on whose result, in some sort, depended not only the future of Europe but of the world.
Such was the great episode which began another struggle on the continent. The French armies which had already begun to overrun the fertile fields of the Palatinate against the forces of the Augsburg League, were now called on to face a Grand Alliance in which England was to play a leading part. For a time it seemed that they might succeed. Holding his position on the Rhine, Louis hurled his forces against Holland, despatched the dethroned English king with French support to raise Catholic Ireland; encouraged Scotch rebellion, attacked Savoy, which had joined the allies, and stirred his subjects in North America to fall upon the English colonies. Meanwhile the long preparation of the French and the disorganization of the English navy incident to the events of the Revolution, gave Louis an advantage on the sea. For nine bloody years the Low Countries were again the center of a European war. There, defeated again and again by the ablest of French generals, Luxembourg, William wrested more advantage from his reverses than his opponents gained from victory, and, finally crowning his exertions with the capture of Namur, approved himself one of the great captains of history.
The War of the League of Augsburg 1689-97
Meanwhile, he found time to defeat his rival, James II; and, with Schomberg's aid, he regained Ireland at the battle of the Boyne. The case of Scotland was more difficult. His troops were routed at Killiecrankie by the greatest of the Jacobite leaders, Dundee; but, on that general's death, William's lieutenants found no enemy able to make head against them, and Scotch rebellion was finally suppressed. Meanwhile, the naval victory of La Hogue restored the longthreatened English supremacy at sea, and inclined the balance in favor of the allies and the English succession as determined by Parliament. Even in the south--where Savoy, by one of those "well-timed treacheries," which contributed to her increasing power, had made peace with Louis XIV-French aggression was checked; and with the weakening of French offensive strength their fate was sealed. France, indeed, defended herself with brilliance and with no small measure of success against a world of enemies, but her resistance demonstrated that no power could hope for ultimate victory against half Europe. Her resources endured a fearful strain. Her foes were scarcely more willing to continue the conflict; and, after nearly a decade of destruction, the diplomats gathered again at Ryswick near the Hague to determine once more the settlement of peace.
Twelve months earlier, the Peace of Carlowitz had given to Austria all of Hungary and Transylvania except the Banate of Temesvar; and to Venice the Morea. At the same time, the death of Sobieski had brought the Elector of Saxony to the throne of Poland. Now the general peace of Europe was again restored by the treaty between Louis XIV and his enemies. The terms of Ryswick recognized William and Mary as the sovereigns of England, with James' daughter, Anne, as their successor; restored French conquests in Germany, save Alsace, to their old owners. The "barrier fortresses" along the borders of the Netherlands were garrisoned with Dutch troops. Spain regained a part of the "reunited" places she had lost since Nymwegen; and the Rhine was declared a free river. Such were the net results of a decade of conflict east and west--territorially, the annexation of Alsace, with its stronghold of Strassburg, to France,
The Peace of Ryswick 1697
and the extension of Austrian power over Hungary; politically, the establishment of two new dynasties and the preservation of the principle of popular government.
To these was added another circumstance of scarcely less importance. Equally removed from the triumph of the English Parliament over the crown, the repulse of the Turks by the Austrians and their allies and the determination of affairs at Ryswick, an event upon the eastern edge of European politics was of an importance worthy to be compared with almost any of the transactions which absorbed the attention of the west. At the precise moment that the English convention parliament offered the crown to William and Mary there ascended the throne of Russia a sovereign destined to affect the future of Europe no less than the greatest of those rulers in whose hands rested the fortunes of European politics. For, with the accession of Peter the Great, the spirit and the organization of the west found a champion able to compel even the backward Muscovites into step with the advancing civilization of the continent. As the war was brought to an end and the diplomats gathered at Ryswick, within a few miles of where they sat the ruler of Russia might have been found in the garb of a shipwright learning in the yards of Zaandam something of the art which had made Holland so rich and powerful. And, as the peace conference disbanded, the young prince brought back to his own land, from his romantic wanderings in England and Holland, those artisans and officers, who, under his direction, were to guide Russia into the path which led to a high place in European polity.
Peter the Great 1672-1725
Such an apparently trivial occurrence as the adventurous exploit of the Russian prince might well have failed to impress its real importance on men absorbed in the great European conflict, even had they known of Peter's presence in the west. But there were other elements in the more distant confines of European power to which, however absorbed in events nearer at hand, they could not be wholly indifferent. These were the developments in the colonial field. They were, indeed, conspicuous neither in the military Colonial developments
plans of the chief combatants nor in the negotiations which ended the struggle. Neither the border war between English and French in North America nor the transfer of Pondicherry in India from Holland to France, which was one of the results of the conflict, seemed vitally connected with the issues then being determined in Europe itself. Much less were events in South America reckoned a part of the war of the League of Augsburg. Yet in this period these neglected proceedings laid foundations upon which later generations were to build new edifices of society and politics.
First in spectacular effect, if not in ultimate significance, among these widely separated struggles were the events in Spanish America. There, as a half century before, Spain's hold on either end of her vast empire was challenged simultaneously by the same forces which had earlier sought to invade her closely held frontiers. On the south the struggle centered, as before, on the possession of the La Plata region, where Spanish and Portuguese contended for the Banda Oriental, that land debatable between Brazil and Argentine. In the years which preceded the Revocation and the English revolution, there was founded on the east bank of the huge estuary of the river mouth the post of Colonia, the first rival in that region of Buenos Ayres which stood opposite, and until the foundation of Montevideo, the chief port for the rich grazing plains of what was to be known as Uruguay.
Spanish-Portuguese rivalry in South America
Such was the first breach in Spanish monopoly. Far to the north, meanwhile, another and still more dramatic episode in colonial history reached the surprising climax of a long career. This centered in the activities of the buccaneers. During the fifty years since they had established themselves as an element in the Caribbean, their fortunes had greatly changed. The decline of Spanish commerce, which was strikingly apparent by the middle of the century, removed a great share of their livelihood; while the desperate efforts of Spain to drive them from their strongholds had made their very existence precarious. Their old haunt, Tortuga, was alternately lost and won, and European nations had often intervened in their affairs. The French had not overlooked
The Buccaneers 1630-80
the opportunity afforded by their presence to seize the island and even attempt San Domingo; while Cromwell, by his capture of Jamaica, afforded them a refuge which Spain's conquest of Tortuga had lost to them. Thereafter, turning from the sea, they began a series of attacks on mainland ports which swept the shores of the Caribbean for more than twenty years. New Segovia, Cuba, even Porto Bello, fell victims to their plundering exploits, and the name of their great leader, Morgan, became a terror to the Spanish Main.
It was, in fact, largely due to these ferocious raids that Spain had agreed, some two years after the final recognition of Portuguese independence, to come to terms with England, and recognize her title to her American colonies in return for the cessation of hostilities, smuggling, and aid to these pirates. Such was their greatest permanent contribution to political events. It was at once succeeded by their greatest exploit. Under Morgan's lead, two thousand of these searovers made their way to Panama, captured, sacked, and burned the town, and butchered its inhabitants. This began a decade of adventure, crowned by the second capture of Porto Bello. The years preceding the English revolution saw their power at its height. Their plundering expeditions led them to the Pacific, and the harassing of Peru, even to the East Indies, and it seemed for a time that nothing could preserve the Spaniards from further destruction. But the rival elements among the buccaneers fell out among themselves. They degenerated rapidly, and, after one more brilliant exploit, an attack on Cartagena in conjunction with the French, the naturally disintegrating influences of their wild society broke up their loose organization into separate piratical bands. Thenceforth they played no great part in affairs. By the time of the Peace of Ryswick their day in world politics was past. But they had served their turn. They had contributed to English, French, and Dutch invasion of the Spanish preserves, they had directed European eyes continually to the importance of the West Indies, and they had added a romantic if bloodstained chapter to the history of the western hemisphere. More than this, perhaps,
many of them, like Morgan, who reformed and became governor of Jamaica, contributed another element to that poplating of the New World which made up in energy what it lacked in numbers.
The activities of these picturesque and destructive pirates formed but a part of the romance of the long story of expansion. At the same moment that they reached the culmination of their fortunes another group of adventurers, no less romantic and far more useful, had attained the climax of their far-reaching activities. These were the French explorers in North America. While England was absorbed in the great struggle over the Exclusion Bill and the downfall of Shaftesbury and the Whigs, while Austria girded her arms against Turkish attack and Hungarian conspiracy, and the Reunion Chambers pushed forward their task of seizing Strassburg, the great French explorer, La Salle, had crowned his long adventures with a new exploit. Reaching the Mississippi by way of the Illinois, he made his way down that great river to the Gulf of Mexico, took possession of the imperial valley in the name of France, and christened it Louisiana. Thence he returned to France to enlist in a project against the mining districts of northern Mexico, framed under the guidance of a renegade Spanish official. Despatched with a small force of soldiers and a little fleet, La Salle found his way to land in Espiritu Santo Bay in Texas. Thence, after two years of residence, deserted by the commander of the fleet, betrayed by his Spanish coadjutor, he sought to retrace his way to Canada, only to be murdered by his own followers. Such was the tragic fate of an adventurer who gave an empire to Louis XIV and brought the Mississippi Valley within the bounds of European knowledge and rivalry. With all his efforts, for the time it seemed that his exploit was to have no permanent result. His Texas post was soon destroyed by Spain, the efforts of the French to break down the resistance of the Iroquois and win their way to the interior proved fruitless, and the foundation of Kaskaskia on the Illinois remained the sole tangible result of French activity in these twenty years.
The French explorers
Far greater changes came within the English sphere of influence. Among them the establishment of new provinces and the reorganization of the administration were the chief. Following the disturbances of the preceding period, colonial jurisdictions were now rearranged. Maine was joined to Massachusetts, and New Hampshire, removed from its control, was erected into a separate colony with president and council appointed by the king, who retained as well the veto power over the acts of its assembly. At the same time West Jersey was restored to the Berkeley heirs as a proprietary colony. Reorganization of the English colonies 1677-80
A twelvemonth later this policy was extended by the grant of a region bounded by Delaware, New York, and Maryland to William Penn--an event of no small significance in the colonial world. Son of that admiral who had taken Jamaica, one of the trustees of West Jersey, and a favorite of James II, from whom his charter was derived, Penn was a leader among the Quaker sect. Forming a "Free Society of Traders of Pennsylvania," he summoned to his aid his co-religionists as colonists. With the assistance of the republican, Sidney, Penn framed a constitution which established popular government, led his settlers to America, concluded with the Indians "the only treaty never sworn to nor broken"; founded a town at Philadelphia; and so laid the foundations of a new society on liberal lines. It was recruited rapidly no less from Germany, Holland, and Scandinavia than from, England. Pennsylvania grew so greatly in numbers and prosperity that within a generation it ranked among the leading provinces in the western world. To it, and to the region on either side flocked thousands driven from their homes by war and persecution. Walloons and Palatine Germans, fleeing from the armies of Louis XIV, Huguenots escaping the Revocation, Quakers and Nonconformists, seeking to evade the pressure of their governments, with many desiring only peace and greater opportunity, poured a new flood of immigrants into the British North American colonies.
Foundation of Pennsylvania 1681-2
Almost at the same moment the relations between the English government and New England threatened a crisis in
The quo warrantos
their affairs. The old antagonism between the crown and the colonists, increased by the protection of the regicides, the persecution of the Quakers, and long controversy over the Massachusetts, charter, had all but produced rebellion. This was complicated by disputes with the Gorges heirs over the title to Maine and by the evasion of the Navigation Laws. Writs of quo warranto were issued against the stubborn 1684 colony and the charter was forfeited. the death of Charles and the accession of James increased the repressive policy of the crown. Quo warrantos were issued against Connecticut 1686-7 and Carolina, and presently against Maryland; while the New York assembly, established five years before, was suspended. Virginia became a royal province. Andros, created president of New England, assumed the government of Rhode Island, took possession of Connecticut, joined New York and the Jerseys of North America. At the same time, his endeavors to strengthen the Established Church in the hear of dissenting Boston, the formation of an Episcopal society there, and the seizure of the Old South Church for its use, added a religious factor to the rapidly growing political antagonism which his acts and English policy had roused.
With this attempt to consolidate royal authority and suppress colonial charter rights, the Stuart efforts to unite the provinces in dependence on the crown seemed likely to bring North America to subjection or revolt. From that alternative it was preserved by events in England. The revolution 1689 of 1688 not merely secured the supremacy of Parliament and the English Church; it saved the liberty of the colonies. With the news of William's arrival in England, Massachusetts, New York, and Maryland rose in revolt. Andros was arrested in Boston; his deputy in New York was ousted; and in Maryland a rising destroyed Stuart authority. In every colony the new sovereigns were proclaimed. Massachusetts petitioned for her old charter; Rhode Island and Connecticut resumed their privileges. In New York the popular party, under Leisler disregarding the royal councillors, called a convention, made their virtual dictator, The Revolution of 1688 and the American colonies and for two turbulent years directed their own affairs, till 1691 Leisler was convicted of treason and hanged. With this, colonial disturbances gradually lessened as the provinces emerged from the most serious danger which thus far had threatened their chartered rights.
But they escaped one crisis only to face another scarcely less serious, as they became involved in the great struggle against Louis XIV, which was known in America as King William's War. The conflict was filled with the reprisals incident to a border war. Upon their outlying posts and frontier settlements, from Casco Bay to the Hudson, the French and Indians fell with devastating force. To this the English retaliated by seizing Port Royal, by futile efforts to take Quebec, and by inciting the Iroquois against their old antagonists. In turn, Frontenac led three expeditions against the Iroquois; a new English post in Maine was taken by a French expedition; and Newfoundland was only saved from an attack by the Peace of Ryswick, which ended the fierce but indecisive conflict. Insignificant as it appeared beside the greater forces and more dramatic interest of the struggle in Europe, the war in America had an importance beyond its incidents. It was the beginning of a new order in the world.
King William's War 1689-97
The horrors of border war, destructive as the were, scarcely checked the more important activities of England and her colonies during this period. First among these was the problem of reorganization, interrupted by the Revolution. Far from reversing the Stuart policy, the colonists soon found that William's ministers were bent on following it, 1692 with more tact but no less rigor. The new charter of Massachusetts offered an opportunity and an index of their plans. By its provisions, the crown retained the appointment of a governor empowered to call or dissolve the general court or assembly, appoint military and judicial officers, and veto the acts or the appointments of the assembly. The old religio-political arrangement was broadened by a uniform property qualification and all except Catholics were granted religious liberty.
William and Mary --and America
How vital the questions of theology remained was witnessed by a frantic witchcraft delusion which had meanwhile burst forth in Salem and claimed twenty victims before its fury was quenched. How far-reaching was the new reorganizing policy appeared in the appointment of Andros as royal governor of Virginia and Copley of Maryland; of Fletcher to the joint rule of Pennsylvania and New York; and, above all, in the elaboration of that centralized control so bitterly opposed by the separatist colonies, through the erection of a body to supervise colonial affairs. This so-called Board of Trade and Plantations had originated long before in a council committee, and had been definitely formulated in Shaftesbury's short-lived scheme. It now took permanent shape in a standing commission of which the great political philosopher, John Locke, was a member, intrusted with the task of "making the colonies most . . . useful to England . . . to examine and weigh the acts of the assemblies,"--and generally supervise colonial affairs. Such was the origin of a body, which, had it been allowed sufficient powers or exercised greater activity, might well have solved the vexed problem of colonial unity. At the same time the Navigation Acts were renewed; the supremacy of Parliament asserted; soldiers despatched to protect the colonists; and efforts made to establish a systematic administration through the provinces under the unifying influence of the crown. With these events, at the same time that she vindicated her principles of Protestant and parliamentary supremacy, England at last prepared to take up the problem of her loose-woven imperial concerns, to frame an empire from a congeries of provinces, and an imperial policy from a series of makeshifts.
The Board of Trade and Plantations
That task was well worthy of attention. The colonists now numbered nearly if not quite a quarter of a million souls. Their settlements occupied a territory stretching along the north Atlantic coast from Maine to Cape Fear, and fifty miles inland. They were able to cope with all the ordinary dangers which threatened their frontier. Their agriculture was established. Their trade and fisheries were considerable; and, above all, their vast tracts of forest of- fered almost unlimited facilities for settlement to Europeans, suffering from poverty or persecution. It was small wonder that from this time on their population grew by leaps and bounds; and that their love of independence grew in equal pace.
Meanwhile the English activities in America, considerable as they were, scarcely exceeded in importance the development of their possessions and interests in the farther East. Royal favor and their consequent increase in strength and resources which had begun with the Restoration, strengthened by the acquisition of Bombay and by a succession of able governors for nearly a quarter of a century, had enabled the English East India Company to prosper, until, just before Charles II's death, its stock reached an unprecedented premium. But at this juncture a succession of reverses tended to weaken its position. Mutinies at Bombay and St. Helena injured its security and prestige; while the rise of the so-called Mahratta powers in central India not merely compelled the Company to recognize their rebellious existence but exposed its posts to predatory raids. It became, therefore, increasingly evident that the English directors' long-established policy of opposition to "garrisons and land-wars" must be abandoned. Under direction of Sir Josiah Child at home and his brother, Sir John, the Governor of Bombay in India, they accordingly changed their course, and with it the fortunes of England in the East.
England in the East
The year following James II's accession, the Company's posts were moved to Calcutta, and simultaneously war was declared on the Mogul Empire. Troops and a fleet were sent out to India; but their instructions, framed in ignorance of Indian politics and geography, and their incompetent leadership, ensured defeat. The Calcutta establishment was abandoned. The factors fled to Madras, and only the embarrassments of the Delhi Emperor, Aurungzebe, in the Deccan and his fear of the interruptions of pilgrimages to Mecca by the English fleet, enabled the Company to secure humiliating peace and re-establish their Calcutta factory. But while they were thus preserved from their great enemy,
The English East India Company 1686
and the pressure from the Dutch was relieved by William's accession, the Company's situation became precarious at home. It was allied with the Stuart régime, discredited by the failure and expenses of the war, and greatly envied for the huge profits of its close monopoly. This tempted interloping traders to poach on its preserves, and its efforts to widen its scope by more liberal directors were succeeded, after the Restoration, by the establishment of a rival company.
Against it Child intrigued and bribed in vain. The Dowgate Association, as it was called, allied with the Whig Party, secured a resolution that only by act of Parliament could any Englishman be held from trading with India. This invasion of the royal prerogative was reinforced by a loan of £2,000,000 to the government, then hard pressed for money to conclude the European war; and in the year of the Peace of Ryswick Parliament chartered a General Society which, saving the privileges of the Old Company, was authorized to trade in India. The services of the greatest of interloping traders, Thomas Pitt, grandfather of the future minister, were secured. Subscribers were found for a joint-stock association; and the new company prepared to compete for the great prize of Indian trade on more than equal terms.
The " Dowgate Association"
Such was the crisis which confronted the most powerful of English trading corporations as the seventeenth century wore to a close. It was closely bound up with far-reaching interests no less political than economic. Among the numerous concerns of England, trade was now rapidly becoming predominant; and from the first its literary champions, as well as its practical administrators, had been found among the members of the India Company. Two generations earlier, one of them, Thomas Mun, had published a famous tract, "England's Treasure by Forraign Trade," which had done much to stimulate the practice as well as the theory of commerce and legislation. Amid his manifold activities, Sir Josiah Child, despite occasional leanings toward a freer commerce, found time to reinforce the so-called mercantilist school by his "Discourse on Trade." In this, as in his Indian policy, and his plea for reduction of interest, he sought
Economic thought and policy
to follow "the wise practice of the Dutch," and lay foundations for a wider industry.
This extraordinary commercial activity and its resultant literature had profound effect on European politics, for at this moment political exigency combined with economic pressure to accomplish an important project which was adopted in a somewhat different form from continental practices. The cost of William's European wars was great. The English currency was in deplorable condition. The revenue, though not inconsiderable, was scarcely regular enough for the demand, since entire dependence upon parliamentary grants--which were themselves subject to fluctuation of public sentiment--made the state's income precarious. Private banking facilities were inadequate to such great operations as Louis XIV had forced upon England. To obviate these difficulties a Scotch merchant in London, one William Paterson, proposed the establishment of a Bank of England. The consent of Parliament was obtained. He and his wealthy merchant friends raised the necessary capital; and, with the aid of Montagu, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, there began the long and useful career of this great enterprise.
The Bank of England 1694
At the same time and under much the same pressure, another and still more important step was taken by the government. Having established the coinage and set up the Mint, under the direction of Sir Isaac Newton, Montagu proceeded to adopt a principle long in operation on the continent, in Italy, in Holland, and more recently in France. This was the pledging of the nation's income for a long-time loan, in brief the establishment of a national debt. It originated in a duty on beer and liquors, which was kept separate from the ordinary revenue and was made security for money loaned on life annuities. Thence the principle was extended to borrowing money on the general security of the government, and the cost of war was thus transferred in some measure from the generation which incurred it to their successors. With the extension of this principle of public borrowing upon national security, capitalism, which had long dominated private affairs, entered the domain of the state. It was reinforced The English national debt 1694-5 by two other forms of taxation destined to become important permanent additions to public finance. The one was the stamp tax, imitated from Dutch practice, and developing into many forms in later years. The other was the land tax. These were supplemented by customs and excise, which together laid the foundations of modern finance. Thenceforth finance and financiers were to play a part in politics not unlike the feudal baronage two centuries earlier. And in this was revealed another symptom of a changing world.
The principle of national debts, which thus spread through Europe chiefly during the reign of Louis XIV and partly as a result of his activities, was probably the most important alteration in public administration which owed its origin to the seventeenth century. But it was by no means the only change which affected the world of business, public and private, in that important era. It was accompanied by a striking change in the conduct of national affairs to which we give the name of administration, but which is in large measure at bottom, financial. From the time of Sully, through the period of Cromwell's ascendancy, the reign of the Great Elector, and the ministry of Colbert and of John de Witt, the chief nations of Europe experienced a reformation in the management and system of their affairs, of which they had long stood in need. It is, indeed, scarcely too much to say that with the accession of these able men to power in their respective countries, modern administration began. This was unquestionably due to the gradual transfer of public affairs from the hands of the aristocracy to those of the middle classes versed in the conduct of business. New principles were thus introduced into what had long been reckoned the "mysteries of state"; and these were not perhaps unrelated to the general tendency toward rationalism which affected every department of life but was most conspicuous in theology and philosophy.
It was accompanied by another phenomenon which at once enlarged and illustrated the same spirit in another field. This was the development of that important phase of business activity to which we give the general name of insurance.
The rise of insurance 1675-1700
Though this was not a national concern like the bank and the public debt, the adjustment of taxation, the encouragement of industry, the regulation of tariffs, and the rigid auditing of accounts, which marked the reorganization of administration, it was not unconnected with public prosperity and stability, and through one channel at least it was closely connected with these more general interests. Like them it was due in no small degree to the application of a crude form of what we know as statistics to public and private business affairs. In Holland the genius of John de Witt calculated population, by births and deaths. In England Sir William Petty and Child adopted the same course in what came to be known at first as Political Arithmetic. Upon such sets of figures was based much of the change in public business as time went on; and like compilations were now employed in protecting commerce against accidental loss.
The principle of marine insurance at least was not new. In modern times it had been practised in some form by the Italian cities certainly as early as the sixteenth century. Thence it had spread through the domains of Charles V, to the Netherlands and to England and France. It had received official sanction from the Dutch government as part of the business renaissance which characterized Dutch ascendancy in the first years of the seventeenth century. It remained for the English, as the leading commercial nation of the late seventeenth century, to develop it. In the same year as the revolution which placed William III on the throne, there was set up in London an association of merchants, ship-owners, and brokers known as Lloyd's which finally organized the business into the most powerful of marine insurance corporations and thus stabilized the English carrying trade.
The idea had already found its way into other fields. For more than a century there had been sporadic local attempts to extend insurance to cover risks by fire as well as by water. In English hands, after the Great Fire of London in 1666, this movement took more definite form; and in the last quarter of the seventeenth century the formation of companies undertaking such risks became a recognized element. in business enterprise, till, by the end of the reign of William III, the practice was fully established. It was extended more slowly to the continent, but even there, within fifty years it had become fairly common. It was natural-especially after the study and publication of mortality lists in this same period--that the idea of extending the same principle to human life should make headway; and the first life insurance companies seem to have sprung up in England at the beginning of the eighteenth century. Their develop- ment was slow and uncertain, and it was not until nearly a century later, when more accurate statistics of population and of the accidents of life were available, that they became the considerable factor in affairs which they have since remained.
It is apparent that in all of these activities the underlying principle of making life and its affairs more stable and secure by common action to protect the individual was making rapid headway. It is no less evident that the idea at the root of scientific advance--the application of reason and method as well as investigation which led to more exact knowledge--was peculiarly active. There was involved, as well, that instinct which had long been evident in its minor affairs toward making life more comfortable and more endurable, as well as more secure. To this was added the rapid development of certain appliances for safety. Chief of these were the lighthouses which, in this period, became more numerous and more efficient, aided as they were at once by the support of governments and the discoveries of science, in particular the development of reflecting mirrors which had resulted from the activities of the physicists in the preceding century. And, if one should choose to pursue the subject still further, it might be noted that the general tendency to make life more agreeable for the rapidly increasing number of city dwellers was enhanced by the introduction of appliances to combat fires. These owe their origin to this same period of the last quarter of the seventeenth century, and the invention of a pumping-engine throwing a continuous stream of water resulted from this evolution at the beginning of the Development of facilities for safety and comfort 1675-1700 eighteenth. To this may, perhaps, be added the introduction of the public or hackney coach. This came into common use at this same time, and, among its other characteristics, it indicated that same tendency toward the extension of the amenities of existence to wider classes in the general progress toward social as well as political devolution.
In such fashion were introduced new elements into European life, of widely differing character and importance, yet all tending, in some measure, to the same end. So far as the factors relating to colonial and financial affairs were concerned, the new situation redounded greatly to the advantage of those nations opposed to the ambitions of Louis XIV. In no small degree they were the product of the same people and of the same individuals who at that moment embarked on another phase of imperial expansion. To oppose French designs the economic forces of a coming age were set beside arms and diplomacy. Against French ambitions in America the wave of emigration to the English colonies for which French continental policy was in no slight degree responsible had unconsciously begun to turn the scale.
Effect on politics
"It is no matter," Louis XIV is reported to have said, on hearing of William's arrival in England, "the last goldpiece will win." To this the establishment of the Debt and the Bank, the reorganization of imperial concerns, east and west, was the English retort. For the last gold piece depended on other resources than the soil. Reinforced by Holland's precepts and practices, England, though inferior to France in agricultural wealth and vastly inferior in population, was none the less Louis XIV's most dangerous enemy. Her pre-eminence in naval power, on which modern affairs leaned more and more, besides making her immune from invasion, secured the growing profits of commerce with colonies and dependencies. Her superior popular initiative and her increasing financial facilities looked toward the future in her politics and economy. And with all the weakness of a turbulent polity, in England, rather than in the continental states, lay the direction in which Europe was to advance.
In no particular were the changes of the preceding years more clearly defined than in the altered situation of the European states. The East had now definitely passed from the control of Spain and Portugal to that of the English and the Dutch. So far as Asia and Africa were concerned, William III now occupied the place which Philip II had held a century earlier. With the Peace of Ryswick the third national state of the continental system was finally constituted, as France obtained essentially the boundaries she was to keep for nearly two centuries. Encircled by Vauban's iron girdle of fortresses, which at once defined and defended her frontiers, she took her place beside Spain and Portugal as a power which had virtually reached its final bounds and form. What further growth she might hope to attain must be beyond the sea; and there her field and her rival were determined. With all the weakness of their home affairs, the Iberian powers, Spain and Portugal, had proved themselves all but impregnable in South America. The great prizes which remained were to be found in the northern continent of the western hemisphere; for India, still united under the great Mogul Emperor, Aurungzebe, as yet offered no opportunity to European political expansion.
The position of France at the Peace of Ryswick
It was, then, in the Anglo-French rivalry for the control of North America rather than in Europe itself, that the next phase of European territorial progress centered. Among the military operations which ended with the Peace of Ryswick, the border wars between the English and French colonists played no decisive part in the determination of the great conflict. In those negotiations, only the foothold gained by the French at Pondicherry was of importance in the ultimate result. Yet, none the less, it was in this field and in this period that the foundations were being laid on which another generation was to build a greater edifice of joint European and colonial polity.
That process, indeed, had already begun; for the status of the colonial world had vastly altered since the time when the discovery of new peoples and new lands had been a leading motive in the intellectual as in the economic and political development of Europe. Discovery had, indeed, not ceased, but it no longer held the place it once had occupied in men's minds. In like degree, the impetus of European trade by the discovery of the seaways east and west, and the no less tremendous revolution in finance by that supply of precious metals which Spain had poured into the continent, had taken their places among the elements of Europe's existence and progress. What influence her oversea expansion was henceforth to exert, lay, for the most part, in other directions.
First among these was the establishment of a permanent and increasing European population spreading slowly but steadily across the lands best fitted for its occupation. This process, long since in evidence through South America, had been so reinforced in the preceding century by English and French enterprise in the northern continent, that it promised a time when mere increase of numbers would profoundly alter the balance of the European world. Second was the development of the American colonies not as mere outposts of Europe, reflecting the status of her society, but as a separate entity, transformed by different environment to organisms like and yet unlike those of the old world from whence they sprung. They were at once the extension of the old and the beginning of the new, each with its own problems and circumstances whence they derived peculiar character. They formed, in fact, experimental stations for European society and polities, whose lessons were to be of vital importance in the years to come. To these were to be added presently the problems of the establishment of territorial as well as commercial empire in the East, which circumstances were about to make possible if not inevitable.
The expansion of European population in America
Above all, and comprehending the whole situation thus produced, were two far-reaching issues. The one was the prospective increase of Europe's resources by the opening of unlimited free land for surplus population, which meant, virtually, a huge extension of her boundaries. The second was the inevitable transfer of the center of gravity, in some degree, by the direct inclusion of colonial interests as elements in the European situation. A century earlier, events "beyond the line" were scarcely reckoned an integral part of European polity. That view had slowly given way before the changes of the seventeenth century. The Peace of Ryswick saw its disappearance from the stage; and the new chapter of history which then began took little cognizance of demarcation lines between the continent and Europe beyond the seas.
It was a natural development. From the beginning of territorial expansion the agents of that movement had been largely, if not chiefly, concerned with the acquisition of those products which their own countries could supply scantily or not at all. These were, for the most part, drawn from the tropics, and they comprised, generally, perhaps save for the precious metals, rather the luxuries than the necessities of life. In their passion for sudden wealth, Spanish and Portuguese alike had long neglected or despised lands best fitted for European settlement and industry; while their sole political conception, except in the Atlantic islands, had been the conquest and exploitation of non-European peoples. It was, in consequence, not until the first flush of the conquering and prospecting age had passed that the development of a varied economy, of planting, trading, farming, and cattleraising, really began; and long after these were in operation their chief energies were directed to supplying the necessities of the colonists themselves, rather than acting, like the mining industry, as a real extension of the resources of the mother country. Result on Europe
Spain and Portugal
The English and the Dutch at first had followed the example thus set, and their expansion, like that of the Spanish and Portuguese, was long a naval adventure rather than a real colonial experiment. But the plantation idea was never wholly absent in any of these peoples; and, apart from the natural and inevitable tendency of men to seek new lands to make or better their fortunes, another element-though it was largely wanting in the Iberian powers--soon powerfully reinforced the colonizing impulse throughout central and northern Europe. This was the religio-political disturbance which divided the northern societies against them- England and Holland selves and developed the idea of refuge from persecution in the New World. With this development the interest of expansion tended to shift from tropical to temperate zones, from mere exploitation to actual settlement, from mining, commerce, planting, and piracy, to the transfer of a stable and diversified European society and economy to lands beyond the sea.
With the carrying out of such new principles and the concurrent changes in Europe itself, there gradually grew up an altering theory and practice of colonial status and development. On the one hand the problems of existence under a strange environment tended to evolve a sense of separation from the old world, and the modification of standards and methods, customs and even character to meet the new conditions of life under colonial skies. On the other hand, these new societies found it as impossible as it was undesirable to separate themselves wholly from the world whence they came. The necessities of existence, no less than political exigency and economic interest, made them a part of an increasingly vast and complicated network of common alliances and antagonisms. These were, in large measure, determined by commercial relationships. Between the West Indies and the North American colonies, between West Africa and the plantations, even between the East Indies and the western hemisphere, the trade-currents ran; while from Europe itself there radiated in every direction streams of commerce which bound the world together in an increasingly far-reaching community of interests.
Change in colonial status
At the same time, while the old world maintained and strengthened its hold on the tropics, and their luxuries grew into necessities, it had tended more and more to draw means of subsistence and utility from latitudes which corresponded with its own. Thus it became increasingly dependent upon its temperate possessions oversea. Spain had come to rely upon America not merely for precious metals to recruit her scanty revenue; with the decline of her own resources at home she was compelled to lean more and more upon the produce of her colonial fields and herds. From her American forests, farms, and fisheries England had begun to draw the food, the raw material, the nautical supplies which neither her own territory nor that of the Baltic states could supply in sufficient quantities. Fur-bearing animals had vanished from western and central Europe; but the scanty store provided by the north and east was more than supplemented from North America. The Newfoundland Banks had long since reinforced the North Sea as a source of fish; and colonial whale-hunters had now begun to rival the activities of the English and the Dutch in that important industry. Thus from forest, farm, and fishery, from ship-yard and distillery, from pampas and prairie, no less than from mine and plantation, Europe drew to herself vast quantities of supplies in exchange for her own manufactures and the products of the East.
Her far-stretching possessions oversea became, in fact, a real extension of her economic no less than her political boundaries. Increasingly divergent in the character and aims of its component parts, increasingly involved in the concerns of European politics, the years of the War of the League of Augsburg mark with definiteness the entry of commercial and financial elements into the most pressing concerns of the continent. For in the development of the Bank of England and the National Debt, in the beginning of a new régime in India, the growth of English colonies, and the extension of French influence into the heart of North America, rather than in the ambitions of Louis XIV, in the triumph of Protestant and parliamentary supremacy in England rather than in the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, lies the enduring importance of the last two decades of the seventeenth century.
[ Main Contents | Continue to Vol.2 - Ch. XXVIII ]