CHAPTER IV - THE BEGINNINGS OF MODERN POLITICS
THE RISE OF NATIONAL KINGSHIPS. 1400-1517
THE exploits of Christopher Columbus and Vasco da Gama determine definitely that break between the middle ages and modern Europe which had already found expression in the Renaissance and a point of departure in the fall of Constantinople. The developments which culminated in the discovery of the transatlantic passage and the lands beyond, of the way about Africa and the sources of Asiatic trade, revolutionized not merely the economic bases of European life; they had no less effect upon the intellect. They accelerated progress along certain lines of thought and action, and at the same time brought the end of other activities within sight. While they opened new channels of trade and new fields for conquest, they dealt a blow to Italy's commercial supremacy from which she never recovered. While they stimulated the intellectual activities which based themselves on science and investigation, they undermined theological speculation based on dogma and revelation.
Finally the discoveries came ultimately to affect that from which they seemed for the moment most remote, the field of continental politics. They modified the relations of one state with another, in Europe itself. They brought European power into contact with strange lands and peoples, with systems and interests hitherto foreign to European experience. But these were not their greatest and most far-reaching results. For they established in distant lands new societies, modified by their peculiar environment, like, and yet unlike, Europe itself. However much they influenced the regions which they now entered, Europeans were, in their turn, affected scarcely less by the return current of the conditions and actions of The discoveries and European politics their opponents, and still more by the activities of their own descendants in those distant centers. And however profoundly the European intellect was stimulated by the unfolding of a great past, it was inspired no less by the prospect of a still greater future, which was revealed by the discoveries.
These wider and deeper issues, however, were as yet far distant. For the time being men were more concerned by a problem which lay nearer at hand--the development of European polity. During the very years which had seen the vast extension of her knowledge and her power through the activities of her scholars and her adventurers, Europe had been engaged in revolutionizing the theories and practices of her political life. Among the elements which combined with the Renaissance and the discoveries, to lay the foundations of the modern world during this eventful fifteenth century, not the least was the development of national and international relationships into a system, which, however rudimentary and unformed, resembled that to which we are accustomed far more than it was like the mediŠval complex from which it was evolved. Before the end of the century, so rapid was the progress of this movement, Europe had been transformed into a group of national kingships, well on the way toward absolutism, and the map of the continent, like the organization of political affairs, had taken on a form not wholly unfamiliar to our eyes. The beginning of modern European polity
That development had been almost if not quite contemporary with the progress of the Renaissance and the age of discovery. In the same months that Poggio Bracciolini had turned from his duties at the Council of Constance to collect classical manuscripts, King John had prepared his expedition against Ceuta, and his nephew, Henry V of England, began the final stage of that hundred years' war with France, which had already lasted three-quarters of a century. Three months after the capture of Ceuta, the victory of Agincourt put northern France into his hands, and his marriage with the French princess confirmed his title as regent and heir of the French monarchy. For a time it seemed that France and England
the long-cherished dream of the English kings might be realized and the two lands joined under one crown. But Henry's death, seven years later, brought that dream to an end. From the moment of the accession of his feeble son and heir, Henry VI, to the English throne, the English cause in France was doomed. Despite their desperate resistance, and the ability of their leader, the Duke of Bedford, they lost ground. With the advent of the heroic Joan of Are, the French, aided by the designing Duke of Burgundy, inspired by what they reckoned the miraculous intervention of Providence in the person of the peasant girl of Domremy, and guided by the genius of their commanders, began to win back their land. At the same moment that Constantinople fell into the hands of the Turk, the battle of ChÔtillon broke the power of the English in France, and of their wide possessions they retained only Calais as the symbol of their ambitious designs. 1422
The collapse of their continental power was not entirely due to the intervention of the martyred peasant heroine, or to the lack of the gallantry of English troops; nor was the French success owing wholly to their superior virtue or skill in arms. As the war went on England had become involved in the coils of civil dispute, which the weak Lancastrian king was powerless to check. At the same time the people of France were welded into one by their common hatred of the invader, and found in their ruler, Charles VII, "the well-served," a focus for that spirit of common custom and purpose to which we give the name of nationality. Scarcely had the battle of ChÔtillon been fought, when the effects of these divergent forces were apparent in the two nations. The insanity of the English king and the birth of an heir brought to a head the rivalry of the two houses of York and Lancaster, the one desirous, the other in possession of the throne. The Duke of York, deposed from his regency by the recovery of the king, took arms against the crown, and there began that devastating conflict known as the Wars of the Roses, which for a full generation absorbed the energies of the English people. 1422-61
Meanwhile, France, under the rule of Charles VII, had moved forward toward unity and strong administration. A standing army was established; and the States General agreed on a fixed tax to support it; the liberties of the Gallican church were asserted against Papal dominance; and with these reforms and the success against the English, there began that consolidation of territory and royal power which continued throughout the century. To Charles VII succeeded his son, Louis XI, whose shrewd, intriguing rule brought France increasing boundaries and strength. From Aragon he bought the border fortress of Roussillon; over the Somme towns and Normandy he assumed royal rights; and, in spite of the opposition of powerful leagues of nobles aided by Burgundy and Spain, his policy of aggrandizement made way. France
Finally, when the rash attempt of Charles the Bold of Burgundy to extend his frontiers in Switzerland and France brought him defeat and death, the astute French king ended his long labors with fresh accession of territory. Anjou and Bar had already come under his authority; now Guienne and part of Burgundy were added to his dominions. His work, crowned finally by the marriage of his son to Anne of Brittany, rounded out the boundaries of a new France. 1477
Meanwhile, the battle of Bosworth Field, last of the many engagements which had marked the Wars of the Roses, cost Richard III his life and the Yorkist cause the throne. Henry of Richmond, of the Tudor line, took the crown as 1485 the prize of his victory and established a new dynasty, confirming his title by marriage with the Yorkist heiress, and so uniting England again. Thus, at almost the same moment, the old rivals found themselves in the same position, their earlier internal differences largely removed and their strength consolidated under a vastly increased royal authority, prepared to use its newly won power in the cause of absolutism.
Had Europe remained in the same situation which had confronted it a generation earlier, it might well have been that the reviving energy of England and of France would have renewed their quarrel where they had left off thirty years before. But politics, like every other aspect of society, had been revolutionized in the interval. On the south the long conflicts between the rival houses of Castile and Aragon, which had filled a great part of the middle ages and divided the interest of those Christian states with wars against the Moors, had come to an end. Moreover, with the accession of Ferdinand the Catholic to the throne of Aragon, six years before the battle of Bosworth Field, the fortunes of the Spanish states were finally united. For he had married the heiress of Castile, the princess Isabella, and, at the moment that England and France took their place in European polity in something of the form they were to keep for centuries, the kingdom of Spain, now finally unified, turned to conclude that long conflict with the Mohammedan power which still held the southern part of the peninsula. Spain
Nor was this all. There are two circumstances beside the rise of these national kingships which in the light of later events distinguish the fifteenth century in the realm of politics. The one is the development of powerful states east of the Oder; the other is the fact that central Europe resisted the impulse toward the aggregation of lands under a centralized monarchy, and perpetuated those smaller local sovereignties which it was the purpose of the rest of the continent to merge into greater organisms. Of these the first was, for the time being, the more significant. At the same moment that western Europe was being transformed Eastern Europe into political units which look familiar to modern eyes, these eastern regions, under like impulse, began a process of amalgamation and centralization which not merely created political entities but brought them into contact with the current of European affairs in which they were to play an increasing part. Thus, in no small degree, these contributed to the expansion of Europe, as it were, within her own geographical boundaries.
The lands which now began to take their place in European polity were those vast forests and plains east of the Oder. In the main they were occupied or at least dominated by the Slavic peoples who, with the Celtic elements in the west and the Teutonic elements in the center, made up the great ethnic groups into which the European peoples are roughly divided.
Nowhere was the process of organization more needed than here, if these races were to become a part of the European system. The Scandinavian states had been organized centuries before into the kingdoms of Norway, Sweden, and Denmark, which in varying relationships still endured. They had already made their great contribution to history in the form of a folk-wandering which had established their dukedoms and principalities along the northern borders of the continent. They had founded Normandy, conquered England, and, from Greenland to Sicily, had dotted the coasts and islands with their settlements and the states which had arisen from their conquests. Central and western Europe had evolved their own systems of society and administration. The east remained, therefore, the only district still somewhat apart from the main current of European affairs at the beginning of the fifteenth century. And its entry into that circle is, in consequence, of no less importance to Europe's history than the developments of politics and culture in the west, or the extension of European power beyond the sea. The Scandinavians
A beginning had long since been made. In the same century that the storm of Norse and Danish invasion had burst upon the west, and the fierce warrior-seamen had gained their first booty, then a foothold in France and the British Isles, Russia 835-935 their Swedish cousins had found among the rude and unorganized Slavs a field for like conquering activities, especially in the regions east and southeast of the Baltic. While Rollo founded the dukedom of Normandy in France, and Guthrum established his rule over East Anglia in Britain, a horde of Swedish adventurers set up principalities, duchies, and free cities, and organized a group of rival states, Tver and Pskoff, Novgorod and Moscow, and their suzerain, the principality of Kieff, whose early and long continued activities expressed themselves chiefly, as usual, in the form of wars, with each other and with their neighbors.
The dreary chronicle of this long rivalry was interrupted by the great Mongol invasion. This, in the thirteenth century, swept across the steppes from central Asia, brought the wide plains north of the Black and Caspian seas under Tartar dominion, and reduced the Slavic principalities to little more than vassal states. Thenceforth there was added to the struggles of those states among themselves a long and bitter conflict with the Great Horde of Tartars, not unlike that which the Iberian peoples had carried on against the Moors in the west. This struggle, by the beginning of the fifteenth century, had brought the duchy of Moscow into the position of the chief champion of Slavic independence and so given it a certain primacy among its fellows. Meanwhile, from among these various elements had been slowly evolved, as the only profitable result of almost constant war, the looselywoven kingdoms known as Poland and Lithuania, which, sharing the conflict with the Tartars, had found themselves opposed by the Swedish power pressing upon them from the north and that of the Germans pushing forward from the west. These, united under the house of Jagello, were destined to endure in that connection for more than two centuries. Moscow and the Tartars
During the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries the advance guards of this Germanic invasion, the crusading orders of the Teutonic Knights and the Knights of the Sword, had conquered a considerable territory about the southern shores of the Baltic, and had spread their power among the heathen peoples, Prussians, Livonians, Esthonians, Wends, and kin- The Germanic orders 1226-83 dred tribes which occupied that district. The greater part of Lithuania fell into their hands. But, five years before the battle of Agincourt and the capture of Ceuta, the Teutonic Knights had suffered a great defeat at the hands of the united Poles and Lithuanians in the battle of Tannenberg. 1410
As a result of this catastrophe, their power, already undermined by the same forces which had weakened all such crusading orders, ceased to expand its territorial sovereignty.
Such was the situation of the east at the beginning of the fifteenth century. The destruction of Kieff by the Mongols in 1240, and its subsequent conquest by the Lithuanians eighty years later, brought the duchy of Muscovy to the leadership Hungary and Bohemia of what was to be known as Russia, while the Poles, meanwhile, absorbed the debatable land of Lithuania. Nor was this 'all of the eastern situation. Far to the south, at the same time that the Norsemen established themselves in the west and the Swedes in the east, a Turanian tribe allied to the Finns, the so-called Magyars, had conquered the district known as Hungary. There they set up a kingdom of their own, whose fortunes were interwoven with those of their neighbors, and at the end of the fourteenth century united them for a time under the same crown with Poland. Beside these, still, a branch of the Slavic peoples, the Czechs, as they were called, had occupied that land we know as Bohemia, and there maintained a precarious independence until the beginning of the century of amalgamation and expansion, which commenced with Ceuta and Agincourt. 875-900
Were the history of Europe dependent on the mere recital of endless conflicts among such elements, it would have the same interest as a chronicle of the wars of kites and crows, the same importance as the struggle for better hunting grounds between rival wolf packs. But there were other factors involved in this evolution. About the year 1000 the missionaries of the Greek and Roman Catholic communions began to find their way among the new conquerors of the east, as five hundred years earlier the emissaries of the Roman and Celtic churches had began to Christianize the Franks and Anglo-Saxons in the west, and, more recently, the Scandinavian peoples at home and in their distant conquests. Thus Russia and Lithuania became converted to the Greek--Poland, Bohemia, and Hungary to the Roman--form of Christianity. And there began that connection with Constantinople and Rome which, like the earlier activity of the church in the west, contributed to the spread of what we call civilization, as well as to the improvement of faith and morals. The church in eastern Europe
The second influence was that of trade. With the establishment of centers of population and power like those cities which, beginning with Novgorod, had risen among the rude communal settlements of the original inhabitants, came the Commerce in eastern Europe development of commerce, first among themselves, then with their neighbors, as the demand grew for things which their own resources could not provide. The shrewd and enterprising merchants of the Hanseatic League were quick to find their way to peoples who could supply them with furs and skins, with the products of forests and fisheries. Thus there sprang up, in the course of centuries, a brisk trade which, even more than the ministrations of the churchmen, brought these rude peoples into touch first with the material, then, more slowly, with the intellectual progress of western. Europe. To this the struggles between the east and west contributed, for they learned of their enemies. And, however retarded in their development, by the Mongol invasions, the Slavs thus came within the widening bounds of European culture.
They were, indeed, far behind the peoples of the west in their social and political, no less than in their cultural evolution. Their peasantry maintained the rude organization of the village community, or mir, for centuries after it had been superseded by other types of land tenure and cultivation in the rest of Europe. Their ruling classes and their administration tended continually to revert to Asiatic rather than advance to European standards, and a certain barbaric spirit was evident in their habits and tastes. As late as the fifteenth century it was still possible for a Muscovite ruler to confiscate the goods of foreign merchants and so drive trade from his territories. It was possible for the Polish nobility to reduce their tenants to the condition of serfdom a hundred years after villenage had virtually disappeared in England. The doctrines and practices of feudalism and chivalry were still powerful in Poland nearly two centuries after they had vanished in western Europe, while they can scarcely be said to have influenced Russia at all. There was not in these eastern states, until far into modern times, any such middle class as that which played so great a part in western Europe. Thus the entry of these peoples into the circle of European affairs marked for them, as for Europe itself, a great step forward in the progress of the politics and the civilization of the continent. Social condition of the Slavs
As its earliest agents had been the Scandinavian conquerors, its later representatives had been the Germans, who, whether as merchants or adventurers, looked with longing eyes upon the Slavic peoples and their territories. And hardly had the results of the battle of Tannenberg become apparent, when the Empire took up the sword which had fallen from the hands of the Teatonic Knights. By the establishment of a mark or border county along the lower Oder, to protect Germany in that quarter from possible inroads, in the twelfth century it had conferred that region upon the house of Ballenstńdt or Askania. Thence it had come into the hands of Ludwig of Bavaria, thence it passed to Austria, and now again it changed masters. The Empire and eastern Europe-Brandenburg
The beginnings of the power which now acquired these lands debatable were simple enough. The Council of Constance, among its numerous activities, confirmed and invested a certain Frederick of Hohenzollern, burggraf or city count of Nuremberg, with the territories granted to him by the Emperor, and he became markgraf or count of the marches of Brandenburg, commissioned to hold the northern borders against the Slavs. With this began the history of that house which, as the rulers of what was to be known as Prussia, thenceforth played a part in European politics. Twentythree years later the house of Hapsburg, which had held a similar position along the Danube for a century and a half, and had advanced its borders deep into Germany by the conquest of the Bohemians, achieved election to the headship of the Empire. This it retained, through many vicissitudes, in an unbroken line of male descent and election for three hundred years. Following these adjustments, the throne of Poland-Lithuania was now confirmed in the house of Jagello, that of Russia in the line of Rurik, the house of Wettin became the rulers of Saxony, and the Scandinavian kingdoms were united under the Danish-Norwegian crown. In such fashion the eastern states now began to take form, and from this situation proceeded the events of the fifteenth century. The Hapsburgs
Nothing can better illustrate the contrast between the rival political principles at work during that eventful epoch than Poland a comparison between the two great Slavic states in these same periods. While the rest of Europe tended toward absolutism, the Polish nobles began to assert successfully the power of their order against the other elements of the state. The diet began to overshadow the king, and to legislate in favor of the class which controlled it. The result was soon apparent, not only in the depression of the peasants into serfdom, but in the exclusion of the middle class from the slender political privileges which they had earlier enjoyed. Flushed with their victory over those beneath them, the nobles turned against the crown, enacted laws forbidding the king to declare war without their consent, and took to themselves the virtual direction of executive action. Worse still, they laid the foundations of that right of free veto which, by making unanimous consent of the diet necessary to the enactment of laws, made salutary legislation impossible, and so gradually reduced the state to impotence.
While Poland established a system which, in later generations, was to make her one of the great prizes of European rivalry, her great neighbor on the east rose to power by a precisely opposite policy. With the accession of Ivan III began an era not unlike that which the reign of Louis XI brought to France. His first efforts were directed against the free city of Novgorod, which, sixteen years after he came to the throne, was overpowered by Muscovy. Thereafter Tver, Ryasan, and the dependencies of Pskoff fell into his hands, and the way was opened for the acquisition of the latter city state. As the power of the Golden Horde declined, Ivan seized the opportunity to throw off the Tartar yoke. Finally, by his marriage to Sophia PalŠologus, niece of the last Emperor of the East, who found refuge from the Turks among the Muscovites, he learned from the Byzantine princes "to penetrate the secret of autocracy." He assumed the double-headed eagle as the symbol of his authority and of his ambition to be regarded as the successor of the dynasty which had fallen before the Turkish attack, and so inaugurated that policy which for more than four hundred years has directed its strength toward the recovery of Constantinople by a Christian state. To this he added a code of laws, Muscovy
and the beginnings of a system which looked toward the absolute power of the crown over nobles and peasants alike. And at the same moment that Columbus was discovering America, Ivan III was building his citadel, known as the Kremlin. In such fashion, strangely like that pursued by England and France in the same years, was the Muscovite power consolidated into a Russian kingdom, at once the pupil and the presumptive heir of the Byzantine Empire, whose religion it professed and to whose leadership of the east it thenceforth aspired.
Nor was the spirit of consolidation less apparent in Germany. Its history, during the fifteenth century, though it Austria and Switzerland lacked somewhat of the spectacular quality of war and diplomacy which it so strikingly exhibited thereafter, and though it met with no such success as its neighbors east and west, revealed the same powerful motive as that which dominated the affairs of its neighbors. Midway of the century, after long conflict, the house of Hapsburg finally lost its hold on those tiny territories of the western Alps, which, under the name of Switzerland, combined into a species of republic which has maintained its independence, almost without a break, from that day to this. But with the accession of Maximilian in the year after the discovery of America, this was, in some measure, compensated by the acquisition of the eastern Alpine region, known as the Tyrol, and the reversion of the kingdoms of Hungary and Bohemia, which have since remained in Hapsburg hands. With these, joined to the region known as Austria and the Austrian Alps, reinforced by the scattered lands of his old Swabian inheritance, Maximilian laid the foundations of the Hapsburg power which for four hundred years has played a principal part in the history of the continent. 1353-86
This was accompanied by efforts to bring the Empire over which he exercised a variable suzerainty under more direct and more efficient control, comparable to that which was being established meanwhile in the states about him. Like his royal contemporaries, he endeavored to give form and substance to his imperial title, and centralized government to his dominions, which, next to Italy, stood in most need of such stable union. Like them he proclaimed and endeavored to enforce the public peace. Like them he set up a council, the Imperial Chamber, a court of appeals, and later a socalled Aulic Council, in an effort to compose the endless quarrels of the lesser rulers, and to extend his authority over them. To these he strove to add an imperial system of taxation, the "common penny"; and, establishing units of local administration, the "circles," as they were known, he made a serious attempt to create real unity under imperial forms and authority. To such designs the German middle classes, like their fellows in other lands, were not averse, Germany and Maximilian I
but among the selfish, decentralizing class of petty rulers they roused powerful opposition, which neither his authority, nor his character, nor the strength of his supporters was sufficient to overcome. On these, and on his foreign policy which involved him in Italian affairs, his great design was wrecked. Of all his schemes only the marriage alliances which united the Hapsburg house with those of Burgundy, Bohemia-Hungary, and Aragon proved ultimately successful. In them he laid the foundations for the world-empire of his grandson and imperial successor, Charles V; and this, as it proved, was his chief contribution to the next phase of European history.
If it were not enough that, during this eventful fifteenth century, England, France and Spain, Austria, Russia and Poland took on something of the form they were thenceforth to retain, so all-pervasive was the influence of the consolidating and dynastic forces in this period, they found their way even into the Papacy. Among the phenomena which the European world exhibited at the beginning of the sixteenth century, none was more typical than the career of that Giuliano della Rovere who ascended the Papal throne as Julius II. Trained by his uncle, Sixtus IV, in the arts of diplomacy and administration, he became a prince of the church in fact as in name. When the Borgias, joined with the Sforzas, outwitted their rivals, the della Roveres, and set Roderigo Borgia in the Papal chair as Alexander VI, the future Julius 11 took refuge with Charles VIII of France and incited him to the invasion of Italy in revenge. Chosen Pope, this greatest of the della Roveres fought, intrigued, negotiated like any lay sovereign to emancipate the temporal power of the Papacy and to advance the fortunes of his house. The Papal States were freed from the pressure of outside powers, Venice subdued by aid of France and the Empire, and these, in turn, expelled from Italy by his adroit diplomacy. Had he been a lay prince, it is by no means improbable that he might have succeeded in uniting Italy, as he aspired to do. Even in his failure to accomplish this great end he revealed not only the qualities which set him
-- Alexander VI 1492-1503
-- Julius II 1503-13
among the great statesmen of his age, but that spirit which was then remodeling the continent. And among the various manifestations of political and ecclesiastical activity which the fifteenth century and its successors afforded, not the least significant was the contest between the church and the Papacy, the one bent upon limiting Papal power by councils, the other determined to remain, as far as possible, an autocracy.
By virtue of these events, at the beginning of the sixteenth century, five powerful states, Spain, France, England, Russia, and Austria, arose in Europe, four of them based on the new principle of nationality, and at least three of them prepared by their position to dispute the supremacy of the Atlantic with Portugal, if and when opportunity presented itself. Different as they were, those peoples which had embarked on the uncharted sea of political experiment had one thing in common, the desire to substitute some new form of government in place of that feudal system whose evils they had experienced long after its good effects had passed away. To men who had suffered from the anarchy which it had engendered there appeared but one remedy, and that was offered them by those ruling houses which saw in this spirit of discontent an opportunity to extend their own power. This was the establishment of a central government able and willing to ensure the discontinuance of private war and those local rivalries which had thus far been an effective barrier against the development of the arts of peace. In that belief they welcomed the creation of a royal authority which grouped together peoples of like language, customs, and traditions, as well as common interests, in larger and stronger units. What democracy was to be to the nineteenth century, despotism was to the sixteenth. Despotism
Yet it was far from the despotism of an Asiatic type, especially in western Europe. It was based as much upon the consent of the middle and lower classes which saw in the supremacy of one ruler the pledge of internal peace and security so necessary to material and social prosperity, as it was upon the desires and ambitions of great dynastic interests for their own aggrandizement. Everywhere the mercantile element, in particular, supported the growing authority of the king, and the widening bounds of an official power strong enough to check the petty oppression and the imminent dangers of local despots. For this they were willing to sacrifice something of their own slender liberties. For this they were willing to endure the burdens of national taxes and national struggles; since they felt, however dimly, something of the new national security, and of the new national greatness, in which they had a share, however humble.
With this were bound up the problems of the extent and limitations of the rapidly increasing royal authority; and of these the first naturally seemed of chief importance to the dynasties which had found their opportunity for wider power in the popular antagonism to feudal organization and the nascent spirit of nationality. Almost without exception the various states of Europe, thus being revolutionized, saw the rise of that most universal and natural of all political devices, a council of those whose secular or ecclesiastical authority entitled them to a voice in government. But the new national royal council differed from that of the feudal rÚgime which had preceded it in at least one important particular. It represented rather the king than the nobility. It was long necessary to distribute the offices of state among those whose possessions made their support essential to the crown. But the constant tendency of the new kingship was to decrease the numbers and the influence of that baronage which had so long directed the course of public affairs to their own advantage and the popular injury. In consequence, the royal council tended henceforth to the inclusion of men dependent on the king and devoted to his interest as against all other elements in the state. As royal power had grown by the extension of its own system of jurisdiction over that highly prized prerogative of the mediŠval baronage, justice became the monopoly of the crown, and as the king's council became the source of law, his courts became the fountain of justice. The new royal councils
Local administration followed a like course; and beside, or in the place of, baronial jurisdictions appeared the crown officers, to preserve peace, collect taxes, try cases, and represent the central authority. In many cases provincial courts and councils were established, dependent on the royal authority as they were created by it. And though the conflict between the particularism of the mediŠval lordships and the centralizing authority of the new kingships hung long undetermined, the new absolutism gradually replaced the old. In so far as it was better administered, and affected all districts and all classes more equally, it received more and more support, until, within two centuries, it had virtually destroyed the old decentralizing feudal system in most parts of Europe. Only in the central powers, Germany and Italy, it found more than its match in the princes. These, while they maintained the same principles as the greater sovereigns, were as unwilling to fuse their interests with those of the imperial authority as they were impotent to enlarge their principalities to embrace whole nationalities. Absolutism and local government
Such was the contribution which the national kingships made to political practice by the beginning of the sixteenth century; and, however modified by time and circumstance, such it remained until it was displaced by a greater force,-for the principles of absolutism are among the oldest and most elementary in the government of men. Beside this problem of establishing unlimited authority and intimately connected with it, however, there was another element to be taken into account. Almost every European state of consequence possessed, in addition to the council, another body of advisers, inherited from the past, which had some share in the conduct of affairs. In France the States General, in Spain and Portugal the Cortes, in England the Parliament, in Poland the Diet, in Hungary the so-called Tables, thus played a part in the conduct of government, which varied with the strength or weakness of the classes above it. Absolutism and the national assemblies
The royal houses, while confronted with an opportunity to establish absolute power, found, therefore, two forces to be crushed or conciliated; and according to their circumstances or their strength, they proceeded to adjust their relations with nobles and people alike. The council, which became the chief engine of their authority, was now transformed, so far as possible, into an administrative rather than a mere advisory body of great nobles; and, establishing other like bodies in the various parts of the kingdom, brought the power of the crown to bear directly on every part of the realm. As royal administration became the central fact in every department of government, whatever authority the more general if not more popular assemblies possessed tended to become subordinate to the higher power.
Their opinion was sought for less and less. As royal power grew they were more and more disregarded, till, save perhaps in England, they became almost a negligible quantity. They were called less and less frequently, and though their members and the classes which they represented struggled, often with violence, against the neglect and even the extinction of the last representative of that popular element which nearly every European state had possessed, the sixteenth century was to see the gradual decline of most of these bodies. Thus, however great the gain to the commonalty by the suppression of feudalism as a principle of administration, that gain was accompanied by a loss of most of those slender privileges which the towns in particular had earlier enjoyed; and Europe entered on her long experiment with absolutist kingships, stimulated by the spirit of nationality indeed, but sacrificing its popular liberties to the dynastic interests as the price of its release from feudal tyranny.
The most conspicuous example of this situation was found in Spain. There the accession of Ferdinand the Catholic had been accompanied by the establishment of a series of councils, for Castile, for Aragon, for Naples, and, after Columbus' exploit, for the New World. These at once limited the authority of the great nobles and ecclesiastics, who composed the group of advisers to the crown in the hands of his predecessors, and relegated the Cortes to a still lower plane in the affairs of state. To this, in Spanish hands, was added another element, dictated in part by the situation of the peninsula and in part by the spirit which that situation had done much to produce. The tribunal of the Holy Spain--the Councils and the Inquisitions
Office, or Inquisition, established in the thirteenth century to stamp out heresy, had played no part in England, little in France, and less in Germany and the east. Its chief stronghold had been in Italy, but, reorganized under Ferdinand in Spain, it became an engine of both royal and ecclesiastical supremacy. Its earliest efforts had been directed against heretics in general; but it soon became a useful weapon against any whose tendency to adopt the newer principles of thought, whether religious or political, marked them out as dangerous to the old order. Its secrecy, its terrible penalty of the auto-da-fÚ, whose Cinemaderos or cremation places claimed their victims periodically, made it a fearful symbol of the principle of terror invoked against those who ventured to differ from the establishment, and widened the breach between Spain and the liberal element in Europe.
However useful to the power of the crown the Inquisition proved in Spain and her dominions, it took no hold on the rest of Europe. But the political impulse which moved Ferdinand was no less strong among his contem1485- poraries. In England, Henry VII followed almost precisely the same course as his Spanish contemporary, and though England
the Parliament was too strong to be treated in the same fashion as the Cortes, it lost much of the power it had enjoyed under the house of Lancaster. In like measure the sovereigns of other realms, from France to Muscovy, entered upon the same course, and from consolidating, their territories they turned to make their authority more absolute.
To this was added, almost immediately, another element, the so-called dynastic interest. Among the methods by which the unquestioned right to the throne and the amalgamation of territories in the various national states had been secured had been the matrimonial alliances of the houses which now came to direct the political destinies of Europe. By such means Castile had been united to Leon and to Aragon; by such means Brittany had been joined to the house of Capet; by such means Henry VII had confirmed his claim to the English crown, and the Hapsburg lands had been consolidated. It was but natural that this process should be extended. Scarcely was Henry VII on the English throne when he began that policy of marriage alliance with the houses of Aragon and Scotland which was to be of such great consequence in another generation. Scarcely had Ivan III begun his efforts to absorb the neighboring Slavic states when he entered on the same course. And, whatever the failures of Maximilian in emulating the successes of his contemporaries by consolidating the Empire, in the direction of his marriage policy he was the most fortunate of them all. His own marriage to the heiress of that ill-fated Charles the Bold of Burgundy, whose efforts to found a kingdom between France and the Empire had led to his defeat and death, had brought to the house of Hapsburg the greater part of the Burgundian inheritance, including those districts at the mouths of the Rhine and Scheldt known to later generations as the Netherlands. And the marriage of his son to the heiress of Spain brought into the hands of his successor the greatest territories which had been until then united under one crown. The dynastic interest
While, then, Italian scholars and Portuguese adventurers were opening new avenues for Europe's intellect and ambitions to tread, the rulers of the continent effected a revolu- tion in her political condition no less important and even more spectacular than the achievements of the sea-farers and men of letters. Different as were the circumstances of their peoples and their problems, their methods and their results were essentially the same. To each the fundamental issue was the substitution of a strong and centralized royal power for feudal arrangements, the consolidation of territory and rival lordships in one family, the creation, in so far as possible, of great national kingships over peoples of like kind, and the establishment of dynasties; in brief, the division of Europe vertically rather than horizontally.
In central Europe this was not wholly possible. Whatever the success of the dynastic policy, whatever the aggregation of lands under its dominion, in one direction the Hapsburg house was bound to fail. The dynastic overpowered the national principle and there began that accumulation of sovereignties which in another generation became the admiration and the terror of the European world. In England and France, as in Spain, Portugal, and Russia, the national idea became the leading motive, and the dynastic interest, however important, a secondary element. But in Germany and Italy, divided as they were among an infinity of petty principalities, neither the national nor the imperial interest prevailed. No single house--not even that of the Hapsburgs, to which the opportunity belonged--proved itself capable of compelling unity among the decentralizing forces which dominated those regions; and these areas remained aloof from the consolidating movement of the time. Their people, in consequence, lost that opportunity, so eagerly embraced by all but the disintegrating feudal elements, to secure a broader basis of sovereignty, with relatively greater power, possibility, and peace. Despite their disadvantages, which the immediate future was to demonstrate, the national kingships that now arose offered the average man the fairest promise of security which Europe had seen since the dream of universal empire had faded before the realities of feudalism. Upon the ambitions of these new kingships the political activities of Europe thenceforth chiefly turned. Germany
The spirit which they revealed and the direction which their energies took were determined by two forces: the one was the tendency of young and vigorous political organisms to seek new fields of power outside their own boundaries, which has, at all times, proved an active element in political history; the other was the disturbed condition of certain districts of Europe, which offered a tempting opportunity to the ambitions of neighboring rulers. Thus the establishment of the national states was marked by the beginning of a great European war. Its scene was the region which even at that moment was leading the continent along new paths of intellectual and artistic achievement, the Italian peninsula, and the chief antagonists were the two states which had thus far best expressed the principle of national kingship, Spain and France. Scarcely had Charles VIII finally united France by his marriage with Anne of Brittany when he asserted his claims to Italian territory, and, invited by the Italians themselves, made the center of the Renaissance movement the battlefield of the continent. Thus, as the first result of a century-long movement toward consolidation and absolutism, which had resulted in the formation of the national kingships, there began a conflict which was to endure in some form for more than three hundred years, only to be thwarted finally in its purpose of reducing Italy to a dependency of some power beyond the Alps. The results of the nationaldynastic system
CHAPTER V - EUROPEAN POLITICS. 1492-1521
THE ITALIAN WARS
IT was apparent before the news of Columbus' great discovery had been fully appreciated by European peoples that the continent had reached a crisis in its international affairs, and that the long development which had resulted in the formation of national states was about to produce some extraordinary changes unrelated either to the discovery of the western world or to the internal situation of the new political organisms now taking form. The year after the 1493-4 return of the Discoverer from his first voyage, Maximilian I became the ruler of Germany, and Charles VIII of France led an army across the Alps to the invasion of Italy. With those events there began a period of European history different in nearly every respect from what had gone before, and destined to the most far-reaching results. The ensuing quarter of a century, in consequence, became an era of the highest importance in the political development of Europe, and Charles' enterprise the event which, like Columbus' discovery, inaugurated a new chapter in affairs. Charles VIII's invasion of Italy
The situation of the continent in general, and of Italy in particular, lent itself to such exploits as that of the French king in a variety of ways, while, at the same time, it made the success of his adventure more than problematical. Spain, with the conquest of the Moors, the development of absolutism under Ferdinand, and the discovery of the western world, was now prepared to entertain designs of further conquest and take an active share in continental rivalries. England, though the cautious and politic Henry VII was still absorbed in consolidating his power at home, was not wholly averse to playing some part in that same field. And the
Emperor Maximilian, thwarted in his design of marrying Anne of Brittany, who had become the wife of the French king, desired not merely revenge for his affront, but the more substantial compensations of lands along the Rhine.
At the same time the situation of the Italian peninsula boded ill for the ultimate success of such an enterprise, whatever the immediate political triumphs which it seemed to offer. Italy was then, as it was to remain for centuries, in a state of anarchy. Venice, Milan, Florence, Genoa, and Savoy, with lesser principalities like Parma and Piacenza, Mantua and Ferrara, disputed among themselves for supremacy in the north; while the Papal States in the center and the kingdom of Naples in the south added to the chaos of petty rivalry with which the peninsula was cursed. Not only was there no Italy, there were no Italians, and the doctrine of success at all costs had long since replaced any sentiment of patriotism even in the cities or states to which their inhabitants owed allegiance. For there was scarcely a petty sovereignty in Italy where the strife of party had not overpowered every other political consideration. Moreover, for years the land had been filled with mercenaries, the so-called condottieri, to whom war was a profession and treachery a trade. Revolt and conspiracy, feud and assassination, and petty war, in which the commonest incidents were betrayal and desertion, had long been the fate of the gifted people who revealed at once the highest triumphs of Šsthetic genius and the lowest qualities of public and private morality. The political situation in the Italian peninsula
Into such a maelstrom the young French king plunged, fired by dreams of territorial aggrandizement, even of reestablishing the kingdom of Jerusalem by a crusade against the Turkish power; and thus he embarked his nation upon an enterprise "for which neither his exchequer, his understanding, nor his preparations sufficed." But it took no long time to prove that, however easy it might be to win victories against his divided enemies, the conquest of Italy, or any considerable part of it, much less its retention by France, was one of the maddest enterprises which any European power had entertained since the English had been driven from France. And yet, like the English attempt against their own land, the French were to waste time, energy, lives, and treasure for a hundred years in an ambition as fruitless as it was costly. The Italians were no less fatuous in their quarrels among themselves. The Turks captured Otranto, their camp-fires were visible from Venice; yet neither that nor the French fury availed to prevent the fierce feuds of family with family, of state with state in the troubled peninsula. Least of all could Italy remain at peace when aspiring pontiffs, more eager to extend their family influence and their temporal power than to attend to the spiritual needs of the church they had been set to guard and direct, vied with the petty hatreds of local parties to betray the interests of the people who formed the most highly cultured society in Europe.
The long history of the Italian wars forms one of the most brilliantly romantic and one of the most barren chapters in European history. A sounder policy would have led Charles to oppose the designs of Maximilian on Franche ComtÚ, wrest the post of Roussillon from Ferdinand, Calais from England, and so secure his frontiers against the enemies of France. But the adroit diplomacy of Ludovico Sforza diverted him from these substantial measures to pursue the elusive and costly domination of Italy. What was more disastrous to the interests of his country, the French king 1493 freed his hands for the Italian enterprise by ceding Cerdagne and Roussillon to Ferdinand and Franche ComtÚ with Artois to Maximilian, a policy which was to cost France an infinity of blood and treasure in later generations to regain the places thus lightly abandoned. 1493
The claims which he advanced to Italian sovereignty were first those of the house of Orleans which, by virtue of its descent from the heiress of the dispossessed house of Visconti in Milan, aspired to the rule of that rich province. To these were added the still older claims of the house of Anjou to the kingdom of Naples, held by the Aragonese family, with whom they had divided the ancient lands of Anjou, retaining only Provence and Anjou itself in the "The Italian adventure" hands of the French crown. But it was rather in the rivalry between Milan and Naples that Charles saw his opportunity than in these shadowy dynastic pretensions. That rivalry was substantial enough, and the triple alliance of Naples, 1492 Florence, and Milan, which had broken down in the year of Columbus' discovery and the death of Lorenzo de' Medici, laid Italy open to the invader. The astute but short-sighted duke of Milan, pursuing his designs against his Neapolitan rival, had first sought the aid of Maximilian, then turned to urge the French king to assert his right to Naples, and, securing his aid, plunged not only Italy but Europe into war.
Charles' early operations, despite his own licentious incapacity, offered fair promise of achieving his ambitions. His motley force, French troops, Swiss mercenaries, and German lanzkneehts, poured through the passes of the Alps into the territories of his ally, thence into Tuscany, without opposition. Piero de' Medici hastened to submit to the in- 1494-5 vader, but his pliancy promptly cost him his throne, and the first result of Charles' enterprise was to make the Florentine ruler a fugitive. Presenting Pisa with its freedom from Florence, the French king proceeded to Florence, exacted a ransom from that city, went on to Siena, and so to Rome, where Alexander VI, compelled to abandon his alliance with Naples, gave up a part of Papal territories to Charles. Thence the French advanced against their chief objective, Naples, whose unpopular and cowardly ruler, Alfonso, abdicated and fled to Sicily, leaving his crown to his son, Ferrante. He, in turn, after some efforts to resist, was betrayed by his own generals, and followed his father. Thus, in five months, almost without a blow, the French king found himself in possession of Naples, a considerable number of lesser territories, and the dominance of Italy. The French conquest
Had Charles been possessed of his father's capacity, he might well have profited largely from so successful an enterprise, even had he not remained the master of the peninsula. But his feeble talents, his licentious habits, and, above all, perhaps, the open contempt for the Italians which he and his followers exhibited, roused the peninsula against him; Its collapse and scarcely had he secured his new inheritance when it began to slip from his hands. The Milanese ruler repented the folly which had brought the French into Italy and began to fear for his own position. The Pope, never friendly, was roused to further opposition by the dread that Charles might summon a general council. The Venetians, at first neutral, and not disinclined to see their neighbors in difficulties, began to entertain apprehensions of French domination. And among European rulers outside of Italy, Ferdinand of Spain suspected French designs on his appanage of Sicily; while the Emperor Maximilian, disturbed by the ascendancy of the house of Valois, was moved to join in limiting its power.
Scarcely was Charles' great prize within his grasp, therefore, when, to his own incapacity was added a powerful coalition against his power. Emperor and Pope, Spain, Venice, and Milan combined to form the League of Venice; and the French king, causing himself to be crowned, hastily began a retreat, already far too long delayed. Only the fidelity of Florence, the unwillingness of Milan to see too complete a victory over the invaders, and the undisciplined plundering instinct of the forces brought against him, saved the French king's forces from annihilation. They escaped, and with their departure Charles' conquests melted away, his garrisons were compelled to submit, his lieutenants expelled, and his authority came to an end. Of all his gains, only the cities ceded to him by Florence remained, and these he bartered away in the course of the next few years. Of all the results which he achieved, the only one of any consequence was the weakening of the one Italian power which had remained faithful to his interests, Florence. Nov. 1495
It is not easy, even were it necessary, to determine the proportion of responsibility for an enterprise which absorbed the energies of a great part of Europe for more than a century. The obstinate ambitions of the French rulers who took part in it, the real if mistaken aspirations of the people who supported it, the treacherous folly of the Italian princes who called in the foreign to their aid,--all these combined to produce that vast expenditure of energy and blood and treasure to little purpose. Nor did successive generations learn from experience; for the first chapter of that long adventure became a pattern for the whole. When, four years after his Italian expedition, Charles VIII died, he left his successor, Louis XII, a bad example and a heritage of war, both of which the new king eagerly embraced. Like his predecessor, he abandoned Franche ComtÚ to Maximilian, like him he hastened to embark on the Italian enterprise. And as before, Italy welcomed the invader. The League of Venice had fallen apart with the departure of Charles VIII. Louis XII and Italy
The Pope and Venice had allied themselves with France, and Louis XII, having thus isolated his intended victim, the same Ludovico Sforza who had invited his predecessor to intervene against Naples, invaded Italy with even greater initial success. As before, Savoy gave them free passage. As before, they were reinforced by Swiss mercenaries; and, as Florence had earlier driven out Piero de Medici, so now, for different reasons, the Milanese compelled Ludovico to take refuge with the Emperor. Milan was surrendered to the French, Genoa followed suit, and, without a blow, Venice and France found themselves in possession of a great part of northern Italy. 1499
Nor did the resemblance to the earlier enterprise end here. Again the French put their own officers in charge. Again the Italians were antagonized; and when, six months after Louis' advent into the peninsula, Ludovico returned with an army, the French lost their possessions as quickly as they had gained them. Then, reinforced in turn, they defeated Ludovico, regained Milan, and prepared to attempt the conquest of Naples. But here they now encountered a more dangerous enemy. Ferdinand of Spain had looked with jealous eye upon the French ambitions. He had earlier warned Charles VIII against pressing too far in that direction; and he had restored the house of Aragon to the Neapolitan throne after the French withdrawal. Now he came to an agreement with Louis in regard to Naples, and, under pretext of a treaty with the Turks which had been negotiated by Federigo of Naples, the kings of France and Spain agreed to divide the Neapolitan lands between them. Ferdinand and Italy
With this secret treaty of Granada, first of those partition treaties which thenceforth played such a great part in European politics, the dynastic principle took its place in international affairs, in a form which was to endure from that day until the time when it was in some degree overpowered by the national spirit. For by its provisions whole districts and their inhabitants were transferred from one family to another, as one might sell a farm and its cattle. With this extension of the feudal principle into a far wider field, it was apparent that, unless other forces should operate to check its activity, the unfortunate people had but exchanged a feudal for a national serfdom.
Almost immediately the agreement was put into effect. The French, welcomed by the Pope, who denounced the Neapolitan king as an enemy of Christendom for making an agreement with the Turk, overran the northern part of Naples; the Spaniards, under the "Great Captain," Gonsalvo de Cordova, the conqueror of Granada, landed in the south, and the unfortunate Neapolitan royal family, thus beset, were driven into exile. But scarcely was this accomplished when the conquerors, naturally enough, found themselves irreconcilably opposed to each other, and there began a Franco-Spanish war of an extraordinary character. On the one side it partook of the old spirit of chivalry which found expression in tournaments and single combats, and added the names of Paredes and Bayard to the roll of knightly champions and a brilliant chapter to romance. On the other it ushered in the age of the great professional soldier, of whom the French D'Aubigny and the Spanish Gonsalvo became the great exemplars. And thus, as the expiring spirit of mediŠval chivalry flamed up in a last gleam of brilliance, Europe entered upon a new phase of dynastic international rivalry. France and Spain
From the beginning the result was scarcely in doubt. The French were driven from Naples; and a conflict between France and the Empire over the Burgundian possessions added Maximilian to the active enemies of Louis, thus dividing his energies and strength. Though, after his first repulse, the French king essayed twice more the fatal adventure of Italian invasion, and even succeeded in annexing Genoa, Naples remained in the hands of Ferdinand. The League of Cambrai, formed between the French king, the Emperor, the king of Spain, and the Pope, to despoil Venice of her mainland possessions, witnessed another step in the dynastic policy. It revealed, too, the same spirit which had animated Italian politics since Charles VIII's invasion, and which was to be for generations the peculiar character- 1508 istic of that long rivalry. In turn that alliance gave way to the Holy League, formed of the Pope, Ferdinand, Venice, and Switzerland, to expel the French. On that rock broke the ambitions of Louis XII; and at his death he bequeathed to his successor, Francis I, only what he had inherited from Charles VIII--an ambitious and unsuccessful foreign policy. 1511
Such were the principal events in European politics which filled the years when Spain and Portugal were achieving and consolidating their positions in the world outside, and the Renaissance turned the finest spirits of the continent to intellectual and artistic triumphs. So far as their ultimate results were concerned, the Italian wars were no less futile than their immediate circumstances were dramatic. They checked the ambitions of Venice on the mainland, and, with the concurrent attacks of the Turks upon her Adriatic posts, they brought her long ascendancy within sight of its fall. They established Ferdinand of Aragon as the master of Naples, and raised the Papacy to the height of its ill-fated temporal power. They passed on a long heritage of war to succeeding generations, and introduced into European affairs that Franco-Hapsburg rivalry which was to run a course of more than three hundred years of armed conflict. The results of the Italian wars
Beyond these hollow results they were as barren of advantage to the progress of the world as the concurrent accession of Ismail Shah Sufi to the throne of Persia, and his ensuing wars with the Turks, which, at least, relieved in some degree the pressure which the Ottoman power was exerting upon the European world. They were of much less importance to the cause of civilization than the break-up of that Golden Horde of Mongols in southern Russia and the consequent decline of the Tartar suzerainty over the Muscovites, which occurred during these same years. Beside the activities of the Spaniards and the Portuguese beyond the confines of Europe, these kaleidoscopic changes in Italian politics, with all their contemporary interest, were insignificant; and in comparison with the concurrent intellectual progress of the continent they were contemptible. 1499
Far more important were the efforts of the greater rulers of Europe to unify their dominions and to increase the power of royalty. Whether, like Maximilian, they failed, or like Ferdinand, Henry VII, Charles VIII, and Ivan III, they succeeded, they accomplished two things. They went far toward breaking the political power of the mediŠval feudal baronage. and they set before Europe the ideal of nationalism under absolute kingship. And this, in the last result, became the mold in which all of the continent, save Germany and Italy, was cast. Thenceforth its politics, for the most part, revolved upon the relations which came to be, in fact as in name, for the first time international. They were, indeed, still dynastic, and in no real sense popular. But they formed that transition from mediŠval to modern polity which, like the intellectual revolution and the oversea expansion that accompanied them, marks the beginning of a new age. For with them, even in the futile Italian adventure, there was revealed the spirit which has dominated men in their political capacity from that day to the present, that elusive but powerful force which we call nationality. Absolutism and internationalism
In that development, as in so many other movements which went to make up the sum of European progress toward a modern world, the dozen years which followed the accession of Henry VIII to the English throne in 1509 formed a peculiarly important period, with its changes of personnel and policy among European rulers. Four years after Henry assumed the English crown, the ambitious and warlike Julius II, "the founder of the Papal States," was succeeded by the son of Lorenzo de Medici, the luxurious and pleasure-loving Leo X, who brought to his new office many of the qualities which had made Florence the center of the Renaissance. Scarcely bad he begun to give the Papal power a new impress when Ferdinand the Catholic and Louis XII passed from the scene of their earthly activities, leaving to their successors, the shrewd, phlegmatic Charles I, and the vain, ostentatious Francis I, their respective kingdoms and the long heritage of Italian rivalry. Three years later Maximilian was succeeded by his grandson, the king of Spain, who took the imperial throne as Charles V. Thus, almost simultane- Changes in rulers
ously, Europe saw the advent of three young, ambitious sovereigns, upon whose relations the political fortunes of the ensuing generation were to turn, and with them the beginnings of a fresh realignment of forces and policies.
The greatest and the most conspicuous of these were personified in the Emperor, Charles V. Important as the reign of Henry VIII was to be to England, and that of Francis I to France, the circumstances of the continent and of his inheritance made Charles inevitably the focus of affairs. From his mother he inherited Spain, America, and Sicily; from his father the lands of Hapsburg and Burgundy. On him, in consequence, devolved the widest realm Europe had ever seen. His long rule touched its achievements on every side. The continent trembled at the fear of universal sovereignty; and he was called, not without cause, "the Lord of the World" by a generation in which he played the leading part. Charles V
In his domains the Reformation took its rise; his power defended, then attacked the Pope, and finally decreed religious peace. His son's marriage to the Infanta of Portugal brought him in touch with that nation's future. His aunt's divorce by Henry VIII bound up his fortunes with the English change of faith. Half of Italy became an appanage of his house, and he took part in all the complicated politics of that long-vexed peninsula. Against his wide-encroaching power, Francis I of France entered a life-long struggle and waged four great wars. To these he summoned the aid of the reviving Turkish energies, which, having overpowered Egypt and begun to absorb the long line of Europe's old Mediterranean outposts, the Venetian factories, again pressed hard on Christendom. In consequence, Charles twice invaded Africa and twice fought the Turks, as Spain and the Empire became the bulwark against the Ottoman. And while his subjects conquered the New World and sailed around the earth, religion and politics, European and colonial affairs were, in his day, and partly fit his hands, inextricably joined.
For the moment, indeed, the weight of the responsibilities which was about to devolve upon him and the people of Europe generally was scarcely felt, and the first years of the new sovereigns were filled with rivalries inherited from the past. And if there is one circumstance more surprising than another in the history of these eight years in which her leadership was being altered, it is the ignorance or indifference of the rulers of Europe in general to the signs of coming change which were already apparent on every hand. In the field of international politics the Italian wars maintained their earlier importance. Hardly was the English king upon his throne when he was drawn into their farreaching complexities. He became a member of the so-called Holy League, formed by Julius II to drive the French from Italy. He was given the title of the Defender of the Faith by the Pope and persuaded to revive the old and futile policy of English dominion in France. With Maximilian's aid he attacked Louis XII and won the "battle of the spurs," at Guinegate. In Henry's absence--so far did the baneful influence of the Italian adventure spread--the unfortunate James IV of Scotland, urged on by France, invaded England, only to meet defeat and death at Flodden Field, and thus unwittingly take the first step in that long history which ended in the union of the two kingdoms. Charles V, Francis I, and Henry VIII
France followed the same course. Scarcely was Francis I crowned when he took up the Italian policy which his predecessors had bequeathed to him, and the first five years of his long and warlike reign was spent in the pursuit of that phantom sovereignty. Like Charles and Louis, he was at first successful, and the campaign which culminated in the battle of Marignano gave Genoa and Milan into his hands. But hardly was this accomplished when the election of Charles to the imperial throne threatened France with the greatest danger she had faced since the victories of Henry V Francis I and Italy
a hundred years before. Throughout their long frontiers, from the debatable kingdom of Navarre, through Italy, and along the Rhine, France and the Hapsburg power found themselves in opposition at almost every point. With his possessions on the continent, his dominion oversea, and his family alliances, Charles V hemmed in the French on every side. It is not surprising that, apart from personal ambitions, Francis found ample cause for fear of universal sovereignty and the extinction of an independent France; or that, after the lull which followed his first Italian war, he devoted the energies of a lifetime to conflict with Charles V.
But it was not in this great adventure, as events were soon to prove, that there lay the real current of European development which to the eyes of these young rulers partook rather of the past than of the future. The new reigns began, indeed, much as the old had ended; and in them, save for the fantastic efforts of Henry VIII to be elected Emperor and secure the Papacy for his adviser, Cardinal Wolsey, there seemed small promise of any striking changes in the political development of Europe apart from the progress of absolutism which succeeded the consolidation of the greater states.
Yet the briefest summary of the activities in which the young Emperor was to be involved in the course of his long eventful reign reveals the fact that few periods of European history have been so epoch-making as the generation in which he was the most conspicuous figure in the world. For those years saw a revolt against Papal authority which shook the foundations not alone of the church but of politics and society, dividing men into hostile communions, armed camps, and, more enduring still, opposing schools of thought. They saw the imperial power endeavor again and again to unite Germany, and the spirit of national absolutism rend the continent time after time with its rivalries. They saw a tremendous influx of precious goods and metals, a shifting of the older currents of trade into new channels, and an increase of capital alter the economic basis of the European world. And, far beyond the confines of the continent itself The Age of Charles V
To illustrate the development of the dynastic principle. See map of the European possession of Charles V., p. 142. they saw an Arab trading empire of the East replaced by that of Portugal; great civilizations in the western hemisphere discovered and destroyed by Spain; the world encircled by a single ship; "and every year reveal new wonders and new lands."
As the center of European activities shifted from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic, and the weight of Asia and America was thrown into the European scale, its balance was altered for all time. As the past was uncovered and the reforming movement spread, the spiritual and the intellectual foundations of the continent were profoundly changed. The deeds of living conquerors which far outshone those of the heroes of romance, the achievements of scholars and men of letters, of artists and artisans, which began to challenge the triumphs of the ancient world, stimulated Europe's thought and imagination to fresh adventures. At the same time the outworn framework of mediŠval society and intellect broke down under the pressure of these new influences; and Europe's energies were rallied to develop a new system to take its place. The older principles of service and exchange, based on land and kind, gave way to those of money and day wages, labor and capital. And this movement, partly begun, partly accelerated by a huge tidal wave of sudden wealth from oversea, which all but blotted out the earlier landmarks of polity and finance, laid the foundations of a new economy. From the decaying feudal and imperial rÚgime arose the national governments. Beside the Greek and Roman Catholic establishments the Protestant confessions took their stand. The promise of two centuries was fulfilled, and Europe, gradually secularized in thought and deed, expanding no less intellectually than territorially, turned from mediŠval concepts and practices toward the ideals of a modern world. The end of the middle ages
If this was not enough to absorb her energies, these great achievements took place amid bitter conflicts between sovereigns and states striving for mastery, and in the face of attacks from the Turks, who proved almost as great a hindrance to the progress of civilization as the ambitions of the rulers of the Christian world. Yet those antagonisms were not without their significance. For they were inseparable from the process by which Europe was set in the way which led to the divisions which have, in general, maintained themselves as the basis of national and international relationships and made modern Europe what it is. For, with all its infinite complexities, and the long conflicts which have modified its boundaries, the principle of national states has proved preferable, on the whole, to that system of theoretical unity and practical chaos which it supplanted. And in it, no less than in the other manifestations of social activity, the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries laid the foundations of another age.
CHAPTER VI - SPAIN AND PORTUGAL.
IF history is to concern itself with events which absorb the attention of men at any given moment, irrespective of their importance for the future, it is apparent that the Italian wars would form the chief theme of any account of the quarter of a century which lay between the death of Lorenzo de Medici in 1492 and the accession of Charles I of Spain as the Emperor Charles V in 1519. But if the question of permanent value is to be considered, it is no less apparent that the activities of the powers which had found their way to Asia and America in those years overshadow even the achievements of de Foix, Bayard, or even the "Great Captain," Gonsalvo de Cordova himself, to say nothing of the general continental policy of the masters whom they served. For the problem which lay before those states which had burst through the charmed circle that had so long separated Europe from the world outside was, in a sense, the future of the extra-European world. Already it had taken on a twofold aspect which it was to keep to the end. On the one hand was the task of maintaining and improving the position they had won; on the other was the extension of their ancient rivalry to the farthest corners of the earth. After the manner of their kind, therefore, they hastened to strengthen and enlarge their power oversea, and at the same time endeavored to forestall each other in acquiring title to as much of this great inheritance as possible.
The chief burden of this contest naturally fell first upon him who had led the way to the western hemisphere. Columbus was not averse to this extension of his activities, yet it was peculiarly unfortunate for him. The difficulties of the situation, Spanish inexperience, and his own incapacity made success hopeless. His supporters clamored for returns Columbus --his third voyage on their investments. The crown licensed voyages in defiance of his chartered rights, and the settlers antagonized the natives by their lust and violence. Powerless to quell the turmoil, the Admiral took refuge in exploration; and, setting out on a third voyage in the days that da Gama was loading spices in Malabar, and Savonarola met a martyr's death in Florence, he found a new island, Trinidad, and the South American continent, with its mighty river, the Orinoco. 1498
But he was as little able to grasp the significance of his exploits as to insure wealth and order to the new settlement. A vessel of the rich and powerful mainland peoples which he met did not enlighten him, and the shipload of natives he sent back as slaves was received with misgiving and presently returned. A mistaken martinet, Bobadilla, despatched to restore order, threw Columbus and his brother in chains and carried them to Spain as disturbers of colonial peace. And though he was released and his injuries for the most part redressed, thenceforth the Admiral sank gradually into something of the obscurity from which he had risen: his fame secure, but his fortune declined. Vain, impracticable, inexperienced in affairs, neither a conqueror nor an administrator, he could not control the spirit he evoked, and the world went past him. To the end he remained an explorer. Latterly he became a mystic; his energies absorbed in maintaining his rights against encroachment, and in seeking new lands. One voyage was left to him, his fourth, on which he discovered Honduras and followed the continental coast southward past the Equator. Returning late in 1504, he found Spain torn by contending factions, amid whose tumults, after some months, he died, almost unnoticed. His return and disgrace
--his fourth voyage --and death 20 May 1506
What the world he found really was he never knew. To him it was always Asia; toward the end it became something more. Exposure and exertion told on his health, and his mind seems to have been affected by the strain and the tremendous stimulus of his achievement. Embittered by the inadequacy of rewards which, had they been infinitely greater, would still have seemed to him far from his deserts, he came to be haunted by dreams of an older cosmogony. His later life and position
The earth appeared to him in the shape of a pear; the Orinoco as a river of life, flowing from a central region which reflected vague traditions of Paradise; himself a Bringer of Salvation, and a revealer of divine secrets. Perhaps anticipated in his exploit by forgotten seamen; certainly not original in his conception; And followed so closely by independent discoverers like Cabral as to make it evident that, had he never sailed, his great discovery would have been made by others; the distinction still remains to him of being the first to demonstrate to all the world the transatlantic passage and the lands beyond. His initial exploit promised to make him the greatest figure of his generation, but his character and abilities were unequal to the situation he created, and the exploitation of America fell to other hands.
The companions and successors of Columbus
Close in his wake a swarm of adventurers had poured across the sea seeking wealth, licensed explorers, his own companions first of all; and beside them unlicensed interlopers, ignoring royalty and grant alike. In the year of da Gama's return there sailed the reckless cavalier Ojeda, with Columbus' map-maker, Juan de la Cosa. With them went a merchant-adventurer, Amerigo Vespucci, whose later writings brought the New World to European attention to such effect that, through the suggestion of a German geographer, there was attached to it the name America instead of that of its discoverer. Christening a region which they found Venezuela, apparently from some fancied resemblance to Venice, and fetching home two hundred natives of Bahama as slaves, this expedition was followed closely by others of like sort. Alonzo Nifio, whose family had furnished the Ni˝a to the first voyage; Vincente Pinzon, the Ni˝a's old commander; Diego Lepe, with Columbus' former pilot, Roldan; and others, known and unknown, seeking gold and pearls and a sea-way to Asia, increased the knowledge brought back by the great discoverer. But neither he nor his successors found that fabled strait. In the western world, at Columbus' death, the Spaniards knew only the islands and the northern coast of South America. Of the great continent to the north, of the mainland with the rich empires of the interior, as of the ocean beyond, they had scarcely a hint.
If the progress of their knowledge had been slow, that of their colony had been slower still. Of all the native tribes they might have met, the simple Aruacs, the furthest outpost of their race which covered much of the southern continent, were probably the mildest and least advanced of any peoples which the Europeans had yet encountered. But even these resented the cruelty and oppression of the rough adventurers, so eminently ill-fitted to exploit a new world with justice, or with lasting benefit to it or to their country. They quarreled constantly among themselves and with their governors only less than with the natives, and not until the coming of Nicolas Ovando as governor, some ten years after the first discovery, did real social and economic order begin. Even so, its progress was extremely slow. Lesser settlements, indeed, sprang up beside Isabella and Santo Domingo; the washing of stream-sands yielded a little gold; while clearings made with native or with negro labor afforded space for agriculture, to which the introduction of the sugar-cane gave fresh impetus. Beginnings of SpanishAmerican colonization
As the second decade of Spanish activity in America began, another circumstance did much to determine its future. The crown, forced by the exigencies of the situation resulting from Columbus' discoveries to take measures to regulate American affairs, had named a canon of Seville, Juan Rodriguez de Fonseca, as colonial agent-general, and for ten years he had been virtually colonial minister. Now, with Seville as the center of colonial affairs, and this astute churchman as the director of the fortunes of Spain's empire oversea, his office began to expand into the all-powerful Casa de la Contratacion, modeled on the lines of the Portuguese Casa da India, which was meanwhile rising to the control of eastern commerce in the neighboring kingdom. The Casa was constituted to supervise all trade and licenses, vessels and cargoes, but by Ovando's time the council found it necessary to outline a scheme of government. From his capital of Santo Do- Organization of the Spanish colonial system
mingo the governor was empowered to administer the affairs of the islands and the mainland not otherwise assigned, to preserve order, to convert but not to maltreat the natives, to force them to work the mines but to ensure their payment, to exclude Jews and Moors, to import negro slaves, and to reserve to the crown its moiety of the gold thus mined. With the governor were despatched a judge, twelve Franciscans, and a company of soldiers, and thus, with its three permanent elements, officials, clergy, and army, formal administration in the New World began.
Thus, too, began the most difficult of colonial problems, labor, the native, and the negro. On this no nation spent more thought than Spain. Theologians were summoned to counsel whether the Indians had souls like Europeans, half souls, or no souls at all, since on this depended their status and usage; and when it was determined that they had real souls, the government took steps to save them and to preserve the bodies which housed them. Those sent to Spain were presently returned, laws passed to put the natives under civil and ecclesiastical protection and control, and missionary work began. The more cruel customs were checked, tribute of girls and forced labor without pay was forbidden, no arms nor liquor were to be sold to them, and they were permitted to trade and cultivate and raise cattle. Moreover, under Spanish oversight, the native caciques were to retain their old authority; and in each district, under the supervision of the priest, the Indians were permitted to choose their own alcalde or judge, their fiscal or attorney, and their regidor or administrator. In brief, the new subjects were to be protected, Christianized, and in so far as possible, civilized; while the Spanish municipal system was to be extended to the New World, in the hope that it would presently produce a civilization, if not a society, like that of Spain. Such were the earliest European plans to establish power in America. Slavery
It was a great ideal, but the very laws enacted to carry out these plans revealed the fundamental difficulties of a problem which has at all times created sharp differences be- Difficulties of Spain's situation tween those interested in the moral side of tropical exploitation and those interested primarily in its financial aspects. The native races were unwilling or unfit to adapt themselves to systems devised by European conquerors, the home government found its plans hampered by a situation which has since become the commonplace of tropical administration. The colonists cared little for justice in comparison with gold; profits rather than civilization or salvation was their aim. The mother country was a long way off, the natives close at hand; and they evaded, neglected, or defied the law, in their endeavor to make quick fortunes. The society they framed was that of a dominant race, basing its economic strength upon the labor of a weaker class; founded, like most later experiments in the same field, on virtual slavery. When, seventeen years after his father's first voyage, Diego Columbus went out as governor of Santo Domingo, the mold was made in which the Spanish empire was to be cast; and which, in some form, was to be the pattern thenceforth for tropical exploitation by all other powers.
The contribution made by Spain to the fast-widening sphere of European influence during her first quarter of a century in America was but slight. Compared with what Portugal had meanwhile accomplished in the East, it seemed almost contemptible. For, with da Gama's return his people had waked from their lethargy, and their activity in the ensuing twenty years became the wonder of the world. Hard on his arrival, hoping still to anticipate the Spaniards by discovering the coveted western sea-way to Asia, their first concern was to despatch expeditions to find the fabled Northwest Passage. Thus Gaspar de Cortereal explored Newfoundland, Labrador, the "land of the Bretons," and the "land of codfish," along the north Atlantic coast of North America; and, on his second voyage, lost his life as the first victim of that long-lived delusion. He was not the only one to whom such a task was intrusted, and the widening bounds of their successive maps of that quarter of the world record the efforts of their now unknown explorers in that hopeless quest. Portuguese discovery
These efforts were not entirely vain, for but a scant two years after de Gama's voyage, Pedralvarez Cabral, sent out with an armada of thirteen ships and some twelve hundred men to seize the eastern trade, and bearing far to the southwest under the pilotage of Bartholomew Diaz, to avoid the Guinea passage, by accident or design, sighted land beyond that reached by Pinzon three months before. This he claimed for Portugal under the name of Santa Cruz and sent a vessel back with news of its discovery. Thus with his exploit the greatest of all Portugal's colonial possessions, Brazil, was brought under her influence, and Spain's newborn monopoly was broken in the western hemisphere. Cabral and Brazil
Nor was the advent of Cabral in India of less consequence, for with it began a fresh chapter of expansion and of the relations of Europe with Asia. He compelled the Zamorin of Calicut to grant permission to set up a trading-post. But this first of European factories in the East was soon destroyed by Arab hostility; and it became apparent that Portugal must fight to gain a share of that great commerce which she coveted. Cabral was quick to accept the challenge. Sinking ten Moorish ships at Calicut, he sailed to Cochin, secured a cargo there, established a factory, and so turned. homeward to rouse his countrymen to a fresh crusade. Before he reached Lisbon another Portuguese force had come to blows with Calicut; and on its way back to Portugal it crossed da Gama's formidable armada going out to avenge his wrongs and make good his master's claim to the rights of trade in the Indian seas. Up the east coast of Africa and across to Malabar; bombarding Quiloa and imposing tribute; capturing and burning pilgrim ships bound to Mecca and rice boats from Coromandel; forcing the rulers of the Malabar coast to grant him a monopoly of trade and renounce their connection with Calicut and Egypt, da Gama laid down the lines upon which was to be fought the first great conflict between the West and the farther East. The Portuguese attack on India
Fired by these events, the Portuguese bent every energy to the great adventure to which their chivalry flocked in search of glory and wealth; while the Arab trading powers rallied their forces with those of Calicut to defend their commerce and their faith. Marked by the heroic episodes and the fearful cruelties incident to a religious war, this bloody conflict went on with increasing fury. Fleet after fleet, "flocks of sea-eagles, eager for the spoil," hurried to the East, bearing adventurers, "mad for wealth and war," and the fortunes of the conflict shifted from side to side with bewildering rapidity, till the heroic defense of Cochin by the "Portuguese Achilles," Duarte Pacheco, turned the tide in favor of the invaders. The Zamorin was defeated and part of his city destroyed; "Portuguese vengeance" visited on the hostile Arabs and their native allies; and Mohammedan power in Malabar was crushed. From tradingvoyage to permanent post, from commercial rivalry to holy war, within eight years Portugal became the most feared and hated power in the Indian seas, fair on the way to the monopoly of the carrying trade between the East and West. 1503-
But she soon found that she had overthrown one set of antagonists only to be confronted by far more dangerous foes. Every interest of the Indian world and of powers far outside its boundaries roused to resist the Portuguese peril. The Mohammedan states of northwestern India about Diu; the Arab sultan of Egypt, his revenues diminished and his faith insulted by the invaders; the Turks; even the Venetians were summoned to oppose these daring adventurers. Yet this did not daunt the Portuguese. The Sultan threatened the Papacy with the destruction of the holy places of Palestine, the Sepulchre itself, but the king of Portugal retorted to the Pope's ambassador that none in Europe did their duty on the infidel more manfully than his subjects, and no Mohammedan threat would check the new crusade. And so far from drawing back, the Portuguese extended their plans of conquest. Portugal and the Mohammedan world
To this end Francisco Almeida was despatched to establish permanent bases on the east African coast, and a regular pilotservice thence to India. His second task, the suppression of Arab power in Malabar, had been largely accomplished by his predecessors. The third, to overthrow the Moslem dom- Almeida 1505 ination of the sea, remained. To strengthen his hands, to mark the altered policy and permanent purpose of Portugal, he had been commissioned Viceroy of India; for Portuguese power now aspired to the mastery of the Indian Ocean and the ways thither. To that end a fleet was sent out to remain in permanence, and plans were formed to seize the keys of navigation; Aden to control the Red Sea; Ormuz to command the Persian Gulf; Malacca to secure the Straits and the way to the Spice Islands and farther Asia; and a capital on Malabar.
With these far-reaching plans Almeida was not wholly in accord. It seemed enough to him to hold the sea against the Mohammedan power which from Calicut to Cairo was combining to crush the Portuguese. To lesser men even that task would have seemed insuperable, and only after the most incredible exertions was it accomplished. Almeida's brief viceroyalty was signalized by almost incessant conflict on the sea, the brunt of which was borne by his gallant son Lorenzo, who in three successive years crushed the Zamorin's force, compelled the submission of Ceylon, and met defeat and death in striving to hold off the united fleets of Egypt and the north Indian powers from the relief of Calicut. A twelvemonth after his death the battle of Diu avenged the young hero and gave Portugal command of the sea for a hundred years. In such wise was laid the foundation of her power in the East. Portugal's triumph 1505-
With it was raised the issue of imperial policy and control. Already a colonial office, the Casa da India, had been formed to administer the trade; already the merchants of Florence and Genoa, of Augsburg, Nuremberg, and the Netherlands had begun to share the profits. And in the first year of Almeida's viceroyalty Affonso da Albuquerque and Tristan da Cunha had been despatched as harbingers of a new policy and a new war. Discovering the island which still bears da Cunha's name, they carried fire and sword up the east African coast, seized Socotra, and invaded the Persian Gulf. From Kuria Muria they sailed to the capture of Muscat and thence to the siege of their objective, Ormuz. Their attack Portugal's colonial policy
failed , and on their arrival in India, Almeida, stung by the king's ingratitude, refused to surrender his post, and threw his designated successor, Albuquerque, in prison. Thence he was released by the arrival of another fleet, in the same year that Diego Columbus began his governorship of the West Indies, and entering on his viceroyalty of the East, the new governor began a new chapter in the world's affairs.
Far different from the activities of Spain in the West, Portugal's venture had done much to alter the balance of trade and politics throughout Europe and Asia even before the advent of Albuquerque. Lisbon was already superseding Venice and Genoa and Alexandria as the entrep˘t of eastern commerce; and the trade routes in Europe were changing to meet the new conditions. At first, hampered by lack of capital and mercantile experience, the Portuguese permitted the merchants of other countries to share their enterprise, and foreign firms had quickly established Lisbon agencies, embarked on trading voyages, and financed ventures under royal license. Thus Europe as a whole took no small part in the new exploitation of the Fast. But in politics the reverse was true. The Papal bulls, the closely guarded secrets of navigation, the possession of the harbors from Lisbon to Calicut barred the way to other powers, and only here and there had an occasional daring interloper found his way to India. From these the Portuguese had little to fear, and from the other European states, absorbed in matters nearer home, nothing at all.
Thus undisturbed, she strengthened her power oversea.
In the wake of trader and conqueror poured a stream of other folk, officials, soldiers, sailors, adventurers, with occasional settlers, missionaries, commercial agents, making their way from port to port, till from Lisbon to Calicut there ran a slender thread of Portuguese through the great masses of the native population. Too few to dispute pre-eminence with these, and disinclined, like the first colonists of Spain, to wage a war of conquest or extermination, or aspire to great territorial dominion, the Portuguese contented themselves with conquering ports and setting up mere trading-posts. Recognizing, where need was, native kings, treating, trading, settling, mingling, and marrying among the native races, with little sense of race repugnance or superiority, they founded a curious society, trader and planter, free and slave, white, native, and meti. Under such circumstances they served to spread a much modified European people and civilization along the coast, throwing in their lot with the new-found races to a degree little known as yet even among the Spaniards and scarcely tolerated by the northern Europeans who were presently to take up their task.
Thus by a fortunate coincidence of skill, courage, and accident was the circle of European knowledge and influence widened more in a decade and a half than it had been in the preceding two thousand years of its history, and far beyond even the imagination, much less the achievement, of all preceding generations. Yet it was the work, not, as might well be supposed, of the energies and thought of a whole continent, but of a mere handful of men from two small kingdoms. For with all the promise of the new discoveries, the other European states found themselves less concerned with this than with their local interests in the years which saw the boundaries of Europe thus enlarged.
Even Spain, whose energies were so largely absorbed in the Italian ambitions of Ferdinand, and whose exploits in the western world had been so much less profitable than those of her neighbor in the East, paid correspondingly less attention to the work of her discoverers. In consequence the center of the new impulse lay almost wholly in Portugal, and, at the moment that Charles and Francis took up the burden of their respective sovereignties the long and glorious reign of Emmanuel the Fortunate finished its burst of conquering advance, and his people stood out as the first colonial power of the world. This coveted pre-eminence they owed to the genius and energy of their last and greatest empirebuilder, Affonso da Albuquerque, who crowned the work of da Gama and Almeida by rounding out the Portuguese commercial domination of the farther East.
The great figure who now personified the expanding power of Europe was a type and product of his people and his age. Born in the year that Constantinople fell, of warriorsailor-courtier ancestry, long service in Africa and on the sea among those bred in the school of Prince Henry had filled him with the ambition "to render the great service to Our Lord in casting out the Moslems from the land." From a voyage to Malabar he brought a design destined to alter the direction of the world's affairs. There Arab rivalry had made da Gama's plan of peaceful, unrestricted trade impossible; and to it had succeeded Almeida's efforts to control the sea by fleets and naval base. Building on this, Albuquerque planned to extend Portuguese power from the sea-ways about Africa and ports on the Indian coasts to the sources and channels of the whole of that trade which centered on the Malabar coast. Albuquerque
His strokes were swift and sure. As a center of operations, at once a naval base and a commercial capital, he seized the port of Goa in north Malabar, killed or drove out its Moslem inhabitants, conciliated the Hindus, built a fortress, transferred to it the privileges of the older ports, established magazines of arms and supplies, and set up a central administration. Meanwhile, a squadron made its way to Sumatra, through the Straits to Java, and so to the Spice Islands, whither Albuquerque followed on the conclusion of his operations in Malabar. With aid from Java he attacked Malacca, built a fort there to control the Straits highway to the farther East, and thence despatched a fleet to establish 1512- posts in the Spice Islands as far as Amboyna, in order to control the spice trade at its source.
Thence, having made treaties with the rulers of IndoChina, he turned to avenge a Turkish-Persian attack on his new capital, and struck at the Red Sea. Though beaten off from Aden, he took Ormuz, the key to the Persian Gulf, and its rich trade, and strengthened his hold on India by factories at Calicut and Diu. His wilder dreams of ruining Egypt by diverting the Nile into the Red Sea, and paralyzing the Moslem world by stealing Mohammed's body from its shrine at Medina, were scarcely less amazing than his deeds. In five years he replaced the Arab trading empire with that of Portugal, opened the way to farther Asia, and fastened the hold of Europe on the East. He had done more. Following the Navigator's policy of taking Mohammedanism in the rear, he had helped to divert Turkish attention from European conquest, and so relieved the pressure from that quarter for a time. At his death the Portuguese empire of the East was an accomplished fact, and, completed precisely a hundred years after the fall of Ceuta, his task, conceived and executed in the spirit of Prince Henry, fitly crowned the century of expansion. 1513
His work was carried on by other hands. Within six years Saurez had secured Colombo with a fort to dominate Ceylon; Pereira went to China as envoy; Andrada had explored the Chinese coast, whose trade, with that of farther India, now fell to Portugal; and the vast eastern archipelago, as far as Borneo, was visited by her ships. At the same time the Turks conquered Egypt. Venice and Genoa were thus cut off from their last highway to the East; and Lisbon took their place as the great entrep˘t of Asiatic goods. Turk, Arab, Persian, and Egyptian strength was still to contend for mastery of the sea; the long demarcation line between their power and that of Portugal was to swing back and forth with the uncertain hazards of an endless war; but, till her independence was lost at home, Portugal was to hold her power in the East. His successors 1516
Such was the prize. How was it to be kept? Had Portugal's development at home, or her ability to organize and rule abroad equaled her daring and her enterprise, the edifice thus raised might well have stood, and Golden Goa remained the mistress of the East. Perhaps no state so circumstanced at that time could have revealed superior capacity, but Portugal's development at home scarcely kept pace with her progress abroad. Her government grew highly Peiitralized; Cortes was merged in Council; popular liberties disappeared; and the King's authority, like that of his contemporaries, increased. But futile foreign policy and a false economy weakened the state. Her feudal organization was better fitted to conquer than to exploit the new empire; and her million and a third inhabitants were too few for the great task thus thrust upon them. The effect of Portugal's policy
Moreover, sudden wealth demoralized society. Her nobles found their way to wealth and power by courtly arts that won them the commands abroad which were the perquisite of their class. The influx of slaves compelled the peasantry, unable to compete with forced labor, to leave their holdings. Agriculture correspondingly declined; manufactures tended to disappear; and, save for the fisheries, Portugal, abandoning herself to a single interest, ceased to support herself. Never a nation of varied resource, she had called sailors and shipwrights, merchants of all lands to reinforce her daring and her enterprise. But success narrowed her policy. The Jews were forced to embrace Christianity or follow the Moors into exile; and, as capital increased, foreigners found their privileges cut off. Royal monopoly was extended to a lengthening list of articles, the quantity of imports limited and prices raised. To prevent interlopers, the secrets of the passage were guarded with increasing vigilance. Papal interdicts were reinforced by prohibition of the sale of maps of lands beyond the Congo; and those waters became a mare clausum. In Portugal
Yet, strangely enough, the Portuguese neglected trade with European ports. Flattered, perhaps, by homage to their capital, or seeking easy profits from its port dues, they suffered Germans and Flemings, French, Italians, Jews; In relation To Europe Welsers and Fuggers, Hochstetters, Imhoffs, Marchini, Salvaggi, Carducei, half the great merchants of the continent, to establish branch houses in Lisbon and absorb the distribution of their goods throughout Europe. From these in turn they bought the necessities of life, and this, with the vast expense of their establishment oversea, ate up their profits. Thus, with the unequal distribution of her wealth, and economic decline which reduced her taxable property, Portugal early began to degenerate at home.
Nor was this compensated by development abroad. Her population in the East gave small hope of permanence orincrease, still less of impressing its culture or power upon the natives whom she met. Few women of the better sort went out even while their emigration was allowed, which was not long. The men, encouraged by the government and the church, married among the natives and bred a new race, Eurasian or Eurafrican, lacking the strength of either element; while from too close contact with alien blood at home and in the colonies the national fiber weakened and grew Orientalized. The church, which accompanied the Portuguese advance, scarcely extended its influence beyond the greater ports, and competed ineffectively with the native faiths. In her colonies
Such were the first fruits of Portugal's achievements in the East. Yet, in spite of them, it might have been Emmanuel's fortune to build up a system of colonial administration which would have counteracted these defects in some degree. But the task seemed beyond his strength. The huge Estado da India, created in Almeida's day, was governed by a Viceroy who, from his capital at Goa, ruled some fifteen thousand miles of coast with vast but vague authority. At home the Casa da India, or India House, extended its oversight to all the business with the factories, while the Casa da Mina, or Guinea House, controlled the gold output of Africa. Beyond the Cape were presently established seven governorships, and a system of inspection by royal officers. An Indian army was created, and squadrons stationed at the danger points to guard the trading fleets. Portuguese imperial organization
But the long line of scattered posts could be but slightly supervised at best. The Viceroy fought and administered as best he could; the Casa da India prepared cargoes, divided profits, enlisted soldiers, supervised the fleets; the royal agents looked after the king's interests when and where they could; the supreme court in Goa settled such cases as came before it. But, withal, captains and governors exercised their powers almost without restraint, and from the first a fatal error nullified all efforts at honest government. In their hands administration was combined with oversight of trade, and the temptation to sacrifice the public good for private gain was thus made irresistible. Worse still, the Portuguese did not learn. The commission of the Admiral of the East was made in the same terms as that of Pessanha, centuries before, even to the necessity of employing twenty Genoese subordinates; while Goa's charter, ignoring difference of conditions, was copied from that of Lisbon. Trade and administration
Thus, though Portugal had great sources of strength,--a prestige won by the fighting qualities of her noble adventurers and their followers, superiority in vessels, seamanship, and arms,--from the beginning she revealed sources of weakness as well. Her rulers were not only ignorant of administration and trade; they held to older forms and rigid measures, and never rose to great heights or wider vision of imperial or commercial needs. Equally incapable of imposing her own system on alien peoples, or of devising new methods to suit new conditions, only the absorption of other European states in their own affairs and the courage of her agents abroad enabled Portugal to maintain the power she had won by the daring of her heroes.
And at the very moment when she achieved her greatest success she had a rude awakening from her dream of complete monopoly. It came, as might have been supposed, from Spain. While Portugal had pushed her power to farther Asia, her rival had feverishly sought two objects in America, gold and a western way to Asiatic trade; and, almost simultaneously, at this juncture in affairs, she suddenly achieved them both. Her success was the climax of a decade of strenuous activity. The year that Albuquerque sailed, Spain in the West Indies
Ocampo circumnavigated Cuba and Vincente Pinzon found his way along the eastern coast of South America to the fortieth parallel; while Ponce de Leon, a colonist-companion of Columbus, and first of a new race of conquerors, brought Porto Rico under Spain's control. As the great Portuguese empire-builder began his work, Diego Columbus, son of the Discoverer, went out as Viceroy of the West.
With his coming a new age began in America. The old Columbian monopoly was broken down and on every hand Spain's subjects began to exploit the new world. Coincident with the Portuguese advance to the Straits, Jamaica was occupied; Diego Velasquez conquered Cuba and established a settlement at Havana; Ponce de Leon, seeking, it was said, the fabled fountain of youth, found a peninsula of the western continent, which he called Florida. A short-lived settlement was planted on the Isthmus of Panama; and Vasco Nunez de Balboa, having founded the first permanent mainland colony at Darien, led a force across the Isthmus to look out for the first time upon the waters of a peaceful western sea, which he christened the Pacific. This he claimed for Spain, while two of his more daring followers seized a native boat and, first of all Europeans, pushed out upon its waters. Upon the news of this discovery, the Spanish king despatched his captain de Solis to find a way around America into its waters, and thus anticipate, if possible, the Portuguese discovery of the Isles of Spice. But Portugal, who likewise sent an expedition on the same track, had meanwhile won the race from the other end. Before de Solis sailed, her ships had loaded at Barida and Amboyna in the heart of the Moluccan archipelago; and, in the year that Albuquerque died, the Spanish leader fell by native hands on the great estuary which he named La Plata; his men turned back, defeated in their enterprise; and Portugal retained her hardwon domination of the East. 1512
Spain's opportunity, despite her great activities, seemed lost, She had been in the new world a quarter of a century; her subjects had explored and conquered widely, spending their lives and fortunes freely in their quests; but thus far The results she had failed of sudden wealth like that of Portugal. She had won the West Indian archipelago and some thousand miles of tropical coast; laid some rude peoples under tribute, or set them to work; found some store of gold and pearls; built up a slender trade; sent out some colonists; and laid foundations for a sure if slow prosperity from the products of the soil, like and not so great as that in the Portuguese island-colonies. Of native races she had met only the mild and peaceful Aruacs, from whom she wrested tribute and forced labor; and the fiercer Caribs, from whom she got scarcely more than hard blows, a new name, Caribbean, for the Antillean sea, and the word cannibal. But both Aruacs and Caribs were savages of low type, mere hunters and fishermen; neither of them offered prospects of profit beyond what had been or was being obtained from them, and that was far from considerable. As yet no land of gold; no spices, silks, nor gems; no rich nations fit for conquest or for trade; no sea-way to the East rewarded her adventurers in the western hemisphere.
Yet at the end of her costly enterprise Spain found a great success. From native chiefs the founder of Darien learned of lands "flowing with gold," sufficient to satisfy even the "ravenous appetites" of his rapacious followers. These, as the event was to prove, lay to the south; but long before they were attained, adventurers had begun the exploitation of the coast lands to the north. Within three years Cordova found the peninsula of Yucatan, the home of the highly civilized Maya tribes; and Juan de Grijalva, coasting northward thence, got news of a great mainland empire of fabulous wealth. This information, with some store of gold, he sent back to Cuba; and with the exploration of the Gulf coast from Florida to where Grijalva had left off, the problem of gold and a sea-way to the East took on more definite form, as the Spanish-Americans prepared for continental conquest. The rumors of the Aztecs
The first to move was Cuba's governor, Velasquez. Fired by Grijalva's gold and information, he hastened to equip a force to seek the mainland empire. Ten ships, some six hundred foot, a score of horses, with artillery and supplies, Hernando Cortez 1519 were intrusted to the command of the alcalde of Santiago, Hernando Cortez. In one view the choice was fortunate. A soldier's son, born in Estremadura, "the cradle of conquerors," brave, adventurous, poor, able, and ambitious even beyond his kind, the new commander, after long service under Ovando and Velasquez, had thus far been denied an independent command and the great opportunity of which he dreamed. He was neither slow nor scrupulous in availing himself of it, now it had come. Sailing at once to evade recall, recruiting his forces and supplies as he went, he found his way to Tabasco, thence to Vera Cruz. There he was elected governor and captain-general by his followers; sent back word to Charles V of his adventure and his new dignities; and thus severing the last tie which bound him to his patron, the Cuban governor, he prepared his great exploit. Meanwhile, the ruler of the inland empire, Montezuma, sent him presents and a command to leave the country. But the sight of gold only confirmed the invaders' resolution "to go to see what this great Montezuma might be like, and to make an honest living and our fortunes." Cortez burned his ships to commit his men irrevocably to the adventure, and advanced toward the interior with some four hundred Spaniards and his native allies.
Of it and its inhabitants he had meanwhile learned much. Centuries earlier a fierce northern tribe, the Aztecs, had fallen on the cultured Toltec race, which held the central Mexican plateau, subdued them and their neighbors, absorbed the civilization which they found, grafted on it their dark and bloody religious observances, and became the rulers of the greater part of what came to be known as Mexico. Save for the use of iron, gunpowder, and domestic animals, especially the horse, and for the ferocious superstitions of their religion, they seemed scarcely inferior to the Europeans with whom they were now to be brought in contact. They built in stone, wove cotton cloth, mined and worked the precious metals, dug canals, and were pre-eminent in agriculture. Nor were their intellectual acquirements inconsiderable, for they reckoned time, used hieroglyphic writing, and were no mean The Aztecs astronomers and mathematicians. In their own land of Anahuac, the heart of Mexico, they were a ruling warrior caste; elsewhere they exercised a rigid suzerainty, whose severity was emphasized by an enforced tribute of victims for hu an sacrifice from the subject tribes.
To conquer such a race with four hundred men would have been preposterous, nor was it Cortez' design. His policy was to divide and rule, to conquer the Aztecs by the aid of their enemies and the subject tribes. With the allies he had already made he overthrew the warlike Tlascalans, whose lands, which lay on his march to Montezuma's capital, had remained independent of the Aztec rule. Enlisting them against their ancient enemies, he finally advanced on Anahuac itself. Mountains and desert offered as little obstacle to the Spanish adventurers as native hostility. Though no European eyes had ever looked on such tremendous scenes as those through which Cortez' force now passed, the natural wonders they encountered, amazing as they were, astonished them scarcely as much as the first sight of the Aztec capital, the island city of Tenochtitlan, "like the enchantments they tell of in the legend of Amadis--great towers and buildings rising from the water--and some of our soldiers even asked whether the things that we saw were not a dream." Thus defended, approachable only by long causeways, impregnable to his little force, the capture of this great city seemed hopeless enough. The Conquest of Mexico 1519
But what he would have been unable to accomplish, fortune did for him. The superstitious Emperor was alarmed by intestine feuds, by prophecies which foretold the downfall of his race, by likeness of these "Children of the Sun" to a divinity who, according to tradition, had come from the East, centuries before, taught the arts of peace and departed, promising to return. He admitted the invaders to his capital. Once within the city, Cortez fortified the palace assigned to him; secured the Emperor's submission to the king of Spain; and finally, by a daring stroke, seized Montezuma and exacted a huge ransom as the price of his safety.
From this success he was summoned to confront a force sent by Velasquez to supersede him. That force Cortez 1520 bribed to betray its leader, and, thus reinforced, he returned to Mexico to find the natives aroused against the Spaniards by the cruelty of his lieutenant, Alvarado, and the Emperor deprived of his authority. The invaders, compelled to fight their way out of the city, took refuge with their allies, the Tlascalans, and in the following year again advanced. The subject tribes were summoned to Cortez' aid; the city was invested; and for three months the Aztecs, under a new leader, Guatomozin, defended themselves with the fury of despair. They were defeated, and the Aztec nobility was all but annihilated. The city was destroyed and upon its ruins another capital was begun. The tribes which aided the invaders found that they had only exchanged new and more powerful master for the old. The land and its inhabitants were parceled out among Cortez' chief followers, its treasures were distributed among the conquerors, save for the royal fifth. The native temples were broken down or turned to Christian usages, the missionaries began to preach the new faith; and the conquerors, entering on their inheritance in this great realm now added to the Spanish crown, laid the foundations of a new society. 1521
Great as was this achievement, it was not alone in its glory. While Cortez and his followers were winning this rich land, another and a smaller Spanish force had been engaged in an exploit no less important but productive of far less reward. This was the conquest of the western sea. Six weeks before the Spaniards saw the Aztec capital for the first time, five ships had sailed from San Lucar in Spain under command of a Portuguese adventurer, FernÔo Magelhaes, or Magellan, sometime a captain under Albuquerque, who, six years earlier, had sailed with d'Abreu from Malacca to the Isles of Spice. He conceived the idea that the Moluccas were not within Spain's demarcation line, and that they could be reached by sailing west, but he had failed to interest Emmanuel and so entered the service under Charles of Spain. FernŃa Magellan
Sept. 20 1519
Given command of this little fleet, he took de Solis' course to the la Plata, whence, following the eastern coast of South America beyond the farthest point then known, he wintered in Patagonia. His men mutinied, one of his captains deserted him. But, undaunted by his losses and the dangers of an unknown sea, a year from his departure, while Cortez was advancing for a second time upon the Aztec capital, Magellan reached the strait which still bears his name at the extremity of the continent. Escaping its perils almost by miracle, after six weeks he cleared the dangerous passage, turned "the desired cape, 'Deseado,'" and sailed out on the Pacific.
For a time he followed the coast northward, then struck out boldly into the open sea. Week after week he doggedly went on. The water spoiled, the fleet's supplies gave out. Men lived on leather, rats, the sweepings of the ships, meal full of maggots, or, more often, died. For a hundred days they plowed across this vast, unknown, apparently illimitable, expanse, haunted by the fear that they would sail over the world's edge into space, and at last made land at the Ladrones or Isles of Robbers. Even so the great eaptain was not to see the end of his exploit; for in another group, later named, from the Spanish heir, the Philippines, he fell by native hands. But his work was done. He had invaded Portuguese monopoly from the rear and given Spain a foothold upon Asiatic soil. Far more than this, he had revealed the mystery of the Pacific. His surviving followers found their way to Borneo and Tidore. One of their two remaining ships, the Trinidad, attempted to return to Panama, but put back to the Moluccas, where it was captured by the Portuguese; while the last vessel of the fleet was voyaging, by Portugal's well-known way about Africa, to Spain. Three years from their departure this ship, wellnamed the Victoria, with eighteen Europeans and four Asiatic sailors, under Sebastian del Cano, sailed into San Lucar, after the greatest feat of seamanship the world had ever seen. Thirty years before, Columbus found the transatlantic passage. Now the great age of maritime discovery was crowned by the circumnavigation of the earth which revealed its size and its sphericity. With it, for the first time, mankind conceived the world which it inhabited. Portugal and Spain, "the one of them departing toward the Orient and the other toward the Occident," had now "met again in the course or way of the middest of the day" and " compassed the world," between them. It remained apparently only for them to exploit what they found. 1521
With these two great adventures, Spain found herself again on an equality with her rival in the colonial field; and, like Effect of Spanish conquest
Portugal a decade before, was confronted by the problem of organizing and administering the empire which was being won and settled by her adventurers. Scarcely less than the progress of territorial conquest, the development of society in her possessions had demanded the attention of the home government. The slight stores of native gold in her island possessions had been soon exhausted by the plundering conquerors. The product of stream washing and rude mines proved inconsiderable; and the growth of planting had imposed fresh burdens on the unfortunate Aruacs, which they soon proved unable to sustain. Added to war and wanton cruelty, the unaccustomed and exacting labor which their masters required of them was scarcely less fatal than the Spanish arms, and, despite the efforts of the administration, they died by thousands. The natives
In order to prevent their complete extermination, accordingly, the government devised a plan which, with some modifications, became the basis of Spanish economic power in the new world. With the design of protecting the natives and raising them at least from slavery to a species of serfdom, those within the bounds of Spanish occupation were placed in charge of leading colonists, by groups or villages proportioned to their holdings, and these, so-called encomenderos were held responsible for the well-being, faith, and safety of their charges. Such was the system known as that of repartimientos or encomiendas. This, in some form, spread through the Spanish-American colonies, and became at once the pattern for the later development of their resources and the chief contribution of Spain to the solution of the problem of tropical exploitation. The repartimiento system 1512-
Opposed by impartial and enlightened men like the great missionary, Las Casas, this design was welcomed by the colonists, and even approved by the Franciscan commissioners sent out to investigate its workings. But however defensible in theory, and however admirable when properly administered with due consideration for the natives, too often it accelerated the destruction it professed to check, since it served only to confirm and legalize a bondage from which there was no Slavery escape but death. With this came another development. As the demand for laborers continued to increase, and the native supply continued to decline, the Spanish planters, like the Portuguese, turned to Africa for negro slaves, better fitted to endure the hard labor in the tropics which had proved insupportable to European and Indian alike. An increasing number of these new immigrants was soon introduced into the West Indies from the Guinea coast. And, though at first forbidden by the crown, the slave trade, supported by powerful interests and even the eloquence of good men like Las Casas, who hoped to save the Indians by its means, finally received the royal sanction and became a part of the colonial life. With this the ultimate success of planting and cattleraising was assured, and a society was formed upon the basis thus laid down. Planter and native, negro and half-breed, poured into Spain an increasing stream of its produce, dyestuffs and wood, fruits, drugs, tobacco, cotton, hides and cattle products, and, above all, sugar, which, introduced into the colony within a generation after the discovery, became the first great staple of the West Indian colonies. Thus though progress was checked by the continual drain upon the population for mainland exploits, the island settlements began a course of slow but sure advance. 1508
With the development of planting and the influx of labor came administrative changes. Two years before Diego Columbus had taken his place as governor, the Espaiiola towns had been granted their petition for municipal privileges; and within a year of his arrival a court had been established, independent of the executive authority, to hear appeals from his justices. Thus began that characteristic institution of Spanish colonial administration, the audiencia, at once a governor's council and a supreme court, empowered to present memorials to the home government and so act as an effective check on executive authority. Almost at the same time the colonial director, Fonseca, and the king's secretary, with other members of the Council of Castile, had been named a committee for American affairs. From this had been developed, as early as the first year of Columbus' Organization of SpanishAmerica 1508 governorship, a Council of the Indies, and, after the accession of Charles to the throne, this became a permanent body, which grew into the controlling authority, under the king, for justice and administration oversea. Meanwhile conquest and exploration spread, as the Antilles, Darien, Florida, and Mexico, with later additions, were brought under Spanish power. And though the governor of Espaiiola remained, under the home government, the nominal ruler of the Spanish-American colonies, new governors were appointed for each fresh acquisition, with slight relation to the authority of the original colony. Under such auspices, administration and society were extended with the progress of the Spanish arms. Spanish civilization, modified by slavery and the conditions of a new world, made its way gradually throughout the territories Eround the Gulf of Mexico at the same time that Magellan's exploit enabled Spain to invade the regions in which Albuquerque had just completed the edifice of Portuguese colonial supremacy. c. 1524
Thus simultaneously and by not dissimilar means, America and Asia were opened to European enterprise; and there began that interaction among them from which was to grow a great part of the world's history. While the continent itself was rent with the rivalries of new princes and newly organized states, there were laid the foundations of dominion oversea which was to make a European world. This, rather than the Italian wars, remains the event of lasting importance in the political activities of the first quarter of the sixteenth century. For the future belonged not to the captains and kings who filled the public eye and were to monopolize the pages of history. While explorers and conquerors determined the paths which Europe was to take abroad, the scholars and men of letters were altering the whole basis of life and thought at home; and they, with their fellowadventurers, remained the real directors of European destinies.
CHAPTER VII - THE RENAISSANCE AND THE REFORMATION.
AT the moment that the little Spanish town of Palos rang with the preparations for that voyage which was to bring a new world into European view, and the envoys of Milan were seeking to persuade the French king, Charles VIII, to intervene in the affairs of the Italian peninsula, the greatest princely figure of the Renaissance, Lorenzo the Magnificent, lay on his death-bed. Before the news of the discovery reached Florence, or the emissaries of Ludovico Sforza had received assurances of French support, the noblest patron of the New Learning had gone. Had the movement which unfolded the past to European minds been of like nature with those political activities which drew his city into the maelstrom of French and Spanish rivalry, it might well have been that his death would have checked the splendid burst of scholarly and artistic genius evoked in the preceding generation and its budding splendor would have failed to achieve its full fruition. But such movements as the Renaissance depend little upon the individual, however great; and less upon the ambitions of a prince, however powerful; least of all upon the vicissitudes of politics. For, even while Italy became the battle-ground of Europe, her genius made her the artistic and intellectual capital of the continent. 1492
For the first quarter of the sixteenth century, though filled with great actions by land and sea, the rivalries of princes and the adventures of nations and individuals, was far from being wholly dominated by even the most insistent demands of war and politics. Deeply influenced as they were by these activities, the mind and heart of Europe were still more profoundly stirred by the concurrent developments in far dif- ferent fields. Art and letters, science, above all theology. assumed a fresh importance in the life of man. New lines of achievement, new fields of opportunity were opened on every hand; and while the creative genius of the European race rose to still greater heights of excellence, there was evolved a new school of religious faith and practice in opposition to the old establishment.
This expansion of man's intellect and capabilities was nowhere more evident than in the realm of art; and nowhere were its achievements more remarkable than in Italy. At the same time that the Iberian powers revealed an amazing burst of conquests and discovery, the Italian peninsula revealed a no less amazing development in art and letters. And it is not the least remarkable of the coincidences in this extraordinary period that concurrently with the deeds of Columbus and Vasco da Gama, Albuquerque, and Cortez, painters like Raphael and Leonardo da Vinci, and writers like Machiavelli and Ariosto, should have appeared to enlarge Europe's literary and artistic empire while her political boundaries were extended oversea. Italian art
This was a natural result of those same forces which had operated to produce the humanist renaissance and to lay the foundations for rebirth of art. As the centers of intellectual effort in the peninsula, and, more slowly, in Europe generally, felt the scholarly and literary impulse which emanated from Florence under the golden age of the Medici, so these same Italian cities had become the fountainheads of a new art. "The oil of commerce fed the lamp of culture," and it was a culture which took on the form of beauty. There the Florentine, Leonardo da Vinci, architect, engineer, scientist, and artist, in Milan, in Florence, in Rome, in France, had pursued his varied callings, and crowned the achievements of his versatile genius with the masterpiece of fresco, the Last Supper. 1452-1519
What Leonardo's influence was to the Lombard cities that of Giorgione's pupil, Titian, was to Venice, whose beauty and opulence flamed from his glowing canvas in a splendor of color till now unrivaled in pictorial art. 1477-1576
Meanwhile, the genius of the master of the Italian school, Raphael Sanzio, "the Divine," of Urbino, crowned the achievements of the period. In his work the deep sense of the older religious inspiration was blended with the technical skill developed by two generations of unparalleled progress in portraiture; and in his Madonnas and Holy Families, the zenith of achievement in that field was reached. Finally, the Titanic talents of the Capresian, Michelangelo, trained in the school of Lorenzo the Magnificent, infused into painting, sculpture, and architecture alike that greatness of conception, that combined strength and delicacy of execution. which, whether in the colossal frescoes of the Sistine Chapel, or in the superb design for the projected church of St. Peter, or in the compelling vigor and fidelity of his statuary, set new standards in each field. Of these Leonardo, Titian and Michelangelo, by virtue of long life, carried on into another generation the tradition of greatness, and no less by their lives than by their works established the artistic revival on an enduring foundation. 1483-1520
To their achievements in form and beauty must be added another element, that of majesty. If the earlier painters of the Renaissance had tended toward delicacy, and those of the middle period toward a subtle sensuality, if the age of Savonarola found its ideal in humility, that of the oncoming generation tended toward a pride of bearing, a dignity, a courage which reflected the altering attitude of this world toward the next. Men were becoming conscious of their powers and opportunities, and painting was quick to catch the altered tone of life.
Thus in the decades which saw French and Spanish power waste themselves in their futile rivalry, and Spain and Portugal win new worlds for European energies to exploit, Italy made secure the edifice of her artistic supremacy and established once for all the canons of taste and craftsmanship. Not since the days of Pericles had Europe seen such a galaxy of artistic genius as Italy brought forth at the beginning of the sixteenth century. Not during her whole history had Europe seen such an advance in painting as in this genera-
The Papacy and the Renaissance
tion. To Lorenzo's patronage succeeded that of the warlike Julius II, and to his encouragement that of Leo X, as with its last great effort to establish temporal power the Papacy became the center of Italian culture. Whatever its shortcomings on the spiritual side, as it enlisted artists and architects to embody and adorn its greatness in stone and fresco, and clothed its spiritual leadership with the splendor of creative art, it served greater ends than mere improvement in technique and decoration. It helped to develop the soul of art which underlay all these material manifestations, and so aided in the emancipation from the formalism of the past. 1503 1513
For it was not merely Titian's color and Michelangelo's application of anatomy to painting and sculpture, nor Raphael's mastery of technique, which accomplished these new miracles. Behind the advance in drawing and design, the development of perspective and chiaroscuro, lay a spiritual force. If the scholars hod brought Europe in touch with the past, and the adventurers had brought her in contact with the world outside, the artists brought her in touch with nature, and that service, reinforced as time went on by the scientists, was to prove no less important to her future development than even the greatest results of her more material activities. Nor was the sense of achievement, which is the most powerful incentive to further effort, less in the realm of art than in those other fields. From it proceeded new confidence and new strength, and that impulse to new adventure which was to win fresh triumphs with the advancing years. As full, rounded landscape took the place of the rude, jagged sketches which the preceding century had largely used as a background for its figures, it symbolized an altered attitude toward life. The flowing lines, the more fleshly figures, the spaciousness of conception, like the attention to details of dress and furnishing, revealed that man had come to look on his environment with pleasure rather than distaste. For good or ill the world was becoming more worldly. And as comfort and luxury were no longer reckoned sinful this world lost something of its terrors, the next something of its joys. The spirit of Renaissance art
Italy was not unique in this achievement nor was it distinguished merely for its painting and sculpture. In poetry, the genius of Ariosto revived, expanded, and adorned an earlier poem into his romantic epic of Orlando Purioso, the beauty of whose verse, no less than the skill of its construction and the vivacity of its imaginative qualities, set it among the masterpieces of the world. What Ariosto was to Italian poetry, the Florentine secretary, Nicolo Machiavelli, was to statecraft and literature alike. From long experience in politics and letters, he drew a history of Florence which established a new form of historiography. Far more enduring and more pervasive in its influence, he formulated in his great masterpiece, The Prince, those maxims for the management of men and bodies politic whose subtlety and skill made their way deep into the minds of men of affairs. Divorcing morality from method, it became the model for that school which, from this day to ours, found in the accomplishment of its ends a full excuse for exercise of all the means which lead to power. With these as the chief exponents of a wider school, Italy retained in literature, as in art, the primacy of the continent. Humanism had produced no philosophy of its own, but in Machiavelli's work was summed up not merely the cynicism to which it gave rise, but a political philosophy, drawn from the phenomena of absolutism about him, and at once a portent and a manual of the greater absolutism which was to come. Italian literature
Yet far beyond the Alps, partly inspired by Italian influence, but more largely drawing from its inner consciousness, still other schools made way during this period. The father of German painting, "prince of artists," Albrecht Diirer, sometime court painter to the Emperors Maximilian and Charles V, trained in his birthplace, Nuremberg, and in Italy, drew from each source those qualities of exactness and breadth which, joined to his natural quaintness of conception, made him the "Chaucer of painting." Beside his work with the brush, he added another element to the growing appeal of art; for he became the founder of a school of woodengraving which, in his hands, was developed from rude German art
caricature to the rank of a fine art. With it he, like his contemporaries, of whom the elder Holbein was chief, made that appeal from princes to people which was the characteristic of the modern world, bringing the masses into closer touch with this field of human endeavor through the medium of the printing-press.
While the genius of Italy led the way toward that emancipation of the intellect which was the chief product of the New Learning of the Renaissance, northern men of letters, like northern artists, had begun to strike out ways for themselves and to infuse the scholarship of the continent with a spirit less conservative than that of Italy, clinging to the past, yet looking more and more toward the future. The painters of the Teutonic world, following Dilrer and Holbein, tended continually to the delineation, not so much of saints and angels as of the characters and scenes about them; and their genius seemed more closely in touch with the living world than with the realm of faith or fancy. As scholarship spread northward it revealed the same characteristic. Though the older forms remained in art and letters and intellect, their power waned before the new spirit, till they became rather the relies of a fast-fading past, than the expressions of a living present. The New Learning in northern Europe
Throughout the fifteenth century the great outstanding fact in the intellectual development of Europe beyond the Alps had been the foundation of universities. There, especially in Germany, those centers of learning and education had increased enormously in number and importance. Louvain, St. Andrews, Upsala, Leipzig, Freiburg, TŘbingen, Basel, Wittenberg, with many others, less famous or longlived, thus took their place in lengthening the roll of such institutions, while in England, Oxford and Cambridge saw corresponding increase in the number of their colleges. With this came an access of scholarly pursuits. At first, like the schools of France and Italy, whence they sprung, the new race of teachers adhered to the strictest rules of the past. Dialectic reigned supreme, Aristotle retained his dominion over their intellectual processes. But this was not for long. The new universities
Like their prototype and prophet of this new order, the German scholar-poet Agricola, they felt the new forces then making way in European thought. His work on dialectic, which led the way in this tendency, evidenced a general reaction against the older scholasticism in favor of the oncoming intellectual processes which sought a sounder basis for their conclusions than mere tradition or authority.
Agricola was but one of many. In his own land were found men like Reuchlin, whose talents were devoted not merely to Greek and Latin but to Hebrew, now, with the impetus given by Pico della Mirandola, beginning to make way in European scholarship and even into theology. Still more was the cause of the new learning furthered by the English or Oxford school of humanists. These--Colet, Lily, Latimer, Grocyn, and the English chancellor, More--carried the labors of the Florentines one step farther. They were not content with the study and editing of classical texts. They wished to make them a part of general education, and in their hands began a movement to alter the fundamentals of instruction. Thus, reinforced in many other quarters, arose that system of mental training based on the classics and mathematics, which slowly but surely superseded the mediŠval school system. 1455-1522
One of them, at least, went farther still Not content with aiding the cause of the new learning, Sir Thomas More, the chancellor, moved by the spirit of sympathy with the unfortunate lot of the lower classes, and by the general discontent with social conditions which marked the early years of the sixteenth century, gave to the world the first sketch of an ideal commonwealth which Europe had seen since the days of Plato. His Utopia was not merely a remarkable literary achievement, it was a sign of the times. For in its pages were voiced the dreams and the aspirations of a multitude of men who saw the old order disintegrating about them, and who sought a new basis of society no less than a new basis of knowledge in reason rather than inherited authority. More 1478-1535
Greatest of all this northern school was the Dutchman, Desiderius Erasmus. Bred to the church, trained in theology and the so-called "humane sciences," he brought to the humanistic movement a scholarship unrivaled in his day, wide knowledge of the world, a keen and critical intellect, and, above all, a literary style which made him a leader in this movement. His connection with the Venetian publisher, Aldus, and the Swiss publisher, Frobenius, placed him in touch with the great exponents of scholarship and letters. His edition of the Greek New Testament revealed learning and acumen which put him in the first rank of European scholars. His Praise of Folly, and still more his Colloquia, went farther still along the lines laid down by More in looking toward a church reform inspired neither by pagan philosophy nor Papal predominance. For, not content with satirizing society as it was then constituted, he ventured to attack the ecclesiastical establishment, especially on its weakest side, monasticism. To England he brought a new impetus of classical scholarship by his lectures at Oxford and his relations with the English humanists. To the continent he brought that note of antagonism to the entrenched authority of Rome which was to bear such bitter fruit.
In this he was the herald of a new age. For his careful and conservative skepticism not only inspired such men as Reuchlin and the young Melanchthon to voice more openly the prevalent discontent with Rome, but infused the Teutonic world with a classicism touched by religious and social sentiments, and concerned with every-day affairs. Like the English school, with which they were so closely connected, Erasmus and his followers ventured to apply scholarship to Scripture and at least some modicum of reason to theology, and to inform the spirit of the time with learning, commonsense, and a fresh ally, humor. From the spirit thus evoked there came in no long time a new movement of scarcely less consequence to the social than to the ecclesiastical system.
That movement was meanwhile active in other quarters and in very different hands. The Frenchman, Rabelais, destined, like Erasmus, for the church, but soon rebelling against his fate, evolved his extravagant masterpiece of Gargantua and Pantagruel. This gigantic satire on the old Rabelais 1490-1553 system of thought and education at once condemned the intellectual and educational models of the church and extolled the ideals of the apostles of the new learning, mingling its wisdom with a humor too coarse for modern taste, but peculiarly fitted to combat the outworn ideals of the ecclesiastical system which it attacked. Such were the leaders of that movement, which, expanding the labors of the Florentine humanists, brought the new learning another stage in its progress, and formed the connecting link between the Renaissance and the reforming movement in the church.
In their hands the rapidly approaching trial of strength between the champions of the old order and the new was carried on to another generation from that which saw the discovery of the transatlantic passage and the way to India. And it is not, perhaps, surprising, amid such abundant fruits of the literary and scholarly renaissance, that the last quarter of the fifteenth and the first quarter of the sixteenth century were occupied rather with the letters and thought than with the science of the classical world. For they were concerned with those things which pressed most closely on their daily life, the affairs of a church sorely in need of reform and of societies busied in establishing themselves into states on new foundations of national and international relationships.
Amid this conflict of ideas and ideals, three other movements typified the changes then coming about in European life and thought. The first was the emergence of historical scholarship, the second the revolution in taste which injected classical conceptions into a society long accustomed to Gothic models, the third was the extraordinary progress of the art of printing. They were, perhaps, co-ordinate phenomena. It was no mere casual concurrence of unrelated circumstances that in the same year of the preceding century in which the Portuguese were finding their way about Cape Bojador fair on the way to India, the Italian scholar, Valla, not only demonstrated the falsity of the so-called Donation of Constantine, but detected flaws in Livy and even in the Vulgate itself. From that spring flowed a stream of destructive historical criticism which, by the beginning of the sixteenth Other influences --history
century, had powerfully aided not only the humanists but the reformers.
To its development the investigations of the Roman, Biondo, in the Papal archives contributed. To this the labors of the Florentine historians, Varchi, Guieciardini, and, above all, Machiavelli, joined to produce a new school of history. Of these the last was the greatest. In his Discourse on the Language of Dante, Petrarch, and Boccaccio, in his books on Livy, and, still more in his History of Florence, he typified that method of critical investigation which was rapidly superseding the blind processes of "harmonizing" rather than comparing historical material, by discarding what seemed to be untrue and so raising history from legend to at least an approximation to truth. To these he added his great contribution to political thought, on which his chief fame rests, The Prince; and, whether it be reckoned merely a description of the motives which ruled men in the age of the tyrants, or as a satire, or as a manual of the theory and practice of despotism, it remains not merely a masterpiece of the maxims of that school of statecraft, but an example of a new school of thought which for the first time in modern history looked its phenomena in the face and set them down as they were. 1500
The great and obvious debt which historical writing owed to the revival of the learning of the ancient world was shared by architecture, though to modern eyes the gain was hardly compensated by the loss. The change in fashion, at once irrational and inevitable, which arises from the innate human desire for a new experience, had, during the latter part of the fifteenth century, greatly altered the character of the Gothic school of building that had slowly evolved through various forms during the middle ages. As is so frequently the case, its very triumph brought with it the seeds of its decadence, which had revealed itself in weakening of design and excess of ornamentation. The Renaissance, among its many results, turned men's tastes away from the forms toward which the later Gothic tended. Classical models, which had profoundly affected sculpture, to its huge betterment, found their way into the buildings which the sculptures Architecture adorned. The development of painting tended toward the same end, for that art needed what the Gothic lacked, clear wall space to display its frescoes. From such elements proceeded the alteration which now began to exhibit itself in the buildings of the continent. Thus while in France Gothic architecture continued in the so-called Flamboyant style, whose name describes its character; while in England the later or Tudor Gothic persisted in scarcely dimmed beauty of form and spirit; in Italy by the beginning of the sixteenth century a change began which slowly but surely made its way throughout the continent during the next two hundred years and more. It was the evolution of the neo-classic style which, in the hands of Italian architects, began to imitate the models of the ancient world, and to replace the Renaissance types as they had replaced the pure Gothic. Column and flat wall space, dome and rounded arch again took their place in European building. On these artists and sculptors lavished their art, and so gave another expression to that classical influence which had commenced to invade education, and which had already begun to drive scholasticism from the field of intellect.
The rapid spread of these influences might, however, have proved impossible had it not been for the third great force then making way in Europe's affairs--the printing-press. During the preceding generation this great invention had been the wonder of the continent; and the last quarter of the fifteenth century, in particular, had seen the spread of printers to every part of Europe. By the beginning of the sixteenth century the Netherlands had a score of presses, France twice that number, and Italy four times as many. In the same years that Columbus came to Portugal seeking his fortune, the English printer, William Caxton, brought from his apprenticeship on the continent the first press to his native country. His earliest ventures abroad had been a French romance on the history of Troy and a book on chess, His earliest volume in England was a translation of the Sayings of the Philosophers. And, in a peculiar sense, these typified the interest finding expression in print through Printing
northern Europe beside the Bible and the classics: for they made the new art not merely the vehicle of purely intellectual achievements, but brought it into touch with every department of life.
In printing generally, in publication and editing, as in the scholarship which gave it impetus, Italy took the lead. The art brought thither by German craftsmen, and first practised by them, was, almost at once, adopted and improved by Italian taste. There, in some measure, it experienced the fate of architecture. To the Gothic forms of type, or black letter, which the northerners had invented and used at first almost if not quite exclusively, was soon added the lighter and more legible Roman type, adapted from the so-called minuscule letters of the ninth century Carolingian manuscripts. To the great Venetian printer, Aldus Manutius, in the first years of the sixteenth century, is usually attributed the development of so-called italics, and the Greek font, which from that day to this have been familiar to typography. 1450-1515
This progress was not confined to Italy. Before the first quarter of the century had passed, there was not a considerable city in Europe without a press, and northern printers rivaled those of the south in contributing to scholarship by their editorial activities, and to typography by their technical taste and skill. From their hands flowed a steady stream of classical texts, and, scarcely less, of more modern literary and scientific writings. And when the growing controversy between the church and its antagonists came to a head, it found ready to its hand the means by which both sides could appeal to a wider audience than would have been possible a century earlier. This redounded rather to the advantage of the protesting element, but its immediate effect upon the art of printing was very great. Among the reasons for the success of the reforming movement which accompanied the advance in letters and learning must be reckoned not the least the craft which owed its original largely to Luther's fellowcountrymen; while among the reasons for the extraordinary increase of printing during the sixteenth century, the theological controversies hold a high place.
Thus the half-century which saw the discovery of the seaways east and west, the emergence of national kingships, and the beginnings of revolt against the church, marked a great epoch in the artistic and intellectual, even in the technical advance of Europe. In one view no movements could have well seemed more diverse than those which brought into existence the masterpieces of Italian and northern art and letters, new fonts of type, and new schools of architecture, historical scholarship, and education. Yet at bottom no circumstance of the period was more characteristic than the simultaneous appearance of these widely differing phenomena. For there was not one of them which did not owe its origin in some measure to the Renaissance, and which did not connect itself directly or indirectly with that growing tendency toward emancipation from the traditions of the past, that reliance on self rather than tradition, which was the characteristic of the oncoming modern world.
How powerful these influences were to be, the generation then taking its place upon the stage was soon to show. While rulers and statesmen wove their plans for greater power or wider dominion; their people, however involved in the immediate concerns of politics, found in this field of spirit and intellect, of arts and crafts, a firmer basis for a new fabric of culture and society than the ambitions of their kings and captains could conceive. And even while the ensuing drama of war and politics unfolded its successive acts, the studies and workshops of the European world prepared a more enduring triumph for the race than all the glories of diplomacy or war were able to achieve. From the work of the Renaissance there sprang not merely greater knowledge and skill in arts and letters, but that long and complex movement, social, religious, and political, which we know, inadequately enough, as the Reformation. From it and its results, in turn, joined to the progress of letters, art, and science, there was evolved a new society. The Renaissance and the ReformaTion
That movement had already begun. At the very moment when the young Flemish prince Charles made his first progress in Spain, on the way to his coronation, and Francis I was 1517
reaping the rewards of his first attack on Italy there began in Germany a revolt against Papal authority, which, reinforced from many directions, seriously threatened, for the first time, a permanent division of the western church. And the years which saw the recrudescence of the Franco-Hapsburg rivalry in Italy, the extension of European power in the east and west, and the culmination of the renaissance of art, became no less memorable for a final, and, as it was to prove, a successful effort to throw off the domination of the Papacy from a great part of Europe.
The Reformation was compounded of many elements. Throughout its history the Roman hierarchy had been compelled to contend with those classes and individuals who, from time to time, resented the dictation of their faith, or found themselves opposed to the abuses which inevitably creep into any establishment. In no small degree these were connected with that social discontent which is the product of too great inequality of condition between the rich and poor, and by that passion for moral betterment which found material for its denunciation in the laxness of many members of the church. To these, with the advance of the new learning, and the injection of classical thought into the European mind, was added an element of disbelief in the dogmas of Roman Catholicism, a spirit of inquiry, and, in extreme instances, of downright paganism, among looser or more advanced thinkers. Especially was this true of the leaders of Italian liberal culture, and from its influence some of the higher clergy themselves were not wholly free. Mingled with this was a vaguer but no less powerful feeling that the wealth and pomp of the establishment were scarcely in accordance with the poverty and simplicity of the early church and its founder. That spirit had operated to found the so-called mendicant orders; it had been the basis of popular sentiment against the higher clergy in particular; and at all times it had been a powerful factor in the appeal of reformer and revolutionary alike in their denunciation of what they reckoned the vices of the church. And, as the Papacy represented in concrete form the worldly power and The opponents of the ecclesiastical system splendor, no less than the dogmatic authority of the ancient church, as it remained the guardian of her traditions, the mouthpiece of her doctrines, and the actual and visible symbol of the unity of western Christendom, it became at once the chief upholder of uniformity in belief and practice and the chief target of criticism.
Revolt against the ecclesiastical establishment was not new. The middle ages had seen various efforts to shake off the domination of Rome and to escape the formalism or dogmas of the mediŠval church. From the time when, two centuries earlier, the Papacy had summoned a crusade to crush the Albigensians in the south of France, to the Council of Constance, in the first years of the fifteenth century, Papal domination had been disturbed by successive heresies and schisms.. Since the twelfth century the so-called Waldenses had maintained their independence of Rome in the high-lying west Alpine valleys. Thirty years before the Council met, there had died in England one John Wyelif, who, as fellow and master of Balliol College, Oxford, and rector of Lutterworth, had passed from an attack on the mendicant orders for their luxury and uselessness to criticism of the whole establishment, and an endeavor to establish greater simplicity in the ecclesiastical organization. He had formed a sect, known as the Lollards, and had brought such great numbers under his influence that church officials, in the divided state of Papal authority, found it impossible to discipline him. Wyclif and Huss
Fortunately for Wyclif, he died before a reformed and reunited Papacy could summon him before a general council. His successor in the ranks of heretic leaders was not so blessed. In the very days of July, 1415, that John of Portugal set forth on his high emprise against the Moors, and Henry V prepared the expedition which led him to Agincourt, the assembly whose meeting had drawn Poggio Bracciolini to Switzerland, the Council of Constance, had taken a momentous step in the history of Europe. For, having finally healed the Great Schism which had rent the church for nearly forty years, replaced three popes with one, and con- Huss firmed the headship of the church again in Rome, it had summoned before it one John Huss of Bohemia, rector of the University of Prague, and ordered him to recant his heresies. His doctrines and his teachings had been, to all intents and purposes, those of Wyclif, whose example he had followed, and whose plea for greater liberty in thought and greater efficiency and simplicity in practice he had supported and amplified. Despite a safe conduct granted him by the Bohemian king and the protests of the rulers of Poland, Bohemia, and Hungary, his works were condemned and he was burned at the stake. 1373-1415
But the seed thus sowed had not all fallen on stony ground, nor was it all consumed by the fowls of the air. The close relations of state and church had, indeed, brought many of the so-called innovators in opposition to the secular as to the ecclesiastical power. Heretic and schismatic were thus easily transformed by law or fact into rebels, and so suppressed in every region of the continent where royal and ecclesiastical power found a common interest. But much remained hidden from the gaze of the authorities, and, as the Roman church was again unified, the spirit of dissent from the establishment, its doctrines, and still more its practices, spread slowly through the masses of the west-European peoples during the fifteenth century. Among the upper classes the tendency to disregard the long-hallowed dogmas of the church was given a tremendous impetus by the humanism of the Renaissance, which supplied not merely a fresh interest but offered a new philosophy of life to intellectual minds. Its first result was seen in those circles which, like the brilliant court of the Medici, most eagerly seized upon the new learning, and took that opportunity to dispense with religion and morality alike. And, as usual, this in turn produced another reaction.
Unrelated to Wyclif or Huss or any of the so-called reformers, there was raised in Florence, at the height of its splendor under Lorenzo, the protest of Girolamo Savonarola, denouncing at once the frivolity and irreligion of his own townsmen and the vices and corruption of the Papacy. For Savonarola 1452-98 a brief period Florence experienced the frenzy of a religious revival and Rome trembled before his eloquent denunciation. But that moment passed. The extravagances of the leader and his followers, the disinclination of the people to forego the pleasures to which they had been accustomed, the authority and the astuteness of his opponents combined to check the new wave of reform. Its leader's voice was hushed in the year that Vasco da Gama sailed round the Cape of Good Hope; and the attempt to purify the Italian church, like the reforming movement in England and Bohemia, fell before the strength of the intrenched establishment.
Had the Papacy heeded the warning then sounded, its history and that of Europe would have been spared one of their bloodiest and most disastrous chapters. In the voice of Savonarola, amid the tumults of war and the negotiations of diplomacy, might have been heard the note which was presently to dominate war and diplomacy alike. While the ambitious Julius II laid the foundations of the temporal power of the Papacy, fought, schemed, treated, and intrigued, like any secular prince, the great organization of which he was the head had drifted more and more rapidly toward a great catastrophe from which its newly won lands and authority, which were the fruits of his endeavors, were powers less to save it. 1503-13
For, with all their efforts to extend its temporal sovereignty in Italy and maintain its long ascendancy throughout western Europe, the leaders of the church had lagged behind its members in grasping the new concepts of the universe and society, the new ideals of learning and morality. Under the scholarly Leo X, as under the warlike Julius II, the Papacy retained, with all its intellectual interests, its old claims to spiritual supremacy and its political ambitions; increasingly out of touch, like the establishment generally, with the progress of the world about it; deaf to entreaty and to threat alike. Wyelif and Huss had long since passed, the eloquence of Savonarola had thundered fruitlessly, and, to all external appearances, the authority which, at the beginning of the sixteenth century, was preparing to embody its pre-eminence in the construction of the most magnificent church in Christendom, had no need to fear attack on its position. But at the very moment that the Papacy was thus preparing to proclaim its supremacy, the humanistic and the theological forces prepared a fresh assault. The adherents of the New Learning had already done much to undermine the intellectual and the educational foundations of ecclesiasticism. They had made great breaches in its philosophy. From motives of prudence or indifference or both they had refrained from any direct attack upon the church itself. They had been silent or paid lip-service to its doctrines and conformed to its practices even while their own beliefs had penetrated deeply into its membership. But man is not saved by intellect alone; and it required an emotional stimulus to produce an open resistance to Papal supremacy which the humanists, with all their intellectual independence had thus far avoided. Against the threatened power of the great establishment there was an increasing host anxious to be led, but it was not among the ranks of the intellectuals that a leader was to be found.
The opposition to Papal dominance was not confined to any country nor to any class. Apart from selfish reasons, which moved many powerful interests to join the new movement, the best friends of the church were pleading for a change. Her enemies urged other charges. The wealth which contributed so little to the state; the claims which seemed to grow as faith declined; the vices and corruption of the Vatican; the obstinate pride of an intrenched establishment; the decay of the monastic life, no longer rendering its once unquestionable services to society; the obscurantist policy, stubbornly maintaining outworn dogmas--these were the grievances which the church, convinced of its own strength and wisdom, impervious to persuasion as to threat, disdained to correct.
Reform denied, revolution became imminent, and the outbreak, though long prepared, came suddenly upon an astonished world. Political disturbances, says Aristotle, spring from small events but great causes; and like many such St. Peter's and the Indulgences movements which illustrate the Greek philosopher's profound observation, this so-called Reformation began simply enough. For, though its causes lay deep in the past and in the hearts of men, its immediate outburst was due to seemingly trivial circumstances apparently far removed from the field of theology. In connection with plans for beautifying Rome in the first years of the sixteenth century, Julius II summoned the genius of the most famous engineer and architect of the time, Bramante, to design an edifice to replace the old metropolitan church of St. Peter's, now fallen in decay. To this great enterprise the Papacy, then nearing the zenith of its temporal power, committed itself, and, by a curious coincidence, at the moment that Christopher Columbus was on his death-bed, the first stone was laid in what was to be an architectural wonder of the world. But Bramante's plans, however modified by later architects, were no less impressive for their cost than for their beauty, and to defray the projected expense the Vatican, among other devices, resorted to the sale of so-called indulgences, especially in Germany. 1504
Thus, some ten years after the inception of the project, while Francis I's incomparable captains, the Chevalier Bayard and Gaston de Foix, were conquering northern Italy, a persuasive monk, Tetzel, carrying out the mission intrusted to him, made his way to the "milch-cow of the Papacy," as Germany was satirically called. There he fell foul of a certain Professor Martin Luther, of the University of Wittenberg, who from his pulpit and in his lectures bitterly denounced the sale of indulgences, and crowned his protest by nailing to the church door his ninety-five theses or propositions against that practice. It was significant that opposition should come as the direct result of Papal supremacy in the patronage of the arts, still more significant that it found its first voice in a university, and, most significant of all, that it arose in Germany. Nowhere had the ecclesiastical establishment been more burdensome. Nowhere was feudalism more powerful or its anarchy more oppressive; nowhere, in consequence, was there more social discontent, and nowhere had religious Martin Luther 1517 humanism, as distinct from the Italian intellectual humanism, struck deeper root.
Martin Luther was the expression of his nation and his time. By training and environment, no less than by his character, he was peculiarly fitted to sustain the part of a popular leader in such a situation as that in which he now found himself. The son of a Saxon slate-cutter, he had been trained in jurisprudence at Erfurt, entered an Augustinian monastery, been ordained a priest, and finally risen to a professorship of philosophy at Wittenberg. His study of Aristotle and St. Augustine laid the foundations for his opinions of scholasticism and theology. A visit to Rome convinced him of the venal worldliness of the Papal court. Thus equipped, the simple vigor and eloquence of his literary style, no less than the strength of his resolution and courage, once he had challenged the authority of the Vatican, made him a formidable antagonist. Moreover, the time for a revolt was ripe. As the translation of his theses against indulgences spread through Germany, he became a popular hero; and though for the time he did not leave the church, he refused to recant his heresy or to obey a Papal summons to Rome. From his study poured forth a stream of tracts attacking Papal supremacy, appealing for wider tolerance; and, above all, urging the doctrine of a personal connection between the individual and the Deity, not through priestly intermediation but through prayer. 1483-1546
"The spiritual estate, what is it," said he, "but a fine hypocritical invention? All Christians are of the spiritual estate; a priest is nothing but a functionary, and when deprived of his office loses his authority; there is no indelible character; he is a simple layman. . . . It is a false and lying specter by which the Romanists have kept our consciences in subjection. . . . Italy is a desert! Why? The cardinals! The revenues of all are drawn to Rome. So will Germany become! . . . Let every one look to his own salvation!"
It was no wonder that his antagonists declared the author of such stupendous heresies as one mad or possessed of a demon, "a limb cut off from the Church of God, an obstinate schismatic, and a manifest heretic." Making all allowance for the more vigorous language of the time and the dogmatic tone which has characterized theological controversy at all times, it is apparent that there lay here the root of a quarrel in which compromise was impossible, and Luther's challenge, if not withdrawn, portended the disruption of the western church.
For Luther found allies. Apart from those, like the scholartheologian, Melanchthon, who supported him, and the still greater scholar-humanist, Erasmus, who more than half sympathized with the new movement, and aided, though he did not join it, the attack was reinforced from other quarters. In Switzerland, especially, the priest Huldreich Zwingli thundered against the abuses of the church, while, like Luther at Wittenberg, he opposed the sale of indulgences. And though the Saxon and Swiss reformers failed to effect a union, in his native land, the ZŘrich priest laid enduring foundations for the new communion on which a later reformer was to build a stately edifice. Meanwhile, Luther published his address to the Christian nobles of Germany, issued a tract on the Babylonish Captivity of the Church, in which he denounced Papal supremacy and doctrine alike; burned the Papal bull directed against him, and so made the breach all but inevitable. His supporters
It was in vain that the Papacy, thus attacked, endeavored to bring the reformers to its side by persuasion and threats. While the Emperor was engaged in foreign wars and his captains were winning a new empire oversea, revolt spread fast and far, and Germany was absorbed in social and religious strife. In the very days that Magellan made land in the Ladrones and Cortez prepared his final attack on Mexico, Luther appeared before the Emperor and his first Diet at Worms. There his refusal to recant his heresies struck a spark which set Germany in flames. He found powerful support and protectors; and, spirited away from enemies who would not have scrupled at his life, he took refuge in the Elector of Saxony's castle of Wartburg. Thence he pro- The Church and the Lutheran Revolt
ceeded to rouse his countrymen against the Papal power and the abuses of the church. He translated the Bible into German; and thus not only supplied his people with a version of the Scriptures which they could read in their own tongue, but gave to that tongue a literary form which became the foundation of the German language-performing for it the same service that Dante and Petrarch had earlier accomplished for Italian. But it was not merely the defects of the establishment, the literary talents of Luther, the intellectual influence of the new learning, nor the selfish interest of those who saw some advantage to themselves in the break-up of the ecclesiastical system which gave the Reformation its following. Behind these lay a force which, for want of a better name, we call spiritual, and which, however influenced by intellectual or theological considerations, was rather emotional than logical. "It is only on the wings of enthusiasm that we rise, and he who depends on reason alone will never fly." A considerable part of the world was dissatisfied with the spiritual relationship and sustenance provided by Rome. It was ready for a form of spiritual expression more in accord with its changing circumstances and thought--simpler, more direct, less ornate and less highly organized, more personal. In its mind, to adopt a phrase from one of the greatest of the church fathers, it required a church which was more of a "spirit" and less of "a number of ecclesiastics," more individual and less corporate. This want Lutheranism supplied, and to it and its successors, in consequence, that portion of the world turned. To that spirit Luther appealed, and of it, for the moment, he became the principal spokesman, and, in consequence, the hero and the protagonist of the anti-Papal party throughout Europe.
Meanwhile, his tracts inspired revolt against ecclesiastical authorities and his words became the guiding influence for increasing thousands of his countrymen. With this he gave the new movement form and direction. From his pen appeared in quick succession an Order of the Worship of God, a hymnal, an Order of Baptism, a prayer-book, and a catechism; and with these Lutheranism began to take on form Lutheranism as a communion separate from that of Rome. Based on a more direct relationship with God, it lacked, indeed, the dogmatic coherence of the Roman faith and the unifying influence of a highly organized establishment, and so remained rather a spiritual force than a rigid system of doctrine or a disciplined hierarchy. From it, in time, emerged nine separate creeds, and, so numerous were the forms it took in various hands, so loose its organization, that scarcely a German state but held its own variety of worship.
None the less, amid disputes among the Lutherans themselves, their faith spread rapidly till, despite the efforts of Pope and Emperor, it took its place among the permanent elements of European life. For the first time in her history since the earliest days of Christianity, the continent felt the presence of a school of faith, which elevated the individual above established authority. The "founder of Protestant civilization," Luther and his followers contributed to European life the principle of personal independence in matters spiritual, which, active in other fields, intellectual, and presently political, set the European world on another and greater stage of its progress.
Luther's defiance of the Papacy by his attack upon indulgences, his burning of the Papal bull launched against him, and his refusal to recant before the Diet, mark the beginning of the movement known variously as the Reformation and the Protestant Revolt. With it the breach between the church authorities and those who were dissatisfied with the conduct of affairs was made irrevocable. Increasing numbers of all classes, from prince to peasant, rallied to his cause; and the Lutheran movement became almost immediately as much a social and a political force as a religious phenomenon. It was a standard under which the most diverse elements combined, and its spread was accompanied by those disturbances which general disaffection with existing conditions is certain to produce. It found a speedy echo in regions remote from theological controversy, and in lands unconnected with the fortunes of Germany. In Switzerland, in France, in England, in Scandinavia, even in Italy itself, it The Reformation in northern Europe stirred men to question the claims and practices of an establishment then ill-prepared to meet its challenge.
Only the Iberian peninsula, absorbed in oversea expansion, paid no heed to this new movement. Nor was this to be wondered at. Spain and Portugal were the last of the crusaders, and still in close touch with the infidel. It had been centuries since France or Germany had felt the presence of Hun or Arab. But within the memory of living men there had been a Moorish kingdom in Spain; and oversea her people, like those of Portugal, still bore the banner of the cross with as fiery zeal as the northern races three centuries earlier had striven to wrest the Holy Sepulcher from Saracen and Turk. With them the church was still a living force, a test of race and blood and national existence, bound up with every fiber of their society. And as, absorbed in war and commerce, they found small leisure for the artistic side of life which had so deeply affected their neighbors, so these new movements of religious thought touched these men of action little or not at all. Spain and Portugal and the Reformation
Thus, as the second decade of the sixteenth century came to a close, apart from their political rivalries and economic change, the people of Europe faced three great issues. The first was the revision of their religious beliefs and their ecclesiastical system. The second was the development of their power oversea. The third was the reconstruction of their intellectual and artistic life in accordance with the standards set by the preceding generation. And it is significant of the diversity as well as the unity of European development that as yet these were but slightly related to each other. The intellectual and artistic impulse was spreading rapidly through the continent, but its principal seat still remained in Italy, which gave it birth. The religious movement began among the Germanic peoples, the oversea expansion with those of the Iberian peninsula, and, though, like the Renaissance and Reformation, these two forces were to be vitally connected with each other in future years, they now ran in widely separated channels. There was thus laid upon the men of the early sixteenth century a burden of such un- The new issues paralleled magnitude and such diverse aspect that, whether they were to prove themselves competent to solve the problems thus thrust upon them, or what form their solutions would take, one thing was clearly apparent,--Europe could not stand still. Before the third decade of the century had ended the time for peace and compromise, had such a time ever existed, was already past, and, for good or ill, her people had set forth on new and dangerous paths. It was evident that, if these new movements succeeded, the society which emerged from these great tasks would find itself far different in spirit, substance, and practices from that to which, a century before, these problems were all but unknown.
CHAPTER VIII - EUROPE: REFORM AND POLITICS. 1521-1542
THE dozen years which followed the accession of Henry VIII to the English throne form a period of epoch-making events in many fields. The extension of European power through the East, the conquest of Mexico, and the circumnavigation of the world, together with the Lutheran revolt, had altered the whole aspect of affairs, and portended still greater developments in religion and politics alike. At the same time Francis I's attack on Italy and Henry VIII's invasion of France, with the consolidation of the lands of Hapsburg, Burgundy, Castile, and Aragon under Charles V, presaged a new era of international relationships. For the moment, Europe's most pressing concerns were the antagonism between Francis and Charles, and the events which flowed from Luther's challenge to the Papacy. The one, which formed the great outstanding motive of general European affairs in the oncoming period, was wholly political. The other covered a wider field. For the Reformation, as it came to be called, involved not merely questions of the church, but those of state, and, ultimately, of world polity, greater and more far-reaching than even the Franco-Hapsburg rivalry; issues of profound social and economic importance; and an intellectual movement of scarcely less intensity than the ecclesiastical controversy with which it was bound up. 1509-21
This was, however, not so clearly evident in the first months of Luther's revolt against Papal authority, for the attention of the continent was centered on the most recent development in that phase of the Hapsburg-Valois rivalry, which for more than twenty years had found expression in the Italian wars. The sudden and daring stroke by which Francis I at the moment of his antagonist's accession to the Spanish throne
The renewal of the Italian wars 1517-25
had brought Genoa and Milan into his hands had been followed by a "perpetual peace." This, joined to a concordat with the Papacy, seemed to assure to France predominance abroad, and the so-called Gallican liberties of her church at home against the interference of the Vatican. The summer of 1520, which was marked by Cortez' attack on Mexico and Luther's appeal to the German nobility, saw a conference between the Emperor and his aunt's husband, Henry VIII of England, and another between Francis I and Henry on the "Field of the Cloth of Gold." These meetings, under more favorable auspices, might have evidenced a reconciliation of all western Christendom and joint action to solve the great problems then pressing on society. 1520
But those problems were far from the thoughts of the ambitious princes, absorbed in the extension of their own power and the humiliation of their rivals. Far from being the harbingers of peace, these conferences were but the prelude to new European conflicts. The Emperor revived his claims upon Milan and Burgundy. Francis countered with pretensions to Naples and Spanish Navarre. Each sought the aid of England; and within a twelvemonth the nations were again at war. In quick succession the French were driven from Italy and Navarre. Charles V's diplomacy enlisted the English monarch in his cause; the Pope joined in. The constable of France, Charles of Bourbon, threw in his lot with the Imperialists; and France was invaded simultaneously from Spain, England, and Germany. Thus isolated, Francis rallied all his energies, drove out the invaders, and pushed into Lombardy. Repulsed by their forces which again invaded his territories and laid siege to Marseilles, he defeated them, followed them again into Italy, and besieged Pavia. But his zeal outran his discretion, for, flushed with victory, he despatched a force to occupy Naples; and the Imperialists, seizing their opportunity, fell on his weakened army, destroyed it, and made the French king prisoner. Such was the first of the long series of conflicts between Francis and Charles, which commanded the attention of Europe. Since the English triumphs at Agincourt and Poitiers a hundred 1521
The battle of Pavia
years before, France had suffered no such reverse as that which brought this struggle to an end and carried her king a captive to Madrid.
Yet with all its dramatic circumstance and tragic climax, the Italian war yielded in real importance to events elsewhere, and the victorious Emperor, despite his great success, found himself at the moment of his triumph over Francis I compelled to deal with a situation beside which even the results of the battle of Pavia seemed almost insignificant. For, while Charles bad been so busily engaged in the extension of his boundaries, in the heart of his dominions his authority, with that of the church, bad been challenged by the new forces roused in Germany which now threatened the very foundations of society. This result of Luther's activities was no less surprising than it was important, for the Wittenberg professor's refusal to recant his doctrines before the Diet of Worms had been followed by an edict which condemned him as a heretic. Such an action, supported by an engagement between the Emperor and the Pope to suppress the new movement, had seemed amply sufficient to those arbiters of Christendom to crush the presumptuous monk. Revolt in Germany
But had the Pope and Emperor abandoned northern Italy to the French king and bent their strength against the German professor they might have been better advised. For while they triumphed over their mutual enemy, Francis I, Luther had laid the foundations for a movement disastrous to Papal and Imperial authority alike, roused his countrymen by fiery attacks upon the old establishment, and transformed the Empire into a battleground. Almost at once men sprang to arms, and long-smoldering discontent flamed into civil war.
The circumstances were symbolic of the forces thus newly aligned in opposition to each other and to constituted authority. The conflict began with a romantic episode. Two knights, the humanist Ulrich von Hutten and the adventurer Franz von Sickingen, united by their hatred of the princely class, gathered forces and fell upon the Archbishop of The War of the Knights
Treves. For a time it seemed that they might have a measure of success. But their rash enterprise challenged at once the temporal and spiritual arms. Lay and ecclesiastical authorities rallied against them and they were beaten off. Hutten was driven into exile, and Sickingen found defeat and death in his own castle at the hands of his princely enemies.
This was but the beginning of disturbances. While the war of the princes and the knights was being determined, in other quarters and in different hands another rebellion afflicted Germany. This was the so-called Peasants' War. Two years after the death of Sickingen, at the moment that Francis I invaded Italy for the second time, a flame of revolt ran through southern and western Germany, menacing the same elements on which the knights had warred. Like many such movements which preceded it, the "Bundschuh," as it was called, was a compound of social, political, and religious elements, inspired no less by the "false prophets" following Luther's wake than by the real and bitter grievances of the peasantry. Its leaders based their cause on a long list of claims which like their so-called "Twelve Articles," combined a constitution for Germany, church reform, and a reorganization of society on the basis of greater equality. It was inevitable that such a plan, so many centuries in advance of its days, should fail, especially in such hands and in such times. Against it rulers of all ranks and faiths, the middle classes, every interest of property and government combined; and Luther, to whom the rebels looked for aid, denounced the peasants as he had denounced the knights. Their poorly equipped and worse led forces were defeated and destroyed; their leaders killed; their survivors and sympathizers cruelly punished, and the unfortunate peasantry sank into bondage worse than that from which they had sought vainly to escape. The Peasants' War
Such were the external circumstances of the movements which filled the annals of the Empire while its master strove with the French king for Italy, and Luther's doctrines made way through the Teutonic lands. And though the two rebellions were suppressed, though knights and peasants alike met an untimely fate, their ill-advised, disastrous defiance of authority was of greater significance than the Imperial triumphs beyond the Alps. They threw into high relief the problem which confronted every European state at the beginning of the sixteenth century, and which was nowhere more apparent than in Germany--the problem of the transition from a feudal to a national form of government.
In the Empire this developed into an antagonism between the five elements which existed in some form in every state. The Emperor, intent on the establishment of a centralized monarchy under the Hapsburg dynasty, the Electors, "bent upon an aristocratic federation" in which they should be the dominant element; the princes, small and great, determined to maintain the territorial independence which was their feudal heritage; the towns and peasants dreaming of a share in the government which pressed upon them so heavily and so unequally:--these were the forces which contended for equality or supremacy. The issue had been foreseen and in some measure dealt with by Maximilian. Now, complicated by the advent of the Lutherans, it confronted Charles; and, amid the infinite perplexities of his foreign relations, it remained one of the greatest problems of his long reign and those of his successors. The problem of the Empire
For its solution Germany was to wait for many centuries. But these rebellions made it a pressing concern of Imperial politics. In the Peasants' Revolt lay the germs of that vast and underlying discontent, engendered by oppression and inequality, which, growing through the centuries, was to become a dominant motive of much later history. In the rebellion of The knights was revealed that anarchic force whose suppression was the first condition of national kingship. This force, proving itself stronger than the Imperial power, was to bring the Empire to impotence, and, joined to the religious issue, was to accomplish the ruin of Germany. Had Charles or his advisers been able to crush opposition, or had the princes been willing to unite in reasonable compromise, those evils might have been averted and a united Germany might have emerged. The chance was lost, and the current of events closed over these futile revolts, leaving only an eddy to mark the hidden rock on which later authority was to find shipwreck.
Meanwhile, the Empire was called to face another and, it seemed to men of the time, a far more real danger than the rising of a handful of peasants and men-at-arms. This was the Turk, to whom, in his extremity, the king of France had turned and for the first time made the Ottoman power a part of European polity. Compelled to sign the Treaty of Madrid by which he yielded all things in dispute from Burgundy through Italy to Navarre, Francis had turned to the Ottoman Sultan, Suleiman the Magnificent, for aid. Under his lead the Turks had roused to fresh conquest, and poured their armies into Hungary, where at the moment of the Treaty of Madrid they crushed Hungarian chivalry at Mohacs, took Buda Pesth, and prepared to advance against Vienna. Nor was this the only danger confronting the lately victorious Emperor. Fearful of his increasing power after the battle of Pavia, Venice, Milan, and the Pope formed a league against him. The English king joined France, and Francis I, renouncing the terms extorted at Madrid, despatched his troops again across the Alps. Thus re-aligned, the European powers entered upon another seven years of conflict, at the same moment that Germany felt the full force of Lutheran revolt. The Turks 1525
Once more Charles faced a world of enemies, and once more the continent was rent with all but universal war. Rome was punished for changing sides by Bourbon's army, half Catholic, half Lutheran Imperialists, which sacked the Holy City and turned thence to drive the French from the peninsula. Still undismayed by this reverse, Francis again invaded Lombardy, while his allies, the Turks, pressed forward to besiege Vienna, but with the same result. Four years after the treaty which had released him from captivity, he was driven to sign the Peace of Cambrai. By it he gave up all his claims on Italy, pretensions to the suzerainty of Artois and Flanders; and though he kept Burgundy, he surrendered Tournai, and paid Charles an indemnity of two million crowns. At the same time, the Imperial forces tri- The Peace of Cambrai 1527
umphed in the East. The attack upon Vienna failed; the Sultan's forces drew back to Buda Pesth, and Charles again emerged triumphant over his enemies.
Thus ended, for a time, the conflicts which had absorbed the military and diplomatic energies of Europe for a decade and a half. Save in one direction, the results scarcely seemed to justify the efforts put forth. It is apparent that if European civilization was to be preserved, the Turkish power must be checked in its advance, and that achievement went far toward vindicating the policy and activities of the Empire as the defender of the continent, in the same measure that it condemned the action of Francis I in summoning the Sultan to his aid. It is not easy to determine in how far the long and complex struggle in Italy was due to mere princely ambition, or in how far it represented real underlying antagonisms of peoples and principles, like the contest between the Empire and the Turks. It may have served to check the extension of Charles V's power throughout the continent, and so prevented universal sovereignty. But that these wars, with their huge expenditure of blood and treasure, contributed to the world's progress in proportion to the losses they inflicted, is scarcely probable. With all their current interest and the consequence which must inevitably attach to any such expression of human energy, however ill directed, it is evident that the true development of humanity lay along far different lines. Results of the wars
By the Treaty of Barcelona Charles came to terms again with the Papacy, returned Florence to the Medici, and Milan to the Sforza, and received in exchange the Papal sanction to his title to Naples and to the Imperial crown. In so far he achieved his purposes. But had it been possible for him to devote to the reorganization of Germany the resources expended in achieving these barren successes in Italy, it can scarcely be doubted that Europe would have gained immeasurably by the exchange. 1529
From the pursuit of his Italian ambitions the Emperor turned to the two great problems which pressed not merely upon him but upon the whole of the European world with peculiar force, the progress of the Reformation in Germany, and the coincident development of affairs in England, each of which, at the moment of the signature of peace, came to a climax which troubled Pope and Emperor alike. They were, indeed, as events were to prove, but two sides of the same question, though they presented themselves in very different forms.
First in time, if not in importance, was the situation in Germany, where religious affairs, as usual, had followed the course of the Emperor's fortunes abroad. Scarcely had the Treaty of Madrid been signed when a Diet of Spires promised to execute the Edict of Worms as far as possible--knowing it to be impossible; and at the moment of the Treaty of Cambrai another Diet of Spires, backed by the Emperor, took up the task. With this the crisis came. A group of princes of the Empire, headed by the rulers of Hesse, Brandenburg, and Saxony, protested against the edict and withdrew from the Diet. Thus did the name and sect of Protestants come into formal being, and thus was the Emperor summoned from foreign victory to face a crisis at home. The German Reformation 1526
At the same moment England claimed his care. Its ruler, the proud, licentious, cruel Henry VIII, had long chafed under Charles' dominance, and long desired to divorce his queen, Katherine of Aragon, the Emperor's aunt. Under ordinary circumstances the matrimonial affairs of royalty, whatever their relation to domestic politics and common morality, would have been a matter of scarcely more than mere political interest. But the conditions at the moment were far from usual. Thus far the English king's ambitions had been thwarted by Charles' adroit diplomacy. He had made no permanent impression upon continental politics; and the Pope, subject to Imperial influence, had taken his presents and postponed his divorce. Henry had now reached the end of his limited patience and exhausted the ordinary channels of legal procedure, and, infatuated with a lady of the court, Anne Boleyn, he determined on a drastic move. The divorce of Henry VIII and the reform movement
In the month of the peace of Cambrai a trial for divorce began before the English chancellor, Cardinal Wolsey, and 1529 the Papal legate, Campeggio. The suit broke down, as it was meant to do; the queen appealed to Rome; and Henry, thoroughly enraged, appealed to the European universities against the Pope. At the same time, to fortify his position, he called a Parliament, whose earliest acts revealed antagonism to the church establishment, and so strengthened his hands in the impending conflict with Papal authority. Not merely was a breach with Charles thus made inevitable. At the same moment that the seceding German princes formally inaugurated the Protestant movement on the continent, Henry, who had earlier earned the title of Defender of the Faith from the Papacy for his attack upon Luther, gave to the revolt from Rome a powerful if unintentional impetus.
That revolt, in the meantime, had invaded other lands. France, Scandinavia, and the Netherlands had felt its power; while Sweden had become formally Protestant. Thus, facing new dangers from the Turks, embarrassed by the defection of his own subjects as well as by the action of the English king, Charles was compelled again to compromise. Bavaria's jealousy of the Hapsburg power, the formation of a Protestant League at Schmalkald, together with French and Danish readiness to aid his recalcitrant subjects, completed his discomfiture. The Diet of Augsburg had listened to the Protestant Confession presented by Luther's follower, Melanchthon, but again condemned its heresy. Two years later, so rapidly did events move, the Peace of Nuremberg extended the religious truce, the Imperial authorities agreed to consider the claims of the new communion, and the Protestants were allowed to exercise their religion undisturbed until some solution of the question should be reached. 1527-9
Thus, by one of the curious coincidences of history, the ambitions of a Turkish sultan and a French king, the matrimonial affairs of an English ruler and the jealousy of a German house combined with the spiritual aspirations of the so-called Protestants to perpetuate the reformed doctrines and ensure the weakening of the church establishment. This, after a thousand years of absolute supremacy, now found itself shorn of half its members and all of its unquestioned monopoly of European conscience. Thenceforth the Pope remained, indeed, the head of the most considerable body of Christians. But he was no longer the arbiter of Christelidom; and the church which owed him allegiance, though still a powerful influence in European life, no longer included within its ranks the whole company of those intellectual and spiritual leaders who were to make Europe the dominant power of a modern world.
Almost immediately two circumstances which marked the political development of this momentous period made this more evident. As a result of the spread of the Lutheran doctrines and the peculiar situation in which a considerable section of the princely classes found themselves, many holders of the so-called ecclesiastical fiefs, church officials in name, but in fact lay princes, sought to take advantage of the breach with the Papacy to espouse the new communion and transform their churchly possessions into temporal sovereignties. Among these the first was the most conspicuous. Albert of Hohenzollern, grand master of the Teutonic Knights, and ruler of East Prussia, which had been conquered centuries earlier by that crusading order from the pagan Slavs, transferred his spiritual allegiance to the Reformed church, became a feudatory of the king of Poland, and thus led the way not only in the secularization of such fiefs but to the ultimate aggrandizement of the house of Brandenburg. Secularization
At the same time, and partly under the influence of the same impulse, the long-vexed Scandinavian question came to a head. The close of the fourteenth century had seen Norway, Denmark, and Sweden joined into one kingdom by the Union of Colmar, under the rule of Margaret, the "Semiramis of the North." That arrangement, which had continued under the house of Oldenburg, had grown increasingly distasteful to the Swedes; and at the moment of Luther's appearance at Worms, the overthrow of their rebellious leaders by Christian II, followed by persecution, produced a crisis in the peninsula. Under the leadership of a popular hero, Gustavus Vasa, the men of the district of Dalecarlia Scandinavia--the independence of Sweden
rebelled. The revolt spread rapidly, the Danes were driven out; and Sweden became an independent kingdom under the rule of a native house which was to raise her, within a century, to first rank in the European polity. Norway and Denmark remained united under the house of Oldenburg, now, like Sweden, turned Protestant; and, in such fashion, the northern states established a modus vivendi which endured for near three hundred years.
Such were the principal events of the first decade and a half of Lutheran activity and Franco-Hapsburg rivalry within the immediate circle of continental affairs. In those circumstances which we reckon as purely political--war and diplomacy, the rise and fall of dynasties, and alterations in the form of the functions of government--the decade which followed the time when German Protestants extorted toleration from a hard-pressed Emperor, was productive of few elements of permanent consequence not related to the events of the preceding years. During that period the wars between France and the Hapsburg power went on with varying fortune but with small effect upon the relative power of the combatants. What importance they ever had was overshadowed by the renewed activities of the Turks. Following their victory at Mohacs they overran the greater part of Hungary, and, at the same time, extended their Mediterranean possessions at the expense of Veince, who found her empire virtually destroyed. Again the Hapsburg power was called upon to protect Europe from the Asiatic menace. The Emperor himself led a futile expedition against Africa to check their growing strength, and lessen the increasing danger to commerce from their feudatories, the Algerian pirates, who infested the eastern Mediterranean. The English king, meanwhile, allied himself first with one, then with the other side of the Franco-Hapsburg conflict, with small appreciable effect either upon that struggle or his own position. For only the defeat of the Scotch and the death of their king at Solway Moss in the last year of this decade remained as a tangible result of all Henry's endeavors to play a great part in the world's affairs, outside the British Isles.
European politics 1532-42
But in those concerns which were in whole or part related to religious affairs the period was of the utmost significance, and Henry VIII a noteworthy figure. The seven years' Parliament which aided his contest with the Vatican had completed the work which he unwittingly began. The quarrel with the Papacy had rapidly widened to a general attack upon the church. Convocation was forbidden to legislate without the king's consent; the Pope's authority in England was repudiated by the clergy themselves; and Henry assumed the title of Supreme Head of the English church under the Act of Supremacy. With this began an attack upon ecclesiastical property by which first the lesser, then the greater, monasteries were dissolved and their possessions forfeited to the crown. An English translation of the Scriptures was set up in the churches, and though the so-called Six Articles decreed that the Roman doctrines and practices were still to be followed under severe penalties, that very fact revealed the rapid decline of the older faith. England and the Papacy 1529-
With this England began to align itself with the reforming movement on the continent. It was in vain that the conservative elements took alarm. The opposition of successive ministers and even popular rebellion failed to check the king's determination: while the growth of reformed doctrines combined with the greed of crown and courtiers, eager for church spoils, to undermine the old establishment. Three chancellors, Wolsey, More, and Cromwell, fell in turn before the royal displeasure, and the question of the succession, complicated by the royal marriages and divorces, added another element to the tumultuous reign. Meanwhile the Reforma, tion spirit grew, aided by the actions of a king who, in the words of one favorable to the new doctrines, "accomplished blessed ends by means which better men might well have thought accursed." The English Reformation
Such was the great reinforcement brought to the cause of the reformers in Germany. There, meanwhile, the new communion had suffered a curious experience. Among the dangers to which such a movement is inevitably exposed, the excesses of its more radical element are perhaps the most The Anabaptist 1529 serious. And, with the spread of the Reformed doctrines, there arose a sect which, in some form, was to play a considerable part in the development of the Protestant body. This was the so-called Anabaptist denomination, whose earliest representatives, the "false prophets of Zwickau," had been denounced by Luther, and whose leader, MŘnzer, had played a great part in the peasant insurrection. A year after the peace of Nuremberg the city of MŘnster came under the influence of this element, and a period of licentious anarchy ensued, which was finally suppressed by the neighboring Protestant princes. Shorn of its doctrines of freelove and retaining only so much of the ideas of community of goods as fitted the circumstances in which it found itself, this body, with its cardinal principle of adult baptism, became the forerunner of the German Mennonites and the English Baptists, and perhaps the most powerful of the democratic influences then making way in the world of religion and politics. 1533-5
While it thus joined the revolt against constituted authority with its extravagant views and practices, in another quarter and in widely different hands that movement was stimulated to a far greater degree and by means which left a still deeper impress upon European thought and action. In the same year that the English Parliament began its attack upon the property of the church by suppressing the lesser monasteries, that the Portuguese established themselves in Macao and the Spaniards in Lima, that Charles V and Francis I entered upon their fourth war, and Cartier reached Canada on his second and most important voyage,--which is to say in 1536,--a French clerk, John Calvin, published at Basel a volume entitled Christianae Religionis Institittio, the Institution of the Christian Religion, more commonly known as Calvin Institutes. With this new manual of the theory and practice of Christianity, as it appealed to him, he laid the foundations of a new communion. The author was no less notable than his book. The son of a French notary, he had reversed Luther's career, for, destined to the church, he gave up that profession for the law. First at Paris, John Calvin 1509-64
then at Orleans, and finally at Bourges, he pursued his studies, and meanwhile he was drawn, like so many men of his time, into the theological dispute then raging on the continent. A kinsman engaged in translating the Scriptures into French sent him to a famous Greek scholar at Bourges, and from reformer and humanist he received at once a bias against Rome and an impulse to letters. The persecution of the Protestants instituted by Francis in conjunction with the Emperor drove Calvin from France to avoid death at the stake--which was the fate of so many hundreds of Protestants--and he sought refuge at Basel, where he found a publisher and an audience for his book. 1529
Its appearance marked an epoch in European history. Designed to furnish a complete and logical defense of Protestantism, Calvin's doctrine was distinguished by its dogma of the predestination of certain elect souls to salvation, and of others to be damned. It appealed to many who had been untouched by Luther's vaguer formulas. Sterner, more logical, better organized than the loose-woven Lutheran belief, it embodied a doctrine and a discipline which lent themselves more readily to a widespread sentiment of revolt, political as well as theological. It set against the Roman episcopal form of church government the no less ancient, though longneglected, practice of government by elders or presbyters. In opposition to the Roman principle of priestly mediation, it joined with Lutheranism in teaching a direct relationship between man and God. To the splendor of Catholic liturgy it opposed extreme simplicity; in place of Latin mass it offered a service in the tongue of every-day affairs. Its congregational system, its appeal to logic rather than revelation, its unbending insistence on personal morality, connected it with an increasing element in European thought and practice; and, as uncompromising as the older faith, it soon became the most vigorous fighting force of the reformed communions. Besides this, still it had a powerful political element in its doctrine of the righteousness of resistance to unbridled tyranny. "Let us not think," the Calvinism pregnant passage ran, "there is given no other commandment but to obey and suffer. . . . I do so not forbid them . . . to withstand outraging licentiousness of kings; and I affirm that if they wink at kings wilfully raging over and treading down the poor commonalty, their dissembling is not without wicked breach of faith because they deceitfully betray the people's liberty."
Such was the challenge to political authority, such the summons to revolt against oppression issued by him who was called in derision by his enemies "the Protestant Pope." It was accompanied by another element which made its appeal peculiarly attractive to an increasing class. This was the glorification of what may be called the homelier virtues, sobriety, diligence, thrift, honesty, above all, virtuous industry. It exhorted to an orderly and successful life in this world scarcely less than it held out rewards in the world to come, and its appeal to middle classes and commercial elements was therefore powerfully aided by the elevation of their particular virtues as a means of grace. As Calvin's ideal of government was "a mixed aristocracy and democracy," his ideal of society was that of well-ordered, industrious, sober, God-fearing middle class, working, under Providence, for material prosperity.
That ideal he strove to put into effect. He was induced to settle at Geneva, there to aid in the establishment of a popular government; and thither, after a sojourn in Strasburg, he returned. Under his influence the Swiss city soon became not merely a model municipality, governed by the church authority on lines of the strictest morality, but a religious center not incomparable to Rome itself. In its activities the labors of the earlier reformers, Zwingli and Farel, and Calvin's contemporary, Beza, came to a climax and thence spread throughout Europe. Geneva 1536-
Trained in its university, hundreds of preachers carried its doctrines abroad. Thence John Knox was presently to bear its faith and discipline to Scotland, there to found another branch of Protestantism, the so-called Presbyterian, destined to great influence in British affairs. Among the Spread of Calvinism 1540-
French trading classes and nobility, restive under royal and Papal authority, the Calvinistic influence laid the foundations of a powerful faction, the so-called Huguenots. The northern portion of the Netherlands became a stronghold of this faith which was soon to make Holland a battleground of liberty. Along the Rhine, even in northern Italy, it gained adherents, till it became a far more dangerous rival to Rome and to unlimited royal authority than even the Lutheran heresy. 1560
Like that movement, it found a powerful ally in the printing-press. In every country which the Reformation touched, the Bible was translated into its native tongue, and this, apart from theological considerations, gave a tremendous stimulus to national language and literature as to greater freedom of thought and speech. "If God spare my life," said Tyndale, the English translator of the Bible, to a critic of the old school, "I will cause a boy that driveth a plow to know more of the Scriptures than thou dost"; and that promise, before he met his death as a martyr, he greatly fulfilled. In such hands the Gospel became not the prerogative of the few but the privilege of the many. With the appearance in England of Coverdale translation, The Great Bible, to supplement others like Luther's German version and Faber French New Testament, Europe was at last possessed of her greatest weapon against ecclesiastical monopoly. Education, printing, and the Bible
To this democratizing of theology was added another force, the schools. As they had been the earliest centers of revolt, the universities were among the first to propagate the movement. Education, which had ceased to be ecclesiastical in those countries which accepted the reform, now became Protestant. They trained a new clergy, and through them a new laity. And their members became the most active of pamphleteers, as almost from day to day new tracts appeared to fan the flame. Luther's words were multiplied by thousands; and of Calvin Institutes, it has been calculated, a new edition appeared every ten weeks for more than a hundred years. Under such influences, a quarter of a century after Luther had nailed his theses to the Wittenberg church door, what had then seemed a hopeless cause threatened the very existence of Papal authority in half the continent.
Yet with all the successes of the Protestant communions in the decade and a half which followed Luther's advent on the European stage, it could not be supposed that the older establishment was either insensible to its danger nor without strong champions. The very vigor of the Protestants was in some sort a measure of the strength of the Catholic cause. Still less could it be imagined that the Papacy would rely wholly on edicts and persecution for its maintenance, much less on its own temporal power or that of the sovereigns who held its doctrines. From the first a multitude of champions had rallied to its aid. England's great chancellor, More, had fallen a martyr to his convictions against Henry VIII's divorce and the royal renunciation of Papal authority. Every Protestant pamphlet found an answer from Catholic hands. Every university in Catholic countries had thrown its reviving energies into the fray. The clergy of every Catholic nation had taken heed of the danger which threatened their order and had begun to purify the establishment. In Italy had begun a reform within the church which spread rapidly throughout the continent. New orders had sprung up, which, like the so-called Capuchins, brought to the conflict the spirit of preceding centuries of devotion and self-sacrifice. In every quarter of the European world Roman Catholicism revealed a renaissance of those nobler qualities which had characterized its earlier supremacy. And, among the effects of the great Protestant Revolt, not the least was this movement toward the reform of the old establishment, which, as time went on, came to be known as the Counter-Reformation. The rise of the CounterReformation
In the moment of its greatest need the church found new resources and a great ally. The story is no less remarkable than that of the growth of the reformed communions. At the same time that Calvin left Paris, a lame Spanish soldier, Ignatius Loyola, so wounded at the siege of Pampeluna in Ignatuius Loyola
the wars of Charles and Francis as to wreck his military career, found his way to the Sorbonne, to seek in the service of the church a consolation for his worldly ambitions. There as a student he spent seven years, gathered about him a small company of friends and followers of like mind, and at almost the same moment that Calvin held his first communion service at Orleans, at Montmartre Loyola and his companions dedicated their lives to the church. Their new society was modeled upon the older fellowships of the socalled friars, like the Franciscans and Dominicans, but with new and compelling elements of strength. Besides its vows of poverty and chastity were principles of strict discipline and unquestioning obedience. Peaceful in method, subject to the most rigid rules of self-effacement and self-sacrifice, shrinking at nothing to effect its ends, the new organization, under its general, sprang to the defense of the threatened establishment. The Pope sanctioned the order, at first conditionally, then unreservedly, and the Society of Jesus took its place in European life. 1528-
Like the Protestant reformers, it grasped almost at once the importance and opportunity of education in the cause of faith, and its members soon became the best schoolmasters in Europe. It recognized, as well, the power of the secular arm and of established authority and so detailed the acutest intellects at its command as confessors to princes and statesmen. It realized the urgent need of gaining popular support, and so trained its preachers in the art of eloquent appeal. And seeing the great field beyond Europe for converts, it entered at once on missionary labors not exceeded by those first followers of St. Francis or St. Dominic. Thus while its marvelous organization kept it in touch with the affairs in every quarter of Europe, its most highly placed agent might at a moment's notice find himself transferred to the most distant part of Asia or America; and its all-pervading influence was presently to become a factor no less in political than in ecclesiastical affairs. The Jesuits
In this great order, besides Loyola himself, one figure stood conspicuous as the chief representative of its far-reaching Francis Xavier 1506-52 missionary enterprise,--the proud, handsome, gifted Navarrese, Francis Xavier. He had become the secretary of the order at Rome as soon as it was formally organized; thence he was summoned to undertake the mission which John III had determined to send out to India; and he arrived at Goa in the same year that saw the Spanish and Portuguese empires reach their widest bounds. With his coming the great religious movement which stirred Europe was transmitted to her possessions oversea. 1542
It was peculiarly appropriate that the society destined to play so great a part in European history should be founded by a Spaniard and enter the colonial field under the auspices of Portugal. In the latter's dominions, especially, there seemed to be need of such a force. Absorbed in war, commerce, and politics, the Portuguese had long refused to jeopardize their position in the East by interfering with the native faiths. Churchmen, indeed, had followed where the traders led, as they accompanied the conquerors in America. Churches were raised, the orders had built houses in the greater ports; viceroys and governors had lent their influence and purse; converts were made. Yet in comparison with the general progress, or even with the activities of Franciscan and Dominican in America, the total was not great. Ten years after the accession of the devout John III there were only two bishoprics outside of Portugal, and they were no farther away than Madeira and Morocco. The CouterReformation in Portugal and Spain
But as the religious rivalry between the Reformation and the Counter-Reformation, as these movements came to be called, brought the issue of faith to a crisis, they had their effect on the Iberian powers. While northern peoples tended to adopt the new communions, both Spain and Portugal took the opposite course. The Inquisition was revived and strengthened; the Jews were driven to conversion or exile; the Jesuits were welcomed with open arms. In Goa the Hindu temples, thus far undisturbed, were marked out for destruction. A new era 1542- of proselyting and persecution was begun; and to her long crusade against Mohammedanism the Portuguese now added an attack on all non-Christian faiths, which reinforced the hatred of her trade supremacy. In the New World, meanwhile, the problem was different. There Spain had, from the first, endeavored to crush native priesthoods and convert her subjects. And when the Jesuits were added to the orders which followed or accompanied the conquerors, the church found its way into new quarters of the western hemisphere with zealous and self-sacrificing strength. The Argentine pampas, like the Andean heights, the tangled wilderness of the Amazon and Central America, like the wide-stretching empire of New Spain, felt a fresh impulse of religious zeal, as the first result of the Reformation on extra-European peoples. Like its effect in politics, the earliest religious reaction of the new world upon Europe was the extension of Catholicism as part of the great movement toward ecclesiastical reform.
Such were the events of the momentous quarter of a century which elapsed between the advent of Luther in Europe and of Xavier in the East, between the exploits of Cortez and Magellan and the summons to the last church council which could be called in any sense universal, the Council of Trent. They form the turning-point from mediŠval to modern history in even greater measure than the capture of Constantinople by the Turks or the discovery of America. For in this period the newer elements of European life were established beyond the power of the older doctrines or practices to suppress them; and, for good or ill, these elements thenceforth became the guiding motives of the progressive factors in society. America and the Reformation, coming thus simultaneously into the current of affairs, as part of everyday experience, not merely produced new conditions of life and a series of institutions which affected every phase of existence. They transformed men's minds. Henceforth it was impossible to think in terms of even the preceding century. Above the mere facts of battles lost and won, dynasties changed and territories transferred from one hand to an- The transition to modern times
other, this great revolution, in the final analysis, remains the chief result of a period which more than any for a thousand years altered the balance of the world's affairs and the whole future of mankind, and so marks the Age of Charles V as a great epoch of history.
[ Continue to VOL. I - Ch.9 ]