EUROPE BEYOND THE SEA. 1521-1542
COMPARED with the activities of Europe's captains and kings in the momentous quarter of a century which followed the accession of Charles to the Spanish throne, and especially compared with the Protestant revolt, the progress of Europeans beyond the sea which resulted from the exploits of Albuquerque and Cortez seemed insignificant. Yet though colonial affairs were overshadowed by events in Europe, after a period of relative inaction they entered on an era of importance to themselves and to the world in general. The death of Emmanuel the Fortunate, which occurred at the moment of the Diet of Worms and the final attack on Mexico, marked the beginning of a great change in Portuguese as in European affairs. Though John III, who succeeded to the throne, enjoyed the greatness he inherited, he added little to it, and the first decade of his long reign witnessed but one considerable event. This was the delimitation of the world, which the voyage of the Victoria made imperative. Scarcely was she in port when Spain declared that the bull of Alexander VI held good only with respect to the Atlantic, and that the treaty of Tordesillas was now inadequate. Spanish and Portuguese geographers accordingly met at the frontier towns of Badajos-Yelves, and while German peasants fought along the Rhine, and French forces invaded Lombardy, the Iberian diplomat-scientists argued for six weeks with small results. In default of means to determine exact longitude it was impossible to arrive at a theoretical solution of the conflicting claims. And when, to confirm her contentions, Spain sent Loaysa on a voyage like and scarcely less exhausting than that of Magellan, he found, when he arrived on the other side of the world, that he
The delimitation of the world
could neither return the way he came nor reach home by any other route without the permission of the Portuguese. No circumstance could have demonstrated more conclusively the strength of Portugal's position in the East. Charles V bowed to the inevitable, gave up his claim on the Moluccas for an indemnity, and by the Treaty of Saragossa, a line was drawn on the Equator 17░ east of that group, and Spain was thus excluded from the Philippines. That exclusion she ignored, and the claim to that archipelago remained the chief political result of Magellan's exploit.
Under these circumstances, for the second time in a generation and the last time in history, the world was divided into Spanish and Portuguese spheres of influence. More important than that adjudication, or even the possession of the Philippines, was the voyage of Sebastian Cabot which resulted from the controversy. For, following the track of Magellan and Loaysa to South America, he reached a river which he called, from the silver ornaments worn by the natives, the Rio de la Plata, or River of Silver. Thence he explored the Uruguay and Parana rivers to the rapids of the latter which barred his further progress, and so opened to European enterprise a vast and fertile land better adapted to white occupation than any then known to his countrymen. Almost at once it found settlers. A Basque nobleman, Pedro de Mendoza, with his fellow adventurers, hastened to lay foundations for what was to be ultimately a prosperous colony, and, what was of even greater interest to the bolder spirits of Spain's colonists, to learn of a rich empire beyond the mountains. In such fashion was established European power in the Argentine.
Meanwhile from Mexico and the West Indies had begun a fresh advance. Its first achievement was the extension of Cortez' conquest. Scarcely had Montezuma's empire been subjugated when Alvarado, de Olid, Montejo, and their great leader himself proceeded to subdue Central America; while Guzman, advancing northward, founded the province of New Galicia. With this, the whole region between North and South America took its place in the rapidly widening realm
Central and North America 1523-1525
of Charles V. At the same time Ponce de Leon made a last and, as it proved, a fatal attempt on Florida. Still farther north a series of expeditions brought the eastern shores of North America to European attention. So great was the advance in geographical knowledge that, at the moment that the breach with Rome was made irrevocable in Germany, Ribeiro embodied in a famous map the whole Atlantic coast from Newfoundland to Cape Horn. The Spaniards were not alone in this great work, for Francis I, emulous of his rival's success, sent his Italian captain, Giovanni Verrazano, to seek the fabled sea-way to Cathay by the northwest. And though Spanish discovery brought no settlers to a region "too much like Spain" to attract the fortune hunters of the new world, though Verrazano found no passage to the Pacific by way of the St. Lawrence, the Americas now took their place in European politics and thought at the same time that Protestantism, in whose fortunes they were to play so great a part, established itself upon the continent.
This interest extended far beyond mere exploration and gold-seeking. While the new world was being laid open to European eyes, the conquered mainland was occupied and organized. In this work Cortez revealed statesmanlike qualities scarcely inferior to his abilities as a general, and, in spite of the curtailment of his authority by a home government, which was suspicious of his increasing power, he proceeded to make Mexico into a Spanish province. The land was parceled out in military fiefs, and the encomenderos required to provide arms and followers, proportioned to their holdings, subject to call after the feudal fashion. Cannon were cast from the products of the native mines; the crater of Popocatepetl supplied sulphur for gunpowder; ships were built, and ports established. The new city of Mexico rose near the ruins of the old, and, chartered as a municipality, became the capital, of which the people of the neighboring tribes were induced to become inhabitants. European plants and animals were introduced; planting and cattle-raising, mining and commerce encouraged, and, as Spanish power spread, it carried with it the seeds of European life.
The organization of Mexico
With this came the authority of the home government. Hardly had the conquest been concluded when a viceroy was appointed for the new province, with a council, or audiencia, to assist and supervise his work, and provincial governors were named. The church, accompanied the civil power. Bishopries were established and missionaries pushed out among the natives. Beside the square solid government buildings in the new municipalities arose the churches; and across the plain or deep in the heart of forest wilderness was soon heard the bell of the mission church, symbol of that force which was to do far more than any official agency in spreading European civilization through the New World.
Beside the activities of Europe itself in this eventful decade and a half, these beginnings of the occupation and organization of America seem insignificant enough. Yet apart from the fact that they represented an element in the world's affairs which was to be of increasing importance, they were not without a powerful influence upon events in the old world. From Mexico, in particular, there had poured a stream of precious metals into Spain of incalculable importance not merely to the economic but to the political development of the continent. Enriched by that spoil, the Spanish mind was turned from the sober pursuit of every-day affairs, in which alone lay real prosperity, to dreams of further conquest and adventure, and Spain, like her master, Charles V, aspired to a still wider influence in the world's affairs.
The effect of America on Europe
Not the least of the results of the conquest of Mexico was the strengthening of the Hapsburg power, and the inevitable reaction of Europe, under the leadership of France, against the threat of universal sovereignty. Insurgent Hungarians, dissatisfied Italian princes, Swiss peasantry, Tudor king, and Ottoman Sultan had been summoned to contend against Hapsburg domination. And great as were the resources of the Emperor, the weight of America, thus thrown into the European scale, was no inconsiderable factor in enabling him to make head against his enemies. At the same time the church, deprived of a great body of adherents at home, found, in the millions of non-European peoples now brought under her influence, some compensation for the losses of the Reformation. Thus, strangely enough, the first result of the occupation of the New World was to strengthen the conservative elements in European polity. And, almost immediately, another event, of like character to Cortez' great exploit, lent new significance to the importance of the Americas and new strength to the Hapsburg power.
The year 1532, though not a great landmark in history like that twelvemonth which saw the fall of Constantinople or that which witnessed the discovery of America, is one of those peculiar periods when the coincidence of striking events in various lines of human activity reveals with unusual emphasis the complex forces from whose interaction emerges a new order of society. In July of that year the Emperor, Charles V, harassed by the disturbances in his newly-won Italian provinces, and still more fearful of the Turkish power, now rallying from its repulse from Vienna three years before, summoned the Imperial Diet to meet at Nuremberg, and there agreed to extend still further toleration to the Lutheran sect which had so vexed his peace and that of Germany for a dozen years. In August the heroic defense of the fortress of GŘns by the Hungarians checked the new Turkish advance, and Suleiman the Magnificent, balked of his ambitious designs against the Empire, turned his attack against Venice. In October, Francis I, who had joined with Saxony, Hesse, and Bavaria to oppose the recognition of Ferdinand of Hapsburg as heir to the Imperial dignity, allied himself with England by the treaty of Boulogne. Simultaneously the English Parliament, under royal lead, proceeded in that course which, by abolishing annates and appeals to Rome, led to a final breach with the Papacy.
There was, then, in this eventful year, quite enough in these affairs of state to absorb all the talents and the time of European rulers. But far removed from their ambitious eyes, two other events of far too slight importance to be regarded by these great ones of the earth made this same period no less memorable. Some time during these months an obscure French clerk, one John Calvin, then resident in
Calvin and Pizarro
or near Paris, after long searchings of the heart, turned from the Roman to the Reformed communion, and thereby "lighted a candle seen throughout the world." And while the cavalcades of the Imperial dignitaries made their way along the highroads that led to Nuremberg to meet their Emperor and, as it chanced, decree religious peace, in the western world a humble captain of that same Emperor, with a handful of followers, breasted the tremendous slopes of the Andes to challenge the power of a state whose fabled wealth had roused Spanish cupidity for a dozen years, and whose conquest formed an adventure scarcely rivaled by the exploit of Cortez.
The project thus rashly undertaken by the Spanish adventurers was not new. Even while Cortez was organizing Mexico, the interest of the colonial world was shifted to South America, and that continent became the scene of an extraordinary advance of European power. At the same moment that the Argentine was explored, the foundation of Coro marked the first effective occupation of Venezuelan lands by the Spaniards; and Portugal, disturbed by visits of the English and the French to the Brazilian coasts, had begun to take steps to secure her neglected dependency. Still more important were events in the west. The year following the capture of Mexico, Andagoya brought back from a voyage along its shores news of the Andean empire. Inspired by this and by Cortez' exploit, a Darien colonist, Francisco Pizarro, sometime Balboa's follower and since his leader's death a cattle-raiser in Panama, with two neighbors, Diego de Almagro, and a priest, Fernando de Luque, projected new conquest.
The conquest of Peru
Unlike Cortez, Pizarro found no force ready to his hand, and his slender resources, with those of his associates, were strained to the utmost to provide means even to explore the coasts. Only the leader's indomitable perseverance made it possible. Twice he attempted in vain to find this so-called empire of the Incas; and finally assured of its existence, he embarked for Spain, where, after extraordinary efforts, he secured a commission for its conquest from the Emperor.
As a result of eight years' unremitting effort he now embarked with three ships, less than two hundred men, and thirty horses, for an exploit as hazardous as that which Cortez had hardly accomplished with three times that force. A month's sail brought the rash adventurer from Panama to the port of Tumbez, and there, for the first time, fortune smiled on him. The situation in which he found himself bore a striking resemblance to that which Cortez had faced; nor was the parallel between the Aztecs and the people whom Pizarro found less remarkable. Among the mountain tribes, known as the Quichuas, which occupied the vast Andean region at this time, one, named from its rulers, the Incas, had become supreme. Whether, like the Aztecs, they had learned from the vast and imposing civilization of the Hatun Runas or Piruas, which existed prior to their coming, or whether their culture was self-developed, they were, at the time when they first came into touch with the Spaniards, the most advanced peoples of the western world. They no longer built the Cyclopean edifices of their forerunners. Their capital at Cuzco was less imposing but no less remarkable than its predecessor on Lake Titicaca; and their power, which in the preceding five centuries had slowly brought the Andean region under its control, was no less widespread and doubtless much better organized than that of the prehistoric people whose lands they had inherited.
Like the Aztecs, the Incas were far from being mere savages. Their government was well ordered. The roads which bound their far-flung empire together were marvels of engineering skill. Their achievements in agricultural and domestic arts, stone-building, the working of precious metals, and astronomy were equal or superior to those of their northern neighbors. And, like these, however inferior in culture to the invaders, they yielded little to them in material civilization beyond the use of iron, gunpowder, and domestic animals, with such inventions and processes as those of printing and navigation.
Under normal circumstances, Pizarro's expedition against such a power with such a force as his would have been worse than madness. But at the moment Peruvian affairs were much disturbed. Their great Inca, Huayna Capac, had but lately died; his sons, Huasear and Atahualpa, contended for the throne, which the latter had just secured and made his brother prisoner. The people were in consequence divided; the fortunes of the government unsettled and its power weakened; and the invaders were not slow to take advantage of the situation which they found. Apprised of the divisions, the Spanish leader seized his opportunity, negotiated with the warring native factions, and, hastening inland, invited Atahualpa to meet him. The prince incautiously agreed, and Pizarro, following Cortez' example, made him prisoner, demanding a huge ransom for his safety.
The result surpassed even the Spanish dreams of avarice. But the royal treasures, the spoils of the temples, and the plunder of the people, though their value ran into many millions, were declared insufficient by the insatiable conquerors. Fearing that they would declare for his rival, Atahualpa ordered his brother's execution, and Pizarro, joined by Almagro, with reinforcements, put the unhappy Inca prince to death, hurried to Cuzco, secured the city and its wealth, and proclaimed another of the Inca family, Manco Capac, as ruler of Peru. This done, the conqueror sent his brother to Spain with the royal fifth of the plunder. As his reward Pizarro was created a marquis and governor of Peru; while his companion, Almagro, who had arrived too late to share the Inca spoil, was given the southern province of Chili, which he set out to conquer. At the same time, Pizarro removed the seat of government from Cuzco to Lima, where he began to construct a new capital. But this was not the end. The natives rebelled. Almagro claimed a greater share of land than was allowed him for his great services; and civil war broke out among the conquerors. Almagro was killed, but his followers, choosing his son to lead them, conspired against Pizarro, assassinated him, and were only brought to terms after the arrival of a crown agent and another civil war.
Such were the circumstances of the great adventure which added another empire to the Spanish crown, poured another huge flood of precious metals into Spain, and thence into Europe, and opened new fields for European enterprise. Had Peru's conqueror been, like Cortez, a man of statesmanship as well as military qualities, the history of the Andean state might have followed the lines laid down in Mexico. But Pizarro's exploit revealed the darkest aspects of the Spanish character. Fiercer, more stern, far less enlightened than Cortez, his nature was reflected in Peruvian history, and while he lived, and long thereafter, its development scarcely exceeded the transfer of power from Inca to Spanish hands. Feudal baronies replaced the estates of native nobles or royal domains, the repartimiento was introduced, and the peasants, like the land on which they lived, came into possession of the conquerors. Some Spanish leaders, like de la Vega, hastened to wed the native heiresses. Some, like Carbajal, preferred the mines; some the rich fields; some, like de Soto, took their share of the Inca spoil and set forth in quest of new adventures; some followed Gonzalo Pizarro or Valdivia to fresh fields. To the new capital of Lima and, more sparsely, to the interior came soldiers of fortune, merchants, officials, clergy, to enjoy the crumbs of conquest or share the revenues of the principality. This, far more slowly than New Spain, took on like form of colonial life. Apart from its great wealth, it was more nearly kin to that intervening region of Central America, through
The organization of Peru
whose tangled tropical forests Spanish power was meanwhile finding its slow and difficult way.
For the conquest of Peru by no means exhausted Spanish achievement in this momentous period. Two years before Lima was founded the crown had authorized the establishment of a port of entry on the lower Caribbean, famous in later history as Cartagena; and a year later Mendoza's men began that La Plata port whose delightful climate moved them to name it Buenos Ayres. Meanwhile Pizarro's exploit had brought results in regions remote from the chief center of disturbance. Far to the north, the upper Andean capital, Quito, found itself masterless on Atahualpa's death, and, facing a rebellion of the subject Canari tribes, summoned Sebastian de Benalcazar's garrison from San Miguel to protect them. To this quarter other adventurers hurried. From his conquests in Central America, Alvarado was tempted to share the spoil, but Almagro forestalled him, and reinforced by Benalcazar, founded the town of Guayaquil, on the finest harbor of the Pacific coast, and a new province, Ecuador, came into being.
The Andean conquest --Ecuador
From these regions proceeded fresh advance. Like Cortez, Pizarro had at once despatched lieutenants to secure outlying provinces and explore the newly-won empire. His brother, Gonzalo, gathering followers to find a new Peru, crossed the Andes, seeking a fabled "land of cinnamon," and, failing this, after fearful hardships, made his way back from one of the most daring explorations in all history. His second in command, Orellana, deserting him, found his way down a mighty river, which, from a tale he told of a female warrior tribe he found there, we still call the Amazon. Upon Almagro's death an Estremaduran follower of Cortez, Pedro de Valdivia, loaned by the Mexican conqueror to Pizarro, became the first Spanish master of Chili. In such wise, the western border of the southern continent came under Spanish power and linked itself with the great conquests farther north.
One region remained, the rich, mysterious lands which lay between Venezuela and Ecuador, the northernmost Andes
where the headwaters of the Magdalena, the Orinoco, and the northern branch of the Amazon had their rise. Thither from every side adventurers now pressed to find the fabled El Dorado, "the Golden Man," the golden city of Manoa, and the real treasures of the Chibcha race. From Santa Marta, founded on the headlands east of the Magdalena; from Coro, granted to the great German bankers of Charles V, the house of Welser, and presently included in the governorship of Pizarro's fierce lieutenant, Carbajal; from Cartagena; from the more distant settlement of Cuma˝a, near the Orinoco's mouth; from Quito and Panama, successive expeditions strove to penetrate into the interior of what was to be later known as Colombia. In this race for wealth German captains of Charles V, like Alfinger and George of Spires, Federmann and Philip von Huten, rivaled Spanish adventurers like Benalcazar and de Quesada. The last, starting from Santa Marta, after fearful hardships, was the first to reach the Chibchas. Less civilized and less rich, as well as less warlike than the Aztecs or Incas, they fell an easy prey, and on the site of one of their villages was founded the Spanish post of Bogoth. Compelled to divide his plunder with Benalcazar and Federmann, Quesada left the task of subduing the northernmost region of Antioquia to other hands. From that last of the Andean conquests, its conquerors, Robledo and Heredia, it is said, gained more wealth than either Pizarro or Cortez, and its subjugation put into the possession of the Spaniards some of the richest gold mines in the world.
Thus was completed the Andean conquest, and the transfer of the chief sources of precious metals then known to the world, from native to European hands. The motives of the conquerors, like their methods, partook of the lowest elements of human nature, greed and cruelty; and it can only be urged in their favor that they spoiled the spoiler, took by force the wealth and power which the tribes they conquered had earlier obtained by the same means. The immediate result of their conquest was disastrous to the ruling classes they displaced; the ultimate results contributed enormously
Results of the Andean conquest
to the development of the race. Not merely was a territory comparable in size to Europe opened to the enterprise of her people, and their resources multiplied by this extension of their field of activity. For the first time the old world found a source of precious metals adequate for its economic needs. The influx of this great stream of capital not only reinforced the wealth and luxury of Spain, and the ambitions of her king, the Emperor; it found its way into commerce and industry, and the mines of America, while they fed the ambitions of the Hapsburg house, at the same time made possible Europe's further economic advance.
But even this tremendous extension of her resources and her possibilities did not exhaust Spain's contribution to European progress in this momentous decade. While Peru took its place among Spanish dependencies, the exploits of the Andean conquerors raised the adventurous spirit to its height; and men turned with high hopes to the great northern continent, where tales of golden cities and glimpses of Indian pueblos, vouchsafed to earlier explorers, convinced them of the existence there of empires no less wealthy than those of Peru or Mexico. In the decade of the conquest of the Andes, therefore, a series of extraordinary marches laid bare the secrets of the southern part of North America. Though they failed to find the gold they sought, these expeditions revealed as great courage and enterprise as the exploits of Mexican or Aztec conquerors, and were of scarcely less ultimate importance to the spread of European power through the western world. The explorers
Of these the first was Pamfilio de Narvaez, Cortez's old antagonist. Before Pizarro began his conquest of Peru, Narvaez had commenced to explore the mainlands westward from Florida, while one of his companions, Cabeza de Vaca, even made his way across the Gulf plains to Mexico. Meanwhile, Cortez's agents discovered Lower California and planted a colony, and during the period of Andean conquest vessels were sent along the western coast as far as Cape Mendocino, a thousand miles to the north. Cortez's successor, Mendoza, pursued the task of extending Spain's power
with no less energy. Hernando de Alaršon, despatched to the Gulf of California, found a great river, whose turbid waters inspired him to christen it the Colorado; and Francisco de Coronado, appointed governor of New Galicia, made his way from that province, across desert and mountain, to where that same stream has hollowed the marvelous phenomenon known as the Grand Canyon. Thence, turning eastward to the Rio Grande, he was lured onward by rumors of a native city, Quivira, rich in gold, in search of which he found his way across the western plains to a point north of the Arkansas river, and from there, empty-handed, he returned to Mexico, after the longest march yet undertaken by the new world adventurers.
At the same time, a follower and son-in-law of Pedrarias d'Avila, Hernando de Soto, who had accompanied Pizarro to Peru, landed in Florida to seek an Eldorado in the northern continent. Following Narvaez's track, he found and crossed the Mississippi, and made his way far to the westward. But, like Coronado, he found no cities and no gold, and disappointed in his search, he was compelled to retrace his steps to the great river he discovered. There he sickened and died, and his followers, burying him in its waters, made their painful way to Mexico.
Spanish advance was not confined to the mainland. At the same time that the whole south and west of North America was being traversed and claimed for Spain by these remarkable marches, Valdivia sailed along the western shores of South America to the fortieth parallel, Camargo carried the Spanish flag to Cape Horn, and the coast of California was explored. With these exploits Spain's claims to territory in the New World reached their widest bounds. She had secured not merely the huge plunder of the western peoples and acquired the sources of a supply of precious metals in amounts hitherto unknown to European experience, but an extent of land greater than the whole area of Europe itself.
The coast line
It was appropriate, therefore, that at this point in her colonial career she took occasion to reorganize her power. In the same year that Almagro began the conquest of Chili The "New Laws" and Pizarro founded Lima, Antonio de Mendoza had been named the first Viceroy of New Spain. Before his coming the general system of native exploitation and control had been extended to the mainland conquests, but its fundamental feature, the repartimiento system, was now profoundly changed. It had been granted at first in perpetuity, but the efforts of Las Casas and his school had succeeded in limiting its operation to the life of the grantee. Later extended to two lives, it was now decreed that, on the encomendero's death, his grants reverted to the crown. This was the most striking feature of those measures which now inaugurated that great code of Indian legislation known to later generations as the Recopilacion de Leyes de los Reinos de las Indias, usually, if not quite correctly, called by them the New Laws of Charles V. Enlarged and modified from time to time, these now became the supreme law of the colonies, and remained for centuries the greatest of the world's colonial codes, directing the destinies of millions of human beings.
Under the new arrangement, though Seville retained the monopoly of colonial trade and the Casa de la Contratacion went on, the management of affairs remained in the hands of the Council of the Indies, which became the supreme authority in legislative and judicial affairs of the colonies. Its president and its members, "men of noble birth, pure lineage, and true faith," formed an imposing and a powerful board of control. It gathered information and advised the king in civil and ecclesiastical affairs; held residencias or inquests on each viceroy's acts at the expiration of his term, through its commissioners; heard appeals; controlled finance; and, through the subordinate Casa de la Contratacion, regulated commerce.
The Council of the Indies
Under its direction the resident administration of the new world was organized. From the first Spain's policy had been to check and balance authority in the colonies, and the whole system of government, therefore, reflected this fundamental principle. The audiencia, though it was the viceroy's council and for the most part under his authority, sat as an appellate court on his decisions. From it proceeded, triennially, one of its judges to inspect administration in the provinces, the acts of the district or provincial governors; of the Indian agents; of municipal affairs under the direction of their alcaldes and boards of aldermen or councillors. They took account of the crown fifths of mining profits; native poll or tribute tax; the alcabala, or tax on goods sold; receipts from sale of offices; indulgences; monopolies of tobacco, gunpowder, quicksilver, salt; and supervised the administration of justice. From their reports and knowledge of affairs, viceroy and audiencia reported to the Council which framed the laws and regulations for the colonial empire.
Such was the organization spread through Spanish America. Its task was no less novel than difficult. Hampered by the difficulty of legislating at a distance, and without intimate knowledge of the people and the circumstances among which their edicts were to operate, such a body as the Council of the Indies lacked adequate control of the officials who put its measure into force. Its principal defect lay in its efforts to remedy the lack of a close supervision by too minute a regulation of affairs. Yet despite the false political economy which harmed the native and the government alike far more than the oppression and extortion for which the Spaniards have been so bitterly attacked, it carried on its work with conscientiousness, ability, and no small success. Too rigid for a later age, to whose changes it began to adjust itself too late, and by no means always well administered by its agents, the Spanish colonial system in the fifteenth century, measured by the standards of its time, was both strong and enlightened. And, ruling as it did half the known world, it was a factor of wide importance in the affairs of mankind.
Under more favorable circumstances it might have ensured for centuries the dominance of the state that gave it birth. But the political situation in which the nation found itself, no less than the false notions of political economy, and the demoralizing influences of such sudden and overwhelming success, were powerful agents of disintegration almost from the first. Even the vast treasures secured from the plunder Its difficulties of the new provinces, the taxes and prospective tribute of wide-stretching territory and millions of native vassals, with their forced labor in fields and mines were neutralized by the tremendous cost of the Emperor's foreign policy. The almost incessant clash of arms during the preceding century, the exodus of adventurers to the New World, added to the long and exhausting wars of Charles V, not merely drained the land of able-bodied men; it made the pursuit of arms, long bred in the Spanish race, almost the only ambition of a whole people. Moreover, in a nation which was at best not mercantile in its instincts, the flood of sudden wealth choked the springs of industry. The slender flow of manufactured goods, even the cultivation of the soil, was checked, and as the nation, inflamed by conquest and discovery, sought the ways to sudden wealth, like Portugal it left the straight path of homely prosperity and the sound basis of its economic life decayed. The full effect of this, indeed, was not felt when, at this crowning point of her achievements oversea she formalized the administration of her new empire; but already, to the world outside, Spain seemed a land where the hidalgo, soldier, friar, and official stood for the sum of national life and spirit. And this in no small measure became the mold of her national character.
Such were the beginnings of European occupation in the western hemisphere, which above all other regions has remained thus far its most important seat outside of Europe itself. But the exploitation of America was not confined to Spain. Roused by their rival's energies, the Spanish occupation of the Argentine, the threats of English and of French adventurers, the Portuguese, who for a generation had neglected Brazil for their eastern possessions, turned their attention to that imperial province. In the year Pizarro conquered Peru, the Portuguese noble, Affonso de Sousa, was despatched to America. His first exploit was the discovery of the harbor of Rio de Janeiro, the next was the establishment of settled government. For its model the island colonies were drawn upon. Beginning at the north the land was parceled out into hereditary fiefs, the so-called cap-
The Portuguese in America 1517-42
taincies, each for the most part with a sea-frontage of some fifty leagues and extending indefinitely into the interior, along lines parallel with the equator. These huge grants were conferred on noble donatorios, with civil and criminal jurisdiction and complete authority over the land and its inhabitants. This characteristic Portuguese system endured until the crown found itself compelled, as in the island colonies, to appoint royal officials to enforce the rights of the colonists and the home government. Under such conditions, de Sousa, as the first grantee, founded a post at SŃo Vicente on the northern coast. Settlement began with undesirables of every class, convicts, women of the baser sort, bankrupts, Jews; but there followed presently a slender stream of more eligible colonists, and, favored by a salutary neglect, the small and isolated coast settlements, Olinda, Recife or Pernambuco, and Bahia, which soon sprang up, showed signs of real vitality. The natives were reduced to servitude, wherever possible; the fiercer tribes driven into the more remote interior. Slaves from the Guinea coast were introduced; planting begun; and with it and forest products, a little gold and an increasing trade, were laid the foundations of a sound colonial prosperity.
Yet whatever the future promised her American possession, the more immediate concern of Portugal was with the East. There the quarter of a century which followed Albuquerque's death had seen the wide extension of her empire. Holding their stronghold of Diu with difficulty, the successors of the empire-builder had done what they could to extend their power in the farther East, by treaties with the rulers of Colombo and the Maldives. They held Malacca against their enemies only with the aid of their allies in Pacem and Achin, while their connection with China remained precarious and subject to many interruptions.
In the East 1517-42
Had they possessed Albuquerque's character and abilities they might have made Portugal's position all but impregnable. But their incessant raids, their greed and bad faith, made enemies on every hand. And while native attempts at insurrection were cruelly suppressed; while the richest of the Molucca spice-trading centers, Tidore, became a tributary state, and the Spanish treaty secured the Portuguese position in that archipelago, dishonesty and rapine went on all but unchecked, and Portugal's position grew gradually less secure.
Meanwhile the field of conflict widened. The Portuguese attack upon Diu enlisted the king of Cambay among their enemies; and from Egypt the Turkish governor of Cairo despatched forces against them. In turn the younger da Gama raided the Turkish power in the Red Sea and carried his victorious arms from Socotra to Suez, effecting a diversion which materially aided the Imperial and Italian conflict with the Ottoman power, then at its height. The king of Abyssinia was induced to aid in the attack upon Egypt; and finally John III despatched an embassy to Suleiman the Magnificent, which, though it failed, revealed the altering tendencies of world politics as clearly as the earlier efforts of Francis I to enlist Turkish support against the Emperor. But with all of Portugal's warlike enterprise and the extension of her boundaries, efforts for peace became as futile as efforts for reform, and perpetual strife and corrupt administration became the normal condition of Portuguese occupation of the East.
This was not the worst. While her captains reached the farthest East, her power nearer home had sunk until, especially in northern Africa, the tide of Moslem rule had overspread much Portugal had owned and lapped the base of her remaining fortresses. The valor of her fighting men as yet showed small decline, her great monopoly was scarcely impaired, but greed, corruption, and jealousy were more dangerous enemies than any human foe. Few viceroys escaped arrest. Most deserved their fate, and even the best of them found it impossible to repress the infinite perversion of public office to private gain among their subordinates. The lack of real colonists weakened her hold upon the East no less. After a quarter of a century of occupation Goa held less than five hundred Europeans, and these were chiefly in government employ. With all the brilliance of her cap- Her disabilities tains' exploits, army and navy continually lacked recruits; and the soldiers, their discipline relaxed, their comfort ignored, their pay withheld, fell, like their officers, into contempt. Even pilotage and the once dreaded artillery declined. Only the incredible profits of her trade maintained apparent prosperity amid boundless waste, while the one sure foundation of permanent welfare, public virtue, showed signs of insufficiency before the strain of a too great success. Such was the position of Portugal when in the same year that Spanish colonial administration was reorganized, the Portuguese extended their operations to the distant, long dreamed-of island kingdom of Cipango or Japan. With that event at the same moment the two rival empires reached their widest bounds. 1542
Beside their advance, the progress of other European powers in the world outside was all but insignificant. Nor was this to be wondered at. German adventurers had taken some small part in the exploiting of South America, but their sovereign's demand for men at home to fight the French, the Moors, the Turks, and throughout Italy, left few to be spent in more distant lands. The ostentatious monarch of what was to be the leading maritime nation of the world was besought in vain to aid in finding a northern passage to "the regions of all the Tartarians, the Chinas, and Cathaio Orientall," by way of "the back side of the new-found land." For Henry VIII was unwilling to divert even the "godly meane, the little cost, perill or labour" for such an enterprise from the vain ambitions of an Imperial crown, the church affairs, and the domestic entanglements which filled his life.
Progress of other European peoples --England
Even amid his campaigns against Charles V the French king found more opportunity than England for such enterprise; and at the moment Pizarro conquered Peru, he sent Jacques Cartier of Saint-Malo to the St. Lawrence, to find his way up that great river to the rapids called, satirically perhaps, Lachine. The explorer found no passage to China by that route. But five years later he went out again, founded a short-lived settlement at Charlesburg, while his associate,
the Lord of Roberval, the "governor of New France, Canada, and Hochelaga," as these lands were called, built a stockade above the Isle of Orleans. Yet like the private trading voyages of the English to Newfoundland, Brazil, and Central America, these French exploits produced no permanent results. Without the crown support, on which Spanish and Portuguese success was founded, it was scarcely conceivable that such undertakings at such time could prosper; and these scattered efforts, save that they kept alive an interest in the new world among the peoples whose main strength was then absorbed in religious and political rivalries at home, left Spain and Portugal supreme in the colonial field.
CHAPTER X - SOCIAL AND INTELLECTUAL EUROPE. 1521-1543
THE BEGINNINGS OF MODERN SCIENCE AND CAPITALISM
IN any consideration of the forces which combined during the long reign of Charles V to produce the beginnings of a modern world, it is impossible to ignore the development of that department of intellectual activity to which we give the general name of science. For that development is important not alone in its mere contribution to knowledge and power, in its increase of man's comfort and his capacity to achieve material tasks, to cure or ameliorate his sufferings, to bring the forces of nature to his aid to conquer nature or his fellow-man, to enable him to comprehend something of the mystery of the created universe. Like scholarship, and still more like art, it has a deeper significance, than even the discovery of new method and new facts. This lies in the emancipation of the mind from the trammels of dogma, the increased capacity to conceive great ideas, to discover and to learn. For from such a force proceeds not only material achievement but the possibility of real progress in mental and spiritual fields.
Science and the Reformers
Such a result must be reckoned no less important to the history of Europeans than the changes in religious belief and ecclesiastical practice by which it was accompanied, and of far greater significance than the larger part of the political activities by which it was, for the most part, hindered. With all their influence in breaking the power of the older tradition of dogmatic authority, and their insistence upon the rights of the individual, the new communions soon proved themselves scarcely more tolerant than the old, when measured by modern standards. Asserting their own claims to liberty of opinion, they were quick to refuse that privilege to those who disagreed with them. It was still possible for Luther to deny the supremacy of Roman dogma and to denounce the doctrines of his Protestant rivals with equal vigor. It was still possible for Calvin to demonstrate his right to renounce the old faith and practices, and have Servetus burned for refusing to assent to a particular arrangement of the words "the infinite son of the father" as against "the son of the infinite father."
Nor was the new theology more willing to accept the freedom of speculation necessary to the advance of all knowledge, and of science in particular. The tradition of the older conceptions was still strong. To Lutheran and Calvinist, as to Roman Catholic, the earth was still the center of the universe, and man the chief if not the only concern of God. Though in the last year of this remarkable period the Copernican hypothesis of a solar system was taking form, not for another three-quarters of a century was it to be accepted by even the most advanced leaders of European thought. None the less, the Reformation marks a tremendous alteration in the history of the world. From it flowed not merely new communions but the beginning of an emancipation from a single school of dogma, that denial of the claim to a monopoly of revealed truth, which opened the way to greater freedom of speculation, and, in due course of time, to liberty of thought and speech. And, whether one regards this as a blessing or a curse, it none the less remains the great outstanding characteristic of the modern world.
Finally, in that it summed up in itself something of each of the forces then at work remolding Europe, religious, social, political, and intellectual, the Reformation was not merely the type but the epitome of the times in which it fell. It not merely influenced politics, it was, in no small degree itself political. It not merely offered an outlet to the dissatisfaction with the social system of the time, it partook of that social discontent and brought that growing spirit another step on its way; and it was at once the product of the intellectual movement which had preceded it and the inspiration of much that followed. Yet in this it revealed a striking The REformation and the scientific renaissance difference from the scientific renaissance. For though its leaders advanced toward the determination of truth from a direction wholly opposite to that from which the scientists proceeded, they aimed at the same goal. The one side based itself upon revelation, the other on investigation. And if there is one circumstance which distinguishes the period in which the Protestant communions took their rise, apart from that revolution in the ecclesiastical world, it is that there began at this time the first great serious effort which was destined to success, to discover the secrets of the structure of the universe and man.
The adventures of the mind, even less than the triumphs of the artists, perhaps even less than the contentions of the theologians, make little appeal to us in comparison with the deeds of men of action. In any chronicle of the history of mankind they have been given small consideration beside the annals of war and diplomacy. Yet whatever we may think of the relative importance of European progress during modern times in the fields of politics, or even in those of morals, philosophy, art, and letters, as compared with the achievement of the ancients, one thing is certain. We know more, we have more, and we can do more than our ancestors, and that this is an absolute advance in civilization it is difficult to deny. Men may not be better, happier, stronger, or more profound than they were in the age of Pericles, but they are, unquestionably, more comfortable, more powerful, and more capable, and in so far more civilized. The importance of science to progress
This result is due, in general, not to the efforts of those men chiefly concerned in establishing their ascendancy over their fellows but to those whose principal aim has been the conquest of the secrets and the resources of nature--in short to the advance of scientific knowledge. However the progress in scholarship, in letters, art, or theology may have contributed to the emancipation of the intellect which made scientific labors possible, it is to science, rather than to these other phenomena of the mind, that the development of what we call the modern world is due, and that of all fields, it is in science we excel the ancient world.
Europe had made great progress in the art of government in the generations just passed. She had revolutionized letters and art, with the whole theory and practice of ecclesiastical affairs. She had discovered the sea-ways east and west, and made far-reaching conquests. Yet the last quarter of the fifteenth century and the first half of the sixteenth were no less notable for the foundation of those branches of knowledge from which has developed a great part of our modern strength, than for the alterations in these other fields of human activity. In particular, it is to this period that we owe the beginnings of knowledge and practice in two fields of the profoundest importance not merely to our every-day life but to our thought and, in no small degree, to our beliefs. These were the fields of medicine, and of mathematics and astronomy.
The beginnings of modern science
In considerable measure these advances were due, like most of the progress of the period in all intellectual affairs, to the rise of the new learning which was brought in by the Renaissance during the preceding century.
Among the treasures of antiquity which found their way to more general knowledge during those years, the productions of the men of letters had not been unique. It is true that the middle ages had known many of the achievements of the classical world. It is true that especially after the socalled thirteenth century renaissance great additions were made to that knowledge. From their long obscurity had been drawn such scientific attainments as the Greeks in particular had acquired, and this had been reinforced by the contributions of the Arabs, from whose writings, as they came into Europe, had been extracted not only their own learning but that which they had acquired from classical and Indian sources. But there is a vast difference between knowledge and accessibility; between the labors of a handful of widely separated scholars and the vivid, and often highly practical interest of increasing numbers, kept in touch with each other and with the general progress of their work by such rapid and generous reproductions as are made by the printing-press. And it is this characteristic which sharply divides the modern from the mediŠval period. From the middle of the fifteenth century this impulse was more and more in evidence; and it may fairly be said that, whatever the acquirements of isolated individuals before that time, classical knowledge was not in the possession of Europe in general until it was available in print and became a part of the commonly accessible stock of European information.
This was especially true of mathematics, where the Greeks had achieved their greatest scientific success, and where the needs of the new navigation had been most insistent in their demands. The early middle ages had characteristically preserved the propositions of Euclid, but not his proofs. This error was corrected during the twelfth century. But to minds inflamed with that tremendous burst of intellectual curiosity which accompanied and followed the revelation of unknown lands and the uncovering of the past even this was far from enough. And if this period and the progress of printing were notable for nothing else, they would be memorable for the reintroduction into general European knowledge of the labors of that Greek whose work remains, after twenty centuries, the basis for the science of geometry.
To the revival of Euclid as a scientific auxiliary and a means of education were added other contributions. While geometry, apart from its prostitution to the uses of necromancy, had been largely confined to the practical purposes of surveyor and architect, and the calculations of arithmetic had found their chief expression in the abacus, there was small opportunity for mathematics to become a great factor in the extension of the intellectual faculties. In the preceding century the labors of Purbach and of his pupil Regiomantanus had done much to arouse fresh interest in the knowledge and understanding of geography, mathematics, and astronomy. To these were added in the first half of the sixteenth century the achievements of the Italian Fontana, better known by his nickname of Tartaglia, "the stammerer."
This original genius added to his contributions to ballistics the discovery of the so-called cubic equation, a method
of finding the least common denominator, and a variety of similar practical solutions of mathematical processes. Algebra, whose name like its methods came into Europe from the Arabs through the medium of the thirteenth-century mathematician, Leonardo of Pisa, and was greatly stimulated by the work of Lucas de Burgo at the end of the fifteenth century, had been reinforced by the latter's text-book which appeared in the days of Columbus' second voyage and Charles VIII's invasion of Italy. Its development had gone on side by side with art and letters, but it was not until Tartaglia's day that his genius set it on the paths which it has since followed. The same course had been followed by arithmetic. From the labors of the Arab Mohammed ben Musa alKhwarismi, building on the rude decimal system derived from India, had been developed the decimal system which became the foundation of European arithmetical processes; and that system had, by Tartaglia's day, established itself in the place of the awkward Roman numerals and the abacus. Now, in the years which saw the revolt from Rome, these were reinforced by the labors of another and far greater intellect.
This was the Pole, Johann Kopernik, better known from the Latinized form of his name, as Copernicus. From his studies in Bologna and his lectureship in Rome, this modest scholar brought to his studies in Frauenburg ideas which, finally embodied in his book, De Revolutionibus Orbium, prepared the overthrow of astronomy and even theology as then conceived. For, from the many hypotheses regarding the universe held by the ancients, he evolved his theory of the solar system, in which the planets, including the earth, revolved about the sun. To this conception he added his theory of the revolution of the earth on its axis, and that of the stars, like the earth, in their orbits,--doctrines which were to astronomy what Columbus' discovery was to geography. For these, with explanations of the precession of the equinoxes, and the variations of the seasons, though unaccompanied by proof, and not for a century accepted by even scientists generally, laid the foundations for a knowledge and a belief which, in the field of faith no less than in that
of intellect, separated the modern from the mediŠval world by an impassable gulf. His work, carried on while Europe was convulsed with the revolt from Rome, the progress of the Renaissance, the Spanish conquest of America, and the development of the national absolutisms, did not appear finally in print until 1543. By that time the church had bestirred itself to summon the great council which marks the break between the new and old ecclesiastical system of the continent, the Spanish empire had been organized, and the world was fairly set on its new course. In that course, though its time was long in coming, the labors of this obscure Polish scientist were to play a part not incomparable to that of the Renaissance, the Reformation, and the great discoveries.
The scientific advance in these years was not confined to mathematics and astronomy, for Europe had begun meanwhile another movement of no less interest and of even greater practical importance to the race than the determination of the laws of the universe. This was in medicine. In the twelvemonth which saw the defeat of Francis I at Pavia and that of the rebellious peasants on the Rhine, there appeared, almost simultaneously, at Venice, the Greek text of the works of Galen and Hippocrates, the latter from the press of Aldus. A dozen years later other and better editions appeared at Basel. With these the writings of the two great medical authorities of the classical world took their place again in scientific literature. They were soon translated, in whole or in part, into Latin and even into modern languages and so found a still wider audience. Though they had been known to the middle ages, they now became easily accessible, and took their place in the current of general scientific advance.
The result was immediate and profound. However far they fell short of modern conceptions and practices in healing, however wrong their theories and however deficient their knowledge, the writings of the great Greek physicians offered at least a comprehensible system of medicine upon which, as a foundation, it was possible to build a new edifice. The work of Galen, in particular, had been known to the later middle ages through the Arabic of Avicenna, but now accessible in the original and in translation, it took on new influence. The long development of medicine which, during the preceding century in particular, had begun to show some signs of escaping from the trammels of ignorance and superstition which had prevented its progress was immensely stimulated; while its scientific character was powerfully reinforced by the decline of that almost mystical reverence for the human body which the church inculcated and thus long prevented any adequate study of its organs. Renaissance and Reformation spirit alike revolted against this prohibition, to the enormous advantage of the race.
Almost at once there arose a new school of medical thought and practice, partly based on the Greek teachings, partly owing its achievements to its antagonism to the "fathers of medicine." In the hands of these "medical humanists" the whole basis of medical and surgical knowledge was altered as men began to seek the sources of their information not in books but in the body itself. Its first development was naturally in anatomy. Dissection, which still suffered from the ecclesiastical prejudice, and which was long permissible only under church sanction, came into increasing vogue, as its limitations were removed or ignored; and with it modern medicine may be said to begin. This movement was not confined to any nation. In Italy Frascatoro, the physician of the Council of Trent and professor at Padua, began that study of contagion which laid the foundations for a great part of modern medical science, while the Papal physician, Eustachio, whose name the Eustachian tube perpetuates, shared with the Imperial physician, Vesalius, the honor of establishing the sciences of anatomy and histology. These, in turn, found a rival in the Pisan professor, Falloppio, who gave his name to the Fallopian tube, which rewarded his researches in anatomy.
"The medical humanists"
This activity was not limited to Italy. The Englishman, Linaacre, physician to Henry VII and Henry VIII, drew far more from his studies at Florence than the classical learning which made him--with Grocyn, Colet, Lily, and Latimer-- one of the founders of the English or Oxford humanistic school, and introduced Britain to the Italian classical Renaissance. His translations from Galen and Hippocrates, like those of the Italian Leoniceno, did more than bring Greek medical acquirements to the knowledge of his day. They inspired him to found lectureships in medicine and the London College of Physicians, as one of the first steps in the extension of medical education beyond the bounds of Italy. In France the talents of Brissot brought some amelioration to the favorite practice of blood-letting by giving it some relation to the parts which it was intended to benefit; while Sylvius, despite his slavish adherence to Galen, described many of the blood-vessels and muscles and gave them the names they still bear. Still more the genius of the great surgeon, ParÚ, found ample scope for its expression in the incessant wars with which his country was cursed. For among the few blessings which they brought, his contributions to the art of amputation, and his advocacy of such varying practices as massage and asepsis are probably the greatest.
English and French medicine
In the hands of many of these exponents of the reviving art the learning of the ancients was continued along traditional lines, modified in practice by the introduction of dissection. This soon established the dissecting-room and even a rude clinic alongside the hospital as a feature of the new science. But in some quarters, especially in Switzerland and the Netherlands, the problem was approached from a different direction. The Spanish physician, Servetus, began those researches in the circulation of the blood between the heart and lungs which were to find fruition a century later; but, seeking refuge from the bigotry of his own country, he met death in Switzerland at the hands of the no less bigoted followers of Calvin for his theological opinions. Greater still the traveler-chemist-doctor, appropriately christened Philippus Aureolus Theophrastus Paracelsus Bombastus von Hohenheim, but better known by the abbreviated form, Paracelsus, sometime professor at Basel, sometime physician to the merchant-prince, Fugger, in whose mines and laboratories he gained no small part of his knowledge, founded
The Netherlands, Switzerland and Germany
a new school of medical theory and practice. Rejecting all tradition, burning Galen and Avicenna, deriding Hippocrates, this curious pioneer, half genius, half charlatan, sought knowledge in reason and investigation as against authority. He preached asepsis and the value of mineral baths, made and used opium and many mineral salts, discovered hydrogen and animal magnetism, and compelled physicians to accept chemical therapeutics. In medicine, in chemistry, in pharmacy he was equally a pioneer.
Paracelsus well typifies the change coming over the treatment of disease in more ways than one, for he brought to medicine the aid of chemistry, then just beginning to dissociate itself from alchemy. Still more, under such influences, there began that school of thought known as "iatrochemistry," which referred all physiological change to chemical processes, and thus, while it facilitated progress in certain directions, hindered it in others. To this was added the beginnings of another science, botany, which, especially in the hands of the so-called Fathers of Botany in Germany, began that description of plants which at once laid the foundations of a new department of knowledge and added to the curative or therapeutic resources of medicine.
None the less, the great contribution of the age remained descriptive anatomy, and in that field one figure appears the supreme example of the new spirit. This was the Flemishborn, Italian-trained Vesalius, the teacher of Falloppio, the inspirer of ParÚ, physician to Charles V and Philip II. Basing his work upon dissection and description rather than on tradition, he gave an impetus to anatomy which the science has never lost, and by his genius and enthusiasm he not only advanced knowledge, be founded a method and a school of instruction which gives him rank in the medical world with Copernicus in that of mathematics and astronomy. Nor is it a coincidence without significance that his great work, De Corporis Humani Fabrica, which gave a death-blow to the old pedantic school and "dragged the Galen-idol down," appeared in the same year that Copernicus' labors found their final form in print.
Unconnected with the advances of medicine and mathematics, yet of scarcely less importance, was the development of interest in metals stimulated by the discoveries in Europe itself and especially in America. The development of mining on the continent had roused men to new interest in the resources of the earth. It is not surprising, therefore, that this period saw the appearance of the first--and for three centuries the most substantial--contribution to the science of mineralogy. This work, De Re Metallica, was produced by a German, Georg Landmann, generally called by his assumed name, Agricola, "the father of mineralogy." It was reinforced from the medical side by the labors of Paracelsus; and from the direction of practical operation by the development of the amalgamation or quicksilver process of separating gold from ore. This was enormously stimulated by the discovery and working of the deposits of cinnabar, from which mercury was extracted, at Almaden in Spain and Idria in Austria. Thus the domains and the subjects of Charles V, apart from the conquests which distinguished his reign, became peculiarly notable for their contribution to the economic as to the intellectual progress of the European world.
Finally this extraordinary burst of activity reacted directly upon other fields and individuals not usually associated with the more practical side of life. To his contributions in engineering and painting, Leonardo da Vinci added the first rational explanation of the fossils which the new mining discovered in its operations. To his triumphs with the brush and chisel Michelangelo, appointed chief architect of St. Peter's, added a skill in building operations which finally brought that great edifice into being. And to his extraordinary gifts as the delineator of sixteenth-century faces, which made the younger Holbein the greatest of portraitproducers of his time, this Dutch genius added a skill in designing and engraving which set the art of book-making another stage on its progress. If any one desires to know what manner of men and women made this period he needs only to study the work of this talented, itinerant sketcher of faces, whose detached, impersonal method of drawing things
Hans Holbein, the younger 1497-1543
as they were, is, in some sort, a symbol of his times. For his sketch books reveal that tendency to find in the creatures of this world an interest which many of his predecessors had been able to find only in the next. Sacred art was by no means wanting. But its ascendancy, like that of the painting of classical subjects which was the product of the Renaissance, now began to share honors with the delineation of the scenes and the characters which made the world what it was to the inquiring eyes of the mid-sixteenth century.
These phenomena, concurrent with the summons to the Council of Trent, the advent of the Portuguese in Japan, the reorganization of the Spanish colonial empire, and the final triumph of absolute kingships in the national states, mark fittingly the great turning-point in the fortunes of the new world which the men of action and of thought had summoned from the ruins of the old. Thenceforth, in intellect as in faith, in words and deeds, Europe turned more and more definitely to those activities and those concepts to which we give the name of modern. Thenceforth the shackles of tradition were loosened increasingly from year to year, and the men of thought, like the men of action, found opening before them wider fields for the exercise of their abilities and their energies. For if they had not begun to explain, they had,-to use Bacon's witty analogy,--followed the example of Adam and Eve in Paradise, they had "observed the creatures and named them,--the first steps in the summary parts of knowledge."
The transition to modern thought
Their development implied far more than these. Two other characteristics differentiate this movement from what had gone before. The one was the spread of these new interests to all sections of society, and the rise of a body of intellectual men which thenceforth began to play an increasingly greater part in human affairs. The great figures were still great, but they were no longer divided from the mass of mankind by any such gulf as had existed earlier. They were, in fact, but the more conspicuous individuals evolved from a growing class of intellectuals, types rather than personalities.
Beside them worked increasing numbers of all but anonymous individuals, whose collective contribution to knowledge not merely equaled the product of the greater geniuses, but went far toward making their achievements possible.
The second characteristic of a changing world grew from this situation of the intellectual class. It was the development of more and more highly specialized activities. It was no longer possible, as it had been two centuries earlier, for one man to become, like Roger Bacon, virtually an encyclopedia of human, or at least scientific, knowledge. The process of differentiation had begun. Occasional geniuses, like Leonardo da Vinci, as in all ages of the world, did many things well, and several things greatly. Some men, like More, were no less eminent in letters and scholarship than in public affairs; some, like Servetus, were conspicuous in medicine and theology; some, like Rabelais, combined medical knowledge with eminent literary gifts. But, for the most part, the content of knowledge was now becoming too great, the demands of the various activities now opening before men were growing too arduous to allow of such universality as had once been possible.
From these two circumstances grew a third, which was of no less moment. The chief defect of mediŠval society had been the relative restriction of careers outside the church open to men of talent, of non-noble birth. This, which was the natural result of the social and ecclesiastical system of the middle ages, had begun to break down with the intellectual and political expansion of the fifteenth century. With the acceleration of those movements in the first half of the sixteenth century, it tended to disappear even more rapidly. It was to be long before the aristocratic tradition was weakened in the field of public affairs, or ecclesiastical influence, whether Catholic or Protestant, ceased its attempts to control the progress of the human mind in those fields which trenched on the domain of dogma. But as from year to year new paths were opened to men's energies in every direction, more and more an open way to the talents presented itself to "The open way for the talents" every class, save the lowest. As it became possible for a Cortez to rise to the dignity of a marquisate even in Spain, it was no less possible for a Luther or an Erasmus or a Calvin to become a ruler of men's thoughts. And, with the advance of science, arts, and crafts, thousands of men found ready to their hands an infinity of tasks and a world of opportunity wholly apart from religion or politics, even apart from that commercial activity which, at the same time, rose to undreamed-of heights of influence, amid the rivalries of statesmen and warriors.
Thus, as the mid- sixteenth century approached, with the beginning of those great readjustments, political and ecclesiastical, which arose from the events of the preceding fifty years, it found a society prepared to take an active share in many concerns unknown to men of preceding generations or barred to a great part of their number. And though it was still true that only a minority shared this privilege, it was now possible for men to achieve distinction in so many fields that the progress of the middle classes, at least in northern Europe, was but a matter of time in every direction which led to the determination of their destinies. And this, as events were soon to prove, became the next great element in the evolutions of affairs.
Among the events which will always make the age of Charles V memorable in history, the Reformation and the Counter-Reformation are by far the most conspicuous, and in many respects by far the most important. Beside them even the transition from feudal to national forms of government has seemed to most historians comparatively insignificant, and the development of Europe beyond the sea, with the economic revolution which took place at the same time, scarcely worth more than passing mention. Yet, in the long resolution of events, it is by no means certain that the theological controversies with which so much of the history of the time is chiefly concerned may not come to be regarded as of scarcely more than antiquarian interest, and even the long coil of war and diplomacy which centered in the Italian peninsula give way in importance to other factors in the life of this great transition period.
Of these, one, in particular, is peculiarly deserving of attention. This is the phase of human existence to which men have agreed to give the name of social and economic,-the routine of every-day life, and those activities which, though they lack the dramatic character of war and intrigue, dynastic ambition and personal adventure, have not only contributed to the existence of mankind, but have formed the foundation of progressive civilization to a greater degree than most of the acts of rulers and statesmen.
Social and economic change
In such a field the mid- sixteenth century revealed a Europe so altered from its condition even half a century earlier as to give it the aspect of almost a new world. Not merely in the spiritual and intellectual advance which it had achieved in the preceding hundred years, but in the concerns of daily life which affected every class of society, the continent had experienced a revolution in its status. This had profoundly influenced individual fortunes and in no small degree inspired or modified those movements which, like the Reformation itself, have been looked upon as concerns of the spirit.
First among the changes produced by the shifting balance of thought and practices had been, naturally enough, the improvement in the arts and crafts. It is not the infinite toil of infinite millions which contributes most to the material progress of society, save in that it aids in the accumulation of capital, nor is it even the genius of great leaders of thought which gives the steady impulse to the advance of a progressive material civilization. Somewhere between them lies a group of men gifted with technical skill, whose constant improvement of methods and machines gradually builds up a body of knowledge and a manual dexterity which provides continually improving materials for the uses of mankind. To these are added other forces, the demands of arts and crafts upon each other, the changing fashions of society, The arts and crafts the pressure for greater comfort and luxury, and the consequent insistence of the traders for goods to satisfy these various demands.
As Europe developed in material civilization and in culture during the centuries following the Crusades, these elements came more and more into evidence. Though the middle ages had beeen unable to produce those masterpieces of Roman masonry which defied the changes of time, though its artisans had forgotten the secret of that tool manufacture which made the Roman pre-eminent in every field of workmanship from dentistry to woodworking, the simpler crafts had gone on through the centuries, improving as they went. And with the greatly increased demands arising from greater knowledge, especially during the fifteenth century, the artisans, no less than the artists, had been stimulated to new models and new methods.
Successive generations of builders had carried on the traditions of their trade and developed them with their successive triumphs in those churches, public buildings, and palaces which make northern Italy still the Mecca of architects, as in those guild-halls, castles, and mansions which housed the nobles and merchant-princes of the north. The art of the goldsmith did not exhaust the creative genius of the metal-workers, for every new craft, as it came into being, made its demands upon that most universal of handicrafts for its tools. With every advance in navigation the demand for shipwrights grew, and their ability augmented. With changing fashion and greater luxury in dress the weavers increased in numbers and in skill. The development of pottery, which was conspicuous in the first half of the sixteenth century; the beginning of watch-making, which dates from the same period; the manufacture of lace, which then began, revealed at once new features in European industry, and the improvement of a society which demanded such products. It is one of the most significant signs of an altering age that the invention of the spinning-wheel is attributed to the same years which saw Protestantism take on its form and name; and that the invention of the wheelbarrow is credited
to the painter of the great fresco of the Last Supper, the artist-engineer-scientist, Leonardo da Vinci .
With such advance the age of the tool-makers began. In the main the hand tools with which all crafts are familiar, the hammer, the saw, the chisel, and the smoothing instruments, were by this time in common use in something of their present forms. Certain rude efforts to use more powerful forces than the human arm had been begun, by wind and especially water-wheels, particularly by the men engaged in grinding grain, and these were slowly taken up by other trades. Crude tilt hammers were devised to work into shape those anchors and artillery appliances beyond the strength of man's unaided strength to shape. The lathe was improved and enlarged to bore out cannon, among other uses; and the improvements associated with the name of the Frenchman, Besson, who issued a manual of lathe building and lathe work in 1569, revealed new processes and new principles. Among these the chief was a device for turning ovals and forms partaking of the principle of the screw-moldings whose axis was at an oblique angle to the main axis of the work-useful not only to the adornment of furniture but to a wide variety of other purposes.
It was inevitable that the progress of the arts and crafts should displace as well as introduce. The Gothic builders tended to disappear with the rise of Renaissance and neoclassic forms. The armorers' skill was lost or transferred to other fields with the extension of the use of gunpowder. The copyists, upon whose handiwork Europe had relied for centuries for the perpetuation of its knowledge found their occupation gone with the development of printing. Yet with all such displacement of the older arts, Europe progressed enormously in her industry during the sixteenth century. A score of professions, a hundred trades sprang up to take the place of those whose usefulness was gone. Canvas-making, whether for the use of the painters or for that of the sailmakers, type-founding and paper-making, press-building and book-binding arose as the manufacture of parchment and the art of the copyist declined. Engraving, with its materials Decline of mediŠval crafts and tools, map-making, and the construction of instruments for astronomical observation and time measurement, the manufacture of firearms and gunpowder, with an infinity of lesser activities, more than supplied the place of the outworn crafts.
Virtually all of this vast, complex, and for the most part anonymous contribution to the welfare and progress of European peoples was due to those classes with no voice in the affairs of state, and, in consequence, no place in history. Yet it was to them, in the last resolution, that the advance of Europe, even in politics, was chiefly due. Not only would the discoveries have been impossible, whatever the daring of navigators, without the artisans who made their voyages possible. The triumphs of the conquerors who followed the explorers would have been inconceivable without the arms and armor with which the craftsmen provided them, and, in no small degree, even the progress of national kingship was stimulated by this same element.
For it was not alone through patronage of the artists and architects by the upper classes that there came to be some recognition of the dignity and importance of industry by rulers and statesmen. Many generations were to elapse before there was any appreciable decline in the old feeling of distinction between aristocracy and commonalty, based on the feudal difference between the noble service of arms and the ignoble service of work. But with the rise to high position in affairs of the mind and spirit of so many men then reckoned of base birth, with the extraordinary progress of the arts and industries, that open way for the talents which the church almost alone had offered men in the middle ages, began to have new avenues of approach. It was apparent that even public affairs, however jealously guarded as the, preserve of noble birth, could not be closed forever to classes capable of such distinction in other fields.
Among these one had already forced its way to the front in Italy, and now began to play a like part in other lands-the merchants to whom the marvelous developments of the preceding hundred years had showed new paths to wealth The merchants and power. For, amid the dramatic events in politics and religion, the concurrent alterations in trade and finance had slowly and almost imperceptibly begun to shift the balance of the continent in social and political no less than economic fields.
This was particularly evident in the northern states, especially in Germany and the Netherlands. In the century which had just elapsed, the trade currents had shifted until the older commercial capitals no longer played the major part in the affairs which they had once controlled. This circumstance was not wholly due to Portuguese discoveries or Spanish conquest. The progress of Turkish power through Asia Minor and the Balkan peninsula, and, still more, its successes against the long line of Venetian and Genoese island and mainland posts through the Levant, had crippled the great commerce which had flowed through Italy. And when, at the moment that Charles V ascended the Spanish throne and Luther began his labors in Germany, the Turks overran Egypt and secured control of Alexandria, the last gateway into the East was barred to Italian enterprise. Thenceforth, though Genoa retained some fragments of her old privileges in the Levantine ports, and Venice collected the fragments of her old commerce, the Portuguese sea-way about Africa remained without a rival in the eastern trade and the Italian cities, finally excluded from its profits, sank into relative commercial insignificance.
Shifting of economic balance
But this was not the only, nor perhaps the greatest change effected in these years. Not merely had the trade routes shifted; there were strong indications that the balance of financial, and even political power was to follow the same course. Had Spain and Portugal, with all the wealth they brought from oversea, maintained their home economy unimpaired, they might have become the masters of European finance and politics. But even at the height of Portugal's monopoly of the eastern trade, it was the merchants of the northern nations who reaped the profits of exchanging those products for the necessities of life which their fellow-countrymen produced and of which Portugal found herself in want.
Spain and Germany
At the crowning-point of Spanish success in America, it was the bankers of central Germany who financed the policies of Charles V, and, owing to the short-sightedness of the landholders and the development of a huge corporation of woolgrowers in Spain, which deprived that nation of its arable land and a more varied industry, it was the artisans and farmers of northern Europe who supplied the mining industry of Spanish America with food and tools. Thus, thanks to the devotion of the Iberian peoples to a single industry, it was to other hands there fell the most enduring rewards for their activity. Lisbon and Seville, indeed, became the entrep˘ts of goods and bullion from non-European lands, and in so far replaced Venice and Genoa. But what the Italian cities had once been, Frankfort and Augsburg and Nuremberg, Antwerp and Amsterdam became--centers not only of commerce but of capital, and leaders in every field of trading and financial enterprise. The case of Nuremberg is typical. It grew up about a castle built in the eleventh century, and by imperial favor, no less than its situation and the energy of its citizens, grew rapidly in wealth and population. It lay on the highway between Italy and north Europe. Its art and architecture became the model for Germany; and it was the home of the great Meistersinger, Hans Sachs, as of the artist DŘrer. It was remarkable for its inventions, for to it is attributed the discovery of brass, and the art of wire-drawing, the first air guns and gunlocks, terrestrial and celestial globes, and the earliest watches, "Nuremberg eggs." But its position was weakened by the Portuguese discoveries, and the diversion of its trade and enterprise to other cities was typical of the great change then impending in Europe.
This leadership fell first from Italian into German hands, And it was not due wholly to the wealth drawn from Spain and Portugal. From early times the North Sea fisheriers, the trade with Russia and with Scandinavia, with England and the farther north, had brought its profits and enriched the cities of the Hanseatic League, Bremen and LŘbeck and Hamburg, in particular. As the fifteenth century proceeded, Germany that trading confederation had declined before the rivalry of states whose people, like the English, took commerce into their own hands. But German enterprise found compensation in other fields. The silver mines in the Tyrol, in Salzburg and Bohemia, the copper of Hungary, the iron forges of Thuringia, the varied mineral wealth of the Harz and the Erzgebirge, enriched the declining supply of precious metals of the continent, and enabled the enterprising merchants of central Germany to increase their holdings and so finance still greater adventures. To this was added the development of manufactures, especially those of weaving and metal-work. In such fashion, at the same time that new centers of like activity in Italy, among which Florence was the chief, turned to trade with north African ports, and to the arts and crafts which brought them wealth and power, Augsburg, Frankfort, Nuremberg, and their neighbors in central Germany rose to European stature in finance and industry.
As their wealth increased the merchant class embarked on various ventures, financed voyages to Asia and America, opened new mines in the old world and the new, loaned money to sovereigns, provided capital for every enterprise which promised profit, and so were gradually transformed into bankers and financiers. With the rise of great accumulations of capital, and, above all, of a body of men skilled in commercial operations, there emerged an element whose wealth and ability contributed more to the communities in which they lived than all the conquests of the Iberian powers. The day of the soldier had reached its prime; as the age of capital came on, the day of the merchant-banker began to dawn; and to its coming the vast increase of bullion from the Spanish colonies contributed. For that capital was inevitably drawn throughout the continent by the inexorable laws of mercantile exchange to which the false economy of Spain. and Portugal contributed.
The age of capital
It did still more; for, joined to the rapid development of a higher scale of living, especially in the cities, and the demands of a more complex society as the sixteenth century advanced, it raised prices. And this, in turn, reacted in an infinite variety of ways. The ambitions of princes like Francis and Charles, with their extravagance, laid heavier burdens on their taxable subjects, the landlord classes. These, in turn, oppressed their tenants, inclosed the common lands, demanded money as well or in the place of service or of kind; and thus helped to precipitate a revolution in the social order. Among the complaints of the revolting German peasants, this grievance was continually in evidence; in the innumerable disturbances of the succeeding century which gradually revolutionized society, the substitution of a money economy for service or exchange in kind played a great part. And, closely bound up with this far-reaching change, another element, which was its peculiar product, began to take a still greater share in the affairs of Europe.
This was the development of finance. The phenomenon was not new, for by the beginning of the fifteenth century Italy had already laid the foundations of her fortune in trade. Apart from the commerce which her position brought, the Crusades had vastly stimulated her development. Her merchant vessels were used as transports; she sold supplies, financed adventurers, and from the increased connection between East and West drew fresh profits, till she had become not merely the mistress of Mediterranean trade, but a great reservoir of capital. Her merchants became financiers, and, like the Bardi and Peruzzi of Florence, loaned money to princes as widely separated as the kings of England and Sicily. As the years went on, they became rulers in fact, even in name. Such, to take one instance of many, was the history of the Medici.
Building on this, by the natural development of credit and capital, there arose a system of banking in the chief cities of the peninsula. First came the mere bank of deposit, thence emerged the function of loaning money. And, as the prejudice against interest or usury gave way before the insistent demands of business and politics, that branch of economic activity passed from the hands of Jews, who had monopolized its profits as long as the church had frowned upon the practice. Money was recognized as a commodity,
like wood or steel, and it became legitimate to make a profit on its use.
Thence, following the practice of the Florentines who made that city the financial center of Europe for so many years, Venice and Genoa established banks, backed by their merchants, which became virtually the masters of the state; and these became the prototypes for all Europe. With the advance of capital to the north this same development followed in due course, now vastly reinforced by Spain's bullion. The store of precious metals grew by leaps and bounds, the scale of operations correspondingly increased, and, as the sixteenth century advanced, the northern merchants, like their predecessors of the south, became, if not territorial rulers, at least considerable factors in public affairs.
Nothing can better illustrate this process than the rise of the great German family of Fugger, which, by the middle of the sixteenth century, personified the triumph of capital in the northern states. Its founder, a weaver near Augsburg, left at his death in 1409 a fortune considerable for those days of some three thousand gulden. His son, in turn, increased that sum, moved to Augsburg, and there became the head of the guild of weavers. Of his three sons one continued the family business with eminent success, one made another fortune in the mines of the Tyrol, loaned the Archduke of Austria no less than 150,000 florins, and built a splendid castle, the Fuggerau. All three married ladies of noble family and were themselves ennobled by the Emperor, Maximilian, to whom they loaned no less than a quarter of a million florins. By the beginning of the sixteenth century two representatives remained in the business, which, following the great discoveries, had spread to the remotest corners of the European world. They financed Charles V's campaign against the Lutherans and his crusade against Algiers; they became bankers to the Pope; they even undertook the "farming," or contract for the sale of indulgences in Germany. The Fuggers
They were raised to the dignity of counts; and when the younger died in 1560 his estate was reckoned at six million gold crowns, besides vast properties in Europe, Asia, and America. It was of them that Charles V spoke when, on being shown the royal treasure of France, he observed that he had among his subjects a weaver of Augsburg whose wealth surpassed that of the French monarch. Nor were they mere getters of money. Their philanthropy and their patronage of art were equally remarkable; and, like the Medici, they contributed no less to the progress of politics and society than to the economic development of the European world.
The Fuggers were but the greatest of a great class then spreading northward through the continent. They still were merchant-bankers; not until the years preceding the Armada was the first public bank, within our meaning of the word, founded at Venice. But the great change was on its way. Twenty years later Amsterdam took up the principle, and though for a century more the private merchant-banker or goldsmith remained the chief financial power of Europe, the principle was established. As he contributed to the ambitions of the absolute princes, his monopoly was early attacked by lower classes who attributed to him that rise in prices and that tendency of wealth to concentrate in a few hands, which was only in part due to the shrewdness of these men who took advantage of a general movement of which they were themselves a product. The age of barter and exchange was giving way to that of money as rapidly as Europe obtained sufficient specie to effect the change. And as the old system tended to disappear, the whole fabric of society, unconscious and largely ignorant of the causes which lay behind the phenomena affecting its existence, found every fiber of that existence modified by the economic revolution thus produced.
With the development of capitalism was closely bound up a profound change in the system of industry. The guilds which had overspread the greater part of western Europe by the thirteenth century had gradually declined after that period of ascendancy. The organizations of masters tended to become more or less hereditary and more exclusive. The Industry journeymen, whose ambitions to become masters were thus imited, organized their own associations more closely, and as the fifteenth century went on came more and more into conflict with the masters. It was, indeed, long before either form of organization gave way entirely before new systems, but, while the older guilds reached their climax in the thirteenth, so the journeymen attained their highest development in the first half of the sixteenth century. Thereafter, although each maintained its existence in some form, each declined in numbers and influence till they no longer played any considerable part in European industry.
Their functions were gradually absorbed by the new form of productive and distributing organization which had risen to prominence in the preceding hundred years, and by the middle of the sixteenth century was coming to dominate manufacturing,--the so-called domestic or putting-out system. The arrangement which divided and specialized the processes of making and selling goods was in line with the tendencies in the intellectual fields. Whatever its defects, it became apparent that a plan which provided a middleman, skilled in buying raw material, finding markets, employing labor, and furnishing capital, while leaving the actual production to those equally skilled in their crafts, was superior to the old-fashioned guild-master who was at once an artisan and a man of business. The guild system, however well adapted to an age when the source of supply, and, in particular, the market was relatively limited, came to be more and more out of place with the widening area and greater scope of operations. The growth of capital, like the increasing demand for goods, necessitated such a transformation. Save in certain trades like glass-making and iron-working, which were restricted by problems of supply of raw materials and a more intensive process of manufacture, this development, moreover, contributed to the solution of that greater density of population, which, with the growth of cities whose area was constricted by their walls, was becoming a matter of some concern.
Capitalism and industry
For under the new organization the promoter or employer was able to put out the process of manufacture over a considerable area, and was not, like the old guild master, confined to production under one roof. Moreover, he was soon able, by his supply of capital, to buy and sell to better advantage by taking advantage of the market to accumulate a larger stock. Finally, the new system became a powerful influence toward that individualism which marked the progress from the relatively greater communal principles that characterized the middle ages. It differentiated more sharply capital from labor, it tended to destroy the personal bond between employer and employee, master and apprentice, and to substitute for it the impersonal relationship which has become the mark of modern industrialism. These results were not yet accomplished; and not until the rise of the factory system were they fully in evidence. But by the middle of the sixteenth century they had begun to show themselves in something of the form which later generations were to develop. And, by laying stress upon process rather than finished product, they began to create classes of specialists in various branches of labor, which, again, was to become one of the dominating features of modern industry.
It was inevitable that as capitalism made its way into European life, it should profoundly influence every department of society. Though few or none of the greater European states followed the example of Florence and sanctioned the accession of a merchant-prince to the headship of public affairs, there was not one in which the emergence of a capitalistic element did not affect both public and private policy. The most immediate effect of the financial revolution was naturally felt in those quarters whose older organization was most directly concerned with the developments in the field of industry--the guilds. They were essentially provincial in their character, bound, for the most part, to the localities in which they were situated, and connected with the outside world by traveling merchants who made their way from town to town, and fair to fair. It was apparent Capitalism and the guilds from the first that a system like that of capitalistic enterprises, bound to no one locality and to no single line of industry, had an advantage over the guilds, with their limited output and still more limited facilities for marketing their products. Thus it was not long before these old organizations were forced to alter their status or retire from competition. In the main they adopted one of two alternatives. They became capitalistic, and were transformed into a species of corporation, composed in many instances of those same men who had turned from the old order to the new--or they remained merely local industries, subordinated to the greater currents of commerce. Little by little they tended to disappear, and, save as curious survivals of the past, another century found in active existence few of those extraordinary organisms which had dominated the industrial life of the Middle Ages.
Still more remarkable was the influence of capital upon the agricultural laborer, for its pervasive power combined with other elements to begin a revolution in the social as well as the economic status of those districts into which it made its way. In the main Europe was still organized, during the fifteenth century, on feudal lines, but to this there were striking exceptions. The Black Death and the Peasants' Revolt in England toward the close of the fourteenth century had dealt a serious blow to serfdom, and in many parts of the continent an altering standard of life or more enlightened interest had begun to weaken the hold of lords upon their tenants. To this the development of cities contributed, for the guilds, scarcely less than the church, had offered a means of escape from serfdom to the more enterprising or more fortunate peasant who found refuge within their liberties. With the progress of commerce, and especially of manufacturing, the cities grew, and with them the oppor tunities for free labor developed. The demand for workers produced a supply drawn from many sources, and by the middle of the sixteenth century the town-dwelling laboring population had increased considerably. At the same time the gradual substitution of payment in money rather than kind
Capitalism and labor and the towns
or service tended to loosen the bond between landlord and tenant, as the decline of the feudal principle, with the development of the power of the king, tended to the same end. Thus, while the age of capital had as its first result the greater oppression of the peasant classes through the increased demands of their superiors for greater revenue, it gradually relieved more and more individuals from the feudal yoke.
If the rise of the house of Fugger typifies the altering status of the individual, the almost concurrent development of the city of Antwerp illustrates the changing conditions of commerce, and, in some degree, of the life of Europe during these momentous years. However favorably situated for the foundation of fortunes central Germany had been during the fifteenth century, it had one great disadvantage as the sixteenth century came on. The decline of the Italian ports and the rise of Spain and Portugal seriously injured those old lines of commerce which had flowed across the Alps and down the Rhine. If those fortunes were to live, still more if they were to increase, access to the sea was a necessity. In consequence, German capital sought a new outlet for its investments. Led apparently by the Augsburg merchantbankers, the Germans followed the Venetians to Antwerp. There in the last quarter of the fifteenth century the Fuggers and Welsers and their fellows prepared to share the commerce of the world. The city authorities welcomed them, bought out the toll-rights of the landowners along the Scheldt, threw open their trading privileges to men of all nations, and made Antwerp at once a free port and a perpetual fair. More than this, it became, as a natural result of its commerce and policy, not only the chief center of the trade between Lisbon and the northern ports, but the great money market for the northern continent. For its more liberal policy soon gave it pre-eminence over those neighbors which, like Bruges, had earlier divided the prosperity of the Netherlands. Thence the principles of trade which made its fortune tended to be transmitted to other communities, to the Dutch Netherlands, where Amsterdam rose gradually
to almost equal eminence, to England, and to the greater cities of France.
Now that capital had proved itself fluid, it produced two series of phenomena of great importance to Europe at home and beyond the sea. One was the development of classes of laborers and employers, no longer bound by the old ties of guild and local authority. This reacted in politics, for it became increasingly apparent to rulers that it was necessary to take into account the interests of every element of society if the state was to flourish. And, as the Italian city-states had long since begun that process of encouraging different industries within the same area and interdependent one upon the other, as some cities had even gone so far as to control the food supply in the interests of the community, so now the national kingships made the beginnings of organizing their dominions to the same end. By this extension of city economy to national economy they emphasized that spirit of common interest which operated powerfully to bring and hold the nations together, and so added another source of strength to the nationalizing tendency. As in religion, they substituted a unity in diversity for the communal unity in conformity of the middle ages. Capitalism, classes, and nattionality
The influence of capital was not confined to the continent, nor to that class which now began to challenge the long domination of the landed interest. It sought investments not only in Europe itself, but in the most distant lands to which her adventurous sons had carried her influence. It had long since begun to finance voyages to the East and West. In America the investments of the Fuggers and Welsers were considerable, and to the latter house was even granted a certain sovereignty in the region about Coro. Mines and plantations, no less than voyages, enlisted the interest of the capitalists, as they began to demonstrate the possibility of profit, and another generation was to see that interest increase to the point where capital rather than adventure took the main part in the development of lands beyond the sea. In the meantime, that region had begun to react in many other ways upon old world society.
Capitalism and the extra-European world
It was now fifty years since Columbus had found the transatlantic passage and the lands that lay beyond, and a quarter of a century since Luther had defied the Pope. The generation which had seen a new world revealed to it was gone: the generation which had seen the old ecclesiasticism thus challenged was passing. Asia, Africa, America, the Atlantic and the Pacific were no longer marvelous; like the doctrines of Protestantism they were now a part of European knowledge and experience. Europe had outgrown the Mediterranean and the coasting stage of her career and entered on the oceanic age; as she had begun to abandon the age of unity for that of diversity of faith. As yet only the nations bordering on the Atlantic had sought the New World, and only two of them had achieved material results. As yet only parts of the northern peoples had been affected by Protestantism, and its doctrines had not made way outside the continent. But the balance of European thought and power had already begun to shift as Europe's horizon widened with the changing political, economic, and intellectual influences then busily at work, till every nation felt something of the colonial impulse, as every nation had been touched by the reforming movements in and out of the church. Portugal and Spain had done more than conquer and grow rich, they had altered the face of the world and the balance of its affairs. The reformers had done more than establish communions in opposition to the old establishment; they had powerfully reinforced the movement which led to the emancipation of the intellect from authority; and they had stimulated to an extraordinary degree that form of individualism which was so characteristic of the new age of commerce and capital.
Europe and the extra-European world
What, then, was the status and influence of the wider field on which Europe, under these new impulses at home, was about to play a greater part than had thus far been vouchsafed her in the world's affairs? The expansion of Portugal and Spain had not been, indeed, the transfer of their own social structure to their new domains, but rather the exploitation of those territories by a ruling caste. For this Spain and Portugal there were two reasons: the first was royal influence, the second, national conditions. From the beginning both states had looked askance at unrestricted emigration as at unrestricted trade; for each the royal permission was requisite, and it was not easy to obtain. At the same time, few of the causes which produce an exodus--excess of population, decline of home resources, religious or political persecution-had much affected Spain or Portugal. Their population was not dense, no economic crisis drove them out, and persecuted classes were forbidden to emigrate. There was, in consequence, no unimpeded current from all orders of society flowing out, and the earliest communities formed by the Europeans in other lands were widely different from those they knew at home.
Their motives, in fact, lay rather in the realms of adventure and religion, royal and national and personal ambitions, and were chiefly a product of the upper class. It was an age of war; and soldiers, not merchants, had led the way to East and West. It was an age of faith; and, from Henry the Navigator to Pizarro, the crusading spirit was in evidence. It was an age of national kingship; and every conqueror struck for the profit of his sovereign as for his own. It was pre-eminently an age of royalty, nobility, clergy, and it was those elements which chiefly won and enjoyed the new inheritance. In trading, as in planting colonies, officials, soldiers, landlords, and even merchants were recruited from the upper classes. There was no peasantry, only slaves or serfs or tribute-yielding communities. But in one respect European civilization was set back centuries; for slavery, which had all but disappeared upon the continent, was revived in certain quarters there, and generally throughout the colonies, to an extent scarcely experienced since the fall of Rome.
Character of their expansion
Moreover, there was little of that slow conquest of the soil and expulsion of the inhabitants which marks the advance of a freehold society, multiplying as it goes from its own land or loins, till it has replaced the original population with its own homogeneous race of every rank of life. Eminently fitted for conquest, the conquerors were ill adapted to build up such a society. They knew and cared for little beyond their own fortunes: they were a handful among the conquered. For purposes of protection, society, or trade, in consequence, they concentrated in the towns, they found or founded. Having won empires by a daring stroke, they held them by a chain of garrisons. With them authority came wholly from above; the bureaucracy was supreme; and, save in a few places, they laid no foundations for enduring supremacy. Their language, faith, and institutions spread, but no full-blooded powerful Spanish or Portuguese race, like that of the English in later times, was established beyond the sea. Perhaps this would have been impossible. Their empires were largely tropical; the lands best fitted for a temperate agricultural society were long ignored in their pursuit of sudden wealth. And while experience has gone to prove that European power in such latitudes must finally depend upon such forces as they used, it has revealed, as well, the instability of such power as theirs, once the controlling hand is weakened or removed.
Great as were the resemblances between their empires, the contrasts have seemed, to most men, greater still, since Spain's power rested on territory, Portugal's on trade. The differences, it has been assumed, lay largely in the peoples and conditions that each met, since Asia's teeming millions afforded as little space for colonies as the more slightly peopled regions of America afforded trade. Yet in this earlier period there was need of a world of men for Spanish no less than Portuguese ambitions. With slight exceptions, the Spaniards took small account of sparsely settled lands; what Calicut and Diu were to their rivals, Mexico and Peru were to them, and their energies were spent far less on the cultivation of the soil than on the exploitation of its peoples and its wealth. The real difference lay deeper. Had Portugal been possessed of greater power she might have taken part in Indian politics, invaded the interior, and perhaps anticipated by two centuries the European occupation of the peninsula. Had Spain not been distracted by foreign wars, had she been filled with men eager to find homes in the new world, she might have occupied those lands best fitted for European settlement and set up New Spain in the Americas. But the genius of Portugal lay toward the sea, Spain's was all landward; and both were filled with the spirit of chivalry rather than that of commerce or colonization. In widely different fields this rivalry worked out to widely different ends, by not dissimilar means, each in its own environment, and each determined largely by conditions at home no less than those it found abroad.
What, then, was their effect on the non-European world? The answer is significant, not alone for this but for all periods. Even had Portugal become the ruling territorial power in the East, it is not probable she could have imposed her faith and civilization on its peoples to the extent Spain influenced the new world. That she so failed was due to no superior tenderness on her part; for it is probable that the losses she inflicted on the East were quite as great as those Spain visited on America, and, if Europeanizing be regarded as desirable, to far less purpose. But her comparative weakness, coupled with indifference to all but material ends, made small impression on the huge weight of Oriental forces against her, and to them she brought little or nothing. On the other hand, if Spaniards conquered and oppressed America, they made a great return. Teeming with life, the West was curiously lacking in domestic animals, its range of fruits and vegetables was narrow; and, from the first, Spanish administration and individuals labored to remedy these deficiencies. Horses and cattle, donkeys, swine, sheep, and poultry were introduced, with garden vegetables, lemons and oranges, vines, olives, silkworms and mulberries, flax and grains. As time went on the conquerors brought, besides, the products of Asia, sugar, coffee, indigo. The use of iron, gunpowder, the improvement of industrial and mechanical arts, the infinite devices of a more highly civilized society, all these increased the material bases of life in the New World. And more: the intellectual achievements of European society, however distorted by the medium through
Their effect on the non-European world
which they were introduced, however slowly penetrating the masses, were destined to bring some recompense to the West for the spoliation and suffering which it endured. The effect on population was no less marked. For, like the Portuguese and over far wider areas, the Spanish intermarried with the natives, till, within a century, there had arisen what was virtually a new race between the relatively few of pure European blood and the masses of natives. These mestizos, socalled, thus added another element, and one of importance, to swell the results of Spanish conquest.
On the other hand, America, apart from gold, silver, and precious stones, cotton, tobacco, cocoa, and, later, drugs like quinine, contributed little to her conquerors. Her staple, Indian corn or maize, like her chief fruit, bananas, took no hold on European palates. Not for centuries was her cotton much used; and cocoa, with tobacco, and presently the potato, long remained her only considerable contributions to old world resources. Asia's additions, on the contrary, were almost incalculable. With its spices, drugs, cottons, silks, gold, ivory, rare woods, jewels and handiwork, pigments of all sorts, coffee and tea, new forms of animal life, horses, poultry, and new plants, it contributed to the material no less than the intellectual advance of European civilization.
The effect of Asia and America on Europe
In politics the effect was not dissimilar. America, with all its suffering under Spanish rule, found greater peace than when subject to constant wars between the native tribes; and, however slight the change in oppression under new masters, in general a more regular government set the people on the path to higher levels. On the other hand, Portugal was rather Orientalized than her possessions Europeanized, in morals, if not in forms of government. Thus each brought from the older or more stable civilization to the newer, the greater contributions. At the same time each became the means by which Europe drew to itself the resources of other continents. She became at once a repository and a clearinghouse of products and ideas from the entire world, and this result, which was then impossible to men of other lands, gave her an impetus and a supremacy which she has since maintained. Thus, as the mid-sixteenth century approached, her people found wide fields for further enterprise and unparalleled resources on which to draw, as, from their complex activity emerged the earliest phases of a modern world.
Finally the effect of the discoveries joined with that of humanism to revolutionize the recording of human actions scarcely less than it affected those actions themselves. The ecclesiastical monopoly of history which had been almost unchallenged from the days of Eusebius and Orosius was destroyed. Annals and chronicles tended to disappear before a historiography which took cognizance of cause and effect. Men of affairs began to replace churchmen as historians. The new world found its chroniclers, and to the list of historians were added names like Peter Martyr, Oviedo, las Casas, de Gomara, Herrera and Garcillasso de la Vega. The new history, first descriptive, then speculative, inspired by the novel subject of man in a "state of nature," filled with new ideas as well as new information, typified the age which produced it; for it not only reflected its actions but viewed the past in a new light.
CHAPTER XI - THE AGE OF THE COUNCIL OF TRENT.
WHEN, in that momentous pause which followed Luther's refusal to recant his doctrines before the Diet of Worms, Germany stood half astounded, half triumphant, at his temerity; while the Papal nuncio drew up an edict against the daring heretic; the Emperor's secretary, Valdez, wrote prophetically: "Here you have, as some imagine, the end of this tragedy, but I am persuaded it is not the end but the beginning of it. . . . This evil might have been cured . . . had not the Pope refused a general council. . . . But while he insists that Luther shall be condemned and burned, I see the whole Christian republic hurried to destruction unless God himself help us." Whatever the relative responsibility of Pope and Emperor for that repressive policy, the history of the two decades which ensued had been a full confirmation of Valdez' prophecy. In that brief period the revolt against Papal authority had overspread the greater part of Teutonic Europe, and threatened to invade those chief strongholds of the faith, the Romance nations. Western Christendom was now divided against itself, and it was evident that only drastic measures would enable the Papacy to retain even the power that remained to it. It was no less evident that its old weapons had been blunted, that condemnation and the stake were no longer efficacious; that excommunication, interdict, and anathema had lost their force. Single-handed, the Pope was no match for the heretics; and, however reluctantly, the Church was summoned to his aid.
The result of Luther's challenge
Twenty-one years, almost to a day, after Valdez penned his famous prophecy, therefore, Paul III, fearing the Emperor might anticipate him in calling a meeting of ecclesi-
Summons to the Council of Trent 1542
astical authorities, issued a summons for a general council to meet at Trent in the Tyrol. It was an epoch-making period. Spain and Portugal had just attained their widest limits; the former was issuing her great colonial code, the latter was sponsoring the advent of the Jesuits into the extra-European world. On the continent, Charles V had lost Hungary and failed in his crusade against Algiers, and was now entering upon his fifth war against Francis I, while in his German dominions his Protestant subjects were organizing that so-called League of Schmalkald which was presently to play a great part in Reformation history. In England Henry VIII had just beheaded his fifth wife and was entering upon that conflict with Scotland which ended in the death of the Scotch king and the accession of his daughter Mary, Queen of Scots. More important still to the development of Europe than royal wars or marriage or divorce, in distant Poland, Copernicus was seeing through the press his work on the revolution of celestial bodies, destined to have an influence upon theology even more profound than the great assembly now about to meet.
The Council of Trent, none the less, remains a landmark in the ecclesiastical development of Europe, not merely for what it accomplished but for the circumstances which accompanied and in no small degree determined its activities. When it finally came together at the solicitation of the Emperor, who felt the urgent need of church reform in his dominions, it was apparent that the time had arrived for determined action if the church was to be preserved. Whether, as Valdez and many others believed, its earlier meeting would have checked the disruptive forces then at work, or turned them to the uses of the establishment, those forces had now gained strength which even a church council could not well ignore. The last of such assemblies to which all western Europe was summoned, it was the closing chapter of an old rÚgime, for the Council of Trent faced a revolt which compelled it to review the whole fabric of the Christian church. Its history, thus powerfully influenced by the political events which accompanied its long and chequered
career, illlustrates with peculiar force the complex period in which it fell.
The summons to the council was issued in 1542, but its first real meeting was not held for three years thereafter; and to that there came only some forty ecclesiastics, chiefly Spaniards and Italians. In consequence the Protestants refused to recognize it as a real ecumenical council. Nor was this all. The Emperor's chief object in urging a council was the consideration of reforms within the church itself; but to its members the most important problem seemed the challenge of Lutheran and Calvinist; and in consequence they proceeded to debate not abuses and conciliation but dogma. Thus early was statesmanship subordinated to theology.
Its first meeting
In no small degree the first meeting was typical of the whole council. The political as well as the religious situation of German affairs compelled an adjournment to Bologna. The Protestants sent delegates. But another turn in the imperial fortunes again transferred the council to Trent; and, after numerous sessions at intervals during some eighteen years and the final secession of the Protestants, the assembly wag dissolved. The net result was what might have been expected under the circumstances. The chief strength of the members was spent on issues of theology, and the Papal contention prevailed. Discussion on revelation was followed by fierce debate upon the great and decisive question of justification; and in this the tendency was to uphold without reserve the Roman doctrine, to put it broadly, of justification by works, progressive and dependent on the sacraments, as against the Protestant dogma of justification by faith.
To this, in the course of the two decades which elapsed between the first summons and the dissolution of the council, were added other and no less important elements. The first was the full recognition of the Society of Jesus. The second was the revival and extension of the Holy Office or Inquisition, whose supreme tribunal was established at Rome, and whose agents or inquisitors were appointed to search out and extirpate heresy in every land, "above all toward Cal-
vinists." The third was the establishment of a catalogue of books, which the faithful were forbidden to read, the Index Expurgatorius, which carried the principles and practices of the Inquisition into the field of letters. Besides these still, the council reinforced the efforts of the Papacy, to strengthen the position of the church in other particulars. The doctrines of purgatory, of the sacraments, the invocation of the saints, and of indulgences were reaffirmed with new strength and precision. Doubtful interpretations were replaced with definite dogma; and uniformity of faith and practice established to a degree hitherto unknown. And though nothing was done to affect the position or the prerogatives of the Pope or the cardinals, which, in no small degree, had been the occasion of the chief discontent with the establishment, strict measures were taken to strengthen the bishops' authority, to enforce a more rigid discipline upon the lesser clergy, and to check the abuse of so-called pluralities. At the same time, largely under Jesuit influence, the church embarked upon a far-reaching scheme of clerical education. It was decreed that in each diocese there should be established a seminary or college for the training of those
entering the service of the church; and for the general enforcement of this policy there was provided for the first time an adequate supply of men properly equipped for ecclesiastical office. This served many purposes. It removed the reproach of illiteracy, long leveled against the lower clergy in particular. It did much to sharpen the distinction between clergy and laity and improved the efficiency, the discipline, and the esprit de corps of the ecclesiastical body. And, supplemented by the rigid enforcement of celibacy, which further differentiated churchmen from laymen, it became at once the most practical result of the council and the step which most separated the church from the forces making for modernism. Stronger, if narrower, "the Catholic Church of the West was transformed into the Church of Rome," and the Counter-Reformation, as it came to be called, formally took its place in European affairs in opposition to the Protestant Revolt. And the authority of the Papacy, immensely strengthened by its success in turning the council to its own advantage, finally attained that almost absolute supremacy in the Roman church which it has never lost.
Thus the church, through the council, defied changes from without; and though accepting many of the newer agencies developed within its own ranks, she made compromise with the Protestants impossible. Thenceforth there were but two alternatives for the adherents of the new communions, to surrender or to fight. That choice to all intents had been made even before the council had finished its long deliberations, since, apart from their own stand, concrete events outside the shadowy realm of speculation over free-will and predestination, faith and works, and the intent of God toward man, had gone far to determine the future of fact and theory alike. For, in that interval, religion had become a main concern of politics.
That circumstance, which was an inevitable outgrowth of the developments of the time, marks the beginning of a great epoch of European history, the era of religious wars, which was to endure for a full century. Between Luther's defiance of the Papacy and the meeting of the Council of Trent, The religious wars and the extension of civil authority nearly a generation had elapsed. During that period the continent had been rent by international rivalry and theological dispute as never before in its history. But thus far those destructive forces had not been fully combined, partly because the greater rulers were still nominally Catholic, partly because of danger from the Turk, and, perhaps more largely, because the Vatican still claimed the sole right to determine ecclesiastical questions, and the balance as yet hung undetermined among conservative, reformer, and revolutionist. But while the council debated, two developments in the world of politics altered the whole situation. The one was the encroachment of rulers upon the field of church affairs, the other was the progress of those forces of political and social readjustment which found expression in the oncoming race of sovereigns.
For Protestantism in its narrower sense was not the only foe to the old order thus marshaling its forces to the fight. The controversies of the preceding decades had already brought another element into the fray. This was the transfer of men's allegiance from clerical to civil authority. Beside the Papal assertion of divine origin for its supremacy had appeared the doctrine of the divine right of kings. Against the priestly claim to be the keepers of men's consciences there had arisen a demand for personal independence in matters spiritual. In the minds of men who held such views as these the Pope was no longer the sole arbiter of Europe in religion, the church no longer the sole repository of true faith. As a natural result, kings, states, communities, and even individuals had begun to assume functions long held as church prerogatives. And, as feudal and imperial power tended to decline; as changing economic conditions bred a middle class, which sheltered itself against aristocratic domination beneath the growing power of absolute kingship; as knowledge increased and was diffused among the people at large; there came a readjustment of the relations and the authority of church and state alike. In consequence politics took form and color from the altering spirit of the times no less than from the actual situation of affairs; and the period which
The progress of civil authority
began with the Council of Trent revealed a new temper no less than new events.
Its most conspicuous example was to be found in England. There the activity of Henry VIII had not merely broken her connection with the Papacy, undermined the economic basis of the old church by dissolution of the monasteries, and separated the nation from Roman control. It had bred a nobility of "new men," whose wealth was derived in large measure from the spoils of the church, and whose position was dependent on the favor of the crown. At the same time it had enabled the doctrines of the reformed communions, in particular those of the Calvinists, to spread more rapidly. When, two years after the Council met, Henry VIII died, Somerset became Protector and the boy-princeEdward VI became king, these elements triumphed. Somerset presently fell, but under his successors, now, like the young monarch, avowedly Protestant, the final breach was made. A new church was organized, with a new liturgy, modeled on that of Rome, but doctrinally Protestant, and England was thus ranged on the side of the Reformed communion at the same moment that the Council of Trent condemned the rebellious heretics.
This was not the end of the struggle. Edward's short reign was followed by that of his sister, Mary the Catholic, the wife of Charles V's son, Philip of Spain; and her accession saw the beginning of the effort to roll back the tide. The Protestants were suppressed and persecuted; their liturgy condemned; its author, Archbishop Cranmer, with many others, burned at the stake; and an attempt made to restore not merely the faith but the confiscated property of the church to its old footing. Such forcible measures roused bitter opposition. The "blood of the martyrs became the seed of the church," the holders of ecclesiastical lands were alienated; and only Mary's death saved England from reaction or civil war. 1553
The accession of her sister, Elizabeth, determined the conflict finally in favor of the Protestants. New acts of supremacy and uniformity gave the Church of England the
sanction of the Parliament; and a new liturgy, like that of Edward, Roman in form but Protestant in doctrine, provided it with spiritual garb. The older organization revised to fit its altered character was preserved, and, thus endowed, the Church of England took its stand beside the Lutheran and Calvinist creations in opposition to the Roman establishment. At the same time the fiery zeal of John Knox carried the Calvinistic doctrines from Geneva to Scotland, there to found that branch of Protestantism known as Presbyterian. And, despite the opposition of the adherents of the old faith in both kingdoms, which was to be productive of long disturbances, all Britain was thus added to the ranks of the Reformed communions, though Ireland remained all but untouched by their influences.
But England, though she presently became the focus of a new international situation, was not alone in the political and religious complexities which characterized these middecades of the sixteenth century. France, under Henry II, who succeeded Francis I in the same year that Edward VI became king of England, went far on the road to Calvinism as the rising power of the so-called Huguenots became a factor in her history. Like his father, Henry made war on Charles V, but with more success; like him he came to blows with England and Spain; and had he lived, France might have found a better solution of her religious problem. But his untimely death, which brought to the throne in quick succession the sixteen-year-old Francis II and the still younger Charles IX, threw affairs into the hands of their mother, the Queen Dowager, Catherine de Medici. Under her malign influence the nation drifted to civil war, and a disastrous rivalry between the Catholic house of Guise and the Protestant house of Bourbon, with all its bloody consequences.
Meanwhile, what John Knox called "this monstrous regiment of women" who directed the fate of nations in this eventful period, was increased by Margaret of Parma, appointed regent of the Netherlands, and by Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, the wife of Francis II of France, whose death a year after his accession had left the French crown in possession of the boy Charles IX. To her titles she added a claim to the throne of England, which, joined to her adherence to the Roman church, was destined to lead three nations into war and bring to her the fate which makes her one of the great tragic figures in history.
Thus, while the new communions challenged the dominance of their older rival, by whom they were condemned, while every northern state from France to Poland, divided against itself upon religious lines, and the European map became defined, in large degree, by theological boundaries, the Franco-Hapsburg rivalry merged into a larger and a more complex issue.
The first developments in this new conflict were found in Germany, whose affairs, meanwhile, had run a spectacular course. To the early disturbances which had accompanied the Lutheran revolt had succeeded the transfer of the controversy to the imperial diet; and there had ensued, after the Peace of Nuremberg, ten years of virtual tolerance, in face of the perpetual danger from the Turks. That period the reformers had improved. The rulers of Brandenburg and ducal Saxony had been converted to their cause. A Protestant duke had been restored in WŘrtemberg. Brunswick had been conquered and added to the ranks of the new communion; and the Schmalkaldic League had increased in numbers and activity. These were phenomena which the Emperor could not witness with equanimity. And when the Archbishop Elector of Cologne, like many of his brethren, was reported to be considering a course like that of Albert of Hohenzollern, which would change his faith, turn his lands into a secular fief, and thus give the Protestants a majority in the Electoral College itself, Charles deemed it high time to intervene.
Scarcely had he concluded the Treaty of Crespy which brought to an end his fourth war with Francis I, and agreed with the French king to take joint action against the heretics, when he turned upon the German Protestants. He won over their ablest leader, Duke Maurice of Saxony, summoned Spanish and Italian troops to his aid, and fell upon The Schmalkaldic War 1546- the forces of the Schmalkaldic League, which had been collected to support the Protestant interest. The contest was short and decisive. The armies of the League were overthrown, their commanders, the Elector of Saxony and the Landgrave of Hesse, were made prisoners, Maurice was rewarded with an electorate, and Charles became the master of Germany in fact as in name.
His triumph was short-lived; for scarcely was it achieved when his allies deserted him. At the same moment the death of Francis I brought Henry II to the French throne and Edward VI succeeded his father in England. From neither could the Emperor hope for aid. The Pope, fearful of the Imperial encroachment on his prerogative of dealing with religious questions, withdrew his support; and the Council of Trent, to which Charles looked for assistance in reforming the recognized abuses of the establishment, was absorbed in the denunciation of heretics. More important still, the Emperor's course in Germany itself alienated his adherents. For though he separated the Netherlands from the Empire, he settled its succession in the house of Hapsburg; and while he kept the Protestant princes in prison he attempted to force the Diet into a course which would have made him the military dictator of all Germany. Most important of all, Maurice felt his position threatened by the imperial policy, and this determined the event. The Saxon ruler secretly changed sides, allied himself with France, gathered forces, and suddenly marched against the Emperor, who was compelled to flee. The captive princes were freed; Charles was forced to withdraw his Spanish troops from Germany and grant tolerance by the Peace of Passau.
The ultimate result of this romantic feat of arms was as striking as the exploit itself. For after various attempts at compromise, of which the so-called Interim was chief, the Peace of Augsburg confirmed the doctrine of "territoriality." Princes and free cities were permitted to choose between Catholic and Lutheran--but not Calvinist--doctrines within their own borders. Such was the principle of cujus regio, ejus religio under which the Empire enjoyed two generations of uneasy religious peace.
The Peace of Augsburg 1555
Thus from the situation so evoked in Britain, France, and three main features emerged. The one was the perpetuation of the reformed communions; the second was the existence in every state of a party at odds with its government upon political and religious grounds; the third was the alignment of European states in two opposing camps. From these three elements proceeded the next stage of European politics.
It was characterized by new and bloody wars. France, attacked by England and Spain at once, became a land debatable among Guise, Bourbon, and Valois, contending for the throne; and between Calvinist and Catholic striving for religious supremacy. The old Anglo-Scottish quarrel was now embittered no less by the conflicting claims of rival queens than by the fierce antagonism of hostile confessions which involved not merely the British Isles, but all western Europe in their struggles, and in no long time carried their contentions to the most distant quarters of the earth. From such increasing turmoil of church and state the Emperor, Charles V, withdrew in the year following the Peace of Augsburg. Weary of power, he conferred his German lands upon his brother Ferdinand; Spain with her colonies, the Netherlands, Milan, and Sicily upon his son, Philip II; and retired to monastic life.
Renewal of European War
With the passing of that great figure from the stage a new era began, and if Charles sought peace, the event soon justified his choice. Scarcely was the new Emperor crowned king of Hungary and Bohemia when he was called upon to fight the Turks who held the greater part of his Hungarian inheritance. Scarcely was the new king of Spain upon his throne when, with the aid of his English wife, he entered on a disastrous war with France. From that conflict France emerged with the buttress-bishopries of Metz, Toul, and Verdun, and the last English foothold on the continent, Calais, as prizes of her victory, confirmed to her by the Treaty of Cateau CambrÚsis. Hard upon this success, religious toleration was granted to the Huguenots, but to no avail, and France plunged into the first of those civil-religious wars which took the place of the long conflict with the Empire.
There the house of Hapsburg busied itself in consolidating its authority, while the Turks completed the reduction of the sea-power of the Italian states in the naval battle of Djerbe, and so became the virtual masters of the eastern Mediterranean.
Thus ended those eventful twenty years in which religion and politics were joined in an unholy union. Protestantism was now firmly established among the northern peoples. Thenceforth for a century the domestic concerns of nearly every European state, as well as international affairs, were profoundly influenced by a diversity of opinion in matters spiritual, now identified with those concerns of war and diplomacy which hitherto had found their motives only in the ambitions of princes or, more rarely, in economic pressure. With this; with the extension of French sovereignty over Calais and the bishoprics, and the increase of the Spanish Hapsburg power in Italy; with the secularization of ecclesiastical estates in Germany; the expansion of Russia toward the Urals and the Black Sea; and the spread of Turkish power in the Levant, are summed up the chief permanent results of the vexed period of Charles V in the domain of continental politics.
Results of the period
But the activities of European rulers by no means exhausted the interest or importance of European history in this eventful period. The summons to the Council of Trent marks an epoch in the religious and political development of Europe, and the ensuing twenty years, during which the council sat, determines the period in which the continent set forth on a fresh series of adventures in those realms. Meanwhile the issue of the New Laws and the events of the two decades following, mark an era of transition in the history of Europe beyond the sea. It is not without significance that the alteration of the motives and balance of European politics should coincide with the beginning of a new age in the colonial world. For with those changes in Europe itself and the reorganization of Europe beyond the sea there dawned an age in which both elements were joined in a world polity.
Europe beyond the sea 1542-63
It was but natural that the rulers of Europe, absorbed in the critical events which accompanied the entry of the Reformation issues into the field of national and international affairs, should pay little heed to lands beyond the boundaries of the continent. Yet the developments in those lands during this period was of as great importance to them, and of more importance ultimately to their peoples, than many of the objects which engaged the attention of European statesmen and diplomats. Nothing, indeed, could have been more fortunate for the colonial powers in the situation which confronted them than such neglect; for each was actively engaged in strengthening its hold upon the western world, and each was in the stage when an attack might well have altered the future of its possessions and the whole current of colonial development. The age of exploration and conquest for Spain and Portugal was nearing its end; the age of readjustment and organization had begun; and, with the appearance of the New Laws, the Spanish dependencies, in particular, entered on a period of restlessness such as always characterizes a transition from license to restriction.
No circumstance better revealed the altered status of the colonies than the death of Hernando Cortez, which was coincident with those of Henry VIII and Francis I. Not many years earlier this would have been a determining event in the New World's affairs; now it was no part of Spanish colonial history, so far had the world moved since his great exploit. He had been long resident in Spain; contracted a great marriage; served Charles V in Africa; and, amid alternate honor and abuse, worn out his later years endeavoring to maintain the honors he had won. Meanwhile the province he had gained and set upon the path of European progress had for a dozen years pursued its course in widely different hands. Under Mexico's first Viceroy, Antonio de Mendoza, schools had been built; a printing-press, the first outside of Europe, was set up; the ports improved; a mint established; sheep introduced and weaving encouraged. Above all, the harsh rule of military governors had been replaced by milder men and measures. On this development
the New Laws had fallen like a curse. Not even Mendoza's power nor the eloquence of Las Casas, now bishop of Chiapas, availed against the determination of the encomenderos-among whom the religious orders were not the least violent-to maintain their hold upon that native labor to which they owed existence and prosperity. Within a year the New Laws were revoked; and, defeated in his dearest hope, the Apostle to the Indians left his diocese for Spain. There he penned an indictment of his countrymen which for three centuries and a half has condemned their colonial policy,--without, however, inducing any nation to treat its conquered on a basis of equality.
Such was the first stage of extra--European development along new lines. But even before Las Casas went a fresh turn of fortune gave new point to his attack and new riches to his countrymen. No sooner had the Spaniards exhausted the Aztec plunder than they began the search for the sources of native wealth. Mining succeeded conquest; the soldiers turned prospectors, though for a time with but indifferent success. But in the tenth year of Mendoza's viceroyalty, just as the Council of Trent began its labors and the Schmalkaldic war broke out in Germany, the luckiest of adventurers, Juan de Tolosa, found a vein of silver at Zacatecas in northern Mexico, whose yield was to surpass even the huge Aztec spoil. His success gave renewed impetus to prospecting, and an age of exploration ensued whose excitement reached the height which only a mining craze can attain. The adventurous element in New Spain, the islands, and the mother country joined in the rush. Thousands of prospects were begun, and though few or none met with such success as that of Zacatecas, many rich mines were opened, old ones reworked, till Mexico became, for the moment, the greatest source of silver for the European world.
Besides this tremendous increase in its value to its possessors and to Europe generally, the coincident elevation of New Spain to archiepiscopal rank seemed all but insignificant. Yet, whatever the relative importance of the two events, a third, which resulted from the discovery of the
sources of precious metals, overshadowed the other two in the minds of Spain's new subjects. This was the extension of forced labor to the mines. With their development the villages were levied on for workers more and more; and the wealth of the province became the greatest enemy to the welfare of its inhabitants. The mita, as this service was known, soon became the worst of all oppressions. Beside it the repartimiento, whence it grew, seemed almost beneficent, for the unfortunate natives sent to the mines went out to well-nigh certain death. Against the greed and cruelty of the mine-owners even the government was powerless; and when Mendoza was transferred to the viceroyalty of Peru he left the wealth and misery of Mexico increasing in equal pace.
Such were the beginnings of the new era of Spanish administration in North America, whose resources thus further increased the wealth and power of Europe. The history of Peru was not dissimilar. With all their ills the Mexicans were in far better case than the inhabitants of the unhappy province to which Mendoza had been transferred, since to the evils which beset New Spain, Peru had joined the curse of civil war. Under its first Viceroy, Nu˝ez de Vela, the old conquerors had raised the earliest of colonial rebellions, as a protest against the New Laws. But de Vela's death was soon avenged by the licentiate priest, de Gasea, despatched to crush the rebels. Betrayed and overthrown, Gonzalo Pizarro and his fierce lieutenant, Carbajal, were executed and their heads hung in chains at Lima to discourage further revolt, as the province was cowed into uneasy peace.
But tragedy was not, in European view, the most important feature of the development of Peru. Like Mexico it was erected into an archiepiscopal diocese, from whose seat at Lima was organized the hierarchy of Spanish South America. Meanwhile, its agricultural prosperity, indeed, declined amid civil disturbances; and its enlightenment and industry suffered a corresponding loss. But this was more than counterbalanced by discoveries which, like those of New Spain, but in still greater measure, made Peru the chief source of precious metals in the world and the most valuable possession of Europe. To the rich mines of the Andean region, for whose possession the conquerors had been prepared to defy even the Spanish government, was added the discovery of silver deposits at Potosi, surpassing even the wealth of Zacatecas. The ensuing rush of prospectors sunk, it is said, ten thousand shafts, which poured into Spain a fresh flood of precious metal to enrich its coffers, and still further disturb the economic basis of Europe. And if, as in New Spain, native oppression became more severe, as the mita was rigidly enforced, while the Andean region felt the worst effects of European occupation, Peru became the most coveted of European colonies.
Meanwhile the Spanish boundaries were widely extended by conquest as well as by the mining discoveries. The expeditions which still sought the fabled El Dorado about the headwaters of the Orinoco and the Magdalena were, indeed, unfortunate. There Orellano, the discoverer of the Amazon, was lost; there the efforts of the Welsers to establish a post broke down; but others finally founded a settlement at Tocuyo, and, with the appointment of a governor, confirmed the Spanish hold upon the Venezuelan hinterland. In widely different fields the same process went on. Far to the south the followers of the sturdy Basque, Irala, settled the upper Paraguay; west of them the conquerors of Chili, where Valparaiso was founded to secure the principal harbor of the southern coast, proceeded to the establishment of a capital at Santiago. Thence the conquering governor, Valdivia, parceled out the rich central region into baronies for his followers; and from there they fought their way southward against the warlike Araucanians to the frontier outpost of Concepcion. Meanwhile the mineral-bearing highlands of Bolivia became the seat of garrison-settlements. Beside the older post of Las Chareas, south of Lake Titicaca, was founded La Paz, and further east, within ten years, the town of Santa Cruz became the center of Spanish power in the easternmost Andes.
Spanish South America
Thus, on every side, in the busy mid-decade of the sixteenth century, far-reaching areas were secured by rapidly advancing Spanish adventurers whose substantial gains were adding year by year more to the resources of the European world than all the barren rivalries of their rulers at home. In this pursuit they were aided by the achievements of the races they supplanted. The remote interior which, without its mineral wealth might have been spared the presence of Europeans for generations, was bound to the coast settlements by the pack-trains of llamas, along the Inca roads which led to every part of that empire. These not merely bore products of the forest and the mines to the world outside. With them came in return the men and goods of distant Europe, whose influence thus suddenly and violently thrust on America made it a part of Europe in its widest sense.
The activities of the Portuguese were also meanwhile engaged in extending European boundaries. While Spain was spreading her authority on the west, the governor of Brazil, Thome de Sousa, was engaged in building a new capital on Bahia bay, defended by strong walls, a fort, and batteries. Recruited by a stream of colonists drawn to the settlement on account of its planting advantages, not the least of which was its nearness to Africa and its supply of negro slaves, Bahia soon rivaled SŃo Paulo and Pernambuco in the sugargrowing industry. At the same time, under the great Jesuit missionary, Nobrega, his order made its way into the wilderness, and, in defiance of the colonists, brought the natives under its control.
But neither Portuguese nor Jesuit energies were exhausted by their activities in Brazil. On the other side of the world the labors of Xavier meanwhile became the wonder of two continents, as, like his fellows, he bore the faith of Christ to distant lands and bound them to the fortunes of Europe. Goa, the pearl-fishers from Comorin to Pamban, Travancore, Ceylon, Malacca, Amboyna, and the Moluccas heard his voice; and five years after his arrival in Asia he set sail to carry the new faith to Japan, there to swell the total of what the faithful call his million converts. Perhaps no single force, and certainly no other individual, did more to bring the out-
side world in touch with Europe than Xavier and his order in this eventful decade.
While he wrought his miracles of conversion, the carnal weapons of his sponsors were no less active. From New Spain Lopez de Villalabos led a squadron to the Philippines, named from the Spanish heir; and though the Portuguese compelled him to submission, his exploit drove them, in turn, to share Ternate and Tidore with the Spanish power and yield their claims to the Luzon archipelago. That surrender was a symbol of their waning power. With Xavier's aid, Malacca was preserved from the Sultan of Achin; but only fortunate chance and the desperate courage of its defenders saved Diu from the Cambayan king. Meanwhile, a whole world of enemies, east African, Arabian, and Malabar rulers, native princes from Diu to the Moluccas, Arab traders everywhere, and finally the Turks, who from their conquest of Egypt were drawn into the far-reaching quarrel, strove to drive the Christians out. Not a year went by without native attack, scarcely a year without a fleet from Goa or Lisbon to avenge insult or loss, and innumerable incidents of heroism and treachery repeated themselves in infinite variation on the same theme along ten thousand miles of border war. Though trade went on, though annual fleets made their way between Lisbon and India, though her scattered enemies beat in vain against the hard shell of her empire, the nation felt the strain. Save for the foundation of a post at Macao for the Chinese trade, they were compelled to be content with what they had. And when, following Xavier, the Inquisition made its way to India and the ecclesiastical period of her colonial history began, it needed but the appearance of another power in the East, able to cope with Portugal on the sea, to rouse her persecuted subjects everywhere against her rule.
The Philippines and India 1542
Corruption lent its aid further to weaken her. "I dare no longer govern India," wrote one of her viceroys, "since men are now so changed from honor and from truth." It was in vain that the viceroys were given a council to aid them and stricter laws were enacted against dishonesty; The decline of Portugal salvation never comes by edicts and offices. Public and private virtue declined until, with John III's death, the chronicles declare, "ended the good fortune of Portugal in Europe and India." Such was the epitaph of her glory at home and abroad. Finally to crown her failure, her short-sighted king committed the fatal error of marrying his only son to Charles V's daughter. Thus he bound his country's destinies with the fortunes of its most dangerous enemy; and another generation was to see Portugal, as a result of this ill-fated marriage, an appanage of Spain. Such was the situation in the European world as the continent girded itself for the impending religio-political conflict in the decades during which the Council of Trent and the Protestants determined its future.
CHAPTER XII - THE AGE OF PHILIP II AND THE RELIGIOUS WARS. 1563-1578
IT is one of the great ironies of history that on Charles V's retirement from affairs the Netherlands fell into Spanish rather than into Austrian hands. Eight years after his abdication, the reign of Ferdinand, the heir to the great Emperor's German possessions, came to an end, and Maximilian of Austria succeeded to the Imperial throne and the crowns of Hungary and Bohemia. A mild man, inclined toward peace and not unfriendly to the Protestants, his path was smoothed by the death of Christendom's greatest enemy, Suleiman the Magnificent, and the consequent cessation of war with the Turks. Despite the fact that his reign marks the beginning of Catholic reaction, the Peace of Augsburg gave Germany measurable relief from the long-vexed question of religious rivalry, and only one conflict, a war with Transylvania besides some minor difficulties concerning the religious settlement, disturbed the peace of the peace-loving Emperor.
Maximilian II 1564-76
Had such a man, under such circumstances, become the ruler of the Netherlands, Europe might have been spared a bloody, if glorious, chapter of her history. But such was not the case. If the period of the Council of Trent is notable for the joining of religion and politics in European affairs, the two decades which followed are no less notable for the union of the colonial and economic elements with those of faith and national aspiration to bring about a more farreaching conflict than Europe had yet experienced. And if the events of the preceding forty years had centered in the person of Charles V, those of the generation which followed his departure from the stage found their focus in his son, Philip II of Spain. No less by the situation in which he
found himself than by his character and ambitions, he became the pivot of affairs; and from his activities and those of his opponents there flowed a series of events which showed how deeply the religious issue had penetrated politics, and how profoundly the new colonial-commercial elements were to be reckoned with in war and diplomacy.
The Spanish king was the peculiar product of his nation and his age. Pious, abstemious, kind in private life, incredibly industrious and strong-willed, Philip II was devoted to despotism and the church, to Spanish ascendancy and the faith of Rome, in a degree unknown to his shrewder and more cosmopolitan father. Lacking the chivalrous quality of his race, in him its crusading spirit took the form of attempts to check the spread of heresy and if possible win back Europe to the true belief. He brought to that great task a fierce intensity of purpose, every resource of a strong if narrow intellect, and the whole power of his royal authority. To it he subordinated every worldly interest, common humanity, and the well-being of the lands he ruled. And from the time when, as the husband of the English queen, Mary the Catholic, he urged on the efforts to bring England again under the domination of Rome, to the time when, old and feeble, he still carried on the futile contest with her sister, the Protestant Queen Elizabeth, in that great hopeless struggle to stem the current of Protestantism he never faltered nor compromised.
His character and policy
It was inevitable that such a purpose and such a character, backed by the support of the most powerful nation in Europe, should breed a struggle marked, on Philip's side, by relentless cruelty, and on that of his opponents by the fury of despair. And this was the more important in that the Spanish king undertook his enterprise at the moment when England under Elizabeth espoused the cause of the Reformation, when his Dutch subjects in the Netherlands embraced Calvinism, and when France, after the death of Henry II, saw the Navarrese, Henry of Bourbon, become the hope of the Huguenots and a possible successor to the French throne.
Almost at once, therefore, events took form and direction from Philip's character. The bloody persecution of Moors and Protestants in Spain by the Inquisition which marked the outset of his reign was followed by similar activities in the Netherlands. The withdrawal of their ancient privileges, the introduction of a Spanish garrison, the issue of edicts against heresy, and the threat of the Inquisition, with which Philip signalized the beginning of his sovereignty over the rich cities of the lower Rhine and Scheldt, roused the resentment of its trading, Calvinistic elements. In spite of the efforts of leaders like Egmont and Orange, the populace rose in revolt against the Catholic rulers, sacked the churches and broke the images. The regent, Margaret of Parma, was succeeded by the Duke of Alva, at the head of a powerful force, to restore order. With his coming there began a reign of terror and exactions which roused the people to frenzy, and a dozen years after Philip's accession he faced a rebellion of his richest provinces.
While he thus "stirred up the hornets' nest of the Dutch Calvinists," France had entered on a period of religious strife such as Germany had already experienced. The problem was complicated by the issue of the succession. The death of Henry II in the same twelvemonth that Elizabeth assumed the English crown had brought to the throne the first of three weak brothers, Francis II, the husband of Mary, Queen of Scots. His death within a year left the boy-king, Charles IX, under the influence of his Italian mother, Catherine de Medici, and the fourteen years of his ill-fated reign became one of the darkest chapters in French history. Three parties contended for supremacy. The first was that of the crown directed by the Queen Mother, intent on upholding the authority of the house of Valois and maintaining its succession. The second was the ambitious family of Guise, bent on securing, if not the crown, at least the direction of affairs. The third was the Huguenot faction, which mingled with its political aspirations an adherence to the Calvinistic doctrines, so bitterly opposed by the other parties to the conflict. Bourbon and Guise each boasted a secondary title to the crown. Blat the house of Montmorency, headed by the Grand Con-
stable--who, though himself a Catholic, had three Protestant nephews, among them the Grand Admiral Coligni, the leader of the Huguenots--while it cherished no designs upon the throne, played a part scarcely less important in this involved tragedy. And if there be added to these three elements that variable group known as the Politiques, with whom the Montmoreneys were at times aligned, the confusion of French politics becomes all but hopeless. For this last faction, hating the Italians whom the Queen Mother introduced, and equally opposed to political Catholics and political Huguenots, remained the uncertain, perhaps the determining, factor in the French problem.
Hardly was the Treaty of Cateau CambrÚsis signed and France at peace with England and Spain, when the seizure of the government by the Guises in the first days of Francis II's brief reign began the struggle which for a full generation inflicted on France the horrors of a combined religious and civil war. Nine years of alternate failure and success of the contending factions saw three conflicts broken by uneasy peace. At the moment that Alva set up his Council of Blood in the Netherlands, the Treaty of Longjumeau witnessed that the efforts of the Guises to suppress Protestantism and the States General had proved as futile as the attempts of the Protestants to achieve full toleration, or those of the Queen Mother to achieve the supremacy of the crown over its rivals.
In those same years the advent of the Calvinist, John Knox, and the young widow of Francis II, Mary Queen of Scots, into her kingdom transferred the controversy between the new and old communions to that northern land. The Presbyterians rose in revolt against the efforts to make them conform. The queen's position was weakened by her ill-advised matrimonial adventures no less than by the policy of her advisers; and at the moment of the Peace of Longjumeau and the beginning of Alva's repressive policy, she was compelled to seek refuge in England. There, meanwhile, Elizabeth had slowly consolidated her authority. The Church of England had been finally established, peace made with
France, and only the king of Spain, whose suit for her hand had been rejected, whose religious convictions were outraged by England's conversion to Protestantism, and whose West Indian monopoly was continually infringed by Elizabeth's adventurous subjects, remained unreconciled to the Elizabethan settlement.
Thus the year 1568 marked a great turning-point in the world's affairs and from its events there flowed momentous consequences. In that year the execution of the Dutch leaders, Counts Egmont and Horn, embittered the quarrel between Philip II and his Low Country subjects beyond the possibility of compromise, while an engagement between the forces of William of Orange and those of Alva marked the beginning of the Revolt of the Netherlands. In that year the imprisonment of Mary Queen of Scots by the English government made possible the triumph of Presbyterianism in Scotland, while it widened the breach between Elizabeth and the Spanish king. In that year the Peace of Longjumeau, though it gave a breathing-space in the French civil wars, turned the thoughts of the Queen Mother to still darker designs whose culmination four years later made the quarrel irreconcilable. And in that year, far beyond the scenes of the oncoming struggle between the two communions, yet closely connected with it, the attacks of the French Huguenot, Dominique de Gourges, on Spanish settlements in Florida, and of the Englishman, John Hawkins, on Vera Cruz, at once extended the scope of the conflict and injected into it a new and, as it proved, a determining element. The year 1568
Such was the situation which, at the close of the seventh decade of the sixteenth century, offered a fertile field for the peculiar talents and the far-reaching ambitions of the Spanish king, and in each of the disturbed nations his influence was speedily made manifest. From such events, as well, there sprang a fierce struggle which soon involved all western Europe and in no long time spread thence throughout the world. However its main features were obscured by masses of detail, it was at bottom a conflict between opposing schools of civilization rather than a mere religious struggle, or a
The European conflict
contest for commercial supremacy, or a bid for pre-eminence within Europe itself.
On the one hand were arrayed the forces which represented the domination of royal, noble, and ecclesiastical authority, the institutions which had made the church, the crown, and the aristocracy supreme during the middle ages. Those forces rested on the devolution of power from above; made arms and diplomacy the chief concerns of government; and considered freedom of thought and speech, individual initiative, and popular opinion as secondary or negligible elements in public life. On the other side were forces best described as individual. Among these may be grouped such apparently dissimilar activities as commerce, invention, personal liberty of opinion in religion, popular share in government, and an intellectual habit more or less independent of precedent or authority. Each had the defects of the qualities which gave it strength--the tendency of the one to harden into formalism, of the other to degenerate into license; the worship of the past, and its disparagement. Which was to be the stronger was now to be determined; and on the decision hung the future of Europe, and, in some sort, that of the world.
Thus conditioned, there had already burst forth this holy war, half religious, half political, full of the highest devotion and the meanest self-seeking. In no small degree the four years which followed the breathing-space of 1568 marked the turning-point in that conflict, and gave it at once impetus and direction. In France the successive defeats of the Huguenots after the breach of the Treaty of Longjumeau and the murder of their general, CondÚ, seemed likely to prove their ruin. But under Coligni's able leadership they rallied, won back their liberties by the Treaty of St. Germain, and secured the possession of four cities of refuge, chief among them the stronghold of La Rochelle, which for half a century was to be the citadel of their party and their faith. But with this result neither the Queen Dowager, nor the Guises, nor Philip II were content, and the peace only began a new era of conspiracy. Two years later this culminated in a
plan to crush the Protestants by wholesale murder, and on the fearful eve of St. Bartholomew, in August, 1572, began a massacre which within two days cost thirty thousand lives. Coligni was numbered among the victims, but the young king, Henry of Navarre, feigning conversion, escaped to oppose the ambitions of the Guises and the antagonism of the Catholic League through another decade of war and intrigue which brought him finally to the throne.
Meanwhile the Netherlands had become the center of another great conflict. There the resistance of the Dutch nobles headed by William of Orange had been broken by Alva's veteran army, the princes of Nassau, with many of their adherents, had been driven into exile, and a reign of terror and oppression had ensued. But four months before St. Bartholomew there came a change. The leaders of the irreconcilable Dutch rebels, the so-called "Water Beggars," who had been engaged, with English connivance, in preying on Spanish commerce, suddenly found England's ports closed against them, as a result of Spain's protests, which circumstances compelled Elizabeth to heed for the moment. As a retort they seized the town of Brill, and presently occupied Flushing and the adjacent ports. With this, revolt spread like wildfire. Lewis of Nassau hurried from his refuge among the Huguenots of La Rochelle to take possession of Valenciennes and Mons. His brother, William of Orange, advanced from his camp at Dillenburg with an army to attack Alva, and the Revolt of the Netherlands was an accomplished fact.
Such were the events which ushered in another stage of development in western Europe. They were not without their parallels in the East, nor were they unconnected with those distant lands. In the first year of this eventful decade the duchy of Prussia threw off its allegiance to the kings of Poland and became hereditary in the house of Hohenzollern. A twelvemonth later the Treaty of Lublin united Poland and Lithuania, and, with the extinction of the Jagellon dynasty, five years later, Henry of Valois was elected king. Meanwhile Russia experienced a fierce and, as it was to prove,
Eastern Europe 1568-1569
a final attack from her ancient enemies, the Tartars. From their strongholds in the Crimea the wild horsemen of the steppes poured into Muscovy, devastated its lands and burned its capital, the holy city of Moscow. At almost the same moment the Turks, summoning to their aid the fleets of their feudatories, Alexandria and Algiers, rallied their forces for a great effort to control the Mediterranean. Against them Pius V formed a Holy League. Genoa, Venice, Naples, and the Papal States united their strength. Their fleet was intrusted to Philip's illegitimate brother, Don John of Austria, and, at Lepanto, the Moslem sea-power was broken in one of the great decisive naval conflicts of history. Meanwhile, Moorish revolt in Spain was repressed; and with these reverses the Asiatic powers which had so long threatened Europe were deprived of their capacity to injure Christendom at the same time that Europeans themselves plunged again into all but universal war. 1571
Beside this bloody chronicle the history of England, like that of Germany, in this eventful period, seems almost pastoral. Yet the position in which she found herself was growing difficult. The Acts of Supremacy and Uniformity which signalized Elizabeth's accession had confirmed the establishment of a Protestant church; and this, despite rebellions of the adherents of the old faith in England and Ireland and the disturbances in Scotland, had maintained itself against all opposition. But the Pope excommunicated the English queen. Philip II--whose offer of marriage had been rejected and whose efforts to support the Catholic reaction in the British Isles had been defeated--had intrigued against her power as he had interfered in the affairs of France. Finally when Mary Queen of Scots sought refuge from her rebellious Presbyterian subjects, and entered England as an unwilling and greatly undesired guest, she had at once become the focus of a series of plots, stimulated by the Jesuits and encouraged by the Spanish power.
Among these manifold dangers it had been imperative that the English queen and her advisers should walk warily until the royal authority was firmly established and the new dispensation secure. Yet it grew increasingly evident, despite her ruler's unwillingness to enter upon European rivalries, that England was bound to come to blows with Spain, and that her queen was likely to be forced into the position of a participant in continental affairs, which Henry V had in some sort occupied and to which Henry VIII had vainly aspired. It was scarcely less evident that this was largely because she represented, with the Netherlands, a new and powerful force in European polity, opposed at nearly every point to the principles and practices which found their chief expression in Spain.
England had been the first of the national states to throw off feudal domination as she had been among the first to repudiate Papal supremacy. The civil wars of the preceding century had virtually destroyed the power of her baronage; while the decay of the economy of the mediŠval period, then of its politics, and finally of its ecclesiastical system, had cleared the way for a social readjustment which had gone on rapidly after the accession of Henry VII. In place of the feudal baronage had risen a nobility, recruited from the gentry and even from the merchant classes as nowhere else in Europe, dependent on the crown and in turn depended on by the sovereigns. The English Parliament, almost alone of those representative bodies which had earlier held a place in European polity, retained its powers and safeguarded the popular interests. Containing, as it did, men of the countinghouse as well as of the manor, questions of trade and economy played a part in its deliberation more conspicuous than in any other land save among the Dutch.
Her character and policy
These activities were by no means confined to her own borders. An island nation, England had bred a race of seamen. Safe from the aggressions of continental powers, she had preserved the greater part of her popular liberties; while at the same time the commercial element which was chiefly responsible for these results had extended her influence far beyond the confines of the British Isles. And it was certain that such a people, enrolled against the Spanish power, would, like the Dutch rebels, carry their antagonism to the ocean from which they had been excluded by the concerns of pure politics until, as now, they were released by the new factor of political antagonism, religion. Scarcely had the Water Beggars seized the town of Brill, therefore, when Elizabeth, driven on no less by the doings of her subjects than by the activities of Philip's agents against her power and her life, broke off relations with Spain, made an alliance with France, and allowed volunteers to embark for Holland. With this it was evident that a new chapter had opened in the affairs of the whole European world.
Thus while from the new architectural wonder of the world, the palace of the Escorial, which Philip now began as the outward sign of Spain's greatness and his own, the Spanish king strove to direct European faith and policy, there was laid the foundations of a rivalry which was soon to replace the older antagonisms of the continent, and, spreading far beyond its confines, involve the fortunes of the extraEuropean world. It is an illuminating commentary on the spirit which inspired Spain and her opponents that the Spanish king's palace had for its ground-plain the gridiron on which St. Lawrence met a martyr's death; while at the same time the leading architect of the period, Palladio, and those who followed him, like the Englishman Inigo Jones and the French Perrault, who then dominated the taste of a great part of the continent, turned for their models not to the middle ages but to Greece and Rome. It was a symbol of a fundamenal hostility of ideals, which was emphasized in other and more directly practical fields. Chief of these was the alteration in the emphasis on the pursuits of life. Spain still remained largely the land of king, hidalgo and peasant, soldier and friar. But in England and the Netherlands, above all other European states, the soldier of fortune had given way to the merchant adventurer; royal or noble monopoly to private, municipal, or corporate enterprise; ecclesiastical to secular interests; while political rivalry continually revealed some touch of the commercial spirit, and found its highest expression on the sea. The new European rivalry
Especially was this true of England, which, unlike the Netherlands, had always been an independent power. No where was this adventurous element more in evidence than there; and, whatever high reasons of state or conscience were involved, it was not on merely religious or political grounds that England found herself opposed to Spain. While Philip and Elizabeth, Mary of Scotland, and Catherine de Medici practised their arts of governance and wove their intricate webs of diplomacy, events and individuals far outside the bounds of formal diplomacy, as then practised, were busy determining which way those ancient "mysteries of state" should go. Spain was mistress of a great part of the colonial world, and when the young king of Portugal, Sebastian, was killed on a crusade against the Arabs of northern Africa, and his successor, Henry, died, Philip II inherited his dominions and became the sole ruler of all European possessions beyond the confines of the continent. The strength of the new powers which now began to challenge Spanish supremacy lay upon the sea. It thus became inevitable that the conflict which commenced with the assertion of Spain's right to dominate the faith and policy of a great part of the continent should, in no long time, be fused with the struggle which had already begun for oceanic mastery and the trade of the lands beyond.
Meanwhile France plunged again into the chaos of civil war after the Massacre of St. Bartholomew, and was in no small measure removed from any determining share in general European politics. Germany remained quiescent under the mild rule of Maximilian II, till his death brought the astrologer-emperor Rudolf to the throne. The principal interest of European affairs therefore shifted to the struggle between Philip and his rebellious subjects of the Netherlands and the oncoming antagonism between England and Spain.
Philip II and his opponents
Little by little the Dutch and Flemish rebels made head against the Spanish power in the years following the Water Beggars' exploit. Alva was succeeded by Requesens, and he by Don John, whose arrival in the Netherlands coincided with an event appalling and more important to Europe's development than the French tragedy. This was the so-called
Fury, an outburst of ferocity by which the rich cities of Antwerp and Ghent, with Maestricht and lesser towns, were sacked by the Spanish soldiery, their inhabitants outraged, and their wealth and prosperity all but destroyed. From this blow the Flemish Netherlands scarcely recovered in a century. Good Catholics as they were, this was too much for their loyalty to Philip. Thousands of them sought refuge in the Dutch provinces; and almost at once the Flemish Netherlands joined in the Pacification of Ghent with their Dutch neighbors to drive the Spaniard from the land.
That circumstance, with the accession of the Prince of Orange to the leadership of affairs, decided the issue of the conflict. In quick succession the victor of Lepanto, Don John of Austria, and Alexander Farnese, the Duke of Parma , were sent to reduce the rebellious provinces. Against the dogged resistance of the people of the Netherlands and the genius of William of Orange, surnamed the Silent, neither was able to accomplish this result in its entirety. But Parma, subduing the southern districts, partly by force, partly by promises of restoring their older privileges, turned his arms against the Dutch. These, now deprived of all hope of reasonable compromise, took a momentous step. A year after Parma's arrival, while Philip II was engaged in those negotiations which made him the master of Portugal and her colonies, they proclaimed their independence of Spain by the Union of Utrecht. They chose William of Orange hereditary Stadtholder, and so added another state to the European polity, as they had already begun a new chapter in the history of liberty and introduced another hero to that history. 1578
For in William of Orange the Dutch Netherlands had brought forth a champion worthy to set against all the power of the Spanish king. Son of the Count of Nassau, heir to the principality of Orange, his estates in Holland and Flanders had brought him into close association with Low Country affairs. Charles V had cemented that connection by appointing him commander-in-chief and Stadtholder of Holland, Utrecht, and Zeeland. From Henry II he had learned of Philip's design of crushing Protestantism in the
William of Orange
Netherlands; and, though himself a Catholic, he had embraced Protestantism and put himself at the head of the movement to save his adopted country from the catastrophe which menaced its faith and liberties. His genius, backed by the obstinate courage of the Dutch, made him the savior of the Netherlands, and from the moment of his accession to command to the moment of his death at the hand of an assassin employed by the Spanish king, he remained the principal champion of that spirit of civil and ecclesiastical liberty on which the ambitions of the Spanish and reactionary forces came to wreck.
In such fashion and in such hands was ushered in the great conflict of civilizations which distinguished the last quarter of the sixteenth century. It was not unconnected with the development of the continent elsewhere. While Holland and Spain thus made their quarrel irreconcilable, eastern Europe had taken another step in its progress. The death of Charles IX of France made Henry of Valois, sometime an unsuccessful suitor for the hand of the English queen, and more recently the elected king of Poland, heir to the French throne. He was not slow to take advantage of his opportunity to exchange the undesired throne of PolandLithuania for that of France, and his departure left the eastern kingdom to choose the heroic Stephen Bathory of Transylvania as its ruler. With his accession the advance of the Reformation toward the east came to an end. He encouraged the Jesuits, who had thrown themselves across the stream of Lutheran influence which had overrun Prussia and threatened the position of the old communion in Poland. At the same time he undertook a war which was to prove successful in checking the ambitions of Russia in the west, and, for the time, preserved the dual kingdom to its inhabitants and its ancient faith. Such were the circumstances which conditioned the borders of Europe in the decade which saw her rivalries spread to the farthest corners of the earth and made sea-power a determining factor in religious as in political affairs.
As a result of these events, which, however different among Spain themselves, tended to the same end, twenty-two years after the abdication of Charles V, Spain stood forth as the champion of Catholicism and absolutism, confronted by the liberal, Protestant elements of all western Europe. The year in which Sebastian's death enabled Philip II to put in motion those intrigues which two years later gave Portugal into his hands, under different conditions might have marked the beginning of a development such as the world had never seen. But the Union of Utrecht, and the virtual alliance of England, France, and the Dutch rebels, set in her path, at the moment of her greatest opportunity, an enemy prepared to challenge not merely her material strength, but every principle on which her national life was based. 1578
In the bitter conflict, which had, indeed, already begun, between the old order and the new, Europe was to determine at once her own future and that of the new Europe beyond the sea. As a natural result of many forces developed in the preceding generations, for the most part outside the field of politics, that conflict was to take a wider range, and, what was more important still, to partake of a different character from those struggles which had preceded it. For in it were engaged communities and classes as yet relatively new in European polity, by which there had been developed factors all but unknown to the calculations of men bred in the old statecraft.
Among these the activities of English merchant-adventurers were, for the moment, the most conspicuous. This, in the changing circumstance of affairs was an inevitable development of the preceding generations. Any struggle which involved, as this was bound to do, sea-power, Protestantism, and commercial interests, by virtue of the progress of those elements among the people which, more than any other, had made them a chief concern of national existence in the years just gone, was bound to set their nation in the forefront of conflict.
Before the English queen had mounted the throne, adventurers had dreamed of finding a way to the secluded East by land across Muscovy or Asia Minor, or by sea through the Arctic, thus evading the Portuguese monopoly. Already, without royal aid and in the face of infinite discouragements, this popular movement, inspired by private enterprise, had begun to develop for itself new means for its achievement. Building upon the older forms of trading corporations, like the so-called Merchants of the Staple, and the commercial guild or fraternity of St. Thomas A Becket, they had evolved a form of organization, foreign to the genius of Spain and Portugal, but eminently adapted to the English temper. This was the chartered company, formed by the association of individual merchants for a common purpose of trade, and sanctioned, protected, and granted privileges or monopoly by the crown. To this they added some knowledge of the outside world. Apart from what they had drawn from their own experience, from voyages to Lisbon and Seville, to Africa and America, from agents sent to Spain and Portugal, from their own countrymen in foreign service, they had related themselves, even before the accession of Elizabeth, to the great current of discoveries by curious, even romantic, means.
The Company of Merchant Adventurers
While Edward VI was still upon the throne, the old Sebastian Cabot, long since the co-discoverer of Newfoundland, sometime map-maker and pilot-major to the King of Spain, and explorer of the La Plata region, returned from his long wanderings to his old home in Bristol, whence, fifty years before, he had set sail for North America. He came at a propitious moment, and his coming was at once an inspiration and an opportunity. About him crystallized long entertained projects. He was immediately enlisted in an "intended voyage to Cathay," and was created "governor of the mysterie and companie of Merchants adventurers for the discovery of Regions, Dominions, Islands and places unknown" in the long-dreamed-of East. Under such auspices no time was wasted in setting on foot an enterprise which was to open up new regions of the world. Sir Hugh Willoughby and Richard Chancellor were despatched to find a northeast passage to Asia; and, though Willoughby was lost, Chancellor made his way to the White Sea, thence overland to Moscow, where he was entertained by the Czar Ivan IV; and so began another chapter of European history.
Before he returned Edward VI had died, but Mary chartered a corporation known as the Muscovy Company. This became not merely the agent of a fresh burst of commercial activity, and the intermediary between England and the then semi-Asiatic power of Russia, but a model for later commercial organization. Under its auspices Anthony Jenkinson within two years made his way from the English factory near Archangel across Russia to Astrakhan and thence to Khiva and Bokhara. From that far journey he returned to fire his countrymen to compete with Hanseatic and Italian merchants in that field. Four years thereafter he secured from Ivan IV monopoly of the White Sea trade for his company, and with the despatch of an agent to Persia prepared to challenge the way to India. Under such auspices, at the accession of Elizabeth, England made ready to take her part in the exploiting of the East.
The Muscovy Company
While her agents were thus engaged in bridging the gap which separated her from that region, the power with which she was now first brought into contact had taken up the task of pushing European boundaries toward the East. The year before Chancellor's first visit to the Czar, the Muscovites had subdued the Tartar principality of Kasan. Before Jenkinson's coming the province of Astrakhan had been annexed. And in the year of Elizabeth's accession the Russians began a fresh advance. Upon the great commercial house of Strogonoff the Czar conferred some ninety miles of land along the Kama River, in the Ural district, with mining, settlement, and trading rights. To conquer that wild region the Strogonoffs enlisted a body of Don Cossacks, so-called "Good Companions," under a certain Yermak TimofeÚvitch. What Cortez and Pizarro had been to the New World, this leader became to northern Asia. From the original grant, aided by Vasili Strogonoff and his followers, Yermak conquered as far as the Tobol within a dozen years. His untimely death scarcely checked the Muscovite advance. While
western Europe was convulsed with war, Russia pushed on, till, thirty years after her entry into Siberia, her power was well on the way to the Pacific. The city of Tobolsk had been founded to secure her frontier, and the trade route to Bokhara opened up. Thenceforth, as England and presently Holland, took steps to find their way to the closeguarded East, Russia marched with steady pace across the plains of northern Asia to meet them on the other side of the world.
England and Russia, whose fortunes were thus early joined in the great work of territorial and commercial expansion, found rivals in their efforts to extend their influence beyond their own borders and those of Europe. From a far different quarter and in far different hands there had been inaugurated a movement in whose conception lay the germs of what was to be the most important feature of the next stage of European progress beyond the sea; and, as it proved, the chief link in that lengthening chain of circumstance which was binding the religious and colonial impulses into a new form of polity.
These centered in the activities of Gaspard de Coligni, Grand Admiral of France and head of the Huguenot party in that vexed nation. As in the case of the English adventurers, the French invasion of the colonial world was no new enterprise. Apart from the exploits of Verrazano and Cartier, the French had long made efforts to gain a foothold in America. Strive as she would, Portugal had never been able to prevent their presence in Brazil. Their rulers had long desired a foothold in that quarter of the world; their ships had long. been visiting its ports; Rio de Janeiro had become almost a French outpost; and no small amount of the attention which Portugal had directed to her imperial colony had been due to the fear that it might pass to other hands. Now in the same twelvemonth of the Peace of Augsburg and Charles V's abdication, a tragic incident gave these activities a new importance. A certain Frenchman, Nicholas Durand de Villegagnon, who had gained the French king's favor and the confidence of Coligni, secured from the one
Coligni and French Colonization
a concession for a settlement and from the other assistance in enlisting Protestant colonists for his enterprise. Thus equipped, he sailed to establish a post at Rio Janeiro. The experiment was short-lived. Villegagnon fell out with his companions; his followers were betrayed; and their post was destroyed by the offended Portuguese.
But its work was done. Despite its tragic failure the idea which it contained bore fruit: for in Coligni's mind there was developed the plan of finding homes beyond the sea for his persecuted co-religionists. The idea never left him. He tried and tried again to put it into force; and though he failed, he has the distinction of being the first European statesman to formulate a policy which, in other hands and later generations, was to become a leading factor in the Europeanizing of the world. Failure in Brazil
His second attempt was made under like auspices. For years the Huguenots or those who made their Protestant professions a cloak for piracy, had harried Spanish commerce relentlessly, especially in the Caribbean. They plundered and burned Havana; ravaged Porto Rico; terrorized the mainland about Cartagena; and harassed the West Indian trade in retaliation for Philip's interference in their affairs at home. Two years after Villegagnon's colony was destroyed they took another step. One Jean Ribault, of Dieppe, given command of a new enterprise, enlisted some young Huguenot nobility and some veteran soldiers, and made his way to Florida. There, passing the St. John's River, they went northward to Port Royal, where they set up a colony called Charlestown, in a region christened Carolina in honor of the French king. The dissatisfied colonists soon mutinied, killed their leader, and returned to France. Still Coligni, who had assisted the enterprise, was not disheartened, and when the Peace of Amboise gave a moment of quiet in the civil war, he despatched another party under RenÚ LaudonniŔre on the same errand. Founding a settlement on the St. John's, they embarked on expeditions against the Spaniards and the natives till the arrival of Ribault with reinforcements gave the new colony fresh life and character
which under more favorable circumstances might have insured ultimate success.
But the Spaniards were infuriated by their losses and invasion of their monopoly. Menendez d'Avila, created governor of Florida by Philip, prepared an expedition, hurried to the French settlement, drove off Ribault's squadron, surprised the fort, butchered its garrison with the French sailors who escaped from the wreck of the fleet, and rechristened the post San Mateo. Three years thereafter a Gascon soldier, Dominique de Gourges, sometime a captive Spanish galleyslave, equipped three ships at his own cost, reached Florida, stormed and destroyed the Spanish fort, hanged his prisoners, and so avenged his country and his faith. The French government, indeed, disavowed his act and relinquished all claims to Florida, which the Spaniards took immediate steps to colonize. Four years thereafter the Massacre of St. Bartholomew put an end to the great Coligni's life and plans, but despite the failure of his experiments, the attempt to settle Florida for the first time transferred to the new world the great religious conflict which was then about to convulse the continent. Insignificant as were the results of his activities in North and South America, they ushered in another phase of history.
With all the angry fear roused by the French Huguenot attempts to settle in Florida and Carolina, however, it was not from France that Spain had most to fear. She had more deadly enemies in the English and the Dutch; and even while she was engaged in driving out French colonists the English had begun their invasion of her monopoly in other quarters and by other means. If the story of England's eastward expansion is that of her commercial companies, the tale of her entry into the western world is that of her privateers. Her adventurous merchants, who had long since found profits in the African and American trade, had early discovered that "negroes were good merchandise in Hispaniola and that they might easily be had upon the Guinea coast." It was a simple discovery of wide consequence. Five years after Elizabeth came to the throne, while Coligni was plant-
Hawkins and English trade in America
ing his Huguenot settlements, one John Hawkins of Plymouth, following in his father's wake as a trader to Africa and America, made a rich voyage to Sierra Leone. In that region he got some slaves, "partly by the sword, partly by other means," including the plunder of the Portuguese; and took them to Hispaniola, getting in exchange enough to freight his own three ships and two others, which he had the temerity to send to Spain. There they were seized as contraband, but, even so, his profits were so great that lords about the court helped to finance a second venture, for which the admiralty loaned a ship. But the Spanish authorities were aroused; only the threat of arms opened the colonists' ports to him; and when, daring too greatly, he embarked upon a third and even more warlike voyage, his little fleet was crushed at Vera Cruz. Spain, enraged at this defiant violation of her monopoly and an attack upon her treasure-fleet which was driven by storm into Plymouth harbor, was deterred from war only by her entanglements and by England's adroit and none too scrupulous diplomacy.
Such were the circumstances in the extra-European world that accompanied the events which in Europe itself led up to and flamed from the Revolt of the Netherlands and the Massacre of St. Bartholomew. They were not only of commercial and military importance. They involved not merely the principle of a mare liberum for which the Protestant powers stood, as against that of the mare clausum on which Spanish and Portuguese expansion had been based. They were, in part, founded on
The sovereignty of the sea
"The good old rule, the simple plan,
That he shall take who has the power
And he shall keep who can."
Yet they differed from the earlier European conflicts in at least one important particular. They were far from being the result of the rivalries of princes, for the English queen, at least, was forced by popular sentiment and activity along the path which led to war, largely in her own despite. "Your mariners," declared the Spanish envoys to Queen Elizabeth, "rob my master's subjects on the seas; trade where they are forbidden to go; plunder our people in the streets of your own towns; attack our vessels in your harbors; take our prisoners from them; your preachers insult my master from their pulpits;--and when we apply for justice we are met with threats." In those words lay the root of the whole matter. The old faith and the new; the champions of monopoly and those who demanded a share in the trade of the world stood face to face. The Revolt of the Netherlands and the Massacre of St. Bartholomew, the unbending determination of Philip and the activities of the English privateers had made compromise impossible. The conflict begun in Europe had spread to the remotest corners of the earth. The Atlantic, and presently the Pacific, were troubled by the strange keels of the northern adventurers; and places whose very names were as yet all but unknown to Europe generally were to become the scene of conflicts no less important than Agincourt or Pavia. From the events of the oncoming years were soon to spring not only new European societies but a new balance of power and a new basis of civilization. For, with the exploits of Dutch rebels, English privateers and Huguenot colonists, the issues of politics, religion, and colonial expansion joined to produce a new and world-wide European polity.
The Protestant war with Spain
CHAPTER XIII - THE CONDITIONS OF CONFLICT.
THE period in which the Protestant maritime peoples embarked upon their great adventure against the SpanishPortuguese empire in the last quarter of the sixteenth century was peculiarly propitious for such a task as that they set themselves; for, however desperate their attack seemed at first sight, they possessed two great advantages in such a conflict. The one was the situation of Philip's far-flung empire; the other was the condition of naval affairs and knowledge. The first was the more conscious stimulus. The wealth of the Hispano-Portuguese possessions was only too evident; and it offered prospects of plunder great enough to tempt a sterner virtue than that which filled the breasts of English, Dutch, and Huguenot privateers, even had their ambitions not been sharpened by those religious antagonisms which gave to their attack something of the form and spirit of a crusade.
The Portugal which Philip had now acquired wag far from being the poor and divided state for which his ancestors had fought two centuries before. Her trading stations reached the farthest ports and islands of the East; her African possessions not merely secured the way to Asia, but drew to themselves the gold and ivory and forest products of the interior and an unlimited supply of slaves for her own use and that of the American colonies. From her Atlantic islands and Brazil came the greater part of the world's sugar, with dye-stuffs, precious stones, and gold. Her fisheries retained their ancient value; and her cities flourished. Lisbon's warehouses held the treasures of the East, spices and silks, gems, medicines, rare woods, the products of the precious metalworkers' art, the weavers' triumphs in fine fabrics, till their
Portugal and her colonies 1580-88
expanding bulk taxed the resources of the state to handle them. Its population had trebled in half a century, and its hundred thousand inhabitants ranked it among the leading cities of the continent, while with its harbor crowded with ships of every nation, this mistress of the eastern trade levied toll on every European state which used the goods of Africa, Asia, and America. Ten thousand slaves a year poured through her gates to till the fields of Portugal, and thousands more were sent across the sea. Apart from the inestimable gain in private hands, Lisbon's port dues alone paid the crown three million dollars annually, the profits of the royal monopolies as much more; besides tribute and presents from subject and allied powers. Under the wise administration of her greatest governor of Brazil and the salutary neglect of the home government, that imperial possession had been strengthened not only by the growth of northern settlements but by a post at Rio Janeiro to control the south. With Jesuit aid and the cessation of slave raids the natives had been conciliated; while the increasing stream of African negroes made the fortune of a colony whose population, at de Sousa's death, numbered no less than sixty thousand souls.
Such was the wealth of the empire which fell without a blow into Philip II's hands; and it would have seemed that such resources, added to his own, would have enabled him to become the master of the world. Yet never were appearances more deceptive in any national economy than in that of Portugal. Despite the growth of cities and the influx of slaves her population had increased little if at all. With the expulsion of the Moors and Jews, the steady drain of men to fill the eastern ports and recruit the colonies, the recurrent epidemics increased by her close contact with Asia, and her losses by war and shipwreck, it is a question whether she was as populous as a century before. Nor was her loss confined to undesirables. Noble youths, pursuing fame and fortune, peasants driven out by competition with slave labor, middle classes fleeing from high prices produced by the influx of wealth in which they had small share, swelled the emigration-
tion till the nation found itself only exchanging free men for slaves.
This was bound up with problems of finance. The exodus of freemen reduced tax receipts, as the extraordinary demands of war and ostentatious foreign policy, joined to the extravagance inspired by Eastern wealth and methods, increased the state's expense. The public debt had grown till royal paper was worth but half its face value; and the national insolvency which ensued was not liquidated even by the, enormous profits of the trade. Of its millions, the garrisons absorbed a third, administration and the fleets took all the rest, and more. Goa's port dues were worth a hundred thousand dollars a year; those of Ormuz half as much again; the rest in like proportion. Each voyage to the Moluccas was worth thirty thousand dollars; those to Japan or China four times that sum. Sofala alone produced each year, according to report, five million dollars' worth of trade; in days when money had a purchasing power some thirty-fold as great as now. But if crown profits were so great, those of colonial officials were greater still. Governors of larger ports, whose salaries ranged from fifteen hundred dollars to thrice that sum, accumulated fortunes in a three-year term. The government seemed powerless to prevent corruption and extravagance at home, much less abroad; the viceroys who strove to check it gained only the fatal hatred of the official class; and India, as the exiled poet, Cam÷ens, wrote, became the mother of villains and the stepmother of honest men.
In the face of such wealth and weakness it was questionable whether the Portuguese empire was an asset or a liability to Spain; but there was no question but that the "Sixty Years' Captivity," as the Spanish period came to be called, was wholly disastrous to Portugal. The council of state was transferred to Madrid, the council of finance was divided to control the separate elements of the dual empire, but Portuguese hatred of Spanish rule more than neutralized every effort at reform. Dutch sailors were introduced, but pilotage degenerated so that in thirty years scarcely more than five ships a year survived the voyage to India. The formidable
artillery decayed, the army declined in numbers and discipline. And though the colonists of the islands and Brazil, left for the most part to their own devices, were able to protect themselves against native encroachment or the privateers that fell upon the rich and feeble prize, when northern seamen finally made their way to Asia they found an easy prey,--for Portuguese imperial power was already on the wane.
But this was not the whole story of Philip's empire in these decades which saw the absorption of Portugal into Spain and its consequent decay. While she had proved herself incapable of assimilating and reorganizing her new heritage, Spain had given her own empire new form and strength; and in the generation which followed Philip's accession extended and reorganized her possessions. While Coligni set on foot his second colonizing enterprise, a Spanish adventurer, Miguel Lopez de Legaspi, following the example of Villalobos, sailed from Mexico and established her power in the Philippines. From the capital, first at San Miguel in Cebu, then at Manila in Luzon, conquest began, though on a smaller scale and by milder means than in America. With the advent of the religious orders, especially the Augustinians, success was assured. Trade sprang up with Mexico; and, as the direct passage was given up for the great circle along the shores of Asia and America, a yearly galleon crept back and forth between Manila and Acapulco in New Spain, linking this most distant of Spain's possessions with those fleets which annually plied between Cadiz and Vera Cruz. The years in which the conquest of the Philippines was projected and carried out were marked by two other extensions of Spain's empire. The first was d'Avila's settlement of St. Augustine in Florida, the earliest permanent center of Spanish power in eastern North America; the second was the foundation of the town and province of Tucuman, in the vast fertile plains of the upper Parana, long since explored and settled by Spanish adventurers.
Spain and her
Spanish expansion --the Philippines
With these began another chapter of European advance in the New World. The most populous district of the interior, farther south, had already been seized by pioneers from Santiago de Estero. From Asunciˇn, which had been settled nearly thirty years before, Juan de Garay founded the post of Santa FÚ at the confluence of the Paraguay and Parana, while at the same moment Cordoba had been founded farther west. Thence he established a permanent post at Buenos Ayres near the La Plata mouth, on the site of an earlier settlement; and so gave to the great grazing and plantation baronies of the interior an Atlantic port accessible to Spain. Nor was this all. While the eastern slopes of the Andes and the plains of the Argentine were thus transformed into European dependencies, whose grains and vines, cattle and horses offered unlimited possibilities of wealth, far to the north the men of New Spain spread in like manner through the southern spurs of the Rocky Mountains. There in later years the town of Santa FÚ was established as the outpost and capital of that vast and little known region christened New Andalusia. Meanwhile, the cities at the center of Spanish Caribbean power, Cartagena, Nombre de Dios, Porto Bello, and Vera Cruz flourished in like measure with Lima and Mexico. Finally, the conquest of Venezuela, where Valencia and Caracas had been founded to hold the interior, was confirmed by the post of La Guayra, through whose port poured a fresh stream of trade between Spain and the Venezuelan hinterland. Thus in the days when Philip aspired to direct the destinies of Europe, and Portuguese empire decayed, the wide-spreading movement by which his colonial pioneers and administrators secured the empire which Charles V's captains had won, opened new opportunities to European resources and influence.
-- America c. 1580
Under the circumstances, it was imperative that this vast inchoate mass of lands and peoples which had developed so rapidly in the generation just past should be provided with a system of political and economic organization more suited to its changing form and needs than the simple viceroyalties which had sufficed for the period of the conquests, and the haphazard voyages which had carried its first plunder to the mother country. The Spanish empire was accordingly split
The division of Spanish America 1560-88
into two great parts, New Spain including Mexico, Central America, Venezuela, the islands, and the Philippines; and Peru, which comprised Spanish South America. Each of these grand divisions was again divided into lesser governments; New Spain into four audiencias, Mexico, Espa˝ola-which included the islands and Venezuela--the northern district of New Galicia, and the southern province of Guatemala; Peru into five audiencias, Lima for Peru proper and Chili, Las Chareas for the central Andes, Quito for the north, New Granada for the northwest, and Panama for the isthmus. Each of these in turn were subdivided into governorships, of which New Spain counted seventeen or eighteen and Peru ten. Each of the great divisions was ruled by a viceroy, appointed for three years, assisted by his audiencia, or court and council, his tribunal de los cuentos for finance, his junta de gobierno, or administrative body, and his junta de guerra for military affairs. Such were the divisions of the western world destined to endure for nearly two centuries and to become, in large measure, the bases for the modern states which occupy that area.
No less important were the measures taken to safeguard and restrict the course of this richest of commerce from the "fountain and well-head" of the wealth of Spain, for its ship-loads of bullion early roused the cupidity of privateers in a day when no international law restrained their activities, and there was "no peace beyond the line." Not merely did each port contain a casa de contratacion in miniature, but a complete system of transport was devised to handle and protect the valuable cargoes to and especially from America. Six years after Philip II came to the throne it took its final form. Once a year a great fleet set sail, usually in January, from Seville, Cadiz, and San Lucar, for the New World, convoyed by ships of war. One part, "the fleet," so-called, was destined for Vera Cruz, the port for Mexico, and the Philippines; the other, or "galleons," for Cartagena and Porto Bollo, the entrep˘ts for South America. Sailing together, this fleet of half a hundred ships made its way by the Canaries and the West Indies to Dominica, where it
The organization of trade
divided for the trading ports. To those ports, meanwhile, pack trains and ships had gathered up from the greater part of Spanish America, its goods, its gold and silver, and its precious stones, as the treasures of the Philippines had found their way by the annual ship to Acapulco and thence by pack train to Vera Cruz.
The galleons reached Cartegena usually in April and waited there till news came of the arrival of the Peruvian treasure fleet at Panama. On that they proceeded to Porto Bello, where was held a forty days' fair, at which goods were exchanged at prices fixed by agents from each side. The cargoes disembarked, the ships reloaded and departed from the fever-ridden spot, to join the fleet which meanwhile had pursued a like course at Vera Cruz. Uniting at Havana, the vessels made their way home by routes fixed secretly for them in advance and changed from year to year to avoid piratical attack. Thus was determined for a century and a half the greatest single trading operation of the world. It was but slowly extended to the other parts of Spanish America. For many years direct trade even with Buenos Ayres was prohibited, and when it was finally established, so rigid was the Spanish system, it was restricted, like that of the Philippines, to a single ship a year, the value of whose cargo was itself prescribed!
The flota galleons and fairs
It was not enough, in Spanish eyes, to limit colonial trade to a few ports and to a single fleet. For the most part, all business was confined to a few trading houses of Seville, Lima, and Mexico, which were soon formed into close corporations, prototypes of those great companies which, in other hands and under different conditions, were soon to form the aggressive force of rival powers. However well it might have been adapted to the earlier stages of a rude commerce, or the perpetuation of a profitable monopoly to a few favored interests, this system worked a hardship to both sides, as Spanish imperial power grew with the advance of its subjects oversea. "Supplying a great kingdom like the provisioning of a blockaded fortress," however necessary it appeared to a government concerned almost entirely with the products of the mines, not merely lent no strength to the empire, it became an element of actual weakness. For it divided imperial interests from those of Spain; and concentrated wealth into convenient form for piracy.
Such was the position of the extra-European world at the moment when its master, Philip II, planned the extinction of Dutch Protestant faith and liberties; and, in conjunction with French and English Catholics, Guise, Valois, and Mary Stuart, dreamed of extirpating heresy and bringing England, no less than Holland, back to its ancient faith. Such was the situation which, on the other hand, inspired the seafaring elements of the threatened communions to their attempts on Spanish commerce east and west, and their designs to find a way to the great trade preserve of Asia.
It was not merely the decline of Portugal's sea-power and the relative inferiority of Spanish seamanship which gave them an advantage in the conflict which then began. Chief among the many influences which brought the northern powers to an equality with Spain and Portugal was the development of scientific knowledge. That had enormously advanced in those years which saw a great part of Europe engaged in violent discussions over the doctrines of salvation by faith or works; the necessity or efficacy of the sacraments; the insoluble mystery of whether the bread and wine of the sacrament was Christ's flesh and blood--transubstantiation, so-called; episcopal and congregational or presbyterian church government; free-will and predestination; and Papal authority as against the divine right of kings or individuals.
In particular, the preceding fifty years had freed men in no small degree from that dependence on experience, whereby the earlier navigators, like pilots on an ever-changing stream, had in large measure steered their course. The impetus to astronomy, cosmography, navigation, and the mathematics on which all these sciences depended, begun by the discoveries of the fifteenth century and reinforced by every advance of explorer and scholar, had found a powerful ally in the improved processes of printing and engraving which accompanied and stimulated the advance of knowledge. As the
The extension of geographical knowledge
material for study increased with widening areas of European activity, it was gradually made available in charts, geographies, and atlases. The time had passed when the precious secrets, long jealously guarded by Spanish and Portuguese authorities, were wholly confined to them. With the employment of foreigners in their service, with the issue of necessary manuals, no less than by the voyages which interlopers undertook, that knowledge filtered through to other hands, till, by the time that Philip had made the whole colonial world his own, there were many besides his subjects who knew more of the seaways east and west than was agreeable to his monopoly.
Meanwhile, that practical knowledge had been powerfully reinforced from a far different quarter. If the Iberian peoples had led the way in conquest and discovery, the Teutonic races had contributed scarcely less in other fields to man's capacity for comprehending and exploiting the world in which he lived. From the revised system of Ptolemy a fresh stream of mathematics, geography, and astronomy, which had flowed long since from Alexandria to Arabia and India, came through Arab channels back into European minds, greatly enlarged and purified. German scientists in the preceding century had revived mathematics and placed it at the service of their fellow-men; and here no single subject was of greater importance than the reinvigorated science of trigonometry, so indispensable to seafarer and cartographer.
Mathematics and cartography
This, in the hands of Purbach, Walther, and Regiomontanus, developed and soon found its way to print. Applied to map-making, with towns for central points, it revolutionized the art of cartography. To it Copernicus addressed his genius, and none of his contributions to human knowledge, not even his hypothesis of the solar system, was of more immediate service to mankind than this. For he applied the principles of this reviving science to curved surfaces; and to him is ascribed the first simple formula of spherical trigonometry.
With him began a new age of geography as well as of astronomy, and for the moment the former was of the greater significance. For centuries, and more especially since the Spanish and Portuguese discoveries, men had endeavored to picture the world graphically yet accurately. So long as the earth was believed to be flat and but little of it was known, this was not difficult. But it is not easy to depict all sides of a globe on a plane surface, and the ingenuity of map-makers was exhausted on the problem, with small success for fifty years. Now these attempts to improve the old cumbrous methods were crowned by the invention of Gerhard Kramer, better known as Mercator, sometime cartographer to Charles V, who published a world-map drawn on a cylindrical projection with lines of latitude parallel to the equator, and lines of longitude at right angles to these. This now familiar principle revolutionized cartography, displaced other systems, and from his time to our own has remained the model for navigation charts and maps in general. Copernicus' great work appeared as the Council of Trent gathered to its labors, Mercator's chart was coincident with the third Huguenot rising in France, and the union of the mother country, Poland, with Lithuania. Modest as their achievements seemed beside the earth-compelling conflict of Protestant and Catholic and the adjustment of European states, not even these yielded in results to the all but unheralded contributions of these obscure Polish and Flemish scientists.
They were but the principal figures in a great movement. Already manuals of navigation based on the new mathematics had appeared in print; the value of rhumb lines and the advantages of sailing on the great circle were recognized; and while western Europe was convulsed with the conflict between Spain and her enemies, one French scientist, Coignet, observed the obliquity of the ecliptic, and another, Norman, noted the dip of the magnetic needle. With such discoveries the way was prepared for a more accurate and scientific knowledge of the world and the ways to its most remote regions. These were added to the armory of Spain's enemies, since it was rather to those who had the lesser knowledge of the seaways east and west than to those who had long been familiar with those ways, that this was of advantage.
Meanwhile, the co-workers of the scientists, the shipwrights, had not been idle. While the appliances of navigation had scarcely kept pace with the new knowledge, while astrolabe, cross-staff, and rude quadrants remained the principal devices for observing stars, and the defects of the chronometers left no means of measuring time at sea with any accuracy, ship-building had advanced. In Spain and Portugal, indeed, such changes as took place had been conditioned by the demands of commerce rather than of war. New types appeared, like the carrack and galleon, but, in the main, the tendencies were toward mere floating warehouses or fortresses. The famous caravels had been enlarged and strengthened; their upper works or "castles" had risen higher to hold more men and goods; port-holes for cannon had been introduced, and movable topsails; till the three-masters, with their high bows and stern, low waist, bowsprits, square-rigged main and mizzen sails, took on a new appearance, without much change in sailing or handling qualities.
While Spain and Portugal had been content merely to modify the older types of vessels, the northern ship-builders had evolved new models and new qualities; nor was the reason far to seek. The privateers for whom they built demanded great seaworthiness, ease of handling, fighting qualities and speed, since on these depended not merely their owners' living but their lives. Thus the French, and presently English and Dutch, began to launch a different kind of ship. Its keel was longer in proportion to its beam, its poop and forecastle lower in comparison with the waist, its greater draught and less freeboard making for increased stability and so for more accurate gunnery. To these were added more easily managed sails, longer cables, and improved capstans, for safety and quick handling. Of other forms, like those propelled with oars, which still found favor in the smoother waters of the Mediterranean, the men who had to meet the great Atlantic swells took little account, as from the Huguenot ports of France, from Rhine mouth and Zuyder Zee, and from the English harbors, they pushed out in yearly increasing numbers, better manned and armed, better found and handled if not better fought, to spoil the Spaniard and the Catholic.
Thus, in the struggle for oceanic mastery were matched two types of ship, and no less two types of men: the Spaniard, who like the Roman forced himself to be a sailor and transferred as far as possible land tactics to the sea, and those traders and fishermen to whom for centuries water had been their other element. To this conflict science made one final contribution. Apart from the increase in the size and efficiency of cannon, the researches and experiments of men like Tartaglia regarding projectiles and quadrants for gunners' use now revolutionized the art of gunnery. And these, no less than the improvements introduced by their shipwrights, were seized upon by the antagonists. Thus in such curious wise there were combined religion, politics, and trade, science and ship-building, in the conflict with which the second stage of modern European history begins.
Achievements such as these, indeed, appealed but little to those outside the ranks of seafarers or scientists, and it is not probable that European rulers and statesmen in general recognized the altering circumstances of the world in which they lived--so blind have been those in the seats of the mighty to the most important influences beyond their narrow range of vision. Not until those forces proved their strength in action or thought, and so compelled attention from those whose minds moved in that unreal realm of the so-called high politics--and not always even then--were they reckoned a part of the world's affairs. Yet, as events were soon to prove, these humbler factors were the deciding element in a conflict upon which hung the fate of nations and beliefs.
CHAPTER XIV - THE ARMADA. 1575-1588
THE changes in the tastes, habits, and opinions of the European peoples during the sixteenth century, which caused or accompanied their division into rival camps, had, by the beginning of the last quarter of that century, compelled even the most hesitant of powers to take sides in the struggle of civilizations, which filled that period, either from religious conviction or economic and political interest. From the first Spain's choice was certain. She was removed from the influences then permeating the greater part of Europe, no less by faith than by inclination, by the conservatism of a society whose fortune was already made and whose habits were already formed, and by the character of the sovereign who directed her affairs. In like measure the Netherlands, whose only hope of life lay in resistance to the Spanish power, found but one course open. France and the Empire were in a different case. Each faction in France felt the same necessity for preserving its position and its faith, and the nation, in consequence, was rent with civil war which prevented it from taking full share in the coming conflict. The Emperor, relieved from the fear of the Turk, only to find his authority defied by a revival of internal dissension between rival rulers and faiths in his dominions, was scarcely less removed from active participation in general European politics. But in so far as its situation permitted, each party in each state contributed as best it might to the farspreading conflict then about to burst upon the European world.
Spain, France, and the Empire
The situation of England was in many respects peculiar. The efforts of the Catholic party to overthrow Elizabeth and the Protestant establishment were, it is true, doomed to failure. . But Mary Queen of Scots was still alive and remained the focus of those elements which had not yet given up the hope of successful revolution. The government was therefore cautious to a fault, and still temporized. But it was far different with the majority of the people. The voyages of Hawkins, which had crowned the age of contraband exploits, inaugurated a period of all but open war. The revolts of the Huguenots and the Dutch enlisted English sympathy. The prospect of Spanish plunder inspired every sentiment of greed; and the progress of the Counter-Reformation, reinforced by the fears which the Massacre of St. Bartholomew and the revival of the Inquisition inspired, determined the event. No less for self-preservation than for reasons of conscience, the greater glory of God, and the enrichment of England, the active defense of Protestants was forced upon her, and the exploits of her privateers confirmed her policy. Thus while every popular and political instinct impelled them to fight Spain, in spirit not unlike the Spanish and Portuguese attack on Asia and America, in methods differing only with the times and the position of their enemies, the English pressed to the conflict.
Its earliest exploit gave character to the war and a new hero to the English race. Three years after Hawkins' third voyage, his companion and kinsman, Francis Drake, sometime in trade with Guinea and the Spanish Main, ventured a fresh attack. With two small vessels and some eighty men he sailed from Plymouth for Nombre de Dios, that "golden granary of the West Indies wherein was hoarded up the golden harvest from Peru and Mexico." Joined at the Isle of Pines by another English bark with thirty men, his little force made Nombre de Dios, stormed the town and reached its strong-room, "the Treasure of the World," only to be balked by their leader's wound, which caused his disheartened men to retreat to their ships. Recovering from his injury, the daring adventurer proceeded to Cartagena. There he cut out a Spanish galleon from under the guns of the fortress, burned Porto Bello, crossed the Isthmus with only eighteen men, sacked Vera Cruz, plundered three caravans, and so,
after incredible adventures, brought home his little company, rich men. Such was the great exploit which ushered in the conflict between England and Spain and stirred English seamen to that far-reaching enterprise.
Four years later Drake sailed again with five ships, made land at La Plata, followed Magellan's track through the Straits, and with a single vessel of four hundred tons, the Golden Hind, found his way to Valparaiso, thence to Callao, plundering as he went. He took a rich galleon, the Cacafuego, with a cargo worth a million dollars; sailed northward to the Golden Gate, and from there some seventy days through the "main ocean" to the Philippines. Thence he proceeded to Ternate and the Celebes, Batjan, and Java. From the latter he made a course about the Cape of Good Hope, and, after an absence of three years, reached England with his cargo of gold and silver, spices and silks.
Not since Cortez and Magellan, scarcely since Columbus and da Gama, had any one accomplished such a feat; nor were its results much less considerable. The great adventurer had not only shown the way to the rich plunder of the Spanish Main. He had invaded the inviolate preserve of the Pacific, and it was not to be supposed that in the temper of the English this "master thief of the unknown world" would lack successors. Spain, naturally, was furious. Elizabeth, halting as usual between two great alternatives, hesitated whether to honor or imprison the daring adventurer, but finally made his cause her own and that of England. Denouncing to the Spanish ambassador his master's treatment of her subjects, his prohibition of commerce, and his encouragement of English and Irish rebels, she knighted Drake and thus threw down the gage to Spain.
The sea-king of Devon was but one of many adventurers. Even as he embarked on his long voyage, one of his comrades in the suppression of that Irish rebellion engineered by Spain, which had done much to inspire these counter-strokes, attempted the Spanish-Portuguese monopoly by another route. Three times did this commander of the Muscovy Company, Martin Frobisher, essay the northwest
Frobisher and Gilbert
passage to India; and though the way he sought was as elusive as the gold in the pyrites which he brought back, he began that long series of Arctic voyages which brought glory and ultimately gain for England in the frozen north. Meanwhile, Sir Humphrey Gilbert, whose writings had inspired Frobisher's exploit, secured a charter for a new world colony; and though his plan failed as signally as that of the Arctic voyages, like them it pointed to future achievement.
These were but a few of England's efforts to expand her influence. At the same time that Gilbert, Drake, and Frobisher were engaged in the west, the power of the Hanse merchants in England was broken. The Eastland Company was chartered for the Baltic trade. The Muscovy Company extended its scope and character; and an embassy was despatched to the Sultan of Turkey seeking for trade concessions which gave rise to the Levant or Turkey Company. With these events England was fairly embarked on her twofold adventure, which presently set her in the forefront of maritime and commercial powers. Dutch and Hanse merchants had indeed preceded her in Russian trade, and France anticipated her plans of settlement in America. But though her Arctic ventures and colonizing schemes broke down; though the adventurers who emulated Drake were often crushed; she led the way to the invasion of the Spanish power, and first devised that form of corporation which was to bring her to ultimate success.
But she could hardly hope to carry on such far-reaching designs unhampered by her enemies. While Philip's armies were at close grips with the Dutch rebels in the Netherlands, and his intrigues supported the French Catholics, he took steps against England which revealed still other aspects of his situation and his cause. From their piratical adventures oversea the English were summoned to meet dangers at home. Even as Drake returned from circumnavigation of the world, a body of so-called Papal volunteers, chiefly Spaniards, had landed to assist a new Irish rebellion. To its repression, as six years before, the privateers hastened to the assistance of the crown. The power of the rebellious
Spain and Ireland
Earl of Desmond was destroyed; the ill-fated invaders were put to the sword; and the Spanish ambassador, demanding satisfaction for Drake's piracies, was refused admission to the queen's presence.
Meanwhile the same force used to weld the Irish into union against the English power--the Jesuits--despatched agents to England from their colleges on the continent for a darker design. The Spanish ambassador drew in the violent English Romanists; the Scotch Catholic nobles were enlisted; the head of the French Catholics, the Duke of Guise, promised his aid. Agents were engaged to kill Elizabeth; plans drawn for invasion from Scotland: and Mary, Queen of Scots, now long a prisoner, was destined for the English throne. This great design was accompanied by even wider plans. The death of Francis Duke of Anjou made Henry of Navarre, the Huguenot, the next heir to the throne, and France flamed once again in civil war as his opponents strove to bar the way to his accession. At the same time the savior of the Netherlands, William the Silent, fell by the hand of an assassin, instigated by the Spanish king. Thus auspiciously began the great attack upon the Protestants. But the finewoven scheme broke down. Henry evaded the snares of his enemies; the Netherlands were not dismayed by the loss of their heroic leader. The Scotch Presbyterians secured the person of the young king James; the English conspiracy was unearthed and the conspirators were put to death. The net was drawn about the brilliant and ambitious Queen of Scots; till, as England girded herself to meet the great Armada then preparing in Spain to crush her once for all and make Philip her master, the unhappy queen, last hope of English Catholics, was put to death.
With this the die was cast and each side pushed on to war. England and Scotland signed a peace safeguarding their respective Protestant interests. Elizabeth sent an army to the Netherlands; and, from the transparent guise of letters of marque from CondÚ or Orange by which they had long preyed on Spanish ships, her courtiers embarked on more open attacks. These were accompanied by further efforts to
The War 1586
colonize. Already Gilbert, with his stepbrother, Sir Walter Raleigh, had tried to plant a settlement in Newfoundland; and Raleigh had sent out a colony to the region north of Florida, now named Virginia in honor of Elizabeth. As the threat of invasion grew, Drake was called on to strike another blow. With Frobisher as his vice-admiral, he plundered Vigo on the coast of Spain, sailed to the Caribbean, burned Santiago, held Santo Domingo and Cartagena to ransom, picked up the remnants of Raleigh's Virginia colony, and so returned to make ready for still more daring exploits.
Meanwhile Spain's preparation for the invasion of England had gone on. In all her ports, especially Cadiz and Lisbon, shipwrights were busy, sailors, soldiers, supplies, and vessels were collected. In the Netherlands her great general, Parma, drew to the Flemish coast a powerful army to cooperate with the forces of the fleet, which was to crush the English, then the Dutch, restore the waning prestige of Spain, and make Philip the uncontested ruler of the British Isles and the Low Countries. Against this huge preparation Drake was launched again "to impeach the joining of the fleet out of their several ports, keep victuals from them, follow them in case they should come forward towards England or Ireland, cut off as many of them as he could, cut off their landing, and set upon such as should come out of the East or West Indies into Spain, or go out of Spain thither." Under such wide instructions he made for Cadiz, burst into its harbor, captured, burned, or sunk more than thirty vessels he found there. Then, establishing himself at Prince Henry's old post at Sagres, he harried the coast, seized forts, supplies, and ships, and sold his captives to the Moors to ransom English slaves. Thence he sailed to the Azores and there captured a Portuguese carrack, whose rich cargo opened English eyes to the real value of the Eastern trade; and so, having "singed the beard of the King of Spain," he returned triumphant from the adventure which had proved so great in glory, spoil, and warlike results.
The Armada 1587
His success only delayed the blow, though that delay was of much help to England; and in the following summer the Spanish Armada set sail. No such naval expedition had ever before been launched by any European power. A hundred and thirty vessels of near sixty thousand tons burden were manned by eight thousand sailors and more than twice that number of soldiers, who, with galley-slaves, servants, and others, brought the total force to thirty thousand men. Moreover, the fleet was equipped with great stores of ammunition, supplies, horses, mules, carts, and intrenching tools. For this was no mere naval venture. In the Netherlands the Spanish general, Parma, drew his troops together and prepared transports for an invasion of England which the Armada was designed to cover and assist. Nothing less than the complete conquest of the British Isles was planned; and naval victory was but the prelude to a war on land.
Beside the threatening bulk of this huge twofold armament the English preparations seemed almost insignificant. The royal ships were sparsely provided with food or powder; and the stirring words of the queen scarcely atone for the lack of sufficient munitions, equipment and supplies. But what the government lacked, private enterprise in large measure supplied. A score of ports furnished their vessels to meet the foe, London first of all. Hundreds of seamen, thousands of landsmen volunteered to serve under the great captains who had made the English name a terror to the Spanish world. An army was collected; and the Thames' mouth fortified. Thus prepared, England awaited the attack.
It was not long delayed. Held back by contrary winds until July, a favoring breeze brought the Spanish armament across the Bay of Biscay into the English Channel, where the English fleet, under the queen's cousin, the capable Lord Howard of Effingham, awaited them at Plymouth. There the Armada should have stopped and fought. But, acting under orders far too minute, the inexperienced Spanish commander, the Duke of Medina Sidonia, hurried past, with some slight skirmishes, toward his rendezvous at Calais, where Parma, who had brought his forces up prepared to convey them into England by transports, was harassed and held back by a Dutch fleet.
Following close on the Armada's track, July 21-29 the English hung on flank and rear, pounding with their heavy artillery, cutting out disabled vessels or slow sailers, which the Spaniards made no effort to save, hampering and harassing their less mobile enemy for a full week till the Armada found shelter in Calais Roads. Driven thence almost immediately by the English fire-ships, they faced their enemies in a last, decisive engagement off Gravelines.
In the conflict which was to decide, in some sort, the future of the oceanic world, of Protestantism, and perhaps of Europe generally, all the advantage seemed to lie with the enormous fleet of Spain. Beside its huge array the English vessels seemed as small and weak as their narrow kingdom beside their enemies' far-flung empire. But the weakness was apparent, not real; the advantage actually lay with them. Despite its numbers the Armada counted hardly more than fifty men-of-war fit for the service on which they were engaged; while the English, even when their adversaries first entered the narrow seas, were scarcely overmatched in fighting ships. The slight disparity in numbers was more than made up by the nearness of their ports, with consequent facility for refitting and repairs; while the apparent discrepancy in size was largely accounted for by difference in build.
The Battle off Gravelines
But the deciding advantage lay in the ships and men. More stable than the top-heavy, cranky Spanish craft, whose pitching and tossing made good marksmanship all but impossible, the English were superior in number and weight of guns. Better manned and served, firing three shots to the Spaniard's one, with greater range and impact, as well as greater accuracy, they poured a tempest of shot into the towering targets of their enemies from a comparatively safe distance. More weatherly, they were able to evade the Spanish efforts to come to close quarters, keep the weather gauge, cut out stragglers and disabled ships, and fight or run with equal success. Finally, the crowning English advantage lay in their officers and crews. The Spaniards, hampered by the soldiers on whom they had relied for boarding and landservice, were undermanned with seamen. Their artillery- men were despised by "men of sword-thrust and push of pike"; their highest officers were grotesquely ignorant of sea affairs, and inferior in every particular, save that of personal bravery, to the English. The English fleet, on the other hand, was heavily manned with sailors trained equally to work and fight their ships. Its commanders were accustomed to their task, and in familiar waters; its admirals were no mere courtiers, but seasoned veterans, chosen not for wealth or social status but for ability. Thus each navy was a fit representative not alone of its national sea-power but of its society.
July 29, 1588
When finally the two fleets came together at Gravelines, even the disparity of numbers told against the Spanish. While they had lost by capture, shipwreck, destruction, and unseaworthiness, the English fleet had actually increased, since to it "out of all Havens of the Realm resorted ships and men; for they all with one accord came flocking hither as unto a set field, where immortall fame and glory was to be attained and faithfull service to bee performed unto their prince and country." From the first the issue never was in doubt. Defeated with terrific loss, unable to find refuge in the continental ports or effect a junction with Parma, whom the Dutch held impotent, Spain's great Armada finally broke and fled into the North Sea, pursued by the English to the Firth of Forth. Some of its vessels perished off the coast of Holland, some were taken, others sunk or burned. The rest made their slow and painful way about the British Isles, leaving a long trail of wrecked or foundered ships. The survivors who were unfortunate enough to escape the sea were butchered by those into whose hands they fell, till of that imposing force which had set forth to insure the triumph of Spain and Catholicism, a broken handful made its way home again. Without losing a single ship, and at the cost of scarcely more than sixty men, England not merely remained the mistress of the narrow seas, she became the leading naval power of the world. With the failure of her Armada, Spain, broken and bankrupt, lost her primacy in the European system of states; and there began a new chapter in history.
CHAPTER XV - THE AGE OF ELIZABETH;
AND THE ANGLO-DUTCH INVASION OF THE EAST. 1588-1601
LIKE all such great catastrophes, the defeat of Spain's Armada marked at once the climax of one series of events and the beginning of another. The chapter of European history which it closed had been the record of the maritime, commercial, and colonial supremacy of Portugal and Spain. The one it opened was to chronicle the transfer of that power to the north. The sixty years just past had seen the new communions challenge the establishment in church and state; the next sixty were to see affairs readjusted in the light of the new faith and policies thus evolved. The generation then vanishing from the scene had been concerned most largely with controversies which turned upon questions of theology. The generation coming on the stage was to find in the field of science an enlarging sphere of intellectual activity. The colonizing energies of Europe, directed by the Mediterranean powers, had hitherto concerned themselves principally with the tropics, working on broad but superficial lines under royal, noble, and clerical influences. Henceforth they were to be largely absorbed by temperate and cold temperate states; and by middle classes, seeking to win from commerce in private hands and from the actual transference of European peoples with their own customs to the New World the more enduring gain of trade and colonies. Above all, the oncoming generation was to see the currents of religion, politics, and colonial-commercial enterprise joined in new forms of European polity. Thus as a century before Europe had created a new situation in the world's affairs to which she had readjusted her actions and her thought, so now she stood at a fresh parting of the ways, impelled to new
The results of the Armada's failure
achievements along new lines by forces which she herself produced.
The Protestant ascendancy
Of all the consequences which flowed from the Armada's failure none was more striking than that it threw into high relief the three significant features of the situation which the preceding two decades had evoked. These were the increased importance of sea-power, the growing strength of the middle classes, and the shifting of the balance of statecraft toward the reformed communions. Of these the last was most immediately evident. Under Elizabeth, England had revealed a subtlety in politics no less remarkable than her success upon the sea. As a result, not merely was she now definitely ranged on the Protestant side; but the execution of Mary Queen of Scots had delivered that nation into the hands of its Calvinistic elements. These reared the young prince James,--who was to become the ruler of both kingdoms,-in the faith of Geneva rather than of Rome. At the same time the Republic of the United Netherlands had produced a worthy successor to William the Silent in the person of Jan van Oldenbarneveldt. His talents, reinforced by the military gifts of the great Stadtholder's son, Prince Maurice of Nassau, bade fair to rescue the new nation from Spanish bondage and weld it to a state which, from its slender foothold on the land, challenged the supremacy of the sea.
France felt the same impulse. Twelve months to a day after the English ships turned back from their pursuit of Spain's defeated fleet, Henry III, last of the Valois kings, fell victim to the dagger of a mad priest; and thenceforth the greatest of the Huguenots, Henry of Navarre, faced no rival in his long and bloody progress to the throne. His enemies of the Catholic League were overthrown at Ivry. Paris was won by his nominal conversion to Catholicism, "the lip-service of a mass." Just ten years after Drake had rounded Cape St. Vincent to crush the Spanish vessels then preparing at Cadiz to overthrow the Protestant powers of the north, this half Protestant, half Catholic, and wholly tolerant sovereign of a united France confirmed the rights of his Calvinistic subjects by the Edict of Nantes.
Thus while half of Germany and all of Scandinavia embraced their doctrines, from the Hebrides to the Pyrenees the new communions found little persecution for a full generation, and Europe remained not unevenly divided between the old faith and the new.
Yet with all the romantic interest which attached to the career of Henry IV, with all the many and varied activities which it witnessed, the fifteen years which followed the destruction of the Armada form a far less impressive period in the affairs of Europe than the preceding decade. The Papacy, indeed, saw three masters in as many years. The struggle of the Imperialists against the Turks went on. The Spanish king continued his efforts to suppress his subjects' liberties; and Catholic quarreled with Protestant throughout the Empire as before. The north saw the continuance of the conflict for Vasa supremacy over Sweden and Poland which centered in the ambitions of Sigismund III. But all these events, however important to the men of the time, yield in ultimate significance to that struggle between Spain and her Anglo-Dutch enemies, which spread throughout the world and, by the transfer of naval supremacy to the northern powers, revolutionized Europe's affairs.
The Anglo-Dutch attack on Spain
This long struggle, it has been observed, was not merely a warlike adventure; it was a conflict between two principles of European civilization. And with the decline of Spain it was but natural that those nations which best expressed the spirit of the changing age, commercial, intellectual, religious, maritime, political, should take their place in the forefront of Europe; as a century earlier political expansion had lain in the hands of Spain and Portugal, and intellectual initiative, with commerce and finance, had been most conspicuous in Italy.
Chief among those nations were England and the United Netherlands, and nowhere were certain aspects of the oncoming development more remarkable than in the tiny provinces about the Rhine mouths, still battling for independence, like a later Greece with a Spanish Persia. More than sixteen hundred years earlier, CŠsar had found their swamp- and
The United Netherlands
sea-dwelling ancestors, the Belgoe and Frisii, among the stubbornest and least accessible of his enemies, and Spain was now repeating his experience. Save for the Roman outpost at the "Last Crossing,"--"Ultra Trajectum,"Utrecht socalled,--they had remained all but untouched by Roman influence.
As the centuries went on they had been converted by Irish monks; taught by the missionaries to dike and drain the land against the sea, at once their greatest enemy and friend. Their meadows had become the seat of great monasteries; their towns had been enriched by their daring fishermen, who "founded cities on herring skeletons." Later still they came under the power of the aspiring house of Burgundy, and thence, by marriage, to the rule of Spain. Neither was able to crush their ancient love of liberty. Their landed aristocracy, their burghers, their farmers and sailors, lord and merchant-prince alike, cherished a stubborn pride of race and land; and, with their adoption of the Calvinistic doctrines, the Protestant element among them was further hardened against their Catholic rulers. All the tact of Flemish-born Charles V had barely kept his Dutch provinces in leash, and Philip II's ill-advised designs had driven them to rebellion. And though the Catholic Flemings and Walloons had been won again, the United Provinces under their heroic leader, William of Orange, maintained a struggle, which, despite their desperate disparity of numbers, had brought them thus far not merely success but prosperity.
They were still in doubtful conflict for possession of the narrow land which they had so largely won back from the sea, and their real strength lay upon that restless element. Their slow-flowing rivers, their canals, their level, low-lying fields, their too well-watered country, all of whose principal towns were seaports, made them at once extraordinarily accessible to trade and yet defensible in the last resort by letting in the ocean. The people whose "farms only grew enough to feed them half the year," became rich from the North Sea fisheries which fed a fasting faith, and on the carrying trade which their location and facilities threw in their way.
Their commerce and industry
They were masters of the many-mouthed Rhine, with its great commerce, neighbors to the English producers of wool and grain, and to the Flemish weaving districts which consumed those products. Besides the wines and silks of France, the fish and oil, hides, tallow, and forest products of the Baltic and North Sea, they seized upon the trade in Eastern goods from Lisbon and, after the fall of Antwerp, they became the chief distributors to northern Europe for that profitable commerce. So great was their maritime ascendancy that as early as the middle of the sixteenth century their principal province, Holland, was reckoned to possess a thousand ships and thirty thousand seamen. Nor was this all. From Italy their enterprising merchants learned the lessons of finance and trade that had been lost on Spain and Portugal, the tried devices of banking and exchange which were to make the Netherlands a second Lombardy. Meanwhile from Geneva they drew a Calvinistic polity and faith which imposed stern virtues of economy and industry, inspired the love of liberty and individual rights, and helped to nerve them to resist oppression to the last limit of human endurance.
Yet, though their very faults made for success against the outside world, their internal affairs were seldom so fortunate. The faith which infused the principles of dissent, brought with it doctrines of independent thought which held the seeds of controversy. The natural antagonisms of merchant and noble, of maritime and agricultural provinces, were emphasized by wars in which the one bore the chief brunt and the other reaped the chief benefits. The rivalry between province and province, town and town, which, even in time of war, did not always yield to common interests of selfdefense, in quieter times might well lead to fierce dissensions. The Union of Utrecht, which had set up the central government of a States General over a federated body of United Provinces, republican in form, had failed to destroy particularistic tendencies. Their constitution was designedly imperfect and obscure. Their legislature was but a meeting of provincial diplomatic delegates, and these, joined to a weak executive and a local administration which failed to check
Their political situation
the opposition of the unenfranchised classes to the petty oligarchies of merchants who ruled the cities, perpetuated the old divisions. Finally the jealousies between town and country, province and province, were crowned by the antagonisms of rival schools of theology.
But withal the Netherlands revealed tremendous energy. For the first time individual initiative had virtually free scope in nearly every department of life, and it was almost immediately reinforced by outside agencies. The first of these was the sack of Antwerp by the Spanish troops. The greatest single catastrophe since the fall of Constantinople was the ruin of the Queen of the Low Countries; and its destruction in the burst of Spanish fury which wrecked the rich, rebellious towns of the devoted Catholic Netherlands drove thousands of their wealthy, energetic merchants into the Dutch provinces to increase their resources of capital, ability, and numbers. Still more, when Philip 11 repudiated his indebtedness and ruined the capitalists of Augsburg, and the great house of Fugger fell, carrying with it many lesser moneyed interests, Amsterdam became perhaps the most powerful financial center of the continent; while the United Provinces, enriched by new energy and capital, struck boldly for supremacy in trade. To this achievement the states bent all their efforts; chambers of commerce in the cities lent their aid; individuals planned and fought. For the first time in modern Europe there arose a national state based on commerce, bound by its ties and interests into new forms of politics and business enterprise. It was republican if not democratic, self-governing, individualistic, yet, for the time at least, co-operating to one end. Free in thought and speech beyond all other continental peoples, it now brought to bear a fresh and powerful energy, nation-wide, to establish a new and active principle and become a vigorous factor in the world's affairs.
Yet whatever the intellectual and material advance of the United Netherlands, whatever their immediate strength and success, the ultimate promise of her neighbor-ally, England, was greater still. With all their pride of race, few peoples
or none of northern Europe were of more mixed blood than those of the British Isles. The Celtic tribes, which at the dawn of British history were driving a still older population into the fastness of the islands, having been conquered by the Romans, after the imperial eagles were withdrawn were themselves driven from the lowlands by Saxon invaders. These, in turn, were conquered by Dane and Norman, with adventurers or refugees from the whole continent who followed or accompanied them to this melting-pot of European peoples, till around the Saxon-Danish-Norman heart of England proper and the Scottish Lowlands spread a wide Celtic fringe of Wales, Cornwall, and the Scotch Highlands. Ireland had followed much the same course, and though she had been nominally conquered by the English who had absorbed Wales, their sovereignty was scarcely recognized outside the so-called Pale along the eastern coast. The tribal chiefs of the west were nearly as independent as the rulers of Scotland; while, to the political and racial animosity they bore to English domination, the Reformation--which had overspread England and the Scotch Lowlands, but found no foothold in Ireland--added another and even deeper basis of antagonism.
With the defeat of the Armada, after so many years of travail, England now stood forth triumphant and rejoicing in her strength. What the court of Lorenzo de Medici had been to letters, what the court of Ferdinand and Isabella had been to war and adventure a hundred years before, the court of Elizabeth now became to both letters and adventure. Strong in the prestige of Spanish overthrow, enriched by the trade and plunder of the oceanic world, inspired by the new learning of the Renaissance and the spirit of the Reformation, skilled alike to wield the sword and pen, the brilliant circle ranged about the English queen touched the high level of courtly achievement in action and intellect alike. The court, indeed, was but the more splendid flower of a sturdy stock. Elsewhere in Europe popular liberties had, for the most part, sunk beneath the despotism which men welcomed as a cure for feudal anarchy, and aristocracy had hardened
to a caste. But in England the Parliament lived on beside that very tyranny which had crushed the mediŠval baronage. There had been created a nobility of "new men" dependent on the crown and bound by the old custom by which a commoner could rise to ducal rank and the younger sons of nobles sink again to commoners; thus insuring a more intimate relation among all classes of society than was generally possible on the continent.
The ruling house partook of all the qualities of the race from whence it sprung. Brave, crafty, affable, skilled in the "art of governance," the Tudors revealed the powerful anomaly of wielding despotism by popular consent. They were arbitrary monarchs of a free people, and they expressed the will and the temper of their subjects and their times. Shrewd, haughty, practical, illogical, and proud, at once religious and cynical, they possessed insight and common-sense beyond their class. "I do not so much rejoice," declared Elizabeth, "that God hath made me to be a queen, as to be a queen over so thankful a people." If the Tudors were tyrants, they brooked no tyranny in others. If they were at times unjust and cruel, they enforced justice as they saw it. If they oppressed, they checked lesser oppressors. If they struck down aspiring individuals, they seldom dared invade the rights of a class; for their power rested in their concert with their subjects. The Tudors retained, indeed, what power they could in the face of the increasing strength of their subjects. They were not able to overawe their Parliaments, but they created scores of new boroughs, whence they hoped to draw into the Commons a body of representatives, like the new nobility, devoted to their interests. Yet if this was their design it was far from accomplishing the subjection of even the lower House to royal will; and it evidenced at once the growing power of the commonalty and the substitution of "governance" for mere arbitrary royal authority. While the Vatican sent Bruno to the stake, Richard Hooker argued the supremacy of law and government in his Ecclesiastical Polity, unharmed. While the Consistory compelled Galileo to recant, Coke maintained to the king's face that
royalty was under God and the law. Such were the results of Tudor domination on their own generation and the next.
England's energy was not limited by politics and war. Her breach with Rome, which had begun with the question of royal divorce, deepened by the disestablishment of the monasteries, and confirmed by the conversion of the people, had been made permanent by the foundation of a Protestant church unlike any other in Christendom, and now, by the failure of the Armada, secured from Catholic attack. Created, like the aristocracy, under the influence of the crown, it remained Roman in form though Protestant in doctrine, episcopal, diocesan, liturgical, and largely Calvinist, a working compromise between reaction and reform, a middle ground on which all but extremes could meet. Parliament, alternately subservient and independent, now a convenient instrument, now an effective check to royal power, was supported by a commercial, moneyed class that took its place beside the landed interest which had risen upon the ruins of the baronage, enriched by the spoils of a disestablished Catholicism and a depressed yeomanry. Thus with all its inequalities and inconsistencies, well-balanced, self-contained, and self-supporting by land and sea alike, equally removed from extremes in politics, faith, and society, the England of Elizabeth stood forth the characteristic leader of its times, as its great rival, Spain, had been a hundred years before.
Like her it had its adventurers and religious enthusiasts. From manor-house and farm, seaport and counting-house poured forth a steady stream of younger sons, yeomen, sailors, merchant-adventurers, to seek their fortunes oversea. Everywhere, but especially in this busy middle class, as the doctrines of Calvin made their way, the advancing thought of the reformed communions, Puritan so-called, had tended to press beyond the middle ground of the Tudor church establishment to a more extreme Protestantism. It combined narrower sympathies with wider liberty of thought. It urged a severer code of morals, a more austere life, a simpler form of worship, opposing itself to the "rags of Rome" and the "abominations" which to its eyes defiled the statelier,
"seemlier" forms of the Anglican worship. Against these extremists, with a sure instinct for the royal prerogative, the crown had set its face, but the blood of the martyrs was ever the seed of the church. The persecuted Puritans had multiplied and strengthened with the growth of a class where "heterodoxy and trade went hand in hand." It now became increasingly apparent that their doctrine of the individual right to choose his faith, their democratic or theocratic tendencies, backed by their numbers and their capital, would inevitably be transferred in time to the field of politics, whence vested authority labored to exclude their disturbing influence.
In literature as in adventure and religion, meanwhile, Englishmen went far in the generation which followed the Armada. The "poets' poet," Spenser, crowned his earlier triumphs with his Faerie Queene. Courtier-adventurers, like Sidney, laid aside the sword to wield a scarcely less trenchant pen; and dramatists, with the supreme genius of the modern literary world, Shakespeare at their head, passed the bounds which had been set to achievement hitherto in that field. Relieved from imminent fear of destruction at the hands of Spain, conscious of its strength, and equipped for progress in nearly every field of human endeavor, the nation turned to complete the downfall of its ancient enemy. And as in the case of Holland, now joining in the fray, its very elements of unrest contributed to its offensive power, since religion no less than trade was the prize of success.
Its first efforts were directed toward retaliation; and the scattering ships of the Armada had scarcely straggled back to Spain before England had launched a fleet against her enemy. This enterprise, under Drake's command, fell short of what had been expected, but the loss inflicted on the Spanish ships and stores completed the work of making his countrymen safe from further danger on that side. Not the least of the English intention had been a plan for "intercepting the king's treasure from the Indies," and though that failed, the project of traversing the eastern trade monopoly was almost immediately revived by an extraordinary
Reprisals For the Armada 1589
circumstance. A fortnight after Drake returned from pursuing the Armada, there had appeared in his native town of Plymouth one Thomas Cavendish, in his little ship Desire, from a voyage around the world, which in daring and results was a fit rival to Drake's own exploit. Two years earlier Cavendish had sailed with three small vessels by way of the Canaries and Cape Verde to South America, passed the Straits, and made many prizes, among them a Manila galleon, the Great Santa Anna. Thence he found his way to the Philippines, and so, by way of Java to the Cape of Good Hope, discovered St. Helena, and, "by the mercifull favour of the Almightie," reached home just in time to hear of the defeat of the Armada, "to the singular rejoycing and comfort of us all." From this great voyage he brought back not merely treasure; under the circumstances the maps and information he acquired were of inestimable value. For by confirming and enlarging the knowledge of the Spanish preserves which had first been invaded by Drake, he performed a service of scarcely less importance to his fellow-countrymen, whose energies were now bent on completing Spain's overthrow.
The third circumnavigation of the world 1586-8
Fortunately for Spain, and unfortunately for England, Elizabeth still hung irresolute between conflicting policies. Had she followed the plan of cutting off the Flota which supplied the Spanish power with the sinews of war from America and was now the most considerable source of Spanish revenue, she would have brought her enemy to his knees at once, and saved Europe a bloody chapter in her ensuing annals. If she had seized strategic points and held the sea she would have accomplished scarcely less. But vacillation and caution, as too frequently before, marked the course of the English queen in the decade and a half which intervened between the Armada and her death; and though many expeditions harassed and weakened the power of her antagonist, Spain, however crippled, was enabled to go on. Norreys and Drake were despatched to aid the aspirant to the throne of Portugal, Don Antonio, to rescue his country from the Spanish domination. Frobisher, Cumberland, Hawkins, Howard,
Elizabeth's policy 1589
Essex, and Raleigh were sent out to ravage the Spanish coasts, plunder the Indian and American fleets, and avenge Philip's aid to an Irish rebellion, which was suppressed with stern cruelty, as the English queen's long reign wore to an end. But there was, withal, no serious, determined effort to end Spain's power, even on the sea. After two vain attempts to found a colony in Virginia, Raleigh turned, with Drake and Hawkins, again to the Spanish Main, seeking its plunder and that fabled El Dorado which had lured so many brave men to their death. This elusive goal Raleigh sought about Guiana and the Orinoco, while Drake and Hawkins ended their careers where they had been begun in a last blow against the West Indies. It was a tragic close to a momentous period. At Porto Rico Hawkins died; and Drake, foiled in hit; efforts to plunder the towns he attacked, soon followed his colleague. Off Porto Bello his body was committed to the sea,--"and that which raised his fame became his grave." But with all the harassing conflict of raid and reprisal, neither the destruction of Spanish fleets and ports, nor the seizure of Fayal, nor even the vain attempt to invade Spain's western monopoly by the ill-fated settlement of Virginia, effected little more than the hampering of Spanish plans and momentary loss of men and property. The final blow remained to be struck.
As a preliminary, this guerilla warfare of the seas provided the information which was essential to the greater enterprise. Drake, Hawkins, and Raleigh had many rivals in their attack upon the Spanish Main. In those tempestuous years before and after the Armada, many others made their way to sack the Spanish ports from Vera Cruz about South America to Acapulco, and to waylay the galleons, till the way to the New World came to be known to the English almost as well as to the Spaniards themselves. The "ruttier," or sailing directions thither for all seasons of the year, took its place among the navigation records, with charts and descriptions not alone of the Americas but of the Atlantic islands off Africa, of the winds and currents of the Atlantic and even of the Pacific. Of all the plunder of the Spanish
The breakdown of Spanish monopoly
ships nothing was counted more valuable than the letters, reports, and maps of their captains' cabins. Within a dozen years after the Armada, on the basis of such material, England had built up a body of information of more worth to her even than the wealth of gold and silver she had secured from Spain. The Dutch were not far behind, and in one field they surpassed even their future rivals. Once the mystery of the sea-ways east and west was solved, the mapmakers, printers, and engravers, who abounded in the Netherlands, published the knowledge which the privateers secured. So far as Protestant peoples were concerned, the Reformation had destroyed whatever force the Papal bulls had lent to Spain and Portugal. Now as the last bulwark of the Iberian monopoly, the secrets of the passage, began to fail, the guns of the Protestant privateers and the Flemish gravers' tools joined to complete the conquest of Philip's far-spreading empire of the seas.
Of all the difficulties which confront the historian who aspires to chronicle the progress of any society, small or great, the most perplexing is to choose the leading motives which at any moment dominate the actions of the time and determine the future, and to weave into one narrative the many and often widely divergent activities of classes and individuals which make up the sum of the achievements of the mass. In too many cases this seems to be all but impossible; and even in considering the results of such a catastrophe as the defeat of the Spanish Armada, it is not easy to determine justly the relative importance of the various results which seem to flow from that great event. But among them one is certain. With the collapse of Spain's domination of the sea, the way was opened for her enemies to invade the long guarded routes to the Orient, and to begin there a chapter of history of the most far-reaching consequence not only to themselves but to Europe and to the world generally.
The invasion of the East
The great days of the Spanish Main came to an end with the concluding years of the sixteenth century; for the English courtier-adventurers found the ports prepared against them, treasure hid, and capable resistance everywhere. But if the colonizers for the moment found no permanent foothold in the western hemisphere, the merchant-adventurers were more fortunate on the other side of the world. Even before Armada times the Muscovy Company had secured its position in the trade of Russia. The English queen and the Russian Czar had exchanged ambassadors, and a score of voyages had brought Persia within the widening area of English enterprise. The "high courage and singular activity" of the Arctic adventurers had been rewarded with little more than unmeasured realms of polar ice through which they had been unable to penetrate to the riches of the East. But what their daring had failed to accomplish was now achieved in different quarters and by different means. For as in the preceding generation Sebastian Cabot had brought from Spain the knowledge which had directed the English along new paths of enterprise, so now, with the defeat of the Armada, there came from Portugal a like impulse which took the English power at last across the line.
The story is one of the romances of history. Among the seamen who had flocked from all quarters to fight the Armada came one James Lancaster, who had been "brought up among the Portuguese," to command a vessel in that "last great battle in the west"; and his arrival marked an epoch in affairs. Many adventurers, indeed, English and Dutch, had already made their way to the Guinea coast. The survivors of the Drake and Cavendish voyages, at least, knew something of the way back to England by the Cape of Good Hope. But thus far knowledge of the seaway to the Indies was not within the scope of English seamanship. Now, however, all this was changed. Three years after the defeat of Philip's fleet, Lancaster sailed in the same ship he had commanded at Gravelines, the Edward Bonaventure, with two more, from Plymouth bound for the Indies. From Table Bay he sent back one of his little squadron full of scurvy patients. Another of his ships was lost; but he went on. He evaded Portuguese hostility, conciliated the natives, gained knowledge "of the state and traffique of the country" everywhere. He made his way by Zanzibar about Cape
Comorin to Ceylon, Sumatra, Pulo Penang, and Malacca, trading and taking prizes; and after three years, returning as he went, brought his rich cargo home, with twenty-five of the two hundred men who sailed with him.
What Vasco da Gama's first voyage had been to Portugal, Lancaster's exploit was to England. The Portuguese monopoly had been invaded successfully, the closely guarded seaway to the East traversed, and the Spanish-Portuguese power had been found far from invincible on its own trading-ground. The effect was profound if not immediate. The following year, financed by London merchants, Lancaster plundered the Brazilian ports to such effect that he was compelled to hire Dutch ships to help transport his booty from Pernambuco; and scarcely was the profit shared among the backers of his enterprise than wider plans were set on foot to follow up the lead his earlier exploit had given. But the delay had already proved nearly fatal to the progress of English enterprise in the East; for before the Londoners could formulate their plans they had been anticipated by their rivals across the North Sea.
It was not surprising that the Dutch should take the lead in this movement. They had long been accustomed to act as middlemen for oriental products between Lisbon and north European ports, and thus had grown familiar with the supply and the demand of a traffic which they had shared only with a few houses in London and the Low Country capitals. Now that they were in arms against Philip, English and Dutch alike had been shut out from Lisbon. Their ships were seized; and a commercial no less than a religious and political crusade had been proclaimed against them. With this, and with the fall of Antwerp, nothing remained to those determined to participate in the traffic with Asia but to break through to the sources of the eastern trade. Years earlier the northern route had been proposed; the Mediterranean way had been attempted; and the Guinea coast had been explored. But the Polar plans had thus far come to naught. Spain had strengthened her hold upon the Mediterranean where, with the Turk and the Barbary corsairs, seafaring became too
The Dutch invasion of the East
dangerous to be largely profitable; and the Guinea commerce was a poor substitute for that of Lisbon.
Dutch efforts to secure a source of eastern goods had thus far been futile; but at this juncture, like the English, they were aided by circumstance. Lancaster had been by no means the only foreigner in the Spanish-Portuguese service. Long before his day an English Jesuit, Stephens, had become a resident of Goa; more recently Elizabeth had sent a certain Ralph Fitch as envoy to Cambay and China. The latter, taken prisoner by the Portuguese and conveyed to Goa, had escaped, visited the Mogul Emperor, Akbar, at Delhi, and returned to tell his marvelous story. More important still, five years before the Armada sailed, one John Huyghen van Linschoten of Haarlem had gone out in the train of the Archbishop of Goa, and he now returned to publish his experiences and the routes to India. Three Dutch expeditions in successive years to find the northern way to the East had failed, and the heroic explorer Barentz had been lost; but Linschoten's tale of "great provinces, puissant cities, and immeasurable lands" spurred his countrymen to attempt the southern passage. And at the same moment fortune put in their hands a proper instrument for their purpose. This was a Dutch skipper, Cornelius van Houtman of Gouda, sometime in the service of Portugal but now disgruntled by the treatment accorded him by his employers, and prepared to reveal the secrets of the spice trade.
Thus equipped, the Company van Verre was formed for a Cape voyage. The aid of Linschoten and the geographer Plancius was secured; four ships, carrying some two hundred and fifty men and mounting sixty guns, were fitted out; and with Pieter Dierckz Keyser and the English John Davis as chief pilots, and Houtman as chief commissary, the squadron set sail. Rounding the Cape in safety, it stopped at Madagascar, the Malgecas, and Sunda, and reached its objective, Bantam, before it met determined opposition from the Portuguese. Proceeding thence, fighting and trading, taking on, with its cargo of spices, Chinese and Indians from Malabar, a Japanese, and an experienced pilot from Gujerat, it made
friends with the natives wherever possible. It gained information everywhere. After more than two years it sailed again into the Texel with its precious goods and even more precious knowledge.
Its effect on Holland was no less great than that of Lancaster's voyage had been on England; and its results were far more practical and immediate. The Company van Verre prepared a second squadron at once. The Old Company of Amsterdam and the New Company of Zealand were founded, and others soon followed. The plan of reaching the East around South America was revived; and finally, when van Neck took out eight ships to Java and the Moluccas, set up factories, treated with native rulers, and returned with full cargoes, the whole nation fell into a frenzy of excitement over the prospect thus spread before them. They scarcely counted the danger and the cost. With one accord they hurried forward their preparations in defiance of the pressing hostilities at home and the squadrons which the SpanishPortuguese authorities hastened to throw across the path of the intruders from the Canaries to the East.
Meanwhile the Dutch had been no less active on the African and the American coasts. Five years after the Armada, Barend Erickzoon had led the way to the sources of gold and ivory and slaves on the west coast of Africa. The numerous efforts of his successors to seize S. Jorge de Mina and S. ThomÚ and so secure a permanent foothold on the Guinea coast had met with small success; for the climate had been found insupportable and the Portuguese power invulnerable. Yet despite the losses to individuals, it was apparent that the annoyance of the Spaniards and the prospect of further gains in America, which were later realized, were of advantage to the state. Especially was this true in the western hemisphere. Oldenbarneveldt, indeed, obstructed the design of an Antwerp refugee, one William Usselinex, to found a company to exploit and colonize the Americas, of much reward thereafter. But for many years, with the connivance of the colonial authorities, the Dutch carried on a profitable smuggling trade and even built posts on the
Dutch activities elsewhere 1593
Amazon. So great, in fact, was Dutch activity in the East and West at the close of the sixteenth century, so keen the competition, not merely with other nations but among themselves, that it seemed not unlikely to defeat its own ends. The States General found it impossible, among local rivalries, to enforce the regulation of the various companies; and, failing this, they turned to another and, as it proved, a far greater design, that of consolidation. So far had the United Provinces progressed in a decade that they planned to seize the whole of the trade of the tropics in both hemispheres.
Before the project of consolidating their various interests in that field could be put into force, their English rivals had given them another incentive to that end and a model for their action. Against the English, as against the Dutch, Spain had sought to close the Mediterranean; and the existence of the old company of the Levant being thus endangered, steps were taken to reorganize and strengthen that corporation. This was the more important in that its interests were threatened from another quarter; for scarcely had the Dutch secured a hold on the spice trade when they raised the prices against the English. Under such circumstances the Londoners were driven to protect themselves; and, as a first step, two founders of the Levant Company, Staper and Smith, planned a new association. An agent, John Mildenhall, was despatched to the Great Mogul to secure commercial privileges. Lists were made of places held by neither Portugal nor Spain, which might be available to English trade without open hostility. A capital of some seventy thousand pounds was subscribed; ships were bought; the queen was petitioned for a patent. Finally, on the last day of the sixteenth century, a royal charter conferred on "the Governor and Company of Merchants of London, trading into the East Indies"--commonly known as the East India Company--exclusive privilege for fifteen years of all commerce beyond the Cape of Good Hope, in places not held by other Christian powers.
The English East India Company 1600
The new corporation was obliged to send at least six ships a year. It was forbidden to export specie without guaranteeing to return it; and its activities were controlled scarcely less by the crown and the Privy Council than by its own governors. It partook at first, therefore, in large degree, of the qualities of that form of organization known as a "regulated company," in which individuals or groups within a larger body, under its general supervision, sent out separate ventures. Still more was it the child of the curious Elizabethan policy, disinclined to face the facts of any situation, tentative, hesitating, inconclusive. It was inconceivable that the company should not come into conflict with the Spaniards and the Portuguese despite the mandate of the charter forbidding it to occupy the ports of its rivals. It was no less absurd to imagine that the southern colonial powers would look with more favor upon an organization invading their monopoly because of its charter provisions. Thus the early history of the company, whose activities were so restricted and whose capital was so limited, but which was destined to such great achievement, in consequence partook of the spirit of half measures so characteristic of Elizabethan policy.
None the less, its services were from the first considerable. Under such auspices, with Smith as its first governor, James Lancaster was made commander of its fleet, seconded by the most famous navigator of his day, John Davis, who had explored the Polar regions, sailed with Raleigh and Essex, and but recently piloted Houtman around Africa. With four "tall ships" these leaders set sail in the first spring of the new century, rounded the Cape and made Achin, to find the "queen of England very famous there by reason of the wars and the great victories . . . against the king of Spain,"--so far had the results of the Armada spread. Loading with cinnamon and pepper, they established factories in Bantam and the Moluccas; and, after an uneventful voyage home, dropped anchor in Plymouth harbor to find England mourning the death of Elizabeth which had occurred three months before. Meanwhile, still seeking, like their Dutch competitors, to avoid the Spanish-Portuguese hostility and secure a shorter way to the East, the company had sent Wey-
Its first voyage 1601-3
mouth on another search for the northwest passage. In that he failed; but, with Lancaster's return, the way about the Cape, however long and dangerous, was at last assured, and there began that long three-cornered rivalry for eastern supremacy which was to take its place among the principal activities of European powers for two hundred years.
However great the ultimate effect upon the English, the immediate results of the establishment of their East India Company were of far more importance to the Dutch. What the States General alone had not been able to effect in saving the merchants from their overzeal was now accomplished by their rivals. The government of the Provinces took steps at once to unify the separate Dutch companies. Their petty jealousies were overcome. The fear of centralized control, which was always a bugbear to the Netherlands, was allayed by the establishment of a so-called Council of Seventeen, with representatives from all the chambers of commerce involved in the new enterprise. The authority of Oldenbarneveldt and Maurice of Nassau was invoked to quiet factional discord, and, two years after the English company was under way, the Dutch East India Company was chartered.
The Dutch East India Company 1602
The terms and resources under which the new corporation began its long and profitable career fitly symbolized the difference between the English policy and the Dutch in regard to Spain and the East. The Provinces were still nominally mere rebels against their sovereign, and the scruples which possessed Elizabeth and her advisers as to conflicting rights, for them had no existence, since, in any event, they were outside the law. Nor were their preparations less significant. The capital of more than six million florins, subscribed by citizens of the Provinces, the exclusive privileges for twentyone years to trade, colonize, and make war throughout the vast territory which lay between the Strait of Magellan and the Cape of Good Hope, revealed the scope and purpose of the powerful corporation. Sixty directors were chosen from all the principal chambers of commerce of the cities and provinces, a third of them from Amsterdam, with an inner circle, the "XVII," to whom direction of affairs was given.
Thus was revealed the national character of this undertaking as at once a source of profit and a warlike move against the Spanish power. With its resources and experience recruited from the whole people, its tremendous capital, its wide privileges, it was not merely the symbol of a new force in European politics and a new element in the world's affairs. It became the greatest engine of expansion and of trade yet organized in modern Europe, destined not merely by its deeds but by its example to play a great and decisive part in the next stage of political and economic progress of the continent. Such were the circumstances which, in the fifteen years between the Armada and the death of Elizabeth, gave a new turn to the fortunes of Europe and introduced new devices to further her power and resources.
With the formation of the English and the Dutch East India companies the decade and a half which succeeded the Armada was fitly crowned, and the emergence of such organizations well typified the changes which were altering the face of European life and politics. Already the rulers of the generation which had seen the power of Spain broken in the disastrous failure of its crowning exploit were passing from the scene. Five months after the Edict of Nantes appeared, while Houtman was engaged in his voyage to the East, the champion of the Counter-Reformation and master of the colonial world, Philip II, died, leaving his country bankrupt, discredited, and, as it proved, weak beyond belief of those who still remembered her as the strongest and proudest power of the continent. Of Philip's antagonists, William of Orange and the subtle Elizabethan, Walsingham, had gone long since. Burleigh died a short month before; while their mistress, Elizabeth, lived to see five years of triumph over her old enemy. On the Imperial throne, the astrologer, Rudolf II, had spent two-thirds of his long reign in vain attempts to turn back the rising tide of heresy and preserve from his too ambitious vassals and relatives something of the power which Charles V had wielded. But, like his neighbors on the east, he found himself the champion of a losing cause. There, while Sigismund III of Poland and Sweden strove to
The end of an era 1598
guide the widely diverging destinies of his ill-matched pair of principalities, the northern states adjusted their affairs to altering circumstance and the Turks rested on their conquests. In Russia, simultaneously with Philip II's death, the old line of Rurik ended in Feodor II, whose removal left a long heritage of civil strife, which for the time removed the Muscovites from further share in the affairs of Europe. With the death of Elizabeth in 1603 the Armada period may be said to end. Thenceforth Europe moved forward under new leaders upon new paths to widely different goals.
And while the older antagonisms of Europe went on, the great religious question shaped itself to new and still more terrible and far-reaching conflict, and the issue of royal prerogative and popular privilege took form. While the intellectual development of Europeans reached new heights of achievement and revealed new possibilities to science and philosophy, Europe beyond the sea came suddenly into a prominence which it was never to lose. For with the loss of Spain's monopoly of the ocean ways, the colonial and commercial elements of the northern powers, now suddenly unleashed, hastened to carry out their long-cherished dreams of expansion, and so began another era of European progress
CHAPTER XVI - EUROPE AT THE CLOSE OF THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY
IT has been observed that the triumph of the English and the Dutch over the force of Philip II was due, in no small degree, to the activity and ability of that element in society to which is usually given the name of middle class, an element equally removed, on the one side, from the aristocratic caste which during the middle ages arrogated to itself the conduct of public affairs, and, on the other, from the lower ranges of peasants and laborers. To a still greater extent was the progress of society due to that same class which, as the seventeenth century approached, came to be of increasing importance in affairs. However much great movements like the Renaissance and the Reformation, science, letters, art, and scholarship had owed to the patronage of those in authority, this secularized middle class, economically independent and intellectually progressive, equally opposed to clerical conformity and aristocratic convention, had been the prime movers in economic and cultural activities. In consequence the history of the sixteenth century concerns itself not only with the ambitions of rulers, commanders, and ecclesiastics, but with the achievements of commoners who from Luther to Drake, Copernicus to Descartes, revolutionized the world of thought and action.
The middle classes
To these were joined the no less remarkable, though for the most part anonymous, improvements of the arts and crafts in the hands of obscure inventors and artisans. These laid the foundations for the advance in capacity and comfort which we are apt to call civilization. In consequence, whatever credit may be assigned to the ruling classes of Europe for their services in this cause, it is chiefly to those from whom social and political eminence was withheld--the middle classes--that European culture and capability owe their development, and it is in their activities that any history of modern European progress must find much of its theme.
At no preceding time in history had the numbers of this middle class been so great nor its influence so apparent as in the closing years of the sixteenth century. As a natural consequence, its increasing strength was beginning to be evidenced by its emergence into public affairs. Not merely in science and literature, to which it still remained the chief contributor, in art and architecture, in philosophy and theology, as in every handicraft from weaving to ship-building, but in matters which a century earlier would have been reckoned beyond its province, this element, now coming to be known as democracy, had proved its power. And if one feature, above all others, characterizes the difference between the seventeenth century and its predecessors, it is the greater part played by the people in every state not wholly dominated by the ancient order. Of all the forces making for the modern world, of all the powers to whom the future belonged, this was the chief; and to those nations who were first to recognize or experience the strength latent in this new source of greatness came the first reward for its recognition.
It owed its rise to the economic and social advance of which it was a product and to which it had so largely contributed. The sixteenth century had been the age of capital and of national kingship, as well as of the Reformation and the exploitation of the western hemisphere; and with the decline of feudalism there had developed not merely a new system of national and international exchange, but new sources of wealth and power arising from commerce and finance. The relatively local industry, the restricted markets, the payment in kind or exchange, which characterized the mediŠval period, had given way to wider operations and greater interests. Not every feudal lord still exacted duties on the goods that traversed his lands; and, whatever the situation which still existed "beyond the line," in European waters not every merchant ship was a potential pirate.
Economic and social advance
While commerce was thus slowly freed from its chief danger and inconvenience, finance received a like impulse. For the ecclesiastical anathema against usury had given way to the idea that men might properly take interest for sums which otherwise might gain profit in their own business. Money thus became a commodity, and, enriched by the influx of specie from the New World, as well as by the removal of restrictions and prejudice, the merchant-banker class increased in numbers and influence. Land remained, indeed, the more honorable, if not the more profitable, basis of wealth, but almost from year to year capital played a greater part in affairs.
As commercial operations had increased in number, magnitude, and variety, new devices were put in operation to finance them. From Italy the idea of a public bank had made its way to Holland. Besides this, the Netherlands had adopted another financial expedient of incalculable importance for the future. This was the issue of stock in shares which could be transferred from hand to hand, bought and sold publicly like land or goods. Such a device, first used by the great oversea trading companies, effected a revolution in finance of as great importance as banking itself and of perhaps even more far-reaching consequence, since it permitted men of small means to have a share in great financial enterprises, and drew from a thousand little hoards the national savings into vast reservoirs of capital.
Banks and stockexchanges
Nor was this the only important feature of this period of commercial revolution; for commerce itself experienced great changes. Fairs, which had been so characteristic of the middle ages, remained as picturesque and profitable survivals of the older period. The cloth fairs of England and the Low Countries; the city exchanges of Germany, now reinforced by the book market at Leipzig; the great Russian fair of Nijni Novgorod, where East and West met to exchange their wares; and hundreds of like and lesser marts throughout the continent still played a great part in the economic as in the social life of Europe. Even beyond the sea, from Porto Bello to Japan, this oldest of systems held its sway undisturbed. Such activities were actually greater and more various than two centuries earlier, as supply and demand had gradually increased. Yet in comparison with the total amount of business done, their importance had relatively declined before the advance of more modern systems. The word exchange no longer connoted mere barter of commodities; for specie, bills, notes, credit, discount, and shares of stock were now a part of commerce as of finance. Combinations of trade and capital, so-called "engrossers," "regraters," "forestallers," or monopolists were active and now clearly recognized factors in affairs; and, as a result of long evolution, the business world took on an aspect familiar to modern eyes as "exchanges," dealing in stocks and bills, made their appearance in the centers of capital. Only in one direction was trade still hampered--its method of land transport. Wagons had taken the place of pack-horses, and with them had come some slight attention to highways. But, in the main, Europeans were to await for generations the transport facilities adequate to their ambitions and their needs.
No small part of this widespread development had been directly due to Europe beyond the sea. Trade routes had been revolutionized. As the bulk of commercial and financial power was transferred to northern powers the stream of traffic had worn down new channels of commerce, and the influx of precious metals altered the economic character of the continent. The flood of bullion and the increase of trade had not merely called a new class into existence to redress the old mediŠval balance of noble and serf, free and unfree: it threatened to revolutionize politics no less than society. This increase of wealth had not been, indeed, an unmixed blessing to all men alike. It had produced a rise of prices in the sixteenth century, which had perhaps been not unrelated to the popular discontent of that tumultuous period. Neither wages nor national revenue had been increased proportionately to the growth of capital, and as yet no adequate means had been devised to draw such fluid wealth into the service of the state or lay on it such burdens as the land still bore. Both masses and governments, in consequence, had felt the
Effect of Europe overseas on the Old World
strain; and readjustments in taxation, like the welfare of working classes, had, as usual, lagged far behind the growing national resources. Worse still, as royalty had become more ostentatious and expensive with its growing power, as the luxury of favored individuals and classes had increased more than the comfort of the great majority, social disturbance grew.
One may not venture to declare what relation, if any, exists between the concurrent development of these phenomena and the tremendous period of war by which it was accompanied and followed. But it is certain that there was throughout the continent a large discontented element, landless and moneyless, ready for any desperate enterprise. Nor is it less certain that, whatever religious and political motives impelled rulers to wage war against the old ecclesiastical establishment and their neighboring rivals, the hope of gain was not always absent from councils which professed themselves concerned only with conscience and honor.
Scarcely less significant than these phenomena was the general change of mental attitude, habit, and consequent demand, produced by the increasing stream of goods from Asia and America. What had been thought not long since the almost unattainable luxuries of the few, with the advance of what we call civilization, had come to be regarded as the necessities of the many. Spices and sugar, cottons, silks, with an infinity of lesser products of the extra-European lands, had begun to seem essential to existence. Upon them now depended many arts. Painters and dyers, workers in precious stones and metals, ivory, and stuffs of all sorts relied upon them. The advance in medicine brought new demands and new necessities. Even sports, like the recently invented game of billiards, and habits like the growing use of tobacco, tea, coffee, and cocoa, lent their influence to increase the pressure on this commerce and to establish more firmly the connection between Europe and the outside world. It became inconceivable that her people should allow themselves to be cut off from the sources of the gold and goods which more and more became the foundation of a great part of her existence; that they should allow themselves to sink again into their earlier civilization and economy. Still less was it possible that they should revert to that ruder scale of living which, to the men of the early seventeenth century and to their successors, would have seemed little better than barbarism. Thus, on every side, the new desires and devices of modern life were riveted upon Europe's society, and thenceforth played their part in her economy and even in her politics.
These altered standards were not confined to the highest classes alone, to royalty, the great nobles, or the clergy. What Pope and Spanish king had done in building a St. Peter's or an Escorial, the aristocracy did their best to imitate in castles, country and city houses. Even the burghers of the northern capitals did not lag far behind their splendid predecessors of the Italian city-states and their contemporaries of a higher rank. Guild-hall and market, mansion and counting-house rose among the humbler edifices of the trading towns in a new birth of architectural magnificence.
Among the alterations which the sixteenth century produced, especially in western Europe, none was more conspicuous than the development of the dwelling-house. As the demand for comfort grew and areas of strong government and relative peace increased, as the advance of artillery made it less possible for each man's house to be his castle, as the growth of royal authority discouraged more and more the construction of fortress-dwellings which might be centers of resistance to the king, the upper classes had turned to a different type of habitation. Feudal castle gradually gave way to manorhouse and country-seat, to villa and chÔteau; while city mansions increased in numbers, convenience, and magnificence. Arrow-slits widened to windows glazed with leaded panes; rushes gave way to rugs upon the floors; rude arras to rich hangings. Tapestry shared the walls with pictures; plaster came to cover the bare stone; rude stools and benches, pallets or monumental beds gave way to lighter, more graceful, and more movable furniture.
Most of the arts had spread northward from Italy, And with them came minor refinements of scarcely less significance to the changing bases of European life. Manners improved with cooking and service, as plates replaced trenchers, while spoons, individual knives, and here and there a fork, took the place of dagger and fingers at meal-time. Habits of personal cleanliness made way; and, in the more civilized communities, soap became an article of manufacture and commerce, in some rare instances rivaling even perfumes. Methods of warfare altered even more. With the improvement of cannon and musket, full armor gradually gave way to helmet and breast-plate. The two-handed sword, the battle-ax and club, even the most deadly of mediŠval weapons, the English long-bow, with its chief competitor, the Genoese cross-bow, became mere curiosities. This was accompanied by changes in costume. For, as the necessity for close-fitting clothes suited to wear beneath armor declined, men turned to other forms of dress. And though the name of that Columbus of tailors who first devised the masculine costume with which the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries were familiar is lost to history, it is apparent that he probably lived in the years which followed the Spanish Armada.
Manners and costume
The sixteenth century is scarcely less notable for a general advance in the facilities for production and the increasing use of the comforts and luxuries of every-day life than for its attention to the concerns of the spirit. What may well be called the material reformation of Europe is fully as evident as the ecclesiastical reformation during that period. In the field of metal-working the invention of stamp-mills to prepare the ore, the discovery of the so-called wet process of treatment of the powder so produced, the use of sieves, and, above all, the separation of gold and silver by the quicksilver method, completed a revolution in the recovery of precious metals. This added enormously to European resources, especially when introduced into the mining regions of the western world. Beside these the discovery of the art of coating iron with tin was of no small importance in the lesser affairs of existence. Most of these new processes were the result of German ingenuity; and to that people, or to the Netherlands, is attributed the adaptation of the loom to the weaving of ribbons. This was accompanied by another and still more important development, the art of knitting whose progress during the sixteenth century was crowned in the last years of that period by the invention of the stocking-loom. Than this, which is usually attributed to an Englishman, Lee, there is scarcely a single advance of more importance in material comfort since the introduction of silk and cotton to European markets, nor any so productive of alteration in costume and, in some measure, of habits and industry.
One other feature of the period just passing was no less remarkable. The art of carpentry or joinery, which in its higher branches was expressed in cabinet-making, took great strides during the same period. This was due in part to the increasing demand for better house-furnishings. But it was scarcely less owing to the progress in tool-manufacture. The sawmill, which replaced the older and peculiarly toilsome and unsatisfactory process of working out boards or "deals" by hand labor, had been gradually developed during the sixteenth century till it was now possible to cut several planks from a log at once. This, added to the improvements in the use of water or wind power, enormously facilitated the task of the wood-workers; while the development of the size, power, and uses of the turning-lathe aided them perhaps even more than their fellow-workers in metal. Beside these, still, in an allied field, the progress of the coach-makers had been no less remarkable. Those vehicles-which had earlier been confined to the use of women, sick persons, or great dignitaries--were now lightened, ornamented, and hung on springs of greatly superior arrangement and quality, and began to take their place among the necessities as well as the luxuries of life throughout Europe. Like every other refinement of existence, progress in mechanical art was greatly stimulated by printing; since the last half of the century saw for the first time manuals and diagrams of many varieties of methods and machinery for the use of artisans.
In other fields the new bases of life were no less marked if somewhat less conspicuous. As the conflict of communions widened and deepened during the sixteenth century, each side had hastened to enter the educational field; and Catholic and Protestant schools alike had grown in numbers and in intellectual strength. From Jesuit Coimbra no less than from Calvinist Geneva, the impulse to found new seats of learning or reorganize and revive older establishments spread throughout the continent in the hands of the adherents of the rival schools of faith, and, joined to the humanistic movement which had preceded it, lent to education a new vigor and new direction.
This was especially true in the Teutonic lands. England, beginning with Henry VIII's splendid foundations of Christ Church at Oxford and Trinity College at Cambridge, made great additions to her roll of collegiate foundations in both her universities during the Tudor period. Scotland, and even Ireland, with its Protestant establishment of Trinity College, Dublin, felt the same impulse; while in Germany the universities of Jena, Marburg, K÷nigsberg, Helmstedt, and Altdorf, among others, testified to the same evangelizing spirit of the new communions. Finally Holland, at the height of her desperate struggle with Spain, found energy to establish at Leyden, in honor of the heroic resistance of that city, a faculty which was to become famous throughout the continent in the succeeding century. The Catholics went further still. For, apart from the rejuvenation of their older seats of learning, the religious orders established universities in Spanish Asia and America,--Lima, Mexico, Cordoba, Manila. And this movement, however ecclesiastical its origin, soon brought results in many other fields. Above all, while in other lands the progress of the Reformation and the national spirit tended toward a certain provincial and dogmatic spirit, the Italian universities retained or acquired a universality scarcely known elsewhere. In consequence, they became the goal of those who aspired to the best learning of the time, and the ranks of their faculties, no less than of their students, tended to attract the ablest and most enlightened men of the continent.
Meanwhile in both Protestant and Catholic establishments, whatever their service to their respective faiths, the emphasis on training men for secular pursuits insensibly augmented; as it became increasingly unnecessary for those who entered professional or public life to be in holy orders. Lay statesmen and officials became the rule rather than the exception, even in the most Catholic of states; for, with all Europe's absorption in the saving of its soul, the age of ecclesiasticism in secular affairs was passing rapidly. The changes thus taking place were indeed unequal in different quarters of Europe, conditioned as they were by the development of personal liberty. They were far more conspicuous in the north and west. Thus while serfdom still flourished in eastern Germany, Poland, and Muscovy, it was already dying out in France, and had long since vanished from English soil. In like degree, except for parts of Italy, the intellectual advance tended to follow the same lines as the development of commerce and the new communions, since in those vigorous societies now rising into eminence, the new ideas found a warmer welcome and a greater tolerance than in communities still dominated by the noble and the priest.
Thus as the Sixteenth Century merged into the seventeenth Europe was being gradually transformed into a far more secular society than that which the early reformers found. The combined influence of the Renaissance and Reformation had now elevated and strengthened lay authority. Now in place of an all-powerful unity of faith and feudal rights came a new unity in diversity of interests and beliefs, which from that day to this has been the characteristic of the European world. This was due in chief measure to two elements--the increased demand for comforts and luxuries which bound this great society into the interdependence of its several parts for the material necessities of their more complex lives, and the intellectual movements which tended to build up a universal society, founded not on uniformity of belief but on community of knowledge. In such wise and under such impulses Europe, amid the incessant conflict of political and ecclesiastical rivalry, developed the germs of a new unity,
Secularization of society
at the same time that it set forward on new paths of material and intellectual adventure.
To this movement, as to all others in the intellectual field, the art of printing contributed. With the sixteenth century appeared the "text-book," or manual of instruction, whose name indicates its origin in those publications of classical or even Scriptural texts, which became the basis of a great part of education, then and since. The educational value of the printer's art was not confined to merely intellectual pursuits. From that stream of publication which began with Caxton's book on chess had flowed a multitude of manuals on almost every department of life-hawking and heraldry, building and decoration, gardening and husbandry, and, perhaps not the least, as indicative of the amelioration of the hardships of mediŠval society, on cooking. With this went other activities difficult to classify, yet obviously related to the progress of Europe. Thus collections of pictures and books, the founding of galleries and libraries, came into evidence, and, in a somewhat different field, the establishment of botanical and zo÷logical gardens with which, beginning in Italy, the great ones of the earth satisfied their curiosity no less than their love of display.
Besides these still, the closing years of the sixteenth century made their own contribution to the refinements of civilization. These were different, indeed, but not inferior even to those advances in the humanities and especially in the urbanities of life which the splendor of the artistic renaissance had contributed to the continent. For with all Europe's absorption in war and trade, religion and politics, there remained minds open to matters outside the province of all these, which busied themselves with concerns even more enduring than wealth or power. Amid the clash of faith and arms in France, Michel, Seigneur Montaigne, composed in the security of his PÚrigord chÔteau those Essays which have remained the delight of all succeeding generations. Filled with the spirit of classicism, the love of nature and of man, hatred of dogma and an irrepressible delight in mankind, its weakness and its strength, they not merely amused, they
helped to humanize the world. While Portugal's power declined, her greatest poet, the exiled CamoŰns, began in his distant Asiatic prison the epic of the Portuguese heroic age, the Lusiad, which related the great deeds of Vasco da Gama and his successors. At the same time all Italy was ravished with the sonnets of Tasso, which soon inspired the continent to imitate a form of verse that thenceforth took high place in nearly every European literature. Meanwhile, his epic, Jerusalem Delivered, set him among the immortals of Italian poetry and even won for him the high though tardy recognition of the church authorities. Finally, as England emerged from the long coil of circumstance which hampered her entry into world-politics, the court of Elizabeth read with delight the young Edmund Spenser Shepherd's Calendar, fit prelude to that nobler burst of melody, the Faerie Queene, whose beauty adorned the years following the defeat of the Armada.
The other arts were not neglected in this stirring period when politics began another chapter of its ever-changing events and characters. The golden age of the Italian painters was past; the first great contributions of the Netherlands had been made; and the deaths of Holbein and DŘrer, Titian and Michelangelo had left only such talents as those of Tintoretto and Paul Veronese to reflect the sunset glories of a greater school. But two arts now took on at once new beauty and new form. The first was architecture. During the midsixteenth century in those nations so diverse yet so closely connected in many ways throughout this period, England and Italy, there sprang up, almost simultaneously, two rival schools of the builder's art. The one was the neo-classic type, already begun in the hands of the Renaissance masters who had turned from Gothic models to those of the ancient world for their inspiration. Now, in the hands of Palladio, the classical influence began definitely to supersede the mediŠval and renaissance forms in European taste, as the massive pillar, round arch and dome overpowered the more graceful Gothic forms, and the tower virtually disappeared from architecture for two centuries and more.
In England, meanwhile, the combined effect of wealth and political change--the advance of comfort and luxury, with the impossibility of defense against improved artillery,-turned men to a neo-Gothic type. This, during the Tudor period, adapted the older form especially to the convenience of domestic use; and, before the classical style invaded northern lands, produced some of the most livable as well as the most beautiful examples of dwelling-houses which Europe had yet seen.
To the refinements of life another art contributed. In England and Germany glass-making, introduced from Italy, developed new methods and new forms no less useful than beautiful; and in France the genius and patience of the heroic Palissy drew from a thousand unsuccessful attempts the secret of making that delicate glazed pottery known to the East, and named from its chief source, China.
Glass and china
But with all these manifestations of progress during the period which centered in the Armada, one rose to such sudden and, as it proved, such sustained eminence, that it became the prodigy of the age. This was the art of dramatic representation which, like architecture, found almost simultaneous expression in England and Italy. It was not new. No savage tribe but had rude elements of the drama among its religious or social rites; no nation of antiquity but had framed canons of tragedy or comedy, chorals or interludes. With the advent of the Greeks into the field of drama, the rude eclogue and pastoral which formed the earliest vehicles of this art, grew suddenly into the tragedy of Aschylus and Sophoeles and Euripides, and the comedy of Aristophanes. These marked the climax of dramatic achievement in the ancient world, or, so far as those particular forms were concerned, of any time. Thence the decline was rapid and complete. The Roman imitations of the Greek drama were bad; the rude mystery and miracle plays of the middle ages were worse. And with all its progress in other fields, in the dramatic art the Europe of the early sixteenth century scarcely surpassed many of the half-civilized peoples whom its adventurers found and conquered. The Renaissance restored to her a portion of the
The drama and opera
Greek masterpieces; but Greek drama made its way slowly into scholarship, more slowly still into literature, and not at all into stage-craft.
The same was measurably true of music, inseparably connected with drama in the Greek conception. Its methods and its instruments, inherited or adapted from the past, improved but slowly through the period lying between the ancient and the modern world. The middle ages wrought the old "Pan's pipes" into a rude organ, whose sounds filled the hearts of its hearers at least with awe. Troubadours and minnesingers relied largely on the harp for their accompaniments. The bugle and trumpet, flute and hautboy, trombone or sackbut, with a few other forms, almost as old as European civilization itself, remained the chief wind instruments. From the viol the late Renaissance period began to evolve the violin in the hands of Italian instrument makers; and toward the close of the sixteenth century the Amati of Cremona began that improvement of this king of stringed instruments, which reached perfection a century later in the productions of their great pupil, Stradivarius.
Thus equipped by the instrument makers, the composers had gradually improved their craft. The rude elements of harmony known to the Greeks were slowly acquired and extended during the middle ages. The modern tetrachord took the place of the ancient hexachord. The scale was made to run up, not down; the so-called discantus, or two-part harmony, was introduced, and the art of counterpoint, or composite melody, was founded. By the close of the fifteenth century four-part writing had been achieved, with the variations from simple melody which were accomplished by such refinements as the so-called inversions, discords, and chromatics. The early part of the sixteenth century, in addition to the improvements made by sharps and flats, and what were known as accidentals and "passing notes," had seen the development of the staff, bars, and clefs. These, defining the older and looser notation, set music another and a greater step along the path which made it an "absolute art," not unrelated to mathematics. Much of this improvement was due to the Netherland school of musicians, which during this early period of musical evolution did most to introduce these innovations and give music its modern form. Thence the later Renaissance brought these newer developments into Italy, where, at Venice and Rome in particular, they were reinforced by an emotional element and the genius of another school of composers.
For the most part music had developed in the church, which found in its harmonies one of the chief agents of its mystical appeal. But secular music felt the same impulse and a variety of new forms, among which the madrigal was conspicuous, soon challenged the older and less pleasing as well as less flexible fashion of folk-songs and minstrel lays. The latter years of the sixteenth century gathered up the various threads of this long development, and two powerful influences combined to complete the change from mediŠval to modern forms. The first was the work of the Vatican choirmaster, Palestrina, first of moderns or last of mediŠvalists. The second was that of the Cremonese composer, Monteverde, who, breaking away from the so-called polyphonic forms in which Palestrina excelled, turned his attention to freer melody and more worldly activities. He adapted his scores to dramatic purposes, and associated his talents with that movement which by the fourth decade of the seventeenth century, under his direction, had established in Venice the first European opera-house. Nor were the Protestant communions slow to enlist music on their side. For the long list of their hymn writers, beginning with Luther, allied with their composers, of whom "the Protestant Palestrina," Lassus, was chief, rivaled the Roman harmonists, and injected the element of choral or congregational singing into European life.
Palestrina and Monteverde 1637
Such were the beginnings of a new art which was to spread with great rapidity throughout the European world. It had an ally. While Italy had led the way to the final development of melody and the opera, she had done scarcely less for the drama. This in her hands, and in those of the other peoples, followed or accompanied her progress in the new
field of operatic representation. The growing class of storytellers and scholars who owed a great part of their inspiration to the Renaissance was, indeed, quick to find other channels than the medium of narrative literature for the expression of its talents. That curious fraternity of strolling players who, during the later middle ages, in particular, had amused Europe at fairs and feast days, was not slow to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the altering spirit of the times. They turned from the folk-comedy and the religious mystery-play which had been their chief stock in trade to other forms of representation, drawn from the incidents of the life about them or from the rich treasures which the story-tellers and the classical scholars had collected. Among them, in consequence, there sprang up a school of play-writers, soon recruited by literary aspirants who saw in the drama of life a field for talent till then absorbed by other forms of prose and verse. The fashion grew no less by the activities of the writers than by the hold it took upon the public, which found in the new art a means of amusement peculiarly satisfying to its tastes. In many cities arose a system of resident companies, supplied from their own ranks or from outside sources with dramatic material,--stock companies, as they became known to a later age, strollers only upon occasion. And, as the fashion spread, the actor, the manager, and the playwright became recognized features of European society.
Nowhere was this movement destined to greater importance than in England, whose dramatic development became not merely a type but a model for the continent. There the new art fell into the hands of a brilliant group about the court of Queen Elizabeth, and by them it was extended and improved. Breaking with every tradition of the mediŠval drama, they freed dramatic representation from the constricting forces which had kept it apart from the general literary progress of the continent, and set upon the stage those problems of human life and character in which the Greek playwrights had found material for their masterpieces.
The Elizabethan drama
As in the case of the early opera, classical influence, no less in subject than in treatment, was at first strongly in evidence. But the dramatists, like the composers and the librettists, soon broke away from the traditions instilled by the Renaissance and sought wider fields. From the works of men like Painter, who brought the rich treasures of Italian fiction to England, came one set of plots and characters. From the chronicles of men like Holinshed was derived another series of dramatic motives based on the history of. England itself. A long array of legends, from Troy to Tamerlane, supplied a third; and from the life about them came the inspiration of a fourth, and, as it proved, the most enduring form of dramatic literature.
The development of the English drama was even more rapid than the rise of opera in Italy, to whose story-telling ability and whose culture England owed so much. With the sudden increase in wealth and luxury which accompanied the plundering of Spain and the growth of commerce in the last years of the sixteenth century, reinforced by the renaissance influences and the literary impulses proceeding from Italy, the Elizabethan court turned to adventures in the field of literature no less daring than those which it had undertaken in war and politics, and with no less brilliant success. Under noble and royal patronage, playhouses and companies of actors took their place in English life, playwrights and drama in the world of letters. Within a decade a new type of man had found a place in European society, the literary adventurer, and the earliest of these was the dramatist. Recruited from every rank of life, hard-living, free-thinking, filled with the fierce passion of creation, they founded not only a new profession but a department of letters. Among them one figure became pre-eminent. Greene, the creator of lighter English prose; Marlowe, whose genius revolutionized the stage with his Tamburlane, Faustus, and The Jew of Malta; Kyd, Jonson, and their fellows yielded to the supreme talents of the country-bred actor-manager-playwright, William Shakespeare. In him at last the modern world found a figure worthy to set beside the greatest of the ancients. And, among the minor coincidences of human affairs, it may
be observed that the death of Calvin and the birth of Shakespeare in the same year, 1564, symbolize, in a sense, the changes which overtook Europe between the beginning and the end of the sixteenth century.
Following the fashion of the time, begun by Surrey and Wyatt, who had introduced Italian forms of verse into England, and influenced scarcely less by Florio, who had translated Montaigne, the young poet had first turned his attention to such studies. His earliest essays in the new world of letters reflected the influence of the Italian school of romantic drama which had inspired his predecessors and his contemporaries. But besides the cycle of plays whose scene was laid in Italy there was material nearer to his hand; and in the tragedies of English history he found the stuff from which many of his most successful works were drawn. Almost from the first his talents were recognized. For it is not surprising that the London of Elizabeth, filled with the profit and the pride of conquest, no less than with the exaltation of spirit which accompanied England's sudden revelation of her strength, saw in this playwright the representative of all that was greatest in the nation whence he sprung, or that ten thousand persons flocked to see his first great drama in a month. And as his genius went from strength to strength, by the time of the death of Elizabeth the Warwickshire playwright stood forth as the commanding literary genius of the European world.
Spain alone, of all Europe in this epoch, produced a rival, and even her men of genius were scarcely to be reckoned with the great Englishman. To one of them, the soldier, Lope de Vega, who had fought at Lepanto and with the Armada, remains the proud distinction of having written some two thousand plays, and thus having achieved the eminence of superlative prolific industry in the field of literary production. But to another belongs the honor of a work which, though inferior to the many-sided genius of Shakespeare, still challenges his popularity and, like the writings of Montaigne, gave literature a new form. This was Miguel Cervantes, who, wounded at Lepanto, turned to letters for a
Spain --Lope de Vega and Cervantes
livelihood and, forsaking the drama, to which, like all Europe, he had first been attracted, brought forth the marvelous tale of Don Quixote. Half humor and half satire, this first of the great romances of modern time, gave the death-blow to the fast-fading chivalry of his native land and laughed it out of existence. At the same moment that England and Spain reached the height of their literary rivalry with the productions of Shakespeare and Cervantes, in the twelvemonth following the death of Elizabeth, the two great forms of literature which affected the modern world so powerfully were firmly fixed. And as Europe turned to other tasks, her way was lightened if not illumined by her old friend Romance, which, whether in drama or opera or novel, was to accompany her thenceforth through all her wanderings in these new forms. With Cervantes, Spain's literary greatness ended, for the time. But from the nation which saw Hamlet at the same moment that Don Quixote found its way to print, there flowed a broadening stream of prose and verse. Even beside the work of Shakespeare may be set that masterpiece of translation, the King James Version of the Bible which now enriched this greatest of modern European literatures.
In this great revolution one feature was conspicuous. It was the altered position of Italy. Already Vasari had begun his monumental work on the Lives of the Painters. If it were not enough to show that the great artistic age of Italy was past when men began to write its history, the death of Veronese in the Armada year eclipsed the last star in the splendid galaxy of Italian artists. And the completion of St. Peter's church at Rome in the concluding decade of the sixteenth century marked at once the culmination and the close of the great burst of neo-Christian art which had illumined Europe with the glory of the Renaissance. Nor was it without significance that the newer school of architecture abandoned the aspiring arches of the mediŠval Gothic forms, and, under the influence of Palladio, reverted to those classical models whose influence dominated the ensuing century. At the same time that artistic pre-eminence disappeared from Italy and political domination fell from the
hands of Spain, the last of the immortals of Italian poetry, the last interpreter of the mediŠval spirit, Torquato Tasso, died. The Portuguese CamoŰns had already sung the vanished glories of his land's heroic age. The Spanish Cervantes wrote the great ironic epitaph of his country's misguided chivalry in Don Quixote. Each was symbolic of the time in which it fell. Each was the swan-song of the supremacy of its people in arts as arms. For as the spring of painting and literature lessened in the south, it had sprung with fresh vigor in the rising powers of the north, where England took the place in letters which had been held by Italy, and Holland was presently to rival her in art.
The Italian peninsula, indeed, was to retain for many years a reputation which drew men of all nations to study and admire the relies of her classical antiquity, and still more those achievements which for two centuries had made her pre-eminent in every field of intellectual endeavor, in politics as in painting, in scholarship as in diplomacy, in engineering as in literature. Long after she ceased to lead she continued to instruct the continent. Rome, though shorn of half her spiritual dominion, remained the mistress not alone of the Catholic world but of the imagination of all Europe. Venice, "a shell on the shores of the Adriatic, deserted by the wonderful organism which once inhabited it," could still reveal the wonders of her declining greatness to the inquiring traveler. The splendor of the Medicean court had faded; but Italian universities remained the goal of European students. And the polish of the most refined society in Europe, the skill of craftsmanship engendered by long generations of artists and artisans, the lessons and traditions of statecraft and letters, commerce, mechanics, and administration, with all the refinements of life, remained to spread their influence throughout the rest of the continent.
Her position at the close of the 16th century
Yet withal, save in the fields of music and of science, creative genius waned in Italy, as in southern Europe generally. Like power, wealth, and enterprise it sought the freer northern air, where political liberty had already found refuge. The triumph of the spirit of the Inquisition; the increasing authority of learned, devout, but reactionary forces like the Jesuits; the narrower if stronger ideals of the Vatican, which marked the victory of the Counter-Reformation in southern Europe, were all against an intellectual development on the lines which were to be the dominating element in the next advance. It was evident that, unless this could be changed, the Mediterranean world had exhausted its intellectual as well as its political mandate. One force remained--the numerous academies which sprang up in the old centers of thought and action in the peninsula, and thence spread through the continent their encouragement of the new scientific spirit which now made such headway in European thought. These were, however, outside the pale of the official and ecclesiastical influence. Though Galileo, the founder of physics, and Bruno, the prophet of modern thought, were both Italians, Galileo's theories and Bruno's life were sacrificed to the principle of conformity, and the two rising forces of a modern world, science and popular government, found their chief enemies among the same classes which for two centuries had been the patrons of the Renaissance.
CHAPTER XVII - THE RISE OF HOLLAND.
THE death of the English queen, Elizabeth, marks with peculiar emphasis a turning-point of European politics. For forty years her duel with Philip II had been a leading motive of international affairs; and, after the Armada year, she had become, in many ways, the most conspicuous ruler in Christendom. With her departure from the scene, England, like Spain after the death of Philip, declined from the exalted position which she had occupied in the concerns of Europe. That leadership fell to other hands. Neither the aging astrologer-emperor Rudolf, nor the weak Philip III of Spain, nor James VI of Scotland, who, uniting Britain for the first time under one crown, became James I of England, compared in influence or ability with another king who now took the center of the stage. This was Henry IV of France, who, after the long years of war and intrigue which made up French history during the latter half of the sixteenth century, had ascended the throne on the death of Henry III the year after the Armada. He became king in fact as well as name five years thereafter, by his abjuration of Protestantism and the consequent submission of the Catholic party. In his hands France showed reviving strength, and with the Edict of Nantes, which gave the Huguenots virtual tolerance and political equality, the nation began to play its part in the European drama.
The change in rulers
So far as merely military events go to make history, the decade and a half which followed the death of the English queen was a barren epoch. But one considerable conflict, the continuance of the war between Spain and her rebellious provinces, disturbed the peace of the western continent, while only the struggle between Sweden and her enemies broke the quiet of the East. But in those deeper concerns of human affairs which center in the transition from one form of polity and society to another, it was a most eventful period; and in the activities of Europeans outside the confines of the continent it was a decisive epoch in the history of the world.
In these events Henry IV and his minister, Sully, played a great part. The deep scars of civil war were healed as far as possible by a series of adroit compromises which had been begun with Henry's conversion and the Edict of Nantes. The king's title to the crown had been further assured by his marriage to Marie de Medici, and the house of Bourbon thus established on a throne which it was to hold for nearly two centuries. Finance was reformed, trade encouraged, a sound basis laid for royal authority and national prosperity alike, and the old colonizing projects of Coligni revived. Beyond this still, Henry dreamed of a "Great Design,"--a Christian. federation of western Europe, based on his alliances with the Protestant rulers within the Empire and the support of England and the Netherlands, to secure a balance of power making for universal peace. That dream, like his more practical project of breaking the Hapsburg strength by war and diplomacy, was cut short by an assassin's dagger. Seven years after the death of Elizabeth, France fell again into the hands of a queen-mother. Sully was dismissed. The States General were suspended,--as events were to prove, for a century and three-quarters,--and a decade of royal minority, Catholic regency, and Huguenot disturbance, intrigue, and civil war ensued before another statesman arose to set the kingdom again in the forefront of European politics.
Henry IV 1553-1610
Meanwhile the East produced a ruler not incomparable to the French king as a power in continental affairs. While France felt the reaction following the death of Henry IV, the accession of Michael Romanoff as Czar of Muscovy ended the anarchy which had followed the extinction of the house of Rurik fifteen years before. But the advent of the family which has held the Russian throne from that day to our own was singularly unpropitious. Two years before Michael I assumed the crown, Sweden had declared war upon
Gustavus Adolphus 1594-1632
Denmark; and the young Swedish king, Gustavus Adolphus, had proved himself a terrible enemy. Under his leadership, ably seconded by the talents of his chancellor, Oxenstierna, the Danes were beaten and compelled to an unfavorable peace. Immediately the Swedish arms were turned against Russia, with such effect that Ingria and Karelia, with the key-fortresses of Finland and Livonia, fell into the hands of Gustavus. Sweden became the foremost power of the north, well on the way to the control of all the Baltic shores and a position among the first-rate European states. Russia, shut off from access to the sea, was, for the time being, correspondingly depressed in the international scale; and the young Swedish king stood out as a factor to be reckoned with for the future, a fit successor to Elizabeth and Henry of Navarre as the leading figure among the rulers of Europe.
It was not without significance that all three were members of the Protestant communion, into whose hands had passed the initiative in European affairs after the death of Philip II. Neither the German nor the Spanish branch of the house of Hapsburg at this juncture revealed qualities of wisdom or of strength. In the German Empire as in the Spanish Netherlands the chief features of its rule were the decline of its authority and continuance of conflict. Meanwhile central Europe, as the long reign of Rudolf wore to a close, found itself again disturbed by the breakdown of the Peace of Augsburg, which, with all its faults, had insured to Germany half a century of uneasy peace. Now, however, the ambitions of the rival sects and rulers brought on evil days for which all the Emperor's learning and his skill in astrology could find no cure.
The chief difficulty arose from the spread of Protestantism and the relation between religion and politics. These portended a trial of strength between the two communions, and, no less, between the imperial power and that of the lesser rulers within the Empire. Four years after the death of Elizabeth, the seizure of the city of Donauw÷rth by the Catholics to avenge an insult to their faith seemed likely to precipitate a conflict. But peace was patched up and the
reign of Rudolf ended without a general appeal to arms. Yet it was apparent that the struggle was only delayed. A Protestant Union was formed under the leadership of Frederick IV, Elector Palatine, the son-in-law of William the Silent, and a Catholic League headed by Maximilian of Bavaria was organized almost immediately to oppose the Protestant alliance. Little by little the relations between the parties which these bodies represented were strained to the breaking-point. As Matthias succeeded Rudolf the antagonism deepened; and as he, in turn, made ready his departure from the throne, the smoldering enmity flamed into war.
It is not surprising that conflict seemed inevitable to the men who embarked upon the trial of strength between the two communions. In the century which had elapsed since Luther had nailed his ninety-five theses against indulgences to the door of the Wittenberg castle church, the struggle between the old faith and the new had gone on with scarcely an intermission. For though the various diplomatic settlements, of which the greatest was the Peace of Augsburg, had prevented much armed strife, no one recognized them as a final determination of the great problem then filling the minds and hearts of the people of the continent. Throughout Europe, particularly in France and Germany, Protestantism had made its way from town to town, from province to province, congregation by congregation encroaching on the old establishment. In France it had achieved the accession of Henry of Navarre and the Edict of Nantes. In Germany it had converted whole districts and their rulers. And in each, against the bitter opposition of the Catholics, it had perfected an organization to maintain itself and forward its interests. On the other hand, the forces of the Counter-Reformation had been no less active. In France and Germany they had founded Catholic Leagues; and while Henry had ascended the throne of France it had been at the price of his adherence to the ancient faith. In Poland the energies of the Jesuits had set bounds to the progress of Lutheran doctrines. In southern Europe the new heresy
The progress of Protestantism and the Counter Reformation had been effectually crushed out; and in outlying districts like Ireland it had made no headway. The union of the Flemish and Dutch Netherlands had been dissolved and the former had been won back to Spain and held to their old faith. While the imperial authority had grown increasingly orthodox under the influence of the Jesuits until the accession of Ferdinand brought to the throne a man of their own making, the Catholic forces in the central powers had become more and more aggressive in their attitude toward the heretics. These, in turn, by virtue of their successes, had asserted their rights more and more vigorously.
Nowhere was the issue more acute than in Bohemia. There the teachings of Huss had taken deep root and the majority of the people were now Protestant. The crown was nominally elective, the Czechs tenacious of their privileges, and, during the disturbances of preceding years, they had managed to secure so-called Letters of Majesty, which guaranteed them the exercise of their faith. As a result that faith had flourished. Even where it had been unable to replace Catholicism entirely, it had often effected compromise, and made an arrangement by which men, following the peculiar system inaugurated by Huss, were permitted to take communion in both kinds; and these Utraquist congregations, as they were called, had multiplied.
To more tolerant minds than those of the early seventeenth century such a compromise might well seem the best solution of a vexed problem. Yet it was far from satisfying those who saw the foundations of belief thus undermined, and it became an aggravation rather than a palliative of the situation. In the face of Protestant progress the Catholic minority in Bohemia had drawn together into a party which, supported by the Hapsburg house, formed a powerful factor in affairs. When the deposition of Rudolf brought Matthias to the throne, one of his earliest acts was to forbid the completion of a Utraquist church for whose erection permission had already been obtained. The Protestant Estates protested and the edifice was built. But the new Emperor ordered it closed, and in this breach of the Letters of Maj-
esty he was supported by the Catholic element. The controversy became acute with the destruction of another Protestant church and the appointment of Catholic governors in seven of the ten districts of the principality. And when the Catholic town council of Prague asserted its right to pass upon the qualifications of parish priests, and so control the faith of the capital, the storm burst. The so-called Defensors, headed by Matthias of Thurn, projected a Protestant revolt. In the so-called "defenestration of Prague" two of the Catholic governors of Bohemia were thrown from the windows of the council chamber. The aid of the Protestant Union was invoked; a provisional government was set up; and with the arrival of troops from the Union, and the forces of Silesia and Lusatia under John George of Jńgerndorf, the conflict began to take form. The Bohemians found allies. Savoy loaned them a general, Count Mansfeld, with two thousand mercenaries, and the ruler of Transylvania, Bethlen Gabor, renounced allegiance to Austria and prepared for war.
Under such auspices began the reign of Ferdinand II, now head of the Hapsburg lands in all but name. His claim to the Bohemian throne was repudiated by the rebellious Protestants, who chose Frederick V, Elector Palatine, for their king. A twelvemonth to a day from the action of the Prague town council he was crowned; and central Europe embarked on the most desolating conflict in her history.
The Thirty Years' War
"A winter-king," the Jesuits declared, on the election of Frederick to the Bohemian throne; but their prophecy was not immediately fulfilled. Led by Mansfeld and Thurn, aided by the Margrave, John George of Brandenburg-Jńgerndorf, and Bethlen Gabor's diversion against Hungary--whose titular "prince" he now became--the Bohemians drove the Imperialists before them to the walls of Vienna, and only a Polish invasion of Transylvania, which broke up the Protestant combination, saved the capital. Upon the death of Matthias, Ferdinand became Emperor in name and fact, and bending his whole resources against Bohemia, the tide began to turn, with help from Spain,
Bavaria, and the Lutheran Elector of Saxony. Spinola poured his Spaniards from the Netherlands into the ill-fated Palatinate. John George of Saxony subdued Silesia and Lusatia, and Maximilian of Bavaria, with the forces of the Catholic League under Tilly, united with the Imperialists in Bohemia.
There, just outside the walls of Prague, they joined battle with Frederick's army under Christian of Anhalt, and crushed Protestant hopes in the ensuing defeat of the White Hill. Frederick, put under the ban of the Empire, found refuge in Holland. His lands, with those of Christian and John George of Brandenburg, were confiscated. Bohemia was subdued, its charter repealed; and Protestantism was rooted out in all the Hapsburg lands so far as possible. As Catholic and Imperialist made their triumphant way through Germany the Protestant Union was dissolved; and the Palatinate was conquered by Tilly despite the desperate resistance of Mansfeld and Christian of Anhalt. Maximilian of Bavaria was rewarded for his aid by the upper Palatinate, and the electoral title which had been Frederick's; while the Elector of Saxony was granted Lusatia in pledge for his services. Thus, in total disaster to the Protestant cause, ended five years of fierce conflict which formed the first period of the German war.
The defeat of the Protestants 1620-2
These events were accompanied by others of less ultimate consequence, but of much immediate importance. In Holland a revolution which coincided with the outbreak of the German war cost Oldenbarneveldt his place and his life, and made Maurice of Nassau Stadtholder of the United Netherlands. A Huguenot rising under CondÚ in France, and a Spanish conspiracy in Italy disturbed the peace of these peoples at the same moment. And, in a very different fashion than that which had marked the reign of Elizabeth, England had become a noteworthy figure in European affairs during the course of the events which led to war in Germany. Its most remarkable characteristic was the reversal of the Elizabethan policy. The royal pedant who ascended the throne upon the great queen's death, James the Pacific, "the England --James I
wisest fool in Christendom," as Sully declared, had entered on a course in foreign and domestic concerns, marked neither by shrewdness nor success, but destined to the gravest consequence. Among his earliest acts was peace with Spain. For, obsessed by the absurd delusion that he could somehow compose Europe's deep-seated antagonisms by mere diplomacy, he entered on a long series of negotiations which made England, in no long time, a negligible factor in Europe's affairs. Meanwhile he antagonized the powerful Puritan and commercial elements among his own subjects; oppressed the Nonconformists or drove them from the land. He disorganized finance by his assumption of the right to tax without consent of Parliament; and weakened royal authority no less by bitter quarrels with the Commons over his pretensions to absolutism than by unkingly qualities which forfeited the popular respect. Learned, disputatious, obstinate, timid, he seemed equally incapable of meeting or averting the dangers thickening about his office and his faith; while his petty intellectualism and his pretension to prerogatives from whose assumption even Elizabeth had shrunk, proved a poor substitute for Tudor governance.
His motto was that beatitude which extols the virtues of peacemakers. But the times were unpropitious for a doctrine of nonresistance, nor were his methods adapted to attain his ends, however satisfying they were to his sense of intellectual superiority. It is true that while on every hand Europe was torn with conflict, England remained at peace. But it was peace without honor, and only in name. Through all the catastrophe to Protestantism the supine English king, infatuated with his belief in his own shrewdness and flattered by his weak favorites, saw the collapse of the faith he held, his son-in-law dethroned, his daughter a fugitive, firm in the absurd conviction that he could arrest by his diplomacy the triumphant power of Catholic Imperialism. His more clear-sighted Parliament--infuriated scarcely less by his fatuous complacency than by the conquest of the Palatinate-voted to support Frederick, and petitioned James against the marriage which he projected between his son and the Spanish
Failure of James' policy
Infanta, as a solution for the recovery of his son-in-law's dominions. The quarrel came to open breach. The king, having defied the laws of common-sense and the will of his people, was confronted with a Great Protestation of the Commons, which asserted the right of Parliament to a voice in state affairs even against the opinion of the crown. It was in vain that James tore the offending page from the Commons' journal with his own hand, imprisoned the popular leaders, and let his son go to Spain to urge his suit in person. The unprecedented journey was as vain as it was foolish, and the young prince, humiliated by his experience, returned at the moment that his brother-in-law's fortunes collapsed, to find his father all but openly defied by Parliament.
Such were the events which introduced Europe into a new chapter of her history in the two decades following the death of Queen Elizabeth. Save for the reorganization of France and the germs of progress which lay in the English situation, they were chiefly destructive; and had the development of Europe been confined to continental politics, these decades might well be reckoned a backward step in the world's history. But while ambitious rulers and zealous statesmen strove for advantage to themselves or to their faith, while the most fertile parts of Germany were ravaged by alien mercenaries, there had proceeded that conflict between Spain and the Dutch, inherited from the preceding generation. Upon it hung the fate of the rebellious Netherlands, and, in some sort, that of her great antagonist. With it the European rivalries were carried to the farthest regions of the earth, while at home it had become a school of war for half Europe. Siege and counter-siege had filled the history of that narrow borderland between the Dutch and Spanish Netherlands for nearly forty years, though with the defeat of the Armada it became increasingly evident that Spain's chances of recovering her lost provinces were waning steadily.
The Netherlands and Spain
The accession of Philip III only served to emphasize the decline of Spanish power. Like the English king, he was dominated by his favorites, the Duke of Lerma and his son; his nation was weakened by a fatal foreign policy and the
incessant wars to which it led, as well as by a declining industry and a false economy. Spain still aspired to play a great part in Europe; intrigued in Italy, fought the Dutch, and lent assistance to the German Catholic and Hapsburg powers. She was still able to deceive the English king. But when, with the foundation of the Dutch East India Company, the conflict took a wider range, it became apparent, to Spain's principal antagonists at least, that the nation which had so lately aspired to dominate European politics and faith was hard pressed to compete with the Netherlands alone. In their struggle for independence and commercial supremacy there had rested the chief importance of international affairs in the years between the death of Elizabeth and the outbreak of the German war.
That conflict, like the Anglo-Spanish rivalry a generation earlier, involved far wider interests than those of continental Europe. For the Dutch undertook to finish what the English had begun, and in their resistance to Spanish domination they not merely fought Spain along their own frontiers and weakened her efforts to assist the Catholic cause in Germany, but they carried the conflict to the most distant quarters of her empire. In consequence, besides the outbreak of war in central Europe, and the antagonism between the English crown and Parliament, the first decades of the seventeenth century witnessed a struggle for commercial and colonial supremacy, which rivaled even the efforts to maintain religious liberty in Germany and political liberty in England, and was not without its influence upon each.
The Colonial conflict
The initial success of the Dutch was rapid and complete. In the four years which followed the death of Elizabeth as many fleets found their way to the East, where from the Cape of Good Hope to the Isles of Spice the Portuguese were forced to fight for the retention of their factories and trade. Three years after Elizabeth's death one of the decisive naval combats of history destroyed a Spanish-Portuguese fleet at Malacca and left control of eastern waters in Dutch hands. A twelvemonth later, another Spanish fleet was overwhelmed by the sea-power of the Netherlands at Gibraltar; and the
The Dutch conquest of the East
Atlantic, like the Indian Ocean, was thus cleared of obstructions to the Dutch trading fleets' passage to the East. While the talents of Oldenbarneveldt and Maurice of Nassau held back the Spanish arms on land, Holland became the virtual mistress of the Spanish seas; and, two years after the battle of Gibraltar, compelled her nominal suzerain to a cessation of hostilities. That so-called Twelve Years' Truce determined, to all intents, her status and her future. Thus, while her neighbors were disturbed with civil quarrels, the Netherlands, with all their disadvantages, building upon their successes over Spain, secured their place in world trade and polity.
But as their merchants took advantage of the situation thus created, their statesmen and divines improved the opportunity to fall out among themselves, and the decade which followed the signature of the Twelve Years' Truce was filled with civil and religious discords. The theologians had divided into two factions whose animosities were as bitter as only theological disputes can be. The new controversy over predestination between Arminian and Gomarist, as the rivals were called from their respective leaders, was transformed into quarrels over toleration and civil supremacy. Maurice of Nassau, who frankly said he never knew whether his predestination was blue or green, found himself opposed to Oldenbarneveldt. A coup d'Útat placed in power the Contra Remonstrants to whom the prince belonged. The Advocate was hurried to judicial murder; and in the first twelvemonth of the German war Maurice became the sovereign of the United Netherlands in all but name. Such were the earliest fruits of the search for ultimate theological truth which accompanied the virtual independence of the Netherlands.
The Dutch Revolution
Had Spain, in this juncture, revealed even a portion of the strength she had possessed a generation earlier, she might have improved the years of the great truce to make her position more secure. To that end one thing was imperative, the reconstruction of her naval power. The Dutch, indeed, were compelled to defend their narrow land against their late masters if they were to make good their place in European polity. But the defense of their frontiers was not enough. To their minds the sea was at once their element and their opportunity, the field of commerce and of colonies their real inheritance. Without this even their hard-won independence at home was but a barren gift, their future not only empty of the power and wealth they coveted, but wholly insecure. It was upon their sea-power they relied as well for the profits which it brought as for the offensive warfare which should compel their opponent to terms. In consequence, from the Caribbean to Celebes their fleets harassed the Spanish power with ever-increasing violence. To them might well have been applied the old motto of Bremen: "It is necessary to navigate, it is not necessary to live."
After the shock of the Armada, the succeeding onslaughts of English and Dutch, and the disastrous defeats of Malacca and Gibraltar, Spain found herself all but powerless against this fierce and well-sustained attack. Her government seemed equally incapable of retrieving or averting catastrophe. Weakened by the incessant drain of her foreign policy and by consequent bankruptcy, the mediocre talents of her rulers were unable to rouse her underlying strength, bring order out of chaos, or awake ability from indurated pride of rank and birth. Her centralized control, her aristocratic temper, her clerical and official rigidity, her repression of initiative, left small room for that individual enterprise which had become the heart and soul not only of the new colonial forces but of commerce and the politics which flowed from them. At home her popular liberties and her economic strength had long since decayed. The Cortes had been finally dissolved by Charles V; and those provincial privileges which survived his attacks had gradually lost whatever power they had once possessed to influence policy. Besides the collapse of her mastery of the ocean and her monopoly of the knowledge of the seaways, her docks and harbors were ruined by neglect, her navy only a memory of its recent greatness. In consequence the story of her possessions abroad became scarcely more than that of weakening defense against the AngloDutch attack. And, had her power been confined to the peninsula, or had her activity been bounded by the abilities
of her rulers, she might well have been eliminated from world Politics.
In one direction especially she was weak. Great as were the triumphs of official voyages and far-sounding victories-of which history, perforce, takes chief account--the greatest conquests in the world of commerce, however dependent upon arms, were won by individual enterprise. Nameless traders with their little ships, sailing wherever in the world there was hope of profit, coasting from port to port, stretching across from Africa to America and back, threading their way among the islands east and west, exchanging European goods for ivory or slaves, and these for gold, tobacco, sugar, hides, spices, or dyes,--these were the omnipresent agents of expansion, no less powerful because their names were not emblazoned on the page of history. Such were the means by which slaves first found their way to Virginia and English and Dutch goods were introduced to South America. And such were the means, added to the organized trading forces of the great companies, by which the Dutch undermined the power of their late masters.
For the moment the Atlantic colonies were preserved by their nature from direct attack. Though harassed by English, French, and Dutch, their plantations offered no such prizes as Spain's fleets and trading-posts. The islands went on much as usual, save for an occasional descent of their enemies. Brazil, even at the crisis of this early period, flourished and spread its settlements from Pernambuco far to the northwest, where Para was founded to foil French ambitions in that quarter. And though it might have been apparent that once the East was secured, Spain's enemies would turn against the West, the very destruction of the trading empire brought respite to the planting colonies.
Thanks to the activity of her colonists, within the shell of desolation which her policy drew about the rich interior of her own American provinces, Spain's power actually increased while the storm of aggression beat most severely on her coasts and commerce. Far within their borders, settlers, prospectors, priests, planters, and officials slowly spread over her far-flung empire the broadening authority of her government and the peculiar institutions of her colonial society. In the La Plata region colonists pressed in, founding new posts, like Corrientes and Tucuman, and in Cordoba even a university. The Creoles spread their herds across the pampas, the Jesuits their mission farms and ranches along the Paraguay and Uruguay, until, at the height of English attack, the port of Buenos Ayres, through which ran the currents of communication between this new society and the old world, had grown into a principal resort of smuggling trade as well as a center of legal commerce. So great was this development that at the same time the German war reached its first climax, the Lima authorities divided this vast region into smaller administrative areas, and so organ ized the provinces of Tucuman, Buenos Ayres, and Paraguay.
Farther north the same process went on in almost equal pace. In the same year that the Argentine was thus divided, the rich grazing and tobacco land of Venezuela, the district about Barcelona, began to be settled, and the previously prohibited cultivation of cacao was begun. From there, from the plantations west and south, as far as the old capital of Bogota, which now, with its cathedral and schools, began to rival Lima and Mexico, Spanish culture, no less than Spanish authority, took on new life. The most distant lands of New Spain felt like impulse, and while explorers resurveyed the California coast, or traversed the lands which Coronado found, in Santa FÚ, New Mexico, the foundations of a new provincial capital were laid. In these extensions of her empire the insular possessions lagged behind. Manila, remote from outside influence, took on the form of a municipality, and with its government buildings, its barracks, and its university, maintained the Spanish influence in the Philippines, its chief event the yearly galleon to Mexico. But the West Indies, subject to continual attack, save for the fortified port of Havana, sank into insignificance, or became the resort of pirate and privateer.
Center and symbol of the whole vast area, Lima and Mexico flourished, with their hospitals and schools, their cathedrals, and universities, the oldest and largest institutions of their kind outside of Europe. They represented the wealth of the Spanish American colonies, which had increased since the discovery of quicksilver-bearing cinnabar at Huaneavelica, in the tenth year of Philip II's reign. This gave fresh impetus to the mining industry in which mercury was by this time an invaluable agency in the recovery of gold from ore. The growing stream of wealth which the improvements in the reduction of ore by the copper pan amalgamation process, and the discovery of new mines in the Lake Titicaca district, poured into its hands, evidenced the substantial increase of Spanish colonial prosperity. Yet at the same time Spain's own strength declined till it became dependent on its own dependency. Such, in the years which saw the Dutch supplant the Portuguese in the East, were the extensions which European power and civilization owed to the energy of the Spanish colonists.
But if, with the beginnings of the seventeenth century, those colonists thus flourished behind their wilderness barrier, despite the bureaucratic rule which did little to second their activities, the unfortunate Portuguese bore the full brunt of all the many enemies of Spain. To them Philip II had, indeed, confirmed control of the trade and offices throughout their empire. But it was a barren gift; for neither he nor his successors could insure immunity from the consequences of Ids own policy. As a result, the first four decades of the Portuguese captivity saw the collapse of their colonial empire. Under the guidance of the pacific James, England's attack slackened; but Dutch aggression, hampered by no illusions and few scruples, held on its way to seize the eastern trade by right of the strong hand. The rise of the Dutch empire in Asia was only the story of the fall of Portugal.
The Dutch and the Portuguese Empires 1580-1620
It was in vain that the old masters of the East strove to assert their rights. It was in vain they sought support from native rulers, the Grand Mogul, the King of Siam, and the Shah of Persia. It was in vain they struck time after time from Goa or from Portugal against their enemies. Their earlier oppression now bore its bitter fruit, for everywhere the invaders found native allies. Long misgovernment met its reward; and desperate efforts to reorganize their armies and their fleets brought small success. The Portuguese themselves shunned such service, save when official peculation made it profitable. And though the garrisons were increased fivefold by native levies, these lent themselves rather to corruption than defense, until, with such a strain on her resources, it became a question whether the loss of her eastern possessions would not be a positive gain for Portugal.
It was, then, rather against the eastern posts that the Dutch directed their first and most furious attack, and, for the time being, made their chief effort to break down Spain's colonial monopoly, for it was there that the great profits of such extra-European ventures lay, and there that trade and power could be obtained most rapidly and most easily. In consequence, within six years from its foundation, the Dutch India Company had made enormous strides.
Everywhere throughout the islands which stretch southeastward from Asia it not merely established its own trading connections, but had endeavored, with considerable success, to exclude the English, as the rival traders made their way among the native princes seeking business and treaties. From India through Ceylon to Java and Sumatra, south and southeast through the Moluccas, or Islands of Spice, with their chief trading centers of Ternate and Tidore; among the Isles of Cloves and Nutmegs, Banda, Amboyna, Pularoon; to Macao in China; past Celebes and Borneo, to New Guinea, even to the remoter confines of Australia, now rediscovered and renamed New Holland, they pushed their vessels in search of trade and laid foundations for a new empire of the commerce of the East.
The Dutch colonial empire
Nor was trade the whole of their activity. Beginning with Achin in Sumatra opposite the Portuguese Malacca, to Bantam in Java, and Johore on the south coast of the Malay peninsula, they established posts by which, with the possession of strategic points like Ternate and Amboyna, they sought to command not merely the seaways of the farther East, the straits of Malacca and Sunda, but the whole traffic of the islands and the routes to China and Japan. To this end their next efforts were directed. Amid continual war with the Portuguese, and efforts to enlist native princes everywhere against the common enemy, they extended their suzerainty over local chiefs. Now, as they grew stronger, they strove to prevent the natives from commerce with any other nation. When the Twelve Years' Truce was signed, they crowned this first stage of their progress by sending out Pieter Both as Governor General, to organize and confirm their hold upon the Archipelago. Already their ships had reached Japan, whose Shogun, Iyeyasu, detained their English pilot-major, William Adams. By his influence the Dutch were allowed to found a factory in the island kingdom. Two years thereafter the exile secured the same privilege for his own countrymen; and thus, by the curiously romantic intervention of this Kentish sailorman--who became the founder of the Japanese navy and eventually a god--began that long-lived relationship of such future consequence to East and West alike.
But it was not alone against the Spanish and the Portuguese that the Dutch had to contend, for, as the English had preceded them in organized efforts to control that trade, so they remained their chief competitors for its great profits. If political development were a well-ordered, logical, and intelligent progress toward well-defined ends, instead of blind advance toward the unknown, the triumph of one set of principles or practices might become the basis for concerted action to the advantage of all the victorious elements. Had England and Holland, triumphing over Spain and Portugal, been content to divide and enjoy the heritage which they were about to win--had they even been satisfied to confine their hostilities to the destruction of their mutual enemies until that issue had been determined--the result might, indeed, not have made for peace, but it would, at any rate, have limited the area of conflict. But scarcely were they fairly in the field of eastern trade when to their joint attack on Spain and Portugal was added their rivalry with each
England and Holland
other, which within another generation was to become one of the great issues of the European world.
It might have been supposed that this oversea conflict would have been the cause of an immediate general European war. But three circumstances combined to prevent this result. The first was the fact that colonial affairs were still regarded as outside the pale of European polity as then understood; that events "beyond the line" were in the main a separate concern, to be reckoned a cause of war at home, or not, as the occasion served. The second was Spain's inability to avenge all of her injuries at once. The third was the pacific policy of James I and John Oldenbarneveldt.
These last were, in a sense, the immediate determining elements. The peace between England and Spain and the Twelve Years' Truce were forced on Philip III by his triumphant enemies; and had they pressed their great advantage home, they might have crushed Spain's power once for all. Yet to their minds peace seemed the wiser course and its accomplishment was easier because, whatever the antagonism beyond the Cape, the interlopers had certain advantages in their efforts to expand their power oversea while keeping peace at home. The field was wide; it was imperfectly cultivated by Portuguese enterprise, and there were opportunities for profit without war.
Such a condition appealed especially to the English king; and his subjects, unlike the Dutch, had from the first sought means to invade Portuguese monopoly without conflict. Their immediate concern was to find some legal procedure for their acts. And in accordance with the Company's pious, punning motto, "Deus Indicat," they turned to India. On the third of the so-called "Separate Voyages," which filled the first dozen years of its existence, one of the Company's captains, William Hawkins, landed at Surat and carried letters from James I to the Mogul Emperor, Jehangir, at Agra, in an attempt to gain a foothold on the mainland. But neither the effort to connect themselves with the Mogul authority, which was meanwhile extending its power over the interior, nor the development of their trade, had proved espe-
The English in India 1600-9
cially successful. Now, when to the antagonism of Dutch and Portuguese was added the increasing effort of interloping English adventurers to break down the Company's monopoly, it was compelled to take steps to preserve its existence. Nine years, therefore, after its first incorporation, just as Spain and Holland had come to terms of truce, the English company was rechartered, its privileges were regranted in perpetuity, its capital was enlarged, and, under these more favorable auspices, it began a new chapter in its eventful history.
In one direction the English were fortunate. On the northwest coast of India a post at Surat had been established, and thereafter, defeating the Portuguese squadron guarding the approaches to the English vantage point and destroying the fleet which held the coast between Goa and Diu, permission for a permanent settlement was obtained. Sir Thomas Roe was despatched to gain trading and residential privileges from the Grand Mogul. Agencies were established in the interior to gather muslins and indigo for the Surat post, and when, ten years after the destruction of the Portuguese fleet, the English with native aid captured Ormuz, Portugal's supremacy in Cambayan and Persian waters was at an end.
Had the English been equally successful in their other ventures, or in their relations with their rivals, the history of their empire in the East would have been far different from what it proved to be. On the other side of India, where the Dutch factors controlled the trade of the Malabar coast, they essayed in vain to establish a post at Pulicat. Under protection of the king of Golconda a short-lived post was set up at Pettapoli; and, finally, at Masulipatam, halfway between Cape Comorin and the Ganges' Mouth, they founded the "most fortunate and thrifty" of their stations. The rich trade in textiles and the precious stones which made Golconda a synonym for wealth, the spices and camphor and benzoin of Siam and the Archipelago, found their way hither with the goods from the farther East. Yet in the very success of this factory lay the seeds of enmity with their Dutch rivals; in particular since it shared in that spice trade for which the Dutch were prepared to fight with any or all other powers.
To control that most coveted of monopolies, Both's expedition had bound the native princes of the Archipelago to the Dutch interest by a network of treaties and so laid the foundations of Dutch supremacy. Meanwhile, at home the statesmen strove for an accommodation. The nominal friendship of the rival states, endless negotiations, James' apparent determination to have peace at any price, combined with Oldenbarneveldt's efforts to compose the quarrel, to calm the storm,--but to little purpose. The long negotiations led only to the vaguest of arrangements. It provided that each nation should enjoy its own conquests and discoveries, pay customs to each other at their respective ports, and so divide the trade for twenty years, leaving the question of the posts undetermined. To this was added an agreement to join against the common enemy, establish a joint Council of Defense, and so "beat the Spaniard out of the Indies."
Anglo-Dutch hostility 1619
But all the good intentions and the adroitness of statesmen and diplomats availed little to insure peace beyond the line. The strategic points of the seaways and the centers of the spice trade were seized by the Dutch. Collisions of all sorts embittered relations already strained to the breaking-point. Disputes over conflicting treaties with the natives were followed by attack and reprisal, which led to open war. In this conflict the English company, its profits reduced, its very existence threatened by rivalry at home and war abroad, found itself in no condition to oppose the great national enterprise of the United Provinces. It was as little able to compete with the new traffic in tea which the Dutch introduced from China as they were to rival the trade in coffee which their competitors first brought from Mocha. And, whatever their profits from their chief commodity, pepper, from spices and eastern products generally, they fell far short of the Dutch, not only in their revenues but in their general status through the East. Only their defeat of the Portuguese at Ormuz, two years after the Treaty of Defense,
and their entry into some share in the trade of that region broke the long record of disappointment and defeat which these years held for England's merchant adventurers.
To them the treaty brought no relief. However it may have satisfied the English king and his advisers, it availed little in checking hostilities in the East. Sir Thomas Dale was despatched to face the new Dutch governor-general, Jan Pieterzoon Caen (or Koen), with whose arrival opened a new chapter in Dutch colonial history. This great administrator had been trained in the Roman commercial house of Piscatori. He had long been president of the factory and outlying agencies of Bantam, and what Albuquerque had been to Portugal, Caen now became to the United Provinces. Nor were his plans and operations dissimilar. Fortifying Jacatra and Bantam to control the Sunda Straits, and putting down native revolt in the Moluccas, he returned from his first expedition to wrest his half-completed fortresses from the English and Javanese who had taken advantage of his absence to overthrow Dutch domination. Dale, driven from Jacatra, made his way back to India, to die of fever, and Caen, thus relieved of his most dangerous enemy, prepared to consolidate his country's power in the East. Jacatra was destroyed, and near it was began the city and fortress of Batavia, which, more than worthy rival of Surat and Golden Goa, has stood from his day to our own, the capital of the Dutch trading and planting empire of the East.
Caen's services by no means ended here. For he maintained the Dutch contention that, whatever the great treaty said of commerce and defense, it gave the English no dominium or jurisdiction in Asiatic territories, and he proceeded to oust them from the slender foothold they had gained. Unable to supply their complement of ships, unwilling to join in a projected attack on Bantam, or to engage in war with Spain, embittered by the quarrels over mutual restitution of property taken in the late reprisals, the English found themselves outgeneraled in war and diplomacy alike. Their ships remaining in the Archipelago were taken. Their treaty with Bantam was seized on as ground for war. Their position at Batavia was made untenable; their agents were fined, imprisoned, even flogged; their agencies in Lantor and Pularoon were expelled; and they lost whatever power they had held. Before the end of Caen's first term of service the Dutch were masters of the Archipelago.
This was not the worst. At the same moment that the Catholic Imperialist success ended the first period of the German war the Dutch confirmed their hold on farther Asia by a crowning tragedy. In the remotest regions to which commercial rivalry had led Europe's adventurers, the little island of Amboyna--one of the great centers of the spice trade--had, from its position in the heart of the Moluccas, long been contested by successive powers. These now were narrowed to the English and the Dutch, whose agents were at bitter enmity. Scarcely had Caen left office when the controversy was determined there by a single stroke. The Dutch, who outnumbered their competitors some ten to one, charged the English with conspiracy, fell on the little garrison, put them to death, and took possession of their few remaining posts throughout the Archipelago. With this Holland's control of the Spice Islands was assured. The English were driven back upon the continent, to find what compensation they could there; and the first chapter of Anglo-Dutch rivalry ended. The contest for Asiatic trade was not concluded with this forcible delimitation of the spheres of influence; its last outrage left a long legacy of bitter retribution to succeeding years. But, for the time being, the Dutch held the ascendancy. The English were compelled to that momentous decision which made the mainland of India the chief scene of their activity, and, in the end, the chief prize of their imperial ambition.
The massacre of Amboyna 1623
The English had other rivals in their activity on the Asiatic continent. At almost the same moment that England and Holland burst through the Spanish-Portuguese monopoly in the south, the Russians had begun to play a part in this invasion of the East. Their adventurers, following along the path Yermak had pointed out, were making their way across Russia
the vast plains of northern Asia to the conquest of Siberia. In the Armada year Tobolsk had been founded and the trade route to Bokhara opened up. As the Dutch and English companies began their long rivalry the Muscovites reached the upper Obi and established an outpost at Tomsk, halfway from Moscow to the Pacific. Thence they prepared to press forward across the northern steppes. The year in which the German war broke out they reached the Yenesei, and founded there the town of Yeneseisk. And, at the moment that the Anglo-Dutch rivalry reached its height with the Massacre of Amboyna, the Russians had become the masters of the greater part of Siberia, and were well on the way to those vast regions which lie along the course of the Lena.
Thus in the first quarter of the seventeenth century, while Germany embarked on the last and greatest of religious wars, and England entered upon an era of civil disturbance which was to end in a no less momentous conflict, the earth was divided into new spheres of European influence, and a new element was injected into world politics. And if one feature of political affairs becomes more apparent than another, as the events of the ensuing century unfold themselves, it is that European activities are no longer bounded by the limitations which conditioned the affairs of the preceding century. However important the situation which had brought central Europe into the throes of war, the future belonged less to the issues which were there fought out than to those elements which found their first expression in the English disturbances, and the activities of Europeans beyond the sea. It has been observed that any society which cannot expand must die; and that its every function is affected by its margins of free land and the extension of its opportunities. In that view the extension of their power beyond the sea offered to those European states which now entered the colonial field a new lease of life no less than new fields for their energies.
The results of expansion
ENGLAND, FRANCE, AND HOLLAND IN AMERICA. 1603-1623
IT is apparent in even the most superficial consideration of European history during the first two decades of the seventeenth century that, however important the events which brought the English crown into conflict with the Parliament, made Sweden the mistress of the Baltic, and plunged Germany into the throes of a religious conflict, the interest and importance of that period is not confined to Europe itself. No account of the activities of France under Henry IV would be in any sense complete which ignored one of the greatest events in his reign, the planting of French settlements in America. No chronicle of eastern affairs would be of much value which omitted the advance of Russia into Asia. Nor is it possible to write of the conflict between Spain and the Netherlands without consideration of the principal scene of that conflict, the sea, and its great prize, commerce and colonies. Above all, no record of the reign of James I can pretend to any completeness which fails to include not only the controversy between the crown and the nonconformists within the British Isles, but those far-reaching policies and events which, during this period, planted English colonies and English power in the western world. For, among the various results which flowed from the conflicts and controversies of the sixteenth century, none exceeds in importance that decline of Spanish naval power which now, for the first time, opened the seaways and the lands beyond to northern nations, and that consequent movement of north-European peoples to America which introduced a new element into the world's affairs. Beside the beginnings of the German war, the quarrel of English crown and Parliament, and the estab- Europe and her overseas possessions
lishment of England and Holland in the East, the settlement of North America must be reckoned as one of the determining factors of modern history.
It might have been supposed that those nations to which the destruction of Spanish naval power was due would have been the first to enter into the inheritance of the western hemisphere now opened to their enterprise. But such was not the case. For under the stimulus of the new spirit which had come over her affairs with the accession of Henry IV, it was France who first roused to fresh adventures oversea. Midway between the crusading and commercial powers, her instinct for colonies and trade, adventure and empire, if it lacked somewhat of the fierce covetousness and religious zeal of Spain and Portugal, and fell short of the passionate regard for dividends which characterized her northern neighbors, partook of both impulses. For centuries, as fishermen, as interlopers in the Portuguese monopoly, as privateers and colonists, her seamen and adventurers had found their way to the west. Merchants of Rouen, Dieppe, Honfleur, Bordeaux had set up factories on the African Gold Coast, sent expeditions to the farther East, financed Brazilian voyages, and founded short-lived trading companies. The French rulers of the sixteenth century, like their neighbors across the Channel, however, had been turned aside from wider colonial ventures by the long rivalry with Charles V and by the civil wars. The despatch of Verrazano and Cartier by Francis I, Cartier's settlements and those of Roberval, had done no more than dissipate the fear of the griffins and monsters which ranged the northern seas, the fiends who held the Isles of Demons, the savages possessed of Satan who occupied the interior of Canada. Some claims to the shore neglected by Spain and Portugal had been established. Coligni's colonizing projects had been cut short by his tragic death; all else had come to naught, save the precarious gains from West Indian piracy and private trade.
France in America 1535-
However, with a monarch bred in the Huguenot school, to which nearly all French extra-European enterprise had been due, and with a minister interested no less in the economic than in the political power of the nation, there came a change. As Granada's fall, a century earlier, had turned adrift needy Spanish adventurers bred to war and seeking fresh enterprise, the peace which followed the accession of Henry of Navarre put a like force at the disposal of the French. For a colonial enterprise they could enlist recruits from a nobility which had lately played a part that, however embittered and disguised by a religious complication, was not unlike that of the English baronage a hundred years before. To these they added a king, who, despite all differences of character and circumstance, was in a position not unlike that of Henry VII; and a realm scarcely less disturbed than England after Bosworth Field. From such elements they recruited a fresh adventure.
Within a year after the Edict of Nantes, a trading asso ciation had been established to deal with Java, the Moluccas, and Sumatra, and the Company of Canada and Acadia had been brought into existence. It was but natural that the latter company should seem the more important, for French enterprise had always directed its chief interest toward North America. The region about the St. Lawrence was the earliest territory known to them in the new world, and the most explored; it was beyond the accepted limits of the powers with which Coligni's colonies had had such sad experience. Inhospitable as it seemed to Mediterranean peoples, its rigors were less heeded by the hardier northerners. Unprofitable as it had appeared to Spain, its furs, its forest products, and its fisheries offered to French adventurers prizes only less attractive than the spices of the East; while to her statesmen, the illimitable, unoccupied interior of the continent brought dreams of imperial dominion. Since Cartier's day, wild tales had been afloat of Norumbega, of the great native town of Hochelaga below the rapids of the St. Lawrence, which had barred the earlier explorers from their hope of reaching Asia, and thenceforth were known as Lachine. Since his time trade had increased in fish and peltry, in "ocean ivory" of walrus tusks, in oil, and such products of forest and sea; and when the Edict of Nantes had freed the energies
of France it was to this vast region that their thoughts first turned.
The revival of her colonial ambitions took form from the ideals and the circumstances of the time. A Breton Catholic, the Marquis de la Roche, named as lieutenant-general of "Canada Hochelaga, Newfoundland, and Labrador, with their adjacent lands," began by settling an ill-fated convict colony upon Acadia. His death transferred his patent to a St. Malo merchant, Pontgrave, and a naval captain, Chauvin, who landed settlers at Tadoussac to live on Indian charity or starve. Thereafter a stout soldier, Sieur Aymar de Chastes, Commander of St. John, Governor of Dieppe, a Catholic supporter of the king, whose aid had given Henry the victory of Arques, was granted a charter "to plant the lilies and the cross" in the new land. Allying himself with Pontgrave, he presently enlisted the services of one who was to be to French power in the new world what Cortez had been to Spain and Yermak to Russia, Samuel Champlain. Son of a Brouage sea-captain, bred to arms, having seen service in the civil wars, sometime enlisted in a Spanish expedition to the West Indies to gain information of those regions for the French government, this brave, sagacious adventurer, wearying of inaction as a royal pensioner at court; committed himself to the new enterprise, and set out with Pontgrave on an expedition which was destined to give France an empire. Such were the founders of New France. Champlain
On his first voyage Champlain explored the St. Lawrence and the Saguenay. He failed to find the town of Hochelaga, or a way past the rapids of Lachine, and returned to learn that his colleague, de Chastes, had died, and Pierre du Gast, Sieur de Monts, the Calvinistic governor of Pons, and sometime a companion of Chauvin in America, was now grantee of Acadia. The adventurers' reports, now published, wakened fresh interest in the project to found a colony. De Monts lent his assistance, and Pontgrave, and a wild company, half Protestant, half Catholic, wholly adventurers, sailed with Champlain to found the settlement of Port Royal, on the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia. From that region the coast was
His first voyage 1603
explored far to the south. But the resentment of the interloping traders whom he sought to repress brought the revocation of de Monts' monopoly, and it was only after two years of effort that the governor of Pons again despatched Champlain as lieutenant-governor to secure a site for a tradingpost. From Tadoussac the great explorer made his way again up the St. Lawrence, and at the foot of that huge cliff from whose commanding eminence the city of Quebec still gazes down the broadening river to the sea he founded the first permanent French settlement in America, or indeed outside the European continent. With this the hold of France in the new world was finally secured. Tadoussac, overrun with Basque and French adventurers, remained a center of fur trade. Increasing fleets of fishermen and merchants visited Acadia and Newfoundland. The Jesuits followed; and before the first decade of the new century was gone, while Holland secured her foothold in the East, France had established her authority along the St. Lawrence and prepared, under Champlain's direction, to extend her power deep in the heart of the vast wilderness beyond.
It could not be supposed that, in the face of these great movements in the East and West, England would content herself with the slight profits of her Asiatic trade; and those who had formed the companies to exploit the East were quick to feel the lure of the West, to which the earlier adventurers had already shown the way. Raleigh, who had written in Elizabeth's last years, "I shall still live to see Virginia an English nation," had fallen from place and favor, lost his patent and his liberty. James I had reversed Elizabethan policy and set England's feet in different paths. But Englishmen still dreamed of the land which Raleigh had thought to seize between the spheres of Spain and France, and whose name, Virginia, still echoed the greatness of a passing generation and its queen. Already her captains had spied out the land. The year before her death Raleigh himself made a last effort to rescue his ill-fated colony. On his track Gosnold explored southern New England coasts, first by himself, later with Gilbert and Pring; and, later still, Weymouth led
England in America
an expedition to the Kennebec. With this, as French power fixed itself on the St. Lawrence, England gathered fresh forces for a colonizing enterprise destined to permanence, between the regions now claimed and occupied by Spain and France.
Nothing could have been more typical of the nation which set it on foot than the men who pushed it forward. With its chief promoter, the explorer Gosnold, were associated Sir Thomas Smyth, the first governor of the East India Company, and chief assignee of Raleigh's forfeited patent; Popham, a cousin of the chief justice; Wingfield, a West Country merchant; Hunt, a clergyman; Somers and Gates, comrades of Raleigh; Dale, a Low Country soldier; Raleigh Gilbert, nephew of "the caged eagle"; with "knights, gentlemen, merchants, and other adventurers," chiefly in London, Bristol, Exeter, and Plymouth. These petitioned James for "licence to deduce a colony into Virginia," and two years after Port Royal was founded a patent passed the royal seal establishing two companies. To the London Company, or First Colony, was granted land along the Atlantic coast of North America, from 34░ to 38░, with right to three degrees farther north if it was first to colonize. To the Plymouth Company was issued a similar grant from 41░ to 45░, with like overlapping rights to the south. Each company was given land for fifty miles each side its first colony and twice that distance inland; rights of coinage and of self-defense; with liberal trading privileges; and, for government, a resident council in the colony and a general council at home. Such were the personalities and the plans for England's first successful attempt to extend her civilization and her power in America.
The Virginia Company 1606
Thus equipped, the first corporation bought three ships. A hundred adventurers, mostly gentlemen, were enlisted; Christopher Newport, "a Marriner well practised for the Westerne parts of America," was engaged; and, nine months after the passage of the patent to the company, its little fleet set sail. Watering at the Canaries, trading with the "Salvages," and refreshing themselves in the West Indies, they were driven by storm into the Chesapeake. Thence they
sailed up a river, christened it the James; where on a lowlying peninsula the adventurers began a settlement which they called Jamestown. As soon as this was well under way, a council formed, the river explored, and savage attacks beaten off, they were left by Newport to their great task, than which there was "nothing so difficult . . . to establish a Commonwealth so farre remote from men and means." Meanwhile, the western company, dissociating itself from the Londoners, despatched an expedition, under Gilbert and Popham, to the Kennebec. But the climate was severe; the hopes of finding mines were disappointed; the French and Spanish traders were hostile; and in the very days that the French colony which was to found Quebec made its slow way across the north Atlantic, it was passed by the discouraged English colonists, "frightened at a blast," returning home.
Had it not been for the courage and capacity of one man, the Jamestown settlement might have suffered the same fate. What Champlain was to New France, John Smith was to Virginia. Besides a varied service in the European war, especially against the Turks, he had experienced a long series of what by his own account were not infrequently marvelous adventures. Such a life had hardened this sturdy captain who took charge of affairs in the first trying year of the new colony into a commander whose courage, persistence, and resource made the continuance of the experiment possible, and sustained its feeble life amid many vicissitudes till a new supply of settlers enabled it to go on. In such hands, and by such slender means, was England's foothold in North America secured. John Smith
While it was thus slowly and painfully establishing itself in the New World its status at home was altered. Reorganized at the same time that the East India Company was rechartered, the London Company became an open corporation with purchasable shares, which might be allotted to a colonist for his services, together with land to be distributed after seven years in proportion to the stock he held. Royal and episcopal supremacy was confirmed, with English land tenure and judicial system. At the same time also a new
The London Company 1609
grant of territory, whose indefinite terms were of much importance thereafter, conferred on the reorganized company two hundred miles of coast on each side of Old Point Comfort, extending inland "west and northwest from sea to sea."
Under the new charter was formed a corporation without parallel hitherto in European experience. Its government was vested in an English president and council, its active management was intrusted to a governor and council in the colony. Thus the colonists became, in effect, at once servants and sharers of a species of joint-stock communistic enterprise; turning their produce into its magazines, drawing thence their necessary supplies, and sharing in the prospective profits of the venture. With all its disabilities it somehow managed to survive. Despite its earlier disappointment in finding neither mines nor a seaway to the East; despite the sufferings which culminated in the fearful "Starving Time" of its third winter; despite its feebleness which was accentuated by Smith's return to England, the colony held on. And it gradually became evident that, however unpractical its original organization was to prove, a new and vigorous force was to compete with Spanish conquest and planting and French commerce in the exploitation of America, and extend there the frontiers and resources of European peoples on new lines and over increasing areas. The Jamestown colony was projected at the same moment that the outbreaks in Germany presaged religious war. Its early years coincided with the Anglo-Dutch attack upon the Portuguese empire of the East, and the growing hostility between the English crown and people. Beside these great events the activities of a handful of settlers in the North American wilderness seem trivial enough. Yet it was in their hands rather than in trade war or religious controversy that the future lay.
The conditions which the French and English encountered in the regions where they now made their first permanent settlements, and whither they were soon to be followed by the Dutch, differed widely from any hitherto met with by European settlers. From temperate through cold temperate
North America and its inhabitants
to Arctic latitudes they found lands covered for the most part with forests, beech, oak, ash, pine, chestnut, walnut, and poplar in many varieties, familiar and unfamiliar to them. Those forests were filled with game which, with a few striking exceptions, was not unknown to Europe in some form. Deer and bear abounded, with rabbits and squirrels, wild birds of many kinds, particularly ducks, quail, and grouse of numerous species. To European eyes the opossum, the raccoon, and the wild turkey were novelties; and as they penetrated the interior, the bison, or buffalo, added a new element to their resources and experience. In particular, the fur-bearing animals formed the chief wealth of this new heritage, especially in the north. Mink, fox, and ermine, bear skins, from the brown and black varieties of the south to the white Polar variety, the walrus and the seal, were plentiful. Above all, perhaps, was the beaver, whose extraordinary intelligence and engineering skill had spread the lodges of its widespread communities across the northern continent, the most numerous as well as the most sought of all the more valuable fur-bearing inhabitants of the new world.
The peoples with whom Europeans now came in close contact, the North American Indians, resembled somewhat in color and habits some of the races the invaders had met in South America. They varied among themselves, but not so much as they differed from the chief races the Europeans had already conquered, the Aztecs and Incas. In spite of the fact that many of them had villages, their settlements were usually not permanent, and they were, for the most part, within the fairly defined areas their tribes inhabited, semimigratory in their character. Their living was gained in part from hunting, which, with war, absorbed the energies of the men; and in part, among the less savage tribes especially, from cultivation of the soil, carried on almost entirely by the women, or squaws. Indian corn or maize, pumpkins, fruits, beans, added to the potatoes or yams, rice and tobacco of the south, formed their chief subsistence, with fish, oysters, and clams which the waters provided.
Their arts were rudimentary. Lodges or tepees of bark, poles, and skins formed their houses; their clothing, such as it was, they made from the skins of animals, principally the deer. They were still in the stone age, and their implements of war, chase, and husbandry were all of that material. They lacked the three animals most important to civilized man, the horse, the cow, and the pig. Their sole domesticated animal was the dog, and their only conveyance the canoe. Their principal weapons were the bow, the war-ax or club, the hatchet-shaped tomahawk, and the rude knife which they used not merely as a means of offense and defense, but to secure their most coveted trophies, the scalps of their enemies. Some tribes achieved rude pottery and basket work, most used a rude currency of wampum or shells strung on cords.
Their religion was a natural mythology; in literature they had not proceeded beyond the stage of folk-tales and myths; and their use of rude hieroglyphs did not extend to the production of permanent records. Their government was tribal; and their most powerful confederacy, the Iroquois, or Five Nations, which occupied the lands between the Hudson River and the Great Lakes, had attained an organization and an ascendency which dominated a great portion of the north. Thence their far-reaching hunting and war parties brought them into collision with a like group of Chickasaws and Creeks, which held a similar position in the south. Among these tribes there existed a rude form of commerce in materials for apparel, war, and chase; and this, with their wide journeys in search of game or enemies, was the sole bond of union among these scattered peoples.
--Religion and culture
They had, indeed, some admirable qualities. They were incomparable woodsmen, capable of enduring extraordinary hardships. They were at once proud, brave, and cunning; their stoicism was almost incredible, and they possessed a noble and lofty eloquence. Above all, owing perhaps to their peculiar social system, they preferred death to slavery; and in this respect offered a striking contrast to almost every other uncivilized or even civilized people the Europeans met. This characteristic determined the conditions of the invaders
of North America. Had they desired, it would have been impossible to reduce the Indians to subjection; and, in consequence, if they made good their occupation of the continent, it was only at the cost of long and bloody war, of the extermination or expulsion of its original inhabitants.
Such were the people and such the conditions of successful colonizing which Europeans were now called on to face in the new scene of their activities. Compared with the farflung empire of Philip III these tiny specks of settlement seemed insignificant, even when, at this moment, they were reinforced by the exploit of Henry Hudson, who, sailing up the river which still bears his name, claimed it and the adjacent territory for his Dutch employers and laid foundations for a later occupation. Compared with the problems at issue among peoples and rulers at home, such enterprises seemed all but contemptible. While Europe was convulsed with a life and death conflict between the two communions, while England began her struggle between crown and Parliament, it might seem that the activities of a handful of adventurers in a distant and savage land could well be ignored. 1609
Yet, in a longer view, those feeble French and English settlements yield nothing in importance to the more spectacular European conflicts which accompanied and in some measure conditioned their progress. In those colonies there lay not merely the germs of wide and powerful dominion, but the beginnings of a new order in the world. The activities of captains and kings filled a far larger place in the minds of the generation which endured the Thirty Years' War than the achievements and hardships of the founders of these new societies. They have thus, naturally enough, bulked larger in history. But if we are to regard constructive effort as one of the chief aims of mankind and a leading concern of those who chronicle its achievements, it is apparent that Champlain and Smith are worthy to be set above many of those rulers who in this period occupy a far greater space in its annals. And, in the long resolution of events, the formation of self-governing societies in North America is certainly not
Importance of the North American colonies
incomparable with even the maintenance of Protestantism in central Europe. For, apart from the opening of vast areas to settlement, the North American colonies were indissolubly connected with the two great issues which then faced European peoples,--freedom of belief and popular share in government. They were thus not only in close touch with the struggles in Germany and England, but they were, in a sense, a peculiar type and symbol of their times.
It is a false view of history which regards the activities of Europeans beyond the sea as outside the current of general European development. With all the variations among Europeans themselves, and between them and their offshoots abroad, there remains a certain unity in diversity in their joint activities whose neglect breeds a wholly distorted view of the past. As the struggle proceeded in Europe between Catholic and Protestant, between crown and subject, the English and the French made their way deeper into the heart of that wilderness which was to become the seat of a greater and freer society than any which had yet arisen outside the old world. Upon that world these societies were to have a profound influence. They were to contribute in no small measure to the solution of many of the problems then convulsing Europe. And, apart from their effect upon the future, they, like the concurrent activities of the Dutch, were not without significance on at least one of the two great issues then at stake in European affairs. For they placed before their countrymen at once a refuge from oppression and an ideal which powerfully reinforced the agencies then making for liberty throughout the continent. It is easy to exaggerate that immediate influence. It is still easier to overlook it. But no one who considers the whole field of European activity in the eventful years which saw the outbreak of religious dissension in Germany, and the beginning of opposition to autocracy in England, can doubt that the rise of the Dutch empire and the colonization of North America are to be reckoned among the most powerful influences which made for a new situation in the world's affairs.
Colonial history and development 1607-21
In those busy years Champlain defeated the Iroquois who barred his path, explored the Richelieu and the Ottawa, and made his way westward to Lake Huron. Franciscans were brought out to convert the savages, and the fortifications of Quebec strengthened. And though the governor of Virginia, Dale, destroyed French posts from Mount Desert to Port Royal, and limited French activity to the south, the "father of New France" confirmed his country's hold upon the mighty stream which, "like an insatiable merchant, engrossed all commodities" in that quarter of the world, and made the middle St. Lawrence at once the warehouse and the citadel of France in America.
Meanwhile the English gained an advantage which they never lost in the struggle for a continent, now thus begun. This lay in the increasing numbers of their immigrants, which marked them from the first as the chief colonizing nation of the world. Despite discouragement and loss, due to the incapacity of the first settlers, despite the unfortunate location of the capital, and the impracticable communal system which presently broke down, despite official incompetence and the failure to find gold, Virginia grew. Germans and Poles were sent out to make potash and pearl ash from timber cleared away in the process of turning forests into farms. Hundreds of emigrants from England, inspired by the changes in the charter, which enabled men to gain free homes in the new world, poured into the settlement. To its success other events contributed. Of these the greatest was the beginning of tobacco culture on a scale which soon afforded a sound economic basis of prosperity. A Dutch ship brought some slaves, and so introduced that system of labor which had made the fortunes of the older tropical colonies. At the same moment the first General Assembly of the burgesses was convened by the governor. And when finally Sir Thomas Wyatt brought out a new constitution vesting local power in the governor, council, and House of Burgesses or assembly, the outlines of development and the stability of Virginia were assured. Self-contained and largely self-supporting, as well as self-governing, this new society of unmixed European blood, slave-holding, absorbed in planting and farming, The progress of English settlements in America
became not merely the first real successful colony of the north-European states but the first of a new species of colonial enterprise.
The James River settlement was not long an isolated phenomenon in English affairs, for, as Europe plunged into religious war, two circumstances gave a new turn to these colonial activities. Raleigh, returning from a last, unfortunate voyage to the new world, found his way to the scaffold at the behest of the Spanish ambassador, as punishment for the destruction of a Spanish-American settlement. With his death ended the Elizabethan period. At that precise moment an obscure company of English Separatists, who had sought refuge from James's persecution in Leyden, joined with a group of London merchants in an agreement to plant another colony in the new world. With this came preparations to put into effect Coligni's great design of using the New World to redress the balance of the old by making there a home for the oppressed. Thus the death of Raleigh, first of English colonizers, last of the Elizabethans, so far from relieving Spain of interference in the west, but ushered in a greater chapter in that history. It is one of the striking coincidences of history that the years which saw the German religious question revived by the occupation of Donauw÷rth and the formation of the Catholic and Protestant leagues, were notable for the foundation of Jamestown and Quebec. It is no less noteworthy that the very moment of the outbreak of the Thirty Years' War and the death of Raleigh, the religiopolitical movement against which James I, in common with the sovereigns of his time, had set his face, found in America a field for its activities.
The Puritans 1618
For a new element was injected into the colonization of America, the Puritans. The management of the Virginia Company, transferred from traders like Smyth to the hands of "subtle men of high courage," like the leader of the Parliamentary opposition to James, Sir Edwin Sandys, had begun to assume the complexion of the political and religious elements which then divided England. Not even Tudor authority had been able to check the Reformation at the middle
ground of the Established Church. The more advanced Protestants, oppressed by Mary, discouraged by Elizabeth, and persecuted by James, who threatened that he would "make them conform or harry them out of the land or worse," had been driven to different courses to save themselves. Some had carried on a propaganda in the country, in Parliament, in the church itself, reinforcing the party opposed on other grounds to the royal financial and foreign policy. Some had more or less patiently endured their miseries. Some had fled beyond the sea to that "cage of unclean birds," "the common harbor of all opinions and heresies," the United Netherlands.
Such was the first of the elements which were now joined in a new undertaking. There were others of scarcely less consequence. In a community bent upon fresh enterprises of eastern trade, American colonies, and so-called "plantation" ventures in lands but lately wrested from rebellious Irish chieftains, the writings of John Smith--or those which his exploits and imagination inspired--which now appeared, roused England as Champlain's had earlier stirred France. His work was reinforced by other activities. Sir Ferdinando Gorges, undeterred by the failure of the Kennebec colony, employed Smith to explore "northern Virginia," with the result that the "New England" coast was mapped. A new region was thus brought to English view and almost at once a new corporation appeared as "the Council for New England" to exploit its possibilities. This was formed by the so-called "Merchant Adventurers of London," who secured patents for a colony from the Virginia Company and looked about for settlers. With their enlistment of the Puritan exiles in Holland, the new project was assured. New England 1614
The groups now brought within the circle of English colonizing schemes were a peculiar product of the age in which they lived. They were the members of a so-called Brownist or Separatist congregation of Scrooby in Yorkshire, belonging to the estate of Sir Edwin Sandys' brother. A dozen years before, under their minister, John Robinson, they had found refuge in Holland. Fearing to lose their nationality in that
The Pilgrim Fathers 1609
alien land, they had first planned to emigrate to the district which Hudson found and named; and, failing that, they were prepared to listen to the proposals of this branch of the Virginia Company as voiced by Sandys. The form which the enterprise took owed much to the communal plan of the Virginia settlement. Seventy subscribers provided the capital, and shares were alloted to the emigrants, one to each emigrant above sixteen, two to each family furnishing itself, one for each two children between ten and sixteen. A slender store of utensils and food was provided, and thus equipped the colonists sailed on a small vessel, the Mayflower, to transplant their peculiar society to the western world. They sighted land the day after the battle of the White Hill was fought; and at the moment that Bohemia and the Palatinate were being overrun by Spanish, Imperialist, and Bavarian Catholics, the seed of another Protestant colony was planted in the New World. 1620
Before landing on the inhospitable shore to which their pilot's ignorance or intention brought them, they signed a covenant "to . . . combine into a civill body politick . . . to enact, constitute and frame just and equall lawes for the generall good of the Colonie," and by this momentous act they established, virtually, a republican form of government. Under their elected governor, John Carver, and their captain, Miles Standish, "the John Smith of New England," they founded their little settlement of New Plymouth in the last weeks of that momentous year (1620) which saw the Imperialists complete their triumph for the moment in Germany and the Jamestown colony take final shape.
With this the English spirit of expansion was embodied in the form it maintained thereafter little changed. It was the product of three elements, commercial companies, seekers after religious and political liberty, and individual adventurers; and of these the second became the predominating influence. Widely different from all other forms of such enterprise hitherto, it was to achieve successfully the transfer not merely of political authority and commercial supremacy, but of a European society to displace a native population and build up real colonies of white blood beyond the sea. Above all, it was to establish in a new land, for the first time, a popular form of government.
The Virginia and New Plymouth settlements came none too soon, if England was to gain foothold in America. Not New Netherlands
merely were the French confirmed in the possession of the St. Lawrence region; the Dutch had already bestirred themselves to the same end. Before the Jamestown experiment was an assured success, long before the Pilgrim Fathers landed at Plymouth, those who had sent Henry Hudson out to find a "way across the pole to the isles of spicery," and equipped the Half Moon with which he made his way up the great river christened after him, had laid their plans to secure a foothold in that promising region. The traders followed close on Hudson's track. A post was soon established on Manhattan Island at the river's mouth; and within five years
there was formed the United Netherlands Company, with grants of land from 49░ to 45░, and right to trade and colonize. Forts were built at Manhattan and farther up the river. Long Island was explored. Steps were taken to secure the fur trade; and, while the Jamestown colonists cleared their lands, while Robinson's congregation were petitioning in vain for permission to occupy the newly opened region, and Champlain pushed westward from Quebec, Dutch traders found their way along the Hudson and the Mohawk and laid foundations for a New Netherlands.
But the occupation of the Hudson River valley was the least of Dutch activities in these eventful years. For while England and France were forced to be content with their experiments in the western world and what crumbs of eastern trade they could pick up between the Dutch and Portuguese, the Netherlands aspired to nothing less than the domination of the whole world of trade and colonies. Projects for settling South America were revived. The Zealand stations on the Oyapok were strengthened. With aid of English and Huguenot refugees a post was founded on the Essequibo and another on the Amazon; and, as the Twelve Years' Truce drew to an end and the fortunes of Oldenbarneveldt declined, the plans of William Usselincx, an Antwerp refugee, long held in abeyance by the pacific policy of the Advocate, revived under the stimulus of the Orange patronage. A year after the founding of the Plymouth colony they culminated in the establishment of the Dutch West India Company. Its privileges were symbolic of the times which gave it birth. It was granted monopoly of commerce and navigation in west Africa, east and west America, and organized like the East India Company from the chambers of commerce with a Council of Nineteen at its head. At once an ally and an instrument of the government in the war with Spain, now on the point of being renewed, it was granted a subsidy by the States General, and promised naval aid. Thus it became scarcely less a military and political than a commercial enterprise. Its capital, subscribed from patriotic motives as well as the hope of dividends, exceeded that of its eastern rival by half a million
The Dutch West India Company 1621
florins; and when, two years after it was launched, its subscription books were closed, the United Provinces, especially the Orange party, now in control of Dutch affairs, possessed in this new corporation a powerful weapon against their Spanish enemies.
The issue was now joined. In Germany the struggle between the communions was fully under way; in America three nations contended with each other and with their common enemy, Spain, for a foothold; and through the East, as everywhere on the sea, the Netherlands challenged the dominion of the world of trade. On every field the conflict between the old order and the new, in religion, in politics, and in commerce, brought to a head the irreconcilable ambitions and interests of rival schools of faith and policy and interests. Whatever the result, it was now evident that Europe would experience, in every phase of her activity, not merely a new series of events but new conditions in her development. And if, for the time being, the concerns of war and diplomacy bulked larger on her immediate horizon, it was no less evident, to far-seeing men, that the not distant future held the promise of wider policies and more farreaching activities than those which then absorbed her greatest energies. Among these the exploitation of America was not the least.
[ Continue to Vol.1 - Ch.XIX ]