THE THIRTY YEARS' WAR. 1623-1642
AT noon of All Souls' Day, 1517, the Wittenberg professor of philosophy, Martin Luther, had nailed to the door of the castle church in that quiet German university town his ninetyfive theses against the doctrine of indulgences as then proclaimed and practised by the Papal authority. A hundred years later, almost to a day, there had burst forth in Bohemia a controversy which, scarcely less insignificant in its external aspects than the act of the German reformer, was productive of a conflict almost as widespread, and of even bloodier consequence than the original agitation which flowed from Luther's opposition to the Papal practices. If the beginning of the Thirty Years' War proved nothing else, it demonstrated three things,--that the older religious unity of western Christendom was gone beyond recall, that ecclesiastical issues were an active factor in public affairs and international relationships, and that the manifold efforts of the Hapsburg house to unify Germany under its direct sovereignty had made no headway in the preceding century and a half.
The situation of Europe
The great conflict which had begun a hundred years from the time when Luther drew up his Resolutions in defense of his position, had by the year 1623 entered upon the second stage of its long and bloody progress. Already its champions, like its character, had begun to change. Save in SO far as they represent the tendencies of the time, or react against them, the accession of new rulers is seldom of much moment in the evolution of human affairs. But, as at certain other periods of European history, the seven years which followed the outbreak of war in Bohemia brought on the stage a group of kings, captains, and statesmen destined to play decisive parts in the political fortunes of the continent. Three years after the beginning of the struggle in Germany, the pious Philip III of Spain had died, his spirit broken by the appalling evidence of his nation's decadence. The favorites who had battened on the state had been dismissed. His people, now bankrupt and desolate, mourned his virtuous incompetence, but continued with proud and devoted stubbornness their hopeless conflicts in Germany, the Netherlands, and Italy, and across the sea, maintaining still their arrogant, impossible claims to determine Europe's faith and future. At the same time the United Provinces, deprived of the services of Oldenbarneveldt, found, when they took up again the burden of their war of independence against Spain, after the Twelve Years' Truce, that, as Maurice himself declared, "nothing went well after the death of the Advocate." Threatened by the forces of his skilful adversary, the Spanish general, Spinola, the Prince of Nassau barely managed to hold his own, while his people, apart from harassing the power of Spain, were for the time unable to give their German co-religionists any effective aid.
1621 France and England were in little better case. Under the boy king, Louis XIII, France was weakened by intrigue and civil war; and it was not until the commanding genius of Richelieu made itself supreme in the royal councils that his nation again took its share in European politics. As the long, feeble reign of James I wore to a close, England played a like unheroic part. The "British Solomon" had seen his fatuous foreign policy of a Spanish marriage go to wreck. The quarrel with his advanced Protestant subjects, the Puritans, grew from bad to worse. His relations with his new Parliament strained to the breaking-point, as his financial expedients, his claims to absolutism, and his failure to help the German situation, combined to alienate almost every element of his people from him. Nor was his successor more able or more fortunate. Two years after his son-in-law, the Elector Palatine, was driven into exile, James' death brought to the English throne his pious, obstinate son, Charles, with whose reign began a still more troubled period of English history.
France and England
Meanwhile, eastern Europe revealed a new alignment of powers and a new race of princes. The long reign of Michael Romanoff gave way to that of his successor, with no great result, either in character or importance to the world at large. The declining strength of Poland and Turkish lethargy left therefore but two powers to be considered in that quarter of the world. The first was Sweden, whose heroic king, Gustavus Adolphus, was now lord of the ascendant in the Baltic lands. The second was Denmark, whose ruler, Christian IV, aspired to play a part in European politics; and, like his Swedish colleague and rival, looked with anxious eyes upon the situation which had developed in Germany.
It was, indeed, high time for these northern princes to take thought for the morrow, since, if German Protestantism was to be saved, there was pressing need for some champion to appear on its behalf; and if the Baltic states were to maintain their position, it was no less necessary to check the advancing power of the Imperialists. For seldom had the cause of the reformed communions seemed more desperate than in those days when Bohemia and the Palatinate fell from their grasp. The victories of the Bavarians and the imperial forces had not, it is true, extinguished resistance. There remained the army of Mansfeld; and while the drums of his recruiting officers beat up reinforcements in other lands for his service, the Danish king, supported by subsidies from England and the Netherlands, drew together an army and pushed into northern Germany. There, in his capacity as Duke of Holstein and head of the lower Saxon Circle, he proposed to challenge the Imperial and Catholic supremacy, and, conjointly with his Mecklenburg allies, to champion the Protestant interest.
The Danish period of the Thirty Years' War 1625-9
The moment seemed propitious. Now that their own aims had been attained, neither the new Elector, Maximilian of Bavaria, nor the Catholic League were overzealous in the Emperor's cause, save on their own somewhat excessive terms. Ferdinand himself was no general, and his abilities had been directed toward the settlement of Bohemia, whose population had been decimated by the war and whose lands had been distributed among his loyal Austrian Catholic nobility. At the moment, therefore, that Mansfeld failed to save Breda from Spinola, and Gustavus overran Courland and conquered ducal Prussia, the Danish king poured his troops across the border, and Bethlen Gabor prepared to threaten Vienna with his Transylvanian army, in a joint attempt to relieve the Protestants. Tilly advanced into Saxony to meet this new danger, and the Danish period of the Thirty Years' War began, not inauspiciously for the Danish king.
But the success he promised himself was short-lived. In the midst of his embarrassment the Emperor found relief from an unexpected quarter. Among the numerous adventurers who had hastened to enrich themselves by buying in Bohemian estates, one, Albert of Wallenstein, who had taken a prominent part in the Bohemian war and made his reputation by service against Venice, revealed the talents and audacity which were to place him high among the great ones of the earth. To him the Emperor intrusted his defense; and from the masses of mercenaries which the spoil of Germany had drawn into her wars, he was authorized to recruit a force, dependent on his genius for its form and leadership, and on pillage for its support. Thus equipped, he fell suddenly upon Mansfeld's forces, defeated them, killed their leader, and drove them through Silesia and Hungary till they found refuge with Bethlen Gabor, who had been compelled to withdraw again into Transylvania.
Meanwhile Tilly had beaten Christian IV at Lutter in Brunswick; and, following their successes, the two imperialist commanders joined to conquer Holstein. Thence Wallenstein proceeded to overrun Schleswig and Jutland; drove out the dukes of Mecklenburg; and forced the duke of Pomerania to submit to the imperial power. Silesia was compelled to like submission. Bethlen Gabor, deprived of the assistance of the Turks by their treaty with the Emperor, was rendered powerless. Baden was overpowered by the imperial troops; and Germany cleared of Protestant forces. For his great services Wallenstein was created Duke of Friedland, promised the estates of the dukes of Mecklenburg, and allowed to assume the title of Admiral of the Baltic. It was only when his conquering advance reached the walls of Stralsund that his progress was stayed; and his failure to capture that city, with Tilly's repulse from Glückstadt, marked the high tide of Catholic-Imperial success.
As a result of that success, six years after Frederick had been driven from the Palatinate, this second or Danish period of the war was crowned by readjustments flowing from imperial aseendency in northern Germany. By the Peace of Lübeek, Christian regained his lost territory in return for the abandonment of his allies and his promise to take no further part in German affairs. For his commanding services Wallenstein became the first subject of the empire, with grants of lands, among which the dominions of the dukes of Mecklenburg, now placed under the imperial ban, were included. Finally the great Edict of Restitution put into effect the terms of the so-called "ecclesiastical reservations," which had been left undecided by the Peace of Augsburg. Under this arrangement all the ecclesiastical estates whose rulers had turned Protestant since the Peace of Passau threequarters of a century before, were now restored to Catholic hands. By such means the archbishoprics of Bremen and Magdeburg, a dozen bishoprics, and ten times that number of monastic domains were wrested from the reformed commullions. Moreover, only Lutherans were recognized. All others were left to the mercy of their enemies; and how scant that mercy was the ravages of Wallenstein's followers and those of the League soon witnessed. Dark as the prospect had seemed six years before, when Frederick had been driven from Bohemia and the Palatinate, the Protestant outlook now seemed darker still; for as the Imperial Catholic designs to crush the reformed communions were reinforced by Wallenstem's ambitions and abilities, the case seemed all but desperate to their opponents.
The Peace of Lübeck 1629
And the Edict of Restitution
But from apparently certain destruction the Protestants were preserved by discords among their enemies. Scarcely had the great Edict been issued when the Diet of Regensburg revealed how widely the views of the Emperor differed from
The disagreements among the Catholics
those of Maximilian of Bavaria and the Catholic League. Had it been possible for Ferdinand to accomplish the old Hapsburg design of making the imperial power supreme in a united Germany, the fate of the reformed communions would have been sealed. But in the minds of the Catholic princes the fear of a powerful centralized monarchy vested in the house of Hapsburg was stronger than the dislike of the Protestants; and in the antagonism between the imperial and the princely policies and ambitions their opponents found, if not security, at least a breathing-space. The Bavarian Elector and his adherents of the Catholic League demanded the dismissal of Wallenstein and the disbanding of his forces on the well-grounded charge of the destruction which his licensed freebooters were inflicting upon Germany. The Emperor was driven to consent; and, with the loss of the great general and his army, the imperial authority, deprived of its chief support, gradually relaxed, while the miserable inhabitants of northern Germany were relieved from the more imminent pressure of the sufferings which the war had brought upon them.
In such fashion ended the second stage of the great conflict, after twelve years of unexampled destruction. Measured by its immediate results, it had but carried out the promise of the earlier period. To all external appearance German Protestantism seemed doomed. Stripped of Bohemia, the Palatinate, and great parts of northern Germany, divided against itself, and with its Danish and Transylvanian champions driven from the field, its own armies destroyed, and its ablest generals dead, only some miracle of outside support to aid its stubborn but thus far ineffectual resistance offered even a hope of its persistence in German polity. When the conflict had been at its height some years before it had been declared with bitter satire that the Netherlands would send a hundred thousand kits of herring, the Danes a hundred thousand tubs of butter, and the English king a hundred thousand ambassadors to the aid of their coreligionists in Germany. Now it seemed that even this mythical assistance was out of the question.
This triumph of the reactionary element was emphasized by events elsewhere in Europe. While the Danes had made their futile effort to preserve the German Protestants and improve their own position, the rest of Europe had seen profound changes. In Italy the long pontificate of Urban VIII, however disturbed by German and Italian wars, had done much to revive Papal authority. In Spain the rise of a great minister, Olivarez, had begun to galvanize the state into a fierce if feverish activity, which gave it, for the time being, the semblance of its old greatness. Once more the nation appeared in the front rank of military powers; once more armadas were prepared to crush the Dutch, and armies raised for new projects in Italy. It was, indeed, the last flicker of the burned-out candle; and the ambitious policy was destined only to lessen the remaining vigor of the state. But for the moment it served its purpose in the elevation of the Catholic power in the European world.
The other states of Europe --Spain
Beyond the Pyrenees, meanwhile, the greatest of all French statesmen-ecclesiastics, Richelieu, rose to the height of an authority scarcely equaled on the continent, and, with his ascendancy, set his nation upon a path which led to predominance in European councils. He had become chief minister in the same year that Christian IV planned his descent on Germany, and his rise to unquestioned supremacy in French councils had been coincident with the Danish period of the great war. In that conflict he and his nation for the time took no part. As the struggle was joined across the Rhine, the Huguenots rose in rebellion against the crown, and Richelieu's energies were directed to the suppression of the powerful faction which threatened the very integrity of France. His efforts were successful. In spite of their strength throughout the land, in spite of their desperate resistance, and the all but impregnable position of the chief city of La Rochelle, in spite of English attempts to succor the last stronghold of Protestantism in France, the Huguenot capital was compelled to submit. At the very moment that the Danish king was driven back to his own land, La Rochelle fell into the hands of the French government. Thence the
France under Richelieu
great minister led his victorious forces against the Spaniards in Italy, and brought back fresh honors for his nation. The nobles rebelled in vain against his growing ascendancy and that of the crown. The Queen Mother found her efforts to check his rising authority no less ineffectual; and, as the Danish period of the German war came to an end, the Cardinal-minister stood out as a force to be reckoned with thenceforth in European politics.
This reviving French ascendancy was the more pronounced in that England had meanwhile fallen on evil days. James I's reign had ended with bitter animosities in church and state; nor did his son Charles, on coming to the throne, abate the popular discontent. He joined, indeed, with Holland to subsidize Christian IV's invasion of Germany, which coincided with his accession to the throne. He sent three expeditions to aid the Rochellois in their resistance to Richelieu. But his efforts to assist the continental Protestants failed ignominiously, owing in no small degree to the incompetence of his favorites, especially the arrogant and incapable Duke of Buckingham, who virtually directed English affairs. At home Charles further embroiled the crown with Parliament. He was denounced for alleged innovations in church and state, for illegalities in raising revenue, for the employment of favorites; and when he retorted by imprisoning the popular leaders, the antagonism between the king and Commons came to open breach. The Petition of Right, which summed up the people's grievances and so became one of the great landmarks of English constitutional history, completed the estrangement. Four years after his accession, at the same moment that the Edict of Restitution was promulgated in Germany, and the Peace of Alais brought the conflict between the crown and Huguenots to an end in France, Charles dissolved his Parliament, made peace with France and Spain, and began a long and perilous experiment in absolute government which finally alienated his people from the crown, and was destined to end in civil war.
England under Charles 1625- 1629
Thus as the third decade of the seventeenth century came to an end, the European world found itself confronted with the apparent triumph of Catholicism and absolute royal power. England and Denmark were withdrawn from further interference in Germany. Mansfeld and Bethlen Gabor were dead; and the Protestant states were left to endure the Catholic Imperial ascendancy as best they could. The Calvinists, in particular, were compelled to bear the brunt of the conflict alone, as the great Edict went into force. Huguenot resistance was crushed in France; Parliamentary government at an end in England.
One power remained in western Europe. In the same twelvemonth that Charles I came to the English throne, and Richelieu to the head of French affairs, Frederick Henry of Orange-Nassau succeeded his brother Maurice as Stadtholder of the United Provinces. With his accession the fortunes of the state he came to rule revealed a strength which rivaled or surpassed those of far more populous nations, and did much to redress the balance thus weighted against the Protestant peoples of the continent.
Holland under Frederick Henry 1625-47
The second quarter of the seventeenth century was in every way the golden age of Holland. In arts and arms, in colonies and commerce, in intellect and achievement, she enjoyed a primacy out of all proportion to her resources or her size; while in wealth and general prosperity her people surpassed all other nations of the continent. Thanks to her policy of toleration which insured freedom of speech and residence to all, her own sturdy stock was reinforced by men of learning and ability from many other states, who sought within her borders the privileges denied to them at home. Her world-wide commerce and political interests served to broaden her horizon. Her social system and her polity, which afforded to thought and speech a license elsewhere unknown, combined to make her the most enlightened power in Europe, pre-eminent in almost every field of human endeavor of the time. Home of the greatest living philosopher, Descartes; of the historian and the founder of international law, Grotius; her brilliant group of scholars and scientists, Scaliger, the Vossii, Lipsius, Heinsius, and their colleagues, had made that child of the Revolution, the University of Leyden, the most famous seat of learning of its time. The United Netherlands were no less remarkable in other fields, with "statesmen of letters" like Huyghens, Hooft, and Cats. Her artists like Wouverman and Cuyp, Rembrandt and Hals, and their many contemporaries by their genius made Holland the art center of the European world, her only rival her cousin, the Flemish Netherlands. With great commanders on land and sea, like Willekens and Heinsius and Frederick Henry himself; with diplomats like Aerssens, Lord of Sommielsdijk, whom Richelieu declared one of the three greatest men he ever met; the United Provinces now became what Italy had been a century before to art and science, what England had been more recently to letters and sea-power, what France was to become in war and diplomacy,--the leading nation of the European world. Yet with all her eminence in so many fields, it was not from the Netherlands that there came any direct relief to German Protestants. That service was rendered by a very different hand.
At the same moment that Holland achieved this ascendancy in the west, the Baltic lands emerged into that same circle of interests, though under different auspices and in different fashion from their Dutch co-religionists. While Germany had been filled with the contentions of Catholic and Protestant, Imperialists and princes, the northern powers had been absorbed in another and to them a no less decisive conflict. In the twelvemonth that the Elector Palatine, fleeing from before the Imperialists, had abandoned his shortlived Bohemian sovereignty, Poland had been attacked by Sweden and the Turks. The latter, despite their early success, were soon brought to terms of peace; but the struggle between Poland and Sweden had run parallel with the war in Germany. Under the leadership of Gustavus the Swedes took Riga and Mitau, invaded Lithuania, and conquered Livonia. Thereafter, amid alternate victories and defeats, the Swedish king pushed his forces along the Baltic shores, taking Elbing and Marienburg and blocking Danzig, till he was checked by Polish successes. At the moment that Denmark and the Empire signed the Peace of Lübeek and the
Sweden under Gustavus Adolphus
Edict of Restitution was issued, Sweden and Polandcame to terms in the so-called truce of Altmark. Thence Gustavus turned his eyes toward Germany, where he feared the collapse of Protestantism only less than the threat of Wallenstein's successes in the north against Swedish ambitions in the Baltic. At that moment, too, France was relieved from the Huguenot danger; and the far-seeing statesmanship of Richelieu, marking its opportunity to enlist the Swedish power in a deadly thrust against the Hapsburg house, proffered Gustavus a subsidy for an attack on Germany.
Perhaps no single act in this momentous period revealed more clearly the altering character of events than this; for the same hand which had struck down the Protestants of France was thus held out to save their German brethren from destruction,--and that hand belonged to a prince of the Catholic church. It was the symbol of a new era in the great war. With the entry of Sweden and France into that struggle, its religious character, already complicated by the antagonism of the imperial and the princely ambitions, became a part of the long-standing Franco-Hapsburg rivalry. France and Sweden
Of all those kaleidoscopic changes which make the Thirty Years' War one of the great dramatic episodes of history, few are more remarkable than the sudden reversal of parts which overtook the combatants midway between the outbreak of hostilities and the first steps toward peace. After a dozen years of almost continuous conflict, the enforcement of the Edict of Restitution marked the nadir of Protestant fortunes. The war had weakened the power and reduced the area of the reformed communions, the Edict threatened their very existence. And as the troops of Wallenstein and the Catholic League were summoned to enforce a settlement which would have set back the hands of the clock more than three-quarters of a century, it almost seemed that the labors of Luther and Calvin had been in vain, so far as Germany was concerned.
On the face of affairs nothing appeared more probable than that the triumph of the Imperial and Catholic authority, despite their differences, was only a matter of time, and no long time; nothing seemed less likely than that any combina-
The crisis of the Thirty Years' War
tion of circumstances could shake their ultimate supremacy. But the very success of the divergent elements among the Imperialist Catholics set the impossible on its way to accomplishment. However much the Emperor and the Catholic League found themselves indebted to Wallenstein; however they had profited by his abilities, they now began to fear the ambitions of their savior more than they dreaded the dangers from which he had preserved them. That feeling was further embittered by the pillage and cruelties practised by his army, which lived on free quarters; and, at the height of the Catholic-Imperial success, the Emperor was compelled to dismiss the great commander and disband a great part of his forces. Wallenstein thereupon retired to his Bohemian estates, which had been part of the reward of his great services. There he rivalled the imperial court in ostentatious luxury and meditated those far-reaching plans which had roused the envy and fear of those who dreaded the power of the uncrowned "dictator of Germany."
Yet it was not alone the withdrawal of the great partisan which gave such dramatic emphasis to the summer of 1630 in Germany. It could not be supposed that a conflict involving the fortunes of the rival communions and threatening the political balance of the continent should not affect the neighboring powers. France, however Catholic, had reason to fear Hapsburg ascendancy. The rising power of Protestant Sweden looked with jealous eye not only on the triumph of Catholicism, but on the conquests of Wallenstein which trenched on the sphere of her own territorial ambitions. Thus, at the height of the Imperialist success, France and Sweden alike prepared to dispute the further advance of Ferdinand and his great general.
The Baltic power was the first to move. During those same days of June that Wallenstein was retired from his command, in a remote corner of the Empire a new Protestant champion was busy disembarking that army which, in a twelvemonth, was to alter the face of German, and, indeed, of European politics. At the same moment those Protestant princes who had been little moved by purely religious issues
The arrival of the Swedes 1630
began to draw together in defense of their title to lands now threatened by the Edict; while the masses of Lutherans and Calvinists, driven to desperation by the well-grounded fear of annihilation, and preparing for a last stand against the Catholic Imperialists, were nerved to fresh resistance by the prospect of deliverance.
The story goes that when the news of the landing of an army in Pomerania came to Vienna the courtiers hastened to inquire where lay the lands of this invader who now challenged the imperial sup-remacy,--"the snow-king and his body-guard." Yet the name of Gustavus Adolphus, "King of Sweden, of the Goths and Vandals, grand prince of Finland, duke of Esthonia," was not unknown in Europe. Russia and Poland had felt the weight of his power in the preceding twenty years. Wallenstein, who had sworn to take Stralsund "though it were attached by chains to Heaven," had seen his prey snatched from him by that hand. And the far-seeing Richelieu, who furnished the subsidy for this great adventure, had recognized in this "Star of the North" a weapon by which the house of Hapsburg might be dealt a mortal blow. For the Swedish king, backed by his veteran army, had already proved himself one of the great captains of history, not inferior to the only worthy antagonist which Europe then held, the Duke of Friedland, Wallenstein.
Gustavus' advent in Germany was the climax of a long period of Swedish development. The eastern half of the great Scandinavian peninsula, Sweden, seemed destined to rule the Baltic. Her hardy inhabitants, with their kinsmen of Denmark and Norway, had been almost the last converts to Christianity. Long after western Europe had come under the influence of Rome, as the fierce heathen Norsemen and Danes carved principalities for themselves in England and France, and settled the islands of the north and west, the Swedes had founded dukedoms in Russia and carried their arms as far south as Byzantium. With Christianity came a long era of uneasy peace. The land, divided only less than Norway by its mountains into small lordships, resisted attempts of the ruling dynasty to bring its independent spirits
The rise of Sweden under royal yoke. At the close of the fourteenth century the Union of Calmar united the three Scandinavian kingdoms 1397 I under the Danish crown. But the efforts to crush the-Swedish nobles' power, after a hundred years and more of strife, collapsed at the beginning of the sixteenth century. It has already been related how, while Luther led the Protestant Revolt and Cortez conquered Mexico, a Swedish nobleman, Gustavus Vasa, under romantic circumstances, had headed a successful rebellion against Danish authority, and had begun that stormy career which was to set his country in the first rank of European powers for an eventful century.
The history of Sweden's greatness was that of the Vasa family. Its founder adopted the Lutheran doctrines, which became the faith of the state; but the conflict between the old communion and the new was, like the coincident struggle in England, long indecisive. It was not finally determined till the close of the sixteenth century. Then the king's brother compelled his nephew, the legal heir, Sigismund, the Catholic king of Poland, to renounce the Swedish crown, which he himself assumed, as Charles IX. His design of making Sweden the dominant northern power and himself the head of a great Protestant league, led him, naturally, into conflict with his neighbors; and his son, the young Gustavus, inherited the wars and the ambitions of his father. When he invaded Germany he had been king of Sweden nearly twenty years, and most of them had been spent in arms. His struggle with Denmark had been indecisive. That with Russia had given him command of most of the eastern shore of the Baltic; while the conflict with Poland, which had just ended in a truce, provided him a foothold in northeastern Germany.
The Vasas and Gustavus Adolphus
From these wars he drew the experience which made him so formidable an enemy, and the well-equipped, well-disciplined, veteran troops the finest fighting force in Europe. By means of war he had diverted the restless nobility from further attack upon the crown authority. By the reorganization of his government into a bureaucracy, the encouragement of commerce, and the building of towns, he had at once enlisted the support of the middle classes and united all national elements in the common pursuit of glory and of gain. His diplomacy was not less successful. His assembly protested against the German adventure on the ground of danger and expense. But the French subsidy made their refusal of supplies ineffectual to prevent the undertaking; and the fear that the Emperor might secure the coveted southern Baltic ports gave the last impetus to his decision.
Yet his advent at first seemed unpropitious. Much as they hated and feared the Catholic Imperialists, the Protestant princes, even Gustavus' brother-in-law, the Elector of Brandenburg, looked with little favor on the intervention of a foreigner. The people in general, with the horrors of war still upon them, feared a repetition of Wallenstein's marauding policy. But both elements were gradually reassured. The Swedish discipline prevented pillage. The king's cautious advance through Pomerania into Brandenburg, securing his position as he went, gave neither his enemies nor the neutral princes an opportunity to crush or betray him. His treaty with Pomerania guarded at once its interests and his own; and when the imperial forces under Tilly captured the Protestant stronghold of Magdeburg, massacred its inhabitants, and burned the town, a sudden revulsion of sentiment and interest brought allies to the Swedish king. Joined by John George of Saxony, he advanced to Leipzig, and there, on the field of Breitenfeld, fifteen months after his landing, the Imperialists were defeated. Thence he advanced to southern Germany, despatching his Saxon ally to Bohemia. Through Thuringia and Franconia to the Danube and the Rhine, defeating Tilly again at Rain, taking Augsburg and Munich, besieging Maximilian in Ingolstadt, and finally establishing themselves in camp near Nuremberg, the Swedes became the dominant power in the Empire.
Against them the Emperor and the League had proved helpless and, in this crisis, all eyes turned to Wallenstein. He was at first obdurate to the imperial appeals, consenting, only after long supplication, to raise a force but refusing its command. The magic of his name called to his standard fifty thousand men. His genius formed them into an army, Wallenstein dependent on himself. Still he refused command till, in despair, the Emperor yielded all. Wallenstein was created commander-in-chief, not only of the Emperor's forces and those of the Archdukes, but of the Spanish troops. An Austrian hereditary territory was to be given him. He was empowered to confiscate estates, grant pardons and reliefs, and have sovereign jurisdiction over conquered lands. No such powers have ever been conferred by any sovereign, before or since, as these which, were he successful, would have made this great adventurer the master of Germany.
The end seemed to justify the means. Almost at once Wallenstein drove the Saxons from Prague; and, with the Elector of Bavaria, he advanced to form a camp over against that of the Swedes at Nuremberg. Thence he turned to cut Gustavus' communications and overpower Saxony, and, to check this, the Swedes hastened by forced marches to forestall him. At Lützen, near the scene of the first great Swedish victory, the forces met, with results disastrous to both sides. The Imperialists were defeated decisively, with the loss of their greatest cavalry leader, Pappenheim. But the Swedish triumph was dearly bought; for, at the moment of victory, their king met his death. His fall may have saved Germany from partition and Swedish dominance but it was the greatest loss his party could have sustained, and for the time it seemed irreparable. But though none of his generals possessed his ability, the Swedes did not lack competent commanders trained in his school; and in the chancellor, Axel Oxenstierna, they found a statesman-diplomatist not unequal to Gustavus himself. Bernhard of Saxe-Weimar, Baner, and Horn assumed command of the army. The chancellor took direction of foreign affairs; and a league was formed between the Swedes and the German circles of Swabia, Franconia, and the Rhine provinces, while France continued to support their cause.
Lützen and the death of Gustavus
Even so, the Protestant allies might well have feared the Catholic-Imperialist-Spanish forces commanded by the genius of Wallenstein. But in this crisis, as before, that alliance again collapsed. The scarcely veiled ambitions of the Imperialist general, whose ability had raised him to the position
The disgrace and death of Wallenstein
of an all but independent power in Europe, provoked suspicion as well as jealousy. The Spanish party, in particular, was fearful of his schemes. Their fear was not without foundation. After Gustavus' death, Wallenstein had done little to offend the Swedes; he had negotiated with them, the Saxons, and the French; and, apart from what wider dreams he had of winning for himself a kingdom in Germany, he had determined to overthrow the Spanish influence in the Empire. The consequences were not long delayed. Fifteen months, almost to a day, from the battle of Lützen an imperial proclamation removed him from his command; and a week later he was assassinated by some of his own officers whom the Emperor richly rewarded for their treachery.
Hard on the crowning tragedy of this momentous period, the Imperialist victory over the Swedes at Nördlingen apparently put the game again in the hands of the Emperor, and when, in the following year, the Peace of Prague was signed between him and the Elector of Saxony, the conflict seemed inclining to a termination favorable to the Imperial and Catholic interests. That peace, accepted by most of the Protestant estates, including Brandenburg, gave to the possessors of estates confiscated before the convention of Passau perpetual ownership. All others were to remain as they were in November, 1627, for forty years, and, barring a new arrangement before the end of that period, forever thereafter. With this, with amnesty for the Bohemian-Palatinate disturbances, with toleration for the Lutherans, and an agreement to make common cause against the Swedes the third phase of the German conflict came to an end.
The Peace of Prague 1635
But if any of the diplomats who drew up this treaty believed the end of struggle was at hand, or even brought nearer by its terms, they were soon undeceived. It was far from the plans of the outside powers to allow Germanyto settle her own affairs. Where Gustavus left off Richelieu began. It had been the policy and the subsidies of France which had called in the Swedes against the Empire and maintained their armies after their king's death. It had been the Spanish party and the League which had pushed on the
The entry of France
dismissal of Wallenstein; and it was his death which had checked his deep designs looking toward the expulsion of Spanish influence and the enforcement of imperial peace, together with what personal aggrandizement he had dreamed of in a reformed Empire. It was the Peace of Prague, with its Lutheran concessions, which left Sweden and France the chief opponents of the Emperor and his Spanish supporters as the conflict declined into a phase of the longstanding Bourbon-Hapsburg rivalry.
The seven years which followed the Peace of Prague, therefore, saw rather a shifting of interests than any cessation in conflict. For four years France confined her efforts to the support of Bernhard of Saxe-Weimar, who strove to conquer a new state for himself in place of that duchy of Franconia which the battle of Nördlingen had cost him. After his death French generals and French troops as well as French subsidies were poured into Germany to retain what their ally had won. Meanwhile the Swedes under Baner had won the battle of Wittstock over the Saxons and the Imperialists, and secured themselves in northern Germany as France had established her power along the Rhine with the capture of Breisach.
The Swedish-French period 1635-48
But already the actors in the drama were changing. The long-enduring Ferdinand Il was succeeded by his son, Ferdinand III, who, above all things, was desirous of peace. Three years thereafter George William of Brandenburg was followed by that Frederick William, to whom a later generation gave the title of the Great Elector. The ducal house of Pomerania became extinct; and Baner's death brought Torstenson to the command of the Swedish armies. Of these changes only the last had no effect upon the situation of affairs, for Sweden's military ascendancy remained unimpaired. Within a year after his succession to command Torstenson defeated the Imperialists at Leipzig and laid the hereditary estates of the Emperor open to invasion. The effect of his continued success was twofold. On the one hand, the imperial authorities were the more inclined to peace; and, even before his last victory, preliminary steps toward a con-
gress had been held at Hamburg, which the advance of Swedish arms had accelerated. Meanwhile the Danes, jealous of Swedish ascendancy, had seized the opportunity to fall upon their rivals in the rear. But Christian's forces were overwhelmed by Torstenson, whose rapid advance carried him across Holstein and Schleswig to Jutland and compelled the Danish king to sue for peace at the same moment that the Austrians and Bavarians checked the successes of the French in the south. 1643
Thenceforth the contest resolved itself into a series of efforts on the part of either side to influence the negotiations begun at Münster and Osnabrüek in Westphalia, and the remaining operations of the Swedish-Danish war. These last, however destructive and however expressive of national and dynastic forces, were of small importance to any interests save those of the ambitious rulers who sought the advantage of their respective governments at the expense of Europe generally. Far more significant were the circumstances in the British Isles, where, in these years, the differences between the people and the crown, and the concurrent controversy between the church and the dissenters, had gradually tended toward armed conflict. There, in the same year that Sweden and France had finally established themselves in northern and western Germany, the trial of an English squire for refusing to pay his assessment of ship-money, and the outbreak against the use of the English liturgy in Scotland, brought the crisis to a head. And there, in the same months that the diplomats assembled for the great congress which was to end the German war, the English king took arms against his people and so precipitated a conflict of no less importance to Europe than the one now entering its final stage.
CHAPTER XX - COMMERCE AND COLONIES. 1621-1642
THE SETTLEMENT OF NEW ENGLAND;
THE DUTCH EMPIRE AND THE DECLINE OF SPAIN
BESIDE the earth-compelling conflict in Germany, the rise of Sweden and Holland to the rank of first-rate powers, and the emergence of France again into international importance, the concerns of the extra-European world during the third and fourth decades of the seventeenth century may well seem of minor importance. Yet, it has been observed, those concerns, even in their earlier stages, were by no means insignificant, in relation to the fortunes of the continent. During the period now being considered they yield little in importance even to Protestantism's fight for life, or to the revival of royal authority in France and its decline in England. For the conflicts between rival communions and opposing schools of political thought were scarcely less evident in the struggle for sea-power between Spain and the Netherlands and in the colonizing of North America than they were in Germany and England, nor destined to less ultimate consequence. If these needed proof of their importance it might be found in the attitude of the greatest statesman of the time toward extra-European enterprises and affairs.
Europe beyond the sea
The great French minister, Richelieu, had early perceived his opportunity in the Atlantic no less than in central Europe; and, as Coligni more than half a century before had seen in America a refuge for his persecuted co-religionists, so now the Cardinal dreamed of a great empire oversea. Amid the manifold concerns which filled the early years of his administration, none was of greater interest to him than the
formation of a naval force able to contend with Huguenot resistance, protect French coasts and commerce, and give his country a place in what he recognized as the new world politics. He created, and himself assumed, the post of "grand master and superintendent of navigation," doubled the Mediterranean fleet, and built a navy for the high seas, among whose vessels the Couronne, of two thousand tons burden, marked a fresh advance in naval construction. "For no kingdom," he declared, "is so well situated nor so rich in all the necessary means of being mistress of the seas as France."
He was no less concerned with trade and colonies. Scarcely was he in power when he projected the so-called Company of Morbihan, to trade with America; and when that design was defeated by the refusal of the Breton parlement to sanction what it regarded as an infringement of its people's rights, he revived the Company of New France as the Company of the Hundred Associates, in which Champlain became a leading figure. The Company of St. Christopher and that strangely named Compagnie de la Nocelle de St. Pierre Fleurdelisée were set up; and with these he proposed to extend French trade and power in the New World.
These far-reaching plans broke on the rock of foreign policy. England, seeking to aid the Huguenots, despatched a squadron to Quebec, carried its settlers away, and for a time balked Richelieu's designs. And though the African pirates were repressed, though commerce was revived with northwest Africa, and the Company of St. Christopher occupied the island which gave it name, the effort to plant a settlement in the Caribbean failed in the face of Spanish and English hostility. Thus French trade, like French colonization, for the moment felt no fresh impulse. To all intents it seemed that its prospects were scarcely more promising than the plans of Sweden, which had secured the services of the founder of the Dutch West India Company, Usselincx, to plant a settlement in Australia. But this was due neither to Richelieu's lack of interest nor to the insignificance of the prize he sought. Rather it was the inevitable consequence of
1629 the situation in which he found himself, and of forces beyond even his control.
Meanwhile England, amid her disturbances at home and her disappointments abroad, fared somewhat better. The English East India Company, indeed, had fallen on evil days. It was hampered by royal shortsightedness, which refused to look upon the eastern trade as a national concern. It was disinclined to send its ablest men abroad, and it was disturbed by English interlopers no less than by the Dutch. Not until nearly a decade after Amboyna, when the establishment of a new dynasty in Golconda and the extension of Mogul power over Gujerat gave it the support of native authority which its system of trade required, did it begin to recover from the injuries which the Dutch had wrought. For it had prospered meanwhile scarcely more than the Danish company whose posts, neglected by a monarch absorbed in German wars, only endured by sufferance of the Dutch.
England --in the East
But in the West Englishmen found compensation for their failure in the East. Among the claims which James I's reign has to remembrance, perhaps the chief is that it was the time when his subjects established themselves in America. Their efforts were not confined to Virginia and New England. English settlements were projected north and south of these original colonies; and it is probable that these contributed to her first plantations more than they or their successors realized.
The year following the Pilgrims' landing at Plymouth, an ambitious Scotchman, Sir William Alexander, secured a patent for Acadia, re-named Nova Scotia. Upon Charles' accession that shadowy sovereignty was divided into baronies and efforts made to find settlers. At the same time, George Calvert, first Lord Baltimore, bent on that "ancient, primitive, and heroic work of planting the world," had secured a charter for the so-called province of Avalon, in Newfoundland, and sent colonists thither. Already, too, James had conferred the island of St. Kitts upon William Warren. Now, what was of far more consequence, the fertile island of Barbados, abandoned by Spain, visited and claimed by Englishmen many years before, became a center of colonizing
activity. Granted first to the Earl of Marlborough; settled by a London merchant-prince, Courteen; re-granted to Lord Carlisle; and finally re-colonized by the Society of London Merchants, it was at last reduced to order, amid conflicts of rival interests and settlers, and entered the circle of British colonies at the same time that the Dutch settled the coast opposite.
While England thus confirmed her occupation of the West Indies and the St. Lawrence mouth with these outposts of her middle colonies, those older settlements underwent alternate vicissitudes and success. The introduction into Virginia of the contradictory elements of slavery and self-government, during the second year of the German war, with the rapid development of tobacco-planting, had given the colony at once new character and new prosperity. To these were quickly added other elements. The communal system gave way to freehold farms; young women were brought over and sold to the settlers as wives; free trade with the mother country was established; and the new constitution went into effect.
The provisions of this notable instrument marked as great an advance in colonial administration as the New Laws of Charles V. They were of even more enduring importance. By them power was vested in a governor, a council, and a general assembly of burgesses, and while the acts of this first of colonial legislatures might be vetoed by the governor or the company at home, the latter's ordinances, in turn, were void without the sanction of the House of Burgesses. For the first time the local authority of a colony was thus put on measurable equality with that of its directors. Thus equipped, with an increase of immigrants, which presently gave it the largest European population of any single settlement outside of the old world, Virginia became the model for English colonial administration, the first and most powerful self-governing European society oversea.
It was not free from the two enemies of such an experiment, the natives and the crown. Its prosperity was hindered scarcely more by Indian attacks than by the Company's quarrel with a king who claimed the right to nominate its officers, and resented the frank discussion of his policies in what he called its "seminary to a seditious Parliament." Yet, though hundreds of lives were lost in the Indian war, though the assembly was suspended, and Charles I issued patents which invaded the provincial privileges, Virginia was too firmly rooted to be thus destroyed. Its population increased to five thousand souls. Its tobacco exports grew to more than half a million pounds a year; and when Calvert and his followers, seeking a more hospitable location for settlement than their Newfoundland Avalon, came to the Chesapeake, they found a sturdy, prosperous, self-contained society, ready to resist not only savage incursions but any invasion of its land and privileges by the crown or its grantees.
Yet with all the extension of England's power on the north and south, and the success of Virginia, it was in New England that the principal energies of her colonizing elements were expended in this period. Those elements were chiefly found among the Puritans who were opposing the crown so bitterly at home. Their first experiment had not greatly flourished in a material way, and it was many years before New Plymouth showed any such prosperity as Jamestown. Its early settlers were ill-prepared to face the hardships they encountered. Suffering alike from the hostility of the natives and the climate, ill-found and ill-supported, and with no such profitable staple as tobacco to reward their industry, they increased so slowly that after ten strenuous years they numbered scarcely three hundred souls.
But the colony was important beyond its size. Like Virginia, it had been driven to abandon the communal principle. With the withdrawal of some of its disappointed London backers, the rest consented to dissolve the partnership; and a new group, chiefly composed of the colonists, assumed the obligations of the enterprise. The settlers became stockholders. The land and cattle were distributed among them; and the little community was thus transformed into an independent freehold society. It exhibited amazing vitality. It resisted Indian attack; rescued an ill-starred settlement
1627 at Weymouth; and repressed its unruly neighbors at Merry Mount. It extended its own outposts to Buzzard's Bay, and northward to Naumkeag or Salem; secured claims in the Kennebec region; and, treating and trading with the natives and with the Dutch of New Amsterdam, it revealed a strength wholly out of proportion to its numbers.
But while it was thus engaged, the world of English politics had changed, and the colonial movement followed in its train. During the first year of the Plymouth settlement, a Council for New England had been incorporated, as the successor of the old North Virginia Company. With this there began a twofold movement of vital importance, as rival schools of colonizing theory sought to put in practice their widely varying plans. The one held to a policy of palatine jurisdiction, not unlike that which had established the county palatine of Durham as an incident of the Norman conquest of England, and still divided it from the rest of English administration. Under the scheme the grantee held all rights within his province, like the head of a Portuguese captaincy, a French seigneury, or a Dutch patroonship. On the other hand, a group contended for a form of grant and government more like that of Virginia or New Plymouth, looking toward the establishment of self-governing communities. In such fashion, in this distant corner of the world, the great political problem of the time took on fresh form and fashion, with far-reaching consequence.
Directed by the Council of New England, the northern territory was now apportioned and settled; and, amid quarrels over its fishing rights, and attacks in Parliament on its monopoly, the charter of this corporation became the basis of New England grants. Its chief activities were those of a land company. North of the original New Plymouth settlement, between Salem and the Merrimac, a Hampshire gentleman, John Mason, acquired a province, first known as Mariana. Between the Merrimac and the Kennebec he and Sir Ferdinando Gorges held another district, named Laconia, which was later divided between them under the names of Maine and New Hampshire. Beyond these great palati-
nates Plymouth and her neighbors had secured concessions on the Kennebec, while minor patents conferred lesser territories on other adventurers. To secure their claims further, the districts which they held were re-patented to the Plymouth settlers. They, in turn, re-granted lands along the southern coast to the Earl of Warwick, a Puritan nobleman who headed the party opposed to the palatine doctrines of Gorges and Mason. Thus were the rival schools given means to carry out their theories.
Meanwhile companies were formed and colonizing schemes were set on foot. The ambitious Salem settlement established a branch farther south at Charlestown; and the Salem Company, chartered directly by the crown and increased by new associates, was transformed into a corporation called the "Governor and Company of Massachusetts Bay," from the great inlet whose shores it proposed to exploit. Unlike the palatine jurisdiction of the Mason-Gorges lands, its patent was modeled upon manorial grants, as found in the royal manors of Windsor and Greenwich, and there was thus introduced another element into the province. Administration was vested in a governor and assistants; and, with the despatch of a strong band of emigrants to the Charlestown settlement, the English company's council agreed to transfer charter and government alike to the colony itself. The powers of the appointed officers were allowed to lapse. A new governor, John Winthrop, was elected; a fresh settlement was begun at Shawmut, or Trimountain, renamed Boston, where the first "General Court of Massachusetts Bay" was held; and under such conditions began the history of a new form of colonial society, even more self-contained than Virginia.
To this was added another enterprise. At the moment that Boston was founded, the Plymouth council had granted the Earl of Warwick a strip of the southern New England coast, between their claims and those of the Dutch. This he transferred to a Puritan group, headed by Lord Brook, Viscount Say and Seal; and at once the question of settling the Connecticut valley was opened. Within three years the men of Plymouth set up a house in this land debatable,
Connecticut and Rhode Island
despite the opposition of the Dutch, who had earlier built a fort in that region. Two years later, emigrants from Massachusetts Bay settled along the Connecticut, and the post of Saybrook was built at its mouth to secure the English claims. At almost the same time the region lying between the new colony and the old, the Narragansett district, was colonized by Roger Williams, fleeing from his persecutors in Salem; and shortly thereafter Rhode Island took its place beside his settlement of Providence, completing the occupation of the New England coast.
Such, in the mid-period of the Thirty Years' War, was the beginning of European settlement in a new region of the world, and of a new chapter in the history of self-governing communities. Save for the Providence colony, it did not, indeed, make for that toleration which came to be associated with these communities. For the most part, its settlers adhered to the principle of conformity to their own doctrines as the price of political rights, or even residence within their borders. Franchise and faith alike were determined by men bent not so much upon freedom of belief in general as on securing their own liberty undisturbed by royal interference and the intrusion of other opinions. It was the natural outcome of an age of dogma and force, the logical result of generations of the persecution of dissent by orthodox authority, and of the determination of all parties in the religious conflict to impose their own beliefs upon all men so far as possible.
The character and importance of English colonization
Yet it differed from the despotism of the Catholic rulers of the continent as from the absolutist tendencies of the English kings, in that it held a popular element. With all its theological intolerance, with all its petty jealousies, New England, like Virginia, represented the spirit which was to survive. And the settlement of America by the English made it apparent that the tendency toward popular independence in church and state was not to be overpowered by the reactionary forces in the old world, since there was now open a refuge in the western hemisphere.
To the final solution of the questions then at issue the German war had thus far contributed one element--the probable persistence of the reformed communions in certain regions. France under Richelieu had contributed another--the dissociation of religious and political issues in international affairs. The great results which flowed from the AngloDutch attack upon the Spanish monopoly had contributed a third--the determining influence of sea-power in the world's affairs. At the same time science and philosophy tended to undermine the whole fabric of the older conceptions of truth upon which the new communions scarcely less than the old based their theology.
The settlement of America by the English added another factor. Not merely as a refuge for the persecuted of Europe, but as an experimental ground for beliefs and practices difficult or impossible of realization in the more rigid and more complex society of the old world, America took on another aspect than it had shown under Spanish and Portuguese influence. There, for the first time largely relieved of that royal and ecclesiastical influence which had characterized the efforts of the Romance nations, Europeans began to found a society endowed with the experience of the old and largely influenced by it. Little hampered by tradition and system derived from the past, they were permitted, even compelled, to develop new ideas and new functions. Such an opportunity, given permanence, would almost certainly become a powerful factor in the evolution of Europe. The coincidence of the foundation of Massachusetts Bay, the Edict of Restitution, the dissolution of the English Parliament, and the final suppression of the political power of the Huguenots, is one of those curious circumstances in history which lends emphasis to this consideration. For, at the very moment that religious and political liberty in England, France, and Germany seemed to have reached a point where their extinction was but a matter of time, the New World prepared a field for their development in ways hitherto unknown to European experience.
But the progress of English colonization by no means exhausted European energies beyond the sea during this period, nor was it the force which reacted most directly on
Holland and Spain
old world affairs. That reaction came rather from the Dutch attack upon the Spanish empire; and its strength was not lessened by the fact that it was bound up with the material prosperity of the Netherlands. In this great period of her history her achievements oversea not merely made her rich; they lent powerful aid to her struggle for independence. They influenced the German war by weakening the Emperor's chief ally, Spain; and they ultimately contributed to the emergence of Portugal from the long burden of her Sixty Years' Captivity. For while Protestantism lost and won in Germany, while France and Sweden took their place in the first rank of European states, while England came into antagonism with her rulers at home and secured her hold on North America, Holland completed the destruction of Spain's seapower, and extended her colonial empire throughout the world.
The reign of Frederick Henry, indeed, began inauspiciously, since his tolerant policy was strained by the rivalry of Arminian and Gomarist; while the capture of Breda by the Spaniards drove the Provinces to seek French aid on the hard terms of lending a squadron to help in the reduction of their co-religionists of La Rochelle. And it was only when, in that eventful year of 1629, they retook the fortress of Hertogenbosch with French aid, and death removed their greatest enemy, Spinola, that the Dutch were relieved from their fear of re-conquest.
Meanwhile the activities of the West India Company had given them new power and new wealth. Its predecessor, the East India Company, having secured its foothold in Asia and Africa, was now directed by men opposed to farther conquest, and no longer took the lead in expansion. But the western company, born of the war with Spain, subsidized by the government, and operating in the Atlantic, where its every blow reacted directly on Europe, became not merely an agent of commercial enterprise, but an aggressive factor in the conflict with Spain, and a considerable element in European affairs.
The West India Company
Scarcely had it been chartered when it had despatched emigrants to the Hudson River region, to the Amazon, and to that Essequibo district which was to become Dutch Guiana; while, following the example of the English a generation earlier, it sent a squadron to harass the western ports of South America on the way to India. Meanwhile a greater enterprise was prepared. Nearest and richest of the SpanishPortuguese possessions in the western world was San Salvador, better known from its spacious harbor as Bahia. What Nombre de Dios and Cartagena had been to the English, this post became to the Dutch; and what Drake had been to Spain, the "sea terror of Delfshaven," Pieter Pieterzoon Heinsius, more generally called Piet Hein, now became.
His exploits began the year that the Palatinate was lost to Protestantism and Amboyna to the English. Sailing as second in command of a fleet of thirty vessels and three thousand men, under Willekens, Hein's desperate courage drove his ships against Bahia's batteries, and led his men clambering with boat hooks up the fortress walls, with irresistible audacity. The place was retaken by a SpanishPortuguese fleet, but its plunder enabled the Dutch to fit out another squadron, which, under Hein's command, seized the Spanish Flota, and poured eleven million florins into the coffers of the Company. Not in a generation had Spain felt such a staggering blow as this which at once impoverished her own treasury and added its resources to those of her enemy. Hein's untimely death seemed likely to relieve the Spanish power. But his achievements had done their work. They had shown the way to divert Spain's strength, in part at least, from its attack upon the Provinces, and inspired his countrymen to dreams of dominion in America, which became the next goal of their ambition.
Its most immediate effect was seen along the Hudson River, where traders, following Hudson's track, had begun their labors. There, in the year that Hein's great exploits began, the West India Company's agents built Fort Orange far up the stream. Three years thereafter, Peter Minuit bought from the natives the island of Manhattan at the river's mouth, and founded the settlement of New Amsterdam. With the
The New Netherlands
best port of the north Atlantic coast at their command, it would seem that their fast widening trade through the interior would soon have made their Hudson River colony one of the strongest European settlements in the New World. Efforts were made to provide a basis of population proportionate to its possibilities. The lands along the river were divided into so-called patroonships, petty principalities of the wilderness, each with its river frontage, not unlike the Portuguese captaincies in Brazil, and the French seigneuries on the St. Lawrence. Colonists were despatched to occupy the territory thus brought under Dutch control. But the more profitable enterprises elsewhere in the world, throughout the East, and in Brazil, together with the great demand for men at home, made large emigration impossible. The company was compelled to depend largely on Walloons and Huguenots: and what might have been, under less favorable conditions elsewhere, a great and successful colonizing movement which should plant a powerful Dutch population in the western hemisphere, was hampered by the very forces which brought them such rewards in commerce and in war.
To some extent their fortunes in the East languished from the same cause; for, like Portugal before them, they had not men to equal their ambitions and their abilities. While the forces of the West India Company fell upon Bahia, the Dutch East India Company had despatched a squadron to seize Formosa as an entrepôt for trade with China and Japan, in silks and the new commodity of tea, but lately introduced to north European tastes. Under Caen's successor, Carpentier, whose name the Gulf of Carpentaria still perpetuates, and still more by the somewhat later discoveries of Abel Tasman, under Van Diemen's administration, a great part of the Australian continent, re-named New Holland, was explored. But no such wide conquering advance as had marked their entry into the East was achieved, or was now possible.
Meanwhile they grew rich. From these new posts, from their factories throughout the Isles of Spice and still farther east, from India and Persia and Ceylon, from an infinity of vessels scouring the coasts of Africa and America, from the fur trade of the New Netherlands, with the carrying trade of half Europe, a huge and growing stream of commerce poured through the ports of the United Provinces, leaving its sediment of profit to enrich their people. The income of the East India Company, despite its expenses in war, the inroads of interlopers, cumbrous bookkeeping, and dishonest agents, ran into many millions; and those of the western company, though they were promptly sunk, as they were chiefly gained, in warlike enterprise, were scarcely less.
The Dutch had learned their lesson well. In their hands war not merely supported itself; from the plunder of their enemies they drew the means to destroy those they spoiled. Strengthened and inspired by their profits and success, nothing seemed impossible to them, and they ventured to oppose all other colonial and commercial powers at once. Beating off Spain, attacking the Portuguese, blocking up the English in their feeble and scattered posts, rivaling the French in the fur trade and the English in their colonial experiments, the courage of this tiny state, thus challenging the domination of the commercial world, while it clung with difficulty to even the little patch of European ground it held, was equaled only by its huge audacity.
Yet, as in so many other cases, its success was due, in no small measure, to favoring conditions. Not only was Germany removed from any possible rivalry. The Flemish Netherlands was ruined by Spain; and England, like France, was preoccupied with other affairs. The six strenuous years which Richelieu employed in bringing peace to his native land had aided Holland as much by his co-operation against the common enemy, Spain, as by the slackening of French rivalry. And the diversion of Spanish strength to Germany, and to Italy--where France and Savoy joined to break her hold upon the Valtelline and the imperial claims to Mantua-served Dutch purposes no less than the dissensions between the English crown and Parliament.
Above all, Spain's own policy, her devotion to lost causes and impossible loyalties, became Holland's most powerful ally. From the fury of her soldiers had fled those Flemish
refugees, who founded, in their adopted country, the West India Company and the Company of the North, which, with the East India Company, divided the oceanic world between them. No less, Spain's support of the Catholic cause in Germany, on which she spent so much of her strength and treasure, went far toward costing her American supremacy. For the Spanish government, amid all its misfortunes, had apparently learned nothing and forgotten nothing since the great days of Charles V. Not even the tragic disillusionment of Philip III had been sufficient to produce a change under his successor, Philip IV.
The old pretensions to direct the fortunes of all Europe were maintained, though every year they grew more shadowy. The fatal economic and ecclesiastical policy stood unchanged; the system of favorites persisted. Lerma fell, but his place was taken by Olivarez; and though the new minister's talents were far beyond those of his predecessor, they scarcely compensated for the mistakes and arrogance by which they were brought to naught. Spain's trade and manufactures were now well-nigh destroyed; her agriculture ruined by deforestation and the drain of men for foreign wars. Her popular liberties were absorbed by church and crown, her economic strength weakened beyond the possibility of wringing sufficient taxes to support her vain and wasteful policies. The sober maxims of retrenchment, reform, and the encouragement of industry were cast aside, while her Quixotic rulers pursued impossible adventures in war and diplomacy, until, beneath their weight, the collapse of her position as a first-rate power was, in this disastrous decade, finally assured. She had, in fact, expanded beyond her capacity to organize and assimilate her gains; and, like a tree which has long stood as the monarch of the forest, she had begun to decay at the root.
In this collapse such of her colonies as were not involved in her foreign policy, and were not easily accessible to outside attack, had as yet no share, and, for the most part, flourished. The stream of bullion which they poured into her treasury, and which had become the chief support of her Spanish colonies declining power, had shrunk from what it had been in the preceding century, but it still remained considerable. Though Mexico had suffered a clash between the civil and ecclesiastical powers which involved an attempt to limit terms of service and exactions from the natives, the result was not unfavorable to Spain and the Indians, since the latter were relieved somewhat from their oppression, and the former's efforts to increase its revenue were not without result. And even at the height of the struggle with the Dutch, in the face of a world of enemies, Spain's colonies advanced their borders.
To protect them she embarked upon a policy, half European, half colonial, as a defense against the privateers who harassed her coasts, preyed upon her commerce, and disturbed her revenue, in the Spanish Main, whose islands and ports had long been her chief concern. The depopulation of its shores and the withdrawal into the interior had begun. Even Cuba was said at this time to contain no more than twenty thousand souls, and its whole western coast boasted only a few poor native villages. Already English, French, and Dutch had begun to occupy the abandoned islands, as St. Christopher, Barbados, and the lesser haunts of pirates and smugglers fell from Spanish hands. Meanwhile, to keep a safe entry for her fleets, great fortifications had been begun, first at Porto Bello, then at Havana, finally on the Pacific ports, to guard the progress of her treasure ships.
Following Hein's exploits, she took another step. A fleet was prepared, which, two years after the Dutch sea-king's death, swept through the Caribbean archipelago, and with its capture of prisoners, guns, and plunder, revealed at once the profits of the pirates and the smugglers, and the strength of that traffic. Thus, while the rich trade of Portugal was filched from her in the East, Spain secured the wealth of mines and herds and plantations in America, behind an impenetrable wilderness. Its few entries were controlled by impregnable fortresses; and so, "like a huge turtle basking in the sun, protected by its shell, and showing only here and there a tooth or claw," she lay before the onslaughts of her foes.
But while she thus secured her colonies abroad, she faced new dangers at home. The subject kingdom of Portugal, now languishing for nearly sixty years under the hated control of her oldest enemy, had grown more and more restive till the discontent had become acute. Portugal had been dragged in the wake of Spanish misfortunes, sharing the worst evils of a policy in which she had no voice. Her losses and her enemies had increased with every conflict in which Spain had been engaged; and she was taxed to support wars where she had nothing to gain and everything to lose. Under the fury of the Dutch attack the last vestige of her colonial strength in the East had all but disappeared. The viceroy's authority, long since reduced to little more than the direction of military expeditions and the supervision of the ports of Malabar, had become a shadow of its former greatness. The royal efforts to check the corruption of the governors had degenerated into a costly farce, since it seemed almost a virtue to rob the hated authorities of the alien king.
The Portuguese Empire
War, poverty, and misgovernment combined to impede reform. The army grew, but not by European additions, since recruiting in Portugal finally proved impossible; and the natives, improperly armed, equipped, and officered, were useless. No less, corruption in the service increased till not even the heroic step of melting the copper coinage into cannon could replace the loss by theft and capture of that once dreaded artillery. Meanwhile her strength by sea came to an end. The navy, weakened by Dutch and English attack, declined in numbers, discipline, and skill. The shipwreck of Menezes' fleet in the fifth year of Philip IV's ill-fated reign, marked the beginning of the end; and when, a dozen years thereafter, the Dutch destroyed a Portuguese armada off Pernambuco, sea-power disappeared. Of that great navy which had held the seaway to the East the Tagus sheltered less than a dozen little vessels. In place of those great fleets which once bore the wealth of Asia from Goa to Lisbon, English ships were hired to transport what remained of that fast-fading commerce. As, a hundred years before, the wharves of Venice and Genoa had been deserted for those
of Lisbon, so now the latter were replaced by those of Amsterdam and her neighbors. Batavia supplanted Goa as the European capital of the East; Dutch factor took the place of Portuguese governor; and of her far-flung empire the unfortunate kingdom, now a mere province, still retained only the Atlantic islands and Brazil in any semblance of their former strength
Powerless to resist the English, French, and Dutch encroachments in the years following the Armada, these were saved from conquest partly by bending to the storm and partly by their relative insignificance, as the attack swept by to richer prizes. Portugal's subjection to the Spanish yoke, indeed, worked them some benefit. Through hatred of their Spanish rulers, many Portuguese sought refuge in the colonies. The Azores, aided by France, had kept out Philip II's squadrons for three years after he became king of Portugal; and Portuguese exiles made up a large proportion of the emigrants who established about Maranhão in Brazil what became one of the most intelligent and prosperous of the new world colonies. The Atlantic possessions
Few periods of European history are more notable than the third and fourth decades of the seventeenth century, whether we consider the epoch-making events in Europe itself or the no less spectacular circumstances under which the northern powers established themselves in regions oversea. It was a time of great and far-reaching activities, of heroic characters and dramatic occurrences, of sweeping changes and romantic episodes, within and without Europe. From the direct consequences of the continental struggle South America was notably free save for the Dutch attempts on northern Brazil; and in so far the history of the Spanish colonies, whether in comparison with the events taking elsewhere in the world, or in comparison with their own past, was relatively tranquil. Yet, while great were being fought out in the old world, South America revealed three movements, of much consequences to its development, and of a quality as romantic and extraordinary as that of any concurrent European circumstance. The first of these was the
The Jesuits and Paraguay
rise of a new and unique state in the heart of the southern continent, which was no less noteworthy in that it seemed the echo of an age already passing. Of all the activities by which the Europeans spread their faith and culture none is more remarkable than that by which, in this mid-period of the Thirty Years' War, the Jesuits extended their influence in South America. It yields nothing to the labors of Xavier in the East nor to those of his order in the northern continent; and its results are still apparent among those peoples now brought under its authority. These were the Guaranis, whose tribes dwelt between the Andes and the Atlantic. A peaceful, agricultural race, they lent themselves as readily to conversion as they had to conquest by their fiercer neighbors; and in them the Jesuits found a fertile field for their endeavors.
From the northern ports, the successors of Nobrega had early made their way to the interior; but it was in the south that his order met its most conspicuous success. There, following the Parana and the Uruguay, they had established missionary posts about the beginning of the sixteenth century. From these they soon began to weave the fabric of a theocracy. The Indians were grouped in villages, each with its church and priest, and native officials under Jesuit tutelage. A communal system abolished private property; and the surplus, shipped out at Buenos Ayres, provided money for taxes, for manufactures beyond the capacity of these farming groups to make for themselves, and for church ornaments. To protect their charge from outside attack, whether native, Spanish, or Portuguese, the fathers armed and drilled a militia. And to preserve the natives from the contaminating influence of European life, the whole community was made virtually a hermit state. Such was the remarkable society founded in the heart of eastern South America, which for a hundred and fifty years remained the unique product of missionary enterprise.
If its principles and practices had been more common, the history of the Spanish empire in the western hemisphere might have been spared some of its darker chapters. But
The Paulistas even while this curious experiment was taking form two forces of a widely different character were making themselves felt at opposite ends of the continent. The first was due to the activities of the so-called Paulistas, the warlike inhabitants of the province of São Paulo in southern Brazil, who held the lands stretching westward from Rio Janeiro to the Jesuit settlements of Paraguay. A mixed people who combined the vigor of the pioneer with the pursuits of planting and slave-hunting, they formed the most aggressive element of Portuguese empire-builders in the New World. Their bands ranged the wild interior in search of slaves, their prospectors sought for gold in the mountainous country to the north, while their outposts harassed the Spanish and the Jesuit settlements to the west. Half-settlers, half-brigands, they spread at once their power and the terror of their wild exploits over a wide area which they made a bulwark against the Spaniards of La Plata and the Argentine, destined to preserve the Portuguese supremacy in Brazil.
Of different composition but like methods was the second force which threatened Spain's authority at the other end of her empire, the Caribbean lands. There, following the English attack upon Spanish monopoly, an adventurous element had found a foothold in the half-abandoned islands, beginning with San Domingo. Chiefly Dutch, French, and English, these broken or desperate men, wild spirits, or criminals fleeing from justice, found refuge here. They early learned from the natives the art of smoking and preserving meat, so-called "boucanning," whence they derived their name of buccaneers. Every planting settlement was a market for this useful commodity, every island afforded a supply of cattle, and the industry spread rapidly. But their presence in the forbidden lands, and the disposal of their produce, brought them in conflict with Spanish authorities, and the result was inevitable. From hunting and butchering cattle they advanced to piracy, and in no long time Spain found a new and annoying warfare on her hands. Time after time her vessels swept the islands, but, the danger
and the Buccaneers
past, the buccaneers, emerging from their hiding-places, took up their old activities.
Such a force was not to be overlooked by states at war with Spain. In the year that Christian of Denmark had prepared his German expedition, England and France began to colonize St. Kitts. In turn Spain sent a fleet which scattered but could not crush the settlement. Five years later the buccaneers moved to Tortuga, and again, after an interval, Spain fell upon the settlement and massacred all its inhabitants. With that began a long, fiercely contested conflict which enlisted thousands of recruits from Europe, and endured for three-quarters of a century. Its great period was to come. Yet the extraordinary and romantic interest which it developed scarcely surpassed the serious importance of the curious episode by which, in this epoch of Spain's declining powers, another wound was opened in the side of her empire.
But the Paulistas and the buccaneers were not the whole of her tale of enemies. At the same time she was called on to face another and a far more formidable foe, that threatened her very existence in Brazil. There, with the development of African slave labor, and the consequent increase of the chief export, sugar, the imperial colony had become one of the most valuable possessions in the world. But its very prosperity brought dangers in its train, for Spain's chief enemy had scarcely secured control of the spice trade when she cast desirous eyes on this new source of wealth. For its acquisition Holland had already organized her West India Company, and established her power on the northern coast. Thence she had turned to naval war, and was now prepared to strike for land empire.
The successes of Willekens and Hein had whetted Dutch ambition in the western world; and Prince Frederick Henry was not slow to follow the lead thus given. Encouraged by the capture of the Spanish treasure fleet, and enriched by its spoil, the year following that exploit there had been despatched a powerful expedition to secure a foothold in Brazil. More than sixty vessels, carrying twelve hundred guns and twelve thousand men, were launched against Pernambuco in this new struggle for the mastery of the colonial world. The conflict was stubborn in the extreme. Pernambuco's port, Recife, impregnable from the sea, was taken in the rear by land forces; the raw Portuguese levies were crushed; the city fell; the intrepid governor, Matheus de Albuquerque, reduced to the interior lines, threatened the invaders from his intrenchments and cut them off from further advance. Thus the conflict resolved itself into a contest of endurance. Both sides sent out relieving fleets. The squadrons under Pater and Oquendo met in a fierce though indecisive battle off Recife; but the Spaniards, hopeless of dislodging the Dutch, sailed off to the West Indies, leaving their rivals the masters of the sea. Albuquerque's resistance thereupon collapsed and Dutch power spread rapidly between the San Francisco and the Amazon, leaving but half the old captaincies to their original possessors. So, at the crisis of the Thirty Years' War, Protestantism, defeated in Germany, promised to win for itself a new empire beyond the sea.
But Spain, reduced to the region between Bahia and Rio Janeiro, was little disposed, with all her weakness and her entanglements elsewhere, to endure the loss of half her Portuguese territories in America without attempting to regain them. Thus the years which saw Gustavus' great campaign in Germany and the settlement of New England, were filled with her efforts to avenge herself upon the Dutch. Her first attempt was most unfortunate. A fleet, gathered at Antwerp, tried in vain to land its troops in Zealand, and was finally ignominiously crushed by a Dutch squadron scarcely a third its size. Hard on its failure Frederick Henry took Maestricht, which controlled the eastern frontier of the Provinces, and held it against Spanish and imperial attack. Thereafter when the death of the Infanta Isabella, the regent of the Flemish provinces, brought the Netherlands under the direct rule of Spain, the Dutch, rejecting Spanish overtures for peace, seized Dunkirk, with the aid of France, and further secured their borders and their trade.
At the same time Prince John Maurice of Nassau was sent 1636 to rule Brazil, and his administration marked the high tide of Dutch power in America. The capital, renamed Mauritsstad, flourished anew with the development of the provinces. Trade and planting increased under Dutch management; and it appeared in this fiftieth anniversary of the Invincible Armada, that Holland, now secure at home, was about to take the place of Spain upon the sea, and absorb Portugal's colonial power in the West as she had already engrossed her commerce with the East.
In this crisis Olivarez rallied every energy of the Spanish government for a supreme effort to destroy its too successful enemy. At home a new armada was prepared, comparable to the ill-fated armament of a half century before; and eighty ships and twenty-four thousand men were intrusted to the experienced Oquendo, who was commissioned to crush the power of the Dutch in the narrow seas. At the same time another force was to engage the enemy in the western world; and a scarcely less powerful Hispano-Portuguese fleet was collected at Bahia. There ninety vessels and twelve thousand men under the Count de Torre were to be thrown against Dutch ascendancy in northern Brazil. To meet this pressing danger all the strength of Holland and her colony was summoned. Thousands of volunteers enlisted; ships of all sorts were brought together; and the command was entrusted to the greatest of Dutch admirals, Martin van Tromp.
The New Armada 1639
The crisis was not long delayed. Worsting the new Armada in preliminary encounters, Van Tromp met the Spanish in a last decisive battle in the English Downs. At the head of more than a hundred ships, manned by the flower of the Protestant Netherlands, he inflicted on the unfortunate Spanish fleet a defeat no less crushing than that which had overtaken the older Armada almost exactly half a century before at Gravelines. With the loss of more than half its men and nearly all its ships, the shattered fragments of the Spanish fleet sought refuge from the fury of the Dutch in friendly or neutral harbors; and with its downfall Spain was eliminated as a naval power from the European seas. Nor was this all. Three months thereafter, a running four days'
21 Oct. 1639
fight off Itamaraca gave to the vastly overmatched squadron of John Maurice a scarcely less decisive victory over the fleet of de Torre, and secured Holland's supremacy in Brazilian waters with undisputed possession of the mainland provinces which she held.
These disasters were but a part of Spain's misfortunes during this period. In the same year that saw the destruction of her last navy, the hatred of Spanish rule, which had already led the Portuguese to one revolt, came to a head with the proposal to abolish the Cortes of Portugal and incorporate the kingdom formally among the Spanish provinces. Never was such a plan worse timed. Taking advantage of her disasters on the sea, and of a revolt in Catalonia, supported by France, the Portuguese rebelled. Three hours of fighting in Lisbon overthrew the Spanish forces there, and made John of Braganza king of Portugal. That country, in the weakened and disordered situation of the Spanish government, was able to maintain the independence it had won by its daring stroke. Within two years, the favorite Olivarez, who, with all his industry and ability, had led his nation to irretrievable disaster, was finally dismissed, and Spain collapsed as a great power. Shorn of half her colonial empire, ruined by the proud futility of her foreign policy, her suicidal economic attitude, and the incompetence of her rulers, she ceased to be a leading factor in the world's affairs, and the pre-eminence she once held in European councils was usurped by her great rival, France.
The revolt of Portugal
Thus, in the mid-period of the German war and the English experiment in unparliamentary government was the extra-European world revolutionized. In the same twelvemonth that the first steps toward peace were taken in Germany, and England turned at last to civil war, Richelieu died and Olivarez fell from power. With that remarkable concurrence of events, Europe at home and oversea entered upon another phase of her eventful history, altered in nearly every particular from her status a generation earlier. The Dutch were now the masters of the East. They held no inconsiderable portion of South America, and divided the coast
line of North America with the English and the French. There the experiment of popular colonial government had begun. There the English people, removed from continental politics, revealed a spirit and an energy in their domestic as in their colonial affairs, which were to be determining factors in history Under such circumstances did the initiative pass from Spanish and Catholic hands to those of northern Protestants. And in their hands was again made manifest the truth of that great axiom of world politics,
"The dominion of the sea is the epitome of monopoly."
CHAPTER XXI - INTELLECTUAL AND SOCIAL PROGRESS. 1610-1642
THE BEGINNINGS OF MODERN PHILOSOPHY AND SCIENTIFIC THOUGHT
FROM the standpoint of that history which concerns itself with conflicts for supremacy between rival religious doctrines or princely ambitions, rather than with the new forces coming into the world with each generation, any account of social and intellectual progress during the period of the Thirty Years' War must seem even more of a digression from the main current of affairs than the description of those processes by which a new European balance was established beyond the sea. Yet if history is to be considered as the chronicle of the advance of the human race in all those elements which go to make up the world of to-day, it is apparent that the first third of the seventeenth century is of greater significance to us as the period in which the foundations were laid for present conditions and capabilities than as the age of the last great religious war.
It is no doubt true that had Protestantism been finally eliminated from central Europe, that portion of the continent would have been profoundly affected in civilization no less than in faith. But such a result is almost inconceivable, and, had it been attained, it would scarcely have brought about the extinction of that form of belief in the rest of the world. On the other hand, had Spanish efforts to control the sea been successful, or had the reactionary forces of Europe been able to check the development of those doctrines of liberty in thought and practice which had achieved the discoveries of science and the beginnings of popular government, together with the establishment of new societies in America, the present status of the world would have been far different from what it is. For, by the time of the great trial of strength between the two communions, Protestantism had accomplished its task of making freedom of religious opinion a factor in European thought, and its great services to the cause of intellectual liberty were reinforced by other forces which were, by this time, becoming competent to carry on the work of emancipation.
Among these two were most conspicuous. The one was science, whose triumphs during the generation which witnessed the Thirty Years' War had added enormously to the knowledge and capacity of mankind. The other was that spirit of liberty, which, expressed no less in literature and in commerce than in science, and now invading politics, found in every field of human progress new outlet for its adventurous energy, increasing at once the scope and content of life, and giving opportunity to the individual. The transition from the sixteenth to the seventeenth century
Nor were these the only factors which went to re-create the European world in this eventful third of a century. Great as were the political and intellectual changes during this period, they were no more remarkable, whatever their greater ultimate importance, than the material phenomena which accompanied them. Beside the more spectacular developments in war and politics, the more subtle alterations in knowledge as in thought, there came a change in everyday affairs, in the habits and practices, even in the appearance of European peoples, not unworthy of note even amid world-shaking activities and policies.
Perhaps the circumstance which seemed of greatest importance to the men of action was the development of weapons and means of protection. It was inevitable that the great conflict in Europe during the earlier part of the seventeenth century should produce an effect in land warfare comparable to the changes which had modified naval affairs in the preceding fifty years. With the invention of small arms during the previous century, the long-bow and cross-bow had disappeared, and the musketeer took his place beside the pikeman in the new armies. Meanwhile his weapon was improved. The cumbrous and uncertain slow-match by which he once Weapons set fire to his charge in the old-fashioned arquebus, had been first replaced by the wheel-lock, which struck sparks upon the powder in the pan; while the weapon was lightened from a form but little less cumbrous than the still older handcannon from which it had been evolved. In the early years of the seventeenth century came the invention of the so-called Schnapphahn, or snaphaunce, an early form of the flintlock, which was to be the prevailing model of the musket till the introduction of the percussion-cap, two centuries later.
Meanwhile, a large variety of weapons based on the musket principle were evolved--fusils, calivers, musquetoon, and, smallest of them all, the pistol or hand musket. Artillery followed a not dissimilar course. But, save for heavy siege work, it scarcely kept pace with the development of small arms, its greatest achievements being the Swedish invention of light and mobile field-pieces, and the use of a crude form of shell by the English. Before such weapons armor declined. A head-piece, breast- and back-pieces replaced the full suit of mail, as the old battle-ax and mace, shield and spear gave way to sword and pike. Thus in defensive as in offensive weapons the whole tendency was toward lightness and ease of movement.
Such changes were accompanied by others, more or less related to military affairs, or the trades affected by them. Not the least of these was dress. If one circumstance distinguishes the first half of the seventeenth century from its predecessors in external characteristics, it is the extraordinary change in the appearance of European men. This was effected chiefly by the evolution of the doublet and hose, with which, in a variety of forms, they had arrayed themselves during the preceding centuries. Such a change was due to two causes; first, the invention and development of knitting which evolved those garments known as stockings; and perhaps still more to the disappearance of armor, which had necessitated the adaptation of male costume to its use. With its departure the doublet shrank into a waistcoat, the robe into a coat. The long hose were divided during the sixteenth century into "upper" and "nether stocks," so to knee-
breeches and stockings. The extraordinary foot-coverings of an earlier age diminished into the more sober, if not more commonplace, buckled shoe. As armor shrank to back- and breast-piece, the suit of buff, or soft leather, declined to the buff-coat. Jack-boots protected the horseman's legs against the dirt, a cloak or riding-coat shielded him against the weather, a hat replaced the older and more picturesque soft cap of varying shape. And, after an era of wearing his hair in long curls, or cutting it short--as his nationality, his religion, his political beliefs, or his taste dictated--the wig was devised to cover man's natural hair or conceal its lack. Such, apart from the varying fashion which replaced the smooth or full-whiskered countenance of an earlier day with the Spanish or Vandyke beard, and that, in turn, as the century advanced, with smooth face again, were the changes which marked the transition between mediæval and modern dress and appearance,--neither a reformation nor a renaissance, but a true revolution in costume.
It would be a bold man who ventured to follow the variations of feminine dress in any period, much less to account for its vagaries. But, in the main, so far as the unskilled eye can determine, it would appear that toward the end of the fifteenth century the long flowing robes and the huge, picturesque head-dress which had chiefly distinguished the mediæval lady, finally gave way to that form of costume which would be reckoned as modern,--the skirt and corseted waist,--and, toward the end of the sixteenth century, the temporary fashion of the huge starched neck-ruff. That striking and characteristic feature of the late sixteenth and early seventeenth century styles was not confined to women. It formed a conspicuous element of men's dress as well. But it was soon cast aside by both sexes, and a long succession of lace collars, stocks, and neck-dresses ultimately evolved into the more conventionalized collar of the present day. And, apart from the merely curious interest which attaches to this alteration in external appearance during this period, these changing fashions are notable for two elements of more serious significance. The one is the fact that these new costumes were not only more practical, but that they tended to become, in a sense, more democratic, since, with all the infinite variety of taste and cost, men, at least, came gradually to look more and more alike, and those wide differences of rank and wealth which had once been so clearly marked, slowly gave way to greater uniformity. The other was the effect which these alterations produced upon industry.
It was to be expected that such changes would be accompanied by the development of handicrafts to supply materials for the changing fashions, and this became a principal characteristic of the early years of the seventeenth century. From the hands of the lace-makers of Italy proceeded those filmy marvels of patient skill like point de Venise; and thence transferred to the Low Countries, Brussels and Mechlin, with lesser centers of manufacture, began to rival their southern teachers. Silk production made its way to France, and in due course even to England, with other arts and crafts driven from the Netherlands by the Spanish Fury. Other forms of manufactures accompanied them. The steel which had made Toledo and Milan famous found rivals in the north, as English, French, and German metal-workers developed their resources. Spanish leather, Italian goldsmiths' work, with pottery and glass-making, and china-ware, became the material of industry no less than of commerce in many parts of the continent. To these were added contributions from many other activities. The introduction of tobacco brought with it the art or "mystery" of making pipes from clay, which developed from the potters' craft. The discoveries of the physicists brought into existence the art of the optician, with his telescopes and spectacles, his reading-glasses, and, finally, his microscopes. Moreover there came an improvement of watches, which, in this period, with the invention of the escapement, took on more likeness to their modern form. Finally the beginnings of the idea of "patents" or monopolies to inventors provided an appropriate stimulus to this activity.
Strangely enough, these were accompanied by altering tastes and habits with consequent developments in widely
Tastes and habits
different fields, especially relating to those which a considerable section of later generations reckoned as vices. Whatever obscure relation there may be among the manifold activities of any given period, it is a curious fact that the age which saw the introduction of a new form of costume took up the habit of smoking tobacco, began to use snuff, and invented the game of billiards. Nor is it without significance, among the minor facts of life, that the peculiar conduct of billiard balls, under stress of the impulse of the cue, is still known as "English." The introduction of tea, coffee, and cocoa or chocolate to general use, among the northern peoples especially, marks another change, of wide consequence not only to social habits, but, through them, to far-reaching streams of commerce and industry. The introduction of new plants, like the gladiolus, the tulip, and the tuberose, marked an advance in horticulture as part of the luxury of life. At the same time the use of one of the great food staples of mankind, the potato, spread through Europe. Introduced from America by the Spaniards, it found its way thence to the Low Countries, and, by the reputed agency of Raleigh, into the British Isles. It slowly but surely was improved and commended itself to the taste of Europe, especially to the people from whom, among the English, it took its name--the Irish. Above all, perhaps, the discovery of cinchona, or Jesuits' bark, whence quinine is derived, and its marvelous effect upon fevers, is one of the most important results of this era. For it soon became a factor not only in therapeutics, but in the exploitation of those malarial districts of the world otherwise incapable of European settlement.
Amid this manifold activity which revolutionized the whole fabric of every-day life one feature is even more conspicuous. This was the development in the use of intoxicants. During the middle ages,--after some centuries of mead,-the brewing of ale and beer from grains, and the products of the grape, had provided Europe with its stimulants. With the development of commerce, especially after the beginning of expansion, sack and sherry from Xeres, Canary and Madeira from the islands of that name; port from Oporto, claret
and Bordeaux from the Gironde; Burgundy, Moselle, and the various Rhine wines, had approved themselves to European taste and commemorated their origin in their names. It had early occurred to men to prepare stronger drinks by some process of distillation; and it is probable that we owe brandy and alcohol to the Arabs. By the first quarter of the seventeenth century their manufacture and use seem to have been fairly common everywhere in Europe. To these were added usquebaugh, or whiskey, prepared from grain by the Celtic inhabitants of Scotland and Ireland, and adopted by the English; while in the last quarter of the century was added the French discovery of champagne.
At about the same time the Dutch developed another drink apparently originating in France, spirits flavored with juniper--so-called Geneva or gin. And, as if these were not enough to tempt the taste and virtue of mankind, another spirituous product, rum, distilled from sugar or sugar-cane, made its way from the West Indies to divide the doubtful honors with these other powerful stimulants. Thus in the generation of the great religious wars the long rule of the milder beverages was at once reinforced by tea, coffee, and cocoa, and challenged by a group, nearly if not quite half alcohol, whose rapidly spreading use set Europeans on another and less temperate stage of their devious career. It seems probable that the general diffusion of these beverages throughout Europe in this period is connected not only with the development of commerce but still more with the progress of those almost incessant wars which for a century and more had plagued the continent with a horde of soldiers of fortune, drawn from every land and carrying with them the peculiar tastes and vices of their own countries to every quarter of Europe. To this wandering class of free-lances and freebooters must certainly be attributed the spread of disease and pestilence as well as of that destruction which accompanied their presence. Thus, whatever their contribution to religious freedom and political advance, the German wars unquestionably played a great part in the moral as well as the material degeneration of Europe in their thirty disastrous years.
Beside these changes in taste and customs one other alteration in European habits is no less noticeable as the sixteenth century merged into the seventeenth,--the fashion of resorting to certain places possessed of springs yielding warm or mineral waters reckoned of advantage in the treatment of many diseases. That custom, known to the Romans, and leaving its traces in place names wherever their power spread, from the German Aachen to the British Aquæ Solis--now Bath--had never wholly died out in the middle ages. But with the greater attention to medicine, to sanitation and hygiene, which affected the upper classes during the sixteenth century, and perhaps not unconnected with the revived attention to nature which accompanied man's relative separation from it as city dwelling gradually replaced outdoor life among larger numbers, these natural resources were again summoned to his aid. The town of Spa in the Netherlands,-which as time went on owed some part of its fame to the visits of great personages like Henry of Navarre and gave its name to many such places; the English town of Bath; the various springs in France and the Rhine region, and others of less note elsewhere in Europe, became the resort of those seeking health, by drinking and bathing in their life-renewing waters. The custom became general, and, within a century and a half, had grown to be a fixed habit in the lives of the upper classes, affecting society, so-called in its narrower sense, only less than health.
Such matters as the changing appearance, tastes, and habits of every-day life are scarcely consonant with the "dignity of history," as it is generally understood, however vital they are to the progress of what we call society, and however closely they are bound up with the most intimate affairs of our existence. Had these been the only changes which overtook Europe during this era, her social and intellectual history would, indeed, seem trivial enough. But this was not the case. At few other periods in her long development was she so altered from her old estate in the deeper concerns of life. Beside the infinite petty mutations in these more personal concerns, there came far-reaching changes in the most fundamental influences which move mankind.
It was now two hundred years since Poggio's discoveries of long-lost classical manuscripts and Prince Henry's conquests in northern Africa had given Europe that impulse to intellectual and territorial expansion which had produced such great results by the beginning of the seventeenth century. It had been a hundred years since Luther and Calvin, Magellan, Cortez, and Pizarro, building on the work of Wyclif and Huss, Columbus and Da Gama, had called into existence new worlds, religious and political, to alter the balance of the old. It had been scarcely more than half that period since the Calvinistic doctrines had begun to produce new forms of political and of ecclesiastical philosophy and practice; and the Teutonic North Sea powers had overthrown the Iberian supremacy in the oceanic world. The expansion of Europe, intellectual, political, artistic, religious, economic, was now fully under way; its line of progress determined; some of its results were already evident, and many elements of its future well assured.
Results of expansion
The products of the East now flowed freely into Europe through at least three channels. The shore-lines of four continents; far-stretching areas of the western world and of northern Asia; vantage-points in Africa and North America; most of the Atlantic islands--and not a few in the Pacific-were now ruled, exploited, or occupied by European peoples. Two great systems of colonial society had been established oversea; three more had made beginnings; and the areas controlled by them had more than trebled the extent of Europe's original territory. Her influence and her wealth had grown in like proportion; her people had become the great aggressive element in the world, and the chief factor in its politics. She had in her hands unlimited wealth of lands fitted for settlement. She had become the focus toward which was being drawn much of the store of precious metals in the world, to augment a circulating medium which enabled her to replace natural with money economy, to enrich the fields of industry, and to extend the scope and character of her commercial ventures. All the power of Spain and Portugal combined had not availed to maintain a single narrow channel for the entry of goods from the other continents into Europe, nor prevent the settlement of other powers in the extra-European world, much less ensure to their own use the flood of bullion from the East and West. Now as the exclusive age of territorial and commercial exploitation was replaced by an era of capital and competition, world-politics followed in the wake of world-commerce, and questions of polity were increasingly determined by elements once scarcely recognized as part of the old "mysteries of state."
But the progress of Europe had not been limited to material, nor even to spiritual activities. No less in matters of the intellect than in commerce and politics, the European at the beginning of the seventeenth century had found outlets for his energies beyond his reach a hundred years before. Classical scholarship had now uncovered a new world of thought and achievement, where the mind was freed from the mediæval bonds of scholasticism and theology. Art had attained unparalleled eminence. Great national literatures had sprung up, blossomed, and borne immortal fruit; new systems of religious and secular thought and practice had arisen. New handicrafts had been invented or improved; and science had revealed a whole new universe. As a result, Europe's intellectual resources had increased no less than its wealth, its power, or its political influence. The new spirit had begun to penetrate philosophy; it was about to invade politics, and ultimately it was to affect religion, as the search for truth, "daughter of time, not of authority," prepared a fresh advance.
Its most conspicuous result was to increase the dignity of man and the importance of terrestrial affairs, at the expense of mystical and supernatural elements in life and thought. It was no accident that from the canvases of the great painters of the period now begun--Rembrandt and Hals, Rubens, Velasquez and Vandyke--look out not so much the Saints and Holy
Families of the earlier schools, as statesmen, merchants, and men of affairs; that landscape and the business of life took a conspicuous place among the concerns of art. Holbein, not Raphael, was the prophet of the new era. Nor was it chance which led the statesman, Bacon, and the soldier, Descartes, to interest themselves in science and philosophy. Least of all was it a mere coincidence that the last of the great religious wars took place concurrently with the first successful revolt of popular liberties against royal prerogative, the rise of great commercial states, the foundation of international law and modern philosophy, and the actual transfer of European society to lands oversea.
Of all these results which flowed from the increasing knowledge of the two preceding centuries, none was more important than the revival of man's confidence in himself. Though still surrounded by the unknown, his conquests in the intellectual as in the physical world had begun to lighten the fear which had so long oppressed him that the secrets of the universe were unknowable. He no longer felt that he must die to learn, that all his prospects lay in a future state of which in the nature of things he could know nothing, whatever he might believe. The supernatural had begun to give way to a natural conception of the universe. Of all the gifts of science to mankind, of all the differences between the European and the non-European races, between the middle ages and more modern times, this emancipation of the intellect and the consequent unfettering of the spirit, this substitution of investigation and experiment for faith and authority, even for pure reason, was the most far-reaching and profound. It provided new material for the intellect which had fed too long upon itself. It replaced the superstition of blind belief, simple dependence on authority, barren logic, mere learning, empirical philosophy, with discovery and conquest. Beginning with the unearthing of the ancient world, continuing with the exploration of the earth, strengthened by the protest against outworn ecclesiastical doctrines and practice, the new spirit, though it could not solve the riddle of the universe, was at least able to relate man to his surroundings, and enable him in some degree to "think God's thoughts after Him."
Expressed in so many varying forms, a spirit of fierce energy, infusing every fiber of European life, had laid foundations of the new amid the ruins of the old. As always, the more spectacular operations of the destructive forces, which were devastating central Europe with fire and sword, overshadowed the constructive agencies. As always, the differences in form obscured the likeness of essence in these widely varying phenomena; for there seems small relation between the Thirty Years' War and the philosophy of Descartes, the Dutch attack on Brazil, and the Puritan movement in England. Yet in politics as in religion there was the same element of denial or distrust of authority; in commerce and philosophy the same reliance on personal judgment and initiative; in law and science the same respect for reason and investigation. Each of these felt a powerful impulse of secularization, not seldom verging on mere materialism, which was no less apparent in art and literature than in affairs.
The new spirit
This growing sense of the present and the material, of the worth and dignity of man's achievements in his world, appeared in education, which had long since begun to prepare its pupils for mundane rather than celestial activities. It was no less evident in commerce. There the reaction against the communistic element of the middle ages had been expressed in the substitution of great commercial firms and companies for the old guilds, as in the increasing absorption of common lands by individual proprietors. It was apparent in politics where the protest against the exercise of traditional and unlimited authority from above, which had inspired much of the religious revolt, was no less strong. The German Thirty Years' War owed nearly as much of its impulse to the desire to decentralize and decrease imperial power as to religious motives. The English Puritan Revolution was directed no less against royal and aristocratic privilege than against divine right in church and crown. For the tendency of the times in almost every field was in favor of the ascendancy of local, lower class, and individual interests.
The pursuit of wealth and power, like that of truth, in this new dispensation, was to be no longer the prerogative of the few but the privilege of the many.
However great the connection between economics and politics, there would seem small relation between them and the development of new theories of the universe and God; yet they were now co-ordinate if not consequent phenomena. The generation which fought the Thirty Years' War and revolutionized colonial affairs made far-reaching conquests in the world of science and philosophy. While Italian statesmen were absorbed in the fierce rivalry for the Valtelline, among their compatriots, Borelli led the rising school of iatro-physicists toward a new theory of the human organism. Torricelli advanced physical knowledge and invented the barometer; and Gassendi gave the final blow to that Aristotelian philosophy which had so long hampered the advance of European thought. While Germany was rent with carnage, among a multitude of less well-known investigators Glauber made his discovery of nitric and hydrochloric acids and contributed to pharmacy curative agencies among which the sodium sulphate salt still commemorates his name. While James I quarreled with his Parliaments, Horrocks first observed the transit of Venus, Harvey demonstrated the circulation of the blood, and Bacon pointed the way to intellectual advance in his Novum Organum. And in the very years that Holland fought for her freedom and her life, the French-born philosopher, Descartes, returned from his experiences in camp and field to pursue his studies under her protection. Thus with all the shifting of rulers and of policies which altered the complexion of public affairs, the developments in fields remote from statecraft presaged a change in human affairs more profound and far-reaching than any effected by the activities of war and diplomacy. The progress of science 1610-48
Of the various influences which were destined to mold the future of mankind, the progress of science, now taking on new form and content, was vital to the next advance of European thought; and the generation now coming on the stage was to experience a revolution in its knowledge and its intellectual power scarcely surpassed even by the tremendous changes of the preceding century. It has been observed that among the differences between a modern European and the non-European peoples or his own progenitors, none is more marked than his capacity to discover and adapt the forces of nature to the benefit of man. In that process the seventeenth century, from its earliest years, played a decisive part. Not even the discovery of the western hemisphere and the seaway to the East, the classical revival, the renaissance of art, nor the religious revolution, were more important to the development of intellect--on which European existence depended-than the rise of scientific method and the increase of scientific knowledge which caused or accompanied these more spectacular events and helped insure their permanent value to mankind. Before it all the dominance of logic and authority, which had led European intellectual processes into blind alleys, gave way to that combination of reason and experiment which enabled men to set themselves upon new ways to wider truth. It did far more than increase knowledge, though its contribution in that field was of incalculable importance; it pre-eminently increased the intellectual capacity of man. Freed from the dead weight of precedent and authority, as scholasticism gave way to humanistic scholarship, natural science had gradually become a principal factor in European knowledge and thought. Now, after a century of experiment and theory, it prepared to enter on its rightful inheritance.
First in time, if not in importance, was the basic science of chemistry. It had been largely divorced from alchemy by the so-called "spagyrists" of the sixteenth century, pursuing Paracelsus' dictum that its true use was "not to make gold but to prepare medicines." Thus it had gradually turned from its search for the philosopher's stone, which would transmute baser to precious metals, to devote itself to the performance of the far more useful miracle of transforming sickness into health. With all their errors and ignorance its followers pressed on to that "iatro-chemistry" or therapeutics which marked a great advance in this fundamental science. The six-
teenth century had seen the introduction and use of an extraordinary number of chemical preparations of antimony, lead, sulphur, iron, arsenic, and above all mercury. This last, especially in the treatment of syphilitic diseases, became one of the cornerstones of medical practice for two centuries. And it was of the greater importance because this terrible scourge--which seems not to have been widely known before-had spread through Europe during the sixteenth century, and added another terror to life.
To this development many elements contributed, among them, especially, the universities and printing. The earliest considerable text-book of chemistry, that of the German Libavius, which appeared in the last decade of the sixteenth century, bears witness at once to the enormous increase of chemical knowledge which the preceding hundred years had produced and to the tendency toward the establishment of laboratories. This, after the dissecting rooms and clinics, marked the next advance in science. Under such influences the old doctrine of "elements" broke down before the discovery of acids and alkalis, and the re-discovery of the types and properties of liquids as exemplified in water. Men like the iatro-chemist, Van Helmont,--who first described bodies resembling air as "gas,"--proved that metals continued to exist in their compounds and salts. Thus they introduced the idea of the unchangeableness of matter and contributed to a new conception of chemistry and matter alike. Men like Tachenius, who first defined the term "salt" and introduced quantitive analysis; Agricola, who founded metallurgy; Palissy, who developed ceramics; von Hilden, who, besides his contributions to pure science, invented the tourniquet; and Glauber, who contributed alike to therapeutics and to technical chemistry, widened the bounds of knowledge and added to the resources of mankind. At the same time they illustrated the connection between the groups of sciences which on the one side facilitated all industrial processes from mining to dyeing, and on the other reinforced the efforts of the men of medicine.
The latter, whether as scientists or as exponents of the art
of healing, had, indeed, still far to go. The earliest efforts to "discover man" had been, naturally, directed toward anatomy or structure. Throughout the sixteenth century there had been slowly revealed the complicated system of the human frame and its organs; and surgery rather than medicine proper had made corresponding strides. Curative agencies were still largely empirical; and though the development of watches and clocks and the increasing skill of the practitioners made the observation of the pulse and temperature possible, it was scarcely before the seventeenth century was well advanced that these invaluable aids to diagnosis were in any sense well understood, much less used. Nevertheless, with the progress of anatomy and therapeutics, assisted by chemistry, advances had been made in what was to be the next stage of development, the determination of function, or physiology. This was, in no small degree, hampered by theory. The Galenic doctrine of "humors," or fluids which entered into the composition of the body, blood and phlegm, choler, or yellow bile, melancholy, or black bile,--whence we derive our terms of temperament, sanguine, phlegmatic, choleric, and melancholy,--still existed, with its cures. These, by cupping or drugs, were supposed to reduce the amount of the particular humor and so restore the patient to health. Sanitation was scarcely known; and though the Black Death had virtually disappeared in the more advanced parts of the continent, fearful epidemics or plagues still persisted in the form of typhoid and smallpox for which there was as yet no adequate remedy.
It was perhaps inevitable that the discoveries in physics, and the consequent progress of the mechanistic doctrine of the universe, should have their effect upon medical theory; and there arose, in consequence, in opposition to the iatrochemists what came to be known as the iatro-mathematical or iatro-physical school. As one of the curious results of the work of Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, and the founders of modern astronomical knowledge, the principles of physics were imported into physiology. Under the lead of the Italian, Borelli, and his co-workers, a powerful group of thinkers, among whom the great philosopher, Descartes, was conspicuous, asserted that physiological processes were not chemical but the result of the laws of physics upon the human organism.
In some measure, perhaps, this conception of man as a mechanism was strengthened by the labors of the great English physiologist, William Harvey, with whom the "science of man" set forth on another stage of its pilgrimage. For, from his studies in Italy, and still more from a long series of investigations after his return, he developed his theory of the circulation of the blood, and the passage of the whole blood of the body from the heart through the lungs, where it was purified. That discovery revolutionized every conception of the human body, and brought to an end the errors of Galen which had blinded men to the truth for fourteen centuries. And whether, as Harvey believed, this heart action was a purely muscular or mechanical process; or whether, as Borelli asserted, it was neurogenic, or of nervous origin, the demonstration of Harvey's discovery in his Anatomical Exercise of the Movement of the Heart and Blood, which appeared in the tenth year of the German war, marks an epoch in science as great as the appearance of Copernicus' volume on the solar system three-quarters of a century before.
Stimulated by such work, no less than by the development of the microscope, and the consequent progress of the science of embryology, with the study of micro-organisms, the whole field of biology took on new life and form. As a century earlier the exploration of the unknown world had reinforced the uncovering of the classical civilization, so now the discovery of the earth and the heavens was compelled to share interest with the revelation of the physical side of man and the study of animal creation. For Harvey's work did not stand alone. To the labors of the compilers of the natural histories of the preceding century--the "encyclopedists," like Aldrovandi and Jonston--of Gesner, and of Harvey's teacher, Fabricius, who began the study of animal development, there had succeeded the problem of the origin and development of
life. To this Harvey himself added the study of the chick within the egg, which was to prove so fruitful a source of investigation for centuries. To this, in particular, was added the work of the microscopists of the ensuing generation, Grew, Hooke, Malpighi, and the two great Dutchmen, Swammerdam and Leeuwenhoek. Men still believed, for the most part, in the ancient doctrine of spontaneous generation, and it was to be a century more before that ancient fallacy was overthrown. But in Harvey's dictum, omne vivum ex ovo, "all life comes from an egg," was voiced that principle which in time led to the proper realization of the beginning and development of living organisms.
From such work flowed results of great practical as well as of purely intellectual benefit to the human race. For with the rational study of organism and its physiological function, joined to the progress of chemistry and materia medica, modern medicine may be said to begin. While it was still possible to prescribe messes compounded of viper's flesh, crab's eyes, human perspiration, wood-lice, and almost every conceivable product of almost every conceivable animal, real and imaginary, men began to doubt their efficacy, and to suspect the empiricism of medicine no less than the dogmatism of theology. European therapy, in consequence, began to include a great variety of mineral and botanical products of known properties, more familiar to modern practice and "pharmacopeias" began to appear.
How great an effect this medical renaissance had upon men is demonstrated by one remarkable circumstance. The seventeenth century was not only the age par excellence of the publication of anatomical tables of scientific accuracy and great technical value. For the first time the surgeon and the doctor became subjects for the painter's brush. Probably no other period of European art counts among its productions so many relating to the labors of these professions. It is no mere accident that the greatest artist of the generation, Rembrandt, should find in a clinical demonstration the subject of one of his most wonderful pictures. It was the symbol of a changing world that his masterpiece was but one of scores devoted to the delineation of an art once scarcely less mysterious than astrology, but now taking on the form and spirit of science, and so relating itself to actualities.
Beside the discovery of man, meanwhile, went on the exploration of the universe. Great as were the advances in those sciences which had to do with the human body, those in physics, mathematics, and astronomy, which revealed the secrets of nature and its laws, were still more spectacular. Already men were coming to perceive the influence of one of the greatest forces which later generations were to subdue to their service. For the last year of the sixteenth century had seen the publication of Gilbert's volume on magnetism, the earliest landmark in the study of electricity. In this remarkable work he not merely differentiated between electricity and magnetism, established the terms "attraction" and "emanation" as the fundamentals of the new science, but propounded the possibility of communicating this force, and even conceived the earth as a great magnet.
At the same time physical and astronomical science was developed in another direction,--the extension of man's faculty of sight. Centuries earlier Roger Bacon had declared the principle of the telescope, and his discovery had been more recently confirmed by three Englishmen, Harriott, Dee, and Diggs. Now, in this generation, almost simultaneously, three Dutch opticians, working independently, constructed a rude form of so-called "perspective glasses," or telescope, whose use spread rapidly throughout the continent. Coming to the hand of the Italian physicist, Galileo, it was perfected and applied to the uses of astronomy. Not even the discovery of the western hemisphere had more profound effect upon the European mind than this sudden extension of vision which brought knowledge of new worlds to man's intelligence. The mountainous surface of the moon; the composition of the Milky Way, which had so long perplexed astronomers and philosophers; the satellites of Jupiter; the peculiar form of Saturn; the phases of Venus; the solar spots; rewarded its discovery. European thought was revolutionized. The relationship between the earth and other planets
The telescope was revealed; the Copernican hypothesis confirmed. The old doctrines of Aristotle concerning the divine essence and incorruptibility of planets, which had so long confused mankind, perished in a night, with all the misleading mysteries to which they had given rise, and the way was prepared for new and rational conceptions of the universe and man's place therein.
While man's physical capacity was thus extended in the field of sight as Galileo revealed the wonders of the heavens, two mathematical astronomers, both in the service of the "astrologer-Emperor," Rudolf II, Tycho Brahe and his greater pupil, Kepler, following the footsteps of Copernicus, extended the intellectual vision to even wider range and so pushed the bounds of human knowledge further still. The one, among other notable achievements, began that study of the comets which was to dispel mankind's long enduring fear of those monsters of the skies. In addition he determined some eight hundred fixed stars, and compiled observations of the planets, which, in his successor's hands, "furnished materials to construct the edifice of the universe." The other enunciated the two fundamental laws of planetary bodies,-that their orbits were elliptical and their distance from the sun bore direct relation to their revolutions. With this Kepler not merely opened the way to the general acceptance of the Copernican hypothesis but established the basic principles of solar astronomy, which were to overturn the older conceptions of both science and theology. Tycho Brahe and Kepler
His great labors were made possible by a new invention, which he further adapted to the uses of astronomy. This was the logarithmic system, which had been devised by Napier to facilitate those endless computations on which the new science of the stars was founded. "Reducing to a few days the labour of many months, doubling the life of the astronomer and sparing him the errors and disgust inseparable from long calculations" . . . the human mind has the more reason to be proud of this invention as it was derived exclusively from its own resources. It did more than to render astronomy "supportable to human patience and industry,"
Napier's logarithms 1614
or give to mathematical processes "incomparable precision and accuracy." It provided new powers and new methods of human intelligence, by which nature's secrets might be unraveled, and added unlimited capacities to the extension of the mathematical processes of the human mind. Finally there was developed, though more slowly, the compound microscope, which presently revealed the infinitely little to European eyes, as the telescope had revealed the infinitely great, and thus extended man's capacity in another direction.
At the same time that the celestial universe was thus unfolded to telescope and calculation, Galileo was engaged in founding the science of mechanics. With the determination of the laws of falling bodies, the composition of motions, and the equality and opposition of action and reaction, he established the basis for the three laws of motion. Moreover, his demonstrations added no less to statics than to dynamics; while his practical inventions of the thermometer and hydrometer, with his theory of "virtual velocities" and his study of molecular cohesion, witnessed at once the universality of his genius and the scope and content of a new school of physical knowledge.
Galileo and mechanics
Unlike the scholasticism and the dogmatic theology which it was to replace, that knowledge was based not on mere thought but on experiment. It was not restricted to the resources of the human mind working upon itself, nor did it depend on the contemplation of unknown and unknowable spiritual mysteries. If the discoverer of America a century before revealed a new world to European eyes, the scientists now unrolled a new universe. Their work reacted powerfully in other fields. The rapid development of the learned academies and societies; even the investigation of the so-called "mysteries of state," by inquiry into politics and government and the origin of authority itself, gave history and philosophy an impetus which was to revolutionize European thought and practice in the ensuing centuries. However slowly this new learning made its way among ignorant and uneducated masses, however little it improved the facilities of every-day life, its spirit and results profoundly affected every field of intellectual endeavor.
Two elements this movement lacked. The first was a system of intellectual processes which should finally replace the formal logic of Aristotle with a true scientific method. The second was a system of philosophy which should take account of the advance in knowledge, and, by crystallizing its achievements and co-ordinating them with what remained of the older faith, provide men with a new intellectual and spiritual basis of existence. It is a striking fact that neither the Renaissance nor the Reformation produced a great thinker nor a new philosophy. Scholarship, religious experience, knowledge, and organization they had, with a revival of what, for want of a better word, we call piety. But it remained, strangely enough, for science to stimulate the faculties of thought to new achievements in the effort to determine something of man's nature and relationship as a creature of spirit and intellect. The need was soon supplied, and, characteristically, the prophets of the new era arose, not from among the theologians but from the ranks of men of affairs. Among the forces which Maximilian of Bavaria led to the conquest of the Palatinate in the early years of the Thirty Years' War, a young officer, René Descartes, French-born, and sometime a soldier under Maurice of Nassau, improved his leisure in reflections which led to the development of that philosophic system which revolutionized European thought and gave him a place in intellectual development scarcely second to those great Greek thinkers who had so long dominated the European intellect. Among the courtier-statesmen who adorned the age of Elizabeth and her successor, James I, Francis Bacon, sometime Lord Chancellor of England, brought from long classical and scientific study that summons to the search for causes of natural phenomena which became the next step of scientific advance. And, while these new elements were injected into the intellectual processes of Europe, they were reinforced by the labors of a Dutch jurist-diplomatist, Hugo Grotius, who drew from his long experience in public affairs, and his knowledge of law
The new philosophy
and of history, the material for a new theory of international relationships, destined to no less consequence in the world of political and even religious speculation than the labors of his great contemporaries.
Of these none better represents this many-sided period of transition than Descartes. He approached his great task of explaining the universe and man not from the standpoint of dogmatic theory, but by way of science and worldly experience, by reason rather than revelation, by mechanism rather than by morals. He was a child of the past but a prophet of the future. He accepted the Copernican hypothesis and the doctrine of the infinity of space, yet he was capable of pilgrim age to saintly shrines. He was dependent on royal bounty for his livelihood, yet he lived in Holland to breathe there the freer air of independence. And while he proclaimed the dualism of mind and matter he explained the connection of body and soul by a divine relation--or the pineal gland!
Philosophy he entered by way of mathematics, and he remained "a geometrician with a taste for metaphysics rather than a philosopher with a leaning toward geometry and algebra." Perceiving, as he said, "those long chains of reasoning which geometers are wont to employ in the accomplishment of their most difficult demonstrations, led me to think that everything which might fall under the cognizance of the human mind might be connected together in the same manner, and that, provided only one should take care not to receive anything as true which was not so, and if one were always careful to preserve the order necessary for deducing one truth from another, there could be none so remote at which he might not arrive at last, nor so concealed which he might not discover." In such mathematical and mechanistic spirit did this new prophet approach the riddle of man, the universe and God.
To this he added such knowledge of anatomy and physiology as his age possessed; and with this equipment he attempted to deduce from an infinity of axioms and definitions, observations and reflections, a system of belief, rational and irrefutable. In opposition to the doctrine of the schoolmen, "I believe, that I may know," he set up that dictum which might well be taken for the motto of all scientific advance, "I doubt, that I may know." His still more famous phrase, "Cogito, ergo sum," "I think, therefore I am," was the kernel of a belief utterly at variance with the older faith. His explanation of the universe and man as mechanism, and his rejection of all authority save that of reason, led him to adherence to a rule of conduct rather than of faith as the true test of morality. He assumed the existence of three realities as having been proved, God, the individual body and spirit of man, and the material world or universe. And in his great work, the Discours de la Méthode, he both systematized thought and replaced the older theological bases of philosophy with those of science. He gave the world new, glimpses of truth, and, what was still more important, a new method of approach to the riddle of the universe. This, rather than his establishment of modern analytical geometry, his proposal of the vortex theory of matter, and his enunciation of the laws of refraction, important as they were, remains his chief contribution to the advance of human intellect.
Before Descartes had begun his philosophical career Bacon had brought powerful and much needed aid to the agencies in which the French philosopher had found the inspiration for his work. What Descartes was to modern thought, Bacon was to modern science. What the Discours de la Méthode was to philosophy the Novum Organtim Scientiarum, written as part of a larger work, the Instauratio Magna, or new basis of knowledge, was to scientific processes. Each, indeed, was based in some degree upon the fallacy that a method could be devised to arrive at truth by an infallible system of reason and experiment, enabling mediocrity to achieve the same results as genius by industriously applying its method to the problems of nature and thought. That fallacy has not yet been wholly eliminated from either field. But Bacon's contribution, like that of Descartes, was far deeper than this. If the French philosopher laid emphasis on deduction, the English scientific thinker laid equal stress upon inductive
processes, and so clearly marked the point at which modern thought divorced itself from mediæval scholasticism. He enforced the doctrine of selection among the mass of observed phenomena, and thus fused reason into experiment. While he accorded theology the first place among the sciences, he declared the search for first causes no part of science proper. By this means he avoided the still powerful enmity of ecclesiastical influences, and laid down the line to which that branch of intellectual activity has since confined itself.
He was at once the exponent of the critical spirit and the prophet of the school which sought the sources of knowledge in nature and its progress through investigation. He "excepted against those who presumed to dogmatize on nature," as against those who asserted that "nothing whatever can be known"; and no less against those who "by only employing the power of the understanding . . . have laid their whole stress upon meditation and a perpetual agitation of the mind." "Our only hope and salvation," he declared, "is to begin the whole labor of the mind again and attain our end, as it were, by mechanical aid." "We must first by every kind of experiment elicit the discovery of causes and true axioms, recognize nature as man's true heritage, and seek not only phenomena but causes." Doubt, he declared with Descartes, was the only true test of truth; and the primum mobile, that vague, omnipotent "first cause," the only hypothesis to be advanced in explanation of the origin and conduct of creation to which he and most men give the name of God. Unlike the tendency toward the abstract reasoning which attracted the continental mind, English philosophy, beginning with Bacon, clung to the concrete and allied itself with science. It opposed equally the old schoolmen and the new metaphysicians, and founded its reasoning upon the surer basis of observation and induction. Thus, of all the schools of philosophy, it contributed most to the advance of the so-called "positive" sciences whose development was so rapid in these years. For to Bacon, and to most of his Anglo-Saxon successors, final causes were "barren virgins," and the line between science and theology, knowledge and faith, reason and revelation was clear and distinct. And "finding it impossible to write a history of what men knew, he wrote one of what they had to learn."
Finally in his incomparable Essays, in his Advancement of Learning, the first prose work on a secular subject written in English, as in his Novum Organum, the clear, convincing style, infused with wisdom and mellowed by experience, spread the influence of the doctrines with an eloquence which reached far wider than the actual contribution which he made to science itself. Thenceforth the instrument whose use he championed found no opponents in the scientific world. And though his actual experiments fell far short of Galileo's, though his philosophy found more powerful expression in Descartes, Bacon remained the herald and the champion of the new scientific host. For "he moved the intellects that moved the world."
From the day of Bacon and Descartes, though to most men, perhaps, the human race remained the center of the theological universe, and its affairs the chief concern of God, it was increasingly evident that neither the earth nor man held the position in the material universe that had once been believed. Still less was it conceivable, to a small but increasing element of thinkers, that any nation, class, or individual, whatever its relation to non-European peoples, held a divine authority to control the actions, much less the thought, of its fellow-Europeans. Unequal, unrelated as its progress was; while even Bacon knew little of Galileo and could not accept Copernicus; while Roman curia and most Protestant divines rejected the new learning of science, which filtered slowly through the masses of the continent; while at the same time that English royal power was overthrown the doctrine of the divine right of kings flourished and continental monarchs increased their power; the modern spirit maintained itself and made headway. It was, indeed, still possible for theologians to declare that "the opinion of the earth's motion is of all heresies most abominable"; but among the more enlightened laity the geocentric theory of the universe was fast disappearing before that of a heliocentric solar system.
The modern spirit
The telescope had revealed the heavens, not as the abode of blessed spirits, but as the more substantial and no less marvelous realm of planets and fixed stars. In the light of physical and mathematical discoveries it was increasingly apparent that, whatever the ultimate ruling power, the material universe was under the immediate dominion, not of an inscrutable and arbitrary Providence, but of natural laws, immutable, doubtless divine, but discoverable and comprehensible by men. For, rightly or wrongly, the mechanical theory of the universe had begun definitely to replace the theological, in the mind of Europe.
While Bacon and Descartes thus laid foundations for a modern world in the great fields of science and philosophy, while Galileo and his fellow-scientists advanced the bounds of knowledge in every direction, another powerful intellect invaded the realms of law and politics. This was Hugo Grotius, sometime historiographer of the Revolt of the Netherlands, advocate-general of the United Provinces, and author of a famous doctrine, the Mare Liberum, designed to controvert the Portuguese contention that the eastern seas were their private possession. Grotius was involved in the disturbances which cost Oldenbarneveldt his life, condemned to life imprisonment by Maurice of Nassau, escaped to France, and there published his great work, De jure belli et pacis. From his long experience in public affairs and as an advocate, from his wide reading, and his unrivaled knowledge of historical precedent, he drew materials for this first and greatest manual of international law. It was based upon principles of right and justice in government and society, derived not from the Bible but from morality. Written amid the distractions of a great religious war, it proclaimed the doctrine of a deep underlying "law of nature" in human relations, independent of religious beliefs and practices, and no less immutable than those great axioms of science then being revealed by his co-workers in far different fields. This revolutionary doctrine-whose ultimate consequence upon theology he hesitated to express--was supplemented by his contributions to the study of religion, a statement of the evidence for the truth
of Christianity, stripped of doctrinal argument, and infused with principles of piety common to all communions, but overshadowed or totally eclipsed by the contentions of controversial dogmatists.
Bacon, Descartes, and Grotius were not solitary thinkers, nor were theirs the only contributions made to the scientific and metaphysical spirit then making way in European thought. Before any of them had begun his labors the Italian, Giordano Bruno, first of the sixteenth century metaphysicians to accept the heliocentric system of Copernicus, had attacked the Aristotelian theory of the spheres and enunciated the doctrine of the infinity and the continuity of space. No barriers, he declared, separated our world from that reserved for angels and the supreme being. Heaven was nothing more than the infinite universe, God the soul of that universe, immanent, omnipresent, the eternal cause and active principle, the soul a vital principle emerging from and returning to the infinite. Philosophy was to him the search for unity; and--so far was he removed from the ecclesiastical influence--he derided the mysteries of the faith, and classed the Jewish traditions with Greek myths. It is small wonder that he became anathema to the church or that, returning into its domains from long residence in England and Germany, he was seized by the authorities of the Inquisition and by them imprisoned and burned.
To the teachings of Bruno were added those of another Italian, Campanella. Basing his philosophy upon the Greek skeptics, he held that all knowledge was founded on experience and reasoning; that power, will, and knowledge were the principles of being, which he regarded not as absolute but as relative; God alone being absolute, from whom all beings proceed and to whom they return. Like Bruno, but unlike such philosophers as Descartes, Campanella extended his speculations to the realm of politics, and his City of the Sun, in which he embodied his theories, became, after More Utopia, the next considerable attempt to delineate an ideal society. Unlike More's great work, it based itself largely upon Plato. It lacked that touch of life and reality
which makes the English theory at once more sympathetic and more practical; and it falls far short of Campanella's own description of the Spanish monarchy of his own time, against which he rebelled, and by which he was punished with nearly thirty years of imprisonment.
Thus in the hands of the philosophers was revolutionized the thought of Europe with its method of intellectual approach at the same moment that the experimental scientists provided more and more material for its use. And if there is one characteristic of this early seventeenth century more striking than another, it is the gradual penetration of the scientific and rational method into every department of human activity which related itself to the intellect. Its most marked result was naturally in theology. But it was beginning, in the hands of Grotius and Bruno and Campanella, still more in the work of the Englishman Hobbes, to relate itself to politics. There, in no long time, it was to play an active part in those practical concerns of human government which were presently to reshape the world of affairs no less than the realms of thought. Such were the movements which remolded the habits of mind of more than half the continent.
If, then, we consider the periods in which, as in our own, the whole fabric of society has been altered by changes in tastes, habits, and the contribution of science, arts, and crafts, we shall find few to compare with the first decades of the seventeenth century. To a man who witnessed the Spanish Armada in his youth and the disturbances in Germany and England in his age--and there were many such--it must have seemed that in his later years he confronted a new world. He would have seen naval supremacy pass from Spain, and England share with Holland the mastery of the sea. He would have seen but little political liberty, still less equality, and no religious tolerance, but he would have witnessed the conflicts from which in some measure all three were to spring. Had he been an Englishman, he would have seen or read Hamlet and As You Like It, read Spenser Faerie Queene, Bacon Essays, and perhaps the Novum Organum. A Spaniard, he would have seen Lope de Vega's
The early seventeenth century--the beginning of the modern world
plays and chuckled over Don Quixote; an Italian, he would have been enraptured with Tasso, seen Bruno burned at the stake and Galileo recant those doctrines which struck the final blow to the old cosmogony. He might even have observed with him those
Imagined lands and regions in the Moon, which
Through optic glass the Tuscan artist views At evening, from the top of Fesolé.
At Rome he would have seen the splendor of the completed St. Peter's, and listened to Palestrina's music in the Vatican. In Venice he would have heard the earliest of European opera. In the Netherlands he would have been absorbed in the great commerce which poured through her ports, listened to her scholars, looked with admiration on the masterpieces from the brushes of Rembrandt and Hals, and read for the first time of the doctrine of the freedom of the sea and the principles of international relationships. He might well have heard from the lips of Descartes those doctrines of the mechanism of the universe and man, and of the dualism of spirit and matter, which had begun to revolutionize man's concepts of himself and the world in which he lived. In whatever land, he might have learned for the first time that the blood circulated in his body; that the earth revolved about the sun, and formed part of a vast universal system of planets and starry worlds beyond. And in whatever tongue he might have read Montaigne. Meanwhile, he would have observed the appearance and habits of his fellows change before his eyes. He would have had to learn to wear kneebreeches and perhaps to smoke, to play billiards and muddle his brains more expeditiously with stronger drinks, to like or dislike the taste of tea and coffee, to cure his ague with quinine,--in brief, he would have come to think and do the things which mark him as a modern man.
THE PEACE OF WESTPHALIA AND THE ENGLISH REVOLUTION. 1642-1648
"IF an amnesty universally sincere and without condition is not conceded, and their rights not fully restored to the States, and the Treaty of Prague and the Edict of Restitution not fully set aside, if everything is not restored to the state of things which existed in 1618 before the war, all treaties of peace will be in vain--and everything will be in confusion, disillusionment, and dismemberment in the whole Empire." Thus wrote the Brandenburg agent in the first months of 1641, as his opinion of the situation into which affairs had come as the result of the long German conflict. It was, in brief, a confession of the failure of the whole struggle to affect the religious question in any particular, and it represented, virtually, the conclusion at which no small part of the German people had arrived after more than twenty years of bitter experience. But it was more than a confession; it was, in some sort, a prophecy; and its utterance reveals that the beginning of the end was now at hand.
The Thirty Years' War, which had now spread desolation over central Europe for nearly a quarter of a century, bade fair to exceed in duration and destruction, in the number and variety of contestants engaged, the interests represented, and the dramatic circumstances of the conflict, any such contest waged on European soil since the destruction of the western Roman Empire. Thus far the efforts to bring it to an end had hardly sufficed to produce even a temporary truce. The feeling that the Swedes would be unable to maintain themselves in Germany after Gustavus' death, the lessening resources of the Hapsburgs, and the death of Wallenstein, had combined to produce the Peace of Prague. This, though it
The dawn of peace
restored no Protestant ruler who had been dispossessed since the Swedes landed in Pomerania, and no church lands acquired by Protestants virtually since the death of Mansfeld at Lutter; though it afforded no protection to the reformed communions in Catholic states, nor to Calvinists anywhere, had been largely accepted by Protestant rulers.
But that treaty, as events soon proved, was far from ending the war. The persistence of the Swedes and the ambition of France made it of as little avail to determine the controversy as the ensuing conferences of Hamburg and Cologne, or the efforts of Pope and Emperor to ensure peace. None the less, most parties were inclined to treat, either to make sure their gains or to preserve the remnants of their power. Thus when, a year before the death of Richelieu, it was proposed to hold a new congress, most of the warring elements consented. The adjacent towns of Münster and Osnabrück in Westphalia were designated as a meeting-place. The district was neutralized; and though the spring of the year 1642, which was set for the assembling of the diplomats, went by without action, little by little the preliminary negotiations by which all parties sought to improve their positions before entering on formal engagements were consummated. Two years after the time set for the first session, the quiet Westphalian towns were crowded with the agents and ambassadors of the respective powers. There, under the direction of the imperial plenipotentiary, von Trautmannsdorff, the huge, unwieldy mass of claims and counter-claims began to shape itself into the beginnings of a final settlement.
Preliminaries of Westphalia
Meanwhile, beyond the long, tortuous negotiations of the diplomats, the war went on, though more and more haltingly. Frenchmen and Swedes, Bavarians and Imperialists, Danes and north-Germans, in the general mêlée, strove to maintain or to improve their status in the council by triumphs in the field; and the fortunes of states contending in diplomacy rose and fell with news of each engagement. But even while continental eyes were fixed upon these last convulsive struggles of the European war, while the most imposing array of diplomats yet assembled in European council sought, through
The progress of the war 1642-8
the longest negotiation in European history, to find the via media which led to peace, beyond the view of the ambassadors and the sound of German conflict there arose a new struggle, first of politics and principles, then of arms, which was destined to be of no less importance to the development of Europe than the greater war now drawing to an end. This was the conflict between the English crown and Parliament, which, at the very moment set for the assembling of the ambassadors in Westphalia, had reached its crisis in the royal appeal to arms.
It came as the climax of a long and bitter rivalry. What Germany had been to Europe in the third and fourth decades of the seventeenth century, England was now about to become, the focus of a struggle between rival doctrines and practices, on which depended the future of politics and thought. In the eventful year which saw the removal of Richelieu and Olivarez from affairs and the first steps toward peace in Germany, the smoldering antagonism between the English king and his subjects burst into open war. The causes of the conflict were twofold. The quarrel had begun with the efforts of James and Charles to crystallize the Tudor "absolutism by popular consent" into legal form, and to force the more advanced Protestants, the so-called Puritans, into conformity to the Anglican establishment. To that end James had striven to make the crown in fact and name the sole arbiter of church and state. His son had followed in his steps, with greater obstinacy and still less tact; till in the year of the Peace of Lübeck between the Emperor and the Danish king, he had dismissed his Parliament and sent the leaders of the opposition to the Tower. His arbitrary measures had been accompanied by the protest of the Commons against taxation without consent of Parliament, against the "innovations" by which the so-called High Church Anglicans were endeavoring to force the Puritans into more formal observance of doctrines and practices which seemed to the extreme Protestants to smack too much of Rome.
The English Civil War
With this, as the conflict progressed in Germany, England entered upon eleven years of un-parliamentary government,
Its origin 1629-42
without a parallel in English history. Driven to curtail expenditure, the king made peace with France and Spain, and England ceased to play a part in international politics. Driven to raise revenue in default of parliamentary grant, he resorted to taxes long obsolete, and stretched his authority to the uttermost by levying so-called "ship-money" on the inland counties to equip a fleet. At the same time, under the High Church archbishop, Laud, conformity was enforced. The communion-table of the Puritan congregations was removed from its place in the body of the church, set in its old position in the chancel and again enrailed as an altar. The Anglican form of worship was rigidly enjoined; and Puritan sensibilities were still further wounded by the reissue of the "declaration of sports" which authorized the use of the Sabbath, on which they set such store, for games and amusements. Not content with this, the king commissioned the royal governor of Ireland, Wentworth, to raise an army there; and permitted Laud to attempt the introduction of the Anglican prayer-book into Presbyterian Scotland.
The result was an explosion. The refusal of a country squire, John Hampden, to pay ship-money threw the popular cause into the law courts, whose subservient judges decided for the crown. The effort to use the prayer-book in Edinburgh produced a riot. The oppression of the Puritans drove thirty thousand emigrants to New England, and fatally antagonized those who remained. The raising of an Irish army roused a not ungrounded fear of absolutism by royal coup d'état. When the Scotch drew up their new National Covenant to defend their faith and abolished episcopacy and the new liturgy, the storm began to break. It was in vain Charles summoned an army to march against the northern rebels, to whose assistance Scotch volunteers hurried from Gustavus' old force in Germany. The English king found himself as impotent to fight as he had been to govern, and he was driven to summon a short-lived Parliament, which offered supplies only in return for the redress of grievances.
Its cutbreak 1637
Upon its dismissal the crisis approached. After an ignominious defeat by the Scotch forces, and a futile assembly
The Long Parliament 1640-
of the peers, Charles was compelled to call another Parliament, his fifth, and, as it proved, his last. At once the longcherished projects of reform appeared, with an attack on the prerogative. Wentworth and Laud were sent to prison and thence to the scaffold. The continuance of Parliament was assured; the old courts of Star Chamber and High Commission were destroyed and with them the chief danger to church and individuals from the crown. Hard on these reforms the news of a massacre of Irish Protestants roused England to fury; and, as the quarrel deepened, the Commons issued a Grand Remonstrance, or summary of their grieances which promted the king to an unwise revenge. Backed by his guards and courtiers he came in person to the House to seize five opposition leaders; then, foiled of his prey, he left London, and presently raised his standard at Nottingham, at the same moment that, on the continent, the preliminaries of a great congress to end the war received the sanction of the Emperor. Thus there began, on English soil, a struggle between the crown and Parliament which was to play a part in the development of political liberty comparable to that which the German conflict had earlier played in the field of religious thought and practice.
The six years which followed the beginnings of peace negotiations in Westphalia and the simultaneous outbreak of war in the British Isles, form a peculiarly destructive period of European history. While diplomats sought a basis of settlement in the protected district of Münster and Osnabrück which was set apart for their deliberations, the tide of battle rolled unchecked back and forth across the rest of Germany, turning its fertile fields into a wilderness. From that conflict religious elements had long since disappeared, and with them whatever vital interest the struggle held. What remained was the selfish political designs of the combatants. On the one side the Emperor and his allies, headed by Bavaria, struggled to maintain the power they once held; on the other the Swedes and French strove to reduce that power and exalt their own. Spain, still faithful to the Hapsburg interest and her own, waged separate war with
France. The smaller powers were no less involved. The Transylvanian adventurer, Ragocsky, following in the footsteps of his predecessor, Bethlen Gabor, brought like diversion against the Emperor on the side of Hungary, and with no more permanent result. Finally Denmark, reversing her former rôle in the face of Sweden's threatened supremacy, again entered the war on the imperial side only to suffer the vengeance of her Scandinavian rival.
That power alone maintained its long ascendancy in arms still unimpaired. Baner followed Gustavus; Torstenson, Baner; and Wrangel succeeded Torstenson, as commander-inchief, with little change in Swedish success against the Imperialists. Had France found a worthy successor to Bernhard of Saxe-Weimar, whose army she inherited on his death, the fate of the Hapsburgs might have been sealed. But her generals, save the young Turenne, exhibited few of the qualities which made their great partisan predecessor only second to Wallenstein; and the new Emperor, Ferdinand III, on his part, found no commander to ensure him the peace he so much coveted. Thus the conflict declined into a long and dreary chronicle of march and counter-march, defeat and victory, with their wastage of life and property, in pursuit of what advantage there was to be gained in the approaching peace.
The Thirty Years' War-final stage
Meanwhile France invaded Spain; Spain, France; with little more result, save that, in the battle of Rocroy, the genius of the young Condé was revealed and a death-blow dealt to the ascendancy of those great Spanish squares of infantry which in a hundred years had found their only rival in the Swedes. And, as if it were not enough that all the west and north should feel the weight of war, Italy endured a conflict between the Papacy and its confederated 1645 enemies, while the Turk, rousing from his long lethargy, fell once more upon Venice, and, landing upon Crete, took up again his task of wresting the islands of the eastern Mediterranean from Christian hands.
Thus, everywhere in Europe, as the mid-seventeenth century approached, her people stood arrayed in conflicts, which
for the most part were of importance to the future of the world only because of the shifting of lands or authority from one hand to another. In England the case was different. The struggle there begun involved the greatest problem which had divided European minds since the religious schism between Catholic and Protestant--the problem of popular share in government. It was, indeed, a longstanding issue. Since the fall of the Roman Republic, save in a few and scattered instances, like the so-called republics of the north Italian city-states, some Swiss cantons, and the trading communities of northern Germany, political power had remained all but unquestioned in the hands of kings and aristocracies. The feudal régime had divided men into two castes, noble and non-noble, with an ever-increasing rigidity of class. When national kingship conquered the growing anarchy of feudal privilege, it had checked the right of private war, set the king's justice in place of feudal courts, reduced the aristocracy to dependence on itself, and substituted its central authority for the divergent interests of the great independent lords of the land. But in so doing it had neither destroyed that class nor raised the lower elements to equality. Society remained, therefore, an aristocracy.
In one direction, none the less, conditions had greatly altered in the preceding three centuries. This was in the development of a wealthy middle class. The growth of commerce, the arts, and industries had vastly increased the resources of the commercial groups which, under the improved economy by which national kingship secured to them the fruits of their labors, now formed an important element in nearly every state. But that importance was not political. While the middle classes welcomed absolutism as a cure for anarchy, they had too often gained peace at the expense of privilege. In Spain the absolutism of Ferdinand the Catholic had united the scattered territories of his far-spreading kingdom, but it had suppressed the old popular assembly of the Cortes. In France the early years of Louis XIII had seen the last meeting of the States General. Even in Holland the Orange ascendancy had tended to subordinate the most
The middle class
powerful commercial middle class in Europe to the Stadtholderate. Thus, while throughout the more progressive nations of western and northern Europe economic evolution had elevated serfs to free tenants and made burghers equal in wealth to the landed class, it had given to neither a greater voice in government.
Even England, which retained more of the earlier and freer Teutonic institutions than any European state, had, for a time, threatened to follow a like course with France and Spain. The Wars of the Roses had destroyed her ancient baronage, and Tudor rulers had surrounded the throne with a nobility created by the crown, dependent on it and devoted to its interests. Unable to do away with Parliament, even had they wished, they had sought to keep it under their control by creating new boroughs. From these they drew a body of representatives to support the cause of the crown in the Commons, and so continued to manage what they could no longer dominate. There the resemblance to the continent had ceased. The Parliament was neither destroyed nor rendered impotent. Through the convulsions of the sixteenth century it had acted as the ally no less than as the agent of the crown. Its more advanced element would have pushed the Reformation beyond the bounds determined by the Elizabethan government. But it was not until the first Stuart kings endeavored to make that settlement absolute by the oppression of the Puritans, and the transformation of the personal arbitrariness of the Tudors into a legal despotism, that there came a test of strength.
When, therefore, on that stormy day of August, 1642, Charles I raised his standard at Nottingham, there began one of the decisive struggles of European history. On the one side were ranged the forces of ancient privilege and authority, the clergy and most of the nobility, a great part of the gentry and their followers, drawn to defend the old establishment, the altar, and the throne. Against them were arrayed a heterogeneous company, the so-called Puritans, a few of the greater nobility, many of the lesser gentry, and the overwhelming majority of the trading communities, or
The opposing elements
moneyed class. Though these last included many Anglicans, they were, for the most part, of the more liberal, so-called Presbyterian element; while the mass of the rebellious party was made up of Nonconformists or sectarians, advanced Protestants opposed alike to the hierarchy and the liturgy of an episcopal establishment. Without exception the remaining English Catholics were on the side of royalty. Yet neither party was to be classified on purely religious grounds, least of all the so-called Puritans. Their chief importance was political, for, whatever their religious beliefs, they were united in opposing unparliamentary government; and the great issue was less a matter of creed than a question as to whether the crown or the people was the final authority in church and state.
The conflict which ensued partook of the peculiar character of the parties engaged. At the outset many on either side distrusted too great success for their own cause. Most Royalists would have bitterly opposed the destruction of Parliament; few Parliamentarians dreamed of destroying the crown; nor was either result at first conceivable. In consequence war and negotiation went continually hand in hand, till compromise was seen to be impossible. The military operations, as well, were what might have been expected from a warlike but unmilitary nation which had been at peace for more than a generation. Neither in numbers nor in skill was the earlier stage of the English Civil War comparable to the concurrent struggles on the continent, however it surpassed the last conflicts of the Thirty Years' War in the principles involved. From those conflicts, indeed, many hastened to take part in the great rebellion. The king's nephews, Rupert and Maurice, came from the Palatinate to his aid; Gustavus' old chief of staff, Leslie, to command the Scots. Soldiers like Monk from Condé's French Huguenot army and Vere's regiment in the Netherlands, so long a school of arms for English gentlemen, hurried home to take their part in the conflict. Some, like the first parliamentary commander, Essex, the royalist general, Hopton, and his opponent, Waller, had seen service in the Palatinate.
Character of the war
But many others, like the greatest of them all, Cromwell and Blake, had left field and shop for the pursuit of arms. Thus England became in no long time a battle-ground not only of religious and political principles but of all the contemporary schools of warfare.
But the development was slow. In the beginning what advantage there was lay with the royalist cavalry drawn from the hunting element fostered by the country gentlemen. At Edgehill, and again at Newbury, as in the king's attempt to seize London, only inexperienced commanders prevented a decision. Thus, with the second twelvemonth of the war, the Parliament, fearing for its existence, came to terms with the Scotch Presbyterians, signed the Solemn League and Covenant, committed England to that form of faith, and received, in turn, a Scotch army for its aid. At the same time a voluntary association of the eastern counties, in which a Huntingdonshire gentleman, one Oliver Cromwell, became conspicuous, organized a body of so-called. Ironsides, picked men, well-drilled, severely disciplined cavalry, able to meet Prince Rupert's cavaliers on equal terms.
The early engagements 1642
Under these conditions the crisis was not long delayed. The Scotch were, indeed, defeated by the king's army, but, in turn, the royal force was crushed at Marston Moor by Cromwell's Ironsides. Emphasized by a brilliant diversion of Montrose in the Highlands, and the defeat of parliamentary forces in the south, the lesson was decisive. The army was reorganized into a New Model, by Cromwell, who, with Fairfax, replaced its old commanders. At Naseby the last effective resistance of the king was beaten down, his papers were seized, and he himself fled to the Scotch army. By it he was surrendered to the Parliament, and by them held a prisoner.
The New Model 1644
Such were the circumstances under which successful revolution broke royal power in the British Isles. But, at the very height of their success, the revolutionaries all but lost the fruits of their exertions, for they fell out among themselves. Parliament, still strongly Presbyterian, found itself opposed by an element which had come to control the army,
and had acquired no small influence in the nation at large. This was the group known as the sects, the advanced Protestant denominations, among which the so-called Independents took the lead. Strongly individualistic in their beliefs, as their name indicated, they were opposed to any set forms or prescribed doctrine and liturgy. Deeply devout, they were peculiarly tolerant of all forms of church government save the episcopal, which smacked too much of intrenched authority; while, with their liberal religious tendencies, they had strong leanings toward democracy in state as well as church.
Amid these warring elements the king still dreamed of finding an advantage for himself, and, in their discords, recovering his power. Thus he intrigued with each party in turn till he had forfeited what little confidence each had in his integrity, and the army became determined to temporize no longer with such evasion. The king was seized by their authority; and his negotiation with the Scotch brought as its chief result the renunciation of allegiance by his rebellious subjects. With this, events took on a darker tinge. Cromwell defeated a Scotch army of invasion at Preston Pans, and so relieved all danger from that side. The Parliament was purged of its recalcitrant Presbyterians, and the army, through its adherents of the so-called Rump and its Council of Officers, became the sole arbiter of English destinies. Their triumph
Such was the situation of affairs, as the long war in Germany drew to a close. The months that saw the great conflict determined, with the fate of English monarchy, were, indeed, heavy with import to the European world. While from his Newport prison Charles I was making his last effort to come to terms with Parliament, great events were stirring elsewhere. In Bohemia the French and Swedes pushed on a final, desperate attempt to wrest from their exhausted enemies that part of Prague still in Imperialist hands. In Poland the Cossacks of the Ukraine began a great revolt, while the Crimean khan led the most terrible foray in Russian history against the Muscovites and Poles. France saw the outbreak of that amazing civil "war of the women," the so-called The end of the German war 1648 Fronde, and the eastern Mediterranean beheld the Turkish fleet advancing to the siege of Candia which was to endure for twenty years.
Besides these, in Europe itself as in her far-flung possessions oversea, a multitude of events of less conspicuous quality contributed, at this juncture, to the great transformation of the European world. George Fox began that preaching career which added the Quakers to the ranks of the Protestant denominations. In America a twofold conflict among the New England colonies and between them and their Dutch neighbors began to make itself felt in the affairs of that continent. Beyond them still, a struggle between the most powerful of the native tribes, the Iroquois, and their native enemies, aided by the French, added a bloody chapter to colonial history, and a new martyrology to the Jesuits. Far to the south, meanwhile, the genius of the Madeiran, Vieyra, which three years before had inspired revolt against the Dutch in Brazil, now organized, from Portugal, a company like that by which Holland had gained her ascendancy. Thence he despatched a fleet which was to turn the tide of victory to his followers and wreck Dutch aspirations in that quarter of the world. At the same moment, on the other side of the earth, the Christian faith was driven from Japan; and that nation was removed from European influence for two hundred years.
Other European activities
Such were a few of the diverse activities, which, standing out from the dull warp of commonplace affairs, gave color and form to the great and varied fabric which from day to day fell from the loom of European life. Among them all, one now became the central figure of the great design. This was signature of the tremendous document which brought to an end the European war by the Peace of Westphalia. Few instruments in history have been of such long gestation, few have brought to an end so long a conflict, none more clearly marks a great dividing line in human affairs. From the deliberations of six years, while the whole European world shook with the thunder of contending armies, there emerged a settlement which, however inadequate to The signature of the Peace of Westphalia Oct. 24, 1648 insure continued peace, shifted the whole balance of future conflict and gave to devastated Germany a needed breathing-space.
The terms of the various agreements which made up the Peace of Westphalia were as voluminous and nearly as complex as the issues which they professed to meet. But from the mass of verbiage emerged three leading facts. The first was the supremacy of Sweden in the north; the second was the securing of French frontiers at the expense of the Empire; the third was recognition of the independence of the republics of Switzerland and the United Netherlands. The last involved no transfers of territory; but the first two revolutionized the map of central Europe.
In brief, the principal changes centered in the gains of Sweden and of France. With the lands which stretched along the north German coast from Stettin to Denmark; with Verden, the bishopric of Bremen, and Weimar in their grasp, the Swedes came close to that absolute control of the Baltic to which they had so long aspired. With three votes in the Imperial Diet, by virtue of her new possessions in Germany, Sweden added to her position as the mistress of the north that of the most powerful feudatory of the Empire. Such was the "satisfaction" of Sweden.
Nor was the victory of France much less. For the first time she now held in fee simple the great bulwark triangle of the bishoprics of Metz, Toul, and Verdun, which controlled the main passage between herself and Germany. To these she added Breisach, the invaluable outpost of the upper Rhine, and Pinerolo, "the gateway to Italy." Besides these, still, the landgravate of all Alsace, the government of ten imperial cities, and the right to garrison Philippsburg gave her control of all that coveted area, save Strassburg. This, with an agreement that no fortresses were to be built on the Rhine from Basle to Philippsburg, made her secure upon her eastern front against her most persistent enemy, and thus completed her "satisfaction."
This was not all the loss to the imperial power, for readjustments such as these brought with them the necessity of
The German states
compensation to the German states affected by them or by the recent war. Brandenburg, in consequence, received as indemnity for its losses in Pomerania the bishoprics of Minden, Halberstadt, and Camin, as secular principalities, and the reversion of the archbishopric of Magdeburg. HesseCassel, besides a money indemnity, secured possession of lesser episcopal and abbey lands; Brunswick, a claim upon the bishopric of Osnabrück; and Mecklenburg, the bishoprics of Ratzeburg and Schwerin.
Such were the principal changes of boundaries and authority within the Empire; and these but slightly affected the imperial power. But this was not the case with the next group of the provisions which the peace imposed upon the house of Hapsburg, the so-called secular interests of the Empire. The proclamation of a general amnesty and restoration of the status before the war was modified by the retention of the electoral dignity in the Bavarian branch of the house of Wittelsbach, and the creation of an eighth electorate for the dispossessed Rudolfian branch of the Palatinate. Far more important was the so-called territorial superiority of the component parts of the Empire. This recognized the right of the whole body of estates to the control of their external affairs, the right to make treaties with each other and with foreign powers, if not directed against the imperial person or authority. With such a provision formally recognized, whatever sovereignty the Emperor had held dissolved into the shadowiest of suzerainties, and Germany became a mere congeries of petty states, like Italy. From the conflict which had begun a century and a half earlier with Maximilian's attempt to make imperial power a reality, Germany emerged a nation divided against itself. The principle of the Fürstenstaat, a state of princes, had triumphed over the doctrine of centralized power, and middle Europe turned definitely aside from the polity of the rest of the continent, save Italy.
And what of those great religious issues for which the war had nominally been fought? The terms of the peace which ended it reflected the altered character of a conflict
The religious settement
which at its close found Catholic France allied with Protestant Sweden and a Protestant Hessian in command of the Catholic Imperialist army. Briefly, three great provisions determined the ecclesiastical status. The first was the recognition of equality between Protestant and Catholic estates in all affairs of the Empire, including the equal division of the imperial court between the two communions. The second was the extension of the Peace of Augsburg and the Convention of Passau to include the Calvinists, thus placed on the same plane as Lutherans. The third was the adoption of 1624 as the "annus normalis," or date from which possession of ecclesiastical estates and form of religion should be reckoned. The territorial lords retained the so-called "right of reformation," but to their subjects was secured the right of emigration to escape their masters' possibly too zealous churchmanship. The subjugated Protestants of Austria and Bohemia were left to the mercies of their rulers, but the Rhenish states which, like Baden and the lower Palatinate, had found their Protestantism overborne by Catholic conquest, were permitted to resume the exercise of their former faith. These, in brief, were the provisions of the greatest peace Europe had seen thus far in her long history. By that extraordinary settlement the Empire became a European rather than a German institution and prolonged its existence by the sacrifice of its vitality. On the one side the Swedish empire, on the other the more homogeneous kingdom of France, challenged the supremacy once wielded by the house of Hapsburg. The old alliance of church and state as exemplified in the ascendancy of Empire and Papacy was forever at an end. Protestantism was secure in those lands which had accepted its doctrines, and what efforts Catholicism was to make for its suppression thenceforth were put forth through the national states and not through any general European agency--for "the mediæval order of the European world was over."
Nor was this all. Seldom in history has any land suffered what Germany endured in the preceding thirty years. Between a fourth and a half of her total population had been destroyed, while in certain districts scarcely a fiftieth of the inhabitants remained. Towns by the score and villages by the hundred were wholly wiped out, with castles, farms, bridges, and country-houses innumerable, till the whole basis of ordered existence in great parts of the west and south seemed almost if not quite destroyed. This was accompanied by a shifting of classes and interests. The chief destruction had fallen on old Germany, the richest and most enlightened districts of the purest German blood which lay between the Rhine and the Elbe. In consequence the half-German absolutist powers of the east, Brandenburg and Austria in particular, gained relatively if not absolutely in strength. Germany
The earliest and fiercest blows had been struck against the Protestantism of the south, and from that blow it never recovered. Bohemian lands were parceled out among a Catholic-Austrian nobility and Bohemia was dragooned into resumption of the older faith. In the Hapsburg possessions the same policy was put in force, and Austria now came to rival Spain as the bulwark of Catholicism. Yet from the long conflict Protestantism had emerged alive and vigorous. The unity of western Christendom under the mediæval Church of Rome was gone forever. Thenceforth came on the scene new doctrines and new policies, a balance of power, national interests, a unity in diversity, and that perpetual shifting of creeds and alliances which marks the unstable equilibrium of a modern world. The Peace of Westphalia became, in large measure, the basis of the public law of Europe and its fundamental principles remained in effect for nearly a century and a half. The doctrine of balance of power among Catholics, Lutherans, and Protestants, as between the Empire and its constituent parts, was, indeed, largely regulated by external forces, in particular those of Sweden and France, and made for the aggrandizement of the latter especially. But, indeterminate as any such settlement which rests upon the shifting sands of a continually altering society must be, the Peace of Westphalia remains, none the less, one of the great landmarks of European history. In a political sense it divided the old from the new, and like the Renaissance, the discoveries, and the Reformation, perhaps rather like the scientific renaissance, it marks the change from mediæval to modern methods and spirit.
It was almost at once supplemented by a movement which gave even more dramatic emphasis to the changes then taking place in the world of politics. The peace was signed on October 24, 1648. At that moment the imprisoned English king was deep in negotiation with his rebellious Parliament, and dreaming of a division among his enemies, of intervention from abroad, of an infinity of contingencies, which might enable him to rescue from the shipwreck of his fortunes that royal power which had slipped from his grasp. But his machinations were to prove as vain as his hopes. While the old Germany and the old system of European polity passed away, the old English monarchy came to an end. The tradition of royal inviolability was broken, the divinity which hedged in a king was shattered, and England turned to new courses at the same moment that European polity was revolutionized.
The fall of the old English monarchy
Thus was a great chapter of history closed, and there began another which was to prove greater still. The era of religious wars was over, that of the conflict for popular sovereignty had begun. And, as the world turned from the one struggle to the other, it was apparent that henceforth the issues and methods of political affairs, no less than the spiritual and intellectual bases of European life, which had endured in some form at least since the Reformation, were destined to profound and rapid change. As the secular interest had finally triumphed over the ecclesiastical, so popular privilege was about to assert itself effectively against royal prerogative, and individualism challenge authority. Two centuries earlier the concurrent fall of Constantinople and the expulsion of the English from France had marked the double crisis of Europe's affairs. Now the signature of the great peace and the collapse of English kingship indicated that Europe again confronted the reorganization of her principles and her practices.
The transmission to modern polity
END OF VOL. I
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