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CONFEDERATIONS.                                 22/
wished to confer on William of Orange the entire sovereignty
within their borders, as long as the war should continue, in-
cluding supreme military command with power of military
appointment, and (with consent of the estates) the appoint-
ment of financial and judicial officers. This new and en-
larged stadtholdership was accepted by him July 5, 1581.
The election of Anjou took place the same year, but he did
not arrive in the provinces until Feb., 1582.
The duke of Anjou failed most miserably, and after retiring
into France, died in 1584, the same year in which William
was assassinated. The same motive which led the provinces
to choose a supreme chief from a rival of Spain, now led them
to seek the alliance of England. The earl of Leicester, who
was invested with the authority of stadtholder-general, showed
almost equal incapacity with Anjou, and by his policy of
favoring the democratic element which was attached to the
house of Orange, seems to have raised up that spirit of
jealousy within the states-general towards the chief execu-
tive, which was so important an element in Dutch history
afterwards. He died soon after the ruin of the Spanish Ar-
mada in 1587, a defeat which was the great fruit of the
Dutch alliance with England.
The difficulties between the states general and Leicester,
when he first went over to the provinces, will illustrate where
the point of weakness in the constitution, and of possible
conflict, would be likely to appear afterwards. The states
general offered him complete or absolute power, but under-
stood, as it appears, power without limit of time / and ex-
pected that he should act under advisement of a council, and
of course respect the liberties which the provinces had en-
joyed under the Emperor Charles V. He chafed against
their restrictions and oppositions, took a part which vexed
the leading men of Holland and Zeeland, and intrigued with
even as a shepherd to guard his sheep. When therefore he oppresses
his subjects, he is to be considered not a prince, but a tyrant. As
such, the estates of the land may lawfully and reasonably oppose
him, and elect another in his room."