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CONFEDERATIONS.                                 229

cially these religionists were more willing to consent to state
encroachments on church liberty than were their Calvinistic
opponents. On the other hand the stadtholders of the house
of Orange-Nassau had perpetual blocks put in their way by
the leaders in the separate states  that is, especially in Hol-
land, the great and rich province  and thus, as was very natu-
ral, there arose two parties, the state's rights party headed by
.=uch officers of the state as Barneveldt and the De Witts, and
the Orange or more democratic party. The stadtholders of
this house rested for their political support more on the
smaller and north-eastern provinces ; they also allied them-
selves with the Calvinistic or Gomarist party in the Dutch
Reformed Church, and the lower classes in the towns were
generally on their side. The united provinces were naturally
jealous of a power that might grow into a tyranny, and thus
they put a check on the general stadtholders that at times was
very hard to bear. These complications of forces in the
aristocratic bodies will explain and in part excuse the follies
that appear in the history of the Dutch provinces. It ought
to be added that nothing in the Utrecht union required a
general stadtholder, or indeed any central government, so
that when one died, who had been in the office, the room
was open for all machinations against appointing another.
The choice of Anjou and, that of Leicester were only tempo-
ary expedients, and pledged the states-general to no course
for the future.

While Leicester was in the provinces, prince Maurice was
Maurice,  stadt- stadtholder of Holland and Zeeland, and after-

holder of  Holland,

etc,         wards filled the same office, by appointment in

Utrecht, in Overyssel (1590) and elsewhere. He was head-
admiral of the provinces with an admiralty-council to assist
and check him. He was the great general of the country,
and his successes brought towns or forts still occupied by
Spanish troops under the control of the republic. The cap-
ture of Groningen in 1594 united that town for the first time
with the rest of the province under the Utrecht union. In
1598 Philip II. of Spain, by separating the Netherlands