230 POLITICAL SCIENCE. from his empire, and placing as sovereigns over it his daugh- ter Clara Eugenia and her husband, an Austrian archduke showed an intention to retire from the contest. His death in the same year rendered future hostilities either of Spam or of the Spanish Netherlands with the united provinces less probable than before ; and a truce for twelve years, in 1609, prepared the way for the peace between Spain and the Dutch republic, made at Miinster in 1648, at the time when the peace of Westphalia was under negotiation. By this peace Spain acknowledged Dutch independence, and consented to the closing of the Scheldt, which brought with it the decline of Antwerp and the greater prosperity of the rival seaports of Holland. The earlier years of the seventeenth century were filled with bitter religious disputes, and a synod was ordered with reference to them by the states-general, through the influence of Prince Maurice, and the votes of Zeeland, Guelders, Fries- land and Groningen. The synod met at Dort in 1618, and the unrighteous condemnation of Qlden-Barneveldt took place in 1619. This great crime was committed by the states-general then under the control of the Orange party; and Maurice himself, not without unconstitutional proceed- ings, procured the downfall of his determined enemy by en- couraging a feeling of religious intolerance in which he did not share. The synod condemned the remonstrants or Ar- minians, and many fled from the land. We pass over a number of years, during which Maurice and his brother were stadtholders, down to 1647, when William II., son of the latter stadt- holder, was chosen to fill the office. There was then a dis- pute, between the states-general together with the stadtholder on the one part and Holland on the other, in regard to the dismission of troops which the former wished to retain and the latter would have the principal burden of paying. The estates of Holland decided in 1650 to dismiss quite a number of companies without waiting for the states-general to act. The latter reminded the troops of their oath, bade them stay William II.